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In the Name of God بسم الله


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Everything posted by way2go

  1. Not true! The Dead Sea Scrolls could not have stated that they were false prophets because Ezra and Nehemiah were never prophets to begin with. Malachi was the prophet during the time of Nehemiah and Ezra. Btw, carbon dating establishes that the Qumran Scrolls dates from the third century BC. to 68 AD. Also, they are almost identical to our current biblical texts, including the first 5 books of the Bible (Torah). :)
  2. The Dead Sea Scrolls do not indicate that Ezra was a false prophet at all. The Book of Ezra is part of the Dead Sea Scrolls. The only book that isn't in the Dead Sea Scrolls is the Book of Esther. The Book of Nehemiah and the Book of Ezra were originally one book. Strange that you should question the Torah when in fact the Dead Sea Scrolls provide impressive evidence of the integrity and authenticity of the Old Testament.
  3. Followers of Hamas will never go for it. "While the PLO Charter is a political document which can be amended, the Hamas Charter is presented as a religious document, based on the Koran and with many references to sacred texts, which cannot be changed once it has been published." Hamas' charter states: Article Eleven: The Islamic Resistance Movement believes that the land of Palestine has been an Islamic Waqf throughout the generations and until the Day of Resurrection, no one can renounce it or part of it, or abandon it or part of it. No Arab country nor the aggregate of all Arab countries, and no Arab King or President nor all of them in the aggregate, have the right, nor has that right any organization or the aggregate of all organizations, be they Palestinian or Arab, because Palestine is an Islamic Waqf throughout all generations and to the Day of Resurrection. Who can presume to speak for all Islamic generations to the Day of Resurrection? This is the status (of the land) in Islamic Shari'a, and it is similar to all lands conquered by Islam by force, and made thereby Waqf lands upon their conquest, for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. This (norm) has prevailed since the commander of the Muslim armies completed the conquest of Syria and Iraq , and they asked the Caliph of Muslims, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, for his view of the conquered land, whether it should be partitioned between the troops or left in the possession of its population, or otherwise. Following the discussions and consultations between the Caliph of Islam, Umar Ibn al-Khattab, and the Companions of the Messenger of Allah, be peace and prayer upon him, they decided that the land should remain in the hands of its owners to benefit from it and from its wealth; but the control of the land and the land itself ought to be endowed as a Waqf (in perpetuity) for all generations of Muslims until the Day of Resurrection. The ownership of the land by its owners is only one of usufruct, and the Waqf will endure as long as Heaven and earth last. Any demarche in violation of this law of Islam, with regard to Palestine, is baseless and reflects on its perpetrators. Article Thirty-Two ...more steps need to be taken by the Arab and Islamic peoples and Islamic associations throughout the Arab and Islamic world in order to make possible the next round with the Jews, the merchants of war. “We have cast among them enmity and hatred till the day of Resurrection.
  4. Quote the Surah where Mohammed says he was transported to Al Aqsa Mosque by horse and that this horse was tied to the Western Wall. :wacko: I didn't say Mohammed made it up, I'm merely suggesting the poor man had a dream.
  5. Write to them at UC Berkeley. They're both Muslims from Iran, I'm sure they'd be only too happy to oblige. ;) I don't agree with them either. Khameini preaches that the US is evil and the great satan. It's not possible for him to side with satan. Heaven forbid! :shaytan:
  6. As a matter of fact the media did cover stories of rape and sexual assault in the military. Dateline, 20/20 and others all exposed the plight of women in the military. They profiled several women's stories and did an in-depth investigation regarding this topic, including taking it to the top brass to get their take on it.
  7. Saudi officials are now saying at least 345 people are killed http://articles.news.aol.com/news/article....S00010000000001
  8. ^^ Pathetic argument, especially from someone who lives in this country. Someone who knows full well that this is exactly the type of thing the anti war antagonists would latch onto if it were true. It would also have made headlines all over the world, especially by the enemies of the US, and you know full well that the Islamic press would be having a field day with this one if it were true.
