Abdel Fattah El-Sisi’s Long Road to Islamic Reform

Egyptian Leader Al-Sisi.

Religious Freedom Coalition, by Andrew Harrod, April 20, 2017:

“There has been a lot of positive symbolism” from Egypt’s President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi regarding Islamic reform but little action, stated former American Ambassador Alberto Fernandez on April 3 in Washington, DC.  He and his fellow Hudson Institute panelists examined the enormous difficulties confronting any reform of the doctrines underlying various jihadist agendas even as America’s new President Donald Trump prioritizes counterterrorism.

Hudson Institute Center for Religious Freedom Director Nina Shea opened the panel before a lecture room filled with about 70 listeners by noting the Sisi-Trump White House meeting at that very moment.  Shea observed that America’s important ally Egypt is the most populous Arab country (94 million people) with a quarter of all Arab speakers in the world.  Egypt also has the Middle East’s largest Christian community, the Copts, accounting for an estimated ten percent of Egypt’s population, more than all the Jews in Israel.

Addressing Trump’s meeting with Sisi, Fernandez stated that the “number one issue in for this administration in this regard is obviously writ large the counterterrorism issue,” particularly concerning defeating the Islamic State.  He emphasized the necessity “to find creative, smart, aggressive ways to challenge the appeal of the default ideology in the Middle East today,” namely “some type of Islamism.”  Such ideologies had a long history, as in the 1970s “Egypt was the proving ground for all of this stuff that we saw with Al Qaeda and the Islamic State” involving atrocities against Mesopotamia’s Christians and other minorities.  He recalled visiting Egypt as a young diplomat for the first time in 1984 and seeing policemen guarding every Christian church and cemetery, an indication of this community’s peril.

Hudson Institute Senior Fellow Samuel Tadros, himself a Copt, stated that “there is no doubt that the Islamist message is appealing in Egypt” and reprised his previous analysis of Islamism.  “Islamism seeks to create a state that connects heaven and earth,” an ideology that is still credible in the public imagination and has no viable contenders in the marketplace of ideas.  Despite repeated failures to create this idealized state by groups like Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Al Qaeda, the “basic premises of Islamism make sense for an average Egyptian.”

Fernandez and Tadros accordingly dashed any high hopes raised by Sisi’s 2015 New Year’s Day address on Islamic reform to Al Azhar University in Cairo, often considered Sunni Islam’s preeminent theological authority.  Tadros stated that the speech “was general, it was unprepared” while Fernandez noted that “Sisi kind of put out a very enticing marker but there is a lot of work that has to happen which hasn’t even begun yet.”  Although globally the “speech that Sisi gave was very well received,” the follow-on reminded Fernandez of the Arab proverb “she was pregnant with a mountain but gave birth to a mouse.”

While “there is a tremendous amount of space for Islamist extremism in Egypt still” as the 2015 blasphemy conviction of an Egyptian talk show host showed, Fernandez remained unimpressed with Sisi’s Islamic reform advocacy.

There has been a nibbling around the edges.  But you cannot say that the Egyptian government has done something which would be truly revolutionary, that has never happened in the Arab world, which is to have a government on the level of ideology, on the level of textbooks, on the level of the religious establishment really embrace a kind of liberal reinterpretation of problematic texts and concepts that are used by Salafi-jihadists and by Islamists.

“While Washington has welcomed this talk a lot, there are actually a lot of limits to what Sisi can offer in this regard,” Tadros warned.  Sisi “would like to see a reform of the religious discourse, but he has no plan, plus he has to deal with the reality of Al Azhar” as his appeals to reform easy divorce laws had shown.  The “answer from Al Azhar was a very clear public humiliation of the president….This is not debatable, this is the religion as it is; basically don’t talk about these issues.”

Given Sisi’s societal circumstances, Fernandez noted that “even the weak tea that we see with that symbolism actually provokes a reaction” from Islamists like an Islamic State video attacking Sisi as a “slave of the cross.”  Fernandez and Tadros likewise discussed rampant antisemitism permeating Egyptian society as exemplified by Fernandez’s last visit to Egypt three years ago.  The bookstore of the five-star Intercontinental Semiramis Hotel where he was staying had an entire shelf of anti-Semitic literature including the Jew-hatred staple, The Protocols of the Elders of Zion, and books featuring vampires with Stars of David.

Such intellectual poison is unsurprising given Tadros’ assessment that the “Egyptian educational system remains a disaster; it simply teaches nothing about the outside world.”  A Christian Egyptian friend astounded him once when she related the inquiry of her fellow journalist about where her fiancée would spend his wedding night.  On the basis of the movie Braveheart, the inquiring journalist had obtained the bizarre belief that Coptic women spend their first night of marriage having sex with a Coptic priest.

For Tadros, the journalist’s pitiful ignorance about Copts is no anomaly, even though they are the indigenous people of an Egypt Islamicized after a seventh century Arab conquest.  Among Egyptian Muslims there is an “absence of any actual information about people that they have shared 14 centuries of living together.”  This allows “all these superstitions, these conspiracy theorists, this propaganda by Islamists to fill that vacuum.”

