Rwanda: Impaka Kuhafungiwe Col Byabagamba na Gen Rusagara

Rwanda: Impaka Kuhafungiwe Col Byabagamba na Gen Rusagara

Col Tom Byabagamba na Gen. Frank Rusagara Mu Rwanda, umucamanza mu rukiko rw’ubujurire yirinze kuvugira mu ruhame ibyo yabonye mu iperereza yakoze kuri gereza ifungiwemo Col Tom Byabagamba na Gen Frank Rusagara. More »

Ingagi yo muri Nigeria iracyekwaho kumira hafi miliyoni zirindwi

Ingagi yo muri Nigeria iracyekwaho kumira hafi miliyoni zirindwi

Umwe mu bakozi yabwiye radio yaho ko iyo ngagi ari yo yakwegekwaho ayo mafaranga yabuze (ifoto yo mu bubiko) Abategetsi babwiye igisata cya BBC gitangaza ibiganiro mu rurimi rwa Pidgin ko inzu More »

Mu Rwanda ‘hadutse indwara idasanzwe’ mu bigo bimwe by’amashuri

Mu Rwanda ‘hadutse indwara idasanzwe’ mu bigo bimwe by’amashuri

Iyi ndwara ifata mu mavi imaze kwibasira ibigo bibiri by’abakobwa, uyu ni umwe mu bayirwaye Mu Rwanda haravugwa indwara idasanzwe imaze kugera mu bigo bibiri by’amashuri yisumbuye mu burengerazuba no mu burasirazuba, More »

Ubuhanuzi: Aba LGBTI b’impunzi bo mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Kongo…bavuga ko bari mu kaga i Nairobi

Ubuhanuzi: Aba LGBTI b’impunzi bo mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Kongo…bavuga ko bari mu kaga i Nairobi

Intsinda ry’impunzi zivuga ko ziva mu Rwanda, u Burundi, Repubulika ya Demokarasi ya Kongo, Uganda, na Tanzaniya barangwa n’imigirire mpuzabitsina inyuranye (LGBTI) rivuga ko ryirukanywe aho ryari ricumbitse i Nairobi kubera kwangwa More »

 

‘No proof’ of technical fault in MH17 crash’.

‘No proof’ of technical fault in MH17 crash’.

 

Dutch experts release highly anticipated interim report into downing of Malaysian flight in conflict-hit east Ukraine.


The first report on Malaysian Airlines MH17 flight, which crashed in eastern Ukraine in July, suggests that there is no evidence of technical fault or pilot error.

Dutch investigators said in the report, which was published on the website of the Dutch Safety Board (OVV) on Tuesday morning, that a large number of high-energy objects caused the passenger jet to break apart in midair.

The Boeing 777 exploded en route from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur, killing all 298 people on board including 193 Dutch citizens.

The West has accused Russian-backed separatists of shooting down the plane with a Moscow-supplied surface-to-air missile. Russia has blamed Ukrainian forces.

According to the report by Dutch experts, the fact that there were many pieces of aircraft structure distributed over a large area indicated that the aircraft broke up in the air.

The report said: “The pattern of damage observed in the forward fuselage and cockpit section of the aircraft was not consistent with the damage that would be expected from any known failure mode of the aircraft, its engines or systems.”

The findings also suggested that all crew was properly licensed and had medical certificates. The plane was also in airworthy conditions to make the flight from the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.

The report also stated that there was no evidence or indication of manipulation of the flight recorders on the plane, adding that no aural alerts or warnings of aircraft system functions were heard in the cockpit.

“The communication between the flight crew and members gave no indication of any mamalfunction or emergency prior to the occurance,” Dutch investigatiors said, adding that engine parameters were consistent with normal operation during the flight.

Experts did not visit site 

The Dutch investigators have been unable to visit the site in the war-torn Donetsk region due to the continued fighting and have relied on information from Ukrainian crash specialists for information from the scene.

Sara Vernooij, OVV spokeswoman, earlier told the AFP news agency: “It is certainly possible to draw meaningful conclusions without having been to the scene.”

Investigators came to their findings based on information from the aircraft’s black boxes, and pictures and video taken at the scene, as well as information supplied by Ukrainian air traffic control.

The “black boxes” have been shipped to Farnborough in Britain to be examined by the Air Accidents Investigation Branch.

The OVV had said the preliminary findings would be “factual information based on sources available to the OVV”.

A full report is not expected until mid-2015, it said.

“We investigate the cause of the accident and not who’s responsible,” Vernooij told AFP.

Shortly after the crash forensic experts travelled to the site to collect body parts, but that search has also been suspended due to heavy fighting in the area.

So far 193 victims of flight MH17 have been identified.

Source:

Al Jazeera and agencies

“Worthless Christians” Treated “Like Animals” Muslim Persecution of Christians: April 2016 by Raymond Ibrahim

  • “Dr. Berhane Asmelash, a former prisoner and victim of torture, described prisoners being tied up and hung from trees. One form of hanging is known as the ‘Jesus Christ,’ he said, because the victim looks as though they are on a crucifix.” — Eritrea.

  • Five Christian girls were kidnapped, forcibly converted to Islam, and forced to marry their captors. — Pakistan.
  • “We expect the Swedish Government and the concerned authorities to immediately make sure that these people are safe. A distinct asylum accommodation for Christians and other asylum seekers is essential. We appeal to you to set off such a place and give the word asylum back its true meaning of protection and safety.” — Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of the Syriac Orthodox Church.
  • In his response, the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board said that separate housing for Christians and other vulnerable groups “would go against principles and values that are central to Swedish society and our democracy.”

United States: A pro-ISIS group called the United Cyber Caliphate defaced the website of the Christian Reformed Church in Lamont, Michigan. A 15-year-old girl discovered the vandalism, which consisted of an ISIS propaganda video and Arabic text. The recruiter featured in the video says, “We will conquer your Rome, break your crosses and enslave your women by the permission of Allah, the Exalted. This is His promise to us, He is glorified and He does not fail in His promise.”

Ethiopia: Muslims in the majority-Christian country started riots in the East Shewa Zone to attack Christians whom they accused of converting Muslims. They burned down 14 churches of different denominations and left more than 2,000 Christians without places for worship. One church cemetery was also vandalized. A church leader said: “We have been worshipping outside and sitting on the bare ground bearing the hot sun. We appeal to our brothers elsewhere to come and assist us. The attackers poured petrol and were chanting ‘Allahu Akbar’ [Allah is Greater] before setting the church building on fire.”

Uganda: Around midnight on April 12, a mob of Muslims demolished a Christian church. They were heard chanting: “We cannot live together with neighbors who are infidels. We have to fight for the cause of Allah.” Musical instruments, more than 500 plastic chairs and other property were also destroyed. Two days earlier, a group of Muslims shouted “Allah only is to be worshipped, and Muhammad is his prophet” and slaughtered a church leader’s pigs, a key source of income. He had previously received a text message saying, “Let this be known to your church members that pigs are extremely unholy and an abomination before Allah, very outrageous and shameful. They are haram [forbidden] and unlawful as our holy Quran does prohibit them.” A church member also received a message that read, “We are soon coming for the heads of your pigs.” He soon found that eight of his swine had been killed.

Iraq: The Islamic State blew up Mosul’s iconic Clock Church, famed for its soaring clock tower, with explosives. According to the Assyrian International News Agency, “Militants cordoned off areas surrounding the church and looted the building for profitable artifacts and antiquities before destroying the remaining parts with explosives…. The Clock Church….became a target of ISIS attacks last year, when its cross was removed.” Although Mosul was once home to about 45 churches, most have either been destroyed or converted into courts or jailhouses since the Islamic State took over in June 2014.