  9. Once again another attempt to block rational argument by making it personal - address the points in the article, like wilayah attempted to do, instead of the typical ad hominem attacks.
  10. The fact remains Mohammed was speaking about a physical mosque/house of worship and there was no mosque in Jerusalem at the time Mohammed had his "night vision." Perhaps Mohammed just had a dream upon which Muslims are placing too much emphasis. Where in the Quran does Mohammed claim he physically went on this trip by horseback?
  11. Nice attempt at diversion, but why don't you address the issues in this article (if you can), or start another topic.
  12. Wednesday, January 11, 2006 EDITORIAL: Hajj: sad message again on a happy day Sheikh Abdul Aziz Al Sheikh, the Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, delivered the Hajj sermon at Masjid al Nimra in Arafat on Monday. He urged the Muslims of the world to close ranks and unite against campaigns targeting Islam and Muslims. “You, Muslims, should work to cement your unity. You should work to develop economic, political and military means to defend yourselves against attacks by your enemies.” He said terrorism was not allowed in Islam and those who sought to link it to Islam were guilty of an unforgivable conspiracy against the Muslims. He regretted the state of “subjugation” of the Muslims at the hands of a few states and declared that the economically advanced West had “given nothing but grief to the Muslims”. The Sheikh said that the Muslims’ failure to forge unity had allowed the enemies of Islam to bully Muslims: “Several anti-Islam campaigns have been launched in the name of combating terrorism. These campaigns are malicious and aimed only at targeting Islam and Muslims.” He also called for respecting the rights of women and “holding judges and judicial authorities in high esteem”. Like last year, the message was downbeat. In fact, one can’t remember if there ever was a happy message given to the Muslims on the occasion of their two Eids when they deserve to be encouraged with an affirmative view of life. As for the content of the message, much of it should have been shown first to an expert of international relations and modern statecraft. But sadly, the inclination towards handing out this baleful message about the current state of affairs is routine with the Muslim clergy. No one among the clerics of Pakistan knows how to avoid threatening people and give them a positive view of their lives instead. If you ask an economist, he will not agree with the clergy about the fundamental indicators of Muslim life in the 20th century. The political scientist will not agree that the Muslims are subjugated. He will instead point out that in the middle of the last century most Muslim nations were freed from the yoke of colonialism and given a chance to live in their own sovereign states and make their own decisions about how they wanted to live. On the issue of terrorism, a Muslim political observer would have told the Sheikh to keep in mind that there was a disagreement over the definition of terrorism and that there would be problems of comprehension if he was challenged over what he was saying. Also, his assertion that the West had given “nothing but grief” to the Muslims was a half-truth, embarrassing in its reductionism to any educated person. There is a difficulty however which the Muslims must ponder, preferably without the tutelage of the clergy, and that is that, in comparison to the development indicators among non-Muslim nations, Muslim states have not done well in the past 50 years. The backwardness manifest in the following picture has to be interpreted by the social scientists of the Muslim world and not a cleric who can think only in terms of military dominance and will be satisfied only if the Muslims overcome their “weakness” with the sword and conquer other nations they perceive as the enemies of Islam. There are 1.44 billion Muslims in a world of 6.47 billion. That makes them 22.24 percent of the world population. Muslims produce 70 percent of the world’s oil and gas. But their share in the world GDP is only five percent. And their share in world exports is only seven percent. They trade among themselves only up to 13 percent. There are four big Muslim countries: Indonesia, Pakistan, Nigeria and Bangladesh. They make up 46 percent of the world’s Muslim population. In terms of perception