Saturday, May 09, 2015
A Chance to Start Over?
Omar Khadr, convicted murderer has been released on bail in Alberta after spending nearly half of his life in jail. We are probably all aware that Khadr, a Canadian citizen, was captured in Afghanistan when he was 15 years old after a firefight with U.S. soldiers. He was accused of throwing a grenade that killed an American soldier. His defense was that he was a combatant, not a terrorist, but he was convicted of this crime. He was the youngest person to be incarcerated at the infamous Guantanamo Bays prison. Eventually Khadr was repatriated to serve his sentence but the Canadian government has fought Khadr's bail and may continue to do so.
In his statement to the media upon release Khadr spoke to young people who are considering joining terrorist organizations: "Don't let emotions control you. I've noticed that a lot of people are manipulated by not being educated."
He also spoke about what lies before him: "I can just say that I'm sorry for the pain that I might [have] caused the families of the victims. There is nothing I can do about the past but ... I can do something about the future."
I appreciate the gravity of taking the life of another human being. I also believe that a boy of 15 should be given the opportunity to make something out of what began as a troubled and manipulated life. We say that our God is a God of second chances and that in Christ we can be forgiven and begin again. I hope this can happen for Omar Khadr.
What are your thoughts on his release?