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    ISIS beheads leading Syrian antiquities scholar in Palmyra
    By ALBERT AJI and BASSEM MROUE, Associated Press - 5 hrs ago



    DAMASCUS, Syria — Islamic State militants beheaded one of Syria's most prominent antiquities scholars in the ancient town of Palmyra, then hung his body from one of the town's Roman columns, Syrian state media and an activist group said Wednesday.

    The killing of 81-year-old Khaled al-Asaad was the latest atrocity perpetrated by the militant group, which has captured a third of both Syria and neighboring Iraq and declared a self-styled "caliphate" on the territory it controls.

    Since IS overran Palmyra in May, there have been fears the extremists, who have destroyed famed archaeological sites in Iraq, would demolish the 2,000-year-old Roman-era city at the edge of the town — a UNESCO world heritage site and one of the Mideast's most spectacular archaeological sites.

    The Sunni extremist group, which has imposed a violent interpretation of Islamic law, or Shariah, believes ancient relics promote idolatry. IS militants claim they are destroying ancient artifacts and archaeological treasures as part of their purge of paganism. The destruction IS has wreaked adds to the wider, extensive damage it has inflicted on ancient sites, including mosques and churches across Syria and Iraq.

    According to Syrian state news agency SANA and the Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, al-Assad was beheaded on Tuesday in a square outside the town's museum. The Observatory, which has a network of activists on the ground in Syria, said dozens of people gathered to witness the killing. Al-Asaad had been held by the IS for about a month, it added.

    His body was then taken to Palmyra's archaeological site and hung from one of the Roman columns, Maamoun Abdulkarim, the head of the Antiquities and Museums Department in Damascus, told SANA.

    Al-Asaad was "one of the most important pioneers in Syrian archaeology in the 20th century," Abdulkarim said. IS had tried to extract information from him about where some of the town's treasures had been hidden to save them from the militants, the antiquities chief also said.

    SANA said al-Asaad had been in charge of Palmyra's archaeological site for four decades until 2003, when he retired. After retiring, al-Asaad worked as an expert with the Antiquities and Museums Department.

    Syrian state media and an activist group say Islamic State extremists have beheaded one of the country’s most prominent antiquities scholars, Khaled Asaad, 81, on Tuesday, Aug. 18, 2015, in the historic town of Palmyra.

    Al-Asaad, who held a diploma in history and education from the University of Damascus, wrote many books and scientific texts either individually or in cooperation with other Syrian or foreign archeologists, SANA said. Among his titles are "The Palmyra sculptures," and "Zenobia, the Queen of Palmyra and the Orient."

    He also discovered several ancient cemeteries, caves and the Byzantine cemetery in the garden of the Museum of Palmyra, the agency added.

    "Al-Asaad was a treasure for Syria and the world," Khalil Hariri, al-Asaad's son-in-law who works at the Palmyra's archaeological department told The Associated Press, speaking over the phone from the central Syrian city of Homs. "Why did they kill him?"

    "Their systematic campaign seeks to take us back into pre-history," he added. "But they will not succeed."

    Hariri, who is married to al-Asaad's daughter, Zenobia, said his father-in-law had been a member of President Bashar Assad's ruling Baath party since 1954. Hariri added that al-Asaad is survived by six sons and five daughters.

    Since falling to IS, Palmyra's ancient site has remained intact but the militants destroyed a lion statue in the town dating back to the 2nd century. The statue, discovered in 1975, had stood at the gates of the town museum, and had been placed inside a metal box to protect it from damage.

    In early July, IS released a video showing the killing of some 20 captured government soldiers in Palmyra's amphitheater. They were shot dead by young IS members, armed with pistols. Hundreds of people were seen watching the killings.

    Also Wednesday, an IS suicide bomber targeted a predominantly Kurdish town in northeastern Syria, killing at least 11 people, an activist group said.

    The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the explosion happened outside a local Kurdish police station in the town of Qamishli. It also said more than 40 people were wounded in the blast. Syria's state news agency SANA also reported the explosion, saying it killed 13 and wounded about 50.

    The Islamic State group has been fighting Kurdish fighters in Syria since last year and the extremists have carried out dozens of suicide attacks against the Kurds. The Kurdish fighters, aided by U.S.-led airstrikes, have also captured significant territory from IS in northern Syria.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/...d=ansmsnnews11
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  3. #57
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    An offensive open letter. Not sorry.

    Since September 11, 2001, the pundits have gone out of their way to tell us Islam is the religion of peace. They’ve gone out of their way to tell us not all Muslims are terrorists. These same pundits have ridiculed anyone who dare mock the prophet Muhammad, all but excusing any retaliatory action from said peaceful Islamists.

    So it should come as no surprise that post Paris-attacks (by Islamists), before the bodies were even cold, Muslims world-wide played their victim cards, hoping to garner sympathy for Muslims. Not for the victims of the attacks. No, no, the Muslims wanted sympathy for Muslims.

