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"But I tell you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you." (Matthew 5:44).
The REVEILLE EQUIPPER Third/Fourth Quarter 2007, Vol. 11 No. 3
- Feature: Adopt a Terrorist for Prayer Movement Begins
- Feature: Can We Love Enemies While Interrogating Them?
- Guest Feature: Whose Islam Will Dominate?
- Article Review: Whose Writing on Islam Reflects Reality?
- Book Review: Bible Based Religion Sweeps Globe
- News Analysis: The Battle for Pakistan Begins
- News: South Korea Bans Missionaries from Afghanistan
- Resource: Baghdad Believer
Adopt A Terrorist For Prayer Movement Begins
New Ministry Initiates Counter-Strike in GWOT.Whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven and whatever you loose on earth wil be loosed in heaven. Again I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything you ask for, it will be done for you by my father in heaven.
Does loving enemies mean you have to love terrorists?A new movement challenges Americans and provides tools for something counterintuitive -- praying for them!
The new non-profit, doing business as MyATFP.com, features a website linking to information on FBI wanted and detained terrorists and State Department identified terrorism sponsors. The A-T-F-P stands for Adopt a Terrorist For Prayer.
"We hope to be fully operational for registering and tracking prayer commitments before this Christmas," Dr. Thomas Bruce, spokesman for MyATFP, said. Plans call for a web site through which sponsors can connect with others who are praying for the same terrorist. They become an "adoptive family" using social network tools to encourage one another, plan promotions, pray together, and arrange virtual or actual prayer meetings.
The new organization wants to see half a million Americans praying for the salvation of their sworn enemies by this time next year, but right now it needs donations to finance further web development.
A conservative Evangelical and military veteran familiar with both radical faith and life and death service-connected risks, Dr. Bruce has compassion for the terrorists. "If I had been raised and indoctrinated in Saudi Arabia or Gaza, I doubt I would be any different from them," said Dr. Bruce, who expects this movement to impact history and demonstrate fundamental differences between fundamentalisms.
To learn more explore: www.MyATFP.com
Here is a word from the facilitator and spokesperson, Dr. Thomas Bruce.This war on terror is the great global conflict of our generation. Our enemies know it is a spiritual struggle, but do we? I want the "Adopt-a-Terrorist" web site to facilitate a movement for taking not just the moral high ground but also the spiritual initiative.
Currently, much of this war's spiritual initiative rests with the enemy. Most of our prayers are defensive. If all of our prayers for our families, soldiers, and national leaders were answered, would we win the global war on terror? What about if God answered all of our prayers for terrorists? Not much only if there aren't many prayers to answer. Defensive prayers are important, but wars are never won without offensive action.
Only with spiritual changes can we win this war. Together, we can change the world. Will you join me in launching a major spiritual offensive?
Here is what you can do.
- Select and pray daily for a change in the heart of your chosen terrorist.
- Enlist others to join in this initiative.
- Use the letters "ATFP" to identify with and promote this movement.
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Can We Love Enemies While Interrogating Them?
When do humiliation, deprivation, and playing on fears become torture?
By Dr. Bruce Sidebotham
"Breaking the will without wounding the spirit" became my watch phrase when spanking my children. It's precisely the way that God treats us, subjecting us to all kinds of trials and tribulations to break down our rebellion and build up our character and faith. However, a society that denies the certainty and relevance of spiritual realities can't even spank its children let alone interrogate detainees.
Don't anyone accuse me of torturing my four boys, who I have occasionally interrogated with means that included subjecting them to threats, depriving them of comforts, and even causing them physical pain. And don't anyone accuse my drill sergeant of not loving me when he subjected me to hunger, discomfort, and lack of sleep in order to prepare me for surviving on the battlefield.
Deprivation, humiliation, pain, discomfort, and threats of these are neutral tools like guns and fire. What makes them right or wrong isn't what they are but how they are used -- for good or ill, in love or in hate.
The principles of just warfare equally apply to detainee treatment and interrogation. Bombs, are neutral. What makes them right or wrong is how and with what motives they are used. Yes, sometimes the ends really do justify a means. As some things are worth dying for (faith and freedom), and some things are worth fighting for (self defense and restoring peace), these same things are worth interrogating for.
