Thursday, December 2, 2021

Raymond Ibrahim: 'The Muslim Appropriation of Mary'

In this second in our series for the Nativity Season, Raymond Ibrahim shows how contemporary Islam perpetuates the blasphemous appropriation of the Ever-Virgin Mary, the Mother of God (Greek: Theotokos), first initiated by the depraved false prophet Muhammad fourteen-hundred years ago, and why it is essential for Christians to be aware of the truth behind Islam's "veneration" of Mary. 

Using the Virgin Mary "as a model of 'open borders' between religious and multicultural worlds" in an effort to reconcile Islam and Catholicism is to deny Christ and His Most Pure Mother, and reveals those behind such initiatives as full-blown apostates from the Christian Faith and self-condemned.




The Muslim Appropriation of Mary

by Raymond Ibrahim, February 21, 2021

In “Vatican: Mary is Catholic-Muslim Bridge,” Jules Gomes of Church Militant interviews me:

VATICAN CITY (ChurchMilitant.com) – The Pontifical International Marian Academy (PAMI) is promoting the Blessed Virgin as a bridge reconciling Islam and Catholicism following the Abu Dhabi pact between Pope Francis and the Grand Imam of al-Azhar Ahmed al-Tayyeb.

On Thursday, the Marian academy in Rome launched a 10-week webinar series titled “Mary, a model for faith and life for Christianity and Islam” in collaboration with the Grand Mosque of Rome and the Islamic Cultural Center of Italy.

Based on his belief that Mary is “a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman,” Fr. Gian Matteo Roggio, organizer of the Muslim-Catholic dialogue series on Our Lady, is seeking to mobilize Mary as a model of “open borders” between religious and multicultural worlds.

Mary responds “to the genetic codes of Judaism, Christianity and Islam,” affirms Roggio, a member of the religious order of the Missionaries of Our Lady of La Salette, writing in the Italian liberal Catholic periodical Famiglia Cristiana.

Islamic historian Raymond Ibrahim told Church Militant that “this series is yet another attempt to try to convince Catholics that Islam is somehow similar to their Faith when, in fact, Islam appropriates the names and sacred auras of biblical figures but then recasts them with completely different attributes — ones that reaffirm Islam as the ‘true’ faith.”

Ibrahim, a prolific writer, and the author of recent bestseller Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War Between Islam and the West, explained:

For example, the series’ organizers insist that Mary was a “Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman,” which is only two-thirds true: Yes, she was a Jew by race and background, and yes, she was a Christian in that she literally birthed Christ(ianity), but she was most certainly not a Muslim — a term and religion that did not exist until 600 years after the end of her earthly life.

“Worse, far from being the Eternal Virgin, as she is for 1.5 billion Christians — Catholics and Orthodox — Islam presents Mary, the Mother of Christ, as ‘married’ to and ‘copulating’ with Muhammad in paradise,” Ibrahim revealed.

In an article for Frontpage Magazine titled “Muhammad and the Virgin Mary: A Match Made in Heaven?” Ibrahim cited a hadith (Islamic canonical tradition) wherein Muhammad, the prophet of Islam, declares: “Allah will wed me in paradise to Mary, daughter of Imran.”

Far from being the Perpetual Virgin — Islam presents Mary, the Mother of Christ, as ‘married’ to and ‘copulating’ with Muhammad in paradise.Tweet

Few Christians know about this claim, but medieval Christians living under Islamic occupation were familiar with it because their Muslim conquerors regularly humiliated them with this text to refute the Church’s claim of Mary’s perpetual virginity, writes Ibrahim.

In fact, Egypt’s former deputy minister of religious endowments, Dr. Salem Abdul Galil, openly declared that among other biblical women like Moses’ sister and Pharaoh’s wife, “Our prophet Muhammad — prayers and peace be upon him — will be married to (the Virgin) Mary in paradise.”




Ibrahim obtained the Arabic video of Galil stating this on the Mahwar television network.

