Netanyahu: ISIS Attack in Egypt Knocks on Israel’s Door – July 3, 2015

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The Islamic State of Iran – like ISIS. Just much bigger

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The Watchman: When a Jew Rules the World – June 2, 2015

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Förtals lagar används för att tysta kristnas kritik av Islam – medan muslimer får härja fritt

UK: Belfast Pastor Faces Prison for “Grossly Offending” Islam, The Gatestone InstituteSoeren Kern, June 28, 2015

  • James McConnell’s prosecution is one of a growing number of examples in which British authorities — who routinely ignore incendiary speech by Muslim extremists — are using hate speech laws to silence Christians.
  • “My church funds medical care for 1,200 Muslim children in Kenya and Ethiopia. I’ve no hatred in my heart for Muslims… I believe in freedom of speech. I’m going to keep on preaching the gospel. I have nothing against Muslims, I have never hated Muslims, I have never hated anyone. But I am against what Muslims believe. They have the right to say what they believe in and I have a right to say what I believe.” — James McConnell, Pastor.
  • “Since the Islamic State took over, it [Mosul] has become the most peaceful city in the world.” — Raied Al-Wazzan, Executive Director, Belfast Islamic Center. Al-Wazzan is now trying to leverage the controversy over McConnell’s remarks to shame local politicians into providing him with free public land to build a mega-mosque.

An evangelical Christian pastor in Northern Ireland is being prosecuted for making “grossly offensive” remarks about Islam.

James McConnell, 78, is facing up to six months in prison for delivering a sermon in which he described Islam as “heathen” and “satanic.” The message was streamed live on the Internet, and a Muslim group called the police to complain.

According to Northern Ireland’s Public Prosecution Service (PPS), McConnellviolated the 2003 Communications Act by “sending, or causing to be sent, by means of a public electronic communications network, a message or other matter that was grossly offensive.”

Observers say that McConnell’s prosecution is one of a growing number of examples in which British authorities — who routinely ignore incendiary speech by Muslim extremists — are using hate speech laws to silence Christians.

McConnell, who turned down an offer to avoid a trial, says the issue of Christians being singled out for persecution in Britain must be confronted, and that he intends to turn his case into a milestone trial “in defense of freedom of speech and freedom of religion.”

1133Pastor James McConnell of Belfast: “I have no regrets about what I said. I do not hate Muslims, but I denounce Islam as a doctrine and I make no apologies for that. I will be pleading ‘not guilty’ when I stand in the dock in August.”

The controversy began on the evening of Sunday, May 18, 2014, when McConnell, the founding pastor of the Whitewell Metropolitan Tabernacle, an evangelical mega-church in northern Belfast, preached a sermon on a foundational verse of the Christian Bible, 1 Timothy 2:5, which states: “For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus.”

Preaching with an oratorical flourish common to traditional Protestantism, McConnell said (sermon begins at 22m, 40s):

“For there is one God. Think about that. For there is one God. But what God is [the Apostle] Paul referring to? What God is he talking about? The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

“The God who we worship and serve this evening is not Allah. The Muslim God, Allah, is a heathen deity. Allah is a cruel deity. Allah is a demon deity. A deity that this foolish government of ours … pays homage to, and subscribes financial inducements to curry their favor to keep them happy….

“While in Muslim lands Christians are persecuted for their faith; their homes burned, their churches destroyed, and hundreds of them literally have given their lives for Christ in martyrdom. A lovely young [Sudanese] woman by the name of Miriam, 27 years-of-age, because she has accepted Christ as her Savior, will be flogged publicly and hanged publicly. These fanatical worshippers are worshippers of the god called Allah. Ladies and gentlemen, that is a fact and it cannot be denied and it cannot be refuted.

“I know the time will come in this land … and in this nation to say such things will be an offense to the law. It would be reckoned erroneous, unpatriotic. But I am in good company, the company of [Protestant Reformers] Luther and Knox and Calvin and Tyndale and Latimer and Cranmer and Wesley and Spurgeon and such like him.

“The Muslim religion was created many hundreds of years after Christ. Mohammed, was born in 570. But Muslims believe that Islam is the true religion, dating back to Adam, and that the biblical Patriarchs were all Muslims, including Noah and Abraham and Moses, and even our Lord Jesus Christ.