Indonesia: An Islamist group vandalized a new church in Bekasi and demanded that the local mayor cancel its permit. The Santa Clara Church had received its permit in July 2015 and opened this year on March 7. The Islamic Forum Community and other Muslim leaders accused church leaders of acquiring the permit through false means. The mayor of Bekasi denied the allegation and refused to annul the church’s permit. He said it had fulfilled all the legal requirements necessary for construction. “Despite this,” explained the Asian Human Rights Commission, “law enforcement agencies have failed to protect the Santa Clara Church congregants; in fact, it seems the agencies have no will or policy to enforce the law against vigilantes. As a result, the church congregation lives under pressure and intimidation.” The rights group further called upon the local police to “take a strong stance” against the Islamic Forum Community and “ensure that the government guarantees protection to the Santa Clara congregation to practice their religion.”

Algeria: “Churches in Algeria are facing intimidation and harassment, despite constitutional provisions guaranteeing freedom of worship in the country,” noted World Watch Monitor on April 29. That week, authorities claimed that a church in the Kabylie region was ordered to cease all religious activities on the grounds that it was violating a 2006 law that regulated non-Muslim worship. Authorities threatened to commence legal proceedings against the church if Christian worship continued there. Last February, authorities issued a notice to the church in the town of Aït Djima, also in Kabylie, citing the same law. Critics say the 2006 law, which is aimed at regulating all religious worship except Islamic worship, is used as a tool of persecution by the authorities. According to Rev. Haddad, pastor of a Protestant church in the city of Algiers: “It is an unjust law against Christians, who were denied their right to worship and the opportunity to share the Gospel freely…. the situation of Christians in Algeria will not improve until the outright law, which is no longer justified, is repealed.”

Turkey: Six churches were seized by the government this April. After ten months of conflict in the nation’s southeast, the government expropriated huge sections of property in the region’s largest city, Diyarbakir. “But to the dismay of the city’s handful of Christian congregations,” notes a World Watch Monitor, “this includes all its Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant churches. Unlike the state-funded mosques, Turkey’s ancient church buildings – some of which pre-date Islam – have been managed, historically, by church foundations. The new decision has effectively made the Diyarbakir churches – one 1,700 years old, another built only in 2003 – state property of Turkey, an Islamic country of 75 million.” Few Christian houses of worship remain in Turkey’s southeast. Although it is the ancestral homeland of Syrians and Armenians, well over a million of these ethnic Christians were massacred and sent on death marches during the final years of the Ottoman Empire at the beginning of the 20th century.

Palestinian Territories: In Gaza City, authorities demolished a recently discovered, 1,800-year-old Christian church and its treasured artifacts, despite attempts by Palestinian Christians to save them. Protests failed to win the attention of the international community, including United Nations agencies such as UNESCO, whose mission is to secure the world’s cultural and natural heritage. The ancient church was found in an area where Hamas is planning to build a shopping mall. “The dramatic discovery of the antiquities did not seem to leave an impression on the construction workers, who removed artifacts and continued with their work at the site… Bulldozers were used to destroy some of the church artifacts — a devastation that drew sharp criticism from Palestinian Christians, some of whom rushed to accuse both Hamas and the Palestinian Authority (PA) of copying ISIS tactics in demolishing historic sites,” notes the World Watch Monitor report. “For Palestinian Christians, the destruction of the church… ruins is yet a further attempt by Palestinian Muslim leaders to efface both Christian history and signs of any Christian presence in the Palestinian territories.”

Muslim Slaughter of Christians

Nigeria: Muslim Fulani herdsmen slaughtered approximately 40 people in a Christian majority village and burned Christ Holy Church International to the ground. Ten homes were razed by arson, cars and motorcycles were destroyed, and animals randomly killed. From his hospital bed a survivor said, “I was coming out from the house when I heard the community bell ringing. I was going with a friend to know what the bell was all about, only to see about 40 Fulani herdsmen armed with sophisticated guns and machetes. They pursued us, killed my friend and shot at me several times but missed. They caught up with me and used machetes on me until I lost consciousness.”

Pakistan: After a Christian man warned local Muslim drug dealers to “stop recruiting young Christians to participate in the sale and consumption of drugs,” two men assaulted him while he was working in the field and “sliced open his throat.” According to local pastor Alfred Azam, “This is not the first incident of persecution of Christians in our village, local Muslims are always creating problems for our Christian community. Before and after our church services Muslim drug dealers swarm around our church trying to sell drugs to our vulnerable youth…” Azam explained that drug pushers regularly beat young Christians and force them to take drugs to try to get them addicted. “When our older men tell these criminals to leave our young people alone they get killed.” As usual, police officials “refused to register a report for the crime or take any action whatsoever.”

Separately, Muslims lynched a Christian, 18-year-old Qaisar Masih, on the accusation that he was romantically involved with a Muslim girl. He was “killed by the girl’s family in an attack led by her father, Mohammad Billa.” They had warned Qaisar not to have anything to do with her and threatened to kill him. According to Qaisar’s sister, he was hanged after being killed to make it look like suicide: “My brother was innocent, he tried not to contact Mehwish [the Muslim girl] but Mehwish said that she cannot live without him… We told her sisters to ask Mehwish to avoid my brother because her father is a criminal and he will kill my brother. But none of our efforts could save my brother.” Qaisar’s mother, Rani Sardar, said: “We all know who killed my son, he was the youngest, he was the apple of my eye and they killed him brutally and hanged him in front of our house. I only demand justice.”

Syria: ISIS militants slaughtered 21 Christian hostages, three of whom were women, in the town of al-Qaryatain. This was discovered after the town was retaken by Russian-backed Syrian forces in April. Some were reportedly killed for violating the terms of their “dhimmi contract,” Islam’s discriminatory body of rules that govern Christian minorities and others. Another five missing Christians were believed to be dead, while many girls are believed to have been sold into sex slavery.

Muslim Attacks on Christian Freedom

(No Apostasy, Blasphemy, or Proselytization)

Uganda: A Muslim man beat and threatened to butcher his wife because of her commitment to Christ. The 38-year-old woman had fled to another village with their four children after he first beat her a year ago upon discovery of her conversion. “My husband shouted, ‘Allah Akbar,’ then he took a blunt object and hit me on my left hand,” she said. “I cried for help, and neighbors arrived and saved my life. I then slept at a neighbor’s house with my four children that very night.” Last April she went back to visit her estranged husband to discuss child support. It wasn’t long before the man began again to harass the woman again her faith:

“Again I answered him that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, and he took a panga [machete 16 to 18 inches long], but I managed to get hold of him before he could hit me, so the panga dropped, and he started strangling me. His younger brother woke up and rescued me. I then managed to escape.”

Before a judge, the Muslim man showed no regret. “I cannot live with the kafir [infidel] in my house,” he explained, “unless she returns back to my religion. If not, I will not stop hunting for her life, because our Holy Koran allows us to kill any apostate from Islam.”

Kenya: After a Muslim man named Godana converted to Christianity, his life changed for the worse. His troubles began last October, when his wife was hospitalized and treated for an unspecified but deadly illness for three weeks with no signs of recovery. “Soon thereafter,” notes the Morningstar News, “they received a visit from an Evangelist with the Evangelical Christian Church of Africa (ECCA), who prayed for her. His wife was not completely healed, but she was able to go about most of her daily activities, and a week later the couple invited the Evangelist and two other church leaders to their home. The couple decided to become followers of Jesus after talking and giving thanks with the church leaders, and they began meeting at their home for Bible study and prayer.” Soon Muslim neighbors informed Godana’s relatives that the couple had left Islam for Christianity. The same report continues, “Godana’s in-laws began sending him threatening texts: ‘You had a Muslim marriage, so it is against Islam to change your faith,’ one read. ‘If you continue in the Christian faith, we shall come and take our daughter.’ Then, in February, Godana’s in-laws took his wife. A few weeks later, they came and seized his young children as well.

