Friday, August 22, 2014

Beheading in the Name of Islam

Our friend and fearless scholar of Islam, the Mahdi and Islamic eschatology, recently sent me this article of his, nearly a decade old now, which sheds light on the bloody penchant for beheadings embedded in Islam's DNA. This helps mightily to explain why the Islamic State Caliphate and other devout Muslim groups "strike the necks" of their victims.

by Timothy R. Furnish, Middle East Quarterly
Spring 2005, pp 51-57


Timothy R. Furnish holds a PhD in Islamic History and is an author, analyst, and consultant to the US military who specializes in transnational Islamic movements, eschatology and Mahdism. His website is www.mahdiwatch.org.

An ISIS jihadi joyfully displaying his victim's head, July 2014.
Images of masked terrorists standing behind Western hostages in Iraq and Saudi Arabia have become all too common on Arabic satellite stations such as Al-Jazeera and Al-Manar. Islamist websites such as Muntadiyat al-Mahdi[1] go further, streaming video of their murder.

The February 2002 decapitation of Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl, true to its intention, horrified the Western audience. Chechen rebels, egged on by Islamist benefactors, had adopted the practice four years earlier,[2] but the absence of widely broadcast videos limited the psychological impact of hostage decapitation. The Pearl murder and video catalyzed the resurgence of this historical Islamic practice. In Iraq, terrorists filmed the beheadings of Americans Nicholas Berg, Jack Hensley, and Eugene Armstrong. Other victims include Turks, an Egyptian, a Korean, Bulgarians, a British businessman, and a Nepalese. Scores of Iraqis, both Kurds and Arabs, have also fallen victim to Islamist terrorists' knives. The new fad in terrorist brutality has extended to Saudi Arabia where Islamist terrorists murdered American businessman Paul Johnson, whose head was later discovered in a freezer in an Al-Qaeda hideout. A variation upon this theme would be the practice of Islamists slitting the throats of those opponents they label infidels. This is what happened to Dutch filmmaker Theo Van Gogh, first gunned down and then mutilated on an Amsterdam street,[3] and to an Egyptian Coptic family in New Jersey after the father had angered Islamists with Internet chat room criticisms of Islam.[4]

The purpose of terrorism is to strike fear into the hearts of opponents in order to win political concession. As the shock value wears off and the Western world becomes immunized to any particular tactic, terrorists develop new ones in order to maximize shock and the press reaction upon which they thrive. In the 1970s and 1980s, terrorists hijacked airliners to win headlines. In the 1980s and 1990s, the car bomb became more popular; Palestinian terrorists perfected suicide bombings in the 1990s. But what once garnered days of commentary now generates only hours. Decapitation has become the latest fashion. In many ways, it sends terrorism back to the future. Unlike hijackings and car bombs, ritual beheading has a long precedent in Islamic theology and history.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Islamic Hatred and Persecution of Christians Is Imported into European Refugee Centres

"The International Society for Human Rights (ISHR) explains that attacks against Christians are far from isolated cases and that all Christians and Christian converts arriving in Germany are victims of harassment, threats, pressure" and physical violence from Muslims.

by Enza Ferreri, August 17, 2014

Christians persecuted by Muslims in Islamic countries who think they are escaping their fate by fleeing discover that the same treatment awaits them in Europe, which after all has simply imported Islam's barbarism by opening its doors to large numbers of Muslims.

The German daily newspaper Die Welt reports on the terrible exclusion and violence suffered by Christian refugees at the hands of Muslims in Germany's asylum centres.

Germany is the second country in the world, after the US, for number of asylum applications received, with 13% of them last year, and the first in Europe, with 23.2% last year.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Silent Holocaust: The Persecution of Christians in the Middle East, and What We Can Do About It


  • Houston meeting to bring together Orthodox, Coptic and Syriac Christian communities.
  • Congressional representatives invited.
  • Learn how you can help.

via Fr. John Whiteford, August 19, 2014


More details will be forthcoming, but on September 5th, 2014, at 7 pm, the Orthodox Clergy Association of Houston and Southeast Texas will have a meeting at St. George Antiochian Orthodox Church, in Houston to discuss the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. 

