Friday, October 31, 2014

Phony Op-Ed in Wall Street Journal

Gary Fouse

Maher Hathout and Salam al Marayati are two of the leading Muslim figures in America. Al Marayati is the director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) and Hathout is a senior advisor of MPAC. Both have been featured on this site many times. In this op-ed in the Wall Street Journal they dish out more pablum to unsuspecting non-Muslims. While attempting to convince the reader that the horrors being perpetrated across the Islamic world are in contravention of Islam, they argue that American Muslims can be a force for reform back in their countries of origin.

Let Islamic Reform Start in America

We must stop looking to the Middle East, where regressive religion and authoritarianism reign.

By  Salam Al-Marayati and Maher Hathout           
Oct. 30, 2014           
‘Muslim communities in the West,” wrote Graham Fuller and Ian Lesser in 1995 (“The Geopolitics of Islam and the West”), “are more likely to exert influence on their countries and cultures of origin rather than receive influences from them; over time they may have a substantive effect on the perceptions of secularization and minority rights in the Middle East.”

This shift—from the American Muslim community being perceived as foreign and an extension of the Middle East and South Asia to American Muslims instead influencing the East—is the direction in which Muslims are heading. Rampant authoritarianism in the Muslim world and the regression of Muslim religious establishments funded by the same autocratic governments currently make Islamic reform unlikely in the region.

American Muslims can significantly contribute to the revival of Islam and restore human dignity as a central principle of the faith. From despotic regimes to religious extremism, authoritarianism in the Middle East and South Asia has devastated modern Islamic thought over the last few centuries. American Muslims have the freedom and the intellectual capacity to create positive change for Islamic reform.

There are 1.5 billion Muslims in the world, and their religion needs to be relevant for all of their lives. All religions and man-made philosophies go through reform and renewal. We Muslims must liberate ourselves from the shackles of dogmatic traditions such as sectarianism, tribalism, chauvinism and theocracy, all of which contradict Islamic ethics based in the Quran and the authenticated traditions of the Prophet Mohammed.

The areas that need immediate attention for Islamic reform are: promoting good governance; protecting the rights of religious minorities and women; and marginalizing the ideology of compulsion. There was more discourse on the penal code and jurisprudence centuries ago, at the peak of Islamic civilization, when leaders focused on the spirit of the Islamic law, rather than on the absolute letter of the law.

For example, within two decades after the Quranic revelation was complete in 632, the punishment for theft was suspended by Omar ibn al Khattab, the second successor to the Prophet, when the economy deteriorated and poverty was endemic. In this case, along with many others, a leader suspended a conditional Quranic instruction because of new circumstances. That thinking is needed now more than ever.

As is well known, the human rights of women and religious minorities are violated in many Muslim countries. Communities that don’t align with the ideology of the ruling power live in inhumane and oppressive conditions. In 2002 religious police in Saudi Arabia prevented girls from escaping a burning school in Mecca and 15 female students died. These men, members of the Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice, would not allow the girls to escape the building because their head scarves were not completely covering their hair.

This meant a rule trumped the protection of life, one of the five goals of Islamic law, the others being freedom of expression, freedom of religion, rights of family, and rights of property. The five goals are called the Maqaasid of Islamic law and are unanimously accepted by Islamic jurists. The Maqaasid needs to be given new life, and that can only happen in an environment of freedom and futuristic thinking. There is no Islamic ethics or morality achieved by religious police.

This Saudi religious police force, similar to those in Iran and throughout South Asia, is a bastardization of a very important Islamic concept—Maslaha, or public interest. The verse in the Quran related to Maslaha refers to the promotion of social benefit, defined by the Maqaasid and known by the people as human decency, and the prevention of public harm. Religious policing is rooted in the ideology of compulsion. It is a distortion of that valuable understanding of public interest in any nation’s jurisprudence or executive authority.

American Muslims have looked to the Middle East for religious authority, for spiritual direction and, at times, for political priorities. We must end this practice by declaring that any country or group claiming to be Islamic must uphold the most important principle in Islam, protecting life rather than destroying it.

Any country that kills its own people, persecutes religious minorities and subjugates women is anathema to American Muslims. They can call themselves angels, but they cannot camouflage their evil under a religious veneer. Islam liberated us from the shackles of religious tyranny, and we will struggle to liberate ourselves by declaring our independence from the tyrants and clerics who have usurped authority and religion in claiming sovereignty over Muslims world-wide.

Mr. Al-Marayati is president and Dr. Hathout is senior adviser of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.

First of all, when these two gentlemen claim that American Muslims can be a force for reform, they should begin putting their own house in order. Both of them are recipients of the so-called Freedom Letter sent in 2009 and 2012 by Former Muslims United to the top 200 Muslim leaders in the US asking them to sign the Freedom Pledge, a simple statement that American apostates from Islam should not be harmed. To date neither has signed it. In fact, only rwo of the recipients have signed it.

In June 2012,  Hathout spoke at St John's Episcopal Church in Los Angeles. When an audience member asked him if he would sign the aforementioned letter, he said he had never received it. I then walked to the table where he was sitting and placed it in front of him. It was a copy of the letter that had been addressed specifically to him. He tossed it aside then said he would read the letter and sign it if it was not insulting to Islam. You can view the video of that exchange here.

In December 2012, I encountered Hathout again at the annual MPAC convention at the All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. I asked him if he had ever signed the letter. He said that he would not because he did not believe in a death penalty for apostasy in Islam and nobody was going to dictate to him what to sign.

At that same conference, I asked Marayati the same question. He repeated the line about there being no death penalty in Islam  for apostasy and that was why he never signed it. I also provided him with a copy of the letter that had been addressed to him. Both exchanges are described in the above link.

If these gentlemen were really serious about American Muslims leading the way for reform in Islam, they could have used the opportunity to sign the Freedom Pledge. They chose not to. That says to me that their words in the above editorial ring hollow.

Get Well, Findalis!

Here is a get well wish from one of your teammates. You are sorely needed in this battle, and we wish you a speedy recovery. We will keep the blog going while you concentrate on getting well.

Our thoughts and prayers are always with you.


Eric Holder's Inappropriate Comments on Ferguson

Gary Fouse

Attorney General Eric Holder has once (twice, actually) again demonstrated why he has no business being attorney general or occupying any other government position.

Last week, he was responding to leaks coming out of the grand jury in St Louis investigating the shooting of Michael Brown by Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson. The leak tended to indicate that the case was going in Officer Wilson's favor. Holder didn't like that. Even though it is not a federal grand jury, he spoke out and said that people need to shut up.

True enough, grand jury information is not supposed to be divulged, but it is not the DOJ's grand jury. It is Holder who should have shut up.

Now this week Holder gives an interview on Wednesday in which he says that it is "pretty clear" that "wholesale changes" need to be made in the Ferguson Police Department. Of course, he added that since the separate DOJ  investigation is still underway he can't say exactly what changes.


Could it be that if Officer Wilson is exonerated, that no changes are necessary? Police Chief Thomas Jackson has quickly and rightfully objected to Holder's pre-judging of the facts. It is no secret that Holder and his henchmen in DOJ want the chief to resign.

Indeed, Holder's comments in both instances are inappropriate and irresponsible-not worthy of an attorney, let alone the US attorney general.  He is not in charge of the St Louis County grand jury, and he is pre-judging the Ferguson Police Department before all the facts are in.

If there is any agency where wholesale changes are necessary it is the current Justice Department, which has been thoroughly politicized and corrupted under Eric Holder.