Just interrogations, like spankings, will be done with compassion and not in anger. While breaking down the will, they should still preserve the spirit. As in just warfare, the degrees and means will vary with each presenting situation.
An interrogation that avoids torture will, therefore, be just in its cause (jus ad bellum). In just war tradition this implies it will be the following:
And to be moral an interrogation should also be just in its means (jus in bello), implying the following features:
- A response to imminent threat in order to either
- protect oneself (national self defense)
- protect innocent life (law enforcement)
- Chosen and executed by a competent authority
i.e. a legitimate government
- Chosen formally with clear intentions that are
- to restore peace, not destroy the detainee
- not from vengeance, cruelty, hatred, jealousy, or power
- in accordance with national consensus
- Chosen as last resort after all other options ruled out
(not necessarily all other options tried)
- Reasonably able to succeed
- Preventing more evil than it causes
These principles show how in some cases even light treatment can become torture, while in other circumstances very heavy treatment is morally proper.
using the minimum force necessary to succeed
- Safeguards uninvolved personnel
i.e. not harming relatives of the detainee
- Respects the sanctity of life:
- recognizes interrogator and detainee as morally equal
- accepts similar treatment for oneself given reversed circumstances
Our western culture, which separates the relevance of spiritual and material realities as aggressively as it separates church and state, handicaps us in defining torture just as it handicaps us in spanking children. Because many Americans cannot differentiate will from spirit, the breaking of one appears no different than destroying the other. Ironically, this cultural blindness results in absolutist pronouncements and cookbook procedures (rigid legalism?) that can't possibly prevent torture as well as compassionate and flexible reliance on an unmeasurable subjective just war analysis.
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Detainee Treatment BLOG
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Whose Islam Will Dominate?Sherin Sadaalah identifies four orientations within Islam: #1 p.38
Hassan and Abdullah Saeed differ slightly and name five groups: #2 p.33
T H E S E C U L A R I S T S
The first orientation, secularism, holds to the separation of politics and religion. Its advocates are a strong elite group within Islam. Secularism was seen as the answer during the colonial era. Later, it was rejected for leading Islam forward, but now it is again being considered as a rejection of radical Islam.
T H E T R A D I T I O N A L I S T S
The second orientation, Sunni traditionalism, resists going beyond Islam as it was codified by the four major schools of interpretation between 950 and 1200 AD. It results in stagnation and irrelevance. In a complicated modern world which rewards creative problem-solving, Sunni traditionalism has stopped in time and appears incapable of leading Islam into the 21st Century. However, traditionalists dominate Islamic seminaries in the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and the Malay world. #2 p.34
T H E F U N D A M E N T A L I S T S / I S L A M I S T S
The third orientation is the current resurgence of increased political activism in the name of Islam. It leads to new expressions, which many scholars refer to as "Islamic fundamentalism," "Islamism," or "political Islam." This popular version rests upon a historical utopia and an apologetic mentality infested with supremacist thinking. Much popular and scholarly writing proceeds from the study of this orientation. Many indicators show that fundamentalist/Islamist behaviors are turning many Muslims away from this expression, particularly after the high-profile terrorist attacks in Europe, Africa, the USA and even several Muslim-majority countries.
T H E P U R I T A N S
The fourth orientation, the Puritans, includes the Wahabbis and Salafias. It reduces the faith to the "presumed pristine, simple and straightforward Islam, which was believed to be entirely reclaimable by a literal implementation of the commands and precedents of the Prophet and by a strict adherence to correct ritual practice." #3 p.86
T H E M O D E R N I S T S / I J T I H A D I S
The fifth orientation is modernism,#1 or ijtihadis.#2 In opposition to traditionalism, this group advocates innovation and new interpretations. Many, particularly those who are marginalized but still in the fundamentalist camp, see this version as offering hope for a future in the modern world. This is Khaled Medhat Abou El Fadl's position. He once was a Wahabist fundamentalist, judging other Muslims and even family members to be infidels.#4 Today, he is professor of law at the University of California in Los Angeles, visiting professor of law at Yale Law School, and President George W. Bush's appointee to the Commission on International Religious Freedom.
