The need to knock Islam (repeat) 17

This post,  first published on September 3, 2011, needs to be repeated from time to time, and this is one of those times.

It could be retitled The need to knock religion

The greatness of the West began with doubting. The idea that every belief, every assumption, should be critically examined started the might of Europe. When those old Greek thinkers who founded our civilization learnt and taught that no one has a monopoly of truth or ever will have, they launched the intellectual adventure that has carried the human race – not without a long interval in the doldrums – literally to the skies.

Socrates taught the utility of suspicion. He is reputed to have said, “The highest form of human excellence is to question oneself and others.” He was not, however, the first to use doubt for discovery. Thales of Miletos, who was born 155 years before Socrates, dared to doubt that religion’s explanatory tales about how the world came to be as it is were to be trusted, and he began exploring natural phenomena in a way that we recognize as scientific. He is often called the Father of Science. With him and his contemporary, Anaximander, who argued with him by advancing alternative ideas, came the notion – for the first time as far as we know – that reason could fathom and describe how the universe worked.

Science is one of the main achievements of the West, but it is not the only product of constructive doubt that made for its greatness. Doubt as a habit of mind or tradition of thinking meant that new, foreign, even counter-intuitive ideas were not dismissed. Europe, before and after it stagnated in the doldrums of the long Catholic Christian night (and even to some extent during those dark centuries), was hospitable to ideas wherever they came from.

Totally opposed to this intellectual openness were the churches with their dogma. Those who claim that the achievements of our civilization are to be credited to Christianity (or in the currently fashionable phrase to “the Judeo-Christian tradition”) have a hard case to make. It was the rediscovery of the Greek legacy in the Renaissance in the teeth of Christian dogmatism, and the new freedom from religious persecution exploited by the philosophers of the Enlightenment that re-launched the West on its intellectual progress, to become the world’s nursery of innovation and its chief factory of ideas.

Our civilization cannot survive without this openness. Critical examination is the breath that keeps it alive. But it is in danger of suffocation. It is more threatened now than it has been for the last four hundred years by dogmatisms: Marxism, environmentalism, religion – above all Islam which absolutely forbids criticism.

The Founding Fathers of the United States perfectly understood the necessity for an open market of ideas. Every citizen of the republic, they laid down, must be free to declare his beliefs, to argue his case, to speak his mind, to examine ideas as publicly as he chose without fear of being silenced.

No longer?

This warning comes from Nina Shea, writing in the National Review:

An unprecedented collaboration between the Obama administration and the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC, formerly called the Organization of the Islamic Conference) to combat “Islamophobia” may soon result in the delegitimization of freedom of expression as a human right.

The administration is taking the lead in an international effort to “implement” a U.N. resolution against religious “stereotyping,” specifically as applied to Islam. To be sure, it argues that the effort should not result in free-speech curbs. However, its partners in the collaboration, the 56 member states of the OIC, have no such qualms. Many of them police private speech through Islamic blasphemy laws and the OIC has long worked to see such codes applied universally. Under Muslim pressure, Western Europe now has laws against religious hate speech that serve as proxies for Islamic blasphemy codes.

Last March, U.S. diplomats maneuvered the adoption of Resolution 16/18 within the U.N. Human Rights Council (HRC). Non-binding, this resolution, inter alia, expresses concern about religious “stereotyping” and “negative profiling” but does not limit free speech. It was intended to — and did — replace the OIC’s decidedly dangerous resolution against “defamation of religions,” which protected religious institutions instead of individual freedoms.

But thanks to a puzzling U.S. diplomatic initiative that was unveiled in July, Resolution 16/18 is poised to become a springboard for a greatly reinvigorated international effort to criminalize speech against Islam, the very thing it was designed to quash.

Citing a need to “move to implementation” of Resolution 16/18, the Obama administration has inexplicably [not if Obama’s Islamophilia is remembered – ed] decided to launch a major international effort against Islamophobia in partnership with the Saudi-based OIC. This is being voluntarily assumed at American expense, outside the U.N. framework, and is not required by the resolution itself.

