This Christian mother in Indonesia says that she forgives the Islamic State suicide bombers who killed her two sons.
Wenny Angelina Hudojo has just marked her son Evan’s 15th birthday, a few years after he was killed by Islamic state suicide bombers while the siblings were on their way to Santa Maria Catholic Church, in the port city of Surabaya, on the island of Java, on 13th May 2018, along with their mother.
Vincentius Evan Hudojo, 11, and Nathanael Ethan Hudojo, 8, were both killed in the incident. Wenny instinctively reached for her two children when the blast went off, but they were seriously bloodied and lying on the ground, according to local media outlet AsiaOne, who said that she was seriously injured too.
The two boys died in hospital from their injuries.
Wenny said: “I only had two children and they were taken from me in the blink of an eye. They were snatched from me in front of my own eyes.”
But she also said that she forgave the terrorists three days after the event because it helps her to lessen her burden and she hoped that it would also help her sons “to enter heaven.”
She said: “My sons will not want me to be sad, so I have to be strong”, adding: “I love them very much and for sure they loved their mother.”
She also revealed that she felt pity for the suicide bombers who she sees as victims of their father’s indoctrination.
She said: “The two perpetrators are also victims. I feel very sorry for them. They should not have been turned into victims.”
She added: “Their parents were most responsible for what happened to them.”
Dita Oepriarto groomed his own son Yusuf Fadhil, 18, to become a suicide bomber. Oepriarto was a member of Jamaah Ansharu Daulah (JAD), the largest group with ties to Islamic State in Indonesia.
Indonesian police say that he even made his son and other siblings, Firman Halim, 16, Fadhila Sari, 12, and Famela Rizqita, 9, watch footage of suicide bombings including the terrorist attack in Paris in 2015.
Yusuf and Firman went to the church on a motorcycle before setting off their bomb killing themselves and five other people, including Evan and Ethan.
A few minutes later, their mum and two younger sisters also detonated suicide vests at another church, while the father drove a car packed with explosives into a church, killing himself and seven other people.
One of Yusuf’s childhood friends, named by AsiaOne as Fariz, said: “I am very sure Yusuf didn’t want to do it.”
He added: “If he had a choice, he would never have done it. But he was a very obedient son and he would never go against the wishes of his father.”
He also said that “Yusuf also hated ISIS. He once said that Isis was wrong and did not represent Islam.”
The Surabaya bombings rocked Indonesia and marked an eerie trend of entire families blowing themselves up in suicide attacks, as has been the case in the Philippines and Sri Lanka.