Collateral Damage

Jakir is standing in an underground tube station in London, England.  He is a twenty-five-year-old Iranian immigrant. He came to England when he was five.  He liked his country. But his parents left Iran because they were not safe after the regime change. At first, Jakir liked England. But then the bullying started after 9/11. His friends would say that Jakir is a terrorist. He needs to be jailed. The ridicule didn’t stop at school. This happened in shops, theaters, restaurants etc. Soon, he came in touch with Golamvai in the Masjid. He inspired Jakir to take revenge for the atrocities against Muslim brothers. That’s why Jakir is standing in this tube station with a detonator in hand. There’s a bomb vest strapped to his body. All he has to do is detonate the bomb and then he’ll go to Jannat. Jakir was about to detonate the bomb when he saw a mother coming down from the train with little twins. The twins were playing and the mother had a genuine smile on her face. Golamvai always said that collateral damage is inevitable to win the war. But if winning requires killing these two kids, then Jakir doesn’t want to win. Jakir smiles at the kids and goes home!

CIA station chief in Islamabad is commanding an important mission.

-“Chief, we have visual.”

Chief: “That is Ali? We’re sure?”


-“Then take the shot!”

-“Yes, sir. Locking target.”

-“Wait, who is standing with Ali?”

-“Ali was staying at his brother’s place. That is his brother with his family.”

-“Is his brother a terrorist?”

-“Not that we know of. But he is harboring a terrorist.”

-“What about the kids?”

-“Sir, to win the war, sometimes we have to accept collateral damage. You know it better than us.”

-“No, I’ve had deaths of enough kids on my conscience already. Victory against terrorism can’t possibly come from killing innocents! Do not take the shot!”

-“But we’ll lose Ali! It took forever to find him!”

-“If we kill innocents, what makes us better than terrorists? I’ll lose my job, but I’m still not allowing innocents to die anymore!”

Ali leaves, the kids live. The chief has a good night’s sleep after a long time!

If everyone understood the fact that every single life matters, we would live in a peaceful world!


By: Tanjim ul Islam

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