Christians Are ‘Target Practice’: Muslim Persecution of Christians, May 2016


Christian family Iraq

More reports of the brutal treatment that Christians and other minorities experienced at the hands of the Islamic State (SIS) emerged during May. One account told of a couple who, after their children were abducted by ISIS militants, answered their door one day to find a plastic bag on their doorstep. It contained the body parts of their daughters and a video of them being brutally tortured and raped.

Another Christian mother from Mosul answered the door to find ISIS jihadis demanding that she leave or pay the jizya (protection money demanded as a tribute by conquered Christians and Jews, according to the Koran 9:29). The woman asked for a few seconds, as her daughter was in the shower, but the jihadis refused to give her the time. They set fire to the house; her daughter was burned alive. The girl died in her mother’s arms; her last words were “Forgive them.”

The Islamic State reportedly beheaded another Christian leader on February 18. No media reported it, except for one Italian paper in May: “There are reliable reports are that Father Yacob Boulos, was beheaded by the terror group’ militants after he prayed on the altar of his church. He was punished for his faith.”

According to another report, “In yet another disturbing example of the genocide facing Christians and other religious minorities in the Middle East, on 12-13 May a group from Islamic State (IS) entered a town near the city of Hama in Syria, populated only by Christians and Alawites, killing an as yet unspecified number of men, women and children. Men were beheaded, whilst women were raped and then murdered. Many children were also killed. It is not yet clear exactly how many people have been killed.”

A local Christian leader said, “Where are the leaders of the West, Ban Ki-Moon (Secretary-General of the United Nations), the EU, WHO (World Health Organization), and other Christian organisations? How long will my nation tolerate and stay. We don’t hold arms and weapons, but we are melting like a candle! Is it possible for our voice to reach to all others?”

Father Douglas Bazi, an Iraqi priest, who was kidnapped by ISIS in 2006 but later escaped, recounted his experiences as a captive: “They destroyed my car, they blew up my church on [sic] front of me. I got shot by AK-47 in my leg. The bullet is still in my leg. And I [have] been kidnapped for nine days. They smash my nose and my teeth by hammer. And they broke one of my back discs.”

He was released after his church paid for his ransom, but eventually had to flee the region after continued persecution by ISIS. “To be Christian in Iraq, it’s an impossible mission,” said Father Bazi, adding, “But even so, I’m not actually surprised when they attack my people. I’m surprised how my people are still existing. Please talk about our stories. Let the world know what happens to us.”

The rest of May’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following:

More Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Uganda: A Christian pastor was poisoned to death by a Muslim. Micah Byamukama, 61, pastor of a Baptist Church, died on May 15, after ingesting an insecticide that a Muslim, Ahmed Mupere, had put into his food. Ahmed was upset that the pastor challenged his belief in jinn, supernatural creatures attested to in Islamic literature, including the Koran. “The true God is the God of the Lord Jesus Christ, who conquered the power of Satan including the Islamic Jinn… the Islamic Jinn are acts of Satan and should be denounced,” the pastor had apparently said. Soon, unidentified persons believed to have been hired by Ahmed attacked and wounded the pastor with knives.  Five days after the knife attack, Ahmed, pretending not to be angry, came to visit the pastor, a widower with no children. According to the report, “Feigning reconciliation as he dined with the pastor from a shared dish, Ahmed secretly put poison on the food and stopped eating as Pastor Byamukama continued.” Shortly thereafter, the Christian man began having stomach pains, was rushed to the hospital and soon declared dead.  Earlier, the pastor had told his neighbor, “Ahmed took a little food with me and then stopped. When I asked him why not continue with the food, he said he had eaten at his home, and that he wanted [to] go back home because it was getting late.” A nurse said the pastor died from ingesting a highly toxic insecticide. Once investigations began, Ahmed fled. The incident is the latest in a series of attacks, including other poisonings, by Muslims against Christians in eastern Uganda.

In a separate incident in Uganda, a Muslim man strangled his wife to death for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity. Awali Kakaire, 34, began to suspect that his wife Mariam Nakiriya, 30, was a Christian a month earlier, when the local imam asked him why his wife and children had not been attending the mosque or madrassa (Islamic school). According to one of Kakaire’s sons: “Our father questioned us why we have stopped attending the madrassa, but we told him that we were busy with school work as our mother had instructed us This made my father to cool down his tempers.” Then, on May 8, Kakaire awoke at 6 a.m., and after his Islamic cleansing ritual, woke his wife to join him in morning Islamic prayers: “Our mother refused, and our father started strangling her as she cried for help,” his son said. After killing her, Kakaire left the house only to return two hours later and force his five children, ages 5 to 12, into a hole he had dug in a nearby garden.  “We resisted and began screaming, and neighbors arrived immediately, but he had already dumped us into the hole that he had dug. Seeing the neighbors, he tried to flee but he was overtaken and then began to be questioned by those who surrounded him.”  Kakaire was heard shouting “My family has no respect for Islam.” Thanks to some local Muslim, Kakaire managed to escape the murder scene.

