Posted tagged ‘Mosques in U.S.’

Federal Court Dismisses Entire Justice Department Mosque Case

September 1, 2017

Federal Court Dismisses Entire Justice Department Mosque Case, PJ Media,  J. Christian Adams, September 1, 2017

(Please see also, Justice Department Forces Christian Pastor to Testify on Islam Views. — DM)

This opinion does raise serious questions, however, about how an abusive and intrusive effort was launched to go after Christian pastors and to ask them to reveal their beliefs about Islam even after a case settled. We’ll be seeking answers.

Next week, Eric Dreiband will have his confirmation hearing to finally fill the vacancy for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. I doubt that abusive and intrusive discovery against Christian pastors about their theological views of Islam is a top agenda item for Mr. Dreiband.

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Yesterday, I reported on an outlandish effort to shake down a Christian pastor about his views on Islam by the Justice Department in an Obama-era holdover case.

Today, a federal court entirely dismissed the Justice Department’s case.

United States District Court Judge Norman Moon ruled that the case was moot because the mosque settled with Culpeper County. The mosque obtained a settlement allowing it to pump and haul sewage from the land.

The United States had sought to keep the case alive, and to conduct wide ranging and intrusive discovery against third parties such as Pastor Steve Harrelson of the Mt. Lebanon Baptist Church.  Harrelson, as discussed in detail in yesterday’s piece, had been served with a Justice Department subpoena compelling him to testify about his views on Islam and to deliver any papers or documents he had about Islam to the government.

The court ruled that because the county had settled with the mosque, the case was done. This means that DOJ won’t be able to probe the Christian pastor for his views on Islam.

Judge Moon wrote:

Taken together, the Government’s additional measures are marginal quibbles that overlook the forest for the trees. They are based on a presumption of bad faith by the County, a presumption supported by little more than bald assertions and which the County has overcome with compelling and unimpeached evidence.

Ouch.

Moon’s ruling means this hunt is now over, as long as the Trump-run Justice Department does not appeal, something it had better not do.  I was all set to appear with Tucker Carlson to discuss this abuse of power, and the particular people at DOJ behind it! Too bad. Judge Moon may have mooted that also.

This opinion does raise serious questions, however, about how an abusive and intrusive effort was launched to go after Christian pastors and to ask them to reveal their beliefs about Islam even after a case settled. We’ll be seeking answers.

Next week, Eric Dreiband will have his confirmation hearing to finally fill the vacancy for Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights. I doubt that abusive and intrusive discovery against Christian pastors about their theological views of Islam is a top agenda item for Mr. Dreiband.

You can read the full opinion here.

New Jersey: Court forbids residents to mention “Islam” or “Muslim” at public hearing on mosque construction

August 2, 2017

New Jersey: Court forbids residents to mention “Islam” or “Muslim” at public hearing on mosque construction, Jihad Watch

The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction in a zoned residential area. Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which will impact design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage, traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements. 

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Most Americans have no idea how severely imperiled the freedom of speech really is. I discuss in detail in my new book The Complete Infidel’s Guide to Free Speech (and Its Enemies). But as this fundamental freedom slips away, most people don’t even care. Look: Kardashians!

“Court: Residents Can’t Mention ‘Islam’ or ‘Muslim’ At Public Hearing on Mosque Construction; Thomas More Law Center Files Federal Lawsuit,” Thomas More Law Center, August 1, 2017:

ANN ARBOR, MI – In a settlement agreement, which reads more like an instrument of surrender, Bernards Township (“Township”), New Jersey officials agreed that, in addition to a $3.5 million payment to Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”), residents and citizens of the Township are prohibited from commenting on “Islam” or “Muslims.” at the upcoming public hearing to approve the settlement. Astonishingly, a federal judge approved the prohibition as a fully enforceable Order of the Court.

As a result of this suppression of speech, the Thomas More Law Center (“TMLC”), a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, yesterday, filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court on behalf of Christopher and Loretta Quick. The lawsuit was filed by TMLC affiliated New Jersey attorney, Michael Hrycak. Mr. Hrycak was assisted by TMLC staff attorney, Tyler Brooks. The TMLC is representing the Quicks without charge.

