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Monday, December 28, 2009

Forced Islamization of Christian Girls Supported By Egyptian State

The phenomenon of abduction, rape and forced Islamization of Christian girls in Egypt was shown for the first time on the Christian TV channel "Life TV", which broadcasts from outside Egypt and has nearly 60 million Arab-speaking viewers in Egypt and around the world.

The testimonies of the victims and their families came as a shock to many, including Egyptian Christians, since this issue is taboo for the Egyptian media, "Our role is to expose those behind those crimes," said Rasheed El Maghreby, the program's moderator.

The program was aired in mid-November 2009, and interviewed Mr. Magdi Khalil, an authority on Coptic affairs who has made a complete field study on forced Islamization of Christian minors in Egypt. Mr Khalil explained that this phenomenon in its present form is nearly 40 years old, and most of these conversion crimes, with a few isolated exceptions, are carried out by organized Islamization gangs or "Islamization Mafia", a termed coined by him, which are fully funded by the state and supported by State Security.

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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

2009 Report on International Religious Freedom

ይህ ሪፖርት በሚከተለው የፕሬዚደንት ኦባማ ቃል ይጀምራል፦

"የሀይማኖት ነጻነት ለህዝቦች አብሮ መኖር ዋና ጉዳይ ነው"

ይህን ጽሑፍ በምናቀርበት በዚህ የገና በዓል ዋዜማ ወቅት የሙስሊሙ ዓለም በክሪስቲያኖች ነዋሪዎቹ ላይ የሚካሄደው ጥቃት ቀጥሏል። ክርስቲያኖች ሆኑ አይሁዶች፡ አቴይስቶች ሆኑ ሙስሊሞች ይህን በተመለከተ ድምጻቸውን በማሰማት ወይም ሶሊዳሪቲ ለማሳየት አሻፈረን ብለዋል።

ወደ አሜሪካው ሪፖርት ስንመለስ፡ ኢትዮጵያን አስመልክቶ የሚከተሉትን ዋና ዋና ዓረፍተነገሮች ከሰነዱ እንወስዳለን፦

ሽብርተኛ ቡድኖች ጥላቻቸውን በዓለም ዙሪያ እያስፋፉ ባሉበት በአሁኑ ዘመን ሀይማኖታዊ ነጻነት ለዓለም አቀር ደህንነት እጅግ ወሳኝ ነው።

የኢትዮጵያ ህገ መንግስት ለሀይማኖት ነጻነት እውቅና የሚሰጥ ሲሆን ሌሎች ህጎችና ፖሊሲዎችም ለአጠቃላይ ነጻ የሀይማኖት እንቅስቃሴ አስተዋጽዖ አድርገዋል፡ መንግስቶ በአጠቃላይ ሀይማኖታዊ ነፃነትን በተግባር አስከብሯል፡ ሆኖም ግን አንዳንዴ የአካባቢ ባለስልጣናት ይህን ነጻነት ይጥላሉ (ሙስሊም ባለስልጣናት)

አልፎ አልፎ የሚፈጠሩ በሙስሊሞችና በክርስቲያኖች መካከል የሚታዩ ውጥረቶች ወደ ግጭት ያመሩበት ሁኔታ ነበር።

44 በመቶ የሚሆነው ህዝብ የኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን (ኢኦቤ) ተከታይ ሲሆን ከዚህም አብዛኛው የሚኖረው በሰሚናዊ የአገሪቱ ክፍል በትግራይና በአማራ ክልሎች ነው

ሰላሳ አራት በመቶው ህዝብ የሱኒ እስልምና ተከታይ ሲሆን ከዚህም አብዛኛው የሱፊ ትምህርት ተከታይ ነው። እስልምና አብዛኛው የሚገኘው በምስራቁ ክፍል በተለይም በሶማሌና አፋር ክልሎችና በኦሮምያ ብዙ ቦታዎ ነው። በቅርብ እያደገ የመጣ የወግ አጥባቂ ሙስሊሞች ቁጥር ቢኖርም ከአጠቃላዩ ሙስሊም ህብረተሰብ አንጻር ይህ ነው የሚባል አይደለም።

በህዳር 25 2001 በፀደቀው አዲስ የፕሬስ ህግ መሰረት አንድ ሀይማኖታዊ ቡድን ከሌላ ጋር እንዲጋጭ የሚደረግ ቅስቀሳ ወንጀል እንደሆነ ተደንግጓል። ህጉ በተጨማሪም የሀይማኖት መሪዎችን ስም የማጥፋት ተግባር እንደ ወንጀል እንዲቆጠርና ክስ እንዲመሰረትበት ያዛል።