The only bright spot in the panel appeared in Tadros’ estimation most Egyptians considered Sisi, who came to power in a 2013 military overthrow of the Muslim Brotherhood, as the only current acceptable political alternative.  “There are huge human rights abuses in the country, but it is also a very popular regime.  I have no doubt that even in free and fair elections President Sisi would win.”  He represents a “certain rejection of the Muslim Brotherhood, a demand for a return to normalcy, to stability.”

Andrew E. Harrod is a researcher and writer who holds a PhD from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy and a JD from George Washington University Law School. He is a fellow with the Lawfare Project, an organization combating the misuse of human rights law against Western societies. He can be followed on twitter at @AEHarrod.

Father Samir: Egypt’s Palm Sunday Terror Reflects a Sickness Within Islam

The Egyptian priest, who is an authority on Islam, discusses the factors driving the murderous attacks on Christians and what he hopes the Pope will say when he visits Egypt this month.

National Catholic Register, by Edward Pentin, April 13, 2017: (h/t Christopher Holton)

VATICAN CITY — Oil money, Wahhabi extremism and an Islam unwilling to reform itself are the principal reasons for the terrorist attacks on two Egyptian churches on Palm Sunday and the rise of Islamism over the past 100 years.

This is according to Jesuit Father Samir Khalil Samir, professor of Islamic studies at the Pontifical Oriental Institute in Rome, who says it is false when people say such attacks have nothing to do with Islam. “ISIS is not doing anything which is neither in the Quran nor in the Mohammedan tradition,” he says.

In this April 10 interview with the Register, Father Samir — who is Egyptian himself — discusses the main motivations behind Islamic violence, why it’s important to say exactly how things are within Islam and help reform it, and his hopes for Pope Francis’ April 28-29 visit to Egypt.

What are the primary causes of these attacks? What’s behind them? Is it primarily to do with Islam, politics or something else?

For a year or more, the Muslim Brotherhood were attacking regularly during the presidency of Mohamed Morsi (2012-2013); they were attacking Christians, for any reason. For instance, they alleged a Christian who was building a house for his two children was in fact not building a house, but a church, so they are trying to make problems for the Christians. This happens regularly, but it became much more intense.

Now this time, what we hear from Egypt is that ISIS is saying they are behind these attacks, but there’s also support from the Muslim Brotherhood because they were ejected from the political system. The feeling is that the attacks against Christians in Egypt are becoming more frequent and violent. This has never happened before, that they attack so many churches and precisely on such a great Christian feast. The last ones took place before Christmas, and now these two attacks during Holy Week. The intent is probably to attack the president indirectly, through the Christians, to say he’s not able to govern or control the situation. In north Sinai, they attacked Christians and so the government moved them. Now they’ve come back under the protection of the army. In the past month, we’ve had three big attacks, and four months ago we had the attack near the Coptic cathedral.

Is attacking Christians, therefore, really about attracting negative attention against the government more than it is against Christians per se?

It’s both because they attack Christians without reason, in different situations — this year, last year and so on. Christians and Jews are their enemies, but there are no more Jews in Egypt. Christians are 10% of the population, 9 million people. So this Islamic movement, for six years now, has simply wanted to create a new caliphate, by all means possible, because there’s a great crisis within the Islamic world, and the crisis is turning into violence.

What is precipitating this crisis?

In Islam they are not prepared nor able to renew themselves, as [Egypt’s] President [Abdel Fattah Saeed Hussein Khalil] el-Sisi said in December 2014 when he took power. He spoke to Al-Azhar University and gave a beautiful speech, in which he said we need to make a revolution in Islam, to rethink the whole system. The scholars all applauded, said, “Yes, Yes,” but they haven’t changed anything in the teaching. Many intellectuals on Egyptian television came and developed this argument and said Al-Azhar is unable to make the reform we need. Nothing has changed.

Are you of the view that Islamism is the true Islam?

ISIS is the application of what is taught. It’s not outside Islam, or something invented. No, they are applying Islam. When we hear it has nothing to do with Islam — that it means salaam; that it means peace — this is all false. It’s not true. ISIS is not doing anything which is neither in the Quran nor in the Mohammedan tradition. Everything is taken after a decision taken by an imam. A mufti and imam will say this is or is not allowed.

This isn’t just a problem in Egypt, but Egypt represents the greatest and strongest country, and also where you have the most important school of Islamic learning — just as we have Rome for the Catholic Church, Islam has Al-Azhar University.

Given this fact, what do you think about the Pope’s visit to Cairo? Should he say this hard truth about Islam, but in a diplomatic way?

Yes. He should certainly be very diplomatic. He wants to be more than diplomatic, to foster good relations with them, this is sure. He is avoiding hard words. He never said Islam is also a religion of violence — he said the opposite. He said there’s no violence in religion and so on, because this is his aim: to help Muslims, who are the second-most important group in the world, to have a dialogue and understanding.

Is that an acceptable way of approaching the issue, in your view?

Well, it’s not my way. I think it’s important to say things with charity, with friendship, but to say things as they are: that it cannot continue like this; we have to rethink Islam. This is my vision. They cannot take the texts of the seventh century literally as they are in the Quran. He [the Pope] does not dare to say something like that because he doesn’t know the Quran well enough, and so on. So I understand his position, but it would be better to have a clearer and more frank discussion — with openness, but also with some realism.

