An Insidious 'Cancer'
There is a cancer eating away at all of us. It started, as many cancers do, as one or two small insignificant eruptions. They appeared to heal but unbeknown to us, the cancer continued spreading its invasive destruction beneath the surface. Then it erupted again with a huge devastating effect. The cancer would need to be cut out. However, it seems that all the operation succeeded in doing was to divide and spread the cancer further. Will it ever be cured?
I am talking about the cancer of terrorism, about Al-Qaeda. It probably all started with the bombing of the World Trade Center
in February 1993 followed by the killing of American soldiers in Somalia in October of that year. Then a truck bomb blew up outside the Khobar Towers military complex in Saudi Arabia in June 1996 killing another 19 US servicemen and injuring hundreds more. Two years later, in August 1998, US embassies in East Africa were bombed - 224 people died, including 12 Americans. In October 2000, the USS Cole was bombed in the port of Yemen - 17 US sailors died. In September 2001, the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York were destroyed - at least 2,985 people died in this horrific attack.
In April 2002, there was an explosion at an ancient synagogue in Tunisia, the following month a car exploded outside a hotel in Karachi, in June a bomb exploded outside the American Consulate in Karachi. In October, bombs destroyed a nightclub in Bali, Indonesia, killing 202 people, most of them Australian citizens. There was also an attack on a hotel in Mombasa, Kenya.
In 2003, suicide bombers killed 34 at housing compounds for Westerners in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Bombs went off in Casablanca, Morocco. There was a suicide car bomb at the Marriott Hotel in Jakarta, Indonesia. More explosions in Riyadh, suicide car bombers attacked two synagogues in Istanbul and a week later, a British bank was bombed. In March 2004, ten terrorist bombs exploded on trains during the Madrid rush hour. In Iraq, there have been countless bombs and suicide attacks, Muslim against Muslim. It seems that civil war is imminent and that no one can stop it.
Now, this cancer has reached London with the attacks on 7th July followed by more bungled attempts to cause yet more carnage last Thursday. I hope they catch them - those four would-be suicide bombers. Thank goodness their bombs failed to detonate. These particular terrorists were weak mutations of the original cancer. It seems that they were ignorant, unskilled and probably stupid as well - 'Homo Hostilis Inscitus
' an offshoot of Homo Hostilis
! Unfortunately, it is the stupid and the ignorant who are dangerous, who are most likely to be 'brainwashed' into committing terrorist crimes. Now they have struck again in the Egyptian resort of Sharm el Sheikh.
What on earth does Osama bin Laden
hope to accomplish by all this? It seems that their principal stated aims are to drive Americans and American influence out of all Muslim nations, especially Saudi Arabia. They also want to destroy Israel and to topple pro-Western dictatorships around the Middle East. Bin Laden has also said that he wishes to unite all Muslims and establish, by force if necessary, an Islamic nation adhering to the rule of the first Caliphs. According to his 1998 fatwa (religious decree), it is the duty of Muslims around the world to wage holy war on the U.S., American citizens, and Jews. Muslims who do not heed this call are declared apostates (people who have forsaken their faith).
I used to think that other religions were just different paths leading to one God and that all religions were intrinsically good. I was naive. The Muslim hatred of Jews as stated in the Koran
is particularly unbelievable - see Stephen Pollard's article of 20th July, "Ban the Koran?
", in which he highlights the stupidity of the Incitement to Religious Hatred Bill. My dictionary defines 'religion' as:-
- The quest for the values of the ideal life.
- A particular system in which the quest for the ideal life has been embodied.
- Recognition on the part of man of a controlling superhuman power entitled to obedience, reverence and worship.
- The feeling or the spiritual attitude of those recognizing such a controlling power.
- The manifestation of such feeling in conduct or life.
- A point or a matter of conscience.
Perpetrating acts of terrorism is hardly the 'ideal life'. So why has the terrorists' Fundamentalist 'religionism
' taken a wrong turning? Why is it that this evil branch of one of the world's main religion seems to be stuck in the Middle Ages? And what about suicide bombers? They are like small greedy children believing that if they die a 'martyr's death', they will be rewarded by meeting 70 virgins in the after-life. I actually find this particular bit of the Koran a real insult to women. If there is an afterlife for these self-styled martyrs, I believe it will be the opposite of the eternal debauchery they expect because they will discover that they do not have a corporeal form after death! No, they will be in a hell of their own making.
That reminds me of a marvellous description I once heard of the difference between heaven and hell. In hell, there was a very large banqueting table full of marvellous food laid out in the middle of the table. The people sitting around it had been supplied with very heavy long-handled spoons, spoons with which they could reach the food. But they were starving and screaming with anger and desperation because they could not manage to put one spoonful of food in their mouths to ease their hunger. In heaven there was an identical banqueting table and identical spoons but, unlike the inhabitants of hell, the people seated at the table were happy and laughing. Being good and kind, each person was busy using their long spoon to feed the person sitting opposite them on the other side of the table. The moral here is that the state of heaven or hell is a reflection of a good and generous nature or of an evil and selfish nature.
Sadly, there is no easy inoculation against the cancer of evil but we will continue to fight it, to tease it out wherever it erupts. We will show the terrorists that we are not afraid and we will prevail because we have right and justice on our side.
Have I had my Head Buried in the Sand?
Did you know that suicide bomber's families were given financial hand-outs? Neither did I! That is why Joanna's comment on my "Compassion
" post for last Wednesday, surprised and shocked me. Apparently, Saddam Hussein was in the habit of donating $25,000 to the families of Palestinian suicide bombers
. And charities from other Arab states (some of them 'our allies') have also been in the habit of paying money to families of Palestinians killed in the fighting, including suicide bombers.
