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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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  • Cynic

    You’re still dodging JihadBob. What happened to your desperate rgument that occupation has little or nothing to do with terrorism? Will you now admit that it actually has EVERYTHING to do with it so as to retain at least a little debating integrity? Somehow, I don’t thinj you will.

  • Thanks Ian, appreciated 🙂 You know, you have the same name as my old Commanding Officer… now *that* would be weird if you turned out to be him 😛

  • NassirH

    What a relief.

    Bin Laden just wants us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and then there would never be a 9/11.

    No, wait….

    What’s the word I’m looking for….?

    Oh yeah— pathetic.

    OBL wanted the US out of Saudi Arabia and the Israelis out of Palestine before the wars in Iraq/Afghanistan started. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that, however, it does take a moron to come up with the conclusion you did.

  • JD

    Why are you asking us wont dont you take a plane to Africa and talk to them…

  • JD

    Ohhhh Wait………..

    “Allah knows it did not cross our minds to attack the towers but after the situation became unbearable and we witnessed the injustice and tyranny of the American-Israeli alliance against our people in Palestine and Lebanon, I thought about it. And the events that affected me directly were that of 1982 and the events that followed – when America allowed the Israelis to invade Lebanon, helped by the U.S. Sixth Fleet. As I watched the destroyed towers in Lebanon, it occurred to me punish the unjust the same way (and) to destroy towers in America so it could taste some of what we are tasting and to stop killing our children and women.”

    – Osama bin Laden, 2004

  • JihadBob

    As I said, still waiting for that verse.

    The self-proclaimed prophetess at least managed to cite the Old Testament (Job).

  • JihadBob

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for JihadBob’s response to OBL’s new audiotape. In which he completely shatters Bob’s notion that occupation of Muslim lands has little or nothing to do with terrorism. I think it’s quite credible to hear from the head honcho of terrorism himself clearly state that it has EVERYTHING to do with it. How about a few snippets?

    What a relief.

    Bin Laden just wants us out of Iraq and Afghanistan and then there would never be a 9/11.

    No, wait….

  • Dawood

    If the connection is true, that would be very sad indeed.

  • Dawood

    Haha!

  • Mosizzle

    Is it a coincidence that JihadBob isn’t posting anything today and neither is Spencer posting anything on his hate site?

  • jorrdie

    Jihadbobs faith is very weak. That’s why he spends day in and day out on this site trying persuade others that islam is bad. That’s how he tries to strengthens his faith, by attacking others. His motive isnt to gain knowledge and understanding, but to spread fear. Spencer is the same except he found a way to profit from fear and lies

  • Cynic

    Oh, and I’m still waiting for JihadBob’s response to OBL’s new audiotape. In which he completely shatters Bob’s notion that occupation of Muslim lands has little or nothing to do with terrorism. I think it’s quite credible to hear from the head honcho of terrorism himself clearly state that it has EVERYTHING to do with it. How about a few snippets?

    “It is a simple and clear equation: As you kill, you will be killed. As you capture, you will be captured. And as you threaten our security, your security will be threatened. The way to safeguard your security is to cease your oppression and its impact on our nation, most importantly your withdrawal from the ill-fated Bush war in Afghanistan.”

    “How can it be right that you participate in the occupation of our lands, support the Americans in the killing of our women and children and yet want to live in peace and security?”

    “The kidnapping of your experts in the Niger is a reaction to your oppression of Muslims,”

    Ok…carry on with your strawmen. Didn’t mean to interrupt you there.

  • Ian Gould
  • Cynic

    Nassir, JihadBob is arguing semantics. He knows very well that the article says that they take the exhortations from Exodus literally. That’s not his argument. His point is, show me where one of the Pastors have quoted said verses. Crappy argument I know, but what can you do when you’re backed into a corner?

  • JD

    Jihad Bob all religions have there Nuts….Since you wanted examples which are not that hard to find with my buddy “GOOGLE”

    This issue has come to the fore in Uganda as Pastor Martin Ssempa has become more vociferous in his calls to punish homosexuality with death.

    Pastor Steven Anderson teaches his followers to not only hate gays, but advocates that they be punished and executed with the death penalty.

