Muhammad’s command 24

… “Kill the infidel”.

(See our post Christians murdered by Muslims March 9, 2010)

Here are more pictures of the victims of Islamic savages at Jos, in Nigeria. (See still more if you can bear to here.)

THEY WERE MOSTLY WOMEN AND CHILDREN.
THEY WERE DEFENCELESS.
THEY WERE UNPROTECTED.
THEY DIED WITHOUT KNOWING WHY OR HOW.
SOME WHERE BUTCHERED ON THEIR BEDS WHILE MANY MORE WERE KILLED WHILE TRYING
TO FLEE FROM  THEIR ATTACKERS; MOSLEMS WHO FEEL THESE PEOPLE DO NOT DESERVE TO
LIVE AND DO NOT DESERVE THE LIVES THEY HAVE.
WOMEN WERE HACKED DOWN AS THEY TRIED TO COVER AND PROTECT THEIR CHILDREN WITH
THEIR BODIES. LITTLE BABIES WERE SNATCHED FROM THEIR MOTHERS AND THROWN INTO
THE BURNING FLAMES SET BY THE ATTACKERS.

CHRISTIANS IN THREE VILLAGES IN A COMMUNITY NEAR JOS WERE SHOT AND BUTCHERED IN
COLD BLOOD IN THE EARLY HOURS OF SUNDAY 7TH MARCH 2010
SIMPLY BECAUSE THEY WERE CHRISTIANS

Footnote: The Archbishop of Canterbury is zealously promoting Islamic “law” in Britain.

Posted under Africa, Islam, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 30, 2010

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A correction 0

In our post Christians murdered by Muslims (March 9, 2010), we quoted this from an AP report:

Witnesses said the violence began in the mostly Christian village at about 3 a.m. Sunday — an hour when the area should have been under curfew and guarded by the military. Jos has remained under a curfew since violence in January left more than 300 people dead — the majority of them Muslims. …

Sectarian violence in this region of Nigeria has left thousands dead over the past decade.

But the information troubled us. It didn’t fit with what we know, that in Nigeria Christians are persecuted by Muslims, not Muslims by Christians.

While we hold that religion per se is and always has been a chief cause of bloody conflict, we recognize that some religions are more murderous than others. For the last couple of hundred years Christianity has been a comparatively gentle religion. This is even true in Nigeria, where Christians seem to be concentrating aggression on their own children (see our post Children tortured by Christians, March 9, 2010) rather than fellow Nigerians of other religions. Islam, however, is as violent and bellicose as it has always been, and is actively waging jihad not only against the West but also, with extreme savagery, in Asia and North Africa.

Now comes a report by Caroline Glick that sets the record straight and rings true:

In Nigeria … with the apparent collaboration of the Muslim-dominated Nigerian army, Muslim gangs entered three predominantly Christian villages around the city of Jos and killed innocent civilians, including children, with machetes, axes, and daggers.

According to eyewitness reports, some victims were scalped and many were raped. Most had their hands and feet chopped off. Infants and children were among the butchered.

The massacre was premeditated. According to government spokesmen, Muslim residents were tipped off two days prior to the attack. To ensure their victims were Christians, the jihadists addressed them in Fulani, the language spoken by local Muslims. If the victims responded in Fulani they were saved. Otherwise they were hacked to death.

Sunday’s massacre could have been expected to lead the news worldwide. But it didn’t. Indeed, it was barely noted.

That scant coverage the barbarous events received was itself plagued by obscurity and vagueness. Commentators and reporters alike hid the identities of the aggressors and the victims, characterizing the jihadist butchery as “sectarian violence”.

They also sought to obfuscate its significance, claiming that the Muslim gangs decapitated infants in response to tribal property disputes.

Jessica Olien at The Atlantic not only made these claims, but brushed off the dimensions of the atrocity, writing, “It’s worth noting that police have confirmed only 109 dead.”

After minimizing the death toll, Olien turned her literary daggers on the victims, claiming that they had it coming. As she put it, “It’s hard not to compare the weekend’s attack with one in January in which 150 people from the same Muslim community responsible for Sunday’s attack were brutally killed. The attack on March 7th drew considerably more international attention [than] the previous incident.”

