Archive for the ‘Islam and Christians’ category

Somalia: Jihad group’s “demented” beheadings, killing of Christians on the rise, 9,000 jihadis ready

September 2, 2017

Somalia: Jihad group’s “demented” beheadings, killing of Christians on the rise, 9,000 jihadis ready, Jihad Watch

Thirteen out of fourteen of the worst countries for Christian persecution on the Open Doors USA, World Watch List are Islamic countries. While the top persecutor is North Korea, the source of persecution in that country stems from “dictatorial paranoia”: worship of the ruling Kim family is mandated for all. Following North Korea as the biggest persecutor, however, is Somalia.

Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab’s beheadings and attacks against Christians will continue to rise, with the Somali-based militants having an estimated 9,000 jihadis at their disposal.

Christians “are facing growing persecution around the world, fueled mainly by Islamic extremism and repressive governments.” Warnings of “a form of genocide” and “religio-ethnic cleansing” have been issued, and as Christian suffering expands globally, the West continues to bow in submission to the contrived victimology narrative of “Islamophobia,” while the real victims — peaceful Christians — continue to be slaughtered for their faith.

Western nations have virtually abandoned Christians, who are not only victims of war but are persecuted as well. Western governments are catering almost exclusively to Muslim refugees, many of whom have caused havoc across Europe, enough to cause Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic to close their doors to Muslim asylum seekers to avoid jihad attacks, mass sex assaults against infidels, and lawlessness.

The former Archbishop of Canterbury, Lord George Carey, has stated bluntly of the UK — and his words apply across the Western world — that “politically correct” officials were “institutionally biased” against Christian refugees, who are not being resettled in the UK at the same rate as Muslim refugees.

As 9,000 jihadists in East Africa prepare to launch gruesome attacks against Christians, the American Center for Law and Justice has desperately urged:

This heinous jihadist army must be stopped. Al-Shabaab’s atrocities against Christians and brutal persecution of churches in Kenya can no longer be ignored or tolerated. We must be heard.

Christian persecution has been ignored and tolerated for far too long.

“Al-Shabaab’s ‘Demented’ Beheadings, Killing of Christians on the Rise; 9,000 Jihadis Ready”, by Stoyan Zaimov, Christian Post, September 1, 2017:

Islamic terrorist group al-Shabaab’s beheadings and attacks against Christians will continue to rise, with the Somali-based militants having an estimated 9,000 jihadis at their disposal, a law group monitoring religious persecution warned.

The American Center for Law and Justice listed on Thursday the growing list of barbaric attacks carried out by the terrorist group over the past couple of years, including door-to-door raids in villages in Kenya in July, where the militants hunted down and killed seven Christians.

In August, al-Shabaab militants killed another four Christians in Kenya’s Lamu County, beheading three and burning alive another.

The group is also infamous for the mass slaughter of 148 people at Garissa University in April 2015, when the militants specifically searched for Christian students to kill, separating them from the Muslims.

“This heinous jihadist army must be stopped. Al-Shabaab’s atrocities against Christians and brutal persecution of churches in Kenya can no longer be ignored or tolerated. We must be heard,” ACLJ urged.

“Al-Shabaab’s actions are clearly deadly, demented, disturbing, and disgusting. We must defeat and destroy these Islamic jihadists.”

The law group warned, however, that the Islamic radical group may have an “estimated 9,000 jihadist soldiers and a plethora of outside resources to draw upon,” making their terrorist activities “less and less likely to relent.”

The U.S. military has been carrying out air strikes against al-Shabaab’s bases in Somalia, looking to dismantle its operations, though Kenya has largely been unable to stop the cross-border attacks.

The law group pointed out that it has been warning about the spread of al-Shabaab for years, and echoed its words from 2015:

“[Y]et another radical Islamic jihadist army — just like ISIS, the Islamic State — is ruthlessly murdering Christians, targeting them for their faith. This global and historic persecution continues.”

The East African Centre for Law & Justice, an ACLJ affiliate, noted: “In the past few years, the Somalia-based terrorist group al-Shabaab carried out attacks in the counties of Mombasa, Mandera, Garissa, Wajir, Lamu, and Tana River and said it had targeted non-Muslims because of their faith.

“In Lamu County, al-Shabaab claimed responsibility for at least 65 deaths, with some witnesses reporting the terrorists asked the religion of victims, killing non-Muslims.”

The terrorist group, whose name translates to “The Youth,” has been active for over a decade, and has been looking to enforce Sharia law on the regions in Somalia it has gained control of.

Al-Shabaab has specifically been targeting the Church in Kenya, which it accuses of spreading the Christian faith in the region.

The Africa Center for Strategic Studies said in June that al-Shabaab has now become Africa’s deadliest terrorist group, surpassing even Nigeria’s Boko Haram. Data analyzed showed that al-Shabaab killed over 4,000 people in 2016.

Besides its terrorist activities, the Critical Threats monitoring group warned in April that al-Shabaab has also been targeting vulnerable populations in rural Somalia by providing them with humanitarian aid, as part of a strategy to cultivate support.

“The group is well-positioned to capitalize on devastating drought and impending famine…..

Islamist Spies Infiltrating the West to Terrorize Christians

August 6, 2017

Islamist Spies Infiltrating the West to Terrorize Christians, Gatestone InstituteMajid Rafizadeh, August 6, 2017

It is critical to point out that the Islamist mission of radical Muslim organizations anywhere in the world is not limited to their city, country, or region. This is because they do not recognize “man-made” nation-state systems; they do not recognize boundaries and governments. They believe that the whole world, since its inception, is in reality the divine possession of Islam. They believe that states, particularly Western governments, have taken their Allah-given lands, eternally belonging to Islam; and that non-believers have wronged their God, Allah, by misrepresenting Moses, Abraham and Jesus to create false religions such as Judaism and Christianity. They believe it is their sacred mission to recapture, by any means, everything — the universe – which they believe has been taken from them.

