Tuesday, 21 October 2008

Sugar and Spice and Everything Nice

Two girls have occupied my mind this week.

On the 20th of October, Ms Gayle Williams, 34, became another statistic in the bloody war waged by the West on a sovereign Muslim country.
The electronic and print media in this country were up in arms about the murder of 'our Gayle', not Gayle Williams, because that phrase makes her death even more poignant, like losing a dear friend, a good neighbour. The Mail said she was shot dead for'being a Christian' , another claimed she died for her belief, the Telegraph wrote that 'the Taliban shot dead a British aid worker because she was trying to spread Christianity', the Guardian described it as the 'death of a good Samaritan' and so on and so forth. Again the headlines screamed the image of Islam as the bad guys, and Christians/westerners as the nice guys. Who were the nasties when Americans killed innocent children and women attending a wedding in Afghanistan a year ago? There were no images of the victims, though there were 3 or 4 nice pictures of 'Gayle'. There were no eulogies in this country for any of the innocents killed, murdered, slaughtered, by Western war machines and policies.

Ms Gayle Williams was described as an aid worker with SERVE Afghanistan (Servicing Emergency Relief and Vocational Enterprise) and her boss who mourned her loss is Carlisle-based Mike Lyth. On TV he claimed that she was not a missionary.

Who is Mike Lyth?

Mike Lyth is also Director of Corporate Services for the International Coordinating Team of Operation Mobilization. This is O.M.'s mission statement.

"OM's role in the body of Christ is to motivate, develop, and equip people for world evangelization and to strengthen and help plant churches, especially among the unreached in the Middle East, Europe, and South and Central Asia."

To this end, OM arranges for tent-making missions (often run by partner agencies like Serve Afghanistan) to go to target countries in the guise of 'relief and development agencies', which specialize in outreach to women and young people. For South Central Asia (the Afghanistan region) OM has vacancies for a Community Health Project Director, a Community Health Worker, and a Physiotherapist among other posts.

Mike Lyth is also advisor to Firm Foundation Trust, which is dedicated to promoting Christian literature in Turkey.
Following this 'tragedy', Matt Wilson, the head of another 'charity' called War Child said 'we are monitoring the situation. If it became worse, then we would look at pulling back to somewhere like Turkmenistan' (from CNN). Why Turkmenistan, why not cater to the tribulations of the victims of Hurricane Katrina? They are still in need of care.
But Turkmenistan is now a source of recently discovered natural gas and the Muslims there need to be 'saved'. A good harvest is waiting. Hallelujah!!

The violent death of any being should be mourned. But in these times, the life of the Occidentals have more cache than the rest of us. Ms Gayle knew what she was doing when she chose to work in Afghanistan. But the innocent children and women and men who died in their homeland had no choice and no voice and no mourners.

Secondly, on the 17th of October, the BBC and the Independent among others were quite ecstatic when Professor Amina Wadud, visiting scholar at the Starr School of the Ministry, Berkeley, California made 'Islamic history' when she led the Friday prayers to a mixed congregation and delivered the khutba at Oxford's Banbury Road. She gave the sermon at the start of the conference on Islam and feminism at the University's Wolfson College.

Islam and Muslims are being pilloried from pillar to post, murdered as collateral damage, mocked and insulted in every possible form. Muslim societies are in tatters, innocent men, women and children are maimed, decapitated, crippled and killed like flies. I am no expert on Islam. I'm just a plain ordinary believer. But I do have 2 questions to ask.
How crucial is the need for women to lead the prayers for men at this juncture of our history? I say 'men' because women do lead women in prayers. And how did we get trapped into this Judaeo-Christian 'feminist' agenda?
I despair at the misogyny of Muslim men. I despair at the obsession with ' halal ' and 'haram',
'dosa' (sins) and 'pahala' (blessing) . It's as if our Allah has nothing better to do than to keep a debit and credit book on us.

What are we here for?????

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