    When France channeled their inner Napoleons by retaliating to sheer, civilian-targeted brutality of the Paris attacks by bombing an ISIS training center in Syria, the Muslims, of the religion of peace, took to social media to weep, to complain, to equate retaliation from a terror attack with the terror attack itself. But they like, really hate terrorism you guys. They’re super serious.

    Here’s the birka’d elephant in the room: if Islam is the religion of peace, why aren’t you Muslims across the globe condemning ISIS in droves? Why aren’t you applauding France’s retaliatory action against these supposed fringe extremists in your ranks?

    Think of it this way… from a Christian here. If the Westboro Baptist church, whose current membership and maturity is about that of a daycare center, was blowing people up or chopping off heads (I LOL at the thought, their greatest weapon is an incendiary, poorly drawn sign), they couldn’t be exterminated fast enough. By fellow Christians. Like me. Who would denounce them soundly, celebrating with far better signage. Like from Kinkos. I’m talking full color, vinyl banners with grommets. The Liberace of signs.

    If nobody hates ISIS more than you poor, put-upon, victimized Muslims… why are you crying lakes of tears when the French target and attack ISIS? I know it’s totally racist Islamaphobic to ask, but I want to know. If “refugees” are fleeing ISIS, why are they butt-hurt when ISIS and Syria gets shafted by the French? Shouldn’t these refugees, shouldn’t you Muslims of peace pull out your your foam fingers and party hats when ISIS gets their pork tenderloin stuffed and served? French style.

    Yes, you would, if what we were told about Islam, that it’s a religion of peace on par with the tantric yoga you practice with your borderline-molesting instructor, were true. But those pesky facts come back to bite us in our butts every time. Anywhere Muslims attain a majority rule, they erect Sharia courts, they support death to anyone who leaves Islam (like converting to Christianity, Judaism or Pastafaria), they will kill gay men for speaking with a lisp, and ascribe second class citizenry to women. Got it? Islamists are totally cool with offing the gays and instituting real rape culture. And that’s a non-terrorism, best case scenario.



    Are most Muslims active terrorists? Of course not. But to deny the terrorist ideology ingrained in Islam from none other than Muhammad himself is as stupid as… well denying the terrorist ideology ingrained in Islam itself. Which is why these Muslims who are outraged over retaliatory action from France against ISIS are actively siding with terrorists. Whether they realize it or not. Sometimes, it really is as simple as “you’re either with us or against us.” Not always, but sometimes. Especially when you consider the stakes. Literally. Stakes with heads on them. Heads of gay men. Islamic whiners/sympathizers are ISIS’s brothers and enslaved, genitally-mutlated sisters in arms. You do not have to strap on a bomb yourself to find yourself complicit with blowing up civilians.

    What all of these #PrayForSyria and #MuslimsAreNotTerrorists tags tell us is that even you moderate Muslims seem more angry with France’s retaliatory action against ISIS than the Parisian attack itself. You “moderate” Muslims are more concerned with creating a false moral equivalency, with demanding sympathy, than demanding for ISIS’s heads. Look, you Muslims are not calling for religious reform. You’re not promising to hunt down these bastards, you’re not calling for Syria to deal with ISIS. No, what you’re doing is playing the pity-party card (read Dear Moderate Muslims: Your Self-Pity Party is Disgusting). You moderate Muslims have shown us that in the Islamic world, when push comes to shove, you side with the Islamic world, not with the western democracies who are fighting Islamic extremism.

    And that’s a non-terrorism, best case scenario.

    What other conclusion should we drawing from your response? Maybe, just maybe, you “moderate” Muslims aren’t bothered so much with your brothers and oppressed sisters in Islam. Because even when you “flee” these countries filled with Sharia and oppression, when you reach a new homeland, you erect the same systems and laws you left in the first place. Said places then turn into all-too-familiar Islamic crapholes. Look no further than Dearborn, Michigan (craphole) which voted 4-3 to implement Sharia Law:

    In a surprise weekend vote, the city council of Dearborn, Michigan voted 4-3 to became the first US city to officially implement all aspects of Sharia Law. The tough new law, slated to go into effect January 1st, addresses secular law including crime, politics and economics as well as personal matters such as sexual intercourse, fasting, prayer, diet and hygiene.

    The new law could see citizens stoned for adultery or having a limb amputated for theft. Lesser offenses, such as drinking alcohol or abortion, could result in flogging and/or caning. In addition, the law imposes harsh laws with regards to women and allows for child marriage.
    And that’s a non-terrorism, best case scenario.

    Here’s the scary thing, all jokes aside (for just this one sentence): everyone who refuses to see the reality of Islam, everyone who thinks the values of freedom can play nicely with the ideals of Islam, you’re naiveté is putting us in danger (read Dear Cowardly Politicians Subverting Our Safety for ‘Refugees’…. The truth of Islam is out there for everyone to see, but you have to be brave enough to see it and accept it. These people hate us for our values, they hate us for our culture, they hate us for our freedom. We cannot peacefully COEXIST with Islam.

    Namely because that damn “C” wants to kill all the other letters.

