“Be Cursed Forever”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, January 2018

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Three masked gunmen targeted and killed Bassem Attallah, a Christian man, 27, after identifying him as a Christian by the cross tattoo on his wrist. According to his older brother, Osama, 38, the siblings and a Muslim colleague, Muhammad, were walking home after work when three armed men, aged between 23 and 25 stopped them. “We thought they were policemen because they weren’t masked… They were wearing black jackets,” Osama recalled. “They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: ‘Are you Christian?’ Bassem answered ‘Yes, I am Christian,’ and repeated that again in a loud voice.”

The men then asked Muhammad his name and to show them his wrist. They saw no cross and allowed him to leave. On learning Osama’s name, which is popular among Muslims, and not seeing any cross tattoos on his wrist, they also allowed him to leave. “And then they shot Bassem in the head. I could not believe what happened to my brother. He fell on the ground in front of me and I was unable to do anything…. We lost a person dear to our hearts. My brother Bassem was a very good and kind man. He had a strong relationship with God. He was always reading in the Bible, praying and going to the church. He was loved by all people,” said his grieving brother. The murder took place in Al-Arish, Sinai, which in recent years has been the scene of many attacks on Christians—including the murder of two priests and the mass upheaval of Christian villages.

Separately, on New Year’s Day, which the Muslim calendar does not recognize or celebrate, two Christian brothers were gunned down in public by a masked man on a motorcycle. While they died en route to a hospital, the murderer escaped. At the time of the attack, they were near Christian friend’s store, which sold liquor. Coptic-owned stores that sell liquor have been targeted by those who consider alcohol haram, or forbidden by Islam. Almost one year to the day, on January 3, 2017, a Muslim man sneaked up behind a Christian shop owner in Egypt and slit his throat for selling alcohol.

via “Be Cursed Forever”: Extremist Persecution of Christians, January 2018

Hijab Chronicles

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Last month, an Iranian court ordered Shaparak Shajarizadeh, 43, to prison for two years, with 18 years’ probation, for removing her headscarf in public.

In our childhood in Iran, my sister’s screams would cut through the silence of our home at night. Nightmares would wake her and leave her too terrified to go back to sleep. We all encouraged her to share her fears; she would always refuse. On the night she finally opened up, her entire body was shaking with fear.

Afraid to ask the question out loud, my sister, then nine years old, whispered: “Will Allah hang me from my hair? The religious and Quran teacher at our school told us in class that if we show our hair in public, God will hang us from our hair in the afterlife and torture us for infinity. He will resurrect us if we die and then torture us again,” she was sobbing. “I went to the grocery store and forgot to wear my hijab. Will He torture me for infinity?”

My sister was then attending one of the tens of thousands of schools, both in Iran and abroad, run by the sharia law of the Islamic Republic of Iran. Many teachers of religion and the Quran in these schools use the directive above to warn girls not to display their hair. The directive comes from a reported hadith, the sayings and acts of Mohammad.

via Hijab Chronicles

Lord Sheikh faces Tory probe for attending Tunisia conference with Corbyn

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Senior Tories are demanding an investigation into Lord Sheikh for attending the controversial conference in Tunisia at the heart of the Jeremy Corbyn wreath laying scandal.

MPs Robert Halfon and Zac Goldsmith have lodged a formal complaint with the party saying the event in 2014 was ‘disgraceful’.

In a letter to Conservative HQ, the politicians wrote: ‘We cannot, as a Party, rightly and robustly criticise the Leader of the Opposition for his attendance at this conference while allowing the attendance of a Conservative Peer at the same event to pass without comment or complaint.

‘To do so would be to indulge in hypocrisy and double standards. In our opinion, Lord Sheikh’s attendance at this conference was hugely disappointing and raises significant questions that need to be answered.’

via Lord Sheikh faces Tory probe for attending Tunisia conference with Corbyn

Hezbollah Chief Claims Terrorist Group Stronger than IDF, Ready for War

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In a televised address marking the 12th anniversary of the end of the 34-day Second Lebanon War with Israel in 2006, Hezbollah general secretary Hassan Nasrallah boasted that his forces were stronger than the Israeli army and prepared for a fresh war with Israel.

Nasrallah claimed that the Trump administration was “mistaken” in thinking sanctions would lead to riots in Iran that would topple the regime, or even force Iran to reduce support for activity abroad.

Last week the US began restoring sanctions that had been lifted under the 2015 nuclear deal with Iran, which President Donald Trump withdrew from in May. The administration says the renewed sanctions are meant to pressure Tehran to halt its support for international terrorism, its military activity in the Middle East and its ballistic missile programs.

“Iran has been facing sanctions since the victory of the Islamic Revolution in 1979,” Nasrallah said. “He (Trump) is strengthening the sanctions but they have been there since 1979 and Iran stayed and will celebrate the 40th anniversary of the victory of its revolution.”

via Hezbollah Chief Claims Terrorist Group Stronger than IDF, Ready for War