Please read just a few of the headlines that World Net Daily has published.
FAITH UNDER FIRE
Church shootings on rise in U.S.
'Leaders must be prepared to defend congregations'
Church shootings, in the headlines because of the attacks by Matthew Murray, 24, of Englewood, Colo., on two Christian groups last weekend, are on the rise across the United States, even though they're not yet at epidemic proportions.
Murray killed two people at a Youth With A Mission missionary training center in Arvada, Colo., early last Sunday morning, then apparently posted some rantings on the Internet, and drove to the New Life Church in Colorado Springs where he killed two teen girls. He also wounded half a dozen others before he was confronted by a church member volunteering as a security guard, and was shot.
A tabulation of church shootings, or those closely related to a church setting, was done by Gary Cass, chairman of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, and include 10 such attacks over the last four years, including Murray's two attacks.
"The tragic events in Colorado this past weekend underscore the fact that anti-Christian hostility is reaching a new, more violent level," Cass told WND. "Churches used to be sanctuaries that were regarded as sacred, now all church leaders must be prepared to effectively defend themselves and use deadly force if necessary to protect their congregations from violent acts."
He said a brief search found the following shootings, before last weekend's attacks:
"Self-defense is not just a right, but a Christian duty. Jesus told his followers, 'if you don't have a sword, sell your cloak and buy one,'" said Cass. "Christians are not to be a soft target for the hateful and deranged. Church leaders have a duty not to allow a crazed gunman to come and shoot up their congregation. Thank God for security officer Jeanne Assam and for New Life Church's security preparations."
As WND reported earlier, weeks before Murray armed himself with enough weaponry and ammunition to kill hundreds and staged the two attacks, he apparently boasted in an e-mail that he had discovered and practiced the teachings of controversial British occultist Aleister Crowley, called during his lifetime "the wickedest man in the world."
Murray is believed to have been the gunman who shot and killed Tiffany Johnson, 26, and Philip Crouse, 24, at the Youth With A Mission campus in Arvada, Colo., early last Sunday morning. Then, about 12 hours later, Murray died when confronted by armed security officer Jeanne Assam at New Life Church after he shot and killed sisters Stephanie Works, 18, and Rachael Works, 16, in the church parking lot. Half a dozen others were wounded in his attacks.
WND reported at the time on the disturbing rantings Murray apparently left on several websites before – and even between – the attacks, including those reported by National Terror Alert, which documented a series of postings by "nghtmrchld26," which said, "You Christians brought this on yourselves … All I want to do is kill and injure as many of you ... as I can especially Christians who are to blame for most of the problems in the world."
"It is a sad reality of our times, but Christians must take up arms to protect themselves at church," said Cass. He cited the postings by Murray, including the following:
"I'm coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. …," a statement also attributed to Murray's Internet postings.
"Mathew Murray was obviously a very troubled young man, but unfortunately he is not the only one," Cass said.
The pastor behind the Good Fight website, which documents reports from rock stars themselves of their encounters with the occult and satanic influences through their experiences with rock music, says he believes an e-mail he got weeks ago was from Murray, and indicated trouble.
Pastor Joe Schimmel told WND he recalled the October e-mail when he read the postings, included in WND stories, attributed to Murray. He said he thinks it's important for people to know what the attacker himself was feeling and thinking prior to his homicidal attack, especially since he's been described in the media as a homeschooled student from a religious family.
The e-mail, although it came from a man who identified himself as "Brian," most probably was from Murray, Schimmel says, because of long list of similarities. The e-mail notes the writer has "studied and practiced the teachings of Aleister Crowley/Thelema/The Golden Dawn, Qabbalah, H.P. Blavatsky/Theosophy, Manly P. Hall, Alice Bailey, and others."
Crowley, who lived during the late 1800s and first half of the 1900s, was a bisexual, drug-addicted occultist practitioner and author who almost reveled in the media description of him as "the wickedest man in the world."
During a court case in the 1930s, Crowley was described by a judge as dreadful. "I thought that everything which was vicious and bad had been produced at one time or another before me," the judge concluded. "I have learned in this case that we can always learn something more … I have never heard such dreadful, horrible, blasphemous and abominable stuff as that which has been produced by [Crowley.]"
Crowley also founded Thelema, a religious belief that was drawn from his book, "Liber Al Vel Legis," or Book of the Law, which gives only two commands: "Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law" and "Love is the law, love under will."
Crowley espoused a wide range of occultist activities and practices, and one of his compatriots reportedly died from drinking the blood of a cat during one ceremonial episode, according to documents on Crowley's life. Many believe Crowley was a forerunner to Anton LeVay, who formalized his beliefs in "The Satanic Bible" and established the Church of Satan.
While Crowley dabbled in the occult, magic, trances, drugs, sex and blood rituals, Schimmel told WND the writer apparently had sold his soul to another devil: rock music.
