A Quote from Jesus that Perfectly Fits the Situation

Yesterday I put up a post on the book  Judaism’s Strange Gods that included a video with comments by a member of Neturei Karta, the group of religious Jews who have called for the dismantling of the state of Israel. In the video, the NK member talks about Jews in Israel who, through such acts as refusing to serve in the Israeli military, have suffered retribution. He refers to such people as having been arrested, beaten, and in some cases even murdered.

It seems very much as if Jewish leaders are leading their people over a cliff. In this, they are not dissimilar from the leaders of America. (No surprise that the two countries have such a “special relationship.”) How does one free oneself from leaders like this? We are talking, of course, about leaders who hold enormous power and who are ever intent upon accruing even more power to themselves. Power to control as many people as possible. A quote from Jesus sums up the situation perfectly–and indeed offers us a way out:

To the Jews who had believed in him, Jesus said, “If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

To Jews who have suffered persecution for taking a moral stand against Israel: Jesus was the Jewish messiah. Shortly before his death in 30 A.D. he predicted the destruction of Jerusalem. Almost exactly 40 years later what he predicted came to pass. Now we have “modern day Pharisees,” as it were, playing with fire in a quest for global hegemony–foolishly providing support for terrorists while attempting to ignite a conflict with Russia (and seemingly coming ever closer to succeeding). Jesus was sent by God to teach humanity how to live at peace with one another. If we follow his teachings, the planet will survive and the human species along with it. If not, we won’t. We are all part of God’s creation, and as such we must learn to love and care for each other–this is Jesus’ teaching in a nutshell. And if we follow that teaching, and if we learn that truth, we will be set free.

Discussion on ‘Judaism’s Strange Gods’…plus, Revisiting the ‘Celebrate Israel’ Parade

Recently We Hold These Truths uploaded a podcast featuring a discussion on the book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods,” by Michael Hoffman. The following is the program description:

Many Christians, especially Christian Zionists, believe that the religion of Judaism today is the same as was the religion of the Israelites of the Old Testament, except there are no animal sacrifices now. We Hold These Truths‘ Craig Hanson does an excellent job delving into the subject and analyzing Michael Hoffman’s book, “Judaism’s Strange Gods.”

In the book, Christian scholar Michael Hoffman documents his provocative thesis that Judaism is not the religion of the Old Testament, but the newly formalized belief system of the Pharisees, which arose in Babylon with the commitment of the formally, oral traditions of the elders to writing, in the wake of the crucifixion of Israels Messiah and the destruction of the Temple. Basing his findings on authoritative Judaic sources, Hoffman demonstrates that Judaism is a man-made religion of tradition and superstition, which represents the institutionalized nullification of Biblical law and doctrine. Liberating the reader from the accumulated shackles of decades of misinformation, this book that shows that Judaism’s god is not the God of Israel, but the strange gods of Talmud and Kabbalah, and the racial self-worship they inculcate. (23 minutes)

And here is a brief excerpt from Hoffman’s preface to the book:

Click here to listen to the full podcast

Also, while on the subject of the “strange gods” of Judaism…a couple of days ago I put up a post about Nouf Infiaat, the young Palestinian girl who sought martyrdom by attacking an Israeli soldier on June 1, her last day of school. In that same post, I also mentioned (and included a video of) a “Celebrate Israel” parade that was held in New York City two days after Nouf’s death.

There were of course some protestors at that parade, and among these were members of the Orthodox Jewish group Neturei Karta. Below is an NK video of the event, including comments from one of the group’s members who refers to the state of Israel as “a rebellion against God” and who characterizes Zionism at one point as a “machine of Satan.” It’s a rather astounding video for a couple of reasons. One reason I say that is for what he says. The other is the plastic covering he and other members of the group can be see wearing upon their hats:

When I first watched this video I found myself puzzling over the plastic hat covers. My first thought was, “well, maybe it’s some kind of Jewish ritual, or something.” It wasn’t until I finally listened to the We Hold These Truths podcast that it finally clicked on me. In the latter part of the podcast, the subject of NK actually comes up. Tom Compton, one of the hosts of the program, mentions an NK rabbi who spoke at an event in Tucson at the University of Arizona and was “spat upon by Jewish students there.” That’s when it hit me what the plastic hat covers were most likely for.

Another thing I find striking about the video is the emotion, and what clearly seems to be anguish on the NK member’s face, as he discusses (starting at about 5:40) those Jews, particularly Jews inside of Israel, it seems, who have taken a stand against the Israeli government by such things as refusing to serve in the Israeli military. He refers to such people as being “murdered” as well as “arrested and brutally beaten.” The details of this he doesn’t get into, nor does he name any names, but certainly it’s worth keeping in mind that there are some Jews (not nearly a majority but the number does seem to be growing) who have taken a moral stand against the state of Israel and who in some cases have done so at considerable personal cost to themselves. This is, I think, something the rest of us may tend to forget about much of the time. We should try and remember it.

Finally, one other point of summation on the “strange gods” of Judaism–and this also perhaps ties in with the NK member’s comments about the “machine of Satan.” In his book, Jewish History Jewish Religion: the Weight of Three Thousand Years, Israel Shahak discusses certain instances in which Jews who follow the Cabbala will at times offer up prayers to propitiate Satan:

Or take another example: both before and after a meal, a pious Jew ritually washes his hands, uttering a special blessing. On one of these two occasions he is worshiping God, by promoting the divine union of Son and Daughter; but on the other he is worshiping Satan, who likes Jewish prayers and ritual acts so much that when he is offered a few of them it keeps him busy for a while and he forgets to pester the divine Daughter. Indeed, the cabbalists believe that some of the sacrifices burnt in the Temple were intended for Satan.

My hope is that some day Christian Zionists will experience a cathartic awakening to some of this stuff, but it’s highly unlikely they will ever hear about it from their church pastors. Sadly, they seem mesmerized by the “carnal awe in which contemporary Judaic people are adored”, as Hoffman phrases it.

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

The Real Reasons the West Cannot Topple Bashar Assad

Posted on June 13, 2017

Sarah Abed has posted a fascinating article at her blog, The Rabbit Hole, providing an analysis of how, and why, Syrian President Bashar Assad–despite nearly eight years of sweat poured by scheming Western regime changers into the goal of toppling his government–has managed to hang on.

What the heck is it about this guy? How has he piloted his way through every single Zionist effort to rip his country apart and install a puppet government favorable to the West? What’s his secret? For after all, hordes of Western-trained terrorist head-choppers have been poured into Syria equipped with shiny fleets of Toyotas and advanced-grade military weaponry, yet Assad, almost miraculously, has remained at the head of the government, and for the most part has kept the country together. How has he been able to do this? Abed supplies four main reasons.

