Archive for the ‘Islam and Christians’ category

“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All”

January 14, 2018

“Oh You Cross-Worshippers, We’ll Kill You All” Gatestone InstituteRaymond Ibrahim, January 14, 2018

Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2017

A popular Arabic-language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” — Morocco.

Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison, and called for a public lynching of Stephen.” — Pakistan.

Sweden decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden continues accepting Muslim refugees.

In the name of “fighting terrorism,” Bangladesh made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down.

document drafted by members of the global Christian community convening at the 3rd International Christian Forum, held in Moscow, detailed how over the past ten years the Middle East’s Christian population has shrunk by 80% and warned that unless current trends are reversed, Christianity “will vanish” from its ancient homelands in a few years’ time. Around the year 2000, there were 1.5 million Christians in Iraq; today there are only 100,000 — roughly a 93% percent drop, the document notes. In Syria, the largest cities “have lost almost all of their Christian population.”

Other experts offered similarly dismal statistics. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, Massachusetts, had predicted that by 2025, the percentage of Christians in the Middle East — which in 1910 was 13.6% — could go down to around 3%.

Christians seeking to return to areas in Iraq and Syria liberated from the Islamic State (ISIS) continue to face discrimination from local Muslim and Kurdish communities. Andrew White, also known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” had said that, “the time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

Others, such as Former Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.), are more optimistic: “Now is the time. We have an administration that’s open to doing something,” he said, indicating the US Trump administration.

Meanwhile, ISIS continued to harbor high hopes. In a video released by the terrorist organization in August, an extremist tore up a photo of Pope Francis and Pope Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI, while saying, “Remember this, you kuffar[infidels] — we will be in Rome, we will be in Rome, inshallah [Allah willing].” The narrator of the video also vowed that, “After all their efforts, it would be the religion of the cross that would be broken. The crusaders’ enmity toward the Muslims only served to embolden a generation of youth.” When asked about this, the pope’s top aide said, “Pope Francis hasn’t changed a thing in his agenda, nor is he going to. Furthermore, he’ll continue to foment dialogue, creating bridges, defending peace. With Muslims and Christians.”

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

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Kenya: Islamic terrorists hacked four Christian men to death for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. On Friday, August 28, jihadis from the Somali-based group, Al Shabaab, rounded up three men (two in their forties, the other 17) and held them at one of the Christians’ homes. They ordered them to recite the shahada — that “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger” — and thereby renounce the Trinity and become Muslim. When the men refused, the Muslims hacked them to pieces with machetes. They then went and slaughtered the mentally handicapped older brother of one of the slain. According to the “severely traumatized” wife of one of the men, “Al-Shabaab knew these men as Christians, and Joseph [her slain husband] as a church elder.”

Nigeria: Gunmen massacred as many as 50 Christian worshippers inside ‎St. Philip’s Catholic Church in Amambra State during a Sunday morning service. Initial reports claimed that “the gunmen were hunting for a drug baron, traced him to his house but were told he had gone to church.” When they found he was not in the church, “out of anger, probably, they rained bullets on worshippers in the church.” However, not only does the attack closely follow the pattern of other jihadi terror attacks on churches in Nigeria, but at least one group, Act for Biafra, a Biafran independence organization, issued a statement referring to the attack as a “jihadist slaughter” of Christian churchgoers.

Separately, during an attack on a Christian community in a Muslim majority region that enforces Sharia (Islamic law), Muslim terrorists slaughtered a Christian father and his son, and abducted three women and a baby. Aside from habitual attacks on Christians “in northern Nigeria, [which is Muslim majority] Christians who have already been displaced by Boko Haram extremists are being forced out of their refugee camps and denied access to vital aid,” according to human rights activists.

Pakistan: Javid Masih, a Christian man who sold himself into slavery to a Muslim family for two years to buy his family a home, was regularly abused, kept from going to church, and finally murdered in August. When the two-year contract was nearly up and Javid told one of the family that he looked forward to getting married, he was told, “There is no way you will ever be free from us and leave this place.” When his term was up and he asked for his freedom, he was severely chided by the family’s sons: “You filthy Chura [“worthless thing”], how dare you ask for your freedom. Your life is ours. You will clean our excrement every day of your life from now on or you and your family will die.” Afterwards, “he was grabbed by the brothers, tied up, beaten and spat upon for a whole day. He had never told his family about this because he was both embarrassed and fearful of the repercussions on his family if they got involved. Other employees were made to see the brutal torture of Javed to instill a sense of fear amongst them.” He continued as a slave but his productivity dropped, and the Muslim family decided to do away with him. They poisoned him and then dumped him in front of his family’s home. When his widowed mother begged them to drive him to a hospital, they spat on her. He died; the police reported the death a “suicide.” Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, said:

“Despite anti-slavery laws in Pakistan bonded labour proliferates and is destroying the lives of many Christians. The Bonded Labour (Abolition) Act 1992 is not worth the paper it is written on and the Government’s clear apathy to enforce the law illustrates the low value placed on Christians and other minorities… There is a very small suicide rate in Pakistan of around 300 victims over two years—Pakistanis are hardy. It is inconceivable that Javed committed suicide when he expressed no such desire to anyone he knew and remained stoic for two years despite the pain inflicted on him.”

