Clueless in the Vatican: Has Pope Francis Joined the Naivete Scene?

Pope Francis looks at Imam Khalid Latif, right, and Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, left, shaking hands as he arrives for an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 memorial museum in New York, Friday Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

Pope Francis looks at Imam Khalid Latif, right, and Rabbi Elliot J. Cosgrove, left, shaking hands as he arrives for an interfaith service at the Sept. 11 memorial museum in New York, Friday Sept. 25, 2015. (AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino)

The Blaze, by Lieutenant Colonel James Zumwalt, Aug. 5, 2016:

Onboard his plane to attend World Youth Day in Krakow, Poland, Pope Francis spoke to reporters. Queried about terrorism committed by radical Islamists, he suggested, while what is being fought is a war, it is “not a religious war.”

He then added:

“It’s a war of interests, a war for money. A war for natural resources and for the dominion of the peoples. Some might say it’s a religious war. Every religion wants peace. The war is wanted by the others. Understood? Let’s not be afraid to say the truth. The world is at war, because it’s lost its peace!”

The real truth is the world has lost its peace because Islam mandates perpetual war until its global caliphate is established.

It appears, just like President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel who claim Islam can do no wrong, the Pope has joined the naiveté scene.

With so much ongoing violence in the world linked to Islam, we simply cannot continue to accept the naiveté of leaders refusing to admit it.

Christians in the Muslim world are being forced to leave their religion to escape persecution, or to pay a tax, or to be put to death—all as a matter of Islamic doctrine—and Pope Francis refuses to see it.

Is love for his fellow man blinding the pontiff to the reality of Islam or does the reality of Islam intimidate him from speaking truth?

If the former, the Pope need understand the teachings at Cairo, Egypt’s Al-Azhar University. Considered the chief center of Islamic and Arabic learning globally, it was Obama’s co-host choice for his infamous 2009 “New Beginning” speech to the Muslim world. It embraces an ideology seeking to enslave or destroy Christianity.

Initially founded more than a millennium ago by a Shiite Islamic sect, Al-Azhar University fell into Sunni hands in the 12th century. Ever since then, it has set the tone for Islamic scholarship for 90 percent of the world’s Muslims.

While Islam’s teachings have undergone little substantive change in its history, Al-Azhar did experience a bit of a renaissance in the 1960s. It opened its doors to the modern disciplines of medicine and engineering and even admitted women.

But as late as 1991, Al-Azhar embraced the Conditions of Omar—a pact drawn up by Prophet Muhammad’s successor, Caliph Omar, addressing how Muslims were to deal with Christians. Three primary conditions were offered to Christians: convert to Islam, remain Christian but pay tribute (known as “jizya”), or death.

The Conditions relied on the Koran’s Verse 9:29 which states:

“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.”

The 1991 republication of the 14th century book “The Reliance of the Traveller”—an authoritative summation of Islamic jurisprudence (sharia)—includes a reaffirmation of the Conditions of Omar by Al-Azhar University. University officials made no attempt to suggest the conditions were inappropriate in a 20th century world. Despite this, during Obama’s 2009 speech in Cairo, he credited Al-Azhar for carrying “the light of learning through so many centuries…”

Three years later, “tolerant” Al-Azhar University outlawed judaism in Egypt.

Should we believe, then, that Pope Francis is oblivious to all this? Or is there another reason for him putting a tolerant face on an intolerant religion?

Al-Azhar’s grand imam had visited the Vatican in May 2016. The meeting by the two religious leaders sought“ reopening an important channel for Catholic-Muslim dialogue after a five-year lull.”

The referenced lull occurred after then-Pope Benedict XVI dared call for greater protection for Coptic Christians in Egypt following a December 31, 2010 church bombing that killed 23.

With attacks having also taken place on Christians in Iraq as well, Pope Benedict said the Cairo bombing was “yet another sign of the urgent need for the governments of the region to adopt…effective measures for the protection of religious minorities.”

However, to the Muslim Brotherhood hardliners about to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, Pope Benedict’s call for greater Christian protection represented “an unacceptable interference in its internal affairs,” prompting the government’s recall of its ambassador to the Vatican.

In 2006, Muslim leaders accused Pope Benedict of committing another egregious act. Neither condemning nor endorsing Islam, Benedict had simply dared repeat 14th century Byzantine Emperor Manuel II’s quote about the religion:

“Show me just what Muhammad brought that was new, and there you will find things only evil and inhuman, such as his command to spread by the sword the faith he preached.”

Repeating this historical observation led to threats against both the Vatican and Benedict by Islam’s “tolerant” followers, ultimately causing the Pope to issue an apology.

Undoubtedly, Pope Francis is aware of these Muslim sensitivities to any negative comments about their religion—truth be damned!

While this, arguably, might excuse Pope Francis’ reluctance to call the ongoing war an Islamic one, it does not excuse another comment he made.

Asked about the “barbarous assassination” of a French priest “killed in the name of Islam,” Francis proffered, “If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.”

While fear of Muslim reprisals might cause Pope Francis not to speak badly of Islam, there is no excuse for equating Catholicism—a religion that left the Dark Ages centuries ago—with Islam—a religion still living in them.

Such indifference to Islam stunningly prompted an Iraqi columnist to suggest, “Israel is the last hope for Arab Christians.”

In discussing Islam, Pope Francis told reporters, “Let’s not be afraid to say the truth.” An appropriate response might be Jack Nicholson’s famous rant in the movie “A Few Good Men.” On the witness stand, pressed by a prosecutor for the truth, Nicholson shouted, “You can’t handle the truth.”

Apparently, neither can Pope Francis.

The Pope and Holy War

Gatestone Institute, by Denis MacEoin, August 3, 2016:

  • The West that jihadists now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.
  • We have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking at the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.
  • “[T]he Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. … We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings…” — Hassan al-Banna, founder of the Muslim Brotherhood.

On the morning of July 26, a priest serving mass, an elderly man of 85, Father Jacques Hamel,was butchered before his altar by one of two knife-wielding devotees of the Islamic State. His killer slit his throat and might very well have proceeded to behead him, as is the wont of many jihadi executioners. The followers of a faith that honours murderers as martyrs (shuhada’) created a martyr for quite another faith.

In both Greek and Arabic, the terms “martyr” and shahid mean exactly the same thing: “a witness”. Father Hamel was the latest in a long line of Christian martyrs who have been slain by men of violence, supposedly in order to attest to the sole truth of their faith. Many Muslim martyrs have died in much that way, but even more have given their lives while waging war (jihad) to conquer territories for Islam.[1]

The flag of the Islamic State reads “la ilaha illa’llah, Muhammadun rasulu’llah“. The words mean: “There is no God but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God”. Those two phrases are known as the shahada, the bearing of witness. You see it everywhere today, now in Syria, then again in France or the UK. But shahada also means martyrdom. And martyrdom while committing violence is what the killers of an innocent man of God achieved on that day when armed police found them and shot them dead outside the church they had desecrated.

On the following day, the head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis, issued a statement on the event, and for a moment it seemed that he had finally got things right. He said the world was now at war. Decades after the war started, here was a religious leader and statesman who seemed to have awakened to the fact that Western countries have been unwillingly and ineffectively failing to wage a war against Islamic radicalism. Or perhaps it is more accurate to say that Islamic radicalism has been waging a war with us.

But then he blew it. What he then said was:

“It’s war, we don’t have to be afraid to say this … a war of interests, for money, resources. I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war. The others want war.”

What? Is slaughtering a priest at his altar linked to “interests, money, resources”? Were the killers driven by a longing for social justice, for more money, for access to greater resources? Did they think the violent death of a harmless priest would bring them any of that? They had not gone to steal any of the valuable altar table objects, the censers, the candlesticks, the crucifix, the monstrance. The killers had been shouting “Allahu akbar”, literally “God is greater” (than everything, especially, to Muslims, the supposedly non-monotheistic Christian Trinity and the Church). As we know only too well, “Allahu akbar” is a religious phrase that Muslims use often. It is the beginning of the call to prayer, the adhan, repeated six times, five times a day, preceded and followed by the shahada. It has been ringing in Western ears every time Muslims in Europe and North America carry out attacks or as a prelude to a suicide attack. It is precisely because Muslims believe that their God (named in Arabic as Allah) is superior to all other gods, because to them Islam is the greatest of all religions and lastly, because Islam is destined to conquer the world either by conversion or through violence.

What did Pope Francis mean when he said “Religions don’t want war. The others want war”? This is a man with access to endless colleges of scholars, to academics worldwide, to specialists in Islam and the Middle East. It is simply not true. To begin with, who are these “others”? Non-religious people? Atheists? Agnostics? Protestants?

In order to win a war, you have to be able to identify your enemy, understand his motives, figure out just what drives his soldiers to risk their lives in battle, know for what cause mothers and wives should send their sons and husbands to fight, knowing they may never return. Ignore all that, invent false motives for the enemy, or fail to know his ultimate aims, and you will lose. “If you know the enemy and know yourself you need not fear the results of a hundred battles”, said the great Chinese general, Sun Tzu, in his Art of War.