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A key mission clearly stipulated in Iran’s constitution, is to export its Islamist ideology, and actively ensure the continuous infiltration and expansion of Islamist values throughout the world. That is why the Revolutionary Guards established a special force, the Quds Force and Basij, with a publicly-announced mission of becoming engaged in extraterritorial operations — religiously, ideologically, militarily and politically.

These Islamist spies normally come to the West, and particularly the US, under various guises, including seeking education, engaging in research, or for health-related purposes. They target specific US embassies, universities, research centers, or hospitals to obtain visas. Their ability to present themselves as ideal candidates for help creates the appearance of safety; meanwhile, their intentions may be to cause widespread harm.

When Dehnavi was blocked at the Boston airport, many pro-Iranian regime agents in the US resorted to various methods, including using mainstream liberal media outlets, in an attempt to ensure his entrance into America. They devised a fake narrative of injustice and depicted this high-ranking Basiji military agent as an innocent man who should be allowed into the US. How was this man even able to obtain a US visa?

The continuing persecution, imprisonment, murder and torture of non-Muslims is now well-documented and visible on a daily basis. In particular, Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Kurds, Hindus and Baha’is are victimized under Islamist rule. This issue requires attention and correction, but it is not the only threat that is coming from these tyrannical state and non-state actors.

Islamist organizations are dispatching their agents beyond their borders, to the West, particularly the US, in order to monitor, threaten, and terrorize non-Muslims.

Recent reports from European refugee camps indicate that radical agents and spies, including from one of the most powerful Islamist establishments, Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), have infiltrated Europe, in part to monitor Christians, particularly those who have fled their nations out of fear of torture, imprisonment and persecution.

IRGC leaders and its intelligence services have frequently boasted about having agents and spies in Washington, DC and other Western capitals. The IRGC’s major affiliates are the elite branch of the Quds Force and Basij, an ideological militia group.

One of the core missions of the IRGC, like other Islamist establishments, and as stipulated in Iran’s constitution, is to safeguard Islamic as well as revolutionary values (including anti-Semitic and anti-American principles) in their homeland. The other key mission which is also clearly stipulated in its constitution, is to export Iran’s Islamist ideology, and actively ensure the continuous infiltration and expansion of Islamists values throughout the world. That is why the IRGC established a special force, the Quds Force and Basij, with a publicly-announced mission of becoming engaged in extraterritorial operations — religiously, ideologically, militarily and politically.

It is critical to point out that the Islamist mission of radical Muslim organizations anywhere in the world is not limited to their city, country, or region. This is because they do not recognize “man-made” nation-state systems; they do not recognize boundaries and governments. They believe that the whole world, since its inception, is in reality the divine possession of Islam. They believe that states, particularly Western governments, have taken their Allah-given lands, eternally belonging to Islam; and that non-believers have wronged their God, Allah, by misrepresenting Moses, Abraham and Jesus to create false religions such as Judaism and Christianity. They believe it is their sacred mission to recapture, by any means, everything — the universe – which they believe has been taken from them.

“By any means” can include suicide attacks that slaughter hundreds, even thousands, of people, including Muslims; endless incitement to violence among strangers and neighbors, and all available ways of manipulating soft power.

These Islamist spies usually come to the West, and particularly the US, under various guises; these include seeking education, engaging in research, or for health-related purposes. They target specific US embassies, universities, research centers, or hospitals to obtain visas. Many people point out that these individuals also seek the assistance and sponsorship of the Iranian regime’s assets in the US to facilitate their process. Their ability to present themselves as ideal candidates for help creates the appearance of safety; meanwhile, their intentions may be to cause widespread harm.

Mohsen Dehnavi, for instance, was recently deported by US border officials. Dehnavi happened to be an Iranian military agent; an active and high-ranking member of the Basij; previously, head of the student branch of the Basij at Iran’s Sharif University; a loyalist to Ayatollah Khamenei, the Supreme Leader of the Iranian regime, and had personally received gifts from Khamenei.

US border officials recently deported Mohsen Dehnavi, an Iranian military agent who is an active and high-ranking member of the Basij paramilitary. He was previously head of the student branch of the Basij at Iran’s Sharif University (pictured above, photo by Behrooz Rezvani/Wikimedia Commons).

The life-long slogan of members of Basij is, “Death to America” and “Death to Israel“. A dedicated member of the Basij will closely monitor non-Muslims and do absolutely anything to please the Islamist Supreme Leader. There is no act of violence too great for the Basij. Those who commit murder are considered heroes of their faith. The Basij and the IRGC’s goal is violence, and the destruction of anyone with a belief different from their own.

How was this man even able to obtain a US visa?

In a surprising and rare move, US border officials did not automatically accept this Iranian’s US visa as a green light to enter the US. If it were not for their questioning and taking a second a look at his background, he would be operating freely in the US — with consequences that could have been tragic.

The question is: How many people like him already are already operating freely in the US, as IRGC officials repeatedly claim? An extremist Muslim Basiji such as Dehnavi has been charged with the mission of safeguarding Islamist values, suppressing dissidents, and closely monitoring non-Muslims, primarily Christians. When Dehnavi was blocked at the Boston airport, many pro-Iranian regime agents in the US resorted to various methods, including turning to mainstream liberal media outlets, in an attempt to ensure his entrance into America. They devised a fake narrative of injustice and depicted this high-ranking Basiji military agent as an innocent man who should be allowed into the US. Their goal was to manipulate the hearts of Americans, who would be willing to fight for this man’s cause and welcome him with open arms to the country that his organization has vowed to destroy.

