Category Archives: Afghanistan

Two faces of Islam

muslims_duomoWhere was al-Jazeera when thousands of Muslims recently gathered to pray front of Milan’s Duomo to protest Israel’s operation in Gaza?  As one of Europe’s most storied gothic cathedrals, their act was blasphemous and offensive, yet presumably acceptable to those at al-Jazeera who are now crusading against some in the U.S military who dared to consider handing out Bibles to local Afghanis.

 Consider: the Saudi Kingdom gives billions to western Universities to promote Islam as the religion of peace and shells out even more to build Wahabbi mosques in the west. Muslim immigrants in the Netherlands are rejecting Dutch culture, rather than adapting to it. And it’s a Muslim who fought to remove crucifixes from Italian schools. In Denmark? Well, there were those riot inspiring cartoons which gave rise to Muslim protests world-wide.

 So we, non-Muslims, must adapt and respect without scrutiny, and we do. In the west, we film documentaries and movies slandering and questioning Christianity. How many perverted Catholic priest plots or Dan Brown inspired TV shows have aired in recent years? Yet, I’ve not seen one Mecca vs Medina Koran inspired documentary. Maybe I missed it.

 The latest American transgression involves the U.S military’s proselytizing in Afghanistan by handing out, gasp, Bibles.

 From Fox News:

 Al Jazeera claims, based on inside video obtained from an independent documentary director, that the evangelical group at Bagram had a clear purpose — to spread Christianity. “They were on a mission, but it appears it was not just a military one,” the video begins.

 The documentary filmmaker and former soldier Brian Hughes turned the evidence, an on-base church service at Bagram, over to al-Jazeera. I guess NBC, ABC, BBC and CNN weren’t interested, or he believed al-Jazeera was the only newsmaker capable of exploring the topic without prejudice.

 The hypocrisy of Muslims in the Arab world who expect the opportunity to reform our culture and pray in front of our most sacred churches in open blasphemy while refusing us the opportunity of handing out Bibles isn’t surprising. But our weak defense of religious freedom is.

From RFE/RL:

Under Afghanistan’s internationally backed constitution, it is a crime in the country to try to convert a Muslim to another religious faith. Afghan Muslims who do convert to another religion face a possible death sentence under Afghan law.

 Wary of the sensitivities of the issue, U.S. Central Command has issued General Order No. 1, which forbids troops on active duty from trying to convert people to another religion. That rule applies to all U.S. soldiers based in Afghanistan and Iraq.

 Indeed, a U.S. military spokeswoman at Bagram Air Field said on May 5 that the Bibles shown in the Al-Jazeera report had been sent about a year ago by a church in the United States to one particular U.S. soldier who is an evangelical Christian.

Major Jennifer Willis says she can now confirm that the Bibles seen in the report were collected by U.S. military chaplains and destroyed. She says none of the Bibles was distributed.

 Cultural and religious tolerance is one-sided. Until non-Muslim westerners decide to dispense with political correctness in support of freedom, this hypocrisy will continue.

Afghanistan’s Hope and Terror’s Enemy: Education

afghan_girl

For hardliners in Afghanistan, the enemy isn’t the United States—it’s culture. In this year alone, the Taliban have bulldozed and razed 115 schools, and last week, they adopted a new tactic to handle Afghani girls seeking education. Acid-filled water pistols.

From the AFP:

Men on motorbikes used a water pistol to spray acid into the faces of Shamsia and around dozen other girls as they arrived at school wearing all-covering burqas in the southern city of Kandahar on Wednesday.

Shamsia, 17, was the most badly wounded and had some acid enter her eyes. She was transferred to a military hospital in Kabul where she was visited Saturday by other schoolgirls, accompanied by media.

“I will go to my school even if they kill me,” she told reporters. “My message for the enemies is that if they do this 100 times, I am still going to continue my studies.”

America’s ‘me’ generation of students willing to shoot fellow classmates for their sneakers should be forced to learn from young people like Shamsia who risk everything for the opportunity to learn.

I also hope that military and political leaders, now considering a troop surge in Afghanistan, will recognize the need for a culture overhaul. If Afghanis can’t access alternatives to poppy crops and religious fanaticism, in the form of knowledge and opportunity, they are destined to continue down the medieval road they’ve set out for themselves. And the United States is doomed to fail in their effort to root out al-Qaeda.

Education and modernity remain the greatest threats to Islamic terrorists and Muslim despots.