Tidbits of Truth

A random bit of News Info, The truth about Israel, American politics, & Mideast Foreign Policy... (along with whatever else catches my curiosity).

Thousands of Deadly Islamic Terror Attacks Since 9/11

Top links:

MEMRI: http://www.memri.org/content/en/main.htm
ACT! http://actforamericaeducation.com/
Palestine Facts: http://www.palestinefacts.org/
Shoebat Foundation: http://www.shoebat.com/blog/

Israel Today:

Married to Mohammed - Part II

Married to Mohammed - Part II

This is part two of a four-part series on Christian women marrying Muslim men. If you have not done so already, we recommend first reading Married to Mohammed - Part I

In 2011, WomanStats, a project that researches the status of women around the world, published a map that shows the comparative location of domestic violence against women. Except for Spain, Italy, France, Austria and Sweden, where women enjoy high levels of physical security, most of the world’s countries were ranked as having medium to low levels.

In 2012, TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s legal news service, conducted a survey among 370 professionals from 63 countries on five continents. The study revealed alarming statistics, naming such predominantly non-Muslim states as South Africa, Mexico and India as world’s worst countries for women (though Saudi Arabia and Indonesia also made the list).

Yet a year earlier, TrustLaw’s experts also concluded that the world’s most dangerous places for women were Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia (all Muslim states), and India and Congo (two non-Muslim countries). They supported their conclusions by noting that in those countries women suffer from a high rate of health problems, trafficking, and sexual and non-sexual violence.

The situation is acute in other Muslim states as well. In 2010, research carried out by the United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees evaluated the status of women in Middle Eastern and North African countries. The study concluded that the region’s women lacked a basic feeling of security, autonomy and freedom. Tunisia and Morocco showed the best results on the five-point scale, with ratings of 3.4 and 3.2 respectively, followed by Algeria (3.0), Egypt (2.9), Jordan (2.7), Bahrain and Libya (2.6), Qatar and Palestine (2.4), Syria and the United Arab Emirates (2.3), Oman (2.1), Iraq and Yemen (1.9). Saudi Arabia was the last on the list with only 1.3 points.


Israel takes center stage in Obama-Romney election

Israel takes center stage in Obama-Romney election

No foreign entity has played so large a role in American presidential elections as the tiny Jewish state, and that phenomenon has only grown as President Barack Obama and his challenger, Mitt Romney, head into the home stretch ahead of the November poll.

Republican critics sounded an alarm this week as the Democratic National Convention (the major party event preceding the election) got underway, noting that Obama’s party had removed from its official platform a number of pro- Israel provisions.

In his 2008 campaign for the presidency, Obama openly stated that Jerusalem is the capital of Israel, that so-called “Palestinian refugees” cannot be settled in Israel proper, and that Hamas will not be accepted as a negotiating partner until it denounces its goal of destroying Israel.

None of those provisions were on the policy agenda as the Democrats gathered in Charlotte, North Carolina, and instead made do with a vague “unwavering commitment to Israel’s security.”

That bolstered assertions made last week by Romney at the Republican National Convention that Obama had “thrown Israel under the bus.”

But Jewish Democratic activists fired back, noting that no one who had actually sat in the Oval Office had been able to keep his promise to move the American Embassy to Jerusalem, including Republican presidents.

"President Bush signed waivers 16 times to avoid moving the US Embassy in Israel to Jerusalem," David Harris of the National Jewish Democratic Council told The Times of Israel, referencing a six-month national security loophole that every American president has abused since Congress decided in 1995 that the US Embassy be moved from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.


The Chutzpa!: A closer look at America’s Evangelical vote

The Chutzpa!: A closer look at America's Evangelical vote

EDITOR’S NOTE: “The Chutzpa!” is a new satire column written by accomplished Israeli Messianic satirist Tal Lecks. Please note that the content of this article is fictional, and is meant as a light-hearted way of looking at the very real threats surrounding us.

While Both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney are trying to win over the Evangelical vote - with Romney going out of his way to visit Israel, and Obama going out of his way to make believable excuses for not doing so - fresh thinking is arising among Evangelical voters.

Since Romney is a professing Mormon, and a common understanding among American Evangelicals is that Obama is a Muslim, a growing number of these voters are passionately convinced that the election is really about Muhammad Vs. Joseph Smith.

But that does not make the choice easier.

The founder of the Mormon religion, Joseph Smith, might have proven to be consistent in promoting core conservative family values, but his past contacts with a questionable character named “Angel Moroni” and his refusal to release information about his finances make many Evangelicals hesitant about him.

The Democratic candidate, Muhammad, makes certain people uncomfortable as well. Stephanie, 42, from Texas had this to say: “Both candidates have several wives, however, in Muhammad’s case, the women are also required to be involved in jihad, holy war against the infidel. I’m a stay-at-home mom with four children and I just don’t have time for holy wars in my weekly schedule.”

Jim, 52, from Michigan felt similarly: “I’m a strong supporter of Israel, and that’s why I’ll support Joseph Smith. Muhammad’s followers claim he ascended to heaven from Jerusalem. That causes tremendous difficulties for Israel. Joseph Smith, on the other hand, must have thought that Jerusalem was in Salt Lake City, Utah, so he’s fine by me!”

