While Islamist extremism is advancing in Pakistan and Egypt, one of the bastions of the Jihadist ideology is facing a challenge its mullahs are having a hard time countering: the Christian Church is growing in Iran.
A Pakistani lawmaker who had worked to reform her nation’s harsh blasphemy law has abandoned that effort, at least for the moment. Sherry Rehman, a member of Pakistan’s parliament, had authored a bill for the National Assembly that would have removed the death sentence as a form of punishment for blasphemy against Mohammed.
In the three weeks that have passed since the governor of Punjab was assassinated, it has become clear that Islamic extremists are gaining influence in Pakistan. Governor Salman Taseer was murdered on January 4 by one of his own bodyguards because he had voiced his opposition to the imposition of the death penalty in blasphemy cases, and had called for a presidential pardon for Asia Bibi, a Christian who had been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death for blasphemy.
As Pakistan slides further in the direction of Islamic extremism, and anti-Christian violence is on the rise in Iraq and Egypt, Congress may soon consider legislation which may increase the level of American intervention in such conflicts.
When Governor Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard, “moderate Muslim” scholars in Pakistan greeted the assassination with cries of adulation. As was reported previously for The New American, a statement issued by the 500 scholars upheld the murder of the governor of Punjab as an example of Islamic justice in action; since Taseer sought to defend a Christian woman who had been unjustly sentenced to death for “blasphemy” against Islam, it was — they believed — only right that he be murdered as well. In the words of their statement: “The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy.”
Approximately four years after fleeing Iraq in fear of arrest, Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr is returning to Iraq in triumph.
As the Washington Post reported on January 5, Sadr once fled to Iran, but now returns to Iraq with a significant bloc of power within the Iraqi government:
The murder of a Pakistani governor is being greeted with adulation by “moderate” Muslim scholars. Why? Governor Salman Taseer opposed the death penalty for those convicted of blasphemy against Islam.
Following the October 31 massacre at Our Lady of Salvation church in Baghdad, the dwindling Christian community in Iraq decided to cancel public observances of the Christmas season, in the hope of avoiding further bloodshed at the hands of their Muslim neighbors. Although Muslims attacked churches in Nigeria and the Philippines, it seemed as is the Iraqis might have some respite from the horrors of Jihad.
The economic experts were recently proven wrong once again, as the estimate of the U.S. trade deficit dropped to $38.7 billion. According to a report from the Commerce Department, most of the trade deficit continues to be found in the import of goods from China; the data for October shows a $25.5 billion trade deficit with that nation. However, the communist regime has found one area in which they believe U.S. imports are in danger of disrupting their economy: the rise in the use of English.
In Baghdad, the dwindling remnant of Christians will observe the Feast of the Nativity this year in the knowledge that for many of them it may be their last such observance in their native land.