Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Who will defend Christian? The New Christian Liberty Party


Wednesday, July 29, 2015 at 5:00pm PST, Christians in America wake-up and call-in if, you are in Gods army, help save your country (347) 826-7353


            Wake Up all you Christians in America. Democrat or Republican leave your color and party at the door. This is for Christians first and politics later. I don’t care if we offend you or not, it’s time to wake up and realize that neither party owns us or cares about us. We are not looking for a government hand out, we are not owned by the Beast. It is time for all denominations of Christianity to come together, Protestant, Mormon, Catholic, and Evangelical. We all serve one Savior; whether you call him Yeshua or Jesus we must stand together or divided we shall fall.

            Christians need to bond together and voice our concerns and vote! We can take back America with Gods heart. It can be done by simply talking to your friends, sharing your values and concerns in your community and talking to your family. Do the math, 80% of this country says they are Christians, but it takes a single heart and a fed- up soul to push forward.

Ask yourself, who will defend Christian in mid- east and who will defend the Amish? It will not be our government... It is us, The army of God, Protecting our way of life...

In 1952 president Truman established one day a year as the national day of prayer, in 1988 president Reagan designated the first Thursday in May as a national day of prayer.

In June of 2007 then presidential candidate Barack Obama declared that America was no longer a Christian nation. In 2009 President Obama canceled the 21st annual national day of prayer ceremony at the white house under the …of not offending anyone. However, on September 25, 2009 from 4am to 7pm a prayer for the Muslim religion was held on the Capital Grounds at the White House. There were over 50 thousand Muslims in DC that day and Obama prayed with them. I guess it didn’t matter if Christians were offended by this event, we obviously don’t matter anymore, and now this administration is encouraging schools to teach the Quran for extra credit while they can’t even talk about the Bible, God, Prayer, or even salute the American flag.

We can’t allow any more of our country to be lost! The time to unite is now but if we continue to separate ourselves by political party it will never happen. God has called us to unite as one body, one mind, and one spirit so that means it is time to come together as one party.

What do we stand for? A better question is what do you stand for? And better yet what are you leaving your kids and grandkids? We are not asking for money and if anyone from this group asks they are not of us. We are not raising money; we are raising awareness to take back our America. We are saying no to Islam, we are saying no to Muslims, and no to a tyrannical government takeover. We do not have a leader at this moment but we know that there are some out there just waiting for Christians to come together. You ask what we believe in. First we believe that we are ambassadors of Christ, and as ambassadors it is our responsibility to represent God in this nation and in this world; and we don’t mean by going to church and loving thy neighbor, we mean by standing up for His values, His ways, and His word, and not allowing these things to be stripped from us or our nation. We believe in small government, states’ rights, taking the UN off of American soil, the Constitution, borders and legal immigration, stripping government agencies of their power. We believe in making America strong again financially and militarily by cutting spending, getting rid of unnecessary government programs and entities and by getting the government out of your businesses and out of your lives. We believe that no money or aid should go to any country that hates us. We believe in bringing God, prayer and the Bible back into our schools and into our government. We believe in removing the governments hand from the church and in removing the governments control on Marriage and our Birth Certificates.


This statement is not finished; it is just here to let you know what and who we are. We are looking for fellow Christians all around the world and of all nationalities far and wide to come together with us so God can save our country, just as the pilgrims left Europe to come here for their religious freedom, dedicating America as Gods Country, we leave the political parties of today in order to restore America as Gods Country. Make no mistake this is a Crusade to move America into all it should be under God.






Sunday, July 26, 2015

Resurrection: The Case for HR 1568 & The Christians of the Middle East

Easter for Christians throughout the world is a time to celebrate the salvation of Jesus and those who follow in his teachings. Oftentimes though, in our celebration of victory it becomes easy to forget the passion. It becomes easy to forget the journey. What must be remembered is that the true value of our work is most apparent in not in victory, but in it’s pathway.
I am happy to say that during this week of Jesus’ resurrection the chance for salvation becomes that much more of a reality for thousands of Christians throughout Iraq and Syria due to a new bill, The Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act (HR 1568) . This piece of legislation is intended to expedite and reinstate processing for religious minorities threatened by ISIS that has since been terminated by the United States government. ​
In an act of truly bipartisan leadership shown by Congressman Juan Vargas (D-San Diego) and Congressman Duncan Hunter (R-Alpine) we see that the sanctity of life is much greater than an issue of politics, but of humanity. In their commitment to the cause of peace and accountability they have given the chance at new life for thousands confronted by their own extermination.
Let us not be defined by the misguided decisions of our past. We must remember that prior to the invasion of Iraq, Christians throughout the country lived in relative safety and freedom. In a recent 60 Minutes piece, Archbishop Warda of Erbil stated that religious minorities were at the most vulnerable after the American invasion. The genocide occurring against religious minorities in Iraq is the toxic product that came of foreign policy blunders during previous administrations.
But, fate has now put in the most unlikely of situations. We are blessed to be in a position where we can work to rectify the religious minorities, which we in effect, buried. Through HR 1568, we can resurrect the Christians that for too long have been abandoned at their cross. America can be the third day for those who have become all too familiar with the stone placed outside of their living tomb.
In the face of genocide, in the face of darkness, America must continue to be the world’s hope. America must continue to be the light. But, in order for us to make this light sustainable we must work together to garner the ear of our Congressional delegates throughout the nation .
For the Christians of Iraq and Syria, this legislation is life or death. And my message to members of Congress will not change: If you choose not to support this bill, you are sentencing my people to death. There is not simpler way to put it. The decision to not support this bill would leave Christians throughout the Middle East to continue to rot in the refugee camps they have had to call home. To silence their voices any further would be further enabling and emboldening the genocidal actions of ISIS. I ask you to firmly consider the implications of you actions if you see this act as anything less than necessary. Voting not to support this bill is enabling ISIS.
Young women and children cannot bare the weight of the mistakes of the Iraq invasion. We will never be able to reverse our past. But, what we can do is guarantee the chance for a brighter future. What we can do is continue to strive by the principles that have guided this nation since it’s birth. The principle of faith, humanitarianism, and accountability will not die because they live on through this bill—HR 1568.
This Easter let us be reminded that Christians throughout the Middle East have yet to see the dawn of their salvation. They remain victim to continuous suffering while their lives sit precariously in the balance of this bill. We must carry the torch that Jesus himself lit. It is we who must remind the world that our country is built upon the foundation of our faith and liberty. We will not forsake them. We will not abandon them as martyrs of Cavalry. We will pass the Protecting Religious Minorities Persecuted by ISIS Act (HR 1568).​
God Bless,
We are still looking for committed citizen activists who are willing to gather necessary signatures to separate Placer County from California, and to join the other northern counties to form the State of Jefferson. On July 11th, we will launched our signature gathering campaign to collect 60,000 signatures by the Fall of this year. By doing this, we will establish "standing" to separate from California. To accomplish this great task we are recruiting an army of citizen activists who would be willing to take a designated neighborhood and go door-to-door and collect signature. To sign up to be a citizen activist, please send your contact information to: ginnyatahs@aol.com.
Will Anyone Help the Kurds?
  • What does the Turkish army -- this flamboyant member of the NATO -- want from the small Kurdish village of Roboski?
  • The West should apply pressure on Turkey to act humanely, morally and responsibly towards Kurds and other minorities. We all know that the Obama administration will never do that. But there are thousands of activists, academics, and universities who just turn a blind to the plight of Kurds as if their maltreatment is perfectly normal.
  • There are many "activists" like that. Their universities are filled with events bashing Israel. But if you ask them, they do not even know what is done to Kurds by their Turkish rulers. These activists are either ignorant or hypocritical. Their activism has nothing to do with caring about human beings; it is just about hating the Jews. When Turkey condemns Israel for "committing massacres," Israelis should start lecturing Turkey about tens of thousands of dead Kurds and about how Turkey still treats them.
During Turkey's elections on June 7, the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP) won a great victory by securing 13% of the vote, which allowed its candidates to occupy 80 seats in the 550-seat parliament of Turkey -- not all of them are Kurdish, some are Turkish or of other ethnic groups. In any normal country, this would be welcomed by state authorities as a potential way to resolve a huge national issue in a non-violent manner for the benefit of both peoples, Kurds and Turks.
Sadly, Turkey does not seem to be about to do so. The recent incidents in which Ferhat Encu, a Kurdish deputy from the HDP, was threatened, insulted and beaten by Turkish soldiers in the Kurdish village of Roboski (Uludere) in the Kurdish-majority province of Sirnak are another manifestation of that. (Video of the incident: here and here, and here.)
For four months, the Turkish army has blockaded the plateaus in Roboski and banned the villagers from going to those places, Ferhat Encu told Gatestone Institute.
Heavy military reinforcements have also been sent to the village, which borders Iraq's Kurdistan Regional Government, and this has created tension in the village, said Encu.
In 2011, Turkey's air force killed 34 innocent civilians, including 17 children, in an airstrike on Roboski. Ferhat Encu lost 11 relatives in the massacre, including his brother Serhat Encu.
Between the 2011 massacre and his election to parliament in June 2015, Ferhat Encu had been detained by the police six times under to various pretexts, and then released.
On June 7, Encu travelled to Roboski, his hometown, to observe what was going on and try to ease tensions.
"Roboski is like an open prison," he said later. "On 6 July, local people started a 2-day protest to end the ban on travel to the plateaus and stop the military reinforcements to the region. But soldiers shot their long barreled weapons [rifles] at the villagers.
"On July 7, about 20 soldiers intercepted us and threw [tear] gas bombs at our car. Then, a reporter from the newspaper Cumhuriyet, Mahmut Oral, got out of his car, introduced himself and asked them not to throw gas bombs, but they threatened him.
"Then, I got out of the car and I told them I am a [parliamentary] deputy. There were about 5 meters between the soldiers and me. At that moment, a few soldiers started shooting their guns randomly."
Perhaps, they fired their guns up in the air. They may have done this just to scare him and the journalists, not to kill them. Even if they had killed them, they would have never been held accountable for that. There are lots of gunshots in the video.
Encu said that he told the soldiers they were not being resisted, and asked them to stop shooting.
"But they responded: 'You are not our deputy. You are the deputy of terrorists, traitors, and marauders. And we represent the honor of the state.'
"Then the commander told me to buzz off and walked up to me -- I tried to stop him from hitting me. Then soldiers started shooting their guns again while others battered me."
Mahmut Oral, a reporter from the newspaper Cumhuriyet, who was present during the confrontation, wrote:
"When we got out of the car, saying that we are journalists, we were manhandled by soldiers and threatened with guns. When the situation got more serious, Encu got out the car but soldiers seized him by the collar and surrounded him. The soldiers told Encu that 'we are the state here. What deputy? You are a terrorist and marauder.'... They kept insulting the journalists who tried to intervene between Encu and the soldiers... They threatened us with breaking our cameras and shooting us if we do not get back on the car."