Reason # 1 she gives is the president’s strong spiritual faith, and in discussing that faith she furnishes some interesting information about the Alawite religion. Here is an excerpt from her article:

First and foremost there is Bashar al-Assad’s unwavering dedication to his family’s spiritual traditions and religious faith.  Being an ardent practitioner of the Alawite religion like his father and forefathers before him, Assad has drawn great strength from this mystical and tolerant branch of Shia Islam. He went into the medical profession and trained as an ophthalmologist because of his desire to serve the Syrian people.

Also known as Alawis, Alawites “are a prominent religious group, centered in Syria, who follow a branch of the Twelver school of Shia Islam but with syncretistic elements.“[1]  Because his religious community had suffered religious persecution and many other indignities over generations prior to his father’s presidency, he is quite sensitive to the need for religious tolerance.  Particularly within the context of Syria’s historical religious diversity, did the Alawites rise to provide the cohesive leadership necessary to maintain the peace and mutual acceptance?  This remarkable achievement occurred over decades when many neighboring nations suffered the fate of one failed government after another.

For those who are cognizant of the well-known Hindu religious tolerance in India, Alawites are quite similar.  They not only believe in reincarnation as in the East, they have also absorbed many other aspects of the predominant religions in Syria especially those found in Islam and Christianity.  Because of their syncretic approach in both philosophy and practice, Alawis have evolved into a genuinely tolerant spiritual community who actively cultivate a climate of mutual respect.  However, it is the mystical aspects of their spiritual practice which has earned them the respect of the Syrian people.  Because they are known to walk their talk, they have been trusted to lead as they have done for almost 5 decades.

Alawites consider themselves to be Muslims, although some Sunnis dispute that they are. Alawite doctrine incorporates Gnostic, neo-Platonic, Islamic, Christian and other elements and has, therefore, been described as syncretistic.

Alawite beliefs have never been confirmed by their modern religious authorities. Alawites tend to conceal their beliefs (taqiyya) due to historical persecution. Some tenets of the faith are secret, known only to a select few; therefore, they have been described as a mystical sect.

All religions, of course, are syncretic to one degree or another, so perhaps the Alawites are not unique in that regard. But they certainly are a religious minority in Syria, representing just 11 percent of the population. For the Syrian people to support Assad to the extent that they do (he won the 2014 election with 88.7 percent of the vote) would suggest not only a remarkable degree of trust in the man, but also respect for his religious faith.

As I said, Abed gives a total of four reasons, in the main, why Assad remains standing despite everything the West has thrown at him. Reason # 2?  The strength of his wife, Asma. As Abed puts it, “the Assad marriage reveals how a strong woman often exists behind every great leader.” Reason # 3–the guidance and training he received from his father, Hafez Assad. Reason #4 — no surprise — the alliance with Russia.

All in all, as I say, it’s a fascinating article. Click here to access it in full.

Syria of Assad سورية الأسد Updated

 

“Syria of Al-Assad”

يونيو 14, 2017

Written by Nasser Kandil,

Maybe the linkage between the name of Syria and the name of the President Hafez Al-Assad and then the President Bashar Al-Assad can grant the right to some people to say that it is a diminution of homeland as Syria by linking it with the name of a person whatever his name is great and his status is high. It seemed before as a kind of sanctification of a symbol that gave his country a privacy that is related to his name, and a status that is difficult to obtain by any other person. The opponents would have also the right to link the dispute with the linkage between Syria and Al-Assad in order to show their Syria which can liberate from this linking to be more beautiful, greater, and bigger.

After the war on Syria, the matter is no longer how to conduct those who were recording their protest on this linking, since we saw their Syria which they foreshadowed that this linkage diminishes and devitalizes it, the reality has summarized their actual project of Syria through what the seculars, the clerks, and those who calls for Arabism offered, what is intended here are examples that have symbols in the formations, and figures that were at the top of the Syrian oppositions that were gathered under what they called the Syrian revolution and which led to the formation of emirates of killing and slaughter over the Syrian land, threatening its unity, selling its national independence, the abandonment of its Golan, turning it into a free land for the invaders and the ambushers, appointing the oil sheikhs through their ignorance and their remoteness from every freedom, democracy, and estimation of the rights of people as references in the jurisprudence of the revolutions in Syria  and the Syrians, and improving the image of Janissaries with a new Ottoman dress and the nostalgia of the French colonialism  with a democratic desire, so the example of “Syria of Al-Assad” has surpassed in the eyes of the simple people of Syria especially those who were believed in the lie of the revolution and now they mourn over  those days.

“Syria of Al-Assad” which we mean was built by the President Hafez Al-Assad and was under the auspices of the President Bashar Al-Assad, it is Syria which gave the priority for the building of the strong country supported with freedom and democracy, it expanded the contribution of the country in bearing the burdens of the livelihood of its poor, it built their villages, took care of their agriculture, helped in strengthen their health and in the way of getting their sciences, and supplied every village in the Syrian geography with all the services, this has not been a subject of controversy in the life of the President Hafez Al-Assad and what preceded the war on Syria through the responsibilities of the President Bashar Al-Assad, because Syria can be described as the abbreviation of “Syria of Al-Assad” as an indication to this special mixture of the social aspect of the country, freedom and democracy, the secularism of the country and its modernism. Its constitution based so much on the Islamic law as a main source for legislation, but it is a country that prevents the clerks from dealing with politics,  it restricts the limits of religion between the places of worship and homes, it chases the extremists and prevents any sense of sectarianism, in return, it opens up to a common livelihood lived by the Syrians through sharing the joy of living, they made what was described by the Pope John II as a dialogue of life that is rare, although it is an example that did not satisfy many seculars and clerks, as the equation between the belonging to Syria and the Arabism for an identity that it difficult to imagine a substitute of it, but through dividing between the religious and the tribal fanaticism.

The concept of the national security of “Syria of Al-Assad” based on the equation of the hostility to Israel as a compass, so according to this compass, it supported the Iranian revolution, it  opposed the Iraqi war on Iran,  it made the widest possible range of the Arab solidarity to secure it, so every resistance based on it wins, it grants the country a diplomatic concept that links it with the widest alliances on the basis of applying the international law and the UN resolutions, it is certain that Israel is incapable country to go on in peace in way that concords in form and essence with the texts of the international law and its essence, furthermore, it formed its strategy on the basis of the bilateral of the openness to all the international initiatives for a political solution according to the international law and forming the force under the slogan of the strategic balance which paralyzes the aggression and creates the ability to liberate. All of that is a special diligence in respect of “Syria of Al-Assad”, but this neither satisfies the advocates of peace nor those who suggested that the announced war is the solution.

