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Raymond Ibrahim

Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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The Ultimate Source of Islamic Hate for Infidels

Wednesday, April 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Who is ultimately responsible for the ongoing attacks on Christians and their churches throughout the Islamic world?

Focusing on one of the most obvious nations where Christians are regularly targeted—Egypt’s Coptic Christians—one finds that the “mob” is the most visible and obvious culprit.  One Copt accused of some transgression against Muslim sensibilities—from having relations with a Muslim woman, to ruining a Muslim man’s shirt—is often enough to prompt Muslim mobs to destroy entire Christian villages and their churches.

Recently, for example, after her cross identified Mary Sameh George as a Christian, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood mob attacked, beat, and slaughtered her.

However, a recent Arabic op-ed titled “Find the True Killer of Mary” looks beyond the mob to identify the true persecutor of Christians in Egypt. According to it:

Those who killed the young and vulnerable Mary Sameh George, for hanging a cross in her car, are not criminals, but rather wretches who follow those who legalized for them murder, lynching, dismemberment, and the stripping bare of young Christian girls—without every saying “kill.”  [Islamic cleric] Yassir Burhami and his colleagues who announce their hate for Christians throughout satellite channels and in mosques—claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God—they are the true killers who need to be tried and prosecuted…  The slayers of Mary Sameh are simply a wretched mob, with the body of a bull but the brain of a worm.  It’s not the puppets on the string who need punishing, but rather the mastermind who moves the puppets with his bloody fingers behind closed curtains that needs punishing.

One fact certainly validates this Arabic op-ed’s assertions: the overwhelming majority of attacks on Christians in Egypt and other Muslim nations—including the slaughter of Mary Sameh George—occur on Friday, the one day of the week that Muslims congregate in mosques for communal prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can easily be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially and consistently violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

The Arabic op-ed also does well to name Sheikh Yassir al-Burhami as one of those who “announce their hate for Christians throughout the satellite channels and in mosques, claiming that hatred of Christians is synonymous with love for God.”

For example, Dr. Burhami—the face of Egypt’s Salafi movement—once issued a fatwa, or Islamic edict, forbidding Muslim taxi- and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”

As for hating non-Muslim “infidels,” many Islamic clerics, especially Salafis, believe that the doctrine of “Loyalty and Enmity” (or wala’ wa bara’) commands Muslims never to befriend or be loyal to non-Muslims.

Burhami himself appears on video asserting that if a Muslim man marries a Christian or Jewish woman (known in Islamic parlance as “People of the Book”)—even he must still hate his wife, because she is an infidel… Keep reading

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Obama Admin: Fighting Terrorism but Supporting Terrorists?

Saturday, April 12th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

News recently emerged that “the Obama administration is imposing sanctions on an Egypt-based group that has claimed responsibility for attacks against Egyptian officials, Israeli interests and foreign tourists in Cairo and the Sinai peninsula. The State Department said Wednesday [4/9/14] it has designated Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis a ‘foreign terrorist organization.’”

While ostensibly a laudable move, some—many in Egypt—think this announcement is a ruse to portray the Obama administration as committed to combating terrorism, even as it supports the head of the terrorist-snake, the Muslim Brotherhood.

For instance, according to Mustafa Zayid, the Coordinator of the Sufi Coalition Forces in Egypt, “The expectation was for the United States of America to announce its designation of the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization—as opposed to Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis, which takes its lead from it [Brotherhood].”

The Sufi leader further added in published comments to Watan “that Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is a pseudonym for the terrorist Brotherhood organization, clarifying that what the U.S. State Department did was one of the administration’s tricks to deceive the world, mocking it into believing that the U.S. is combating terrorism.”

He further added that “the U.S. supports the Muslim Brotherhood and sponsors its terrorist activities throughout Egypt.”

Nor is the Sufi the only one making such charges.  According to Nabil Na’im, a Salafi, former member of Egyptian Islamic Jihad and confidante of al-Qaeda leader Ayman Zawahiri, Ansar Bayt al-Muqadis is funded by Khairat al-Shatter, the currently imprisoned, multi-millionaire Brotherhood leader.

Of note is the fact that, although al-Shatter was never part of the Morsi government, U.S. diplomats often met with him, including Ambassador Anne Patterson and Sen. John McCain.

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Taqiyya about Taqiyya

Friday, April 11th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

I was recently involved in an interesting exercise—examining taqiyya about taqiyya—and believe readers might profit from the same exercise, as it exposes all the subtle apologetics made in defense of the Islamic doctrine, which permits Muslims to lie to non-Muslims, or “infidels.”

Context: Khurrum Awan, a lawyer, is suing Ezra Levant, a Canadian media personality and author, for defamation and $100,000.  Back in 2009 and on his own website, Levant had accused Awan of taqiyya in the context of Awan’s and the Canadian Islamic Congress’ earlier attempts to sue Mark Steyn.

For more on Levant’s court case, go to www.StandWithEzra.ca.

On behalf of Awan, Mohammad Fadel—professor of Islamic Law at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law—provided an expert report to the court on the nature of taqiyya, the significance of which he portrayed as “a staple of right-wing Islamophobia in North America.”

In response, Levant asked me (back in 2013) to write an expert report on taqiyya, including by responding to Fadel’s findings.

I did.  And it had the desired effect.  As Levant put it in an email to me:

It was an outstanding report, very authoritative and persuasive. Of course, we don’t know what the plaintiff’s [Awan’s] private thoughts about it were, but we do know that after receiving the report, he decided to cancel calling his own expert witness [Dr. Fadel]—who happens to be a Muslim Brotherhood sympathizer. After reading your rebuttal, he decided he would rather not engage in that debate.

My expert report follows.  In it, I quote relevant portions of Fadel’s expert report (which can be read in its entirety here).  Most intriguing about the professor’s report is that it’s a perfect example of taqiyya about taqiyya.  By presenting partial truths throughout the report, Fadel appears to have even employed taqiyya’s more liberal sister, tawriya.

Accordingly, readers interested in learning more about the role of deception in Islam—and how to respond to those trying to dismiss it as an “Islamophobic fantasy”—are encouraged to read on…  Keep reading

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‘They Are Slaughtering Us Like Chickens’

Wednesday, April 9th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

As happens at Christmas every year throughout the Muslim world, Christians and their churches were especially targeted—from jihadi terror strikes killing worshipers, to measures by Muslim authorities restricting Christmas celebrations.  Some incidents follow:

Iraq:  “Militants” reported the Associated Press, “targeted Christians in three separate Christmas Day bombings in Baghdad, killing at least 37 people, officials said Wednesday.  In one attack, a car bomb went off near a church in the capital’s southern Dora neighborhood, killing at least 26 people and wounding 38, a police officer said. Earlier, two bombs ripped through a nearby outdoor market simultaneously in the Christian section of Athorien, killing 11 people and wounding 21.”

Iran:  Five Muslim converts to Christianity were arrested from a house-church during a Christmas celebration. Plain clothes Iranian security authorities raided a house where, according to Mohabat News, “a group of Christians had gathered to celebrate Christmas on Tuesday, December 24.” Before arresting the five apostates, authorities “insulted and searched those in attendance, and seized all Christian books, CDs, and laptops they found. They also took the Satellite TV receiver.”  The original report received by Mohabat stated: “These Christians had gathered to worship and celebrate [the] birth of Jesus.”

Indonesia: Muslims in the Aceh province protested against Christmas and New Year celebrationsand called on authorities to ban them. Days earlier, an influential Islamic cleric organization, the Ulema Consultative Assembly, issued a fatwa, or edict, “prohibiting Muslims from offering Christmas wishes or celebrating on New Year’s Eve,” said the Associated Press.  Aceh is the “only province in predominantly Muslim Indonesia that is allowed to implement a version of Islamic Shariah law.”

