"I'm what the world considers to be a phenomenally successful man. And I've failed much more than I've succeeded. And each time I fail, I get my people together, and I say, "Where are we going?" And it starts to get better." - Calvin Trager
Since then, I've been in conversation with the person who has set him (and others) up with their blog from Baghdad. Both Mohammed and I are interested in continuing to "meet" online in some sort of environment that would maintain his security but would allow us to continue to talk. While waiting for that to be set up, I got this word from the go-between. I actually got it at the beginning of my trip to South Africa ... and then a few weeks later got permission to post the words I am posting below.
Mohammed's father (Laith Abu Mohammed) was killed in the Arbaeen massacres of March 6th. Mohammed's mother (Zeynab Um Mohammed) died of her wounds incurred in the same attack on March 7th.
Hussayn Ibn Laith died a few days before his parents as he ran with his team to the scene of a bombing to rescue survivors - it was a cascaded bombing attack. In other words, more than one bomb ... the second one being timed to kill the rescuers and or people fleeing the scene. Hussayn was the brother who Mohammed mentions in "what will we talk about." He was 17.
Ali Ibn Laith (younger brother) was wounded together with his father and mother in the March 6th attack. He is physically recovering well. Mohammed and he completed the pilgrimage on foot to complete what their parents were doing. Ali is 8.
Mohammed is now in a 40 day mourning period. I am hopeful after that is over that we will be able to talk. But I also realize he very well may have no desire to be in touch with me. This was his last post, dated March 10:
Let us understand one another, you and I
O God! Pardon our living and our dead, the present and the absent, the young and the old, the males and the females.
I am a Muslim I am Iraki.
Do not come to me talking of your feelings. Do not come to me asking for forgiveness. Who do you think you are?
I will not ever forgive or forget what your country has done to us. I will not ever forget or forgive what your country has done my family, my city, my country, my people.
My grandchildren’s, grandchildren, will teach their grandchildren to hate America for what she has done to us. Never ever ever will I, or they, forget or forgive what your barbaric country has done to us.
Mohammed Ibn Laith
This week, we walk with Christ to the cross and beyond. An image that always comes to me this week is from Dorothy Sayers' "The Man Born To Be King," in which she talks about the dream Pontius Pilate's wife had (MT 27:19). In her mind, the dream was Pilate's wife hearing the words "suffered under Pontius Pilate" said ... not just by one person, but by generation after generation after generation of people for centuries in overlapping chorus.
We are judged by our actions not just in the moment, but throughout time. Pilate stepped back in cowardice in the face of the crowd at his defining moment and because he did, those voices of castigation have echoed throughout history.
The actions of our nation ... and the inaction of those of us who have not done enough to stop it ... are preparing their own echoes. They are the voices of people like Mohammed, whose pain and anger have voice that will carry long after the 40 days of mourning have passed.
| Mike at 4/02/2007 09:40:00 PM
EGR resources and connects the church to embrace what one person, one congregation, one diocese and one church can do to make this mission of global reconciliation happen.
Want to find out more ... check our our website at www.e4gr.org.
"Christ's example is being
demeaned by the church if they ignore the new leprosy,
which is AIDS. The church is the sleeping giant here.
If it wakes up to what's really going on in the rest
of the world, it has a real role to play. If it doesn't,
it will be irrelevant."