The 2011 Roboski Massacre

On December 28, 2011, Turkish F-16 fighter-bombers launched a five-hour long airstrike on Roboski, killing 34 civilians, including 17 children, some of whom were as young as 12.
The victims had been transporting cheap cigarettes, diesel oil and the similar items into Turkey when the bombing started. The bodies of some of the victims were burned beyond recognition or dismembered.
The AKP government has not provided any written or verbal apology for the massacre. Instead, on December 30, 2011, Erdogan, then prime minister, thanked the Turkish general staff for "their sensitivity towards the issue despite the media."
Some of the victims froze to death, according to a report by human rights activists, doctors and lawyers; after the massacre, aid was not provided for hours and even ambulances were not allowed to enter the area.
The funeral procession for the victims of the 2011 Roboski massacre in Turkey.

In May 2012, Prime Minister Erdogan said that whoever was trying to keep the Roboski massacre on the agenda was "the terrorist organization and its extensions."
In June 2012, when families of the victims and representatives of NGOs came out to commemorate the dead, the police turned water cannons on them.
At first, public prosecutors from Diyarbakir were responsible for the investigation on the Roboski killings. But then, in June 2013, they announced that they were not going to deal with the case due to "lack of jurisdiction," and forwarded the file to military prosecutors.
In January 2014, the Turkish military prosecutor's office dismissed the investigation into the Roboski airstrike. The 16-page ruling said that "the staff of the Turkish armed forces acted in accordance with the decisions of the Turkish parliament and council of ministers and with the approval of the general staff." The ruling also stated that Necdet Ozel, chief of the Turkish military's general staff, gave the order for the airstrike from his home.
Veli Encu, Ferhat Encu's brother, said that receiving the ruling by the military prosecutors was like having the 34 victims killed all over again:
"We struggled for two years to bring the perpetrators of the massacre to court, but the state officials did not even send the ruling to our lawyers. We learnt it from TV," he said. "None of those responsible for the massacre have been removed from their posts. The perpetrators of the massacre are rewarded instead of being punished."
He added that the government is trying to ban villagers from entering the location of the massacre.
"I and my four friends took a writer to the border as she was going to write a book on the massacre. On our way back, the military officers stopped us. They had about 30 dogs with them. They detained us even though we had not crossed the border. And they gave us a fine of 2,000 Turkish liras for border violation."
Relatives, including children aged 12 and 13, who tried to go to the site to lay flowers to mark 500 days after the attack, were stopped, given fines or asked to report to the police station for "violating the passport law".
Zeki Tosun, who lost his son in the massacre, said, "We went there to lay 34 cloves. But they gave us a fine of 3000 Turkish liras for each clove. ... Here is like a cage. Every step we take is followed [by the Turkish army]. We are already in custody."
The victims' relatives were then brought to trial in court, but acquitted in August 2014.
Meanwhile, no perpetrator of the killings has yet been brought to trial, even as a criminal investigation was carried out against the survivors of the massacre, Davut Encu, Servet Encu and Haci Encu. They were interrogated in January 2012.
* * *
Attacks against this small village continue.
In June 2015, Ferhat Encu told the Bianet News Agency that soldiers had attacked people in Roboski for two days and that people were afraid to go outside.
"Soldiers broke into houses and battered women, detained four people and insulted people. A citizen was injured and the vehicle carrying him had an accident. When soldiers departed, everything calmed down.
"In this morning at 5 o'clock, without a warning, soldiers opened fire and killed villagers' five mules. If people had been outside at that moment, they would have been killed."
"I cannot comprehend this savageness. What do they want from Roboski?"
That is the question: What does the Turkish army -- this flamboyant NATO member -- want from this small Kurdish village?
The answer is that the dehumanization of Kurds in Turkey is so intense and widespread that state authorities cannot stand anything related to the Kurdish existence. Not only a Kurdish election victory -- even if this election was for the parliament of Turkey, not of Kurdistan -- but also Kurds' demanding punishment for the perpetrators of a massacre is intolerable to them.
Kurds are not to be members of parliament, not to mention patriotic MPs that struggle for national rights. They are to be assimilated into "Turkishness" or be invisible, and if possible, dead. As the infamous saying of Turkish racists goes, "The best Kurd is a dead Kurd."
Experience has taught us that in the 21st century, there are two ways of dealing with a national problem.
First, there is the right way -- the moral, civilized and democratic way -- in which you treat peoples under your rule with respect. When an indigenous people say that they are suffering or that they have complaints about or demands from you, you listen to them, try to understand and come terms with them because you regard them as your equals and you know that this indigenous people have been living in their ancient lands for centuries. Actually, you do not treat them as if they are less than fully human in the first place. And you do not put them through huge grievances.
But even then, a disagreement might emerge. On such on occasion, you also clarify your expectations and want that group to recognize your right to life and liberty, as well. And as civilized parties, you might decide to go separate ways and become good neighbors. But if you want to keep that people inside your borders, you at least recognize the national existence of that people. Whatever political and cultural rights you have, you grant those things to them. This is how political leaders with moral considerations would behave.
But then, there is the traditional Turkish-Islamic or Middle Eastern way: In such a political culture, when indigenous peoples or minority groups have complaints or demands, you instantly crush them with your army. You murder them en masse, deny their existence, torture them as you wish, insult them daily and then call them "terrorists", "traitors" and "marauders". And you commit all those atrocities based on one thing: your military power. For that is the only "value" you have.
Kurds entering the Turkish parliament by getting so many votes was a huge victory, and should be cherished as an opportunity for achieving democratic peace in the region.
And Kurds have made it clear many times that they wish to live in peace. Before the elections, Selahattin Demirtas, the co-president of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Democratic Party (HDP), said that "whether the HDP enters the parliament or not, we will defend peace."
But if even becoming MPs and demanding a legal way to resolve the Kurdish issue through dialogue and negotiations cannot provide Kurds with political recognition and national rights, what else are they supposed to do?
Is it not high time that the international community heard of the plight of Kurds and supported them? The US helped to liberate Kosovo. The West should now apply pressure on Turkey to act humanely, morally and responsibly towards Kurds and other minorities.
We all know that the Obama administration would never do that. But there are individuals and organizations outside of Turkey. There are thousands of activists, academics, universities who just turn a blind to the plight of Kurds as if their maltreatment is perfectly normal.
If they are ignorant and unaware of the Kurds and other minorities in the region, we need to educate them, and hope that after they learn the truth, they will "act." If they still do not care, then they are hypocrites. There are many "activists" like that. Their universities are filled with events bashing Israel. But if you ask them, they do not even know what is going on in Kurdistan and what is done to Kurds by their Turkish rulers. These activists are either ignorant or hypocritical. Their activism has nothing to do with caring about human beings; it is just about hating the Jews. When Turkey condemns Israel for "committing massacres," Israelis should start lecturing Turkey about tens of thousands of dead Kurds and about how Turkey still treats them
U.S. State Dept. Bars Christians from Testifying about Persecution