Through steady, gradual infiltration, Islamist organizations create Islamist militias and proxies. The entrance to the US of Islamist agents, spies, and sympathizers with extremist institutions, such as Iran’s regime or the Muslim Brotherhood, should not be taken lightly; it should be monitored closely on different levels by US officials, consulates and embassies. Having an impressive resumé, having a scholarship or fellowship from an American institution, or even claiming to have defected from an Islamist organization does not mean that it is safe to hand someone a visa and allow him into the country. In addition, as above, even having a visa should not mean that border officials cease investigating — closely and meticulously — a person’s background for a second time.

Otherwise this trend is sure to grow — exponentially.

Dr. Majid Rafizadeh is president of the International American Council on the Middle East. He is a Harvard-educated Iranian-American political scientist, business advisor, and author of “Peaceful Reformation in Iran’s Islam“. 

Egyptian Writers Criticize The Negative Attitude To Christians And Jews Reflected In The Common Interpretation Of The Fatiha, The Opening Surah Of The Quran

July 25, 2017

Egyptian Writers Criticize The Negative Attitude To Christians And Jews Reflected In The Common Interpretation Of The Fatiha, The Opening Surah Of The Quran, MEMRI, July 25, 2016

On January 29, 2017, two days after the publication of Nadi’s article, Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, a columnist for the government daily Al-Ahram, praised Nadi’s article and stated that Quranic interpretations should be reexamined in light of “the impressive and respectable legacy of esteemed [Islamic] reformists.”

“So what does this mean, keeping in mind that we are talking not about the [Quranic] text [itself] but about its interpretation? It means that the issue of reforming the religious discourse is broader and deeper than we think, and we should address it by means of a well-planned academic program, especially [given] that we have [at our disposal] the impressive and respectable legacy of esteemed reformists. All that is left for the relevant authorities to do is monitor what appears in the booklets themselves…”

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A discussion has recently taken place in the Egyptian media regarding the interpretation of the last two verses (verses 6 and 7) of the Fatiha, the opening surah of the Quran. These verses state: “[Allah,] Guide us to the straight path, the path of those upon whom You have bestowed favor, not of those who have incurred [Your] wrath or of those who are astray.” According to the common interpretation of these verses,[i] the phrase “those upon whom You have bestowed favor” is taken to refer to the Muslims, while the phrases “those who have incurred [Your] wrath” and “those who are astray” are said to refer to the Jews and the Christians, respectively.  

The discussion in the Egyptian media was sparked by an investigative article published January 27, 2017 in the Egyptian daily Al-Masri Al-Yawm. The article, by journalist Mu’ataz Nadi, stated that booklets handed out at funerals and in mourning tents in Egypt repeat this interpretation that refers negatively to the Jews and the Christians, even though renowned religious scholars, such as 19th-century religious reformist Muhammad ‘Abduh and others, claimed that it is false.

Several Egyptian journalists responded with articles that supported Nadi’s view, rejecting the interpretation that appears in the booklets and rebuking clerics, especially Al-Azhar, for allowing the publication of such materials that they said spread extremism. They added that the booklets are yet another indication of the urgent need to reform the religious discourse.[ii]

The following are excerpts from the Al-Masri Al-Yawm article and from articles that responded to it.

 

Al-Masri Al-Yawm Article: Booklets Circulated In Egypt Interpret The Fatiha As Referring Negatively To Christians And Jews

Mu’taz Nadi’s article, titled “Interpretations of the Fatiha – From Muhammad ‘Abduh to Mourning Booklets,” notes that booklets handed out at funerals and mourning tents “contain various interpretations that present any Christian who comes to comfort [the family] as ‘one who is astray.'” It states further that the interpretation appearing in the booklets, which refers negatively to Christians and Jews, also appears on a website of King Saud University in Riyadh as part of a hadith by ‘Adi bin Hatim, one of the Prophet’s companions. This interpretation, he says, is still commonly cited “even though over a century has passed since Muhammad ‘Abduh,[iii] who served as the mufti of Egypt and was one of the pioneers of religious reform and renewal in his generation, [published a different] interpretation of the last two verses of the Fatiha”…

Commentary on Quran 1:7, explaining that “those who have incurred [Your] wrath” refers to the Jews and “those who are astray” refers to the Christians (image:Al-Masri Al-Yawm, Egypt, January 27, 2017)

Explaining ‘Abduh’s interpretation in detail, Nadi states that, according to ‘Abduh, the phrase  “those upon whom You have bestowed favor” refers not to the Muslims but to “the Prophets, the righteous, the martyrs and the decent men among the ancient nations.” As for the phrase “those who have incurred [Your] wrath,” it refers to “those who abandoned the path of truth after they knew it, [namely] those who were informed about Allah’s jurisprudence and religion but rejected it,” while the phrase “those who are astray” refers to people who never received the message of Islam, or who misunderstood it. Thus, in ‘Abduh’s interpretation, none of the phrases refer to the followers of any particular faith. Nadi notes that this interpretation was endorsed by other prominent Islamic scholars as well, such as Muhammad Metwali Al-Sha’rawi (1911-1998), who served as Egypt’s minister of endowments,[iv] Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy (1928-2010), who was sheikh of Al-Azhar.[v]