On July 15, a few days after the Norway massacre, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton co-chaired an OIC session in Istanbul on religious intolerance. It was there that she announced the initiative, inviting the OIC member-states’ foreign ministers and representatives to the inaugural meeting of the effort that the U.S. government would host this fall in Washington. She envisions it as the first in a series of meetings to decide how best to implement Resolution 16/18.

In making the announcement, Clinton was firm in asserting that the U.S. does not want to see speech restrictions: “The resolution calls upon states to ‘counter offensive expression through education, interfaith dialogue, and public debate . . . but not to criminalize speech unless there is an incitement to imminent violence.’” (This is the First Amendment standard set forth in the 1969 Supreme Court case of Brandenburg v. Ohio.)

With the United States providing this new world stage for presenting grievances of “Islamophobia” against the West, the OIC rallied around the initiative as the propaganda windfall that it is. It promptly reasserted its demands for global blasphemy laws, once again sounding the call of its failed U.N. campaign for international laws against the so-called defamation of Islam. It has made plain its aim to use the upcoming conference to further pressure Western governments to regulate speech on behalf of Islam.

The aim of the OIC is to criminalize criticism of Islam, though it might go along with banning the criticism of religion in general as an interim step. It will reserve to itself the right to condemn all other religions and beliefs, but allege that any criticism of Islam is incitement to violence – and call angry crowds on to the streets to prove it. 

Islam is now the major threat to the West. Its ideas are the very opposite of those on which the USA was founded. It is an ideology of intolerance and cruelty. It forbids the free expression of thought. By its very nature, even if it were not now on a mission of world conquest (which it is), it is the enemy of the West.

The best way to defeat it is by criticizing it, constantly and persistently, in speech and writing, on the big screen and the small screen, in the schools and academies, in all the media of information and comment, in national and international assemblies.

If the weapon of words is forbidden, the only alternative will be guns. 

US immigration policy: import Somalis, shut out Christians 4

Why would the government of a country bring large numbers of its sworn enemies to live in it, and forbid entry to its friends who are in dire need of asylum?

What possible explanation could there be?

Lunacy? Treason?

This is from Moonbattery:

DHS Buses In Somali Colonists Who Enter US From Mexico

 … The U.S. is bringing in 100,000 Muslims every year through legal channels such as the United Nations refugee program and various visa programs, but new reports indicate a pipeline has been established through the southern border with the help of the federal agency whose job it is to protect the homeland.

Turning over homeland security to the likes of Barack Obama and Jeh Johnson is the ultimate example of putting the fox in charge of the henhouse.

They are coming from Somalia and other African nations, according to a Homeland Security official who was caught recently transporting a busload of Africans to a detention center near Victorville, California.

For a variety of reasons, colonists from the failed state of Somalia are the least assimilable people on the planet. Importing Somalis means importing the three things Somalia is known for: poverty, chaos, and terrorism.

Somalia is the home base of al-Shabab, a designated foreign terrorist organization that slaughtered 147 Christians at a university in Kenya just last month. It executed another 67 at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi, Kenya, in 2013, and has put out warnings that it will target malls in Canada and the U.S. Dozens of Somali refugees in the U.S. have been arrested, charged and convicted of providing support to overseas terrorist organizations over the past few years. …

So when Anita Fuentes of OpenYourEyesPeople.com posted a video of a U.S. Department of Homeland Security bus pulling into a Shell station in Victorville, on the night of May 7, admitting he had a busload of Somalis and other Africans who had crossed the southern border, it raised more than a few eyebrows among those concerned with illegal immigration and national security.

A man who appeared to be a Customs and Border Patrol agent was filmed at the gas station at 10:30 p.m. When questioned by Fuentes, he informed her that his large touring bus was full of Somalis and other Africans being transported to a nearby detention center. …

“Well they’re coming in asking for asylum,” he said.

“That’s what it is, that special key word huh? That’s a password now?” Fuentes said.

“That’s what the password is now,” he responds.

