Posted tagged ‘Christians’

The Palestinian grinch that stole Christmas once again

December 25, 2017

The Palestinian grinch that stole Christmas once again | Anne’s Opinions, 24th December 2017

The Palestinian Authority has a nasty habit of taking out its rage against Israel on its Christian citizens. They have done it before and this year the Palestinian grinch is stealing Christmas once again, as Lahav Harkov explains:

It came as no surprise that the Palestinian leadership responded angrily to US President Donald Trump’s recognition of the obvious reality that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

But beyond the usual “day of rage,” rockets shot at Israeli preschools and firebombs thrown at passing Israeli civilians’ cars, the Palestinian Authority decided to make like the Grinch and steal Christmas, only proving that Trump was right not to fold to the whims of the side that has a pattern of violating religious freedoms, when it comes to a city holy to three religions.

Bethlehem, thought to be Jesus’ birthplace, and Ramallah, the de facto Palestinian capital, turned off their Christmas lights within an hour of Trump’s announcement.

Business is slow in Bethlehem

In Nazareth, the town where Jesus is thought to have grown up, now the largest Arab city in Israel, the Muslim mayor scaled back Christmas celebrations in identification with the Palestinians.

And ahead of US Vice President Mike Pence’s planned visit to Jerusalem this week, now postponed, Adeeb Joudeh, the Muslim man whose family has held the keys to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre for generations, announced that he wouldn’t let Pence, a devout Evangelical Christian, enter.

This tactic of protesting by denying Christians their Christmas celebrations reaffirms that Trump did the right thing in declaring Jerusalem Israel’s capital, and for his administration to say last Friday that it envisions the Western Wall within Israeli Jerusalem in a final-status deal.

Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas claims that he is a defender of Christian Arabs in areas under his control. He repeatedly said that Jerusalem is a Muslim and Christian – but not Jewish – holy city in his speech to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation last week.

But the Palestinians’ track record, even before putting a damper on Christmas this year, should leave Christians skeptical.

In 1950, the Christian population of the Bethlehem area was 86%, according to the National Catholic Reporter. Today, it’s only 12%, and Christians are only 2% of the Palestinian population, even though they were more than twice that a generation ago. The situation in Gaza, controlled by the terrorist group Hamas, is even worse. When Hamas took control in 2006, there were 6,000 Christians, and as of a year ago, there were 1,100. In Israel, the Christian population has stayed mostly stable at around 2%, growing by about 5,000 in the past 20 years.

Christians have been fleeing Palestinian-controlled territories, and it’s easy to understand why, in light of their systemic abuse. In 2002, terrorists affiliated with Palestinian Authority chairman Yasser Arafat raided and trashed the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem, holding monks hostage in the church, leading to a standoff with the Israeli Army. One of the Palestinian leaders of the raid later said they chose the church as a combat base intentionally in order to put make Israel look bad.

In Gaza, Palestinian Christians have been murdered for their faith, including Rami Ayad, a leader of the Gaza Baptist Church and the manager of the area’s only Christian bookstore. The church has been commandeered by Hamas for combat, because it’s one of the tallest buildings in Gaza City.

After all that, the Palestinian leadership still claims that they are the best choice to control Christian holy sites.

Since Israel liberated the Old City in 1967, people of all religions are free to visit and worship in Jerusalem’s holy sites. This follows the verse in Isaiah used in Jewish prayers that says God’s “House,” meaning the Temple, “will be called a House of prayer for all nations.”

In fact the only religious discrimination in Jerusalem is that faced by the Jews!

The exception is the Temple Mount, which, while under Israeli sovereignty, is administered by an Islamic Trust, as a condition of Israel and Jordan’s peace treaty. Non-Muslims are prohibited from praying on the Temple Mount, even though the site is holy for all three major monotheistic religions. The rule is strictly enforced, and people have been thrown out for violating it.

The solution is obvious – obvious to anyone except the UN and its warped institutions:

No matter what the city will eventually look like, all of the above is overwhelming evidence that Israel is the right choice to control the heart of Jerusalem – the Old City – because only Israel is willing to protect the religious freedom of Jews, Christians and Muslims who call it holy.

RJ Streets, blogging at Israellycool, provides a poignant look at Bethlehem under the diktats of Mahmoud Abbas and his decision to cancel Christmas in protest at Trump, comparing it to last year’s celebrations:

Business was reported slow last year. It must be even slower so far this year, with calls for protests before Christmas in Bethlehem, using Jerusalem as the latest excuse.

