Tell me, what did you feel? When you looked into the terrorized eyes of your brother and you triggered his absence in this life… when innocent men and women begged for mercy, cried out to the humanity that runs through your veins, and you denied your human condition. What did you feel?
Here, in the West, this world that you hate so much, we say that you are a miserable, heartless terrorist, a despicable person; yet, nevertheless, I am sure that you have loved another, perhaps a woman; that your heart beat to the rhythms of pain and pity when cries of pain and grief reach your ears. Because, we are men.
Brother terrorist, I’m sorry if I can’t find space in my heart for how you have completely abdicated from your humanity. For this reason I ask: “What did you feel when you killed? Pleasure? Justice? Redemption? Tell me — Confess! — that you felt some brief spark of sadness when you saw your own face reflected in the glassy eyes of the woman that you assassinated. Confess that a tiny wound was opened, that a drop of human blood seeped into your soul and you asked: “What is the point of all of this?”
Don’t get me wrong, I am a Christian and, yes, maybe I want an excuse to forgive you or, even worse, it is probable that I look for a reason not to hate the fact that we share the same nature . I too bear the weight of hatred, brother, but above it all, I am sincere and I am looking for a small glimmer of hope.
Brother terrorist, I am sorry if I am naive, but I desire to hope that I can still speak to you in some way of love, that your humanity has not been completely distorted by hate and that if I open up my heart, you will open yours. For this, brother terrorist, confess that it hurt you to kill! Confess that a strike of doubt crossed your mind at least once! Tell me that you shot with some twinge of pain in your heart. Tell me, dammit, that you are human!
Don’t talk to me about infidels, about the corruption of the West, or about the prize reserved for those warriors of the Jihad. Talk to me instead about that unexpected fear, brother terrorist, about that brief moment of hesitation, of repugnance before the fear you were provoking in others, about that surprising desire to ask for forgiveness from the pregnant woman whose life you just took. On all of this depends not only my hope, but yours as well.
The role that God has played in all of this is absolutely and totally distinct from the one that you hope for. Because it wasn’t this tornado of hate – don’t talk to me about holy anger, please– that God sowed in your heart, rather those timid moments of doubt regarding love and humanity. For this, I beg you brother terrorist, to not be ashamed of them because they are not a sign of your unfaithfulness to God’s Plan; on the contrary, they are the only guarantee that you continue to be a human being and that God has not abandoned you, not even in your darkest night.
For this, I repeat, I ask again: tell me what did you feel, brother terrorist?!