ISIS supporters are hailing a 10-year-old boy they say died in US airstrikes in Syria as the youngest martyr of the war raging in Syria and Iraq.
Supporters of IS laud Abu Ubaidah, a 10-year-old boy said killed in US airstrike and shown posing with guns… pic.twitter.com/0yaMQf1k9e
— Dave Griffin (@mrdavegriffin) October 10, 2014
A tribute video was posted to YouTube by ISIS supporters but it has been taken down. Excerpts can be seen here. The video depicts the face of a smiling young boy, radiant with youth. In most of the photos he is holding a gun.
First, if the news is true I hope you join me in prayer for the repose of the soul of this innocent boy, although I cannot imagine that God would not welcome him with open arms, take the guns from his hands, and weep at the loss of his childhood.
Second, the use of the word “martyr” to describe the death of a boy who seems to have been brought to Syria from Saudi Arabia by an egregiously irresponsible father makes me feel nauseated, although I am sure many Muslims feel the same.
Unsurprisingly, top Muslim clerics have ferociously denounced ISIS. Saudi Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Sheikh recently stated, “Extremist and militant ideas and terrorism which spread decay on earth, destroying human civilization, are not in any way part of Islam, but are enemy number one of Islam, and Muslims are their first victims.”
I did do a little research to see how Muslims view martyrdom to better understand how this word could ever be applied to an innocent boy involved in warfare. It seems that in Islam, martyrs can be those who die because they refuse to give up their faith but can also include those who die fighting for their faith:
In the Quran, Surah 61:11-12 says in translation:
That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of ‘Adn – Eternity [‘Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success.
I am guessing this passage is interpreted differently among Muslims but the application of it by radical jihadists to the death of a ten-year-old, impressionable young boy who was reportedly brought by his father to a war zone is truly disturbing.
Even if this story is not substantiated, it seems clear that ISIS does not have a problem with young children fighting by their sides. One Australian fighter posted pictures on Twitter of his 7-year-old son holding a decapitated head with the caption ‘That’s my boy!” There are also recent reports that ISIS is forcing children to go to camps where they are trained to kill and witness beheadings and crucifixions.
All of this is made particularly alarming as it is now being reported that ISIS is 8 miles away from capturing the Baghdad airport.
Much to think and pray about.
But before you go, please join me in praying for the ten-year-old boy who is said to have died and the souls of all the young, innocent children, men and women who have died in Syria and Iraq at the hands of ISIS terrorism:
Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let the perpetual light shine upon him. May they rest in peace.