Other Evangelical voices expressed a deep discomfort with Muhammad’s policies on the Arab Spring issue and his inability to produce an acceptable birth certificate proving that he was born in the United States.

Israel Today:

Married to Mohammed - Part I

Married to Mohammed - Part I

“He introduced himself as Jamie from Italy,” said W.L.Cati, a prominent speaker and one of the leading US experts on Islamic marriages, as she recalled her initial acquaintance with her husband-to-be. “Only some time later, did I learn that his real name was Muhammad and that he came from Aleppo, Syria,” she added.

Blaming her youth and naivete, Cati notes that the first deception was not enough to alert her about the dangers that would lie ahead and ultimately be recounted in her books, “Vow of Deception” and “Married to Muhammad.”

“Back in the 1980’s, I knew little about Syria and even less about Islam,” she explained. “I didn’t care where he came from. He was charismatic, spoke very good English and struck me as a reliable person who wanted a family, so I fell into the trap,” she told Israel Today.

After dating for a year, the couple got married in a mosque. “Since the ceremony was conducted in Arabic, I didn’t understand a word. Only upon leaving the place did I find out that my name was changed into Zeinab, and that from that moment on I was a Muslim,” she stated, admitting that she felt Christian despite the conversion.

What followed was twelve years of a troublesome marriage. “My husband went into the real estate business and money started flowing. Our income went from a combined total of forty thousand dollars per year to about one hundred thousand a month,” Cati said, adding their improved financial fortunes had a negative impact on their relations.

“Muhammad started drinking more often,” she explains, stressing that her spouse had never been a pious man even though he did fast during the month of Ramadan. “I sensed that he was cheating on me but couldn’t catch him red-handed. His mother started frequenting, snooping in our domestic affairs and causing a lot of tension,” Cati recalled.

Yet, despite the difficulties, Cati opted to stay married, justifying the decision with her strong love for the man who had swept her off her feet years earlier. In 1992, however, a major change happened. “I left the US and moved to Syria. There, in one of the mosques of Damascus, I declared myself a Muslim and decided to wear the veil ‘full time,’” Cati explained, adding that the decision to convert was dictated by her readiness to accept her husband’s religion. “That was a trap, because conversion meant that I couldn’t escape,” she continued, expaining that the abuse from her husband and his mother had only escalated following her move.

According to Cati, during the years of her marriage she and her children experienced constant verbal, mental and physical abuse. Unable to take it any longer, Cati finally filed for a divorce but then changed her mind following Muhammad’s reassurances that he would change. He never did.

Seeking answers to what went wrong; Cati started questioning Islam but said that she could find neither answers nor peace. “At some point, I realized that I had made a mistake by converting,” she said. “That’s when I decided to reject Islam and go back to Christianity. A year later, he divorced me, starting numerous battles over financial issues and kids,” she continued.

After enduring years of a matrimonial nightmare, Cati is now counseling others on how to avoid her mistakes but says she has no hard feelings for Muslims. “Not all of them beat their wives,” she said, concluding that domestic violence exists in every culture and religion.


Report: Netanyahu slams Obama over Iran nukes

Report: Netanyahu slams Obama over Iran nukes

Israel was abuzz over the weekend with news that a recent meeting between Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador Daniel Shapiro became heated after the Israeli leader criticized US President Barack Obama for not doing enough to thwart Iran’s nuclear program.

The Netanyahu-Shapiro meeting took place behind closed doors two weeks ago. Last Friday, Israeli newspaper Yediot Ahronot cited unnamed sources present at the meeting as saying “sparks and lightning were flying” when the two men discussed the Iran situation.

According to the sources, Netanyahu openly blasted what he called Obama’s ineffectual policies vis-a-vis Iran’s nuclear program, which Israel views as an existential threat considering the Iranian leadership’s very public declarations that it wishes to annihilate the Jewish state.

Netanyahu and many other Israeli leaders have been vocal in their criticism of Obama and the entire international community for punishing Iran with little more than words while the Islamic Republic has continued its defiant nuclear program with only minor hindrance.

Netanyahu reportedly told Shapiro that instead of worrying about whether or not Israel will strike Iran, Obama should focus on the root of the problem and put some real pressure on Tehran.

At that point, Shapiro was said to have broken diplomatic protocol and snapped back at Netanyahu, insisting that the Israeli leader was misrepresenting Obama’s position. Shapiro then reiterated Obama’s promise to not allow Iran to attain nuclear weapons, to which Netanyahu responded, “Time is running out.”

Israeli cabinet ministers who spoke to Yediot’s Internet portal, Ynet, said they believe Obama will make Netanyahu pay if the former is reelected as America’s president in November.

At present, Obama cannot risk being seen as creating a rift between America and Israel, lest he lose the votes of most Jews and many Christians. But after the election, Obama will have no such constraints.

"The US elections are in two months, and there is no doubt that President Barack Obama, if he is reelected, will make Netanyahu pay for his behavior. It will not pass quietly," one minister told Ynet.

Already there are indications that Obama is taking a more hostile position toward Israel.

For instance, next month Israel and the US were scheduled to hold their largest ever joint military exercise, which was to be largely focused on confronting a major ballistic missile threat (read: Iran). But over the weekend, the Pentagon suddenly and significantly downsized American participation in the exercise.

