Three American Teachers Slaughtered for Christian Faith

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


ronald-thomas-smith-iiOriginally published by CBN News

Why was Ronald Thomas Smith II, an American teaching at Benghazi’s International School, shot to death last Thursday in Libya, even as he “was looking forward to his first Christmas in the United States with his wife and toddler son”?

Most Western media and analysts dismiss the killing as a random act of violence incited by a recent al-Qaeda video.

However, by connecting the dots and looking at precedence, it appears that Smith’s Christianity, specifically his talking about it among Muslims, was the motive behind the slaying.

First consider two facts gleaned from the AP report, “American killed in Benghazi remembered as ‘much loved teacher’”: 1) Smith once had plans to attend seminary, a place devoted to preparing Christians to share the Gospel—a crime according to Islamic law (recall the Coptic Christians tortured and killed on the accusation that they were proselytizing in Libya); 2) according to his home church in Texas, “Ronnie’s [Smith’s] greatest desire was for peace and prosperity in Libya and for the people of Libya to have the joy of knowing God through Christ” (emphasis added).

Then there is the fact that Smith was a “much loved teacher”—a phrase that immediately, if not eerily, brings to mind another very similar story of another “much beloved” American teacher who was killed in the Islamic world for talking about Christianity.

On March 1, 2012 in Iraq, Jeremiah Small—described as “beloved teacher and friend”—was shot to death by a student, even “as he [Small] bent his head to pray at the start of a morning class. The 33-year-old teacher from Washington State took bullets to the head and chest and died at the scene.” According to students, “Mr. Jeremiah’s hands were still folded in prayer when he fell.” A day before the shooting “a heated discussion” broke out “during which the pupil threatened to kill the teacher because of conflicting religious views.”

As with Smith, Small was described as a very devoted teacher and friend to his students; and as with Smith, the official story as reported by mainstream media, such as the Wall Street Journal, is that the motive for his murder was a “mystery.”

Yet, according to interviews with family and friends, Small “was a devout Christian who frequently praised Christianity and prayed in the classroom, and his friends in Washington said his evangelism is what motivated him to teach in Iraq… but he wasn’t pushy.” Moreover, the father of the student who killed Small, before killing himself, said that Small was trying to convert his son to Christianity and described Christians like the slain American teacher as “more dangerous than al-Qaeda.”

The fact is, Americans attacked and/or murdered for merely talking—or being suspected of talking—about Christianity is not an uncommon phenomenon in the Islamic world.

Thus, a few days after the killing of Jeremiah Small in Iraq, on March 18, 2012, yet another American teacher, Joel Shrum, 29, living in Yemen with his wife and two children, was shot eight times and killed by gunmen and members of the Supporters of Sharia (which operates a wing in the new Libya created by the U.S.). The group later issued a message saying, “This operation comes as a response to the campaign of Christian proselytizing that the West has launched against Muslims,” calling Shrum “one of the biggest American proselytizers.”

Lest there is still any doubt concerning the violence that often sparks up when Christians, in this case, Americans,  are seen as sharing the Gospel with Muslims, consider the following anecdotes, both from Muslim countries regularly touted for being “moderate”:

In Indonesia, October 2011, after they were accused of proselytizing to Muslims, an American family was attacked by “an enraged mob spurred by a local religious leader”; the Muslim mob set fire to Americans’ property and vehicle: “Only the intervention of police saved the[ir] lives.”

In Bangladesh, February 2012, three American Christians were injured by broken glass after their car was attacked by another Muslim mob that suspected they were converting Muslims: at least 200 angry locals chased their car, throwing stones at it.

As for the Obama administration’s response to the murder of Smith, it asked the Libyan government to “thoroughly investigate” the killing—a somewhat pointless request, considering the U.S.-supported Libyan government openly arrests Westerners accused of “proselytizing,” threatening them with the death penalty.

