Archive for 10/02/2011

Fatah Official: Shhh! 1949 Lines Would Be Israel’s Doom

10/02/2011 Leave a comment

By Chana Ya’ar – “A senior member of the Fatah Central Committee led by Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas in an interview referred to Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, and U.S. President Barack Obama, as ‘dirtbags,’ and explained how causing Israel to leave Judea and Samaria would spell its doom.

Abbas Zaki told the interviewer that any final status agreement between Israel and the PA ‘should be based upon the borders of June 4, 1967… everybody knows that the greater goal cannot be accomplished in one go.’

Israel claims that Abbas and numerous other PA Arab officials have made it clear in many ways that the ‘greater’ and ultimate goal has been and continues to be the elimination of the State of Israel altogether, but this was an outright statement to that effect.

Zaki made his remarks during an interview on the Qatar-based Al-Jazeera satellite television channel, which reaches millions of Arabs worldwide.

A video clip of Zaki’s remarks was translated by MEMRI, the Middle East Media Research Institute, a media watchdog organization that monitors Arabic-language media.

‘If Israel withdraws from Jerusalem, evacuates the 650,000 settlers, and dismantles the wall, what will become of Israel? It will come to an end,’ Zaki predicted.” Read more.

Anwar al-Awlaki Was a ‘Moderate’ Imam at Washington Mosque ‘Known for His Interfaith Outreach, Civic Engagement and Tolerance’

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I’m [not] shocked!  Someone that everyone thought was a ‘moderate‘ suddenly turns out to be a murderous zealot?  Surely, that could never happen in America where Muslims are granted freedoms and opportunities that they could only dream about in Islamic nations.  What are they learning that would cause them to change their minds? …

By Michael Hernandez – “FALLS CHURCH // Mohmed Kabbach, a street vendor, sat on his collapsible plastic chair outside a mosque near Washington on Friday, waiting for the faithful to finish prayers.

The 47-year-old had not yet heard that Anwar Al Awlaki, one of America’s most wanted terrorists, was killed in a US drone strike in Yemen.

‘Who is Awlaki?’ said Mr Kabbach. Al Awlaki was also an imam at the Dar Al Hijrah mosque, in this small town just 10 miles from the capital, from 2001 to 2002.

He ‘was known for his interfaith outreach, civic engagement and tolerance in the Northern Virginia community’, said a statement from the mosque on Friday.

The description differs significantly from the man US authorities called a leading figure in Al Qaeda.

He was alleged to have links to several planned and actual terrorist attacks, including the failed attempt to blow up a transatlantic flight by the ‘underwear bomber’ and the shooting deaths of 13 US soldiers at Fort Hood, both in 2009.” Read more.

Dr. Wafa Sultan: Muslim ‘Radicals’ Do Not Exist, They Are ‘Simply the Ones Who Are Adherents to the Faith’ – “For years we’ve heard Muslims commonly defined by a couple of different terms, ‘radical’ or ‘moderate.’ Yet what exactly do these terms mean? Dr. Wafa Sultan, born and raised in the Muslim culture of Syria, who now resides in the US, and is a strong advocate of women’s rights, recently provided some interesting insight on this topic during an interview. What immediately caught my attention was her comment that the term ‘radical’ doesn’t exist in the Muslim world. No ‘radicals?’ What is she talking about? ‘This is a term invented by the West,’ according to Dr. Sultan. She also indicated those who suggest Islam has been ‘hijacked by radicals’ were off base. Those whom the West calls ‘radicals’ are quite simply the ones who are adherents to the faith.” Read more.

Islam’s History of Forced Conversions

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The history of forced conversions in Islam extends all the way back to nearly 1400 years ago, and, truth be told, even as far back as nearly 14 seconds ago …

By Raymond Ibrahim – “Finding and connecting similar patterns of behavior throughout Islamic history is one of the most objective ways of determining whether something is or is not part of Muslim civilization.

Consider the issue of forced conversion in Islam, a phenomenon that has a long history with ample precedents. Indeed, from its inception, most of those who embraced Islam did so under duress, beginning with the Ridda wars and during the age of conquests, and to escape dhimmi status. This is a simple fact.

