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Monday, May 21, 2012

Muslims in Indonesia threw stones and bags of urine at Christians


A mob of Islamic hard-liners threw stones and bags of urine at the HKBP Filadelphia congreagation of the Batak Christian Protestant Church in Bekasi, on the outskirts of Jakarta, at an Ascension Day service on Thursday. Police tried to stop the mob of some 300 people, but were also attacked, according to reports.

“They assaulted the congregation members,” Rev. Palti Panjaitan told the Jakarta Globe on Thursday. “Police tried to talk to them, but the mob passed through police and showered us with urine and dirty water. Others threw stones at us.”

The mob reportedly attacked the congregation as the service started, and also shouted profanity and threats. 


There is little will to stop the persecution of Christians



Recently, the human rights activist, former Dutch politician, and Somali exile Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote about a global war on Christians in Muslim countries. She discussed at length the appalling phenomenon of violent intolerance toward Christian communities, and cast blame on the international community and prominent non-governmental organizations for failing to address this problem.

In almost every part of the world, reports emerge daily of Christian communities falling victim to harassment and persecution. In Nigeria, on Feb. 26, three Christians were killed and dozens wounded after a car bomb exploded close to a church in the town of Jos. At least 500 people have died during the last year in attacks attributed to the Islamist group Boko Haram, which has called for all Christians to leave northern Nigeria.

In East African states such as Sudan, Christians were recently given an April 8 deadline to leave the north. The ultimatum affected up to 700,000 Christians who were born in South Sudan before it became independent last year. In Eritrea, it is reported that 2,000-3,000 Christians are in detention, and that many have been tortured.

But the Middle East remains the most dangerous place for Christians to live, and attacks occur with frightening regularity. Egypt’s Copts and Iraq’s dwindling Christian community feel the pressure the most. Depending on the outcome of events in Syria, many wonder about the fate of that country’s vibrant Christian community. In Iran, members of so-called “house churches” (independent assemblies of Christians who meet in private homes because of their fear of oppression) are rounded up and imprisoned.

In 2012, the Open Doors group, devoted to focusing on the plight of Christians, designated Muslim-majority countries – including Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, and even the Maldives – as some of the world’s worst offenders. In Pakistan, the country’s notorious blasphemy laws are frequently used against Christians to settle personal scores or extort financial gain. The shocking killing of Shahbaz Bhatti, Pakistan’s minority affairs minister, and the governor of Punjab province, Salmaan Taseer, ensured that anyone who speaks out on this topic can expect swift retribution.


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Muslim Persecution of Christians: April 2012


Raymond Ibrahim

"500 Muslims had gathered and were watching in amusement as the extremists chased and harassed the Christians, attempting to murder them all, for about 90 minutes."
As Easter, one of the highest Christian holidays, comes in April, Christian persecution in Muslim nations—from sheer violence to oppressive laws—was rampant: In Nigeria, where jihadis have expressed their desire to expunge all traces of Christianity, a church was bombed during Easter Sunday, killing some 50 worshippers; in Turkey, a pastor was beaten by Muslims immediately following Easter service and threatened with death unless he converted to Islam; and in Iran, Easter Sunday saw 12 Christians stand trial as "apostates."

The persecution of Christians has come to regions not normally associated with it. As in Nigeria, Muslim militants are now also running amok in Timbuktu, Mali—beheading a Christian leader and threatening other Christians with similar treatment. Sharia law has been imposed, churches are being destroyed, and Christians are fleeing Timbuktu in mass.
Categorized by theme, April's assemblage of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed in alphabetical order by country, not severity:

Church Attacks

Azerbaijan: A church in the Muslim-majority nation has "become the first religious community to be liquidated by a court since the country's harsh new 'Religion Law,' requiring all previously registered religious institutions to re-register, came into force in 2009. Greater Grace Protestant Church in the capital, Baku, "was stripped of its registration at a 15-minute hearing on 25 April. The decision, which was made in the absence of any church representatives, makes any activity by the church illegal and subject to punishment."