The Pope called for the hearts of the terrorists to be converted and for the conversion of the hearts of those who traffic weapons. Is that a fair point, or is that not going to the root cause?

Certainly, in Egypt everyone says the whole structure of ISIS is something elaborated by Saudi Arabia and Qatar, the Wahhabi countries, against the Shia. It’s also my opinion. What does ISIS mean? It’s “Islamic State for Iraq and Syria.” This is the name they have chosen, taken from the Arabic Daesh, which means exactly that.

Now why Iraq and Syria? Because in Iraq we have a Shia government after the death of Saddam Hussein. The U.S.A. organized the country like that; they said the Shia are a small majority so the government should be led by Shia, with Sunni. In Syria the government is Alawite, which is a branch of Shia, although they are at most 15% of the population. This has been the case for 50 years now, with the father, Hafez al-Assad, and now his son, Bashar al-Assad. So the Sunni — who are 70%-75% — organized the protest against the government because they want to take power.

The question is religious, too, and supported by the rich countries of Arabia. And the rich buy the weapons from the U.S. principally, but also England, France, Italy and Germany to a smaller degree. So there is in fact an international war going on, but it is not clear. It seems to be they’re using this revolutionary Islamic State, which was partly formed by the U.S., from Iraq, after the occupation of Iraq, after the death of Saddam Hussein, because the U.S. formed a group of well-trained military. The so-called caliph, Abū Bakr al-Baghdadi, was one of these people trained by the U.S.

So all the conditions were there, but no one was thinking it would be so savage, that it would be absolutely inhuman. They killed and tortured people; they took women and people as slaves and turned children into bombs.

This was unprecedented?

We had never seen something like that, so the reaction of official Islam is that this has nothing to do with Islam, but this is in fact a lie. It has 100% to do with Islam, with chosen texts from the Quran and sharia [Islamic law]. They’re not doing anything against Islamic law.

How much is Islamism primarily due to Islam rather than, perhaps, Arab culture? Why, for instance, does Islamism appear much less prominent in Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, than in the Middle East? 

Everything comes from the Middle East in Islam, this is sure, but, unfortunately, even in Indonesia, where there are 220 million people, they are now no longer as they were 15 years ago. There was a Protestant who was elected to parliament, and they wanted to put him in prison simply because he said something against Muhammad. This was once unthinkable in Indonesia.

Then you have Pakistan and Bangladesh, which are much worse than what we see in the Arab world. The propaganda coming from the Wahhabi countries is organized to go everywhere — to Asia and Africa. You have Boko Haram [in Nigeria] and others in Sudan. This is the general movement of this Wahhabi thinking and for the imams. It’s organized by Al-Azhar, whether they want it to be or not.

Do you think Al-Azhar is also partly responsible for Islamism?

I don’t think Al-Azhar has wanted to create something like that, but the teaching they are giving, as a consequence, is a radical Islam. President el-Sisi some weeks ago proposed that, from now on, a man is not allowed to say to his wife: “You are repudiated” (I divorce you). The repudiation by words, as it is practiced today, means you just had to say three times you are repudiated in the presence of two Muslim men. He said no, from now on, all should go through a tribunal, but Al-Azhar refused with the argument that this was already in force in the time of Muhammad and we cannot touch it.

So the conflict is within Islam, and the solution is within Islam. We have to reform Islam and our understanding of Islam.

Why is it that 50-60 years ago, there wasn’t this level of violence?

Through the influence of the Wahhabi. And how did this influence come? Through oil, through money. The heart of the matter is that they buy the conscience of the people. Al-Azhar is partly financed by the Wahhabi, and all the mosques they’re building, the big mosque in Rome, is funded by the Wahhabi. They put in the imam, they pay and command what to do, and so they’re creating thousands of schools for boys and girls throughout the world, everywhere, also in China. In the Islamic part of China, the Chinese government is reacting very strongly and bringing non-Muslims to this part of the country just to change the mentality. So the question is the money.

Could it, therefore, possibly be argued that it’s more to do with the money — that it is money that is perverting Islam?

Friends from Lebanon now living in Paris said they’d had enough of this Bedouin religion — by that, they meant from Arabia. They said, “We are not Bedouins, and this is not our Islam.” That’s the point: There is a conjunction between people who are very radical because they adopted, at the end of 19th century, the most radical vision of Islam, and you cannot discuss anything.

In the Middle Ages, you had discussions: The fact that the Quran is divine — this was not the teaching of the first five centuries of Islam, but there was a discussion, with part saying it was divine and another that it was human, that it is created and uncreated. The discussion went on until the 11th and 12th century, and only then it became uncreated, divine. And being divine means that every word and comma is divine, and this is what people think today — the official Islam is saying that. That means that if I find a verse — “Kill them wherever you find them” — for instance, then you have to do it. And for Christians and Jews, it’s clear they have to pay the jizya and be humiliated, says the Quran. So they say: “They can live with us, but they first have to pay and, second, to be humiliated.” This is impossible today, so what they do is attack Christians, and nobody is protesting seriously.

How are Christians currently being discriminated against in Egypt?

