Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Poll of U.S. Muslims Reveals Ominous Levels Of Support For Shariah, Jihad

"Nearly one-fifth of Muslim respondents said that the use of violence in the United States is justified in order to make shariah the law of the land in this country... Roughly 300,000 Muslims living in the United States believe that shariah is 'Allah’s law that Muslims must follow and impose worldwide by Jihad'.”

Center for Security Policy, June 23, 2015

According to a new nationwide online survey (Below) of 600 Muslims living in the United States, significant minorities embrace supremacist notions that could pose a threat to America’s security and its constitutional form of government.

The numbers of potential jihadists among the majority of Muslims who appear not to be sympathetic to such notions raise a number of public policy choices that warrant careful consideration and urgent debate, including: the necessity for enhanced surveillance of Muslim communities; refugee resettlement, asylum and other immigration programs that are swelling their numbers and density; and the viability of so-called “countering violent extremism” initiatives that are supposed to stymie radicalization within those communities.

Overall, the survey, which was conducted by The Polling Company for the Center for Security Policy (CSP), suggests that a substantial number of Muslims living in the United States see the country very differently than does the population overall.  The sentiments of the latter were sampled in late May in another CSP-commissioned Polling Company nationwide survey.

According to the just-released survey of Muslims, a majority (51%) agreed that “Muslims in America should have the choice of being governed according to shariah.”  When that question was put to the broader U.S. population, the overwhelming majority held that shariah should not displace the U.S. Constitution (86% to 2%).

More than half (51%) of U.S. Muslims polled also believe either that they should have the choice of American or shariah courts, or that they should have their own tribunals to apply shariah. Only 39% of those polled said that Muslims in the U.S. should be subject to American courts.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Putin strong, disarming, humorous, fascinating in CBS 60 Minutes Interview

Timed to coincide with the Russian President's address at the United Nations General Assembly on Monday, September 28, 2015, this in-depth interview is fascinating to watch, and may prove to be a masterful reset of Mr. Putin's image in America and the West. Kudos to Charlie Rose for some challenging, provocative questions, to which Mr. Putin gave some very thoughtful and revealing answers.

All eyes on Putin
by Charlie Rose, CBS News, September 27, 2015

At a time of icy relations with the U.S., Russian President Vladimir Putin gives a rare -- and surprising -- interview to 60 Minutes

The following is a script from "Putin" which aired on September 27, 2015. Charlie Rose is the correspondent. Andy Court, producer.

There aren't many world leaders who have generated as much interest as Russia's Vladimir Putin. All eyes will be on Putin when he speaks at the U.N. tomorrow and meets with President Obama, at a time when he has placed himself and his country in the middle of the most pressing issues of our times. He helped the U.S. and its Western allies broker the nuclear deal with Iran, and now, with a Russian buildup of aircraft, military equipment and personnel in Syria, he has put himself and his country at the center of that civil war and the fight against ISIS.

Now, when his relations with the United States seem to be at a post-Cold War low, suffering under Western economic sanctions imposed on Russia, Putin may be looking for a way to restore his international influence and gain the respect he seeks for his homeland.

Just before his trip to the U.S., Putin invited us to meet him at his state residence outside Moscow where we found him characteristically confident and combative as he made the case that the focus in Syria should be on fighting ISIS rather than removing Syrian President Assad.

Putin to West at the UN: "Do you realize what you have done?" - UPDATED!

• Putin proposed “generally broad international coalition against terrorism,” likening the suggestion to the anti-Hitler coalition formed to battle fascism in Europe,

• Warned that international policy toward the region has led to an Islamic State with plans that “go further” than simply dominating the Middle East,

• Warned of global threat from ISIS: “We believe that any attempts to play games with terrorists, let alone to arm them, are not just short-sighted, but hazardous. This may result in the global terrorist threat increasing dramatically and engulfing new regions.”

Putin: "Do you realize what you have done?" 
by Everett Rosenfeld, CNBC, September 28, 2015:

Russian President Vladimir Putin on Monday admonished those who supported democratic revolutions in the Middle East, telling the United Nations they led to the rise of a globally ambitious Islamic State.

“Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster — and nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life,” Putin said through a translator. “I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?”

The Russian president added that the power vacuum following these revolutions led to the rise of terrorist groups in the region — including the Islamic State group.

Misrata, Libya - right, before US involvement; left, after US involvement.

He told the General Assembly it would be an “enormous mistake” not to cooperate with the Syrian government to combat the extremist group.

“No one but President (Bashar) Assad’s armed forces and Kurdish militia are truly fighting the Islamic State and other terrorist organizations in Syria,” he said.

In an earlier speech at the U.N. , President Barack Obama said it would be a mistake to think that Syria could be stable under Assad.

Acknowledging some of the criticism lobbed at Russia’s proposal, Putin said his country is only proposing to help save the world from terrorism.

Putin Bests Obama in UN Showdown on Syria

Obama triples down on his politically correct Mideast fantasies, while Putin correctly analyzes ISIS and Assad.

by Robert Spencer, PJ Media — September 29, 2015

Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin both spoke at the United Nations on Monday, with Putin reiterating a call he made in September for an international coalition against jihad terror and the Islamic State in particular. Obama again rebuffed that call, although this time he left the door slightly open to some kind of cooperation with Russia.

The sticking point is Bashar Assad — and the differences that Obama and Putin have over Assad’s regime demonstrate yet again that when it comes to the jihad threat, Putin is assessing the situation realistically while Obama is operating in the realm of politically correct fantasy.

Putin skewered those fantasies in his UN speech Monday when he noted the failure of the Arab Spring to do what Barack Obama and the entire political and media elites insisted it would do: bring to the Middle East a flowering of democracy and freedom:

Instead of the triumph of democracy and progress, we got violence, poverty and social disaster — and nobody cares a bit about human rights, including the right to life. I cannot help asking those who have forced that situation: Do you realize what you have done?

No, they don’t realize what they have done, and they’re poised to do more of it.

Monday, September 28, 2015

On Refugee Crisis, Christian nations should be 'Wise as Serpents'

Muslim migrant influx strains Christian world’s tension between being "wise as serpents, innocent as doves." Bulgaria offers a way forward.

