News.com on Monday published an article relating to the capture of German citizen IS bride Linda Wenzel - who found her way to IS at 16 years of age — and the options relating to what happens next.
Wenzel ran away from her home in the small eastern German town of Pulsnitz last summer, and was found by Iraqi troops in Mosul. She could theoretically face the death penalty in Iraq for membership in IS, according to the country’s counter-terrorism law. If a man, the chances would have very good odds.
The News.com article cites — even if she is sentenced to death in Iraq, she would not be executed before the age of 22.
A parent's nightmare
German paper Bild reported last month that Linda’s father, whose name was only given as Reiner W, learned of his missing daughter’s whereabouts on the radio as he was working on the construction of a German highway. “I had a breakdown where I heard that Linda is alive,” Bild quoted the divorced father as saying. “I so much wish that my Linda will come home healthy again. I will always be there for her.”
Any parent would be in utter turmoil, that which was lost had been found, but being found may end in an even worse scenario. Whatever a son or daughter has done, parents love unconditionally and uncertain outcomes are horrendous, not least emotionally for parents.
What has been reported — she converted to Islam, connected to IS on-line, finding her way to Iraq, being given in marriage to an IS fighter, and then that same fighter shortly thereafter being skilled in the fighting.
The Sun reported that friends of the teen told police she had suddenly started learning Arabic, taking the Koran to school, wearing conservative clothing and becoming fascinated with Islam before she disappeared last year. Radicalised in Germany, she changed her name to Mariam and was smuggled into Iraq via Turkey.
The media have been giving this story a lot of air play as the situation this young lady finds herself in is simply not finding an IS fighter – albeit according to the video in the New.com story, many of these IS women are as a blood thirsty as their Jihad husbands.
These are the considerations —
Linda Wenzel is too young at 17 to execute — must be 22
Linda Wenzel is a German citizen
Linda Wenzel's Germany a soft-spot on Muslim radicalism
Linda Wenzel too young to realise the consequences
Linda Wenzel's parents campaign may be politically powerful
Linda Wenzel's lefty and elitists supporters take it to the UN
Whatever the long term outcome, it seems as though this will not be a quick result. It will drag on and on and on for all sorts of reasons, not least political. The Iraq Government is certainly not immune from the international community.
Should the UN get involved, it might end up as a political dog's breakfast – the Iraqi's wanting to be seen as good citizens, the Germans doing a double take and not wanting to be seen as 'soft' and yet secretly doing all they can to get her released and home to her parents.
Now we learn from the Independent UK and other sources that a false promise of empowerment to European young women had been circulating — it was a lie but pornographically attractive (as in propaganda).
What a tangled web.
There are many Christians who would side all their efforts to see this immature young lass get home to her parents as soon as possible and try to find down the track something akin to a normal life.
The down side is that there would be no guarantee she would not revert to radicalism, become a figure head for the German Jihardist movement and become a right pain in the butt for everything 'Christian - pure and righteous'. That's the problem with such a scenario. But on the other hand, risk is part of the Christian motif. Now we learn there are 271 Jihardists have returned to France from Islamic State and only are few are in custody.
Another quite different Christian response is that of adherence to the rules of good government for the security of its people. Let one Jihardist go free without consequence and responsibility, the door is then left ajar and the problems that creates for governance becomes problematic at best.
There is a similar situation in western Sydney where 14 Labor held seats have huge Muslim populations. They in effect, control these Federal Seats. The media is all over this — be nice to Muslims, support Palestine, kick the Jews, retain those Federal seats and Labor has a chance at winning Government.
The ethical dilemmas for Christians in all such scenarios are full of drama and whatever decision is made brings calamity to the politic, social norms and the nation as a whole. Germany is facing this now as is every liberal democracy facing such dilemmas with large Muslim minorities.
The Scriptures are equally clear on good Government and Christians being responsible for their families. The French resistance paid a heavy price in WWII as did the Norwegian resistance. The question is, when does a Government decide that this is a battle no less obvious?
Sadly, the reasonable Imams and Muslims have no control over the radicals, as it is the radicals who set the agenda, an agenda of death.
First up, ensure the rule of law applies to every part of society —
child marriage OUT,
Sharia law OUT,
hidden identities OUT,
pushing social boundaries OUT,
Councils soft polices OUT,
threats of our streets OUT …
independent Halal certification, OUT
We live in a liberal democracy, and this requires a strong response to retain our bountiful life styles. The Swizz have done this. All students must shake a woman teacher's hand as is the custom. The Swizz have voted again and again to a strong social agenda protecting their life style.
Alternatively be a lefty or an elitist and hope you're not the first to be lined up… or follow the way of Christ and bring a divine forgiveness and at the same time require a legal mutual responsibility. This may end up in martyrdom.
Dr Mark Tronson is a Baptist minister (retired) who served as the Australian cricket team chaplain for 17 years (2000 ret) and established Life After Cricket in 2001. He was recognised by the Olympic Ministry Medal in 2009 presented by Carl Lewis Olympian of the Century. He mentors young writers and has written 24 books, and enjoys writing. He is married to Delma, with four adult children and grand-children. Dr Tronson writes a daily article for Christian Today Australia (since 2008) and in November 2016 established Christian Today New Zealand.
Mark Tronson's archive of articles can be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/mark-tronson.html