John Kerry Shows His Idiocy Once Again

Gary Fouse

Hat tip CNS News

"The response to Islamist extremism, which “exploits a legitimate and beautiful religion,” must include offering alternatives to young people who lack opportunities and “feel oppressed,” Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday."

John Heinz Kerry has once more illustrated that not only is he ignorant of the Middle East, he is also ignorant about Islam.

“We’re also going to win it with better alternatives for a whole bunch of young people who today live in places where they feel oppressed, where they don’t have a lot of opportunity, there’s not enough education, they don’t have jobs,” he said. “But they know what the rest of the world has because they all have smart phones, they all have mobile devices, and they’re all seeing what’s going on and they trade thoughts.”

Old Horse Face forgets about the thousands of ISIS fighters who traveled from Europe, Australia, Canada and the US to join the Islamic jihad. They had education at their fingertips and smart phones in their hands. Kerry is still peddling the line that extremism is born of poverty. He forgets that Usama bin Laden was the heir to a multi-million dollar construction firm in Saudi Arabia. His successor, Aymam al Zawahiri, is an educated man, and the leader of ISIS, Abu Bakr al Baghdadi, has a PhD in Islamic studies. Rich man, poor man. They have both joined the Islamic jihad, John-John.

And then there was this gem:

“And so we have to push back. We’re not going to win this exclusively through our efforts on the ground in this coalition with kinetic efforts,” he said, referring to the U.S.-led coalition’s military operations against the jihadist group. “We’re going to win this with ideas.”

(Amazing resemblance)

Ideas!??! What ideas? It's not like this administration is brimming over with ideas. And what "kinetic efforts" on the ground is he referring to? He must be referring to the heroic Kurds going it alone in Kobani aided by German and Dutch biker gangs, be jeezus! We ourselves are not doing anything on the ground.

How's this for an idea, John-John? Let's offer refuge to the last remaining Christians in the Middle East, get the hell out of there, become energy self sufficient, start supporting Israel again, and let those Arabs kill each other to their hearts' content?

"That's too simplistic.

Lymphoma Update

In May I was diagnosed with Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma Stage 2.  Since then my blogging has been very light.

I wish I had better news to tell, but after months of Chemo therapy it is not gone.  I will be going to more tests and a biopsy next week.

I ask for your prayers and hopefully we can get rid of this cancer soon!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Wednesday's Hero

This post was suggested by Michael

Cpt. Joseph O'Callahan

Cpt. Joseph O'Callahan
58 years old from Worcester, Mass
Naval Reserve Chaplain Corps, USS Franklin
May 14, 1905 - March 18, 1964

U.S. Navy

From Cpt. O'Callahan's Medal Of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty while serving as chaplain on board the U.S.S. Franklin when that vessel was fiercely attacked by enemy Japanese aircraft during offensive operations near Kobe, Japan, on 19 March 1945. A valiant and forceful leader, calmly braving the perilous barriers of flame and twisted metal to aid his men and his ship, Lt. Comdr. O'Callahan groped his way through smoke-filled corridors to the shells, rockets, and other armament. With the ship rocked by incessant explosions, with debris and fragments raining down and fires raging in ever-increasing fury, he ministered to the wounded and dying, comforting and encouraging men of all faiths; he organized and led firefighting crews into the blazing inferno on the flight deck; he directed the jettisoning of live ammunition and the flooding of the magazine; he manned a hose to cool hot, armed bombs rolling dangerously on the listing deck, continuing his efforts, despite searing, suffocating smoke which forced men to fall back gasping and imperiled others who replaced them. Serving with courage, fortitude, and deep spiritual strength, Lt. Comdr. O'Callahan.

You can read more about Cpt. O'Callahan here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look. Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Our Feckless State Department in Action

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Washington Free Beacon, Frontpage Magazine and Hastings

Even under good conservative administrations, our State Department is by nature a feckless entity consisting of pseudo intellectuals who think they are a cut above the average American. I know because I spent as total of 8 years with DEA stationed at an embassy and a consulate overseas. In addition, I spent two years with DEA in our International Training section doing training seminars overseas, which were funded by State. I know first hand the arrogance of these folks (not all, mind you).

Having said that, I am constantly amazed by  DOS' two principle spokesholes, Jen Psaki and Marie Harf, both political activists who were rewarded by the Obama administration with the jobs they now occupy. The latest outrage is by Psaki who here insists that a Palestinian youth who was throwing Molotov cocktails at Israeli cars before he was shot dead was not a terrorist.

The Washington Free Beacon and Frontpage Magazine have the story.

Would not the prudent course of action (DOS traditionally acts "prudently") have been to not get involved in the issue at all?

"But," you say, "the kid was a US citizen".

So was that 3-month -old baby deliberately run over by a Palestinian driver in Jerusalem last week. The US embassy in Israel referred to that as a "traffic accident".

Friday, October 24, 2014

Elvis Presley To Play Israel In May 2015 (PreOccupied Territory)

Hat Tip to Elder of Ziyon

More from the humor site PreOccupied Territory

Check out their Facebook page.

 Tel Aviv, October 22 - Music fans in Israel will be treated to four live shows by legendary rock musician Elvis Presley this coming spring, local promoters announced today.

King Promotions, a Tel-Aviv-based agency, announced that in May next year, the King of Rock 'n' Roll will perform in Tel Aviv, Haifa, Jerusalem, and Beer Sheva, with a possible fifth appearance in the southernmost city of Eilat.

Presley has yet to perform in Israel despite his popularity there. Sales of Presley's music have remained on par with those in most Western countries, but the rock superstar has seldom ventured beyond US shores. His last performance abroad was an appearance in Canada in 1957, and he served in the US Army in Germany from 1958 to 1960.

Perhaps as a nod to his Jewish roots, Presley will begin his first international tour with the Tel Aviv show. His maternal grandmother was Jewish, and since in Jewish law Jewish ancestry follows the mother, it follows that his own mother, and therefore he, was Jewish. The artist behind "Love Me Tender" and "Blue Suede Shoes" had a Star of David engraved on his mother's tombstone after her passing in 1959, and had a warm relationship with the Jewish community in Memphis, Tennessee, though, like much of his extended family, his Judaism was otherwise seldom expressed.

The announcement represents a blow to the aspirations of the Boycott, Divest, Sanctions movement against Israel, which has for years tried to prevent artists and performers from visiting the Jewish State. Presley's appearances follow a series of other high-profile musicians who have spurned BDS, most recently Lady Gaga. The King, however, carries even more cultural weight, and his performances constitute a reality check for the movement, which often harasses or threatens performers not to take their act to Israel. A small group of BDS activists made their way to Graceland in Memphis today to register their protest.

Specific dates have yet to be released, and tickets will not be offered for sale until next month. King Productions anticipates being able to charge a premium for attendance, in addition to the revenue from corporate entities interested in piggybacking on the unprecedented publicity potential.

After Israel, Presley is expected to perform in Germany in a gesture to his days as a US soldier there, though some fans suspect he chose Berlin after encountering reports that generic chocolate pudding with a whipped cream topping is available cheap at supermarkets there.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Fast and Furious: Judicial Watch Receives Vaughn Index of Withheld Documents

Gary Fouse

Hat tip to Squid and a big hat tip to Judicial Watch

After two years of legal struggle, the Justice Department, under a judge's order, has turned over a list of documents withheld from Congress in its investigation of the Operation Fast and Furious scandal to Judicial Watch. This is called a Vaughn index, which lists each document withheld and the reason(s) why they are withheld. There are over 15,000 such documents, which President Obama put under his personal protection by asserting executive privilege. Stunningly, it has been revealed that e-mails between Eric Holder and his wife (who is not a government employee) and even his mother have been protected.