A day after that remark, the Pope sadly compounded his ignorance. A report in a Catholic magazine, Crux, stated that:

The pope said that in every religion there are violent people, “a small group of fundamentalists,” including in Catholicism.

“When fundamentalism goes as far as murdering … you can murder with your tongue and also with the knife,” he said.

I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true,” he continued, adding that he has had a long conversation with the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the Cairo-based Islamic university often described as the Vatican of the Sunni world.

“I know how they think. They look for peace, encounter,” he said. [Author’s italics]

Unfortunately, it is clear that the Pope (along with hundreds of politicians and religious leaders in the West, although not in Israel) does not know his enemy at all. If he thinks that “religions do not want war,” it is also clear he has never studied Islam or received truthful instruction in it from anyone. Here is why.

The later chapters of the Qur’an contain dozens of verses calling on the believers to go out to fight jihad or to use their resources to pay others to do so. The purpose of jihad is “the strengthening of Islam, the protection of believers and voiding the earth of unbelief”.[2]

According to a modern expert on jihad, “the Qur’an… presents a well-developed religious justification for waging war against Islam’s enemies”.[3]

Islam is not merely a religion; it is a system of governance. Here is Hassan al-Banna, the founder of the ubiquitous Muslim Brotherhood:

Islam is a comprehensive system which deals with all spheres of life. It is a state and a homeland (or a government and a nation). It is morality and power (or mercy and justice); it is a culture and a law (or knowledge and jurisprudence). It is material and wealth (or gain and prosperity). It is an endeavour and a call (or an army and a cause). And finally, it is true belief and worship.[4]

What does this mean for non-Muslims? Banna again makes this clear:

This means that the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission. Hence it is our concern, not that of the West, and it pertains to Islamic civilization, not to materialistic civilization. We have come to the conclusion that it is our duty to establish sovereignty over the world and to guide all of humanity to the sound precepts of Islam and to its teachings, without which mankind cannot attain happiness.[5]

Pope Francis (right), recently said that “I am not speaking of a war of religions. Religions don’t want war,” and “I believe that it’s not fair to identify Islam with violence. It’s not fair and it’s not true.” Hassan al-Banna (left), founder of the Muslim Brotherhood, wrote that “the Noble Quran appoints the Muslims as guardians over humanity in its minority, and grants them the rights of suzerainty and dominion over the world in order to carry out this sublime commission.”

The Islamic Tradition literature, found in the six canonical collections, lays down descriptions of jihad and instructions on how to fight it. Please do not be misled by the oft-repeated obfuscation, “The greater jihad is a struggle with the self, a spiritual war”. There is no mention of this idea in the classical texts.[6] For centuries, jihad has meant physical warfare. Even the mystical Sufi brotherhoods have engaged in that extremely physical struggle.[7]

The Islamic prophet Muhammad led his men into battle on many occasions and sent out around 100 raiding parties and expeditions.[8] His successors, the caliphs, did the same. In the half-century after Muhammad’s death in 632 C.E., Muslim forces had conquered half the known world. Jihad wars continued to be fought on an annual basis by all the great Islamic empires, with no exception.

The first two major Islamic empires, that of the Umayyads (661-750) and their successors under a new dynasty of caliphs, the Abbasids (750-1258) carried out annual expeditions (usually two or more per year) against the Byzantine Empire (based in Constantinople). These raids were an ongoing tradition based on the earliest jihad wars in both the West and the East. They were never haphazard, but well planned. There were usually to two summer campaigns, often be followed by winter expeditions.

The summer jihads usually took the form of two separate attacks. One onslaught was called the “expedition of the left”. It was launched from the border fortresses of Sicily, whose troops were mainly of Syrian origin. The larger “expedition of the right” would be carried out from launched from the eastern Anatolian province of Malatya, deploying Iraqi troops. These jihad expeditions reached their height under the third major empire, that of the Ottomans, who conquered Constantinople in 1453, thereby bringing an end to the Byzantine Empire. Constantinople was renamed Istanbul and its chief basilica, Hagia Sophia, was turned into the imperial mosque of the Ottomans.

Today’s jihadist organizations, from the Islamic State to al-Qaeda, the Taliban, Islamic Jihad, Jabhat al-Nusra, Boko Haram, Hamas, al-Shabaab and hundreds of others are simply carrying out, on a broader canvas, the jihad wars of the nineteenth century.[9]

Jihadists seem to do this in preference to missionary work (although other groups such as the Pakistani Tablighi Jamaat do plenty of that) because their wars hark back to the days of Muhammad and his companions, the first three warlike generations. The term salafi, used now for the most radical Islamic groups, comes from salaf, or “ancestor,” but with a specialized meaning of the first three generations of Islam. Muhammad, his first followers, their children and grandchildren. Jihadists do it because, having lost military strength since the collapse of the Ottoman empire in 1918, they seem still to feel compelled to fight back against the power of the West, the triumph of the Christians (or in Israel, the Jews). God, in their eyes, promised his followers, the Muslims, that they would one day rule the world,[10] and for many centuries, Muslims may have thought that was actually happening. Then such hopes were dashed. Western empires started conquering, colonizing and ruling Muslim states, such as northern India, Algeria, Egypt, Sudan, Libya, and elsewhere — a reversal quite unthinkable.

To fight back, jihadists have chosen to use the best weapon at their disposal: terrorism. Worse, the West they now terrorize has allowed itself to be weakened. A combination of political correctness, fear of giving offense, fear of combat, and a reluctance to upset illusory stability has led to an incredible series of opportunities for the jihadists.

The young Islamist who killed the priest in France, for example, had been twice arrested for trying to head to Syria to serve with the Islamic State. At the time of the murder, the kindly authorities had forced him to wear an ankle bracelet with which to be monitored — but his curfew was only overnight. During the day, he was allowed to wander the streets freely. On that fateful morning, he decided to walk with his companion into a nearby church and fulfil his longings for martyrdom and for killing a Christian.

Unfortunately, Pope Francis could not be more wrong. One religion has wanted to fight wars from its inception. We have had more than 1400 years to guard ourselves against that, as when the Ottoman Empire was stopped at the Gates of Vienna in 1683. Now, we have dropped our guard and turned away. Not because we have no security forces. We do. But because we often are not looking for the right things: the texts and sermons that prefigure radicalisation.

Why do young Muslims turn from ordinariness to recruitment for the extremists? Young Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, and Baha’is do not move in that direction. Could it be because so many young Muslims, first in the Islamic countries, now in the West, are taught from an early age that Islam aspires to domination, that jihad is not an evil but rather an expression of their faith, that they suffer as victims of “Islamophobia,” that Western women are immoral, and that other religions are false?

It is time to wake up. We are indeed at war, whether we like it or not. “You may not be interested in war, but war is interested in you”, Leon Trotsky said.

Our enemy is an extremist version of Islam that has yet to undergo a reformation, one that takes Muslims not back to the seventh century, but forwards to the twenty-first and possibly beyond.

Dr. Denis MacEoin, based in England, is an expert on Islam.


[1] “The concept of martyrdom developed differently in Islam than it did in either Judaism or Christianity. Martyrdom in Islam has a much more active sense: the prospective martyr is called to seek out situations in which martyrdom might be achieved.” David Cook, Understanding Jihad, University of California Press, 2015, p. 26.

[2] Rudolph Peters, Islam and Colonialism: The Doctrine of Jihad in Modern History, The Hague, 1979, p. 10

[3] Cook, p. 11.

[4] Hasan al-Banna, Message for Youth, trans. Muhammad H. Najm, London, 1993, p. 6

[5] Wendell Charles (trans), The Five Tracts of Hasan Al-Banna (1906-1949), University of California Press, 1978, pp. 70-73.

[6] “Traditions indicating that jihad meant spiritual warfare… are entirely absent from any of the official, canonical collections (with the exception of al-Tirmidhi, who cites ‘the fighter is one who fights his passions’; they appear most often in the collections of ascetric material or proverbs.” Cook, p. 35.

[7] “This paradigm persisted into medieval times, where we often find the Sufi groups fighting the enemies of Islam. For example, after defeating the Crusaders under Guy de Lusignan at the Battle of the Horns of Hattin (1187), the Muslim leaders Salah al-Din al-Ayyubi [Saladin] (1169-91) gave the captive Crusaders to several of his Sufi regiments to slaughter.” Cook, p. 45.

[8] A comprehensive and fully annotated list is available at Wikipedia.

[9] For details of these, see Rudolph Peters, passim.

[10] “He (God) it is who sent his Messenger [Muhammad] bringing guidance and the True Religion in order to make [Islam] dominant over all other religions” (Qur’an 9:33). The fifth verse of that same sura is known as the “Sword Verse”, because it is the first to encourage physical attacks on non-Muslims.

***

The following talk by Bishop Julian Dobbs is what we should be hearing from Pope Frances.

H/T Katherine Gorka who posted this video on her facebook with this comment:

In his article about Sayyid Qutb as the philosopher of Islamic terror, Paul Berman wrote in the New York Times in 2003, “It would be nice to think that, in the war against terror, our side, too, speaks of deep philosophical ideas…it would be nice to think that someone is arguing with the terrorists…” He says presidents cannot do it (I say they can, they just haven’t–yet), and so Berman asks, “who will speak of the sacred and the secular, of the physical world and the spiritual world?…Philosophers and religious leaders will have to do this on their own.” I can think of very few religious leaders who have had the courage or the knowledge to argue with the terrorists…but Anglican Bishop Julian Dobbs is one of those rare, brave people….this is a great short clip from a talk he gave earlier this month…

 

Also see:

Pope Francis: A Fool or Liar for Islam?

