Knife Attacker ‘Wanted to Kill As Many Christians As Possible’

The man walked into a supermarket, grabbed a kitchen knife from a store shelf and started attacking people

German prosecutors say a Palestinian man who fatally stabbed one person and wounded six others at a Hamburg supermarket in July wanted to kill as many Christians as possible to avenge what he considered injustices against Muslims worldwide.
 
Federal prosecutors say 26-year-old Ahmad A., whose last name wasn’t published due to German privacy rules, considered his actions a “contribution to a worldwide jihad.”

In a statement Friday, prosecutors said they were formally indicting the failed asylum-seeker, who was born in the United Arab Emirates, on one count of murder, six counts of attempted murder and six counts of serious bodily harm.
 
The man walked into a supermarket, grabbed a kitchen knife from a store shelf and started attacking people before he was subdued by passers-by and arrested.
 
Prosecutors said investigators found no “credible evidence” that A. was involved with or under the direction of a terrorist group such as the Islamic State.
 
Officials in Hamburg have said that he was known to authorities as a suspected Islamic radical but not as a “jihadist.” They also considered him psychologically unstable but decided he did not “pose any immediate danger.”
 
Federal prosecutors said he decided on the day of the attack to kill Christian Germans indiscriminately, and that he cited tensions over a contested Jerusalem holy site as his motivation.
written by Dale Hurd

The Reformation Turns 500: How Luther Shaped Our World

What an INSULT towards the Jewish people for anyone to celebrate Martin Luther and many other “early church fathers” who did nothing more than incite hatred towards the Jews that led to the slaughter of millions if not billions of Jews.

Written by John Stonestreet, G. Shane Morris

On this day in 1517—at least according to tradition—a German monk-turned-Bible-professor nailed a list of debate topics to a church door, altering the course of history.

Now, we don’t know the exact date when Martin Luther posted his Ninety-Five Theses, although he did submit them to his archbishop on October 31. What we do know is that Luther never intended to defy the church or split Western Christendom. When he challenged all comers to a debate on the sale of indulgences—which were essentially a way to buy into Heaven—he wanted to call God’s ministers back to Scripture.

But those ministers resisted. Luther wouldn’t budge, and the result was what we now know as the Protestant Reformation.

Historian Philip Schaff writes that next to the beginning of Christianity, the Reformation was “the greatest event in history.” That may be hyperbole, but not by much. If you worship in a Baptist, Methodist, Presbyterian, non-denominational, or—of course—Lutheran congregation, you’re directly affected by Martin Luther. Anglicans have been affected too, and even Roman Catholics saw reforms within that communion that came about because of Martin Luther.  

And the Reformation’s influence goes far beyond the church doors. Luther’s appearance before the Diet of Worms—that famous moment when he reportedly said, “Here I stand, I can do no other,” has been called “the trial that led to the birth of the modern world.”

Our ideas about free inquiry, democracy, education, and capitalism can all ultimately be traced back to the Reformation.

And the Reformation also reemphasized ideas like the sacredness of all callings, and spheres of authority in human society. In Luther’s mind, individuals and civil magistrates, as well as the clergy, were responsible to read, understand, and obey the Bible.

As Eric Metaxas and I discuss on this week’s Break-point podcast, Luther came to personify the power of Scripture. In his outstanding new biography on Luther, Eric tells how this bold reformer stood at the intersection of the Middle Ages and the modern world, insisting that there is “daylight between truth and power.”

And it was this idea—that God’s written word is the highest authority in the Christian faith, available to everyone—that birthed a still more revolutionary idea: that God Himself admits us into His kingdom by grace alone.

“The Reformation,” wrote the late Episcopal priest Robert Capon, “was a time when men went blind, staggering drunk because they had discovered, in the dusty basement of late medievalism, a whole cellar of fifteen-hundred-year-old, two-hundred proof Grace—bottle after bottle of pure distillate of Scripture, one sip of which would convince anyone that God saves us singlehandedly.”

Now the fallout of the Reformation wasn’t all good, and even today Christianity is plagued with divisions, disagreements, and distortions of Luther’s project. Luther, himself, was far from perfect.

But I’m a mentee of Chuck Colson, who together with Father Richard John Neuhaus brought evangelicals and Catholics together over common cause. I pray and believe that the divisions of the 1500s—which remain real and significant to this day—can be addressed without sacrificing truth, and yet in the meantime, we can treat each other with love and grace, and should work together whenever and wherever we can.

As we mark 500 years since Luther’s initial protest, it’s clear there’s more reforming to be done on both sides of the Wittenberg door. But that’s why Reformation is not just a moment in history. It’s a posture. During the next 500 years, the sound of Luther’s hammer should call us as the people of God to conform ourselves to the Word of God, and ultimately to the Person of God in Jesus Christ.

