British children looking for a year of adventure between school and university are enrolling in the Islamic State in increasingly large numbers, according to a report released today by the Foreign Office.
“It makes a lot of sense. These kids need to become self-starters, learn the adult skills that will stand them in good stead as they go to university and beyond – and there’s no better place to pick all of that up than standing in the front lines near Mosul, grasping an AK47 in your sweaty, terrified hands, chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ and being picked off by Kurdish Peshmerga snipers,” commented a spokesman for the Foreign Office. “Parents shouldn’t be concerned – it’s more of a rite of passage which will ultimately give their children the skills they need to succeed in the modern job market.”
“It was a close call for me between helping build a school in Tanzania, working on an environmental project in Costa Rica, and participating in mass beheadings just north of Baghdad,” said Rose Tewksbury, one 18-year old who took the plunge to join the Islamic State with her parents’ blessing. “But I’m glad of the experience. I’ve been able to teach local people the core mass-murdering skills they need to take part in global jihad, and it’s counting towards my Duke of Edinburgh too.”
Critics have complained of the ‘inherent hedonism’ of this latest gap year fad. “If you’re trying to tell me that laughing maniacally while rounding up terrified Yazidis on a mountain is helping to build communities, then I’m going to have to disagree,” said Martin Jones, dean of admissions at the University of Birmingham. “But I suppose at least they’re not sitting at home twiddling their thumbs.”