In the experience witnessed by Syria during the years of war on it, there was a golden opportunity for judging scientifically on this example in building a state in the third world under the open US hegemony on the oil stored in our lands and the defense of Israel’s. Although it is early to have a final judgement on the equations which were embodied in the example of the state of “Syria of Al-Assad”, but the indicators show that the freedom and the democracy as well as the complicated relation with religion and the interrelated relation with the concept of the national security between sticking to the international law and the resistance and reluctance are the genius mixture which made the status of Syria, its strength and its stability and which it is difficult to imagine its formation on other one , so tampering in it in order to have more of its features will be a source of dangerous imbalance.

In the remembrance of his departure, God’s mercy be upon the soul of the President Hafez Al-Assad and protect the President Bashar Al-Assad the national, the loyal, and the well born man. God bless “Syria of Al-Assad” and make it more beautiful, powerful, securer, and more sublime

Translated by Lina Shehadeh,

 

سورية الأسد

ناصر قنديل

– ربما كان في ربط اسم سورية باسم الرئيس حافظ الأسد، ومن بعده الرئيس بشار الأسد، ما يمنح الحق للبعض بقولهم إنه تحجيم لوطن بحجم سورية بربطه باسم شخص، مهما عظم اسمه وعلت مكانته، إذ كان الأمر يبدو من قبل كمجرد نوع من التقديس لرمز منح بلده خصوصية ارتبطت باسمه، ومكانة صعب أن تنالها مع سواه، وكان يحق للمناوئين أن يربطوا النزاع على الصلة بين سورية والأسد، حتى يظهروا سورياهم التي تستطيع أن تتحرّر من هذا الالتصاق، لتشرق أجمل وأعظم وأكبر.

– بعد الحرب على سورية لم تعُد المسألة كيف نجري كشف حساب مع الذين كانوا يسجلون اعتراضهم على هذا الربط. وقد رأينا سورياهم التي بشروا بأن الربط يقزّمها ويختزلها، وقد اختصر الواقع مشروعهم الفعلي لسورية بما قدّموه في الواقع علمانيين ودينيين وعروبيين. والقصد هنا نماذج لها رموزها في تشكيلات وشخصيات تصدّرت واجهة المعارضات السورية، اجتمعت تحت ما أسمته بالثورة السورية والذي أفضى إلى إقامة إمارات قتل وذبح فوق الأرض السورية وتهديد وحدتها واستجلاب كل أفاعي الأرض إليها، وبيع استقلالها الوطني والتنازل عن جولانها، وتحويلها مشاعاً أمام الغزاة والمتربّصين وتسييد شيوخ النفط بجهلهم وبعدهم عن كل حرية وديمقراطية وتقدير لحقوق الإنسان كمراجع في فقه الثورات على سورية والسوريين، وتلميع الإنكشارية بثوب عثمانية جديدة والحنين الاستعماري الفرنسي بثوب ديمقراطية حنونة، فتفوق نموذج سورية الأسد بعيون بسطاء السوريين، خصوصاً من أخذ منهم على حين غرة بأكذوبة الثورة، يترحمون على تلك الأيام.

– سورية الأسد التي نقصدها هي سورية التي بناها الرئيس حافظ الأسد ورعاها الرئيس بشار الأسد. وهي سورية التي منحت الأولوية لبناء الدولة القوية على مساحات الحرية والديمقراطية، ووسعت مساحات مساهمة الدولة في حمل أعباء حياة فقرائها، وعمّرت قراهم ورعت زراعتهم وساعدت في تحصين صحتهم وتحصيل علومهم، وأوصلت كل الخدمات إلى آخر قرية في أقاصي الجغرافيا السورية. وهذا ما كان موضع جدل في حياة الرئيس حافظ الأسد وما سبق الحرب على سورية من مسؤوليات الرئيس بشار الأسد، لأن سورية هذه يمكن وصفها اختصاراً بسورية الأسد كتدليل على هذه الخلطة الخاصة من عيارات الطابع الاجتماعي للدولة ومقادير الحرية والديمقراطية فيها، ومثلها عيارات علمانية الدولة ومدنيتها، فهي دولة تستقي كما يقول دستورها كثيراً من الشريعة الإسلامية كمصدر أساسي للتشريع، لكنها دولة تمنع رجال الدين من التعاطي في السياسة وتحصر حدود الدين بين أماكن العبادة والبيوت، وتلاحق المتطرفين وتكتم كل حسّ طائفي حتى لا يجرؤ أحد في سرّه أن يفكّر في طائفته وطائفة سواه، وتنفتح بالمقابل على عيش مشترك يعيشه السوريون بتنوّعهم بفرح التشارك في العيش ويقيمون ما وصفه البابا يوحنا الثاني بحوار حياة قلّ نظيره. وهو نموذج لم يرضِ العلمانيين ولا الدينيين، وكذلك كانت المعادلة بين السورية والعروبة لهوية يصعب اليوم تخيّل بديل منها إلا بالتشظي بين العصبيات الدينية والقبلية.

– سورية الأسد هي التي قام مفهومها للأمن القومي على معادلة العداء لـ«إسرائيل» كبوصلة لا تحيد عنها، فتنتصر للثورة الإيرانية وفقها، وتخالف الحرب العراقية على إيران بسببها، وتقيم أوسع مدى ممكن من التضامن العربي منعاً للتفريط بها، وتنصر كل مقاومة على أساسها، وتقدّم للدولة مفهوماً دبلوماسياً يربطها بأوسع تحالفات على أساس تطبيق القانون الدولي والقرارات الأممية، ولا يزعجها وجود مفردة السلام هنا ويقينها أن إسرائيل دولة عاجزة عن السير بسلام ينسجم بالشكل والجوهر مع نصوص القانون الدولي وروحه، فتنشئ استراتجيتها على ثنائية الانفتاح على كل مبادرات دولية لحلّ سياسي وفق القانون الدولي، وبناء القوة والقدرة تحت شعار التوازن الاستراتيجي الذي يشلّ يد العدوان ويهيئ القدرة للتحرير. وهذا كله اجتهاد خاص يختص بسورية الأسد ولم يكن يرضي دعاة السلام ولا الذي يقولون بأن إشهار سيف الحرب المعلن هو الحل.

