Tag Archives: September 11

OUR CONTRIBUTION TO TERRORISM

Bin_Laden_Poster2

Shortly after September 11th, 2001, I was visiting Ghana in West Africa.

I remember being stuck in a traffic jam with a fellow minister, observing all that was going on around us.   The streets in African countries are always full of people.   At the side of the road, there are stalls selling everything you can imagine.

At one stall on this particular visit was a rather large painting of Osama bin Laden. It must have been 4 feet tall. I turned to my friend and asked him why it was for sale.

Ghana’s Muslim population is about 14% of its total. Most Muslims live in the north and we were on the south coast.

He explained to me that people feel America is trying to take over the world and that Osama bin Laden will stop them.   I was rather taken aback by this remark.

I was shocked on future visits to see many pictures of OBL in Christian homes.

He had clearly made a positive impression on many people.   I also remember seeing a popular calendar on peoples’ walls showing people jumping out of the twin towers. Why would anybody want to be reminded? They were, in fact, celebrating a humiliating defeat for the most powerful country in the world.

My friend’s explanation interested me. Why do people think America is trying to take over the world?

The answer lies in America’s cultural pervasiveness, from the style of clothes to the type of movies and television programs we produce, the music, the attitudes and the language.

I also remember an incident on another visit. We had stopped for refreshments halfway from Kumasi to Accra, a five-hour journey. A vehicle pulled up next to us. A number of people got out. They all seemed to be Ghanaians. Then we heard the most awful language. Every sentence included at least one four-letter word. A Ghanaian minister leaned over and said they had all been in America.   Ghanaians frown on the use of the “F” word – any Ghanaian using it is likely to have spent some time in America. That’s the perception, at least, and perception is reality.

In another memorable incident, I was asked why Americans allow their children to talk back to them. I asked the individual what made him think this was the case. He replied that he had seen it many times on American TV shows.

American television shows are shown all over the world. I should elaborate and say that the worst American TV shows are shown everywhere. Jerry Springer fills the airwaves. Violence (“Action!”) is preferred over sex.   And we certainly have a lot of violent shows for export. Is there any wonder that we are seen as a violent country? America’s wars seem like an extension of that violence.

Thinking about the events of the last ten days, the terrorist attacks in Paris and subsequent events, we need to ask ourselves: How much have we in the West contributed to the present situation?   Nothing could possibly condone acts of terrorism but we may be inadvertently contributing to it.

Second generation Muslim immigrants are, in far too many cases, turning to extremism. Could this be their way of dealing with the daily contradiction that is their lives – trying to reconcile a strict religious upbringing with the degeneration they see around them?

President Erdogan of Turkey warned today of a “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West.   Many Muslims already see themselves as being in a war against “Christianity,” not realizing how unchristian the West has become.

Islam has very different values to those of the secular West. Muslims are deeply offended by the content of entertainment emanating from the West. Yes, they could turn their television sets off, just as they can refuse to buy copies of Charlie Hebdo with a cartoon of Mohammed on the cover.

But we could also stop producing trash! Sadly, in the world of entertainment, there’s little money to be made by adhering to the words of the Apostle Paul. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things.” (Phil 4:8)

There was a time when America was highly respected around the world. At that time, the country was more Christian with a population living more in accordance with the scriptures, though not perfect by any means.   Today, the US flaunts its immorality, especially in its entertainment.

The US and, indeed, the whole western world, would be wise to remember the words found in Proverbs 14:34: “Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a reproach to any people.”

THE STELLA COULSON APPROACH

 

English tea in a bone china cup

I can still remember Stella Coulson, even though it’s been almost 40 years.

She was a widowed farmer in the delightful farming community we lived in, thirty miles SE of Bulawayo, on the road to Beitbridge, the main crossing point into South Africa. At the time, we lived in Rhodesia, now Zimbabwe.

There was a prolonged terrorist war going on at the time, which affected rural areas more than cities. Today, the war is depicted as a racial conflict between the majority black population and the ruling minority whites. It was not as simple as that. 78% of the “white” army was black, rising to 82% by the end of the seven-year conflict. There was also a great deal of tension between the two main tribes, which complicated everything.

Stella Coulson thought that everything could be resolved “if only we could sit down with the terrorists over a cup of tea and discuss our differences”!

I’ve heard similar comments on both sides of the Atlantic about ISIS.

Compromise is very much a part of the Anglo-Saxon mindset and heritage. It’s deeply ingrained in our culture and our national psyche.

Another term for it is “appeasement.”

In 1938, British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain flew to Munich for discussions with Hitler and returned promising “peace in our time.” A year later, Britain and Germany were at war. All Chamberlain had achieved was a few months of peace by throwing Czechoslovakia to the German wolves.   I do not know whether tea was on the table during his discussions with Hitler but the outcome showed clearly the pointlessness of discussions with people who are clearly unreasonable. They want what they want and won’t stop until they get it!

To a certain extent, I can understand Chamberlain’s thinking.   And even Stella Coulson’s.   When you want peace, it’s hard to imagine that others don’t. But they really don’t! There are plenty of lessons from history that illustrate this.

Although Anglo-Saxons may always be ready to compromise, terrorists will not stop until they get everything they want. They are driven by a desire for power and money. Religious extremism may be the driving force, or rather an excuse. Power and wealth are the main objectives.

And that’s what ISIS is all about – religious extremism, power and wealth.   They established a Caliphate a few weeks ago, an area as big as Great Britain, and now want to see it expand until it encompasses the entire Muslim world. Long before that goal is realized, they will pose a serious threat to the West.   It can be argued they already do.

When Stella Coulson’s dream was realized and the Rhodesian government did sit down with the terrorist leaders, it led to the end of Rhodesia and an almost total white flight.

Meanwhile, appeasement is alive and going strong in western countries, where there are plenty of Stella Coulsons.

Last Saturday, the National Cathedral in Washington DC, the closest equivalent to England’s Westminster Abbey, hosted a Muslim service.   One female member of the church protested, pointing to a statue of Christ on the cross, reminding everybody that salvation is only possible through Him (Acts 4:12) and that a Muslim worship service in the cathedral desecrated the historic church. She was promptly removed.

Sadly, the parents of Peter Kassig, the latest hostage beheaded by ISIS, will be holding a combined Christian-Jewish-Muslim funeral service.

We are likely to see a bad case of appeasement when discussions with Iran end this month. Meanwhile, Washington is pressuring Israel to appease the Palestinians over their demands, which will seriously weaken the Jewish nation. President Obama’s executive order on immigration also shows an attitude of appeasement There’s an estimated 11 million illegal aliens. Every single one has broken the law. The solution? Give half of them the right to stay here legally.   This will only mean more people entering the country illegally, hoping for a similar future amnesty. Why have laws at all?

When a future Edward Gibbon writes a monumental definitive tome on the “Decline and Fall of the Anglo-Saxon Empire,” he or she will marvel at how quickly Islam gained a foothold in our countries, following September 11th.   You would think 9/11 would have been a wake-up call. Instead, we’ve seen tens of thousands convert to Islam and hundreds enthusiastically volunteer to fight with ISIS.   It is also remarkable that the first newly elected president after 9-11 had definite Muslim connections, through his father and the school he attended in Indonesia.

This is a classic example of what the Prophet Isaiah was talking about in Isaiah 30:10 “And (say) to the prophets, “Do not prophesy to us right things; Speak to us smooth things, prophesy deceits.”

Appeasement anyone?