Friday, January 13, 2006

Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced Terror

By Ilan Weinglass

Johns Hopkins University is demonstrating a disturbing pattern of awarding fellowships to Islamists with an avowedly anti-Western agenda. Mustafa El Khalfi, the Moroccan Islamist who was recently awarded a fellowship at the university’s School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), is not the first.

In March of 2005, SAIS granted a visiting fellowship to Anwar Ibrahim, a terror-supporting Malaysian Islamist whose Virginia-based organization apparently committed tax fraud in his benefit.

For more
Johns Hopkins' School of Advanced Terror

Thursday, January 12, 2006

Egyptian church leader answers questions about the persecution of Copts in Egypt

* An Egyptian church leader answers questions about the situation faced by the 10-12 million Christians in Egypt today

Q. Many people are surprised to learn that there is a Church in Egypt. How long have there been Christians in your country?

The Church in Egypt has existed for almost two thousand years, and throughout most of that time Christians have faced problems of many kinds.

Q. But some people say that Egyptian Christians do not face any difficulties or violence. They even quote some senior Egyptian church leaders to support these statements.

Many Egyptian church leaders are not able to make these problems public because they are afraid of what the secret police would do to them. They also know that the government is opposed to making the problems known and so they dare not speak freely and openly. Privately, speaking to those they trust, they will admit what is happening.

Q. We hear stories of Christian girls being kidnapped and raped. Can this really be true?
There are a growing number of attacks on Christian girls and young women. So many nowadays are being kidnapped and raped. The aim is to force them to convert to Islam and to humiliate the Christian community as a whole. Rape is being used as a weapon against Christians. Even the Arab media have begun discussing the issue, though they always say that each incident is the fault of the Christian.

I myself have met many of these girls and young women personally and I have heard them tell their stories. I know that it is true.

Q. What is the situation of Christians who have come from a Muslim background?
Converts from Islam have enormous problems. They often face threats and violence from their families.
The authorities find any pretext to arrest and torture them and put them in prison. Sometimes they are put in high-security psychiatric hospitals on the grounds that they must be crazy.

Anyone who changes from Christian to Muslim can get a new ID card with their new religion on it quickly and easily, but those who convert from Muslim to Christian can never get their ID card changed. They are officially considered Muslims for ever, which causes huge problems for them.

It is difficult for them to go to church, for female converts to marry a Christian man, to be buried as a Christian or to leave their property to Christian heirs. Anyone caught baptising a convert from Islam to Christianity would probably go to jail.

Q. What other kinds of harassment or persecution have you personally witnessed in Egypt?
The Egyptian newspapers publish many articles against Christianity, and against the Egyptian Church. They claim that the Christians are against Muslims, and that Christians have attacked the Qur'an or Muhammad, but they never have any evidence to back up these claims. No one in the Church leadership would be able to speak out against Islam, because they know they would be killed.
The newspapers spread false rumours to whip up hatred of Christians. For example, (On October 2005) there was severe anti-Christian rioting in Alexandria for many days. It all started because of an article in an Egyptian newspaper about a church showing a play which they called offensive to Islam.
At the same time another rumour circulated about a Christian woman kidnapping a Muslim girl and forcing her to convert to Christianity. This story was printed with no evidence at all, and a crowd of Muslims gathered outside the Christian woman's home to protest, the police came and arrested her and searched her house. They did not release her until the girl was found - she had been knocked unconscious in a car accident, and had been found and cared for by strangers.

On Egyptian television there are many programmes opposed to Christianity, condemning Christian beliefs, and saying that the Bible is not the true Bible. Even the soap operas can have an anti-Christian message.All this takes place with the apparent approval of the government. It causes great pain to the Christians, who are not usually given any opportunity to reply to the accusations.In employment, it is very hard for people who have a Christian name or a Christian identity card to get work.
If you look at the senior positions - the top doctors, highest government posts, or in the universities - you will find very few Christians even though we represent about 12% of the population. Another difficulty is that Christians need special permission from the President to build new churches, and this is very hard to obtain. This is not required for building new mosques. So there are many mosques but not nearly enough churches.