"Relations between Israel and the US have soured" as a result of differing views on the urgency of the Iran situation, concluded another cabinet minister.

Israel Today:

Netanyahu: Zionism succeeded because of Christian support

Netanyahu: Zionism succeeded because of Christian support

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday stated that Zionism and the rebirth of the Jewish state would not have succeeded without the backing and support of Christian Zionism.

Netanyahu was speaking at a rededication ceremony for the landmark windmill situated at the entrance to Mishkenot Sha’ananim, the first neighborhood built outside Jerusalem’s Old City walls.

Built in 1858 by Jewish philanthropist Moses Montefiore, the windmill quickly became a recognized symbol of Jerusalem. But over the years, it fell into disrepair.

The windmill’s restoration was made possible by the cooperation of various government bodies and private charities, but the bulk of the funding has come from the Dutch organization Christians for Israel.

Last month, Dutch experts oversaw the installation of a new dome and blades on the iconic structure, and managed to return the windmill to working order.

Acknowledging the role played by Christians for Israel in this particular project, and the involvement in general of Christian Zionists in Israel’s restoration, Netanyahu said:

"I don’t believe that the Jewish State and Modern Zionism would have been possible without Christian Zionism. I think that the many Christian supporters of the rebirth of the Jewish State and the ingathering of the Jewish people in the 19th century made possible the rise of…modern Jewish Zionism. We always had the deeply ingrained desire to come back to our land and rebuild it. …That was made possible in the 19th century, by the resurgence of Christian Zionism… It’s well represented here today by our Dutch friends."


Egyptian professor: We are stoking the flames of conflict

Egyptian professor: We are stoking the flames of conflict

A prominent Egyptian professor of political science admitted on Egyptian TV last week that institutes of higher learning in the region are purposefully stoking the flames of conflict between young Arab Muslims and Israel.

In an interview with Al-Alam TV that aired on August 17, Professor Gamal Zahran, head of the Department of Political Science at Port Said University, openly acknowledged that promoting hatred of the Jewish state is a primary goal in classes taught by himself and other lecturers.

Providing a glimpse into how Israel is dealt with in Middle East university classrooms, Zahran insisted that “the elimination of the Zionist entity is beyond debate…the only question has to do with the circumstances.”

Zahran believes the right set of circumstances may soon exist to take action on his teachings.

"I believe that the [Arab Spring] provided the people with hope that one day Jerusalem and Palestine [sic] will return to them," Zahran stated. "We are constantly keeping that hope alive among the younger generation so that they will realize that the Palestinian cause is an essential one."

And while the Arab masses are not yet ready to storm the “Zionist entity,” Zahran was confident that “the hope and memory will later turn into action. By next year, Allah willing, Israel will be annihilated.”

The ongoing incitement of future generations of Arabs to continue the conflict with Israel has been Jerusalem’s biggest complaint in its various peace processes. Despite being officially at peace since 1979, younger generations of Egyptians still hate Israel, and judging by Zahran’s remarks the reason why is clear.

Even worse is the Palestinian Authority, which teaches children from the youngest ages through its schools and state-run media to view Israel and the Jews as blood-thirsty usurpers, thus making a genuine, lasting peace nearly impossible to achieve.

[Translation of Egyptian media was provided by The Middle East Research Institute]

What Muslims In Iraq Are Doing To The Chaldean Christians

Now with Saddam gone, and the Shiite’s unchecked, the Islamists have been committing atrocities upon the Christians in Iraq.


JOL Sunday People Update August 26th 2012

JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel

“Behold, darkness will cover the earth and deep darkness the peoples;
but the Lord will arise upon you and His glory will appear upon you.” Isa 60:2

CHRISTIAN PASTOR YOUCEF NADARKHANI MAY FACE NEW CHARGES IN IRAN: A Christian pastor, who has spent nearly three years behind bars in Iran and has been sentenced to death for refusing to renounce his faith, has been ordered to appear in court next month, where he could face new charges. Youcef Nadarkhani, 32, was imprisoned in 2009 when he went to complain about mandatory Koran classes at his son’s school. An Iranian court accused him of apostasy, or leaving the Muslim faith. He has since been found guilty of other crimes, including extortion and security violations. At the hearing next month, Nadarkhani will answer “charges brought against him,” according to the American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), which has taken up Nadarkhani’s cause. Nadarkhani’s attorney, who also has been jailed, has said the married father of two faces execution because he refused to renounce his religion. According to Sharia law, an apostate has three days to recant. The pastor refused to do so and sources close to the matter say executions in Iran can happen at any time, often without notice. (Fox News) Pray for a miracle to happen in the life of Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani who has suffered much for the sake of his beliefs. May he be completely cleared of the charges that could lead to his execution and fully released from prison.

