Thursday, January 06, 2005

Infidels to the Rescue!

According to this AP report, the reactions of Indonesian Muslims to US aid in the region devastated by the tsunamis is mixed.

Speaking in the Indonesian capital, Jakarta, on Tuesday, [Secretary of State] Powell said the U.S. relief operation may lessen anti-American sentiment in the Muslim world and aid the fight against terrorism.

"I hope that as a result of our efforts, as a result of our helicopter pilots being seen by the citizens of Indonesia helping them, that value system of ours will be reinforced," he said.

Some, however, voiced a lukewarm welcome for the Americans.

"I would take aid from the United States or even the devil himself if it would mean getting those people on (Sumatra's) western coast some medicine and food," said Anton Hermawan, a doctor from the Indonesian Red Crescent, the Islamic world's equivalent of the Red Cross. He had bags under his eyes after a long journey by boat to treat the wounded in the shattered coastal city of Meulaboh.

Hilmy Bakar, spokesman of the Islamic Defender Front, which is conducting its own aid mission, said he was keeping a close eye on the Americans.

"It's OK that aid from the United States is here," he said. "If they open bars, sell alcohol or open prostitution centers, then we will fight them."

And here's an interesting statistic. Yesterday in Chuck Colson's "Breakpoint" broadcast, he noted that of the top ten nations giving aid to the region, not one is a Muslim nation.

Just yesterday, Saudi Arabia agreed, after much public criticism, to triple its originally pledged $10 million. Kuwait, a country that ran an unexpected $10 billion dollar surplus this year, also pledged $10 million—please. Since Indonesia, the country hardest hit by the tsunami, has the world’s largest Muslim population, it’s ironic and sad that these oil-rich nations are so reluctant to part with the riches that enable their leaders to live as kings and princes—even for fellow Muslims. By contrast, America with its Christian heritage is giving generously to non-Christian nations.

But, you see, this is a pattern. In numerous crises,
America, the beacon of hope to the world, has sent its troops into harm’s way to save persecuted Muslims. It happened in Bosnia, Albania, Kuwait, Afghanistan, in African nations, and is happening today in Iraq. But I have yet to see a case where a Muslim country has tried to help a Christian nation.

This speaks volumes about the worldviews of Christian and Muslim nations and the way we carry out our religious convictions. Right now there is a raging debate going on in Kuwait over whether more individuals should be giving charitable assistance to the people in southeast Asia. Some leaders in Kuwait are arguing that the government has an obligation to give more to southeast Asia because most of the country’s 1.3 million foreigners come from that region. They are the servants and the nannies and housemaids for the Kuwaiti rich. Editorials in Kuwait are even suggesting that it really is all right for Muslims to give aid to non-Muslims—a subject of hot debate in the Middle East.


At 8:19 AM, Blogger Shelly said...

What is also interesting to note is that a majority of these countries are part of what is considered the "Persecuted Church." Spread of the gospel has been hampered by violence, death, destruction - some places via the government.

This info is available at - Voice of the Martyrs.


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