Tag Archive: Afghanistan

A still of 2004 Osama bin Laden video

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Who will be the first lefty to condemn the killing of Osama Bin Laden? | Political Scrapbook.

Disappointed as I am not to be included on this esteemed list from Political Scrapbook, I would like to be the first ‘lefty’ to speak out against the killing of Osama Bin Laden.

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Cardinal Keith O’Brien, leader of the Roman Catholic Church in Scotland has called on the Coalition to attach conditionality to its aid to Muslim countries.

via Government urged to link overseas aid to religious freedom – thetorydiary.

Surely, the main aim of aid is not to attach the conditionality of  ensuring religious freedom, but to help the most impoverished people of the planet.

I am not theologist, but I cannot imagine that Jesus would have attached such conditionality.

Yes, it is only right that we encourage religious freedom wherever it is not present, but we cannot threaten to withdraw, or not to offer aid, to nations such as Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, on the basis that Christians in those countries have not the freedom of religion you can find in Scotland.  The aim of aid, in the mould of Christian altruism, is to help the poorest and most vulnerable in society, no matter their religion, or the politics of their state.

I must also point out, why isn’t Cardinal O’Brien drawing attention generally to a lack of freedom of religion in some states, and is only interested in members of his own congregation?


Voting has just begun in a week-long referendum amongst Southern Sudanese, on whether or not they should leave Sudan and go it alone.

Following decades of violence, it’s hard to see how the people of Southern Sudan will not vote for independence. As the deserts of the north make way for grasslands, forests and swamps of the south, the people change as drastically as the landscape. The predominately Arabic-speaking Muslim northerners are totally different from the tribal Christian or Animist southerners. In the north, 50% or more of children complete primary school, whereas this figure drops to closer to 1% in parts of the South. Infant mortality nearly doubles if you travel between Khartoum and Juba, capitals of each part of Sudan. Over 2/3rds of people in the northern Khartoum, River Nile and Gezira states have access to piped drinking water or pit latrines, as opposed to under 20% of southerners without any form of toilet.

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