The article also quotes Dr. Muhyi Al-Din Al-‘Afifi, director of Al-Azhar’s Academy of Islamic Studies, as saying: “The interpretation spread by [these] mourning booklets is at odds with what is said in the Quran, for the Honorable Quran mentions the Christians, and Allah the Almighty said of them [in Quran 5:82]:  ‘You will find the nearest of [mankind] in affection to the believers those who say, “We are Christians.” That is because among them are priests and monks and because they are not arrogant.’[vi] ‘Afifi called upon Al-Azhar to examine various interpretations, especially of the Quran, that are spread in Egypt, and amend them.[vii]

Interpretation of Quran 1:7 in Tafsir Al-Jalalayn likewise refers to the Jews and Christians

Egyptian Writers: Religious Establishment Allows Extremist Interpretations Of The Quran

As noted, Nadi’s article sparked responses from other Egyptians who said that the interpretation of the Fatiha as referring to the Jews and Christians is wrong and that alternative interpretations proposed by enlightened sheikhs should be upheld. These writers criticized Egypt’s religious establishment, especially Al-Azhar, for allowing these interpretations to be published.

Al-Masri Al-Yawm Owner: Why Are Enlightened Interpretations Rejected In Favor Of Extremist Ones?

Salah Diab, the owner and founder of Al-Masri Al-Yawm, who writes under the pen-name Newton, also addressed this topic in a January 27, 2017 article, titled “Rebuke.” Newton noted that the booklets which contain this interpretation bear a certificate of approval by Al-Azhar, which suggests that Al-Azhar approves this interpretation, which appears in them, and directed criticism at the Sheikh of Al-Azhar for this. He wrote: “Every person has a moral duty to extend condolences to the bereaved. The older we get, the more such visits we make. In most funerals I attend these days, it is customary to give mourners a copy of the Quran as they leave, and I therefore have a whole pile of Qurans. In other cases one is given a booklet containing a few surahs from the Quran, the first of which is the Fatiha. On the margins of each page of these booklets is some commentary, and the back cover bears a photo of an Al-Azhar certificate approving the publication of the booklet, so that various libraries can circulate it.

“The Fatiha, which we recite several times as part of our daily prayers, is easy to understand and requires no explanation, and therefore it never occurred to me to look for an interpretation and I never looked at the margins [of the page] bearing these verses… [But] at the last funeral I attended, I happened to run across a school mate of my son’s, who is Christian. After greeting me, he told me with a smile, referring to the interpretation of the Fatiha on the margins [of the booklet], that the words ‘those who have incurred [Your] wrath’ are said to refer to the Jews, whereas the words ‘those who are astray’ are said to refer to the Christians. I was amazed, and apologized to him, [saying] that [the authors of the booklet] are ignorant and do not understand what they are doing, and [then I] returned to my car, embarrassed.

“Who are ‘those who have incurred [Allah’s] wrath’? Perhaps it is those who blew up St. Peter’s Church [in Al-‘Abassiya in December 2016]?[viii] Are they not the ones deserving of wrath? [Or perhaps other] murderers, or people who abuse their parents? Does not the [Muslim] religion describe such people as deserving of punishment? Or does this [phrase] refer only to our Jewish brethren?  And what about a Muslim who deviates from the directives of his faith and drinks alcohol, fornicates and gambles – is he not worthy of the description ‘one who is astray’? Or does his faith render him immune, regardless of his behavior and [how much] suffering it causes others? Does one have to be a Christian to merit this description?

“I do not know much about religion and I do not purport to be an expert on religious exegesis. But the interpretation that appears [in the booklet] is apparently approved by Al-Azhar, whose certificate appears on the back cover. Why do they reject enlightened interpretations in favor of extremist ones? Why do we discard the enlightened approach of the two noble sheikhs, Imam Muhammad ‘Abduh and Sheikh Mahmud Shaltut, who was Sheikh of Al-Azhar in 1958-1963? Both of them said that ‘those who incurred [Allah’s] wrath’ and ‘those who are astray’ could be Muslim, Jewish or Christian, and that the phrases do not refer to the followers of any particular faith. Why do we discard these moderate ideas?…

“At a time when we speak of renewing the religious discourse, so that all faiths lead to [the goal] for which they descended, which is [promoting] peace, coexistence, compassion and acceptance of the other, I cannot but convey a certain [message of] rebuke to our honorable Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Ahmad Al-Tayeb…”[ix]

Egyptian Journalist: The Existence Of Different Interpretations Underscores The Need To Reform The Religious Discourse

On January 29, 2017, two days after the publication of Nadi’s article, Osama Al-Ghazali Harb, a columnist for the government daily Al-Ahram, praised Nadi’s article and stated that Quranic interpretations should be reexamined in light of “the impressive and respectable legacy of esteemed [Islamic] reformists.” He wrote: “The excellent investigative article by Mu’ataz Nadi… fascinated me… What did my colleague [Nadi] find in his review of the mourning booklets? He found a copy of the Fatiha with commentary on verse 7… [stating that] ‘those who incurred [Allah’s] wrath’ refers to the Jews, whereas ‘those who are astray’ refers to the Christians.  When my colleague looked into this interpretation, he found that it [also] appears on the website of King Saud University [in Riyadh], but that it is different from the interpretations [proposed by] Sheikh Muhammad ‘Abduh, Sheikh Muhammad Metwali Al-Sha’rawi, and the late Sheikh of Al-Azhar, Dr. Muhammad Sayyid Tantawy.

