Archive for 12/16/2011

Did the Umayyads Change the Qur’an? (Hint: Historians Say ‘Yes’)

12/16/2011 Leave a comment

“The first complete and authoritative Qur’ān in the history of Islām was compiled by ‘Uthmān ibn ‘Affān, Muhammad’s third khalīfah (successor) and leader of the nascent Arab-Muslim Empire. This task was carried out two decades after Muhammad’s death, and upon the completion of the ‘Uthmānic Codex (as the standardized Qur’ān became known), all other Qur’ānic materials and manuscripts were burned, whilst the official version was distributed throughout the Arab-Muslim Empire.

According to the idealised orthodox Islāmic religious narrative, the standardized Qur’ān in circulation today is the Mashaf al-‘Uthmānī (‘Uthmānic Codex), but history tells a different story; according to Mediæval Muslim historians and the available evidence, the official Qur’ān in use today underwent a further, post-‘Uthmānic recension, and is in fact the Umayyad Qur’ān.”

Read more here, or watch the video below.

Categories: Anything Else

Algeria: Judge Keeps Christian in Prison for Refusing to Declare ‘There Is No God But Allah and Mohammed Is His Messenger’

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“ISTANBUL, December 15 (CDN) — A judge’s decision this month to indefinitely postpone the appeal of a Christian sentenced under Algeria’s defamation and anti-proselytizing laws shows how the judicial system keeps Christians locked up without officially punishing or acquitting them, according to sources.

In May a judge in Oran, 470 kilometers (292 miles) west of Algiers, sentenced a convert from Islam, Abdelkrim Siaghi, to a prison term of five years. He had been charged with insulting Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, and with “proselytism” for giving a Muslim a CD about Christianity. Siaghi (whose name is also spelled Siaghi Krimo) was also fined 200,000 dinars (US$2,663).

The prosecutor had reportedly requested that the judge sentence him to a two-year prison term and a fine of 50,000 dinars (US$665). The judge instead gave him the maximum sentence.

In Siaghi’s appeal, however, the judge has been unable to find any evidence against him and has postponed hearing dates several times. A scheduled Dec. 1 hearing was postponed indefinitely on that day, when judges were expected to pronounce a verdict, according to Siaghi’s lawyer…

Authorities arrested Siaghi in April after he purportedly gave a CD about Christianity to a Muslim. Siaghi had gone to a phone shop to buy minutes for his mobile phone, and the merchant there initiated a conversation on religion. Unhappy with Siaghi’s non-Muslim answers, the merchant tried to force him to pay homage to the prophet and to recite the Muslim creed, ‘There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is his prophet.’

Siaghi refused and said he was a Christian, according to Krim.

‘The merchant felt offended in his faith and would hear nothing more,’ Krim said. ‘He filed a complaint that Abdelkrim had belittled the prophet, and in the absence of other witnesses, charges were brought against him.'” Read more.

Officials in Iran Frantically Refute Claims That Christianity is Spreading Through ‘Exclusively Islamic’ Cities

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“The Iranian media is desperate to refute claims that Christianity is spreading among Iranian youth and through cities considered to be almost exclusively Islamic. The government-supported Jomhouri-e-Eslami daily newspaper is calling the spread of Christianity an unfounded rumour, but there are definite contradictions in fact to this statement. On October 2, the government-supported news website, Javan-Online, acknowledged that the acceptance of Christianity was becoming a trend and reported 200 house churches were discovered in just a few months in the traditionally Islamic city of Mashhad.

Many high ranking government officials and Islamic religious leaders have also made statements expressing concern over the spread of Christianity. Ayatollah Jafar Sobhani, a prominent Islamic theologian and writer, publicly spoke about the conversion of 600 people to Christianity in the city of Neishabour, according to a local newspaper in the Southern Khoarasan Province. The Head of the Ministry of Intelligence in Iran, Heydar Moslehi, also warned the heads of education in Iran about the spread of Christianity in schools.

Moslehi also cryptically announced there will be a new effort to Read more…

Iran: Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani to Remain in Jail Another Year, Authorities to Use ‘Whatever Means Necessary’ to Convert Him to Islam

12/16/2011 1 comment

By Anugrah Kumar – “An Iranian court is likely to delay its verdict in a case concerning Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani, who is facing death penalty for converting to Christianity, to allow authorities to further coerce him to convert to Islam as he remains in jail.