“To judge by some of what I have heard in the past few months, you would think that Islam was little more than a variation of Christianity and Judaism. Not so. Islam’s ideas about God, about humanity, about salvation are vastly different from the teachings of the Holy Scriptures. Islam is heathen. Islam is satanic. Islam is a doctrine spawned in Hell.”

McConnell’s comments about Islam comprised less than ten minutes of a 35-minute sermon that focused on Christian theology.

The blowback was as swift as it was predictable. The Belfast Islamic Center, which claims to represent all of the 4,000 Muslims thought to be living in Northern Ireland, complained to police, who dutifully launched an investigation into whether there was a “hate crime motive” behind McConnell’s remarks.

McConnell later issued a public apology, but he refused to recant. He alsorejected a so-called informed warning. Such warnings are not convictions, but they are recorded on a person’s criminal record for 12 months. Anyone who refuses to accept the warning can be prosecuted, and McConnell now faces six months in prison. The first hearing of his case is set for August 6.

In an interview with the Belfast Telegraph, McConnell said he would rather go to prison than disavow his comments about Islam.

“I am 78 years of age and in ill health but jail knows no fear for me. They can lock me up with sex offenders, hoodlums and paramilitaries and I will do my time.

“I have no regrets about what I said. I do not hate Muslims, but I denounce Islam as a doctrine and I make no apologies for that. I will be pleading ‘not guilty’ when I stand in the dock in August.

McConnell said that the charges against him were symbolic of the persecution Christians are facing in Britain today:

“It is a case of back to the future. In the first century, the apostles were jailed for preaching the gospel. Early Christians were boiled in oil, burnt at the stake and devoured by wild beasts. If they faced that and kept their faith, I can easily do six months in jail.”

McConnell’s attorney, Joe Rice, vowed to fight the case “tooth and nail.” He said:

“I don’t agree with everything Pastor McConnell says but his prosecution represents a threat to freedom of speech and freedom of religion. If we’re moving into a genuinely pluralist society, these freedoms must be extended to Christians as much as they are to others.”

After public prosecutors announced that they plan to call eight witnesses in McConnell’s prosecution, Rice said:

“Rest assured we will call many, many more. This will be a landmark case with leading political, religious and academic figures giving evidence.

“The logic of the decision to prosecute Pastor McConnell means that many clerics — including Catholic priests and other evangelical pastors — could now find themselves under investigation for preaching with passion.

“My client’s remarks weren’t addressed at individual Muslims but at Islam in generic terms.”

McConnell stressed that he does not hate Muslims. “My church funds medical care for 1,200 Muslim children in Kenya and Ethiopia,” he said. “I’ve no hatred in my heart for Muslims, but I won’t be stopped from preaching against Islam.” He added:

“I apologized last year if I had unintentionally hurt anyone’s feelings. I would defend the right of any Muslim cleric to preach against me or Christianity. I most certainly don’t want any Muslim clerics prosecuted but I find it very unfair that I’m the only preacher facing prosecution.”

In an interview with the Guardian, McConnell reiterated that he is “not going to be gagged.” He said:

“The police tried to shut me up and tell me what to preach. It’s ridiculous. I believe in freedom of speech. I’m going to keep on preaching the gospel. I have nothing against Muslims, I have never hated Muslims, I have never hated anyone. But I am against what Muslims believe. They have the right to say what they believe in and I have a right to say what I believe.”

The executive director of the Belfast Islamic Center, Raied al-Wazzan, is leading the push to prosecute McConnell. “This is inflammatory language and it definitely is not acceptable,” he saidin an interview with the BBC.

Al-Wazzan is now trying to leverage the controversy over McConnell’s remarks to shame local politicians into providing him with public land, for free, to build a mega-mosque in Belfast. “We need the land from the government,” he told the BBC. “And there is a huge demand for it. The Muslim population is growing in Belfast, in Northern Ireland, but especially in south Belfast.”

In January 2015, al-Wazzan drew attention to himself when he praised the Islamic State’s rule of the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, where jihadists have decimated out the city’s 2,000-year-old, 60,000-strong Christian community. Speaking to the BBC, al-Wazzan said: “Since the Islamic State took over, it [Mosul] has become the most peaceful city in the world.”

