Ephesians 6:12 says the following: For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.
If you don’t understand this you might miss the real point of the following news item out of Pakistan:
KARACHI: An MPA representing minorities in the Sindh Assembly voiced his concerns regarding the recent list of banned words compiled by the Pakistan Telecommunication Authority (PTA).
(The Express Tribune) The usual proceedings in the Sindh Assembly were disrupted when the minorities’ MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar from the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) demanded a resolution against the PTA for banning the name of the prophet “Jesus Christ.”
Khokhar was initially allowed by the assembly speaker Nisar Ahmed Khuhro to present his views however he was later prevented from speaking.
The MPA termed the word ban list as a sheer violation of minorities’ rights. During his fiery speech, he left his bench and sat cross-legged on the floor in front of the speaker, demanding for the said resolution.
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro convinced Khokhar to go back to his seat as he assured him of taking this issue to the federal level.
Similar assurance was given by other ministers including Rafiq Engineer, Power Minister Shahzia Marri, Minister for Local Government Agha Siraj Durrani, Minister for Youth Affairs Faisal Sabzwari and Deputy Speaker Sindh Assembly Shehla Raza.
Khokhar, however continued to express his disapproval. He pointed out that on one hand anyone who utters blasphemous remarks against the Muslim prophet is hanged, while on the other hand there is no protection of minority rights.
Sindh Minister for Antiquities Muhammad Rafiq Engineer reminded Khokhar that Muslims also believe in the prophethood of Jesus Christ (Pbuh) and deeply respect him. He also assured him of getting this matter resolved (emphasis, mine).
PTA says list is not final
PTA spokesperson Mohammad Younis Khan said that the list that has going viral online, is not a list of words that are to be blocked or filtered.
“This list was prepared just to help the operators of different companies to design their software to meet the purpose,” said Khan (emphasis mine).
“The final list will be prepared after getting input from all the stakeholders and will be provided to the mobile phone companies for implementations,” Khan added.
As reported earlier, a PTA letter was circulated online, which ordered the imposition of a “system” to ban select words in mobile SMS messages.
A set of two extensive lists in English and Urdu was allegedly compiled by the PTA. The list of English words crosses the 1,000 figure, while the Urdu list contains over 550 words.
A scan of the letter (dated November 14, 2011) sent from Muhammad Talib Doger, Director General (Services) PTA, stated that the filtering of content through SMS must be considered under the scope of “Protection from Spam, Unsolicited, Fraudulent and Obnoxious Communication Regulations, 2009″ and the SOPs laid down to control spamming (emphasis mine). The letter was written with reference to a meeting held with mobile phone operators on October 18, 2011 in Islamabad.
The apparent point of this article is the lack of equal rights for minorities in Pakistan. Pakistan is a country in which persecution of the minority Christian community is common. Indeed, we have posted numerous stories about this Christian persecution in Pakistan and recently the international community has become more vocal in their criticism of Pakistan on this subject (ie. Asia Bibi). However, the criticism has largely been framed in terms of human rights. This, along with the actual persecution, is the smokescreen – the deception, that the enemy is using to suppress the gospel.
The deception is subtle. The opposing members of the legislative body almost seem like they have a common concern for the consequences of an overreaching bureaucracy. They even point out that “Muslims also believe in the prophethood of Jesus Christ and deeply respect him“. The prophethood of Jesus Christ?
It even seems somewhat reasonable that a government bureaucrat might craft such regulations designed to protect against spam, unsolicited, fraudulent and obnoxious Communication. Seems reasonable doesn’t it?
Very subtly and without even noticing it, our attention is focused on human rights and consumer protection and the real point of the story is missed: The enemy of our souls will do anything, use any means necessary to lull us to sleep while he removes even the mention of the name of Jesus Christ from public dialogue. And if he can’t do that he will try to reduce Jesus Christ, Savior, the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, to a prophet, certainly not the “Son of God”.
Sometimes the deceptions of the enemy come clothed in trappings that seem reasonable, even sensible. If we don’t know what God’s word says, if we’re not in tune with His Spirit, we are vulnerable and ultimately we will fall for the lies.
” Stay alert! Watch out for your great enemy, the devil. He prowls around like a roaring lion, looking for someone to devour. I Peter 5:8″