Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Muslim Persecution of Christians: May, 2013

by Findalis
Monkey in the Middle

A man accused of helping a Saudi woman convert to Christianity was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes. The daughter was also sentenced to six years and 300 lashes, causing her to flee, reportedly to Sweden, where authorities are trying to find her and extradite her back to Saudi Arabia.
Nigeria continues to be the most dangerous nation for Christians—where more Christians have been killed last year than all around the Muslim world combined. In one instance, Boko Haram Muslim militants stormed the home of a Pentecostal pastor and secretary of the Christian Association of Nigeria, and opened fire on him, instantly murdering him.

Separately, other Boko Haram gunmen killed 14 Christians, including the cousin and two nephews of the Rev. Moses Thliza, head of a Christian organization dedicated to preventing AIDS and caring for AIDS patients and orphans: Said Thliza: "My cousin, Bulus [Paul] Buba, was dragged out at gunpoint from his house by the Boko Haram members. They collected his car keys, demanded money and asked him three times to renounce his Christian faith, and three times he declined to do so [prompting them to execute him]. The attackers met three guards on duty, killed two of them by cutting their necks with knives, and then proceeded to take the third guard, Amtagu Samiyu, at gunpoint to lead them to where the keys of the deputy governor's house is."

As for some Christians observing a wake two kilometers away, Boko Haram Muslims asked to know what was going on there, and when they learned that people were saying prayers for an elderly Christian woman who had died, they charged in and shot into the crowd. "The attackers went there and shot indiscriminately at the worshippers, killing eight Christians—two women and six elderly men," said Thliza. "In all, we buried 14 Christians. Some were injured and taken to the hospital." Despite all this, when the Nigerian government tried militarily to confront and neutralize Boko Haram, the Obama administration criticized it, warning it not to violate the "human rights" of the Islamic terrorists.

Categorized by theme, the rest of May's roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Church Attacks
Bosnia: The Serbian Orthodox church of Saint Sava in Sarajevo, where Muslims make up approximately half of the population, was "desecrated" and six of its windows panes broken. The unidentified vandals wrote "Allah" in dark paint twice on the church wall. A month earlier, unidentified persons tried to set the church on fire.

Central African Republic: According to the Episcopal Commission for Justice and Peace, since an Islamic rebel leader proclaimed himself president, the situation for Christians, has "deeply worsened." The organization warns against "the evil intentions for the programmed and planned desecration and destruction of religious Christian buildings, and in particular the Catholic and Protestant churches…. All over the country the Catholic Church has paid a high price." Several dioceses have been seriously damaged and plundered, and priests and nuns attacked (more information below, under "Dhimmitude.")

Egypt: Two Coptic Christian churches were attacked, one in Alexandria, the other in Upper Egypt. St. Mary in Alexandria was attacked by Molotov cocktails and bricks, causing the gate to burn and the stained glass windows to shatter. One thousand Christians tried to defend the church against 20,000 Muslims screaming "Allahu Akbar" ["Allah is Greater"]. One Copt was killed and several injured. In the village of Menbal in Upper Egypt, after "Muslim youths" harassed Christian girls—including hurling bags of urine at them—and Coptic men came to their rescue, another Muslim mob stormed the village church of Prince Tadros el-Mashreki. They hurled stones and broke everything inside the church, including doors and windows. The mob then went along the streets looting and destroying all Coptic-owned businesses and pharmacies and torching cars. Any Copt met by the mob in the street was beaten.

Iran: Because it refused to stop using the national Persian language during its services—which makes the Gospel intelligible to all Iranian Muslims, some of whom converted—the Central Assemblies of God Church in Tehran was raided by security services during a prayer meeting; its pastor taken to an unknown location, and the church was searched and its books, documents and equipment seized. Security agents posted a sign stating that the church was now closed. One local source said, "They constantly threaten the church leaders and their families with imprisonment, unexplained accidents, kidnapping and even with execution. We cannot go on like this." A number of its members have already been killed and its activities greatly restricted over the last few years.

Libya: The Catholic Church of the Immaculate Conception in Benghazi was bombed. In the words of the Apostolic Vicar of Tripoli, "They put a bomb at the entrance of the corridor leading to the courtyard where there is the door of the church. The church, therefore, was not touched directly, but the attack is not a positive sign. The Church in Libya is suffering. In Benghazi the Coptic Church was hit, its chaplain was killed and now the Catholic Church. As I reported on other occasions, in Cyrenaica different religious women's institutes have been forced to close their doors, in Tobruk, Derna, Beida, Barce, as well as in Benghazi. The nuns who were forced to leave, served the population with generosity."

Syria: A violent explosion destroyed the church and convent of the Capuchin Franciscan Friars in Deir Ezzor. According to Fr. Haddad of the region, "It was the only church in Deir Ezzor [that] so far still remained almost untouched." It is not clear how it was destroyed, but some say a car bomb was placed next to the church. Fr. Haddad lamented that, as in other regions, "there are no more Christians" left in Ezzor, due to "all this hate and desecration."

Tanzania: During a service to mark its official opening, a new church in a predominantly Christian suburb was bombed, killing at least five people and wounding some 60. According to a local source, "This was… a well-planned attack. Even before it, the threat was given and we still have many threats. Pray for us, and that God will overcome all these in Jesus' name." He added that, "radical camps in the country were teaching young Muslims that Christians must be killed or live as second-class citizens," or dhimmis. Among those arrested, four were Saudi Arabian nationals. The bombing follows the slaying of two church leaders in February, and the shooting in the face of a third on Christmas Day. In October, several church buildings were torched and vandalized.

Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism
Egypt: Twenty-four-year-old Demiana Ebeid Abdelnour, a social studies teacher, was fired and arrested for comparing the late Coptic Pope Shenouda to Islam's prophet Muhammad, "as well as putting her hand on her neck or her stomach every time she mentioned [Islam's prophet] Muhammad," which was interpreted by some students under 10-years-old as disgust. She would be the last Coptic Christian victim to be arrested or imprisoned in a "defamation of Islam" spree that began under now ousted President Morsi. One Coptic activist wondered, Why is defamation of religion a one-way street, only for the benefit of the Muslims, while Christianity is defamed every day?" He added that Sheikh Abu Islam, who tore and burned the Holy Bible, has not been detained.

Iran: Vahid Hakkani, a Christian prisoner in Shiraz, is suffering from internal digestive bleeding. Although doctors have diagnosed his condition as critical, and have recommended urgent surgery, prison officials have not allowed his transfer to any hospital. Earlier, Hakkani and other Christians were gathered for worship in a house-church when they were arrested "for participating in house-church services, evangelizing and promoting Christianity, having contact with foreign Christian ministries, propagating against the regime and disturbing national security."

Kashmir: Two Christians accused of carrying out "acts of proselytism," for distributing pamphlets and publications with biblical passages to some young Muslims, were savagely beaten by a mob, and later arrested by police, "who rescued them from a secure lynching." Separately, the "United Jihad Council" said that Christian missionaries in Kashmir are "highly reprehensible" and have a "hidden agenda [to] exploit the poor and the needy, offering them economic aid to convert them to Christianity." He noted that "Islam is the religion of peace and harmony, and that protects minorities. However, anti-Islam activities [evangelization] cannot be tolerated." The United Jihad Council accordingly calls on all Christian missionaries "immediately to leave the valley of Kashmir," warning, "If not, they will suffer the consequences."

Kazakhstan: Despite the nation's president recently boasting that, "Kazakhstan is an example to the world of equal rights and freedoms for all citizens" and that, "religious freedom is fully secured" in the country, the Barnabas Fund states that the government "has instructed people to report any individuals who speak about their faith with others in public to the police," as "talking about one's faith with others constitutes missionary activity, which requires personal registration… Compulsory prior censorship of all printed and imported religious literature is another way in which the state controls Christian activity. Confiscation of religious books appears to be increasing, with Christians amongst those most likely to be targeted."

Morocco: A fatwa by the government's top Islam authority, partially based on the teachings of Islam's prophet Muhammad, calls for the execution of those Muslims who leave Islam, causing many Christian converts to live in fear. Lamented one Christian: "The fatwa showed us that our country is still living in the old centuries—no freedom, no democracy. Unfortunately, we feel that we aren't protected. We can be arrested or now even killed any time and everywhere. The majority of the Christian Moroccan leaders have the same feeling. We are more followed now by the secret police than before. Only the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ gives us courage and peace."