Migrant masses in Budapest.

The Bulgarian Orthodox Church has announced it will help migrants who have arrived in Bulgaria, but has urged authorities not to let any more migrants in, clarifying sharp differences between Eastern European Christian nations and Western secular/post-Christian responses to the mass Muslim refugee crisis.

by Ralph H. Sidway

It is very interesting that most Orthodox and Eastern Christian bishops have shown great restraint in responding to the Muslim migrant crisis overwhelming Europe. One exception was Coptic Bishop Angaelos of the UK, who promptly rejected Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban's position of allowing only Christian migrants, saying, “As a Christian I could never justify a policy which only supported ‘our own’... The distinction should be based on people’s need, not their religion.”

To the credit of Christians everywhere, it is primarily the post-Christian West which is stepping up to the humanitarian tragedy of millions of refugees fleeing the Islamic State and the unrest of the Middle East and Africa. 

Britain and France have made commitments to take in 20,000 and 24,000 Syrian migrants respectively, whereas Germany has  accepted over 100,000 in August alone, and if current numbers continue, will have absorbed 800,000 by year’s end. (In contrast to the European welcome wagon, most Muslim nations are accepting no refugees: zero, citing concerns over the terrorist threat.)

To be sure, the Western European sentiment is admirable, and seems the ideal Christian response. Yet even Jesus Christ cautioned his disciples to be "wise as serpents and innocent as doves." Note, Jesus does not urge them to be "vicious," "aggressive," or "poisonous" — other adjectives applicable to certain serpents — merely wise. Serpents protect themselves when they have to, slithering away into holes in the earth, hiding from danger, protecting themselves and their brood. There are times when self-preservation is appropriate, even for the followers of Him who voluntarily went to the Cross for all mankind.

Other observers of Europe's mass migrant crisis are starting to consider what such "serpent wisdom" might involve, even if they don't reference Jesus' specific words.

Rod Dreher (who has seemed lately to have become somewhat muddled on the jihad threat) even considered how wide open Christian Europe should throw its borders to an alien people, asking the question, "Is Christianity A Suicide Cult?" Dreher has been reading, as have other commentators, Raspail's novel, The Camp of the Saints, and offers an excerpt and some thoughts:

[Raspail writes in Chapter 20:] "Two opposing camps. One still believes. One doesn’t. The one that still has faith will move mountains. That’s the side that will win. Deadly doubt has destroyed all incentive in the other. That’s the side that will lose." 
Raspail, it seems to me, is deadly accurate in his diagnosis of the sentimental humanitarianism of the Europeans, and how their loss of faith in their own civilization compels them to behave in ways that guarantee its destruction by an invading force. The novel also implicitly raises a disturbing question: What cruelties, if any, are justified for the sake of a nation’s defense? 
These are extremely complex, morally harrowing questions, and we are seeing them on display now as Europe faces its refugee crisis.

Dreher also refers to an important article by British Christian Alistair Roberts, whose message essentially distills to this: "...As Christians, we certainly have an obligation to show charity to refugees, but that does not mean that we are morally obligated to allow them to settle among us."

This seems like the prudent course, serpent wisdom combined with Christian innocence. It doesn't take an especially wise person — just an honest one — to see the existential threat in all the videos and reports of huge mobs of Muslim migrants screaming "Allahu Akbar" and attacking trains and police in Hungary (and Slovenia), prompting a State of Emergency complete with deployment of tear gas and water cannons.

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Al Azhar Promoting ‘Anti-Christian’ and ‘Anti-Infidel’ Violence

"The Islamic State [ISIS] is only doing what Al Azhar — the Islamic world’s oldest and most prestigious Islamic university — teaches."

Al Azhar is where President Obama made his famous address to the Muslim world in April 2009.

See also: Islamic State Relied on Egyptian Salafi book to slaughter 21 Copts in Libya

by Raymond Ibrahim, Coptic Solidarity — September 24, 2015

While discussing how the Islamic State burns some of its victims alive—most notoriously, a Jordanian pilot—Egyptian journalist Yusuf al-Husayni remarked on his satellite program that “The Islamic State is only doing what Al Azhar teaches… and the simplest example is Ibn Kathir’s Beginning and End.”

Located in Cairo, Egypt, Al Azhar is the Islamic world’s oldest and most prestigious Islamic university.  Ibn Kathir is one of Sunni Islam’s most renowned scholars; his Beginning and End is a magisterial history of Islam.

'The Cross is ISIS' main enemy; today no trace of a Cross can be seen in Mosul'

This story provides further proof — if any is still needed — of the Islamic religious roots and motivations of the Islamic State. 

The Cross is symbolic of Islam's main enemy: Christianity. Under the terms of the dhimma contract and the Pact of Omar, Christians may not display the Cross openly, either on their buildings or on their person. 

The breaking of crosses is a potent symbol of Islam's global supremacy in the end times. Muhammad prophesied that when Isa (the Muslim Jesus) returns, he 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 (Hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud, Book of Battles, 37:4310).

Demolition of churches and crosses, or converting churches into mosques, is a classic trait of Islam's treatment of Christians wherever it has conquered for fourteen centuries now. In our days, Muslims are even taking to breaking crosses in cemeteries, as seen in the infamous YouTube videos of 2012.

In Syracuse NY we recently saw the "breaking of the crosses" on a huge scale; a venerable Roman Catholic church was converted into a mosque, the crosses removed from the spires, and 10,000 crosses in the interior covered over in a hugely symbolic victory for Islam.

"The Cross is ISIS' main enemy; today no trace of a Cross can be seen in Mosul"
Pravoslavie, September 26, 2015:

(Mosul, September 23, 2015) A war is currently being waged against Christianity on the territory of the Biblical city of Nineveh, which is currently under control of the “Islamic State” militants: according to eyewitnesses’ evidence, the fanatics are trying their best to eliminate the very memory of the Christian presence in Mosul, reports Ankawa news agency.