From that you can deduce how long the Somali welfare colonists will be incarcerated at the detention facility before being distributed throughout the country as part of Obama’s fundamental transformation of the American population. If DHS were doing the job it explicitly exists to perform, these people would be stopped at the border rather than brought into the country. How many of them are affiliated with ISIS — which is said to have a presence just over the border — is anyone’s guess.

DHS-buses
But Christian refugees who genuinely need asylum are not allowed to enter the US. Faith J. H. McDonnell writes at AINA:
Writing in April in USA Today about the murder of 12 Christian migrants thrown into the sea by Muslims for praying to Jesus instead of Allah, columnist Kirsten Powers stated that President Barack Obama “just can’t seem to find any passion for the mass persecution of Middle Eastern Christians or the eradication of Christianity from its birthplace.”
The president’s response appears to be United States policy. Evidence suggests that within the administration not only is there no passion for persecuted Christians under threat of genocide from the Islamic State, there is no room for them, period. In fact, despite ISIS’ targeting of Iraqi Christians specifically because they are Christians, and, as such, stand in the way of a pure, Islamic Caliphate in the Middle East (and beyond), the U.S. State Department has made it clear that “there is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation”.

An Anglican bishop revealed that this policy position presented to him in his most recent interaction with State’s Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration (PRM). The Rt. Rev. Julian M. Dobbs, bishop of the Diocese of CANA East (Convocation of Anglicans in North America) is an advocate for persecuted people worldwide. On this occasion, Dobbs was appealing on behalf of a group of Assyrian Christians desperately in need of rescue from northern Iraq.

The serious nature of the threat against these Assyrian Christians is evident because not only do they have permission from their own bishop to leave the country, they have his blessing and urging, as well. Until recently, church leaders have almost uniformly asked the people to remain, fearing that the Middle East will be emptied of Christians. But many church leaders have now concluded that the only way for Middle Eastern Christians to survive is to actually leave.

How bad is it for Christians in northern Iraq at present? In the words of Archbishop Bashar Warda of Erbil, Northern Iraq:

Christianity in Iraq is going through one of its worst and hardest stages of its long history, which dates back to the first century. Throughout all these long centuries, we have experienced many hardships and persecutions, offering caravans of martyrs. Yet 2014 brought the worst acts of genocide against us in our history. …

In June 2014, with cooperation and assistance from local Sunni Muslim extremists, ISIS took over Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city and home to many Christians and other religious minorities. Christians, Yazidis, Mandeans and others were targeted for destruction, and within just the first week of ISIS’ occupation, more than 500,000 people fled the city. The homes of Christians were marked with the Arabic letter “nun,” standing for Nazarene. Christians were threatened with death if they did not convert to Islam, pay jizya and live as a subjected people — “dhimmi” — or flee immediately.

As dhimmi they would have to pay to live.

Nazarenes, to this day the Arabic word for “Christians”, was the name of the first followers of “Jesus”. They were all Jews, and did not cease to be Jews. They believed that he was the Messiah, was crucified by the Romans, rose from the dead, and would come again to save them from Roman domination. Non-Jews of the region made no distinction between them and later followers of “Jesus Christ” – the converts of St. Paul – whom we know as “Christians”. The Nazarenes died out. The Christians came to be a majority in the region of Mesopotamia until the Muslim conquests of the 7th. century. They have lived there continuously until now. Archbishop Warda says: “We now face the extinction of Christianity as a religion and as a culture from Mesopotamia [Iraq].”

Two months later, ISIS seized control of Qaraqosh, “the Christian Capital of Iraq,” and the neighboring Christian villages, all in the province of the Biblical landmark of Nineveh. Christianity Today reported that the siege displaced one-fourth of Iraq’s total Christian population. According to a March 26, 2015 article in Newsweek, as many as 1.4 million Christians lived in their ancestral home of Iraq prior to 2003. Now the number of Christians is estimated at anywhere from 260,000 to 350,000, with near half of that number displaced within the country. Newsweek explained that Iraq’s remaining Christians have mostly fled north to safer areas under the control of the Kurdistan Regional Government. “But now ISIS is threatening them there, too.”