    Nowhere in the Islamic world does freedom exist. Nowhere. Freedom cannot exist within Islam, it only exists outside of it. So choose your sympathies wisely. It can be for freedom, or Islam, but never both.

    And that’s a non-terrorism, best case scenario.

    ~Steven Crowder

    http://louderwithcrowder.com/dear-mo...#ixzz3ri6bCnys
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

  4. #58
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    This Shocking Poll of Syrian Refugees About ISIS is FRIGHTENING
    By Kimberly Morin

    There was poll taken in November titled The Military Campaign against the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant: Arab Public Opinion’. The poll was conducted by the Arab Center for Research & Policy Studies.

    The poll had some very interesting results, especially when you look at the responses of Syrian refugees.

    From Gateway Pundit:
    A poll released in November http://english.dohainstitute.org/fil...8-7c8a077e522e but ignored by the mainstream media shows a third of Syrian refugees do not want the Muslim terrorist group ISIS defeated. The survey results buttress concerns by the dozens of U.S. governors who have announced opposition to President Barack Obama’s plan to import 10,000 Syrian refugees over the next year.

    The poll shows thirteen percent of Syrian refugees have a completely positive opinion of ISIS with another ten percent having mixed feelings on the terror group, suggesting that nearly one quarter are open to recruitment by ISIS.

    Factoring the survey results with the 10,000 Syrian refugees Obama plans to bring to the United States means Obama will bring in 1,300 ISIS supporters and a total of 3,100 who do not want the US to defeat ISIS.

    The Obama administration imported about 1,600 Syrian refugees in the past fiscal year. That means around 200 Syrian refugee ISIS supporters and a total of nearly 500 Syrian refugee ISIS sympathizers are already in the country.
    You can see the original poll results here.

    This is exactly the type of information and concerns that many in the country have in regards to the Syrian refugees.

    If a certain percentage indeed support ISIS, how many of that percentage would enlist to help them?

    The problem is we don’t know.

    One of the Paris attackers pretended to be a refugee. He had a Syrian passport.

    Since our country has admitted we cannot vet these people, why would they take any risk with endangering the lives of the people already IN this country?

    The federal government’s role is to protect the liberty of Americans and others who are in this country, not protect the liberty of those in a foreign country who may or may not come here to oppress our own citizens.

    Is one American life really worth that risk? What if that life was that of your wife, daughter, husband, Mother, son or grandmother?

    Think about it.


    http://www.thefederalistpapers.org/w...is-frightening
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  5. #59
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    6 Turkish Airlines personnel freed in Mali
    51 mins ago

    BANKARA, Turkey (AP) — Turkish Airlines says a sixth crew member has been freed from a hotel in Mali that was stormed by armed gunmen.

    A statement from the company said Friday that one employee remains inside the hotel.

    Five crew members — a station chief, two pilots and two flight attendants — were released earlier Friday.

    A government official said It was not clear if they were released by the assailants or freed by the authorities. The official said he was not able to confirm reports that the hostages were asked to read from the Quran during the ordeal.

    Turkish Airlines said company officials were in contact with the crew member still inside the hotel.

    This is a breaking news story. Here's the original Associated Press story from earlier

    BAMAKO, Mali - Islamic extremists armed with guns and throwing grenades stormed the Radisson Blu hotel in Mali's capital Friday morning, killing at least three people and initially taking numerous hostages, authorities said.

    The Brussels-based Rezidor Hotel group that operates the hotel said early on that the assailants had "locked in" 140 guests and 30 employees.

    Malian troops reacted quickly. As people ran for their lives near the hotel along a dirt road, the soldiers in full combat gear pointed the way to safety. Within hours, local TV images showed heavily armed troops in what appeared to be a lobby area. Malian state TV reported that 80 people in the hotel when the assault began have been freed.

    Malian special forces were freeing hostages "floor by floor," Malian army commander Modibo Nama Traore told The Associated Press. Still, Rezidor Hotel group put out a new statement saying 125 guests and 13 employees were still in the hotel.

    Traore said at least one guest eported that the attackers instructed him to recite verses from the Quran before he was allowed to leave the hotel.

    It was not immediately clear which Muslim extremist groups might be behind the attack, which unfolded one week after the attacks on Paris that killed 129 people. A handful of jihadi groups seized the northern half of Mali — a former French colony — in 2012 and were ousted from cities and towns by a French military intervention.

    French President Francois Hollande said: "We should yet again stand firm and show our solidarity with a friendly country, Mali."

    Traore said 10 gunmen had stormed the hotel shouting "Allahu Akbar," or "God is great," in Arabic before firing on the guards. A staffer at the hotel who gave his name as Tamba Diarra said over the phone that the attackers used grenades in the assault.

    The U.S. Embassy in Mali told citizens to shelter in place amid reports of an "ongoing active shooter operation" at the hotel in Bamako.

    Monique Kouame Affoue Ekonde, from Ivory Coast, said she and six other people, including a Turkish woman, were escorted out by security forces as the gunmen rushed "toward the fifth or sixth floor."