Indonesia: Gunmen opened fire on the GKI Yasmin church, causing much damage, in the latest attack on the building, which has been illegally sealed off by authorities since 2008 in response to Muslim demands. Another Protestant church unlawfully sealed off by the authorities—despite meeting all requirements for a permit—was met with violent opposition from Muslims when its members tried to hold a service on the street in front of their sealed-off church building. Muslim residents made death threats, played loud music, and rode a motorcycle through the congregation. A church spokesman said: "We are constantly having to change our location because our existence appears to be unwanted, and we have to hide so that we are not intimidated by intolerant groups… We had hoped for help from the police, but after many attacks on members of the congregation, we see that the police are also involved in this."

Kenya: Two separate grenade attacks on churches took place: 1) Muslims threw grenades into an open-air Christian church gathering, killing a woman and a boy, and wounding some 50 other Christians: Muslims had been holding a meeting near the gathering, and Christians could hear their preachers railing against Christianity right before the attack took place. 2) In a separate incident, a Muslim man pretending to be a worshipper at a church threw three grenades during service, killing a 27-year-old university student and injuring 16. The terrorist, who, according to eyewitnesses, appeared to be of Somali origin, "looked uncomfortable and always looked down. He threw three hand grenades and only one exploded. He took off, and he fired in the air three gunshots."

Nigeria: An early morning attack on a Christian church service left at least 16 people dead: Jihadi gunmen on motorcycles stormed Bayero University in the city of Kano Sunday morning during a Catholic mass held in the school's theater hall, hurling improvised explosive devices, and opening fire as people fled. "The attack follows a string of violent incidents against Christians in the predominantly Muslim north."

Sudan: A Christian compound in Khartoum was stormed by a throng of Muslims "armed with clubs, iron rods, a bulldozer and fire," the day after a Muslim leader called on Muslims to destroy "the infidels' church." Shouting "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"], and "No more Christianity from today on—no more church from today on!" the jihadis stormed the Bible school bookstore, burning Bibles and threatening to kill anyone who tried to resist. "What happened could not be imagined—it was terrible," said an eyewitness. "They burned all furniture of the school and the church as well." As usual, "Police at the compound stood back and did nothing to prevent the mob from vandalizing the compound."

Tunisia: Members of the Christian Orthodox Church in Tunis, one of very few churches in the nation, are being "abused" and receiving "threatening messages." Church members are "living in a state of terror," so much so that the Russian ambassador in Tunis specifically requested the nation's Ministry of Interior to "protect the church." The abuse has gotten to the point where "Salafis covered the cross of the church with garbage bags, and told the church members that they do not wish to see the vision of the Cross anywhere in the Islamic state of Tunisia." Separately, a Muslim burst into a church to deliver a letter from an Islamist party inviting the archpriest to convert to Islam or to take down the church's crosses and pay jizya, the 
Islamic subjugation tax.

Apostasy and Blasphemy: Death and Prison

Algeria: A Christian was sentenced to five years in prison for "shaking the faith" of Muslims. He had discussed his faith with a Muslim man at a food court when the Muslim became angry and accused the Christian of "insulting Muhammad." Police arrested the man and found a large amount of Christian material in his apartment. The judge gave him the maximum sentence of five years in prison, even though the prosecutor himself had recommended a lesser sentence.

Bangladesh: A former Muslim prayer leader who converted to Christianity was "welcomed by threats and violence." Members of his Muslim community "beat him almost to death," causing him to be hospitalized for almost two months: "the same Muslims who followed him and held him in high esteem when he was their imam now cannot accept his new status."

Egypt: Two incidents of "blasphemy" convictions took place: 1) A juvenile court sentenced a Coptic Christian teenager to three years in prison for allegedly "insulting Islam," on claims that he posted unflattering cartoons of Muhammad on Facebook. When the incident came to light, Muslims rioted, fire-bombing his home and at least five other Christian-owned homes. 2) Another judge upheld a six-year prison sentence for a Christian convicted of "blasphemy": after a Muslim had told the 49-year old Christian convict that Jesus had illegal sex with at least ten women, the Christian countered "by stating that Muhammad, the founder of the Islamic religion, had more than four wives—a view commonly held by Islamic scholars." Police subsequently arrested him and, in a 10-minute mock trial with no defense attorney present, the judge sentenced him to six years in prison for "insulting the prophet."

Iran: A Christian convert from Islam has been sentenced to six years in prison. Originally arrested in December 2010 as part of a major crackdown on the country's house church movement, "the married father of two has been held in the notorious Evin prison ever since, spending several months in solitary confinement," and likely goaded to return to Islam. He is accused of "action against the regime's security, being in contact with foreign organizations and religious propaganda." In short, according to Iranian Christians, "his 'crime' was practicing his Christian faith."

