Egyptian jihad group calls for Christian genocide

**Posted by Phineas

Coptic cross

Via Raymond Ibrahim:

According to today’s issue of El Fegr, “Elements of terrorist, jihadi organizations distributed leaflets today inciting for the killing of Copts in Suez, Ismailia, and Upper Egypt, promising them [Copts] a tragic end if they do not return to the truth.”

An image of a copy of the letter appears on El Fegr’s website. Titled “An Urgent and Important Notice,” it begins by calling on “all brothers and sisters” to “kill or physically attack the enemies of the religion of Allah—the Christians in all of Egypt’s provinces, the slaves of the Cross, Allah’s curse upon them…” It proceeds to promise a monetary reward for whoever helps “achieve Allah’s rights against his enemies.”

(…)

This genocide has been called until Egypt’s Christians “return to the truth,” a reference apparently meaning that Egypt’s Christians must either embrace “the truth”—that is, Islam, which they must convert to—or else return to the truths of the religion, which holds that Christians must embrace their subhuman dhimmi status (Koran 9:29).

The ongoing persecution of religious minorities in the Muslim world is something rarely reported in our mainstream media, which instead hangs on every word about “Islamophobia” uttered by CAIR and its allies. But, unlike those claims, the persecution of Christians, Zoroastrians, Baha’is, Jews, and Buddhists in areas where Islam dominates or seeks domination is all too real — and often fatal.

One of the founding, core ideals of the United States is freedom of religion, the right to practice one’s faith -or no faith at all- without fear of punishment. We consider it a universal, unalienable right, pre-existing any government, endowed in all by Nature and Nature’s God.

It would be nice if the current administration could be bothered to speak out for that right, on behalf of those suffering genuine oppression.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

And speaking of “freedom of conscience”

**Posted by Phineas

ObamaCare’s contraceptive and abortifacient mandates took effect today:

As of July 31, 2012 a business owner who objects to abortion had the freedom of conscience to make sure that her company’s insurance policies did not pay to facilitate the practice. But as of today, August 1, she no longer has that freedom. The ObamaCare contraceptive and abortifacient mandates take effect today, hailed by the Obama regime as a great and wonderful thing.

According to HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, “President Obama is moving our country forward by giving women control over their health care. This law puts women and their doctors, not insurance companies or the government, in charge of health care decisions.”

What about pro-life women? Do they not exist?

Not in the eyes of Barack Obama, Kathleen Sebelius, or the Left, they don’t.

Be sure to read the rest.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

First he’s our first Gay President, now he’s our first Jewish president?

**Posted by Phineas

I mean, that’s kind of the idea when he told Conservative Jewish rabbis that he knows more about Judaism than any past president:

In the meeting, Obama reportedly boasted about his knowledge of Judaism, telling the leaders that he thinks he knows more “about Judaism” than all past presidents. He said he gained this knowledge of Judaism from reading.

Obama … stressed he probably knows about Judaism more than any other president, because he read about it,” Haaretz reports. “[He] wondered how come no one asks Speaker of the House of Representatives John Boehner or Senate minority leader Mitch McConnel [sic] about their support to Israel.”

Similarly, he said to the group, “I [am] not going to tell you again how I even feel about Israel, but why [are] we still talking about it?”

He then suggested that he should not be questioned about his commitment to the Jewish state because “all his friends in Chicago were Jewish – and at the beginning of his political career he was accused of being a puppet of the Israel lobby,” Haaretz reports.

Get it? He read about Judaism (Once? Twice? How deeply? The menu at the local deli?), and, hey, some of his best friends were Jews, so of course he’s an expert on a nearly 6,000-year old religion.

What’s next, a production of “Guess who’s coming to (Passover) dinner?”

