“Ideology goes into the heart of a person, you cannot kill that ideology unless you kill that person, and for us to deal with this, we have to kill 1.7 billion people.” – Reza Safa
by, Morgan Frances | Wink News | h/t Blazing CatFur
FORT MYERS, Fla.- A pastor visiting Southwest Florida is on a mission to inform Americans about the dangers of Islamic extremists and ISIS. He has a unique perspective. He grew up as a radical Muslim in Iran.
“I grew up in a radical home in Iran,” said pastor Reza Safa. “My father was a Muslim scholar, and ever since I was a child I started practicing Islamic law.”
As a teenager, Safa says he heard the voice of God, and made the decision to convert to Christianity.
“Of course, right after that,” he said, “my troubles began. My accepting Christ, my father decided he wanted to kill me. My mother tried to put me in a mental hospital. My father disowned me, and so I had a very hard life right after my conversion.”
The things he preaches can seem extreme.
“Ideology goes into the heart of a person,” Safa explained. “You cannot kill that ideology unless you kill that person, and for us to deal with this, we have to kill 1.7 billion people.”
He’s referring to the number of radical Muslims in the world. He says they believe the Earth is corrupt and the only solution is to establish Islamic law for the entire planet.
“Some get involved with ISIS and warfare because the situation has opened up for them to get involved physically with weapons and mass killing,” Safa said, “and some don’t.” He continued, “(for) those who do not, (it) doesn’t mean they don’t have that same desire. It just means they haven’t taken that step yet.”
Safa believes military force won’t fix anything, and his view of the future is dark: the religious war between Shiite and Sunni Muslims has been going on for 1,500 years. Safa believes lasting peace is just a dream.
Iranian blogger, Soheil Arabi. Photo courtesy of: HRANA
by, International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran | David Wood @ Answering Muslims
IRAN: A blogger found guilty of insulting the Prophet Mohammad in his postings on Facebook has been sentenced to death. An informed source told the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran that the blogger, Soheil Arabi, will be able to appeal the decision until September 20, 2014.
Agents from the Revolutionary Guards Corps’ (IRGC) Sarallah Base arrested Soheil Arabi, 30, and his wife in November 2013. Arabi’s wife was released a few hours later, but he was kept in solitary confinement for two months inside IRGC’s Ward 2-A at Evin Prison, before he was transferred to Evin’s General Ward 350. Branch 76 of the Tehran Criminal Court, under Judge Khorasani, found Arabi guilty of “sabb al-nabi” (insulting the Prophet), on August 30, 2014.
“The way he was arrested was illegal. It is not clear how the agents were able to enter their home at that time in the morning. All the doors were locked and family members were asleep. Agents entered his home and bedroom. He and his wife were arrested and some of their photographs and personal belongings were taken after their home was searched,” said the source.
“Soheil had eight Facebook pages under different names, and he was charged with insulting the Imams and the Prophet because of the contents of those pages. He has accepted his charges, but throughout the trial, he stated that he wrote the material without thinking and in poor psychological condition,” the source told the Campaign.
The source noted that the Tehran Penal Court issued its ruling without regard for Article 264 of the Islamic Penal Code. “Article 262 of the Islamic Penal Code states that if a person insults the Prophet of Islam, his punishment is death. But in Article 264, it explicitly says that if a suspect merely claims in court that he said the insulting words in anger, in quoting someone, or by mistake, his death sentence will be converted to 74 lashes. I would like to emphasize that if only the suspect claims this, he will not be eligible for death, and there is no need to even prove his claim,” added the source.
“Unfortunately, despite this Article and the explanations provided, the judges issued the death sentence. They didn’t even take any notice of Soheil’s statements in court in which he repeated several times that he wrote the posts under poor [psychological] conditions, and that he is remorseful. Three of the judges ruled for the death sentence, and two ruled for imprisonment,” said the source.
According to the source, Soheil Arabi has another judicial case. On September 4, 2014, Branch 15 of Tehran Revolutionary Court under Judge Salavati sentenced Arabi to the maximum punishment of three years in prison on charges of “insulting the Supreme Leader” and “propaganda against the state,” through his writings on Facebook.
F R E E S O H E I L A R A B I N O W !
by, Iakovos Alhadeff | i.a.
The Conflict in Ukraine
The conflict in Ukraine is only a part of the energy war between Russia and United States. Europe is very poor in terms of energy resources, but very rich in all other aspects. Both U.S.A. and Russia want to dominate the European energy market, since this does not only involve economic gains, but aslo increased diplomatic power. Energy is very important for all developed economies, and energy providers normally have political power over energy recipients.
Russia is the richest country in natural gas reserves and the number one oil producer. It is not however the richest country in oil reserves. Please note that the richest countries in energy reserves are not necessarily the largest energy producers too. At the following Wikipedia link you can see Gazprom’s European market shares. Gazprom is the Russian state owned natural gas giant, and on average it holds 30% of the European natural gas market.
Moreover Russia supplies a large part of the oil consumed by European countries. This energy dominance is a big pain for United States, since it gives Russia political power over NATO members. Therefore the Americans wish to provide Europe with alternative sources of energy, and more specifically with alternative sources of natural gas, since natural gas is most of the time delivered through pipelines, and it creates a greater dependency on the part of the energy recipient than oil, which is normally transferred with ships.
The Nord Stream and the South Stream Pipelines
Most of Gazprom’s natural gas, approximately 80% of it, is distributed to Europe through Ukraine. At the following link you can read about the disputes between Russia and Ukraine over natural gas distribution.
That’s the reason the Americans are so keen to help anti- Russian and NATO friendly Ukrainians. The Russians on the other hand do not like this dependency on Ukraine, and have developed the North Stream pipeline which delivers Gazprom’s natural gas directly to Germany through the Baltic Sea, thus bypassing Ukraine. You can see at the following BBC map the North Stream pipeline with Green color.
Source BBC (http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-14803065)
Russia wants to also develop another pipeline, the South Stream, which you can see with the blue color on the map, which will again bypass Ukraine and will deliver Gazprom’s natural gas to Southern Europe. When both these pipelines will be ready, the Russians will not depend anymore on Ukraine to supply the whole Europe with Russian natural gas. As you can see the South Stream will cross the Black Sea, and from Bulgaria will distribute natural gas to Southern Europe.
