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This is the new Samizdat. We must use it while we can.
June 5, 2020
When Islam Came: The Rape of Constantinople
By Raymond Ibrahim
Last Friday, May 29, was the 567th anniversary of the Islamic conquest of Constantinople, one of ancient Christianity’s greatest capitals that for the previous seven centuries had, as Europe’s easternmost bulwark, withstood Islam. Lesser known is what immediately transpired — which Turkey is immensely proud of — on the taking of “New Rome,” as described in what follows (note: all quotes were derived from contemporary sources, mostly eyewitnesses).
Once inside the city on that fateful May 29, the “enraged Turkish soldiers … gave no quarter,” wrote an eyewitness:
When they had massacred and there was no longer any resistance, they were intent on pillage and roamed through the town stealing, disrobing, pillaging, killing, raping, taking captive men, women, children, old men, young men, monks, priests, people of all sorts and conditions[.] … There were virgins who awoke from troubled sleep to find those brigands standing over them with bloody hands and faces full of abject fury[.] … [The Turks] dragged them, tore them, forced them, dishonored them, raped them at the cross-roads and made them submit to the most terrible outrages[.] … Tender children were brutally snatched from their mothers’ breasts and girls were pitilessly given up to strange and horrible unions, and a thousand other terrible things happened[.]
Because thousands of citizens had fled to and were holed up in Hagia Sophia, the ancient basilica offered an excellent harvest of slaves — once its doors were axed down. “One Turk would look for the captive who seemed the wealthiest, a second would prefer a pretty face among the nuns[.] … Each rapacious Turk was eager to lead his captive to a safe place, and then return to secure a second and a third prize. … Then long chains of captives could be seen leaving the church and its shrines, being herded along like cattle or flocks of sheep.”
The slavers sometimes fought each other to the death over “any well-formed girl,” even as many of the latter “preferred to cast themselves into the wells and drown rather than fall into the hands of the Turks.”
Having taken possession of one of Christendom’s greatest and oldest basilicas — nearly a thousand years old at the time of its capture — the invaders “engaged in every kind of vileness within it, making of it a public brothel.” On “its holy altars” they enacted “perversions with our women, virgins, and children,” including “the Grand Duke’s daughter who was quite beautiful.” She was forced to “lie on the great altar of Hagia Sophia with a crucifix under her head and then raped.”
Next “they paraded the [Hagia Sophia’s main] Crucifix in mocking procession through their camp, beating drums before it, crucifying the Christ again with spitting and blasphemies and curses. They placed a Turkish cap … upon His head, and jeeringly cried, ‘Behold the god of the Christians!'”
Many other churches in the ancient city suffered the same fate. “The crosses which had been placed on the roofs or the walls of churches were torn down and trampled.” The Eucharist was hurled to the ground; holy icons were stripped of gold, “thrown to the ground and kicked.” Bibles were stripped of their gold or silver illuminations before being burned. “Icons were without exception given to the flames.” Patriarchal vestments were placed on the haunches of dogs; priestly garments were placed on horses.
“Everywhere there was misfortune, everyone was touched by pain” when Sultan Muhammad II (“Mehmet”) finally made his grand entry into the city. “There were lamentations and weeping in every house, screaming in the crossroads, and sorrow in all churches; the groaning of grown men and the shrieking of women accompanied looting, enslavement, separation, and rape.”
The sultan rode to Hagia Sophia, dismounted, and went in, “marveling at the sight” of the grand basilica. After having it cleansed of its crosses, statues, and icons — the sultan himself knocked over and trampled on its altar — Muhammad ordered a muezzin to ascend the pulpit and sound “their detestable prayers. Then this son of iniquity, this forerunner of Antichrist, mounted upon the Holy Table to utter forth his own prayers,” thereby “turning the Great Church into a heathen shrine for his god and his Mahomet.”
To cap off his triumph, Muhammad had the “wretched citizens of Constantinople” dragged before his men during evening festivities and “ordered many of them to be hacked to pieces, for the sake of entertainment.” The rest of the city’s population — as many as forty-five thousand — were hauled off in chains to be sold as slaves.
This, incidentally, is the “heritage” that millions of Turks — beginning with their president, Erdo?an — are eager to honor through their incessant calls to transform the Hagia Sophia, which has been a neutral museum since 1945, into a mosque again. As Salih Turhan, head of the Anatolian Youth Association, puts it: “As the grandchildren of Muhammad the Conqueror, seeking the re-opening Hagia Sophia as a mosque is our legitimate right.”
