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The Ravages of the Jihad-Occupied Mind
By Alyssa A. Lappen
FrontPageMagazine.com | February 17, 2004
To devout Muslims, renouncing the “one true faith” is an act of apostasy warranting a death sentence. By Islamic measures, however, Walid Shoebat has three strikes against him: In 1993, he renounced Islam, converted to Christianity—and, unlike most Middle Eastern Christians tutored in replacement theology—Shoebat adopted ardent Zionism along with his new found faith.
“Christ is a Jewish rabbi,” he insists today. “He was a Zionist.” Shoebat believes that God loves Israel. “How can anyone claim to be Christian and hate Zionism?” he asks, citing Psalm 53. “Christians seek ‘salvation’ and true Christians know that ‘salvation’ comes out of Zion, ‘When God bringeth back the captivity of his people.’”
A Muslim who converts to Christianity takes his life in his hands. Even in the U.S., according to Shoebat, former Muslims are often murdered by their families. In such cases, he adds, news reports seldom cover the Islamic motives. One noted scholar of Islam, the former Muslim Ibn Warraq, writes under a pseudonym to protect his life. In Leaving Islam he collects the accounts of more than two dozen apostates that poignantly demonstrate the need of former Muslims for security precautions.
Yet Walid Shoebat’s journey from Islam to Christianity and Zionism is especially remarkable. A self-described former Palestinian terrorist, Shoebat’s dream in the 1970s was to die as a “shaheed, a martyr.” He spent his youth engaging in riots. He confronted soldiers, hoping to be shot—a virtual impossibility, since the Israelis never targeted the torso “without good reason.” Once, he tossed a fire bomb. Another time, he nearly killed an Israeli solider, who was saved only when Israeli reinforcements arrived. Today, Shoebat seeks forgiveness for his terrible crimes.
Born in 1960 in Beit Sahour near Bethlehem—in so-called West Bank territory that Jordan occupied illegally in 1948—Shoebat was raised in the jihad doctrine. Under Islam, he reports, Palestinian children are inculcated to hate non-Muslims, and especially to hate Jews and Israel.
“The Arab war against Israel is a jihad,” Shoebat says. “Of course it’s a jihad. It is a religious, holy war. What part of ‘religious, holy war’ can’t the world understand?” Even Christians are indoctrinated in jihad ideology, he notes. Rejection of Jewish rights and history in Israel underlies the foundation of this Islamic jihad doctrine. 
In the Middle East, jihad theology has deep historical roots even for some churches. In the mid 19th century, according to noted Islamic scholar Bat Ye’or, the papacy allied with French imperialists to promote Arab nationalism among Arabized Middle Eastern Christians in the Ottoman provinces. They hoped to defeat Britain and Zionism. These efforts failed, she writes in her seminal Islam and Dhimmitude. But in 1970, the Vatican dispatched an apostolic delegate to Jerusalem to establish a Catholic Justice and Peace Commission. That was when the Latin Catholic, Orthodox and other Palestinian churches began building “an Arab Palestinian identity hostile to Israel and shared by Christians and Muslims.”
Coincidentally, as the seeds of these alliances began to bear their malicious fruit, Walid Shoebat came of age in Beit Sahour. Until fifth grade, he was the sole Muslim in a Christian school. He was taught that Jews were usurpers and thieves, fit only to be “beneficiaries” of virulent, mass-produced hatred—and all that implies. In Islamic school in sixth grade, Shoebat’s jihad indoctrination continued along the same lines. Every song he learned incited blood and murder. “The end product was a terrorist,” he explains.
Not surprisingly, Beit Sahour is also home to Ghasson Andoni and George Rishmawi, are the co-founders of the Rapprochement Center. They also co-founded the International Solidarity Movement with Huwaida Arraf and Adam Shapiro. Both organizations appear to be driven by the malevolent jihad ideology that Walid Shoebat describes. Indeed, at the third annual Palestine Solidarity Conference at Ohio State University in November, ISM featured such radical speakers as Khalid Turaani, executive director of American Muslims for Jerusalem. According to Steven Emerson, AMJ is a radical group that “routinely invokes ‘Zionist’ conspiracies and has featured calls at its conferences for the killing of Jews….”  Last May, the ISM held a $40 per plate dinner co-sponsored by an Islamist group, the Muslim Public Affairs Council. Another sponsor: the American Friends Service Committee.
The jihad against the Jewish people in the holy land dates back centuries. But in March 1920, Yasser Arafat’s idol and relation, Jerusalem Mufti Hajj Amin el-Husseini, reignited the Islamic reign of terror, says Shoebat. El-Husseini sent for muhajideen from Syria to stage bloody riots. Soon afterwards, h