THE RELIGIOUS SILENCE ON CHRISTIAN PERSECUTION: In July, the Christian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani marked his 1,000th day of incarceration in Lakan, a notorious prison in northern Iran. Charged with the crime of apostasy, Mr. Nadarkhani faces a death sentence for refusing to recant the Christian faith. He embodies piety and represents millions more suffering from repression - but his story is barely known. The principal reason public opinion hasn’t been galvanized around the persecution of Christians is that various church leaderships either ignore or dance around the issue. If churches don’t speak up forcefully, it is unrealistic to expect the world’s democratic governments to do the same. At their recent annual convention Presbyterians in America approved a divestment campaign targeting Jewish communities in the West Bank. Pastor Nadarkhani wasn’t even mentioned. At the Episcopalian convention days later, resolutions about Gaza and the Israeli-Palestinian peace process were tabled, but the imprisoned Iranian pastor was similarly absent. As for the bombings of churches in Africa and Asia, it’s as if they never even happened. (Wall Street Journal)

AHMADINEJAD: JUDAISM AND CHRISTIANITY DON’T EXIST: In his opening speech at an Islamic conference in Tehran last month the President of Iran said God didn’t create Judaism, or Christianity. “Islam is a world religion and God has only one religion, that of Islam,” Ahmadinejad said. “He did not send Judaism or Christianity. Abraham was a harbinger of Islam, as were Moses and Jesus.” For the record, nowhere in the Bible does Abraham, Moses or Yeshua ever foretell of Islam. The only supposed account of this prophecy can be found in “The Book of Barnabus,” a 15th century fake distributed throughout the Islamic world as a lost book of the Bible. (Worthy News) “God has highly exalted Him and bestowed on Him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Yeshua every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth.” Phil 2:9-10

LAWYER WANTED COPTS REMOVED FROM EGYPTIAN CONSTITUTIONAL COMMITTEE: A lawyer from Alexandria submitted a report to the public prosecutor requesting that Egypt’s Copts be excluded from the committee forming the nation’s new constitution. Sherif Gadallah claimed Orthodox Copts are not Nasara, the so-called “true” Christians of Islam’s Quran, a book in which the word “Christian” never appears. He then reasoned that since Orthodox Copts are not Nasara, they can be counted as polytheists, which will make Copts non-representative of Egypt’s Christian population. The revised constitution is expected to be ready in late September. With the unveiling of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s new cabinet in early August, it became clear Egypt’s Christians would be shoved further into the corner. During its presidential and parliamentary election campaigns, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood promised to give Christians fair representation. But despite increasing the size of the government to 35 ministerial posts, only a single portfolio was given to a Christian. (Worthy News) August 14, 2012, a publication called El Fegr posted a copy of a letter inciting violence against Christians. The document refers to Christians as enemies of Allah and slaves of the cross. It calls for Allah to curse them and for all Muslims to physically attack or kill Christians throughout Egypt. Pray for believers in Egypt who are suffering persecution daily including death, injury, property damage and loss of political rights as a result of the recent Muslim Brotherhood takeover. Newly elected President Mohammad Morsi said he was going to be the leader of all Egyptians, including the Copts. Unfolding events, however confirm this was just another ruse to gain power and Islamize Egypt.

GAZA CHRISTIANS EXPERIENCING PRESSURE TO CONVERT TO ISLAM: Hundreds of Christians have staged protests in Gaza’s main church since July 16.  Demonstrators have demanded the return of members of their community whom they said were kidnapped by Islamist proselytizers and forced to convert to Islam. Christians are blaming the Hamas-affiliated Palestine Scholars Association. The church and a number of congregants see the latest conversions as the thin end of the wedge and say they are being targeted. Christians are a minority in Gaza, a territory with 1.7 million Muslim residents. The number of Gaza Christians has shrunk from some 3,500 to about 1,500 since the Islamic terrorist group Hamas seized power five years ago. During this time, Christians have felt increasingly embattled but have largely kept silent. The protest was a rare exception. (J.Post/AP)

MUSLIMS, CHRISTIANS CLASH OVER GARDEN TOMB: A dispute over a holy place in Jerusalem is threatening the fragile status quo between Christians and Muslims in the Holy City, with Israel caught in the middle. The Garden Tomb outside the Old City walls, with an ancient tomb carved into a rock, resembles the place where Yeshua was buried according to biblical accounts. Some Protestants believe it is the very place of His resurrection, though most archaeologists place the actual site at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in the Old City. The serenity of the site has been disturbed by the expansion of a Muslim cemetery adjacent to the Garden Tomb. Though the construction was approved by the Jerusalem Municipality, it is threatening the physical integrity of the Christian holy place, according to an investigative report. (Israel Today)

SYRIA’S CHRISTIANS TARGETED BY ISLAMIST REBELS AMIDST MASSIVE EXODUS: “Religious minority groups have become a primary target of rebels linked to terror group al-Qaida and other Islamists who are executing attacks in the name of Allah,” said International Christian Concern, a major advocacy group. “Recent threats and violence against Syria’s Christian minority include the murder of a Christian family in Damascus on July 23. The flight of thousands of Christians from the city of Qusayr took place after an ultimatum to leave the city was issued by a rebel commander,” ICC said in a statement. There was no response from the Free Syrian Army, a growing force fighting against President Bashar al-Assad. (Worthy News) Pray for the protection of Syria’s believing remnant. May they be comforted, encouraged and given places of shelter, hidden from all who would carry out violence against them.

