Sometimes....when you dig into a story.....you come to realize that there is more to it....than a news service provided. This occurred with me today, and the story of a German Protestant Church holding a funeral for a Islamic guy. A local news source really told the bulk of this story.
There's a fair amount of outage in Hamburg and throughout Germany over this funeral episode.
What can be said is that a 17-year-old "kid" ended up as a Islamic guy fighting for ISIS in Syria. He died, and the decision was made by the local pastor in Hamburg...Sieghard Wilm of the Saint Pauli Church to hold a service for him. It should be noted....it's not really a Muslim funeral, as one might imagine.
Anger and hostility? Yes. Locals got pretty frustrated with this and have vented their anger at the church and the pastor involved.
The story made it across the Atlantic and is prime news in the US market as well.
Most say that a Muslim guy should not end up with a Christian environment funeral, and that the pastor was absolutely wrong in what he did.
Wilm has said as much as he could.....trying to explain and defend the position of the church. I'm taking a guess that some folks in the Hamburg area who were church-tax-payers.....might quit, and it might have some affect across Germany.
But, we come to the 'rest of the story' as I observe the bigger picture here.
This kid? 'Florent' was a German-immigrant of sorts.....(not a refugee or Turk). He'd come to Germany as an infant from Cameron and been adopted by a German family.
At some point within the last three years....he got curious into Islam (he was in a Christian family) and ended up converting into Islam. Weeks later, the local enthusiastic religious scholar scores big as 'Florent' drops his education and stable life in Germany, and heads off to Syria for a glorious campaign to fight the evilness standing against ISIS. The mere fact that he would be fighting other Muslims.....never did register in his mind, nor do I think the religious scholar in Hamburg ever explain that detail to the kid.
So the kid arrives in Syria back in July of last year. The family, in particular the mother (as the pastor explains to the local press in Hamburg).....believed that 'Florent' quickly came to realize what he'd stepped into and how screwed up the situation really was.
The wrong path, criticism of Salafism behavior, and the lack of any defensive training.....are cited by the mother in whatever communications that she had from her son.
Somewhere around 14 years old....'Florent' converted to being 'Balal'....identifying himself in the Middle Eastern culture. He survived roughly three years of this....before dying in Syria.
For fourteen years, this German family tried to raise 'Florent' and did it under the Christian umbrella. Based on misfortune and the lack of mature decisions by the young kid.....he's dead today. I kinda agree with the pastor....the family is Christian and would like for some memorial-type service to occur....to remember 'Florent' rather than 'Balal'. They probably deserve that right. You can talk all you want about this being a Muslim funeral, but it's to remember the Christian kid 'Forent', not Balal'.
Statues to remember these ISIS warriors? None. That's the one observation you can make after a while of observing radical Muslim ideology.....they don't bother remembering anyone who dies for their cause. You end up as a faceless and nameless creation.