I N T E R N A L D E B A T E
Within the Islamic community, Muslims are debating over which orientation will dominate the modern era. On the one hand, Islamic resurgence as found in Afghanistan, Iran, Sudan, northern Nigeria and now with Hamas in the Gaza Strip #5 holds slavishly to Shariah law as fulfilling God's will. On the other hand, a new version of Islam seeks a new direction -- especially in the West -- with morality, justice and universal rights at its core. The question is "Which version will dominate and win the heart of the Muslim on the street?"
The debate is most critical between modernists and Islamists, who have much in common. For example, they share the following beliefs:
Modernists and Islamists are vying against each other for the future of Islam, while traditionalists are trying to rein in those who stray from accepted historical expressions. The issues at stake are:
- problems in modern Islam are self-generating
- fresh interpretations of the Qur'an are needed
- a new pioneering elite must emerge #6
El-Fadl charges that Islam has so focused on conformity to law that it has forgotten the moral dimension within Islam. #11
- education #7
- democracy #8
- religious freedom #2
- tolerance #9
- women's rights #10
- human rights or pluralism in the modern era.
R E S O L U T I O N
For a modernist like El-Fadl to succeed, he will need to address the following challenges that are deeper than Islamic law:
The practical problem facing those who interpret the Qur'an is applying lessons from various periods in Muhammad's life to the various situations Muslims find themselves in today. #14 , #15 Though El Fadl considers the Qur'an authoritative, will Muslims accept his methodological questioning of divergent versions of hadiths (traditions) using his standards of authenticity? #12
- confusion over abrogation and interpretation of the Qur'an
- protectionism versus freedom
- the role of religion and politics
- peace versus defensive war
- theocracy versus democracy. #8, #9 , #11 , #12 , #13
W E S T E R N R E S P O N S E
As Westerners search for sense in the myriad voices streaming from the Muslim world, many are highly critical and blatantly anti-Islamic. #16 , #17 , #18 Most Westerners on the street focus on the violent voice of Islam while educated elites concentrate on hearing the moderates.
C H R I S T I A N R E S P O N S E
Meanwhile, let us not waste time endlessly debating which version of Islam will prevail, but rather engage Muslims with our Christ given ministry of reconciliation.
The Telegraph recently announced the start of a new organization, representing former Muslims who have renounced their faith and fear for their lives. #19 This British Council of ex-Muslims plans to speak out against Islamic states that still punish Muslim apostates with death under Shariah law. The Council also aims to become the voice of non-religious ex-Muslims, who do not want to be represented by "regressive" umbrella groups, such as the Muslim Council of Britain.
Muslims are fleeing Islam in larger numbers. Will we help them to see Jesus as an alternative?
#1. Sherin Sadaalah, "Islamic Orientations and Education" in Educational Strategies Among Muslims in the Context of Globalization: Some National Case Studies, edited by Daun, Holger and Walford,Geoffrey, Netherlands: Brill, 2004, pp. 27-61.
#2. Abdullah Saeed and Hassan Saeed, Freedom of Religion, Apostasy and Islam Burlington, VT: Ashgate Pub. Co., 2004.
#3. Mary Dudziak, September 11: A Transformative Moment? Culture, Religion and Politics in an Age of Uncertainty, Duke University Press, 2003.
#4. Rod Dreher, 2002. "Inside Islam: A Brave Muslim Speaks," National Review Online, January 8, 2002, 8:25 a.m. http://www.nationalreview.com/dreher/dreher010902.shtml, 3/24/2007 11:14 a.m.
#6. Ibrahim M. Abu-Rabi, Intellectual Origins of Islamic Resurgence in the Modern Arab World, Albany, NY: State University of New York Press, 1996.
#7. Holger Daun and Geoffrey Walford, Educational Strategies Among Muslims in the Context of Globalization: Some National Case Studies, Netherlands: Brill, 2004.
#8. Abdulaziz Sachedina, The Islamic Roots of Democratic Pluralism, New York: Oxford University Press, 2001.