To develop the South Stream pipeline, Russia needs the help of Bulgaria, and also the help of Turkey, since the Exclusive Economic Zones of both Bulgaria and Turkey are involved. One, but not the only, reason there was so much noise about Crimea was because of Crimea’s effects on the Ukraine and Russian Exclusive Economic Zones. Crimea is the piece of land under Ukraine on map 2
As you can see, if Ukraine controls Crimea, Ukraine would have a saying on the South Stream crossing the Black Sea, since it would fall inside Ukraine’s exclusive economic zone. But if Crimea belongs to Russia, Ukraine does not have a saying on the construction of the pipeline. And Russia annexed Crimea as we all know. And as you can see on map 3, from whowhatwhy.com, which is accurate, the Russians designed the pipeline nearer Turkey to totally avoid Ukraine.
The Europeans are divided on the issue of the South Stream. As you can see at the following Reuters’ link,
some countries perceive it as a positive development i.e. Germany, Italy, Bulgaria. The important point to note is that once the South Stream is ready, together with the North Stream, will allow Gazprom to supply with natural gas the whole European Continent without relying on the Ukrainian pipelines. Moreover, as you can see on the following Wikipedia link, Ukraine is the 26th richest country in the world in terms of natural gas reserves, which further adds to its geostrategic position.
U.S.A. and Europe
As I already said, the Americans and the Europeans want to have many sources of natural gas, in order to limit the economic but mainly the diplomatic influence that Russia enjoys over NATO members, and which arises by the 30% of Gazprom’s share in the European market. It also has to do with competition issues. The more energy options a country has the cheaper it buys its energy.
The Americans and the Europeans want to bring natural gas from the energy rich Caspian Sea to Europe. The Nabucco Pipeline and the Pans Adriatic Pipeline are two of the possible routes. The Nabucco pipeline which you can see with red color on map 1 will bring Caspian natural gas to Europe through Turkey. The other possible pipeline, the Trans Adriatic Pipeline TAP, which you can see on map 4 below, will again bring natural gas from Caspian Sea to Europe through Turkey.
Turkey and Iran
It is clear how important Turkey is for the Americans and Europeans, since both the Nabucco and the TAP pipelines will have to pass through its territories to deliver Caspian natural gas to European markets. And I am not talking for the obvious economic benefits. I am talking about Turkey’s increased geopolitical power. It is very important for the Americans and Europeans to have Turkey on their side, so if they decide to take sanctions against Russia and there is a disturbance in natural gas supply, Turkey will not cut off supplies from the Caspian Sea too to support Russia. Currently it is very painful for the Americans and the Europeans to take sanctions against Russia, since Gazprom provides a large share of the natural gas consumed in the European markets. As you can see on map 5 below
Iran’s is also very important for the Americans and the Europeans. Iran is situated on the Caspian Sea and it will be very difficult for the Americans to ensure stable natural gas supply to Europe if they face a hostile Iran. Moreover Iran is a very energy rich country, one of the richest ones in fact, and its natural gas could be transferred to Europe too. The Nabucco and TAP pipelines are supposed to transfer natural gas from NATO friendly Azerbaijan, but other countries can be connected on the pipeline network too. Therefore both Iran and Turkey are extremely important for the American and European efforts to provide Europe with abundant non Russian natural gas.
The increase in Turkey’s and Iran’s geopolitical power poses a lethal threat to Israel. You have to keep in mind that Turkey and Iran are two of Israel’s lethal enemies. Iran’s goal is to eliminate Israel, and Turkey, an ex Israel ally, does not seem to be further away from this view, under the leadership of Recep Erdogan. Actually everybody knows that it is mainly Iran, Turkey and Qatar that support and provide funding to Hamas, which is recognized by U.S.A., the E.E., Japan and other countries as a terrorist organization. Hamas runs the Gaza Strip, and came to power with elections in Gaza. It is Hamas that fires all these rockets that you hear about from Gaza to Israel. At the following article you can read about the funding of Hamas.
In this changing geopolitical map, Israel does not seem to be able to count on United States for its survival, as it has for so many years done. This has already caused a deterioration in the American- Israeli relations, and an improvement in the Russian-Israeli relations. You have to keep in mind that rich natural gas fields were also found in the Mediterranean See, in the region between Greece, Turkey and Israel. This could be also an energy alternative for Europe as you can see on map 6
The problem is that it is very difficult and very costly to build a pipeline network through the Mediterranean See, if Turkey is involved in the project. But with the current political situation between Turkey and Israel this does not seem to be feasible, at least not for Israel’s part of energy.
The natural gas found in the Israeli sea, might be the only chip that Israel has in this energy hungry world. It seems that Israel is giving Russia a role in its energy wealth. At the following Bloomberg link you can see the cooperation between Gazprom and the Israelis.
It seems that in a world where Israelis cannot count on the protection of the Americans, they are moving towards Russia. They are not connected to Russia in the same way they were connected to the U.S.A., but it seems they are somewhere between these two countries. At the following Financial Times link, you can see that Israel did not vote against Russia in the U.N. resolution about Ukraine. It rather preferred to abstain.
The FT examines the causes for this behavior and at the end of the article says:
“But the strongest motivation for Israel to stay out of the Ukraine fracas lies in the present day and closer to home: Russia is a strong and growing power in the Middle East.
Israel needs to engage Moscow on several vital issues: Iran’s nuclear programme and the dismantlement of Syria’s chemical weapons stockpile. Moscow is the biggest foreign patron of Bashar al-Assad’s Syria and a major supplier of arms to the Middle East in general.
Behind closed doors, Israel has prevailed on Russia to refrain from supplying game-changing weapons to Syria that could land in the hands of Hizbollah, its best-armed regional enemy.”
Moreover as you can see at the following Wikipedia link, Avigdor Lieberman, the Israeli Foreign Affairs Minister, is a Russian Jew. He was born in Russia, served in the Russian Army, and later immigrated to Israel with his family. It is “strange” that the Israelis chose a Russian soldier as their Minister of Foreign Affairs.
Some people are confused because the U.S. is still giving Israel some financial aid. For example they recently offered Israel 200 million dollars in terms of financial aid. But Israel was receiving approximately 3 billion dollars a year in American aid some years ago. This 200 million dollars, is some of the last money Israel is receiving from United States as you can read at the following article
For Israel there is another big problem, namely the pipelines that will transfer natural gas from the Persian Gulf to European markets, and more specifically the pipelines that will transfer natural gas from the Persian Gulf’s South Pars/North Dome field. South Pars/North Dome is the richest natural gas filed in the world and it lies between Qatar and Iran. It is jointly owned by Qatar and Iran. You can see it on map 7.
These pipelines are the real cause of the current war in Iraq and Syria. Muslims are divided in Sunis and Shias. And the Shias want to transfer the natural gas through the route Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon-Mediterranean Sea- Europe and the Sunis through the route Qatar-Saudi Arabia-Jordan-Syria-Turkey-Europe. You can see both the Suni (purple color) and Shia (red color) pipelines at the following map.
