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Last month a video emerged showing Islamic State members tossing hundreds of Christian textbooks, many of them emblazoned with crosses, into a large bonfire. As one report put it, ISIS was “burning Christian textbooks in an attempt to erase all traces of” Christianity from the ancient region of Mosul, where Christianity once thrived for centuries before the rise of Islam.
As usual, ISIS is ultimately an extreme example of Islam’s normative approach. This was confirmed during a recent conference in Amman, Jordan hosted by the Jerusalem Center for Political Studies. While presenting, Dr. Hena al-Kaldani, a Christian, said that “there is a complete cancellation of Arab Christian history in the pre-Islamic era,” “many historical mistakes,” and “unjustifiable historic leaps in our Jordanian curriculum.” “Tenth grade textbooks omit any mention of any Christian or church history in the region.” Wherever Christianity is mentioned, omissions and mischaracterizations proliferate, including the portrayal of Christianity as a Western (that is, “foreign”) source of colonization, said al-Kaldani.
Of course, Christian minorities throughout the Middle East—not just in Jordan—have long maintained that the history taught in public classrooms habitually suppresses the region’s Christian heritage while magnifying (including by lying about) Islam.
“It sounds absurd, but Muslims more or less know nothing about Christians, even though they make up a large part of the population and are in fact the original Egyptians,” said Kamal Mougheeth, a retired teacher in Egypt: “Egypt was Christian for six or seven centuries [before the Muslim invasion around 640]. The sad thing is that for many years the history books skipped from Cleopatra to the Muslim conquest of Egypt. The Christian era was gone. Disappeared. An enormous black whole.”[i]
This agrees perfectly with what I recall my parents, Christians from Egypt, telling me of their classroom experiences from more than half a century ago: there was virtually no mention of Hellenism, Christianity, or the Coptic Church—one thousand years of Egypt’s pre-Islamic history. History began with the pharaohs before jumping to the seventh century when Arabian Muslims “opened” Egypt to Islam. (Wherever Muslims conquer non-Muslim territories, Islamic hagiography euphemistically refers to it as an “opening,” fath, never a “conquest.”)
Sharara Yousif Zara, an influential politician involved in the Iraqi Ministry of Education agrees: “It’s the same situation in Iraq. There’s almost nothing about us [Christians] in our history books, and what there is, is totally wrong. There’s nothing about us being here before Islam. The only Christians mentioned are from the West. Many Iraqis believe we moved here. From the West. That we are guests in this country.”[ii]
Zara might be surprised to learn that similar ignorance and historical revisionism predominates in the West. Although Christians are in fact the most indigenous inhabitants of most of the Arab world, I am often asked, by educated people, why Christians “choose” to go and live in the Middle East among Muslims, if the latter treat them badly.
At any rate, the Mideast’s pseudo historical approach to Christianity has for generations successfully indoctrinated Muslim students to suspect and hate Christianity, which is regularly seen as a non-organic parasitic remnant left by Western colonialists (though as mentioned, Christianity precedes Islam in the region by some six centuries).
This also explains one of Islam’s bitterest ironies: a great many of today’s Middle East Christians are being persecuted by Muslims — including of the ISIS variety — whose own ancestors were persecuted Christians who converted to Islam to end their suffering. In other words, Muslim descendants of persecuted Christians are today slaughtering their Christian cousins. Christians are seen as “foreign traitors” in part because many Muslims do not know of their own Christian ancestry.
Due to such entrenched revisionism, Muslim “scholars” are able to disseminate highly dubious and ahistorical theses, as seen in Dr. Fadel Soliman’s 2011 book, Copts: Muslims Before Muhammad. It claims that, at the time of the Muslim conquest of Egypt, the vast majority of Egyptians were not, as Muslim and Western history has long taught, Christians, but rather prototypical Muslims, or muwahidin, who were being oppressed by European Christians: hence, the Islamic invasion of Egypt was really about “liberating” fellow Muslims.
Needless to say, no historian has ever suggested that Muslims invaded Egypt to liberate “proto-Muslims.” Rather, the Muslim chroniclers who wrote our primary sources on Islam, candidly and refreshingly present the “openings” as they were—conquests, replete with massacres, enslavement, and displacement of Christians and the destruction of thousands of churches.
In the end, of course, the Muslim world’s historical approach to Christianity should be familiar. After all, doesn’t the West engage in the same chicanery? In both instances, Christianity is demonized and its history distorted by its usurping enemies: in the West, by a host of “isms”—including leftism, moral relativism, and multiculturalism—and in the Middle East, by Islam.
Raymond Ibrahim is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with the Gatestone Institute, April 2013).