After local politicians called for the government to cut public funding for the Belfast Islamic Center, al-Wazzan recanted. But the Belfast Islamic Center’s website continues to prominentlydisplay the writings of a Muslim extremist named Bilal Philips, who has been banned from entering the UK because of his preaching of violence against Jews, Christians and homosexuals, and his glorification of Islamic suicide bombers.

McConnell summed it up this way: “Islam is allowed to come to this country, Islam is allowed to worship in this country, Islam is allowed to preach in this country and they preach hate. And for years we are not allowed to give a tract out, we are not allowed in Islam, we are not allowed to preach the gospel. We are persecuted in Islam if we stand for Jesus Christ.”

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Messianic Jews Documentary

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Islam har genom alla tider hatat det kristna korset

Islamic Hate for the Christian Cross, Front Page Magazine, June 22, 2015 (Originally published by PJ Media.)

 

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Islamic hostility to the cross is an unwavering fact of life—one that crosses continents and centuries; one that is very much indicative of Islam’s innate hostility to Christianity.

********************

Last May in Italy, a Muslim boy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck. The African schoolboy, who had only started to attend the school approximately three weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl—“insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix”—before he finally “punched the girl violently in the back.”

What is it about the Christian cross that makes some Muslims react this way?

The fact is, Islamic hostility to the cross is an unwavering fact of life—one that crosses continents and centuries; one that is very much indicative of Islam’s innate hostility to Christianity.

Doctrine and History

Because the Christian cross is the quintessential symbol of Christianity—for all denominations, including most forms of otherwise iconoclastic Protestantism—it has been a despised symbol in Islam.

According to the Conditions of Omar—a Medieval text which lays out the many humiliating stipulations conquered Christians must embrace to preserve their lives and which Islamic history attributes to the second “righteous caliph,” Omar al-Khattab—Christians are “Not to display a cross [on churches]… and “Not to produce a cross or [Christian] book in the markets of the Muslims.”

The reason for this animosity is that the cross symbolizes the fundamental disagreement between Christians and Muslims. According to Dr. Sidney Griffith, author of The Church in the Shadow of the Mosque, “The cross and the icons publicly declared those very points of Christian faith which the Koran, in the Muslim view, explicitly denied: that Christ was the Son of God and that he died on the cross.” Thus “the Christian practice of venerating the cross and the icons of Christ and the saints often aroused the disdain of Muslims,” so that there was an ongoing “campaign to erase the public symbols of Christianity, especially the previously ubiquitous sign of the cross.”

Islam’s hostility to the cross, like all of Islam’s hostilities, begins with the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He reportedly “had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it.” He once ordered someone wearing a cross to “take off that piece of idolatry” and claimed that at the end times Jesus himself would make it a point to “break the cross”—an assertion the Islamic State regularly makes.

Islamic history following Muhammad is riddled with anecdotes of Muslims cursing and breaking crosses. Prior to the Battle of Yarmuk in 636, which pitted the earliest invading Muslim armies against the Byzantine Empire, Khalid bin al-Walid, the savage “Sword of Allah,” told the Christians that if they wanted peace they must “break the cross” and embrace Islam, or pay jizya and live in subjugation—just as his Islamic State successors are doing today in direct emulation. The Byzantines opted for war.

In Egypt, Saladin (d. 1193)—regularly touted in the West for his “magnanimity”—ordered “the removal of every cross from atop the dome of every church in the provinces of Egypt,” in the words of The History of the Patriarchate of the Egyptian Church.

Europe: Growing Violence against the Cross

Centuries later, not much has changed concerning Islam’s position towards the cross, though much has changed in Western perceptions. In other words, an African boy punching a Christian girl in Italy for her crucifix is part of a long continuum of Islamic hostility for the cross. Perhaps he learned this hatred in mosque—the same European mosques where Islamic State representatives call Muslims to jihad?

After all, earlier this year in Italy, another crucifix was destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque.  The municipality’s Councilor, Giuseppe Berlin, did not mince words concerning the identity of the culprit(s):

Before we put a show of unity with Muslims, let’s have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture. We shouldn’t minimize the importance of certain signals; we must wake up now or our children will suffer the consequences of this dangerous and uncontrolled Islamic invasion.

Nor is Italy the only European nation experiencing this phenomenon. In neighboring France, a “young Muslim” committed major acts of vandalism at two churches.  Along with twisting a massive bronze cross, he overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows.  (Click for images.)

