Introduction By The Inquisitr’s Political Commentator Wolff Bachner:
No one likes to learn the information they have been fed by the mainstream media and many of our elected leaders is tainted by willful ignorance, denial, and out-right lies. When the average American is told the downtrodden Christian population in Muslim majority nations is being deliberately annihilated, most people either shake their heads in stunned disbelief or they start screaming “ISLAMOPHOBE” at the top of their lungs.
Americans have been fed a a steady diet of guilt and blame for so long that they are starting to believe the country is somehow responsible for every terrorist act and bloody war being fought across the globe. It doesn’t matter that since 9/11 there have been more than 20,000 acts of terror committed by men and women who proudly quote the Koran and proclaim the superiority of Islam to anyone who is willing to listen. We continue to give credence to Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr., who announced “America’s Chickens are coming home to roost!” after the World Trade Center lay in ruins and 3000 innocent Americans lost their lives.
Our government, for reasons we can only speculate, continues to pour hundreds of millions of dollars into the Arab Spring, and they refuse to say one word against the ruthless persecution of the Copts in Egypt or the uprooting and murder of the Christian minority in war torn Syria. America continues to send deadly weapons and financial support to the “so-called freedom fighters” in Libya, despite the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens at the hands of those same al-Qaeda affiliated “Freedom Fighters.” Nor will the current administration speak out for the 85 million Christians in Nigeria who have been brutalized since 2001 by Boko Haram, a terrorist group dedicated to imposing Sharia Law on all of Nigeria and devoted to killing anyone who refuses to convert to Islam.
Last year, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, the highest authority in all of Islam, proclaimed that every church in the Arabian Peninsula should be burned to the ground. Unlike the American politicians and journalists who constantly claim the violence is caused by poverty and the lack of social justice, the Grand Mufti was bluntly honest about where his inspiration to burn every church to cinders originated. He was inspired by the the Koran and the 7th century CE legal commentaries written by Islamic scholars, especially the Hadith in which Mohammad told his followers not to allow one Christian church to exist in any nation ruled by Islam. The Grand Mufti was more than happy to follow the Koran and Islamic law to the letter, no matter what the rest of the world thinks.
There is a great debate raging in the West about reaching out to moderate Muslims. Unfortunately, many Muslims living in the Middle East, Africa and Asia do not agree with the concept of moderate Islam. Prime Minister Erdogan of Turkey, leader of one of the most technologically advanced and powerful Middle Eastern nations, refuted the entire concept of Moderate Islam when he said, “It is unacceptable for us to agree with such a definition. Turkey has never been a country to represent such a concept. Moreover, Islam cannot be classified as moderate or not, Islam is Islam.” He went on to say, “The mosques are our barracks, the domes are our helmets, the minarets are our swords, and the faithful are our army.” It should be noted that Turkey also leads the world in imprisoned journalists.
While it is possible for two societies to fundamentally disagree and still co-exist in a peaceful manner, it will not work when one side refuses to acknowledge reality, creates a mythical “Religion of Peace” and ignores the constant human rights violations. The West has chosen to overlook the subversive activities and constant doublespeak when dealing with the Islamic world. Prominent Imams and political leaders pontificate about religious equality for all faiths in English and then completely support Islamic supremacy when speaking to their own citizens. The comments made by President Morsi of Egypt in 2009 are case in point, when he called Jews “descendants of apes and pigs” in an Arabic language speech to the Muslim Brotherhood, while claiming he respects Israel’s right to exist when speaking to American and European reporters.
Our jaded leaders and the mainstream media continue to make all sorts of excuses for every act of intolerance and persecution in the Islamic world, blaming it on colonialism, cultural differences and the lack of modern social benefits. We shake our heads in dismay when we read about the terrified kid in Saudi Arabia who will have his spine severed by a surgeon as punishment under Sharia Law for crippling another teenager. We excuse such completely barbaric behavior by saying we shouldn’t judge another nation’s ancient religious traditions. The Saudi Royal family laughs at us, cripples kids, and beheads women for witchcraft. We refuse to hold adults responsible for savage acts of inhumanity and we conveniently forget that an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind!
Enough of my opinions for the present, let’s turn the floor over to our good friend, and Inquisitr contributor, Raymond Ibrahim for another no holds barred interview exposing Islam’s new war on Christians.