Openly idolizing Muhammad II and trying to do what he did — transform Hagia Sophia into a mosque to honor the “souls of all who left us this work as inheritance, especially Istanbul’s conqueror [Muhammad],” as Erdo?an himself once proclaimed — is tantamount to Turkey saying, “We are proud of [and seek to emulate?] our ancestors who slaughtered, enslaved, and raped people and stole their lands simply because they were Christian infidels.”
Not that anyone notices or cares, being so overwhelmed by and paralyzed from putting down rioting thugs.
Note: The above account was adapted from the author’s book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and a Distinguished Senior Fellow at the Gatestone Institute.
Saudi-Led Coalition Airstrikes on Yemen in 2 Months Top 1,800: Spokesman
” The spokesman for the Yemeni Armed Forces said the Saudi-led coalition has launched more than 1,800 airstrikes on different parts of Yemen over the past two months…”
Tehran Calls on Washington to Release All Iranians Taken Hostage
“Iran’s Foreign Ministry Spokesman Seyed Abbas Mousavi on Thursday night confirmed media reports that the US has released an Iranian physician after spending over a year in jail, calling on Washington to release all other Iranian citizens taken “hostage”…”
Iran Condemns EU, US Sanctions on Syria
“Iran’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs denounced the expansion of European Union and United States sanctions against Syria, saying such sanctions only target the Arab country’s people…”
“Louisiana man crashes car thru front doors of Target — Leaves ‘explosive’ package and runs…” by Kane – June 5, 2020
“Watch: Video shows suspect’s SUV plow into Hammond Target, stop at cash registers” local borders – June 5, 2020
“Suspect in Hammond Target bomb threat identified; witness describes chaotic scene: ‘It was awful'”
by Emma Kennedy and Lea Skene – June 5, 2020
“Hammond PD provides update about incident at Hammond Square Mall; suspect identified” by Kiran Chawla – June 5, 2020
Video: “1 in custody after driving into Hammond Square store; found with suspicious devices”
WDSU Digital Team – June 5, 2020
Arabs for Black Lives urges community to do its part against racism
“Arab Americans have launched an anti-racism initiative in solidarity with the African-American community as protests continue over the death of George Floyd, an unarmed Black man who died at the hands of Minneapolis police last week.
Congresswoman Rashida Tlaib, Golden Globe-winning actor Ramy Youssef and Palestinian-American historian Rashid Khalidi were among more than 1,600 people who endorsed a statement this week from the Arabs for Black Lives Collective calling on fellow Arabs to combat bigotry within the community.
The statement, which is accompanied by a call for action, urges Arab communities to commit to “disrupting racist behaviour and language,” to support demands made by the Black Lives Matter movement and to donate to bail funds for protesters and African-American groups.
“We must collectively work to eradicate anti-Blackness and racism from anywhere it persists within the community,” the petition by the group reads.
“We must have the vital conversations within our own families and with our loved ones about things we can do to ensure we actively do anti-racism work.”
Rasha Mubarak, a member of the Arabs for Black Lives Collective committee, said the aim of the group is to build on previous anti-racism work and outline duties of Arabs in combating anti-Blackness “institutionally, structurally and interpersonally” down to their own households.
“We want to embed calls to action, asking our community not to just lean into the conversation, but to talk about accountability and responsibility and the role that we play in society,” Mubarak told Middle East Eye. “We have the responsibility to dismantle anti-Blackness.”
‘Protect Black lives’
The statement featured an illustration by Toronto-based artist Jasmine Hawamdeh depicting a raised fist holding a rose against an olive-green background with “Arabs for Black Lives” in English and “protect Black lives” in Arabic scripted all round it.
“Artists now have the ability to express solidarity in addition to humanising statistics and bringing light to issues through art,” Hawamdeh told MEE. “Nothing is more powerful than artwork that can really move and change perspectives.”…”
Eritrea attacks on Yemen fishermen must stop, insists minister
“Eritrean naval forces must stop their attack on fishermen in Yemen’s territorial waters, Fish Wealth Minister, Fahd Kafayen, said yesterday.
“The Eritrean forces have been targeting the Yemeni fishermen within the country’s territorial waters, kidnapping them and confiscating their boats,” Kafayen wrote on Facebook, stressing that the practices were “unacceptable and must be halted”.
He called on Eritrean authorities “to release the detained Yemeni fishermen, handover the confiscated equipment, and to halt its attacks.”
Tensions recently escalated between Yemen and Eritrea at the border coast of Hanish, after Eritrean forces attacked a number of Yemeni fishermen on Wednesday within the country’s territorial waters. The Yemeni coast guards later detained seven Eritrean gunmen.