Pakistan: Two incidents of "blasphemy" charges occurred: 1) A Christian man was arrested and charged with "blasphemy" for rescuing his 8-year-old nephew from a beating at the hands of Muslim boys who sought to force the boy to convert to Islam. "Seeing the attack from a distance, Masih [the man] shouted and rushed to the scene, rescued his nephew and then went to his work as a painter. Soon after the incident, a Muslim mob of about 55 led by the village prayer leader besieged Masih's house," and insisted that "the blasphemer" be turned over to them. After being threatened and harassed by Muslim inmates and jail officials, he was eventually released from prison. 2) The mother of a newborn baby has been illegally jailed for over a month: authorities have failed to file a charge sheet within the mandatory 14-day period against the 26-year-old Christian woman accused of "blaspheming" the prophet of Islam. The woman was arrested after neighbors accused her of "uttering remarks against Muhammad."

Philippines: Two pastors were slaughtered by Muslim assailants: 1) A former Muslim who became a Christian pastor was murdered in front of his wife in his home: "My husband staggered into our bedroom and I was shocked because he was full of blood," she recalled. "I brought him to the hospital right away. He was operated on for eight bullet wounds, but did not survive." The Philippines is a mostly Christian nation, but in the south, "Muslim fundamentalists are trying to build an Islamic state. Christians there face persecution and even death…. This year, at least four house churches closed down after their pastors and lay leaders were killed by Muslim extremists." 2) Another pastor was shot in the head five times, killed by two unknown gunmen in front of his teenage daughter.

Dhimmitude

[General Abuse, Debasement, and Suppression of non-Muslims as "Tolerated" Citizens]
Egypt: A recent "reconciliation meeting" between members of a sword-wielding Muslim mob that earlier brutalized a Christian school proved to be "nothing less than an attempt at legalized extortion." In exchange for peace, members of the mob that stormed the school last month without provocation—holding two nuns hostage for several hours—demanded in the meetings that the school sign over land that included the guesthouse they attacked. "Human rights groups and Coptic rights activists say the meetings are just a way to pressure powerless groups and people into giving away what little rights they have." Likewise, the judges appointed to investigate the Maspero massacre, which claimed the lives of 27 Christians and injured 329, closed the case, due to "lack of identification of the culprits." As one Christian lawyer put it: "We said all along that it [the investigation] was just a show and this is the outcome we got."

India: Muslims stormed and terrorized a home in which a Christian prayer meeting was being held, and beat the Christians, including a 65-year-old widow. The Muslims "called them pagans as they kicked, slapped and pushed the Christians…. The Christians were running in all directions for their lives, including the children who were crying in fear" as one Muslim, "brandishing a sickle, chased many of them, hurling all kinds of insults and attempting to mi=ureder them all…. 500 Muslims had gathered and were watching in amusement as the extremists chased and harassed the Christians for about 90 minutes."

Iran: Historical Christian monuments, including churches and Christian cemeteries, continue to be destroyed or allowed to fall into a state of decay as the Islamist authorities try to wipe out the country's Christian heritage: "It seems that Islamic Republic officials, unsuccessful in stopping the growth of Christianity among the people by pressuring them, arresting them and banning Christian converts from attending church services, want to destroy historical Christian monuments to totally wipe the Christian heritage from the face of Iran."

Pakistan: Yet another study demonstrates that Pakistani school textbooks "promote religious fanaticism, discriminate against minorities and trigger religious conflicts." Christians and Hindus "are obliged to learn the basics of Islam"—studying the Koran is mandatory—while their own religions are openly denigrated. Even in subjects such as social science and linguistics, "about 20% of the content is linked to Islam"; and non-Muslim students receive "bonus points" if they excel in Islamic studies.

Syria: Almost the entire Christian population—nearly 60,000—of the city of Homs, the nation's third largest, have fled as fighting between the government and anti-government, largely Islamist forces continues. Reportedly only 1,000 Christians remain. Opposition forces are attacking churches and other Christian centers; "Muslim neighbors are turning on the Christians. Christians have also suffered kidnapping and gruesome murders. Some Christian families, unable to pay a ransom for their relatives' release and fearing that they may be tortured, have been driven to ask the kidnappers to kill their loved ones at once."

