In Case You Missed It: What Is Antisemitism?

By Michael Neumann

March 27, 2018 “Information Clearing House” – Every once in a while, some left-wing Jewish writer will take a deep breath, open up his (or her) great big heart, and tell us that criticism of Israel or Zionism is not antisemitism. Silently they congratulate themselves on their courage. With a little sigh, they suppress any twinge of concern that maybe the goyim–let alone the Arabs–can’t be trusted with this dangerous knowledge.

Sometimes it is gentile hangers-on, whose ethos if not their identity aspires to Jewishness, who take on this task. Not to be utterly risqué, they then hasten to remind us that antisemitism is nevertheless to be taken very seriously. That Israel, backed by a pronounced majority of Jews, happens to be waging a race war against the Palestinians is all the more reason we should be on our guard. Who knows? it might possibly stir up some resentment!

I take a different view. I think we should almost never take antisemitism seriously, and maybe we should have some fun with it. I think it is particularly unimportant to the Israel-Palestine conflict, except perhaps as a diversion from the real issues. I will argue for the truth of these claims; I also defend their propriety. I don’t think making them is on a par with pulling the wings off flies.

“Antisemitism”, properly and narrowly speaking, doesn’t mean hatred of semites; that is to confuse etymology with definition. It means hatred of Jews. But here, immediately, we come up against the venerable shell-game of Jewish identity: “Look! We’re a religion! No! a race! No! a cultural entity! Sorry–a religion!” When we tire of this game, we get suckered into another: “anti-Zionism is antisemitism! ” quickly alternates with: “Don’t confuse Zionism with Judaism! How dare you, you antisemite”

Well, let’s be good sports. Let’s try defining antisemitism as broadly as any supporter of Israel would ever want: antisemitism can be hatred of the Jewish race, or culture, or religion, or hatred of Zionism. Hatred, or dislike, or opposition, or slight unfriendliness.

But supporters of Israel won’t find this game as much fun as they expect. Inflating the meaning of ‘antisemitism’ to include anything politically damaging to Israel is a double-edged sword. It may be handy for smiting your enemies, but the problem is that definitional inflation, like any inflation, cheapens the currency. The more things get to count as antisemitic, the less awful antisemitism is going to sound. This happens because, while no one can stop you from inflating definitions, you still don’t control the facts. In particular, no definition of ‘antisemitism’ is going to eradicate the substantially pro-Palestinian version of the facts which I espouse, as do most people in Europe, a great many Israelis, and a growing number of North Americans.

What difference does that make? Suppose, for example, an Israeli rightist says that the settlements represent the pursuit of aspirations fundamental to the Jewish people, and to oppose the settlements is antisemitism. We might have to accept this claim; certainly it is difficult to refute. But we also cannot abandon the well-founded belief that the settlements strangle the Palestinian people and extinguish any hope of peace. So definitional acrobatics are all for nothing: we can only say, screw the fundamental aspirations of the Jewish people; the settlements are wrong. We must add that, since we are obliged to oppose the settlements, we are obliged to be antisemitic. Through definitional inflation, some form of ‘antisemitism’ has become morally obligatory.

It gets worse if anti-Zionism is labeled antisemitic, because the settlements, even if they do not represent fundamental aspirations of the Jewish people, are an entirely plausible extension of Zionism. To oppose them is indeed to be anti-Zionist, and therefore, by the stretched definition, antisemitic. The more antisemitism expands to include opposition to Israeli policies, the better it looks. Given the crimes to be laid at the feet of Zionism, there is another simple syllogism: anti-Zionism is a moral obligation, so, if anti-Zionism is antisemitism, antisemitism is a moral obligation.

What crimes? Even most apologists for Israel have given up denying them, and merely hint that noticing them is a bit antisemitic. After all, Israel ‘is no worse than anyone else’. First, so what? At age six we knew that “everyone’s doing it” is no excuse; have we forgotten? Second, the crimes are no worse only when divorced from their purpose. Yes, other people have killed civilians, watched them die for want of medical care, destroyed their homes, ruined their crops, and used them as human shields. But Israel does these things to correct the inaccuracy of Israel Zangwill’s 1901 assertion that

“Palestine is a country without a people; the Jews are a people without a country”.

It hopes to create a land entirely empty of gentiles, an Arabia deserta in which Jewish children can laugh and play throughout a wasteland called peace.

Well before the Hitler era, Zionists came thousands of miles to dispossess people who had never done them the slightest harm, and whose very existence they contrived to ignore.

Zionist atrocities were not part of the initial plan. They emerged as the racist obliviousness of a persecuted people blossomed into the racial supremacist ideology of a persecuting one. That is why the commanders who directed the rapes, mulilations and child-killings of Deir Yassin went on to become prime ministers of Israel.(*) But these murders were not enough. Today, when Israel could have peace for the taking, it conducts another round of dispossession, slowly, deliberately making Palestine unliveable for Palestinians, and liveable for Jews. Its purpose is not defense or public order, but the extinction of a people. True, Israel has enough PR-savvy to eliminate them with an American rather than a Hitlerian level of violence. This is a kinder, gentler genocide that portrays its perpetrators as victims.

Israel is building a racial state, not a religious one. Like my parents, I have always been an atheist. I am entitled by the biology of my birth to Israeli citizenship; you, perhaps, are the most fervent believer in Judaism, but are not. Palestinians are being squeezed and killed for me, not for you. They are to be forced into Jordan, to perish in a civil war. So no, shooting Palestinian civilians is not like shooting Vietnamese or Chechen civilians. The Palestinians aren’t ‘collateral damage’ in a war against well-armed communist or separatist forces. They are being shot because Israel thinks all Palestinians should vanish or die, so people with one Jewish grandparent can build subdivisions on the rubble of their homes. This is not the bloody mistake of a blundering superpower but an emerging evil, the deliberate strategy of a state conceived in and dedicated to an increasingly vicious ethnic nationalism. It has relatively few corpses to its credit so far, but its nuclear weapons can kill perhaps 25 million people in a few hours.

Do we want to say it is antisemitic to accuse, not just the Israelis, but Jews generally of complicity in these crimes against humanity? Again, maybe not, because there is a quite reasonable case for such assertions. Compare them, for example, to the claim that Germans generally were complicit in such crimes. This never meant that every last German, man, woman, idiot and child, were guilty. It meant that most Germans were. Their guilt, of course, did not consist in shoving naked prisoners into gas chambers. It consisted in support for the people who planned such acts, or–as many overwrought, moralistic Jewish texts will tell you–for denying the horror unfolding around them, for failing to speak out and resist, for passive consent. Note that the extreme danger of any kind of active resistance is not supposed to be an excuse here.

Well, virtually no Jew is in any kind of danger from speaking out. And speaking out is the only sort of resistance required. If many Jews spoke out, it would have an enormous effect. But the overwhelming majority of Jews do not, and in the vast majority of cases, this is because they support Israel. Now perhaps the whole notion of collective responsibility should be discarded; perhaps some clever person will convince us that we have to do this. But at present, the case for Jewish complicity seems much stronger than the case for German complicity. So if it is not racist, and reasonable, to say that the Germans were complicit in crimes against humanity, then it is not racist, and reasonable, to say the same of the Jews. And should the notion of collective responsibility be discarded, it would still be reasonable to say that many, perhaps most adult Jewish individuals support a state that commits war crimes, because that’s just true. So if saying these things is antisemitic, than it can be reasonable to be antisemitic.

In other words there is a choice to be made. You can use ‘antisemitism’ to fit your political agenda, or you can use it as a term of condemnation, but you can’t do both. If antisemitism is to stop coming out reasonable or moral, it has to be narrowly and unpolemically defined. It would be safe to confine antisemitism to explicitly racial hatred of Jews, to attacking people simply because they had been born Jewish. But it would be uselessly safe: even the Nazis did not claim to hate people simply because they had been born Jewish. They claimed to hate the Jews because they were out to dominate the Aryans.

Clearly such a view should count as antisemitic, whether it belongs to the cynical racists who concocted it or to the fools who swallowed it.

There is only one way to guarantee that the term “antisemitism” captures all and only bad acts or attitudes towards Jews. We have to start with what we can all agree are of that sort, and see that the term names all and only them. We probably share enough morality to do this.

For instance, we share enough morality to say that all racially based acts and hatreds are bad, so we can safely count them as antisemitic. But not all ‘hostility towards Jews’, even if that means hostility towards the overwhelming majority of Jews, should count as antisemitic. Nor should all hostility towards Judaism, or Jewish culture.

I, for example, grew up in Jewish culture and, like many people growing up in a culture, I have come to dislike it. But it is unwise to count my dislike as antisemitic, not because I am Jewish, but because it is harmless. Perhaps not utterly harmless: maybe, to some tiny extent, it will somehow encourage some of the harmful acts or attitudes we’d want to call antisemitic. But so what? Exaggerated philosemitism, which regards all Jews as brilliant warm and witty saints, might have the same effect. The dangers posed by my dislike are much too small to matter. Even widespread, collective loathing for a culture is normally harmless. French culture, for instance, seems to be widely disliked in North America, and no one, including the French, consider this some sort of racial crime.

Not even all acts and attitudes harmful to Jews generally should be considered antisemitic. Many people dislike American culture; some boycott American goods. Both the attitude and the acts may harm Americans generally, but there is nothing morally objectionable about either. Defining these acts as anti-Americanism will only mean that some anti-Americanism is perfectly acceptable. If you call opposition to Israeli policies antisemitic on the grounds that this opposition harms Jews generally, it will only mean that some antisemitism is equally acceptable.

If antisemitism is going to be a term of condemnation, then, it must apply beyond explicitly racist acts or thoughts or feelings. But it cannot apply beyond clearly unjustified and serious hostility to Jews. The Nazis made up historical fantasies to justify their attacks; so do modern antisemites who trust in the Protocols of the Elders of Zion. So do the closet racists who complain about Jewish dominance of the economy. This is antisemitism in a narrow, negative sense of the word. It is action or propaganda designed to hurt Jews, not because of anything they could avoid doing, but because they are what they are. It also applies to the attitudes that propaganda tries to instill. Though not always explicitly racist, it involves racist motives and the intention to do real damage. Reasonably well-founded opposition to Israeli policies, even if that opposition hurts all Jews, does not fit this description. Neither does simple, harmless dislike of things Jewish.

So far, I’ve suggested that it’s best to narrow the definition of antisemitism so that no act can be both antisemitic and unobjectionable. But we can go further. Now that we’re through playing games, let’s ask about the role of *genuine*, bad antisemitism in the Israel-Palestine conflict, and in the world at large.

Undoubtedly there is genuine antisemitism in the Arab world: the distribution of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, the myths about stealing the blood of gentile babies. This is utterly inexcusable. So was your failure to answer Aunt Bee’s last letter. In other words, it is one thing to be told: you must simply accept that antisemitism is evil; to do otherwise is to put yourself outside our moral world. But it is quite something else to have someone try to bully you into proclaiming that antisemitism is the Evil of Evils. We are not children learning morality; it is our responsibility to set our own moral priorities. We cannot do this by looking at horrible images from 1945 or listening to the anguished cries of suffering columnists. We have to ask how much harm antisemitism is doing, or is likely to do, not in the past, but today. And we must ask where such harm might occur, and why.

