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Married to Mohammed – Part 2

Wednesday, September 05, 2012 | Elizabeth Blade – israeltoday.co.il

This is part two of a four-part series on Christian women marrying Muslim men. If you have not done so already, we recommend first reading Married to Mohammed – Part I

In 2011, WomanStats, a project that researches the status of women around the world, published a map that shows the comparative location of domestic violence against women. Except for Spain, Italy, France, Austria and Sweden, where women enjoy high levels of physical security, most of the world’s countries were ranked as having medium to low levels.

In 2012, TrustLaw, Thomson Reuters Foundation’s legal news service, conducted a survey among 370 professionals from 63 countries on five continents. The study revealed alarming statistics, naming such predominantly non-Muslim states as South Africa, Mexico and India as world’s worst countries for women (though Saudi Arabia and Indonesia also made the list).

Yet a year earlier, TrustLaw’s experts also concluded that the world’s most dangerous places for women were Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Somalia (all Muslim states), and India and Congo (two non-Muslim countries). They supported their conclusions by noting that in those countries women suffer from a high rate of health problems, trafficking, and sexual and non-sexual violence.

The situation is acute in other Muslim states as well. In 2010, research carried out by the United Nations Higher Commission on Refugees evaluated the status of women in Middle Eastern and North African countries. The study concluded that the region’s women lacked a basic feeling of security, autonomy and freedom. Tunisia and Morocco showed the best results on the five-point scale, with ratings of 3.4 and 3.2 respectively, followed by Algeria (3.0), Egypt (2.9), Jordan (2.7), Bahrain and Libya (2.6), Qatar and Palestine (2.4), Syria and the United Arab Emirates (2.3), Oman (2.1), Iraq and Yemen (1.9). Saudi Arabia was the last on the list with only 1.3 points.

 
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Posted by on 9. September 2012 in Islam, Middleeast, UN

 

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Video: Jewish Life in Egypt – after 3,000 Years, the End

With Muslim Brotherhood in power, the last functioning synagogue has been shut down.

By Gil Ronen – ArutzSheva7 News

Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue

Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue
Moshira / Wikipedia

The rise of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt has extinguished the last flame of Jewish life in the country. The magnificent Eliyahu Hanavi Synagogue in Alexandria, where a synagogue has stood since Hellenistic times, will not hold Rosh Hashana and Yom Kippur services, because authorities have banned them.

This spells the end of Jewish life in Egypt, over 3,000 years since the Egyptian exile ended and Moses led the Jews to the Land of Israel.

The Point of No Return, a blog that documents Jewish communities in the Muslim Middle East, said that the Eliyahu Hanavi synagogue was the last functioning synagogue in Egypt. It quoted Levana Zamir, who heads the International Association of Egyptian Jews in Israel: “It seems this is really the end of Jewish life in Egypt,” she said. “The authorities have found a way to take over the last Jewish bastion, since all the remaining synagogues are already archaeological and tourist sites. It is very sad.”

The Passover Seder in Alexandria last year was also cancelled for “security” reasons, writes the blog, although a Seder took place in Cairo. High Holiday services used to be held for expatriate Israeli embassy staff at the Maadi synagogue in Cairo, but since the fall of Hosni Mubarak, they have been flying home to spend the holidays with their families.

There are only two Jewish men and some 20 Jewish widows living in Alexandria.

 
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Posted by on 4. September 2012 in Arab, Egypt, Israel, Jew, Middleeast, Muslim Brotherhood

 

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Islam and the Jews

Both sides hide the true nature of the Arab-Israel conflict.
From David Isaac

Nonie Darwish, an Egyptian who grew up in Gaza and later moved to the U.S. where she converted to Christianity, insists that the problem of Jew-hatred in Islam is fundamental to its belief system. “If Jew-hatred is removed, Islam itself would self-destruct,” she writes in a recent article.

Darwish traces the problem to Mohammed’s relations to the Jews of Medina. He tried to persuade them to accept him as a prophet after his own tribe in Mecca had ridiculed his pretensions. When they rejected him, in Darwish’s words, “Mohammed simply and literally flipped.” As much as he had professed to love them, he now hated them. He engaged in unspeakable slaughter, she writes, ordering “the beheading of 600 to 900 Jewish men of one tribe and took their women and children as slaves.”

