Top 5 Worst Countries With Blasphemy Laws: All Are Islamic Nations

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

 

Top 5 Worst Countries With Blasphemy Laws Ranked by USCIRF, One Christian Nation Listed at No. 7

(PHOTO: REUTERS/FAYAZ AZIZ)Protesters gather to condemn the killing of university student Mashal Khan, after he was accused of blasphemy, during a protest in Peshawar, Pakistan, on April 20, 2017.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom has issued a report on blasphemy laws around the world, with the top five worst-scoring nations all seeking to protect Islam.

“In all five of the worst-scoring countries (Iran, Pakistan, Yemen, Somalia, and Qatar), the blasphemy laws aim to protect the state religion of Islam in a way that impermissibly discriminates among different groups,” a press release from the organization stated on Wednesday.

The major report found that 71 of the world’s 195 countries have blasphemy laws, with penalties ranging from fines to imprisonment and death.

USCIRF Chairman Daniel Mark said that religious freedom should protect people’s rights to express their thoughts and beliefs, even those that others may find blasphemous.

“Advocates for blasphemy laws may argue that they are needed in order to protect religious freedom, but these laws do no such thing. Blasphemy laws are wrong in principle, and they often invite abuse and lead to assaults, murders, and mob attacks. Wherever they exist, they should be repealed,” Mark insisted.

Christians and other religious minorities have been targeted by such blasphemy laws in Pakistan where they’re punished any time an accusation of having insulted the Islamic faith is lobbed against them.

In June, a Pakistani Christian father was arrested on charges of blasphemy after he asked a Muslim man to pay for a bicycle that he had repaired the week before, but was then accused by the same man of insulting Islam.

Islamic hardliners have also taken justice into their own hands. In one instance in November 2014, a Christian couple was burned to death by a mob after they were accused of having desecrated the Quran, a claim that turned out to be false.

Iran, which persecutes Christians, Baha’is, and other minorities, has threatened to execute anyone who’s accused of insulting the Islamic faith.

The Iranian government has been particularly concerned about the rise of Christianity in the country, especially among youths. This has led to Islamic seminary officials calling on the government to “stop the spread” of the faith.

Though the majority of high-ranking countries beyond the top five focused on defending Islamic sensibilities, Italy and its blasphemy laws protecting the Roman Catholic Church also scored a high ranking, coming in at number seven.

Article 403 of Italy’s criminal code reads:

“Anyone who insults the State religion in public by offending those who profess it shall be subject to a prison sentence of up to two years. Anyone who insults the State religion by insulting a minister of the Catholic Church shall be subject to a prison sentence of one to three years.”

USCIRF noted in its report that most of the blasphemy laws that it studied were “vaguely worded,” and failed to specify intent as part of the violation. It added that a majority of blasphemy laws are embedded in the criminal codes of countries, with 86 percent of nations with such laws threatening imprisonment for offenders.

“Though implementation varies, countries from Switzerland to Sudan persist in outlawing expression of views deemed ‘blasphemous,'” Mark added.

“Some countries, including Canada, have such laws but do not actively enforce them. We call upon those countries to set an example for the others and repeal their blasphemy laws. And we call upon all countries to repeal any such laws and to free those detained or convicted for blasphemy.”

Follow Stoyan Zaimov on Facebook: CPSZaimov

Understanding The ‘Mixture’ Of Cultures Within Israel

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM THE BLOG SITE ‘SEELISTENUNDERSTAND’)

 