Another Christian man, a prisoner who was offered but rejected Islam, was found dead “under mysterious circumstances in police custody,” according to a report. Indaryas Ghulam, 38, was among 42 Christians arrested for the lynching of two Muslims associated with a 2015 church attack that killed nearly 20 Christians and wounded 70. Indaryas had denied involvement in the lynching and was one of the prisoners promised “release in exchange of reneging Christ.”

“He could have saved his life, but decided to bear witness to his faith onto death…. The prison administration attributed his death to poor health; he had tuberculosis. But his wife Shabana and daughter Shumir, who saw the body, said that he had burns and cuts everywhere, clear signs of torture and of the brutality to which he had been subjected. What is more, they add that although he was severely ill, he never received adequate medical care behind the bars.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

Iran: Approximately five hundred Muslim converts to Christianity have faced persecution in Iran, and fled to Turkey in search of asylum, notes an August report. One young convert who said he could not be who he wanted to be if he remained Muslim, added that he is now feeling “comfortable” as a Christian. Another said:

“I changed my religion because I did not see anything in Islam. Whatever I saw was wrong. It is a fact that the government of Iran is an Islamic one, yet our youth are getting executed. In Iraq the same…. There is ISIS and [they] are killing people in the name of Islam, and there are vulnerable people who are being beheaded there. They have fled to Turkey, and we came to Turkey. That is why I did not see any good from Islam.”

Open Doors USA, which monitors Christian persecution around the world, confirms that “Converts to Christianity from Islam make up the largest group of Christians and experience the most persecution.”

Morocco: An August report reveals that earlier in 2017, a popular Arabic language newspaper attacked Morocco’s Christian activists for their faith and, considering that virtually all Christians in Morocco are converts from Islam, ended with the message: the “Koran requires the killing of apostates.” “Morocco is home to several thousand Christians who live across the nation, many of whom are new converts and forced to worship in secret churches,” the report adds. “Christians are regularly harassed by authorities, and societal pressure to renounce their faith is commonplace throughout the country.”

Pakistan: Another Christian minor was beaten and charged with “blaspheming” against Islam. After a Muslim man, Muhammed Nawaz, accused Asif Stephen, 16, of stealing at a local bazaar, he beat the boy, then told the local imam, who, according to the report, “has a history of preaching hatred towards minority Christians,” that the youth had also burned a Koran. Muhammad and the imam tracked down the boy and attacked him again. When a passerby saw the violence and contacted police, “instead of protecting the teenager from his attackers, [police] arrested and booked him into prison on blasphemy charges.” Hours later, the imam and “a mob of more than 300 Muslim fundamentalists surrounded the prison and called for a public lynching of Stephen.”

“As the mob overwhelmed local police, Stephen was removed from his cell and handed over to the mob, who consequently beat him until reinforcement officers stepped in to calm the situation. Police then moved Stephen to a higher security district jail where he plead guilty to blasphemy in what his family believed was a coerced confession.”

Uganda: On August 7, Sophia Nakisaala, 35, a Muslim woman, embraced Christianity after her daughter was healed by a street preacher:

“My child got healed instantly from high fever, which had caused several convulsions. The evangelist shared with me about Issa [Jesus], whom he said to be the healer and Savior. I then decided to accept Him as my Lord and Savior and then returned back home.”

When she returned home and began telling Muhammad Lubaale, her husband, what had happened, “He got angry and slapped me. I kept quiet and did not respond to his interrogation about my new faith in Jesus.” Three days later, word of his daughter’s healing and confirmation that his wife had indeed embraced Christ reached Muhammad. “My husband arrived home on Aug. 10 and started beating me and injuring me with bruises on my head and right hand, using a stick,” Sophia explained. “Neighbors came to my rescue and housed me that very night.” The following morning, while her husband was away, she gathered her four children—aged 3, 5, 8 and 11—and went to an area pastor, who helped her find refuge.

Sweden: The Western nation most renowned for taking in — and suffering from — Muslim migrants, Sweden, decided to deport a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When the convert, Aideen Strandsson, pleaded that she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” Meanwhile, Sweden, which is reputed as “the world’s humanitarian conscience and a safe haven for refugees,” continues accepting Muslim refugees, some of whom have helped make it known as the “rape capital of Europe.”

Sweden recently decided to deport Aideen Strandsson, a female Iranian convert to Christianity. When Strandsson pleaded that in Iran she could face the death penalty as an apostate, Swedish officials told her, “it’s not our problem if you decided to become a Christian, and it’s your problem.” (Image source: Facebook/Aideen Strandsson)

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Egypt: Authorities closed down the 1,300-member Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in the Minya governorate. The closure came in response to local Muslim opposition groups who protested the existence of the church, which had served Christians from three separate villages. The Coptic Bishop of Minya, Anba Makarios, issued a public statement chiding officials for siding with the aggressors against the victims:

“The security apparatus has prevented Copts from practicing their rites in Kedwan, Minya, claiming that it was because of objections of some opposing factions in the village, and that it was necessary to be considerate of their feelings. However, this means that there is no consideration for the feelings of the Copts and those who do not ask for anything but to pray, as if the decision belonged to the opposing factions and not to a great state such as Egypt, which should have authority and law.”

