Friday, September 28, 2012

Chesterton on Islam

I ran across this helpful analysis by G.K. Chesterton on a forum thread on, posted by Fr Aidan Kimmel. 

I argue very forcefully against the 'Same God' position in my book, Facing Islam, in large part because of the radical differences between the True Triune Godhead and the dark and sadistic Allah. Because of these extreme, polar differences, and the aggressive, supremacist, murderous commands issued by Allah in order to subjugate the whole world under Islam, we cannot merely say (as do some Orthodox) that Muslims have the wrong conception of the True God. We must not allow such wishy-washy softheadedness to dilute our dogmatic stance.  Rather, there is a stark ontological difference between such a blatantly evil monad as Allah, and the Triune God Who is Three Persons Sharing One and the Same Essence and United in Love. There is also clearly a satanic influence at work which globally compels and enables Muslims to stifle, shut down and kill their God-given conscience in order to follow the grossly evil commands of their 'god' and 'prophet'.

Chesterton expresses some of the more subtle theological considerations at play in comparing Christianity and Islam:

Unitarians (a sect never to be mentioned without a special respect for their distinguished intellectual dignity and high intellectual honour) are often reformers by the accident that throws so many small sects into such an attitude. But there is nothing in the least liberal or akin to reform in the substitution of pure monotheism for the Trinity. The complex God of the Athanasian Creed may be an enigma for the intellect; but He is far less likely to gather the mystery and cruelty of a Sultan than the lonely god of Omar or Mahomet. The god who is a mere awful unity is not only a king but an Eastern king. The heart of humanity, especially of European humanity, is certainly much more satisfied by the strange hints and symbols that gather round the Trinitarian idea, the image of a council at which mercy pleads as well as justice, the conception of a sort of liberty and variety existing even in the inmost chamber of the world. For Western religion has always felt keenly the idea "it is not well for man to be alone." The social instinct asserted itself everywhere as when the Eastern idea of hermits was practically expelled by the Western idea of monks. So even asceticism became brotherly; and the Trappists were sociable even when they were silent. If this love of a living complexity be our test, it is certainly healthier to have the Trinitarian religion than the Unitarian. For to us Trinitarians (if I may say it with reverence) -- to us God Himself is a society. It is indeed a fathomless mystery of theology, and even if I were theologian enough to deal with it directly, it would not be relevant to do so here. Suffice it to say here that this triple enigma is as comforting as wine and open as an English fireside; that this thing that bewilders the intellect utterly quiets the heart: but out of the desert, from the dry places and, the dreadful suns, come the cruel children of the lonely God; the real Unitarians who with scimitar in hand have laid waste the world. For it is not well for God to be alone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Don't look now, but Islam is becoming the MSM's official religion of America.

Ben Stein's sense of the darkness of the times is chilling:

Something Is Wrong
originally published at American Spectator

Don't look now, but Islam is becoming the MSM's official religion of America.

Now, it's not just that no one bats an eye at the amazing truth that the United States is beaming TV ads all over Pakistan apologizing for a derogatory Internet trailer for a nonexistent movie demeaning the being that Muslims call "The Prophet Mohammed." No one in the MSM even slightly hints that doing the kowtow in the same country that sheltered Osama bin Laden to a group that reveled in, delighted in the terrorism against American civilians and still provides the framework for the terrorist Haqqani network, might be humiliating and an insult to the memory of the great Americans who were murdered just last week in Libya.

No, we just take it in stride that our President and our Secretary of State will apologize to the people who hate us and want us dead. That's not what I am referring to.

I am referring to something worse: Have you noticed that in the past few years, and especially in the past few weeks since the murder of the Ambassador and his guards and colleague in Benghazi (a city that Erwin Rommel loved and whose inhabitants he praised), whenever the New York Times refers to Mohammed, they always call him, without quotation marks, The Prophet Mohammed, as if everyone with any sense understands that OF COURSE Mohammed is The One True Prophet and that it's just understood that Mohammed is The Prophet.

I see this in other news outlets and on TV, too. Sober-looking newsmen and newswomen mention Mohammed as The Prophet Mohammed. No ifs, ands or buts. I hear it on the BBC World Service, too.

Now, if Muslims want to believe that Mohammed is The Prophet, God bless them. Fine and dandy. If anyone wants to believe that, good luck to him or her. But why does our mainstream media here in the USA, an overwhelmingly Christian country, refer to Islam's prophet as "The Prophet"?

Have you ever seen any major newspaper here in the USA refer to Jesus Christ as "The Son of God, God Incarnate, The Lord Jesus Christ"? Can you imagine the New York Times running a story about a crucifix resting in urine at an "art gallery" as an offense against "The Lord Jesus, Son of God"? Can you imagine any large newspaper in this country running a story about the Pope and referring to him as "The Holy Father, The Bridge Between Heaven and Earth"? Or about Mary, as "Holy Mary, Mother of God"? It would never happen.

But somehow, probably because the people writing the articles and editing them or the producers on TV news shows fear being beheaded -- and who doesn't? -- we have adopted in our media the Muslim assertion that Mohammed is The Prophet while giving other religious figures the back of our media hand.

This is frightening. We are not supposed to be doing obeisance to a religious group that has many adherents who want us dead. We are not, as journalists, supposed to be labeling anyone as "The" Prophet. But somehow, it's happening. The MSM has become a voice for Islam.

Hitler saw it long ago. Terror and fear of violence can bring about amazing changes in people's behavior. So can a misguided political correctness and self-loathing for the greatest nation on earth.

I overheard a conversation between two women at a dining table just yesterday. One said, "I don't care what anyone says, Obama is a Muslim" (she has said it before) and the other said, "He's not a Muslim. He's just stupid."

I didn't say anything to them. I am just telling you, these do not feel like normal days. They feel like latter days.

There is just a feeling in the air, a look in the sky at dusk, a look on people's faces. Fear is everywhere. Mr. Obama cannot lose this election unless enough people believe it's within their power to stop the ticking of the clock, and I do not feel that groundswell. Not at all. When the American media turns its back on our own religions of tolerance and adores a religion of intolerance, times are upside down. The MSM says it's all fine, trust The Prince of Grant Park, Chicago. But I have always preferred the admonition, "Put not your trust in princes." Something is wrong.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

How 'Religious Defamation' Laws Would Ban Islam

Solid reasoning from Raymond Ibrahim...

How 'Religious Defamation' Laws Would Ban Islam

by Raymond Ibrahim

September 26, 2012
As the Islamic world, in the guise of the 57-member state Organization of Islamic Cooperation, continues to push for the enforcement of "religious defamation" laws in the international arena—theoretically developed to protect all religions from insult, but in reality made for Islam—one great irony is lost, especially on Muslims: if such laws would ban movies and cartoons that defame Islam, they would also, by logical extension, have to ban the religion of Islam itself—the only religion whose core texts actively defame other religions.