Tunisia: After the Russian ambassador stood up for an Orthodox church under attack (see above, under "church attacks"), the Russian school located behind the church as well as the Christian cemetery in Tunis were vandalized. The walls of the school and religious frescoes were smeared with fecal matter, while the cemetery's crosses were destroyed. Meanwhile, the new "Arab-spring" government has shown its "manifest indifference with regard to minorities' right to protection."

Turkey: The nation's Greek Orthodox citizens living on the island of Gökçeada (Imbros) in the north Aegean cannot buy property on the island, though it is an easy matter for Muslims: "The Land Registry office has admitted to preventing non-Muslims from buying property, citing a National Security Council (MGK) decision, but refused to give further details."

Christian persecution in Nigeria


Long a troubled nation, Nigeria now risks religious war. So far the killing essentially runs one way: Islamic extremists kill Christians. President Goodluck Jonathan has responded with good intentions and occasional arrests, including of a terrorist leader last Friday. However, if the government is unable to stop the killing the country's future will be at risk. 

Like so many other former colonies, Nigeria stumbled almost immediately after gaining independence. Blessed with oil, it has suffered through multiple corrupt and repressive governments. It now is a functioning democracy, but the political process is complicated by the need to balance the ambitions of the Muslim north and Christian south.

Maintaining political peace has been made more urgent by persistent sectarian violence. The State Department emphasizes that "The constitution and other laws and policies protect religious freedom and, in practice, the government generally enforced these protections." Unfortunately, the lack of state persecution does not protect Nigerians against private violence.

Observed the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom in its most recent report, "Since 1999, more than 14,000 Nigerians have been killed in religiously-related violence between Muslims and Christians. The government of Nigeria continues to fail to prevent and contain acts of religiously-related violence, prevent reprisal attacks, or bring those responsible for such violence to justice." Muslim-dominated states in northern Nigeria also have applied Sharia law as part of their criminal codes and discriminated "against minority communities of Christians and Muslims."

The greatest threat today is the group Boko Haram, which has been active for three years. The group now appears to have at least some contacts with al Qaeda affiliates and some members have been discovered in Mali. Unfortunately, the organization has been steadily expanding its reach. The State Department's latest religious freedom report observed that "Violence, tension, and hostility between Christians and Muslims increased, particularly in the Middle Belt [divided roughly equally between Muslims and Christians], exacerbated by 'indigene' (native) and settler laws, discriminatory employment practices, and resource competition."

International Christian Concern regularly puts Nigeria in its Hall of Shame and similarly reported increased attacks on Christians in 2010 in the Middle Belt. According to ICC, "The year's worst attack occurred on March 7, as Muslims invaded villages around the [Plateau state] capital city of Jos. The mobs attacked sleeping families in their homes at 2 a.m. with machetes. More than 500 Christians were murdered that day, most of whom were women and children." Killings of Christians continued in nearby villages throughout the year.

Since then the situation has worsened. Observed State: "Violence between Christian and Muslim communities increased in several regions arising from complex factors, including economic disparity, ethnic identity, and seasonal migration patterns. Acute communal violence in the Middle Belt heightened tensions between religious groups." Yet, "even in areas outside the Middle Belt that did not otherwise experience violence, tensions remained between Christians and Muslims."

The growing violence is a genie that cannot easily be returned to the bottle. Noted the Commission: "The past year saw a dramatic rise in sectarian or religiously-related violence." Post-election riots in the north against the election of Jonathan, a Christian, killed some 800 people. "Although triggered by political issues, the post-election violence quickly became sectarian. In addition, Boko Haram, a militant group that espouses an extreme and violent interpretation of Islam, has been emboldened by the climate of impunity."

The group, whose name means "Western education is sacrilege," is deadly serious. No bromides about representing a "religion of peace." Added the Commission: "Boko Haram has shifted its tactics and emphasis by targeting, killing, and bombing Christians and Christian clergy and threatening to kill all remaining Christians in the north, while continuing its attacks against government officials, as well as killing hundreds of Muslims, including Muslim religious leaders who spoke out against the group." Also targeted have been Western-style schools in the north, which provide an education beyond memorization of the Koran.

