Archive for the ‘Islam and Christians’ category

“We Are Going to Burn You Alive!”

November 5, 2017

“We Are Going to Burn You Alive!” Gatestone InstituteRaymond Ibrahim, November 5, 2017

Muslim Persecution of Christians, June 2017

“They defend freedom of worship in the West in order to ban it in their homeland. They fight to build mosques in someone else’s homeland whilst destroying churches and synagogues where they have power.” — Kamel Abderrahmani, Arab journalist, Algeria.

“ISIS publicly caged and burned alive 19 Yazidi girls for refusing to have sex with ISIS fighters, according to local activists. Yazidi leaders last year showed Fox News photographs of the Islamic jihadists burning babies to death on a slab of sheet metal, photos that show tiny, roasted bodies side by side as flames engulfed them.” — ISIS in Iraq, Fox News, June 14.

The Erdogan government seized at least 50 Syriac churches, monasteries, and Christian cemeteries, many of which were still active, in Mardin province, and declared them “state property.” — Turkey.

A presidential order replaced Christian education with Islamic Studies in secondary schools. While the subject, “Christian Religious Knowledge,” no longer exists, Islamic, Arab, and French studies have been introduced in the new curriculum…. The Christian Association of Nigeria further denounced this move “to force Islamic studies down the throats of non-adherents of the religion,” as being an “agenda deliberately crafted towards Islamization.” — Nigeria.

Jesuit Father Henri Boulad, an Islamic scholar of the Egyptian Greek Melkite rite, pulled no punches in an interview concerning the motives of Islamic terror and Western responses to it. “Islam is an open-ended declaration of war against non-Muslims” and those who carry out acts of violence and intolerance are only doing what their creed requires, said the priest. The interview continues:

Those who fail to recognize the real threat posed by Islam are naïve and ignorant of history, he said, and unfortunately many in the Church fall into this category.

Citing a letter he wrote last August to Pope Francis, Father Boulad said that “on the pretext of openness, tolerance and Christian charity — the Catholic Church has fallen into the trap of the liberal left ideology which is destroying the West.”

“Anything that does not espouse this ideology is immediately stigmatized in the name of ‘political correctness,'” he said.

The priest went so far as to chastise Pope Francis himself—a fellow Jesuit—suggesting that he has fallen into this trap as well.

“Many think that a certain number of your positions are aligned with this ideology and that, from complacency, you go from concessions to concessions and compromises in compromises at the expense of the truth,” the priest wrote to Francis.

Christians in the West and in the East, he wrote the Pope, “are expecting something from you other than vague and harmless declarations that may obscure reality.”

“It is high time to emerge from a shameful and embarrassed silence in the face of this Islamism that attacks the West and the rest of the world. A systematically conciliatory attitude is interpreted by the majority of Muslims as a sign of fear and weakness,” he said.

“If Jesus said to us: Blessed are the peacemakers, he did not say to us: Blessed are the pacifists. Peace is peace at any cost, at any price. Such an attitude is a pure and simple betrayal of truth,” he said.

The priest also stated his belief that the West is in an ethical and moral debacle, and its defense of Islam is a denial of truth.

“By defending at all costs Islam and seeking to exonerate it from the horrors committed every day in its name, one ends up betraying the truth,” he wrote.

June’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

Muslim Attacks on and Desecration of Christian Churches

Philippines: On June 21 in the village of Malagakit, the Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) — which earlier pledged allegiance to the Islamic State — vandalized a Catholic church. Describing the desecration as “wicked,” the chief police inspector said the “crucifix and images of the Virgin Mary and Jesus Christ were destroyed while the sacred hosts were thrown all over the floor.” Cardinal Quevedo, who condemned the sacrilege in the strongest terms possible, challenged the leaders of the BIFF to punish its men who desecrated the chapel: “If the BIFF wants to have an image as a respecter of all religions, it must punish its members who perpetrated the odious desecration and educate all its members in strictly respecting other religions,” the prelate said. “Last month, terrorist gunmen also desecrated St. Mary’s Cathedral in Marawi, some 150 kilometers from Cotabato,” the report noted. “The gunmen were seen on a video [here] destroying religious images and burning the cathedral.”

Egypt: An Islamic terror cell consisting of six members, two of whom were described as “suicide bombers,” planning on bombing yet another Coptic Christian church in Alexandria, was exposed and arrested by police before they could launch their attack. According to a statement from the Egyptian Interior Ministry, “one attacker had planned to detonate an explosive vest inside the church and the other to blow himself up when police arrived to the scene.” Several similar, recent attacks on Christian churches in Egypt had left about 100 churchgoers dead and hundreds severely wounded.

