Arab Support for Hamas in the Israeli-Hamas Conflict Waning

2014 Ramadan Prayer Day 20The current conflict between the nation of Israel and the terrorist group, Hamas in the Gaza Strip has sparked criticism of Hamas in Arab media. The Middle East Media Research Institute (MEMRI) reports, “Arab media voiced sharp and extensive criticism of the Hamas leadership’s handling of the crisis. …Media in Saudi Arabia and in Al-Sisi’s Egypt…accused Hamas of taking unreasonable and irresponsible steps, of trading in the blood of the people of Gaza, and of exposing them to inevitable attacks.”

Following a call by Hamas’ political bureau head for the Egyptian army to aid Hamas in Gaza, many Egyptian columnists responded with anger. One questioned why the bureau head was not joining the fight himself and urged him to “Leave Doha’s [Qatar] hotels, which you have enjoyed, and go down into the trenches and fight…we are tired of defending the [Palestinian] cause that you have sold for cheap to a Muslim Brotherhood gang.”

Another columnist, Dr. Nagla Al-Sayyid criticized Hamas saying that it was trading in the blood of Palestinians while using the financial aid it receives to promote political and ideological interests rather than giving the money to those in need. “All the Hamas leaders are doing – as they sit securely in their hiding places while leaving the people of Gaza alone under the fire of the Israeli shelling – is collecting donations in order to use them in the service of their ideas.” Dr. Al-Sayyid continues by calling Hamas a failed movement.

Mahmoud Sultan, a pro-Muslim Brotherhood editor of a daily Egyptian newspaper criticized Hamas for not caring for their own people. Another Egyptian writer compared Hamas to Hitler saying that Hamas has done more damage to the Palestinian people than Israel has.Newspaper Rack at Souk

The Saudi Arabian editor of a London-based Saudi daily also claimed that Hamas was trading in the blood of its own people. “Nobody [in Hamas] is asking if the loss of [Palestinian] life if justified.” Another Saudi warned his readers to not be fooled by Hamas’ tactics. “The same sights are repeating themselves in Gaza once again: an abduction followed by mutual rocket fire, which triggers an Israeli invasion of Gaza. The result is always dozens of dead and hundreds wounded from among the weak Palestinians, and minimal damage on the Israeli side… While the poor, defenseless people …stand exposed to rockets and tanks, the jihadi and Brotherhood leaderships flee to the fortified holes they prepared for themselves.” He also points out that much of the leadership of Hamas are living outside of Gaza and tells his readers to “Beware of them!”

Hamas describes itself as one of the wings of the Muslim Brotherhood. The toppling of the Muslim Brotherhood government in Egypt seems to have helped open the eyes of Muslims in the region to the tactics of Hamas in Gaza.

Prayer Points:

Each of these journalists still would like to see a separate Palestinian state, and they still support Palestine over Israel. However, we thank God that eyes are beginning to be open to the tactics of Hamas and these journalists have been courageous to speak out against them.

In Isaiah 56:6-7 and 62:6-7 God spoke prophetically through Isaiah that He would raise up intercessors for Israel – and we see this today in the nations of the world. Continue to pray that Christians will see the current situation through the Lord’s eyes and have the understanding to make His proclamations and declarations that will cause a shift in what is happening in this critical time, releasing the will and glory of God and bringing peace in the midst of it.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu recently stated:

“Israel targets Hamas terrorists and not innocent civilians. By contrast, Hamas targets Israeli civilians while hiding behind Palestinian civilians. Hamas, therefore, bears full responsibility for any harm that comes to Israeli and Palestinian civilians alike. We are determined to give our citizens the safety and security they deserve.”

Pray that God will protect the innocent people in Gaza and that the nations in the world will recognize when Hamas is using their people as “human shields”.  Just as these Arab journalists are courageous, pray for the media in the nations to also be courageous, recognize what is happening through the eyes of truth – and report about Israel and Hamas with honesty and accuracy.

Ramadan 2013 – Day 23 – The Plight of Islam’s Children

2013 Ramadan PrayerThe words of the “adhan” or the Muslim call to prayer are first words a newborn Muslim baby hears. His or her father whispers into the child’s right ear, “God is great, there is no god but Allah. Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. Come to prayer.”  This is the crux is Islam, acknowledging Allah and Muhammad as the perfect example.

By the time a Muslim reaches the age of 50, he has heard this repeated nearly 90,000 times. That is roughly 1,800 times per year every year since the day he was born.

In some nations, the call to prayer is not the only tenet of Islam that children learn at an early age. A 2011, report regarding school textbooks in the Middle East revealed the Egyptian school children are taught Christians and Jews are infidels. And for many years textbooks in Palestinian schools have rejected Israel’s right to exist, and have portrayed a Middle East in maps and through text without the nation of Israel on them. For instance, the following is from a 12th grade Palestinian textbook: “Palestine’s war ended with a catastrophe that is unprecedented in history, when the Zionist gangs stole Palestine and expelled its people from their cities, their villages, their lands and their houses, and established the State of Israel.”

Palestinian Media Watch released a video of a young girl reciting a poem about Jerusalem on Palestinian Authority TV that calls Jews the most evil among creations, barbaric monkeys and wretched pigs. It ends with the lines:

 As long as my heart is my Qur’an and my city

As long as I have my arm and my stones

As long as I am free and do not barter my cause

I will not fear your throngs

I will not fear the rifle.

