The whole world has heard of the atrocities going in the the Middle East, specifically that of the group known as ISIS/ISIL.
Many have taken to different modes of commentary as to the right solution and what we can or should do as people of faith. Many have prayed. They have prayed for a swift end, justice to be served, for the innocents to escape while they can, and several other prayers. There’s been one specific prayer that I have taken up in the whole matter, which I am sure many others out there have petitioned as well.
That prayer is for the hearts of these fighters/terrorists/jihadis, whatever they’ve been labeled, to change. It has been a most difficult thing to pray because of what we know deserves justice.
It appears for now that this prayer is being answered, that of the hundreds who have joined the jihadis are now wishing they had not joined at all, according to reports, and wishing to return home to their former residences. The main group of these are those from Brittain. I’m hopeful that these reports are true and accurate but there is much to consider in the meantime for them.
What should happen to them if they return? According to the sources, the men whose hearts have changed fear that upon their return they would be jailed and possibly judged in a court for their involvement in what is obviously crimes against humanity.
There is also the difficulty of returning at all. These men have reported the initiation requirements of joining ISIS from abroad, which includes a sort of ceremonial burning of their passports and other identifying paperwork. Aside from this barrier, they’re communicating all of this under strict secrecy. The punishment for their decision (or intention) would be severe. We already heard the report of the former ISIS Chief of Security who was accused of being an MI6 spy and quickly executed thereafter.
Point is, if their hearts are really changing, which only God can know and we can hope, they need another prayer: for their actions to reflect true justice and wisdom, and for their influence to reach the ears, hearts, and minds of others they are among.