Archive for the ‘Islam and Christianity’ category

Europe’s New Official History Erases Christianity, Promotes Islam

October 18, 2017

Europe’s New Official History Erases Christianity, Promotes Islam, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, October 18, 2017

[I]t is hard to understand the “logic” behind the official European animosity toward Christianity and its attraction to a basically totalitarian Islam. Europe could easily be secular without being militantly anti-Christian. It is easier to understand why thousands of Poles just took part in a mass protest along Poland’s borders to voice their opposition to “secularization and Islam’s influence“, which is exactly the same as the official crazy EU credo.

During the Second World War, the Allies avoided bombing Brussels, because it was to be the site of European rebirth. If the European elite continue with this cultural repudiation of their Judeo-Christian-Humanistic culture, the city could be its grave.

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“The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing.” — The Paris Statement, signed by ten respected European scholars.

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière’s proposal to introduce Muslim public holidays shows that when it comes to Islam, Europe’s official “post-Christian” secularism is simply missing in action.

A few days ago, some of Europe’s most important intellectuals — including British philosopher Roger Scruton, former Polish Education Minister Ryszard Legutko, German scholar Robert Spaemann and Professor Rémi Brague from the Sorbonne in France — issued “The Paris Statement“. In their ambitious statement, they rejected the “false Christendom of universal human rights” and the “utopian, pseudo-religious crusade for a borderless world”. Instead, they called for a Europe based on “Christian roots”, drawing inspiration from the “Classical tradition” and rejecting multiculturalism:

“The patrons of the false Europe are bewitched by superstitions of inevitable progress. They believe that History is on their side, and this faith makes them haughty and disdainful, unable to acknowledge the defects in the post-national, post-cultural world they are constructing. Moreover, they are ignorant of the true sources of the humane decencies they themselves hold dear — as do we. They ignore, even repudiate the Christian roots of Europe. At the same time they take great care not to offend Muslims, who they imagine will cheerfully adopt their secular, multicultural outlook”.

In 2007, reflecting on the cultural crisis of the continent, Pope Benedict said that Europe is now “doubting its very identity“. In 2017, Europe took a further step: creating a post-Christian pro-Islam identity. Europe’s official buildings and exhibitions have indeed been erasing Christianity and welcoming Islam.

One kind of official museum recently opened by the European Parliament, the “House of the European History“, costing 56 million euros. The idea was to create a historical narrative of the postwar period around the pro-EU message of unification. The building is a beautiful example of Art Deco in Brussels. As the Dutch scholar Arnold Huijgen wrote, however, the house is culturally “empty”:

“The French Revolution seems to be the birthplace of Europe; there is little room for anything that may have preceded it. The Napoleonic Code and the philosophy of Karl Marx receive a prominent place, while slavery and colonialism are highlighted as the darker sides of European culture (…) But the most remarkable thing about the House is that.as far as its account is concerned, it is as if religion does not exist. In fact, it never existed and never impacted the history of the continent (…) No longer is European secularism fighting the Christian religion; it simply ignores every religious aspect in life altogether”.

The Brussels bureaucracy even deleted the Catholic roots of its official flag, the twelve stars symbolizing the ideal of unity, solidarity and harmony among the peoples of Europe. It was drawn by the French Catholic designer Arséne Heitz, who apparently took his inspiration from the Christian iconography of Virgin Mary. But the European Union’s official explanation of the flag makes no mention of these Christian roots.

The European Monetary and Economic Department of the European Commission then ordered Slovakia to redesign its commemorative coins by eliminating the Christian Saints Cyril and Methonius. There is no mention of Christianity in the 75,000 words of the aborted draft of the European Constitution.

The European Commission ordered Slovakia to redesign its commemorative coins by eliminating the Christian Saints Cyril and Methonius. (Image sources: Coin – European Commission; Bratislava, Slovakia – Frettie/Wikimedia Commons)

German Interior Minister Thomas de Maizière, of Angela Merkel’s ruling Christian Democratic Party, recently suggested introducing Muslim public holidays. “In places where there are many Muslims, why can’t we think about introducing a Muslim public holiday?”, he said.

“The submission is moving ahead,” replied Erika Steinbach, the influential former chair of the Federation of Expellees — Germans expelled from various Eastern European countries during and after World War II.

Beatrix von Storch, a leading politician from Alternative for Germany Party (AfD), just tweeted: “NO! NO! NO!”.

De Maizière’s proposal shows that when it comes to Islam, Europe’s official “post-Christian” secularism is simply missing in action.

A few weeks ago, a European Union-funded exhibition, “Islam, It’s also our history!”, was hosted in Brussels. The exhibition tracks the impact of Islam in Europe. An official statement claims:

“The historical evidence displayed by the exhibition – the reality of an old-age Muslim presence in Europe and the complex interplay of two civilisations that fought against each other but also interpenetrated each other – underpins an educational and political endeavour: helping European Muslims and non Muslims alike to better grasp their common cultural roots and cultivate their shared citizenship”.

Isabelle Benoit, a historian who helped design the exhibition, told AP: “We want to make clear to Europeans that Islam is part of European civilisation and that it isn’t a recent import but has roots going back 13 centuries”.

The official European establishment has turned its back on Christianity. The establishment appear unaware of the extent to which the continent and its people still depend on the moral guidance of its humanitarian values, especially at a time when radical Islam has launched a civilization challenge to the West. “It is simply a problem of a packing that tends to fill a ‘void'”, just wrote Ernesto Galli della Loggia in the Italian daily newspaper Il Corriere della Sera.

“It is impossible to ignore that behind the packing are two great theological and political traditions — that of the Russian Orthodoxy and Islam — while behind the ‘void’ there is only the fading of the Christian consciousness of the European West”.

That is why it is hard to understand the “logic” behind the official European animosity toward Christianity and its attraction to a basically totalitarian Islam. Europe could easily be secular without being militantly anti-Christian. It is easier to understand why thousands of Poles just took part in a mass protest along Poland’s borders to voice their opposition to “secularization and Islam’s influence“, which is exactly the same as the official crazy EU credo.

During the Second World War, the Allies avoided bombing Brussels, because it was to be the site of European rebirth. If the European elite continue with this cultural repudiation of their Judeo-Christian-Humanistic culture, the city could be its grave.

Giulio Meotti, Cultural Editor for Il Foglio, is an Italian journalist and author.

Liberal Democrats ignore persecution of Christians outside the U.S.

February 11, 2017

Liberal Democrats ignore persecution of Christians outside the U.S., Washington Times

christiansintroubleDozens of Coptic Christians were killed in a December bombing at St. Mark Cathedral in central Cairo. Each month, about 322 Christians are killed, 214 churches or Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence are carried out. . . .

 

“I think the case could be made that Donald Trump did more in one afternoon than President Obama did over the last six years.”