Separately, authorities raided a church-owned building being used by the local Coptic Christian community for worship. After police removed furniture, Christian iconography and other items from the building, they chained down the doors to prevent Christians from entering the building. Christians had for some time tried to have the building legally recognized as a church, only to face a backlash from both local Muslims and authorities. According to a local Christian:

“During the early hours of Friday, June 16, we [Christians] were surprised to find the furniture, rugs, icons, pictures, and worship utensils … had been thrown outside and the building closed down with seals and chains. We took the belongings into our homes. We don’t know why the police did that.”

When dozens of church leaders met with the local governor insisting that they needed a place to worship, he told them the building they were using had been found to be in a state of disrepair and needed to be demolished.

Algeria: On June 9, the state oversaw the demolition of the Catholic church located in Sidi Moussa, 15 miles from Algiers. According to Kamel Abderrahmani, an Arab journalist who covered the incident:

“Algerian authorities found a very shallow argument to justify this anti-Christian act. According to the authorities concerned, the church was listed in the red category by the technical inspection services. The legitimate question that arises from this is, since the building was deemed in danger of collapse, why was it not restored and listed as part of the national heritage? The statement of the mayor was of unprecedented clarity. He had announced the construction of a mosque and a Quranic school on the same site. Such statements caused outrage, as many saw the demolition as an act of vandalism.”

Kamel also noted how the Algerian government had demolished other churches on other pretexts, and concluded by calling Muslim governments and activists “hypocrites”:

“If the mayor of Paris or Rome had destroyed a mosque to build a church, what would have happened? Sunni Muslims would have shouted scandal and Islamophobia! This question shows the hypocrisy of Islamists and their double standards. They defend freedom of worship in the West in order to ban it in their homeland. They fight to build mosques in someone else’s homeland whilst destroying churches and synagogues where they have power.”

Iraq: In June 2015, when Mosul was under the Islamic State’s control, the group had announced it was converting St. Ephrem Church into a “mosque of the mujahedeen.” The cross from the dome was broken off, and all Christian symbols were purged from within the house of worship. Now, months after Mosul was liberated, the occupied church was exposed as being used as a sex-slave chamber where approximately 200 Yazidi girls and women were abused by the Islamic State. A report recounts “ISIS’ depravity towards Yazidi women and girls. On the floor of the iconic house of worship lie tiny pieces of pink and yellow underwear and flower headbands belonging to the very young Yazidi sex slaves the barbaric terrorist group took captive.” The June 14 report also notes:

“Last week, according to local activists, ISIS publicly caged and burned alive 19 Yazidi girls for refusing to have sex with ISIS fighters, according to local activists. Yazidi leaders last year showed Fox News photographs of the Islamic jihadists burning babies to death on a slab of sheet metal, photos that show tiny, roasted bodies side by side as flames engulfed them….The butchered Christian building and its Yazidi remnants serve as chilling reminders of the genocide experienced by the two religious minorities.”

Spain: A Muslim man stormed a Christian church during a marriage ceremony, and started shouting “Allahu Akbar” — “Allah is greatest.” He “tried to throw liturgical objects around him to attack the priest and churchgoers,” according to a report. A number of wedding attendants managed to apprehend the 22-year-old Moroccan and hand him over to police, who reportedly charged him with “disturbing public order, crime against religious feelings and threats.” Police also investigated the church for potential explosives before permitting the wedding ceremony to resume. According to the officiating priest, the incident began when a “group of young troublemakers” started making offensive noises at the back of the church.

“Suddenly, someone started to shout and charged at the altar. A lot of people, including the bride’s mother, were crying, and there were people who had already jumped out of the pews because we did not know whether this person came alone or not, or if he was armed.”

Turkey: The Erdogan government seized at least 50 Syriac churches, monasteries, and Christian cemeteries, many of which were still active, in Mardin province, and declared them “state property.” According to the report, “The Syriacs have appealed to the Court for the cancellation of the decision.” The Chairman of Mor Gabriel Monastery Foundation — a 1,600 year-old monastery that was still in use and also seized — said, “We started to file lawsuits and in the meantime our enquiries continued.”

