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African Pastors torture and murder “witch children”; what if they were Muslim?

(Read the whole piece at WhatIfTheyWereMuslim.com)

More African Churches are dealing with the troubling problem of Christian pastors torturing and executing “witch children” in the name of their faith. Quite a disturbing phenomena to say the least. The Huffington Post reports (hat tip: Tomas):

The nine-year-old boy lay on a bloodstained hospital sheet crawling with ants, staring blindly at the wall.

His family pastor had accused him of being a witch, and his father then tried to force acid down his throat as an exorcism. It spilled as he struggled, burning away his face and eyes. The emaciated boy barely had strength left to whisper the name of the church that had denounced him – Mount Zion Lighthouse.

A month later, he died.

Pastors were involved in half of 200 cases of “witch children” reviewed by the AP, and 13 churches were named in the case files. Campaigners against the practice say around 15,000 children have been accused in two of Nigeria’s 36 states over the past decade and around 1,000 have been murdered. Other practices include beating with sticks, sawing or driving a nail into children’s heads, burying or burning them alive, forcing them to eat cement, and other grizzly acts of merciless cruelty. (Note: burying children alive is specifically forbidden by the Qur’an, see verses 81:8-9). The parishioners take very literally and seriously the Biblical injunction:

Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live. (Exodus 22:18)

Since these Christians quote scripture to justify their misdeeds, we must conclude that this is a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, right?

Wrong. It is definitely not a mainstream “orthodox” Christian practice, as the Post reports:

“It is an outrage what they are allowing to take place in the name of Christianity,” said Gary Foxcroft, head of nonprofit Stepping Stones Nigeria.

Bishop A.D. Ayakndue, the head of the church in Nigeria, said pastors were encouraged to pray about witchcraft, but not to abuse children.

“We pray over that problem (of witchcraft) very powerfully,” he said. “But we can never hurt a child.”

Reasonable people should be able to conclude that such practices are an aberration which goes against the well-known Biblical commandment to be merciful and love one’s neighbor.

But what if they were Muslim?

UWe’d expect the anti-Muslim blogosphere to erupt in self-righteous indignation, led by JihadWatch and AtlasShrugs, citing a few Islamic scriptures, maybe an archaic medieval Muslim law manual (all in ready-made English translations of course because, as we know, Spencer holds no degree in Arabic nor is he proficient in the language). From this handful of cherry-picked evidence, we’d be given the horribly stereotyped determination that such an aberrational practice is standard, normative, traditional, mainstream, “orthodox” Islam accepted by all interpretations of Islamic law. Of course, this would again conveniently ignore abundant evidence to the contrary. But when has Spencer ever played fair?

Christians rightly condemn the practice of murdering “witch children,” despite the citation and literal interpretation of Exodus, because as we know Christianity has a vibrant interpretive tradition. So it is clearly unfair to take any Christian religious nut at face value when they cite the Old Testament. If we used this incident to indict all of Christianity in all times and all places forever, Spencer and his company would cry foul by pointing to the Christian interpretive tradition.

Not so with Islam. In fact, Spencer’s entire million-dollar hate-blogging Muslim-bashing brainwashing industry critically depends on denying mainstream Islamic interpretive tradition. As Dr. Robert Crane rightly put it:

Spencer’s readers are carefully steered away from all contact with the Islamic interpretative tradition, which equals or exceeds that of any other religion, because any scholarly knowledge about Islam would expose all his extremist interpretations to ridicule.

Bottom line: it is unfair and deeply hypocritical to apply one mild standard to Christianity and another harsher standard to Islam. We don’t take these children murdering Christians at face value when they cite their scripture as justification, so why should we take Al-Qaeda at face value when they cite the Qur’an?

But what do I know. Aren’t I just a liberal-dhimmi/stealth-jihadist?

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  • Ian Gould

    “Hmm, so you’re saying the fundamentalist Christians are the types who want Harry Potter banned.

    Fundamentalist Muslims are the types who want gays stoned.