  • "This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists ... I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn't, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired" — Newt Gingrich, former Speaker, U.S. House of Representatives.
  • "The U.S. insists that Muslims are the primary victims of Boko Haram... The question remains -- why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?" — Emmanuel Ogebe, Nigerian human rights lawyer, Washington D.C.
  • "Stop building churches. Convert to Islam, which is the true religion. Otherwise we will make a horrible example of you." — Javed David, head of Hope for the Light Ministries, quoting a biker.
  • The Free Front of Algeria demands that all Christian churches remaining in the North African nation must be closed and reopened as mosques.
  • A Muslim mob in Deder, Ethiopia attacked a Christian man and forced him out of his home on pain of death in an effort to appropriate his land and build a mosque on it -- despite recent court rulings confirming the Christian man's property rights.
  • Accounts of Muslim immigrants taunting and even assaulting Christians in Italy are increasing.
  • "We are a poor nation. These people [Christian captives] have not done anything wrong and won't harm anyone. We as Assyrians do not have this amount of [ransom] money you are asking for" — Bishop Mar Mellis, Syria.
During the height of one of the most brutal months of Muslim persecution of Christians, the U.S. State Department exposed its double standards against persecuted Christian minorities.
Sister Diana, an influential Iraqi Christian leader, who was scheduled to visit the U.S. to advocate for persecuted Christians in the Mideast, was denied a visa by the U.S. State Department even though she had visited the U.S. before, most recently in 2012.
She was to be one of a delegation of religious leaders from Iraq -- including Sunni, Shia and Yazidi, among others -- to visit Washington, D.C., to describe the situation of their people. Every religious leader from this delegation to Washington D.C. was granted a visa -- except for the only Christian representative, Sister Diana.
After this refusal became public, many Americans protested, some writing to their congressmen. Discussing the nun's visa denial, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich said:
This is an administration which never seems to find a good enough excuse to help Christians, but always finds an excuse to apologize for terrorists ... I hope that as it gets attention that Secretary Kerry will reverse it. If he doesn't, Congress has to investigate, and the person who made this decision ought to be fired.
The State Department eventually granted Sister Diana a visa.
This is not the first time the U.S. State Department has not granted a visa to a Christian leader coming from a Muslim region. Last year, after the United States Institute for Peace brought together the governors of Nigeria's mostly Muslim northern states for a conference in the U.S., the State Department blocked the visa of the region's only Christian governor, Jonah David Jang.
According to a Nigerian human rights lawyer based in Washington D.C., Emmanuel Ogebe, the Christian governor's "visa problems" were due to anti-Christian bias in the U.S. government:
The U.S. insists that Muslims are the primary victims of Boko Haram. It also claims that Christians discriminate against Muslims in Plateau, which is one of the few Christian majority states in the north. After the [Christian governor] told them [U.S. authorities] that they were ignoring the 12 Shariah states who institutionalized persecution ... he suddenly developed visa problems.... The question remains -- why is the U.S. downplaying or denying the attacks against Christians?
The testimony of another nun, Sister Hatune Dogan, also made in May, indicates why the State Department may not want to hear such testimonials: they go against the paradigm that "Islam is peace." According to Sister Hatune:
What is going on there [Islamic State territories], what I was hearing, is the highest barbarism on earth in the history until today... The mission of Baghdadi, of ISIS, is to convert the world completely to the Islamic religion and bring them to Dar Al Salaam, as they call it. And Islam is not peace, please. Whoever says ISIS has no connection to Islam or something like this is, he's a liar. ISIS is Islam; Islam is ISIS... We know that in Islam, there is no democracy. Islam and democracy are opposite, like black and white. And I hope America will understand. America today has the power that they can stop this disaster on the earth, with other Western countries.
The rest of May's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes, but is not limited to, the following accounts, listed by theme.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Churches
Pakistan: Three separate incidents involved attacks on churches:
1) On May 28, in the city of Chakwal, south of Lahore, Muslim men destroyed a Protestant church and beat six Christians, including the pastor. Some of those wounded had to be hospitalized. A few days earlier, Pastor Suhail Masih and his companions had been accused by local Muslims of carrying out "proselytism and conversions of Muslims," according to a preliminary report.
2) Javed David, head of Hope for the Light Ministries in Lahore, and his associates, have been receiving death threats since February. The latest incident occurred in April, but became public knowledge only in May. According to David:
I had been to church in Sheikhupura to attend a meeting with colleagues. It was 8 o'clock in the evening when we left to return to Lahore. We were about to reach the main road when a motorbike drove up and blocked the way. Maybe they were following us. The two bikers were wearing a helmet (sic). One of them came up to my window and spoke to me. "We know what you are doing here," he said. "Stop building churches. Convert to Islam, which is the true religion. Otherwise we will make a horrible example of you."... [On another] occasion too, I was going home when a motorcycle stopped in front of me. The driver knocked on the window and threw in a piece of paper. I did not open it before I got home. It said, "This is an Islamic nation. We cannot allow church building. Either you convert to Islam or you leave this country! Stop building churches or you'll pay the consequences!"
3) On May 29 in Faisalabad, around 2 a.m., a gang of Muslims on motorcycles attacked a church near the Sadar police station. They opened fire on the church and set its main gate on fire, damaging its windows. According to church cleric Dilawar Masih, "Though no human loss was reported in this incident, attackers gave a clear-cut message that Christians and their places of worship are not safe and they may be attacked any time by the terrorists."
Egypt: Two churches were attacked:
1) On May 16, a homemade explosive device planted next to a Coptic Christian church was detonated around sunset. As the St. George Church in Tamiya (Fayum governorate) was mostly empty at the time, there were no casualties. However, the church's administrative offices and second floor windows were shattered, creating chaos and panic in the area. Church security cameras captured the two men on a motorcycle, who stopped at the church. One of the men dismounted and placed a bag containing the bomb next to the church, and they then sped off.
2) On Sunday morning, May 31 in Senoras city, Fayum, masked men on motorcycles opened fire on an Evangelical church. Security forces guarding the church briefly exchanged fire with the masked men before they fled on their motorcycles. No one was reported hurt.
Canada: On May 26, a 22-year-old man of Muslim background was charged with alleged hate crimes committed against the St. Catherine of Siena Church and its neighboring elementary school in Mississauga, Ontario. Iqbal Hessan faces five counts of mischief, and over $5,000 in fines. On May 20, the Sacred Heart of Jesus statue that stands in front of the church was covered in black paint and the fingers of its outstretched arms were broken off. Behind the church, graffiti with the words "There is no Jew God" was scrawled across the brick wall along with a drawing of a face labelled "Jewsus." That vandalism was the fourth time the church was targeted. On April 9, surveillance cameras caught a young man breaking into the church, ripping pages of the Sacramentary book on the altar, throwing them at the tabernacle, and then stealing one of the church's sound-system speakers. On May 17, a drawing of a hand gesturing with the middle finger was found spray-painted on the front steps of the church. And on May 25, graffiti was sprayed on the school walls.
The St. Catherine of Siena Church and its neighboring elementary school in Mississauga, Ontario were vandalized this year by Iqbal Hessan, a 22-year-old Muslim man.