Saudi Arabia: A Christian Lebanese man, accused of helping a Saudi women convert to Christianity, was sentenced to six years in prison and 300 lashes. Even so, the father of the woman claims the punishment is not sufficient. The daughter was also sentenced to six years and 300 lashes, causing her to flee, reportedly to Sweden, where authorities are trying to find her and extradite her back to the Saudi Arabia. Another man, a Saudi national who reportedly forged a travel document to help the woman flee, was sentenced to two years in jail and 200 lashes.

[General Abuse of Non-Muslims as Third-Class "Citizens," or Dhimmis]
Central African Republic: Christians are being terrorized, killed, and plundered by Islamic militants, who seized control of the country in March, even as international media and government ignore the crisis. In what one pastor is calling "a reign of terror," Muslims are tying up, beating and forcing Christians to pay money to save their lives. Many have been killed or wounded. The Barnabas Fund states that "rebels have a hit list of pastors and other Christian workers, and that places of worship are being attacked. Christian property is being looted. In one incident towards the end of last month, Seleka [Islamic] troops seized all the collection money given at a gathering of church leaders. Many Christians have fled their homes to the countryside and are too fearful to return. More than 200,000 people are internally displaced, while 49,000 refugees have been registered in neighbouring countries." On 10 May, Human Rights Watch released a report citing "grave violations" committed by the Seleka rebels against civilians, including pillage, summary executions, rape and torture. One pastor of a besieged church was shot dead when he went out holding a Bible aloft as a sign of peace.

Egypt: Mohamed Abu Samra, secretary-general of the Islamic Jihad Party, asserted that "it is permissible to kill some Christians today," justifying it by adding "Those who came out with weapons, their blood is allowed for us [to spill], as a fighter is not considered dhimmi." In Islamic law, a dhimmi is a non-Muslim who is permitted to exist provided he pays monetary tribute and lives as a submissive, lowly subject, according to Koran 9:29. Those Coptic Christian activists who vocally called for the removal of former Islamist president Morsi were not doing that, thereby becoming fair game for killing.

Indonesia: After an earlier Christmas Eve attack, during which members of Filadelfia Batak Christian Protestant Church were pelted with rotten eggs, dung and plastic bags full of urine, the pastor was attempting to leave the scene with his wife when Abdul Aziz, the leader of the mob who had earlier threatened to kill him, moved to attack him. Because the pastor stopped the Muslim agitator's blow with his hand to protect his wife and himself, he is now facing assault charges. Islamic law, based on the "Conditions of Omar," forbids Christians from raising their hands to Muslims, even in self-defense. The church has been meeting outside and in homes since its building was sealed off by authorities to appease Islamists in 2010—despite its having met all conditions for a building permit, as well as a Supreme Court ruling that a permit should be granted.

Pakistan: Over the course of five days, a Muslim mob tortured Javaid Anjum, a teenaged Christian student to death, because he dared drink water from the tap of an Islamic seminary while on a long journey to visit his grandfather. When Muslims discovered he was Christian, they forced him into the seminary, where they tried to force him to renounce Christianity and convert to Islam. When he refused, for five days, Muslim seminary students electrocuted him, broke his arm, and pulled out his fingernails. The electric shocks caused his kidneys to fail and he eventually died.

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
  1. To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
  2. To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.
Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who "offend" Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like dhimmis, or second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

Colorado: ‘Islamist Jihadist’ Threatens To Murder Christians In The Next Two Weeks, They Will Be ‘Destroyed’

From MidnightWatcher's Blogspot via The Religion of Peace.

Colorado: ‘Islamist Jihadist’ Threatens To Murder Christians In The Next Two Weeks, They Will Be ‘Destroyed’

Coloradoan – “Fort Collins police have asked local religious organizations to keep an eye out for suspicious behavior after a self-proclaimed ‘Islamist jihadist’ threatened Mormons and Catholics ‘would be destroyed’ in the next two weeks, a memo sent by authorities said.

The man hadn’t been seen in the Fort Collins area as of Sunday, and there is no immediate danger to the public, Fort Collins Police Services Sgt. Mike West told the Coloradoan.

No further details, including the man’s identity, were immediately available. Threats were made in general regard to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and Catholic Church; no local organizations were specifically referenced in the FCPS memo.

Rev. Steven Voss said the Archdiocese of Denver shared with him on Friday the Fort Collins Police Services memo and reading its words of caution made his ‘blood run cold.’ But between Sunday Masses at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 300 W. Mountain Ave., Voss said he’s ‘pretty confident’ he and his parishioners won’t have an interaction with the man he was told was ‘nonviolent.’

To give worshipers a sense of peace, he asked an FCPS officer to keep watch during weekend services.

When he read the police bulletin during Mass Saturday, an ‘audible gasp’ escaped those seated in the pews. A day later, ‘after the initial, kind of having your breath taken away moment,’ there was a greater sense of calm, he believes was due in part to police presence.” Read more.

Flashback: Report: Colorado’s ‘Dark Knight’ Killer James Holmes Converts To Islam, ‘Is Now A Muslim Who Prays Five Times A Day’ – “James Holmes, the gunman behind the Dark Knight massacre in Colorado last July, has reportedly turned Muslim and prays five times a day. The killer showed off a lengthy, thick beard during a court appearance earlier this month, and a prison source has claimed it is a symbol of his new-found faith. The source said Holmes has turned to Islam as a way of justifying his horrific murder spree in an Aurora, Colorado cinema on July 20 which left 12 people dead and 58 people wounded.” Read more.

Flashback: Colorado: Outrage As High School Recites Pledge Of Allegiance In Arabic Saying ‘One Nation Under Allah’ – “Here’s an update on yesterday’s news out of Rocky Mountain High. What wasn’t pointed out is that in order to recite the Pledge of Allegiance in Arabic, students must use ‘Allah’ in place of ‘God.’ Although the word ‘Allah’ can also mean ‘God’ in Arabic in a generic sense, the insinuation of its usage is loud and clear and creates America into one nation under the god of Islam, not one nation under the Judeo-Christian God of the founding fathers …” Read more.

Taliban Bribe Orphans to Plant Bombs

Okay, how many times have I called for the complete eradication of the Taliban from this Earth?  20 times?  50 times?

Well, here's Reason #128 from The Clarion Project.

Taliban Bribe Orphans to Plant Bombs

The terrorists are recruiting the young boys from the ranks of homeless and orphaned children, using candies and chocolate.

Taliban terrorists are bribing starving eight-year-old children to plant roadside bombs, act as decoys and to be suicide bombers against NATO forces in Afghanistan.

The terrorists are recruiting the young boys from the ranks of homeless and orphaned children, using candies and chocolate.

In return for what the Islamists give them, the children are required to learn how to shoot a gun, how to operate a suicide vest, and how to manage improvised explosive devices (IEDs). Children learn quickly - especially when they are starving and sweets are offered for the lessons.

One little boy named Neaz told a reporter from Britain’s Channel 4 that at age 8 he was promised a handful of coins worth a total of 91 cents by Taliban fighters recruiting him to the cause after his village was destroyed and his parents were murdered.

The Taliban leaders gave him sweets and took him to the next town, where they showed him how to use a gun and build IEDs. After gaining his trust, they bought him a special gift: a suicide vest.

"They made me try it on," said Neaz, now age 15. "The grenades went all around my body and then they offered me the coins. They told me to blow myself up at a checkpoint. I asked what I’d do with the money if I had to blow myself up. But they kept encouraging me, telling me that if I did it, I would go to heaven."

He eventually escaped and walked nine miles to turn himself in to police. He now lives in an orphanage in Lashkar Gah.

Award-winning Afghan film-maker Najibullah Quraishi, who was given access to a £500,000 British-built prison in Helmand where each cell holds 20 boys, said, "Thousands of children are being recruited and taught to make bombs or become suicide bombers. It is common for 13-year-olds to carry guns. Less than 10 percent of the population is educated so these children don’t have their own minds and they only have what the mullahs are telling them in the mosques."

Hanan, 15, whose father fought for the Taliban and was killed in a NATO air strike, is serving a two-year sentence. "I am not looking for revenge for my father. I chose to join and I want to do Jihad [holy war] for the sake of God. It is written in the Koran that you are allowed to kill infidels as you would kill a dog," said Hanan.

As reported by Clarion Project, Hamas terrorists in Gaza carry out similar activities, training children as young as eight years old to use guns in special summer camps, and brainwashing the children to believe that it is better to die than to live, as long as one dies as a "martyr" in the service of fighting to destroy the Jews in Israel.

Video: Boy, This Iranian Cleric Is a Real Tough Guy, Isn't He?