በሰሜናዊ የአገሪቱ ክልል በኢትዮጵያ ኦርቶዶክስ ቤተክርስቲያን እንደ ቅዱስ ከተማ በምትታየው በአክሱም ከተማ የሚገኙ የአካባቢው ባለስልጣናት እስካሁን ድረስ የከተማው ሙስሊሞች በተደጋጋሚ የሚጠይቁትን የመስጊድ መስሪያ ቦታ እንደከለከሏቸው ይገኛሉ። ሙስሊሞች በአክሱም ከተማ የግል መኖሪያ ቤትና ሀይማኖታዊ ያልሆኑ ህንፃዎችን ለመገንባት መሬት ያገኛሉ። የትግራይና የአማራ ክልላዊ መንግስታት ባለስልጣናት ሙስሊሞች መስጊድ ለመስራት ያቀረቡትን ጥያቄ አልተቀበሉም። ይህንን ውሳኒያቸውን የፊደራል መንግስቱ አልሻረውም። ለኢኦቤ ሌላ ቅዱስ ከተማ በሆነችው ላሊበላም የአካባቢው ባለስልጣናት ለመቃብር የሚሆን ቦታ እንጅ ለመስጊድ መስሪያ መሬት አልሰጡም።

መንግስት በህገ መንግስቱ ላይ የሰፈረው ሀይማኖትና መንግስት የተለያዩ ናቸው የሚለውን አንቀፅ የሚተረጉመው በመንግስትም ሆነ በግል ትምህርት ቤቶች ውስጥ ሀይማኖታዊ ትምህርት አይሰጥም በሚል ነው። በካቶሊክ፡ በኦርቶዶክስ፡ በወንጌላውያንና በሙስሊም ቡድኖች በንብረትነት የተያዙና የሚተዳደሩ ትምህርት ቤቶች ሀይማኖትን እንደ አንድ የትምህርት ዓይነት ማስተማር አልተፈቀደላቸውም። ቤተክርስቲያኖች የሰንበት ትምህርት እንዲያስተምሩ ሲፈቀድ ቁርዓንን በመስጊድ ውስጥ ማስተማር ይቻላል። የመንግስት ትምህርት ቤቶችም ሀይማኖታዊ ባህሪይ ያላቸውን ክበቦች ለማቋቋም ፈቃድ ይሰጣሉ።

በሰኔ 23 ቀን 2001 በደሴ ከተማ ቤተክርስቲያን አላግባብ ለመገንባት የተደረገው ሙከራ እንዲቋረጥ ከተደረገ በኋላ ይህንን በመቃወም ሰልፍ በወጡ ሰዎች ላይ ፖሊስ ተኩሶ ሁለት ሰዎች ገድሏል። የግንባታውን ቦታ ሙስሊሞችም ለኛ መሆን አለበት ብለው ነበር። ብዙ ሰዎች በተፈጠረው ግርግር የተጎዱ ሲሆን አንዲት ሴትም ከገደል ወድቃ ሞታለች።

በሚያዝያ 16 ቀን 2001 ሙስሊሞች ሂጃብ እንዲለብሱና በአዲስ አበባ ዩኒቨርስቲ ቅጥር ግቢ መስገድ እንዲችሉ መንግስት ፈቃድ እንዲሰጥ ለመጠየቅ ተማሪዎች ሰላማዊ ሰልፍ ባደረጉበት ጊዜ ፖሊስ ሰልፉን በመበተን 70 ተማሪዎችን ለአጭር ጊዜ በእስር አቆይቶ ነበር።

በህዳር 22 ቀን 2001 በጋሞ ጎፋ ዞን በአርባ ምንጭ ከተማ አንድ ቤተክርስቲያን አጠገብ እርስ በርስ በተጣሉ የኦርቶዶክስ ቄሶች ምክንያት በተቀሰቀሰ ግጭት ፖሊስ የተሰበሰቡትን ለመበተን ተኩስ ከፍቶ ሶስት ሰዎች አቁስሏል።

በየካቲት 9-10 እና በሚያዝያ 15-16 2001 የፌዴራል ጉዳዮች ሚኒስቴር በየክልሉ የአካባቢ ባለስልጣናት፡ የፀጥታ ቢሮዎችና የፖሊስ ኮሚሽነሮች ተካፋይ የሆነበት የምክክር መድረክ በማዘጋጀት በሀይማኖቶች መካከል ሊኖር ስለሚገባው መግባባትና የሀይማኖት ግጭቶችን ስለማስቀረት አወያይቷል።

