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Azerbaijan moves to obliterate its Armenian Christian past, destroying 89 medieval churches, Christian artifacts

Islamic jihadists want to destroy the artifacts of non-Muslim civilizations, because doing so testifies to the truth of Islam, as the Qur’an suggests that the destroyed remnants of ancient non-Muslim civilizations are a sign of Allah’s punishment of those who rejected his truth:

Many were the Ways of Life that have passed away before you: travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth. (Qur’an 3:137)

This is one of the foundations of the Islamic idea that pre-Islamic civilizations, and non-Islamic civilizations, are all jahiliyya — the society of unbelievers, which is worthless. Obviously this cuts against the idea of tourism of ancient sites and non-Muslim religious installations. V. S. Naipaul encountered this attitude in his travels through Muslim countries. For many Muslims, he observed in Among the Believers, “The time before Islam is a time of blackness: that is part of Muslim theology. History has to serve theology.” Naipaul recounted that some Pakistani Muslims, far from valuing the nation’s renowned archaeological site at Mohenjo Daro, saw its ruins as a teaching opportunity for Islam, recommending that Qur’an 3:137 be posted there as a teaching tool.

“A Regime Conceals Its Erasure of Indigenous Armenian Culture,” by Simon Maghakyan and Sarah Pickman, HyperAllergic.com, February 18, 2019:

In April 2011, when a US Ambassador traveled to Azerbaijan, on the southwestern edge of the former USSR, he was denied access to the riverside borderland that separates this South Caucasus nation from Iran. But it was not a foreign foe that halted the visit. Instead, his Azerbaijani hosts insisted that the envoy’s planned investigation inside the Azerbaijani exclave of Nakhichevan (officially, Naxçıvan Autonomous Republic) could not proceed because it was motivated by fake news. The ambassador had intended to probe the reported destruction of thousands of historical Medieval Christian Armenian artworks and objects at the necropolis of Djulfa in Nakhichevan. This cemetery is recorded to have once boasted the world’s largest collection of khachkars — distinctive Armenian cross-stones. However, according to Azerbaijani officials this reported destruction was a farce, that the site had not been disturbed, because it never existed in the first place. Despite ample testimony to the contrary, Azerbaijan claims that Nakhichevan was never Armenian.

Incompatible narratives of historical rights and wrongs have long bedeviled the unresolved Armenian-Azerbaijani conflict. Following the Russian Empire’s WWI-era collapse, Armenia and Azerbaijan emerged as short-lived independent states. Since centuries of imperial warfare over the strategic Armenian Highland had diversified the region’s ethnic makeup, newly-independent Armenia and Azerbaijan confronted overlapping territorial claims. Soon after the Bolsheviks took power in the area, they formalized two disputed regions — Nagorno-Karabakh and Nakhichevan — as autonomies within Soviet Azerbaijan.While Nagorno-Karabakh preserved a majority Armenian population, Nakhichevan’s longstanding Armenian communities dwindled over the twentieth century. In 1988, Nagorno-Karabakh sought unification with Soviet Armenia. Leaving Azerbaijan was necessary, Nagorno-Karabakh’s majority-Armenian population claimed, to preserve the region’s indigenous Christian past and to avoid the fate of Nakhichevan’s vanished Armenians. Amid Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s glasnost and perestroika, Nagorno-Karabakh became a war zone.

Since the 1994 ceasefire among newly-independent Armenia, Azerbaijan, and Nagorno-Karabakh, mutual accusations of vandalism and revisionism have been rampant. Azerbaijan’s president protests that “all of our mosques in occupied Azerbaijani lands have been destroyed.” A visitor to Armenia-backed Nagorno-Karabakh (also called Artsakh in Armenian) would observe otherwise: there are mosques, albeit nonoperational, including one in the devastated “buffer zone” ghost town Agdam.