 

German government adopts international anti-Semitism definition

“The lack of a unified definition has led to anti-Semitic incidents being all too often ignored in recent years,” Berger said. “The fact, for example, that the courts considered an arson attack on a synagogue in Wuppertal as non-anti-Semitic illustrates the necessity of a definition.”

Per a government cabinet decision, Germany now has an official standard description for anti-Semitic statements and acts. The definition should make it easier to identify and combat instances of anti-Semitism.

Symbolbild Judentum (picture-alliance/dpa/R. Hirschberger)The official definition of anti-Semitism was drawn up by the government’s conservative Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere and Social Democratic Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel. It is almost identical to the one proposed by the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance (IHRA) used by countries around the world, including, for instance, Britain and Austria.

The IHRA definition reads: “Antisemitism is a certain perception of Jews, which may be expressed as hatred toward Jews. Rhetorical and physical manifestations of anti-Semitism are directed toward Jewish or non-Jewish individuals and/or their property, toward Jewish community institutions and religious facilities.”

The definition was adopted after the government’s regular Wednesday morning cabinet meeting. De Maiziere stressed the importance of consensus on the term in Germany, which is still plagued by various manifestations of anti-Semitism.

“We Germans are particularly vigilant when our country is threatened by an increase in anti-Semitism,” said the interior minister. “History made clear to us, in the most terrible way, the horrors to which anti-Semitism can lead.”

swastika graffitiNeo-Nazism is only one form of present day anti-Semitism

 

Defining anti-Semitism may seem to be self-evident, but it took considerable time and effort for Germany to agree to a specific wording. Other countries were quicker take up this definition.

“I very much welcome the adoption of the working definition of anti-Semitism by the German government,” said Felix Klein, head of the German delegation to the IHRA and the Foreign Ministry’s special representative for relations with Jewish organizations. “In order to address the problem of anti-Semitism, it is very important to define it first, and this working definition can provide guidance on how anti-semitism can manifest itself. We are proud to join Austria, Israel, Romania, Scotland and the United Kingdom in affirming that there is no place for anti-Semitism in any society and we call on other states to follow.”

The cabinet has recommended that law-enforcement and other public officials use the official definition.

A first step and framework

The adoption of the IHRA definition fulfills one of the recommendations of an independent expert commission on anti-Semitism issued in April. Commission member and Green parliamentarian Volker Beck called it “a first step.”

“The adoption of the definition sets out a framework,” Beck said in a statement. “Government action on various levels – from legal prosecution to educational measures to the sensitization of the judicial system – is now more binding. We can create a common understanding in government of the problems and challenges and a evaluation framework for preventing and combating [anti-Semitism].”

Al-Kuds Berlin Pro-Israel Demonstration 25.07.2014 (picture-alliance/dpa)Critics of the IHRA definition say it fails to distinguish between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel

 

Beck had previously criticized the government for failing to act on the commission’s recommendations. A definition, the commission argued, was essential for classifying and prosecuting anti-Semitic crimes and for distributing money to prevention programs. In the past, the task of cataloging anti-Semitic crimes as such has fallen to private organizations like the Antonio Amadeu Foundation.

As the commission detailed in its report, today’s anti-Semitism takes forms as different as extreme-right xenophobic fears of a global Jewish conspiracy and Israel-focused hostility toward Jews among Arabs and other Muslims. Other government cabinet members stressed that anti-Semitism in Germany could not be reduced to any single group.

“Unfortunately, anti-Semitism is pervasive throughout this society,” said Minister for Family Affairs Katarina Barley in Berlin.

That sentiment was seconded by the director of the Anne Frank Education Center in Hessen, Meron Mendel, who warned against reducing modern-day anti-Semitism to Muslim migrants and refugees.

Arson against a synagogue as ‘non-anti-Semitic’

Critics of the IHRA definition say it fails to distinguish adequately between anti-Semitism and legitimate criticism of Israel. But Jewish groups in Germany welcomed the cabinet’s decision precisely because its description of anti-Semitism also applies to excessive criticism of Israel as a “Jewish collective” and not a nation like many others.

Josef Schuster Präsident des Zentralrats der Juden in Deutschland (picture-alliance/dpa/M. Hibbeler)Jewish Council President Schuster hailed the government’s decision

 

“It’s as important to combat anti-Semitism dressed up as putative criticism of Israel as to fight against the old stereotypes about Jews,” said the president of the Central Council of Jews in Germany, Joseph Schuster.

Schuster added that Wednesday’s decision would be of help to police – a sentiment seconded by Deidre Berger, the director of the Berlin Ramer Institute for German-Jewish Relations of the American Jewish Committee.

“The lack of a unified definition has led to anti-Semitic incidents being all too often ignored in recent years,” Berger said. “The fact, for example, that the courts considered an arson attack on a synagogue in Wuppertal as non-anti-Semitic illustrates the necessity of a definition.”

Berger called for police training on the subject and for the next government to appoint a permanent anti-Semitism commissioner to ensure that the commission’s recommendations were implemented.

[written by Jefferson Chase]