And listen to the voice of Jonathan Elkhoury, an Israeli Christian, who tells us the truth about the treatment of Christians in Israel and under the Palestinian Authority:

Last minute update: The Nazareth festivities have been reinstated due to public pressure:

Let’s just keep in mind the sequence of events:

The Muslim Palestinians are angry at the United States for recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, i.e. the Jewish capital. So in revenge, they cancel Christmas.

They don’t cancel Ramadan or Eid. They don’t cancel Chanukah. They cancel Christmas. Because Jews. Or because America. Or because they are bigoted supremacist supercessionists. Take your pick. Any one of the above, or all, are correct.

 

Trump Directs State, USAID to Bypass United Nations, Deliver U.S. Aid More Directly to Christians, Yazidis In Iraq

October 26, 2017

Trump Directs State, USAID to Bypass United Nations, Deliver U.S. Aid More Directly to Christians, Yazidis In Iraq, Washington Free Beacon, October 26, 2017

Yazidi refugees carry their belongings / Getty

“The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith,” he said. “This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need.”

The White House decision is at least six months in the making and comes after several lawmakers and human rights activists have repeatedly argued their case to top officials at the State Department and USAID, which have resisted any change to their “religion-blind” policy of channeling most of the aid money to the United Nations.

That policy, the two U.S. agencies have argued, is “needs-based” and does not give priority to Christians and Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq, even though both the Obama and the Trump administrations have publicly declared that both groups, as well as Shiite Muslims and others, have suffered genocide at the hand of ISIS.

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President Trump has issued a White House directive forcing the State Department and USAID to bypass the United Nations and stop its “ineffective” relief efforts aimed at helping Iraqi Christians, Yazidis, and other persecuted religious minorities, and instead to provide the assistance either directly or through “faith-based groups.”

Vice President Mike Pence, in a speech at the In Defense of Christians annual Solidarity Dinner highlighting the plight of persecuted Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere, announced the directive and lambasted the United Nations, arguing the international body has “often failed to help the most vulnerable communities, especially religious minorities.”

“We will no longer rely on the United Nations alone to assist persecuted Christians and minorities in the wake of genocide and the atrocities of terrorist groups,” Pence said.

.@POTUS ordered @StateDept to stop funding ineffective relief efforts at @UN & will support persecuted communities thru USAID 

“The United States will work hand in hand from this day forward with faith-based groups and private organizations to help those who are persecuted for their faith,” he said. “This is the moment, now is the time, and America will support these people in their hour of need.”

The White House decision is at least six months in the making and comes after several lawmakers and human rights activists have repeatedly argued their case to top officials at the State Department and USAID, which have resisted any change to their “religion-blind” policy of channeling most of the aid money to the United Nations.

That policy, the two U.S. agencies have argued, is “needs-based” and does not give priority to Christians and Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq, even though both the Obama and the Trump administrations have publicly declared that both groups, as well as Shiite Muslims and others, have suffered genocide at the hand of ISIS.

Pence said the United Nations has repeatedly denied funding requests from faith-based groups “with proven track records” working most directly with Christians in Iraq to help provide basic necessities.

“Those days are over,” he said. “Our fellow Christians and all who are persecuted in the Middle East should not have to rely on multinational institutions when America can help them directly.”

Pence said the plight of Christians in Iraq and the Middle East more broadly is dire, and that they are on the verge of extinction in northern Iraq, an area where Christian communities have thrived for thousands of years.

ISIS murders and kidnappings have decimated the Christian population in Iraq, which numbered between 800,000 and 1.4 million in 2002 and is below 250,000 now, according to human rights groups.

Pence also repeatedly referred to ISIS and other extremist Muslim terrorist groups as “radical Islamic terrorism” and held them responsible for the genocide against Christians and other religious minorities.

“Let me assure you tonight, President Trump and I see these crimes for what they are: vile acts of persecution animated by hatred for Christians and the gospel of Christ,” he said. “And so too does this president know who and what has perpetrated these crimes, and he calls them by name: radical Islamic terrorists.”

Catholic charities and activists who have spent years urging the Obama administration and now Trump administration to better assist Christians, Yazidis, and other minority communities in Iraq cheered the move and Pence’s strong words.