The e-mail noted that "music is a very powerful thing," and then continued with writings that appeared to have been assembled in the form of an article titled, "My Secret Drug Addiction":
I have a powerful addiction to a powerful drug that most people in my life don't know about. … I have found this drug to truly be a force to be reckoned with. This drug can completely alter blood pressure, heart rate, brainwave patterns and other bodily functions. … This drug will completely control a person's mind, what thought's (sic) they think and their emotions and how they feel. I found that this drug has the power to completely alter a person's religious beliefs, their morality, and their values and their entire lifestyle. … I found this drug to be a powerful driving force and easy gateway into a world of sex, other drugs, rebellion, homosexuality, alcoholism and many other dark things. … The drug … is commonly known in our culture as … Rock Music.
Schimmel said his organization specifically documents and warns about the occult influences in rock music and modern society, and this rang an alarm when he first received it.
Schimmel said the writings line up with what he knows about Crowley, and his influence, which sparked multiple references during the rock era of the 1960s, when some songs even included a tribute to "Mr. Crowley," he said.
He said his ministry has worked to show how Satanism can influence youth through music, and this was a factor not included in many media reports about the Colorado shootings.
But he said if the author had "practiced" Crowley's teachings, "he's opened himself up to a spiritual drug addiction."
"What he really is, is a Satanist, subscribing to the
teachings of Aleister Crowley," said Schimmel, who told WND other
leaders in the Crowley image have included Timothy O'Leary and Alfred
New campaign debate: Is Satan Jesus' brother?
Mormon church weighs in on Huckabee suggestion
WASHINGTON – Satan has reared his ugly head in the 2008 presidential campaign – literally.
Republican presidential candidate Mike Huckabee has prompted angry denunciations of religious bigotry by rival Mitt Romney as well as an official retort from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for speculating in a New York Times Magazine interview this weekend that Mormons believe Jesus and Satan were brothers.
Stirred by the debate, the Associated Press sought clarification from Kim Farah, a spokeswoman from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
She said the question is usually raised by those who wish to smear the Mormon faith, but she evaded a direct answer to the question: "We believe, as other Christians believe and as Paul wrote, that God is the father of all. That means that all beings were created by God and are his spirit children. Christ, on the other hand, was the only begotten in the flesh and we worship him as the son of God and the savior of mankind. Satan is the exact opposite of who Christ is and what he stands for."
"On first hearing, the doctrine that Lucifer and our Lord, Jesus Christ, are brothers may seem surprising to some – especially to those unacquainted with latter-day revelations," says the statement. "But both the scriptures and the prophets affirm that Jesus Christ and Lucifer are indeed offspring of our Heavenly Father and, therefore, spirit brothers. Jesus Christ was with the Father from the beginning. Lucifer, too, was an angel "who was in authority in the presence of God," a "son of the morning." (See Isa. 14:12; D&C 76:25–27.) Both Jesus and Lucifer were strong leaders with great knowledge and influence. But as the Firstborn of the Father, Jesus was Lucifer's older brother. (See Col. 1:15; D&C 93:21.)"
But Romney interprets the question from Huckabee – rhetorical or not – to be a display of religious bigotry.
"But I think attacking someone's religion is really going too far," he said on NBC's "Today" show. "It's just not the American way, and I think people will reject that."
The exchange is setting up tonight's GOP presidential debate, the final showdown before the Iowa caucuses, as a potentially fiery denouement in the first major contest of the 2008 primary campaign.
Will the Satan card be played?
Are theological questions fair game?
Huckabee, a Baptist minister and former Arkansas governor, has surged in public opinion polls and is now ahead of Romney in polls in Iowa, which holds its caucus Jan. 3.
He made the comment before Romney gave a major speech last week
trying to dispel fears about his church, particularly among
conservative Christians, an important voting bloc. Romney said he
believes Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of mankind, and that
his White House would not be controlled by his church.
World Net Daily
LAW OF THE LAND
City told: Stop prosecuting 'annoying' Christian
Court says 1st Amendment trumps ban on religious warnings that upset bar patrons
A federal judge has ordered a Louisiana city to stop enforcing an ordinance that banned a Christian man from warning bar patrons about the consequences of their actions, concluding the First Amendment trumps the local law.
"Zachary (La.) has no legitimate governmental interest in restricting speech that is too 'annoying' or 'offensive' to listeners," said U.S. District Judge James Brady, who issued a preliminary injunction preventing the city from continuing to enforce its restriction.
The case was brought by the Alliance Defense Fund on behalf of John Netherland, a man who had been targeted by authorities in the city of Zachary when he was warned he would be arrested if his verbal message in any way "annoys" someone else.
The ADF lawsuit sought a preliminary injunction to halt enforcement of the city's challenged ordinance while a trial on the case moves through the system. Brady agreed, finding that Netherland, when he loses First Amendment freedoms, "even for a minimal period of time … has suffered irreparable injury, and a court may grant injunctive relief."
Specifically, city officials "have not removed the threat of arrest against Mr. Netherland. They continue to violate his constitutional rights by prohibiting his religious message on the public easement near (the bar) and on other traditional public fora in Zachary. As long as Mr. Netherland is threatened with arrest, the harm suffered by him continues to grow," the judge said.