Post July 18th 2017
1. Where is the leadership of the Palestinians? Yes, they are somewhere. Abu Mazen, the one that control (not leading) Palestine is fighting for his reputation and position. He must do it as the Gaza branch of Palestine don’t recognize him and want to kill him. (Please pay attention that the solution for every dispute, in the Muslim world, is a kill). So, in order to give Gaza revenge he stopped all payments to support Gaza. (It is not just the name. In Gaza live people, Muslims, million). So far the Gazan authority, the Hamas, used to get support from various sources like Abu Dhabi, Qatar, Syria, S. Arabia and more. But, now days, they get nothing. They are neglected by the Arab/Muslim countries. So, the overall situation in Gaza is deteriorating sharply. One of the results is that the previous leader of Hamas Gaza, Ismail Haniea, who was elected to the chairman of Hamas, is not allowed/accepted to live in any of the Arab states. He wanted to settle in one of the Gulf States. None of them approved his staying there. Why? Because the Arab states saw that they can’t trust him, which means not trusting Hamas, because they, Hamas, give only troubles everywhere they are present.
2. This situation causes Israel a lot of hardships. For example: The Gazans that so far, used to process their own sewage stopped doing it. They just let the water flow. The water penetrates into the water equipper and infects the cleanliness of the fresh water. The funny thing is that they don’t care. They drink poisoned water. Nobody of them say a word because their health services don’t issue, to the public, any info of what is going. So, the number of sick people increases, in the hot summer time, substantially. Couple of children died.
3. Their brothers/enemies, the Palestinians, of Abu Mazen, are very happy with this situation as instead of behaving with understanding to each other they behave like enemies. The situation is such that they bless each other to die. This is what the Arab leadership is doing instead of taking care of their poor people. Is it not shame?
4. After the murder of 2 Israeli Druze policemen, and in order to eliminate smuggling of arms and ammunition to the mount temple, Israel installed Magnometers/metal detectors. The Muslim Imams refused to go through it as they claimed that it is a change in the status quo. The status quo was that Israeli Jews must pass through the detecting posts while the Arabs not. The reason was that Israelis were more disciplined while the Muslims are not at all. As for them the murder of the 2 Israeli policemen was not a change in the status quo. Their status quo was that they kill Israeli policemen with the permission of their imams and the Quran. But to prevent the murder is a change of their education and behavior. Can you understand it? I don’t. Do you agree to it? I am doubt especially if you think that such a murder can happen in your family. Muslim Logic
5. Funny enough. When I visited in one of my work trips the Mosques in S, Arabia, I noticed that they have Magnometers and cameras installed and everybody goes through. No Imams were complaining. OK. There they must secure the Muslims from the Muslims and/or other people. But in Israel they refuse to it as the Imams support their crowd. Actually the Imams are part of the terror movement as they allow storing weapons and other attack means in the Mosques. They are criminals that are looking to become Shahids in order to have 72 virgins in paradise. They should be sent to hell, instead.
6. And what Jordan is saying? This is peculiar. The king of Jordan condemned the attack (Friday. 2 Arab Druze Israeli policemen were murdered). But his Parliament praises it. As for the honorable Parliament delegates the murder of Arabs by Arabs is a big challenge. Where they learned it from? From………..you know: The holy Quran.
7. The status quo is that the Wakf, the representatives of the Islam, is managing the Temple mount. As such they must do everything to allow all religions worship. They blame Israel for disturbing this order. Their sense says that the 3 terrorists got their education and instruction, to murder, in mosques in Israel. As for them it is easier to blame the victim, Israel, than to blame their Muslim brothers. I am sure that every Muslim will accept the fact that Israel is guilty. Why? Because Israel occupies Palestine that was conquered in a defense war after Israel was attacked by 3 Arab countries, Egypt, Syria and Jordan that were supported by all Muslim countries and although they, all 3 attackers, were defeated, they still claim that Israel is guilty/responsible for the occupation. Can anybody tell me why while Palestine was under full Jordanian rule (1948-1956), nothing was done to proceed the peace and the Muslims kept attacking Israel?
8. PM Netaniahu is visiting France. In a correspondence conference the president of France said the following brave words: “The new anti-Semitism is the anti-Zionism”. This is the best short explanation what the Muslims do: They wake up the anti-Semitism under the cover of Anti Zionism. Well, like in many instances they failed. They will fail now as well.
9. Disastrous. An Israeli Muslim man who his daughter wanted to convert due to unrequited love, with Christian Arab man, murdered her because he was against this step. Where did they learn to cut lives of youngsters that easy? We all know and there is no reason to repeat after saying so many times that the Quran recommends murder very easily.
10. Here are the words of another genius, big supporter of the Arabs. His name is Sir R. Waters. In a conversation that was transmitted in FB (That I dislike the way they dislike me) Waters was asked his opinion about the claim of S. African artists that there is nothing to compare between the apartheid in Israel and, in the past, in S. Africa. He replied: “The Israeli propaganda do like the Nazi Gebles did. He used to lay very often the same lie so the people accept it like it was the truth. So Israel is doing”. He said that he can’t convince the American about the Muslim’s rights as the Israeli propaganda is more influencing. Now let me tell you Mr. Waters. You will never win as you can lie as much as you want but you will catch in your net just the small fish/sardines/anchovy. They eat everything. You will never catch the big fish as they are smart and they know that you lie. This is all the Torah on one leg.
11. The 1st and major way of Water’s propaganda is publishing anti-Semitism. As long as he doesn’t understand it he will fail. Please tell him.
12. This is the Israeli formula for top win against all Arabs and Muslims. As long as they will not understand it and will not adopt Israel’s way they will lose. The place was the world’s Olympiad for Chemistry. 4 Israeli high school students participated it. 3 of them returned with medals: One of them was ranked silver ( 2nd). More 2 were ranked 3rd (Bronz). The competition was based on 2 parts. The 1st one was theory and the 2nd practicing. Another Israeli team won last year the 1st and 2nd places. Well, this is what I wrote in the forward to this chapter: Please, you, the sensible people among the Arabs: Go and study. It will help you. Don’t make wars. Make your homework. Neglect wars. Peace is the name of the game. Row towards it and win.
13. The fight in Israel is endless. In order to clarify the situation please let me quote a short sentence from the resolution of the UN: “In Nov. 29th 1947 the general assembly of the UN published a resolution that enforces the establishment of a Jewish state in the land of Israel. All citizens must take all measures needed to execute this resolution. This recognition of the UN in the rights of Jewish people on the land of Israel is not being expropriated”. More over: “Jerusalem will have unique international rule that will be established not later than Oct. 1st 1948”. Well, how this meets with the stupid resolutions that the stupid UN produce daily. Please think of

In friendship

Amir.

The Real Picture Of Israel Today

(THIS ARTICLE IS FROM A COMMENT TO ME FROM THE BLOG ‘SEELISTENUNDERSTAND’)

 

Leave Muslims. It is a waste of time to read about them. This is the real picture of Israel today.