Yet a tourist in Nakhichevan, which was not a war zone, would encounter neither Armenian heritage sites nor public acknowledgment of the region’s far-reaching Armenian roots, including the medieval global trade networks launched by Djulfa’s innovative merchants. These merchants’ legacies, documented in Sebouh Aslanian’s From the Indian Ocean to the Mediterranean, include the legendary treasures of the “Adventure Prize” ship pirated in 1698 by celebrated outlaw Captain Kidd. In addition, according to Ina McCabe’s Orientalism in Early Modern France, many of Europe’s first cafés were founded by these Djulfa (Julfan) merchants in the seventeenth century — contributing to a culture that, as Adam Gopnik writes in The New Yorker’s last issue of 2018, “helped lay the foundation for the liberal Enlightenment.” Save for appropriated Armenian folklore linking the region to the Biblical Noah, whose ark was said to have landed on nearby Mount Ararat, Nakhichevan’s Armenian past has all but been erased.

Photographic Memories

Unlike the self-publicized cultural destruction of ISIS, independent Azerbaijan’s covert campaign to re-engineer Nakhichevan’s historical landscape between 1997 and 2006 is little known outside the region. But one man, Armenia-based researcher Argam Ayvazyan, anticipated the systematic destruction decades before.

Ayvazyan feared that Nakhichevan’s Armenian material heritage was destined to disappear, like its indigenous Armenians already had. The region’s Armenian population shrunk following the 1921 treaties of Kars and Moscow, in which Turkish negotiators secured the disputed territory as an exclave under the administration of Soviet Azerbaijan. Ayvazyan was barely 17 when he started photographing the cultural heritage of his native Nakhichevan. From 1964 to 1987, he collected enough documentation to ultimately publish 200 articles and over 40 books. His photographic missions were self-financed, undercover, dangerous, and supported by his closest companion: “My wife, a teacher, was my number one pillar,” recalls Ayvazyan, “she never once complained about my prolonged absences, financial hardships, or being our children’s primary caretaker.” By the time the Berlin Wall fell, Ayvazyan had documented 89 Armenian churches, 5,840 ornate khachkars, and 22,000 horizontal tombstones, among other Armenian monuments. His affection for Nakhichevan’s artifacts was not confined to Christian sites: Ayvazyan also surveyed the region’s seven Islamic mausoleums and 27 mosques.

Treading carefully while researching contentious sites is a skill Ayvazyan learned early in his work. In 1965, after being taken to a police station for photographing a church near his birthplace, Ayvazyan received a warning from a visiting KGB chief, who treated the teenage offender to tea. In a recent interview with the authors, Ayvazyan recalled that Comrade Heydar Aliyev told him in Russian, “Never again do such things, there are no Armenian-Shmarmenian things here!” Four years later, Comrade Aliyev would become Soviet Azerbaijan’s leader and then, in 1993, president of independent Azerbaijan. “Who knew,” Ayvazyan tells Hyperallergic, “that the man who told me not to photograph churches would 30 years later launch their annihilation.” Ayvazyan became increasingly cautious. For example, when it came to surveying the interior of Nakhichevan’s preeminent cathedral in the town of Agulis in September 1972, he asked an elderly local matriarch, Marus, to escort him to a potentially hostile encounter. As the last Armenian resident of a nearby village, she knew how to speak softly with the Azerbaijani community of Agulis. There, Marus convinced locals to unlock the sealed Saint Thomas cathedral, which tradition states was founded as a chapel by Bartholomew the Apostle. Marus insisted that Ayvazyan was suffering from an illness that, he believed, could only be eased by solitary time spent inside the cathedral.