of corruption, out of a list of 158 countries, Bangladesh is 158th, Nigeria 152nd, Pakistan 144th, and Indonesia 137th. There is not a single Muslim country among the world’s 25 most ‘clean’ countries. Out of the 19 most ‘corrupt’ countries of the world, nine are Muslim. But a cleric is the last person to interpret these facts and give us the solution. With our experience over the past centuries, we know what he is going to say. Over and over again, his message has been heard in great collective depression, but his advice has carried hardly any practical value. One conceptual issue that the “literalist” cleric will never understand is the difference between ethic and worship. Ethic is related to work and has nothing to do with religion. Excessive clerical emphasis on ritual and a total disregard for work ethic has compounded the difficulty of running an economically efficient state. Clerical refusal to reconsider the old laws of fiqh stands in the way of modern commerce; and “clever” foreign banks are allowed to diddle the pious Muslims out of real profit through the heela (subterfuge) of Islamic banking. The Sheikh of Mecca has paid lip-service to the rights of Muslim women, but if you were to engage him in serious legal reform to ease the situation for them, he would not take a minute to quote the relevant hadith and consign them all to hell. One great curse of the Islamic world is the social and legal disabilities placed on half of its population. In Pakistan, for instance, three reports by “special commissions” on the rights of women under the Constitution have recommended the removal of Hudood laws but the “literalism” of the clergy and their followers will not let the dreaded anti-women Hudood be replaced with the equally valid system of Islamic ta’zeer. And why are the Muslims intellectually backward? Because they proliferate in numbers, thinking that Islam bans contraception, and are unable to educate themselves. The Sheikh was wrong when he bemoaned the military weakness of the Muslims. The Muslims are not militarily weak (they even have a nuclear bomb); they suffer from weakness of the mind. The education they get is mostly indoctrination they would be better off without. The bleak picture presented at Arafat was bleak only because the clerical worldview behind it was not informed with knowledge the new generation Saudi Arabia has acquired in recent years. Why not get a young Saudi social scientist to vet the speech before the Sheikh is allowed to read it? This will break the monotony and might well communicate something useful to the Muslims of the world. * http://www.dailytimes.com.pk/default.asp?p...11-1-2006_pg3_1
  13. http://www.wnd.com/news/article.asp?ARTICLE_ID=36464
  14. I loved this and thought others would too: Adonai - The Lord - My Great Lord (Ps 8, Is 40:3-5, Ez 16:8, Hab 3:19) El - The Strong One (Ex 15:2, Nu 23:22, Deut 7:9 [Mark 15:34]) El Elohe Yisrael - God, the God of Israel (Gen 33:20, Ex 5:1, Ps 68:8 & 106:48) El Elyon - The God Most High (Gen 14:17-22, Ps78:35, Dan 4:34 [Acts 16:17]) Elohim - The All-Poweful One, Creator (Gen 1:1-3, Deut 10:17, Ps 68 [Mark 13:19]) El Olam - The Eternal God - The Everlasting God (Gen 21:33, Ps 90:1,2, Is 40:28 [Rom 1:20]) El Roi - The God Who Sees Me (Gen 16:11-14, Ps 139:7-12) El Shaddai - The All Sufficient One, The God of the Mtns, God Almighty (Gen 17:1-3; 48:3; 49:25; 35:11, Ps 90:2) Immanuel - God with Us - "I Am" (Is 7:14; 8:8-10 [Matt 1:23]) Jehovah - "I Am" - The One Who Is - The Self-Existent One (Ex 3:14; 6:2-4; 34:5-7, Ps 102) Jehovah Jireh - The Lord Will Provide (Gen 22:13-14, Ps 23 [Mark 10:45, Rom 8:2]) Jehovah Mekaddishkem - The Lord Who Sanctifies (Ex 31:12,13 [1Pet 1:15-16, Heb 13:12, iThes 5:23-24]) Jehovah Nissi - The Lord Is My Banner (Ex 17:15-16, Deu 20:3-4, Is 11:10-12 [Eph 6:10-18]) Jehovah Rapha - The Lord Who Heals (Ex 15:25-27, Ps 103:3;147:3 [1Pet 2:24]) Jehovah Rohi - The Lord Is My Shepherd (Ps 23:1-3, Is 53:6 [John 10:14-18, Heb 13:20, Rev 7:17]) Jehovah Sabaoth - The Lord Of Hosts - The Lord Of Armies (1Sam 1:3; 17:45, Mal 1:10-14 [Rom 9:29]) Jehovah Shalom - The Lord Is Peace (Num 6:22-27, Judg 6:22-24, Is 9:6 [Heb 13:20]) Jehovah Shammah - The Lord Is There - The Lord My Companion (Ez 48:35, Ps 46 [Matt 28:20, Rev 21]) Jehovah Tsidkenu - The Lord Our Righteousness (Jer 23:5; 6; 33:16, Ez 36:26-27 [2Cor 5:21]) Yah, or Jah - "I Am" - The One Who Is - The Self-Existent One (Ex 3:14; 15:2, Ps 46:1; 68:4, Is 26:4) Yhwh - "I Am" - The One Who Is - The Self-Existent One (Ex 3:14, Mal 3:6) Did you know that ...? The first name mentioned in the Bible is the 4th word, GOD (Gen 1:1) The name of God in Genesis 1:1 is Elohim Elohim is found over 2,300 times in the Bible referring to God In Psalm 68, Elohim is used 26 times. The 3 most basic names of God are El, Elohim, and Jahweh (Jehovah). In Deut 5:9, all 3 names are used, "I the Lord (Yaweh) thy God (Elohim) am a jealous God (El) ..." God wants a relationship with us. See Gen 17:1-8 and Ps 91.
