Sunday, December 28, 2014

Raping and Beheading the Faithful

By Raymond Ibrahim

Muslims beheading Christians was a visibly growing spectacle throughout the month of August. Islamic State militants cut off a Christian man’s head—after compelling him to say the shehada, the Islamic profession of faith, “There is no god but Allah and Muhammad is his messenger.” When the shehada is spoken before Muslim witnesses, the speaker becomes Muslim and thus, in theory, safeguards his life and possessions from the jihad. Not so for this hapless man, who, after renouncing his Christian faith for Islam, was still slaughtered on camera (graphic video can be viewed here).

A Christian man in Syria recently had his head brutally hacked off by Islamic militants after being forced to deny his faith and salute Mohammed as “the messenger of God.”The Christian Post has the story:
The incident was caught on video for the world to see and broadcast as a warning to “everyone like him.”

In the video that was posted to YouTube with translated captions, the helpless Christian man is surrounded by armed militants wearing masks and he is heard reciting as instructed: “There is no God but God and I testify that Mohammed is the messenger of God.”

An apparent leader in the group of militants is then heard instructing the group: “No one will shoot him now, do you understand? He will not be killed by shooting because it is merciful for him.”

“He will be beheaded because he is Kaffir, non-Muslim, sided [with] the government and was not praying at all. Everyone like him will have the same end, beheading,” said the militant.

A militant armed with a machete then grabs the defenseless man by the hair and begins to cut his head from his body as the group cries “Allahu Akbar…there is no God but God.”
Apparently inspired by the spate of beheadings conducted by the Islamic State, a female British convert to Islam who is believed to have relocated to IS controlled territories “is threatening to behead Christians with a blunt knife,” according to the Daily Mail. Umm Hussain al-Britani—formerly Sally Jones of Chatham, a member of an all-girl rock band and single mother of two—warned in messages since deleted “You Christians all need beheading with a nice blunt knife and stuck on the railings at raqqa … Come here I’ll do it for you!”

In Nigeria, the Islamic group, Boko Haram, which seeks to enforce Islamic law over the whole African nation, beheaded a six-year-old boy—again, because he was Christian. During Sunday church services, over 100 Islamic militants descended upon Attagara, a Christian-majority village. With machetes and machine guns, they slaughtered men, women, and children.

According to Christian Today, “One villager, Sawaltha Wandala, was arriving at church for the second service when he saw children being massacred. One six-year-old boy had been slashed and thrown into a ditch, but he was alive. Wandala picked him up and was carrying him to a hospital in Cameroon, when he was stopped by five of the militants. The men reportedly took the child from Wandala’s arms and beheaded him, then began beating the 55-year-old with tree branches. After striking him in the head with a rock, they left him for dead.”

Another Christian man, John Yakuba, was told by Boko Haram members, “You must convert to Islam or else you will die a painful death.”
When Yakuba refused to denounce Christ, they tied his arms and legs to a tree, and hacked his hands with a knife.

“Can you become a Muslim now?” the militants asked.

“You can kill my body, but not my soul,” Yakubu cried out.

The men continued to cut his feet and back with a machete and knife to torture him.

“We will show you,” they said.

Yakuba’s head was slashed, and an axe was driven into his knee, reaching the bone.

He lost consciousness and was left tied to the tree for three days before someone found him, after which he was taken to the hospital in a coma.
In a separate attack by Boko Haram, where approximately 100 people from a Christian-majority region were killed, a survivor reported: “I thank God for sparing my life, but three of my neighbors and members of our church were killed during the attack. These Christians in our village had their throats slit with knives while their hands were tied behind their backs. Some houses were bombed as the Boko Haram gunmen were chanting, ‘God is great!’ in Arabic.”

In Kenya, militants from the Somali Al Shabaab Islamic organization abducted a group of traders near the resort island of Lamu, and drove them into a dense forest. The militants eventually released three of them, because they were Muslims, but beheaded the fourth, a Christian.

If “infidel” Christian men were beheaded, Christian women—including children—were raped and enslaved in various regions of the Islamic world.

In Iraq, approximately 1,500 Christian and other minorities not able to escape the advance of the Islamic State were gang-raped and sold as sex slaves, some for as little as $25. A joint statement by two senior UN officials declared that “Atrocious accounts of abduction and detention of Yazidi, Christian, as well as Turkomen and Shabak women, girls and boys, and reports of savage rapes, are reaching us in an alarming manner.” One young woman, who managed to hide a mobile phone in the prison, spoke of horrific experiences, including being raped by dozens of men over a few hours. Other women said children born out of rape were ripped from their mothers’ arms, and never seen again.