“Trying to get to the bottom of this, I turned to some sources I have, such as Al-Muntakhab, a [modern] compilation of Quranic commentaries  published by [Al-Azhar’s] Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs. The 18th edition [of this book], from 1995, says that ‘those who incurred [Allah’s] wrath’ and ‘those who are astray’ refers to ‘those who merit Allah’s wrath and who strayed from the path of good and of truth because they rejected faith and obedience’ (p. 1). However, this is different from what appears in the ancient commentary by [eighth-century Syrian Quranic exegete] ibn Kathir, which says that ‘those who incurred [Allah’s] wrath’ are the Jews, and ‘those who are astray’ are the Christians. This interpretation also appears on the Ahl Al-Sunnah website.

“So what does this mean, keeping in mind that we are talking not about the [Quranic] text [itself] but about its interpretation? It means that the issue of reforming the religious discourse is broader and deeper than we think, and we should address it by means of a well-planned academic program, especially [given] that we have [at our disposal] the impressive and respectable legacy of esteemed reformists. All that is left for the relevant authorities to do is monitor what appears in the booklets themselves…”[x]

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[i] See e.g. the popular classical commentaries Tafsir Al-Tabari, by Abu Ja’far Ibn Jarir Al-Tabari (838-923), who was one of the first Quranic exegetes, and  Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, by Jalal Al-Din al-Mahalli (1389-1459) and his student Jalal Al-Din Al-Suyuti (1445–1505).

[ii] It should be noted that this issue has been debated in the past by Egyptian clerics and media. Islamic preacher Mabrouk ‘Atiyya said at a December 18, 2016 event at the Dar Al-‘Uloum faculty of Cairo University that, contrary to the opinion of many Islamic scholars,  the verse does refer to Christians and Jews, and “whoever interprets it this way understands nothing.” He added: “The Quran makes positive mention of Christians and [Allah] ordered [the believers] to be kind to them. How could the Quran speak positively of certain people and [at the same time] call them ‘those who are astray ‘ [or] ‘those who have incurred [Allah’s] anger’?” (cairoportal.com, December 18, 2017). Egyptian media figure Tamer Amin referred to this issue on a December 2016 television program. He noted that he was amazed to hear that an Egyptian sixth-grade textbook on Islam likewise explains that “those who are astray” in the Fatiha refers to the Christians. He added that the textbook thus presents every religion except Islam as a false religion, and that “this is the way to cultivate [future] terrorists.” He concluded that, “if [this claim about the textbook] is true, it is a disaster” (tahrirnews.com, December 12, 2017).

[iii] Renowned Egyptian Islamic scholar and jurist Muhammad ‘Abduh (1849 –1905), who called for renewal in the Arab and Muslim world, is regarded as one of the key founding figures of Islamic reform and Modernism.

[iv] Egyptian Islamic Scholar and Jurist Al-Sha’rawi was an immensely popular Islamic preacher, and has been called “one of the most prominent symbols of popular Egyptian culture” in the 1970s-1990s.

[v] Tantawy, an influential scholar, also served the grand Mufti of Egypt.

[vi] It should be noted that ‘Afifi ignored the first part of this verse, which refers negatively to the Jews, saying: “You will surely find the most intense of the people in animosity toward the believers [to be] the Jews and those who associate others with Allah.”

[vii] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), January 27, 2017.

[viii] The December 11, 2016 blast near the Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Al-Abbasiya, Cairo, left 25 people dead and 49 injured. See Al-Ahram (Egypt, December 12, 2016.

[ix] Al-Masri Al-Yawm (Egypt), January 27, 2017.

[x] Al-Ahram (Egypt), January 29, 2017.

Ezra Levant in Iraq: Kurdish Muslims who protect Christians

July 20, 2017

Ezra Levant in Iraq: Kurdish Muslims who protect Christians, Rebel Media via YouTube, July 20, 2017

(Please see also, Saudi Columnist: Christians Should Be Accepted As Equal Citizens, Not Treated As ‘Protected People’ (Dhimmis). — DM)

 

Saudi Columnist: Christians Should Be Accepted As Equal Citizens, Not Treated As ‘Protected People’ (Dhimmis)

July 20, 2017

Saudi Columnist: Christians Should Be Accepted As Equal Citizens, Not Treated As ‘Protected People’ (Dhimmis), MEMRI, July 20, 2017

These descriptions belong to an Islamic law perception of reality, which, from a modern perspective, is mistaken, and highlights the difference between reality as perceived by Islamic law and actual reality. All these labels [to describe non-Muslims] belong to a bygone historic age, hence the discrepancy [between the perceptions].

“The relationship between the modern state and its citizens is based on the principle of citizenship, which holds that all citizens are equal in rights and obligations, regardless of their religion and social affiliation. Every citizen has an equal right to the homeland, and his civil rights are derived from the validity of this, not from his religious affiliation. Therefore, in today’s world there is no one who may rightly be referred to as a ‘protected person’ or ‘protection seeker.’ A citizen is a citizen, and that’s all there is to it.

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Following the April 8, 2017 terrorist attacks against the churches in Alexandria and Tanta in Egypt, Tawfiq Al-Sayf, a columnist for the London-based Saudi daily Al-Sharq Al-Awsat, criticized Islamic countries for continuing to treat Christians as “protected people” (dhimmis), and not as citizens with equal rights. Al-Sayf called to abandon this approach, for it is based on Islamic law, which he says is not appropriate for the modern era and reality, and instead to adopt the modern concept of citizenship.