በሀምሌ ወር 2000 በመንግስት የሚደገፍ የመያዶች በሀይማኖቶች መካከል ሰላም የመመስረት ጥረት አካል የሆነና የሰላም ባህል እንዲዳብር፣ በሀይማኖቶች መካከል የሚደረጉ ትብብሮችን የሚደግፍ፣ መተማመንና መልካም ግንኙነትን የሚያበረታታና ወደፊት ሊፈጠሩ የሚችሉ ግጭቶችን የሚከላከል ብሄራዊ የሀይማኖቶች የሰላም ምክር ቤት የሚል ተቋም ተመስርቷል።

በአብዛኞቹ ክልሎች ኦርቶዶክስ ክርስቲያኖችና ሙስሊሞች በአጠቃላይ ሲታይ አንዱ የሌላውን ሀይማኖት የሚያከብር ሲሆን አንዳንድ አካባቢዎች የተለያዩ ሀይማኖቶች ያሏቸው ጋብቻ ሲፈፅሙም ሆነ አንዱ ወደ ሌላው ሀይማኖት ሲቀየር እንደ ችግር አይታይም ነበር። ይሁን እንጅ አንዳንድ ህዝብ በብዛት የሰማቸው ሀይማኖታዊ ግጭቶች የነበሩ ሲሆን እነኝህም የመንግስትን ጣልቃ ገብነት የጠየቁ ነበሩ። በተጨማሪም አንዳንድ የሀይማኖት መሪዎችና የቤተክርስቲያን አባላት አካላዊ ጥቃትና የቃላት ማስፈራራት ስለደረሰባቸው የአካባቢው ባለስልጣናት እንዲከላከሉላቸው እስከ መጠየቅ ደርሰዋል።

የኢእጉበምቤ አንዳንድ በሳዑዲ አረቢያ የሚረዱ ሙስሊም ቡድኖች በክርስቲያኖችና በሙስሊሞች መካከል ቅራኔ ለማስፋፋት እንደሚንቀሳቀሱ በመግለጽ ስጋታቸውን በተደጋጋሚ አሰምተዋል። በሱፊ እስልምና ትምህርት የሚመሩትና በቁጥር የሚበልጡት ሙስሊሞች በሳዑዲ አረቢያ መያዶች ከሚረዱት ሙስሊም ቡድኖች ጋር ውጥረት ውስጥ የገቡበት ሁኔታ ተፈጥሮ ነበር።

በመጋቢት ወር 2001 አንዳንድ የሙስሊም ቡድኖች ከምክር ቤቱ ፈቃድ ሳይጠይቁ ስብሰባ እንዳያካሂዱ የኢእጉበምቤ አግዷቸው ነበር።

በጥር 17 ቀን 2001 በሀይማኖት ሰበብ በተነሳ ግጭት ጎንደር ከተማ ውስጥ አንድ ፖሊስ ሲገደል ስምንት ሲቪሎች ጉዳት ደርሶባቸዋል። እንደቀረበው ሪፖርት ግጭቱ የተነሳው ሙስሊሞች በኦርቶዶክስ እምነት ከፍተኛ ቦታ ባለው የጥምቀት በዓል ጊዜ ሁለት ታቦቶች የሚያርፉበት ቦታ ላይ መስጊድ መስራት በመጀመራቸው ነበር። ፖሊስ በወቅቱ 40 ሰዎችን ያሰረ ሲሆን ይህ ሪፖርት በተጠናቀረበት ወቅት እንደታሰሩ ነበሩ።

ከታህሳስ 30 እስከ ጥር 2 ቀን 2001 በድሬዳዋ ከተማ ተከታታይነት በነበራቸውና በየስፍራው በተቀሰቀሱ ሀይማኖታዊ ግጭቶች ሳቢያ አንድ ሰው ሲሞት 20 ቆስለዋል። እንደ ሪፖርት አቅራቢው በአንድ የከተማው ክፍል እስራዔል በጋዛ ላይ ያካሄደችውን ጥቃት በመቃወም ሙስሊም ወጣቶች በገና በዓል ላይ ሀይማኖታዊ መዝሙር እየዘመሩ በነበሩ ክርስቲያን ወጣቶች ላይ ድንጋይ ወርውረዋል። ክርስቲያን ወጣቶቹም አፀፋ በመመለስ ድንጋይ የወረወሩ ሲሆን ይህም ፖሊስ በስፍራው እስከደረሰ ድረስ ቀጥሎ ነበር። እንደነዚህ ዓይነት ግጭቶች ከአንዱ የከተማው ክልል ወደ ሌላው ተሰራጭተው ነበር።