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Advocates who work to protect persecuted groups say there is a “blind spot” in the West concerning the plight faced by Christians around the world — a shortsightedness evident in the overwhelmingly negative reaction to President Trump’s executive order granting preferred refugee status to persecuted religious minorities.

From the Coptics in Egypt and the “house churches” in China to the “subversives” in North Korea and the “apostates” in Pakistan, Christians are under fire on the international stage.

Paul Coleman, deputy director of the Alliance Defending Freedom International, said the international persecution of Christians is unrivaled.

“No person or group should live in fear of being killed, tortured or oppressed because of their religious beliefs,” Mr. Coleman said in a statement. “By all accounts Christians are the most persecuted group on the planet.”

Each month, about 322 Christians are killed, 214 churches or Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 acts of violence are carried out on Christians because of their faith, according to Open Doors, a nonprofit group that helps persecuted Christians.

Andrew Doran, vice president of In Defense of Christians, said their cries for help often fall on deaf ears in Europe and the United States because Christianity is the dominant faith in an increasingly secular culture.

Mr. Doran pointed to the Obama administration’s lethargic response to the Islamic State’s Christian genocide, saying people who see Christians as domestic enemies have trouble shifting gears when atrocities are committed against the faith group on the global stage.

“Christians in the West have been somehow identified as the oppressor class, and that view seems to be extended to Christians in the Middle East,” he said. “But the fact is that couldn’t be further from the truth.”

Mr. Doran said that “blind spot” was evident in the reaction to Mr. Trump’s executive order, which temporarily suspended refugee flows until proper security measures could be implemented, but made exceptions for religious minorities who are persecuted.“Whether someone is Muslim, Yazidi, Jewish, Christian or atheist, they should be given priority if they’re facing persecution, and certainly that would be so where there’s a finding of genocide,”

“Whether someone is Muslim, Yazidi, Jewish, Christian or atheist, they should be given priority if they’re facing persecution, and certainly that would be so where there’s a finding of genocide,” Mr. Doran said.

But Larry T. Decker, executive director of the Secular Coalition, said the policy is tantamount to a “religious test” for entry to the country.

“President Trump’s executive order must be recognized as the establishment of a religious test that is incompatible with our Constitution and our values as Americans,” Mr. Decker said in a statement. “The Trump campaign repeatedly denigrated Muslims and pledged to enact policies that discriminated against them. Now, at the expense of our First Amendment and our nation’s credibility, the Trump administration is attempting to make good on this campaign promise.”

Polls support the notion that some segments of the West are ignorant of the persecution faced by Christians around the world.

A Rasmussen survey published Tuesday showed that the majority of Democrats believe Muslims in the United States are mistreated because of their faith, but fewer were willing to say the same for Christians in the Islamic world.

While 56 percent of Democrats said Muslims in America are mistreated because of their faith, that number fell to 47 percent for Christians living in Islamic nations. Sixty-two percent of Americans overall, and 76 percent of Republicans, said Christians are persecuted in countries where Islam is the dominant religion.

Last year, former Secretary of State John F. Kerry declared that Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East are victims of genocide carried out by the Islamic State.

But advocates had been calling for that recognition for years, Mr. Doran said, and the Obama administration failed to take any additional steps to alleviate the plight of Christians.

More than 19,000 refugees from Syria were admitted to the United States during Mr. Obama’s tenure, but less than one-half of 1 percent of them were Christians.

Mr. Trump has said the United States will do more to alleviate the suffering of Christians in the Middle East.

“They’ve been horribly treated,” Mr. Trump said last month in an interview. “Do you know if you were a Christian in Syria, it was impossible, at least very tough, to get into the United States? If you were a Muslim, you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible, and the reason that was so unfair, everybody was persecuted in all fairness, but they were chopping off the heads of everybody, but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.”

Mr. Doran said the president’s call for the establishment of safe zones in Syria and Yemen is an “excellent idea” and that they also should be considered in Iraq.

“If he succeeds in creating safe zones, that will have be a substantial step toward bringing the Syrian conflict to a conclusion, putting pressure on the Assad regime to cease hostilities and come to the negotiating table,” Mr. Doran said. “I think these are actually very positive steps.”

He said Mr. Trump’s early actions to protect the victims of persecution and bring the Syrian refugee crisis to an end represent a seismic shift from his predecessor’s policy.

“I think the case could be made that Donald Trump did more in one afternoon than President Obama did over the last six years.”

 

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”

January 29, 2017

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, January 29, 2017

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing.

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church…. the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot.” — Laurent Dandrieu, cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world…Islam, through the sharia, their law…allows violence against the infidels, such as Christians….And what is the most important achievement? Rome.” — Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview, Il Giornale.

“[T]hey are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over.” — Laszlo Kiss Rigo, head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community.

François Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of our “stupidity”, warned Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei. Liberati claimed that, thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans, Islam will soon become the main religion of Europe. “All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam”, Archbishop Liberati explained.

Décadence is also the title of a new book by the French philosopher Michel Onfray, in which he suggests that the Judeo-Christian era may have come to an end. He compares the West and Islam: “We have nihilism, they have fervor; we are exhausted, they have a great health; we have the past for us; they have the future for them”.

Archbishop Liberati belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe. They speak in open opposition to Pope Francis, who does not seem too impressed by the collapse of Christianity due to falling birth rates, accompanied by religious apathy and its replacement by Islam.

2248Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei (left) belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe, and who speak in open opposition to Pope Francis (right).

Pope Francis’s official vision is personified by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, who was appointed by the Pontiff as the Secretary General of Italy’s Bishops. Last December, Galantino gave an interview in which he dismissed any religious motivation behind jihadist attacks and claimed that, instead, “money” is what is behind them.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing. One is the cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Laurent Dandrieu, who writes:

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church. The Church is watching the establishment of millions of Muslims in Europe… and Muslim worship in our continent as an inescapable manifestation of religious freedom. But the civilizational question is simply never asked …. By breaking away from the Europe’s indigenous peoples and their legitimate concerns, the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot”.

Dandrieu lists Pope Francis’ gestures and speeches in favor of Islam and migrants:

“On October 1, 2014, the Pope received Eritrean survivors of a shipwreck off Lampedusa; on 8 February 2015, he made a surprise visit to a refugee camp in Ponte Mammolo, northeast of Rome; on April 18, he used the first official visit of the new Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to demand ‘a much larger commitment’ for migrants; on 6 September 2015, at the conclusion of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, he called for ‘every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to host a family’ of refugees; on March 24, 2016, he chose to celebrate the Holy Thursday in a structure housing 900 refugees, and to wash the feet to twelve asylum seekers; on May 28, he received children whose parents died in a boat that sank, filled with migrants; during the general audience of June 22, Francis went down to the crowd to bring back fifteen refugees”.

But as Liberati’s case demonstrates, resistance to Pope Francis’ vision of Europe is growing inside the Catholic Church.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world”, Cardinal Raymond Burke said.