In Muslim-majority Bangladesh, where Christians make for less than one percent, dozens of men armed with machetes, knives and iron rods attacked the convent of Pontifical Institute of Foreign Missions nuns in Boldipuku), a village mission in north Bangladesh. “The nuns were beaten and molested, ending when police arrived,” reported Bishop Sebastian Tudu. According to Catholic Online, “[S]ome 60 men attempted to loot the building and rape the nuns… The attackers first tied the hands and legs of the mission’s two night watchmen and gagged them in the early morning hours …. Three PIME nuns suffered attempted rape and were sent to their provincial house in Dhaka, the national capital where they are trying to overcome the shock and mental suffering.”

And in Pakistan, yet another Christian girl, 12-year-old Muqadas (“Sacred”) was raped by a gang of Muslim men. The girl, who worked as a maid for a Muslim family, was returning home from work “when Muqadas was kidnapped by two Muslim men and three women. They took her inside a school (which was closed) and the two men, identified as Ashraf Alias Achi and Ghaffor Alias Paida raped her repeatedly in turn. The girl was later abandoned.” As usual, her family received threats of more violence for filing a complaint with local police.

According to the family’s Christian lawyer, Sardar Mushtaq Gill, “In Pakistan rape is used as an instrument of arbitrary power over Christian girls, who come from poor and marginalized families. It is a form of violence that wants to reiterate the submission to Muslims. The rest of society is not outraged because the victims mostly belong to religious minorities, who are the most vulnerable. Rarely rapists are punished. Furthermore, rape victims face terrible difficulties; they do not receive adequate medical treatment for sexual assault. Many girls are traumatized and become depressed and in need of psychological assistance.” (See here for more on the sexual abuse of Christian minors in Pakistan.) For his troubles, Gill, a vocal human rights activist who represents abused Christians, was again targeted for assassination: his home was sprayed with bullets in the night, for the second time.

Although beheadings and rape in the Islamic world may seem distant from the minds of most in the West, the exiled Chaldean Catholic archbishop of Mosul, Iraq, warned the West that its turn will come. In an interview, Archbishop Amel Shimoun Nona, said:
Our sufferings today are the prelude of those you, Europeans and Western Christians, will also suffer in the near future. I lost my diocese. The physical setting of my apostolate has been occupied by Islamic radicals who want us converted or dead. But my community is still alive.

Please, try to understand us. Your liberal and democratic principles are worth nothing here. You must consider again our reality in the Middle East, because you are welcoming in your countries an ever growing number of Muslims. Also you are in danger. You must take strong and courageous decisions, even at the cost of contradicting your principles. You think all men are equal, but that is not true: Islam does not say that all men are equal. Your values are not their values. If you do not understand this soon enough, you will become the victims of the enemy you have welcomed in your home.
The rest of August’s roundup of Muslim persecution of Christians around the world includes (but is not limited to) the following accounts, listed by theme and country alphabetical order, not necessarily according to severity.

Muslim Attacks on Churches

East Jerusalem: Seven years of harassment and attacks by Muslims finally forced Calvary Baptist Church to leave their church building. The attacks began soon after the congregation moved into the building, located in 2007 in a predominantly Muslim area. Within 10 days of beginning meetings and worship services, a Muslim who lived near the church attacked a member with a knife. Then someone tried to set the building on fire. Next came vandalism. First, cars parked at the church were damaged, then property. Finally, some children were physically assaulted on their way to church. The congregation was finally evicted after the landlord was threatened. “How dare you do this,” he was told. “This is a disgrace to Islam. If you don’t do anything about this, we will.” The landlord eventually succumbed to the pressure and the 110-member congregation had to leave the building. This is the third church in Muslim-majority East Jerusalem to be forced shut in recent years.

France: In the early morning of August 5 at Thonon-les-Bains, a man of about 30, described as a “young Muslim,” committed major acts of vandalism in the church of Saint-Hippolyte and in the adjacent basilica of Saint-Fran├žois-de-Sales. He overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, twisted a massive bronze cross, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows. (Click for images of the destruction caused in the church.)

Iraq: Soon after the unprecedented Christian exodus from Mosul, after the Islamic State told Christians to convert to Islam or die, a human rights organization went to northern Iraq to provide assistance and support to all displaced Christians. It reported that “around 45 churches in Mosul … were destroyed and converted into mosques and centers for the Islamic State.” According to Chaldean Patriarch Louis Sako “This is a humanitarian disaster. The churches are occupied, their crosses were taken down,” and up to 1,500 manuscripts, many ancient, were burnt.