We are inviting all the members of the Orthodox, Coptic and Syriac Christian communities in the area to participate. We are also asking all the members of the congressional delegation of the Houston area to come. We will have speakers who will talking about what is going on, we will have questions and answers, and we will be talking about what we can do about it.

Contact your congressman and ask them to come and participate... and if you don't know who your congressman is, or if you know, but don't know how to get in touch with them, see this web site: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx

Visit and bookmark this page for more info and to contact Fr. John Whiteford.


Raymond Ibrahim: The Siege of Constantinople

"Ever since the Muslim prophet Mohammed sent a message in 628 to the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, summoning him to Islam, with the famous assertion, aslam taslam — that is, “submit [become Muslim], and you will have peace” — and the summons was refused, Constantinople became Islam’s arch-enemy."

by Raymond Ibrahim, August 15, 2014

Editor’s note: To mark the August 15 anniversary of the second Islamic siege of Constantinople, we republish the following article, which appeared a year ago on National Review Online:

Seige of Constantinople, from the Constantine Manasses Chronicle

Today, August 15, marks the anniversary of Constantinople’s victory over Muslim invaders in what historians commonly call the “Second Siege of Byzantium,” 717–18. Prior to this massive onslaught, the Muslims had been hacking away at the domains of the Byzantine empire for nearly a century. The Muslims’ ultimate goal was the conquest of Constantinople — for both political and religious reasons.

"Constantinople — from [Islam's] theological perspective — simply had to fall."

Politically, Islam had no rival but the “hated Christians” of Byzantium, known by various appellations — including al-Rum (the Romans), al-Nassara (the Nazarenes), and, most notoriously, al-Kilab (the “dogs”). The eastern Sasanian Empire had already been vanquished, and Persia subsumed into the caliphate. Only the “worshippers of the cross” — as they were, and still are, disparagingly known — were left as contenders over the eastern Mediterranean basin.

More important, Constantinople — from a theological perspective — simply had to fall. From the start, Islam and jihad were inextricably linked. The jihad, or “holy war,” which took over Arabia and Persia, followed by Syria, Egypt, and all of North Africa — all formerly Byzantine territory — was considered a religious obligation, or, as later codified in sharia law, a fard kifaya: a communal obligation on the body of believers, to be adhered to and fulfilled no less than the Five Pillars of Islam. 

"The jihad is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force..."

As the famous 14th-century Muslim historian Ibn Khaldun put it: “In the Muslim community, the jihad is a religious duty, because of the universalism of the Muslim mission and the obligation to convert everybody to Islam either by persuasion or by force. . . .  Islam is under obligation to gain power over other nations.”

This concept of jihad as institutionalized holy war was first articulated and codified into Islam’s worldview by “warrior-theologians” (mujahidin-fuqaha) living and fighting along the Byzantine-Arab frontier (such as the mujahid Abdallah bin Mubarak, author of the seminal work Kitab al-Jihad or “Book of Jihad”).

The prevalent view was that, so long as Constantinople stood, the Cross would defy the Crescent. This is a literal point: Symbols played a great role in these wars. Less than a century earlier, at the pivotal battle of Yarmuk (636), where the Muslims crushed the Byzantines, leading to the conquest of Syria, one Muslim complained to the caliph, saying, “The dog of the Romans [Emperor Heraclius] has greatly frustrated us with the ubiquitous presence of the cross!”

Indeed, one cannot overemphasize the religious nature of these wars — which, if still codified in Islam’s sharia, has become all but alien to a Western epistemology that tends cynically to dismiss the role of faith. That the primary way of identifying oneself in the old world was based on religious affiliation — not race, ethnicity, or nationality, all modern concepts — is indicative of the central role of faith. Even useful terms such as “Byzantines” are ultimately anachronistic; “Byzantines” identified themselves first and foremost as “Christians.”

For these reasons, the conquest of Constantinople would take on increasingly apocalyptic proportions in Islamic literature. Ever since the Muslim prophet Mohammed sent a message in 628 to the Byzantine emperor Heraclius, summoning him to Islam, with the famous assertion, aslam taslam — that is, “submit [become Muslim], and you will have peace” — and the summons was refused, Constantinople became Islam’s arch-enemy. Mohammed even prophesied that the Christian capital would — indeed, must — fall to Islam, with blessings and rewards to the Muslim(s) fulfilling this prophecy. Fall the great city would — but not for some 800 years, in 1453, giving an inchoate Europe the needed time to mature, strengthen, and unify.

Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross’

This specific language has clear apocalyptic implications, as per the hadith cited by Robert Spencer below. I cite a complementary hadith (Sunan Abu Dawud, Book of Battles, 37:4310) in my book, Facing Islam, in discussing Islamic eschatology and its belief that Isa (the Islamic Jesus) will return to destroy Christianity and establish Islam throughout the world:
In Islam, Prophet Isa is expected to return, but to condemn the Christians’ misunderstanding of him as divine and to literally destroy Christianity and judge all non-Muslims... The Prophet Isa will be a “good Muslim,” and will direct his followers to the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, before taking a subservient position somewhat behind the Mahdi. Isa will “fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine and abolish jizya” and establish the rule of Allah throughout the world. (Facing Islam, p. 80)
_______

Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross’
Jihad Watch — August 19, 2014

Islamic State targets the White House.
The Islamic State jihadis think of the U.S. as a Christian nation, and so they think of destroying it as breaking the cross, which language is also reminiscent of this:


Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, “By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary (Jesus) will shortly descend amongst you people (Muslims) as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya (a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government). Then there will be abundance of money and no-body will accept charitable gifts. (Bukhari 3.34.425)

“Islamic State vows to ‘break the American cross',” Reuters, August 19, 2014:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – Islamic State, the Sunni militant group which seeks to establish a caliphate in parts of Iraq and Syria, released a video on Tuesday that gave the strongest indication yet it might attempt to strike American targets.

The video with the theme “breaking of the American cross” boasts Islamic State will emerge victorious over “crusader” America. It follows a video posted on Monday warning of attacks on American targets if Washington struck against its fighters in Iraq and Syria.

Exiled Archbishop of Mosul: 'I have lost my diocese to Islam; you in the West will also become victims of Muslims'

"You must consider our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. You are in danger... If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home."

by Dr. Susan Berry, Breitbart News — August 18, 2014


The exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, is warning westerners about welcoming an increasing number of Muslims into their countries, naively believing that they too believe in democratic principles.

“Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future,” said Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona in an interview by Corriere della Sera. “I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.”

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Robert Spencer: 5 Ways the Quran Explains Today’s Headlines

I would add a sixth: the Global Persecution of Christians:
Those persecuting Christians in 41 of 50 nations are Muslims; that is, a whopping 82% of all persecution around the globe is being committed by the adherents of Islam — sometimes in Christian majority nations; for example, the Central African Republic which, after the 2013 Islamic takeover, now ranks #16, “severe persecution” (the Christian-majority nation did not even appear in the previous year’s top 50). 
As for the top ten absolute worst nations, where, according to the 2014 World Watch List, Christians suffer “extreme persecution,” nine—that is, 90%—are Muslim.  (Indeed, Open Doors’ global map of Christian persecution can easily be confused with a global map of the Islamic world, with the exception of China (ranked 37, “moderate persecution”) and some sporadic countries dominated by crime and godless tyranny, Columbia, North Korea, etc.). 
Similarly, a recent Morning Star News report listing 2013’s ten most horrific anecdotes of Christian persecution around the world finds that nine out of ten—again, 90%—were committed at the hands of those professing Islam.

Why is Muslim persecution of Christians so universal throughout the entire Islamic world? The commands contained in the Quran are clear about how Christians are to be treated:
Fight against those who believe not in Allah, nor in the Last Day, nor forbid that which has been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger and those who acknowledge not the religion of truth [i.e. Islam] among the people of the Book [Jews and Christians], until they pay the jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued. (Quran 9:29)

Kill the mushrikun [unbelievers] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. (Quran 9:5)

I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes. (Quran 8:12)
What about inter-religious dialogue and Muslim initiatives such as 'A Common Word Between Us and You'? Well, the Quran is quite explicit as to how Muslims should view Christians:
O you who have believed, do not take the Jews and the Christians as allies. They are [in fact] allies of one another. And whoever is an ally to them among you – then indeed, he is [one] of them. Indeed, Allah guides not the wrongdoing people. (Quran 5:51)
The classic Quranic commentary by Ibn Kathir explains: “Allah forbids His believing servants from having Jews and Christians as friends, because they are the enemies of Islam and its people, may Allah curse them.” 