In his report, sent to the Ankawa agency’s staff writer Yunus Zanoun, the journalist A.S. from Mosul gave information about ISIS’s intention to wipe out all the Christian symbols from Nineveh, and that they are working hard in order to achieve this ambition. “The cross is ISIS’s main enemy; that is why today no traces of crosses can be seen in Mosul,” A.S. noted.

Archbishops From Middle East Charge Discrimination Against Christians

"Since October 2014, 906 Muslim refugees from Syria were granted U.S. visas, while only 28 of Syria’s estimated 700,000 Christian refugees were provided with visas."

This further supports Raymond Ibrahim's important article, Obama Throws Christian Refugees to Lions.

by Warren Mass, The New American — September 16, 2015

Two archbishops from the Middle East have complained that the United States unfairly discriminates against Christians from their region when they apply for U.S. visas.

Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Iraq, and Melkite Archbishop Jean-Clément Jeanbart of Aleppo, Syria, aired their grievances at an August 4 press conference at the 2015 Knights of Columbus Convention in Philadelphia.

The archbishops cited federal data indicating that, since October 2014, 906 Muslim refugees from Syria were granted U.S. visas, while only 28 of Syria’s estimated 700,000 Christian refugees were provided with visas. They said that even considering that Christians account for just 10 percent of the population of Syria, the number of visas granted to Christians seems widely disproportional.

Although the U.S. government does not track the religious affiliation of immigrants, Christianity Today nevertheless reported that the bishops gathered their information “from official U.S. government sources.” 

Friday, September 25, 2015

Obama Throws Christian Refugees to Lions

The anti-Constantine's support for Muslim genocide against Christians is undeniable. 

by Raymond IbrahimGatestone Institute — September 25, 2015

Members of California’s Iraqi Christian community and their supporters protest the months-long detention of Iraqi Christian asylum-seekers at the Otay Mesa detention center.

The fate of those Iraqi Christians who had fled from the Islamic State only to be incarcerated in the United States has finally been decided by the Obama administration: they are to be thrown back to the lions, where they will likely be persecuted if not slaughtered like so many Iraqi Christians before them.

Fifteen of the 27 Iraqi Christians that have been held at a detention center in Otay Mesa, California, for approximately six months, are set to be deported in the coming weeks. Some have already been deported and others are being charged with immigration fraud.

Many of the Iraqi Christian community in San Diego—including U.S. citizen family members vouching for the refugees—had hopes that they would eventually be released.  Mark Arabo, a spokesman for the Chaldean community, had argued that “They’ve escaped hell [IS]. Let’s allow them to reunite with their families.”  One of the detained women had begged to see her ailing mother before she died.  The mother died before they could reunite, and now the daughter is to be deported, possibly back to the hell of the Islamic State.

Why are Christian minorities, who are the most to suffer from the chaos engulfing the Middle East, the least wanted in the United States?

The answer is that the Obama administration defines refugees as people “persecuted by their government.”  In other words, the only “real” refugees are those made so due to the actions of Bashar Assad.  As for those who are being raped, slaughtered, and enslaved based on their religious identity by so-called “rebel” forces fighting Assad—including the Islamic State—their status as refugees is evidently considered dubious at best.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

St Silouan: On Love for One's Enemies

Icon of St Silouan (Sept 24)
by Fr Andrew Tregubov 
Today is the feast of St Silouan, who came to love and pray for the whole world, and whose teachings on loving our enemies present us with a great challenge.

The world does not understand what love is. But the saints, because they are united to Christ, do grasp the mystery of love. Even love for one's enemies.

We must love our brother, our neighbor, our enemy. Yet one cannot love evil itself, one cannot love falsehood, for to do so would be to affirm it, to say "Amen" to it, and thus to wrongly and mistakenly give it validity, power, enthronement in the hierarchy of values.

The saints understand this, the difference between loving my neighbor, the person right in front of me, and honoring what he stands for. I must love my neighbor, even if he is my enemy, even if he has dressed me in an orange jumpsuit and is sawing my head off with a serrated blade because of my love for Jesus Christ. "Father forgive him, for he knows not what he does!"

I must forgive him because what he does to me is evil. I cannot say that the evil is not evil. I cannot honor the evil, for by doing so I dishonor the good. I cannot honor the lie without dishonoring the Truth. But I can and must love and forgive the person himself.

The saints understand that we must stand for Truth. It was his confession of the Truth for which Jesus was condemned and crucified.

And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, saying, “Do You answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?” But He kept silent and answered nothing.
Again the high priest asked Him, saying to Him, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”
Jesus said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “What further need do we have of witnesses? You have heard the blasphemy! What do you think?”
And they all condemned Him to be deserving of death.
— Mark 14:60-64 

Jesus said, "I AM." Ego Eimi, in this simplest statement, equating himself with "He Who Is." Jesus speaks the Truth for He is the Truth, and He cannot deny the Truth, for then He would be a liar. John presents this confession of Jesus in a different context, in Jesus' discussion with the Jews.

Resurgence of Islam threatens ancient St Catherine's Monastery on Mt Sinai

Threat of Muslim jihad terrorist attacks forced closure of the monastery in 2013, shuttering the entire local, micro-economy.

Apparently, even the spurious "Charter of Privileges" — supposedly written by Muhammad for the monks at St Catherine's and conveying his protection and favor upon them and all Christians under Muslim rule for all time — has not had sufficient influence on the Islamic State nor on any jihadist group to prevent their relentless and fierce persecution of this ancient and revered monastery and Christians throughout all Islamic lands.

You can help support St Catherine's Monastery through Friends of Mount Sinai Monastery, a special foundation collecting donations for St. Catherine and its monks. Learn more and donate via the following link:

St. Catherine Greek Orthodox monastery needs financial help to survive
by Ioanna Zikakou, Greek Reporter via Pravmir — September 22, 2015

The monastery was also shut down by Egyptian authorities in 2013 fearing a terrorism attack, according to Al Monitor.

The Greek Orthodox monastery of St. Catherine at Sinai city, Egypt is located at the very place where according to Christianity God appeared to Moses in the Burning Bush, beneath the Mount of the Decalogue. It is the oldest continuously inhabited Christian monastery, with a history that can be traced back over seventeen centuries.