Ah, so unfair. The over-reported atrocity unfairly portrays murdered Christians as victims. But Olien knows better. The Muslims were simply retaliating for the attacks they suffered.

Sadly for Olien and her erudite justification of barbarism, it is far from clear that the victims of January’s violence were Muslims. Writing in the London Times on Thursday, British Baroness Caroline Cox [a highly trustworthy source – JB] claimed that the primary victims of January’s slaughter were Christians, not Muslims.

According to Cox, eyewitnesses to the events in January “indicated that the killings began when Muslim youths attacked Christians on a Sunday morning on their way to church. Muslims were also killed as those under attack began to fight back.”

Cox continued that Sunday’s attack followed a now familiar pattern. Attacks “are initiated by well-armed Muslim extremists, chanting militant slogans, attacking and killing Christian and other non-Muslim citizens and destroying homes and places of worship.

“In the early stages of the attack, the Muslim militants take corpses to mosques where they are photographed and released to the media, creating the impression that these are Muslim victims.”

The international media are only too willing to accept at face value these false accusations of Muslim victimization at the hands of their actual victims. And so are their leftist comrades in international governing circles.

In the wake of Sunday’s massacre, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon both issued statements making no distinction whatsoever between the victims and the aggressors. Both called for “both sides” to act with “restraint.”

Christians murdered by Muslims 0

From The Religion of Peace:

2010.03.07 (Dogo Nahauwa, Nigeria) – Over five-hundred Christians, mostly women and children, are hacked to death by Muslim raiders with machetes in a night-time attack on their village. The killers yelled ‘Allah Akbar,’ as they chopped.

AP reports:

Most of the bodies appeared to be women and children killed by blows from machetes… The dead lined the streets of Dogo Nahawa, a village about three miles (five kilometers) south of the city of Jos.

Witnesses said the violence began in the mostly Christian village at about 3 a.m. Sunday — an hour when the area should have been under curfew and guarded by the military. Jos has remained under a curfew since violence in January left more than 300 people dead — the majority of them Muslims. …

Sectarian violence in this region of Nigeria has left thousands dead over the past decade.

Posted under Africa, Christianity, Islam, Muslims by Jillian Becker on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

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The cloud of knowing 5

Traces of some very abstruse reasoning emerge tantalizingly from the Cloud of Knowing – the thinkers who influence current US foreign policy. Secretive ends are being pursued. Can we discern what they are, or guess what they might be, from the clues dropped by the press?

The Washington Post reports:

American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and “uncompromising Western secularism” that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

So, according to a body that calls itself the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, secularism “feeds” religious extremism. Presumably that means it nourishes it, energizes it, makes it stronger than it would otherwise be.

Now how could it do that? Does it drive the religious mad by simply being non-religious? And if so, is it to blame for that, or are the religious perhaps over-reacting?

Wait. It’s not any old secularism that is guilty of annoying the religious; it is specifically Western secularism. Other sorts – if there are sorts of secularism – are not bad, or not as bad.

Why? Apparently because Western secularism, in contrast to, say, Eastern secularism if it exists, is “uncompromising”. But how should not-being-religious compromise? Should it be a little bit religious? If so, how much? And would it then still be secularism?

One may begin to suspect that here is another formulation of the now familiar accusation from the left that the West has only itself to blame for being attacked by religious extremists – aka Muslim terrorists – because it is not Muslim. Or is that leaping too quickly to an as yet unwarranted conclusion?

Let’s proceed cautiously. As well as “feeding” religious extremism, this Western secularism also “threatens traditional cultures”. How? Does it proselytize non-belief? Not that anyone’s heard. Does it try to force non-belief on believers? Again, no, not noticeably. Then does its mere existence raise questions that endanger the belief of “traditional cultures” – in which case what would the Chicago Council on Global Affairs have it do to lift the threat from those intimidated folk?

Wait again – the list of accusations against this dangerous force called secularism is not yet exhausted. It also “fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights”.