The church in Tanta, Egypt after the attack Source: Elaph.com

The following are translated excerpts from his column:[1]

“The terrorist attack against the two churches in Egypt generated a broad wave of condemnation among all Muslims –religious scholars, the general public, and politicians. I thank God that no one is praising these crimes, or justifying them. This is a positive development. [However,] in the statements of condemnation, my attention was drawn to the repeated use of terms such as ‘protection seekers,’ ‘protected people’ (dhimmis), ‘ and ‘People of the Book’ to describe the Coptic citizens who were the victims of the treacherous attack. Such terms are usually found in discussions among clerics, [who use it] to emphasize the prohibition against attacking non-Muslims. These terms are not neutral linguistic generalizations, but rather ‘facts [fixed] in the Islamic shari’a,’ according to the perception of the extremists, i.e. special terms charged with specific meaning. They are used… to refer to a totality of inter-relationships and categories, or [to grant] uniform meaning to the status of [certain] people in relationship to the person talking. These descriptions belong to an Islamic law perception of reality, which, from a modern perspective, is mistaken, and highlights the difference between reality as perceived by Islamic law and actual reality. All these labels [to describe non-Muslims] belong to a bygone historic age, hence the discrepancy [between the perceptions].

“These descriptions were coined with the inception of the [original] Islamic state, when its troops spread to [different] countries and it expanded, and relationships between Muslims and others developed. Thus there was a need to regulate the relationship between the victorious superpower and its strong [Muslim] people, and the weak individuals who surrendered voluntarily or were defeated. In these unique circumstances, these expressions were intended to emphasize the political control and responsibility of the state for all its subjects…

“As time passed and the Islamic legal perception permeated the general culture, religious affiliation became the only aspect [defining] social relationships, while [the proponents] of this approach failed to understand that it belonged to a bygone era. The concept of protection and patronage remained central to the definition of the relationship with non-Muslims, but at the same time they were not considered equal partners with respect to all rights, or ‘citizens’ in the modern sense. This approach is maintained in the Islamic law of today. A quick glance at numerous writings on this subject by modern-day Islamic jurisprudents and Islamic commentators is sufficient to reveal the problem with which they grappled when they wanted to consolidate an approach that would accommodate the heritage of religious law on the one hand, and the principles of [modern] politics, law, human rights and justice on the other.

“In fact, there is no need to settle the contradiction. [The concept of] the modern state belongs to a different set of ideas than the [concept of] state that existed at the time of the ancient Islamic state. In other words, it is something different, that can’t be comprehended in terms of the ancient approach…

“The relationship between the modern state and its citizens is based on the principle of citizenship, which holds that all citizens are equal in rights and obligations, regardless of their religion and social affiliation. Every citizen has an equal right to the homeland, and his civil rights are derived from the validity of this, not from his religious affiliation. Therefore, in today’s world there is no one who may rightly be referred to as a ‘protected person’ or ‘protection seeker.’ A citizen is a citizen, and that’s all there is to it.

“For the general public, this conclusion is nothing new, but I thought this was an appropriate opportunity to draw the attention of Islamic jurisprudents and their disciples to the difference between inherited thinking and the reality of our world today. This is a call to abandon the ancient perceptions, which are no longer useful and are unrealistic. It is a call to direct thinking to the real world and to adapt to it, rather than reduce thinking to a world of ancient documents and writings, and adhere to them and to their flaws.”

______________________

[1]Al-Sharq Al-Awsat (London), April 12, 2017.

Egypt: Muslim stabs security guard who prevented him from entering a church

July 16, 2017

Egypt: Muslim stabs security guard who prevented him from entering a church, Jihad Watch

(Please see also, Slaughtered Christians “A Viable Target”? — DM)

Imagine the outcry if a Christian had stabbed a guard who prevented him from entering a mosque. But you won’t hear anything about this. If you asked 100 people on the street which was a bigger problem, “Islamophobia” or the Muslim persecution of Christians, most would likely say “Islamophobia.” This testifies to the relentlessness of the “Islamophobia” propaganda campaign in the West.

“Knifeman attacks Egypt church guard, arrested: Police,” AFP, July 16, 2017 (thanks to Maged):

CAIRO (AFP) – An Egyptian Muslim stabbed and wounded a security guard after being prevented from entering a church in the Mediterranean city of Alexandria on Saturday (July 15), a senior police official told AFP.

The man was quickly subdued by the guard and others who rushed to help and is being questioned, the official said.

The incident came days after Egypt’s Christian minority leaders said they were suspending some activities such as conferences and religious trips for security reasons.

Islamic State group jihadists have killed dozens of Coptic Christians in church bombings and shooting attacks in Egypt since December, and have threatened further attacks….

CCTV footage of the incident showed a man wearing earphones and with a bag trying to enter the church when he was called back by a guard who asked to check the bag.

The man took out a knife and slashed the face of the guard, who quickly recovered to subdue his attacker with the help of others….

Slaughtered Christians “A Viable Target”?

July 16, 2017

Slaughtered Christians “A Viable Target”? Gatestone InstituteRaymond Ibrahim, July 16, 2017

Muslim Persecution of Christians, March 2017

According to a report in the Christian Post, Christians displaced by Islamic attacks at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists are being denied food and vital assistance at camps run by local Muslim organizations. As many as 1.8 million people in Nigeria are currently facing starvation. “They will give food to the refugees, but if you are a Christian they will not give you food. They will openly tell you that the relief is not for Christians.” — Bishop William Naga, who fled his home in the Borno state, Nigeria.

A Pakistani government want-ad for street sweepers states that applicants must be Hindu, Christian or Shia — anyone but the dominant Sunni Muslim population – illustrates the way in which minorities are prevented from earning a living wage.

A sophomore at Rollins College in Florida was suspended for challenging a Muslim professor’s assertion that the crucifixion of Jesus never took place, and that his disciples never believed he was God. After the incident, during a Middle East Humanities class, the straight-A student was graded an “F” on a major essay.