“A year ago the United States used the right word to describe what was happening to Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East. That word was genocide. Tonight, those words were put into action,” said Carl Anderson, CEO of the Knights of Columbus.

“For almost two years, the K of C has warned that Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East have been falling through the cracks in the aid system, and has been urging the United States government to provide aid directly to genocide-targeted communities. We are pleased that tonight, the administration has promised to do just that.”

Anderson added that the “real impact” the new Trump policy would have to help Christians in the Middle East and the survival of minority communities “cannot be underestimated.”

Other activists who helped chronicle the genocide against religious minority communities in Iraq also applauded the move.

Activists who have spent years chronicling the mass slaughter of Christians, Yazidis and other religious minorities in Iraq cheered the move and Pence’s strong words.

“This is good news and we want to thank President Trump, Vice President Pence, and all those who have been working diligently on this issue,” said former representative Frank Wolf, (R., Va.), who spent decades as a human rights champion in Congress and is now serving as a senior fellow at the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative.

“This should impact humanitarian aid for those living as internally displaced persons and refugees and stabilization assistance for the Christians and Yazidis returning to areas seized from them by ISIS.”

Wolf recently returned from Iraq and testified earlier this month before both the House and Senate about the dire situation facing Christians, Yazidis, and other religious minorities in Iraq.

The Knights of Columbus, one of the largest Catholic charities, and Aid to the Church in Need, another global Catholic charity, have sent millions of dollars in donations to the Catholic archdiocese in northern Iraq, one of the few groups on the ground working to house and feed displaced Christians and Yazidis and help rebuild their homes.

Stephen Rasche, an attorney for the Catholic archdiocese in Erbil and the director of internal displaced people resettlement programs, in early October accused the U.N. of squandering U.S. taxpayer aid for reconstruction projects.

The aid programs are so mismanaged that some U.S. dollars are going to benefit Iraqis who took over areas that persecuted Christians fled even though the United Nations says the project is aimed at helping Christians, Rasche testified before a House Foreign Affairs panel Oct. 4.

The Washington Free Beacon obtained photos of United Nations Development Program projects in Christian and Yazidi towns in northern Iraq, showing “completed” school-rehabilitation projects that amounted to a thin coat of paint on exterior walls with freshly stenciled UNICEF logos every 30 feet.

Inside the building, the rooms remained untouched and unusable, without running water, power or any furniture, Rasche testified.

Several lawmakers and human rights activists for months have argued that U.S. agencies have a responsibility to intervene more directly and effectively.

Republican Reps. Jeff Fortenberry of Nebraska, Robert Aderholt of Alabama, and Chris Smith of New Jersey, along with Democrat Rep. Anna Eshoo of California, recently sent a letter to USAID Administrator Mark Green last week arguing that these communities now face “dire conditions where they desperately need assistance if they are to survive.”

“USAID has an immediate opportunity to partner with entities committee to the appropriate reconstruction of damaged homes and public buildings in several key towns in the Nineveh Plain of Iraq,” they wrote in the letter dated Oct. 12.

“Timely action would address provisions outlined in the genocide declarations and mirror the current administration’s desire to help the survivors,” they argued.

The State Department and USAID repeatedly stood by their religion-blind policy of dispensing aid without giving any priority to Christians, Yazidis, and other U.S.-genocide designated religious minorities in Iraq.

Late last week, a U.S. official told the Free Beacon that State Department and USAID plan to continue their policy of dispensing aid “based on need” and did not address criticism about U.N. corruption or the funds not appearing to help Christians, Yazidis and others on the ground.

“As the world’s humanitarian leader, the United States is committed to providing life-saving assistance to those in need,” the U.S. official said. “When providing the assistance, the United States does not discriminate based on race, religion or creed—we provide the assistance based on need.”

As ISIS is driven from Iraq, the lawmakers and activists argue that it is also critical to U.S. national security that that these indigenous communities are supported to prevent Iran from gaining influence in the region.

“Repatriation has a strategic advantage of heading off potential conflict between the KRG and Baghdad while barring an Iranian land bridge to the Mediterranean, which presently threats to fill the vacuum in the Nineveh Plain created by the removal of ISIS,” the lawmakers wrote. “This land bridge will be occupied by forces loyal to Tehran if security and rebuilding fails to come from other quarters.”

