Beyond the Cusp

July 9, 2017

Islamic Intents: Israel, India, Nigeria, Europe, United States and Beyond

 

Islam is directed by the Medina Quran according to all the scholars mainly because that is what is taught in Cairo in the Al-Azhar University, and what is taught there will be taught throughout Islam. Here are a few select verses from the Quran as written by Muhammad well after his disgrace of being chased from Mecca where his preaching led to his banishment. In Medina, Muhammad started anew as he became a warlord and fashioned the new writings of the Quran to make all that his new life would demand, would be also in the name of Allah and further himself as the ruler and leader of the Muslims. They would soon follow these teachings and break out of the Arabic Peninsula and following his words of conquest. spreading across the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) and on into Europe in Spain, into France where in the battle of Tours his forces were finally defeated and to the gates of Vienna twice only to be spurned and sent back to Istanbul (formerly Constantinople). So, now for the verses which drive Islam today, not the peaceful ones which they spout to gullible Westerners who gobble whatever they are told up unverified and do no investigation themselves or they know the Quran and care little for what their Islam is the religion of peace and quotes of excepts of the Mecca Quran, the abrogated verses used only as Taqiyya.

Quranic verse 8:39
وَقَاتِلُوهُمْ حَتَّىٰ لَا تَكُونَ فِتْنَةٌ وَيَكُونَ الدِّينُ كُلُّهُ لِلَّهِ فَإِنِ انتَهَوْا فَإِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ بَصِ
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: Fight against them until there is no more persecution—and devotion will be entirely to Allah. But if they desist, then surely Allah is All-Seeing of what they do.

Quranic verse 9:5
فَإِذَا انسَلَخَ الْأَشْهُرُ الْحُرُمُ فَاقْتُلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ حَيْثُ وَجَدتُّمُوهُمْ وَخُذُوهُمْ وَاحْصُرُوهُمْ وَاقْعُدُوا لَهُمْ كُلَّ مَرْصَدٍ فَإِن تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَخَلُّوا سَبِيلَهُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِي
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: But once the Sacred Months have passed, kill the polytheists ˹who violated their treaties˺ wherever you find them, capture them, besiege them, and lie in wait for them on every way. But if they repent, perform prayers, and pay alms-tax, then set them free. Indeed, Allah is All-Forgiving, Most Merciful.

Quranic verse 9:14
قَاتِلُوهُمْ يُعَذِّبْهُمُ اللَّهُ بِأَيْدِيكُمْ وَيُخْزِهِمْ وَيَنصُرْكُمْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَيَشْفِ صُدُورَ قَوْمٍ مُّؤْمِنِينَ
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: ˹So˺ fight them and Allah will punish them at your hands, put them to shame, help you overcome them, and soothe the hearts of the believers.

Quranic verse 47:4
فَإِذَا لَقِيتُمُ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُوا فَضَرْبَ الرِّقَابِ حَتَّىٰ إِذَا أَثْخَنتُمُوهُمْ فَشُدُّوا الْوَثَاقَ فَإِمَّا مَنًّا بَعْدُ وَإِمَّا فِدَاءً حَتَّىٰ تَضَعَ الْحَرْبُ أَوْزَارَهَا ذَٰلِكَ وَلَوْ يَشَاءُ اللَّهُ لَانتَصَرَ مِنْهُمْ وَلَٰكِن لِّيَبْلُوَ بَعْضَكُم بِبَعْضٍ وَالَّذِينَ قُتِلُوا فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ فَلَن يُضِلَّ أَعْمَالَهُ
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: So when you meet the disbelievers ˹in battle˺, strike ˹their˺ necks until you have thoroughly subdued them, then bind them firmly. Later ˹free them either as˺ an act of grace or by ransom until the war comes to an end. So will it be. Had Allah willed, He ˹Himself˺ could have inflicted punishment on them. But He does ˹this only to˺ test some of you by means of others. And those who are martyred in the cause of Allah, He will never render their deeds void.

Quranic verse 61:4
إِنَّ اللَّهَ يُحِبُّ الَّذِينَ يُقَاتِلُونَ فِي سَبِيلِهِ صَفًّا كَأَنَّهُم بُنْيَانٌ مَّرْصُوصٌ
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: Surely Allah loves those who fight in His cause in ˹solid˺ ranks as if they were one concrete structure.