TMLC’s lawsuit alleges that Bernards Township’s settlement agreement constitutes a prior restraint on speech based on content, as well as, a violation of the Establishment Clause because it prefers Islam over other religions. The lawsuit asks the court to: declare that the settlement agreement is unconstitutional; and to enter a preliminary and permanent injunction against its enforcement….

The Quicks reside within 200 feet of the proposed mosque construction in a zoned residential area. Yet, the settlement agreement prohibits them from describing the many unique features of Islamic worship which will impact design of the building, traffic density, water and sewage, traffic control problems, road construction, and parking arrangements. According to the settlement agreement, ISBR is permitted to make statements concerning Christians and Jews and their places of worship, but in contrast, the Agreement prohibits commentary relating to Islam or Muslims. In fact, ISBR has previously discussed the Christian and Jewish religions and their places of worship.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “As we have previously documented, ISBR has taken the extraordinary step of concealing significant links on their website to a radical group named by the federal government as an unindicted co-conspirator in the largest terrorism financing trial in America history, the Islamic Society of North America (“ISNA”). ISNA is claimed by the Muslim Brotherhood as one of “our organizations.” According to internal documents seized by the FBI, the Muslim Brotherhood’s strategy is to engage in a “grand Jihad in eliminating and destroying Western civilization from within . . .”

Thompson continued, “While claiming that the Township had a religious animus against Muslims, ISBR hid from the public view its animus toward Christians and Jews, by not only hiding anti-Christian and anti-Semitic verses published on its website, but also hiding its significant ties to ISNA. Instead of standing up to defend its citizens against ISBR’s hate-filled anti-Semitic and anti-Christian bias, the Township colluded with ISBR’s “Civilization Jihad” by capitulating to payment of millions of dollars to ISBR, allowing the construction of the new mosque and Islamic center in violation of zoning codes, and now even suppressing speech concerning Islam or Muslims at a public meeting.”

In March 2016, ISBR filed a lawsuit in the New Jersey Federal District Court alleging that Bernards Township had discriminated against the Islamic Society when it declined to approve the construction of a large mosque on a lot that was far too small to handle the contemplated structure. And in November 2016, the United States represented by the U. S. Justice Department filed a second lawsuit against the Township on similar grounds. The settlement agreement covers both lawsuits….

Outrageous Unconstitutional Intimidation of Private Citizens Who Opposed Mosque Project; Thomas More Law Center Steps In

March 30, 2017

Outrageous Unconstitutional Intimidation of Private Citizens Who Opposed Mosque Project; Thomas More Law Center Steps In, Thomas More Law Center, March 28, 2017

(The township’s press release referenced in the last paragraph is dated November 18, 2016. The lawsuit had been filed on March 10th and, four days later, the Department of Justice “notified the Township that the DOJ was going to investigate the ISBR allegations.” The press release also states,

The private lawsuit and Plaintiffs’ issuance of punitive subpoenas on private citizens merely for participating in the land use process raise further Constitutional issues of free speech and privacy concerns. These invasive probes went so far as to require documents sufficient to show endorsements of, donations to, or associations with political campaigns from the local to the national level.

Among various concerns, we anticipate that the actions of the DOJ and Plaintiffs may well dissuade residents from participating in future land use hearings for fear of retribution from an applicant and the government.

Eight months after the suit was filed, the DOJ filed its own suit against the township. The DOJ should ask the court to dismiss the suit filed on its behalf and that filed by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge. — DM)

ANN ARBOR, MI – If you speak out against building a mosque in your community, you may be slapped with a subpoena demanding all your personal documents, including emails, voicemails, text messages, and social media posts concerning Muslims, Islam, mosques, the Quran, Muslim worship or prayer services, wudu, imams, burkas, hijabs, Sharia, jihad, or anything else associated with or related to Muslims or Islam.

