The United Church of Christ: Knowingly Silent on Terrorism

  • An organization affiliated to the United Church of Christ (UCC), the UCC Palestine Israel Network (UCCPIN) published a guide to Israel-Palestine affairs in August and again in September 2016. Titled “Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel”, and sub-headed “A Guide for United Church of Christ Faith Leaders”, this toxic document is a desperately one-sided, inaccurate, and counter-factual exercise in futile politics. It most certainly does not favour justice or peace in the Holy Land, as its contents show on every page. Legally, UCCPIN operates under the aegis of one of the denomination’s local conferences. Their guide is, therefore, not the direct work of the church’s leadership, but is clearly endorsed by a section of it.
  • The naïvety of the UCC is particularly striking in its choice to take at face value the Palestinian statement that if Israel ended its occupation peace would follow as day follows night. When, after 1949, Gaza was occupied by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan, no one protested, no one attacked Egyptians or Jordanians. In other words, Israel occupied only itself. But Palestinian terrorism against Israelis continued up to 1967, right through the period of Israeli non-occupation. There were no “settlements” then. Rather, the Palestinians have always regarded all of Israel as one big “settlement.” Just look at any Palestinian maps; they cover both the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories.
  • Unfortunately, the Palestinians have a history of regarding every retreat by Israel as a triumph of aggression over diplomacy, as if to say: We shoot at Israelis and they leave; so let’s keep doing it.
  • In its introduction, the UCC, knowing full well that Israel has not occupied Gaza since 2005, still speaks of “the Israeli military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories: the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza.”
  • The UCC Guide states flatly that “Israeli settlements in the West Bank are identified as illegal by the international community” — even though international law says exactly the opposite. The West Bank and Gaza were both occupied as a result of a defensive war against Egypt and Jordan in 1967, in which the Israelis were victorious. It is never illegal to occupy territory obtained in defensive military action.
  • The Palestinians not only reject all offers of peace on that basis but go much farther and call every day for the abolition of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state covering Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.
  • The UCC Guide states that “Israel has built hundreds of permanent and mobile military checkpoints throughout the West Bank.” This, again, is pure fantasy. In 2015, there were no more than fifteen checkpoints across the West Bank. These checkpoints are not there to target innocent Palestinians. They are there to restrain terrorists from setting out to kill innocent Israelis. The only people to criticize the checkpoints across Northern Ireland during the many years of terrorism there were supporters of the Provisional IRA, who apparently did not like being obstructed from killing people.
  • The UCC boasts that it is “a just peace church”, but instead of supporting peace and justice, it defends mass murderers. It complains about the defensive actions of the Jews and is knowingly silent about the horrors wrought by Palestinian wars and terrorism. It treats Palestinian actions as mere responses to Israeli aggression — a total reversal of historical fact.
  • Is the UCC unaware that Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is far from being a feel-good interfaith movement for peace and warm relations? It is, in fact, notorious for its close ties to Islamic terrorism. Even ten years ago, its true character was well known. Has no-one in the UCC the wit or decency to repudiate this unsuitable connection? Or to raise the fact that many Muslims across the Middle East have been killing, expelling, and humiliating Christians for a very long time, but especially in recent decades? Will they not admit that the expanding exodus of Christians from the West Bank and Gaza has been precipitated by extremist Muslims and the Palestinian authorities? That under the Palestinian Authority since 1995, the number of Christians has plummeted?
  • The UCC cannot continue to assert its association with Jesus Christ, a man of peace, when they so openly espouse the cause of Palestinian “resistance” that embraces violence as a solution above any form of peace-making. Christ said “Blessed be the peace-makers,” yet here is a Christian church that blesses men of violence.

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Egypt’s Deadliest Church Attack

The worst attack on Egypt’s Christian minority in recent years occurred yesterday, Sunday, December 11, 2016. St. Peter Cathedral in Cairo, packed with worshipers celebrating Sunday mass, was bombed; at least 27 churchgoers, mostly women and children, were killed and 65 severely wounded. As many of the wounded are in critical condition, the death toll is expected to rise.

As usual, witnesses say that state security was not present, and that police took an inordinate amount of time to arrive after the explosion. Preliminary investigations point to a bomb placed inside an unattended woman’s purse on one of the rear pews of the women’s section.

Mutilated bodies were strewn along the floor of the cathedral. “I found bodies, many of them women, lying on the pews. It was a horrible scene,” said one witness.

“I saw a headless woman being carried away,” said Mariam Shenouda.

“Everyone was in a state of shock. We were scooping up people’s flesh off the floor. There were children. What have they done to deserve this? I wish I had died with them instead of seeing these scenes.”