Algeria: According to Abdel Fattah Zarawi, the Muslim leader of the Salafi party, also known as the Free Front of Algeria, any and all Christian churches remaining in the North African nation must be closed and reopened as mosques. Although the transformation of Christian churches into Muslim mosques is nearly as old as Islam itself -- Algeria was Christian-majority and even gave the world St. Augustine before Islam invaded and conquered it in the seventh century -- the Salafi leader tried to portray his proposal as a "grievance" against rising anti-Muslim sentiment in Europe, especially France. Launched on social media and networks, the Salafi campaign against Algerian churches even calls for the transformation of the nation's most important churches into mosques -- including the Church of Notre Dame d'Afrique in Algiers, the Church of St. Augustine in Annaba, and the Church of Santa Cruz in Oran -- since "they have no relation whatsoever to the religion of Algerian Muslims," in the words of the Free Front.
Saudi Arabia: Sheikh Adel al-Kalbani, former Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca and current prayer leader of Muhaisin Mosque in Riyadh, issued a tweet from his personal Twitter account, saying, "My beloved nation: It suffices me that you shelter me from hearing church bells ringing in you." Due to his importance, the New York Times once issued an entire spread about al-Kalbani. The "hopeful" theme is how al-Kalbani managed to rise to the top in Saudi Arabia by becoming the first black Imam of the Grand Mosque in Mecca. No word in any English language media, however, about his abhorrence for Christian churches and their bells.
Turkey: A 900-year-old Christian church in Turkey is to be renovated into a functioning mosque -- despite previous governmental assurances that it would be renovated into a museum. Enez's Hagia Sophia, the name of the ancient church, is located inside the city of Ainos, along the border with Greece and stationed atop a hill, visible to all. Another centuries-old church, Hagia Sophia in Trabzon, along the Black Sea, was reopened in 2013 as a mosque, although it was a museum for many years. Meanwhile, a majority of Turks await the re-transformation of the greatest Hagia Sophia (Constantinople's) into a mosque.
Yemen: A Catholic church was seriously damaged during a Saudi bombing raid around mid-May. The church of the Immaculate Conception in Aden had earlier been occupied by Houthi rebels who had vandalized its interior. The airstrike by Saudi bombers -- in support of the Yemeni government in its struggle with the rebels -- did further damage to the structure. Only one Catholic priest remains in Yemen. Two priests fled the country to escape the violence, while another, who was out of the country when the fighting began, has been unable to return. Twenty members of the Missionaries of Charities have chosen to remain in the war-torn country, tending to the sick and the poor.
Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

Pakistan: On Sunday, May 24, a Christian man in the Sanda neighborhood of Lahore was accused of blasphemy when some Muslims saw him burning newspapers that reportedly contained Arabic verses from the Koran. After the accusation, a Muslim mob caught the Christian, severely beat him, and even attempted to set him on fire. A few months earlier, another Muslim mob burned a Christian couple alive inside a kiln after they, too, were accused of insulting Islam. The Christian youth -- named Humayun Masih, said to be "mentally unstable" -- was imprisoned and charged under section 295-B of Pakistan's penal code, which prohibits the desecration of the Koran. After the attack on the Christian youth, the Muslim mob, reportedly thousands, rampaged through the neighborhood and set fire to Christian homes and a church. Christians in the region were attacked, and most fled the region; some of the mob was armed and gunshots were heard.
Egypt: On May 5, another Coptic Christian was convicted of blaspheming against Islam: "ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion" in violation of Article 98 (f) of the Egyptian Penal Code. A judge in Daqahliya sentenced Michael Munir Beshay to one year's imprisonment and a fine of one thousand Egyptian pounds. As International Christian Concern puts it: "Despite steps taken by the Sisi-led government to bring about greater tolerance and reforms, the conviction of Beshay is just another of many recent incidents highlighting the continued persecution of the country's Christian minority."[1] And Bishoy Armia Boulous -- formerly known as Mohammed Hegazy, an apostate from Islam to Christianity -- has remained imprisoned now for approximately a year, well past the legal six-month investigation period. All this time, he has been subject to physical and verbal abuse, from both prison guards and fellow inmates, on account of his "apostasy" from, and "blasphemy" against, Islam. He has been denied a Bible and has not had eyeglasses since they were intentionally broken some time ago. [2]
Iran: Ibrahim Firouzi, a Muslim convert to Christianity, was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison for "action against national security through collusion and gathering." After Firouzi converted to Christianity, he was arrested on August 25, 2013 and convicted of evangelizing, colluding with "anti-regime" foreign networks, launching a Christian website, and working against the Islamic Republic of Iran. Although his prison term was supposed to end on January 13, 2015, authorities continued to hold him illegally, and on March 8 they sentenced him to serve another five years "in very difficult conditions."
Syria: After failed negotiations, the Islamic State (IS) refused to release 242 Christian hostages captured during a late February raid along the Khabur River. On May 1, the IS demanded $242 million USD for the release of 93 women, 51 children, and 98 men taken captive. The Assyrian church, family and friends, unable to raise such a large sum, made a lesser, undisclosed offer, which IS rejected, saying it would no longer negotiate concerning the fate of the captive Christians. Based on Islamic law, their fate will now likely be slavery (especially women and children) or execution (especially men).[3]
Ethiopia: A Muslim mob in Deder attacked a Christian man and forced him out of his home on pain of death, in an effort to appropriate his land and build a mosque on it -- despite recent court rulings confirming the Christian man's property rights. "Their first plan was to kill my husband," said Fikere Mengistu's wife. "Now, he has escaped from the area. We are fasting and praying for God to rescue us from this forceful action." She remains with her five children, elderly mother-in-law and 30 other Christians, praying on the property. "We did our best try to defend our faith based on the law of the country... Muslims are out of the control of the government and the law. What can we do?" said Mengistu.[4]
Iraq: Juliana George, a 16-year-old Christian girl living in Baghdad, was abducted from her home. According to her family, a person knocked on the door of their home and when she answered, she was seized by four men who forced her into a waiting taxi and sped away. Her grandfather, Joseph, a priest, chased the taxi on foot and grabbed its door, but eventually fell to the side as the vehicle sped away. She was eventually released after her family paid a $55,000 ransom to the abductors for her return. Juliana's father, George, said that she has been traumatized by the experience: "I fear for her and my two other daughters.... There is no reason to believe that we will not be targeted again. I don't see how we can stay in Baghdad after this."
Turkey: On the same year that millions around the world commemorated the centennial of the Armenian Genocide, Turkish authorities started the demolition of Kamp Armen, an Armenian orphanage in the metropolitan district of Tuzla, despite the attempts by some political representatives to intervene. The orphanage was built in 1962 on the initiative of the Armenian Protestant community. A brief historical recap of the orphanage follows:
Thanks to its activities, the institution has helped 1,500 children to grow up in an environment based on the spirituality and culture of Armenian Christianity. There was also Hrant Dink among its students, the Armenian Turkish journalist, founder of the bilingual magazine Agos, killed in 2007 after being repeatedly threatened with death for his positions on the Armenian Genocide. The Turkish State had expropriated the orphanage in 1987, and all legal attempt (sic) by the Armenian Protestant communities to regain control of the building fell on deaf ears.