  1. Friday evening, when all Jews around the world meet at home for “Kabalat Shabat” (welcoming the Shabat) a Palestinian broke into a settlement in the West Bank and killed 3 unarmed people. He was shot, not killed, by Israeli soldier that was at home on Friday evening vacation. This event reflects the different between Israel and Palestine. The Palestinian terrorist came to kill. The Israeli soldier although he could kill, he never did it. Why? This is because of the difference in Education. The Quran instruct to kill every time everybody who is not Muslim. The Bible is human and he restrict/prohibits the killing. Even when a murderer, like in Friday, came to kill Jews the Jew didn’t kill him. This behavior of the Israeli soldier should be add to the Quran and in parallel the story of 72 virgins are waiting to the Killer in the sky must be deleted. This new/different/changed/updated Quran must be learned in all Arab/Muslim’s schools in order to take out the mood of killing/murdering. Taking it out will contribute to better world. Don’t you, Muslims, want such one?
  2. If the Quran’s instructions to kill every none Muslim in the world, the mother of the murderer came into the picture and, in a TV interview, she praised her son for doing it, meaning to kill the 3 Jews. If this is the face of a typical Muslim mother-what can be expected from the Muslims. If the hope education is such, and we know that children get their education at home not in schools, the situation is very bad.
  3. The situation is bad all over the world as they, the Muslim murderers, imitates each other. The fact that French people were killed encourages Israeli or any other state’s citizens, Muslims, to attack in other places as well. This is the Muslim’s live style that they were used to for many years. The results are that the habits became a norm. Norms are good as long as t6hey help the society. In this case it makes the opposite.
  4. The more funny/peculiar/strange thing is how the murderer purred himself before the murder. He must be pure for the sky after he murders Jews. So, he brought with him a bottle of water which he poured on his hands. Can you, clever people, how come a man is purifying himself after a murder. As from my point of view, there is no forgive nor such a crime, for a murder. If the Quran allows it, please think of the values of the Quran. I know where it stands.
  5. This event is a follow up of the last week’s events when 3 Israeli Muslims killed 2 Israeli Druze policemen. This was one of the acts that were instructed by the Turkish emperor, Mr. Erdugan. The story is very complicated, but, the matter the fact is that he wants to become the regional leader of the Muslim world. In order to implement it he must present some activities. His activity is by supporting the Muslims. His support is expressed by money and to be present in the places of conflicts. So, he is financing a vast system of people that their aim is to spread the Turkish influence in the world. The demonstrations in Mailazia, Jordan, Turkey, Yemen, Palestine and more are just a sample of the demonstrations worldwide. All these will burst, sooner or later. Then it will be very hard/impossible to extinguish the fire. The problem is that each country has its own problems/difficulties/hardship. None is examining the entire of the situation and nobody wants to solve it. The Iranian and N. Korea nuclear advance endanger the world. But nobody takes care of it.
  6. Coming back to Israel, on Friday the Palestinians announced of abeyance of the relations with Israel due to the installation of the magnetometers in all gates to the Al Aqsa. They didn’t mention the security measures. Same Jordan. Both of them, Abu Mazen and King Hussein, know that they will lose their positions without the assistance of Israel. In other words: They exist because of the interest that Israel has in their presence here.
  7. All Arab countries know that without Israel all Arab countries will burst in flames not due to Israel’s activity.
  8. The UN Security Council held discussions concerning the violation of Hezbollah of the UN resolution 1701. The Israeli ambassador to the UN listed 421 violations in May/June 2017. How can Israel trust the Arabs and the UN and rely on them if nobody takes care/fulfill their very clear resolutions. Israel is not going to hand its throat to this bunch of killers.
  9. PM Netanyahu is back in Israel from his visit to Europe. In his successful meeting he met also with the Hungarian PM who said the following: “The Hungarian and the Israeli states have very good politic ties. It consists on mutual understanding and trust. Israel is helping the world to stabilize the political situation in the Middle East and in Europe. If Israel will not fight the militant terror groups by cooperation’s with the moderate Arab states, a new wave of immigrants will flood Europe. Israel is a natural partner to achieve stability and order in the world. We, Hungary, understand your position and we will help you in your fight/efforts for security, having/opening export markets, and stand with you concerning every problem that you will face”. Let’s wish, all of us, that there will be many more people the Hungarian PM that will fight for balancing the world.
  10. I was asked why do you spend that much time to send your daily posts. The reason is that we, Israel, are in the headlines only when we have fights with our enemies and the world hear only the Arab side while the Israeli side is silent as because of 2 reasons: we are, naturally, silent and we are small state and the world like big ones as from them the vast money is coming, not from small ones.
  11. Here is the story of an Israeli product that lead the world. It is Avocado. But, to differ from the S. American one, the Israeli Avocado nutritional values are much beyond the ones that you buy from other sources. Because of it the people are ready to pay, for the Israeli product, much more than for any other. Israel is short of Avocado, for export, although its price jumped to E1.5/unit. Does anybody thinks that the markets can ask for this price if the quality does not justifies it? No, they will never ask/pay for lousy product that much money. The Israeli Avocado is considered today a super food due to its healthy non saturated oils The Israeli Avocado is almost organic. The reason is that the Israeli is not sprayed as much as in S. America. Israel is using the Israeli development of biological pest control. This includes birds, bees and other creatures. All of them are live and they “clean” the crops of pests. Last year the tiny Israel exported to Europe 65000 tons of Avocado, valued $160 million.
  12. So, this is what Israel export. But, there is no good without bad. The bad part is the stealing of the Avocado. Due to its sky high prices, too many people want to share the success. There are professional groups, I don’t want to say from which sector, but you can imagine, that are working during night. “Cleaning” the orchard of its fruits. In the morning yo9u come and it looks like after bombardment. Everything, trees, irrigation systems, agricultural machines etc, all of it completely ruined. One day, after I heard about it, I asked a friend of mine, to inform me when it happens. Sometime later, in the afternoon he called me told that the trees in his orchard was “cleaned” but they found the fruits hidden under a tree, covered with grass. I came there and put an ambush. Sometime late night/early morning a partially loaded truck, stopped nearby and the employees started to load “our” avocados. Just before the finished loading, my friend and myself called them to put their hands up. Some of the escaped in the darkness. But 5 were captured. They were from non Jewish nearby village. We called the police and this group, after paying their penalties, they stopped this work. But, there is no vacuum in this business. Another Arab groups replaced them. We caught them and another group, many times from the same family, as it is a profession, emerge on the stage.
    So, although of the popularity of the Israeli avocado keep buying other Israeli products.
    In friendship
    Amir