Which groups would those be – could we have some names, please? And why can they only carry out their noble mission if they are encouraged?

Answers to these questions cannot be found in the Washington Post story.

What it does tell us is that it took this body two years to reach its conclusion. So we  should not brush it off as nonsense: in two years it is possible to go very deeply into grievances.

What’s more, the conclusion requires, and will elicit, action by the government of the United States.

The council’s 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious “capabilities gap” and recommends that President Obama make religion “an integral part of our foreign policy”. 

A serious capabilities gap? Not a mere pothole in the diplomatic road to perfect global accord? And it could be filled in by – what exactly? A state religion? No – that could not be the recommendation of 32 officials and scholars representing all major faiths.

Just a generalized religiosity then?

But how is religion, whether specific or a mere aura of sanctity assumed by the State Department, going to improve American foreign policy, soothe the extremists of foreign creeds, reassure traditional cultures,  and stiffen the backbone of groups (presumably different from the religious extremists) intent on virtuously promoting peace  and human rights?

We are not told, and can only hope that the Chicago Council’s report to the White House provides answers to these difficult questions.

Thomas Wright, the council’s executive director of studies, said task force members met Tuesday with Joshua DuBois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships, and State Department officials. “They were very receptive, and they said that there is a lot of overlap between the task force’s report and the work they have been doing on this same issue,” Wright said.

Something is already being done by the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships to make religion in some way an integral part of US foreign policy? It would be most interesting to know what exactly.

DuBois declined to comment on the report but wrote on his White House blog Tuesday: “The Office of Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnership and the National Security Staff are working with agencies across government to analyze the ways the U.S. government engages key non-governmental actors, including religious institutions, around the globe.”

Ah! He’s not being exact, but there’s a clue in here somewhere.

The Chicago Council isn’t as influential as the Council on Foreign Relations or some other Washington-based think tanks, but it does have a long-standing relationship with the president. Obama spoke to the council once as a state senator and twice as a U.S. senator, including his first major foreign policy speech as a presidential candidate in April 2007.

It could depend on his sympathy then, with whatever it is they want done.

Michelle Obama is on the council’s board.

Again, ah!

Now we learn that the problem, however obcure it may seem to the public, has been troubling smart people for quite some time.

American foreign policy’s “God gap” has been noted in recent years by others, including former secretary of state Madeleine K. Albright.

Well, she has been associated with a few faiths in her time – Judaism, Catholicism, Protestantism. So perhaps she would be especially aware of a shortage of religious belief in the State Department. Could have struck her forcibly when she assumed office.

“It’s a hot topic,” said Chris Seiple [read something very politically correct that he’s written here], president of the Institute for Global Engagement in Arlington County and a Council on Foreign Relations member. “It’s the elephant in the room. You’re taught not to talk about religion and politics, but the bummer is that it’s at the nexus of national security. The truth is the academy has been run by secular fundamentalists for a long time, people who believe religion is not a legitimate component of realpolitik.

Come now, politics can hardly be avoided by a Council of Foreign Relations. But you say that religion is “the elephant in the room”? And it is “at the nexus of national security” ?

The Chicago Council’s task force was led by R. Scott Appleby of the University of Notre Dame and Richard Cizik of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good.

Who is Richard Cizik, and what is the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good? According to Newsweek he was the Washington lobbyist for the National Association of Evangelicals for nearly 30 years, and then, towards the end of 2008, he announced “the formation of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, a group devoted to developing Christian responses to global and political issues such as environmentalism, nuclear disarmament, human rights, and dialogue with the Muslim world”.

Hmm.

“Religion,” the task force says, “is pivotal to the fate” of such nations as Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Iraq, Iran, Nigeria and Yemen, all vital to U.S. national and global security.

So the particular religion they have in mind is Islam?

Not necessarily … don’t jump to conclusions …  it could also be  .. hmmm-mmm … Hinduism and …  Christianity and … who knows what?:

“Despite a world abuzz with religious fervor,” the task force says, “the U.S. government has been slow to respond effectively to situations where religion plays a global role.” Those include the growing influence of Pentecostalism in Latin America, evangelical Christianity in Africa and religious minorities in the Far East.