Boko Haram does some of its killing retail, one by one. In March in the Muslim-majority city of Maiduguri, the terrorist group killed the 79-year-old mother of a local pastor. Her throat was slit with a note in Arabic placed on her chest, proclaiming that "We will get you soon."

However, the group also murders wholesale, attacking church services. For instance, April was not a good month for Nigerian Christians. Reported the Economist: "In Kano, a city in northern Nigeria, gunmen on motorbikes killed at least 20 Christian worshippers in a university lecture theater where churches hold their weekly services. They threw small bombs into the church before shooting those trying to flee. In another attack on a church service in the northeast town of Maiduguri shooters opened fire, killing five people including the priest. Seven people were killed on Monday in a bomb targeting a police commissioner's convoy in the eastern town of Jolingo in the usually peaceful Taraba state."

It could have been worse. On Easter Sunday in the city of Kaduna a suicide bomber was blocked from getting into the compound of two Protestant churches. Instead, he detonated his bomb on a nearby road, which still killed 41 people. Later the same day there was a bombing in the city of Jos, which killed one person and injured others. Last Christmas 44 people were killed by a church bombing in Abuja, the nation's capital.

No one claimed responsibility for the April murders, though they looked like the work of Boko Haram. However, warned the Economist, "it is becoming increasingly difficult to tell when Boko Haram is responsible for such violence and when other groups, inspired by their methods, are to blame." Boko Haram has destroyed an incredible 350 churches throughout northern Nigeria over the past year. So far this year the group is estimated to have killed nearly 500 people.

Nigeria's Catholic leaders have called on Muslim leaders to speak out and act to end the violence. Like in Pakistan many Nigerian Muslims send their children to Islamiyya, or religious, schools, which provide few practical skills. Educator Rotimi Eyitayo observed: "Those who stop going to school don't get education, they become a menace." In a country with too few jobs some of these ill-educated and unskilled appear open to Boko Haram's call.



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Friday, May 18, 2012

Jihad in Africa


Security is deteriorating rapidly for Christians along Africa's notorious ethnic-religious fault-line: roughly between the 5 to 10 degree north parallels. Genocidal Islamic jihad has displaced Christians in Somalia, Sudan, South Sudan, Nigeria, Mali and Ivory Coast.

Multitudes of predominantly Christian, ethnically southern Ivorian refugees feel forgotten. Displaced during the French-backed Islamic coup of April 2011, they remain desperate and vulnerable, unable to return home because their homes and farms have been occupied by pro-Ouattara supporters who are being protected by armed 'dozos' from the north. Appointed by Ouattara's Republican Forces (former 'rebels') to crack down on crime, 'dozos' are a 'brotherhood of initiated traditional hunters renowned for their mystical powers'.

Further to this, terrorist groups such as al-Shabaab in Somalia and Kenya, the Government of Sudan, Boko Haram in Northern Nigeria and eastern Mali and Ansar Dine in Northern Mali are targeting Christians continually. These groups are seeking at the very least the subjugation of Christians and in some places their total eradication. The jihadists receive support from Islamist governments and from al-Qaeda in the Islamic Maghreb (AQIM) which gets most of its funds from trafficking drugs, weapons and human beings.


Jihad in Sudan


Compass Direct News (CDN) is reporting that security agents in Sudan’s South Darfur state have closed down the Nyala offices of the Sudan Council of Churches (SCC) and relief group Sudan Aid, sources said.

CDN says that agents from the Sudanese National Intelligence and Security Service (NISS) arrived at the organizations’ compound in Nyala at 8 a.m. on April 22, ordered SCC staff members to hand over keys of offices and vehicles and, without explanation, ordered them to leave immediately, an SCC staff worker said.

Three staff members from Sudan Aid were arrested in the course of the closure and were taken to an undisclosed location, the source said,” the CDN story went on to say. “NISS agents also closed down a church clinic that was serving the needy in the area.

The actions came as Christianity is increasingly regarded as a foreign faith to be excised from Sudan, which has begun transporting ethnic South Sudanese to South Sudan following the latter’s secession last year.”

An estimated 350,000 ethnic South Sudanese, many of them Christian, remain in the Islamic north, with many having never lived anywhere else. Sources told Compass the incident left churches in South Darfur, one of five states that makes up the Darfur region, deeply disturbed and frightened.