Nigeria: According to Vatican Radio, “In Madagali, Boko Haram are said to have looted parish property, vandalized and then set alight buildings belonging to the church. Fr. Obasogie was not sure of the number of people killed or of other causalities in the Madagali attack but he says there are many…. Christian Churches within Maiduguri Diocese have borne much of the brunt of the terrorist activities… According to Fr. Obasogie, all Christian churches on the major road linking Maiduguri and Adamawa state have been closed after several acts of terrorism at the hands of Boko Haram sects.”

Muslim Attacks on Converts to Christianity

Iran: According to the Idaho wife of Iranian-American Christian pastor Saeed Abedini, who has been imprisoned in Iran for nearly two years, her husband has received death threats from Sunni militants from the Islamic State held in the same detention center: “He’s already under threat because he is a convert to Christianity. Now we understand that ISIS members in the prison have said he is their number one target.” The pastor is in the same ward but a separate section from the Islamic State adherents, his wife said, adding that he is afraid to leave his cell and join the general prison population in the yard for exercise. “I fear for his life,” she said, adding that the couple’s young children have submitted a video to President Barack Obama pleading with him to bring their father safely home. Separately, Pastor Matthias Haghnejad, a former Muslim, is charged with enmity against Allah, a crime that can be punishable by death, while the fate of two other Christians arrested with him remains unknown. The pastor was arrested when intelligence agents stormed his home. They arrested the church leader along with Mohammad (Vahid) Roghangir and Suroush Saraie, two other converts staying with him. The agents also seized Bibles, Christian booklets, and the pastor’s personal computer. On August 3, after being interrogated for two hours, the pastor was charged with “Moharebeh,” or “waging war against Allah,” a capital offence in Iran. All three converts have been targeted by the authorities in the past, including for “evangelism” and “actions against public security.”

Kenya: Hussein Hassan Mohammed, 30, a Muslim convert to Christianity, tearfully recounted his experiences at the hands of Muslims at Mogotio King’s Outreach Church, where he originally announced his conversion in April. He told of how he was beaten unconscious inside a mosque, how Islamic leaders had paid assassins to kill him, and how his own father tried to poison him to death (similar to the experiences of another Muslim convert to Christianity in Uganda, whose aunt tried to poison him). For a while he was arrested and tortured because authorities refused to believe that he had really converted to Christianity (they thought he was an Islamic terrorist pretending to be Christian, which happens frequently). Then, while he was recuperating in hospital, he called his father, 72-year-old Hassan Mohammed, who came to visit him at the hospital: “Are you serious about what you told me, that you had embraced the Christian faith?” his father asked, to which Hussein, replied, “Yes.” According to the Christian convert, “My father came with the food, but my conscience rejected the food. The doctors noticed that I was restless. I was told to eat the food, but I refused. The doctor tried to give the food to the cat, but it too refused to eat it, hence the food was taken to the laboratory, where it was found that it was a poisoned food.” Police guarding Mohammed arrested his father. Questioned about why he would want to kill his son, he told them, “My son has forsaken Islam as well as defiling our community by joining Christianity.” Said Hussein: “I thought my father had come to help, but I realized that he had come to kill me.” Still, when he was discharged from the hospital Hussein pled for the release of his father. Mohammed said he had forgiven his father, and police released his father.

New Zealand: Friends of Khalid Muidh Alzahrani, a Muslim convert to Christianity known as Daniel, “fear the refugee has been abducted from his Christchurch flat and taken back to Saudi Arabia—home to the Islamic holy city of Mecca—where it is against the law for Muslims to abandon their faith.” Daniel arrived in Christchurch about five years ago on a Saudi Government scholarship to study English, eventually converted to Christianity and applied for asylum. He was granted refugee status on the grounds that he would be persecuted in Saudi Arabia, and told friends he was terrified he would be kidnapped and forced to return. The Saudi ambassador to New Zealand said that Daniel had “insisted” on returning home to visit his mother and the consulate had paid for his air ticket. But, according to National, “his friends don’t believe it—they say he was last seen in the company of two strange Arab men and believe he was taken out of the country under duress, possibly by agents of the state or family members….There have been numerous documented cases of Saudi nationals being uplifted from foreign countries. In 2012, columnist Hamza Kashgari, who’d been accused of insulting the prophet Mohammad on Twitter, tried to seek asylum in New Zealand but was intercepted in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, sent home and jailed without trial. In May last year, a young Saudi Christian who had arrived in Auckland two months earlier and claimed asylum was snatched off the street by three men just three days before his refugee interview and was flown back to Saudi Arabia, where it is believed he spent time in prison and was tortured. His lawyer, Roger Chambers, said the man had managed to secretly make contact with his friends in Auckland. ‘He has had a dreadful time in Saudi Arabia,” Chambers said. ‘[He was told] more than once if he did not renounce his Christianity that he could expect to be beheaded.’”