Video: Testing the Excalibur

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Bradley Manning Found NOT GUILTY of Aiding the Enemy, Guilty On Espionage Counts

For those of us that wanted Bradley Manning to sit in a prison cell for the rest of his natural life are disappointed today but the silver lining is that at least the woman military judge found him guilty on numerous espionage counts and that should give him at least 15 years behind bars - hopefully fifteen of the best years of this man spent staring at four walls and when he gets out hopefully he'll be too old to hate this country anymore.

If I had been the one man judge and jury, he'd be eating his last meal about now.

The story comes from CBS News.

Bradley Manning acquitted of aiding the enemy for giving secrets to WikiLeaks

Bradley Manning, the 25-year-old Army private who gave thousands of classified U.S. military and diplomatic documents to WikiLeaks, was acquitted of aiding the enemy in a military court-martial, but was convicted on multiple other counts.

Judge Col. Denise Lind released the decision Tuesday after three days of deliberation. Manning requested that a judge and not a jury decide his fate.

The charge of aiding the enemy was the most serious of 21 counts. It carried a possible life sentence without parole.

Manning was convicted of six espionage counts, five theft charges, a computer fraud charge and other military infractions. Manning's sentencing hearing is set to begin Wednesday.

Manning pleaded guilty earlier this year to reduced versions of some charges. He faces up to 20 years in prison for those offenses, but prosecutors pressed ahead with the original eight federal Espionage Act violations, five federal theft counts, and two federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act violations, each punishable by up to 10 years; and five military counts of violating a lawful general regulation, punishable by up to two years each. All told, Manning faces a maximum of up to 136 years in prison for his various convictions. There is, however, no minimum sentencing requirements for Judge Lind to follow.

According to the Associated Press, Manning did not appear to react to the verdict, although his attorney, David Coombs, smiled faintly when he heard not guilty on aiding the enemy.

"We won the battle, now we need to go win the war," Coombs said outside the courtroom after the verdict Wednesday. "Today is a good day, but Bradley is by no means out of the fire."

Assange: Manning conviction a "dangerous precedent"

Manning, a native of Crescent, Okla., had prior to the verdict admitted to sending 470,000 Iraq and Afghanistan battlefield reports, 250,000 State Department diplomatic cables and other material, including several battlefield video clips, to WikiLeaks while working in Army intelligence in Iraq in early 2010.

WikiLeaks published much of the material on its website, as well as in cooperation with several news outlets like The New York Times and The Guardian.

Prosecutors had argued that Manning had a "general evil intent" because he knew the classified material would be seen by and help terrorists. They claimed when Navy SEALs raided Osama bin Laden's Pakistani compound in 2011, they found copies of WikiLeaks documents that Manning had provided. Prosecutors also argued that Manning simply wanted to make a name for himself by leaking the classified material.

Manning himself did not testify during the trial, but in a pre-trial hearing said he wanted to expose what he called the American military's "bloodlust" and disregard for human life in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as its dishonest diplomacy, and that he carefully selected material that wouldn't put troops in harms' way. His attorney has tried to portray Manning as a whistleblower with good intentions.

Reactions to the Manning verdict have been mostly positive out of Washington D.C.

Rep. Mike Rogers, R-Mich., and Rep. Dutch Ruppersberger, both members of the House Intelligence Committee, released a joint statement after the verdict hailing the multiple convictions.

"Justice has been served today," the statement read. "PFC Manning harmed our national security, violated the public's trust, and now stands convicted of multiple serious crimes. There is still much work to be done to reduce the ability of criminals like Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden to harm our national security."

Manning's supporters, however, were dismayed by Tuesday's verdict. WikiLeaks said on its official twitter feed the conviction on espionage charges was "dangerous national security extremism from the Obama administration."

Julian Assange, WikiLeaks' founder, saw nothing to cheer in the mixed verdict.

"It is a dangerous precedent and an example of national security extremism," he told reporters at the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, which is sheltering him. "This has never been a fair trial."

Many legal analysts said earlier that a conviction of Manning would mark a new precedent in prosecutions of U.S. secret leakers because the Army private never actually shared the information directly to an enemy of the U.S.

"Most of the aiding-the-enemy charges historically have had to do with POWs who gave information to the Japanese during World War II, or to Chinese communists during Korea, or during the Vietnam War," Duke law school professor and former Air Force judge advocate Scott Silliman told the Associated Press.

Manning's supporters have expressed fears that this new turn in leak prosecutions will have a chilling effect on potential whistleblowers of government wrongdoing.

The actual effects of Manning's leaks are still being debated three years later.

One of the videos leaked by Manning included a 2007 U.S. Apache helicopter attack in Baghdad that killed at least nine men, including a Reuters news photographer and his driver. The video inflamed anger among many in the both the U.S. and abroad, because it allegedly showed unarmed civilians being killed, something the U.S. military disputed was incorrectly portrayed due to editing.

Other material leaked by Manning included thousands of confidential diplomatic cables that revealed the frank and often embarrassing discussions America's diplomatic corps had about various world leaders and geopolitics. For a time, there was anger amongst foreign diplomats and governments about some of the exposed secrets, but three years on, the latest series of U.S. government leaks produced by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden have received nearly all of the international outrage towards America's clandestine behavior and actions. An example of one of the many revelations Manning leaked was a diplomatic cable claiming Saudi Arabia -- a key regional ally for the U.S. -- is one of the largest origin points for funds supporting international terrorism.

From the documents Manning leaked that came from the Pentagon, one of the many revelations was that there were 109,032 "violent deaths" recorded in Iraq between 2004 and 2009, including 66,081 civilians, which is 15,000 more than previously reported.

Video: "they have to kill me"

Prison Break In Pakistan: Taliban Carry Out Prison Attack That Frees Hundreds of Jihadi Prisoners

Jihadis who escape prison in Pakistan isn't exactly a rarity but when literally HUNDREDS of the bad guys are sprung from one prison...well, that's a different matter.

So, if we happen to notice a spike in the number of suicide bombings, murders, schoolgirl slaughters and roadside bombs in the next few weeks in Pakistan, we'll know why.

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

Pakistani Taliban assault prison, free hundreds of inmates

The Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan launched a complex assault that included suicide bombers against a prison in Dera Ismail Khan, freeing more than 200 prisoners, including at least 30 "hardcore militants." The attack was likely carried out by the Ansar al Aseer, a joint Taliban and Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan unit that has been designated to free imprisoned jihadists.

The attack began around midnight with a massive explosion outside the prison, which was followed by several more detonations designed to breach the prison walls. A team of Taliban fighters dressed in police uniforms then stormed the prison and engaged the guards while searching for imprisoned jihadists.

Outside the prison, teams of armed fighters deployed to block Pakistani security forces who attempted to reinforce the prison guards. Taliban fighters armed with rocket-propelled grenades and machine guns took control of a nearby hospital and a home and opened fire on Pakistani troops as they rushed to the prison, Reuters reported. Fighting lasted for more than three hours before security forces regained control of the prison.

The Taliban claimed credit for the attack, and said that hundreds of prisoners were freed. Spokesman Shahidullah Shahid claimed that more than 100 fighters and several suicide bombers executed the attack on the prison.

"We had sent around 150 fighters including a squad of suicide bombers. The aim was to free the inmates and it was a successful action as Taliban managed to free at least 300 prisoners," Shahid said, The Times of India reported.

A Pakistani official confirmed that more than 200 prisoners, including dozens of jihadists, escaped during the jailbreak.

"A total of 243 prisoners have escaped, six of them were later arrested by police," said a senior government official who was identified as Mushtaq Jadoon, according to Al Jazeera. At least "30 among the escaped prisoners were hardcore militants." The identities of those who escaped have not yet been disclosed.

Ansar al Aseer tasked to free prisoners

The midnight attack in Dera Ismail Khan was likely executed by the Ansar al Aseer, a joint unit created by the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan.

The two groups announced the formation of the Ansar al Aseer, which is specifically tasked to free jihadist prisoners and support their families, in January 2013. Adnan Rasheed, a dangerous Pakistani jihadist who was freed in a nearly identical jailbreak last year; Yassin Chouka, a wanted German commander in the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan; and Abdul Hakeem, a Russian IMU member released the video announcing the establishment of the group.

Rasheed is a Pakistani terrorist who was involved in the Dec. 14, 2003 assassination attempt against then-President Pervez Musharraf. A member of the Pakistani Air Force, Rasheed was sentenced to death for his role in the assassination attempt. The execution was never carried out and he was placed in a prison in Bannu, near Pakistan's tribal areas.

