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Copts Celebrate Easter Outdoors Because Muslims Forbid Church Building
By Coptic Solidarity

Due to the difficulties Egypt’s Coptic Christians experience in trying to build—or even repair—churches in their homeland, some end up meeting in Coptic homes to worship (and often are attacked for it), while others worship out in the open.

 

 

 

Islamic State Escapees in Iraq Describe Systematic Rape
By World Affairs Journal

The extremist group Islamic State (also known as ISIS) has carried out systematic rape and other sexual violence against Yezidi women and girls in northern Iraq. Human Rights Watch conducted research in the town of Dohuk in January and February 2015, including interviewing 20 women and girls who escaped from ISIS, and reviewing ISIS statements about the subject.

Why Pope Francis Was Right to Call the Armenian Massacres ‘Genocide’
By Lela Gilbert – Catholic Herald

A century after the genocide began, Turkey still refuses to accept the truth. Yet for the sake of today’s persecuted Christians, the past must not be forgotten

 

In March last year reports emerged of a nightmare unfolding in the Armenian town of Kassab in northern Syria. A horde of al-Qaeda affiliated terrorists descended on the city, forcing the Christian residents out of their ancestral homes. It was widely reported that the Turkish army had helped them or, at best, had turned a blind eye.

The Sword of Damocles That Hangs over Copts in Egypt
By Madeleine Nader, Nader Shukry - Watani

It is not for a shortage of reasons that Copts in Egypt are victims of attacks by fanatic Muslims. Even if the most notorious is their building a church or a community centre, there exists a plethora of grievances from which Copts suffer on account of their being Christian and for which they face outright discrimination and, frequently, assault. Especially in rural areas, personal disputes may escalate into fights that involve the entire Muslim and Coptic communities in villages and, Copts being more often than not peaceful and non-aggressive, end up incurring the worst damages. Watani has for years reported on such incidents. Something as personal as a romance between a Muslim woman and a Christian man has in countless cases been reason for a spree of torching and looting of the homes of all the Christians in a given village.

European Parliament Votes to Call 1915 Armenian Killings Genocide
By Reuters

The European Parliament backed a motion on Wednesday calling the massacre a century ago of up to 1.5 million Armenians a genocide, days after Pope Francis used the same term.

 


‘Complete Implementation of Sharia,’ Pledges Bassem Khafagi in Presidential Campaign in Egypt

Bassem Khafagi, Former Community Relations Director of Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and A Founder of Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA) – Who In 2003 Was Convicted In U.S. and Deported – Says In His Presidential Campaign in Egypt: I Pledge To 'Complete Implementation of Islamic Law'

In statements televised on March 12, 2012 on the Egyptian Al-Nas TV, Egyptian presidential candidate Bassem Khafagi said: "[A]s a Muslim Egyptian, I am convinced of [the need to] complete the implementation of Islamic law in Egypt. I do not hide this truth in any way, because it is in keeping with the inclination of the Egyptian people." He added, "As president, I will personally assist in the completion of the correct implementation of the shari'a, by consulting the experts [in Islamic law]."

Khafagi was sentenced in September 2003 in the U.S. to 10 months in prison and deported to Egypt, after pleading guilty to two counts of bank fraud and one count of visa fraud. He had been charged with funneling money to promote terrorist activities through the Islamic Assembly of North America (IANA). At the time of his arrest, Khafagi was also community affairs director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR).

According to the FBI, Khafagi was a founding member and former head of the IANA. Federal prosecutors said that the group's objective was the "dissemination of radical Islamic ideology, the purpose of which was indoctrination, recruitment of members and the instigation of acts of violence and terrorism." Federal investigators said the IANA has funneled money to activities supporting terrorism and has published material advocating suicide attacks on the United States. The IANA said it was formed to promote Islam.

Khafagi was one of four former or current students at the University of Idaho at Moscow, ID and at Washington State University at Pullman, WA who were arrested in 2003 during an investigation of a suspected terrorist-related network in the Moscow-Pullman area.

According to school records, Khafagi earned a master's degree in civil engineering in August 1988 at the University of Idaho. After working as a teaching assistant and taking postgraduate classes there, he enrolled at Michigan State University, earning a doctorate in civil engineering in 1993. He later lived in Ann Arbor, Mich., operating a business called International Media Group from his home, court documents showed; according to the documents, it was not clear what kind of business it was.

Following are excerpts from statements by Egyptian presidential candidate Khafagi that aired on Al-Nas TV on March 7, 2012: To view this clip on MEMRI TV, visit http://www.memritv.org/clip/en/3356.htm

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MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 4571—Egypt

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