Tag Archives: religion

Married to Mohammed – Part I

When Christian women find themselves married to Muslim men, the outcome is rarely what they were promised, and a few brave women are starting to speak out

Monday, September 03, 2012 | Elizabeth Blade –

“He introduced himself as Jamie from Italy,” said W.L. Cati, a prominent speaker and one of the leading US experts on Islamic marriages, as she recalled her initial acquaintance with her husband-to-be. “Only some time later did I learn that his real name was Muhammad and that he came from Aleppo, Syria,” she added.

Blaming her youth and naivete, Cati notes that the first deception was not enough to alert her about the dangers that would lie ahead and ultimately be recounted in her books, “Vow of Deception” and “Married to Muhammad.”

“Back in the 1980’s, I knew little about Syria and even less about Islam,” she explained. “I didn’t care where he came from. He was charismatic, spoke very good English and struck me as a reliable person who wanted a family, so I fell into the trap,” she told Israel Today.

After dating for a year, the couple got married in a mosque. “Since the ceremony was conducted in Arabic, I didn’t understand a word. Only upon leaving the place did I find out that my name was changed to Zena, and that from that moment on I was a Muslim,” she stated, admitting that she felt Christian despite the conversion.

What followed was twelve years of troublesome marriage. “My husband went into the real estate business and money started flowing. Our income went from a combined total of forty thousand dollars per year to about one hundred thousand a month,” Cati said, adding that their improved financial fortunes had a negative impact on their relationship.

“Muhammad started drinking more often,” she explained, stressing that her spouse had never been a pious man, even though he did fast during the month of Ramadan. “I sensed that he was cheating on me, but couldn’t catch him red-handed. His mother started frequenting, snooping in our domestic affairs and causing a lot of tension,” Cati recalled.

Yet, despite the difficulties, Cati opted to stay married, justifying the decision with her strong love for the man who had swept her off her feet years earlier. In 1992, however, a major change happened. “I went to visit Syria. There, in one of the mosques of Damascus, I declared myself a Muslim and decided to wear the veil ‘full time,’” Cati explained, adding that the decision to convert was dictated by her readiness to accept her husband’s religion. “That was a trap, because conversion meant that I couldn’t escape,” she continued, expaining that the abuse from her husband and his mother only escalated following her move.

According to Cati, during the years of her marriage she and her children experienced constant verbal, mental and physical abuse. Unable to take it any longer, Cati finally filed for divorce, but then changed her mind following Muhammad’s reassurances that he would change. He never did.

Seeking answers to what went wrong, Cati started questioning Islam, but said that she could find neither answers nor peace. “At some point, I realized that I had made a mistake by converting,” she said. “That’s when I decided to reject Islam and go back to Christianity. A year later, he divorced me, starting numerous battles over financial issues and our kids,” she continued.

After enduring years of a matrimonial nightmare, Cati is now counseling others on how to avoid her mistakes, but says she has no hard feelings for Muslims. “Not all of them beat their wives,” she said, concluding that domestic violence exists in every culture and religion.

This is part one of a four-part series on Christian women marrying Muslim men from the Middle East. Stay tuned for the next installment.


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Egyptian professor: We are stoking the flames of conflict

Political science professor from Egypt gives glimpse into why younger generations of Arabs across the region hate Israel even more than their parents, despite peace treaties and processes

Thursday, August 30, 2012 | Ryan Jones –

Egyptian professor: We are stoking the flames of conflict A prominent Egyptian professor of political science admitted on Egyptian TV last week that institutes of higher learning in the region are purposefully stoking the flames of conflict between young Arab Muslims and Israel.

In an interview with Al-Alam TV that aired on August 17, Professor Gamal Zahran, head of the Department of Political Science at Port Said University, openly acknowledged that promoting hatred of the Jewish state is a primary goal in classes taught by himself and other lecturers.

Providing a glimpse into how Israel is dealt with in Middle East university classrooms, Zahran insisted that “the elimination of the Zionist entity is beyond debate…the only question has to do with the circumstances.”

Zahran believes the right set of circumstances may soon exist to take action on his teachings.

