(Daily Mail) — A British doctor shot dead by the Taliban was part of a humanitarian mission that had helped 2,000 Afghans, an inquest heard yesterday.
Dr Karen Woo was executed alongside nine other aid workers after they tried to cross a mountain river in August last year.
The 36-year-old, who was due to get married a fortnight later, suffered ‘catastrophic’ injuries from two gunshot wounds in the attack.
Shortly before her death she had helped to save the life of a baby boy who was struggling to breathe.
Her team had been halfway through a 120-mile, three-week expedition in the northern Nuristan Province when they were ambushed.
Aug 8, 2010 ... Of course they denied any proselytizing or spying. ... previously for same charge -- trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. ... but one thing is for certain -- they never forced anyone to convert as Islam does. ...righttruth.typepad.com/right.../you-do-your-job-you-share-your-faith.html
August 08, 2010
You do your job, you share your faith
Ten medical workers were brutally killed by the Taliban in a remote northeastern region of Afghanistan this past week, who accused them of preaching Christianity and spying for Western military forces. Six of those workers killed were Americans, two were Afghans, one British woman and one German woman. Two Afghans survived the attack, one a driver and one an interpreter. They had no security people, had no armed guards, had no weapons. I question the sanity in that decision. So much for any religious freedom in Afghanistan.
The Christian organization sponsoring the mission, the International Assistance Mission, vehemently denied any proselytizing by the group and dismissed the notion that the doctors and those assisting them had spied for anyone. (LA Times)
Of course they denied any proselytizing or spying. I don't know anything about this particular group, but the doctors, nurses and logistics personnel were there on a humanitarian mission, having left their safe positions in free countries to devote their time to the poor Afghan people. Their payment? Their bodies riddled with bullets and left to rot in the hot Afghan sun.
Were they spying for Western government? Most likely not. Were they sharing their religion with those they came in contact with? We probably won't ever know for sure, but being Christians I can see them witnessing to others if the opportunity arose. The Taliban said the team was carrying Dari language Bibles.
We're told that the IAM, one of the longest- serving nongovernmental organizations operating in Afghanistan, is registered as a nonprofit Christian organization but does not proselytize.
Now let's look at reality. Christian groups send out "professionals" all the time to serve people around the world by practicing their trade. Do these Christians take Bibles with them? In many cases, yes. Do they witness when opportunity arises? I can't answer for all of them, but many do. It's part of the Christian faith, to go forth and spread the good news of Jesus Christ. It's our mission and we do it in whatever way we can.
When someone comes to an aid worker or missionary, they are sick, hurt, in need of medical attention. You have an opportunity to explain to them why you are there, what drives your willingness to help. If your family is with you, your spouse has the opportunity to befriend locals and their families, and to share scriptures. Christians take whatever opportunities they are given.
A Bible professor of mine in Hawaii spent 25 years, along with his wife, in Japan. He was the preacher in a small Baptist church. When a member of his church died and he conducted the funeral service, many non-Christian family members would come to the service. He told me he had more conversions to Christianity through preaching these funeral services than at any other time in his career.
Death is on the mind of family members at funerals, their own destiny may be weighing on their hearts, they may be open like no other time to hear the message of salvation and to accept the religion their dead family member had lived.
Volunteers, no matter what their profession, don't need to be ministers or preachers to see opportunities to witness in their daily walk to those that God brings before them.
It is interesting to note that one of the dead medical workers, Tom Little, an optometrist from Delmar, N.Y., who has been working in Afghanistan for about 30 years and spoke fluent Dari, one of the two main Afghan languages, had been expelled from Afghanistan previously for same charge -- trying to convert Afghans to Christianity.
The surviving driver, Saifullah, told authorities that team members stopped for lunch Thursday afternoon in the Sharron valley and were accosted by gunmen when they returned to their vehicles, according to Kemtuz, the Badakhshan police chief. The volunteers were forced to sit on the ground. The gunmen looted the vehicles, then fatally shot them, Kemtuz said.
The Afghan driver who survived "told me he was shouting and reciting the holy Quran and saying 'I am Muslim. Don't kill me,'" Kemtuz said. The gunmen let the driver go free the next day. A shepherd witnessed the carnage and reported the killings to the local district chief, who then brought the bodies to his home, Kemtuz said. (The Buffalo News)
There may be questions as to whether these medical workers were witnessing to those with whom they came in contact, but one thing is for certain -- they never forced anyone to convert as Islam does. They never harmed anyone and they did not deserve to die as they did.
- 3 visits - Jul 12
Aug 7, 2010... has granted a runaway Christian convert's request to declare reunion .... "When Islam Acts Like a Conquering Army," by Farid Ghadry of the Reform ... and the attackers allowed at least one Afghan to leave the scene unharmed. ... that the group were American spies and were preaching Christianity. ...www.jihadwatch.org/ - Cached - Similar
Ten members of the Christian medical team – six Americans, two Afghans, one German and a ... alleging the volunteers were spying and trying to convert Muslims to Christianity. ... The envoy said terrorism is not connected with Islam. ...sheikyermami.com/ - Similar
Aug 9, 2010 ... The Taliban have claimed responsibility and alleged the group were spies and tried to convert Muslims. During a press conference Monday, ...www.startribune.com/world/100250919.html
Aug 7, 2010... because they were “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity.” ... for allegedly trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. ...updatednews.ca/?p=31378 - Cached
Little was among 10 members of a medical team gunned down by Afghan militants ... Christian aid workers accused of trying to convert Afghans to Christianity. ... because they were “spying for the Americans” and “preaching Christianity. ...samshaw.wordpress.com/ - Cached - Similar
Foreign Medics Killings under Afghan Investigation
08/08/2010 Police on Sunday were investigating the killing of eight foreign medics, including six Americans, shot dead in remote northern Afghanistan, as US authorities flew the bodies back to the capital.