The Syriac Orthodox Mor Gabriel Monastery is one of at least 50 Syriac churches, monasteries, and Christian cemeteries in Mardin province, Turkey that were recently seized by the Turkish government and declared “state property.” (Image source: Nevit Dilmen/Wikimedia Commons)

The Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Pakistan: A Chinese Christian couple—Lee Zing Yang, 24, and his wife Meng Lisi, 26 — were abducted in Quetta and executed on the accusation that they were preaching Christ to Muslims; the Islamic State claimed responsibility for their killing and released “video footage showing the bloodied body of the Chinese man, Lee Zing Yang, taking his last breaths,” says a report. The Pakistani government cited the murdered couple’s “misuse of the terms of a business visa” as playing a major role in their deaths: “instead of engaging in any business activity they went to Quetta and under the garb of learning Urdu language … were actually engaged in preaching.”

Kenya: Armed Muslims connected to neighboring Somalia’s Islamic terrorist group, Al Shabaab, walked into an elementary school compound in Garissa and shot a Christian teacher to death. When a Muslim teacher interfered with their attempts to abduct another Christian teacher, “Al Shabaab got angry,” reported another anonymous teacher, “and told the teacher, ‘We are going to teach you a lesson for protecting the infidels,’ and immediately the two were carried away to unknown destination”—but not before the Somali militants proceeded to “beat Muslims of Somali descent at the school for housing Kenyan Christians.”

Philippines: More news and revelations concerning the jihadi uprising that began in late May in the Islamic City of Marawi appeared in June. The eight or nine Christians originally reported as being tied together and shot dead, execution style, had apparently first been ordered to recite the Islamic confession of faith, which they refused to do, an act leading to their execution. “Their bodies were reportedly thrown into the ditch, and a signboard was placed beside them reading ‘Munafik,’ which means traitor or liar,” said a report. “The assailants also asked Police Senior Inspector Freddie Solar to recite the Muslim creed, and as a non-Muslim [Christian] he too declined and was killed.” Seventeen others were found ritually decapitated or butchered by the Islamic State-affiliated militants. A priest and 13 parishioners from the St. Mary Cathedral were also kidnapped; the priest “appeared in a propaganda video on Tuesday (May 30) pleading for his life.”

Egypt: More eyewitness details concerning the Islamic State massacre of 29 Christian pilgrimstraveling to a Coptic monastery in the Egyptian desert in May 2017 emerged. One ten-year old boy, who witnessed the slaughter of his father, recounted:

“We [he and his 14-year-old brother] saw dead people, just dumped on the ground. They asked my father for identification then told him to recite the Muslim profession of faith. He refused, said he was Christian. They shot him and everyone else with us in the car…. Every time they shot someone they would yell God is great [Allahu Akbar].”

Although President Sisi had depicted the terrorists as “foreigners,” the ten-year-old said that the fifteen assailants “had Egyptian accents like us and they were all masked except for two of them … They looked like us and did not have beards.” The same report states that, a month after the massacre, the Egyptian government had failed to provide adequate security for the residents of Dayr Jarnous, a Christian village that was home to seven of those killed, “and has done nothing to help the victims’ families.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Religious Freedom

Pakistan: A new blasphemy case was registered against yet another Christian. After Mohammad Irfan refused to pay a repair bill to Ishfaq Masih, a Christian who fixed his bicycle, the Muslim denounced the Christian of blaspheming against Islamic prophet Muhammad, leading to the Christian’s arrest. According to Masih’s cousin:

“During the argument, Irfan said that he obeys only one master, Prophet Muhammad, to which Ishfaq said that he was a Christian and his faith ends at Christ. Upon hearing this, Irfan raised a clamor that Ishfaq had blasphemed against Muhammad. Soon a mob gathered at the spot, and someone called the police, who took Ishfaq into custody.”

Mohammad Irfan also rallied a number of other Muslims — including Mohammad Irfan, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Naveed, and Mohammad Tahir — who claimed that they “heard Ishfaq Masih say derogatory words against the Muslim prophet.” According to the Christian’s lawyer, only one of the four “witnesses” was even present during the altercation.

“Irfan had gathered the other men, including the complainant Mohammad Ishfaq, and they then concocted the allegation against Ishfaq Masih and got him arrested…. The FIR [First Information Report] is quite weak, as it does not contain any specific blasphemous words that my client may have allegedly said…. It also shows that the police did not even bother to investigate the charge before registering a case against the poor man. This is the routine practice of the police in blasphemy cases, and it’s a shame that nothing is being done to stop it.”

Separately, after a Christian couple was slaughtered for preaching Christ among Muslims (see Slaughter section), a South Korean Christian was arrested for allegedly also engaging in “illegal preaching activities.” Authorities revoked his visa and ordered him to leave the Muslim nation.

