Category Archives: Syria

Kidnapped Nuns No Longer Bear the Cross

by Raymond Ibrahim // World Magazine 

A new video of the twelve Christian nuns kidnapped in Syria recently appeared.  In it, the nuns are taped sitting in a room and being questionedSYRIA_-_Maaloula_sisters_n.2 by an unseen man, presumably a member of the kidnappers.  He asks them how they are, if they’ve been mistreated, etc.

They respond that they are being treated fine, that they very much look forward to being returned to their convent, that they heartily thank the world for its concern, and that they continually pray that God grant peace to all nations.

Their words say one thing, their expressions and demeanor another.  Put differently, as female captives of Islamic jihadis, what else could they say but what they were told to say?  (See, for example, how the nun in glasses had to be forced to face the camera at 1:46.)  Even if one of them dared to Read more →

Kerry Boasts of ‘Pluralistic’ Syria Once Assad Gone

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

U.S. Secretary of State, John Kerry, was recently interviewed about Syria.  While many of his assertions can be debated, one especially requires a response.

U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Flickr

U.S. Embassy Tel Aviv via Flickr

Throughout the interview, he repeatedly insisted that, if Bashar Assad would only leave power, everything would go well — especially for all of Syria’s minorities.

In his words: “I believe that a peace can protect all of the minorities: Druze, Christian, Isma‘ilis, Alawites — all of them can be protected, and you can have a pluralistic Syria, in which minority rights of all people are protected.”

Elsewhere in the interview, Kerry declared that “The world would protect the Alawites, Druze, Christians, and all minorities in Syria after the ousting of Assad.” Read more →

Muslim Cleric Incites Children to ‘Slaughter’ Christians and Alawites in Syria

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

A video recently appeared of an Islamic Sunni cleric in Syria inciting Muslim schoolboys, most of whom appear  to be between the ages of five-twelve, to hate and kill Christians and others.

According to a reportin Arabic (scroll down for video), among other things, the sheikh calls on the children to “slaughter all Christians for being infidels” and that he boasted that “the Christians of Syria are under continuous attack and their churches and monasteries subject to violence.”

In the video, the sheikh first  talks of Islam’s egalitarianism—that it does not consider the race, nationality, or language of people, only whether they have submitted to Islam by becoming Muslims or not—adding, “because the entire world is for Allah.”

He then tells the children that “Islam uplifts the Muslims and debases the non-Muslims,” while raising one hand, symbolic of Islam, and lowering the other, symbolic of all non-Islam, to drive the point home to his young audience.

Next the sheikh asked the children, “Now, the crusaders, that is, the Christians, are they Muslims or infidels?” A few boys answer, “infidels.”

He agreed, pointing out that various Koran verses say that whoever says Jesus is the son of God (that is, Allah) or that he is God is an infidel (see Koran 5:73 and 5:17).

To clarify the point to those children unable to understand all this “theological” talk, the cleric made the sign of the cross, saying “Christians are they who do this.”

He then moved on to the Alawites, the Shia sect of President Bashar Assad, and called on the children to slaughter anyone belonging to them—making a knife-slitting motion with his hand across his neck—because they too are infidels.

The sheikh further told the children in attendance that what they are being taught in schools—

RaymondIbrahim.com

RaymondIbrahim.com

that Christians and Alawites are their “brothers” and they are all one nation—is false and a lie against Islam. This would be a reference to the highly divisive Islamic doctrine of loyalty and enmity, which commands Muslims to hate all non-Muslims—even if they are married to them.

As for the school text books that the boys are taught from—which he said teach all Syrians to treat each other as “brothers” and as “one nation,” regardless of religion—these he called “poisonous,” since “these teachings contradict the law [Sharia] of Allah.” Read more →

‘Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria’ Ignored

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

One of the worst Christian massacres—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying img-1to minimize matters).

The massacre took place in Sadad, an ancient Syriac Orthodox Christian habitation, so old as to be mentioned in the Old Testament.  Most of the region’s inhabitants are poor, as Sadad is situated in the remote desert between Homs and Damascus (desert regions, till now, apparently the only places Syria’s Christians could feel secure; 600 Christian families had earlier fled there for sanctuary from the jihad, only to be followed by it).

