Deadline

The Taleban have granted an 24-hour extension on the lives of the kidnapped Korean missionaries in Afghanistan, set to expire anytime now.

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The terrorists and their captives are surrounded by US and Afghan troops. Continue to pray for their release.

Differentiating Martyrdom

As if it weren’t self-evident by now, the Taleban are once again showing why they must be eradicated and extinguished from the face of the earth. They have kidnapped 23 Korean Christians (including 18 women) and will murder them unless all South Koreans leave Afghanistan.

If you think this is a ploy to get a Coalition country to remove its troops, you’d be wrong. South Korea has no troops in Afghanistan. There are 200 Koreans there, but they are engineers, doctors and medical staff.  They are trying to rebuild the country and keep its people alive. But then the Taleban have never been big on keeping people alive.

The Koreans have been specifically targeted because they are Christians. Even though they were on their way to work in a hospital in Kandahar, they are accused of evangelism, which carries a death sentence under the Taleban – though must be remembered things are not much better under the elected government of the country. Thus, I would not expect a lot of help from President Hamid Karzai in negotiating their release.

Their plight will not come as a surprise to them. Many of the Korean missionaries who go into the Muslim-controlled countries speak of a desire for martyrdom – exhibiting a ferver reminiscent of various Roman persecutions. But in an age where the desire for martyrdom is only ever seen in an Islamic context, the world cannot understand those who give their lives willingly without explosives strapped to themselves and who hope to see the face of the Saviour and not 72 virgins.

Supporting Persecution

While I’ve never been a peacenik or a dove, I am aware that the “War on Terror” has been especially bad for Christians. With all the focus on Iraq and the murdering of relatively powerless Christians in the midst of the struggle for power, I had lost sight of Afghanistan.

I was reading an article in the Daily Telegraph which mentioned that someone tried to have another person arrested on charges of being a Christian missionary. Afghanistan is still just as much an official Islamic state as it was under the Taliban. Girls may be allowed to go to school (where Taliban fighters or their sympathisers don’t kill them for daring to get an education), but they are not allowed to hear the Gospel.

According to Operation World, 33 Foreign aid workers who were suspected of sharing the Gospel have been killed. There may be a handful of Afghan Christians in Kabul, though there are no churches and Christian expats meet in private locations. As one website puts it, “Persons who convert to Christianity in the countryside do not survive.”

I’m not exactly sure why American and British troops are in Afghanistan. I hate to say it, but I have a hard time with Christian, or post-Christian, nations setting up or even propping up Islamic regimes that actively persecute Christians.  That’s before mentioning the foreign financial aid that’s being sent from the pockets of Christian taxpayers.

I suggest we pull out altogether and say, “Look, you tolerate Christians and stop tolerating those who persecute them, and we’ll come back. Otherwise keep your own regime afloat.”

Who Should Apologise?

I don’t want to give the impression that the silliness about Salman Rushdie is limited to Iran. Pakistan continues to insist that not only should the British Parliament strip the knighthood, but also apologise for hurting Muslim feelings.

I think a better approach would be for the British Government to withdraw all aid to Pakistan and for the outraged Pakistanis to return all of the filthy Christian and secularist UK money that has been provided to them. The first thing the Government can do is rescind the doubling of development aid over the next three years as announced last November. Why is this £480 million of my tax money being spent on a country that foments terrorism, encouraged by its government ministers? And that’s on top of the €60 million annually from the EU and the $3 billion (plus a $1 billion debt cancellation) from the US.

How about apologising for all the martyrdom of Christians in Pakistan. These are not like Pakistanis who have driven car bombs or strapped them to their bodies and thus become martyrs by taking their own lives and the lives of others. Maybe they don’t get Christian martyrdom since it doesn’t involve hurting others and a lot more than just their feelings.

What about those Christians in Charsadda, a town in North-West Frontier Province who were warned that if they did not convert to Islam by 17 May they would face “dire consequences and bomb explosions”? How about apologising for those hurt feelings?