And in Germany, a Turkish man who checked himself into a hospital for treatment went into a sudden frenzy because there were “too many crosses on the wall.”  He called the nurse a “bitch” and “fascist” and became physically aggressive.

Of course, other times Europeans willingly capitulate to Islamic hostility for the cross. Real Madrid, a professional football (soccer) team in Spain reportedly stripped the traditional Christian cross from its club crest as part of a deal with the National Bank of Abu Dhabi—“so as not to offend Muslim sensibilities in the United Arab Emirates.” And in the United Kingdom, offensive crucifixes are being removed from prisons in order not to offend Muslim inmates (who are further provided with food baths for Islamic rituals).

Muslim World: Christians Killed for the Cross

If this is how some Muslims react to the Christian cross in Europe—where Muslims are aware of their outnumbered, minority status—how do other Muslims react to the cross in the Islamic world, where vastly outnumbered and ostracized Christian “infidels” are easy prey?

The answer is murderous—literally, Christians are being murdered by Muslims provoked at the sight of the cross:

Last year in Egypt, a young Coptic Christian woman named Mary was mauled to death—simply because her cross identified her as a Christian to Muslim Brotherhood rioters.   According to an eyewitness who discussed the episode, Mary Sameh George was parking her car by the church to deliver medicine to an elderly woman:

Once they [Brotherhood rioters] saw that she was a Christian [because of the cross hanging on her rearview mirror], they jumped on top of the car, to the point that the vehicle was no longer visible. The roof of the car collapsed in.  When they realized that she was starting to die, they pulled her out of the car and started pounding on her and pulling her hair—to the point that portions of her hair and scalp came off.  They kept beating her, kicking her, stabbing her with any object or weapon they could find….  Throughout [her ordeal] she tried to protect her face, giving her back to the attackers, till one of them came and stabbed her right in the back, near the heart, finishing her off.  Then another came and grabbed her by the hair, shaking her head, and with the other hand slit her throat.  Another pulled her pants off, to the point that she was totally naked.

In response, the Coptic Christian Church issued the following statement: “Oh how lucky you are, Mary, you who are beloved of Christ.  They tore your body because of the Cross.  Yet they offered you the greatest service and gave you a name of honor as one who attained the crown of martyrdom.” The statement also quoted Christ’s warning to believers: “Yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service” (John 16:2).

In October 2011, seventeen-year-old Ayman Nabil Labib, a Coptic student, was strangled and beaten to death by his Muslim teacher and some fellow students—simply for refusing to obey the teacher’s orders to remove his cross. Student eyewitnesses present during the assault said that while Ayman was in the classroom he was told to cover up his tattooed wrist cross, which many Copts wear. Not only did he refuse, but he defiantly produced the pectoral cross he wore under his shirt, which prompted the enraged Muslim teacher and students to beat the Christian youth to death.

Before that, an off-duty Muslim police officer on a train from Asyut to Cairo shouted “Allahu Akbar!” and opened fire on six Christians, killing a seventy-one-year-old man and critically wounding the rest. Before opening fire he had checked for passengers with the traditional Coptic cross tattooed on their wrists. (Days ago, another Coptic woman was “shot dead by an Egyptian police officer. Although officially an “accident,” the Muslim officer is notorious for hating Christians.)

In Pakistan, when a Muslim man saw Julie Aftab, a Christian woman, wearing a cross around her neck,

The man became abusive, shouting at her that she was living in the gutter and would go to hell for shunning Islam. He left and returned half an hour later, clutching a bottle of battery acid which he savagely chucked over her head. As she ran screaming for the door a second man grabbed her by the hair and forced more of the liquid down her throat, searing her esophagus. Teeth fell from her mouth as she desperately called for help, stumbling down the street. A woman heard her cries and took her to her home, pouring water over her head and taking her to hospital. At first the doctors refused to treat her, because she was a Christian. ‘They all turned against me . . . even the people who took me to the hospital. They told the doctor they were going to set the hospital on fire if they treated me’. . . . 67 percent of her esophagus was burned and she was missing an eye and both eyelids. What remained of her teeth could be seen through a gaping hole where her cheek had been. The doctors predicted she would die any day. Despite the odds she pulled through.

All this because she was wearing a cross.