The Virgin Mary and St. Paula Church in Kedwan is just one of at least 15 Christian churches that have been closed in Minya province alone. “We have more than 15 places [of worship] closed on the order of the security apparatus, despite the existence of formal requests that are imprisoned in [desk] drawers,” Makarios added in his statement. “Also, there are 70 villages, farmsteads and hamlets without places for prayers.”

Separately in August, security officials prevented Christians from meeting and worshiping in a private home in the village of Forn, in Minya. They said the home lacked a permit for worship. In a letter entitled, “We were prevented from prayer like criminals,” frustrated Christians wrote to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi:

“We were surprised to find police forces surrounding and entering the village to prevent the Egyptian Copts from prayer and were prevented from going out of our homes. We were attacked with inappropriate words … As if we are criminals or outlaws and wanted for justice, accused of performing religious rituals. And is performing religious rituals a crime?”

Iraq: Christians returning to the Nineveh Plain continued to encounter the remains of the Islamic State’s handiwork, including graffiti all around and inside their desecrated churches, such as “There is no place for the Cross in Islamic lands” and “The Cross is under our foot.” The following German writing was found in one church:

“Oh you Cross worshippers, we’ll kill you all. Germany is an Islamic land. You are weak and don’t belong here…. Oh you Cross worshippers, you have no place in Islamic lands. Either you leave or we’ll kill you.”

“They’d [ISIS] used the statutes of Jesus and Mary for target practice,” said one man of another church. “The altar was also destroyed. Daesh [ISIS] knew that the West would be reluctant to bomb a church, so [it] stored food and ammunition here.” Much of the graffiti has since been removed and altars are being restored. “To see our Christian symbols again is almost as important as food for us,” commented one Christian man.

Somaliland: After agreeing to the reopening of a Catholic Church, which had been closed for nearly 30 years, the government of the Muslim nation reversed its decision. Spokesmen cited public anger, fomented by Islamic religious leaders who claimed the church reopening was part of the government’s conspiratorial plan to Christianize Somaliland. Explaining their decision during a press conference, Religious Affairs Minister, Sheikh Khalil Abdullahi Ahmed, said, “The Government of the Republic of Somaliland has decided to respect the wishes of its people and religious leaders and keep the church closed, as it has been for the past 30 years.” The Catholic church was one of many churches built 70 years ago when Somaliland was a British Protectorate.

Sudan: The day after the Khartoum Parliament rejected the Ministry of Education’s call for Church Schools to operate on Sundays and follow only the Muslim week—a decision “viewed by Christians in Sudan and around the world as another means of harassment and discrimination against the minority group” — on August 2, the Sudanese government demolished yet another church in Omdurman, just west of Khartoum, from their list of 27 churches to be demolished.

Muslim Contempt for and Abuse of Christians

Iraq: More reports indicating that Christian suffering is hardly limited to ISISappeared in August. According to one, Chaldean Archbishop Habib Jajou said “that the remaining Christian families in Iraq fear that a new ISIS could come to power. He accused Baghdad of failing to foster religious tolerance amid the years of sectarian war and said a lot of people have been brainwashed by the terror group.” He also pointed out that the education ministry should begin to acknowledge Iraq’s Christian heritage and roots instead of falsely claiming that it was always Islamic and that Christians are essentially foreigners and agents of the West.

Pakistan: The Islamic nation’s senate unanimously approved a bill requiring the compulsory teaching of the Koran to all primary and secondary school students, including non-Muslim ones. In part, the bill is meant to help the state discharge article 31(2) of the Pakistani constitution, which states that the “State shall endeavour to make the teachings of the Holy Qur’an and Islamiyat [all things Islamic] compulsory.” However, according to Nasir Saeed, the director of a Christian human rights organization, the bill “will have a negative impact on the non-Muslim students… It will promote bigotry and hatred against non-Muslims in Pakistani society, something which is already on the rise.”

Bangladesh: In the name of “fighting terrorism,” the Muslim nation made changes to a law that forced approximately 200 Christian organizations to shut down. The Foreign Donations Regulation Bill, which is meant to be a check on terrorist cells receiving funds outside of Bangladesh, has especially created economic problems for Christian NGOs “geared specifically for the Christian community” explained one missionary. Because a majority of Christian organizations in overwhelmingly Muslim Bangladesh are economically supported from outside sources, 200 were no longer able to secure external funding and to close permanently.