Bill Kristol responds:

And the claim that Obama knows more about Judaism than any president? His vanity boggles the mind. One could begin by citing Adams and Madison, who knew Hebrew, or Harry Truman, who knew Jewish history … but it’s silly to dignify this claim with a rebuttal. In thinking about the presidents since Truman, though, I’d guess the president who knew the most about Judaism was Jimmy Carter, who taught Sunday school and had a deep interest in religion. So let’s stipulate that of the modern presidents, Carter and Obama “know” the most about Judaism. But what is it they know? In Obama’s case, one could ask whether what he “knows” is what he learned from Rashid Khalidi (1) and Jeremiah Wright.

I know we’ve seen examples of his overwhelming ego again and again over the last 3-4 years, but each new one still leaves me saying “You’ve got to be kidding.”

Trouble is, he isn’t.

via Jim Geraghty’s Morning Jolt

RELATED: Jeff Dunetz isn’t impressed at all.

Footnote:
(1) That would be former PLO spokesman and Hamas sympathizer Rashid Khalidi, whom Obama toasted at a farewell dinner, the tape of which has been mysteriously suppressed by the LA Times. Never knew he was Jewish…

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Liberals just don’t like what the Founders did, do they?

**Posted by Phineas

A little while back, I featured Justice Ginsburg opining that the US Constitution really wasn’t a suitable model for the modern age.

Now we have a Washington Post editor wondering if, perhaps, the first Congress got it wrong when it guaranteed the free exercise of religion in the First Amendment:

That‘s what Washington Post editor Melinda Henneberger told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews last night while defending Catholics. Here’s the full quote:

“Maybe the Founders were wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion in the First Amendment but that is what they did and I don’t think we have to choose here.”

And maybe they made a mistake guaranteeing free speech, too; otherwise we’d be able to punish dolts like Henneberger for saying such stupid things. And that whole trial by jury thing; it just gets in the way of government enforcing the law to protect us.

Head, meet wall.

Former federal prosecutor Andrew McCarthy spots several problems with Henneberger’s proposition, the foremost being the centrality of freedom of religious expression to the Colonial experience and the foundation of the United States, itself:

First, there is the sheer unreality of it. As someone of Ms. Henneberger’s sophistication must know, the Founders cannot have been wrong to guarantee free exercise of religion. Had they failed to do so, there would have been no nation to found. Free exercise was a deal-breaker for Americans, and the adoption of the Bill of Rights (in which free-exercise was among the core of individual liberties that had to be specified) was a deal breaker for skeptics in several states who believed the Constitution transferred too much power to the federal government.

(Emphasis added.)

In other words, the new HHS rule regarding insurance coverage for contraception and abortifacients at religious institutions is exactly and precisely the kind of tyrannical and oppressive act regarding the free exercise of religion those who argued for a Bill of Rights had in mind, even if it’s presented as a “public good.”

They weren’t wrong, Melinda, they were prescient.

RELATED: Getting back to Justice Ginsburg and the outdated Constitution, historian Steven Hayward figured out why she seemed so enamored of the South African constitution:

The South African constitution is equally watery. Yes, it does include an independent judiciary and a long list of positive rights. Then there’s this:

“When interpreting the Bill of Rights, a court, tribunal or forum must promote the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality and freedom; must consider international law; and may consider foreign law.”

No wonder Ginsburg likes it so much: it more or less gives judges a blank check to look anywhere they want to reach any result they want.

So much more fun that sticking by our stodgy old rules, no?

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Religious unity against HHS decision

**Posted by Phineas

I wrote earlier that Catholic bishops across America had come out strongly against the Obama administration decision requiring religious organizations to pay for the cost of providing contraceptives and abortifacients to their employees. Jewish and Protestant groups aligned themselves with the bishops.

Now Orthodox Christian bishops have joined in:

The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the free exercise of religion. This freedom is transgressed when a religious institution is required to pay for “contraceptive services” including abortion-inducing drugs and sterilization services that directly violate their religious convictions. Providing such services should not be regarded as mandated medical care. We, the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops, call upon HHS Secretary Sebelius and the Obama Administration to rescind this unjust ruling and to respect the religious freedom guaranteed all Americans by the First Amendment.

