Armenian Genocide Then and Now

Armenian GenocideFinally nations are recognizing what occurred in Turkey as genocide

Religious Freedom Coalition, By Andrew Harrod, PhD, April 13, 2015:

Armenian-Canadian writer Raffi Bedrosyan sees Middle Eastern “history repeating itself” in modern Christian suffering in the centennial of the Ottoman Empire’s 1915 genocide of Armenians and other Christian populations.  Bedrosyan and other participants of an all-day, March 28 Institute of World Politics (IWP) conference concerning the Ottoman 1915 genocides showed a disturbing continuity of Islamic human rights violations by various actors across a century.

Before over 50 audience members filling IWP’s conference room, Institute of World Politics Professor Marek J. Chodakiewicz indicated the confessional nature of 1915’s slaughter in his presentation on forms of “democide” or governmental mass murder.  Descended from “Christendom’s eldest kingdom,” most Armenians in 1915 had a pre-modern understanding of nationality, he said.  Despite recent secular legal reforms in the Islamic Ottoman Empire, Armenians still suffered the “scourge of sharia and the whims of the caliphate.”

The East Coast premiere of Turkey, the Legacy of Silence, a French documentary about Turkish citizens uncovering their hidden Armenian heritage, also featured a Christian-Islamic confessional divide.  A Turkish man, for example, recounted how authorities in 1915 told one man concerning Armenians that “kill seven and you will go to heaven,” but instead he hid a boy who was later raised a Muslim under the name Abdullah.  After another woman’s death, relatives found a Bible in a ceremonial case that usually contains a Quran in Turkish homes.  Such individuals, the film noted, were hidden survivors of a brutal attempt to create the fiction of Turkey as a land that has been purely Turkish for millennia.

Concerns for physical survival and social acceptance caused many of these individuals to keep secret their Armenian ancestry even if they knew about it.  A woman in the film narrated how Turkish nationalists in the army killed her son on April 24, the day commemorating since 1915 the genocide, 17 days before he completed his military service.  Another man whose Armenian heritage became known faced the animosity of his school classmates who read in Turkish textbooks that Armenians betrayed the Ottoman Empire during World War I.  Some individuals nonetheless embraced their heritage like the man who accepted baptism and rejected being an “Islamicized Armenian” after learning of his true origins.

Bedrosyan elaborated upon “The Hidden Armenians of Turkey” following the screening and during a subsequent interview.  Islamization of Armenians began in 1915 when the Ottoman government initially allowed Armenians to convert to Islam and avoid ultimately deadly deportations.  Turkish army orphanages transformed orphan boys of Armenian genocide victims into rabid Muslim Turks while orphan girls became sex slaves or entered forced marriages.  One Kurdish chieftain took as his child bride a girl from among the 13 survivors of over 10,500 massacred Armenians from a suburb of southeastern Turkish town Diyarbakir.  Bedrosyan expressed amazement at how jihadists in the Islamic State (IS) or Nigeria’s Boko Haram displayed today the same patterns of behavior.

Ottoman efforts to obliterate Armenian culture encompassed property as well as persons.  Bedrosyan cited 4,000 churches in Turkey that after 1915 were destroyed or converted to other uses, including one that became a brothel.  He noted a destroyed Diyarbakir church used as a government warehouse until its 2011 restoration by private groups as a genocide memorial.  Its official opening saw many individuals disclose their Armenian ancestry.

An earlier presentation by stolen property expert Dr. Tania C. Mastrapa elaborated that the Turkish government had closed certain archives as a “national security threat.”  Their publication could facilitate property claims by Armenians and others stemming from 1915 calculated in the trillions of dollars.  Her co-panelist Kate Nahapetian from the Armenian National Committee of America stated that police today will investigate in certain Turkish villages visitors suspected of searching for lost Armenian property.