The monastery offers job positions for numerous people in the area helping the local economy flourish. St. Catherine’s Monastery employs 400 workers at its olive groves, grape farms, honey bee farms and several processing facilities. When Egyptian authorities decided the monastery’s complete shutdown in 2013 the locals were left struggling, and since then the situation remains harsh. The Bedouin residents were forced to sell their camels, since they were not able to feed them and in order to provide for their families.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Pressure Grows to Declare War Against Christians a Genocide

"Christianity in the Middle East is shattered," Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska Republican, told the IDC [In Defense of Christians] conference on Sept. 9. "The ancient faith tradition lies beaten, broken and dying. Yet Christians in Iraq and Syria are hanging on in the face of the Islamic State's barbarous onslaught. This is genocide."

As I repeatedly strive to emphasize, "genocide" is a secular term, and while it is accurate in a forensic way, for us, as Orthodox Christians, we must school ourselves to speak of this as a "New Age of Martyrdom." 

Our brothers and sisters in Iraq, Syria and the Middle East — as well as in Egypt and throughout North and Central Africa, as well as in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Central Asia, Southeast Asia, the Philippines, Indonesia and throughout the entire Islamic world — are ascending a real Golgotha. Christianity is being crucified anew, and the evil is increasing in vast waves of persecution. Europe and North America are next. 

We must wake up, stand with our suffering brothers and sisters, pray for them, honor them as confessors and martyrs, and prepare ourselves for the trials to come through diligently living and practicing our most holy faith.

And, we must clearly state that this "New Age of Martyrdom," this "genocide," is the direct result of devout Muslims following the commands in the Qur'an, imitating Muhammad's example as extolled in the ahadith and the Sira, and applying the doctrines of Islamic jurisprudence. It is not just the Islamic State waging war against and persecuting Christians. It is also ordinary Muslims — neighbors of Christians — who are taking their religion more seriously and acting according to its commands. 

Islam itself is the direct cause of the first genocide of the 21st century, this "New Age of Martyrdom."

Pressure Grows to Declare War Against Christians a Genocide
by Douglas Burton, Washington Times via AINA, September 23, 2015:

Memorial to martyrs killed in 2010 church bombing; Baghdad, Iraq.

Human rights activists see it. Foreign leaders see it. And more than 80 members of the U.S. Congress see it. Together, they are pressuring the leader of the free world to declare there is a Christian genocide going on in the Middle East.

Their campaign -- which was discussed at a Capitol Hill conference earlier this month hosted by the two-year-old In Defense of Christians nonprofit -- has an influential ally on its side.

Pope Francis, making his first visit to the United States on Wednesday, has noted the number of Christians being martyred today exceeds the number martyred during the days of the Roman Empire.

In fact, the sheer numbers of Christians murdered and tortured every year in a dozen countries in the developing world is only getting worse, thanks to the relentless campaign of the ISIS and al-Qaeda terror groups.

For example, in 2014, 2,000 Christians were murdered in Iraq alone, which is the number cited by historian Edward Gibbon as the total number of Christian martyrs in the first three centuries of Christianity.

In Iraq, where Christian churches were planted 1,800 years ago, Christianity has been wiped out except for 200,000 refugees sheltering in Kurdistan and a few in Baghdad. Their language, Aramaic; their homeland, the Nineveh Plain; and their calamity are Biblical in scale. Hundreds have been publicly tortured and executed in Mosul while women and children have suffered severe levels of sexual violence since the Islamic State took control in 2014.

"Christianity in the Middle East is shattered," Rep. Jeff Fortenberry, Nebraska Republican, told the IDC conference on Sept. 9. "The ancient faith tradition lies beaten, broken and dying. Yet Christians in Iraq and Syria are hanging on in the face of the Islamic State's barbarous onslaught. This is genocide."

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

“Wake Up!”: Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2015

During celebrations of St Peter and St Paul, the Iraqi priest Fr Douglas Bazi further reflected that “We cannot celebrate the feast of two martyrs without remembering the living martyrs of our time.”

by Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone Institute — September 21, 2015

Not only is the Islamic State (IS) persecuting Christians but so are the U.S.-supported “rebel” forces, which the Obama administration assures are “moderate.”  According to a recent NPR report, “With backing from U.S. allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, this [U.S. supported] rebel coalition fights both the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. But the coalition has extremists in its own ranks who have mistreated Christians and forced them out of their homes”—just as IS has done.

In response, Mideast Christian leaders made clear that, far from expecting the West to intervene on their behalf, they merely wish that the West stops arming, supporting, or simply facilitating the Islamic terrorists making their lives a living hell—as plainly spelled out in a Christian Today article titled, “Syrian Christian leader tells West: ‘Stop arming terror groups who are massacring our people.”

According to the Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, “If the West wants to do something about the present crisis, the most effective thing would be to support local governments, which need sufficient armies and forces to maintain security and defend respective populations against attacks.  State institutions need to be strengthened and stabilized. Instead, what we see is their forced dismemberment being fueled from the outside.”

Another Christian leader had another message to the West.  According to Iraqi priest Fr Douglas Bazi, once a torture victim who takes care of thousands of refugees forced to flee Mosul since the Islamic State took over the city last year, the West needs to “Wake up!”  During celebrations of St Peter and St Paul, the Iraqi priest further reflected that “We cannot celebrate the feast of two martyrs without remembering the living martyrs of our time.”

Nor are these martyrs limited to the Middle East.  Among the many Christians slaughtered in Nigeria in July was a young girl who was stoned to death for refusing to renounce Christ and convert to Islam.  Pastor Mark lost his daughter, Monica, in the Chibok abduction which involved almost 300 predominantly Christian girls kidnapped at the hands of the Islamic organization, Boko Haram.  He was told that his daughter refused to change her religion, and so was buried from the neck on down and then stoned to death.

