Omaha’s Tri-Faith Initiative Mirrors “Pact of Umar”

Omar-450x300By Joe Herring and Dr. Mark Christian:

For those of you unfamiliar with Islamic history, Umar bin al-Khattab – the second Islamic Caliph – made an agreement with the subjugated Christians of Syria setting forth the conditions under which said Christians would be permitted to live in proximity to the conquering Muslims.

This Pact of Umar is the origination of the concept of dhimmitude, a dehumanizing status belonging to subjugated non-Muslims in Islamist societies.

The translation I have re-produced below comes from the stellar book by Raymond Ibrahim, titled Crucified Again.

In return for their lives, the Christians agreed:

Not to build a church in our city—nor a monastery, convent, or monk’s cell in the surrounding areas—and not to repair those that fall in ruins or are in Muslim quarters;

Not to clang our cymbals except lightly and from the innermost recesses of our churches;

Not to display a cross on them [churches], nor raise our voices during prayer or readings in our churches anywhere near Muslims;

Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims;

Not to congregate in the open for Easter or Palm Sunday, nor lift our voices [in lamentation] for our dead nor show our firelights with them near the market places of the Muslims;

Not to display any signs of polytheism, nor make our religion appealing, nor call or proselytize anyone to it;

Not to prevent any of our relatives who wish to enter into Islam;

Not to possess or bear any arms whatsoever, nor gird ourselves with swords;

To honor the Muslims, show them the way, and rise up from our seats if they wish to sit down;

Adhere to these conditions and live. Break these conditions and all bets are off. While this pact was made in the early 7th Century, it is still considered relevant today as evidenced by its widespread application throughout the Middle East.

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) certainly considers these conditions to be quite pertinent to the present-day conduct of interfaith relations. They are enforcing the conditions on the Christian residents of Syria, in addition to the regions they have recently conquered in Iraq.

According to the BBC, ISIS offers a heck of a deal – you must convert to Islam or if you remain Christian, you must accept dhimmi status and pay the jizya, (a tax for non-Muslims only) or… you can just be put to the sword.

As wildly enticing as the first or third choices may appear, most opt for door number two and live out their lives as second-class subjects. This is the hard-tyranny of Islamic supremacy. The inherently political and social nature of Islam and Sharia leave no room for other forms of intersection between believers and unbelievers.

This hard-tyranny is the hallmark of the Caliphate system. Freedom is an unknown concept; liberty is blasphemy in a system that crushes the individual into mortar paste for the building of greater Islam.

The global left views the advent of a new Caliphate as something akin to an Islamic version of the European Union, an economic and political alliance designed to trade with the rest of the world on an equal footing. Nothing could be further from the truth.

The Caliphate is a means toward an end; that end being Islamic dominance. The Caliphate is merely the structural entity that will administer Sharia throughout an Islamist-controlled world.

Considering the recent proliferation of “interfaith” initiatives throughout Western Europe and the United States, it seems prudent to give more than a cursory glance to the preferred ground-rules of the Islamists, and to examine the role such interfaith efforts might play in an expanding the Caliphate system.

One such interfaith initiative, here in Omaha, Nebraska intends to co-locate a Mosque, a Synagogue and a Church on the same campus.

There is a “Memorandum of Understanding” (MOA) that governs the interaction between the three faiths that make up the Tri-Faith Initiative, as they call themselves. It lays the ground rules for everything from site planning, to building design and subsequent use.

Read more at Front Page

Joe Herring writes from Omaha, Nebraska and welcomes visitors to his website at www.readmorejoe.comDr. Mark Christian, a former Muslim, is the Executive Director of the Global Faith Institute, also based in Omaha.

The Conditions Of Omar

caliph-omar-conditions-ofCitizen Warrior:

Greg Hamilton came up with another brilliant idea (to see more of his ideas, subscribe to Malsi-Tung). Hamilton lives in a very Muslim area in Britain and he rides the train a lot. He wanted a way to educate his fellow non-Muslims about Islam without endangering his life. His solution is ingenious: To simply wear a button that says, “Enjoy the conditions of Omar.” It is such an innocent message, and somewhat ambiguous. Certainly nothing to get riled up about, even for a Muslim.

 
Of course, most people won’t know what it means. But most people can Google it, and the curious will. What they’ll find is eye-opening.
 
Ideally, they will find the web site Hamilton has created. If enough counterjihad sites link to it, like I am about to do, his site will rise to the top spot on a Google search for “conditions of Omar.” His site is here. And this is what it says:Dear Reader,

The Pact of Omar was a treaty drawn up between Muhammad’s successor Caliph Omar and the conquered Christians and Jews in his domain. The Pact was based on Muhammad’s treatment of conquered people. It set out the rules Christians and Jews had to abide by in order to be protected from further jihad attacks. This pact formed the basis of the Conditions of Omar.

Verse 9:29 of the Koran sets out the relationship between Muslims and non-Muslims. It says,

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture — [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

In Islamic parlance “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews — they have a book (other religions at the time didn’t have a book). Under conquest they had a third choice other than conversion to Islam or death; this was to live under Sharia as inferior people suffering various humiliations, one of which was the jizyah, a tax levied only on non-Muslims. The non-Muslims are known as dhimmis (pronounced dimmees).

The relationship that the Conditions set up has the following characteristics:

  • Jihad violence is held off (like a dragon on a chain) as long as the dhimmis do not breach the Conditions
  • If the Conditions are breached (even by one dhimmi) the jihad violence is resumed against any or all of the dhimmi community
  • Dhimmis therefore lived in a state of permanent vulnerability and fear. Each dhimmi and the dhimmi community as a whole faced a perpetual concern lest anyone breached the Conditions and brought about catastrophe
Other than paying the non-Muslim poll tax or jizyah what conditions had to be kept?Dhimmis were forbidden from:

  • Criticizing or mocking Islam or Muhammad. Only praise for Islam and Muhammad was allowed
  • Criticizing the Conditions of Omar: the very conditions of subjugation under which they lived
  • Testifying against a Muslim in court
  • Studying Islam – thus keeping them ignorant of its teachings
  • Cursing a Muslim
  • Raising a hand against a Muslim, even in self-defense, on pain of having it amputated
  • Displaying their religious symbols

These are only a sample of the Conditions, chosen to highlight why they are relevant today — which I will come to later. There were geographical and historical variants on the Conditions but they all held to the same theme — the humiliation and subjugation of non-Muslims and the maintenance of multiple forms of discrimination against them.