Q. But what about daily life for an ordinary Christian?
Let me tell you about a friend of mine who works for a government company.
Every day when he goes to work they ask him: when are you going to become a Muslim? They give him the worst conditions and threaten that if he does not convert to Islam he will be sacked and then he will not be able to support his family.

Every year they withhold promotion and the salary increase he is due. There used to be three Christians in a workforce numbering thousands at this company. Two have left because they could not endure the pressure any more. My friend is now the only one. Every day my friend lives with this, praying and crying out to God. How long will he last there? I don't know. He stays each day only by God's grace.One day I went for a walk with a Christian lady to buy food; but they refused to sell her any food, because she was wearing a cross around her neck. To see her tears, her crying, because she could not buy food was heart-breaking.

Church leaders are spat on as they walk down the street and have stones thrown at them. In Upper Egypt the poorest people are the Christians. A Muslim can come and take their land, or beat them up. No one hears their cry. If the police are called in, they will always say that the Christians are the ones in the wrong.Every day the Christians in Egypt carry their cross. There are so many stories like this - they would make you cry.

Q. Given that Egypt was a Christian country for some centuries before the advent of Islam, what do the Muslim majority today think about Egypt's Christian heritage?
This heritage is suppressed. In the schools, virtually all the history that is taught is Islamic history. Christianity gets just a couple of sentences for the whole of Egyptian history.
The whole school syllabus, from young children right through to university level, is Islamic, teaching about the Qur'an, and Muhammad, etc.The government always says that unity is important, and this is true. But you will only have unity between Christians and Muslims when we are all treated equally.

Q. Are there any interfaith dialogue initiatives?

There are a few Protestant leaders involved in talks with the Egyptian government and with Al-Azhar University in Cairo, which is the centre of worldwide Sunni Islam.
As a result, Al-Azhar, which is involved in sanctioning the persecution of Christians, gets great credibility as a body working for peace and tolerance.
Sadly, many Christians outside Eygpt now believe this and they do not realise the deceit that is being practised. So we do not trust those who engage in dialogue like this, Christians or Muslims.Also, some of the Christians involved in dialogue come from the UK and other Western countries; they seem unaware of what is going on in Egypt and they give financial help to the few Egyptian Christian leaders involved in dialogue.
We feel insulted that Westerners think they have to come and dialogue with Muslims on our behalf, when we have lived alongside Muslims for 1400 years. They are not helping the situation in Egypt and they do not represent the whole Church in Egypt.

Q. Can you give us any good news from the Egyptian Church?

Yes!! Here is the good news! The Christian Church has existed in Egypt for two millennia. It is called 'the church of martyrs', and we are sons and daughters of martyrs.
When the anti-Christian rioting was happening in Alexandria in October, the Christians there said to me, 'We are carrying our coffins with us, we are ready to be martyrs.' This is the secret of how we have survived - we pray and watch, by the grace of God. Among us is the one who cheats us, our Enemy, but God will deal with him in His time.
Until then we will focus on God. We are being punished because we are Christians. But we are looking for God's love and salvation and are ready to be martyred if it is God's will. However, the Church will never die, as the Bible has promised us.
You cannot kill love - you can only crucify it. And when you crucify love, it will rise again. This is the Christian faith.
============

* This interview was published in Barnabas Aid, January-February 2006
The Church in Egypt

www.barnabasfund.org

OPEN LETTER FROM LIBERAL ARABS & MUSLIMS

OPEN LETTER FROM LIBERAL ARABS & MUSLIMS

TO THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL
& THE U.N. SECRETARY GENERAL
For

THE ESTABLISHMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL TRIBUNAL
For The Prosecution Of Terrorists


Three leading Arab and Muslim intellectuals call on the United Nations Security Council to proceed to the establishment of an International Tribunal to prosecute individuals, groups, or entities including, but not limited to, Muslim clerics, who issue religious edicts (“fatwas”) inciting terrorist acts.


We believe, and we are certain you will agree, that it is not enough for the Security Council to adopt resolutions “condemning terrorism.” What will be even more effective is the establishment of an International Tribunal, affiliated to the UN organization. This Tribunal will further the
implementation of Resolution 1566 by prosecuting those individuals, groups, or entities involved, directly or indirectly, with terrorist activities.

These activities include, but are not limited to, religious edicts (fatwas), issued by religious clerics in the name of Islam calling upon Muslims to commit terrorist acts.