በጥቅምት 26 ቀን 2001 ባለስልጣናት ብዛት ያላቸውን ቃወሪ የተባለ የሙስሊም ቡድን አባላት የሆኑ ሰዎችን 1998/99 ዓ.ም. በኦሮሚያ ክልል ኢሉባቡር፡ ጅማና ምዕራብ ወለጋ ውስጥ ክርስቲያኖችን በተጠና መንገድ በስፋት ለማጥቃት ተንቀሳቅሰዋል በሚል አስረዋል። በዚህ ሪፖርት መዝጊያ ጊዜ የነኝህ የታሰሩ ሰዎች ሁኔታ ምን እንደደረሰ አልታወቀም።

በህዳር ወር 2001 በሰቃ ቡዮ የሚገኙ የአካባቢ የመንግስት ባለስልጣናት በጥቅምት ወር 2000 ሙስሊሞች በ25 የፕሮቴስታንት እምነት ተከታይ ቤተሰቦች ላይ ያደረሱትን ጥቃት በቅርቅ ጨርሰዋል።


ሙሉው ሪፖርት

Friday, December 11, 2009

Arab Countries Flop on Human Rights: Report

Cairo (AFP)

Human rights deteriorated across the Arab world in 2009 with torture widely practised in several countries, namely Egypt, an Arab watchdog said in a report released on Tuesday.

The report by the independent Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies surveyed 12 countries and said that most of them repressed human rights activists, press freedoms and discriminated against religious minorities.

The state of human rights in the 12 countries — Algeria, Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Morocco, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Syria, Tunisia and Yemen — “has worsened compared to 2008,” the report said.

“Arab governments remained wedded to a broad array of repressive laws that undermine basic liberties,” compared to the previous year, said the report, “Bastion of Impunity, Mirage of Reform.”

“Peaceful rotation of power through representative politics, and clean and competitive elections remained a dream in most countries covered by this report,” it said.

Egypt and Syria were singled out as leading offenders, with Cairo said to lead the region in practicing torture and Damascus for repressing rights activists.

“Egypt continued to top the list of countries in which torture is routinely and systematically practised,” it said, adding that dozens had died in the country of torture or excessive force by police.

The report also found torture was “routine” in Bahrain, “rampant” in Tunisia and practised in Saudi Arabia against terrorism suspects.

Human rights advocates faced harassment in several Arab countries, with Syria, which has jailed dozens of democracy activists, holding the “worst record in this regard.”

Religious and ethnic minorities also continued to suffer discrimination in several Arab countries, such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia, the report said.

“Despite the Saudi regime’s attempt to appear to champion religious tolerance and interfaith dialogue in international forums, in practice the national religious police continue to exhibit violent behaviour,” it said.

Egypt, where roughly ten percent of the 80-million-strong population are Coptic Christians who frequently complain of discrimination, “is increasingly acquiring the features of a religious state,” it added.

The report also said that US policies were “wholly inimical to reform and human rights in the region,” and accused President Barak Obama’s administration of abandoning support for reform initiatives in the Arab world.

“The last spark of life in the initiatives was quashed once and for all with the arrival of a new US administration,” it said.

Bahey eldin Hassan, the rights group’s director, said the 12 countries surveyed were indicative of the region.

“We think that through analysing these countries we can get a general picture of the region,” he said.

Hassan said the report did not include recommendations because the governments would ignore them. “These are not governments that are going through a reform process and are waiting for advice.”

The rights group’s representative in Geneva, Jeremie Smith, warned at a press conference that Arab countries had exported attempts to undermine accountability to the United Nations Human Rights Commission.

“Arab governments have largely taken strategies that they have perfected at a national level to avoid accountability, and they have exported them to the United Nations system,” he said.

Eritrea Arrests 30 Evangelical Christian Women

Security forces on Dec. 5 rounded up a group of mostly elderly women praying together at a house and took them to a police station in Asmara, the capital city, according to International Christian Concern.

The women are mostly members of the Faith Mission Church, an evangelical church with a Methodist background. The church has an over 50-year history in Eritrea but became a target of government crackdown after a law requiring churches to register with officials was adopted in 2002.

It is impossible for the Faith Mission Church to register, however, because the government only allows three Christian denominations to legally exist: the Eritrean Orthodox Church, the Roman Catholic Church and the Lutheran Evangelical Church of Eritrea.

MORE

Somalia suicide bomber 'was from Denmark'

A suicide bomber who killed at least 22 people at a graduation in Somalia was brought up in Denmark, officials say.

Somali Information Minister Dahir Gelle told the BBC that the bomber's parents, who live in Copenhagen, identified their son's body from photographs.