The bullet-riddled bodies of five men, all Americans, and three women, an American, a German and a Briton, were found in the northeastern province of Badakhshan on Friday, according to the provincial police chief.
Two Afghans were also killed in the attack and one survived.
"The interior ministry has started a thorough investigation of the unfortunate Badakhshan killings," ministry spokesman Zemarai Bashary told AFP.
"At this stage it is premature to say who has carried out the attack, who they are affiliated with or what their motives were," he said.
The medics were reportedly returning with their driver from a medical camp in neighboring Nuristan province when they were attacked, said Dirk Frans, director of the Kabul-based International Assistance Mission (IAM).
There were competing theories over the motive, with police saying it was likely a robbery, while two militant groups claimed responsibility, said Frans.
The survivor, Saifullah, was being held by police as a witness, said Frans, adding that he had been a "faithful worker" for IAM for four years and there was "no suspicion at all" of his involvement.
Family of British doctor murdered in Afghanistan pay tribute to 'true hero'
Growing up, Karen Woo had always been a very determined little girl who achieved everything she set her heart on.
By Ben Farmer in Kabul and Martin Evans
Published: 8:30AM BST 09 Aug 2010
Published: 8:30AM BST 09 Aug 2010
Karen Woo, desscribed by her family as an inspiration to all she met
Her early dreams of becoming a professional dancer were realised by her late teens and she later followed that up with a successful spell as a model.
By her early 20s the daughter of a Chinese father and English mother was growing ever more restless and even a stint as a wing-walker for a flying circus failed to satisfy her lust for adventure.
Tragically it was her yearning to reach out to those most in need that would ultimately cost her her life, gunned down in north eastern Afghanistan, as she and nine colleagues from a Christian charity organisation returned from an aid mission.
Last night her parents said she had been an inspiration to everyone she had met and they paid tribute to a “true hero” who had led an intensely rich and packed life.
In an emotional statement they said: “Her commitment was to make whatever difference she could. She was a true hero. Whilst scared, she never let that prevent her from doing things she had to do.
“Karen, you were an inspiration to everyone you met. You combined brains and beauty, intelligence, drive and kookiness in equal measure. You led an intensely packed and rich life: dancer, model, stunt plane walker, doctor and aid worker. Whatever you set your mind on, you did so with passion.
“You were the embodiment of seizing the moment. You went through life always believing the best of everyone despite everything you've seen. We are so proud of the work you were doing and all that you have achieved. “
Karen Woo was born and brought up in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, where she lived with parents Tehaun and Lynn and her two bothers Andrew and David.
She left school at 16 to pursue her dream of becoming a dancer and was overjoyed to join a professional contemporary dance group.
To supplement her income she also worked as a model and in 1998 even joined a flying circus based in Cirencester performing heart-stopping stunts strapped to the wing of a biplane.
At the time she said: “I have always been a bit of a daredevil and I love going potholing and scuba diving. I definitely like adrenalin.”
But by her early 20s her ambitions had begun to widen and she felt drawn to helping others.
Inspired by her mother, who was a psychiatric nurse, Karen decided on a career in health care, enrolling at the University College of London to train as a doctor.
Combining medicine with her love of travelling she worked around the world at hospitals in Australia, Papua New Guinea and Trinidad and Tobago.
She later returned to London where she began working as a surgeon at St Mary’s Hospital before joining the private medical firm Bupa where she was appointed assistant medical director.
But the role was not enough to quench her thirst for adventure and two years ago during a visit to Kabul with a former boyfriend decided that is where she needed to be.
As well as working for Remote Medical International, an organisation providing medical services in inaccessible locations, she also found time to make a documentary about Kabul, a city she had fallen completely in love with.
At the time she described herself as being “flat broke and living in a war zone” but friends said she felt she was finally doing what she had always been destined for.
In March 2009 Dr Woo launched a charity called Bridge Afghanistan along with journalist Firuz Rahimi, with the aim of improving the lives of ordinary Afghani people.
As reported by Al Jazeera
Published on Saturday, August 7, 2010 by Al Jazeera
6 Americans Among 10 Missionaries Killed in Taliban AmbushThe Taliban has said it shot dead eight foreign aid workers in a remote northern region of Afghanistan, accusing them of being "Christian missionaries".
A man walks out of the office of the International Assistance Mission Saturday, Aug. 7, 2010 in Kabul, Afghanistan. Ten members of International Assistance Mission medical team, including six Americans, were shot and killed by militants as they were returning from a two-week trip providing eye and other health care in remote villages of northern Afghanistan. (AP Photo/Ahmad Massoud)
"Yesterday at around 8am, one of our patrols confronted a group of foreigners. They were Christian missionaries and we killed them all," Zabihulla Mujahed, a spokesman for the Taliban movement, said on Saturday."They were carrying Persian language bibles, a satellite-tracking device and maps," he said.
The bullet-riddled bodies of five men, all Americans, and three women, an American, a German and a Briton, were found in the northeastern province of Badakhshan on Friday, the provincial police chief said.
Mujahed said the group was lost and the victims were killed as they tried to escape.
this chilling comment:
lenn ford August 8th, 2010 9:22 am
First ------- no death should be celebrated.
Second --------- We do not know who killed these people,
the head Missionary said he was not sure it was Taliban.
the head Missionary said he was not sure it was Taliban.
Third ----- Any proslytizing, if they were, note Dari Bibles, is support for USA objectives of crushing the Afghan culture to lessen resistance.
Fourth ---- Unless this was robbery, the USA created these conditions i.e. instigating war in Aghanistan since arming the landlords and foundamentalists revolting against the secular socialist government in 1979 and breaking the peace with thier latest invasion against the Taliban.