Tuesday, May 03, 2005

A Prayer For My Presbhyterian Brother

Douglas Wood is an Australian engineer working for an American company in Iraq. He has been kidnapped by a group claiming to be acting in the interests of the Iraqi people and their independence.

I wish I knew how kidnapping an Australian serves the interests of Iraqi people. Yes, I know our government has sent troops to Iraq. In doing so, it has ignored the wishes of millions of Australians who oppose the war.

Australians of all races and religions and political persuasions oppose the war and the occupation. Christians, Jews, Buddhists, Hindus. And Muslims like me. Leftists, Labor voters and Liberals (small and big “L”). And Conservatives like me.

But the troops are there now. Saddam is in custody. Iraqis have the chance to re-build their country. Independence is their right. But how will it be achieved by kidnapping an Australian engineer?

Kidnappings and harming civilian workers will do little to help us convince our countrymen to oppose continuing occupation.

Kidnappers who claim to be acting for Islam should be asked to show one verse from the Qur’an (the Muslim scripture) or one hadith (reported saying of the Prophet) which supports their actions.

The Qur’an never taught us to hate others. It never taught us to attack those who are trying to help re-build shattered lives.

The Qur’an taught us to pray for others and for peace. Islam is an Arabic word that literally means peace. Yet I don’t see much peace being evidenced in the actions of the kidnappers.

So I guess it is time for me to pray for Douglas, my Presbhyterian Christian brother and a fellow Australian.

God, you created men and women in a state of freedom from impurities. Grant your servant, Douglas Wood, freedom from all impurities of heart and mind. Grant the prayers of his family and friends who pray for his liberty.

God, you control the hearts of all men and women. Change the hearts of those keeping Douglas in captivity. Guide them to understand that kidnapping innocent civilians achieves nothing for the cause of Iraqi freedom.

Lord, hear our prayer for the sake of Your Beloved Chosen One (Mustafa), Muhammad (peace & blessings of God be upon him). Amin.

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