Archive for 03/12/2012

Egypt Parliament Threatens to Reject US Aid and Halt Gas Exports to ‘Zionist’ Enemy, Calls For Expulsion of Israeli Ambassador

03/12/2012 Leave a comment

It’s amazing what “freedom” has brought to Egypt. Rejecting $1 billion in US aid would almost be laughable, if the possible implications were not so serious. Last month the Muslim Brotherhood had apparently come to the conclusion that it was Halal to extort the United States by threatening, for all intents and purposes, to wage war against Israel if America cut off aid to Egypt. Now they’re threatening to reject it all together, and all this while making it loud and clear that Egypt will “never be the friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity”, even moving to halt all gas exports to “the first enemy of Egypt”.  It almost seems to me like the Islamists are itching for that war after all.  Sorry, Jimmy Carter. Expect “relations” to deteriorate even further once the Islamists finally gain control of the Egyptian military …

“The Egyptian parliament may vote on a measure that would cut $1 billion in U.S. foreign assistance.

A resolution was introduced in parliament on Sunday, The Associated Press reported. The vote, which would be largely symbolic, reflects the growing tensions between the United States and the newly installed Islamist-dominated parliament over the arrest of American foreign aid workers last month.

The U.S. threatened to withhold foreign assistance from the Egyptian government unless the aid workers were released and cleared of all charges.

Following the release of the aid workers on March 1, Egyptian lawmakers moved toward a vote of no-confidence in the government of Prime Minister Kamal el-Ganzouri after complaining that the U.S. has no respect for Egyptian sovereignty.” Source – The Jewish Daily Forward.

Egypt Calls for Expulsion of Israeli Ambassador – “Egypt’s Islamist-dominated parliament on Monday called for the expulsion of the Israeli ambassador from Cairo and the recall of Egypt’s envoy to the Jewish state. According to a report in AFP, which cited the Egyptian MENA news agency, the parliament unanimously approved a text prepared by the Arab affairs committee of the People’s Assembly calling for ‘the expulsion from Egypt of the Israeli ambassador and the recall of Egypt’s envoy from Tel Aviv.’ According to the text approved on Monday, MPs also called for a halt to gas exports to Israel. ‘Egypt will never be the friend, partner or ally of the Zionist entity which we consider as the first enemy of Egypt and the Arab nation,’ read the text.” Read more.

Leader of Militant Group Behind Gilad Schalit Kidnapping Killed by Israel Airstrike in Gaza

03/12/2012 Leave a comment

Matthew 26:52b, “… for all those who take up the sword shall perish by the sword.”

“Zuhair al-Qaissi, the commander of the armed wing of the Popular Resistance Committees (PRC), a Hamas-aligned militant group, was targeted in a midday strike as his car rolled through Gaza City.

His son-in-law and another aide also died in the attack while Israel’s military said it killed two more militants in a separate operation.

The strike is the highest-profile in Gaza for months and sparked an immediate burst of retaliatory rocket fire as well as fears that the violence may escalate in coming days.

Militant groups responded by firing dozens of rockets and mortar rounds into southern Israel, reportedly injuring four people.

Israel said al-Qaissi was plotting an attack similar to the raids in August last year, where four groups of militants crossed over the border from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula and killed six civilians and two members of the security forces.

Al-Qaissi was reportedly also in charge of funneling money the Lebanese group Hezbollah to militant organisations in Gaza. His predecessor, Kamal Nairab, was killed by a similar Israeli strike seven months ago.

A PRC spokesman promised retribution for yesterday’s attack, saying: ‘We shall avenge our leader and the response, God willing, will be equal to the size of the heinous crime.'” Read more.

Iraq’s ‘Twilight of Christianity’: Fleeing Islamic Extremism, Exodus From North Signals Iraqi Christians’ Slow Decline

03/12/2012 3 comments

By JACK HEALY – “TENNA, Iraq — Iraq’s dwindling Christians, driven from their homes by attacks and intimidation, are beginning to abandon the havens they had found in the country’s north, discouraged by unemployment and a creeping fear that the violence they had fled was catching up to them.

Their quiet exodus to Turkey, Jordan, Europe and the United States is the latest chapter of a seemingly inexorable decline that many religious leaders say tolls the twilight of Christianity in a land where city skylines have long been marked by both minarets and church steeples. Recent assessments say that Iraq’s Christian population has now fallen by more than half since the 2003 American invasion, and with the military’s departure, some Christians say they lost a protector of last resort.

Their flight is felt in places like the wind-scoured village of Tenna, which has sheltered dozens of Christian migrants over the past nine years. The families fleeing Baghdad’s death squads and bombings found safety here beneath the hulking mountains, but little else besides poverty, boredom and cold. Villagers estimate that half of the 50 or so Christian homes are now empty, their families abroad.

