THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM: WORLD VISION TO MORALLY BLIND TERRORISM

5 Jan

Terrorists, it is appearing, has three sets of standards. One for the “have’s.” And one for the “have nots.” And then there is the standard for those who “thought I was part of the club.” For all the years, Westerners have been accused of being conscious of labels, it is slowly being revealed, terrorists are label conscious too in determining who lives and who dies.

Margaret Hassan, the C.A.R.E. director kidnapped in Iraq was a Muslim by choice. The Irishwoman, a natural linguist committed to her new faith became fluent in Arabic, adopting her new faith over 30 years ago when she married an Iraqi student she met in London.  Hassan and Tahseen Ali moved to Baghdad in 1972. Hassan became devoted to social concerns in Iraq during the time she worked for the British Council.

Hassan headed the Council’s educational program until 1991 when Saddam invaded Kuwait. The British Council closed. Hassan, without a job, refused to give up her work.

 

C.A.R.E. Australia appointed Hassan director of C.A.R.E. Iraq after the war. Familiar with projects relating to health, nutrition, water supply and sanitation, Hassan continued assisting Iraqi families suffering from UN sanctions. Hassan spoke out on the failure of the sanction to deliver the political results Iraqis expected from them. The Western world joined her outcry against the policy of the sanctions along with her concerns the Iraqi people would fail under the new military actions.

While theories abound as to who stole Margaret, a conclusion that cannot be ignored is the new breed of terrorist with a filter similar to that Hitler tried to set into place. Muslim is not adopted but genetic. 

Abu Musa’ab Zerqavi kills fellow Muslims from Western countries he appears to no longer view as friends. Zerqavi traveled from Jordan to Afghanistan to join the Jihad. He lost a leg during the 2001 war against America. Stories are told Zerqavi cut the heads off hostages, himself.

World Vision, a humanitarian organization whose U.S. operation is based in Federal Way, Wash., suspended operations in Iraq a month ago after the fatal shooting of an Iraqi staff member. Portland, Ore.-based Mercy Corps, repairing water-supply systems, rehabilitating schools, restoring

electricity and paving roads, continues work in Iraq, transferring operations as much as possible from expatriate managers to local staff members.   

As Christianity became the Empire’s official religion, churches were built on sites identified as sacred to Christianity, attracted large numbers of pilgrims from all corners of the Empire. Constantine’s assumption of power as sole ruler of the Roman Empire shaped Jerusalem both materially and spiritually.

Jerusalem grew in size and population by order of the Emperor Constantine and under the auspices of his mother, the Empress Helena. Monks and clerics made Jerusalem the main stay of Christian learning and spiritual creation, their home. Church hierarchy made Jerusalem a patriarchate, joining Rome, Constantinople, Antioch and Alexandria. Jerusalem to Christians was above all else the actual site of the great events of the Scriptures. The conquest of Jerusalem by Persians in 614 was a bloody affair. Thousands of inhabitants were massacred. Churches were destroyed and damaged. In 620, the Emperor Heraclius restored Byzantine rule in 620. Within ten years, Jerusalem surrendered again, this time to the Muslim Arabs.

The Byzantine Empire was the eastern half of the Roman Empire. Its capitol was Constantinople. The western half crumbled into feudal kingdoms The Byzantine Empire survived for a thousand years finally falling in 1453 to Ottoman Turkish onslaughts.

Constantine the Great wanted Constatinople built from scratch as the center of the Christian world. Christianity began to fracture under the Byzantine Empire. The investment of Constantine and subsequent Emperors into Constantinople made it one of the most elaborate and civilized cities in the world. Surviving heresies amongst clergy in Syria, Egypt, and other provinces partly caused the sweeping success of the Arab invasions that began after Muhammad’s death in 632 continuing into the 8th and early 9th centuries. Within 10 years, the empire had lost much territory to the Arabs,  Syria, Palestine, Egypt and North Africa. Macedonian emperors reconquered large areas from the Arabs and Bulgars.

The Fourth Crusade, 1204, resulted in the fall of Constantinople to Venetians and crusaders. Byzantine exiles recaptured the empire in 1261. Under Palaeologus dynasty it was little more than a large city-state besieged from all sides. In 1453, when the last emperor died fighting on the walls, the Turks took the city.  Greek power, Trapezus fell to the Turks in 1461.

conflicting claims – first that he was beheaded, then that he was alive – contacted U.S. authorities Thursday and was safe in his native Lebanon. The Navy was investigating whether his abduction could have been a hoax.

Cpl. Wassef Ali Hassoun, reported missing from his base near the troubled city of Fallujah 18 days ago, arranged with American officials to pick him up Thursday afternoon in Beirut and bring him to the U.S. Embassy, State Department spokesman Richard Boucher said in the 24-year-old, Lebanese-born Hassoun since a dramatic videotape broadcast on Arab television June 27 showed him with his eyes covered by a white blindfold and a sword hanging over his head. His reported capture, claimed by a group calling itself “Islamic Response,” came during the tense run-up to the U.S. transfer of sovereignty to an interim Iraqi government on June 28, a period of increased abductions and killings of foreigners and attacks on U.S. forces. A neighbor in Tripoli, who refused to give his name, said Hassoun left Lebanon for Utah in 1999, joining his parents and brother. Educated in Lebanon at American schools, he joined the Marines in 2001 and had not been back to Lebanon since. He married an American woman two years ago, but they divorced. The neighbor and a distant cousin, Abdullah Hassoun, said the Marine wed a cousin in Lebanon by proxy several months ago. His father signed the marriage contract for him, which is permitted by Islam. the captors claimed Hassoun was romantically involved with an Arab woman, and that they lured him away from his Marine base and captured him. For Hassoun to reach Lebanon from Iraq, about 500 miles away, he would have to travel through Syria, which borders Iraq’s western Anbar province. His unit, the 1st Marine Expeditionary Force, is based at the border. Hassoun could be seen at the family residence in Tripoli, an apartment in the low-income Abu Samra district. The Hassoun clan member fled, leaving his shop open. A relative of one of the victims threw a grenade into the shop, setting it on fire, the witnesses said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Tripoli, Lebanon’s second-largest city, is a predominantly Sunni Muslim town where anti-American sentiments run strong.

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