– في الاختبار الذي عاشته سورية خلال سنوات الحرب عليها، كانت فرصة ذهبية بالمعنى العلمي للحكم على هذا النموذج في بناء دولة في العالم الثالث وسط بحيرات الهيمنة الأميركية المفتوحة على شهية النفط المخزون تحت ترابنا، والدفاع عن وجود «إسرائيل» المتشبث بما فوق التراب وتحته، ليسهل الحكم لهذا النموذج بما له وما عليه، وإذا كان مبكراً الحديث بحكم نهائي للمعادلات التي تجسّدت في نموذج دولة سورية الأسد، فإن كل المؤشرات تقول إن مقدار الحرية والديمقراطية ومثلهما مقادير العلاقة المركبة بالدين، وكذلك العلاقة المتشابكة في مفهوم الأمن القومي بين التمسك بالقانون الدولي والمقاومة والممانعة، كان المقدار العبقري الذي صنع مكانة سورية وقوتها وثباتها والذي يصعب تخيّل قيامتها مجدداً على سواه، والذي يشكّل العبث به بداعي طلب المزيد من أي شيء من ميزاتها مصدراً لاختلال خطير لميزانها.

– رحم الله الرئيس حافظ الأسد في ذكرى الرحيل، وحمى الرئيس بشار الأسد الوفي القومي الأبي الأصيل، ونصر الله سورية الأسد وأعادها أجمل وأقوى وأشدّ منعة وأرفع مكانة.

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The Dirty War on Syria: Professor Anderson Reveals the “Unspoken Truth”

Global Research, June 13, 2017

The following texts are excerpts from the Preface of  Professor Tim Anderson’s timely and important book entitled The Dirty War on Syria. The book is available for order from Global Research, place your order here now!

Although every war makes ample use of lies and deception, the dirty war on Syria has relied on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory. The British-Australian journalist Philip Knightley pointed out that war propaganda typically involves ‘a depressingly predictable pattern’ of demonising the enemy leader, then demonising the enemy people through atrocity stories, real or imagined (Knightley 2001). Accordingly, a mild-mannered eye doctor called Bashar al Assad became the new evil in the world and, according to consistent western media reports, the Syrian Army did nothing but kill civilians for more than four years. To this day, many imagine the Syrian conflict is a ‘civil war’, a ‘popular revolt’ or some sort of internal sectarian conflict. These myths are, in many respects, a substantial achievement for the big powers which have driven a series of ‘regime change’ operations in the Middle East region, all on false pretexts, over the past 15 years.

Dr. Tim Anderson

This book is a careful academic work, but also a strong defence of the right of the Syrian people to determine their own society and political system. That position is consistent with international law and human rights principles, but may irritate western sensibilities, accustomed as we are to an assumed prerogative to intervene. At times I have to be blunt, to cut through the double-speak. In Syria the big powers have sought to hide their hand, using proxy armies while demonising the Syrian Government and Army, accusing them of constant atrocities; then pretending to rescue the Syrian people from their own government. Far fewer western people opposed the war on Syria than opposed the invasion of Iraq, because they were deceived about its true nature.

Dirty wars are not new. Cuban national hero Jose Martí predicted to a friend that Washington would try to intervene in Cuba’s independence struggle against the Spanish. ‘They want to provoke a war’, he wrote in 1889 ‘to have a pretext to intervene and, with the authority of being mediator and guarantor, to seize the country … There is no more cowardly thing in the annals of free people; nor such cold blooded evil’ (Martí 1975: 53). Nine years later, during the third independence war, an explosion in Havana Harbour destroyed the USS Maine, killing 258 US sailors and serving as a pretext for a US invasion.

The US launched dozens of interventions in Latin America over the subsequent century. A notable dirty war was led by CIA-backed, ‘freedom fighter’ mercenaries based in Honduras, who attacked the Sandinista Government and the people of Nicaragua in the 1980s. That conflict, in its modus operandi, was not so different to the war on Syria. In Nicaragua more than 30,000 people were killed. The International Court of Justice found the US guilty of a range of terrorist-style attacks on the little Central American country, and found that the US owed Nicaragua compensation (ICJ 1986). Washington ignored these rulings.

With the ‘Arab Spring’ of 2011 the big powers took advantage of a political foment by seizing the initiative to impose an ‘Islamist winter’, attacking the few remaining independent states of the region. Very quickly we saw the destruction of Libya, a small country with the highest standard of living in Africa. NATO bombing and a Special Forces campaign helped the al Qaeda groups on the ground. The basis for NATO’s intervention was lies told about actual and impending massacres, supposedly carried out or planned by the government of President Muammar Gaddafi. These claims led rapidly to a UN Security Council resolution said to protect civilians through a ‘no fly zone’. We know now that trust was betrayed, and that the NATO powers abused the limited UN authorisation to overthrow the Libyan Government (McKinney 2012).

Subsequently, no evidence emerged to prove that Gaddafi intended, carried out or threatened wholesale massacres, as was widely suggested (Forte 2012). Genevieve Garrigos of Amnesty International (France) admitted there was ‘no evidence’ to back her group’s earlier claims that Gaddafi had used ‘black mercenaries’ to commit massacres (Forte 2012; Edwards 2013).

… Two days before NATO bombed Libya another armed Islamist insurrection broke out in Daraa, Syria’s southernmost city. Yet because this insurrection was linked to the demonstrations of a political reform movement, its nature was disguised. Many did not see that those who were providing the guns – Qatar and Saudi Arabia – were also running fake news stories in their respective media channels, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya. There were other reasons for the durable myths of this war. Many western audiences, liberals and leftists as well as the more conservative, seemed to like the idea of their own role as the saviours of a foreign people, speaking out strongly about a country of which they knew little, but joining what seemed to be a ‘good fight’ against this new ‘dictator’. With a mission and their proud self-image western audiences apparently forgot the lies of previous wars, and of their own colonial legacies.

I would go so far as to say that, in the Dirty War on Syria, western culture in general abandoned its better traditions: of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence at times of conflict; in favour of its worst traditions: the ‘imperial prerogative’ for intervention, backed by deep racial prejudice and poor reflection on the histories of their own cultures. That weakness was reinforced by a ferocious campaign of war propaganda. After the demonisation of Syrian leader Bashar al Assad began, a virtual information blockade was constructed against anything which might undermine the wartime storyline. Very few sensible western perspectives on Syria emerged after 2011, as critical voices were effectively blacklisted.