The Quran itself defames other religions.
To understand this, consider what "defamation" means. Typical dictionary-definitions include "to blacken another's reputation" and "false or unjustified injury of the good reputation of another, as by slander or libel." In Muslim usage, defamation simply means anything that insults or offends Islamic sensibilities.

However, to gain traction among the international community, the OIC maintains that such laws should protect all religions from defamation, not just Islam. Accordingly, the OIC is agreeing that any expression that "slanders" the religious sentiments of others should be banned.

What, then, do we do with Islam's core religious texts—beginning with the Quran itself, which slanders, denigrates and blackens the reputation of other religions? Consider Christianity alone: Quran 5:73 declares that "Infidels are they who say Allah is one of three," a reference to the Christian Trinity; Quran 5:73 says "Infidels are they who say Allah is the Christ, [Jesus] son of Mary"; and Quran 9:30 complains that "the Christians say the Christ is the son of Allah … may Allah's curse be upon them!"

Considering that the word "infidel" (or kafir) is one of Islam's most derogatory terms, what if a Christian book or Western movie appeared declaring that "Infidels are they who say Muhammad is the prophet of God—may God's curse be upon them"? If Muslims would consider that a great defamation against Islam—and they would, with the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that the Quran defames Christians and Christianity.

Similarly, consider how the Christian Cross, venerated among millions, is depicted—is defamed—in Islam: according to canonical hadiths, when he returns, Jesus supposedly will destroy all crosses; and Muhammad, who never allowed the cross in his presence, ordered someone wearing a cross to "take off that piece of idolatry."

What if Christian books or Western movies declared that the sacred things of Islam—say the Black Stone in the Ka'ba of Mecca—are "idolatry" and that Muhammad himself will return and destroy them? If Muslims would consider that defamation against Islam—and they would, with all the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that the hadith defames the Christian Cross.

Here is a particularly odious form of defamation against Christian sentiment, especially to the millions of Catholic and Orthodox Christians. According to Islam's most authoritative Quranic exegetes, including the revered Ibn Kathir, Muhammad is in paradise married to and having sex with the Virgin Mary. 

[This vile and sickening notion is based on a hadith in al-Siyuti, 6:395, in which Muhammad is reported as saying, "In heaven, Mary, mother of Jesus, will be one of my wives." This is what all Muslims subscribe to if they claim to be true to Islam. In Orthodoxy, we of course hold that the Virgin Mary is 'Ever Virgin' — Greek: Aieparthenos — that she was virgin before childbearing, during childbearing, and after childbearing. Christ our True God himself teaches that, "In the resurrection, they will neither marry nor be given in marriage, but will be like the angels in heaven" (MT 22:30). - Zosimas]

What if a Christian book or Western movie portrayed, say, Muhammad's wife, Aisha the "Mother of Believers," as being married to and having sex with a false prophet in heaven? If Muslims would consider that a great defamation against Islam—and they would, with all the attendant rioting, murders, etc.—then by the same standard it must be admitted that Islam's most authoritative Quranic exegetes defame the Virgin Mary.

Nor does such defamation of Christianity occur in Islam's ancient texts only; modern day Muslim scholars and sheikhs agree that it is permissible to defame Christianity. Qatar-based "Islam Web" even issued a fatwa that legitimizes insulting Christianity.

Now consider the wording used by Muslim leaders calling on the U.N. to enforce religious defamation laws in response to the Muhammad film on YouTube, and how these expressions can easily be used against Islam:

The OIC "deplored… an offensive and derogatory film on the life of Prophet Muhammad" and "called on the producers to show respect to the religious sentiments held sacred by Muslims and those of other faiths."

But what about the "offensive and derogatory" depictions of Christianity in Islam's core texts? Are Muslims willing to expunge these from the Quran and hadith, "to show respect to the religious sentiments held sacred … by those of other faiths," in this case, Christians?

Turkish Prime Minister Erodgan said the film "insults religions" (note the inclusive plural) and called for "international legal regulations against attacks on what people [not just Muslims] deem sacred."

Well, what about the fact that Islam "insults religions"—including Judaism and all polytheistic faiths? Should the West call for "international legal regulations against attacks on what people deem sacred," in the case of Christianity, regulations against Islam's teachings which attack the sanctity of Christ's divinity, the Cross, and Virgin Mary?

Even Saudi Arabia's Grand Mufti—who a few months ago called for the destruction of all Christian churches in the Arabian Peninsula (first reported here)—is calling for a "global ban on insults targeting all" religious figures, while the Grand Imam of Egypt's Al Azhar is calling for "a U.N. resolution outlawing 'insulting symbols and sanctities of Islam' and other religions." Again, they, too, claim to be interested in banning insults to all religions, while ignoring the fact that their own religion is built atop insulting all other religions.

And surely this is the grandest irony of all: the "defamation" that Muslims complain about—and that prompts great violence and bloodshed around the world—revolves around things like movies and cartoons, which are made by individuals who represent only themselves; on the other hand, Islam itself, through its holiest and most authoritative texts, denigrates and condemns—in a word, defames—all other religions, not to mention calls for violence against them (e.g., Quran 9:29).

It is this issue, Islam's perceived "divine" right to defame and destroy, that the international community should be addressing—not silly cartoons and films.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Islam in SciFi 2: The Walking Dead

As far as I can tell from the stats on this blog, by far the most popular post I have done (so far) has been, Islam in SciFi: The Borg.  Based on such popularity, it looks like this approach deserves to be an ongoing series, which really makes sense. Christ used parables to talk about the Kingdom of Heaven. Similarly, we can draw out aspects of Islam and jihad by employing examples we all can relate to, straight from our haram pop-culture. Don't you just love the irony of it?

For this entry in my fledgling series on Islam in SciFi, I have chosen the hit AMC series, The Walking Dead, which starts its third season in mid-October, just a couple of weeks from now.   The Walking Dead is, of course, the most popular manifestation of the bizarre modern phenomenon of the 'Zombie Apocalypse' doomsday narrative. The theme dates at least as far back as Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), but it was really George A. Romero and Night of the Living Dead in 1968 which brought the zombie mythos to life, so to speak.

Whereas the parallels between Islam and the Borg were many (leading me to issue a warning to Rick Berman and the Star Trek team to beware, lest they find themselves under a death fatwa for patterning the Borg cube after the Kaaba in Mecca), the Zombie Apocalypse, whether described by George A. Romero or Robert Kirkman (creator of The Walking Dead graphic novels), offers a completely different terrain for us to consider, with many of the lessons and parallels pertaining to the remnant of humanity who struggle to survive.

Devout Adherents of 'The Religion of Peace'
But first of all, we have to confront the zombies, or as they're called in the AMC series, the 'Walkers'. Am I saying that Muslims are like zombies? No. At least most of them aren't. But I do think we can make the case that, just as I discussed in my post on the Borg, when humanity is confronted with an implacable foe, a nemesis which cannot be negotiated with, then battle is the only option, and victory the only desirable outcome. In the case of the Walkers, their motivations are brutally simple: if they smell, see or hear you, they're going to try to catch and eat you. That is the extent of their existence. For the survivors in The Walking Dead, their battle is initially just for survival. 

