MIDDLE EAST FORUM: Muslim Persecution of Christians – June, 2013 By RAYMOND IBRAHIM

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IBRAHIM_Raymond-May2013The
degradation of Christian women living in the Islamic world continued in the
month of June. In Syria, after the al-Qaeda linked rebel group conquered
Qusair, a city of the governate of Homs, 15-year-old Mariam was kidnapped,
repeatedly gang raped according to a fatwa legitimizing the rape of non-Sunni women by
any Muslim waging jihad against Syria's government, and then executed.

According
to Agenzia Fides, "The commander of the battalion 'Jabhat al-Nusra' in
Qusair took Mariam, married and raped her. Then he repudiated her. The next day
the young woman was forced to marry another Islamic militant. He also raped her
and then repudiated her. The same trend was repeated for 15 days, and Mariam was
raped by 15 different men. This psychologically destabilized her and made her
insane. Mariam became mentally unstable and was eventually killed."

In
Pakistan, Muslim men stormed the home of three Christian women, beat them,
stripped them naked and tortured them, and then paraded them in the nude in a village in the
Kasur district. Days earlier, it seems the goats of the Christian family had
accidentally trespassed onto Muslim land; Muslims sought to make an example of
the Christian family, who, as third-class citizens, must know their place at
all times.

The
rest of June'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 according to severity:

Attacks
on Christian Worship: Churches and Monasteries

Iraq: During the middle of
the night, armed men attacked St. Mary's Assyrian Catholic Church
in Baghdad; they wounded two Christian guards, one seriously. Later the same
day, bombs were set off at two Christian-owned businesses, both near the
church; they killed one Christian shop owner, a parishioner at St. Mary's.
Since the U.S. "liberation" of Iraq in 2003, 73 churches have been
attacked or bombed, and more than half of the country's Christian population
has either fled or been killed.

Kenya: Motorbike assailants
hurled an explosive device into the Earthquake Miracle Ministries Church in
Mrima village church compound during the Sunday of June 9, injuring 15 people, including one pastor who
had both his legs broken, another pastor who sustained serious injuries, and a
10-year-old child. Said another church leader, "The Christians living
around the scene of the incident are still in shock and are wondering as to the
mission behind the attack, while several pastors looked demoralized. But others
said prayers will help them stand strong in sharing the Christian faith."
Islamic extremists from Somalia's jihadi organization Al Shabaab are suspected
of this and other attacks on Christians in the coastal areas of Kenya.

Nigeria: Four churches were burned in an attack
committed by members of the jihadi group Boko Haram in Borno State in the
Muslim-majority north of the country. According to Agenzia Fides, "A group
of armed men with improvised explosive devices and petrol bombs attacked the
Hwa'a, Kunde, Gathahure and Gjigga communities on Gwoza Hills, burning the 4
churches, raiding and looting cattle and grain reserves belonging to the
population." Discussing the ongoing terrorism Christians in the north are
exposed to, one pastor lamented, "There are Christian
villages that have been completely wiped out by these Muslim terrorists…
Christian fellowship activities and evangelism outreaches are no longer
possible…. For a number of years, the attacks on Christians in these three
local government areas have caused the displacement of thousands of Christians
there. There is a very lamentable problem, as we are no longer able to worship
God as Christians in this part of Nigeria."

Syria: An Islamic jihadi rebel
wearing a suicide belt reportedly detonated himself outside the Virgin Mary
Greek Orthodox Church in an old Christian quarter in Damascus; the attack left
four people dead and several injured. Rebel sources confirmed the attack but
said it was caused by a mortar bomb. Around the same time, jihadi rebels massacred the Christian village of al-Duwair
near Homs, while destroying its churches. Also, according to Agenzia Fides, a
Belgian Catholic priest, Fr. Daniel Maes, 74, of the religious Order of
"Canons Regular Premonstratensian," was last reported as being "in the sights of
jihadi groups who intend to eliminate him and invade the monastery of San James
mutilated in Qara," which dates back to the fifth century. Earlier the
priest had denounced the "ethnic cleansing" carried out on Christians
in Qusair, after the town was taken by the rebels and jihadi groups: "The
surrounding Christian villages were destroyed and all the faithful who were
caught were killed, according to a logic of sectarian hatred… For decades,
Christians and Muslims lived in peace in Syria. If criminal gangs can roam and
terrorize civilians, is this not against international laws? Who will protect
the innocent and ensure the future of this country? … Young people are
disappointed, because foreign powers dictate their agenda. Moderate Muslims are
worried, because Salafists and fundamentalists want to impose a totalitarian
dictatorship of religious nature. The citizens are terrified because they are
innocent victims of armed gangs."