The evangelical pastor’s lawyer has learned that the head of Iran’s judiciary, Ayatollah Sadegh Larijani, has asked the presiding judge over the trial, Ghazi Kashani, to delay the pending judgment and keep him in prison for another year, Present Truth Ministries said in a statement Thursday.

Nadarkhani, a 32-year-old house church leader from the Church of Iran denomination, was convicted of apostasy last year and was sentenced to death by hanging. However, the Supreme Court of Iran asked for the retrial of his case by a lower court in the city of Rasht in northern Gilan Province.

The deliberate delay is meant to let the case ‘slip away from international attention’ even as the authorities continue to ‘use whatever means necessary to cause him to convert to Islam,’ said Jason DeMars, the founder of the ministry that was first to report on the pastor’s arrest two years ago.

It was earlier learnt that the court in Rasht had asked Iran’s supreme leader Ali Khamenei, the highest ranking political and religious authority in Shi’a-majority Iran, to rule on whether the pastor should be put to death.” Read more.

Philippines: Christian Father of 13 Beheaded by Suspected Muslim Extremists in Mindanao

12/16/2011 Leave a comment

“MacArthur Arbado, an elder at the Bible Baptist Church in Carmen, Cotabato, was murdered on November 10 as he returned to his farm. The attackers shot him in the leg, back and abdomen before decapitating him with his own machete. MacArthur leaves behind his wife, Lolita, and 13 children.

Although his farm was surrounded by land owned by Muslims, he had a good relationship with his neighbours. He learned to speak their language and was called ‘uncle’ by many. Often his Muslim friends tried to convert him to Islam, but he stood firm in his faith and talked with them about Christianity. MacArthur’s killers are thought to be members of a separatist Muslim group in the area. VOM has met with MacArthur’s family and provided some assistance.

Please pray that God will comfort Lolita, her children, and the church. Pray that, as sufferings overflow, their comfort in Christ will be more than enough for them (2 Corinthians 1:5). Pray that the perpetrators of this attack will repent and turn to Jesus Christ.” Read more.

Islamic Teacher: Saying ‘Merry Christmas’ is Worse Than Killing Someone

12/16/2011 7 comments

The Christian faith teaches that Jesus Christ is God in the flesh who was born to be the Savior of the world, sent to die for the sins of all mankind as the final sacrificial Lamb of God. But according to Islamic teaching (which doesn’t even correctly understand many basic Christian doctrines) Jesus Christ is not God in the flesh, and this foundational tenet upon which Christianity is built is considered the worst of sins that anyone can commit, called “shirk“. In Islam, it is an unpardonable sin that Allah will never forgive. But in Christianity, it is the key to everlasting life

John 1:1,14, “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God … And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.”

1 John 4:3, “and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming …”

Transcript: “You [Muslims] cannot say ‘Merry Christmas’ … It’s not part of our Deen. Period. It’s the concept that God was born on the 25th of December. That’s as shirk and kuffir as you can get, and you saying ‘Merry Christmas’ [says], ‘Congratulations on your false religion [of Christianity]. Congratulations on your false understanding of life.’ You are congratulating them [Christians] on the most evil of shirk and kuffir … This is worse than fornication and drinking alcohol and killing someone because you’re approving of the biggest crime ever committed by the children of Adam: shirk …”

Nigeria: Christian Student Killed After Bombs Detonated in Christian Areas of Jos

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Sura 8:12b, “… terrorize and behead those who believe in scriptures other than the Qur’an.”

“JOS, Nigeria, December 15 (CDN) — Joshua Dabo, like other young Christians in this city in central Nigeria, had dreams for his life. He had graduated from a Christian high school, Mt. Olives Secondary School, and at 31 was finally looking forward to attending university.

Apart from commitment to his fellowship at Nasara Baptist Church at Tirji Junction near the University of Jos, Dabo ran a barbershop to earn income as he awaited admission to college, and he was an ardent soccer player and fan.

As such he made sure to be among the 120 people from the Christian community on Bauchi Ring Road who paid to watch a classic soccer rivalry, Barcelona FC v. Real Madrid, on TV at an outdoor bar (called a ‘viewing center’ in Nigeria) on Saturday night (Dec. 10). A few minutes into the match, televised in the hall of corrugated sheet metal at Yangwava Television Viewing Center at Ukadum village, a bomb went off.

