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Old 08-29-2001, 01:22 PM   #1
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Be Careful Where You Say The Name "Jesus"

Taliban to Try Foreign Aid Workers

Afghanistan's ruling Taliban militia said Wednesday that it will put eight foreign aid workers on trial for charges of preaching Christianity in the Muslim nation.


The eight workers two Americans, four Germans and two Australians have been jailed for more than three weeks.

Sixteen Afghans were also arrested along with the members of the German-based Christian organization, Shelter Now International.

According to Taliban law, the penalty for foreigners caught preaching Christianity is three to 10 days in jail and expulsion. The penalty for an Afghan who converts to Christianity is death.*

"After the investigation is completed, the case will go to court and the court will decide according to Shariat," or Islamic law, Foreign Minister Wakil Ahmed Muttawakil told the Taliban's official Bakhtar News Agency.

There was no indication of when the probe would be finished.

Bakhtar News Agency quoted Muttawakil as saying the court ruling will be sent to the Taliban's reclusive leader, Mullah Mohammed Omar, who has final say in all matters in Afghanistan.

Diplomats from the United States, Germany and Australia have been meeting Taliban foreign ministry officials to try to find out when an investigation will be completed into the charges that the aid workers were proselytizing.

The diplomats, who had been denied access to the detainees last week, said the atmosphere seems different now.

"They have engaged us with talks, which is something they were not doing last time," Helmut Landes, consular officer at the German Embassy in neighboring Pakistan, said of the Taliban on Tuesday. "We saw the detainees as soon as we arrived. This is all very positive."

The International Red Cross on Wednesday delivered a stack of woolen blankets to the detained aid workers at the Reform School, where they are being held in the heart of Kabul.

The Reform School is a sprawling, compound filled with trees where delinquent children, many of them arrested for begging and scavenging, are held.

The Red Cross truck delivered 24 blankets apparently for the eight foreigners and 16 Afghan staff of Shelter Now International, who were arrested more than three weeks ago.

The aid organization has reportedly been operating in Afghanistan since 1993, prior to the Taliban's takeover of Kabul in 1996. It operates in several provinces, but the Taliban have shut down all its projects since the arrests in Kabul.

It was expected that the parents of two jailed American women Dana Curry and Heather Mercer would be allowed to see their children again Wednesday.

On Monday, Mercer's father, John Mercer, and Curry's mother, who did not want to give her name, saw the two women, who are believed to be single and in their 20s. The meeting came hours after the parents arrived in the Afghan capital.

Since then, the parents have been confined to the U.N. guest house, where they are pacing the grounds, watching television and waiting to hear when they can next visit their daughters. The parents have avoided talking to the media and have refused to give any personal details, including information about their hometowns.

The other six aid workers being held have been identified by Taliban as four Germans Margrit Stebnar, George Taubmann, Kati Jelinek and Silke Duerrkopf and two Australians Peter Bunch and Diana Thomas.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

* emphasis added
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Old 08-29-2001, 05:29 PM   #2
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Old 08-29-2001, 05:53 PM   #3
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yikes! geesh poor people

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Old 08-29-2001, 06:12 PM   #4
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Sunday night on CNN there was a special about Afghanistan and the Talibans. Very bad situation over there.
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Old 08-29-2001, 08:00 PM   #5
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Fucking Taliban. Welcome to the 9th century. Just don't be anything but a Muslim male that toes their ridiculous line. Women are completely screwed over there.



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Old 08-29-2001, 10:04 PM   #6
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First off, just as not all "Christians" are the same, so not all "Muslims" are the same.

To think of all Muslims in the same light as the Taliban, or the radicals in Iran and the Palestinian-Isreali conflict is to say that Mother Teresa and Hitler are the same.
Both identified themselves as Christians.

I have to assume that those "missionaries", and so forth, that entered Afganistan knew perfectly well of the dangers they were exposing themselves to. I have to assume that they went of their own free will.
And henseforth surrendered their will and their safety into the hands of God, for the service of God.... For better or worse.
They follow in the footsteps of MANY past people of God.

This does not mean that they "got what they deserved". It does NOT mean that they should die. And it does not mean that the Taliban are right in doing what they have done.

It just IS. It is a fact.
Not the first time. Not the last.

"Killing in the name of Allah."
"Killing in the name of Jesus Christ."
"Killing in the name of Yahweh."

Human history is FULL of this sort of insanity (and Christians have been VERY good at it too!!!...Don't kid yourselves!).

So, God put us here to hate, condemn and kill each other in His name??
What strange "God" this Allah, this Jesus Christ, this Yahweh!

I think we'd end up killing each other for the color of our socks, if we could find no other reason!... No other reason to appease our egos, fears and insecurities.

Think of the irony: Of what the Jewish people have been through, throughout history, and recently through the Holocaust.
And see what Israel is NOW doing to the Palestinians. (Yes! the Palestinian terrorists kill innocent Jews! Yes... but do you honestly see peace possible by tit-for-tat terror, on both sides???)

Funny how the oppressed becomes the oppressor.

I can only pray for the captives, and hope.


...Oh yeah, IF you feel HATE for what the Taliban do here, or by what ANY group does, then you are in fact handing "victory" over to them. For you have allowed them to hurt and affect you. You have given them power. AND that is what they want.

"Geezzzz, Trash get off your soap box!"