This was part of the harassment and intimidation experienced by scores of private citizens of the small New Jersey town, Bernards Township (also known as Basking Ridge), who spoke out at public hearings against a plan to build a disproportionately-sized mosque on a small piece of residential property.  The mosque project, sponsored by the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge (“ISBR”) and its president, Mohammad Ali Chaudry, was denied by Township officials for not complying with local building ordinances.

On March 10, 2016, ISBR and Mohammad Ali Chaudry sued Bernards Township in federal court, claiming various violations of the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.  Shortly after, ISBR had coercive subpoenas served on private citizens whose only involvement was voicing concerns at public planning board meetings about whether the proposed mosque complied with local building ordinances.

The United States District Court for the District of New Jersey recently granted the Thomas More Law Center, a national public interest law firm based in Ann Arbor, Michigan, permission to represent, without charge, several of these citizens who desired to quash the coercive and abusive subpoenas.  Westfield, New Jersey attorney Michael P. Hrycak is assisting the Law Center.

Richard Thompson, President and Chief Counsel of the Thomas More Law Center, commented: “ISBR is setting a dangerous unconstitutional precedent by abusing a court process to chill and trample on the First Amendment Rights of private citizens whose only involvement was to speak out against the mosque at public hearings. Because the U.S. Supreme Court has held that speech at a public place on a matter of public concern is entitled to special protection, we will ask the Federal District Court to quash the subpoenas served on our clients as a misuse and abuse of the Court’s process.”

Lori Caratzola, described in the ISBR Complaint as a fervent and frequent objector to the mosque, was a prime target for ISBR’s personal attacks.  She was personally mentioned over a dozen times in their Complaint.  Yet she has remained steadfast in her opposition.  Ms. Caratzola commented:

“Being served with a Federal Court Subpoena to turn over all my personal communications including voicemails, social media, emails, notes wherein I make any mention of anything having to do with Islam is an absolute violation of my First Amendment rights. I was a citizen exercising my right to attend public planning board meetings about a land use application that affected my community.”

She continued:

“Dr. Chaudry’s clear intent was to embarrass, strike fear, silence and cause financial harm to any citizen who dared oppose his nonconforming project.  And if these subpoenas are allowed to stand, it will set a chilling precedent for all citizens who wish to exercise their Constitutionally protected right to free speech and to petition their government.

“I was named numerous times in the Complaint, yet as a non-party, I had no standing to challenge the lies and half-truths told about me.  After the Complaint was filed, mainstream media picked up and repeated these lies and half-truths.”

Caratzola concluded:

“I have lost days, probably weeks, devoting time to trying to find counsel – only to find most attorneys are afraid of challenging an Islamic group in today’s political climate.”

Attorney Karen Lugo, a specialist on constitutional law and zoning issues, echoed Lori Caratzola’s concerns:

“ISBR’s subpoena of private citizens’ communications with local government, as well as all personal email and social media statements related to ‘anything associated with or related to Muslims or Islam’ is in direct violation of speech protections enshrined in the Constitution and in Supreme Court rulings. ISBR’s blatant efforts to chill the free exercise of speech while intimidating local citizens with these subpoenas must not only be denied, but must be rebuked, by the courts.”

Cody Smith, another subpoenaed resident who opposed the Mosque, stated:

“The planning board did exactly what it should have done—set emotions aside and judge ISBR’s application solely on its merits and whether it complied with our local regulations. It’s unfortunate that Dr. Chaudry, the Township’s former mayor, has resorted to an all-out smear campaign and retaliation against residents who exercised their fundamental Constitutional rights of Free Speech in a public forum.”

Soon after ISBR’s lawsuit, DOJ investigators opened another coercive front by attempting to interview the private citizens who opposed the mosque.  Eight months later, the DOJ filed its own lawsuit against the Township.

Astonishingly, the DOJ was dismissive of an apparent conflict of interest between Mohammad Ali Chaudry and the DOJ’s chief investigator, Caroline Sadlowski, both of whom were serving together on the Center for Religious and Cultural Conflicts board at Drew University.