The judge's ruling outlined the circumstances that generated the dispute: Netherland owns a tree-trimming service and lives near Zachary. "He is a professing Christian, who found his faith while battling alcoholism and drug addition. He desires to share his religious views with others, as part of his sincerely held religious beliefs. Mr. Netherland shares his faith with others by speaking in public areas, just as he did near Sidelines Grill … in the city of Zachary on the evening of Nov. 18, 2006."
Netherland went onto a public easement about 75-100 feet from the bar's entrance that evening and began to spread his message, quoting from the Bible, including statements such as, "Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the Kingdom of God? Neither fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, effeminate, abusers of themselves with mankind, revelers, none of these shall inherit the Kingdom of God," the court said.
He did not use a megaphone or other amplification, but spoke loudly because of traffic on the nearby street, the court said.
Bar worker Ty Stevens then called police to complain Netherland was upsetting patrons.
Two police officers responded but found Netherland wasn't doing anything illegal. An hour later, Stevens called police again, and this time Lt. Troy Eubanks ordered Netherland first to the street edge of the easement, then told him he would be arrested if he continued to express his religious message.
The judge noted that the defendants admitted the crackdown was because of the "religious messages" from Netherland. One officer testified it was the "message" that was upsetting patrons of the drinking establishment.
But the judge said such censorship isn't allowed.
"Here, it is clear that Zachary has placed an undue burden on Mr. Netherland because he is prohibited from exercising his sincerely held religious beliefs. … The ordinance uses vague terms and there are less restrictive means to ensure public order."
He continued, "An enforcing officer must rely on his own subjective views of what constitutes 'annoying' or 'offensive' speech, or he must consider what he believes others might find 'annoying' or 'offensive.' The result of this reliance leads an officer … to act under the ordinance in a manner based on his or her own arbitrary judgment."
"Mr. Netherland's religious speech cannot be silenced because someone claims the Gospel message is 'annoying,'" said Joel Oster, ADF senior legal counsel. "We hope as this case moves forward that the constitutional right of Mr. Netherland and other Christians to share their religious faith in Zachary will be affirmed."World Net Daily
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CAIR's Islamist quizzers featured at prez debates
Activists posing as ordinary citizens influencing national security dialogue
Radical Islamist groups are planting activists posing as ordinary Muslim Americans to ask candidates questions at the presidential debates.
Most recently, the controversial Council on American-Islamic Relations, several of whose leaders have been prosecuted on terror-related charges, sent the executive director of its Chicago chapter to take part in the Democratic presidential debate in Des Moines, Iowa, which was supposed to be an opportunity for "ordinary people" to ply candidates with questions.
At Saturday's debate, aired on C-Span, CAIR-Chicago Executive Director Ahmed Rehab stood up and asked Sen. John Edwards if he would help Muslims fight "prejudice" and other "abuses" such as hate crimes.
"It seems we're facing a culture of fear-mongering," Rehab complained.
"Senator, in the '60s, Malcolm and Martin gave up their lives fighting for justice for all," he added. "The civil rights movement is not over. It's not done yet. We're still fighting.
"Senator," he continued, "we would like to know if you will fight with us if elected president."
A number of Muslim activists around Rehab erupted into applause and cheers.
"You've got some fans," Edwards remarked, before vowing to end "profiling" of and "spying" on Muslim terrorist suspects. He also promised to "close Guantanamo" and stop the "torture" of terrorist detainees.
Despite Rehab's assertion that Muslims are victims of hate crimes and other abuses on a "regular basis," the FBI last month released 2006 data showing anti-Islamic crimes have fallen 68 percent since 2001, and represent just 11 percent of all religiously motivated attacks. According to a report in Investor's Business Daily, the overwhelming majority of such crimes – 66 percent – target Jews.
Also, at last month's Republican debate in St. Petersburg, Fla., a former CAIR intern was selected by host CNN to challenge GOP presidential hopefuls about the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, and complain about the anger they've created in the Muslim world.
Wearing a hijab, Yasmin Elhady complained they've created anger in the Muslim world. "My question has to do with the current crisis in Iraq, as well as the U.S. efforts in Afghanistan," she said.
"After living abroad personally in the Middle East for a year, I realized just how much damage the Iraq war and the perception of invasion has done to the image of America," Elhady added. "What would you do as president to repair the image of America in the eyes of the Muslim world?"
CNN, which claimed to pick questioners at random from a pool of "undecided voters," did not cite Elhady's activist background with CAIR. The network simply identified her as "Yasmin from Huntsville, Ala." (She actually lives in Los Angeles, where she attends college at UCLA.)
Federal prosecutors have named CAIR as an unindicted co-conspirator in an ongoing terror fund-raising case. Moreover, as WND first reported, no fewer than 14 CAIR officials – including the Washington-based group's founder and its executive director – have either been convicted or named in terrorism investigations.
Earlier, at CNN's Democratic debate in Las Vegas, another Muslim activist associated with CAIR and the Muslim Brotherhood was handed the microphone.