Bedrosyan explained that Turkish government actions demonstrated how the Turkish republic throughout its history has assiduously upheld the myth of a homogenous Turkish and Sunni Muslim population.  An interviewed Genocide Watch PresidentGregory H. Stanton, whose morning presentation concerned genocide denial, analogized between the Khmer Rouge and Turkish Republic founding father Kemal Ataturk.  Like Cambodia’s genocidal Communists who “wanted to start at year zero,” Ataturk’s “utopian vision for a new Turkey” sought cultural erasure of even Christian populations like the Assyrians who predated Turkish presence in Anatolia.

In this environment, Bedrosyan stated, Armenian/Christian affiliations entail discrimination, meaning that many of Turkey’s estimated 2.5 million people with Armenian descent do not recognize or reveal their heritage and remain “Islamicized.”  Christians de facto “cannot even become a garbage man” in the public sector, he stated while discussing one public school teacher who broke a taboo by accepting baptism after discovering Armenian roots.  Individuals serving in the military sometimes learn of the ineligibility for sensitive positions such as fighter pilots when the government suddenly reveals records of Armenian descent.

Individuals who know of their Armenian heritage therefore often resort to subterfuge in a society where Armenian is a swear word and graffiti like “1915 was a blessed year” vandalizes Istanbul churches.  Bedrosyan recounted how one hidden Armenian prayed to Jesus at home while serving as a Muslim imam, while others secretly accepted baptism in Europe before returning to Turkey.  Amongst themselves, hidden Armenians often know, and marry their children to, each other.

Steven Oshana, executive director of the Middle East minority advocacy group A Demand for Action, reflected during an interview on the historic continuity of Muslim repression suffered by his Armenian and Assyrian ancestral communities.  Assyrians, for example, fled Ottoman genocide to areas of modern Iraq, only to endure the August 1933 Simele massacre by Iraqi troops and another flight to Syria, where Assyrians today are targets of IS.  “The genocide just keeps following,” the “methods are the same, the brutality is the same,” stated Oshana.

Oshana and other conference speakers noted how Islam played a role among pious and non-pious alike in conflicts with Christian and other minorities.  While IS differed from the Ottomans in publicly claiming credit for atrocities against non-Muslims, he stated that “faith is always a pretext” for political calculations seeking to stimulate violence against non-Christians.  Bedrosyan concurred that Ottoman leaders who saw during World War I threats in Armenians and other Christians “were using Islam as an instrument” of mobilization among Muslims like Kurds.  This role of Islam was “very, very direct” in the actions of Ottoman leaders, Stanton noted.  They cynically urged Muslim authorities such as muftis to call for the killing of Christians considered allied with the Ottoman Empire’s “infidel” enemies.

Institute of World Politics’ Armenian genocide conference instructively brought to light a past that has not passed, but rather remains depressingly relevant today.  Time and again Islamic doctrines have repeatedly incited the same patterns of death, destruction, and cultural cleansing against Christians and other non-Muslims. George Santyana’s dictum that “[t]hose who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” is hardly more relevant than here.  Forewarning of these past lessons is necessary for policymakers who want to be forearmed against future dangers.

The International Christian Union, a Christian human rights organization, commissioned this article.

Also see:

CAIR’s Christ: Muslim-Christian Common Denominator or (Deadly) Divider

By Andrew E. Harrod:

“We have more in common than we think,” concludes Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) National Communications Director Ibrahim Hooper with respect to Christian and Muslim understandings of Jesus in a December 23, 2013, USA Today editorial.  Yet this reprint there and elsewhere of an older Christmas article from a Hamas-offshoot and unindicted terrorist coconspirator organization deceptively glosses over deep, sometimes dangerous (for Christians) theological differences.

CAIR’s Hooper

CAIR’s Hooper

The Caucasian Muslim convert (formerly named Doug) and supporter of American Islamic governanceHooper argues that, along with Christians, “Muslims also love and revere Jesus as one of God’s greatest messengers to mankind.”  Hooper notes that the Quran speaks of Jesus “held in honor in this world and the Hereafter” (3:45) and as a “sign for the whole world” (21:91).  In the Quran Jesus is strengthened by the “holy spirit” (2:87, capitalized by Hooper, but not by various Quran translations) and born of a Mary who wonders how she can have a son as a virgin (3:47).

