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Teacher killed in Bengazi, Libya
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15596
Location: USA

PostPosted: Thu Dec 05, 2013 4:19 pm    Post subject: Teacher killed in Bengazi, Libya Reply with quote

The young man wasn't a TEFL teacher, but anyone considering a position in Libya should keep in mind that things are not completely stable there.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-africa-25239168

Quote:
Ronnie Smith, who is reported to be from Texas, taught chemistry at the international school in the city.
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JustinC



Joined: 15 Mar 2013
Posts: 138
Location: The Land That Time Forgot

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 5:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It might have been a case of mistaken identity, considering the paragraphs which state "Residents blame these groups for the almost daily assassinations and frequent bombings targeting the army and police, our correspondent says. Earlier on Thursday, three Libyan soldiers were assassinated in the city. Last week, nine people died in clashes between the Libyan army and an Islamist militia, Ansar al-Sharia." Sad
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 1:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I wonder if this could have had anything to do with it:

""Ronnie's greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya and for the people of Libya to have the joy of knowing God through Christ," it said."

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/american-teacher-shot-killed-benghazi-article-1.1538237#ixzz2mhgLakci

Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15596
Location: USA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 06, 2013 4:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Whether or not he was specifically targeted - we'll never know unless those who shot him tell - with an overarmed country with too many armed militias like this, your chance of a random shooting is higher too.

Jogging does make one stand out as it is not that common in the culture. Proselytizing is another way to get oneself deported... or worse.

VS
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nickelgoat



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 150
Location: Where in the world is nickelgoat?

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Please don't start making assumptions about Ron's faith. If he was killed for that, then he is with the Lord in Heaven, and that is always a good thing. He would have seen it that way too. But don't automatically assume that was why he was killed. Jogging, as mentioned, is unusual in any Arab culture and it rather does mark someone as Western. There are people out there that are completely nuts and assume any Westerner is evil and anti-Islam. I know there are people who think Christians who are open about their faith are anti-Islam and hate Muslims. Not true. While we Christians have many whose views are radicalized, so do they. Don't tar Christians who are verbal about their faith with the same "extremist" brush. There was nothing at all extremist about Ron, or others like him.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 08, 2013 11:16 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nickelgoat

"I wonder if this could have had anything to do with it:"

You do know what "wonder" means, I suppose.

And you do know what a "straw man" is, I suppose.

No one has done this: " . . . don't automatically assume that was why he was killed."

So I wonder why you feel the need to post what you did.

Regards,
John
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nickelgoat



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 150
Location: Where in the world is nickelgoat?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:06 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

John,

I felt the need to comment because whenever posts relating to someone's faith (not "religion") appear on this website, there are haters that come on and twist ideas, likening Christians to terrorists for instance, because they hate people who do express their faith. I've seen it over and over again. Certain folks (not you, John) like the spread their anger about Christianity and Christians as much as they can. The odd thing is that if one says similar comments about Muslims, they are accused of being "intolerant". But, let the subject be Christians and that intolerance on the part of many of the same detractors comes right out.

Yes, there are Christians that say terrible things about others who don't agree with their viewpoints - but Westboro Baptist and groups like them are certainly not representative of Christians as a whole. I am Christian and I have been deeply hurt by other Christians in church in the past, but I don't condemn all Christians for that.

John, you are always a voice of moderation on these forums, which I appreciate.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 12:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nickelgoat,

Thanks for your kind words. I wondered because I know from experience that talking about another religion in many Muslim countries can, at the least, cause dissension - and sometimes much worse.
And since he was quoted as saying that he wanted the people of Libya to know the joy of knowing God through Christ, I hope he wasn't targeted because of that.
You can be targeted for so many reasons, though - being as foreigner (especially American) or just being in the wrong place at the wrong time, for example.
May his soul rest in peace. I am so very sorry for his family.

Regards,
John
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 7:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

nickelgoat wrote:
I felt the need to comment because whenever posts relating to someone's faith (not "religion") appear on this website, there are haters that come on and twist ideas, likening Christians to terrorists for instance, because they hate people who do express their faith.


