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Once again, anti-Israel activists hijack and weaponize Christmas

Once again, anti-Israel activists hijack and weaponize Christmas

More cultural appropriation by the anti-Israel movement.

https://twitter.com/ShehabAgency/status/1076405798924898304

Every year, at Christmas, Palestinian officials, activists, and a host of virulently anti-Israel groups exploit the holiday season for political purposes.

As we’ve documented in several prior posts, for years Christmas holiday themes, symbols, and rituals have been continuously appropriated and put into service for anti-Israel propaganda:

The most common form of co-opting the holiday is when Palestinian protesters dress up in Santa costumes to grab media headlines by participating in violent rioting or by deliberately confronting Israeli security personnel.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dwCG507BU-E

[Palestinians in Santa costumes march to checkpoint at northern entrance of Bethlehem | December 23, 2018 | credit: YouTube screenshot]

But, as we highlighted in our prior posts, the exploitation of Christmas themes and traditions also includes offensive and inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, Christmas cards and posters, and even nativity scenes.

Particularly ubiquitous is the meme that goes around every year about Jesus being a Palestinian. There’s also the meme that had Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus lived today they wouldn’t be able to enter Jerusalem because of Israel’s security fence and would’ve had to “sneak in” and “maybe get searched at a checkpoint”.

So, what we see is a deliberate effort to hijack a holiday meant to promote goodwill and understanding in order to excuse and justify hostility toward Israel.

Israel is demonized in this hijacked narrative and it’s also made to appear hostile to Christians. The reality is that Israel is the only country in the Middle East that fully protects its minority Christian community. It’s also one of the few places on earth where there’s no war on Christmas.

This exploitation of Christmas to disparage Israel is nothing new, and it gets somewhat worse each year. Clearly the goal is to keep the beleaguered minority Palestinian Christian community in line, while also making Israel look bad. But it’s also part of a much broader global campaign to introduce and embed BDS (boycott, divestment, and sanctions) and political warfare against Israel into churches in the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

Below I provide further details about some of the ways in which Christmas 2018 has been hijacked, in the process denigrating and demeaning the spirit of the holiday. In the post’s concluding section, I contrast this year’s holiday hijack with the actual holiday cheer that Christian citizens and residents of Israel experience and enjoy.

Bad Santas: Palestinians dressed as St. Nick participate in violent protests at the Israel-Gaza border

As we noted in our prior post, during the Christmas season there are Palestinians who dress up as Santa Claus and go out into the streets looking for a fight with police or the IDF. Cameras and video recorders are always at the ready at these staged events. The images and videos of these violently protesting Santas then become part of the visual campaign against Israel.

Many of the December 2017 protests against the Trump administration saw Palestinians dressed in Santa outfits participating in the violence:

In a particular ugly version of ‘Jingle Bells Rock’, one of these Santas was caught throwing rocks at Israeli soldiers and border police at a checkpoint near Ramallah. Here is one of those images from last year, but many more are featured in our prior post (from past years too) and are also on the internet:

[Rock-throwing Palestinian ‘Santa’ | December 2017 | YouTube screenshot]

This past Friday, Santas appeared once again in the midst of hostilities, this time at the Israel-Gaza border. According to media reports, on December 21st thousands of rioters converged on various points along the Israel-Gaza frontier where they burned tires, and launched rocks and incendiary devices.

The rioting was part of the ‘Great Return March’, a Hamas-instigated campaign of violence that’s been ongoing since last March and is characterized by the use of human shields and attempts by militants to breach the border.

The Gaza-based Shehab News Agency tweeted out an image of a man in a Santa hat throwing a rock with a slingshot. See Featured Image via Shehab Agency Twitter. [auto-translate: “Scenes from Juma al-Wafa for the heroes of the resistance in the march of return east of Gaza Strip yesterday”] This is typical of the glorification of rock throwing and the Santa-theme by Palestinian media.

During these violent demonstrations, at least a few of the protesters were wearing Santa hats (see featured image) and one if not more was dressed in a full Santa costume (see AFP photo in this news article). The not-so-jolly images of these Santas participating in a violent protest garnered considerable attention on social media, where they were repeatedly shared:

https://twitter.com/MohammedBaroud9/status/1076173880782401538

https://twitter.com/AbdalrahimFarra/status/1076112522678292481

https://twitter.com/majdzsin/status/1076095148247969792

This past Sunday, December 23, more Palestinian activists dressed in Santa costumes, with a few also wearing gas masks, marched to the northern entrance of the Bethlehem checkpoint, where they held a brief rally at the security fence. They were denied passage into Israel by Israeli security forces. However, entering Israel probably wasn’t the point. The real motive was to get in front of the cameras:

It’s easy to understand why Palestinian protesters are dressing up as recognizable Christian icons and then putting themselves into situations where they can be harmed in clashes with Israeli police or the IDF.