The Conditions also worked in conjunction with each other. For example, if a Muslim accused a Christian of a capital offence, such as trying to convert a Muslim, the Christians’ own testimony was not valid in their defence.

Dhimmis were ‘protected’ as long as they met the Conditions. If a dhimmi community (or any member of it) broke the Conditions it was the duty of the local Muslim community to restart the jihad against them.

The Conditions also worked in conjunction with each other. For example, if a Muslim accused a Christian of a capital offence, such as trying to convert a Muslim, the Christians’ own testimony was not valid in their defence.

Dhimmis were ‘protected’ as long as they met the Conditions. If a dhimmi community (or any member of it) broke the Conditions it was the duty of the local Muslim community to restart the jihad against them.

A key outcome of this scenario is the desire of non-Muslims to avoid confrontations with Muslims and to police one another to prevent deviant individuals destroying the ‘protection’ of the Conditions.

Pakistan is a Muslim country where the Conditions of Omar are operating to some degree today. In March 2013, because one Christian was accused of blasphemy, some 3,000 Muslims attacked the Christian Joseph Colony of Lahore, burning two churches and 160 Christian homes.

In 2009 in Gojra, eight Christians were burned alive, 100 houses looted and 50 homes set ablaze after another blasphemy accusation.

We can see why dhimmis live in a state of perpetual concern for the potential impact of their personal actions on their whole community.

May 5th 2014, Bangladesh, a 3,000 strong Muslim mob attacked Hindu households and a temple after two youths were alleged to have slandered the ‘prophet’ Muhammad on Facebook.

These are just a few examples to show how the Conditions are applied in practise and that they are still active today. Islam as a body of belief has never discarded them and never will because, realistically, it can’t. You can read many more examples of the Conditions in action today if you look up Raymond Ibrahim’s Bulletin of Christian Persecution online. His book, “Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christianity” is also very informative.

You might like to believe that the application of Islamic law or Sharia is receding. It isn’t. Over the last 60 years Sharia worldwide has been extending and intensifying. See here.

And that brings us to the here and now.

Muslim minorities in non-Muslim countries have brought Sharia with them. The Conditions of Omar are simply a subset of Sharia which sets out how Muslims should deal with non-Muslims under conquest.

You might well say that what Muslims do to Hindus or Christians or other non-Muslims in Bangladesh or Pakistan is none of our business. That is called the death of conscience.

You might well say that we have not been conquered. That is only partly true. A process of conquest is underway.

The Conditions of Omar are being established today right under our noses. They may not be coming about because we are under occupation but they are being established as norms of behaviour. Sometimes we are imposing the Conditions on ourselves as a gesture of goodwill or to prevent discrimination; sometimes we are imposing them due to fear of jihad terrorism or angry rioting; sometimes they are established by default.

One of the subtle ways we are surrendering to the Conditions is by policing what non-Muslims can say about Islam and Muslims. See thisexample.

Anyone living among Muslims today knows that being openly critical of Islam or Muhammad is risky. Plenty of examples have set the precedent: in 2004 Theo van Gogh was murdered for making a film critical of Islamic attitudes to women; in 1989 Salman Rushdie was forced into hiding after writing The Satanic Verses, his Japanese translator was murdered; in 2004 the Danish cartoons episode erupted in which 162 people around the world were killed during protests, again demonstrating how some Muslims will kill people totally unrelated to the ‘offence’.

These are a small selection but they point to two clear principles: (1) the author of something considered critical of Islam is liable to be killed; (2) anyone can be killed in revenge against the non-Muslim world. Both of these conform to rules set out in the Conditions.

As a result of such actions and threats most publications refused to print the cartoons. Public figures came to the defence of a religion they knew nothing about. Those seeking to rock the boat further by printing the cartoons became the targets of condemnation rather than the Muslims threatening violence.

Again, this conforms to the Conditions and the behaviour of dhimmi populations who feel vulnerable and threatened. The dhimmi populations turn to self-policing in order to prevent deviant individuals triggering violence from Muslims. This strategy buys into the idea that its entirely up to non-Muslims to refrain from behaviour which upsets Muslims — a dhimmi outlook.

The principle has become established that non-Muslims should not confront Muslims about their behaviour or their beliefs. Only praise of Islam is allowed. This is submission – especially in view of the fact that Islamic beliefs call for the conquest and subjugation of non-Muslims.

Read more at Citizen Warrior

ESW at the Prayer Rally for Persecuted Christians

Gates of Vienna, by Baron Bodissey:

Below is the speech given by Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff at the Prayer Rally for Persecuted Christians on May 17, 2014. The event was organized by Burning Bush Ministries and held at Trinity Lutheran Church in Orlando. Elisabeth was introduced by the Rev. Bruce Lieske.

Many thanks to Alan Kornman of The United West for recording and uploading this video:

Below is the prepared text for Elisabeth’s speech:

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I bring you warm greetings from my country, Austria, and from my city, Vienna.

It was in Vienna, on the 60th anniversary of the signing of the “United Nations Charter of Human Rights,” that an awesome idea was born: Why not use the date of the signing — the 10th of December — to advocate for persecuted Christians around the world, to call attention to their plight, and to push for action to be taken against oppression, torment and discrimination?

Although some fundamental human rights — such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression and freedom of assembly — are still available for many Christians in the world, other rights are restricted or non-existent. In some places Christians cannot own property, and Christian householders have no rights. And even worse: Christians in numerous countries are tortured, raped and murdered. Every year 200,000 of them are killed because of their religious beliefs.

The greatest suffering endured by Christians occurs in Islamic countries. According to the index of global persecution published by the respected organization Open Doors, of the ten countries in which Christians are intimidated and persecuted most aggressively, nine of them are Islamic by government or culture. It must be stressed that the persecution and suppression of Christians is encouraged — and even mandated — by Islamic law, or sharia, which is based on Islamic scriptures.

So it was appropriate to connect the anniversary of the declaration of human rights with the worst form of its abuse. It was decided in Vienna was to bring the persecution of Christians into public consciousness. We want to give the victims a face, because the phenomenon of Christian persecution is generally ignored or suppressed in the West.

It was decided in Vienna to give voice to the voiceless by holding a press conference with materials to hand out, to make personal contacts, to take a torchlight walk from the Opera to Saint Stephen’s — the most beautiful and important cathedral in the land — and finally, to celebrate an ecumenical divine service with the participation of the most diverse Christian denominations — especially those from regions which suffer the greatest persecution.

