Tanzanian Islamic weekly condemns "church`s armed forces"
BBC Monitoring Africa
April 20, 2012
A Kenyan army soldier wears a helmet on which he has written “In God we trust” at his base in Liboi, near the Somali border, in Kenya Monday, Feb. 20, 2012. AP PHOTO
Text of commentary entitled "The puzzle of the church`s armed forces" published by Tanzanian weekly Islamic newspaper An-Nuur on 13 April
An-Nuur newspaper on its Issue 122 of November 7 1997 carried a report that stated: Christian forces meet. The report said that members of the Christian forces held a meeting at the Sheraton in Kampala, Uganda.
The meeting, which brought together more than 150 soldiers representing their fellow Christian soldiers, was officially opened by the then [Ugandan] minister of state for regional cooperation (Africa and the Middle East), Miss Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga. Rebecca is current the Speaker in Uganda`s parliament.
Quoting the [Ugandan state-owned] New Vision newspaper, An-Nuur stated that the meeting was organized under the Association of Military Christian Fellowship for East and North East Africa (AMCF) and was attended by members from Tanzania, Uganda, Kenya, Sudan, Rwanda, Ethiopia, Ghana, Congo (Kinshasa) and Eritrea.
What is AMCF? A report from the AMCF in reply to the question "who are we" stated that it is a group of Christian soldiers, which provides them with an opportunity and a platform to meet as Christian soldiers in order to perform their army duties as guided by Christ.
There is a Christian saying that goes `Jesus with us`. In AMCF, all are required to be one in Jesus Christ.
According to its history, it originated back in 1930. However, its roots can be traced to 1851. Officers of the British army based in India started religious classes on reading the Bible and praying. Because of these classes, they started something which they called The British Officers `Christian Union and the Soldiers and Airmen`s Scripture Readers Association. After a while, the party spread to almost all European Soldiers.
In 1930, members from Germany, Britain, Holland and Sweden met at Zuylen Castle, Holland. This is where the international party of Christian soldiers was launched officially and named Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF) its first president being a Dutch, Baron Von Tuyll from Holland.
In 1965, leadership went to the British army general, Gen Sir Robert Ewbank, who led the Christian soldiers till 1976 then handing over to Gen Clay Buckingham from America. When our soldiers of the TPDF [Tanzania People`s Defence Forces], who are members of the Christian soldiers attended the Kampala meeting in 1997, the then president was a British army general, Gen Sir Lawrence New who had taken over the presidency in 1991. At the moment, the fifth president of AMCF is Gen Lee Pil Sup from South Korea who took over from 2002.
One of the main duties of the AMCF president is said to be visiting different countries and enlighten then on starting military Christian fellowships.
Currently, the AMCF has members from more than 120 countries where one country could have more than one group of Christian soldiers however working low key without registration.
One of the AMCF documents states that the military and the armed forces are not just the soldiers, the police, fire fighters and even law enforcement bodies in some countries are allowed to join.
Now leave alone the AMCF, there is also `the fellowship` also known as `the family` (Christian organization), this was started in America back in 1935 with Abraham Vereide as its founder, its aims were similar to those of the AMCF but the main target being to create a network to control and guide politicians, government officials, parliament and the military on how to do things in accordance to Christian interests.
This is the network now controlling the American government, parliament, the military and Americas external politics. Americas activities in Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Somalia and elsewhere are first planned in the `the family` classes where politicians are guided on what to do. If you want to know the strength of `the family`, you will be content to know that the Florida vote which was to decide who would be the president of America between Albert Arnold `Al Gore` jr and George W Bush, judges who were part of `the family` classes are the ones who voted to stop a recount of the votes. Fellowship have also been mentioned to be behind the interference of the votes in the states of Ohio, New Mexico, Nevada among others to ensure that one of their members, George W. Bush wins. (Wayne Madsen, `expose: The "Christian" Mafia: Where those who run the U.S Government came from and where they are taking us.)