In late October, the U.S-supported “opposition” invaded and occupied Sadad for over a week, till ousted by the nation’s military.  Read more →

The Double-Dealing Middle East Is Double-Dealt

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

Boo-hoo, Middle East

About every day or so, a throat-clearing Middle East pundit weighs in to warn us of the Obama’s administration’s dereliction of traditional American engagement. They rightly lament “lead from behind” in Libya. After Benghazi, Libya has turned into something like Somalia. Far more are dying there from sectarian chaos than during the latter years of the hated Moammar Gaddafi’s Photo Credit: John Wardell via Flickrdictatorship.

The Sunni reactionary establishment of the Gulf is right to deplore Obama’s incoherent flip-flop-flips in Egypt and Syria. The oil lords logically conclude that a directionless president will do nothing to stop Iran’s race to get a bomb — and all the subsequent Middle East WMD catch-ups to match it.

Even Obama’s pet Turkey seems confused that its favorite administration is now nowhere to be seen. The Iraqis were given a fresh start after the surge and hundreds of billions of dollars in U.S. aid — and still claimed that they wanted the U.S. out. Obama gladly called their hand. Now, left to themselves, they are reverting to the pre-surge violence, whining about security and sectarianism — and back asking us for even more money. Rule One: never bluff an isolationist to yank all his forces from your country. Read more →

Murdered Christian Children: The Price of Obama’s Pro-Brotherhood Jihad

by Raymond Ibrahim // RaymondIbrahim.com 

Who is more deserving of punishment by the United States?  Millions of Egyptians, for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood?  Or the Muslim Brotherhood, for habitually terrorizing and murdering Christians, among many other crimes? Read more →

America Is Intervened Out

Our security interests have changed, along with out sense that we can make a difference.

by Victor Davis Hanson // National Review Online 

Photo Credit: Spc. Alexander Naylor, US Army via Flickr

A PFC pulls security during a senior leader engagement with Afghan National Police in Bagram, Parwan province, Afghanistan, Sept. 7, 2013.

n the immediate future, I do not think the United States will be intervening abroad on the ground — not in the Middle East or, for that matter, many places in other parts of the world. The reason is not just a new Republican isolationism, or the strange but growing alliance between left-wing pacifists and right-wing libertarians.

Some of the new reluctance to intervene abroad is due to disillusionment with Iraq and Afghanistan, at least in the sense that the means — a terrible cost of American blood and treasure — do not seem yet to be justified by the ends of the current Maliki and Karzai governments. Few Americans are patient enough to hear arguments that a residual force in Iraq would have preserved our victory there, or that Afghanistan need not revert to the Taliban next year. Their attitude to the Obama administration’s unfortunate abdication of both theaters is mostly, “I am unhappy that we look weak getting out, but nonetheless happier that we are getting out.” Read more →

Prestige and Power in Statecraft

History teaches us that nations must always respond vigorously to an enemy’s challenge, a lesson the U.S. should remember in Syria.

by Bruce S. Thornton // Defining Ideas

President Obama, responding to widespread criticisms that his handling of the Syrian chemical weapons crisis was clumsy and ad hoc, said, “I’m less concerned about style points, I’m much more concerned about getting the policy right.” For the president and many politicians in both parties, problems, whether domestic or foreign, are about policy solutions; perceptions of the policy or its implementation, what Obama calls “style,” are irrelevant. As he said about Syria, “The chemical weapons issue is a problem. I want that problem dealt with.” Read more →

Russian Patriarch to Obama: Syria’s Christians Nearing ‘Extermination’

The leader of Russia’s 150 million Orthodox Christians begs the president not to give aid to Syrian jihadis.

by Raymond Ibrahim // PJ Media 

While many were fixated on Russian President Vladimir Putin’s recent letter to the American people, another letter from another Russian leader—this one directly addressed to the U.S. president—was missed.

Russian Patriarch Kirill

Russian Patriarch Kirill

On September 10, Russian Orthodox Patriarch Kirill issued a letter addressed to “His Excellency Mr. Barack Obama, President, United States.”  Whether one wishes to interpret this communique as a product of politics or sincerity, it accurately highlights the plight of Syria’s Christians, especially in the broader context of a larger civilizational struggle.

I repost major portions of the letter below, interspersed with my observations for added context:

Your Excellency, Dear Mr. President,

The tragic events in Syria have raised anxiety and caused pain in the Russian Orthodox Church. We receive information about the situation there not from the news reports but from living evidence coming to us from Read more →

Goodbye Syria, On to Iran!

by Victor Davis Hanson // PJ Media 

To paraphrase T.S. Eliot, this is the way Syria ends: Not with a bang, but a whimper. We are back where we started — lots of people dying — as the crisis recedes with a high five and a sigh, rather than with America blowing some stuff up. Read more →