January 7, 2011, - 3:25 pm

The Real Islam: Iran Targets Christians With Wave of Arrests

By Debbie Schlussel

It never ends.  Whether it’s Christmas, or just plain Friday, Islamic nations target their Christians with harassment and persecution of continuously escalating degrees.

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Don’t forget that Iran is Ground Zero of how a Muslim nation–in this case a Shi’ite Muslim nation–treats Christians:

Iranian authorities have arrested dozens of Christians in the two weeks since Christmas, the latest challenge to the Mideast’s small but vibrant Christian communities.

I would hardly call persecution a characteristic of vibrance. The Mid-East’s Christian communities are demoralized and dwindling rapidly. Not vibrant.

The arrests around the country appear focused on individuals who have converted from Islam or sought to convert others from Islam—actions considered sins under Islamic law and punishable by death in Iran.

Tehran’s governor, Morteza Tamadon, confirmed there have been detentions and said more arrests were on the way, state media reported.

Mr. Tamadon suggested the roundup hadn’t targeted the mainstream Armenian Christians or Catholics, which make up most of the small Christian population in Iran. Instead, he suggested the arrests targeted Protestant evangelicals, who have run into trouble elsewhere in the Mideast.

Mr. Tamadon said missionary evangelicals had stepped up their activity in Iran, calling it a “cultural invasion of the enemy.”

“Just like the Taliban, who have inserted themselves into Islam like a parasite, [evangelicals] have crafted a movement in the name of Christianity,” he said, according to state media outlet IRNA. He didn’t give further details about the arrests.

Nauseating. The Taliban and Christianity have nothing in common. The Taliban murders people, and makes boys dance in women’s clothing and get gang-raped. Evangelical Christians are kind, peaceful people. But Iran’s hardline Muslim clerics and America’s liberals have a lot in common, including using this absurd analogy with great frequency.

About 1% of the population in majority-Muslim Iran is Christian. Sanctioned sects have mostly co-existed peacefully with Muslims since the founding of the Islamic Republic in 1979.

The Iranian Christian News Agency, a Toronto evangelical Christian organization dedicated to news about Christians in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan, said the recent roundups targeted individuals who have converted to Christianity from Islam, as well as some who have been trying to win over converts.

According to the ICNA, armed plainclothes Iranian security agents have been raiding the homes of Christians in the early hours, including on the mornings of Dec. 25 and 26, searching houses for pictures, CDs, Bibles and religious books. In addition to making arrests, they confiscated computers and personal documents, according to the group. . . .

In June, evangelical priest Yousef Nadrkhani and his wife, both converts, were arrested in the northern city of Rasht. Mr. Nadrkhani was convicted of Islamic apostasy, organizing meetings and inviting others to Christianity, establishing a house church, baptizing people and openly expressing his distaste for Islam, according to the court documents.

Mr. Nadrkhani was sentenced to death, while his wife was given a life sentence, according to a copy of his court papers. In September, a court of appeals upheld the death sentence—the first in decades for apostasy in Iran, according to Iranian rights groups.

A second priest, Behrouz Sadegh Khanjani, arrested in June 2010 with his wife and eight members of his congregation in the southern city of Shiraz, has been indicted for apostasy and crimes against national security, according to the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, an organization based in New York. Those arrested with him were released.

Officials have since stepped up calls for vigilance against unsanctioned Christian organizations. Iran’s intelligence minister said in October that his agents had discovered hundreds of underground church groups, including 200 in the Muslim holy city of Mashad. Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said in an October speech that Iran’s enemies were behind the underground churches.

Oh, and by the way, for all of you Evangelical Christians defending the anti-Semitic Copts and their Jew-baiting Pope on this site, they aren’t exactly returning the love for you:

Some Christians from more-established Mideast churches, including in Egypt and Iraq, have accused evangelicals of unnecessarily stoking religious tensions by overtly trying to win over converts.

That means the Copts.

Regardless, the Muslims in the Mid-East hate Christians everywhere, not just in Iran. Iran is just Ground Zero for Shi’ite Islam and its open persecution of the Christian faith.

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20 Responses

When I visited Iran in the waning golden days under the Shah (1976) I learned that two groups that had taken most advantage of the economic opportunities to build businesses, factories and the like were the Jews and the Bahais. After the Revolution, these two groups were particularly targeted – the Jews because they were deemed “Zionists” and particularly loathed under Islam, the Bahais because, as a distant offshoot of Shiism, they are deemed heretics.