The Dirty War on Syria

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

In that context I came to write this book. It is a defence of Syria, not primarily addressed to those who are immersed the western myths but to others who engage with them. This is therefore a resource book and a contribution to the history of the Syrian conflict. The western stories have become self-indulgent and I believe it is wasteful to indulge them too much. Best, I think, to speak of current events as they are, then address the smokescreens later. I do not ignore the western myths, in fact this book documents many of them. But I lead with the reality of the war.

Western mythology relies on the idea of imperial prerogatives, asking what must ‘we’ do about the problems of another people; an approach which has no basis in international law or human rights. The next steps involve a series of fabrications about the pretexts, character and events of the war. The first pretext over Syria was that the NATO states and the Gulf monarchies were supporting a secular and democratic revolution. When that seemed implausible the second story was that they were saving the oppressed majority ‘Sunni Muslim’ population from a sectarian ‘Alawite regime’. Then, when sectarian atrocities by anti-government forces attracted greater public attention, the pretext became a claim that there was a shadow war: ‘moderate rebels’ were said to be actually fighting the extremist groups. Western intervention was therefore needed to bolster these ‘moderate rebels’ against the ‘new’ extremist group that had mysteriously arisen and posed a threat to the world.

That was the ‘B’ story. No doubt Hollywood will make movies based on this meta-script, for years to come. However this book leads with the ‘A’ story. Proxy armies of Islamists, armed by US regional allies (mainly Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey), infiltrate a political reform movement and snipe at police and civilians. They blame this on the government and spark an insurrection, seeking the overthrow of the Syrian government and its secular-pluralist state. This follows the openly declared ambition of the US to create a ‘New Middle East’, subordinating every country of the region, by reform, unilateral disarmament or direct overthrow. Syria was next in line, after Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya. In Syria, the proxy armies would come from the combined forces of the Muslim Brotherhood and Saudi Arabia’s Wahhabi fanatics. Despite occasional power struggles between these groups and their sponsors, they share much the same Salafist ideology, opposing secular or nationalist regimes and seeking the establishment of a religious state.

However in Syria Washington’s Islamists confronted a disciplined national army which did not disintegrate along religious lines, despite many provocations. The Syrian state also had strong allies in Russia and Iran. Syria was not to be Libya Take Two. In this prolonged war the violence, from the western side, was said to consist of the Syrian Army targeting and killing civilians. From the Syrian side people saw daily terrorist attacks on towns and cities, schools and hospitals and massacres of ordinary people by NATO’s ‘freedom fighters’, then the counter attacks by the Army. Foreign terrorists were recruited in dozens of countries by the Saudis and Qatar, bolstering the local mercenaries.

Though the terrorist groups were often called ‘opposition, ‘militants’ and ‘Sunni groups’ outside Syria, inside the country the actual political opposition abandoned the Islamists back in early 2011. Protest was driven off the streets by the violence, and most of the opposition (minus the Muslim Brotherhood and some exiles) sided with the state and the Army, if not with the ruling Ba’ath Party. The Syrian Army has been brutal with terrorists but, contrary to western propaganda, protective of civilians. The Islamists have been brutal with all, and openly so. Millions of internally displaced people have sought refuge with the Government and Army, while others fled the country.

In a hoped-for ‘end game’ the big powers sought overthrow of the Syrian state or, failing that, the creation of a dysfunctional state or dismembering into sectarian statelets, thus breaking the axis of independent regional states. That axis comprises Hezbollah in south Lebanon and the Palestinian resistance, alongside Syria and Iran, the only states in the region without US military bases. More recently Iraq – still traumatised from western invasion, massacres and occupation – has begun to align itself with this axis. Russia too has begun to play an important counter-weight role. Recent history and conduct demonstrate that neither Russia nor Iran harbour any imperial ambitions remotely approaching those of Washington and its allies, several of which (Britain, France and Turkey) were former colonial warlords in the region. From the point of view of the ‘Axis of Resistance’, defeat of the dirty war on Syria means that the region can begin closing ranks against the big powers. Syria’s successful resistance would mean the beginning of the end for Washington’s ‘New Middle East’.

That is basically the big picture. This book sets out to document the A story and expose the B story. It does so by rescuing some of the better western traditions: the use of reason, the maintenance of ethical principle and the search for independent evidence in case of conflict. I hope it might prove a useful resource. Here is a brief overview of the chapters.

ISBN Number: 978-0-9737147-8-4

Year: 2016

Pages: 240

Author: Tim Anderson

List Price: $23.95

Special Price: $15.00

The Dirty War on Syria 

by Professor Tim Anderson

click to purchase, directly from Global Research Publishers

Chapter Overview:

Chapter 1, ‘Syria and Washington’s ‘New Middle East’’ puts Syria in context of the US plans for a ‘New Middle East’, the latest chapter in a longer history of US attempts to dominate the region.

Chapter 2, ‘Barrel Bombs, Partisan Sources and War Propaganda’ addresses the problem of reporting and reading the Syrian crisis. Media channels have shown a hyper-reliance on partisan sources, committed to the war and denigrating the Syrian Army. This is the key barrier to understanding the controversies around chemical weapons, civilian massacres and the levels of support for or opposition to President Assad.

Chapter 3, ‘Daraa 2011: Another Islamist Insurrection’ reconstructs, from a range of sources, the Saudi-backed Islamist insurrection in Daraa in March 2011. Those armed attacks were quite distinct from the political reform rallies, which the Islamists soon drove off the streets.

Chapter 4, ‘Bashar al Assad and Political Reform’ explains the political reform movement from the time Bashar assumed the presidency in the year 2000 to the beginning of the crisis in 2011. From this we can see that most opposition groups were committed to reform within a Syrian context, with virtually all opposing attacks on the Syrian state. The chapter then reviews the role of Bashar as a reformer, and the evidence on his popularity.

Chapter 5, ‘The Empire’s Jihadis’ looks at the collaboration between Salafist political Islam and the imperial powers in the Middle East. Distinct from the anti-imperial Islamic currents in Iran and south Lebanon, Salafist political Islam has become a sectarian force competing with Arab nationalism across Egypt, Palestine and Syria, and drawing on long standing collaborative relations with the big powers. This history provides important background to the character of Syria’s Islamist ‘revolution’, and its various slogans.

Chapter 6, ‘Embedded Media, Embedded Watchdogs’ identifies the propaganda techniques of media channels and the network of ‘human rights’ bodies (Human Rights Watch, Avaaz, etc) which function as megaphones and ‘moderators’ for the Washington agenda. Many have become fierce advocates for ‘humanitarian war’. A number of newer western NGOs (e.g. The Syria Campaign, The White Helmets) have been created by Wall Street agencies specifically for the dirty war on Syria. A number of their fabrications are documented here.