Reports say he left Somalia when he was a child and spent 20 years in Denmark, before returning to Somalia last year.

He reportedly joined the hard-line Islamist group al-Shabab - although they have previously denied the attack.
Al-Shabab and other radical Islamist groups control much of the country.

MORE

Monday, December 7, 2009

Coptic Priest Fearlessly Spreading God's Word

CBN News Senior International Correspondent

Egyptian evangelist Father Zakaria Botros is one of the most controversial figures in the Middle East.

He's a born again Coptic priest who's led thousands of Muslims to Christ via the Internet and television-- and militant Muslims want him dead because of that.

Zakaria is perhaps the most hated man in the Middle East. He's confronting Islam with an "in your face style" of TV and Internet evangelism.

"Muslims are fainting. They are brainwashed," he said. "They believe that Islam is the most beautiful religion in the world."

CBN News spoke with Amani Mustafa, co-host of Father Zakaria's show Truth Talk. Click play for her comments on how the priest's efforts are helping Muslims in the Arab world.

Click here to watch

"You cannot preach to him gently about your beliefs because he rejects all of them," Zakaria explained about his style. "You have to awaken him. And my method is a short, sharp shock. Which means an electric shock."

It's a jolt that's leading Muslims to critically examine their own faith, he added. Then they start posing questions to Islamic religious leaders. When they go unanswered, they begin to question their faith.

That's the story of one woman on a Middle East talk show. She asked her co-host Sheik Jamal why Islam treats women as possessions to be used by men for sexual gratification. Zakaria said that part of her faith is hard to accept.

His weekly 90-minute television program, Truth Talk airs Friday during prime time throughout the Middle East. It's broadcast on the al-Hayat satellite channel and is watched by nearly 60 million Arabs.

Zakaria's Internet discussion show Pal Talk is broadcast online for six hours every Tuesday and Thursday.

He recently celebrated his 75th birthday and says he's faced many hardships and challenges during his life journey.

Perhaps the greatest affecting his spiritual walk was the tragic slaying of his older brother more than 60 years ago.

"He was not only a Christian, but he was a believer-- a true believer," Zakaria recalled.

Zakaria said when his brother was in his twenties he started to share Christ with anyone who would listen-- Coptics and Muslims alike. He was murdered by Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood in 1947, They were very powerful in those days and they killed him," Zakaria said. "They cut his tongue and beheaded him. It was very hard."

The priest was a teenager at the time and inherited his brother's Bible. He said the notes written on the pages inside helped him to know Christ.

Zakaria thought good works would help him get into Heaven. It wasn't until he studied the writings of Cyril-- the fourth century bishop of Jerusalem-- that he came to believe in redemption and salvation through grace.

He fell on his knees and prayed.

After that, Zakaria walked into another kind of service-- a ministry to Muslims that led to imprisonment and eventual exile from Egypt in 1989.

He started Pal Talk while living in England and began his television broadcasts in 2003.

Today, he is in hiding. Al Qaeda terrorists have placed a $60 million bounty on his head and that has made him cautious, but unafraid.

"Because I believe that I am in the hands of God and He protects me and there is no fear," Zakaria said. "Jesus said don't fear and there are about 366 promises in the Bible, don't fear.

So, Islam's public enemy number one presses on.

"People see the program on the TV, but I see the hand of God's work among all of them in the heavenly TV," he said. "I see by faith what God is doing among Muslims today.

"I'll be so happy to have my life ended on earth because I will start my eternal life with Jesus Christ whom I love," Zakaria added.

*Original broadcast November 30, 2009.

No to Intolerance

The following text excerpt is from an interview the Russian Orthodox Priest, Fr. Daniel Sysoyev recently gave. Fr. Daniel was murdered inside a church by Muslims in November 2009.

Do you know what tolerance in medical settings mean? It means a lack of immunity, and tolerance is a sign of serious sickness. It happens when people have cancer, AIDs… Our society is getting very dangerously sick. We don’t know our faith anymore, we are beginning to lose our strong faith in God (even if most people think otherwise) The lives of many Ethiopians is still based on moral values, but the number of Ethiopians that prefers to live material oriented lives is growing. We, as Christians, have to remember what Bible tells us, and remember that faith without actions is DEAD. We have to put GOD as a purpose of our life, we have to remember that our life here is a temporary one.

Muslims want us to be tolerant to them. But what does it mean? They sued me for my book where I encourage Christian girls to avoid marriage with Muslims. Muslims said this book creates hatred between Christians and Muslims. My book was published for Christian audience, it was distributed through churches’ bookstores. What rights do Muslims have to tell me, a Christian priest, what should I tell to my godchildren for their good? I don’t ask to use violence, I just explain the difference between us, and such serious decision in Christian life as marriage should be made on safe grounds between people who have same values, otherwise there would be a tragedy, and the victim (almost always) will be the Christian person.