“Far from creating ‘commonalities,’ it should be clear that such appropriation creates conflict,” Ibrahim told Church Militant.

Mary is a Jewish, Christian and Muslim woman.  The prolific writer elaborated:

By way of analogy, imagine you have a grandfather whom you are particularly fond of, and out of the blue, a stranger says: “Hey, that’s my grandfather!” Then — lest you think this stranger is somehow trying to become your friend — he adds: “And everything you thought you knew about grandpa is wrong!” Would that endear this stranger to you?

The webinars will end during the month of Ramadan in the conference room of the Great Mosque of Rome with “Mary’s dates” — a reference to the fruit of the date palm and a verse from the Koran (Sura 19.22–26).

Friday, November 19, 2021

Raymond Ibrahim: 'How Islam Mutilates Christ'

 "While relying on the figures of the Old and New Testaments—for the weight of antiquity and authority attached to their names—Islam completely recasts them in a manner that validates itself and invalidates Judaism and Christianity.  This would seem to burn rather than build bridges." 

— Raymond Ibrahim

As we enter into the Nativity Fast and the Advent/Christmas season, it seems an especially proper time to post some recent articles of a theological nature. This new piece by Raymond Ibrahim surveys numerous examples of how Islam strives to appropriate Jesus Christ, Abraham, and a whole range of Old and New Testament figures, and even some Christian saints, but as Muslim heroes, distorting historical fact and mutilating their actual theological and spiritual message and import. 

This is a well known tactic of Muslim 'dawah' which dates back to Muhammad himself, and must be exposed as one of the primary lies of the Same God Heresy which Islamic apologists and well intentioned but gullible Christians so often promote.


How Islam Mutilates Christ

by Raymond Ibrahim, 11/2/2021




Not only does Islam claim Abraham, Moses, and Jesus; it apparently claims post biblical figures, such as Saint George, as well.  So states a recent article on My London, the real point of which is apparently to assert Christian and Muslim “commonalities.”  Thus, we learn that “on St George’s Day, which in Eastern Christianity is marked on May 6, Muslims in the area [of Nazareth] join Christians in their venerations of the saint.”

Judaism also finds its way into this article on religious syncretism: “According to some Sufi traditions, the [Hebrew] Prophet Elias, Al-Khidr [a character in the Koran], and Saint George are all the same person. They believe Elias reappears at different times in human history under different names to help stricken believers in times of crisis.”

The entire article is a testimony to the widely entrenched conviction that, because Judaism, Christianity, and Islam share many of the same characters, creating rapprochement between the three faiths is not just easy; it’s the most natural thing to do.

Left out of this calculus is the all-important fact that Islam does not treat biblical characters the way Christianity does.  Christians accept the Hebrew Bible, or “Old Testament,” as it is. They do not add, take away, or distort the accounts of the patriarchs that Jews also rely on.

Conversely, while also relying on the figures of the Old and New Testaments—for the weight of antiquity and authority attached to their names—Islam completely recasts them in a manner that validates itself and invalidates Judaism and Christianity.  This would seem to burn rather than build bridges.

Consider, for example, Islam’s treatment of Jesus (‘Isa in the Koran).  Not only does Islam vehemently deny Christ’s sonship to God, a new book on Islamic sources inadvertently underscores the fact that ‘Isa is the antithesis of Jesus—his doppelganger.

Tuesday, September 28, 2021

New Martyr Rasha Muklasha, killed by her son for converting to Christ

"Children will rise against parents and have them put to death, and you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved." (MT 10:21b-22)

"The hour is coming when whoever kills you will think he is offering service to God. And they will do these things because they have not known the Father, nor me." (JN 16:2b-3)


MARTYRDOM IN THE HOLY LAND: SON KILLS MOTHER FOR CONVERTING FROM ISLAM TO ORTHODOXY

OrthoChristian.com, September 28, 2021

A woman from Northern Israel was strangled to death by her own son last month for converting from Islam to Orthodox Christianity.

