February 17, 2008
Hello family, I am so sorry to have been away for this long. I was visiting relatives and got… detained. No harm, no foul. Things are better now. Thank you to all the emails of support I got, and if you have mailed in the past two months please be advised that my hotmail account has been shut down, so please re-send your message if you are reading this one and have mailed.
Needless to say, I am behind on my little love notes, so have some catching up to do! Also, I may have to shut down http://www.ahmedsalib.com but but but this blog and its link should stay the same. I will make an official announcement once I myself learn what I will do.
I have not read or evaluated the past 7 or 8 posts, but the headlines looked appealing.
I am resolved and have purposed in my heart a new beginning to my writing, which I have not done for over a year now. Hopefully I will be able to make the same great points with more kindness and less sarcasm.
God bless every one of you. It’s good to be back.
Charles Barkley Makes Bigoted Anti-Christian Remarks — The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission Calls for Apology
February 17, 2008
SAN DIEGO, Feb. 16 /Christian Newswire/ — “Charles Barkley revealed an unfortunate lack of understanding of the Bible and Christian morality by attacking pro-life and pro-family conservatives as ‘fake Christians,'” said Dr. Gary Cass, Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti- Defamation Commission. “Barkley rips one phrase of the Bible from its context, and then asserts that anyone who is opposed to abortion or gay marriage is a ‘fake Christian.'”
Dr. Cass continues, “We respect Barkley as an expert on basketball, but he is obviously not an expert on Christian moral theology. The Christian Anti- Defamation Commission calls on Barkley to apologize for his hateful remarks. We are hopeful that he will do the right thing.”
Former NBA great Charles Barkley made his remarks in an interview on CNN with Wolf Blitzer. The remarks have been posted on the Drudge Report. When Blitzer asked Barkley to clarify his remarks, Barkley made it clear that he did not misspeak. According to Barkley anyone who judges another person’s actions is wrong.
“For Barkley to think that Christians cannot have an opinion about matters of public policy and personal morality is astonishing,” said Cass. “Jesus forbids judging by hypocritical double standards, but he requires Christians to make just and sound judgments everyday according to biblical precepts.”
“Ironically, Barkley engaged in the very activity of judging others that he condemned in conservatives. Barkley’s words reveal an unfortunate, irrational anti- Christian bigotry.”
The Christian Anti- Defamation Commission is a non-profit organization devoted to protecting the rights of Christians to confidently live their faith. Dr. Gary Cass has degrees from Westminster Theological Seminary. He previously served as Executive Director of the Center for Reclaiming America for Christ, an outreach of Coral Ridge Ministries founded by the late Dr. D. James Kennedy.
February 17, 2008
“Allowing Sharia law in Britain is an act of tolerance for something that practices none of its own.” – IRD Religious Liberty Program Director, Faith J.H. McDonnell
WASHINGTON, Feb. 8 /Christian Newswire/ — On February 7, Archbishop of Canterbury endorsed the concept of permitting Islamic (Sharia) law in civil disputes in the United Kingdom. Rowan Williams’ comments to the BCC have drawn fire from many sources, including British Prime Minister Gordon Brown, who pointed out that British law should be based on British values.
The Institute on Religion & Democracy expressed dismay over Williams’ comments and criticized the idea of elevating a legal system that does not share British values.
Ralph Webb, Director of IRD’s Anglican Action Program, commented:
“Only a few months ago, Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams angered people on both the left and the right with his harsh, sweeping attack on American foreign policy. Now he has angered people by proposing that there should be some way of accommodating elements of Sharia law in British society.
“At a time when the Anglican Communion is in danger of fragmenting, Williams’ comments are not helpful and run the risk of alienating some Anglicans who live under Sharia law.
Faith J.H. McDonnell, IRD Religious Liberty Program Director, commented:
“Allowing Sharia law in Britain is an act of tolerance for something that practices none of its own. We’re concerned for British Muslims that have fled the intolerance of their own countries, only to find it gaining a foothold in Britain.