Sunis and Shias are currently fighting in Syria and Iraq. As you can see on map 9, if Sunis take Syria and Iraq, (where the majority consists of Shias) Shias cannot go ahead with their pipeline. The only other route to reach Europe would be through Turkey. But Turkey is on the Suni side. Similarly, if Shias control Syria and Iraq, Sunis cannot construct a pipeline that conects Qatar to Turkey.
The problem for Israel is that Americans are supporting the Sunis in this conflict. Americans are very good friends with Qatar, one of the owners of South Pars/ North Dome. The Russians support the Shia pipeline i.e. Iran.
It is known that Qatar is one of the countries that heavily fund Hamas, which is the terrorist organization that throws rockets from Gaza to Israel, and it is officially recognized by U.S.A. and Europe as a terrorist organization as you can see on the first paragraph of the wikipedia link,
Therefore Israel cannot count on the Americans at least for as long as they back their lethal enemies. Because they consider Hamas as a terrorist organization, but it does not seem that this is how Obama feels.
On the other hand, Iran is with Russia on this fight, and together they support Assad in Syria. But Iran is also funding Hamas. But it is in direct competition with Qatar on this pipeline fight. But it is Iran’s nuclear program that is the lethal threat to Israelis. And it is the Russians that control the nuclear program of the Iranians. And the Americans do not seem very interested in preventing Iran from developing its nuclear arsenal. As you can see on the fourth paragraph of the following Wikipedia link, it is the Russians that developed the first nuclear factory in Iran.
And as you can see on the following Reuters link, the Russians will develop another 8 nuclear reactors in Iran.
If you also take into account that Obama is a president who seems to have strong ties with the Muslim world but also with the Muslim Brotherhood, it should not be a big surprise that the Israelis have a Russian soldier as their Minister of Foreign Affairs. You should also have a look at this video about how U.S.A. indirectly helps Hamas.
You should also do some research on the relations of the U.S.A. and Qatar, and on the relation of Qatar, Iran and Turkey with Hamas. It will help you understand the current geopolitical situation.
For example, at the following Reuters link,
you will read about the 11 billion dollar deal between U.S.A. and Qatar. Obama is selling Qatar patriot misiles. And Qatar is funding Hamas. And the primary goal of Hamas is to eliminate Israel.
It seems that the 21st century will be a very difficult one for Israel.
A Short Guide to Understanding the Middle East…
Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces: General Hassan Firouzabadi. Photo courtesy of: Fars News Agency
by, Fars News Agency
TEHRAN (FNA)- Chief of Staff of the Iranian Armed Forces General Hassan Firouzabadi lashed out at Saudi Arabia for supporting Takfiri terrorist groups in Iraq, and said Riyadh’s support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant will backfire soon.
“If the ISIL win, they will definitely continue their offensive against Saudi Arabia,” General Firouzabadi said on Friday.
He described ISIL as a brainchild of the US and UK governments, established to get “revolutionary Muslim youths” killed in Syria and Iraq.
Firouzabadi stated that Saudi Arabia has asked the United States to let ISIL militants destroy Iraq.
“This (ISIL) is also a serious threat, even bigger than Israel,” he said.
ISIL is a Takfiri extremist group which has its roots in the insurgency against the US-led invasion on Iraq in 2006, and was later developed to a bigger group in Syria in 2012.
The group is known to be responsible for mass murders and extremist acts of violence across Syria and Iraq.
ISIL leader Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, who was a detainee at US Bucca prison in 2005, has announced himself as the caliph of the Muslim world.
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A captured ISIS member identifies Emir Abdul-Rahman al Faisal as a key supporter of ISIS. Transcript below, Original version aired on Al Arabiya here: http://www.alarabiya.net/ar/arab-and-…
ISIS Confirms Saudi Royal Family Support: (In Arabic)
English Translation of Transcript:
Interviewer: “Why do you (ISIS) monitor the movement of the Free Syrian Army?”
ISIS Captive: “I don’t exactly know why, but we received orders from ISIS Command”
Interviewer: “Who among the command at ISIS gave you these orders?”
ISIS Captive: “Prince Abdulrahman Al… Faisal, who is also known as Abu Faisal”
*Note: Prince Abdul-Rahman Al Faisal is a brother of King Abdullah and former Commander of the Saudi Air Force
by, Associated Press | NDTV | h/t Trop
Tehran: Iran’s official news agency is reporting eight Facebook page administrators have been handed jail sentences from eight to 21 years.
The report by IRNA says the defendants are convicted of plotting against national security, spreading propaganda against the ruling system and insulting officials. It did not identify the defendants or the Facebook pages.
The report said Sunday that the court issued its verdict against the eight young Facebook activists in April following several court appearances.
Facebook is officially banned in Iran, as are other popular social media websites like Twitter and YouTube. Their mobile apps are banned as well.
Many Iranians manage to access the banned sites through VPNs and proxy servers.
An Iranian court has sentenced eight people to a combined 123 years in prison for various charges including insulting the country’s supreme leader on Facebook.
The sentencing is the latest in a recent crackdown on Internet freedom in the country. The eight, who were reportedly all Facebook users, were arrested last year by the Cyber Unit of the Revolutionary Guard.
The Revolutionary Court in Tehran gave them prison sentences ranging from seven to 20 years for charges of blasphemy, propaganda against the Iranian state, spreading lies, and insulting Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
by, Abraham Rabinovich | The Washington Free Beacon
YERUSHALAY’IM, Y’israel: The firepower of the Israel Air Force (IAF) will be four times greater by year’s end than it was two years ago, according to its commander, Maj. Gen. Amir Eshel, enabling Israel to bring another round of fighting with Hezbollah to a swift end.
“We can destroy [Hezbollah’s] military capabilities and the infrastructure that supports its activities on a scale that would take decades to rebuild,” he told a conference on national security, “an unimaginable scale”.
The vast number of rockets in the hands of the Lebanese militia—reportedly as many as 100,000—makes it imperative for Israel to shorten the next round of fighting. Hezbollah can only fire a limited number of rockets each day. In the three-week war with Israel in 2006 it fired 4,000 rockets.
Eshel acknowledged that Hezbollah now has precision rocketry capable of hitting Israel’s northernmost air force base and to interfere with operations. However, he said, it would not diminish the IAF’s offensive capabilities, which can be projected from other bases as well. The air force commander warned that Israel’s anti-rocket defense systems, like Iron Dome, while effective, were not hermetic. In a war with Hezbollah, Israel would be able to protect “its national resources and urban areas,” he said, but not all of its civilians. In the 2006 conflict, 40 civilians were killed by rockets.