  15. You need to take a closer look at arrogant statements made by Muslims in this forum. Cuts both ways I'm afraid. Huh? What mosque (in Jerusalem?) was Mohammed speaking about? He compiled his writings over a 23 year period between 610 - 622AD. There was no Jewish temple there at that time, since it had already been destroyed - over 500 years before Mohammed's time, and the Al Aqsa mosque was built around 687 & 691AD - some 40 - 60 odd years later! Concerning Jerusalem, Rabbi Joseph Katz (a Middle East Religious and Political History Analyst) explains that the name Al-Quds is an abbreviation for "The Jewish Temple." That the Arabic name for Jerusalem is "el-KuDS" which is abbreviation for another Arabic name used for Jerusalem until the last century, "bet el-maKDeS". Under the Arab rule, in the 10th century Jerusalem was always called "bet el maKDeS" The name "BeT el-MaKDeS" is a translation of the Aramaic and Hebrew "BeiT ha-MiKDaSH", which means Temple. But Islam has no Temple, only the Jews did. Thus the Arabic name for Jerusalem makes no reference to Mohammed's trip to Heaven, but rather refers to the Jewish Temple.
  16. Let's compare apples to apples here. It was the Ayatollah Khameini who called the US evil and the great satan. Can you see the pope speaking those words, or the Dalai Lama? I think not! Even without the CD, I still question Ahmadinejad's sanity. However, I'll put my money on the CD. ;) http://www.iran-press-service.com/ips/arti...ns_291105.shtml http://www.rferl.org/featuresarticle/2005/...99df747a4a.html
  17. First off, Kadhim and Oldsword81, you are completely wrong in thinking that I was ridiculing or criticising Ahmadinejad's religious beliefs. I take issue with recent statements made by Ahmadinejad calling for the destruction of Israel and, when world leaders (including the Palestinian leader) heard about Ariel Sharon's stroke they sent good wishes, but the idiot again acts irrational by publically wishing him death. What respectable head of state would make a statement like that? Combine that with this part of the article: "....From redressing the gulf between rich and poor in Iran, to challenging America and Israel and enhancing Iran's power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi's return." "Mahdaviat is a code for [iran's Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution," says the head of an institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi's appearance. "This kind of mentality makes you very strong," the political editor of Resalat newspaper, Amir Mohebian, observed. "If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard." Some Iranians, reports PBS, "worry that their new president has no fear of international turmoil, may think it's just a sign from God." Mahdaviat has direct and ominous implications for the U.S.-Iran confrontation, says an Ahmadinejad supporter, Hamidreza Taraghi of Iran's hard-line Islamic Coalition Society. It implies seeing Washington as the rival to Tehran and even as a false Mahdi. For Mr. Ahmadinejad, the top priority is to challenge America, and specifically to create a powerful model state based on "Islamic democracy" by which to oppose it. Mr. Taraghi predicts trouble ahead unless Americans fundamentally change their ways." We all know that there are many Muslims who believe it's their divine duty to assist the Mahdi's and hasten his return by destroying Israel. Ahmadinejad's comments spur on people to act on their beliefs and is totally unacceptable and irresponsible. That's what makes him a loose cannon in my opinion. On the other hand we have the Ayatollah Khameini name calling and demonizing the US by calling us evil and the great satan. Can you honestly say this is a man of peace? Please don't talk to me about respect, one has to show respect to get respect.