A report in the Los Angeles Times stated that because of the vows administered in secrecy, there is no way the members of `the family` will ever reveal what they talk about in their bible meetings in `the fellowship`. (Getter, Lisa 27 September 2002), showing faith in discretion, Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-12-28)
In 1985, President Ronald Reagan was quoted saying that he wished he could say more about `the fellowship` but could not since its operations were in secret. President George H. W Bush in 1990 in what is called `National Prayer Breakfast` stated that he did not say the operations of `the fellowship` were secret but rather of quiet diplomacy. Jeff Sharlet, The Family (Harper, 2008 p.25)
In 1975, while receiving work orders, the head of the fellowship in the South African division, was warned that there was no such thing as a secret document, once you write something you cannot avoid the dangers of it leaking. He was told that experience had led them to set up a policy where conversations and instructions were not be put in writing. (James F. Bell to Ross Main 19 May 1975. Folder 25, Box 254, "Record of the Fellowship Foundation Collection 459", Billy Graham Centre Archives.)
However, alongside all the secrecy, each year members of the fellowship organize an event known as the national prayer breakfast held in Washington, DC at times at the White House, the Pentagon or at the defence ministry`s offices. During the breakfast and Bible meetings, you meet all important people in government from the state house, parliament and the military. This order has existed since the reign of president Dwight D. Eisenhower till now with Barack Obama who has attended at least one `National Prayer Breakfast` since he came into power.
The ambassador of Jesus soldier has defined that `the fellowship` has been working in the military through another party known as the Officers Christian Fellowship (OCF). Those in military garments are sometimes called `Ambassadors for Christ in uniform`. It is through these that `the fellowship` joins with other Christian soldiers around the world through the Association of Military Christian Fellowship (AMCF).
Officials in the American army who are said to serve as loyal members of the OCF and AMCF include the former commander in chief of the army Gen David Jones, retired commander Gen Richard Myers, Gen James L. Jones, Lt-Col Oliver North and Lt-Gen William `Jerry` Boykin who led the investigative unit of the army at the time defence minister, Donald Rumsfeld.
It was William `Jerry` Boykin who in 2003 while speaking at the First Baptist Church in Daytona Beach, Florida said that America was a Christian nation that Usamah Bin-Ladin`s God (Muslims) was like a doll, not real. He is also mentioned as the one who ordered the torture of Muslim detainees in Iraq and Afghanistan just as those in the camp X-Ray, Guantanamo were being tortured.
The Guardian newspaper on 9 December 2003 mentions that commander Boykin in cooperation with Israel detectives started an assassination squad in Iraq which blew up Shi`i and Sunni mosques and committed the killings that led to the division between the Sunnis and the Shi`i in Iraq. At the time it was announced that those committing the killings were Sunni and Shi`i fighters who usually risk themselves (See: Israel trains US assassination squads in Iraq, world news, The Guardian and Sidney Blumenthal: The religious warrior of Abu Ghraib World news, The Guardian)
On 15 December, 2003 The New Yorker wrote that Boykin and Stephen Camborne were behind the formation of the special unit to deal with Muslims branding them as terrorists in what was called `the war on terror`. At one time when he was questioned by the congress whether he had formed an assassination squad in Iraq like the phoenix program in the Vietnam War, he said: "1 think we`re running that kind of programme...[ellipsis as published] We`re going after these people. Killing or capturing these people is a legitimate mission for the department. I think we`re doing what the Phoenix Programme was designed to do, without all of the secrecy." (Donald Rumsfeld New Killer Elite, 12 February 2006, Times Online (archived from the original on 2009-06-09) and Sami Ramadani Iraq invasion deception increasingly shapes coverage of occupation World news The Guardian).
Further displaying his hate for Muslims, on 26 September 2009 while making an addressing a gathering in St. Louis, Missouri, Gen Boykin told the listeners that if they wanted to help America then they needed to realize that Islam was the biggest enemy of America.
On the other hand, displaying that he was ready to use his life and his commandership to fight Islam and fight for Christianity, on 10 April 2008, while speaking at the Epicenter in Israel, Boykin said that he wanted to enter parliament with a stir while soaked in blood, covered in mud gun in hand from the battle field.
"And I want to say, "Look at me, Jesus. I`ve been in the battle. I`ve been fighting for you." Ladies and gentlemen, put your armour on and get into battle. God bless you."