Turkey: An American Evangelist was detained and later released by authorities—but only on the condition that he leave Turkey and never return. David Byle was declared “a danger to public order,” by authorities on April 6. The grounds for the claim that Byle was a “danger to public order” were never specified. Those close to Byle, 46, describe him as being “mild-mannered, polite and calm” and believe that he was detained and ordered deported because of his Evangelical activities. He was released on April 14 and given a “no-reentry order.” The arrest took place days before Byle was set to teach a class to a group of Turks on how to tell people about the gospel.

Egypt: An Egyptian Christian, Bishoy Kameel Garas, was finally declared “innocent”— but not before serving more than half of his six-year sentence. Bishoy was jailed in September 2012 for his alleged defamation of Islam. The charges were all connected to a fake Facebook account in his name. Bishoy was imprisoned even though he had posted warnings on his own Facebook page regarding about the false account and had alerted cyber police whose subsequent investigation supported his innocence. According to the Barnabas Fund, “The court was besieged by mobs demanding his punishment and even accusing his defense lawyers of blasphemy for defending him.” Although innocent of the defamation charge, he lost his job as a teacher, which left his already impoverished father to pay for his legal fees; and although he spent more than three years of his life in prison, rights activists believe it is highly unlikely he will receive any reparations from the state.

Europe: Muslim migrants who thought they were now free to quit Islam and convert to Christianity continue to ” fear murderous Islamic retaliation in Europe.” According to a Breitbart report:

Many migrants who are recent converts to Christianity fear retaliation from Muslims and that converting may become a “death sentence.” One of the more surprising aspects of the migrant crisis has been the number of Muslims from places like Syria and Afghanistan, that have been converting to Christianity in Austrian churches. The Archdioceses of the Austrian capital in Vienna can hardly keep up with the requests as they get five to ten per week. So far this year 83 percent of the recorded adult baptisms into the Catholic faith have been Muslims compared to 2015 when they were only 33 percent, reports Kurier. Muslims who convert and leave Islam face a very real potential for violence and even death. A migrant to Austria who now calls himself Christopher told the Kurier, “this could be my death sentence.” Christopher came to Austria in 2012 and requested that his new Christian name be used because he fears not only reprisal against himself but his family as well.

Dhimmitude

(Contempt, Hostility, and Violence for “Infidels”)

Eritrea: Hundreds of Christians are currently believed to be in Eritrean jails, while tens of thousands have fled the country. According to Christian Today , for more than a decade the regime has been persecuting Christians, who make up roughly half of the population. Many churches have been closed and many Christians have been tortured. Christians who fled from Eritrea and are currently housed in an Ethiopia-based refugee camp revealed some of their experiences:

  • Elsa fled after her sister was beaten to death by prison guards: “We were kept in underground cells. Sometimes the guards put us both in a metal shipping container to torture us. This became so hot during the day and then in the night it became freezing cold. We didn’t get much to eat and there was no medical treatment. The guards offered to let us go, but only if we renounced our faith in Jesus. We said no.” One night the guards took turns beating Elsa and her sister. Recalling that night, Elsa said, “I will never forget hearing the screams of my sister. I never saw her again.”
  • According to a refugee named Dawit, “When I was living in Eritrea I was arrested because of my Christian faith. That’s why I left. In Eritrea almost every Christian faces imprisonment.” He spent more than a month in prison, and later in a hard labor camp. He was tortured and forced to sleep every night with his hands and feet lashed together behind his back.
  • “Dr. Berhane Asmelash, a former prisoner and victim of torture, described prisoners being tied up and hung from trees. One form of hanging is known as the “Jesus Christ,” he said, because the victim looks as though they are on a crucifix.”

Egypt: Another Christian child was kidnapped and later released for a staggering ransom. Anthonius Farag, 13, was abducted from his school on April 5, in the village of Mansheyyit Manbal. His kidnappers released a Muslim child after identifying his religion by his name, but kept the Christian boy. According to the parent of another Christian pupil who was also nearly kidnapped:

“My son, Kyrellos, was standing with both fellow pupils Anthonius and Mohamed when one of the kidnappers approached them. [The kidnapper] inquired about their names. They let go of Mohamed, but [because of their Christian names] gripped hold of Kyrellos and Anthonius. My son managed to escape, while other boys started screaming. One of the kidnappers shot rounds in the air to disperse the crowd, as the others quickly pushed Anthonius into the car and fled.”

Three days later, the kidnapped boy’s father received a call demanding a ransom of two million Egyptian Pounds—more than $225,000 USD—in return for his son. The father, who received little help from police, eventually managed to get the kidnappers to drop the ransom to 300,000 Egyptian Pounds ($34,000 US)—still more than 300 times an agricultural worker’s monthly wages. It was all that he, a farmer, could raise, taking up a collection from Christians who earned more. After he was released, Anthonius recalled his ordeal, which included beatings and being kept in a dark room blindfolded. This latest case is not isolated. According to records from the Upper Egyptian province of Qena alone, there have been at least 72 cases of kidnappings, extortion and related violence against Christians in the period from 2011 to 2014.

Separately, Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, Egypt’s premier Salafi, was exposed in a video inciting hate for and violence against the nation’s Christians. He also decried giving them their full human and civil rights: “When you cooperate with a criminal, aggressive, oppressive, infidel minority, you attack the rights of the majority [Muslims].”

Pakistan: Two Muslim men invaded the home of a Christian woman while her husband was away serving in the army. After beating her, they tied her arms and legs down to her bed and gang raped her while threatening to slaughter her 2-year-old infant daughter if she did not comply. According to the victim, 30-year-old Asia Mushtaq:

The men treated me like an animal, telling me I was a worthless Christian, but I know my God is a great God. When I screamed they told me that they knew my husband was away and that I was unprotected. They threatened to kill my child if I did not comply with their perverse demands. They said Christian women are all whores and they would come back and repeat their debauchery if I ever told anyone. I feel so unclean now, but have done nothing wrong. I want these men to be punished and hope the law will protect me.

Wilson Chowdhry, chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association (BPCA), said of the incident:

Another woman finds herself a target of the whims of brutal Muslim rapists in Pakistan, in a society that targets its most vulnerable community: Christians. Furthermore, this time a soldier, whose only desire was to serve and protect his country, has found that the majority of his country do not feel the same way about him. Moreover, the army he serves has offered little or no protection despite threats being made against him and his family. It pains me to say this but the complex acts of betrayal leave me feeling that Christians have no place in Pakistan’s theocratic society.

In a separate incident in April, five Christian girls were kidnapped, converted to Islam, and forced to marry their captors.

Sweden: Christians to be persecuted by Muslims in asylums. One Christian was threatened with “slaughter” — having his throat cut — by a self-proclaimed Jihadi. According to the same report by Christian Today, “A Pakistani Christian couple moved into a church when the husband’s name was sprayed on a wall near their room calling for his death. A separate group of asylum seekers were forced to leave their accommodation when their harassment escalated.” Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II, head of the Syriac Orthodox Church, called on Swedish authorities to get involved in the crisis. “This situation does not reflect the culture of the peaceful and loving Swedish people,” he wrote, adding:

Christians do not live in refugee camps in the Middle East, because, there too, they are persecuted by Muslim extremists… To witness that they are once more being persecuted at Swedish asylum accommodations make[s] us very sad. We expect the Swedish Government and the concerned authorities to immediately make sure that these people are safe. A distinct asylum accommodation for Christians and other asylum seekers is essential. We appeal to you to set off such a place and give the word asylum back its true meaning of protection and safety.