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Front Page Magazine, by Raymond Ibrahim, August 2, 2016:

At a time when Muslims all around the world are terrorizing and slaughtering non-Muslims in the name of Islam,Pope Francis, the head of the Catholic Church, continues trying to distance Islam from violence.

Last Sunday a journalist asked him about the recent and “barbarous assassination of Fr. Jacques Hamel” in France, and how the priest was clearly “killed in the name of Islam.” To this Francis

replied that he doesn’t like speaking about Islamic violence because there is plenty of Christian violence as well… [He] said that every day when he browses the newspapers, he sees violence in Italy perpetrated by Christians: “this one who has murdered his girlfriend, another who has murdered the mother-in-law… and these are baptized Catholics! There are violent Catholics!  If I speak of Islamic violence, I must speak of Catholic violence.  And no, not all Muslims are violent, not all Catholics are violent. It is like a fruit salad; there’s everything.”

Is the Pope really that dense?  Is he incapable of distinguishing between violence committed in the name of a religion, and violence committed in contradiction of a religion?

Yes, Catholics—and people of all religions, sects, creeds—commit violence.  That is because humans are prone to violence (or, to use Christian language that some—maybe not Francis—might understand, humans are fallen creatures).   And yes, the Catholics that Francis’ cites do not commit crimes—murdering girlfriends and mother-in-law—because of any teaching contained in Christianity or Catholicism; on the contrary, Christian teachings of mercy and forgiveness are meant to counter such impulses.

On the other hand, the violence that Muslims are committing around the world—the beheadings, the sex slavery, the church burnings—are indeed contained in and a product of Islam, and they have been from day one.

Francis continued offering half-truths in the interview.  After he acknowledged that there are “violent persons of this religion [Islam],” he immediately added that “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists. Fundamentalists. We have them.”

This is another sloppy generalization.  Sure, “in pretty much every religion there is always a small group of fundamentalists,” but that which is “fundamental” to them widely differs.  One may say that Muslim and Christian fundamentalists adhere to a literalist/strict reading of their scriptures.  While that statement may be true, left unsaid by those who think the issue is settled right there is: what do the Bible and Koran actually teach?

The long and short of it is, the Christian fundamentalist will find himself compelled to pray for his persecutors, and, depending on the situation, maybe even turning the other cheek; conversely, the Muslim fundamentalist will find himself attacking, subjugating, plundering, raping, enslaving, and slaughtering non-Muslims.  In both cases, the scriptures—Bible and Koran—say so.

Not for Francis.  Poverty is supposedly the real reason behind all the Islamic violence plaguing the world:

Terrorism grows when there are no other options, and when the center of the global economy is the god of money and not the person — men and women — this is already the first terrorism! You have cast out the wonder of creation — man and woman — and you have put money in its place. This is a basic terrorism against all of humanity! Think about it!

This has got to be one of the silliest arguments ever devised to justify terrorism.  So the Muslims screaming “Allahu Akbar!” while slaughtering a priest or driving a truck into people in France were suffering from poverty?  What about the fact that one of the richest nations in the world—Saudi Arabia—is violent to and intolerant of non-Muslims?  What about the fact that there are billions of impoverished non-Muslims—yet, strangely, they do not engage in wanton acts of terror against “infidels” in the name of their religion.  What to make of these facts?

But apparently none of these questions about scriptures and demographics matter; after all, Francis “knows how Muslims think”:

I had a long conversation with the imam, the Grand Imam of the Al-Azhar University, and I know how they think.  They [Muslims] seek peace, encounter.”

This is just plain sad.  Dr. Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, arguably the most authoritative Islamic institution in the world, did indeed recently visit Francis and inform him of how Muslims desire peace and harmony with the world.

But back home in Egypt, the grand imam and Al Azhar promote an Islam that is virtually indistinguishable from that of ISIS.  Indeed, days before he went to take pictures hugging the pope, Tayeb said that it is a criminal offense to apostatize from Islam, and the punishment is death.

In response, the Cairo Institute for Human Rights Studies blasted the grand imam and Al Azhar.  After accusing them of being twofaced—preaching a moderate Islam in the West and a radical one in Egypt—the statement concluded with some words that people like Francis should take to heart: http:

Combating terrorism and radical religious ideologies will not be accomplished by directing at the West and its international institutions religious dialogues that are open, support international peace and respect freedoms and rights, while internally promoting ideas that contribute to the dissemination of violent extremism through the media and educational curricula of Al Azhar and the mosques.

In the end, and when it comes to the question of whether Islam promotes violence against non-Muslims, Pope Francis falls within the ranks of those Western leaders who are either liars or fools, or a little bit of both.

***

Also see:

Will Egyptian schools strip religion from curriculum?

Students pray at Nile Garden School before the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival in Cairo, Nov. 11, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Students pray at Nile Garden School before the upcoming Eid al-Adha festival in Cairo, Nov. 11, 2010. (photo by REUTERS/Mohamed Abd El Ghany)

Al-Monitor, by 

A call made by Nadia Henry, deputy head of the Free Egyptians Party’s parliamentary bloc, to replace the religion course — which is mandatory for students in public schools — with an alternate course on “values” has raised considerable debate within the parliament, accompanied by an attack launched by the Salafist Nour Party and Al-Azhar.

Egyptian schools teach religion from elementary school through high school, and Christian students are separated from their fellow Muslims during religion courses. However, despite the importance of this course in Egyptian education, the students’ grades in religion are not included in their final grades because religion exams taken by Christians differ from those taken by Muslims, and this way everyone can be graded equally. Meanwhile, the Orthodox Church and Al-Azhar contribute to developing the curricula for the religion courses for both Christian and Muslim students.

In an interview with Al-Monitor, Henry emphasized that she did not call for eliminating the religion course, but rather wanted to replace it with a course on values that would combine verses from both the Quran and the Bible that underline values and ideals. “The values course should be taught by educators who have knowledge in the science of counseling and psychology, in order to plant the idea of citizenship in students’ hearts and teach them how to love one another,” she said.

Henry refused the idea of teaching the values course along with religion, stressing that the religion course and its results over the past years must be evaluated.

Henry pointed out that the religion course did not produce clear results in changing the concepts of ethics and values in society. She also criticized the way religion is taught in schools by separating young Muslim students from Christians, which increases sectarianism. “The values course would teach students the principles of citizenship, without discrimination and without separating between minority and majority. All institutions must work hand-in-hand; the religious institution establishes doctrine, and the educational institution applies it through educational and behavioral rules.”

She called on all those opposing her proposal to join her at the dialogue table to develop the proposal, stressing that she does not aim at eliminating religion from schools but to establish a more advanced way to teach it.

Henry responded to attacks on her proposal by saying that changes to long-standing methods are always accompanied by societal shock, but it is necessary to reconsider the method of teaching religion in schools. According to her, the results of the religion course are negative because students are separated based on their religion and have teachers who are not specialized in teaching religion. She also argued that it would not lead to a decline in religion, claiming, “The values course would hamper any inclinations toward atheism among students, because they would [be taught] to understand and tolerate one another.”

“I will continue to defend the proposal after the Free Egyptians Party’s educational committee finishes preparing it in order to submit it to the parliament,” she asserted.

The veteran member of parliament revealed that she is preparing to hold a workshop for educators, clerics, experts in humanities, as well as media and cultural figures in order to establish regulations and standards for a new educational course under the name of “values.” Henry noted that she will not be affected by the attacks against her. She welcomes all opinions, and she will continue to implement her proposal. Henry expressed her hope that some religious leaders would be welcoming, noting, “The new religious leadership within the Evangelical Church shows how committed it is to teaching religion to the new generation.”

Henry explained that the values course would “emphasize the concepts ofmoderate Islam for Muslim and Christian students alike. Christian students will learn Quranic verses about tolerance and love, while Muslim students will learn Bible verses about being loving and giving. Thus, citizenship is truly achieved without any [sectarian] slogans.”

Al-Azhar’s committee of senior scholars issued a statement March 10 describing calls to remove religion from state curricula as “harmful to Al-Azhar’s status and the Islamic identity of our country.”

Al-Azhar’s statement was welcomed by Salafist Nour Party’s members of parliament, with parliamentarian Ahmed Sharif applauding Al-Azhar’s stance and stressing that the proposal to remove the religion course was not appropriate.

Meanwhile, Abdel Moneim El-Shahat, a spokesman for the Salafist Call — the Nour Party’s political wing — warned about responding to those calling for eliminating religious education from schools. In press statements published March 15 he said, “All societal classes are in desperate need of an increase in religion in schools, universities and the media.”

For his part, Mohamed El Shahat al-Gundi, a member of the Islamic Research Academy, told Egyptian daily Al-Youm Al-Sabeh in early March that replacing religion for values in school curricula would open the gate to the breakdown of key provisions in the Muslim and Christian religions, and that it was an attempt to resemble the West, which is not the right thing to do.