Chapter 7, ‘The Houla Massacre Revisited’ considers in detail the evidence from the first major massacre designed (following success of the technique over Libya) to influence UN Security Council consideration of military intervention. While the first UN inquiry group, actually in Syria, found contradictory evidence on this massacre, a second UN group outside Syria and co-chaired by a US diplomat, tried to blame the Syrian Government. Yet more than a dozen witnesses blamed Farouq FSA Islamists, who killed pro-government villagers and took over the area, holding it for some months. Several other ‘false flag’ massacres are noted.

Chapter 8, ‘Chemical Fabrications: the East Ghouta Incident’ details the second major ‘false flag’ incident of international significance. This incident in August 2013, which nearly sparked a major escalation involving US missile attacks on Syria, was used to accuse the Syrian Government of killing hundreds of civilians, including children, with chemical weapons. Within a fairly short time multiple sources of independent evidence (including North American evidence) disproved these accusations. Nevertheless, Syria’s opponents have repeated the false accusations, to this day, as though they were fact.

Chapter 9, ‘The Responsibility to Protect (R2P) and the Double Game’ addresses a recent political doctrine, a subset of ‘humanitarian intervention’ popularised to add to the imperial toolkit. The application of this doctrine in Libya was disastrous for that little country. Fortunately the attempts to use it in Syria failed.

Chapter 10, ‘Health and Sanctions’ documents the NATO-backed Islamist attacks on Syria’s health system, linked to the impact of western economic sanctions. These twin currents have caused great damage to Syrian public health. Such attacks carry no plausible motive of seeking local popular support, so we must interpret them as part of an overall strategy to degrade the Syrian state, rendering it more vulnerable to outside intervention.

Chapter 11 ‘Washington, Terrorism and the Islamic State (ISIS)’, documents the links between the big powers and the latest peak terrorist group they claim to be fighting. Only evidence can help develop informed opinion on this contentious matter, but the evidence is overwhelming. There is little ideological difference between the various Salafi-Islamist groups, and Washington and its allies have financed and armed every one of them.

Chapter 12, ‘Western Intervention and the Colonial Mind’ discusses the western cultural mindset that underlies persistent violations of the rights of other peoples.

Chapter 13 ‘Towards an Independent Middle East’, considers the end-game in the Syrian crisis, and its implications for the Middle East region. At tremendous cost the Syrian Arab Republic, its army and its people, have successfully resisted aggression from a variety of powerful enemies. Syria’s survival is due to its resilience and internal unity, bolstered by support from some strong allies. The introduction of Russian air power in late September 2015 was important. So too were the coordinated ground forces from Iran, Iraq and Lebanon, in support of an independent Syria.

When the attacks on Syria abate the Middle East seems set to be transformed, with greater political will and military preparedness on the part of an expanded Axis of Resistance. That will signal the beginning of the end for Washington’s 15 year spree of bloodshed and ‘regime change’ across the entire region.

Also available in PDF version, click here to purchase

Reviews:

Tim Anderson  has written the best systematic critique of western fabrications justifying the war against the Assad government. 

No other text brings together all the major accusations and their effective refutation.

This text is essential reading for all peace and justice activists.  -James Petras, Author and Bartle Professor (Emeritus) of Sociology at Binghamton University, New York, Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization.

Tim Anderson’s important new book, titled “The Dirty War on Syria” discusses US naked aggression – “rely(ing) on a level of mass disinformation not seen in living memory,” he explains.

ISIS is the pretext for endless war without mercy, Assad the target, regime change the objective, wanting pro-Western puppet governance replacing Syrian sovereign independence.

There’s nothing civil about war in Syria, raped by US imperialism, partnered with rogue allies. Anderson’s book is essential reading to understand what’s going on. Stephen Lendman, Distinguished Author and Research Associate of the Centre for Research on Globalization (CRG), Host of the Progressive Radio News Hour on the Progressive Radio Network.

Professor Anderson demonstrates unequivocally through carefully documented research that America’s “Moderate Opposition” are bona fide Al Qaeda affiliated terrorists created and protected by the US and its allies, recruited  and trained by Saudi Arabia, Turkey, in liaison with Washington and Brussels.

Through careful analysis, professor Anderson reveals the “unspoken truth”: the “war on terrorism” is fake, the United States is a “State sponsor of terrorism” involved in a criminal undertaking. Michel Chossudovsky, Director of the Centre for Research on Globalization, Professor of Economics (Emeritus), University of Ottawa.

Click here to order Tim Anderson’s Book

Dr Tim Anderson is a Senior Lecturer in Political Economy at the University of Sydney. He researches and writes on development, rights and self-determination in Latin America, the Asia-Pacific and the Middle East. He has published many dozens of chapters and articles in a range of academic books and journals. His last book was Land and Livelihoods in Papua New Guinea (Australian Scholarly Publishing, Melbourne, 2015).


Special: Dirty War on Syria + Globalization of War (Buy 2 books for 1 price!) 

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Special: Dirty War on Syria + America’s “War on Terrorism” (Buy 2 books for 1 price!) 

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Bulk Order: Click here to order multiple copies at a discounted price (North America only)


Notes:

Edwards, Dave (2013) ‘Limited But Persuasive’ Evidence – Syria, Sarin, Libya, Lies’, Media Lens, 13 June, online: http://www.medialens.org/index.php/alerts/alert-archive/alerts-2013/735-limited-but-persuasive-evidence-syria-sarin-libya-lies.html

Forte, Maximilian (2012) Slouching Towards Sirte: NATO’s War on Libya and Africa, Baraka Books, Quebec

ICJ (1986) Case concerning the military and paramilitary activities in and against Nicaragua (Nicaragua v. United States of America) Merits’, International Court of Justice, Judgement of 27 June 1986, online: http://www.icj-cij.org/docket/?sum=367&p1=3&p2=3&case=70&p3=5

Knightley, Phillip (2001) ‘The disinformation campaign’, The Guardian, 4 October, online: http://www.theguardian.com/education/2001/oct/04/socialsciences.highereducation

Kuperman, Alan J. (2015) Obama’s Libya Debacle’, Foreign Affairs, 16 April, online: https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/libya/2015-02-16/obamas-libya-debacle

Martí, Jose (1975) Obras Completas, Vol. 6, Editorial de Ciencias Sociales, La Habana

McKinney, Cynthia (Ed) (2012) The Illegal War on Libya, Clarity Press, Atlanta

Putin, Vladimir (2015) ‘Violence instead of democracy: Putin slams ‘policies of exceptionalism and impunity’ in UN speech’, RT, 28 September, online: https://www.rt.com/news/316804-putin-russia-unga-speech/

Richter, Larry (1998) ‘Havana Journal; Remember the Maine? Cubans See an American Plot Continuing to This Day’, New York Times, 14 February, online: http://www.nytimes.com/1998/02/14/world/havana-journal-remember-maine-cubans-see-american-plot-continuing-this-day.html

Vigil to Be Held Outside Christian Zionist Convention in Phoenix June 13-14

 photo cpryrjeru_zpswjrfrq2v.gif

I received this email a couple of days ago from We Hold These Truths concerning an upcoming meeting of the Southern Baptist Convention to take place in Phoenix, Arizona.  As the email relates, WHTT will be holding a vigil outside the convention.