On Saturday, the Eritrean navy was reported to have seized 15 Yemeni fishing boats and stepped up piracy operations off the Yemeni coast and around the archipelago of Hanish Island.”
Yemen: Houthis make advances towards entrances of Marib city
“Houthi forces have reportedly made advances towards the southwestern and northeastern entry points to the Yemeni city of Marib.
According to local sources in Marib, Yemen Press Agency reported that Houthi and allied forces have been fighting fierce battles since yesterday morning, during which they were able to control the Al-Somirat area, south-west of Madghal district in Marib province.
The sources added that the Houthis have gained control over one of the most important main entrances to the provincial capital city of Marib…”
Libyan army seizes weapons supplied by UAE
“Libyan army seized on Friday weapons, ammunition, and vehicles purchased by the UAE for warlord Khalifa Haftar, Anadolu Agency reports.
This was revealed after the Libyan Army announced the complete liberation of the capital Tripoli along with the strategic city of Tarhuna from Haftar militias over the last 72 hours.
The UAE is one of the several countries — along with Egypt and Russia — that have supported Haftar’s militias against Libya’s legitimate government.
Government forces seized an FN-6 man-portable air defense missile system also known as MANPAD, an SPG-9 recoilless anti-tank gun, a Cornet type anti-tank guided missile, as well as mortar and grad missiles.
A large cache of mortars towed howitzers, rockets, anti-aircraft guns, and cannonry were also seized by the army.
According to government sources, in Tarhuna, dozens of tanks, armored vehicles, and arms depots were seized.
The Libyan Army on Friday liberated the strategic Tarhuna city, the last stronghold of Haftar in western Libya.
Tarhuna was a major focal point for the supply lines of Haftar’s militias from Al-Jufra airbase.
The Libyan Army on Thursday announced the complete liberation of the capital Tripoli.
In March, the Libyan government launched Operation Peace Storm to counter attacks on the capital, and recently regained strategic locations, including Al-Watiya airbase, in a major blow to Haftar’s forces.
Libya’s government was founded in 2015 under a UN-led agreement, but efforts for a long-term political settlement failed due to the military offensive by Haftar’s forces.”
Danish ‘crime boss’ Amir Mekky arrested in Dubai
“A Danish citizen allegedly involved in gang-related crime in southern Sweden, and killings and explosions in Spain, has been arrested in Dubai, a Swedish newspaper reported Friday.
Authorities in the United Arab Emirates confirmed the arrest of Amir Faten Mekky “who has eluded security forces across Europe for years.”
They said special forces raided Mekky’s place of residence on June 4 in an early morning “sting operation.”
The statement added that “preparations are underway to hand him over to the relevant authorities.”
It was not clear whether he was to be extradited and to which country.
The Swedish daily Expressen said the suspect had “for long been rooted in Malmo” — Sweden’s third largest city — where he has appeared “in a handful of murder investigations over the past five years.”
Expressen did not name him, in line with Swedish practice, but said the 23-year-old had earlier been detained in Malmo, a city that has seen scores of suburban feuds between criminal gangs.
He was considered a suspect there in a March 2017 killing but was never prosecuted and two years later, received some 210,000 kronor ($22,700) in damages.
Spanish police confirmed the arrest in Dubai of a Danish citizen of Iranian origin who was wanted in Spain…”
Morocco Highlights ISIS Threat in Africa During Global Coalition Meeting
“The ISIS threat is still significant in West Africa and the Sahel, Morocco’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Nasser Bourita warned during a ministerial meeting of the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIS Small Group.
The virtual meeting, organized on June 4 and co-chaired by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Luigi Di Maio, brought together diplomats from 30 countries.
During his intervention, Bourita emphasized that ISIS seeks to take advantage of the situation created by the COVID-19 pandemic to “orchestrate its return.”
The terrorist organization has intensified its acts of violence in several regions, including in the Sahel and West Africa, Bourita explained.
The minister urged member states of the coalition to double their efforts in order to ensure a “global and lasting defeat of the terrorist group,” by depriving the terrorist organization of the necessary resources to carry through its plans including time and space…”
Police Arrest in Fez Suspect for Inciting Hatred on Social Media
“Police in the city of Fez arrested a 21-year-old man for his involvement in disseminating digital content, including “explicit incitement for hatred and crimes against people and property.”
Police arrested the suspect on Thursday, June 4, a statement from the General Directorate of National Security (DGSN) said on Friday.