(Poem) Mandrake The Devils Flower???

 

Mandrake, are you the Devils flower

In Islam you are so-called you see

The reason is plain and simple

But most of the world is blind to thee

How could you a God-given herb

In any way be such a controversy

 

Go back in time about four thousand years

Back before the first seed of Islam or Christianity

You’re beautiful seed like all of God’s green herbs

A gift given from God to man no doubt are thee

Given for enjoyment and relaxation to woman and man

But some how now to partake of you it is called a sin

 

Back a long time ago before God’s Prophets were on the land

Abraham the father of many, this is where the story began

His son’s Ishmael then Isaac who begat Jacob he of 12 sons

Mandrake the history that is Israel began one night with thee

 

Isaac was married to two sisters, back then it was okay to be

He rotated from tent to tent each night in his attempt to please

Rebecca was his favorite wife but tonight was not her turn to be

But this night was her sister Leigh’s turn with Isaac to be with her

Rebecca the smart one had lots of Mandrake but Leigh had none of thee

This night Rebecca wanted Isaac and Leigh wanted a buzz from thee

 

Mandrake flower, Leigh pleased, this night Isaac impregnated Rebecca

Not with just any child, but with one who changed all of world history

Boy child born whom his parents called Jacob, twelve boys in his loins to be

The Lord God would soon change his name to Israel

Twelve boys the twelve name’s of the twelve tribes of God’s Nation Israel

Now do you see why Islam calls Mandrake the Devils seed?

 

 

Indiana Muslims Appalled By Accurate List of Muhammad’s Deeds

 

US

Indiana Muslims Appalled By Accurate List of Muhammad’s Deeds

GRACE CARR
06/07/2017
A billboard on the east side of Indianapolis is catching the attention of many drivers and angering lots of Muslims.

“The Perfect Man” poster references the Muslim Prophet Muhammad, the founder of Islam and was put up by Truthophobes — a website dedicated to “exposing the truth about Islam.”

The billboard lists six boxes below things the prophet did or beliefs he espoused during his lifetime, according to Islam’s holy book, the Quran.

The billboard’s facts check out except for its first box stating Muhammad married a 6-year-old. In fact, his wife was 6-years-old when she became engaged to the prophet Muhammad and 9-years-old when they were married. The billboard signs off with “Educate Truthophobes.”

“I was a little disappointed when I saw that … We do support free speech, but we do realize this is also rooted in bigotry,” said Farial Khatri of the Islamic Society of North America, according to Fox59. “We’ve seen them in New York and several others cities on billboards as well as other transit ads,” he added.

Some groups spoke out against the display as disparaging to Muslims while other groups want to do more. The Muslim Alliance of Indiana plans to raise money to put up its own billboard nearby to spread a message of peace and kindness.

Rima Shahid, executive director of the Muslim Alliance of Indiana, said she was “heartsick” when she saw a photo of the billboard, especially since it appeared at the start of Ramadan, Islam’s holy month. She strongly condemned the billboard for spreading lies and misinformation about Islam and its prophet. “These are completely false statements,” Shahid said, according to NBC news.

“It perpetuates hate. It perpetuates misconceptions about Islam, and it makes our neighbors think we believe things that just aren’t true … they’ve been misinformed,” she said. “This billboard is garbage,” Shahid added.

Shortly after the giant board went up, the Muslim Alliance of Indiana reached out to Mayor Joe Hogsett and Congressman Andre Carson about ways to challenge the billboard. It is important to note that the board was put up shortly after three separate terrorist attacks executed by Muslim extremists – Westminster Bridge, Manchester, and Borough – rocked the the UK.

FOX59 emailed “Truthophobes” to ask if the site’s operators are responsible for the billboard but they received no response.

Follow Grace on Twitter.