In his response, the Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, Anders Danielsson, said that separate housing for Christians and other vulnerable groups “would go against principles and values that are central to Swedish society and our democracy. It would be considered a great failure having to resort to segregation as a measure.”

Patriarch Ignatius Aphrem II (left) of the Syriac Orthodox Church requested that Sweden’s government ensure the safety of Christian refugees in Sweden, by moving them out of asylum seekers’ housing where Muslim residents are persecuting them. Anders Danielsson (right), Director General of the Swedish Migration Board, replied that separate housing for Christians and other vulnerable groups “would go against principles and values that are central to Swedish society and our democracy.”

Sudan: An Egyptian-born Christian monk serving in the African nation was kidnapped. Rev. Ghabrial al-Antony was working on his brother’s farm in Sudan’s Darfur region when three men appeared, tied up his brother, and abducted al-Antony. “We don’t know who they are or why they kidnapped him.”

About this Series

While not all, or even most, Muslims are involved, persecution of Christians by Muslims is growing.

The report posits that such Muslim persecution is not random but rather systematic, and takes place in all languages, ethnicities, and locations.

Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

“We Did What We Learned: Attacking Christians” Muslim Persecution of Christians, August 2015

  • Western “mainstream media” and academia continued to exonerate Islam in deceptive op-eds, such as the Huffington Post’s “ISIS Violates The Consensus Of Mainstream Islam By Persecuting Christians,” by Qasim Rashid, a recipient of Saudi largesse, by way of Harvard University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center.


  • A 12-year-old girl, raped by an Islamic State fighter, was told that “what he was about to do was not a sin” because she “practiced a religion other than Islam.”

  • “In school I only learned about Islam. Parts of our teaching were about destroying Christianity. So we did what we learned, by attacking Christians … Our teachers would tell us every time there was a new church in town and we were told to go and attack the people and destroy the church. So that is what we did.” — Tofik, a former Muslim cleric who converted to Christianity.

Throughout the month of August, the Obama administration and the so-called mainstream media kept insisting that Islam does not promote the persecution of Christians — all the while ignoring the direct testimonies of those who have undergone it.

According to Chaldean Archbishop Bashar Warda,

All the statements [by U.S. government and media] have not condemned strongly what damage it [persecution of Christians] is doing. What they are saying is just “This is not the true Islam. This is violating the picture of Islam.” The issue for them is the image of Islam, but none of these statements speak about the victims, about what has been done to the victims, they are not even mentioned. And that is one of the questions our people have. [Author’s emphasis].

Warda added that persecuted Christians are “being denied visas, while others who have participated [in the violence] or at least were silent, can go.”

Father Douglas al-Bazi, an Iraqi Catholic parish priest from Erbil, who still carries the torture scars he received nine years earlier at the hands of jihadis, denounced the Western refusal to accept reality about Islam:

I’m proud to be an Iraqi, I love my country. But my [Muslim] country is not proud that I’m part of it. What is happening to my people [Christians] is nothing other than genocide. I beg you: do not call it a conflict. It’s genocide… When Islam lives amidst you, the situation might appear acceptable. But when one lives amidst Muslims [as a minority], everything becomes impossible…. Wake up! The cancer is at your door. They will destroy you. We, the Christians of the Middle East are the only group that has seen the face of evil: Islam.

Meanwhile, Western “mainstream media” and academia continued to exonerate Islam in deceptive op-eds, such as the Huffington Post’s “ISIS Violates The Consensus Of Mainstream Islam By Persecuting Christians,” by Qasim Rashid, a recipient of Saudi largesse, by way of Harvard University’s Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center.

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

Islamic State: Savagery and Sex Slavery

Mokhls Youssef Batk, an Iraqi Christian, was blinded by the Islamic State (ISIS or IS) after he refused to convert to Islam.

The “caliphate” threatened that captive Christian women would become sex slaves unless they were ransomed with money. It posted images of three Assyrian Christian women who were previously abducted. The women hold pieces of paper on which their names and a date — July 27, 2015 — are written: “It is feared they will be sold to ISIS fighters if a ransom is not paid for them.”

A 12-year-old girl, raped by an Islamic State fighter, was told that “what he was about to do was not a sin” because she “practiced a religion other than Islam.” IS also made clear in a 34-page manual released by its Research and Fatwa Department that “sex with Christian and Jewish women who were captured in battle is also permissible.”

Jihad on Muslim Converts to Christianity

Uganda: After he learned that his family had converted to Christianity, a Muslim man went berserk. Issa Kasoono beat, strangled, and left his wife for dead. He also severely beat their two teenage sons for the crime of apostasy. The youngest son managed to flee and bring help from the church where, three months earlier, the Muslim mother and sons had accepted Christ. Due to injuries from the strangling, Kadondi, the mother, lost her voice, has difficulty eating, and requires extensive surgery. According to a local source: “The mother and Ibrahim [older son] Kasoono were seriously injured. Ibrahim was hit with a blunt object, had his right arm broken and has stomach pains, while the mother was strangled and sustained neck and throat injuries.” Although Uganda’s population is 85% Christian and 11% Muslim, attacks on converts to Christianity are on the rise, and include the recent murder by poisoning of a mother, and the gang rape of a teenage daughter of a Christian pastor.

Somalia: A Muslim convert to Christianity (name withheld) managed to escape from Al Shabaab — the dominant Islamic front — but only after the jihadis chopped off four fingers from his right hand while interrogating him about his conversion. Another man, 31-year-old Sharif, fled his home after his conversion to Christianity was exposed: “My association with a visiting white missionary landed me in trouble… I feel sad because I cannot see my family, because if I return back to Somaliland, then the government will arrest me.” His wife and four children — aged 8, 6, 4, and 1 — have also relocated to an undisclosed town: “I am not sure what will happen to my wife and four children. I am praying that God will provide for their basic needs. Pray for me that one day I will see them.”

Pakistan: Khurram Naveed, 33, a Christian man, and Sobia, 25, a Muslim woman, are on the run. Sobia discovered Christianity through Khurram and decided to be baptized. Since they got married and had two daughters, her parents, Muslim neighbors, and imams have repeatedly tried to convert them to Islam or face the consequences. In the words of Khurram:

“Since we got married we have had to change places many times… Wherever we go, people ask about my beloved wife’s conversion. Sometimes, imams try to force us to convert to Islam, issuing terrible threats…. My wife, I and our children have had to flee from place to place. We feel threatened as soon as people find out about my wife’s Muslim past. However, running from one place to another is not easy. There are so many problems…. Until now I have to change job six times, and finding new employment is not easy. But we need security for our life and we ask for help from the people of God.

Horn of Africa: A former Muslim cleric, who converted to Christianity and is known as Tofik, explained in an interview what Islamic preachers teach about Christians in mosques and what such converts can expect. For the previous 24 years, he had trained to become an imam at an Islamic madrasa: “In school I only learned about Islam. Parts of our teaching were about destroying Christianity. So we did what we learned, by attacking Christians once we finished our training.”

Tofik said he was taught that Christians are evil and that he and other students should steal from and kill them: “We beat them, attacked the church and burnt their Bibles. … Our teachers would tell us every time there was a new church in town and we were told to go and attack the people and destroy the church. So that is what we did.” Due to a series of dreams, he eventually embraced Christ. News of his apostasy spread quickly, especially among his own tribe:

They reacted by coming to my home saying, ‘This brother is dead.’ In our culture, when someone dies their property is shared. So they destroyed my house, setting it on fire, and they took my cattle, and the remainder of my property. They then falsely accused me of burning another house, so I was jailed and taken to court. It was only in the court process that the witnesses proved their dishonesty by having contradicting testimonies.

