Archive for January 3rd, 2008

Ninety Churches, Hundreds of Homes Torched by Hindu Gangs in India

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

It appears the Hindus have learned well from the Muslims. Please continue to pray for Christians undergoing persecution.

Nine people are dead and dozens of churches and hundreds of Christians’ homes have been torched during a surge of Hindu violence in India, according to reports from organizations working there.

Compass Direct News reports that the deaths and damage have been reported since Christmas Eve, when members of the extremist World Hindu Council launched their assaults on the faithful belonging to Christianity.

“Orissa state’s Kandhamal district remains tense 10 days after the series of anti-Christian attacks began, and thousands of Christians whose houses have been burned down are facing hunger and fear,” the Compass Direct report said.

Pastor Victor John, who was in the region during the attacks, said federal Indian troops have been deployed, but there still remain tensions and worries.

The nation’s Human Rights Commission this week reported nine deaths from the attacks, close to 90 churches burned, about 600 homes either torched or vandalized, and about 5,000 people forced to flee.

Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, a leader of the World Hindu Council (VHP), told local reporters that the violence was triggered by Hindus who converted to Christianity.

While John Dayal, general secretary of the All India Christian Council, told Compass the death toll remained unconfirmed, there appeared to be a number of such cases.

“Many people, including young women, are still reported missing,” Dayal told Compaass Direct. “We have no accounting, and neither do we know if the police have tried to search for them. Christians have been arrested, we learn, but there is no official word on it.

“Troublemakers seem to have a free hand in the entire district,” he said.

One of difficulties, he said, is that the government forces have prevented church groups from sending teams into the area of the attacks to assess damage and offer assistance.

The violence apparently erupted first in Kandhamal as members of the Church of Our Lady of Lourdes in one small village were preparing for their Christmas celebration.

A Hindu mob, upset with Christianity’s beliefs and the apparent choice by some Hindus to follow Christianity, attacked the Christians and their shops, the Compass Direct agency reported.

The blame, the report said, rests with Saraswati, who has opposed Christians and their work in India for more than a decade.

“It was Saraswati who instigated the mob to attack us,” one Christian villager told Compass Direct on condition of anonymity. “Later, Christians learned that Saraswati was coming to launch more attacks. Sections of Christians tried to stop him on the way, which resulted in a clash between the two groups, following which the VHP claimed that their leader was hurt and announced that now Christians would be attacked as revenge.”

The series of attacks earlier prompted Christians to stage a rally to demand government intervention to halt violence against members of the minority religion.

Protesters objecting to violence against Christians in the Indian state of Orissa

The recent rally in Delhi drew an estimated 1,000 Christians and was organized by the All India Christian Council.

A message was delivered to Prime Minister Manmohan Singh after officials met with Union Home Minister Shivraj V. Patil, as well as the head of the National Commission for Minorities.

However, Compass Direct also reported that the very officials who are supposed to be keeping order sometimes apparently have contributed to the problems. Local police officers in Bangalore recently arrested and harassed five workers from the Indian Church of Christ, the report said.

“One man holding a video camera slapped me on the face while focusing the camera on us, while others held us by our collars,” Shaijus Philip told Compass. “A huge guy kept hitting and punching us, using abusive language against Christianity, the church and us. They caught hold of three more brothers who were there and called the police, falsely accusing us of various crimes.”

The Christians were jailed five days, while their attackers went free, the report said.

“The Christians were arrested for hurting religious sentiments of Hindus,” an officer in a police station said.

“The police, who are supposed to protect all citizens from criminal assaults, are often found to be conniving with the ruling government to organize religion-related violence or harass the victims hoping to get bribes,” a spokesman for the Christian Legal Association told Compass.

In just one incident alone, a mob estimated at 25 Hindu extremists attacked a troupe of Christians who had been putting on a play, cutting off one man’s finger and seriously injuring several others.

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“Rest in Peace Dear Raheleh Zamani” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

It was snowing in Teheran when they hung the twenty seven year-old mother of two children earlier today in the notorious Evin Prison. From the moment she was arrested, she had not been allowed to ever see her children again. Her name was Raheleh Zamani and she had been married off when she was only 15 years old. The political campaign to halt or commute her execution failed.

This tragic story could easily be one of the tales in Marjane Satrapi’s film, Persepolis.

Raheleh had endured years of savage battering at her husband’s hands. He was a typical batterer in that the beatings intensified during her pregnancies. After giving birth two months ago, Raheleh was suffering from severe postpartum depression. And, her husband had begun to medicate her with mind-altering drugs. Listen to her describe what led up to her murder of her husband.

In court, Raheleh explained: “On the day of the incident, I got home and I saw a strange woman (there), who, upon seeing me, ran off into the bathroom. Shocked about this woman’s presence in my home, I confronted my husband. Mohamad yelled at me and told me that I was no longer of any use to him as a ‘woman’ since I had had two kids and he no longer found me attractive. When I got upset, Mohamad began beating me and threw me out of the house.”