Sudan: The Islamist government arrested seven church leaders for refusing to comply with a court order to turn over leadership of their congregation to a government appointment committee in an effort to dissolve the church. They were interrogated for several hours and then released on bail. “Police said that in arresting them they were implementing orders from the Ministry of Guidance and Religious Endowments to impose its committee as new SCOC leadership, presumably to sell off the church property in Sudan’s bid to rid the country of Christianity,” notes the report, adding that “the arrests were seen as part of a recent upsurge in harassment of Christians.”

Separately, in order to help a wealthy Muslim businessman take over church property, police evicted two more pastors and their families from their homes and onto the streets. The pastors “were terrorized when police pounded on the doors shouting threats,” “They came and knocked on the door strongly, they said, ‘Should you not open, we will have to break it by force to get in,” Pastor Nalu, 47-year-old father of a one-year-old boy, said. “The situation is very difficult, and we are living on the street.”

Nigeria: Fulani terrorists, some allied with the Islamic terrorist group, Boko Haram, have been known to invade Christian farms and settlements and slaughter Christians. In August, when few such attacks were recorded, and (mostly Muslim) politicians portrayed the problem as settled, a Christian leader explained that, when not directly slaughtering Christians, Muslim Fulani herdsmen resort to “economic terrorism“: “As we gleefully wallow in the false sense of peace on the Plateau,” he said, “know it today that a deliberate economic terrorism and land-grabbing strategy is being launched on Christians of Riyom and Barkin Ladi on a daily basis with the sole aim of making them poor, weak and destitute in their own land.”

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).

Raymond Ibrahim: Trump Scraps Cherished “Israel Grievance” Myth

December 28, 2017

Raymond Ibrahim: Trump Scraps Cherished “Israel Grievance” Myth, Jihad Watch

Yet, as with Trump’s return of words such as “jihadi” to formal discourse, one doubts that the Establishment will follow suit, as the polarization of America continues unabated.

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President Trump’s new National Security strategy is not only notable for what it brings back to the paradigm — words such as “jihadi” and “sharia” — but in what it gets rid of, namely, the long held, much entrenched notion that Israel is the root source of all the turmoil plaguing the Middle East. According to the new strategy document,

For generations the conflict between Israel and the Palestinians has been understood as the prime irritant preventing peace and prosperity in the region. Today, the threats from jihadist terrorist organizations and the threat from Iran are creating the realization that Israel is not the cause of the region’s problems. States have increasingly found common interests with Israel in confronting common threats.

That this is true cannot be overstated. For decades, the official establishment position championed by politicians, academics, and journalists of all stripes seeking to apologize for all the anger, violence, and jihad terror plaguing the region was the creation of Israel. Because the Jewish state is stronger than its Muslim neighbors, the latter were always presented as frustrated “underdogs” doing whatever they could to achieve “justice.” No matter how many rockets were shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, and no matter how anti-Israeli bloodlust was articulated in distinctly jihadi terms, that was always presented as ironclad proof that Palestinians under Israel are so oppressed that Muslims have no choice but to resort to terrorism.

Yet, as with all false narratives, the survival of this one relied on concealing the bigger, more complete picture, as captured by the following question: If Muslims get a free pass when their violence is directed against those stronger than them, how does one rationalize away their violence when it is directed against those weaker than them — for example, millions of indigenous Christians living in the Muslim world? According to reliable statistics published annually, some 40 of the 50 worst nations in which to be Christian are Muslim majority. Of the absolute worst 21 nations — 18 of which are Muslim — “100 percent of Christians experience persecution.”

The rationalizations used to minimize Muslim violence against Israel simply cannot work here, for now Muslims are the majority — and they are the ones violent and oppressive to their minorities, in ways that make Israeli treatment of Palestinians seem enviable. In other words, Christian persecution is perhaps the most obvious example of a phenomenon the mainstream media wants to ignore out of existence — Islamic supremacism, the true source of the Arab-Israeli conflict.

Vastly outnumbered and politically marginalized Christians in the Islamic world simply wish to worship in peace, and yet they are still hounded and attacked; their churches are burned and destroyed; their women and children are kidnapped, raped, and enslaved. These Christians are often identical to their Muslim co-citizens in race, ethnicity, national identity, culture, and language; there is generally no political or property dispute on which the violence can be blamed. The only problem is that they are Christian — they are non-Muslims — the same category Israelis fall under.

From here one also understands why what has been described by some authorities as a “genocide” of Christians at the hands of Muslims in Iraq, Syria, Nigeria, Somalia, Pakistan, and Egypt — Muslims who couldn’t care less about Israel and Palestinians — is one of the most dramatic but also least known stories of our times. The media simply cannot portray Muslim persecution of Christians — which in essence and form amounts to unprovoked pogroms — as a “land dispute” or a product of “grievance” (if anything, it is the ostracized and persecuted indigenous Christian minorities who should have grievances). And because the media cannot articulate such Islamic attacks on Christians through the “grievance” paradigm that works so well in explaining the Arab-Israeli conflict, their main recourse is not to report on them at all.

