Missionaries Slain In Afghanistan

Richard Duboc

In an interview that aired on Aug. 8, Dr. Mo Qayuomi, Cal State East Bay’s president, commented on the recent deadly violence unleashed by the Taliban in Afghanistan.
In a conversation with Tomas Roman of ABC7 News, Qayuomi, who is a native of Afghanistan, asked viewers not to be disheartened by the malicious actions of a few.
“When they have created the fear they’re succeeding,” said Qayoumi.
The interview was conducted after it was announced that 10 aid workers, six of whom were American, had been executed in northern Afghanistan. The Taliban, which acknowledged responsibility for the murders, maintains that the workers were engaging in a Christian mission trying to impose their belief system on locals.
Although the victims were being funded by the Christian organization International Assistance Missions, its director, Dr. Dirk Frans, insists that “it is simply not true” that his agency is spreading Christianity. The agency has been working in Afghanistan since 1966, long before the Taliban existed. The victims had been delivering medical supplies to one of the most isolated parts of the country.
“(The Taliban) feel when they make something a religious event they can play with people’s emotions,” said Qayuomi.Dr. Qayuomi has recently spoken about his native Afghanistan on a number of occasions in the media and academic circles. He wants Americans to know that Afghanistan has an unlimited potential to peacefully rebuild and modernize.
The news of the civilian deaths capped off the month of July, which was the deadliest for U.S. forces in Afghanistan since the beginning of the war in 2001. Sixty-six troops died last month alone.
Faith-based charities and other non-governmental agencies are carrying the brunt of the rebuilding of Afghanistan’s infrastructure and they deliver much of the aid that reaches its population. According to the Center for American Progress the $5 billion spent by the U.S. constitute a third of the redevelopment aid, showing that Afghans still depend on multinational entities like the International Assistance Missions.
Aid work is fundamental if the U.S. and coalition forces are going to be successful in the region; success which will not come through military action alone. As challenging as it may be, Qayoumi wants the good Samaritans who continue to serve the people of Afghanistan to remember the importance of their mission and rise above the terror of the Taliban.