Saturday, November 15, 2014

Beyond Islam: Pausing to Reflect

Dear Readers,

Effective this week I will be taking an extended sabbatical from writing, blogging and addressing the heresy and threat of Islam.  I hope this blog will thrive during my absence as an online resource for many, and perhaps the pause in regular postings will provide an opportunity for many of you to explore the various resources contained here. 

There are indeed many resources here. In spite of its shortcomings, my book, Facing Islam, strives to present an Orthodox Christian Approach to Islam. There are also several other essential titles listed on the right hand column which are very helpful. Read and share widely!

Use the search feature also, and if you find an article which helps, explore others similar by clicking on the topical labels. 

There are also the separate, stand-alone pages listed in the horizontal bars at the top. Much good info here if you haven't had a chance to explore. Highly recommended is the page on New Martyr Fr. Daniil Sysoev, the anniversary of whose repose is coming up on November 19.

On the left hand column are links to resources on many Orthodox Christian saints, martyrs and confessors, including an important article on St Gregory Palamas as Confessor and Defender of Orthodoxy against Islam. The Church celebrates the memory of St Gregory on the Second Sunday of Great Lent, and on November 14, so very timely reading just now.

Also on the left hand column are direct links to other counter-jihad blogs and websites which often have extremely insightful articles and news on the global threat of Islam.

For those with "eyes to see and ears to hear," the true nature of Islam is becoming increasingly obvious. At the same time, those who wish to deny the obvious are often in positions of authority, even within the Orthodox Church. This requires us all to be informed and vigilant, and to be faithful.

At the risk of sounding alarmist or apocalyptic I wish to encourage us all to "hold fast to the faith," to labor tirelessly, to stand for the truth, and to not accept the lie. At the same time, we must do so with a warm, loving heart which refuses to be poisoned by the toxic atmosphere which surrounds us. We live in dire times, when "the love of many has grown cold," and we should tremble when we remember the Lord's words, "When the Son of Man comes, will He even find faith upon the earth?"  

Some have warned that a time of crisis, or rather of multiple, multi-layered crises, such as ours, has been coming for some time. It is here now, and we are forced to confront its effects, but in ourselves first, and then in those around us. Let us therefore "encourage one another daily, and all the more as we see the Day approaching," for "He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world."  This is "Christ in you, the hope of glory."  

"THIS is eternal life, that they may know Thee, the only True God, and Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent." (John 17:3)

If we persevere in faith, then we will reap the harvest, and we will be ready to make the good confession of faith in Jesus Christ when we are called to do so. 

Having this awareness alive within us is to live in Christ here and now, and this is to be truly beyond Islam or any heresy, evil or threat, to live beyond the assaults of the enemy of mankind.

I can think of no better words to close with than these from Righteous Hieromonk Seraphim Rose:

Christian compromise in thought and word and negligence in deed have opened the way to the triumph of the forces of the absurd, of Satan, of Antichrist. The present age of absurdity is the just reward of Christians who have failed to be Christians...

Now one cannot be a half-hearted Christian, but only entirely or not at all.

God's blessings on you...

Friday, October 31, 2014

Supreme Mufti of Syria: 'Islamic caliphate more dangerous than World War III'

This odd message from Syria's Supreme Mufti lacks Quranic authority, and flagrantly violates the hundreds of suras and hadiths commanding jihad and the establishing of a worldwide caliphate. He is not to be trusted. My comments interspersed and at end. Read and share widely.

Moscow, October 31, Interfax via Pravmir

Supreme mufti of Syria Ahmad Badreddin Hassoun sees the danger in establishing a "caliphate," as it has happened with the "Islamic state."

“Calls to set up an Islamic state are more dangerous that calls to unleash World War III,” the mufti said at his Moscow press conference.

He stressed that “religion is relations between God and a person,” and it does not have anything in common with a political regimen.

“When they wonder what will be with the state of “Islamic caliphate,” I ask, what state it is. I ask who of prophets commanded to establish it,” the Islamic leader noted.

[Actually, the prophet and founder of Islam, Muhammad, is the one who "commanded to establish" the Islamic caliphate, as seen in these hadiths:

Allah’s Messenger said: “I have been ordered [by Allah] to fight against the people until they testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah... so if they perform all that, then they save their lives and property from me.” (Sahih Bukhari, 1:2:25, also Sahih Muslim, 1:10:29-35)

Allah's Messenger said, “the earth belongs to Allah and his Apostle.” (Sahih Muslim, Book of Jihad, 3:17:4363; also Bukhari, Book of al-Jizya, 4:58:3167)  

Islam is demonstrably both religion and political ideology. Its purpose is forever linked by its founder to the conquering of the entire globe for Allah. The mufti's protestations don't ring true and are not to be trusted. See my comments at bottom for more...]