#9. Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Authoritative and Authoritarian in Islamic Discourses: A Contemporary Case Study, 3rd ed., Washington, DC: Al-Saadawi Pub. 2002.
#10. Omid Safi, Progressive Muslims, Oxford: Oneworld Pubs. 2003.
#11. Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Search for Beauty in Islam: A Conference of the Books, Lanham, MD: Rowman and Littlefield, 2006.
#12. Khaled Abou El Fadl, Speaking in God's Name: Islamic Law, Authority and Women, Oxford: Oneworld Publications, 2001.
#13. Khaled Abou El Fadl, The Great Theft: Wrestling Islam from the Extremists, San Francisco: Harper, 2005.
#14. John Esposito, The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality? 2nd ed., New York: Oxford U. Press, 1995.
#15. John Esposito, Unholy War, New York: Oxford U. Press, 2002.
#16. Steven Emerson, American Jihad: The Terrorists Among Us, New York: Simon & Schuster, 2002.
#17. Ergun and Emir Caner, Unveiling Islam: An Insider's Look at Muslim Life and Beliefs, Grand Rapids, MI: Kregel, 2002.
#18. Robert Spencer, The Myth of Islamic Tolerance: How Islamic Law Treats Non-Muslims, Amherst, NY: Prometheus Books 2005.
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Article Review:Fear historically and inevitably impacts all writing about Islam. In his October 2007 article published in the Evangelical Missions Quarterly, Benjamin-Lee Hegerman defines three traditions in literature about Islam based on how fear affects them.
"Beware of Dhimmi Writers" by Benjamin-Lee Hegeman, in EMQonline October 2007
Whose Writing on Islam Reflects Reality?
D H I M M I W R I T E R SAncient authors like the Nestorian patriarch Timothy (d. 824) and most modern academic writers like Karen Armstrong and John Esposito (The Islamic Threat: Myth or Reality?) are what Hegerman calls "dhimmi writers." Dhimmi writers enthusiastically promote the romanticized Muslim self-portrait and aggressively discourage anything that offends Muslims. Bad or violent elements within the world of Islam they readily dismiss as non-representative. Hegerman calls their material "lullaby literature" designed to make us to feel good about the moderate peace-loving majority and convince us that the only serious flaw in Islam is our attitude towards it.
R E C O N N A I S S A N C E W R I T E R SIn contrast, ancient authors like Saint John of Damascus (675-749) and modern writers like Daniel Pipes and Robert Spencer (The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and the Crusades) are what Hegerman calls "reconnaissance writers." These writers avidly report all that is bad about Mohammed and Islam, which most Muslims and appeasers conveniently ignore, but they are reacting and playing on fear. Like the ten who returned to the Israelite camp after spying in the land of Canaan, their truthful warnings inspire audiences to alarm, anger, and withdrawal.
E N G A G E M E N T W R I T E R SThe best writers like eighth century Mesopotamian Bishop Abu Qurra and the modern scholars Dudley Woodberry and Bill Musk (Touching the Soul of Islam) are simultaneously critical and compassionate. Hegerman calls them "engagement writers." They equally address both the good and the bad in Islam, because they want to help Muslims. These tend to be the authors who want Muslims to have free and informed choices on whether or not to follow Jesus Christ -- a courageous endeavor indeed!
O B J E C T I V I T YAccording to Hegerman, the most objective writing on Islam will be that which is least distorted by fear. Dhimmi authors placate fear. Reconnaissance authors feed fear. Engagement authors conquer fear. Objectivity reigns best in conquered fear. The most accurate intelligence on one's enemies comes with loving them because "perfect love casts out fear" (1 John 4:18).
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The New Faces of Christianity: Believing the Bible in the Global South, by Philip Jenkins
Bible Based Revolution Sweeps the Globe
Christianity in the non-Western world not only grows exponentially but also recapitulates a distinctly apostolic character, since it is immersed in virtually the same social context of persecution, poverty, corruption, and superstition that faced the early church.
In his earlier book, The Next Christendom, published in 2002, Distinguished Professor of History and Religious Studies at Pennsylvania State University, Phillip Jenkins, exegeted demographic trends to show how Christianity will impact the next century.