The rest of July’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following accounts, listed by theme.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Nigeria: Dozens of Christian churches were attacked in the Muslim-majority northern regions of the nation, where Boko Haram is headquartered:
  • On Sunday, July 12, explosives planted at a church in Jos went off but there were no casualties as the bomb was detected by the church’s security personnel.
  • In response to a mosque explosion that killed 20 people—part of Boko Haram’s “Ramadan killing spree”—rioting Muslims burned down two churches on July 6 in Jos.  According to the report, the mosque attack “has revived historic tensions between members of both faiths in Jos.  Christians in Nigeria now not only fear Boko Haram, but also attacks from their Muslim neighbors.”

Iraq:  The Islamic state blew up another Christian church under its authority, the Mother of Aid Church which had stood in central Mosul for thousands of years.  The blast also killed four children who were near the church at the time.  IS also transformed the St. Joseph Church, an ancient Chaldean church in Mosul, into a mosque.  Pictures of St. Joseph show that the dome has been painted black and the church has been stripped of all crosses and Christian symbols and images.

Egypt: Three church related attacks occurred:

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Time to tell the Truth about Islam

"Islamic radicals have a very good case that their version of Islam is truer to the original than the moderate version. The proper way to undermine their ideology/theology is not to cast doubts on their interpretation of Islam, but to cast doubts about the truth of Islam itself."

by William Kilpatrick, The Turning Point Project — August 30, 2015

The important thing about a religion, said C.S. Lewis, is not whether it makes one feel good, but whether it is true. This observation came to mind while reading a recent piece by Rev. James Schall, S.J., titled “Speaking Honestly about Islam.”

Schall suggests that we haven’t been telling the truth about Islam because to do so violates the feel-good principle that currently rules Western societies. According to the feel-good principle, self-esteem is the highest value. And therefore every person, culture, and religion has an inalienable right to feel good about oneself/itself.

People hew to the Islam-is-peace line because they don’t want to give offense and also because they don’t want to be accused of a hate crime. It’s a well-founded fear. In many Western societies, numerous individuals—and some of them very prominent individuals—have been put on trial for the crime of criticizing Islam: Mark Steyn and Ezra Levant in Canada, Geert Wilders in the Netherlands, Lars Hedegaard in Denmark, and Elisabeth Sabaditsch-Wolff in Austria, to name a few. In several cases, the defendants were informed that truth was no defense. The accuracy of their criticism, they were told, was beside the point (the point being that they had said hurtful things).

Honesty is the best policy, according to the old maxim, but many Western governments have adopted a deliberate policy of prevarication in regard to Islam. Hardly a day goes by when some Western leader or other isn’t explaining away the latest jihad attack as having nothing to do with Islam.

Muslim cleric on refugee influx: 'We shall conquer their countries'

"No force is more powerful than the human force of us Muslims... We shall conquer their countries – whether you like it or not, oh Germans, oh Americans, oh French, oh Italians, and all those like you. Take the refugees! We shall soon collect them in the name of the coming Caliphate."

Al-Aqsa Mosque Address: Europe Wants the Muslim Refugees as Labor; We Shall Conquer Their Countries
MEMRI, via Jihad Watch — September 11, 2015:

In an address delivered at the Al-Aqsa Mosque, Sheikh Muhammad Ayed said that the European countries are not motivated by compassion toward the refugees, but by their need for labor. “We shall conquer their countries,” he declared in the address, which was posted on the internet on September 11, 2015.

Sheikh Muhammad Ayed: 

“(The infidels) want us to be tormented. They want us to be humiliated. (The Quran) says: Tthe [sic] Jews and the Christians will never be pleased with you,’ but we will never follow their religion. This dark night will be over, and soon, we will trample them underfoot, Allah willing.

The Migrant Crisis: Compassion and Common Sense

"The big picture is that we may be witnessing the beginning of the end of Europe. Historians and journalists have been writing about the coming Islamization of Europe for some time now, but as years pass, the timeline keeps moving up... Now, with the new flood of migrants, another revision may be in order."

by William Kilpatrick, Crisis Magazine — September 17, 2015

(Photo credit: REUTERS/Yannis Behrakis)

Other than the large numbers involved, one of the most striking features of Europe’s migrant crisis is the level of discourse surrounding it. There is an emotionalism about the subject which doesn’t seem quite appropriate to the gravity of the situation. Momentous issues are being decided on the basis of what Peter Hitchens calls “an emotional spasm.”

That’s not to say the plight of refugees shouldn’t call up emotions. The problem comes when news analysts, government officials, and church representatives present the situation as a Dickensian dilemma which leaves one with no choice other than to side with Scrooge or with Tiny Tim.

The clinching argument for many was the image of a drowned Syrian child that went viral. There should, of course, be no doubt about what to do if you spot a drowning boy in the water, or if a hungry person shows up at the door. But the photo tells us absolutely nothing about what sort of immigration policies governments should adopt. It could be argued that if European immigration policy were less liberal, and its welfare allowances less generous, fewer people would risk their lives to get there.

And what about the images we don’t see—images of the European victims of ill-considered immigration programs? Right now I’m looking at a photo of an 87-year-old Dutch man lying in a hospital bed, his face beaten black and blue. He and his 86-year-old wife, both of them Holocaust survivors, were attacked in their apartment by two men of Moroccan descent who threw them on the floor, kicked them repeatedly, and shouted: “Dirty Jews! From now on, your property is ours.” The husband and wife, who had been living independently, are now confined to wheelchairs at a rehabilitation center.

Such photos aren’t featured on the evening news. Nor are the photos of bruised and bloodied rape victims in Sweden—which, thanks to Muslim immigration, is now the rape capital of the Northern Hemisphere. In Rotherham, England, Pakistani gangs raped 1,400 teenaged girls over a fifteen-year period—but you would have to do some searching before you’d find any stories about the plight of the victims. That’s because the story doesn’t fit the standard narrative about peaceful Muslims seeking a better life and good schools for their children.

There are many such people, of course. But, as is now clear, the great majority within the current wave of migrant-refugees are young, single men. The media still favors close-ups of Madonna-like women with children, but the wide-angle lens presents quite a different view.