Kenya: “Youths,” reported Reuters, “threw petrol bombs at two Kenyan churches on Christmas day … in the latest bout of violence against Christians on the country’s predominantly Muslim coast.”  The attacks occurred “in the early hours of December 25 after churchgoers held services to usher in Christmas.”  The churches were located in Muslim-majority regions. One church was “completely destroyed.”

Somalia: The more “moderate” government—as it is often portrayed in comparison to Al Shabaab (“The Youth”) opposition—banned Christmas celebrations. Hours before Christmas Day, the Ministry of Justice and Religious Affairs released a directive banning any Christian festivities from being held in the east African nation.  In the words of one ministry official: “We alert fellow Muslims in Somalia that some festivities to mark Christian Days will take place around the world in this week. It is prohibited to celebrate those days in this country.”  All security and law enforcement agencies were instructed to quash any Christian celebrations.

Pakistan:  During Christmas Eve services, “Heavy contingents of police were deployed around the churches to thwart any untoward incident.”  In some regions, “prayer service at major churches focused on remembering the Pakistani Christians who lost their lives in terror attacks.” For example, three months earlier, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound in Peshawar following Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing some 130 worshippers, including many Sunday school children, women, and choir members, and injuring nearly 200 people.

Even in Western nations like Denmark, Christmas Eve witnessed Islamic demonstrations and cries of “Allahu Akbar” (or “Allah is greater”).

Also in December, Syria’s Greek-Catholic Church declared that it had three “true martyrs”—men from the small town of Ma’loula, an ancient Christian site where the inhabitants still spoke the language of Christ.  According to Asia News, “When the town fell [in September, to al-Qaeda linked rebels], a climate of fear was imposed… When three men refused to repudiate their religion, they were summarily executed in public, and six more were taken hostage. This was followed by a failed attempt by Syrian government forces to retake the town.”  In the words of Patriarch Gregorios III to Pope Francis in a meeting: “Holy Father, they are true martyrs. Ordered to give up their faith, they proudly refused. Three others however gave in and were forced to declare themselves Muslim, but later returned to the faith of their ancestors.”  According to the families who fled from Ma’loula, “some of their Muslim neighbors took part in the attack that devastated this historic village where people still speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus. Muslims are approximately one third of the population of the village…” Keep reading

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‘Milking’ Egypt’s Christian Copts Dry

Tuesday, April 8th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The Board of Inquiry in Cairo monitoring the “sectarian violence that continues to cross Egypt after the overthrow of President Morsi, has documented in a report released on Tuesday, March 25 the endemic forms of violence and abuse that continue to be perpetrated against Coptic Christians in many parts of the country, particularly in the governorates of Luxor, Sohag and Aswan.”  According to this report, “reference is made to abductions [almost always for ransom], expropriation of houses, shops looted where Egyptian Copts continue to be targeted victims.”

In other words, Egypt’s Christians are increasingly being seen and treated, in the words of some early caliphs, as “milk camels” to be milked dry of their money and possessions. (Crucified Again, p. 200)

Even the most remote, modest, and apolitical Copts are being targeted so.  Late last month, Coptic activists in Egypt called on the Interior Ministry and its organs in the Fayum district to move and rescue the monks, workers, and visitors of the ancient Monastery of Saint Makarius, which is located in the desert between Alexandria and Cairo.

Arab Bedouins have been raiding, plundering, and keeping the monastery in a constant state of duress.  Among other depredations, these raiders have especially taken up the practice of waylaying Christian travelers from and to the monastery, including those in vehicles, and robbing them under threat of gunfire.

In one incident, a monk was stopped, seized, and  had gun shots fired near his ear, before he was robbed of all the money in his possession, which was meant to be used to purchase much needed building materials for the monastery.  In another incident, the monastery’s car was stolen and returned in exchange for a large sum of money.

Considering that the Western media is silent about the most horrific abuses the Copts suffer in Egypt—such as the brutal slaughter of a young woman identified as a Christian by her cross—it is little wonder that the oppression of these remote monks is seen as beyond irrelevant.

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Muslim Cleric Urges Homeless Women to Become Sex-Slaves

Friday, April 4th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Within the context of keeping the Syrian jihad alive, it seems there is no end to the attempts of some Islamic clerics to legitimize otherwise forbidden behavior in order to gratify the sexual urges of the jihadis and keep them fighting Syrian president Bashar Assad.

First, there was the now infamous “sex-jihad” fatwa, which holds that any Muslim woman who willingly allows her body to be used by the sexually-deprived jihadis becomes herself a jihadi, if not a “martyr,” deserving of all the honor and rewards associated with those titles.  (Much has been written about the sex jihad, including videotaped testimonials—and how one teenage girl, after copulating with countless jihadis, got pregnant and contracted aids—even as pro-Syrian war Western entities like Foreign Policy try to deny it.)

Another fatwa permitted the jihadis in Syria to enslave and rape any non-Sunni women—including Alawites (Assad’s sect), Christians, Druze, and all Shia—in the context of their status as melk al-yamin or “right hand possessions,” per Koran 4:3 (a verse that permits the enslavement and sexual use of conquered “infidel” women).

Now, the same Islamic cleric who issued this last “rape fatwa” has issued another fatwa urging destitute women in war torn Syria to become the “right hand possessions” of any man willing to support them—basically, to sell themselves into sex-slavery.

In a video that appeared in December 2013, Jordanian Sheikh Yassin al-Ajlawni, who says he lived in Syria for 17 years, asserted that “the needy, disenfranchised Syrian woman is permitted to ask the Muslim man who is capable of supporting her, to enter into a “right hand possession” contract with him, whereby she becomes his right hand possession.”

Ajlawni’s logic is that, because Syria is in a state of war, and the numbers of men are dropping, needy and displaced women are permitted to seek out support by selling themselves into concubinage.

In the Muslim sheikh’s own words:

We hereby give fatwa permitting the Syrian woman who desires to be married to a Muslim man, via a “right hand possession” contract—whereby he becomes her master and she becomes his slave—that all this contract needs is for the woman be clean of her menstruation period, and that this contract be registered with the sheikhs or other authorities, either in a Sharia or civil court…  Afterwards, once the woman says, “I give you possession over myself,” via contract of “right hand possession,” this woman becomes his loyal servant, and he her lord; she becomes a slave and concubine to him, and he must support her according to a previously agreed upon monetary fee … thus they become governed by the rulings of “right hand possession,” and there is no problem with this, Allah willing.

To bolster his fatwa, al-Ajlawni referred to a few hadiths (recorded words and teachings of Islam’s prophet Muhammad), including: “One of the signs of the [final] hour is that knowledge will decrease, ignorance will increase, adultery will appear, women will grow in numbers, while men will grow less, so that fifty women will be worth one [man].”

Al-Ajlawni also cited a hadith from the canonical Sahih Bukhari, which has the prophet saying: “whenever fitna [sedition from Islam] becomes widespread, Allah distinguishes his followers, so that 50 women follow one man, saying, ‘Oh Abdullah [“slave of Allah”], take care of me,’” adding that in the same narrative the woman says, “O Abdullah, have sex with me.”… Keep reading

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Muslim Brotherhood Slaughter Christian Woman

Monday, March 31st, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Family of slain woman during funeral church service

On Friday, March 28, in Ain Shams, a suburb of Cairo, Muslim Brotherhood supporters attacked the Virgin Mary and Archangel Michael Coptic Orthodox Church, including by opening fire on it and setting parked cars aflame.  Four people died.

One of the slain, a young Coptic woman, was savagely mauled and molested before being murdered—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to the Brotherhood rioters.

According to an eyewitness who discussed the entire event on the Egyptian program, 90 Minutes, Mary Sameh George was parking by the church to deliver medicine to a sickly, elderly woman:

Once they saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rear view mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find….  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.

The eyewitness, as well as many others who have since appeared on videos, complained about Egyptian State Security and how it did not intervene—just like under Morsi, when St. Mark Cathedral was besieged, even as security stood by—how it knows exactly who the murderers are, and how one of Mary’s murderers, whom “everyone reported to Security,” was simply relaxing in his home, not even hiding.

