Tuesday, August 25, 2015

A little heroism and a jammed gun . . .

This is the stuff of heroes.

Last Friday (August 21st) a 25 year-old Moroccan man named Ayoub Al-Khazzani (pictured above) boarded a train in Brussels bound for France with a Kalishnikov, a hand gun and a knife.

He says he was just trying to carry out an armed robbery.

Right. With a massive assault rifle, handgun and tons of ammo . . .

His parents shrugged their shoulders and said he was a good kid.

Right.  Start showing us pictures of him at 12 . . . "such a sweet kid"

Don't buy it.  He has actually been in and out of trouble with the law for drug trafficking in Spain and at least once has visited Syria.  He has been monitored by Spanish authorities for his contacts with extremists in Syria and Turkey.  In other words, he was aiming to do some serious harm in the name of Allah.

The story goes like this:

They were sitting in a different part of the train and went looking for their first class seats.  They decided to sit in the carriage that Al-Khazzani occupied thirty minutes into the train ride.  Airman First Class Spencer Stone was sleeping when he heard noises in the hall and found a scuffle ensuing.   An unnamed French man was the first to throw himself on Al-Khazzani who emerged from the bathroom with the Kalishnikov over his shoulder.

Imagine that - you are walking down a corridor to the bathroom and someone emerges with an assault weapon.  Split second: what do you do?

The unnamed French man jumped on him.  The noise woke up Stone and his friend Alek Skarlatos (Army National Guard).  Alek hit him on the shoulder and yelled "go" and the two of them join the fight.  Stone at one point had Al-Khazzani in a neck hold form behind despite being repeatedly stabbed in the hand with a box cutter.

Yes, a box cutter.  We need to ban those stupid things.

A few shots are fired.  One goes through the neck of a man nearby.  The other through a window.

And this is the most interesting fact:  Both Al-Khazzani's guns jammed after initial firing.  Both.  Talk about divine intervention.  Even Stone admits if the guns hadn't jammed, "it would have been a very different day."  The three men went on to beat Al-Khazzani unconscious and the train made an emergency stop while authorities dragged Al-Khazzani into custody.

So in a story of such complete good vs. evil it is easy to forget one simple thing:

The only true enemy here is sin.  It is not Islam.  It is not Moroccans.  Or extremists.  Or guns.  Remember that even Moroccan Muslim extremists who plan to kill dozens of people on a high speed train are the likes that Christ Himself died for.  That is the extravagant nature of grace.  God's love for us is extended even to people like Al-Khazzani.  Or perhaps especially for the likes of Al-Khazzani.

Make no mistake - I'm glad they beat that guy unconscious and saved the day . . . to our three American boys - well done!

But that is half the story - let's pray for a complete recovery of Al-Khazzani's soul.

Get a full summary of what happened here

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