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Posts tagged ‘Damascus’

Islamisation Tricks: The Second Coming Of Jesus Is A Doctrine Every Muslim Must Believe, Says Imam.


Islamisation

The  Imam of Federal College of Technology, Yaba Mosque, Imam Saeed Salmon  has said that contrary to some belief by Muslims, Islam also subscribes  to the widely held Christian belief that Jesus Christ will return in  what has been described as his ‘second coming’, emphasising that any  Muslim, who does not believe in it, is not a true follower of Prophet  Muhammad (PBUH).Salmon, who spoke at a special lecture  held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Tinubu, said Jesus is a messenger of  God and would still return to a mosque in Damascus.“The  second coming of Jesus Christ is a doctrine that every Muslim must  believe. The teachings of Prophet Muhammad talks extensively about this.“The  Qua’ ran Chapter 4:157-159 teaches this but the teachings of Islam does  not support that Jesus was killed or resurrected, rather, he was raised  by Almighty Allah to his majesty.“Jesus is coming  again to refute the claim of the Jews that he was crucified and to  correct the doctrine of the Christians that he is the son of God.“Again,  the second coming of Jesus is to establish that there is a close  relationship between Prophet Muhammad and Jesus himself”, he said.The  Chief host and organiser of the lecture, Amir Ajala Kamardeen, noted  that he is under obligation as a true adherent of Islam, to educate the  public and to correct any misconception about the religion.“Jesus is a prophet and messenger of Allah and as a true Muslim, we are bound to believe all prophets of Allah.“The  holy book ,Qur’an points to the fact that the second coming of Jesus  Christ is a sign of end time but there are some group of Muslims in  Harvard University and in Cairo known as the fatimists and also  Ahmadists who are saying otherwise, so, I have put it upon myself to  correct them”, Amir Kamardeen added.

Source: Radio Biafra.

Christians Face Danger From Jihadists in Syria.


Image: Christians Face Danger From Jihadists in SyriaThe Church of Saint Michael in the Syrian village of Qara was heavily damaged in fighting between rebels and pro-government forces in late November in the predominantly Christian region of Qalamoun, north of Damascus.

By Okke Ornstein

The biggest threats facing many Christians in war-torn Syria are the militant jihadist groups linked to al-Qaida, which want to establish a caliphate across the Levant ruled by the laws of their extremist brand of Islam.

In their members’ view, those who are not “true Muslims” deserve to be killed, and Christians most certainly qualify.

“I think my cousin was killed just because he had a Christian cross dangling from the rear-view mirror of his car,” Abraham Tunc, a representative of the Assyrian community in the Netherlands, told Newsmax.

Christians in Syria make up about 10 percent of the population, with the largest concentration living in and around Aleppo, which is now the scene of an all-out assault by the Syrian army on the various rebel groups that control most of the city.

Outside a Greek Orthodox church in Damascus, what appeared at first glance to be a Nativity scene is instead a small improvised space to remember those who were killed during the ongoing war.

The wall is covered with portraits and stories about atrocities: A family was dragged out of their house and murdered, a man was killed by a bomb. Others suffered even more gruesome treatment.

“We lost about 200 members of our community because of the war,” a church volunteer told Newsmax.

“It all started as protests. People wanted more freedom, which everybody understood. And then it became war and we are where we are today,” he added.

On Christmas Day in Damascus, the war was never far away. At the Greek Orthodox al-Salib Church, the sound of cannon fire could be heard between songs at Christmas Mass.

The church’s neighborhood in Damascus has been transformed into a heavily fortified compound. On every road there are two military checkpoints, and no cars, not even those with an official permit, are allowed to pass through.

On Christmas there was more security at the church gate where volunteers used scanners to make sure nobody carried guns or explosives inside. A surprisingly high number of visitors attended the service, lighting candles.

“Actually, visits have gone up since the start of the war,” explained the volunteer, who asked not to be named for safety reasons.

The Greek Orthodox Church is the oldest and largest Christian community in Syria, and al-Salib’s neighborhood is one of the wealthier in Damascus, reflected by the number of fur coats and other expensive fashion items people were wearing on Christmas.

Not surprisingly, the volunteer said that “you’ll find that most people here are very much pro-Assad.”

In February, Syria’s Greek Orthodox Patriarch of the Levant and Antioch John al-Yaziji met with President Bashar Assad and was quoted by state media expressing his confidence that Syria would come out victorious from its crisis.