Sudanese aerial forces bombed a Sudanese Church of Christ building on March 28 in the al-Buram area of South Kordofan state, eyewitnesses from the area told Compass by phone. The sources added that life is becoming more difficult for Christians in South Kordofan as the Sudan government mobilizes Arab tribes, arming them with guns to kill the ethnic Nuba people. 

 

Jihad in Syria


www.OpenDoorsUSA.org.

Christians living in the ravaged city of Homs, Syria, are facing a nightmare that never seems to end.

The target of a savage bombing campaign, Homs has made headlines around the world. But behind the headlines, another story is emerging. There is disturbing new evidence of intimidation and persecution of Christians in the city.

Before the Syrian uprising against the government – which has left 9,000 dead – began over a year ago, there were an estimated 40,000 Christians in Homs. Now less than 5,000 are left. Most fled because of the conflict. But many are now being driven out. Extremist Sunni Muslim groups have recently started to visit Christian families in Homs, telling them to leave, or else be killed.

"Imagine you are living in Homs in an area where the so-called freedom fighters are entering,” says an Open Doors source. “You hear gunshots and bombs exploding. You can imagine what effect this has. And then one night the extremists knock on your door and they tell you, ‘We are taking over this area so maybe it is time for you to leave.’

From there events unfold rapidly: the anguished discussions with their local Christian leaders, the hurried packing and the long taxi ride through checkpoint after checkpoint.

"You can imagine the anxiety,” he continues. “They ask questions like ‘Lord, where are we heading to? What's the future for us and our children? What will happen to our house?’ They know – or sense – the answer to that: they will lose their home. Many houses abandoned by Christians are already being occupied by those who have driven them out.”

According to the Open Doors source, even when they reach their destination, the problems don’t go away. They end up living in cramped conditions with their host family. There are no jobs, no schooling. Traumatized by their experiences, the children have difficulty sleeping.

This is the situation for an estimated 7,000 Christian families, which are approximately 35.000 persons. Adrift in a distant and unknown place, Christians are looking to Open Doors and other organizations for help.
Open Doors is responding to the pleas for help by providing emergency relief packages to displaced Syrian Christians as well as food and medical supplies where possible.

You (Open Doors) make it possible that we can stay,” a Syrian woman said with a big smile on her face just after she received a relief package in a church building. Recently she fled from Homs to a safer part of the country because of the ongoing violence. The woman is one of the families that found a safe refuge. Churches in Syria try to help the Christian refugees from Homs with supplies. Open Doors helps them in this important relief operation.

An Open Doors worker states: “The aid will help them survive. And it will be enhanced by the other work that Open Doors is doing in Syria such as providing biblical training, trauma counseling and discipleship training. We are also continuing to provide relief for the thousands of Iraqi refugees who are in the country.

But strengthening the church is not just about survival. One of the remarkable things about the present conflict is that the church is taking every opportunity it can to reach out to people. Open Doors is helping Syrian Christians distribute more books and more Bibles than ever before.

In the first few months of the conflict the church as a whole was quite intimidated. But now the church sees it as an opportunity, so there are a few churches that are even more active than before, reaching out to the majority people.”

The Christians in Syria are praying together. “Definitely there is more prayer in the country,” said the Open Doors source. “They pray for stability in the country. They pray for peaceful agreements between government and opposition. They pray for their leaders. They pray for the future of Christians in Syria.”

Open Doors USA President/CEO Dr. Carl Moeller said the rest of the world must also get on their knees in prayer for the Christians in Syria, who are facing an uncertain future.

An estimated 100 million Christians worldwide suffer interrogation, arrest and even death for their faith in Christ, with millions more facing discrimination and alienation.


On another note, the patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church Gregorios III denounces the silence of th e Western Press.(Agoravox)."There is no more Revolution, there are no more demonstrations.There are only banditry and the world refuses to acknowledge. "These words are not those of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, nor those of his ministers, or those of a member of any Arab government support the plan, but those of the Patriarch of the Melkite Greek Catholic Church, whose home is in Damascus.

The prelate did not use vague terms to describe the current state of crisis which is immersed in Syria, "foreign elements have entered the country and have even started beating the Christians, who had to leave Homs given the dangerousness of the situation, "said the patriarch who did not hide some dissatisfaction vis-à-vis the situation considered too soft Vatican towards him.