Attacks
on Christian Freedom: Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Indonesia: The Indonesian Ulema
Council in Tegal issued a fatwa against Catholic schools, saying they
are "forbidden" and "morally unsound" for young Muslim
students, despite its pupils, both Muslim and Christian, routinely scoring
higher than in other schools. "For the schools," reported Asia News,
"the fatwa is a great blow, coming in the wake of attacks from Muslim
extremists and local governments that included threats of closure that were however
eventually dropped… [M]any Muslim families have come to
the defence of the two schools, claiming their right to a quality education. In
fact, many schools run by nuns, priests and lay Catholics offer such excellence
in education that they are sought after by non-Christians." Earlier the
influential Indonesian Ulema Council lashed out during flag-raising
"because Mohammed never did it;" before that announcement, the
Islamic clerics "launched anathemas against Facebook for its 'amoral'
nature, as well as yoga, smoking and voting rights, in particular for
women."

Pakistan: A 16-year-old boy who
converted to Christianity from Islam a year ago, and began attending Bible
lessons in a Protestant community, was abducted in Peshawar. Local sources said
he was kidnapped by Taliban-linked Islamic militants "and his fate may
already be marked, as he is considered 'guilty of apostasy,'" the penalty of
which is death. As one Pakistani pastor explained: "If a young Muslim
converts to Christianity in Pakistan, he is forced to live in hiding. Every
Muslim might feel compelled to kill him. The change of religion is not punished
by the civil law, it is punishable by Islamic law. For this reason cases of
Muslim conversion to Christianity are very rare and some convert in
secret."

Somalia: Islamic terrorists
from Al Shabaab ("The Youth") publicly executed a 28-year-old man after
determining that he had in fact become a Christian. Aiming at his head, he was
shot "to death." As Morning Star News explains, "Somalis are
considered Muslim by birth, and apostasy, or leaving Islam, is punishable by
death." After the execution, the man's parents, widow and son fled the
region. The Al-Qaeda linked Al Shabaab has vowed to cleanse Somalia of all
Christian presence, and its members have murdered dozens of Muslim converts to
Christianity.

Uzbekistan: Four police officers
raided the home of a 76-year-old Christian woman, ill with Parkinson's disease.
After removing her from her bed and without producing a search warrant, they
"turned everything in the home upside down," and confiscated her
Bible and other Christian materials. Since then, the woman has been subjected
to innumerable legal proceedings. Most recently, she was convicted of
"Illegal production, storage, or import into Uzbekistan with a purpose to
distribute or distribution of religious materials by physical persons."
The judge ordered that her Bible, 14 Christian books, six DVDs and a video be
destroyed. She was told by court officials, "This is a
Muslim country and all of your Christian books including the Bible are
outlawed." Because these proceedings have caused her extreme anxiety,
after one hearing an ambulance was called for her.

Dhimmitude:
A Climate of Hate and Contempt

Bangladesh: A mob of some "60 extremists" raided a predominantly
Christian village. According to the Barnabas Aid group, "they plundered
the residents' livestock and other possessions and threatened to return to burn
down homes. The attackers then moved on to nearby Bolakipur and targeted a
Christian seminary. Battering down the doors, they forced their way into the
building and severely beat the rector and a number of students. The previous
day, two church leaders from Tumilia were beaten and robbed."