A growing variety of organizations supported the platform of “solidarity with persecuted Christians”. At the initiative of the Wiener Akademikerbund, church-based institutions, aid organizations, academic and civil associations, and dedicated individuals came together to set an example and mobilize support. The 24 participating organizations made certain throughout the year that the subject was not forgotten in their own fields of activity. To date, six days of action have been arranged, to give a media presence to this sad subject, to strengthen solidarity, and to encourage practical help for the victims. The money collected during each day of action was to be donated to a project chosen by the day’s honored guest.

The distinguished guest on the most recent day of action — December 10, 2013 in Vienna — is here with us today. Sister Hatune Dogan is a Syrian Orthodox nun representing the foundation she created, which has already helped thousands of persecuted and destitute Christians. She is the link between Vienna and Orlando, where the idea of a torchlight march for “Solidarity with persecuted Christians” has been adopted and publicized for the first time in the United States. Members of the Viennese group are delighted at the American initiative and impressed by the spiritual power and enthusiasm of the organizers of today’s event. The members of Austria’s “Solidarity with persecuted Christians” in the heart of Europe send their sisters and brothers in the USA a spirit-filled welcome and a prayers for the success of this day, and for a firm foundation of the cause. And the Viennese initiators hope that this action will become a lasting institution and a model for other parts of the USA. May the Good Lord bless this endeavor and uphold the formation of an extended fellowship of like-minded platforms.

The Viennese organizers platform have learned that a sense of solidarity is important not only for our sisters and brothers in critical regions of the Middle East. Unfortunately, Christian persecution is also a real and growing problem in our own Western lands. This oppressive situation takes different shapes in our countries. It disguises itself in the deceptive forms of suppression of opinion, denigration, and discrimination, and includes so much hostility that churches are vandalized — as happened earlier this spring in Vienna, when a man vandalized six churches, even setting fire to one.

As the dominant Christian culture in Western countries becomes more hollowed out, even greater hostility to Christians may be expected. Our platform activities should focus on this growing danger and do battle against it. In this, too, your friends in Vienna encourage the organizers of the program here in Orlando, and wish you all the best. May God’s rich blessings be upon you!

***********

Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff discusses dhimmitude at the Roundtable in Orlando, May 16 2014:

Published May 23,2014 by Ban Koran

Enforcing Islamic Law at Brandeis

AHABy Diana West:

When Brandeis University withdrew an honorary degree for Ayaan Hirsi Ali after a student-professor firestorm branded her an “Islamophobe,” the campus in effect declared itself an outpost of Islamic law, American-style. Officially, Brandeis is now a place where critics of Islam – “blasphemers” and “apostates,” according to Islamic law – are scorned and rejected.

Not that Brandeis put it that way in its unsigned announcement about Hirsi Ali’s dis-invitation, which notes: “She is a compelling public figure and advocate for women’s rights, and we respect and appreciate her work to protect and defend the rights of women and girls throughout the world. That said, we cannot overlook … her past statements that are inconsistent with Brandeis University’s core values.”

Translation: Hirsi Ali’s advocacy on behalf of brutalized women is Good, but Hirsi Ali’s “past statements” – advocacy that connects such violence to Islamic teachings – are Bad, or, in faddish twaddle, “Islamophobia.” As a dhimmi (non-Muslims under Islamic law) institution, Brandeis cannot possibly honor the infidel.

Islamic blasphemy laws sanction the death penalty for exactly the kind of criticism of Islam ex-Muslim Hirsi Ali has engaged in: hence, the innumerable death threats she has received for over a decade; and hence, the ritual Islamic slaughter of Hirsi Ali’s co-producer, Theo van Gogh, for “Submission,” their short film about specifically Islamic violence and repression of women. In the U.S. (so far), punishment for such “transgressions” against Islam usually resembles an aggressive form of blackballing. There are horrifying exceptions, however, including the decision to prosecute and incarcerate Nakoula Basseley Nakoula, producer of “Innocence of Muslims,” for “parole violations.” To be sure, when it comes to participating in the 21st-century public square – in this case, donning academic robes and making valedictory remarks – “Islamophobes” need not apply.

This has long been the case. But we have reached a new nadir when a courageous figure of Hirsi Ali’s stature is publicly lashed for expressing herself about the perils that Islamic teachings pose to women’s rights and, more generally, human rights. Brandeis, however, deems such opinions “hate speech” – exactly the phrase used in an online student petition against Hirsi Ali. After all, name-calling is so much simpler than having to mount an argument. And so much more effective as a political weapon.

In our post-Orwellian time, “hate speech” means publicly reviled speech. A “hate-speaker” thus becomes fair game for public humiliation – exactly what Brandeis chose to inflict on Hirsi Ali. The humiliation, however, is Brandeis’ alone.

For what “core values” is Brandeis protecting? Denial. Orthodoxy. Cant. Lori Lowenthal Marcus, writing in The Jewish Press, excerpted Facebook comments by Bernadette Brooten, a Brandeis professor of Near Eastern and Judaic Studies, in which Brooten described the anti-Hirsi-Ali letter she and 85 other Brandeis professors signed. “We stressed that we recognize the harm of female genital cutting, forced marriages, and honor killings, but that this selection obscures the violence against women that happens among non-Muslims, including on our own campus,” Brooten wrote. “I recognize the harm of gendered violence wherever it occurs, and I applaud the hard, effective work of many Muslims who are working to oppose it in their own communities.”

Whether Brandeis counts as a hotbed of “gendered violence” aside (let alone the predominantly Islamic phenomena of female genital mutilation, forced marriages and honor killings), Brooten has underscored the source of animus against Hirsi Ali. Her “selection” for university honors “obscures” non-Muslim violence against women, Brooten writes, but what I think disturbs the professors more is what Hirsi Ali has done – what her whole life experience signifies – to highlight the violence against women and children that is legitimized and inspired by specifically and authoritatively Islamic sources. Thanks in part to Brandeis, such sources are increasingly relegated to the list of post-9/11 taboos.

Never say Islam has anything to do with terrorism. Don’t ever, ever draw a cartoon of Muhammad. Oppose “gendered violence” (there’s no such thing as Islamic-rooted violence against women). Ostracize or humiliate “apostates” like Hirsi Ali (at least until real Islamic apostasy law becomes applicable here). In other words, protect, coddle and swathe Islam from the barbs and scrutiny that all other religions receive – or else. Or else what? Citizens might decide to halt Islamic immigration or “refugee resettlement” because it brings Islamic law to the West.

Then again, those laws are already here – and in force at Brandeis.