Judicial Watch also suggests that the release of these documents may be tied to Holder's announced resignation.

"Fed up with the interminable delay caused Holder’s gamesmanship and stonewalling, JW renewed its request to the Court to allow our transparency lawsuit to continue.  Thankfully, this past July, Judge John D. Bates ended the 16-month delay and ordered the Obama administration to produce a Vaughn index of the alleged “executive privilege” records by October 1. Judge Bates noted that no court has ever “expressly recognized” President Obama’s unprecedented executive privilege claims in the Fast and Furious matter.

Unhappy with having to produce the records prior to the elections, Justice lawyers asked the judge to give them one extra month, until November 3 (the day before Election Day!) to produce the info.  Judge Bates rejected this gambit, suggested that the Holder’s agency did not take court order seriously.  Rather than a month, Judge Bates gave Justice until yesterday to cough up the Vaughn index. Judge Bates issued his smack down on September 23.

Attorney General Eric Holder announced his resignation two days later."

There can be little doubt that if these documents ever see the light of day,  they would reveal:

1 Fast and Furious was cooked up in DOJ Hqs with the involvement of the White House.

2 Eric Holder and his top lieutenants were intimately involved in overseeing the operation.

3 Holder perjured himself before Congress.

4 The Obama White House and top levels of DOJ including Holder have been involved in a massive cover-up.

Now if we only had a Justice Department to investigate it all.

Thoughts on the Week of Terror in Canada

Gary Fouse

As the dust settles in Ottawa after yesterday's terror attack, it appears that Michael Zehaf-Bibeau was the lone gunman. Whether he had links to the previous jihadist killed in Canada two days earlier is still being investigated. A couple of things are becoming clear. First, lone wolf jihadists in the West are hearing the call of ISIS to strike however they can in Western countries. The threat of more attacks is real, indeed certain. Pinhead professors like Juan Cole of the University of Michigan can pooh-pooh it and dismiss warnings as racist and Islamophobic all they want. They will eventually be laughed out of  the public discourse by real events.

As for Islamophobia, I would guess that after this week's events, a few million more Canadians have become Islamophobes. They may be fodder for UC Berkeley professor Hatem Bazian's Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center, but the numbers can only grow rather than diminish.

For everyday brings news of another atrocity, whether it be an attack in the West, a car bomb in Iraq, a beheading in Syria, a stoning in Afghanistan, a kidnapping of schoolgirls in Nigeria, a death sentence for blasphemy in Pakistan, or for apostasy in Sudan; it is a daily occurrence.

Once again I repeat my usual disclaimer: I don't condemn all Muslims and neither should you. God forbid that we in the West begin retaliating against innocent Muslim citizens living in the West. Yet it is becoming very tiring to hear apologists like CAIR and MPAC "condemn" the acts of ISIS and al Qaeda while refusing to condemn the acts of Hamas directed towards Israelis. (Yesterday, a Palestinian in Jerusalem aimed his car at a crowd and killed a three-month-old baby, an act that was applauded, if not ordered, by Hamas.) The story line of the CAIR types is that they "condemn all acts of terror against innocent civilians" (a phrase wide enough to drive a truck through according to their definitions.). Yet CAIR's biggest concern is lashing back against any outcry against terror as being Islamophobic. They and others tell us that these acts have nothing to do with Islam-even though they are being carried out in the name of Islam. They tell us how the Qu'ran forbids the taking of human life-side skipping the caveats and the fact that all the peaceful verses they recite are Abrogated by later contradictory verses that urge the Muslim to kill the unbelievers. (I capitalize abrogate because that is an Islamic scholarly principle of interpreting the Qu'ran.) The final major chapter in the Qu'ran is sura 9 which is also its most hateful and violent. It virtually abrogates any verses recorded earlier in time which are contradictory. (The final sura-110- consists of only a couple of sentences.) Yet we are to believe that Islam is a religion of peace.

The apologists and propagandists also tell us that the Prophet Mohammad was a kind and generous man who forgave his enemies. In truth, Mohammad was a warrior and military leader who spread Islam at the point of a sword and oversaw the executions-by beheadings- of captured prisoners and the sale of their wives and daughters into slavery. This is historical fact not slander. What ISIS is doing today is what Mohammad's armies did 1400 years ago. Muslims themselves know it because it is heralded in Islamic texts themselves. Also well chronicled in the Qu'ran and the hadith (the life and traditions of Mohammad) are constant hateful references to Jews and Christians. Those hateful references continue to this day in thousands of mosques around the world even in the West.

So as we watch the never-ending series of attacks against non-Muslims, the persecution of Christians across the Islamic world and even wars between Sunni and Shia, the apologists ask us to believe that Islam is a religion of peace and that what we are witnessing is not Islam. As much as we may want to believe this, it strains credulity. The "peace" is only meant to be among Muslims themselves-and among the same branches of Islam no less.

If what the CAIR types tell us is true, where are the million man marches-at least in the West if not within the Islamic world itself? As we speak, yesterday was proclaimed by CAIR to be a Day of Action. Action against what-the "hijacking" of Islam by ISIS, al Qaeda, Boko Haram and all the other terror organizations running around the globe? Was it a call for Muslims to engage in some self examination? No, it was a protest against police brutality and incarceration of brown and black people-a cynical attempt to rally other minorities to their own cause.  It will be a cold day in Hell before millions of Muslims take to the streets and demand a cleansing of this evil or a Reformation within Islam that would rid it of its violent and intolerant aspects. In truth, they cannot without rejecting Mohammad and the Qu'ran itself. By their definition, that is apostasy, a "crime" by the way, punishable by death under Sharia law.  No, that is not going to happen.

In addition, CAIR has a long track record of former officials who have been uncovered in terrorist plots or providing other terrorist support. The rest of these activists and so-called Muslim leaders are what we call "stealth jihadists" forsaking violence to work within the system to bring about the same goal as ISIS-a worldwide Islamic caliphate.

As for the rest of us, all we can do is await the next attack on our home soil. The day is going to come when the "Islamophobia" overflows our societies. Hopefully, that will not result in hate and retaliation against innocent people who do live peaceful lives and have no wish to harm us or change our way of life. It should, however, force our heretofore feckless leaders to call a halt to Islamic immigration and to take decisive action against the jihadists-stealth or otherwise- who are walking among us and preparing for that envisioned day when Islam will reign supreme. We cannot afford the luxury of having to rely on our diplomatic, immigration, intelligence and police forces of having to weed out the bad from the good.

As for that Islamophobia Research and Documentation Center at UC Berkeley, I suggest Mr Bazian request additional funding to expand his facility. He's going to need a lot of file space.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Solar Eclipse on Thursday, October 23rd.

Solar activity is surging on the eve of Thursday's solar eclipse. Giant sunspot AR2192 is crackling with M- and X-class solar flares as the Moon approaches the sun for a partial eclipse that will be visible across almost all of North America on Oct. 23rd.  The eclipse will be particularly beautiful in the Central Time Zone where maximum coverage occurs at sunset.

 SOLAR FLARE ALERT:  Giant sunspot AR2192 is poised to erupt again.