In this sequel, The New Faces of Christianity, Jenkins describes the beliefs of these influential non-Western Christians.
Faith emerging in the non-Western mostly southern hemisphere is primarily Biblical and likely more "normative" than the faith that is stagnating in the mostly northern hemisphere West (North America, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand). Jenkins speculates that Christians of the developed North and undeveloped South likely differ because of the differing "threats they perceive in their respective cultures" (p. 5).
Emerging non-Western Christian communities identify with the social and economic realities portrayed in a Bible perceived to be a fresh, authentic, credible, and authoritative guide for daily living. In these communities, the Scriptures that are deconstructed in Europe, are initiating social revolution.
Believers who, as products of a stagnating Western Christendom, are going out into the post 9-11 world to offer relief, development, and military security must read Jenkins' insightful work. He helps us to discern what is authentically Christian and what is just Western cultural baggage.
Jenkins reveals, for example, "The lived Christianity of Africa and Asia shares many assumptions with Islam, and in some matters, can be closer to Islam than to the Christianity of the advanced West" (p.182).
In contrasting the thriving congregations of Africa and Asia with the emptying churches of Europe, we can discover some difference between doing the God's work his way and doing it our way.
Finally Jenkins raises some intriguing questions. "Can the Bible be read in a socially advanced society with anything like the immediacy that it offers in a community less blessed? . . . Is traditional, biblically oriented Christianity, evangelical or otherwise, destined to disappear with economic growth and maturation"(p.187)?
Comparing and contrasting Christianity in the North and South, gives fresh perspective on the words of Jesus that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of heaven. Or, as noted in the Magnificat, is God in our day also filling the hungry with good things and sending the rich away empty?
ISBN: 0-19-530065-3, Oxford University Press, 2006
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World Evangelical Alliance - Religious Liberty News & Analysis:
by Elizabeth Kendall
The Battle for Pakistan Begins
As was widely reported in mainstream news, rising tensions at the Lal Masjid mosque culminated on 3 July in street battles between security forces and militants. On 4 July Pakistani security forces laid siege to the mosque, demanding an unconditional surrender and the release of hostages and human shields.
The siege continued until 10 July when last-ditch negotiations failed and security forces stormed the mosque. Death toll estimates vary widely, from the government count of around 100 to Islamist claims of over 2,000 martyrs.
As soon as the government forces laid siege to the Lal Masjid, jihadists in north-western tribal regions cranked up their terrorist actions against the Pakistani Army. On 16 July the Taliban and al-Qaeda alliance in Waziristan terminated their "peace deal" with the government. The subsequent violence and terror has claimed hundreds of lives including those of at least 200 soldiers.
Army morale is low in this unpopular fight perceived to pit the army against its own people in America's interest. Not only are losses demoralizing, but many soldiers find it difficult to feel motivated about killing fellow Pakistanis and Muslims. In October, 300 soldiers surrendered to a band of some 30 tribal mujahideen in South Waziristan without firing a single shot.
Since the highly-organized bombing of Benazir Bhutto's motorcade on 18 October the government has declared its intent to unleash all-out war on the militants.
A battle for Pakistan -- a nuclear armed state -- has commenced.
B A C K G R O U N D
While the US bombing and invasion of Afghanistan in October 2001 toppled the Taliban, most of al-Qaeda's core leadership survived and relocated to Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).
In 2003, the Pakistani Army assumed responsibility for eliminating al-Qaeda and Taliban elements from the border regions of Pakistan. A soaring death toll, unofficially estimated to be higher than what the US has lost in Iraq, along with execution-style murders of around 150 anti-Taliban tribal leaders weakened Army morale and public resolve.
As a result, President Musharraf brokered a series of "peace deals" with the Taliban-al-Qaeda tribal alliance, ceding control of South Waziristan in February 2005 and North Waziristan in September 2006. The capitulation for peace established the two Waziristans as the most secure Taliban and al-Qaeda-run terrorist sanctuary in the world.