As Joshua Treviño describes it, it is very unusual for Orthodox bishops to make an overtly political declaration. (Also h/t)

I really don’t think Team Obama quite knows what they’ve unleashed on themselves. But they’ll find out on Election Day.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Obama won’t be expecting the Spanish Inquisition

**Posted by Phineas

It isn’t bad enough that the majority of Americans oppose ObamaCare and want it repealed. No, the administration had to go and tick off the Catholic Church, too.

Background: As part of the implementation of ObamaCare, Secretary Sebelius of the Department of Health and Human Services issued regulations requiring religious groups to provide health insurance that would cover practices and procedures, such as abortion, diametrically opposed to their beliefs. The groups were given a year to comply. (Or else?)

This was too much for Catholic bishops to take, and a letter denouncing this move as an assault on religious liberty was read in thousands of parishes across the land this last Sunday. Here’s an excerpt from one:

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced last week that almost all employers,including Catholic employers, will be forced to offer their employees’ health coverage that includes sterilization, abortion-inducing drugs, and contraception. Almost all health insurers will be forced to include those “services” in the health policies they write. And almost all individuals will be forced to buy that coverage as a part of their policies.

In so ruling, the Obama Administration has cast aside the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, denying to Catholics our Nation’s first and most fundamental freedom, that of religious liberty. And as a result, unless the rule is overturned, we Catholics will be compelled to either violate our consciences, or to drop health coverage for our employees (and suffer the penalties for doing so). The Obama Administration’s sole concession was to give our institutions one year to comply.

We cannot—we will not—comply with this unjust law. People of faith cannot be made second class citizens. We are already joined by our brothers and sisters of all faiths and many others of good will in this important effort to regain our religious freedom. Our parents and grandparents did not come to these shores to help build America’s cities and towns, its infrastructure and institutions, its enterprise and culture,only to have their posterity stripped of their God given rights. In generations past, the Church has always been able to count on the faithful to stand up and protect her sacred rights and duties. I hope and trust she can count on this generation of Catholics to do the same. Our children and grandchildren deserve nothing less.

Each bishop sent out his own letter, so there’s some variation. Bishop Zubik of Pittsburgh said the HHS ruling amount to telling Catholics “to Hell with you:”

Kathleen Sebelius announced that the mandate would not be withdrawn and the religious exemption would not be expanded. Instead, she stated that nonprofit groups – which include the Catholic Church – will get a year “to adapt to this new rule.” She simply dismissed Catholic concerns as standing in the way of allegedly respecting the health concerns and choices of women.

Could Catholics be insulted any more, suggesting that we have no concern for women’s health issues? The Catholic Church and the Catholic people have erected health care facilities that are recognized worldwide for their compassionate care for everyone regardless of their creed, their economic circumstances and, most certainly, their gender. In so many parts of the globe – the United States included – the Church is health care.

Kathleen Sebelius and through her, the Obama administration, have said “To Hell with You” to the Catholic faithful of the United States.

  • To Hell with your religious beliefs,
  • To Hell with your religious liberty,
  • To Hell with your freedom of conscience.

Want to know how seriously the Church in America takes this? One bishop directed that the Prayer to St. Michael be read at services within his diocese (h/t PJM):

Saint Michael the Archangel,
defend us in battle;
be our protection against the wickedness and snares of the devil.
May God rebuke him, we humbly pray:
and do thou, O Prince of the heavenly host,
by the power of God,
thrust into hell Satan and all the evil spirits
who prowl about the world seeking the ruin of souls.
Amen

Why is that significant? Between 1930 and 1965, when it was last included in regular services, the prayer was recited for the benefit of believers trapped behind the Iron Curtain.

This isn’t just opposition; this is a declaration of war.