Another example: In disputes with Muslims, I openly say that my religion is right and theirs is wrong, I give them my reasonings. Muslims get mad, and want me to be quiet. Why should I be quiet? I have the right to believe in my God, and anybody who believes in different God would also think that their religion is true and best. I have no problem to hear the same things from Muslims about Allah. But if my arguments are stronger and they feel defeated they don’t give me arguments anymore, but just threaten to kill me if I don’t get quiet. But Jesus Christ said: DO NOT BE AFRAID. And that’s why I’m not.

Muslims want to control what Christians should believe, say and teach among Christians. I don’t believe in such tolerance. True believers are never tolerant, because the TRUTH is one. And person who believes in God (in any religion) is never tolerant to agree in his heart with other gods.

Christianity asks us to tell nonbelievers about true God, but it is up to the people to accept our teaching or not, because our God wants only those who want to chose Him freely. We don’t force our religion on others, we respect their free choice. But Muslims do force people to convert, and kill the people who chose to convert from Islam to Christianity….

We have no rights to be tolerant today, we have to follow Christ sincerely, and to protect our faith in our hearts. We have to grow good seeds in our hearts and prepare for future eternal life with warm hearts. We can not tolerate wrong values FOR OUR LIVES, we have to reject them if we want to be true Christians.

“Blessed are those, who are persecuted for righteousness sake,
For great is their reward in Heaven”. Glory To God.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Outrage on Swiss minaret vote, but how do Muslim states handle churches?

Muslim reaction across the world to Sunday’s Swiss referendum banning the construction of further minarets for mosques in the tiny Alpine nation has been almost entirely negative.
Indonesia’s Maskuri Abdillah, leader of the largest Muslim organization in the world’s most populous Muslim nation said the vote reflected Swiss “hatred” of Islam and Muslims.
Egyptian Grand Mufti Ali Gomaa, close to the regime of President Hosni Mubarak, said the ban was an attempt to “insult the feelings of the Muslim community in and outside Switzerland.”
Yet the referendums outcome pales in comparison to restrictions on non-Muslims who aim to practice their faith in Muslim lands. In fact, the vote only brought Swiss legal practice closer to that of many majority Muslim states that also place limits on the construction of houses of worship.

Here’s a review of practices in four large majority Muslim states:


1. Indonesia

In a state with large minority populations of Christians, Hindus, Buddhists, and animists, the US State department reported in 2009 that at least 9 churches – and 12 mosques associated with the Ahmadiyya Islamic sect (which mainstream Muslim groups consider heretical) – were forced shut by violence or intimidation from community groups, and that a number of churches and Hindu temples have struggled to receive official permits in recent years. The Indonesian government has on a number of occasions stepped in to prevent church construction, largely over fears that it would stoke sectarian violence. But religious practice, by and large, is freer in Indonesia than most other Muslim majority states.

2. Egypt

The country has a sizeable minority of Eastern Orthodox Christians, or Copts. By law, their churches must receive the permission of local Muslim communities before new construction is allowed. The State Department’s religious freedom report on Egypt in 2009 says in part: “Church and human rights leaders complain that many local officials intentionally delay the permit process. They charge that some local authorities refuse to process applications without ’supporting documents’ that are virtually impossible to obtain.”

3. Saudi Arabia

Home of Mecca and Islam more generally, is one of the least religiously free nation’s on earth. In the Kingdom, the public practice of any faith but Islam is illegal. Christian’s and Jews receive 50 percent of the compensation that a Muslim would receive in personal injury court and the country has no churches at all, though it officially tolerates private worship in homes.

4. Pakistan
Freedom of religious worship is constitutionally guaranteed, but in practice the government sets limits and there has also been a rise in attacks by militant groups on both Christians and Shiites in the majority Sunni Muslim country in recent years. The State Department found that “societal discrimination against religious minorities was widespread, and societal violence against such groups occurred.” District level government “consistently refused to grant permission to construct non-Muslim places of worship, especially for Ahmadiyya and Baha’i communities” the State Department found, while also noting that missionaries are allowed to work inside the country. In 2009 “public pressure routinely prevented courts from protecting minority rights and forced judges to take strong action against any perceived offense to Sunni orthodoxy,” the report said.

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Al Shabab blamed for Somalia bombing. Is Al Qaeda's influence rising?