The use of precision munitions and upgraded intelligence, based in part on satellites, accounts in good part for the increase in the IAF’s effective firepower, Eshel said. The air force could carry out thousands of accurate strikes in a single day, he said. “I believe our capabilities are second only to those of the United States.”
By the end of this year, the air force will be able accomplish in 24 hours what it took three days to accomplish in the war with Hezbollah eight years ago, Eshel said.
While Eshel said that Israel would make efforts to avoid civilian casualties in Lebanon, his warning that attacks would be directed at infrastructure supporting Hezbollah appears to refer to roads and other public targets, perhaps including Beirut Airport, through which Iran sends weaponry to Hezbollah. He said that Hezbollah’s positioning of weapons in civilian areas would not exempt the rockets and command centers located there from attack.
חייל האויר הישראלי: The Israeli Air Force (IAF)
by, Shadi Paveh | Gatestone Institute
The notes from Dr. Azam’s medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing fingernails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet [and] extensive damage to her genitals.
Dutch authorities expressed shock and sadness over her execution and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran for approximately 20 days.
Roya Nobakht, 47, presently being detained as a political prisoner in Iran, may face execution for insulting Islam. She has lived in Stockport, England with her husband for the last six years and holds dual British-Iranian citizenship.
Her husband, Daryoush Taghipoor, has stated that his wife was arrested while visiting a friend at Iran’s Shiraz airport last October for comments she had made on a Facebook group calling the government of Iran “too Islamic.” According to a copy of her charge sheet seen by the UK’s Independent; she was transferred to Tehran and charged with “gathering and participation with intent to commit crimes against national security and insulting Islamic sanctities”– crimes punishable by death.
In an interview, Mr. Taghipoor told the Manchester Evening News that “his wife is not well at all…she has lost three stones [42 lbs]… and is scared that the government will kill her.” He also said that a confession had been extracted from his wife “under duress.” As is well documented, torture is systematically used by Iranian authorities to obtain confessions from political dissidents and even from some common prisoners.
Roya Nobakht and husband Daryoush Taghipoor. Photo courtesy of: Information Nigeria
Ms. Nobakht’s fears are not unfounded. Iran’s persecution of expatriates is nothing new. The first known case was that of Ms. Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who died under torture in 2003 while in custody. Ms. Zahara Bahrami, a Dutch-Iranian, was hanged in 2011. Three Canadian-Iranians; Saeed Malekpour, Hossein Derakhshan and Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, along with American Amir Hekmati, were all arbitrarily arrested while visiting relatives in Iran on vague anti-government charges. With the exception of Mr. Ghassemi-Shall, who was recently released, each one presently languishes inside Iran as political prisoners under dire conditions.
Ms Zahra Kazemi, a Canadian-Iranian photojournalist who had left Iran in 1974, returned in 2003 to cover a story about Iran. She was soon arrested and detained in Evin prison on charges of espionage. As Iran does not recognize dual citizenships, Ms. Kazemi was not allowed representation by Canadian authorities. She later died in custody. The Iranian officials claimed she had died as a result of a stroke but refused to return her body to Canada. In 2005, however, Dr. Shahram Azam, a doctor with the Iranian security forces who had examined Ms. Kazemi’s half-dead body, fled Iran. He testified that the victim’s body showed extensive signs of torture administered over a few days. The notes from his medical journal include a crushed toe, broken fingers, missing finger nails, broken ribs, a skull fracture, severe abdominal bruising, marks of flogging on her back and feet, extensive damage to the genitals and peculiar deep scratches on her neck. She was 52 years old and the first victim of the Islamic regime’s war of terror on Iranians holding dual citizenship. Her body has never been returned to her son in Canada. After her murder, especially under the leadership of Prime Minister Stephen Harper, diplomatic relations between Iran and Canada deteriorated significantly.
Ms Zahra Bahrami, 45, who held dual Dutch-Iranian citizenship, had travelled to Iran to visit her ailing daughter. She was arrested in 2009 for participating in anti-regime protests and taken to the dreaded Evin prison. According to eyewitnesses, Ms Bahrami was tortured so severely she could not sit or stand easily and was denied medical care for serious lung complications. On Jan 29, 2011, she was suddenly hanged at 5:00 a.m. without anyone’s knowledge. She was then hastily buried by the authorities in the absence of her children. Dutch authorities expressed shock and sadness over her execution and cut off diplomatic relations with Iran for approximately 20 days.
Mr. Amir Hekmati 31, an American born in Arizona to Iranian parents and who was visiting Iran for the first time, was arrested in 2011 and charged with “spying for the CIA.” He was tortured until he finally gave a televised confession. As a result he was sentenced to death but thanks to heavy international pressure, in 2014 his sentence was finally changed to 10 years in prison. Three Canadians — Mr. Saeed Malekpour, 39; Mr. Hamid Ghassemi-Shall, 45; and Mr. Hossein Derakhshan, 38 — were arrested while visiting relatives in Iran in 2008, on various charges. Malekpour was charged with designing software that was used in an “un-Islamic” way by third parties, whereas Ghassemi-Shall was accused of the customary espionage. Both were tortured while kept in solitary confinement for over a year and sentenced to death. Malekpour wrote from prison that his jaw had been broken while his interrogators were trying to extract his teeth with pliers, and that he had only confessed to crimes dictated to him by his interrogators under torture and threats to his family. Malekpour’s death sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison, while Mr. Ghassemi-Shall, was released in September 2013 — both due to successful campaigns by various international human rights organizations.
Derakhshan — nicknamed the “blogfather” — is best known for introducing blogging to Iran in 2001. He was sentenced for the contents of his blogs to 19.5 years in prison — the heaviest sentence ever handed down to a blogger.
The Islamic Republic of Iran does not recognize dual citizenships and considers all those who were born in Iran or to Iranian parents as Iranian citizens subject to its deadly Islamic penal code. One hundred and thirty-one offenses are punishable by death including theft, adultery, homosexuality, political dissidence, drug possession and blasphemy. It would be fair to conclude that travelling to Iran with any citizenship carries a risk. One enters a lawless and unaccountable country that lacks any degree of human rights, and where torture and hangings are an integral part of its government’s rule and survival.
by, Erick Stakelbeck | CBN News
In the video below:
Plus, we travel to Hungary to meet a former outspoken anti-Semite who has had a profound transformation. See what happens when this person that led an organization against Jews discovers that he is Jewish.
Finally, author Ray Bentley joins us to talk about his latest book, The Holy Land Key.
by, Alexis Stevens | The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
The Georgia Tech graduate student burned over 90 percent of his body last month died Thursday, the Institute said.
