ISIS is the prime suspect in the recent deadly suicide attack that claimed the lives of more than fifty people at a Kurdish wedding in Turkey. No big surprise. Leave it to these radical jihadists to show up at one of life’s most joyous events to introduce chaos, mayhem, and murder. This is what they do best.
We have become accustomed, almost desensitized, to the steady stream of reports about senseless acts of violence. Shootings, stabbings, bombings, and beheadings are all part of the new normal. And after the smoke clears, the only thing that remains is debris and carnage — the hallmark of ISIS and their ilk.
What is, perhaps, most disturbing about the recent suicide attack in Turkey is that authorities believe the perpetrator may have been as young as twelve years old. Think about that for a minute — twelve years old. A twelve year old kid may be at the center of the deadliest terror attack in Turkey so far this year.
This is not the first time that groups like ISIS have recruited kids to do their dirty, make that deadly, work. Sending kids into harm’s way is normal operating procedure for jihadist groups. According to a study by the Combating Terrorism Center, “Child soldiers are seemingly treated no differently than adult soldiers.” Kids are as expendable as adults.
What is even sadder is that many of these kids who are recruited and indoctrinated to hate will go to their deaths with their parents blessing. As a parent, it is absolutely counterintuitive to me for any parent to knowingly send their kid into a situation where they will be killed and or take the lives of the unsuspecting, like the guests at the wedding in Turkey.
And yet, that is the world of the jihadists — a world with an impoverished view of the sanctity of human life and a world in which even childhood is not sacred. Nelson Mandela wisely observed,“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way it treats its children.” The events of the past days have given the world yet one more glimpse into the dark and rotten soul of ISIS.
The child who strapped on the suicide vest in Turkey will never know the full extent of his heinous act. That child took the lives of more than fifty others, including twenty-two children, and injured almost seventy more. But what is sadder still is that all of the children involved are now forever robbed of their childhood — all because of a theology of hate.
As for me, I will continue to give children opportunities to love and serve their fellow human beings. I am proud of our kids at Kingsland. This summer they raised funds to build two clinics in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — an initiative that will result in many lives saved.
I often remind our kids that they don’t have to wait until they grow up to change the world. God can use our kids to make our world a better place today. How sad, though, that so many children in other parts of the world have fallen victim to an ideology of hate that uses kids to steal, kill, and destroy. And how sad that there are parents and militants who have no regard for the sanctity of childhood and knowingly send children to their deaths.