And that’s the point: while Western media and their talking heads habitually dismiss such coldblooded murders as “random” and “mysterious,” incited by al-Qaeda—that one blame-all “terrorist” organization that everything can be heaped upon—the unspoken fact is that these attacks are products of Islamic teachings; in this case, that openly challenging the truths of Islam with another set of truths—such as the Gospel—is strictly forbidden, often on pain of death.

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  • Dave the Liberal

    Well, this news source is pure propaganda, isn’t it?

    • TheOrdinaryMan

      …and the sun comes up in the West, right? Enjoy yourself when you pay your jizya!

      • A Z

        Naw, he’ll turn T-rk like some of the Philadelphia crew members did.

        He’ll get all in a lather for his 4 wives and his new found status and then he’ll find out, he is not part of the in group.

    • Strange1

      it’s an opinion piece, propaganda is what the Obama Administration puts out…

    • defcon 4

      Yeah the documented killing of Christians by muslimes is all just propaganda.

    • A Z

      No, it is not. If you think so, stay at the HuffPo.

    • A Z

      Dave the Liberal,

      Do you know the term reciprocity?

      If Muslims can proselytize or earn a living here, but we cannot there, we have a problem.

      It means they do not respect us, tolerate us much or regard us as equals in any sense. It can only end badly, if we are blind to the fact.

      You seem to be blind.

    • Drakken

      That is your problem right there, your a effing libtard and you just can’t fix stupid and your going to have to forgive me for I no longer give a rats azz what happens to you libtards, for you deserve everything that is coming.

    • Erudite Mavin

      Except this news was also in the MSM.
      So you don’t trust your liberal MSM

  • D Alday

    May you turn your heart to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.

  • Elizabeth Cape Cod

    Just more of the same. And obama’s reaction is more of the same…basically indifference and inaction.

    • Toa

      …And likely accompanied by his signature arrogant smirk.

  • TheOrdinaryMan

    Isn’t Jesus a prophet, recognized as such by Islam? If so, then why these killings?

    • john spielman

      because Jesus of Islam IS NOT Jesus of the Bible! Jesus of Islam is the anti christ and will kill all Christians

  • RobE

    Europe bows her head to Islam just like Obama his head bowed to the Saudi King and kissed his ring. They fell in love with Islam and also sell their children to this violence as a sacrifice to Moloch.

  • A Z

    “Most Western media and analysts dismiss the killing as a random act of violence incited by a recent al-Qaeda video.”

    Vizzini Journalism

    ” What? Probably some local fisherman, out for a pleasure cruise, at night”
    – Vizzini

    • Dallas25305

      The politically correct, liberal socialist media is one of the main forces in the destruction of Western Society. The problem is the constant pushing of propaganda for the evil Liberal Socialist left while trashing traditional Western values that have served the Western World for centuries.

  • Drakken

    As much as I admire these folks for their faith, it is their lack of understanding islam and that is what got them killed, unless they are willing to praise jesus, carry a weapon and pass the ammo, stay the eff out of these god forsaken places. Islam is islam and where there is islam, there is blood and lots of it. So unless you willing and able to protect yourself from harm, stay home. Darwin always gets his due from do gooders and their good intentions.

  • Walter Sieruk

    Such a terrible murderous affront as this may be explained in the Bible.Which teaches “Bloodthristy men hate a man of integrity and seek to kill the upright.” Proverbs 29:10. [NIV]

  • veritaseequitas

    It occurs to me that the Muslims must be terribly unsure of their religion and indeed their faith in it, to have such a violent reaction to Christians and Christianity. If they were absolutely sure in their Mohammed, they wouldn’t have to go around killing people in the name of Allah.

    • defcon 4

      A statement like that would get you in a whole heap of trouble in any islamic state — incl. Dearbornistan, Michigan.