    "I think they are still there. I've left the hotel and I don't know where to go. I'm tired and in a state of shock," she said.

    A top official at the French presidency said French citizens were in the hotel but could not give more. The official spoke anonymously in line with presidency policy.

    Belgian foreign minister Didier Reynders said that four Belgians were registered at the hotel but their whereabouts were unknown.

    Citing Chinese diplomats in Mali, Chinese state broadcaster CCTV reported that about 10 Chinese citizens were sheltering inside their hotel rooms. The embassy was in phone contact with them and all were reported safe, according to the report. All are employees of Chinese companies working in Mali.

    Five Turkish Airlines personnel were among the freed hostages, Turkey's state-run news agency said.

    The website of the official China Daily newspaper also cited an unidentified witness as saying one Chinese citizen had been rescued.

    The U.N. mission said it was sending security reinforcements and medical aid to the scene. Ambulances were seen rushing to the hotel as a military helicopter flew overhead.

    Even after the French-led military intervention in early 2013 that forced the extremists from northern towns and cities, the north remains insecure and militant attacks have extended farther south this year, including the capital. In March masked gunmen shot up a restaurant in Bamako that is popular with foreigners, killing five people.

    About 1,000 French troops remain in the country. The Netherlands also has troops working with the UN mission in Mali. According to the Dutch defense ministry, some 450 Dutch military personnel are taking part in the mission along with four Apache and three Chinook helicopters. Most of the Dutch force is based in Gao, but there are a few officers at the U.N. mission headquarters in Bamako.

    http://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/...d=ansmsnnews11
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  6. #60
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    Mali Hotel Is Attacked by Hostage Takers; at Least 3 Killed



    By DIONNE SEARCEY and ADAM NOSSITER

    November 20, 2015


    DAKAR, Senegal — Gunmen stormed a Radisson Blu hotel on Friday morning in Bamako, the capital of the West African nation of Mali, seizing scores of hostages and killing at least three people.

    An unknown number of gunmen, perhaps four or took “about 100 hostages” at the beginning of the siege, said Gen. Didier Dacko of the Malian Army. He said soldiers had sealed the perimeter and were now “inside looking for the terrorists.”

    Several dozen hostages, many of them crying – including women, children and older people — had begun streaming out of the hotel after hiding in their rooms, said Amadou Sidibé, a local reporter at the scene. Two members of the Malian security forces were wounded by shots fired from the seventh floor of the hotel, he said.

    Col. Maj. Salif Traoré, the minister of security and civil protection, said the military had evacuated around 30 people from the hotel and taken them to a gymnasium nearby. According to a statement from the operators of the hotel, as many as 124 guests and 13 employees were still in the building.









    An American Defense official said that 12 to 15 Americans were believed to be at the hotel when the gunmen first arrived. Six American citizens have been recovered safely from the hotel, he said. The status of the others is not clear.

    American Special Operations forces “are currently assisting hostage recovery efforts at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Bamako,” said Col. Mark Cheadle, a spokesman with the United States Africa Command, said on Friday. “U.S. forces have helped move civilians to secure locations, as Malian forces work to clear the hotel of hostile gunmen.”

    The siege in Mali, a former French colony, came only a week after terrorists with assault rifles and suicide vests killed 129 people in attacks across Paris.

    It is still unclear who is responsible for the attack in Mali, but the country has long struggled with insurrection and Islamist extremism.

    Northern Mali fell under the control of rebels and Islamist militants in 2012. A French-led offensive ousted them in 2013, but remnants of the militant groups have staged a number of attacks on United Nations peacekeepers and Malian forces. Hundreds of French soldiers remain in the country.

    The Radisson Blu hotel is a popular place for foreigners to stay in Bamako, a city with a population approaching two million, and French citizens were among those taken hostage.

    Germany’s Foreign Ministry said that two Germans were among the hostages who had been released from the hotel. Four Belgians were registered in the hotel, according to a Foreign Ministry spokesman in that country, but their situation was unknown.

    A diplomat at the Chinese embassy in Bamako said that eight Chinese business people had been trapped in the hotel as well. Embassy officials at the scene were in touch with some of the Chinese hostages by WeChat, a Chinese messaging service, the diplomat said.

    About 20 Indian citizens were also in the hotel at the time of the attack but were evacuated safely, the Indian ambassador to Mali said.

    Kassim Traoré, a Malian journalist who was in a building about 50 meters, or 160 feet, from the Radisson, said the attackers had told hostages to recite a declaration of Muslim faith as a way separating Muslims from non-Muslims. Those who could recite the declaration, the Shahada, were allowed to leave the hotel. The Shabab, a Qaeda affiliate in East Africa, used a similar approach in the attack at the Westgate Mall in Nairobi in 2013.

    The security forces were moving through the hotel, floor by floor, freeing hostages as they went, Mr. Traoré added. The gunmen were holed up on the seventh floor, with the battle for the hotel still underway.

    Some of the people who fled the hotel were not wearing any clothes as they were taken to a police station.