Friday, September 18, 2015

Muslim Migrants Converting to Christianity to Improve Asylum Chances

[Lutheran Pastor Gottfried] Martens asked Iranian refugee Mohammed Ali Zonoobi: “Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds? Will you break away from Islam?” To which Zonoobi fervently responded: “Yes”. Martens then baptised him “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” Mohammed renamed himself Martin.

A seldom reported aspect of the Migrant Invasion of Europe. Let us hope and pray that a great many Muslims, finally freed from their native culture and the threat of death for apostasy, may be emboldened to leave Islam behind and turn to Jesus Christ.

Muslim Migrants Converting to Christianity to Improve Asylum Chances
by Nick Hallett, Breitbart London — September 8, 2015

Muslim migrants in Germany are converting to Christianity “in droves” in the hope it will improve their chances of winning asylum.

Hundreds of Iranians and Afghanis have been baptised at Trinity Church, a Lutheran church in Berlin, where Pastor Gottfried Martens offers a three-month “crash course” for new converts.

AP reports on one baptism where Martens asked Iranian refugee Mohammed Ali Zonoobi: “Will you break away from Satan and his evil deeds? Will you break away from Islam?” To which Zonoobi fervently responded: “Yes”.

Martens then baptised him “In the name of the Father, Son and Holy Ghost.” Mohammed renamed himself Martin.

Martin Zonoobi, a carpenter from Iran, arrived in Germany with his wife and children five months ago. He is one of many who have converted, with many claiming true belief has prompted them.

However, Pastor Martens admits that some convert just to improve their chances of winning asylum in Germany – as Christians who have apostatised from Islam they are likely to suffer heavy persecution if they are sent home.

Christian Filmmaker aims to raise awareness about Muslim Persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

“The ethnic and religious purging of Christians today is exactly like Hitler’s ethnic cleansing of Jews in WWII,” [film director Peter] Spencer said. “True Christians are today obligated to rescue the perishing from the blades of [the Islamic State].”

Brave and bold words, and all too rare in America these days. The film, 'Return To The Hiding Place', and the 'Orange Resistance Movement' seem like a strong and creative response to Muslim persecution of Christians in the Middle East and Africa. Judging from the endorsements on Mr. Spencer's site, the message seems to be catching on among Christians and Jews. I see no reason why Orthodox parishes should not host screenings of this important film. 


Filmmaker’s ‘Chilling’ Warning About the Islamic State and His Message to ‘True Christians’ About Why They Must Fight Back
by Billy Hallowell, The Blaze, via Pravoslavie — September 17, 2015

The writer and director of a feature film about a group of young people who fought to save the innocent during the Holocaust has unveiled a new movement aimed at raising awareness about the dire religious persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Peter Spencer, director of “Return to the Hiding Place” — the sequel to Billy Graham’s “The Hiding Place” — exclusively told TheBlaze about his new Orange Resistance effort to rescue Christians being harmed by the Islamic State, and the “chilling similarities” that he sees between what’s happing now and the horrors that unfolded during the Holocaust.

“The ethnic and religious purging of Christians today is exactly like Hitler’s ethnic cleansing of Jews in WWII,” Spencer said. “True Christians are today obligated to rescue the perishing from the blades of [the Islamic State].”

The Orange Resistance movement is named for the both the color of the jumpsuits worn by victims of Islamic State extremists and for the Netherlands’ historic association with orange; the setting of the ”Return to the Hiding Place,” which is based, in part, on Dutch Christian Corrie ten Boom’s heroic acts to save Jews in the Netherlands.

Spencer said that the campaign will employ a number of tactics to get the word out about the plight of Middle Eastern Christians.

Western European vs. Eastern European Responses to Mass, Unvetted, Muslim Immigration

"Eastern Europeans are responding very differently to the mass migration of Muslims into Europe than are Western Europeans... Poles are understanding their stance against mass, unvetted immigration as comparable to their stand against the Nazis and past totalitarian and genocidal invaders..."

Here is a very thoughtful article, with a long view of history, which considers the Eastern European Christian response to the Migrant Crisis and Islam.

Western European vs. Eastern European Responses to Mass, Unvetted, Muslim Immigration
By Danusha V. Goska
Frontpage Magazine via AINA — September 15, 2015

The sign reads "Kosciol Walczacy, Nie Kapitulujacy."
That means: "The Fighting Church, not the Surrendering Church."

Eastern Europeans are responding very differently to the mass migration of Muslims into Europe than are Western Europeans. Westerners who encourage mass, unvetted Muslim immigration insist that they are compassionate, tolerant, and ethical. They insist that Eastern Europeans and anyone else who resists immigration are bigots, xenophobes, without compassion and unethical, if not outright Neo-Nazis. Westerners are stereotyping Eastern Europeans as bigoted thugs whose opinions must be demonized, whose choices must be overruled, whose borders must be penetrated and whose demographics must be altered through coercion.

In this article I focus on three signs at the Warsaw anti-immigration rally of Saturday, September 12, 2015. Full understanding of these protest signs illuminates how many Poles and other Eastern Europeans view the current immigration. These protest signs will help to illuminate why many people, not just Eastern Europeans, oppose this immigration for and against mass Muslim immigration. The press estimates several thousand people took part in an anti-immigration demonstration in Warsaw. An estimated one thousand people marched in favor of immigration.

In August, 2015, Slovakia announced that it would accept only Christian, not Muslim, migrants. Hungary's prime minister, Viktor Orban, has been outspoken in his resistance to mass Muslim immigration. "Those arriving have been raised in another religion, and represent a radically different culture. Most of them are not Christians, but Muslims ... This is an important question, because Europe and European identity is rooted in Christianity," Orban wrote in a commentary for Allgemeine Zeitung.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

'To remain Christians, if we can manage...' - Igumen Daniel (Irbits) on the new 'migration of peoples'

We are commanded by Christ in the Gospels to care for the sick, the imprisoned, the displaced, even to love our enemies. The challenge of the mass migrations of Middle Eastern peoples into Europe and Western nations is as much a challenge for us, as Christians, "to remain Christians",  as it is a logistical, cultural and national security challenge for Western governments.

More posts to follow on the Migrant Crisis...