After being released from jail, Tofik continued preaching Christ and even inspired more than 200 people to convert:

“As a result local villagers were upset. So again, they attacked me physically and burned my house…. The attackers assumed I was dead, so they threw me into the compound. Then they looted the small kiosk I owned and proceeded to loot and burn my children’s properties. They said they have killed the lead figure and now our area is free of his activities. They started shouting and singing.”

Jihad on Christian “Blasphemers”

Egypt: Medhat Ishak, a 35-year-old Christian, was arrested for handing out Bibles to Muslimsoutside El-Arab Mall in Sixth of October City. Mall security guards turned him over to national police, who accused him of evangelizing. The day after his arrest, a judge amended the charge against Ishak to “defamation of a revealed religion” and ordered him held for 15 days. After his term ended, the judge extended his detention for another 15 days. Ishak’s attorney, Rafik Rafaat, suspects the judge will keep extending the detention order, in violation of Egyptian law, until the case falls out of the public eye. Then he will hand Ishak a prison sentence of one to five years, in accordance with the defamation charge. This is because there are currently no charges against “evangelism” under Egyptian law. Handing out Bibles or even promoting Christianity does not constitute “defaming” Islam. “The word ‘blasphemy’ means that he was insulting the other religion [Islam], but he didn’t do that, and he didn’t talk about Islam or prophets or anything like that to be accused of blasphemy,” said the Christian’s lawyer. “So, now we are surprised that the attorney general accused him of blasphemy when he did not commit any act of blasphemy.”

Pakistan: Protestant Christian Pastor Aftab Gill and three other Christians from Gujrat wereaccused of blasphemy for having used the word rasool (“messenger” or “apostle”) during an event made public by their community, the Biblical Church of God. Local Muslims grew angry, saying that, as rasool is one of the Muslim prophet Muhammad’s attributes, Christian use of the word is blasphemous. But Christian activists say that because the word simply means apostle and appears in Urdu Bibles as such, it was used in that generic sense, and that the Christians were not trying to blaspheme. Muslims were nevertheless about to burn Christian homes and a church, but police managed to restore calm before the situation escalated. Unitan Gill, Pastor Aftab’s younger brother, said that local Muslim businessmen are jealous of the Christian family’s success in running a local grocery store, and that it was Muslim grocers who brought this matter to the attention of the police.

Islamic State Destruction of Syrian Churches

The Islamic State “caliphate” released a video showing its militants razing the ancient Mar Elian monastery to the ground. In the video, the jihadis can be seen removing the remains of Saint Elian, after whom the monastery was named, from their ancient stone sarcophagus, and then gleefully desecrating his bones. The church was built on the spot where Saint Elian was killed by his father, a Roman officer, for refusing to renounce Christ. Earlier, IS abducted an estimated 250 Christians from the monastery and its surrounding villages, many of whom were women and children.

Islamic State jihadists in the midst of destroying the ancient Mar Elian monastery in Syria.

On Sunday, August 23, a rain of mortars fell on a Damascus neighborhood. Two shells hit the roof of the Maronite church. Nine people were killed and about fifty were wounded. A nearby Catholic parish was also damaged. According to Maronite Archbishop Samir Nassar, “Part of the war in Syria is to live under indiscriminate bombing, a kind of Russian roulette which is always unpredictable.” Survivors tell the archbishop that those who die are better off, because they “will not have to see and live this cruel tragedy without end.”

Pakistani Dhimmitude

The Christian minorities of the “Land of the Pure” continued to be treated as third class, unwanted “citizens.”

Muslims attacked and severely beat a Christian family after a Muslim boy mocked a Christian boy by saying that his pregnant sister-in-law will “give birth as their cows and buffalos do.” The Christian boy reciprocated with an insult, and the Muslim boy began to beat him. Later in the evening, the Muslim boy and his brothers went to the Christians’ household and attacked the entire family. While beating the pregnant Christian women, they yelled, “You cannot be pregnant without permission of Muslim master who pays you.” After visiting the family, a human rights group stated that the “Christian Community is facing all sorts of discrimination and disgrace from their land Lords, neighbors, or where ever they live or work. Christians have no right to respect, education, free living and now they are under observation/mockery of giving birth, now our majority brothers [Muslims] will decide whether the Christian women will give birth respectfully or like animals.”

As torrential flooding spanned across various regions of Pakistan and washed away thousands of homes, Christians in Kasur received little humanitarian aid and were left to starve. Their two options — to receive help from Muslims or the government — was either to convert to Islam or willingly accept becoming modern-day slaves. According to Wilson Chowdhry, the president of the British Pakistani Christian Association, while Muslims in the region have benefited from temporary shelter, clean water and food provided by governmental agencies and Muslim charities, Christians have been left without those bare necessities and medication needed to fight illnesses. Said Chowdhry:

We are aware that this community has previously been offered aid from Muslim charities if they convert but they never accept conversion. They hold strong to their faith. They believe God will be their provider. These families have literally been struggling without food. Churches have opened up their doors but can’t provide them much aid because the churches themselves in the region are struggling. We are talking about a very rural part of Pakistan.

Chowdhry added that as desperation started to get the best of the Christian population in Kasur, many ended up signing bonded labor contracts in order to receive aid from Muslim landlords.

In a separate incident, a few days after a Christian man stopped two Muslim brothers from harassing Christian girls on their way to church, the two brothers broke into the Christian’s home, and beat and shot him. The man was later taken to a hospital, where he was reported in critical condition.

Boko Haram’s Slaughter of Christians

Jihadists from the Islamic organization Boko Haram slit the throats of sixteen Christian fishermen on the shores of Lake Chad in the Nigerian state of Borno. The increase in such incidents is supposedly in retaliation for the Chadian government’s efforts against Boko Haram around Lake Chad. According to Bishop Ramolo, “The Chadian President Idriss Deby has declared open war against the Islamists, and these acts represent an attempt at revenge.”

A Christian leader, stabbed in April by rampaging young Muslims in Kaduna state, suffered a relapse after an initial recovery. Pastor Emmanuel Danjuma of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, while visiting a Muslim-majority region of Nigeria, was attacked by Muslims reportedly angry about election results. “They called me an infidel and attacked me.” The pastor was clubbed and stabbed several times. A village elder apparently ordered the youths to stop. “I don’t know what happened then, as next I found myself in a hospital in Saminaka town. After a few days, my situation deteriorated and I was transferred to this Christian hospital.”

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.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

Previous reports

“Wake Up!”: Muslim Persecution of Christians, July 2015 by Raymond Ibrahim

  • He was told that his daughter refused to change her religion, so she was buried from the neck down, and then stoned to death. — Nigeria.


  • Nearly 300 Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last year were being beaten, forced to convert to Islam, and indoctrinated into believing that their mission is to “slit the throats of Christians and to carry out suicide attacks.” — Nigeria.

  • Christians kidnapped and held for ransom continue to be slaughtered even after their ransom is paid. — Pakistan.

  • “In most instances the victims are minors, young adolescent girls. They suffer sexual violence, forced prostitution, domestic abuse and even sold to human traffickers.” — Sardar Mushtaq Gill, human rights lawyer, Pakistan.

  • “If the West wants to do something about the present crisis, the most effective thing would be to support local governments, which need sufficient armies and forces to maintain security and defend respective populations against attacks.” — Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, Patriarch of Antioch.

Not only is the Islamic State (IS) persecuting Christians but so are the U.S.-supported “rebel” forces in Syria, which the Obama administration assures are “moderate.” According to a recent National Public Radio (NPR) report, “With backing from U.S. allies, like Turkey and Saudi Arabia, this [U.S. supported] rebel coalition fights both the Syrian regime and the so-called Islamic State, or ISIS. But the coalition has extremists in its own ranks who have mistreated Christiansand forced them out of their homes”—just as IS has done.