From a PR perspective, it doesn’t look very good to have Israeli security forces appear to be fighting against a hugely popular and symbolic Christian figure. Getting injured in the process just makes Israel look even worse—which is exactly what these propagandists are aiming for.

The fact that doing this is extremely disrespectful to the faith and to Palestinian Christians doesn’t seem to factor in at all to their calculations.

Hamas disseminates ‘violent Santa’ image to falsely accuse Israel of preventing Gaza’s Christians from entering Bethlehem

Last week a Hamas media site, the Palestinian Information Center, released an image of an altercation between a Palestinian protester dressed up as Father Christmas and Israeli security personnel. The feature image was accompanied by an article that accused Israel of preventing Palestinian Christians in Gaza from visiting Bethlehem for the holidays and depriving them of their “religious freedom”:

But as reported by blogger IsraellyCool, the image is fake news—it’s actually from 2007 and it wasn’t an altercation that involved preventing Christians worshipers from getting to Bethlehem.

In addition, as blogger Elder of Ziyon notes, it’s simply not the case that Israel has refused to issue entry permits this year, as the Palestinian Information Center article claims.

In fact, the Latin Patriarchate of Jerusalem issued a press release nearly a month ago in which it acknowledged that Israel had issued 500 permits for Christians in Gaza so that they could have access to the West Bank and east Jerusalem for Christmas celebrations.

The Latin Patriarchate clearly wants to see more permits issued, or even none at all with Christians in Gaza having free access without the need for permits. Still, according to a parish priest in Gaza, quoted in the press release, although not all the permits had yet been received, Israel had approved this year for entry people over the age of 55, and also those between the ages of 16 and 35.

It’s worth noting that Hamas isn’t the only group that’s now actively working to spread the lie that Israel is behaving especially cruelly to Christians during Christmastime. In a new video that’s now gone viral, a few Christian Palestinians in Gaza basically blame Israeli officials for ruining their holiday by refusing to issue permits to enter the West Bank and east Jerusalem:

The video was produced and disseminated by the vehemently anti-Israel Middle East Eye, a ‘news’ organization apparently uninterested in even basic fact-checking.  

Anti-Israel activist shares ‘violent Santa’ greeting with cartoon created by antisemitic artist Carlos Latuff

Also exposed by ‘Aussie Dave’ on his IsraellyCool blog is a Christmas greeting that includes an image of a ‘jolly’ Santa dumping rocks on a fleeing IDF soldier:

[credit: Twitter | h/t IsraellyCool]

As noted in the post, this shameful online Christmas card was recently shared by Rena Solomon, a California-based activist who runs the anti-Israel 48 Palestinian Revolutionary United Front website.

What’s particularly nasty about this ‘Bad Santa’ image is that it was created by Carlos Latuff, a Brazilian political cartoonist who has a penchant for depicting Israel as a ravenous octopus and the IDF as Nazis. Latuff also was a recipient of an award bestowed at a 2006 holocaust denial conference in Iran.

So, this is probably among the worst examples of the usual cultural appropriation of Christmas to spread anti-Israel propaganda.

Video about Christian Palestinian family now living in the U.S. falsely blames Israel for Christian exodus from Gaza and the West Bank

The completely inappropriately named Institute for Middle East Understanding (IMEU) has released a new video for Christmas 2018 which blames Israel for preventing the continuity of Christianity in the Middle East and for causing Palestinian Christians in the West Bank and Gaza to leave these areas:

[credit: Facebook]

The pro-BDS IMEU self-describes as an independent, not-for-profit organization that aims to provide journalists with “facts and information” about “Palestine and the Palestinians”. The reality is that its content is nearly completely given over to demonizing and delegitimizing Israel, as is evident from a review of its website and social media postings.

The short video, which has now gone viral with hundreds of views, depicts the Marajdas—a family of Christian Palestinian immigrants to the U.S. who own a wood-caving business and who pass down this tradition from one generation to the next.

The video wouldn’t be problematic at all in terms of showcasing this Palestinian American family and featuring Christian Palestinian culture, except that the last part falsely accuses Israel for ruining the lives of Christians in the West Bank and Gaza and thus causing a decline in the Christian population there.

These charges have no basis in the facts.

In our prior post we highlighted that the West Bank and Gaza have been hemorrhaging their Christians, who are fleeing in the face endemic discrimination from the Palestinian Authority (PA) and Hamas—not Israeli actions. In Gaza, Christians have been murdered for their faith. In the West Bank, they’re treated as second-class citizens. In both of these Palestinian-controlled areas, Christian holy sites have been repeatedly desecrated and destroyed.