For more information on AR2192 or other solar flares head on to

Wednesday's Hero

This post was suggested by Michael

Maj. Charles Watters

Maj. Charles Watters
40 years old from Jersey City, New Jersey
Army Chaplain Corps, 173rd Support Battalion
January 17, 1927 - November 19, 1967

U.S. Army

From Maj. Watters's Medal Of Honor citation:

For conspicuous gallantry and intrepidity in action at the risk of his life above and beyond the call of duty. Chaplain Watters distinguished himself during an assault in the vicinity of Dak To. Chaplain Watters was moving with one of the companies when it engaged a heavily armed enemy battalion. As the battle raged and the casualties mounted, Chaplain Watters, with complete disregard for his safety, rushed forward to the line of contact. Unarmed and completely exposed, he moved among, as well as in front of the advancing troops, giving aid to the wounded, assisting in their evacuation, giving words of encouragement, and administering the last rites to the dying. When a wounded paratrooper was standing in shock in front of the assaulting forces, Chaplain Watters ran forward, picked the man up on his shoulders and carried him to safety. As the troopers battled to the first enemy entrenchment, Chaplain Watters ran through the intense enemy fire to the front of the entrenchment to aid a fallen comrade. A short time later, the paratroopers pulled back in preparation for a second assault. Chaplain Watters exposed himself to both friendly and enemy fire between the two forces in order to recover two wounded soldiers. Later, when the battalion was forced to pull back into a perimeter, Chaplain Watters noticed that several wounded soldiers were lying outside the newly formed perimeter. Without hesitation and ignoring attempts to restrain him, Chaplain Watters left the perimeter three times in the face of small arms, automatic weapons, and mortar fire to carry and to assist the injured troopers to safety. Satisfied that all of the wounded were inside the perimeter, he began aiding the medics ... applying field bandages to open wounds, obtaining and serving food and water, giving spiritual and mental strength and comfort. During his ministering, he moved out to the perimeter from position to position redistributing food and water, and tending to the needs of his men. Chaplain Watters was giving aid to the wounded when he himself was mortally wounded. Chaplain Watters' unyielding perseverance and selfless devotion to his comrades was in keeping with the highest traditions of the U.S. Army.

You can read more about Maj. Charles Watters here

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look.

Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, October 20, 2014

Boo Hoo Palestine

The latest from Pat Condell

Click here if the video fails to load.

The biggest political con trick in history, and we fall for it again
and again.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Juan Cole Condemns David Cameron for Alerting UK Public to ISIS Fighters from Britain

Gary Fouse

Calls it Racist and Islamophobic at Speech at Cal State Long Beach 

University of Michigan history professor Juan Cole spoke at CSU Long Beach on Thursday, October 16.  I attended and videotaped the event which was organized by the Middle Eastern Studies Program with assistance from the Department of History and History Students’ Association, and is sponsored by the Office of the Provost and College of Liberal Arts. The auditorium was standing room only, so I am guessing there was around 300 students and professors in attendance. The topic was ISIS. Cole spoke on the historical events mostly in Iraq from the end of the Ottoman Empire to the present and spoke very briefly on Syria. He spoke for about an hour before taking questions. As expected, he spoke very derisively of the Bush administration's invasion of Iraq in 2003. Much of his talk focused on the displacement of the Sunnis/Baath party with the fall of Saddam Hussein and how they became fighters against the Shi'ite regime eventually morphing into ISIS.

One of the more noteworthy things Cole said, however, came during the q and a (Tape 119 at 4:15 mark) when a young man asked him about the Westerners who have joined ISIS, particularly the Brit known as Jihadi John who carried out the notorious beheadings. This led Cole into a denunciation of British Prime Minister David Cameron, who Cole said was using the issue to cause fear among the British public. Cameron, said Cole, was playing to his Conservative Party constituency, which he calls racist. He called the release of the news Islamophobic, a way to beat up on British Muslims,  and said that Cameron should be ashamed. Cole added that there are almost 4 million Muslims in Britain and that the quoted number of 400 who have reportedly gone to join ISIS is an infinitesimal number. He briefly referred to the FBI claiming that some 100 Americans have joined up but said nothing about all the other Western nations whose passport-holders have joined. In responding to another young female questioner, Cole condemned Islamophobia and stereotyping of Muslims.

 I had to leave just as the last two audience members were lined up at the microphone so I missed their questions and Cole's answers.

Comment: While Cole has probably forgotten more about the Middle East than I will ever know, I do take exception with his comments about the release of news that some 400 British Muslims have gone off to join ISIS. While it may be an infinitesimal number compared to the overall Muslim population of the UK, and may not represent majority Muslim thought, it is a cause for concern.  Four hundred ISIS fighters returning to Britain can do a lot of damage to a country that has already experienced the slaughter of a British soldier on a London street and the recent beheading of a woman by a Muslim convert. In addition, the killer who attacked the Brussels Jewish center was a French citizen who had returned from fighting in Syria-to say nothing about the pernicious influence of Anjem Choudary and his followers in the UK. Finally, such Western fighters have originated in other European countries as well as Canada, Australia and the US. This is nothing for Cole to pooh-pooh. But, let's face it: Cole has his agenda.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Wednesday's Hero

This post was suggested by SJ

George H. Kirk, Sr.

George H. Kirk, Sr.
82 years old
3rd Marine Division
May 25, 1917 - October 28, 1999

George Kirk, Sr. was a Marine and a Navajo Code Talker who passed away in 1999. Recently his uniform was set to go up for auction but thankfully Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly heard about it and was able to get it returned to the tribe.

You can read more about this story here.

These brave men and women sacrifice so much in their lives just so others may get to enjoy freedom. For that I am proud to call them Hero.

Those Who Say That We're In A Time When There Are No Heroes, They Just Don't Know Where To Look

Wounded Warrior Project - Because So Many Have Come Back With Injuries, Seen And Unseen.

This post is part of the Wednesday Hero Blogroll. For more information about Wednesday Hero, or if you would like to post it on your site, you can go here.

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Monday, October 13, 2014

Michael Gene Vinassa (1946-1966-Vietnam)

Gary Fouse

For the past few years, I have been marking Memorial Day with re-postings on two of my high school friends who died in Vietnam. One of them was Michael Gene Vinassa, who died before he was twenty one.

This past weekend I was in the North Hollywood area and decided to swing by Forest Lawn Cemetery before heading back to Orange County. I wanted to visit Mike's grave because on the one previous occasion I was there, I had only found it after great effort and in a driving rainstorm which drove me back to my car after only a few seconds. I wanted to pay a proper visit where I could spend a few minutes and meditate. I also wanted to find my great-aunt's grave, which I had been unable to do the previous time. (Even with the marker numbers, it's still like finding a needle in the haystack at Forest Lawn. For the second time, I failed to locate her grave.)

When Mike was killed, I was just arriving in Germany after finishing Military Police School at Ft. Gordon, Georgia. It's one of the things you think about when you visit the grave of a vet killed in Vietnam. How is it that fate sent me to Germany and Mike to Vietnam and an early death? How is it that I am still alive standing at Mike's grave all these decades later? I am now 69 and Mike is forever 20.

The circumstances of Mike's heroic death are found in this article by a survivor of the battle in which Mike lost his life. As I reported before, Mike was due to finish his tour in Vietnam within days and had to beg his commanding officer into letting him go on the mission.

Mike's mother, Glenadine, survived him by 8 years and is buried next to him. I don't think Mike had any siblings, and it was my recollection that his father was deceased when Mike was young. Mike was all she had.

