Latest Analysis and Commentary

Asylum Seekers, Beheaders and Mega Mosques
One Month of Islam in Europe: April 2015

by Soeren Kern  •  May 24, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Hackers claiming to belong to the Islamic State attacked TV5Monde, a French television network, and knocked it off the air globally. The network broadcasts in more than 200 countries. "Our websites and social media sites are no longer under our control." — Yves Bigot, Director General, TV5Monde.

  • "We hate no one. We fight for our freedom and hence we object to totalitarian Islam, but we do not hate Muslims.... I am happy that we in the Netherlands and in Germany are allowed to demonstrate against each other. Without violence. Without hatred." — Geert Wilders, Dresden, Germany, April 13, 2015.

  • "I've come here [to Syria] to behead infidels. I am ready. At some point, we'll be in Switzerland." — Jihadist who has had a Swiss passport since 1995, in a social media message.

Geert Wilders addresses a rally of PEGIDA supporters in Dresden, Germany, on April 13, 2015. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

In Austria, a new report from the Federal Criminal Police (Bundeskriminalamt) revealed that 34,070 illegal immigrants arrived in Austria in 2014, a 24% jump over 2013. Most of the migrants came from Syria, Iraq, Somalia, Eritrea and Kosovo. More than half, roughly 20,750 of the migrants, hired smugglers to bring them to Austria; the remainder arrived on their own. More than two-thirds of the migrants arrived from Italy (51.6%) and Hungary (34.4%).

On April 7, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz called on the European Union to launch a military operation against the Islamic State. He also called for a crackdown on so-called foreign fighters in Europe. Kurz said: "We are a militarily neutral country, but in terms of the Islamic State, our position is clear: Humanitarian aid for the victims is necessary, but much more needs to be done."

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Hamas, Europe and How to Get a State

by Uzay Bulut  •  May 23, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Denmark's Foreign Minister, Martin Lidegaard, did not of course address the question: If your neighbor is trying to import weapons while threatening to kill you, what are you supposed to do about that? He also did not address the similar blockade of Gaza by Egypt, which faces the same problem. The more terror tunnels Hamas members build, the more respect they get from the West.

  • As someone born and raised a Muslim in the Middle East, and still living there, I can assure Europeans officials that if they think the recognition of Hamas and Palestinian statehood would encourage Hamas to change its charter and abandon its terrorists attacks, they could not be more wrong. Why then should Hamas change its charter or tactics, or commit itself to a peaceful resolution, when its current terror tactics seem to be working so magnificently?

  • "We do not distinguish between what was occupied in the 1940s and what was occupied in the 1960s... We will continue until the very last usurper is driven out of our land." – Sheik Nizar Rayan, a Hamas leader, Gaza, 2005.

  • The EU authorities speak about "peace talks," and a "two-state solution;" Hamas does not. Hamas openly rejects them. If one compares the language these governments use with the language Hamas officials use, they would appear to live on different galaxies. To Hamas, and apparently to many countries in Europe, Israel as no right to defend itself and no right to exist. But Europe is ready to prop up, with unconditional support, racist, anti-humanitarian organizations such as the Palestinian Authority and Hamas. Is this really the spirit of pluralism, humanism and tolerance these "good," "moral" European governments and the Vatican support?

Pope Francis greets Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas at the Vatican, May 16, 2015. (Image source: RT video screenshot)

This month, the Vatican signed the first treaty with "the state of Palestine," which it had already recognized in 2012.

The Vatican is not the only European state to have recognized the Hamas and Abbas government as an independent state. The Vatican is just the latest member of a trend that speaks volumes about how alarmingly clueless European states are about the conflict in the region and how blind they have become to see who actually causes terrorism and killings there.

Sadly, last year, Europe showed that terrorism and threats to commit genocide might just be the best way to acquire national independence.

In October 2014, the Britain's House of Commons voted in favor of symbolic motion that stands as initial stage of UK recognition of a "Palestinian state."

Then Sweden's government became the first major European country officially to recognize the state of "Palestine."