The Greek Orthodox community is far from the only Christian group in Syria. Throughout the country, but mostly in the north, there are other Orthodox as well as Catholic groups.

Many Christians have fled, most of them to other parts of Syria or to Turkey. A vast number of them are Assyrians, an ethnic group with origins in ancient Mesopotamia which now inhabits roughly the same area as the Kurdish people in Syria, Turkey, Iraq, and Iran.

Those who can afford it, or who have family in Europe, often travel to Germany, the Netherlands, or other countries, either legally or with the aid of smugglers, Tunc said.

This often leads to harrowing scenes when rickety boats capsize on their voyage from Turkey to EU member Greece, or when refugees get stuck, abused, and extorted at the Eastern European frontiers. One of Tunc’s relatives narrowly escaped death in a boat accident while trying to make her way from embattled Syria to the safety of Europe.

Tunc has lived in Europe since long before war broke out in Syria, but he still has relatives in Aleppo with whom he sometimes manages to talk on the phone. He explained that the situation there is dangerous and some members of his extended family were killed and others now live in Turkey, near the border.

Just months ago, the Lebanon-based terrorist group Hezbollah, which is an ally of Iran and the Assad regime, drove out al-Qaida linked groups from the northwestern coastal part of Syria, where many Christian minorities live.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

Syria Jihadists Hold Torahs Hostage; Demand Prisoner Release.


Jihadists are holding Torah scrolls and other religious materials looted from the Jobar synagogue, an ancient Damascus landmark, and are demanding the release of prisoners held by President Bashar Assad’s government in exchange for their safe return, the Times of Israel reported.

A source involved in negotiating the release of the material and getting it out of Syria told The Times of Israel that it is being held by the al-Nusra Front, an Islamist organization associated with al-Qaida and designated a terrorist group by the State Department.

The stolen items are believed to include at least three or four Torah scrolls and silverware.

“They took everything they could get their hands on,” the source said. “They want prisoners held by Assad [in exchange for them].”

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The Jobar synagogue in Damascus, which is believed to be more than 2,000 years old, was built on the site where Elijah the Jewish prophet anointed Elisha his successor. It was reportedly damaged in early March by mortars fired by Syrian government forces, the Times of Israel reported in April.

Since then, the government and the rebels have exchanged accusations about who was responsible for looting the synagogue. The rebels accused government forces of attacking the building before setting fire to it.

But, according to the government, the rebels burned the synagogue while “Zionist agents” stole historic religious items.

The source said that Qatar may become involved in negotiating the release of the items, while Syrian-Jewish expatriates are reportedly participating in the talks.

Approximately 40,000 Jews lived in Syria in 1948. By last year, that number had dwindled to around 100, according to the Jewish Virtual Library.

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© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

By Joel Himelfarb

Alveda King: How I Failed Nelson Mandela.


Alveda King
Alveda King

At the passing of Nelson Mandela, I am acknowledging that he was a humanitarian who gave his life to ending apartheid in South Africa and human racism on this planet.

His efforts to do so, especially when he was a young man, certainly included horrendous acts of violence. He and his wife were “vigilantes for freedom.” Their methods of warfare were designed to match and overpower the inhumane tactics of their oppressors. President Mandela was jailed for many years for his “war crimes.”

Young Nelson and Winnie Mandela were radical rebels and following very much in the philosophy of, say, a Malcolm X, who said we must obtain freedom “by any means necessary.”

When I was a young civil rights freedom fighter, we had to deal with Alabama Gov. George Wallace. He was a virulent monster of a man who approved the lynching, burning and bombing of African Americans during those days. I lived in “Bombingham,” where our family home was bombed by hateful people who didn’t want black people to be free.

There are pictures of historical accounts of George Wallace standing right there and saying that he hated people if they had black skin or brown skin. And he wanted to keep us out and called us bad names. But Jesus Christ came into his life, and he repented, and he said that he was wrong.

There was another one, Bull Conner, who reminds me of the same hateful spirit that was driving Adolf Hitler. He lived as a terror, and he is remembered as a terror today. On the one hand, Wallace recanted. On other hand, Adolph Hitler was never jailed for killing millions of Jews, and his horrible eugenics and genocidal practices are alive today.

Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood considered Adolf Hitler to be her muse. Unsuspecting people have embraced abortion and killing contraceptives because the slick marketing campaigns of Hitler and Sanger are still alive today. I was once a victim of Planned Parenthood and was once pro-choice. I didn’t sanction the killing of millions of babies, but I did have two secret abortions. I later repented and now am a voice for the lives of babies and their mothers, the sick and the elderly.

There was another man, John Newton, who wrote the song “Amazing Grace.” He was a friend and mentor of William Wilberforce and William Penn. He was bringing black people—African people—transcontinental and bringing them to be sold into the slave trade. It was lucrative, and he was making money. It was horrible, and yet when the spirit of the living God got his attention, reminding him of the love and mercy of Jesus Christ, he repented and wrote a song that says, “I once was lost, but now I’m found, was blind, but now I see.” A wretch like him, his life was transformed.

Again, I had abortions myself. I was pro-choice at one time in my life. I came to my senses. I repented and turned away from the lies. I was blind and now I see.

The apostle Paul was blinded as far as his mind and his actions were concerned when his name was Saul. And he killed Christians. He was there at the stoning of St. Stephen. And yet, on the way to Damascus, his physical sight was taken from him when he was confronted—when he was riding his donkey on the Damascus road. And he became one of the greatest apostles that the world has known and remembered, and we thank God for the ministry of apostle Paul.

Over the years, Mr. Mandela began to become seasoned; humility came into his life, and at 95 years of age, I believe he was a totally different man than the young man who was doing everything he could to ending apartheid but was giving back as good as he got or as bad as it was.

While he sanctioned abortion during his presidency, he was perhaps like me and millions of others who were once deceived into believing that abortion and harmful contraceptives would help our people. I wish I had told him the truth. I didn’t know the truth when I met him in the early 1970s. So I failed him. I didn’t speak to him about our babies.

What is happening now in the battle to end human injustice, to stop man’s inhumanity to man, whether we are women, men or little children, is occurring on a divided battleground. Some battle against racism, based upon skin color or class or rank. Some battle against reproductive genocide, and that is certainly appropriate as well, wherein we fight for the lives of the little babies in the womb, their mothers, the sick and the elderly and demand that they be treated with equality, justice, mercy and agape love. And then some battle against sexual perversion. That in itself also is a very important fight.

Now, if we can see that we are battling a three-headed hydra monster—racism, reproductive genocide and sexual perversion—and get to the heart of those matters and fight them all together with the understanding that we can overcome evil with good, then at the death of someone like a Nelson Mandela, some of us would not feel as though he should just be totally lambasted, ostracized, cast out of history and considered to be one of the most terrible people that ever lived.

And so I do acknowledge the work of President Nelson Mandela. He confronted apartheid, a serious evil during his lifetime. He did some things that were not good. And we pray that he had an opportunity to meet his Maker before he left the planet and that he was able to reconcile those differences.

I feel that I failed President Nelson Mandela because when I actually met him around 1970, when he was released and he came to America, he visited the Martin Luther King Center. I was pro-choice at that time—ended up having a second abortion and a miscarriage related to the harmful contraceptives and all of that.

But over the years, I became pro-life, after which I became repentantly pro-life. I wish now that I had reached out to President Nelson Mandela. I wish that in the 1990s, when he was signing legislation that was going to cause millions or at least hundreds of thousands of babies to be aborted, I wish I had gotten Maafa 21 to him and Blood Money to him. Of course, these films had not been produced at that time, but a little later they and many other great truth- and life-revealing films have been released.

I feel that I failed him by not reaching out to him and trying to get with him and sit down and have a talk about my transformation, how I came from thinking that it was OK to abort a child to knowing that it was wrong because that’s a sacred human life. I failed, but I pray that I don’t fail millions of others, and I pray that that message will continue to resonate across the globe.

So, I thank God for Jesus, for redemption, for an opportunity to acknowledge the good deeds of people and to pray and repent for not giving them information that I had that could transform their thinking, prick their hearts and cause them to include the unborn in their battles.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Alveda C. King is the daughter of the late civil-rights activist the Rev. A.D. King and niece of Martin Luther King Jr. She is also a civil rights and pro-life activist, as well as director of the African-American outreach for Priests for LifeClick here to visit her blog.

Syrian Patriarch Urges Release of Abducted Nuns.