Saamer Akhshabi was burned in a Feb. 4 explosion inside his apartment, where investigators found a suspected Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene. Akhshabi, 26, was transported in critical condition to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he died early Thursday, Georgia Tech shared with the campus.
“We have worked closely with other law enforcement agencies during the investigation of this tragic incident,” Robert Connolly, interim police chief for Georgia Tech, said in an emailed statement. “The FBI has relayed that, to date, they have not developed any information or evidence indicating criminal intent in this investigation.”
Investigators determined that Akhshabi was not a threat to the Georgia Tech community, Connolly said. But no information was released regarding why Akhshabi had the explosive materials.
Akhshabi was studying in the College of Computing at Tech, where he had attended since 2009, according to his web page. He was scheduled to graduate in May. Prior to moving toAtlanta, Akhshabi completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran in Iran, his native country.
“Saamer’s initial prognosis was very bad, but he fought for more than a month,” Zvi Galil, dean of the college of computing, said in a story on the Institute’s website. “Our faculty and students visited him regularly, often staying for hours at a time. This was an excellent, promising student, and all of us in the college deeply mourn him.”
The College of Computing is raising funds to help Akhshabi’s parents return his body to Iran.
by, Voice of the Persecuted
American Pastor Saeed Abedini’s case has taken a turn for the worse. He has been shackled and refused medical treatment at a hospital, as Iranian guards forcibly ban visitors.
A little over a week ago, Pastor Saeed – a U.S. citizen – was moved from Rajai Shahr Prison to a private hospital in Iran. He was told he would receive further tests on his deteriorating medical condition and undergo surgery to address chronic pain in his stomach area – the result of numerous prison beatings.
For the past week and a half, he has undergone various tests and received much needed nourishment. This had been a very positive development and much needed reprieve for Pastor Saeed.
Today, that all changed. This morning Iranian guards lashed out violently against Pastor Saeed and an elderly relative who had been able to visit him in the hospital. Pastor Saeed was pinned down and shackled. His elderly relative was roughly handled and expelled from the hospital.
The guards stated that they had a court order banning visitors and instructing that he be shacked at all times. Hospital doctors also told Pastor Saeed that he must leave the hospital and return to prison. They are refusing to provide him with anything more than mere pain medication. They have denied him surgery – the only treatment that will help. They have even denied him test results.
The timing of both of these moves is very suspect. In what appears to be a move to put Iran in a favorable light, Pastor Saeed was moved to the hospital, something his Iranian family has been actively seeking for months, coinciding with the arrival of the High Representative of the European Union, Catherine Ashton in Iran. However, as soon as she departed Iran, Pastor Saeed was informed that he would be moved back to prison without receiving any real treatment.
Pastor Saeed’s wife, Nagemeh and their two children.
The EU has been faithfully raising Pastor Saeed’s case for some time, and this move would allow Iranian officials to report that he was receiving medical treatment if his case was brought up during the EU’s visit to Iran.
This disturbing turn of events reiterates the need to keep pressure on Iran. As soon as pressure is let up, the situation gets worse. Iran must not be allowed to continue to abuse and mistreat Pastor Saeed out of the public spotlight. The Iranian government is wrongfully imprisoning him and denying him needed medical care because he is a Christian. Each day apart from his family and away from the care of physicians is another human rights abuse.
While Iran’s actions seem to undercut the sincerity of Iran’s leaders in promising the world change in Iran, there is still an opportunity for President Rouhani and Iran’s Supreme Leader to act.
March 21st is the Iranian new year, a time when clemency is often granted to prisoners of conscience. If Iran wants the world to see it in a new light, now is the time to grant clemency for Pastor Saeed. Iranian Foreign Minister Zarif said clemency could be possible. Now would be the time.
We are continuing to fight for Pastor Saeed’s freedom. Right now a legal team from both our U.S. and international offices is meeting with world leaders at the United Nations office in Geneva.
Please keep this dear brother and his family in your prayers! This news must be devastating for them. Write A Letter To Pastor Saeed Abedini to show Iran your support for him. He has not been forgotten! More details HERE.
Would you like to write a letter to Saeed?
Maybe your children would even like to write him.
Remember, Pastor Saeed is in prison in Iran for refusing to renounce his faith.
Please share this with your church or synagogue.
Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khomeini
by, Ershad Alijani – Nazanin | France 24 | h/t Halal Pork Shop
A video has emerged of a man making a last-ditch attempt to flee his public execution in Iran, while onlookers cheer him on.
In the video below, the young man is about to be hanged in front of a large crowd that has gathered to watch the execution. He was condemned for having gang-raped a pregnant woman along with two other men back in 2008. As a result, the woman reportedly miscarried and lost her baby. The executions of all three men took place on February 26. According to Iranian media, they took place in three different suburbs of Karaj, where the crime occured. However, it’s not clear in which one the execution of the man in the video took place.
As he’s about to be publicly hanged, he begins crying and begs to see his mother one last time. When the executioners refuse his last request, he lashes out and knocks several of them down.
Immediately, swarms of policemen rush onto the platform to restrain the condemned man. They forcefully wrap the noose around his neck, before lifting him onto a podium. The public rally to his side, initially supporting his attempt to break free of his executioners. Moments before his death, he can be heard asking his mother and the public to pardon his crime. Some people in the crowd respond by saying they forgive him.
According to the United Nations, at least 80 people have already reportedly been executed in Iran so far this year. That puts the Islamic Republic second on the list of countries with the highest number of executions, behind China. The Iranian government says it carries out executions in public to set a “harsh example” to would-be criminals, in the hope that they’ll be deterred from carrying out crimes in the future.
“These executions have no deterrent effect on the population”
Nazanin is a journalist in Tehran who has covered public executions.
The authorities don’t announce the executions ahead of time. They usually take place in the early morning, and people in the neighbourhood realise that an execution is going to take place when they see the stage being set up.
At all the executions I have been to, I have noticed that the people who gather to watch them are above all curious. They just wanted to see what it’s like to see a human die. Sometimes, people who stop to watch don’t realise exactly what’s going on until it’s too late, and are quite shocked. Meanwhile, some have their young kids with them — I once suggested to a mother that she may want to cover her little boy’s eyes, and she said, “oh, he’s a kid, he’ll forget about this anyway.”
Usually, everyone stays silent. In recent years, people have started bringing their mobile phones to take pictures and short films and put them on social networks.
The onlookers often feel sympathy both for the victims of the crime, and the criminal who is about to die. People have told me things like, “it’s such a shame, he’s so young”. And in the next breath they’ll say, “but then again he killed someone, so he deserves it.”
