» 06/11/2013, 00.00
SYRIA - ISLAM
For Aleppo bishop, boy's brutal killing shows jihadist danger
Muhammad al-Qatta, a 14-year-old coffee seller, was killed on Sunday by a group of Islamists, executed in public, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights reported. For Bishop Jean Clement Jeanbart, a jihadist victory would mean that Christians could no longer practice their religion in Syria. In an appeal to all Catholics, he calls on them to pray for an end to the war and for the reconciliation of the Syrian people.
Aleppo (AsiaNews) - The public execution of Muhammad al-Qatta, a young
coffee seller brutally assassinated on Sunday by a group of jihadists in Aleppo
for insulting Muhammad, "is a terrible event that shocked the entire
population of the city, Muslims and Christians, who do not want an Islamic
state in Syria," Mgr Jean Clement Jeanbart, Melkite Archbishop of Aleppo, told AsiaNews. For the prelate, such an act
is yet another example of the brutality of foreign militants fighting in Syria.
"Christians," he explained, "are terrified by these militias and fear
that in the event of their victory they would no longer be able to practice their
religion and that they would be forced to leave the country." Sending more
weapons to the country would only lead to more such cases of violence, he
Reported by Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, an organisation run by rebels
in exile Muhammad al-Qatta's case has been repeated around the world.
The incident occurred on Sunday in one of the districts of the city
controlled by Islamist insurgents. The young man was working at his kiosk when
two men approached him demanding a cup of coffee for free. The boy protested, saying
that "even Muhammad himself would have done the right thing and paid."
Outraged by the answer, the two fighters took away little Mohammed. After
beating him, they led him to the streets getting people to bear false witness against
him by saying that the boy had insulted the prophet and Islam.
After reading the verdict, the teenager was blindfolded and killed with
two shots to the neck and the back, in front of his parents and a crowd of over
a hundred people, forced to watch the execution. What actually happened has yet
to be confirmed however.
In a video aired
on a rebel website, a woman claiming to be Muhammad's mother describes her son's
brutal killing, saying that the boy was working to help the family.
This morning, the Islamic court of the "Caliphate of Iraq and the
Levant", the name by which Islamists call the districts of Aleppo under
their rule, issued a statement in which it denied responsibility in the case, claiming
that it had never authorised Muhammad al-Qatta's execution or trial.
For Mgr Jeanbart, Islamic Courts are a scourge that plagues most of the
areas controlled by al-Qaeda affiliated foreign militias, which are also
opposed by local pro-rebel groups, not to mention by supporters of Bashar
"As soon as they reached the city," the bishop said, "Islamist
guerrillas, almost all of them from abroad, took over the mosques. Every Friday,
an imam launches their messages of hate, calling on the population to kill
anyone who does not practice the religion of the Prophet Muhammad. They use the
courts to level charges of blasphemy. Who is contrary to their way of thinking
pays with his life (see video)."
The prelate called on all Catholics to pray for Syria. "Let us turn
to God for an end to the conflict and the violence and for the reconciliation
of our people." (S.C.)
31/08/2016 09:33:00 SYRIA
Islamic State spokesman and "lone wolves" architect Al-Adnani, killed in Aleppo
The death comes at a time of military difficulty for the jihadist movement. He was killed during a "reconnaissance mission" in the province. Pentagon spokesman: "principal architect" of IS foreign operations. Among the founders of the "Caliphate", he had a bounty of five million dollars.
29/12/2014 SYRIA - ISLAM
Islamic State blamed for almost 2,000 executions in less than six months
Of those killed, 1,175 were civilians, including women and children. Almost half of the victims are members of the Sunni Shaitat tribe, which rebelled against the Islamic State domination. The group also executed 120 of its own members, who wanted to return to their home countries.
26/09/2017 19:38:00 SYRIA
Catechist in Aleppo, where faith overwhelms fear and violence
Rania Salouji is a 40-year-old Christian woman. She is married to Grigor and they have two kids, 17 and 14. At the beginning of the war she thought about fleeing but chose to stay. She was anxious for months when her husband was held captive and she is still traumatised by the death of a boy killed by a rocket near the catechism centre. Each day she entrusts her children to Our Lady, reciting the Rosary. We must “live normally, as much as possible”.
19/08/2016 16:45:00 SYRIA
For Nuncio in Damascus, children's eyes are the mirror of the atrocities committed in Syria
Since August, areas under siege have not received any aid. UN official calls for a halt to Aleppo bombing. The image of a child rescued from the rubble is the image of the Syrian conflict. For Mgr Zenari, there is “no light at the end of the tunnel”. A deal on “humanitarian aid” is crucial.
21/07/2016 14:49:00 SYRIA
Horror in Aleppo: "moderate" rebel group beheads Palestinian child
The Nour al-Din al-Zenki movement beheads 11-year old Abdallah Issa shouting "Allah Akbar". The child was executed for collaborating with government forces. Before he died he was tortured. The group’s leaders try to back away from the barbaric killing. The group is supported by Turkey, the US, Qatar and Saudi Arabia.
EGYPT – LEBANON
Muslims and Christians meet in Cairo for Jerusalem, 'the cause of causes'
A conference was held on 16-17 January at al-Azhar. Many prominent figures from Lebanon took part, including the Maronite Patriarch Bechara Al-Rahi. The Arab world is divided between "complicit passivity" and "noisy but ineffective speeches". For a former Lebanese premier, coordinated actions are needed to ensure greater efficacy on behalf of Jerusalem’s "pluralistic identity " and "religious freedom". Card Al-Rahi called for joint prayers, Islamic-Christian interfaith solidarity in the Arab world, and support for the Palestinians.
15/01/2018 LEBANON - SYRIA
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