    “We were just evacuated from the hotel by security forces; I know that there are a lot of people inside right now,” one hostage who made it to safety told France24 television. “I saw bodies in the lobby. What is happening right now is really horrible.”

    “I was hidden in my room barely a couple minutes, a couple seconds ago, and someone shouted, telling us to get out,” the hostage said. “My door was smashed open, the security forces arrived.”

    Another French hostage, who did not want to be identified, told a friend in Bamako that a group of people were trapped on the roof of the hotel, along with the body of one person who had died in the attack. The hostage told the friend that the French Consulate had told hostages by text message to stay put and wait for a military assault.

    Kamissoko Lassine, the chief pastry chef of the Radisson Blu hotel in Bamako, said that two armed men arrived at the hotel between 7 a.m. and 7:30 a.m.

    “They were driving a vehicle with diplomatic plates,” he said. “You know how easy that is at the hotel? The guards just lifted the barrier.”

    “They opened fire and wounded the guard at the front,” said Mr. Lassine, who said he was able to slip out a back door and make it home safely. “They took the hotel hostage and moved people into a big hall.”

    A member of the United Nations peacekeeping force in Mali, who asked not to be identified, said there were many French people in the hotel, including Air France staff members, along with a delegation for the International Organization of French Speakers. Air France later said in a statement that 12 members of its crew had been at the hotel and were freed.

    Five Turkish Airlines crew members, including pilots and flight attendants, have also been freed, while two remained inside the hotel, a Turkish government official said.

    Mali has been crippled by instability since January, 2012, when rebels and Al Qaeda-linked militants — armed with the remnants of late Libyan leader Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi’s arsenal — began advancing through the country’s vast desert in the north and capturing towns.

    A military coup, stirred in part by anger over the government’s handling of the insurrection, overthrew Mali’s elected government in March 2012. Amid the chaos, Islamist rebels managed to consolidate their hold on the northern part of the country, imposing a harsh version of Islamic law.

    In January of 2013, the Islamist forces began advancing south from their northern stronghold, heading in the direction of Mali’s capital. France sent in troops to stop them. A brief military campaign halted the Islamist advance, recaptured towns like Timbuktu that had been under the militants’ control, and chased the remaining Islamist fighters back into the desert.

    But in a shocking twist, other militants linked to Al Qaeda stormed a vast gas production facility in the desert of neighboring Algeria, taking dozens of expatriate workers hostage. Some 38 were killed during the siege of the gas plant.

    With hundreds of French troops still present in Mali and the country highly reliant on donors, elections in the summer of 2013 restored a democratic government. But its hold on the north remains weak.

    There are frequent attacks by Islamist fighters, particular on United Nations troops, in the northern provinces. A shaky peace deal signed in June has not stopped the attacks, and in August five United Nations workers were killed in an assault on a hotel in central Mali. Five months before, militants killed five at a restaurant in Bamako.

    The Carlson Rezidor Hotel Group, the operator of the Radisson Blu Hotel Bamako, said it was in contact with the local authorities, and the United States Embassy said it was aware of the situation and issued a warning to staff members and American citizens to shelter in place.

    There was no formal claim of responsibility, but supporters of the Islamic State were posting on Twitter in celebration of the attacks under the hashtags #IslamicState, #ParisIsBurning and #Mali_Is_Burning.

    In August, jihadists stormed a hotel in Sévaré, north of the capital, where United Nations staff members were staying, seizing hostages and killing at least five Malian soldiers and a United Nations contractor.

    http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/21...&setlang=en-US
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    A lot of people think Muslims are terrorists. And these CNN anchors don't help

    American cable news have done it again. In the midst of mass panic and hysteria after the horrific Paris attacks CNN doesn't hide its bias when interviewing Muslims on terror.



    Our education system has failed to teach people how to avoid this kind of reasoning.


    Man calls all Muslims terrorist during Va. meeting http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=39f_1447960621

    http://www.wusa9.com/story/news/loca...ting/76027308/
    Last edited by Eddie; 11-22-2015 at 10:03 PM.

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    Like Most People, President Obama Gets The Crusades Wrong

    President Obama, like many nowadays, think it’s fair to equate Islamist terrorism with the medieval Crusades. It’s not.


    By Greg Scandlen - March 4, 2015


    In light of President Obama’s recent remarks comparing the brutality of the Islamic State to the Crusades, it might be time to take a fresh look at those events. Were they really the one-sided Dark Ages barbarism we have been taught? Were they an early manifestation of Western imperialism and global conquest?

    In his landmark book, “God’s Battalions” (HarperOne 2009), Baylor University social sciences professor Rodney Stark suggests otherwise. It is a well-researched chronicle, including 639 footnotes and a bibliography of about 300 other works, yet reads like an adventure story full of military strategy and political intrigue.

    What Prompted the Crusades

    He begins in the final years of Mohammed and describes how a newly united Arab people swept through (Zoroastrian) Persia and the (Orthodox Christian) Byzantine- controlled areas of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa. (Byzantine refers to the Greek-speaking eastern remainder of the Roman Empire.) Eventually Arabs took over control of the Mediterranean islands, most of Spain, and the southern part of Italy, and even reached as far as 150 miles outside of Paris before being turned back by the Franks, or early French.