Philippines: A Muslim teacher in the Muslim majority island of Mindanao forced Jen-Jen, a young Christian schoolgirl apparently of Islamic origins, to say Islamic prayers in class or else fail the class. According to the report:

“Despite being uncomfortable, Jen-Jen learned the words of the prayer to recite to the teacher. But rather than asking Jen-Jen to say the words in an oral test, the teacher later announced students would be required to go to a mosque and pray the prayer aloud.”

When the girl and another Christian classmate told the teacher that praying in a mosque contradicts their faith in Christ, the Muslim teacher “ignored the request and told them to turn away from Christ,” adding: “You must comply or else you will fail in this subject. You should revert to your Islamic faith.” The girl was then “forced to complete the long walk to the mosque while wearing a traditional Muslim dress and veil covering, despite burning up with a fever.”

“The schoolgirl got so sick, however, that she lost consciousness and blacked out. Even as she came back to, the teacher refused to excuse her from listening to the entirety of the Muslim imam’s message. Since the day at the Mosque, Jen-Jen has been pressured to conform to many other Muslim practices, such as fasting during the month of Ramadan…. [O]ther students have also teased and bullied Jen-Jen because of her faith, sometimes bombarding her as she walked to and from school and pushing her or insulting her.”

Malaysia: The Centre for Human Rights Research and Advocacy — the statement of purpose of which is to define and promote “Human rights from the Muslim perspective” — asserted that all forms of Christian evangelicalism should be banned. According to the CEO of the Centre, Azril Mohd Amin, “It is a fact that the groups that are spreading Christian propaganda to Malaysians, especially Muslims, will keep up their efforts as they believe that there is no effective law that can stop them.” Jo-Anna Henley Rampas, a leading member of a more progressive and inclusive party, responded by saying this move is “reflective of the erosion of religious freedom in the country” thanks to the “federal government’s failure to instil proper understanding, tolerance and harmony among citizens.”

Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Pakistan: A Christian sanitary worker died after pious Muslim doctors who were fasting for Ramadan refused to touch the “unclean” infidel’s body. Thirty-year-old Irfan Masih had fallen unconscious along with three other sanitary staff while cleaning a manhole on June 1. He was rushed to a governmental hospital where the doctors refused to treat him; he died hours later. “The doctors refused to treat him because they were fasting and said my son was napaak[unclean],” said the mother of the deceased. A few weeks later, a court, responding to complaints from hospital officials accusing the family and friends of Irfan of terrorizing the hospital, ordered police to register a complaint against them. “The hospital has levied a false charge against us in order to save themselves,” explained a cousin of the deceased, who also works in sanitation.

“The doctors were responsible for Irfan’s death, because he would have been alive today had they not refused to treat him immediately. Our outburst against the doctors was natural, but we did not damage or steal anything from the hospital. It is a lie, and even the police know it.”

A senior police official admitted that “we believe that the hospital is making frivolous accusation against these people….. The hospital is ostensibly trying to pressure the family to withdraw their case.”

Egypt: Suzan Ashraf Rawy, a 22-year-old Christian woman, was reportedly kidnapped on the morning of June 5 while walking to the Coptic Orthodox church where she worked. “When she did not return home that evening, her mother called the church,” an area Christian leader said. “That is when she discovered Suzan did not arrive at the church in the morning. It is expected that she has been abducted.” She is the third Christian woman in the area of Al Khosous, a predominantly Christian town on the outskirts of Cairo, to disappear since May 30, when a Copt accidentally shot and killed a Muslim bystander during a quarrel with someone else. “Since then, the Muslims started to wage revenge attacks on the Christian community living there, especially the women,” the Christian leader said. According to the report:

“Two other young Coptic Christian women disappeared without a trace after the May 30 incident. The families of the women suspected to have been kidnapped have received no communication from alleged kidnappers, the sources said. Area Muslims have long disfigured Christian women for not wearing veils by throwing acid on them, but there has been a surge in such attacks in the past few weeks, sources said…. Fear has seized Coptic Christians in the area, with women afraid to leave their homes. One of the church women’s meetings, which Rawy attended, has been suspended until further notice out of fear for the safety of the participants.”

Bangladesh: Three Muslim men sexually assaulted a 20-year-old Catholic girl in the village of Madarpur on June 18. Her loud cries drew the attention of village locals who came to her rescue, prompting the rapists to flee. After her parents filed a complaint, they began to receive threatening messages to withdraw it or else. “Last year her family was involved in a land dispute,” adds the report. “The violence – a premeditated attack – was also witnessed by the police, deployed by the Muslims who wanted to expropriate the land. The young woman, along with her parents, was forced to leave the house and live in a slum.”

