Syrian rebels murdered Catholics for refusing to convert to Islam, then joked about it
Paul Joseph Watson
September 12, 2013
The black jihadist flag is flying over the Christian town of Maaloula in Syria as the Army’s battle with opposition militants continues to rage.
A dramatic report by RT’s Maria Finoshina illustrates that while there had been talk that the rebels had abandoned the ancient town, whose inhabitants still speak the language of Jesus, snipers still occupy high positions.
As the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen confirms, the opposition militants who first attacked the town when a suicide bomber killed himself at a nearby checkpoint are from the terrorist al-Nusra Front, which killed US troops in Iraq and swore allegiance to Al-Qaeda earlier this year. FSA militants are fighting alongside the al-Nusra insurgents.
“I’ve spoken to some local members of the National Defence Forces, a pro-government militia. They say they are fighting for their town and the fact it was a place where Christians and Muslims once lived side by side. They say they are fighting against the people they regard as terrorists,” writes Bowen, adding that residents claim rebels have desecrated Christian churches.
We previously documented two other instances where western-backed militants ransacked Christian churches in Syria.
Jabhat al-Nusra is under the control of Al-Qaeda leader Ayman Al-Zawahiri, who “personally intervened to settle a dispute between Jabhat al-Nusra and al-Qaeda in Iraq….and declared the Syrian group to be under his direction,” according to a report released this week by the Bipartisan Policy Center.
The fact that al-Nusra terrorists and Obama-backed FSA militants are fighting alongside each other again illustrates what many have pointed out is the lunacy of arming rebels and the impossibility of ensuring that such weapons are reserved for so-called “moderate” rebels. The Washington Post today reported that opposition fighters had begun receiving weapons courtesy of the CIA.
As academic Jonathan Spyer, who recently traveled through rebel territory in Syria, attests, “When one looks at the armed rebel groups, one finds an obvious vast majority there who are adherents of Islamism of one kind or another — stretching from Muslim Brotherhood-type formations all the way across to groups openly aligned with al-Qaida central and with al-Zawahiri.”
Christians in Maaloula fear that they will be targeted by extremist Muslims if the Syrian Army pulls out.
Residents who vacated the village soon after the conflict started wrote a letter to the United States Congress accusing the opposition militants of looting churches and forcing Christians to convert to Islam
The rebels looted “monasteries and churches, removing sacred images as they went on, ordering residents to abandon their religion, to convert to Islam to save their life,” states the letter.
Another woman claims her husband was murdered by the militants after he refused to convert to Islam. After the man was shot dead, the rebels apparently mocked his wife, remarking, “Jesus didn’t come to save him.”
Patriarch Grégoire III (Loutfi) Laham, who has already conducted funerals of three Catholics who were murdered by jihadists in Maaloula, told Vatican Radio, “Virtually all the Christian inhabitants fled from the village,” while rebels, “threatened some Christians with death unless they converted to Islam.”
“I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” another resident told AFP . An Al-Nusra fighter “put a pistol to the head of my neighbor and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but [Allah].’ Afterwards they joked, ‘He’s one of ours now.’”