“Islam, through the sharia, their law, wants to rule the world and allows violence against the infidels, like Christians. But we find it hard to recognize this reality and to respond by defending the Christian faith (…) I have heard several times an Islamic idea: ‘what we failed to do with the weapons in the past we are doing today with the birth rate and immigration’. The population is changing. If this keeps up, in countries such as Italy, the majority will be Muslim (…) Islam realizes itself in the conquest. And what is the most important achievement? Rome”.

The first to denounce this dramatic trend was Italy’s most important missionary, Father Piero Gheddo, who said that, due to falling fertility and Muslim fervor, “Islam would sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe”. These concerns do not belong only to the Conservative wing of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a candidate tipped to be the next Pope, is very close to Pope Francis, and is a centrist. Last September, on the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, Schönborn delivered a dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots. “Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished'”, Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity”. He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe“.

After a Tunisian, who arrived among a flood of migrants into Germany, murdered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin, the Catholic archbishop of the German capital, Heiner Koch, another “moderate” Catholic leader appointed by Pope Francis, also sounded a warning: “Perhaps we focused too much on the radiant image of humanity, on the good. Now in the last year, or perhaps also in recent years, we have seen: No, there is also evil”.

The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Miloslav Vlk, also warned about the threat of Islamization. “Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim”, Cardinal Vlk claimed. He also blamed Europe itself for the Islamic takeover:

“Europe will pay dearly for having left its spiritual foundations; this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it. Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society”.

Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, has also questioned Pope Francis’ “welcoming culture”.

Among the Eastern Catholic bishops there are many voices raising concerns about Europe’s demographic and religious revolution. One belongs to the leader of the Catholics in Lebanon, who paid an extremely high price for the Islamization of their own country, including murder and exile, and now see the danger coming to Europe itself. “I have heard many times from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birth rate”, Cardinal Bechara Rai said.

Another voice belongs to the French-born Bishop Paul Desfarges, who heads the diocese of Constantine in Algeria: “It’s no surprise that Islam has taken on such importance”, Desfarges said. “It’s an issue that concerns Europe”. Sydney Cardinal George Pell then urged “a discussion of the consequences of the Islamic presence in the Western world”. Pell was echoed by Laszlo Kiss Rigo, the head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community, who said that “they are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over”.

On the political level, there is another a tendency, that of strong Catholic leaders who challenge Pope Francis on the Islamic question and immigration. The most important is the French presidential candidate François Fillon, one of the first politicians who “doesn’t hide the fact that he’s Catholic“. Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

Virginia Church Hosts Lecture on “Islamophobia,” Professor Claims It’s Driven By “Imperialism”

January 28, 2017

Virginia Church Hosts Lecture on “Islamophobia,” Professor Claims It’s Driven By “Imperialism”, Jihad Watch

todd-green

“I have lots of relationships with Muslims. They have taught me compassion and peace,” stated Luther College Professor Todd Green during a January 22 presentation at McLean, Virginia’s Lewinsville Presbyterian Church (LPC). Here this self-proclaimed “scholar of Islamophobia” and “anti-Islamophobia activist” reiterated his fantasy that interpersonal relationships with Muslims can refute supposed “Islamophobic” prejudices arising from Western sins like imperialism.

Green, author of the 2015 book The Fear of Islam:  An Introduction to Islamophobia in the West, is currently a Franklin Fellow at the United States Department of State, where Green “assesses and analyzes Islamophobia in Europe.” He has had ample opportunity to expound the book’s themes in various appearances in radio (see here, here, and here) and online, as well as public presentations such as at the 2016 Peacestock conference of the leftwing Veterans for Peace. He also writes for left-leaning publications such as the Huffington Post and Sojourners.

Without specific definitions, Green has concluded that “Islamophobia is an irrational fear, hostility, or hatred of Muslims and Islam” and is “one of the most acceptable prejudices in the United States today.” This presents a “cultural racism” in which “Muslims are essentialized; they are treated as a race,” he elaborated at LPC. Nonetheless, he has previously vaguely qualified that critical study of any such posited bigotry “is not an attempt to cut off critical conversations about Islam.”

Green has assessed that “imperialism is one of the main factors driving Islamophobia in the past and in the present,” resulting from historical “imperial tension and imperial competition” between Christians and Muslims. “In the seventh century when Islam came on the scene, it spread very quickly and Islamic empires developed quite quickly,” he has stated, while leaving unmentioned the Islamic supremacist jihad doctrine that propelled such conquests. With shifting power balances between Western and Islamic civilization across the centuries, Islamic empires gave way to the European colonialism that subjugated many Islamic lands.

Westerners colonizing Muslims, Green has argued, realized that “with imperial projects there must be some ‘other’, and this ‘other’ must be demonized and dehumanized in order for the imperial nation to galvanize popular support.” The “neo-imperialism” of rival Cold War superpowers followed European colonialism. Even post-Cold War, “much of U.S. foreign policy is incomprehensible apart from understanding that we are still engaged in the imperial project.”

Casting Muslims as passive victims of Western aggression, Green believes that such stereotypes influence Americans today who “have seen and continue to see Muslims in many parts of the world as obstacles to our imperial ambitions.” In the Huffington Post, he emphasizes the “history of Western interventionism in Muslim-majority contexts, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, the U.S. exploitation of energy resources in the Middle East, the legacy of European colonialism.” The oft-debated question “Is ISIS [the Islamic State in Iraq and (Greater) Syria] Islamic?” is merely a “thinly veiled form of Islamophobia intended to heighten our fears of Islam while absolving the U.S. of its own responsibility in contributing to the rise to ISIS.”

“Religion is rarely the driving force behind terrorism,” Green’s article claims, befitting his oft-disproved analysis that socioeconomic disadvantage, not Islamic doctrine, lies behind jihadist violence. At LPC, he described Muslims joining ISIS because of factors like discrimination in Europe or oppression from Middle Eastern dictatorships, just as socioeconomic factors might influence Westerners to join rightwing movements. “White Christians have an empire to hide behind.  Many of these young men joining ISIS don’t.  When you are politically disenfranchised you will sometimes find other ways to find power.”

In identifying “Islamophobia’s” past and present purveyors, Green resorts to well-worn, hackneyed tropes. He embraces the fraudulent Edward Said’s Orientalism thesis that “knowledge about Islam coming from Orientalism was being distorted by the imperial project.” Past Western Islamic studies served not intellectual inquiry, but rather “knowledge for the sake of control” over Muslims.

Green today castigates “professional Islamophobes” supposedly motivated by pure malice, such as Pamela Geller, Daniel Pipes, Jihad Watch’s Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders. “From the time they wake up in the morning to the time they go to bed at night, their job is to figure out ‘how can I better demonize Muslims today.’” While “Islamophobia” often appears among conservatives, it is “more dangerous in the way it manifests itself among those who claim to be liberal,” such as talk show host Bill Maher, Green noted at LPC. He meanwhile makes the common yet baseless claim that “Islamophobia” forms a well-funded “powerful industry,” while the “anti-Islamophobia side does not pay quite as well” for individuals like him.