That has left Islam, says Darwish, with a major existential problem. “Islam must justify the genocide that Mohammed waged against the Jews. Mohammed and Muslims had two choices: either the Jews are evil subhumans, apes, pigs, and enemies of Allah, a common description of Jews still heard regularly in Middle Eastern mosques today, or Mohammed was a genocidal warlord and not fit to be a prophet of God, a choice that would mean the end of Islam.”

To understand what this means for peace efforts with the Arabs one need read no further than the title of Shmuel Katz’s pamphlet: “No Solution to the Arab-Palestinian Problem.” Shmuel understood full well the religious nature of the Arab-Israel conflict.

In that pamphlet he wrote:

Of all the statements about Israel made under Islamic religious inspiration, perhaps the most significant is the one uttered by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat in a sermon he delivered in Cairo’s Al-Hussein mosque on April 25, 1972 on the occasion of the birthday anniversary of the Prophet Muhammad:

“The Jews were the neighbors of the Prophet in Medina … and he negotiated with them. But in the end they proved that they were men of deceit. The most splendid thing that the Prophet Muhammad did was to drive them out of the whole of the Arabian Peninsula. … They are a nation of liars and traitors, contrivers of plots, a people born for deeds of treachery. … I promise you … the defeat of Israeli arrogance and rampaging so that they shall return and be as the Quran said of them ‘condemned to humiliation and misery’. … We shall send them back to their former status.”

Shmuel continues: “The eradication of the State of Israel means the restoration of Islam to its potency, to its rightful dimensions: in Israel’s end lies the confirmation.”

Shmuel never shied away from the truth. He writes in “The Existential Fact” (The Jerusalem Post, Jan. 23, 1981):

Indeed, one of the most critical tasks of the Jewish people is to ensure that at least its friends should absorb the fact — bleak, uncomfortable but existential — that the Islamic world, if it were prepared to accept Israel’s collective existence at all, would only tolerate it as a subject community under Moslem sovereignty.

Jews are not the only objects and potential victims of this sovereign purpose, as Christian communities have found to their cost; but they are the only ones who have had the temerity to proclaim their national independence on their own territory in the ‘heart of the Arab world,’ and — worse — have successfully resisted the Arab attempts to destroy them.

It is precisely because a hatred born of bedrock religious belief is not amenable to negotiations that Israelis wedded to peace negotiations ignore the religious dimension and frame the debate as a land issue and one of Palestinian Arab national rights. They must do so in order for the conflict to appear “solvable.” To acknowledge its real nature would be to admit defeat from the start.

It’s in the Arabs’ interest, too, to hide the root cause of their hatred. Their tactic is to isolate Israel internationally, and to do that requires recasting the war against Israel. As Shmuel writes:

[T]he pan-Arab nature of the war against Israel must not be emphasized; rather the conflict was to be presented as a clash between Jews depicted as Goliath (even if with the help of “imperialism”) and their adversary, the small, wretched David: the Palestinian people.

The Egyptian weekly Al Mussawar frankly admitted in 1968:

“The expulsion of our brothers from their homes should not cause us any anxiety, especially as they were driven into the Arab countries. … The masses of the Palestinian people are only the advance-guard of the Arab nation … a plan for rousing world opinion in stages, as it would not be able to understand or accept a war by a hundred million Arabs against a small state.”

So here you have both sides hiding the true nature of the conflict. One side does so because it does not want to believe the problem cannot be solved. The other side, because it does not want to reveal to the world its true nature: Medieval, genocidal, and barbaric.

The two together, the homicidal mixed with the self-delusional, is a lethal combination for the Jews.

 
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Posted by on 26. August 2012 in Arab, Islam, Jew, Middleeast, Muhammed, Muslim, Terror

 

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The Changing Middle East: Revolt Against Artificial Borders – Part I

The Arab Spring is turning out to be a revolt against the Middle East borders artificially created by Western powers after World War I as much as it is a pro-democracy movement

Tuesday, August 14, 2012 | Elizabeth Blade – http://www.israeltoday.co.il

Several days ago, the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) in Syria announced that it would establish its own militia, the Armed Men of the Muslim Brotherhood, and function independently of the Free Syrian Army (FSA) – the main military rebel movement.