There’s no jizya, but you cannot have an important post in the government, not like it was until the 1960s. We didn’t have a president, but a king, until 1954, and Christians had very important positions. Egyptian radio recently broadcast a magnificent program showing that the best schools for more than a century were the Christian schools, the ecclesiastical schools, as they say in Arabic, run by the Jesuits, the Anglicans, and so on. They formed all the best people of the state, and this is true. Until today we had in our Jesuit school in Cairo at least 40% Muslims. It was another atmosphere. Christians had a very important part to play in the 19th century, what we called our renaissance in Egypt, and it was achieved through the Christians. You cannot have that now, because they don’t give them their rightful place.

How bad is daily life now for Christians compared to 20-30 years ago, and why has it gotten worse?

Because of this Wahhabi movement, the Salafists also, and the Muslim Brotherhood. It was under control in the time of Nasser and also after that, but not in the time of [Anwar] Sadat. Now they have come back, and especially with the financing of Saudi Arabia, we had the Wahhabi tendency in universities and daily life. For instance, a few years ago, during Ramadan and other periods, they started forbidding beer. It was produced in Upper Egypt, but now it’s forbidden. So they are corrupting people with their money and ideology.

Much has to do with the oil money of the past 100 years.

Yes, and maybe change will come now, because the oil price is going down, and there is a conference now with the advent of fracking [fracking is negatively affecting the price of oil]. The question is the financing. Saudi Arabia is now using up its financial reserves, and the economy is now worsening.

Should we expect Islamism to worsen?

What we expect is that the situation will be more open-minded. This is what we want, not to be against Islam, but for it, for open-mindedness. We, as Christians, have to help Muslims and say: “Look, we’ve been through something similar in other centuries.” We have a mission to work together, to find a way to come out from this. Note that, at the moment, the government says there’s only 40% literacy, but certainly it’s higher. This is Egypt in the 21st century. The education of the 60% is also almost zero.

What are your hopes for the Pope’s visit?

The visit will certainly be positive. He is supposed to speak first with President el-Sisi, which is very important, as he’s open-minded, and he wants to build a modern state and not a religious state. Then he [the Pope] will visit Al-Azhar, which is also very important, and also the Coptic Orthodox Church, which is the great Church in Egypt, with 9 million people and with an open-minded patriarch. So this is important. The second day will be for the Catholic Church, which will also involve positive decisions and orientations.

Also see:

GABRIEL: The Muslim Brotherhood: Know Thy Enemy

AFP

Breitbart, by Brigitte Gabriel, April 17, 2017:

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s recent visit to the White House was of paramount importance to combatting radical Islamic terrorism.

As evidenced by the recent Palm Sunday church bombings by radical Islamists, Egypt finds itself on the front lines in the battle against Islamic radicalism, and more specifically, the Muslim Brotherhood.

It was Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood that started an Islamic revolution in 2011, which created a domino effect, extending into Syria and across the globe.

The Syrian Muslim Brotherhood, empowered by the revolution in Egypt, rose to establish an Islamic order in Syria, attempting to eliminate Assad, as their counterpart did to Mubarak in Egypt.

Assad’s loyal ally Russia came to his defense, while our shameful government under President Barack Obama threw Mubarak under the bus.

After President Obama disgracefully endorsed Mohamed Morsi, the MB leader during the Egyptian uprising of 2011, he went even further to destroying an ally in the fight against Islamic extremism when he blocked billions in aid to Egypt after El-Sisi rightfully deposed Morsi in 2014.

Time and time again, our former President stood shoulder to shoulder with Islamic radicals and threw our allies who stood with us in our fight against terrorism under the bus.

Today, President Donald Trump must make it clear to foreign leaders that there is a new sheriff in town, and we will not tolerate those who engage in, or support, Islamic terrorism.

El-Sisi understands the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood, and the threat it poses to both Egypt and the United States.

It was the Muslim Brotherhood that assassinated Anwar Sadat, the former Egyptian president who signed a peace treaty with Israel.

They killed him in cold blood because he was a peacemaker.

Osama Bin Laden, 9/11 ringleader Muhammad Atta, the head of Al-Qaeda Ayman al- Zawahiri, and Islamic State head Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi were all members of the Brotherhood.

The two most powerful countries in the Middle East – Egypt and Saudi Arabia – have designated the Muslim Brotherhood a terrorist organization.

Egypt is the largest Islamic country in the Middle East, with 80 million Muslim, and the most powerful Arabic army.

Saudi Arabia is the most revered Islamic country in the world, not only because of its religious significance, being the home of Islamic Prophet Mohammed, but also because it is a global oil player.

They both understand the existential threat the Brotherhood pose. Yet disgracefully, our government still has not designated this organization as the terrorist entity that it is. A refusal to designate the MB as a terrorist organization leaves us fighting the war on terror with not only an arm tied behind our backs, but blindfolded.

This would be like trying to combat fascism in the 1930’s without naming the Nazis as a target.

How frustrating it must be for allies in the middle east like El-Sisi, whose country has been plagued by the Brotherhood for almost a century, to see such reluctance on the part of the United States to properly identify our enemies.

It is critical for both restoring relations with those willing to fight this enemy with us, that we stop wasting time, and call a spade a spade.

There is simply too much at stake with the Brotherhood running wild.

What makes the Brotherhood particularly dangerous is that, in addition to being the most influential Islamic terrorist organization, it is also the most educated.