_______

5 Ways the Quran Explains Today’s Headlines
by Robert Spencer, PJ Media — August 16, 2014
 
Nihad Awad of the Hamas-linked Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) has claimed [2] that “research has shown that anti-Islam prejudice goes down when people interact with ordinary Muslims and have greater knowledge of Islam.” Accordingly, he says, “it might also be a good idea for Americans of other faiths to borrow a Quran from a Muslim friend, neighbor or co-worker. In that way, knowledge may be increased as bonds of friendship are formed.”

Awad is right. Americans should read the Quran. If they did, they would find that it makes sense of a great many recent events that might otherwise remain inexplicable, bereft of clear motive or purpose.


5. The kidnapped aid workers in Syria.

It was revealed Thursday [3] that two young aid workers from Italy, Greta Ramelli, 20, and Vanessa Marzullo, 21, were kidnapped in Aleppo by Islamic jihadists. Western non-Muslim analysts routinely cite such stories as evidence of the evil of the jihadis — or else as evidence of how self-defeating their jihad is, if they would even try to drive out of their lands the people who have come there to help.

But the Quran makes the reasoning behind the abductions clear. Islam’s holy book directs Muslims to wage war against unbelievers, killing them by beheading and taking captives who may then be freed or ransomed: 
“Now when ye meet in battle those who disbelieve, then it is smiting of the necks until, when ye have routed them, then making fast of bonds; and afterward either grace or ransom till the war lay down its burdens” (47:4).

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Mark Durie - ‘Three Choices’ and the bitter harvest of denial

How dissimulation about Islam is fueling genocide in the Middle East

What follows are key excerpts from a lengthy (4000+ words) article by Dr. Mark Durie, whose books Which God? and The Third Choice should be required reading for all Christians, especially for Orthodox Christian hierarchs, pastors and teachers. An orthodox Anglican with practical experience in Christian-Muslim relations in Australia, Dr. Mark Durie is a trusted voice to heed in these dark times.

I strongly recommend reading carefully and absorbing the full article, as well as Dr. Durie's books. For a shorter summary of the article with comment by Jenny Taylor see here.

=======

‘Three Choices’ and the bitter harvest of denial: How dissimulation about Islam is fueling genocide in the Middle East

In northern Iraq religious genocide is reaching end-game stage.  Islamic State (IS) soldiers, reinforced with military equipment originally supplied by the US, are driving back Kurdish defenders who had been protecting Christians and other religious minorities.  While hundreds of thousands of refugees have been fleeing into Kurdistan, around 40,000 Yazidis and some Christians are trapped on Mount Sinjar, surrounded by IS jihadis.  (Yazidis are Kurdish people whose pre-Christian faith derives from ancient Iranian religious traditions, with overlays and influences from other religions.)...

The IS jihadis are killing the men they capture.  In one recent incident 1500 men were executed in front of their wives and families.  In another incident 13 Yazidi men who refused to convert to Islam had their eyes plucked out, were doused with gasoline and burned alive.  When the men are killed, captured women and children are enslaved to be used for sex, deployed as human shields in battle zones, or sold to be used and abused as their new owners see fit.

The United States has ironically called for greater cooperation.  UN Ambassador, Samantha Power, urged ‘all parties to the conflict’ to allow access to UN relief agencies. She called on Iraqis to ‘come together’ so that Iraq will ‘get back on the path to a peaceful future’ and ‘prevent ISIL from obliterating Iraq’s vibrant diversity’.

Of course it is not ‘vibrant diversity’ which is being wiped out in Iraq, but men, women and children by their tens of thousands.  This is not about the failure of coexistence, and the problem is not ‘conflict’. This is not about people who have trouble getting on and who need to somehow make up and ‘come together’. It is about a well-articulated and well-documented theological worldview hell-bent on dominating ‘infidels’, if necessary wiping them off the face of the earth, in order to establish the power and grandeur of a radical vision of Islam.  