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A Century of Genocides: Next Trigger-Man, Iran

by Guy Millière  •  May 22, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • The first priority of most Western governments today seems to sign a deal with Iran's Supreme Leader, Ali Khamenei, who openly calls for Israel's and America's destruction.

  • The next priority of many European governments, and apparently the Pope, is to entrust a state to the Palestinian Authority and Hamas, a movement that does not hide its genocidal intentions.

  • Unless the Obama Administration and Congress stop Iran, we are about to witness the world's next genocide, committed by Iran. By teeing up Iran's nuclear capability and triggering a Middle East nuclear arms race, the U.S. and the negotiators of the P5+1 are creating conditions that can only lead to a disastrous war with catastrophic results.

Iran's Supreme Leader, Ayatollah Khamenei (center), is shown meeting in May 2014 with Iran's military chief of staff and the commanders of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps. (Image source: IRNA)

On April 28, ceremonies were held to commemorate the seventieth anniversary of the liberation of the Dachau concentration camp. It might seem not a major event, as Dachau was not an extermination camp. Auschwitz-Birkenau, the main Nazi killing center, had fallen three months earlier. The absolute horror of Nazi crimes was fully known. The end of World War II was near: ten days later, on May 8, 1945, the surrender of Germany was signed.

Dachau nevertheless has a special meaning: it was the first camp. After its doors opened in 1933, it became the model for all Nazi concentration camps.[1]

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Who Can Attack Turkish Ships?

by Burak Bekdil  •  May 22, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • This time, there was no request for an emergency meeting of the UN Security Council; no talks with the EU, NATO, Obama or Merkel. Instead, the Turkish Foreign Ministry issued a weak protest note.

  • President Erdogan's reaction to an attack on a civilian Turkish vessel by a foreign army was revealing: "Things would have been different had the ship carried a Turkish flag."

  • By the way, what flag did the Mavi Marmara carry? Comoros.

  • For Turkey's Islamists, "what was done" does not matter much. "Who did it" does.

The Turkish-owned ship Mavi Marmara, which took part in the 2010 "Gaza flotilla" that attempted to break Israel's navel blockade of Gaza. (Image source: "Free Gaza movement"/Flickr)

"This is the first time in history that a foreign army has killed civilian Turks in peacetime!"

This is how government-friendly media justified Turkey's reaction to Israel when, in May 2010, the Israel Defense Forces raided the "Mavi Marmara," a ship in a Turkish-led flotilla off the Gazan coast, and killed nine pro-Palestine activists aboard.

Any reader could be tempted to believe that Turkey was preparing to go to war with Israel.

Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, then foreign minister, insisted that "This is Turkey's own 9/11."

Turkey asked the United Nations Security Council to summon an emergency meeting. It knocked on other doors too: NATO, the European Union (EU), the Arab League and the Organization for Islamic Cooperation (OIC). Then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan called to discuss the Mavi Marmara crisis with U.S. President Barack Obama and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.

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Defending Freedom of Speech

by Geert Wilders  •  May 21, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated. And here, in America, you are allowed to make pictures and drawings, no matter what the Sharia says. ... If we react to threats over cartoons by no longer making cartoons, the terrorists have won. ... The jihadis want to kill me, but others want to silence me... by legal or political harassment. All this is happening not in third-world dictatorships, as you might expect, but in Western democracies.

  • And may I ask: Where are the demonstrations of Muslims who do not agree with the violence committed in the name of Islam and its prophet? I have not seen any of them, have you? The majority may not commit violence, but they do not oppose it either.

  • A free society should not grant freedom to those who want to destroy it. We should stand with every nation and every people who are threatened by jihad. This includes Israel... whose conflict with the Arabs is not about land; it is a conflict between freedom and tyranny.

  • If we allow ourselves to be self-censored about anything we say about Islam, then soon Islam will start telling us how to live, how to dress, how to breathe. ... That is how civilizations decay.

Bosch Fawstin's winning entry in the Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest in Garland, Texas, held on May 3, 2015. (Image source: Bosch Fawstin)

Freedom of speech is under threat today. Not only in Europe, where I come from. But also here, in America.