Walid Shamoon, 42, wants to be the next to leave. He said he left Iraq’s capital in January 2011 after a confrontation with Shiite militia members set off a nightmare of escalating death threats and an attempt on his life. A brother had already been killed in a mortar attack six years earlier, so he said he quit his contract job with the Australian Embassy, giving up a $1,500 monthly salary, and came here.

These days, all he can think about is his application to emigrate to Arizona.

‘This is not a life,’ he said one recent afternoon, as a blizzard raced down from the mountains. ‘There is no improvement. There is no work.’

Many of the people now struggling in Iraq’s Kurdish north came in the wake of a suicide attack in Baghdad at Our Lady of Salvation Church in October 2010. It was the single worst assault on Iraq’s Christians since the war began, one that left 50 worshipers and 2 priests dead and that turned the church into a charnel house of scorched pews and shattered stained glass.

Christian families in Baghdad grabbed clothing, cash and a few other provisions and headed north for the Christian communities along the Nineveh plain and Kurdistan’s three provinces. They joined tens of thousands of other Christians from the capital, Mosul and other cities who traced similar arcs after earlier attacks and assassination campaigns.” Read more.

Fearing ‘The Growth of Christianity Like Never Before’ Iranian Authorities Escalate Crackdown on Christians in Ahwaz, Shiraz, Esfahan and Kermanshah

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“The Islamic Republic of Iran has intensified its crackdown on Iranian Christians during recent weeks. This has resulted in the arrest of a number of Christians in Ahwaz, Shiraz, Esfahan and Kermanshah. (The interview is concerning this issue).

In this regard, a reporter of Hrana (Human Rights activists’ news agency) has conducted an interview with the head of Iranian Christian news agency, Mohabat News, Saman Kamvar.

The following is a transcription of that interview:

Mr. Kamvar, as you know, groups of Christian citizens were arrested in major cities like Ahwaz, Esfahan and Shiraz. What do you think is the reason for the increased crackdown and opposition by the regime towards religious minorities, especially Christians in Iran?

These hardships against religious minorities come following the mono-dimensional view of the regime towards the political, cultural and religious issues. Their definitions of alien and non-alien are getting more restricted and more groups of people are being considered aliens. For many years it was Baha’is whose rights were being violated more than others. However, more and more violations of rights are being applied against Christians, Sufis and Shi’ite Muslims who believe in a different kind of Shi’ite faith. Today, evangelical Christians, dissident ayatollahs, Baha’is and Sunni Muslims are all under pressure, threat and terror by the Islamic Regime of Iran.

On the other hand, the ruling regime of Iran seeks its legitimacy from religion. So, it wants religion to support its legitimacy. Today, the regime of Iran crackdowns on Christians, especially Christian converts, for it is observing the growth of Christianity like never before. This fact has made them concerned. In conclusion we can say that unfortunately, the regime cannot tolerate other thoughts. What this religious regime tries to demonstrate is that there is only one legitimate religion and all other religions are illegitimate. Read more…

Nigeria: Gunmen Kill Three More Christians Near Jos Hours After Suicide Car Bomb Attack Against Church

03/12/2012 1 comment

“Gunmen shot dead three Christians in Nigeria near the flashpoint city of Jos, hours after 10 people were killed in a suicide bombing and related violence at a church, an official said Monday.

In a separate incident in the northern city of Kano, gunmen in a car opened fire early Monday on a police station that has been the target of several attacks, wounding two officers, according to residents.

The gunmen near Jos struck late Sunday in a village south of the city where Christian-Muslim tensions ran high after the church attack, state government spokesman Pam Ayuba told AFP, though the two attacks were not thought to be linked.

‘Unknown gunmen, in an apparent ambush late Sunday, waylaid and shot dead three people and injured three others — all Christians — in Chugwi village,’ Ayuba said.

Such violence has occurred repeatedly in and around Jos, located in the middle belt region of Africa’s most populous nation between the mainly Muslim north and predominantly Christian south.

Clashes between Christian and Muslim ethnic groups in the area have killed thousands in recent years.

‘We suspect that the attackers were herdsmen. They left with the handsets of those killed and called numbers on their phones to alert their (the victims’) relations that they were responsible for the killings,’ he said from the scene of the attack.

Ayuba, who is a native of the Christian village, said no arrests have been made. The victims included two brothers aged 25 and 30, he said.

Three other people at Dogo Garba, a nearby hamlet, were wounded by the same gunmen and were taken to a nearby government hospital for treatment, he added.” Read more.

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