Now all this was way back in 2002 but is this form of passive support for terrorism still continuing today? Does it extend outside of Palestine? Will the families of the London bombers receive a large financial hand-out 'in compensation' for their loss? The thought sickens me.
Yesterday, I read a post by The Gray Monk
in which he reports this:
"It was interesting this morning to hear a young Muslim woman saying on TV that she felt it was right that Muslims should defend one another and support the struggle for recognition and their religion - but at the same time declaring that the bombers were soiling the name of Islam. She represents the dichotomy that all adherents to Islam face - the Koran specifically commands that they support and defend each other against "the infidels". It also states categorically that no "believer" - ie; any Muslim - is bound to give allegiance to any "infidel" or any government of "infidels". In other words, and this is enshrined in the Sharia Law, any Muslim living in a non-Muslim country owes it no allegiance. This is a major reason why, in any Muslim country, you will find no Christian (or any other religion) in the Civil Service or in any position of authority over any Muslim."
Well, what about Christian, Tariq Aziz
, who was Iraq's foreign minister under Saddam Hussein? But seriously, the thought that there might be some fundamentalist Muslims who live in the United Kingdom, benefit from our schools and universities and our health service and yet feel that they owe this country 'no allegiance' whatsoever is quite chilling.
We now know who some of the suicide bombers
were. Young men who should have had a long life before them - sons, brothers and one also a husband and a father. We cannot begin to imagine what convinces a seemingly normal young man to blow himself up and, in so doing, also destroy those unfortunate enough to be around him regardless of their race or their religion. What hatred had they absorbed and from whom? There must be some 'master-mind' behind all this, some evil coward who would never forfeit his own life but who is so misdirected and consumed by evil that he will twist the minds of impressionable young men and brainwash them into such a pointless waste of life.
And what else have these young men done? They have destroyed their families for sure. My heart goes out to the anguished mother
who reported her son missing. To learn that your child is dead is a terrible shock in itself but to learn that your child was actually one of the perpetrators of such evil destruction must be an unbearable sorrow and an everlasting shame. These young men were not martyrs because their cause was twisted and evil but in a sense they were victims too. Their families most certainly are.
We cannot condone their crime against the British people but we can and should show compassion to the families they left behind.
Thursday, 7th July 2005. Four blasts in London
, at least 38 dead, over 300 casualties, some critical and doubtless, the death toll will rise. Countless people traumatised. My thoughts and prayers go out to all the people affected by this atrocity; particularly those who have lost loved ones. This was a cowardly, inhuman act of barbarism apparently perpetrated by terrorists calling themselves the Secret Organisation Group of al Qaida of Jihad Organisation in Europe
Also on Thursday, al Qaida terrorists in Iraq have executed the Egyptian Envoy, Ihab al-Sherif
. That incarnation of evil, Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, is responsible. Al Qaida have issued a statement in which they say they are standing up to all traitors and crusaders and that Iraq is not safe for infidels because "God has empowered the mujahideen
". Are they talking of the ONE God, who is also our Christian God? Or have they got him mixed up with his impostor, Beelzebub/Satan/the Devil? After all, the Egyptian Envoy was an Arab, too.
My reply to all the terrorists is this. Our one, true God has empowered US against evil. We will not be cowered. We will not be divided.
John 8:44 "You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and he stood not in the truth, because truth is not in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof."
Did America vote the right way last Tuesday? I don't know. But I am not alone in wondering what is happening in the world. Are we heading to World War Three? I sincerely hope not. But what is happening in Iraq is absolutely terrible for the Iraqi people. How many of them have died or been murdered as a result of this war? Acts of terrorism have been increasing, innocent hostages are taken and beheaded, ordinary Iraqis trying to do a responsible job to earn money and to help their country are murdered because they are linked to the 'Infidel'. Why is it that religion causes so much hatred? Sunni against Shiite, because of a war long long ago over the rightful successor to the prophet Muhammad. Christian against Jew. Protestant against Catholic. Whatever our skin colour or ethnic origin, we are all Human Beings of the species Homo Sapiens - 'Wise Man'. What a misnomer! 'Homo Hostilis' would be a better name.
The Siege of the School in Beslan
Like everyone else in the world, I have been very shocked and upset by the terrible events in Beslan, Russia, this week. How can any human being be so evil and so wicked as to deliberately take the lives of innocent children? Absolutely nothing can excuse such callous brutality. What did they think it would achieve to hold a school to ramson and how did they envisage it ending? I know some terrible things have happened in Chechnya and that both sides have behaved badly and must share the blame. But, in the end, it is the ordinary people caught in the middle who suffer the most. Sadly it seems that terrorism is now a world wide plague - and I believe that the cure is dialogue. We must listen to these desperate people, try to understand their point of view and the politicians must find common ground to build on.Update
The news published at the end of October by Russia goes a long way to explain the behaviour of these terrorists, most of whom were under the influence of hard drugs and tranquilizers. It seems that the terrorist organisations also prey on those unfortunate enough to be hooked on drugs. By feeding their habit they make them slaves to their will and destroy their humanity.
The Work of the Devil?
What terrible events in Madrid this morning with nearly 200 people killed by the bombs left in commuter trains. My sister and her children and grandchildren live in Madrid, so I feel closer to the Spanish people in their grief. What on earth makes a human being become a terrorist? A war I can understand but to target people indiscrimately by blowing up anyone unfortunate enough to be in the wrong place at the wrong time seems to me to be the work of the Devil.