Raymond Ibrahim: Death to Churches Under Islam: A Study of the Coptic Church

I recently had a 6,000 word essay on the plight of the Coptic Church — both past and present — as a paradigm of the plight of all churches under Islam, published on the Inquisitr (via RaymondIbrahim.com) in two parts. Part I can be read here, and Part II can be read here. The introduction of Part I follows:

Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack. Unlike Muslim attacks on Christians, which are regularly confused with a myriad of social factors, the ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians””peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.

To understand the nature of this perennial hostility, one must first examine Muslim doctrines concerning Christian churches; then look at how these teachings have manifested themselves in reality over the course of centuries; and finally look at how modern day attacks on Christian churches mirror the attacks of history, often in identical patterns. The continuity is undeniable.

Because tracing and documenting the treatment of churches across the thousands of miles of formerly Christian lands conquered by Islam is well beyond the purview of this study, a paradigm is needed. Accordingly, an examination of the treatment of Christian churches in Egypt suffices as a model for understanding the fate churches under Islamic dominion. Indeed, as one of the oldest and largest Muslim nations, with one of the oldest and largest Christian populations, Egypt is the ultimate paragon for understanding all aspects of Christianity under Islam, both past and present. [For a complete survey of the fate of Christians and their churches throughout the entire Muslim world, both past and present, see author’s new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians.]

Muslim Doctrine Concerning Churches

Sharia law is draconian if not hostile to Christian worship. Consider the words of some of Islam’s most authoritative and classic jurists, the same ones revered today by Egypt’s Salafis. According to Ibn Qayyim author of the multivolume Rules for the Dhimmis, it is “obligatory” to destroy or convert into a mosque “every church” both old and new that exists on lands that were taken by Muslims through force, for they “breed corruption.” Even if Muslims are not sure whether one of “these things [churches] is old [pre-conquest] or new, it is better to err on the side of caution, treat it as new, and demolition it.”

Likewise, Ibn Taymiyya confirms that “the ulema of the Muslims from all four schools of law””Hanafi, Shafi”˜i, Maliki, Hanbali, and others, including al-Thawri, al-Layth, all the way back to the companions and the followers””are all agreed that if the imam destroys every church in lands taken by force, such as Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Syria “¦ this would not be deemed unjust of him,” adding that, if Christians resist, “they forfeit their covenant, their lives, and their possessions.” Elsewhere he writes, “Wherever Muslims live and have mosques, it is impermissible for any sign of infidelity to be present, churches or otherwise.”

Echoing the words of the jurists that the church is “worse than bars and brothels” and “houses of torment and fire,” in August 2009, Dar al-Ifta, an Al Azhar affiliate, issued a fatwa likening the building of a church to “a nightclub, a gambling casino, or building a barn for rearing pigs, cats or dogs.” In July 2012, Dr. Yassir al-Burhami, a prominent figure in Egypt’s Salafi movement, issued a fatwa forbidding Muslim taxi-drivers and bus-drivers from transporting Coptic Christian priests to their churches, which he depicted as “more forbidden than taking someone to a liquor bar.”…

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Comments

  1. says

    Have our government make up a list of sanctions — both economic and civil —– that will be imposed should these large-scale attacks against Christianity other faiths continue. Have these demands relayed at the diplomatic level first and then, if the assaults continue, have them delivered publicly in a big way in the international arena.

    The following two paragraphs refer to historic protocol about what is mandated for infidel lands taken after a war of Muslim conquest. These laws speaking to post-conquest Muslim practices **therefore don’t apply** to what should be the standards of behaviour where multiple religions have been living together for aeons. These countries are NOT IN A POST-CONQUEST situation. I’d talk to the government, remind them of this and then invite the clerics to a private audience that this is NOT a conquest situation and they’re in the uncomfortable spot of putting up w/the status quo.
    ___________________________________________________________________

    Sharia law is draconian if not hostile to Christian worship. Consider the words of some of Islam’s most authoritative and classic jurists, the same ones revered today by Egypt’s Salafis. According to Ibn Qayyim author of the multivolume Rules for the Dhimmis, it is “obligatory” to destroy or convert into a mosque “every church” both old and new that exists on lands that were taken by Muslims through force, for they “breed corruption.” Even if Muslims are not sure whether one of “these things [churches] is old [pre-conquest] or new, it is better to err on the side of caution, treat it as new, and demolition it.”

    Likewise, Ibn Taymiyya confirms that “the ulema of the Muslims from all four schools of law”Hanafi, Shafi”i, Maliki, Hanbali, and others, including al-Thawri, al-Layth, all the way back to the companions and the followers”are all agreed that if the imam destroys every church in lands taken by force, such as Egypt, Sudan, Iraq, Syria … this would not be deemed unjust of him,” adding that, if Christians resist, “they forfeit their covenant, their lives, and their possessions.” Elsewhere he writes, “Wherever Muslims live and have mosques, it is impermissible for any sign of infidelity to be present, churches or otherwise.”

  2. says

    “Fight (fight to kill) those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth (Islam) even the People of the Book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” 9:29

    Tafsir ibn Kathir:
    “with willing submission in defeat and subservience and feel themselves subdued, disgraced, humiliated and belittled” (in return for letting People of the Book live)”

    and in Jalaluddin Suyuti:

    “this is the basis for accepting Jizya from the People of the Book, a state of abasement.

    Al-Maghira told Rustam ‘I call you to Islam or else you must pay the jizya while you are in a state of abasement.’ He said ‘What does a state of abasement mean?’ He replied ‘You pay it while you are standing & I am sitting and the whip is hanging over your head.’ ”

    More ibn Kathir:

    “until they pay the Jizya” means that this is done if they don’t convert to Islam; “with submission” means that they are forced to pay and should be downcast…reviled, disgraced & debased…the People of the Book are despicable, lowly & rebellious.”

    The Christians are despicable, lowly and rebellious and their status has to be brought home to them.

    They are the worst of creatures. Guilty of shirk, polytheists who say Allah has a Son.
    Corrupter of scripture. The real Jesus was a Muslim and came to proclaim Muhammad: “Jesus, the son of Mary, said, “O children of Israel, indeed I am the messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad (Mohamad)” (61:6)

    “The religion before Allah is Islam. (3:19) He knows no other.

    “Whosoever desires any other religion than Islam never will it be accepted of him and he will be a loser in the hereafter.” (3:85)

    Contrary to the famous bumper sticker, co-existence is un-Islamic. Just as Jews & Christians are not to be taken as friends or protectors, lest you be apostate, the doctrine of al wala wal baraa obligates loyalty to Muslims and hate and enmity for unbelievers. Hate and enmity.

  3. says

    I sent my parish priest the link for this article.

    Nothing like shock treatment. Especially as this one meticulously and with scholarly references shows how what is happening *now* is exactly parallel to what has been done in the past, and what is taught in the Islamic texts.

    I encourage everyone else here who is a practising Christian to do the same: send this to your vicar/ rector/ pastor/ minister/ whoever’s in charge.

    If you are not a Christian, but have friends/ colleagues/ relatives who are: send it to *them* and tell them to circulate it amongst their co-religionists, and their church leadership.

    And when Mr Ibrahim writes another harrowing article, or we get word from the church in pakistan or the church in Syria: circulate *those*, too.

    Spread the word. Raise the alarm.

    “Fear, Fire, Foes! Awake!”

  4. says

    Just to cheer people up a tiny bit.

    Here in Australia, Barnabas Fund managed to gather ten thousand five hundred signatures to their ‘Proclaim Freedom’ petition calling upon the government to *do something* on behalf of persecuted Christians. I am happy to report that mine and those of other people I know, are among them.

    One of our Federal MPs has stepped up to present the petition to Parliament in May.

    The good thing is that this will happen well ahead of our upcoming Federal election. Think of it as a litmus test.

    All Aussie jihadwatchers should ask their MPs to pay attention to this petition; and, moreover, *watch* how your MP reacts to it, when it is presented. Every candidate needs to be confronted with the fact of the ubiquitous, gross and usually condoned-by-authority human rights violations perpetrated by Muslims against non-Muslims in every Islamic country …and asked what action they think Australia should take.

  5. says

    If I’ve called for the U.S. and international community to immediately slap SANCTIONS on Egypt and any other countries that are having their Islamist groups pulling these actions, that should be seen as a condemnation of these attacks. Not an endorsement or looking away. Sheesh. Keep up the pathetic disinformation. No lawyer would understand my demand to be ineffective or sucking up to Islamists.

    **In case anyone has any doubt, my post was not about the Islamic conquests, as suggested by the dissimulating dhimmiwhit! Gosh, the gall you display in your attempts to distort my thinking is startling.**

    Reverse engineering my sentences and portraying my POV as condoning Islamism is you trying to give yourself credibility while undermining mine. Portraying my determination to try to internationally shape Islamist government’s behaviour by LEGALLY and ECONOMICALLY attacking Islamist terrorism the moment these governments permit such social terrorism to begin to happen on a widescale is idiotic. So WHAT if these infidel communities have lived under Muslim strictures for centuries? They living under those particular medieval strictures NOW. I haven’t read of any modern day country where the jizyah is being demanded to be paid. Let’s just check, you know to be sure I’m not lying on behalf of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt.
    __________________________________
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jizya

    Can’t find any mention anywhere that jizya is still being demanded of Christians, etc. in Egypt in the present day.
    __________________________________

    Why hasn’t anyone condemned dumbledoresarmy post per the Australian petiton condemning Christian persecution? The idea is similar but my concept actually hits these Islamist countries where it counts. My post calls for immediate punitive actions to be taken. It’s not just words to embarrass the Egyptian government.
    __________________________________

    ((((dumbledoresarmy | May 1, 2013 11:23 PM | Reply
    Just to cheer people up a tiny bit.

    Here in Australia, Barnabas Fund managed to gather ten thousand five hundred signatures to their ‘Proclaim Freedom’ petition calling upon the government to *do something* on behalf of persecuted Christians. I am happy to report that mine and those of other people I know, are among them.))))

  6. says

    And perhaps because they’ve been doing their homework and rediscovering their history, and they don’t intend to go the way of the Buddhists of the Silk Road (Central Asia) or of Afghanistan or the Swat Valley or large chunks of India, and be butchered wholesale or else force-‘converted’ to Islam.

    They’re saying “Here we stand and we are going to FIGHT”.

  7. says

    “Americana” wrote:

    The following two paragraphs refer to historic protocol about what is mandated for infidel lands taken after a war of Muslim conquest. These laws speaking to post-conquest Muslim practices **therefore don’t apply** to what should be the standards of behaviour where multiple religions have been living together for aeons. These countries are NOT IN A POST-CONQUEST situation. I’d talk to the government, remind them of this and then invite the clerics to a private audience that this is NOT a conquest situation and they’re in the uncomfortable spot of putting up w/the status quo.
    ……………………………………..

    *Absolute falsehood* from “Americana”.

    Egypt was conquered by the Muslim horde. That this was in the 7th century makes no difference. There is no time-limit on Muslim oppression and abuse of a conquered population.

    The state of dhimmis in Dar-al-Islam has always waxed and waned, depending on how “tolerant” the ruler is, and how crazed the Muslim-mob-in-the-street.

    But no Muslim state has *ever* treated its Infidel population equally.

    The situation in Egypt is *not* “multiple religions…living together for aeons”, but dhimmi Infidels living under Muslim oppression. This has been the state of Egypt for *almost 1400 years*.

    The idea that “Americana” is trying to sell”that we are going to ‘catch out’ the Imams on Islamic terms”is just ludicrous. And her lauding of the “status quo” is grim, as well. Dhimmis were oppressed and murdered under Mubarak, as well”just not on the terrible, growing scale that we are seeing in the wake of the “Arab Spring” and the increasing Islamization of Egypt under the Muslim Brotherhood.

    Another very troubling point”note that “Americana” has no condemnation of the terrible oppression of dhimmis under Muslim conquest”nor does she appear to have any issues with the grisly Islamic conquests themselves.

    Remember, Islamic conquest is not simply a thing of the past. There are several places facing possible immanent Muslim conquest, including Nigeria and South Sudan. Note what “Americana” is so sanguine about”the “permissible” horrors awaiting them. *Ugh*.

  8. says

    “Americana” wrote:

    I haven’t read of any modern day country where the jizyah is being demanded to be paid…

    Can’t find any mention anywhere that jizya is still being demanded of Christians, etc. in Egypt in the present day.
    ……………………………………………….

    Apparently “Americana” has missed this fine fellow, who is a Cleric at influential Al Azhar:

    Egyptian Muslim cleric: “If Christians knew what the jizya means, they would demand it themselves”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/03/egyptian-muslim-cleric-if-christians-knew-what-the-jizya-means-they-would-demand-it-themselves.html

    “Al Azhar Scholar: Christian Copts Will Pay Jizya”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/03/al-azhar-scholar-christian-copts-will-pay-jizya.html

    As well as this story:

    “#MyJihad in Egypt: Muslim group threatens Christians, tells them to pay jizya”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2013/01/myjihad-in-egypt-muslim-group-threatens-christians-tells-them-to-pay-jizya.html

    And this, from nearby Syria:

    “Syrian rebels: Christians can only live in post-Assad Syria if they pay the jizya”

    http://www.jihadwatch.org/2012/12/syrian-rebel-christians-can-only-live-in-post-assad-syria-if-they-pay-the-jizya.html

    There are many similar stories. Egypt has not formally reinstated the Jizya”but then, they are still consolidating their power in the wake of the Muslim Brotherhood win.

    More:

    Why hasn’t anyone condemned dumbledoresarmy post per the Australian petiton condemning Christian persecution?
    ………………………………………………………..

    **Grotesque**. Condemning Egypt’s treatment of the Copts is just right”and this petition noted by Dumbledore’s Army is a fine start.

    The West needs to follow this with our pulling of all foreign aid”or, at the least, making it contingent on Egypt ceasing the persecution.