[...]

These events ought to be sobering to the West, not least because thousands of the IS jihadis were raised and bred in the mosques of Europe, North America and Australia, not to mention the madrassas of nations such as Malaysia, Bangladesh and Indonesia.  Having been formed by the theology of radical Islam in their home societies, would-be jihadis are flocking to Syria and Iraq where they seek victory or martyrdom, killing and raping as they go.

Why is this so?  How did the Arab Spring, hailed by so many armchair western commentators as the next best thing for the Middle East, blossom bright red into a torrent of blood?

Part of the answer is that the West is in the grip of theological illiteracy.  It has stubbornly refused to grasp the implications of a global Islamic revival which has been gaining steam for the best part of a century.  The Islamic Movement looks back to the glory days of conquest as Islam’s finest hour, and seeks to revive Islamic supremacy through jihad and sacrifice.  It longs for a truly Islamic state – the caliphate reborn – and considers jihad to be the God-given means to usher it in.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Christian Refugee from Mosul, Iraq: 'Our Neighbors Drove Us Out' (VIDEO)

This personal report details a phenomenon likely to be repeated as the Islamic State Caliphate grows in strength. As the IS moves into new areas and cities/villages, Muslims — whether motivated by fear or by agreement with the Quranic purity of the Islamic State and its application of sharia and the Pact of Omar against conquered Christians — will themselves take up arms against and persecute their Christian neighbors. They will side with the 'strong horse' and with the commands of their 'god' and their 'prophet'.

The personal report below is virtually identical to reports from the early 20th century in Turkey, as well as contemporary reports from Syria, Egypt, Pakistan, and virtually all Muslim countries today, as per this post:

'We knew our Muslim neighbours all our lives...We had excellent relations. It never occurred to us that Muslim neighbours would betray us.'


Christian Refugee from Mosul: 'Our Neighbors Drove Us Out'
Video and translation from MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute).
August 11, 2014

Implausible Deniability - West's ISIS Terror Hordes in Iraq


"The West knew the sectarian genocide now unfolding in Syria, Iraq, and soon in Lebanon was the inevitable result of their efforts to raise this regional mercenary force."


August 8, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - LD) - The US has pledged assistance for victims of and even possible "airstrikes" against terrorists who have surrounded and threaten to eradicate thousands of religious minorities in Iraq. However, the terrorists themselves are a product of US foreign policy in the Middle East and North Africa, and instrumental in achieving Western objectives across the region. Punitive strikes and aid to the victims of what is essentially a Western mercenary army is part of maintaining plausible deniability. 

The terror hordes originated from NATO territory and have inundated Syria, Iraq, and now Lebanon. The goal of this well funded, heavily armed, professionally organized mercenary force is clearly to supplant pro-Iranian political and military fronts across Tehran's arc of influence - from Baghdad to Damascus, to Lebanon and Hezbollah along the Mediterranean. In the process, the heavily indoctrinated rank and file have committed horrific atrocities ranging from rape and torture to mass executions and sectarian genocide. While such war crimes have been taking place in Syria since 2011, it is becoming increasingly difficult to cover up similar crimes beyond Syria's borders under narratives of "civil war" linked to the so-called "Arab Spring."

Image: ISIS began its invasion into Iraqi territory from NATO-member Turkey, through Syria and riding in Toyota Hilux trucks - identical to those provided to "moderates" by the US State Department as part of multi-million dollar "non-lethal" aid packages. ISIS did not take these trucks from "moderates," the moderates never existed to begin with. From the beginning, it was the West's plan to raise a mercenary army of sectarian extremists operating under the banner of Al Qaeda. 

Instead, various stories have been used by the West to explain the appearance of ISIS in Iraq, the unprecedented scale of its operations, its convoys of matching vehicles and now military trucks, artillery, and even tanks. While the world is meant to believe ISIS spontaneously rose from the desert and "stole" billions in cash, weapons, and gear, a much simpler and documented explanation exists - Western state sponsorship - and state sponsorship that continues even as the West denounces the monsters of their own creation.