For American teens these days, the biggest heroes are no longer baseball players or even Lady Gaga: they are mostly You Tube stars, like the comedy team Smosh, followed by Katy Perry and – surprisingly – 92-year-old actress Betty White. But for hundreds of thousands of Dutch youth, the heroes of the day are neither film stars nor comedians: they are the jihadists of the Islamic State.
That is the result of a recent study by Dutch research company Motivaction, which found that 90 percent of Dutch Turks ages 18-35 consider the Islamic State (IS or ISIS) members heroes, and enthusiastically support their friends and neighbors who travel to Syria to join them. And 48 percent of Holland's 18-35-year-old Moroccan immigrants agree.
(For reference, the latest official figures count more than 368,000 Moroccan immigrants – first and second generation – in the Netherlands, and more than 395,000 Turks in a national population numbering 16.8 million.)