United by a common goal to topple the Assad regime, the two entities seem to have different backers, pursuing conflicting interests. The FSA – consisting mainly of defectors and representatives of various religious groups – is supported by Saudi Arabia, while the new group is funded by Qatar, a country that promotes Islamist regimes.

The fact that there are conflicting parties involved in the civil war comes as no surprise to some experts, who say divisions within the opposition were dictated by the ethnically diverse nature of Syria.

“Syria is a medley of ethnicities, religions, languages and cultures – all living in one place, where every group is competing in a tug of war, trying to promote its own interests,” said Orit Perlov, a researcher with the Institute of National Security Studies (INSS) specializing in the Arab states.

The same pattern holds true for the rest of the Arab world, where different ethnic communities and tribes have been forced to share the same territory despite significant differences. With the eruption of the upheavals that have rocked the Middle East since late 2010, movements have begun resisting the artificially drawn borders – intact since the Sykes-Picot Agreement of 1916 – that divided control over the Arab provinces of the ailing Ottoman Empire between Britain, France, and Russia after the conclusion of World War I.

In December 2011, the spokesperson for Syria’s MB, Zuhair Salim, stated that the organization was interested in reviving the caliphate and creating a state for all Muslims of the region. “The hell with Syria and Syrian nationalism!” he was quoted by Kurdish-Iraqi publication Kurdwatch as saying. “How was the modern Syria created? It was sketched by Sykes and Picot… We don’t recognize this agreement!” he added.

Addressing the issue, Reuven Paz, a former head of the research department at Israel’s General Security Service agreed with Salim’s statement, saying that “although the Arab Spring was inspired by social inequality and widespread corruption it was also caused by the desire to scrap the artificial boundaries between states and to establish a more natural territorial division of the Middle East”.

Boasting a crucially strategic location, the Middle East served as a convenient ground for the superpowers to promote their geopolitical and economic interests, where little (or no) heed was paid to the interests, desires, or differences of the affected local communities. “The borders were aimed at securing the world powers’ access to key locations, like the Suez Canal, present day Iran and Iraq, [all of which] led to India, Britain’s former colony,” explained Paz. The pundit also stressed that western involvement in the region has only increased following the discovery of impressive reserves of oil first in Persia (1908) and then Saudi Arabia (1938).

But by fragmenting the region, Paz reasoned, the world powers created mostly failed states, torn by endless wars and conflicts. Each of Israel’s neighbors, for example, has had tense relations with a fellow Arab state. Such was the case with Jordan and Saudi Arabia (following King Hussein’s pro-Saddam stance in 1991), Syria with Iraq (after Syria sided with Iran during the Iran-Iraq war), Lebanon with Syria (amid the Lebanese civil war), among other instances. The absence of close economic relations, the expansionist ambitions of certain regional leaders, and frequent territorial disputes aggravated the situation even further, leaving the region in a perpetual state of tension and conflict.

“Even though there were attempts to unite the peoples under various ideological concepts, including socialism, communism, nationalism, Pan Arabism, all of them failed – although strong armies and powerful leaders (read dictators) did serve as connecting elements,” stated Paz, stressing that only religion was able to bring a sense of unity and belonging.

Yet, in a pluralistic country like Syria, the possibility of religious unity is unlikely. Out of the country’s 22.5 million people, some 74% are Sunni Muslims (with at least 40% belonging to the MB). Other Muslim sects like Druze, Alawis and Kurds make up 16% of the population, whereas Christians of various denominations comprise 10%.

This is part one of a three-part story. Check back for part two of this important report.

 

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Proposal: Jews, Muslims to Split Temple Mount Prayer

by Maayana Miskin – Arutz Sheva7

Foto: 3:16TV Norway

MK Aryeh Eldad (Ichud Leumi) believes he has found a way for Israel to give Jews the freedom to pray at their holiest site, while avoiding Muslim violence. Jews should be granted certain times to ascend to the Temple Mount and pray, he said.

Eldad has submitted a bill that would set aside separate prayer hours for Jews and Muslims. His proposal coincided with a U.S. report criticizing Israel for failing to grant Jews freedom of worship on the Mount.