Monday, October 27, 2014

Muslim leader in Israel: “Entire earth” will be “subordinate” to caliphate

Joins numerous Muslim world leaders and clerics in predicting Islam's ultimate victory over the entire world.  

via Robert Spencer,  Jihad Watch — October 26, 2014

Iran’s former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad himself once said: “Have no doubt… Allah willing, Islam will conquer what? It will conquer all the mountain tops of the world.” 

Sheik Ali Al-Faqir, former Jordanian minister of religious endowment, said this on Al-Aqsa TV on May 2, 2008: “We proclaim that we will conquer Rome, like Constantinople was conquered once…” 

Hamas MP and Islamic cleric Yunis Al-Astal said this, also on Al-Aqsa TV, on April 11, 2008: “Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesized by our Prophet Muhammad.”

Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most prominent and renowned imam in the world, in writing about “signs of the victory of Islam,” referred to a hadith: 

“The Prophet Muhammad was asked: ‘What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?’ He answered: ‘The city of Hirqil [i.e. the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first’ – that is, Constantinople”¦ Romiyya is the city called today ‘Rome,’ the capital of Italy. The city of Hirqil [that is, Constantinople] was conquered by the young 23-year-old Ottoman Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya, remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]. This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice – once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.”

Israeli Islamist Leader Kamal Khatib: Jerusalem Will Be Caliphate Capital; PA TV Cuts Interview Off 
MEMRI, October 17, 2014:

In an interview with the official PA TV channel, Sheik Kamal Khatib, deputy leader of the Islamic Movement in Israel, said: “Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate.” After he repeated his views several times and said that “the entire Earth” would “become subordinate to the Islamic caliphate one day”, PA TV cut the interview short.

Following are excerpts from the interview, which aired on October 17, 2014.

Interviewer: Let us first watch what you said at the Al-Aqsa Mosque this week.

Kamal Khatib: I have said it before, and I say it again: Allah willing, Jerusalem will not be only the capital of the Palestinian state, but also the capital of the coming righteous Islamic caliphate…
Crowd member: Say: “Allah Akbar!”
Crowd: Allah Akbar!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Russia has experienced a Spiritual Resurrection

"In Russia during the last 26 years, 26,000 churches have either been restored or opened, as well as 800 monasteries, filled with young monks and nuns... All this has taken place in the very same era which in the West some call post-Christian."

by Francis Phillips, Catholic Herald
via Pravoslavie — October 24, 2014

I have been reading a book about Russia: Dying Unneeded by Michelle Parsons. It is about the wartime and post-war generation of former Soviet citizens whose lives came to a halt when the USSR collapsed in 1991. The meaning and purpose of their lives had come from the state, from work, from surviving with stoical humour and resignation the problems that arose in daily life from the command economy. The author examines the dramatic mortality rate during the years 1990-1994, when state socialism suddenly ended, to be followed by, as Parsons puts it, “upheaval, disorder, decay, wildness and thievery”.

Overnight, a whole generation of Russians lost their jobs, their pensions and their security. Too old to retrain for new careers they started to experience the poverty and scarcity that they had known during the war and which they had thought was over for good. Men particularly, who had defined themselves through their work, started to drink heaving (not helped by often being paid in vodka rather than in money) and to suffer stress-related heart attacks. Suicides also increased. Women survived better because they simply continued to struggle, as they always, had, with providing for their family’s needs.

Parsons paints a grim picture of a society that had been led along by their secular faith in the Communist ideology, which then failed them spectacularly. Without inner spiritual resources and living for years under the official atheism of the Soviet system, their lives became meaningless. Although she briefly mentions the notion of the “Russian soul” she defines it in a patriotic and community sense – a people held together by suffering and sacrifice, especially in the wartime years when Russia lost 27 million people.

St. Barsanuphius of Optina: On Attacks Against the Church

I have to listen to complaints about the fact that we are now going through difficult times, that now free rein is given to all kinds of heretical and godless teachings, that the Church is being subjected to the attacks of enemies from all sides and that it will become terrible for Her, that these murky waves of unbelief and heresy are overcoming Her. 

