Muslim Persecution of Christians in Iraq

Sixteen Christian Converts Arrested…and Beaten (Iran)

Tehran, 29 July (AKI) – Sixteen Iranians who converted from Islam to Christianity were arrested on Tuesday in Malakshahr, on the outskirts of the central Iranian city of Isfahan.

The six women, eight men and two adolescents who were arrested were assisting in a conversion ceremony and baptism of three new members of the church at a private house that had been transformed into an evangelical church.

The owners of the home, an elderly couple, were allegedly beaten up before they were locked up in an unmarked lorry.

In April, 10 Christian converts were arrested in Shiraz.

The official evangelical churches in Isfahan received orders not to allow any Muslims to attend their ceremonies and not to facilitate in any way the conversions.

Iranian law does not stipulate any punishment for those who convert from Islam to other faiths, even if the converts are subject to repression.

A few months ago, the government presented a bill which is currently being discussed in parliament, to include in the penal code the crime of “Ertedad” which is the act of abandoning the Muslim faith.

If the parliament does approve the law, the punishment for abandoning Islam will be the death penalty.

Religious Police Arrest 55 at ‘gay’ Party (Saudi Arabia)

Riyadh, 30 July (AKI) – Saudi religious police have arrested 55 people at a party allegedly held by homosexuals at a farm in Qatif province in the east of the country.

According to a report on the Arab satellite TV channel, al-Arabiya, two young men were allegedly found wearing women’s make up and dancing on stage together.

The detainees were all handcuffed when they were arrested. Saudi police said during their search they found drugs and alcohol and other items that are prohibited under the country’s strict Sharia law.

A similar police blitz was carried out more than a month ago at another farmhouse in the same area where 21 alleged homosexuals were arrested. Some of those arrested were Filipinos and Pakistanis living in Saudi Arabia.

Many of them were reportedly wearing women’s clothes and makeup at the party which was organised to celebrate the birthday of one of the group’s members.

On that occasion, religious police found alcohol, clothing and makeup hidden inside.

Muslims storm Protestant school in Jakarta, injuring 265 students

Police evacuated the Christian Theological Arastamar Institute (STT SETIA) which is located in an eastern district of the Indonesian capital after it suffered damages during clashes between Christians and Muslims over the week-end. At least 1,500 students were moved to nearby police headquarters and a local Christian-based political party. The situation remains critical and further violence between opposite factions cannot be ruled out.“The school foundation urged us to intervene to protect people,” said East Jakarta District Police Chief Senior Superintendent. “For this reason we moved everyone out.”

Last night hundreds of residents from the village of Kampung Pulo had taken up arms threatening to storm the school after being instigated by an imam at a local mosque who claimed that a bunch of Christian gangsters were coming to “protect” the school after it was attacked on Saturday by a Muslim mob, causing damage to the building and hurting hundreds.

In an attempt to solve the problem East Jakarta District Chief Murdani held a close door meeting with the warring parties to discuss the issue. At the same time though, he said that police would conduct a thorough investigation and check if the school’s legal status was in order and that it respected all building regulations. In case of violations he would issue orders to demolish the unlawful structures.

At present hundreds of agents are guarding the school and have orders to stop any act of violence and disarm people.

The Arastamar High School for Theology and Biblical Studies, locally known as STT SETIA, was established by Rev Mathew Mangentang in 1987.

The SST SETIA has more than 29 branches school across the country. In Jakarta alone it has thousands of students, including 265 who were injured in latest clashes.

Tensions between Christians and Muslims flared up on Saturday following rumours that a SETIA student had stolen a motorcycle that belonged to a Muslim from a neighbouring village.

Senny Manafe, a spokesperson for the school, rejected the accusation, claiming instead that the attacks were triggered by a trivial incident. In an attempt to chase a mouse in the street, a student threw a slipper against a house owned by a local Muslim. Outraged by the deed, the latter kicked and punched the student as people gathered drawn by the rumour that a Christian student had tried to steal the Muslim’s motorbike.

“Many students suffered various injuries to the head. Others were burnt by Molotov cocktails,” Manafe said.

The violence and charges against SETIA are the work of Risman Hadi, chairman of Muslim Brotherhood Forum of Kampung Pulo Village, who in the past opposed the opening and continued existence of the Christian institute.

British Muslim Students: Killing for Islam is Okay?

A third of Muslim students in Britain believe killing someone in the name of religion is justified, a new poll claims.

