"We shall come for you...you are polluting our religion." — Note apparently from al-Shabaab, Somalia
"It seems great crackdowns on churches and extraordinary waves of arrest of Iranian pastors and Christian converts have not been effective." — Mohabat News, Iran
The same month that Obama tried to wage war on behalf of the jihadi rebels in Syria (citing "human rights" concerns), some of the war's worst atrocities were committed against that nation's Christian minority, most notably in Ma'loula, an ancient Christian region where the inhabitants spoke Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
There, al-Qaeda-linked jihadis fired mortars and missiles into at least two ancient churches before looting them; some 80 Christians trying to defend their homes were killed. Others who could not flee were forced, on pain of death, to convert to Islam.
One man's last words before being slaughtered by the rebels were: "I am a Christian, and if you want to kill me for that, I do not object to it." A nun involved with humanitarian relief said the man "is a Martyr in Christ in the full sense of this word, since he was murdered solely because of religious hatred!"
The Christian Post reports:
"Jihadists reportedly forced one man to convert to Islam at gunpoint and slit the throat of another Christian woman's fiancé and then [mockingly] told her, 'Jesus didn't come to save him.'…. 'I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,' the Christian senior told the AFP. One of the shooters, he said, 'put a pistol to the head of my neighbor and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat 'there is no God but God' [Islamic shehada]...Afterwards they joked, 'he's one of ours now.'"
In al-Thawrah, Syria, Christians were also singled out for attack by jihadi invaders. In one incident, they stopped three residents, released two who identified themselves as Muslims, and bludgeoned to death the third after he identified himself a Christian (graphic image). They also destroyed, among other churches, the Antiochian Orthodox church of Sts. Sergius and Bacchus.
In Raqqah, a city in northern Syria, the al-Qaeda linked "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" broke the crosses off the area's two Christian churches and placed on them al-Qaeda's Islamic flags. They also set the contents of the Church of the Annunciation and the Church of Martyrs aflame. In one video, a Muslim "freedom fighter" smashes a statue of Virgin Mary to shouts of Islam's war-cry cry, "Allahu Akbar!" ["Allah is Greater!"]
These latest attacks come in the context of yet another fatwa that appeared in September, and issued by 36 Islamic scholars who legitimized "the right of the faithful Sunni Muslims to seize and take possession of goods, homes, property belonging to Christians, Druze and Alawite and members of other religious minorities 'who do not profess the Sunni religion of the Prophet.'" (Earlier, before the "sex jihad" solved the problem by luring Muslim women from Tunisia and elsewhere to provide their sexual services to jihadis in Syria fighting to make Allah's word supreme, another fatwa permitted jihadis to rape all non-Sunni women.)
Meanwhile, when publicly asked about the jihadi nature of the rebellion and that the rebels often shout Islam's supremacist war cry, Allahu Akbar (such as when firing at Chrisitan churches), U.S. Senator John McCain insisted that shouting "Allahu Akbar!" is equivalent to a Christian saying "Thank God," [what a lie] and that the rebels in Syria are "moderates and I guarantee you they are moderates."
Similarly, when U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry was also asked in September about the jihadi and al-Qaeda elements of the Syrian rebels, he argued that, "The opposition has increasingly become more defined by its moderation … more defined by its adherence to some, you know, democratic process and to an all-inclusive, minority-protecting constitution"—an assertion that prompted Russian President Vladimir Putin openly to call Kerry a liar.
The rest of September's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country in alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:
Pakistan Church Attack
In Peshawar, Pakistan, Islamic suicide bombers, in an attack claimed by the Taliban, entered the All Saints Church compound after Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of roughly 550 congregants. They killed nearly 90 worshippers—including Sunday school children, women, and choir members—and injured at least another 120. The now-destroyed Protestant church was built in Peshawar over 130 years ago. According to Margrette, a parishioner who survived (although her sister's status is unknown), "I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church."
Coptic "Dhimmitude" [Living as "Tolerated" Citizens who Pay for "Protection"] in Egypt
Slaughter of Christians
Libya: A group of Muslims surrounded two Egyptian Christians aged 25 and 27, who lived in Libya, and robbed and beat them. The Muslims then demanded that the two men recite the shehada—"There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger"—and convert to Islam. When the two Christians refused, they were tied up, severely beaten, and then shot. Both men died; one with his skull beaten in. No one has been arrested in connection with these killings. The attack marks the third time in two weeks that a Coptic Christian has been robbed and killed in the Derna District.
Pakistan: While holding a dagger and shouting that he was killing "an infidel who blasphemed against Muhammad," a Muslim in Karachi slit the throat of a 58-year-old Christian man, Boota Masih, and then proceeded to stab his body while police and others looked on....
Somalia: The Islamic al-Shabaab group killed a 35-year-old Christian woman inside her home. Earlier her husband had found a note saying, "We shall come for you. You are friends with our enemies [Westerners, assumed to be Christians], and you are polluting our religion." The man fled the area with his 4-year-old child....
Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Afghanistan: A member of Afghanistan's parliament, Nazir Ahmad Hanafi, suggested that all Afghans who have converted to Christianity should be executed, according to Islamic law, to put a check to the growth of Christianity among Afghans....
Iran: The Islamic Republic launched a public campaign dedicated to halting the spread of Christianity among Iranians. This included organizing meetings aimed at debating how and why Iranian youths are converting, often secretly, to Christianity. Mohabat News reported that the government campaign involved meetings aimed at "distorting" public opinion....
Central African Republic: Heavily armed Islamic rebels from the Seleka organization, reportedly from Sudan, attacked the mission of Our Lady of Fatima in Bouar....
Sudan: Agenzia Fides reported that "There are increasing acts of intimidation against priests and missionaries on behalf of the authorities of Sudan….
Zanzibar (Tanzania): Catholic priest Joseph Anselmo Mwagambwa survived an acid attack in the same area where two other priests were shot by al-Qaeda-linked Muslims....
Read the rest HERE:
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Media Fellow of the Hoover Institution, 2013