Hooper’s other Islamic Jesus references, though, become more problematical for Christians.  He cites Quran 57:27 to the effect that Jesus received the Gospel and His followers “compassion and mercy.”  Hooper, however, fails to mention that this verse calls “monasticism” something “invented” by Christians and yet not implemented properly by often “defiantly disobedient.”

Hooper also notes how Jesus in Quran 5:110 heals the blind and lepers.  Unmentioned by Hooper, another miracle attributed to Jesus by Quran 5:110 (and the similar verse 3:49) is the turning of clay into a bird.  As religions scholar Kate Zebiri wrote in an article (PDF copyhere), this is the only Jesus miracle in the Quran but not the Bible, although this miracle appears in the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.  This similarity with an apocryphal writing rejected by Christians as inaccurate calls into question the accuracy and origins of the Quran, held by Muslims to be God’s revelation.  Likewise Quran 19:23-25 present Mary birthing Jesus under a palm tree, not in a manger, an account traced by various scholars to the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew.

Read more at Religious Freedom Coalition

 

Christmas Holiday, Islamic Horror

by :

As Christians in the West go to church and worship during this Christmas season, it is well to reflect on how these two simple acts—going to church to worship—can be life-threatening for Christians in the Islamic world, especially on Christmas.  The following excerpt from my book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (pgs. 42-45), provides a glimpse of the horrors and humiliations Christians throughout the Muslim world can be exposed to whenever they try to meet and worship in church on Christmas and other Christian holidays.  One can only hope—perhaps in vain—that this coming Christmas does not add new victims to the list.

—-

image1Christians in the Islamic world today are suffering attacks motivated by the very same diabolical animus as a thousand years ago under Hakim [Egyptian caliph who ordered the destruction of reportedly 30,000 churches in the 10th –11th century].  Proof of this is that some of the most terrible assaults occur precisely on Christian holidays—Christmas, Easter, and New Year’s Eve (which is a major church day in the Middle East). And no wonder, considering that some Muslim clerics insist that “saying Merry Christmas is worse than fornication . . . or killing someone.”

After some fourteen centuries of church attacks and other persecution—punctuated by a brief Christian Golden Age—Egypt’s Copts began the new year in 2011 once again under assault, at one of their largest churches: during midnight Mass in the early hours of January 1, 2011, the Two Saints Coptic Church in Alexandria, crowded with hundreds of Christian worshippers, was bombed, leaving at least twenty-three dead and approximately a hundred injured. According to eyewitnesses, “body parts were strewn all over the street outside the church. The body parts were covered with newspapers until they were brought inside the church after some Muslims started stepping on them and chanting Jihadi chants,” including “Allahu Akbar!” Witnesses further attest that “security forces withdrew one hour before the church blast.” And a year earlier, Muslims shot and killed six Christians as they were leaving church after celebrating the Coptic Christmas Eve midnight Mass in Nag Hammadi.

December 25, 2011, was called Nigeria’s “blackest Christmas ever.”  In a number of coordinated jihadi operations, Reuters reported, Islamic terrorists bombed several churches during Christmas liturgies, killing at least thirty-eight people, “the majority dying on the steps of a Catholic church after celebrating Christmas Mass as blood pooled in dust from a massive explosion.” Charred bodies and dismembered limbs lay scattered around the destroyed church. This attack was simply a reenactment of Christmas Eve one year earlier, in 2010, when several other churches were set ablaze and Christians were attacked, also leaving nearly thirty-eight dead. There was no reprieve for Nigeria’s Christians when the next religious holiday came; some fifty Christians were killed “when explosives concealed in two cars went off near the Assemblies of God’s Church during Easter Sunday services” in April 2012 in a predominantly Muslim region. According to the pastor, “We were in the Holy Communion service and I was exhorting my people and all of a sudden, we heard a loud noise that shattered all our windows and doors.” December 25, 2012, saw a repeat of the last few Christmases: in two separate attacks, Islamic gunmen shot and killed twelve Christian worshippers who had gathered for Christmas Eve church services, including one church’s pastor.