Added the eyewitness: “Let me tell you, here in Ain Shams, we [Christians] know that every Friday is a day of death; that the day after Friday, Saturday, we’ll be carried to the morgue!”

In fact, the overwhelming majority of attacks on Egypt’s Christians occur on Friday—the day when pious Muslims meet in mosque for prayers and to hear sermons.

The significance of this fact can only be understood by analogy: what if Christians were especially violent to non-Christian minorities on Sunday—right after they got out of church?  What would that say about what goes on in Christian churches?

What does it say about what goes on in Muslim mosques?

A video of Mary’s family members has one woman screaming out the following words—which may be of interest to some Americans:

A message to [U.S. President Barack] Obama, who is calling for the Brotherhood to return to power again.   I want to tell him, have mercy, enough is enough!  His brother is in the al-Qaeda organization!  Why do you want to destroy Egypt?….Egypt will remain whether you, the Brotherhood, or anyone else likes it or not!

She was referring to something that is as well known in Egypt as it is little known in the United States:  that the Obama administration is a sponsor of the Muslim Brotherhood, which itself is connected to al-Qaeda.

The rest of the video portrays some of Mary’s other family members—many in tears and near hysteria—prompting one to wonder: where is the U.S media?  I have not seen a word on this latest Islamic attack on a church and Christians on BBC, CNN, or any of the so-called “mainstream media”?  Why is that?  They had no problem constantly showing us (over and over again) a video clip of a hysterical female relative of a member of Malaysian flight MH370.

The mainstream media is silent because Muslim persecution of Christians in general—Obama-sponsored Muslim Brotherhood in particular—throws a huge wrench in that narrative.

After all, how many Americans ever heard of the largest massacre of Syrian Christians by U.S.-supported Islamic rebels?

Responding to this latest murder of a Christian, Coptic Bishop Raphaeil wrote:

Oh how lucky you are, Mary, you who are beloved of Christ.  They tore your body because of the Cross.  Yet they offered you the greatest service and gave you a name of honor as one who has attained the crown of martyrdom.

More poignantly, the bishop quoted Christ in the Bible, “Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2)—a reference to the fact that the Muslims slaughtering the followers of Christ all around the world quite often believe they are doing God’s (or Allah’s) work.

Hence why anecdotes such as Friday’s are becoming immensely regular in the Muslim world. Indeed, only a few months ago, two other Coptic Christian girls — both also named “Mary” — were slain when Brotherhood supporters opened fire on yet another church.

Such is the dramatic, eye-opening, and medieval world outside U.S. borders that that the “powers that be” do not want you to know about—for only their well-crafted, self-serving narratives must prevail.

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Coptic Woman ‘Martyred for the Cross’ — ‘Body Torn’

Sunday, March 30th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Mary, the latest Christian martyr to be killed in Egypt

On his Twitter account, Coptic Bishop Raphaeil, who also serves as Secretary of the Holy Synod of the Coptic Christian Church, just wrote:

Oh how lucky you are, Mary, you who are beloved of Christ.  They tore your body because of the Cross.  Yet they offered you the greatest service and gave you a name of honor as one who attained the crown of martyrdom.

The bishop also quoted Christ in the Bible, “Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2).

Mary was killed during clashes between supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood and Egyptian police, when the former, whipped into a frenzy after Friday mosque prayers, attacked a Coptic church, including by opening fire on it.  Along with Mary, three others were killed.

Eyewitnesses confirmed that she was targeted when Brotherhood rioters “noticed that she had a small cross dangling from the rear-view mirror of her car.”

Others said she was killed because she “was in possession of a firearm.”

It’s clear which version of events the Coptic bishop believes occurred — considering he asserts that she was martyred for the cross.

Incidentally, let us briefly contrast the Christian and Muslim notions of martyrdom.  Koran 9:111 declares:

Indeed, Allah has purchased from the believers their lives and their properties [in exchange] for that they will have Paradise. They fight in the cause of Allah , so they kill and are killed. [It is] a true promise [binding] upon Him in the Torah and the Gospel and the Qur’an. And who is truer to his covenant than Allah ? So rejoice in your transaction which you have contracted. And it is that which is the great attainment.

Even the authoritative Hans Wehr Arabic-English Dictionary translates shahid (Arabic for “martyr”) as “one killed in battle with infidels.”

On the other hand, Christian martyrdom has always meant being killed — as opposed to killing — on behalf of the Christian faith.

And this is precisely the definition that for centuries has applied to Egypt’s Copts, till the present moment.

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Turkey’s Latest Jihad on Christian Armenians

Friday, March 28th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Far from being repentant of the Armenian Genocide, Turkey, under the leadership of Prime Minister Erdogan, is again targeting Armenians; is again causing their death and dislocation.

In the early morning hours of March 21, al-Qaeda linked Islamic jihadis crossed into Syrian territory from the Turkish border and launched a jihad on the Christian/Armenian town of Kessab.   Among other things, “Snipers targeted the civilian population and launched mortar attacks on the town and the surrounding villages.”  Reportedly eighty people were killed.

The jihadis later made a video touring the devastated town.  No translation is needed, as the main phrase shouted throughout is Islam’s triumphant war cry, “Allahu Akbar” (or, according to Sen. John McCain’s translation, “thank God”).
[...]
Nor are Armenians and others missing the significance of Turkey’s role.  In a written statement, the Armenian National Committee-International condemned Turkey’s active role in aiding and abetting Christian persecuting jihadi groups:

For months, we have warned the international community of the imminent threat posed by extremist foreign fighters against the Christian minority population in Syria.  These vicious and unprompted attacks against the Armenian-populated town and villages of Kessab are the latest examples of this violence, actively encouraged by neighboring Turkey. We call upon all states with any influence in the Syrian conflict to use all available means to stop these attacks against the peaceful civilian population of Kessab, to allow them to return to their homes in safety and security. In the last one hundred years, this is the third time that the Armenians are being forced to leave Kessab and in all three cases, Turkey is the aggressor or on the side of the aggressors [emphasis added].

On March 24,  Samvel Farmanyan, a member of the Armenian National Assembly, traveled to Syria to meet with Kessab’s dislocated Armenians: “I should say the impression was shocking,” he said.  “The situation is like the one we have read about in textbooks and literature about the Armenian Genocide, in the memories of Genocide survivors….  These are tragic events, which cannot but bring forth obvious parallels with the events of 100 years ago—the Armenian Genocide.”

Video interviews with the recently dislocated Armenians of Syria further document this sentiment.   One elderly man says “We’ve been here 97 years since they slaughtered us in Turkey.  These al-Qaeda ‘rebel’ groups are the grandsons of Abdul Hamid” (the Ottoman sultan who committed the first systematic genocide of Armenians)… Keep reading 

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Does a ‘Moderate Islam’ Really Exist?

Thursday, March 27th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

I discussed this question with CBN News recently, in connection with my article “Why Moderate Islam is an Oxymoron.”

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Why ‘Moderate Islam’ is an Oxymoron

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

At a time when terrorism committed in the name of Islam is rampant, we are continuously being assured—especially by three major institutions that play a dominant role in forming the Western mindset, namely, mainstream media, academia, and government—that the sort of Islam embraced by “radicals,” “jihadis,” and so forth, has nothing to do with “real” Islam.

“True” Islam, so the narrative goes, is intrinsically free of anything “bad.”  It’s the nut-jobs who hijack it for their own agenda that are to blame.

More specifically, we are told that there exists a “moderate” Islam and an “extremist” Islam—the former good and true, embraced by a Muslim majority, the latter a perverse sacrilege practiced by an exploitative minority.

But what do these dual adjectives—“moderate” and “extremist”—ultimately mean in the context of Islam?  Are they both equal and viable alternatives insofar as to how Islam is understood?  Are they both theologically legitimate?  This last question is particularly important, since Islam is first and foremost a religious way of life centered around the words of a deity (Allah) and his prophet (Muhammad)—the significance of which is admittedly unappreciated by secular societies.