'To remain Christians, if we can manage...'
Igumen Daniel (Irbits) on the new 'migration of peoples'
Interview by Peter Davydov, Pravoslavie — September 14, 2015

The arrival of thousands of refugees, migrants and settlers from Africa and Asia to “the Old World” is already being interpreted by many Europeans as a catastrophe, a curse, and a real challenge not only to the culture, economy, and the Christian faith of the continent (which is still alive, though is becoming very weak), but, therefore, to the very existence of the continent and its native inhabitants. Judging by the comments in the social networks and media reports, an undisguised panic, provoked by the new “Great migration of peoples” has begun. Beyond a doubt, there is a cause for fear and concern. But fear is alien to Christianity. It was not in vain that Christ said these words many times to His disciples: “Do not be afraid!” How not to be afraid, how to remain Christians in these disturbing, alarming times? What should Europe do not to be afraid? Igumen Daniel (Irbits), Abbot of the St. George’s Monastery in Götschendorf (Brandenburg state, Germany), who is in charge of relations between the Berlin Diocese of the Russian Orthodox Church with the German government and the public and is a member of the integration committee at the Federal Office of the Chancellor of Germany, answers these questions in his interview with

Father Daniel, as a person living in Germany do you consider the current influx of refugees to this country and to the whole of Europe a big problem? Or maybe even a danger? If yes, then what, in your view, is this jeopardy connected with and what is causing it?

—It may become a danger, provided that the refugee policy is wrongly pursued. After all, among those who make decisions there are many Christians not in name only, but also true believing Christians. And many people act according to the Christian beliefs, frankly thinking that, whenever aid is needed to people in extremely difficult circumstances of life, it should necessarily be rendered. Christ said, “Give food to the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, give shelter to strangers.” Or are these words of Christ no longer relevant to us? And how to do it competently depends on the professionalism of those who are in charge of this; so to say, ex officio.

The first step that should be taken is the registration of each individual arriving on the territory of Europe; this is important in order to prevent incidents like the one when a crowd of illegal immigrants got to Germany from Hungary.

Do you believe that Germany will cope with this difficulty—financially, economically, and psychologically?

—I believe Germany has enough wisdom and strength to cope with this issue. With God’s help —since the Lord is always on the side of those who show mercy and give aid where it is needed.

Why Western Nations Should Only Accept Christian Refugees

Raymond Ibrahim makes a compelling case as to why Western nations should only accept Christian refugees, keying on four main reasons:
  • Christians are true victims of persecution;
  • Muslim persecution of Christians has been further enabled by Western policies;
  • Unlike Muslims, or even Yazidis, Christians are easily assimilated in Western countries, due to the shared Christian heritage;
  • Mideast Christians bring trustworthy language and cultural skills that are beneficial to the West.

Why Western Nations Should Only Accept Christian Refugees
by Raymond Ibrahim — September 16, 2015

As refugees from the Middle East flood the West, a number of countries—including Hungary, Bulgaria, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Cyprus, and Australia—are defying political correctness by wanting to accept Christian refugees only.

While more “progressive” voices cry “racism,” the fact remains: there are several objective reasons why the West should give priority, if not exclusivity, to Christian refugees—and some of these are actually to the benefit of European host nations.


Christians are true victims of persecution.  

From a humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the chief reason being cited in accepting refugees—Christians should receive top priority simply because they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East—well before the Islamic State phenomenon came into being.  As Australian Foreign Minister Julie Bishop put it, “I think that Christian minorities are being persecuted in Syria and even if the conflict were over they would still be persecuted.”

Indeed.  While they are especially targeted by the Islamic State, before the new “caliphate” was established, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim mobs, Muslim individuals, Muslim regimes, and Muslim terrorists, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian, etc.)—and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one.  See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians.

Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi infiltrators posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing direct persecution, but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion, Islam.  It’s not for nothing that Samuel Huntington famously pointed out that “Islam’s borders are bloody, and so are its innards.”  This means that when Muslims enter Western nations, chaos, persecution, and mayhem follow.  Take a look at those West European cities—for example, Londonistan—that already have a large Muslim population for an idea.

MONOTHEISM, PART 3: ISLAM, by Hieromonk Job (Gumerov)

The religion of the Law, which for 15 centuries prepared the chosen people for the coming into the world of the its Savior, the Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, preceded New Testament religion. According to the Holy Apostle Paul, "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" (Gal. 3:24)... When the Savior came into the world, Old Testament religion had fulfilled its purpose. 
Islam, having arisen in Arabia in the seventh century, appeared as the religion of the law six centuries after the God of the chosen people of the religion of the Law fulfilled its purpose. 
The difference between the Old Testament religion of the Law and Islam is not only that the latter emerged more than two thousand years after God gave on Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments and other precepts that governed life for the chosen people. The most important difference is that the Law of Moses has a Divine source... The founder of Islam, however, did not have a Divine revelation.

This theological study by Hieromonk Job (Gumerov) is a very helpful discussion of several fundamental problems with Islam's claim to be the true religion, correcting the supposed errors of Judaism and Christianity.

by Hieromonk Job (Gumerov), Pravoslavie — July 23, 2014

Jibril (the angel Gabriel) appears before Muhammad, drawing.

Islam: Origins

The religion of the Law, which for 15 centuries prepared the chosen people for the coming into the world of the its Savior, the Incarnate Lord Jesus Christ, preceded New Testament religion. According to the Holy Apostle Paul, "the law was our schoolmaster to bring us unto Christ" (Gal. 3:24). It was all in all only "a shadow of good things to come" (Heb. 10:1). When the Savior came into the world, Old Testament religion had fulfilled its purpose. Our Lord Jesus Christ revealed to us the mystery of the Heavenly Kingdom and established the New Covenant, which was foretold by the prophet Jeremiah. "Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah: Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt; which my covenant they brake, although I was an husband unto them, saith the Lord: But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the Lord, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people" (Jer. 31:31-33).

Man was redeemed from original sin and its consequences by the voluntary death on the Cross of Jesus Christ as Savior of the World. He entered into an entirely new period in terms of his relationship with God in comparison with the Old Testament: instead of the law, there was a free condition of sonship and grace. Man received new means for achieving the ideal set for him of moral perfection as a necessary condition for salvation.