Syria: Up to 200 Christians were reportedly killed during sustained bombardments of the city of Aleppo. Between April 22 and April 30, approximately 1,350 rockets hit the Christian region. The attack killed 132 people, half of them women and children. Another 65 were killed on May 3, and hundreds more injured. Islamic rebels had earlier, on April 22, issued a direct threat against Aleppo’s large community of Armenian Christians, and warned, “We will show the Armenians and the Christians who we are… We have been ordered not to leave any Armenians in the area.”

Bangladesh: “Fighters from the Islamic State assassinated a doctor who called to Christianity in Kushtia, western Bangladesh,” announced in a brief statement issued in Arabic. Doctor Sanaur Rahman, 58, was riding home on his motorcycle along with his friend when they were attacked by machete-wielding terrorists. Rahman was hacked to death, while Zaman was critically wounded in the attack. The doctor was popular in his village because he used to treat and offer medicine to poor people free of charge and ran a free clinic on Fridays.

Congo: Muslim terrorists killed scores of villagers in the east of the Christian-majority nation. The attackers carried machetes and axes into a village in North Kivu province during the evening of May 3. According to the local administrator, “the enemy managed to get past army positions and kill peaceful residents in their homes, slashing their throats. The 16 bodies are in front of me, killed by machete or axe.” Another source said that as many as 38 were slaughtered, including two Evangelical Christian leaders and their wives. According to the report,

The MDI [Muslim Defensive International] has repeatedly attacked the majority-Christian population in eastern DRC for years. Kidnapping and murder are common. It is alleged to have support from the Islamic government of Sudan… The MDI is known to have attracted foreign recruits and to have forced Christians to convert to Islam. The local population in the related area is overwhelmingly Christian (95.8%) and the impact on them has been immense.

In a letter released a year ago, Congolese Bishops denounced a “climate of genocide” and the passivity of the Congolese government and the international community: “Does the situation have to deteriorate even more before the international community takes measures against jihadism?” asked the Bishops in May 2015.

Philippines: Islamic jihadis attacked the “Crusaders” of the Catholic-majority nation. The recently-established ISIS branch in the Philippines claimed responsibility for a terror attack on a military position on Basilan Island. The attack killed one soldier and injured another. Basilan Island has long been a stronghold of local Muslim terror organizations that aim to topple the government and establish a Sharia-compliant government.

Muslim Rape and Humiliation of Christian Women

Bangladesh: A 26-year-old Catholic high school teacher was raped on May 12 by her Muslim principal and his friend, Shariful Islam. Afterwards, they threatened to post the video of the rape on Facebook, if she reported them. According to parish priest Fr. Domenic K. Halder, “The girl is very frightened. We pray for her, she is still in hospital.” Hundreds of Christians also protested in the streets of Dhaka and demanded justice.

Egypt: On May 20, a 70-year-old Christian woman was stripped naked, savagely beaten, spat upon, and paraded in the streets of Minya to jeers, whistles, and yells of “Allahu Akbar,” after a mob of some 300 Muslim men descended on her home. Her crime was that her son was accused of having a romantic relationship with a Muslim woman, an intimacy that is banned under Islamic law, Sharia. It is the same body of teachings that prescribes collective punishment to non-Muslim “infidels”:  Accordingly, seven Christian homes were also torched during the attack. Earlier that day her husband and she had gone to local police and complained that they were being harassed and threatened by neighborhood Muslims. The police responded by also threatening and ordering them out of the station. A few hours later, the attack occurred. It took the same local police over two hours to appear, giving the mob “ample time,” as one Christian clergyman put it, to riot. Minya’s most senior Christian cleric, Bishop Makarios, said during a televised interview concerning the 70-year-old woman’s ordeal that if a Muslim man were pursuing a Christian woman, the police response “would not have been anything like what happened…. No one did anything and the police took no preemptive or security measures in anticipation of the attacks.”

Uganda: After a 22-year-old Christian woman accused a mosque leader of murdering her father earlier in the year, local Muslims responded by beating and raping her. The woman, whose name was withheld, said she was beaten and raped on April 19 for telling a court what she had witnessed. She was found unconscious in a pool of blood, with cuts on her body. One of the three Muslims who assaulted her told her, “We shall kill you today because you are the one who made our sheikh to be imprisoned.” According to the woman, speaking from a hospital bed,

I was able to identify the sheikh because we are neighbors, and my father had been questioning him about the Islamic faith not leading one to salvation with God. The sheikh had said to him, “You have no respect of our religion, and we have come for your life today.” They started strangling my father as well as hitting him on the head with a big stick. When my father fell down, I managed to escape through the window.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches

Tanzania: Another church was burned to the ground. The Roman Catholic church in the Kagera region is the third church in four months to be burned down in the nation. According to a local pastor, “Since 2013 we have had over 13 churches torched here in Kagera and no-one has been held accountable. This is not acceptable.”  Fortunatus Bijura, a priest at the church, said: “Those who think that destroying our church means we won’t pray, they are wrong … We have a big tree near the church and will continue meeting there for prayers.” Tanzania is approximately 35% Muslim.