Yet, when one examines today’s cases of forced conversions with those from centuries past, identical patterns emerge, demonstrating great continuity. Consider:

Days ago in Pakistan, two Christian men were severely beaten with iron rods and left for dead by a group of Muslims, simply because they refused to convert to Islam. According to Compass Direct News, they were returning from a church service when they were accosted by six Muslims. After they discovered they were Christian, the Muslims:

then started questioning them about their faith and later tried to force them to recite the Kalma [Islamic conversion creed, ‘There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is his messenger’] and become Muslims, telling them that this was the only way they could live peacefully in the city. They also offered monetary incentives and ‘protection’ to Ishfaq and Naeem [the Christians], but the two refused to renounce Christianity.

‘After cajoling the two Christians for some time,’ the Muslims pretended to go away, only to ram their car into the Christians: ‘The Muslims [then] got out of the car armed with iron rods and attacked Ishfaq and Naeem, shouting that they should either recite the Kalma or be prepared to die…severely beating[ing] the two Christians, fracturing Ishfaq Munawar’s jaw and breaking five teeth, and seriously injuring Masih…. [T]he two Christians fell unconscious, and the young Muslim men left assuming they had killed them.’

Contrast this contemporary account with the following anecdote from some 500 years past (excerpted from Witnesses for Christ, pgs.62-64):

In the year 1522, two Christian brothers in Ottoman Egypt were denounced by local Muslims ‘mostly out of jealousy and envy’; so the emir arrested them and ‘began flattering them and asking questions about their faith.’ The brothers made it clear that they were firm adherents of Christianity. ‘The Muslims in the audience became enraged with the brothers when they heard their answers, and they began screaming and demanding they must become Muslims.’ The brothers responded by refusing to ‘deny the faith we received from our forefathers, but we will remain unshaken and very firm in it until the end.’

The Muslim judge deciding their case told the Christian brothers that if they simply said the Kalma and embraced Islam, they ‘would be given many honors and much glory’; otherwise, they would die.” Read more.

Turkey’s Elephant in the Room: Religious Freedom

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“ISTANBUL — With his triumphant tour of the countries of the Arab Spring this month, Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has managed to set up Turkey on the international stage as a role model for a secular democracy in a Muslim country — as, in his words, ‘a secular state where all religions are equal.’

The only trouble is that he has yet to make that happen for Turkey.

The relationship between religion and the state, ever the sore spot of Turkish identity, is one of the most explosive issues of the debate on the new constitution that Mr. Erdogan has pledged to give the country in the new legislative term that opens Saturday.

That debate will have to deal with the elephant in the room: the total control that the state exerts over Islam through its Religious Affairs Department, and the lack of a legal status for all other religions in a predominantly Sunni Muslim society.

‘Turkey may look like a secular state on paper, but in terms of international law it is actually a Sunni Islamic state,’ Izzettin Dogan, a leader of the country’s Alevi minority, charged at a joint press conference with leaders of several other minority faiths last week in Istanbul.

Mr. Dogan is honorary president of the Federation of Alevi Foundations, which represents many of what it claims are up to 30 million adherents of the Alevi faith, an Anatolian religion close to Sufi Islam but separate and distinct in its beliefs and practices.

‘The state collects taxes from all of us and spends billions on Sunni Islam alone, while millions of Alevis as well as Christians, Jews and other faiths don’t receive a penny,’ Mr. Dogan said, referring to the $1.5 billion budget of the Religious Affairs Department. ‘What kind of secularism is that?'” Read more.

Egypt: Islamists Boast, ‘We Won’t Leave Any Christians in This Country’

10/02/2011 Leave a comment

An addendum to this story …

By Chana Ya’ar – “Egypt is back to ‘business as usual’ with the Islamic majority harassing and attacking its Christian minority.

A group of Muslims burnt down part of a church Friday – the Islamic Sabbath – in the village of Marinab, according to a report published in the daily Al Masry Al Youm. The village, situated close to the town of Edfu in the Aswan Governorate, is located some 800 kilometers south of Cairo.

