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Wednesday, August 3, 2011

This is the country we’re saving

By Daniel Greenfield, FRONTPAGEMAG

Pedophilia, forced marriages, blasphemy trials and drug dealing. That is the real Afghanistan. The one that lingers on even when the Taliban are chased into the hills. That cannot be changed by American intervention because this is who its people are.

We might have been able to save Afghanistan from the Taliban, but we can’t save it from the Afghans. From the quarreling clans and warlords, the age old customs and the Islamic mores. Beyond a sliver of Western educated men and women in Kabul lies a land of a thousand cruelties and a million knives. With a vendetta around every corner and murder in every heart.

There is no Afghanistan, only a thousand divisions. The Islamic Republic of Afghanistan that replaced the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, is an internationally funded mirage. A multi-billion dollar fund with its own flag and its own mercenaries. And because these mercenaries won’t fight, our soldiers go out to fight and die in their place.

Beneath that flag there is no unity. There are only divisions. Sunnis and Shiites. Pashtuns, Tajiks and Hazaras. Men and women. Groups with nothing in common except the Koran and the knife.

Last month’s New York Times chronicled one such collision of coexistence as a secret relationship between Tajik and Hazara teenagers led to rioting and the detention of the couple. A group of men spotted the couple riding together in a car, which they stopped to interrogate the couple.  Soon a crowd had gathered to try to stone or hang them for adultery.  When police rescued the couple, an outbreak of mob violence occurred which left one man dead, cars on fire, and the teenagers in jail.

The girl’s uncle promised to kill her when she was released for shaming the family. “Blood was perhaps the only way out,” the girl’s father said. “What we would ask is that the government should kill both of them.”

Afghan jails are filled with women fleeing abusive marriages. Fleeing home carries with it a ten year jail sentence. The analogy to escaped slaves is as obvious and inescapable as a Muslim marriage. Adultery is the catch-all charge that can be leveled at a woman at any time, married or unmarried, a young girl or an elderly woman.

The Afghan man has three tools of power. Zan, Zar and Zamin. Women, gold and land. A man with many women will be able to breed many sons and expand his own clan. A man with a great deal of gold will be able to buy weapons and take his share of the drug and human trafficking networks. And a man with much land will have his own kingdom.

This elemental tribal power defines Afghanistan. Women are at the bottom of this pyramid. But so are minority ethnic groups. The father’s cruelty in the New York Times story is about more than honor, it is about population retention in the internal power struggle. A Hazara daughter who marries a Tajik enlists on the other side of one of Afghanistan’s numberless micro-conflicts. Those conflicts are not always violent, but they are very real.

And on top of the bubbling kettle is Islam. No religion would be quite as fit for this backward tribalism as a religion that began as a warlord’s cult. Islam does not unify Afghanistan. For all that the Islamists imagine a Caliphate, Islam adds only another layer of division. Ethnic divisions in Afghanistan are also religious divisions. And Islam adds religious sanction to the oppression of women and the massacres of rivals.

Almost any other religion would have had a civilizing influence on Afghanistan. But Islam’s influence has only embedded the savagery deeper beneath its dusty skin. Everything that is bad in Afghanistan has its supporting verse in the Koran. The culture of the tribal raid, its emphasis on victory as proof of divine sanction and its contempt for women– finds its echo in the Koran. Tribal cruelty becomes the will of Allah.

But Islam added another facet to the Afghan nightmare, its doctrines elevating local conflicts above tribal raids. In United in Hate, Jamie Glazov wrote, “This is where the Western Left and militant Islam intersect: human life must be sacrificed for the sake of the idea.”

The tribal raider is unable to imagine any higher idea than the honor of his family. But Islam adds the idea of the meta-tribal identity. The Islamic Ummah as the ultimate tribe. It is an idea that allowed Mohammed and his successors to loot and pillage their way across much of the world. And the world is bleeding from a million wounds, stabbed, cut and pierced by the followers of that idea.

The things that the tribesman loots for in this world are given to him twice over in paradise if he dies in battle. And if he suspects that the paradise overflowing with virgins, gold jewelry and pungent wines is a lie that the elders and clerics tell to get him to risk his life while they remain behind with their share of the virgins, gold and wine in this world– to say so openly would be blasphemy.

It is no wonder that the Taliban found its perfect breeding ground in Afghanistan. Just as variants like Al-Shabaab found theirs in equally backward places such as Somalia. The purity that the Wahhabis seek is really barbarism. And it is most easily found in the most backward places. The least civilized countries.

The Taliban may have repressed Afghanistan, but they did not add very much that was not already there. Afghanistan is not Persia, a place that Afghans looking for freedom and opportunity flee to today. Their edicts and brutality made Afghanistan worse, but the difference was most notable in Kabul, and far less so in more backward provinces. As the Taliban return, so does a surge of brutality. But it is a surge that adds to the existing brutality in the official and unofficial systems.