Tarique Niazi elaborated on the "peace deal" in Terrorism Monitor (5 Oct 06), "The deal offers amnesty to Taliban militants and ‚àö¬¥foreigners' (a reference to Afghan-Arabs who are members of al-Qaeda) in North Waziristan for a pledge that they would desist from mounting cross-border attacks into Afghanistan; assaulting Pakistani security forces, public servants, state property, tribal leaders and journalists; and carrying heavy weapons (DAWN, 6 Sep 06)." #1
Niazi also reported that subsequent to signing the deal, the government set free 132 Taliban fighters who had been jailed for terrorist violence (Daily Times, 8 Sep 06), returned their seized weapons (including 24 AK-47s), restored their impounded property and reinstated their forfeited privileges, including government allowances. Additionally, the government approved a cash compensation of 230 million rupees ($3.8 million) for the material losses suffered by tribesmen (DAWN, 9 Sep 06).#1
Policy and military analysts Daveed Gartenstein-Ross and Bill Roggio described the Waziristan Accord to the Weekly Standard (2 Oct 06) as the "unconditional surrender of Waziristan."#2
Whilst President Musharraf and US President Bush portrayed the Waziristan Accord as a victory, it was in reality nothing less than the ceding of territory to a hostile enemy. As soon as the territory was ceded, al-Qaeda declared "The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan" and established a governing Shura council.
Eric Sayers, in a report for the Washington based Center for Security Policy, quotes Bill Roggio, "The destruction of al-Qaeda's safe haven in Afghanistan during Taliban rule has essentially been negated by the rise of Talibanistan in western Pakistan."#3
The Waziristan Accord provided the Taliban-al-Qaeda alliance an autonomous mini-state within a state, in which they could consolidate, recruit, train, deploy, enforce their ideology, and expand their sphere of influence. Not only are they now having a profound impact on international terrorism and the jihads in Afghanistan and Iraq, they are also now able to launch a genuinely threatening insurgency in Pakistan.
C A L L T O I N S U R G E N C Y
In late September 2007, Osama bin Laden released a message entitled "Come to Jihad, to the People of Pakistan."#4
Replete with Qur'anic quotations, it informs the people of Pakistan that it is their moral and Islamic duty to respond to the "Lal Masjid massacre" by joining with the Muslims following "true Islam" and waging jihad against the kuffaar (unbeliever) government of Pakistan, the Army and their supporters.
In his message bin Laden says the events at the Lal Masjid demonstrate that Musharraf is aligned with infidels against the Muslims. Therefore, he says, rebellion against Musharraf is obligatory. He appeals directly to soldiers, recommending they resign from their positions and enter "true Islam."
He concludes with an ominous promise, "We in the al-Qaeda organization call on Allah to witness that we Will retaliate for the blood of Maulana abd al-Rasheed Ghanzi. . ." and other slain Muslims, "champions of Islam in Waziristan."
C E N T E R S O F G R A V I T Y
Mark Sappenfield writes for the Christian Science Monitor (22 Oct 07), "Bowing to international pressure, President Pervez Musharraf has restarted an offensive in the remote tribal areas that are rapidly becoming a hub of global terrorism. Yet early indications are that, no matter who is in charge, the Pakistani Army is ill-suited -- and perhaps incapable -- of doing the job."#5
As noted by M. K. Dar (Former Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau, India), for more than two decades powerful and foreign backed elements within the Pakistani Army and intelligence services have supported Sunni fundamentalist organizations and employed Islamic militants as proxies in their conflicts against India in Kashmir and against Soviet and now Western-backed forces in Afghanistan. Consequently, the well trained and supplied intelligence services, the rank and file military, the Mullahs and the militants have become very closely knit.#6
Syed Saleem Shahzad says, "Lining up against the Pakistani Army will be the Shura (council) of Mujahideen comprising senior al-Qaeda and Taliban commanders, local clerics and leaders of the fighting clans Wazir and Mehsud (known as the Pakistani Taliban)." He quotes a Pakistani security official, "If the planned battle is successful and Waziristan is pacified, the global Islamic resistance would be back where it was in 2003, when it had fighters but no centralized command or bases to carry out organized operations."#7
