Saudi fatwa against Gulf churches
In an article published by the Middle East Forum, Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum, cites several Arabic language web publications that quoted Sheik Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, declaring it is “necessary to destroy all the churches of the region.”
Ibrahim reported the Muslim leader’s comment was in response to a question by a delegation from Kuwait, where a member of parliament recently also called for churches to be removed.
“Accordingly, the grand mufti ‘stressed that Kuwait was a part of the Arabian Peninsula, and therefore it is necessary to destroy all churches in it,’” Ibrahim reported.
“As with many grand muftis before him, the sheik based his proclamation on the famous tradition, or hadith, wherein the prophet of Islam declared on his deathbed that, ‘There are not to be two religions in the [Arabian] Peninsula,’ which has always been interpreted to mean that only Islam can be practiced in the region,” Ibrahim wrote.
In the Middle East, Christians already are facing increased persecution, including death, in countries where militant Islamic factions have stepped into the vacuum of power created by “Arab Spring” revolutions.
For example, Coptic Christians who have worshiped in Egypt for millennia are reporting higher levels of persecution from Muslims. In North Africa, Muslims have promised to eradicate Christianity in some parts of the region. In Iraq, where Christians did not flourish but were given some accommodation under strongman Saddam Hussein, entire Christian populations have fled.
Wrote Ibrahim, “Considering the hysteria that besets the West whenever non-authoritative individuals offend Islam – for instance, a fringe, unknown pastor – imagine what would happen if a Christian counterpart to the grand mufti, say the pope, were to declare that all mosques in Italy must be destroyed; imagine the nonstop Western media frenzy that would erupt, all the shrill screams of ‘intolerance’ and ‘bigot,’ demands for apologies if not resignation, nonstop handwringing by sensitive politicians, and worse.”
As noted by Ibrahim, there were outcries of hatred and bigotry when Terry Jones burned a Quran at his church in Florida last year. There have been no denouncements of the Muslim Leader saying that churches in the Arabian Peninsula be destroyed.
"The desecration of any holy text, including the Quran, is an act of extreme intolerance and bigotry," President Obama said of Terry Jones burning the Quran. He has made no statements on the destruction of churches in the gulf or on the Christian persecutions in the area.
David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in the Afghanistan war, issued a similar statement."We condemn, in particular, the action of an individual in the United States who recently burned the Holy Quran. We also offer condolences to the families of all those injured and killed in violence which occurred in the wake of the burning of the Holy Quran."
Christian bishops in Germany, Austria and Russia have sharply criticized Saudi Arabia's top religious official after reports that he issued a fatwa saying all churches on the Arabian Peninsula should be destroyed.
Attacks on Christians
In Iran authorities have begun sweeping through towns arresting Christians suspected of holding worship meetings in an effort to stamp out the house church movement.
In Kerala state, India, a pastor and his children were attacked on Feb. 21. Pastor Titus Ignatius Kapan and his family were eating dinner at the house of a Hindu convert when Hindu extremists entered the house. They abused the pastor and his children before dropping huge boulders on the pastor’s car.
In Nigeria terrorist group Boko Haram claimed responsibility for suicide bombers who set off a car bomb at a church in Jos, Nigeria, killing a church member and a baby.
The execute branch of our government have consistently shown a lack of interest in the plight of Christians being persecuted domestically and in the eastern hemisphere. While U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary Daniel Baer was hailing the U.N. passage of a resolution endorsing the rights of gay, lesbian and transgender people, nothing was said of the nearly 900 dead or wounded Christians in attacks on 40 Churches where the victims were hacked and burned to death in Nigeria just two months earlier.
A few weeks later the Arab Spring kicked of unleashing a slew of attacks resulting in the murder of hundreds of Christians in Africa and throughout Europe and the Middle East. While our government was touting the Arab spring as a “victory” for the Islamic people, Christians were losing their lives for simply “not being Muslims.” Still with all of these blatant human rights violations taking place and the media’s refusal to report these attacks, we have heard virtually nothing from our government on this extermination of Christians.
Half of Iraq's indigenous Christians are gone due to the unleashed forces of jihad, many of them fleeing to nearby Syria; yet, as the Assad regime comes under attack by al-Qaeda and others, the jihad now seeps into Syria, where Christians are experiencing a level of persecution unprecedented in the nation's modern history. Likewise, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their native Egypt since the overthrow of the Mubarak regime; and in northern regions of Nigeria, where the jihadi group Boko Haram has been slaughtering Christians; up to 95 % of the Christian population has fled.
Meanwhile, the "big news" concerning the Muslim world in the month of February—the news that flooded the mainstream media and had U.S. politicians, beginning with President Obama, flustered, angry, and full of regret—was that copies of the Koran in Afghanistan were burned by U.S. soldiers because imprisoned Muslim inmates were using them "to facilitate extremist communications."
President Obama thanked the Muslim community for their help in dealing with the September 11 tragedy, which caused nearly 3,000 deaths.
The president honored the Muslims for their help on home soil a decade ago, and also thanked them for their contributions to the war efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Obama noted that American Muslims serve as firefighters, police officers and counterterrorism specialists. “Make no mistake,” Obama said. “Muslim Americans help to keep us safe.”
Obama said "I think that the United States and the West generally, we have to educate ourselves more effectively on Islam.
"And one of the points I want to make is, is that if you actually took the number of Muslim Americans, we'd be one of the largest Muslim countries in the world. And so there's got to be a better dialogue and a better understanding between the two peoples."
Don Surber crunches the numbers and points out that Obama's claim is highly dubious. According to Surber, the US has an estimated three to eight million Muslims, less than one per cent of the world's total and less than at least 23 other countries.
What does he have to say about Christianity?
The president did say 'It's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them, or anti-immigrant sentiment, or anti-trade sentiment, as a way to explain their frustrations.'
The media and many in our government clearly have antipathy towards Christians. It is no wonder there is no mention, no outcry for the assaults on Christians around the world other than from other Christians. Will there be silence as the assaults continue to grow here in the US?
Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are they who have been persecuted for righteousness sake! For theirs is the kingdom of Heaven. Blessed are you when men shall revile you and persecute you, and shall say all kinds of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for your reward in Heaven is great. For so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.