When even a seven-year-old is not “too young for jihad”
She was probably born on a bad day. Her birth must have been as abysmal as her death was going to be. She had heard from her grandmother about the bad aura of some days.
“All people born on such days are as nehes (unlucky)”, her grandmother had said one day.
She gulped nervously. She looked at her sister lying next to her who had fallen asleep only an hour ago after sobbing uncontrollably all night. Fajar is near.
“I can pray to Allah. Maybe He will undo this. But I should hurry. If father gets up and prays before me, then Allah won’t listen to my prayers, of course. It is like mother always says; Allah listens to parents, that’s why we should also listen to our parents.”
All these thoughts raced through her head as she scrambled out of bed and ran to perform ablution. She sat on the prayer mat, waiting for her prayers to be heard. Her tiny hands rose in dua, the seven-year-old trembled to think of what the day would bring. She heard sniffing behind her. Turning around, she saw her mother crouched over her sister. She was running her hands through her sister’s hair.
“Why is she crying? She told us it will all end in Jannat. God sends only those people to Jannat whom He loves”, she wondered.
She got up to warn her mother to stop crying before their father woke up. He would be furious. Tears were a sign of weakness and there is no weakness in the way of Allah. Just like there is no age for jihad. But if they were doing something good, why was her heart thumping in fearful anticipation?
All this and more might have rushed through her head as she walked into that crowded police station wearing a detonable suicide belt. Her prayers to save her life went unanswered.
“Does God only listen to parents?” she might have wondered in the unnerving moment right before she was blown up from a remote control from an unknown location.
The above mentioned account is a fictional attempt to gauge what may have gone through the head of a child who is too young to grasp the concept of jihad. A seven-year old blew herself up in a police station in Syria a couple of days ago after a video was released of a father prepping his two daughters (a seven and an eight-year-old) for jihad.
My heart has broken into a thousand pieces
In the video below, their mother was also shown pulling her daughters into farewell embraces and telling the camera that no one is too young for jihad. The bewildered looks on the faces of the two girls are enough to convey that they neither understand this mantra, nor do they believe it.
— Nour Samaha (@Nour_Samaha) December 21, 2016
The accurate affiliation of the family to any terrorist group is yet unconfirmed but some reports have identified them as members of al Qaeda-linked al Nusra front. Regardless of their affiliation, the new low that they have achieved by turning kids into guided pieces of explosives is condemnable at all levels of human consciousness.
What has the world come to? Why must we insist on making a constant mockery out of religion by attaching it to this senseless fanaticism? The adults in these videos are not fit to be parents, who use their own children as tools of religious gratification. This is so deeply misplaced that it gives me chills. The forces behind such inhumane indifference towards the lives of children are quite common these days, much to our misfortune.
The use of such young children as suicide bombers is a sick way to ensure the completion of the task without any external interference as they will not be suspected of any misdemeanour.
But no more!
Now even the innocent whimsy of children will be suspected of hidden agendas. And the human race drops down yet another level of dignity and compassion. God help us all. But will He, when we remain hell-bent upon abandoning all parameters of humanity and kindness?
I hope He still does, as that is the only way to salvation for us at the moment.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.