PAKISTAN GIRL JAILED, ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY: A Christian, mentally handicapped girl, 11 years-old, was sent to a Pakistani prison after being accused by her furious Muslim neighbors of burning pages of the Quran, in violation of the country’s strict blasphemy laws. One police official said when the girl was brought to the police station, she had a shopping bag that contained various religious and Arabic-language papers that had been partly burned, but there was no Quran. Never-the-less, hundreds of angry neighbors gathered outside the girl’s home last week demanding action in the case raising new concerns about religious extremism in this conservative Muslim country. Under Pakistan’s blasphemy laws anyone found guilty of insulting Islam’s Prophet Muhammad or defiling the Quran, can face life in prison or even execution. Critics say the laws are often misused to harass non-Muslims or target individuals. (Knox) This is an urgent matter for prayer! May this young, handicapped girl be comforted and kept free from further harm and persecution at the hands of Muslim neighbors and authorities.

19 KILLED AT CENTRAL NIGERIA BIBLE STUDY: Three men entered a central Nigerian church Monday night August 6 just before a Bible study began, but instead of joining the worship service they opened fire, killing at least 19 people in an attack that shows that violence is spreading in the divided nation. Witnesses and the military described a chaotic, blood-soaked scene at the Deeper Life church in Otite, a quiet neighborhood on the outskirts of the city of Okene. No group claimed responsibility for the bloodshed, but the violence came as Nigeria is facing attacks from a radical Islamist sect known as Boko Haram. (AP)

MUSLIM GUNMEN KILL FOUR CHRISTIANS IN NORTHERN NIGERIAN CITY: Motorcycle gunmen opened fire on the car of a Nigerian air force officer on Sunday, July 30, killing the driver and an aide, while two other people were killed in a nearby neighborhood, authorities said. It was not clear who was behind the attacks in the city of Kano, the largest in Nigeria’s mainly Muslim north, but they resembled similar killings in the past blamed on Islamist militant group Boko Haram. A police source said the victims were from the mainly Christian Igbo ethnic group. (Jihad Watch) Igbo people are one of the largest and most influential ethnic groups in Nigeria. Pray for their protection against murderous terrorist groups, especially Boko Haram that has increasingly been targeting Christians and church property in the region.

(Source: jnnnews.com)

The Liberal Rejection of Christian Zionists

Although Evangelical support for the State of Israel is on the rise, liberal Jews tend to regard Christian Zionists with intense distrust. There are certainly valid reasons for initial suspicion in light of the history of Christian antisemitism and missionary excess, but progressive discomfort has little to do with this history. Rather, it stems from the association of conservative Christians with values that conflict with the liberal political agenda.

Read More

Israel Today:

From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens - Part III

From Islam to Christianity  Apostasy that Enlightens - Part III

This is Part III of a three-part story on Muslims converting to Christianity. If you have not done so already, we suggest first reading From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens - Part I and From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens - Part II

“After hearing my father slamming the Jews so often, it seemed natural. I always thought it was normal to have a negative view of the Jewish people,” said Jivanjee. “I almost felt that he had a kind of inferiority complex because the world’s problems were pinned solely on them. At that time, I didn’t question my father’s words even though I didn’t have any hostility towards Jews myself,” he recalled.

Darwish voiced a more critical opinion of Muslims that, as she sees it, are obsessed with their hostility towards the Jews. “When I was a Muslim, I never dared to question why our religious leaders lie and preach hatred and violence from the pulpit of mosques. To the average Muslim, cursing Jews feels normal and even holy!” said the woman, who – after years of absorbing the anti-Israel propaganda – blamed the Jewish state for the targeted killing of her father, not realizing that he had brought it on himself by launching raids that murdered many Israeli civilians. “After a lot of thinking, analysis, research, and writing, I discovered that Jew hatred is a basic part of the Islamic belief that Muslims cannot rid themselves of”.

Habib disagreed stressing that Islam has no problem with the Jewish people. “We have no issues with Jews. Just like Muslims, they worship one God. But we do have a serious dispute with Israel, the regime that occupied our land. Their aggression forces us to defend ourselves. It’s only natural,” he argued.

The cleric’s arguments didn’t convince Jivanjee and Darwish, who said that the conflict between the two nations was (and still is) solely religious, not political.

Darwish, who has studied the subject extensively and has authored several books, said the Quran was literally brimming with images of violence and hatred, promising fighters multiple rewards in this life and hereafter. After being rejected by his own tribe, she explained, Mohammed decided to flee Mecca and seek refuge in Medina, a city predominantly inhabited by Jews. Because they allowed him to move in, the Quran praised them, describing as “guidance and light” (5:44) and a “righteous” people (6:153–154), who “excelled the nations” (45:16). But as the Jews refused to convert to Islam, Mohammed’s attitude changed, growing more hostile – something that found expression in the Quran.

Paz explains the change of tone by the prophet’s desire to establish a state in Medina. “Mohammed’s verses served the constantly changing environment and had to fit the conditions on the ground. He wanted to spread his religion, so he had to be tough to make people abide by the law,” said the expert. “Initially, the prophet wanted to please the Jews, so he sought their recognition by directing his disciples to pray in the direction of Jerusalem. Following the eruption of the dispute with the Jews that caused an estimated 700 of them to die, he changed his mind, telling followers to face Mecca instead”.

Nevertheless, according to Paz, despite Mohammed’s reported brutality, he wasn’t an evil man. Being an orphan, he was extremely sensitive to injustice and wanted to change things, like banning slavery and introducing equality. But once his power grew, things started to change, with Mohammed becoming more obsessed with control – something that was subsequently expressed in the Holy Book of Muslims.

