In theory, Middle East Studies programs are a good idea. One of the biggest impediments to countering modern jihadism has been the lack of historical knowledge about the region and Islam. But even the attention and urgency that followed the terrorist attacks on 9/11 have not led to such knowledge. The result has been policies pursued both by Republicans and Democrats that are doomed to fail, as the current chaos in the region attests.
Even the administration is now considering some sort of overseas contingency operation to cope with an outbreak of workplace violence worldwide.
Each morning it seems we read that Islamic killers of Boko Haram have kidnapped or slaughtered more children. Israel alleges Hamas affiliates are behind the kidnapping of Israeli teens, one of them an American citizen. No need to mention Iraq: We are flirting with the idea that the Iranians — who once introduced sophisticated shaped-charge IEDs to better kill and maim Americans trying to win the surge — are our new allies to stop the ISIS Islamist monsters from destroying our former Iraq allies whose religious hatreds ruined the stability following the surge. Westerners say that the more secular Assad government is the more monstrous, but then deplore the fact that al-Qaeda has taken the upper hand among the insurgents in Syria, most of them now radical Islamists.
A few days ago in Sudan, an eight-month pregnant wife and mother was sentenced to death by hanging for refusing to renounce Christ and embrace Islam. According to the LA Times:
Meriam Yehya Ibrahim, who has a young son and is married to a Christian from South Sudan, violated Islamic sharia law, the court said. She insists she was raised Christian, not Muslim.
The court also ordered Ibrahim to be flogged for having sexual relations with her husband, since her marriage is not recognized by officials.
Ibrahim refused a court order Sunday giving her several days to renounce her Christian faith, which resulted in the sentencing Thursday….
Ibrahim, currently jailed with her son, will be allowed to give birth and raise her second child until the age of 2 years but then faces execution. Sudanese authorities refuse to allow Ibrahim’s son to reside with her husband because the husband is Christian.
A Coptic Christian man in Egypt has been arrested on complaints from local Muslims that, without a permit, he has converted his home into a church and is supposedly even holding religious rituals.
The 55-year-old man, known only by his initial, “BH,” is a laborer in the al-Minya district in Upper Egypt, where Christians are especially targeted. It was back in 2011 that the Copt first turned his home into a church, prompting angry, local Muslims to report him. He was arrested by police but later released after agreeing that he would never again try to use his home as a church.
Apparently not one to be deterred, “after a while, Muslims in the village were shocked to see the Christian worker do it again [use his home as a church]—only openly this time.”
So police have arrested him once again, pending investigation.
In Egypt, as well as most other Muslim countries, Christians need special permits, often from the presidency itself, to build churches—permits which are next to impossible to acquire—shedding some light on this Copt’s actions.
That said, Islamic sanctioned sex-slavery does not perturb the Western world simply because the powers-that-be—specifically academia, media, and government—ignore it, and all other unsavory phenomena associated with Islam, out of existence.
Interesting, therefore, are the responses from the authorities—comical one might even say—when one of these everyday anecdotes actually does surface to the general public.
Context: On November 10, 2013, a Muslim imam was invited to give the Islamic call to prayer inside the Memorial Church of the Reformation in the city of Speyer, Germany—a church dedicated to honoring Martin Luther and the Protestant Reformation.Several are the important lessons learned from last year’s “Brave German Woman” incident.
To the awe of its readership, a recent Daily Mail article reports that the “jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and Levant [ISIL],” which is currently entrenched in Raqqa, Syria, “publicly crucified two Syrian rebels in northeastern Syria in revenge for a grenade attack on members of their group.”
While the Daily Mail is to be commended for exposing these barbaric acts—along with posting photos of the crucified—it nonetheless minimized their significance, in two important ways: 1) by repeatedly saying things like “even al-Qaeda is distancing itself from ISIL,” and so implying that the act of crucifixion is some wild aberration that even the poster-child of jihadi terror, al-Qaeda, wants nothing to do with it; and 2) ignoring the much “sexier” story that Christians in Syria are also being crucified simply for refusing to embrace Islam (as opposed to the rather mundane but politically more correct story of jihadis crucifying each other in the context of vendetta killings). Continue reading “Christians ‘Crucified Again’ for Refusing Islam”→
I was recently involved in an interesting exercise—examining taqiyya about taqiyya—and believe readers might profit from the same exercise, as it exposes all the subtle apologetics made in defense of the Islamic doctrine, which permits Muslims to lie to non-Muslims, or “infidels.”
Context: Khurrum Awan, a lawyer, is suing Ezra Levant, a Canadian media personality and author, for defamation and $100,000. Back in 2009 and on his own website, Levant had accused Awan of taqiyya in the context of Awan’s and the Canadian Islamic Congress’ earlier attempts to sue Mark Steyn.
On behalf of Awan, Mohammad Fadel—professor of Islamic Law at the University of Toronto’s Faculty of Law—provided an expert report to the court on the nature of taqiyya, the significance of which he portrayed as “a staple of right-wing Islamophobia in North America.”
In response, Levant asked me (back in 2013) to write an expert report on taqiyya, including by responding to Fadel’s findings.