My hat is off to the terrorist suspect’s father, Alhaji Umaru Mutallab, a prominent Nigerian banker. I can’t imagine the courage it took him to report his 23-year-old son Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab to American authorities. What was it like to make that phone call? Send that e-mail? Go to that meeting? He provided enough details that his son was placed on a watch list. So his decision was informed, well reasoned, deliberate. He knew his son. And when he saw him change, he took action. He did the right thing when the right thing had to be painful and costly.
How many of us would have done the same? How did that decision affect his life? How does this incident impact his dreams?
In all the derision directed to Nigerian scammers and wrongdoers, let’s see if Mr. Mutallab is remembered and celebrated. Are we more likely to hear judgmental remarks about his choice of religion? Or his decision to marry a Yemeni woman?
If the U.S. press could bring itself to allow sympathetic portraits of Timothy McVeigh’s parents and to tastefully overlook the unrepentant parents of other scofflaws, monsters and sinners, I hope the press will treat Mr. Mutallab with fairness and well deserved respect.
In honor of Daddybstrong