In April of 2013, The Guardian reported approximately 37,000 teenagers between the ages of 15 to 17 were receiving weekly military training classes in the Palestinian area of Gaza. The boys learn about assault rifles and other weapons, first aid and firefighting. During school breaks, voluntary camps are offered where students can learn how to handle guns and explosives. The armed wing of Hamas, the Izz al-Din al-Qassam brigades assists in the training. They deny the use of real weapons, however a video that was filmed at a school near Gaza City shows students carrying assault rifles and one boy firing an artillery shell at a replica of an Israeli watchtower, complete with an Israeli flag. About 5,000 boys have participated since the program began in September 2012, and the Palestinian government is considering adapting the course for teenaged girls next year.

Another video, filmed in Deir ez-Zor, Syria was posted to the Internet in June which shows children training at an Al-Qaeda. Save the Children estimated that two million children were innocent victims of the war in Syria. Many children struggled to find enough food to eat, girls were being forced into early marriages to protect them from the threat of sexual violence, and armed groups were recruiting other children. Children as young as eight have been used as human shields in the fighting.

The Taliban in Afghanistan recruits orphans to act as decoys and to be suicide bombers against western forces in Afghanistan. According to Britain’s Channel 4, Taliban fighters promised an eight-year-old orphan boy named Neaz a handful of coins worth 91 cents to go with them. They gave him sweets and taught him to use a gun and build IEDs. After gaining the child’s trust they tried to convince him to use a suicide vest and blow himself up at a checkpoint. After questioning how he could spend the coins he was promised if he blew himself up, he eventually escaped and turned himself into police. He now lives in an orphanage.

Prayer Points:

In Matthew 19:14, Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them…”  Pray for the children of Islam who have become orphans because of war in their nation. Ask God to watch out for them, enabling them to be cared for by people who will not use them as weapons or decoys.

Many Muslim children are taught to hate non-Muslims from the time they are small children. Pray that God will break through the years of indoctrination with His love and reveal His heart for all people.

Pray the Spirit of Truth will be revealed to these children, causing the stronghold of deception to be broken over the minds of Muslim children and that they will be introduced to salvation through Jesus Christ.

Ramadan 2013 – Day 11 – Western Rape Victims – Criminals in the Middle East?

2013 Ramadan PrayerIn February of 2011 during the Arab Spring protests in Egypt, Lara Logan, an American reporter from CBS, was brutally assaulted as she was in Tahrir Square covering the protest. Although not raped, she was groped by a mob of men and all of her clothes were ripped from her body. As she lay naked, the mob took pictures with their cell phones and beat her with flagpoles and sticks. “What really struck me was how merciless they were. They really enjoyed my pain and suffering. It incited them to more violence,” she said. Eventually a group of Muslim women accompanied by Egyptian soldiers rescued her from the attack.

In October of 2012 a similar attempt in Tahrir Square was caught on tape as journalist, Sonia Dridi from France 24 was attacked and groped as she was giving a live report. In video footage of her report, you can see her being pushed off the screen as the mob moves in. Her colleague, Ashraf Khalil was able to help her escape. And last month, a female Dutch journalist was attacked and gang raped by 5 men in Tahrir Square. She had to have surgery for severe injuries.

Ahmad Mahmoud Abdullah, an Egyptian Salafist (a member of a literal, strict, fundamental sect of Islam) said the women protesting in Tahrir Square were not going to protest but rather they were there because they wanted to be raped.

A vigilante group tracking the incidents in Egypt recorded 46 cases of sexual assault and harassment against women in one night, and the UN Entity for Gender Equality reported that 99.3% of Egyptian women that they interviewed had been victims of some form of sexual violence. In Egypt and other nations operating under Islamic sharia law, rape victims do not go to the hospital or the police. The police treat the female victims of rape as criminals, because under sharia law in order to prove rape the rapist must confess or four adult Muslim men must witness the crime and testify that the sex was not consensual.

Two young western women learned this difficult lesson after being raped in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). While on a business trip to Dubai a 25-year-old Norwegian woman was raped.  She reported the rape to the police, but the Dubai authorities confiscated her passport and charged her.  Yesterday, she was sentenced to serve 16 months for illicit sex outside of marriage.

In a similar case, Australian Alicia Gali was hired as the spa and beauty salon manager at a beach resort in the UAE. One evening her room began to flood from the bathroom drain. Maintenance came and fixed it, but it began to flood again. She left her room and was using her laptop in the hotel’s staff bar where her drink was spiked. She woke up the next afternoon in her room to discover three men had raped her. She was in pain with multiple bruises and broken ribs so she went to the hospital. Later it was discovered her drain had been intentionally blocked with a man’s shirt and a plastic bag. After going to the hospital she reported the rape to the police. She gave her statement and then after signing a document written in Arabic that she thought was her statement, she was taken to an Islamic court. In actuality she signed a confession. She was sentenced to 11 months in prison for sex outside of marriage and one month for drinking alcohol. The three rapists received similar sentences.

Prayer Points:

It is vital we educate our children and grandchildren, especially those who may travel to an Islamic nation. Pray that western youth will be open to hear the truth about Islamic sharia law. Pray that they will understand that uncovering the teachings of Islam is wisdom and is not a condemnation on any of the Muslim people.

Pray that leaders in western nations will realize that Islamic sharia law is in total opposition to freedom and democracy and take their stand against the advancement of this type of law that it is being promoted in our democracies.

Pray for protection for women in nations such as Egypt and the UAE – Muslim and non-Muslim. Thank God for people like the Muslim women and members of the Egyptian military who helped to rescue western women from attacks.