An Effective Weapon in the War on Terror: Women
This article was originally published by Global Post.
A 16-year-old boy from a small village in the Khyber Agency near Peshawar answered the Taliban’s call and the militants set about grooming him to be a suicide bomber.
He underwent a rigorous indoctrination and was trained to “accept martyrdom,” to borrow the language used by the ready to detonate a belt bomb to kill themselves and as many Pakistani soldiers and civilians as possible.
But there was one problem. The boy’s mother, Zubida, found out about her son’s plans. She knew her son had been led to a place in his faith that strayed far from who he was and the lessons she had taught him growing up about Islam’s message of tolerance and respect for life.
Zubida, whose last name is not being used to protect her identity, turned to Mossarat Qadeem, an academic turned peace activist and a mother herself, who has established a center in Peshawar that empowers women in the struggle against terrorism.
Qadeem, who attended a recent conference by the Institute for Inclusive Security at Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government, says she is now working to “re-integrate” and “re-educate,” as she puts it, 82 young men who’ve come forward through the women in their lives.
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