The experience of the Bahai offers a lesson to those who are looking for a reformed or peaceful Islam. They had the temerity to claim a prophet later than Mohammed, and a message that conflicted with the “perfect” Quran. So in a sense this *was* a reformed Islam – and its adherents are denounced and persecuted. Is it likely any other such reform will fare better?

I’m reminded of a reported encounter with the head of Al Azhar in Egypt (the institution Obama so fawned over). He was asked if it wasn’t time for that reformed Islam, one that abandoned polygamy and supported women’s rights, that respected other faiths, etc. His shocked response to the suggestion was “But then that would not be Islam!”

Raymond in DC on January 7, 2011 at 3:45 pm

    Raymond, exactly.

    The Bahai faith can be considered a *reformed* variant of Islam – it practices many of the things you’ve described. And its no longer Islam. Its what Islam would be if it ever left its 7th Century savage mindset behind.

    NormanF on January 7, 2011 at 5:45 pm

Intolerance is a basic tenet of Islam.

Why do so many shills in the west carry water for these thugs?

Sam Adams on January 7, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    Its simple. The Left hates the West and since Islam hates its too, they’ve found common ground. And of course both loathe the Jews and the Christians so that’s why you find so many shills on that side carry water for Islam. On the Right, like with Grover Norquist’s outfit, they shill for Islam for somewhat different reasons. But when all is said and done, these people are the enemy inside the gate and they are both importing the other enemy that wants to erase it here as well.

    NormanF on January 7, 2011 at 6:02 pm

The Taliban murders people, and makes boys dance in women’s clothing and get gang-raped.

Unless there some info I’m not aware of, I have to disagree with Schlussel here. The depressing thing is it’s “our” guys in Afghanistan who actually do this. One of private security contractors got in trouble for playing host to one of these events. The Taliban got its start by protecting boys from rival warlords. As with a lot of evil movements, the Taliban advanced evil under the flag of a good cause.

Polichinello on January 7, 2011 at 5:06 pm

    Islam IS evil. Sexual slavery, female mutilation, homosexual rape, rape, pillage and murder are all sanctioned by Islamic religious doctrine.

    That’s why the few moderate Muslims, like the late Governor Of Pakistan’s Punjab province, who had the temerity to believe Islam didn’t need “blasphemy” laws to exist,was murdered by his own bodyguard.

    The most extreme survive and those who have their doubts are promptly liquidated. If Islam was tolerant, it could accept even dissenting opinions from its own adherents. It can’t and such is the nature of the beast.

    NormanF on January 7, 2011 at 5:54 pm

    Quite a bit of evidence for it actually. It is not hidden. Just hit the links Debbie has offered. Or, I will even do it for you: http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/dancingboys/

    That is hardly a right wing publication. You might try puling yourself away from your Wudu to look into it.

    Sorrow01 on January 8, 2011 at 3:36 am

    Apparently there is a lot of info you’re not aware of, as ‘sorrow01′ posted a link for you as proof.
    Let’s address your post – One of private security contractors -one. Even if there is proof or a legit source which you failed to include, you mentioned only one. One contractor out of how many thousand? And you mentioned one…event. But yet you say it is “our guys” who “do” this. It’s people like you that give islam it’s progress in the media, all while attempting to make the military & contractors a bad name. Also, how many other evil movements got their start under a good cause? Nazis? KKK? AQAP?

    jdiz on January 8, 2011 at 1:31 pm

Bahais are an offshoot of Islam and they are a post-Islamic religion. That’s why they and the pacifist Ahmadis are so violently persecuted. Islamic theology is challenged by religions and sects that arose after Islam, which is supposed to the final religious revelation to mankind.

NormanF on January 7, 2011 at 5:34 pm

Whoa, whoa, whoa…did I read this correctly? An Iranian government official is dissing the Taliban? But…but…I thought they were in jihad lockstep! Damn, now I’m *really* confused!

Graty Slapchop on January 7, 2011 at 5:59 pm

GS, they hate each other but always keep in mind they hate us most of all.

NormanF on January 7, 2011 at 6:05 pm

Islam as taught by Muhammad was almost identical to the Bible teachings of Jesus and Moses. But many of today’s Muslims are so bigoted that they gullibly believe every slander that they hear about Baha’is, Americans, Israelis and Europeans. And you are so bigoted that you gullibly believe every lie told about Muhammad, Muslims and Islam. Unfortunately, truth is the first casualty of war.