DAMASCUS, Syria — A Syrian mother superior on Tuesday accused opposition fighters of abducting 12 nuns from a predominantly Christian village near the capital that was overrun by rebels, and Syria’s Greek Orthodox patriarch appealed for their quick release.

Febronia Nabhan, head of nearby Saidnaya Convent, said the nuns and three other women were taken the day before from the village of Maaloula to the nearby rebel-held town of Yabroud, which also has a large Christian population.

Meanwhile, Syria’s state TV reported that a suicide attacker blew himself up in central Damascus, killing four and wounding 17 others. The TV gave no further details about the blast in the central Jisr Abyad neighborhood and did not say what the target was.

Such blasts in Damascus are not uncommon and have killed scores of people in the city.

While two bishops and a priest have previously been kidnapped by rebels, no nuns have been reported harmed in the three-year conflict, which began as a popular uprising against President Bashar Assad but later deteriorated into a civil war.

Greek Orthodox Patriarch John Yazigi called for the release of the Maaloula nuns. “We appeal to the seed of conscience that God planted in all humans, including the kidnappers, to release our sisters safely,” Yazigi said in a statement issued Tuesday.

“We call upon the international community and world governments to (help secure the) release the nuns of Mar Takla Convent and the orphans who are being held since yesterday,” he added. The statement did not say how many nuns were abducted.

Nabhan told The Associated Press that the Maaloula convent’s mother superior, Pelagia Sayaf, called her late Monday from Yabroud and said they were all “fine and safe.”

The Britain-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, which has a network of activists around the country, said that “the fate of nuns at the Mar Takla Convent in Maaloula is unknown.” It added there were conflicting reports on whether they were taken to a nearby area or not.

The Observatory says it received information late Monday saying that the nuns “are still alive.” It gave no further details.

Syrian rebels captured large parts of Maaloula, some 60 kilometers (40 miles) northeast of the capital, on Monday after three days of fighting. Activists say the rebels who stormed the town included members of the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra or Nusra Front.

Syria’s minorities, including Christians, have mostly sided with President Bashar Assad or remained neutral, fearing for their fate if the rebels, in whose ranks Islamic extremists are increasingly prominent, come to power. Christians have accused radicals among the rebels of abusing residents and vandalizing churches after taking Christian towns.

The Syrian Foreign Ministry urged the international community to condemn the rebel attack on Maaloula. In two letters sent to the heads of the UN Security Council and the UN Secretary-General late Monday, the ministry said: “Syria is facing a barbarian war launched by extremist … gangs targeting its present and future.”

It said “terrorists” broke into Mar Takla Convent and held Sayyaf and a number of nuns “as hostages and sabotaged churches and houses.”

The ministry urged the U.N. Security Council to condemn these terrorist acts in “the strongest terms” and exert pressure on the countries which are supporting these groups to stop providing them with logistical and financial support.

The state news agency SANA had reported Monday that six nuns, including Sayaf, were trapped in a convent in Maaloula.

In September, rebels seized parts of Maaloula only to be driven out within a few days by government forces.

The town was a major tourist attraction before the conflict began in March 2011. Some of its residents still speak a version of Aramaic, a biblical language spoken by Jesus.

Also in Syria, troops continued their advance in the western town of Nabek after they captured most of it Monday and reopened the highway linking Damascus with the central city of Homs.

A government official, speaking on condition of anonymity in line with regulations, said that although the road was opened it is still dangerous because of fighting in nearby areas.

The highway is a key road leading to Syria’s coast and could open the way for transporting the country’s chemical weapons to be sent to the port of Latakia before they are taken out of the country for destruction.

The Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons is aiming to destroy Syria’s entire chemical weapons program by mid-2014.

Across the border in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli, Lebanese troops began deploying in areas between pro and anti-Assad groups after four days of fighting that left a dozen people dead and more than 100 wounded.

The Tuesday deployment came a day after the government authorized the army to take charge of security in Lebanon’s second-largest city for six months.

The army said in a statement that 21 people from both sides have been detained.

In the Palestinian refugee camp of Ein el-Hilweh, near the southern city of Sidon, a bomb exploded killing one person and wounding three including Mohammed Eissa, better known as Lino, a former senior official with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas’ Fatah group, NNA and officials in the camp said.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

Islamist Fighters Move Nuns From Captured Christian Village in Syria.