Bin Laden was an engineer, and al-Zawahiri a Surgeon, Al-Baghdadi is a Doctor of Philosophy. So we are not dealing with your average rent a jihadist when it comes to the Brotherhood.

In 1982, the Brotherhood wrote a 100-year plan for radical Islam to infiltrate and dominate the West, and establish an Islamic government on the earth. In counter-terrorism circles, it became known as “The Project.” This outlines in crystal clarity, Brotherhood intentions to destroy America from within. They endeavor to do this by infiltrating the media, government, and educational system.

The Brotherhood have already established successful front groups within the U.S, posing as moderate Islamic advocacy groups, such as CAIR and ISNA. This has allowed them access to our elected officials such as President Obama and his cabinet. Consequently, they have influenced public policies that left us vulnerable.

Now is the time to reverse the damage done under Obama’s administration.

The enemy is no longer at our doorstep, but in our house.

We must heed the guidance of President El- Sisi and other middle eastern allies, and designate the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization once and for all. Every day that passes without such a designation, the tentacles of Islamic terror wrap tighter around us. President Trump, the time is now. For the sake of our country, and protection of Western civilization, please designate this organization as the mothership of jihad that it is.

Brigitte Gabriel is a terrorism analyst and a two times New York Times best-selling author of “Because They Hate” and “They Must Be Stopped”. She is the Founder and Chairman of ACT for America, the nation’s largest grassroots organization devoted to promoting national security and defeating terrorism.

Gad Saad interviews Cynthia Farahat

Published on April 14, 2017 by Gad Saad

Topics covered include living as a Copt in Egypt, Egyptian politics, the Muslim Brotherhood, Barack Obama’s Islamophilia, Islamic reformation and immigration, Canada’s M103 motion to combat “Islamophobia,” and the regressive mindset, among other topics.

Note: Apologies for the few seconds when the connection froze during the taping of our chat. I did not edit out those few seconds as I could not remember where this occurred exactly.

Cynthia’s website: http://cynthiafarahat.com

Cynthia’s Twitter account: @cynthia_farahat

Apathy and Accessory to Genocide

Women cry during the funeral for those killed in a Palm Sunday church attack in Alexandria Egypt, at the Mar Amina church, Monday, April 10, 2017. Egyptian Christians were burying their dead on Monday, a day after Islamic State suicide bombers killed at least 45 people in coordinated attacks targeting Palm Sunday services in two cities. Women wailed as caskets marked with the word “martyr” were brought into the Mar Amina church in the coastal city of Alexandria, the footage broadcast on several Egyptian channels. (AP Photo/Samer Abdallah)

NewsBusters, by Brigitte Gabriel, April 13, 2017:

The recent Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt are part of a much larger effort to extinguish Christians from the Middle East by radical Islamists. These attacks further illustrated not only the ongoing genocide taking place, but the disgraceful efforts by the media to look the other way.

Would we do this if the religious roles were reversed? The fact is, they have never, and would never be reversed. There has never been a cohesive effort by Christians to exterminate Muslims in the name of Christ.

However, we have seen repeated efforts by those embracing Islam to commit genocide on the infidel, furthering their desire for a global Islamic caliphate.

We can go all the way back to the prophet Muhammad, who waged war as a means of spreading his message. We can look to the Crusades, the Armenian genocide, or the attempted extermination of Christians in my home country of Lebanon, which forced me to live out of a bomb shelter through much of my youth.

Still, in 2017, we see an explicit attempt by radical Islamists today to conquer by the sword, and slay the infidel in the name of Allah.

What other religion has been used to justify such organized violence against those who do not share the same faith as Islam? What other religion has been used to justify the subjugation, mutilation, and murder of women on such a massive and gruesome scale as Islam? What other religion has been used to justify the stoning of homosexuals, and tossing them off rooftops for their lifestyle choices as Islam?

Despite what radical Islamic enablers and anti-Western zealots in the mainstream media will tell you, the answer is obviously none. Spare me the idiotic and irrelevant reference to the Salem witch trials of the 17th century, we seem to have the Puritan suicide bomber threat under control.

Yet, despite reality, rather than report the news accurately and objectively, the mainstream media prefers to ignore the ongoing Christian genocide.

Why do they do this?

One can only speculate, and the answer differs based on pundit, but the most logical answer is that reality conflicts with their politically correct worldview and thus, must be hidden from the public.

The images of Syrian children who suffered horrifically, as a result of a chemical weapons attack by Assad are no doubt heartbreaking.

Why is it that a chemical weapons attack on Syrian rebels gets wall to wall coverage, when the crucifixion of Christian children by ISIS is not deemed newsworthy?

Because many in the mainstream media and anti-Western movement that engulfs it saw the chemical weapons attack as an opportunity to push their open borders narrative. They never miss an opportunity to capitalize on a crisis when it rears itself.

Yet despite the explicit extermination of Christians across the Middle East, less than one percent of all refugees taken in by the United States from Iraq and Syria have been Christian.

Think of that shameful reality. The ones who need refuge the most are shunned, yet Islamic refugees continue to pour in at an alarming rate. But apparently, this injustice isn’t nearly as appealing as one that helps paint America or its current President as “Islamophobic.”