See Bernards Township Press Release here

Obama Justice Dept. sues NJ township for rejecting mosque

November 23, 2016

Obama Justice Dept. sues NJ township for rejecting mosque, Jihad Watch

(If the Westboro Baptist Church had been denied permission to build a church in the township, would the Department of Justice have sued the township? — DM)

People have legitimate concerns about mosques going up in their neighborhood. Four separate studies since 1999 all found that 80% of U.S. mosques were teaching jihad, Islamic supremacism, and hatred and contempt for Jews and Christians. There are no countervailing studies that challenge these results. In 1998, Sheikh Muhammad Hisham Kabbani, a Sufi leader, visited 114 mosques in the United States. Then he gave testimony before a State Department Open Forum in January 1999, and asserted that 80% of American mosques taught the “extremist ideology.” Then there was the Center for Religious Freedom’s 2005 study, and the Mapping Sharia Project’s 2008 study. Each independently showed that upwards of 80% of mosques in America were preaching hatred of Jews and Christians and the necessity ultimately to impose Islamic rule.

In the summer of 2011 came another study showing that only 19% of mosques in U.S. don’t teach jihad violence and/or Islamic supremacism. Specifically: “A random survey of 100 representative mosques in the U.S. was conducted to measure the correlation between Sharia adherence and dogma calling for violence against non-believers. Of the 100 mosques surveyed, 51% had texts on site rated as severely advocating violence; 30% had texts rated as moderately advocating violence; and 19% had no violent texts at all. Mosques that presented as Sharia adherent were more likely to feature violence-positive texts on site than were their non-Sharia-adherent counterparts. In 84.5% of the mosques, the imam recommended studying violence-positive texts. The leadership at Sharia-adherent mosques was more likely to recommend that a worshiper study violence-positive texts than leadership at non-Sharia-adherent mosques. Fifty-eight percent of the mosques invited guest imams known to promote violent jihad. The leadership of mosques that featured violence-positive literature was more likely to invite guest imams who were known to promote violent jihad than was the leadership of mosques that did not feature violence-positive literature on mosque premises.” That means that around 1,700 mosques in the U.S. are preaching hatred of infidels and justifying violence against them.

But none of this is allowed to be a consideration when a mosque is proposed for a particular area. It must be assumed by all parties that the mosque will be entirely benign and peaceful, and no different from a synagogue or church. So community leaders try to find other ways to keep mosques out — only to find themselves facing the full weight of Barack Obama’s Justice Department. And then it becomes a matter of having one’s career ruined and life destroyed, or approving the mosque.

mohammad-ali-chaudry

“Justice Dept. sues NJ township for rejecting mosque,” by Kelly Cohen, Washington Examiner, November 22, 2016:

The Justice Department announced on Tuesday it is suing Bernards Township, N.J., because it denied zoning approval for the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge to build a mosque on land it owns.

The township in December unanimously voted down the Islamic Society’s application to build a mosque, which the Justice Department says violates the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act.

In the complaint, filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the department said the denial was discriminatory based on the Islamic Society’s members’ religion. The denial imposed a substantial burden on the Islamic Society’s religious exercise, according to the complaint, it said.

The complaint also alleged that the township violated the law “by amending its zoning ordinance in a manner that imposes unreasonable limitations on all religious assemblies.”

According to Justice Department officials, the land where the Islamic Society wanted to build the mosque is located in a zone that permitted construction of places of worship as a matter of right at the time of the zoning request.

“As alleged in the complaint, Bernards Township has treated the Islamic Society of Basking Ridge differently than other houses of worship,” said U.S. Attorney for New Jersey Paul Fishman in a statement. “RLUIPA ensures that municipalities must treat religious land use applications like any other land use application. But here, township officials kept moving the goalposts by using ever-changing local requirements to effectively deny this religious community the same access as other faiths.”…

Newt Gingrich: Deport every Muslim who believes in Sharia

July 15, 2016

Newt Gingrich: Deport every Muslim who believes in Sharia, Fox News via YouTube, July 14, 2016

Why are 2nd generation Muslim immigrants becoming jihadis?