Supposedly there is great danger in the antisemitism of the Arab world. But Arab antisemitism isn’t the cause of Arab hostility towards Israel or even towards Jews. It is an effect. The progress of Arab antisemitism fits nicely with the progress of Jewish encroachment and Jewish atrocities. This is not to excuse genuine antisemitism; it is to trivialize it. It came to the Middle East with Zionism and it will abate when Zionism ceases to be an expansionist threat. Indeed its chief cause is not antisemitic propaganda but the decades-old, systematic and unrelenting efforts of Israel to implicate all Jews in its crimes. If Arab anti-semitism persists after a peace agreement, we can all get together and cluck about it. But it still won’t do Jews much actual harm. Arab governments could only lose by permitting attacks on their Jewish citizens; to do so would invite Israeli intervention. And there is little reason to expect such attacks to materialize: if all the horrors of Israel’s recent campaigns did not provoke them, it is hard to imagine what would. It would probably take some Israeli act so awful and so criminal as to overshadow the attacks themselves.

If antisemitism is likely to have terrible effects, it is far more likely to have them in Western Europe. The neo-fascist resurgence there is all too real. But is it a danger to Jews? There is no doubt that LePen, for instance, is antisemitic. There is also no evidence whatever that he intends to do anything about it. On the contrary, he makes every effort to pacify the Jews, and perhaps even enlist their help against his real targets, the ‘Arabs’. He would hardly be the first political figure to ally himself with people he disliked. But if he had some deeply hidden plan against the Jews, that *would* be unusual: Hitler and the Russian antisemitic rioters were wonderfully open about their intentions, and they didn’t court Jewish support. And it is a fact that some French Jews see LePen as a positive development or even an ally. (see, for instance, “`LePen is good for us,’ Jewish supporter says”, Ha’aretz May 04, 2002, and Mr. Goldenburg’s April 23rd comments on France TV.)

Of course there are historical reasons for fearing a horrendous attack on Jews. And anything is possible: there could be a massacre of Jews in Paris tomorrow, or of Algerians. Which is more likely? If there are any lessons of history, they must apply in roughly similar circumstances. Europe today bears very little resemblance to Europe in 1933. And there are positive possibilities as well: why is the likelihood of a pogrom greater than the likelihood that antisemitism will fade into ineffectual nastiness? Any legitimate worries must rest on some evidence that there really is a threat.

The incidence of antisemitic attacks might provide such evidence. But this evidence is consistently fudged: no distinction is made between attacks against Jewish monuments and symbols as opposed to actual attacks against Jews. In addition, so much is made of an increase in the frequency of attacks that the very low absolute level of attacks escapes attention. The symbolic attacks have indeed increased to significant absolute numbers. The physical attacks have not.(*) More important, most of these attacks are by Muslim residents: in other words, they come from a widely hated, vigorously policed and persecuted minority who don’t stand the slightest chance of undertaking a serious campaign of violence against Jews.

It is very unpleasant that roughly half a dozen Jews have been hospitalized–none killed–due to recent attacks across Europe. But anyone who makes this into one of the world’s important problems simply hasn’t looked at the world. These attacks are a matter for the police, not a reason why we should police ourselves and others to counter some deadly spiritual disease. That sort of reaction is appropriate only when racist attacks occur in societies indifferent or hostile to the minority attacked. Those who really care about recurrent Nazism, for instance, should save their anguished concern for the far bloodier, far more widely condoned attacks on gypsies, whose history of persecution is fully comparable to the Jewish past. The position of Jews is much closer to the position of whites, who are also, of course, the victims of racist attacks.

No doubt many people reject this sort of cold-blooded calculation. They will say that, with the past looming over us, even one antisemitic slur is a terrible thing, and its ugliness is not to be measured by a body count. But if we take a broader view of the matter, antisemitism becomes less, not more important. To regard any shedding of Jewish blood as a world-shattering calamity, one which defies all measurement and comparison, is racism, pure and simple; the valuing of one race’s blood over all others. The fact that Jews have been persecuted for centuries and suffered terribly half a century ago doesn’t wipe out the fact that in Europe today, Jews are insiders with far less to suffer and fear than many other ethnic groups. Certainly racist attacks against a well-off minority are just as evil as racist attacks against a poor and powerless minority. But equally evil attackers do not make for equally worrisome attacks.

It is not Jews who live most in the shadow of the concentration camp. LePen’s ‘transit camps’ are for ‘Arabs’, not Jews. And though there are politically significant parties containing many antisemites, not one of these parties shows any sign of articulating, much less implementing, an antisemitic agenda. Nor is there any particular reason to suppose that, once in power, they will change their tune. Haider’s Austria is not considered dangerous for Jews; neither was Tudjman’s Croatia. And were there to be such danger, well, a nuclear-armed Jewish state stands ready to welcome any refugees, as do the US and Canada. And to say there are no real dangers now is not to say that we should ignore any dangers that may arise. If in France, for instance, the Front National starts advocating transit camps for Jews, or institutes anti-Jewish immigration policies, then we should be alarmed. But we should not be alarmed that something alarming might just conceivably happen: there are far more alarming things going on than that!

One might reply that, if things are not more alarming, it is only because the Jews and others have been so vigilant in combatting antisemitism. But this isn’t plausible. For one thing, vigilance about antisemitism is a kind of tunnel vision: as neofascists are learning, they can escape notice by keeping quiet about Jews. For another, there has been no great danger to Jews even in traditionally antisemitic countries where the world is *not* vigilant, like Croatia or the Ukraine. Countries that get very little attention seem no more dangerous than countries that get a lot. As for the vigorous reaction to LePen in France, that seems to have a lot more to do with French revulsion at neofascism than with the scoldings of the Anti-Defamation League. To suppose that the Jewish organizations and earnest columnists who pounce on antisemitism are saving the world from disaster is like claiming that Bertrand Russell and the Quakers were all that saved us from nuclear war.

Now one might say: whatever the real dangers, these events are truly agonizing for Jews, and bring back unbearably painful memories. That may be true for the very few who still have those memories; it is not true for Jews in general. I am a German Jew, and have a good claim to second-generation, third-hand victimhood. Antisemitic incidents and a climate of rising antisemitism don’t really bother me a hell of a lot. I’m much more scared of really dangerous situations, like driving. Besides, even painful memories and anxieties do not carry much weight against the actual physical suffering inflicted by discrimination against many non-Jews.

This is not to belittle all antisemitism, everywhere. One often hears of vicious antisemites in Poland and Russia, both on the streets and in government. But alarming as this may be, it is also immune to the influence of Israel-Palestine conflicts, and those conflicts are wildly unlikely to affect it one way or another. Moreover, so far as I know, nowhere is there as much violence against Jews as there is against ‘Arabs’. So even if antisemitism is, somewhere, a catastrophically serious matter, we can only conclude that anti-Arab sentiment is far more serious still. And since every antisemitic group is to a far greater extent anti-immigrant and anti-Arab, these groups can be fought, not in the name of antisemitism, but in the defense of Arabs and immigrants. So the antisemitic threat posed by these groups shouldn’t even make us want to focus on antisemitism: they are just as well fought in the name of justice for Arabs and immigrants.

In short, the real scandal today is not antisemitism but the importance it is given. Israel has committed war crimes. It has implicated Jews generally in these crimes, and Jews generally have hastened to implicate themselves. This has provoked hatred against Jews. Why not? Some of this hatred is racist, some isn’t, but who cares? Why should we pay any attention to this issue at all? Is the fact that Israel’s race war has provoked bitter anger of any importance besides the war itself? Is the remote possibility that somewhere, sometime, somehow, this hatred may in theory, possibly kill some Jews of any importance besides the brutal, actual, physical persecution of Palestinians, and the hundreds of thousands of votes for Arabs to be herded into transit camps? Oh, but I forgot. Drop everything. Someone spray-painted antisemitic slogans on a synagogue.

* Not even the ADL and B’nai B’rith include attacks on Israel in the tally; they speak of “The insidious way we have seen the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians used by anti-Semites“. And like many other people, I don’t count terrorist attacks by such as Al Quaeda as instances of antisemitism but rather of some misdirected quasi-military campaign against the US and Israel. Even if you count them in, it does not seem very dangerous to be a Jew outside Israel.

Michael Neumann is a professor of philosophy at Trent University in Ontario, Canada. He can be reached at: mneumann@trentu.ca

This article was originally published by “Counterpunch” –

The views and opinions expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect those of Information Clearing House.

Russian Patriarch Discusses Good, Evil, and the End-Times

The feature image that Russia Today selected when i uploaded this video is quite cheesy, but the comments by Russian Patriarch Kirill are actually quite powerful and relevant.

Christian Zionist whackos for israel

Source

It would be funny if the consequences weren’t so dire

War is more important to these “Christians” than Jesus

There are millions of these people in the US and they’re one of the biggest voting blocks in the US.

The Pentagon loves them because they can always be counted on to cheer for war.

It would be funny if the consequences weren’t so dire

The Clash of Civilizations for Dummies: Judea’s War Between Christianity and Islam.

Source

clash of cvilization

By Sabba, 16NOV17

INTRODUCTION – In this day and age where the Jews DO control the media and thus maintain 110% control of the discourse, most people have heard the phrase of “clash of civilizations”, a paradigm whereby the world of Islam has always been on the offensive against the Christian world, and many have endorsed it as the only key to understanding history.

It is widely accepted that this concept was born in the mind of the Israeli ‘historian’ Bernard Lewis and then popularized by Samuel Huntington. Given that all discourse these days where ‘Islamic’ issues are discussed, only do so accompanied by extended and completely erroneous statements about Islam, we are forced by those same rules therefore to highlight the jewishness of Bernard Lewis from the start because as a Jew, he sees everything with/through his own Torah lenses which teach one thing and one thing only: how to “utterly destroy everything that breathes” as a fulfillment of the messianic dream described many times within Jewish ‘sacred’ texts.

But contrary to the widely accepted view, this concept did not originate with Bernard Lewis and Samuel Hutington.

The idea featuring a Christian West fighting the Islamic East is all over rabbinical eschatological texts. It is not called ‘clash of civilizations’ per se but is described as the inevitable and apocalyptic fight that will take place in the end times between Edom (Christendom) and Ishmael (Islamic world) whereby each will annihilate the other, leaving Jacob-Israel as the sole survivor. As such, Lewis and Huntington have merely ‘secularized’ a very old Jewish and Torah-based view of the world and gave the Western Gentiles tailor-made Judaic lenses through which to understand our history and actively and willingly take part in what Judaism hopes will be the annihilation of both religions and cultures.

There are many main angles to approach this topic but in this part, we shall argue that in order to understand the Jewish engineered clash of civilizations, one needs to understand Judaism, what it really is, how it works and how it relates to Christianity and Islam from a geopolitical point of view.