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 3:25 am

If you want human rights to succeed in Iran, you should try to help the Baha’is:

“Praise be to God, you have been to Persia, and you have seen how the Persians, through the holy breezes of Bahá’u’lláh, have become benevolent toward humanity. Formerly, if they met anyone of another race, they tormented him and were filled with the utmost enmity, hatred and malevolence; they went so far as to throw dirt at him. They burned the Gospel and the Old Testament, and if their hands were polluted by touching these books, they washed them. Today the greater number of them recite and chant, as is suitable, the contents of these two Books in their reunions and assemblies, and they expound their esoteric teaching. They show hospitality to their enemies. They treat the bloodthirsty wolves with gentleness, like gazelles in the plains of the love of God. You have seen their customs and habits, and you have heard of the manners of former Persians. This transformation of morals, this improvement of conduct and of words, are they possible otherwise than through the love of God?”

(Abdu’l-Baha, Some Answered Questions, p. 303)

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 3:52 am

“The experience of the Bahai offers a lesson to those who are looking for a reformed or peaceful Islam. They had the temerity to claim a prophet later than Mohammed, and a message that conflicted with the “perfect” Quran. So in a sense this *was* a reformed Islam – and its adherents are denounced and persecuted. Is it likely any other such reform will fare better?”

You could just as easily say the same thing about the persecution of early Christianity by Jews. Christianity was a very successful reform movement, in spite of the persecution of its early followers. And Baha’is expect to be very successful also, and to transform Iran into a country that champions peace and human rights.

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 4:38 am

Here is the Baha’i view of Muhammad:
http://bahai-library.com/writings/abdulbaha/saq/07.html

If you would learn about the Baha’i approach to Islam, I think you would have a better chance of turning enemies into friends in the Muslim world. An increasing number of Muslims have been speaking out in favor of the rights of Baha’is, which is a very heartwarming trend.

“The fundamental purpose animating the Faith of God and His Religion is to safeguard the interests and promote the unity of the human race, and to foster the spirit of love and fellowship amongst men. Suffer it not to become a source of dissension and discord, of hate and enmity.”

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 215)

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 1:45 pm

Problem is the Bahaii still recognize Mohammed as a prophet, and their religion is still an offshoot of Islam. Also, whatever converts they have been gaining has been @ the expense of Iranian non-Muslims, like Jews & Zoroastrians.

Honestly, I don’t see the Bahaiis as any answer @ all. I do think that if the Iranians reverted to Zoroastrianism, that would be a solution. But I don’t think that’d happen. After all, in the 14th century, when Iran was ruled by the non-Muslim Mongols – the Ilkhanate – they had the chance to become Zoroastrians again, but didn’t, and after a few centuries, the Ilkhanate itself Islamized.

Unlike Communism, Islam cannot be defanged in a Cold War. It will take a hot war to defang it, which is what makes Iran & Pakistan being nuclear powers all the scarier.

Infidel Pride on January 8, 2011 at 6:00 pm

“Also, whatever converts they have been gaining has been @ the expense of Iranian non-Muslims, like Jews & Zoroastrians.”

If you care about Iranian Jews and Zoroastrians(and Christians), then the Baha’i Faith is a religion that you should feel strongly favorable towards. Religious tolerance, religious freedom, freedom from religious prejudice, and the idea that religion should be the cause of peace, friendship and harmony are central themes of Baha’i teachings.

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 9:40 pm

The Baha’is of Iran are such beautiful, caring, sympathy-worthy and long-suffering people, and I am sure they will be able to come to the rescue of all the victims of persecution and injustice if they are just given a chance to communicate their message, instead of being muzzled:

“That the divers communions of the earth, and the manifold systems of religious belief, should never be allowed to foster the feelings of animosity among men, is, in this Day, of the essence of the Faith of God and His Religion….

Gird up the loins of your endeavor, O people of Baha, that haply the tumult of religious dissension and strife that agitateth the peoples of the earth may be stilled, that every trace of it may be completely obliterated….

Religious fanaticism and hatred are a world-devouring fire, whose violence none can quench. The Hand of Divine power can, alone, deliver mankind from this desolating affliction.”

(Baha’u’llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha’u’llah, p. 287)

Joe on January 8, 2011 at 10:52 pm

Joe, if that is actually your name. You might try actually reading the Qur’an and Hadiths before making such bizarre statements.

Try the Qur’an’s Sura 5:51 for a start. You even get three translations of the verse:

YUSUFALI: O ye who believe! take not the Jews and the Christians for your friends and protectors: They are but friends and protectors to each other. And he amongst you that turns to them (for friendship) is of them. Verily Allah guideth not a people unjust.
PICKTHAL: O ye who believe! Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends. They are friends one to another. He among you who taketh them for friends is (one) of them. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk.
SHAKIR: O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.

It just continues to go downhill from there.

Sorrow01 on January 9, 2011 at 3:42 am

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