Quranic verse 61:9
هُوَ الَّذِي أَرْسَلَ رَسُولَهُ بِالْهُدَىٰ وَدِينِ الْحَقِّ لِيُظْهِرَهُ عَلَى الدِّينِ كُلِّهِ وَلَوْ كَرِهَ الْمُشْرِكُو
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: He is the One Who has sent His Messenger with ˹true˺ guidance and the religion of truth, making it prevail over all others, even to the dismay of the polytheists.

Quranic verse 66:9
يَا أَيُّهَا النَّبِيُّ جَاهِدِ الْكُفَّارَ وَالْمُنَافِقِينَ وَاغْلُظْ عَلَيْهِمْ وَمَأْوَاهُمْ جَهَنَّمُ وَبِئْسَ الْمَصِي
The Clear Quran, Dr. Mustafa Khattab: O Prophet! Struggle against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be firm with them. Hell will be their home. What an evil destination!

 

The Quran contains at least one-hundred-nine verses that call Muslims to war with nonbelievers for the sake of Islamic rule. We will not suffer to list all of them and hope our brief sampling will suffice. If you wish them all, then our advice is to read the entire Quran and Hadiths for yourself and remember that there were the Mecca verses of coexistence and peace, which were followed and abrogated by those written in Medina. We can offer a short article we wrote describing this titled “<href=http://wp.me/pIou8-3B target=blank>Which Quran, Mecca or Medina?” but also advise this page as in the comments there are numerous links to actual Quranic texts with some in chronological order and others divided by subject matter or which city, Mecca or Medina, in which they were written.

 

This is the face of Islam that many people all over the globe face daily as the majority of wars are fought all along the borders of Islam, everywhere the Muslims reside. These wars are being conducted from Mindanao in the Philippines, where the Maute group also known as the Islamic State of Lanao, through the most obvious, which is Israel where Hezballah, Hamas, Islamic Jihad and the Palestinian Liberation Organization which calls itself the Palestinian Authority to Palestine depending on with whom they are dealing, and continuing on onto the Horn of Africa and to Nigeria where Boko Haram is attempting to destroy the Christian and Animists and take over the government and then they will move to the neighboring states where they already are disrupting the societies of Mali, Cameroon, Burkina and the other nations in the region.

 

Map of Nigeria with Africa

Map of Nigeria with Africa

 

Nigeria has been one of the regions that have not received the media it unfortunately should, considering the level of the violence committed by the terror group Boko Haram. We all remember possibly Chibok schoolgirls kidnapping. On the night of April 14–15, 2014, Boko Haram invaded the Government Secondary School in the town of Chibok in the Borno State, Nigeria and kidnapped two-hundred-seventy-six young women. They raided the school dressed and pretending to be guards taking the young women away in trucks, possibly into the Konduga area of the Sambisa Forest where Boko Haram were known to have fortified camps. Some of the young women, more like teenaged girls, managed to escape over time and some were released. It was reported by one of the young women who escaped that six of the kidnapped students had died. A large number were forced into marriages after forcibly being converted to Islam, almost all of the girls were Christians, with a number suspected of being moved to neighboring countries, largely Cameroon and Chad where Boko Haram has secure camps. A video was released on May 5, 2014, in which Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau took responsibility for the girls’ kidnapping and further stated, “Allah instructed me to sell them…I will carry out his instructions.” As well as additionally stating, “Slavery is allowed in my religion, and I shall capture people and make them slaves.” The Royal Air Force special operations division offered to launch an attempted rescue but the Nigerian government refused permission. First Lady Michelle Obama holds a sign with the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag, posted to her official Twitter account, helping to spread the awareness of the kidnapping. Some wonder if perhaps the United States might have offered a modicum more assistance considering their intelligence capabilities, satellite world coverage and the finest military on the planet, but we all do what we are willing to do and get as involved as we believe required.

 

Michelle Obama holds a sign with the #BringBackOurGirls hash tag

 

A joint U.S.-Israel project, which modified the Beechcraft C-12 Huron aircraft for electronic warfare and reconnaissance, was being used and “may prove decisive in finding the girls,” according to one source. The other important take away from this one horrific incident is that it took this level of terror from Boko Haram for Nigeria to even break the level for international news coverage. This has not been the sole time that women and young girls have been kidnapped by Boko Haram and is far from the only attack. According to the The Christian Post quoting a report from the youth wing of the Christian Association of Nigeria, “At least 900 Christian churches have been destroyed at the hands of Boko Haram in northern Nigeria, as part of the Islamic radical group’s campaign to drive out all Christians from the north.” Their attacks have included raiding Christian churches during services and barring the exits then setting the building on fire shooting anyone attempting to escape in any manner. Some of the worst of such attacks have taken place on Christmas Eve and Easter Sunday. Boko Haram has also raided villages shooting as many people as possible and leveling as much destruction as possible in a lightning attack where shooting and firebombings are the norm. Their entire methodology is to spread fear and terror hoping to force the Christians, according to the experts, from the northern areas of Nigeria such as Borno, Yobe, Bquchi, Yobe, Jigawa, Gombe, Kano, Katsina and others in that region. We unfortunately cannot agree with the experts as their desire in Nigeria is little different than it has been in Israel; the Palestinian Areas where close to ninety-percent of Christians that have been driven out of Bethlehem, Gaza and the rest of the areas under their control, in Lebanon where over half the Christian population has fled the country, and the remainder of the MENA nations.