According to the indictment, the murder of 46-year-old Rasha Muklasha by her 27-year-old son Muad Hib was premeditated, with Hib arranging a meeting with her near Nazareth on August 5 with the intention of killing her and disposing of her remains, reports the Times of Israel.

Muklasha left her husband and severed ties with her five children in 2006, later converting to Orthodoxy. Having learned of the death of her ex-husband, she resumed contact with her children, but they were angered by her conversion.

Three sons and another relative were all arrested, and eventually enough evidence was gathered to pinpoint the middle brother as the main culprit, with the others being released, reports the Jerusalem Post.

After picking up his mother in his car, Hib “strangled the deceased with a rope or his hands, alone or with others, with the intention of causing her death,” the court documents said.

He then fled towards the Jordan River where he dug a pit and buried his mother’s body. Later that day, he rammed a police roadblock and was arrested after a brief chase.

The martyred Muklasha’s remains were found about a day later near a section of the Jordan River in northern Israel.


Saturday, September 11, 2021

Blessed Father Seraphim Rose - Special 2021 Update

September 2 is the anniversary of the repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina, who died on that day in 1982, making this the 39th anniversary of his repose.

See our Special Resource Page on Fr. Seraphim Rose, newly updated for 2021.


This year, September 2 approached with uncertainty and apprehension, as wildfires in northern California forced the evacuation of St Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina and St Xenia Skete for women in Wildwood (also co-founded by Father Seraphim). Though the nuns were able to return to their skete fairly quickly, the monks had to wait at St John's Monastery in Manton as the flames threatened their beloved and historic monastery. Updates and prayer requests were shared via social media as the flames drew ever nearer to Platina. 



A firetruck parked outside the monastery gate at St Herman of Alaska in Platina CA

Thanks to the protection of the Mother of God, the prayers of the saints, and the tireless and creative labors of the firemen (who established a controlled burn area to protect the monastery), the fires were finally stopped a scant 100 yards from St Herman of Alaska Monastery, and the Platina fathers were able to return to celebrate both the Feast of the Dormition, as well as the anniversary of Blessed Father Seraphim's repose a few days later.

In thanksgiving for the deliverance of St Herman's Monastery and St Xenia Skete,  I have posted some new resources and links on our Father Seraphim Rose Resource Page, so be sure to explore that, newly updated for 2021, and with extensive materials, articles, videos and more dating back many years.

Below are a couple of photos and link to a major story on the deliverance of Platina at OrthoChristian.com.

For those who do not know and have perhaps never been to Platina, the outdoor altar on which the Divine Liturgy is being celebrated is actually the canopy over Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim's grave. This outdoor, open-air altar has been improved and beautified in recent years, and is open for pilgrims to venerate Blessed Father Seraphim and seek his intercessions year round.


ST. HERMAN’S BROTHERHOOD RETURNS FROM EVACUATION IN TIME FOR DORMITION AND ANNIVERSARY OF FR. SERAPHIM (ROSE)

Platina, California, September 6, 2021

OrthoChristian.com  |  Photos by Fr. Thaddeus Hardenbrook

Bp. James of Sonora serves the Divine Liturgy for the anniversary of the repose of Fr. Seraphim (Rose) with Abbot Daamscene (right) and Hieromonk Paisy (left).


After remaining in evacuation for more than a week due to the wildfires in northern California, the monks of St. Herman of Alaska Monastery in Platina were able to return home in time for the feast of the Dormition of the Most Holy Theotokos, and for the anniversary of the repose of the brotherhood’s co-founder Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose).

The monks were forced to evacuate on August 16, with the majority of the brotherhood staying at the Monastery of St. John of San Francisco in Manton.

The associated St. Xenia Skete in nearby Wildwood was already evacuated earlier in August, though it suffered no damage and the sisters had already returned.

Fr. Paisy reads the Gospel during the Divine Liturgy.

Fr. Seraphim is beloved and revered throughout the Orthodox world.