It’s important to understand that between 1967 and the mid-1990s when Israel governed the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Christian community wasn’t negatively impacted—it was only after the Oslo Accords established the PA governing authority in the 1990s and after the Hamas brutal military coup in 2007 that Christians began leaving in droves. As we wrote in our prior post:

In Gaza, ‘Christian shops and schools in Gaza have been firebombed’ and there’s a ‘climate of intimidation and fear for Palestinian Christians’.

Since Hamas’ takeover of the enclave in 2007 half the Christian community has left. Forced conversions are reportedly also taking place.

In the West Bank, Fr. Naddaf writes of land and homes being confiscated, and churches and holy places attacked and desecrated. He notes that ‘By the end of the first decade of PA rule, the number of Bethlehem’s Christians had dwindled by two-thirds.”

Of course, the IMEU video doesn’t mention any of this. So, the real reasons for the precarious situation faced by the dwindling Christian communities living under Muslim-majority rule in Gaza and the West Bank is ignored and the well-documented persecution of Palestinian Christians by Islamists in Gaza and the West Bank is effectively erased.

US Campaign for Palestinian Rights promotes ‘Holiday Season Boycott Action Kit’

Among the more obnoxious cultural appropriations of Christmas for anti-Israel propaganda purposes this year is the “holiday season boycott action kit” put together by the US Campaign for Palestinian Rights (USCPR).

As we’ve highlighted in a prior post, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund-supported USCPR is one of the leading anti-Israel and pro-BDS groups operating in America today, ALERT: Anti-Israel coordinating group to launch municipal-level campaigns against Israel in June.

Among its many virulently anti-Israel campaigns, its Christmas hijack is especially offensive in that it demands that all Christian supporters of the Palestinian cause infuse the traditional customs of Christmas, like gift-giving, with anti-Israel animus. Basically, they’re supposed to forget about the real reasons for holiday gifting and are instead meant to spend the holiday season working to “keep apartheid off” of “shopping carts”:

The online ‘kit’ includes suggestions for how to flyer outside of malls; hold teach-ins with local store owners; and plan flash mobs and street theater. My personal favorite is the recommendation that activists go “BDS holiday caroling”.

The links to examples of songs to use are disabled, but you can get a sense from this video of what USCPR had in mind. It depicts a picket in front of Lev Leviev’s jewelry store on Madison Avenue, NYC a few years ago before Christmas. The carolers are from Adalah-NY (Adalah, NY is one of dozens of anti-Israel groups supported by USCPR umbrella organization):

Palestinian Authority (PA) officials present Jesus as a Palestinian

For years, officials in the West Bank’s governing authority have hijacked the baby Jesus story, part of their ongoing effort to denigrate Jewish connections and attachment to the land.

This year was no exception. In a report issued today by the watchdog group Palestinian Media Watch (PMW), various instances of this historical revisionism by top PA and Fatah party officials are documented.

They include a Fatah official and PLO Executive Committee member claiming yesterday (on Christmas Eve Day) that Jesus was the “first Palestinian” and that “Christmas is one of the permanent Palestinian symbols”, thereby ignoring that Jesus was a Jew of Judea according to Christian tradition.

Another example was PA Parliament member Mustafa Barghouti stating that “Jesus, who was born on this land, was a Palestinian and defeated his suffering” (his statement was reportedly quoted in a December 20th article in the official PA newspaper).

Many other examples of these obnoxious false claims about Jesus are provided in the PMW article, like this one posted to Facebook last Christmas Day by PA Minister of Education (no less!) Sabri Saidam:

https://www.palwatch.org/main.aspx?fi=157&doc_id=26965

[credit: Palestinian Media Watch | Facebook]

Celebrating the holiday in Israel: actual Christmas cheer  

Christmas is being celebrated in a big way as usual in cities and towns across Israel, where the holiday is being enjoyed by all, as it is every year:

[credit: YouTube screenshot]

[Christmas celebrations in Haifa, Israel | credit: YouTube screenshot]

This year, Israel even has its “very own Christmas village”.

The village of Fassuta, on the northern border with Lebanon, is welcoming tens of thousands of visitors this year. The Christmas celebrations and market there are get bigger and better with each passing year, as highlighted in several media reports this past week (see here and here). In fact, Fassuta is fast becoming a “hub for Christian tourism”.

This year, the local council is reportedly working with Israeli police to ensure that tensions at the Lebanese border don’t disrupt the festivities (Israel recently launched Operation Northern Shield, a military campaign aimed at destroying Hezbollah attack tunnels into Israeli territory).

In Jerusalem, there’s also a lot of holiday cheer courtesy of the city’s very own official Father Christmas. As we noted in our prior post, instead of the traditional reindeer sleigh this Santa rides a camel.

