Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

9/5/2014 (2 months ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

I have repeatedly written concerning the explicitly anti-Christian acts of terror committed by both Boko Haram and the Islamic State. Boko Haram and the Islamic State hate Christians. Of course, they also hate others, including some fellow Muslims. But, they particularly hate Christians - and we must be clear about this!

While news reports give us the gruesome details of the Islamic State beheading one more American journalist in the land which was once a part of Iraq and Syria, the rising tide of Islamist evil spreads in Africa, under the banner of Boko Haram. Like the Islamic State (ISIS,ISIL), these Islamists have also proclaimed a Caliphate. And like the Islamic State, they especially hate Christians.

Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden in the Hausa language. These Islamist terrorists hate all things western and Christian. They are militant Jihadist Muslims who intend to forcibly establish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law on everyone, just as the Islamic State is doing in lands formerly claimed by Iraq and Syria.

Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden in the Hausa language. These Islamist terrorists hate all things western and Christian. They are militant Jihadist Muslims who intend to forcibly establish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law on everyone, just as the Islamic State is doing in lands formerly claimed by Iraq and Syria.

Highlights

By Deacon Keith A Fournier

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

9/5/2014 (2 months ago)

Published in Middle East

Keywords: Boko Haram, ISIS, ISIL, Islamic State, beheading, jihad, anti-Christian, anti-Catholic, Caliphate, Deacon Keith Fournier


ABUUJA, Nigeria (Catholic Online) - While news reports give us the gruesome details of the Islamic State beheading one more American journalist in the land which was once a part of Iraq and Syria, the rising tide of Islamist evil spreads in Africa, under the banner of Boko Haram. Like the Islamic State, these Islamists have also proclaimed a Caliphate. And like the Islamic State (ISIS,ISIL), they especially hate Christians.

On August 22, 2014, the FIDES Agency reported that 11,000 people fled the town of Gwoza, in the State of Borno in Northern Nigeria. They had to abandon their home or face the sword of the evil Islamist movement called Boko Haram. According to the United Nations Office for Humanitarian affairs, 650,000 have fled the onslaught of these evil Islamists since May, 2013.

Help save Christians from genocide! This is a fate no innocent person deserves. ACT NOW!

Boko Haram means Western education is forbidden in the Hausa language. These Islamist terrorists hate all things western and Christian. They are militant Jihadist Muslims who intend to forcibly establish an Islamic Caliphate and impose Shariah Law on everyone, just as the Islamic State is doing in lands formerly claimed by Iraq and Syria. 

They are also called  al-Sunnah wal Jamma - or Followers of the Prophet's Teachings. They refer to themselves officially as Jama'atu Ahlis Sunna Lidda'awati wal-Jihad, which means "people committed to the propagation of the prophet's teachings and Jihad".

They are murderers and terrorists who appeal to Islam while they engage in objectively evil acts. What is happening to our Christian brethren in Nigeria at the hands of Boko Haram must be examined as we consider the evil inflicted by the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL). They are cut from the same root. 

The evil of jihadist Islamism is not decreasing, it is increasing. It is spreading. Though it is also directed against minority religious sects and some Muslims, its real aim is the Christians.

The Islamic State and Boko Haram hate Christians.

Their anti-Christian intent and purpose are becoming increasingly clear. They must not be downplayed.

Many of the victims of this evil are being killed precisely because they are Christians. The words attributed to Tertullian in the Second Century of the Church still echo with a promise: "The blood of the Martyrs is the seed of the Church.

If you want to read a source which "pulls no punches" in their reporting on this growing threat, read Jihad Watch.Though the publication and its founder have been pilloried over the past few years as sensationalist, its reporting has been amazingly accurate.

The blood of the martyrs is flowing these days as militant Islamic terrorism increases and establishes a new beachhead in Africa. For Catholics and other Christians, we cannot - we must not - fail to act. Africa is one of the great centers of the renewal of the Church in the Third Millennium.

We are living in a new missionary age. Part of this new missionary age involves overt persecution against Christians. We need to be clear about the evil designs of these Jihadists. They hate us.

I remember the cold war, even drills where we hid under our desks. The rising spread of Jihadist Islam calls to mind the great need for a National resolve.  It makes the threat of militant Marxism look mild in comparison.

The word "Martyr" derives from a Greek word which means "witness." The Catholic faith proclaims that the shedding of one's blood in fidelity to Jesus Christ is the final witness to the Faith. The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches us that:

"Martyrdom is the supreme witness given to the truth of the faith: it means bearing witness even unto death. The martyr bears witness to Christ who died and rose, to whom he is united by charity. He bears witness to the truth of the faith and of Christian doctrine. He endures death through an act of fortitude" (CCC #2471 - 2473)

I have reported on the evil inflicted by Boko Haram for years. Let us consider a few of the evil acts which they have committed. 

On Wednesday, March 7, 2012, six armed men killed a customs official, a five year old boy and two others in cold blood, in the name of Allah. They set fire to a police station, a government building and two churches, one Catholic and one belonging to the Christian Brethren church.

They blew up vehicles, motorcycles and terrorized an entire town for three hours - all in the name of Allah.