 

What is being permitted in Nigeria and across the MENA area as well as in the South Sudan, the Balkans, the areas of Kenya and Ethiopia closest to the Horn of Africa and closest to Somalia and Eretria, with the Coptic Christians in Egypt who are also being targeted by Libyan terrorist gangs now, which Egypt, to the credit of President Sisi, has struck at for their attacks, and soon to come to many localities throughout Europe. We believe that we can promise that once these type of events happen in European capitals with the regularity that they have to our friends in Nigeria, then those attacks will make the news. Unfortunately, attacks in northern Africa, which includes Nigeria, and Israel are not considered newsworthy. Why that is we will leave up to our readers to figure out, we’re too busy here complaining often about Israel being ignored and have also not been as up on things in Africa as perhaps we should. May we take this opportunity to our readership in the MENA area and have them perhaps use our mail-to (in the right column) feature and send us news and links from time to time and we will try our best to incorporate some as we are able. Thank you ahead of time.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

Advertisements

July 6, 2017

Trump Said Go Slow, not Stop Altogether

 

Let us start with a direct Trump quote on the whole building in Judea and Samaria, particularly in Area C which rightfully all but belongs to Israel according to the Oslo Accords. President Trump stated, “I would like you to hold back on settlements for a little bit.” This was reported back on February 15 2017, and included the advice to “wait for a deal” and since that statement there have been some earth-shaking developments which have revealed truths putting any hope for a deal completely torn to shreds. But for the sake of clarity, let us review what has gone down since Netanyahu had that, which was for me, upsetting little discourse before the White House press corps and the world. So, let us begin.

 

There was the wonderful virtual stomach-wrenching adoration affair soon after with President Trump speaking of promises and other great and wonderful results which were to come from his meeting with Mahmoud Abbas. Then there was the statement by Abbas where he blatantly lied stating, “Mr. President, I affirm to you that we are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace.” Abbas claimed “And we are endeavoring to bring about security, freedom and peace for our children to live like the other children in the world, along with the Israeli children in peace, freedom and security.” Netanyahu’s reactions came upon President Trump’s visit to our region after his historic meetings in Saudi Arabia. He took the opportunity to show President Trump evidence, which revealed the lie completely and compellingly, likely using video materials similar to those we have included below, with each starting with Mahmoud Abbas lying to the President of the United States’ face. (In these videos, there are some mistranslations as they report them as saying Zionists when the word heard is “Yahud” which translates to “Jew”). Reports came after his meeting with President Trump and presenting him with information his own advisors should have had the duty to inform him about. The fact that it took Netanyahu to show President Trump the truth that put to lie his statement affirming that they “are raising our youth, our children, our grandchildren on a culture of peace,” is frightening as it shows that President Trump’s advisors are clueless on the entire truth of the conflict involving Israel and the Arab world. This was proven further when even after being schooled on Abbas lying; President Trump left his Bethlehem meeting with Abbas accepting his promise that they would no longer pay terrorists salaries.

 

 

Subsequent to his return to Washington D.C. Secretary of State Tillerman told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, “They have changed that policy, and their intent is to cease the payments to the families of those who have committed murder or violence against others. We have been very clear with them that this is simply not acceptable to us.” This was reported on 20 Sivan 5777 or June 14, 2017. I make this date so important because this was in the morning of that date, and then everybody had lunch, and then there was the afternoon. Then, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson before the House Foreign Affairs Committee stated that the State Department had “changed their policy” on accepting that Abbas and the Palestinian Authority had certainly ceased payments to terrorists in Israeli prisons and families of terrorists and that the United States is in the middle of an “active discussion” with Ramallah on the issue. So during one day in hearing Secretary of State Tillerman had gone through a metamorphosis from telling that assurances were “given to me during the President’s visit to Bethlehem.” He then went on to further claim that he had certain “window of patience” on the matter but that if it takes too long he “will become disinterested.”