Post-Communist Manifesto

In August 2005 the region’s authorities detained another visiting scholar. Scottish researcher Steven Sim had traveled to post-Soviet Nakhichevan to assess the condition of the Armenian churches photographed earlier by Ayvazyan. Instead of medieval churches, Sim found vacant plots with no vegetation. His police interrogators had a quick response as to why there was nothing for Sim to study: “Armenians came here and took photographs … then went back to their country and inserted into them photographs of churches in Armenia … There were no Armenians ever living here — so how could there have been churches here?!,” he was told. At the end of the interrogation, Sim was given until midnight to exit Nakhichevan, leaving with photographs of empty lots. But at least some of the toppled headstones of Djulfa, which he had seen from his window during a train ride, were still there. Because of its prominent location on an international border, Djulfa — spelled varyingly and originating from the Armenian “Jugha” — had survived.

Four months later, in December 2005, an Iranian border patrol alerted the Prelate of Northern Iran’s Armenian Church that the vast Djulfa cemetery, visible across the border in Azerbaijan, was under military attack. Bishop Nshan Topouzian and his driver rushed to video tape over 100 Azerbaijani soldiers, armed with sledgehammers, dump trucks, and cranes, destroying the cemetery’s remaining 2,000 khachkars; over 1,000 had already been purged in 1998 and 2002.

The helpless bishop officiated a tearful memorial service for the disturbed dead as the heart-wrenching scenes and screeching sounds of the obliteration continued across the border. Photographs from 2006 taken from the Iranian side of the border showed that a military rifle range had been erected where the cemetery used to be, presumably by Azerbaijan’s armed forces, to rationalize the existence of the freshly flattened soil. Likely due to three factors — its noticeable position on an international border, reputation as the world’s largest collection of khachkars, and previously voiced Armenian concerns for its preservation — Djulfa was the last major Armenian site in Nakhichevan to be destroyed. Its 2005–2006 demolition was the “grand finale” of Azerbaijan’s eradication of Nakhichevan’s Armenian past.

Since Azerbaijan banned international fact-finders from visiting Nakhichevan, the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) employed remote sensing technologies in its pioneer investigation into cultural destruction. Their 2010 geospatial study concluded that “satellite evidence is consistent with reports by observers on the ground who have reported the destruction of Armenian artifacts in the Djulfa cemetery.” In November 2013, dressed in the guise of a pilgrim to a Djulfa chapel now preserved on the Iranian side of the border, one of the authors of this article saw desolate grasslands across the river in Azerbaijan. The breathtakingly ornate stones of the world’s largest medieval Armenian cemetery were no more. Except for the peculiarity of flat fields on otherwise uneven terrain, it was as if no human had ever touched the landscape, just as Azerbaijani leaders intended.

Rebuttal by Baku

“Absolutely false and slanderous information … [fabricated by] the Armenian lobby.” These were the words used by Azerbaijan’s president Ilham Aliyev — successor to and son of KGB-leader-turned-President Heydar Aliyev — to describe reports of Djulfa’s destruction in an April 2006 speech. Dismissing any criticism as “Armenian propaganda” has been commonplace in Azerbaijan since war gripped South Caucasus in the early 1990s. By the time a fragile Armenian-Azerbaijani ceasefire was signed in 1994, this conflict — the Nagorno-Karabakh war — had scarred the wider region. It caused tens of thousands of deaths on both sides and many more displaced refugees, the majority of whom were Azerbaijanis from surrounding territories that the otherwise island-shaped Nagorno-Karabakh considers its existential guarantee. “After its defeat and suffering at the hands of the Armenians,” reflected Black Garden author Thomas de Waal on Azerbaijan’s post-war rhetoric, which came to include denial of the WWI-era Armenian Genocide, “[Baku] wanted to assert Azerbaijan’s right to victimhood too.” Azerbaijan’s narrative includes Armenian aggression, ethnic cleansing, massacre in Khojaly, occupation, and anti-Azerbaijan propaganda spread by the well-connected Armenian Diaspora.