The violence in Indonesia, which has the largest Muslim population in the world, was not so bloody, but Muslims’ hostility was equally clear.  In December 2012, more than two hundred Muslims threw rotten eggs at nearly one hundred Christians desiring to hold a Christmas Mass in empty land outside Jakarta, since their church, the Philadelphia Batak Protestant Church, had been illegally closed. A photographer saw angered Muslims—men, women wearing the hijab (the Muslim headscarf), and children—blocking the road and hurling rotten eggs at those attempting to worship. According to the Reverend Palti Panjaitan, the incident followed a Christmas Eve attack when “intolerant people” threw not only rotten eggs but also “plastic bags filled with urine and cow dung” at the Christians. “Everything had happened while police were there. They were just watching without doing anything to stop them from harming us.”

The attack was a repeat of what had happened several months earlier, during an Ascension Day church service in May 2012. Then some six hundred Muslims threw bags of urine, stones, and rotten eggs at the same congregation. The mob also threatened to kill the pastor. No arrests were made. The church had applied for a permit to construct its house of worship five years ago. But pressured by local Muslims, the local administration ordered the church to shut down in December 2009—though the Supreme Court recently overruled its decision, saying the church was eligible for the permit. Regardless, local Muslims and officials demand the church cease to exist.

In the Philippines, during Mass on Christmas Day 2010, a bomb exploded inside a packed Catholic church in the “Muslim-dominated” island of Jolo, injuring six worshippers including the priest. The bomb was planted by the al-Qaeda-linked Abu Sayyaf group, which according to the Daily Mail “has been blamed for several bomb attacks on the Roman Catholic cathedral in Jolo since the early 2000s and for kidnapping priests and nuns.”

While many more examples of church attacks on Christian holidays could be given, the four examples above demonstrate an important point. Egypt, Nigeria, Indonesia, and the Philippines have very little in common. These countries do not share the same language, race, or culture. What, then, do they have in common that explains this similar pattern of church attacks during Christian holy days? The answer is Islam. All four countries have large Muslim populations.

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Wilders to Pope Francis: Contrasts Papal Ecumenism, With Jew/Infidel-Hatred of Current Sunni Pope Al-Tayeb

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

Ahmad Al-Tayeb, Sunni Muslim Papal equivalent

by Andrew Bostom:

In a blog yesterday (12/5/13), I analyzed recent statements and actions by the two most recent Catholic Popes, Benedict XVI, and his successor, the current Pope, Francis. I further contrasted their ecumenical words and deeds with the overt, canonical Jew-hatred espoused by their Sunni Muslim  counterparts, Al Azhar University Grand Imam Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi (d. March, 2010), and his successor, the current Grand Imam of Al Azhar University, Ahmad al-Tayeb. My conclusions are reproduced, below:

Former Pope Benedict XVI, and current Pope Francis have openly expressed their ecumenism toward Jews and Judaism, while acknowledging Christianity’s indebtedness to Jewish ethical values. This ecumenical message has been coupled to frank, mea culpa-based contrition for the tragic legacy of Christian antisemitism. The disparity between their attitudes and their two contemporary Sunni Muslim equivalents, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi and Ahmad Al-Tayeb—the latter having emphatically and triumphantly re-asserted the modern relevance of canonical Islam’s conspiratorial Jew-hatred—could not be more striking.

Both Tantawi’s and his successor Ahmad Al-Tayeb’s career trajectories to the pinnacle of Sunni Islamic religious education, despite their own public endorsements of virulent, if “sacralized” Islamic Jew-hatred, reflect the profound moral pathology at the very heart and soul of mainstream, institutional Islam.