Please understand: Raheleh had absolutely no recourse. Men are allowed to beat their wives. Men also automatically receive custody of their children when they divorce; for this reason, many Muslim women remain married despite serious abuse, other wives, and other lovers. Any normal human female reaction to such injustice or heartbreak would be seen not only as a female psychiatric problem, but also as a crime. Raheleh continues:

“I was extremely upset, but after a few hours I returned to my house and again asked Mohamad about the woman. Not only did Mohamad refuse to apologize for his actions, he actually threatened to kill me if I said anything to anyone about his extra-marital relationships. I was a mess. I could never have imagined that my husband would cheat on me or beat me so brutally only a month after I had given birth to our son. I was an emotional wreck; I was severely depressed; so when Mohamad gave me some pills that he said would calm my nerves, I took them.”

The pills apparently caused some kind of psychotic break. Raheleh found a steel pipe and began beating the “demonic monster” with it. It seemed that the “monster” kept on “coming after” her so she “fought back.” In that state, she still thought that the dead Mohammed was a “live demon who would repeatedly attack and abuse me.”

Despite all and any evidence of Raheleh’s altered state due to both postpartum depression and to Battered Woman’s Syndrome, Raheleh was found guilty of pre-meditated first degree murder and sentenced to death.

According to one report, “her in-laws watched the grim proceedings as she was hanged along with eleven other human beings.”

Until quite recently, America was not much more advanced than Iran in this area. Even today, most battered women who kill in self-defense are given life without parole; some are still sentenced to death.

However, in the 1970s, great progress was made in this area—all due to feminist activism. Let me recount four seminal cases that made headlines and case law. These stories are all but forgotten today.

In 1972, in Washington State, in her own home, Yvonne Wanrow, shot and killed an intoxicated man, William Wesler, who was also an alleged child molester. She was found guilty and jailed but was eventually freed by the Supreme Court of Washington State in a landmark decision about a woman’s right to self-defense.

In 1974, in California, in response to having been gang-raped, Inez Garcia shot and killed one of the men who had held her down—but she did so an hour later. She, too was first found guilty but was then freed by virtue of “insanity.” (Sometimes, a normal human response to being raped is considered “insanity.” That’s really crazy!)

Also, In 1974, while in jail in her North Carolina jail cell, Joanne Little, killed her jailor, Clarence Alligood, with his own pick-axe for trying to rape her. Little was acquitted.

And, in 1977, in Michigan, Francine Hughes, a battered woman, set her sleeping husband on fire. She was charged with murder. Her story was eventually made into a movie which was titled The Burning Bed, which starred Farrah Fawcett. (Hughes was found not guilty by reason of insanity—not an ideal conclusion but one that might have been true and one which saved her life.)

Each of these cases led to public feminist crusades, civil-rights political activism, (two of the women on trial were women of color who had killed white men), and to new case law. Americans learned, very much against their will, that a “reasonable” woman could not be expected to physically defend herself against a man who was armed with a weapon, or with military or police training, who was also a foot taller and a hundred pounds heavier than she was. In such cases, the courts would have to spell out different, gender-based standards for what constitutes self-defense.

We also learned that rape constitutes a psychiatric trauma with severe and long-lasting consequences and that women could rightly view rape as life-threatening and as such, were entitled do what they could to prevent it—even if it meant killing someone who had not yet—or who had just—raped you.

The Francine Hughes case taught us that, in their own homes, battered women are battered the way political prisoners are battered in police custody in a totalitarian state; that some battered women die from their physical injuries; that, surprisingly, battered women are in the greatest danger when they actually escape captivity. That is precisely when batterers most often kill their victims. Scoff if you will, but the cognoscenti now know that the only chance that a savagely battered woman might have of saving her own life is if she kills her batterer when he is helpless e.g. sleeping.

Sounds crazy, I know but there are so few shelters for battered women—the beds are always taken; and witness protection programs are not available to most battered women. Orders of protection are made of paper and do not stop speeding bullets.

Let me commend those Iranians who tried to save Raheleh’s life. As they say:

“May this be a reminder that these cases are indeed in need of our intervention. Hopefully, we can gather more support for those whose cases are still classified as urgent to avert a repetition of this horrific and tragic ending to a precious life.

May she now rest in eternal peace.”

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

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Majority of Israeli Arabs Would Rather Remain Under Jewish Leadership

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

This seems like a “no-brainer” to me. Choose the stability of a rational, caring government, or that of a government with a “rabid dog”, destroy everything mentality. Their decision doesn’t surprise me at all.

JERUSALEM – If given the option of living in a future Palestinian state, most Israeli Arabs would prefer to remain citizens of Israel, according to a new survey released this week.

Arabs make up about 20 percent of Israel’s population, with a large concentration living in eastern Jerusalem, including in peripheral neighborhoods Prime Minister Ehud Olmert’s government has stated could be given to the Palestinians for a future state.

Last month, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni hinted Israeli Arabs living in eastern Jerusalem could remain there and be ruled by a new Palestinian state.

“The future Palestinian state would serve as a national solution for the Palestinians of the West Bank, those living in the refugee camps and those who are citizens with equal rights in the Jewish state,” stated Livni at a November press conference with France’s foreign minister.