I think there's a difference between 'expressing your faith' and proselytizing. I don't care what anybody believes in but object strongly if they try to impose their views in order to convert others. Once people do this they shouldn't complain if they're taken on in vigorous debate.
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nickelgoat



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 150
Location: Where in the world is nickelgoat?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 9:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gary, when Christians do express their faith, especially in a Muslim country, it is OK especially if the other person has asked about it. When I discuss my faith, I never make strong vibes about "if you're not saved you'll go to Hell" - ever. Some do, but not all of us. What bothers me is the instant negativity of some people to even the IDEA of faith and Christianity. I don't impose my beliefs on anyone, but share with those who want to listen.

I could now say the same about people, atheist or not, who regularly insult Christians in this forum and in real life. Using "free speech rights" doesn't give you the right to insult others who do not agree with you. I don't like or use the words "religion" or "proselytize" because they have such negative connotations anymore. I instead choose to call it "faith" which shouldn't offend anyone.
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MuscatGary



Joined: 03 Jun 2013
Posts: 194
Location: Oman

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 10:00 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nickelgoat, if somebody asks a question then it's obviously ok to explain the tenets of faith in which they are interested. I have no problem with that. People knocking on my door to offer unsolicited information is not ok and compulsory religious education is absolutely unacceptable.
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johnslat



Joined: 21 Jan 2003
Posts: 12019
Location: Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 2:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Dear nicklegoat,

In Saudi Arabia, it's taking a chance to discuss religion (except Islam, of course, and then only positively) with anyone who doesn't share your specific belief.
If you are in Saudi now - or if you ever go there - please be VERY discrete in such matters.

Regards,
John
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veiledsentiments



Joined: 20 Feb 2003
Posts: 15596
Location: USA

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

And I know teachers who got in trouble in the UAE and Oman for religious discussions with students. I would NEVER allow the topic to come up in class or even with students outside of class - although it took a bit of work sometimes to divert them from the topic - especially the semester that my students were taking a Comparative Religions Class. Cool I know teachers who were deported from Egypt and the Gulf for their religious activities.

There are way too many Evangelicals who think TEFL is a way to sneak into Muslim countries to "save" the locals. The smart ones figure out that any attempt with these locals will get them kicked out very quickly, so they start to work on their fellow teachers.

THAT is what I find offensive. Half of my family are Evangelicals, but they know better than to waste their time with me. Every family needs a Pagan. Laughing

VS
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nickelgoat



Joined: 26 Jan 2006
Posts: 150
Location: Where in the world is nickelgoat?

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 4:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
In Saudi Arabia, it's taking a chance to discuss religion (except Islam, of course, and then only positively) with anyone who doesn't share your specific belief. If you are in Saudi now - or if you ever go there - please be VERY discrete in such matters.



Actually, today was an interesting day. My students were really acting out and I took a break from teaching to sit down in front of them and talk about something. They had been saying that Americans like me hated them because they were Muslim. I felt I needed to nip that in the bud so we took a few minutes to discuss positive aspects of Islam and how sometimes the media distorts its image in the drive for ratings. I talked about how true Islam promotes modesty, but also honesty and respectful behavior, and how much I wanted to be that example for them. I let them know how much I cared for them and just why it was so important to let me speak in class instead of interrupting me, listening to me instead of drowning me out with their talk, etc, so they could pass their tests and move toward their goals. I told them that as an American I was determined to see the best of their faith and that I hoped I would change their feelings about Americans, as they change my (former) views on Islam. They seemed OK with this, and the rest of the day went very well.

At no time did I discuss my faith, I was focused on theirs and the positive aspects of it.

Seemed to work well.
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mikkenzi



Joined: 12 Jul 2013
Posts: 15
Location: Kuwait

PostPosted: Mon Dec 09, 2013 5:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I think religion-oriented discussions do not have a place in the ESL classroom, especially in the ME. It is a sensitive topic. One can respect one's students without discussing their religion. It is something personal. What is more, in Muslim lands, it can be dangerous to be open about your Christian views. People misunderstand...
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