Gary Fouse's photo.

May you both rest in peace.

Pakistan Comes to the UK

Gary Fouse

Hat tip Gates of Vienna

Here is one Englishman's account of the change in his UK community thanks to the unrestricted immigration of Pakistanis to the UK and their refusal to accept English values.

And who represents Bradford in Parliament?

That would be your friend and mine, punch drunk George Galloway.

"I think you're a liar."

Sweden - Ship Of Fools

The latest from Pat Condell

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The shape of things to come on planet "progressive".

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Do You Have A Plan?

 Hat tip to Twana Blevins

Juval Aviv was the Israeli Agent upon whom the movie ' Munich ' was based. He was Golda Meir's bodyguard. She appointed him to track down and bring to justice the Palestinian terrorists who took the Israeli athletes hostage and killed them during the Munich Olympic Games.

In a lecture in New York City a few weeks ago, Aviv shared information that EVERY American needs to know - but that our government has not yet shared with us.
Aviv predicted the London subway bombing on the Bill O'Reilly show on Fox News stating publicly that it would happen within a week. At the time, O'Reilly laughed and mocked him saying that in a week he wanted Aviv back on the show. But, unfortunately, within a week the terrorist attack had occurred.

Juval Aviv gave intelligence (via what he had gathered in Israel and the Middle East ) to the Bush Administration about 9/11 a month before it occurred. His report specifically said that they would use planes as bombs and target high profile buildings and monuments. Congress has since hired him as a security consultant.

Now for Aviv's future predictions: He predicts the next terrorist attack on the U.S. will occur within the next few months. Forget hijacking airplanes, because he says terrorists will NEVER try hijacking a plane again as they know the people onboard will never go down quietly again. Aviv believes our airport security is a joke--that we have been reactionary rather than proactive in developing strategies that are truly effective.

For example:
1) Our airport technology is outdated. We look for metal, and the new explosives are made of plastic.

2) He talked about how some idiot tried to light his shoe on fire. Because of that, now everyone has to take off their shoes. A group of idiots tried to bring aboard liquid explosives. Now we can't bring liquids on board. He says he's waiting for some suicidal maniac to pour liquid explosive on his underwear; at which point, security will have us all traveling naked! Every strategy we have is reactionary.

3) We only focus on security when people are heading to the gates. Aviv says that if a terrorist attack targets airports in the future, they will target busy times on the front end of the airport when/where people are checking in. It would be easy for someone to take two suitcases of explosives, walk up to a busy check-in line, ask a person next to them to watch their bags for a minute while they run to the restroom or get a drink, and then detonate the bags BEFORE security even gets involved. In Israel , security checks bags BEFORE people can even ENTER the airport.
Aviv says the next terrorist attack here in America is imminent and will involve suicide bombers and non-suicide bombers in places where large groups of people congregate... (i.e., Disneyland, Las Vegas casinos, big cities (New York, San Francisco, Chicago, etc.) and that it will also include shopping malls, subways in rush hour, train stations, etc., as well as rural America this time (Wyoming, Montana, etc.).

The attack will be characterized by simultaneous detonations around the country (terrorists like a big impact), involving at least 5-8 cities, including rural areas.
Aviv says terrorists won't need to use suicide bombers in many of the larger cities, because at places like the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, they can simply valet park a car loaded with explosives and walk away.

Aviv says all of the above is well known in intelligence circles, but that our U.S. Government does not want to 'alarm American citizens' with the facts. The world is quickly going to become 'a different place', and issues like 'global warming' and political correctness will become totally irrelevant.

On an encouraging note, Aviv says that Americans don't have to be concerned about being nuked. He says the terrorists who want to destroy America will not use sophisticated weapons. They like to use suicide as a front-line approach. It's cheap, it's easy, it's effective; and they have an infinite abundance of young militants more than willing to 'meet their destiny'.

Aviv also says the next level of terrorists, over which America should be most concerned, will not be coming from abroad. But will be, instead, 'home grown'- that means having attended and been educated in our own schools and universities right here in the U.S. He says to look for 'students' who frequently travel back and forth to the Middle East . These young terrorists will be most dangerous because they will know our language and will fully understand the habits of Americans; but that we Americans won't know/understand a thing about them.

Aviv says that, as a people, Americans are unaware and uneducated about the terrorist threats we will, inevitably, face. America still has only a handful of Arabic and Farsi speaking people in our intelligence networks, and Aviv says it is critical that we change that fact SOON.

So, what can America do to protect itself? From an intelligence perspective, Aviv says the U.S. needs to stop relying on satellites and technology for its intelligence. We need to, instead, follow Israel 's, Ireland 's and England 's hands-on examples of human intelligence, both from an infiltration perspective as well as to trust 'aware' citizens to help... We need to engage and educate ourselves as citizens; however, our U.S. Government continues to treat us, its citizens, 'like babies'. Our government thinks we 'can't handle the truth' and are concerned that we'll panic if we understand the realities of terrorism.

Aviv says this is a deadly mistake.

Aviv recently created/executed a security test for our Congress, by placing an empty briefcase in five well-traveled spots in five major cities. The results? Not one person called 911 or sought a policeman to check it out. In fact, in Chicago , someone tried to steal the briefcase!

In comparison, Aviv says that citizens of Israel are so well 'trained' that an unattended bag or package would be reported in seconds by citizen(s) who know to publicly shout, 'Unattended Bag!' The area would be quickly & calmly cleared by the citizens themselves. But, unfortunately, America hasn't been 'hurt enough' yet by terrorism for their government to fully understand the need to educate its citizens or for the government to understand that it's their citizens who are, inevitably, the best first-line of defense against terrorism.

Aviv also was concerned about the high number of children here in America who were in preschool and kindergarten after 9/11, who were 'lost' without parents being able to pick them up, and about our schools that had no plan in place to best care for the students until parents could get there. (In New York City , this was days, in some cases!)
He stresses the importance of having a plan that's agreed upon within your family, to respond to in the event of a terrorist emergency. He urges parents to contact their children's schools and demand that the schools, too, develop plans of actions, as they do in Israel .

Does your family know what to do if you can't contact one another by phone? Where would you gather in an emergency?

He says we should all have a plan that is easy enough for even our youngest children to remember and follow.

Aviv says that the U.S. Government has in force a plan that, in the event of another terrorist attack, will immediately cut-off EVERYONE's ability to use cellphones, blackberries, etc., as this is the preferred communication source used by terrorists and is often the way that their bombs are detonated.

How will you communicate with your loved ones in the event you cannot use phones, internet? You need to have a plan.

Laughing At The New Inquisition

The Latest from Pat Condell

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The stench of hypocrisy from the “progressive” high moral ground.

“Anything but the truth” could be a “progressive” motto.

In this video, “The truth is incorrect”, I try to explain the difference between a “progressive” and a genuine liberal

Friday, October 10, 2014

Sometimes The Nobel Committee Gets It Right!

Today in Norway Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize.

Nobel Winners Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi

Malala Yousafzai won her prize for demanding from the Taliban that girls have a right to an education.  A Taliban fighter thug boarded her school bus and shot her 3 times in the head.  It was a miracle that she survived.  A miracle and a couple of British doctors in her area.

Kailash Satyarthi won his prize for his work in eliminating child slavery in India and world-wide.
Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan and Kailash Satyarthi of India won the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday for risking their lives to fight for children's rights. The decision made Malala, a 17-year-old student and education activist, the youngest-ever Nobel winner.