At the end of the first season of The Walking Dead we were treated to a little zombie science. Rick and Laurie and the rest of the survivors made it to the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, where the last surviving scientist showed them a real time brain scan of someone who was bitten by a Walker, died and then was reanimated as a zombie. (The victim was the scientist's wife. This is a deeply dramatic show.) The brain scan showed the victim's normal synaptic activity. Then, as she weakened and neared death, the brain showed less and less activity. At death it went completely dark. Then, upon reanimation due to the zombie plague, only a deep red minimal activity was seen at the base of the brain, the most primitive, primal nerve center.

A Zombie Herd in The Walking Dead
The point was made. Walkers are no longer fully human. They no longer possess a conscious mind as we know it. They are reanimated corpses which are driven by an animal-like hunger which they cannot control. They have no memory of their former life (though we have seen glimpses of the briefest recognition in one victim right at the beginning of being reanimated), and they have no trace of a human conscience. They are being propelled by dark, blood-red impulses at the base of the brain. 

This is similar to the condition of a Borg drone. When a person is assimilated into the Borg collective, the individual ceases to exist and is controlled by the collective mind. In the case of zombies, there is barely any mind there, but because all the zombies have the same instinctual drive to feed on flesh, they act somewhat like a collective. They even travel in herds. We were treated to the spectacle of a huge, shuffling herd of Walkers limping down the highway at the start of Season 2. The onslaught of a much larger — and more highly motivated — herd during the Season 2 finale was the stuff of nightmares.

For a different, and in many ways much more frightening, take on the zombie apocalypse, consider the movies 28 Days Later, and its sequel, 28 Weeks Later. In these films, the "rage virus" is unleashed, transforming the infected into manic, jacked-up predators, who are swift, vicious and just as merciless as the shuffling Walkers. This scenario is similar to the plague in I Am Legend, Will Smith's contribution to the zombie mythos. It is also similar to Muslim riots occurring all over the globe now.

Obviously, for the zombie apocalypse survivors to, well, survive, they have to kill zombies. The horror of the zombie genre, and its disturbing popularity in our post-modern, post-Christian world, is largely the perversion of seeing how humans become themselves less and less human, as they are forced to kill an endless mass of infected fellow humans. There is barely even a glimpse of an authentic Christian voice in any of these zombie tales. There is at least the struggling human conscience, but Christ is largely absent from the zombie genre. The zombie apocalypse is a post-Christian phenomenon, and we are seeing a real-world depiction of it now on the nightly news.

A Herd of Muslim Protestors last week

Amazing how the images out of the Islamic world mirror these nightmarish zombie fictions. But the comparisons go far beyond the obvious visuals.

The point in considering all this is to draw the comparison with the Islamic worldview, the worldview of Jihad, where Muhammad is the al insan al kamil, the perfect man and most beautiful pattern of conduct. From this primary principle are traced all the horrendous excesses of the shari'ah, which derive straight from the Qur'an and the Sunnah of Muhammad: Infidels (kuffir) are the most vile of created beings, Jews are equated with pigs and monkeys, non-Muslims must convert to Islam, submit to Islam's authority, or be killed, amputations for thieves, stoning for adulterers, and more and more blood and carnage.

What happens when a Muslim buys into the Islamic worldview and accepts Muhammad as his example, submitting himself to the shari'ah, is that the Muslim submits his (or her) conscience to the uber-conscience of the Ummah. Such a Muslim ultimately commits moral suicide, deadening his conscience to the point that murder is justifiable; condemning non-Muslims, deceiving them, and if possible waging war against them is not only permissible but obligatory. Because Muslims who have submitted to the Jihadi worldview believe that Allah has ordained everything and Islam is superior, they have lost virtually every last trace of a normal human conscience. They are instead propelled by dark red impulses at the base of the brain. The Jihadi is like a slightly more intelligent, more functional zombie.

We might dare to specify it a bit more clearly: the Jihadi is a moral zombie.

For many infernal reasons, the fourteen-century-old Islamic zombie plague is once again spreading. We have seen an explosion of jihad plots in the last few years. As recently documented on JihadWatch, a partial list includes:

A devout follower of Muhammad
. . . the activities of Muslims such as Naser Abdo, the would-be second Fort Hood jihad mass murderer; and Khalid Aldawsari, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Lubbock, Texas; and Muhammad Hussain, the would-be jihad bomber in Baltimore; and Mohamed Mohamud, the would-be jihad bomber in Portland; and Faisal Shahzad, the would-be Times Square jihad mass-murderer; and Abdulhakim Mujahid Muhammad, the Arkansas military recruiting station jihad murderer; and Naveed Haq, the jihad mass murderer at the Jewish Community Center in Seattle; and Mohammed Reza Taheri-Azar, the would-be jihad mass murderer in Chapel Hill, North Carolina; Ahmed Ferhani and Mohamed Mamdouh, who hatched a jihad plot to blow up a Manhattan synagogue; and Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, the would-be Christmas airplane jihad bomber; and many others like them who have plotted and/or committed mass murder in the name of Islam and motivated by its texts and teachings -- all in the U.S. in the last couple of years.
Whether jihad plots, or zombie plotlines, the challenge is the same: how does one survive a brewing apocalypse?

For an Orthodox Christian, we strive to forgive and even to love our enemies. And in doing so, we may see some of them come to the truth of the Gospel. The teaching of St Seraphim of Sarov comes to mind: "Acquire the Spirit of Peace, and a thousand will be saved around you." Some may have the calling to be a true missionary: The New Martyr Fr. Daniel Sysoev (†2009) converted over eighty Muslims to Orthodoxy, including some hard-core Wahabbis. St Kosmas of Aitolia (called "Equal to the Apostles") in the 18th century went about Greece and Albania, teaching, establishing schools, and preaching in the center of towns until he was martyred by the Turkish Muslims, who could not stand that he was strengthening the faith of the oppressed Orthodox Christians. It is these luminous examples who show us the better way of dealing with the Walking Dead. For regardless of how far gone a jihadi may seem, he or she is still a human person created in the image of God. Unlike the Walking Dead, a Muslim can repent, renounce their false religion and satanic prophet, and embrace Jesus Christ, and be raised to newness of life. This hope of the awakening and conversion of every soul is at the core of our faith.

At the same time, we note those Christians who defended themselves, their lands, their families and peoples against invading Muslim forces. We are reminded of the holy and righteous example of Tsar Martyr Lazar of Serbia, whose heroic stand against the Ottomans at the Battle of Kosovo weakened the Muslims enough so that they could not penetrate into Europe, and had to pull back and regroup, before trying again at the Gates of Vienna three centuries later. Tsar Lazar and his army attended the Divine Liturgy the morning of battle, receiving Holy Communion, and before heading out to meet the enemy, proclaimed their faith and loyalty, "For the Holy Cross, and Glorious Freedom!"  If you have no choice but to fight the zombies, this is the Christian way to prepare.

