When the events of 9/11 took place in New York City, it was seen as a direct attack on America’s global power and The West.
Many responded with hate toward the Middle East, and even now the cultural ramifications of that day are being felt, worldwide.
While America launched their “War on Terror” and sent troops to the frontlines, Jeremy Courtney and his wife Jessica took a different approach. They’d just graduated from university, and were young Christian newlyweds contemplating how they’d make their unique stamp on the world. In the aftermath of September 11, they decided to go directly into Iraq with a message of love instead of fear, and a (retrospectively naïve) desire to convince them to embrace Western ideologies.
What emerged, was The Preemptive Love Coalition (now Preemptive Love): a humanitarian organisation taking supplies directly to the frontlines of the world’s worst conflicts, and striving to “unmake violence” across Iraq, Libya and beyond.
But, as Jeremy reflects on the early days of his and Jessica’s efforts in this interview with Laura Bennett, he acknowledges that what’s now a very a ‘support based’ initiative, was originally inspired by what he now considers an unhelpful evangelical mission.
He says his approach to his interfaith humanitarian work in the Middle East has shifted, “from a position of fighting and aggression, to an open-armed position of welcome and vulnerability.”