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What lesson can we learn from the story of Betty Mahmoody?

The Support for Sharia Law Around the World

By Rachel Molschky


…What is Sharia?

Toni Johnson and Lauren Vriens of the Council on Foreign Relations offer an explanation:

Is this a "humane" death? Imagine getting raped, reporting the rape and then getting stoned to death for adultery.

“Also meaning ‘path’ in Arabic, sharia guides all aspects of Muslim life, including daily routines, familial and religious obligations, and financial dealings. It is derived primarily from the Quran and the Sunna–the sayings, practices, and teachings of the Prophet Mohammed. Precedents and analogy applied by Muslim scholars are used to address new issues. The consensus of the Muslim community also plays a role in defining this theological manual.

“Sharia developed several hundred years after the Prophet Mohammed’s death in 632 CE as the Islamic empire expanded to the edge of North Africa in the West and to China in the East. Since the Prophet Mohammed was considered the most pious of all believers, his life and ways became a model for all other Muslims and were collected by scholars into what is known as the hadith…”

Some of the main issues concerning Sharia law are the unjust treatment of women and the extreme punishments, in certain cases for things which are not even considered crimes in the West. In Europe, for example, capital punishment has been banned. Often times, there is much debate over whether or not terrorists and other murderers should be extradited from Europe to countries where the death penalty is used, such as the case of Abu Hamza, a convicted terrorist living in the UK who was eventually released to the US to face more terrorism charges. In the case of Abu Qatada, the UK finally agreed to extradite him to Jordan, but only after coming to an agreement that the “poor terrorist” would not be tortured.

While the torture of a terrorist is considered inhumane in Europe, let alone capital punishment, the reality of a full implementation of Sharia law would be a shock to Islam’s European sympathizers. Take the case of Anders Breivik, convicted of murdering 77 people. He got a jail sentence of only 21 years (with the possibility of extensions following the end of that term), the maximum possible sentence in Norway, and compare that to the type of sentence he might get under Sharia law.

Sharia punishments include:

  • The amputation of hands and sometimes feet for theft (often a hand and foot on opposite sides)
  • Stoning for sex outside of marriage (including consensual and homosexual, and even rape victims who come forward to report their rapes without four male witnesses- in doing so, they are admitting to having sex outside of marriage, which is “adultery”)
  • Capital punishment for a variety of crimes such as murder, adultery (mentioned above), and apostasy. The method by which this punishment is carried out depends, but the most common are public beheading (like in “Chop Chop Square” in Saudi Arabia), a firing squad, hanging or stoning.

In our society, we believe in the freedom of religion, but according to Sharia law, apostasy, leaving the Islamic faith, is a crime so severe, ex-Muslims are to be put to death. For this reason, many Muslim apostates live in fear, and those who speak out against Islam must hide their identities. If the State does not carry out their punishment, Sharia supporters will…


A Nun’s Journal

by Sister Hatune Dogan

….4. My Trip to the Crisis Areas

My plane landed in Istanbul. I had trouble with my luggage. The cases with things to help the refugees from Syria did not arrive on time. I was only able to get my luggage shortly before takeoff. I almost missed the connecting flight.

Turmoil and short layovers made the rest of the trip difficult. The distance between the domestic airport and the foreign airport is great. I have to hurry and that is a great effort, especially since I am still handicapped after my traffic accident in 2012. The luggage has to be fetched and sent on again. The flight goes on. Another hour, and I was in my former home in southwest Turkey. At 3:40 p.m. we arrived in Batman.

The town is completely Islamic. Many fanatical people live in it. I say that because I had to experience it on my last trip in 2013. At that time, I visited eight families — refugees. When I visited them I was provided personal security. Otherwise the passage through the city would have been impossible. Because I wore my cross around my neck, the people I encountered often stared at me with hatred. If I had been alone, I would have certainly been hounded and expelled, possibly even killed. This time I am picked up and able to make the trip to the refugee camp in Midyat without incident. I asked whether the refugee families from 2013 were still living here — the families I had helped the last time. The answer was that one family still remained, but it too would be leaving the camp soon, out of fear. Then I went with my escorts to a house with refugees and visited them all. I brought clothes and financial support for all 153 of them. I wrote down their names so that they could get help in the future as well. After that I went to monastery Mor Melke so I could sleep. St. Michael Monastery is my favorite place, where I can always return. Monastery Mor Melke-St. Michael has existed since the 3rd century. Here, my soul can recuperate and breathe again.

