OP-ED

The assassination of American teenager Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

National Yemen

Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki

By: Bilal Ahmed Homran

On October 14, 2011, as Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki was away from home and searching for his fleeing father, he was murdered in a U.S. drone strike. The orders for this attack came directly from United States President Barack Obama, who to this day carries a hit list which he continues to add names to every day. It saddens me very much that America has decided to take extreme and violent measures to solve the region’s extremist problem, in a way which fails to take into consideration innocent lives which are at stake. More innocent people have died than evil wrongdoers.

It is this which causes me fear:  that innocent people will forever be caught in the middle of this new strategy in the ‘War on Terror’. I have never spoken out against any decisions by a U.S. president unless they were in violation of the United States Constitution – or if the liberties of my fellow world citizens were put at risk. Today, I must speak, thereby doing something which is required of any dignified citizen both of my beloved land, the United States of America, and of the world. October 14, 2012 was the one-year anniversary of the murder of a young 16-year-old American-Yemeni teenager named Abdulrahman Al-Awlaki.

Without hesitation, I question Abdulrahman’s reasoning, which allowed him to surround himself with bad people. That said, I must state the obvious:  he was a teen in the midst of a battle he was born into, the direct, unavoidable result of wrong decisions made by his father. He had no choice; he needed truth and good guidance, and killing him shouldn’t have been allowed to represent any kind of resolution. Abdulrahman had an innocent heart, one which truthfully sought out peace and tranquility. He likely questioned the reasoning behind the wrongs committed in our time. Yet the world failed to give him time to grow into a more peaceful and humble human being.

Quite frankly, it saddens me that the U.S. government has endowed itself with the power to assassinate any citizen it chooses without due process. This disgusts me, and it’s the same kind of overreaching power that the framers of the U.S. Constitution would have warned future generations about.  Furthermore, it’s the kind of behavior that we as a global community seek to abolish in others.

The core foundations of any civil moral being will inherently forbid the idea of shooting and killing, only to ask questions later. The question must be asked – how far will such crimes against humanity go? What jurisdiction, if any, does the United States Supreme Court have to try and end this new and unconstitutional form of warfare? I am seriously unable to write clearly as I am extremely saddened by the death of this young teen by a government which I so dearly love. So many innocent souls in Yemen and Pakistan have fallen victim to U.S. drone attacks.

To all Americans and peoples of the world, I ask that we hold our government agencies accountable. Speak out against aggression and evil no matter where that evil comes from. Any act which harms or ends an innocent life will not and shall never ever bring about a peaceful resolution.

In closing, I must ask you all to pray that the world may one day find a peaceful end to the extremist ideologies which are held by a few people in the Middle East. I would also like to ask you to pray for the innocent, peaceful souls which have departed our world. The drone war should cease to exist.