Monday, July 28, 2014

Radical Obedience: Hamas and Khaled Meshaal

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: "May they prosper who love you. (Psalms 122:6 NASB)

Khaled Meshaal, a Suni Muslim, heads the Hamas organization, which was originally an off shoot of the Muslim Brotherhood, and has the liberation of Palestine from Israeli occupation as its goal. This is a Muslim organization with three main branches, or wings: Social Welfare, Political, and Military.  According to Wikipedia, "Israeli scholar Reuven Paz estimates that 90% of Hamas activities revolve around "social, welfare, cultural, and educational activities". Social services include running relief programs and funding schools, orphanages, mosques, healthcare clinics, soup kitchens, and sports leagues.[57]Needless to say, the social welfare activities have made Hamas very popular with the Palestinians. 

It is not the social welfare programs that are the problem. The military branch excels at covert operations and have targeted groups that they consider moral deviants, pro-Israelis, and random unarmed civilians.  They view suicide bombings and summary executions as acceptable options, and celebrate the idea of martyrdom.  Criticism of Hamas has not been tolerated, and has resulted in execution for those dissidents who are brave enough to speak out against them.  

Although the claim of only 10% of their activities as military sounds nice, those activities are acts of terrorism, which is by definition "using violence and threats to intimidate or coerce". Being 90% humanitarian does not excuse the 10% of this organization that is purely terrorist, nor Khaled Meshaal, who heads this organization.  

The current conflict between Hamas and Israel is a perfect example of the tactics of these terrorists.  They have shot rockets into Israel and dug tunnels from Gaza to Israel "with our fingernails", with the plan being to send terrorists in disguise through the tunnels to infiltrate into Israel.  The Jerusalem Post is reporting a statement by Mushir-al-Masri, a spokesman for Hamas, who says that Israel has not discovered even a fraction of the tunnels, that they will build many more, and that, despite their losses, they are recuperating and will liberate Palestine from Israel.  

Terrorism is inexcusable.  
No matter what your objective, terrorism is inexcusable.  
No matter how many soup kitchens and schools you support, terrorism is inexcusable.  

With that understanding, please pray this week for Kahled Meshaal, who heads Hamas, and those who lead with him.  Admittedly, praying for these terrorists is not easy.  The prayer that never fails, however, is the one that we would do well to pray here.  Thy will be done. Whatever God wants in their lives is what we should want. Because His Word says that He is not willing for any to perish, we should want that, too.  For that reason, repentance and transformation should be a part of our prayers for these men.  

There is one more thing we can pray in this situation.  There is clear instruction in the Scripture to "pray for the peace of Jerusalem."  In these days when there is such threat of violence and destruction toward Jerusalem, we can pray with confidence for the peace of Jerusalem, knowing that it is the will of God.