The news set off celebrations on the streets of Mingora, the main town in Pakistan's volatile Swat valley, with residents greeting each other and distributing sweets. At the town's Khushal Public School, which is owned by Malala's father, students danced in celebration Friday, jumping up and down.

When she was a student there, Malala was shot in the head by a Taliban gunman two years ago for insisting that girls as well as boys have the right to an education. Surviving several operations with the help of British medical care, she continued both her activism and her studies.

Appropriately, Malala was at school in the central English city of Birmingham at the time of the Nobel announcement and was expected to make a statement later Friday.

Satyarthi, 60, has been at the forefront of a global movement to end child slavery and exploitative child labor since 1980, when he gave up his career as an electrical engineer. The grassroots activist has led the rescue of tens of thousands of child slaves and developed a successful model for their education and rehabilitation. He has also survived several attempts on his life.
"Child slavery is a crime against humanity. Humanity itself is at stake here. A lot of work still remains but I will see the end of child labor in my lifetime," Satyarthi told The Associated Press at his office in New Delhi. "If any child is a child slave in any part of the world, it is a blot on humanity. It is a disgrace."
Malala's father, Ziauddin Yousufzai, said the decision will further the rights of girls.

"(The Nobel will) boost the courage of Malala and enhance her capability to work for the cause of girls' education," he told the AP.

Pakistani Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan congratulated the nation as well as Malala and her family.

"(This) has given pride to the whole of Pakistan," he said.

The Nobel committee's announcement reflected a delicate diplomatic balance, naming one activist from Pakistan and another from India, two countries that are long-time bitter rivals; one Muslim and one Hindu; both sexes; an elder statesman of child's rights and a youthful advocate who had herself been a victim.

Committee chairman Thorbjoern Jagland said it was important to reward both an Indian Hindu and a Pakistani Muslim for joining "in a common struggle for education and against extremism." The two will split the Nobel award of $1.1 million.

By highlighting children's rights, the committee widened the scope of the peace prize, which in its early days was given for efforts to end or prevent armed conflicts.
"It is a prerequisite for peaceful global development that the rights of children and young people be respected," the committee said. "In conflict-ridden areas in particular, the violation of children leads to the continuation of violence from generation to generation."
Many around the world praised the Nobel committee for focusing on children.

"The biggest threat to the Taliban is a girl with a book," said Margot Wallstrom, Sweden's foreign minister and former special representative of the U.N. Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

Raised in Pakistan's ruggedly beautiful, politically volatile Swat Valley, Malala was barely 11 years old when she began championing girls' education, speaking out in TV interviews. The Taliban had overrun her hometown of Mingora, terrorizing residents, threatening to blow up girls' schools, ordering teachers and students into the all-encompassing burqas.

She was critically injured on Oct. 9, 2012, when a Taliban gunman boarded her school bus and shot her in the head. She survived through luck -- the bullet did not enter her brain -- and by the quick intervention of British doctors visiting Pakistan.

Flown to Britain for specialist treatment at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, she underwent numerous surgeries but made a strong recovery. Malala now lives with her father, mother and two brothers in Birmingham and goes to the private Edgbaston High School for girls.

She has been showered with human rights prizes, including the European Parliament's Sakharov Award.

Yet her memoir, "I Am Malala," published last year, reminded the world that beneath the now-iconic exterior she is still a teenager who likes TV shows such as "Ugly Betty" and the cooking show "MasterChef," who worries about her clothes and her hair and wishes she was taller.

The Nobel committee said Satyarthi was carrying on the tradition of another great Indian, Mahatma Gandhi, who remains the most notable omission in the 113-year history of the Nobel Peace Prize.

"Showing great personal courage, Kailash Satyarthi, maintaining Gandhi's tradition, has headed various forms of protests and demonstrations, all peaceful, focusing on the grave exploitation of children for financial gain," the committee said.

India's President Pranab Mukherjee said "the prize should be seen as recognition of the contributions of India's vibrant civil society in addressing complex social problems such as child labor."

A.N.S. Ahmed, a well-known sociologist in India, said the award should prod the Indian government to do more in a country where a large number of children must support their families by engaging in dangerous jobs.

"The award will have a deep impact not just on the Indian government but also on the civil society to work with passion and improve the condition of children by enforcing their rights and shake-up India's government," he said. The founder of the Nobel Prizes, Swedish industrialist Alfred Nobel, said the prize should go to "the person who shall have done the most or the best work for fraternity between nations, for the abolition or reduction of standing armies and for the holding and promotion of peace congresses."

The committee has interpreted those instructions differently over time, widening the concept of peace work to include efforts to improve human rights, fight poverty and clean up the environment.

Former Indian diplomat Lalit Mansingh praised the Nobel committee's decision.
"(They are) conscious of helping in conflict resolution. The award, especially at a time when India-Pakistan relations are under stress, is a nice gesture," he said.
The Nobel Prizes in medicine, chemistry, physics and literature were announced earlier this week. The economics award will be announced on Monday.

All awards will be handed out on Dec. 10, the anniversary of Nobel's death in 1896.

Every once in a while the Nobel Committee gets it right and gives the Peace Prize to a deserving candidate.  This time it is 2 deserving candidates.  Not a person for the color of his skin.  (Barack Obama) Or one for a movie about a slideshow.  (Al Gore)  But a man who saw a wrong and has worked to correct it and a young girl who just wants to be educated.

"The biggest threat to the Taliban is a girl with a book," -- Margot Wallstrom

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2014

The deplorable state of religious freedom in the Islamic world really came to the fore in May with the arrest, imprisonment, and death sentencing of a pregnant Christian wife and mother on the accusation that she had left Islam for Christianity. On May 15, Meriam Ibrahim of Sudan, after repeatedly refusing to convert to Islam, was sentenced to being flogged with 100 lashes, followed by being hanged for apostasy.

During her 6-month imprisonment, with her one-year-old son by her side, she gave birth to another child. The girl was born with disabilities due to the harsh conditions of the prison cell in which she was delivered, and the chains with which her "apostate" mother was still shackled as she gave birth.

Because Meriam Ibrahim's plight made it to the mainstream media, however, Sudan released Ibrahim and her children in June.

Before her release, Islamic clerics were often sent to her cell where they repeatedly pressured, and threatened her with death, to convert to Islam. In a recent interview with Megyn Kelly on Fox News, Ibrahim said: "My faith was the only weapon that I had in these confrontations with imams and Muslim scholars because that's what I believe. Faith means life. If you don't have faith, you're not alive."

When Kelly asked her why she didn't simply do what the clerics wanted and convert to Islam in the interest of freedom, Ibrahim replied:
If I did, that would mean I gave up. It's not possible because it's not true. It's my right to follow the religion of my choice. I'm not the only one suffering from this problem. There are many Meriams in Sudan and throughout the world. It's not just me; I'm not the only one.... With regard to the situation of Christians, this is a well-known fact that they live under difficult circumstances and they are persecuted and treated harshly. They are afraid to say they are Christian out of fear of persecution. Sometimes imprisoned Christians with financial difficulties are told that the government will pay off their debts if they convert to Islam.... If you are a Christian and you convert to Islam it will become hard to leave Islam because if you do so you will be subjected to the death penalty.
As Ibrahim's son, imprisoned with her, is an American citizen from his father's side, many Americans wondered why the Obama administration was not saying or doing much. Speaking of Ibrahim's ordeal, Sen. Ted Cruz said, "There is urgency, a dire need for U.S. leadership. President Obama should speak out publicly and call upon the government of Sudan to free Meriam Ibrahim. Secretary of State John Kerry should speak out loudly and forcibly and call up on." [sic]

Members of Congress are increasingly urging Obama to speak up on behalf of persecuted minorities throughout the Islamic world.