Thousands of Christians in the town of Teleskof who had successfully returned home and were trying to rebuild their community after the area was freed from Islamic forces were forced to flee Tuesdayafter Kurdish forces swarmed the town and engaged in a standoff with the Iraqi army.

Sources in touch with the community said late Wednesday the situation in Teleskof was improving as a direct result of U.S. intervention.

Over the last year, Congress has taken several steps to try to provide direct assistance to the minority populations in Iraq. Earlier this year, Congress allocated more than $1.4 billion in funds for refugee assistance and included specific language to ensure that part of the money would be used to assist Yazidis, Christians, and Shia Muslims in Iraq.

The House passed legislation, cosponsored by Smith and Eshoo, that would explicitly authorize the State Department and USAID to direct aid to faith-based entities, such as the Archdiocese of Erbil following congressional delegations to the region.

More recently, the House and Senate have held hearings about the need for the Trump administration to act quickly to get the funds where they are needed.

“We implore you to review proposals from credible organizations on the ground in the region who are committed to these goals, and if deemed worthy, to move swiftly to empower the through available resources to rebuild the region,” they lawmakers wrote.

Update 9:29 a.m.: This post has been updated with comment from the Knights of Columbus.

Iran, Turkey, & Iraq move to “crush” Kurds, Christians

October 14, 2017

Iran, Turkey, & Iraq move to “crush” Kurds, Christians, Rebel Media via YouTube, October 14, 2017

Yazidis to Anti-Trumpers: Where Were You During Islamic State Genocide Against Us?

February 9, 2017

Yazidis to Anti-Trumpers: Where Were You During Islamic State Genocide Against Us? BreitbartEdwin Mora, February 8, 2017

(But, but . . . since the Islamists are doing the persecuting, they should get the first chance to come to America. Giving priority — or even allowing entry —  to those whom they persecute would just make matters worse: they might be persecuted where we can see it, which would cause Islamophobia, a far worse evil than persecution of weird people like Yazidis, Christians and the few remaining Jews. At least that seems to be the logic — if any —  behind the complaints. — DM)  

yazidi-women-reutersrodi-said-640x480REUTERS/Rodi Said

Outrage over President Donald Trump’s executive order prioritizing refugee claims by persecuted religious minorities has puzzled activists from Iraq’s Yazidi community, who note the lack of major protests against the brutal massacre of thousands of Yazidis and Christians by the Islamic State.

Former President Barack Obama’s administration and the United Nations recognized that Yazidis, Christians, and other ethnoreligious minorities in the Middle East have been victims of genocide at the hands of the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL).

Nevertheless, opponents of the executive order (EO) have lambasted the religious minority exception, denouncing President Trump for giving preferential treatment to persecuted minority groups. The order bars the entry into the United States of visa travelers from seven terrorism-linked countries (Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, Yemen) for at least 90 days and orders the U.S. government to prioritize refugee claims by persecuted religious minorities.

The order, which has sparked protests and outcry across the nation, does not identify religious minority groups by name. However, Michael Short, a White House spokesman, told Breitbart News,“Yazidis would be covered under the EO as they are a persecuted religious minority.”

U.S. District Court Judge James Robart in Seattle has issued a ruling that temporarily blocks Trump’s order, which the Trump administration argues is primarily intended to strengthen U.S. national security.

Breitbart News spoke to several Yazidi activists who expressed support for the executive order and argued that it does not amount to a Muslim ban, as critics argue.

Echoing Iraqi Catholic Archbishop Bashar Warda, Mizra Ismail — a Yazidi activist with the Yazidi Human Rights Organization-International — told Breitbart News, referring to opponents of Trump’s executive order:

My first question for those protesters is: where were they when ISIS was committing genocide against the Yezidis and Christians in Iraq and Syria? ISIS killed and kidnapped thousands of Yezidis, mostly young women, girls and children. The ISIS jihadists also beheaded many Yezidis and Christians openly in the most brutal way and posted their videos on social media.

What were those protesters doing then? I believe when ISIS committed all those crimes against the Yezidis and Christians, those protesters were blind.

Another Yazidi activist expressed support for Trump’s order, saying it is necessary to keep the U.S. safe.

