Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Rioting Children

Following the example of their parents, Pakistani children rioted in the streets in "protest" of the Mohammed cartoons:

About 5,000 children chanting “Hang those who insulted the prophet” rallied in Pakistan’s largest city on Tuesday in the latest protest in the Islamic nation against the publication of cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad.

The children, ages 8 to 12, burned a coffin draped in U.S., Israeli and Danish flags at a traffic intersection in the port city of Karachi as police in riot gear looked on.

The rally was organized by Jamaat-e-Islami, Pakistan’s largest Islamic group. The children, some wearing school uniforms and headbands emblazoned with “God is great,” were released from schools to take part.

Jamaat-e-Islami is part of a radical coalition of six Islamic parties that has rallied Muslims throughout Pakistan in recent weeks against the cartoons despite bans on protests in some cities.

This is the kind of thing you really hoped you wouldn't see.

These kids arguably have no real concept of what it is their rioting about. They see images on TV that seem to glorify the uncivilized behavior that has marked these riots. They are told what to do by the radical party leaders who organized the rally. Their parents tell them that these attitudes and behaviors are right.

These kids aren't autonomous individuals. They are not rioting of their own free will. These kids are just puppets for the radical ideologies of their parents.

It would be a lie to call this event a "protest." Protests generally require freely acting individuals, not ones pursuaded to act by radical elders.

The violent and insensible riots are one thing, but misguided children who don't realize the significance of what they are doing is completely different, and it makes me sick to my stomach to think that parents are teaching their children this sort of ideology.