May 26, 2013

Rebecca Rigby, wife of murdered British soldier Lee Rigby, sobbed uncontrollably during a family conference at the Regiment HQ of his unit, the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. Surrounded by family members, she grieves the passing of her husband and father of their 2-year-old son, who could only be described as a British hero who died without knowing why he got hacked to death by his attackers.

“I’m proud to be his wife,” were the words of Rebecca a young mother and now a widow at the age of 30, who this week, faced reality of becoming a single mom after her 25-year-old husband was brutally murdered in Woolwich, South-East London. Lee was due to return home to his wife and family the weekend he got killed, according to his wife, who said he was a devoted father to their son Jack.

Asked about the shock of the attack on British soil, she said: “You don’t expect it to happen when he’s in the UK. You think they’re safe.” “His proudest moments were serving on the ceremonials with the drum corps.” The soldier’s mom Lyn Rigby 46, sat disturbed as she shed tears, clutching a teddy bear her son had bought for his son.

The killing of Rigby has generated outrage not only in Britain but also worldwide. The brutality involved and the merciless way Rigby got stabbed and cut like a butcher’s meat with onlookers present, should question humanity. Who takes the blame and why are youths raised in Britain and other Western nations, becoming radicalized?

Extremists continue to blame the ruthless killings on the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. They claim the killing of women and children in Afghanistan and Iraq, justifies indiscriminate murder in the streets of London, Boston and other Western cities. Yet, women and children continue to die due to attacks by same extremists and terrorists fighting in Syria, Libya and Iraq even after the United States had pulled his troops from the nation.

Call it hypocrisy, double standard or a move by radicals without a genuine purpose to kill in the name of Islam. So far British authority have arrested Michael Adebolajo 28, and his co-conspirator Michael Adebowale 22, for the killing of Rigby. In 2010, Adebolajo was arrested in Kenya and detained in the Island of Pate, a few kilometers from Lamu, a crossing point to Somalia. Based on report by the Sunday Telegraph, Adebolajo was accused of trying to lead a group of youths attempting to join Somalia’s Al-Qaeda linked Shebab movement. He was later released and deported to Britain after appearing in court with other accused persons in November 2010.

As it turned out, Adebowale is also not new to crime. He was arrested in London two months ago, after local traders lounge complaint about a group of Muslim activists. Both were born and raised in Britain by Nigerian parents with strong Christian backgrounds and from their Nigerian names, it is clear their parents are from the South-Western part of Nigeria, specifically the Yoruba tribe, an ethnic group known to teach morals and respect to children based on the fear of God and the Bible.

The question is what went wrong and how did the two become radicalized in Britain despite their strong Christian backgrounds? Since both men were born, raised and educated in Britain, some have said their Western upbringing should bear the blame for why they became radicalized. However, it is fair to say Western education and ideology does not teach extremism. Instead, it opens your eyes to be constructive in judging others, one is taught to appreciate human rights, the respect for freedom and the role of democracy in government.

The problem, many Muslim parents come to the West with the same mindset they had in their home country. They want the status quo and would not allow their children born abroad to adopt or see the positive side of Western ideology. A girl born in France or Britain to Muslim parents must wear veils whether she likes it or not. She must accept a suitor selected by the parents and when a woman fails to give in to arrange marriage, she is ostracized and accused of defying the family honor. Some parents go as far as killing their own daughter in the name of God and Islam.

Many have made their sons vulnerable to extremism by failing to check their activities after forcing religion on them. Children are sent to Mosques without verifying whether they’re taught the proper way of Islam. In Mosques, Jihadists court vulnerable boys and some parents ignore the signs when it is clear their sons are adopting radical views. When a child born or raised in Britain starts to show hatred for British citizens or disgust for Britain, they see nothing wrong and instead of investigating why such views, they just let it go.

Though, both attackers in Woolwich were born Christians, they converted to radical Islam with the knowledge of their parents. The fact both were born and educated in Britain is not to blame for their ruthless killing of Rigby. There are many children of immigrants born in Britain who turned out as respectable members of the society. Some are members of Parliament and many have contributed immensely towards welfare of the state.

Charity begins at home they say. Perhaps, the parents of Adebolajo and Adebowale let their guards down. They failed to exercise proper care when both boys were young and under their control. Though, reports claimed both parents tried to seek help, they might have done so when it was too late. Western education or ideology is not to blame as it is never the duty of a state to raise ones child. The state has a duty to offer the resources and medium of educating its people. However, bulk of the job belongs in the parent who must teach the necessary morals, respect for the life and right of others to exist.

Dr. Adeyemi Oshunrinade [E. JD] is the author of ‘Wills Law and Contests,’ ‘Constitutional Law-First Amendment’ and ‘SAVING LOVE’ available at http://www.amazon.com/author/adeyemioshunrinade. Follow on Twitter @san0670.




Categories: Current Affair, Terrorism

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