An Arab Greek Orthodox Jerusalemite, this wonderful Papa Noel—Issa Kassissieh—has recently participated in the annual World Santa Claus Congress in Copenhagen (where he became a full-fledged Santa) and completed Santa training in Denver, Colorado’s professional Santa Claus school.

Last year, as we highlighted in our post, Kassissieh was busy reportedly greeting tourists, handing out chocolates to the children, meeting with kindergarteners and with children from a special needs school, hosting visitors at his Santa workshop, and walking the Old City’s walls.

[Jerusalem’s Official Santa | credit: YouTube screenshot]

This year, his Santa duties have reportedly also included greeting over 3,000 visitors with “sparkling Santa stardust, imported candy canes and fake snow.”

You can see many photos of Kassissieh bringing holiday cheer to the children in this Washington Post article published a few days ago. It focuses on “Jerusalem’s St. Nick” along with his 700-year-old tinsel-lined home on Santa Claus Lane in Jerusalem’s Old City.

In addition, the website Israel21c has produced a new video featuring Kassissieh in the “HoHoHolyland”:

It’s worth noting that in all these stories and videos about Kassissieh, he never once mentions politics. “My aim as Jerusalem Santa is to bring everyone together with peace and security”, he said last week, reportedly adding that “tensions between Israelis and Palestinians would not deter him from spreading Santa’s joy”.

Kassissieh’s refusal to politicize the holiday would be unremarkable, except for the fact that so much pro-Palestinian activism during Christmastime does politicize the holiday—it disgracefully appropriates the holiday’s themes and traditions to spread anti-Israel hate. So, Kassissieh’s approach definitely stands out.

Conclusion

Drawing on stories of the annunciation of the birth of Jesus, Christmas is universally viewed as a time of peace and goodwill to all.

But for many Palestinians and anti-Israel protesters and activists, the holiday season has become the perfect occasion to appropriate Christmas themes, symbols, and rituals in order to conduct political warfare against Israel.

Last year, because the Christmas season coincided with anti-U.S. protesting over Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital city and honor U.S. law by moving the embassy from Tel Aviv, Christians Palestinians were pretty much denied their Christmas celebrations. This year, it appears that Christmas wasn’t canceled, but Christians Palestinians still had to contend with the usual obnoxious spectacle of violent Santas combined with the exploitation of the baby Jesus story and traditional Christmas customs for virulent anti-Israel propaganda.

It shows that nothing is sacred. Even holiday and seasonal joys and pastimes are expendable and must be sacrificed in order to advance an anti-Israel political agenda.

Except that I’m not aware of any occasion when a Muslim holiday was restricted or muted or co-opted for political purposes. For example, to the best of my knowledge Ramadan’s traditions and festivities have never been canceled or appropriated for anti-Israel messaging, and it’s hard to believe that anyone would ever think of doing that for a political purpose or as part of a political protest.

So maybe some things really are sacred.

Miriam F. Elman is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Inaugural Robert D. McClure Professor of Teaching Excellence at the Maxwell School of Citizenship & Public Affairs, Syracuse University. She is the editor of five books and the author of over 65 journal articles, book chapters, and government reports on topics related to international and national security, religion and politics, and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. She also frequently speaks and writes on the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) anti-Israel movement. Recently, Elman was included on the Algemeiner newspaper’s 2018 list of the top 100 people worldwide who are “positively influencing Jewish life.” Follow her on Facebook and Twitter @MiriamElman

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Comments

As we noted in our prior post, during the Christmas season there are Palestinians who dress up as Santa Claus and go out into the streets looking for a fight with police or the IDF.
[…]
From a PR perspective, it doesn’t look very good to have Israeli security forces appear to be fighting against a hugely popular and symbolic Christian figure. Getting injured in the process just makes Israel look even worse—which is exactly what these propagandists are aiming for.

Here in NYC there are also people every year who dress up as Santa Claus, get drunk, and go out into the streets looking for a fight with police or anyone else. They get arrested, and if they resist they’re treated just like any other violent and resisting drunk. The NYPD doesn’t worry about any potential bad publicity from this, since they’re mostly white.

    puhiawa in reply to Milhouse. | December 26, 2018 at 1:34 am

    Indeed. I would only add that most ‘Palestinians’ are also ‘white’. But I get the drift. However the point is lost. These animals are intent upon more that drunken hooliganism. In fact they are sober terrorists.

    Arminius in reply to Milhouse. | December 26, 2018 at 2:59 pm

    I’m going to stray off topic, then come back to it.