“I believe that the [Arab Spring] provided the people with hope that one day Jerusalem and Palestine [sic] will return to them,” Zahran stated. “We are constantly keeping that hope alive among the younger generation so that they will realize that the Palestinian cause is an essential one.”

And while the Arab masses are not yet ready to storm the “Zionist entity,” Zahran was confident that “the hope and memory will later turn into action. By next year, Allah willing, Israel will be annihilated.”

The ongoing incitement of future generations of Arabs to continue the conflict with Israel has been Jerusalem’s biggest complaint in its various peace processes. Despite being officially at peace since 1979, younger generations of Egyptians still hate Israel, and judging by Zahran’s remarks the reason why is clear.

Even worse is the Palestinian Authority, which teaches children from the youngest ages through its schools and state-run media to view Israel and the Jews as blood-thirsty usurpers, thus making a genuine, lasting peace nearly impossible to achieve.

[Translation of Egyptian media was provided by The Middle East Research Institute]


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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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Israel vows to punish suspected Jew-on-Arab violence

Netanyahu government angered by suspected attacks by Israeli Jews on Palestinian Arabs; commenters note contrast with Palestinian leaders, who praise Arabs who attack Jews

Sunday, August 19, 2012 | Ryan Jones –

Israel’s government at the weekend harshly condemned two incidents in which Israeli Jews are suspected of having violently assaulted Palestinian Arabs, and vowed to swiftly bring the alleged perpetrators to justice.

Both incidents occurred on Thursday night last week. In the first, a firebomb was hurled at a Palestinian taxi, injuring six people inside the vehicle. Police suspect that the perpetrators were Jewish youth frustrated by years of Palestinian attacks on Jewish motorists.

Leaders of Jewish communities in Judea, where the attack took place, noted that Palestinians regularly attack Jewish motorists in the same area and insisted it was too early to determine if the perpetrators were Jews, or Arabs who mistakenly firebombed one of their own.

But Israeli authorities said they were convinced the attackers were Jews, and started questioning local teens known to be involved in “extremist” activities.

Most local Israelis condemned the attack, and empathized with the victims, but were sorely disappointed with the response of their government and the international community.

“Firebombings and rock attacks are part of daily life for Jewish residents of the area, and we have yet to hear of this kind of fast response and efficiency from the security forces in dealing with those incidents,” one Israeli told Israel National News. “And here, when there’s just a whiff of a hint of a suspicion that Jews might have done it, we see how, starting from the top…everyone is determined and prepared to ‘do everything to bring those responsible to justice.'”

The second incident took place in Jerusalem’s Zion Square, where numerous reports state that a group of up to 12 Jewish youth clashed with three Arab teens, leaving one of the Arabs seriously wounded.

Details about how the beating began remain fuzzy, but what is known is that the result was an 18-year-old Arab boy being hospitalized at Jerusalem’s Hadassah Ein Kerem Hospital suffering from serious head injuries.

On Friday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu phoned Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas to express his outrage over the attacks, and to swear he would do everything possible to bring those responsible to justice.

Minister for Strategic Affairs Moshe Ya’alon called the attacks acts of terrorism, and said it was “unbearable” and “aggravating” to see Jews violating their people’s own moral standards.

News of the attacks, and the responses to them, were the topics of much discussion in Israel on Sunday. While the bulk of Israelis strongly condemned the violence and agreed that those responsible must be punished, many commenters on major news websites also pointed out the stark contrast between Israel’s response to these attacks and the Palestinian response to similar Arab attacks against Jews, and why it does not bode well for genuine peace anytime soon.

The vast majority of Israelis have slammed last week’s attacks and want to see justice done to the suspected Jewish perpetrators. That is especially true of the Israeli government and media. But when Palestinian Arabs attack Jews in similar fashion, the Palestinian media praises the perpetrators and the Palestinian Authority holds them aloft as heroes, particularly if they end up in an Israeli jail.

PHOTO: Jewish residents of Judea pay a hospital visit to one of the Palestinian Arabs injured in Thursday’s firebomb attack.


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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 –

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 –

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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