It’s also incredibly risky (to put it nicely) for a president who badly wants reelection. Catholics amount to about 25% of the electorate and constitute significant voting blocs in several keys states. Naturally not all would agree with the bishops or think this as serious a matter as they claim. But I’m willing to bet that large numbers will, and that, combined with the already existing ire over ObamaCare and the economy, the President may well come to regret Secretary Sebelius’ highhandedness.

Especially on Election Day.

PS: About that subject line.

LINKS: Yuval Levin, Religious Liberty and Civil Society.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

A letter to Allah

**Posted by Phineas

A troubled young Muslim woman has questions for her god, presented in the form of a poem:

Good for her for using her mind and not accepting blindly what the clerics tell her must be so. Islam desperately needs more like her, if it’s ever to have any hope of reconciling with the modern world.

Then again, Islam does not have a happy tradition of tolerance toward critics, particularly women. I hope she stays safe.

via The Jawa Report.

RELATED: Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s short film “Submission,” which deals with the condition of women under Islam. Her partner in its production, Dutch filmmaker Theo van Gogh, was murdered by a Muslim fanatic for “insulting Islam,” and she herself is under constant threat of death.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Religion of Tolerance watch: “Jews are the eternal enemies of Islam!”

**Posted by Phineas

I linked this in the previous post, but, the more I think about it, the more I think this bearded jackal deserves a stage of his own. No more explanation is needed; just listen as respected Egyptian Islamic scholar Muhammad Hussein Yacoub tells us why Jews are Islam’s eternal enemies and we have to kill them all:

And here’s the transcript. An excerpt:

Your belief regarding the Jews should be, first, that they are infidels, and second, that they are enemies. They are enemies not because they occupied Palestine. They would have been enemies even if they did not occupy a thing. Allah said: “You shall find the strongest men in enmity to the disbelievers [sic] to be the Jews and the polytheists.” Third, you must believe that the Jews will never stop fighting and killing us. They [fight] not for the sake of land and security, as they claim, but for the sake of their religion: “And they will not cease fighting you until they turn you back you’re your religion, if they can.” This is it. We must believe that our fighting with the Jews is eternal, and it will not end until the final battle – and this is the fourth point. You must believe that we will fight, defeat, and annihilate them, until not a single Jew remains on the face of the Earth.

It is not me who says so. The Prophet said: “Judgment Day will not come until you fight the Jews and kill them. The Jews will hide behind stones and trees, and the stones and tree will call: Oh Muslim, oh servant of Allah, there is a Jew behind me, come and kill him – except for the Gharqad tree, which is the tree of the Jews.” I have heard that they are planting many of these trees now.

(Emphasis added)

And yet our government believes that unilateral concessions on Israel’s part will change the hearts and minds of (the many millions of) people like M.H. Yacoub, who see fighting Jews as a commandment from Allah?

Tell me another fairy tale, Barack.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

I’ve never believed the “Obama is a secret Muslim” nonsense, but…

**Posted by Phineas

He is either appallingly naive about the religion or is doing his usual “say anything they need to hear to like me” act. Regardless, the kind of meaningless pabulum he served at the White House Iftar dinner last night is just jaw-dropping:

Welcoming guests at the annual White House Iftaar party, US President Barack Obama said, Islam has always been part of the American family and Muslim Americans have long contributed to the strength and character of our country in all walks of life.

Attended by some 100 special invited guests including ambassadors of mostly Muslim countries and eminent Muslim academicians and community leaders, Akram Syed of the National Association of Indian Muslims was among the few Indian-Americans to attend the high-profile annual event at the White House.

Other special guests included families of Muslim victims of the 9/11 attacks, as well as Muslim members of the US Armed Services.

Obama said the annual Ramadan dinner, a tradition that President Clinton began and President George W Bush continued, is quintessentially American.

“No matter who we are or how we pray, we’re all children of a loving God,” he said.

Tell that to the Copts in Egypt, Mr. President. And that’s just one example of the nearly 1,400-year legacy of Islam’s jihad against everyone else.

That quote is just the start. For more, and for a detailed deconstruction of the President’s blather, visit Jihad Watch.