Gregory III then lashed to the European press with which he dealt during recent visits to the Old World to tell precisely what was happening in Syria. "I do not condone the regime as i have been heard in France, but I support a reality. The newspapers are stereotyped, have unique sources and are not ready to listen to anyone, not even me, "the prelate suggested that currently we do not hesitate to speak of a true" dictatorship of the press service of the United States. " The patriarch has even told a story came to the nephew of a bishop working in Dubai (UAE), who, on his way to work one day, heard a man behind him announce on the phone that he was in Homs, while government troops were an assault on the city, killing women and children."We talked about the plot, but it is far worse than that: there is an international will to harm Syria," said Gregory II 

 

Islamists urge forest fire Jihad


The men who launched al Qaeda's English-language magazine may have died in a U.S. missile strike last fall, but "Inspire" magazine lives on without them -- and continues to promote jihadi attacks on Western targets, offering detailed advice on how to start huge forest fires in America with timed explosives and how to build remote-controlled bombs.

Two new issues of "Inspire" magazine have surfaced on jihadi forums, the first since radical cleric Anwar al-Awlaki and chief Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula propagandist Samir Khan were killed by missiles from a U.S. drone over Yemen on September 30, 2011. The magazines eulogize Awlaki and Khan as the "spirit" and the "tongue" of "Inspire" respectively, but deny that their deaths will stop the magazine or jihad.

The second of the two issues seems to have been prepared after Khan and Awlaki's deaths. "To the disappointment of our enemies," says one of the articles, "issue 9 of Inspire magazine is out against all odds ... The Zionists and the Crusaders thought that the magazine was gone with the martyrdom of Shaykh Anwar and brother Samir. Yet again, they have failed to come to terms with the fact that the Muslim ummah is the most fertile and most generous mother that gives birth to thousands and thousands of the likes of Shaykh Anwar and brother Samir."



Islamic hate for a dead Pope


Inasmuch as the recent death of Coptic Pope Shenouda III exposed the humanity of some Muslims, it also exposed the inhumanity of Islamic teachings.

Consider some examples of Muslim sympathy following his death: Egypt’s Al Akhbar newspaper called the Pope’s burial “the funeral of the century,” reporting that a million Egyptians—likely more Muslims than Christians—came out to mourn him; “His death is a tragedy and a great loss for Egypt and its people, Muslims and Christians,” declared Egypt’s Grand Mufti; a recent episode of Al Dalil, famous for criticizing Islam, gave several more examples of Egyptian Muslims mourning and sympathizing with their Christian counterparts—including one Muslim who had tried to give his kidney to the ailing Pope.

In short, human nature took over.  Some of Egypt’s Muslims saw in Pope Shenouda a beloved national figure—much to the chagrin of Islam’s clerics, like Khaled Abdullah, who, in amazement, said, “I can’t believe it—what I saw today [the Pope’s funeral], I can’t believe it.  If a Companion [of Muhammad, among Islam’s most revered people] died we wouldn’t do this for him,” adding that Muslim participation and mourning in the funeral was “hurtful to the feelings of 80 million Muslims.”

Accordingly, Islam’s clerics rushed in, pointing out Sharia law’s teachings concerning the death of an infidel, or non-Muslim, like Pope Shenouda.  Fatwas appeared, many saying it is forbidden to offer condolences to the Copts, others saying it is permissible—but through carefully crafted words, and in the hopes of attracting Copts to Islam (reminding one of Sheikh Muhammad Hassan’s assertion that smiling to non-Muslims is permissible, but only as a way to attract them to Islam).  Salafi leader, Yassir al-Burhami, permitted minor condolences—mostly by way of tawriya, using words that console, but that have a generic or pro-Islam meaning—while insisting it is forbidden to pray for deceased infidels (since all non-Muslims are destined and deserving of hell, Koran 9: 113).

The most vicious condemnations came from Sheikh Wagdi Ghoneim, formerly a Californian mosque prayer-leader, who, a day after Pope Shenouda’s death, referred to him as an “accursed criminal” and praised Allah for his death: “Yesterday [March 17], thanks be to Allah, the head of infidelity and polytheism, this so-called Shenouda, died—may Allah be avenged on him.  He perished, and all were relieved of him—people, worshippers, trees, and animals; Egypt is relieved of him, for he initiated sectarian strife.”