Both terms—“moderate” and “extremist”—have to do with degree, or less mathematically, zeal: how much, or to what extent, a thing is practiced or implemented.  As Webster’s puts it, “moderate” means “observing reasonable limits”; “extremist” means “going to great or exaggerated lengths.”

It’s a question, then, of doing either too much or too little.

The problem, however, is that mainstream Islam offers a crystal-clear way of life, based on the teachings of the Koran and Hadith—the former, containing what purport to be the sacred words of Allah, the latter, the example (or sunna, hence “Sunnis”) of his prophet, also known as the most “perfect man” (al-insan al-kamil).   Indeed, based on these two primary sources and according to normative Islamic teaching, all human actions fall into five categories: forbidden actions, discouraged actions, neutral actions recommended actions, and obligatory actions.

In this context, how does a believer go about “moderating” what the deity and his spokesman have commanded?    One can either try to observe Islam’s commandments or one can ignore them: any more or less is not Islam—a word which means “submit” (to the laws, or sharia, of Allah).

The real question, then, is what do Allah and his prophet command Muslims (“they who submit”) to do?  Are radicals “exaggerating” their orders? Or are moderate Muslims simply “observing reasonable limits”—a euphemism for negligence?—when it comes to fulfilling their commandments?

In our highly secularized era, where we are told that religious truths are flexible or simply non-existent, and that any and all interpretations and exegeses are valid, the all-important question of “What does Islam command?” loses all relevance.

Hence why the modern West is incapable of understanding Islam.

Indeed, only recently, a Kenyan mosque leader said that the Westgate massacre, where Islamic gunmen slaughtered some 67 people, “was justified.  As per the Koran, as per the religion of Islam, Westgate was 100 percent justified.” Then he said: “Radical Islam is a creation of people who do not believe in Islam. We don’t have radical Islam, we don’t have moderates, we don’t have extremists. Islam is one religion following the Koran and the Sunna” … Keep reading

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Muslim Brotherhood Supporter, Qatar, Turns to U.S. for Support

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

US Secretary of State John Kerry and Qatar crown prince, Sheik Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani, greet each other at the Prince’s Sea Palace residence in Doha. AFP Photo

Qatar, which is under fire by fellow Gulf States and Egypt for its material and propaganda (Al Jazeera) support to the Muslim Brotherhood — which has again been reclassified as a terrorist organization by said Arab states — is now turning to the United States and Obama administration for support.

According to sources, “Hamad bin Ali al-Attiyah, The Qatari Minister of State for Defence Affairs, is leaving for Washington to discuss the situation in Qatar with US Secretary of State John Kerry, an American Foreign Ministry source said on Monday. Al-Attiyah and Mohammed Jaham Al-Kuwari, Qatar’s Ambassador at Washington, are also planning to meet with Barak Obama during their stay in US, the source told reporters.”

And what is the purpose of these high level meetings?  The Qatar Royal family has sent an official letter “requesting urgent help and US mediation in the crisis between Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, and Qatar.”

Of course, all Qatar need do to avert this “crisis” is to stop supporting the terrorist Muslim Brotherhood; stop inciting violence, regional chaos, and terrorism (or “jihad) through its Al Jazeera network and Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi (who himself earlier called on the U.S. to wage jihad on Muslims).

It is specifically for these reasons that the tiny state, which aside from its Al Jazeera network has little influence, is under fire by its neighbors.

Yet instead of obliging and ceasing its pro-Muslim Brotherhood support, Qatar prefers to turn to the U.S. Obama administration for “mediation” — which of course is not surprising considering the latter’s connections to the Muslim Brotherhood.

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Why the Media Doesn’t Cover Jihadist Attacks on Middle East Christians

Friday, March 21st, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

“To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God all over again and subjecting Him to public disgrace”—Hebrews 6:6

The United Nations, Western governments, media, universities, and talking heads everywhere insist that Palestinians are suffering tremendous abuses from the state of Israel.  Conversely, the greatest human rights tragedy of our time—radical Muslim persecution of Christians, including in Palestinian controlled areas—is devotedly ignored.

The facts speak for themselves. Reliable estimates indicate that anywhere from 100-200 million Christians are persecuted every year; one Christian is martyred every five minutes. Approximately 85% of this persecution occurs in Muslim majority nations. In 1900, 20% of the Middle East was Christian. Today, less than 2% is.

In one week in Egypt alone, where my Christian family emigrated, the Muslim Brotherhood launched akristallnacht—attacking, destroying, and/or torching some82 Christian churches (some of which were built in the 5th century, when Egypt was still a Christian-majority nation before the Islamic conquests).  Al-Qaeda’s black flag has been raised atop churches.  Christians—including priests, women and children—have been attacked, beheaded, and killed.

Nor is such persecution of Christians limited to Egypt.   From Morocco in the west to Indonesia in the east and from Central Asia to the north to sub-Saharan Africa to the south; across thousands of miles of lands inhabited by peoples who do not share the same races, languages, cultures, and/or socio-economic conditions, millions of Christians are being persecuted and in the same exact patterns… Keep reading

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Pro-Brotherhood Cleric Issues Fatwa to Terrorize Egypt

Tuesday, March 18th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Recently on live TV, Sheikh Abdul Maqsud, an Islamic jurisprudent, issued a fatwa obligating “Muslims” (in this context, Muslim Brotherhood supporters in Egypt) to engage in acts of terror against “infidels” (in this context, the Egyptian government and anyone else opposing the Brotherhood).

Maqsud and Morsi in happier times

Maqsud began by quoting the well-known hadith in Sahih Muslim wherein prophet Muhammad reportedly said that if a Muslim sees forbidden acts being committed, he should forcefully stop them, “with the hand”; if he is not capable of doing so, he should try to prevent them “with his tongue”; and if he still cannot do that, he should at least be against such acts “in his heart.”

Maqsud’s point was that jihad must be understood in the context of capability.  Because the Muslim Brotherhood and its jihadi allies and supporters are simply not capable of taking the Egyptian state head on—due to, as Maqsud bemoaned, Egypt’s military strength and organization, advanced weaponry, and large numbers of soldiers—all pro-Brotherhood Muslims should limit themselves only to those things they can do, namely, terrorism.

To further bolster this view, the sheikh quoted from the renowned Islamic jurist Ibn Hazm, who wrote that Muslims must only draw the sword in jihad when victory is attainable.

And because the Brotherhood’s supporters have little chance of attaining victory by drawing the sword in a head on jihad,  “All that is left for us,” concluded Maqsud, “is to try to terrorize them, by burning their cars, threatening them, burning their homes, etc.”

Maqsud, like so many before him, rationalized jihad in the context of the doctrine of abrogation, specifically, by taking the view that later verses do not cancel out earlier ones, but rather that Muslims must uphold those verses that are closest to their personal circumstances.

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Allah’s Sword of Terror

Monday, March 17th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The first time I heard about Khalid bin al-Walid—the 7th century Muslim jihadi affectionately known in Islamic history as “The Sword of Allah”—was when I was in college researching for my MA thesis on the Battle of Yarmuk, when the Muslims, under Khalid’s generalship, defeated the Byzantines in 636, opening the way for the historic Islamic conquests.

Nearly a decade and a half later, Khalid, that jihadi par excellence, has come to personify a dichotomy for me—how the jihad is understood in the West and how it really is: officially, Western academia, media, and politicians portray it as defensive war to protect Muslim honor and territory; in reality, however, jihad is all too often little more than a byword to justify the most primitive and barbaric passions of its potential recruits and practitioners.

Based on the English language sources I perused in college, Khalid was a heroic, no-nonsense kind of jihadi—fierce but fair, stern but just.  He was the champion of the Apostasy Wars, when he slaughtered countless Arabs for trying to leave Islam after the death of Muhammad.

