by Raymond Ibrahim
Because the persecution of Christians in the Islamic world is endemic, on its way to reaching epidemic proportions, I begin with this article a new series called "This Month in Muslim Persecution of Christians," wherein some—by no means all—of the foulest instances of persecution that surface each month will be collated and assessed.
The purpose of this series is two-fold:
1) Intrinsically, to document that which the MSM does not: Muslim persecution of Christians.
2) Instrumentally, to show that such persecution is not "random," but systematic and interrelated—that it is ultimately rooted in Sharia.
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 and misogyny; apostasy and blasphemy laws; theft and plunder in lieu of jizya; and over all expectations for Christians to behave like cowed dhimmis.
Because these accounts of persecution span different ethnicities, languages, and locales—from Morocco in the west, to India in the east—it will also become clear that one thing alone binds them: Islam—whether the strict application of Sharia, or the supremacist culture borne of it.
The vilest anecdote to surface in July comes from Pakistan, a hotbed of anti-Christian sentiment, even though Christians make up less than 2% of the population: a 2-year-old Christian girl was savagely raped when her father refused to convert to Islam. Because her anatomy has been disfigured, she has undergone five surgeries and suffers several permanent complications; her family lives in fear and hiding. Though this anecdote surfaced days ago, it occurred four years ago—a reminder that some of the most savage instances of persecution never see the day of light; and a reminder that, no matter how late they surface, they shall be duly noted and remembered.
Categorized by theme, the rest of July's batch of Muslim persecution of Christians includes (but is not limited to) the following:
Egypt: Muslims angered by the installation of a church bell—under Sharia, churches must not offend Muslims by ringing bells—went on a violent spree, attacking among others a 5-month pregnant Christian woman and others who were "beaten with iron rods and pipes."
Indonesia: Christians were forced out of a church building and hounded even as they tried to worship at the side of the road.
Nigeria: Two churches were bombed simultaneously; at least three Christians died, several were injured.
Pakistan: Under accusations of "blasphemy," and with the help of a local politician, Muslims attempted to annex a Christian hospital established in 1922 by missionaries.
Tanzania: Muslims burned down two churches to cries of "away with the church—we do not want infidels to spoil our community," and vows not to befriend "infidels."
Sexual Abuse of Christian Women and Misogyny:
Egypt: Muslims "severely sexually harassed" a Christian woman in front of her husband at a bus terminal; when her husband tried to defend her honor, he was violently beaten. Soon afterwards, thousands of Muslims in the region began looting and torching Christian property, screaming "Allahu Akbar!" and "cursing the cross." Also, a Muslim ring using sexual coercion to convert Christian girls was exposed.
Pakistan: Newlyweds run for their lives, because the man is Christian, the woman Muslim. Under Sharia, the leader of the household, the man, must be Muslim. Says a Pakistani Muslim scholar: "I condemn this marriage, I call it illegal, these two could be killed for what they did."
Apostasy and Proselytizing
Iran: A Christian pastor faces the death penalty for "convert(ing) to Christianity" and "encourag(ing) other Muslims to convert to Christianity." Even if he is found innocent of apostasy, the charge of evangelizing Muslims will still carry a severe penalty.
Saudi Arabia: A captured Christian pastor is set to be deported to Muslim Eritrea, where he faces the death penalty.
General Killing of Christians
Ivory Coast: Muslims crucify two Christian brothers on "the example of Christ" and in accordance to Koran 5:33: "The pair were badly beaten and tortured before being crudely nailed to cross-shaped planks by their hands and feet with steel spikes."
Raymond Ibrahim, a Shillman Fellow at the DHFC, is a widely published author on Islam, and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.