“As a Yezidi, I am supportive of any genuine effort and precaution meant to keep this country safe and prosperous,” Gulie Khalaf from Yezidis International, told Breitbart News. “If a 90-day ban on all refugees, including Yezidis, is what it will take to ensure that this country does not become full of residents who neither care for the values of this society nor its constitution, then let us have the 90-day ban. Hopefully, that time will be spent to figure out who is deserving of the opportunities and the rights this country offers.”

The activist argued that the persecuted minority exception is necessary and does not subject Muslims to “discrimination” as many opponents of the order have claimed.

“It is not breaking laws or going against any kind of values if Trump and his administration decide that endangered groups should be an exception to the ban,” declared Khalaf.

A different Yazidi activist, Haji Hameka, stressed that the executive order is not a Muslim ban but rather an effort to keep America safe.

“It is not a ban against bringing Muslim refugees to the United States. It is a security check to avoid the entry of terrorists from groups such as al-Qaeda, and ISIS,” he told Breitbart News.

“Trump is a real American Patriot who is putting America and Americans first,” noted the activist. “He has to protect, support, and save the United States. He was elected by Americans to put America first.”

Trump’s measure dictates that once refugee admissions resume after a 120-day suspension aimed at improving the vetting process, the U.S. government, “to the extent permitted by law,” is expected to “prioritize claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority religion in the individual’s country of nationality.”

In other words, persecuted minorities in Iraq in Syria, such as the Christians and Yazidis, may go to the front of the line after the refugee program suspension is over.

During the 120-day suspension, the Secretaries of the State and Homeland Security have the discretion “on a case-by-case basis” to allow the entry of members of persecuted religious minority groups.

“Identifying specific countries with Muslim majorities and carving out exceptions for minority religions flies in the face of the constitutional principle that bans the government from either favoring or discriminating against particular religions,” argued American Civil Liberties Union Executive Director Anthony Romero in a statement.

The Trump administration and Republican lawmakers, including House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-WI), have defended the religious minority exception.

Meanwhile, Democrats like Sen. Diane Feinstein from California have denounced the directive, arguing that granting priority to persecuted minorities is unfair to Muslims.

Dr. Jasser discusses the 10K Syrian refugees admitted into U.S. & examines the importance of vetting

August 30, 2016

Dr. Jasser discusses the 10K Syrian refugees admitted into U.S. & examines the importance of vetting, Fox News via YouTube, August 29, 2016

France: “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People”

August 21, 2016

France: “First the Saturday People, then the Sunday People”, Gatestone InstituteGuy Millière, August 21, 2016

♦ The path of Adel Kermiche, born in France to immigrant parents from Algeria, and one of the two men who murdered the elderly priest Father Jacques Hamel, looks like the path followed by many young French Muslims: school failure, delinquency, shift towards a growing hatred of France and the West, return to Islam, transition to radical Islam.

♦ The French education system does not teach young people to love France and the West. It teaches them instead that colonialism plundered many poor countries, that colonized people had to fight to free themselves, and that the fight is not over. It teaches them to hate France.

♦ All political parties, including the National Front, talk about the need to establish an “Islam of France”. They never explain how, in the internet age, the “Islam of France” could be different from Islam as it is everywhere else.

♦ Many French Jews fleeing the country recalled an Islamic phrase in Arabic: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” In other words, first Muslims attack Jews; then when the Jews are gone, they attack Christians. It is what we have been seeing throughout the Middle East.

The slaughter of French priest Father Jacques Hamel on July 26 in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray was significant. The church where Father Jacques Hamel was saying mass was nearly empty. Five people were present; three nuns and two faithful. Most of the time, French churches are empty.

Christianity in France is dying out. Jacques Hamel was almost 86 years old; despite his age, he did not want to retire. He knew it would be difficult to find someone to replace him. Priests of European descent are now rare in France, as in many European countries. The priest officially in charge of the parish of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, Auguste Moanda-Phuati, is Congolese.

The reaction of the French bishops was also significant. Speaking in their name, Georges Pontier, chairman of the Conference of Bishops of France, called on Catholics for a day of fasting and prayer. He also asked Muslims living in France to come to church to “share the grief of Christians.” He added that Muslims are welcome in France.

The decision to deliver a message of brotherhood is consistent with the spirit of Christianity. The wish to welcome Muslims to France but to leave completely aside that the assassins of Father Jacques Hamel acted in the name of Islam and jihad seem signs of willful blindness, severely pathological denial, and a resigned, suicidal acceptance of what is coming.

