The brave boy and the cowardly terrorist. Who goes to heaven?


A 14-year-old Pakistani boy named Aitazaz Hassan is no longer among the living after stopping a suicide bomber attempting mass carnage in a crowd of students at his school. The bomb went off with one victim instead of many. Out of the two killed in the blast, who is the martyr?

There are terrorist organizations who believe heaven awaits those who would kill innocents for their cause. For them a man willing to conceal explosives and detonate himself in a crowd of young people is honorable and worthy of everlasting glory. Any decent human being finds this notion repulsive. And this is the divide. Those who are decent and those who are abominations.

According to the Confucians, this young man in death presents himself with honor to his ancestors while the terrorist presents himself in shame.

According to the Hindus, Aitazaz is reborn under better circumstances through good karma, while the terrorist is reborn as a lower life form.

According to any decent Muslim or Christian, the young man is in heaven while the terrorist is in hell.

In Taoism life and death exist in the Tao and the everlasting balance of opposing forces such as good and evil of which the essence of the brave young man and the terrorist will forever be in conflict.

For the atheist, there is no impact in death, only for the living. The sacrifice of Aitazaz was the ultimate sacrifice. The betterment of the living and future generations is the highest achievement. There is no hell for the terrorist, only scorn in memories by those who are respectable.

The bravery of Aitazaz Hassan doesn't belong to one religion or one race. There are good people like him everywhere serving as watchful guardians. Where beliefs can divide let the actions of a hero unite.

-James Kirk Wall

CNN, Pakistan teen who died tackling suicide bomber nominated for award

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