Rasheed worked for Amjad Farooqi, the Pakistani terrorist who engineered the two assassination attempts against Musharraf in December 2003 at the behest of al Qaeda leader Abu Faraj al Libi; Farooqi is suspected of involvement in other terror attacks as well. Farooqi was a member of the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan; the Harkat-ul-Ansar and its successor, the Harkat-ul-Mujahideen; Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami; and Jaish-e-Mohammed. He served as a close aide to Qari Saifullah Akhtar, the leader of the Harkat-ul-Jihad-al-Islami. In addition, Farooqi served as the group's representative to al Qaeda's International Islamic Front.

The Taliban committed to free Rasheed from prison. On April 15, 2012, the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan launched a successful operation to free Rasheed and nearly 400 prisoners, including an estimated 200 Taliban fighters and jihadists, being held at a prison in Bannu. The operation was directed by Hakeemullah Mehsud, the emir of the Movement of the Taliban in Pakistan, and Waliur Rehman Mehsud, the group's former deputy who was killed in a drone strike in late May. More than 150 fighters assaulted the prison. Rasheed was later featured in a videotape celebrating the jailbreak.

Since his escape from prison, Rasheed has featured prominently in Taliban propaganda. In March 2013, Rasheed released a video that showed a squad of heavily armed Taliban fighters who he claimed are assigned to killed Musharraf. Rasheed said the "death squad" is split up into groups of "fedayeen, sniper team, special assault team, and close combat team."

And two weeks ago, Rasheed released a letter to Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani schoolgirl who was wounded by the Taliban for advocating girls' education. Rasheed attempted to justify the attack in the letter, which said he was written in a personal capacity and not speaking for the Pakistani Taliban or any other jihadist group.

Video: Why Obamacare's Death Panels Didn't Matter

(Hat Tip: Mary)


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Monday, July 29, 2013

The Truth Hurts

(Hat Tip: Henry Bowman)


Muslim Persecution of Christians: April, 2013

Christian Suffering Under Jihadi Extremism

Before Egypt's President Muhammad Morsi was ousted, April was one of the worst months for Christian Copts there. On April 5 near Cairo, when a longstanding feud between a Christian family and a Muslim family—based on male Muslims sexually harassing Christian girls—culminated in the violent deaths of six Christians, including two of the participants, a Christian and a Muslim, being set on fire, and local Muslims went on another "collective punishment" spree. It resulted in the injury of at least 20 other Copts, an Evangelical church being set on fire, and an attack on a Coptic church, Two days later, after Copts had mourned their dead in the St. Mark Cathedral—Coptic Christianity's holiest site and home to the Coptic pope—Muslim mobs, who had waited outside, launched yet another attack—aided by state security forces. Eyewitnesses said as many as 40-50 tear gas canisters targeted the mourners, many of whom were women and children hiding in the cathedral. Two more Copts were killed and many dozens wounded as other officers stood by while the Muslim mob tried to destroy the cathedral.

Muslim "youth" climb to the roof of a building adjacent to St. Mark Cathedral to attack it. To the left, a man winds to hurl a projectile at it. And in the white circle to the right, high-ranking Egyptian officials and security stand by watching (easily recognizable by their hats and helmets). Source:

On one Friday after prayers, the Bilal Ibn Rabah Mosque in Cairo was turned into a "torture chamber" for Egyptians, many of whom were Christians, protesting the Muslim Brotherhood. One of the victims, Amir Ayad, a Christian, said he was severely beaten before being left for dead at the side of the road. He suffered a fractured skull, a broken arm, bleeding in his right eye and pellet wounds. Coptic Christian children, mostly boys, were targeted for kidnapping and held for ransom; one 6-year-old, after his family had paid the Muslim kidnapper, was killed. And a video appeared on Arabic-language websites showing a crowd of Muslims in Egypt assaulting and raping two Christian women on a crowded street and in broad daylight. Throughout, the women scream in terror as the men shout Islamic slogans such as "Allahu Akbar!" "["Allah is Greater!"] None of the many passersby intervenes in any way.

Also in April, during Easter week in Nigeria, Muslim herdsmen launched a series of raids on Christian villages, killing at least 80 Christians. Most of those slain were either children or the elderly. Over 200 Christian homes were destroyed, eight churches burned, and 4,500 Christians displaced. According to a pastor present at the time, "It was a helpless situation, as no Christians had any weapon to fight back. Women, children, and the elderly who were not able to escape were shot and killed. Luckily, all my children are in school, so this made it easier for our escape from the Muslim attackers. We sneaked away in the midst of the confusion and trekked for more than 20 kilometers [12 miles] to find a place to stay."

Categorized by theme, the rest of April's Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and in country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity:

Church Attacks

Central African Republic: A number of church buildings were attacked and the homes of Christians looted in the aftermath of a bloody coup by Sharia-adherent Muslim rebels. During the chaos, as in a standard jihad, Christian property was targeted for plundering, while Muslim property was spared. The leader of the Muslim rebels, Michel Djotodia, "assumed the presidency from the ousted François Bozizé, becoming the predominantly Christian nation's first Muslim president." According to one Christian, "We are no longer at home. They pillage our goods which are then sold by the Muslims, who export them."

Indonesia: Local officials, at the behest of Islamist forces, demolished the Batak Protestant Church building in West Java and threatened to close others, causing hundreds of Christians to protest in the streets. Once again, as happens with increasing regularity in Indonesia, congregation members then held services in the street, near the site of the destroyed church. As the Morning Star News added: Indonesian officials routinely delay or deny church building permits… thus providing Islamic extremists a pretext for protests and attacks." Newspapers covering the event posted photos of "church members in tears—singing hymns, crying and begging local officials not to demolish their facility. Hundreds of police and army officers guarded the area while Muslim militants, shouting Koranic verses, cheered the excavator."

Saudi Arabia: Apparently once again "The Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia—the top Islamic official in the country of Saudi Arabia—has [again] declared that it is 'necessary to destroy all the churches of the region." (First reported here over a year ago.)

Sudan: In the latest of a series of moves that have put pressure on Christians, a Muslim government minister announced that no new licenses will be granted for church buildings; he claimed that the existing churches are sufficient for the number of worshippers. Building churches has, in fact, been disallowed since South Sudan seceded in July 2011; the Islamist government of Khartoum responded by making the lives of Christians in Sudan even more difficult than usual. Days before this latest measure, the government deported a senior church leader and two expatriate missionaries who had been working with children in Khartoum. No reason was given. The government has also demolished countless church buildings on the pretext of paperwork irregularities.

Turkey: A 13th century church building, the Hagia Sophia of Trabizon (not to be confused with Constantinople's famous Hagia Sophia) is set to become a mosque again.

After the Ottoman conquest it had been turned from a church into a mosque, but later, under Turkey's secularist President, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and apparently due to its "great historical and cultural significance" for Christians, it had been turned into a museum. Local authorities decreed that its Christian frescoes must again be covered in preparation for its reopening as a mosque. [Update: As of July, the Hagia Sophia of Trabizon has become a functioning mosque.]

Apostasy, Blasphemy, Proselytism

Indian Kashmir: In Srinagar, a Muslim mob attacked two men, five women and two children, all of British origin, on the accusation that they were preaching Christianity. The mob also threw stones at their vehicles and tried to destroy their home. The police, however, when they arrived, arrested the two men on, according to Asia News, "false charges of forced conversions." The local imam told police that, "if they try to convert anyone, I will prevent it at all costs." According to a Christian close to the case, "The false and defamatory accusations of the imam and the complicity of the police in arresting these Christians are a serious threat to religious freedom, a right guaranteed by the Constitution of India." Also in Srinagar, another Muslim mob attacked a Christian-children's home, beat the staff and visitors, tried to kill the pastor and kidnap the children, destroyed property, and killed the home's pet dog—again on the accusation that the group running the home was converting Muslim children to Christianity.

Somalia: Muslims from the Islamic organization Al Shabaab ("The Youth") shot to death 42-year-old Fartun Omar, a widow and mother of five, for converting to Christianity. Months earlier, they had killed her husband for the same "crime," and had been hunting for the wife, who, after abandoning Islam, had gone in hiding. She leaves behind five orphaned children. Separately, Al Shabaab Muslims also seized Hassan Gulled, 25, for leaving Islam and converting to Christianity, and imprisoned him, and tortured him. According to local sources, "Al Shabaab have been torturing him to see whether he would deny his Christian faith. Since last week, no information has surfaced concerning Gulled. There is a possibility that he could have been killed."

Tanzania: After a visit by an evangelist, Lukia Khalid, a Muslim mother of three, and nearly seven months pregnant, converted to Christianity; she later said: "My husband asked me whether I had left Islam, to which I said 'Yes.' He threatened to kill me if I was to stay with him. I then decided to escape that night with my three children to a neighbor's house…. We left only with the clothes that we were wearing. The command was so urgent that we could not wait any longer. We had to leave immediately." Unable to pay school fees and supplies without her husband, the children have stopped attending school.

