Thursday, April 27, 2017

When a Christian Woman Interrupted a Muslim Prayer Service at Washington's National Cathedral - "Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him."

This 32 second video clip (see end of post) has recently been making the rounds on Twitter (I just retweeted it). But in fact it is from 2014.

It's from a Muslim prayer service held at Washington D.C.'s National Cathedral. As a taqiyah capped imam is about to start a prayer in front of an assembled audience - hijab clad muslimas sitting on chairs on one side, Muslim males squatting on carpets on another, non-muslim (I think) male observers sitting in the back - a Christian woman walks toward the podium, points to a cross and shouts:
Jesus Christ died on that cross. He is the reason we are to worship only Him. Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior. We have built enough of your mosques in this country. Why don’t you worship in your mosques and leave our churches alone? . . . America was founded on Christian principles . . . Leave our church alone!
She is quickly hustled out by two men, one of whom appears to be a purple-robed Episcopal priest.

The National Cathedral is owned and administered by the Episcopal Church, which, as everyone knows, is currently about as Christian as my coffee mug. It was erected under a charter from the United States government and has hosted all sorts of major events, from funerals of presidents to memorial services - including one to the victims of 9/11.

But it still is technically a Christian church, with crosses and other Christian symbols and art everywhere. For this Muslim service - an invitation only function put together by the South African ambassador - the worship space was arranged so that the worshippers would see as few of the crosses and other symbols as possible.

I should note that while the Church appears to be now open to Muslim worship, it's not exactly equal-opportunity for all ideologies. In 2016, two stained-glass images of Robert E. Lee and Stonewall Jackson (of all people), were taken down.

Some might argue that the idea of a "national cathedral," complete with Civil War heroes on the windows, is silly at best, and inappropriate or even blasphemous at worst. ACLU-type people and traditionalist Catholics might agree on this one. (Yes it would be different if this were, say, an officially Catholic country, but it's not.) Even when the United States was recognized as a Christian country, there were all sorts of opposed Christian faiths that hated each other.

That's the point, others might say, let's drop all of our hate and just come together for worship. Or at least just come together to . . .come together.

I'm sure Pope Francis would be happy to help.

And I suppose if you're going to have religiously meaningless "services" in the Cathedral for nominal Christian politicians who wouldn't know Christ from Father Christmas, then it's almost logical to allow Muslims and Hare Krishnas and Raelians and entrails readers and anyone else with beads and a few pamphlets to use it as well, as long as they are, you know, American.

Or ambassadors from South Africa.

I think the fact that Muslims would embrace the opportunity to, so to speak, invade the space, speaks to the aggressive nature of that religion.

Or not. Maybe they just wanted a nice old stone building with lots of fluted columns and flying buttresses to pray in. It beats that second story room over the auto-shop.

But I want to come back to that Christian woman. I assume the above considerations were not foremost in her mind. Rather, she saw Christ being mocked. Followers of a false and barbaric parody of a religion were literally squatting in His space, readying themselves to pray to their cruel god, while purple frocked "Christian" prelates looked on.

She had to defend her Lord.

Just some crazy lady, no doubt.

What if the Catholic Church had even ten bishops like her?

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

The Decline of France as Seen Through the Increasingly Odd Marital Lives of its Presidents

Emmanuel Macron, 39 and his wife, Brigitte, 64

Note: I'm defining "odd" from a traditional or traditionalist Catholic perspective. On that definition, a "normal" family is one husband, one wife, multiple kids, and one van. If your situation is not "normal" or is "odd" by that standard, that's okay. I don't own a van either.

When former French President François Mitterrand died in 1996, his funeral was attended by both his wife and his long-term mistress. "How French," it was said, at the time.

That's an interesting and perhaps funny anecdote. But it doesn't tell the whole story . . .

I want to take a closer look at the marital lives of the modern French presidents. And for good measure, I'll throw in the four major candidates for the current election. If you follow me to the end, I think you'll see why I did it.

Modern France has a five-year presidential term. And you are allowed to run again. Hence, in the almost sixty years since the founding of the Fifth Republic, there have been only seven presidents - eight, counting whoever wins in two weeks.


Charles de Gaulle (1959-1969): 1 wife, 3 children.