Contrastingly, in Green’s estimation Islamic belief seemingly can cause no harm, as he rejects “misconceptions” that “sharia law is somehow incompatible with democracy or with the West.” “The overwhelming majority of Muslims” globally “really are trying to practice their religion that helps them and their fellow human beings flourish,” he has argued. At LPC he added that “I hate the language of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’” and its “simplistic understanding that Islam programs people to be violent.”

Islamic rule past and present thus raises few concerns for Green while he condemns the United States for having supported dictators like Iran’s shah. Like many academics, he whitewashes Islam’s often brutal, subjugated “status of dhimmis or protected minorities” for non-Muslims, stating that “for much of the history of Islam Christians and Jews were protected and lived in peace with Muslims.” Today Americans in the Middle East should “be very consistent when it comes to supporting democratic movements, even if that means risking losing an alliance with an autocratic government,” irrespective of such “democratic” results in 1979 Iran and 2011 Egypt.

More often than not, non-Muslims draw Green’s criticism. Writing in Sojourners, he approved of President Barack Obama’s regurgitation of the common canard that the Crusades were unjustified aggression, not a just war defensive response to jihadist conquests. “Obama did his best at the National Prayer Breakfast in February [2015] to address the legacy of violence carried out in the name of Christianity.” Green also has falsely relativized that the “Bible has its fair share of violent texts” along with the Quran, thereby ignoring fundamental differences between violent verses in these two scriptures.

Green’s Huffington Post writings betray a less than stirring defense of free speech against jihadist censorship. Geller and Spencer’s 2015 Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland, Texas, where security guards killed two Muslim assailants, merely exemplified “hate rallies that engage in Muslim-bashing under the pretense of defending freedom of speech.” Reviewing Iran’s 1989 blasphemy death sentence for British writer Salman Rushdie, Green mused that “minorities rarely have possessed the same opportunities to shape public opinion as those with political power or cultural capital.” Therefore, “Rushdie and some of his more outspoken supporters adopted a fairly uncritical approach to freedom of expression, assuming at times that this freedom benefits all members of Western societies equally.”

For Green, individual relationships between Muslims and non-Muslims are the antidote to what he has called a “perfect storm of Islamophobia” in a French television interview. He laments supposedly skewed media representations emphasizing Islam’s violence while “there simply are not enough strong relationships in the West between Muslims who are in the minority and the non-Muslim majority.” As one venue for interfaith outreach, he advocates the Muslim Brotherhood (MB)-derived Muslim Students Association (MSA), which he addressed in 2010 at Minnesota’s St. Cloud State University.

One of Green’s book interviewees, Muslim congressman Keith Ellison, currently under fire for his anti-Israel statements and extremists Islamist affiliations, presents for Green the kind of Muslim people should befriend. “If you have a really jaded, negative view of politicians and think that they are intellectually disengaged, you should have a conversation with Keith Ellison, and you will change your mind,” Green has stated about the Minnesota representative. Accordingly, Green’s wife and fellow leftist, Tabita, has written about how he took Luther College students from their Iowa campus on a field trip to Ellison’s Minneapolis mosque, where the radical imam Siraj Wahaj has been a featured speaker. Tabita also noted that the field trip included a visit to the Minnesota chapter of the Hamas-derived Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) “to learn about their civil rights work.”

Green’s tweets round out his Islamist sympathies. In one, he calls the radical, anti-Semitic Woman’s March on Washington organizer Linda Sarsour a “shining star in the battle against racism and bigotry” and therefore “#ImarchwithLinda.” In another, his CAIR and MSA affiliations apparently make him worry that “[d]esignating the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist org. will open the door to witch hunts aimed @ Muslim civil liberties groups.”

Yet even Green recognizes that interfaith relations with Muslims are not without their pitfalls. “You want to see a nonstarter happen,” he has indicated in his various appearances, including at LPC, then introduce the subject of “Palestine” between Jews and Muslims. Before tackling such hot topics, he recommends that interfaith groups undertake noncontroversial community projects like Habitat for Humanity homebuilding; “I tend to prefer more organic relationships to evolve,” he has stated. Apparently then, Jewish legal legend Alan Dershowitz should build a house with Ellison before deciding to leave the Democratic Party if he becomes the Democratic National Committee chairman.

Reality belies Green’s “getting to know you” thesis in which individual relationships with Muslims dispel reservations towards Islam that actually come from the faith’s hard facts, not imagined prejudice. Numerous Christians from Muslim-majority countries have impressed upon this author Islam’s oppressive nature towards non-Muslims, even though these individuals lack no opportunity to meet Muslims as Green bemoans in the United States. Likewise Europe’s significantly larger Muslim populations, recently increased by an influx of “refugees,” have done little to improve Islam’s popularity.

The arguments of Green, who by self-admission is by training a student of American and European religious history, not Islamic studies, might impress his fellow leftists as indicated by his largely positive reception at LPC. Paralleling the Obama Administration’s State Department, LPC has made an appeal to “Actively Support the Boycott of Products Made in Israeli Settlements” and is pro-LGBT. Yet individuals like James Lafferty, head of Christians Against Radical Islam (CARI), indicated during audience questions why skepticism is warranted. He recalled a local presentation 25 years ago by Anwar al-Awlaki, an imam once feted as a Muslim “moderate” and later killed in Yemen as an Al Qaeda supporter by a 2011 American drone strike. “He said many times exactly the same words I have heard tonight,” Lafferty noted.

Sisi’s church donation stirs religious controversy

January 27, 2017

Sisi’s church donation stirs religious controversy, Al-Monitor

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a meeting with Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, with some members of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt July 28, 2016 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency. The Egyptian Presidency/Handout via REUTERS ATTENTION EDITORS - THIS IMAGE WAS PROVIDED BY A THIRD PARTY. EDITORIAL USE ONLY. - RTSK39U

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi attends a meeting with Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II, head of the Egyptian Coptic Orthodox Church, with some members of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Orthodox Church at the Ittihadiya presidential palace in Cairo, Egypt July 28, 2016 in this handout picture courtesy of the Egyptian Presidency.

“In addition to making a donation for the building of a church, [Sisi] also donated his money to establish a mosque, thus putting both communities [Christian and Muslim] on the same pedestal.”

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CAIRO — Egypt’s Coptic Christians have become used to visits by President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi. On Jan. 6, for the third year in a row, Sisi celebrated Coptic Christmas at the Abbasiya Cathedral in Cairo, extending Christmas wishes to the country’s Copts and Tawadros II, the pope of Alexandria and patriarch of the See of St. Mark.

This year, the celebration was different. The cathedral where Sisi addressed the congregation and delivered Christmas wishes stands just meters from St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church, where an explosion during a service on Dec. 11 claimed the lives of 27 people and wounded 48, mostly women and children.