    R.e. the drunken brawling NYC Santa Clauses, if you look at the history of Christmas in this country by the early 1800s Christmas had devolved into holiday when men went to saloons and drank, then brawled. Even though the original St. Nicholas was from Anatolia, the Dutch had adopted him as a patron saint; pronounced San Neekolaus, you can see how it was elided into Santa Claus. In the Netherlands he was associated with giving out candy and gifts to children at Christmas. So Dutch Protestants tried to Americanize him and incorporate him into the Christmas celebration to put the focus back on family and keep men out to the saloons and at home on Christmas.

    Now Santa is back in the saloons. There’s nothing that can’t be corrupted. And the Arabs are doing far worse. But if the drunken louts in NYC had the same PR department as the Arabs in Gaza and the West Bank, you can be damned sure the cops would be accused of all sorts of brutality and civil rights abuses when they arrest them.

    As far as the Pali cultural appropriation of Christianity, i.e. this “Jesus was a Palestinian” garbage, that may work with the post-Christian, post-scriptural left. But it doesn’t work with even half-way literate Christians. The idea that the authorities in Jerusalem would have barred entry to a Galilean Jew in the first century A.D. is too ludicrous to contemplate.

    Not to mention the historical inanity of it all. The Romans ruled the entire province. Which at the time was named Judea, not Philistia.

    But then, scripturally literate Christians and historically literate Westerners are not their target audience. Their target audience are Western press rooms. And I never thought I’d agree with former Obama NatSec adviser/failed fiction writer (or was he?) on anything, but as he pointed out the people who work there literally know nothing.

      Kepha H in reply to Arminius. | December 27, 2018 at 4:55 pm

      Re your points about the Falastin Arab appropriation of Christmas–

      I have been reading Susannah Heschel’s _The Aryan Jesus: Christian Theologians and the Bible in Nazi Germany_. There’s an uncanny resemblance between this “Palestinian Jesus”, the Deutsche Christen, and Latin American liberation theology. All want to turn Jesus into a “fighter”; all have problems with the atonement done for us on the cross; all demand Jesus’ accommodation to their particular social group; all either revel in the criticism of the Bible that we have or twist it unrecognizably.

      I will add that Heschel seems to unwittingly indict the whole tradition of higher critical biblical scholarship in her book. You simply can’t read the first page of the New Testament in a “fundamentalist” manner and deny that Jesus is a Jew.

Over millennia, Arabs have amply proven that they are clever, nasty, sinister creatures. “Palestine” itself is a cleverly contrived and maintained Arab production – a horrendously nasty sinister lie. Thus, they are fooling only those people whom freely choose to be fools, and no one else. As a Christian, their hate, their bloodthirsty savagery, and their blatant never ending injustice riles me greatly. And, at the same time, I also feel sympathy for the children and those whom grew up from birth in the lie – but I also remember that, as young and old adults, they too most certainly freely choose to abide in what they are ultimately sure to know is a murderous lie.

The whole world knows “Palestine” is a lie.

As long as I live – I stand with Israel!

    Arminius in reply to FlatFoot. | December 26, 2018 at 9:08 pm

    [Edit, FS; line removed per author request]

    The Palestinian fabrication is a joint Arab-Soviet production. Don’t give the Arabs too much credit.

    Also, remember that of those who were born into and grew up in the lie, simply by attaining adulthood DOES NOT mean they freely choose to remain in it. I’m going to cite a hadith (report of the actions and teachings of Muhammad and the rightly guided Caliphs that form the required system of believe among Sunni Muslims) that will help illustrate that fact.

    Sahih al-Bukhari – Book of Apostates – Chapter: Killing those who refuse to fulfil the duties enjoined by Allah, and considering them as apostates:

    “When the Prophet died and Abu Bakr became his successor and some of the Arabs reverted to disbelief, `Umar said, ‘O Abu Bakr! How can you fight these people although Allah’s Messenger said, ‘I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, ‘and whoever said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’, Allah will save his property and his life from me, unless (he does something for which he receives legal punishment) justly, and his account will be with Allah?’ ‘Abu Bakr said, ‘By Allah! I will fight whoever differentiates between prayers and Zakat as Zakat is the right to be taken from property (according to Allah’s Orders). By Allah! If they refused to pay me even a kid they used to pay to Allah’s Messenger, I would fight with them for withholding it.’ `Umar said, ‘By Allah: It was nothing, but I noticed that Allah opened Abu Bakr’s chest towards the decision to fight, therefore I realized that his decision was right.'”

    Muhammad, the “mercy to all creation (puke),” laid down one simple law: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him.”