In following these fatwas, many terrorists have died, and will continue to die, fully convinced that they will immediately enter Paradise.

Certain religious fatwas remain the pivotal cause of terrorist acts. These fatwas clothe such terrorist acts in the apparent legitimacy of being one of the sacred tenets of Muslim faith.

For more

Coptic Christian deportations underway

Coptic Christian deportations underway


THE DEPORTATION of 20 Egyptians from Canada has begun, and advocates for the group insist that they will be placed in severe danger if they are returned to Egypt.

The deportees, all of whom are Coptic Christians affiliated with the Church of Virgin Mary and St. Athanasius in Mississauga, tried unsuccessfully to obtain refugee status in this country.


Several organizations have expressed concerns about the mistreatment of Coptic Christians in Egypt, including Amnesty International, Christian Solidarity Worldwide and Compass Direct. Further, Copts.net lists four dozen instances of violence evidently suffered by Coptic Christians over the past three decades.

The case has drawn some prominent media coverage. According to the January 4 National Post, the claimants maintain they are facing a perilous future: "Mina, a refused claimant who asked that his real name not be used, said he was stabbed multiple times in a 1998 confrontation with a group who later burned his welding shop in Alexandria."

Such fears are confirmed by Majed El Shafie, who heads the Toronto-based One Free World International. A one-time Muslim, he maintains that he was tortured by Egyptian government authorities some years ago for advocacy on behalf of persecuted Christians.


"The Canadian government through the years has accepted people who later turned out to be terrorists, that don't deserve to be in this land," El Shafie told CC.com. "Here we have people in serious danger of persecution. They are really facing torture and persecution if they return. They are innocent people. Every one of them was working, and ready to be useful to this society. They were involved in no illegal activities."

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Egypt: The Hate Industry


Dr. Zaghloul el-Naggar and the front cover of his book titled" The Plot: Milestones in Zionist and World Subversion of the Palestinian People" published in Egypt , April 2005 (fifth edition, revised).

Dr. Zaghloul hosts many Arabic TV programs and has a weekly column in semi official Al-Ahram newspaper discussing the Qur'an, and in numerous cases insluts the Jews and Christians, his articles are published in other newspapers and magazines in Egypt as well. He has been a scientific advisor and member of the editorial board of scientific journals published in New York , Washington , Paris , India and Qatar

The book was published in Cairo by the Nahdet Misr Group , one of the largest publishing houses in Egypt and in the Arab world as well, which was founded in 1938. The offices of its directors are in Al-Muhadndesin, in Giza

For more:

Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center at the Center for Special Studies (C.S.S)

It is worthy to note that the Anti-Coptic rhetoric in the Egyptian media runs parallel to anti-Semitism



Anti-Christian Comments By A Saudi Professor of Islamic Law on Saudi TV

Sheikh Abd Al-Aziz Fawzan Al-Fawzan, a professor of Islamic law at Al-ImamUniversity, who frequently appears on Saudi TV recently made anti-Christian comments on Saudi Al-Majd TV.

He told his audience to hate anyone "who worships Christ, son of Mary" and added that "whoever says 'I don't hate him [i.e. a Christian]' is not a Muslim..." He went on to explain that such an attitude "is not racism" since the Christian is not hated "because of his color, gender, blood, country, or because he is American, European, Chinese, or Asian," and stipulated that this hatred should be "positive hatred" that guides and reforms.

Click here to watch the video

The New Coptic Museum

The Coptic Museum in "Old Cairo"

A large ceremony will be held later this month to mark the hundredth anniversary of the Coptic Museum; The centerpiece of Coptic culture, after a three year closure for restoration and development.

The Top 10 Christian Persecution News Stories of 2005

By: Compass Direct

1 – Dramatic Spike in Eritrea
2 – Hollow Promises in Vietnam
3 – State-Sponsored Persecution in Iran
4 – Massive Destruction in Pakistan
5 – Sunday School Teachers Jailed in Indonesia
6 – Sham Trial in Egypt
7 – Pastor Cai Jailed in China
8 – Legal and Physical Assaults in India
9 – Islamization in Northern Nigeria
10 – Gruesome Violence in Indonesia

To read more about these stories click here