  18. Dr. Abd Al-Hamid Al-Ansari, former dean of the Faculty of Shari'a at the University of Qatar explains: http://memri.org/bin/articles.cgi?Page=arc...a=sd&ID=SP79204
  19. Okay. This man's anti American/west rhetoric is nothing more than an attempt to stir up trouble. Because Muslims believe people like this live perfect lives and are incapable of sinning, they swallow what he says, without question, as though the words are spoken directly by God. Whereas he claims the US is attempting to suppress the Islamic movement, I would like to ask who is the greatest terrorist threat in the world today? You got it - the Muslim who straps a bomb to himself in a public place with the intention of killing innocent people, the Muslim who flies planes into buildings, the Muslim who will use the public transportation system to kill and destroy. That's the "Islamic movement" we're trying to keep out of our country and the world, and this type of preaching fuels that movement. But then what else can we expect when Iran is one of the biggest promoters and supporters of world terrorism.
  20. There is no disputing that both son's were Abraham's. The fact that Sarah was old when she gave birth to Isaac was a miraculous work of God for the reason that Isaac was the "covenant son."
  21. Here's a very enlightening article that came out this morning which could explain why the man's such a loose cannon: Thanks to the president of Iran, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, a new word has entered the political vocabulary: mahdaviat. Not surprisingly, it's a technical religious term. Mahdaviat derives from mahdi, Arabic for "rightly-guided one," a major figure in Islamic eschatology. He is, explains the Encyclopaedia of Islam, "the restorer of religion and justice who will rule before the end of the world." The concept originated in the earliest years of Islam and, over time, became particularly identified with the Shi‘ite branch. Whereas "it never became an essential part of Sunni religious doctrine," continues the encyclopedia, "Belief in the coming of the Mahdi of the Family of the Prophet became a central aspect of the faith in radical Shi‘ism," where it is also known as the return of the Twelfth Imam. Mahdaviat means "belief in and efforts to prepare for the Mahdi." In a fine piece of reporting, Scott Peterson of the Christian Science Monitor shows the centrality of mahdaviat in Mr. Ahmadinejad's outlook and explores its implications for his policies. As mayor of Tehran, for example, Mr. Ahmadinejad appears to have in 2004 secretly instructed the city council to build a grand avenue to prepare for the Mahdi. A year later, as president, he allocated $17 million for a blue-tiled mosque closely associated with mahdaviat in Jamkaran, south of the capital. He has instigated the building of a direct Tehran-Jamkaran railroad line. He had a list of his proposed cabinet members dropped into a well adjacent to the Jamkaran mosque, it is said, to benefit from its purported divine connection. He often raises the topic, and not just to Muslims. When addressing the United Nations in September, Mr. Ahmadinejad flummoxed his audience of world political leaders by concluding his address with a prayer for the Mahdi's appearance: "O mighty Lord, I pray to you to hasten the emergence of your last repository, the Promised One, that perfect and pure human being, the one that will fill this world with justice and peace." On returning to Iran from New York, Mr. Ahmadinejad recalled the effect of his U.N. speech: one of our group told me that when I started to say "In the name of God the almighty and merciful," he saw a light around me, and I was placed inside this aura. I felt it myself. I felt the atmosphere suddenly change, and for those 27 or 28 minutes, the leaders of the world did not blink. … And they were rapt. It seemed as if a hand was holding them there and had opened their eyes to receive the message from the Islamic republic. What Mr. Peterson calls the "presidential obsession" with mahdaviat leads Mr. Ahmadinejad to "a