    Obviously this applies to Muslims who publicly renounce Islam, whether they convert to a different religion or simply become agnostics or atheists. Then there are those who secretly convert to Christianity. You wouldn’t believe how many secret Christians there are in the Islamic world. About half of the people born in the Islamic world have absolutely no use for the cult whatsoever. But they have to go through the motions, such as go to the mosque when required, because otherwise they’ll be killed. Only a very few have the option of escaping. I’d say the percentage of Muslims who have no use for the cult is even higher among women, but then the chance of escaping is even lower for these second class citizens who live in societies that the more sharia compliant they are the more they live as the property of men. At first their fathers, then their husbands, and if their husbands divorce them their oldest male relatives until the men in her family can marry her off again, wash, rinse, repeat..

    I couldn’t contain my contempt and disgust whenever “Sheikh” Obama would claim that IS wasn’t Islamic because they killed mostly Muslims and that, “No religion condones the killing of innocents.” What a smug, ignorant ass he was/is. Along with “Sheikhs” Cameron, Merkel, Pope Francis, et al. There is a reason why the leader of IS chose Abu Bakr al Baghdadi as his nomme de guerre. Because when Muhammad died a lot of Arabs who only submitted to Islam (I’m using the language correctly as Islam means submission, definitely not peace as in Arabic that is Salaam, and a Muslim is one who submits and not necessarily one who believes) because they didn’t want to be killed thought it was their chance to break away. But a lot of Arabs didn’t try to revert to paganism. They simply refused to recognize the original Abu Bakr’s authority over them and refused to pay him the required tithe on their wealth.

    In this hadith Abu Bakr refers to those who try to distinguish between prayer (salat) and Zakat (tithing). What he is referring to is another hadith in which Muhammad noticed that some of the men who purported to be Muslims did not show up at Mosque for required prayers. He ordered someone to give the call to prayer and another to lead the prayers, while he intended to leave the mosque and burn the no-shows alive in their houses. The other Muslims persuaded him not to, but only because fire is supposed to be Allah’s punishment (this did not stop Muhammad and the rightly Caliphs from using it, however). Abu Bakr rightly recognized that there are many ways to apostatize. According to their prophet, a Muslim apostatizes simply by failing to perform the required prayers. By analogy (which is one of the bases for determining Islamic law) one therefore apostatizes just as much by refusing to pay the required tax to the Caliph.

    So Abu Bakr’s main act during his two years as Caliph was to fight the Wars of Apostacy. He fought nominal Muslims until they submitted to his authority and performed all the actions that Islam requires Muslims to perform. Those who do not perform all, each and every single one, of the required actions are not Muslims. They’re apostates. And they definitely are not innocent. Which is why, for instance, if you cared to you could see video of IS murderers marching Iraqi Shia troops out in the desert, forcing them to dig ditches, then gunning them down into the ditch.

    This refers back to a purported historical incident in which the third and last remaining Jewish tribe in Madinah, the Banu Qurayza, failed to support Muhammad in a battle against the Meccans. A fight known as the Battle of the Trench. The other two Jewish tribes, according to the Islamic historical legend, the Banu Nadir and the Banu Qurnayqa, had be banished although deep down Muhammad wanted to slaughter them, too. Which is what he did to the Banu Qurayza. He besieged them in their stronghold after the Meccans withdrew, appointed a man who was famous for his rabid hatred of the Jews to determine their fate, and he ruled that all the men and boys who had reached puberty would be beheaded and thrown into the trenches the Muslims had dug for defense of their city, they would take the women as sex slaves, and the children would be sold into slavery.

    Which is why IS posted those videos. As far as Sunnis are concerned, the Shia are not Muslims; they’re apostates. They didn’t post those videos for us, they posted those videos for other Sunnis as a recruiting tool. When devout Sunnis around the world they saw the second coming of Abu Bakr fighting the 21st century war of apostacy plus he was following Muhammad’s example to the letter. “Finally,” they said to themselves, “real Islam.”

    Do not kid yourself. Even in America, when it becomes know to the wider Muslim community that someone has left Islam the death threats start flowing in. It’s why honor killings are thoroughly Islamic. Over 90% of honor killings world wide are committed by Muslims, and Islamic law permits honor killings (murder consists of killing another Muslim without right, but there is no punishment when a parent or grandparent kills their child or grandchild). It is far, far easier to get away with killing apostates in Muslim majority countries. Indeed, if the family doesn’t do it the wider community will, and the wider community will then have contempt for the family and ostracize them. Even as adults Muslims who revile their evil creed have to pretend to be pious Muslims.

    British politicians are as inept as our own. I recall after 9/11 a pair of FBI agents showed up at the door of a Washington D.C. Area Imam to interview him. He was on a watch list for Islamic extremists (apparently he eventually went to prison for providing material support to terrorism). His wife told the agents the Imam wasn’t home. Where was he? The White House. Bush was on his. “Islam means peace kick” so he invited this radical (i.e. traditional, orthodox Imam) to the WH. Apparently the same incompetent who told him that Islam means peace told him this Imam was a moderate.

