Amid all the controversy surrounding the case of the young terrorist being sentenced for murder in the course of a battle in Afghanistan there is much comment on the distinction between war and terrorism and between battle casualties and murder, but little information has been published on the background of the convict and the circumstances leading to the participation of a 15 year old Canadian citizen in a firefight in Afghanistan. Presumably Mr. Khadr didn’t suddenly decide to travel to that far off country in the weeks or months immediately preceding his capture. It is also doubtful – indeed, highly improbable – he decided on his course of action independently of his father, who was killed in the same battle. This begs the question: at what age did his father begin to indoctrinate him into the twisted values of the Jihad? At what age is a youth expected to be able to resist the upbringing of his parents and be held responsible for the consequences of succumbing to their misguided influence? It is unfortunate the public is made to judge this person for what he did at age 15 without knowing the details of what he was subjected to at what age by the most influential figure in his young life. Do we expect 13 year olds to make important decisions in defiance of parental authority?…12 year olds?… .
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