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The Songhai Islamic Empire Of Sunni Ali

(I GOT THIS ARTICLE FROM GOOGLE PLUS, IT IS AN EXCELLENT HISTORY LESSON ON ISLAMIC KINGDOMS)

Songhai Empire
Jenne mosque

The Songhai Empire was the largest empire in the history of western Sudan. It grew from the small state of Gao, which was founded between 500 and 700 a.d. However the empire did not become a major force in the history of empire building and territorial expansion until 1464 when Sunni Ali, also known as Ali Beer, became the king.

In 1469 and 1470, his military campaigns led to the incorporation of Timbuktu and Azawad, located northward and northeast, respectively. In 1473, he attacked Jenne, a great Islamic center located southward, and in 1483, he was able to drive the Mossi out of Walata-Baghana.

Within 28 years of his ascendancy, Sunni Ali had converted the little state of Gao into a magnificent empire stretching from the Niger in the east to Jenne in the west, and from the Timbuktu in the north to Hombori in the south. He was said to be a ruthless ruler who maltreated all those who opposed his administration and did all that was possible to keep vassal states under firm administrative control by appointing governors who administered his orders.

Payment of tributes, which were in form of goods and contribution of workforce for further territorial expansion, placed the empire on a powerful economic and political footing.

The death of Sunni Ali in 1492 was followed by a 40-month reign by his son Sunni Baru, who was deposed in 1493 by Askia Muhammad Touré. Askia Muhammad Touré, popularly known in history as Muhammad the Great, completed the process of nation building and conquest initiated by Sunni Ali by extending territories of Songhai Empire to Baghana and Taghaza, a significant caravan route and salt producing area.

While Sunni Ali’s reign was characterized by ruthlessness and dislocation of commerce, that of Askia Muhammad the Great was known for the pacification of the subjugated people and the promotion of commerce, Islamic scholarship, and general tranquility.

Songhai people

His 1496 pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca had far-reaching consequences for the promotion of Islam as it attracted Muslim clerics and commerce to the empire. Islamic religion flourished in the great Islamic centers such as Timbuktu and Sankore. The University of Sankore produced the likes of Mahmoud Kati and Abdulrahman As Sadi, whose books are valued sources for the reconstruction of the history of Songhai and western Sudan in general.

Askia Muhammad the Great relied on the advice of Muslim clerics in governing the empire and made Islamic law the instrument of political and administrative machinery in western parts. In the eastern territories of Gao and Kikiya he allowed traditional religion to exist by granting non-Muslims of the region the freedom they needed to practice their religion.

As had his predecessor, Askia Muhammad divided the entire kingdom into provinces administered by governors, or kio. The central administration consisted of a council of ministers predominantly from his immediate and extended families. While Jenne controlled internal commerce, Gao and Timbuktu served as link to other economic centers in the east and northeast and west and northwest, respectively.

Songhai map

Short-lived Prosperity

The prosperity of the empire was however short-lived. Starting in the middle of the 16th century, internal problems hindered the government and provided an enabling condition for its invasion and destruction by the Moroccans in 1651. At the top of the list of the internal factors that led to the fall of Songhai Empire was the succession dispute among the sons of Askia Muhammad the Great.

Aside from allowing hitherto subjugated states to assert their independence, this development inhibited economic prosperity and further territorial expansion. The Civil War of 1588 had its origin in poor internal control exemplified in the succession dispute between Ishaq and Sadiq, two sons of Askia Daud, and the crises between the western parts, which was under strong Islamic influence, and the east, under the firm control of the non-Muslims.

The last straw was the Moroccan invasion of 1591. The defeat by the Moroccans can only be appreciated against the backdrop of the fact that the empire on the eve of the invasion was in the throes of an internal convulsion. Al-Mansur, the sultan of Morocco, who had failed in two early expeditions, wasted no time to invade the empire during its most turbulent period.

View of Timbuktu
View of Timbuktu

In 1591, he attacked Songhai with 4,000 professional soldiers and another 2,000 armed with arquebus, a gun with three legs. Askia Ishaq II raised an army of 18,000 cavalry and 9,700 infantry to resist the invasion of the Moroccan army.

The overwhelming numbers of the Songhai army could not defeat their Moroccan counterparts in the battle, known to history as the Battle of Tondibi; the Moroccan army was more professional, disciplined, and equipped with sophisticated weaponry.

The Moroccan invasion led to the demise of the Songhai, the largest empire to have emerged in western Sudan. The guerrilla warfare initiated after 1591 was not formidable enough for the reassertion of political freedom.

The invasion led to loss of lives and property and the extension of Moroccan political hegemony over Songhai. Islamic scholars and clerics fled to other parts of the western Sudan and the great Islamic centers of Timbuktu and Sankore lost their hitherto prime position.

‘Iraqi Christians Are Infidels Who Must Be Killed or Converted,’ Says Top Shia Cleric

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

‘Iraqi Christians Are Infidels Who Must Be Killed or Converted,’ Says Shia Cleric

 

May 21, 2017 | 10:17 AM

About 200 Christian families in Iraq have filed a lawsuit against the head of the country’s Shia Endowment for inciting sectarian violence against the Christian minority by saying in a video that Christians should be converted to Islam or killed.