Sisi responded to the attack not just by visiting the church, but by announcing a 100,000 Egyptian pound (roughly $5,200) personal donation toward building a church and mosque in the new administrative capital of New Cairo.

Hamdi Rizq, the host of the show “Al-Nazra” (“The View”) on satellite TV channel Sada al-Balad, reacted by announcing during his show Jan. 6 that donations were being collected for the building of a mosque and a church in the new capital.

Amina Naseer, a professor of religion at Al-Azhar University and a member of parliament, who also serves on the parliamentary education committee, said in a Jan. 7 phone call on “Al-Nazra” that she had also donated 100,000 pounds to be split equally between the mosque and the church.

During the same show, other donors came forward: Farag Amer, the chair of the parliamentary committee for youth and sport; member of parliament Mustafa Bakry; and businessman Mohammed Abul-Enein, the owner of the Sada al-Balad network.

“The president’s call for donations for a mosque and a church should be an example to all,” Alaa Wali, head of the parliament’s housing committee, told Al-Monitor. “I suggested setting up a fund to receive donations for places of worship in general, including for renovating churches damaged because of terrorist attacks, but the priority will be a mosque and a church in the administrative capital so they can be as beautiful as possible.”

Naseer told Al-Monitor she had urged all members of parliament to donate to the fund. “Those donations are for all Egyptians, not just for the Copts,” she said. “It is true that they will go toward building a church, but that is a reaction by all Egyptians against everyone who tries to impose a foreign mandate on us, as the US Congress tried to do.”

Naseer was referring to a bill debated in Congress on Dec. 28 that would require Egypt to report annually to the US State Department on its work to restore churches vandalized by members of the Muslim Brotherhood, which was toppled from power in July 2013. Egyptian Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Abu Zeed rejected in a press statement issued on the same day the bill and the debate, calling it flagrant intervention in Egypt’s affairs.

While Sisi’s donation was welcomed by some, the suggestion that Egyptians should donate to the fund was slammed by his opponents. Lawyer Tarek Elawady wrote on Facebook Jan. 6: “Sir, Egypt does not need mosques and churches; it needs schools, factories and workplaces.”

Magda Ghonem, a professor of economics and rural development at Ain Shams University in Cairo, tweeted on Jan. 7: “We have a surplus of places of worship, no smaller than the surplus in outbidding and hypocrisy. What about building the biggest home for street children, or the biggest university, or the biggest training center?”

In a lengthy post on Facebook Jan. 7, Cairo University political science professor Hazem Hosny said that the state may not have allocated the necessary funds for a church or a mosque, rather intending to rely on donations made by the citizens. “The president made the first donation, but the whole thing is an attempt to get Egyptians to pay for the new capital under the pretext of building a mosque or a church,” Hosny wrote.

Political activist Mamdouh Hamza satirized Sisi’s donation, tweeting Jan. 7: “Donate for the building of a mosque or a church, because the faithful are lining up outside thousands of mosques and churches; there’s a critical shortage of places for prayer.”

While some critics played down the importance of building mosques and churches at the present time, other bloggers and anonymous activists condemned the idea of donating for church building on religious grounds, saying it violates Sharia.

“The Christian faith is in opposition with Sharia and Islamic doctrine on many issues,” a Salafist scholar who asked not to be named told Al-Monitor. “It is haram for Muslims to donate to the building of any institution that will be a base for discussion and promotion of anything that contradicts Sharia and Islamic doctrine.”

For his part, Abdel Fattah Idriss, a professor of comparative jurisprudence at Al-Azhar University, told Al-Monitor, “There is no jurisprudence proof or any sunna in the holy Quran that prohibits a head of state from donating funds for the building of a church or any other house of worship for the monotheistic religions. Islamic Sharia had approved of this as per Prophet Muhammad who gave the right for Jews of Medina to build their temples.”

Idriss said, “The donation made by a head of state is widely welcomed, as he is considered the [protector] of all communities residing in Egypt and has the complete authority to build houses of worship. Such donations strengthen people’s patriotism and make them feel part of the nation, qualities that Islam has always sought to instill.”

He added, “In addition to making a donation for the building of a church, [Sisi] also donated his money to establish a mosque, thus putting both communities [Christian and Muslim] on the same pedestal.”

A similar controversy broke out in 2009 regarding Sharia rulings on Muslim donations for the building of churches. The sheikh of Al-Azhar at the time, Mohammed Sayed Tantawi, met a delegation from the Egyptian Union for Human Rights, headed by Naguib Gibrael, an adviser to the Orthodox Church. The media reported he had ruled that Muslims donating for church building was permitted by Islamic law. His office denied the reports after a wave of opposition from scholars at Al-Azhar.

Egypt’s Dar al-Iftaa, a government body that advises on Islamic religious affairs, ruled on Jan. 7, 2016, “Christians in Egypt may, according to Islamic law, build churches if they need that for their worship, and Islam demands they be allowed to remain, according to the laws laid down by the Egyptian state. There is nothing in any reliable text on Islamic law to prohibit that.”

Sisi’s attempt to rein in the anger of the Copts after the bombing attack of St. Peter and St. Paul Coptic Orthodox Church thus prompted a range of criticism. But it appears that the opposition comes from a pre-existing state of antagonism between him and his critics who bemoan the lack of social, economic and educational progress in Egypt.

US Catholic bishops hold “dialogue” with Hamas-linked group to engage in “advocacy in support of Muslim community”

January 11, 2017

US Catholic bishops hold “dialogue” with Hamas-linked group to engage in “advocacy in support of Muslim community”, Jihad Watch

“Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago… said that as part of the dialogue’s launch last February, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego held a public discussion with Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.”

The Islamic Society of North America: “ISNA leaders view Islam as being superior to all other faiths and destined to replace them. Taha J. Alwani, a leading official of the Fiqh Council of North America, which is run under ISNA, writes: ‘In considering the earth as an arena for Islam, Allah has promised its inheritance to His righteous people, and He has promised that Islam will prevail over other religions.’…In July 2008, ISNA’s lawyers conceded that their organization, through its affiliate NAIT, had given financial support to Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook. Their defense was that documentary evidence of those ties dated back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, before the U.S. government had officially designated Hamas as a terrorist organization.”

“Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities…”

Anti-Jewish hate crimes are two times more common than anti-Muslim hate crimes. What is the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops doing to combat anti-Jewish activities? Why, nothing. Nothing at all.

“Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities nationwide as well as a recent study by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project on Islamophobia, showing that Catholics who regularly obtained information from Catholic media were more likely to unfavorably view Muslims than those who did not.”

The Bridge Initiative is part of Georgetown University’s Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding (ACMCU). It is run by Nathan Lean, the gutter thug who has several times published on Twitter what he thinks is my home address, in an obvious attempt to alert jihad murderers to my whereabouts and/or intimidate me into silence. Its study was designed to defame those who tell the truth about the nature and magnitude of the jihad threat, and strong-arm Catholic bookstores into not carrying books by me and others who enunciate these unwelcome truths.

