Sunday, 9 October 2005

Should we help Pakistan?

Should we help Pakistan?
We have seen yet another tragedy taking thousands, even tens of thousands of lives, this time in Pakistan. Should we help?

Many will point out how people in Pakistan celebrated when the World Trade Center towers fell. They will be correct.

Many will point out how Pakistanis not only call themselves enemies of America, but they do so with pride. They will be correct.

Many will point out that if we help them heal and rebuild, they may attack us again. They will be correct.

But there are other things to consider. Yes, many enemies (who would love to see Americans on the endangered species list) are victims of this earthquake. However, victimized along side them are innocents and friends. Everyday people; mothers, fathers, grandparents, and children are among them. Muslims who do not live to kill are among them. Christians and people of other faiths are among them.

So, if we deny aid because our enemies live there, we will also be denying aid to innocents and friends who are truly in need of our help. And I would submit that if the criteria for rendering aid to nations is the lack of resident enemies, then we do not qualify to help ourselves.

Further, if we deny aid, our enemies will continue to view us as enemies. If we openly and graciously help, they may have reason to see us in a different light. If, through our support, we affirm our common humanity some will see us as fellow human beings rather than enemies. Of course, many of our enemies will think us 'suckers' and simply continue to hate. Those are beyond humanity's reason. But why not reach out to those who can be reached?

A good friend of mine married a Christian woman who immigrated (legally, thank you) from Pakistan. To see her on the street you do not see a Pakistani. You see an American. To talk with her, you do not hear an extremist. You hear an American. To laugh with her, you do not laugh with an enemy. You laugh with a fellow American. By the grace of God, her family does not live in the region that suffered the earthquake. If they had, I would not share in the suffering of an enemy, but I would share in the suffering of another human soul.

This is not a time to count the casualties of our enemies, but a time to lend a helping hand to our friends who are in their midst. I, for one, will help. Will you join me?

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