However, Habib tries to justify the violent verses by claiming that they were meant to protect the religion. “Jihad, unlike what most westerners think, is a concept of self-defense. If religion is threatened, Muslims are allowed to defend it. And that’s exactly what the prophet did,” he explains.

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, “jihad” is the “spread of Islam by arms… a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam.”

Judging by this definition, Muslims are clearly losing the battle. Nevertheless, the surge in the number of Islamists leaves many wondering what to expect from those determined to spread Mohammed’s religion by the sword.


Egyptian president: I was not cordial to Israel’s Peres!

Egyptian president: I was not cordial to Israel's Peres!

Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi on Tuesday denied the horribly embarrassing revelation that he had actually been cordial to Israeli President Shimon Peres.

Early last month, Peres sent a personal letter to Morsi congratulating him on becoming Egypt’s new president and wishing him a good Ramadan holiday season.

Israeli newspapers yesterday reported Morsi’s reply, which expressed “deep thanks” for Peres’ Ramadan wishes and Morsi’s desire for regional peace and security.

But Morsi’s spokesman, Yasser Ali, told Egypt’s Al-Ahram newspaper that the Israelis reports were a hoax. “President Morsi did not send any correspondence to the Israeli president, and the reports to that effect in Israelis newspapers…are fabricated,” insisted Ali.

Peres’ office was reportedly stunned by the hostile outburst. An official in the president’s office speaking on condition of anonymity due to the diplomatic sensitivity of the situation, told the Times of Israel that not only was the letter from Morsi genuine, its publication had been approved by the Egyptian leader.

According to the source, Peres’ office had asked the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv if it could publicize the letter. The Embassy reportedly asked Morsi, and returned with a green light.

The scanned images of the letter that appeared in Israeli newspapers provide evidence that it did originate from official Egyptian sources. The letter was faxed to Peres, and at the top of the page appears the name and fax number of the sender - the Egyptian Embassy in Tel Aviv.

That the Egyptian government responded so angrily to reports of a simple exchange of pleasantries between its leader and Israel again raises concerns that relations between the two countries are set to transition from “icy” to “hostile.”

Gaza Christians protest 'forcible conversions' to Islam

Dozens of Gaza Christians staged a rare public protest Monday, claiming two congregants were forcibly converted to Islam and were being held against their will.

The small but noisy demonstration showed the increasingly desperate situation facing the tiny minority.

Protesters banged on a church bell and chanted, “With our spirit, with our blood we will sacrifice ourselves for you, Jesus.”

Gaza police say the two are staying with a Muslim religious official at their request, because they fear retribution from their families converting to Islam. Two mediators said the two - a 25-year-old man and a woman with three children - appeared to have embraced Islam of their free will. Forced conversions have been unheard of in Gaza before.

Since the Islamic militant Hamas seized power five years ago, Christians have felt increasingly embattled, but have mostly kept silent.

There are growing fears among Gaza Christians that their rapidly shrinking community could disappear through emigration and conversions.

Their numbers appear to have shrunk from some 3,500 to about 1,500 in recent years, according to community estimates. They are a tiny minority among 1.7 million Palestinians in Gaza, most conservative Muslims.

"If things remain like this, there’ll be no Christians left in Gaza," said Huda Al-Amash, mother of one of the converts, Ramez, 25. She sat sobbing in a church hallway alongside her daughters, Ranin and Rinad, and a dozen other women. "Today it’s Ramez. Then who, and who will be next?"

Christians said the main reason for the shrinking numbers is emigration, since there are few jobs in Gaza.

Changing faith is a deeply traumatic affair in the Arab world, where religion is strongly interwoven with people’s identities and tribal membership.
To convert often means to be ostracized by the community.

The two converts, Al-Amash, and Hiba Abu Dawoud, 31, could not be reached for comment. Abu Dawould took her three daughters with her, further enraging the community.

On Monday, groups of men and women stood in groups in the square of the ancient Church of Saint Porphyrius, angrily chanting,” Bring back Ramez!” One man angrily hit the church bell.

"People are locking up their sons and daughters, worried about the ideas people put in their head," said Al-Amash’s mother, Huda.


JOL Sunday People Update July 15th 2012

JNN NEWS, P.O. Box 7411, Jerusalem 91073, Israel

“The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.” Ps 34:18 

FIRST THE SATURDAY PEOPLE, THEN THE SUNDAY PEOPLE: Islamic terror groups have had a favorite taunt for several decades which says, first the Saturday people, then the Sunday people. This means of course, first the Jews then the Christians will be targets for terrorist persecution, subjection and elimination. Vision for Israel, in an ongoing endeavor, is keeping you informed monthly of growing Christian oppression across Islamic controlled lands that you may pray for both the victims and their persecutors.