Such is the way for all apologists of Islam: to ignore or whitewash Muslim aggression — and then, in that vacuum, distort and present non-Muslim responses as the origins of the conflict. This is especially prevalent in the portrayal of history. Thus Georgetown University’s John Esposito claims that “Five centuries of peaceful coexistence [between Islam and Europe] elapsed before political events and an imperial-papal power play led to [a] centuries-long series of so-called holy wars [the Crusades] that pitted Europe against Islam and left an enduring legacy of misunderstanding and distrust.” In reality, these “five centuries of peaceful coexistence” saw Muslims terrorize and conquer more than three-fourths of Christendom, but this inconvenient fact is seldom mentioned, for knowledge of it ruins the “Muslim-grievance” narrative, just as knowledge of modern-day Muslim persecution of Christians ruins it.

Either way, it is refreshing to see that the sun is breaking through the darkness of deceit that has for too long clouded Middle Eastern realities, including by presenting victims as aggressors and aggressors as victims. Yet, as with Trump’s return of words such as “jihadi” to formal discourse, one doubts that the Establishment will follow suit, as the polarization of America continues unabated.

Christians “Slaughtered Like Chicken”

December 17, 2017

Christians “Slaughtered Like Chicken” Gatestone InstituteRaymond Ibrahim, December 17, 2017

“These draconian [blasphemy] laws are being used as a tool for discrimination and forcible conversion every day and the world stays silent. This poor boy will now face a most daunting court case and will lose most of his life in prison…” — Wilson Chowdhry, Chairman, British Pakistani Christian Association. Pakistan.

The pastor, Amos Lukanula, said, “We cannot allow the Muslims to put up a mosque in place of the church.” The congregation first purchased the property in 2004; once they had erected a temporary church, local Muslims pulled it down. Another structure the congregation had spent three years building was again brought down by area Muslims in 2007. When, by 2009, Muslims could not raze the third partially built church —made of stone blocks not easily brought down—they filed a legal complaint prompting a court order to halt construction until the legal dispute could be resolved. The court case has dragged on for over eight years. — Tanzania.

A Muslim man raped a 3-year-old Christian girl, injuring her permanently. “[H]er 10-year-old son, Daud, was looking after his younger sister, a Muslim friend of Altaf, named Muhammed Abbas, came over. The man requested Daud to buy cigarettes for him from a nearby market. When Daud came back from a shop, Abbas kept him waiting outside the house and raped his sister. Abbas finally opened the door for Daud, lit a cigarette and left. When Daud went inside, he found his sister naked, covered in blood and screaming.” Police initially refused to investigate the rape until a local lawmaker exerted pressure on the authorities. — Pakistan.

“Christians who refused to renounce their faith were jailed indefinitely without trial. 173 long-term prisoners of faith remain behind bars in brutal conditions. They include many church leaders.” — Rev. Dr Berhane Asmelash. Eritrea.

Luc Ravel, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Strasbourg “went against the grain of Church leaders in France who have largely remained politically correct,” states a report, because he criticized “the demographic shift in France. Muslims, he said, are having far more children than native French, and slammed the widespread ‘promotion’ of abortion.” “Muslim believers,” he continued, “know very well that their birthrate is such that today, they call it … the Great Replacement, they tell you in a very calm, very positive way that, ‘one day all this, it will be ours.'”

Luc Ravel, Archbishop of Strasbourg, recently criticized “the demographic shift in France. Muslims, he said, are having far more children than native French.” (Image source: Peter Potrowl/Wikimedia Commons)

Another Christian leader, while discussing Sudan in particular, touched on what Christians throughout the Muslim world are facing, and why. “The government in Sudan wants to Islamize the whole population and they want to finish off Christianity and other faiths in Sudan,” said Pastor Strong. “We have to put pressure on the government so that the rights of the people to practice their faith openly will be given to them.” To achieve this, he added, they need the support of the “global Church”: “They are in the midst of trials, persecution, hunger — a lot of problems. And yet in the midst of all that, they rejoice. They’re always ready to die, and they testify their faith in every circumstance. They are willing to serve no matter what they have and what they might lose.”

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

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Pakistan: On July 24, an Islamic suicide-bomber detonated explosives, killing himself in an area heavily populated by Christians. At least 26 people were murdered. According to human rights activist Bruce Allen, “What the mainstream media is not reporting is that this is the second-largest Christian colony in Pakistan where this blast occurred”—only a mile-and-a-half from where “pastors in Pakistan meet on a monthly basis, where they receive their monthly financial support, where they get together for sharing prayer requests and have some ongoing training centers and things like that.” After explaining how many suicide terror attacks target Christians, he explained how such ongoing terror “puts the Christians at this heightened state of alert, and they have been for some time. We recall last Easter, a time of great celebration, and there’s an attack against Christians in the parks. And that’s what they live with constantly…. [W]e talk about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with people in combat. Well, here you have a whole population of people who that’s what their life is: combat. And so it has psychological, spiritual, and emotional wearing.”