The Liturgy in honor of Fr. Seraphim was celebrated by His Grace Bishop James of Sonora (Russian Orthodox Church Outside of Russia), who knew Fr. Seraphim personally. Vladyka and the brotherhood were also joined by visiting clergy and pilgrims.

A message on the monastery website reads simply: “Glory to God and His Most Pure Mother for protecting the monastery! Thank you, firefighters! Thank you for your prayers.”


Read the full article with additional links and related posts here...


Saturday, April 10, 2021

The Six-Thousand Martyrs of Georgia (†1615)

On April 10 we commemorate two large groups of Georgian Orthodox martyrs under the sword of Islam: the Six-Thousand (†1615) recounted below, and the Martyrs of the Kvabtakhevi Monastery, who were burned alive by their Muslim tormentors in 1386.

Better known are the 100,000 Holy Martyrs of Tbilisi in 1227, who refused to deny Christ and were beheaded, thus receiving their heavenly crowns.


The Six-Thousand Martyrs of Georgia (†1615)

From The Prologue of Ochrid for April 10




In the wilderness of David-Garejeli in Georgia, there were twelve monasteries in which many monks practiced and lived the ascetical life for centuries. 

In 1615 A.D., the great king of Persia, Shah Abbas I, attacked Georgia, devasted it and beheaded many Christians. Once while hunting early in the morning on the Feast of the Resurrection, Shah Abbas noticed many lights in the mountains. They were the monks from the twelve monasteries in procession around the Church of the Resurrection with lighted tapers in hand. When the Shah discovered that they were monks, he asked in amazement: "Has not all of Georgia been given over to the sword?" He then ordered his solders to immediately go and behead all the monks. 

Martyrs of the Kvabtakhevi Monastery in Georgia (†1386)

On April 10 we commemorate two large groups of Georgian Orthodox martyrs under the sword of Islam: the Martyrs of the Kvabtakhevi Monastery (recounted below), who were burned alive by their Muslim tormentors in 1386, and the Six-Thousand Martyrs of Georgia (†1615).

Better known are the 100,000 Holy Martyrs of Tbilisi  (†1227), who refused to deny Christ and were beheaded, thus receiving their heavenly crowns.


Martyrs of the Kvabtakhevi Monastery in Georgia

Commemorated April 10 | OCA



In the 14th century, during the reign of King Bagrat V (1360-1394), Timur (Tamerlane) invaded Georgia seven times. His troops inflicted irreparable damage on the country, seizing centuries-old treasures and razing ancient churches and monasteries.

Timur’s armies ravaged Kartli, then took the king, queen, and the entire royal court captive and sent them to Karabakh (in present-day Azerbaijan). Later Timur attempted to entice King Bagrat to renounce the Christian Faith in exchange for permission to return to the throne and for the release of the other Georgian prisoners.

For some time Timur was unable to subjugate King Bagrat, but in the end, being powerless and isolated from his kinsmen, the king began to falter. He devised a sly scheme: to confess Islam before the enemy, but to remain a Christian at heart. Satisfied with King Bagrat’s decision to “convert to Islam,” Timur permitted the king to return to the throne of Kartli. At the request of King Bagrat, Timur sent twelve thousand troops with him to complete Georgia’s forcible conversion to Islam.

When they were approaching the village of Khunani in southeastern Georgia, Bagrat secretly informed his son Giorgi of everything that had happened and called upon him and his army to massacre the invaders. 

Thursday, March 25, 2021

Can there have been Two Annunciations?

 




Today is March 25, the Feast of the Annunciation of the Archangel Gabriel to the Virgin Mary. 

As the hymn for the Feast says, 

Today is the beginning of our salvation,
The revelation of the eternal mystery!
The Son of God becomes the Son of the Virgin
As Gabriel announces the coming of Grace...

Islam also begins with an annunciation of sorts, to Muhammad, coincidentally by a spirit being also identified as the angel Jibril (Gabriel). Only the nature and outcome of that annunciation is quite different from the one to the Virgin Mary six centuries earlier.