 

The entire obvious confusion and double-talking by the Secretary of State could be cleared for all if they would simply understand the report from the Palestinian Authority Prisoners’ Affairs Commissioner Essa Qaraka who said in a statement this week that payments to convicted terrorists and their families, and those of “martyrs” (terrorists killed while attacking Israelis) will certainly continue, because “almost every other household among the Palestinian people is the family of a prisoner or martyr.” So, their claim is that terrorism is so wide-spread and pervasive in the Palestinian population that virtually if not every family is receiving stipends tied to their relative ability to have murdered Israelis. Some families, it has been proudly reported, are receiving multiple stipends as more than one member had murdered Israelis in terror attacks and that the economy of the Palestinian Authority is based on murdering Israelis and that the majority of the monies provided by the United States, Europe, the United Nations and the entire world go to educating the children to murder Israelis, preferably Jews, and the remainder goes to stipends as payment for such murders with the remainder going into the pockets of Abbas and his cronies.

 

Now, I am sure there are those confused by Secretary Tillerman and other confused somewhat about the Palestinian Authority and what they intend truly to do. Let us start with the Palestinian Authority, as that is the easier of the two. The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization despite claims that it is an elected body. It is the elected body which resembles very closely the elected leadership of the PLO, a terror group, and the Fatah leadership, whose party chairman is Abbas. Abbas heads the PLO and is the president of the Palestinian Authority. Mahmoud Abbas also is the President of Palestine which technically replaced the Palestinian Authority which was disbanded by Abbas on January 3, 2013. On that date, the Palestinian Authority from the office of President Mahmoud Abbas issuing the following Decree:

Official documents, seals, signs and letterheads of the Palestinian National Authority official and national institutions shall be amended by replacing the name ‘Palestinian National Authority’ whenever it appears by the name ‘State of Palestine’ and by adopting the emblem of the State of Palestine.

 

The frightening thing is this idea of the existence of the State of Palestine has been accepted by 131 of the 193 United Nations Member States who supported the recent General Assembly vote recognizing the Palestinian Authority to be a member of the United Nations as the State of Palestine. The vote forced a vote in the Security Council on whether or not Palestine would be admitted to the United Nations. The Security Council vote was lobbied by the United States and subsequently failed thus it did not require the United States to use their Veto. That did not change the recognition granted by the General Assembly. The United Nations still allows the State of Palestine to sit as an observer nation under the title State of Palestine (see images below). Since then, in conflict with the charters of the individual agencies and that of the United Nations, many of the individual agencies have recognized and admitted the State of Palestine to their membership roles. The first to do so was UNESCO who has, since then, passed one resolution after another declaring initially that the Temple Mount has no connection to Judaism. They then extended this claiming that the Western Wall also is purely Islamic just as is the Temple Mount and everything upon the Temple Mount including the Church of the Holy Sepulchre are Islamic (see video below). UNICEF has also seen fit to recognize and list information about the State of Palestine including a map and statistics. What is not mentioned is the majority of the clean water is provided by Israel, as is the electricity. Most of the children in Judea and Samaria also, when needed, are given free medical care in Israeli hospitals. All of what is provided by Israel to the Arabs under Abbas and his organizations and upon which they are dependent are never paid for by their leadership thus their costs end up passed on to Israeli customers, just one more inequity which is never considered to be worthy of making the news. Other United Nations also have given recognition for the existence of the State of Palestine which might get one to wondering why there are still debates and negotiations with the Palestinian Authority which no longer exists and for the reason of establishing the State of Palestine which obviously does exist according to much of the world. Why not just set their borders as Area A and Area B and leave Area C for Israel as the Oslo Accords had relegated the dispensation of the lands and allow everything to go from there.

 

State of Palestine seats at the United Nations General Assembly

State of Palestine seats at the United Nations General Assembly

 

 