"I urge you, `say Jesus look I am from a war, I was fighting for you`. Ladies and gentlemen pick your weapons and go to war (to fight for Jesus). God will bless you." He concluded his address.
"He has gained attention for his Christian fundamentalist views over the years and some public remarks. Boykin is a born-again Christian, who has cast the War on Terror in Biblical terms."
Concluded Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia, describing who Boykin was.
After speaking about this at length, maybe we should now go back to what happened in Sarajevo and Srebrenica, let us ask ourselves, if soldiers like these are part of the UN peacekeeping army, can they feel pity and protect Muslims?
Earlier we mentioned that one of the countries that participated in the Kampala meeting that brought together Christian soldiers who are part of the AMCF was Tanzania. We also know that, according to the Catholic Church in the country, that when Pope John Paul II visited Tanzania, the Catholic Church has an armed force. Maybe people would like to know, are the soldiers that attended the Kampala meeting the ones who make up the church`s commission of armed forces? Or what is the relationship between AMCF and this commission?
The American soldiers in AMCF told us that they would stop Usamah and Taleban because their God (Muslim God) was like a doll. Upon entering Iraq and Afghanistan, they raped young men and women in the streets and prisons. Just recently, after they finished killing several people in Afghanistan, they stood in line and together urinated on the bodies of the deceased Muslims.
But we also remember the other incident where other soldiers removed teeth off bodies of deceased Muslims and said they were taking the teeth with them as souvenirs.
The task force sent to keep peace in Srebrenica was from Holland, the country that produced the first president for the party of Christian soldiers, AMCF, who in 1997 organized the Kampala meeting and soldiers from Tanzania were in attendance.
As we read about these incidents and especially as we know the relationship between these soldiers and the AMCF, should we be worried about the situation in our country whether we will have soldiers like Boykin in our security and peace agencies?
Source: An-Nuur, Dar es Salaam, in Swahili 13 Apr 12
© 2012 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
Kenyan president calls for intervention in Somali crisis
BBC Monitoring Africa
September 10, 2008
President Mwai Kibaki is introduced to Col (Bishop) A. Rotich by the Chief of General Staff, Gen Jeremiah Kianga on arrival for the official opening of the Association of Military Christian Fellowships (AMCF) Africa Golden Jubilee Conference at Safari Park Hotel, Nairobi.
Excerpt from report entitled "International community must act to save Somalia says President Kibaki" published by Kenya State House governmental website on 10 September
Nairobi, 10 September: President Mwai Kibaki has today urged the international community to intervene to avert further degeneration of the current situation in Somalia.
Speaking today during the official opening of the Association of Military Christian Fellowship Africa Golden Jubilee Conference at Safari Park Hotel [Nairobi], President Kibaki urged the international community to fulfill the pledges they made to avail necessary resources to secure peace in the war ravaged country.
President Kibaki noted the many challenges that the transitional government is undergoing and called for the deployment of international peacekeepers to restore peace in the country.
"Indeed, the recent developments in that country will require a new impetus in bringing all the parties in the conflict to a process of dialogue that will guarantee the people of Somalia peace and security that they so much desire," the president remarked.
He also reiterated Kenya`s commitment to the vital role the military plays through peacekeeping missions that have enabled many countries in the world return to peace after lengthy periods of conflict.
President Kibaki said, "Kenya is a great believer that the military can play a big role through peacekeeping programmes that have seen many countries return to peace after years of conflict. It is for this reason that Kenya continues to play its role by contributing troops to peacekeeping missions around the world in the last 20 years."
The head of state urged participants in the conference to deliberate on the contribution of military in the entrenchment of peace around the world.
President Kibaki also pledged his government`s commitment towards promoting activities that would help achieve regional, continental and international peace.
The president said, "Today the people of southern Sudan are engaged with the Khartoum government because of the comprehensive peace process that Kenya helped to broker. Kenya was also at the forefront in brokering a peace treaty for Somalia leading to the establishment of a transitional government based in Mogadishu."
He also noted that Kenya was not only dealing with the challenges to peace and security at the regional level but also at the national level.