“The Temple Mount is the holiest place to the people of Israel, the place where the First and Second Temples stood,” Eldad said. “The Temple Mount is also a holy place to Muslims, where the Al-Aqsa Mosque stands, and the Temple Mount is special to Christianity as well.”

“In order to allow freedom of worship and the right to visit the Mount, special visiting days should be established for Jews and Muslims, and hours during which the Mount will be open only to Jews or only to Muslims,” he continued.

Eldad proposed a daily division that would allow each religious group to access the Temple Mount during its usual daily prayer times. Jews have three set prayer times on weekdays, while Muslims have five.

In addition, he proposed giving each group access on its holidays. Jews would have full access on Rosh Hashanah, Yom Kippur, the first and last days of Sukkot and Passover, Shavuot, and Tisha B’Av. He listed several Muslim holidays on which Muslims would have full access, among them Id al-Fitr, Id al-Adha, and Ashura.

When holidays overlap, he said, the day would be split between the two faiths.

Eldad’s proposal is reminiscent of the arrangement in the Tomb of the Patriarchs (Maarat Hamachpelah) in Hevron. There, the sacred hall over the burial place of the Biblical patriarchs and matriarchs is split between Jews and Muslims during the year, with members of each faith having access to half of the tombs. On select Jewish holidays, Jews have full access to the building while Muslim worshipers are barred, and on Muslim holidays, the opposite.

Muslim leaders are highly unlikely to support the initiative. The Temple Mount is currently under the control of the Muslim Waqf, and Jewish prayer is forbidden at the site year-round. Muslim leaders have often accused Israel of plotting against the Al-Aqsa Mosque, and the Arab League recently warned that any perceived threat to the mosque could destabilize the entire region.

 

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Egypt’s Christians on the ropes

Leaders of Egypt’s Coptic Church says persecution is rising after nation’s new Islamist rulers go back on their promise to support greater freedom and influence for Christians

Sunday, August 05, 2012 | Ryan Jones – http://www.israeltoday.co.il

The writing was on the wall. When Egypt’s pro-democracy revolution was hijacked by Islamists from the Muslim Brotherhood and other groups, many warned that Egypt’s ancient Christian community was in danger.

Despite escalating anti-Christian violence during and following the toppling of the former regime, the rising Islamists insisted that Christians would be respected in the new Egypt, and much of the international community believed them.

But with the unveiling of Egyptian President Mohammed Morsi’s new cabinet last week, it became clear that Egypt’s Christians would not enjoy increased influence, and would instead be shoved further into the corner.

During its presidential and parliamentary election campaigns, Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood promised to give Christians fair representation. But despite increasing the size of the government to 35 ministerial posts, only a single portfolio was given to a Christian.

During the reign of former dictator Hosni Mubarak, Egypt’s Christians had always controlled at least two ministries in the 30-portfolio government.

“We had expected an increase of [Christian] representation in the new government, especially after increasing the number of portfolios to 35,” said Archbishop Pachomius, acting leader of the Egyptian Coptic Church, in an interview with the independent newspaper Al-Shorouk.

Pachomius told another newspaper that the post given to the Copts was only “half a ministry,” and reiterated concerns in his community that the rise of the Islamists in Egypt would lead to less freedom for Christians.

Even more concerning is that the government’s snubbing of Christians and the expected further implementation of Sharia Law (which would further relegate Christians to dhimmi – or second-class – status) has emboldened those who would seek to physically harm Christians.

In fact, the same day Morsi took office, a Muslim mob in a village south of Cairo drove out the local Christian inhabitants over a dispute between a local Christian businessman and a Muslim client that turned violent. Morsi insisted the incident was an isolated one, but Pachomius responded that “there is clear persecution of Copts as of late.”

The government’s failure to hold accountable any of the Muslim attackers only bolstered fears of a clear bias against Christians, as did a court decision last week to continue holding a Coptic man in detention for “defaming Islam.”

Bishoy Kamil Gergis was arrested after a Muslim accused him of insulting Islam and its prophet Mohammed by posting negative opinions on Facebook. The court is expected to charge Gergis under Article 98(f) of Egypt’s Penal Code, which forbids using “religion in propagating…extreme ideas for the purpose of inciting strife, ridiculing or insulting a heavenly religion or a sect following it, or damaging national unity.”