The assassins of Father Jacques Hamel are what is coming. One of them, Adel Kermiche, was born in France to immigrant parents from Algeria. His path looks like the path followed by many young French Muslims: school failure, delinquency, shift towards a growing hatred of France and the West, return to Islam, transition to radical Islam. The other, Abdel Malik Petitjean, was born in France too. His mother is Muslim. His father comes from a Christian family. Abdel Malik Petitjean nevertheless followed the same path as Adel Kermiche. A growing number of young French-born Muslims radicalize. A growing number of young French people who have not been educated in Islam nevertheless turn to Islam, then to radical Islam.

1734 (1)Father Jacques Hamel was murdered on July 26, in the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, by Islamic jihadists.

The French education system does not teach young people to love France and the West. It teaches them instead that colonialism plundered many poor countries, that colonized people had to fight to free themselves, and that the fight is not over. It teaches them to hate France. But it erroneously describes Islam as a religion that brought “justice, dignity and tolerance” wherever it reigned. Seventh-grade students spend the first month of the school year learning what Islamic civilization brought to the world in science, architecture, philosophy and wealth. A few weeks later, they have to memorize texts explaining that the Church committed countless atrocious crimes. Economics textbooks are steeped in Marxism and explain that capitalism exploits human beings and ravages nature. The Holocaust is still in the curriculum, but is taught less and less; teachers who dare to speak of it face aggressive remarks from Muslim students. A 2002 book,The Lost Territories of the Republic (Les territoires perdus de la république), exposed the problem. Since then, the situation has worsened considerably.

French mainstream media do their best to hide the truth. Abdel Malik Petitjean and Adel Kermiche are described as troubled and depressed young people who slipped “inexplicably” towards barbarity. Their actions are widely presented as having nothing to do with Islam. The same words were used to depict Mohamed Lahouaiej Bouhlel, the jihadist who murdered 86 people in Nice on July 14th. These words were used to depict all the jihadists who killed in France during the last few years. Each time, Muslim intellectuals are invited to speak, and invariably explain that Islam is peaceful and that Muslims are guilty of nothing.

The anger expressed by political leaders after the attack in Nice has already faded. Some political leaders in France call for tougher measures, but speak of “Islamic terrorism ” very rarely. They know that speaking too much of “Islamic terrorism” could be extremely bad for their future careers.

All political parties, including the National Front, talk about the need to establish an “Islam of France.” They never explain how, in the internet age, the “Islam of France could be different from Islam as it is everywhere else.

Prime Minister Manuel Valls recently said that France would become an example — a “center of excellence” in the “teaching of Islamic theology.”

For several days after the attack in Nice, it seemed that the country was on the verge of explosion. This is no longer so. The French population seems resigned.

Manuel Valls was criticized when he argued that the French should learn to live with terrorism. Critics of that view now are rarer. The French sense that Islam in France is here to stay. They see that the risks of riots in lawless zones are huge and that all those in positions of responsibility think and act as if it were too late to reverse the course. Fear fills the air.

The French Jewish philosopher Shmuel Trigano recently published an article entitled, “Sacrificing victims for not having to fight the murderers.” The French collectively accept the sacrifice of victims because they feel France will not have the strength and the fortitude to fight ruthless murderers. Most of the French seem helpless.

A book written by Antoine Leiris, the husband of one of the victims of the attacks of November 13, 2015 became a bestseller. It is called, You Will Not Have My Hatred. (Vous n’aurez pas ma haine) The author describes what happened at the Bataclan concert hall as a twist of fate, and say that he feels “compassion” for those who killed his wife.

What is happening today is a continuation of what has been happening here so far this century. In 2001-2003, France experienced a huge wave of anti-Semitic attacks by Muslims supporting the “Palestinian cause.” The French government denied that the attacks were anti-Semitic. It also denied that they were perpetrated by Muslims. It chose appeasement, expressed loudly its own support for the “Palestinian cause,” and added that the revolt of a “part of the population” was “understandable.” It asked Jewish organizations to remain silent. French Jews began to leave France. Many of them recalled an Islamic phrase in Arabic: “First the Saturday people, then the Sunday people.” In other words, first Muslims attack Jews; then when the Jews are gone, they attack Christians. It is what we have been seeing throughout the Middle East.