But historical revisionism in Azerbaijan challenging Armenian antiquity predates the bloody 1990s war by decades. In the mid-1950s, writes Victor Schnirelmann in the Russian-language book Memory Wars, Azerbaijani historiographers initiated an anti-Armenian agenda. Such a shift likely occurred in response to the rebellious cultural awakening in Armenia, which, as Armenian-American scholar Pietro Shakarian argues, was among the first Soviet republics to experience the “Thaw” and de-Stalinization. Each new argument of the anti-Armenian revisionism, writes Schnirelmann, “inflamed the imagination of the Azerbaijani authors.” In 1975, for instance, a Soviet Azerbaijani construction project demolished the ancient Holy Trinity church, the site of Arab invaders’ mass burning of Armenian noblemen in 705 CE. At the time of the demolition, Azerbaijani historian Ziya Bunyadov downplayed the destruction. Wrecking the church was insignificant since the “real” Holy Trinity, Bunyadov abruptly claimed, was located outside Azerbaijan. A decade later, as the Soviet Union was crumbling, Azerbaijani historians claimed that the churches and cross-stones of Nakhichevan were not the work of medieval Armenians but that of long-gone “Caucasian Albanians,” whom many Azerbaijanis consider to be ancestors, even though the extinct nation’s geographic distribution never included Nakhichevan. But, after the region’s last remaining traces of Christianity were expunged in 2005–2006, the Azerbaijani authorities abandoned discussions of “Caucasian Albanians,” and began promoting Nakhichevan as the bedrock of an “ancient and medieval Turkish-Islamic culture,” without reference to its deep Christian past….

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with images is republished with permission. The featured image is by Yevhen1971 from Pixabay.

In Muslim Rep. Ilhan Omar’s district, “Taliban” and other gangs run wild, Somali Muslims don’t talk to police

They don’t talk to the police because they don’t trust them, because the police are not Muslims. The Qur’an teaches that Muslims are “the best of people” (3:110) and non-Muslims are “the most vile of created beings” (98:6). But no one will admit that is the cause, and so the police keep trying “outreach” programs to win them over. The result? Disasters such as the police career of Mohamed Noor.

Rep. Ilhan Omar

“Back in Omar’s district, police deal with gangs, relations with tight-lipped Somali community,” by Hollie McKay, Fox News, February 14, 2019 (thanks to Mark):

MINNEAPOLIS, Minn. – In the dead of the cold, late night on Tuesday, a young Somali man was shot in the hip. Someone took him to the local trauma center, left him there, and drove off.

The man told police at his bedside that he didn’t know who shot him, who took him to the hospital, or why he was targeted. “I’m intoxicated,” he told cops, while doctors tended his wound, before insisting he didn’t know anything else about what happened.

For the attending police officers, it was a frustrating, albeit familiar, response from a member of the Somali community, whose support in November sent one of their own, Rep. Ilhan Omar, to Congress. While Omar has spoken out frequently and forcefully on a range of issues – some that seem little connected to her district – most members of the Somali community she represents remain far more insular.

The national epidemic of shootings involving young African-American men in America’s cities certainly isn’t unique to Minneapolis. But some officers here believe issues of cultural assimilation involving the Somali immigrant community, and a struggle on both sides to better communicate law enforcement’s mandate to protect and serve, makes it a particularly imposing challenge. One that politicians like Omar, they say, could do much more to effectively address.

“When they come here, they come with their own experiences of not trusting the police, and from a place where the police are known to be corrupt. And the challenge for us lies in trying to get them to cooperate,” said one law enforcement officer. “They’ll often call 911 when they need help. But when we come, they often won’t then tell us who is causing the problem so we can take action or stop the crime from happening again.”

“Our goal is to have a good relationship with the community, we try to engage but it’s proving to be a tough egg to crack,” another officer underscored.

According to data compiled last year by the Washington Post, more than half of all homicides statewide in Minnesota go unsolved. And that’s in part because Somali-Americans in Minneapolis aren’t talking enough to police, according to officers.

The Somali community grew here rapidly here during the 1990s, when large numbers of Somalis fled a devastating civil war. The community has since grown with the addition of U.S.-born children of those refugees – as has the debate over the Somalis’ desire and ability to culturally assimilate.