Will the Taliban rule in Afghanistan? In a sense they always have. Long before the Taliban existed, the gleeful cruelty, the dogmatic brutalization and the culture of fear reigned in Afghanistan. The Taliban contribution was the linkup through Pakistan and now Iran with a global Jihad. The local raid giving way to the global raid. The persecution of Christians in Afghanistan giving way to September 11. Exploding Buddhas transitioning to falling skyscrapers.

The terrible genius of Islam is that it took the violence of the tribe and the clan and sanctified it. Islam elevated the vendetta to the highest form of religious service. The one that is above all others.

20th century Islamists took the ugly tribal feud and globalized it. They took backward places like Afghanistan and turned them into platforms for a global war. We may be able to save ourselves from the puppet masters behind this shadow war, but we cannot save the Afghans from themselves.

Muslim radical finds Christ through Christian Radio


Every day, Muslims listeners to Christian radio and satellite television broadcasts call ICC sponsored representatives to ask about Jesus. One of our representatives told us the encouraging story of Mohammad, a self-described Muslim extremist, who found Christ by listening to Christian radio:

Mohammad called us on the telephone from Morocco. He began the conversation by sharing his story: “I was a Muslim extremist. I learned the Koran by heart and was extremely careful to not disobey the commandments which were sacred to me. I only spoke with Koranic verses and with writings from the 40 Hadiths and I only went with people who were like me. That was my conviction and my faith. I tried to be perfect for many years.

However, in my heart I knew that there was emptiness. I wasn’t happy. Something spiritual was missing.

In the evening, plunged deep in my solitude, I listened to Christian radio. I was curious to see how the people of “the book” (meaning Christians) lived their faith. I liked the messages about love and the teachings touched me profoundly. The Lord entered into my life. I became a new person. My hatred towards others changed into love. I pray that this will happen to others as it happened to me.”

After, Mohammed suggested that we broadcast programs that show how new believers are being persecuted and how missionaries were being expelled from North Africa. He said that it is important that people know - especially Christians - how to pray so that the Lord will intervene. Mohammed expressed the need to put some pressure on those in authority to lighten the burden that Christians carry in the Middle East.

I share Mohammad’s story because it is an incredible testimony of how God is revealing Himself to Muslims throughout the Middle East. The church around the world must be encouraged and rejoice over what God is doing.

Muslim fundamentalist torch churches in Zanzibar, Tanzania

Worship buildings burned on east African archipelago’s Zanzibar, Pemba islands.

Muslim extremists on Saturday (July 30) burned down a church building on Zanzibar island off the coast of Tanzania, church leaders said, just three days after another congregation’s facility on the island was reduced to ashes.

In Fuoni on the south coast of Zanzibar (known locally as Unguja), Islamic extremists torched the building of the Evangelical Assemblies of God-Tanzania (EAGT) at around 2 p.m., said Pastor Leonard Massasa, who oversees Zanzibar’s EAGT churches. The assailants were shouting, “Away with the church – we do not want infidels to spoil our community, especially our children,” Pastor Massasa said.


Two bombs explode near churches in Jos, Nigeria

Security officials are trying to determine suspects and motives for two weekend bomb explosions in predominantly Muslim areas of Jos where three churches and the residences of Islamic sect leaders are located.

The explosions led many Christians to remain indoors on Sunday (July 31). One bomb exploded on Saturday night (July 30) in the Angwan Rimi area of Jos near a Baptist Church building no longer in use because of previous damage by Muslim extremists. A second bomb exploded early Sunday morning near a Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN) building on Sarkin Mangu Street and an Assemblies of God sanctuary in the Kwarrarafa Area.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Somali rebels allege famine claim an infidel hoax to make Somalis flee to neighboring Christian countries

For Somalia's Al-Qaeda-linked rebels, the drought devastating parts of the country is being exploited by external enemies, claiming that local Muslims were adequately addressing the crisis.

The Al-Shebab insurgents have expelled several foreign aid groups from regions under their control since 2009 and reiterated recently that the ban was still in force after the United Nations declared famine in two regions they rule.

Shebab spokesman Sheikh Ali Mohamud Rage denied there was famine in the southern Somalia regions of Bakool and Lower Shabelle as declared by the UN, but admitted that there was drought.

In a speech to the rebel radio, Rage said local traders and other residents have been the main providers of help to the drought-hit population and that "God did not make them need an outside enemy or non-Muslims, the people in the country fed them very well."

"We need Muslim people to be aware that the external enemy especially non-Muslims have been thinking of a new strategy.

"The new strategy is to transport them abroad, especially in Christian countries like Ethiopia and Kenya, so that their faith can be destroyed and that they could be staff and soldiers for the Christians," Rage charged.

Thousands of Somalis have fled to neighbouring Ethiopia and Kenya to seek relief from the harsh drought that has affected some 12 million people across the Horn of Africa region.