*************

As for the politics of all this, Mark Steyn nails it in an interview with Jamie Weinstein of The Daily Caller:

MARK STEYN: Well, Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali woman, a black, feminist Somali who was raised in a brutal, extreme Islamic upbringing where she underwent female genital mutilation, and she was put in an arranged marriage and all the rest of it. And she managed to escape to the Netherlands and get elected to the Dutch Parliament, and she made a film about the state of Muslim women, about the life of women in the Muslim world called Submission. She wrote the film. The guy who directed it is Theo Van Gogh. The film so outraged Muslims in Amsterdam that one of them murdered him, all but decapitated him in the street. His last words were, “Can’t we just talk about it?”, and the guy didn’t want to talk about it. He all but decapitated him, and his final act was to pin a letter and use a knife to stab it through what was left of Theo Van Gogh’s chest, pledging among other things to do the same to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.

Now she could have done what a lot of people would do. She could have moved to New Zealand, gone into hiding… changed her name, had a quiet life. And instead, she has lived with that death threat and many others, and had the courage to speak out against it. Most of us are never called upon to be that brave. Most of us will never have to actually weigh those odds the way Ayaan did. And no one’s asking these ghastly squishes at Brandeis to show that kind of courage. All this pathetic president – I want to get his name right, I’ve got it written down here… Frederick Lawrence. All this wretched nothing eunuch man, Frederick Lawrence, had to do – he didn’t have to show courage on that scale – all he had to do was not cave in to pressure group bullies and allow this woman to speak and receive the worthless honorary degree from his worthless institution. These guys won’t defend western civilization, and so western civilization will die, because it depends on the defense of losers like this guy.

JAMIE WEINSTEIN: And people when they get honorary degrees, it’s not like they only go to non-political people. Universities have awarded them in the recent past to people that want Israel to be wiped off the map and destroyed. Is that not right?

MS: Yeah, that’s true. And that was Brandeis, a guy called Tony Kushner… I stand back and occasionally roll my eyes at the dreary left-wing hacks invited to give commencement speeches, garlanded with state honors, things that if you trend to the right side of the spectrum, you know you’re going to be labeled ‘controversial conservative’, and you’ll never get anywhere near. But this woman is a black, feminist atheist from Somalia. And so what we’re learning here, which is fascinating, in the hierarchy of progressive-politics identity-group victimhood, Islam trumps everything. Islam trumps gender. The fact that she’s a woman doesn’t matter. It trumps race. The fact that she’s black doesn’t matter. It trumps secularism. The fact that she’s an atheist doesn’t matter. They wouldn’t do this if it was a Christian group complaining about her, if it was a Jewish group complaining about her. But when the Islamic lobby group says oh, no, we’re not putting up with this, as I said, these jelly-spined nothings at Brandeis just roll over for them.

Western Ignorance of the ‘Conditions of Omar’

Church in RaqqaBy Raymond Ibrahim:

A jihadi group occupying the Syrian town of Raqqa recently gave Christian minorities living there three choices: 1) convert to Islam, 2) remain Christian but pay tribute and accept third-class subject status, or 3) die by the sword.

According to the BBC, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria issued a directive

citing the Islamic concept of “dhimma”, [which] requires Christians in the city to pay tax of around half an ounce (14g) of pure gold in exchange for their safety. It says Christians must not make renovations to churches, display crosses or other religious symbols outside churches, ring church bells or pray in public.  Christians must not carry arms, and must follow other rules imposed by ISIS (also known as ISIL) on their daily lives.  The statement said the group had met Christian representatives and offered them three choices—they could convert to Islam, accept ISIS’ conditions, or reject their control and risk being killed.  “If they reject, they are subject to being legitimate targets, and nothing will remain between them and ISIS other than the sword,” the statement said.

Because several Western media outlets uncharacteristically reported on this latest atrocity against Syrian Christians, many Westerners are shocked—amazed to hear of such draconian conditions.

In reality, however, these three choices are fully grounded in Islamic teachings, as shall be demonstrated below.

So why is the West, here in the “information age,” utterly if not abhorrently ignorant of the teachings of Islam?   Because those responsible for making such knowledge available—specifically academia, media, and government—are more interested in whitewashing Islam andbemoaning Islamophobia (see pgs. 219-249 of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for specifics).

Western Dissembling

Most symbolic of all this is that right around the same time news that jihadis were subjugating and extorting jizya-money from Syrian Christians appeared, the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding at Georgetown University, Washington D.C.,  held a seminar discussing how Islam is misunderstood and being demonized by so-called “Islamophobes.”

I have direct experience of this.  Many years ago, as a graduate student at Georgetown University’s Center for Contemporary Arab Studies, my interest in medieval Islamic history, Sharia, and jihad received askance looks from professors—not least because most classes offered were about the evils of colonialism and Orientalism, or Islamic “feminism.”

It was the same when I worked at the African and Middle Eastern Division of the Library of Congress, a governmental institution; there, our conferences regularly focused on the purported achievements of Islamic civilization.

As for the endemic Muslim persecution of Christians—past or present—apparently only an “Islamophobe” would raise that topic up.

Speaking of government, also around the same time jihadis were giving Christians the three classic choices of Islam—conversion, subjugation, or death—a delegation of Syrian Christian clergy came to the Senate Arms Services Committee meeting room to offer testimony concerning the sufferings of Syria’s Christians.  Then,

Sen. John McCain marched into the committee room yelling, according to a high-level source that attended the meeting, and quickly stormed out. “He was incredibly rude,” the source told Judicial Watch “because he didn’t think the Syrian church leaders should even be allowed in the room.” Following the shameful tantrum McCain reentered the room and sat briefly but refused to make eye contact with the participants, instead ignoring them by looking down at what appeared to be random papers. The outburst was so embarrassing that Senator Graham, also an advocate of U.S. military intervention in Syria, apologized for McCain’s disturbing outburst. “Graham actually apologized to the group for McCain’s behavior,” according to the source, who sat through the entire meeting. “It was truly unbelievable.”

Less dramatically but equally revealing, CIA chief John Brennan recently declared that the ideology of those offering Christians three choices is “a perverse and very corrupt interpretation of the Koran,” one that has “hijacked” Islam and “really distorted the teachings of Muhammad.”

And if the attempts to suppress the reality of Christian suffering under Islam by academia, media, and government were not enough, months and years back, when the plight of Syria’s Christians was becoming known, even random (but supposedly nonbiased and independent) think tanks and writers also tried to suppress it.

Is it any wonder, then, that Christians in Syria being offered three choices—Islam, subjugation, or death—is mindboggling to the average person in the West, appearing as a wild aberration?