    No argument there.”

    fundamentalist Christians are the people behind the proposed death penalty for gays in Uganda.

  • NassirH

    LoL. Please stop embarrassing yourself. On second thought…don’t–for the sake of comic relief if nothing else.

    Didn’t you read Justin’s comment?

    @JihadBob

    You need to check the Huffington post article. It is clear as day:

    “Some of the churches involved are renegade local branches of international franchises. Their parishioners take literally the Biblical exhortation, ‘Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.’”

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/10/18/african-children-denounce_n_324943.html

  • JihadBob

    Still waiting for confirmation regarding that verse from Exodus…..

  • NassirH

    It’s always the articles about Christians that gets our resident loon and spammer incensed. For some reason he always ends up insisting that he decides who is and isn’t an ‘orthodox Muslim’. Ironically, the article says the Nigerians’ interpretations aren’t mainstream, and no one is saying they are.

    Hypocrite?

    Well, if the article’s point was to show anti-Muslim hypocirisy, then JihadBob proved it correct.

  • JihadBob

    Still waiting for your thoughts on the Church Fathers and for an answer to my question re. World War II.

    Didn’t know you had anything to say about the Church Fathers.

    For comparison’s sake, we should also look at writings of non-Muslims by medieval Muslim writers.

    Don’t you agree?

  • JihadBob

    Just so you know, there are conservative Christian groups in the US that have sought to ban Harry Potter from various places.

    Hmm, so you’re saying the fundamentalist Christians are the types who want Harry Potter banned.

    Fundamentalist Muslims are the types who want gays stoned.

    No argument there.

  • JihadBob

    Sorry Bob, you can’t have that one. If you can say that Bin Ladan is an ‘Orthodox Muslim’ etc when he clearly is not, then heck, people can say Hitler was a Christian. Fair is fair.

    You can claim the earth is flat too. It just doesn’t make it correct.

    But fair is fair. Even if Hitler were a (nominal) Christian (like Saddam Hussein), he certainly wasn’t a devout Christian, let alone someone who operated under the texts and teachings of Christianity.

  • Pingback: Marisol on the Saudi Jinn Judge: Blame Islam for Crime | Spencer Watch()

  • NassirH

    I knew this post would lead to a raging JihadBob. If anyone bothers to read his posts they’ll notice that he’s ranting about Harry Potter.

    “Yes, that’s why Harry Potter is banned in the US and people who predict the winner of the next Super Bowl are put on trial for practicing sorcery, which can be punished with death here in the US…”

    Just so you know, there are conservative Christian groups in the US that have sought to ban Harry Potter from various places.

  • Ian Gould

    “The disconnect from reality in comparing persons who happen to be of one religion when they do something to other persons who operate on the texts and teachings of their religion when they do something is absolutely amazing.”

    Not as amazing as the disconnect from reality that leaves you incapable of addressing your responses to the person who makes a comment.

    Still waiting for your thoughts on the Church Fathers and for an answer to my question re. World War II.

  • Justin

    JihadBob’s (Spencer’s troll) hypocritical double standards are laid bare. He just hopes that by repeating his prejudice loud enough no one will notice.

  • Syed

    JihadBob said, “a literal reading of the Bible is actually quite more nuanced than a single passage ”

    JihadBob indulging in nuanced thinking! JihadBob admitting that a single passage does not sufficiently explain a holy tome! What is the world coming to? O tempora, O mores! Oh the horror 😉

    But Jihadbob belongs to that class of Christians who blame the victims for their misfortune. Listen to John Hagee here who says that God sent Hitler to exterminate the Jews because they did not go to Israel. He cleverly avoids the fact that Herzl and others wanted a Jewish homeland to avoid the regular pogroms and persecution by the Christians. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ct4_ze_FjNo)

  • IbnAbuTalib

    Borat: What, you didn’t know?

    I know you’re an idiot.