With the way the mainstream media and politically correct politicians portray our National Security policy, you’d think the military was going around and indiscriminately rounding up Muslims for deportation.

Meanwhile in the Middle East, Christians are not only being rounded up, they’re being tortured and killed in the most gruesome fashion, regardless of age or gender. We are talking about evil being waged in the most appalling way by radical Islamists, on a mission to conquer the West by the sword of their prophet Muhammad.

Yet, our news waves are flooded with sentiments of how bigoted our President is, simply for wanting to protect our borders, and ensure proper vetting for national security purposes. Christians must band together, and stand up for those who cannot speak for themselves.

If the media refuses to cover the genocide taking place in the Middle East, it is even more incumbent upon us to spread the message, and demand action from our political leaders.

More to it, Christians must push back against this suicidal sentiment that their faith demands an open borders mentality. Instead, we must defend with great passion, the United States of America, and the Judeo-Christian values it was founded upon.

This is the greatest country in the world, and one that I could only dream of coming to while living in a bomb shelter as a young girl, praying that the radical Islamists would not find me. We must band together in this fight for the survival of our country, our faith, and our way of life.

The stakes could not be higher.

Also see:

The NYT’s Ignores Jihad AND Protects the Muslim Brotherhood in Coverage of Egypt Palm Sunday Bombings

FILE — In this Monday, April 10, 2017 file photo, women cry during the funeral for those killed in a Palm Sunday church attack, in Alexandria Egypt. (AP Photo/Samer Abdallah, File)

PJ Media, by Benjamin Weingarten, April 13, 2017:

The lengths to which the left is willing to dissemble to protect its narratives in the face of jihadist savagery were on full display in the New York Times’ coverage of the Islamic State’s Palm Sunday church bombings in Egypt.

Primary among these narratives is the idea that Islam has nothing to do with jihadism, even when carried out by the jihadists of the Islamic State (IS) who explicitly target nonbelievers and indeed base all their actions on Islamic doctrine.

The Times gives the following context for the IS bombings that left almost 50 dead:

Routed from its stronghold on the coast of Libya, besieged in Iraq and wilting under intense pressure in Syria, the militant extremist group urgently needs to find a new battleground where it can start to proclaim victory again. The devastating suicide attacks on Sunday in the heart of the Middle East’s largest Christian community suggested it has found a solution: the cities of mainland  Egypt.

Since December, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, has signaled its intent to wage a sectarian war in Egypt by slaughtering Christians in their homes, businesses and places of worship. Several factors lie behind the vicious campaign, experts say: a desire to weaken Egypt’s authoritarian leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi; a need to gain a foothold in Egypt beyond the remote Sinai deserts where jihadists have been battling the army for years; and a desire to foment a vicious sectarian conflict that would tear at Egypt’s delicate social fabric and destabilize the state.

“The Gray Lady” thus casts the Islamic State’s actions in purely political terms: With IS supposedly on the ropes, it must show it can project power and expand its sphere of influence by taking on Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi.

This interpretation fails to address the reality that the church bombings were aimed squarely at Egypt’s Coptic Christians, including Pope Tawadros II, who was attending services at one of the churches bombed — a fact not revealed until several paragraphs into the article.

One might think that an Islamic State attack on the leader of the Coptic church on Palm Sunday would draw more emphasis than a narrative about IS’ struggles, or later in the piece General Sisi’s crackdown on civil society in response to the attack.

Why is the ignored religious component so critical?

Islamic supremacists are persecuting Christians in the Middle East and throughout the world.

IS in particular has been engaged in a genocide against Christians and other religious minorities throughout the region, as Congress recognized in a unanimous 393-0 vote in March 2016, and even jihadist coddling then-Secretary of State John Kerry acknowledged.

IS bases these attacks on Islamic doctrine, including the imperative to kill nonbelievers who refuse to submit to Islamic rule.

IS provides the rationale for its war on Christians and others in the 15th issue of IS’ official publication, Dabiq, titled “Breaking the Cross.” It reads in part:

We hate you, first and foremost, because you are disbelievers; you reject the oneness of Allah – whether you realize it or not – by making partners for Him in worship, you blaspheme against Him, claiming that He has a son, you fabricate lies against His prophets and messengers, and you indulge in all manner of devilish practices. It is for this reason that we were commanded to openly declare our hatred for you and our enmity towards you. “There has already been for you an excellent example in Abraham and those with him, when they said to their people, ‘Indeed, we are disassociated from you and from whatever you worship other than Allah. We have rejected you, and there has arisen, between us and you, enmity and hatred forever until you believe in Allah alone’” (Al-Mumtahanah 4). Furthermore, just as your disbelief is the primary reason we hate you, your disbelief is the primary reason we fight you, as we have been commanded to fight the disbelievers until they submit to the authority of Islam, either by becoming Muslims, or by paying jizyah – for those afforded this option – and living in humiliation under the rule of the Muslims. Thus, even if you were to stop fighting us, your best-case scenario in a state of war would be that we would suspend our attacks against you – if we deemed it necessary – in order to focus on the closer and more immediate threats, before eventually resuming our campaigns against you. Apart from the option of a temporary truce, this is the only likely scenario that would bring you fleeting respite from our attacks. So in the end, you cannot bring an indefinite halt to our war against you. At most, you could only delay it temporarily. “And fight them until there is no fitnah [paganism] and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah” (Al-Baqarah 193). [Emphasis mine]

To neglect this context is to obscure the true nature of the attacks in Egypt.