Henry’s proposal was met with various reactions within parliament. For one, member of parliament Amina Naseer supported the proposal, saying, “Islam and Christianity emphasize the need for ethics and an upright behavior in dealing with others. The values material should include the values contained in Christian and Muslim texts agreed upon by everyone.”

However, independent member of parliament Mohammed Ismail announced that he would make an urgent statement to the Minister of Education to demand including the grades students get in religious course in their final grades, in response to calls to replace the religion course with values. Ismail expressed the need to do away with the current pass/fail grading system for religion, which in his view would eliminate religious illiteracy and prevent the infiltration of extremist ideas into society.

Inconvenient Genocide

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Frontpage, Caroline Glick, April 8, 2016:

The Christian communities of Iraq, Syria, Egypt and Lebanon are well on the way to joining their Jewish cousins. The Jewish communities of these states predated Islam by a millennium, and were vibrant until the 20th century. But the Arab world’s war on the Jewish state, and more generally on Jews, wiped out the Jewish populations several decades ago.

And now the Christian communities, which like the Jews, predate Islam, are being targeted for eradication.

The ongoing genocide of Middle Eastern Christians at the hands of Sunni jihadists is a moral outrage. Does it also affect Israeli national interests? What do we learn from the indifference of Western governments – led by the Obama administration – to their annihilation? True, after years of deliberately playing down the issue and denying the problem, the Obama administration is finally admitting it exists.

Embarrassed by the US House of Representatives’ unanimous adoption of a resolution last month recognizing that Middle Eastern Christians are being targeted for genocide, the State Department finally acknowledged the obvious on March 25, when Secretary of State John Kerry stated that Islamic State is conducting a “genocide of Christians, Yazidis and Shi’ites.”

Kerry’s belated move, which State Department lawyers were quick to insist has no operational significance, raises two questions.

First, what took the Obama administration so long? Persecution of Christians in Iraq began immediately after the US-led coalition brought down Saddam Hussein in 2003. With the rise of Islamic State in 2012, the process of destroying the Christian community went into high gear. And now these ancient communities are on the brink of extinction.

In Iraq, Christians comprised 8 percent of the population in 2003. Today less than 1% of Iraqis are Christians. In Syria, the Christian community has lost between half and two-thirds of its members in the past five years.

One of the appalling aspects of ISIS’s deliberate, open targeting of Christians for destruction is how little resistance it has received from local Sunni populations. As Raymond Ibrahim from the David Horowitz Freedom Center has scrupulously documented, the local Sunnis have not stood up for their Christian neighbors, who have lived side-by-side with them for hundreds of years. Rather, in areas that have been conquered by ISIS, the local Sunnis have collaborated with their genocidal masters in raping and murdering Christian neighbors, plundering their property, destroying their churches, and driving them from their ancestral homes.

Although precise data is hard to come by, it is clear that thousands of Christians have been slaughtered. Thousands of Christian women and girls have been sold as sex slaves in ISIS slave markets, subjected to continuous, violent rape and beatings. Nuns and priests have been enslaved, crucified, mutilated, kidnapped and held for ransom, as have lay members of Christian communities. Christians have been burned alive.

For years, the administration said that the persecution doesn’t amount to genocide because according to ISIS’s propaganda, Christians are allowed to remain in their homes if they agree to live as dhimmis – that is, without any human rights, and subjected to confiscatory taxation.

But as Nina Shea from the Hudson Institute has reported, these claims were shown to be false in Mosul, Nineveh and other places where ISIS has claimed that such practices were instituted.

The jihadist genocide of Christians isn’t limited to Iraq and Syria. Boko Haram – ISIS’s affiliate in Nigeria – is undertaking a systematic campaign to annihilate Christianity in Africa. ISIS’s affiliates in Sinai and Libya have similarly targeted Christians, staging mass beheadings and other monstrous acts.

And of course, a region needn’t be under direct ISIS control for Christians to be targeted for destruction. The Easter massacre in Pakistan was further evidence that wherever radical Islamists gain power, they use it to murder Christians.

And as Larry Franklin from the Gatestone Institute noted in a recent article, the exodus of Christians from the Palestinian Authority is the direct consequence of deliberate persecution of Christians by the PA.

Given the prevalence of Christian persecution, why is the West – which is overwhelmingly Christian – so reticent about mentioning it? And why are Western leaders loathe to do anything to stop it? There are two ways to end genocide. First, you can defeat those conducting it on the battlefield.

If you destroy the forces conducting the genocide, then the genocide ends.

The second way you can stop genocide is by evacuating the targeted population and providing its members with refuge.

After stipulating that ISIS is carrying out a genocide, Kerry made clear that the US will not defeat ISIS to end it. Instead, Kerry said, “We must bear in mind… that the best response to genocide is a reaffirmation of the fundamental right to survive of every group targeted for destruction. What Daesh [ISIS] wants to erase, we must preserve. That requires defeating Daesh, but it also requires the rejection of discrimination and bigotry.”

Kerry then explained that the US’s plan is to cultivate the formation of a multicultural society in Syria. Given the brutal nature of the war, Kerry’s plan is tantamount to saying the US intends to defeat ISIS and rescue those it is currently exterminating by bringing unicorns and leprechauns to the slave markets of Raqqa. Substantively, Kerry’s plan is to deny Christians refuge, and to abandon them to the mercy of their murderers.

While delusional, Kerry’s statement was in line with the Obama administration’s timid, feckless military campaign against ISIS. Everyone knows that the US military could take down ISIS in a matter of weeks if Obama ordered it to do so.

But rather than act decisively, the US has limited its operations to timorous aerial bombing.

By conducting a barely there campaign, Obama tells the world that although he will be happy to take credit for any defeat ISIS suffers, he will not allow the US to lead the fight against the jihadist death machine.

As for providing refuge to the populations targeted with genocide, the raw data make clear that Obama does just the opposite. He is providing refuge for Sunni Muslims, who are not being targeted for genocide, which is being conducted by Sunni Muslims.

As Ibrahim has documented, although Christians made up 10% of the Syrian population in 2011, they comprise a mere 2.7% of the Syrian refugees the Obama administration has allowed into the US. And when presidential hopeful Senator Ted Cruz called for the US to provide refuge to Christians, who pose no security threat and are targeted with genocide and persecution while banning Muslim immigration, Obama accused him of bigotry.

Despite the fact that FBI Director James Comey told Congress that the US lacked the capacity to effectively screen Muslims from Syria for ties to jihadist groups, Obama said that a policy of saving those marked for extinction over those who come from the population conducting the genocide is “shameful,” and “not American.”

Beyond refusing to take the necessary steps to ensure that persecuted Christians are rescued from annihilation, the State Department has been rejecting visa requests from Christian activists and leaders from persecuted communities to visit the US to share information about their suffering with the American public. This, at the same time that the administration has welcomed Muslim jihad sympathizers, including Muslim Brotherhood members, to Washington.

For instance, last May, the State Department denied a visa to Sister Diana Momeka, an Iraqi nun and ISIS survivor. Momeka was the only Christian member of a delegation of persecuted minorities. Representatives of every other group received visas. It took a public outcry to force the State Department to reverse its decision.

Also last year, the State Department gave visas to all Muslim regional governors in northern Nigeria to participate in a conference sponsored by the US Institute of Peace. They denied a visa to the region’s only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang. Christian activists alleged that Jang was denied a visa because he spoke up to US officials about anti-Christian persecution in 12 states in northern Nigeria that have instituted Sharia law.

What accounts for this behavior? The answer is not ignorance, but ideologically- motivated bigotry. The Aid to the Church in Need organization explained in its 2015 report on Christian persecution, “Christians have been targeted [because]… Christianity [is seen] as a foreign ‘colonial’ import. Christians are seen as linked to the West, which is perceived as corrupt and exploitative.”

In another report, the group explained that the Western media has avoided covering the story of the Islamic genocide of Middle East Christians because of “misplaced embarrassment about the 19th-century colonial powers evangelizing ‘the natives’ in far flung places.”

In other words, Middle Eastern Christians, whose communities predate Islam, are targeted because they are perceived as Western implants.

And the West ignores their suffering, because the Left in the West perceives them as Western implants.

In both cases, prejudices, rooted on the one hand in jihadist Islam, and on the other hand in Western self-hatred and post-colonialism, reach the same bigoted conclusion: the only “authentic” people in the Middle East are Muslims.

Everybody else is a colonial implant. And as such, they deserve what they get.

This then brings us back to Israel, and the Jews.

The same ideological prejudice that refuses to recognize that the Islamic State is Islamic, refuses to recognize that jihad is unique to Islam, refuses to recognize that Christians as religious minorities are being targeted for annihilation, and refuses to recognize that the Christians of the Middle East are ancient peoples who have lived in their communities since the dawn of Christianity, also refuse to recognize the rights of the Jewish people as the indigenous people of the land of Israel.

This is the reason that Western governments, led by the Obama administration, are unwilling to defeat ISIS. This is why they are giving preference to Muslim asylum-seekers, who they are incapable of screening, over Christians, who it is unnecessary to screen.

