August 20, 2022

Subject: Christianity and Islam Part 20 – The Anniversary of America’s Afghanistan Withdrawal

Ed Croteau

Luke 4:18b “The Lord has sent Me to proclaim liberty to the captives.”

August 15 marked the one-year anniversary of America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan, which also was within days of the 20th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attack. President Biden, claiming the Taliban were cooperating to allow the safe release of all Americans, gave the Taliban total control of Afghanistan, leaving 1,000’s of Americans behind and 13 American soldiers murdered by an ISIS suicide bomber.

As Oklahoma Senator Jim Inhole wrote, “Biden’s decision effectively turned Afghanistan, a country roughly the size of Texas, over to the Taliban, a ruthless terrorist organization that continues to house and collaborate with al Qaeda, the organization responsible for planning and carrying out the 9/11 attacks against the United States.” How could we be so inept? Since 9/11, don’t we remember recent history?

In April 2016, the ISIS Brussels attack murdered 31 people and injured 340. Fathima Imra Nazeer, Assistant Prof. at Mount Ida College, issued a stern warning: “It’s time we take our blinders off and started openly talking about the connection between ISIS’s brutality and Quranic literalism. It has become far too dangerous to be polite and leave religion out of the discussion. It is clear that a significant number of Muslims consider the ideology of ISIS legitimate, honorable and worthy enough to give up their lives for.”

In his August 15 article, Senator Inhole explained how we had once understood: “The United States went to war in Afghanistan following the 9/11 terrorist attacks for two main reasons: 1) to punish those responsible and 2) to prevent any future attacks from being planned and organized from Afghan soil.”

Our goal was to hunt down those responsible for murdering over 3,000 innocent Americans on September 11, 2001 in New York City and to ensure Afghanistan, a control center for radical jihadist groups ISIS, al Qaeda and the Taliban, would no longer have the capability to orchestrate future attacks against America.

Senator Inhole also understands the cost in confronting evil in order to free those under its control: “The two-decade war was costly to our men and women in uniform: 2,448 U.S. service members were killed and 20,752 service members were wounded during the war. Yet the U.S.-led effort also helped sustain an Afghan government that, for all of its many shortcomings, prevented the Taliban’s resurgence, countered al Qaeda and the Islamic State, and afforded Afghans unprecedented freedoms for nearly two decades.”

America can be proud once again of our brave soldiers who brought freedom to Afghan citizens, especially Afghan women who were no longer confined to their homes nor subject to abuse for simply being women.

But the Biden “negotiated” with the Taliban, who promised new freedoms for its citizens, especially women, under the new regime. The Taliban entered Kabul, the Afghanistan’s capital, on August 15, 2021, taking control without a fight, with thousands of U.S. citizens and Afghan partners still in the country. Inhole explains what happened next: “By March 2022, they closed classrooms from sixth grade and above to all girls. In May 2022, they decreed that all women must wear head-to-toe coverings in public, just like the last time they ruled Afghanistan, and should leave their homes only when necessary.”

The treatment of Afghan women has reverted to the days before 9/11. In an August 16 article in ‘The Hill’, Angelina Jolie explained the situation in Afghanistan: “Women are again being beaten in the streets or taken from their homes at night and tortured, and the country’s jails are filling up with female political prisoners. There are reports of girls being kidnapped into forced marriage with Taliban leaders.”

In our verse this week, Jesus Christ is reading for the first time in the synagogue of His hometown in Nazareth. He reads the prophecy from the Old Testament prophet Isaiah of the coming Messiah, whose mission will be to free mankind from their bondage in their sin. When He finished reading Isaiah 61:1-3 (recorded in Luke 4:18-19), He announces to everyone listening that He is God’s promised Messiah.

The difference between Islam and Christianity could not be more straight-forward. Christianity means freedom through the Person of Jesus Christ. Islam literally means “submission” through the law. In his book ‘No God but One,’ Nabeel Qureshi explains: “In Islam, the way to paradise is ‘sharia,’ a code of laws to follow that will please Allah and earn his favor. Sharia is literally translated ‘the way.’ But in Christianity, the way to eternal life is a Person – Jesus Christ.” We must understand this as we watch the Taliban institute submission in Afghanistan and take away what American soldiers fought and died for: freedom.

Ed Croteau is a lay pastor and resident of Lee’s Summit and hosts a weekly study in Lees Summit called “Faith: Substance and Evidence.” He can be reached with your questions through the LS Tribune, on Facebook and his website