Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Fears of Beslan revenge

Fears of Revenge at End of 40 Days

By Yana Voitova and Nabi Abdullaev
Special to The Moscow Times

Ivan Sekretarev / AP

Alona Pliyeva, 16, right, and her classmates weeping as they look at a child's shoes on the windowsill of School No. 1 in Beslan on Tuesday, the last of 40 days of mourning.

BESLAN, North Ossetia -- As 40 days of mourning end Wednesday, relatives of the hundreds of people killed in the Beslan school massacre are debating whether to seek revenge -- and reopen a festering dispute between the Ossetians and the Ingush.

"There is a lot of aggression and anger in people now. War has come to us, and we need to defend ourselves," Taimuraz Gassiyev, a Beslan resident who carried wounded and maimed children away from the school, said Monday.

After a pause, he added, "But we need to get around this without war."

Read the article here.

It's hard to blame the sentiment of the parents and families of the murdered children. But it is a situation that needs prayer and forgiveness and healing. And resolve.

Note the inherent contradiction of this grieving, angry resident: "War has come to us, and we need to defend ourselves..." And, in the next breath: "But we need to get around this without war."

Therein is the essential contradiction of the 'war on terror.' War has been brought to us, and we try to solve it 'without war.'

It is impossible to win the war against jihadism with that contradiction. It brings to mind the victim of gangland crime: 'But I didn't do anything against you!' And that is just the point: When it is our existence alone that stands in the way of the goals of Islamic jihadists [terrorists], either we will exist by force, cease to exist, or choose to live under Shari'a [Islamic law].

Beslan is a place where jihadist terror has reared its ugly face. Please lift up a prayer for Beslan and the families and the region...

And...a prayer for us all. 'War has been brought to us.' How can we 'get around it' without war?

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