This is the reason that the same governments are far more willing to attack Jews for living beyond the 1949 armistice lines, in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria – the cradle of Jewish civilization and the heartland of the land of Israel, than they are willing to end their support for the PA which sponsors and celebrates terrorism. This is why the same governments eagerly embrace every allegation of Israeli racism, real or imagined, while they ignore, or even fund racist Palestinian efforts to deny Jewish history, a history which leads to the inevitable conclusion that the Jews are the indigenous people of the land of Israel.

The reason Obama refuses to protect Middle East Christians from extinction is because he cannot rescue them – either on the ground or by ensuring they can flee to safety – without abandoning his ideological faith that the only “natives” of the Middle East are the Muslims.

Caroline Glick is the Director of the David Horowitz Freedom Center’s Israel Security Project and the Senior Contributing Editor of The Jerusalem Post. For more information on Ms. Glick’s work, visit carolineglick.com

Also see:

Islamic State’s Ancient Jihadi Tactics ‘Shock’ the West

is-execution-wikimediaFrontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 26, 2016:

As Western politicians and other talking heads insist that the Islamic State (“ISIS”) has “nothing whatsoever to do with Islam,” not only does ISIS correctly implement Islamic law—whether by demanding jizya from subjugated Christians or by sexually enslaving “infidel” women—but even the “caliphate’s” arcane jihadi tactics belong to Islam.

Consider a recently exposed “recruitment” tactic of ISIS: abducting, indoctrinating, and beating young children in order to mold them into explosive-vest wearing “martyrs” who hurl themselves onto “infidels”:

The children who managed to escape describe how they were indoctrinated into the jihadi group’s radical brand of Islam and taught that they should execute their “unbeliever” [infidel] parents….  “We weren’t allowed to cry but I would think about my mother, think about her worrying about me and I’d try and cry quietly,” he [an escapee] said…  Some children who managed to escape ISIS and are now living in the refugee camps in northern Iraq, have also been left badly psychologically scarred. The repeated beatings and endless propaganda have meant that some of the escapees wake up in the night with nightmares while others suffer seizures.

The report goes on to say that “The growing trend for ISIS to use child soldiers as suicide bombers, particularly in Iraq, has been suggested as a sign of how stretched their resources are in the region.”

Or it could suggest that ISIS is simply following another page of the jihadi playbook.  For centuries, Muslim caliphates seized Christian boys from their families, forcefully converted and indoctrinated them in Islam, trained them to be jihadis extraordinaire, and then unleashed them back onto their former Christian kin to wreak havoc in the name of jihad on infidels. (Skanderberg was the exception.)

That this practice is Islamic is evident in that other modern day Muslims—not just ISIS—follow it.  In 2012, 300 Christian children were abducted and forcibly converted to Islam.  After convincing impoverished Christian families in Bangladesh to spend what little money they had to send their children to study at supposed mission hostels, conmen would “pocket the money” and “sell the children to Islamic schools elsewhere in the country ‘where imams force them to abjure Christianity.’”  The children are then instructed in Islam and beaten. After being fully indoctrinated, the once Christian children are asked if they are “ready to give their lives for Islam,” presumably by becoming jihadi suicide-bombers.

The West would not be oblivious to this “new” Muslim tactic—erroneously concluding that it means ISIS has “stretched their resources”—if it had Islamic studies departments that disseminated facts instead of pro-Islamic myths and propaganda.   As with all unsavory aspects of Islamic history, this institution has been whitewashed.  Although young, terrified boys were seized from the clutches of their devastated parents, the mainstream (but otherwise debunked) narrative is that poor Christian families were eager to see their boys taken to the caliphate where they would have a “bright future.”

Portraying uniquely negative aspects of Islamic doctrine and history as uniquely positive aspects is par for the course.  For example, the Islamic institution of jizya—extorting money from subjugated Christians and Jews often on pain of death—is presented by academics like Georgetown University’s John Esposito as a show of “tolerance” (debunked here).

Because Western knowledge of Islam has been subverted by the “scholars”—especially those funded by petrodollars—ISIS and other Muslims are free to practice any number of distinctly Islamic tactics that appear “novel” to the West.

According to a manual distributed by ISIS, would be jihadi mass murderers in the West are urged “to blend in with the western way of life and to avoid ‘looking like a Muslim’ so as to stay below the radar of the security services….  Readers are urged to wear a Christian cross, splash on the aftershave, cut off beards and even shun prayer meetings and mosques to avoid detection.”  The manual says:

It is permissible for you to wear a necklace showing a Christian cross.  As you know, Christians—or even atheist Westerners with Christian background—wear crosses on their necklaces.  But don’t wear a cross necklace if you have a Muslim name on your passport, as that may look strange.

Considering Islam’s well known enmity for the Christian cross, the depth of deception here should be clear.

While the UK’s Express repeatedly refers to the strategic deception outlined above as “chilling,” it’ actually standard.  Not only did the 9/11 terrorists and many others follow these tactics, but Muslims have been pretending to blend in with those infidels they plan to murder from the start.  Indeed, in order to kill an elderly Jewish poet who had mocked him, the prophet of Islam allowed one of his jihadis to lie to the Jew as a way to get close enough and kill him.  The jihadi did so—to the point of cursing Muhammad in front of the poet, who ceased suspecting the young man was still following the prophet and eventually invited him into his home—at which point the jihadi dropped the mask and decapitated the elderly Jew.   (Click here for other examples of Muhammad permitting Muslims to behave like non-Muslims as a stratagem of war.)

Crypto-Muslims (or Moriscos) pretending to be Christian, but secretly working to subvert Spain back to Muslim rule, were a continual source of danger for centuries.   While the Spaniards knew that Islam prevented Muslims from being loyal to Christian rule, after the Reconquista they also learned that many Muslims who had publicly converted to Christianity—going to church and participating in baptism and communion—were crypto-Muslims working for the victory of Islam, including by revolting with the aid of foreign Muslims, such as the Turks. As a result, Islam was expelled from Spain; as a result, ISIS and other Muslims vow to return.

Yet because this historical event is now portrayed as an example of extreme Christian intolerance—the flipside of Western academia’s devotion to whitewashing Islam is its devotion to demonizing Christianity—another valuable lesson from Christian/Muslim history is lost.

The tactics employed by the Islamic State and other jihadi outfits—from indoctrinating Christian children to be martyrs for Islam to acting Christian, going to church, and wearing crucifixes—permeate Islamic history.   But because the West refuses to acknowledge Islam’s true doctrines and history, it must ever confront the jihad blindfolded and blindsided.

Facing God

sistine

Frontpage, by Danusha V. Goska, Nov. 11, 2015:

The Judeo-Christian tradition recognizes the individual, apart from the mob. That individual is invited to meet and talk, face to face and utterly spontaneously, with God, without interruption from any earthly authority. That encounter is the life spark of Western Civilization.

We define, and recognize, by contrasts. I learn much about Christian prayer and Christian monasticism by comparing them with their opposites. I think of Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” and what it says about my faith – specifically, what it says about the Judeo-Christian concept of God, of man, and of prayer. I think of how that artwork and its implications contrast with other belief systems: modern Atheism, ancient Paganism, and Islam.

Between 1508 and 1512, on the ceiling of the Vatican’s Sistine Chapel, Michelangelo depicted the spark of life in the fingertip-to-fingertip, eye-contact encounter between one, loving, creator God and one human being – not a teeming mass – just one person. In Michelangelo’s fresco, we see Adam’s full naked form, from head to toe. God looks like Adam, and Adam looks like God. They are the same size. Every detail here matters – that Adam is just one man, that he is naked, that he is anatomically detailed, that he is the same size as God, that God and Adam are fundamentally structured the same, that Adam is making eye contact with God, that God looks upon Adam with fiercely attentive love – every detail here has an impact on the life anyone can live in a Judeo-Christian society.

Organized Christophobes and anti-Semites have targeted Michelangelo’s “Creation of Adam” for attack. They call themselves “The Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.” They blather, “Oh, you Christians and Jews are so stupid; you think God is an old man in the sky with a long, white beard.” They insist that it doesn’t matter what story a society tells itself about its origins. They say that the Judeo-Christian God may as well be a monster made of spaghetti. They are ignorant and childish enough to believe that if we told ourselves that story, we’d be able to have the same society that we have now. They are wrong on every count.

“God created man in his image; in the divine image he created him; male and female he created them”: Sofers, ancient Jewish scribes, committed these words to print in the book of Genesis thousands of years ago. Each individual person is the image of a loving God – “tzelem elohim” in Hebrew, “imago dei” in Latin. Michelangelo used the language at which he was fluent – his gift for accurately depicting anatomy and physiology – to communicate the essence of the relationship between the Judeo-Christian God and each individual person.