So it looks as if the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is throwing in completely with Hamas- and Saudi-linked groups that are determined above all to clear away all obstacles to the advancing jihad.

The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops is a disgrace to Catholicism, to Christianity, and to humanity.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

catholic-muslim-dialogue

“Catholic-Muslim dialogue opens to support American Muslims,” by James Martone, Catholic News Service, January 10, 2017 (thanks to M.):

WASHINGTON, D.C. – An emerging Catholic dialogue with Muslims aims to show public support for Islamic American communities.

The dialogue stems from concerns expressed by U.S. bishops in the wake of “a serious uptick in violence against American Muslims … to make sure that they are sensitive to what is going on in the (Muslim) communities,” said Anthony Cirelli, associate director of the Secretariat for Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs at the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

The dialogue, underway since last February, will build on three already existing regional Catholic-Muslim dialogues, also overseen by the secretariat. Those gatherings have involved Muslim and Christian scholars and religious leaders and have focused largely on academic discussions and comparisons of their respective religious texts, Cirelli said.

The regional dialogues – mid-Atlantic, Midwest and West Coast – have been effective in creating a better understanding among Muslim and Catholic leaders on a theological level, Cirelli explained.

The national dialogue also will help Muslim leaders to better advocate for current concerns, “especially with the incoming (U.S.) administration,” said Cirelli, referring to calls by President-elect Donald J. Trump and others to monitor American Muslims and limit entry of Muslim visitors from abroad.

“While our meetings will still have as a central component the all-important theological conversation, right now there is an urgency to engage more in a kind of advocacy and policy in support of the Muslim community,” Cirelli told Catholic News Service.

Cirelli cited statistics documenting a higher number of anti-Muslim activities nationwide as well as a recent study by The Bridge Initiative, a Georgetown University research project on Islamophobia, showing that Catholics who regularly obtained information from Catholic media were more likely to unfavorably view Muslims than those who did not.

“The bishops’ priority at the moment is to listen to (Muslims’) concerns, their fears, their needs … and so discern how we as Catholics can help them achieve their goals of full participation in their communities,” Cirelli said.

He said Muslim counterparts to the dialogue were still being identified.

“At this point in our nation’s history, we, the bishops, are mainly concerned with listening to and, when appropriate, coming to stand with our Muslim colleagues in their own difficult work of addressing the fears of ordinary Americans with respect to Muslims as well as their work in trying to change the negative narrative surrounding Muslims in our popular media,” Cirelli said.

The creation of the dialogue was motivated by the call of “Nostra Aetate,” the Second Vatican Council’s declaration on the relations with non-Christian religions.

“As the national conversation around Islam grows increasingly fraught, coarse and driven by fear and often willful misinformation, the Catholic Church must help to model real dialogue and goodwill,” Bishop Mitchell T. Rozanski of Springfield, Massachusetts, chairman of the bishops’ Committee on Ecumenical and Interreligious Affairs, said at the time the dialogue started in February.

Cardinal Blase J. Cupich of Chicago was designated as the dialogue’s Catholic chairman and assumed the position Jan. 1, Cirelli said.

He said that as part of the dialogue’s launch last February, Bishop Robert W. McElroy of San Diego held a public discussion with Sayyid M. Syeed, national director of the Islamic Society of North America’s Office for Interfaith and Community Alliances.

During the widely publicized event at the University of San Diego’s Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace and Justice, Bishop McElroy challenged U.S. Catholics to take an active role in combating “the scourge of anti-Islamic prejudice.”…

“Now Is Time to Behead Unbelievers”

January 1, 2017

“Now Is Time to Behead Unbelievers”, Gatestone InstituteRaymond Ibrahim, January 1, 2016

“[W]e heard that the [ISIS] militants grabbed six strong men working at the bakery and burned them inside the oven. After that, they caught some 250 kids and kneaded them like dough in the bakery dough machine…. Members of 200 different families were killed right before our eyes.” — Syria.

Some Christian and Yazidi women captured by ISIS militants were sold at auctions in Saudi Arabia, America’s close friend, which is supposedly part of the coalition fighting ISIS. — Saudi Arabia.

“[T]he Christians who converted to Islam did so under threats, coercion, compulsion, and force.” — Bishop Alexios, Gaza.

“We have our sights set on you, and by Allah we will kill every single infidel student at this school.” — Social media message targeting McAuley Catholic School, United Kingdom.

Authorities ordered the closure of house churches… after Muslims complained that they were being disturbed by the Christian prayers. Christian worship services in private homes has become more common. The closure of these house churches is seen as the government’s way of cracking down on them. — Pakistan.

In compliance with Islamic law, the island nation banned the construction of churches. — Brunei.

As Turkey’s government continues to build nearly 9,000 mosques in the last decade, it banned Orthodox Christian liturgy in a monastery inaugurated in 386 AD, roughly 1,000 years before Muslim Turks conquered Asia Minor. — Turkey.

“To all Muslims: now is the time to behead the unbelievers.” A female Iranian refugee said one night a group of men shouted: “Whoever finds an Iranian woman today may rape and kill her. Kill them all. You may kill and rape them. You can do it, everywhere. Wherever you find them, you may do that.” — Report from a refugee center, Germany.

Reports of Muslims torturing, raping, and forcing Christians to embrace Islam continued to mount throughout the month of October. Alice Assaf, a Christian woman recounted the experiences of Christians—including her son’s execution for refusing to deny his faith—in a village near Damascus at the hands of the Islamic State. She also told how the Islamic State massacres children in cruel and unusual ways—including by throwing them into an industrial sized dough mixer:

“[W]e heard that the militants grabbed six strong men working at the bakery and burned them inside the oven. After that, they caught some 250 kids and kneaded them like dough in the bakery dough machine…. Members of 200 different families were killed right before our eyes.”

Some Christian and Yazidi women captured by ISIS militants were sold at auctions in Saudi Arabia, America’s close friend, which is supposedly part of the coalition fighting ISIS.

In Pakistan, a group of armed Muslims kidnapped and took turns raping a teenage girl after her Christian family refused to convert to Islam. According to the report, after they broke into the Christian home in the middle of the night while everyone slept:

Six men and a woman known locally by the family who were armed with guns, sticks and metal poles began to beat the family asking them to convert to Islam or die. Despite the pain and threats to their lives the family stayed resolute to their Christian faith and refused to convert. This incensed the Muslim attackers even more. All the family members were tied up and blindfolded and two of them, 20-year-old Arif [male] and 17-year-old Jameela [female], were kidnapped and dragged into a van outside. The two of them were taken to an unknown building and tortured but Arif refused to convert to Islam. He could hear her screaming and was told by his captors that they were taking turns raping his sister and that all he had to do to save her was to convert to Islam, but still he refused though in great anguish for her.

Arif eventually managed to escape though the fate of his sister was unknown.