Even in Muslim nations deemed “moderate,” violence provoked by the cross is not uncommon. In 2012, a 12-year-old boy in Turkey who converted to Christianity and decided to profess his new faith by wearing a silver cross necklace in class was spit on and beat regularly by Muslim classmates and teachers.

In the Maldives, October 2010, authorities had to rescue Geethamma George, a Christian teacher from India, after Muslim “parents threatened to tie and drag her off of the island” for “preaching Christianity.” Her crime was simply to draw a compass in class as part of a geography lesson. The compass was mistaken for the Christian cross.

Christians ‘Killed’ Again for the Cross

If some Muslims kill the wearers of the cross, so do they disturb the slumber of those already dead for having the cross on their tombstones. A few of the many examples follow:

  • Libya, March 2012: A video of a Muslim mob attacking a commonwealth cemetery near Benghazi appeared on the internet. As the Muslims kicked down and destroyed headstones with crosses on them, the man videotaping them urged them to “Break the cross of the dogs!” while he and others cried “Allahu Akbar!” Towards the end of the video, the mob congregated around the huge Cross of Sacrifice, the cemetery’s cenotaph monument, and started to hammer at it, to more cries of “Allahu Akbar.”Other Christian cemeteries in post-“Arab Spring” Libya have suffered similarly.
  • France, April 2015: Christian crosses and gravestones in a cemetery weredamaged and desecrated by a Muslim. After being apprehended, he was described as follows: “The man repeats Muslim prayers over and over, he drools and cannot be communicated with: his condition has been declared incompatible with preliminary detention.” He was hospitalized as “mentally unbalanced.” (See his handiwork.)
  • Malaysia, February 2014: AChristian cemetery was attacked and desecrated in the middle of the night by unknown persons in the Muslim majority nation.  Several crosses were destroyed, including by the use of “a heavy tool to do the damage.”
  • Germany, June 2014: After Muslims were granted their own section at a cemetery in Seligenstadt, and after being allowed to conduct distinctly Islamic ceremonies, these same Muslims begandemanding that Christian symbols and crosses in the cemetery be removed or covered up during Islamic funerals.

—–

One can go on and on with more recent examples of Islam’s hostility to the cross. Last April in “moderate” Malaysia, a Muslim mob rioted against a small Protestant church due to the visible cross atop the building of worship. It was quickly removed.

And in Pakistan, a nation where the mere accusation of offending Islam get Christians burned alive—a Muslim shopkeeper is allowed to sell shoes which depict the Christian cross on their sole: “In Pakistani culture, showing the sole of one’s shoe or foot is offensive because placing anything on the ground is considered to be an insult to the object. Therefore, something on the sole of a shoe is going to be constantly insulted as the person walks.”

From an African School Boy in Italy to ‘ISIS’

In light of the above, it should come as no surprise that the Islamic State—“ISIS”—also exhibits violence to the Christian cross.   In its communiques to the West, hostile reference to the cross is often made: “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses, and enslave your women, by the permission of Allah…. [We will cast] fear into the hearts of the cross worshippers….”

After carving the heads of Coptic Christians off in Libya, the lead executioner waved his dagger at the camera and said, “Oh people, recently you have seen us on the hills of as-Sham and Dabiq’s plain [Syrian regions], chopping off the heads that have been carrying the cross for a long time.  And today, we are on the south of Rome, on the land of Islam, Libya, sending another message.”  He concluded by declaring: “We will fight you [Christians/Westerners] until Christ descends, breaks the cross and kills the pig” (all eschatological actions ascribed to the Muslim “Christ,” Isa).

Moreover, the Islamic State has committed countless atrocities against and because of the cross: it made and disseminated a video showing its members smashing crosses in and atop churches in territories under its sway; it beheaded and stabbed a man with his own crucifix after it exposed him as a Christian; and it published pictures of its members destroying Christian crosses and tombstones in cemeteries under its jurisdiction — and quoted Islamic scriptures justifying its actions.

Careful readers will note the similar parallels here: destroying crosses in churches and cemeteries and even killing Christian “infidels” for wearing them, as documented above, is not limited to “ISIS” but is happening all around the Muslim world, and even in Europe.

In short, Islam’s age-old hatred for the Christian cross—and what it represents—is not a product of the Islamic State, but of Islam.

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Dare to Dream/Dare to Build

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