Archive for Slaughter

Anders Behring Breivik’s Irrational Belief about Muslim Immigrant Colonization

Posted in Loon Violence, Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 19, 2011 by loonwatch
Oslo Rose MarchOslo Rose March

It’s not like I need to remind you that Breivik’s belief that immigration and an eventual Muslim take over were kooky, but here are some facts.

The sinful lies of Norway’s madman: European immigration in the wake of Breivik

Anders Behring Breivik, the butcher of Norway, believed the “Muslim colonization” of Europe – aided and abetted by multiculturalist fellow travelers and colluding weak-kneed politicians – was poised to destroy pristine Norway unless he acted. Breivik’s European Declaration of Independence lists a series of demands, above all that “immigration in whatever form should be immediately and completely halted and that our authorities take a long break from mass immigration in general until such a time when law and order has been reestablished in our major cities.”

The irrational fear of immigration does not align with the facts. Immigration has remained remarkably stable over the past 50 years – with approximately 3% to 3.2% of the world’s population as international migrants.

Norway, which sent to America some 522,000 immigrants over a century ago, is paradigmatic of the status quo. Over the course of 150 years, it has experienced a minor net migration gain. Today, it has approximately 550,000 immigrants – half of them originating in Europe, with Poles and Swedes leading the way. Norway has a small Muslim population (roughly a quarter of its immigrants).

Immigration’s stability is remarkable. While the potential for immigration continues to grow in our increasingly mobile and global world, the reality of international immigration remains quite stable – with more than 96% of all human beings living in the countries where they were born.

Ahmed Rehab: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

Posted in Anti-Loons with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on November 11, 2010 by loonwatch

Muslims in Chicago joined their Christian brethren in condemning and opposing the slaughter of Christians in Iraq. (hat tip: Robert Spencer)

Beyond the Comfort Zone: Passion and Peril at a Pro-Christian Rally

(ahmedrehab.com/blog)

by Ahmed Rehab

Yesterday, CAIR-Chicago staff and interns participated in a rally alongside the Assyrian community of Chicago to condemn violence against Iraqi Christians. The rally was organized in response to the massacre of dozens of Assyrian Christians in Baghdad on October 31st.

It was a tricky decision for us. We knew that there could be anti-Muslim sentiment at the rally that would put is in a precarious position, but we decided that our disdain for the heinous acts of Al Qaeda far exceeded our concern for personal inconvenience.

We decided that the right thing for us to do was to act on our values and our sincere feelings of camaraderie with our fellow human beings in times of anguish. We wanted to raise our voices as Muslims in support of the Assyrian community and against terrorists who purport to act in the name of our faith.

Al Qaeda does not have reverence for any innocent life, including those of Muslims. It is a fact that they have bombed many more Mosques in Iraq than churches.
While we were weary of the possibility that some people at the rally could lash out at us, Muslims-at-large who condemn terrorism, we were not interested in seeing ourselves as victims. The only victims we were prepared to recognize were the 52 innocent souls that were claimed by the recent church bombing, and the many others – Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and otherwise – claimed by terrorism.

And so we set out with signs including “An Attack on Your Church is an Attack on my Mosque,” “American Muslims, Iraqi Christians, One Blood,” “My Brother is an Assyrian,” “We Stand with Iraqi Christians,” and “Muslims for Peace.”

We held our signs up high and marched in solidarity with the predominantly Assyrian Christian crowd.

The reaction we got was mixed.

In an interesting scene that summed up my experience, I was asked by one man if I was a Muslim. I said “Yes, I am.” He then asked, “Am I impure?”

I joked, “I don’t know did you shower this morning?”

He dismissed the joke and asked me if I thought “his blood was impure.” I told him, “why would you expect that, you’ve never met me, I am here supporting you, what about me leads you to ask me such a question?” He told me, “You said you are a Muslim.” I told him, “so what?” He said that Muslims believe this sort of thing. I told him that he had been grossly misinformed, “you’re blood like all innocent blood is holy to me.”