Again, CNN failed to identify him as anything but an average American Muslim.
"Our next questioner is – Khalid Khan, if you would please stand for a moment," CNN host Suzanne Malveaux said. "You and I spoke very briefly, and you said you have some concerns about racial profiling."
"Yes, I do," Khan said, sternly. "I am an American citizen and have been profiled all the time at the airport. Since 9/11, hundreds of thousands of Americans have been profiled. And, you know, it is like harassment."
Edwards, who fielded the question first, responded that the Patriot Act needs to be "dramatically changed," to which Khan nodded in agreement.
But Khan, an immigrant from Pakistan, is no ordinary American citizen. He's president of the Islamic Society of Nevada, which has its roots with the radical Muslim Student Association. MSA, which was founded by members of the notorious Muslim Brotherhood, is the forerunner of the Islamic Society of North America, an unindicted co-conspirator in the same terror case with CAIR.
Khan runs the largest mosque in Las Vegas, and hired its controversial imam, Aslam Abdullah, former vice chairman of MPAC in Los Angeles.
In June 2004, Abdullah, who heads an Islamic "seminary" in Pakistan, accused President Bush of engaging in "a religious and racist agenda and prejudice against Islam, Muslims and Arabs." He also has likened Marines in Iraq to the 9/11 terrorists, and publicly questioned whether videotapes showing Osama bin Laden gloating over the attacks were authentic.
Abdullah claims to be moderate, even "progressive," but terror expert Steve Emerson says he is in fact an Islamic extremist.
"The record of Aslam Abdullah's comments during the past few years demonstrates an ideology of militant Islamic extremism," Emerson said. "Pretending to be moderate, his radical agenda typifies the deception of groups that falsely assert to be non-extremist."
Khan, who runs several businesses registered at his home address in Henderson, Nev., had his access badge revoked in 2004 by officials at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.
The FBI suspects several of the 9/11 hijackers, who met in Vegas before the attacks, may have visited Khan's mosque, Jamia Masjid. The mosque's website links to CAIR's website.
World Net Daily
U.S. evangelist launches swine attack on Muslims
Outraged by Muhammad teddy bear flap, minister names pig after Islamic prophet
An American evangelist has jumped into the fray over the fate of a British teacher facing calls for death over a teddy bear named "Muhammad."
Bill Keller, host of LivePrayer, has posted a video on YouTube featuring a pink, toy pig named Muhammad after the Muslim prophet.
"Indeed Muhammad was a man of murder," the pig, voiced by Keller himself, states in the video. "He was a pedophile, having a wife at the age of six. And I came to find out that the Quran really is nothing more than a book of fairy tales."
Keller, a vocal critic of Islam, made the video in response to the case of Gillian Gibbons, who was sentenced to 15 days in a Sudan jail after being convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her student to call a teddy bear "Muhammad."
Gibbons was moved to a secure location in Khartoum last week after street demonstrators called for her death.If Gibbons had been found guilty of inciting religious hatred and showing contempt for religious beliefs, her sentence could have been 40 lashes and up to six months of prison.
Muhammad is the most popular boys' name in Sudan, and it has since been revealed the teddy bear was actually named by one of Gibbons' students.
In his latest devotional being sent to his subscribers, Keller states:
Of course there will be Muslim apologists who say that these are only the extremists, just like they try to distance themselves from their brothers in this "peaceful religion" who flew the planes into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, and the one intended for the Capitol building that was crashed in a Pennsylvania field by some real American heroes. ...
"Bill Keller's pink pig is a terrific tribute to Muhammad!" said WND reader Stephen Mayfield. "If only we could load B-52's with a week's take of Farmer John's swine intestines, and bombs-away them over Khartoum."
Another WND reader, Clay Hestilow of Houston, Texas,
took the opposite view, stating, "Senseless. Ignorant. Hateful. This
'minister' is a poor representation of the love that Christ has for all
World Net Daily
CAIR backs film praising convicted terror supporter
Group urges Muslims to buy tickets to al-Arian premiere
The Council on American-Islamic Relations is co-sponsoring the premiere of a documentary film that canonizes convicted terrorist supporter Sami al-Arian.
Tomorrow, CAIR will host the screening of "USA vs. Al-Arian" at the AMC/Loews Uptown 1 Theater in Washington, D.C., according to an action alert the Muslim group posted on its website urging Muslims to buy tickets to the premiere.
The screening, co-sponsored by the Muslim American Society, an Islamist group tied to the radical Muslim Brotherhood, will be followed by a "panel discussion" involving al-Arian's lawyer, his son, Abdullah al-Arian, and a constitutional lawyer from Georgetown University, whose Islamic studies program is funded by the Saudi royal family.
Last year, al-Arian was sentenced to 57 months in prison followed by deportation. In a plea deal, he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of "conspiracy to make or receive contributions of funds, goods or services to, or for the benefit of, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad," a federally designated terror group.
