Bob Unruh for WorldNetDaily, February 3, 2009.
Reports that at least 10 Christians were abducted and killed for their faith – sometimes by beheading – during 2008 has pushed Somalia into the Top 10 among nation's that aggressively persecute Christians, according to a new report from Open Doors USA.
The organization today released its 2009 World Watch List, which cited [North] Korea – for the seventh straight year – as the nation that persecutes Christians more intensely than any other around the globe.
But Somalia rose from 12th in 2008 to 5th this year because of the growing level of attacks there, according to the report which noted two of the worst three nations, Saudi Arabia and Iran, are nations governed by Islamic Shariah law, and seven of the Top 10 nations fall into that category.
Paul Estabrooks, the organization's minister-at-large, told WND that those Islamic nations "certainly are impacted significantly by Shariah." [...]
Open Doors said Afghanistan, Somalia and the Maldives are fourth, fifth and sixth, with Afghanistan moving up three spots because of an aggressive effort from Taliban officials during 2008.
In seventh is Yemen, Laos is No. 8, Eritrea, a newcomer to the Top 10, is No. 9 and Uzbekistan No. 10....
Roger Scruton, "Forgiveness and Irony: What makes the West strong." http://www.city-journal.org/
Words are agreement between speakers and listeners. Yes, Yahweh told Adam to go around and name thigs, but that's all a matter of evolution. Words are not given from direct command by God. Adam decided, and we decide later. Jesuits will explain all this to us later. Words only mean what we decide they mean.
"A Common Word between Us and You"A common word between us. George says he works for the CIA.
Muslims Call for Interfaith Peace
On October 13th 2006, one month to the day after Pope Benedict XVI's Regensburg address of September 13th 2006, 38 Islamic authorities and scholars from around the world, representing all denominations and schools of thought, joined together to deliver an answer to the Pope in the spirit of open intellectual exchange and mutual understanding. In their"Open Letter to the Pope" (Link Below), for the first time in recent history, Muslim scholars from every branch of Islam spoke with one voice about the true teachings of Islam.
Now, exactly one year after that letter, Muslims have expanded their message. In "A Common Word Between Us and You," 138 Muslim scholars, clerics and intellectuals have unanimously come together for the first time since the days of the Prophet to declare the common ground between Christianity and Islam. Like the Open Letter, the signatories to this message come from every denomination and school of thought in Islam. Every major Islamic country or region in the world is represented in this message, which is addressed to the leaders of all the world's churches, and indeed to all Christians everywhere. ...
Last October, the international media establishment was abuzz over a letter sent by 138 Islamic scholars representing the elite of the worldwide ulema to Pope Benedict, entitled "A Common Word between Us and You", in response to his papal address at Regensburg in September 2006. The letter extols the common bonds between Muslims and Christians, and their common belief in the love towards neighbors. It further declares that "justice and freedom of religion are a crucial part of love of the neighbor." Many Christian leaders have responded by welcoming this effort and affirming the Islamic scholars' letter.
The letter was the product of the Royal Aal al-Bayt [ i.e. the Royal House of the Saud Family] Institute for Islamic Thought in Amman, Jordan, and its chief scholar, [my emphasis] Sheikh Said Hijjawi, was one of the 138 signatories (#49). In fact, according to the introduction, the letter was presented by the Institute to the Islamic scholars gathered at a conference held at their facilities in September 2007.
While saying they want to build on common ground, the Muslim scholars (amid copious Qur'an quotes) never mention Qur'an 5:17, which says that those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers, or 4:171, which says that Jesus was not crucified, or 9:30, which says that those who believe that Jesus is the Son of God are accursed, or 9:29, which mandates warfare against and the subjugation of Jews and Christians. Why should they mention these unpleasant passages in the midst of trying to build bridges? Because they are precisely the obstacles to such bridges. It seems reasonable to suggest that verses like these would need to be addressed in some way, even if only to give them some benign interpretation, if there is to be any true and honest dialogue.