Italian Dhimmitude

Accounts of Muslim immigrants taunting and even assaulting Christians in Italy are increasing. Earlier this year, a crucifix was violently destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque, and a statue of the Virgin Mary was destroyed and urinated on by a group of North Africans in Italy. In addition:
  • A Muslim schoolboy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl at a school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck. The boy, who had only started to attend the school a few 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 assaulted her. Italian police did not charge the boy with any offense; they said he was a minor.
  • On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants from the Islamic Center interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary. They shouted verbal insults and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing to receive their first Holy Communion. They were reportedly stunned and confused and halted the procession before regrouping and hurrying past the Center.
Egyptian Dhimmitude
On Sunday, May 24, in the village of Kafr Darwish, just south of Cairo, a Muslim mob attacked Coptic Christian homes by throwing stones and Molotov explosives at them. More than 10 homes were torched and damaged. This attack was apparently prompted by a familiar narrative: one of the Coptic villagers, Ayman Youssef, was accused of posting cartoons offensive to Muhammad on his Facebook account. Youssef is illiterate and says he lost his mobile phone a few days before the alleged Facebook posting. Village elders and security representatives held a "conciliation session" and decreed that Youssef's entire family -- including the 80-year-old father and 75-year-old mother -- must leave the village if angry Muslims were to calm down. The Christian family was told by the village mayor Ahmed Maher that police "cannot guarantee their safety if they remained in the village."
Dr. Khaled Montaser, an Egyptian intellectual and frequent critic of the Islamization of the country, discussed how discrimination against Coptic Christians is widespread in certain medical professions. He said during a televised program that, although the pioneer of Obstetrics and Gynecology in Egypt was a Coptic Christian (Dr. Naguib Mahfouz), his grandson is banned from entering these professions because he is a Christian. Montaser confirmed that this policy, even if not a formal law, has caused Christian students increasingly to continue their studies abroad. He pointed out that this "policy" has become a norm -- one of many that discriminates against Copts.
In a 25-minute interview on Arabic satellite TV with Dr. Mona Roman, Coptic Christian Bishop Agathon fully exposed the plight of his Christian flock in Minya, Egypt -- a region that has a large Coptic minority that is steadily under attack. It was pointed out that the Egyptian state itself is often behind the persecution of and discrimination against Christians. According to the bishop, local governmental authorities -- including the State Security apparatus -- do not just ignore the attacks on Copts, but are often the very ones behind them.[5]
During a recent interview on Egyptian television, Dr. Yunis Makioun, head of the Al-Nour Party, the political wing of the Salafis, insisted that Islam commands Muslims to "protect" the nation's Christian minority -- a reference to their "dhimmi" status -- and treat them properly. Even so, said the Salafi spokesman, Muslims, according to Islam, are forbidden to offer greetings or congratulations to Copts on any Christian holiday.
Coptic Kidnappings
Since the "Arab Spring" came to Egypt, the kidnapping of Coptic Christians has been on the rise. In Nag Hammadi alone, 77 persons have been abducted, and two killed.
Makram Nazir , a 55-year-old Coptic Christian man was kidnapped and killed. Nazir was returning home from his second job in the middle of the night on April 26, when he was seized. His abductors called his brother and demanded a million Egyptian pounds (equivalent of $131,000 USD). As it was an impossible amount to raise, the Coptic man's family negotiated a significantly reduced price by phone with the abductors. The brother went to the local police station, provided them with all the information, including recordings of the phone calls, but, according to Watan News, "no one made a single move or took the matter seriously." After paying the ransom, three days passed before Nazir's family found the Coptic man's corpse in a canal. Killing Christian hostages even after being paid the ransom is not uncommon in Egypt. The same happened to 6-year-old Cyril Joseph: on May 2013, it was reported that his "family is in tatters after paying 30,000 pounds [about $4000 USD] to the abductor, who still killed the innocent child and threw his body in the sewer system, where the body, swollen and moldy, was exhumed."
Armed gunmen seized an 8-year-old Coptic Christian child, Antonious Zaki Hani, who was walking with his mother to school in Nag Hammadi. Four armed gunmen appeared, forced the child from his mother on the threat of death, and fled in a car. The kidnappers demanded two million Egyptian pounds ($262,000 USD) in ransom. Police eventually released the boy 17 days after he was kidnapped, although some activists say police knew earlier where the boy was being held.
On May 2, another Coptic Christian girl, Marina Magdi Fahim, 17, vanished after leaving her home around midday in the Hanofil region of Alexandria. Her family reported her disappearance to the authorities. Human rights activists say the girl was not reported injured at any hospital -- a sign that she was kidnapped. She has not been seen since.
A few days earlier, another 17-year old Coptic Christian was kidnapped in the village of al-Kom al-Qibliyya in Samalout. An eyewitness said he saw a Muslim neighbor named Ahmed Khalifa seize the girl. Although the family planned to organize a protest, the village elders counseled against it, lest it backfire by provoking more of the area's Muslims to retaliate against the Christian minority of the region, as often happens whenever Copts ask for their human rights.
About this Series
While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians is expanding. "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some — by no means all — of the instances of persecution that surface each month.
It documents what the mainstream media often fails to report.
It posits that such persecution is not random but systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities and locations.