Another man interjected and started yelling that I was “unwanted” there, motioning with his arms for me to leave. As he continued to yell at me, my attention was drawn to something that touched me. A young woman a few yards away leaned down on a stroller she was pushing and started to sob uncontrollably.

At first, I thought it had nothing to do with us but my intuition told me otherwise. I asked here, “what’s wrong, why are you crying?”

She said unable to hold back her tears, “I am so sorry you and your friends have to deal with idiots like that, this man does not represent us, I am so embarrassed. This is so wrong.”

Here I was standing before a stark display of contrasts, extreme animosity on one end and extreme compassion on the other.

In a single powerful moment, I was reminded yet again at the absurdity of those who generalize about any one group of people. Here were two people of the same religion, color, and ethnic background standing side by side rallying for the same cause — and yet they could not be any more different.

I hugged her and tried to comfort her, “Trust me, I know, we have our share of idiots too, everyone has them, most people here have been kind.”

And it was true. Many in the crowd were genuinely happy – almost relieved – to see Muslims standing with them at this rally. Some smiled, some nodded, others simply said “thank you!” It reinforced my feeling that our participation was extremely important.

While there were other incidents – one lady held a cross up to my face and told me I was a “bad Muslim” for condemning terrorism which is “in my Quran”, two people told us that we are going to hell for not accepting Jesus as our Saviour, some guy yelled profanities and was held back by a girl half his size, another called for reciprocal violence – in every single instance, someone else would take a strong stance, telling the others to back off and apologizing.

As we made our way back to the office, we were chased by two girls. “Can I ask you a question?” one of them said. “Can I just give each of you guys a hug?”

We met back in the office for an evaluation.

I learned that my colleagues’ experience mostly mirrored mine.

Despite the bigotry of some, we all felt strong solidarity with most people. We felt as if the Assyrian community, with its good and bad, was our own.

It is of no surprise to any of us that there are some negative feelings among some Arab and Assyrian Christian communities regarding Islam and Muslims. Part of it is understandable to us, given the ugly acts by saboteurs claiming to act in the name of Islam. Part of it is due to the opportunistic work of preachers like father Zakaria Boutros who make a living out of telling Arabic-speaking Christians that Islam is an evil religion. Part of it still is due to the lack of dialogue and engagement between our faith communities, and that was the part we resolved to try to change.

Assyrians have a long and proud history that goes back to one of the earliest civilizations in the world. They live as a religious minority in their indigenous homeland. For centuries, they have coexisted peacefully with their Muslim neighbors. But at other times, especially now, the instability and violence is leaving them feeling frightened for their loved ones and overall vulnerable. Some of them blame Al Qaeda, others demonize all Muslims, and others still blame the United States and its wars.

One thing we must never allow is for the bad amongst us – terrorists, extremists, ideologues of exclusion and hate – to succeed in turning the rest of us against each other. We must condemn them, ostracize them, and disempower them. The way to do that is to strengthen our relations, and stand with one another. That is the only way to spell defeat for the agents of hate.

We must emerge from our comfort zones and stand together as one against all forms of violence, ignorance, and intolerance.

When Christians are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. We must rally along with them. When Jews are attacked, they should NOT have to rally alone. When Muslims are attacked, we should NOT have to rally alone.

 

Muslims and Christians Condemn Baghdad Church Massacre

Posted in Loon-at-large with tags , , , , , , , , , , on November 8, 2010 by loonwatch

United is the only way to defeat terrorism, extremism and occupation which is creating the spring well of terrorism.

Local Muslims and Christians condemn bloody Baghdad church massacre

According to media reports 58 were killed and 75 more injured after Al-Qaeda extremists in suicide vests raided Our Lady of Salvation Syriac Church in Baghdad, Iraq during evening mass on Sunday.

The deaths and injuries occurred after Iraqi Special Forces backed by U.S. troops entered the church while Al-Qaeda extremists held clerics and worshipers hostage in the central Karada neighborhood of Baghdad. Witnesses say the insurgents began killing guards outside a stock exchange in Baghdad before going to the church.  Two young priests and a deacon were killed during the raid.