The survey found that extreme Islamist ideology has a profound influence on a significant minority of Muslims on campuses across the country.

The findings will concern police chiefs, the security services and ministers, who are struggling with radicalisation among Muslim communities.

The YouGov poll was conducted for the Right-wing think tank, the Centre for Social Cohesion, at 12 universities, including Imperial College and Kings College London. It also found:

  • 40 per cent support the introduction of sharia into British law for Muslims
  • a third back the notion of a worldwide Islamic caliphate (state) based on sharia law
  • 40 per feel it is unacceptable for Muslim men and women to mix freely
  • 24 per cent do not think men and women are equal in the eyes of Allah
  • a quarter have little or no respect for homosexuals.

Although 53 per cent said that killing in the name of religion was never justified, compared with 94 per cent of non-Muslims, 32 per cent said that it was. Of these, 4 per cent said killing could be justified to “promote or preserve” religion, while 28 per cent said it was acceptable if that religion were under attack.

There was also sympathy for the view that Muslim soldiers in the Armed Forces should be allowed to opt out of operations in Muslim countries, with 57 per cent agreeing.

The report’s authors found that Islamic societies on campus, operating under the umbrella of the Federation of Student Islamic Societies, exert a strong influence on many of Britain’s 90,000 Muslim students. A quarter of them belong to Islamic societies and their views are often more extreme.

While three-fifths of society members said that killing in the name of religion was acceptable, an equal number of non-member Muslims said it was never justified. The security services have identified Islamist activism at universities acts as a possible “gateway” to violent extremism. Several terrorists and sympathisers began their extremist careers on campuses.

The authors of the report, “Islam on Campus”, lay much of the blame for extremism among Muslim students on the group Hizb ut-Tahrir, which seeks to build a worldwide Islamic state.

YouGov polled 600 Muslim students and 800 non-Muslim students at universities with a high number of Muslims.

More Persecution of Copts (Egypt)

An illicit affair between a 17-year-old Coptic man and an 18-year-old Muslim married woman from the town of Tamiya in Fayoum resulted in Muslim demonstrations and the torching of Copts’ property last week. A Coptic-owned supermarket, timber store, and kiosk were torched, an attempt was made to set a gas station aflame but the fire was quickly put out. Two Coptic-owned cars were damaged, and two young men attacked.

The security authorities, however, played a positive role in containing the situation. They heightened security in town, confiscated motorcycles and tuk-tuks since these were used to throw fiery balls at the Copts’ shops, and detained scores of Muslim suspects. Eighteen of them were referred to the prosecution for investigation. They were charged with arson, mobbing, and ridiculing religion—the first time such a charge is levelled at suspects. The deputy prosecutor Wa’el Abdel-Hamid told Watani that the suspects were in the age group of 15 – 25 years old, most of them were uneducated, and none were related to the woman in question.

On Tuesday a reconciliation meeting was held in the town and was attended by more than 50 of the elders of the Muslim and Coptic families, as well as Fr Rufail Samy and MP Ahmed Abdel-Qawi. A written agreement was reached by which the Coptic young man on whose account the violence erupted was banished from town. It was also decided that Copts should be indemnified for the losses through community donations and that, if any such situation arose in the future, the same rules should apply.

Finally, the all too familiar sight in Egypt is met with something different!

It is no secret to the world that Coptic Christians are an object of persecution in Egypt. The State and Muslim majority are usually the aggressors whether it be by forced conversions, kidnapping, unjust laws or judicial corruption. However, this story ends with a twist. I am thankful that the police force, allegedly, is acting on the violence. I hope it is the last such acts that the Coptic community in that town will have to suffer at the hands of Muslim aggressors.

It is also noteworthy to commend the towns actions in holding a recocillation meeting.

Article Source: http://www.wataninet.com/article_en.asp?ArticleID=19380

Islamic Extremists on Facebook

Recently I have been monitoring some facebook groups, both pro and anti Islam. What has suprised me the most is that the people full of hate are not those who disagree with Islam but those Muslims who disagree with any criticism of Islam.
Here are some comments which are notable:

Ahmed Wagdy Mohamed (Egypt) wrote
at 6:37pm yesterday
I will kill all of you blasphemers if I had the chance. Watch me make you disappear with force and the will of Allah. You cannot stop me from destroying you for insulting the prophet Muhammad (saw).

I will find your address and stab you blasphemers.