Al-Arian, an Egyptian citizen of Palestinian descent, had hoped for early deportation, but prosecutors and the federal judge in the case argue he has not cooperated in related terror cases.He remains in federal prison in Virginia on a contempt citation after he refused to testify in front of a Virginia grand jury investigating a network of Islamic businesses and charities known as the Safa group.
Critics say the film portrays al-Arian in a sympathetic light by suggesting the U.S. government used the "draconian" Patriot Act to railroad an innocent Muslim professor.
The film's website juxtaposes photos of al-Arian in handcuffs with one of him and his wife posing with President Bush and Laura Bush during the 2000 campaign. It calls al-Arian "one of America's most prominent political prisoners."
"What we have is a man found innocent who is still harassed by the justice system," said Norwegian filmmaker Line Halvorsen, the film's director. "He's a man of principle. He fights for what he believes in and he's not afraid to speak his mind."
Critics say the film whitewashes the federal terror case, failing to mention that al-Arian pleaded guilty to providing material support to an officially designated terrorist group. The home page instead says he pleaded guilty to one count of supporting "immigrants" associated with an "illegal organization."
It also fails to reveal how, in a speech at a Cleveland mosque, al-Arian once thundered: "Let's damn America, let's damn Israel, let's damn their allies until death."
Court exhibits also show letters written by al-Arian praising Palestinian suicide bombers.
Publicly, al-Arian has maintained he doesn't support any kind of violence.
"I am a very moderate Muslim person," he said. "I also condemn violence in all its forms."
The film's website decries what it calls the "harsh" treatment of the confessed terrorist supporter.
"Currently Al-Arian is held under severe conditions in a
prison about 1,000 miles away from his family, making it extremely hard
for them to keep in touch with him," it said. "Al-Arian recently went
through a 60-day hunger strike to protest the government's treatment."
World Net Daily
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, or CAIR, says its aim is "to enhance the understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding."
Maybe so, but federal prosecutors have also named the group an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a plot to fund the terrorist group Hamas, several of CAIR's leaders have been convicted on terror charges since 9/11, and one of its founders has reportedly declared that America should be governed by Islamic sharia law.
Adding to the controversy over the high-profile lobby group, CAIR is now being sued by radio talk show host Michael Savage over CAIR's attacks on him and what he says constitute illegal use of his broadcasts.
The lawsuit alleges CAIR is a "political vehicle of international terrorism" that seeks to do "material harm to those voices who speak against the violent agenda of CAIR's clients." Filed in U.S. District Court in California, the suit seeks damages equal to the ongoing donations from CAIR supporters "who expect CAIR to act in this manner in exchange for continuing financial support" as well as "actual damages according to proof."
The focal point of the lawsuit is a series of audio clips CAIR has been using in its promotions and fundraisings.
Ibrahim Hooper, a spokesman for CAIR, told WND the group would not comment on the action until the document had been reviewed.
Although the news media generally have portrayed CAIR as a legitimate civil rights group, the organization has had a hard time maintaining its squeaky clean image.
For instance, as WND has reported, Ghassan Elashi, a board member of CAIR's Texas chapter, was convicted in 2005 of channeling funds to a high-ranking official of Hamas – which the U.S. government officially designates a terrorist organization.
As WND reported in October 2006, Elashi was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison for financial ties to a high-ranking Hamas terrorist and for making illegal computer exports to countries that back terrorism.
Other CAIR figures convicted since 9-11 are Randall Todd "Ismail" Royer, a former communications specialist and civil rights coordinator, and Bassem Khafagi, former director of community relations.
Royer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on charges he trained in Virginia for holy war against the United States and sent several members to Pakistan to join Lashkar-e-Taiba, a Kashmiri terrorist group with reported ties to al-Qaida.
In a plea bargain, Royer claimed he never intended to hurt anyone but admitted he organized the holy warriors after the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks on the U.S.
After his arrest, Royer sought legal counsel from Hamas lawyer Stanley Cohen, who said after 9-11 he would consider serving as a defense lawyer for Osama bin Laden if the al-Qaida leader were captured.
Khafagi was arrested in January 2003 while serving with CAIR and convicted on fraud and terrorism charges.
Current CAIR leaders also have made statements in support of Hamas and the domination of the U.S. by Islam.
As WorldNetDaily reported, CAIR's chairman of the board, Omar Ahmad, was cited by a California newspaper in 1998 declaring the Quran should be America's highest authority.
He also was reported to have said Islam is not in America to be equal to any other religion but to be dominant.
Just this past June, CAIR itself was named, along with two other prominent U.S. Islamic groups, as an "unindicted co-conspirator" in a plot to fund Hamas. Federal prosecutors also cited the Islamic Society of North America and the North American Islamic Trust as participants in a plot with five officials of the defunct Holy Land Foundation for Relief and Development.
CAIR is a spinoff of the defunct Islamic Association for Palestine, launched by Hamas leader Mousa Abu Marzook and former university professor Sami al-Arian, who pleaded guilty last year to conspiracy to provide services to Palestinian Islamic Jihad.
Last March, the House Republican Conference urged House Speaker Nancy Pelosi to cancel an event hosted on Capitol Hill by CAIR, calling the group "terrorist apologists."
