Islam And The Threat To Arab Christians

By Joseph Puder, For The Bulletin

The murderous attack by Muslim jihadist terrorists in Mumbai, India – a majority Hindu nation, against “infidel” Jews, Christians, and Hindus, serves as a reminder of Islamic intolerance towards non-Muslims in Islamic majority countries.  Of particular severity is the persecution of Christians in the Arab/Muslim Middle East.

The events in Mumbai brought home to Joseph Hakim, Vice President of the International Christian Union (ICU), the suffering of Christians in Lebanon and Egypt in particular.  This reporter asked Mr. Hakim the following questions before the Mumbai terrorist attack on Nov. 26.

Joseph Puder: Dr. Dawoud, President of the ICU once pointed out to me that his commanding officer in the Egyptian army said to him: “First we will deal with the Saturday people, then with you – the Sunday people.” Do you find that attitude prevalent throughout the Arab world?   

Joseph Hakim: Yes, I personally heard Dr. Dawoud describe his commanding officer in the Egyptian army telling him that: ‘First we will deal with the Saturday people, then with you – the Sunday people.’  The Wahhabi extremist Islamic agenda has been bulldozing its way through the Middle East starting from the Saudi territory.  They have ethnically cleansed the Jews first in 630 CE, starting with the Khaybar War and continuing until today.
The Christian cleansing began in the Ottoman Empire in 1400’s through the 1900’s and included genocide against Armenians, Assyrian and Greek Orthodox Christians. Antioch, which is the oldest Christian city and the site of the first church in the world, witnessed the killing and terrorizing of Christians by the Muslims.  Many Christians were pushed out of their homes, including my own family, which lived in Antioch, Lebanon until the 1930s.  The Christian population in Syria, in 1900, was 90 percent, today Christian account for only 14percent.

Lebanon was 80 percent Christian, today it is down to 30 percent, as a result of Arab Islamic countries secret agenda conceived during the Lahore Convention in the 1960s, to arm the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) with the intent to destroy the Christian community.  Still, Lebanon is the only country in the region where the constitution mandates a Christian President.  The Taif Agreement engineered by the Saudis in the 1990s, transferred power from the Christian president to the Sunni-Muslim mandated prime minister.

JP: How do you see the future of Christians in the Arab world, especially in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Palestinian Authority territories?

JH:  Christian minorities in the Middle East are in a critical state, and unless the West can provide security and a strong financial base for Christians, it is doubtful that the Christian communities in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Iraq, Sudan, and the Palestinian Territories will survive.  If action is not taken immediately, I don’t see how the Christians will survive in the next 50 years.

JP: Please describe ways in which Christians are discriminated and persecuted in the Arab Middle East?

JH: Christian neighborhoods are constantly being terrorized.  The Arab governments are deliberately discriminating against Christians by barring them from employment in the government bureaucracy.  These Muslim governments are focused on destroying solid Christian businesses and businessmen, one at a time.  Muslim corporations in Lebanon for example, receive unlimited funds to buy land in Christian neighborhoods.  They are also granted most of the major government contracts. 

The Muslims are intentionally building the highest mosque illegally, in the center of Beirut, next to a modest size church. While constructing the mosque, a 1500 year-old church was discovered, but that was not a deterrent to constructing the mosque, which is part of a campaign to put an Islamic face on Lebanon.

JP: Can Islam become more “moderate” in the foreseeable future?

JH: It is impossible for Islam to become moderate as long as Muslims believe in the Quran.  This holy book promotes terrorism, war, martyrs, murder, torture, thievery, slavery, and intolerance.  There is no freedom of choice in Islam, and Muslims are ordered to kill infidels.  

In an interview conducted a week after Sept. 11, 2001 with Sheikh Mohammad Hussein Fadlallah, a leading Islamic authority in Lebanon, and Marcel Ghanem, of the LBC (Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation), Sheikh Fadlallah was asked about the meaning of the word “infidel.”  His answer was: “Those that go to war against Muslims, those that occupy Muslim lands and steal their money, and those that do not believe in God and Muhammad as God’s messenger.”

The only moderate Muslim is one who does not read the Quran and/or practices the commands in the book.  Moreover, nobody is able to change or delete the hatred in the Quran.  Muslims perceive the Quran as immutable.  I therefore do not believe that Islam will become more moderate in the future.

JP: What does radical Islam portend for America? 

JH:  Radical Islamists will never be integrated into American society.  They will grow like a cancer, but let us not be fooled by them.  They are well educated and lavishly funded.  And they know when to wear suits and pretend to conform while seeking to destroy our economy.  The Islamists know how to exploit our system of government and they have established deep roots in prisons and operate training camps as well.

The lesson from Mumbai is that if Christians are targets in a non-Muslim country such as India, one can imagine how much easier a target are Christians in majority Muslim countries.                 
Joseph Puder can be reached at

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  1. 1948: When Iraqi Jews found out that they were doomed

    Perhaps the most comprehensive book on the topic of Iraqi Jews being forced to move to Israel is Moshe Gat’s “The Jewish Exodus from Iraq, 1948-1951.” Here is his description of a seminal event that showed that Iraq’s Jews – who were an important part of Iraqi society and had explicitly distanced themselves from Zionism as early as the 1930s in order to prove their loyalty and to integrate as well as possible – were doomed anyway:

    [In 1948] Jewish millionaire Shafiq Ades, chief agent of the Ford Company in Iraq, …was charged before a military tribunal in Basra with purchasing surplus military equipment – tanks, tnrcks and other equipment — from British camps in Iraq and sending them, dismantled, through Italy to Israel. This equipment. the prosecution charged, was being used by the Zionists against the Arab forces. He was also accused on giving financial support to the National-Democratic Party (a left-wing, non-Marxist party) and encouraging this party’s demonstrations, with the aim of fostering unrest to the advantage of the Zionists.” During and after the war, Ades had in fact accumulated capital by purchasing surplus British military equipment and selling it to Italian companies. It is, of course, difficult to trace what was done with this surplus equipment. lt was never proved in court that it had been sent on from Italy to Israel. Ades himself was not the only entrepreneur engaged in buying and selling surplus equipment, and his share in the companies engaged in these deals was no more than ten per cent. Moslem businessmen, such as the wealthy merchant Nagi al-Hadeiri. and members of the Iraqi cabinet, were among his partners, but were never brought to trial.” The presiding judge, Abdullah al-Naasni. a member of the Istiqlal, the anti-Jewish party which repeatedly demanded the expulsion of the Jews and confiscation of their property. was a pro-Nazi who had been detained during the war in a British detention camp.” “His trial lasted only three days – 11-13 September — and the defendant was given no opportunity to plead his case. The court refused to hear witnesses. probably in order to avoid embarrassing well-known persons who had been his business partners. Ades was sentenced to death by hanging and to a fine of five million dinars to be paid into the state exchequer. as compensation for the damage he had caused the state and army through his ‘treachery’.

    lt was clear that the Ades trial was stage-managed, that he was a scapegoat for Iraq‘s defeat in the war with Israel; and that revenge was being taken against the Jewish community through this attack on one of its eminent members. …

    Ades was hanged in Basra on 23 September. and his body left exposed for several hours. There was public rejoicing among the Moslems of Basra. The execution stunned the Jewish community. Ades had not been a prominent figure in the community. He was assimilated and could be regarded as a symbol of Jewish integration in Iraqi society, having displayed no interest in Zionism and having been on close terms with senior officials in Basra. He had even donated considerable sums to the Palestinian cause. All this aroused considerable apprehension in the Jewish community. lf this well-placed Jew – closely associated with ruling circles, and able to use his money for any purpose he saw fit – had fallen victim, could they hope for a better fate?

    The hopes that had been nurtured by the advocates of Jewish integration in Arab society. were dashed by the hanging of Ades. lt destroyed all faith in the future consummation of this ideal, and demonstrated, in the most brutal fashion, that there could be no security for Jews on Iraqi soil, and that they were at the mercy of a regime which had proved itself powerless and inept. The sight of the celebrants around Ades‘s corpse was evidence of the true sentiments of the Arabs. But the execution was not the end of the affair. The Iraqi Ministry of Defence continued to arrest rich Jews. On 22 September, a day before Ades’s execution, three Jews were arrested — two businessmen and a banker – and on the 24th two wealthy merchants were detained. The arrests were not carried out solely for purpose of extortion; the military authorities were seeking evidence of contacts between the detainees and Israel.
    This was the start of the Jewish Naqba in Iraq, that culminated in a large and wealthy community being forced to abandon all their extensive properties and assets to save their lives. (Elder of Ziyon)

    An Ill Season: The Arab Spring Unleashes Islamists on Egyptian Christians

    The Holocaust on the Christians in Iraq continues:

    Kirkuk: young Christian abducted, tortured and beheaded

    Ashur Yacob Issa, 29, was the father of three children. He was abducted three days ago. Negotiations for his released failed. This morning police found his body, which bore “horrific marks of torture”. In voicing his outrage, the archbishop of Kirkuk slammed this “inhuman act,” urging everyone to work together to “protect defenceless citizens”. (Link)

    Kirkuk (AsiaNews) – An Iraqi Christian man was abducted, tortured and then beheaded. The victim was from Kirkuk, northern Iraq. Police found his body this morning. He had been kidnapped three days ago and the family had received a ransom request. However, negotiations for his release did not work out and so he was brutally murdered. For the archbishop of Kirkuk, his death is an “inhuman act” because it goes “against every human and religious principle”. Iraqi Christians have been living in a state of high tension since the killing of Osama Bin Laden, fearing possible revenge by local Muslim extremists.
    Ashur Yacob Issa was 29 years old and had three children, a source in Kirkuk told AsiaNews. He was abducted three days ago for ransom. His kidnappers wanted US$ 100,000 to release him. However, negotiations with his family “did not work out”, a local Christian said.

    The incident came to a terrible end this morning, when police found the young man’s body, by the side of a bridge. The body showed “horrific marks of torture”, the source said. The head had been cut off and the eyes gauged out of their socket.

    The crime sent a shockwave through the city, especially in its Christian community. although the victim was kidnapped in order to get a large sum of money, the death of Osama Bin Laden by the US on 2 May has raised the tension level in the Christian community. Since then in fact, it has been living in fear of possible reprisals by Muslim extremists.

    Speaking to AsiaNews, Mgr Louis Sako, archbishop of Kirkuk, condemned the murder of the young man, calling it an “inhuman act” that goes against “every human and religious principle”.

    “No man who believes in God and respects life can commit such acts,” the prelate said.

    Now Mgr Sako’s concern is for the widow and her fatherless children.

    However, in a warning to the perpetrators of this act, the archbishop said, “Let them think about those who are left without a father and a husband. Even if human justice is not done, divine justice shall, sooner or later”.

    Lastly, the archbishop of Kirkuk called on police and security forces officials, both local and national, to undertake joint action “so that all people of good will can work together to protect defenceless citizens.” (DS)

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