A suicide bombing at a Somali student graduation ceremony which killed three government ministers and at least 16 other civilians on Thursday bore Al Qaeda's hallmark and further endangered the future of the country's wobbling administration, analysts says.

A man strapped with explosives and disguised as a woman apparently gained free access to what was supposed to be one of the few parts of Mogadishu, Somalia's capital, that was safe for the country's government.
But Thursday's strike appears to be the latest in a fresh offensive by Al Shabab, deploying tactics that Somalia-watchers say have been imported directly from Al Qaeda.

US government officials are convinced that Osama bin Laden's terror organization is strengthening its links to its Somali proxy – in part by by sending trainers to the Horn of Africa to instruct new jihadists there.

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Tuesday, December 1, 2009

What Ethiopian Christians need to know

Islam Wants to take the World by every possible means
The Muslim feels certain that one day the entire world will be in submission to Mohammed. The Muslim has a long view of history and many are patient to see this submission develop over time, generation after generation. Islam continues its long march through history, bringing the world into submission.
The places that are not yet considered to be within the House of Submission are called the House of War (dar al-harb, دار الحرب). Ethiopia belongs to this House of War.

Islam requires that Muslims spread Islam to the extent that the entire world is under the submission of Muslim rule. This injunction to spread Islam is linked with the concept of jihad (جهاد), which is often translated "holy war" but which actually means "struggle".

Jihad is a Responsibility of every Muslim
The community obligations to Jihad are clear in Islamic theology. If some in the community are waging jihad effectively (such as organizations like al-qaida) then everyone in the community does not bear an individual responsibility for personally waging violent jihad. In other words, they are off the hook and can go about their lives using non-violent jihad.

However, if a jihad war needs to be waged and no one in the community is doing it, then every Muslim individually bears the responsibility and will be held accountable.
For this reason Muslims often seem complacent in the face of the minority who are advancing the jihad war. When in fact, non-violent forms of jihad among the seemingly complacent is actually a method of supporting the overall jihad effort to transform the House of War into the House of Submission.

Are Ethiopian Muslims in a State of Jihad?
From the perspective of the violent jihadists, Ethiopian Muslims are in a constant state of jihad. But do Ethiopian Muslims honestly view themselves as living in a state of constant jihad until Ethiopia comes into the House of Submission? Surely there must be various viewpoints on this question among Muslims in Ethiopia.

The critical issue for Muslims in Ethiopia is to evaluate the concept of dividing the world between the House of Submission and the House of War, which they nowadays they tend to share with the Wahabi movement from across the Red sea. Nowadays, it has become important for them to clearly state and actively teach a new ideology that is extremely incompatible with the divine mission of the Ethiopian nation and the principles of Ethiopianism.

From the Islamic perspective, the problem is a political problem between the House of Submission and the House of War. But, in fact, the problem is a spiritual problem which has people trapped by the powers of darkness. As such, this ideology will not be eliminated by a small group of friendly, soft-spoken Muslims and their politically correct apologetics who make simplistic statements about Islam and tolerance. Only Jesus Christ can deliver from the House of Submission and the House of War.

As the influence of Islam grows throughout the world, the role of the mosque in society should be understood by all non-Muslims. The latest decision of the Swiss people to prohibit the construction of minarets in their country demonstrates the fear and anxiety that Islam is entertaining among the indigeneous populations of Europe.

Every non-Muslim, Christians in particular, should learn more about the importance of the mosque and its central role in the growth and promotion of Islam.
Much of the folloqinf information presented in this article is taken from the book, The Mosque Exposed by S. Solomon and E. Alamaqdisi

Many people, as in most, assume the mosque is simply a place where Muslims go to worship, almost like a “Muslim church,” but this is not really the full story. You see, Islam is predominately a works-based system and unlike Christianity, which is a faith-based system. And how does the average Muslim know how he or she should act? Allah has given them the perfect example in Mohammed. Muslims should imitate him.

The Way of Mohammed
While the Quran is believed by Muslims to be the revelation of Allah’s word, the “perfect example” of Mohammed’s life, teachings and character are recorded in another body of writings called the Hadith. These writings, called the Sunnah, record the way Mohammaed lived and taught, and are used to interpret the Quran and develop Islamic ideology.

Because Muslims view the mosque through Mohammed’s life, the role of the mosque can only be understood as it was used by Mohammed. It would be a fatal error for Christians to assume that the mosque functions like a church. We must see the mosque in the context of Mohammed’s life.

Mohammed did indeed go to the mosque to worship. Therefore it is a house of worship. He performed his prayers in the mosque and taught all Muslims that it is an important place to say prayers. Every Friday, Muslims around the world go to their local mosque and face toward the city of Mecca to perform their ritual prayers.