    I don’t recall that Imam’s name, but I do know that Anwar al-Awlaki was invited to dine at the Pentagon because al-Awlaki, they were told, was a moderate and a “valuable partner” in their Muslim outreach initiatives. DoD officials try ot excuse it by saying al-Awlaki was a “different guy back then” and only later became radicalized. That’s a lie. His radical sermons were such a youtube sensation back then that the FBI opened an investigation into him in 1999. In fact, while he was invited to luncheon at the Pentagon the FBI was interviewing him about his contacts with three of the 9/11 hijackers. I”m going to make a blanket statement that is nonetheless true. There is no such thing as a moderate Imam or Sheikh. If someone is mainstream, orthodox Islam then they have to accept mainstream orthodox Islamic theology. Nothing is more mainstream than the doctrine of Jihad.

    Case in point. In July 2004 London’s Trotskyite mayor invited Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi to London for a series of events. Somebody had told “Red Ken” Livingstone that al-Qaradawi was and is a moderate.

    Can anybody not guess how this story turns out?

    Red Ken met al-Qaradawi at Heathrow for a joint press conference so he could personally introduce Londoners and indeed all Britons to the kind and gently face of moderate Islam. After all, al-Qaradawi was then and remains perhaps the most influential cleric in the Islamic world. He has a show on al-Jazeera in which he dispenses Islamic religious advice. Naturally it was all in Arabic, but based upon what he had been told Red Ken told the press that this kindly old moderate cleric could prevent Muslims in Britain from radicalizing.

    So after praising al-Qaradawi (indeed, after hugging him) al-Qaradawi, unprompted, told the assembled media that suicide bombers were commendable, that homosexuals and adulterers were to be killed, and that Allah approved of wife beating. I”m told Red Ken really lived up to his name as the more al-Qaradawi went on the redder he got. Exactly one year to the day after the press conference a group of Muslims with British citizenship blew up the London subway. Yeah, Red Ken found exactly the right cure for radicalizing (i.e. devout, knowledgable) Muslims who might otherwise have committed violence, huh?

    The thing to remember about al-Qaradawi, and why he is relevant to this discussion, is that he has observed several times that if there was no death penalty for apostacy then Islam would almost immediately cease to exist. In fact, it would have ceased to exist centuries ago.

    So it isn’t at all true that those who are born into Islam, who had no choice in the matter, remain in Islam out of choice. They have no choice. Think of Islam as a gang code and you won’t be too far off. There’s a reason Islam is so popular among inmates. Like all gang codes, it’s blood in, blood out. Except most members of this gang didn’t willingly join it. They were born into it. No matter, it’s still blood out.

    If our politicians weren’t so stupid to aggrandize exactly the wrong people, such as al-Awlaki or the spiritual adviser to the original Islamic terrorist group al-Qaradawi but instead appealed to the millions upon millions of Muslims who want to be rid of the damned cult we’d deal a death blow to Islamic terrorism within five years. But instead they want to suck up to Islamic terrorists because they fall for the good cop, bad cop routine played upon them by the “moderate Imams.”

      Arminius in reply to Arminius. | December 26, 2018 at 9:13 pm

      I really wish this blog had an edit function. Can a moderator/administrator edit my comment to get rid of the first line? The alpha-numeric code was a temporary, single use code I needed to repair an app, and it’s no good anymore. But still I might be providing more clues to bad actors online than I would otherwise like.

        I deleted it for you, Arminius. 🙂

          Thank you for that quick action. I had a text file open and I just decided to write my comment in that, as for some reason an open L.I window uses a lot of memory and disc space and often cause my laptop to freeze entirely. I thought I had overwritten that artifact, but apparently not.

          I hope my comment, though lengthy, is interesting to people as it exposes a lot about Islam. A lot which Muslims will lie to hide from non-Muslims. For instance, there’s this line from the hadith.

          “Umar said, ‘O Abu Bakr! How can you fight these people although Allah’s Messenger said, ‘I have been ordered to fight the people till they say: ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah, ‘and whoever said, ‘None has the right to be worshipped but Allah’, Allah will save his property and his life from me, unless (he does something for which he receives legal punishment) justly, and his account will be with Allah?’”

          Umar is not just some nobody. He was the second rightly guided Caliph after Abu Bakr died in 634. He is quoted Muhammad; note why Allah had commanded him to fight “the people.” He was commanded to fight people who did not worship Allah alone. That’s it. Muhammad, and by extension all Muslims, are commanded to fight unbelievers anywhere until the end of time until they recite the Islamic profession of faith; “There is not god except Allah” which was later modified to include, “And Muhammad is his messenger.”