Or what about 18 months ago when 3,000 militants attacked Christians in Sangla Hill, about 80 miles from Lahore, and destroyed Roman Catholic, Salvation Army and Presbyterian churches? They also set alight two houses of priests, one convent, one high school and the houses of three Christian families. This was all because of a false allegation that an illiterate boy had set fire to a special bin used to dispose of scraps of paper that have bits of the Qur’an written on them. This happened because people started to hear announcements from nearly every mosque loudspeaker informing every Muslim that a Christian had desecrated the Qur’an and that because of that Christian houses should be burnt and every visible Christian should be killed. Is anyone apologising for this?

So I agree with the Pakistani parliament that in light of grave offences, apologies are in order. They can apologise any time they like.

Iranian Entertainment

One of the funniest things I’ve read in the latest Islamic idiocy, an Iranian newspaper has attacked the person of HM the Queen for the Salman Rushdie knighthood.

Jomhuri-ye Eslami called HM “the English hag”  and “the offensive English royal”, and suggested that she personally paid Sir Salman £500,000 to write The Satanic Verses.

As quoted in The Times, “The insult of the English Queen for honouring a knighthood on Salman Rushdie has sent the clear message that from the point of view of England and its Queen, Rushdie’s act is a great and praiseworthy service to the slowly vanishing English Empire which needs to be acknowledged.”

“This act can be seen as a cover-up to distract the public’s attention from the sexual scandals of royal princes and princesses who are infamous and detested even among the English population, a population who cannot wait for the end of this hated monarch regime which stinks of the Middle Ages.”

Hardly does stupidity ever defy intelligent comment in response. Sometimes you just have to let fools speak for themselves.

Education Taleban Style

From the BBC:

A group of girls returning home from school in Afghanistan’s Logar province recently did not for a moment expect what lay ahead.

As they walked down a dirt track, insurgents sprang out of the parched farms and began firing on them.

Some of them fled into the farm, but two girls, one aged 13, the other 10, were killed in the ambush. Three of their friends were wounded.

The Taleban don’t approve of educating girls.  They’re not big on education at all, but they really don’t like girls going to school. Clearly they deserve to die for attempting to do such as outrageous thing. At ten years old they ought to know better.

I agree with the Taleban that there’s some killing needs doing. The difference is that I think it’s them what needs killing. They are a menace to the world.

Insanity in Islam

Christianity may have its share of crackpots, but if you are looking for the best value in insanity, pound for pound, you won’t find more than in Islam.

The British Government, in the name of the Queen, has made Salman Rushdie a knight of the realm. Now we could argue about whether his services to literature are really such that this is a deserving honour, but that would involve rational discussion and considered opinions, with diverse views on tastes for various genres of fiction. But how very un-Islamic of us to think this way in a post-Christian secular nation (albeit where Christianity is still the established religion).

Can you believe that the Government of this country considered honouring a Muslim citizen of this country without getting the approval of the religious courts and authorities of another country? How dare we.

You think I’m being silly and sarcastic. I wish I was. I wish I was talking nonsense. According to Pakistan’s religious affairs minister, the bestowing of the knighthood was so grave an offence that any Muslim anywhere in the world is be justified in taking violent action. He specified, “If David’s Daily Diversions › Edit — WordPresssomebody has to attack by strapping bombs to his body to protect the honour of the Prophet then it is justified.”

This wasn’t just an off-hand comment. It was made to the Pakistan National Assembly. Later he told a news agency that Pakistan should sever diplomatic ties with Britain if it did not rescind the knighthood. He actually said:”We demand an apology by the British government.” In case you aren’t clear on this, Rushdie is not, nor ever has been, a citizen of Pakistan.

This didn’t stop about 100 Muslim students in the city of Multan burning effigies of the Queen and Rushdie and shouting, “Kill him, kill him”. Burning effigies. Shouting for murder. Sane? Hmm . . .

And it isn’t a matter of one loose cannon in government. The Majlis-e-Shoora, the Pakistan Parliament, voted unanimously in favour of a resolution calling on Britain to withdraw the knighthood because it is an insult to “the sentiments of Muslims across the world” and has created religious hatred. I will agree that it has exposed religious hatred, but I really think that a problem for the haters and not the hated. I’m afraid that the idea that someone else is causing hatred and causing suicide bombing is patently nuts. In that the entire unanimous Pakistani Parliament is nuts, I’m afraid this is evidence that Islam has an awful lot of insanity on offer.