June 15, 2016

Why are 2nd generation Muslim immigrants becoming jihadis? Brigitte Gabriel via YouTube, June 15, 2016

Turkey Builds Mega-Mosque in U.S., Blocks Churches in Turkey

April 18, 2016

Turkey Builds Mega-Mosque in U.S., Blocks Churches in Turkey, Gatestone Institute, Uzay Bulut, April 18, 2016

(Please see also, The loss of Jewish rights on the Temple Mount – cause and effect. — DM)

♦ As yet another enormous mosque has opened in the U.S. (funded by the Turkish government), Christians in Turkey are waiting for the day when Turkish state authorities will allow them freely to build or use their churches and safely pray inside them.

♦ In Turkey, some churches have been converted to stables or used as storehouses. Others have been completely destroyed. Sales of churches on the internet are a common practice.

♦ Meanwhile, Turkish President Erdogan said during the opening ceremony of the Maryland mosque that the center was important at a time of an “unfortunate rise in intolerance towards Muslims in the United States and the world.”

♦ How would Muslims feel if mosques in Mecca were put up for sale on the internet, turned into stables, or razed to the ground? How would they feel if a Muslim child were beaten in the classroom by his teacher for not saying “Jesus is my Lord and Savior?” How would they feel if they continually received violent threats or insults for just attempting peacefully to worship in their mosques?

On April 2, a gigantic Ottoman style of mosque was opened in Lanham, Maryland by the president of Turkey, Recep Tayyip Erdogan. The mosque, according to Turkish officials, is “one of the largest Turkish mosques built outside Turkey.”

Funds to build it, as reported by the Turkish pro-government newspaper, Sabah, came from Turkey’s state-run Presidency of Religious Affairs, known as the Diyanet, as well as Turkish-American non-profit organizations.

The mosque is actually part of a larger complex, commonly referred to as “Maryland kulliye.” Akulliye, as such Islamic compounds were called in Ottoman times, is a complex of buildings, centered on a mosque and composed of various facilities including a madrassa (Islamic religious school).

Erdogan recited verses from the Quran inside the mosque after the mosque was opened.

Meanwhile, thousands of miles away from the American soil, in Turkey, Christians have for decades been deprived of the right to build their places of worship.

The 2015 report by Turkey’s Association of Protestant Churches revealed many violent, repressive and discriminatory practices against Protestant Christians in Turkey. According to the report, hate crimes, physical and verbal assaults as well as threats against Protestant Christians were commonplace in 2015 — as in previous years.[1]

“No development with regard to uncovering the perpetrators of these actions has occurred despite making known the content of the threats, the telephone numbers, email addresses, Facebook profiles and YouTube links of those making the threats in an official complaint,” according to the report.

Christians also experience many problems in the compulsory “religion and ethics” classes, which are mostly about indoctrinating schoolchildren in the teachings of Islam. An obligatory declaration of faith is one of the more serious problems facing Christians.

“The section for religious affiliation on the identity cards forces people to declare their faith and increases the risk of facing discrimination in every arena of life,” said the report. “For example, those who want to be exempt from mandatory religious instruction do not have the right to leave the religion line blank because they have to prove they are Christian in order for their children to be exempt from religion classes.”

Eleven-year-old Huseyin Bayram, for instance, a student at a primary school in Diyarbakir, converted to Protestant Christianity with his family in 2008. But because he was still officially registered as a Muslim, he had to take the compulsory Islamic class at school.

In 2010, Huseyin’s family lodged a complaint against the teacher of their child’s mandatory Islamic religious class, stating that the teacher slapped the child in the classroom.

Huseyin said that the teacher had asked the entire class to say the Islamic shahada (“There is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah) three times; he did not do so. When the teacher asked him why, he said: “Sir, I go to the church. I do not know shahada and I do not want to learn it.”

The teacher, however, rejected the claims of beating: “I did not know the child was a Christian. I asked him the question that I ask to everyone.”