The Conditions of Omar

Yet knowledge of the particulars of Islam’s three-fold choice has been available for centuries; early Western peoples were much acquainted with it, including the now much maligned “Orientalists.”

Whereas Koran 9:29 provides divine sanction to fight the “People of the Book”  (namely, Christians and Jews) “until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued,” the lesser known Conditions of Omar (also known as the Pact of Omar) lays out in detail how they are to feel themselves subdued.

Named after the second caliph, Omar bin al-Khattab (r. 634 to 644), the Conditions was purportedly agreed upon between the caliph and a community of Christians conquered by invading Muslims, ironically in the region of Syria.  It has since been referenced in most major works on the treatment of dhimmis—non-Muslims living under Islamic authority.

Read more at PJ Media

Unprecedented Christian Persecution in Iran: UN Report

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad.

BY RYAN MAURO:

A new United Nations report concludes that the persecution of Christians in Iran is at unprecedented levels. A minimum of 50 Christians are in prison, with the most famous inmate being American Pastor Saeed Abedini. Evangelical ministries see the regime as trying to suppress a rising tide of conversions to Christianity.

The report states that 35 of the 42 Christians arrested last year were guilty of forming “house churches,” where church services, Bible studies and even baptisms happen in someone’s home. The punishment for this crime against Iran’s theocracy is one to 10 years behind bars.

The U.N. report shows that the oppression under the “moderate” President Rouhani is even greater than what it was under the more vocally extreme President Ahmadinejad. That is because every Islamist believes in sharia governance, so any increase in Christian numbers will lead to an increase in arrests of Christians.

The number of Christians in Iran was miniscule before the 1979 Islamic Revolution, by some accounts numbering in the low hundreds. Amazingly, the takeover of oppressive theocrats acted like a growth hormone for the faith. By claiming to represent Islam, the mullahs made many Muslims second-guess their faith.

Now, it is relatively easy to find atheist or agnostic Iranians or those who practice a reformist, liberal interpretation of their faith compatible with secular democracy. Others turn to other faiths, most commonly evangelical Christianity.

Operation World says that evangelical Christianity is growing faster in Iran than anywhere else in the world, with an estimated annual growth of 19.6%. Todd Nettleton, Director of Media Development forVoice of the Martyrs told me that the church in Iran is “growing at an absolutely phenomenal rate.”

Read more at Clarion Project

What U Penn Teaches Muslim Law Students

20140304_burkajusticeUSAby LANCE SILVER, ANDREW PALASHEWSKY:

Saturday evening, Feb. 22nd, University of Pennsylvania Law School hosted the “Eighth Annual Muslim Law Students Conference,” on the topic of “MUSLIM OBLIGATIONS IN PROMOTING JUSTICE IN AMERICA.” Our interest in Islamic law as American citizens is to learn first-hand exactly what Muslim American law students are being taught.

The fairly innocuous and well-meaning title of the program masked the true intent, which we believe is to lull the audience and our society into a false sense of complacency regarding the real aims and effects of Islamic incursion in our society – which Stephen Coughlin covers in his must-read thesis, ” To Our Great Detriment.”

We were greeted with “As-Salamu ‘ Alaykum” (Peace be upon you), upon entering the conference and by each speaker, prior to presentation. What a comforting greeting. I responded with “Aslim Taslam.”

As is typically the case, conference attendees were highly educated and polite. This is a high-end mix of people who are difficult to fault on any personal level.

The attendees, primarily American and foreign Muslim law students, as well as a few foreign lawyers, presented a mixed canvas racially, yet each person is culturally Islamic and a member of the ummah, the global body of believers. The speakers and each future American lawyer we spoke with advised us that Islam has been misinterpreted for 1,400 years. Isn’t that amazing? As if we had no ability to study the history of Islam from both Muslim and non-Muslim sources on our own.

We are authoring this report in response to what we believe is attempted hoodwinking, enabled by the practice of Taqiyya and Kitman, forms of lying encouraged in Islam, if such lying is to be useful for the spread of Islam. No other religion/culture encourages its adoption by lying. But, because Islam is also a political theory that embodies military notions, the ability to further aims by deception is enshrined in the Qur’an and in Shari’ah, as it would be on the battlefield. The intended recipients of this mendacity were not only us, but the attendees and the law school itself.

The first speaker, Professor Faisal Kutty, presented us with a bogus definition of the terms “jihad” and “Islamophobia.” He spoke of jihad, as if it were apple pie with vanilla ice cream, splitting the term jihad into its normative components – the “Lesser Jihad,” meaning defensive or offensive military struggle, and the “Greater Jihad,” meaning, personal struggle for good against evil. She downplayed the importance of Jihad’s military meaning to relative insignificance, ignoring the vast majority of references in the Qur’an on Jihad, compelling Muslims to wage a military struggle as the Sixth Pillar of Islam.

Jihad is offensive.  Duplicity and deception as tactics to throw off the opponent are inherent in Islam and that’s why Islam states that jihad is purely defensive. In fact, jihad was, and is still, used as the normative call to action in the military conquest of vast tracts of formerly Christian, Jewish ,Hindu lands within 100 years of its founding by Muhammad. That empire still stands in terms of the Islamic culture it forced on the conquered Nations and cultures.

The reality of jihad is that Islam considers itself to be supremacist and must triumph, be victorious, over all other religions and cultures. Islam compels Muslims to spread Islam to all corners of the earth, first by invitation, Aslim Taslam, which means, “Submit and Be At Peace.”

And, if that isn’t effective, then by the sword or forcing subject people to accept Dhimmi status.  Living in dhimmitude relegates subjects to second-class status, with vastly diminished rights, including no right for the Dhimmi peoples to defend themselves.  Muhammad conquered many with that simple statement, Aslim-Taslam, which was intended to strike terror into the hearts of those offered the choice, and it did. This is the beginning of the Muslim Mafia mentality, perfected by the Ikhwan, Wahhabis, al-Qaeda, Taliban, Hezbollah, Hamas etc.

Likening it to the Mafia is no facile rhetoric. Islam offered three choices to the people of the book; Convert, Pay the Jy’izia tax or lose the right to life and property. So when Islam characterized this choice as the benefit of protection, one must ask, protection from whom? Obviously, the answer is protection from Islam, which reserved the right to take life and property if the conditions of conversion or the payment of the Jy’izia tax were not met. How different is this from the Black hand extorting protection money from the neighborhood grocer?