The De Gaulles were staunch Catholics. His wife, Yvonne Vendroux, reportedly wanted to ban the mini-skirt.

Georges Pompidou (1969-74): 1 wife, 1 child.

Pompidou was a close friend and aide to De Gaulle. Before becoming president, he managed the Anne de Gaulle Foundation for Down syndrome (de Gaulle's daughter Anne had Down's syndrome).

Valéry Giscard d'Estaing (1974-81): 1 wife, 4 children.

Giscard d'Estang is tied with Mitterand for having the most kids on the list. In fairness, I should point out that he is probably also tied with Mitterand for extra-marital womanizing.

François Mitterrand (1981-95): 1 wife, 4 children, 1 mistress.

Jacques Chirac (1995-2007): 1 wife, 2 children.

Nicolas Sarkozy (2007-12): 3 wives, 1.33 children per wife.

As everyone knows. For his third wife, Sarkozy married a former model. This, of course, is a French thing. We would never do that here.

François Hollande (2012-17): 0 wives, 3 domestic partners, 1.33 children per domestic partner (all of them were from his first one).

Hollande's first partner, Ségolène Royal, was a successful politician in her own right, making it into the second round of the 2007 presidential election. The Hollande-Royales would often domestically pose around their domestic breakfast table with their four domestic kids, before Hollande would kick Royale out of his domicile in favor of domestic partner # 2, Valérie Trierweiler, a talk-show host. Hollande and Royale are on record as saying that they never married because it was "too bourgeois."

THE 2017 CANDIDATES (obviously, we know now that the bottom two won't win)

Emmanuel Macron: 1 wife (25 years his senior), 0 children.

Macron started "dating" his future wife when he was 15 and she was 40 (Brigitte Trogneux was his high-school teacher). But they didn't actually marry until he was 30 and she was 55. He is now 39 and she is . . . you get the picture. In fairness, she doesn't look a day over 61.

Marine Le Pen: 2 husbands, 1 current domestic partner, 1 child per husband/partner.

Given the other examples, one wouldn't think that Le Pen's non-traditional marital life would hurt her politically. Then, again, unlike, say Hollande, some of Le Pen's potential supporters are conservative Catholics. I suspect it doesn't do her any good.

Jean-Luc Mélenchon: 1 wife (divorced), 1 child.

Mélenchon is sort of the odd-man out. He has intentionally tried very hard to keep his private life private, and thus there is nothing on it in Wikipedia or similar sources. In fact, the rumpled Maoist was married and divorced many years ago. His one daughter is apparently devoted to him, as well as to his socialist causes.

François Fillon: 1 wife, 5 children, 1 castle.

Fillon wins the title for having the most traditional family. And, yes, he is a Catholic, and, yes, they do live in a castle (which is even better than a van). However, he is, arguably, too pro-family, or at least, too pro-his family. A few months ago, his campaign suffered a huge setback when it was revealed that he had put his wife on the public payroll with alleged little-work jobs - netting the Fillons at least a million dollars over the years. There were also similar allegations involving two of his children and smaller sums. This scandal almost certainly cost him the chance to advance into the second round of the election.

What does it all mean?

I've had a bit of fun with the public private lives of French politicians. But my purpose was not to criticize them per se, rather, it was to point out the change in, shall we say, standards for what the French find acceptable, or at least acceptable for their presidents and politicians. Or even more to the point, what those presidents and politicians themselves find acceptable.

There's also the question of French identity and how demographic trends are affecting it. France is becoming more Muslim, not merely because of current immigration or the current "migrant" wave (although that's obviously a part of it), but because non-Muslim French are having far-fewer children than their Muslim counterparts. For example, by some estimates, more than half of all babies now born in greater Paris are born to Muslim parents. So, to put it bluntly, if the French wish to protect their non-Muslim Frenchness, then unless they want to kick all Muslims (including those who are French citizens) out of the country, they need to have more babies. Yet their presidents and politicians are not setting the greatest example. (True, the question becomes more complicated when you look at divorce - babies are babies, whether they come from one spouse or three - or, one or three domestic partners. But I think it's true that, on a general level, at least, it's all of a piece. "Instability" tends to lead to fewer children, and/or is a symptom of preferences not being fully ordered to the having or raising of children.)

