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Wednesday, March 09, 2005

A true martyr for freedom

The Seattle Times:

Days before the election, when I asked Mithal al-Alusi about the dangers to his family, Gamal answered instead, 'It is true that we are in danger, but if this is the price for democracy and peace, it is a very low price.' Only days after the election, Gamal and his family paid that price, and it was not 'low.' While traveling by car in Baghdad, their vehicle was ambushed by terrorist gunmen. Mithal al-Alusi survived the attack, but Gamal died along with his older brother Ayman and a bodyguard, all from gunshot wounds. He was only 22. Radical Islamists often depict suicide bombers as 'martyrs' while their sympathizers in the West dignify terrorists in Iraq as 'freedom fighters.' Even the mainstream media oblige them as 'insurgents.' But real martyrs do not kill, maim and destroy. Martyrs heal what is broken. They give voice to those who are oppressed. They build what is shattered. They attempt to convince through reason while others deal in hatred and violence. And, yes, martyrs die at the hands of those who despise all these things. ... Today, as they mourn the deaths of their sons, Mithal al-Alusi and what is left of his family continue their work to transform Iraq into a nation of laws. Terrorists persist on attacking, but Mithal and his family remain resolute. In an interview with Radio Free Iraq, he said, "My children, three people — one of my bodyguards and two of my children — died as heroes, no differently from other people who find their heroic deaths. But we will not, by God, hand Iraq over to murderers and terrorists."


Blogger The probligo said...

Dave, I agree with your sentiment. The ability of humans to retain that element of hope and optimism in the blackest of days is to be wondered at.

One can only wonder too, at the mental and spiritual state of a person who has lost all hope and optimism; for whom there is no longer any reason to live. What drives a person to that state? What manner of tragedy would make you or I lose all sense of purpose; all reason to live. For some it can be the loss of a spouse; for some the loss of a child. For most in the communities in which we live there are support services and networks available to help an individual through a time of tragedy. For some religion is enough. But there also lies a two edged blade; the gun that Asimov would have fire two ways.

In the melting pot that is Iraq who can say which way a person might go?

3/09/2005 09:00:00 PM  

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