(Photo: REUTERS/Suhaib Salem)Iraqis attend the first Palm Sunday procession in the burnt out main church of the Christian city of Qaraqosh since Iraqi forces retook it from Islamic States militants, Iraq April 9, 2017.

“Either they convert to Islam, or else they are killed or they pay the jizya [a tax on non-Muslims],” said Sheikh Alaa Al-Mousawi, who heads the government body which maintains all of Iraq’s Shia holy sites, in a sermon, according to a YouTube video uploaded by Middle East Monitor.

Declaring Christians to be “infidels and polytheists,” Al-Mousawi called for “jihad” against them. “Jews and Christians” must be fought and killed if they do not accept Islam, he went on to say.

The cleric is being compared to the Islamic State terror group, which is also known as IS, ISIS, ISIL or Daesh, which had asked Christians in Iraq’s northern provinces in 2014 to covert, flee or be killed. As a result of that warning, about 100,000 Christians had to flee at the time.

Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby recently met with Iraqi Christians during a visit to Jordan.

“People are divided from their children and families and have no idea what will happen. One woman has children in both Germany and the Netherlands, but has been refused entry to both so she doesn’t know when or if they will ever be reunited,” Welby said. “Young men are vulnerable to being recruited to extremist causes because their community and networks have been stripped away.”

Since 2003, as many as 1.5 million Christians, or close to 75 percent of all followers of Christ in Iraq, have fled the country, according to Josef Sleve, an Iraqi Christian lawmaker.

“The number of Christians living in the country now stands at between 500,000 and 850,000,” Sleve told Anadolu Agency earlier this month. “This means that over the past 14 years, some 1.5 million Christians have emigrated to other countries.”

IS has said it wants to wipe out Christians, and has beheaded, executed, tortured and enslaved thousands of people within its captured territory, which extends into Syria and other regions.

However, some Christians are now returning to their homes on the Plains of Nineveh in Iraq, and three major church groups have come together to rebuild more than 12,000 houses that were destroyed or damaged. The Syriac Catholic Church, the Syriac Orthodox Church and the Chaldean Catholic Church have formed the Nineveh Reconstruction Committee to plan and supervise the rebuilding of the houses.

Security forces backed by a U.S.-led international coalition last year took back several cities in Iraq from IS and liberated eastern Mosul in December. They are now trying to liberate the western parts of the city.

In an interview with Fox News earlier this year, Canon Andrew White, an Anglican priest known as the “vicar of Baghdad,” said the “time has come where it is over, no Christians will be left. Some say Christians should stay to maintain the historical presence, but it has become very difficult. The future for the community is very limited.”

He added, “If there is anything I can tell Americans it is that your fellow brothers and sisters are suffering, they are desperate for help. And it is not just a matter of praying for peace. They need a lot — food, resources, clothes, everything. They need everything.”

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/iraqi-christians-infidels-killed-converted-shia-cleric-mousawi

 

Young Female ISIS Terrorist Who Tried To Blow Up A Church On Easter Pardoned By Pakistan

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE CHRISTIAN POST)

Young Female ISIS Terrorist Who Attempted to Kill Christians on Easter Pardoned by Pakistan

May 18, 2017 | 12:06 PM

The government of Pakistan has reportedly pardoned a young medical student who joined the Islamic State terror group but was stopped before blowing up a Christian church on Easter, insisting that she can serve as an example to others.
(PHOTO: REUTERS) An ISIS fighter waves the terrorist group’s flag in Mosul, Iraq on June 23, 2014.

Major General Asif Ghafoor argued on Samaa TV that Noreen Laghari is not a terrorist, and due to the actions of Pakistan’s armed forces who caught her before carrying out the bombing, her mind has been rescued from brainwashing, the British Pakistani Christian Association reported on Wednesday.

“So should we treat Noreen like a terrorist or release her so that she can tell others how she was trapped and used for terrorism?” Ghafoor asked. “In this way, awareness will be created among the younger generation and parents as well as institutions.”

The BPCA noted that Pakistan’s Muslim majority had pressed for Laghari’s freedom, but wondered if they would have been so merciful if the medical student, who had left to join IS in Syria, had attempted to blow up a Muslim school instead.

“Noreen Leghari is a woman intelligent enough to be considered for a role as a doctor yet is being described as pliable and immature,” BPCA Chairman Wilson Chowdhry said.

“Miss Leghari’s animosity for Christians would no doubt have led to many deaths including her own, yet a ‘soul searching nation’ have a strong will and desire to show her mercy.”

Chowdhry continued: “How many of these same Pakistani citizens would be so forgiving had Miss Legahri planned to bomb a Muslim School?

“If it were Muslims that were targeted by Legahri I am certain many of the campaigners would find her crime too offensive for granting a pardon — Christian lives are ostensibly less valuable in Pakistan.”

Chowdhry argued that it is “hard to believe” that Legahri’s “deep-rooted hatred” has simply vanished when she was ready to kill Christians this Easter.

“Years down the line I pray we do not discover a series of ‘Shipman’ type deaths of Christians at any hospital she is employed by,” he warned, referring to British GP and serial killer Harold Shipman.