Seen in the light of the past two decades, the funny comments about Mitterand's mistress are almost ironic. How French, indeed. Or, rather, how French it used to be. Compared to the current average, the one wife plus one mistress of that old socialist Mitterrand, looks positively bourgeois.

Hey, don't blame me, man. I voted for . . .

Okay, never mind.

Monday, April 24, 2017

Holocaust Remembrance Day

YomHaShoah, 2014

As part of Holocaust Remembrance Day or YomHaShoah, sirens go off all over Israel, and everyone stops whatever it is that they're doing to stand in respectful attention.

Videos show cars slowing down to a halt on highways. The drivers also get out and stand.

It is incredibly moving.

I don't think it would be as moving and important if it were merely "remembering." But, of course, it's not. It's symbolic of the unflagging determination of a nation that long ago collectively decided to robustly defend herself - always ready to fight back against those who wish to destroy her.

France could use a bit of that.

We could use a bit of that.

Is the Holocaust the greatest evil of the 20th century? I'm not sure it is.

Perhaps there should be a Gulag remembrance day across Russia.

The Chinese don't have a remembrance day. Instead they still have a giant picture of their very own mass murderer on their most prominent government building. They're too busy making money to take him down.

But if others, for whatever reason, don't wish to "remember", that's not Israel's fault. Rather, it's a comment on what makes Israel and it's citizens different - more (I'm struggling for the right word here) clear-eyed.

More honorable (at least in that one respect)?

We should do the same thing in New York, every September 11th.

Is there a 9/11 remembrance day? I suppose there probably is - people place flowers someplace or another, or whatever. Sixteen years ago, a sort of tragedy happened, and then many of us became Islamophobic. It's all so very sad. Hatred is wrong.

Let me amend what I earlier said. We should have a Cowardice Day. (And, yes, I mean the appellation to apply to us.) It wouldn't exactly be uplifting, but at least it would be accurate.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

French Elections: Surprise, There's No Surprise!

Emmanuel Macron and Marine Le Pen

The counts and projections show that independent, Emmanuel Macron, and National Front leader, Marine Le Pen, were the top two vote getters in today's French election. They now advance to a runoff that will be held on May 7th.

Both Macron and Le Pen achieved percentage totals in the low 20s, with Macron probably beating Le Pen by a few points. The other two leading candidates, Francois Fillon, the candidate for the Republicans, and Jean-Luc Mélenchon, the candidate for the ironically named Unsubmissive France, came in third and fourth, with probable totals in the 19s.

The American and British media have been trying to gin up drama by claiming that the win by two "outsiders" is historic and unexpected - with the official candidates for the governing party and the major opposition party coming in fifth and third, respectively. But in truth, political parties in France are currently much more fluid than they are in, say, Britain or the United States, with "new" major parties popping up or changing their names every few years. But through it all, the electorate has remained roughly divided along a spectrum described as far-left, center-left, center-right and far-right.

Macron and Le Pen have been the favorites for months, with Fillon and Mélenchon given only small odds for any upset. For sure, in a race where the winners were separated from the losers by only a few percentage points, it could have gone another way. But the fact is, it didn't.

Le Pen is given almost no chance to win the runoff vote.

In mid-February, when I wrote this, Le Pen was briefly favored to win it. But since late February, chances for a Le Pen win have hovered at only around 35% in the prediction markets. And after today's results, they've been cut in half to 18%.

I assume this is due to the fact that Le Pen underperformed by a number of points - she, not Macron, was predicted to be the top vote getter in the first round. Also, one of the scenarios where she was thought to have had the best chance to win a runoff - Fillon leaping ahead of Macron for the second place slot - did not materialize.

The losing third-place candidate, as well as the two most recent past French presidents - François Hollande and Nicolas Sarkozy - denounced Le Pen and endorsed Macron. (The losing fourth-place candidate is a hard leftist, who, while he has declined to formally endorse Macron, would never support Le Pen.) And the entire mainstream French media, as well as much of the electorate, is focused on stopping Le Pen at any cost.

The theory that a terrorist attack would "help" Le Pen proved false. My view is that most French have pretty much accepted terrorism as the new normal. It won't be going away, so why not focus on the price of cheese?

Or vote for the nice young man in the well-tailored suit.

Or engage in some good old-fashioned collective virtue signaling about the evils of "racism." We don't do that, we're 21st century Europeans.