Yemen: Muslim relatives of a woman who converted to Christianity placed gasoline in one of her kitchen bottles, it caused her to catch fire while cooking breakfast for her family; eventually she died from the burns. Morning Star News reports: “In southern Yemen, Saeed woke to the sound of screaming. He shot out of bed, pushed panicked family members aside and saw his wife stumbling out of their kitchen, engulfed in flames. His wife, Nazeera, had been preparing breakfast at about 9 a.m. when she poured liquid from a cooking oil bottle into a hot pan. The liquid flashed, and the bottle exploded. While her four children watched, screaming, Nazeera was being burned alive. ‘I rushed out of the room,” Saeed (full name undisclosed for security reasons) told Morning Star News, weeping. ‘I couldn’t even speak to ask her what happened. All I could think about was putting the fire out and then getting her to the hospital. But my 16-year-old son, he couldn’t stop himself and held on to her, hugging her while she was burning. He got hurt, and I had to pull him away from her.’ About two weeks later, Nazeera, 33, died as a result of her burns. When Saeed returned to his home in a village (undisclosed for security reasons) after her death, a relative told him the unthinkable—members of both his family and hers had taken the vegetable oil out of the bottle and replaced it with gasoline. Saeed knew the reason—many years ago, the two had become Christians and refused to return to Islam.”

Dhimmitude: Islamic Discrimination Against Christianity

Libya: Roaming bands of armed Islamic militants went door to door in Tripoli’s jewelry stores. They ordered the owners to stop selling any crosses or Christian icons. “Immediately thereafter,” report Arabic media, “the store owners collected all the crosses and Christian icons and delivered them to their Christian villages outside of Tripoli. Other store owners hid the Christian crosses and icons deeply, in the hopes of transferring them somewhere later, because they live in Tripoli and have no outside Christian villages to deliver the banned Christian items to.”

United Kingdom: Yasmin Jackson, a 24-year-old Christian mother, claims staff at Kingswood Daycare Nursery in Mitcham, south London “starved” her five-year-old daughter because her packed food was not halal—that is, prepared according to Islamic custom. According to the Daily Mail: “Ms Jackson, a single mother and former nursery worker, said: ‘When I picked her up at the end of the day the first thing she said to me was, “mummy I’m really hungry, can I have my lunch now?” The mother went to speak with the manager. When she asked why her daughter was not allowed to eat her packed lunch, the manager said “We didn’t know if it’s halal.” The mother responded, “We are a Christian family and it was a chicken sandwich,” to which the manager said, “We don’t allow any non-halal meat in the nursery.”

Will Obama Follow Europe Regarding Palestine?

By Rabbi Aryeh Spero

Despite the partnership between the terrorist organizations Hamas and Fatah (the new name for Arafat’s PLO), some Europeans nations are demanding that Israel immediately accede to Hamas/Fatah demands or they will proceed in the UN to declare a Palestinian State. The U.N. will impose on Israel conditions that will not only strip her of her capital, Jerusalem, but place Israelis in instant jeopardy from rockets launched against her from this newly­declared state abutting Israel. Like Gaza before, this newest Palestinian state will become a terrorist state and a proxy of Iran.

Knowing that Fatah and Hamas will get a better deal pushing for a Palestinian state unilaterally declared by the U.N. rather than sitting for serious negotiation with Israel, Mahmoud Abbas, the leader of Fatah and a well­known denier of the Holocaust, has deliberately made negotiations impossible and dangerous for Israel by setting pre­conditions that are suicidal to Israel, conditions to which no sane Israeli government concerned about survival can yield.

Thus, Israel has been placed in a no­win situation. If it agrees to Abbas’s negotiation demands it has to (1)relinquish historic Jerusalem,(2) uproot almost 500,000 of its citizens from neighborhoods the Arabs demand be Juderein (free of Jews) and Christians, (3) make itself unprotected against rockets that will be placed 10 feet from her borders,(4) release from jail thousands of Muslim terrorists who will return the next day and kill Israeli men, women, and children, and (5) allow for an influx of over a million Muslims into Israel proper who will try to kill Israelis even as they walk down the street. They will transform Israel into a Muslim state, the 58th Muslim state.

Since Benjamin Netanyahu has done the responsible thing by saying “No” to these suicidal preconditions, Abbas and company have arranged with their European partners for the U.N to disregard Israel altogether in this whole matter and simply declare a Palestinian state, regardless of how it adversely harms Israel and jeopardizes world peace by emboldening the jihadists.

