Tag Archives: Muslims

Persecution of Christians in Yemen (from “Open Doors”)

YEMEN

Leader: President Abdrabbuh Mansour Hadi
Population: 27.2 million (a few thousand Christians)
Main Religion: Islam
Government: Republic
World Watch List Rank: 10
Source of Persecution: Islamic extremism

There is some religious freedom for foreigners here but evangelism is prohibited and Yemenis who leave Islam may face the death penalty. Muslim-background believers are forced to meet in secret. If their faith is discovered, they face severe persecution from authorities, family, and extremist groups who threaten ‘apostates’ with death if they do not recant. Insecurity caused by Islamist movements makes Yemen very unstable. Christians are believed to be under surveillance by extremists and expat Christians can be a specific target for these extremist groups.

PLEASE PRAY:

The number of local believers is estimated at just a few hundred. Ask the Lord to encourage them and increase their numbers
Several expat Christians have been kidnapped in recent years. Pray for protection for foreign Christian workers and NGOs
Al-Qaeda-linked groups are gaining more power. Pray that Yemen’s leaders will be able to restore peace to this deeply divided country.
PERSECUTION DYNAMICS

Yemen is very unstable and its situation has deteriorated since the Arab Spring riots of 2011. The country is balancing on the brink of civil war. In the chaos, Al Qaeda militants have seized the opportunity to spread to parts of Yemen where formerly the government maintained some sort of order. These developments have led to an increase in oppression of Christians.

Kidnappings of foreigners occur regularly, and Christians are believed to be under surveillance by extremists. Several expat Christians have been kidnapped, though it is hard to discern to what extent religious factors play a role. Migrant Christian fellowships have been raided and forced to stop meeting.

Muslim-background believers face strong family and societal pressure. Threats from family, society and extremist groups are very serious and indigenous Christians have been killed for their faith. Due to this risk, many believers have had to go into hiding or even flee the country. Female converts are under threat of forced marriage once their conversion is revealed.

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Amazing What a Cup of Tea can do!

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January 26, 2014 · 11:06

Muslims contribution ‘must not be forgotten’ on Armistice Day

The sacrifice made by Muslims fighting for Britain in the World Wars is being marked on Thursday as the nation remembers on Armistice Day

 

from the Metro newspaper

More than 3.5million soldiers from the Asian subcontinent fought for Britain in the two conflicts, with tens of thousands killed in action.

The 2.5million men and women who came over to do their bit in World War II became the biggest volunteer force in history.

‘We need to remind not only the Muslim community but also the general public that the Muslim contribution to the defence of this nation runs deep,’ said secretary general Farooq Murad of the Muslim Council of Britain.

During World War I, Muslim troops in the Indian Army fought on the Western Front. By the end of the Great War, India had sent more than 1million troops. More than 47,000 died and 65,000 were wounded.

In World War II, 2.5million men and women fought for Britain, with 36,092 killed, 64,354 wounded and almost 80,000 taken prisoner.

Among the volunteers was Noor Inayat Khan, a radio operator for the Special Operations Executive.

She was parachuted into France in 1943 to send messages from the Resistance to London. Khan was eventually captured and tortured.

The Germans classified her ‘highly dangerous’ and she was sent to Dachau, where she was executed in 1944.

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True Brotherhood – 2

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see also my post from 17 August 2013 – True Brotherhood

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Muslims protecting Catholic Christians at Mass in Egypt – stunning!

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True Brotherhood

Muslims protecting Catholic Christians at Mass in Egypt – stunning!Image

 

for those among us who are blinded by hate: Human Shield…. Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

 

 

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August 17, 2013 · 07:59

Dawkins, the Twitter 2

Please be quiet, Richard Dawkins, I’m begging, as a fan

By  Religion Last updated: August 8th, 2013

 

I really don’t want to write this piece. I have long worshipped Richard Dawkins and sort of wish I’d never started following him on Twitter because it’s ruining all my happy memories of The Blind Watchmaker.

But, I mean, come on.

He’s just tweeted the following:

  • All the world’s Muslims have fewer Nobel Prizes than Trinity College, Cambridge. They did great things in the Middle Ages, though.

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 8, 2013

 

  • You can attack someone for his opinion. But for simply stating an intriguing fact? Who would guess that a single Cambridge College . . .

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 8, 2013

 

  • Muslims aren’t a race. What they have in common is a religion. Rather than Trinity, would you prefer the comparison with Jews? Google it.

— Richard Dawkins (@RichardDawkins) August 8, 2013

 

He’s absolutely right on one level, of course: Islam is a religion, not a race, and it would be ridiculous to accuse someone of racism for criticising its tenets. For instance, I actually (sorry, Mehdi) agreed with him when he said it was odd that someone of Mehdi Hasan’s undoubted intelligence could believe that Mohammed was taken up to heaven on a wingèd horse. I mean, that just didn’t happen, let’s face it. I also agree with him that many Islamic theocracies are viciously repressive, and that many cultural practices carried out by some Muslims are horrible, notably female genital mutilation and honour killings.

But as Heresy Club’s Alex Gabriel writes:

Asserting that because Islam is a religion and not a race, one can never discuss it (or treat its followers) in racist ways makes about as much sense as saying that because ballet is an art form not a sexual identity, it’s impossible to say anything homophobic about male ballet dancers. Hip-hop musicians and immigrants aren’t races either, but commentary on both is very often racist – or at least, informed and inflected to a serious degree by racial biases.

Treating all Muslims as featureless representatives of their religion (as Dawkins does when saying things like “Who the hell do these Muslims think they are? How has UCL come to this: cowardly capitulation to Muslims? Tried to segregate sexes in debate between @LKrauss1 and some Muslim or other”) is – well, it may not be directly racist, but it’s certainly not the sort of thing Martin Luther King would admire. The content of their character, and all that.

Because Dawkins has gone from criticising the religion itself to criticising Muslims, as a vast bloc. They’re not individuals with names, they’re “these Muslims” or “some Muslim or other”, undifferentiated, without personhood. They haven’t managed to get very many Nobel prizes, presumably because they’re stupid, or brainwashed into zombiehood by their religion. Yes, it’s only a “fact”, but in different contexts, the same fact can have different meanings. For instance, would Dawkins have tweeted another fact, which is that Trinity also has twice as many Nobel prizes as all black people put together? It’s just as true, but presumably he doesn’t believe that it’s because black people aren’t as clever. Yet he is willing to make the equivalent inference about Muslims, without further evidence.

And here’s what’s really awful: he’s failing as a scientist. It might be true that Islam is holding back scientific and other achievement among Muslims. I actually wouldn’t be surprised if it were. But you don’t get to simply assert it, because there are far too many other variables. Islamic countries are themselves usually poorer than Western ones (and far poorer than the average Trinity alumnus). Their standards of public health are lower, nutrition, education, everything. Does the average Muslim do worse in the Nobel prize stakes than the average similarly deprived Christian or atheist or Hindu? I don’t know. You need to do proper analysis, statistical regression, to work that out. What’s worse, Dawkins knows that.

Dawkins may believe that he is criticising only the religion, and its effects on the people who hold it, rather than the people themselves (“don’t hate the player, hate the game”), but his gleeful hurling of rhetorical stick-bombs doesn’t make that sort of distinction. Is he being racist? Maybe not, depending on how narrowly you define it. But whatever he’s being, it’s not nice, and it certainly isn’t advancing the various causes of secularism, atheism or everyone just bloody getting along.

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August 10, 2013 · 21:20

Different Faiths

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