          They will come up with various lies to conceal this fact, such as they only fight in defense against those who attack them first or to end oppression of Muslims. But they have a much more expansive idea of what constitutes an attack than we do, and when they talk about fighting only in defenses they are practicing another divinely authorized form of deception called tauriya (there are a number of such permitted, even required, and collectively they are known as “outwittings”). Tauriya is the use of double meanings. This is when a Muslim deliberately uses words or phrases knowing that the target audience will get entirely the wrong impression because they are not at all speaking the same language. The Muslim is using the words with entirely different meanings.

          So when they talk about an attack on Islam, that includes the Muhammad cartoons or the Charlie Hebdo magazine cover. What is oppression? That is when non-Muslim governments put up any barriers whatsoever to Islamic practices. Islamic practices such as child marriage, polygamy, and female genital mutilation. Just like the cartoons I mentioned earlier, that is an insult to Islam and Muhammad. In fact, the very fact that there are non-Muslim governments is a thought that Muslims find oppressive.

          You are most welcome, Arminius, I only removed the first line of text that you requested be removed and that appeared to be in code, so the rest of your post should not be affected in any way. 🙂

It’s important to understand that between 1967 and the mid-1990s when Israel governed the West Bank and Gaza, the Palestinian Christian community wasn’t negatively impacted—it was only after the Oslo Accords established the PA governing authority in the 1990s and after the Hamas brutal military coup in 2007 that Christians began leaving in droves.

So it is Israel’s fault after all. It was Israel which handed over Bethlehem and its inhabitants to the tender mercies of the PA, for no good reason except to satisfy the political demands of the international and domestic far left. Rabin, Peres, and Beilin knew very well what the Christians’ fate would be, just as they knew what would happen to Jews in Judaea and in the Israeli interior when they brought the terrorists back from Tunis and gave them weapons. They just didn’t care. Their Nobel prize was worth to them the price other people have paid in blood.

    Tom Servo in reply to Milhouse. | December 26, 2018 at 9:16 am

    “Pathological Altruism” – when someone does “good” even though the “Good” that they do is going to be horribly destructive for everyone affected by it.

With the Arab world going down the shit hole they want to take over Israel who have maintained their beautiful country. The democrats in the US are in love with HAMAS and want to learn from them on how to control the people here. I’m trading in my hunting rifle and buying an AR10 with a pallet of ammo for the next civil war.

    Arminius in reply to tcurran. | December 26, 2018 at 10:35 pm

    The AR10 is a fine hunting rifle, so you’re not giving anything up.

    You may want to consider the AR15. Sure, the 5.56 NATO/.223 Remington is no great shakes as a deer rifle although it’s better than most give it credit for and it’s very popular here in Texas (former governor Rick Perry is a huge fan). But you can get a variety of uppers in a multiplicity of chamberings that are great hunting rounds.

    http://blog.cheaperthandirt.com/the-ar-15-platform-as-a-hunting-rifle/

    And the beautiful thing is it’s the lower receiver that constitutes the firearm so you can order the uppers online if you like as an accessory. These uppers are specifically designed to feed hunting bullets; many military and military-style semi-autos only work reliably with FMJs.

    But I’ve never heard of an AR-10 with that problem, and that is a fine hunting rifle.

JusticeDelivered | December 26, 2018 at 8:42 am

“exploitation of Christmas themes and traditions also includes offensive and inflammatory rhetoric in Christmas carols, Christmas cards and posters, and even nativity scenes.”

Turn about is fair play. It is time to bury them in a steady stream Mohammad cartoons. Mohammad the murderer, Mohammad the pedophile, Mohammad the brute, Mohammad and incest. Mohammad the rapist.

When they start rioting or otherwise act up, start incinerating them one 300 meter radius circle at a time in the highest population areas we can find.

Then make fun about how impotent they are, and that not one of those 72 virgins has been deflowered.

I would have the IDF shoot every violent Palestinian they encounter, just as I would have armed guards at our border with Mexico with the same orders. In short order, this lawlessness would stop.

A guy named Muhammad said, “God
Must find it incredibly odd
That the Christians and Jews
Greet my message with ‘booes’,
And the Quraysh wish me under the sod.”

A guy named Muhammad said, “God
Must find it incredibly odd
That the Christians and Jews
Greet my message with ‘booes’,
And the Quraysh wish me under the sod.”

A guy named Muhammad said, “God
Must find it incredibly odd
That the Christians and Jews
Greet my message with ‘booes’,
And the Quraysh wish me under the sod.”

A guy named Muhammad said, “God
Must find it incredibly odd
That the Christians and Jews
Greet my message with ‘booes’,
And the Quraysh wish me under the sod.”

Sorry for multiple posts. How do I delete the extras?

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