I witnessed an execution of a famous criminal in southern Tehran once. He had killed multiple people, and everyone in the neighbourhood was terrified of him. But at his execution, he addressed the crowd. He admitted his sins and talked about the difficulties he had faced in his youth. The crowd started to feel sympathy for him. In my opinion, these executions have no deterrent effect on the population.
Iranian Naval Warship Fleet Headed Towards U.S. Coast.
by, Reuters | Yahoo News
An Iranian naval officer said a number of warships had been ordered to approach U.S. maritime borders as a response to the stationing of U.S. vessels in the Gulf, the semi-official Fars news agency reported on Saturday.
“Iran’s military fleet is approaching the United States’ maritime borders, and this move has a message,” the agency quoted Admiral Afshin Rezayee Haddad as saying.
Haddad, described as commander of the Iranian navy’s northern fleet, said the vessels had started their voyage towards the Atlantic Ocean via “waters near South Africa”, Fars reported.
Fars said the plan was part of “Iran’s response to Washington’s beefed up naval presence in the Persian Gulf.”
The Fars report, which carried no details of the vessels, could not be confirmed independently.
In Washington, a U.S. defense official, speaking on condition of anonymity, cast doubt on any claims that the Iranian ships were approaching U.S. maritime borders. But the official added that “ships are free to operate in international waters.”
The United States and its allies regularly stage naval exercises in the Gulf, saying they want to ensure freedom of navigation in the waterway through which 40 percent of the world’s seaborne oil exports passes.
U.S. military facilities in the region include a base for its Fifth Fleet in the Gulf Arab kingdom of Bahrain.
Iran sees the Gulf as its own backyard and believes it has a legitimate interest in expanding its influence there.
Iranian officials have often said Iran could block the Strait of Hormuz, at the mouth of the Gulf, if it came under military attack over its disputed nuclear program, and the Western war games are seen in the region as an attempt to deter any such move.
Fars said the Iranian navy had been developing its presence in international waters since 2010, regularly launching vessels in the Indian Ocean and the Gulf of Aden to protect Iranian ships from Somali pirates operating in the area.
:گزارش به فارسی – Report in Persian:
Saamer Akhshabi was burned over 90 percent of his body, according to police. Photo Courtesy of: ajc.com
Dept. of Homeland Security search yields laboratory of chemicals in his apartment
by, Alexis Stevens | Atlanta Journal-Constitution
A suspected Molotov cocktail and several plastic bottles filled with gasoline and kerosene were found in the Midtown apartment of a Georgia Tech graduate student severely burned, police said Wednesday.
Saamer Akhshabi remains in Grady Memorial Hospital with third-degree burns over 90 percent of his body from the fire started in his apartment Tuesday afternoon in the 200 block of 10th Street, police said.
Late Tuesday night, it wasn’t known what caused the fire. But an FBI spokesman said the man’s burns were possibly from an incendiary device.
“At this time, we are assisting in furthering the investigation to determine how the male received the injuries and how the fire started,” Officer John Chafee with Atlanta police said.
Several investigators were outside the apartment building late Tuesday. A resident of a nearby apartment, George Greenlee, said he was told to evacuate.
In addition to what police described as a Molotov cocktail — a container filled with flammable material, and often topped with a make-shift fuse — police said several gasoline- or kerosene-filled bottles were found in the apartment.
Police reported the incident to U.S. Homeland Security, and a police SWAT team, and agents with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives and the FBI were called in.
A spokesman for Georgia Tech said the institute is working with law enforcement officials.
“Our primary concern is to provide appropriate assistance to the victim and for his family as well as his classmates,” Matt Nagel, Tech spokesman, said in an emailed statement Tuesday night. “We continue to cooperate with the investigation.”
Akhshabi is studying in the College of Computing at Tech, where he has attended since 2009, according to his web page. He was scheduled to graduate in May, Nagel said Wednesday. Prior to moving to Atlanta, Akhshabi completed his undergraduate degree at the University of Tehran in Iran.
— Photographer Ben Gray contributed to this report.
Sanaz Nazami, a vibrant 27-year-old native of Tehran, Iran, who could speak three languages, wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering. (AP Photo/Courtesy Sara Nezami)
by, Associated Press (AP) | FNC
A nurse in a Michigan hospital kissed the patient’s forehead. More than 6,000 miles away, Sanaz Nezami’s family in Iran watched on a laptop computer and wept.
Nezami, a vibrant 27-year-old woman who could speak three languages, wanted to pursue an advanced degree in engineering at Michigan Technological University. Instead, she was brain dead just a few weeks after unpacking her bags, the victim of a fatal beating by her new husband, according to police.
Technology allowed family in Iran to watch her final hours. The family’s faith in the hospital staff led to consent for an extraordinary donation: Nezami’s heart, lungs and other life-saving organs were transplanted to seven people in the U.S., a remarkable gift that occurs in less than 1 percent of all cases.
“We wanted God to perform a miracle and bring Sanaz back to life,” her sister, Sara Nezami, said in a phone interview from Tehran. “But this is a miracle. Sanaz gave her life in order to give life.”
A nurse who took care of Sanaz Nezami said the experience was “eye-opening” for hospital staff.
“The family was willing to trust us to know she wasn’t coming back,” Kim Grutt said.
In August, Nezami married Nima Nassiri in Turkey and lived with him temporarily in the Los Angeles area, where he was born and raised. Her sister said the two met over the Internet.
Nezami, a native of Tehran, had a bachelor’s degree in engineering and a master’s in French translation. She wanted a doctorate degree in environmental engineering.
The newlyweds drove from California and found a rental home in November in Michigan. Nezami stayed in touch with family through e-mail, text message and video.
On Dec. 7, she asked her sister to proofread some English-to-Persian translation she was doing on the side.
“I was shocked,” Sara Nezami said. “Sanaz was a very precise girl, but she omitted some lines. I asked, ‘Are you OK?’ She told me there was no problem.”
The next day Sanaz Nezami was rushed to a hospital with severe head injuries and was transferred to Marquette General Hospital. Police believe she was assaulted by her husband, who has been charged with second-degree murder. His attorney, David Gemignani, declined to comment.
“Her brain was so swollen and so damaged, there was no longer any blood flow,” explained Gail Brandly, who supervises nurses at the hospital.
No one knew anything about Nezami, so Brandly ran her name through Google. Suddenly, the stranger who couldn’t speak for herself came alive through a resume posted online.
Nezami was fluent in French, English and Persian. She volunteered to cook for charities. As a teen, she wrote for youth newspapers and magazines and won first place in a 2001 literature competition with an essay on “friendships and the differences between us.”