While there are very obvious problems inherent in the law when it comes to freedom of expressions, its wording was intended to protect the adherents of all faiths. In practice, it has been wielded by Muslims as a weapon against Christians, with the complicity of Egypt’s government. And with the Muslim Brotherhood in power, Egypt’s Christians are right to worry that such persecution will escalate.

 

 

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From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens – Part III

If jihad is the “spread of Islam…until the whole world is under the rule of Islam”, then Muslims are losing the battle; that may account for the recent political surge by Islamists

Thursday, August 02, 2012 | Elizabeth Blade – israeltoday.co.il

This is Part III of a three-part story on Muslims converting to Christianity. If you have not done so already, we suggest first reading From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens – Part I and From Islam to Christianity – Apostasy that Enlightens – Part II

“After hearing my father slamming the Jews so often, it seemed natural. I always thought it was normal to have a negative view of the Jewish people,” said Jivanjee. “I almost felt that he had a kind of inferiority complex because the world’s problems were pinned solely on them. At that time, I didn’t question my father’s words even though I didn’t have any hostility towards Jews myself,” he recalled.

Darwish voiced a more critical opinion of Muslims that, as she sees it, are obsessed with their hostility towards the Jews. “When I was a Muslim, I never dared to question why our religious leaders lie and preach hatred and violence from the pulpit of mosques. To the average Muslim, cursing Jews feels normal and even holy!” said the woman, who – after years of absorbing the anti-Israel propaganda – blamed the Jewish state for the targeted killing of her father, not realizing that he had brought it on himself by launching raids that murdered many Israeli civilians. “After a lot of thinking, analysis, research, and writing, I discovered that Jew hatred is a basic part of the Islamic belief that Muslims cannot rid themselves of”.

Habib disagreed stressing that Islam has no problem with the Jewish people. “We have no issues with Jews. Just like Muslims, they worship one God. But we do have a serious dispute with Israel, the regime that occupied our land. Their aggression forces us to defend ourselves. It’s only natural,” he argued.

The cleric’s arguments didn’t convince Jivanjee and Darwish, who said that the conflict between the two nations was (and still is) solely religious, not political.

Darwish, who has studied the subject extensively and has authored several books, said the Quran was literally brimming with images of violence and hatred, promising fighters multiple rewards in this life and hereafter. After being rejected by his own tribe, she explained, Mohammed decided to flee Mecca and seek refuge in Medina, a city predominantly inhabited by Jews. Because they allowed him to move in, the Quran praised them, describing as “guidance and light” (5:44) and a “righteous” people (6:153–154), who “excelled the nations” (45:16). But as the Jews refused to convert to Islam, Mohammed’s attitude changed, growing more hostile – something that found expression in the Quran.

Paz explains the change of tone by the prophet’s desire to establish a state in Medina. “Mohammed’s verses served the constantly changing environment and had to fit the conditions on the ground. He wanted to spread his religion, so he had to be tough to make people abide by the law,” said the expert. “Initially, the prophet wanted to please the Jews, so he sought their recognition by directing his disciples to pray in the direction of Jerusalem. Following the eruption of the dispute with the Jews that caused an estimated 700 of them to die, he changed his mind, telling followers to face Mecca instead”.

Nevertheless, according to Paz, despite Mohammed’s reported brutality, he wasn’t an evil man. Being an orphan, he was extremely sensitive to injustice and wanted to change things, like banning slavery and introducing equality. But once his power grew, things started to change, with Mohammed becoming more obsessed with control – something that was subsequently expressed in the Holy Book of Muslims.

However, Habib tries to justify the violent verses by claiming that they were meant to protect the religion. “Jihad, unlike what most westerners think, is a concept of self-defense. If religion is threatened, Muslims are allowed to defend it. And that’s exactly what the prophet did,” he explains.

According to the Encyclopedia of Islam, “jihad” is the “spread of Islam by arms… a religious duty upon Muslims in general … Jihad must continue to be done until the whole world is under the rule of Islam.”

Judging by this definition, Muslims are clearly losing the battle. Nevertheless, the surge in the number of Islamists leaves many wondering what to expect from those determined to spread Mohammed’s religion by the sword.

 
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Posted by on 2. August 2012 in Arab, Bible, Islam, Jew, Muhammed, Muslim, Sharia

 

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