US STATE DEPARTMENT CALLS FOR RELEASE OF PASTOR SENTENCED TO DEATH IN IRAN: It has been more than 1,000 days since a Christian pastor was thrown into an Iranian jail for leaving Islam and sentenced to death for following his faith. Last week, the US once again called on Iran to release Youcef Nadarkhani. “Pastor Nadarkhani still faces the threat of execution for simply following his faith, and we repeat our call for Iranian authorities to release him immediately,” said a statement from State Department spokeswoman Victoria Nuland. His next scheduled court date is September 8. Nadarkhani, born to Muslim parents in the Iranian town of Rasht, converted to Christianity when he was 19. Later he was ordained as a minister and led a network of house churches in Iran. He was arrested in October 2009 after he lodged a protest with local education officials upon learning his child was being forced to read from the Quran in school. He was charged with apostasy and convicted in a provincial court, which sentenced him to death. The case made its way to the Supreme Court, which said Nadarkhani’s sentence could be overturned if he recanted his faith.The 34-year-old pastor has refused to do so. (CNN) Continue to intercede for Pastor Nadarkhani’s release and for his faith to be strengthened in the testings and trials he presently endures.  

KENYA: 17 KILLED AS CHURCHES ATTACKED BY ISLAMISTS: Suspected members of the Islamist terror group, Al-Shabaab, on July 1, killed 17 worshipers in coordinated attacks on churches in Garissa, Kenya. The two blasts wounded at least 45 others. The violence took place during morning worship services, when Islamists threw grenades into the African Inland Church and Garissa’s Roman Catholic Church. “Many people were injured and rushed to Garissa Provincial hospital,” said Ibrahim Magunyi, Pastor of the East Africa Pentecostal Church. “We have written previously of Al-Shabaab’s infiltration of Kenya and are extremely saddened by these killings of the Christian worshipers. The actions of the Islamists show their complete disregard for human life. We urge Kenyan authorities to apprehend the perpetrators and bring them to justice.” (Reuters/Worthy News) May those who have lost loved ones and friends be comforted and those who are guilty of such brutality and murder be brought to justice.

THREE CHURCH BLASTS IN NIGERIA KILL 21 PEOPLE: Suicide bombers killed 21 people in attacks on three churches in Nigeria during Sunday services on June 17, exacerbating religious tensions in a West African nation that is almost evenly divided between Muslims and Christians. It had been the third Sunday in a row that deadly attacks had been carried out against Christian churches in northern Nigeria. No one immediately claimed responsibility, but suspicion fell on the radical Islamist sect Boko Haram because it took responsibility for the two earlier weekend assaults. More than 560 people have been killed in violence blamed on the sect this year alone. During the June 17 attack, the suicide bombers drove explosive-laden cars to the gates of two churches in the city of Zaria and detonated them within minutes of each other. A similar assault targeted a church in the city of Kaduna a half an hour later. The attacks in the northern state of Kaduna killed a total of 21 people and wounded at least 100. (AP)

NIGERIAN MISSIONARIES TRAPPED AS TERRORISTS EMBRACE CHRIST: A group of Nigerian missionaries and Christian converts in late June managed to escape a battle field in northern Nigeria where several terrorists embraced Christianity - but elsewhere believers face Islamic attacks. A June 28 report from a leader of the Christian Aid Mission’s group said, “As word came that native missionaries under siege had escaped from Muslim terrorist murderers, Gospel workers from another mission field called in to report they were under attack.” An unidentified Nigerian mission leader reported a whole village in southern Kaduna was fighting. He said five missionaries were there, whose work among local unreached Muslim tribes had been very successful. The mission leader explained the Gospel workers had come there to comfort and shelter unprepared villagers who fled in terror as armed Muslim terrorists invaded without warning. Missionaries said as many as 400 people have died since Islamic group Boko Haram, bombed three churches in cities Kaduna and Zaria, in mid June. One leader assured however there is still much good news: “All our Muslim converts, trapped since last week, are secure and protected now in our discipleship center. The village chief wants us back when he knows it is safe,” he said. (Worthy News) “The power of the wicked will be broken, but the Lord upholds the righteous. Ps 37:17

SUDANESE AUTHORITIES DEMOLISH TWO CHURCH BUILDINGS: Authorities in Khartoum demolished two church buildings in the third week of June after confiscating three Catholic schools. Officials from the Ministry of Planning and Housing of the local government authority on June 18 sent bulldozers that destroyed a church building belonging to the St. John Episcopal Church of Sudan, in the Haj Yousif. A Catholic church building in the area was also demolished the same day. “The government wants to remove all churches from Khartoum,” the source said. The majority of the population of Sudan adheres to Islam. (Compass Direct News)

CHURCH OF NATIVITY NAMED AS FIRST PALESTINIAN WORLD HERITAGE SITE: UNESCO’s World Heritage committee on June 29 approved a Palestinian bid to place the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem on its list of sites of World Heritage in Danger - a move seen by several nations as dangerously mixing politics and culture. Palestinian spokesman, Hanan Ashrawi, said the vote was an affirmation of Palestinian sovereignty over the spot where many Christians believe Yeshua was born. The drive to get the Nativity church quickly recognized as a World Heritage site is part of the Palestinians’ bid to win international recognition since attempts to establish a Palestinian state through negotiations with Israel are frozen. While the building needs minor repairs, it was not seen by the experts committee as being in imminent threat of destruction - the criteria usually reserved for the emergency procedure. The US ambassador to UNESCO, David Killion, said the US is “profoundly disappointed” by the World Heritage committee’s decision. He noted the candidacy was opposed by a UNESCO experts committee, whose conclusions are almost always heeded. The three churches acting as custodians of the site had also been opposed. (Ha’aretz)