    The Muslims were brutal in their conquered territories.

    The Muslims were brutal in their conquered territories. They gave pagans a choice of converting to Islam or being killed or enslaved. Jews and Christians (other People of the Book) were usually but not always treated somewhat better, and allowed to retain their beliefs but under conditions of Sharia subjugation.

    But the Muslim-held territories were not monolithic. Stark writes:

    Perhaps the single most remarkable feature of the Islamic territories was the almost ceaseless internal conflict; the intricate plots, assassinations, and betrayals form a lethal soap opera. North Africa was frequently torn by rebellions and intra-Islamic wars and conquests. Spain was a patchwork of constantly feuding Muslim regimes that often allied themselves with Christians against one another.
    Not surprisingly, there was intense Christian resistance and determination to take back lost territories. Especially effective were the Normans and the Franks in Spain and Italy.

    The Golden Middle Ages Belonged to Europeans

    Western scholars have often characterized this clash of cultures as an Islamic Golden Age versus a European Dark Age, but Stark demolishes this as a myth. He says the best of the Islamic culture was appropriated from the people Muslims conquered—the Greeks, Jews, Persians, Hindus, and even from heretical Christian sects such as the Copts and Nestorians. He quotes E.D. Hunt as writing,
    “the earliest scientific book in the language of Islam [was a] treatise on medicine by a Syrian Christian priest in Alexandria translated into Arabic by a Persian Jewish physician.”
    Stark writes that Muslim naval fleets were built by Egyptian shipwrights, manned by Christian crews, and often captained by Italians. When Baghdad was built, the caliph “entrusted the design of the city to a Zoroastrian and a Jew.” Even the “Arabic” numbering system was Hindu in origin.

    And, while it is true that the Arabs embraced the writings of Plato and Aristotle, Stark comments,

    However, rather than treat these works as attempts by Greek scholars to answer various questions, Muslin intellectuals quickly read them in the same way they read the Qur’an – as settled truths to be understood without question or contradiction…. Attitudes such as these prevented Islam from taking up where the Greeks had left off in their pursuit of knowledge.
    Meanwhile, back in Europe was an explosion of technology that made ordinary people far richer than any people had ever been. It began with the development of collars and harnesses that allowed horses to pull plows and wagons rather than oxen, doubling the speed at which people could till fields. Plows were improved, iron horseshoes invented, wagons given brakes and swivel axels, and larger draft horses were bred. All this along with the new idea of crop rotation led to a massive improvement in agricultural productivity that in turn led to a much healthier, larger, and stronger population.

    Technology was also improving warfare with the invention of the crossbow and chain mail. Crossbows were far more accurate and deadly than conventional archery, and could be fired with very little training. Chain mail was almost impervious to the kind of arrows in use throughout the world. Mounted knights were fitted with high-back saddles and stirrups that enabled them to use more force in charging an opponent, and much larger horses were bred as chargers, giving the knights a height advantage over enemies. Better military tactics made European armies much more lethal. Stark writes:

    It is axiomatic in military science that cavalry cannot succeed against well-armed and well-disciplined infantry formations unless they greatly outnumber them…. When determined infantry hold their ranks, standing shoulder to shoulder to present a wall of shields from which they project a thicket of long spears butted in the ground, cavalry charges are easily turned away; the horses often rear out of control and refuse to meet the spears.

    In contrast, Muslim warriors were almost exclusively light cavalry, riding faster but lighter horses bareback with little armor, few shields, and using swords and axes. Their biggest advantage was their use of camels, which made them much more mobile than foot soldiers and gave them the ability to swoop in and out of the desert areas to attack poorly defended cities.
    Muslims Slaughter, Rape, and Pillage

    These differences provided Crusader armies with huge advantages, but what would prompt hundreds of thousand Europeans to leave their homes and travel 2,500 miles to engage an enemy is a desert kingdom—especially after the Muslim conquest of Europe had been turned back?

    In 638 Jerusalem surrendered to Muslim invaders, and mass murders of Christian pilgrims and monks became commonplace.

    There had been long-festering concern about the fate of Christian pilgrims to the Holy Land. After his conversion to Christianity in the early 300s, the Roman Emperor Constantine built the Church of the Holy Sepulchre on the site of what was believed to be Jesus’ tomb, and other churches in Bethlehem and on the Mount of Olives. These sites prompted a growing number of European pilgrims to visit the Holy Land, including Saint Jerome, who lived in Bethlehem for the last 32 years of his life as he translated the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin. By the late fifth century, Stark reports, more than 300 hostels and monasteries offered lodging to pilgrims in Jerusalem alone.