“I cry for my country that was the best country in the world. They killed these people and for what? Just because they were praying at church. Who killed them? I think who killed them, doesn’t believe in God. If they believed in God they would have never killed these people,” said Pastor Hanna Sullaka of Lutheran Church in Warren and Dearborn during an interfaith gathering at the Islamic House of Wisdom (IHW) in Dearborn Heights on Monday.

According to various sources, the Christian population in Iraq was at 800,000 before the United States invaded in 2003 .  As a result of the continuous terrorist attacks against Christians from the resulting destablization of the country, that number has decreased to 550,000. Sullaka says it’s a fact that Christians are on the verge of extinction in Iraq and several have fled to Iraq’s bordering countries to avoid religious attacks.

More than half Iraq’s Christans left the country particularly after the U.S. invasion in 2003. Those who remain are less than three percent of the population which was more than seven percent in the 1980s according to various news sources.

Some Iraqis criticized their government for not having better security at the church, and believe the incident may have been prevented if there was better security available. In response to the series of attacks on Christians, the Iraqi federal police and army have guarded the fronts of churches during mass for two years.  But no security was outside the church that Sunday.

To raise awareness of the plight of Iraq’s shrinking Christian population, the St. Toma Syrian Catholic Church of Farmington Hills is holding a demonstration outside the United States Eastern District Court of Michigan,  231 Lafayette Blvd, Detroit Michigan  48226 from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Nov. 8.  According to St. Toma priest Father Toma, more than 1, 000 are expected to attend the demonstration.

Father Toma said the future of Iraqi Christians is uncertain and 55 churches have been bombed and more than nine priests killed since the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003.  ”Christians are terrified of going to church to pray,” he said.

Syriac church official Monsignor Pius Kasha told McClatchy Newspapers the attack is the deadliest in Baghdad since before the March elections.

Other religious leaders at the interfaith event Monday which was held to honor the victims of the barbaric attack, spoke out against terrorism in Iraq.  Imam Mohammad Ali Elahi, the spiritual leader of the IHW, called the church raiders people without faith, dignity or spirit.

“The innocent victims of this tragedy that happened in the church of Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad was an attack by a terrorist. This aggression is for people who have lost their faith, their dignity, their spirit and they choose to act as anyone but human beings.  Obviously we condemn what they did. We condemn terrorism in general. We hate terrorism,” he said. Elahi says those who practice acts of terrorism in the name of Islam in reality are the worst enemies of Islam and add fuel to the fires of Islamophobia.

Sullaka says the Christian Iraqi community in the United States has been effective in helping Iraqi Christians but can become more powerful if they join forces to create effective strategies for peace. Sullaka says to do that American Christian Iraqis must first put their differences aside.  ”We can’t say he’s orthodox, he’s Syrian, he’s Chaldean. We have to be one heart. We can become strong, we can get hold of Congress and all parts of the world,” Sullaka said.

During the interfaith event Sullaka also encouraged different faiths to come together.

“We will all pray together, please, raise your right hand all together and pray and say Lord Jesus or the Prophet Moses, Muhammad, together, come on, together, and pray to make peace,” he said.

Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)-Michigan Executive Director,  Dawud Walid encourages Iraqi Americans to continue praying for their families in Iraq.  ”CAIR-Michigan strongly condemns the terrorist attack in the Baghdad church. No faith supports such violence against civilians and we pray for the day that Iraqis can worship in peace and no church can be attacked in that historic land,” Walid, also a speaker at the interfaith event said.

Meanwhile, the Muslim Public Affair Council (MPAC) of Washington D.C., a public service agency working for the civil rights of Muslim Americans, released a statement immediately after the massacre strongly condemning the killing of hostages on Sunday.

“The Quran calls for the protection of human life, all houses of worship and religious minorities and yesterday’s attack is an affront to the teachings of Islam and the rich religious diversity if Iraq,” the statement read.

“This violence is not acceptable,” said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati. “Violence is continuing to drain valuable resources from Iraq, and it is forcing its people to live in fear and with constant strife and devastation. This is one of two incidences of extremists groups attacking other houses of worship. The Qur’an clearly states that the attack on human life and houses of worship is not acceptable.”