PART I – UNDERSTANDING THE TRUE NATURE OF JUDAISM AND HOW IT WORKS

judaism jews synagogue satan

Civilization is defined as the process by which a society reaches an advanced stage of social development, cooperation, and organization. In this manner, one cannot understand civilization without first factoring into it the issue of religion. All civilizations that have emerged on Earth from the beginning of human history have had a spiritual foundation, regardless of what that religion is or was. And all the world’s greatest religions, whether pagan or monotheistic, have led to a civilizing process and to progress.

All of them except for Judaism.

Unlike any other religion, Judaism has been at war against Mankind since it first emerged on the historical scene because, unlike any other religion, Judaism defines itself only in opposition to ‘the other’, whether other people and/or other systems of belief. It can not exist in a vacuum without a nemesis ‘to utterly destroy’.

Unlike any other religion, Judaism does NOT require belief in God and does not believe in Life after Death. It only requires obeisance to ‘the Law’ as laid out within the pages of both the Torah, and its exegesis, the Talmud, as well as allegiance to the Tribe. And although there is no immortality after death for the individual Jew however, the manner by which this is reconciled is by making the Jewish people itself immortal through tradition, the law, and allegiance to Jews as a group.

For the individual Jews, this life is all there is. There is no Judgement Day, no retribution for one’s evil deeds. This is perhaps the Jews’ greatest strength because they are free from the same moral constraints and guilt found within Christianity and Islam which allows them to empty an automatic rifle into the body of a Palestinian infant and go to bed afterwards and sleep like a baby.

But it is also their greatest weakness because their love of this world has carved into their individual and collective psyche an irrational and hyper-intensified fear of death, and it is this fear of death that has made them the world’s greatest cowards and deceivers.

Their disbelief in life after death is quite unique among the ancient religions in the midst of which Judaism emerged.

Ancient pagan religions all believed in an after life, though this was not granted to everyone but only to the most worthy, those who strove for it and deserved it. Rejoining the Gods, to be reunited with them was considered as the greatest reward of all. For the ancient pagan religions, life after death meant achieving immortality, earning Eternity and this is what is meant when we read that some historical characters became ‘gods’. For example, when Julius Caesar was deified, it never meant to the Romans that he became the equal to Jupiter. It only meant he had now become immortal, he was now floating in Eternity, in close vicinity of the ‘real Gods’.

But the Jews never reached any intellectual, spiritual and transcendental sophistication to understand what all other pagan religions understood instinctively and so the Jews rejected the idea of life after death and made the belief in God optional. Their goal is not to be reunited with their ‘God’ after death, their goal is to ‘utterly destroy everything that breathes’ in order to become the masters of this world and its riches.

It is also unique among monotheistic religions to have a ‘religion’ which does not require belief in God. While it is an oxymoron to be an atheist Christian or an atheist Muslim, it is 666% kosher in Judaism. This explains why it is so common to hear about ‘atheist’ or ‘secular’ Jews. For them, these are not contradictory terms at all. This explains why most of the materialist theoreticians were Jews, this is how a Moses Hesse could be a rabbi and a communist, this explains a Karl Marx-Mordechai Levy etc. An atheist Jew is still a Jew whose allegiance is to the Tribe, whether he follows the Law or not and the tribe will always consider him as part of them. And this explains why so many of us are fooled by Judaism because we apply to it our Christian/Islamic understanding of Religion.

Lastly, unlike any other religion, Judaism is always a religion in the making. The verses of the Torah are constantly re-examined, re-interpreted in the light of current events, for one purpose and one purpose only: identify who they must “utterly destroy” to achieve their messianic dreams of world domination.

PART II – THE MAN OF GALILEE

jews-killed-jesus

One event or rather one man forced Judaism to come out of its closet: Jesus, the Son of Man, the Son of the Blessed Virgin Mary (PBUT both). Jesus forced Judaism to reveal itself for what it is: not a religion but a materialistic and satanic ‘philosophy’ which made God completely irrelevant and which was built only on the concepts of choseness and blind obeisance to the Law, in exchange of which they would be rewarded with all the world and its riches.

With the advent of Christianity, Judaism has taken a new shape and has since developed itself exclusively against the Son of Man (Adam?), his name, his legacy and anyone who accepts him as the Christ. With the advent of Christianity, the Torah had to be re-interpreted and a new strategy to achieve their messianic goals was formulated.

Esau is Edom is Christianity is Rome is Europe is the ‘West’ and Christendom has been upgraded to number one enemy to ‘utterly destroy’..

The gloomy fate of Edom which is described in the Book of Obadiah must now be applied to the Christian world in general and the ROMAN Catholic world in particular: “And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.”

The Book of Daniel has also been re-examined under the Christian Light and the Fourth Beast of Daniel has now become Rome and her daughter, ROMAN Catholic Europe.

PART III – THE EMERGENCE OF ISLAM AND THE BIRTH OF THE CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS

cross-and-quran-islam-christianity

But in the VIIth century AD, the rabbis had to revise their plans once again because a new comer emerged in Arabia – Islam. This new comer violently rejects the concept of Choseness, confirms Jesus as the Messiah and has elevated the Blessed Virgin Mary into the most exalted place and hailed her as the greatest of all women for all Eternity.

For this reason, Islam has been labelled as yet another enemy ‘to utterly destroy’. The Torah has been re-interpreted to include and adjust to the new geopolitical context and this is how Islam has now become Ishmael.

But Islam, like her older sister Christianity, has given rise to a strong and extremely rich civilization which can not be easily destroyed. The rabbis understood very early on that they would never be able to take on these 2 powerful civilizing religions and, Judaism being a work in constant ‘progress’, the rabbis concocted a new strategy that would ensure the simultaneous destruction of both – welcome to the clash of Civilizations as detailed in the Zohar:

“And in the future, the children of Ishmael are destined to rule over the Holy Land for a long time when it is empty from anything, like their circumcision which is empty and imperfect (…) The children of Ishmael [i.e. the Muslims] will cause great wars in the world and the children of Edom will gather against them and wage war against them, one on the sea, one on the dry land, and one near Jerusalem. And they [the children of Edom] will rule over them[the children of Ishmael], but the Holy Land will not be given over to the children of Edom.[The children of Edom is the Christian West, for Edom is Rome (see Num. 24:19, Rashi) and Rome signifies Greece-Rome and the Roman Catholic Church, the foundations of Western Civilization]. At that time, a nation from the end of the earth will be aroused against evil Rome and wage war against it for three months. Nations will gather there, and [Rome] will fall into their hands (…) There will not remain any power of any people on earth, except the power of Israel alone. This is the meaning of “G-d is your shade upon your right hand”. (Psalms 121:5)”

PART IV – THE REFORMATION AND THE JUDAIFICATION OF EUROPE

REFORMATION LUTHER

Until the XIIIth century, the accepted judaic belief was that one day their Moshiach (our anti-Christ) would emerge in Rome, go to the Vatican, subdue the Pope, abolish Christianity, bring back all the Jews to Palestine and establish the Fifth Kingdom.

The XIIIth century saw a drastic change of plan on the part of the Jewish rabbinate. The very influential kabbalistic rabbi Nahmanides understood that they will never be able to achieve that goal alone, Moshiach or not; he understood that the Jews had to change their strategy and decided to involve Christian Europe: 

Edom/Rome/Christian Europe expelled them from the Holy Land. 

Edom/Rome/Christian Europe had to bring them back.

But medieval Europe was ROMAN Catholic, it was 666% anti-Jewish. How to change the European elites’ mindset and get them to become jew-friendly, and willing beast of burden for the Jews? Unable to do so ‘in the open’, they did by way of deception. As always.

The target back then as it is still now, according to Martin van Creveld, was Italy-Rome because this is where their Moshiach will appear. It started with the Jewish Kabbalah: they spread its teachings to Italy under the pretext that it proved the Trinity and the Divinity of Jesus. The first Gentile to incorporate Jewish Kabbalah into his writings was Pico Della Mirandola. But the Kabbalah failed to take root in Italy or in any Latin country for that matter.

It then moved to the Germanic states and took them by storm. The Reformation came afterwards as the natural consequence of Kabbalah poisoning, with tragic and devastating effects for Christian Europe, the consequences which are only now in full view.

Half of Christian Europe having now succumbed to the siren’s songs of Judaism through the deception of the Reformation, the ‘clash of civilizations’ could now be officially launched and the idea popularized.

It is in the XVIth century that it was ‘secularized’ for the first time and made available to the wider Jewish audience by Joseph Ben Joshua Cohen.

According to Heinrich Grätz, Joseph Cohen “began to search for chronicles in order to write a sort of universal history in the form of annals. He began with the period of the decline of the Roman empire and the formation of the modern states, and represented the course of the world’s history as a struggle between Asia and Europe, between the Crescent and the Cross; the former represented by the then powerful dominion of Turkey; the latter, by France, which had set up Charlemagne, the first emperor of a Christian realm. He connected the whole of European history with these two groups of nations. He included all the events and wars of Christendom, and of the Mahometan countries in ” The Annals of the Kings of France and of the House of Othman,” the title of his historical work.”

Cohen has popularized what was until then known only to the Jewish rabbinical circles and the Jewish elites. Lewis and Hutington have done nothing more than update what Joseph Cohen had written in the XVIth century and adapt it to our modern world

[NOTE – We must pause here and reflect and ask: why, out of all European nations, has Jewish Kabbalah taken the Germanic states by storm? What have they seen in it which all Latin countries failed to see? Or what is it that prevented them to see it and the Reformation for what it was-Jewish onslaught on Christianity – and made them fall into this Jewish trap? Why have the Germanic nations been seduced by the Jewish concept of ‘Choseness – Election’? What have they found in the Torah which ensnared them to the point that they have made it their most important holy book and made them turn their backs on the teachings of Christ? I will leave the reader to answer these questions.]

PART V – CHRISTIAN WEST vs. ISLAMIC EAST: A HISTORICAL REALITY OR A JEWISH LIE?

cross-and-crescent

The fallacy of the theory of the clash of civilizations is that it reads the history of the Muslim world under the light of the Quran, thus inferring that all that comes from there is religion based. It tells us that the world of Islam, by its very religion, is in a state of permanent war against Christendom.

Not only is it fallacious but it is an extremely dishonest historical approach because it would be like analyzing the bloody wars of Charlemagne or the countless wars of the Byzantine Empire before Islam under the light of the New Testament.

But the New Testament is never used to explain the wars of the Christian world, the Torah is never used to explain the 5000 years old Wars of the Jews against Mankind and yet, we are supposed to only understand the wars of the Islamic world through the Quran.

It is all the more baffling that the Old Testament is filled with orders to genocide while there is not one single Quranic verse which calls for an offensive war, let alone a pre-emptive war. Not a single one.

Dying for God is a common trait to all 3 monotheistic religions. However killing for God is entirely Jewish and was passed on to the Christian world through the Old Testament. 

