What is behind the mask?
I was most struck by Huzaifa's empathy for the soldier. He writes;
"I think the soldiers themselves are very good persons and they do not wanna do violence but they take order from their boss from KDP or PUK (the ruling parties) that's why they are doing violence, and if they reject the order,they must quit their job and can not get money to keep their family a life."
To me this is most remarkable, this empathy for those with whom we often see as our enemy. Yet, this can be the most powerful part of non-violent resistance, this ability to keep one's own humanity in tact by remembering the humanity in others. When 4 people have just been slaughtered, this can seem to be an unimaginable, even abhorrent task.
Heart like a rock? My friend tells me the soldier is being challenged here to make a difficult choice. Accept the flower or risk a hardening heart.
Gandhi, Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela all helped us to seek non-violent change, fueled by this ability to be our strongest by remembering the humanity in us all. It tests us on both sides of the gun.
Maybe it is too much to ask the soldiers to put down their guns at this moment. But I wonder if they could be asked to pull off their masks?