The uptick in often lethal persecution of Christians in Muslim regions has caused many Christian leaders to appeal for aid. Canon Andrew White, the prominent minister known as the “Vicar of Baghdad” told Fox News in March, “If there is anything I can tell Americans it is that your fellow brothers and sisters are suffering, they are desperate for help,” he said. “And it is not just a matter of praying for peace. They need a lot – food, resources, clothes, everything. They need everything.”

White also went as far as to say that Christianity in Iraq, where it has been since the times of the apostles, is finished.

As Fox News reported:

“Thirty years ago, there were approximately 1.4 million Christians in Iraq. The number dwindled to around 1 million after the fall of Saddam Hussein in 2003, and a year ago it was estimated that there were less than 250,000 left. Numbers have continued to decline as families flee, and today even approximate figures are difficult to obtain.”

According to a Vatican Radio report, Nigerian Catholic Bishop Joseph Bagobiri responded to “the recent atrocities of Fulani [Muslim] Cattle herdsmen…, which resulted in the deaths of thousands of Christians and the destruction of property worth millions of Naira,” by calling on all Christian denominations to implement counter measures against the “systematic elimination of Christianity in the northern part of Nigeria.”

One source said that in one of these assaults, two of the victims “had their eyes plucked out.” A survivor of another said, “The sad thing is that these Fulanis have been attacking our communities, and no one is doing anything about it.”

Commenting on the “horrific attacks” on Coptic Christians in Egypt between December 2016 and March 2017 — during which 40 “innocent children, women and men had their lives brutally and tragically ended for no other reason except that they are Christians” — Coptic Bishop Anba Angaelos of the United Kingdom said the slaughter has “gone largely unnoticed by the international community.” He continued:

“In our fast moving world that is filled with so much news of tragedy, war and death, it is all too easy for atrocities to become ‘incidents,’ and for individuals suffering them to become mere statistics, very quickly pushed aside by the next item of news. In the eyes of the perpetrators they are a viable target, and in the eyes of the world they become a regrettable phenomenon; yet what is actually left behind is traumatized individuals, families and communities that have lost loved ones, living the reality of themselves being targeted.”

report released in early 2017 by Open Doors — a non-denominational mission supporting persecuted Christians in over 60 countries — reveals:

  • “Islamic extremism” remains the dominant force responsible for the persecution of Christians in 40 of the 50 worst nations;
  • Nine out of the 10 worst nations for Christians have a Muslim majority (with North Korea being the only non-Islamic exception);
  • In the 21 (18 of which are Muslim-majority) worst nations for Christians, “100 percent of Christians experience persecution”;
  • 1,329 churches have been attacked, damaged, or destroyed, mostly in Muslim-majority nations;
  • Muslim Somalia is now the second worst nation for Christians, who are executed instantly if their faith is discovered, or even rumored;
  • In Nigeria — where more Christians have been slaughtered by Muslims than possibly in any other nation — the killing of Christians went up by 62 percent;
  • The nation where the most violent and sexual attacks on Christians take place – Muslim-majority Pakistan — rose to the number four spot on the list of the worst countries for Christians.

Accounts of widespread Muslim persecution of Christians to surface in the month of March include, but are not limited to, the following:

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Nigeria: A Christian mother and her three children — aged four, five and nine — were “hacked to death by unknown assailants within a church premises” in Muslim-majority Lagos State. The incident occurred around 3 a.m., “when the woman and her children had gone to the ‘Holy Land’ part of a Cherubim and Seraphim church. Their bodies were seen “in a pool of blood by some worshipers,” who arrived at the church later in the morning. The three children died inside the church. Their mother died an hour after making it to the hospital. Police said they were still seeking a motive.

Somalia: Assassins dispatched by the militant Islamic group Al Shabaab — “The Youth” — invaded the home of a clandestine Christian family during the night, and murdered the 35-year-old wife and mother, along with her 11-year-old son, as they slept. The 38-year-old husband and father was shot in the chest and survived. His three other young children escaped through the back door of the house and also survived. According to the account of the man of the house, the four gunmen shouted “Allahu Akbar” [“God is great”] and said they “cannot allow the defiling of our religion with a foreign, Western religion.”

Somalia is widely considered the second worst nation for Christians. There, the mere suspicion or accusation that someone is secretly living as a Christian can lead to a public execution.

Pakistan: After refusing to work on Sunday, as his Muslim employer demanded he do, a 20-year-old Christian sanitation worker was killed in a drive-by shooting by two assailants on motorcycles. The victim’s family attorney said that the employer had warned the worker that he would face “dire consequences” if he did not comply, and threatened to “cut off his legs and riddle his body with bullets” for defying his order. “Many Muslims find it hard to accept refusal by a ‘lowly’ Christian,” a Christian rights activist said. “This is not the first time a Christian sanitary worker has been killed or subjected to violence for refusing to comply with unjust demands of persons from the Muslim majority.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Missionaries and “Apostates”

Philippines: A 70 year-old Irish nun living on the island of Mindanao — notorious for its separatist, extremist Muslim population — was attacked by a masked assailant who beat her so badly that she required surgery. Sister Kathleen Melia, who has spent more than 30 years serving the Philippines, was locking up her convent on March 1, when a masked man covered her mouth with his hand, and began to punch her.