In response, Mideast Christian leaders have made clear that, far from expecting the West to intervene on their behalf, they merely wish that the West would stop arming, supporting, or even facilitating the Islamic terrorists who are making their lives a living hell. The crisis was spelled out in an article in Christian Today, entitled, “Syrian Christian leader tells West: ‘Stop arming terror groups who are massacring our people.”

According to the Patriarch of Antioch, Moran Mor Ignatius Aphrem II, “If the West wants to do something about the present crisis, the most effective thing would be to support local governments, which need sufficient armies and forces to maintain security and defend respective populations against attacks. State institutions need to be strengthened and stabilized. Instead, what we see is their forced dismemberment being fueled from the outside.”

Another Christian leader had another message to the West. According to Iraqi priest, Fr. Douglas Bazi, once a torture victim who now takes care of thousands of refugees forced to flee Mosul since the Islamic State took over the city last year, the West needs to “Wake up!” During celebrations of St. Peter and St. Paul, the Iraqi priest further reflected that, “We cannot celebrate the feast of two martyrs without remembering the living martyrs of our time.”

These martyrs are not limited to the Middle East. Among the many Christians slaughtered in Nigeria in July was a young girl who was stoned to death for refusing to renounce Christ and convert to Islam. Pastor Mark lost his daughter, Monica, in the Chibok abduction, in which almost 300 predominantly Christian girls were kidnapped at the hands of the Islamic organization, Boko Haram. He was told that his daughter refused to change her religion, so she was buried from the neck down, and then stoned to death.

The rest of July’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

Nigeria: Dozens of Christian churches were attacked in the Muslim-majority northern regions, where Boko Haram is headquartered:

  • Thirty-two churches and 300 houses were burnt when Boko Haram jihadis attacked Mussa community in Borno State. Thirteen people were also killed in the jihad.
  • female Muslim suicide bomber blew herself up in the Redeemed Christian Church of God on Sunday, July 5, in the town of Potiskum. The priest and a woman and her two children were killed. “People were just going to the church when the bomber entered,otherwise the casualty figure would have been higher,” said a Red Cross worker. Earlier it was revealed that some of the nearly 300 Christian girls kidnapped by Boko Haram last year were being beaten, forced to convert to Islam, and indoctrinated into believing that their mission is to “slit the throats of Christians and to carry out suicide attacks.”
  • On Sunday, July 12, explosives planted at a church in Jos went off but there were no casualties; the bomb was detected by the church’s security personnel.
  • In response to a mosque explosion that killed 20 people—part of Boko Haram’s “Ramadan killing spree“—rioting Muslims burned down two churches on July 6 in Jos. According to the report, the mosque attack “has revived historic tensions between members of both faiths in Jos. Christians in Nigeria now not only fear Boko Haram, but also attacks from their Muslim neighbors.”

Some of the hundreds of Christian Nigerian schoolgirls who were abducted last year by Boko Haram. (Image source: Boko Haram video)

Iraq: The Islamic state blew up another Christian church under its authority, the Mother of Aid Church, which had stood in central Mosul for thousands of years. The blast also killed four children who were near the church at the time. IS also transformed the St. Joseph Church, an ancient Chaldean church in Mosul, into a mosque. Pictures of St. Joseph show that the dome has been painted black and the church has been stripped of all crosses and Christian symbols and images.

Egypt: Three church related attacks took place: The Fathers Church in eastern Alexandria was attacked on July 21 by unknown assailants who hurled Molotov cocktails and other homemade bombs at the church. No one was injured, although the facade of the church was damaged. Security services discovered a bag with more firebombs on the scene from where the assailants had fled. According to El Watan, the incident created a “state of panic” in the area, especially because the Fathers Church is considered the most important church for the Coptic Catholics of the region.

  • Muslims suspended prayer in a church in the village of Arab Asnabt in Abu Qurqas, Minya, and called for demolishing it in an effort “to prevent Coptic Christians from practicing their religious rites.”
  • Dozens of “incensed” Muslims congregated before the house of a Christian on the accusation that he was trying to use his home as a church. Security services arrived in time to disperse the angry Muslims. Coptic Christians trying to—or merely being accused of—turning their homes into churches in Egypt is not uncommon, and, in accordance with Islamic law, ultimately reflects the difficulties Christians face in building or even renovating existing churches.

Niger: Approximately 70 Christian churches and an orphanage continue facing a lack of resources and difficult conditions in attempts to rebuild them, six months after thousands of Muslims had attacked and destroyed them. The onslaught was in “revenge” for the offending Muhammad cartoons published by the satirical magazine, Charlie Hebdo—a secular magazine based in France that also mocks Christianity. “Since these incidents, it is as if life had stopped,” said Baptist pastor Jacques Kangindé. His home was also destroyed during the riots. Recalling the destroyed church, the pastor said: “I felt very bad, such an indescribable feeling when I saw my ripped-up Bible on the ground. For a pastor, it was like my entire life was torn apart. I could not stop shedding tears.”

Muslim Violence and Slaughter of Christians

NigeriaBoko Haram jihadis shot and killed 29 people in two Christian enclaves of northeast Nigeria. Most people in Dille village ran, but those who could not were gunned down and many homes were set ablaze. Separately, at a busy market in northeastern Damaturu town, a woman suicide bomber blew herself up, killing 15 people and wounding 50. And in Maikadiri village, at least 14 people were killed and 500 cows were slaughtered.

IraqChristians kidnapped and held for ransom continue to be slaughtered even after their ransom is paid. The body of Quais Abdul Shaya was returned to his family—after they had paid the demanded ransom of $25,000 USD. Saher Hanna, who worked at the Ministry of the Interior, was also killed after his Islamic abductors received his ransom. Killing Christian hostages, including children, after receiving payment is not limited to the Islamic State and occurs in other Muslim nations such as Egypt.

Libya: Unconfirmed reports, including from the Libyan Herald, say that the Islamic State executed another Egyptian Coptic Christian it had seized. Bekhit Nageh Efrank Ebeid, a 25-year-old laborer, was kidnapped along with two other Christians, Kofi Frimpong Sekyere from Ghana and Ibrahim Adeola from Nigeria.

EgyptAn unknown man attacked a Coptic nun in the Muslim-majority nation. According to Fr. Abdel Quddus, “An unknown person stalked a sister in the diocese of Fashn, Beni Suef, and attacked her last week with a bladed weapon while she was outside her residence. He then hit her head against the wall and fled.” And Wadie Ramses, a Christian who was kidnapped and held for 92 days by Islamic militants in the Sinai desert, managed to escape. During his time in captivity, he was blindfolded and handcuffed, beaten and abused. According to his account, the most terrifying moments came when he would overhear his Muslim kidnappers debating whether to behead the Christian doctor or keep him alive to ensure a ransom. The police, though given many opportunities, never made any effort to rescue him, said the Copt.

Apostasy, Blasphemy, and Proselytism

Uganda: Muslims once again tried to kill a Muslim convert to Christianity. Last year, Hassan Muwanguzi, a former Muslim Sheikh, now born-again Christian, survived a poisoning attempt by Muslim relatives, but, in a separate attack, lost his twelve-year old daughter. Recently, Muslims broke into his house with knives and clubs in another attempt to assassinate him. Muwanguzi was at a prayer meeting at the time, but the assailants stole thousands of dollars’ worth of his possessions. Despite Uganda being a majority-Christian nation, Muwanguzi lives in a majority-Muslim region, and faces regular death threats (read more here).

