The results of parliamentary elections in Egypt appear to indicate that the future of that nation will find it more closely aligned with the Islamist agenda. At the same time, another "moderate" Muslim nation, Turkey, seems to be moving in an increasingly radical direction.
In a decision likely to further alienate Western nations against the Iranian regime, a trial court in Iran has found Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (left) guilty of apostasy and has sentenced him to death. Prior to his arrest in 2009, Nadarkhani had led a 400-person house church movement in Iran after his conversion from Islam. The court demanded on several occasions in late September of last year that the pastor renounce his Christian faith, or face possible execution for apostasy from Islam.
After initially claiming it would not execute a minister for converting from Islam to Christianity, the Iranian government is — in the words of one analyst — engaging in a “variety of tactics in an effort to neutralize a situation that has called into question its flaunted commitment to religious freedom.”
For Zubaida Bibi, a Christian woman working in a garment factory in the Korangi Industrial Area of Karachi, Pakistan, the workday on October 12 at Crescent Enterprises probably began like most. Her job as a custodian helped make it possible for her to care for her children. But before her shift was over, a Muslim worker at the factory attempted to rape her, and then slit her throat, leaving four orphans without a mother to care for them. And the case of Zubaida Bibi is far from unique: In Pakistan, the phenomena of Islamic men raping Christian women is becoming more common.
After months of threatening the execution of Youcef Nadarkhani (left), the Iranian government is backing away from putting the Christian pastor to death, and is claiming that news stories of the plan to execute him were “unsubstantiated.”
While the world is distracted by the spectacle of the assassination of Osama bin Laden, what remains unchanged in the ongoing Jihad is the brutal persecution of Christians in Pakistan and throughout the Muslim world. While the death of Osama is being greeted throughout the West with celebration, the attempt by Jihadist thugs in Pakistan to murder a Christian pastor and his family is being ignored.
A further sign of what America’s “victory” in Iraq truly means was witnessed in a brutal incident of mass murder in the city of Tikrit. The latest 56 violent deaths in a nation which has witnessed over 100,000 such civilian deaths since 2003 may be the latest signal that the carnage in Iraq is far from at an end.
The latest victim of Jihadist violence in Pakistan is the man who was the only Christian serving in that nation’s government. Until his murder on March 2, Shahbaz Bhatti was Pakistan’s Minorities Minister; when he accepted that office in 2008 he said that he was doing so for the sake of the “oppressed, down-trodden and marginalized” of Pakistan. Now he has given his life while fulfilling that responsibility.
Even as Pakistan’s Prime Minister, Yousaf Raza Gilani (picture, left), was declaring his nation’s harsh blasphemy laws to be “categorically excluded” from any possibility of reform, those very laws were allegedly being used once again to persecute a Christian woman for the sake of private gain.
The campaign in Pakistan against Parliamentarian Sherry Rehman is emphasizing the same brutal aspect of Islamic law which was written in blood at the time of the assassination of Governor Salman Taseer: Any politician who opposes the imposition of the death penalty for blasphemy has "proven" that they too are guilty of blasphemy.