    Steven Anderson, a pastor in Tempe, Arizona, gave a sermon last month in which he told his congregation that “not forgiveness but death is what he asks God to give President Barack Obama.” Anderson later clarified by saying he’s like to see Obama die of natural causes, “like Ted Kennedy, of brain cancer.”

    Pastor Neuman Britton Anglo-Saxons, not Jews, are the Biblical “chosen people,” that nonwhites are “mud People” on the level of animals, and that Jews are “children of Satan

    (New People This is no a Anti Christian comment or anything like that It just to point out all religions have tehre nutty Pastors mullahs and preachers per request of Jihad bob comments above)

  • Don’t forget Morocco Ian, where the Sultan refused point blank to his Vichy French colonial masters that he would not hand over the Jews under his protection. When he died both Muslims and Jews mourned him and I believe he received an award from Israel. But I forgot, that Mufti dude apparently allied with Hitler and a bunch of Muslims formed what can only be called the worst SS battalion in history (it disintegrated in a matter of months on it’s first deployment once the Muslims realized they’d been duped), so thus all Muslims are Nazis. Don’t forget that either Ian! And thanks for your details about Rwanda, do you have some links? I’d like to do an article about it if you’re interested.

  • Ian Gould

    Another interesting fact about Rwanda – approximately 90% of Rwandans are Christians, 10% and Muslims (or they were before the Genocide).

    The Muslim minority is made up of roughly equally numbers of Tusi and Hutu. At the exact same time Catholic Hutu priests were whipping up the Interahamwe to attack the Tusi, Muslim imams were speaking out against the attacks and urging their parishioners to oppose it.

    During the genocide, Muslims Hutu Rwandans saved the lives of thousands of Rwandan Tusis – most of whom were Christians.

    Since the Genocide, tens of thousands of Tusi have converted to Islam – precisely because they can no longer be members of a church whose leadership was directly involved in the murder of their friends and families.

  • Ian Gould

    By the way, bob, the only axis-occupied country which ended world War II with a larger Jewish population than it started was Albania – because Albanian Muslims took in and sheltered approximately 30,000 Jewish refugees from Yugoslavia.

  • jihad bobs dad

    Son, Hitler in numerous speeches claimed to be a christian and cited his persecution of the Jewish race as his duty as a christian. No more cocoa when i tuck you into bed!

  • jihad bobs dad

    Ian Gould , funny how sponge bob is incapable of answering back about Rwanda!

  • “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.”

    Ever read Min Kampf Bob? Listened to some of his speeches?, I’ve done both and he manages to find a lot of Biblical stuff to back up what he did, Hitler was merely continuing the Churches (Catholic especially) actions towards Jews. Why do you think that, on the whole, the Church was silent on the whole issue? As your lot routinely claim, silence is acceptance, again if you’re going to pull that up against Muslims, then I’m going to pull it up on Christians during Hitler’s rise.

    Now, you and I will no doubt agree that Hitler, and the preceding Christians, interpretations were not in the spirit of Christianity and the Bible but again, if you’re going to keep going down the Bin Ladan is an ‘orthodox Muslim’/has loads of support/Muslims are like Bin Ladan route then I’ll stay on this one. That along with your continued hypocrisy on other issues of course.

  • Justin

    I can’t figure out if JihadBob really is delusional or if he’s just putting on an act.

  • NassirH

    The confirmation for the Exodus verse has already been linked to at least three times.

  • Syed

    Jihadbob said, “Still waiting for confirmation …”

    Careful what you wish for. ABC news report from the field in Africa. Notice the guy with the image of Jesus on his shirt and the pastor with the cross on his purple stole? Need any more confirmation, JihadBob? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kseo6Fu5yG8)

    PS: this ABC report shows so-called Christian pastors torturing children to perform exorcisms. If you are sensitive to these kinds of horrific imagery, please do not watch the report.

  • Ian Gould

    As for the Church fathers you, claimed on another thread that the true peaceful natural of Christianity was t5o be found in the teachings of the Church fathers.

    You fell silent when the actual words of the Church Fathers were quoted to you.

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