No doubt. And you're about to surrender to 11th century Middle-Easterners.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

BREAKING: "A man got out of a car and began shooting with a Kalashnikov on the Champs Elysees"

Update (3:50 PM CST): The French police are now saying that there was only attacker. However, much of central Paris remains under lockdown.

Two policeman have been killed in a shooting earlier today on the Champs Elysees in Paris.

The incident occurred at approximately 9 PM local time, near a Marks and Spencer store at 104 Champs Elysees Avenue.

The gunman was shot dead. There are reports that there may be another gunman, presumably on the run.

The entire area has been blocked off and police are telling people to avoid it.  

Reuters quotes a witness: "A man got out of a car and began shooting (at police) with a Kalashnikov on the Champs Elysees."

A police spokesperson said the gunmen targeted police guarding the entrance to a subway station, and that the incident was a "likely" terror attack. 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

CNN Refuses to Cover Muslim Black Supremacist Shooting Spree

"Those poor darkies."

These days, I'm not easily shocked. But this did shock me.

One might anticipate that in an ongoing mass shooting situation, where the suspect would turn out to be a Muslim black supremacist who screamed "Allah Akbar!" when he was arrested, that CNN would find some way to cover it but downplay it, or excuse it. Bring on the CAIR spokesman to take advantage of the horrific murders by making a speech about Islamophobia, or the sociology talking head to blame capitalism or mental health funding cuts or whatever.

Or at least, Anderson Cooper, reporting from the scene, wearing a designer t-shirt worth more than an entire Haitian village.

But no.

Actually, according to the Daily Caller, CNN television news didn't cover the breaking story at all.

There is now an article on CNN's webpage. But there were no mentions of it during its news broadcasts up until prime time.

However, in the same time period, there were stories about, among other things, the sexual harassment charges against Bill O'Reilly and a child-custody battle involving Alex Jones.

CNN is now no more a news organization than was the outfit that published the anti-semitic tabloid Der Stürmer in Nazi Germany.

Maybe CNN was once the cable news station of record.

Even Darth Vader endorsed it.

No more.

Watch it in airports, if you must. Otherwise, try another channel, any other channel.

You'll get more honesty from the Home Shopping Network.

From the Daily Caller:
CNN Completely Ignores Anti-White Fresno Murders
By Chuck Ross
The murders of three white men by a black supremacist gunman in Fresno received limited media attention on Tuesday, most notably at CNN.
CNN’s dearth of coverage of the shootings, carried out by 39-year-old Kori Ali Muhammad, an African-American Muslim, stands in stark contrast to its reporting of other non-political news events: the manhunt for a Cleveland man who killed a 74-year-old man on Sunday, a sexual harassment scandal involving Fox News host Bill O’Reilly, and a child custody battle involving radio host Alex Jones.
A review of CNN’s broadcast through primetime shows that the Fresno killings received no mentions on air. An article about the attacks is loaded to
MSNBC gave a brief mention to Muhammad’s racially-motivated killings during the day Tuesday. Fox News hosts discussed the story during several primetime shows. NBC, CBS, and ABC aired segments on the story during their nightly broadcasts.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Not Funny: On Easter Sunday, Milo Yiannopoulos Chooses "He is Risen" as Title for Comeback Video

"He is Risen," the supertitle to the trailer for the Milo Yiannopoulos "comeback video," promoted on Easter Sunday, wasn't referring to Christ.

It was referring to Milo Yiannopoulos.

In the thirty-seven second trailer, we also see Yiannopoulos dressed twice as a Catholic priest, including in the final shot.

Of course, one of the recent controversies swirling around the ex-Breitbart journalist was the question of whether he had or had not been abused by a Catholic priest. 

How edgy.

"The Bitch is Back." Funny.

"He is Risen" (on Easter Sunday). Sick.

It's true that Yiannopoulos has done a huge amount of good. Among other things, he's given articulate and powerful defenses of the Catholic faith - much better than most contemporary bishops, for example. And, of course, he has claimed to be a believing Catholic.

I have no reason to doubt that he is.

But he obviously has huge problems. And, no, I'm not, here, specifically referring to his sex life.

As everyone knows, I've strongly defended Yiannopoulos in public.

