The worst terrorist attack ever in Turkey – with greater casualties than their recent airport attack – happened over this past weekend. At this writing, 51 are dead and more than a dozen seriously injured. The attack happened at a wedding and, it’s hard to find words to describe this, appears to have been carried out by a boy about 12-14 years old. Whether he knew what he was doing or was an unwilling participant, using or facilitating a child as a tool of terror is an unspeakable evil.
Terrorists have long used children as shields. Bomb factories have been located under hospitals and schools. Mentally-challenged children have had bombs strapped to them and then detonated without fully understanding how they were being used. Children have been used as decoys to attract attention so adult bombers could move past security stations. Young men have been recruited, armed, and sent into battle – threatened with loss of life if they deserted or failed to sacrifice themselves in battle. Young women have been co-opted as sex slaves for terrorists as a perverted reward for their service.
Abusing children in these ways, in the name of religion or any political ideology is a heinous crime against humanity. Civil societies protect their children – as both an expression of the value of life and (practically speaking) as the means to continuing a particular country, people, tribe, or family. In short, no children means no future.
What further proof of their despicable depravity is needed to motivate world leaders to coalesce around a unified strategy to crush terrorists? Rampant evil must be checked – by resolute use of the power God expects the state to wield – to protect the innocent, weak, and powerless (Romans 13). May God give world leaders greater resolve to wage war wisely to accomplish these goals.