February 2, 2005
PETER SINGER WILL THINK IT PROGRESS:
Down syndrome youth used as suicide bomber (Paul McGeough, February 2, 2005, The Age)
Amar was 19, but he had the mind of a four-year-old. This handicap didn't stop the insurgency's hard men as they strapped explosives to his chest and guided him to a voting centre in suburban Al-Askan.Posted by Orrin Judd at February 2, 2005 12:00 AM
And before yesterday's sunrise in Baghdad, his grieving parents loaded his broken remains on the roof of a taxi to lead a sorrowful procession to the holy city of Najaf. There, they gave him a ceremonial wash, shrouded him in white cotton and buried him next to the shrine of Imam Ali, the founder of their Shiite creed.
On Sunday we witnessed an act of collective courage by an estimated 8 million Iraqis as they faced down terrorist threats of death and mayhem to vote in Iraq's first multi-party election in half a century.
But the election day story of Amar is from the other side of human behaviour - in a region where too many have knowingly volunteered for an explosive death in the name of their god. He was chosen because he didn't know.