The statement said police monitored the suspect’s involvement in publishing a video live on Facebook to incite hatred against people and undermine public order.
Technical expertise enabled police to identify the suspect.
Police put the suspect in custody to determine the circumstances of the case and all of the charges attributed to him…”
More than 90 detained over alleged links to FETÖ
“Turkish police on June 5 detained at least 90 people for their suspected links to FETÖ, the group behind the 2016 defeated coup, security sources said.
The detentions came after the Chief Public Prosecutor’s Office in ?zmir issued warrants for 31 people after they were found to be using ByLock, the terror group’s encrypted smartphone messaging app, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
Separately, 37 suspects were detained in an investigation based in the capital Ankara into the FETÖ group.
Meanwhile, a total of 26 suspects were detained in the southern Mersin province. According to a statement by the provincial prosecutors, the suspects include teachers, tradesmen, and dismissed military personnel.
Security forces continue to search for the remaining suspects across eight provinces.
FETÖ and its U.S.-based leader Fetullah Gülen orchestrated the defeated coup of July 15, 2016, which left 251 people killed and nearly 2,200 injured.
Turkey also accuses FETÖ of being behind a long-running campaign to overthrow the state through the infiltration of Turkish institutions, particularly the military, police, and judiciary.”
Fires shot at special forces boat from Greek side
“A Turkish special forces boat that was patrolling the Evros (Meriç) River came under harassment fire shot from the Greek side of the shared border, the governor’s office of the northwestern province of Edirne has said.
The special force police were patrolling the Turkish side of the river and found a corpse of a migrant stuck in the roots of trees.
As they started taking pictures of the individual, shots were fired from the Greek side.
“A group of 10 to 12 people in military camouflage outfit opened harassment fire on the special forces boat. Our personnel responded by firing warning shots into the air and the harassment fire ended,” said the statement.
Tensions at the border have occasionally flared up.
Greece on April 15 notified Turkey’s Foreign Ministry that it was building a fence along their shared land border. Turkey’s Foreign Ministry conveyed a note on May 11 requesting Athens to give the fence’s exact location and convene a bilateral commission to ensure the land border is not violated.
“It was also communicated to the Greek side that the construction of the fence should not be commenced without technical coordination between the two countries,” the Turkish Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
Turkey will not allow Greece to unilaterally redraw the border in a fait accompli, but bilateral technical talks as proposed by Turkey could solve the issue, said Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy.
Despite Turkey’s proposal of cooperation, Greece initiated land work on May 13, violating Turkey’s land border, Aksoy added.”
‘3 years into unjust blockade, Qatar now stronger’
“As the 2017 Gulf crisis enters its fourth year, Qatar has overcome the unjust blockade imposed on it to become stronger, yet it is still open to solutions through dialogue, according to a Qatari diplomat.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Foreign Ministry spokesman Ahmed Bin Saeed Al-Rumaihi, said: “Qatar is stronger than ever, despite the passage of three years since the unjust blockade.”
Qatar has remained at odds with four regional states — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bahrain, and Egypt — since June 5, 2017, when they accused Doha of supporting terrorism — allegations Doha denies — and collectively severed ties with the country.
The four-nation Arab bloc did not stop there, also imposing a land, sea, and air blockade on Qatar in hopes of making it comply with a long list of demands.
Qatar, for its part, has vociferously denied the allegation, describing the Saudi-led embargo against it as a violation of international law.
Al-Rumaihi stressed that dialogue with Gulf states should be done within the framework of mutual respect, common interests, no dictating foreign policy, and non-interference in the domestic affairs of its countries.
He attributed his country’s success in dealing with the blockade to “Prince Tamim bin Hamad’s instructions and the calm and firm approach of the state in managing the crisis.”
Al-Rumaihi said that Qatar also revealed facts disproving the claims of the blockade countries.
Doha continues to value independence in its political decisions, especially against attempts to impose “guardianship” over it.
It also continues to consolidate its bilateral relations with friendly and allied countries.
Al-Rumaihi stressed that the “unjust siege accumulated various experiences that enabled the state to achieve remarkable successes in dealing with the coronavirus crisis.”
He pointed out that the country maintained “its strong credit rating and has been steadily moving towards achieving the goals of its National Vision 2030.”
He underlined that Qatar had made progress in diversifying its economy, boosting the private sector, increasing the production capacities of power generation plants and establishing an advanced agricultural, animal and fishery production system, as well as achieving major leaps in energy projects.
Kuwait is currently mediating to resolve the Gulf crisis, but has not yet been able to achieve a breakthrough.”