I always answer, “Don’t worry! Don’t be afraid for the Church! She will not perish: the gates of hell will not prevail against Her, right to the Dread Judgment itself. Do not fear for Her but for yourself—that’s what you have to fear for, and it’s true that our times are very difficult. Why? Because now it is especially easy to fall away from Christ, and then—perish.” 

— St Barsanuphius of Optina (†1913)

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Metropolitan Amvrosios of Greece: 'We are losing Christian Greece'

Western political and monetary forces "are in every way supporting the development of Islam as a religion [in Greece]; more than that, at the same time they are promoting immigration of Muslims to Greece in great numbers in order to neutralize the Christian orientation of our motherland.”

Pravoslavie — October 20, 2014

“Our country has been unconditionally surrendered to foreign invaders. It is now not so important that the monuments of culture are falling into disrepair—we are losing Christian Greece!” reads the statement of Metropolitan Amvrosios of Kalavryta, cited by the Romfea portal.

“The external forces (namely Angela Merkel, the International Monetary Fund, freemasonry, the Bilderberg group, Zionism) are explicitly (Merkel) or implicitly (through so-called “globalization”) ruling our unfortunate country,” stated Metropolitan Amvrosios.

“Unfortunately, they are in every way supporting the development of Islam as a religion; more than that, at the same time they are promoting immigration of Muslims to Greece in great numbers in order to neutralize the Christian orientation of our motherland,” said the Metropolitan.

The hierarch then described the crimes committed by the jihadists (militant islamists):

Timothy Furnish: The Islamic State and 'Signs of the Last Hour'

"Islamic State is honing its eschatological-apocalyptic message to a fine point, by making its jihad against the 'Crusade', as well as the reimposing of slavery over non-dhimmis, Signs of the Last Hour." 

Illinois Obama and the Last Crusade — Against ISIS

The Islamic State’s latest Dabiq magazine (#4)  was issued several weeks ago, entitled “The Failed Crusade.”

by Timothy R. Furnish, Mahdi Watch — October 21, 2014

To take over your square, obviously! 
As with the previous three issues, Dabiq—which, again, refers to a major apocalyptic battle in Syria between Muslims and “Romans” predicted in hadiths—opens with the same quote from IS’s founder, the late Abu Mus`ab al-Zarqawi:  that the spark lit in Iraq will eventually “burn…the crusader armies in Dabiq.”  

Overall, this magazine cites the Qur’an 20 times, adduces 36 different hadiths, and quotes historical Islamic scholars (such as the 14th century Ibn Taymiyah) as well as modern ideologues (al-Awlaki, Bin Ladin and al-Zarqawi)—thus making the claim that ISIS is “ not Islamic”  fatuous at best.  Its main topics are the alleged “Crusade” and its relationship to the looming apocalyptic struggle between “Romans/Crusaders” and Muslims, and the rationalization for (re)imposing Muslim slavery of non-Muslims.  

The “failing crusade” and its connection to Islamic eschatological prognostication takes up over 1/3 of this 56-page document.   Modern US forays into the Middle East, particularly Iraq (and now Syria) are linked—of course!—to the Crusades of 900 years ago.  American soldiers, who are shown loading coffins containing their dead comrades into C-5s, are equated with “cross-worshipping Romans” (Byzantines, that is) and not the 11th century Crusaders.  This is almost certainly because the relevant hadiths refer to events from the 7th and 8th centuries, when the Eastern Roman, or Byzantine, Christian Empire was fighting off hordes of belligerent Muslims—and not to the actual Crusades, over three centuries later.

'JERUSALEM' Omnimax Film: Observations from an Orthodox Christian Priest

"We rarely hear of the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. The Muslims did not inhabit Jerusalem peacefully or by way of invitation in the 7th century.  If the Crusades are always criticized for that very reason, we need to restore a sense of historical balance..."

'JERUSALEM' - The Omnimax Film
Observations by an Orthodox Christian Priest, followed by my comments.
October 20, 2014
(Source confidential and shall remain anonymous)
Visit the website for the film to view the trailer and find showtimes in your area.

...The commentary [of the film] was clearly made to be as non-controversial as possible. In fact, although paying a bit of "lip service" to the endless historical conflicts that have been so much a part of Jerusalem's history, the text of the commentary was committed to convincing us that Jews, Christians, and Muslims can live openly and peacefully in such close proximity.

Fair enough. In today's fractured and conflict-torn world, we should realize by now that profound differences of faith and practice need not undermine the essential qualities of mutual respect and tolerance. And one does not have to be a relativist to embrace such a perspective. 