[1] Beshay's case is only one of several concerning Christians accused of, and punished for, insulting Islam. In April, Gad Yunan, a Coptic Christian teacher, and some of his Coptic students, were arrested on the charge of insulting Islam. Their crime was to have made a 30-second video on Yunan's iPhone mocking the Islamic State -- which Egypt's Muslims and authorities apparently equate with mocking Islam, even as Muslims in the West insist ISIS has "nothing to do with Islam. Last year, Kerolos Shouky Attallah, a young Coptic Christian man accused of blaspheming Islam for simply "liking" an Arabic-language Facebook page administered by an anonymous group of Christian converts, was sentenced to six years in prison. The Copt did not make any comments on the site, share any of the postings or upload anything to it, and removed his name from the page once he realized that it might offend Muslims. In the hours preceding the sentencing, a rioting mob burned down several Christian-owned shops. He remains in hiding.
[2] According to lawyer Karam Ghobrial, the reason his client is being held and tortured in prison has to do with what made Bishoy notorious some years back in the first place: his audacity not only to convert to Christianity, but to try formally to change his religious identity from Muslim to Christian on his ID card -- prompting much public animosity and death threats against him at the time.
[3] According to Bishop Mar Mellis:
We tried many times to negotiate with the people that captured them and for their release.
We offered them an amount of money in accordance with the law of jizya but sadly after a week the negotiator between us returned and told us that ISIS wanted $100,000 for each person. They were asking for over $23 million.
We are a poor nation. These people [Christian captives] have not done anything wrong and won't harm anyone. We as Assyrians do not have this amount of money you are asking for. We offered an amount of money that we cannot disclose at this time. With the amount we offered, we thought it was acceptable, to have the return of the 230 people.
After two days, they [Islamic State] told us: "The amount the church offered was not acceptable. From now on, we will no longer negotiate with you." We then thought we would wait, hoping they would come back to talk. Sadly, we received word that the 230 kidnapped people will be sent to the Court of Sharia in Raqqa, where a Muslim judge from Mosul will deliver their fate.
In the context of these ongoing attacks that the ancient Assyrian Christian community has been exposed to, particularly at the hands of IS, Archimandrite Emanuel Youkhana of the Assyrian Church of the East declared before a European parliament on human rights that "Assyrian Christians are facing a danger that threatens their existence in their historical regions."
[4] According to International Christian Concern:
Fikere Mengistu's family has owned their land for more than 90 years, but a mob of more than 20 Muslims in Kufanzik village remain intent on forcibly building a mosque on the Mengistu farm in defiance of the law. Muslims make up the religious majority in the area. They have destroyed his fence and have looted his possessions. In addition, the local police are complicit in these attempts to steal his land.... The authorities are letting it happen. In the past, he has faced threats from local police officers, has been forced to pay bribes, and has been imprisoned simply because he is a Christian.
[5] For example, when the Copts were having a serious council meeting with government officials about the possibility of building a church, one of the authorities actually contacted the Islamic sheikhs of the village asking whether they "stand with the Coptic church or with the State?" If the latter, each Muslim household was instructed to send one family member to protest against the proposed building of a church -- so that security can then point to the mob and, as usual, just tell the Copts, "Sorry, no can do."
Other times, State Security is complicit: Male and female Christian minors -- currently 21 from just Minya alone, said the Coptic leader -- are habitually abducted by surrounding Muslims. At the moment, the youngest Christian girl abducted had just started elementary school. Whenever any of these attacks occur, Copts, working with the church, prepare bundles of documents, including photos and other verifications, incriminating the culprits. These then are placed into the hands of top officials, to make sure they don't get "lost" or "misplaced" by underlings. The bishop named many of these top people -- at no small risk to himself -- and said he even put such proofs and documents into the hands of the Director of Intelligence himself. "Absolutely nothing was done," said the despondent Christian.
He discussed the difficulties that Copts encounter whenever they want to build a church -- due to their dearth, some of the current churches serve tens of thousands of Christians -- or even make simple repairs. By way of example, he explained how the Virgin Mary Church in Safaniya village has no bathrooms or running water. Christians "tried time and time again to get approval to build bathrooms, to no avail." The bishop lamented how elderly and sick people sometimes urinate on themselves during service, while mothers must change their crying babies' diapers right on the pews.
In response, authorities told the bishop to "Go and ask the Muslims of your region if they will approve the building of a church, or bathroom, or anything -- and if they do, so will we."
It should be noted that Islamic law specifically bans the construction or repair of churches.
Clearly frustrated, the bishop added: "We as Copts are human beings. And envy takes us when we see our Muslim brothers build mosques where they will, how they will, at any place and at any time. And the State helps them! But as for us, we cannot build anything and that which is already open is being closed.... We, the Copts, are citizens with rights; and we see Muslims get whatever they want, while we are always prevented."
The Coptic bishop also said that sometimes Christians are punished whenever they go and "bother" authorities about their treatment. For example, when a Coptic delegation went to make a formal complaint, one of them was immediately kidnapped. His kidnappers demanded and received 120,000 Egyptian pounds for his release. Police were notified -- even told where the exchange of money for hostage was to take place -- but did absolutely nothing. The bishop referred to this incident as a "punishment" while Dr. Roman, the Coptic hostess, called Minya, Egypt a "State of Retribution" against those Copts who dare refuse to suffer quietly," adding, "Al-Minya is apparently not an Egyptian province; it is governed by ISIS."
Finally, Bishop Agathon made clear the despondency he and the average Christian in Egypt feel, repeatedly saying that, no matter which official they talk to, "nothing will change." If anything, the plight of Egypt's Christians has gone "from bad to worse," said the bishop: "We hear beautiful words but no solution."
Dr. Roman concluded by imploring Egyptian President Sisi, saying: "I've said it before: President Sisi is very meticulous and aware of the nation's issues. Why, then, is it that the Coptic plight in Minya is being ignored? Why is he turning a blind eye toward it?"
Bishop Agathon concluded by saying that "Copts are between a state anvil and aggressor hammers," meaning that, the state serves only to keep its Christian citizens in place while Islamic radicals pound away at them.
Islamist "Justice": Slow Painful Death for Christian Mother in Pakistan

  • While working as a farm laborer on a hot day, Asia Bibi was told to fetch water. When she returned, Muslim coworkers refused to drink from the water, saying it was unclean because a Christian had touched it.
  • Six years later, Asia Bibi still has not been executed. Instead, sick, isolated, and regularly beaten by both prison guards and Muslim inmates, she has evidently been left to rot to death.
  • Every time any Western organization calls for her release, Pakistani Muslims threaten to take Sharia law into their own hands. One mosque prayer leader has even offered $6000 to anyone who kills her -- a strong incentive, since many in Pakistan would probably kill her for free.
  • According to Islamic law, the word of a Christian is not valid against the word of a Muslim. Accusations of blasphemy against Christians by Muslims routinely result in the Christians being imprisoned, beaten, and sometimes killed -- in some cases even without evidence. Pakistan does not require proof of a crime, only allegations -- often made for extraneous reasons, and totally unfounded.
Pakistan's authorities appear to have found a solution to at least one of their problems in the international arena: Aasiya Noreen -- or "Asia Bibi" -- a 50-year-old Christian woman and mother of five, who has been on death row for six years for allegedly insulting Muhammad.
Instead of executing Asia Bibi and further advertising to the international community that theirs is a savage and backwards nation -- and instead of releasing her and provoking millions of angry Muslims to turn on the government and accuse it of supporting "apostasy" -- Pakistan's authorities appear to be letting time, wretched conditions, severe maltreatment, and beatings slowly kill her.
Asia Bibi and two of her five children, pictured prior to her imprisonment.

Recent reports state that she is deathly ill and "so weak she could hardly walk." Mission Network News says that Asia Bibi has "internal bleeding, abdominal pain, and is vomiting blood. If she does not receive immediate medical care, she could die."
According to Bruce Allen of Forgotten Missionaries International, "She suffers terrible pain, and she can hardly eat. ... Here's this woman, languishing in a prison under this death sentence for a crime that she vehemently denies."
In June 2009, while working as a farm laborer on a hot day, Asia Bibi was told to fetch water. Because she had drunk some of the water, the Muslim workers refused it: both the cup and the water were, they said, unclean because a Christian had touched them. (See this video of an Egyptian cleric saying how disgusted he is by Christians and how he could not drink from a cup that was merely touched by a Christian.)
Before the "cup" incident, it seems, a feud between Asia and one of her Muslim neighbors concerning property damage had existed.
After the "cup" incident, her enemies and some of the Muslim workers complained to a Muslim cleric. They accused Asia Bibi of making insulting statements about the Muslim prophet, Muhammad. Her official "crime," therefore, which she vehemently denies, is "insulting" the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Shortly after the complaint was registered, a mob stormed her home and severely beat her and her family, including her children. They put a noose around her neck and dragged her through the streets. She was then arrested; and in November 2010, a Punjabi court fined her and sentenced her to death by hanging, in accordance to Section 295-C, which prohibits on pain of death any insult against the Muslim prophet Muhammad.
Because her case attracted attention and condemnation from the international community, six years later, she still, mercifully, has not been executed. Instead, however, sick, isolated and regularly beaten by prison guards and Muslim inmates, she has evidently been left to rot to death.
In late 2011, a female prison-officer -- assigned to provide security for Asia -- was discovered beating her, "allegedly because of the Muslim officer's anti-Christian bias, while other staff members deployed for her security looked on in silence."
In late December 2013, Asia Bibi, a Catholic, sent a message to Pope Francis, saying that, "only God will be able to free me. ... I also hope that every Christian has been able to celebrate the Christmas just past with joy. Like many other prisoners, I also celebrated the birth of the Lord in prison in Multan, here in Pakistan... I would have liked to be in St. Peter's for Christmas to pray with you, but I trust in God's plan for me and hopefully it will be achieved next year."
It was not. In 2014, a Pakistani court upheld her death penalty. Recently, Pope Francis called for clemency for Asia Bibi while the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom pressed the Obama administration to designate Pakistan a "country of particular concern."
Last year, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, citing Asia Bibi in particular, as well others, called for the use of the $900 million in U.S. aid to Pakistan as leverage to help persecuted religious minorities. If these funds are not used as leverage, nearly $1 billion in U.S. aid can be seen as "rewarding" Pakistan for being openly unjust to its minorities.
Christian minorities are still arrested for "defaming Muhammad" -- that is, if a Muslim mob does not get to them first and burn them alive, as happened to a Christian couple last year, and as was recently attempted against a mentally disabled Christian man.
According to Wilson Chowdhry of the British Pakistani Christian Association:
Asia Bibi is by no means the only Christian on death row for blasphemy in Pakistan. There are a number of others, and there are also other Christians who are in there for crimes they did not commit, and are in effect in there because they are Christians.
People have to contact leaders of their nations and ask them to engage on dialogue with the Pakistani government for humanitarian rights alone renew the primary place of human rights when they engage in dialogue with foreign governments which habitually violate them. We see what happens when someone tries to challenge the blasphemy laws in Pakistan, it got two key politicians killed.