The Inquisitr interviews Raymond Ibrahim, world renowned expert on terrorism and the author of The al-Qaeda Reader:
Wolff Bachner: Raymond, your ground breaking new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, has just been published and it is available from Amazon.Com or in bookstores across America. Why did you decide to write the book and what has the reaction been to such a powerful and controversial study?
Raymond Ibrahim: Thanks, Wolff. I wrote the book to fill the vacuum, since the mainstream media and others—such as the Obama administration—have to varying degree decided to ignore or whitewash this otherwise growing epidemic of human pain and suffering. If any other group but Christians were being attacked as they are in the Islamic world, their plight would make international headlines. But because from childhood on up in America—from high schools to universities, from the media to Hollywood—Americans are conditioned to think of Christians and their history as the fanatical and intolerant, it is difficult to acknowledge that, in fact, Christians are by far the most persecuted religious group around the word, especially the Islamic world. A January 2013 Reuters report estimates some 100 million Christians around are being persecuted for their faith. Thus I wrote this book to give voice to the many voiceless Christians suffering under Islam.
Wolff Bachner: How bad is the situation today for Christians in Muslim majority countries?
Raymond Ibrahim: The situation has gone from bad to worse, particular in light of the so-called “Arab Spring” and the Obama administration’s enthusiastic support for it, despite the fact that it continually exposes its true face as an Islamic takeover. Almost every single country that Obama has helped rebels and opposition forces to topple the secular ruling regimes has gotten markedly worse for Christians. Under Gaddafi, one never heard of Libya’s immensely small Christian minority suffering. Post-Gaddafi, and thanks to Obama’s support for the al-Qaeda linked jihadis who were always a part of the opposition, the very few churches there are under attack and bombed; nuns are harassed and forced to flee; Christians possessing Bibles are arrested and tortured (one recently died from his torture). It is the same now in Syria, which, under secular strongman Bashar Assad was tolerant towards its Christian minorities. Now, the “freedom-fighters”—code for the Obama-supported foreign jihadis—are targeting Christians for killing, displacement, and hostage taking for ransoms. The atrocities being committed are many and barbaric—beheadings, enslavements, rapes, and wholesale massacres—filling the over 300 pages of Crucified Again.
Wolff Bachner: Is the widespread persecution a product of modern social and political grievances or does the hatred of non-Muslims have a long tradition in Islam?
Raymond Ibrahim: This is a good and important question. The persecution is 100% a product of Islamic tradition. Consider: the Christians being persecuted by Muslims are identical to their persecutors: they share the same race and ethnicity; speak the same languages; are nationals of the same countries. There is nothing to distinguish the Christian from the Muslim in widely different countries like Egypt, Nigeria, and Indonesia—except, of course religion. Moreover, in all the countries I survey in Crucified Again, Christians are also politically marginalized and poorer than their Muslim counterparts. Thus it is clear that Muslim attacks on Christians and their places of worship are animated first and foremost by religious hostility, as there is no other valid or even conceivable reason to explain the violence daily visited on Christians under Islam. And yes, this hostility has a very long tradition in Islam and its teachings and doctrines, much of which I cover in the book.
Wolff Bachner: Is life improving for Christians in countries like Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Morocco, and Tunisia since the uprisings against the region’s dictators and monarchies?
Raymond Ibrahim: No, life is getting worse. Once of the most overlooked phenomena of our age is that Muslims are returning to Islam. This sounds redundant and meaningless, but I speak of a “lost history” that has blinded the West to the implications of this return. In short, because Islam is a religion that makes might right, after the Islamic world was subjugated by the West beginning with Napoleon’s easy conquest of Egypt in 1798, Muslims began seeing Westernization as pivotal to success, and thus largely turned their backs on Islam, being “Muslim” only in name. However, around mid-20th century, beginning in earnest in the “liberal” 1960s, when Western culture took a nosedive, became sexually and morally unrestrained, apologetic for itself, and seeing Western civilization, especially Christianity, as the root of the world’s sufferings, Muslims went from trying to emulate the West, to having great contempt for it, and naturally began returning to their own heritage, Islam and its Sharia—all of course to “multicultural” Western applause, since, to the West, Islam and its Sharia were, and continue to be portrayed, as great things. But of course, as Muslims turn to Islam, so too do the things of Islam—like Christian persecution—return. In fact, because I believe this era and its significance are pivotal not only to understanding Muslim persecution of Christians, but the rise of Islam as a political force, I have an early, and important chapter titled “Lost History,” where I fully elaborate on this theme.
Wolff Bachner: How has the withdrawal of US forces impacted the lives of Christians in Iraq and Afghanistan? Dr. Wagdi Gonium, a popular radical cleric in Egypt, ridiculed America when he said, “What do you think — that America will protect you? Let’s be very clear, America will not protect you. If so, it would have protected the Christians of Iraq when they were being butchered!”
Raymond Ibrahim: Honestly, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq and Afghanistan has not really exacerbated the sufferings of Christians, as they were still being persecuted even when U.S. forces were there. In fact, if anything, the presence of U.S. forces sometimes enables the persecution of Christians. For example, I have a whole section in Crucified Again explaining the concept of collective punishment, and how vulnerable, indigenous Christian are regular attacked in response to the actions of U.S. forces or the West in general, as many Muslims conflate the West with Christianity (when Muhammad cartoons are published in Europe, Christians around the Islamic world are attacked, their churches bombed). Speaking of churches, although some existed in Afghanistan before the U.S. invasion, a year ago the last church was formally demolished by the U.S.-installed government—and while U.S. troops were there. As for Iraq, the year following the ousting of Saddam Hussein, in 2004 and under U.S auspices, jihadis went on a church bombing spree, destroying countless churches and killing many Christians.
Wolff Bachner: Why is the Obama Administration, and the Bush Administration before them, so unwilling to say one word about the horrible violence being done to Christians across the Islamic world? For a nation that prides itself on protecting the helpless, the United States seems to have buried its head in the sand when it comes to the suffering of Christians.
Raymond Ibrahim: Quite true. There is a difference, however subtle, between Bush’s handling and Obama’s: when Bush “liberated” Iraq, and jihadis went on, among other things, a Christian persecution spree, it was still unknown to most U.S. politicians that that would be a consequence; there really weren’t many precedents to go by. On the other hand, even before Obama came to power, the fate of Christian minorities in countries “liberated” from the grip of autocrats was known (since the ousting of Saddam, more than half of Iraq’s indigenous Christians have either been killed or fled their homeland). So there was a precedent for the Obama administration to go by. Nonetheless, the administration has done all it can to empower radical forces under the umbrella of the “Arab Spring,” and the same pattern that took place a decade earlier in Iraq—the persecution of Christians, not to mention jihadi intolerance for all that is non-Islamic—has, as expected, come to all of those countries where Obama helped empower the Islamist opposition—including Egypt, Libya, and now Syria, where a recent fatwa, an Islamic decree, made it permissible for jihadis to rape all non-Sunni women, as a reward for waging jihad to empower Sharia law in Syria.
Wolff Bachner: Why do you think so many citizens in Western nations are unaware of the persecution of Christians? Every time a Jew dares to build a house on Jewish land in Jerusalem there is a major protest and its front-page news, but hundreds of Churches have been burned in the Middle East, Africa and Asia without a word in the Mainstream media.
Raymond Ibrahim: I discuss this at length in Crucified Again. In a nutshell, the mainstream media, to a great extent, exists to validate its liberal narrative, a narrative which suggests that all violence is a byproduct of some material, tangible grievance. Thus the Arab-Israeli conflict is a favorite topic for them to cover, for no matter how many rockets are shot into Tel Aviv by Hamas and Hezbollah, that will only be portrayed as proof positive that Muslims in PA territories are aggrieved and frustrated, and thus lashing out at their Israeli “oppressor.” And no matter how many times jihadi groups articulate their rage in purely Islamic terms, the media will portray their animus as a product of grievance and land conflict. On the other hand, the media finds it difficult to rationalize away Muslim attacks on Christians—Christians who are of the same race, ethnicity, and speak the same language as their Muslim persecutors. In this context, the media can’t portray the violence as a “land” dispute or a product of “grievance” (if anything it is the ostracized and politically dis-empowered Christian minorities who should have grievances). So since they can’t articulate the attacks on Christians in the established secular paradigm, their primary recourse is not to report on Christian persecution, for it is a phenomenon which throws a wrench in their otherwise well-oiled narrative of “Muslim-violence-is-a-product-of Muslim-grievance.” Other times, when they have no choice but to report on it—I have in mind the most spectacular attacks on Christians, where dozens are often killed—but only after using their entire arsenal of semantic games and relativistic, equivocating language that minimizes the religious element.