Adam and God meet face to face, eye to eye, in the Sistine Chapel fresco. Exodus 33:11 tells us that “The Lord spoke with Moses face to face, just as a man speaks with his friend.” Deuteronomy 5:4 tells us that “the Lord spoke to his people Israel” face to face as well. In Numbers 6:25, God blesses thus “The Lord let his face shine upon you.” The Bible repeatedly adjures us to seek God’s face. “When thou saidst, Seek ye my face; my heart said unto thee, Thy face, Lord, will I seek” Psalm 27:8. “Face to face:” this metonym has meant intimate connection – human and spiritual – for the past four thousand years. “To face” means “to meet.” The sixth amendment to the US Constitution guarantees the right to face one’s accuser. “Face” often means “dignity,” e.g. “To save face.” This is true not just of English, but of many languages. In Medieval Slavic languages, “without face” means “shame.” In China and other Asian cultures, face is reputation, honor, and dignity.

Adam is an individual, apart from a mob. The Talmud teaches that God created only one Adam, rather than a group of men at once, to emphasize the value of each, individual life. One man, in himself, is an entire universe. The Bible teaches: you matter. Not some ideal you. Not you as a cog in a big machine. You who you are, right now. You matter. The God who created the universe wants contact with you. Bring your moment-by-moment concerns to God. Suffering? Pray. Rejoicing? Pray. Sick? Pray. Worried about someone else? Pray. Anxious for yourself? Pray. (James 5 13-18, Philippians 4:6). David, Mary, and Jesus model candid, spontaneous prayer. David nags God in the Psalms, Mary spikes the ball in the Magnificat, and Jesus on the cross holds back nothing. No prayers are as poignant as the prayers of desperate women. Hannah is reprimanded for the intensity of her prayer – “Lady, are you drunk?” – and the woman with a hemorrhage prays her tentative, tiny prayer silently, “If only I can touch the hem of his garment.”

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The Quiet Christian Insurgency in the Middle East

Reuters

Reuters

Breitbart, by Katie Gorka, Feb. 12, 2015:

While the U.S. government continues to search for an information campaign that can effectively weaken ISIS and other radical groups, Christians have been waging a surprisingly successful war of ideas against radical Islam.

The New York Times recently published an article on an initiative by Maj. Gen. Michael K. Nagata, commander of American Special Operations forces in the Middle East, which brought together a group of experts to figure out a strategy for weakening the Islamic State’s appeal. But according to the article, General Nagata expressed a dismay that has become a common theme of the Obama administration: “We have not defeated the idea. We do not even understand the idea.”

The State Department’s counter-terrorism messaging initiative equally fails to inspire confidence. The Center for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications (CSCC) was created in 2011. With a budget of about $5 million and a team of 50 as of 2014, it works to counter the tweets and Facebook posts of jihadists. It is best known for its campaign, Think Again Turn Away. Its current Facebook page, which has 10,455 likes, features the question, “ISIS: Why is Your ‘Caliph’ Hiding?” It maintains a count of the days since Baghdadi was last seen (220 as of February 9, 2015).

But the campaign has about as much subtlety as the “Just Say No” campaign against drugs. As Jacob Silverman, an author who writes about social media, noted, “State’s messages usually arrive with all the grace of someone’s dad showing up at a college party.”

A third key component of the U.S. government’s messaging campaign is carried out by the Broadcasting Board of Governors, which oversees Voice of America, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, the Middle East Broadcasting Networks (Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa), Radio Free Asia, and the Office of Cuba Broadcasting (Radio and TV Martí). According to the BBG’s website, their mission is to inform, engage and connect people around the world in support of freedom and democracy. They have a massive budget with which to carry out that mission–a hefty $733 million last year. But a 2014 audit of the BBG by the State Department’s Inspector General revealed fraudulent and wasteful purchasing practices, which lead Rep. Ed Royce (R-Calif.), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee to conclude that the BBG’s “wasteful spending, non-competitive contracting practices, and violations of current law point to an organization without accountable leadership.” Rep. Royce went on to say, “For the sake of our national security interests, it is critical that U.S. international broadcasting be effective; that is why we have to scrap this broken agency.”

Thus, to the extent that the United States government is even engaging in the war of ideas, it is not doing a very effective job. As Robert Reilly, a former director of the Voice of America has said, “…the U.S. government has failed to show up for the war of ideas. Strategic communication or public diplomacy, the purpose of which is to win such wars, is the single weakest area of U.S. government performance since 9/11.”

Enter the Christians. With limited dollars and a limited goal, American Christians are having far-reaching success that few outside their circle know about. Their goal is to bring the message of Christianity to as many people as possible. That used to mean sending missionaries to far-flung and often dangerous places. But increasingly, Christian groups are putting the tools of social media and technology to work for their cause. And unlike the U.S. government’s efforts, their messaging is having a profound resonance in the Middle East and Africa.

Take, for example, Isik Abla, a charismatic and bubbly Turkish woman who converted to Christianity from Islam and now broadcasts daily into Muslim-majority countries. Isik’s book, I Dreamed Freedom: An Abused Muslim Girl’s Journey to Find Freedom, describes her dysfunctional family, rife with addiction, abuse and infidelity, and her eventual conversion to Christianity. Today, she shares that story openly with Muslims, and rather than chastising them with messages like “Think Again, Turn Away,” she offers messages of empathy, hope, and love. A recent post on her Facebook page, says, “The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” She uses hashtags that include #GiveittoGod and #YouareLoved!! It is a message people are responding to well: her Facebook page has 1,654,111 likes.

“Brother Rachid” is another popular convert to Christianity who is reaching out to Muslims. Born to a devout Muslim family in Morocco, today Rachid hosts a weekly call-in show entitled “Daring Questions,” in which he challenges Muslims to think hard about their faith, and he debates Muslim scholars. Rachid’s programs air by satellite all over the Middle East and North Africa, Europe, North America and Australia. On one website, “Daring Questions” was streamed 10,763,988 times. On the same website, his program was downloaded 1,648,217 times. This would suggest that Muslims are hungry for meaningful discussion and debate about their faith.

Isik Abla and Brother Rachid are engaging in the war of ideas not only in Muslim countries, but also here at home. After President Obama said in September 2014 that “ISIS is not Islamic,” Rachid posted a YouTube video, where he challenged the president:

I ask you, Mr. President, to stop being politically correct — to call things by their names. ISIL, Al Qaeda, Boko Haram, Al Shabab in Somalia, the Taliban, and their sister brand names, are all made in Islam. Unless the Muslim world deals with Islam and separates religion from state, we will never end this cycle.

It is Christians who understand– perhaps better than anyone else– that this is not a war for territory or treasure, but for hearts and souls. It is not a war that can be won on the battlefield. Unfortunately, the majority of those currently in charge of America’s messaging campaign are post-modern secular bureaucrats. They cannot grasp the profound pull religion can have on men’s hearts.

This is not to suggest that the State Department should get into the preaching business or that Christianity is the answer to all of Islam’s ailments. But it is to say that the Islamic world is deep in crisis, as virtually any Muslim can attest. There are wide-ranging debates going on across the Muslim world over the future of Islam. In a recent speech, Egyptian President Sisi admonished the scholars of Al Azhar University to help bring about a revolution in Islam. The United States, in contrast, merely denies that the crisis has anything to do with Islam and offers a gentle hand-slap to would be jihadists: #ThinkAgainTurnAway.

Those currently in charge of America’s information campaign do not take seriously the ideas driving the enemy, and therefore they do not wade into the deep waters where the real battle is taking place—in the world of ideas and beliefs. Christians, on the other hand, know exactly what this battle is about, and they are more than willing to go where the State Department fears to tread.

Katie Gorka is the president of the Council on Global Security. @katharinegorka.

Obama’s Criticizing of Christianity Examined by Bishop E.W. Jackson

Published on Feb 6, 2015 by Steve Laboe

“Instead of closing Guantanamo Bay, frankly sir you should try closing your mouth”
says Bishop E.W. Jackson in response to Barack Obama’s lame comments stated at the National Prayer Breakfast where he criticizes Christians instead of calling out Radical Islam

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Also see:

Obama And Islam’s Non-Existent Golden Rule

obama1 (1)NER, by Hugh Fitzgerald, Feb. 6, 2015:

Barack Obama ended his talk at the National Prayer Breakfast with a quote from the Hadtih (Sahih Muslim):

“And, finally, let’s remember that if there is one law that we can all be most certain of that seems to bind people of all faiths, and people who are still finding their way towards faith but have a sense of ethics and morality in them — that one law, that Golden Rule that we should treat one another as we wish to be treated. The Torah says “Love thy neighbor as yourself.” In Islam, there is a Hadith that states: “None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself.” The Holy Bible tells us to “put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.” Put on love….”

Quoting this Hadtih — incidentally, this is the first time that Obama has publicly used that word — from the Sahih Muslim is like quoting Quran 5.32 without its modifier 5.33, that vitiates the original verse lifted from the Mishnah, or 2.256 (“There is no compulsion in religion”) without understanding what that verse means, for clearly the three possibilities open to non-Muslims under Muslim rule — death, conversion, or life as a dhimmi, with a host of economic, political, and social disabilities that for many proved unendurable.