Like all other cities in present-day Turkey, Diyarbakir — called Dikranagerd or Dikrisagerd by the Armenian community — has a long history of Christianity.

After the division of the Roman Empire, Anatolia — from the Greek word “Anatole” meaning “east” or “sunrise” — became part of the Byzantine Empire. By the fourth century CE, Western and central Anatolia were overwhelmingly Christian and the inhabitants predominantly spoke Greek. A magnificent Christian civilization was established throughout centuries — until the territory was invaded first by the Seljuk Turks and later by the Ottoman Empire.

The year 1915 marked the peak of the Christian genocide, in Diyarbakir as well. “Most of the Armenians living inside the city were trapped,” wrote the Reverend Dr. George A. Leylegian, “and neighborhood by neighborhood, the Ottomans pillaged property and killed the helpless Dikranagerdtsis with nearly full-proof [sic] entrapment. The gendarmes sealed off each street and then raided the houses without reproach.”

Being a candidate for the European Union has not changed Turkey’s attitude towards churches and Christians.

This March, many places in Diyarbakir — including the Surp Giragos Armenian Apostolic and the Armenian Catholic churches — were expropriated by the Turkish government, as well as the Surp Sarkis Chaldean Church, the Virgin Mary Ancient Assyrian Church, and the city’s Protestant church.

Protestant Christians still experience serious problems establishing places of worship.

“Applications for opening a place of worship are rejected or left in a never-ending bureaucratic process. Previous applications that received either no response or a negative response are a clear indication of this situation…

“Apart from some exceptions, Christian congregations are prevented from using historical church buildings for Sunday services or holiday celebrations; these buildings are held by government institutions and are used for purposes other than church services.”

The Istanbul Protestant Church, for instance, officially requested that the Meryem Ana (Mother Mary) Church — in the hands of the city of Kayseri and used in the past as a sports center — be assigned to Christians living in Kayseri to meet their needs for a place of worship.

“No written response to this request has been given. However, in meetings with city officials, it was indicated unofficially that the church would be turned into a mosque or used as a museum. The church continued its efforts on this issue in 2015.”

1553The Istanbul Protestant Church officially requested last year that local Christians be allowed to worship in the Meryem Ana (Mother Mary) Church — in the hands of the city of Kayseri and used in the past as a sports center. City officials indicated that the church would instead be turned into a mosque or used as a museum.

The city of Caesarea, today called Kayseri, was where Saint Krikor Lusavoric — or Saint Gregory the Illuminator (A.D 257-331), the patron saint and first official head of the Armenian Apostolic Church — was raised and adopted Christianity as his religion.

King Tiridates III of Armenia, under leadership of Saint Gregory, proclaimed Christianity the state’s official religion in 301. Armenia thus became the first nation to adopt Christianity as its official religion.

“If Mecca is considered to be sacred for Muslims,” according to the website of Foundation of Kayseri Surp Krikor Lusavoriç Armenian Church, “Kayseri is the same for Armenians being the first city where Christianity was adopted.”

“Kayseri had a robust Armenian presence up until the 1970’s,” wrote the author Aris Nalci. “Today, there are no active Armenian churches in the city, except for the Krikor Lusavorich Church located in the city center. “In 1915, there were more than 50,000 Armenians living in this large trade city; in 1965, it is said that 130 families still remained. Now, however, there are only a few Armenians left.”

Today, the last traces of Christianity in Kayseri are about to be extinguished.

The Agape Church Association in the city of Ordu also recently applied to Turkish state authorities to be able to use the historic Tasbasi Orthodox Church as its church. The provincial director of culture and tourism affairs rejected the application, saying that “the church will be used as an archeology museum.”

Ordu, or Kotyora in Greek, was an ancient Greek town in the northern region of Anatolia historically known as Pontus (which means “sea” in Greek).

Throughout centuries, Christians thrived in the city — until the Islamic invasion of the region. The Christian inhabitants of Ordu were also victims of the Greek and Armenian genocides perpetrated by Muslim Turks between 1913 and 1923.