Modern day Muslims writing about Khalid—see for example Pakistani army lieutenant-general A.I Akram’s The Sword of Allah—had naught but praise for him, the scourge of infidels and apostates.

But as years went by, I came across more arcane and Arabic sources telling of the “darker side” of The Sword—a depraved and sadistic side.

For example, only recently I came across a video of a modern-day Egyptian Salafi explaining how Khalid raped Layla, the wife of Malik bin Nuwayra—but only after he severed her husband’s head, lit it on fire, and cooked his dinner on it.

Khalid was recalled and questioned by the caliph—not because he killed and dined on an apostate’s head and “married” his wife, but because some believed that Malik was still Muslim, not an apostate to be treated so, and that Khalid killed him on the accusation of apostasy only as a pretext to take possession of his wife, whose beauty was renowned.

In the words of Ibn Kathir’s authoritative historical tome, The Beginning and the End (al-bidaya we al-nihaya), “And he [Khalid] ordered his [Malik’s] head and he combined it with two stones and cooked a pot over them.  And Khalid ate from it that night to terrify the apostate Arab tribes and others.  And it was said that Malik’s hair created such a blaze that the meat was so thoroughly cooked.”

More eye-opening is the way the videotaped Egyptian cleric recounts this whole narrative with awe and admiration…  Keep reading

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Obama Admin. Admits Contact with Terrorist Brotherhood Org. — to ‘Support People of Egypt’

Sunday, March 16th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

On Friday, March 14, in a meeting with foreign journalists in Washington D.C., deputy spokesperson of the U.S. State Department Marie Harf confirmed, once again, that the United States is in communication with the Muslim Brotherhood but denied that this means it supports the organization.  The exchange follows:

QUESTION: Okay. The second question is: The State Department has recently said that it is in constant contact with the Muslim Brotherhood, as with the other political groups, you see?

MS. HARF: Mm-hmm, yes.

QUESTION: So do you think that these contacts have any effect on the United States relations with Egypt? And are these just mere contacts or support? Because this is very important for the Egyptian public opinion. Thanks.

MS. HARF: Well, they’re contacts, and let’s just – I’ll put it in a little context here. We think it’s important to have contacts with all the parties in Egypt, because all the parties in Egypt ultimately are going to need to be a part of Egypt’s future, and that we want to help them be a part of that future and move Egypt out of the situation it’s in today. So we think this is important to do. Do we always agree, do they always agree with what we’re saying? Of course not. But we believe it’s important to have the dialogue.

We don’t support one party or one group or one person. So when we’re talking about elections, when – I know there’s a lot of conspiracy theories about us supporting the Muslim Brotherhood or supporting the military or – there’s a lot. They can’t all be true, right? Because they’re mutually exclusive. But we don’t support one group. We support the process. We support the people of Egypt who make up these parties – right – as they are trying to determine how to get Egypt back on a better path.

So what do the Egyptian people think about it?  One Egyptian news commentator for Ontv, discussing Harf’s remarks, summed up mainstream Egyptian opinion  as follows:

Harf yesterday confirmed that her nation is in communication with the Muslim Brotherhood but denied that this means it supports them.  They’re just in contact—you know, “checking up” on each other.  She said that the United States is in contact with all political parties in Egypt.  In reality, they [Brotherhood] are no longer political parties; they are terrorist parties.  She stressed that they do not support any particular person or political party, adding “we support the people of Egypt.”  Apparently that explains why they stopped their aid and support?  They “support the people of Egypt,” even as the Egyptian people cannot stand the Muslim Brotherhood, has rejected them, and is rejoicing because the government finally designated them as a terrorist organization.  So this is the sort of “support” Mary Harf offers to the Egyptian people—that the United States is in contact with a terrorist organization.  Regarding a “conspiracy” between the U.S. and the Brotherhood, she said this cannot be true, adding that they only “support the people of Egypt as they are trying to determine how to get Egypt back on a better path.”  What’s it to you?  If we want a democracy, a dictatorship, or just to stay as we are—we’re free to do so.  I really don’t understand this idea whereby they [Obama administration] always show up saying “we support democracy” in the Arab world, and yet here is the result of their support: every nation they have put their nose in, they destroyed it.

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CIA Chief: Jihad a Product of Injustices, Economics, and Ignorance

Friday, March 14th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

CIA director John Brennan is at it again—equivocating over the nature of jihad by evoking paradigms familiar to the West.

Last Tuesday, “during an event at the Council of Foreign Relations, Brennan was asked about the ‘war of ideas’ surrounding Islam, which the questioner said many Americans tend to equate with violence.”

The CIA chief responded by saying that al-Qaeda’s ideology is “a perverse and very corrupt interpretation of the Qur’an”; that “al-Qaeda has hijacked” Islam; that “they have really distorted the teachings of Muhammad.”

Even so, “that ideology, that agenda of al-Qaeda,” confirmed Brennan, “has gained resonance and following in many parts of the world.”

So what is the CIA chief’s explanation as to why such a “perverse and very corrupt” understanding of Islam—one that has “distorted the teachings of Muhammad”— resonates among Muslims?

He gives none—other than to say that this ideology is “fed a lot of times by, you know, political repression, by economic, you know, disenfranchisement, by, you know, lack of education and ignorance, so there—there are a number of phenomena right now that I think are fueling the fires of, you know, this ideology.”

Interestingly, if you watch the video clip of Brennan talking, you will note that he only “you knows” in the above quotation (four times) and right before it, when he says that al-Qaeda has “distorted the teachings of Muhammad, you know, for violent purposes.”

The rest of his talk is relatively smooth.

Could Brennan be self-conscious of his own equivocations—hence all these stilted “you knows” in one sentence?

Could he be aware of the Rand Corporation report on counterterrorism, prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense in 2009?   It found that “Terrorists are not particularly impoverished, uneducated, or afflicted by mental disease. Demographically, their most important characteristic is normalcy (within their environment). Terrorist leaders actually tend to come from relatively privileged backgrounds.”… Keep reading

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Jizya-Vigilantes Target Christian Minorities

Friday, March 14th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

In the al-Nafura region of Asyut, Egypt, an increasingly common scene took place earlier this month.

Isaac Eli—a Coptic Christian—was abducted under threat of gunfire.

According to sources, four “unknown persons” armed with automatic weapons came upon the Coptic wood merchant while he was working in front of his home, coerced him into their car, and sped away.

Later, one of his relatives received a phone call demanding a hefty ransom to release the Christian man: 500,000 Egyptian pounds—the equivalent of approximately $72,000 USD, an exorbitant sum for any resident of Upper Egypt.

Such scenarios—Coptic children or adults abducted at gunpoint and held (and sometimes killed or forced to convert to Islam) by “unknown persons” in exchange for money—are on the rise in Egypt (see herehereherehere, and here for some recent examples).

The logic of these many “unknown persons” is simple: according to Islamic law, non-Muslims are required to pay jizya, or tribute, in order not to be molested or plundered (see Koran 9:29).

However, because the jizya has been abolished since the 19th century, thanks to the intervention of colonial powers, these “unknown persons” have found a way to make a profit that is conscionable enough for them: target Christian minorities in their midst for ransom money and justify it all in the context of receiving their just due of jizya from them.

If Christian infidels are not made to pay tribute to the state—as Koran 9:29 mandates and as Salafis regularly insist—the “jizya-vigilantes” will get that money one way or another.

The prevalence of this mentality becomes more evident when one considers that the phenomenon of Muslims kidnapping and holding for ransom Christians is occurring all around the Muslim world—including in Syria, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Nigeria, Sudan—and not just Egypt (see pgs. 199-216 of Crucified Again for details and documentation).

