... Back     Front page < 14 15 16 >     More issues ...

News and views from St. Mary's Woodbridge
Issue 7 Winter 2008

... Continued - Fighting for the peace

This week sees the start of the holy month of Ramadan, a key period in the Islamic calendar and a time of fasting and much prayer. Will it affect what we are doing? Yes and no. The contractors building reconstruction projects will largely stop, but then if I were not allowed to eat or drink from dawn until dusk I wouldnt be much use on a construction site either. Unfortunately this is not the same for Taliban fighters. Because they consider themselves to be fighting a Jihad or holy war they believe they are exempt from the fast, so for them it is work as usual bummer. What it does highlight is our huge religious and cultural differences. Is this a problem? I do not think so. We are not here to change peoples beliefs, religious, cultural, political or otherwise. We are here to help make this a peaceful country that cannot be used as a base for international terrorism against the UK. One of the civilian construction projects we are building (along with a number of mosques) is an Eid Square - a large park type area in Sangin with shade and toilets, where the community will come together (in their thousands) to celebrate Eid, the traditional festival at the end of Ramadan. I have no doubt that amongst the crowds there will be more than a few Taliban fighters enjoying the festivities. I hope they appreciate their new facilities.

Hope alls well back home.

The writing on the wall

I was hungry
          And you formed a debating society to discuss it
I was imprisoned
          And you just complained about the crime rate
I was naked
          And you debated the morality of my appearance
I was sick
          And you thanked God for your health
I was homeless and you preached to me
          About the shelter of Gods love
You seem so holy and close to God
          But Im still hungry, lonely, cold and in pain
Does it matter?

Graffiti on a wall in New York City