This is actually what most Europeans have long relished. In fact, they are helping Abbas and collaborators manufacture this doomsday scenario so they can do what they have always wanted: stick it to Israel and display their total allegiance to the Moslem narrative and project. Indeed, France, Sweden, Ireland, Spain and some others have already declared their intention of creating a Palestinian state out of territory that many believe belongs to Israel and everyone knows was never officially Arab.

The Europeans and all of the communist, Islamic, and authoritarian entities constituting the UN will eagerly declare a Palestinian state knowing that such a unilateral declaration frees the Arab/Muslims from having, first, to recognize Israel’s right to exist, or Israel as a Jewish state, and frees them from ever having to declare their intention to be peaceful, to co­exist and leave Israel and her people in peace. Nor will Fatah and the Muslim/Arabs have to announce they will no longer push for more territory or Israel’s destruction, once the contours of a new state are declared. Within a week after such a declaration, a new push will begin, under a new set of Muslim grievances, demanding more portions of Israel, until Israel is whittled down to the size of a soccer field.

That being the case, the declaration of a Palestinian State will not solve the problem or end hostilities, but simply put the Arab nations in a better position, diplomatically and militarily, to shrink Israel. The Europeans know this. Truthfully, it has never been about the Palestinian Arabs as much as getting rid of Israel. In fact, Fatah’s own people, Hamas, and Abbas when speaking in Arabic to his local audience, all declare that negotiations and statehood are simply the first step in making all of Israel a Palestinian Arab state.

Since Israel’s creation, such has been the intent of Arabia and the Islamic ummah, replacing Israel with a Muslim state and driving the Jews into the sea. Nothing has changed, except, now as the Holocaust recedes from memory, the Europeans are more willing to embark on the delegitimization of Israel, under diplomatic pretenses.

The war against Israel by the Muslims and much of Europe is to a large degree rooted in centuries­old anti­Semitism that seems never to recede. In fact, Hitler’s greatest ally for plans to annihilate the Jews was the Moslem Brotherhood’s Grand Mufti.

Another factor working against Israel is the current and powerful left­wing push around the world for toppling outposts of Western civilization in the name of transnational multiculturalism, not to mention the diplomatic and social victories by Islam all over the world in forcing a supine West to appease Islam, catapulting Islamic causes as the new civil rights litmus test for “enlightened” Westerners.

Truth be told, it has little to do with territory and more to do with jihad. The Moslems have 100 times more land than tiny Israel, with unused and open spaces that could settle tens of millions of Muslims of that region. And the Arab states have the financial resources to settle their co­religionists within existing and undisputed Islamic territories. They don’t need more land.

Many have forgotten that the ruling British Empire and League of Nations carved an Arab/Palestinian state out of territory called Trans Jordan or East Palestine, now called Jordan; whereas West Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the Jordan River, was dedicated as Jewish Palestine, renamed Israel in 1948. Truthfully, most calling themselves Palestinians are not dispossessed people.

They are, rather, Arabs from nearby Muslim countries who began migrating to Israel in the late 1800s when the Jewish Zionists came and began creating the first truly modern state in the entire region. It offered opportunity.

Unlike the Jewish Bible that mentions Jerusalem over 700 times, the Koran never mentions Jerusalem, not even once. Jerusalem is simply a location they conquered and has become, as with other places, a symbol of Islamic power and control over Judaism and Christianity. The push to drive out Israel is all part of the ongoing jihad. It is religious and ethnically motivated, and no forfeiture of land by Israel will quench the thirst of jihad, just as India’s forfeiture of so much of her territory did not stop the ongoing march by Islam against her territory, her citizens and against Hindus.

It is quite revealing that the world hardly cares about the dozens of genuine indigenous peoples across the globe being forced out of their centuries­old regions. The world is obsessed by the “Palestinian” issue, pouring in billions and billions every year, whereas giving only pennies, if at all, to truly victimized ethnic groups with nowhere to settle and no offers of peace. If Israel were not a Jewish state and was, instead, home to Zulus, no one, I suspect, would obsess much about the issue.

Last week, Secretary of State John Kerry met in Rome with Israel’s prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to discuss the push by some Europeans to enforce on Israel and the world a Palestinian state, the newest and latest Islamic state. Some have suggested that Obama and Kerry are behind the scenes, urging the Europeans to go ahead with their threats against Israel. This is a feasible conclusion in light of how the Obama administration, like the Europeans, has called for Israel to retreat to its 1967 borders, the very configuration from which the Arabs attacked her in 67, and in light of how it has denounced Israel from building apartments in her own capital, Jerusalem. Like the Europeans, Obama seems to want to divide Jerusalem into east and west, as was done with Berlin.

No doubt, as has been the case throughout Obama’s six years, Netanyahu will soon be pressured by the Obama administration, in contrast to the positive feelings for her from the House and Senate.