Pakistan: The government announced its plans to demolish four historic churches in order to make way for the construction of a metro train. On May 3, Christians gathered in front of the Lahore High Court to protest the decision. “These churches were built pre-Pakistan and these all [sic] churches are located at very expensive and prime locations which politicians and Islamists are jealous of,” said Nasir Saeed, director of the Center for Legal Aid. “They cannot stand that Christians have such prime property and … so try to use any excuse to grab the land and belittle Christians.” While the community is still mourning their loved ones who perished during the Easter Sunday attack on Christians that left 69 dead and more than 340 injured, Saeed said they now face a new threat by the government to their churches: “There is no respite for them and one problem after the other seems to follow Pakistani Christians.”

Muslim Attacks on Christian Apostates, Blasphemers and Preachers

Pakistan: A fatwa, or Islamic decree, was issued against a Christian after Muslims accused him of watching an anti-Islamic video on his phone. Imran Masih was last reported on the run after a $10,000 bounty was put on his head. As a form of collective punishment, fellow Christians in his village were prevented from buying food from Muslim shopkeepers and given three options: “convert to Islam, leave the village forever, or hand over Imran so he can be burnt alive.” Speaking of this incident, a Pakistani human rights activist said,

I cannot believe that such things are still happening in this world. Such treatment towards Pakistani Christians is a slap on the face of the Punjab and central government, and to all those who never tire of telling the world that minorities are protected and enjoying equal rights in the country. I don’t understand how watching a video on the internet can be criminalised as an act of blasphemy…. I believe this is not an act of blasphemy and if people still think Imran has committed blasphemy then he should be punished according to the law. No one has any right to take the law into their own hands, harass local Christians, threaten them, burn Imran alive or force Christians to convert to Islam or leave the village. Such conditions from lay people make a mockery of the law. The Government of Pakistan must take this matter seriously, provide protection to the local Christians, and those who are breaking the law should be dealt according to the law.

Separately in Pakistan, police arrested a Christian man in Punjab province for allegedly posting messages on his Facebook account that were considered blasphemous by Muslims. According to Liaquat Usman’s wife, “My husband stopped some [Muslim] boys from teasing girl students. A couple of days ago the boys manhandled Usman. Instead of arresting the boys, police arrested Usman saying a complaint against him has been lodged for committing blasphemy.” Initial investigations showed that the “blasphemous” messages were posted on Usman’s Facebook account a year earlier, and that someone else living abroad tagged them on his account.

Germany: A new report claimed that as many as 40,000 Christians — including Muslims who wish to convert to Christianity — are being attacked and harassed by Muslims in migrant homes. According to the report,

Many converts [to Christianity] wished to do so in their homelands, but in places like Iran and Afghanistan the penalty for leaving the Islamic religion can be death and so they fled to Europe. Now in European asylum homes they are finding more and more that they are in as much danger from radical Muslims in Europe as they were in their home countries. The most prevalent form of abuse was verbal insults with 96 people saying that had received abuse or threats. Eighty-six said they had been physically assaulted and 73 said they had been subjected to death threats against themselves and family members. Three quarters of the migrants also said they had been victims of multiple attacks. The perpetrators of most of the attacks were fellow migrants who look down on converts and believe them to be apostates. Perhaps, more interestingly was the prevalence of Muslim security guards who participated in the attacks. Almost half of those surveyed said they had received abuse from security guards and in the German capital of Berlin the figure rose to two-thirds.

Azerbaijan: Christian activists called attention to the plight of a frail evangelist from Azerbaijan who has spent a year behind bars in neighboring Georgia on what his supporters say are “trumped-up charges” for the possession of drugs. If convicted, the man could face 14 years imprisonment. The Azeri evangelist says he has been framed by people who are angry about his evangelism work among Muslims. Local sources said “His health is very bad and he needs urgent help — medical, spiritual and materially.” Fears also exist that the man will not be able to return safely to predominantly Muslim Azerbaijan after an eventual release from prison. According to a human rights organization,

Officially, the country is secular and religion is tolerated. However, the level of surveillance is so incredibly high that Christians in Azerbaijan do not know whom to trust anymore. Persecution of Christians has gone up markedly since last year due to ever-increasing government controls,” added Open Doors. Another sign of the government pressure is the fact that Azeri Christians find it easier to evangelize in countries like Georgia and Iran than in their own country.