In Gaza, recent years have “witnessed a critical upsurge against the Christians,” said an Arabic language report published in October. Local authorities have reportedly abandoned the tiny Christian minority—2,500 people surrounded by approximately 1.5 million Muslims—to their fate. “At times we hear of the bombing of a Christian bookshop and assaults on churches and other Christian institutions; other times we hear of the kidnapping of Christians and the coercion of them to embrace the religion of Muhammad,” notes the report.

Christians in Gaza led a protest, calling for the return of their kidnapped children and loved ones. Bishop Alexios of the region “confirmed that the Christians who converted to Islam did so under threats, coercion, compulsion, and force.” His church also submitted a formal petition to the governor of the region, Ismail Haniyeh, calling on him to investigate matters, but received no response. The report adds that Gaza’s Christians are calling on the Christian world to intervene. The bishop said that he is trying to communicate all of this to the Vatican, the United Nations, and the United States.

Statistics concerning the global jihad on Christians also emerged in October. Between 2003 and June 9, 2014, ISIS killed at least 1,131 Christians and destroyed or damaged at least 125 Christian churches. “Murder of Christians is commonplace” in Iraq, Syria, and Libya, states the report. “Many have been killed in front of their own families.”

Between January 2013 and May 2016 and in one Nigerian region alone—the Middle Belt, Nasarawa—Muslims, often connected to the Islamic terror group Boko Haram, killed 826 Christians, injured 878 injured, destroyed 102 churches and 787 Christian houses, and displaced 21,000 people.

The rest of the month of October’s worldwide Muslim persecution of Christians includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Ethiopia: Three separate attacks on one church took place over the course of a month revealed an October report. One Christian was killed. On August 30, a Muslim mob assaulted the church during service. They broke doors, windows, and chairs; they beat men, women and children with their fists and sticks—seriously wounding 30—and they hacked with machetes a 55-year-old founding member. The father of eight died from his wounds. The day after the slaughtered Christian’s funeral, a group of Muslim men strangled a female member of the congregation and left her for dead. On September 27, a Muslim mob attacked more church members as they returned home after church.

United States: Wendell Buchanan, a recent convert to Islam, shot up three rural churches in Shelbyville, Tennessee. One, the Horse Mountain Church of Christ, was targeted three times and the bullets caused thousands of dollars in damages. Before Facebook deleted it, Buchanan had written on his account, “I’m just doing my job as a messenger for my Lord, I owe absolutely everything to Allah because he has set me free from my spiritual cage.” The Muslim convert is facing four counts of destruction of utility equipment, five counts of desecration of a venerated object, and nine counts of felony vandalism.

Separately in San Antonio, unknown vandals defaced two churches—the Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Saint Gregory Catholic Church—by spray painting “No to wall” and “Islam or die” next to the entrance of the church. Islamic terror cells are known to be operating across the border in Mexico.

Italy: A Muslim refugee from Ghana severely vandalized four churches in Rome (video of rampage here). He first invaded the Church of San Martino ai Monti and broke a statue. Next, he went to the ancient Basilica of Santa Prassede, where he demolished several more statues of saints, purposefully smashing them to the ground and stamping on them. He then ripped a large crucifix from the wall and was preparing to destroy it when he was stopped by a priest who grabbed him by the leg. The refugee continued his rampage and vandalized two other churches, San Vitale and the Church of San Giovanni dei Fiorentini in Piazza d’Oro, where he destroyed several other precious statues. He was finally arrested by police in Rome’s historic district and charged with vandalism and religious hatred.

United Kingdom: A Catholic school was threatened by a social media message saying, “We have our sights set on you, and by Allah we will kill every single infidel student at this school #McAuleySchoolMassacre.” The post, which targeted McAuley Catholic High School, Doncaster, appeared on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat, and prompted widespread fear. The school apparently downplayed the incident and said authorities and police were alerted and investigating. But not all were reassured. Parent Shanie Varley took her 15-year-old daughter out of school and argued that, although many knew of the message, “parents weren’t told.” When the mother contacted the school, she was told that police were there and that it was “nothing to worry about.”

Kosovo: Muslims turned a Christian chapel and cemetery into a public toilet and garbage dump. Earlier, a local Christian clergyman repaired and cleaned the chapel, only to return and see it being used again as a toilet. The only action taken by the local Muslim mayor has been to prevent Christians from accessing the chapel and cemetery in order to clean it for visits from family members of those buried there; but he has done nothing to prevent the site from being desecrated, despite Christian petitions. Similarly, on September 10, Muslims in Pristina set fire to Christ the Savior Cathedral. “Immediately after the fire,” noted the report, they “started using it [the church] as a toilet…. Since the Albanian Muslims took possession of this Orthodox land, hundreds of churches and monasteries have been burnt to the ground.”

Pakistan: Authorities ordered the closure of house churches in the city of Bahawalpur after Muslims complained that they were being disturbed by Christian prayers. Christians were ordered to hold worship and prayer services in only one of four official churches in the city. Because the construction of new churches in Pakistan is highly regulated with countless hurdles to overcome—as in most Muslim nations—meeting and holding Christian worship services in private homes has become more common. The closure of these house churches is seen as the government’s way of cracking down on them.

Indonesia: Following local Muslim protests, the mayor of South Jakarta closed a Protestant church by claiming it lacked a permit. When pressed about the claim, he said the congregation did have a permit, but only to build a “home-office and not to the elevation of a church.” The report adds that “The process for the construction of a church in Indonesia—Catholic or Protestant—is complicated and may take five to ten years to get all the permissions required.”

Brunei: In compliance with Islamic law, the island nation banned the construction of churches. There are currently three churches there; no more can be added. Although the nation is Muslim-majority, approximately 10% of the population is Christian. According to the report, “Christians living in Brunei feel the brunt of the divisive law.”

Turkey: As the government continues building mosques—nearly 9,000 were constructed between 2005 and 2015—it banned Orthodox Christian liturgy in the Sumela Monastery, a historic site inaugurated in 386 AD, roughly 1,000 years before Muslim Turks conquered Asia Minor. According to the report:

“The ban has caused great disappointment to thousands of Pontian people worldwide, and people from Greece who had planned to travel to the region these days to celebrate the Feast of the Assumption. Sources within the Patriarchate of Constantinople … fear that Christian mass will never be allowed in the historic monastery again. This arbitrary ban seems to be yet another demonstration of the ‘unofficial’ second-class status of Christians in Turkey…. What secular, democratic republic builds thousands of mosques with state funds — taxpayer money — while closing the Halki Seminary of the Eastern Orthodox Church and confiscating countless Christian properties?”

2174The Turkish government recently banned Orthodox Christian liturgy in the Sumela Monastery, a historic site inaugurated in 386 AD, roughly 1,000 years before Muslim Turks conquered Asia Minor. (Image source: Bjørn Christian Tørrissen/Wikimedia Commons)

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Australia: A 42-year-old Muslim man in Sydney stabbed to death his 35-year-old wife for converting to Christianity. The Iranian couple had been living on visas for four years. Prior to the woman’s apostasy, there was no known history of domestic violence between the couple. The report adds that “Christianity has been spreading rapidly among Iranians in recent years. This has caused many of them being forced to leave Iran as the government doesn’t tolerate conversion from Islam.”

