Nov 12, 2010
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Saint Francis of Assisi and the wolf of Helmand

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By Cybergeppetto

Saint Francis of Assisi told the wild and ferocious wolf of Gubbio :”Brother wolf, on behalf of the Christ, I command you not to harm neither me nor anybody else”. Since then the wolf became peaceful and was allowed to enter all the houses of the area to be fed.

From the BBC and The Sun we got the news that a former Taliban, Mullah Abdul Ghani, is now willing “to back our boys”, the brits.

We are talking about a person responsible for multiple attacks in the Nada Ali district captured in 2007 and now serving ten years in maximum-security Central Helmand Prison.

The former warlord is now declaring that he was brainwashed, lied about the intentions of the International Community, during his imprisonment he realized that the British people he was dealing with were respectful of his religion and of his Country.

Ghani turned to be a nice dog and not a sort of ferocious wolf in the Helmand prison, he declared to The Sun  that “The international community are here to make Afghanistan stable, then they will go. If we co-operate, they will be able to go home. Afghanistan needs stability and security – they can give us this.”

Communication is important, but is really difficult to pass messages like these when Wikileaks is saying the opposite, even if without positive confirmation.

On one hand the US guys in those theatres of operation are spreading everyday a lot of theory about the way to win the hearts and the minds of the Afghans, on the other hand we get a single news about the fact that a former terrorist is now sorry for his crimes. Does this really changes the situation?

The fact is that local people is trapped between the Western military level of the use of force, quite often causing casualties, and the Talibans, entitled to do whatever crime because the media are more oriented to the casualties caused by the regular troops and, in any case, the Talibans have understood that the media can be exploited because of their prejudices.

Is the Western world capable of showing ideas, faith in something, respect of different cultures through a real attitude to have empathy with the people suffering from the consequences of asymmetrical conflicts? Is the Islamic community, so vast and composed by a lot of characters, capable of understanding that a religious belief is not intended to cause wars?

On the Western side we have a vacuum of values, a big bunch of ideological prejudices to which the Islamic side opposes a faith wasted by the fundamentalism.

Western people is considered corrupted and immoral, Islamic people is considered all belonging to the fundamentalism and eager to wage wars for ever.

Is there anything in-between?


p.s. Saint Francis of Assisi and the ferocious Salhad Din are chatting in a tea room, all of a sudden Obama and Mullah Omar enter the room. Saint Francis tells his interlocutor:”Our tea break is over, the two will soon start putting bombs and launching missiles”. “They both speak English – replies Salhad Din – but their minds are committed to everything but understanding each other, they will never have a chat like the one we had some centuries ago”.

Related articles:

Afghanistan, pentimento di un talebano nel carcere britannico di Helmand (11 novembre 2010)

Photo credits: wolf/; Saint Francis of Assisi/

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