On Thursday, March 8, 2012, they killed a British and an Italian hostage. None of the reports indicated how the murders occurred but, the track record of Jihadists points to beheadings.

The two victims in 2012 were innocent engineers who were kidnapped in May of 2011. Efforts to negotiate for their release were unsuccessful. So too were efforts to rescue them.

This group has been terrorizing northern Nigeria for many years. They boast and smile as they take responsibility for their evil and horrific behavior - without any remorse or regret.

I reported on the horrible bombing outside of St Theresa's Catholic Church on Christmas Day, 2011. That evil act committed by Boko Haram, was followed by an ultimatum issued to Christians in Northern Nigeria to leave in three days or face further violence.

A spokesman for Boko Haram announced they were planning a "war on Christians".

The spokesman said the group would "launch a number of attacks, coordinated and part of the plan to eradicate Christians from certain parts of the country. We will create so much effort to end the Christian presence in our push to have a proper Islamic state that the Christians won't be able to stay."

We must always remember the evil which was inflicted upon Danny Pearl in 2002.

We must also never forget what we have seen in the beheading of two American journalists in the last month. This is barbarism. This is evil. This kind of evil cannot be tolerated or downplayed, it must be opposed.

The media seems to finally be paying attention to the rise of this Islamist evil. The true nature of this group shocked many in May of 2014 when they kidnapped 200 schoolgirls. The Christian Association of Nigeria released the names of the girls.

The Catholic Archbishop of Abuja, Cardinal John Olorunfemi Onaiyekan, gave an interview  to Vatican Radio on May 6, 2014. Here is an excerpt:

"We know that Boko Haram have no sense of humanity. We know that they are killing innocent people. But that they should be able to cart away almost 300 children in the Northeast of Nigeria without any trace of where these children are really baffles us".

The Christian Post confirmed what many news reports simply did not even note. The majority of the kidnapped girls are Christians.

Of course, the kidnapping of any child is an intolerable evil and heinous crime. The acknowledged intent to sell these girls into slavery properly shocks the conscience of the world. However, the explicitly anti-Christian nature of the kidnapping received little press notice. 

A May 6, 2014 article entitled Most of Boko Haram Kidnapped Schoolgirls Are Christians, Nigerian Evangelist Says noted:

"With reports that the girls are being sold as brides to the Islamic militants for $12.00 each, the parents and Christian groups have called on the Nigerian military and the government of President Goodluck Jonathan to do all they can to find the girls.

"On Monday, Boko Haram leader Abubakar Shekau admitted that his group is responsible for the kidnapping of over 200 girls from Chibok, Borno State last month, and said that he plans to have them sold on the market.

"I abducted your girls. I will sell them in the market, by Allah," Shekau, said in the video translated by CNN. "There is a market for selling humans. Allah says I should sell. He commands me to sell. I will sell women. I sell women."


These reports confirm numerous reports over many years. This Islamist sect has been explicitly terrorizing the Christians of Nigeria.

I have repeatedly written concerning the explicitly anti-Christian acts of terror committed by both Boko Haram and the Islamic State. Boko Haram and the Islamic State hate Christians.

Of course, they also hate others, including some fellow Muslims. But, they particularly hate Christians - and we must be clear about this!

Now, in addition to beheading Christian men, forcing Christian women to convert to Islam and enter into arranged 'marriages' with Muslims, the group is now occupying Catholic churches in the northeastern section of Nigeria.

I conclude with an excerpt from a report filed by Fredrick Nzwili of the Religion News Service on September 2, 2014:

"Things are getting pretty bad," said the Rev. John Bakeni, the secretary of the Maiduguri Roman Catholic diocese in northeastern Nigeria. "A good number of our parishes in Pulka and Madagali areas have been overrun in the last few days."

The militants have turned the church compound and rectory of the St. Denis Parish in Madagali town into their base, the priest said. The militants overran the church center on Aug. 23.

"The priest in charge managed to escape, but they took his car and important church documents," said Bakeni.

"Many civilians are now on the run," he added. "Many others are being trapped and killed. Life means nothing here. It's so cheap and valueless."

In 2009, the group launched its first military operation in Maiduguri, advocating for a strict form of Shariah. Since then, it has attacked churches, villages, government installations and public places across north and northeastern Nigeria.

It has also carried out mass kidnappings in the region and is still holding captive more than 200 girls it grabbed from a local school in Chibok. The girls were kidnapped on April 14.

After seizing the Borno State town of Gwoza from government forces last month, the group's leader, Abubakar Shekau, announced an Islamic caliphate. Church officials say a thin line divides Boko Haram and the Islamic State.

"The same ideology runs through their methods and disposition," said Bakeni. With the rise of Boko Haram, scholars say Islamic extremism threatens Africa as much as it does the Middle East, the Arabian Peninsula, Pakistan and Afghanistan.