Dobbs … informed US State Department officials of a plan by one well-known Christian international aid agency to provide safer housing for Iraqi Christians. … The State Department advised him against setting up emergency housing for Christians in the region, saying it was “totally inappropriate”. 

Also inappropriate, it seems, is the resettling of the most vulnerable Assyrian Christians in the United States. Donors in the private sector have offered complete funding for the airfare and the resettlement in the United States of these Iraqi Christians that are sleeping in public buildings, on school floors, or worse. But the State Department — while admitting 4,425 Somalis to the United States in just the first six months of FY2015, and possibly even accepting members of ISIS through the Syrian and Iraqi refugee program, all paid for by tax dollars – told Dobbs that they “would not support a special category to bring Assyrian Christians into the United States”. 

The United States government has made it clear that there is no way that Christians will be supported because of their religious affiliation, even though it is exactly that — their religious affiliation — that makes them candidates for asylum based on a credible fear of persecution from ISIS. The State Department, the wider administration, some in Congress and much of the media and other liberal elites insist that Christians cannot be given preferential treatment. Even within the churches, some Christians are so afraid of appearing to give preferential treatment to their fellow Christians that they are reluctant to plead the case of their Iraqi and Syrian brothers and sisters. …

On April 30, The Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom director, Nina Shea, wrote about the State Department’s refusing a non-immigrant visa to an Iraqi Catholic nun. Sister Diana Momeka of the Dominican Sisters of St. Catherine of Siena was to come to Washington and testify about what ISIS is doing to Christians and other religious minorities (all the non-Christian members of the delegation were approved). She received a refusal letter saying, “You were not able to demonstrate that your intended activities in the United States would be consistent with the classification of the visa.” And she was told at the U.S. consulate in Erbil that she was denied “because she was an IDP [Internally Displaced Person]”. In other words, Sister Diana would use her non-immigrant visa to remain illegally in the United States. …

In a follow up article on May 3, Shea revealed that the State Department requested that she revise her article. Shea refused, and wrote, concerning the State Department’s actions:

Those who decided to block Sister Diana from entering this country on a visitor visa acted in a manner consistent with the administration’s pattern of silence when it comes to the Christian profile of so many of the jihadists’ “convert-or-die” victims in Syria, Libya, Nigeria, Kenya and Iraq. In typical U.S. condolence statements, targeted Christians have been identified simply as “lives lost”, “Egyptian citizens”, “Kenyan people”, “innocent victims”, or “innocent Iraqis”.

As such, don’t they have a better case for being granted asylum than Muslims, in the present state of the world?

The nun was finally let in on a visitor’s visa, and testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs.

I don’t suppose her testimony, or anything else, will change the immigration policy of the administration, which remains the puzzle of the age.

 

(Hat-tip for the Moonbattery article to our contributing commenter liz)

The Islamic persecution of Christians 3

As the current wars of religion rage on, the mainstream media are chiefly reporting the war in Gaza. They put much stress on the number of Palestinian deaths – information they get only from Hamas, which has every reason to claim as many deaths as possible. Hamas’s tactic is to provoke attack and then show the wounds – the deaths of the women and children it uses as shields – and cry loudly until “the world” rescues them from defeat.

Is “the world” really concerned about the deaths of civilians in the Middle East? Or only concerned when they die because Israel strikes back at the Arab enemy after years of rocket attacks?

Is “the world” moved by Arab deaths if Israel can’t be blamed for them? Not so much. Shall we say Muslim deaths then? Also not so much.

What about Christian deaths at the hands of Muslims? The oppression and intense persecution of Christians? Christians being stripped of all they possess and expelled from lands their ancestors have lived in as Christians since the second century C.E?  Hardly at all.

No outcry about their treatment from Christian America? No. Not a word from those Presbyterians who have lately evinced so much interest in boycotting Israel? No.

The Pope? He’s praying for their persecution to end. No persecutor named. If he was expecting a quick response from his God now that Omniscient attention has been drawn to the issue, is he disappointed?

The Archbishop of Canterbury?  No –  the Anglican clergy likes Islamic sharia law and helped introduce it into Britain.

What about the UN? You must be joking! The UN is an agency of the Arab states.

David Singer writes at Canada Free Press:

The Syrian civil war has claimed 170,000 lives in three years; this past weekend’s death toll in Syria was greater than what took place in Gaza. By some accounts, the past week may have been the deadliest in the conflict’s grim history. Meanwhile, the extremist insurgents of the Islamic State (also known as ISIS), have continued their ravages over a swath of territory stretching from eastern Syria to the environs of Baghdad, Iraq’s capital; the spike in violence in Iraq has led to more than 5,500 civilian deaths in the first six months of this year.” …

The newly-declared Islamic State (IS) – which includes Mosul – Iraq’s second largest city – already exceeds the area of Great Britain. …

Christians were given 24 hours to leave Mosul or convert to Islam and pay a tax – or die.

Nuri Kino – reported on Fox News – confirms the tragic situation in Syria and identifies those engaged in persecuting these ancient Christian communities:

Aleppo, Syria’s largest city, also has been nearly emptied of Assyrians, Armenians and other non-Muslims …

The prideful tone in which the perpetrators speak whenever I have interviewed them — both Al Qaeda and IS — is equally shocking. These are mostly disgruntled young men who were teetering on the edges of society in their own homelands, often in European suburbs, and now believe they have the power to do whatever they want in the name of Islam. They can claim any house in IS-controlled areas of Iraq and Syria as their own, and tell the owners to either leave or risk being killed. They can take any woman as their wife 

At least 700, 000 non-Muslims — Christians, Mandeans, Yezidis and others — have left Iraq by now. No one knows how many have left Syria.

Nina Shea reports in Fox News:

ISIS has set out to erase every Christian trace. All 30 churches were seized and their crosses stripped away. Some have been permanently turned into mosques. One is the Mar (Saint) Ephraim Syriac Orthodox Cathedral, newly outfitted with loudspeakers that now call Muslims to prayer. The 4th century Mar Behnam, a Syriac Catholic monastery outside Mosul, was captured and its monks expelled, leaving behind a library of early Christian manuscripts and wall inscriptions by 13th-century Mongol pilgrims. Christian and Shiite gravesites, deemed idolatrous by ISIS, are being deliberately blown up and destroyed, including on July 24, the tomb of the 8th-century B.C. Old Testament Prophet Jonah, and the Muslim shrine that enclosed it.

Patrick Coburn does not mince his words in The Independent:

It is the greatest mass flight of Christians in the Middle East since the Armenian massacres and the expulsion of Christians from Turkey during and after the First World War.

Yet the media show little interest in exposing the decimation and dispersal of the Christian communities in Syria and Iraq.

And here’s Mark Steyn:

Baghdad used to be 40% Jewish. Tripoli used to be 40% Jewish. And the Jews were all chased out there. And now it’s the turn of the Christians. … ISIS are effectively doing every day what the European media and American campuses accuse Israel of doing. Everyone thinks Israel is slavering with blood and wants to eliminate every last Muslim in Gaza. No, they don’t. They just want to live with them. The difference is ISIS actually wants Iraq cleansed of Christians in the way it was cleansed of Jews, just as the Muslim Brotherhood wants Egypt cleansed of Coptic Christians the way it was cleansed of Jews.

But still the West, Christian by tradition if not in belief or observance, shows little concern.

This can be seen not only in the dearth of comment from governments and churches, but also among the people who seek their information and spread their opinions on the “social media”.

David Singer adds this statistic to his article:

Google reports on the Israel-Gaza war outnumber reports on the ISIS-Christian conflict by about 20:1.

Let them read John Locke 4

… and David Hume, and Baruch Spinoza, and the US Constitution …

(We specially mention Hume and Spinoza because they were philosophers of atheism. But all the thinkers of the Age of Reason should be prescribed reading in all schools everywhere.)

THEY – the Muslims – are investing billions in trying to convince us that their ideas are good – though they aren’t. But we are doing nothing at all to persuade them that our ideas are good – which they are.

