“The greatest problem the world is facing today is…. the attack on our youths… The Internet … has become an avenue for the enemy to attack humanity. This is a problem facing every nation, rich or poor, first world or third world." Pastor E.A. Adeboye (addressing the UN Prayer last Sept. (see report in CA! Vol 12 No 5)
When Pastor Enoch Adeboye, in the quotes above, identified as THE most important problem facing all nations today, corruption of our youth, especially with the influence of the Internet which gives ready access to “terrorism” and bomb-making techniques, among other vices, some people thought he was out of touch with realities and is taking his religion too far . At least some chaps said that much on Nigerian internet groups (see, for example http://www.nairaland.com/nigeria/topic-322690.0.html).
One Nigerian who today is having a better personal understanding of the danger Pastor Adeboye was referring to is Alhaji Abdulmutallab – by most reports, a hardworking, highly respected gentleman who tried his best to bring up his children in piety as he best understands – through Islam. The respected Nigerian banking scion is the father of would-be Al qaeda Christmas-day bomber on Northern Airline flight 253 to Detroit, USA. Though young Umar Abdulmutallab had been introduced to radical Islam most of his life (his eminent family being a leading force in the Sharia movement in Nigeria), apparently the quantum leap to terrorism, at the level which became uncomfortable for his family, came through a casual internet contact with Yemen. According to several reports, following a detailed investigation of his “internet trail” (http://www.comcast.net/video/abdulmutallabs-internet-trail/1371645714/), Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab is believed to have turned to the internet to overcome loneliness and find "a true Muslim friend". http://www.theaustralian.com.au/news/world/lonely-bomber-umar-farouk-abdulmutallabs-religious-angst-posted-online/story-e6frg6so-1225814510741. Ultimately and inevitably, as he disclosed to US investigators, “a radical Imam he met over the Internet hooked him up with a terror boss in northern Yemen”
http://www.weedconnection.com/php/php.php?dmit=umar-farouk-abdulmutallab. The rest is history.
The Church could learn some lessons from this unsavory development. One is the need to pay more attention to our youths – our most valuable God-given resource. While most Nigerians (Christians in particular) treat their youth as kids who don’t understand “the real world”, militant Islam understands far better. Not only must the coming generation be protected from predators such as Alqaeda and their ilk, our youths ought to be encouraged, challenged and allowed to fulfil their destiny.
Another lesson is the need to appreciate the insidious nature of the new frontier the devil is using to viciously attack mankind (youths in particular) - the Internet. While many Christian leaders seem barely aware of the existence of the Internet, we see groups like Al Qaeda putting it to devastatingly potent use. Not only does Al qaeda actively recruits operatives (youths of all nationalities – including American, British, Arab, and as we have lately learnt, Nigeria) via the internet, thousands of coded details of nefarious instructions are locked away in several innocuous-looking webpages. With e-terrorism, there is no more need to carry about on one’s person, potentially incriminating papers!
While many are aware of youths being drawn into immorality such as pornography, drugs, etc via the internet, only few seem to appreciate that “piety” can as easily be used just as well, to indoctrinate people, via the Internet, straight into destruction. The Internet has a great potential both as a source of good (eg Rifqa Barry – another moslem, was literally saved via the Internet, see story on page 2), and at least on equal measure, for evil. The challenge in this article is that it is time Christian leaders in particular, began to appreciate this incredibly enormous capacity – and hopefully arise to checkmate the 419-ners, porn merchants, and yea, the terrorists currently having a field day on the ethereal world.
Related to the subjects raised above is the issue of higher education. It is heart-warming that more and more Christian organizations are investing in University education in Nigeria (with the Deeper Life Bible church and Christ Life Church, among those set to become new entrants into the field). Hopefully all these Christian educational institutions will prove to be centres of excellence where our most valuable resource – the youths, will be nurtured and released to play their God-given role in world affairs, even in these peculiar end times. It sounds ironic, but the Church can indeed learn something from Al Qaeda!