“Those who argue that accommodating Sharia law would be contingent upon the agreement of both parties in a dispute don’t understand that there is no individual choice in Sharia law, especially for women.
“Archbishop Williams is going in exactly the wrong direction with his comments supporting Sharia law. He should be supporting Bishop Michael Nazir-Ali who has warned against the encroachment of Islamic fundamentalism in Britain, not attempting to buy off Muslim groups with appeasements.”
The Institute on Religion and Democracy, founded in 1981, is an ecumenical alliance of U.S. Christians working to reform their churches’ social witness, in accord with biblical and historic Christian teachings, thereby contributing to the renewal of democratic society at home and abroad.
February 17, 2008
CARROLLTON, Texas, January 13 /Christian Newswire/ — Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia, says he is terribly disturbed by the increasing persecution of Christians in his homeland of India. And while it is evident that the rising tide of harassment and crimes against Christians is being carefully orchestrated by fundamentalist, nationalist religious groups, he says such behavior is not condoned by either Hinduism at large or by the vast majority of the Indian people.
“There is a lot of disturbing news coming out of India,” Dr. Yohannan lamented, “a place where Christians and followers of other faiths have lived in peace together for centuries. Today, the Christians of India are being persecuted in ways that just a few years ago would have been unthinkable.”
Photo: Dr. K.P. Yohannan, founder and president of Gospel for Asia
Dr. Yohannan cited the reports he has received in just the past few weeks:
In the state of Jharkhand, radical Hindus beat up a 14-year-old girl and her mother, dragged them from their home and forced them to bow down before a man-made idol in an effort to force the girl to recant her faith. This was in spite of the fact that the girl considered the claims of the Gospel for three years and had her parents’ permission to become a Christian.
An estimated 2,000 tribal Christians are hiding out in the forests of Orissa state for fear of their lives after being threatened by anti-Christian fanatics.
At least 60 church buildings and hundreds of Christian homes have been destroyed. As a result, many believers are sleeping on piles of hay with only the clothes they were wearing when they escaped– and temperatures are hovering around 50 degrees F (10o C).
A pastor was beaten, his head was shaved, he was paraded through the streets, forced to bow to an idol and had his home destroyed.
All of the Catholic churches in one district have been burned down or left as unusable skeletons of buildings, with all furniture and other items burned.
A 300-year-old Baptist church is said to be scheduled for attack next week, as are two villages that are 80 percent Christian.
“All of this is on top of dozens and dozens of reports over the past several months of increased persecution against Christians from across India, including the beating up of some of our seminary students and even our women missionaries,” Dr. Yohannan said.
“Just the fact that these radicals are attacking women is a tremendously low thing that is totally unthinkable in normal Indian society. So the questions must be raised: ‘Who are these radicals in the streets, who is behind this violence and lawlessness, and why are they doing what they are doing?’ ”
Dr. Yohannan laid out some answers.
“What the Christians in the West need to understand is that this recent violence is not just the result of random acts by local gangs. It is carefully planned by the leaders of a few extremely radical Hindu nationalist organizations that want to totally destroy the Church in India.
“Many of those who attack churches and Christians are not from the local village, but come from many miles away. Then they try to enlist local youths to join them, and the attack is on. But the problem is not really the local villagers, because they usually welcome our missionaries and appreciate what they are trying to do for them. Rather, it is the extremist political parties who are behind it and their street thugs who do the dirty work.”
He cited a statement by the chairman of the Catholic Bishops Conference of India that lays blame for the attacks at the feet of the radicals.
After visiting Orissa, Cardinal Telesphore Toppo presented a letter to Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in which he said the attacks against Christians were “undoubtedly premeditated” and “carried out by sectarian forces.” Other bishops have been even more outspoken, naming the radical Hindu organizations they say planned the attacks.
One GFA regional leader said the violence in Orissa is part of a deliberate plan to break down the will of the Christians, cut them off from outside assistance and then, when they are left cold, hungry and alone, force them to deny Christ.
Dr. Yohannan went on explain why the radicals are attacking the poorest Christians.