If Islam does not succeed in becoming the world’s only true religion, then Muslims will not have fulfilled Allah’s commands in the Qur’an. Thus, Muslims are obligated to proselytize Islam throughout the world through da’wa and Jihad. Whether violently or nonviolently, this is accomplished with 100% impunity from Allah, as per the Qur’an. One could make the comparison with Christianity being a proselytizing religion, but Christianity as found in the Gospels does not allow the use of violence to spread the faith, whereas, Islam specifically does. Muslims may quote the Koran saying, “There is no compulsion in religion.” But, that statement is superseded and abrogated by later statements in the Koran that enthusiastically endorse violent compulsion in the spread of Islam.

Professor Faisal Kutty went on to make further incredible claims, saying that Terrorism had only killed 5 people in the last ten years. In this, presumably he was referring to within the US, and ignoring events like Major Hassan’s slaughter of fellow military personnel at Fort Hood, Texas. But, he also ignored the more than 10,000 terror attacks worldwide, in the last 10 years; almost all committed by Muslims and in which, ironically, many of the victims were fellow Muslims as well. Thousands of Christians, Jews and Hindus were victims as well.

He also claimed that the popular definition of jihad is only accepted by the Taliban and by al-Qaeda, stating that they had sought to reinterpret the historical meaning of jihad to support their violent means. In this, he ignored 1,400 years of written teaching on Islam readily available from Muslim sources, as well as established treatment of jihad in recognized Sharia sources like, “The Reliance Of The Traveller,”  Shafi’i Shari’ah , Section O9.1- Page 600 – Justice-jihad.

In reality, his analysis is Taqiyya and Kitman. Is this what the law students are taught about jihad by a respected law professor?

Read more: Family Security Matters

Islamic State In Iraq And Syria (ISIS) Forces Poll Tax (Jizya) On Christians Of Al-Raqqa/Syria

Fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham (ISIS) march in Raqqa, Syria. AP Photo/militant website, FileFighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham (ISIS) march in Raqqa, Syria.

Fighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham (ISIS) march in Raqqa, Syria. AP Photo/militant website, FileFighters from the Al-Qaeda-linked Islamic State of Iraq & al-Sham (ISIS) march in Raqqa, Syria.

MEMRI:

The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, which controls the city of Al-Raqqa, announced that it had signed a “Security” pact with the Christian residents of Al-Raqqa in return for their embracing the laws of dhimma – protection. In a statement dated February 23, 2014, that ISIS published in the city, the organization said that it posed three alternatives to Christians who had fled Al-Raqqa, but now sought to return:

  1. Convert to Islam
  2. Accept the conditions of dhimma
  3. Reject these offers and face war

The statement claimed the agreement to sign the pact was reached at a meeting between representatives of ISIS and the Christian community.

The pact’s wording and clauses follow dhimma pacts made by medieval Islamic states, with a few modifications that take consideration of modern developments, such as the ban on using megaphones to broadcast prayers. The text opens with a polemic against Christianity, quoting Quranic verses claiming Islam’s superiority over Christianity and the veracity of Islamic theological positions.

It then states: “This is the protection that Abdallah Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, the commander of the faithful, granted the Christians of Al-Raqqa. He granted security to their lives, their property, their churches and their progeny in Al-Raqqa. Their churches and their surroundings will not be destroyed or harmed, nor will their property. They will not be coerced with regard to their religion [i.e. they will not be forced to convert to Islam], and none of them will be harmed.”

The pact incorporates the following restrictions on the Christians:

  1. They are forbidden to build new churches or rebuild destroyed ones.
  2. They must not showcase crosses or religious books, and they are forbidden to use megaphones to broadcast their prayers.
  3. They must not read their books out loud in front of Muslims or sound their bells.
  4. They must not carry out any hostile actions against ISIS, or provide refuge to spies or persons wanted by ISIS. They must inform ISIS of any “conspiracy” against it.
  5. They must refrain from any display of worship outside their church.
  6. They may not prevent any member of their community from converting to Islam.
  7. They must honor Islam and the Muslims, and not offend their religion in any way.
  8. The Christians committed to pay a poll tax of “4 golden dinars” i.e. 17 grams of gold for the wealthy, 8.5 for middle income owners, and half of that for the poor.
  9. They are forbidden to carry weapons.
  10. They are forbidden to sell pork or wine to the Muslims or publicly consume them.
  11. They must comply with any additional restrictions that ISIS may impose on their dress, trade or other matters.

In conclusion ISIS stated that as long as the Christians comply with these restrictions they will be protected. If they violate them, they will be treated as enemies at war.

See photos of the pact at MEMRI

A report by John Rossomando at IPT states that although Al-Qaida leader Ayman al-Zawahiri has disowned ISIS, this dhimma pact bears the al Qaeda stamp.

The Rushdie Fatwa 25 Years Later

by Daniel Pipes
Feb 14, 2014
Cross-posted from National Review Online, The Corner

Twenty-five years ago today, Ayatollah Khomeini brought his edict down on Salman Rushdie. Iran’s revolutionary leader objected to the author’s magical-realist novel The Satanic Verses because of its insults to the Muslim prophet Muhammad and responded by calling for the execution of Rushdie and “all those involved in the publication who were aware of its contents.”

Salman Rushdie in 1989.

That Rushdie was born in India, lived in Britain, and had no significant connections to Iran made this an unprecedented act of aggression, one that resounded widely at the time and has subsequently had an enduring impact. Indeed, one could argue that the era of “creeping Shari’a” or “stealth jihad” or “lawful Islamism” began on February 14, 1989, with the issuance of that short edict.

If Rushdie, 66, is alive and well (if not exactly flourishing; his writings deteriorated after The Satanic Verses), many others lost their lives in the disturbances revolving around his book. Worse, the long-term impact of the edict has been to constrain the ability of Westerners freely to discuss Islam and topics related to it, what has come to be known as the Rushdie Rules. Long observation of this topic (including a book written in 1989), leads me to conclude that two processes are underway:

First, that the right of Westerners to discuss, criticize, and even ridicule Islam and Muslims has eroded over the years.

Second, that free speech is a minor part of the problem; at stake is something much deeper – indeed, a defining question of our time: will Westerners maintain their own historic civilization in the face of assault by Islamists, or will they cede to Islamic culture and law and submit to a form of second-class citizenship?

Most analyses of the Rushdie Rules focus exclusively on the growth of Islamism. But two other factors are even more important: Multiculturalism as practiced undercuts the will to sustain Western civilization against Islamist depredations while the Left’s making common political cause with Islamists gives the latter an entrée. In other words, the core of the problem lies not in Islam but in the West. (February 14, 2014)

Also see:

Five Signs of Hope (Maybe) for Europe

Prince-Charlesby :

Every now and then readers of this site, while thanking me for my coverage of the Islamization of Europe, have kindly asked if it’s possible for me to provide an occasional break from the endlessly depressing accounts of jihad and appeasement and dhimmitude and, quite simply, report on some good news for a change.