Ali Sina, the celebrated apostate who was born and raised in Islam, has written extensively, in a debate with Yamin Zakaria, about the non-eexistence of the Golden Rule in Islam. It can be found at his website, http://www.faithfreedom.org. He also wrote, a few years after the original article, a rebuttal to the objections raised by a Muslim defending the faith:

“The Quran is a book of double standards. Indeed there are exhortations to Muslims to be kind to the poor, the traveler, the orphan and the sick. This is to be expected. If you want to start a religion you must preach something good or you”d not find anyone to believe you. You cannot preach only evil. In order to attract followers you must teach things that people like and can easily identify as good. Once they accept you as a prophet, guru or their spiritual guide, then you can do whatever you want and get away with it.

The difference between a true spiritual teacher and a conman is in their consistency. There are several teachings of Muhammad that can be compared to those of Jesus, but the teachings of Jesus are consistent while those of Muhammad are not. Even a criminal can give you good advises, this does not mean this criminal is a good person.

When I was young there was a radio show in Iran called A City within Our City. Every week the producer interviewed a prison inmate on death roll and the criminal would tell the story of his life and what brought him to crime. At the end of the program the producer would ask, whether the criminal had any advice for young people. These criminals often had the best advices. They knew exactly the difference between right and wrong. I recall thinking, if only someone complied the advices of these criminals he could write the best book of guidance. Good words are dime a dozen. If they are not accompanied by good actions they are worthless. In fact the difference between a great man and a conman is in how much their word and deed differ. Demagogy is the domain of all charlatans and they are good at it.

We find similar good exhortations in the teachings of Jim Jones who actually based his religion on “social justice”. He even adopted children from many races to set the example.

The problem with the good teachings of Muhammad is that they are reserved for fellow Muslims. When the hadith says “None of you [truly] believes until he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself,.” it is talking about the fellow Muslims. The brotherhood in Islam does not extend to everyone. The Quran (9:23) states that the believers should not take for friends and protectors (awlia) their fathers and brothers if they love Infidelity above Islam. In fact there are many verses that tell the Muslims to kill the unbelievers and be harsh to them. A clear example that Islam is not based on the Golden Rule is the verse (48:29): “Muhammad is the messenger of Allah; and those who are with him are strong against Unbelievers, (but) compassionate amongst each other.”

There are many other verses that show the brotherhood in Islam is not universal. The non believers have no rights and should not be treated in the same way that Muslims are to be treated. The entire Quran is a breach of the Golden Rule. The Quran tells Muslims to slay the unbelievers wherever they find them (2:191), do not befriend them (3:28), fight them and show them harshness (9:123), smite their heads (47:4), etc. Are these verses compatible with the Golden Rule?

Islam is the only doctrine that calls upon its believers to do evil to others for the simple fact that they are not believers.

According to Muslims it is not the Golden Rule that defines the good and bad, it is Muhammad who does it. They believe that what is good for Islam is the highest virtue and what is bad for Islam is the ultimate evil. This is the definition of good and evil in Islam. This is the ethos of all cults. From Asahara’s “Aum Shinrikyo” to Jim Jones” “People’s Temple”; from Sun Myung Moon’s “Unification Chruch” to David Koresh’s “Davidian Branch”, the recurring theme is that the cult’s interests override the human understanding of right and wrong. In order to advance the interest of the cult, which is regarded as the ultimate good, everything, including lying, and even murder and assassination are permissible. The end is deemed to be so lofty that it justifies the means. This is the same idea of fascism where the glorification of the state and the total subordination of the individual to it are enforced.

None of the verse quoted above have anything to do with the Golden Rule.

Verse 13:22 tells the believers to be patient and generous with their money. This is what all cults demand from their followers. The more sacrifice the cultist makes the more he or she can be manipulated. Verse 23:96 asks Muslims to repel evil, whereas the definition of evil for Muhammad was contradicting him. Verse 41:34 is a Meccan verse where Muhammad and his followers were the underdogs and here he preached patience and said repel evil with good so your enemy becomes as friend. Could he have done anything else? These orders changed when Muhammad came to power. In Medina Muhammad banished and massacred entire populations just because he suspected that they may not be friendly to him. 28:54 is a repetition of 23:96 and 42:40 says whoever forgives and amends, he shall have his reward from Allah. However, Muhammad never forgave those who mocked him. As for Muhammad’s unforgiving nature it is enough to recall the fate of Oqba the man who when Muhammad was in Mecca used to mock him and when he was captured in the Battle of Badr, Muhammad ordered his decapitation. He ventured to expostulate, and demand why he should be treated more vigorously than the other captives who were kept for ransom. “˜Because of your enmity to God and to his Prophet,” replied Muhammad. “˜And my little girl!” cried Oqba, in the bitterness of his soul, “˜Who will take care of her?” — “˜Hellfire!” exclaimed the heartless conqueror; and on the instant his victim was hewn to the ground. “˜Wretch that he was!” continued Muhammad, “˜and persecutor! Unbeliever in God, in his Prophet, and in his Book! I give thanks unto the Lord that has slain you, and comforted mine eyes thereby.”

How do you reconcile the claim that Muhammad in his farewell sermon said, “Hurt no one so that no one may hurt you.” With the fact that in his deathbed he said, “No two religions are allowed in Arabia” and ordered the forced conversion, expulsion or ethnic cleansing of the Jews and Christian and the murder of Pagans?

The sura 9, which is the last words of Muhammad, is a manifesto of discrimination and human rights abuses. This sura alone is proof that Islam is against the Golden Rule

The first requisite to feel the pain and suffering of others is to accept that they have feelings like us and they also feel hurt the way we do. If we deny such feelings on others we do not feel any remorse in abusing them. Muhammad claimed all those who disbelieve in Allah are the worst creatures. He even said that all non-believers will end up in hell where they will be tortured for eternity. How then Muslims can treat equally those whom they believe to be worst than beast and that deserve eternal punishment?

There is nothing in the Quran and Hadith that would make us believe that Islam is compatible with the Golden Rule.

———————————————————-

Obama, I suppose, has not had time — nor have his advisers and speech writers, including those who helped write that speech on Islam that Obama gave at Al-Azhar a few years ago — to read a bit more to understand what that line from a hadith that one of his advisers — Ben Rhodes? — means. It does not mean “love his brother” where “brother” stands for “fellow man.” It refers only to fellow Muslims. The Qur’an instructs Muslims not to take Christians and Jews as friends, and to make war on them if they do not convert, or submit, as dhimmis, to Islam. If Obama can quote a Hadith (that’s the first time he’s used that word in public) he can find out  what’s in the Qur’an.

When is Barack Obama going to look into Islam, and stop all this nonsense? He has a duty to instruct. And that begins with the task — possibly a little less watching of basketball games and suchlike on television is called for  of self-instruction.

Obama: Christianity No Different Than the Islamic State

Obama-at-2015-National-Prayer-Breakfast-450x315Frontpage, by Raymond Ibrahim, Feb. 6, 2015:

As the world reacts with shock and horror at the increasingly savage deeds of the Islamic State (IS)—in this case, the recent immolation of a captive—U.S. President Obama’s response has been one of nonjudgmental relativism.

Speaking at the National Prayer Breakfast on February 5, Obama counseled Americans to get off their “high horse” and remember that Christians have been equally guilty of such atrocities:

Unless we get on our high horse and think this [beheadings, sex-slavery, crucifixion, roasting humans] is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.

There is so much to be said here.  First, the obvious: the wide gulf between violence and hate “justified in the name of Christ” and violence and hate “justified in the name of Muhammad” is that Christ never justified it, while Muhammad continuously did.

This is not just a theoretic point; it is the very reason that Muslims are still committing savage atrocities.  Every evil act IS commits—whether beheading, crucifying, raping, enslaving, or immolating humans—has precedents in the deeds of Muhammad, that most “perfect” and “moral” man, per Koran 33:21 and 68:4 (see “The Islamic State and Islam” for parallels).

Does Obama know something about Christ—who eschewed violence and told people to love and forgive their enemies—that we don’t?  Perhaps he’s clinging to that solitary verse that academics like Philip Jenkins habitually highlight, that Christ—who “spoke to the multitudes in parables and without a parable spoke not” once said, “I come not to bring peace but a sword.” (Matt. 10:34, 13:34).

Jesus was not commanding violence against non-Christians but rather predicting that Christians will be persecuted, including by family members (as, for example, when a Muslim family slaughters their child for “apostatizing” to Christianity as happens frequently).

Conversely, in its fatwa justifying the burning of the Jordanian captive, the Islamic State cites Muhammad putting out the eyes of some with “heated irons” (he also cut their hands and feet off).  The fatwa also cites Khalid bin al-Walid—the heroic “Sword of Allah”—who burned apostates to death, including one man whose head he set on fire to cook his dinner on.

Nor is the Islamic State alone in burning people.  Recently a “mob accused of burning alive a Christian couple in an industrial kiln in Pakistan allegedly wrapped a pregnant mother in cotton so she would catch fire more easily.”

As for the Islamic “authorities,” Al Azhar—the Islamic world’s oldest and most prestigious university which cohosted Obama’s 2009 “New Beginning” speech—still assigns books that justify every barbarity IS commits, including burning people alive.  Moreover, Al Azhar—a religious institution concerned with what is and is not Islamic—has called for the cutting off of the hands and feet of IS members, thereby legitimizing such acts according to Islamic law.

On the other hand, does Obama know of some secret document in the halls of the Vatican that calls for amputating, beheading or immolating enemies of Christ to support his religious relativism?