And the group's regular meetings with the Justice Department and FBI have prompted complaints from case agents, who say the bureau rarely can make a move in the Muslim community without first consulting with CAIR, which sits on its advisory board.
CAIR has even conducted "sensitivity" and cultural training with federal agencies such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement and with the military. In June of last year, a senior Department of Homeland Security official from Washington guided CAIR officials on a behind-the-scenes tour of Customs screening operations at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport in response to CAIR complaints that Muslim travelers were being unfairly delayed as they entered the U.S. from abroad.
Last year, Sen. Barbara Boxer, D-Calif., withdrew an award she gave to a local CAIR official, saying she was concerned about some statements by CAIR leaders.
Savage's lawsuit follows a CAIR campaign to influence advertisers to abandon the popular talker's program. CAIR's recent announcement said OfficeMax, a leading office products retailer, had joined "a growing list of companies" withdrawing advertising from Savage's program because of his opinions regarding Islam.
That prompted the group ACT for America to launch an alert suggesting people call OfficeMax to encourage the company to reverse its decision.
"Call the OfficeMax office headquarters … and when you get an operator, in a polite but firm manner, tell the operator you have heard about the company's decision to stop advertising on the Michael Savage program because of the pressure from CAIR. Tell them you will no longer shop at OfficeMax until OfficeMax reverses this ill-advised decision," the advisory said.
"If CAIR can succeed in this effort to silence Michael Savage, consider the chilling effect this will have on every talk radio host in America," wrote American Congress for Truth founder Brigitte Gabriel in the alert.World Net Daily
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FAITH UNDER FIRE
Pastor hospitalized after attack by police
Authorities pressure leader to finger other believers
A prominent leader in the exploding house church movement in China is living under constant harassment from police, who are trying to force him to finger other Christian believers, and a recent beating by officers in his house left him hospitalized, according to a new report from Voice of the Martyrs, the worldwide ministry to persecuted Christians.
Hua Huiqi, who was jailed early in 2007 – along with his elderly mother – for the apparent offense of walking near a site under construction for the 2008 Olympics, is recovering from the latest attacks in his home, VOM reported.
However, the persecution level remains high. "Public Security Bureau (PSB) police officers attacked and beat up Hua again after refusing to allow him to use the bathroom next to his bedroom," according to the VOM update.
He had been released from Tiantan Hospital a short time earlier, a medical facility to which he was admitted after police officers beat him for "reading his Bible at his home," VOM said.
He lost consciousness from those "repeated beatings," the ministry said.
He had been placed under house arrest, with officers apparently actually occupying his home with him, recently as part of the government's apparent campaign to force him to reveal the identities and other information about other Christians.
VOM said Hua's mother, Shuang Shuying, 77, remains very ill in prison, serving a two-year sentence for the "trespassing" offense. "VOM contacts say she is being held hostage by police in order to put pressure on Pastor Hua to reveal names and information of believers," the report said.
"Pray for Pastor Hua's recovery and thank God for His faithfulness as Hua endures these recent attacks. Pray for the healing of his mother and that her testimony will draw non-believers into the knowledge of Jesus Christ," VOM asked constituents.
As WND reported, Hua had been released after serving about six months in prison on charges similar to his mother's case.
VOM said Hua was arrested in February by the Beijing Public Security Bureau Chaoyang Branch and his mother arrested by Beijing Security Bureau Chongwen Branch. They had been injured in January when seven police officers attacked them while they were walking near the hotel construction site in Beijing, and were taken into custody when they ventured there a second time.
China Aid Association officials told VOM that Hua has been very active in trying to help persecuted Christians and others who are oppressed by local officials who travel to Beijing trying to obtain justice from the central government.
He and his mother were attacked, and while on the ground, kicked. Then later they were taken to a police station for questioning, according to reports. "When Hua asked the police to release his sick mother and explain the legal ground for the detention, he was beaten repeatedly. While the temperature in Beijing was in the 20s, cold water was poured on him. He was later taken to a detention center," the organization said.
"The Chinese government says they ensure freedom of religion, but this case clearly shows the truth," Todd Nettleton, a VOM spokesman said. Police from the Olympic Sports Stadium Police Station also threatened to arrest Hua's brother, officials reported.
Authorities in China said Hua was put under criminal detention on the charge of "intervening public affair," essentially damaging public and private property at the construction site.
But Bob Fu, who works with Hua, said the charge was baseless and clearly "revenge" for his ministry work.
Co-workers told China Aid Association that they believe the aggressive actions in the arrest of Hua and his mother could be because of instructions from high government officials to send a message to those who present a message during the Olympics that does not fit the government's formal statements.
As WND reported, China appears to be mounting a campaign specifically aimed at chasing foreign Christians out, and suppressing the voice of indigenous Christians, in order to present the image it wants to the world during the 2008 Olympics.
The campaign has gotten the attention of several other organizations, and Human Rights Watch said Chinese police also have cracked down on "subversive Internet users" who have been censored in their efforts to post information that contradicts the government's public relations statements.
