UK charity worker killed in Kabul

Discussion in 'Current Affairs' started by SILVER_FOX, Oct 20, 2008.

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  1. "A woman working for a UK-registered charity has been shot dead near Kabul University in the Afghan capital.

    Gayle Williams, 34, was a UK and South African national. She was killed by two men on a motorbike, witnesses told the BBC.

    The Taleban are reported to have said they killed her because she was working for a Christian organisation called Serve Afghanistan".

    Full Story is here.

    The question of whether it is particularly clever for civilian aid workers, particularly those who represent Christian Charities, to go and work in these areas has been bounced around for a while. Notwithstanding, none of us can take away from them that in some respects they are similar to us because they know the risks involved, they go there as volunteers and sometimes pay the ultimate price.

    My sympathies to her family and friends at this most awful of times.

  2. Some of the Rev. Peter Mullen's more outlandish statements on his Christian blog are coming home to roost. The Taliban find Christian missionary activity deeply offensive and have made this clear on repeated occasions. In Afghanistan where the rule of law is subordinate to the chatter of the gun, the gun had banished that which offends the Taliban.

    Personally I feel immensily sorry for a woman who, however naive, sought to put her beliefs about helping others into practice. Christians however need to recall their infamous past - as colonisers - when they imposed their faith on subject peoples, either as missionaries or slave owners. Muslims like Jews and many others have good reason to be suspicious of Christian motives and their Agenda.
  3. Condolences to the family. And Thingy, please engage brain before sounding off. This isn't the place for a dig at Christianity- well alright it might be, but not in exclusion.

    Much of what you said is typical 21st century western cringe. Christians do not have an infamous past particularly, people do. Invert your sentence and tell it to the people of Spain- they were pretty effectively colonised and forced to convert to Islam. Does that mean that they have good reason to be suspicious of Muslims and their agenda. Or is that relative because we did it last? Who started it? Does it matter?

    Religion was only ever the retrospective justification in the case of the European empires- the civilising myth was something we told ourselves to feel better about taking over people's natural resources and exploting them for outr own gain. That's not at all to traduce the beliefs of individual missionaries in the 19th century- but they were a byproduct of the colonisation process rather than the reason for it.

    Unfortunately, that's not the case with the Muslim conquests of Europe, whether Spain, or the gates of Vienna- which were avowedly done to bring people to Islam by the sword. Given the choice, to be honest I'm not sure which approach I favour least.

    Please don't go around slagging off Christians as being uniquely awful, and people that everyone else has "good reason" to be afraid of. It's inaccurate and unhelpful.

    As to this poor woman, she knew the risks and believed that she was genuinely making a difference to people- in a country heavily reliant on charit ybecause DFiD think it's too dangerous to operate. To be honest, I can respect that, and it wouldn't matter to me whether she was Muslim, Christian, Jew, Hindu or militant Athiest. Good people are good people.

    Telling people that the Christian west is historically bad is very good for purposes of personal atonement (if that's your bag), but in a world where all the other regions and religions aren't making the same concessions, it does tend to make us look rather weak and do the enemy's (whoever they may be) job for them.
  4. The Muslim fanatics will argue that any Christian aid organisation must be trying to convert people from Islam to Christianity. They will see that, or at least project it, as a just cause for their aims. Any disruption to restoring the Afghan infrastructure is germane to their cause. If they can justify it as an attack on the anti Islamic, all the better it will look in the eyes of the ordinary Afghani; or so they probably believe.

    An inexcusable act or barbarity against an ordinary girl, who's only "crime" was to be a Christian, with the urge and commitment to help her fellow humans. It seems very unlikely that she was anything remotely like an evangelical missionary.

    As an atheist, I could reflect on similar barbarities in the past, committed in the name of Christianity; but for personal or political ends. Perhaps some of us have made progress over the last 300 years. Bless her memory.
  5. Condolences to the family.

    These people are living in a time warp along with most religious fanatical groups.
  6. I agree with Kinross in that you don't have to be Christian to be awful. Being Human is usually enough.

  7. No, it's based on direct personal experience of being told to my face by Christians who have clearly never sinned in their entire lives, that gays are no different to paedophiles and that if I convert to Christianity I will be cured and saved. :threaten:

    Are you saying that Christians aren't people? To be fair it might be more correct to say that historically people calling themselves Christians, and their counterparts today.... I suggest you follow the debate throught the US at the moment about civil partnerships and the claims being made about gays by the Christian majority. You might also like to see what Christian people are calling to be done to gays in Nigeria, Uganda and even in London, though apparently that was a joke.

    Spain suffered as a result of the action of the earlier Crusades. Prior to these attempts to impose Christian ideology there was no physical conflict with Islam. Spain was the architect of her own actions.

    Many of my family were and are still Christian missionaries! A distant relative is a former Chaplain of the Fleet! I seriously wanted to enter the (RC) church as a priest before I knew I was gay.

    I'm not, but my direct experience of Christian "compassion" and their peculiar notion of "unconditional" love has been very unpleasant over the years. Interestingly all the Muslims seem to practice Christianity better that those who profess their ideology/faith, though of course it would be churlish to tar all Christians with the same brush. For example I hold Simon Barrow (of Ekklesia) in very high esteem.