The most confounding (to the modern mind) Christian witness is that of a whole Christian population which refuses to submit to Islam, refuses to deny Christ, but lays its life down en masse. The other-worldly faith of the 100,000 Holy Martyrs of Tbilisi, Georgia (†1227) is such a witness and example.

[After the bloody and terrifying invasion,] the sultan ordered that the icons of the Theotokos and our Savior be carried out of Sioni Cathedral and placed at the center of the bridge across the Mtkvari River. The invaders goaded the people to the bridge, ordering them to cross it and spit on the holy icons. Those who betrayed the Christian Faith and mocked the icons were spared their lives, while the Orthodox confessors were beheaded. 
One hundred thousand Georgians sacrificed their lives to venerate the holy icons. One hundred thousand severed heads and headless bodies were carried by the bloody current down the Mtkvari River. (The Lives of the Georgian Saints, Archpriest Zakaria Machidatze, St Herman of Alaska Press, Platina CA, pp 403, 404.)
All these saints, peaceful or warriors, were slain by the walking dead. The Warrior Saint Tsar Lazar, the Missionary Martyr Fr Daniel Sysoev of Moscow, the Peaceful Preacher St Kosmas of Aitolia, and the hundred-thousand ordinary men, women and children of Tbilisi; they were all martyred by their Muslim oppressors. In each case, they sought the Lord, grew in the Lord, acquired the Holy Spirit, and ascended their cross, attaining a glorious resurrection. The walking dead could not touch their souls, and these saints of God reveal to us how to walk in light. This is eternal life. May we be found worthy to follow in their footsteps, and conquer not only the walking dead, but the devil himself!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Mocking Muhammad

In addition to the YouTube movie, 'Innocence of Muslims', which because of its denigration of Muhammad is supposed to have sparked global Muslim riots, murder, rape and carnage, a new round of cartoons mocking Muhammad have been published in France, which has prompted the French government to close its embassies in twenty Muslim countries in anticipation of Muslim riots, murder, rape and carnage.

Interestingly, the Obama Administration asked YouTube to take down the offensive video, a clear violation of Freedom of Speech. To their credit, Google declined to do so.

What is it with all this mockery of Muhammad?  

Robert Spencer offers a clear defense of mockery and satire (and by extension, more serious discussion of the madness of Islam) in the face of oppression, tyranny and evil:

Over the last few days the truth of the old adage that the devil cannot endure to be mocked has been confirmed again and again. Today the forces of oppression cannot endure to be mocked, and are eager to pass laws to make such mockery impossible. Such laws would be the death of free societies and the inauguration of tyranny. Consequently, such mockery is all the more necessary in these dark times.

Source: Jihad Watch

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Prophetic Significance of the Black Flag of Islam

This is a very insightful article by author Joel Richardson. I disagree with some of his (Protestant) views on Christian eschatology, but he has a keen understanding of Islam, and especially how Islam's eschatology is shaping Muslim views and thereby many world events.

Protesters burn the U.S. flag under the black banner of Islam in London (Photo: YouTube)

The Prophetic Significance of the Black Flag of Islam
by Joel Richardson

It was in 2004, when American businessman Nicholas Berg’s brutal execution by beheading was widely shown all over the Internet, that most Americans caught their first glimpse of the black flag of Islam. Hung on the wall behind Berg and his murderous executioners was a black banner with Arabic writing in white.

Since the murder of Nicholas Berg, in numerous al-Qaida videos posted online, the same black flag has been observed hanging prominently behind the speaker.

And now the same black flag is proudly flying high over the U.S. Embassy in Tunisia and is waving across the world. Welcome to Obama’s so-called “Arab Spring.”

Over the past few days, the black flag has been observed amidst the protests and riots in Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Nigeria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, Bahrain, Iran, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Indonesia, India, Turkey, Jerusalem, Gaza and even Germany, Australia and England. Across the world, Muslims of every race, tribe and nation are marching under the same black banner.

While many commentators have been referring to this banner as the flag of al-Qaida, this does not convey its full meaning and history. What exactly what does the black flag of Islam truly symbolize?

According to Islamic history and tradition, during the career of Muhammad, the “prophet” and founder of Islam, his forces carried a large black banner known as ar-Rāya into battle. The first black banner was said to be made from a large piece of cloth once wrapped around the head of his child-bride, Aisha. When Muhammad and his men attacked a convoy, or village, it was this black flag that would herald their approach and lead them into battle.

When the Muslim forces returned to Mecca in conquest after a prolonged expulsion to Yathrib (Medina), enforced by the powerful Qurayshi tribe, this marked a major turning point in the expansion and victory of the Muslims over the region.

Prominently leading the Muslim armies was Muhammad’s black flag. It is for this reason, namely the military conquests of Muhammad, that some versions of the flag today have a silhouette of the sword of Muhammad running along its lower half. Another name for the flag in Arabic is al-Ùqāb, and is sometimes referred to as “the Eagle” or alternately as “the Punishment.”

Since the time of Muhammad’s original military victories, the black flag has represented the unified and ever-expanding Islamic movement or government, and is a reminder of the expansionist conquests of Muhammad and his armies.

The element of black seen today in many of the national flags of Islamic countries is a hearkening back to Muhammad’s original black flag.

Last week, in the midst of the fierce anti-American rioting and protesting, there were even attempts to hoist the black banner over the U.S. Embassy in Cairo.

Islam’s black flag is most often emblazoned with white Arabic writing. The phrase in Arabic, lā ʾilāha ʾillà l-Lāh, Muḥammadur rasūlu l-Lāh translates into English as, “There is no god but God, Muhammad is the messenger of God.”
This is the creed and very heart of Islamic theology. This phrase is known as the “Shahada.” The Shahada affirms not only the exclusive and singular claim to deity of Allah, the god of Islam, but also the supreme role of Muhammad as the final messenger of this god to mankind.

If one wishes to convert to Islam, this is the phrase that one must recite. When every Muslim child is born, the first phrase they will hear are these words whispered into his ears by his father.

While some in the Western media have claimed that the symbol of the black flag belongs exclusively to radical terrorist groups, in fact, the flag is also used by Hizbut-Tahrir, an international Islamic group whose goal is to reestablish the Caliphate, though it claims to reject all violence or terrorism.

The restoration of the Caliphate, a goal shared by jihadist groups such as al-Qaida, as well as moderate activist groups such as Hizbut Tahrir is a vision to unify the entire Islamic world into one Islamic superstate, called the Caliphate, led by a single leader, known as the Caliph.

The Caliph is the pope, president and general of the Islamic world, bringing the religious, governmental and military offices all under one head. At virtually every Hizbut Tahrir rally, it is the black flag that will be the most prominent symbol on display.

Finally, beyond symbolizing the return to a unified Caliphate/Islamic superstate, there is a very important eschatological dimension to the symbol of the black flag as well.