The more that a believer is secure in his/her own faith, the more this could become a reality underlying human relationships. After all, we are not talking about winning a religious debate, but simply about living together peacefully. Fanaticism and aggressive non-tolerance of the "other" could serve as cover-up for a deeper insecurity, in which the "enemy" is anyone with a world-view challenging and/or shaking that of the intolerant believer. And enemies must be destroyed before they tempt "our people" into deviating from the group's beliefs. Again, I am simply raising this issue on the religious level - and not on a political level and the use or non-use of force...

And to abandon all political correctness, I must point out that we rarely hear of the Muslim conquest of Jerusalem. The Muslims did not inhabit Jerusalem peacefully or by way of invitation in the 7th c. If the Crusades are always criticized for that very reason, we need to restore a sense of historical balance...

Breaking News: Ottawa Gunman a Recent Convert to Islam

Terrorist shooting attack is the second fatal Muslim Jihad Attack this week in Canada. See here for more.

Alleged Ottawa Gunman Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, recent convert to Islam

And it seems that these Muslims were acting in direct response to calls from the Islamic State Caliphate for Muslims to attack sites in North America (see here and here).  These are not "lone wolf" attacks. They are a direct result of an increasingly emboldened Islam, and the ideology which commands such attacks comes directly from the Quran and the example of Muhammad (see my post on the 'Jerusalem' Omnimax film here.)

With 1.6 billion Muslims worldwide, if only 1% are motivated to obey the Quran's commands to wage jihad against non-Muslims, that means there are 16 million radicalized Muslim jihadists out there. If the ratio is 10%, the Muslim jihad army jumps to 160 million.

As I wrote in an article in May 2013 (Message to Muslims: Time for Some Serious Questions) after the broad daylight murder and near beheading of British soldier Lee Rigby by a Muslim:

This is gravely concerning, and should prompt us to pose the following questions to all Muslims everywhere: 
1. Do you subscribe to this same "theologically determined logic" which spawns acts of violence and terrorism by Muslims in every country of the world, and drives an Islamic supremacism which seeks to establish a global caliphate to bring Islam to world dominance? In other words, do you feel in your heart, as a Muslim, that you are at war with non-Muslims?

2. If you say you do not subscribe to this worldview, how do you support your position from Islam's sacred texts? Because — as you should know — all Islamic supremacists and jihadists fully support their actions using the Quran and the example of Muhammad and the consistent teaching of Islamic jurisprudence, and they say your religion commands you to support them in the global jihad.

3. In your heart of hearts, when you continue to see such horrific acts being perpetrated in the name of Islam by men and women who claim to be devout Muslims and use your own sacred texts to back up their actions, do you question the validity of your Islamic faith, your Muslim identity? In other words, "Are you finally reaching a crisis point in your faith?"

In short, it's time to ask Muslims everywhere, "Why do you remain a Muslim?"

It's time for Muslims to ask themselves, "Why do I remain a Muslim?"

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

UK: Christian school 'downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly'

The collapse of formerly Christian Britain accelerates as forced Islamization of private, independent Christian schools is aggressively promoted by the UK government.

See also this report by Breitbart News.

UK: Christian school 'downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly'
Jihad Watch — October 19, 2014

Are any Islamic schools being downgraded for failing to invite Christian priests or ministers to lead assemblies? Doubtful in the extreme. In the wake of the Trojan Horse takeover plot of British state schools (see here, here, here, here and here), British authorities appear to have decided that the remedy is to further the Islamization of schools. They appear intent on rushing their nation toward civil strife and disintegration. 

“Christian school ‘downgraded for failing to invite an imam to lead assembly,'” by John Bingham, the Telegraph, October 19, 2014:

A successful Christian school has been warned it is to be downgraded by inspectors and could even face closure after failing to invite a leader from another religion, such as an imam, to lead assemblies, it is claimed.

The small independent school in the Home Counties was told it is in breach of new rules intended to promote “British values” such as individual liberty and tolerance in the wake of the Trojan Horse scandal, involving infiltration by hard-line Muslim groups in Birmingham.

Details of the case are disclosed in a letter to the Education Secretary, Nicky Morgan, from the Christian Institute, which is providing legal support to the school.

The group warned that the new rules intended to combat extremism are already having “disturbing consequences” for religious schools and forcing Ofsted inspectors to act in a way which undermines their ethos.

It follows complaints from orthodox Jewish schools about recent inspections in which girls from strict traditional backgrounds were allegedly asked whether they were being taught enough about lesbianism, whether they had boyfriends and if they knew where babies came from.