[General Abuse of Non-Muslims as Second-Class "Citizens," or Dhimmis]

Iran: A new report, based on interviews with 31 Christians and produced by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, has found "that the authorities consistently treat standard Christian practices, such as being a member of a house church or attending a Christian conference, as criminal acts. Although the Iranian government claims to respect the rights of its recognised religious minorities, it does not do so in practice. The report found that Christian converts and members of unregistered churches are denied the right freely to practise their faith, and that they face violations of their right to life through extrajudicial killings and even execution for apostasy (though only one Christian convert is known to have been executed since the 1979 Islamic Revolution)."

Pakistan: According to the Morning Star News, "Incited by calls from mosque loudspeakers after a dispute between Muslim and Christian youths, which started when Muslims told Christians not to play music [forbidden in Islam] a Muslim mob attacked a Christian neighborhood in Gujranwala today, injuring at least five Christians and damaging a church and dozens of shops and vehicles…. A resident of Francis Colony, where 2,000 Christian families have settled in the overwhelmingly Muslim-majority country, said police bias was evident in today's attack. 'The police was doing what it does best – nothing!' said Asif Barkat, who received minor injuries as he and other Christians tried to defend themselves. 'Their bias towards Christians is quite evident, because when the Muslims were raiding our church and property, they just watched, but when we confronted them, they started hitting us with batons and used live ammunition to deter us.'" Separately, two unidentified men tried by force to stop the car of the president of All Pakistan Minorities, Saleem Khursheed Khobar, a Christian, and when that failed, opened fire on him. As with other Christian human rights activists who have been assassinated in Pakistan, Khobar is being hounded for vocally representing the nation's downtrodden religious minorities: "I am being threatened and have gone into hiding to protect myself," he said from an undisclosed location. "Law enforcement agencies know that I am being followed. My whole family is under threat but the government doesn't care."

Syria: Christians continued to be targeted by Islamic rebels, especially for kidnapping. Among those abducted were two bishops, Bishop Yohanna Ibrahim and Bishop Paul Yazigi. An armed group of Chechen jihadis stopped their car, killed the driver, and took the two bishops hostage. Meanwhile, thousands of Christians continued to flee Syria. In in one instance, 500 crossed the border into Turkey, where church officials are considering building a "tent city" to house the refugees. Adds AINA: "Assyrians and other Christians in Syria have been disproportionately affected by the war, and have been targeted by the Muslims rebels. The Muslim Jihadists have kidnapped Assyrians for ransom, attacked places of worship and created a climate of fear, forcing many Assyrians to abandon their homes and villages and seek safety in Turkey."

Turkey: Erdal Dogan, a human rights defender, who played an important role in the trial of the 2007 Malatya massacre, against those Muslims who tortured and slaughtered three Christian men working in a Bible publishing house, "remained in life danger Friday, April 12, after receiving death threats," including from the defendants, one of whom threatened him during a hearing.

About this Series

Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is on its way to reaching pandemic proportions, "Muslim Persecution of Christians" was developed to collate some—by no means all—of the instances of persecution that surface each month. It serves two purposes:

  1. To document that which the mainstream media does not: the habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
  2. To show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is rooted in a worldview inspired by Sharia.

Accordingly, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws that criminalize and punish with death those who "offend" Islam; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya (financial tribute expected from non-Muslims); overall expectations for Christians to behave like dhimmis, or second-class, "tolerated" citizens; and simple violence and murder. Sometimes it is a combination.

Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the West, to India in the East, and throughout the West wherever there are Muslims—it should be clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Islamic Sharia law, or the supremacist culture born of it.

A Government of Laws – or a Government of Men?

It's all gone horribly wrong.

The story comes from Family Security Matters.

A Government of Laws – or a Government of Men?

Since ancient times, the rule of law has been symbolized by the archetypal figure of Lady Justice. In Roman mythology, it was embodied in the figure of Justitia, the Goddess of Justice, who was usually depicted holding a sword or scepter in one hand, and scales of justice in the other. Beginning in the mid-16th century, Justitia is often seen blindfolded, symbolizing the impartiality of justice.

What is the rule of law? The term refers to "a principle of governance in which all persons, institutions and entities, public and private, including the state itself, are accountable to laws that are publicly promulgated, equally enforced and independently adjudicated." Conversely, under the rule of man - as may be seen in autocratic or tyrannical governments - the law and rules of conduct which guide society are set and altered at the discretion of a single person or group of persons (oligarchy).

The Founding Fathers, who were strongly-influenced by Greco-Roman thought and philosophy, sought to create - in John Adam's words - "a government of laws, and not a government of men." They had seen the cruelties and injustices of the absolutist monarchs of Europe, who had ruled their nations not as men, but as gods-made-human. They had suffered under the harsh rule of the tyrannical King George III.

Having personal experience of despotism, the Founders knew that one of the hallmarks of a just, civil society was that it functioned according to the rule of law, impartially applied, and not the arbitrary rule of men who would interpret the law to mean whatever they wished it to mean. The Founders labored to create such a government and society, and largely succeeded. At the conclusion of the 1787 constitutional convention in Philadelphia, as Benjamin Franklin exited he was asked, "Well, Doctor, what have we got - a republic or a monarchy?" Franklin replied, "A republic, if you can keep it."

More than two centuries have passed since Franklin's famous statement that day in Philadelphia; the republic has withstood countless trials, hardships and tragedies alongside its many triumphs and achievements. The constitution and the rule of law made possible under it have bent, to be sure, but they have not broken. Today, however, the constitutional republic of the Founding Fathers is under attack as never before.

The present lawless regime of Barack Obama has systematically usurped and undermined the constitution and the rule of law at every turn. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the Trayvon Martin case and subsequent trial of George Zimmerman. During the pre-trial phase of the case and then during the trial itself, Barack Obama and Eric Holder, by their statements and actions, have made a mockery of justice under the law. They were, in no small measure, aided and abetted by the mainstream media and its members, who abandoned their duty as impartial members of the fourth estate and functioned instead as a de facto propaganda agency for the White House. Since its inception, the whole affair has been a carefully-constructed exercise in classic "agitprop" - agitation and propaganda - one that would have made the old Soviet KGB apparatchiks proud. The entire case was designed to racket up racial tensions to the benefit of the Obama regime and its goals.

Consider the following points pertaining to the case...

1. Shortly after Trayvon Martin's death, Obama violated long-established precedent and injected himself directly into the case by saying in a press conference, "If I had a son, he'd look just like Trayvon Martin..." This breach of legal and ethical protocol is so egregious as to be almost unprecedented in American history; a sitting president abusing the power of his office to prejudice the outcome of an on-going investigation and the trial that followed.

2. One might well ask the question: "What makes the Trayvon Martin case so different than the many other killings that take place on America's meanest streets day-in and day-out? Why did the case attain national prominence?" It has come to light that a relative of Trayvon Martin worked in a little-known office of the Department of Justice (DOJ) known as the Community Relations Service (CRS); shortly after Martin's death, a hand-picked CRS team was sent to Sanford, FLA with specific instructions to organize rallies and protests against George Zimmerman, the accused shooter of Martin. After questioning Zimmerman, Sanford law-enforcement officials declined to press charges against Zimmerman, citing no probable cause and that he appeared to have acted in self-defense.

However, shortly after the arrival of the CRS team and the ever-present publicity seekers/racial-grievance agitators Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton, Florida Governor Rick Scott directed the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to "render assistance" (i.e., take over the case) and subsequently, state criminal charges were filed against Zimmerman. The defendant was not arraigned via grand jury, but was instead charged via a confidential affidavit, which was then rubber-stamped by a prosecutor hand-picked for that purpose by Eric Holder and the Department of Justice.

Clearly, significant pressure from the federal government was brought to bear on state and local authorities to charge Zimmerman against their initial wishes. The defendant was railroaded in the interests of ideology and political correctness. Zimmerman's innocence would challenge the neo-Marxist orthodoxy that in cases of inter-racial crime, no black person can ever be anything but a victim and no light-skinned person can ever be anything but an aggressor. The powers-that-be demanded that Zimmerman be made an example of - and Eric Holder and the DOJ used the raw power of the federal government to force local officials into line. To paraphrase Voltaire, Zimmerman was to be the sacrificial lamb thrown to the wolves "pour encourager les autres" - i.e., to encourage others not to challenge the authority of the state or its ideology and to warn of the possible consequences for doing so.