This article contrasts the Annunciation to the Virgin Mary — filled with light and grace — with that 'second annunciation' — a dark annunciation — to Muhammad. This is one of the most significant and revealing facts about Islam, one which we should always keep in the forefront of our considerations.

If Muslims worship the Same God as Christians, how could that Same God possibly send two such radically opposed revelations and messages? And could it be the Same God if He chose to send His revelation to Muhammad through such a dark and blatantly evil "annunciation"?


Wednesday, September 2, 2020

Father Seraphim Rose Speaks - New Videos


Special Post for the 38th Anniversary of the Repose of Blessed Hieromonk Seraphim of Platina 



Recent years have seen a wealth of Blessed Father Seraphim's writings and talks uploaded to YouTube. 

There are several recordings of Father Seraphim himself delivering some talks, but these are rare, and most of these YouTube videos feature someone reading the text. Some years back the trend was for such videos to use text-to-speech software to avoid the many hours of dictation involved, but such computer-generated recordings, with their soulless, robotic, AI voice, do violence to the text, and present Father Seraphim's teachings in the most ironic manner imaginable. They quickly become very difficult to listen to as a result.

The most recent offerings, several highlights of which are posted below, are well done readings by the dedicated hosts of these various YouTube channels, for whom, we can only assume, these labors are a holy podvig, and we give thanks for the efforts of the channels Orthodox WisdomOrthodox Reactionary, and others. 

In addition, there are numerous videos which present excerpts of Father Seraphim's teachings in scrolling text against a photographic backdrop accompanied by low volume Greek or Russian Orthodox chant, as seen on the Gregory Decapolite and Nicodemos Hagiorite channels. These presentations have enormous impact on the soul, and somehow impart what Father Seraphim called "the savor of Orthodoxy" even in spite of this post-modern technology, format and platform.

We offer these links for your prayerful edification . . .





Fr. Seraphim Rose - Articles & Teachings (5 videos) Three presentations, including:  
• The Royal Path - True Orthodox in an Age of Apostasy 
• Orthodoxy in the USA 
• The Holy Fathers of Orthodox Spirituality


For many more video listings, proceed to our special Fr. Seraphim Rose Resource Page . . .

 

Thursday, August 6, 2020

My Ancient Faith Today Interview now available as a podcast

On Tuesday, August 4 at 9pm ET I joined Fr Tom Soroka on Ancient Faith Today for a Live Interview and Call-In Discussion on Reaching Muslims with the Gospel.

The hour flew by, and we enjoyed a wide ranging conversation with some very thoughtful questions from listeners which helped lead us into further deep reflections on this important topic.

LISTEN:
Ancient Faith Today Live - Reaching Muslims with the Gospel

Fr Tom and I have been friends for over thirty years, and it was a joy and an honor to join him on one AFR's flagship internet radio shows to discuss our hope "that none would perish, but that all might be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth" which is in Christ Jesus.




This was the third of a three-part series on Islam-related topics on Ancient Faith Today Live. Listen to the other two podcasts here:




Sunday, June 21, 2020

(VIDEO) Mark Durie - The Hidden History of the Qur’an

How the text of the Qur’an tells a ‘hidden’ story about its own origins.

In his recent book, The Qur’an and its Biblical Reflexes, and in this video (from the June 11, 2020 live webinar), Mark Durie explores how the text of the Qur’an tells a ‘hidden’ story about its own origins, one which is different from the conventional account.

The Qur’an is a difficult book to read and understand. Within the religion of Islam, its text has always been read, explained and understood through the lens of the biography of Muhammad, which was itself based on later, sources committed to writing more than a century after the Qur’an came into existence.

This is a story about a small religious community, not located in Mecca, but somewhere else, enjoying a more moderate climate suited to agriculture but vulnerable to earthquakes, which found itself facing an existential theological crisis. Tune into this webinar to hear Mark Durie tell the story of how this crisis was resolved, and the momentous consequences which continue to influence the lives of billions, right down to the present day.