Ed West puts forward a very good plan. We quote from his Spectator (UK) article:

The persecution of Christians, the greatest story never told in the Western media, is finally building momentum as a story, after a year which has seen villagers massacred in Syria, dozens of churches burned down in Egypt’s worst religious violence for centuries, and the Peshawar atrocity in which the suicide-bombing of a church killed more than 80 people.

Earlier this week several MPs discussed the issue in Parliament, Fiona Bruce saying that ‘We should be crying out with the same abhorrence and horror that we feel about the atrocities towards Jews on Kristallnacht.’ And Baroness Warsi …

… a token Muslim woman on display in the House of Lords …

… will say in a speech in Washington today that: ‘A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct.’

Warsi made the same point on the [BBC’s] Today programme this morning, and I applaud her, but an aspect rather missing from the coverage was the fact that the vast majority of serious anti-Christian violence is carried out in the name of Islam. It would be like discussing anti-Semitic pogroms of the medieval period without mentioning Christianity, its theology, history and practice.

No surprise there.

That is telling, since one of the reasons for the media’s voluntary blackout on this issue is our fear of appearing to be inciting hatred against Muslims. This allows the persecutors to get away with it, which is ironic since most violence carried out against Muslims is also done in the name of Islam. 

The simple fact is that Islamic law as it is applied in Egypt (where apostasy is extremely difficult and dangerous, and family law was based on Sharia even before the revolution), Iraq and the Gulf States is incompatible with religious liberty. There is no way around that. In Iraq, most bizarrely, the US government presided over a constitution that introduced elements of Sharia.

Such are the vicissitudes of world management. When the British illegally gave three-quarters of the land in their Palestine mandate to the Emir of Transjordan, they found themselves in charge of a polity that allowed and practiced slavery. British law forbade this to happen, but it happened, and they didn’t do a thing about it while they had the power to do anything they chose. And now  Britain deliberately allows sharia law to run parallel with British law inside the United Kingdom itself. That too should never have happened, but it has.

The issue therefore is not just that Christians are being punished because of anger at the West. It is the specific application of Islamic law, and most centrally [anger at the West’s] ideas about freedom of religion [which include] freedom of un-religion and the freedom to deviate from the rulers’ particular interpretation.

He mentions also the intolerance by each Muslim sect of all other Muslim sects, in particular “the horror inflicted on the unorthodox Ahmadiyya Muslims in Pakistan”.

Much of the intolerance in Pakistan stems from the influence of the Saudis, who are trying to reshape Islam in their image, and are helped by Westerners because of their vast reserves of money. Shamefully the British Museum put on an exhibition on Mecca funded by the Saudis, even while those iconoclasts were vandalising the city; I can’t think of anything so contrary to the spirit of that fine institution. 

But they’re not the only ones – universities and organisations all over the West take Saudi money, and they should be publicly shamed … Likewise countries that do not allow freedom of religion should be made pariahs …

At the heart of the problem is that we’re too scared of even admitting that the problem is within Islam, perfectly illustrated by the BBC’s coverage of events.

Then he proposes his brilliant idea:

This is perverse, because our belief in equal rights before the law stems from the liberal tradition, yet while the Saudis spend millions promoting their beliefs abroad, we don’t. According to human-rights lawyer and advocate for Christian religious freedom Nina Shea, many of the classical liberal western works, such as John Locke, have no modern Arabic translations. Why isn’t one of the west’s many liberal billionaires paying for translations, to be made available free on Kindle? 

“Many” have not been translated? How many have been? And who reads them? Are they in the university libraries of the Muslim countries? Are there objective lecturers in Western Thought? Why don’t some of the wealthy who endow subversive academies like Harvard, Yale, Princeton wake up and instead endow chairs, or whole faculties, or even entire universities in the Islamic world dedicated to the teaching of Western Philosophy, Politics, History, Ethics, Economics, Literature, Law, and Science? (Not Religion – there’s no sense in opposing one irrationality with another.) They should be taught not as they are seen through Marxist distorting lenses in most American universities, but the way John Locke himself, and Benjamin Franklin would do it.      