Syrian nuns
Nuns attend a mass prayer at the Orthodox Patriarchate in Damascus, Dec. 10, 2012. (Reuters/Khaled al-Hariri )

Islamist fighters who captured a Christian village north of Damascus have moved some nuns to a nearby town but it was not clear if they had been kidnapped or evacuated for their safety, the Vatican’s ambassador to Syria said on Tuesday.

The militants took the ancient quarter of Maaloula on Monday after heavy fighting with President Bashar al-Assad‘s forces, activists said. Syrian state media said they were holding the nuns captive in the Greek Orthodox monastery of Mar Thecla.

Vatican envoy Mario Zenari said the 12 nuns had been taken from Maaloula to Yabroud, about 20 km (13 miles) to the north.

Zenari said the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate had told him armed men had entered the monastery on Monday afternoon.

“They forced the sisters to evacuate and to follow them towards Yabroud. At this moment we cannot say if this is a kidnapping or an evacuation,” he told Reuters by telephone from Damascus. “I heard now there is a very fierce conflict going on in Maaloula.”

The fighting, which pits al-Qaida-linked Nusra Front fighters and other rebels against Assad’s forces, is part of a wider struggle for control of the Damascus-Homs highway in central Syria.

An official at the Greek Patriarchate confirmed that he believed the nuns were taken to Yabroud, but gave no details.

Syrian state television said Christians had held a service in Damascus on Monday to protest against the capture of the nuns and the kidnapping of two bishops near Aleppo in April.

Pro-rebel activists said the nuns were safe and that the real threat to them came from what they described as random Syrian army bombardment of Maaloula.

The village was the scene of heavy fighting in September, when it changed hands four times in a series of attacks and counter-assaults by rebels and government forces.

Zenari said the nuns were among the last residents left in Maaloula after most fled south for relative safety in Damascus.

The army, backed by pro-Assad militias, has been trying to secure towns on the road from Damascus to the city of Homs and Assad’s Alawite heartland overlooking the Mediterranean.

Control of the road would help secure Assad’s grip over central Syria, and would also enable safe passage for hundreds of tonnes of chemical agents which are due to be shipped out of the country by the end of the year for destruction.


Reporting by Dominic Evans; Editing by Alistair Lyon

© 2013 Thomson Reuters. All rights reserved.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Nuns Trapped as Syria Rebels Linked to al-Qaida Seize Christian Town.


Six nuns were trapped in an ancient pro-government Christian village, the government said Monday, after al-Qaida linked rebels seized large swaths of the area.

Syrian army tanks were positioned around Maaloula as the fighting sent smoke wafting over the scenic village nestled in hills about 40 miles northeast of the capital, Damascus.

Forces loyal to President Bashar Assad are trying to keep rebels led by the al-Qaida-linked Jabhat al-Nusra, or Nusra Front, from advancing. Opposition fighters have taken control of several parts of the village since blowing up a checkpoint at its entrance on Friday, according to reports by the state news agency and opposition activists.

The fighting is part of a wider battle over a string of towns and villages in the rugged Qalamoun border region in an effort to control a strategic highway and smuggling routes from neighboring Lebanon. The town had been firmly in the government’s grip but surrounded by rebel-held territory until Friday.

Five nuns and their Mother Superior, Pelagia Sayaf were trapped in the Mar Takla Convent, which sits above Maaloula, according to SANA.

Syria‘s Minister of Social Affairs, Kindah al-Shammat, demanded that countries supporting the rebels pressure them to release the nuns.

Many of the some 3,000 residents have already fled to Damascus, fearing rebels would punish them for supporting Assad and because they are Christians, one of the villagers said in a telephone interview. He spoke on condition of anonymity, fearing for his safety. Others have taken shelter in the convent.

While two bishops and a priest have been kidnapped by rebels, no nuns have been reported harmed in the three-year conflict, which began as a popular uprising against Assad but quickly morphed into a civil war.

Syria’s minorities, including Christians, have mostly sided with Assad’s rule or remained neutral, fearing for their fate if rebels, dominated by Islamic extremists, come to power.

In the past, rebels have seized parts of Maaloula only to be driven out within a few days by government forces.

Maaloula was a major tourist attraction before the conflict began in March 2011. Some of its residents still speak a version of Aramaic, a biblical language spoken by Jesus.

© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
Source: Newsmax.com

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