The last time I was in the United States was less than two weeks ago. I was in Garland, Texas, where I gave the keynote speech at a contest of Muhammad cartoons.

The contest was held in a conference center, where after the Paris Charlie Hebdo assassinations, an Islamic organization had convened to demand that freedom of speech be restricted and Muhammad cartoons be forbidden. The Muhammad cartoon contest in Garland was organized to make a stand against this demand. We should never allow ourselves to be intimidated.

The winner of the Garland contest was a former Muslim. There was something very symbolic about the fact that he was an apostate. Under Islamic Sharia law, apostasy is punishable by death. Under the same law, making illustrations of the prophet Muhammad is also punishable by death.

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Fatah's Armed Militias Warn Israelis: "You Must Leave!"

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  May 20, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • The international community and the media often ignore the fact that Mahmoud Abbas's Fatah has a number of armed groups. Their fight is to destroy Israel, eliminate the "Zionist entity" and achieve the "right of return" for millions of descendants of refugees.

  • The Palestinian Authority leadership has never distanced itself from the rhetoric and actions of these groups. Fatah's militias will be the first to reject any peace agreement that includes the slightest concession to Israel.

  • Several Fatah leaders, in fact, often speak in English about the need for reviving the peace process, while in Arabic they praise and endorse the Fatah gunmen.

Gunmen from Fatah's Abu al-Rish Brigades, which describes itself as the "military wing of Fatah," appear in a September 2014 propaganda video.

Many in the international community often refer to the Palestinian Fatah faction, which is headed by Palestinian Authority (PA) President Mahmoud Abbas, as a "moderate" group that believes in Israel's right to exist and the two-state solution.

What these people do not know is that Fatah, the largest faction of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), consists of several groups that hold different views than those expressed by Abbas and other English-speaking Fatah officials.

Some of these Fatah groups do not believe in Israel's right to exist and continue to talk about the "armed struggle" as the only way to "liberate Palestine and restore Palestinian national rights."

One of these groups is called The Aqsa Martyrs Brigade - El Amoudi Brigade.

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Murders in Bangladesh, Government Looks the Other Way

by Monir Hussain  •  May 20, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • Forty-seven percent of Bangladeshi Muslims said that suicide bombing and other forms of violence against civilian targets could be justified to defend Islam from an enemy (compared to Malaysia at 18%, Indonesia at 9% and Pakistan at 3%).

  • It seems clear, therefore, why the dissidents, atheists and secularists in Bangladesh remain unassisted by the society and the government.

Ananta Bijoy Das (left) was hacked to death on May 9 in Bangladesh, with Islamist extremists taking credit for the attack. At right, police collect evidence at the murder scene.

A third brilliant blogger has been hacked to death in Bangladesh since February. On May 9, Ananta Bijoy Das, a banker by profession, and a blogger, was murdered, apparently by Islamist extremists.

Das was murdered in broad daylight on a busy street in the country's fifth largest city, Sylhet. He had written for Mukto-Mona (Free Mind), a website with which the Bangladeshi-American blogger, Abhijit Roy, had worked before being hacked to death himself in February by machete-wielding assailants.

Five weeks after Roy's death, yet another blogger, Oyasiqur Rahman, was also brutally murdered by three men in Dhaka.

Their deaths echoed the murder of Ahmed Rajib Haider on February 15, 2013, and the stabbing in Bangladesh of Asif Mahiuddin in January 2013.

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Getting Away with It: What Has Happened to Rule of Law?

by Douglas Murray  •  May 19, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • But the question that hangs over Rotherham -- and which even the latest independent review could not answer -- is why so many people got away with these crimes for so long. It was left to a few intrepid journalists and four private citizens to uphold the law.

  • "It appears inevitable that Mr. Rahman will denounce this judgement as yet another instance of the racism and Islamophobia that have hounded him. ... It is nothing of the sort. The law must apply fairly and equally to everyone. Otherwise we are lost." — Judge Richard Mawrey QC.

