As you may know by now, ten relief workers were murdered in Afghanistan over the weekend, six of whom were Americans. The Taliban is taking “credit” for their murders.
These people were there for no other reason but to help people. They were medical personnel – doctors, dentists, nurses, and others, there to provide free eye care. According to the NY Times, this brings to 17 the number of aid workers who have been murdered in Afghanistan.
Secretary Clinton made the following remarks in regard to these tragic deaths:
Sec. Clinton’s remarks said it all. It is heartbreaking that these unarmed relief workers were gunned down when their purpose for being there was to bring medical relief to the people of Afghanistan.
As for the Taliban taking credit for this massacre, the Taliban claimed that these relief workers were killed for one reason, and one reason only, according to this AP article:
[snip] The Taliban has claimed credit for the attack, saying the workers were trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. The gunmen spared an Afghan driver who told police he recited verses from the Islamic holy book the Quran as he begged for his life.
But Grams’ twin brother, Tim, said his brother wasn’t trying to spread religious views. “He was there to help the people of Afghanistan,” said Tim Grams, holding back tears in a telephone call from Anchorage, Alaska on Sunday, after the U.S. State Department confirmed his brother’s death.
“He knew the laws, he knew the religion. He respected them. He was not trying to convert anybody,” Tim Grams said. “His goal was to provide dental care and help people. He knows it’s a capital offense to try to convert folks.” [snip]
From the accounts I have seen, while their faith inspired them to do this kind of humanitarian work, they were not attempting to spread their faith.
I wonder what kind of comfort this will bring to the families of the slain relief workers? Perhaps it will, I don’t know. But this whole negotiating with terrorists thing grates at me.
My thoughts and prayers go out to these ten families as they deal with the brutal deaths of their beloved family members, as well as to their friends, and colleagues. We stand with you in this difficult time…