“I asked several Pakistani Christians whether they would trust a doctor who had previously attempted to bomb a church on Easter Day, to administer care for them. It was no surprise to me that the unanimous response was a resounding no.”

While Laghari has been pardoned, Christians in Pakistan continue being targeted by the nation’s blasphemy laws, and severely punished if found guilty of insulting the Islamic faith.

A court in Pakistan sentenced a Christian man to life in prison earlier in May for sending “blasphemous” text messages from his mobile phone.

Legal advocacy group CLAAS vowed to continue fighting for Zafar Bhatti’s freedom despite the harsh sentencing.

“The lower court’s judges always hesitate to make decisions on the merit, or free people accused of blasphemy, and instead transfer their burden to the higher court without realizing how their decision will impact the accused and their families’ lives,” Nasir Saeed, director of CLAAS-UK, said in a statement.

“Bhatti is innocent and will be freed by the higher court. But it will take several years for his case to be heard by the High court, and until then he and his family will continue suffering needlessly.”

Accoridng to the Center for Research and Security Studies in Pakistan, at least 65 people have been killed over blasphemy allegations in the country since 1990, and dozens more convicted of the crime have been placed on death row.

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Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/young-female-isis-terrorist-who-attempted-to-kill-christians-on-easter-pardoned-by-pakistan

 

Pope Francis Gives A Message Of Tolerance And Peace At A Mass In Cairo Egypt

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

Cairo (CNN) Pope Francis sent a message of tolerance and co-existence Saturday in a Mass at a Cairo stadium before concluding his two-day trip to Egypt.

Francis’ trip came nearly two weeks after the Palm Sunday bombing of two Coptic churches, which left at least 45 people dead.
Heavy security surrounded Francis as he entered Cairo’s Air Defense Stadium in an open golf cart.

Security surrounds Pope Francis at the Air Defense Stadium in Cairo.

He waved at worshippers and stopped momentarily to bless a group of children in costume. Parts of the stadium stands were draped with his photo as well as Egyptian and Vatican flags.
“Religiosity means nothing unless it is inspired by deep faith and charity,” Francis said.
“True faith is one that makes us more charitable, more merciful, more honest and more humane,” he said.
“God is pleased only by a faith that is proclaimed by our lives, for the only fanaticism believers can have is that of charity! Any other fanaticism does not come from God and is not pleasing to him.”
The Pope started his Mass with the “As-Salaam Alaikum,” the traditional Muslim greeting in Arabic that means “Peace be upon you,” and ended it with “al-Masih qam! Bi-l-haqiqa qam! (Christ is risen! He is truly risen)”.
A Vatican spokesman said 15,000 people attended the Mass at the stadium, which holds 30,000.
The Pope later met with members of Egypt’s small Coptic Catholic community at St. Leo’s Patriarchal Seminary in Cairo’s Maadi neighborhood.
In a more intimate setting than his earlier Mass, Francis urged gathered priests, nuns and worshippers to be the religious builders of peace in Egypt, saying that despite “difficult circumstances, you must endure.”
“Although there are many reasons to be discouraged, and many prophets of destruction and condemnation … may you be the sowers of hope, builders of bridges and agents of dialogue and harmony,” he said.
Later Saturday, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi and an honor guard met the Pope at the airport in a farewell ceremony before he departed for Rome.

Tackling roots of violent extremism

On Friday, Francis stressed the importance of unity between Muslims and Christians to shape world peace.
“Let us say once more a firm and clear ‘No!’ to every form of violence, vengeance and hatred carried out in the name of religion or in the name of God,” he said in Italian in a speech at a peace conference at Al-Azhar University, the premier seat of high learning among Sunni Muslims.
Francis met with Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb and became the first pontiff to visit the institution since Pope John Paul II in 2000.
The two religious leaders spoke at the closing of the International Conference for Peace, organized by Al-Azhar. Greeting the grand imam, Francis called him “my brother” and sat by his side at the conference.
The Pope took on a familiar theme: the roots of violent extremism.

Eliminating poverty and exploitation

Francis opened his speech with “As-Salaam Alaikum” after the imam’s address.
“In order to prevent conflicts and build peace, it is essential that we spare no effort in eliminating situations of poverty and exploitation where extremism more easily takes root, and in blocking the flow of money and weapons destined to those who provoke violence,” he said.
Francis called for an end to the “proliferation of arms” and lambasted “demagogic forms of populism.”
“If they are produced and sold, sooner or later they will be used,” he said. “Only by bringing into the light of day the murky maneuverings that feed the cancer of war can its real causes be prevented. National leaders, institutions and the media are obliged to undertake this urgent and grave task.”
Tayeb addressed the status of faith in modern life.
“With all these accomplishments (of the 21st century), how come peace has become a lost paradise? The answer, I assume, is that modern civilization has ignored religion,” he said.
After the peace conference, Francis and the Egyptian President addressed religious and political dignitaries at Al-Masa Hotel.
The Pope, again speaking in Italian, focused on Egypt’s role in fighting terrorism, evoking events from biblical and modern history. He ceremonially greeted all Egyptian people, including minority Christians — Coptic Orthodox, Greek Byzantines, Armenian Orthodox, Protestants and Catholics.