According to Islamic prophecies, Muslims believe that the emergence of Muslim armies carrying black flags is powerful sign of the end times, heralding the coming of the Mahdi, the Islamic messiah figure. Muslims believe that the Mahdi will unify the Islamic world, conquer Israel and cause Islam to gain victory over the non-Muslim peoples and religions of the world as the Caliph of Islam.

One version of the prophecy of black flags, as relayed by Suyuti, commands all Muslims to join this army:

“The black banners will come from the East and their hearts will be as firm as iron. Whoever hears of them should join them and give allegiance, even if it means crawling across snow.”

Another version of the prophecy as recorded by Tirmidhi, has the armies marching from the east and placing their flags on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, as the seat of the coming unified Islamic superstate under the Mahdi/Caliph:

“Armies carrying black flags will come from Khurasan. No power will be able to stop them and they will finally reach Eela, (Baitul Maqdas, “The Holy House” in Jerusalem) where they will erect their flags.”

Christian theologians have highlighted the similarity between the Islamic vision of their Mahdi with the warnings of Jesus and Paul who saw the biblical Antichrist setting himself up on the Temple Mount as the demonic claimant to world leadership:

So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel – let the reader understand – then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains.

– Matthew 24:16

He will oppose and will exalt himself over everything that is called God or is worshiped, so that he sets himself up in God’s temple.

– 2 Thessalonians 2:4

To discerning Christians who still recognize the warnings of biblical prophecy, it is clear that the Islamic Caliphate, or the “Mideast Beast” is on the way (Daniel 2, 7, Revelation 13, 17). Of course, even if one rejects the words of Jesus and Paul, it is clear that there is a powerful movement swirling throughout the Islamic world with strong apocalyptic or eschatological threads running throughout.

But God knows that it is not a matter of if, but when the apocalyptic volcano that is the Middle East will explode. As we all anxiously watch the events unfold in the Middle East, it is time for Christians and unbelievers both to prepare their hearts and lives for all that lies ahead. For whether we like it or not, there are dark clouds, and black flags, gathering on the horizon.


Sunday, September 16, 2012

The O-Emperor has no Clothes

. . . unless you consider the facile coverings of the lamestream media to be anything more than fig leaves to cover the O Administration's shame.

Here is a quick roundup of pertinent links:

Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood President Leads, Obama Follows - Far from Morsi taking American cues this week, President Obama took Morsi’s cues. Morsi was the tip of the spear during the Arab Spring; now he’s dictating the politics of the Islamist Uprising. This week, he told Obama to jump; Obama asked how high.

NYT's Helene Cooper: Obama's Actions Show His Lack Of Influence - Criticism of President Obama came from a surprising source.

2008: Military Leaders Warned Sen. Obama 'Doesn't Understand Threat of Radical Islam'

UN Ambassador Won't Answer Questions on Lack of Marines, Free Speech

Disgrace in Benghazi - More on the insane, post-modern unreality of the dying superpower, by Mark Steyn.

President Obama, stop blaming the victim for Mideast violence - Obama defender defends Freedom of Speech instead.

Two days after 9/11 embassy attacks, Hillary Clinton hosted Muslim holiday celebration in DC

On 9/11, Obama addressed Arab Forum praising Arab Spring and “his Heighness” (video)

As Muslims burn embassies, Hillary Clinton calls Islam “a great religion”

Why Punishing Blasphemous Speech That Triggers Murderous Reactions Would Likely Lead to More Deaths

Outreach! - Muslims greet Obama in the UK

Friday, September 14, 2012

Man Stands Up for His Mustache. Will We Stand Up for Christ?

Mark Steyn packs so much into this brief article, that it's easy to miss his deeper meaning. His first sentence is a quick survey over some of the more ridiculous topics Muslims have rioted over during the last several years. And now, we can add Mr. Afridi's mustache to the list.

Why do I post this?

Because this absurd true story says so much about the problem of discussing Islam, and about the 'Problem of Islam' itself. When certain bishops, priests and scholars parrot the 'Religion of Peace' line, and go so far as to say that "Muslims and Christians worship the same God," or that "Muhammad was a Prophet, a true man of God," we know we've entered into a bizarro, alternate-reality universe. But if we turn and simply look at Islam, its 'prophet', its teachings, its history — and how its most devout adherents today behave themselves — with the simple, guileless view of children, we can see perfectly clearly that the 'god' of Muhammad cannot possibly be the same as the Holy Triune Godhead, the Second Person of Whom became incarnate as one of us, in order to restore us back to the Father.

Once we see that Allah is a false god, and Muhammad is a false prophet (a "forerunner of antichrist," as St John Damascene tells us), then we have to be prepared to confess Jesus Christ all the more firmly, for we will be tested. In our world, people demand that we be "nice," and not denigrate Islam or hurt the religious feelings of Muslims. The Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is even calling private citizens telling them not to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims. Confessing Jesus Christ as True God is the biggest offense to a devout Muslim. It's not "nice" to stand up for Christ, it will offend Muslims.

Mr. Afridi stood up for his mustache. Can we stand up for Jesus Christ?

Riotwatch Update: Un-Islamic Moustache Sighted
by Mark Steyn

Okay, so it’s not just films, and cartoons, and dogs and teddy bears and Winnie-the-Pooh’s Piglet and decorative swirls on Burger King ice-cream tubs, but also non-sharia-compliant mustaches:
A Pakistani man with a 30-inch mustache said he moved to Peshawar from his native town in the Khyber Agency after Islamic militants shaved him…
Afridi, 47, who operates an electronics business, spends 30 minutes a day grooming his mustache. He sports thick hair in a straight line from his mouth that tapers into thin points curling up to his forehead on both sides.
“My mustache style is unique,” he said. “It has made my tribesmen proud as no one in Pakistan has such a mustache.”
But in Bara, his hometown, the mustache angered members of Lashkar-e-Islaami. They arrested him, took him to a cleric who confirmed their belief the mustache was not in accordance with Islamic law and then shaved him at gunpoint.
Why has the Tweeting Desk of the U.S. Embassy remained silent on the hurt caused by disrespectful mustaches?
Mr. Afridi remains defiant:
“I left my dear homeland, my friends and relatives and prepared to sacrifice all that but will not compromise my mustache,” he said.
If we could have President Obama’s and General Dempsey’s backbones replaced by waxed Pakistani mustaches, we might have a sporting chance.

UPDATE: Several readers have demanded to see a picture of the non-Sharia-compliant mustache. Here it is. I must say the splendid Raj English of the KarachiExpress Tribune puts the bloodless prose of UPI to shame:
The iconoclastic facial hair caused him to abandon his hometown of Bara in Khyber Agency after the militants declared it ‘un-Islamic’…
The pride of Afridi’s life was shaved at gunpoint. Refusing to be cowed by the militants’ threats, however, he decided to move to Peshawar so that his moustache may thrive unfettered.
If American reporters could write like that, they might still have long-term career prospects. And, as I said above, if only the U.S. government felt about the First Amendment the way Mr. Afridi feels about his facial hair:
Despite his wife’s protestations, Afridi said he would only surrender his moustache – over his dead body.
Source: National Review Online

A Glimpse of the Beginning of the End?