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Islamic Jihad and the Doctrine of Abrogation

Friday, March 14th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The Koran and Sword: Hand in Hand

While other scriptures contain contradictions, the Koran is the only holy book whose commentators have evolved a doctrine to account for the very visible shifts which occur from one injunction to another. No careful reader will remain unaware of the many contradictory verses in the Koran, most specifically the way in which peaceful and tolerant verses lie almost side by side with violent and intolerant ones. The ulema were initially baffled as to which verses to codify into the Shari’a worldview—the one that states there is no coercion in religion (2:256), or the ones that command believers to fight all non-Muslims till they either convert, or at least submit, to Islam (8:39, 9:5, 9:29). To get out of this quandary, the commentators developed the doctrine of abrogation, which essentially maintains that verses revealed later in Muhammad’s career take precedence over earlier ones whenever there is a discrepancy. In order to document which verses abrogated which, a religious science devoted to the chronology of the Koran’s verses evolved (known as an-Nasikh wa’l Mansukh, the abrogater and the abrogated).

But why the contradiction in the first place? The standard view is that in the early years of Islam, since Muhammad and his community were far outnumbered by their infidel competitors while living next to them in Mecca, a message of peace and coexistence was in order. However, after the Muslims migrated to Medina in 622 and grew in military strength, verses inciting them to go on the offensive were slowly “revealed”—in principle, sent down from Allah—always commensurate with Islam’s growing capabilities. In juridical texts, these are categorized in stages: passivity vis-á-vis aggression; permission to fight back against aggressors; commands to fight aggressors; commands to fight all non-Muslims, whether the latter begin aggressions or not. [1] Growing Muslim might is the only variable that explains this progressive change in policy.

Other scholars put a gloss on this by arguing that over a twenty-two year period, the Koran was revealed piecemeal, from passive and spiritual verses to legal prescriptions and injunctions to spread the faith through jihad and conquest, simply to acclimate early Muslim converts to the duties of Islam, lest they be discouraged at the outset by the dramatic obligations that would appear in later verses.[2] Verses revealed towards the end of Muhammad’s career—such as, “Warfare is prescribed for you though you hate it”[3]—would have been out of place when warfare was actually out of the question.

Allah himself speaking through the Koran justifies abrogation:  “Whenever We abrogate a verse or cause it to be forgotten, we replace it by a better or similar one.  Know you not that Allah has power over all things?” (Koran 2: 106; see also 16:101, 13:39, and 17:86)… Keep reading

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The Double-Edged Sword of Jihad

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Islamic nations are again learning that the jihad is a volatile instrument of war that can easily backfire on those who preach it; that “holy war” is hardly limited to fighting and subjugating “infidels”—whether the West in general, Israel in particular, or the millions of non-Muslim minorities under Islam—but can also be used to fight “apostates,” that is, Muslims accused of not being Islamic enough.

In an unprecedented move and following Egypt’s lead, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Bahrain recently withdrew their ambassadors from Qatar, largely due to its Al Jazeera propaganda network which, since the ousting of the Muslim Brotherhood, has been inciting chaos in the region.

According to a March 7 Reuters reports, “Saudi Arabia has formally designated the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization, in a move that could increase pressure on Qatar whose backing for the group has sparked a row with fellow Gulf monarchies….  Saudi Arabia and the UAE are fuming over Qatar’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and resent the way Doha has sheltered influential cleric Yusuf Qaradawi, a critic of the Saudi authorities, and given him regular airtime on its pan-Arab satellite channel Al Jazeera.”

Qaradawi, of course, has been an Al Jazeera mainstay for many years, regularly preaching jihad against Israel and other “infidels”—telling millions of Muslim viewers to “obey the prophet, even if he tells you to kill.”

Back then, Qaradawi was not a problem for the Gulf States.

However, since the Egyptian June 30 Revolution saw the ousting and subsequent banning of the Muslim Brotherhood, and ever since the Brotherhood’s supporters—chief among them Qaradawi, through his Al Jazeera program—have been inciting violence in the region, especially in Egypt and Syria, the jihad is spinning out of control; and the Gulf monarchs know that, if not contained and directed, it can easily reach them.

For if jihadis are fighting fellow Muslims in Egypt and Syria—under the accusation that they are not “true” Muslims—what is to stop them from targeting the Gulf monarchies in the same context?

Thus, although the Saudis originally promoted the jihad against the Syrian government—sending and supporting militants, both Saudi and otherwise—in a complete reverse, the Arabian kingdom has just designated several of these jihadi organizations, including the Nusra Front and the Islamic State in Iraq and Levant, as “terrorist” organizations.

This move, according to Reuters, “underscored concern about young Saudis hardened by battle against Assad coming home to target the ruling Al Saud royal family—as has happened after the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq.”

And so history repeats itself.  Back in the 1980s, the Saudis were chief supporters of the jihad against the Soviets in Afghanistan and helped create al-Qaeda… KEEP READING

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Terrorist Org. Ansar Bayt al-Muqadas Receives ‘Major Blow’ from Egyptian Forces

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Abu ‘Ubaida, a leader of Ansar Bayt al-Muqadas, the most recent terrorist organization to plague post-Muslim Brotherhood Egypt, was killed yesterday by Egyptian forces.

According to Egyptian Maj. Gen. Muhammad Nour al-Din, ‘Ubaida was the regional director of the terrorist organization in Egypt, and was directly involved in the planning and implementation of all attacks in Cairo.

Speaking yesterday on the television program “Happening in Egypt,” which airs on MBC Egypt, Nour al-Din said that “Today’s killing of Abu ‘Ubaida counts as a major blow from the National Security Agency to the members of Bayt al-Muqadas.”

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Crucifix-less Nuns Indirectly Confirm Islamic Hostility for Christians

Thursday, March 13th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Now that the group of Syrian nuns held captive for three months by jihadi forces have been released (in exchange for prisoners held by the Syrian government), they have confirmed  that “they did not feel comfortable wearing their crosses and crucifixes.”

Indeed, back on February 18, I discussed how pictures of the nuns showed no pectoral crosses in “Kidnapped Nuns No Longer Bear the Cross.”  This was in keeping with the fact that Islamic law bans Christian “dhimmis” from showing their crosses or Bibles around Muslims.

Still, the Guardian’s first line of the nuns’ release is “Nuns say they were not forced to remove crosses during captivity,” because “the group’s leader, Mother Pelagia Saayaf, who heads the Mar Takla monastery, said: ‘We took off our crosses because we were in the wrong place to wear them.’”

Yet does this diplomatic response not speak for itself concerning, not just contempt for the cross, but for Christians in general?  For it simply means that, by wearing crosses they would have exposed their Christian identity — and that would not have been a wise thing, considering they were in “the wrong place,” that is, a place hostile to Christians.

And does it not stand to reason that those hostile to Christians would be hostile to Christian symbols?

Equally telling is the fact that other Christians in Syria were recently offered a “pact,” one modeled after the Islamic rules conquered Christians historically followed, and it specifically includes words banning the appearance of the cross.

At any rate, read my original article, including the now prophetic words of one Syrian priest who said:

St Paul says “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world” (Galatians 6:14).  You [jihadis] removed the cross from the nuns’ breasts.  Remove it!  We do not rely on the visible.  But know that the cross is firmly planted in the hearts of each and every one of those nuns.

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Syria: Christian Mother Describes Slaughter and ‘Cross Stabbing’ of Son

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Back on January 17 and based on Arabic media,  I exposed the graphic attack on Fadi, a Christian man in Syria, who, after he was spotted wearing a cross around his neck — and thus exposed as a Christian — was beheaded by U.S.-supported “freedom fighters” and stabbed with said crucifix.

According to the original report, “And when the mujahidin [jihadis] approached the car, they noticed that Fadi was wearing a cross around his neck, so they decided to decapitate him and plant the cross in his chest.”

Now, a brief video of his mother describing her son’s ordeal gives a glimpse of the suffering of Christians and many others in Syria at the hands of the Islamic terrorists being supported by the U.S. Obama administration.

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Erdogan ‘Ready to Withdraw from Political Life’?