All of which feel threatened by Western secularism? Are crying out for it to compromise a little?

But okay, mostly Islam:

U.S. officials have made efforts to address the God gap, especially in dealings with Islamic nations and groups. The CIA established an office of political Islam in the mid-1980s. … During the second Bush administration, the Defense Department rewrote the Army’s counterinsurgency manual to take account of cultural factors, including religion.

Could that have had something to do with the shooting of soldiers by an “extremist” Muslim officer at Fort Hood? Just wondering.

The Obama administration has stepped up the government’s outreach to a wider range of religious groups and individuals overseas

… even, say, the Dalai Lama if he’ll use the back door …

…  trying to connect with people beyond governments, said a senior administration official who spoke on the condition of anonymity.

Very hush-hush stuff this.

The effort, he said, is more deliberate than in the past: “This issue has senior-level attention.”

He noted that Obama appointed a special envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Conference …

The envoy being a Muslim and a terrorist sympathizer [see our post The trusted envoy, February 20, 2010], and the Organization of the Islamic Conference being a major instrument of the Ummah for the conquest of the non-Muslim world, chiefly by methods of “soft jihad” in Europe.

… and created a new Muslim outreach position in the State Department. In the past year, he said, embassies in Muslim-majority countries have held hundreds of meetings with a broad range of people not involved in government.

Huh? Muslim-majority countries have had hundreds of meetings with individual people not involved with government? What people? Why? To what end? How does the government know about them?

Whatever was going on with that, it was apparently too “episodic and uncoordinated”. Now there must be something more programmatic, more official, more formal, more defined, and definitely involving government:

To end the “episodic and uncoordinated nature of U.S. engagement of religion in the world,” the task force recommended:

— Adding religion to the training and continuing education of all foreign service officers, diplomats and other key diplomatic, military and economic officials. …

— Empowering government departments and agencies to engage local and regional religious communities where they are central players in the promotion of human rights and peace, as well as the delivery of health care and other forms of assistance.

Leaving aside the code words “human rights” and “peace” which in such a context as this usually mean “leftism” and “Islam” – diplomats, and military and even economic officials should deliver health care?

But here comes the stunner. (Remember that “clarify” in diplomatic talk always means “take it back and say something more to our liking”.)

— Address and clarify the role of religious freedom in U.S. foreign policy.

Cizik said some parts of the world — the Middle East, China, Russia and India, for example — are particularly sensitive to the U.S. government’s emphasis on religious freedom and see it as a form of imperialism.

RELIGIOUS FREEDOM IS A FORM OF IMPERIALISM?

We give up. Such nuanced thought is beyond our grasp.

Let nobody fly 0

We’ve been watching stupid politicians on both sides of the Atlantic for a good few decades, but we’ve never seen one quite as stupid as the US Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano. How long will millions of air travelers put up with the time-squandering, inconvenience, bother, and humiliation she is imposing on them?

We like Mark Steyn’s take on the increase of hellishness in international airports. Here he is being interviewed by Hugh Hewitt:

HH: I want to read to you the first paragraph of a story from the Times of London today. “Nigerian opposition politicians are demanding visual proof that the country’s president is still alive and fit to govern, six weeks after he left the country for medical treatment.” My question, Mark, are Nigerians better off than Americans where we do not get six minutes without seeing our president on TV?

MS: (laughing) Yeah, I would love to have six weeks without Barack Obama. In fact, you know, people complain that he had nothing to say about the Christmas Day pantybomber until whatever it was, the 27th or the 28th or the 29th. I mean, that three days, I think, was the longest he’s been off TV since he took office. So I’m up for the Nigerian option, six months without seeing the head of state.

HH: Yeah, I think the Nigerians may not be aware of just how lucky they are. Here are a couple of excerpts from today’s Obamafest, Mark Steyn. Cut number one.

BHO: I am less interested in passing out blame than I am in learning from and correcting these mistake to make us safer. For ultimately, the buck stops with me. As President, I have a solemn responsibility to protect our nation and our people. And when the system fails, it is my responsibility.

