|01 March 2011
From Libya: Is America Being Seduced By Suicide Bombers
Its a blood curdling story of a 49 year old man who after helping
carry the bodies of teenagers decided to leave his family to blow
himself up as a statement against Libyan leader President Gaddafi.
The young men had been slaughtered by the troops loyal to Gaddafi, something Mehdi Mohammed Zeyo had never seen.
As a desperate act and an act of defiance he drives his car laden
with petrol towards a local military base, soldiers shoot the vehicle
and he becomes the latest suicide bomber.
Yesterday his story was written up in the Washington Post entitled
“In Libya, and unlikely hero of a youth led revolution’ and the story
line comes from a very different angle than most.
Mehdi Mohammed Zeyo,
the suicide bomber, is presented as a hero, a hard working man, a father, a husband and finally an activist.
In his final act Zeyo on February 20, 2011, with his car converted
into a bomb smashed into the gates of the military base which allowed
political prisons and those who wanted to defect to the opposition to
get out, to escape.
Across Libya, we are told, his face is appearing on posters as a martyr.
“More than a week later, Benghazi remains the center of
resistance to Gaddafi as Libya’s leader of 41 years clings to power in
the capital, Tripoli. Here, Zeyo’s face has become the symbol of courage
for this youth-led rebellion” writes Leila Fadel in the Washington Post
The story exposes from a supportive stance the pain of family and
friends. His widow, Samira Awad Nobous during an interview says:
“We had no sons to carry on his name. But this is how God works, and now his name is written in history”.
Is this the media spinning the story from a political perspective
or a move within western nations that indicates an understanding, a
sympathy for suicide bombers? With the opening paragraph describing him
as ‘an unlikely hero’ it’s time to seriously ask the question.
Compare the slant to that of a story run in the British newspaper
the Daily Mail which ran the headline “Horrific video of a child sending
her suicide bomber mother to her death”.
This story documents a video of a four year old child praising her mother who became a suicide bomber for Hamas.
“Days before her death, Riyashi posed for the camera holding an
AK-47 assault rifle in one arm and in the other her year-old son
whose tiny fingers are grasping a bomb.”
The angle is clearly and remarkable different yet the base story
the same. In both stories the suicide bombers took the lives of others,
both had young families both died for a political cause.
There is no doubt that the Libya revolution has won the political
support of the American public. They see the people rising against a
leader Gaddafi, who was once called by President George Bush “The mad
dog of the middle east”.
So now a suicide bomber becomes a human, Zevo was a man who took the ultimate again for his principles.
Yet does this not make us all twinge as we hold the fundamental
belief that all life is sacred, that its difficult to support a man or a
woman who will threaten the lives of the innocent, creating unnecessary
hardship for those victims and their families.
When is it possible to see that the actions of suicide bombers are
legitimate, that are worthy of our support. We can’t deny them
sympathy, to them nor their family, but can we ever understand and
condone their decision?