Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Khadr: Abused Child

It's never popular to refer to religion as child abuse. And it's impossible to make a blanket statement that all religion is child abuse. There are children who are raised in a healthy way which involves religion.

Omar Khadr was not such a child. He was sent off to Afghanistan by his parents and encouraged to take part in jihad. This is child abuse, just as any fundamentalist child rearing is child abuse. I don't care if you're a Mormon or a Muslim teaching that 14 year old girls should be married off to 50 year old men. It's child abuse and your religion doesn't protect you from the charge or the conviction.

Accusing of us anti-americanism (as the right wing is wont to do), Flaggmann and his ilk go on about the child abuse of Omar Khadr.

That's right. He was abused as a child. He was raised in a dogmatic, thoughtlessly obedient household. He was taught not to come to his own conclusions and think skeptically about life, religion and war, but to submit to the will of the clerics (who claim to know the Will of God). Then at some young age, he was sent off to war. Here, if you aren't faint of heart, is a picture purporting to be of the boy holding a pair of severed hands. If that doesn't scream "abused child" to you, I don't what does. What sort of parent raises a child who gleefully hoists a pair of severed hands?

Then, after being abused as a child, he was alleged to have killed an American soldier in firefight. He was captured. Unlike Michael Coren and others, I found the video disturbing, but maybe it's like that cave on Dagobah. The only thing in there was the thing you brought with you. I brought a sense of compassion. Michael Coren brings an ignorance of international law regarding child soldiers.

I see a boy so screwed up by his child abused past and Gitmo-abused present that he wailed about not having eyes and feet. Michael Coren dismisses this as "absurd". Of course it's absurd. You'd say some pretty absurd things too, if you'd been tortured.

My point is this weird inconsistency in the right wing. They're actually acknowledging that the kid was abused throughout his life. Inconsistently, and without compassion, they're using this as an excuse to abuse him more. It's as if they're saying, "Well, his parents screwed him up. May as well declare him a lost cause and execute him."

If someone has a better explanation, or at least an alternate paraphrasing, for this logic, I'd be pleased to hear it.

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Hilary said...

Canada's abandonment on Khadr is especially disappointing. There is a petition to ask that the Prime Minister, Stephen Harper, protect his citizens here: http://go.care2.com/15898432

Scruffy Dan said...

Most of the 'rationalization' from the right comes from the inaccurate claim that at 15 he was not a child and should have known better.

According to UN treaties that both the US can Canada have signed a 15 year old is most certainly a child soldier.

Should he have known better? Perhaps, if he had been tight any better, but his family certainly didn't teach him right from wrong (at least not in any way we would recognize). In fact what Omar was doing was almost certainly what his family considered to be good and right.