It might come as a surprise to many but the idea of a holy war of aggression for God is Christian, borrowed from Judaism and was developed as early as the IVth century by St Augustine. Until the Crusades, we do not find any Islamic literature advocating a religious war of aggression. The concept of Jihad is something else entirely. With the Crusades and as reaction to them, the very Christian theory of Holy War of aggression for God had been conceptualized and the Muslims incorporated it and mixed it up with the pre-existent concept of Jihad.

It might also come as a surprise to most if not all Western readers, but the term ‘Infidels’ is a Christian terminology found all over European Medieval literature for the Muslims. The Muslims have never ever called the Christians ‘Infidels’, never. It was always the other way round.

The Arabic word Kafir which is always translated as ‘Infidels’ has quite a different meaning. Its primary signification is ‘ungrateful’, ungratefulness to God and not disbelief in God. Satan for example is called a ‘Kafir’, not because he disbelieved in God, but because he disobeyed his Creator. The Children of Adam (mankind) are sometimes called ‘Kafir’ whenever they show their ungratefulness to their Creator. The one thing it does not mean is Christians or Jews. On the other hand, when the Christians used and abused it, it was always in reference to the Muslims, never to those whom Christ himself identified as the Synagogue of Satan.

Lastly, it might also come as a surprise to many but until the world of academia had been taken over by the Jews, no Western Christian Historian ever explained the Islamic expansion or the wars the Muslims waged in the light of the Quran. More often than not, it was Genesis 17:20 which was used to explain the Islamic expansion, never the Quran.

The methodology to analyse the world of Islam by using and misquoting the Quran is entirely new, it is 666% kosher certified and has a 666% Jewish messianic agenda behind it and the West is falling for it, again despite Medieval History being littered with examples proving the exact opposite.

PART VI – CHRISTLAMIC ALLIANCES

Image result for the iv crusade

THE IVth CRUSADE

We shall give here only a few examples to argue our point:

1) The Ashtiname of Muhammad, whereby Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) promises excommunication and eternal damnation to any Muslim who who attacks any Christian and their property.

2) The alliance between Charlemagne and Harun al Rashid. Charlemagne needed an ally in the Levant against the Roman Empire – Byzantium. Harun al Rashid needed an ally in Europe against the newly formed state of Al Andalus in Spain.

3) Pope Gregory VII, one of the most influential pope we ever had, sent a letter to Al Nasir ibn Alennas where he states: “We and you in a special way, more than all pagans among them, we owe this reciprocal charity to one another because we believe and recognize, although in different modes, the only God and praise and venerate Him every day, as Creator of the centuries and Governor of this world”

4) There are countless examples in the history of the Crusader States (not to be confused with the Crusades themselves) where we have one crusader state in alliance with a Muslim principality against another crusader state which had allied itself with another Muslim principality.

The history of the Crusader States provides many examples of the Christlamic mutual and virile respect for one another when they are in close vicinity of each other. All witness accounts of the Second and Third Crusades describe the horror felt by the new Crusaders freshly coming from Europe at the friendly relations the Crusader States had with their Muslim neighbours. And William of Tyre explains to us that it was the new comers who always spoilt it for the Latins of the Levant and who destroyed the equilibrium that had been built.

5) Before, during and after the Crusades, the Byzantine emperors saw the European Christians as their greatest enemies, not the Muslims. And indeed, what the Crusaders did to Constantinople during the IVth Crusade (1204), their level of barbarity against their Christian Brethren had never been seen before and remained unmatched, not even the Ottomans could to surpass it when they took Constantinople in 1453.

It is the European Christian Crusaders who are the real destroyers of Byzantium, not the Ottomans. They weakened it to the point that it could never recover and regain its past glory. In the XIIth century, Constantinople was the greatest city of Christendom with at least 1 million inhabitant. By the end of of the IVth Crusade, its population fell to 400 000 people and by 1453, it did not have more than 50000 inhabitants.

All historians agree that it was the IVth Crusaders who paved the way for the Ottomans: 1453 could have never happened had 1204 not taken place and one might even argue that by 1453, when the Byzantines were triangulated, they deliberately chose to surrender to the Muslims rather than the Europeans whom they saw, and rightly so, as betrayers.

NOTE – Until the XIITh century, the Byzantines consistently refused to lower themselves into marrying European princes and princesses, deemed to low and beneath their Roman dignity. On the other hands, there has been many examples of a Byzantine Princess marrying a Muslim Prince.

PART VII – THE CASE OF THE OTTOMAN EMPIRE

Image result for joseph nasi and suleiman

JOSEPH NASI

Following the Alhambra Decree of 1492, the Jews started wandering again. Their main destinations were the United Provinces (modern day Netherlands), Morocco, Venice, Rome and the Ottoman Empire. Most of the Jews who had fled to Venice and Rome were soon expelled, yet again, and these then found a safe heaven in Ottoman Empire.

During the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent, the Jews reached an unprecedented level of power, power which they never relinquished and which lead to a man named Atatürk.

According to Heinrich Grätz and Cecil Roth, it was under his rule that the Jews took over and dictated ALL of the Ottoman foreign policy to the point that a man like Joseph Nasi was considered the real ruler of the Ottoman empire.

The Jews ‘foreign policy’ can be summed up with one word: REVENGE against Christian Europe. The conquest of Cyprus, Rhodes, the siege of Vienna, the battle of Lepanto, all the wars against Venice, all the wars against the Habsburgs, were ALL decided by the Jewish advisers to the Ottoman sultans, who used the Ottomans as their attack dog the same the Jews are now using the USA as their attack dog.

Joseph Nasi is credited by Jewish historians as the man responsible for the ‘independence’ of the United Provinces from Catholic Habsburg Spain and for making Amsterdam, the ‘Jerusalem of the North’.

In fact, the power and influence Joseph Nasi had over Suleiman and his son Selim II were so great that Suleiman agreed to allow the very first Jewish immigration back to Palestine (Safed). For the first time since 135AD, the Jews were allowed to return to the Holy Land and settle there. But they did not. Why haven’t they seized the opportunity and repopulated Palestine en masse and even created the embryo of a Jewish State?

The reason is that it did not fit the agenda which must see Christendom ‘utterly destroyed’. Indeed, the only thing that kept the Jews alive as a group for the past 2000 years was not merely a vague dream of returning to the Holy Land some day but rather an insatiable hatred and an unquenchable desire of vengeance against Christ and his followers.

It was not Ishmael/the Muslims who kicked them and destroyed their temple: it was Edom-Rome-the Christians and only they had to undo what Titus and Hadrian had done. They expelled them and banned them form ever returning, only they had to bring them back and establish Eretz Israel for them, paying with their money and the blood of their children.

NOTE – It is interesting to note here that Suleiman is called the Magnificent in the West whereas he is known in the East as ‘Kanuni’, ‘the Law Giver’. We might wonder why the West who has suffered so much under his reign calls him ‘Magnificent’ when his own people do not see anything magnificent about him…

PART VIII – CHRIST: THE REAL TARGET OF THE JEWISH ENGINEERED CLASH OF CIVILIZATIONS

jesus money lender banker

The Middle East, where Islam and Christianity have been living side by side for over 1400 years, never witnessed such clash of civilizations, as defined by the Rabbis and popularized by Lewis and Hutington. Indeed, the Middle East is Christlamic at its core: its branches might be Islamic but its roots are entirely Christian.

We saw earlier that during the short time where the Latins had established Crusader States in the Levant, a cordial and respectful entente was soon established between Christians and Muslims. The colonial period never saw the rise of ‘radical’ Islam against the colonial powers and the subsequent independence movements of the XXth were all nationalists in nature, not Religion-based. Why then would the world of Islam all of a sudden decide to destroy Christendom?

Islam, as a religion, has never been on the offensive against Christ, his Blessed Mother, his followers, his legacy. Judaism has. In terms of values, ethos and way of life, Islam has never clashed with Christianity. Judaism does. However Islam does clash with Western values. And so does Christianity.

The ‘West’ is a geopolitical construct while Christian Europe is a historical reality and, in terms of values, ethos and way of life, the West and Christianity are antithetical.

The ‘West’, as a civilization, emerged on the ashes of ROMAN Catholic Europe and it was not Islam which destroyed it: it was the Reformation. Western civilization was born when the Judeo-Protestant nations became the leading nations in Europe and, with Britain at the fore-front, the leading nations in the world.

Western/Judeo-Protestant civilization is built on Torah ‘values’, the most important ones being Choseness/Election and usury and as such, Western civilization has in fact declared war against Christ, his message, his legacy. Protestantism is the new declaration of war against Christ and here lies the real goal of the clash of civilization: Jesus himself.

PART IX – THE JEWS, DESTROYERS OF CIVILIZATIONS

jews judaism anti semitism

Judaism is a declaration of war against Mankind in general and the followers of Christ in particular. Judaism is the most corrosive and destructive force in the world, something all Jews know and boast about:

“The thing that makes Judaism dangerous to everybody, to every race, to every nation, to every idea is that we smash things that aren’t true. We don’t believe in the boundaries of nation-state.
We don’t believe in the ideas of these individual gods that protect individual groups of people. These are all artificial constructions and Judaism really teaches us how to see that.
In a sense our detractors have us right, in that we are a corrosive force. We’re breaking down the false gods of all nations and all people because they’re not real. And that’s very upsetting to people.” Dr. Douglas Rushkoff

Just as Judaism exist only in opposition to other systems of beliefs, likewise the Jews exist only in opposition to the Civilized Man.

The Jews have never built anything, have never contributed anything into the civilizing process of Humanity. They count for nothing and would have never made it into any History book had it not been for their systematic efforts of destruction of everything that is holy, wholesome and pure. They only exist in opposition to Civilization, their raison d’être is to destroy and corrupt everything God has created and destroy every Civilizations the Children of Adam have built.

“We Jews, we the destroyers, will remain the destroyers forever. NOTHING that you will do will meet our needs and demands. We will forever destroy, because we need a world of our own, a God-world, which it is not in your nature to build.” –“You Gentiles” Maurice Samuel

Civilizations do not clash, they cooperate, they engage in trade, they borrow from each other, the develop and flourish alongside each other, they live in mutual and virile respect of one another, as we witnessed within the Crusader States (again, not to be confused with the Crusades).

It is only the nomadic, parasitic elements who, unable to reach the same level of sophistication as the Civilized Man and who thus suffer from an incurable complex of inferiority, aim at the destruction of Civilizations to bring everyone else to their level. Wandering roots always create weeds within civilized lands.

Judaism and Judaism alone – not Islam – has made it very clear that it is at war against Christ and, by extension, anyone who believes in him and, while it should be clear to all true Christians and Muslims that their only salvation is to unite under the banner of Christ against their common enemy, it baffles the mind to see the Christian West almost looking forward to go to battle against the only other group of people who believes in the Messiahship of Jesus.

Judaism and anyone who accepts it, regardless of their DNA, has declared the Christians and the Muslims enemy because of Christ. It is time we reciprocate and declare Judaism, the Old Testament and anyone who follows it, as our enemy, in the name of Christ.