Attacks against non-Jews began in 2005: riots broke out all over France. The French government again chose appeasement, and said that the revolt of a “part of the population” would be “heard.”

A Jew, Ilan Halimi, was tortured for three weeks and then murdered in Paris in 2006. Then, more Jews were murdered in Toulouse in 2012 and in a Paris suburb in 2015.

Now more and more often, non-Jews are attacked. The French government has repeatedly talked of war, but each time returns to a policy of appeasement.

Today, appeasement reigns, virtually unchallenged. All French political parties are choosing appeasement over confrontation, and hardly dare to call the danger by its name: radical Islam. The French choose submission: they have no real alternative.

Jews continue to flee. Synagogues and Jewish schools throughout the country are guarded around the clock by armed soldiers. Jews who are still in France know that wearing a skullcap or a Star of David is extremely dangerous. They seem to see that appeasement is a dead end. They often emigrate to the country that appeasers treat as a scapegoat and that Islamists want to destroy: Israel. They know that when in Israel, they might have to confront jihadists like those who kill in France, but they also know that Israelis are more ready to fight to defend themselves.

French non-Jews now see that appeasement will not allow them to be spared.

If they look around them in Western Europe, they see there are no more safe places; they have nowhere else to go. They know that hundreds of thousands of migrants in Germany can easily cross nonexistent borders. They know there are thousands potential jihadists in France, that the worst jihadi crimes in France are still to come, and that the authorities have no will to stop them.

There will be no civil war in France. The jihadists have won. They will kill again. They love to kill. They love death. They say, “we love death more than you love life.”

One of the nuns present in the empty church said that after slaughtering Father Jacques Hamel, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean smiled. They were happy.

Polemic on the Demonstrations by Copts in the USA

August 7, 2016

Polemic on the Demonstrations by Copts in the USA, Gates of Vienna, August 6, 2016

copts-sisi

Should the Islamic revolution of the Arab Spring be victorious in Egypt, this state would sink into Islamic chaos like Libya, Iraq and Syria. Christians would be the big losers and would soon flee or be murdered. That is why the Coptic Church must maintain a good relationship with the Egyptian state, which can be so much easier with a president who is so critical of his own religion. It could even happen that a model may arise in Egypt of how Muslims and Christians can better coexist. Even if we of the West do not care to hear it, the Islamic states will never produce a democracy.

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The following article from the German-language Copts Without Borders blog discusses the delicate problem posed by the demonstrations against Egypt organized by Coptic groups in exile. The author’s main point is that they, the Copts who stayed behind, must live as dhimmis under Islamic rule; there is no other choice. Copts in the diaspora are asked to consider the strategic ramifications of their protests, since the current Egyptian president has done more to help the Copts than any other president or dictator in recent times.

JLH, who translated the article, includes this note:

As our runaway government greases the skids for ever more Muslim immigrants to enter the country, and turns a blind eye to the pleas of Christian individuals and institutions being plowed into the ground in the Middle East, I was struck by the continuing outreach of the “dictator” Al-Sisi to the most endangered of his citizens. And by the tightrope the Copts feel they must walk in an attempt to survive in what was and should still be our highly valued ally.

The translated article:

Polemic on the Demonstrations by Copts in the USA

Egyptian citizens, whatever their religious affiliation, “all have the same rights and duties under the constitution.” And the Egyptian Christians have “displayed prudence and a spirit for the homeland” in the way in which they have reacted to sufferings and provocations in past years. They have remained sensibly united against the attacks of those who “want to use religion to sow discord and spread extremist ideas.”

These are the significant thoughts expressed by Egyptian President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi during his meeting with Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II, as he received him in the presidential palace, together with a delegation of several bishops from the synods of the church.

Al-Sisi emphasized the value of brotherliness between Christians and Muslims in Egypt by his positive evaluation of initiatives undertaken in the context of the Egyptian Family House. This so-named House of the Egyptian Family is an inter-religious organ for making connections that had arisen several years ago as an instrument for prevention and mitigation of sectarian contrasts.

However, the public demonstrations by several groups of the Coptic diaspora still trigger polemics, for instance those in recent days in Washington in front of the White House that protested against acts of violence against Christians in Egypt. Speakers for the Coptic Orthodox patriarchate did not wish to comment officially on these demonstrations. But recently there have been warnings from the patriarchate of their possible manipulation, as well as the warning against mobilizing public campaigns abroad which could be seen as “attempts at intervention” by foreign organizations and groups in Egypt’s domestic affairs.