Security sources said Muslims rampaged through the village in what appeared to be a pogrom, clashing with the Christian residents and destroying their shops. Central Security Forces cordoned off the village ‘to control the clashes,’ according to the newspaper report.

Christian websites reported in September that a group of Salafi Islamists had threatened the Christians, warning them not to leave their homes in the village unless they first removed the church dome. Saint George’s Church had been restored earlier in the month, according to the report.

A gang of Salafi Muslims boasted to a victim they were torturing in March, ‘We won’t leave any Christians in this country,’ according to a report published several months ago in the Wall Street Journal. The attackers were never arrested…

Since the revolution, there have been numerous murders by Muslims visited upon the Coptic Christian community, which comprises about 10 percent of the 83 million-strong Egyptian population.” Read more.

Report: 100,000 Christians Have Left Egypt Since March Due to Escalating Intimidation and Attacks From Islamists – “The Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations (EUHRO) published a report today on emigration of Christians from Egypt, saying that nearly 100,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. The report, which was sent to the Egyptian cabinet and the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF), warned that this emigration has been prompted by the escalating intimidation and attacks on Christians by Islamists. ‘Copts are not emigrating abroad voluntarily,’ said Naguib Gabriell, the director EUHRO, ‘they are coerced into that by threats and intimidation by hard line Salafists, and the lack of protection they are getting from the Egyptian regime.’” Read more.

Iran: Government Now Says Christian Pastor Guilty of Rape, not Apostasy

10/02/2011 1 comment

In an effort to somehow ‘justify’ killing Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, Iran scampers to change the crime punishable by death from ‘apostasy‘ to ‘rape’.  Not only does the suicidal death cult of the Iranian leadership wish to destroy the Western world because we’re all unbelieving ‘infidels’ who reject Islam, they must also want us dead because, apparently, they believe we’re all stupid, too …

By Daniel Tovrov – “Iran said on Saturday that Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani was sentenced to death for rape, not for the crime of abandoning Islam.

Previous reports indicated that Nadarkhani was found guilty of apostasy because he converted to Christianity as a teenager. Nadarkhani has been sentenced to death by hanging for the crime, which is technically not in Iran’s penal code but is a religious doctrine enforced by an official fatwa.

‘His crime is not, as some claim, converting others to Christianity,’ Gholomali Rezvani, the Gilan province deputy governor, told Farsn news agency. ‘He is guilty of security-related crimes.’

However, a December 2010 court ruling issued and signed by Supreme Court judges Morteza Fazel and Azizoallah Razaghi mentions the religious charges against Nadarkhani and nothing more.

‘Mr. Youcef Nadarkhani, son of Byrom, 32 years old, married, born in Rasht in the state of Gilan, is convicted of turning his back on Islam, the greatest religion the prophesy of Mohammad at the age of 19,’ the document states.

‘He has often participated in Christian worship and organized home church services, evangelizing and has been baptized and baptized others, converting Muslims to Christianity. He has been accused of breaking Islamic Law that from puberty (15 years according to Islamic law) until the age of 19 the year 1996, he was raised a Muslim in a Muslim home.

‘During court trials, he denied the prophecy of Mohammad and the authority of Islam. He has stated that he is a Christian and no longer Muslim. During many sessions in court with the presence of his attorney and a judge, he has been sentenced to execution by hanging according to article 8 of Tahrir–olvasileh.’

After the subpoena, the Supreme Court eventually ruled that the death penalty, on grounds of encouraging ‘other Muslims to convert to Christianity,’ should be upheld.” Read more.

Where are the protests over Pastor Nadarkhani? – “It is obvious that, faced with mounting outrage around the world – there have been protests from the White House, for example — the Iranian regime has resorted to trumping up spurious accusations against a man they are persecuting on account of his Christian faith. By seeking to deny the verdict of apostasy that was handed down two years ago, they are trying to conceal above all that Pastor Nadarkhani has been imprisoned for two years and is sentenced to hang because of an Islamic religious precept. In other words, this barbarism is yet another religious crime being perpetrated by the regime against an Iranian citizen for no reason other than he has transgressed the laws of Islam enforced by a fanatical regime of religious zealots… It is still possible to save this man’s life if enough protest is made. British political leaders should be making their voices heard very loudly against this barbarity by the Islamic Republic of Iran. Have you been hearing them? No, nor have I.” Read more.