CONCLUSION 

CHRISTIANITY ISLAM

With the advent of Christianity, Judaism had redefined itself and its goals in opposition to Christ. Not only must they now achieve world domination, but that world domination can not be attained unless and until Christianity/Europe/Rome is destroyed, erased from the face of the earth which they hope will happen by pitting the only civilizing religions which recognize Jesus as the Messiah against one another.

Can it be averted? And if so, how?

The Christians must finally realize that the Jews are not their ‘friends’, never were and never will be. The Christians must finally realize that their only friends and allies are the Muslims. The Christians must finally realize that, while the Jews believe that Christ is a bastard, the Muslims not only believe that he is a Prophet of God but a unique type of Prophet: he is the Messiah, the only Messiah, who came and who will come back at the end of History to rule the world. The Christians must finally realize that what is discussed is a geopolitical alliance and not any kind of syncretism.

Russia and China are strong allies and that does not mean that the Chinese must now adopt Orthodox Christianity. Russia and Iran are allies and that does not mean that the Iranians must now all convert to Orthodox Christianity. Likewise, when a Crescent and Cross or a Christlamic geopolitical alliance is suggested, that does not mean anyone giving up his/her religion. The Muslims understand it; the Orthodox Christians understand it but for some strange reason, the Christian West can not.

The first step to avoid this diabolical Jewish trap is to get the Muslims and the Christians to unite under the Banner of Christ and to finally reject the Jewish Old Testament.

The Christians and the Muslims must give up their arrogance and pedantic claims that they understand the Torah better than the Jews themselves. How we understand it is irrelevant. The only thing that matters is how they understand it and live by it. And for anyone who still fails to understand what it means to live by the Torah, let them look at the Bolshevik Revolution and Palestine. This is the Torah put into practice. This is what Judaism is about.

The Jews commit all the evil which their Torah, not Herzl’s Judenstaat, orders them to do and it is the useful idiots from the Chritlamic world who always come to the rescue and defend their satanic scriptures. 

While we can somehow understand the Christian stance on this (because they made the monstrous mistake to include the Old Testament into their own Holy Scriptures), it is a mystery for me to see the Muslims do the same, despite what the Quran says about them.

All Muslims know that the Jews have re-written their Torah and have thus stop being the Children of Israel and became the Synagogue of Satan. And yet, they still fail to recognize that the Judaism followed by the Jews is NOT the Judaism talked about in the Quran.

Christians and Muslims must understand and accept that the Jews do not want ‘your’ Judaism: they only want the Judaism that was written by the lying pens of scribes in the tongue of their father the devil; they want the Judaism that teaches that it is perfectly kosher to defile, insult, blaspheme and kill the Prophets of God (PBUT all), they want the Judaism that says it is perfectly halal to rape children and kill all non-Jews.

The Muslims claim they love all the Prophets of God, that they believe in all of them and make no difference between any of them. We have seen their outburst of indignation and anger when Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is being blasphemed against. Where is their indignation and anger against Judaism itself which has made all the Prophets whom they claim they love, into the vilest and most disgusting creatures that have walked the earth?

Judaism is THE problem and it has to go and it will go. The Holy Quran tells us so in the most unequivocal manner: when Jesus come back, all the Jews will have to believe in him as the Messiah. In other words, when Jesus comes back, Judaism will be vanquished, Judaism will no longer be, Judaism will disappear from the face of the earth.

The Messiahship of Christ and the sinfulness of the Prophets should be more than enough reason for the Muslims and Christians to unite and jointly de-legitimize the Jewish Torah and thus prevent this Jewish engineered clash of mutual assured destruction between Edom and Ishmael. When John and Jesus departed this world, they had left the ax at the root of the tree. It is now for us to cut off the tree at its roots and it starts with cutting off all ties with the Old Testament.

christian muslim

 

Russian Patriarch: Godless Western Elites Seek to Destroy Christianity

Patriarch Kiril, the head of the Russian Orthodox Church, makes the all-too-obvious observation that Western elites seek to destroy Christianity–but he also, in the process, states something very wise and true: that prayer is stronger than weapons or money or political power.

Additionally, the Patriarch harkens back to the period of darkness that came upon Russia one hundred years ago when the Bolsheviks seized power, a time when the country’s people passed through “the difficult stages of full denial of God’s existence,” when “any presence of God in people’s lives” was very nearly extinguished by the government.

I’m often struck by the full reversal that has come about–that is to say by how Russia and the US have essentially changed places. The darkness that the Bolsheviks brought to Russia a century ago has now been brought to America by the neocons. We can expect the same disastrous results. We are in fact already seeing it.

A bit earlier I posted a commentary by Paul Craig Roberts that included the words, “America is disappearing. The country I live in today bears no resemblance to the one into which I was born.”

He is right. The days in which Americans, or most of us at any rate, were guided by the principles of our faith have vanished. Instead we have become a nation of order-followers, terrified to speak out, swallowing the lies and propaganda that are fed us, locked in the bonds of political correctness.

It is a tragedy especially for our youth.

“No generation of young people was subjected to such temptations, such attempts to distort moral nature as this generation,” says Patriarch Kiril.

He is presumably referring to the generation which fell under the yoke of communism, though of course the same can be said of young Americans today: the society they are part of celebrates and embraces conventions that run contrary to human morality–endless war, political corruption, limitless greed, transgender insanity.

And all this as Christianity is attacked on many fronts, from Hollywood to the legal system. Recently, Greg Bacon put up a post entitled Attacking Christianity, but Protecting Judaism which discusses a recent case in which a federal appeals court ordered removal of a Christian cross from government property.  The cross comprises part of a World War I memorial that sits on a highway median in Bladensburg, Maryland.  The monument has been sitting there for the past 92 years. But the court ruled that it must come down. It “excessively entangles the government in religion,” the three-judge panel ruled.

The suit was brought by an Atheist group–but apparently such groups don’t have any problem with the presence of Hanukah menorahs on government property, including the so-called “National Menorah” that makes its appearance each year on the White House Elipse. Where are the Atheist legal challenges here? They don’t seem to mount any. This in fact is noted by Bacon in his commentary: apparently the US courts regard menorahs as a secular symbol and not a religious symbol.”

And this has come about despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of US citizens are Christians.

But as Patriarch Kiril notes, “prayer is stronger than money, stronger than power, stronger than weapons.” He is correct. Why do you think the elites are trying so hard to stamp out the Christian faith?

Jesus made us a promise: that he would send the Holy Spirit, whom he referred to as “the Spirit of truth who goes out from the Father.” In prayer, the Holy Spirit comes in an explosion of light in our hearts. An explosion of love and truth. This is the promise.

And this too is the promise made by Jesus: “Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out.

The prince of this world can indeed be driven out. This has been demonstrated by Russia. The Russian people, as the Patriarch notes, “have turned to God, and what we see is wonderful. We see big changes, including in our young people’s consciousnesses.”

This can happen in America too. It simply means returning to our Christian roots and to the faith and joy that becomes ours when we serve God. When the elites can no longer uproot our faith from our lives–this is when our recovery will come.

Hezbollah Liberates Al-Nusra Stronghold in Eastern Lebanon

[ Ed. note – This is a major victory for Hezbollah. The last Al-Nusra stronghold in Lebanon, in the Arsal Mountains on the border with Syria, has been cleared of terrorists. In addition to the RT report above, I am also posting a Hezbollah statement expressing solidarity with Christians and paying tribute to Father Jaques Hamel, a French priest murdered by ISIS terrorists one year ago.

Christians all over the world should be grateful to Hezbollah for its defense of Christians in the Middle East. To the brave fighters of Hezbollah: we thank you. ]

From the Islamic Resistance in Arsal to Father Jacques Hamel… A Homage of Brotherhood and Loyalty

Alahed News

For all mankind, they fought. To all the oppressed, they dedicated their victories. Victims of terrorism spread everywhere like the plague; terrorism which does not distinguish among religions and races.

From the Lebanese Arsal outskirts, are Resistance fighters who offered their most precious in the battle of victory for just and humanity against Takfiri terrorism.

As Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah offered the victory in Arsal outskirts to both Christians and Muslims, the unjustly slain Father Jacques Hamel had his share of the victory.

The Islamic Resistance’s Mujahedeen in the outskirts did not forget their Christian brothers, particularly Father Hamel. Hence, they saluted his sacrifice via message to al-Ahed news website written in French.

The message reads: “Your spirit will never die. Generations will live on your memory. Rest in peace knowing that we will protect our Christian brothers. Peace be upon you. Your brothers in Hezbollah.”

Father Jacques Hamel, born on November 30th 1930, was a French priest in the parish of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray. He was murdered during the Normandy church attack by the Wahhabi Daesh [Arabic acronym for “ISIS” / “ISIL”] terror group on July 26, 2016.

Neither his age nor religious rank were able to spare the 86-year-old priest from the Wahhabi monsters’ claws who never gave any regard to religion nor humanity.

Today, the sons of the Islamic Resistance in Lebanon had triumphed for the spilled blood of the unjustly slain priest.

Despite the pain, the wounds and the hardships of Jihad, the Resistance – from the heart of Arsal Outskirts – did not forget to pay tribute to Father Hamel as to assert that the battle with Takfiri terrorism is one, and that their resistance is to defend all humanity and religions.

Accordingly, this is not the first time Hezbollah fighters had honored their fellow Christians as the land of Ma’loula which had been liberated from the Takfiris, bears witness to the purity of the battle these men are waging. This battle is the strongest evidence of the unity of religions in the face of the Takfiri terrorism.


A little bit more about Father Jaques Hamel from Wikipedia:

Hamel was ordained as a priest on 30 June 1958.[12][17] He served as a vicar at the St. Antoine church in Le Petit-Quevilly from 1958, a vicar at the Notre-Dame de Lourdes church in Sotteville-lès-Rouen from 1967, a parish priest in Saint-Pierre-lès-Elbeuf from 1975, and a parish priest in Cléon from 1988. He joined the church in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray in 2000.[18] He officially retired at the age of 75, but was allowed to keep serving in the parish.[13] As a result, he assumed his role as the parish’s assistant priest from 2005 to his death.[18]

With local imam Mohammed Karabila, the president of Normandy’s regional council of Muslims, Hamel worked since early 2015 on an interfaith committee.[12][19] After Hamel’s death, Karabila described him as his friend with whom he had discussed religion and as also someone who gave his life for others.[20]

Hamel died when his throat was slit by two Muslim men, Adel Kermiche and Abdel Malik Petitjean, who both pledged allegiance to the Islamic State.[21][22][23][24] The attack occurred while Hamel was saying Mass in his parish in Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray on 26 July 2016.[25][26] During the attack, Hamel said “Satan, go!” when confronted by his killers.[3]


Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray is in the French region of Normandy…


Report from July 27, 2017–one year and one day after Father Hamel’s death…”Satan  go…”…God works in mysterious ways…

Arsal Battle: Nusra Urged to Surrender or Face Death, Battle Almost Over

Alahed News

The Resistance’s accomplishments in its battle in the outskirts of Arsal had been quick and swift. In a few days’ time, the mighty revolutionaries were able to lift the banners of victory over the outskirts’ hills and mountains amid retreats among the ranks of terrorists.