Uganda: A Muslim who discovered that his 21-year-old daughter had converted to Christianity beat her up and threw her out of the house. When she fled to her pastor for sanctuary, her father contacted the police and accused the church leader — a married father-of-six — of having abducted her and turning her into a “human sacrifice.” Police immediately arrested the pastor, a former Muslim and well-known sheikh, who embraced Christianity in 2003. Since then, he has lost his job; his first wife left him; his extended family beat and disowned him; an aunt tried to poison him with insecticide; and one of several Islamic attacks on his home left one of his daughters dead. During his interrogation, the pastor explained that the girl he allegedly “sacrificed” was not only still alive, but taking a tailoring course. When located by police, the young woman confirmed her pastor’s version of events, saying that her father had vowed to “fight hard until we destroy everything [the pastor was] doing.”

Iran: Two Christian converts, a mother and son, were arrested in their home and taken to an unknown location. During the raid, bibles and other books on Christian theology were confiscated.

Another convert to Christianity, imprisoned since 2013 for working in a house church and orphanage, has been denied urgent health care a heart defect, “drastic” weight loss, weakness and depression.

A five-year prison sentence issued to a Christian convert — for allegedly “forming a group in order to disrupt national security” — was confirmed by the Revolutionary Court. Human rights activists involved in his case say, however, that the convict “is in prison only for his [Christian] beliefs.”

Malaysia: A pastor accused of attempting to convert Muslims to Christianity — a crime in Malaysia — was abducted in what was seen on closed-circuit TV to be a professional job, and is feared dead, due to no ransom having been demanded, and despite the family’s offer of reward money to anyone with information on the case.

Muslim Attacks on Churches

Central African Republic: Muslim converts to Christianity were attacked by a Muslim mob while worshiping at a Central Africa church. Brandishing swords and iron bars, the mob shouted “Allahu Akbar” [“Allah is the greatest”], while destroying the church and ripping off its roof. They then stabbed the pastor and beat up members of the congregation. This was one of at least three Muslim attacks on churches in the Central African Republic between January and March of 2017.

Indonesia: The government shut down three churches, two Protestant and one Catholic, on the grounds that it “cannot guarantee their safety” after intimidation by a radical Muslim group. “We are struggling for our right to worship,” a church leader lamented. Possibly emboldened by the government’s action, hundreds of Muslims demonstrated in front of the Santa Clara Church in Bekasi, and called on the mayor to revoke the church’s permits. After the mayor said he would not do so, “even if I am shot,” protesters hurled rocks and bottles at the police, and tried to force their way into the church. Police used tear gas to disperse the mob. This violence is part of a reportedly growing trend of intolerance, particularly against Christians, in Indonesia.

Iraq: A church in Mosul was turned into a religious police base by ISIS, which desecrated it with Islamic graffiti and damaged the stone cross above its front door. According to a report by NDTV:

“Not a single crucifix, or statue of Jesus Christ or the Virgin Mary has survived in the building’s nave, from which all mark of Christianity has been methodically removed… Terrorists have scribbled their noms de guerre on the church’s walls, and a large chandelier has been dumped in the yard.”

Most Christian churches in and around Mosul, Iraq were desecrated or destroyed by ISIS. Pictured: The heavily damaged bell tower of Saint John’s Church (Mar Yohanna) in the town of Qaraqosh, near Mosul, on April 16, 2017. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)

Muslim Discrimination against and Hostility towards Christians

Egypt: A Muslim man sexually harassed and attempted to slit the throat of a Christian woman on a busy street, in broad daylight. Passersby intervened, holding the perpetrator until authorities arrived. The woman was rushed to a hospital and survived.

In addition, the brother of an 18-year-old Christian girl who was abducted earlier this year learned that his sister had been given a new Muslim identity and was being held by security services. When the family approached the national security headquarters and demanded that she be set free, authorities denied knowledge of her whereabouts. As family and friends proceeded to protest, singing Christian hymns, the police responded with violence, wounding several participants.

Nigeria: According to a report in the Christian Post, Christians displaced by Islamic attacks at the hands of Boko Haram terrorists are being denied food and vital assistance at camps run by local Muslim organizations. As many as 1.8 million people in Nigeria are currently facing starvation. Bishop William Naga, who fled his home in the Borno state, said, “They will give food to the refugees, but if you are a Christian they will not give you food. They will openly tell you that the relief is not for Christians.” A human rights activist elaborated:

“Christians often get pushed to the back of the line. Because Muslims are the majority there, even non-extremist Muslims, some of their neighbors are typically going to get preferential treatment by those providing food and assistance because of their Muslim faith.”

Pakistan: A Muslim family falsely accused their 15-year-old Christian maid and her father of stealing, after the girl fell ill with appendicitis and could not work until she recuperated. The father and daughter were arrested and are now engaged in a legal battle to prove their innocence.

A Pakistani government want-ad for street sweepers states that applicants must be Hindu, Christian or Shia — anyone but the dominant Sunni Muslim population – illustrates the way in which minorities are prevented from earning a living wage. When minority groups protested, officials responded by saying the word “Shia” was added by mistake, as they are still considered Muslims.

A Pakistani prosecutor reportedly has been blackmailing Christians facing trial — over the lynching of two men suspected of bombing two churches – to convert to Islam in exchange for their acquittal. One lawyer said that the prosecutor’s office has used this tactic before, but that it was “simply ignored.”

United States: A sophomore at Rollins College in Florida was suspended for challenging a Muslim professor’s assertion that the crucifixion of Jesus never took place, and that his disciples never believed he was God. After the incident, during a Middle East Humanities class, the straight-A student was graded an “F” on a major essay. When he confronted the professor about this, she filed a complaint with the school, claiming he made her feel “unsafe.”

The student recounted that one day, the professor led a discussion about the application of Sharia Law, and a Muslim in the class said gays and adulterers should be beheaded. No action was taken against that person, however.

A week after the student contacted a lawyer, his suspension was lifted.

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.

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

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