Also, at the current time, hundreds of thousands of Chinese are being evicted from their homes just so that the redevelopment projects in preparation for the Games can continue, the HRC said.
"The IOC has … invested the Chinese regime with a task it will carry out zealously: host safe Olympics. This means arrests of dissidents, social 'cleansing,' and censorship against 'critical' elements…," HRW said.
"The Olympic movement was discredited in 1936, when it allowed the Nazis to make the Games a spectacle to glorify the Third Reich. In 1980, in Moscow, the IOC suffered a terrible defeat when more than 50 countries boycotted the Olympics…," the group said. The 2008 Games should not be allowed to advance the restrictions China imposes, it said.
However, WND also has reported that Christian organizations inside China are reporting that up to 3,000 Chinese are being added daily to the Christian house church movement, which rejects government control over issues of faith.
Voice of the Martyrs is a non-profit, interdenominational ministry working worldwide to help Christians who are persecuted for their faith, and to educate the world about that persecution. Its headquarters are in Bartlesville, Okla., and it has 30 affiliated international offices.
It was launched by the late Richard and Sabina Wurmbrand, who started smuggling Russian Gospels into Russia in 1947, just months before Richard was abducted and imprisoned in Romania where he was tortured for his refusal to recant Christianity.
He eventually was released in 1964 and the next year he testified about the persecution of Christians before the U.S. Senate's Internal Security Subcommittee, stripping to the waist to show the deep torture wound scars on his body.
The group that later was renamed The Voice of the Martyrs was organized in 1967, when his book, "Tortured for Christ," was released.World Net Daily
IT WAS just after 11pm and the shopkeeper was closing up for the night when a van screeched to a halt outside. The back doors flew open. “Someone inside threw a woman onto the street,” he said. “She was lying on the road but she was still alive. A man lent out and shot a machine-gun into her body.”
As the van raced away, the shopkeeper ran over to her. She was aged 25 to 30 with long dark hair and was lying face up. “There was so much blood,” he said. “The police just took a photograph and put her in the back of a van.”
There have been 48 women killed in six months for “un-Islamic behaviour”. The murders in the teeming southern port of Basra have highlighted the weakness of the security forces and the strength of Islamic militias as Britain prepares to hand over control to Iraqi officials today.
In another case, two teenagers saw a woman beaten to death by
five or six men
from the Mahdi Army, Basra’s most powerful militia. One picked up a
crushed her skull. The teenagers were told that their home and family
be destroyed if they betrayed the killers.
Gordon Brown told the Commons last week that Iraq was now a democracy, that violence in Basra had fallen by 90% and that the Iraqis were “taking control over their own security”.
However, Major-General Jalil Khalaf, the police chief, said the city’s 28 militias were better armed than his men. “They control the ports which earns them huge sums of money” he said.
As well as skimming profits from oil exports, they were importing weapons from Iran.
“You could smuggle a tank across that border if you wanted to,” he added.
During four days of reporting independently in Basra – the first western journalist to do so for a British newspaper in almost two years – I met a Baghdad official who had come to investigate the port. He was abducted, tortured and freed only after a “gift” was promised to the kidnappers.
The objective of the UK forces in southern Iraq was to establish the security needed for political development and economic reconstruction. Major-General Graham Binns, the commander of British forces in Basra province, acknowledged that “we were unable to meet the aspirations of the Iraqi people”.
A 16-year-old girl is dead and her father has been charged with murder after an attack in a Mississauga home.
Aqsa Parvez, a student at Applewood Heights Secondary School, had been on life support in hospital since yesterday morning.
Police went to the family's two-storey home on Longhorn Trail about 8 a.m. yesterday after receiving a 911 call in which a man allegedly claimed to have killed his daughter.
Paramedics found Aqsa with a faint pulse and rushed her to hospital. She was later transferred to a Toronto hospital and placed on life support.
Peel police said this morning that she died overnight.
Friends at the victim’s school said she feared her father and had argued over her desire to shun the hijab, a traditional shoulder-length head scarf worn by females in devout Muslim families.
Homicide investigators had been standing by, as it soon became clear the young girl wouldn't survive the attack.
Muhammad Parvez, 57, has been remanded in custody and was to make his first court appearance today in a Brampton court.
The victim's brother, 26-year-old Waqas Parvez, was also arrested on a charge of obstructing police.
Neighbours described the family as very private and said several members from three generations have lived in the two-storey home, near Hurontario St. and Eglinton Ave., for just over two years.
School chums say Aqsa had been arguing with her family for months over whether she should wear the hijab.
Pal Ebonie Mitchell, 16, and other friends said Aqsa still wore the hijab to school last year, but rebelled against dressing in it this fall.
They said she would leave home wearing the traditional garment and loose clothing, but would often change into tighter garments at school.
She would change back for the bus trip home.
"Sometimes she even changed her whole outfit in the washroom at school," Mitchell said.
The teen was known to her classmates and Facebook friends as Axa. She posted several pictures of herself on the website in colourful clothes and accessories.