The final end should be that Abbas should be made to make his claim to the lands which he believes belongs to the State of Palestine and Israel should simply declare what areas under dispute Israel claims. Should there be any difference, which there will be, guaranteed, then a mediator should be appointed, or preferably a group of mediators and simply pound out as compromise. If there cannot be any compromise reached, then let the two then agree that a state of war exists between Israel and the State of Palestine and let things be settled by the old-fashioned means. We could predict what Abbas will claim are the borders for his State of Palestine. They would be the Jordan River, the Mediterranean Sea, the Lebanese border and the Egyptian border. His claim would include Gaza, Judea, Samaria and all of Israel because his desire is not for a State of Palestine as much as it is for the destruction of Israel. It matters not what borders Israel would claim because any land claimed by Israel would be denied by the Arabs as they refuse to permit a Jewish State with any borders, not a single square millimeter. Abbas proved this when the claim that all of Israel was a sacred Waqf of the Arab people, the Palestinians. This means very simply that the violence and terrorism war cannot end as long as any Jew resides on the land which is all of Israel. That is the end in simply language, and Hamas will demand the war continue until every Jew is dead. The reality is simply that the war is against the Jews and once the Jews are gone the war will then continue against the Christians as it has been fighting currently throughout the Islamic Arab world where the Jews were already driven from the lands and this war then continues until the final war which either Islam conquers the entire world or the world completely destroys Islam, there will not be any other settlement unless the Muslims drastically redefine their religion, so why not build in our land as whether we build or do not build, the end will still only come by the same means, the Muslims learning to live with Israel and the rest of the world or we will lose and all be destroyed. We will then know without a doubt which is stronger, Hashem or Allah. That is what will need to be decided once and for all, and the two are not the same and only one can be the true Creator of the Universe.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

June 8, 2017

The Christian Situation

 

There are a number of different peoples who have problems in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (MENA). One of the most covered is Israel where over half the world’s Jews reside and are in mortal danger in one way or another every single day, especially with the missiles and weapons of mass destruction held by Iran. Another group which has gotten its fair share is the Kurds who despite being largely Muslim are not accepted well by their Arab coreligionists. But there is one group that unless there has been some heinous act of barbarity or one particular group is facing a special situation, they are mostly ignored. These groups are the many different types of Christians. We spend much of our time here at BTC on Israel and the United States as that is where much of the news coverage emanates from and where we do or have lived. Today we will go a little afield of this and try to give this particular message about the Christians some attention. The first thing people need to realize are who these disparate groups of Christians are. We will list those we know of and where they predominantly reside. There are the Coptic Christians who largely reside in Egypt, the Maronite Christians living mostly in Lebanon, the Chaldeans (also known as Kaldaye and Kaldanaye) who are a form of Catholics and reside largely in Iraq, the Assyrian Christians who obviously reside mostly in Syria but also into Iraq, the Yazidis Christians who are a derivative of the Kurdish peoples and like them reside mostly in Syria and Iraq, and then there are other smaller groups of Christians throughout the MENA area and also those Christians throughout the world who reside on the borders of Islam where there is often frictions and even terrorism and outright warfare placing all civilians in danger in the area. The sad news is that almost all Christian communities in the MENA regions in every nation are facing falling populations as they are facing the contempt and violence which before them was inflicted on the Jews. The Jews have all but left the MENA nations, which is why the Christians are now facing these harassments, as these nations purge their populations of the non-believers, those not following Islam. As this purge continues, these populations will reach a critical point where the Muslims will feel it easiest to force their conversions or simply murder them, the choice between Islam and death. When this point is reached, any remaining Jews will be grouped right along with the Christians and executed if they refuse to convert. Even conversion will not end the strife as once converted they will be scrutinized by their fellow Muslims for any breach in their observance or appearance of still keeping to their former religion. All of these supposed transgressions will be met with death as notice to the remainder to remain pure and diligent in their newly adopted faith of Islam.

 

Levels of Christian Persecution Within MENA

 

It should be noted that there is one nation where the Christian population is healthy and growing and that is Israel as there is true freedom of religion in Israel and all religions are recognized and accommodated including Islam (both Sunni and Shiite), Christianity (all the above mentioned and almost every other form of Christianity found on Earth), Baha’I, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Druze, Atheist and other less well known religions. Outside of Israel, the story is mostly not as kind. In Syria and the areas ruled by Islamic State, it is unsafe for people in general, and for non-Muslims, it gets even more treacherous, with the danger becoming critical in a moment, and with little warning. In Iraq, there is sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Islam yet they still find time to make being a Christian a dangerous religious choice. Some groups of Christians have made themselves useful to the ruling form of Islam in their area and are thus treated as protected, but this protection will only last for as long as these Christians are filling that niche needed by the Islamic believers. Often this takes the position of being able to cross certain otherwise uncrossable areas to take messages to those Muslims who are kin to the ones protecting these Christians, as they are able to cross the frontier between two warring sects of Muslims delivering their messages or other packages. This also permits getting messages into the prisons as Christians often have relatives imprisoned giving them reason to visit and then the system in place within the prison takes over and the message will get to the intended. Being a Christian in an Islamic world, specially now with Islam becoming resurgent and thus more aware of their Islamists becoming more brutal in their means of rulership with Sunnis warring with Shiites and vice-versa, their lives are more fragile than the finest china. The one item they both do agree upon is that non-Muslims, those not following their version of Islam, must be converted or eradicated. This has placed some of the smaller sects of Islam, such as the Kurds, the Kharijites or the Sufri and any other small Islamic sects in mortal danger. Eventually, if permitted to take its course, Islam would face a final battle for the good of Islam where either Sunni or Shiite will prevail proving them the beloved of Allah as Allah rewards strength and abhors weakness.