See ya
Don’t wanna be ya

This character, Ahmed Wagdy Mohamed seems to be the exemplary Muslim on facebook. Such abuse and hate has earned him the position of group administrator on the facebook group ‘Ultimate Muslim Warriors of Islam’ (UMW). This group prides itself on internet terrorism. Other than sending out threats to critics of Islam, spamming groups criticising Islam they also in groups report members who are critical of Islam. Another action taken by these cyber terrorists includes taking over anti-Islamic groups and blocking all the members.

They have no intention of creating a dialogue with non-Muslims. All they wish is to smash freedom of speech through force and threats.

A member of the group ‘UMW’ posted “we are muslims and proud to be” while sporting a NAZI Swastika flag as their picture. Another friendly member with an Arab family as his picture states, “i spit on you kaffir we dont need to listen to you unbelieving beast”.

One thing that really surprised me was the groups stance on Israel, the US and terrorism.
In regard to the 9/11 Terror attacks a prominent group member stated:

Now, I was not a muslim at the time, but if I was, the attack would have made me VERY happy.

This member goes on to calling for genocide against the state of Israel.

With the acquasition of nuclear weapons we can eliminate the zionists if we don’t destroy israel already by outproducing them.

Look, I know that the zionists are evil. I really do, but we are simply not strong enough to defeat them yet. We will soon and when we do we will kill every last one inshallah.

These are the Muslims of facebook and the Muslims residing worldwide and in the West that wish nothing but damage, destruction, violence and oppression onto it.

Religious Persecution in ‘Secular’ Turkey

Death Penalty for Internet ‘Crimes’

Iran’s parliament is set to debate a draft bill which could see the death penalty used for those deemed to promote corruption, prostitution and apostasy on the Internet, reports said on Wednesday.

MPs on Wednesday voted to discuss as a priority the draft bill which seeks to “toughen punishment for harming mental security in society,” the ISNA news agency said.

The text lists a wide range of crimes such rape and armed robbery for which the death penalty is already applicable. The crime of apostasy (the act of leaving a religion, in this case Islam) is also already punishable by death.

However, the draft bill also includes “establishing weblogs and sites promoting corruption, prostitution and apostasy”, which is a new addition to crimes punishable by death.

Those convicted of these crimes “should be punished as “mohareb’ (enemy of God) and “corrupt on the earth’,” the text says.

Under Iranian law the standard punishments for these two crimes are “hanging, amputation of the right hand and then the left foot as well as exile.”

The bill — which is yet to be debated by lawmakers — also stipulates that the punishment handed out in these cases “cannot be commuted, suspended or changed”.

Internet is widely used in Iran despite restrictions on access and the blocking of thousands of websites with a sexual content or deemed as insulting religious sanctities and promoting political dissent.

Blogging is also very popular among cyber-savvy young Iranians, some openly discussing their private lives or criticising the system.

Human rights groups have accused Iran of making excessive use of the death penalty but Teheran insists it is an effective deterrent that is carried out only after an exhaustive judicial process.

The number of executions soared last year to 317 amid a campaign which the authorities said was aimed at improving security in society, and was sharply up on 2006 figures when Amnesty International recorded 177 executions.

All legislation in Iran has to be rubber-stamped by a conservative clerical watchdog before it is written into law. The Guardians Council vets bills to see if they are in line with the constitution and Islamic law.

Blaming Others (Farooq Sulehria)

The Amnesty International report on human rights for the year 2007 is out. The Muslim world constitutes, as usual, bleakest chapter. Every single country across the Muslim world has been pointed out by the Amnesty International either for executions and torture or discrimination against women and ethnic and religious minorities. Punishments never handed down even during the Stone Age, have been awarded in 21st century Muslim world. In one case, two Saudi nationals were awarded 7,000 lashes. Yes, 7,000. And executions? Well, 335 in Iran, 158 in Saudi Arabia and 135 in Pakistan. Violation of human rights, it seems, is the only thing that unites the otherwise divided Muslim world.

The report is no exception. The Muslim world cuts a sorry figure every time a global watchdog releases its findings. Freedom of expression here remains curtailed, Reporters Sans Frontieres annually reports. Regarding freedom of expression, there is a joke often told in Arab world. At a meeting, a US journalist says: “We have complete freedom of expression in the US. We can criticise the US president as much as we like.” The Arab journalist replies. “We also have complete freedom of expression in Arab world. We can also criticise the US president as much as we like.”