  • Dallas25305

    Of course Christians are slaughtered by the Islamo Facist. So are Buddhist, Hindus, Jews etc. etc. They are told to murder and rape anyone who is not a Muslim, it is in the Koran many times over. They have been doing it since the 7th century and they are increasing it now because they see the former Western World now becoming part of the 3rd World because of abortion, Liberal Socialism, liberal political correctness, the mass 3rd world invasion and weak, foolish leaders like Barack Hussein leading the West to extinction.

    • defcon 4

      B-H-O is no fool, he knows exactly what he’s doing. He looks the fool because it’s difficult for his administration to lie around the facts.

  • Plea For Sanity

    Islamist supremacists seek a Global Islamist Apartheid where the ‘kuffars’ are subjugated.

    An Apartheid so vicious that even the Apartheid of South Africa will pale into insignificance.

    In this Global Islamist Apartheid the People of the Book will be treated worse than the Coloured and Indians were in Apartheid South Africa.

    All other creeds, and non believers, will be treated far worse than the Africans were treated in Apartheid South Africa.

    The Western Left however sees Islamist supremacists as ‘anti-imperialists’ and secretly applauds every nail and ball bearing that rips human flesh apart.

    Assisted by its Useful Idiots, the politically correct Western masses are transformed into suicidal lemmings ready to rush over the precipice in pursuit of political correctness.

  • BURNINHELLSINNER

    ISRAEL could end this once and for all, use their nuclear stockpile on every muslim country in the world, problem solved…..

    • defcon 4

      A great idea, except for the fact Israel is in the middle of the islam0nazi Mid-East.

  • mally el

    Obama’s response would have been different if the murdered Americans were gay.

    • defcon 4

      I wonder about that. I haven’t noticed the zero, or shrillery, or lurch having any problems w/the systematic persecution and murder of the gay community in any islamic state.

  • laura r

    why do americans go to an islamic sharia country to promote christianity? something is very wrong here, its like a death wish. i dont get this.

    • defcon 4

      I know of a S. Korean Christian who went to preach the gospel in Iran and Turkey. Unfortunately, he disappeared in Turkey and no one has heard from him since.

    • JamesJ

      I guess Jesus should have stayed in Gallilee

      • laura r

        promoting relgion is a dangerous business.

  • RouxBella

    Remember these murdered Christians as martyrs. They died for Christ. Christians here in the USofA better prepare themselves for the same fate. Give up your faith as a Christian by becoming muslim or die. I would die. If you think this is not possible in the good old USofA think again. We are unaware, illiterate when it comes to the persecution and murder of Christians all around the world. The silence is deadening. I seldom hear about Christians being killed in the name of Christ…not even in my church. “We’re all snug as a bug in the rug.”

  • Eldjr

    John 16:2 “… yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.”

    We were told that such things would happen. To the faithful I would ask, “What has the kingdom of darkness always done unto the children of light?” If you know and believe the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, the history of God’s faithful people has been filled with murderous persecution.

    The world is spiralling into it’s final cataclysms, and we shouldn’t expect it to treat Christians better than it did Christ Himself. Those who are martyred by people under such delusion will live forever, and the faithful testimony of their service “unto death” may work in the hearts of those who witness their deaths.

    That’s what happend in Saul’s [Paul] case. He was the primary instigator in Stephen’s death [Acts 8], but his conscience bothered him when he saw how faithfully Stephen died, trusting in Christ. Later, Saul of Tarsus, the Pharisee persecuter of Christians, became the Apostle Paul, champion of, and martyr for, Christ. One never can tell how these things will turn out, until after Christ returns [I write as to the faithful, not the unbelieving].

    So I’m not cavalierly dismissing the tragedy of these mens’ deaths. They are tragic and cruel, being perpetrated by people who “think to do God service”, and that is sad; however, all of the Apostles except one died under similar circumstances, and their reward is promised to be great in the Kingdom of Heaven. The faithful and believing will say, “amen”. The unbelieving will say, “rubbish”. So be it. These missionaries would likely be among those who say, “amen”, and I honor their selfless faith.

    “Well done, thou good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord.”