Minnesota is now home to one the largest Somali communities in the global diaspora, with an estimated 100,000 living in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area. The Cedar-Riverside neighborhood is the center of the Somali community – and is fondly nicknamed “Little Mogadishu” – for its array of Somali-centered organizations, businesses, and mosques.

Last year, it was announced that massive security upgrades totaling some $825,000 were coming to the major government-funded apartment complex in Cedar-Riverside, to “address resident safety concerns.” Part of the plan was to place a six-foot perimeter fence at the Cedar High Apartments, a complex owned and managed by Minneapolis Public Housing Authority, and for many, the central meeting point for the community.

While supported by some, others expressed their concerns the fence would only further isolate the Somali population, and hinder their ability to work with them and make the area safer.

Some investigators lament the difficulties in rooting out gang violence that remains a problem in not just the Somali community, but neighboring areas. The proper dismantling of the gangs, police stress, is a two-way street. Gang activity now is no longer centered on larger outfits like MS-13, or the Crips. Much more common here are smaller gangs with names like “Somali Mafia,” “Somali Outlaws,” “Young n’ Thuggin (YNT)” and even the “Taliban.”

“It’s hard for any community to assimilate and to immediately transform from the life they knew. But the distrust is only getting worse,” said an area law enforcement official. “The gang violence is only getting worse. Not only do crimes go unsolved, but many don’t get reported at all.”

But Jeanine Brudenell, the former Minneapolis Police Department’s Somali liaison officer, who retired in 2017, believes gang violence has waned somewhat. She acknowledged that while the “huge fear of police and government” has made efforts to protect the community, the right steps are being put in place in terms of community relations.

In recent years, the Minneapolis Police Department (MPD) has sought to do more community outreach, and bring into the fold more Somali officers. The department currently has eight ethnic Somalis serving as officers.

“The City of Minneapolis has the largest Somali population, per capita, in the United States. The Minneapolis Police Department strongly believes that a police department that reflects the community it serves is an important first step in building trust,” John Elder, Minneapolis Police Department Public Information Officer told Fox News. “When Somali residents see officers that look like them, on patrol and detectives in investigation units, they are more likely have the confidence the MPD will understand their culture and background.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column with images is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Josh Hild on Unsplash.

World Hijab Day encourages non-Muslims to don hijabs in solidarity with Muslims, ignores victims of forced veiling

Once again non-Muslim women will signal their virtue by donning a hijab. But where is their concern for the women who have been brutalized and even killed for not wearing the hijab? Do the women who will happily participate in World Hijab Day care about Aqsa Parvez, whose Muslim father choked her to death with her hijab after she refused to wear it. Or Amina Muse Ali, a Christian woman in Somalia whom Muslims murdered because she wasn’t wearing a hijab? Have they shown any concern for the 40 women who were murdered in Iraq in 2007 for not wearing the hijab; or for Alya Al-Safar, whose Muslim cousin threatened to kill her and harm her family because she stopped wearing the hijab in Britain; or for Amira Osman Hamid, who faced whipping in Sudan for refusing to wear the hijab; or for the Egyptian girl, also named Amira, who committed suicideafter being brutalized by her family for refusing to wear the hijab; or for the Muslim and non-Muslim teachers at the Islamic College of South Australia who were told they had to wear the hijab or be fired; or for the women in Chechnya whom police shot with paintballs because they weren’t wearing hijab; or for the women in Chechnya who were threatened by men with automatic rifles for not wearing hijab; or for the elementary school teachers in Tunisia who were threatened with deathfor not wearing hijab; or for the Syrian schoolgirls who were forbidden to go to school unless they wore hijab; or for the women in Gaza whom Hamas has forced to wear hijab; or for the women in Iran who protested against the regime, even before the recent uprising, by daring to take off their hijabs; or for the women in London whom Muslim thugs threatened to murder if they didn’t wear hijab; or for the anonymous young Muslim woman who doffed her hijab outside her home and started living a double life in fear of her parents; or for the fifteen girls in Saudi Arabia who were killed when the religious police wouldn’t let them leave their burning school building because they had taken off their hijabs in their all-female environment; or for the girl in Italy whose mother shaved her head for not wearing hijab; or for all the other women and girls who have been killed or threatened, or who live in fear for daring not to wear the hijab?