3. The mainstream media immediately fell in line with the desired narrative of the White House and DOJ, which portrayed George Zimmerman in the worst possible light and Trayvon Martin in the best possible light. To "punch up" the racial angle on the story, the press invented a heretofore unknown term, a racial neologism, by terming Zimmerman a "White-Hispanic." The "white violence against blacks" meme was milked for all it was worth before, during and after the trial, never mind that crime statistics show that black-on-white crime is far-more-common in today's America than white-on-black crime.

If Trayvon Martin's death was, as some claim, a "hate crime" - then what should we term the horrifying deaths in January, 2007 of kidnapped Knoxville, TN couple Channon Christian, 21, and Hugh Newsome, 23, who were slain after being raped and tortured by four black men? That case did not become a six-month long cause célèbre; why not? Could it be that the victims were white and the perpetrators black, rather than the reverse?

It is now common practice in the mainstream media not to report the race of suspects or perpetrators if they are known/suspected to be black; conversely, if a member of another race commits a crime against a black person, the alleged assailant's race is often mentioned in press accounts. More ominously, in the name of political-correctness, many law-enforcement agencies are beginning to follow the same dishonest reporting practices.

4. After Zimmerman was acquitted of the charges against him by a jury of his peers, Obama implied that the jury was racist and that an all-black jury would have found him guilty. Holder immediately began searching for a legal loophole to re-open the case and invited black activists to submit new ideas for charging Mr. Zimmerman.

5. Numerous death threats were made against George Zimmerman in the days after the trial; Obama and Holder have remained silent; neither man has condemned these acts. The so-called "New Black Panther Party" (NBPP) has put a bounty of $10,000 on George Zimmerman's head. Again, the Obama regime has done nothing to address this outrage against law and order; at the time of publication of this article, no investigation of the NBPP had been launched nor had any charges been filed by federal/state/local authorities. In Obama's America, it appears that vigilantism is a crime only when it is committed by people who are not black.

6. Holder has already stated that the DOJ may charge Zimmerman under federal civil rights and "hate crime" statutes. Others have suggested that this innocent man be sued in civil court. Such measures violate both the letter and spirit of the 5th amendment to the constitution, which prohibits "double jeopardy" - i.e., being tried twice for the same crime. Essentially, the Obama regime has made it very clear that they intend to go after George Zimmerman until they find something - some charge, however bogus or trumped-up - that can be made to stick to him.

7. At the time George Zimmerman shot Trayvon Martin in self-defense, Martin was on top of Zimmerman, doing his best to pound his head into the ground. Martin was both larger and stronger than Zimmerman; the smaller man's life was in danger as he stood a very real chance of being beaten to death had he not acted to defend himself. At the scene, immediately after the incident, the back of Zimmerman's bloody and beaten head was photographed as evidence- but these photos were conveniently omitted from media accounts sympathetic to Martin.

The prosecution did its best to portray Martin as an innocent young man and a victim who simply happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. In reality, Martin was a hardened, violence-prone gang-banger and drug user who was looking to score on the night of the altercation with Zimmerman.

In hip-hop circles, "lean" is currently a popular way to get high. What is it, you ask? One popular recipe, that favored by Trayvon Martin, mixes "Arizona Watermelon" brand fruit juice cocktail, "Skittles" candy, and commercially-available cough syrup containing codeine. A can of Arizona Watermelon fruit juice was found at the scene; before the incident with Zimmerman, Martin had previously purchased two of the three ingredients needed to make "lean" while at a local 7-11 store. Investigators know that Martin had previously tried to obtain codeine online, but had switched to "lean" after hearing from other social media users of its potency. Autopsy findings on this otherwise healthy 17-year old showed that Martin's liver had sustained damage characteristic of "lean" abusers. Perhaps most-significantly, the psychological effects of "lean" abuse often include extreme physical aggression and paranoia.

8. Trayvon Martin had been found in possession of stolen property in his school locker, but school administrators, fearful of being accused of racism and a backlash from the community, did not press charges against him. Ironically, if a teacher, principle, law enforcement official or other authority figure had possessed the courage to hold Trayvon accountable for his acts, Martin might still be alive today. Instead, the "bigotry of low expectations" held forth, and a young man is dead.


A jury found George Zimmerman innocent of the charges against him, and the former defendant is now free to resume his life as best he can under the circumstances. A casual observer might conclude that justice has been satisfactorily-rendered and close the book on the incident. However understandable that conclusion might be, it is precisely the wrong one to make - for there is a great deal more to this case than its outcome.

The troubled young life of Trayvon Martin is over, but the racial grievance mongers, agitators and propagandists are still at work, using the Martin/Zimmerman incident itself as a bludgeon with which to attack the U.S. Constitution/Bill of Rights, the rule of law, and the republic itself. Some troubling questions must be asked in light of this incident and how it has unfolded.

What is the agenda of a regime which shows such an obvious disregard and disdain for the rule of law? The Obama White House and Holder Dept. of Justice appear to be actively-engaged not in defusing racial/ethnic tensions, but in feeding them. To what end are these actions taken?

Can the rule of law still be said to exist in these United States, or have we become - as the Founders feared - a nation of powerful men above the law and unaccountable to it? The figure of Lady Justice is blind-folded; the constitution guarantees equality before the law. However, equality under the law does not describe the present legal/moral/ethical reality in today's America, where blacks and other minorities are protected classes subject, de facto, to a different set of laws than are unprotected individuals such the unfortunate Mr. Zimmerman. Justice is no longer blind; under Obama and Holder, the kind of so-called "justice" one receives from the legal system begins and ends in identity politics.

George Zimmerman is free today only because of the moral courage of the all-female jury that found him innocent; the federal government tried to stack the deck against the former defendant in every way possible.

The grim reality is that Mr. Zimmerman was (and remains) the victim of what might be called a 21st century lynching. For now, he is protected by the decision of the jury, but that protection hangs by the thinnest of threads. The veneer of civilization is thin. Obama, Holder and their supporters are relentlessly pushing our society toward a state of genuine lawlessness, where the strong rule the weak and the only "law" is the law of the jungle - a Hobbesian existence in which life is "solitary, poor, nasty, brutish and short."

Some have expressed their solidarity with the late Trayvon Martin by saying "We are all Trayvon" - - but this writer sees it differently; for those who respect the rule of law and not the rule of men, we "are all George Zimmerman."

U.S. Predator Drone Strike In Yemen Kills 6 Al Qaeda

After nearly two months, an American drone strike has hit Yemen once again with six al Qaeda jihadis paying the ultimate price.  Yeah, it was a real shame.

The story comes from The Long War Journal.

US launches 1st drone strike in Yemen in 7 weeks

US drones launched the first strike in Yemen in 49 days, killing six "militants" in an attack today on a convoy in a southern town controlled by al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula.

The remotely piloted Predators or the more deadly Reapers launched missiles at a vehicle carrying AQAP fighters in the Al Mahfad area in the southern province of Abyan, The Associated Press reported.

The exact target of today's strike was not disclosed. Six members of al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula were killed in the airstrike; three of them were identified but their names have not been disclosed, according to AP. No senior AQAP operatives or leaders are reported to have been killed.

Al Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula fighters and leaders have regrouped in the Al Mahfad area after being driven from cities such as Zinjibar, Jaar, Lawdar, and Shaqra during a Yemeni military offensive that began in the spring of 2012 [see Threat Matrix report, AQAP regroups in Abyan province]. AQAP controlled the cities in Abyan, as well as other cities and towns in neighboring Shabwa province, after launching its own offensive in the spring of 2011.

The US has launched two other drone strikes in Al Mahfad. The last attack took place on June 1. Eight militants were reported to have been killed in the strike. The previous attack took place on May 18. Four AQAP fighters were killed when the drones launched missiles against a vehicle carrying grenades and suicide belts.

US expands the location of drone strikes in Yemen

Since losing control of large areas of Abyan and Shabwa, AQAP has spread out into the provinces of Aden, Baydah, Al Jawf, Damar, Hadramout, Hodeida, Ibb, Marib, Saada, and Sana'a. Of the 33 drones strikes recorded by The Long War Journal over the past 12 months, 27 have taken place in the provinces of Aden, Baydah, Al Jawf, Damar, Hadramout, Hodeida, Ibb, Marib, Saada, and Sana'a.

The US has launched 13 drone strikes in Yemen so far this year. The last strike took place on June 9, killing an AQAP commander known as Saleh Hassan Jredan and his brother and four other fighters.

In 2012, the US launched 42 drone strikes in Yemen against AQAP and its political front, Ansar al Sharia. The previous year, the US launched 10 drone and air strikes against the al Qaeda affiliate. The strikes are being reduced as the US government is facing increasing international criticism for conducting the attacks in both Yemen and Pakistan.