After about 24 hours, the hospital reached relatives in Iran. Immediate travel to the U.S. was impractical due to visa requirements, so a laptop was set up so the family could see Nezami on life support and talk to nurses and doctors over Yahoo Messenger.
“It isn’t something we’ve done in the past. It’s not every day we’re dealing with family members so far-flung,” said Dave Edwards, spokesman for the hospital.
At one point, Grutt was asked to stroke Nezami’s head and kiss her forehead.
“They wanted us to do things for Sanaz that they would have done,” Grutt said. “They said, ‘Let her know we love her. We’re here.’ I felt completely comfortable.”
Nezami died on Dec. 9, but her critical organs — heart, lungs, kidneys, liver, pancreas and small intestine — could be used by others. With the family’s consent, they were removed and transplanted to seven people. No other details were released.
“The family was very clear. They want Americans to know Sanaz loved America,” said Wendy Mardak of UW-Organ and Tissue Donation, a regional organ donation agency.
Nezami was buried Dec. 18 in a local cemetery. As a light snow fell, the hospital’s chaplain, the Rev. Leon Jarvis, read Muslim prayers over the casket while about 20 people, mostly nurses and others who cared for her, watched.
Jarvis, an Episcopal priest, said he pledged to Nezami’s father that “as long as I draw breath and live in this city, your daughter will never be alone.”
“I’ve never seen anyone so quickly adopted by so many,” Jarvis said. “Considering our season right now, this was an incredible gift by Sanaz, but also a gift from the community as well. It’s realizing the goodness of humanity and what people can do in a real cynical time.”
Obama and the UN have chosen to reduce the sanctions against Iran and basically allow them to continue with their nuclear program despite their unending statements of destroying Israel.
As a result of that, we’ve decided to show you this is independent video which shows a realistic depiction of a nuclear attack on Israel by Iran.
The five-minute video takes place in the year 2013 and tries to simulate the final and worst case scenario of Iran using a nuclear bomb.
This video is FICTIONAL and is based on projections by the United States and Israel that Iran could produce nuclear weapons within a few months.
The film ends with a nuclear explosion in Israel and a mushroom cloud that envelops the characters.
This is a scenario we all hope will never EVER happen..!
Editorial Footnote: Israel is her own worst enemy. And I can assure her leaders of this:
If you barter away even one inch of land. If you negotiate and give-away even one grain of sand..what you see in this video will be your future.
Israel is the blessed, holy land of HaShem. No earthly leader has the right to give it way.
And to any leader who shall do so will bring forth the Wrath of HaShem upon Israel. A wrath greater than any that has been witnessed on this earth thus far.
Our Lord thy G-d will not be mocked.
N O T O N E G R A I N o f S A N D – N O T O N E I N C H o f L A N D
by, Raymond Ibrahim | Islam Translated
The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing “human rights” concerns), some of the war’s worst atrocities were committed against that nation’s Christian minority, most notably in Ma‘loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants still spoke the language of Jesus.
There, among other things, the al-Qaeda-linked jihadis fired mortars and missiles onto at least two ancient churches before looting them; some 80 Christians trying to defend their homes were killed. Others who could not flee were forced on pain of death to convert to Islam.
One man’s last words before being slaughtered by the rebels were: “I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for this, I do not object to it.” A nun involved with humanitarian relief said the man “Is a Martyr in Christ in the full sense of this word, since he was murdered solely because of religious hatred!”
Jihadists reportedly forced one man to convert to Islam at gunpoint and slit the throat of another Christian woman’s fiancé and then [mockingly] told her, “Jesus didn’t come to save him.”…. “I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” the Christian senior told the AFP. One of the shooters, he said, “put a pistol to the head of my neighbor and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’ [Islamic shehada]…Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now.’”
In al-Thawrah, Syria, Christians were also singled out for attack by jihadi invaders. In one incident, they stopped three residents, releasing two who identified themselves as Muslims, while bludgeoning to death the third after identifying himself a Christian (graphic image). They also destroyed the Antiochian Orthodox church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus among other churches.
In Raqqah, a city in northern Syria, the al-Qaeda linked “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant” broke the crosses off the area’s two Christian churches and placed al-Qaeda’s Islamic flags. They also set the contents of the churches—the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of Martyrs—aflame. In one video, a Muslim “freedom fighter” smashed a statue of Virgin Mary to shouts of Islam’s victory cry, “Allahu Akbar!”
These latest attacks come in the context of yet another fatwa appearing in September and issued by 36 Islamic scholars who legitimized “the right of the faithful Sunni Muslims to seize and take possession of goods, homes, property belonging to Christians, Druze and Alawite and members of other religious minorities ‘who do not profess the Sunni religion of the Prophet.’” (Earlier, before the “sex jihad” solved the problem by luring Muslim women from Tunisia and elsewhere to provide their sexual services to jihadis in Syria fighting to make Allah’s word supreme, another fatwapermitted jihadis to rape all non-Sunni women.)
Meanwhile, when publicly asked about the jihadi nature of the rebellion and the fact that the rebels often shout Islam’s supremacist war-cry, Allahu Akbar (such as when firing at Chrisitan churches), John McCain insisted that shouting “Allahu Akbar” is equivalent to a Christian saying “Thank God,” and that the rebels in Syria are “moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates.”
Similarly, when John Kerry was also asked in September about the jihadi and al-Qaeda elements of the Syrian rebels, the U.S. Secretary of State argued that “The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation … more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution”—an assertion that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin openly to call Kerry a liar.
The rest of September’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
Pakistan Church Attack
In Peshawar, Pakistan, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound right after Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing nearly 90 worshippers—including Sunday school children, women, and choir members—and injuring at least another 120. The now destroyed Protestant church was built in Peshawar some 130 years ago. The Taliban claimed the attacks. According to Margrette, a parishioner who survived (though her sister’s status was unknown), “I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church.”
Coptic ‘Dhimmitude’ in Egypt
After the ousting of President Morsi, when the Muslim Brotherhood incited its supporters to attack and destroy over 80 Christian churches, Brotherhood supporters began to extort money from Christians in Upper Egypt. In Dalga village, the 15,000 Christian Copts were forced to pay this jizya—the money, or tribute, that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords “with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued” to safeguard their existence, in the words of Koran 9:29. In some cases, those not able to pay were attacked, their wives and children beaten and/or kidnapped. Some Copts were killed for refusing to pay. Later, authorities identified a gang specializing in overseeing operations to kidnap wealthy Copts in order to earn money.