‘It was shocking for me,’ said viewing center owner Emmanuel Exodus Nimkun, 30, of the Ukadum congregation of the Church of Christ in Nigeria (COCIN). ‘I saw Joshua Dabo standing without a head. I have never seen a thing like this – a human being standing but with his head blasted off, and he was struggling to move.’

Dabo was the lone fatality in three bomb blasts targeting viewing centers in predominantly Christian areas of Jos during the Spanish soccer match; at least 10 others were injured in the blasts, leaving four in critical condition, including two in a coma.

Nimkun told Compass that he was bleeding and his back was hurt after the explosion, but he held Dabo and brought him down.

‘I began to cry, and suddenly there were shouts that another bomb was hidden in a bag beside the viewing hall that had not exploded,’ he said. ‘We all ran out, and then a policeman came to the scene. He picked up courage and went to check the bag, and the device was intact.’…

‘This is a person killed not because he has done anything wrong but because he is a Christian.’…

Danladi Dabo said that Christians in Jos have reached out to their Muslim neighbors, but Muslims seem uninterested in peaceful relations with Christians.” Read more.

Egypt: Family of Murdered Christians On the Run Due to Muslim Terror, Killers Are ‘Walking Freely in the Village’

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“(AINA) — Two weeks after the murder of two Christian brothers by Muslims during the violence that swept the upper Egyptian village of elGhorayzat, the family of the murdered Christians has temporarily come out of hiding to speak of the terror they have been subjected to and decry the impunity enjoyed by the killers, who are walking freely in the village.

On November 28, the two Christian brothers, Kamel Tamer Abraham (55) and Camille Tamer Abraham (50), were killed in revenge for the death of the Muslim Mohamad Abdel-Nazeer, who was injured during an altercation with a village Christian over the building of a fence round the Christian’s house, and who later died in hospital. The Christian man fled from the village with his family.

Mahmoud Abdel-Nazeer, the brother of the dead Muslim, and a mob of Muslims, vowed to avenge his death from all village Copts. They went on a rampage, looting and burning Christian owned homes and businesses, and resulted in the murder of the two brothers and injury to several other Christians not involved in the altercation (AINA 11-30-2011).

Karam Tamer Abraham, the brother of Kamel and Camille, said that his two murdered brothers were killed in lieu of the life of the Muslim, explaining that the Muslims asked for the lives of his two brothers because they are ‘the Christian elders of the village.’ He said that the family is in no way related to and does not even know the Christian involved in the death of the Muslim.

The Tamer Abraham family refused any ‘reconciliation’ with the murderers, and insisted that the rule of law should prevail. ‘We will get our rights by law, and we will never accept reconciliation, whatever the consequences. We are not in a jungle.’ He said that all this happened to the family because they are Christians.

According to Karam, after the murders, Muslims looted three flats in the family house, and their shop, ‘while the security forces stood there watching.’

The three men who participated in the killings, according to eyewitnesses, were Mahmoud Abdul-Nazeer, Sabry Mohammad el-Sayed and a third man unknown to them.

‘Reconciliation’ sessions are usually arranged by the Egyptian security authorities, after every violence against Christians, and result in Christians being pressured to give up their rights.

Currently the entire Abraham family are on the run, after having received death threats from the son of the dead Muslim, Mohammad Abdul-Nazeer, who demands that all four family children also have to be killed.” Read more.

China Is Helping to Arm Iran and Sidestep Sanctions Thanks to Assist From North Korea, May Side with Iran in War with the West

12/16/2011 1 comment

“China is circumventing international sanctions against Iran by enlisting North Korea’s help in providing the Islamic state with its most advanced intercontinental ballistic missiles and the technical expertise to make those nuclear warhead-capable missiles operational. And now the Communist giant is threatening to come to Iran’s defense should the missile or nuclear sites be attacked.

Referring this critical problem to the United Nations won’t work because China has veto power in the Security Council.

The United States and the West must therefore bring all the pressure to bear against China they can – and do it immediately.

Time literally is running out.

The Revolutionary Guards, under orders from the Iranian supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, have long been preparing for war, knowing that their nuclear bomb program could invite a preemptive strike by Israel or America.

Media outlets quote Chinese Maj. Gen. Zhang Zhaozhong as warning that in case of attack, China should not hesitate to protect Iran, even if it means launching World War III.