Peace!!!!!
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Old 08-29-2001, 11:11 PM   #7
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I actually agree with a lot of what you say, Trash Can; I have visited a Muslim mosque with a predominantly Christian religion class before, and they welcomed us and respected our devotion to God; the imam considered our instructor, an ordained Methodist minister, to be a brother in the clergy.

But I have a huge problem with theocratic rule of government, whether it's Islamic, Christian, Hindu or whatever. Coerced faith is not as respectable, in my view, as personal faith of one's own choosing. And coercive faith is also oppressive.

We should not think of all Muslims as being like those who rule via the Taliban, as I know of many who say that groups such as the Taliban are blaspheming the Qur'an with their apostate death orders and such; but there are some other governmental orders that I have similar problems with, including Sudan (see my other thread), Saudi Arabia (where no other religion can establish a place of worship, by order of the law), and Iran (whose government has killed Christians due to the fact that they converted from Islam).

And, no, we are not clean as Christians; overzealous "missionaries" and Crusaders of the past had blood on their hands; but I think the instances of violence committed by Christian missionaries today are VERY remote. Most of today's Christian missionaries, predominantly Evangelican Protestant, Roman Catholic and liberal Protestant, are indeed human aid workers who share the love of Christ through medical care, food, clothing, housing and education.

The Taliban has a rigid policy of mis-information to the outside, so we do not even know if these aid workers even did any proselytizing. But I think they will be free soon; I am most concerned about the Afghan Christians, who possibly face a death sentence due to their religion. That should not have been allowed 1,000 years ago, 400 years ago, or TODAY.

And I also agree with you about Palestine; most people forget that Palestine, along with Lebanon, is one of the few areas in the Middle East that still has a considerable Christian population; and even within the Muslim population, most of them are NOT members of Hamas!

We had a Biblical archeologist at our church a few weeks ago who lives 8 months of the year in Jerusalem, studying at and out of the Jerusalm Center for Biblical Studies. His house is 2 blocks from the pizza shop that had been blown up the week before, and, until then, he ate there twice a week. He said he will not let Hamas scare him and make him leave, but he also reminded us that most Palestinians are not terrorists. He asked us to pray for everyone there, on any side or no side at all, peace for all, and reminded us that if peace doesn't come soon, we may not get to hear him speak again.

I even have a friend who is of Palestinian descent who grew up at my childhood church, we went to the same college together, and now we work in the same building. This morning, I read with interest a letter he had written to the Editor of The Birmingham News, and it reminded me of how close to home the situation in Palestine really can be to any of us. If you wish to read: www.al.com/opinion/birminghamnews/index.ssf?/xml/story.s sf/html_standard.xsl?/base/opinion/9990765092388029.xml

But the situations of religious persecution, whether in the form of a theocracy or the opposite in China, where practitioners of Falun Gong, Tibetan Buddhists, and non-state Church Christians are put in prison for their beliefs and practices, disturb me; it is sad that it is still going on today.

I DO hate what they do, but I do not hate them.

~U2Alabama




[This message has been edited by U2Bama (edited 08-29-2001).]
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Old 08-29-2001, 11:25 PM   #8
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NO NO NO guys! You misunderstood me!!!! I was NOT condemning all Muslims!!! NO NO NO!!! Just those who follow the Taliban and their idiocy!!!!!!

Or did I misunderstand you guys?

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Old 08-29-2001, 11:28 PM   #9
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I understood you, Martha. I was just agreeing in general with some of the points Trash Can was making.

~U2Alabama
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Old 08-29-2001, 11:30 PM   #10
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WHEW!

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Old 08-30-2001, 12:03 AM   #11
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I understand the concept of "hate the sin and not the sinner", but I still say "hate" is NOT a good thing in any case. Hate is a negative thing.
I'd rather "reject" sin. Turn away from sin.

I refuse to let hate rule my life any longer.

Peace.
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Old 08-30-2001, 03:43 AM   #12
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Fundamentalism sucks....
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Old 08-30-2001, 04:07 AM   #13
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I totally agree with Trash Can in the aspect of these people knowing their fate.

They knew what they were getting into and now they are being punishhed under the law of that country. If you go into a foriegn country, i dont care if its Afgan or Russia you gotta know the laws and follow them accordingly. And if you do not know the laws and break them its your ignorance that put you there.

note. I dont think this law is a very good one and the taliban are prety old fashioned.

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Old 08-30-2001, 04:19 AM   #14
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Sigh. My country Malaysia does not permit Christians to evangelise to Muslims either, but the penalty is nowhere as harsh as the Talibans. Muslims in Malaysia are free to convert to Christianity, but the price is that they get persecuted harshly by the mosque and Islamic community, so much so that in the past (or perhaps now even) Muslims have fled to Australia and USA to lead their new lives. Also, anyone who marries a Muslim automatically becomes a Muslim him/herself. All Muslims are also born into the religion, so their beliefs are deeply ingrained into them.

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Old 08-30-2001, 10:15 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by Christy Moore:
I totally agree with Trash Can in the aspect of these people knowing their fate.

They knew what they were getting into and now they are being punishhed under the law of that country. If you go into a foriegn country, i dont care if its Afgan or Russia you gotta know the laws and follow them accordingly. And if you do not know the laws and break them its your ignorance that put you there.
So, you do not believe in civil disobedience? If we just blindly followed the "law of the land", blacks would still be sitting at the back of the bus, drinking from separate water fountains, and not allowed into the white restaraunts.

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