Courageous women in the Islamic Republic of Iran are taking off their hijabs as a sign of resistance to the oppressive Sharia regime under which they live, and at least 29 women have been arrested for doing so. Who is standing in solidarity with them? Not the participants in World Hijab Day.

“World Hijab Day Encourages All Women to Wear Veil in Solidarity with Muslims,” by Edwin Mora, Breitbart, December 26, 2018 (thanks to the Geller Report):

The World Hijab Day (WHD) non-profit organization launched its 2019 campaign Wednesday, encouraging women and girls of all faiths, backgrounds, and ethnicities to “voice their choice” of wearing the headscarf for 24 hours on February 1, in solidarity with Muslim women across the world.

“#FreeInHijab is the much-needed hashtag for our current global situation where women in hijab are labeled by media as oppressed and symbolically imprisoned,” Nazma Khan told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency (AA).

“Through this hashtag, women are encouraged to voice their choice of wearing the hijab; thus dispelling common misconceptions,” Khan added.

Each year since its inception in 2013, WHD has invited women to wear a hijab — a headscarf worn by Muslim women — for one day on February 1.

“Perhaps, this one-day experience will make them see the hijab in a different light,” Khan told AA.

“More than 70 global ambassadors from over 45 countries have been involved, and women from around 190 countries participate in the annual event,” Al Jazeera notedlast year.

Khan explained that WHD’s 2019 motto is “Breaking Stereotypes, Shattering Boundaries,” noting that the campaign also includes “promoting World Hijab Day both online and offline globally.”

Each year, the non-profit organization prepares for World Hijab Day weeks in advance.

In 2017, WHD became a nonprofit organization focused on fighting discrimination against Muslim women through awareness and education, according to the organization’s official webpage.

Khan has told several news outlets that the hardships she faced growing up in New York City due to her hijab motivated her to establish World Hijab Day.

“I was constantly bullied in middle school and high school. Discrimination took on a different height after 9/11,” she said, referring to the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks in the United States.

She added, “Every day, I would face different challenges just walking on the street; I was chased, spat on, surrounded by goons, called a terrorist, Osama bin Laden, etc.”

Khan described her experience as “devastating,” adding that she did not want anyone else to go through the same thing.

“Therefore, I thought to myself, if I could invite sisters from all faiths and backgrounds to walk in my shoes just for a day, perhaps things would change,” she said.

In 2017, New York state and the House of Commons of the U.K. recognized February 1 as World Hijab Day. The Scottish Parliament and the Philippines have reportedly followed suit.

Khan dismissed accusations that the organization is spreading a political Islam ideology….

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared on Jihad Watch. It is republished with permission. The featured photo is by أخٌ في الله … on Unsplash.

Twitter now enforcing Pakistan’s blasphemy law

Remember when Barack Obama took control of the Internet away from the United States and gave it to an international organization, the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN)? Conservatives warned then that giving control of the primary means of communication to an international body could threaten the freedom of speech, and they were derided as hysterical. But now they’ve been proven correct: the social media giants are all Sharia-compliant.

FrontPage editor Jamie Glazov got the notice Saturday morning:

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Twitter Legal <twitter-legal@twitter.com>
Date: Sat, Dec 22, 2018 at 7:27 AM
Subject: Twitter Receipt of Correspondence
To: @JamieGlazov <jamieglazov11@gmail.com>

Hello,

We are writing to inform you that Twitter has received official correspondence regarding your Twitter account, @JamieGlazov.