Most telling of all perhaps may be the fact that the title of the document, "A Common Word between us and you," comes from a Qur'anic verse (3:64) calling non-Muslims to Islam: "Say: 'O People of the Book! Come to common terms [a common word] as between us and you: That we worship none but Allah; that we associate no partners with him; that we erect not, from among ourselves, Lords and patrons other than Allah.' If then they turn back, say ye: 'Bear witness that we are Muslims.'" Mainstream Islam considers the Christian doctrine of the divinity of Christ to be example of the association of "partners" with Allah -- thus this verse is saying, Discard Christianity and become Muslims, and we will have achieved a common understanding between us and you.
Robert Spencer, February 26, 2008
A common word between us. You say CIA, I say schizo. Let's call the whole thing off.
Australian Anglican cleric, Dr. Mark Durie, in a  blog post last week [HT:  Andrew Bostom]. Rev. Durie, a noted scholar on comparative theology who spent years studying the culture of the Acehnese in Indonesia and is fluent in Arabic, also is a fellow of the Australian Academy of the Humanities and senior associate of the Department of Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at the University of Melbourne. He previously served as the head of the Department of Linguistics and Language Studies there.
His analysis of the 16 apostasy fatwas that were posted on AlTafsir.com by Sheikh Hijjawi, who previously served as the Grand Mufti of Jordan and mufti in Oman, finds that they consistently rule that "there is no freedom of Muslims to choose whether to believe in Islam, and no human rights for Christians who have left Islam." Durie notes that Sheikh Hijjawi's apostasy fatwas cite a number of verses from the Koran and hadiths of Mohammed in support of his rulings.
And for those Christians and Muslims who are not killed, the fatwas condemn such to a living death as a non-person. Rev. Durie translates some of the punishments to be imposed according to Sheikh Hijjawi's fatwas:
* His marriage is annulled by virtue of his apostasy.
* He cannot inherit the wealth of any of his relatives — whether they are Muslims or not — because the apostate is legally regarded as dead.
* None of his actions after apostasy has any legal validity (as the apostate is a legal non-person).
* An apostate cannot be remarried, whether to a Muslim or a non-Muslim.
* He cannot be a guardian for anyone else, so he loses custody of his children, and an apostate father has no say over his daughters' marriages.
* An apostate must not be prayed for by Muslims after his death and must not be buried in a Muslim cemetery.
* If a male apostate comes back to Islam and wishes to resume his marriage, he must remarry his wife with a new ceremony and provide a new dowry for her.
* The apostate's wealth and possessions are to be entailed upon an heir. If the apostate repents and returns to Islam, he receives his wealth back. If he dies while still an apostate, his wealth is inherited by his Muslim heir, but only the amount which he had at the time of his apostasy. Any wealth which accrued after he had left Islam is considered Fay (and thus the collective property of the Muslim community).
Needless to say, the implications of this finding in light of the singular leading role played by Sheikh Hijjawi and the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute in drafting and promoting "A Common Word" could very well be catastrophic for the attempted efforts to convince the international Christian community of their sincerity and amity. Rev. Durie arrives at this very conclusion:
It does not seem to be the case that the signatories of "A Common Word" understand concepts such as justice, loving one's neighbor, and "freedom of religion" in the same way that most Christians would. The Chief Scholar of the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute, who was a highly prominent signatory of the Common Word letter, is calling for Christians who have converted to Islam to be killed, or else they should be deprived of their rights and treated legally as "dead men walking." Indeed, because these fatwas are available over the internet, the former Grand Mufti and the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute are effectively calling for the death of Christians day after day, and will do so until this material is taken down from the site.
The implications were apparently not lost on Sheikh Hijjawi or the Royal Aal al-Bayt Institute either. Just hours after Rev. Durie's blog post had appeared, the apostasy fatwas were promptly removed (the fatwas had  appeared here). In fact, the entire AlTafsir.com website was down for most of the following day, perhaps in an effort to scrub the site of this damaging information.That the Institute has removed these fatwas without any acknowledgment of the previous presence is yet another incident in a seemingly endless procession of evasions, duplicity, and outright hypocrisy by the so-called religious leaders in the Islamic world.