Muslim Hate for and Violence against Christians

Syria: The Islamic State released an online video on May 16, showing an ISIS fighter desecrating the graves of Christians and showing off the damage that was done to the Christian cemetery. The video was allegedly filmed in the city of Deir ez-Zor. The ISIS militant is shown touring the cemetery, showing shards of stone and wood, while in the background are destroyed headstones and corpses of Syrian soldiers — some torn to pieces — who apparently tried to stop the desecration.

Eritrea: Thousands of Christians are fleeing the nation due to extreme persecution, according to a report which describes Eritrea as “one of the world’s fastest emptying nations” and the “North Korea of Africa.” The majority of the 40,000 who fled to Italy last year are Christians. The report added that “all evangelical and independent churches have been closed.” Dawit, who was among hundreds of Christians jailed and tortured for his faith, said: “There is no law and no justice. When I was living in Eritrea I was arrested because of my Christian faith. That’s why I left. In Eritrea almost every Christian faces imprisonment. That’s why I was in prison.”  Berhane, another Christian who managed to escape said: “We believe there are over 300 Christian prisoners at the moment. Most of them have been in prison for over ten years and they are suffering for lack of food and proper hygiene and proper medical care and even some of them have lost their lives.”

Turkey: United States ally and NATO member Turkey is aiding and abetting the Islamic State and other terrorist groups in Syria that kill Christians, by providing them with aerial cover and “safe haven,” said Mindy Belz, an activist and senior editor of WORLD magazine:

We have to have a new approach to our ally, Turkey. Turkey is a country that is in transition and is becoming more and more radicalized. There is strong evidence, as I interviewed people at the border who had escaped to Lebanon. I sat down with them in Beirut. They were up at the border when Turkey shot down the Syrian jet that crossed the border [in 2015]. … The people who witnessed it said, “Turkey is providing air cover for these Islamic militant groups”…. There has been strong evidence that they have provided air cover and provided safe haven at their borders for ISIS…They have aided and abetted extremist groups, not only ISIS but Al-Nusra Front and some of the others. These are groups that are killing Christians and America ought to not tolerate allies that support groups that kill Christians.

Iran: Despite the nuclear deal made with the Obama administration, the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom has found that religious minorities in Iran, including Christians, continue experiencing severe human rights abuses. The report, released only a couple of months shy of the one-year anniversary of the nuclear deal reached in July 2015, found that religious freedom conditions “continued to deteriorate” over the past year, with Christians, Baha’is, and the minority Sunni Muslims facing the most persecution at the form of harassment, arrests, and imprisonment.  Under President Hassan Rouhani’s administration, the number of religious-based arrests has increased, despite Iran’s continuous denial that it is violating people’s human and religious freedom rights. The report states: “The government of Iran continues to engage in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, including prolonged detention, torture, and executions based primarily or entirely upon the religion of the accused.”  The report notes that as many as 550 Christians have been arrested and detained since 2015, and at least 90 Christians remain in prison or detention as of February due to their religious beliefs and activities:

During the reporting period, human rights groups inside Iran reported a significant increase in the number of physical assaults and beatings of Christians in prison. Some activists believe the assaults, which have been directed against converts who are leaders of underground house churches, are meant to intimidate others who may wish to convert to Christianity.

A separate report from May indicates that one Christian prisoner in Iran, Maryam (Nasim) Naghash Zargaran, who earlier underwent heart surgery, is suffering from illnesses, including nausea, ear pain, and chronic pain in her joints and spinal cord, which were diagnosed as caused by lumbar disk, arthritis, and osteoporosis. Regardless, prison officials have refused to transfer her to a hospital to receive proper medical care. Mrs. Zargaran was initially summoned to an Iranian intelligence office for interrogation in March of 2011. Interrogators constantly threatened her and her family, insulted her and questioned her Christian activities.

Pakistan: According to Sardar Mushtaq Gill and fellow attorneys who represent the family of the Christian couple burned alive by a mob for allegedly desecrating a Koran, “Witnesses and lawyers are [being] threatened…. There are many concerns about the possible impunity for the perpetrators.” Because witnesses have refused to recognize those most responsible for the killing of the Christian couple, they have already been released on bail. “There are 106 detainees accused of this lynching and if the trial continues in this direction, it seems that everyone will be freed.”

Nigeria: Gunmen shot at a car carrying Roman Catholic Cardinal John Onaiyekan in the country’s southern Edo state. The attack on the cardinal comes amid increasing violence and kidnappings of Christian clergy by Muslims for ransom. Three other Christian leaders were kidnapped for ransom within the same year. The decomposing body of a cleric kidnapped in a Muslim-majority region was found last April.

A separate report tells of the day-to-day sufferings of Christians living alongside Muslims in Nigeria:

For Bishop Matthew Kukah, persecution is not just the history of the Church. It’s a reality that he lives every day. In the diocese of Sokoto, located in northern Nigeria, ministry includes not only the normal sacramental and pastoral concerns of any other diocese. It also includes regularly responding to violence and attacks against the small Christian minority living in the majority-Muslim area. Christians living in northern Nigeria today wonder “why have they and their institutions become target practice,” explained Bishop Kukah told CNA. Christian churches and businesses – as well as the people who frequent them – suffer both targeted violence at the hands of Islamist extremists… And after the attacks, Christian communities face a wall of bureaucratic challenges and lack of government support as they struggle to rebuild…. While some targets of violence find government and societal aid in rebuilding and accessing services such as schools and hospitals, the state in northern Nigeria merely “looks on” as Christian churches and institutions struggle to rebuild.

“[Y]ou live in a state that is less than you expect as a citizen,” said Bishop Kukah. “You don’t know what to expect tomorrow. … Christians suffer disproportionate violence from Muslim extremists. … Our churches are being bombed with no compensation paid for the schools or other properties of the Church.”

Bangladesh: Unidentified attackers hurled crude bombs at the home of a Christian family and left two Christians injured. The attack occurred just after midnight in a mainly Christian hamlet in the western Chuadanga area. Police suspected “attempted robbery” as the motive. But the report notes that “the attack comes amid a string of murders of Christians, Hindus and members of other religious minorities across the country by suspected militants, as Bangladesh reels from rising Islamist violence… Suspected Islamists have murdered at least 30 members of religious minorities, secular bloggers and other liberal activists, foreigners and intellectuals in Bangladesh in the past three years.”

About this Series

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world has become endemic.  Accordingly, “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, 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 Islamic Sharia.

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

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to Indonesia in the East—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.

George Washington University hires Muslim convicted of soliciting jihad murder


Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security, says: “I trust him. We did our due diligence.” How did they do that? It may be that Jesse Morton is as reformed and repentant as the day is long, but when George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security has a “Program on Extremism” and not a “Program on Jihad,” how diligent could they be in vetting Morton for adherence to an ideology they don’t even admit exists?

What’s more, Morton was convicted of soliciting the jihad murder of “blasphemers.” Would George Washington University hire anyone of any other belief system if he had been convicted of soliciting the murder of those who offended against his belief system? This hire indicates how compromised the universities are: they are so anti-American and so far Left that jihadis are fashionable. Muslims are never a threat, even when they’re plotting violence and murder; they’re protected, privileged victims.

A reminder: “Leader of Revolution Muslim Pleads Guilty to Using Internet to Solicit Murder and Encourage Violent Extremism,” U.S. Attorney’s Office, February 9, 2012:

ALEXANDRIA, VA—Jesse Curtis Morton, aka Younus Abdullah Muhammed, 33, of New York City, pleaded guilty today to using his position as a leader of Revolution Muslim Organization’s Internet sites to conspire to solicit murder, make threatening communications, and use the Internet to place others in fear….

Morton faces a maximum penalty five years in prison for each of the three charges when he is sentenced on May 18, 2012.

That’s fifteen years, and he has served four, because he is “reformed.”

“Jesse Morton operated Revolution Muslim to radicalize those who saw and heard his materials online and to incite them to engage in violence against those they believed to be enemies of Islam,” said U.S. Attorney MacBride. “We may never know all of those who were inspired to engage in terrorism because of Revolution Muslim, but the string of recent terrorism cases with ties to Morton’s organization demonstrates the threat it posed to our national security. We’re grateful to the FBI, NYPD, and their law enforcement partners throughout the world who made today’s conviction possible.”

“Individuals such as Morton who encourage violence and create fear over the Internet are a danger to our society and to the freedoms we enjoy as citizens,” said Assistant Director in Charge McJunkin. “Today’s plea, and other recent cases of those associated with Morton’s organization, demonstrate the widespread nature of this danger. Together with our partner law enforcement agencies, and with the assistance of the community, the FBI will continue to pursue those who promulgate violent extremism and promote the radicalization of others.”…

According to a statement of facts filed with his plea agreement, Morton founded Revolution Muslim in December 2007 and created various online forums that contained postings and information supportive of violent extremism. Morton and his associates used the organization’s websites to encourage Muslims to engage in violence against those they believed to be enemies of Islam and to support Osama bin Laden, Anwar Al-Awlaki, al Qaeda, the Taliban, and others espousing violence. They posted messages in support of the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, the November 2009 killings at Ft. Hood and attacks and future threats against Jewish organizations, among others.

Through his online forums, Morton conspired with Zachary Chesser, of Fairfax County, Va., and others to solicit the murder of an artist tied to the “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day” movement in May 2010, including posting online a magazine that included the artist in a hit list for violent extremists to take out and a message from Anwar Al-Awlaki that explicitly called for the artist’s assassination. In justifying these actions, Morton posted online a speech of his asserting that “Islam’s position is that those that insult the Prophet may be killed” and exhorting his listeners to fight the “disbelievers near you.”

In addition, Morton admitted through his statement of facts that he aided Chesser in taking repeated steps in April 2010 to encourage violent extremists to attack the writers of South Park for an episode that featured Muhammad in a bear suit, including highlighting their residence and urging online readers to “pay them a visit.” Among the steps they took were posting on multiple occasions speeches by Anwar Al-Awlaki, which explained the Islamic justification for killing those who insult or defame Muhammad. Morton worked with Chesser to draft a message for the website regarding the South Park threats, including a quote from Osama bin Laden that “If there is no check in the freedom of your words, then let your hearts be open to the freedom of our actions.” Morton and Chesser posted the final version of this statement on various extremist online forums, and Chesser told Morton that he expected the statement would “scare the kuffar.” Kuffar is an Arabic term, referring to an unbeliever, or disbeliever, in Islam….

Now Morton is no longer in the business of trying to “scare the kuffar.” Instead, he is soothing the kuffar to sleep validating the kuffar’s fantasies about “deradicalization.” This absurd idea is based on the assumption that Islam is a Religion of Peace, and that jihad terrorists are misunderstanding and misinterpreting it. So all that needs to be done is teach them the true, peaceful Islam, and all will be well, right?

 

ut Jesse Morton has the magic key to “deradicalization” that no one else has been able to find? Color me skeptical.

Jesse Morton

“GW hires former Islamic extremist,” by Elizabeth Cohen, CNN, August 30, 2016:

George Washington University has hired a former Islamic extremist to work at its center on homeland security — a man who once denounced the United States and made threats against the creators of the TV series “South Park” for depicting the Prophet Muhammad in a bear suit.

While reformed extremists have worked at universities in Europe to help fight terrorism, this is believed to be a first in the United States.

Jesse Morton, who was known as Younus Abdullah Muhammad when he was a recruiter for the al-Qaeda, brings a “unique perspective” to counter-terrorism work, said Seamus Hughes, deputy director of the Program on Extremism at George Washington University’s Center for Cyber & Homeland Security….

During his days as an extremist, Morton earned a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.

Hughes said before making the hiring decision, he discussed Morton with the FBI, leaders in the security community and the lawyers that prosecuted Morton.

He said he’s sure Morton is completely reformed from the days he served time in federal prison after inciting people to join a terrorist organization.

“I trust him,” he said. “We did our due diligence.”

Nadia Oweidat, a fellow at the think tank New America who’s interviewed dozens of former extremists, said she doesn’t doubt Morton’s sincerity.

“People go through phases. They evolve and are finally able to see the light,” she said.

She doesn’t think Morton made up his de-radicalization to get a shorter prison sentence.

“When an extremist defects, they risk being completely targeted by their community — it’s like saying you’re gay publicly,” she said. “There are life-altering consequences and you don’t approach it lightly.”

She said other organizations should also recruit former extremists in the hopes of preventing future massacres such as the San Bernardino shooting or the November terror attack in Paris, both committed by radicalized Islamists.

Romania: Pakistani Muslim to be expelled for spreading “global jihad” propaganda


“Romania’s main domestic intelligence agency said in a statement Tuesday that the man entered Romania illegally in 2015 and then married a Romanian woman. It said he sought to obtain a residency permit based on his marriage.”

Leniency over illegal immigration has consequences.

rifleQuranjihadflag

“Pakistani man to be expelled from Romania over terrorism,” Associated Press, August 30, 2016:

BUCHAREST, Romania – A court has ruled that a Pakistani citizen should be expelled from Romania on charges of promoting “extremist Islamism” online, causing a threat to national security.

The Court of Appeal ruled Tuesday that the man, identified only by his initials S.A., should be expelled for 10 years.

Romania’s main domestic intelligence agency said in a statement Tuesday that the man entered Romania illegally in 2015 and then married a Romanian woman. It said he sought to obtain a residency permit based on his marriage.

The agency said it kept him under surveillance and found he was engaged in spreading propaganda online for Pakistani “terrorists.”

The statement said he supported the “supremacy of extremist Islam” and “global jihad,” and was interested in making improvised explosive devices.

French interior minister: “We are at war with an enemy trying to pit Muslims against non-Muslims”


This idea is very common in the West. American politicians have articulated it. The reasoning goes like this: jihadis recruit by pointing to Western counter-terror initiatives (such as France’s now-discarded burkini ban, which was meant to strike against allegiance to jihadist and Islamic supremacist groups that flaunt Islamic dress in the West, and proposals such as Trump’s now much-nuanced temporary moratorium on Muslim immigration) and telling Muslims that they will never be welcome in the West. So in the face of jihad attacks in the West, authorities must redouble their efforts to bring Muslims to the West and accommodate them. By showing Muslims and non-Muslims living together in harmony and peace, this will stymie jihadist recruitment in the West and around the world.