Point taken. Here, in recognition of the hopeful message of Christmas and the New Year’s promise, is a year-end dose of tidings of – well, not great joy, but at least possible positive turnarounds on various fronts.

1. BRITAIN: Walking back a dhimmi policy

The Marks and Spencer story. This one went through the whole cycle (from proud corporate declaration of spineless dhimmitude to meek apology therefor) with incredible – and gratifying – rapidity.

Just a couple of days before Christmas, a customer of the posh London retailer told the Telegraph that a Muslim clerk had refused, albeit politely, to ring up her bottle of champagne because the item offended the clerk’s religious convictions. Confronted with this story, a spokesperson for M&S affirmed that, indeed, out of respect for Islam, the store had a policy of allowing Muslim workers to refuse to serve customers purchasing (for example) alcohol and pork, and to pass these haram customers on to other, less discriminating employees.

Result: a huge public outcry, including a Facebook page promoting an M&S boycott. Within hours, M&S was not only apologizing for its wrongheaded policy but (amusingly) insisting that, in fact, it had no such policy at all, and that in the champagne incident the store’s actual policy had not been properly followed.

2. FRANCE: Walking back a dhimmi report

Here’s another example of outraged reactions to dhimmitude having a real effect. Earlier this month, Le Figaro revealed the contents of a new report – commissioned by France’s socialist prime minister, Jean-Marc Ayrault – which recommended a veritable blizzard of revolutionary acts by the government, from renaming streets and squares after immigrants to prohibiting the mention of transgressors’ ethnicity in the news media. Among much else, school curricula would be dramatically transformed to make them radically multicultural. Accepting the report on November 13, Ayrault promised that the recommendations would be acted upon tout de suite.

Then the protests started pouring in. “It will no longer be up to immigrants to adopt French culture,” charged Jean-Francois Cope, head of the opposition UMP party, “but up to France to abandon its culture, its values, its history to adapt to the culture of others.” Geoffrey Didier, also of UMP, called the report “a crime against republican assimilation and another step in the communitarian strategy of the Socialist Party.” And National Front leader Marine Le Pen denounced it as “a “declaration of war on the French who are calling for an end to the policy of mass immigration and the reaffirmation of our republican laws and values.” The nationwide outrage led one commentator to describe Ayrault as having “shot himself in the foot.” Confronted with the reaction, Ayrault did a snappy about-face, saying meekly: “Just because I get a report doesn’t mean it’s government policy.”

3. BRITAIN: A Prince who May or May Not Be Snapping out of It

Over the years, Prince Charles’s gushing praise of Islam, his enthusiastic participation in Islamic ceremonies, and his occasional references to his own purportedly serious study of the religion have fed speculation that he was either a secret Muslim or was well on his way to becoming one. (A 1997 article in the Middle East Quarterly, entitled “Prince Charles of Arabia,” carefully sifted through the evidence for this proposition.) As recently as 2010, Charles gave a speech extolling Islamic “spiritual principles” as environment-friendly.

How surprising it was, then, to hear the Prince of Wales saying in a speech earlier this month that “we cannot ignore the fact that Christians in the Middle East are, increasingly, being deliberately attacked by fundamentalist Islamist militants.” Underscoring that he had been trying for twenty years “to build bridges between Islam and  Christianity,” he lamented that “we have now reached a crisis where the bridges are rapidly being deliberately destroyed by those with a vested interest in doing so, and this is achieved through intimidation, false accusation and organised persecution, including to Christian communities in the Middle East at the present time.” Refreshingly, he made no apparent attempt to draw a false moral equivalency, to put the crisis down to the usual “interreligious tensions”: no, Charles actually said that Muslims were persecuting Christians, and condemned it outright.

This doesn’t mean he’s now a hero of the counterjihad resistance, but it’s something.

Read more at Front Page

More Slaughter in Muslim Lands; Media, Governments Silent

Muslim Persecution of Christians: October, 2013

By Raymond Ibrahim:

811 (1)Two of the most tragic Islamic attacks on Christians, killing several women and children, took place in the month of October, one in Syria another in Egypt.

On October 21 in Syria, the U.S.-supported Islamic rebels invaded and occupied the ancient Christian settlement of Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the military.  During that week, “the largest massacre of Christians in Syria,” in the words of Orthodox Archbishop Alnemeh, took place.  Among other things, 45 Christians—including women and children—were killed, several tortured to death; mass graves were discovered; all of Sadad’s 14 churches, some ancient, were ransacked and destroyed; the bodies of six people from one family, ranging from ages 16 to 90, were found buried at the bottom of a well (an increasingly common fate for “subhuman” Christians).

The jihadis even made a graphic video (with English subtitles) of those whom they massacred, while shouting Islam’s victory-cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater,” which John McCain equated to a Christian saying “thank God”).  Another video, made after Sadad was liberated, shows more graphic atrocities.

The day before rebels invaded Sadad, on Sunday, October 20, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Warraq near Cairo, Egypt, was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and nearly two dozen wounded.  According to a report issued by forensics, two of those murdered were young girls, each named Mary:  12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (“Masih” meaning “Christ”), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front.

As happens frequently in Egypt and other Islamic nations, the security forces charged with protecting the church were seen leaving their posts immediately before the massacre began.  Similarly, in the words of Asia News, “Eye-witnesses of the al-Warraq attack confirm that despite numerous distress calls, police and ambulances only arrived on the scene two hours after the shooting.”

Both the massacres in Syria and Egypt received scant attention and even less condemnation by Western media and government.  Instead, people like Mohamed Elibiary, an Obama administration Homeland Security advisercondemned Copts who raise awareness of anti-Christian violence in Egypt as promoting “Islamophobic” bigotry.

Similarly, although Christians are habitually killed in Muslim countries—as this monthly series attests—with little condemnation or even acknowledgment by the U.S. government, when five Muslims were killed in western Burma,  the United States, according to Voice of America, formally condemned it, “urging authorities to do more to address the long-standing sectarian tension there.”

The rest of October’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Read more at Gatestone Institute

Victimized by Muslims? You Deserve It

Picture-4-448x350By :

Late one night two years ago, only days before Christmas, two burglars wearing ski masks climbed through an open window into the Oslo home of Arild Opheim and Elin Ruhlin Gjuvsland. The noise they made woke Elin first. She saw a shadow through the bedroom door. Next thing she knew, the two intruders were on top of her and Arild, holding them down on the mattress and saying, in English, “Don’t look. Sleep. If look, we kill.”

