Hackers claiming to belong to the Islamic State attacked TV5Monde, a French television network, and knocked it off the air globally. The network broadcasts in more than 200 countries. “Our websites and social media sites are no longer under our control.” — Yves Bigot, Director General, TV5Monde.
“We hate no one. We fight for our freedom and hence we object to totalitarian Islam, but we do not hate Muslims…. I am happy that we in the Netherlands and in Germany are allowed to demonstrate against each other. Without violence. Without hatred.” — Geert Wilders, Dresden, Germany, April 13, 2015.
“I’ve come here [to Syria] to behead infidels. I am ready. At some point, we’ll be in Switzerland.” — Jihadist who has had a Swiss passport since 1995, in a social media message.
by, Soeren Kern | Gatestone Institute
In Austria, a new report from the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt) revealed that 34,070 illegal immigrants arrived in Austria in 2014, a 24% jump over 2013. Most of the migrants came from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and Kosovo. More than half, roughly 20,750 of the migrants, hired smugglers to bring them to Austria; the remainder arrived on their own. More than two-thirds of the migrants arrived from Italy (51.6%) and Hungary (34.4%).
On April 7, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz called on the European Union to launch a military operation against the Islamic State. He also called for a crackdown on so-called foreign fighters in Europe. Kurz said: “We are a militarily neutral country, but in terms of the Islamic State, our position is clear: Humanitarian aid for the victims is necessary, but much more needs to be done.”
Also in April, a 17-year-old girl whose parents sent her to an Asian Muslim country to be married against her will was returned to Austria after she managed to alert the Austrian foreign ministry about her plight. Because of loopholes in the law, the girl’s parents, Muslim immigrants still living in Austria, were not punished.
As a future deterrent, Austrian Justice Minister Wolfgang Brandstätter said the government would ask Parliament to approve an amendment to Section 106a of the Austrian criminal code to stipulate that anyone convicted of coercing someone into marriage could face up to five years in prison. Some 200 Austrian women and girls are subjected to a forced marriage each year.
Meanwhile, a “tolerance survey” found that 65% of Austrians are opposed to a family member converting to Islam, and 64% are opposed to the building of a mosque in their neighborhood.
In Britain, Irfan Chishti, an imam from the Rochdale Council of Mosques, warned that the reach of the Islamic State is spreading “far and fast” throughout the British Muslim community. “No one is immune to it, he said. “The tentacles of ISIS really are spreading so quickly, not just into homes but into palms, via the internet on phones.”
On April 5, the Sunday Timesreported as many as 100 Islamist teachers and teaching assistants could face lifetime bans from working in schools as a result of an investigation into their alleged links to the so-called Trojan Horse scandal. The paper revealed that the National College for Teaching and Leadership (NCTL), the profession’s watchdog that can ban teachers from classrooms, was considering possible disciplinary cases against current and former staff members at schools in Birmingham, where hardline Islamists were attempting to take control of state schools.
In London, a court ruled that a Libyan immigrant, convicted of more than 70 criminal offenses, would be allowed to remain in the UK because he is an alcoholic. The 53-year-old man, who first came to Britain to study aeronautical engineering in 1981, successfully argued that he would face physical punishment and imprisonment in his homeland, where alcohol consumption is illegal. Judge Jonathan Perkins ruled that returning the man to Libya would “expose him to a risk of ill-treatment” and “interfere disproportionately with his private and family life.”
In Birmingham, Mohammed Waqar, 23, and Mohammed Siddique, 60, pleaded not guilty to charges that they had beaten a ten-year-old boy at the Jamia Mosque in Sparkbrook for wrongly reciting the Koran. The two men face up to ten years in prison for the offense of cruelty to a person under 16.
More news about Islam in Britain during April 2015 can be found here.
In Bulgaria, public prosecutors pressed charges against eight Islamists for carrying out subversive activities. All of the defendants were accused of being members of an Islamic extremist group that spread Islamist propaganda, including calls for the establishment of Islamic Sharia law in Bulgaria. The move is part of a broader crackdown on Islamic extremism in the country, where Muslims make up approximately 10% of the total population.
In Denmark, a 23-year-old man from Copenhagen had his passport confiscated after he was suspected of attempting to join the Islamic State in Syria. It was the first use of a new law that came into effect on March 1 that gives police the right to confiscate passports and impose travel bans on Danish citizens suspected of planning to travel to Syria or Iraq to fight.
At least 115 Danes have become foreign fighters in Syria and Iraq since Syria’s civil war broke out in 2011, 19 of whom have been killed, according to the Danish Security and Intelligence Service PET.
In France, Prime Minister Manuel Valls revealed that more than 1,550 French citizens or residents are involved in terrorist networks in Syria and Iraq. The figures have almost tripled since January 2014.
Addressing the National Assembly on April 13, Valls said that a controversial new law aimed at increasing the powers of French intelligence services was needed to prevent another Charlie Hebdo-style of attack in France. The law allows the intelligence services to carry out surveillance activities without first obtaining a judge’s authorization. Valls refuted the idea that the law is the equivalent to a French “Patriot Act.”
An opinion poll published on April 13 found that nearly two-thirds (63%) of French citizens were in favor of restricting civil liberties in order to combat terrorism. Only 33% said they were opposed to having their freedoms reduced, although this number increased significantly among younger respondents.
On April 27, the Justice Ministry said that French police are investigating 125 terrorism cases connected to the conflict in Syria. Most of the cases involve people hoping to help the Islamic State. Of the 166 people who have been taken in for questioning, 113 have been jailed and are awaiting trial. Justice Minister Christiane Taubira toldLe Parisien newspaper that 39 cases have been opened, and 35 people charged, since the beginning of 2015.
On April 22, French police arrested Sid Ahmed Ghlam, a 24-year-old Algerian computer science student who was suspected of planning an attack on Christian churches in Villejuif, a suburb south of Paris. He was arrested after apparently shooting himself by accident. Police found three Kalashnikov assault rifles, handguns, ammunition and bulletproof vests, as well as documents linked to al-Qaeda and Islamic State, in his car and home. Police said Ghlam had expressed a desire to join the Islamic State in Syria.
On April 8, hackers claiming to belong to the Islamic State attacked TV5Monde, a French television network, and knocked it off the air globally. The network broadcasts in more than 200 countries. “We are no longer able to broadcast any of our channels. Our websites and social media sites are no longer under our control and are all displaying claims of responsibility by Islamic State,” the broadcaster’s director general Yves Bigot said. The hackers accused French President François Hollande of having committed “an unforgivable mistake” by joining a US-led military coalition carrying out air strikes against IS positions in Iraq and Syria.
On April 4, the rector of the Grand Mosque of Paris, Dalil Boubakeur, called for the number of mosques in France to be doubled over the next two years. Speaking at a gathering of French Islamic organisations in the Paris suburb of Le Bourget, Boubakeur said that 2,200 mosques are “not enough” for the “seven million Muslims living in France.”
On April 15, a 21-year-old Muslim was arrested after destroying more than 200 gravestones at a Catholic cemetery in Saint-Roch de Castres, a town near Toulouse in southern France. Police said the man was sent to the hospital because he was in a “delusional state and unable to communicate.”
Meanwhile, a 15-year-old Muslim girl in the northeastern town of Charleville-Mezieres wasbanned from class twice for wearing a long black skirt, which the head teacher considered to be a religious symbol and a violation of France’s secularism laws.
In Germany, Dutch politician Geert Wilders addressed a rally of the German grassroots anti-Islamization movement known as PEGIDA in the eastern city of Dresden on April 13. Wilders said that there is “nothing wrong with being proud German patriots. There is nothing wrong with wanting Germany to remain free and democratic. There is nothing wrong with preserving our own Judeo-Christian civilization. That is our duty.” He added:
“Most of the politicians, media, churches and academics are looking away from the threat of Islamization. They are afraid. But you are not.
“We hate no one. We fight for our freedom and hence we object to totalitarian Islam, but we do not hate Muslims. Neither do we hate our political opponents who are protesting here in Dresden against us. I am happy that we in Germany and the Netherlands are allowed to demonstrate against each other. Without violence. Without hatred.”
On April 8, Federal Police Chief Dieter Romann revealed that more than 57,000 people had tried to enter the country illegally in 2014, a 75% jump in comparison to 2013. In addition, police arrested 27,000 people who had managed to enter the country and were living there illegally, a 40% jump. Most of the illegal immigrants were from Afghanistan, Eritrea, Kosovo, Serbia, Somalia and Syria.
On April 22, the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, a center-right think tank based in Berlin,announced the launch of the “Muslimisches Forum Deutschland.” The new forum aims to promote the voices of liberal Muslims in order to counter-balance the influence of conservative Muslim groups in Germany.
On April 30, police in Oberursel, a town near Frankfurt, foiled an alleged Islamic terror attack on a professional cycling race. Authorities detained a 35-year-old Turkish-German man and his 34-year-old Turkish wife. Police were alerted after the man attempted to purchase large amounts of bomb-making materials under a false name. Police said the couple was active in Frankfurt’s Salafist community and were supporters of al-Qaeda.
In Greece, Chatitze Molla Sali, 65-year-old Muslim widow in north-eastern province of Thrace has taken an inheritance dispute to the European Court of Human Rights. After the woman’s husband died in 2008, she was to receive his estate, but his family disputed the inheritance based on Islamic Sharia law.
Although Sali’s won her case in a civil court, Greece’s Supreme Court ruled in 2013 that matters of inheritance involving members of the Muslim minority must be settled by a mufti (Islamic scholar), in accordance with the 1923 Treaty of Lausanne, which allows minority communities in Greece and Turkey to live according to their existing religious customs.
The Greek government is apparently wary of abandoning the Lausanne Treaty for fear of retaliation against the Greek community in Turkey. Sali said: “I was overwhelmed. But I decided to fight and take the matter to the European Court of Human Rights. I’m a Greek citizen and Europe must uphold my rights.”
In Hungary, plans emerged for the construction of a mega-mosque in Budapest. A YouTube video posted by the Turkish government’s Religious Affairs Directorate, the Diyanet, shows an architectural rendition of a sprawling complex that includes a mosque with four towering minarets, a cultural center, a guest house and extensive gardens.
Also in April, controversy erupted over the Hungarian edition of French author Michel Houellebecq’s new novel “Submission,” which has a candidate from the Muslim Brotherhood winning the French presidential elections and introducing Islamic Sharia law in the country. While the cover of the French edition has no images whatsoever, the Hungarian cover shows an image of Mona Lisa covered in an Islamic veil. The French newspaper L’Obs claimed that it is a manifestation of “Islamophobia.”
In Italy, supporters of the Islamic State posted photographs of well-known landmarks in Rome other Italian cities. The pictures included small pieces of paper that included the logo of the Islamic State along with threatening notes. One read: “We are on your streets, we are locating targets.” Another read: “We are waiting for zero hour.”
On April 24, police arrested 10 members of a jihadist cell that was accused of planning terror attacks in Italy, including a possible assassination attempt against the Pope. The cell, comprised of Pakistanis and Afghans, was operating from the island of Sardinia. Among those detained was Sultan Wali Khan, the head of the Islamic community of Olbia, a city in northeastern Sardinia. Police said intelligence intercepts indicated that Khan had been in regular contact with two Pakistani suicide bombers who were believed to have made their way to Rome. At least eight members of the cell remain at large.
Meanwhile, police in Sicily arrested 15 Muslim immigrants from the Ivory Coast, Mali and Senegal for allegedly throwing 12 fellow passengers into the Mediterranean Sea during a voyage from Libya to Italy on the night of April 14. The victims were murdered because they were Christians. The men are being charged with homicide “aggravated by religious hatred.”
In the Netherlands, a group of Muslim parents are suing the Dutch government for failing to prevent their children from travelling to Syria to join the Islamic State. The lawsuit is being initiated by Mohamed Nidalha, a Moroccan immigrant living in Leiden, whose Dutch-born son Reda is now in the Syrian city of Raqqa, the de facto capital of the Islamic State.
In an interview with Radio West, Nidalha said he went to the police asking for help, but they told him they could do nothing because Reda, who is now 20 years old, was an adult when he decided to travel to Syria last summer.
According to Nidalha, Reda was radicalized through the Internet, where he came into contact with jihadist recruiter aptly named Abu Jihad. In a phone call, Reda told his sister that he travelled to Syria to “help small children and raped women.”
Nidalha said he decided to file the lawsuit after Turkish police arrested a 27-year-old Dutch woman from Leiden in early April who was allegedly attempting to travel to Syria. Turkish authorities said the woman, identified only as Monique S., was arrested at a hotel in Antalya, where she was waiting to be taken to Syria. Based on an Interpol arrest warrant, Turkey sent the woman back to the Netherlands. According to Nidalha, there is a double standard at play because Monique was returned to the Netherlands but Reda was not.
Meanwhile, a 23-year-old jihadist from Amsterdam named Omar H. was reportedly killed on the battlefield in northern Syria. He had slipped out of the Netherlands in late 2014. The Islamic State congratulated Omar’s parents over the death of their son. Another Dutch jihadi said: “Omar has become a martyr, just like he had hoped. It sounds cruel, but I am glad for him and his family.”
In Norway, the Dagbladet newspaper on April 23 reported that an Islamic State fighter who was filmed beheading a man in the Syrian city of Raqqa is a Norwegian who goes by the name Abu Shahrazaad al-Narwegi (Arabic for the Norwegian). The victim was a former Sharia judge who had tried to escape from the Islamic State and settle in Qatar. Norwegian police estimatethat more than 140 Norwegians have joined the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
In Spain, police in the northeastern Spanish region of Catalonia arrested eleven members of a jihadist cell that was planning to behead a random person in Barcelona. The cell, which prosecutors say was actively recruiting jihadists for the Islamic State, is also accused of planning to bomb public and private buildings in Catalonia, including a Jewish bookstore in Barcelona.
The cell — known as the Islamic Brotherhood for the Preaching of Jihad — was broken up on April 8, when more than 350 police officers conducted seven raids in five Catalan municipalities. According to police, the cell’s primary objective was to show that terrorist attacks such as those perpetrated by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria could be carried out in the West.
In Switzerland, a 25-year-old man became the first suspected Swiss jihadist to be prevented from travelling abroad when he was arrested at Zurich airport on April 7 before boarding a flight to Turkey. The individual, whose identity has not been made public, was released on April 20. He has been banned from travelling and has had his passport and ID confiscated.
According to the Swiss Federal Intelligence Service, there have been 55 known cases of people leaving Switzerland between 2001 and September 2014 to fight in jihadist conflicts — including 35 just since May 2013. Of the total, 31 went to Iraq or Syria, while 24 went to Pakistan, Afghanistan, Yemen and Somalia.
On April 18, a 21-year-old Swiss-Turkish jihadist who was holding his wife and child “hostage” in Syria released them near the town of Reyhanli, on the Syrian-Turkish border. The woman, a German national who converted to Islam, followed the man to Turkey in October 2014 thinking that the couple would be vacationing there. Once in Turkey, however, the husband took the woman to the Idlib region of Syria and held here there against her will. The child was born in March.
The woman’s plight came to light in early March, when Swiss public television’s Rundschau news program aired an audio clip from the woman saying: “I want to go home. Please help me.”
The Swiss Federal Prosecutor’s Office said the man, who has had a Swiss passport since 1995, joined the al-Nusra Front, a branch of al-Qaeda operating in Syria and Lebanon. In a social media message, he wrote: “I’ve come here [to Syria] to behead infidels. I am ready. At some point we’ll be in Switzerland.”
by, Dennis Prager | Town Hall
What do anti-Semitism, racism and Islamophobia have in common?
In fact, nothing.
But according to Islamist groups, Western media and the United Nations, they have everything in common. Anti-Semites hate all Jews, racists hate all members of another race, and Islamophobes hates all Muslims.
Whoever coined the term “Islamophobia” was quite shrewd. Notice the intellectual sleight of hand here. The term is not “Muslim-phobia” or “anti-Muslimist,” it is Islam-ophobia — fear of Islam — yet fear of Islam is in no way the same as hatred of all Muslims. One can rightly or wrongly fear Islam, or more usually, aspects of Islam, and have absolutely no bias against all Muslims, let alone be a racist.
The equation of Islamophobia with racism is particularly dishonest. Muslims come in every racial group, and Islam has nothing to do with race. Nevertheless, mainstream Western media, Islamist groups calling themselves Muslim civil liberties groups and various Western organizations repeatedly declare that Islamophobia is racism.
To cite three of innumerable examples: The Guardian published an opinion piece titled, “Islamophobia should be as unacceptable as racism”; the European Union has established the European Monitoring Center for Racism and Xenophobia; and the B’nai B’rith Anti-Defamation Commission of Australia notes that “Muslims have also been the target of racism in Australia, often referred to as Islamophobia.”
Even granting that there are people who fear Islam, how does that in any way correlate with racism? If fear of an ideology rendered one racist, all those who fear conservatism or liberalism should be considered racist.
Of course, some may argue that whereas conservatism and liberalism are ideas, Islam is a religion, and while one can attack ideas, one must not attack religions. It is, however, quite insulting to religions to deny that they are ideas. Religions are certainly more than ideas — they are theological belief systems — but they are also ideas about how society should be run just as much as liberalism and conservatism are. Therefore, Islam, or Christianity, or Judaism, or Buddhism should be just as subject to criticism as conservatism or liberalism.
However, the only religion the West permits criticism of is Christianity. People write books, give lectures and conduct seminars on the falsity of Christian claims, or on the immoral record of Christianity, and no one attacks them for racism or bigotry, let alone attacks them physically. The head of the Anti-Defamation League announces that conservative Christians are the greatest threat to America today, and no one charges him with racism or Christianophobia.
The statement may be an expression of hysteria and of ignorance, but not of racism. But if one says that Islam does not appear compatible with democracy or that the Islamic treatment of women is inferior to the West’s, he or she is labeled a racist Islamophobe.
One might counter that maligning people for criticism is not only true of those who criticize Islam, it is also true of critics of Israel and of America — the former, it is said, are immediately labeled “anti-Semitic” and the latter are immediately labeled “unpatriotic.” Neither is true at all. Both are, and I use this word rarely, lies.
No one is labeled anti-Semitic for merely criticizing Israel. People are labeled anti-Semitic for denying Israel’s right to exist, for siding with those who wish to exterminate it or for singling out the Jewish state alone among all the nations of the world for attacks that most other countries deserve far more.
And no one in any responsible capacity has called anyone “unpatriotic” just for criticizing America. Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed during the last Democratic presidential debate that the Defense Department called her “unpatriotic” for asking whether the Defense Department has a plan to withdraw American troops from Iraq. Yet the term “unpatriotic” was not only not used in the response to the senator, it was not even hinted at.
The fact remains that the term “Islamophobia” has one purpose — to suppress any criticism, legitimate or not, of Islam. And given the cowardice of the Western media, and the collusion of the left in banning any such criticism (while piling it on Christianity and Christians), it is working.
Latest proof: This past week a man in New York was charged with two felonies for what is being labeled the hate crime of putting a Koran in a toilet at Pace College. Not misdemeanors, mind you, felonies. Meanwhile, the man who put a crucifix in a jar of urine continues to have his artwork — “Piss Christ” — displayed at galleries and museums. A Koran in a toilet is a hate crime; a crucifix in pee is a work of art. Thanks in part to that brilliant term, “Islamophobia.”
Video courtesy of: CAIRtv
The outline below contains the answers to the very questions Muhammad did not want his followers to know. Namely that Islam is a sanitized version of ancient polytheistic moon worship which he invented to exercise military control.
by, Sanjay Rai | h/t John Tanguay
Does the Qur’an define the word “Allah”? No.
Was the name “Allah” revealed for the first time in the Qur’an? No
Does the Qur’an assume that its readers have already heard of “Allah”? Yes
Should we look into pre-Islamic Arabian history to see who “Allah” was before Muhammad? Yes.
According to Muslim tradition, was Muhammad born into a Christian family and tribe? No
Was he born into a Jewish family or tribe? No
What religion was his family and tribe? Pagans
What was the name of his pagan father? Abdullah (Abd + Allah)
Did Muhammad participate in the pagan ceremonies of Mecca? Yes
Did the Arabs in pre-Islamic times worship 360 gods? Yes
Did the Pagan Arabs worship the sun, moon and the stars? Yes
Did the Arabs build temples to the Moon-god? Yes
Did different Arab tribes give the Moon-god different names/titles? Yes
What were some of the names/titles? Sin, Hubul, Ilumquh, Al-ilah.
Was the title “al-ilah” (the god) used of the Moon-god? Yes
Was the word “Allah” derived from “al-ilah?” Yes
Was the pagan “Allah” a high god in a pantheon of deities? Yes.
Was he worshipped at the Kabah? Yes.
Was Allah only one of many Meccan gods? Yes
Did they place a statue of Hubul on top of the Kabah? Yes.
At that time was Hubul considered the Moon-god? Yes.
Was the Kabah thus the “house of the Moon-god”? Yes.
Did the name “Allah” eventually replace that of Hubul as the name of the Moon god? Yes.
Did they call the Kabah the “house of Allah”? Yes
Did the pagans develop religious rites in connection with the worship of their gods? Yes.
Did the pagans practice the Pilgrimage, the Fast of Ramadan, running around the Kabah seven times, kissing the black stone, shaving the head, animal sacrifices, running up and down two hills, throwing stones at the devil, snorting water in and out the nose, praying several times a day toward Mecca, giving alms, Friday prayers, etc.? Yes.
Did Muhammad command his followers to participate in these pagan ceremonies while the pagans were still in control of Mecca? Yes (Yusuf Ali, fn. 214, pg. 78).
Did Islam go on to adopt these pagan religious rites? Yes. (Yusuf Ali: fn. 223 pg. 80).
Were al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat called “the daughters of Allah”? Yes.
Did the Qur’an at one point tell Muslims to worship al-Lat, al-Uzza and Manat? Yes. In Surah 53:19-20.
Have those verses been “abrogated” out of the present Qur’an? Yes.
What were they called? “The Satanic Verses.” Yes.
Was the crescent moon an ancient pagan symbol of the Moon-god throughout the ancient world? Yes.
Was it the religious symbol of the Moon-god in Arabia? Yes
Were stars also used as pagan symbols of the daughers of Allah? Yes
Did the Jews or the Christians of Arabia use the crescent moon with several stars next to it as symbols of their faith? No
Did Islam adopt the pagan crescent moon and stars as it religious symbol? Yes.
As Islam developed over the centuries, did it adopt pagan names, pagan ceremonies, pagan temples and pagan symbols? Yes
Is it possible that most Muslims do not know the pagan sources of the symbols and rites of their own religion? Yes.
Are they shocked to find out the true sources of their ceremonies and stories? Yes
Can Islam be the religion of Abraham if it is derived from paganism? No
What then is Islam? A modern version of one of the ancient fertility cults.
Is the “Allah” of the Qur’an, the Christian God of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit? No
Do the Jews say that the Muslim “Allah” is their God too? No
Then who’s god is Allah? Paganism.
– Sanjay Rai
ISIS Threatens to Declare War on Hamas
by, Cynthia Blank | Arutz Sheva
Tensions between terror organizations Islamic State in Iraq and Syria and Hamas in Gaza have intensified in recent days, Maariv reported on Wednesday.
Clashes apparently spiraled after Hamas demolished a mosque used by members of the Salafist organization called “Islamic State Supporters in Beit Al-Maqdis” as well as arrested nearly 40 of its members.
Reportedly, Hamas arrested the dozens of Salafists as well as several prominent Islamic State preachers in Gaza, following the Islamic State takeover of Palestinian refugee camp Yarmouk, near Damascus.
“After ISIS beheaded several Palestinian, including a senior Hamas official,” inside the camp in April, the International Business Times reported, “the Palestinian Intelligence agency swore that it would avenge the killing of its personnel.”
In response, the ISIS-affiliated group in the Hamas-controlled coastal enclave called Hamas “worse than the Jewish and American occupiers” and issued a proclamation on Monday giving Hamas 72 hours to release its detained members.
If not, the “ISIS Supporters in Beit Al-Maqdis” asserted they would kill, one by one, all of Hamas’ personnel.
Claiming it has data on all the names and addresses of those working for the Palestinian Intelligence Agency, the pro-ISIS group in Gaza went on to accuse Hamas of working for Israeli forces.
Despite concern of an escalation, Hamas has tried to reassure the Gazan public that the security situation is stable. “Residents can tour Gaza without need of a weapon from Rafah to Beit Hanoun,” Interior Ministry spokesman Iyad al-Bazam wrote on his Facebook page.
– – –
Report: ISIS Mobilizing in Gaza
by, Uzi Baruch | Arutz Sheva
Palestinian Authority (PA) security officials have warned that Islamic State is acting to mobilize in Gaza to serve as an extension of its activities in the Sinai Peninsula.
Journalist Gal Berger reports that the PA knows of eight extremist Salafi groups operating in Gaza in recent years with several hundred members total.
Many of these are former Hamas members who left the organization after it decided to participate in PA “elections” and to integrate into the Palestinian government.
Salafi activity is being compartmentalized into different roles in Gaza and funding is allegedly coming from within.
Hamas sources stated that there are several dozens of Salafi activists who have pledged sole allegiance to ISIS, but added that they “do not pose a serious threat” to stability in the region.
Berger noted that a senior member of the Salafi movement in Gaza, named as Adnan Mitt, was arrested last month. Mitt is a former Hamasmember.
Last week, sources stated to Maariv that ISIS is threatening to declare war on Hamas and take over Gaza from within.
‘..He may have violated the Muslim-ordained prohibition against a Jew uttering a prayer to G-d..’
by, The Jewish Press | h/t Glen Roberts @ Trop
Jerusalem police Sunday morning arrested a young man who ascended the Temple Mount allegedly prayed there before his wedding at night.
The Honenu legal defense organization said one of its lawyers is at the police station and trying to win the release of the man.
The Israeli government accepted the Muslim Waqf authority on the Temple Mount. The Waqf forbids Jews and Christians from carrying any religious items to the holy site, and it goes berserk when one of its guards sees a Jew even moving his lips and possibly uttering a prayer to God.
It is not known exactly what the groom allegedly said.
The Chief Rabbinate of Israel prohibits Jews from ascending the Temple Mount on the basis of Halachic rulings, but many rabbis in recent years have permitted and even encouraged going to certain areas after the traditional immersion in a ritual bath.
Last week, a groom identified as Michael Basus visited the holy site before his wedding and stopped long enough to speak at the Grooms and Mourners Gate to talk about Judaism.
The Talmud relates a discussion of how Jews in the time of the Holy Temples comforted mourners and praise the grooms.
Below is the video, in Hebrew, of Basus and his friends on the way to the Temple Mount, under police guard.
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
The ignorance of this story speaks for itself. One would think that the Israeli government would be the last one to be persecuting Jews on the Temple Mount. Arresting a Jew for praying at the holiest site in Judaism.
Although, I am equally dismayed, if not more so, at the ‘Rules for Commenting’ on the “Jewish Press” website.
Here is a screen-shot of the rules. (Please read them carefully…)
Do you see what I see?
They begin by refraining; ‘..We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website..’
Okay.. I get that. The name of the site kinda’ gave it away…
Then, they go on to state; ‘..If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked..’
Whoa.. what was that?
‘..foreign religions, gods or messiahs..’ [‘..your permission to comment may be revoked..’]
What the hell does that mean?
Are they saying.. if a person is Jewish and happens to believe in the Messiah..they are less of a Jew?
Because, if that is what they are saying.. that sounds a lot like religious supremacy, intolerance and bigotry to me.
Please, correct me if I am wrong.. but, that’s what it sounds like.
I mean, let’s not let historical fact (ie. truth) get in the way of our narrative.
‘..unless you believe exactly what ‘we’ do..you are not allowed to comment..’
Sounds like Nazism..
Well, here at ‘sharia unveiled’ ..we do not believe in sourcing sites that are operated by intolerant religious bigots.
Therefore, we will NOT be sourcing the Nazi Press.. uh, I mean.. the ‘Jewish Press’ in the future.
And might I recommend, the staff at the Jewish Press try reading Torah for once, with a focus on Micah.
And something else just occurred to me..
The ‘staff’ at this ‘..religious Jewish website..’ spelled out the name of G-d. Check it out at our “source” link below. We took out the “o” in the subtitle here on our site.. but “they” didn’t.
That is ABSOLUTELY FORBIDDEN in Judaism. Under NO CIRCUMSTANCE are you to ever spell out the full name of G-d.
So, in addition to being intolerant religious bigots at the ‘Jewish Press’ who know nothing of Torah and historical truth.. they are also hypocrites that disavow the most sacred tenets of Judaism.
Perhaps ‘they’ shouldn’t be commenting on their site.
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
The Islamic State in the United States (ISUS), the North American affiliate of the Syrian based terrorist organization ‘ISIS’ has issued a multi-faceted press release.
The statement begins with the Arabic/English transliterated heading: ‘..Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem..’ which translates as; ‘..In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful..’ and is entitled: “The New Era.”
The author, Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki (Abu Ibrahim ‘the American’) is obviously addressing the Muslims in the United States with his message that begins with a death threat towards Pamela Geller, a renowned American freedom fighter and defender of human rights.
Ms. Geller, the primary intended target in the recent Muslim terrorist attack in Garland, Texas is best known for her fearless defense of constitutional liberty and her relentless defense of the persecuted, from all faiths. Her courage of conviction in the face of adversity is what makes her the true leader that she is in the counter-jihad movement today. Unfortunately, it’s these same qualities that place her at the top of Islamic terrorist hit-lists. As the saying goes.. ‘..if you’re not catching flak, you’re not over the target..’ Well, Ms. Geller lives each day directly over the target.
The statement goes on to mention that ISIS currently has at least 71 trained terrorists inside the United States, in 15 different states. Five of the fifteen states listed are as follows: Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The writer of the document proclaims; ‘..23 of the 71 fighters are currently assigned future missions [terrorist attacks] and are just awaiting the order to strike.
Here is the statement in it’s Original form:
Bismillah Ar Rahman Ar Raheem
“The New Era”
To our brothers and sisters fighting for the Sake of Allah, we make dua for you and ask Allah to guide your bullets, terrify your enemies, and establish you in the Land. As our noble brother in the Phillipines said in his bayah, “This is the Golden Era, everyone who believes… is running for Shaheed”.
The attack by the Islamic State in America is only the beginning of our efforts to establish a wiliyah in the heart of our enemy. Our aim was the khanzeer Pamela Geller and to show her that we don’t care what land she hides in or what sky shields her; we will send all our Lions to achieve her slaughter. This will heal the hearts of our brothers and disperse the ones behind her. To those who protect her: this will be your only warning of housing this woman and her circus show. Everyone who houses her events, gives her a platform to spill her filth are legitimate targets. We have been watching closely who was present at this event and the shooter of our brothers. We knew that the target was protected. Our intention was to show how easy we give our lives for the Sake of Allah.
We have 71 trained soldiers in 15 different states ready at our word to attack any target we desire. Out of the 71 trained soldiers 23 have signed up for missions like Sunday, We are increasing in number bithnillah. Of the 15 states, 5 we will name… Virginia, Maryland, Illinois, California, and Michigan. The disbelievers who shot our brothers think that you killed someone untrained, nay, they gave you their bodies in plain view because we were watching.
The next six months will be interesting, To our Amir Al Mu’mineen make dua for us and continue your reign, May Allah enoble your face.
May Allah send His peace and blessings upon our Prophet Muhummad and all those who follow until the last Day.
Abu Ibrahim Al Ameriki
The Original document can be seen HERE.
by, Rabbi Jonathan Cahn | CharismaNews
Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, The New York Times best-selling author of The Harbinger andThe Mystery of the Shemitah, addressed the United Nations on Friday about the worsening persecution of Christians in the Middle East and other parts of the world.
Cahn, the senior rabbi at the Beth Israel Worship Center in Wayne, New Jersey, was invited along with other Jewish and Christian leaders, businessmen and high-ranking military officials, to speak at the conference entitled, “The Persecution of Christians Globally: A Threat to International Peace and Security.”
Here is the text of Cahn’s speech:
The Cries of the Messiah
It is April, 2015. Seventy years ago, this spring, the concentration camps of the Third Reich were liberated. In their liberation, the allies forced the nearby townsfolk to walk through the camps to face the unimaginable depths of horror that Nazism had led to.
But for most of those who lived in those towns by the camps and, for that matter, throughout Germany, it was not unexpected. It was well-known that the Jews were being hunted down and taken in cattle cars to concentration camps where horror and likely death awaited them. They knew it, but did nothing to stop it. They themselves weren’t in danger. Why should they have risked their comfort, their safety, their well-being for those who were?
But when they walked through those camps in the spring of 1945 they were forced to not only to confront the evil of Hitler and the evil of Nazism—but the evil of their own. For in the end, it was their guilt that was the critical and decisive factor. Without their silent complicity, without their sin of omission and self-interest, the mass murder of six million Jewish men, women and children, could never have taken place.
In 1964, in the city in which this gathering has convened, a young woman named Kitty Genovese was approaching her apartment door when she was attacked by a man wielding a knife. The young woman was brutalized over the course of approximately one half-hour. At least 12 people heard her screams or saw parts of the attack during those 30 minutes. But the majority did nothing to help her.
Some weren’t sure what the screams outside their closed windows were. But they never bothered to find out. It was cold outside and they were comfortable inside the warmth of their apartments. One neighbor, who actually saw the attack pondered whether he should even bother to ask another neighbor to call the police. His explanation, “I didn’t want to get involved.” As a result of the bystanders of this city, the life of Kitty Genovese was violently snuffed outside her apartment door.
And now as we meet in the city of the bystanders of that crime, another crime is taking place outside our closed windows. Seventy years after the bystanders of Nazi Germany walked through the death camps of the holocaust, another stream of victims are being led to their deaths.
Again it involves a satanic evil of hatred, violence, and sadistic cruelty. And again it involves an innocent people marked for destruction—the followers of Jesus, known throughout the world as “Christians,” those who are taught, when struck, to turn the other cheek, when cursed, to bless, and when persecuted, to forgive those who oppress them. These constitute, by far, the most persecuted religious group on earth, oppressed, afflicted, hunted down and killed—men, women and children—the sacrificial lambs of the modern world.
We meet in the world’s most revered gathering place of nations. And as kings, leaders, ambassadors and delegates convene here to discuss international issues, within the borders of over 60 of those nations, Christians are being persecuted by their own governments or by those in whose midst they live—from North Korea, to Iran, to Afghanistan, to Syria, Nigeria, Iraq, Pakistan, Vietnam and Indonesia, and many, many more. In North Korea, Christians are imprisoned, sent to labor camps, tortured, and killed, for the crime of owning a Bible. In Nigeria entire Christian village populations have been massacred. In Orissa India, 70,000 Christians have been forced to flee their homes. In Syria, 80,000 Christians have been quote ‘cleansed’ from their homes.” In Indonesia, Muslims have put 10,000 Christians to death.
And now, after almost 2,000 years, some of the most ancient Christian communities, from the Copts of Egypt, to the Nestorians and Assyrian believers of Syria, to the Chaldean and Assyrian believers of Iraq are in danger of extermination, genocide. As the evil of Isis and its allies sweeps across the Middle East, an ancient civilization is being annihilated, its people perishing, crucified, decapitated and buried alive in their ancestral soil. The Vicar of Baghdad recounted this year how Isis ordered four Christian children to renounce Jesus and follow Mohammed. “No,” they said, “We love Yeshua … He has always been with us.” These were the last words the children ever spoke on this earth as Isis beheaded them.
We hear the accounts of the early Christians being led into Roman arenas to be torn apart by wild beasts. And we ponder how savage and barbaric those days were. We wonder what we would have done had we been there. If we had lived in those days and could have saved the lives of the innocent, would we have saved them?
But the truth is we do live in those days. More Christians have been persecuted, brutalized and killed in the modern age, than in any other. Every year, tens of thousands of Christians are dehumanized, tortured or killed, and over 100 million Christians live under the darkness of persecution. It is the modern age that holds the most savage and barbaric of days. And what are we doing as Christians are being led away to be devoured?
This very body, the United Nations, adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights which declares that everyone has the right to “manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship, and observance.”
In the World Summit Outcome Document of September 2005, paragraph 139, the United Nations declared that the international community has the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, ethnic cleansing, and crimes against humanity. So the question must be asked, ‘Where are all the resolutions?’ “Where are all the troops?’ ‘Where are all the actions taken to protect the most persecuted people on earth?’ ‘And where’s the universal outcry?’ It’s a strange and immoral silence, the same strange and immoral silence that allowed 6 million Jews to be delivered to their deaths.
We must not repeat the mistake of the last century. Evil never stays put. The same darkness that destroyed 6 million Jewish lives would end up destroying over 60 million lives throughout the world. The evil that first warred against the Jewish people was a harbinger of what would soon overcome the earth.
In the days when coal miners were dying of black lung disease, an answer was found in the caged canary. The canary was brought deep into the mines. If it grew sick and died, it would be the sign and the alarm that the air inside the mine was toxic. What happened to the caged canary was a harbinger of danger.
The persecuted Christian is the caged canary of the modern world. The Christian is the first target of evil, and so the sign and the alarm of a toxic evil in the world and a growing danger. And if we don’t deal with that evil when it targets others on distant shores, we will surely deal with it when it targets us on our own shores.
No civilization can call itself moral if it fails to defend its most defenseless against that which seeks to devour them. No nation can call itself good if it sits back and does nothing of effect as the forces of evil murder the innocent. And no people can call themselves “Christian” if they watch passively on the sidelines as those who share the name of Messiah are oppressed and killed for their faith.
If our faith consists of how comfortable and prosperous God can make us in this world, as we deafen our ears to the cries of those who are in this world neither comfortable nor prosperous, our brothers and sisters imprisoned and tortured for their faith, how can we bear the name “Christian?” On the Day of Judgment we will be asked, “Why did you do nothing to save them?” And what will our answer be?
It is written in the book of Hebrews, “Remember those who are in chains as in chains with them.” So as we sit on our couches in front of our television sets in our air-conditioned homes, are we remembering our brothers who sit on the stone floors of prison camps as they suffer for their faith? They would say to us now, “Do not forget us in our suffering.” “Remember us.” “Remember us as our enemies come to take our lives.” “Do not forget that we once lived and that we once gave our lives for our faith and His namesake.”
We cannot forget them. We must remember them. And we must help them.
What would you do if in your neighborhood, a band of criminals had taken over the house next door and were holding your neighbors hostage? What if every day, they oppressed them, humiliated them, beat them, abused them, tortured them and began planning their deaths, father, mother and children?
What if through your windows at night you could hear their muted screams for help, but did nothing? You didn’t try to save them yourself. You didn’t tell your other neighbors and gather them together to help. You didn’t even bother to call the police. In the end, how would you be judged? The answer is unavoidable: You would be judged as guilty, as immoral; you would be judged as evil.
And what if they didn’t live next door, but down the block. What if they lived a town away, a nation away, or an ocean away? Would it make any difference? Does geography in any way alter or lessen the charge and requirement of morality? It does not. So if men, women and children, across the world are now being held captive, beaten, tortured and put in danger of death, and we know about it, if we hear their distant screams, but choose to do nothing, then how will we, in the end, be judged? We will be judged likewise as guilty and immoral. We will be judged as evil.
It is written that on the Day of Judgment, we will be either upheld or condemned by the good or bad we did or did not do to God, to Messiah. And when we ask Him, “When was it that did we do good to You?” Or “When was it that we sinned against You?” He will answer, “When you did it to the least of these my brothers, you did it to Me.”
Therefore, if we refuse to get involved and help these, the least of His brothers, what are we doing? We are refusing to help the Messiah. If we turn a deaf ear to their cries, we are turning a deaf ear to the cries of the Messiah.
And on that day, He will say to us, “When my village was burned down in Nigeria, why did you do nothing to help Me? When I was imprisoned inside a labor camp in North Korea, why did you forgot Me? When Isis came to kill my family, why did you not help us? And when I was tortured, when I was beheaded, when I was buried alive, when I was crucified, why did you ignore my cries for your help? Why did you let Me perish? Now depart from me, for I never knew you.”
When that day comes, let it not be said of us that we heard the cries of God and did nothing to help Him. In the time it takes us to hold this session more people will be brutalized, more lives snuffed out. If it was your family about to be destroyed, if it was your life about to be taken, if it was your little child about to be beheaded, and others could have helped but chose not to, what would you think? Then let us do the only right and moral thing we can do. As it is written in the Scriptures: “Deliver those who are being delivered to death.”
Do not go down in the annals of history and in the judgment of God as the bystander who saw the evil but did nothing to stop it, who heard the screams of the Kitty Genoveses of this world but chose to let them die outside your door, who watched the cattle cars deliver the innocent to their deaths but chose to stay silent. Do not be guilty of another holocaust.
Open up your windows and hear their cries. Open up your doors and step outside your dwelling. Open up your heart and your life and do whatever you have to do to save them. Messiah is screaming! Messiah is being buried alive! Messiah is being beheaded. Messiah is being crucified … again! Save Him! Save the Messiah! Deliver those who are being delivered to death! For God’s sake … do the right thing! Thank you.
by, Todd Starnes | FNC
A pair of would-be jihadists learned a very important lesson over the weekend – in America, we shoot back.
The men, believed to be radicalized roommates from Phoenix, tried to launch an attack on a gathering of freedom-lovers in of all places – the Lone Star State. It would turn out to be a most unfortunate decision.
‘..The cold hard reality is that we don’t know how many more radicalized Muslims might be living among us – waiting to wage jihad..’
It turned out those practicing their First Amendment rights were protected by those practicing their Second Amendment rights. Within a matter of moments – the jihadists were quickly dispatched to the Hereafter thanks to a straight-shooting traffic cop.
Authorities have yet to categorize it as a terrorist attack, but one thing is clear. Police thwarted what could have been an unprecedented massacre on American soil.
The intended target was a contest for cartoons depicting the Prophet Muhammad, hosted by the American Freedom Defense Initiative. Among the speakers were AFDI president Pamela Geller and Geert Wilders, a Dutch lawmaker known for his criticism of radical Islam.
Now, you may not agree with Miss Geller’s tactics. Some might accuse her of poking a bear – and that may very well be true.
But Miss Geller does have Constitutional right to poke the bear. She does have a Constitutional right to free speech. And those who disagree with her have a Constitutional right to disagree.
But they do not have a constitutional right to gun down those who might say or write or draw something that disparages the Prophet Muhammad.
And we should be alarmed at the growing number of pundits and talking heads who are blaming Miss Geller for the attempted terrorist attack.
“Free speech aside, why would anyone do something as provocative as hosting a ‘Muhammad drawing contest,’” New York Times reporter Rukmini Callimachi tweeted.
“Freedom of speech does not extend to insulting the Messenger Muhammad (saw) & hence provoking the anger of ¼ of the world,” tweeted British political activist Anjem Choudary.
He went on to call Geller and Wilders and the American Freedom Defense Initiative “enemies of Islam and Muslims.”
Fox News contributor Katie Pavlich rightly called Choudary an “enemy to human kind.” Amen, sister.
The idea that Ms. Geller is somehow responsible for what happened is absurd.
“The gunmen are fighting against freedom of speech,” she told “Fox & Friends.” “The First Amendment protects all speech – not just ideas that we like – but most particularly political speech. Who would decide what is good and what is forbidden? The Islamic State? Muslim Brotherhood groups? This is the key issue of our age.”
Aside from a brief mention in a press gaggle, the White House has been curiously quiet about the attack. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal called on the president to publicly condemn “radical Islam.”
“The truth of the matter is that even though President Obama will not admit it – Islam has a problem, and it is called radical Islam,” Jindal said in a statement. “And the proponents of radical Islam hate our First Amendment, they hate freedom of speech and they want to destroy it and us.”
Jindal also called on Muslim leaders to condemn the violence. He said it’s time for them to step up and “declare that perpetrators of such violence are the enemy, they are wrong, and they will not be rewarded in the afterlife.”
The cold hard reality is that we don’t know how many more radicalized Muslims might be living among us – waiting to wage jihad. Wilders sounded the alarm last week in Washington, D.C.
“I’m warning America,” he said. “Don’t think that what’s happening in Europe today, will not happen in America tomorrow – because it will.”
And it did.
– – –
by, J. Schuyler Montague | sharia unveiled
Can you say.. ‘Body Bag’ ..bit*ch’s?
When looking at the picture above, I could not help but notice how closely those body bags resemble the ‘..body bags..’ that they force their women to wear every day…
Just an observation of irony.
Perhaps when you subjugate your own women and force them to wear ‘..body bags..’ while on this earth..you find yourself leaving this earth in one of your own.
Okay.. so let’s go to the scorecards, shall we…
And the survey says..
Karma can be a bit*ch, huh?
100 Years of Denial – We Know the Truth!
- In 1915 the rulers of the Ottoman empire turned their hatred on Armenians
- The Young Turks persecution of the minority turned to unbridled savagery
- Modern Turkey faces disgust over refusal to admit the historic genocide
by, Tony Rennell | Daily Mail
She was in bed when the soldiers came in the middle of the night and dragged her father out of the family home in Diyarbakir, a city in eastern Turkey.
The last thing little Aghavni (her name means ‘dove’ in her native Armenian) heard as she cowered in her room was his shout of defiance: ‘I was born a Christian and I will die a Christian.’
Not until first light did Aghavni dare to creep downstairs on that morning 100 years ago. ‘I saw an object sticking through the front door,’ she later remembered. ‘I pushed it open and there lay two horseshoes nailed to two feet.
‘My eyes followed up to the blood-covered ankles, the disjointed knees, the mound of blood where the genitals had been, to a long laceration through the abdomen to the chest.
‘I came to the hands, which were nailed horizontally on a board with big spikes of iron, like a cross. The shoulders were remarkably clean and white, but there was no head.
‘This was lying on the steps, propped up by the nose. I recognised the neatly trimmed beard along the cheekbones. It was my father.’
Pictured above: A Turkish Muslim teases starving Armenian Christian children with a piece of bread.
The year was 1915. In the sprawling, beleaguered Ottoman Empire — an ally of the German Kaiser in the world war that had engulfed Europe and parts of Asia for nine months — the ruling Turks had turned their hatred on the 2 million men, women and children of Armenian extraction who lived within their borders.
The Armenians — who lived on the eastern edge of the empire ruled from Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul) — were Christians and had been since the year 301, making theirs the first nation officially to adopt Christianity, even before Rome.
But here, among the Islamic Turks, they had long been second-class citizens, a persecuted minority. Now, as power in the land was seized by a junta of nationalist officers known as the Young Turks, persecution turned to unbridled savagery.
Over the next six months, there was to be a systematic uprooting and slaughter of perhaps as many as 1.5 million Armenians — on the grounds that they were infidels, racially inferior ‘dogs’ and traitors who were siding with Russia against Turkey.
Those who weren’t put to death on the spot, their faith cruelly mocked — such as Aghavni’s father, a mild-mannered, cultivated spice merchant who spoke five languages — were hounded in columns, eastwards, into the deserts of Syria and Iraq to die.
Their remains are long turned to dust, but the controversy that surrounds those terrible events is as alive as ever.
Just this week at mass in St Peter’s in Rome, the Pope heralded the upcoming centenary of the first killings on April 24 by describing the slaughter of the Armenian Christians as ‘the first genocide of the 20th century’ — only to be ticked off by Turkey in no uncertain terms for inflammatory remarks.
Video courtesy of: Reuters
Turkey recalled its ambassador to the Vatican and accused the Pope of spreading ‘hatred and animosity’ with ‘unfounded allegations’.
The Turks take objection to the word ‘genocide’ — first coined in the 1940s to describe what the Nazis did to the Jews, but also ever since applied to the 1915 massacre of the Armenians.
Not true, has always been the official response from Istanbul and Ankara, Turkey’s capital.
Hundreds of thousands died in that era, they admit, (though they dispute the numbers are anywhere near as high as claimed).
But this, they maintain, happened as a result of chaotic wartime conditions, civil strife, starvation and in response to Armenian violence, not because of a deliberate, officially organised and systematic plan to eliminate an entire people.
None of it, they continue to insist a century on, was sanctioned from on high.
What seems to trouble the Turks is admitting that their country was founded in modern times on a deliberate act of ethnic cleansing.
They may also be concerned that an admission will bring an avalanche of demands for reparations and, at the very least, the return of land and wealth seized back in 1915.
So they protest their innocence of genocide, even though historians who disagree have formed long queues over the years with convincing and detailed evidence that this is precisely what took place.
So, too, have international lawyers, among them most recently Amal Clooney, the glamorous human rights barrister and wife of Hollywood actor George Clooney.
In court in Switzerland earlier this year, she took up Armenia’s case and challenged a nationalist Turkish MP who maintained in public that the Armenian genocide was an ‘international lie’. There should be no doubting the reality of genocide that Armenian people suffered a century ago, she insisted.
Another celebrity rooting for the Armenians over the injustice they have suffered is, perhaps surprisingly, the reality TV star Kim Kardashian, whose ancestors were lucky to flee to the U.S. from Armenia just two years before the massacres.
Showing a serious side not normally seen, she says that ‘until this crime is resolved truthfully and fairly, the Armenian people will live with the pain of what happened to their families’. This week, she visited the country with her family to lay flowers at its memorial to the victims.
In Turkey, to express such views is dangerous. Public debate is stifled by a law that bans ‘insulting Turkishness’ and has been invoked against those who speak out — including a Nobel Prize winner, whose books were burned by protesters.
Another writer was gunned down in the street in Istanbul by an offended ultra-nationalist, who shouted ‘I shot the infidel’ as he delivered the fatal shot.
Turkey has also been accused of belittling the Armenian centenary by bringing forward its commemorations of Gallipoli, the bloody 1915 battle on the Turkish peninsula, from the traditional April 25 date to clash with the April 24 memorial.
Outside of Turkey, the position is strangely confused. Around two dozen countries acknowledge the truth of the Armenian genocide, despite often strong-arm diplomacy by Turkey to dissuade them and put Ankara’s gloss on past events. They will be greatly heartened by the Pope’s stance.
But others have chosen to sit on the fence, notably the United States, unwilling to cross swords with a Nato ally that is geographically so close to Russia.
Before coming to office, President Obama promised his nation’s one million people with Armenian roots that he would recognise that genocide had occurred, but has not yet dared to utter the word, hiding behind the less-damning Armenian phrase ‘Medz Yeghern’ — the great crime or the great catastrophe.
Yet, ironically, it was an American who first made the world aware of what happened. Back in 1915, Henry Morgenthau was the U.S. Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, and on his desk in Constantinople landed reports from American consuls in far-flung Turkish cities, documenting massacres and death marches.
He concluded: ‘I do not believe the darkest ages ever presented scenes more horrible.’
Unleashed on the Armenians, Turkish policemen and soldiers ransacked Christian churches and handed bishops and priests over to the mob.
Community leaders such as doctors and teachers were hanged in batches on gallows in town squares. An American missionary reported seeing men tied together with their heads sticking through the rungs of a ladder to be lopped off with swords.
Torture was commonplace, Morgenthau maintained as he studied the evidence. ‘They would pull out eyebrows and beards almost hair by hair, extract fingernails and toenails, apply red-hot irons and tear off flesh with pincers, then pour boiled butter into the wounds.’
Crucifixion was treated as a sport. ‘As the sufferer writhes in his agony, they would cry: “Now let your Christ come and help you”.’
When orders were given to assemble all the Armenians and march them out into the desert, Morgenthau had no doubt that this was ‘the death warrant to a whole race’. Moreover, he said: ‘In their conversations with me, the authorities made no particular attempt to conceal the fact’.
He wrote graphically of how men were taken from their ploughs, women from their ovens and children from their beds to join ‘the panic-stricken throng’. Young men were strung up or shot — ‘the only offence being that they were Armenians’.
Convicts were let out of prison to help with the killings. Locals joined in, too. In Ankara, all Armenian men aged 15 to 70 were bound in fours and led out to a secluded valley, where Turkish peasants hacked them to death with scythes, spades and saws.
‘In this way, they exterminated the whole male population.’
For six months, as the enforced exodus went on, Morgenthau reported, roads and tracks were crowded with lines of Armenians.
‘They could be seen winding through every valley and mountain-side, moving on they scarcely knew where, except that every road led to death.
‘They left behind the unburied dead, as well as men and women dying of typhus, dysentery and cholera and children setting up their last piteous wails for food and water.’
How many died? Morgenthau reported that, on one particular death march, of the 18,000 who set out, just 150 were alive a week later.
A survivor recalled that ‘death was our constant companion. We fought the threat of panic, hunger, fear and sleepless nights but, in the end, they won. It seemed there was no pity or humanity in the hearts of our captors’. As they crossed the Euphrates river, one witness reported how ‘bloated bodies lay on the bank, black from the sun, tongues hanging out. Bones showed through decaying skin’.
‘The stomachs of pregnant women had been slit open and their unborn children placed in their hands like black grapes. Children were crying next to dead parents. Women were delirious.’
So many dead bodies clogged the river that its course was diverted for several hundred yards. But at least the water gave relief to some. Mothers sank into it gratefully, their babies in their arms, to drown and end their misery.
Women suffered special horrors. Aghavni — that girl whose story of stumbling on her father’s crucified and decapitated body we saw earlier — recalled how, in her home town, a group of 20 Armenian women were forced to dance under a blue, cloudless sky.
‘Turkish soldiers stood behind them shouting “Dance, sluts” and cracking their whips across their breasts, so their clothes would fall off. Some were half-naked, others tried to hold their clothes together.
‘The women were praying as they moved in a slow circle, holding hands. Occasionally, they would drop the hand next to them and quickly make the sign of the cross.
‘When they fell down, they were whipped until they got up and continued their dance. Each crack of the whip and more of their clothing came off.
‘Around them stood their children, who were forced to clap, faster and faster. If they stopped, they were whipped.
‘Some were two years old and barely able to stand up. They cried uncontrollably, in a terrible, pitiful, hopeless way.’ All of this was watched by a crowd of delighted Turkish townspeople in smart dresses and business suits, ‘clapping, too, like cockroaches’.
What came next was beyond belief. ‘Two soldiers pushed through the crowd, swinging buckets, and doused the women with kerosene. As the women screamed, another soldier came forward with a torch and lit each woman by her hair.
‘At first, all I could see was smoke. Then I saw the fire coming off their bodies, and their screaming became unbearable.
‘The children were being whipped furiously now, as if the burning mothers had excited the soldiers, and they admonished the children to clap faster and faster, telling them that if they stopped they, too, would be set on fire.
‘As the women collapsed in burning heaps, oozing and black, the smell of burnt flesh made me sick and I fainted.’
On the death march out into the desert, Aghavni remembered how women were openly tortured and abused. ‘If a woman would not readily submit to sex, she was whipped and, if she tried to run away, she was shot.’
She could only watch in horror as a girl resisted and a policeman took out his sword, ripped open her dress and then slashed off her breasts. ‘They fell to the ground and she bled to death next to them.’ Aghavni survived her ordeal — one of the few to do so. She lived, eventually making her way to America to give her first-hand account of a genocide that the Turkish authorities are still adamant did not take place.
Armenia survived, too, as a country — becoming independent for a while after the break-up of the Ottoman empire, before being sucked into the maw of the Soviet Union for 70 years, from which it emerged as a state in its own right in 1991.
This week, Turkey’s president declared that Armenians pressing Turkey to recognise massacres as genocide are simply trying to score points against his country.
‘Their aim is not to search for the truth, but to attack Turkey and cause it harm,’ he contends.
But such defiance flies in the face of history. Arnold J. Toynbee, a British intelligence agent at the time (and later a distinguished historian), wrote that ‘all this horror was inflicted on the Armenians without a shadow of provocation’.
He heard, back then, the Turkish argument that there was a war on and the Armenians were traitors, ‘but such excuses are entirely contradicted by the facts’.
‘None of the towns and villages from which they were systematically deported to their death were anywhere near the hostilities. The Ottoman Government cannot disguise its crime as a preventive measure.’ Toynbee wrote this in 1916.
That in 2015 Turkey is still insisting on rewriting history should concern us all — not least because in a world where Islamic forces are, once again, brutally targeting Christians in the Middle East and Africa, the lessons of the past need to be faced and finally learned.