I have been so engulfed with issues going on in America, that I have to remind myself to keep an eye on the rest of the world. As much as I would like to deny it, there are many important topics and debates that could affect our well-being, both physical and spiritual, and we must remain vigilant. I want to take a closer look at some of them over the next couple of days.
As I surfed the net, I kept coming across headlines referencing the small North African nation of Mali; so many in fact that I could no longer ignore them. But the one that really caught my eye was "Terrorist State At the Doorstep of France and Europe." This was a statement made by France's Defense Minister, no less, and the reason given for that nation joining forces with the African countries of Senegal and Nigeria in a combined air and ground assault. It seems that this former French colony has become so desperate in its fight against radical jihadists, that it could no longer battle them alone. While most Malians adhere to a moderate form of Islam, known Al-Qaida affiliates in Africa, (including those backed by the late Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi), have been a shadowy presence for years in the forests and deserts of Mali.
Furthermore, even the United Nations has acknowledged that amputations, floggings and public executions -- like the stoning of a couple in July, who'd reportedly had an affair -- are becoming common in areas controlled by these radical Islamists. They are applying a strict interpretation of Sharia law by banning music, smoking, drinking and watching sports on television.
And now that our country's leaders seem to be speeding up our withdrawal from Afghanistan, what can we expect to be the result? Have we forgotten that it was groups such as this that plotted an attack against our homeland from those far off caves and deserts? After years of fighting and thousands of American lives lost, do we really think that the Taliban and Al-Quaida will let Afghanistan (and now Mali) continue with their aspirations of freedom and democracy? And who will be next?
I'm just an average citizen, but even I can see that the West's pursuit of tolerance and appeasement, encouraged by the UN's benign policy for all nations of the world to respect the rule of law, has only resulted in further aggression and atrocities by radical ideologues who respect none of the above! But they are no dummies, either.
They deal with their enemies in determined and clever ways. They calculate the best way to infiltrate each culture; whether it be direct and hostile, or careful and calculating. In the case of Mali, a fairly new democratic, multi-party Islamist nation, the people can best be subjugated by threats of strict Islamic (Sharia) law. This is what the Taliban has successfully done in Afghanistan, as well. But in the West, we are being deceived by our own political correctness and the enemy's fraudulent misuse of our founding tenet, freedom of religion.
Because, make no mistake about it, the ideology being fomented in these distant lands is not as remote or temperate as you might wish. And the true enemy behind it begins with a capital "E" and seeks to destroy man's freedom; our freedom to worship the one true God, to live in relationship with Him, and to seek His justice and righteousness. So look behind the veil of world events and you will see the truth. It's the same battle that has been fought since the Garden of Eden.
1 Peter 5:8-9 "Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world."