This is a curious piece, by the insightful Ben Stein. A personal diary entry from the early (?) stages of the Apocalypse. You have to wonder...

by Ben Stein


Strange day.

I awakened to a text from a close friend who is a devout Christian and who was so angry at the elite media that she could not sleep. "I am so frikkin' sick of the media telling us that Islam is a 'religion of peace,'" she said. "Look, people make fun of Jesus all of the time and I mean ALL of the time and we don't kill them or harm them. But do anything at all that offends any Muslim and they start killing Christians and Jews -- and then Obama apologizes for it. How long can this go on? The times of Tribulation are at hand."

I got up, walked out on the deck and looked out at the perfect fall day over Lake Pendoreille. An absolutely perfect Fall day, blue skies, light breeze, just a slight chill in the air.

At breakfast, my wife suddenly said, "And then I beheld a red horse ridden by a man with a great sword...."

"What is that?" I asked her.

"It's Revelation," she said.

"I know, but where does that come from?"

"I just feel as if something big is about to happen," she said. "Something feels like we're about to live in a totally changed world. It feels like end times. Why are we apologizing to the Muslims? They're killing and expelling their Christians and we don't say a word. End times."

I nodded. There is that feeling in the air.

I got another text from my very devout Christian friend. "Don't tell me Obama isn't a Muslim," she said. "I don't care what he calls himself, he's a Muslim. That's why he's always apologizing to the Muslims."

I think she's bit off the mark here. If Obama says he's a Christian, he's a Christian. [Not necessarily, if you understand either the Fathers of the Church, or the Isamic doctrine of taqiyya, or both. - zosimas]

I slept for a long time while listening to Mozart and the trains. Then I went to the mail box and got the latest news from the Obama/Biden campaign -- oops, meant to say, "The New York Times." Naturally, it was filled with rage against Mitt Romney. There was very little vitriol against the killers in Libya, but plenty against Gov. Romney.

I sure hope that the people at the Romney campaign don't read The NY Times. It is just endless propaganda against Republicans. Nonstop. We Republicans should campaign on our own issues. Mr. Obama's idiot foreign policy is such an issue.

I went off to do my errands in Sandpoint. A visit to a super pleasant post office. A helpful clerk was patient with my terrible handwriting. Then a visit to the Alpine Shop to see my pal, Tim Farmin, who looked happy but told me my boat needed a new battery. Then, a visit to Ivano's to pick up some grub for tonight.

At Ivano's, I talked to a man who seethed with rage against Mr. Obama. He simply could not believe that Mr. Obama would make time to be among his Hollywood big shots but not make time to see Benjamin Netanyahu. "These are getting to be Biblical days," he said. "The final days."

A trip to the art framer, then to the drug store, then to the Safeway to buy a cake. The woman in the bakery told me that the days of tribulation and the dictatorship were upon us. She is looking to move to the mountains "to find refuge..."

"Be careful," I said. "That's what Vicki Weaver was looking for and it didn't work so well. Our refuge is in The Lord."

(I am up on Vicki Weaver because I am reading an astonishingly good book about the federal killings at Ruby Ridge called Ruby Ridge by a writer of unique talent by the name of Jess Walter. It is terrifying.)

Back to Ivano's to pick up my grub. Then back home to read the latest about the murder of the U.S. Ambassador to Libya and three of his staff.

Apparently word had been out for months that the most extreme of the anti-Qaddafi rebels were working with al Qaeda for 9/11. The State Department and the Defense Department had done nothing meaningful to protect the Ambassador. When the killers attacked the U.S. compound, they were heavily armed with anti-aircraft automatic cannon (a very deadly weapon) and RPG's. They were a recognizably violent group connected with al Qaeda.

It's amazing that Qaddafi kept saying that the people fighting against him were al Qaeda and we kept helping them -- and sure enough, they turned out to be al Qaeda. And Qaddafi, who had become our friend -- although a cruel and vile man -- was killed by the rebels so now Libya is in large measure in the hands of al Qaeda.

Same with Egypt. Mubarak was no one's idea of a great guy, but he was our pal. He kept the peace with Israel. He suppressed the terrorists. So, naturally, we stabbed him in the back. Now, we have worked to create an "Arab Spring" that has given us a fantastically more anti-American, anti-Israel, pro-al Qaeda Middle East.

But incredibly, Mr. Obama considers this an achievement. An achievement? To help al Qaeda and its pals, the Muslim Brotherhood, take power in the most populous Arab state? To help al Qaeda take over in oil rich Libya? What are they talking about?

I hope Mr. Romney will not let himself get pushed around by the Obama smear machine. I see that at a rally today in Virginia, his speech was derailed by a lone Obama heckler asking, "Why are you politicizing Libya?" That apparently rattled Gov. Romney badly.

The answer, should it come up again, is, "Because this is a democracy. We debate big points of foreign and domestic policy, especially during election campaigns. The failure of the administration to stand up to Muslim thugs is a big issue. Apologizing to terrorists is a big issue. The failure to protect our diplomats is a big issue. The failure to stand up for free speech is a huge issue. We are supposed to debate those things. If you don't like that, move back to Iran or wherever you came from."

Meanwhile, time for Mr. Romney to go back to attack mode. Why did the State Department not protect our Ambassador in Benghazi? Why isn't Mrs. Clinton resigning over this? Why isn't Secretary of Defense Panetta apologizing and resigning? There was a colossal failure here. The President is accountable. Why isn't he taking some responsibility here?

The Obama smear machine is making much of the supposed time line of this week. That supposedly the worst attacks came after Mr. Romney criticized The State Department for apologizing to the Muslims for an anti-Muslim film. But of course, they are missing the point totally and on purpose.

Why should we have been apologizing as a nation to Muslims for one person making a cartoon? We didn't apologize to the Russians when people in the USA made anti-Communist remarks. We didn't apologize to Hitler when people in America made anti-Nazi remarks. Why do the Muslims get this special apology treatment? What's up with that? We respect all religions, but we are not going to apologize to anyone as a people for what one guy does in his garage.

What is with Mr. Obama's special deference to the terrorists? I am well aware that he's done a darned fine job using drones to kill them and God bless him for it. But then why apologize to groups of people we feel are so terrible that we kill some of them without a trial or a declaration of war?

Let's get it straight, once again: We live by the first amendment and the Constitution. Our people have freedom of speech. Even the nutty ones. We do not apologize for our Constitution.

Well, enough of that. It is time for a quiet dinner listening to the lake and the trains. For now, it is paradise. The time of tribulation has not yet come for us all, and God bless that brave Ambassador, Christopher Stevens, who was murdered and had his body dragged through the streets by people we put in power. God help us when Judgment Day comes.