Attention Palestinian Peace Pals:

On June 13 (Tues.) and June 14, 2017 about 5000 Southern Baptists will descend upon Phoenix at the Phoenix Convention Center for their annual meeting. Last year in St. Louis, the SBC (Southern Baptist Convention) passed a resolution supporting Israel (see: “Southern Baptists Reject Peace Plea By Palestinian Pastor,” “Palestinian Pastor Confronts His Fellow Southern Baptist Church Leaders” and, before the 2003 war on Iraq, Richard Land of the SBC and other prominent, evangelical Christian leaders sent a letter to President George Bush stating that a war against Iraq would be a “Just War” according to their interpretation of the Bible. It was not a “Just War” as was reviewed in our 23 minute podcast:  “Will Southern Baptists Become Peacemakers?”

We would love to have you join us at the Phoenix Convention Center and challenge the attendees with signs like: “Choose Life Not War,” “Who Would Jesus Bomb?” “Blessed Are The Peacemakers,” “Where Are The Peacemakers?” “No More Wars For Israel” and “Gaza: Innocent Blood On Our Hands” and help pass out fliers.

Here is our vigil schedule for the convention (the Southern Baptist Convention program, SBC-2017Program.pdf is attached:

What: Vigil For Peace & Justice For Palestine at the Southern Baptist Convention’s 2017 Annual Meeting

Where: Phoenix Convention Center (North): 100 N 3rd Street,Phoenix, AZ 85004 (Map)

When:
Tues., Jun 13, 2017
1. 7:30 am to 9:00 am
2. 11:45 am to 1:30 pm
3. 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

Wed., Jun 14, 2017
1. 7:30 am to 9:00 am
2. 11:45 am to 1:30 pm
3. 6:00 pm to 7:30 pm

If you can’t join us, take a look at our four minute video, “Challenging A War Willing Church,” and help us promote it. You’ve got your choice where to send to your friends to view it:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pg/weholdthesetruthsPSG/videos/?ref=page_internal

WHTT website: http://whtt.org/challenging-war-willing-church/

YouTube: https://www.facebook.com/pg/weholdthesetruthsPSG/videos/?ref=page_internal

***

[ Ed. note – Christian Zionism has had an enormously corrupting influence on the Christian faith. It is a heresy, basically, that has turned followers of the teachings of Jesus into supporters of war crimes and apartheid. But where did it come from, how did it get started, and who promoted it? These questions are explored in the following article by Maidhc Ó Cathail. ]

The Scofield Bible: The Book that Made Zionists of America’s Evangelical Christians

 photo scofield_zpsqwtq09yz.gifBy Maidhc Ó Cathail

Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

—The New Scofield Study Bible

Since it was first published in 1909, the Scofield Reference Bible has made uncompromising Zionists out of tens of millions of Americans. When John Hagee, the founder of Christians United for Israel (CUFI), said that “50 million evangelical bible-believing Christians unite with five million American Jews standing together on behalf of Israel,” it was the Scofield Bible that he was talking about.

Although the Scofield Reference Bible contains the text of the King James Authorized Version, it is not the traditional Protestant bible but Cyrus I. Scofield’s annotated commentary that is problematic. More than any other factor, it is Scofield’s notes that have induced generations of American evangelicals to believe that God demands their uncritical support for the modern State of Israel.

Blessing Israel, Cursing Its Critics

Central to Christian Zionist belief is Scofield’s commentary (italicized below) on Genesis 12:3:

“‘I will bless them that bless thee.’ In fulfillment closely related to the next clause, ‘And curse him that curseth thee.’ Wonderfully fulfilled in the history of the dispersion. It has invariably fared ill with the people who have persecuted the Jew—well with those who have protected him. The future will still more remarkably prove this principle.”

Drawing on Scofield’s rather tendentious interpretation, Hagee claims,

“The man or nation that lifts a voice or hand against Israel invites the wrath of God.”

But as Stephen Sizer points out in his definitive critique, Christian Zionism: Road-map to Armageddon? (available from AET’s Middle East Books and More): “The promise, when referring to Abraham’s descendants, speaks of God blessing them, not of entire nations ‘blessing’ the Hebrew nation, still less the contemporary and secular State of Israel.”

Notwithstanding this more orthodox reading, The New Scofield Study Bible, published by Oxford University Press in 1984, intensified Scofield’s interpretation by adding,

“For a nation to commit the sin of anti-Semitism brings inevitable judgement.”

“Sustained by a dubious exegesis of selective biblical texts,” Sizer concludes, “Christian Zionism’s particular reading of history and contemporary events…sets Israel and the Jewish people apart from other peoples in the Middle East…it justifies the endemic racism intrinsic to Zionism, exacerbates tensions between Jews and Palestinians and undermines attempts to find a peaceful resolution of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, all because ‘the Bible tells them so.’”

The Incredible Scofield

In his 2008 book, The Rise of Israel: A History of a Revolutionary State, Jonathan R. Adelman describes the crucial support Israel receives from Christian fundamentalists as “totally fortuitous.” That assertion is belied, however, by the incredible career of the man who wrote “the Bible of Fundamentalism.”

Two years after Scofield’s reported conversion to Christianity in 1879, the Atchison Patriot was less than impressed. Describing the former Atchison resident as the “late lawyer, politician and shyster generally,” the article went on to recount a few of Scofield’s “many malicious acts.” These included a series of forgeries in St. Louis, for which he was sentenced to six months in jail.

Being a “born again” preacher did not preclude Scofield from becoming a member of an exclusive New York men’s club in 1901, either. In his devastating biography, The Incredible Scofield and His Book, Joseph M. Canfield suggests, “The admission of Scofield to the Lotus Club, which could not have been sought by Scofield, strengthens the suspicion that has cropped up before, that someone was directing the career of C.I. Scofield.”