This argument rests upon the assumption that jihadis recruit based on grievances against the West, and that if those grievances were redressed, there would be peace. That ignores the jihad imperative embedded within the Qur’an and Sunnah: Muslims are exhorted to wage war against and subjugate unbelievers, with no exception made for unbelievers who are kind, accommodating, and welcoming toward Muslims.

In reality, the dynamic works in almost exactly the opposite way: after every jihad attack, jihad groups see Western governments becoming more welcoming and accommodating toward Muslims, and resisting all attempts to make even a symbolic stand (like the burkini ban) against jihad activity. This enables them to embed more jihadis among “refugees” to the West, and to plot more freely in Muslim areas without fear of surveillance that has been deemed “Islamophobic.” Thus Cazeneuve’s determination to resist “an enemy trying to pit Muslims against non-Muslims” only has the effect of making French citizens more vulnerable to jihad attacks.

Bernard Cazeneuve

“French minister: ‘We are at war with an enemy trying to pit Muslims against non-Muslims,’”Associated Press, August 30, 2016:

France’s Interior Minister is mounting a bid to unite Muslims and non-Muslims in France as tensions rise following the ‘Burkini ban’

France’s interior minister has said the country is at war with an enemy trying to pit Muslims against non-Muslims.

Bernard Cazeneuve called for urgent action to create a strong bond between the nation and citizens of the Islamic faith in response.

He also said it was crucial to tailor the religion to the values of secular France, “a pillar of the republic.”

Cazeneuve spoke after a day-long conference with Muslim leaders, professionals and lawmakers to try to kick start a project aiming to bind Muslims to the nation, a task given new urgency after deep divisions surfaced over burkini bans in 30 French beach towns and after extremist attacks that also stigmatised Muslims.

A high court struck down the burkini bans on Friday, but the debate had already seeped into France’s political sphere revealing tensions between the secular establishment and sectors of France’s estimated five million Muslims, the largest Muslim population in Western Europe.

Cazeneuve, speaking to reporters, said a “strong and calm” relationship with Muslims is “urgent and particularly necessary.”

“France is at war with terrorists, at war with an enemy trying to divide it and pit the French against each other, fracture the nation’s body, sap the republic,” he said.

“We must not fall into this mortal trap.”

The July 14 attack on revellers in Nice, the killing of a priest in Normandy on July 26 and the killing of a police couple in their home in June — all claimed by ISIS — have focused tensions on Muslims.

A French prosecutor opened an investigation into suspected racial discrimination after two Muslim women said they were ordered out of a restaurant over the weekend with the owner heard saying on an iPhone video, “I don’t want people like you in my place. … Get out.”

Cazeneuve warned in an interview with France’s Roman Catholic newspaper La Croix that if the political class cannot unite all French “the dynamics of division may prove dangerous.”

However, he ruled out drafting a national law banning burkinis.

“What is at stake is very important,” said Abdallah Zekri, who heads the Observatory Against Islamophobia. “Firstly, we must end the arguments over the burkini, which make no sense.”

He told reporters that some people wanted to use burkinis to stigmatise Muslims, while politicians looking to France 2017 presidential race seized the issue “for vote-catching reasons.”

He also contended that humiliating Muslims “has facilitated the work of Daesh (ISIS) recruiters” of vulnerable Muslim youth….

Independent: Muslim killers scream “Allahu akbar” to get publicity, not because they’re jihadis


Andrew MacLeod is a “visiting Professor at Kings College London and a former UN and Red Cross official who served in countries like Rwanda, Yugoslavia, Pakistan, Afghanistan and others. He has negotiated with warlords and terrorists.” He explains here that a Muslim who screams “Allahu akbar” and kills people may not be a terrorist, but just a lonely publicity-seeker committing the Muslim equivalent of “suicide by cop.”

His evidence? The Australia jihadi who murdered Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Tom Jackson, as well as “the Orlando murderer, the Sydney siege murderer,” and “the Nice murderer,” all “did not appear to be part of organised groups. We know none of the Nice, Sydney and Orlando killers had a deep religious history. All three rarely prayed in mosques. They drank, had sex out of marriage, failed to fast in Ramadan. None was a ‘devout Muslim’, according to anecdotal evidence from people who claimed to have known them.”

What MacLeod fails to take into account in this analysis is that they may have been trying to make up for all that sinful activity by doing a great good deed. A hadith has a Muslim asking Muhammad: “Instruct me as to such a deed as equals Jihad (in reward).” Muhammad replied, “I do not find such a deed.” (Bukhari 4.52.44) The Qur’an teaches that Allah will place a Muslim’s good deeds on one scale and bad deeds on the other, and send them to Paradise or hell depending on which scale weighs more. A Muslim who is worried about his eternal destiny can decisively tip the scales in his favor by waging jihad, the deed that is greater than all others. He can seize the Qur’an’s promise of Paradise for those who “kill and are killed” for Allah (9:111).