Turkey captures 2 Daesh/ISIS terror suspects
“Turkey has arrested two suspects linked to the Daesh/ISIS terror group in the country’s southeast, security sources said on Friday.
Provincial gendarmerie teams in the Kilis province carried out an operation to catch the suspects – two Kyrgyz women – who were trying to enter Turkey illegally from Syria, said the sources, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.
The suspects were taken to the Provincial Migration Management for deportation.
Turkey recognized Daesh/ISIS as a terrorist group in 2013.
Since then, the country has been attacked by Daesh/ISIS terrorists numerous times, including 10 suicide bombings, seven bombings, and four armed attacks which killed 315 people and injured hundreds.
In response, Turkey has launched military and police operations inside the country and abroad to prevent terrorist attacks.”
Italy and other Med nations push for mandatory relocation
“The introduction of a mandatory system for the relocation among EU countries for migrants arriving in the Union and getting past the principle that the first country asylum seekers arrive in are responsible for them are the two main changes that Italy, Cyprus, Greece, Malta and Spain said are necessary for new EU policy on migration and asylum.
The ‘non paper’ was presented Friday by Interior Minister Luciana Lamorgese to her EU counterparts during a videoconference of EU interior ministers.
A statement signed by the five Mediterranean area countries called for equal sharing of responsibility on the basis of a new EU pact on migration and asylum.
The ‘non paper’ was illustrated Friday, on a day when Germany presented its priorities – including reform of the Dublin Rule and a new pact on migration – for its six-month term in the EU presidency starting on July 1.
In an attempt to get past the problem of disembarking migrants rescued by units in the search and rescue area off Libya, the five Med countries underscored that these operations are considered an obligation on the basis of the law of the sea and not the result of ineffective sea border control.
They noted that the mandatory responsibility sharing mechanism must thus be employed and that safe alternatives must be found for disembarking the migrants, adding that shared guidelines must be adopted for activities conducted in the search and rescue areas by private units as well as a ”common European mechanism” for repatriation.
The Med nations also stressed that the introduction of a ”pre-established, mandatory and automatic” mechanism must be created for relocation among member states in order to eliminate the imbalances generated by the principle that countries of first entry are responsible for migrants, saying that that principle had been drawn up in ”a different context” from now.
They noted in the statement that the first country of entry should simply have to complete identification and health checks.”
Republican-led Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee authorizes SenRonJohnson to issue subpoenas FBI Crossfire Hurricane, State Dept contact author “Steele Dossier” and unmasking by former government officials. +30 names READ @CBSNews
Libyan migrant sentenced to two years in prison for raping 15-year-old Czech girl
“The District Court in Litom??ice in the north of Czechia sentenced Libyan immigrant Abdallah Ibrahim Diallo to two years in prison for raping a 15-year-old girl and stealing her mobile phone in 2019.
However, according to experts, Diallo is mentally ill, so the court has decided that he should enter treatment in a psychiatric hospital before serving any prison time. It is unclear how long he will be placed in a psychiatric facility or at what point he will be released to a prison.
While the Libyan did not confess to the crime, there was irrefutable evidence that he was responsible for the rape.
“It is proven that the crime, as described in the indictment, actually happened. The incriminating evidence consists of a detailed statement of the victim, the DNA of the accused man found on her body and clothes, and the fact that he had her phone in his possession,” said the chairwoman of the court, Alexandra Šetková.
The Libyan man originally arrived in the Czech Republic by train from Germany where he unsuccessfully applied for asylum. On June 18, 2019, he raped the then 15-year-old girl near the village of Lukavec in the north of the Czech Republic.
Initially, no psychiatric report was requested but doubts about the defendant’s mental state arose due to his strange behavior in custody. Experts then confirmed that the man suffered from schizophrenia, but stated that his control and cognitive abilities at the time of the crime were not non-existent but only in a reduced state.
“He had at least the basic awareness that raping is illegal,” the judge said.
Although Diallo originally faced up to ten years in prison, given his mental illness, the public prosecutor proposed a sentence of around three years. The final sentence the judge gave amonted to two years.
The court then recommended treatment in a psychiatric hospital as the defendant could be dangerous to himself and the people around him if he was placed in prison right away.
However, the mild verdict infuriated many people, including members of the Freedom and Direct Democracy (SPD) party.
“Mental disorders have become hugely popular when trying to excuse the crimes of illegal migrants. How many times have we heard from Western Europe that foreigners committing the most heinous crimes suffer from a mental illness?! Unfortunately, we are now witnessing the same scenario in our country as well,” the party wrote on Facebook.”