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Sounds good to me Jack . Very logical

  • Sorry Bob, you can’t have that one. If you can say that Bin Ladan is an ‘Orthodox Muslim’ etc when he clearly is not, then heck, people can say Hitler was a Christian. Fair is fair.

  • JihadBob

    Ian,

    Nazis were not real Christians. They were ‘corrupt’ Christians. Just like all the ‘corrupt’ Christians that persecuted, expelled, slaughtered, and tortured pagans, “witches”, jews, muslims, indians etc etc in the past 1700 years.

    The disconnect from reality in comparing persons who happen to be of one religion when they do something to other persons who operate on the texts and teachings of their religion when they do something is absolutely amazing.

  • JihadBob

    So as long as they don’t appear on satellite stations, Christian pastors can locally carry out “salem witch trial” like persecution of “witches”?

    Yes, that’s why Harry Potter is banned in the US and people who predict the winner of the next Super Bowl are put on trial for practicing sorcery, which can be punished with death here in the US.

    What, you didn’t know?

  • JihadBob

    Let me know when American Christian pastors come out against the Ugandan bill prescribing death for homosexuals.

    Well, not really, no.

    American Christian spokespeople tend to stick to issues that both they and the public are familiar with.

    So no, your comparison between American silence (through lack of connection and importance) runs a little hollow when we compare it to Muslim clerics and mullahs throughout the Muslim world (not just in the back corner of some place most Muslims have never heard of) – in every Muslim country, in fact, who make comments regarding the beating of wives, the imposition of sharia law, lashings, stonings, apostasy, gay rights and, yes, witchcraft.

  • Rob

    Ian,

    Nazis were not real Christians. They were ‘corrupt’ Christians. Just like all the ‘corrupt’ Christians that persecuted, expelled, slaughtered, and tortured pagans, “witches”, jews, muslims, indians etc etc in the past 1700 years.

  • Cynic

    Anybody see on the news Osama bin Laden’s new audiotape in which he says that “the West will be at peace when it stops occupying Muslim countries.”? What’s your next red herring going to be JihadBob? That he is part of some Leftist alliance…in which he is taqqiya’ing his way to world domination ROFL? I literally lol’d when I saw the headline “OBL says West will be at peace if it stops occupying Muslim countries”.

  • Ian Gould

    While I’m at it, a quick question for Jihadbob, which was the only axis-occupied country to end the war with a higher Jewish population than at the start of the war?

  • Sir David ( Illuminati membership number 5:32) Warning Contains Irony

    Nice one Ian

  • Ian Gould

    Mindy,

    Start here:

    During the Rwandan genocide, Islam as a faith was not the main target of the genocide. Muslims were able to shield most Muslims from the massacres, as well as many non-Muslim Tutsis. According to Marc Lacey of The New York Times, the safest place during the genocide was a Muslim neighborhood. In Kigali, many of Rwanda’s Muslims crowded together in the Biryogo neighborhood. When Hutu militias surrounded the place, Hutu Muslims did not cooperate with the Hutu killers. The Hutu Muslims say that they felt far more connected through religion than through ethnicity, and Muslim Tutsi were spared.[6] While Hutu Muslims saved most Muslim Tutsis, they also saved the lives of thousands of Christian Tutsis as well. Imams spoke out publicly against the killings, urging their congregations to not partake in the massacres.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam_in_Rwanda

    Quick question for Jihadbob: Over 500 Christian clergy have been convicted for their part in the Rwandan Genocide, how many Rwandan Muslim clerics have been convicted for similar offenses?

  • Ian Gould

    “Let me know when Christian pastors in the United States or Canada appear on satellite stations calling for the deaths of witches/homosexuals or other groups they believe their religion allows them to kill.”

    Let me know when American Christian pastors come out against the Ugandan bill prescribing death for homosexuals.

    Because if they fail to explicitly reject it that proves they support it, right?

  • Ian Gould

    So Bob, want to tell us again about the tolerant teachings of the Christian church fathers?

    Or how there’s no such thing as a Christian terrorist?

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