The Egyptian writer Michael Fahmy spoke out sharply against such demonstrations organized by members of the Coptic Egyptian diaspora. He labeled them “stupid or treasonous” actions instigated by small groups. He also emphasized that only the Egyptian state can protect the Copts from acts of violence; that these groups are capable of protecting neither the militant Coptic-Orthodox diaspora nor the Copts now sitting in the Egyptian parliament.

Comment From Copts Without Borders

It may seem odd that the official Coptic Church is speaking against demonstrations abroad for Christians in Egypt. But the fact remains that only the Egyptian state — which is an Islamic one — can protect the Coptic Church and its faithful after a fashion, even though, after a period of relative calm, Islamic attacks on Copts in Egypt have increased. But the Copts’ overall situation has improved recently.

The Church must protect its members and make these statements officially. This induces a precarious situation. On the one hand, Christians abroad should not be indifferent to this imposed dhimmi status in Islamic countries, as in Egypt. On the other hand, these protests abroad put pressure on the recently moderate Islamic President Al-Sisi, who had the courage to criticize his own religion.

The churches in Islamic countries that are under increasing pressure in Iraq and Syria, where an extensive exodus of Christian life occurred and is still occurring, should be grateful for the involvement of the still-too-few Christians abroad. Because it is not to be taken for granted. In contrast to Iraq and Syria, where Christians have lost everything and the priests there rightly speak out against the Islamic reign of violence in these countries, the military in Egypt has succeeded in halting the “Arab Spring,” which pummeled especially the Christians and Yazidis. Despite the discrimination, the Copts there are relatively secure and protected. If the Arab Spring had swept across Egypt, there would be no more Copts in Egypt, as there are none in Iraq.

Such demonstrations would only be helpful in the event of the complete collapse of Islam in the Turkish-Arabic-North African area. But that is nowhere in sight. On the contrary, we are undergoing a worldwide radicalization of Islam. As a blog, we thank the demonstrators in the USA and elsewhere in the diaspora for their commitment and ask them not to slacken. But we also ask the Copts in the diaspora to have some consideration for the Copts who must live in Egypt. They could make posters repeating President Al-Sisi’s criticism delivered to the religious leaders in Al-Azhar University when he visited there on taking office. That would even be useful.

This dilemma could more easily be resolved if the Coptic groups abroad would exclusively oppose Islamic acts of violence in Egypt, which is also the Egyptian president’s point of attack. Al-Sisi has proceeded strenuously against the Muslim Brotherhood, and that has also provided relief for the Copts. Yet this, or other radical groups still practice violence against Copts. Europe too, is learning painfully how difficult it is to root out nests of Islamic radicals.

Throwing the baby out with the bath would mean losing everything in Egypt, as the Christians suffered and are still suffering in Syria and Iraq. This has unfortunately proven to be true. The Christian exodus from Iraq and Syria is taking place unnoticed where the Copts are demonstrating, in the USA, in Europe and in western churches. If this were not the case, there would have been, for decades now, much stronger support for fellow Christians and against the persecution of Christians. They have shown that their solidarity with their co-religionists is less than half-hearted. Nonetheless, we thank all those people in church and country who have continued to help to raise the awareness of the great tragedy of contemporary Christian persecution. This task has received too little support from the general population and the Church.

Should the Islamic revolution of the Arab Spring be victorious in Egypt, this state would sink into Islamic chaos like Libya, Iraq and Syria. Christians would be the big losers and would soon flee or be murdered. That is why the Coptic Church must maintain a good relationship with the Egyptian state, which can be so much easier with a president who is so critical of his own religion. It could even happen that a model may arise in Egypt of how Muslims and Christians can better coexist. Even if we of the West do not care to hear it, the Islamic states will never produce a democracy.

The path out of servitude for Christians in Islamic lands is stony and difficult and must be accompanied by tactical measures on the part of the affected churches. Some may find fault, but, under the present circumstances, it is the only practical survival strategy under dhimmi subjection.

We must trust in Jesus Christ, who has not yet abandoned the Coptic Church. We beseech Him to protect Christians in Iraq and Syria, strengthen them in number and in faith. Let us not falter in prayer for persecuted Christians and other persecuted minorities.