    But in 638 Jerusalem surrendered to Muslim invaders, and mass murders of Christian pilgrims and monks became commonplace. Stark includes a list of select atrocities in the eight and ninth centuries, but none worse than the some 5,000 German Christians slaughtered by Bedouin robbers in the tenth century.
    Throughout this period, control of Palestine was contested by several conflicting Muslim groups. Stark writes, “In 878 a new dynasty was established in Egypt and seized control of the Holy Land from the caliph in Baghdad.” One hundred years later, Tariqu al-Hakim became the sixth caliph of Egypt and initiated an unprecedented reign of terror, not just against Christians but against his own people as well. He burned or pillaged some 30,000 churches, including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre and the tomb beneath it.

    Soon enough, newly converted Turkish tribes came out of the north to seize Persia and Baghdad (by 1045) and press on to Armenia, overrunning the city of Ardzen in 1048, where they murdered all the men, raped the women, and enslaved the children. Next they attacked the Egyptians, in part because the Turks were Orthodox Sunnis and the Egyptians were heretical Shiites. While the Turks did not succeed in overthrowing the Egyptians, they did conquer Palestine, entering Jerusalem in 1071. The Turks promised safety to the residents of Jerusalem if they surrendered the city, but broke this promise and slaughtered the population. They did the same in Ramla, Gaza, Tyre, and Jaffa.

    Emperor Alexius Pleads for Help

    Finally, they threatened Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. Emperor Alexius Comnenus wrote to Pope Urban II in 1095, begging for help to turn back the Turks. This was remarkable given the intense hostility between the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches. Perhaps the pope saw an opportunity to unite or at least reduce tensions between the two Christian churches, but he responded with a call to create an army that would go to the Middle East.

    Without ongoing support from Europe, the Crusaders could not survive constant attacks from the Muslims.

    I am not going to regurgitate all the battles of the Crusades themselves. It is a fascinating history well worth studying in part for its parallels and lessons for today. Let’s just say that the Crusaders were extremely effective militarily, often defeating far larger Muslim armies, despite having traveled some 2,500 miles into an alien desert climate. Their biggest enemies were disease, starvation, and political betrayal. Plus, the Crusades were expensive and home countries grew weary of paying the taxes needed to support them (sound familiar?)


    The Crusaders ended up establishing their own kingdoms in the Holy Land, which lasted for about 200 years or, as Stark notes, almost as long as the United States has existed; but without ongoing support from Europe they could not survive constant attacks from the Muslims.
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    How the Crusades Were Different from Military Action of the Day


    So, what to make of all this?

    The current idea that Jews in Israel are usurping the rights of indigenous people is nonsense. This has always been a hotly contested area. In the Old Testament, the Jews wrested control from the Canaanites, then were overrun by the Assyrians, then the Babylonians, then the Persians, then the Greeks, then the Romans. The Romans of Jesus’ time were displaced by the Greek Byzantine Empire, then replaced by the Arabs, then the Egyptians, then the Turks, and finally by the British. For most of human history the wealth of a society was created by conquest and plunder. It is hardly unique to Christians, and certainly not to Jews.


    The Crusaders were unique in that they did not seek to plunder or enslave.

    Actually, the Crusaders were unique in that they did not seek to plunder or enslave. They didn’t even try to forcibly convert anyone to Christianity. Their sole interest was to protect the pilgrims and Christian holy sites. They sometimes sacked cities that refused to provide food to a hungry army, but they didn’t take riches back to Europe. There were few riches to be found. Rather than exploiting indigenous resources to benefit Europe, Europe sent money and resources to the Middle East. Pilgrims were quite lucrative for host countries, just as tourism is today.


    War was a nasty and brutal business at the time, and had been for all of recorded history. Cities fortified themselves as protection against invading armies. A siege of a city meant surrounding the area and cutting off supplies until the population surrendered, often by starving. In the Bible, II Kings 6:24-33 relates the story of the siege of Samaria, in which two starving women agree to kill and eat their sons.


    The rule of war at the time was that, if a city surrendered, the population would be spared, but if it resisted and the invading army had to take it by force all the inhabitants would be killed or enslaved. But Stark notes that Muslim armies often violated even this rule—promising sanctuary, then slaughtering the population that surrendered. (Before we get too smug and condescending about the savagery of these ancients, let’s not forget the rocket bombing of London, the firebombing of Dresden, and the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki a mere 70 years ago.)


    Muslim armies often promised sanctuary, then slaughtered the population that surrendered.

    One way in which Muslim fighters today have advanced over their forebears is that during the Crusades they did not adopt new tactics to counter the technological advantage of the Europeans. They never used crossbows or shielded infantry, even after several hundred years of fighting. Today, Muslim warriors quickly evolve to make the most of Western technology, although they still never seem to develop anything of their own.


    An Enduring Clash Between Inquiry and Submission

    One final thought on this. As Stark indicates above, there is in too many Muslim countries a sense of obedience that precludes robust debate or new ideas, let alone technological innovation. In his classic, “The World is Flat,” Thomas Friedman quotes Osama bin Laden as saying,

    It is enough to know that the economy of all Arab countries is weaker than the economy of one country that had been part of our (Islamic) world when we used to truly adhere to Islam. That country is the lost Andalusia. Spain is an infidel country, but its economy is stronger that our economy because the ruler there is accountable. In our countries, there is no accountability or punishment, but there is only obedience to the rulers and prayers of long life for them. (pp. 400-401)


    Friedman confirms that this is based on a 2002 report, the first Arab Human Development Report. This report, written by Arabs, found that Spain had a larger gross domestic product than all 22 Arab states combined!