At Aqsa's high school, friends gathered in groups yesterday, struggling to come to grips with what happened and lamenting how she had quarrelled with her father to the point that she recently moved out to live with a friend.
"She said she was always scared of her dad, she was always scared of her brother ... and she's not scared of nobody," said classmate Ashley Garbutt, 16.
"She didn't want to go home ... to the point where she actually wanted to go to shelters."
Friends said the root of her problems was a desire to blend in with friends at school, to wear the fashionable clothes she liked to buy on trips to Toronto's garment district, where she went with friends just last month.
"She liked fashion," said Mitchell. "We went to different stores; she was shopping; she bought lots of clothes."
"She loved clothes, she loved shopping and she loved taking pictures of herself," classmate Dominiquia Holmes-Thompson, 16, said outside the school as friends sobbed at the news.
"She just wanted to show her beauty. She just wanted freedom, freedom from her parents."
"She just wanted to dress like us, just like a normal person," said Holmes-Thompson.
"She was a very kind person, she was really nice; everybody loved her."
Friend Shianne Phillips, 16, said she last spoke with Aqsa on Friday.
"She was crying and she was like ‘I'm really scared to go
home. I don't know what I'm going to do.' And that was it," Phillips
TORONTO - A Toronto mosque is telling Muslims not to say "Happy Thanksgiving" or invite friends into their homes for turkey dinner on the holiday weekend.
The Khalid Bin Al-Walid Mosque says to "avoid participating" in dinners, parties or greetings on Thanksgiving because it is a kuffaar, or non-Muslim, celebration.
A two-part article on the mosque Web site says Muslims should also "stay completely away" from "Halloween trick-and treat nonsense," Christmas, New Year's, anniversaries, birthdays and Earth Day.
"How can we bring ourselves to congratulate or wish people well for their disobedience to Allah? Thus expressions such as:Happy Thanksgiving, Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, etc, are completely out," it says.
In 2003, the Khalid mosque, which mainly serves the Toronto Somali-Canadian community, apologized for a newsletter that compared wishing someone a Merry Christmas to congratulating a murderer.
At the time, a junior employee was blamed for the slight, but the mosque's Web site has since posted similar edicts covering not only Christmas but also virtually every other Western celebration.
Muslims who participate in the holidays are termed ignorant and hypocritical.
While not all are religious holidays, the Internet site says Muslims are required to be different from non-Muslims "in matters which are representative of them or are characteristic of their identity."
Also banned, it says, are: watching sports or soap operas, walking dogs, family photos, wedding bands, Western hats, mingling and shaking hands with the opposite sex.
"Allah and his messenger have warned us against following or imitating non-Muslims in things which are characteristic of their religion or beliefs. This is more emphasized in the case of their eids [festivals] or occasions, which always hold some religious or ideological non-Islamic meanings, and on which the kuffaar indulge in many evil practices."
The Web site also has a question-and-answer section, which advises that Muslims can join political parties only if they are "able to exert some influence on the direction of the party so that it will take an Islamic direction."
Elsewhere in the Q&A section, it says that, "with strong determination and patience, the world will God-willing be under the Muslims' control."
The mosque is run by a federally registered charity. Rival factions within the Somali Muslim community are fighting in court for control of the charity. The mosque president could not be reached yesterday.
Teach Arabic or Recruit Extremists?
New York City's Arabic-language public school, the Khalil Gibran International Academy, opens its doors this week, with special security, for 11- and 12-year-old students. One hopes that the prolonged public debate over the school's Islamist proclivities will prompt it not to promote any political or religious agendas.
Count me as skeptical, however, and for two main reasons. First is the school's genesis and personnel, about which others and I have written extensively. Second, and my topic here, is the worrisome record of taxpayer-funded Arabic-language programs from sea to shining sea.The trend is clear: pre-collegiate Arabic-language instruction, even when taxpayer funded, tends to bring along indoctrination in pan-Arab nationalism, radical Islam, or both. Note some examples:
Only in the case of the Iris Becker Elementary School in Dearborn, Michigan, is the Arabic-language program not obviously pursuing a political and religious agenda. Its program may actually be clean; or perhaps the minimal information about it explains the lack of known problems.
The above examples (and see my Web log entry "Other Taxpayer-Funded American Madrassas" for yet more) are all American, but similar problems predictably exist in other Western countries.
This troubling pattern points to the need for special scrutiny of publicly funded Arabic-language programs. That scrutiny should take the form of robust supervisory boards whose members are immersed in the threat of radical Islam and who have the power to shut down anything they might find objectionable.
Arabic-language instruction at the pre-collegiate level is
and the U.S. government rightly promotes it (for example, via the "National
Security Language Initiative" on the national level or the "Foreign Language in Elementary Schools"
program on a local one). As it does so, getting the instruction right
becomes ever more important. Citizens, parents, and taxpayers have the
right to ensure that children attending these publicly funded
institutions are taught a language skill—and are not being recruited to
anti-Zionism or Islamism.
From www.danielpipes.org |