A few weeks earlier, human rights activists criticized the U.S. president for not addressing the plight of Christians and other minorities during his talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia, where Christianity is banned.

Many Christians, far from being released, are killed for being Christian and refusing Islam.

Around the same time the world was hearing about Ibrahim's plight, a prominent underground church Christian leader was killed by Muslims from the al-Shabaab group in Somalia. "Sadness and grief has befallen our community when our dear brother Abdishakur Yusuf was mercilessly murdered in Mogadishu by unknown gunmen," said a local source: "He was found outside his house lying in a pool of blood… He was shot in the head multiple times, so that his face is barely recognizable." Yusuf leaves a widow and three children, ages 11, 8 and 5. Weeks before this murder, al-Shabaab Islamists publicly beheaded a mother of two girls and her cousin after discovering they were Christians. According to local sources, the Islamists "called residents to the town center to witness the executions of the 41-year-old mother, Sadia Ali Omar, and her 35-year-old cousin, Osman Mohamoud Moge." Before slaughtering the two women, an al-Shabaab member announced, "We know these two people are Christians who recently came back from Kenya—we want to wipe out any underground Christian living inside ofmujahidin [jihadi] area." The two daughters of one of the women, ages 8 and 15, "were witness to the slaughter," sources said, with the younger girl screaming for someone to save her mother.

According to the Washington-based International Christian Concern advocacy group, Obama did not "publicly broach the subject of religious freedom" during talks on March 28 with Saudi King Abdullah, despite a letter from 70 members of Congress urging him to "address specific human rights reforms" both in public and in direct meetings with Abdullah and other officials.

"This visit was an excellent opportunity for the president to speak up on an issue that affects millions of Saudi citizens and millions more foreign workers living in Saudi Arabia," said Todd Daniels, ICC's Middle East regional manager. He added that it was "remarkable that the president could stay completely silent about religious freedom" despite pressure from Congress "to publicly address the issue, as well as other human rights concerns, with King Abdullah..."

Another report appearing in May further highlighted the U.S. government's indifference. Deborah Peters, a Christian teenage from Nigeria girl told of how Boko Haram came to her household and slaughtered her father and brother because they refused to convert to Islam. After abusing her, they tied her up and left her in a state of shock between the two corpses. Emmanuel Ogebe, the human rights attorney who helped Peters come to the United States after the murders, said that visa requests filed on Peters' behalf were denied "multiple times" in 2011, with the State Department citing no family ties in the U.S. as the reason. The incident became public only this May.

Similarly, a month earlier, the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria's mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., but the State Department blocked the visa of the region's only Christian governor, an ordained minister, citing "administrative" problems.

The rest of May's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Iran: Plainclothes security authorities raided an Easter service in a house-church in southern Tehran. They arrested and hauled off all those in attendance. Neighbors said that security authorities were "very disrespectful to those in the house-church as well as to the neighbors."

Malaysia: Two Catholic nuns in the Muslim-majority nation "were viciously attacked on the grounds of the Church of Visitation in Seremban in what is believed to be a robbery attempt early this morning," reported the Malaysian Insider. Sister Juliana Lim was hospitalized in critical condition and on a respirator, while Sister Mary-Rose received treatment for various injuries. "Both nuns from the Infant Jesus Convent, were left bruised, bleeding and in shock following the attack, said Fr Chan in his Facebook posting, adding: 'As I anointed them [two nuns], tears streamed down my face. I couldn't help it. How wicked it is to do this to our nuns, who have given their whole life to God.'" In response, the Council of Churches of Malaysia said: "The voices of antagonism and hatred have been on the increase in the country and it would be no surprise if the attack on the nuns were not conspired by those out to cause inter-religious conflict in the country."

Nigeria: Seven churches were attacked and 29 Christians slaughtered. On Sunday, May 25, during a worship service, Islamic terrorists from Boko Haram killed 21 Christians of the Church of Christ in Nations congregation in town of Gwoza. The next day, Boko Haram Islamists burned down six churches and slaughtered eight more Christians in the area.

Palestinian Authority: St. George's Orthodox Church in Bethlehem was attacked by Muslims during its annual St. George's Day services on May 6, leaving one Christian stabbed, several injured, and the building damaged. According to Leila Gilbert, "Some local Muslims either tried to park a car too close [to] the church and/or tried to enter the church during a service honoring St. George—the initial instigation isn't clear. But when the intruders were asked to leave, one of them stabbed a Christian man who was outside the church serving as a guard. He was hospitalized. Several then started throwing stones at the church. 7 or 8 Christians were injured and some physical damage was done—broken windows etc. The police didn't show up for an hour."

Tanzania: Two churches were attacked. As Christians were gathered for overnight prayers in the Assemblies of God church, around 80 Muslim men armed with arrows and knives attacked the church building while shouting "death to apostates." They set fire to the church, leaving its interior in ruins, and then went looking for its pastor, a Muslim convert to Christianity, presumably to slaughter him. Separately, a homemade explosive device in a plastic bag left inside the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Tanzania exploded in the face of a female employee who found it, causing serious injuries to her face and legs and leaving her in critical condition.

Turkey: At least one Turkish church's website was labeled "pornographic" and blocked from computers at the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, prompting one legislator to demand an investigation. When asked, the speaker for the ruling Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) said it was likely a technical glitch, but Aykan Erdemir, the legislator who discovered it, said "I wouldn't be surprised if there was some malicious intent." Umut Ṣahin, general secretary for Turkey's Association of Protestant Churches, said the ban was "horrible... It's a shame. It really pains us at having this kind of accusation when we have a high moral standard."

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytization

Egypt: A Coptic Christian teacher, Bishoy Camille, was sentenced to four years in prison and fined 10,000 Egyptian pounds [$1,400 USD]. He was found guilty of sharing cartoons of the Islamic prophet Muhammad on Facebook, prompting Muslim riots against the Copts.

Iran: A May report by Morning Star News said that "Iran's secret police and Revolutionary Guard are subjecting Christians to a continuing wave of arrests, and increased torture and brutal beatings, in an effort to crush the house-church movement, activists said. Human rights activists confirmed that there has been a noticeable increase this month in the number of reported assaults against Christians imprisoned in Iran. The assaults, which are taking place against converts who lead house churches, are meant to send a message to Christians in the country, said a Middle East Concern [MEC] researcher who focuses on Iran." On May 5, for instance, internal security agents arrested Silas Rabbani, a leader with the Church of Iran in Karaj. Rabbani, a former Muslim, has been "informally charged" with apostasy and was accordingly beaten while in custody. "He was then transferred to Gohardasht Prison, also known as Rajai Shahr, where the torture has continued."

Kenya: Three weeks after converting to Christianity, Hassan Hussein Mohammed, a 26-year-old former Muslim, was severely beaten in a mosque. Although he was training to become a Muslim leader, he met some Christians, discussed religion, and eventually converted. According to Morning Star News, "Mohammed later went to the mosque only to collect his identification papers, but leaders ordered him to stay and conduct evening prayers. After some hesitation, he agreed. A voice within, he later told church leaders, told him not to lead the prayers, and when he tried to say them his mind blanked. He then admitted that he had accepted 'Isa,' Jesus. Those in the mosque beat him with a blunt object, kicked him and struck him until he was unconscious, he told church leaders. When he regained consciousness a few minutes later, he said, 'I am ready to die for Isa, and I forgive you for what you have done to me.'" He managed to escape, but after news of his conversion spread, Mohammed began receiving threatening phone messages and texts. One said: "You will regret why you left the prophet's religion."