Although six senior AQAP operatives, including the group's deputy emir, Said al Shihri, were killed in strikes in Yemen in 2012, the group's top leadership cadre remains intact. Just 12 days ago, AQAP confirmed that al Shihri, a former detainee at Guantanamo Bay, was killed; he is thought to have died or to have been seriously wounded following a strike in October 2012.

The US has targeted both senior AQAP operatives who pose a direct threat to the US, and low-level fighters and local commanders who are battling the Yemeni government. This trend was first identified by The Long War Journal in the spring of 2012 [see LWJ report, US drone strike kills 8 AQAP fighters, from May 10, 2012]. Obama administration officials have claimed, however, that the drones are targeting only those AQAP leaders and operatives who pose a direct threat to the US homeland, and not those fighting AQAP's local insurgency against the Yemeni government.

Video: The Gwashta Pass JDAM

Video: At An Egyptian Protest With Helicopters Keeping Order, Should You Really Be On Top of a Pole?

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Assad's Missile Strike On Aleppo, Syria Kills 19 Children

So a missile barrage from the military of Bashir Assad hit the city of Aleppo full force killing 29 people but a watchdog group claims that of the 29 civilians killed, 19 of them are children.

Oh well, children really don't count in the wars of Islam...well, at least as long as you aren't an infidel fighting in Afghanistan then you better not touch the hair of one boy or girl.

The story comes from The Telegraph.

Syria missile strike kills 19 children

At least 29 people, mostly children, died in a regime missile strike on the Syrian city of Aleppo, a watchdog said, as Hizbollah-backed regime forces advanced in flashpoint Homs.

Nineteen children were among the 29 killed in the northern city’s Bab Nairab neighbourhood “in a surface-to-surface missile strike by regime forces” on Friday, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

The Britain-based monitoring group relies on a wide network of medics and activists on the ground.

A militant group said the toll could rise as rescue operations were still under way on Saturday.

The Observatory said the army was targeting rebel headquarters, including a base of the jihadist Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIS), in Bab Nairab. “But the missile fell dozens of metres (yards) away,” it said.

“My whole family was wiped out, my whole family,” a boy in tears said near the rubble of his home, in a video posted by the Observatory.

On the battlefield in central Syria, Hizbollah-backed regime forces gained ground in the Khaldiyeh district in Homs after ousting rebels in fierce clashes in the flashpoint city, the Observatory said.

Regime forces now control “60 per cent of Khaldiyeh,” the Observatory said, and also captured the Khaled bin Walid mosque.

State television quoted a military source as saying that regime forces were in control of all the area around the mosque.

Observatory chief Rami Abdel Rahman told AFP of “continuous heavy mortar and artillery fire” overnight Friday and that the Khaldiyeh district was still being pounded.

Rebels were putting up “fierce resistance” amid “very intense clashes”.

Militant network the Syrian Revolution General Commission (SRGC) also reported heavy fighting in the district, which has been besieged by regime forces for more than a year.

“Khaldiyeh is being targeted by an uninterrupted heavy bombardment, and on the ground there is fierce fighting between (rebel) Free Syrian Army fighters and regime forces backed by Lebanon’s Hizbollah trying to take the district,” a statement said.

Syria’s official press said the army was now back in control of most of Khaldiyeh, while an activist on the ground told AFP that the sector was being shelled “day and night”.

The SRGC and the Observatory both said the Old City district of Homs – dubbed the “capital of the revolution” against President Bashar al-Assad – was being pummelled too.

The latest regime offensive on besieged rebel-held neighbourhoods of Homs is now in its fourth week.

Government forces are seeking to secure another victory like the one in Qusayr near the border with Lebanon in June, when the Shiite militant group Hizbollah was key in retaking the strategic town.

Hizbollah, the strongest military force in Lebanon and a staunch ally of the Assad regime, has had its military wing blacklisted by the European Union as a terrorist group.

The 28-month-old civil war in Syria has killed a total of more than 100,000 people and left million of refugees, without any peace settlement in sight.

In New York, a UN spokeswoman said the world body’s chief Ban Ki-moon is to review an accord struck with Syria on investigating the use of chemical weapons before any details are announced.

Ban will meet in New York on Monday with the two envoys who struck the accord, spokeswoman Morana Song told AFP.

The United Nations and Syrian government announced in a joint statement issued late Friday that an accord had been reached “on the way forward” in the investigation, following a Damascus visit this week by two UN envoys.

Pakistani Muslim Grandfather Kills Daughter and Grandchildren For the Honor of Mohammed

A Pakistani woman had the audacity to marry a man of her CHOICE and for that affront to Mohammed, her father killed her AND HER CHILDREN (his grandchildren).

There you go...happy ramadan everyone.

The story comes from Asian Human Rights Commission via The Religion of Peace.

PAKISTAN: Marriage by choice becoming taboo

It was spine-chilling for Pakistanis to hear news of the grandfather who killed his daughter and his own grandchildren only for protecting the so-called honour of the family. The crime was that the daughter had married a man of her own choice, and not that of the head of her family. The father was so vindictive he waited five years to take revenge for his ‘honour’. He was quite satisfied after taking his revenge on the grand children, who had nothing to do with their mother’s decision to marry of her own choice. He didn’t stop there either. He also killed two young men, brothers of the groom, as he held them responsible too for dishonouring his prestige.

Ms. Shahnaz Tahir, resident of Tara Singh village in Depalpur, Okara district, Punjab Province, was brutally murdered by her father and his henchmen on the night of 22nd July. Shahnaz had tied the knot with Mr. Tahir Sarwar five years ago. She eloped with Tahir, an action which brought social stigma to her family. His father vowed to kill his daughter, following a practice understood to be traditional.

Tahir, after marriage, left his home town along with his wife and lived in another city due to fear of honor killing. After five years of marriage, they decided to visit their parents, thinking that now their parents would accept them and their innocence. But when daughter and his son-in-law arrived at the house, Shahnaz’s father opened fire with weapons, and as a result Shahnaz, her husband Tahir Sarwar, and their two children, Adnan and Ramsha, and their two brothers-in-law, Mr. Zahid and Mr. Nawaz, were all killed. After the massacre Shahnaz’s father was satisfied and opted to run away with his henchmen. A case has been filed with the police and, as per usual, the investigation continues.

In the recent months, Pakistan has witnessed brutal murders of several married women in the name of honour and the state has remained a silent spectator to brutal medieval practices. This is despite Pakistan having passed a categorical law, which has made the honour killing equivalent to crime of murder. Earlier such killings were treated as a defensive crime in protection of the prestige of the family.

It is said that the tradition of honour-killing was a typical way out for landlords who did not want to divide their property, in having to give some to the in-laws of the daughter. However, with the passage of time, honour killing has also extended to marriages by choice. Rather than accepting the marriage of their daughters own choosing, the paternal family take it as a dishonor to the pride of the family and prefer to take law in their own hands. Such families know that the rule of law does not exist in Pakistan; therefore, it is better for them to kill the women, with no botheration of the law, which in a real sense has become impotent, toothless.

These types of cases are abundant and occur in every corner of Pakistan every year. The fire of revenge ends with the loss of innocent lives. The reason: marriage of own choice. Hundreds of women have been killed by their brothers, fathers, cousins and other blood relatives for exercising their rights.

A similar case became public knowledge last year when a girl chose a taxi driver as her life partner. Brutal killings were the result when Ms. Nargis from Mardan, Khyber Pakhtunkha province, fell in love with a taxi driver, Mr. Ehtesham. She was tortured to death and her two children were killed by the family in honor killing. When they first found out regarding the relationship, her parents beat her cruelly and kept her locked up inside their house. One day she succeeded in eloping and married Mr. Ethesham. They signed a marriage contract and began leading a happy life. Nargis, after a long time, went to her home town to see her mother. However, she was welcomed by her family with severe anger and violence. Her family members ruthlessly beat her two minor children. Their thirst of revenge not fulfilled, they threw the infants from the roof-top of their home, and Nargis was forced to see her children’s murder. After this, she was brutally beaten to death.

But their inhuman revenge didn’t end there. A case of murder was lodged by the family of Nargis against her husband. The police arrested Mr. Ethesham and his brother and kept them inside the jail for four months, torturing them. Despite all the records disproving any involvement of Ehtesham in any murder the police forced Ehtesham’s brother to sign a statement against his brother, accepting that his brother was a suspect in this case. Later the Judge released Ethesham and his brother and ordered a new inquiry.