In a country with such animosity against Christians, I don't believe a Supreme Court judge will be brave enough to exonerate her.
A report from 2012 found that "Since 1990 alone, fifty-two people have been extra-judicially murdered on charges of blasphemy" in Pakistan.

Yet every time any Western entity calls for her release, Pakistani Muslims threaten to take Sharia law into their own hands and murder her. Five years ago, a mosque prayer leader announced that anyone who manages to kill her would be rewarded with $6,000. It is a strong incentive, considering that many in Pakistan would probably kill her for free.
As Asia Bibi's husband, Ashiq Masih, puts it:
"The Maulvis [clerics] want her dead. They have announced a prize of Rs 10,000 to Rs 500,000 (£60 to £3,200) for anyone who kills Asia. They have even declared that if the court acquits her they will ensure the death sentence stands.
"I am planning our protection. If she is set free I hope we are moved to a safer country, as Pakistan cannot protect her.
"She has not made any mistake. We all know she has not committed any crime. We all know how Pakistan treats Christians. She was framed, she never committed any crime."
Even some of those who have stood up for Asia Bibi have been murdered: two of her most prominent advocates, Governor Salmaan Taseer and Minority Affairs Minister Shabaz Bhatti, were both slaughtered. Taseer was shot twenty-seven times by Mumtaz Qadri -- his own bodyguard -- as he left his mother's home. The bodyguard cited as his motive that the governor was supportive of a Christian woman accused of blasphemy.
After the murder, more than 500 Muslim clerics voiced support for the crime, and further pushed for a general boycott of Taseer's funeral. Supporters of Mumtaz Qadri blocked police who were attempting to arrest him, and some supporters showered him with rose petals.
As for Bhatti, a Christian, Taliban-linked Muslims murdered him for his outspoken position against Pakistan's blasphemy law and his support for Asia Bibi. His car was ambushed and sprayed with bullets. A letter left at the scene said that anyone who tried to tamper with Pakistan's blasphemy law would suffer the same fate.
Bhatti, who received innumerable death threats, predicted his own murder. In a prerecorded video released after his death, he said, "I believe in Jesus Christ who has given his own life for us ... and I am ready to die for a cause ... I am living for my community ... and I will die to defend their rights."
The investigation into his murder was so lax (a series of suspects were freed) that it has been suggested that the Pakistani government may have been involved in -- or at least sympathetic to -- his assassination, for being a Christian and opposed to the blasphemy law.
Pakistan does not require proof of a crime, only allegations -- often made for extraneous reasons, and totally unfounded.

Pakistanis' extreme sensitivity to any potential insult to Muhammad is reflected in several laws in the nation's penal code. Section 295-C reads:
Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.
Because non-Muslims -- particularly Christians, who by definition are known to reject Muhammad's prophecy -- are more likely to be suspected of blasphemy, and because, according to Islamic law, the word of a Christian is not valid against the word of a Muslim, blasphemy accusations by Muslims against Christians routinely result in the Christians being imprisoned, beaten and killed. Sometimes the accused is killed even when there is no evidence.
In Pakistan, this scenario plays itself out over and over again. Christians, who reportedly make up less than one percent of the population in Pakistan, are especially vulnerable to charges of blasphemy.
Years before Asia Bibi was falsely accused, in 1994, Amnesty International reported:
Several dozen people have been charged with blasphemy in Pakistan over the last few years; in all the cases known to Amnesty International, the charges of blasphemy appear to have been arbitrarily brought, founded solely on the individuals' minority religious beliefs. . . . The available evidence in all these cases suggests that charges were brought as a measure to intimidate and punish members of minority religious communities . . . hostility towards religious minority groups appeared in many cases to be compounded by personal enmity, professional or economic rivalry or a desire to gain political advantage. As a consequence, Amnesty International has concluded that most of the individuals now facing charges of blasphemy, or convicted on such charges, are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their real or imputed religious beliefs in violation of their right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.
The British Pakistani Christian Association has started a petition calling for Bibi's release, and offers more ways to help Asia's case and help her husband Ashiq with legal fees.
In a recent interview, Asia Bibi's husband said:
"I really love her and miss her presence. I cannot sleep at night as I miss her. I miss her smile; I miss everything about her. She is my soulmate. I cannot see her in prison. It breaks my heart. Life has been non-existent without her. ... My children cry for their mother, they are broken. But I try to give them hope where I can."
Turkey Uses ISIS as Excuse to Attack Kurds

  • It appears as if the Turkish government is using ISIS as a pretext to attack the PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party).
  • Turkey just announced that its air base at Incirlik will soon be open to coalition forces, presumably to fight ISIS. But the moment Turkey started bombing, it targeted Kurdish positions in Iraq, in addition to targeting ISIS positions in Syria.
  • In Turkey, millions of indigenous Kurds are continually terrorized and murdered, but ISIS terrorists can freely travel and use official border crossings to go to Syria and return to Turkey; they are even treated at Turkish hospitals.
  • If this is how the states that rule over Kurds treat them, why is there even any question as to whether the Kurds should have their own self-government?
Turkey's government seems to be waging a new war against the Kurds, now struggling to get an internationally recognized political status in Syrian Kurdistan.
On July 24, Turkish media sources reported that Turkish jet fighters bombed Kurdish PKK (Kurdistan Workers' Party) bases in Qandil, in Iraqi Kurdistan, as well as the Islamic State (ISIS) in Syria.
Turkey is evidently unsettled by the rapprochement the PKK seems to be establishing with the U.S. and Europe. Possibly alarmed by the PKK's victories against ISIS, as well as its strengthening international standing, Ankara, in addition to targeting ISIS positions in Syria, has been bombing the PKK positions in the Qandil mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan, where the PKK headquarters are located.
There is no ISIS in Qandil.
As expected, many Turkish media outlets were more enthusiastic about the Turkish air force's bombing the Kurdish militia than about bombing ISIS. "The camps of the PKK," they excitedly reported, "have been covered with fire."
It appears as if Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) is using ISIS as a pretext to attack the PKK. Ankara just announced that its air base at Incirlik will soon be open to coalition forces, presumably to fight ISIS, but the moment Turkey started bombing, it targeted Kurdish positions. Those attacks not only open a new era of death and destruction, but also bring an end to all possibilities of resolving Turkey's Kurdish issue non-violently.
Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu announced that
"a second wave operation against Daesh [ISIS] in Syria was started. Just after that, a very comprehensive operation was carried out against the camps of the terrorist organization PKK in northern Iraq. I am glad that the targets were hit with great success. We have given instructions to start a third wave operation in Syria and a second wave operation in Iraq."
The "great success" of the Turkish military has brought much damage and injury to even Kurdish civilians -- including children. The Kurdish newspaper Rudaw reported that two Kurdish villagers in Duhok's Berwari region were carried to hospital in the aftermath of a Turkish artillery bombardment in the Amediye region. One of the victims was 12 years old. The second victim lost a leg in an airstrike. Four members of the PKK were killed and several others were injured.
Shortly after military operations against the PKK started, access to the websites of pro-Kurdish newspapers and news agencies was denied "by decree of court." These websites -- including Fırat News Agency (ANF), Dicle News Agency (DIHA), Hawar News Agency (ANHA), Ozgur Gundem newspaper, Yuksekova News, Rudaw and BasNews -- are still blocked in Turkey.
ISIS, meanwhile, has not so far made any statement regarding Turkey's so-called bombings of ISIS in any of its media outlets.
Had the Turkish military attacked the PKK alone, and not in addition to attacking ISIS, it would probably have received widespread international condemnation. So to add "legitimacy" to its attacks against the Kurdish PKK -- whose affiliate Democratic Union Party (PYD) in Syria and its armed wing, the Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) have been resisting ISIS and other Islamist terrorist groups since 2013 -- Turkey declared that it will also attack ISIS. This would give it cover for its attacks against Kurdish fighters.
In 2014, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan described the plan he wanted to carry out in Syria and Iraq: "The problem in Syria should be taken into account. Iraq too should be considered similarly. Moreover, there needs to be a solution that will also deal with the Syrian wing [PYD] of the separatist terrorist organization [PKK]."
The AKP government, dissatisfied with the results of last month's parliamentary elections, also seems to want to hold new elections, to push the mainly Kurdish HDP Party below the required 10% threshold, and thus force them out of parliament. Perhaps the government thinks that bombing the PKK will generate Turkish nationalist enthusiasm that will work in the AKP's favor to help it regain a majority in early elections.
Apparently, Turkey does not need Kurdish deputies in its parliament. Apparently, the state prefers to slaughter or arrest the Kurds -- as it has done for decades. Why hold talks and reach a democratic resolution when you have the power to murder people wholesale?[1]
Sadly, Turkey has preferred not to form a "Turkish-Kurdish alliance" to destroy ISIS. First, Turkey has opened its borders to ISIS, enabling the growth of the terrorist group. And now, at the first opportunity, it is bombing the Kurds again. According to this strategy, "peace" will be possible only when Kurds submit to Turkish supremacism and abandon their goal of being an equal nation.
In the meantime, Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkish minister of foreign affairs, said that the Incirlik air base in Turkey has not yet been opened for use by the U.S. and other coalition forces, but that it will be opened in the upcoming period.
Kurdish forces, therefore, are the only forces that are truly resisting the Islamic State.
They have been repressed by Baghdad and murdered by Turkey and Iran.
If this is how the states that rule over Kurds treat them, why is there even any question as to whether the Kurds should have their own self-government?
As a result of the ISIS attacks in the region, the Kurdish PKK -- as well as its Syrian Kurdish affiliate, Democratic Union Party (PYD) and its armed wing, Kurdish People's Defense Units (YPG) -- have emerged as the America's most effective battlefield partners against ISIS. Ever since ISIS became a major force in Syria, the U.S. has apparently relied heavily on YPG to stop ISIS from advancing. According to Henri Barkey, a former State Department specialist on Turkey, "The U.S. has become the YPG's air force and the YPG has become the U.S.'s ground force in Syria."
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Attacks on the Kurds were already under way last week. On July 20, a bomb attack in the Kurdish town of Suruc (Pirsus) in Turkey killed 32 people during a meeting of young humanitarian activists, who were discussing the reconstruction of the neighboring Kurdish town of Kobane.
The scene of the suicide bombing in Suruc, Turkey. An ISIS suicide bomber murdered 32 people and wounded more than 100 others in a July 20 attack on Kurdish humanitarian activists. (Image source: VOA video screenshot)

