Turkey’s Reign of Terror: The Persecution of Minority Alevis

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In Turkey, several methods are employed to eliminate religious minorities, not only by physical violence. Instead, the government of President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan tries to erase minority faiths by preventing their ability to function by denying them the freedom to establish and safely operate their own institutions and places of worship. The Alevis, for instance, a historically persecuted religious minority in Turkey, are all-too-familiar with this form of oppression.

The Alevi-owned broadcaster, TV10, for example, was closed down in September 2016, two months after the failed coup attempt against Erdoğan, for allegedly “threatening national security and belonging to a terror organization.”

A TV10 cameraman, Kemal Demir, was taken into police custody on November 25, 2017 and arrested on December 2. Veli Büyükşahin, TV10’s chairman of the board, and Veli Haydar Güleç, a TV10 producer, were arrested on January 10. All are still in prison.

After the closure of TV10, employees and supporters held protests every Saturday for 82 weeks at Istanbul’s Taksim Square, demanding that the authorities reopen their media outlet. On April 28, they ended their demonstrations, stating in part: “We have not been able to take back our TV channel, but we have declared that the voice of Alevis cannot be silenced.”

via Turkey’s Reign of Terror: The Persecution of Minority Alevis

The Fantasy Islam of the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole (Part 2)

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In Part 1 we saw how Cole had taken a selective approach to Islamic Doctrine and 7th Century Muslim history, had believed that there was human involvement in the writing of the Koran, had a certain amount of disconnect between what he wrote and sources he claimed showed support for that writing, and had exercised great freedom in determining the meaning of Koran verses because he was not concerned about what Muslims believed about their holy scripture.

There is much more to Cole’s Fantasy Islam, so let’s delve into it.

New time periods for Koran chapters

Cole determined his own personal chronology for the revelation of some Koran chapters:

Chapter 9

On pp. 176-180 Cole wrote that Chapter 9 had been revealed during and shortly after the Muslim conquest of Mecca in January 630. However, in Endnote 3, p. 227, Cole had written that in determining when Koran verses were “revealed,” Theodor Noldeke’s The History of the Quran had “set the chronological approach used in this book.” It is interesting to note that Noldeke dated the bulk of Chapter 9 from late 630 into early 631 and as having nothing to do with the Muslim conquest of Mecca (Noldeke, pp. 179-183). Noldeke’s time frame was also reported by Pickthall.[1]

via The Fantasy Islam of the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole (Part 2)

Why Begrudge Us this Little Haven

Beyond the Cusp

One thing history has taught is that even when the Jewish People come to a nation at its behest and help to modernize that nation, with time everything which went or will ever go wrong is heaped upon us along with the vile degradations and then the threats to our lives. This has occurred throughout Europe, the Middle East and North Africa. It has happened across South and Central America, Russia and has even come to parts of Asia despite there being next to nothing resembling a large Jewish population. It has come to the United States and Canada, though in a less obvious measure, and thus has largely been swept under the carpet, for now. There was the infamous General Order No. 11 (1862) given by Major-General Ulysses S. Grant of December 17, 1862, during the American Civil War which ordered the expulsion of all Jews in his military…

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The Fantasy Islam of the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole (Part 1)

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In October 2018 we saw the release of Juan Cole’s new book: Muhammad, Prophet of Peace Amid the Clash of Empires. Cole is the Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan, and he is a “Renowned Middle East Expert.”[1] His new book received rave reviews; here are some that are on the book cover:

A brilliant and original book destined to challenge many Western preconceptions about Islam. Eugene Rogan, author of The Arabs: A History

Filled with astute observations at every turn. Fred M. Donner, University of Chicago

Cole’s thoroughly original and firmly rooted scholarship challenges long established Western narratives of Islam as a religion of violence, war, and intolerance. A brilliant reconstruction of early Islamic history. John L. Esposito, Georgetown University (Esposito has his own version of Fantasy Islam.[2])

In spite of Cole’s academic standing at the University of Michigan and the rave reviews, this book is largely a work of fiction based on Cole’s personal interpretation of the Koran and his selective approach to Islamic Doctrine and 7th Century Islamic history.

via The Fantasy Islam of the University of Michigan’s Juan Cole (Part 1)

“Burnt Beyond Recognition”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, August 2018

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Christians Burned Alive and Churches Torched

Ethiopia: Approximately 15 Christian priests were killed—at least four burned alive—and 19 churches torched during Muslim uprisings in the east, where most of the nation’s Muslim population, consisting of 33% of the population, is centered. “Similar tensions are bubbling under the surface in other parts of Oromia,” which is approximately 50% Muslim, said a local source. “We have even heard of places where Muslims had asked Christians to vacate the area. And though this call is veiled as ethnic rivalry by some media and observers, it is at its very core a religious matter.”

Nigeria: During one of eight raids on Christian villages on August 28, Muslim Fulani herdsmen burned alive a Christian pastor, his wife, and three young children in their home; two other non-relatives were also killed in the raids. Armed with machetes and AK47 rifles, the Islamic raiders also looted and destroyed 95 houses and three churches. Gyang Adamu, one of the pastor’s surviving children who was away at the University of Jos at the time, “got to know about the attack when I saw a post on Facebook that Abonong village [his home], was under attack,” he said. When he finally got through to someone local, “the report I received was very devastating; I couldn’t believe that all my family members have been engulfed in the pogrom. On reaching home, I saw my daddy and younger ones burnt beyond recognition. The sight of the gory incident broke me down.”

Also in Nigeria, armed Muslims stormed a Baptist church around 1 am, shot its pastor dead, and kidnapped his wife. “The abductors said we need to pay them N5 million [equivalent to about $15,000 USD; 13,000 euros] before they can release her to us,” said one local source. “You can imagine that they now have the gut to walk into people’s home, kill and abduct and also have an effrontery to demand for ransom. Where and how can we get that money?”

via “Burnt Beyond Recognition”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, August 2018

What is the U.S. policy towards Lebanon?

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According to the Israeli media, during his meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Brussels last Monday, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked for the U.S. to impose an economic embargo on Lebanon.

Pompeo reportedly rejected Netanyahu’s request.

The meeting between the two men took place on the eve of Israel’s initiation of Operation Northern Shield last Tuesday. The operation is a military effort geared towards sealing Hezbollah’s offensive subterranean attack tunnels. It follows Israel’s stunning revelation that it had discovered the locations of Hezbollah’s attack tunnels, perhaps Hezbollah’s most secret undertaking.

According to Netanyahu, Hezbollah launched its offensive tunnel project in 2014. The existence of the tunnel program was known to almost no one in the organization.

Hezbollah’s tunnels traverse the border between Lebanon and Israel. Hezbollah reportedly intended to have the tunnels serve as a means to invade Israeli territory rapidly and undetected. It is the declared goal of Hezbollah to conquer northern Israel in its next war against the Jewish state.

via What is the U.S. policy towards Lebanon?