Pakistan: The home of a journalist who extensively covers the plight of religious minorities in the Muslim nation was vandalized. When Rana Tanveer, chief reporter of The Express Tribune, went to the police, they failed to register a formal complaint. Days later, an unidentified vehicle intentionally ran over Tanveer, while he was riding his motorcycle in Lahore on Friday, June 9. According to the report:

“Tanveer underwent surgery for a fracture in his pelvic bone on Saturday. His recovery may take months and he has expressed fears for his safety as well as that of his family…. Tanveer says that his work on exposing the poor treatment meted out to the country’s religious minorities like the Ahmadis and the Christians has made him a target of extremists.”

Sudan: A court in El Gedaref fined a number of Christians for selling food and tea during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting: “This is a clear discrimination against Christians and contrary to the slogans of religious coexistence launched by the Sudan Government for the international community,” contended one defense layer. About a dozen people were each fined $2,000 Sudanese dollars ($298 USD).

Iraq: “[T]roubling issues related to discrimination and even violence targeting ethnic and religious minorities” are widespread in Kurdish-ruled territories, one report found, adding:

“Christian citizens of the KRI [Kurdish Region of Iraq] have issued complaints and held protests against Kurdish residents for attacking and seizing their land and villages in the provinces of Dohuk and Erbil…. Some Assyrian Christians accuse Kurdish government and party officials of taking lands for personal use or financial gain. These Christians believe they are specifically targeted as part of a policy to Kurdify historically Christian areas…. Minorities continue to fear growing extremism in the majority population, which they believe could threaten them in the long term.”

Most Kurds are Sunni Muslims.

Nigeria: A presidential order replaced Christian education with Islamic Studies in secondary schools. While the subject, “Christian Religious Knowledge” no longer exists, Islamic, Arab, and French studies have been introduced in the new curriculum. The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), which protested the new changes in front of the presidential palace, currently filled by a Muslim, described the change as “a time-bomb, obnoxious, divisive and ungodly…. To us in CAN, its introduction is an ill-wind that blows nobody any good for so many reasons.” According to the report, “The end result [of these changes] is that a Christian student will be left with no option than to settle for Islamic Arabic Studies since French teachers are more or less non-existent in secondary schools,” all of which “will deprive pupils of moral trainings which CRK [Christian Religious Knowledge] offers.” The Christian Association of Nigeria further denounced this move “to force Islamic studies down the throats of non-adherents of the religion,” as being an “agenda deliberately crafted towards Islamization.”

Separately, a Christian priest and his companions who were abducted by Islamic militants in April told of their experiences in June, when they were released. Fr. Sam Okwuidegbe identified his “kidnappers as Fulani herdsmen, an Islamic radical group that has killed thousands of people in Nigeria, including many Christians, in the past couple of decades” notes the report. That he was unable to recall any phone numbers for the Islamic terrorists to call to negotiate a ransom for his release “triggered a series of beatings,” says Fr. Sam.

“they huddled me up, hands and feet tied to the back with a rope like a goat before a kill. They removed my cassock, then my shirt, threw me into the dirt on the ground, and began to beat me with the back of their guns, they’d kick me hard on my sides, slap across my face, push and pull me hard across the ground … one of them said ‘We are going to burn you alive!'”

Another man in captivity did manage to recall a phone number, a ransom was set, and the men were eventually released.

Due to the ongoing bleeding of Nigeria’s Christian population — increasingly at the hands of Muslim Fulani herdsmen and not just the Islamic terror group, Boko Haram — a number of leading Nigerian churches issued a statement calling on the government “not to abdicate its responsibility of protecting all Nigerian citizens.” According to the communique:

“We are worried that the murderous activities of Fulani herdsmen have continued unabated and unchecked. The recurring and orchestrated killings of Christians in Southern Kaduna, mass killings in parts of Benue State and others across the country have increased suspicion that the so-called herdsmen are an extension of terrorist groups carrying out an evil agenda of ethnic and religious cleansing. Characteristically, these mindless attacks are often unprovoked.”

Earlier in January, Bishop Diamond Emuobor, chairman of the Christian Association of Nigeria, said that, because Christians are facing increasing dangers at the hands of extremists, so “Christians should defend themselves and he who has no sword, should sell his coat and buy one to defend himself. We are all human beings, nobody should catch you like a snail and slaughter because you believe in Jesus Christ.”

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).

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]

__________________________

[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.”

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[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….