certitude that leaves little room for compromise. From redressing the gulf between rich and poor in Iran, to challenging America and Israel and enhancing Iran's power with nuclear programs, every issue is designed to lay the foundation for the Mahdi's return." "Mahdaviat is a code for [iran's Islamic] revolution, and is the spirit of the revolution," says the head of an institute dedicated to studying and speeding the Mahdi's appearance. "This kind of mentality makes you very strong," the political editor of Resalat newspaper, Amir Mohebian, observed. "If I think the Mahdi will come in two, three, or four years, why should I be soft? Now is the time to stand strong, to be hard." Some Iranians, reports PBS, "worry that their new president has no fear of international turmoil, may think it's just a sign from God." Mahdaviat has direct and ominous implications for the U.S.-Iran confrontation, says an Ahmadinejad supporter, Hamidreza Taraghi of Iran's hard-line Islamic Coalition Society. It implies seeing Washington as the rival to Tehran and even as a false Mahdi. For Mr. Ahmadinejad, the top priority is to challenge America, and specifically to create a powerful model state based on "Islamic democracy" by which to oppose it. Mr. Taraghi predicts trouble ahead unless Americans fundamentally change their ways. I'd reverse that formulation. The most dangerous leaders in modern history are those (such as Hitler) equipped with a totalitarian ideology and a mystical belief in their own mission. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad fulfills both these criteria, as revealed by his U.N. comments. That combined with his expected nuclear arsenal make him an adversary who must be stopped, and urgently. http://www.danielpipes.org/article/3258
  22. We don't hate Muslims either. You are a sorry, misguided people, totally taken in by your media and mad mullah's. Of course you will never be peaceful. Your evil leaders have created a common enemy because they know if you aren't fighting the common enemy (Israel or USA), you'd be fighting each other. It's in the genes. :!!!:
  23. Does he always point fingers with one hand and a whip in the other when he preaches? How depressing! Mind you, I bet it has the desired effect - to get the backs up of the poor oppressed Muslims and get them to believe that the Great Satan "world-devouring US" is out to get them and "dominate the Islamic World." Can't you just feel the love? Someone please remind me that Islam is a religion of peace and that their religious leaders really do promote peaceful existence. Joel Olsteen - you are quite the saint. :wub:
  24. Good work, Grapeape and welcome. Don't hold your breath in anticipation of a reasonable response. It will become personal. Notice the thread that was locked yesterday, where no source was given. It, too, can be found on an anti Christian website called Jesus never existed. Yes, indeed, it appears that's what works for them .. whatever it takes to slam Christianity. ;)
  25. It happened alright. A Rabbi, Hillel Lieberman, who grew up in the US and was studying and teaching at the yeshiva at the Tomb of Joseph was murdered by these Palestinian thugs when he went to rescue scrolls from being destroyed there. Here's more but I won't bother to give the source because you won't believe it until an Ayatollah confirms it. So then, while you're looking for your "credible sources" check them for references to this: HISTORY OF PALESTINIAN ASSAULTS ON HOLY SITES Abraham's Oak Russian "Holy Trinity" Monastery Located in the Palestinian-controlled part of Hebron, the monastery belonged to the Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia. On July 5, 1997, Palestinian policemen arrived at the monastery, physically removed the monks and nuns, and took over the site. Several of the monks and nuns required hospitalization. Rachel's Tomb The Tomb, located on the outskirts of Bethlehem, is the burial site of the Biblical matriarch Rachel and is under Israeli control. During the September 1996 riots, Palestinian mobs assaulted