There has been talk of how the Obama people have been orchestrating events to cast Netanyahu as the heavy, thereby urging Israelis to vote for his left­wing and socialist opponents in upcoming Israeli elections as a condition for the Obama administration to lay off Israel and stop fueling the European push. The Obamaites, however, can’t be too obvious in their pressure or intercession for fear of voter backlash.

If Netanyahu were ever to cave, Israel would be on the road to suicide. If he doesn’t, Kerry and Obama may, later down the road, threaten going along with the Europeans and the UN.

To be sure, Kerry and Vice President Biden are not as antagonistic to Israel as are many in Europe. But as career politicians with an eye toward their place in history, they often fall victim to making bad deals just so they can later be written about as having “striven for peace” or having made a “peace” deal. To do this, they must engage in irresponsible wishful thinking and deny reality, all of the realities mentioned above. They place hope in treaties, any treaty, thinking that, miraculously, things will change once a treaty is forced and signed. They live in denial about the hard and soft jihad, just as do the Europeans regarding their own countries.

Mr. Obama is alarmingly different. At the very moment Obama is lifting sanctions against an evil empire like Iran, he is considering sanctions against Israel if Jews build apartments in their city of Jerusalem. His worldview is quite different than most Americans. He has refused to speak to the Iranians about their human rights atrocities against their own citizens, though he is lightning­quick to condemn the slightest infractions of American citizens… and Israelis. For no good reason, he lifted sanctions against Iran and is extending it more time, endless time, to build its bombs.. until it becomes a fait accompli. The Islamic narrative and goals, from A thru Z, appear to be very close to his heart, certainly more than American, western, or Israeli ones.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Psychological Consequences of Islam’s Views on Women

By Nicolai Sennels

The constant threat of being disowned by their family, having their few privileges revoked, being locked up, beaten or even killed, prevents these Muslim girls and women from challenging the limitations set by Islamic Sharia Law and its male proponents. The condescending verses in the Islamic scriptures function the same way, as negative psychological propaganda about the enemy that is indoctrinated into a country’s soldiers during war: it demonizes the opponent and removes empathy that would otherwise stop one from harming it.

The vast majority of the 700 million Muslim girls and women worldwide live without basic human rights, such as the freedom to chose their own sexual partners, their clothes, their life style and of course their religion. The constant threat of being disowned by their family, having their few privileges revoked, being locked up, beaten or even killed prevents these Muslim from challenging the limitations set by Islamic Sharia Law and its male proponents. Regular, and often very bloody, examples makes sure that only the bravest and desperate women try to escape or break the rules.

On top of the threats from their own family and the horrible scare examples, come the stories about what happens to “bad girls” when they die.

The Qur’an’s descriptions of the Hells, and Muslim families’ tales about what strange men will do to loose women, form, for those who have been psychologically indoctrinated with the validity of such tales since they were born, an effective mental barrier, prompting even Muslim women who are more free to claim that they wear their veil and invisible chains voluntarily.

Honor crimes

Research suggests that 91 percent of the between 7,000 and 20,000 honor killings each year are committed by Muslims. On top of this statistic come the countless cases of non-deadly honor crimes. In Britain alone, the police estimate that 17,000 cases of honor-based “forced marriages, kidnappings, sexual assaults, beatings and even murders take place every year. In Turkey; 42 percent of women are victims of physical or sexual abuse. In Morocco the share is 82 percent. The data goes on and on.

As a psychologist, from the people who I have treated over the years, it seems as if the manycondescending verses about women in the Qur’an and the Islamic scriptures have been the most significant contributing factor for domestic violence among Muslims. The Islamic scriptures function the same way as negative psychological propaganda about the enemy that is indoctrinated into a country’s soldiers during war: It demonizes the opponent and removes empathy that would otherwise stop one from harming the other person such as women or non-Muslims. The Qur’an thus legitimizes emotions that in more civilized cultures are seen as embarrassing and behavior that according to most non-Islamic laws are illegal. We have seen in Nazi Germany and several psychological experiments (such as the famous Milgram experiment) how a strong authority – in this case the Qur’an, their prophet and their present day proponents – are able to order people to do things that they basic nature under normal circumstanced would prevent them from doing.

The suppression of women in general, and female sexuality in particular, is a central pillar in Islamic culture, and thus seems to be a driving factor in a society that shapes the mental patterns and psychological development of one and a half billion people around the world.

What are, from a psychological perspective, the consequences of the wide spread suppression of women among Muslims?