Egypt: "Unknown persons"
kidnapped a 7-year-old Christian girl in
Dakhaleya Province in northern Egypt. The girl, Jessica Nadi Gabriel, was
attending a wedding ceremony with her family when she was seized and torn away.
Her father later revealed that the 7-year-old girl's abductors called him
demanding a ransom of 650,000 Egyptian Pounds (nearly $100,000 USD). Two weeks
earlier, a 6-year-old Coptic boy who was kidnapped and held for ransom, was
still killed and discarded in the sewer—even after
his family paid the Muslim kidnapper the demanded ransom. Also, a Coptic
Christian man named Milad, living in Tanta, said that "unknown
persons" invited him and his family to renounce Christianity and submit to
Islam and convert. According to widely-read Egyptian newspaper, Youm7,
"They also snatched at the crucifix he was wearing around
his neck, and threatened to kidnap his children and wife if he refused to
convert to Islam." As they wore the trademark white robes and long beards,
the man identified them as members of the Salafi movement in Egypt. Meanwhile,
U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson was urging the Coptic pope to
forbid the Copts from protesting against Muslim Brotherhood rule — even though
they, as Christians, would suffer under it most — while Al Azhar, the world's
oldest Islamic university, based in Cairo, called on new Catholic Pope, Francis
I, to declare that "Islam is a peaceful religion."

Iran: According to a June 19
Morning Star News report, "Six more Christians were sentenced for practicing their
faith last week, while Iran's presidential election of a moderate politician
was not expected to soften the regime's persecution of religious
minorities." The same six Christians had been arrested earlier in February
2012, when police raided their house-church meeting. Officials rejected their
appeal for release on bail; they are being held in Adel Abad Prison in Shiraz,
which houses hardened criminals and often lacks heating or health facilities,
and where officials routinely deny medical treatment to prisoners.

Pakistan: Three months after a
mob of 3,000 Muslims attacked a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, burning down two churches and 160 Christian
homes, few of the perpetrators are in prison. Hundreds of those detained
immediately after the incident were released; of the 83 who were arrested, 31
have been released on bail. "Most of the people who were stopped after the
attack were declared innocent by the police and immediately released, for
corruption or political pressure," said a Christian lawyer. Meanwhile, the
Christian whose arrest on blasphemy charges was the occasion for the rampage
has gone on trial, even as he insists he never insulted Islam's Prophet
Muhammad.

Palestinian
Authority
:
Five schools in Gaza—two Catholic and three Christian—face closure if the Hamas
government follows through on an order forbidding co-educational institutions.
According to Fr. Faysal Hijazin: "This will be a big problem. We hope they
will not go through with it, but if they do, we will be in big trouble. We
don't have the space and we don't have the money to divide our schools."
In addition to finding additional space, he said, the schools face having to
hire more teachers. Under Islamic law, men and women teachers would not be
allowed to teach classes to members of the opposite sex older than the age of
10. "It is a concern that in education things are getting more
conservative," said the priest. "It reflects the whole society. This
is of concern to both Christians and moderate Muslims. It is not easy to be
there."

Tanzania: Two Christian pastors
were attacked by Muslims. On the night of Sunday, June 2, a Muslim mob broke
into the home of Robert Ngai, the pastor of the Evangelical Assemblies of God
Church in northeastern Tanzania, and attacked him with machetes. The pastor
received serious cuts on his hands and arms when he raised them to protect his
head from the blows; when last heard of, he was in the intensive care unit. Two
nights earlier, the home of Daudi Nzumbi, Pastor of the Free Pentecostal Church
of Tanzania congregation in Geita, also came under attack. However, the
attackers fled after they were confronted by Pastor Nzumbi's large, barking
dogs. When Nzumbi called police, the officer in charge told him, "I cannot
protect every pastor!"

About
this Series

Because
the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching
pandemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed
to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface
each month. It serves two purposes:

1)
To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not
chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.

2)
To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and
interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.

Accordingly,
whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme,
including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of
Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that
criminalize and punish with death those who "offend" Islam; theft and
plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims);
overall expectations for Christians to behave like dhimmis, or
second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder.
Sometimes it is a combination.

Because
these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from
Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever
there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them:
Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist
culture born of it.

First
published by Greystone
Institute,
September 11, 2013, http://www.meforum.org/3609/muslim-persecution-of-christians-june-2013

http://www.gatestoneinstitute.org/3967/christian-women-degradation-islam

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 and an associate
fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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Hezi ArisMIDDLE EAST FORUM: Muslim Persecution of Christians – June, 2013 By RAYMOND IBRAHIM

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