Saturday, March 8th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, the current Prime Minister of Turkey, said he would “withdraw from political life” if his Justice and Development party failed to win majority seats in Turkey’s upcoming elections scheduled to be held  on March 30.

On March 6 he told reporters, “If my party does not achieve first place in the municipal elections, I would be ready to withdraw from political life.”

His comments come in the context of recent scandals of corruption.  Among other things, he has also been at odds with several Arab nations, chief among them Egypt, as his Muslim Brotherhood connections caused him to be a chief player in condemning the June 30 people’s revolution which saw the ousting of former Egyptian president Morsi and the Brotherhood.

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The Past and the Future

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Last November Raymond Ibrahim was interviewed by Egyptian reporter Sherif Awad.  The interview appeared in several Egyptian magazines and websites, as well as American ones, such as the Westchester Guardian.  The interview follows:

Awad: Can you tell us about your family and their profession and how and why they decided to migrate to the US? Tell us about your childhood and the intercultural elements that shaped it until you decided to select your profession.

Ibrahim: My father and mother, both Copts, one from Cairo the other Alexandria, left Egypt in the late 1960s for America, where I was born.  They left Egypt for a better life.  I grew up speaking both Arabic and English and visited Egypt with my parents often when I was young.  It was natural, then, for me formally to study the region, its languages (primarily Arabic, which I already spoke), its history and conflicts, in college.  Growing up in Egypt in the 1940s-1960s, my parents experienced little by way of direct persecution, but they did experience religious discrimination, and that was one of the reasons they came to America, for better opportunities.

Awad: In regards to your MA thesis and book about the Battle of Yarmuk, can you compare its events to the happenings that led to the ending of Islamic rule in Andalusia? Do you consider researching the Islamic empire in Andalusia? About the Crusades?

Ibrahim: Yes, I am very interested in early and medieval Islamic history, especially military history vis-à-vis Christendom.  Not only are there parallels between those various battles and encounters, but indeed, the patterns continue to this very day.  Most in the West are wholly unaware that to Islamist groups like al-Qaeda, they see the conflict as a continuum of history—as jihadis (mujahidin) fighting infidel “crusaders.”  This is precisely why I have an interest in the long history of the conflict—most of which is concealed from people in the West by the forces of “political correctness,” which predominate in the classrooms, the government, and the media.

Awad: You researched al-Qaeda’s early history but I want to ask about 9/11 and how far al-Qaeda was involved, because many conspiracy theorists claim that certain US entities have something to do with those events… KEEP READING

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Open Season on Christians in Libya

Wednesday, March 5th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

It’s open season on Coptic Christians in Libya.

A few days after seven Copts were identified as Christians, pulled out of their homes by “unknown gunmen” and taken out and executed in Jarutha, some 20 miles west of Benghazi (see here for graphic pictures), Egyptian Copts are still being singled out and killed.

This comes after the Islamic jihadi group,Ansar al-Sharia—which appears connected to Egypt’s now ousted Muslim Brotherhood—offered a reward to any Benghazi resident who helps them round up and execute the nation’s few Christians, according to Egyptian human rights groups.

Yesterday another body was found, believed to be that of a Copt—due to the small cross tattooed on his wrist traditionally worn by Egyptian Christians, not least to identify themselves.

And the day before that, another Coptic Christian, Salama Fawzi, 24, was shot at, including in the head, while he was unloading food in front of his grocery stand in Benghazi by several “unknown gunmen”; he is currently in critical condition.

Under Col. Gaddafi, many Copts migrated to Libya looking for work opportunities.  However, since the dictator was ousted—and sodomized and murdered, to gleeful laughter by Hillary Clinton—Christians have been under attack there, from the arrest, torture, and killing of Christians accused of “proselytizing,” to the bombing and burning of churches in the north African nation, evincing the true nature of the U.S-supported “Arab Spring” takeover of Libya.

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Why Are Christians the World’s Most Persecuted Group?

Friday, February 28th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Why are Christians, as a new Pew report documents, the most persecuted religious group in the world?  And why is their persecution occurring primarily throughout the Islamic world?  (In the category on “Countries with Very High Government Restrictions on Religion,” Pew lists 24 countries—20 of which are Islamic and precisely where the overwhelming majority of “the world’s” Christians are actually being persecuted.)

The reason for this ubiquitous phenomenon of Muslim persecution of  Christians is threefold:

Christianity is the largest religion in the world.  There are Christians practically everywhere around the globe, including in much of the Muslim world.  Moreover, because much of the land that Islam seized was originally Christian—including the Middle East and North Africa, the region that is today known as the “Arab world”—Muslims everywhere are still confronted with vestiges of Christianity, for example, in Syria, where many ancient churches and monasteries are currently being destroyed by al-Qaeda linked, U.S. supported “freedom fighters.”  Similarly, in Egypt, where Alexandria was a major center of ancient Christianity before the 7th century Islamic invasions, there still remain at least 10 million Coptic Christians (though some put the number at much higher). Due to sheer numbers alone, then, indigenous Christians are much more visible and exposed to attack by Muslims than other religious groups throughout the Arab world.   Yet as CNS News puts it, “President Obama expressed hope that the ‘Arab Spring’ would give rise to greater religious freedom in North Africa and the Middle East, which has had the world’s highest level of hostility towards religion in every year since 2007, when Pew first began measuring it. However, the study finds that these regions actually experienced the largest increase in religious hostilities in 2012.”… Click for the other two reasons

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Seven Christians Executed in Libya

Tuesday, February 25th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Libyan authorities came across the slain bodies of seven Christian Copts in the region of Garutha, less than 20 miles west of Benghazi, on Monday afternoon.

According to Libyan authorities, “The slain were killed by gunshots all over their bodies.”

Pictures  confirm that the men were killed “execution-style,” including one Copt whose head and face were partially shot off.

The ages of the dead range between 17 and 25.

Click here for graphic images of the slain and to continue reading.

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Raymond Ibrahim Discusses Muslim Persecution of Christians on The 700 Club

Monday, February 24th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

Last Thursday, February 20, I appeared on CBN’s 700 Club, discussing the worsening plight of Christians under Islam with Pat Robertson.

  • 82% of the worst countries to be a Christian in are Islamic countries
  • Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya — all recently liberated by the United States — are among the worst persecutors of Christians

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Kidnapped Nuns Stripped of Cross

Thursday, February 20th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

A new video of the twelve Christian nuns kidnapped in Syria recently appeared.  In it, the nuns are taped sitting in a room and being questioned by an unseen man, presumably a member of the kidnappers.  He asks them how they are, if they’ve been mistreated, etc.

YouTube Preview Image

They respond that they are being treated fine, that they very much look forward to being returned to their convent, that they heartily thank the world for its concern, and that they continually pray that God grant peace to all nations.

Their words say one thing, their expressions and demeanor another.  Put differently, as female captives of Islamic jihadis, what else could they say but what they were told to say?  (See, for example, how the nun in glasses had to be forced to face the camera at 1:46.)  Even if one of them dared to say the “wrong thing,” it naturally would have been edited out.  Who knows how many takes it took to get the video—which includes a bizarre clip of the nuns having a snowball fight with their abductors—just right?

One thing, however, although minor, speaks volumes concerning the nature of their captivity.  Although these same nuns, in pictures before they were kidnapped, often appear wearing the large pectoral crosses that nuns often wear, these are all gone in the recent video… Keep reading

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Egypt: Christian Syrian Family Slaughtered

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

A Christian Syrian family of four living in Alexandria, Egypt, was barbarically stabbed to death Sunday in their home in al-Ibrahamya neighborhood, Arabic media are reporting.

The family consisted of a father, 44, his wife, 35, their 6-year-old son, Michael, and the wife’s brother.

Michael, slaughtered 6-yr-old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

After the murders, the house, where the family had been living for years, was set on fire by the murderers in an attempt to hide the crime but was put out by authorities.

All four bodies were found bearing many stab wounds and other signs of extreme violence.