Five days after the start of the offensive in Arsal, the Takfiri al-Nusra Front terrorists are facing an ultimatum: to leave or face eminent death.

As the offensive in the outskirts of Arsal reached its sixth day Wednesday, attention has turned to the looming deadline set by Hezbollah for negotiations with the al-Nusra, and a scheduled evening speech by Hezbollah Secretary General His Eminence Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah.

With the injury of the Nusra chief of operations Omar Wardi after being hit by resistance gunfire, the terrorist group’s militants retreated, Hezbollah War Media Center said.

The center further added that the area occupied by the Nusra terrorists in the outskirts of Arsal had shrank to 10%.

The coming hours will be crucial in determining the outcome of negotiations with Nusra militants whose positions on Arsal outskirts are besieged.

Source: Hezbollah War Media Center, Translated by website team

Israel’s Wailing Wall crisis

On June 28, yielding to pressure from his religious coalition partners, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu backtracked on a decision to create a space at the Wailing Wall in occupied East Jerusalem adjacent to Islam’s third most sacred place, the Al-Aqsa Mosque where men and women can pray together and non-Orthodox rituals can be practiced.

The agreement for the new egalitarian prayer space, adopted 17-month ago by the Zionist regime after years of negotiations with Jewish leaders, was supposed to restore women’s rights to pray at Wailing Wall just like Jewish men and Western Christian leaders. The suspension of the plan has been condemned by majority of Jews in North America who are affiliated with Liberal streams of Judaism.

Today’s cancellation of the decision is a severe blow to the unity of the Jewish people, the Jewish communities and the fabric of the relationship between the state of Israel and the Jews in the Diaspora,” said defense minister Avigdor Lieberman, a Russian-born Zionist thug.

The religious Jews don’t like mix gender worship like most Muslims with the exception during annual performance of Hajj in Makkah, Saudi Arabia when both men and women perform the ritual wearing identical white robes.

The Jew worshippers at the Wailing Wall are segregated. Women have a  separate spot near the Wailing Wall to recite Torah or Talmud and beg forgiveness from their Vengeful G-d.

Last year UNESCO declared that the Western Wall has nothing to do with Judaism.

The Jewish Agency, which has never criticized the Zionist regime, took out an ad against Netanyahu’s Western Wall decision. US-born Dr. Daniel Gordis, senior vice-president of the Shalem college in occupied Jerusalem, has called upon the American Jews to disinvite Netanyahu and Knesset members from all meetings, and do the same with Israeli embassy officials.

Readers shouldn’t confuse Israel’s Ultra-Orthodox Jews or Western Liberal Jews – because both like the J-Street represent Zionist Mafia under different names. The only anti-Zionism Jewish group is the Torah Jews whose leaders have the bad habit of supporting Iran against the Zionist entity and praising former Iranian president Ahmadinejad.

On June 30, the JTA reported that Benjamin Netanyahu’s top adviser Dr. Jonathan Shachter had instructed Israeli diplomats in United States to blame the so-called Liberal Jews for the crisis. The official website of Liberal Judaism claims: “We affirm a love for the Land of Israel and a strong commitment to the State of Israel. We pray for her people, care about her security and wish to enact the vision of her founders of a Jewish state for all its inhabitants, at peace with its neighbors, democratic and prosperous. We promote a two-state solution, and oppose all boycotts.”

In August 2014, anti-Muslim lawmaker Peter King met Shachter in Jerusalem and offered his full support for Israeli war on Hamas. Listen to Shachter, a serial liar like his boss Netanyahu, below.

Pro-Israel Group Is Desperate To Keep You From Watching This Video?

By Peter Beinart

June 24, 2017 “Information Clearing House” –  When it comes to Palestinians, the American Jewish establishment is in the ignorance business. The average American synagogue has never hosted a Palestinian speaker. The average “pro-Israel” activist has never read a book by a Palestinian author. The American Jewish philanthropists who fund Birthright send thousands of young American Jews to Israel each year, on a program that systematically excludes the voices of 50% of the people who live under Israeli control.

But that’s not the worst part. The worst part is that for major American Jewish organizations, ignorance is an export. It is not enough that American Jewish leaders never hear from Palestinians themselves — they do their best to ensure that American politicians don’t, either.

Consider the sequence of events that began on June 8. On that day, an advocacy group called No Way To Treat a Child hosted a panel discussion on Capitol Hill. That’s not unusual. Advocacy organizations hold panel discussions on Capitol Hill all the time; the location makes it easier for congressional staff to attend. What made this one unusual was its subject: the Palestinian experience under Israeli control.

You can watch the panel online. The first speaker was Omar Shakir, the Israel-Palestine director of Human Rights Watch. In dry, rather clinical, terms, Shakir discussed some of the consequences of the fact that West Bank Palestinians are subjects, not citizens, of Israel. He noted, for instance, that in Area C, which encompasses roughly 60% of the West Bank, it is “nearly impossible for Palestinians to obtain a permit to build a home.” When Palestinians build without a permit, the Israeli government often demolishes their homes.

Following him was Brad Parker, a staff attorney at Defense for Children Palestine. Observing that, according to the most recent statistics, Israel holds hundreds of Palestinians between the ages of 12 and 17 in its jails, often for stone throwing, Parker explained that the Israeli military frequently arrests Palestinian children at night. They are often bound, blindfolded and transported to a military installation, where they wait until morning before being interrogated without a lawyer and without their parents knowing where they are. They “essentially disappear for 24, 48, 96 hours.” Then they are generally prosecuted in military courts where the conviction rate approaches 100%. Following Parker was Yazan Meqbil, a young West Bank Palestinian attending college in the United States, who talked about growing up in a house repeatedly slated for demolition. “Every single day,” he said, “I used to wake up hoping my house will not be demolished.” Meqbil ended his remarks by saying: “Palestinians, we all have a dream, to be free, to live like normal human beings. To not be afraid whenever we leave our homes.”

The final speaker was Nadia Ben-Youssef, who works for Adalah–-The Legal Center for Arab Minority Rights in Israel. She stressed the links between Israel’s treatment of Palestinians in the West Bank and its treatment of Palestinian citizens inside Israel proper. Israel’s Palestinian citizens, she noted, lived under military law until 1966. And even today, she argued, inside the Green Line, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews in important ways.

I offer this summation to illustrate the shamelessness of the attack that followed. In a video posted June 12, The Israel Project, which is led by former AIPAC spokesman Josh Block, called the event an “anti-Israel hatefest” filled with “hate speech.” Notice the Orwellian turn.

According to The Israel Project, it is not hateful to hold millions of West Bank Palestinians for 50 years as non-citizens, without due process, free movement or the right to vote for the government that controls their lives. It is hateful to criticize Israel for doing so. By that standard, the 2012 documentary “The Gatekeepers,” which featured former heads of the Shin Bet calling Israel’s occupation of the West Bank “brutal,” “colonial” and “unbearable,” was an “anti-Israel hatefest,” too.

Then came the inevitable insinuation of anti-Semitism. As menacing music played in the background, the video declares that while the panel pretended to be “about human rights,” the speakers “couldn’t stop talking about Jews.” Actually, the panel was entirely about human rights. But, as if uncovering a terrible offense, the video noted that panelists had 17 times used the phrases “Jewish,” “Jewish state,” “Jewish people,” “Jewish citizens” or “Jews.” How sinister! I’m sure Josh Block never uses such despicable phrases when speaking about Israel.

In fact, two of Shakir’s uses of the word “Jewish” came from quotations. He quoted the State Department as calling settlement growth “inconsistent with Israel’s future as a Jewish and democratic state,” and President Obama as saying that settlement growth undermines “Israel as both Jewish and a democracy.” Then again, everyone knows that Obama and the State Department are anti-Semitic, too.

Most of the references to Jews came from Nadia Ben-Youssef. The video quoted her as saying that “Israel was established as a Jewish state to privilege the rights of Jewish people,” and referring to “this Jewish state that is premised on the basis that you must have greater rights, so that means more Jewish people than anyone else in that land.” The video never explained what’s incorrect or odious about those statements. Their hatefulness is presumably self-evident.

But both statements are true. Yes, Israel’s Declaration of Independence speaks about ensuring “complete equality of social and political rights… irrespective of religion, race or sex.” And yes, Palestinians inside Israel proper (as opposed to Palestinians in the West Bank) enjoy citizenship and the right to vote. But Israel was also explicitly founded to represent and safeguard the Jewish people, and that inevitably privileges Jews over non-Jews.

Jews who immigrate to Israel, for instance, gain citizenship on day one. For non-Jews who wish to immigrate to Israel, by contrast, including Palestinian refugees born inside Israel’s borders, gaining citizenship is virtually impossible. Israel’s flag contains a Jewish star; its national anthem speaks of “the Jewish soul.” In these symbolic ways, too, Israel privileges Jews over non-Jews. As for Israel’s effort to maintain a Jewish majority so that Jews can control the destiny of the state, that’s hardly a secret. It’s a goal that the Israeli government and mainstream American Jewish organizations proudly endorse.

Israel is not the only country on earth to face a tension between its desire to protect and nurture one ethno-religious community and its commitment to provide equality under the law. Many European democracies have immigration policies that favor a dominant ethnic group. Many have crosses on their flags. The 2003 Palestinian Constitutionstates that “the Palestinian people are part of the Arab nation” and that “the principles of Islamic Shari’a shall be the main source of legislation.” So if a Palestinian state is ever created, it will likely wrestle with the tension between ethnic nationalism and democracy, too.

I believe that in a post-Holocaust world, it’s important to have one country on earth that assumes a special obligation to protect Jewish life. The goal, therefore, should be to minimize the tension between Jewish statehood and liberal democracy as much as possible, while acknowledging that you can never erase it entirely. The challenge, as Martin Buber once put it, is to “do no more injustice to others than we are forced to do in order to exist.”

Zionist thinkers like Chaim Gans and Alexander Yakobson and Amnon Rubinstein have sought to meet that challenge. But doing so honestly requires acknowledging that all forms of Jewish statehood entail some moral costs, and that some are more morally defensible than others.

These are the kinds of debates that the American Jewish establishment fears. It fears them because such debates give Palestinians a voice. Given the influence that American Jewish groups wield in Washington, it’s far easier to simply deny Palestinians a platform. That’s why The Israel Project ends its video by urging people to call Rep. Mark Pocan, who authorized No Way To Treat a Child to use a room on Capitol Hill, and “demand that he condemn the event.” The goal is to scare members of Congress so they don’t facilitate such discussions again.

The deep, dark secret of the American Jewish establishment is that its leaders are not equipped to respond to smart Palestinian critics of Israel. They’re not familiar enough with the realities of Palestinian life under Israeli control. So having built itself a cocoon that shuts out Palestinian voices, the American Jewish establishment insists that Congress live inside that cocoon too. Because if the cocoon cracks, American politicians, and the American public, will realize how intellectually weak the American Jewish establishment actually is.

