Nov. 30, 2007
November 30, 2007
A CHRISTMAS OF A DIFFERENT COLOR
Instead of dreaming of the traditional white Christmas, how about if you dream of a green Christmas? The White House and others are.
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REDIRECTING ISLAMIC MILITANTS
As we all know, one of the major religious issues and problems of our day is radical Islam. That is, the people who misuse the ancient and honorable religion of Islam for ideological purposes and who engage in terrorism and other such activities that wound the world.
Saudi Arabia, as we know, has been part of the problem in the sense that 15 of the 19 hijackers on 9/11 came from Saudi Arabia, as did Osama bin Laden.
The Saudis say they are working to turn around young people there who have wandered off the path. Just recently, in fact, they announced that they have re-educated and released 1,500 extremists who have been prisoners in Saudi jails. These people have repented, they say.
I can only imagine what the Saudi justice system considers to be fair and effective re-education. I'm just glad I don't have to go through whatever it is.
I'm glad that at least there's a public effort to take this problem seriously, but I wonder how effective it is and who is keeping tabs on the people who have "repented" and been released. We all certainly know that the recidivism rate for prisoners in the U.S. is high. And I have no reason to believe it won't be equally high in Saudi Arabia.
I think it will be worth while for all of us to try to keep an eye on all of this and not to get our hopes too high that it's really doing any good, much as we hope it will.
As we watch, continue to note such stories as this one about Saudi officials arresting a bunch more radicals.
To read my latest Kansas City Star work, click here. (My column tomorrow will be about why the theologian Jurgen Moltmann is such a source of hope.)
ALSO: If you want to give my book, A Gift of Meaning, as a holiday gift, you can order it from Amazon.com by clicking here or directly from the University of Missouri Press by clicking here.
Today's religious holiday: St. Andrew's Day (Christianity)