The Turkish state now designates us as new owners of the land, because the regime in Ankara denies the history which shows us to be the original settlers of the area and they deny us our ancestral right. We also ask where are the previous Christian landholders. Is there still denial of the genocide of 1915 carried out by the precursor of the Ottoman state?

On this spot I call upon all justice-loving people to stand up for our historically confirmed claims, so that the Christian heritage will be preserved here and we can gain our rights as a small minority of Christians in Turkey.

Several of the historic churches and monasteries from pre-Islamic times are still standing. Where were the former owners driven? Islam came to our region at the beginning of the 9th century. Before then, we were completely Christian. Now about .03% of Christians live in Turkey.

Unfortunately, the government land registry officials came in 2008, without informing the monks, and seized the land. We were dispossessed without compensation. That was a prescribed action, affecting all monasteries and Christian communities in Turkey. Several villages in Tur-Abdin where many Christians — some populated solely by Christians — lived, were robbed of their property by this administrative measure. There was no protest raised. I will never cease to denounce this injustice.

The night’s sleep ended at 4:00 a.m. A splendid dawn. A wonderful view across the land — no houses far and wide. Woods, oak trees, paradisiac. I took pictures. After that, departure to Midyat. Care of the refugees continues. I begin my workday at 8:00 a.m. There are many refugees to visit — families as well as individuals. Many are traumatized. I try to alleviate the misery with conversation and gifts. I work until midnight, with short breaks. Afterwards, I summarize — write the report of my day’s work. Only a small part of the many things I did to help could be written down. Much of it stayed in my mind, but other things were not as important.

In my mind’s eye were the many individual destinies. Here is the story of the man, Abdelahad. He is locked in a room now. He is beating himself. His hand is broken from doing that. He has been “confused” for a week and is becoming more obsessive. He has 3 daughters and a young son of 5 years. The daughters are older, but no older than 15. His wife was a teacher and he had many landholdings in the area of Aleppo. The family has experienced a great deal of suffering, persecution and misery. He reports that, while he was farming, he had to watch as people were killed by fanatics — beheaded. The dogs fell on the corpses. Again and again, he imagines what could have happened to him and his children. Horror at the bloody acts has taken root in him and traumatized him. He now lives in southeast Turkey. Here too, he sees completely covered women, and fanatics, and they cause tumult in his mind. He obsesses repeatedly over the gruesome images. He can only be helped with treatment by specialists in the most Christian possible houses (in western Europe or the USA). At this point, I am forcibly reminded of what I have learned from my experience: “It is a question of survival.”

Another family I visited was also shaped by disaster. The father was killed because he wore a cross around his neck. His wife told me about it. She is still suffering from it.

I am also grateful that the “Helping Hands for the Poor” organization helps and supports our “Sister Hatune Foundation.” Everything necessary for the help given on site is organized by these two organizations located in Germany. That is how we are able to organize our aid all over the world. Then the aid is rendered locally by helpers in the countries that are suffering. That greatly lightens the work. The organizational steps can help wherever we go. I am very grateful for this support. I have 23 years’ experience in caritas work in the Third World, and since 2005 with persecuted, abused, raped and traumatized people. Today I worked with the refugees until midnight. 3 hours sleep; then moving on to northern Iraq. I was there from March 15th to March 16th.

On the evening of March 16th, I was picked up and taken directly to the refugee camp at Nusaybin. There were Christians there, and information was intended to be given to me.

I tried to enter Syria, and was at the border when Gabriel, one of my friends, advised me against entering. I gave him a small sum of money I had received from the USA. Gabriel had emphatically asked that I not go to Syria. There was no protection there, he said. If we were killed, the refugee families would be left alone. If you, as mother of the poor and oppressed were gone, they would be without anyone to help them. “Please, come with me and we can try to do our work where it is possible. But in Syria the possibilities are very limited.”