the site and hurled rocks and firebombs at it, causing damage to the outer part of the structure. Palestinian policemen on the scene shot and wounded Israeli soldiers guarding the Tomb. Today, Rachel's Tomb is again a major target for Palestinian attacks. Joseph's Tomb During the September 1996 riots, a Palestinian mob led by Palestinian policemen assaulted the Tomb. Palestinian security agents opened fire on Israeli troops at the site, killing 6 Israeli soldiers. After the Israeli forces temporarily withdrew, the Palestinian mob entered the site and set fire to it. They burned the Jewish prayer books, Bibles and religous articles inside the structure and caused extensive damage. In October 2000, Palestinian mobs once again attacked, killed one Israeli soldier, and destroyed the building. Palestinian forces again took part. Church of St. Nicholas, Beit Jalla During the October and November 2000 hostilities, Fatah gunmen -- members of the "Tansim"-- fired on the Jewish neighborhood of Gilo from areas adjacent to churches in Beit Jalla, most notably the Church of St. Nicholas, hoping that Israel's return fire will hit a church," reported a Christian cleric. "Then it will be front-page news for the "Christian West,' that Israel is now destroying churches." Jericho Monastery In January 2000, Palestinian police evicted five "White Russian" monks from their 19th-century monastery in the West Bank town of Jericho, handing the property over to the Moscow Patriarchate of the Russian Orthodox Church. Church of the Nativity In May 2002, 13 Palestinian terrorists forcibly took over the Church of Nativity in Bethlehem. They stole gold objects from the monks, ate their scarce food, and urinated on the church floor. Tanzim commander Abdullah Abu-Hadid told Yediot Achronot that the seizure of the Church was premeditated. He said: "The idea was to enter the church in order to create international pressure on Israel ... We knew beforehand that there was two years worth of food for 50 monks, oil, beans, rice, olives. Good bathrooms and the largest wells in old Bethlehem. Destroyed Christian Sites in Lebanon During the seven-year Lebanese civil war (1975-1982) Christian communities in Lebanon were targets for the reign of terror of the Palestine Liberation Organization; the Palestinian Authority's predecessor. Christian villagers were massacred, churches destroyed, and cemeteries desecrated. The town of Damour, 10 miles south of Beirut, was particularly hard hit. Hundreds of Damour residents were reportedly massacred. The massacre of 586 Damour Christians by the PLO on January 23, 1976 was described by an eyewitness, Maronite Father Mansour Labaky: "The attack took place from the mountain behind. It was an apocalypse. They were coming, thousands and thousands, shouting 'Allahu Akbar! God is great! Let us attack them for the Arabs, let us offer a holocaust to Mohammed! And they were slaughtering everyone in their path, men, women and children." Six years later the following reports from the remains of Damour were typical: The New York Times, June 21, 1982, by David Shiper: "For nearly seven years, until the Israeli army attacked and captured [the Christian town of Damour] last week, the town was inaccessible to its own people; the Palestine Liberation Organization made it a stronghold, using the churches as firing ranges and armories ... Where a cross would have hung [inside a church] a triangular PLO symbol is painted in the Palestinian nationalist colors ... High in the belfry, a concreted cross has obviously been used as a target over the years, for it is chipped and gouged in a thousand places." The Washington Post, July 7, 1982, by William Braning: "The wall of the church where the cross once hung is pock-marked by bullets. Below where the altar once stood; lies a pile of greasy engine casings and spare parts. Oil stains spot the floor of the church, which evidently had been turned into a garage. In another part of town, the large St. Elias Church is in similar disarray."
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