by Raymond Ibrahim
Hudson New York
September 7, 2011
This series was developed in order to collate some—by no means all—of the foulest instances of Muslim persecution of Christians that surface each month. It serves two purposes:
- Intrinsically, to document that which the mainstream media does not: habitual, if not chronic, Muslim persecution of Christians.
- Instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not “random,” but systematic and interrelated—that it is ultimately rooted in a Sharia inspired worldview.
As will become evident, whatever the anecdote of persecution, it typically fits under a specific theme, including hatred for churches and other Christian symbols; sexual abuse of Christian women; forced conversions to Islam; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya; overall expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis (second-class citizens); and simple violence. Oftentimes it is a combination of the aforementioned.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the west, to India in the east, and even throughout the West, wherever there are Muslims—it is clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Sharia, or the supremacist culture borne of it.
Categorized by theme, August’s batch of Muslim persecution of Christians includes (but is not limited to) the following anecdotes, listed according to theme and in alphabetical order by country, not necessarily severity of atrocity:
Attacks on Christian Symbols: Churches and Bibles
Indonesia: Two churches were set aflame; officials downplayed these atrocities by arguing that the buildings were “only made of board” and not real churches. A mayor also proclaimed that churches cannot be built on streets with Muslim names, even as Muslim majority regions reject the building of any churches.
Iran: Officials launched a Bible burning campaign, confiscating and destroying some 7,000 Bibles, many publicly burned. Likening their tiny Christian minority to the “Taliban and parasites,” the regime also “cracked down” on Christians (who make up less than 1% of the entire population), arresting many, the whereabouts of which remain unknown.
Apostasy and Forced Conversions
Eritrea: It was revealed that at least eight Christians have died in prisons, most under severe conditions and torture, simply for refusing to recant Christianity.
India: A female who was formerly stripped and beaten by a Muslim mob for converting to Christianity, continues to receive severe threats to return to Islam or die; likewise, Muslims held three Christian women “threatening to beat and burn them alive if they continued worshipping Christ.”
Iran: A Christian pastor in Iran remains behind bars, where he is being tortured and awaits execution for refusing to recant Christianity.
Malaysia: Religious police raided a church when they “found evidence of proselytisation towards Muslims” and “receiving information that there were Muslims who attended a breaking-of-fast event at the church”; a Facebook campaign created to support the raid and to “prevent apostasy” has already drawn support from 23,000 people.
Norway: A Muslim convert to Christianity was tortured with boiling water and told by fellow Muslim inmates “If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you”; if deported, he risks death by stoning for leaving Islam.
Pakistan: Muslims openly abducted a 14-year-old Christian girl at gunpoint saying she had to convert to Islam; another Christian woman who was abducted, drugged, and tortured for two years—all while being informed she had converted to Islam—happily made her escape. In both cases, the police, as usual, are siding with the Muslim abductors. Most recently, two Christians returning from church were attacked by Muslims and beaten with iron rods for refusing to convert to Islam or pay “protection” (jizya) money.
Sudan: A 16 year old Christian girl finally escaped from her Muslim kidnappers, who “beat, raped and tried to force her to convert from Christianity to Islam”; whenever she tried to pray, she was beaten again and called an “infidel”; when her mother went to the police, they told her to convert to Islam before they returned her child.
Uganda: In accordance to Islam’s Hanafi School of law, a Muslim father locked his 14-year-old daughter in a room for several months without food or water, simply because she embraced Christianity; when rescued, she weighed 44 pounds.
General Oppression, Violence, and Murder of Christians
Bangladesh: Church leaders, including an elderly pastor, were severely beaten in a police station for protesting that Muslims had illegally seized and occupied a Christian home. A previously tortured Christian activist is in hiding in Honk Kong, even as his wife and children face death threats from surrounding Muslims.
Egypt: Soon after breaking their Ramadan fast, thousands of Muslims rampaged a predominantly Christian village, firing automatic weapons, looting and throwing Molotov Cocktails at several homes; they beat a priest, plundering and torching his home; another Copt was murdered in his home, which was also ransacked. Separately, a Copt was savagely attacked by seven Muslims in front of a police station; he lost one eye and required 20 stitches in his head. And girls leaving church were sexually harassed by Muslim who hurled stones at the church shattering five windows.
Nigeria: In what is being called a “silent killing,” ten Christians were slain by Muslims seeking to expunge Christianity from northern Nigeria; eyewitnesses insist that the army is assisting and enabling the slayings.
Pakistan: A Christian family consisting of 26 people, including women and children, lived in slavery for over 30 years, forced to labor on a farm belonging to a wealthy Muslim landowner; they only recently managed to regain their freedom, through the aid of the Catholic Church. Separately, a Muslim mob attacked a group of Christians watching a Jesus movie, destroying the projector. A Christian man was beaten unconscious for celebrating Independence Day, told by Muslims “How can you celebrate when you are Christian? Convert to Islam if you want to join the celebration.”
Somalia: Al-Shabab (“the youth”) is intentionally preventing food aid from reaching the nation’s miniscule Christian minority: “Any Somali that the Islamists suspect to be a Christian, or even a friend of Christians, does not receive any food aid.”
Sudan: A “humanitarian crisis is unfolding” in Sudan’s border region where Christians and their churches are being targeted in a systematic campaign of ethnic cleansing by North Sudan’s Islamist regime.
United Kingdom: A Muslim family was terrorized and threatened with death because their daughter married a Christian, a crime according to Sharia.
Uzbekistan: Authorities continue to pressure churches and Christians, fabricating evidence to punish or limit Christians’ ability to practice their faith, and subjecting them to excessive fines, false accusations, and confiscating their Christian literature.
These were just some of the stories of Christian suffering under Islam that made it to a few non mainstream media last month.
Then there are the countless atrocities that never make it to any media—the stories of persistent, quiet misery that only the victims know—such as the recent revelation that a 2-year-old girl was savagely raped in Pakistan because her Christian father refused to convert to Islam: it took five years for this story to surface. How many are the tales of woe that never surface?
Now, back to your regular scheduled MSM programming on how the perpetually misunderstood religion of Islam is really the “religion of peace”…
Raymond Ibrahim, a widely published Islam-specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.