[Translator’s note: Nonetheless, Sister Hatune goes to Syria]

So I went to Mardin and began my work with the refugees. This time, I got lists of names and families of refugees. One family father had to die, because he wore a cross. There were also people who had fled military service. They said, as Christians, they were forbidden to kill. “We are not tired of life and ready to die for a state which cannot protect us and has found no other solution than military confrontations. We have no choice but to be killed or flee. We decided to flee. As Christians, too, we would be sent where the danger is greatest and the chances of survival would be slim.” Many who could not flee were taken away in busses or kidnapped. Ransom was demanded from relatives. For those who could not manage ransom, they could only fight against someone with the prospect of being killed.

Life in Syria has become hell. Where once was a paradise, there is now bitter poverty. Once we were among the wealthiest lands in the world. Others wanted a share of that. And so came genocide and civil war. As a result, the Christians in 150 Islamic countries were made into jihadists to kill other Christians. Infidels must be killed.

5. About Jihad

On March 19th, I met an ethnic Kurdish jihadist. My friend, David called me up and told me about this youngster who was a neighbor of his. He could call him, because he had been a jihadist. I spoke to him in his native Kurdish.

“You were a jihadist?”

“Yes I was.”

“How did you learn to join the holy war?”

“My name is Mahmut A. I had no job and nothing to do. I wanted to study, but I was on a waiting list with no prospects. My father told me to go to the mosque five times, and then my time would come. So I went to the mosque every day. Then a man approached me and said: I see you here often. If you want to do something for yourself and Allah, I will show you the way. I answered: Yes! Finally, my time was coming to make myself useful and find my place. I went with him to a training camp. There were hundreds of candidates. We were given everything we could want. It was prophesied that we would be richly rewarded if we killed a gavur. After our death, 40 virgins (houris) would serve us and have sex with us. If I killed an infidel in battle, I would be surrounded not by 40 but by 72 virgins. I believed I should seek an early death, so I would enter paradise. I went to Syria with about 50 other fighters. Most of them did not survive the fighting. I too almost went to my death.

“It was November 18, 2013. A hand grenade was thrown at us. A fellow fighter was torn to pieces. I began to think. How can such a shredded person still have sex in paradise? His body stays on this earth, or under the earth, or he is eaten by dogs. And then I woke up from my fanatical Islamic fantasies. I ran away as fast as I could, to come home. I thank God that I am still alive and no longer have to follow these Islamic lies. [He said to me:] Sister, now I understand our mentally sick ancestors who slaughtered you Christians in 1915 and are still slaughtering you. It comes from the wrong actions of fellow believers in the faith, who have made us all sick in the head and brainwashed us. By the time someone like me wakes up, it is often to late for us. I can remember my great-grandfather telling how proud they were to have persecuted the infidels. I heard that again and again since childhood. I am ashamed of what my forefathers have done. I can’t stand it anymore. I am stopping here and now.

“I know that what we have done to you Christians and are still doing is the greatest injustice, barbarically inhuman. I can think of no further ways to condemn it. I must beg forgiveness. But it is useless if I alone say it. The verses in the faith, in the Koran, in sharia, the Sunna and the Hadith must be examined to see whether the annihilation of Christians is the goal of Islamic faith. The evil verses against humanity are always brought out to justify murder and killing. We must organize a peaceful life for humanity.

“Sister, there is still so much I would like to tell you, but what is the use if the two of us talk about it and so many people know nothing about it? I wish that all Muslims who have thought or still think and believe such evil would serve Allah by recognizing that what they are doing is not right.”

I, Sister Hatune, ask Mahmut: “Tell me, where are these jihadists, where are their training grounds, where are the secret places or the public training sites?”

“Urfa, Gaziantep, Antakya. Thousands from abroad are coming to the battle, to kill the infidels. Sister, many, many are coming from Western countries.”….