As for the much maligned Crusades, Obama naturally follows the mainstream academic narrative that anachronistically portrays the crusaders as greedy, white, Christian imperialists who decided to conquer peace-loving Muslims in the Middle East.

Again, familiarity with the true sources and causes behind the Crusades shows that they were a response to the very same atrocities being committed by the Islamic State today.  Consider the words of Pope Urban II, spoken almost a millennium ago, and note how well they perfectly mirror IS behavior:

From the confines of Jerusalem and the city of Constantinople a horrible tale has gone forth and very frequently has been brought to our ears, namely, that a race from the kingdom of the Persians [i.e., Muslim Turks] … has invaded the lands of those Christians and has depopulated them by the sword, pillage and fire; it has led away a part of the captives into its own country [as slaves], and a part it has destroyed by cruel tortures; it has either entirely destroyed the churches of God or appropriated them for the rites of its own religion ….  What shall I say of the abominable rape of the women? To speak of it is worse than to be silent….  On whom therefore is the labor of avenging these wrongs and of recovering this territory incumbent, if not upon you? You, upon whom above other nations God has conferred remarkable glory in arms, great courage, bodily activity, and strength…

If the crusaders left their own lands and families to come to the aid of persecuted Christians and to liberate Jerusalem, here is Obama portraying them as no better than the Islamic State—which isn’t surprising considering that, far from helping persecuted Christians, Obama’s policies have significantly worsened their plight.

According to primary historical texts—not the modern day fantasies peddled by the likes of Karen Armstrong, an ex-nun with an axe to grind—Muslim persecution of Christians was indeed a primary impetus for the Crusades.

As for the Inquisition, this too took place in the context of Christendom’s struggle with Islam. (Isn’t it curious that the European nation most associated with the Inquisition, Spain, was also the only nation to be conquered and occupied by Islam for centuries?)  After the Christian reconquest of Spain, Muslims, seen as untrustworthy, were ordered either to convert to Christianity or go back to Africa whence they came.  Countless Muslims feigned conversion by practicing taqiyya and living as moles, always trying to subvert Spain back to Islam.  Hence the extreme measures of the Inquisition—which, either way, find no support in the teachings of Christ.

Conversely, after one of his jihads, Muhammad had a man tortured to death in order to reveal his tribe’s hidden treasure and “married” the same man’s wife hours later.  Unsurprisingly, the woman, Safiya, later confessed that “Of all men, I hated the prophet the most—for he killed my husband, my brother, and my father,” before “marrying” her.

In short, Obama’s claim that there will always be people willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends” is patently false when applied to the Islamic State and like organizations and individuals.

Muhammad himself called for the murder of his enemies; he permitted Muslims to feign friendship to his enemies in order to assassinate them; he incited his followers to conquer and plunder non-believers, promising them a sexual paradise if they were martyred; he kept sex slaves and practiced pedophilia with his “child-bride,” Aisha.

He, the prophet of Islam, did everything the Islamic State is doing.

If Muslims are supposed to follow the sunna, or example, of Muhammad, and if Muhammad engaged in and justified every barbarity being committed by the Islamic State and other Muslims—how, exactly, are they “hijacking” Islam?

Such is the simple logic Obama fails to grasp.  Or else he does grasp it—but hopes most Americans don’t.

Study: Widespread Islamic Fundamentalism in Europe

sharia-law-uk-newby :

“Religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon in Western Europe,” concluded a December 9, 2013, press release of the Berlin Social Science Center (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin für Sozialforschung or WZB) with respect to European Muslims in particular.  The social survey results from six West European countries supporting WZB’s conclusion present troubling questions concerning Muslim immigrant integration into free societies in Europe and beyond.

As a WZB Discussion Paper explained, the WZB-funded Six Country Immigrant Integration Comparative Survey (SCIICS) involved a 2008 “large-scale telephone survey.”  Respondents were “Turkish origin” and “Moroccan origin” people “who came during the guest-worker era” pre-1975 or their descendants.  SCIICS surveyed both groups in Belgium, France, Germany, and the Netherlands, while insignificant Moroccan populations limited the survey to Turkish-descent individuals in Austria and Sweden.  SCIICS sought 500 respondents from each group in each country as well as from a control group of non-immigrant descended country citizens, with the exception of Belgium with its “high degree of federalism.”  Here SCIICS surveyed 300 individuals from each group in both Flanders and Wallonia provinces.  Almost 9,000 completed surveys or 3,373 native, 3,344 Turkish, and 2,204 Moroccan origin, resulted.

For WZB study author Ruud Koopmans the results revealed unsettling aspects of Islamic belief in Western Europe as discussed in his article “Fundamentalism and Out-Group Hostility:  Muslim Immigrants and Christian Natives in Western Europe.”  Among other issues, SCIICS sought to remedy the deficiency that “very little is known about the extent of religious fundamentalism among Muslim immigrants” in Europe.  A “large number of studies” on American Protestant fundamentalism, meanwhile, “have shown that it is strongly and consistently associated with prejudices and hostility against racial and religious out-groups, as well as ‘deviant’ groups such as homosexuals.”

For a comparative religious fundamentalism survey, SCIICS employed Bob Altermeyer and Bruce Hunsberger’s “widely accepted definition of fundamentalism” with “three key elements.” These are (1) “that believers should return to the eternal and unchangeable rules laid down in the past;” (2) “that these rules allow only one interpretation and are binding for all believers;” and (3) “that religious rules have priority over secular laws.”  Accordingly, “native respondents who indicated” being Christian (70%) and “Turkish and Moroccan origin” respondents who professed being Muslim (96%) received three questions.  These were (1) “Christians [Muslims] should return to the roots of Christianity [Islam];” (2) “There is only one interpretation of the Bible [the Koran] and every Christian [Muslim] must stick to that;” and (3) “The rules of the Bible [the Koran] are more important to me than the laws of [survey country].”

These questions revealed that “religious fundamentalism is not a marginal phenomenon within West European Muslim communities.”  Almost 60% of surveyed Muslims advocated a “return to the roots of Islam,” 75% accepted following “only one interpretation of the Koran,” and 65% considered “religious rules…more important” than domestic laws.  “Consistent fundamentalist beliefs, with agreement to all three statements,” existed among 44% of the Muslim survey respondents.

“Fundamentalist attitudes are slightly less prevalent among Sunni Muslims with a Turkish (45% agreement to all three statements) compared to a Moroccan (50%) background,” Koopmans noted.  In contrast, only 15% of Alevi, a “Turkish minority current within Islam,” were similarly fundamentalist. The “lowest levels of fundamentalism” among the individually surveyed Muslim communities appeared in Germany, where a nonetheless “widespread” 30% affirmed all three statements.  This result opposed the “idea that fundamentalism is a reaction to exclusion by the host society” given that German Muslims had the least legal recognition as a religious community among all the surveyed countries.  Koopmans discerned “remarkably similar patterns” in other studies of West European Muslims such that 47% of German Muslims prioritized religious rules over democracy in both his and the 2007 Federal Ministry of the Interior Muslime in Deutschland study.

By contrast, only 13-21% of Christian survey respondents agreed to the individual statements, with fewer than 4% accepting all three as “consistent fundamentalists.”  Corresponding “with what is known about Christian fundamentalism,” fundamentalism rates were low among Catholics (3%) and “mainstream Protestants” (4%).  A “most pronounced” high of 12% occurred “among the adherents of smaller Protestant groups such as Seventh Day Adventists, Jehovah’s Witnesses and Pentecostal believers.”  Thus Christian “support for fundamentalist attitudes remains much below the levels found among Sunni Muslims.”

Read more at Front Page

‘Merry Christmas’ from the Religion of ‘Peace’

By Paul Wilkinson:

There is an ongoing ruthless de-Christianisation of British society by the elitists advocating multiculturalism and hell-bent on destroying their own culture, identity and heritage, while desperately not wanting to ‘offend’ anybody else’s feelings or beliefs. However this aggressive ‘secularism’ is not just an attack on Christianity, but an assault on the Judeo-Christian values that makes our society what it is.

Multiculturalists have been stripping the nation of a spiritual soul and suppressing Christianity, the religion of the majority. This leaves a vacuum that actively encourages other religions to flourish, which would be fine in and of itself, but the predator of Islam needs no invitation to mount an attack. The only followers of a non-Christian faith intent on eliminating Christmas in their adopted country are Muslims.

According to the 2011 census, ‘officially’ 59% of people in England and Wales identify themselves as being Christian, 25.1% stated no religion, 4.8% are Muslim and the remaining 11.1% account for all other religions and categories combined. Multiculturalists may repeat the “all cultures are equal mantra,” but this ideology turns British culture on its head because it implies that 4.8% of the population in the UK that follow Islam are ‘equal’ with the 95.2% non-Muslim population and the host culture that Islam despises!

This theory is a misnomer because multiculturalism and Islam cannot be promoted together. Islam by its very nature is supremacist, rejects anything that is not Islamic and is fundamentally against multiculturalism. Yet this irrational self-loathing and suicidal political correctness that no one asked for has been forced upon us.

Read more at Cherson and Molschky

 

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.