Separately, a Muslim “master” tormented and then murdered his Christian “slave.”Javed Masih, 32, the Christian was, according to the report, “repaying a debt that his family had contracted three years ago…. In reality he was a slave.” After he was accused of stealing a motor bicycle, “the Christian was repeatedly beaten with sticks and other objects. He was taken to the hospital and died from serious torture.” The family sought justice and filed a case with police, but as is usual, the police refused to take the case and the Muslim “master” and his allies threatened the Christian family to withdraw the charge. As the older brother of the slain man explained “We want justice. We are poor and therefore the police refuse to listen to us and record the complaint. Large landowners are threatening serious consequences because we have opposed any compromise. All this is because we are Christians and poor.” The murderer said the slain man committed suicide, a claim the family strongly rejects.

Kenya: Muslim militants linked to the jihadi group Al Shabaab hacked 13 non-Muslims, most of whom were Christian, to death with machetes. “They were slaughtered like chicken using knives…. We suspect there are many bodies that haven’t been recovered,” police said. The incident took place on Sunday, July 9 in a village near Lama. Because the Muslim terrorists were “only targeting male non-Muslims,” local Muslims directed them to Christians. “The Christians were asked to recite the Islamic dogmas, which they could not, hence they were killed,” a local source explained. Another man explained how the militants “were asking the villagers to produce their identification cards and if you were found to be a Christian you would be shot or slaughtered…. Victims have been evacuated to camps where food and security is provided by [the] government and the Kenya Red Cross,” he added. “We are hosting more than 200 people in our church and we expect the number to increase as more families are evacuated from Boni Forest.”

Egypt: Another Christian solider was killed by fellow (Muslim) soldiers once they learned he was a Christian. Joseph Reda Helmy had just completed his military training when he was transferred to Al-Salaam (“peace”), a special forces unit, where three officers killed him. He is at least the sixth Christian soldier to be killed for his faith in recent years. According to the slain man’s father, “his large, strong son had arrived at the camp at 2 p.m. and was dead by 8 p.m.” His cousin, who retrieved the body, said his dead cousin “had bruises on his head, shoulders, neck, back and genitalia, with the worst injuries occurring on his back.” He also learned from eyewitnesses that “the three officers began to harass Helmy because of his Christian faith, and that the marks on his body indicate they kicked him with their boots and hit him with heavy instruments.” As in all of the previous cases where Christian soldiers were killed by their Islamic counterparts, the Egyptian army told relatives that the slain had died of something else, in this instance, an “epileptic seizure.” But even the “doctor who examined the body refused to bow to pressure from those who brought it and reported that the cause of death was not natural.”

Also, of the jihadi slaughter of Christians traveling to a desert monastery in late May, 2017, more details emerged. Speaking from her hospital bed, one of the survivors of the massacre, Mariam Adel, a young mother whose husband and nine of her relatives were killed in the attack, said that after the jihadis opened fire on their bus, they went onboard and “ordered them off the bus and told them to convert to Islam.” “Renounce our faith? Of course not,” Mariam said of the women’s collective reaction. “If we had, they might have let us off the bus and treated us well. But we only want Jesus and we are confident he will not leave us.” The militants responded by robbing the women of their possessions, which they justified doing as properly earned “spoils of war.” A 10-year-old boy whose father was slaughtered said that “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,'” or, “Allah is greater.”

NigeriaAt least one Christian student was killed by an Islamic suicide attacker from Boko Haram. “Ambore Gideon Todi, a 21-year-old student at the University of Maiduguri in Borno state, was staying in the Evangelical Church Winning All’s student ministry tent when Boko Haram suicide bombers detonated explosives,” according to a report. “It is believed that he was not the only one affected by the bomb blast,” a fellow student, said “as there were others involved… in their fellowship program…. The authorities did not say anything about their demise till after nine days. We knew of his death because he is from my state.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom:

Pakistan: Another Christian was arrested for allegedly “blaspheming” against Muhammad, the prophet of Islam. Nadeem Ahmed, a leading figure in the Islamist organization Tehreek e Tahafuz e Islam, filed a complaint against Shahzad Masih, a 16-year-old Christian who worked as a hospital sweeper. The Islamist group then circulated pictures of the youth through their social media platforms with insulting and threatening captions; they also threatened to slaughter him if police were to release him. Police moved the teenager to an unknown location—and even “refused to acknowledge holding the boy, and will not give the family access to him.” Local mosques went on to publicize the incident heavily, prompting outrage among Muslims. They threatened his family with death, causing them to flee into hiding. A spokesman for the Islamist group said that “the judicial system should inflict the worst possible punishment on Shahzad Masih [meaning execution] so that no one will dare commit blasphemy again ever.” According to Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association, “These draconian [blasphemy] laws are being used as a tool for discrimination and forcible conversion every day and the world stays silent. This poor boy will now face a most daunting court case and will lose most of his life in prison; moreover, in the current climate a sentence could lead to his death via judicial or extrajudicial process.”