Pakistan: A 24-year-old Muslim man from Lahore murdered his 18-year-old sister for marrying a Christian, an act banned under Islamic law. He shot her in the head with a gun. The arrested man later said, “I told her I would have no face to show at the mill [where he worked], to show to my neighbors, so don’t do it. Don’t do it. But she wouldn’t listen. I could not let it go. It was all I could think about. I had to kill her. There was no choice.”

Kenya: Islamic militants raided a village in the Christian majority nation at 2 am while everyone was asleep and slaughtered six people. The Islamic terror group Al Shabaab—”the youth”—headquartered in neighboring Somalia, claimed the attack on “Christianity’s power in the region.” It released a statement: “We are behind the Mandera attack in which we killed six Christians.” One witness said that the slain, “were gunned down mercilessly and their heads chopped off and smashed by grenades. I do not know how to say it better. I am psychologically bullied.”

Nigeria: Muslim Fulani herdsmen killed more than 40 people during a massacre in a Christian village. The Fulanis have been responsible for several other brutal attacks which targeted Christians. They are portrayed as “infidels” who should be driven off the farming land.

Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Germany: A human rights group issued a report in October shedding more light on the ongoing violence and discrimination Christian minorities face in refugee camps. Almost 750 Christians reported that they have experienced religiously motivated violence, including death threats and “sentencing” from unofficial Sharia courts. In one instance, Christian refugees returned from a church meeting to find a notice in one of the rooms that said: “To all Muslims: now is the time to behead the unbelievers.” A female Iranian refugee said one night a group of men shouted: “Whoever finds an Iranian woman today may rape and kill her. Kill them all. You may kill and rape them. You can do it, everywhere. Wherever you find them, you may do that.” Iranians are being targeted for being Shia and/or converting to Christianity. The woman added:

“We came here to live a free life, but now we are being oppressed heavily. It is just like the Daesh [ISIS]: we feel very oppressed… I am living her under constant pressure and cannot take it any more. Nobody is allowed to know that I am a Christian, for I am afraid that they might find out about it in Iran. I am living under constant fear and oppression.”

Nigeria: A 40-year-old Muslim cleric, Saheed Gbadamosi, was arrested after he threatened to bathe a local Christian pastor with acid and destroy his church. The prosecutor said that the “accused conspired with others still at large and stormed the defendant’s church armed with different types of dangerous weapons as they beat up the pastor identified as Emmanuel Ugbo, destroying church property and threatening to pour acid on him.”

Ethiopia: Hours after releasing an 18-year-old Christian known only as Deborah on bail, police re-arrested her. She and three younger teenage girls (two aged 14, one 15) were initially arrested for handing out a booklet entitled, “Let’s speak the truth in love: Answers to questions by Ahmed Deedat,” which rebutted accusations against the Christian faith by the named and prominent Muslim cleric. This enraged some local Muslims, who said the book was an insult to Islam. They proceeded to riot and attack a church, damaging its windows and doors; this onslaught led to the arrest of the four teenage Christian girls. “It is not yet clear why Deborah was re-arrested. A police investigation failed to bring formal charges against her and the three other girls. Their bail application was approved by a judge, and the four teenagers were released after paying Birr 3,000 (about US$135),” said the report.

Sudan: Six more Christians, three of whom are pastors, were jailed for refusing to hand over a school run by their evangelical church to the government. They were later released on bail. According to the report, “The arrests follow a number of other arrests of Christians in the country, where Christians face persecution…. Five other churches – three belonging to the Sudan Church of Christ, one to the Presbyterian Church and the other to the Episcopal Church – have been told their buildings will be demolished.”

Kyrgyzstan: A family of mixed religious background was forced to bury and exhume its 76-year-old mother three times due to religious restrictions. The family—the daughter is Christian, the father is Muslim—were told they could not bury their mother because she “had been a practicing Christian in a village that was overwhelmingly Muslim, and local religious leaders restricted the cemetery to Muslims,” said the report. Authorities were said to be investigating the case. One of the charges was “desecration of the dead.”

Pakistan: A Muslim mob beat Michael Robert, pastor of the Seventh Day Adventist Church in Farooqabad, and his family, before forcibly evicting them from their home. According to the Muslim assailants, the house, which the Christian purchased two years ago, is Muslim property. Robert’s family filed a suit for fraud and the judge issued a restraining order barring anyone from forcibly evicting them until ownership was settled. Undeterred, 50 armed Muslim men stormed the house and, according to a lawyer, “left Pastor Robert, his father Robert Masih and his wife seriously injured. The assailants arrived in the dark of night and started firing in the air with their weapons to terrorize the locals. They then forced open Pastor Robert’s gate and attacked the family, thrashing them violently as they threw household items out in the open.”

Separately, authorities shut down 11 Christian television stations which they described as “illegal broadcasts.” In response, Father Mushtaq Anjum, a Pakistani priest involved with the media, said, “The proclamation of the good news is now illegal. Christians have no place in public television channels.”

In Khanewal district, local authorities have allowed the only Christian graveyard to deteriorate over the past thirty years and have taken no restorative measures despite Christian pleas. One man said that local authority, Muhammad Khan Daha, was contacted repeatedly but has overlooked the matter, despite having pledged to allocate funds to restore the boundary wall, and provide electricity and water connections. He also said the graveyard was so full that in two years’ time there would be no more room to bury their dead.

Niger: Jeff Woodke, a 55-year-old American Christian missionary who had been living and serving his community for 24 years, was abducted from his home by Islamic militants after they killed two security guards. The mayor of the region said it was a “terrible tragedy” and that locals “wept with sorrow, lamenting the loss of a friend” the day after his abduction: “This man has lived among us for years, even in when it has been difficult to accompany vulnerable populations… Everyone knows his goodness.”

Egypt: Armed Muslim men ambushed and abducted three Christian men and one of the men’s 9-year-old son as they were driving their car near Assyut. After the family could not meet the initial ransom demand of 500,000 Egyptian pounds, a ransom of 150,000 Egyptian pounds ($8,000 USD) was agreed upon and the kidnapped victims were freed.

Germany: A kindergarten in Kassel canceled all Christmas celebrations and banned Christmas songs, trees, and any mention of the Nativity to accommodate the “diverse cultures” of their students. Approximately 12% of the 200,000 population are “foreign or have foreign roots.” The report adds that “Because of the high percentage of Muslim children at the Sara-Nussbaum-Haus Kindergarten, teachers at the school must pay special attention to make sure the children don’t swap food at lunch. This will make sure the Muslim children do not eat pork. Pork is not offered on the school’s menu.”

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing.

The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place irrespective of language, ethnicity, or location.