Friday, May 11, 2007

Love & Mercy - Michka Assayas

Some morning, a handful of people board a commuter train, carrying bags filled with charge, all stuffed with bolts and nails. I am refusing to analyze it. Try putting yourself inside the head of a madman, and pretty soon you'll find yourself feeling like one too. Moreover, that is exactly the aim of those delirious political and religious sects: carrying the world into a collective madness at the end of which, of course, truth will prevail, a truth that only its followers detain.
In a magazine called Courier International, i have just read about the story of Zarema, a twenty-three-year-old from Chechnya. Armed with an explosive belt, she renounced, just at the last minute, to smash herself to pieces in a pub in Moscow, and turned herself in to the police. A Russian journalist got the opportunity to interview her in her cell. There she told him her appalling life story. Her mother abandons her while she is a ten-month-old baby. Then her father gets murdered on a building site in Siberia. It doesn't sound like a great start in life. It isn't. Raised by her grandparents, she is forced into marrying "according to our old customs", as she puts it, some local dealer. Pretty soon, the man gets shot by a competing gang. At that time, she is expecting his baby. For want of money, she is not able to raise her baby daughter by herself. So out of hand the husband's clan places the baby in another family. Zarema is accordingly parted from her child and sent back to her grandparents' place. They live at the far end of the country. There, she goes out of her mind with grief. So what does she do? She robs the family jewels, which she proceeds to sell to the market, so as to board a plane and to abduct her daughter. But her aunts recapture her just as she is about to do that. They humiliate her and strike her repeatedly, because she has become the disgrace of the family.
So Zarema sees only one solution. To become at last a "decent person"--I'm quoting her words here--she thinks she has to sacrifice herself for Allah and Jihad, so her shame gets washed away and her debt paid off, since the rebels give away a thousand dollars to a martyr's family. At the rebels' hideout, she encounters other suicide applicants. One of them, a nineteen-year-old girl, blows herself up during an open-air rock concert in Moscow: fourteen dead. Zarema sees the bodies on television. Something clicks in her head. Above all, she feels compassion for the young girl who died in the operation, the one whom she saw everyday---her companion. "She is the one that i pitied the most", she says. So her eyes open and she gives up the madness. You can say a kind of miracle happened....
Love and mercy: those words do not only make sense for the survivors. In order to fight effectively against the terrorist insanity, perhaps they're more than the infiltration of cells, the shelling of villages and the so-called war on terror. Because the nature of that terror is moral and religious as much as it is political, the answer sometimes has to be of the same nature. In one case, love and mercy simply worked...................

7 comments:

fish said...

why "allah". not every suicide bomber is muslim. from personal eexperience most suicide bombers are either poor, dumb, or plain stupid. charles manson was christian. so were a number of other killers. and islam does not preach "jihad" per se. it's the interpretations of a few that the masses follow

BR Man said...

Dude...your way off the point...this article is account of just one of the many lives that end up in such places, most of them coming from extreme poverty, little education and terrible living environments....its not about allah or any religion for that matter...

BR man said...

charles manson...exactly...the west churns them out too...only thing is, they kill their own fellowmen...guess such folk will always exist...just hope tht u dont run into one of them...

Elda Alias The Smoking Mackerel said...

well, it's not only poverty but also illiteracy that drive people to do such things

Elda Alias The Smoking Mackerel said...

drives*

Br Man said...

poverty & illiteracy.....yes, they're 2 of the reasons...though in manson's case...u really count poverty as a reason...america has a knack of producing such loonies...any theories on tht one??

Br again said...

cant count poverty*