Love and sexuality

Love is based on — among other emotions and types of behaviour — a mutual feeling of equality, as true love is only possible when one does not force or fear one’s partner. To experience true love men and women within the Muslim culture must break the rules about gender inequality commanded by the Qur’anReliance of the Traveller and other Islamic texts. Islam is obviously a serious obstacle that makes it difficult — and in many cases even impossible — to many Muslim men and women to experience the happiness-giving, psychologically healing, bodily healthy and important feeling of love.

The widespread domestic violence and use of forced marriages — often of girls who are not even old enough to be either emotionally or physically mature to marry or who have reached menarche (herehereherehere) — indicates the Islamic culture’s disregard of love. Fragile honour, fear of ostracism and commitment to cultural traditions and religious laws — not love — become the binding factor between many Muslim partners.

Islam and Muslim culture impairs Muslim men’s openness to women by categorizing them as unclean, less worthy, stupid, more likely to end up, in one woman’s words, “burring in Hell for all eternity.” This not only harms their ability to love women as equal partners “” or love them at all “” but can also pervert their sexuality. According to psychoanalytic theory, sexual frustration and impaired ability to love and be loved, can easily result in extreme anger and aggression, among other dysfunctional social behavior. One obvious case is the infamous “underwear bomber” Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab who attempted to blow up an airplane in midair at Christmas day in 2009. Abdulmutallab struggled with sexual fantasies that according to his Islamic belief were sinful. In order to mentally combat the sexual fantasies he tried to fantasize about jihad instead. In the end he decided to blow up the main cause of his frustrations by hiding the explosives in his underwear: his penis.

Sexual frustration leading to aggressive emotions and behavior of course happens in all cultures, in some cultures – especially the Muslim – more than others.


Muslim men’s negative view on women not only has unpleasant consequences for the women, but also for the men. The men’s sexual relationship to women can become disturbed — perhaps more easily than in societies where there are more outlets for this important drive, without which none of us would be here. Being told that women are inferior, combined with living segregated from women to a high degree, can cause the sexual drive to find other ways to release itself, and the thoughts that accompany it to find other, alternative objects of desire. Another example of this well known psychological mechanism is the overwhelming number of cases of sexual abuse of young boys committed by celibate Catholic monks.

Pakistan is apparently the World’s #1 nation when it comes to Google searches on “camel sex,” “donkey sex,” “dog sex” and other outlets. Try Google Trends. Western soldiers searching for enemies at night time using night vision equipment regularly see Iraqi men having sex with donkeys (here and here).

Research among Pakistani truck drivers, for instance, shows that 95 percent of them “indulge in sex with ‘boy’ helpers.” Although according to most psychological schools, homosexuality is not a disturbance of the person’s natural sexual drive — unless it is caused by cultural factors — the widespread use of bacha bareesh, or “dancing boys” within the Afghan culture, perhaps the world’s most segregated and women-suppressive, is just one sign of a culture that seems to lead to such behavior. A US military report from Afghanistan concludes that “homosexual behavior is unusually common among men in the large ethnic group known as Pashtuns. … Pashtun men commonly have sex with other men, admire other men physically, have sexual relationships with boys and shun women both socially and sexually.” The report also described how male Pashtun interpreters continuously infected each other with gonorrhea. When told by the doctors to be more careful they lied about their homosexual activities and claimed that it happened by mixing different kinds of tea. One US doctor working in Afghanistan had to explain to a local man how to get his wife pregnant: “When it was explained to him what was necessary, he reacted with disgust and asked, ‘How could one feel desire to be with a woman, who God has made unclean, when one could be with a man, who is clean? Surely this must be wrong.'”

Psychological qualities

Both men and women carry all psychological potentials inside but generally express them differently, depending on the culture within the family and society in which they are brought up. A part of psychological maturity is accepting qualities expressed by other people and inside oneself – and trying to live comfortably with them among others.

As the founder of Microsoft, Bill Gates, in a speech in Saudi Arabia, where he found himself facing a strictly segregated audience, answered when he was asked about Saudi Arabia’s chances of becoming one of the Top 10 countries in the world in technology — “Well, if you”re not fully utilizing half the talent in the country, you”re not going to get too close to the Top 10.” The small group of women in the audience erupted in cheers.

Setting Muslim women free and thereby decreasing the amount of frustration and making space for true love between the sexes and the human qualities expressed most convincingly by women, will apply to their societies the benefits that follow from giving free thinking women and men a chance to contribute with their full human potential. Just look at how our Western societies developed after introducing full equality of the sexes.

Muslim fundamentalists seems acutely aware of the power of this, which can explain why they insist on applying sharia laws on women where ever they live.

As Kristina Aamand, a Danish-Pakistani woman working for Muslim women’s sexual rights, pointed out in my interview of her in Jyllands-Posten a couple of years ago: “The aim of social control of the [Muslim] women is to preserve the essence of Muslim culture.”