Now, in a welcome follow-up to my discussion, Geert Wilders has boldly ventured where no Western leader has gone heretofore: openly contrasting Papal ecumenism with the virulent Jew-hatred publicly spewed by Sunni Islam’s Vatican and its Papal equivalents.  Reproduced below is Wilders’ Open letter to his Holiness Pope Francis posted at The Gates of Vienna:

Your Holiness,

In your recent exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (Paragraphs 247-248) you draw the world’s attention to the indebtedness of Christianity to the Jews and their faith. The exhortation also contains a sharp condemnation of the terrible persecutions which the Jews have endured from Christians in the past.

Your words are words which might inspire many.

Unfortunately, they are in sharp contrast to the expressions of hatred which were voiced last October by the spiritual leader of Sunni Islam, Ahmad Al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar Institute in Cairo.

During an interview, aired on Egyptian television on October 25, Grand Imam Ahmad Al-Tayeb reaffirmed the relevance of Koranic verse 5:82, which states that of all people the Christians are closest to the Muslims, while the Jews are strongest in enmity towards them. This verse has inspired centuries of Islamic hatred of Jews.

Al-Tayeb’s invocation of Koranic Jew-hatred is in line with fourteen centuries of Islamic teaching. Grand Imam Al-Tayeb’s predecessor at Al-Azhar, Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, even wrote a book, entitled The Children of Israel in the Koran and the Sunna, in defense of Jew-hatred based on Koranic teachings.

The current suffering of Christians from Islamic persecution in Syria, Iraq, Egypt, Sudan, Nigeria, Pakistan, Indonesia, and so many other countries, clearly indicates what Christians have to endure from the followers of the Koran. What atheists and Jews, who are considered the worst enemies, have to endure from Islam is even worse.

In your exhortation Evangelii Gaudium (paragraphs 252-253) you state that “authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.”Reality does not confirm this statement.The Koran is full of bellicose and hate-mongering verses against non-Muslims. Your Holiness will be able to find them if he reads the Koran, but I will name just a few:

2:191-193: “And slay them wherever you come upon them, […] Fight them, till there is no persecution and the religion is Allah’s.”

4:89: “If they turn their backs, take them, and slay them wherever you find them; take not to yourselves any one of them as friend or helper.”

5:33: “This is the recompense of those who fight against Allah and His Messenger, […]: they shall be slaughtered, or crucified, or their hands and feet shall alternately be struck off; or they shall be banished from the land.”

 8:60: “Make ready for them whatever force and strings of horses you can, to terrify thereby the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

 9:5: “When the sacred months are drawn away, slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them, and confine them, and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush.”

 9:29: “Fight those who believe not in Allah.”

 9:30: “The Christians call Christ the son of God. That is a saying from their mouth; they but imitate what the unbelievers of old used to say. Allah’s curse be on them.”

9:123: “O believers, fight the unbelievers who are near to you; and let them find in you a harshness; and know that Allah is with the God-fearing.”

47:4: “When you meet the unbelievers, smite their necks.”

I hope that the Holy Father will help us defend the West’s Judeo-Christian and humanistic civilization, to which even atheists and agnostics owe their freedom and democracy.

Nothing will be gained by a refusal to face reality.

We must speak the truth about Islam — the largest threat to mankind in this present age.

Very respectfully,
Geert Wilders

Member of the Dutch Parliament
Leader of the Party for Freedom (PVV)

See also:

Gohmert on Religious Persecution: It’s Time We Stand Up for Christians

217709_167870656601694_55452_aRep. Louie Gohmert (TX-01) spoke on the House floor about religious persecution, namely Christian persecution in the Middle East. He read tragic stories of Christians, murdered, trying to peacefully assemble at church. He also noted a startling statistic: Every 11 minutes, 1 Christian is killed because if their faith.

The Most Despised People in the World

By Bill Warner:

The most persecuted group in the world today is Christians. Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Syria and other nations are murdered, raped, kidnapped, enslaved and persecuted on a daily basis. The reason for the vast majority of all of this violence is that they are Christian among Muslims.

But their abuse does not stop with the violence. The perpetrators of violence are measured in the thousands, but the greatest abuse is at the hands of those who should demand that the violence stop. The silence in the face this persecution is denial and justification. The persecutors are few, but the deniers are in the billions.

