Claim Made That Jihadists Sell Christian Blood to Saudi Fanatics

A particularly lurid story from Sister Hatune Dogan, as part of a presentation on the persecution of Christians in the Middle East (original in German):

I’ve met someone – A priest told me: “Sister, here is someone you have to meet.” He was one of those killers. He had severe psychological problems. he became a Christian and gave it all up. I only asked: “What do you do with the blood you collect?” He said: “That’s a big business. A small bottle of Christian blood sent to the fanatics in Saudia Arabia is worth $100,000. After their Islamic conception, when they wash their hands with this blood, they become part of this sacrificing for Allah. Not our God, their Allah. It’s their Allah who asks for human sacrifice. It’s not the same God, for heaven’s sake. So, that means they were doing great business with that Christian blood. (1)

Dogan related the story after showing a jihadist beheading video which she said had been given to her by a Christian family in Baghdad, and which she said that shows the death of a man named Joseph. The date on the video is 16 September 2004; it’s not clear whether by “one of those killers” she means specifically one of the killers in this video or if she is speaking more generally.

Dogan spoke during a press conference at Club Stephansplatz 4 in Vienna as part of an event for Human Rights Day (10 December) under the name “Solidarity with Persecuted Christians” (“Solidarität mit verfolgten Christen”). A number of NGOs also participated, and the event had the support of the Archdiocese of Vienna and of Pro Oriente, which organises high-level dialogue between Roman Catholicism and Eastern Orthodox churches.

The persecution of Christians in parts of the Islamic world is of course well-documented, and it’s a subject that has received increasing coverage in recent weeks. It’s also the case that it’s difficult to overestimate the nihilistic excesses to which jihadists are willing to stoop. However, this story is so extraordinary it is reasonable to ask a few questions: who exactly is this man whom the nun met, and why has he not been punished for his confessed crimes? How has a “big business” trafficking bottles of Christian blood into Saudi Arabia managed to develop without any evidence coming to light? Also, while it’s of course possible that a terrorist financier might want to vicariously participate in a killing in this way, there’s no precedent for this “big business” in Islamic history, and Wahhabi fanatics reject religious practices that amount to “innovation”.

The Archdiocese website has a write-up here; the head of Pro Oriente,  Johann Marte, sat next to Dogan and reportedly attacked the Wiener King-Abdullah-Dialog Zentrum for failing to speak about the persecution of Christians.

According to a profile here, Dogan is a Turkish-born Syrian Orthodox nun whose family moved to Germany when she was 15 years old, following death threats. She runs a charitable organisation, the Sister Hatune Foundation (also known as Helfende Hände für die Armen, “Helping Hand for the Poor”), which operates in 35 countries and focuses on girls who have been abducted and violated.

UPDATE (2 January 2014): Dogan has now given an interview to US birther-conspiracy theorist Jerome Corsi for WorldNetDaily, in which she elaborated on the “bottled blood” story:

The blood spurting from their necks is captured in basins and then bottled.

“The Muslims sever the necks and collect the blood in vessels to sell the blood. The Muslims believe that if they kill a Christian and wash their hands in the blood of the Christian, they will go to heaven,” she explained.

Corsi also claims that Dogan was referring specifically to “Syrian jihadist rebels” in the current conflict, which wasn’t clear in the original extract (at least in the English fragment); Dogan may have said this to him, but Corsi has a history of sloppiness when it comes to details. The story was brought to Corsi’s attention by Walid Shoebat; Shoebat is now claiming to be working “in partnership” with Dogan, as I discuss here.

(1) I don’t have German, and so I had to rely on a translation added to a shortened version of the video posted on-line by a crudely polemical anti-Islam YouTube channel under the heading “CHRISTIAN BLOOD BOTTLED AND SOLD TO SAUDI”.