Command and Control
But worship for Mohammed was not limited to religious ritual. Worship is an entire way of life. For Mohammed, worship is about implementing Allah’s law. This is called Shariah law, and it encompasses every area of life. Shariah means “path.” In the desert context from which it comes, it means “a path leading to water.” While for the Christian, the words of Christ are “living water,” for the Muslim, it is this law which is a life-preserving force, and water in the desert.

Since worship is not merely religious ritual, Mohammed acted in his role as the supreme leader of the community and the mosque was his base of operation. Here are some examples of how Mohammed used the mosque to implement his all-encompassing Shariah law:

· He made legislative decrees from the mosque. It is the seat of legislative government.
· He taught his followers his ideology in the mosque. It is the educational seminary.
· He sent and received official delegations at the mosque.
· He conducted the affairs of the Islamic state, entertained heads of state, and appointed judges there. It is the seat of executive power.
· He issued legal decrees and developed Sharia law there. It is the supreme court.
· He issued social decrees. It is the social center of the community.
· He proclaimed the superiority of Muslims over non-Muslims, issued death sentences against those who opposed him, and dispatched the executioners to carry out their duties. It is the place and symbol of Islamic rule.
·He proclaimed the superiority of men over women at the mosque. It is place of inequality.
· It is where he issued marching orders, proclaimed jihad, and recognized his warriors. It is a military base.

In short, THE MOSQUE IS THE COMMAND AND CONTROL CENTER OF ISLAM.

Hijra and Taqiyah

The number of mosques in Ethiopia has increased dramatically in recent years. Based on Mohammed’s example, everyone should walk to the mosque as he did. Therefore, there needs to be a mosque in every neighborhood. In larger communities, there would need to be many mosques, one in each neighborhood. Additionally, since Muslims who are living in a non-Muslim nation are in a perpetual state of jihad,2 the role of the mosque should be understood in this context, along with two other concepts: migration (hijra هجرة) and concealment or disguise (taqiyah تقية).

Migration
The Islamic calendar begins in the year A.D. 610, when Mohammed migrated with his followers from the city of Mecca to the city of Medina on the Arabian Peninsula. The Quran speaks highly of those who migrated to Medina for the cause of Islam in passages such as Surah 2:218, 3:195, and 4:100.

Hijra is used by Muslims to spread Islam. There is a method to the process. As Solomon and Alamaqdisi state in their book,
Migration is legally obligatory on a Muslim as preparatory to other forms of jihad for the victory of Islam and Muslims in other countries . . . . Migration precedes jihad and both are inextricably linked . . . . It is not possible to consolidate the Islamic religion without migration. There is no way to raise the profile of Islam in the abode of apostasy without the help of Muslims and the increase of their numbers.

Since the role of the mosque is so critical in securing victory over non-Muslims, mosques are sometimes built for the purpose of raising awareness of Islam among non-Muslims rather than serving the needs of the Muslim community as a place of worship. This is why a small group of Muslims in a non-Muslim community sometimes build a large mosque which far exceeds the needs of their group.

Migration and the building of mosques serve the purpose of bringing a witness to non-Muslims that Islam is superior.

Disguise
Solomon and Alamaqdisi state,
Despite the overtly cruel, harsh, and intolerant Quranic views toward others, namely Jews and Christians, there are injunctions in the Quran that enable the Islamic community to disguise, play down, and when necessary, deny both the intensity and the validity of these anti-Semitic and anti-Christian teachings of its religious system.
This particular injunction is taqiya, which permeates almost all the activities and dealings of Muslims within non-Muslim societies, be they religiously sacred or religiously temporal, secular or civic, since . . . Islam does not distinguish between sacred and secular.

For this reason, the so-called moderate Muslim leaders worldwide should not be trusted to support and uphold the principles of freedom, peace and tolerance. Their leadership position within the Muslim community makes them guardians and promoters of Islamic ideology, even if they must conceal and disguise their true intentions.

The Mosque in Ethiopia

As it's stated above, in recent years, authorities in Ethiopia, not only encouraged the building of mosques, they actually help facilitate their construction in the name of equality, tolerance and freedom of religion. It should be said and realized that, non-Muslims, in effect, are helping build the enemy’s command and control centers within their own Christian country.

Political leaders don’t seem to understand the problem Ethiopians are facing in this regard—or they are simply unwilling to intervene.

This is why it is critical for Ethiopians to learn about the true nature of Islam. We need to tell the truth, to educate ourselves and pass on the knowledge, it's our obligation and utmost mission.