HH: What do you think, Mark Steyn? Does he really believe that?

MS: Well, you know, I think there’s a tinny sound to Obama. The more…there’s a very funny thing he does when he has to sort of correct course, when he goes too far to the left and he has to rein himself in. And he gives these great sonorous banalities that I think now ring totally hollow. When you look at what’s actually going on here, he’s…the whole pitch here is far too bureaucratic. The idea that they’re going to institute new systems now so that this guy, who was fingered to the CIA, not just to an embassy official, but to a CIA person at that embassy, by his own father, that didn’t get anywhere. So now we’re going to have a whole department dedicated to examining young jihadists who are leaked to the U.S. Government by their fathers or whatever. The response is always a bureaucratic one. And it’s not going to do anything for Americans.

HH: Here’s a second response from the President today, and it’s…this one is just as risible.

BHO: Here at home, we will strengthen our defenses, but we will not succumb to a siege mentality that sacrifices the open society and liberties and values that we cherish as Americans. [We’re stunned to hear Obama speak respectfully, even though we know he’s only pretending, of  ‘the open society and liberties’! – JB]

HH: Try telling that to the people in the New Jersey terminal the other night, Mark Steyn.

MS: Yeah, that’s the point here. Why do al Qaeda need to blow up planes? Right now, they just have to walk through an airport, or make a phone call, or just like this guy in Miami, some bonehead called Mohammed gets on the Detroit flight Northwest out of Miami, and he says let’s kill all the Jews. So they, he goes bananas, and they take him off the plane, but they make everybody else on that plane go back and be rescreened. So the 87 year old granny, who’s never expressed any desire to kill all the Jews, has to go through and be rescreened. So the President’s thing is a joke, and that joke won’t change until all three hundred million of us are on the no-fly list. That’s my solution now. I think we should all get on the no-fly list, and then they’ll have to start from scratch all over again.

HH: If they stop flying people who express the desire to kill all the Jews, it’s going to cut down on the Middle Eastern air traffic quite a lot, isn’t it?

MS: (laughing) It is. I’m not even sure if that guy wanted to file suit, I’m not even sure that’s a bona fide reason for being thrown off planes these days. But you know what I find interesting about this, Hugh, is I was at the airport the other day. And as you go in, the guy looks at your picture ID, my driver’s license. And he gets out this little thing that jewelers have to examine diamonds. And he’s looking at it to see if it’s a fake driver’s license. Now nobody has ever tried to blow up an American airliner with a fake driver’s license.

HH: (laughing)

MS: The guys on 9/11 all had real Virginia picture ID, which they acquired through the illegal immigrant network, because anyone can get real driver’s licenses now, so why do you need to fake them? But what was interesting is that in the course of all this, he never looked me in the eye. He never looked at me.

HH: Right.

MS: They look at the driver’s license, they look at the bottle of shampoo. So if you’re, say, like a nervous 23 year old student who’s underwear is packed with explosives, I would imagine that’s actually quite a tense situation for you. But nobody in the TSA is ever going to look you in the eye. They avoid looking people in the eye, because they know that three hundred millions despise them. And all they can see when they look in your eye is total contempt for them and their absurd security kabuki.

HH: It’ll be interesting to see how long it lasts, because we are, I do believe, reaching a point where people are going to say no mas, no mas.

May that point be reached very soon!

Posted under Commentary, government, Humor, Terrorism by Jillian Becker on Friday, January 8, 2010

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Whatever is she doing? 0

Has anything been heard from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton lately?

Has she nothing to say about al-Qaeda in Nigeria apparently plotting to blow up a plane over Detroit?

What about the incident in Israel when the driver of a car carrying US diplomats tried to run over an Israeli border guard?

Why did the diplomats refuse to show their identification papers?

And why did a US consulate car try to transport a Palestinian woman without permits between Jerusalem and the West Bank?