Source: The American Spectator

The Obama Doctrine, Known by its Fruits

The raging torrent of violent news flooding out of the Islamic world bodes ill for Americans, and Christians & Jews — for the whole world, in fact — and reveals either the abject cluelessness of the Obama Administration regarding the true nature of Islam, or its criminal complicity with the forces of evil. Ineptitude is the most generous description we can apply to this administration's foreign policy of appeasement. Now at last, just in time for our presidential election, the fruits of the Obama Doctrine are in full view, and no one can deny any longer what is happening.

This news front is so shocking, that even some in the mainstream media have begun to question Obama's foreign policy. Here are a few links to glance at, including coverage of a couple of domestic bomb threats in Texas and North Dakota, perhaps related to the Muslim riots overseas:

Live Map: Obama's Middle East Appeasement Explodes Across Region (Live Google Map of Muslim violence updated continuously, with commentary.)

At least 4 casualties in Al Qaeda attack on US-led Sinai peacekeeping mission (This is not getting as much press as the other outbreaks, but is strategically important, as this small US-led force of 1500 is in place precisely to observe and maintain the 1979 Egyptian-Israeli peace accords.)

An act of war, not a movie protest - Mark Steyn sees what is really happening. A must read.

Ambassador Stevens Was Raped Before His Murder, Reports Claim - Just as happened to Ghaddafi.

Mrs. Clinton, Mr. Obama, it's time to wake up and smell the global jihad (commentary)

Obama's Foreign Policy: 'It's Amateur Hour' - The last time an American ambassador was killed, Jimmy Carter was president.

Obama's Daily Intelligence Brief… Who Cares? by Paul Kangor - Our president should have studied Ronald Reagan more closely.

Here's the Google Map from 9/14/11:

More to come... Lord help us...

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The Anti-Christian President, Part 2: Is Obama a Muslim?

This question has such resonance and staying power due precisely to the President's actions and words, which demonstrate his favoritism towards not merely Islam, but Islamic supremacist groups whose very creeds call for Islam to dominate the world. That the beliefs and teachings of these groups, and of Islam itself, are vehemently antithetical to Western Liberal Democracies, and their Judeo-Christian foundation, should be deeply disturbing to Christians, and motivate us to an ever more fervent practice of our Faith.

Daniel Pipes has devoted an ongoing thread to this question (which is well worth reading in its entirety, as it dates back to 2007, and provides much insight), noting most recently:

Half of Americans do not see Obama as Christian: A national survey by Pew Research conducted June 28-July 9, 2012, among 2,973 adults, including 2,373 registered voters, finds that "17% of registered voters say that Obama is Muslim; 49% say he is Christian, while 31% say they do not know Obama's religion."
That amounts to an almost exact split between those who say he is Christian and those who do not. Pew notes that fewer respondents "say Obama is Christian – and more say he is Muslim – than did so in October 2008, near the end of the last presidential campaign. The increase since 2008 is particularly concentrated among conservative Republicans, about a third of whom (34%) describe the president as a Muslim." (July 26, 2012)
Comment: The change in Republican and especially conservative Republican attitudes bears note.

Pipes also cites a statement by Obama's half-brother, who says, "on the inside, Barack Obama is a Muslim." Obama's step-grandmother reportedly prays for Obama to convert to Islam.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Iranian Christian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani Acquitted, Released from Prison

Thanks be to God for this heroic confessor.

From Fox News:

Iranian Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was originally sentenced to death in his native country for his Christian faith, was acquitted of apostasy charges and released from custody.

Nadarkhani, 32, was imprisoned for three years and waiting execution for refusing to renounce his Christian faith. His charges were lowered to evangelizing to Muslims, which carried a three-year sentence. He was released with time served, according to the American Center for Law and Justice, a Washington-based watchdog group that had been campaigning for the pastor's release.

"Today our sources in Iran reported that Pastor Youcef was acquitted of apostasy and released from prison. After languishing in prison for almost three years, he has been reunited with his family," Jordan Sekulow, executive director of ACLJ said in a statement to

"While we are working on confirming the exact details of his release, some sources report that the court alternatively convicted Pastor Youcef of evangelizing to Muslims, sentencing him to three years and granting him time served. Pastor Youcef’s story is an example of how the world can join together to ensure that justice is served and freedom preserved."

Nadarkhani was originally called to Saturday's hearing to answer to "charges brought against him," leading to speculation that the new charges from the Iranian Supreme Court could be for a security-based crime, a charge often handed down to cover-up prisoners being held and sentenced on faith-based charges.

"While we praise the release of Pastor Youcef, we must recognize that Iran felt obligated to save face among its people and continue its pattern of suppressing religious freedom with intimidation tactics," Tiffany Barrans, a legal director for ACLJ said to

"International attention to this matter saved this man's life, but we must not forget the human right of freedom of religion includes the right to freedom of expression."

Nadarkhani's attorney, who also has been jailed, maintained that the married father of two faced execution because he refused to renounce his religion. An Iranian diplomat told a United Nations panel earlier this year that Nadarkhani would not be executed.

According to Sharia law, an apostate has three days to recant. The pastor refused to do so and sources close to the matter say executions in Iran can happen at any time, often without notice. The court is reportedly seeking the opinion of Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, the Islamic republic's spiritual leader and highest authority, according to AFP.

The ACLJ worked with the State Department to try to win Nadarkhani's freedom, and the U.S. House of Representatives passed a resolution earlier this year condemning his imprisonment and calling for his immediate release. Nearly 3 million people have voiced support for Nadarkhani on Twitter through the "Tweet for Youcef" campaign.

Read more:

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Dems Reinsert 'God' into Party Platform

. . . But is He in their hearts?

No doubt everyone has read or seen news reports on how the DNC overruled its own delegates in order to reinsert God into the party platform, after He had been banished from the original 2012 draft approved by President Obama. From one report:

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa of Los Angeles, the head of the Democratic National Convention, got up and asked for a two-thirds vote on the amendments to the platform. He took a voice vote, with people stating aloud “aye” and “nay.” 
The first time, he couldn’t determine if two-thirds of the voters had said “aye”; a loud “no” vote was heard. He asked for a second vote. 
The second time, he couldn’t determine whether the voice vote had passed. Again. Villaraigosa looked around in confusion. 
Finally, on the third attempt, Villaraigosa took a voice vote and simply declared, in the “opinion of the chair,” that it had been passed. There were widespread boos in the convention hall to the renewed inclusion of God and language about Jerusalem as the capital of Israel. And Villaraigosa was lying, in any case – there is no way that the voice vote had passed. Opponents stood up and protested, waving and shouting. The fix was in. The Democratic leadership had to ram a mention of God and a mention of Jerusalem through, violating their own rules, to avoid the fallout within their own ranks.

This shameful national disgrace is very telling. But of far more serious concern than the inclusion of God in a political party's platform (as serious as that is), is the far more important question regarding what is in the hearts of the vocal majority at the DNC who loudly booed and voted "NO" to the amendment to reinsert the LORD into the text. 

