In a story out of India, there is a movement of Muslim parents who have been publicly denouncing and cursing their children who go off and join ISIS:
Some Indian families condemned their children who left to fight for the Islamic State terror group in the Middle East, arguing that Islam does not condone terrorism.
“Let them die in a bombing!” said 66-year-old Abdul Rahman Hamza, whose two sons left with their families to join IS in Afghanistan. “What they are doing is not Islamic. The real Islam doesn’t promote terrorism.”
The Washington Post reported on Saturday that at least 100 Indians are known to have left their families to go fight for IS in its wars in Syria, Iraq, and elsewhere, which is only a small fraction of the number of foreign fighters that the extremists have recruited in total.
Indian officials recently noted that 19 adults and three children left the country to settle in the IS-held Nangahar province in Afghanistan.
IS’ presence in Afghanistan, which has long battled other Islamic extremist groups for control of the country, was brought to the forefront of international attention on April 13, when U.S. forces dropped a Massive Ordnance Air Blast bomb on a cave complex there, killing 94 suspected terrorists, including 13 Indian nationals.
Like Hamza, other Indian families whose relatives have joined IS have accepted that their loves ones have been radicalized, and that they will likely never see them again.
K. Madhu, a civil police officer from Kerala who knows some of the families the IS recruits came from, said that their choice is “kind of blind belief.”
“All these people were very rich. They didn’t need money. They were going to give up all material pleasures for a medieval lifestyle, to live like shepherds,” the police officer said.
Hamza, who owns a hotel and restaurant in Mumbai, revealed that he received a text message from a nephew who also appeared to have left to fight for IS.
“We are not going to come back. We are devoted to [Islamic State leader] Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. We’ll meet again in paradise,” the text message reportedly read.
Hamza’s wife, Hafsath, said that she believes certain religious education took her sons “to an extreme level.”
“I’m scared. I’m frightened. I’m also worried about the small children, their lives,” the mother said. “I don’t understand why they have chosen that place. I feel angry at times, but I still want them to come back.” (source)
While the violence of Islam is a part of its theology, one must remember that not all people who are Muslim support it and do believe it is wrong. This is critical, becausa Christian fights for the souls of men first- including that of our enemies. While Islam is a evil religion and will always be, as long as they live there is hope for the Muslim people to come to Christ and receive forgiveness. Indeed, renoucing the violence of Islam is part of the way to embracing Christ.
Second, and speaking of forgiveness, notice how these parents simply write off their own family who join ISIS. Now while it is important to set strong boundaries and to distance oneself from evil acts, at the same time one must never simply write people off no matter how evil they are. Indeed, there are many great saints throughout history- such as St. Augustine- who became great saints because of the prayers of their family even while they were astray.
God is perfect mercy and perfect justice. As Christ became man so that we might become like Him, we must embody through our thoughts, lives, and deeds God’s mercy and justice, giving what is justly due while always offering mercy and perservering in prayer and forgiveness no matter how difficult the situation at the time may be.
St. Augustine of Hippo. Once a heretic and deviant, it was through the steadfast prayers of his mother, St. Monica, that converted him and made him into a great saint.