Shahzad elaborates, "The safety of Taliban and al-Qaeda assets in Waziristan is a matter of life and death and, therefore, the militants have devised a forward strategy to target the Pakistani cities of ahore, Karachi and Islamabad, hoping to break the will of the Pakistani armed forces. The Pakistani military, meanwhile, is trying to break the will of the militants with ongoing bombing raids. Underscoring the seriousness with which the military is planning for the coming battle, it is reported that Shi'ite soldiers from northern Pakistan are being sent to the Waziristans. In the past, the Pakistani Army has been plagued by desertions of Pushtun and Sunni troops who refuse to fight fellow Pushtuns or Sunnis."#7
This issue of a morally conflicted and fracturing army is one of the greatest threats, as increasingly soldiers are questioning the Islamic credentials of their mission. After a major army offensive in South Waziristan in 2004 in which some 500 officers and soldiers refused to fight, "500 leading religious scholars signed a fatwa, a religious judgment, ruling that militants killed in the action are ‚àö¬¥martyrs.' The same fatwa forbade the public to pray for the dead government soldiers." Earlier this year the General Headquarters of the Pakistani Army attempted to solicit a fatwa to its own advantage from the Council of Islamic Ideology but was unable to do so.#8
On 18 October, Benazir Bhutto narrowly escaped assassination and more than 130 people were killed and hundreds were wounded when her motorcade was targeted by terrorists. This is doubtless only the beginning of the terror. Al-Qaeda will seek to eliminate all bulwarks against Sharia and Taliban control of Islamabad. We can expect to see terrorist incidents and assassinations proliferate in Pakistan. Christians ("cross worshippers" as bin Laden calls them) are destined to be targeted. The militants view them not only as expendable kuffaar, but also as pawns for drawing Western attention and "peace-deal" demands.
Al-Qaeda's goal is nothing less than control of a nuclear-armed Islamic state, complete with intelligence services and an Islamist Army, for the purpose of administering and waging international Islamic jihad. A long and bloody battle for Pakistan has begun.
#1. "Pakistan's Peace Deal with Taliban Militants" by Tarique Niazi for Terrorism Monitor, Volume 4, Issue 19 (5 October 2006)
#2. "Pakistan Surrenders: The Taliban control the border with Afghanistan" by Daveed Gartenstein-Ross & Bill Roggio. 2 Oct 2006.
#3. "The Islamic Emirate of Waziristan and the Bajaur Tribal Region: The Strategic Threat of Terrorist Sanctuaries" by Eric Sayers, Feb 2007
#4. "Come to Jihad, to the People of Pakistan" 26 Sept 2007, translated From Urdu By Ahmed Al-Marid for Jihad Unspun
#5. "Pakistan's Army: Unprepared to Tackle Terrorism?" 22 October 2007 by Mark Sappenfield, staff writer, The Christian Science Monitor
#6. "Militants' Sway in Tribal Areas" 23 Oct 2007 M K Dar (Former Joint Director of Intelligence Bureau)
#7. "Pakistan Plans All-out War on Militants" by Syed Saleem Shahzad 19 Oct 2007
#8. "Troop Defections Threaten Pakistan's Operations in Tribal Regions" by Tarique Niazi, for Terrorism Focus, Vol. 4, Issue 4 (6 Mar 07)
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News from Compass Direct:Shortly after the Taliban released Korean aid workers in Afghanistan, some South Korean Christians became critical of their government's ban on missionary travel to the country.
by Peter Lamprecht
South Korea Bans Missionaries from Afghanistan
South Korea agreed to withdraw troops and missionaries from Afghanistan in August in exchange for the release of the remaining 19 kidnapped aid workers. The Taliban had already killed two of the group's members and released two others after the Christian service team was captured on 19 July.
Critics claim that South Korea's ban on missionary travel to Afghanistan limits religious freedom and encourages extremist attacks on Christians around the globe.
A Taliban spokesman said that his group would continue kidnapping foreigners because they had found it to be an effective tactic, according to Agence France-Press (AFP).
Choi Han Eu, president of the Institute for Asian Culture and Development (IACD), told Compass that carrying out religious activities is a basic human right that must be protected.