    I think Stark is closer to the mark than bin Laden. The problem is a cultural way of thinking that starts with the Qur’an and the Prophet and emphasizes unquestioning obedience. The very name of the religion, Islam, means “submission.” The thinking of bin Laden that emphasizes punishing poor rulers is a complete misunderstanding how progress is made. European cultures place a high value on questioning everything, even the divinity of Jesus Christ. Certainly there have been exceptions to this, but in the sweep of history it is an unmistakable trait.

    So we have perhaps the starkest conflict of worldviews imaginable: on one hand, a robust and virtually unlimited spirit of inquiry, and on the other a fervent dedication to universal obedience and submission. How this plays out is the story of our times.

    http://thefederalist.com/2015/03/04/...rusades-wrong/
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    We’re just getting word of horrific news coming out Africa today, where an Ethiopian official says more than 140 civilians — mainly women and children — have been killed by “heavily armed” groups. Multiple local outlets are reporting the death toll is much higher than initially reported — and that a number of children have been abducted as well.



    Via The Blaze:

    The attackers came from South Sudan and killed civilians, including women and children, Getachew Reda, Ethiopia’s communications minister, told the Associated Press on Saturday.

    The Ethiopian defense force is currently chasing after the perpetrators,” said Reda, adding that there is no relation between the attackers and the South Sudanese government or the country’s rebels. “Our defense forces have so far killed 60 members of the attackers.”

    Ethiopian forces may cross into South Sudan to pursue them, he said. The attack took place on Friday in Jakawa, in Ethiopia’s Gambella region and the attackers were members of South Sudan’s Murle tribe, said Reda. A number of children were abducted and taken into South Sudan, he said. The latest attack is much larger than past skirmishes, he said.

    Some Ethiopian media outlets claimed the death toll was much high that initially reported.

    The Ethiopian region hosts thousands of South Sudanese refugees who fled after war broke in their country in December 2013. It is also home to Ethiopian and South Sudanese armed groups that attack government installations and soldiers.
    This horrific attack targeting mainly women and children reminds us, tragically, that terrorists — barbarians — come in many forms.


    http://www.allenbwest.com/michelleje...dinated-attack
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    Christian Woman Stripped Naked and Beaten by Muslim Mob in Egypt
    Friday May 27, 2016

    In southern Egypt a 70-year-old Christian lady was stripped, beaten and walked bare through the avenues by a crowd of somewhere in the range of 300 Muslim men, in discipline for being the mother of a Christian man associated with carrying on an affair with a Muslim lady.

    In striking back for the purportedly godless, between religious issue, the crowd likewise burnt seven homes having a place with Christian families in the town of Karam in the Minya territory, smoldering them to the ground. The Muslim horde droned "We should drive out the unbelievers" as they moved from house to house, which they "assaulted, blazed, plundered and obliterated," by.

    Egyptian Christians speak to just around 10% of the country's populace, which is overwhelmingly Muslim. In 2013, after the ouster of the Muslim Brotherhood from force, swarms likewise set flame to many Christian chapels and organizations.

    Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi has requested equity for the wrongdoing and requested the military to reestablish the harmed property at no expense to the proprietors. So far police have captured six men associated with partaking in the savagery and are searching for 12 all the more, as indicated by nearby security authorities.

    The assault allegedly started at around 8:00pm on May 20, however it took the police two hours to react and officers arrived simply after the swarm had effectively scattered, by angry explanation flowed by the nearby Orthodox Coptic church.

    In a TV meeting on Wednesday night, Anba Makarios, the most senior priest of the Minya see, griped that police had been cautioned of dangers against the Christian family, yet at the same time gave the crowd "plentiful time" to complete the savagery.


    Regardless, Church individuals have said they are persuaded that state powers will be consistent with their oath and "will save no push to capture the attackers." During the administration of el-Sissi the legislature has been seen as a great deal more strong of the Coptic Church than under the Muslim Brotherhood or amid the 30 years of the Hosni Mubarak administration. Truth be told, a year back 71 supporters of the Muslim Brotherhood were sentenced to life detainment for blazing a Coptic church to the ground in the area of Cairo.

    The Coptic Pope Tawadros II has called for quiet after the occurrence, taking note of that powers have guaranteed him that they "will chase down those mindful and convey them to equity."

    The nearby legislative leader of the Minya territory, Tarek Nasser, played down the episode, recommending it wasn't as awful as it showed up and demanding that the matter was being determined.

    http://www.broad2016.com/2016/05/chr...naked-and.html
    Laissez les bon temps rouler! Going to church doesn't make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.** a 4 day work week & sex slaves ~ I say Tyt for PRESIDENT! Not to be taken internally, literally or seriously ....Suki ebaynni IS THAT BETTER ?

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