Sunday, August 23, 2009

The Crisis of Terrorism

Responding to another paragraph from my friend John, I add some responses: John wrote (bold font):

A TERRORISM CRISIS – International “Terrorism” is the greatest threat that the Western World has ever had to deal with. The USA is engaged in the longest and potentially the most costly war in its history. The National danger has never been greater. Yet silence on this critical issue in the Church, week after week is a tragedy. It implies that the leaders are in denial re the urgency of the hour. Terrorism, due to the availability of weapons of mass destruction, is a danger to the whole human race. If ever there was a time for Christians to be concerned about the world situation it is today. Earnest prayer for our leaders concerning their wisdom, guidance and strength is desperately needed!

Terrorism is a word politicians like to bandy about, so I have reservations about it in church. I AGREE this is a time “for Christians to be concerned about the world situation…” I don’t know if John and I are on the same page as to how to respond to this great threat.

First, I found the previous Administration‘s “politicizing” of terrorism treacherous and traitorous. Beyond that, I find terrorism symbolic of a deeper ideological war.

Second, it goes deeper than merely Mohammed versus Jesus. The only way to correct terrorism (beyond full Christian redemption) is to acknowledge the “failed policies of militarism and selfish political nationalism” and pursue a new course of politics and economics based on the common good of humanity world-wide.

Third, any definition of terrorism should include the production and promotion of drugs (manufacturing, producing, selling, abusing) meth-labs, heroin and opium products for private and personal gain is an act of terrorism. It degenerates and demoralizes the character of our country.

Further expanding John’s concerns for terrorism, I would consider the following. After the Mumbai bombing, CNN reporter Fareed Zakaria explained events as he saw them. Muslims in India are marginalized, he said, not represented in government, and three times more unemployed than people of other religions. Therefore, he concluded, it is easy to radicalize Muslims in India.

Fouad Masri, a Lebanese Christian asks “What is it about Islam that radicalizes people to kill innocent bystanders? It can't be simply poor living conditions and being unrepresented in government. He sees thousands of Christians in Muslim countries facing the exact same situation--“unrepresented and unemployed.”

Yet, says Fouad, we have not seen Coptic Christian terrorists take the Pyramids at Giza, or marginalized Filipino Christians attacking the Burj-al-Arab hotel in Dubai. He wonders, if Islam teaches peace, as so many scholars insist upon, how can you radicalize a follower of that religion to kill innocent people?”

Fouad adds that he believes Jesus is right when saying “if you hate your brother you killed him.” He suggests what we saw in India, and around the world is nothing short of the depravity of humankind.

The truth is, whether it is a “Terrorist Act” in Iraq, a Drug Cartel shooting in Mexico, or a collapse on Wall Street, when we harbor hatred, we get murder. When we focus on selfish greed, we end up with the same moral dilemma.

Fouad admits Jesus “saved” him from his hate. Actually, Jesus has transformed all kinds of people throughout the centuries, and in many cultures. He is changing lives today. He can change your life … today.

From Warner’s World, if ever there was an important time for people to dialogue and engage with, and in,the world,sharing God’s way of love, it surely is now. . . People everywhere need to know God loves you, and so do I,


Jonathan said...

What is the "deeper ideological war" that you see these acts of murdering noncombatants symbolic of?

I dare say that this statement might be naive: "The only way to correct terrorism (beyond full Christian redemption) is to acknowledge the 'failed policies of militarism and selfish political nationalism' and pursue a new course of politics and economics based on the common good of humanity world-wide." They don't kill because of economics. They are motivated because of the moral depreciation they see as being thrust on them by the west. This is not "Islam v Christianity" this is Islam v immorality.

"Therefore, he concluded, it is easy to radicalize Muslims in India." And yet not one 911 attacker was Indian, only a very small number of the foreign fighters caught in Afghan or Iraq have been Indian, and yet it is the second most populous Muslim country in the world?.?... I think that there is more behind recruiting terrorists than finding someone who is unemployed or marginalized. Most of the recruits for these international acts come from predominatly Muslim countries (Saudi, Pak, Yemen).

One more thing, why do we forget the Irish "terrorists", the Christian extremists who attacked OKC's Murah building, those who used terror in Indonesia, et al? The conclusions are the same it just does not leave Christians without some examples of those who call themselves by the same name doing that which is explicitly taught against.

Wayne said...

Jonathan; glad to hear from you again. You could be right about my speaking out of naivety. What I do know is that I have read enough history about the Balfour agreement, the Versailles Treaty et al to persuade me that "Western diplomacy" was self-centered, greedy, nationalistic, and insensitive to people it should have been more sensitive to. That played a large part in WWII (which we all supported). Some of this led to the current Israeli conflict, and I believe the US diplomacy re Israel has contributed greatly to current terrorism, anti American strife et al. Fouad Masri is a Chog Lebanese Christian and he questions Muslim peace intentions (as I understand him). I'm not sure. However, I do believe that if we worked to improve relationships in some of the areas I've mentioned, it would do more to reduce the anti-Americanism, and the terrorism, than all the military efforts and current diplomacy can possibly do. I agree with you, terrorism is terrorism, be it Arabic or Irish or... I challenge your statement "they don't kill because of economics." People with no economic hope are easy prey for terrorist recruiters; give their family a big cash settlement and them a Muslim martyrs reward and they're easy prey.
As a further thought on anti-americanism read the recent Chr Science Monitor piece by Lisa Woll – Tue Aug 25, 5:00 am ET
Washington – What do human rights abuses associated with oil drilling in Sudan, the nanotechnology used in your suntan lotion, and growing concerns about climate-related water shortages in the southwestern United States have in common?
thanks for responding,