“When we hear of these attacks, it is usually against Dalit or tribal Christians,” he pointed out. “These are the Untouchables and others at the bottom of the caste system, and they have been held in slave-like conditions for more than 3,000 years. It is on the backs of these hopeless people that the upper castes have built their wealth, and their control is based on convincing the Dalits that they are sub-human, worth less than animals, and despised even by their gods.
“So when the Dalits and tribals hear the Good News that God loves them as much as any other person in the world, it is a radical message. They are responding by the thousands–and many in the upper castes are not happy at the prospect of losing their ‘slaves.’
“To keep the Dalits in bondage, the radicals raise the argument that ‘to be Indian is to be Hindu,’ and that Christians are ‘outsiders’ who want to destroy India.
“Of course, the reality is that Christianity has been in India since the Apostle Thomas brought the Gospel to South India in the first century. And our Indian believers are as loyal to their Indian homeland as any Hindu or Muslim.
“The real problem for them, of course, is that millions of Dalits and others are responding to God’s infinite love. And just as it did in New Testament days, that becomes an economic threat to some, and instills fear of change in others. And since they cannot fight God’s Word and His love through peaceful persuasion, they resort to violence.
“Our response is to pray for those who persecute us, that they, too, will know the peace of love of Jesus Christ in their hearts. I ask that all Christians earnestly pray for the missionaries, pastors and others who are suffering at this time. And pray that the government of India–and the state governments–will act to end this violence and the prejudice against the Christians that fuels it.”
Gospel for Asia is a mission organization sharing God’s love through both words and actions in the most unreached regions of the 10/40 Window. GFA native missionaries share the Good News and disciple Christians through some 30,000 worship centers in 10 Asian nations.
February 17, 2008
FT. LAUDERDALE, Florida, Jan. 9 /Christian Newswire/ — “From murder and intimidation, to the crass and the blasphemous, 2007 was a horrendous year of Christian bashing,” said Dr. Gary L. Cass, Chairman and CEO of the Christian Anti-Defamation Commission. “Anti- Christian sentiments are being fomented in the culture and are becoming more deadly and cynical,” said Cass. “Impressionable young people are being swept up in anti-Christian hysteria, aided and abetted by a greedy, a-moral entertainment industry. Mocking Christians, blaspheming their faith and ridiculing their values has become the easy way for ‘entertainers’ to shock their way to the top.”
“The Christian Anti-Defamation Commission (CADC) calls on anti-Christian politicians, Hollywood and New York media elites to stop the Christian bashing and take responsibility for the culture of hate towards Christians they have helped to create. The CADC will work aggressively to stop this dangerous and irresponsible Christian bashing in 2008.”
1.) Colorado Church Murders–“You Christians brought this on yourselves I’m coming for EVERYONE soon and I WILL be armed to the @#%$ teeth and I WILL shoot to kill. … God, I can’t wait till I can kill you people. Feel no remorse, no sense of shame, I don’t care if I live or die. …” Posted by a troubled young man, Matthew Murray, ten hours after killing two at the Arvada missionary base and two hours before killing two at a Colorado Springs church. Churches used to be considered sanctuaries, but now they are targets for the hateful and the deranged. The CADC calls on every church to be prepared to use deadly force, if necessary, to protect their congregations.
2.) Federal Hate Crimes Bill–The 2007 Federal Hate Crimes Bill which threatens religious liberties and lays the groundwork for “thought crime,” which has no place in American law and violates the concept of equal protection under the law. As has occurred in other nations, these laws pave the way for Christians to be silenced and even arrested because they believe that homosexual acts are sinful. It is totalitarian regimes which punish thoughts, not free societies. Thomas Jefferson declares that “the legitimate powers of government reach actions only, and not opinions.”
3.) Violence on San Francisco Church–In September, Christians in San Francisco spoke out against a blasphemous anti-Christian advertisement for the Folsom Street Fair, a perverted “fair” for the sadomasochistic, leather fetish community. The ad mimics the classic Christian painting of Christ at the Last Supper. In the ad, Christ and the 12 Disciples are portrayed as sexual deviants provocatively posed before a table of sex toys.