That someone, Canfield suspects, was associated with one of the club’s committee members, the Wall Street lawyer Samuel Untermeyer. As Canfield intimates, Scofield’s theology was “most helpful in getting Fundamentalist Christians to back the international interest in one of Untermeyer’s pet projects—the Zionist Movement.”

Others have been even more explicit about the nature of Scofield’s service to the Zionist agenda. In “Unjust War Theory: Christian Zionism and the Road to Jerusalem,” Prof. David W. Lutz writes, “Untermeyer used Scofield, a Kansas City lawyer with no formal training in theology, to inject Zionist ideas into American Protestantism. Untermeyer and other wealthy and influential Zionists whom he introduced to Scofield promoted and funded the latter’s career, including travel in Europe.”

On one of these European trips, Oxford University Press publisher Henry Frowde “expressed immediate interest” in Scofield’s project. According to a biography of Frowde, although the OUP publisher was “[n]ot demonstrative in his religious views, all his Christian life he was associated with brethren known as ‘Exclusive.’” The “Exclusive Brethren” refers to the group of Christian evangelicals that, in an 1848 split in the Plymouth Brethren, followed John Nelson Darby, the Anglo-Irish missionary generally considered to have been the most influential figure in the development of Christian Zionism, and a major influence on Scofield.

Continued here

Sheikh Imran Hosein Shares his Vision of Contemporary World

Sheikh Imran Hosein Shares his Vision of Contemporary World

STEPHEN KARGANOVIC | 01.06.2017 | WORLD

Sheikh Imran Hosein Shares his Vision of Contemporary World

Sheikh Imran Hosein is a distinguished Islamic scholar, author of many books, expert in Islamic eschatology, international politics and finance, and contemporary socio-economic and political issues. In his work, the sheikh emphasizes Islamic spirituality, ihsan, in the absence of which all knowledge would be confined to the mere perception of worldly reality. The principal themes upon which he discourses are the nature of being, relationship to God and the interrelationship of the three major monotheistic faiths, the Messenger Muhammed (s.a.v.s.) and his teaching, and the nature of contemporary Western society with its deleterious impact on other civilizations and cultures.

Sheikh Imran Hosein has pioneered revolutionary interpretations of the Kuran and the hadises, paving the way for generations of Islamic scholars to come. With all the instruments at his disposal he attempts to educate not just Muslims and Christians, but everyone, as far and as wide as his voice reaches.

His success is based on the application of the correct methodology that he has received from his teacher, Maulana al-Asnari, which he has developed and applied further to the issues of major concern for the contemporary world.

The focal point of sheikh Imran Hosein’s study is eschatology, the religious teaching about the end-times and the ultimate fulfillment of the respective visions of each of the three great monotheistic faiths, with regard to the conclusion of mundane history. Judaism and Christianity have well-developed and even sophisticated eschatological teachings, but until recently Islam in that regard has been lagging behind. Under the inspiration of his revered teacher Maulana Al-Asnari, sheikh Imran Hosein has laid the foundations of an Islamic eschatological philosophy based, naturally, on the precepts of the Kuran and the relevant hadises. Surprising as it may appear, no Islamic scholar before him had ever approached this important and delicate subject in a systematic manner. Taking into account the sheikh’s numerous books and lectures on this subject, it is accurate to say that he has elevated Islamic Eschatology to the rank of a new branch of knowledge within the broad system of Islamic theology. It would not be extravagant to also add that he is now the world’s leading authority on this fascinating subject.

As a teacher of true, traditional Sunni Islamic doctrine, ennobled with the mystic aura of Sufism, sheikh Imran Hosein has acquired a wide following throughout the world of Islam, and beyond. Islam is an exception among the great monotheistic religions in that it has five vibrant major schools, but no central teaching authority or arbiter in matters of religious doctrine. For that reason, and in order to safeguard his co-religionists from the malevolent enticements of erroneous interpretations of their faith, which are often manipulated to serve purposes opposite to its original inspiration and intent, sheikh Imran Hosein places particular emphasis on the development of a proper methodology of doctrinal interpretation. Methodology may therefore be said to constitute the heart of his approach, as he quite correctly maintains that without proper guidelines, grounded in an intellectually rigorous scrutiny of religious texts, no consistent and viable doctrine can possibly emerge.

Confronting head-on the clash of civilizations narrative and boldly disputing the legitimacy of intolerant and extremist schools of thought within the world of Islam, sheikh Imran Hosein is a strong advocate of solidarity between the followers of the three monotheistic religions, Islam, Christianity, and Torah Judaism.

Based on his reading of the Kuran and certain hadises, sheikh Imran Hosein is, in particular, a champion of «friendship and alliance» between Muslims and Orthodox Christians. Over the centuries, and during the preceding decades with particular brutality, these two religious groups have been victims of the plundering and conquering ambitions of that portion of mankind that is most frequently referred to as the West. The latter’s main tools of oppression, in the sheikh’s mind, are the world banking and monetary system and NATO. He perceives in that part of mankind the operation of the evil forces of Gog and Magog (Yajuj and Majuj), familiar from the Islamic and other monotheistic eschatologies. By contrast, it is in the form of Eastern Christianity, with its historic roots in Byzantium (to which almost certainly reference is made in the thirtieth Sura of the Kuran, Ar-Rum), which is presently established in Russia, that sheikh Imran Hosein perceives the Empire of Ar-Rum. He regards it as a force for the good, with respect to which the Messenger Muhammed prophesied to his followers thus: «You will conclude an alliance with Ar-Rum».

As a student of geopolitics with a keen eschatological perspective, sheikh Imran Hosein is an attentive and approving observer of Russia’s dynamic and increasingly assertive role in international affairs.

Advocacy of friendly relations and alliance between Muslims and Orthodox Christians by an Islamic scholar of such renown and depth of knowledge as sheikh Imran Hosein, and the interest that he has also displayed in the conditions that prevail in Serbia and the Balkans, should have the beneficial effect of facilitating improved relations between Muslims and Orthodox Christians in that volatile part of the world.

The sheikh’s stance as a reconciler and peacemaker – while earning him affection and respect in many quarters – has made him also a figure of controversy elsewhere. Paradoxically, the latter seems to include some segments of the Islamic community because on many points the sheikh’s insistence on unadulterated traditional Islam clashes with key contemporary political agendas.

I had the honor and the pleasure of conducting this conversation with sheikh Imran Hosein at his retreat on the island of Tobago, in March of 2017.

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