Sunday, March 27, 2016

Prominent ISIL Leader Killed On Good Friday

Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli
According to a statement issued last week by the Defense Department, American forces killed a top Islamic State leader on Good Friday in eastern Syria. An ISIL vehicle carrying Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli, the organization's second in command, was pursued by two special forces helicopters on a road in eastern Syria and totally destroyed.

Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter hailed Mr. Qaduli’s death as another sign that the US-led military strategy for defeating ISI is working. Killing the leaders of a movement is still believed to be the surest way to bring it to an end. 

I couldn't help but think of the irony of this in light of another state-sponsored assassination nearly 2000 years ago, in which the ruling establishment sought to rid the world of someone seen as a threat to what was then the greatest power on earth, the Roman empire. But if there was ever an example of the killing the leader of a movement having an exactly opposite effect, that would be it.

Ancient portrayal of resurrection victory over Rome
The death of Jesus was followed by a miracle resurrection, one that heralded the new birth of a radical movement of peace-promoting, enemy-loving believers that ended in the eventual decline and fall of a once mighty world empire.

Of course, the mission and message of Abd al-Rahman Mustafa al-Qaduli and that of Jesus Christ could hardly be more opposite. One was bent on bringing about God's rule by the use of terror and violence, the other represents a suffering Messiah bringing peace, redemption and the restoration of shalom to a lost and needy world.

May we all lay down our arms, take up our cross and follow him with believers everywhere, confident that his is the only way to a life that endures.
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