4.) Attack on Jerry Falwell–CNN reached a new low when Anderson Cooper invited Christopher Hitchens, editor of Vanity Fair Magazine, on his show the day of Jerry Falwell’s death to make critical remarks about Falwell. Hitchens made the most reprehensible and offensive remarks one can imagine against a Christian minister, Jerry Falwell, even on the day of his death. Christopher Hitchens called Falwell “a little toad … a horrible little person…an evil old man…a conscious charlatan and bully and fraud…an actual danger to democracy, to culture, to civilization.”
5.) CNN’s “God’s Warriors” and “Friends of God”–Two biased, anti-Christian documentaries were produced and aired. One by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter, Alexandra, “Friends of God” on HBO and the other by CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, “God’s Warriors.” At least they tried to act as if they wanted to be fair. Of course, they failed. Evangelicals are almost 100 million strong and very diverse but are reduced to clichéd caricatures or are portrayed as the moral equivalents of Islamic terrorists.
6.) John Edwards’s Campaign Bloggers who called Christian supporters of President Bush his “wing nut Christofascist base.” One asked, ‘What if Mary had taken Plan B after the Lord filled her with his hot, white, sticky Holy Spirit,’ to which she replied, ‘You’d have to justify your misogyny with another ancient mythology.’ They posed the thoughtful question of religious conservatives, “What don’t you lousy %#*@! +# understand about keeping your noses out of our britches, our beds and our families?”
7.) Golden Compass, the Movie–Phillip Pullman’s atheistic answer to C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series because destroying the church and killing God in the mind of every child is the best revenge. Why be damned alone when you can take a few million souls with you and get rich on the proceeds
February 17, 2008
BEL AIR, Md., Oct. 8 /Christian Newswire/ — In September of ’06, author Howie Gardner, Pastor of Bel Air Assembly of God in Maryland, composed a letter to the Muslim World league in Saudi Arabia. The letter has been revised a number of times at the suggestions of various missionaries and theologians. It can be seen in its present form at http://www.cmdialogue.com.
The following January, PrimeStar Publicity head, Helen Cook published an article about the book which went out over the Christian Newswire. The response was far greater than anticipated. Letters came in from Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. Three Bible Colleges asked permission to use the letter in their curriculum. Even the chaplaincy of the United States Pentagon responded.
Ultimately Gardner came in contact with Kamal Nawash, President of the “Free Muslim Coalition Against Terrorism” (FMCAT), in Washington D. C. Nawash invited Pastor Gardner and Evangelist Angel Berrios to a Muslim service in Anandale, Virginia and then on to address a group of clerics at a luncheon that afternoon. Gardner reported “we had a very positive and encouraging exchange.”
“We did not take the usual evangelical approach of trying to convince them that the Bible is superior to the Quran. Certainly as Evangelical Christians we believe that and it would make for an interesting dialogue on another occasion. However in this forum we have attempted to stress the concept that one can denounce terrorism with denouncing Islam. There are a number of verses in the Quran which call for Muslims to take arms against ‘infidels’ and today many Muslims understand the verses to be a call to arms against Christians and Jews with the latter seeing them as an affront against themselves. In reality though, Muhammad did not regard either Christians or Jews to be infidels, quite the contrary. Rather these verses are aimed at two groups who were contemporaries of Muhammad–the Quraishi and the Collyridians. Muhammad actually makes direct reference to the latter group twice in Surah 5. Both of these groups apparently advocated not only the worship of multiple gods but also the sacrifice of innocent human beings as part of their worship.”
Our main goal has been to convince Muslim leaders, particularly those from the Muslim World League, to declare a fatwa against school curriculum being used in Saudi Arabia, Palestine and elsewhere which encourage small children to pursue the life of a terrorist.
FMCAT posted Gardner’s letter on their web site and allowed for a free exchange between him and other Muslims as well as Christians and Jews. “Much of the response was hostile” Gardner says. But there were positive signs as well. “One Muslim woman wrote saying ‘Most of us agree with you but we do not have the courage to speak up'” he says.
Perhaps they are beginning to gain that courage though. In Saudi Arabia the Interior Ministry near the provincial capital of Al Janderea has begun organizing deprogramming classes for jihadists seeking a change of lifestyle. Their 12 step program includes art, sports and religion classes. Dr. Ahmad Hamad Jilan states “We tell them that they should give the right picture of Islam. They should not kill or bomb.” Sociologist Hameed Kahaleel notes that many of the students now have jobs, are studying in the universities and are raising families.
Still further, in Pakistan award winning director Waseem Mahmood has composed a song entitled “This is NOT Us” stressing the incompatibility between terrorism and Islam. Reportedly the song is a best-seller.
Nawash has expressed interest in inviting Evangelist Franklin Graham to Saudi Arabia to meet with Muslim clerics in a similar setting.
“Thus far the response from Christians has been slow” Gardner says. “Two denominational leaders have called me to voice their support but one of them asked not to be named as it might endanger missionaries on the field. I have received either emails or phone calls from Focus on the Family, The Martin Luther King Center, Trinity Broadcasting, John McArthur Ministries, Oral Roberts University, the offices of former Congressmen J. C. Watts, author Rick Warren’s Saddleback Church and even from Muhammad Ali Enterprises- the public relations arm of the former heavyweight champ. I should note though that NONE of these groups have given us any official endorsement as yet and both Warren and Charles Stanley have since declined their support.”
Currently Gardner, who has authored two previous books, is in the process of compiling the thoughts of local Christian and Muslim leaders on 26 different topics for a proposed third book. This one may not become a reality though as he reports “So far one Christian publisher has informed me that they have no interest in publishing a book of which 50% is written by Muslims. Stay tuned and let’s see what God will do.”
Gardner further states “We believe in the concept of a ‘Just War’ and are grateful for the courageous and necessary actions that our troops have taken in response to 9/11. However we feel that a lasting peace can never be accomplished until people are given a proper awareness of the true nature of God. And it goes without saying that God would never be pleased to see His children attacking one another.”
February 17, 2008
SAN DIEGO, October 2 /Christian Newswire/ — Advocates for Faith and Freedom filed a lawsuit today with the Federal District Court in San Diego on behalf of several employees whose constitutional right of equal access was denied by the Superior Court of San Diego when they were forced to stop using a weekly meeting place for their lunchtime Bible study.
In April 2006, Mindy Barlow, Beverly Lindahl, and Dalia R. Smith, court employees for the Superior Court, were told that their Bible study group could not meet in an empty jury room or courtroom during the lunch hour, even though other groups are allowed to use the court’s facilities. The Bible study group had been meeting since 2000 when the court initially gave them permission. Six years later, they were suddenly and arbitrarily denied use, forcing them to seek further approval. Meanwhile, the court instituted a policy requiring all individuals, groups, or organizations seeking to use court facilities to submit an application. When the Bible study participants submitted their application, the courts denied their request, stating that approval of the Bible study would violate the separation of church and state.
“The constitutional rights of these court employees cannot be ignored simply because they work for the state,” said Advocates’ Legal Counsel, Jennifer Monk. “This Bible study should be given access to court facilities in the same manner as other groups, regardless of the fact that they meet to study the Bible.”
By rejecting the court employees’ right to hold a Bible study, the San Diego Superior Court has directly violated the group members’ First Amendment rights of free speech and free exercise of religion. The lawsuit accordingly asks the Federal District Court to declare the policy implemented by the courts unconstitutional and, in doing so, to allow the Bible study to resume meeting in court facilities.
Robert Tyler, General Counsel for Advocates for Faith and Freedom commented: “It is not too surprising when government agencies misapply applicable constitutional principles, but this is the Superior Court of California – they should know better.”
Advocates’ co-counsel on the case is the American Center for Law and Justice, a constitutional legal organization based in Virginia Beach, VA.
Advocates for Faith and Freedom is a national nonprofit legal organization whose aim is to protect religious liberty in the courts. For more information, please visit http://www.faith-freedom.com.