Ethiopia: A gang of Muslims with machetes violently hacked at a Christian, leaving “the 27-year-old man needing life-saving surgery,” says a report. A “doctor, believing he would die en route to a bigger hospital, operated on his wounds. Although he is still unwell, the surgery stabilised him enough to be taken elsewhere for more specialised treatment.” The Muslim gang that attacked him was reportedly angry at him for publicly evangelizing among Muslims. They first attacked the local church, creating damage to its wall and roof, before traveling to his home where the incident took place.

Iran: Four Muslim converts to Christianity, and accused of promoting it, were sentenced to ten years in prison. The four men were arrested in May during a series of raids on Christian homes by security service agents. The report notes that such harsh sentences are becoming the norm: “Whereas in recent years Christian converts involved in house church activities could expect to receive prison sentences of up to 2 years, sentences of 10 years or more in prison have been handed down in recent cases…. The four men were officially charged with ‘acting against national security,’ a catch-all charge often used by the Iranian government to punish different types of religious and political dissent. The government often uses it against converts instead of the charge of apostasy, according to freedom of religion advocates, in an attempt to avoid international scrutiny.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Egypt: After nearly three months of deadly terrorist attacks—including suicide bombing on churches that left nearly 50 Christians dead, followed by the slaughter of nearly 30 Christians traveling to a monastery in the Sinai and ongoing threats and other attacks — many churches suspended their activities and temporarily shut down for most of July. According to a report, “The Evangelical, Coptic Orthodox, and Catholic churches agreed to halt services, conferences, and any church trips to protect their congregations.” Other churches, in Alexandria for instance, remained open, although “with stricter security, including police checks, private church security checks, and metal detectors.”

One open church in Alexandria was targeted by a man who stabbed the guard preventing his entry. According to the report, the man, a 24-year-old male graduate from law school, “attacked the 47-year-old guard with a knife on the neck after the latter questioned his reasons for going into Al-Qiddisain Church in Alexandria.” Video footage of the incident shows “a man wearing earphones 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 recovered quickly to subdue his attacker with the help of others.”

Tanzania: Responding to ongoing and angry Muslim protests, a court ruled that the church building that a Christian congregation had been trying to build for eight years on the semi-autonomous island of Zanzibar must abandon the project. According to the report, “Hard-line Muslims outside Zanzibar City have been fighting construction of the Pentecostal Assemblies of God building since 2009, having demolished the partially built structure twice before then. They claim the party that sold the property to the church was not the rightful owner. Christians believe the court on the overwhelmingly Muslim island acted out of religious bias. A previous court ruling allowed construction to go forward.” The pastor, Amos Lukanula, said that although the congregation is “frustrated and weary … We cannot allow the Muslims to put up a mosque in place of the church.” The congregation first purchased the property in 2004; once they had erected a temporary church, local Muslims pulled it down. Another structure the congregation had spent three years building was again brought down by area Muslims in 2007. When, by 2009, Muslims could not raze the third partially built church—made of stone blocks not easily brought down—they filed a legal complaint prompting a court order to halt construction until the legal dispute could be resolved. The court case has dragged on for over eight years and costs the congregation approximately $100 month.

Iraq: Due to the significant reduction of the Christian population, eight more churches were closed in Baghdad. According to the report, “After the regional Catholic Church authority visited the churches, the Vatican decided that it was best to close the doors for good. While this makes logistical sense, it represents a symbolic defeat for the Church in the capital of Iraq.” “It’s important to recognize,” the report adds, “that ISIS is not solely responsible for this. Christians have faced various forms of persecution and discrimination from a wide variety of perpetrators throughout the past 15 years.”

Muslim Abuse and Rape of Christians

Pakistan: A Muslim man raped a 3-year-old Christian girl, wounding her permanently. According to the report, “One day, when Catherine Bibi [the girl’s mother] and her oldest son, Altaf Masih, 21, were at work and her 10-year-old son, Daud, was looking after his younger sister, a Muslim friend of Altaf, named Muhammed Abbas, came over. The man requested Daud to buy cigarettes for him from a nearby market. When Daud came back from a shop, Abbas kept him waiting outside the house and raped his sister. Abbas finally opened the door for Daud, lit a cigarette and left. When Daud went inside, he found his sister naked, covered in blood and screaming.” Although the rape took place months ago, Catherine, the girl’s mother “says she’s emotionally and financially exhausted as she continues to fight for justice for her daughter, who will never be able to bear children due to severe injuries.” But the mother is determined: “My daughter is innocent of any crime at such a young and vulnerable age she has been subjected to a most brutal and evil attack, from a man with no morals. (Even) if this evil rapist is jailed it will not remove the vile treatment my daughter suffered. I call on prayers from anyone moved by my daughter’s plight. Please pray that she is completely healed and can one day have children which is a natural process designed by God and a real blessing for women.” Police initially refused to investigate the rape until a local lawmaker exerted pressure on the authorities.

Another Christian woman “was beaten and gang-raped in front of her five children by a Muslim man seeking to avenge his family’s ‘honor,’ because the woman’s sister fell in love and fled with the man’s brother,” says a separate report. The Muslim brother and some companions went to the home of the Christian woman, Samrah Badal, demanding news on the fled couple. When the woman refused to speak, “she was stripped naked and dragged out on the streets, where she was [gang] raped in front of her five children.”

