Category Archives: Terrorism

Common Bond

A rally was held in Nigeria earlier this week to protest that government’s inaction against the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram (translated “Western Education Is Sinful”). The group recently kidnapped some 230 school girls, and is selling them into slavery for as little as $12 or “marrying” them to their captors [1].

Though estimates vary, there are as many as 30 million men, women, and children entrapped in slavery, as I write this.

Included among these are forced laborers recruited under threat of violence, by governments and political parties; chattel slaves abducted from their homes – bought, sold, inherited, and given as gifts; bonded laborers whose loans – impossible of repayment – can be passed from generation to generation; child soldiers; child brides in forced marriages; children engaged in toil destructive of their health and well-being; and sexually exploited women and children, now a basis for sex tourism.

If any of this sounds familiar to Americans, it should. The impact of slavery on our country has been immense. It is a lasting scar the extent of which cannot be summed up in a few neat words.

But slavery has not been confined to a single race or nation. Slavery is referenced as far back as the Code of Hammurabi and the Bible [2]. Slavery existed in ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome; in Ireland, Poland, and elsewhere across the globe. It existed among Christians and Muslims. Slave labor camps in the form of gulags were utilized as a political tool by Russia until 1960. They persist in China (under the name “laogai”) and North Korea today.

By focusing exclusively on grievances of the past – albeit, legitimate grievances – we may overlook the chance we have as Americans of every stripe to make a difference in the present.

The evils (and insidious after-effects) of slavery should, if anything, make America the nation foremost in seeking an end worldwide to that institution, once and for all. Instead, we remain a house divided, consumed by our own pain. Continue reading

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Child Abuse, Christianity, Justice, Poverty, Prostitution, Religion, Slavery, Terrorism

Attacked at School

Nearly 100 Afghan school girls are believed to have been the victims of gas attacks last month.

In Faryab Province, a man was spotted running toward the school’s orchard at the time of the attack.  In Wardak Province, police found nothing at the school which might have caused the problem. They could not rule out heat and a lack of hygienic conditions. One of the stricken girls, however, reported a “bad smell” and defended her school’s cleanliness.

These were just the latest in a series of incidents involving school girls. In May of this year, 80 girls were taken ill in Faryab Province; another 150, in Balkh Province.  Gas was suspected. In April, 74 girls fell victim in Takhar Province. The odor of gas was present.

The Taliban denies responsibility for these cowardly attacks. There is, however, great fear that the attacks will accelerate once Western forces are withdrawn from Afghanistan.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT: http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Physical Abuse, Politics, Religion, Terrorism, Violence Against Women

No End to Evil

Details continue to emerge re:  the Boston Marathon bombings.  Overseas, more than 800 recently died when a Bangladeshi garment factory collapsed.  Safety infractions are under investigation.  Meanwhile, three young women held captive for decades in what appeared an ordinary Cleveland home were found and released.

There is no end to evil.  We could daily find other stories of inhumanity in the news.  How is the average person to respond to all this?

It is important we remember that there is good, as well.  For every act of cowardice, there are countless acts of courage.  For every instance of selfishness, there are countless acts of self-sacrifice.

These may not receive the same press, but they are as real and impactful.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Terrorism, Violence Against Women

Darkness Rising

I do not pretend to be an oracle or prophet.  But the signs of the times suggest darkness is rising.

Since I last wrote, a billion dollars of client funds are said to have vanished in the MF Global collapse.  A Texas woman unable to qualify for food stamps has shot herself and her children. Overseas, a young woman in Pakistan was murdered defending herself against rape.  In Egypt, fundamentalist parties have won over 60% of the vote in parliamentary elections.

All this is not a reason to lose hope. Rather, it should be an alarm to men and women of good will everywhere – those reaching out a hand to help their neighbors, those working for peace and justice, and those fighting to protect the rights God gave all.

This is not a time to surrender.  This is a time to fight – not with bullets or bombs, but with kindness toward those of any faith or none, with truth whatever the personal cost, and with prayer.  Above all with prayer for there is a Power greater than our own.

FOR MORE OF MY ARTICLES ON POVERTY, POLITICS, AND MATTERS OF CONSCIENCE CHECK OUT MY BLOG A LAWYER’S PRAYERS AT:  http://www.alawyersprayers.com

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Filed under Abuse of Power, Justice, Law, Religion, Terrorism, Violence Against Women