When it comes to Israel, the organized American Jewish community would rather bully than think. That’s what happens when power corrupts. It doesn’t only make you immoral. It makes you dumb.

Peter Beinart is a Forward senior columnist and contributing editor. Listen to “Fault Lines,” his podcast with Daniel Gordis here or on iTunes.

This article was first published by The Forward

The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Information Clearing House.

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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.

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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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.

Looking to the Past, not ISIS, for the True Meaning of Islam

Emir Abdelkader, 19th century Muslim humanist and sheikh

[Ed. note – British journalist Robert Fisk has published an interesting historical retrospect on Abdelkader ibn Muhieddine, or Emir Abdelkader, an Algerian Muslim leader of the 19th century who fought against French imperialism and was a great champion of human rights–of all people. Abdelkader intervened at one point to save a community of Christians in Damascus, Syria, where he spent a portion of his life, and while Fisk doesn’t bother to point it out, his act of saving Syrian Christians is something he shares in common with the present-day leader of Syria, Bashar Assad.

I thought it timely to post such an article since we’ve just seen a deranged individual arrested in Portland, Oregon after allegedly stabbing three people, killing two of them, while spouting hatred for Muslims–a man whose last name is “Christian” no less. So you’ll see a lengthy excerpt from Fisk’s essay on Abdelkader, along with a link to the original article, and just below that I’m also tossing in a video of a group of Syrians, including about 3,000 students, taking a walking tour of Aleppo’s recently-liberated historic areas. A Syrian woman you’ll see interviewed in the video, Anushka Arakelyan, says she hopes that the city will one day be “the same as it was before the war.”

“There are no nationalities here. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she added.

“Aleppo will be the same as it was before the war. We hope and wait,” Arakelyan said.

“As one Russian song says, we hope and wait, and we will wait and hope,” she added.

“We love Aleppo very much. Aleppo is a very good city, very hospitable city. I’m very happy to live here. Here, there are no nationalities. All people love each other; all live together, rejoice together, cry together and wait together,” she concluded. (Uprooted Palestinians )

It would seem, from this lady’s remarkable words, that there are plenty of Muslims who today carry on in the spirit of Abdelkader, and that therefore we don’t have to look to the past to find “the true meaning of Islam”–plenty of examples we can point to in the present. ]

***

We must look to the past, not Isis, for the true meaning of Islam

By Robert Fisk

After the Manchester massacre… yes, and after Nice and Paris, Mosul and Abu Ghraib and 7/7 and the Haditha massacre – remember those 28 civilians, including children, killed by US Marines, four more than Manchester but no minute’s silence for them? And of course 9/11…

Counterbalancing cruelty is no response, of course. Just a reminder. As long as we bomb the Middle East instead of seeking justice there, we too will be attacked. But what we must concentrate upon, according to the monstrous Trump, is terror, terror, terror, terror, terror. And fear. And security. Which we will not have while we are promoting death in the Muslim world and selling weapons to its dictators. Believe in “terror” and Isis wins. Believe in justice and Isis is defeated.

So I suspect it’s time to raise the ghost of a man known as the Emir Abdelkader – Muslim, Sufi, sheikh, ferocious warrior, humanist, mystic, protector of his people against Western barbarism, protector of Christians against Muslim barbarism, so brave that the Algerian state insisted his bones were brought home from his beloved Damascus, so noble that Abe Lincoln sent him a pair of Colt pistols and the French gave him the Grand Cross of the Legion of Honour. He loved education, he admired the Greek philosophers, he forbade his fighters to destroy books, he worshipped a religion which believed – so he thought – in human rights. But hands up all readers who know the name of Abdelkader.

We should think of him now more than ever.

He was not a “moderate” because he fought back savagely against the French occupation of his land. He was not an extremist because, in his imprisonment at the Chateau d’Amboise, he talked of Christians and Muslims as brothers. He was supported by Victor Hugo and Lord Londonderry and earned the respect of Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte (later Napoleon III) and the French state paid him a pension of 100,000 francs. He deserved it.

When the French invaded Algeria, Abdelkader Ibn Muhiedin al-Juzairi (Abdelkader, son of Muhiedin, the Algerian,1808-1883, for those who like obituaries) embarked on a successful guerrilla war against one of the best equipped armies in the Western world – and won. He set up his own state in western Algeria – Muslim but employing Christian and Jewish advisors – and created separate departments (defence, education, etc), which stretched as far as the Moroccan border. It even had its own currency, the “muhamediya”. He made peace with the French – a truce which the French broke by invading his lands yet again. Abdelkader demanded a priest to minister for his French prisoners, even giving them back their freedom when he had no food for them. The French sacked the Algerian towns they captured, a hundred Hadithas to suppress Abdelkader’s resistance. When at last he was defeated, he surrendered in honour – handing over his horse as a warrior – on the promise of exile in Alexandria or Acre. Again the French betrayed him, packing him off to prison in Toulon and then to the interior of France.

Yet in his French exile, he preached peace and brotherhood and studied French and spoke of the wisdom of Plato and Socrates, Aristotle and Ptolemy and Averoes and later wrote a book, Call to the Intelligent, which should be available on every social media platform. He also, by the way, wrote a book on horses which proves he was ever an Arab in the saddle. But his courage was demonstrated yet again in Damascus in 1860 where he lived as an honoured exile. The Christian-Druze civil war in Lebanon had spread to Damascus where the Christian population found themselves surrounded by the Muslim Druze who arrived with Isis-like cruelty, brandishing swords and knives to slaughter their adversaries.

Abdelkader sent his Algerian Muslim guards – his personal militia – to bash their way through the mob and escort more than 10,000 Christians to his estate. And when the crowds with their knives arrived at his door, he greeted them with a speech which is still recited in the Middle East (though utterly ignored these days in the West).

“You pitiful creatures!” he shouted. “Is this the way you honour the Prophet? God punish you! Shame on you, shame! The day will come when you will pay for this … I will not hand over a single Christian. They are my brothers. Get out of here or I’ll set my guards on you.”

Muslim historians claim Abdelkader saved 15,000 Christians, which may be a bit of an exaggeration. But here was a man for Muslims to emulate and Westerners to admire.

His fury was expressed in words which would surely have been used today against the cult-like caliphate executioners of Isis. Of course, the “Christian” West would honour him at the time (although, interestingly, he received a letter of praise from the Muslim leader of wildly independent Chechnya). He was an “interfaith dialogue” man to please Pope Francis.

Abdelkader was invited to Paris. An American town was named after him – Elkader in Clayton County, Iowa, and it’s still there, population 1,273. Founded in the mid-19th century, it was natural to call your home after a man who was, was he not, honouring the Rights of Man of American Independence and the French Revolution? Abdelkader flirted with Freemasonry – most scholars believe he was not taken in – and loved science to such an extent that he accepted an invitation to the opening of the Suez Canal, which was surely an imperial rather than a primarily scientific project. Abdelkader met De Lesseps. He saw himself, one suspects, as Islam’s renaissance man, a man for all seasons, the Muslim for all people, an example rather than a saint, a philosopher rather than a priest.

But of course, Abdelkader’s native Algeria is a neighbour of Libya from where Salman Abedi’s family came, and Abdelkader died in Syria, whose assault by US aircraft – according to Abedi’s sister – was the reason he slaughtered the innocent of Manchester. And so geography contracts and history fades, and Abedi’s crime is, for now, more important than all of Abdelkader’s life and teaching and example. So for Mancunians, whether they tattoo bees onto themselves or merely buy flowers, why not pop into Manchester’s central library in St Peter’s Square and ask for Elsa Marsten’s The Compassionate Warrior or John Kiser’s Commander of the Faithful or, published just a few months ago, Mustapha Sherif’s L’Emir Abdelkader: Apotre de la fraternite?

They are no antidotes for sorrow or mourning. But they prove that Isis does not represent Islam and that a Muslim can earn the honour of the world.

***

The Beauty and the the Beast: Being in time 1st interview

May 25, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Gilad Atzmon  Interviewed by the witty and glamorous Nedka Babliku.

We covered many of the aspect of the book: Athens & Jerusalem, controlled opposition, holocaust religion, the post political condition, Corbyn, Trump, cognitive partitioning and the bell curve and many more topics.

Being in Time is now available on Amazon.co.uk  & Amazon.com  &  here

https://youtu.be/NE0-ERPbWok

ISIS in the Philippines–Christians Taken Hostage

It seems ISIS-affiliated terror groups have launched a major attack in the Philippines, on the southern island of Mindanao. President Rodrigo Duterte has invoked martial law on the entire island and sent in government troops, and reports have been coming out of pitched battles, particularly in the city of Marawi.

“But the government troops were surprised when they encountered a 100-strong Maute force armed with high-powered weapons”–so reports the New York Times today. The Philippine Maute terror group, also known as the Islamic State of Lanao, is affiliated with ISIS. Coincidentally, it seems the group has now acquired high-powered weaponry it didn’t possess before.

The attack comes, coincidentally, as Duterte has moved to align the Philippines toward Russia and China, and even–also coincidentally–as Duterte was on a state visit to Russia, no less! A lot of coincidences there for a coincidence theorist, but if you are among those who still retain normal cognitive abilities, it would appear that the US has launched a regime change operation in the Philippines.

Coincidentally, the mainstream media have been attacking Duterte for his anti-drug campaign, and coincidentally also NGOs like Human Rights Watch have been chiming in, and coincidentally as well, the attack comes mere days after Duterte gave this interview with RT:

The US needs to quit trying to boss the rest of the world around, and above all else it needs to get out of the regime-change business. The National Endowment for Democracy should be de-funded and dismantled. But I don’t see any of this happening until some sort of radical change takes place in the United States–and it doesn’t look like we can expect any radical changes coming out of the Trump administration.

Not-so-coincidentally, the terrorists have reportedly taken a priest and several parishioners hostage. Father Chito Suganob and others were in the Cathedral of Our Lady Help of Christians when members of the Maute fighting group forced their way into the Cathedral, taking with them Father Chito and others as hostages,” a statement on the official website of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of the Philippines said.

Undated photo of Catholic Church in the city of Marawi, Mindanao Island, in the Philippines.

According to a report here:

Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña said he received a call last night from one of the militants, who introduced himself as “a member of the ISIS”, and demanded for a “unilateral ceasefire”.

“They want a ceasefire and for the military to give them access out of Marawi. Otherwise, they will kill the hostages,” Marawi Bishop Edwin de la Peña said.

The prelate said the call was made shortly before 8pm on Tuesday using the phone of his secretary who is among the hostages.

Members of the Maute group forced their way into the church and the bishop’s residence yesterday, and took with them Fr. Chito Suganob, some staff of the cathedral and churchgoers.

Dela Peña said the hostages are being used as “human shield” by the militants.

Odd isn’t it–that the US, which once held at least the trappings of being a Christian nation, now supports terrorists who attack Christians.

While the fate of the Christians is unknown, RT is reporting that government troops have rescued 78 hostages from a hospital in Marawi, as well as 42 others from a school:

Government forces managed to rescue 78 civilians from the Amai Pakpak Medical Center where the terrorists tried to use them as human shields as the army moved in, Western Mindanao Command chief, Lt. Gen. Carlito Galvez Jr., said according to the PhilStar daily.