The blast took place while the activists were making a statement to the press in the garden of a cultural center. At least 100 others, mostly university students, were wounded. (Graphic video of the explosion)
The suicide bomber was identified through DNA testing, according to reports in the Turkish news media. Seyh Abdurrahman Alagoz was reportedly a 20-year-old Turkish university student, recently returned from Syria, and believed to have had ties to ISIS.
Alagoz targeted a meeting 300 secular activists, members of the Federation of Socialist Youth Associations (SGDF), who gathered at a cultural center in the province of Urfa, opposite the Kurdish town of Kobane in Syrian Kurdistan. As part of an effort to rebuild Kobane, they were preparing to provide aid, give toys to the children there and build a hospital, school, nursery, children's park, library and a memorial forest for those who had lost their lives in Kobane.
"Work on the building of hospitals and schools needs to be done," Oguz Yuzgec, the co-president of the federation, said before the explosion. "One of the things we will do is to build a children's park in Kobane. We will name it after Emre Aslan, who died fighting in Kobane. We are collecting toys. We will participate in the construction of the nursery that the canton of Kobane is planning to build. We have the responsibility of helping the nursery function. We need everybody who knows how to draw and can teach children."
Mazlum Demirtas, a survivor of the attack, said: "The main one responsible for this incident is the state of Turkey, the AKP fascism, the AKP dictatorship. ... It attacked us with its gunmen and gangs. Since yesterday, parents have been collecting the dismembered body parts of their children. They are trying to identify the dismembered bodies. This is called fascism, inhumanity and barbarity."
Pinar Gayip, another survivor of the attack, said in a telephone interview on the pro-government Haberturk TV that, "Instead of helping the wounded, the murderer-police of the murderer-AKP threw tear gas at the vehicles with which we carried the wounded." She was taken off the air.
All across Turkish Kurdistan, there were protests condemning the massacre and the government's alleged involvement in it. Police in Istanbul used plastic bullets and water cannons against people who gathered to remember those murdered in Suruc.
The Turkish authorities briefly blocked access to Twitter last Wednesday to prevent the people from viewing photos of the bombing in Suruc. Officials admitted that Turkey had asked Twitter to remove 107 URLs (web addresses) with images related to the bombing; before the ban, Twitter had already removed 50.
Selahattin Demirtas, the co-chair of the pro-Kurdish Peoples' Party (HDP), said that state surveillance activities were intensive in Suruc, and that the intelligence service was recording the identity of everyone traveling to and from Suruc.
As Demirtas's own convoy had recently not been permitted to enter Suruc, he emphasized the extent of state surveillance in the town, and said that nobody could argue that someone could have managed to infiltrate the crowd and carry out the suicide attack without state support.
"Today, we have witnessed in Suruc yet again what an army of barbarity and rape, an army that has lost human dignity, can do," Demirtas said. "Those who have been silent in the face of ISIS, who have not dared even raise their voice to it, as well as the officials in Ankara who threaten even the HDP every day but caress the head of ISIS, are the accomplices of this barbarity."
In the meantime, Mehmet Gormez, the head of the Turkish Presidency of Religious Affairs (Diyanet), announced on its Twitter account that the perpetrators of the Suruc attack do not have religion.
However, three days before the massacre in Suruc, about 100 Islamists -- alleged to be ISIS sympathizers -- had performed mass Islamic Eid prayers in Istanbul. They demanded Islamic sharia law instead of democracy. ISIS sympathizers had performed the same Eid prayers at the same place the year before, as well.
Over the border in Syrian Kurdistan, shortly after the blast in Suruc, a suicide bomber detonated a car bomb at a checkpoint in Kobane. Two Kurdish fighters were killed in the explosion, according to Rami Abdel Rahman, director of the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
Last month, a deadly blast hit the Kurdish province of Diyarbakir in Turkey, during an election rally of the pro-Kurdish HDP that was attended by tens of thousands of people. Just before the HDP co-chair Selahattin Demirtas was going to speak, two bombs exploded at different places. Four people were killed, and more than 100 people are estimated to have been wounded. One of the wounded, Lisa Calan, 28, a Kurdish art director from Diyarbakir, lost both legs in the explosion.
As the wounded were being carried to hospitals, police used tear gas against people trying to run from the area in panic
The bomber was reported to be a member of ISIS.
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In Turkey, millions of indigenous Kurds are continually terrorized and murdered, while ISIS terrorists can freely travel and use official border crossings to go to Syria and return to Turkey; they are even treated at Turkish hospitals. Emrah Cakan, for instance, a Turkish-born ISIS commander wounded in Syria, got medical treatment at the university hospital in Turkey's Denizli province in March.
The Denizli governor's office issued a written statement on 5 March:
"The treatment of Emrah C. at the Denizli hospital was started upon his own application. The procedural acts concerning his injury were conducted by our border city during his entry to our country and they still continue. And his treatment procedures continue as a part of his right to benefit from health services just like all our other citizens have."
The "compassion" and hospitality that many Turkish institutions have for ISIS members is not even hidden. The silence of the West is mystifying and disappointing.
The U.S. government cooperates with oppressive regimes -- including the terrorist regime of Iran, under which Kurds are forced to live -- to the detriment of the Kurds, to the detriment other persecuted peoples, and to the detriment of the future of the West.
Many Middle Eastern regimes are ruled by Islamist, often genocidal governments -- so there is not much to expect from them in terms of human rights and liberties.
The Kurds need real support, real arms and real recognition. Otherwise, there does not seem to be much difference between the dictatorial, genocidal Middle Eastern regimes and the West, which used to represent democracy and freedom.
Uzay Bulut, born and raised a Muslim, is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara