Islam’s Holy War Against Christianity

Turkey, 1894-1923

Part 13 of a Series

Mike Scruggs

For The Tribune Papeers


In nations governed by Islamic Law (Sharia), non-Muslims have the status of dhimmis (protected people). They are protected from slaughter or expulsion so long as they remain subservient and pay a poll tax, called the Jizya, to their Muslim masters. Under the rules of dhimmitude the “protected people” must show deference at all times to Muslims and wear special clothing to distinguish themselves from Muslims. They are allowed only limited religious freedoms and have no political or civil rights outside the Sharia, which regulates their mandated status of degradation and humiliation. Usually, besides the Jizya, they must also pay a large part of their income to the Muslim community. Their continued status as dhimmis is strictly at the pleasure of the dominant Muslim population. They are subject to have their properties confiscated or their lives forfeited at any time. Muhammad instituted this practice as a source of Muslim income, which resulted in the umma (Muslim people) becoming somewhat dependent on the dhimmi class for various technical skills.


Near the beginning of the twentieth century, the 4.5 million Armenian and Greek Christians in Ottoman Turkey were of the subjugated dhimmi class. In Christian Europe and especially Britain, however, such Muslim practices were being viewed with alarm. Consequently, the Armenians began to appeal to Britain and other European powers to put pressure on Turkey to relax the Sharia rules pertaining to non-Muslims. There had been some relaxation late in the nineteenth century, but the Turks began to resent the Armenian overtures to European powers and became uncertain of their loyalty to Turkey. They considered these Armenian pleas for help to have violated their constraints as protected people under Sharia.


In 1894, fearing increasing unrest, the Ottoman government persuaded Muslim religious leaders to undertake a major crack-down on any dissent by Armenians regarding their subjugated status. In an 1896 dispatch, Henry Barnham, a British Consulate official gave this description of events:


“The butchers and tanners, with sleeves tucked up to the shoulders, armed with clubs and cleavers, cut down the Christians with cries of ‘Allahu akbar!’ (Allah is great!) (and) broke down the doors of their houses with pickaxes and levers, or scaled the walls with ladders. Then when mid-day came they knelt down and said their prayers, and then jumped up and resumed the dreadful work, carrying it on far into the night. Whenever they were unable to beat down the doors they fired the houses with petroleum…”


One survivor recounted the destruction of two churches in the town of Severek in December of 1896:


“The mob had plundered the Gregorian (Armenian) church, desecrated it, murdered all who had sought shelter there, and as a sacrifice beheaded the sexton on the stone threshold. Now it (the mob) filled our yard. The blows of an axe crashed in the church doors.”


This survivor described the scene as this mob rushed into the second church and ripped apart Bibles and hymnbooks, blasphemed the cross as a sign of victory, and chanted their prayer (“There is no God but one God, and Muhammad is His prophet.”) He then related:


“The leader of the mob cried: ‘Believe in Muhammad and deny your religion.’ No one answered…The leader gave the order to massacre. The first attack was on our pastor. The blow of an axe decapitated him. His blood spurting in all directions, spattered the walls and ceiling”


The British Consul intercepted a letter from a Turkish soldier giving this account to his family:


“My brother, if you want news from here we have killed 1,200 Armenians, all of them food for the dogs...Mother I am safe and sound. Father, 20 days ago we made war on the Armenian unbelievers. Through Allah’s grace no harm befell us…May Allah bless you.”


Another intercepted letter, evidently from an Armenian survivor, described the slaughter of refugees at a church in ancient Edessa. After breaking down the door, Turkish troops mockingly called for Christ to prove himself a greater prophet than Allah. Then according to the survivor:


“They began killing everyone on the floor of the church by hand or with pistols. From the altar they gunned down women and children in the gallery. Finally the Turks gathered bedding and straw, on which they poured some thirty cans of kerosene and set the church ablaze.”


This 1894-1896 Jihad against Christians in Eastern Turkey claimed 250,000 lives. Many Armenian women were forced into harems, and many women and children were sold as slaves. Rape, considered one of the rights of “booty” in Muslim Jihad, was routine. Some under duress converted to Islam, but others escaped to the West and reported the massacre. This enormous suffering inflicted upon Armenian Christians in Turkey was only a shadow of what was to come.

In 1915 the Turkish government ordered a far more organized genocide of the Armenians. In a period of two years, about 1.5 million Christians were killed. Johannes Lepsius, a missionary who visited the area during the First World War, reported that 549 villages were laid waste and the surviving inhabitants forcibly converted to Islam. He reported that 568 churches were destroyed and 282 churches were converted into mosques. A total of 21 protestant pastors and 170 Gregorian (Armenian) priests were subjected to unspeakable tortures before being murdered for refusing to denounce their faith and accept Islam.


In the summer of 1915, Leslie Davis, the American Consul in Harput, tried to save as many Armenians as possible by hiding them in the consulate building. He soon ran out of room and had to put some in the consulate’s walled garden. At night the consulate employees could hear the Turks praying for Allah to bless them in their efforts to kill the Christians. Outside, they carried on their bloody work. The leaders in these atrocities were primarily Muslim clerics and theology students.  


To promote the idea of Jihad, the sheikh-ul-Islam, the most senior Sunni Muslim religious leader in Turkey, published a pamphlet with these words:


“Oh Muslims, ye who are smitten with happiness are on the verge of sacrificing your life and your good for the cause of right…He who kills one unbeliever of those who rule over us, whether he does it secretly or in the open, shall be rewarded by God.”


Note the words “of those who rule over us” turn upside down the actual status of the victims. Anyone who rejects Islam is considered to be an oppressor.


The Jihad against both Armenian and Greek Christians was renewed in 1922. Perhaps the last brutal act was in the western Turkish city of Smyrna, one of the seven towns mentioned in the book of Revelation. The inhabitants were surrounded by the Turkish Army and systematically murdered. More than 150,000 died in four days of slaughter. The city was then burned to the ground. Allied British, French and American naval vessels were anchored in the city’s port, and their crews could hear the desperate cries of Smyrna’s Christians for rescue. To our eternal shame, they had been ordered not to interfere. The years of 1922 and 1923 claimed the lives of another one million Armenian and Greek Christians. Several hundred thousand were eventually able to make it to safety in Britain and the United States, and only about 100,000 remain in Turkey.


Despite massive photographic and documental evidence and substantial corroborative personal testimonies, the Turkish government has never acknowledged its genocide of approximately 2.75 million Christians from 1894 to 1923. The victims were predominantly Armenians but included many Greek and some Protestant believers as well.


Jihad occurs everywhere Islam encounters other cultures. In the Sudan, the Muslim regime is waging a bloody war against Christians, who are mostly concentrated in the southern part of the country. Thus far, two million Sudanese Christians have been killed, and five million have been displaced and are facing rampant disease and possible starvation. Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has said :


“There is no greater tragedy on the face of the earth than the tragedy that is unfolding in the Sudan.”


Meanwhile, Muslim terrorists are killing tens of thousands in the Philippines, Nigeria,

Indonesia, the Indian Kashmir, and wherever Islam has established a beachhead in non-Muslim countries. Over 100,000 Muslims have died in an Islamic-sectarian civil war in Algeria. Once majority-Christian Lebanon is being destroyed as Muslim immigration and   Hezbollah infiltration threatens renewed civil war there. The world is ablaze with Muslim Jihad.


Yet most prominent European and American politicians continue to insist that Islam is “a religion of peace and tolerance” that has been hijacked by a small group of radicals.


“Some call this evil Islamic radicalism; others, militant jihadism; still others, Islamo-facism. Whatever we choose to call the enemy, we must recognize that this ideology is very different from the tenets of the great religion of Islam.”

George W. Bush, November 14, 2005


“We honor the universal values that are embodied in Islam—love of family and community, mutual respect, the power of education, and the deepest yearning of all: to live in peace. Values that can bring people of every faith and culture together, strengthen us as people, and I would argue, strengthen the United States as a nation.”

--Hillary Clinton, January 21, 1999


How is it that so many of our leaders are blind to the true nature of Islam, clearly taught in the Koran and the Hadiths (the teachings and example of Muhammad) and clearly seen in history and current events? Too many of them reject sound, scholarly Christian counsel and base their knowledge of Islam on the Saudi-subsidized propaganda of the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the deluded advice of multiculturalist liberal academics. American infatuation with multiculturalism and Islam is the path to national calamity.


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