FORMER EGYPTIAN PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE SAYS MUSLIM BROTHERHOOD WILL TERRORIZE CHRISTIANS: Former presidential candidate, Ahmed Shafiq, hit hard at the Muslim Brotherhood terrorist organization prior to Egypt’s recent presidential elections. He warned an Islamist victory would lead to terrorizing Christians and accused the Brotherhood of trying to make “Palestine” the central issue for Egyptians. Shafiq was a close aide to ousted Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak. Mohammed Morsi, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, did indeed win the bid to become Egypt’s new president, the results of which were announced on June 24. It will be very hard to convince Coptic Christians, secularists and many women – as well as Israel - that he will not simply follow the Brotherhood’s directives. (INN) Pray for the empowering of the Holy Spirit in Egypt’s Christian communities. May they may be a light in the midst of that nation’s growing political and religious darkness. Pray for their protection against Islamist violence.

CONVERT FROM ISLAM TO CHRISTIANITY BEHEADED: Video footage of a convert from Islam to Christianity being murdered by Muslims has been shown on Egyptian TV. The graphic incident was aired on a program called Egypt Today. The footage shows a young man being held down by masked men with a knife to his throat. One man chants a number of Muslim prayers in Arabic, mostly condemning Christianity. The man holding the knife to the Christian convert’s throat begins to cut, slowly severing the head amid cries of “Allahu Akbar” (“god is great”). The Egypt Today presenter was visibly distressed by the scenes. Then, referring to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis, who together held the majority of seats in the country’s parliament at that time, he asked, “How are such people supposed to govern?” The footage of this brutal beheading is the latest alarming indication of the violent threat to religious freedom in the post-Arab Spring order. (Barnabas) 

EGYPTIAN COURT UPHOLDS SENTENCE FOR CHRISTIAN ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY: Officials in Egypt recently upheld a three-year prison sentence against a teenage Christian student for posting a drawing on Facebook that mocked Islam and the Prophet Mohamed. Muslims reacted angrily to Massoud’s cartoons by attacking Christians and burning houses in the Manqabad village in the city of Assiut, which is home to a large Christian population. (Reuters)

US-BACKED REBELS COMMITTING CHRISTIAN GENOCIDE IN SYRIA: The US-backed Syrian Army is sacking churches and issuing threats that all Christians will be cleansed from rebel-held territory. According to one clergyman who described the plight of believers in Qusayr, near Homs, “Christian homes are severely damaged due to the fighting and completely emptied of their inhabitants who fled without taking anything.” Asked whether it was the Free Syrian Army that was telling Christians to get out, a nun at the Monastery of St. James in Homs said, “Yes, it was commander on the ground, Abdel Salam Harba, who decided there was to be no more negotiations with Christians.” She added that Christians refused to back the rebels, so the rebels used them as human shields. Most of the 10,000 Christian residents of Qusayr, Syria have already fled according to a recent report. Qusayr, is situated in a mountainous area overlooking Syria’s border with Lebanon. (Worthy News) Pray for the safety of the persecuted church in Syria and that those who are homeless will find shelter. In addition to engaging in destructive attacks against Christians, Syrian rebel forces have warned that should they seize control of their country, Israel will continue to be regarded as Syria’s number one foe.

PA CHILDREN TAUGHT TO HATE JEWS AND CHRISTIANS: Palestinian Authority TV chose to rebroadcast a program featuring a little girl reciting a hate poem targeting Jews and Christians as “inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised.” It was televised in May and again in June. In addition, Palestinian Media Watch reported that earlier this year, PA TV broadcast a young girl reciting a poem that included the words: “Our enemy, Zion, is Satan with a tail.” Weeks later, PA TV aired an even younger girl reciting the poem with the same hate speech, adding that the child had already recited it at the opening of a Palestinian exhibition of educational tools. (PMW) Many young Palestinians have only terrorist-controlled networking of children’s programs to view. These presentations often promote religious extremism, violence, and hatred. This is done via Disney characters and other teddy-bear creatures. Pray for Palestinian youth to be presented with learning and viewing materials that promote positive viewpoints.

“A little while, and the wicked will be no more….” Ps: 37:10

(Source: jnnnews.com)

Man Facing Jail For Hosting Home Bible Study

A Phoenix man has been sentenced to 60 days in jail after he refused to stop hosting Bible studies in the privacy of his home – in violation of the city’s building code laws.

“They’re cracking down on religious activities and religious use,” Salman told Fox News Radio. “They’re attacking what I as a Christian do in the privacy of my home.”

“If I had people coming to my home on a regular basis for poker night or Monday Night Football, it would be permitted,” he said. “But when someone says to us we are not allowed to gather because of religious purposes – that is when you have discrimination.”

The Salman Family

However, the Arizona courts consistently ruled against Salman – ultimately declaring that he was engaged in church activities and that the city did not violate his constitutional rights to religious freedom…

Salman is the owner of Mighty Mike’s Burgers — and he is also an ordained pastor. He and his wife have been hosting Bible studies on their 4.6 acre property since 2005. The gatherings were originally attended by as many as 15 people.

And to think people have skipped out on a jail sentence for much, much worse.  SMH. If the states are cracking down on religious freedom and jailing people for pubic gatherings in their own homes, what’s next?

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