The thugs tied up the couple – both of whom have worked for years as journalists and program hosts for NRK, the state TV and radio broadcasting system – and gathered up various items, including computers and telephones. Arild and Elin also handed over their bank cards and pin codes. The men were “very aggressive” – one of them struck Elin in the head with a blunt metal object. But they also attempted, as the couple explained last Friday on the TV talk show Skavlan and in a Dagbladet op-ed, to “win sympathy by telling their story.”

In a mixture of Spanish, Arabic, and broken English, they maintained that they “weren’t evil people” but were “in a desperate situation. They wanted to be able to reside and work and lead a normal life in Norway. But their asylum application had been rejected. Now they had no other choice than to rob us and to get money to return home.” In order to get back home “see their families,” they “needed 20,000 kroner” – about $4000. “They’d had a tough life, while Norwegians had it good.” Arild and Elin, said one of the crooks, deserved what they were getting.

(In fact, no rejected asylum seeker in Norway needs to rob anybody to get home. The Norwegian government pays all the expenses for such repatriation. And then some.)

Soon after the traumatic episode was over, both of the perpetrators were nabbed by cops. One of them, an 18-year-old Algerian who’d lived in Spain for several years, was sentenced to a year and seven months in jail and ordered to pay 60,169 kroner to Elin and 26,847 kroner to Arild. His confederate was arrested in Denmark and placed in a “youth prison,” from which he escaped; he’s now on the lam. As for Arild and Elin, the whole nightmarish experience made them, in their own words, “skittish and careful.” It caused them to think “ugly thoughts about immigrants.” Elin “couldn’t even stand hearing small children speaking Arabic.” Eventually they decided to write a book.

It’s now out, entitled Uninvited Guests. On Skavlan, they said that writing it was their salvation. For after that terrible night, you see, they were in peril – in peril of something far worse than just losing their lives. They were in peril, quite simply, of viewing themselves, and being viewed by others, as racists.

Read more at Front Page

Islamic History Month Comes to Manitoba, Canada

045-1008071838-canadian-muslim-450x327By :

[What will it include?]

A few weeks ago, in an extraordinary act of dhimmitude, Manitoba became the first Canadian province to proclaim October as Islamic History Month, a month designed to recognize the province’s “flourishing Muslim community.” Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Christine Melnick gushed that “In Manitoba we value and cherish our ethnic diversity, to which the Muslim community contributes so richly.”

Also present at the announcement was Shahina Siddiqui, the chairwoman of Islamic History Month Canada (IHMC), founded in 2007 by the notorious Canadian Islamic Congress, whose former President Mohamed Elmasry once refused to retract on public television his statement that all Israelis over age 18 were legitimate targets for terrorist attacks, and who wasted hundreds of thousands of public dollars pursuing a human rights complaint against Maclean’s magazine for publishing articles critical of Islam. None of that aggressive Islamic supremacism was evident in the feel-good tropes trotted out by Siddiqui, who stated in the news release that she and her community “are pleased to celebrate, inform, educate, and share with fellow Canadians the Muslim cultural heritage” in order to build “a more inclusive, compassionate, and multicultural Canada.”

Anyone who has been paying attention to the news over the past few years may well question whether Muslim presence tends to contribute to “compassion” and “inclusivity.” Tell that to the Christians being massacred in Muslim lands across the Middle East or to the European Jews who find themselves, yet again, the target of slurs, vandalism, beatings, and murder because they are unfortunate enough to be living in areas with concentrations of Muslim immigrants. Islam just doesn’t seem to be a religion that produces a lot of compassion.

For those with negative perceptions of Islam, the Manitoba announcement will, if not lay our fears to rest, certainly indicate decisively that Manitoba has now ruled them out of bounds. The Manitoba provincial website proclaims that Islamic History Month is intended to “recognize and celebrate the history and heritage of Muslims.”

One might be forgiven for not realizing that Muslims have made a significant enough contribution to Manitoba to deserve an entire month of celebration. Manitoba’s Muslims number around 9,000, less than 1% of Manitoba’s total population of just over 1.2 million people.

Like most parts of Canada, Manitoba has a relatively multicultural demographic, with many diverse groups who have made substantial contributions to the province’s history. Ukrainians, for example, first arrived in Manitoba in 1891 and constitute, according to the 2006 census, nearly 13% (167,175 people) of the present-day population. This Slavic group forms the backbone of modern Manitoba, having played a significant role in agricultural development as well as in the spheres of business, manufacturing, the trades and professions. As an item on Manitoba history notes, “there are six members of Ukrainian origin sitting in the legislative assembly, one of whom is the speaker of the house, and [Ukrainian-Canadians] have been elected reeves, mayors, councillors, and aldermen in eighteen municipalities.”

Another distinct and vital part of the province are Manitoban Jews, who arrived even earlier than Ukrainians, in 1874. Although their numbers have never been large (they are now, at 16,500, only about 1.3% of the provincial population), and although anti-Semitism created many barriers during their first century in the province, Jews made enormous contributions as farmers, laborers, storekeepers, lawyers, judges, political leaders, teachers, and philanthropists. Neither of these groups is publicly recognized with its own Manitoban month. The fact is that there aren’t enough months in the year to properly acknowledge all the peoples who have made Manitoba what it is, and such attempts at recognition are bound to create bad blood.

In the case of Manitoba’s 9,000 Muslims, it isn’t clear why they deserve special acknowledgement; the announcement does not get past bromides about diversity. A few years ago, a dozen Muslim families in Winnipeg made national headlines for demanding that their children be excused from participating in two mandatory primary-level school programs: music (not part of their culture, they claimed) and physical co-education (not morally acceptable). The same Chair of IHMC, Shahina Siddiqui, then executive director of Islamic Social Services in Winnipeg, was quick to point out in interview that these are a minority of Manitoba’s Muslims. Some Muslims do have a problem with co-education at the higher school levels, she confirmed, and accommodation has been made for them. But there should be no problem with co-education “under the age of puberty.”

Come again? Why should accommodation be made at any time?

And here we get to the heart of the matter: the demand that Muslim cultural traditions and doctrines—even those that run directly counter to Canadian values such as gender equality—take precedence over Canadian laws. Rather than accepting and seeking to become a part of the society to which they have chosen to immigrate, Muslims such as these demand special accommodations and rights—for halal food, single-sex swimming times, special worship spaces, and so on.

Read more at Front Page