Pakistan: Muslims again used the “blasphemy” accusation to persecute Christian minorities:

  • Two Christian women and the husband of one of the women in the Punjab were tortured by Muslim villagers. Afterwards, they painted the women’s and man’s faces black, put shoes around their necks as “garlands”—shoes are considered ultra-degrading symbols in Pakistan—and paraded them around the town on donkeys, while the Muslim mob continued to taunt and beat them. The two women, identified as Rukhsana and Rehana, were accused of committing blasphemy after they got into an argument with a Muslim woman who wanted to buy a carpet for a low price, which the Christians refused. The Muslim woman then accused the Christians of committing blasphemy; she said that the carpet had images of Holy Books and Koran verses on it. The remark prompted the mob to drag the Christians out of their homes and beat them.
  • Another Christian couple was nearly lynched by a Muslim mob after they were accused of “blasphemy.” The illiterate couple were using a banner that also allegedly carried scriptures from the Koran. After a local barber and two clerics denounced the couple, they were beaten and about to be hanged when police intervened. A few months earlier,another couple was thrown into an oven and burned to death when they too were accused of blasphemy.
  • Two Christian brothers, Qaisar and Amoon Ayub of Lahore, were arrested on blasphemy charges after one of them was accused of posting on his website material supposedly offensive to Islam. According to Qaisar, he closed his account in 2009 but one of his Muslim colleagues, Shahryar Gill, somehow managed to restore the website, while ownership remained in Qaisar’s name. Apparently in revenge for some office quarrel, the Muslim framed the Christian, reported the “blasphemy” to the authorities; the two brothers fled Pakistan. Years later, thinking things had cooled down, they tried to return to their wives and children, only to be arrested.

Sudan: Two imprisoned Presbyterian pastors are on trial and facing a possible death sentence. Rev. Yat Michael and the Rev. Peter Yen Reith of the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church are being charged with espionage and blasphemy under the Republic of Sudan’s Islamic laws. Other church leaders say that Christians are often targeted for their faith, and that the government’s accusations are pretexts: “This is not ‘something new’ for our church. Almost all pastors have gone to jail under the government of Sudan. We have been stoned and beaten. This is their habit to pull down the church. We are not surprised. This is the way they deal with the church,” said Rev. Tut Kony.

Egypt: Three young Christians were arrested in Alexandria on charges of “contempt for Islam.” The previous evening, the Christians had been seen handing out bags of dates to Ramadan fasting Muslims. Some Muslims reported them to authorities; they said that the pamphlets contained “the teachings of Christ” were found in the bags of dates. They were all arrested and charged with contempt for Islam. The three Christian youth pled that the pamphlets were for their own personal use and not meant to be placed in the bags of dates. They were ordered to pay 10,000 Egyptian pounds and released.

“Dhimmitude”: Islamic Contempt, Hostility, and Abuse of Christians

Pakistan: Christian girls continued to be abducted and raped in the Muslim majority nation. A new report indicates that every year 1,000 non-Muslim girls are abducted, raped, forced to convert to Islam or “marry” their abductors. Cases reported in July include:

  • Tarfa Younis, a 12-year- old Christian orphan girl, was sold to a 55-year-old Muslim man who “repeatedly raped” her for over a year; the man’s nephew also abused her. The traumatized girl managed to run away and reach the home of an uncle. According to The Voice, a human rights organization involved in the case, “the practice of raping and forcing Christian girls into marriage continues in Punjab, especially in suburban areas.”
  • Fouzia, a 25-year-old married Christian woman and mother of three children, was abducted on July 23 by Muhammad Nazir, another 55-year-old Muslim man. He forced her to convert to Islam and become his wife. Her family asked Muhammad for her return, but he insisted that she had voluntarily converted and married him—and that if they made any trouble “there would be serious consequences.” According to human rights lawyer Sardar Mushtaq Gill: “Usually episodes like this proceed in the following manner: the family of the victim presents a complaint. The abductor lodges a counter-complaint affirming that the woman made a voluntary decision. In most instances, the victims are minors, young adolescent girls. They suffer sexual violence, forced prostitution, domestic abuse and even sold to human traffickers.” Gill concluded that it is rare for such cases to end with the return of the girls to their original families.

Indonesia: A group of Muslims attacked and disrupted a Christian scout camp that had brought together thousands of young people. The camp had been organized by a Protestant group in Yogyakarta, central Java. The Muslim assailants argued that the Christian group was not authorized to organize any public activity—especially as it was Ramadan and public activities that violate the Islamic nature of the month are forbidden. On the second day of the event, local Muslims stormed the site and brought everything to a halt. As a result of the raid, thousands of Christian participants from around the country were forced to leave the area. According to the Christian camp manager, “organizers said they had official permission [to hold the event], but suddenly scores of radical Muslims arrived ordering everyone to clear off.” Commenting on the expulsion of Christians, Muhammad Fuad, head of the local branch of the Islamic Community Forum, expressed satisfaction that the Christian event was shut down: “It is good because everyone should understand how to behave towards the Muslim community.”[1]

Iraq: The Islamic State issued a call to its members at the University of Mosul to burn all books written by Christians—whether researchers, writers, or academics—that are found in the Central Library at the University of Mosul.

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.

Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013).

Previous reports


[1] According to Asia News:

Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, has often been the scene of attacks or acts of intolerance towards minorities, whether Christians, Ahmadi Muslims or people of other faiths.

In Aceh, Islamic law (Sharia) is enforced, the only Indonesian province to do so. This is the result of a peace agreement between the central government and the Free Aceh Movement (GAM).

However, more radical and extreme versions of Islam are growing in many other parts of the country, like Bekasi and Bogor, in West Java.

In addition, legal loopholes have been used to prevent Christians from building their places of worship, like the case involving the Yasmin Church in West Java.

Indonesia’s constitution recognizes religious freedom, but Christian communities, Catholics included (3 per cent of the population) have been the victims of religious violence and persecution.

“Treason” In Turkey: Asking for Peace by Uzay Bulut

  • The Turkish state authorities have made it clear that calling for an end to state violence in Turkey’s Kurdish regions is “treason.” This means that in Turkey, requesting peace and political equality between Kurds and Turks is illegal.

  • The 1128 original signatories of the “Academics for Peace” declaration have been subjected to sustained attacks and threats from the Turkish government and nationalist groups. In the week after the publication of the declaration, at least 33 academics were detained by police. Some have lost their jobs. Associate Professor Battal Odabasi from Istanbul Aydin University, for instance, was fired for supporting the petition. At least 29 academics have been suspended from their jobs at universities.

On January 11, 2016, a group of academics and researchers from Turkey and abroad called “Academics for Peace” signed and issued a declaration entitled, “We will not be a party to this crime.” In it, they criticized the Turkish government for its recent curfews and massacres in Kurdish districts, and demanded an end to violence against Kurds and a return to peace talks.

“We declare that we will not be a party to this massacre by remaining silent and demand an immediate end to the violence perpetrated by the state,” the declaration said.

In total, 2212 academics and researchers from Turkey, and 2279 from abroad, signed their names onto the declaration.

Some of the signatories of the “Academics for Peace” petition in Turkey pose in front of a banner reading, “We will not be a party to this crime.” The 1128 original signatories of the declaration have been subjected to sustained attacks and threats from the Turkish government and nationalist groups.

The Turkish President and PM immediately targeted the academics who signed the declaration. On January 12, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said,

“Unfortunately, those fake intellectuals say that the state is carrying out a massacre. Hey you, fake intellectuals! You are dark people. You are not enlightened. You are dark and ignorant to the point that you do not even know where the southeastern or eastern regions are [in Turkey].

“Today we are faced with the treason of the so-called intellectuals, most of whom get their salaries from the state and carry the ID card of this state in their pockets.

“You are either by the side of the nation and the state or by the side of the terrorist organization. We will not get permission from those so-called academics. They should know their place.”