Read it all

UK: Our New Sharia Law

by Douglas Murray

What is Sharia and what should be our attitude towards it? These questions, which have intermittently swirled around Britain in recent years, have just re-erupted thanks to a recent story in the Sunday Telegraph.

The story revealed that The Law Society — the body which represents and advises solicitors in England and Wales — has drawn up guidance for its members on how to draw up wills in accordance with Islamic law. The document can be seen here. As the Telegraph pointed out, High Street solicitors in England and Wales will now be assisted in drawing up documents that refuse women an equal share of inheritance and that discounts the potential inheritance of non-believers entirely. Nicholas Fluck, president of The Law Society, told the Sunday Telegraph that the document, which would be recognised by the national courts, would promote “good practice” in applying Islamic principles. The paper claims that this document effectively enshrines Sharia law in the British legal system for the first time.

Since this is such an important matter it is crucial to note what is right and what is wrong about this story. First the good news: this is not the first entry of Sharia into British law. Now the bad news: it has happened a lot already. This is just one in a string of such developments.

The first opening that adherents and advocates of Sharia law were given in the UK came from the 1996 Arbitration Act, which allowed civil disputes to be settled by any means of arbitration to which both parties consented. So, for instance, if two parties wished to have a dispute voluntarily arbitrated by a religious or other social arbiter, they could.

The point was that so long as the arbitration did not run contrary to, or above, the rest of the law of the land (and this is an important distinction to keep in mind), then the arbitration would get the stamp of state approval. This condition was apparently intended to save the courts’ time and satisfy the religious demands of some groups.

The result, of course, was to leave an opening for advocates of Sharia….

…The strangest thing of all about this is not the slow erosion of the principle of one law for all. It is not even the offering up of an increasing number of parts of British life to an extremist ideology. It is the ease with which it is all done. “This is not chopping off hands,” Sharia’s defenders say, scoffingly. “It is not chopping off heads or lashing people,” they continue. Some people already complain that critics of Sharia are giving Sharia as a whole a bad name, lumping in the “bad” Sharia with the “good” Sharia. In reality, of course, Sharia law, officially adopted just this week by Brunei, apparently complete with amputations and stoning, is not compatible with law as we have been practicing it for over 2000 years in the West. The short-term political gains for the political leaders who support it hardly seem worth the long-term losses that will befall our society if we continue incorporating this system of law into our national life. If we are indeed seeing the beginning of this process, we are far from seeing what lies at the end of it.


Muslim Cleric Urges Destitute Women to Become Sex-Slaves

by Raymond Ibrahim

Within the context of keeping the Syrian jihad alive, it seems there is no end to the attempts of some Islamic clerics to legitimize otherwise forbidden behavior in order to gratify the sexual urges of the jihadis and keep them fighting Syrian president Bashar Assad.

First, there was the now infamous “sex-jihad” fatwa, which holds that any Muslim woman who willingly allows her body to be used by the sexually-deprived jihadis becomes herself a jihadi, if not a “martyr,” deserving of all the honor and rewards associated with those titles.  (Much has been written about the sex jihad, including videotaped testimonials—and how one teenage girl, after copulating with countless jihadis, got pregnant and contracted aids—even as pro-Syrian war Western entities like Foreign Policy try to deny it.)

Another fatwa permitted the jihadis in Syria to enslave and rape any non-Sunni women—including Alawites (Assad’s sect), Christians, Druze, and all Shia—in the context of their status as melk al-yamin or “right hand possessions,” per Koran 4:3 (a verse that permits the enslavement and sexual use of conquered “infidel” women).

Now, the same Islamic cleric who issued this last “rape fatwa” has issued another fatwa urging destitute women in war torn Syria to become the “right hand possessions” of any man willing to support them—basically, to sell themselves into sex-slavery.

In a video that appeared in December 2013, Jordanian Sheikh Yassin al-Ajlawni, who says he lived in Syria for 17 years, asserted that “the needy, disenfranchised Syrian woman is permitted to ask the Muslim man who is capable of supporting her, to enter into a “right hand possession” contract with him, whereby she becomes his right hand possession.”….



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