Bloomberg: More Than One in Three International Investors Expect a Global Economic Meltdown Within the Next 12 Months

10/02/2011 1 comment

By Liam Halligan – “More than one in three international investors expect a global economic meltdown within the next 12 months, according to a new Bloomberg poll. Far more – almost 70pc – say the world economy is deteriorating, up from just 18pc four months ago.

At the heart of the gloom, of course, is the eurozone, with 90pc of those surveyed judging that the economy of the single currency area is getting worse. One wonders what planet the other 10pc are on.

The eurozone is clearly sliding. The European Commission’s economic sentiment indicator fell to 95 in September, from 98.4 the month before, plunging at a rate not seen since the Lehman Brothers collapse. German retail sales dropped faster in August than at any time since May 2007.

The eurozone – an economy second in size only to the US – is on the brink of a double-dip recession.

This grim prognosis, though, is set against a more hideous backdrop – the danger of a ‘euro-quake’. Greece will default. The only question is how the default is managed – indeed, if it is managed at all.

A bungled Greek payment failure will spark ‘contagion’, as spooked creditors pull the plug on some big eurozone government, leading to non-payment of wages and benefits, serious social unrest, and a single currency break-up.

We face the very real prospect of a major economic shock, the negative impact of which will be felt around the world.” Read more.

Germany ‘won’t give more to EU bail-out fund‘ – “German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble ruled out Germany contributing any more money to the beefed-up EU bail-out fund than the 211 billion euros approved by parliament, in an interview published Saturday. ‘The European Financial Stability Facility has a ceiling of 440 billion euros ($590 billion), 211 billion of which is down to Germany. And that is it. Finished,’ he told the magazine Super-Illu. He also suggested the European Stability Mechanism, which is due to replace the EFSF by 2013 at the latest, would be smaller.” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters

Greece: Drastic Steps Taken By Government to Avert Bankruptcy May Not Be Enough

10/02/2011 Leave a comment

By Dina Kyriakidou and Ingrid Melander – “(Reuters) – Greece will miss a deficit target set just months ago in a massive bailout package, according to government draft budget figures released on Sunday, showing that drastic steps taken to avert bankruptcy may not be enough.

The dire forecasts came while inspectors from the International Monetary Fund, EU and European Central Bank, known as the troika, were in Athens scouring the country’s books to decide whether to approve a loan tranche. Without that installment, Greece would run out of cash as soon as this month.

The 2012 draft budget approved by cabinet on Sunday predicts a deficit of 8.5 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) for 2011, well short of the 7.6 percent target.

The 2012 deficit is set to meet a nominal target of 14.6 billion euros, but at 6.8 percent of GDP it falls short of a target of 6.5 percent, because the economy will shrink further.

“Three critical months remain to finish 2011, and the final estimate of 8.5 percent of GDP deficit can be achieved if the state mechanism and citizens respond accordingly,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.

European officials are scrambling to avert an abrupt Greek bankruptcy, which would wreck the balance sheets of European banks, jeopardise the future of the single currency and potentially plunge the world into a new global financial crisis.” Read more.

Greece is slipping into the abyss – “… The Athens I knew 20 years ago has changed radically. I used to tell British friends that despite its chaos, it was a very civilised city. When I moved here, you didn’t have homeless people sleeping on the streets, there was little crime and the sick and needy were looked after. That civility is vanishing fast. With economic doom becoming ever more likely, it sometimes feels as if the fabric of society is being ripped asunder… But we are only at the start of this crisis. What will happen next year when unemployment doubles and people lose their homes? The Communist calls for revolution don’t look nearly as far-fetched as they did six months ago. While civil war doesn’t look likely, a return to the military days must be a possibility. If the Greek people reject their entire political system and the state falls apart, what will be left?” Read more.

Categories: Man-Made Disasters
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