    I also attack the Eastern church and all religions that twist their scripture to justify pogroms/hateful acts. Islam faces as strong criticism from me, though I conceed that I have always found it difficult to criticise Israel because of the virulent anti-Semitism of some of my ("Christian") relatives which has made me into a humanist Zionist! ^_^;
  8. Oh feck it..... I bit! o_O
  9. Thingy, I'm not attacking your sexuality or, I would suggest, overly standing up for Christianity. However, you do seem to have (understandably) allowed your own experience to colour your opinions (and, again I'm not saying that's a failing on your part- it's entirely understandable). Bigots come in all flavours- you've come across many Christian ones because of family circumstance. If you were a Muslim though they wouldn't be telling you you could be saved so much as trying to put you to death.

    I wasn't saying that Christians aren't people- rather the reverse, what I was saying was that all Christians are people, de facto and de jure. However, my point was that all people of whatever race, creed, colour and sexual preference have been guilty of what you were accusing the Christians in particular of doing.

    "Spain suffered as a result of the action of the earlier Crusades"

    True, absolutely but then I did say that it's a pretty tedious argument to try and work out who started it- viz your next comment

    "Prior to these attempts....there was no physical conflict with Islam"

    Rubbish- strictly chronologically the Jews got there first of the religions still extant today so by your reckoning of who did what to whom they should surely be priveleged by virtue of primacy. Next up came the Christians, then Mohammed. At this stage of history the Christians (and the Jews)weren't putting anyone to death for failing to conform to their tenets. The early Muslims were, which is how they came to occupy previously Jewish/Christian areas (see what I mean about tedious argument? :thumright: ). The First Crusade was a response to this. Blood on everyones' hands on both sides but like I say- trying to say something's wrong because the Christians started it when you have to go back 900 years to do so is pretty meaningless. Go back another 600 years on top of that and the boot's on the other foot.

    I acknowledge the argument that in the Muslim world they say the Crusades are responsible for all this but, as with any dispute, that is because that is the version of the facts that suits them. Personally, I think it would be much better if everybody focused on the future than getting bogged down in the past but I fear that it will go on for as longt as the world turns.

    Of course there are still Christian missionaries, but they are no longer overtly backed up by the full machinery of an imperial state.

    Hope this goes some way towards perhaps better explaining what I ws getting at.
  10. Whilst like every one else I mourn the sad and pointless taking of this life I would suggest that those who suggest that such poinless killing is the preserve of Islam. It is not that long ago that in this country you could be killed for being a member of the wrong church, it is not that long ago since Orthodox Christian Serbs tried to ethnicly cleanse Catholics and Muslims from land they wanted, and for many years Jews have persecuted muslims.

    Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.
  11. Right, I'm retiring from this- shows what a bl**dy minefield religion is. Maxi I agree with you, I was trying to say that no-one has a monopoly on violent behaviour. You could even throw the athiests in (viz Spanish anarcho-syndicalists and anti-clerical pogroms in the 30s) but that is because regardless of religion I genuinely believe that the world divides into good guys and bad guys- and that the faultline cuts across everything else. I've known good Muslims and bad Christians and vice versa.

    Anyway, anyone seen the trailer for the new Bond film? :thumright:
  12. Valid point. I was actually radicalised, for want of a better word, when I received two written death threats from Christians who objected to the topic of my then criminology dissertation. The police apparently couldn't do anything unless they actually made an attempt/suceeded in taking, my life. So I'm afraid that I get rather tired of Christians portraying themselves as victims of persecution when they are so active in persecuting others, and are able to do so with de facto legal impunity.

    However in your case kinross_special :cuddle: There, you see, I like you really! :biggrin:
  13. No, I think I am starting to get to old for that kind of thing as I don't get the same urge to see the latest bond film, they tend to be variations on one they made before.
  14. Three jobs I know I can't and won't be able to do.
    1.Christian missionary in a war torn country[ 'cos I'm an athiest]
    2.War reporter covering battles'cos if they have a gun I want one too.
    3.bomb disposal cos my hands sometime shake with drink!
    There may be more but nothing springs to mind.
    Feel sorry for that girl,she looked happy and attractive.
    When will people come to their senses and not try to change peoples religion[if she did]
    I think she may not have and was just trying to help those injured children from war.
    For a peaceful religion'which it mostly is,some people are really barbaric and don't deserve to live.
    Hope a Harrier pays them a visit.
  15. I don't believe you. Written proof would constitute 'threats to kill' or harassment at least.
  16. Thingy Wrote: So I'm afraid that I get rather tired of Christians portraying themselves as victims of persecution when they are so active in persecuting others, and are able to do so with de facto legal impunity.

    Er ... anti abortion lot? Now theres a prime modern day example of those willing to do evil [sometimes very evil] on those who don't believe in what they do. Maybe it's the whole "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" concept which causes most of the bother. I mean, as soon as one starts the other has to return the favour, etc, etc.

    What a cocked up world we live in and behind most of the problems lies Religion and / or Politics.

  17. Of course if there are a couple of teachers who are paedophiles then all teachers are paedophiles.
    Not all Christians attack abortion doctors, in fact I don't know any in this country that have. Just because there are a lunatic element in America, don't tar us all with the same brush.

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