In death toll and severity, this attack surpasses what was formerly considered the deadliest church attack in Egypt: a New Year’s Day bombing of a church in Alexandria that killed 23 people in 2011.

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Raymond Ibrahim: A Hate to Kill and Die for

Muslim attacks on Christian churches are on the rise all around the worldincluding in America.  The worst occurred last month when a bomb exploded in Egypt’s St. Peter’s Cathedral, killing 28, mostly women and children.  Preliminary investigations had indicated that a woman entered the church, sat in the women’s section, and then left an unattended purse that later detonated.  Later reports asserted that, although others were involved, including one Muslim woman, a male suicide-bomber was the chief culprit (graphic pictures of his remains here).

How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them—here’s a similar example from Turkey—and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children?  How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?

The answer is an unfathomable—and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable—amount of hate.    Yet the wonder isn’t that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it.  After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations and Internet sites—even the ministry of education—openly incite hatred for Egypt’s indigenous (but “infidel”) inhabitants: the Christian Copts.   Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate—and show that they hate—Christians, even if they are their own wives.

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A Hate to Kill and Die for

Muslim attacks on Christian churches are on the rise all around the worldincluding in America.  The worst occurred last month when a bomb exploded in Egypt’s St. Peter’s Cathedral, killing 28, mostly women and children.  Preliminary investigations had indicated that a woman entered the church, sat in the women’s section, and then left an unattended purse that later detonated.  Later reports asserted that, although others were involved, including one Muslim woman, a male suicide-bomber was the chief culprit (graphic pictures of his remains here).

How much hate must a woman have to enter a church, smile in the faces of Christians, pretend to be worshipping alongside them—here’s a similar example from Turkey—and then knowingly leave a bomb precisely where it would kill mostly women and children?  How much hate must a man have for people who are peacefully praying that, in order to kill as many of them, he is willing to kill himself?

The answer is an unfathomable—and, to Western and Christian minds, unbelievable—amount of hate.    Yet the wonder isn’t that the church was bombed but rather that many are surprised by it.  After all, many Muslim scriptures, clerics, mosques, schools, satellite stations and Internet sites—even the ministry of education—openly incite hatred for Egypt’s indigenous (but “infidel”) inhabitants: the Christian Copts.   Among other forms of animosity, they teach that Muslims must hate—and show that they hate—Christians, even if they are their own wives.

Worse, they teach that the most abominable crimes in God’s sight—“worse than murder and bloodshed”—take place inside churches: there, Christians flaunt their rejection of Islam’s core doctrine of tawhid (“monotheism”) by ascribing partners to God (shirk) via their worship of the Trinity. This is why some of Islam’s most revered ulema (scholars) describe churches as “worse than bars and brothels” and “dens of iniquity” which “breed corruption throughout the lands” (see Crucified Again, pgs. 32-36).

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Muslim Slaughters Christian for Selling Alcohol in Egypt

A Muslim man crept up behind a Christian man and slit his throat, killing him in Alexandria, Egypt, on the evening of January 3.

Adel Suleiman, 48, the Muslim man who committed the murder, did so because his Christian victim, 45-year-old Joseph Lam‘i, owned a shop that sold alcohol, which the murderer deemed “contrary to the shar‘ia [Islamic law] and the religion [Islam],” according to an Arabic language investigative report.

A surveillance video captures the moment of the attack (see below).  The Coptic shop owner can be seen sitting in a chair right outside his shop.  Then a bearded man appears casually walking along in the background.  He stops behind the seated Christian, pulls his head back, and very forcefully and deliberately slits his throat.   The Copt instinctively jumps up and away from his assassin, though he quickly succumbed to his wounds by bleeding to death.

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The Specifics of Sharia’s Savageries

Although Western media regularly claim no “motive” for many of the Islamic attacks on non-Muslims, many are by now at least vaguely aware that the Muslim perpetrators rely on generic Islamic teachings that foster hostility for non-Muslims.

Yet often overlooked are the very stringent and detailed Islamic rulings behind many terror attacks.

Take the recent attack on St. Peter’s Cathedral in Egypt, which left at least 25 Christian worshippers—the majority of whom were women and children—dead and which ISIS claimed.  While many might write it off as just another generic attack targeting Coptic Christian “infidels,” the reality is that ISIS and other Islamic groups and individuals relied on arcane and little known Islamic rulings to justify their violence.

For instance, why was St. Peter’s specifically targeted?  The obvious answer is that it holds a prestigious place among the Coptic Orthodox community, as it stands within the St. Mark complex, the seat of the Coptic Pope in Cairo, Egypt’s capital.

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