 

MENA Refugees Admitted United States by Year and Religious Breakdown

 

The recent strikes against Coptic Christians in Egypt being responded to by the Egyptian military air strikes on the training facilities for those terror groups identified who struck these Coptic Christian communities is a new and welcome face for Islam and is a good indicator that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has at least his nation heading in a proper direction. And there are other signs that a new era may be emerging in the world of Islam. This will be due in no small part to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as well as the recent visit by United States President Trump who read fifty national leaders about their responsibilities and taking a lead in transforming Islam for the modern era. One cannot know exactly what President Trump said to these fifty leaders behind closed doors, but if their actions against Qatar, which forced them to expel certain Hamas individuals who had been hiding in a safe house within their borders, are any indicator, that message was received and they are intending initially to comply. The pressure was placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. This was an immediate response to President Trump’s strong message that there was a role which the Arab and Muslim world must take if they are hoping to distance themselves from radical Islamic terrorism and be a part of the solution, not the problem. This should also, with time, force them to be more accepting of others starting with other varieties of Islam and finally other religions and recognizing their right to exist.

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi could be a chapter if this were a book. His actions place him as the leader of these changes which the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia will need to set their sites on meeting if not exceeding his actions and examples, which will be a test for them. Egyptian President el-Sisi has addressed Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their curriculum into the modern age and teach tolerance and stay away from the imperative for Islam to rule the world but instead teach that Islam should become a major contributor to improving the world and gaining adherents through their good and beneficial actions rather than the old message of conquest and conversion by the sword. It appears that his pressures are paying dividends, as we mentioned yesterday, in that Al-Azhar University has hired their first non-Muslim professor who is going to teach in their medical school. Where this is but a small step, every journey into change and reaching into the future, or even the present as in this case, starts with that first step no matter how small or how timid, that first step is always the most difficult. We can feel certain that President el-Sisi will keep the pressure on for change and modernization. He has stated that modernization of Egypt is his eventual aim and towards that end he will be instituting a basic education package which all schools must teach which will include literacy in that all students can read and write with a degree of proficiency and that they also be taught basic math and sciences and that these prerogatives be accepted in the Madrasa and move from simply teaching the memorization of the Quran and enter into teaching a modern set of assignments such that the Egyptian people will be capable of working within an advanced society and perform factory work and higher level work and that Egypt transcend from their current 73% reaching 100% as their immediate goal.

 

Here is a list of illiteracy rates for the population over fifteen years of age in the MENA nations; Afghanistan 72%, Pakistan 50%, Mauritania 49%, Morocco 48%, Yemen 46%, Sudan 39%, Djibouti 32%, Algeria 30%, Iraq 26%, Tunisia 25.7%, Egypt 28%, Comoros 25%, Syria 19%, Oman 18%, Iran 17.6%, Saudi Arabia 17.1%, Libya 16%, Bahrain 13%, Turkey 12.6%, Lebanon 12%, U.A.E. 11.3%, Qatar 11%, Jordan 9%, Kuwait 7%, Israel 3%, Azerbaijan 1.2%, and Armenia 1%. As is noticeable, some of the nations have abhorrent and rampant illiteracy while more than one might initially expect have high literacy rates but overall they could all use improvement. These numbers show the results of efforts as over the past twenty-seven years the trend has been noted and significant with literacy rising from 59% in 1990 to 78% in 2010 on average across the MENA nations. Below is a graph depicting results in basic math skills in some Arab nations where testing has been conducted.

 

TIMSS 2011

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

In closing we are going to share a video titled “Christians At Risk in Iraq Urgently Need Your Help” from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. We will mention ahead of time that this is a request for funding but may still be of interest as information and of course, those wishing to assist in these efforts will find this useful, or at least this is our hope.

 

 

 

 

 

Next Page »

Create a free website or blog at WordPress.com.