"In Iraq, in Somalia or any other country where there is a dangerous situation, will Christians not be able to go there if it is a Muslim country?" said Choi, whose Protestant group carries out development work in more than a dozen Asian countries.
In effect, according to Christian sources, the ban has curtailed almost all development work by Koreans in Afghanistan.
"If a Christian does aid work in a Muslim country, they call that missionary work," said Choi. "Koreans have not been doing overt evangelism in Afghanistan."
A spokesman from the Korean presidential office said he was unable to give Compass a definition of "missionary work" banned by the government.
Thirty IACD staff members working at hospitals and schools in Afghanistan have been forced to leave, Choi told Compass.
According to non-governmental organization (NGO) workers in Afghanistan, between 200 and 300 Korean workers have returned to Korea.
"[Koreans] were dispersed throughout various NGOs, and there hasn't been much time to fill the positions," one foreign development worker said. "We are [already] understaffed."
The Korean Army also withdrew its engineering and medical units, both heavily involved in reconstruction work.
Only a few Koreans with dual citizenship have been able to stay in Afghanistan, local NGO workers reported.
"The Afghan people will be the ones who are most harmed by this," commented Choi.
The kidnapping of volunteer workers from a Korean church in July, in no way related to the IACD, renewed anger against Korean Christian development workers. Critics in Korea claimed that the church group was at fault for disregarding warnings against visiting Afghanistan.
Foreign NGO workers in Afghanistan said that the volunteers' methods inside the country had caused problems.
"Anybody who tries to go to Kandahar is asking for trouble," said one foreigner, referring to a southern Taliban stronghold to which the Koreans had been traveling when captured. "Being in a large group is also asking for trouble."
Protestors in front of Bundang's Sammul Presbyterian Church, which sent the volunteers, demanded Sunday (9 Sep) that the church pay government expenses incurred in the hostage negotiations.
Intense criticism has caused many Korean Christians to accept quietly the government's ban on missionary activity to Afghanistan.
More than 100 Presbyterian pastors gathered in Seoul in September to pray and repent for the way that they had conducted missions in the past. The leaders confessed that their churches had at times wrongly emphasized quantity over quality.
"Normally the government and church should be separate, and the church should decide its own policy," said Chae Ki Bomb, general secretary of the Christian Council of Korea, a mainstream evangelical umbrella organization. "But at this time, it's alright that the government decided."
Choi agreed the government had the responsibility to protect its citizens but that this should not overrule religious freedom. He said his group would wait for tensions to cool before deciding whether to challenge the missionary ban in court.
The Christian Council's Chae agreed that the ban should not last indefinitely. "At this time we stopped, but we want to continue missions to Islamic areas in the future," he said.
Protestant churches in Korea support more than 15,000 international missionaries, the second largest number world-wide after those sent by the U.S.
Choi's group came under harsh criticism last August for organizing an aborted "peace rally" in Kabul.
Citing security concerns, the South Korean government blocked its citizens' entry to Afghanistan and deported others after 1,000 Koreans had already arrived for the event.
Local Christian NGO workers were also critical, saying the rally was not culturally appropriate in a Muslim country hypersensitive to Christian evangelism.
Little has appeared in English-language media regarding claims that hostages were beaten and killed for refusing to convert to Islam.
According to AFP, a Seoul doctor confirmed that Taliban captors had beaten hostages in captivity.
"They said they were beaten at first for refusing to take part in Islamic prayers or for rejecting a demand to convert," the doctor said in the 3 September article.
Seoul-based Christian Today newspaper, on 5 September, quoted Sammul church head pastor Park Eun Jo as saying that Bae Hyung Kyu had been killed for refusing to convert. The Sammul church referred to Bae as a martyr at his funeral on Saturday (8 Sep).
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by Jay Nealson
Based on a true story!
A Suni Muslim
experiences Jesus in the midst of violence
To see what God is doing
and how he is doing it in Baghdad,
READ THIS BOOK!
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The Reveille Equipper
Volume 11, Number 3 - Third/Fourth Quarter 2007
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