Similarly, it is either Bangladesh or Pakistan or Nigeria which is on top of Transparency International’s corruption indexes. However, when Nobel laureates gather in Stockholm every December, Muslim scientists and writers are conspicuous by their absence. In case, as Naguib Mahfouz is crowned, he is stabbed and rendered paralysed. The irony, or tragedy, is that his attacker had not even read his excellent books. Or we disown Dr Abdul Salam just because he belonged to the Ahmadiya community. Salam’s case deserves special mention since it underlines the absurdity that characterises this part of the world.

When all else fails, “Jews” and “Christian” West are there to lay the blame for all our ills. Conspiracy theories instead of scientific, rational thought holds sway across much of the Muslim world. And every time a rights abuse is highlighted in Iran, Saudi Arabia or Pakistan, a typical Muslim answer is: Look at Iraq, Afghanistan, Palestine and Chechnya. True, imperialism and Zionism have a hand in our predicament. However, there are many wounds one can only describe as self-inflicted.

Take, for instance, the Iran-Iraq war, one of the last century’s bloodiest conflicts. There is no denying the fact that the United States backed the Saddam regime. But it was the Arab sheikhdoms, panicked at the Iranian revolution, that stoked the flames of war. And, ironically, now in the post-Saddam era when the “Christian” West has written off Iraq’s Saddam-era debt worth $66 billion, Iraq’s Arab brothers refuse to write off that country’s $67 billion loans.

Similarly, last century’s bloodiest Muslim genocide was not carried out by Serbs, Israelis, Americans, Europeans or Hindus. It was Pakistan’s military that refused to respect a democratic verdict and plunged East Pakistan, now Bangladesh, into an ocean of blood. Millions were killed, maimed, raped and rendered homeless. Luckily, Pakistan has a “Hindu” neighbour. “Hindus are born enemies of Islam’. Hence, Pakistani children are now taught that a Bengali traitor (revered by Bengalis as founder of Bangladesh), in connivance with our “Hindu” neighbour, dismembered Pakistan. Ironically, of all her South Asian neighbours, Pakistan enjoys most cordial relations with the world’s only Hindu state, Nepal. The other big genocide was perpetrated by Indonesia. The target was: its own citizens who were members of the Communist Party.

Figures are not available but Israel perhaps cannot match Iran in executing Arabs. Iran’s confessional regime is a champion of the Arab cause in Occupied Territories but Arabs of its Khuzestan province are regularly sent to the gallows. Seizing the opportunity, one may also point out how only recently Afghan refugees were driven out of Iran as if Afghan refugees were not as Muslim as Palestinians. And, by the way in the fallen “Emirate of Afghanistan” itself, Hazaras were slaughtered by the Taliban in their thousands almost a decade ago – mainly because Hazaras are Shia. In Iraq, more people have been killed in Shia-Sunni clashes than in resisting the US occupation. Shia-Sunni clashes in Pakistan have claimed more lives than those lost in its wars against India. Ironically, this only “nuclear power” of the Muslim world is not being occupied on its eastern front by its “Hindu” neighbour but is losing territory on its western front to its own citizens.

One can mention from the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait to the recent Hamas-Fatah infighting (a shameful tribute to Israel on its 60th anniversary). The list is long. Indeed, unending. However, the solution to all our problems is always simple: return to an imagined past which, mercifully for the people of the seventh century, never existed. Every time, a scientist in the West is ready with an invention, our readymade answer is: we knew about it 1,400 years ago what the West has found only now. We kill Theo van Gogh when confronted with a film. We burn down our own cities in response to a blasphemous and racist caricature. Still, we refuse to understand that our answer to every “provocation” is either a fatwa or mindless violence – perhaps because creativity is anathema to us. Not because we lack fertile minds, but because we lack liberation and freedom — liberation from self-imposed mental, moral, and cultural censors. And freedom to think and express. Time to heed the great Syrian poet Nizar Qabbani, who said:

Five thousand years

Growing beards

In our caves.

Our currency is unknown,

Our eyes are a haven for flies.

Friends,

Smash the doors,

Wash your brains,

Wash your clothes.

Friends,

Read a book,

Write a book,

Grow words, pomegranates and grapes,

Sail to the country of fog and snow.

Nobody knows you exist in caves.

People take you for a breed of mongrels.

This great article appeared in the The News International:
http://www.thenews.com.pk/daily_detail.asp?id=118852