A new group called Mothers for Life released an open letter on Wednesday with a message for their children who have left to join ISIS: "We want you to return. We want you to live"
In the letter, members of the group — which is a project of the German Institute on Radicalization and De-radicalization Studies (GIRDS) — appeal to their children and others like them to heed the Qur’an and honor their parents:
Even if you think death will give you that 'better' life, remember that even the Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him) said: 'Paradise lies at the feet of your mother.' By leaving us against our will to give up your own life and take those of others, you have put our struggle, pain and honour under your feet and walked over it.
How can you realize tawheed [the divinity of Allah] when you separate what belongs together by God's will: mother and child? [...] And how can you claim to hate and love for the sake of Allah (subhan-a watala), when you declare your own mother to be an enemy of the Ummah [the Muslim community], while you know that we, the mothers, maintain the Ummah of humanity everywhere and not just in the background.
"Social media right now seems to be their strength in recruiting our youth," Chris Boudreau, a Canadian mother whose son was killed in Syria last year and one of group's coordinators, told the Associated Press. "We've got to fight fire with fire."
So far, thousands of Westerners have left to join ISIS, many supported by and encouraging each other through social media.
Mothers for Life is hoping to prevent that number from growing and influence policymakers in their various home countries — including the United States, Canada, and France.
The group is still small, with just a dozen members — both Muslim and non-Muslim — and a still-limited social media footprint (its Facebook page as of this article has fewer than 50 likes), but it hopes to grow and is recruiting more members on its site.
Read the full open letter here:
Hayes Brown is a world news editor and reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
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