The Iranian-owned state media ran big headlines recently quoting Chinese President Hu Jintao as saying that he has ordered the Chinese Navy to prepare for war and that, in case of an attack on Iran, China will defend Iran.” Read more.

Flashback: Iran, North Korea to Discuss ‘Expansion of Cooperation’ in Talks – “A top Iranian official is scheduled to make an official visit to North Korea, the Islamic Republic announced on Tuesday, in order to discuss ‘expansion of cooperation’ with Pyongyang. The trip underlines the close ties between the two nations. Israel and the West suspect Iran is trying to use its nuclear program to develop atomic weapons, and that North Korea had been aiding Iran by providing Iran with advanced missiles capable of targeting European capitals. An announcement released on the Iranian parliament’s website on Tuesday indicated that parliamentary speaker, Ali Larijani, will arrive in Pyongyang for a three-day visit beginning Sunday.” Read more.

Flashback: China suspected of allowing transport of Korean missile technology to Iran through its borders – “China has tried to suppress a report at the United Nations suggesting that North Korea and Iran have been routinely sharing ballistic missile technology… The report, by a United Nations panel of experts, said prohibited ‘ballistic missile-related items’ were suspected of being transferred between North Korea and Iran in breach of United Nations sanctions against North Korea… The panel’s findings, first reported by Reuters, said that the technology transfers had ‘trans-shipment through a neighboring third country.’ The report did not specify which, but several United Nations diplomats identified that country as China, North Korea’s neighbor and most important ally.” Read more.

Report: Russia Curbs Attempt to Smuggle Radioactive Material Into Iran

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This is what we know has been stopped.  But did any get by the Russian authorities that we don’t know about?  Through China or North Korea? And if so, how much? …

“Russian authorities aborted an attempt to smuggle radioactive materials to Iran, the Interfax news agency reported on Friday.

According to preliminary reports, the radioactive sodium were apprehended by Russia’s Federal Customs Service at Moscow’s Sheremetyevo airport from luggage bound for Iran.

The reporty indicated that the luggage pieces contained Sodium-22, a radioactive isotope of sodium that could only be produced at a nuclear reactor.

Sodium-22 is a positron-emitting isotope with a remarkably long half-life.

Last month, the German newspaper Die Welt reported that North Korea has supplied Syria and Iran with a special kind of steel used to upgrading missiles and building centrifuges for uranium enrichment.

The material, called maraging steel, appears on the monitoring list of the Nuclear Suppliers Group and the Missile Technology Control Regime, and its export is prohibited to countries under sanctions such as Iran.

It has been known for years that Iran is trying to obtain the steel through its clandestine purchasing networks around the world. The steel would enable Tehran to construct modified centrifuges, which would in turn allow it to enrich higher quality Uranium at a faster speed.” Read more.

Flashback: Hundreds of North Korean Nuclear and Missile Experts Working in More Than 10 Locations Across Iran – “Hundreds of North Korean nuclear and missile experts have been collaborating with their Iranian counterparts in more than 10 locations across the Islamic state, a diplomatic source said Sunday. The revelation lends credence to long-held suspicions that North Korea was helping Iran with a secret nuclear and missile program. It also represents a new security challenge to the international community as it seeks to curb the nuclear ambitions of Pyongyang and Tehran, and thwart trading of nuclear and missile technology. North Korea has long been suspected of being behind nuclear and missile proliferation in Iran, Syria, Myanmar and Pakistan.” Read more.

Rarely Seen Ancient Ten Commandments Scroll to be Exhibited For the First Time in NYC

12/16/2011 2 comments

To Muslim readers: As I wrote here, archaeological discoveries have time and time again confirmed what Christians have already believed, that Biblical manuscripts and fragments dated even hundreds of years before Mohammed are virtually identical to the canonized Biblical texts we have today.  The same cannot be said for the Qur’an, however, where even Muslim archaeologists acknowledge that many aberrations exist in old Qur’anic texts, a forthright admission that runs counter to the Islamic claim that the Qur’an is unchanged and eternal. Contrary to the claims of Muslim apologists, not only does the Qur’an distort and incorrectly define some very basic Christian doctrines, it is also at odds with factual and observable science by presenting a flat earth model for the earth and universe, for instance. Moreover, when Muhammad recited the Qur’an, he clearly stated that he did not believe that the Bible was corrupt at that time and called on Christians to adhere to the Scriptures that they possessed. But this begs the question: Since the Scriptures we have today are the same Scriptures that Christians had even well before the time of Mohammed, when do you believe the Bible became corrupted, who corrupted it, and how was it corrupted? …

By Associated Press – “NEW YORK — A well-preserved 2,000-year-old scroll of the Ten Commandments discovered in a cave is going on display in the city for the first time beginning Friday.