Every month many heart-wrenching cases make news, some are registered with the police and others not. The murder of two teenage sisters, Noor Basra and Noor Sheza, by five gunmen in Chilas, Gilgit, is one such case registered. They were killed because they danced during the rain outside their home along with other children and a video was recorded. Their dancing video was leaked in the town. Their half-brother killed the girls for restoration of family honour. A case has been registered by the brother of the girls against their step brother Khutore and four other alleged gunmen.

Similarly, in Dera Gazi Khan, a woman was stoned to death for having a mobile. This order was given by a feudal lord of the area. She was murdered in the name of honor, as having a mobile was understood here to mean dishonor for the family. Such barbaric ideas and actions still flourish in our society and our state and law enforcement departments have no problem with this.

It is an alarming situation for women of Pakistan, where killing of the women along with their children in the name of honor is treated not as an offence, but something in accord with Islamic traditions. Society is being forced to denounce marriage on the basis of choice of the couple. ‘Talibanisation’ is not only restricted to terrorist activities or bomb blasts. Its ideology against the freedom of women has seeped into society with considerable speed, and practices that have nothing to do with Islam have come to be understood as principals of Islam. Therefore, the woman’s right to choose her own life partner is being dealt with medieval violence. Women are being killed in the settlement of family debts, or are being married to aged people, or to save the property are being married to the Quran, or are being sold for money. They are being killed if they raised their voice for their rights, killed if they seek divorce from husbands, or seek to escape domestic violence. And, religion is being used against them.

Honor killings are caused by many factors of society, including feudal culture, customs, absence of a criminal justice system and fair trial, a weak judiciary, and gender bias and corruption in law enforcement agencies.

Landed aristocracy have a great influence in some areas of Pakistan where they hold jirgas (illegal judicial system for the settlement of the disputes). In jirgas, generally, decisions are taken against the women, and minor girls are exchanged to settle feuds.

In the presence of a law which makes it a criminal offence how are honour killings being allows to continue with such violence and brutality. As of yet, no one has been punished according to the law. In the absence of a proper criminal justice system and a witness protection law, the killers get good patronage of the police. By seeking legal protection from Sections 323 of Pakistan Penal Code (PPC); the perpetrators (family member/relatives) not only enjoy legal impunity but social redemption as well. With the compensation through the Diyat (Section 323 of PPC), the perpetrators get impunity by law, which allows the payment of compensation to the victim for the settlement of disputes outside the court. And it is during this phase that the victims, the women, are intimidated, threatened, or abducted so they accept the meager amount as compensation, and courts remain silent spectators.

In many cases, gender biased judges force the affected women to settle the crime outside the courts. The said section of Diyat also holds a minimum compensation of Rupees 30,000, which has no value. But by the amount of compensation being kept at a minimum level, perpetrators take advantage. There is a strong demand from the civil society of Pakistan to abolish Diyat, but the state and higher judiciary take shelter behind Islamic teachings and so-called sacred norms.

If the higher judiciary, and particularly the Supreme Court, does not take notice of honour killings that punish women for choosing their life partners, society will face the worst violence in the name of religion. Courts have to ensure protection of girls under threat. Government must stop all kinds of jirgas.

10 gunmen killed in Egypt Sinai operation: Report

The story comes from Times of India.

10 gunmen killed in Egypt Sinai operation: Report

CAIRO: Egyptian security forces killed 10 "terrorist" gunmen and captured 20 in an operation in the Sinai Peninsula over the past 48 hours, state news agency MENA reported.

"Security operations carried out by the armed forces and police in north Sinai to hunt down armed terrorists... (resulted) in the liquidation of 10 of these armed terrorist elements," the agency said, citing a security source.

"The forces also managed to capture 20 of these elements," it added.

Egypt's Sinai Peninsula, which borders Israel, has been the scene of increasing violence since a coup that overthrew Islamist president Mohammed Morsi on July 3.

Militants have conducted almost daily attacks on security forces in the area, where security had already deteriorated since the 2011 uprising that overthrew then-president Hosni Mubarak.

Video: The Nighttime Firefight

Video: Bring the Rain

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Muslim Brotherhood says more than 70 killed in Cairo attack

Rule #1:  Don't ever believe a word the Muslim Brotherhood says.

The story comes from The Jerusalem Post.

Muslim Brotherhood says more than 70 killed in Cairo attack

Spokesman for Islamist movement says security forces attacked supporters of deposed president Mohamed Morsi during protest in Egyptian capital and says "they are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill."

CAIRO- Egyptian security forces shot dead at least 70 supporters of ousted President Mohammed Morsi on Saturday, his Muslim Brotherhood said, days after the army chief called for a popular mandate to tackle "violence and terrorism".

Brotherhood spokesman Gehad El-Haddad said the shooting started shortly before pre-dawn morning prayers on the fringes of a round-the-clock sit-in being staged by backers of Morsi, who was toppled by the army more than three weeks ago.

"They are not shooting to wound, they are shooting to kill," Haddad said. The death toll might be much higher, he said.

Activists rushed blood-spattered casualties into a makeshift hospital, some were carried in on planks or blankets. One ashen teenager was laid out on the floor, a bullet hole in his head.

Al Jazeera's Egypt television station reported that 120 had been killed and some 4,500 injured in the early morning violence. A Reuters reporter at the scene counted 36 bodies at an improvised morgue.

There was no immediate comment from state authorities on what had happened. If the death toll is confirmed it would be the deadliest incident since Morsi was deposed, who is under investigation for a raft of crimes, including murder.

Weeks of violence have followed his ousting, leaving more than 200 dead and laying bare divisions that have polarized the Arab world's most populous state.


Hundreds of thousands of Egyptians came out onto the streets in answer to General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi's call on Wednesday for mass protests on Friday. Muslim Brotherhood supporters protested in similar numbers to demand Morsi's reinstatement. He is being detained at an undisclosed location.

The Brotherhood is a highly organised movement with grassroots support throughout Egypt, making it hard to silence even if the army decides to mount a more major crackdown.

Reporters at Rabaa al-Adawia, a northeastern Cairo suburb, said there was still firing hours after the violence started. Dr. Ibtisam Zein, overseeing the Brotherhood morgue, said most of the dead were hit in the head, some between the eyes.

A senior Brotherhood politician, Saad el-Hosseini, said he thought security forces were looking to clear the Rabaa sit-in.

"I have been trying to make the youth withdraw for five hours. I can't. They are saying have paid with their blood and they do not want to retreat," he told Reuters.

Haddad said the Brotherhood was committed to pursuing peaceful protests, despite Saturday's deaths - the second mass shooting of its supporters this month by security forces, who killed 53 people on July 8.

Brotherhood activists at Rabaa said they would not be cowed and warned of worse bloodshed if the security forces did not back down. "We will stay here until we die, one by one," said Ahmed Ali, 24, helping treat casualties at the field hospital.

"We have the examples of Algeria and Syria in our minds. We don't want it to become a civil war. If we take up arms it might become one. This is a religious belief."

Haddad said police had started firing repeated rounds of teargas after 3:00 a.m. (0100 GMT) at protesters who had spilled out of the main area of the Rabaa sit-in and were on a main thoroughfare close to 6th October Bridge.

"Through the smog of the gas, the bullets started flying," he said. In addition to "special police forces in black uniforms" firing live rounds, he said that snipers shot from the roofs of a university, other nearby buildings, and a bridge.

State news agency MENA quoted an unnamed security source as saying that only teargas was used to disperse protesters. He said no firearms were used.

Egypt's army-installed interior minister, Mohamed Ibrahim, said on Friday that the month-old Cairo vigils by Morsi supporters would be "brought to an end soon and in a legal manner", state-run al Ahram news website reported.


There is deepening alarm in the West over the army's move against Morsi. The country of 84 million people forms a bridge between the Middle East and North Africa and receives $1.5 billion a year in mainly military aid from Washington.

The United States has delayed delivery of four F-16 fighters because of the turmoil, however, officials have indicated they do not intend to cut off aid to a country seen as a vital ally and which has a peace deal with neighboring Israel.

The worst of Friday's violence was reported in Egypt's second city, Alexandria, and the Brotherhood said some of its supporters were still trapped in a city mosque by "thugs".

The Brotherhood's political arm, the Freedom and Justice Party, called for more protests in the Mediterranean port.

There was little mention of the violence on Egypt's two state television channels, which broadcast weather reports and a talk show on Saturday morning. All three state newspapers headlined their morning editions with Friday's rallies, saying Egyptians had given Sisi the support he had asked for.

"The people give the army and the police a mandate to confront terrorism," said a strap headline on the bottom of a broadcast on the state's Nile TV.

However not all Egyptians appeared ready to endorse an army crackdown, with growing concern among some activists that the confrontation between the military and Islamists could push the country into an abyss.