Saturday, February 28, 2015

Dear Jihadi John

Dear "Jihadi John",

Sir, this is a love letter.

We in the "West" would call this a tough love letter.  But it is born out of love.

If your name is Mohammed Emwazi, as is now widely reported, then please allow me to address you as Mohammed.  "Jihadi John" is a media-created and crass way to de-personalize whoever you are.


Sir, you must be congratulated for accomplishing some significant personal goals.  You are now extremely well known.  And sadly, you are now perhaps the "most wanted" man on earth.

Your executions and your social media prowess have you in the gun sights of almost every country with a military capability on earth. 

If attention is what you've sought, you've got it.


Here's my question for you.

To what end?  If you are dead tomorrow, so what? 


You might die at any moment from a number of assailants.  The Jordanians, the Japanese, the Brits, the Americans, the Sauds and many others would like to see you dead. You have incensed all of them.

Your fellow ISIS/ISIL/Daesh compatriots might become jealous of your fame.  Watch your back.  And your front.

You are a dead man walking.


An American military man who spent much time in your current part of the world (not your West London upbringing), said this.  "If there is a single power the West underestimates, it is the power of collected hatred."

Having been raised and living in the "West", it is difficult to understand why.  We live in freedom.  We are free to speak, live, love, worship, contribute, play and go about life as we wish.

Apparently, this lifestyle offends you.

If you will, please allow me to offer a totally new thought on how to live and think that might free you from the certain death sentence that awaits you.


You are not the first or the most prolific terrorist against the "West" that has ever lived.  Nor are any of your compatriots.  And, you never will be.


Here are just a few folks to keep in mind.

The Romans.  (That didn't end well for them.)

The Nazis.  (That didn't end well for them.)

The Soviet Union (That didn't end well for them.  And it won't end well for Putin.)

Mohammed, freedom and love are what ends well.


 I have no idea if you've ever read the Holy Bible.  But, there's a story in there you ought to know about.

Saul of Tarsus (still a thriving city in Turkey), was a devout Jew.  He thought that the Jewish tradition was the only way.  He heard of the uprising of followers of Jesus.  He decided to become the pre-emenint  enemy of the followers of Christ.  He jailed them.  He persecuted them.  He thought he was on the high road.  He was enjoying his infamy.

One day, on the road to Damascus, he met Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, in person. 

Saul was changed that day.

He went from being the enemy of freedom and love to become Paul, the pre-eminent teacher of freedom and love.


Mohammed,  you have a choice.


You can die a small time martyr.


Or, you could lead your people out of darkness.


I implore you to study the life of Paul and the teachings of Jesus.


Hate will never conquer.  Only love can conquer all. 


Mohammed, I've lost a 26 year old son due to hate.


I pray for you an opportunity to change your world.


I love you, son.  I don't know how often you've heard that. I am a father.  I am a Christian.  I hurt for you. 

I can't comprehend what lead you to this life.  But, I can promise you that you can change your current and future.  And, a better way awaits you.


I know that on your current course, destruction awaits you.  But, I also know that redemption and knowing that you are loved unconditionally is a real and present opportunity.


Please, put down your dukes.


Know that love is all around if you will accept it.

God is love.  


Alan Burks
214-213-6478
alan.burks@gmail.com








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