"Boko Haram bears an inmate family resemblance to developments elsewhere in the Muslim world," wrote Charles Villa-Vicencio, a South African theologian and a visiting professor in the Conflict Resolution Program at Georgetown University, in the July/August edition of the Horn of Africa Bulletin. "

-----

Deacon Keith Fournier is Founder and Chairman of Common Good Foundation and Common Good Alliance. A married Roman Catholic Deacon of the Diocese of Richmond, Virginia, he and his wife Laurine have five grown children and six grandchildren, He serves as the Director of Adult Faith Formation at St. Stephen, Martyr Parish in Chesapeake, VA. He is also a human rights lawyer and public policy advocate.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for November 2014
Lonely people:
That all who suffer loneliness may experience the closeness of God and the support of others.
Mentors of seminarians and religious: That young seminarians and religious may have wise and well-formed mentors.



Comments


More Middle East

Jordan's Queen Rania denounces ISIS for plunging Arab world 'back to the Dark Ages' Watch

Image of Queen Raina of Jordan says that education and job creation as being the key to thwarting the extremists.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Known for her poise and beauty, Queen Rania didn't hold back in denouncing the repugnant activities of Islamic State during a powerful address to the Abu Dhabi Media Summit in the United Arab Emirates. The 44-year-old monarch spoke against the disgusting videos ... continue reading


Defense officials warn that airstrikes are not stopping Islamic State's conquest of Iraq and Syria Watch

Image of Members of the Islamic State ride a captured tank through an Iraqi city displaying their black flags.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

President Obama's multi-month campaign of airstrikes against Islamic State forces in Iraq and Syria, while a major moral booster for Iraqi forces and a token gesture of support from the United States, may not actually be nearly as effective as the White House has ... continue reading


Religious extremism driving majority of world acts of terror Watch

Image of Groups with a religious agenda are attributed to the majority of incidents over the past few years, according to the author's report.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Instead of making humanity more respectful of their fellow man, religion is one of the factors fueling violence and chaos in the world. Religious extremism, which disallows interpretation and those of other faiths, is the force behind the majority of the acts ... continue reading


ISIS ammo: Deadly terror group can keep fighting for two years, United Nations warns Watch

Image of One anonymous member state has provided information about

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It's both a dire warning and lesson to the West when it comes to terrorist organizations.  According to the United Nations, the dreaded Islamic State, or ISIS has enough weapons now to continue fighting for two years unabated. The ironic twist? Most of ... continue reading


The long and painful war against terrorism: 2013-14 the worst years to date Watch

Image of Operating in Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Taliban is one of the militant groups responsible for the most deaths around the world.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A new report has revealed that the number of people who have been killed by militants across the globe has jumped up more than 60% from 2013, reaching a record high of nearly 18,000. This death toll could continue to rise in 2014 because of the escalating ... continue reading


The United Arab Emirates just named these two American organizations as terrorists! Watch

Image of Al-Qaeda and its affiliates throughout the Middle East and North Africa have been designated a terrorist organization by the United Arab Emirates.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It came as somewhat of a shock to two Islamic groups in the United States when they found that they were recently included in a list of terrorist organizations by the United Arab Emirates. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Council on American-Islamic ... continue reading


Two U.S. Islamic groups branded as terrorists Watch

Image of Both CAIR and MAS were among more than 80 groups whose designation was approved by the UAE cabinet and announced this past weekend.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Two moderate, mainstream Islamic groups in the United States feel as though they've been tarred and feathered with the same brush. The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), which describes itself as "America's largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy ... continue reading


Did Army Ranger Peter Kassig resist Jihadi John during his beheading? Speculation abounds why he made no statement. FULL VIDEO available here Watch

Image of Army Ranger and American citizen, Peter Kassig was kidnapped by the Islamic State after serving in Syria as a humanitarian aid worker.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

American hostage Peter Kassig, who was allegedly beheaded by Islamic State terrorists did not make any statement to the camera as previous victims did. This has fueled speculation that Kassig may have been killed in another fashion, such as in an airstrike or while ... continue reading


'Jihadi John' reported wounded in U.S. airstrike that killed 10 top ISIS commanders Watch

Image of According to reports received by the Foreign Office, the masked executioner is believed to have narrowly escaped death as he attended a summit of the group's leaders in an Iraqi town close to the Syrian border last Saturday.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The British-accented terrorist known as "Jihadi John," who beheaded two British and two American hostages held by Islamic State terrorists, has been injured in a U.S.-led air strike. Jihadi John has recently been seen in the beheading video of U.S. aid worker ... continue reading


PURE EVIL: U.S. hostage Peter Kassig beheaded by Islamic State Watch

Image of A 16-minute video has been uploaded to various social networking sites by Islamist State depicting the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig. The video shows a black-clad, masked militant waving Kassig's head.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

U.S. President Barack Obama called it "pure evil." A 16-minute video has been uploaded to various social networking sites by Islamist State depicting the beheading of U.S. hostage Peter Kassig. The video shows a black-clad, masked militant waving Kassig's head. ... continue reading


All Middle East News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Revelation 11:4-12
4 These are the two olive trees and the two lamps in ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 144:1, 2, 9-10
1 [Of David] Blessed be Yahweh, my rock, who trains ... Read More

Gospel, Luke 20:27-40
27 Some Sadducees -- those who argue that there is no ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for November 22nd, 2014 Image

St. Cecilia
November 22: In the fourth century appeared a Greek religious romance on the ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter