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Archive for June 10th, 2019



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Islam’s War on the Christian Cross
By Raymond Ibrahim
A Muslim migrant in Rome recently stabbed a Christian man in the throat for wearing a crucifix around his neck.  The assailant, a 37-year-old Moroccan, is accused of attempted homicide; “religious hate” is cited as an “aggravating factor” in the crime.

This is hardly the first “religious hate” crime to occur in the context of the cross in Italy.  Among others,

  • A Muslim boy of African origin picked on, insulted, and eventually beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she too was wearing a crucifix
  • A Muslim migrant invaded an old church in Venice and attacked its large, 300-year-old cross, breaking off one of its arms, while shouting, “All that is in a church is false!”
  • After a crucifix was destroyed in close proximity to a populated mosque, Cinisello Balsamo’s mayor said concerning the identity of the culprit(s): “Before we put a show of unity with Muslims, let’s have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture.”
What is it about the crucifix that makes some Muslims react violently?  Islamic hostility to the cross is an unwavering phenomenon — one that crosses continents and centuries; one that is very much indicative of Islam’s innate hostility to Christianity.

For starters, not only is the cross the quintessential symbol of Christianity — for all denominations, including most forms of otherwise iconoclastic Protestantism — but it symbolizes the fundamental disagreement between Christians and Muslims.   As Professor Sidney Griffith explains, “The cross and the icons publicly declared those very points of Christian faith which the Koran, in the Muslim view, explicitly denied: that Christ was the Son of God and that he died on the cross.”  Accordingly, “the Christian practice of venerating the cross… often aroused the disdain of Muslims,” so that from the start of the Muslim conquests of Christian lands there was an ongoing “campaign to erase the public symbols of Christianity, especially the previously ubiquitous sign of the cross.”

This “campaign” traces back to the Muslim prophet Muhammad. He reportedly “had such a repugnance to the form of the cross that he broke everything brought into his house with its figure upon it,” wrote one historian (Sword and Scimitar, p. 10).  Muhammad also claimed that at the end times Jesus (the Muslim ‘Isa) himself would make it a point to “break the cross.”

Modern-day Muslim clerics confirm this.  When asked about Islam’s ruling on whether any person — in this case, Christians — is permitted to wear or pray before the cross, Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Tarifi, a Saudi expert on Islamic law, said, “Under no circumstances is a human permitted to wear the cross” nor “is anyone permitted to pray to the cross.”  Why?  “Because the prophet — peace and blessings on him — commanded the breaking of it [the cross].”

Islamic history is a reflection of these sentiments.  For instance, the aforementioned Sheikh al-Tarifi also explained that if it is too difficult to break the cross — for instance, a large concrete statue — Muslims should at least try to disfigure one of its four arms “so that it no longer resembles a cross.”  Historic and numismatic evidence confirms that, after the Umayyad caliphate seized the Byzantine treasury in the late seventh century, it ordered that one or two arms of the cross on the coins be effaced so that the image no longer resembled a crucifix (Sword and Scimitar, p. 54).

Testimonies from the very earliest invasions into Christian Syria and Egypt of Muslims systematically breaking every crucifix they encountered abound.  According to Anastasius of Sinai, who lived during the seventh century Arab conquests, “the demons name the Saracens [Arabs/Muslims] as their companions.  And it is with reason.  The latter are perhaps even worse than the demons,” for  whereas “the demons are frequently much afraid of the mysteries of Christ,” among which he mentions the cross, “these demons of flesh trample all that under their feet, mock it, set fire to it, destroy it” (Sword and Scimitar, p. 27).

Reminiscent of the recent drawing of a cross in fecal matter on a French church, in 1147 in Portugal, Muslims displayed “with much derision the symbol of the cross. They spat upon it and wiped the feces from their posteriors with it.” Decades earlier in Jerusalem, Muslims “spat on them [crucifixes] and did not even refrain from urinating on them in the sight of all.” Even that supposedly “magnanimous” sultan, Saladin, commanded “whoever saw that the outside of a church was white, to cover it with black dirt,” and ordered “the removal of every cross from atop the dome of every church in the provinces of Egypt” (Sword and Scimitar, pp. 171, 145, 162).

Lest Muslim hostility to the cross still seem aberrant — limited to some obscure saying of Muhammad or “ancient history” — below is a very partial list of examples of how the crucifix continues to throw even “everyday” Muslims into paroxysms:

Egypt: A young Coptic Christian woman named Mary was mauled to death when her cross identified her as a Christian to Muslim Brotherhood rioters.  Similarly, 17-year-old Ayman, a Coptic student, was strangled and beaten to death by his Muslim teacher and fellow students for refusing to obey the teacher’s orders to cover his cross.

Pakistan: When a Muslim man saw Julie Aftab, a Christian woman, wearing a cross around her neck, he attacked her, forced battery acid down her throat, and splashed it on her face — permanently damaging her esophagus, blinding her in one eye, and causing her to lose both eyelids and most of her teeth.

Turkey: A 12-year-old boy in Turkey wearing a silver cross necklace in class was spit on and beaten regularly by Muslim classmates and teachers.

Malaysia: A Christian cemetery was attacked and desecrated in the middle of the night by unknown persons in the Muslim-majority nation.  Several crosses were destroyed, including by the use of “a heavy tool to do the damage.”  Separately, a Muslim mob rioted against a small Protestant church due to the visible cross atop the building of worship.  It was quickly removed.

 Authorities had to rescue a female Christian teacher after Muslim “parents threatened to tie and drag her off of the island” for “preaching Christianity.”  Her crime was to draw a compass — which was mistakenly taken for a cross — as part of a geography lesson in class.

As Islam’s presence continues to grow in Europe, it should come as no surprise that attacks on crosses are also on the rise.  Aside from the aforementioned attacks in Italy, the following occurred either in France and Germany, where attacks on churches and crosses have become endemic:


  • A Muslim man committed major acts of vandalism at two churches, including by twisting a massive bronze cross.
  • Christian crosses and gravestones in a cemetery were damaged and desecrated by a Muslim.
  • A Muslim man who checked himself into a hospital for treatment went into a sudden frenzy because there were “too many crosses on the wall.”  He called the nurse a “bitch” and “fascist” and became physically aggressive.
  • After Muslims were granted their own section at a cemetery, and after being allowed to conduct distinctly Islamic ceremonies, these same Muslims began demanding that Christian symbols and crosses in the cemetery be removed or covered up during Islamic funerals.
  • A German language report from notes that in the Alps and in Bavaria alone, some 200 churches have been attacked and many crosses broken: “The perpetrators are often youthful rioters with a migration background.”

Such is the history and continuity of Islamic hatred for the cross — that symbol which represents the heart of the Christian faith, namely the death and resurrection of Christ, two events Islam vehemently denies.  The jihad on the cross began with Muhammad, was carried out by early caliphs, and continues to this day by jihadis of the world, not to mention the occasional “everyday” Muslim.

Note: For more on the long history of jihad on the Christian cross, see author’s recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West.

June 7, 2019

Source: https://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2019/06/islams_war_on_the_christian_cross.html#ixzz5qMrWRoYx

When the Left Defended the Electoral College

Jun 07, 2019

Happy Friday from Washington, where lawmakers on the left relish the idea of choosing presidents by popular vote. Not so long ago, some well-known Senate liberals opposed the change, Fred Lucas reports. President Trump scores a win with his latest foreign trip, Ted Bromund writes. Why commemorate the Tiananmen Square massacre? Concerned Americans tell us. A veteran pollster talks Trump on the podcast. Plus: Adam Michel on protecting the middle class from tax hikes, Nathaniel Thomas on abortion and African Americans, and Nicole Russell on the transgender agenda’s effects in our schools. Enjoy your weekend.

When the Left Defended the Electoral College

Joe Biden in a portrait taken Dec. 13, 1978, the month after the Delaware Democrat was re-elected to the Senate for the first time and about 30 years before he was elected vice president. The next year, Biden was among Senate liberals defending the Electoral College in debate over a constitutional amendment to elect presidents and vice presidents by popular vote. (Photo: Getty Images)

New York today is part of the movement to choose presidents by popular vote, but 40 years ago a nationally known liberal from the state took to the Senate floor to argue the advantages of the current system.

The Electoral College, Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan asserted in his July 1979 speech, forces consensus and allows a president to “govern with the legitimacy that has come of attaining to such diverse majorities.”

The New York Democrat, who died in 2003, had lots of liberal company at the time.

Other Senate Democrats who opposed a constitutional amendment to scrap the Electoral College and elect presidents and vice presidents by direct popular vote included Joe Biden of Delaware, a future vice president, and Bill Bradley of New Jersey, a future presidential candidate.  The liberal Left continue to push their radical agenda against American values. The good news is there is a solution. Find out more >>

These Democrats were joined by Edmund Muskie of Maine, the party’s vice presidential nominee 11 years earlier; Paul Sarbanes of Maryland; Thomas Eagleton of Missouri (briefly a vice presidential candidate in 1972); and John Durkin of New Hampshire.  Of those states, Delaware, Maryland, and New Jersey now are part of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, an agreement in which states that sign on pledge the votes of their electors to whichever presidential candidate wins the national popular vote.

Four decades ago, though, advocates of a popular vote for president didn’t try to end-run the process of amending the Constitution.  Biden, first elected to the Senate in 1972, served there from January 1973 until he successfully ran for vice president as Barack Obama’s running mate in 2008.

Bipartisan Divide

In 1979, Congressional Quarterly reported that senators “crossed party and ideological lines” in the debate over Senate Joint Resolution 28.  The measure was sponsored by Sen. Birch Bayh, D-Ind., an old pro with constitutional amendments who had drafted the 25th Amendment on presidential succession in a crisis as chairman of the Judiciary Committee’s subcommittee on the Constitution.  With bipartisan support and opposition, Bayh’s resolution passed by a vote of 51-48, far short of the two-thirds majority needed for a constitutional amendment. A majority of Republicans opposed the measure.

The Senate breakdown at the time was 61 Democrats, 38 Republicans, and an independent who caucused with the Democrats.

At the time, Congressional Quarterly reported, “three of the Senate’s most liberal Republicans”—John Heinz of Pennsylvania, Charles Percy of Illinois, and Lowell Weicker Jr. of Connecticut—“voted against direct election of the president.”  Weicker eventually left the Republican Party and won the Connecticut governorship as an independent. Both Illinois and Connecticut are among states that joined the popular vote compact.  Since the 1979 debate, Republican presidential candidates twice have won the Electoral College but lost the national popular vote, pushing the debate largely along party and ideological lines.

Under the Bayh amendment, the presidential candidate with the most votes nationally would win. If no candidate got 40%, though, the top two candidates would face each other in a runoff election.  Incidentally, that setup would have imperiled Abraham Lincoln, a Republican who won the 1860 presidential race with 39.8% of the vote against a splintered Democratic Party.

Minority Votes

Strong advocates of protecting the Electoral College four decades ago included the National Urban League, an African American civil rights group, and the American Jewish Congress, a Jewish civil rights group.  “Take away the Electoral College and the importance of being black melts away,” National Urban League President Vernon Jordan testified during a Senate hearing at the time.

“Blacks, instead of being crucial to victory in major states, simply become 10%  of the electorate, with reduced impact,” Jordan said.

Jordan later became an ally of President Bill Clinton, and was among the cast of characters in the Monica Lewinsky scandal.

The National Urban League has changed its mind, stating in a report last month that it backs moving “the U.S. toward the popular election of presidents through states’ participation in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact, with the goal of eliminating the Electoral College.”  In an official pronouncement on the 1979 proposal, the American Jewish Congress cited similar reasons for opposing the Bayh amendment, The New York Times reported.

The organization’s statement said blacks and Jews “make up a significant proportion of the electorate in the key states with large electoral votes, and they tend, at least in presidential elections, to vote in a bloc.” It continued:

Hence, the political parties are sensitive to the interests of Jews and blacks both in their selection of candidates and in the adoption of party platforms. In a system of direct election, however, where a vote in one state is equal to a vote in another, that influence will be lost.

In a 2004 report, the Congressional Research Service explained a prevailing view about minority groups during the 1979 debate that helped explain why the presidents of the National Urban League and American Jewish Congress supported the Electoral College:

Another theory advanced during debate on Electoral College reform centers on the asserted advantage enjoyed by ethnic minority voters. According to this argument, minority voters, e.g., blacks, Hispanics, and Jews, tend to be concentrated in populous states with large Electoral College delegations.

By virtue of this concentration, they are presumably able to exert greater influence over the outcomes in such states because they tend to vote overwhelmingly for candidates whose policies they perceive to be favorable to their interests, and thus helping to gain these states and their electoral votes for the favored candidates.

Bayh, who died in March after living to see his son Evan Bayh serve as governor and senator from Indiana, became an advocate of the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. For years, the elder Bayh would blame the 1979 defeat on minority advocates.  In 2012, Bayh told BuzzFeed, “I had an interesting experience, one of the few times I’ve been angry enough to throw people out of my office.”

He said African American and Jewish leaders told him “to get off this Electoral College reform kick. … You dump us into the whole mix, and we’ll get lost.”

Bayh, who also supported the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965, recalled replying: “You’re talking to somebody who busted his tail for ‘one person, one vote.’”

‘Most Radical Transformation’

A diverse coalition indeed backed a national popular vote in 1979, including the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the American Civil Liberties Union.

Other prominent backers included Sens. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., and Jake Garn, R-Utah.

In reporting on their defeat, Congressional Quarterly summarized: “A few northern liberals aligned July 10 with a majority of Republicans and southern Democrats to thwart passage of the direct election amendment.”  Because the Senate passed the measure by only a bare majority, the House didn’t bother taking it up even though in 1970 it had mustered a supermajority in favor.  The 1970 measure died from a Senate filibuster primarily led by Democrat-turned-Republican Strom Thurmond of South Carolina. Interestingly, many segregationists in the South cited voting bloc protections similar to those cited by civil rights advocates in the North in arguing for the Electoral College.

Moynihan led the Democrats’ opposition to the Bayh proposal, calling it the “most radical transformation in our constitutional system that has ever been considered.”

“The Electoral College requires the assembly of consent—again, concurrent majority—in one part of the country and another part of the country, and yet another part, all defined in terms of several states,” Moynihan said. “It has as its extraordinary ability the formation of consensus as between widely differing regions, political purposes and styles, and political agendas.”

The New York Democrat continued:

The fundamental thrust of this measure, however unintended— nonetheless, it seems to be ineluctably clear—would be to abolish that principle of concurrent majority.  If there is once introduced into the Constitution the idea that a president may routinely be elected by 40% of the vote, you have the most ironic of all outcomes, that in the name of majoritarianism we have abolished even that single majority which the Founders so feared.


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