The wife and child had their throats slit, while the father appeared to have been stabbed to death, with stab wounds all over his body.

The crime was not motivated by theft, as the home was not robbed, and preliminary reports say the family was slaughtered for being supporters of the Bashar Assad government in Syria… Keep reading

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Qatar to Send Brotherhood Leaders to London Haven

Wednesday, February 19th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

According to new media reports, Qatar’s government has called on the top leaders of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic Group (al-Gama‘a al-Islamiyya)—including Assam Abdul Majid and Tarek al-Zomor, the leaders of the Islamic Group, and Muhammad Mahsub, Ashraf Badr al-Deen, Mahmoud Hasayn, and Hamza Zawba, the formal speaker of the Brotherhood’s Justice and Freedom Party—to leave Qatar and go to the English capital, London.

Sources say this move comes after Egypt, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations have begun to pressure Qatar for being a haven to Brotherhood and Islamic Group leaders.

Earlier, Turkey refused to accept these Islamist refugees.

Of note is the fact that England has not ratified the extradition agreement, meaning it does not need to extradite any criminal to any country, not to mention north London is a haven for Muslim Brotherhood members, at their head, the Secretary General of the Brotherhood, Mahmoud Ezzat, also known as “Mr. X” and the true leader of the organization.

 

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New York Times Biased Coverage on Muslim Persecution

Monday, February 17th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The New York Times has finally found a victim of Islamic aggression in Nigeria worth reporting on: homosexuals.   In a big spread complete with pictures appearing last week, the NYT’s Adam Nossiter wrote “Wielding Whip and a Hard New Law, Nigeria Tries to ‘Sanitize’ Itself of Gays.”

While it’s all well and good to expose the persecution of any group, why does the NYT remain silent about the much more endemic and savage jihad to “sanitize” Nigeria of Christians—a jihad that has seen countless Christians butchered and countless churches destroyed?

A 2012 meeting of Nigerian church heads concluded that “the pattern of these killings [of Christians] does suggest to us a systematic ethnic and religious cleansing.”

Among other things in the group’s bid to cleanse the Muslim-majority north of all Christian presence, it has threatened to poison the food eaten by Christians and “to strike fear into the Christians of the power of Islam by kidnapping their women.” The group frequently storms areas where Christians and Muslims are intermingled—from villages to colleges—and singles the Christians out before slitting their throats.

In 2011 hundreds of Christians were killed and 430 churches destroyed or damaged. In 2012, 900 Christians were slaughtered.  Indeed, of all Christians killed around the world in 2012, 70% were killed in the west African nation.   In 2013, 612 Christians were killed and some 300 churches destroyed.  The year 2014 promises to be the same.  Just the other day, over 50 Christians were slaughtered by “Allahu Akbar” screaming jihadis.

Thus, from a purely demographic point of view, we may deduce that for every one man who gets exposed as a homosexual in the privacy of his own home, and killed for it, thousands of Christians expose themselves as infidels whenever they openly congregate and worship inside churches, as they do every Sunday, and get killed for it.

Based on numbers alone, then—assuming the NYT can agree that all human lives are equal, that the life of the Christian is equal in value to the life of the homosexual—the dramatically much bigger story has long been the relentless and genocidal jihad on Nigeria’s millions of Christians.

But of course, it’s not surprising that the NYT in general, reporter Adam Nossiter in particular, are biased concerning whose plight to highlight.  The NYT and Nossiter are the very ones who, on December 25, 2011—the day after Boko Haram bombed several churches during Christmas Eve services, leaving some 40 dead—published a spread equivocating the truth concerning the Muslim persecution of Christians in the African nation… Keep Reading

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The Simple Wisdom of Arab Dictators

Friday, February 14th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

After my recent articles documenting how the U.S. is the chief facilitator of Christian persecution in the Muslim world, I received an email from John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, in which he made the following observation:

The sad fact is that the ruthless Assad dictatorship has a better record than the United States or its Sunni allies of protecting religious minorities in the Middle East. What Syrian Christian, Alawite or Druze in their right mind would trade the Assad’s time-tested protection for the smooth words of a John Kerry, especially when they can see Sunni supremacist Saudis, Qataris, Turks and a motley array of jihadis over their shoulder?

A sad fact indeed.

Still, one of the most nagging questions for Western observers must be: Why would ruthless dictators, most of whom are at least nominally Muslim, care about Christians and bother to protect them?

The answer is related to the popular adage (possibly of Arab origin), “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  This has long meant that, whoever is at odds with my enemy becomes my natural friend and ally.

In the context of Arab dictators and Christian minorities, however, the adage changes slightly to, “The enemy of ‘infidels’ is my enemy.”

Put differently, a secular Bashar Assad—ruthless as he may be—knows that those Islamic rebels that attack Christians because the latter are “infidels” also see him as an infidel and are thus his natural enemies.

And so, if anything, finding and neutralizing those “elements” that persecute Christians is one with finding and neutralizing those elements that would overthrow him.

It was the same in Saddam’s Iraq, Mubarak’s Egypt, Qaddafi’s Libya, and the rest.

The point is not that these dictators had any special love for their Christian subjects, but rather that they knew they had little to worry about from them, while those who attack Christians are the ones to worry about.

This is evinced by the fact that, in other contexts, such Arab rulers cast the Christians to the lions as scapegoats for Islamists to vent their rage on—a “better them than me mentality.”

Still, an overarching deduction exists: those who scream “infidels” while burning churches are the same who scream “apostate” while attacking state targets.  It’s an unwavering truism.

Even al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri recently demonstrated this correlation when he called on Egypt’s jihadis to stop targeting Christians and their churches and focus instead on fighting the current rulers.  In both cases, the jihadis see the “infidel”—whether the born Coptic Christian infidel or the “apostate” military—as the enemy.

Due to Egypt’s significant Christian population which numbers at least ten million (if not much more), the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” takes on more complete meaning in that nation: the Copts and their church did play a supportive role in the June revolution that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood, even as Pope Tawadros stood side-by-side with Gen. Sisi and Al Azhar’s Grand Sheikh, Ahmed al-Tayab—only to suffer at the hands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including al-Qaeda, everywhere.

Such is the simple wisdom and instinct for survival of the Arab autocrats of the Middle East—a wisdom that concludes that, “he who targets Christians because they are ‘infidels,’ is he who targets me.”

Meanwhile, far from exhibiting such simple common sense, Western governments in general, the U.S. government in particular, continue to aid and abet those who, by targeting and killing Christians simply because they are “infidels,” are continually exposing their ingrained hostility for the West and everything it once stood for.

 

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‘Army of Muhammad’ Calls for Mega Jihad to Create Caliphate

Friday, February 14th, 2014 - by Raymond Ibrahim

The Army of Muhammad (Tanzim Jaysh Muhammad), one of the Sunni jihadi organizations operating in Syria and which is named after the prophet of Islam, has just called for the creation of an Islamic, jihadi army of at least 800,000 fighters, composed of all Muslim nationalities, from Europe, Africa, and Asia.  Its stated purpose would be to depose the military regimes of the Middle East and herald the way to resurrecting the Islamic caliphate, or the creation of one unified Islamic state in the Middle East.

According to Arabic media, the Army of Muhammad declared in a recent statement that “It is incumbent on all Islamic jihadi organizations around the world to work under one banner to depose the military regimes, which were created by the Sykes-Picot Agreement to divide the Islamic world, and at the head of these military regimes are the armies of Egypt, Syria, Yemen, and Algeria.”

The statement complains that all these armies have tried to halt the spread of “the Arab Spring, and for their own benefit.”

Later in the statement, the Army of Muhammad’s goals become even more ambitious, as it elaborates, saying that “It is time for the followers of the [Islamic/jihadi] Black Flag—the mujahidin—to announce the armed jihad against the regimes and arm the Arab peoples in order to overthrow the regimes in Egypt, North Africa, Syria, the Gulf monarchies, and Iran.”

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