Pakistan: When a Muslim religious leader discovered that four Christians, a married couple, and two women, were handing out Christian pamphlets, he immediately informed police who arrested the Christians, taking them away from a growing crowd of angry Muslims. According to Fr. Arshad John of the Archdiocese of Karachi, who is engaged in the protection of minority rights: "The claims that the religious minorities are free to practice and preach their religion, is clearly evident from this act. Although the act of distributing the religious material and preaching in such areas is not very wise, in the past such cases have produced unfortunate results. We pray for the group and hope they will be released soon." Separately, the Pakistan Christian Post reported that Dr. Nazir S. Bhatti, President of Pakistan Christian Congress, was concerned about a recent example of double standards concerning the implementation of blasphemy laws. He said that when any Muslim commits blasphemy on electronic media watched by millions, he or she is pardoned after a simple apology note, but when a Christian or Ahmadiyyia community member is accused of blasphemy by one Muslim wittiness, then he faces death sentence even if he swears that he did not insult the name of prophet Muhammad: "All Christian victims of blasphemy laws after arrests have publicly denied committing blasphemy but not any court or complainant have pardoned them but when a Muslim cleric or any Muslim very openly defiles name of Prophet Mohammad then uproar of Islamic decrees appear to Pardon these Muslims."

Sudan: In the town of al-Gadarif on Sudan's eastern border with Ethiopia, another Christian woman, like Meriam Ibrahim, was incarcerated on the accusation that she had apostatized from Islam. Immigration authorities arrested Faiza Abdalla, 37, when she responded to officers' questions about her religion that she was Christian. They immediately arrested her based on her Muslim name. (Her family had converted to Christianity before she was born but kept their former name.) As with Meriam Ibrahim and others, a court went on to annul Faiza's marriage to her husband, a lifelong Catholic from South Sudan, on grounds that she had committed "adultery" by allegedly having left Islam and married a Christian.

Dhimmitude: Generic Hostility, Abuse, and Discrimination

Egypt: Lawyers for a Muslim man who attacked Christian properties and persons—stabbing one Coptic woman to death—maintain that he is innocent by reason of insanity, even though psychiatric evaluations found him sane and fit to stand trial. Last February, Mahmoud Mohamed Ali went on a violent rampage, attacking three Christians with a knife. When his intended victim, a male Coptic pharmacy clerk, fought him off, Ali fled. Next, Ali stabbed Demian, a Coptic shopkeeper in another Christian-owned pharmacy; he severed an artery in her neck. She fell to the floor and bled to death. Soon after, Ali stabbed a female Coptic high school student, who barely managed to escape with her life. But according to Morning Star News: "Confirming fears of human rights activists who said attorneys for Mahmoud Mohamed Ali would use a tactic that has freed other Muslims from punishment for premeditated, religiously motivated murder, the lawyers are challenging results of the evaluation."

Some Islamic teachings state that the life and worth of a Muslim is greater than that of an "infidel" and so they should not be punished, or should receive the minimum punishment when they kill non-Muslims. Egyptian human rights activist Osama Wagdy said the "insanity" plea is a tactic commonly used in Egypt by those who have violently targeted Christians: "They are pretending, because that is how they get out of cases... Nobody thinks he is mentally ill. He went from one place to another knowing what he was doing and told one of the victims, 'You deserve it.'" Separately, five "unidentified persons" kidnapped a Coptic Christian pharmacy owner at gunpoint in Sohag, Upper Egypt. Shortly after Friday mosque prayers, a car pulled up in front of the pharmacy and opened fire on it before the assailants raided it and drove off with the kidnapped owner, Mr. Marcos, a 52-year-old Copt, at gunpoint.

Eritrea: Five Christians of the Evangelical Lutheran Church were arrested after their church announced that they were set to be ordained for pastoral ministry. "The arrests clearly show how even government recognized churches, namely the Catholic, [Eritrean] Orthodox [Church] and Evangelical Lutheran churches, are not free from government control," said a source from the Open Doors organization on condition of anonymity. "The arrest of these pastoral candidates reminds us of one of the greatest challenges churches in Eritrea face.... Due to the constant turnover of pastors due to arrest or threats, continuous and biblically consistent pastoral care for Christians is hampered." Further, "1,500 Christians are languishing in prison for their faith." In 2010, an estimated 3,000 Christians were incarcerated for their faith; most were held in shipping containers in desert camps and others in underground cells; some were tortured to death while others perished in the desert trying to escape.

Germany: A Turkish man being treated in a hospital attacked his nurse because there were too many crosses on the wall. According to Mainpost, a German publication (as translated by Nicolai Sennels for Jihad Watch), "A 34-year-old went to St. Joseph Hospital early on Saturday morning due to a 'gastro-intestinal flu.' Suddenly he refused to be treated, because he thought there were too many Christian crosses on the wall. Because of the crosses, the man started insulting the nurse, calling her a bitch, fascist, and the like. Then the man, according to police report, also started becoming physically aggressive. The hospital called the police. The officers seized the man in front of the hospital and checked him."

Pakistan: Five Christian families that, according to Agenzia Fides, were "kidnapped and enslaved by their Muslim employers" in the Punjab were released after nearly three decades of slavery. After their release, one of the families told of their suffering: they were victims of forced labor and were treated as slaves for over 25 years. One of the women, Safia Bibi, began working at the brick kiln along with her husband, Anwar Masih, right after her wedding. When their nine children were old enough, they also started to work in the same place. They lived in the factory complex with no toilets and often did not receive compensation. If they tried to leave their job, they were beaten and tortured, left days without food. In 2013, Safia's husband died due to illness and weakness; no doctor was called. Her children could not attend his funeral—or go to prayer meetings or celebrate Christmas—because they were forced to work.

Nasir Saeed, a human rights activist, said: "It is sad to see that even in the 21st century slavery continues to exist in Pakistan. The owners of furnaces are often wealthy and influential and are rarely prosecuted. The workers, often Christian, work a life in slave-like conditions to pay their debts, that last generations. Sometimes they are sold from one furnace to another. The government is aware of the situation, but has never taken serious measures."

Turkey: According to ANSamed, "Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan's government plans to turn Istanbul's Hagia Sofia Basilica into a mosque in the afternoon and evening and a museum in the morning. The historical monument, which draws millions of tourists every year, will have the Byzantine [Christian] frescoes covering its walls cast into shadow by 'dark light' so as to avoid offending Islam. The government would thus like to turn what is today seen as a symbol of Christianity back into a place of worship for Muslims, as it was after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453." A campaign to turn the Hagia Sofia back into a mosque has been brewing for quite some time now, raising alarm among Christian communities in the east. Patriarch of Constantinople, Bartholomew I, said that, "We and all other Christians will oppose it." And Athens called it [sic] an "insult to the religious sensibilities of millions of Christians." Even so, the Islamist party submitted a formal motion in parliament to transform Hagia Sofia into a mosque.

The Turkish government plans to convert Istanbul's Hagia Sofia Basilica, currently used as a museum, into a mosque. (Image source: Wikimedia Commons/Jerzy Kociatkiewicz )

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month.

It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.

It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages ethnicities and locations.