In general, his enemies are my enemies. They're your enemies. 

But Yiannopoulos needs to get his personal issues resolved. If he doesn't, his ongoing implosion will greatly hurt the causes that he claims to represent.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Jerusalem: "Mentally Unstable" Muslim Stabs Good Friday Pilgrim to Death with a Kitchen Knife

The knife used in the attack

I am assuming the young woman - a British tourist - was a pilgrim, as she appears to have been heading to a Good Friday commemoration in the Old City.

The Palestinian Authority had just raised the stipend for families of Palestinian terrorists.

Here is the story and commentary from the blog, Elder of Ziyon:
From YNet:
A 23-year-old British student was killed after being stabbed multiple times in the chest in a terror attack at IDF Square on Jerusalem’s light rail on Friday afternoon.
The terrorist was arrested after a number of police officers managed to gain control over him. He was later identified as 57-year-old Jamil Tamimi from the Palestinian neighborhood of Ras al-Amud.
Magen David Adom (MDA) paramedics arrived at the scene to find the woman lying on the ground unconscious after having suffered multiple stab wounds.
The Shin Bet later reported that the terrorist attempted to commit suicide this year by swallowing a razor blade while in hospital. In 2011, he was convicted of sexually assaulting his daughter.
“This is another incident of many in which a Palestinian suffering from mental health or personal issues has chosen to carry out an attack as a way out of his problems,” the Shin Bet statement said.
A mentally ill and probably disgraced member of the "peaceful" Tamimi family wants to kill himself. What better way to rehabilitate his image and get likely killed than to murder an innocent woman in a public place?
This story is not only about a mentally ill murderer. It is yet another indictment of a Palestinian society that glorifies terrorists and turns their shame into honor.
The murder is already being called heroic by Palestine Today.
The official Wafa news agency is not yet sure whether the person arrested is the stabber, saying that a Palestinian was arrested on the pretext of being involved in a terror attack.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Didn't Know Jack Chick Was Still Alive

The above is the illustration for the Pope's official Easter greetings card for 2017, sent to Vatican staff. One might be pardoned for thinking it looks like the sort of cheesy macho buddy Jesus action portrait that a Christian evangelical comic strip artist might have drawn.

Perhaps Jack Chick.

Actually, the artist is Victor Delhez, a quasi-surrealist who came to prominence in the 1930's. A Belgian by birth, Delhez would later live in Argentina and Bolivia. He settled in Buenos Aires and became a professor there.

The illustration used on the card is taken from a set of forty that Delhez produced on theme of the Gospels. He also apparently illustrated a version of Lord Dunsany's A Dreamer's Tales.

I suspect that a few Catholics would find some of his work offensive. I actually like much of what I've seen, including the Dunsany illustrations that I've managed to track down.

But the particular woodcut, above, is pretty horrible, at least in the context of what it is supposed to represent. It deserves all the silly comments that Catholics are currently giving it on social media.

I blame this Argentinian pope for choosing it. Not so much Delhez. And certainly not Chick.

Oh, man. I wonder what brother Jack would have thought of Francis?

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

First Female Muslim Judge in US History Found Dead in Hudson - Apparent Suicide

I say "apparent suicide" because that's what it was. There were no signs of foul play, for example. Nevertheless, the cause of her death has not been confirmed.