But the Times’ sins of omission are not to be outdone by its sins of commission.

For while the Times de-emphasizes the targeting of Coptic Christians based on their religion by IS, it outright lies about the history of persecution to which these very Christians have been subjected by other Islamic supremacists in recent years:

The Christian minority [in Egypt] has long suffered from casual bigotry that, its members say, hinders their access to jobs and universities and has frequently erupted into mob violence in some rural areas. But concerted violence of the kind perpetrated by the Islamic State on Sunday was unknown. [Emphasis mine]

Perhaps the New York Times missed its own reporting.

In an article dated September 4, 2016, titled “Egypt’s Christians Say They Are at a ‘Breaking Point,’” the Times wrote:

Houses have been burned, Copts attacked on the streets and hate graffiti written on the walls of some churches. In all, Coptic officials have counted  37 attacks in the past three years, not including some 300 others right after Mr. Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood were ousted from power in 2013.

… In July in the Minya village of Tahna El-Jabal, a Christian was stabbed to death by a mob, he said. A month earlier, in Sinai, a Christian priest was killed by Islamic State extremists, making him the Islamic State’s ninth victim among Copts in the northern Sinai.

… Three years ago, the situation was much worse, after the military violently put down Muslim Brotherhood protests against its taking power, killing hundreds and possibly thousands of protesters. Islamic extremists responded by burning down an estimated 76 churches around the country, including four in this city.

In fact, a December 2016 piece co-authored by the very reporter who covered the Palm Sunday attacks notes that “…Copts [have been] a target for elements of the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood. Islamists attacked hundreds of Coptic churches and homes in 2013…”

Indeed, as PJ Media national security analyst Patrick Poole has diligently documented, the Coptic Christian community in Egypt – one of the oldest and largest Christian populations in the Middle East representing more than half of all Christians in the region – has been under attack at the hands of Islamic supremacists for years. The most acute attacks have come from the Muslim Brotherhood, in particular under the Obama administration-supported reign of Mohamed Morsi.

Such Muslim Brotherhood targeting actually predates the “Arab Spring.” As the 2003 U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom noted, “Coptic Christians face ongoing violence from vigilante Muslim extremists, including members of the Muslim Brotherhood, many of whom act with impunity.”

What explains the Times’ contradiction of its own reporting?

As I noted in a recent piece, the Times recently opened its pages to defenders of the Muslim Brotherhood during what appears to have been a successful concerted information operation designed to thwart the Trump administration’s plan to designate of the Brotherhood as a foreign terrorist organization.

Most brazenly, it allowed Gehad El-Haddad, the official propagandist for the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, to publish an op-ed defending the group.

Instead of focusing on religious-based violence towards Christians in Egypt perpetrated by the Islamic State and Muslim Brotherhood, the Times pivots to the reaction of President Sisi, who has been waging war on these very jihadist elements.

Sisi declared a three-month state of emergency in reaction to the Palm Sunday attacks, entailing a crackdown on various freedoms.

As the Times notes:

Mr. Sisi already has  vast powers that have led to the imprisonment of his rivals, mass trials and unfettered surveillance of enemies.

This state of emergency, due to be approved by the rubber-stamp Parliament on Tuesday, will probably entrench his autocratic tendencies.

In making Sisi’s response essential to the story, while claiming that “concerted violence of the kind perpetrated by the Islamic State on Sunday was unknown,” the Times in effect provides further cover for the Muslim Brotherhood, casting it in a more favorable light than Sisi by ignoring its actions altogether.

Sisi’s actions certainly merit coverage as news. But real news also ought to provide balance in terms of a discussion of ALL players on the ground, something the Times piece appears to have been written to avoid.

Narrative trumps truth once again.

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Palm Sunday Bombing Underscores Depth of Egypt’s Anti-Christian Bigotry

by John Rossomando
IPT News
April 12, 2017

Suicide bombings of two Coptic churches in Egypt Sunday by ISIS terrorists should not be viewed in isolation. The bombings killed 44 people and injured 100 more, and mark the deadliest in a series of attacks targeting the country’s Christian minority.

ISIS warned of future attacks in December after another of its suicide bombers killed 25 worshipers in a chapel adjacent to the Coptic Pope’s cathedral in Cairo. In this case, one of the bombers struck just after the Coptic Pope finished celebrating Mass at the Coptic cathedral in Alexandria.

The attacks reflect a larger epidemic of anti-Christian bias and hate found among a sizeable portion of Egypt’s majority Muslim community. This bigotry remains entrenched despite President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s symbolic statements about reforming Islam and building a major Coptic church.

Many Islamists remain angry with the Coptic community for supporting al-Sisi after the 2013 ouster of President Mohamed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood’s political party after a year in power.

“The Minority Copt’s (sic) Of Egypt Should Never Have joined Sisi Against The Sunni’s of Egypt Now They Are Paying The price! No End Soon Either,” an ISIS supporter identified as @HaqqRevolution wrote on Twitter.

