Psalm 13:1 “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me?”
20 years ago this week, 8 Shelter Now International Christian missionaries were taken hostage by the Taliban in Kabul, the capital of Afghanistan. Since 1988, the Shelter provided aid to displaced Afghan refugees of the Soviet-Afghan War. Russia occupied Kabul but abandoned it at the 1988 Geneva Accords.
After 9/11, the Taliban were driven out of Kabul and an American military presence installed to prevent their return. Here we are, 20 years later, weeks before the 20th anniversary of 9/11. Once again, due to America’s poorly executed evacuation of Kabul, the Taliban have just taken control.
There are many horrific consequences of allowing the Taliban to retake control of Kabul, but one of the most visible right now on television is happening, what will happen, to Afghan women.
Niloofar Rahmani, the first female pilot in Afghanistan’s history and the first female pilot in the Afghan Air Force since the fall of the Taliban in 2001, received the U.S. State Department’s International Women of Courage Award in 2015. She was interviewed on TV yesterday on this week’s Taliban recapture of Kabul.
“The world will be the witness of the Taliban. They are going to stone a woman in a Kabul stadium again for nothing” she said. She is referring to what happened 20 years ago to a “burka” and is recorded in the Prologue of the book “Kabul 24” when the Taliban captured those 8 missionaries in 2001. Here is this story.
“Covering her from her head to her toes, the burka was designed by sharia law. She was simply a burka – a living, vibrant human being reduced to an animated sack. Women bound by the law always wore the burka outside the home to conceal identity and make recognition impossible. And today nothing could protect her. Alone, contained by her burka, she did not cry for mercy.
If the burka did anything to displease her husband, her position was in jeopardy. If the burka committed any infraction against sharia law, she faced possible expulsion from her home. There were no educational opportunities for her, either. A Taliban fatwa cited the education of women as a ‘source of seduction and depravity.’ The burka’s place in society was that of property, dependent upon the interpretation of the law by the whim of the dominant male in her life. Frequently a burka set herself on fire if she suddenly became an outcast simply because she had been unable to adhere to the burdensome demands of the law; better to burn inside the burka shroud than to endure a lifetime of poverty, rejection, starvation, and abuse.
But what had this burka done? What law had she broken? Whom had she displeased? She did not understand the accusation made against her. Suddenly the beatings stopped, and the burka went airborne, tossed onto a rigid metal bed, the truck began to rock from side to side as the heavy weight of male bodies leapt into the bed, surrounding her and cutting off any hope she might have of getting away.
The truck sped through the tunnel leading to the soccer stadium and drove straight onto the field. The game stopped. The burka had never been inside a soccer stadium. Sharia did not allow women inside, their presence somehow an affront to Allah. They yanked her from the back of the truck. They dragged her to the center of the field. She could hear the amplified voice of the judge silence the crowd with the list of her offenses and Allah’s justification for sending her soul to hell.
The sentence passed; the crowd roared. The mullah offered no chance for reprieve. The burka asked for none. The mullah offered no prayers. The burka asked for none. Nothing could change the outcome.”
This past Tuesday, we witnessed the murder of an Afghan women shot in the head by the Taliban for not wearing a burqa in Afghanistan. Niloofar’s prophecy almost immediately came true. It was on the same day that the Taliban pledged to usher in a new era in Afghanistan that honors “women’s rights”.
Our verse this week, from Psalm 13, was also the same prayer of one of the missionary hostages 20 years ago in Kabul, as he prayed for the safety of his family: “How long, O Lord, will you forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart daily? How long will my enemy be exalted over me?” (Psalm 13:1-3). ‘Kabul 24’ is a must read.
These Christians record the Lord’s miraculous deliverance of not only this missionary and his family, but all of them by our Special Forces. You see, no matter what we see right now on TV, our Lord is in control.
The Evidence of Faith’s Substance_ _Article #462