Terrorism: Addressing the Westo-centric Bias.

Where is the sense of balance or proportion.? The data shows that less than 3% of deaths from terrorism occur in Western countries like the UK, the US or Australia.

The US Department of State, in its report on terrorism in 2015, reported that there were a total of 28,328 deaths from terrorism worldwide. The main countries where the deaths occurred were Iraq 6,932; Afghanistan 5,292; Pakistan 1,081; India 281; Nigeria 4,886; Egypt 656; Philippines 258; Thailand 75; Libya 462; Syria 2,748. No Western country was anywhere near in the ‘top’ ten…

…Our media relies on feeds from London or New York and is largely ignorant or unconcerned about the plight of people in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria. After all, they are not people like us!

From: “JOHN MENADUE. Our White Man’s Media again on display in London terrorist attack.”

full article here:
http://johnmenadue.com/?p=9852

More from the same writer:

…terrorist attacks in Australia have claimed the lives of only three people in the last decade’. ‘Australians have little to fear from terrorism at home – here’s why’.

Compare this terrorist risk to other risks in our lives.

  • In the two years 2014 and 2015, more than 318 people, mainly women, died from domestic violence. We spend billions to counter terrorism, but we spend a pittance on protecting women and children in the home.
  • Australia’s daily alcohol toll is 15 deaths and 430 hospitalisations. But blaming Muslim extremists is much easier than taking on the powerful alcohol lobby.
  • …during 2003-12, there were 2,617 homicides, 190 deaths from accidental gun discharges, 137 rural workers and farmers died from falling off vehicles, 206 died from electrocution and 1,700 indigenous people died from diabetes…
  • The Australian Climate Institute estimates that more than 1,000 Australians die each year due to higher temperatures which are very likely caused by global warming…

…But despite all the evidence about these risks being far greater than the risk of terrorism, there is no doubt that Australians are worried about the terrorist threat.

Why is that?

http://johnmenadue.com/?p=9434

In the Land of Blue Burqas (updated)

burqasIn the Land of the Blue Burqas by Kate McCord gives a fascinating insight into the people of Afghanistan, particularly the women, and how Islam affects their lives and relationships.

While Islam and Christianity embrace very different views of God, McCord makes use of a few common areas of belief to build a bridge to share the gospel.

McCord writes of how “Afghans almost universally believe in the concept of kismet, fate. Whatever happens happens because Allah wills it, no matter whose hand has accomplished the thing”.

She addresses this with a group of Afghan women while discussing a deadly car bombing in Kabul that destroyed a bus and killed many including a young mother:

“God told us not to kill. We cannot disobey God in the name of God. That is a lie. God told us to love Him with all our hearts, all our minds, and all our strength. Then He told us to love our neighbours. If a man kills his neighbour, he is disobeying God. This man who blew up the bus and killed that mother did not do the will of God. He did the work of Satan. God will judge him”

One woman in the room responded by sharing another story.

“Our town was at peace. We didn’t know war. We were happy. One day my cousins and aunts were gathered in the house preparing [food] for a wedding party. A bomb fell. We found pieces of dough, bundles of meat, hair ties, scarves, and scraps of bloody fabric. Even the part of the ceiling that didn’t fall was covered with blood and pieces of bodies”

… we all looked at the swirling red carpet . Each woman muttered “Tobah” repent.

After a long pause I restated what I absolutely believe to be the truth: “That was not the will of God, either”
“No,” the women agreed. “That is not the will of God.”

McCord gives the Christian reader a lot of food for thought.
She writes:

“For many Westerners, the question of who God is and what He wants for and from us is simply not relevant. We are, after all, wealthy and busy. For Afghans, it may be the most important question of all.”

And she confesses to something that I think affects most western Christians to one degree or another:

“Sometimes I forget to differentiate between what I believe as an American woman and what I believe the Bible teaches. America is my culture, and Jesus is my Saviour and Lord. Sometimes it’s hard to untangle the two. Afghans challenged me to try.

McCord compares various aspects of her Christians beliefs with those of her Afghan neighbours to show how the vastly different cultural beliefs affect Afghan views of God and as a result their society.

One example she describes is the Afghan view of temptation and sin.

I learned that in Afghanistan, the influences that cause or encourage a person to do what the society defines as wrong are the real sin, not the person who actually does the wrong. People are weak and must be protected. The society provides that protection. Any influence that tempts a member of the community must be eradicated, silenced, or walled out.

McCord also found that her time in Afghanistan gave her a new perspective on some very familiar parts of scripture.

Afghans helped me understand the teachings of Jesus more completely. The culture of Afghanistan today is much more similar to the first century Judea of Jesus’ day than my own Western culture is…

As an example of this, she writes:

I was often amazed when an Afghan heard a Jesus story for the first time and then told me what it means. Jesus spoke to a woman at a well, a woman who had had several husbands and was not married to her current partner. My Afghan women friends immediately saw the woman’s shame. No woman in Afghanistan can arrange her own marriage. The woman at the well had been used by five men, and the last didn’t even have the decency to marry her.

I found the book to be a an effective eye-opener, not only to an unbelievably foreign culture and religion, but also to the unbelievably naïve view that Western Christians have developed concerning the life and teachings of Jesus and how we’ve been taught to view them.

Richard Flanagan on Syria’s great exodus

In February 2016, Richard Flanagan was invited to Lebanon, Greece and Serbia by the international aid organisation, World Vision, to witness and report on the refugee crisis.

There’s a lot of talk about the refugee problem. I don’t see it. I see a politician problem. I see people who have no morality, no ethics, beyond their own advancement… (Richard Flanagan approx. 39 mins)

51 minute interview here:

(from http://www.abc.net.au/radio/programs/conversations/author-richard-flanagan-on-syrias-great-exodus/7794224 )

xnotes-on-an-exodus_jpg_pagespeed_ic_z0gz7co-nv

Flanagan’s essay “Notes on the Syrian Exodus” is here:
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/mar/05/great-syrian-refugee-crisis-exodus-epic-inconceivable-witness-lebos-islamic-state

Janine di Giovanni: What I saw in the war

Also


from: http://www.abc.net.au/radionational/programs/breakfast/’this-could-have-been-prevented’:-di-giovanni-on-aleppo/8118508

On my “holiday” reading  list:
morning

 

Speaking to those directly involved in the war, di Giovanni relays the personal stories of rebel fighters thrown in jail at the least provocation; of children and families forced to watch loved ones taken and killed by regime forces with dubious justifications; and the stories of the elite, holding pool parties in Damascus hotels, trying to deny the human consequences of the nearby shelling. Delivered with passion, fearlessness and sensitivity, The Morning They Came for Us is an unflinching account of a nation on the brink of disintegration, charting an apocalyptic but at times tender story of life in a jihadist war – and an unforgettable testament to human resilience in the face of devastating, unimaginable horrors.

to the angel of the church in Smyrna

The words of the first and the last, who died and came to life.

smyrna

Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.

“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

Revelation 2

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See also: Isaiah 44:6 and Revelation 12:13;