Sudan: The Khartoum government issued an order calling on all church schools to begin operating according to the Muslim work week, which treats Friday (mosque day) and Saturday as the weekend, and Sunday as the start of the work week. One report says this move is part of “an ongoing campaign to rid the country of Christianity.” In a letter sent to Christian schools, the Ministry of Education wrote, “In order not to affect the educational process and the ongoing plan, we ask you not to observe Sunday holiday” though Christian schools had been observing it for decades. One Sudanese Christian teacher said, “The government’s decision to abolish Sundays for Christian schools is discrimination against Christians in Sudan.” He is not alone, as the “move prompted widespread outrage and led many Christians in Sudan and around the world to view it as another means of harassment and discrimination against Sudanese Christians.”

Tanzania: Three Christians were arrested for cooking food in the kitchen of their residence during Ramadan. A Christian couple and a female friend were frying fish when police came, informing them that they had “breached the law by cooking food during Ramadan,” said a report. Police also “verbally abused them.” “Today you will know how to fast,” the police told them as they dragged them away. After the intervention of local church leaders, the three were released days later.

Eritrea: In the east African nation considered the tenth worst nation wherein to be Christian, partially because of “Islamic oppression,” 200 Christians—including young children and a baby who “could spend their childhood in a prison cell”—were arrested in a series of random house-to-house raids. According to the Rev. Dr Berhane Asmelash, “People used to be arrested for conducting unauthorised meetings, such as Bible studies or prayers. But this is new for us when they go from house to house. They are arresting people for their beliefs, not for their actions. This is getting worse. Many Christians are in hiding.” “These latest arrests,” continues the report, “have brought fear to the Christian community….. In 2002 Eritrea outlawed many Christian denominations and shut down Evangelical and Pentecostal churches. Christians who refused to renounce their faith were jailed indefinitely without trial. 173 long-term prisoners of faith remain behind bars in brutal conditions. They include many church leaders.”

Mali: According to one report: In July, “Three Christian missionaries … appeared in a video released by coalition of jihadist groups affiliated to Al-Qaeda urging their respective governments to ‘do what they can’ to negotiate their release.” The group, known as Nusrat al-Islam wal Muslimeen—or the “Victory of Islam and Muslims” — said in the video that “No genuine negotiations have begun to rescue your children.” Six foreign hostages, “including three missionaries from Colombia, Switzerland and Australia, are shown begging the international community for help” in the video. One of the hostages is a nun, another an 82-year-old Australian surgeon, Ken Elliott, who said, “This video is to ask various governments, in particular the Australian government and Burkina government, to do what they can to help negotiate my release.” Addressing his family, he added: “I just want to say, again, I love you all and I appreciate all your prayers and all your cares. I look forward to one day being reunited.” The release of the video coincided with French president Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Mali. Macron said “he was pleased that one of his citizens was still alive after being kidnapped by the militant.” He added, “These people are nothing. They are terrorists, thugs and assassins. And we will put all of our energies into eradicating them.”

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).

Miss Iraq’s Family Flees Country After Posing w/Miss Israel

December 14, 2017

Miss Iraq’s Family Flees Country After Posing w/Miss Israel, The Point (FrontPage Magazine, Daniel Greenfield, December 14, 2017

#Coexist

Apologists for Islam insist vehemently that if it wasn’t for Israel, Muslims and Jews would get along. But the sad reality is that Islamic racism and supremacism makes it impossible. Not Israel.

Anti-semitism remains ubiquitous in Muslim countries. Long before this incident and the various wars, most Jews were forced to flee Iraq. And Iraq is demanding stolen Jewish religious items from the United States because its leaders are bizarrely convinced that if they don’t get them back, the Vast Jewish Conspiracy will lay claim to the Tower of Babel. Or something equally crazy.

Coexistence really isn’t working.

The family of Iraq’s contestant in the Miss Universe Pageant have left the country due to threats to their lives over her modeling in a bikini and posting on social media photos taken with Miss Israel.

Miss Iraq, Sarah Idan, lives in the United States and the rest of her family has now fled the country, Miss Israel, Adar Gandelsman, told Hadashot news. Gandelsman said she has been in touch with Idan since the pageant and that the two women have a special relationship.

During the competition in Tokyo in November, Miss Israel, Gandelsman and Idan posed for photos on their respective Instagram accounts. Idan’s caption read: “Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel.”

Gandelsman told Hadashot news that Idan said she does not regret posting the photos.

“She did it to so that people can understand that it’s possible to live together,” Gandelsman said. “In order for people to see that we can connect, in the end we are both human beings.”

Sarah, based on her name, is probably Christian. She worked with the US military when she was 18 and is a model. None of these things would endear her to many Iraqis. She also lives in Los Angeles

Quite a few Iraqi Christians have already left Iraq. Sarah Idan’s family, like quite a few Christians, have decided that there’s no future or safety in the region.

Coexistence is a dream. But it’s not remotely a reality.

“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“.