Oh, of course. No Islamic country would allow it. Still, we should try every way we can think of to get our ideas into as many Muslim heads as we possibly can.

Ed West concludes:

Time may be running out, for one of the many tragic results of Christian persecution is that a vital bridge between the Middle East and Europe is being wrecked. Of the 60 scholars who translated the ancient Greek classics into Arabic during the [falsely so-called] Islamic Golden Age, according to scholar Dr Suha Rassam, 58 were Syriac Christians (and of the others, one was Jewish and the other a Sabian), since generally only Syriacs could speak both Arabic and Greek.

Not one of them was a Muslim.

Without these 60 men the Renaissance would never have happened, and the very ideas that gave us liberalism would never have emerged.

Classical liberalism that is – the belief in tolerance and individual freedom.

 

Manmade human suffering 6

Religion has always been a principal cause – perhaps the principal cause – of Manmade Human Suffering.

Christians of all stripes practiced religious intolerance for hundreds of years. At present, however, Christians are the victims of it. They are being persecuted and killed in large numbers, mostly by Communists and Muslims.

In an article in this month’s issue of Commentary magazine, The Worldwide Attack on Christians, David Aikman writes:

A Pew Forum study in 2011 estimated that Christians are persecuted, either by government or hostile social forces, in an incredible 131 of the world’s 193 countries, and they constitute 70 percent of the world’s population. The World Evangelical Alliance believes that 200 million Christians are being singled out for persecution at any one time. At a 2011 Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE) conference in Lithuania on the topic of Christian persecution, one delegate estimated that approximately 105,000 Christians lose their lives every year for their faith — a figure that translates into approximately one Christian killed every five minutes.

The informative article is let down by an absurd conclusion:

However much it helps those being persecuted is a matter of debate. But, still, we can pray.

What sort of a god have they invented who needs to be asked to protect his suffering faithful before he’ll take any notice of what’s happening to them and do something about it? And how many centuries of his failing to live up to his reputation for infinite goodness will it take to convince them that he isn’t going to do what they ask anyway?

But to return to the human persecution of Christians: suddenly it’s become a topic in the mass media, or at least in Newsweek.

Nina Shea reports in the National Review:

Best-selling author, film director, women’s-rights advocate, former Dutch parliamentarian, Islamist death-threat survivor, refugee from a Somalian forced marriage, and a fierce champion of individual freedoms — that of others as well as her own — Ayaan Hirsi Ali has demonstrated her courage once more. In the cover story she penned for the current issue of Newsweek, entitled The War on Christians, … Hirsi Ali gives a tour d’horizon of the most politically incorrect subject of all human-rights reporting: the ongoing religious persecution of Christians in the Muslim world. … She criticizes the media for giving short shrift to this development, favoring instead the [totally false – JB] narrative that Muslims are the victims of religious persecution by the West. …

She asserts: “The conspiracy of silence surrounding this violent expression of religious intolerance has to stop. Nothing less than the fate of Christianity — and ultimately of all religious minorities — in the Islamic world is at stake.”

Nothing less. And nothing more.

We deplore religious persecution. We deplore religion.

We don’t say religion has never been good for anyone, but we do say it has done incalculable harm.

We don’t imagine that wars and persecutions would never happen again if religion were to vanish from the earth. But we profoundly wish it would. By as much as human suffering would be reduced by its going, happiness would be increased.

Religious teaching to hate, hurt, kill 5

Although some of their leaders imported the idea of nationalism from Europe in the 20th century, it is not a motivating cause among Arabs. Tribe and religion are what matter to them. They regard the existence of Israel as an offense against Islam, and their hatred of it has nothing to do with territory, boundaries, settlements, states, no matter that their spokesmen pretend otherwise when they address the Western media or the United Nations. Islam teaches that all non-Muslims are worthy only of hatred, subjugation, and ignominious death.