While being driven in his car, Bishop Anba Makarios of Minya came under a hail of bulletsfrom several unidentified persons. The driver managed to get away, taking the bishop to the home of a local Copt for refuge, but the gunmen followed, surrounded the house and shot at it for over 90 minutes, when local security finally responded. The reason for this assassination attempt was that local Muslims thought the bishop had come to reopen St. Michael’s Church, the only church in the village, which was closed 10 years ago for security reasons.
After Muslims in al-Minya district accused a young man of having an illicit relationship with a Muslim woman, violence, in the context of “collective punishment,” erupted against the village’s Christians. After attacking and plundering the home of the Christian, Muslims, incited by loud-speaker calling them to further action, prowled the streets of the village throwing stones at Coptic homes, calling for revenge, and demanding the burning of their churches, homes, and shops.
Slaughter of Christians
Libya: A group of Muslims surrounded two Egyptian Christians living in Libya, aged 25 and 27, robbed and beat them. Then the Muslims demanded that the two men recite the shehada—“There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is the messenger of Allah”—and convert to Islam. When the two Christians refused, they were tied up, severely beaten, and then shot. Both men died; one had his skull beaten in. No one has been arrested in connection with the killings. The attack marks the third time in two weeks that a Coptic Christian has been robbed and killed in Derna District.
Outside the city of Jos, five Christians, members of the Church of Christ in Nations, traveling in a minibus, were forced out of their vehicle by Islamic gunmen, and, after they declared themselves Christians, were forced to lie down in a ditch and shot in the heads. Two others, including a pregnant woman, were wounded.
In Adu, while Christians were preparing for Sunday morning church services at St. Andrew’s Catholic Church, Islamic tribesmen invaded the Christian village and slaughtered all whom they could find, killing seven members of just one family.
In Dorawa, Islamic militants killed a Christian pastor, his son, and 28 others, and torched their church.
Pakistan: While holding a dagger and shouting that he was killing “an infidel who blasphemed against Muhammad,” a Muslim in Karachi slit the throat of Boota Masih, a 58-year-old Christian man, and then proceeded to stab his body, as police and others looked on. In the words of Masih’s son, George: “We were told that Asif kept shouting that my father was an infidel and had spoken derogatory words against Muhammad [Islam’s prophet] as he mercilessly stabbed him. A large number of people, including four policemen and private security guards of the market, witnessed the entire scene, but no one tried to stop the killer, who walked away waving the dagger in his hand.” According to those close to the slain Christian, his slayer, a business competitor, was jealous of the Christian, and fabricated the blasphemy accuse as a pretext. (Earlier in Pakistan, another Christian man was slaughtered by a group of axe-wielding and envious business competitors.)
Somalia: The Islamic al-Shabaab group killed a 35-year-old Christian woman inside her home. Earlier her husband had found a note saying, “We shall come for you. You are friends with our enemies [Westerners, assumed to be Christians], and you are polluting our religion.” The man fled the area with his 4-year-old child. Separately, al-Shabaab kidnapped a 13-year-old Christian boy as he was returning home from school. His parents had secretly converted to Christianity and believe their son was kidnapped in an effort to find them and other Christians.
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Afghanistan: A member of Afghanistan’s Parliament, Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, suggested that allAfghans who have converted to Christianity should be executed, according to Islamic law, in order to put a check to the growth of Christianity among Afghans, both within and without the country. His exact words: “Afghani citizens continue to convert to Christianity in India. Numerous Afghanis have become Christians in India. This is an offense to Islamic Laws and according to the Quran they need to be executed.”
Iran: The Islamic republic launched a public campaign dedicated to halting the spread of Christianity among Iranians, including by organizing meetings aimed at debating how and why especially Iranian youth are converting, often secretly, to Christianity. Mohabat News reported the government campaign involved meetings aimed at “distorting” public opinion: “It seems great crackdowns on churches and extraordinary waves of arrest of Iranian pastors and Christian converts have not been effective.” In fact, this move comes at a time when at least 13 Christians were detained in the past few weeks, including several beaten and threatened to recant Christianity.
Morocco: In a courtroom hearing, Mohamed el-Baldi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was fined and jailed for “shaking the faith of Muslims.” Preaching Christianity is prohibited under article 220 of the Moroccan penal code. Apparently to make an example of him, although the maximum sentence is six months’ imprisonment, el-Baldi was sentenced to two-and-a-half years. During the hearing, his mother “implored Allah to exact revenge on whoever tampered with her son’s mind,” causing him to convert to and preach Christianity.
[Contempt for and Dehumanization of “Infidels”]
Central African Republic: Heavily armed Islamic rebels from the Seleka organization, reportedly from Sudan, attacked the mission of Our Lady of Fatima in Bouar, assaulting, gagging, and taking hostage an Italian missionary and a deacon. They also plundered the premises stealing among other things money, a computer, camera, and mobile phone.
Indonesia: Islamists in Jakarta demanded the removal of a new political appointee in West Java because she, Susan Jasmine Zulkifli, is a Christian. Among other complaints, her critics said she would not be able to participate in Muslim religious ceremonies and that she should be transferred to a Christian region.
Iraq: The Assyria Council of Europe and the Assyria Foundation released their 2013 Human Rights Report on Assyrians in Iraq, detailing the persecution suffered by the nation’s indigenous Christian minority, including things like forced prostitution.
Philippines: Security forces placed Zamboanga City, a large predominantly Christian port city in the Philippines, in lockdown mode while they pursued a Muslim rebel group accused of launching an air-and-sea strike against the region. According to the Washington Times, “The Muslim group is still believed to be holding 170 hostages from the city, a largely Christian community that’s nestled among a sea of Muslim villages.”
Sudan: Agenzia Fides reports that “There are increasing acts of intimidation against priests and missionaries on behalf of the authorities of Sudan…. In particular, in September four priests were summoned several times by the security services (Sudan National Security Intelligence Agency) in order to be questioned.” After describing one incident, the report concludes, “this episode is just one example of intimidation carried out by the Sudanese authorities against the Catholic Church. Recently, in fact, some church centers were closed, several priests and foreign missionaries were forced to leave the country… There are fears now that the future of the Catholic Church in Sudan is at risk.”
Zanzibar (Tanzania): Catholic priest Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa survived an acid attack in the same area where two other priests were shot by al-Qaeda linked Muslims, “in what was seen as a wider crackdown on devoted Christians… One priest was wounded last year and the other killed in February,” reports BosNewsLife.
About this Series
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions. Accordingly, “Muslim Persecution of Christians” was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, persecution of Christians.
To show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who “offend” Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis, or second-class, “tolerated” citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.
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