The tiny scroll will be shown for 10 days at the Discovery Times Square exhibition space before returning to Israel.

The parchment, which dates to between 50 B.C. and 1 A.D., was discovered in a cave near the Dead Sea in 1952. It must be kept in a light-and-humidity-controlled environment to avoid deterioration, exhibit organizers said.

‘The Ten Commandments scroll is actually in very good condition considering it’s 2,000 years old,’ exhibit curator Risa Levitt Kohn said. ‘And if someone was able to read modern Hebrew they could actually look at this scroll and make their way through the text.’

The scroll’s Israeli conservator, Tatina Treiger, said the parchment is ‘fragile, so brittle.’

Written in Hebrew, the scroll contains the text of the Ten Commandments from Deuteronomy, the fifth book of the Old Testament, and is considered to be the best-preserved artifact with the biblical principles. The scroll likely was used as a prayer leaflet.

It is on display with about 900 other scrolls also discovered in caves near the Dead Sea by Bedouin shepherds between 1947 and 1956.

The exhibit has the largest collection of biblical artifacts ever displayed outside Israel. It has been on display around the world.

The writers of the scrolls are still a mystery and topic of debate among scholars and historians.” Source – The Washington Post.

IMF Warns That World Risks Sliding Into a 1930s-Style Slump, Major Global Banks Downgraded

12/16/2011 Leave a comment

By Larry Elliott, Heather Stewart and Nicholas Watt – “The world risks sliding into a 1930s-style slump unless countries settle their differences and work together to tackle Europe’s deepening debt crisis, the head of the International Monetary Fund has warned.

On a day that saw an escalation in the tit-for-tat trade battle between China and the United States and a deepening of the diplomatic rift between Britain and France, Christine Lagarde issued her strongest warning yet about the health of the global economy and said if the international community failed to co-operate the risk was of ‘retraction, rising protectionism, isolation’.

She added: ‘This is exactly the description of what happened in the 1930s, and what followed is not something we are looking forward to.’

The IMF managing director’s call came amid growing concern that 2012 will see Europe slide into a double-dip recession, with knock-on effects for the rest of the global economy. ‘The world economic outlook at the moment is not particularly rosy. It is quite gloomy,’ she said.

Since arriving in Washington in the summer, Lagarde has been forced to cut her organisation’s forecasts for global growth next year and is now putting pressure on countries outside the eurozone – including Britain – to play their part in containing Europe’s sovereign debt crisis.” Read more.

The Fed’s Intervention Didn’t Solve Anything – It Just Pushed the Collapse Back a Few Weeks – “It’s now been two weeks since the Federal Reserve lead a coordinated effort to lower the cost of borrowing Dollars worldwide. While the markets initially hailed this move as a ‘solution’ we’ve since seen that it was in fact an act of desperation/ cushioning of the coming European banking collapse. The REAL implications of the Fed’s move are: 1) Europe was/is on the verge of its Lehman moment. 2) The ECB/ Germany/ IMF/ EFSF bailout options have all failed. 3) The Central Banks are growing truly desperate to prop up the system. Europe was on the verge of its Lehman moment. I do not think that the coordinated Fed move has stopped this from happening… rather it’s merely pushed back Europe’s Crisis by a few weeks.” Read more.

Debt crisis: Brussels accord on the verge of collapse, major global banks downgraded – “The banks that were downgraded last night include US banks Bank of America and Goldman Sachs, Barclays and France’s BNP Paribas. Switzerland’s Credit Suisse and Germany’s Deutsche Bank were also cut. The downgrade could raise the cost of borrowing for these banks. Fitch cut the ‘issuer default ratings’ at the banks to ‘reflect challenges faced by the sector as a whole’. The ratings agency said: ‘These challenges result from both economic developments as well as a myriad of regulatory changes’… Long-term issuer default ratings for Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs were cut to A from A+. Barclays, Deutsche Bank and Credit Suisse were downgraded to A from AA- while BNP Paribas fell to A+ from AA-.” Read more.

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