The head of state elaborated that his government is at the forefront in promoting an all-inclusive democracy by establishing the grand coalition government that brought together various political parties after the post-election challenges that afflicted the country in the beginning part of this year.
"Indeed, following the challenges that we faced early this year, we established a grand coalition government that brings together various political parties in our country. This arrangement has enabled us to have in place an all-inclusive government that is working for the Kenyan people," observed President Kibaki.
During the occasion the president advocated that the military embraces core Christian values and to always strive to become persons of exemplary integrity. [Passage omitted]
In his welcoming remarks, the chief of general staff, Gen Jeremiah Kianga, challenged military personnel to make responsible decisions and stand by the right while on the course of duty.
The president of the Association of Military Christian Fellowship Gen (Retired) Lee Phil Sup also addressed the conference.
Source: Kenya State House governmental website, Nairobi, in English 10 Sep 08
© 2008 The British Broadcasting Corporation. All Rights Reserved.
`We`re Dealing with a Christian Taliban`
Inter Press News Service
September 07, 2007
American troops are Christian crusaders invading Muslim countries
Last month, the Pentagon pulled the plug on a plan to dispatch so-called `freedom packages` to U.S. troops in Iraq that included Bibles, proselytising materials in English and Arabic, and an apocalyptic computer game in which `soldiers for Christ` battle satanic `Global Community Peacekeepers`.
Interview with Mikey Weinstein
The scheme was derailed in part because of the efforts of Mikey Weinstein, founder and president of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, which seeks to protect the wall separating church and state in the United States armed forces.
Weinstein, in his own words, is no `bleeding-heart liberal`. He is a 1977 honor graduate of the United States Air Force Academy, and spent 10 years in the Air Force as a `JAG` or military attorney serving as both a federal prosecutor and criminal defence attorney.
A registered Republican, he also spent over three years in the Ronald Reagan administration as legal counsel in the White House, where he helped investigate the Iran-Contra scandal.
St. Martins Press in New York recently released Weinstein`s new book, `With God On Our Side,` an expose on the systemic problem of religious intolerance throughout the United States armed forces.
Eli Clifton recently spoke with Weinstein about Operation Straight Up, which designed the `freedom packages`, and the Pentagon`s growing coziness with fundamentalist evangelical religious groups.
IPS: What is it about the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs that has made it a breeding ground for Christian Dominionists?
MW: Well, first we thought it was that there was this nexus of what I refer to as the `Protestant Vatican` -- in fact many people refer to it as that. Colorado Springs has over 100 of this nation`s largest evangelical fundamentalist Christian organisations centred right there for some reason. Just like a moth to a flame these organisations have been attracted there. That was our initial theory before we found out that this imperious contagion of constitutional triumphalism, this fanatical Dominionist Christianity had swept like a tsunami all the way through all 737 US military installations that the Pentagon admits that we have -- but it`s really closer to a thousand -- in 132 countries around the world. Seventy of those are in Europe of and 11 of those house nuclear weapons.
Let me make this clear. I`m doing this Q&A with you guys today as a man at war with the gun smoke in my face. We are not at war with Christianity or evangelical Christianity. We have many evangelical or non-evangelical Christians who massively support what our organisation, the Military Religious Freedom Centre, is doing. We are at war with a small subset of evangelical Christianity [known as] `Dominionist Christianity` and it represents about 12.6 percent of the American public or about 38 million people.
And at every one of those 737 US military installations that are scattered in 132 countries around the world -- as we garrison the globe -- we have one or more of those organisations. They`re called the `Officers Christian Fellowship` for the officers and `The Christian Military Fellowship` for the enlisted folks and these organisations have a tripartite, or three level goal, which they view as much more important than the oath that they all swear to protect and preserve, support and defend the constitution of the United States.
The first goal -- and they`re unabashed about it, it`s right on their website -- is they want to see a `spiritually transformed U.S. military...`
Second, `...with ambassadors for Christ in uniform...` which, parenthetically, hasn`t worked out too well for the world for the past 2,000 years.