Friday, December 19, 2014

We have killed all the children... What do we do now?’

By Ismail Khan

“We have killed all the children in the auditorium,” one of the attackers told his handler. “What do we do now?” he asked. “Wait for the army people, kill them before blowing yourself,” his handler ordered.

This, according to a security official, was one of the last conversations the attackers and their handler had shortly before two remaining suicide bombers charged towards the special operations soldiers positioned just outside the side entrance of the Army Public School’s administration block here on Tuesday.

This and other conversations between the attackers and their handlers during the entire siege of seven and a half hours of the school on Warsak Road form part of an intelligence dossier Chief of Army Staff Gen Raheel Sharif shared with Afghan authorities on Wednesday.

“Vital elements of intelligence were shared with the authorities concerned with regard to the Peshawar incident,” an Inter-Services Public Relations statement on Gen Sharif’s visit to Afghanistan said.

Pakistan has the names of the attackers and the transcripts of the conversation between one of them, identified as Abuzar, and his handler, ‘commander’ Umar.

Umar Adizai, also known as Umar Naray and Umar Khalifa, is a senior militant from the Frontier Region Peshawar.

Security officials believe he made the calls from Nazian district of Afghanistan’s Nangrahar province and now want the Afghan authorities to take action.

The officials believe that a group of seven militants attacked the school. Five of them blew themselves up inside the administration block and two others outside it.

The attackers entered the building by climbing its rear wall, using a ladder and cutting barbed wire. They all headed for the main auditorium where an instructor was giving a first-aid lesson to students of the school’s senior section.

“Did the attackers have prior knowledge of the congregation in the main hall? We don’t know this yet. This is one of the questions we are trying to find an answer to,” a security official said.

A watchman standing at the rear of the auditorium appears to be the first victim because of a pool of congealed blood splashed in one corner of several steps in the open courtyard.

Finding the rear door closed, the militants charged towards the two main entry and exit doors and this is where the main carnage appears to have taken place, according to a military officer who took part in the counter-assault. Pools of blood at the entrance on both sides bore testimony to the horrific, indiscriminate shooting.

“There were piles of bodies, most dead, some alive. Blood everywhere. I wish I had not seen this,” the officer said.

The students in the hall appear to have rushed to leave the place after hearing the first round of shooting, and this was where they barged into the waiting militants who were blocking the two doors.

Inside the main hall, there was blood everywhere, almost on every inch of it. Shoes of students and women teachers lay asunder. Those who had hid behind rows of seats were shot -- one by one, in the head.

More than 100 bodies and injured were evacuated from the entrances and the hall.

Every row of seats was bloodied. On one seat, there were blood-stained English notebooks of two eighth-grade students, Muhammad Asim and Muhammad Zahid.

A corner to the right of the stage in the auditorium, where an instructor was giving the lesson, was where a woman teacher, who had beseeched the militants to have mercy and let the children go, was shot and later burnt.

By that time, the Special Services Group (SSG) men had arrived and fighting had ensued and the militants were forced to make a run for the administration block, just a few metres away.

Security officials believe the death toll could have been far higher had the militants reached the junior section before the arrival of the SSG personnel.

It is from inside the administration block that the militants fired at the SSG men. Four of the militants blew themselves up inside the lobby of the block when they were cornered.

The impact was huge and devastating. There were pockmarks from the flying ball bearings and human flesh and hair were plastered to the ceiling and the walls.

One of the bombers blew himself up in the office of the Headmistress, Tahira Qazi. Her office stands gutted. Her body was recognised later. A leg of the bomber was lying around.

Two students and three staff members were killed in the administration block along with the headmistress.

The last two bombers charged towards the SSG men who had taken positions on either side of the flank entrance to the block.

One of them exploded himself and after a while, the second one did. Shrapnel and ball bearings hit the rear wall, some pierced through the trees opposite the entrance.

This is where the seven SSG men were injured. One of the personnel who had taken position behind one of the trees was hit in the face, but is reported to be in stable condition.

The assault came to an end but left several questions.

Could the tragedy have been avoided? Yes, given prior specific intelligence tips of August and repeated conveyance of concerns by some teachers regarding the school’s vulnerability vis-a-vis its western and northern boundary walls.

Could the casualties have been avoided or minimised? Probably not, given the short response time. By the time the SSG men arrived and began the operation within 10 to 15 minutes of the assault, the militants had carried out much of the carnage.

There was no clarity on the number of militants and their location. The SSG team arrived through the front gate covered by two armoured personnel carriers. As they moved from block to block, the first major priority was to secure the junior section.

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