12-point declaration

Pope Tawadros II, head of Egypt’s Coptic Orthodox Church, then greeted Francis at St. Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Cairo’s Abbassiya district, state TV said. They walked together in procession and took part in ecumenical prayers at the adjacent church of St. Peter, the site of a deadly blast in December that left at least 23 people dead.
Francis commended the efforts of Tawadros II, whom he called a brother, in organizing meetings between the Coptic Orthodox and Catholic churches.
Francis and Tawadros II signed a joint, 12-point declaration reiterating the fraternity between their churches. “Let us intensify our unceasing prayer for all Christians in Egypt and throughout the whole world, and especially in the Middle East,” the declaration says.

Jakarta Indonesia’s Muslim’s Make Tomorrows Election About Religion And Race, Not Issues

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

(CNN) Indonesia’s capital is on edge one day before a vote that has become a test of tolerance in the world’s most populous majority-Muslim nation.

The incumbent governor of Jakarta, Basuki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, an ethnic Chinese Christian, is facing a challenge by a Muslim former government minister backed by hard-line religious groups.
“There’s been quite a lot at stake, mostly because of how the election has been framed, (not) issues about how Jakarta will be run itself but rather questions of identity politics,” Ian Wilson, research fellow at Australia’s Murdoch University Asia Research Center, told CNN.
Tensions have risen since the first round of voting on February 15, when Ahok came in first with almost 43% of the vote, just ahead of former Education and Culture Minister Anies Baswedan.
Religious groups determined to see Baswedan take the governorship have been accused of stoking religious discord in the city ahead of the second round, analysts say, a startling turn in a country with a secular constitution and a long tradition of pluralism.
“I think a lot of Chinese Jakartans are feeling anxious about what will happen regardless of the outcome,” Wilson said.

Anies Baswedan (2L) and his running mate pray during an event in Jakarta on March 4.

Mass protests against Ahok

Tensions began to build in November 2016 after Ahok made comments during a campaign speech, which were interpreted by some as an insult to the Quran and Islam.
Now Ahok is on trial for blasphemy and Islamic conservative groups are pushing hard against him. In March, during the campaign, large crowds of thousands of protestors massed in Jakarta’s streets to call for his imprisonment.
“(The vote) is being framed in these semi-apocalyptic terms — that if Baswedan loses it means this infidel, conspiratorial Chinese group will be in power and it will be a disaster,” Wilson said.
While Baswedan himself has taken a step back from the aggressive rhetoric of the first half of the campaign, analysts say, conservative Islamic groups have picked up the slack.

Jakarta's Governor Basuki Tjahaja Purnama, also known as Ahok, inside the courtroom during his blasphemy trial on April 11.

“There was this grandma who died and she voted for Ahok and she was (reportedly) denied Muslim funeral rights,” Tobias Basuki, a researcher at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, an Indonesian think tank, told CNN.
“(Islamist groups) are using a lot of very blatant religious messages. Very blatant. There are various messages showing people … making oaths in communities saying you cannot vote for a non-Muslim and so on.”
With polls showing a tight race between the two candidates and religious tensions running high, both camps have reasons to be anxious.
Wilson said there is a possibility things may descend into violence.

Thousands of Indonesian Muslims protest against Ahok on March 31 in Jakarta.

Anies for president?

It isn’t just religious tolerance that’s at stake though.
The eyes of Indonesia’s national leaders are fixed on the vote as well, and who will be in the powerful position of Jakarta governor during the next national election in 2019.
Ahok is an ally of Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi — in fact, he was his running mate during Widodo’s own successful run for the governorship in 2012.
After Widodo’s 2012 win quickly led to a successful run for the presidency in 2014, Indonesian political insiders now see the Jakarta governorship as a step to the highest office in the land.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) with Anies Baswedan (L) at the presidential palace in Jakarta on October 24, 2014.

A Baswedan win will be seen as a major blow to Jokowi.
“It would be a major political win for (former 2014 presidential candidate) Prabowo Subianto, who has been very transparent in his support for Anies,” Wilson said.
Whether Baswedan runs for the presidency in 2019, or supports a second run by Prabowo, Basuki said a win by the former minister in Jakarta would embolden Islamic groups.
“If Anies (is elected), the peddling of influence by these Islamic groups will be greater, and use of religion will be much more in vogue in local elections heading towards the 2019 vote,” he said.

Jakarta’s poor turn on Ahok

But despite the high religious and racial tensions in the Jakarta governor race, they aren’t the only reason Ahok is in trouble.
Greg Fealy, an associate professor in Australian National University’s Coral Bell School of Asia Pacific Affairs, told CNN in February Ahok’s blunt, combative style of governing put a lot of Jakartans off.
“He’s a very combative, outspoken, reckless kind of character who has achieved a lot for Jakarta, but he’s a character who has created a lot of antipathy toward him,” he said.

Ahok flanked by his wife Veronica (R) and son Nicholas (L) show off their first-round ballot papers in Jakarta on February 15.

Not only that, but a lot of the poor Jakartans who voted for the joint Widodo/Ahok ticket in 2012 in hopes of a new style of government have been the target of large-scale evictions under the governor’s administration.
“They have very specific material grievances against the governor, they feel there was a betrayal of a political contract … I think that magnified feelings of injustice against those neighborhoods,” Wilson said.