Last month, ISIS’s Al-Naba newsletter vowed that attacks against the Copts would intensify unless they convert to Islam or pay the Quranic tax known as jizyah. Al-Naba also attacked the Copts for supporting al-Sisi.

Al-Azhar University, Sunni Islam’s most prestigious institution, spews anti-Christian statements and fatwas that label Christians as heretics. Al-Azhar distributed a free book in June 2015 describing Christianity as a “failed religion,” and suggested that the Bible contains “seeds of weakness.”

Building churches is a crime under Al-Azhar’s curriculum which also suggests that churches should be barred in Muslim countries.

“Hence, it is a mistake to say that the attacks currently taking place against Copts in Minya and elsewhere are the acts of individuals [and not part of a larger phenomenon]. [Al-Azhar] students will continue to study until they attain a certificate or a license to preach at a mosque, and then they will spread what they learned among the worshipers,” Egyptian researcher Ahmad Abdu Maher wrote last August.

Much of the anti-Coptic hatred found among Egyptian children stems from school lessons that say “Christians are infidels destined for Hell,” Al-Masry Al-Youm columnist Fathia Al-Dakhakhni wrote Feb. 26.

“Fanaticism in Egypt is a matter of education, so there is need to reform the education received by [the members of our] society, who are raised on the concept of discrimination against the other,” Al-Dakhakhni wrote. “[The change] must start in school – because fanaticism begins with religion classes that separate Muslims from Christians, so that the child discovers in his earliest formative years that there is an ‘other’ who is different and who must be shunned.”

Government forces either are unable or unwilling to protect civilians, especially Christians, from ISIS in Sinai.

A Human Rights Watch (HRW) report issued last month criticized Egyptian security forces’ response to ISIS attacks against the Copts. Over the past two months, 355 families have fled the northern Sinai city of Al-Arish, located near the border with Gaza and Israel. Of those, only 59 Coptic families have received housing.

After ISIS murdered seven Christians in northern Sinai, Coptic families who fled their homes described security forces as “apathetic,” the HRW report said.

Egyptian troops did nothing when ISIS established checkpoints hunting for Christians, according to a Daily Beast report. In one instance, ISIS fighters demanded to see a Christian man’s ID card to check his religion and to see if he had a wrist tattoo common among Coptic Christians.

“Convert, infidel, and we will spare your life,” the ISIS fighters said as they dragged him out of his vehicle. He refused. They shot him 14 times.

Christians in the Minya governorate, about three hours south of Cairo, face intimidation from terrorists, civil society and government alike, according to numerous news reports. Christians account for one-third of the 5 million people living in the Minya governorate. They have faced at least 77 sectarian attacks since the 2011 revolution that toppled former President Hosni Mubarak.

Radical Muslims known as Salafists burned several Christian homes in Minya on July 16.

Police arrested several suspects, but the court declined to prosecute them. Instead, they were let go after reconciling with their victims. HRW notes that such enforced reconciliations deprive the Christians of their rights and allow their attackers to evade justice.

While al-Sisi promises to build Egypt’s largest church, he ratified a church construction law in September giving governors latitude to deny building permits without the chance for appeal. HRW slammed the law, partly because it contains security provisions that could subject permitting decisions to the whims of violent mobs.

Muslim mobs destroyed four Coptic homes and six buildings including a nursery in the village of Koum al-Loufi, near Minya, in late June and mid-July, after Muslim neighbors claimed Christians intended to use them as churches, HRW notes.

In March 2016, an Egyptian court convicted four Christian teenagers and their teacher of contempt for making a video mocking ISIS that also appeared to mimic Muslim prayers. Three were sentenced to prison terms ranging from three to five years, while the fourth was sent to a juvenile detention facility.

In January, an Egyptian court dropped charges against Muslim men accused of beating 70-year-old Christian grandmother Soad Thabet and ripping her clothes off during a sectarian riot. Instead, the court prosecuted her son, Ashraf Abdo Attia, for adultery for an alleged affair with a Muslim neighbor’s wife. Mob anger over the alleged affair led to the assault against Thabet last May.

A Muslim mob burned and looted at least 80 Christian-owned buildings in Al-Beida, south of Cairo, last June. A rumor that a building under construction could be a church sparked the rampage. Al-Beida police were unwilling or unable to stop the violence.

Following Mohamed Morsi’s forced removal as Egypt’s president in 2013, Muslim Brotherhood supporters conducted a reign of terror against the Coptic community, burning at least 58 churches.

A mob of 1,000 Muslim Brotherhood supporters set fire to two churches in Minya after Egyptian security forces cleared Cairo’s Rabia Square in August 2013.

Muslim Brotherhood members torched the main Coptic church in the southern Egyptian city of Sohag. “And for the Church to adopt a war against Islam and Muslims is the worst crime. For every action is a reaction,” a memo posted on Facebook by a local branch of the Brotherhood’s Freedom and Justice Party (FJP) in Egypt’s Helwan governorate said.

Islamists previously raised an al-Qaida flag over the church.

Sunday’s attacks mark the continuation of a violence spree targeting Egypt’s minority Copts. Al-Sisi needs to bring the full power of the Egyptian state to bear in the cause of reforming society to end it and end the Copts’ second-class status.

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