And then thirdly, `...empowered by the Holy Spirit.`
IPS: Could you talk a bit about Operation Straight Up and the Christian Ministry? How do they gain access to soldiers in Iraq or film promotional videos in the halls of the Pentagon?
MW: Well we hope to have the full answers to these questions shortly as we are nearing the filing of our massive lawsuit against the Pentagon for these very reasons.
The Christian Embassy was a little known, under the radar, extreme right-wing fundamentalist organisation that was operating in Washington DC and ministering, if you will, only to the glitterati and cognoscenti -- that is to say the senior people at the State Department, members of Congress, and political appointees, specifically in the Pentagon.
If you go MilitaryReligiousFreedom.org you`ll see their slick, 11-minute video. It opens up with the Christian Embassy stating that there are 25,000 men and women in the corridors and rings of the Pentagon and through the use of daily prayer breakfast and bible studies and outreach events the Christian Embassy is `mustering all of them into an intentional relationship with Jesus Christ.` It`s really astonishing to see. To see senior members of the U.S. military and political appointees prostituting themselves with regard to the oath they took to the constitution and supporting the biblical worldview of just this one particular group.
IPS: What steps has the Defence Department taken to limit proselytising within the ranks? Where has the DoD fallen short?
MW: They are encouraging this. They aren`t stopping it. The report that the DoD IG (Inspector General) came out with was ludicrous. It immediately exempted itself from something called DoD directive 1300.17 which is entitled `Accommodation of Religious Practices within the Military Services`. They say that anyone who appeared in that video was not really trying to proselytise or express their religious views. They say that the directive is just dictating when you may or may not wear your uniform.
This is a complete lie. If you look at that video again you`ll see that if the people at the Pentagon had been doing a video like that for the Ford Mustang there`d be no doubt in your mind that these people were pushing Ford Mustangs as the best cars around. So the IG report is terrible. It doesn`t provide any remedial action.
Let me make it clear. We are dealing with a Christian Taliban. They hate when I say that but that`s too bad. If you look at Chris Hedges Book `American Fascists: The Christian Right and the War on America` you`ll see that the Christian Right is a fascistic organisation. And remember, I`m not a bleeding heart liberal -- not that there`s anything wrong with that. I know the Christian Right would love it if I were a tree-hugging, Chardonnay-sipping, Northern California Democrat. I`m not. I come from a conservative military family. My youngest son just graduated three months ago from the Air Force Academy. He`s the sixth member of my family to go there including myself. We have three consecutive generations of military academy graduates and over 128 years of combined active duty military service in my immediate family. I spent three and half years in the West Wing of the Reagan White House as one of his lawyers. I`ve been Ross Perot`s general counsel. I didn`t want to have to get into this fight. But when I say the Christian Taliban I frickin mean the Christian Taliban.
IPS: What consequences do whistleblowers within the armed forces face?
MW: They`re terrified. Look, in many aspects the military controls their lives. We are closing in on having our 6,000th active member of the U.S. military contact us not as claimants but as tormentees. And the amazing thing is that it stays remarkably constant that roughly 96 percent of these tormentees coming to us are Christian themselves.
Roughly three-fourths of that group are going to be traditional Protestant -- that is to say Presbyterians, Lutherans, Methodists and Episcopalians. We even get Assemblies of God, Church of Christ, Baptists and sometimes Southern Baptists. The other one-fourth of that 96 percent are generally Roman Catholic. And that leaves four percent who are Muslim, Jewish, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Shinto, Jain, Wickan and atheists and agnostics.
Basically what we`re facing are Fundamentalist, Dominionist Christians that are preying --- P-R-A-Y and P-R-E-Y -- on non-Fundamentalist Christians including in many respects other evangelical Christians that are just not fundamentalist Christians, telling them that, `you may think you were Christian enough for us but you`re not. And as a result, you will burn eternally in the fires of Hell along with the Jews.`
And that`s why I`ve got to be here to take the calls around the clock from our troops. Many times they will not give me their name, sometimes they will. Often times they will give me the contact information for their supervisors or their commanders and what unit they`re in. Then my job is I go call these people and make it clear that this is happening and suggest they make it stop or make them the next star on CNN.
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