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Huckabee Criticized by Liberal Media for Second ‘Covert Christian’ Ad

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

There really is nothing “covert Christian” about Huckabee. He is not the least bit afraid to show his Christian values.

According to CNN’s website, “for the second time in two weeks … Huckabee has aired a commercial in which a Christian symbol appears in the background.” The CNN article refers to a Huckabee campaign ad featuring the logo of the group Huckabee was addressing — the Iowa Christian Alliance (ICA). ICA’s logo is the Ichthys — the “fish” symbol used by early Christians to identify themselves to fellow believers without provoking persecution.

Robert Knight of the Media Research Center’s Culture and Media Institute says Huckabee’s critics are just showing their anti-Christian bias. “In past generations, candidates have been very open about their Christian faith, and recently [Connecticut Senator] Joe Lieberman was open about his Jewish faith,” observes Knight. “But people didn’t jump all over him, accusing him of wanting to impose his values on the whole nation — and yet they’re doing that to Huckabee now.”

“I think what’s happened is that a lot of people are jealous that he doesn’t seem to mind being shown speaking to Christian groups,” Knight added. “Some of the liberals speak to groups that don’t share mainstream values and they don’t want to show the symbols of their groups — such as Hillary Clinton speaking before the radical homosexual activist group, the Human Rights Campaign. I bet she doesn’t use that in an ad in Iowa.”

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Honor Killing in Dallas

Thursday, January 3rd, 2008

As usual, the mainstream media barely covers this story, let alone labels it as what it is; an honor killing by a Muslim man. Dr. Phylis Chesler has this to say:

They have dishonored our shores for quite some time and more keep coming our way.

I am talking about honor killings in North America. In The Death of Feminism, I write about honor murders in Missouri, Ohio, and in parts of New Jersey, New York, and Canada which took place during the last quarter-century.

Just yesterday, an Egyptian Arab Muslim father in Dallas, Texas allegedly shot his two beautiful teenage daughters to death because he disapproved of their American-style ways. Their names were Amina and Sarah Said and their father’s name was Abdul Said. The girls looked sassy and full of life; they looked like Dallas teenagers. They were 17 and 18 years old and their friends considered them “geniuses.” Abdul was a taxi driver. (In parts of Europe, taxi drivers are known to aid and abet honor murders).

Perhaps how Amina and Sarah dressed, and how they thought, shamed their father Abdul. He was no longer in control of his women—a mark of shame which provoked his need to kill them. Perhaps their flowering sexuality enraged him because it made him desire them—and from this he concluded that other men might desire them too and if he could not have them, no man could.

The blogs and the local Texas media (the Dallas Morning News) were all over this. Hot Air, Atlas Shrugs, Jihad Watch, were too. The only national coverage of this story was contained in the Washington Times. SEE HERE Why did the national and international media so far shy clear of this story? Perhaps they chose to dig deeper first or maybe they were waiting for an arrest to be made. But one also wonders: Were they afraid of being accused of “Islamophobia” if they reported the truth? Did they not want to use the word “Arab” or “Muslim” lest they be attacked as “racists”?

But these beautiful and now murdered sisters feared for their lives. They told people that their father was threatening them. Their own mother has now led police to the father as the probable murderer.

They could have been saved if a school or police official had been trained to pre-emptively recognize and rescue all such girls and women in danger of being killed by their families in honor killings.

NEWSFLASH: Today, on January 3, 2008, the hardcopy edition of the New York Times carried a story about a presumably non-Muslim honor killing in Chicago, in which a father, Subhash Chander, killed his pregnant daughter, son-in-law and 3 year-old grandson “because he disapproved of his daughter’s marriage” to a lower-caste man. All the protagonists are from India or are of Indian origin. So far, I can find no coverage of the Texas honor killing by a Muslim father in the pages of the Paper of Record.

Is this country ever going to wake up to the dangers of Islam?

IRVING, Texas — Police continued searching for a man suspected of shooting his two teenage daughters, including one who called 911 about an hour before officers found them dead in his taxi, police said.

Yaser Abdel Said, 50, of the Dallas suburb of Lewisville, is accused of shooting Sarah Yaser Said, 17, and Amina Yaser Said, 18, in his taxi Tuesday night and abandoning it in a parking lot, leaving them to die.

Police have not released a motive for the shootings, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in its online edition Wednesday.

One of the teens called 911 on a cell phone about 7:30 p.m. Tuesday and said she was shot, but she couldn’t tell police where she was, Irving police said.

Officers were dispatched to the area, which turned out to be about half a mile from the taxi, but didn’t find anyone, The Dallas Morning News reported in its online edition Wednesday. Police found the taxi with the bodies inside an hour later after a witness called and reported a suspicious vehicle in a hotel parking lot, said David Tull, an Irving police spokesman.

Police described Yaser Abdel Said as about 6-foot-2, weighing about 180 pounds with black hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a black turtleneck shirt or sweater, a brown coat and tan pants. He is believed to be armed with a handgun, police said.

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