Christians are enjoined to care for all persecuted people, but in particular, they are to care for their own brothers and sisters. They manage to ignore the persecution by doing good works, such as care for the poor. Christians have compassion but no courage to face the enemy who kills them. In Nashville, TN (the buckle on the Bible belt) the favorite indoor sport for those who should be dealing with the enemy, Islam, is going to Family of Abraham events and bridge building dialogues where they dance to the tune of Muslims. There is no problem of meeting with Islam, but the rules of engagement are that nothing will be said that offends Islam.

In the parable of the Good Samaritan, an injured man is on the side of the road. Two religious leaders pass him by on the other side of the road. They don’t harm the injured man, they just ignore him. This is the same thing that Christian leaders do at dialogues such as Family of Abraham. They meet with Muslims who adhere to a doctrine that includes killing Christians. But, the leaders will not bring up the Islamic persecution to them. The Christian leadership response to murder of their brothers and sisters is silence. They pass by on the other side of the road. Their silence is consent.

But Christians are not the only deniers. Normally, Jews are quick to step forward in the area of charity and support of victims, but not so with persecuted Christians. Some of this denial may be due to a dislike of Christianity, but Jews are no quicker to help their own.

If you go to thereligionofpeace.com you will find an amazing data base of jihad attacks since 9/11. The current number of attacks is in excess of 22,000 attacks. It is very instructive to parse the data and see what are the top four nations of jihad attacks. When you put the data on a per capita basis, you get the following countries: Israel, Thailand, Philippines and India. Or by religion: Jews, Buddhists, Christians and Hindus. So Jews are the victims of violence by Islam, but the Jews of America love to go to Family of Abraham events and be as silent as the Christians.

But what about the most sensitive victim group – the black American? Victim-ology is the dogma of a myriad black “civil rights” groups with their high priests of race hustles such as Al Sharpton. The most persecuted Christians are in Africa. But the civil rights hustlers of America just love to hang with Muslims as their brothers. All of those dead Africans? Not a problem for African Americans.

It is surprising how many Buddhists are being killed in jihad, but is it a surprise that Buddhists never talk about it? And aside from a few Hindu activists, never a word is heard from the Hindu community about their deaths by jihad.

gty_pope_francis_ll_130313_ssh-450x348The deaths in the Philippines are Catholics and what does Pope Francis say about Islam? He says,

Faced with disconcerting episodes of violent fundamentalism, our respect for true followers of Islam should lead us to avoid hateful generalizations, for authentic Islam and the proper reading of the Koran are opposed to every form of violence.

Oh, I see. Over 1400 years of Christian deaths at the hands of jihadists means that they were not true Muslims and that the 22,000 jihadic attacks since 9/11 are not authentic. The annihilation of Christianity in Turkey, Middle East and Africa is not the result of “proper reading of the Koran”. The Pope is the perfect candidate for magical thinking and idiot compassion. And notice the little hate speech riff: “avoid hateful generalizations”. Pope Francis, do you mean generalizations such as conclusions that result from reading the Koran, the Sunna, the Sharia and a 1400 year history of the murder of all kinds of Kafirs (non-Muslims)?

But, in his own way, Pope Francis is the leader of all Christians. He just happens to have on more elaborate clothing as he practices denial.

So, it turns out that Christians are not the most despised group of people in the world. They just happen to be the largest subgroup. The most despised group in the world is the victim of Islam. And whether it is a dead Christian congregation, a murdered apostate, a sad Muslim woman with FGM, or any other victim of jihad, no one will speak out for the victim and against the perpetrator. All leaders share in the shame of being ignorant cowards practicing idiot compassion.

How is this to stop? Well, being polite won’t help, because if polite worked, the problem would be solved. The key to our response is that we have the high moral ground. We must oppose the oppressor, Islam, and stand with the oppressed – Christians, Jews, Hindus, Buddhists and all others who are oppressed by jihad. Our opponents, the deniers, support the oppressor, Islam, and ignore and suppress the fate of the victims. The deniers are evil, period.

