Politifact ignorantly says Ted Cruz lied about Christians being crucified by ISIS
This is the most irresponsible journalism I have seen in a long time. Politifact, the so-called “fact checking” organization, blatantly lied about Ted Cruz and ISIS.
Cruz spoke up on behalf of Christians in Iraq and Syria who are being crucified in the streets by ISIS. Politifact posted a story flatly denying that the crucifixions are happening. Either they are knowingly lying, or they need a better research department.
Close observers of the turmoil in Iraq and Syria said they could imagine ISIS doing crucifixions. No one expressed awareness of Christians already being crucified.
By email, Daniel Sullivan of a Washington, D.C.-based group, United to End Genocide, noted the CNN story before telling us he hadn’t seen “confirmed reports in either Iraq or Syria” of Christians being crucified.
Joshua Landis, director of the Center for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, said Cruz’s claim went overboard, as far as he knew, though he said ISIS has been ruthless about hurting or killing resistant residents.
“There have been people put on crosses,” Landis said. “But it’s not Christians.”
Landis guided us to an April 29, 2014, Fox News story accompanied by photographs of men slung on crosses in Raqqa, a town in northern Syria. The story cited a Syrian opposition group, Raqqa is Being Slaughtered Silently, saying ISIS jihadists were hanging the bodies of executed enemies on crosses crucifixion-style in the town. The story, citing “multiple reports,” said ISIS had ruled over Raqqa for the previous year, killing its remaining rebel population and demolishing national relics.
The news story said Ibrahim Alrquaoui of the opposition group said the killed men were rebels that had previously fought against the Syrian government of Bashir al-Assad. The story said that according to Alrquaoui, the ISIS charged the seven men with espionage and attempted assassination of the group’s leaders. According to the story, Alrquaoui said he witnessed the executions himself and took photographs, which were then posted on the group’s Facebook page and circulated on the Internet.
The photographs showed different men bound to crosses in what appeared to be a public square area, though the Fox News story said it could not be independently confirmed the subjects were dead or, if they were, by what means the executions had been carried out. “The pictures do not show any apparent signs of the men nailed to a cross, nor are there any obvious, visible signs of fatal wounds,” the story said.
Landis also pointed out a Feb. 26, 2014, online post by Aymenn Jawad Al-Tamimi, an Oxford University student, describing a traditional practice in Islam for a Jew or Christian living under the authority of an Islamic state agreeing to pay a jizya, or poll tax, in return for protection from the state. The Feb. 26, 2014, post, on Landis’ website devoted to Syrian politics, history and religion, said the tax is equivalent to Mafia racketeering; a failure to pay leads to the loss of protection. ISIS similarly imposes the tax, the post said, in northern Iraq and Syria.
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Can you believe this nonsense? Oh, there are certainly people being crucified, just not those people. They dismiss the jizya as “a traditional practice in Islam.” And what exactly is that traditional practice? To force Christians and Jews to either pay a tax, convert to Islam, or be killed. Some tradition.
The article also completely ignores witness accounts like this one from Sister Raghida.
from Catholic News:
Sister Raghida, once the head of a Christian school in Damascus went public on radio in April of this year. She shocked listeners when she described the actions of jihadists who entered Maaloula in Syria. In this ancient Christian village where the inhabitants still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke, the jihadists went on a killing spree, taking the lives of men, women, and children.
They crucified two youths for refusing to proclaim Islam’s credo. They made the father of one of the young men watch in horror and, then, killed him. They went as far as to rip babies from the wombs of their pregnant mothers and hang them from a tree by their umbilical cords. In Deir Hafer, in the province of Aleppo, they took prisoners, crucified them and left their bodies in the main square for three days.
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The violence against Christians at the hands of ISIS is well documented. Take this example from last week’s New York Times:
For the last decade, in fact, the Chaldean Catholics of Iraq — members of an Eastern Rite church that is affiliated with Roman Catholicism while retaining its own customs and rites — have been suffering at the hands of the same kind of terrorists who killed Mr. Sotloff and Mr. Foley. During that period, the total Christian population of Iraq, the largest share of which is composed of Chaldean Catholics, has dropped to about 400,000 while as many as a million, by some estimates, have fled.
Churches have been destroyed, monasteries attacked, entire cities purged. Congregations have been bombed during worship. The bishop of Mosul, Paulos Faraj Rahho, was abducted and executed by Al Qaeda in Iraq six years ago. So the recent atrocities visited upon Iraqi Christians by ISIS are nothing remotely new. All that is new is an awareness of them outside the Chaldean-American enclaves of San Diego and metropolitan Detroit.
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So, we have photographs of crucifixions. We have witnesses attesting that Christians are being crucified. We have a well-documented history of Christian persecution. We have ISIS openly demanding the “traditional practice” of the jizya from Christians.
What will it take to convince Politifact? Do they want a videotape of ISIS fighters declaring they they’re crucifying Christians and then proceeding with the action on camera?
I submit that the burden lies on Politifact to disprove that Christians are being crucified before calling Ted Cruz a liar, not the other way around. We already know that they are being tortured, shot, beheaded, and we have witnesses attesting to the crucifixions. We also have photos of numerous crucifixions, but Politifact would rather take ISIS’s word that they were executed for reasons other than their Christian faith that admit that Ted Cruz is right about something.
I am tempted to post about a hundred photos and videos of ISIS beheading Christians and crucifying those who do not bow to their so-called “Islamic state,” but I won’t give them the satisfaction of spreading their evil propaganda. If you want, you can do a Google Image Search for yourself.
In light of all this, what is Politifact really concerned with? Certainly not the atrocious persecution of Christians in Iraq. No, they’re more concerned with making Ted Cruz out to be a liar. That shows you where their priorities lie.