PS: To clarify, I am not questioning the loyalty of Americans who practice Islam but who don’t seek to impose Sharia law here or wage jihad against the United States, and I especially do not question the loyalty and honor of the many Muslims who have served and do serve in the military. It is with Islam itself and its doctrines of (to name a few) jihad, Jew-hatred, female inferiority, enmity toward the outsider, and the supremacy of Sharia that I have deep problems.

PPS: Regarding Obama’s religious beliefs, if he has any, in my opinion he is most attracted to the Black Liberation Theology preached by James Cone, Cornel West, and Jeremiah Wright. (Although I’m not above believing that his time in Wright’s church was wholly cynical, and that Obama’s only real “religion” is himself.)

via Weasel Zippers, which has video.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)

Nightmare in Norway: at least 92 dead, and the question of religion

**Posted by Phineas

How awful for them:

Norwegian police said Saturday that the death toll from Friday’s attacks has risen to 92 and confirmed that they have arrested a suspect whom they described as a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.

In a news conference Saturday morning in Oslo, police confirmed that they had arrested Anders Behring Breivik, 32, on suspicion of orchestrating both the Oslo bombing and the youth-camp shooting rampage and had begun searching two apartments that he owns.

Breivik reportedly owns four properties including a farm on the outskirts of Oslo, allegedly to enable him to store legally a large amount of fertilizer.

Police would not comment on whether he acted alone but said no other arrests have been made. They said Breivik had no criminal record.

They would not speculate on his motives, but said, based own his own Twitter and Facebook accounts, he appeared to be a right-wing Christian fundamentalist.

Police say he was arrested by security forces at the Labor Party youth camp on the island of Utoya after the shootings. They said 84 people were killed on the island. At least seven were killed in the Oslo bombing.

Police Chief Oystein Maeland told reporters that they could not confirm the number of victims would stop at 92, adding that the attack had reached “catastrophic dimensions.”

He said officers were still “looking in the water around the island for more victims.”

It appears Breivik stalked the island for an hour-and-a-half, shooting the teens wherever he found them. The survivor accounts in the rest of the article are just horrifying. And there’s something dreadfully wrong with Norwegian law if the worst he can face is only 21 years in prison.

The issue of “why” remains unresolved and it likely won’t be settled for weeks, though it bears resemblances to both the attack on the Murragh Building in Oklahoma City for its anti-government angle and the massacre of children that occurred at Columbine and Dunblane.

The role of religion as motive is obviously going to play a role, however. Yesterday I hypothesized that this might have been an act of jihad — inspired by Islam. I wasn’t alone in my speculation, as the pattern of the attack fit previous jihadist operations: near-simultaneous attacks aimed at mass casualties (Bali, London, Madrid), the focus on children (Beslan), and a history of Islamic terror threats against Norway, including threats to kill government officials. Violent jihad is central to Islam. And lest anyone say that, even if this were an act of jihad, Islam wouldn’t permit the killing of innocent children, let me point out that Muhammad himself defined “innocent child” differently than we.

Now it appears that a narrative is building that this sociopath acted out of “Christian fundamentalism,” whatever that is. If that takes hold, and I say this as a thoroughly secular person, it would be grossly unfair and a slander against religious Christians because, unlike Islam, their faith forbids just this kind of action and makes it a mortal sin. The Fifth Commandment is, “You shall not murder.”

In other words, for Breivik to do what he did here or, more locally, for a Christian to gun down an abortionist, he necessarily acts against his religion. Not so with the jihadist, and I can see another false equivalence being created that needs to be pushed back against for the sake of moral and intellectual clarity and truth.

And the core truth at this time is that Breivik, regardless of whatever reason he did this, is an immensely evil human being, and that our hearts go out to the victims, their families, and the Norwegian nation in this awful time.

LINKS: More from Power Line and Hot Air, and ST. Also The Anchoress.

(Crossposted at Public Secrets)