If you are a Christian, get some allies, and come up with a program about the persecuted church. The program could be bringing in some persecuted Christians, such as Copts, to speak to Sunday school classes or doing a long term study of the Armenian holocaust in 20th century Turkey. When you go to leadership, do not ask permission or make a request. Make demands and if those demands are not met, then some form of protest inside your church must be launched.

Stand up at services and protest, hand out brochures, do whatever it takes until “leadership” agrees to not pass by on the other side of the road and neglect the dead Christians. Point out their moral position is wrong and evil. Do not be shy. Ask them to use scripture to morally justify their denial and ignorance. Be respectful, but firm and do not stop until good prevails.

This is a moral battle and if you are not a Christian, you should do the same in other venues. A possible venue is the local media. Make demands to recognize the victims of jihad and if they are not met, make a protest. Public protest is a powerful tool for change. We must acknowledge the world’s largest human rights tragedy. Being nice is the road to civilizational annihilation.

 

A Month of Horror for Christians under Islam: September, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim:

“We shall come for you…you are polluting our religion.” — Note apparently from al-Shabaab, Somalia

“It seems great crackdowns on churches and extraordinary waves of arrest of Iranian pastors and Christian converts have not been effective.” — Mohabat News, Iran

811The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing “human rights” concerns), some of the war’s worst atrocities were committed against that nation’s Christian minority, most notably in Ma’loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus.

There, al-Qaeda-linked jihadis fired mortars and missiles into at least two ancient churches before looting them; some 80 Christians trying to defend their homes were killed. Others who could not flee were forced, on pain of death, to convert to Islam.

One man’s last words before being slaughtered by the rebels were: “I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for that, I do not object to it.” A nun involved with humanitarian relief said the man “is a Martyr in Christ in the full sense of this word, since he was murdered solely because of religious hatred!”

The Christian Post reports:

Jihadists reportedly forced one man to convert to Islam at gunpoint and slit the throat of another Christian woman’s fiancé and then [mockingly] told her, “Jesus didn’t come to save him.”…. “I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” the Christian senior told the AFP. One of the shooters, he said, “put a pistol to the head of my neighbor and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’ [Islamic shehada]…Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now.'”

In al-Thawrah, Syria, Christians were also singled out for attack by jihadi invaders. In one incident, they stopped three residents, released two who identified themselves as Muslims, and bludgeoned to death the third after he identified himself a Christian (graphic image). They also destroyed, among other churches, the Antiochian Orthodox church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.

In Raqqah, a city in northern Syria, the al-Qaeda linked “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” broke the crossesoff the area’s two Christian churches and placed on them al-Qaeda’s Islamic flags. They also set the contents of the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of Martyrs aflame. In one video, a Muslim “freedom fighter” smashes a statue of Virgin Mary to shouts of Islam’s war-cry cry, “Allahu Akbar!” [“Allah is Greater!”]

These latest attacks come in the context of yet another fatwa that appeared in September, and issued by 36 Islamic scholars who legitimized “the right of the faithful Sunni Muslims to seize and take possession of goods, homes, property belonging to Christians, Druze and Alawite and members of other religious minorities ‘who do not profess the Sunni religion of the Prophet.'” (Earlier, before the “sex jihad” solved the problem by luring Muslim women from Tunisia and elsewhere to provide their sexual services to jihadis in Syria fighting to make Allah’s word supreme, another fatwa permitted jihadis to rape all non-Sunni women.)

Meanwhile, when publicly asked about the jihadi nature of the rebellion and that the rebels often shout Islam’s supremacist war cry, Allahu Akbar (such as when firing at Chrisitan churches), U.S. Senator John McCain insisted that shouting “Allahu Akbar!” is equivalent to a Christian saying “Thank God,” and that the rebels in Syria are “moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”

Similarly, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was also asked in September about the jihadi and al-Qaeda elements of the Syrian rebels, he argued that, “The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation … more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution”—an assertion that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin openly to call Kerry a liar.

Read more at Gatestone Institute