Wolff Bachner: How can the United Nations claim to be dedicated to world peace, yet they refuse to discuss or debate the treatment of Christian Copts in Egypt, the forced conversion to Islam of thousands of Christians, the violent jihad against Christian worshipers in countries like Nigeria or the public calls from prominent Islamic leaders to destroy every church in the Arabian Peninsula?
Raymond Ibrahim: Because most of those in the United Nations are byproducts of the mainstream media’s secular and liberal narrative so that, like many in the Western world, they simply cannot see Christian persecution for what it is, and much prefer to focus on those peoples whom the powers that be have bestowed the honor of being portrayed as persecuted people, chief among them Muslim Palestinians (who, ironically, often persecute the Christian minority in their midst).
Wolff Bachner: What do you foresee as the future of Christianity if the West continues to ignore the rampant persecution and murder of Christians across the Middle East, Africa and Asia?
Raymond Ibrahim: Extinction. Many forget that, when Islam burst out of Arabia during the first major wave of Islamic conquests in the 7th century, half of the world’s entire Christian population lived precisely in those lands we nonchalantly call the “Arab World”—from Morocco to Egypt in north Africa, from Syria to Turkey in Asia. Fourteen hundred years of sporadic jihads and dhimmitude has seen the slow decimation and forced conversion of Christians to Islam, making that region nearly purely Islamic. With the exception of the Christian “golden age” during and after the colonial era, when Muslims were Western-leaning, today’s jihad has resumed in an effort to eradicate Christianity from its birthplace—the Middle East—once and for all.
Wolff Bachner: What can a concerned private citizen do to help end the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world? Can they do anything to help or is it simply too late?
Raymond Ibrahim: It’s nearly too late—in some countries like Iraq, the indigenous Christian population has been decimated, and outside of Egypt, the whole of north Africa has something less than 1% of a Christian population—but there are many Muslim majority nations where Christians exist and are fighting for survival, Pakistan, Egypt, and Syria for example. Concerned citizens should contact their representatives, and visit some of the human rights organizations that fight for Christian survival I list in Crucified Again. Most importantly, they should spread the word. At this point, our paralysis is fundamentally tied up to our ignorance.
IMPORTANT UPDATE 1:00 AM CST:
Breaking news on a disturbing article just published by Raymond Ibrahim about the fate of an American citizen and Christian pastor, Saeed Abedini, rotting away in prison in Iran since the beginning of the year. The Iranian born pastor returned to the land of his childhood to open an orphanage and visit his family. He was charged with “threatening the national security” of Iran and sentenced to a minimum of eight years imprisonment in one of the worst prisons on the planet.
The pastor was sentenced in January of 2013. Since then the State Department has excluded Abedini from its Iran Prisoners List and President Obama refuses to answer questions about the case or speak out to demand the release of an American citizen being held in violation of every UN Treaty on human rights and religious freedom. We can only speculate that disarming law abiding American citizens, playing golf with Tiger Woods, and ridiculing Republicans is more important to the President than a devout and dedicated Christian pastor who is being tortured by a totalitarian religious theocracy that hangs teenage homosexuals from cranes in the public square and finances most of the world’s terrorists.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
“In January, an American Christian was sentenced to an eight-year prison sentence on charges of “endangering national security” in Iran. A 32-year-old married father of two from Boise, Idaho, Pastor Saeed Abedini traveled to his country of origin last year to visit family and help build an orphanage, only to be arrested and sent to Tehran’s brutal Evin prison.”
“According to Fox News, Abedini, a Muslim convert to Christianity—also known as an apostate deserving of death under Islamic Sharia law—is “facing physical and psychological torture at the hands of captors demanding he renounce his beliefs.” In a recent letter smuggled to family members, he recounted the “horrific pressures” and “death threats” he endures: “My eyes get blurry, my body does not have the strength to walk, and my steps become very weak and shaky… They are only waiting for one thing… for me to deny Christ. But they will never get this from me.””