In light of this event — as well as in light of Obama's and the Democrat Party's intense support for abortions (up through and including late third trimester partial-birth abortions), the HHS Abortion Mandate which completely rejects the Constitution's guarantee of Freedom of Religion, and their direct assault on the sanctity of marriage, plus a whole host of other anti-Christian positions and policies — we are forced to also ask, what spirit is at the heart of the Democrat Party?

From St Silouan the Athonite (h/t Handmaid Leah):

There are people who declare there is no God. They say that because a proud spirit lives in their hearts, deceiving them with lies concerning the Truth and the Church of God. They are pleased with their cleverness, whereas in point of fact they do not even see that the thoughts they have are not theirs but proceed from the enemy. Whoever welcomes such thoughts into his heart, cherishing them, identifies himself with the evil spirit and will become like him. And God forbid that any man should die in that state!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Fr Seraphim Rose on Islam

Today (September 2, 2012) marks the thirtieth anniversary of the repose of Hieromonk Seraphim (Rose) of Platina. While many articles have been written to mark this significant anniversary (see here and here) it seemed appropriate for this blog to look at what Fr Seraphim had to say about Islam.

Actually, Father Seraphim wrote very little on the subject of Islam. His book, Orthodoxy and the Religion of the Future, treats Islam along with Judaism in the chapter on The Monotheistic Religions. Fr. Seraphim is clear in his position that the "god" of Islam is not the True God, and in citing the essay by Fr. Basile Stakkas, implicitly refutes Islam's doctrine of tawhid (the oneness of Allah), in large measure by explicitly refuting its claim to be an Abrahamic faith. Abraham worshipped the One God in Trinity, as is clear from the Old Testament account (And the LORD appeared unto him at the Oaks of Mamre... Three men were standing by him, and he bowed himself toward the ground... Gen. 18:1-2), as is seen in the icon called The Hospitality of Abraham, the quintessential depiction of the Holy Trinity in the Old Testament.

In my correspondence with two of Fr Seraphim's spiritual children, we have wrestled with the question of "why" Fr Seraphim did not write more about Islam, and why he did not expend more energy and ink refuting Islam's theological jihad against Orthodox Christianity. After all, Fr Seraphim is certainly something of a prophetic figure in modern Orthodoxy; how could he not see the ascendency of Islam?

Simply put, perhaps that was not the message or vision granted to him. Fr Seraphim came of age in a vastly different time. Zen Buddhism, Hinduism, Meditation techniques, the New Age movement, Eastern mystical traditions and other occult phenomena were very much in the air, and had been gathering momentum for quite some time, waging a serious assault against Christianity since the late 19th century. Those were some of the signs of his time of the Age of Apostasy into which we were then entering.

By contrast, the Muslim world was highly westernized in the 1950s through 1979 (the year of the Islamic revolution in Iran). The Ottoman Empire had been dismantled after World War I; Kemal Ataturk reestablished Turkey as a modern, secular republic, and abolished the Islamic caliphate in 1924, effectively neutering the pan-Muslim movement for nearly the next eighty years. Although the Muslim Brotherhood was born in the 1920s as a response to the apostasy of secularism, Western culture and mores were widespread throughout Egypt, Lebanon, and the Middle East in general, and the Muslim Brotherhood itself was outlawed. To take but one example, one cannot find a woman wearing a hijab in college class photos from Cairo in the 1950s and 1960s.

As a result, Islam was not especially on Fr Seraphim's radar screen. Or rather, it was eclipsed by the Eastern religious movements.

So then, what might Fr Seraphim have to say about Islam now, as we approach the eleventh anniversary of the 9/11/01 attacks?

Without presuming too much, I think it's safe to say Fr Seraphim would have urged us to see the 9/11 attacks as a sign, and a call to repentance for Orthodox Christians. Are we not all guilty of living an easy life in this modern world, a world Fr Seraphim characterized as a "fool's paradise," marked by convenience, entertainment, unseriousness, and a "Disneyland" approach to life? Might not Fr Seraphim have seen 9/11 as yet further confirmation of the forces of evil being unleashed upon a world that has rejected God? He certainly would have seen the spirit of antichrist active in the sad trend of Christians committing apostasy and converting to Islam since 9/11.

But what about Islam specifically? Mother Abbess Theadelphi of the Entrance of the Theotokos Skete has astutely observed, "Fr Seraphim gave us all the best tools to be able to figure these things out ourselves."

Indeed he has. And those tools include being in step with the fathers of the Church, and the continuity of their teaching and witness, right up to our own day. Fr Seraphim would have recapitulated the writings of St John of Damascus on Islam, likely using that as a foundation for an expanded critique of his own. He would have employed the Orthodox patristic writings on the spiritual life, and on Moses and the other Old Testament Prophets, contrasting those with the example of Muhammad, to show how the latter was a false prophet and a willing victim of satanic delusion. Stemming from these sources, and from the divine services of the Church, Fr Seraphim would certainly also have strongly refuted Orthodox academic theologians, hierarchs and clergy who teach that Muslims and Christians worship the same God.

In looking at the spread of Islam in our contemporary world, and how it impacts Christianity, Fr Seraphim would have been in correspondence with recent and current fathers such as New Priest-Martyr Fr Daniil Sysoev of Moscow (†2009), who was a powerful missionary to Muslims. Fr Seraphim would have rejoiced in the Indonesian Orthodox Mission and Fr Daniel Byantoro, as well as in Coptic priest Fr Zakaria Botros, and held these brave strugglers up as examples of fervent and authentic Orthodox witness. He would have lamented the horrendous and bloody Muslim persecutions of Christians in Nigeria, Egypt, Iraq, Lebanon, Syria, Iran, and elsewhere, urging us to pray for our harassed and threatened brethren in these lands. He would have extolled the heroic faith of Iranian pastor Youcef Nadarkhani (imprisoned under a death sentence for over a thousand days for refusing to renounce his faith in Christ and convert to Islam). Fr Seraphim would also have been in contact with Dcn George Maximov, friend and co-laborer of Fr Daniil Sysoev, and a highly regarded Russian Orthodox theologian who has been writing on Islam for a decade now. Fr Seraphim would have affirmed the work of Anglican pastor and author Dr Mark Durie, and the prodigious resources unearthed by historians Bat Ye'or and Andrew Bostom in documenting Islamic jihad and treatment of non-Muslims over the past fourteen centuries. And Fr Seraphim would have held up as examples for us the Holy Neomartyrs under the Ottoman Muslim yoke and the Orthodox Genocide, just as forty years ago he held up the New Martyrs and Catacomb Saints under the Soviet Atheists.

I think it safe to say that Hieromonk Seraphim would have warned and exhorted us, urging us to live our Orthodox Faith to the fullest, with warm and fervent hearts, and not merely correct head-knowledge. Fr Seraphim would have continued to preach the Gospel to this weary world, reminding us of the Lord's words, "By your patience possess ye your souls," for the gates of hell shall not prevail against His Church.  He would have exhorted us to "Lift up our heads, for our redemption draws nigh!"

May we have his blessing and his intercessions!

O Holy Father Seraphim, pray to God for us!