(Voice of the Persecuted) [updated] Over 70 people including Christians were slaughtered celebrating Easter at a children’s park in Pakistan. Jamaat-ul-Ahrar has claimed responsibility for the attack admitting they targeted Pakistani Christians and threatened future attacks. The death toll in Brussel’s has risen to 35. Israel has warned it’s people to get out of Turkey. Syria and Iraq are on fire as is Africa. Maajid Nawaz addressed what needs to be understood in this report,
“… in the context of the global jihadist insurgency that is upon us: unprecedented in its scale, pluralistic in its leadership, fractured in its strategy, nevertheless inspiring in its central message, and popular enough in its appeal that it is able to move masses.”
“…in the month of March there have been jihadist attacks in eight different countries, and I’m not including the ongoing jihadist civil wars in Afghanistan or Syria, the similar one brewing in Libya, and smaller scale attacks and killings across the world. Turkey, Ivory Coast, Iraq, Mali, Nigeria, and Belgium have all fallen prey to this insurgency.
A jihadist guerrilla war is being waged against world order, and the international community is woefully unprepared to address the problem.”
Christians are slaughtered and kidnapped yet barely a whisper from the churches in the West. We have asked many American Christians to raise their voices but the majority remain silent. Not even a mention when 2 of our own were killed in the Brussel’s attack. What’s happening? Do you not know that silence condones evil? That it is evil?
Take a trip through social media posts and it will sicken you. Christians are more concerned with tearing each other apart and judging others, including Christians, than they are in saving people from the coming disaster. Then, those who watch and warn and are met with scoffers and disdain, too many wishing to ignore the “doom and gloom”. However, they’re quick to put out prayer requests when hardships or illness affects them. Is that wrong? Absolutely not! We should be willing to lift one another up. But how can we pray for the persecuted church when we have no willingness to share or even hear news of their persecutions? How can we come to their aid when we have no idea what they need?
Where are the calls for unity in the Body to defeat this evil in prayer? The persecuted are receiving visions to use the weapon of prayer against the dark forces coming against them. Do we doubt that reality because we have never had a divine vision? Even the Pope is calling for prayers for God’s hand to stop this evil. Prayer is our direct line to the Father. Yet the majority of the churches in the West are silent.
Our Brethren across the globe are suffering, dying and enduring torture, and we can’t even unite in prayer. It is one of the worst humanitarian crises the modern world is facing. But we are sound asleep as the bridesmaids in the parable of the Bridegroom. It’s sad and it’s shameful.
God did not command us to carry on as everything is normal. Jesus said it would be as in the day’s of Noah, people would be marrying, and celebrating as though nothing was wrong. Our own leader in America dances the tango in the face of evil while the world explodes in violence. Using the excuse, we can’t let them disrupt our life. My God, have mercy on us. Forgive us Father.
Dear brothers and sisters, Jesus knew man’s reaction to things unpleasant. He warned us in advance of the troubles we’d face, particularly as the Day of the Lord draws near. He warned us so we would not be caught off guard. That we could brace ourselves and stand firm, unable to be knocked off the foundation. He is with us, he makes us strong and we can handle anything when we are in Christ! When one in the Body suffers, we all suffer. But we can go through it with them as if a part of our own body has been injured. Jesus makes that possible!
Open your mouth, demand your church leaders address this. Unite in prayer. We are in a great spiritual battle with evil forces. There’s a reason God said, “Come out of her my people lest you go down with her.”
“For all the nations have drunk of the wine of the passion of her immorality, and the kings of the earth have committed acts of immorality with her, and the merchants of the earth have become rich by the wealth of her sensuality.” I heard another voice from heaven, saying, “Come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; for her sins have piled up as high as heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities.…
What are we doing? Instead of getting into the word of God we are trusting in man, some even trusting in horoscopes, mediums and evil spirits though we’ve been warned against it. Some call it entertainment so it doesn’t count. Who whispers these things in their ears? We find ourselves more concerned with offending those who are lost and worshiping false gods, than we are with saving the lost. Political correctness, the buzzword of the decade has effectively silenced the Body of Christ. Wake up! I recall a dream I had about many executions by hanging and being woke up with the words: “They will die in their sins.” But we are silent because we don’t want to offend? The One we’re offending is the One who may tell us, “I don’t know you.” Wake up sleeping bride.
The world is reeling like a drunkard. You would think that the body of Christ would be on it’s knees in prayer, not partying and carrying on like nothing is wrong. We can only warn, hope you listen and open your eyes. LORD, wake up Your Church! Church, listen to the LORD.
Remember Jesus said:
But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Be on guard! Be alert! You do not know when that time will come. It’s like a man going away: He leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch.
Therefore keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back—whether in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or at dawn. If he comes suddenly, do not let him find you sleeping. What I say to you, I say to everyone: ‘Watch!’
HELP PERSECUTED CHRISTIANS
Together with your generous help, we can reach the goal to alleviate horrific suffering. In darkness and desperation, let us serve in love, with open arms and giving hands to provide light and hope.
Every day, we thank God that He is working through you to care for His children and to further His Kingdom! As you greatly bless others, may God continue to bless you. Thank you so much for your support. We couldn’t do it without you!
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