In light of that, it is wrong to assume that Muslims who were not devout and then kill while screaming “Allahu akbar” have no jihadi motive. Also, the Islamic State and al-Qaeda have repeatedly called upon Muslim individuals in the West to engage in random attacks. That means that a Muslim who has no ties to any jihad groups could still be heeding their call.

What really needs investigating in light of the murders of Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Tom Jackson is the psychic landscape that Islam provides for a Muslim such as their killer, Smail Ayad. Ayad may indeed have been non-devout and not interested in jihad or Islam in general. But at a moment of distress, at a time of upset and upheaval in his life, he was only able to provide a context for his anger and hatred in Islam and its call for warfare against unbelievers — hence even if his motive was being rejected by Mia Ayliffe-Chung, he screamed “Allahu akbar” and didn’t kill Mia only, but Jackson as well, and attacked police also: his rage at her became a generalized jihad against the Infidels all around him.

That is a scenario worth studying, as it could happen again, anytime, anywhere. But the willfully ignorant and politically correct such as MacLeod and the Independent will never venture into such territory.

The Independent says that MacLeod “can be followed on Twitter @Why_slow_down,” but he seems to have deleted that account. I wonder why.

Andrew MacLeod

“Who killed Mia Ayliffe-Chung and Tom Jackson? Not necessarily a terrorist – even if he did yell ‘Allahu akbar,’” by Andrew MacLeod, Independent, August 30, 2016:

…I respect and agree with Rosie Ayliffe when she writes the killer “is not an Islamic fundamentalist, he has never set foot in a mosque.” But this won’t stop those who seek to link this tragic death with another cause. This tendency to jump to terrorism as a foregone conclusion plays right into the hands of Isis.

Isis understands well the propaganda machine that is social media. It has used the medium effectively to inspire people to join its cause. Calling people terrorists who may not be, latching on to reports that a killer shouted, “Allahu akhbar!” before stabbing two young tourists, or banning the Australian-invented burkini from French beaches are all gifts that Isis is more than happy to receive.

While there is no doubt that some recent killings, such as the coordinated attacks in Paris last November, were conducted by organised fanatics who follow a twisted and flawed interpretation of Islam, other isolated loners have been given an elevated status they do not warrant.

Not all those who claim that they kill in the name of God are terrorists; some are mentally unstable, or taking advantage of a media landscape in order to gain themselves notoriety. Crying “terrorist” before even Isis has the chance to is a grave error.

By rapidly naming certain loners as Islamic terrorists and incorrectly giving them status, the media ends up doing Isis’ propaganda work for them.

For example, were the Orlando murderer, the Sydney siege murderer, or the Nice murderer terrorists? Like Mia and Tom’s killer, these three did not appear to be part of organised groups. We know none of the Nice, Sydney and Orlando killers had a deep religious history. All three rarely prayed in mosques. They drank, had sex out of marriage, failed to fast in Ramadan. None was a “devout Muslim”, according to anecdotal evidence from people who claimed to have known them.

But what did they have in common? All three men had broken relationships with their wives and partners. They were all estranged loners who didn’t “belong”. They all had a history of family violence. In the case of the Orlando killer, he had a long history of steroid use, which has been linked to aggression. Although claims were made during the attacks, no formal links with Isis have been found.

But if they weren’t terrorists, what were they?

In the Nineties in the US we saw a sudden spike in what became known as “suicide by cop”. A group of deranged people decided to end their lives in a burst of publicity and misery, killing others in their wake and then forcing others to kill them.

In death, sick loners like these look for a sense of belonging. They look to die in publicity, being labelled a hero of a group. These people don’t kill because they are Muslim; they kill because they want to be on the front page. And they know if they yell “Allahu akhbar”, they will get the publicity they crave.

Why give these people what they are looking for in death? Why give them what we want, and risk encouraging more fools like them to follow?

These men were killers, but they weren’t terrorists and do not deserve to be given the right to terrorise us. We should follow the French lead and no longer publish these murderer’s names. We shouldn’t falsely attribute to them a cause, as if they had a proper reason to do what they did.

Rosie Ayliffe wrote today about preparing for her 21-year-old daughter’s funeral: “After talking about the misrepresentation of Mia’s death in the media as an act of terrorism on the part of an Islamic fundamentalist, the minister delivering the service suggested we include a Koranic reading, and he will find something suitable with a friend who is an Islamic scholar.” If this brave woman can stand against prejudice and Islamophobia even now, then we can all manage to resist the easy narrative and pay attention to the more nuanced one….