The identification of American diplomats from the consulate at IDF checkpoints has been a major sticking point for several years.In January 2008, the Civil Administration of Judea and Samaria filed complaints with the Foreign Ministry after both US Security Coordinator Lt.-Gen. Keith Dayton and then-consul-general Jacob Walles refused to roll down their windows or open their car doors and show identification papers at a checkpoint.

However, Israel’s ire reached a new level after an incident on November 13 in which a five-car convoy of consulate vehicles with diplomatic plates arrived at the Gilboa crossing.

According to a detailed official Israel Police description of the incident obtained exclusively by The Jerusalem Post, the drivers refused to identify themselves or open a window or door. The drivers, according to the report, purposely blocked the crossing, tried running over one of the Israeli security guards stationed there and made indecent gestures at female guards.

The entire incident was documented by cameras at the crossing.

Following the incident, the head of the police’s Security Department, Lt.-Cmdr. Meir Ben-Yishai, convened a meeting on November 18 at police headquarters inJerusalem with the regional security officer at the consulate, Tim Laas. Also present were officials from the Defense Ministry and the Foreign Ministry, and the regional security officer at the US Embassy in Tel Aviv, Dan Power… [read more here]

Are these diplomats acting under orders? Whose? And why such orders?

Is it true that the US now recognizes East Jerusalem as the ‘capital of Palestine’, while refusing to recognize the city as the capital of Israel?

Why is a person known to have terrorist connections granted a multiple-entry US visa?

Please tell us, Mrs Clinton.

‘They brought young children unto Him …’ 0

Christian missionaries have exerted themselves zealously to spread their faith in Africa. Christianity, they most sincerely and passionately believe, will improve the miserable life most people lead on that benighted continent. Let’s look at the improvement it has wrought.

From the Los Angeles Times:

The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall. His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him — Mount Zion Lighthouse. A month later, he died.

Nwanaokwo Edet was one of an increasing number of children in Africa accused of witchcraft by pastors and then tortured or killed, often by family members. Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, “Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

Other Christians protest:

“It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

The bleeding-hearts brigade make excuses:

For their part, the families are often extremely poor, and sometimes even relieved to have one less mouth to feed. Poverty, conflict and poor education lay the foundation for accusations, which are then triggered by the death of a relative, the loss of a job or the denunciation of a pastor on the make, said Martin Dawes, a spokesman for the United Nations Children’s Fund. When communities come under pressure, they look for scapegoats,” he said. “It plays into traditional beliefs that someone is responsible for a negative change … and children are defenseless.”

The idea of witchcraft is hardly new, but it has taken on new life recently partly because of a rapid growth in evangelical Christianity. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. In the past month alone, three Nigerian children accused of witchcraft were killed and another three were set on fire.

The United Nations is being as useful as ever – making not the slightest difference:

Nigeria is one of the heartlands of abuse, but hardly the only one: the United Nations Children’s Fund says tens of thousands of children have been targeted throughout Africa….

American members of the same church plead ignorance …

The Nigerian church is a branch of a Californian church by the same name [Mount Zion Lighthouse]. But the California church says it lost touch with its Nigerian offshoots several years ago.

“I had no idea,” said church elder Carrie King by phone from Tracy, Calif. “I knew people believed in witchcraft over there but we believe in the power of prayer, not physically harming people.”

… while Church authorities say they’re too big to do anything about it:

The Mount Zion Lighthouse — also named by three other families as the accuser of their children — is part of the powerful Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria. The Fellowship’s president, Ayo Oritsejafor, said the Fellowship was the fastest-growing religious group in Nigeria, with more than 30 million members.

“We have grown so much in the past few years we cannot keep an eye on everybody,” he explained.

Read the rest of the LA Times article if you can stand the sickening details of the torture inflicted on children by their parents and pastors.

Obama lies over the ocean – and so does Hillary 7

From Power Line:

We’re used to Barack Obama doing it, but this time it’s Hillary Clinton–our Secretary of State!–spreading lies about America overseas:

Hillary Clinton then drew some negative attention for comparing a disputed Nigerian election with the 2000 U.S. stalemate that ended with George W. Bush winning out over Al Gore, who served as Bill Clinton’s vice president.