Immediately after the speech, Turkey’s Council of Higher Education (YOK) also issued a statement: “The declaration issued by a group of academics that describes our state’s ongoing struggle against terror in the southeast as ‘massacre and slaughter’ has put our entire academic world under suspicion. … This declaration cannot be associated with academic freedom. Providing the security of citizens is the primary responsibility of the state,” it said, adding that all rectors and an inter-university council would soon meet to discuss the issue.

Turkish PM Ahmet Davutoglu also joined in, saying, “It is an irrational declaration. They [the academics] will be ashamed when they read it once more. It cannot be evaluated within the scope of freedom of expression.”

Ever since, the academics have been under serious political, legal and social pressure. The 1128 original signatories have been subjected to sustained attacks and threats from the Turkish government and nationalist groups as well as double investigations — administrative investigations by the universities they work for, as well as legal investigations by state prosecutors.

They are being prosecuted for “insulting the Turkish nation, the state of the republic of Turkey, Turkey’s parliament, government and judicial organs” (Turkish penal code: Article 301) and for “making propaganda for a terrorist organization” (Anti-terror law: Article 7).

In the week after the publication of the declaration, at least 33 academics were detained, and then released after prosecutors took their testimonies.

At least 29 academics have been suspended from their jobs at universities until their investigations are finalized.

Some have actually lost their jobs. Associate Professor Battal Odabasi from Istanbul Aydin University, for instance, was fired for supporting the declaration. Odabasi was first exposed to an investigation by the university and was told to withdraw his signature. When he did not, he was dismissed. “So they essentially told us to choose between our bread and our honor,” said Odabasi. “I chose my honor.”

Some pro-government newspapers also targeted the signatories. The newspaper Yeni Akit, for instance, wrote: “This is the full list of the academics that signed that declaration of treason.”

The newspaper continued telling the authorities to “Fire these men!” and calling the academics “perverts with diplomas,” “whores who call Muslims ‘sons of bitches.'” The newspaper also called the academics “gay-loving,” and “Armenian-lovers.” The academics sought legal help and demanded that the reports that included threats and insults be blocked to the public. An Ankara criminal court rejected the demand. The court said that the reports and expressions were within the “freedom of the press.”

Several universities across Turkey have on their official websites showed extremely negative reactions to the academics who signed the declaration; some even called them “traitors” or “terrorism supporters” and emphasized that the universities support the military operations of the state.

The rectorate of Abdullah Gul University in Kayseri, for instance, demanded that Professor Bulent Tanju, who signed the declaration, resign. The head of the Turkish nationalists in the city affiliated with the Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) referred to Tanju and other signatories as “barking dogs,” and in a public declaration, threatened him. The prosecutors launched a criminal investigation against Tanju, but not against those who threatened him. His alleged “crime” is “inciting the population to enmity or hatred” and “openly insulting state institutions.” (Turkish penal code – Articles 216 and 301)

Some academics withdrew their signatures after receiving threats on campuses or on social media.

The offices of two academics — Kemal Inal and Betul Yarar — from the Department of Communication at Ankara’s Gazi University, were marked with red crosses by Turkish nationalist students. Notes saying that “We do not want the academics that support the PKK at our university” were left at their doors. Inal said he withdrew his signature after violent threats from students and even a colleague.

The newspaper Agos reported that academics in smaller cities have been under enormous pressure from their universities as well as the public. The academics in Samsun, for instance, had to lock themselves in their homes for a while. Those in Yalova say they are scared of using public transportation and those in Bolu say they are scared of parking their cars in secluded places.

Some of the academics were also targeted by local media. Arin Gul Yeniaras, a lawyer offering legal support to the threatened academics, told Agos that “a local newspaper in the town of Yalova, for instance, published the names and photos of the signatories, and made remarks such as ‘The rector is still silent; the citizens are uneasy’ in an attempt to make the rector take action against the academics. After that, the rector declared that the university launched an investigation against the signatories.”

Ramazan Kurt, a lecturer of philosophy at Erzurum’s Ataturk University, sought help from the Erzurum branch of the Human Rights Association (IHD).

“Two people raided my room, and threatened me,” Kurt told Agos.

“On the same day, the Grey Wolves [a Turkish nationalist organization] made a call at the university to stage a march against me. I filed a criminal complaint against them and demanded security. It was on that day that I learned that I was suspended from my job. They organized a massive march, saying ‘We do not want a terrorist lecturer at our school.’ I also learned that they came to the door of my office and swore the oath of the Grey Wolves. No one from the university called me to support me.”

On January 15, Kurt was detained and interrogated at the anti-terror branch of the local police station. His lawyer said he was accused of “making propaganda for a [terrorist] organization,” “inciting the population to enmity or hatred” and “publishing the documents of a [terrorist] organization.” He was released on the same day, but banned from travelling.

In an interview with Dicle News Agency (DIHA), Kurt said that when he asked the Erzurum police for a security guard after the attacks, “a police officer there threatened me, and said: ‘If you know that signer, I will shoot him in the head’.”

“After I saw the attitudes of my colleagues,” he said, “there was no point in staying.” As he had no safety, he said, he left the province.

The detentions of academics continue. On January 29, five academics in the province of Bolu, who signed the petition in solidarity with three colleagues who had been taken into custody earlier for signing the declaration, were also detained after house raids. Their homes, cars and offices were searched, and the copies of their computers and telephones as well as some of their documents were seized by police. The academics were released after the police took their testimonies.

“The academics who exercised their freedom of thought and expression by signing this text that states a wish for peace have been targeted and exposed to insults and threats for days,” said a recent press release from the academics.

“As of January 18, investigations have been launched against 1128 signatories in accordance with the Turkish penal code and the anti-terror law.

“Among our colleagues there are those who have been detained, banned from going abroad, exposed to administrative investigations, fired or suspended from their jobs. We find all of these things unjust and unacceptable.”

In the meantime, the journalist Nurcan Baysal, based in Diyarbakir, reported on January 22 that the bodies of two Kurds, Isa Oran and Mesut Seviktek — murdered during a curfew and their bodies left in the street for 29 days — were finally allowed to be retrieved.

Oran’s father, Mehmet Oran said,

“I went to the morgue. My son’s head was not recognizable. It had been burnt — as if a chemical substance had been spilled over it. He had been disemboweled; his intestines were lying outside his body. The rest of my son’s body was all in pieces as if chunks of meat had been ripped out of him by an animal. They had torn my son into pieces. I was only able to recognize my son from his arm.”

Mesut’s brother, Ihsan Seviktek, said:

“My brother had already fallen a martyr with bullets to his head and chest. But they [Turkish soldiers or police] then shot hundreds of additional bullets into him. His face became unrecognizable. Why mistreat a dead person to such an extent? The Kurdish issue will not be resolved like this.”

As the Turkish state authorities and university administrations accuse intellectuals of being “traitors,” scores of Kurds have been murdered by Turkish armed forces in Kurdish districts under curfew. Dead bodies of many Kurds are still rotting in the streets and waiting to be retrieved.

At least 224 Kurdish civilians lost their lives between August 16, 2015 and February 5, 2016, according to the Human Rights Foundation of Turkey (TIHV). Forty-two were children, 31 were women, and 30 were over the age 60. The districts of Sur, Cizre and Silopi have been under an uninterrupted military siege and assaults for two months. Eight people were killed by security forces shooting arbitrarily in streets close to curfew zones during peaceful protests against the curfews.

The Turkish state authorities have made it clear that calling for an end to state violence in Turkey’s Kurdish regions is “treason.” This means that in Turkey, requesting peace and political equality between Kurds and Turks is illegal. Apparently, the only way to be a “Turkish patriot” or “a good citizen of Turkey” is openly to support the murders of Kurds — or at least be silent about them.

Uzay Bulut, born and raised a Muslim, is a Turkish journalist based in Ankara.

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