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The United Church of Christ: Knowingly Silent on Terrorism

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The United Church of Christ: Knowingly Silent on Terrorism
The "Just Peace Church" that Defends Mass Murderers.

by Denis MacEoin  •  December 14, 2016 at 5:30 am

  • The United Church of Christ (UCC) published a guide to Israel-Palestine affairs in August and again in September 2016. Entitled, "Promoting a Just Peace in Palestine-Israel", this toxic document is a desperately one-sided, inaccurate, and counter-factual exercise in futile politics. It most certainly does not favour justice or peace in the Holy Land, as its contents show on every page.

  • The naïvety of the UCC is particularly striking in its choice to take at face value the Palestinian statement that if Israel ended its occupation peace would follow as day follows night. When, after 1949, Gaza was occupied by Egypt and the West Bank by Jordan, no one protested, no one attacked Egyptians or Jordanians. In other words, Israel occupied only itself. But Palestinian terrorism against Israelis continued up to 1967, right through the period of Israeli non-occupation. There were no "settlements" then. Rather, the Palestinians have always regarded all of Israel as one big "settlement." Just look at any Palestinian maps; they cover both the entirety of Israel and the Palestinian territories.

  • Unfortunately, the Palestinians have a history of regarding every retreat by Israel as a triumph of aggression over diplomacy, as if to say: We shoot at Israelis and they leave; so let's keep doing it.

  • In its introduction, the UCC, knowing full well that Israel has not occupied Gaza since 2005, still speaks of "the Israeli military occupation of the Occupied Palestinian Territories: the West Bank, East Jerusalem and Gaza."

  • The UCC Guide states flatly that "Israeli settlements in the West Bank are identified as illegal by the international community" — even though international law says exactly the opposite. The West Bank and Gaza were both occupied as a result of a defensive war against Egypt and Jordan in 1967, in which the Israelis were victorious. It is never illegal to occupy territory obtained in defensive military action.

  • The Palestinians not only reject all offers of peace on that basis but go much farther and call every day for the abolition of Israel and the creation of a Palestinian state covering Gaza, Israel, and the West Bank.

  • The UCC Guide states that "Israel has built hundreds of permanent and mobile military checkpoints throughout the West Bank." This, again, is pure fantasy. In 2015, there were no more than fifteen checkpoints across the West Bank. These checkpoints are not there to target innocent Palestinians. They are there to restrain terrorists from setting out to kill innocent Israelis. The only people to criticize the checkpoints across Northern Ireland during the many years of terrorism there were supporters of the Provisional IRA, who apparently did not like being obstructed from killing people.

  • The UCC boasts that it is "a just peace church", but instead of supporting peace and justice, it defends mass murderers. It complains about the defensive actions of the Jews and is knowingly silent about the horrors wrought by Palestinian wars and terrorism. It treats Palestinian actions as mere responses to Israeli aggression — a total reversal of historical fact.

  • Is the UCC unaware that Council for American Islamic Relations (CAIR) is far from being a feel-good interfaith movement for peace and warm relations? It is, in fact, notorious for its close ties to Islamic terrorism. Even ten years ago, its true character was well known. Has no-one in the UCC the wit or decency to repudiate this unsuitable connection? Or to raise the fact that many Muslims across the Middle East have been killing, expelling, and humiliating Christians for a very long time, but especially in recent decades? Will they not admit that the expanding exodus of Christians from the West Bank and Gaza has been precipitated by extremist Muslims and the Palestinian authorities? That under the Palestinian Authority since 1995, the number of Christians has plummeted?

  • The UCC cannot continue to assert its association with Jesus Christ, a man of peace, when they so openly espouse the cause of Palestinian "resistance" that embraces violence as a solution above any form of peace-making. Christ said "Blessed be the peace-makers," yet here is a Christian church that blesses men of violence.

The United Church of Christ (UCC) is a shrinking Christian denomination mainly active in the United States, and "perhaps the most liberal of the Mainline Protestant American denominations." With just under a million members and 5,000 churches (down from two million members and 7,000 churches in 1957, when it was founded), it still has prominent congregations in the heartland of the American Congregationalist movements, in states such as Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Vermont, New Hampshire, and Maine.

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Violence Against Non-Muslim Increases in Bangladesh

by Mohshin Habib  •  December 14, 2016 at 4:30 am

  • "Since 2013, Bangladesh has experienced a series of violent attacks by extremists. The victims have included besides atheists, secular bloggers, liberals and foreigners — many Buddhists, Christians and Hindus as well as Ahmadis and Shia Muslims." — Minority Rights Group International.

  • "A new school of Islam from Saudi Arabia is transforming South Asia's religious landscape. Wahhabism, a fundamental Sunni school of Islam originating in Saudi Arabia, entered South Asia in the late 1970s. With public and private Saudi funding, Wahhabism has steadily gained influence among Muslim communities throughout the region. As a result, the nature of South Asian Islam has significantly changed in the last three decades. The result has been an increase in Islamist violence in Pakistan, Indian Kashmir, and Bangladesh." — Georgetown Security Studies Review, 2014.

Pictured above: A Hindu temple in Bangladesh that was recently vandalized by Muslims. The idol on the left was decapitated. (Image Source: FM Hindu video screenshot)

Minority communities across Bangladesh are once again facing violence and persecution by the Sunni Muslim majority. In the last month or so, dozens of Hindu temples have been vandalized and hundreds of houses burned down by Muslims in different districts across the nation.

In one incident alone, a group of Muslims carried out attacks that left more than 100 injured and several hundred victims homeless. Hindus, at 9% of the total population the largest religious minority in Bangladesh, were targeted in the attack on October 30, about 120 km from the capital city, Dhaka. Muslims, led by two Islamic organizations — the Tawheedi Janata ("Faithful People") and Ahle Sunnat-Wal-Jamaat –vandalized more than 15 temples and 200 houses belonging to Hindus. Violence continued a few days later, when, on November 5, extremists repeated similar attacks in the same area despite police "vigilance."

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