Aisha Khan, the 19-year-old Kansas student who was allegedly abducted from her college campus after leaving a frantic voicemail for her sister last Friday has been found safe and sound. It is a happy ending by all accounts and yet a very odd one, too. Why would Khan have disappeared for so long? What made her come forward and what was she doing over those five days she was missing?
The answers, which have not yet been revealed by her family or by law enforcement may be simple. Maybe she just wanted to get away. We may never know the real story, but we do know this: Khan is a newlywed, only married five months. She was willing to lie to her sister (presumably, anyway) to create the illusion of an abduction and she was willing to let her family worry that much for so long.
What creates that kind of desperation?
A commenter here last Monday suggested maybe the whole thing was a scam for money and while that seems unlikely, there are many other explanations. She is 19. Maybe her finals were overwhelming. To us, that may seem insane (and it is a little bit), but it is possible.
Police say she was not abducted or hurt or held against her will, so whatever the reason she was gone, it was on her own volition. Police wasted hours and hours of manpower and tax dollars trying to find her. Of course there are going to be some angry people. But as yet, no charges have been filed because there are none to file. She did not report herself missing.
Naturally, people are furious. Her Facebook page Help Find Aisha Khan is full of some sympathy, but mostly angry people saying things like “she wasted taxpayers’ money!” and:
I stated when this story first appeared that it was a fake abduction. I was called racist and that I disliked the Muslim community. She needs to be brought up on charges. Plain and simple. It wasn't Allah that brought her home. It was the police. Give credit where it is due.
It's not good all around. But we also don't know the truth. We have to be patient before jumping to conclusions.
When a child goes missing and is found safely, very often the relief parents feel upon hearing the news becomes anger very quickly. It is completely understandable. We are frustrated with the person for being reckless with our feelings, for not taking how we might react to the news they were missing into consideration. But it is unrealistic to expect someone going through a hard time to think of us or to think that far ahead.
Khan is 19. Let's not jump to evil conclusions and assume the worst. Before we know, let's give her the benefit of the doubt and be grateful she is safe.
Does this story make you mad?