“There are stories,” wrote the historian Sam Topalidis, “of Armenians from Ordu being huddled into boats only to be later thrown overboard into the Black Sea to drown.”

After deportations, mass murders, death marches, rapes and other atrocities — as well as the 1923 forcible population exchange between Greece and Turkey — Ordu has almost become devoid of its Christian population, as have all other Anatolian cities.

“Similar experiences over many years have rooted the belief in the Protestant community that the legal procedures to establish or build a church are practically impossible to meet and that this right only exists on paper,” reported the Association of Protestant Churches.

Sales of churches on the internet are a common practice.

The Assyrian Mor (Saint) Yuhanna church in the province of Mardin and the historic Saint John Greek church in Bursa were put up for sale by title owners in June, 2015.

In January, 2016, another historic Greek church in the province of Kayseri was offered for sale on the internet.

On February, 2016, a 300-year-old Armenian Catholic Church in the province of Bursa was listed on an internet shopping site by a real estate agent. Its price was 1.5 million dollars.

Giving the titles of churches to private individuals was one of the policies of the Armenian genocide, said the researcher Nevzat Onaran.

“In 1915, the lives and right to property of Armenians were destroyed. The churches put up on sale today are a declaration of the fact that the process of devastation that the [Ottoman Turkish] Committee of Union and Progress government started in 1915 is still going on.”

This policy has targeted not only Armenians, but all other non-Muslim peoples in Anatolia.

Some churches have been converted to stables or used as storehouses. Others have been completely destroyed.

As Muslims in the United States have built yet another enormous mosque with Turkey’s help, Christians in Turkey are waiting for the day when Turkish state authorities will allow them freely to build or use their churches and safely pray inside them.

In the meantime, Turkish President Erdogan said during the opening ceremony of the Maryland mosque that the center was important at a time of an “unfortunate rise in intolerance towards Muslims in the United States and the world.”

Christians in Turkey have been going through not only the most intense feelings of intolerance and hatred, but also unending attacks and even murders. The Christian culture and civilization in Anatolia is on the way to total annihilation.

“Particulars gleaned from studying earlier centuries help us as Westerners to perceive the unique relationship between the religion and politics and, hopefully, to understand its modern-day manifestations better,” wrote the scholar Judy Henzel.

Today Cappadocian Greek in Turkey is a dead language. Many local languages of indigenous Christians — including Pontic Greek, Western Armenian, Suret (Assyrian Neo-Aramaic), Turoyo (Western Assyrian), and Hertevin (Eastern Aramaic) — are on the verge of extinction. It is not only places of worship that are destroyed or left to devastation in Turkey, it is an entire civilization to which the West owes so much.

In that, not only the aggression of Muslim authorities, but also the apathy of many Muslim locals have played a large part.

How would Muslims feel if their mosques in Mecca were put up for sale on the internet? Or turned into stables? Or razed to the ground? How would they feel if a Muslim child were beaten in the classroom by his teacher for not saying “Jesus is my Lord and Savior?”

How would Muslims feel if they continually received violent threats or insults for just attempting peacefully to worship in their mosques? Or if they were always to live in fear of violence? Or if they were systematically treated as if they were second-class citizens — in their indigenous lands where their ancestors once ruled?

As these issues are not discussed in Muslim countries, similar crimes are committed repeatedly — day in and day out. Apparently, one of the most obvious changes that political Islam causes in one’s psyche is the loss of empathy.

Before Muslim political or religious leaders lecture the world about the non-existent threat of “Islamophobia” or “intolerance against Muslims” in the West, they might take moral responsibility and address the real abuses against Christians in their home countries, including the intense Christian- and Jew-hatred, and the actual Christian genocide — both physical and cultural — that is happening across the Muslim world.

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[1] Protestant Christians, like other Christian denominations in Turkey, do not enjoy the right to freely share their faith with people, or train their religious leaders. Protestant communities specifically do not have the right to organize as congregations, because they are not recognized as legal entities. The report gives detailed information about all of these daily discriminatory actions against Protestant Christians.