The correspondence claims that the following content is in violation of Pakistan law:Section 37 of PECA-2016, Section 295 B and Section 295 C of the Pakistan penal code

@JamieGlazov

Twitter has not taken any action on the reported content at this time. We are only writing to inform you that content posted to your account has been mentioned in a complaint.

This notice is not legal advice. You may wish to consult legal counsel about this matter. If you believe we have contacted you in error, please let us know by replying to this email.

For more general information on legal requests, please refer to the following Help Center article: https://t.co/lrfaq.

Sincerely,
Twitter

Click on the Twitter link, and you’ll see that the tweet in question is an advertisement for Jamie’s new book, Jihadist Psychopath. In Pakistan, jihadists aren’t psychopaths, they’re heroes.

Note also that Pakistan is accusing Glazov of being in violation of sections 295B and 295C of its penal code. Section 295B criminalizes “defiling the Holy Quran,” and carries a penalty of life imprisonment. 295C mandates that those who “by words, either spoken or written, or by visible representation, or by any imputation innuendo, or insinuation, directly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life and shall also be liable for fine.” Yes, death and a fine.

Glazov is not alone in this. Pamela Geller received a notice from Twitter that she was in violation of Pakistani law for a tweet that noted correctly that Al Arabiya had criticized Linda Sarsour as a Muslim Brotherhood operative. Ensaf Haidar, the wife of Raif Badawi, who has been languishing for years in a Saudi prison for “insulting Islam,” got the notice for a tweet criticizing the niqab. Twitter has also notified Canadian columnist Anthony Furey and reformist imam Mohammed Tawhidi that they have violated Pakistani law.

I haven’t. It makes me wonder what I have to do to offend the Pakistani government.

Meanwhile, “a new Android app,” according to Laura Loomer at Big League Politics, “has launched with the focus of allowing Muslims to report individuals who commit blasphemy, or insult Islam.” Now, if you’re a pious Muslim, if you see something, you can say something, and make sure that those who dare to criticize the Left’s favored religion will henceforth be able to say nothing.

Big League Politics explains that “the app, ‘Smart Pakem’, which launched in Indonesia last month at the request of the Indonesian government, will allow users and government officials to uphold Sharia law and target and report people who hold ‘misguided’ beliefs in violation of Islamic law, which forbids insults of Islam, insults against the Prophet Mohammed, or the recognition of any other religion besides Islam.”

Google has been leading the way on social media Sharia-compliance for quite some time. Anwar Awlaki’s al-Qaeda recruitment lectures were offered in Google Play store app. And in 2017, Texas imam Omar Suleiman made a successful effort to compel Google to drop search results about Islam-related terms and topics that reflected negatively upon Islam. The jihad against the freedom of speech is advancing rapidly, and most people don’t even know it’s happening. Turkey’s Anadolu Agency reported that “Google’s first page results for searches of terms such as ‘jihad’, ‘shariah’ and ‘taqiyya’ now return mostly reputable explanations of the Islamic concepts. Taqiyya, which describes the circumstances under which a Muslim can conceal their belief in the face of persecution, is the sole term to feature a questionable website on the first page of results.”

“Reputable” according to whom? “Questionable” according to whom? Why, Omar Suleiman, of course. Google execs swallowed uncritically everything he said, and dutifully buried all search results remotely critical of Islam, including ones that were demonstrably accurate in what they said.

Facebook is on the Sharia train, too. Facebook’s Vice President Joel Kaplan traveled to Pakistan in July 2017 to assure the Pakistani government that it would remove “anti-Islam” material. And Facebook has done so assiduously, banning numerous foes of jihad terror and twice now blocking the Jihad Watch Facebook page on spurious technical grounds.

And now Twitter is actually informing free Americans that they face life imprisonment or death for violating Islamic blasphemy laws. This is the legacy of Barack Hussein Obama.

EDITORS NOTE: This column with images originally appeared on Jihad Watch. It is republished with permission. The featured photo is by Sara Kurfeß on Unsplash.