This article is by Giulio Meotti from Front Page:

What can motivate the current Palestinian society to … the most horrible form of childhood molestation and child sacrifice? The way in which the Palestinian Authority educates children and society is a key indicator of its true intentions.

Convincing ordinary individuals to sacrifice themselves to kill the Jews is not easy, it requires subhuman ideas and institutions. The logo of the “Permanent Observer Mission of Palestine to the United Nations” – on their website and on top of their official statements at the U.N. – shows the Palestinian Authority’s claim to a Palestine that stretches throughout the entire historical entity of the former Palestine mandate, which had nothing to do with those who call themselves Palestinians today and everything to do with a national homeland for the Jewish people..

Palestinian Media Watch also revealed that Mahmoud Abbas chose an icon of genocidal anti-Semitism, the mother of four terrorists, one of whom killed seven Israeli civilians and attempted to killed twelve others, as the person to launch the statehood campaign with the United Nations.

In a widely publicized event, Abbas had Latifa Abu Hmeid lead the procession to the UN offices in Ramallah and hand over a letter for the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. It is a measure of how deeply the ethos of martyrdom has penetrated Abbas’ policy, hailed for its “moderation”.

For as long as the PA continues to foment violence and promote hatred, the number of youngsters willing to blow themselves up or to slit Israeli throats will unfortunately continue to mount. The Palestinian Authority is still a font of incitement …

Palestinian leadership now seeks self-determination at the United Nations, but its daily policy shouts to the world that even after statehood, the fight must continue against the Jews. …

There is no precedent in the history of humanity for this god of martyrdom.

Well, perhaps there is. There were long dark ages when untold numbers of Christians sought martyrdom as a qualification to enter their heaven, often through murderous encounters with other Christians over differences of doctrine. And the lust for martyrdom must have been the motive of at least some of the Christian warriors of the Crusades. That sort of thing is not done so much now by Christians. But many Christians, notably on the political left, condone and even actively encourage Palestinian terrorism.

Generations of PA Arabs are taught to see … terrorist operations as a way to “open the door to Paradise” …  It’s the highest level of paradise, the one reserved for prophets and saints.

Signs on the walls of Palestinian kindergartens currently proclaim their students as “the shaheeds (martyrs) of tomorrow”. Elementary school principals commend their students for wanting to “tear [Zionists’] bodies into little pieces and cause them more pain than they will ever know”.

Terrorism is sanctified throughout all the PA areas. The streets are plastered with posters glorifying the suicide bombers. Children trade “martyr cards” instead of Pokemon cards. Necklaces with pictures of terrorists are very popular.

But are there not some Muslims who dislike the teaching of hatred?

This comes from AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA),  an English-language Shia television channel headquartered in London:

Saudis export anti-Christian and anti-Jewish textbooks across the world.

Textbooks used in Saudi Arabia’s schools contain virulent forms of anti-Christian and anti-Jewish bigotry that continue to fuel intolerance and violence around the globe, says a new report.

The problem is far greater than the five million students in Saudi Arabia who use these texts every day, said Nina Shea, director of the Washington-based Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

“Because of the Saudis’ great oil wealth, it is able to disseminate its textbooks far and wide,” she wrote in the report, Ten Years On.

“[These textbooks] are posted on the Saudi Education Ministry’s website and are shipped and distributed free by a vast Saudi-sponsored Sunni infrastructure to many Muslim schools, mosques and libraries throughout the world.

“This is not just hate mongering, it’s promoting violence,” she said in an interview. It is exporting terrorism through textbooks.

Christians are referred to as “swine” and Jews as “apes,” while being blamed for much of the world’s ills.

She notes in the report that since the Saudis control Islam’s holiest shrines in Mecca and Medina, they can “disseminate its religious materials among the millions of Muslims making the Hajj each year. Hence, these teachings can have a wide and deep influence.”

ABNA is apparently quoting Nina Shea with approval. But are these Shias exposing these facts about the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia out of genuine disgust or only because they are their doctrinal enemies?

The greatest real threat at present to the non-Muslim world is the aggressive Shia regime of Iran with its active pursuit of nuclear arms.