From the New York Post:
A pioneering judge, who became the first Muslim woman in US history to serve on the bench, was found dead Wednesday — washed up on the Manhattan side of the Hudson River, sources said. 
Sheila Abdus-Salaam, 65, was discovered floating in the water near 132nd Street and Hudson Parkway at around 1:45 p.m., according to police sources. 
Witnesses had spotted her fully clothed body and called 911, cops said. 
Sources told The Post that Abdus-Salaam, who is an associate judge of the Court of Appeals, had been reported missing from her home in Harlem earlier in the day. 
Her husband later identified her body. Sources said it showed no obvious signs of trauma or injuries indicating criminality or foul play, and that her death appeared to be a suicide. 
“Justice Sheila Abdus-Salaam was a trailblazing jurist whose life in public service was in pursuit of a more fair and more just New York for all,” Gov. Cuomo wrote in a statement Wednesday night. 
“She was a pioneer,” he said. “Through her writings, her wisdom, and her unshakable moral compass, she was a force for good whose legacy will be felt for years to come. I was proud to appoint her to the state’s highest court and am deeply saddened by her passing.” 
In addition to being the country’s first Muslim female judge, Abdus-Salaam was the first ever African-American woman to be appointed to the state’s Court of Appeals. 
After receiving her degree from Columbia Law School, she began her legal career working as a staff attorney at East Brooklyn Legal Services. Abdus-Salaam rose through the state ranks before eventually being elected to the Supreme Court in 1993. 
She was then appointed to the Court of Appeals by Cuomo in 2013. Former US Attorney General Eric Holder, who went to Columbia with Abdus-Salaam, was in attendance for her historic swearing-in ceremony and described how she had “defined herself by her relentless pursuit of excellence” — while also managing to be a great dancer. 
“Sheila could boogie,” Holder joked at the time. ‘She was a witty and a great deal of fun to spend time with.” 
Abdus-Salaam went on to note how unlikely her and Holder’s professional achievements in law would have been four decades ago. 
“Who knew that we would both attain such high positions, and that you would be the first black United States attorney general, and I would be the first black woman on the New York Court of Appeals?” she told him with a big smile. 
As word of Abdus-Salaam’s death spread Wednesday, countless lawyers and judges began paying tribute to her. 
“I’m deeply saddened at having lost a dear friend and colleague, and the court has suffered a terrible blow,” Jonathan Lippman, chief judge of the state Court of Appeals from 2009 to 2015, told The Post. 
“She was a superb jurist and an even more superb human being,” he said. “I knew her for many, many years. To some degree, we grew up together in the court. I’ve known her in all her different roles in the court. It’s just so shocking. She was a very genteel, lovely lady and judge. If you ask anyone about her, people would say only the most wonderful things. That’s why it makes it even more difficult to understand.”

Monday, April 10, 2017

More on the Chemical Attack Doctor - "He was visibly upset when the execution of the hostages was called off."

Dr. Shajul Islam is now soliciting funds "to buy gas masks"

A few days ago, I reported on Dr. Shajul Islam, the Syrian-based British doctor who had been the point man for describing the recent Syrian "chemical attack" and its aftermath to the Western media. Though virtually no major news outlets had mentioned it, Dr. Islam had spent time in a British prison on charges of aiding a Jihadi group, and was subsequently barred from practicing medicine in the UK.

But Islam was now a sort of media darling, leading the campaign to urge the West to "care" and "do something" about alleged Assad atrocities in Northern Syria.

(I should correct the record here on one thing. I reported that Islam had been accused of "aiding ISIS." He was actually formerly accused of collaborating with al-Qaeda or an affiliate of al-Qaeda. Later he would be sought for questioning on the whereabouts of ISIS member "Jihadi John.")

The next day, Breitbart had an article that added some details to the story.

Islam had been accused of collaborating in the kidnapping of two Western journalists in Northern Syria by Jihadists affiliated with al-Qaeda. The charges were dropped only after the two main witnesses - the journalists - failed to appear.

Breitbart reports why they failed to appear. It turns out that one of them - British journalist John Cantile - had been kidnapped again, this time by ISIS. (He was kidnapped with U.S. journalist James Foley, who would later be beheaded in an ISIS propaganda video.) The other witness - Dutch journalist Jeroen Oerlemans - declined to testify for fear he would endanger Cantile's life.

Oerlemans would later be shot dead by ISIS fighters while covering the war in Libya.

Most ghoulish is Breitbart's reporting of Cantile's earlier testimony about encountering Dr. Islam, while being held captive.
“When he told me he was an NHS doctor, I thought it was weird,” Cantlie told the Daily Mail in 2012.
“This is a man who has taken an oath to save people and help them, and here he is walking around with a Kalashnikov and preaching Shariah law. There are not any doctors who I know that do that.
“He clearly believed in what he was doing but to follow something to that extreme is the disturbing thing. He was visibly upset when the execution [of two other hostages] was called off.”
Apparently, Dr. Islam's current stay in Syria is being funded to the tune of over £50,000, by a "charity" group - UK Action for Refugees.

Meanwhile, John Cantile is still in captivity, reportedly alive but forced to narrate and appear in ISIS propaganda videos. He has looked increasingly haggard and unhealthy and was last seen in a video that appears to have been made in the besieged city of Mosul.

On its slick website, featuring photos of brave doctors, white helmeted rescuers and smiling children holding hands, UK Action for Refugees claims that it was "founded on the simple principle of people helping people."

Meanwhile, it is supporting and funding an expat Jihadi agent, complicit in kidnapping and murder.

Outside of a few "conservative" outlets, such as Breitbart, no one in the Western media has mentioned Shajul Islam's past or challenged his veracity. But, as we all know, military action has already been taken against Assad - action that appears to have been at least partly motivated by information provided by Dr. Islam and his associates.

Just because a claim is wreathed in propaganda from evil and dishonest men doesn't mean that it's necessarily false. But it is a good indication that it may not be true.

Sunday, April 9, 2017

Muslim Terrorists Attack Two Coptic Churches During Palm Sunday Mass - 44 Dead, 126 Injured - Egyptian President Calls for State of Emergency

A palm frond lies drenched in blood, after a Muslim suicide bomber murdered at least 27 people during Palm Sunday Mass at St. George's Church in Tanta, Egypt

Today, at Palm Sunday Mass in Chicago, Catholic men, women and children held palm fronds to commemorate the entrance of our Lord into Jerusalem. Everyone was smiling and joyful in their Spring best. Easter was almost here.

But our priest suggested in his homily that when we choose to take the fronds, we "implicate" ourselves in Christ's program. The fronds indicate that we have chosen to follow Him, even, if need be, to the Cross.

A few hours before, in Egypt, a number of martyrs - our traditionalist priest called them that - followed the King of the Martyrs to the Cross and then followed Him to Heaven.

Many Christians in Egypt have complained that the government hasn't done enough to protect them. I'm sure that's true to some extent. But as the security camera video, below, shows, one of today's Muslim attackers was stopped by police at the entrance to his target, and so he detonated his bomb precisely at the security perimeter, killing 17 people. Once one has such a bomb - and it was hardly obvious on his person - it's hard to see how you can stop them from setting it off amidst innocents, even if you can effectively protect certain spaces.

Obviously, you have to stop them before they get to that point. We'll see if Egyptian president el-Sissi is any more effective at doing this now that he a friend in the White House.

From the Daily Mail:
Suicide bombers kill 44 at Palm Sunday services in Egypt 
TANTA, Egypt (AP) - Suicide bombers struck hours apart at two Coptic churches in northern Egypt, killing 44 people and turning Palm Sunday services into scenes of horror and outrage at the government that led the president to call for a three-month state of emergency. 
The Islamic State group claimed responsibility for the violence, adding to fears that extremists are shifting their focus to civilians, especially Egypt's Christian minority. 
The attacks in the northern cities of Tanta and Alexandria that also left 126 people wounded came at the start of Holy Week leading up to Easter, and just weeks before Pope Francis is due to visit. 
Pope Tawadros II, the leader of the Coptic church who will meet with Francis on April 28-29, was in the Alexandra cathedral at the time of the bombing but was unhurt, the Interior Ministry said.
It was the single deadliest day for Christians in decades and the worst since a bombing at a Cairo church in December killed 30 people.
Late Sunday night, President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi called for a three-month state of emergency. According to Egypt's constitution, parliament must vote in favor of such a declaration - a virtual certainty since it is packed with supporters of the president. It cannot exceed six months without a referendum to extend it. 
The army chief-turned-president also dispatched elite troops across the country to protect key installations and accused unidentified countries of fueling instability, saying that "Egyptians have foiled plots and efforts by countries and fascist, terrorist organizations that tried to control Egypt."
The attacks highlighted the difficulties facing el-Sissi's government in protecting Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Egypt's population.
"Where is the government?" screamed an angry Maged Saleh, who rushed to the church in the Nile Delta city of Tanta where his mother escaped the carnage. "There is no government!"
The first bomb exploded inside St. George's Church in Tanta, killing at least 27 people and wounding 78, officials said, overturning pews, shattering windows and staining the whitewashed walls with blood.
Video from inside the church broadcast by CBC TV showed people gathered around what appeared to be lifeless, bloody bodies covered with papers. Several doors had been blown off. Women wailed outside.
"After the explosion, everything became dark from the smoke," said Edmond Edward, attending Mass with his brother, Emil, who suffered head wounds and leaned on him for support at a nearby hospital.
"There was a clear lapse in security, which must be tightened from now on to save lives," he told The Associated Press. The blast appeared to be centered near the altar, he said.
Susan Mikhail, whose apartment balcony across the street has a clear view of the church and its front yard, said the explosion violently shook her building.
"Deacons were the first to run out of the church. Many of them had blood on their white robes," she told the AP. The more seriously wounded then were carried out by other survivors and taken to hospitals in private cars, she said.
Hundreds of residents gathered in the area, and church members blocked people from entering the church as police cordoned off the area.
A few hours later, a suicide bomber rushed toward St. Mark's Cathedral in the coastal city of Alexandria, the historic seat of Christendom in Egypt, killing at least 17 people and wounding 48.
CCTV images showed a man with a blue sweater tied over his shoulders approaching the main gate to St. Mark's and then being turned away by security and directed toward a metal detector. He passed a female police officer talking to another woman, and entered a metal detector before an explosion engulfed the area.
The Health Ministry said six Muslims were among the dead in Alexandria.
Pope Tawadros II had held Palm Sunday services at the cathedral and the timing of the attack indicated the bomber had sought to assassinate him.
Pope Francis marked Palm Sunday in St. Peter's Square by expressing "deep condolences to my brother, Pope Tawadros II, the Coptic church and all of the dear Egyptian nation."
Magdy George Youssef, a deacon at St. George's, said the church was almost full when the blast occurred and threw him under a pew.
"All I could think of was to find my wife, and all I could see was smoke, blood and completely charred bodies," the distraught 58-year-old said. Youssef, who suffered only an injured ear, later found his wife at home, with burns to her face.
IS said in a statement that two Egyptian suicide bombers named Abu Ishaq al Masri and Abu al Baraa al Masri carried out the church attacks and vowed to continue attacks against Christians.
"What happened is a dangerous indicator that shows how easy it is to attack a large gathering of people in different places," said researcher Ishaq Ibrahim with the Egyptian Initiative for Personal Rights. "There is a complete government failure in taking the IS threat seriously."
El-Sissi said in a statement that Sunday's attacks would only strengthen the resolve of Egyptians against "evil forces." He held an emergency meeting of the National Defense Council, which includes the prime minister, the defense and interior ministers, the speaker of parliament and top army commanders and security chiefs.
Regional police chief Brig. Gen. Hossam Elddin Khalifa was fired over the Tanta bombing, with Maj. Gen. Tarek Hassouna replacing him, state-run newspaper al-Ahram reported.
President Donald Trump tweeted that he is "so sad to hear of the terrorist attack" against the U.S. ally but added that he has "great confidence" that el-Sissi "will handle the situation properly." The two leaders met at the White House on April 3.
Grand Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, head of Egypt's Al-Azhar - the leading center of learning in Sunni Islam - also condemned the attacks, calling them a "despicable terrorist bombing that targeted the lives of innocents."
Both Israel and the Islamic Hamas movement ruling neighboring Gaza condemned the bombings as well.
An Islamic State affiliate claimed the December bombing as well as a string of killings in the northern Sinai that forced hundreds of Christians to flee to safer areas. The militants recently vowed to step up attacks against Christians, whom they regard as infidels.
Egypt has struggled to combat a wave of Islamic militancy since the 2013 military overthrow of an elected Islamist president.
The Sinai-based IS affiliate has mainly attacked police and soldiers, but has also claimed bombings including the downing of a Russian passenger jetliner in the Sinai in 2015, which killed all 224 people aboard and devastated Egypt's tourism industry.
Egypt's Copts are one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East and have long complained of discrimination and that the government does not do enough to protect them. Security at churches is routinely increased around religious holidays.
The Copts largely supported the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohammed Morsi, and incurred the wrath of many of his followers, who attacked churches and other Christian institutions.
While the Copts have stood steadfast alongside the government, an increase in attacks on Christians has tested that support.
Egyptian media had previously reported that the church in Tanta had been targeted before, with a bomb defused there in late March.
As night fell, hundreds of Christians, mostly clad in black, streamed to the church to offer their condolences. Scuffles broke out between the mourners and church volunteers guarding the church's doors as many pushed and shoved to get in.