“Our democracy is still evolving,” Clinton said. “You know we had some problems in some of our presidential elections. As you may remember, in 2000 our presidential election came down to one state where the brother of one of the men running for president was governor of the state. So we have our problems too.”

Clinton’s clear implication was that Jeb Bush had somehow stolen the election on behalf of his brother. This is an outrageous slander, not only of Governor Bush, who had nothing to do with the outcome of the election, but against the United States. What could possibly have possessed our country’s top diplomat to think that it would serve our interests to tell the world, falsely, that we have corrupt Presidential elections?

Once again, the incompetence of the Obama administration is remarkable.

‘Incompetence’? What became of the word ‘treachery’?

What ‘possessed’ her? Why, ‘smart power’ of course.

Posted under Africa, Commentary, Diplomacy, United States by Jillian Becker on Friday, August 14, 2009

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In the name of Jesus the gentle 0

 From the Telegraph:

Children from Crarn accused of being witches and wizards, protesting outside the Governor's headquarters.

Children from Crarn accused of being witches and wizards, protesting outside the Governor’s headquarters. Photo: Mags Gavan, Redrebel Films

Ostracised, vulnerable and frightened, she wandered the streets in south-eastern Nigeria, sleeping rough, struggling to stay alive.

Mary [five years old] was found by a British charity worker and today lives at a refuge in Akwa Ibom province with 150 other children who have been branded witches, blamed for all their family’s woes, and abandoned. Before being pushed out of their homes many were beaten or slashed with knives, thrown onto fires, or had acid poured over them as a punishment or in an attempt to make them "confess" to being possessed. In one horrific case, a young girl called Uma had a three-inch nail driven into her skull.

Yet Mary and the others at the shelter are the lucky ones for they, at least, are alive. Many of those branded "child-witches" are murdered – hacked to death with machetes, poisoned, drowned, or buried alive in an attempt to drive Satan out of their soul.

The devil’s children are "identified" by powerful religious leaders at extremist churches where Christianity and traditional beliefs have combined to produce a deep-rooted belief in, and fear of, witchcraft. The priests spread the message that child-witches bring destruction, disease and death to their families. And they say that, once possessed, children can cast spells and contaminate others.

The religious leaders offer help to the families whose children are named as witches, but at a price. The churches run exorcism, or "deliverance", evenings where the pastors attempt to drive out the evil spirits. Only they have the power to cleanse the child of evil spirits, they say. The exorcism costs the families up to a year’s income.

During the "deliverance" ceremonies, the children are shaken violently, dragged around the room and have potions poured into their eyes. The children look terrified. The parents look on, praying that the child will be cleansed. If the ritual fails, they know their children will have to be sent away, or killed. Many are held in churches, often on chains, and deprived of food until they "confess" to being a witch.

The ceremonies are highly lucrative for the spiritual leaders many of whom enjoy a lifestyle of large homes, expensive cars and designer clothes.

Ten years ago there were few cases of children stigmatised by witchcraft. But since then the numbers have grown at an alarming rate and have reached an estimated 15,000 in Akwa Ibom state alone.

Some Nigerians blame the increase on one of the country’s wealthiest and most influential evangelical preachers. Helen Ukpabio, a self-styled prophetess of the 150-branch Liberty Gospel Church, made a film, widely distributed, called End of the Wicked. It tells, in graphic detail, how children become possessed and shows them being inducted into covens, eating human flesh and bringing chaos and death to their families and communities.

Mrs Ukpabio, a mother of three, also wrote a popular book which tells parents how to identify a witch. For children under two years old, she says, the key signs of a servant of Satan are crying and screaming in the night, high fever and worsening health – symptoms that can be found among many children in an impoverished region with poor health care.

 The preacher says that her work is true to the Bible and is a means of spreading God’s word. "Witchcraft is a problem all over Nigeria and someone with a gift like me can never hurt anybody," she says. "Every Nigerian wants to watch my movies." She denies that her teachings and films could encourage child abuse.

Posted under Christianity, Commentary by Jillian Becker on Monday, November 10, 2008

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