  • Bad people do bad things, but when all the institutions of state fail to stop them, that is a problem for us all.

Lutfur Rahman was last month removed by a court from his position as Mayor of Tower Hamlets, after being found guilty of electoral fraud and other illegal practices. (Image source: ITV News video screenshot)

A veteran of the 1968 protest movements once confided what, looking back, troubled him about his generation's rebellion. "All young people rebel." he said. "What is strange is that our parents' generation gave in." It is a sentiment that could just as easily be applied to modern Britain, if not the West. It is not surprising that people do bad things. What is surprising is that so many institutions and authorities allow them to get away with it.

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Legitimizing the Groups that Hate You
Is the Anne Frank Trust too Trusting?

by Samuel Westrop  •  May 18, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • In 2014, the Council of Ex-Muslims of Britain published a report on the iERA. The report concluded that the iERA should be classified as a "hate group."

  • Unfortunately, providing extremists with a platform only serves to legitimize "anti-racism" and interfaith initiatives that openly promote illiberal and anti-democratic agendas.

  • If anti-racism activists and representatives of the Anne Frank Trust choose to attend the iERA's event and share a platform with Abdurraheem Green, they will simply be handing a powerful cover of undeserved legitimacy to one of Britain's most intolerant groups.

Salafist preacher Abdurraheem Green, one of Britain's most anti-Semitic extremists. (Image source: BBC video screenshot)

On May 21, a representative of a prominent British Jewish charity, the Anne Frank Trust, will share a platform with one of Britain's most anti-Semitic extremists: the Salafist preacher, Abdurraheem Green.

The event, organized by the Islamic Diversity Centre, is named "Against Racism Against Hatred: Tackling Anti-Semitism & Islamophobia."

The speaker, Abdurraheem Green, has spoken of a "Yehudi [Jewish] ... stench" and urged Muslims to "push them [Jews] to the side." In addition, he encourages men to hit their wives to "bring them to goodness," and has called for the killing of homosexuals and adulterers.

In addition to Green, Councillor Alyas Karmani will also be speaking at the event. A former member of George Galloway's Respect Party, Karmani has claimed that the "ideology" of "the Yahood [Jews] and the Nasara [Christians]" has "no issue killing women and children."

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Why Is Britain Missing in Action?

by Peter Martino  •  May 18, 2015 at 4:00 am

  • "Britain has taken leave from the world stage in an extraordinary and depressing way. It's marginalized itself in Europe, and it's absented itself from most of the great issues on the world stage." — Timothy Garton Ash, professor of European Studies, Oxford University.

  • Ten years ago, Britain was still playing a major role in Iraq and Afghanistan, but today, Britain has ceased to be a global leader. It seems even to have lost its ambition to be one.

  • Britain has a long international tradition. Breaking with this tradition would be an irreparable loss.

Who is missing from this picture?
On February 6, 2015, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President François Hollande met with Russian President Vladimir Putin at the Kremlin, as part of efforts to reach a peace agreement for the conflict in Ukraine. Britain did not participate. (Image source: The Kremlin)

David Cameron's Conservative Party unexpectedly won the British elections. This was largely a consequence of the British electoral system: Cameron's main rival on the right, the United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP), gained merely one seat, despite getting almost 13% of the votes. Almost 4 million British voted for Nigel Farage's UKIP and its anti-EU and anti-immigration platform. What Cameron lost to UKIP on the right, however, he picked up on the center-left from the Liberal Democrats, who were the biggest losers of the elections.

Cameron also benefited from the satisfaction of the electorate with Britain's economic performance. Compared to other European nations, the British economy is booming. Last year, the United Kingdom became the world's fifth largest economy, overtaking France; this year, it is on its way to overtaking Germany's.

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Muslim Rape Gangs, Terrorists as 'Pop-Idols,' and the Trafficking of Children
A Month of Islam in Britain: April 2015

by Soeren Kern  •  May 17, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • "The boys want to be like them [jihadists] and the girls want to be with them. That's what they used to say about the Beatles... [Muslim teenagers] see their own lives as poor by comparison, and don't realize they are being used." — Nazir Afzal, Britain's leading Muslim prosecutor.

  • "The extreme views of a 'racist, homophobe and anti-Semite' who supports killing non-Muslims and 'stoning adulterers' are being made available to prison imams and prisoners...with the blessing of [prison] authorities." — Newsweek magazine.

  • "Mohammed was selling me for £250 to paedophiles from all over the country. They came in, sat down and started touching me... Sometimes, I would be passed from one pervert to another... Mohammed's defense was laughable... His barrister, a woman, implied I was a racist because all the defendants were Muslim." — Excerpts from Girl for Sale, by Lara McDonnell.

  • "Democracy... violates the rights of Allah. Islam is the only real, working solution for the UK." — Election posters in Cardiff, Wales.

Jafar Adeli (left), a 32-year-old Afghan asylum seeker, was jailed in April for 27 months, convicted of arranging to meet an underage girl for sexual relations. Pakistani-born Mohammed Khubaib (right), 43 was convicted in April of sexually grooming girls as young as 12 with food, cash, cigarettes and alcohol.

What follows is a summary of some of Islam and Islam-related issues in Britain during April 2015, categorized into four broad themes: 1) Islamic extremism; 2) British multiculturalism; 3) Muslim integration; and 4) Muslims and the British general elections.

1. Islamic Extremism and Syria-Related Threats

British police believe that about 600 Britons have travelled to Syria and Iraq since the conflict began in early 2011. About half of those are believed to have returned to the UK.

On April 1, police in Turkey detained nine British nationals from Rochdale, Greater Manchester, who were allegedly seeking to join the Islamic State in Syria. The nine — five adults and four children, including a one-year-old baby — were arrested in the Turkish city of Hatay.

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"No Big Difference between Iran and ISIS"

by Uzay Bulut  •  May 16, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • "The international community must aim at strategic and long-term alliances based on common values. I do not think there is a big difference between ISIS and the Iranian authorities... The Iranian regime cannot be part of a long-term solution." — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, Neuroscientist and spokesperson for Iran Human Rights (IHR).

  • The international community tries to solve the most immediate problems without taking into account the long-term effects of their policies. ... As long as the Iranian authorities do not have the popular support of their people, they cannot be regarded as reliable partners." — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

  • "A democratic Iran where human rights are respected is the only sustainable solution. ... This can only be achieved by more international focus on the human rights situation." — Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam.

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam (center) speaks at a protest against Iranian human rights abuses, in 2013, in Norway. (Image source: Anita Nyholt YouTube video screenshot)

Mahmood Amiry-Moghaddam, a Norwegian-Iranian neuroscientist who left Iran together with his older siblings in the early 1980s, is the spokesperson of Iran Human Rights (IHR). The organization was started about 10 years ago as a network of defenders of human rights, and in recent years has developed a broad network inside Iran.

"We receive reports about the human rights violations, especially the death penalty, from many prisons across the country," said Moghaddam in an interview with the Gatestone Institute.

"Every year we publish an annual report on the death penalty in Iran. About 50% of Iran's execution cases included in the report have not been announced by the official sources. We only include the cases that we manage to confirm through two independent sources. It is a difficult task, but important. People who send information about the human rights abuses can be persecuted and get heavy sentences.

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Erdogan's Dream: The Sultan Rules

by Burak Bekdil  •  May 15, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Erdogan is not happy with the powers the Turkish constitution grants him. He wants more.

  • Once he has given orders, there should not be judicial, constitutional or parliamentary checks and balances. He will become the first ballot-box Sultan of the Turkish Empire of his dreams.

  • 367 parliamentary votes are required to pass a constitutional amendment in parliament without a referendum, and at least 330 to make Erdogan an elected Sultan. But if he wins, he will be the president of less than half of the Turks, with the other half hating him more than ever.

In 2013, The Economist published on its cover a photomontage of Ottoman Sultan Selim III and Turkey's then Prime Minister (now President) Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to illustrate Erdogan's growing autocratic tendencies (left). In 2015, Erdogan himself posed in his palace with the costumed "16 warriors" that guard him, who are meant to represent the 16 polities in Turkic history, including the Mughal empire, Timurid empire and Ottoman empire (right).

It is election time in Turkey. On June 7, the Turks will go to the ballot box to elect a government and a prime minister who will rule the country for four years.

In reality, they will go to the ballot box to decide whether they want an elected Sultan or not.

Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, wants more than just to win a parliamentary majority for his Justice and Development Party (AKP). He wants a two-thirds majority, so that the constitution can be amended to introduce an executive presidential system and the Sultan can once again officially rule.

In 2013, Burhan Kuzu, the AKP's chairman of the parliament's Constitution Commission, compared the U.S. presidency to the broad powers of Turkey's prime minister (who at the time was Erdogan), saying, "Obama is a poor man, the Prime Minister is powerful."

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Palestinians' Anti-Peace Campaign

by Khaled Abu Toameh  •  May 14, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Protestors chanted slogans condemning the Palestinians who hold meetings with Israelis as traitors.

  • The "anti-normalization" and Boycotts, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movements are, in fact, anti-Palestinian, anti-Israel and anti-peace campaigns that cause more damage to the people they claim they are trying to help. They have much in common with Hamas and other terror groups working to destroy any chance of peace between Israel and the Palestinians.

  • Palestinians need to distance themselves from those who seek to impose their will on them through intimidation and terror. Boycotting Israelis, especially those Israelis who support Palestinians, is not in the Palestinians' interest.

Palestinian "anti-normalization" activists disrupt an unofficial Israeli-Palestinian peace conference last year, in Jerusalem's Ambassador Hotel.

Palestinian activists on May 11 broke up a conference in east Jerusalem where Israelis and Palestinians met to discuss the two-state solution. The activists belong to the "anti-normalization" campaign, which aims to thwart meetings between Israelis and Palestinians.

The conference at the Ambassador Hotel was organized by the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information (IPCRI), a non-governmental organization (NGO) think tank based in Jerusalem. It has been working towards a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

Entitled, "Is The Two-State Solution Still Relevant?," the conference was supposed to include a discussion on the issue from the perspectives of the Palestinian side and the Israeli Left.

Organizers said the event was made possible by the support of the Government of the Netherlands.

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"Whoever Disbelieves, Strike Off His Head"
Muslim Persecution of Christians, February 2015

by Raymond Ibrahim  •  May 13, 2015 at 5:00 am

  • Such inaccurate portrayals that seek to downplay the Muslim persecution of Christians are standard for the BBC.

  • "[T]he French and the US, with their regional allies... persevere in error, commit strategic, grotesque mistakes ... instead of recognizing that their guaranteed support to jihadist groups has led us to this chaos and has destroyed Syria, making us regress 200 years." — Syrian Archbishop Jacques Behnan Hindo.

  • "The Saudi Arabian government has reportedly passed a law that imposes the death penalty on people caught smuggling Bibles into the majority-Muslim country. ... This means that anyone handing out any kind of religious literature that is not of Islamic faith can legally be executed" — Samuel Smith, The Christian Post.

  • All churches in Cairo must be demolished. — The Islamic State.

Islamic State terrorists prepare to murder 21 Egyptian Christians in Libya, February 2015.

Throughout February, members of the largest Christian minority in the Middle East, the Copts, were slaughtered.

The Islamic State released a video in mid-February depicting 21 poverty-stricken Coptic Christians being decapitated in Libya, where these men had gone to find work. While holding their victims' bodies down, Islamic State members shoved their fingers in the Christians' eyes, craned their heads back, and sliced away at their throats with knives — all in the name of Allah and Islam, even as the slaughtered called out to the "Lord Jesus Christ."

Over one month before the video appeared, the BBC had falsely reported that the majority of those now-slaughtered Copts were "released." (Such inaccurate portrayals that seek to downplay the Muslim persecution of Christians are standard for the BBC.)

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