Islam, having arisen in Arabia in the seventh century, appeared as the religion of the law six centuries after the God of the chosen people of the religion of the Law fulfilled its purpose.

The difference between the Old Testament religion of the Law and Islam is not only that the latter emerged more than two thousand years after God gave on Mount Sinai the Ten Commandments and other precepts that governed life for the chosen people. The most important difference is that the Law of Moses has a Divine source. The book of Exodus gives a narrative of the majestic Epiphany. "And Moses brought forth the people out of the camp to meet with God; and they stood at the nether part of the mount. And mount Sinai was altogether on a smoke, because the Lord descended upon it in fire: and the smoke thereof ascended as the smoke of a furnace, and the whole mount quaked greatly. And when the voice of the trumpet sounded long, and waxed louder and louder, Moses spake, and God answered him by a voice. And the Lord came down upon mount Sinai, on the top of the mount: and the Lord called Moses up to the top of the mount; and Moses went up" (Exod. 19:17-20).

The founder of Islam, however, did not have a Divine revelation.

Monday, September 14, 2015

How the Islamic World was Forged: An Exercise in Common Sense

"That there are still millions of Christians in Egypt (approximately 10% of the population)—is not proof of Islam’s tolerance but rather its intolerance." 

by Raymond Ibrahim, FrontPage Magazine — August 31, 2015

What made non-Muslims convert to Islam, leading to the creation of the Islamic world?

Early historical sources—both Muslim and non-Muslim—make clear that the Islamic empire was forged by the sword; that people embraced Islam, not so much out of sincere faith, but for a myriad of reasons—from converting in order to enjoy the boons of being on the “winning team” to converting in order to evade the dooms of being on the “losing team.”

Modern day Muslims and other apologists—primarily in academia, government, and mainstream media—reject this idea.  They argue that the non-Muslims who embraced Islam did so from sheer conviction; that the ancestors of today’s 1.5 billion Muslims all converted to Islam due to its intrinsic appeal; that the modern day coercion and persecution committed by the Islamic State and other organizations is an aberration.

Of course, as mentioned, the primary texts of history are full of anecdotes demonstrating the opposite.  However, because ours is an increasingly ahistorical society, in this essay I endeavor to show that sheer common sense alone validates what history records, namely, that the Islamic world and its populace was forged through violent coercion.

To do so, I will use Egypt—one of the most important Muslim majority nations and my ancestral homeland—as a paradigm.  I will show how a historic fact that Islam’s apologists habitually boast of—that there are still millions of Christians in Egypt (approximately 10% of the population)—is not proof of Islam’s tolerance but rather its intolerance.


In the 7th century, when Islam was being formulated, Egypt had been Christian for centuries,[1] before most of Europe had converted.  Alexandria was one of the most important ecclesiastical centers of ancient Christian learning and, along with Rome and Antioch, one of the original three sees.[2]  Much literary and ongoing archaeological evidence attest to the fact that Christianity permeated the whole of Egypt.

Writing around the year 400—roughly two-and-a-half centuries before the Arab invasion—John Cassian, a Christian monk from the region of modern day Romania, observed that

the traveler from Alexandria in the north to Luxor in the south would have in his ears along the whole journey, the sounds of prayers and hymns of the monks, scattered in the desert, from the monasteries and from the caves, from monks, hermits, and anchorites.[3]

And in recent times, both the oldest parchment to contain words from the Gospel (dating to the 1st century) and the oldest image of Christ were discovered in separate regions of Egypt.

Possibly oldest known image of Christ, found in Egypt and dating to the 1st century

The question now becomes: what made such an ancient and heavily Christian nation become Islamic?  More specifically, what made the ancestors of today’s Egyptian Muslims—most of who were Coptic Christians—convert to Islam?

For an objective answer to this question, a completely overlooked factor must be considered.

Friday, September 11, 2015

Russia and the West have swapped Spiritual and Cultural Roles

Powerful insights from a Danish theologian and journalist on the spiritual collapse of the post-Christian West and the resurgence of Orthodox Christian Russia, with its renewed love of God, its "poetic and cultured people", and its "fantastic energy, a moral energy":
"The situation in the West is the complete opposite [from that in Russia]. We celebrate death and have surrendered to the satanic view of man in a self-righteous rage and rant against God... We favour euthanasia, abortion on demand, homosexual rights and same-sex marriage while our cities are submerged in Islam and growing segregation."

Russia and the West have swapped Spiritual and Cultural Roles
Interview with Iben Thranholm
Russia Insider — September 7, 2015

The subject of this interview is a Danish journalist and theologian who hosted a series of five programmes, entitled “From Russia with Love” on Danish national public service radio, Radio24syv, with the sub-heading “An Unbiased Look at Putin's Russia.”

Thranholm on a recent trip to Russia

Inspired by Emperor Constantine, she believes Christianity in the West can be rejuvenated by looking to the East. Iben is aware of the sheer enormity of this task. “Such, alas, is the depth to which Western hatred for Christianity has sunk,” says the theologian, who does not hesitate to defend President Putin, on whom the Western media delights in heaping derision and scorn.

“The Pussy Riot case opened the door to Russia for me,” she explains.   

“I understood that Russia is a country that refuses to compromise on Christian values. Russia is not just a country or a nation, Russia is a spiritual concept, a state of mind. Criticism of President Putin was not the crime for which the activists were tried and convicted. Their crime was the invasion of the Christ-The-Saviour Cathedral, the holiest of places, and engaging in a blasphemous act in front of the iconostases.

“They are familiar with the bitter fruit of atheism and have no appetite for the bleak and barren wasteland it produced.”

"In the West, freedom of speech is widely deployed for the purpose of desecrating religion, but Russia does not permit crossing the line into blasphemy. That really fascinated me, and so I travelled to Moscow to learn more and this eventually resulted in a series of radio programmes trying to help Danes move beyond the tedious and unhelpful caricature-like clichés and provide them with a nuanced view of Russia.”