Said Karzai: “Today we are facing a hard fact, that is a Muslim child was sent to madrassa to learn Islamic subjects, but the enemies of Afghanistan misled him towards suicide and prepared him to die and kill.” Impressive words. But of course the Islamic scholars in the school Rafiqullah attended used “Islamic subjects” to get this young man to become a suicide bomber in the first place. Most likely they pointed out to him the Qur’an’s guarantee of Paradise to those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111). Until Karzai and other Muslims begin to confront this and try to refute it specifically rather than simply adopting the attitude, as Karzai does here, that it is shocking and well-nigh inconceivable that Muslims could learn to kill as part of their Islamic studies, there will be many more Rafiqullahs.
By Jon Hemming for Reuters (thanks to the Constantinopolitan Irredentist):
KABUL (Reuters) – A 14-year-old would-be suicide bomber from Pakistan, caught while on a mission to blow up an Afghan provincial governor, was pardoned on Sunday by President Hamid Karzai….
The first whiskers of a moustache on his top lip, Rafiqullah stood to one side of the Afghan president, his father, with a full beard, stood to the other, at a ceremony in the capital on Sunday.
Rafiqullah’s father, a poor tradesman from South Waziristan in Pakistan, had sent his son to a religious school, or madrassa, to learn the Koran. Later, when he asked where his son was, the teachers there brushed him off, he said.
Then last month, the 14-year-old was caught wearing a suicide vest on a motorbike in the eastern Afghan city of Khost.
“Today we are facing a hard fact, that is a Muslim child was sent to madrassa to learn Islamic subjects, but the enemies of Afghanistan misled him towards suicide and prepared him to die and kill,” Karzai told reporters, his arm on the boy’s shoulder.
The boy and father bowed their heads as Karzai spoke.
“His family thought their child was learning Islamic studies. That is not his fault, nor his father’s, the enemies of Islam wanted him to destroy his life and those of other Muslims. I pardon him and wish him a good life,” the president said.
“You are now free and forgiven by the people of Afghanistan,” he said turning to the boy and smiling….
Asked if he had a message for Pakistan, Karzai said: “I have a message, it is a message of peace, forgiveness, a message pleading for better relationships, not cheating the children and encouraging them into terrorism and suicide.”