The troops also secured 42 teachers who had taken refuge and got trapped at Dansalan College after the city was engulfed in violence.

In a report published today, the New York Times calls the battle on the southern island a “test for Duterte.” Not surprisingly, the article includes a quote from Human Rights Watch:

Mr. Duterte’s “casual reference to the late dictator should be especially alarming,” said James Ross of Human Rights Watch, which is based in New York.

And it also gives publicity to opposition politicians:

Already, several lawmakers have voiced concern, with the opposition leader Francis Pangilinan vowing to “vigorously oppose a nationwide martial law declaration.”

“While there may be isolated terrorist acts in these areas, there exists no Visayas-wide nor a Luzon-wide invasion or rebellion to merit a declaration of martial law,” Mr. Pangilinan said, referring to the president’s threat to expand military rule to the central and northern islands to cover the entire country.

It is a familiar playbook, and it seems to be in play now in the Philippines.

Trump Meets the New Leader of the Secular World, Pope Francis

Photo by thierry ehrmann | CC BY 2.0

After two days lecturing a collection of head-choppers, dictators, torturers and land thieves, Donald Trump at last met a good guy on Wednesday. Pope Francis didn’t ask for a $100bn (£77.2bn) arms deal for the Vatican. He wouldn’t go to war with Iran. He didn’t take the Sunni Muslim side against the Shia Muslim side in the next Middle East conflict. He didn’t talk about Palestinian “terror”. And he looked, most of the time, grim, unsmiling, even suspicious.

So he should have been. Trump’s broad, inane smile on confronting the Holy Father might have been more appropriate for the first of the Borgias, Alexander VI, whose 15th century womanising, corruption and enthusiasm for war would match Trump’s curriculum vitae rather well. But the poor man’s pope, who last year suggested that Trump wasn’t much of a Christian because he wanted to build walls, didn’t seem to be very happy to see the man who called him “disgraceful” for questioning his faith. “One offers peace through dialogue, the other security of arms,” one of Francis’ advisers said of the visit. Which pretty much sums it up.

It was indeed an odd sight to see the head of the Catholic church – whose anti-war, anti-corruption, anti-violence and pro-environment beliefs must surely now represent the secular world – greeting the present if very temporary leader of the secular world, whose policies are most surely not those of the Western people he would claim to represent. For more and more, the Good Old Pope is coming to represent what the Trumps and Mays will not say: that the West has a moral duty to end its wars in the Middle East, to stop selling weapons to the killers of the Middle East and to treat the people of the Middle East with justice and dignity.

No wonder the 29 minutes which the insane president and the sane pope spent together – Francis himself suggesting that they both keep away from the microphones – remain secret. Until, I suppose, Trump starts twittering again. They supposedly chatted about climate change, immigration, even arms sales. O fly upon the wall, speak up. And they talked, we are told, about “interreligious dialogue” and the need to protect Christians in the Middle East. They shared, we were finally informed, “a commitment to life, and freedom of speech and conscience” – which is more than most of Trump’s other hosts would have approved of these past two days.

Trump duly handed over a bunch of books by Martin Luther King which he hoped Pope Francis would enjoy – whether he had read them himself remains a mystery – and the Pope gave Trump some of his own writings on the environment. “Well, I’ll be reading them,” said the US President. A likely story.

When the Pope emerged from his private meeting with Trump, he was smiling in a relieved, almost charming way – like a man who had just left the dentist’s chair – and his joke with the veiled Melania about Croatian cookies, if not quite understood, showed that even a distressed pontiff can retain a sense of humor amid spiritual darkness. Trump thought it all “a great honor”. Not for the Pope, one imagines.

And there was the inevitable send-off from Trump, the kind he probably gave to all the greedy kings and criminals of the Middle East. “I won’t forget what you said,” he told Pope Francis as he left. O but he will, reader, he will.

Robert Fisk writes for the Independent, where this column originally appeared. 

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Iran: Socialism’s ignored success story

May 23, 2017

by Ramin MazaheriIran: Socialism’s ignored success story

Iran just completed their presidential election, but this article will not discuss the candidates, the result or the political consequences.

I work for Iran’s Press TV, which essentially makes me a civil servant, and I think it is correct for me to not reveal who I voted for in order to preserve my independence within the government. I’m quite happy to work for “the people” instead of “a person” – as in private media – and I will support which ever candidate the people choose.

Why will I support Iran’s government, whoever is in charge? Truly, it is not for my paycheck.

I support Iran because I support socialism where ever I can find it, and Iran has socialism in abundance.

Iranian Socialism has been so successful at redistributing wealth to the average person; has safeguarded the nation’s security despite being ringed by US military bases and repeated threats; has grown the economy despite an international blockade; has produced a foreign policy motivated on political principles; and has fought against the divisive identity politics which undermine human solidarity.

I have actually seen Iran over the decades, unlike 99% of the journalists who claim to understand Iran, so you can’t dissuade me.

And I’m not even going to try to persuade you. This is not that article, either.

This article is to lay out for left-wing readers and supporters of socialism what should be crystal clear: Iran is a socialist nation. Even more than that: Iran is a socialist success story.

Iran, like all nations, has had its unique developmental history; of course we have been reading Marx just as long as anyone else, as well.

But the most convincing and simplest way I can put it to non-Iranians is this: Europe came to socialism through industrialization, theory and war, but Iran came to socialism through its religious and moral beliefs. The ends are the same, and that is all that should matter to anyone who is truly trying to promote socialism for the benefits it brings to the average person.

The problem is not us, it is you

I repeat: The problem is not us, it is you…when it comes to looking at Iran’s contributions to socialism.

I believe that around 99% of Westerners have no idea at all what Iran is really like. Unfortunately, this total ignorance about Iran and the Muslim world is the historical norm in the West.

The greatest contribution of Middle East scholar Edward Said was that his book, “Orientalism”, definitively proved through historical scholarship that the West has never, ever, ever been favorable towards the Muslim world.

Not in the 8th century, when Muslims were occupiers of the Iberian Peninsula, not in the following centuries when Islam was an ideological competitor to Christianity; not in the 15th century, when the Ottoman Empire occupied the Balkans; not in the 19th century, when the Europeans occupied the Middle East & North Africa; not in 1916, when they redrew the borders for the West’s benefit; not in 1945, when they bombed countries like Syria which had fought on their side against the Germans and the Italians; not in the 1960s, when their reaction to independence was neo-colonialism; not in 1979, when they created the forerunner of the Taliban; not during 2 wars in Iraq, a war in Syria today, etc. Said’s point was: Never has the West viewed or treated the Muslim world as equals, much less intellectual equals.

Given this history, why should us Iranians expect the reality of our high-achieving modernity to be accepted and admired?

LOL, believe me, I am over it! I write this to enlighten you, not me! I humbly hope that it works.

I will address the elephant in the room, and quickly: Yes, I assume that a large part of this prejudice is religious. Some Christians cannot accept that Islam promotes the most recent prophet of the monotheism which they both share.

Such religious prejudices are not my problem, and they do not blind my analysis of 2017 Iran.

No socialist believes in a “clash of civilizations” or “religious war”, anyway.

My point is not to criticize Europe for a lack of brotherhood with their fellow Abrahamic religion: My point is to criticize them in 2017 because most Westerners believe that that even the most leftist Iranian cannot even qualify as merely a “conservative social democrat”!

Can there never be a Muslim “democrat” or an Iranian “republican”?

The proof of this bias is the decades of Western support for the oppression of the Muslim Brotherhood, the Iranian Revolution and any Muslim attempt to allow their religion into their politics. This is even though Christian Democratic parties governed Europe for decades after WWII, and it is absurd to think that the Christian dogma is not upheld and promoted in European politics today.

So, if Iranians cannot even be allowed to fulfill 19th century notions, why would the West accept that 2017 Iran can be even more truly leftist than the merely centrist ideology of European social democracy?

Of course, the average European cannot accept this, and this is why Western Socialists are aghast at my idea that Iran is an “ignored Socialist success story”.

The radical left of European Socialism, which seeks to destroy organized religion, is especially aghast, but they are a tiny minority and on the way out, thankfully. They do not realize that they have already been drastically tempered, if not ousted, in the still-Socialist countries they purportedly admire: Cuba is full of Santeria and Pope pictures, yin-yangy Confucianism is being promoted in China, etc.

But these Western radicals are a minority who simply cannot accept that spirituality cannot be rubbed out, largely because they see it as a choice or a social conditioning instead of a part of many people’s intrinsic nature (if not theirs). A modern Socialist must accept that this fight has already been fought and decided. The capitalists certainly advance as we chase our tails….

Even if leftist detractors can get past religion, they immediately will talk about Iran’s human rights faults.

I respond: Yawn yawn yawn African-Americans fill US jails; Muslims fill France’s jails; this is the centenary of the British-orchestrated Persian Famine, which killed 8-10 million people and actually made Iran the biggest victim of WWI, that is just one Western/capitalist inspired famine/death/human rights violation yawn yawn yawn.

I am not here to say Iran is perfect – only God can be – I am saying that Iran is absolutely no worse than the West. It is an undeniable fact that the current Islamic Republic of Iran has far less blood on its hands than most – and Iran has not invaded a country in 300 years!

Religion, human rights – these are all classic diversions from the facts presented against socialist societies, and Iran certainly is one.

Iran checks all the boxes as a Socialist nation, and as Revolutionary Socialists

What are the key components of socialism? Let’s clarify our terms.

The first is leadership by an avant-garde party committed to defending the revolution: Iran certainly has this, and it crosses over Principlist/Reformist party lines.

The second is central planning of the economy: Whoever had won, they would be largely implementing the 6th Five-year plan (2016-2021). And there is also the “Resistance Economy” approach promoted by many, which is certainly anti-globalization.

The third is control over the media: This is mixed – I would say Iran does not really have this in the traditionally Socialist sense. Cuba has no private media, for example, while Iran has dozens of private newspapers and innumerable TV satellites. But Iran does have limitations, so let’s check this box.

The fourth is support for foreign liberation movements: When the history of Palestinian liberation is finally written, just as a now-free South Africa thanks Cuba for sending troops to Angola, will not Palestinians do the same for Iran’s decades of support? The same with Lebanon and now Syria, correct?

The fifth is democratically devolving as much democracy as possible in order to empower the average person: There is no doubt that Iran is the most vibrant democracy in the Middle East, and by a huge margin. The difference between Iran’s social-democratic procedures and guarantees in 2017 when compared with 1978 is obviously laughable. I write this from Paris, a nation in an 18-month state of emergency with no end in sight….

If your country has these five crucial components: Congratulations! You are in a socialist country!

A little bit more on each for the naysayers….

An Avant-Garde Party:

Iran is a one-party system – that party defends the 1979 Revolution. China is a one-party system – promoting Chinese communism. Many would say that the US is a one-party system – promoting imperialist capitalism.

The difference between Iran & China and the US is that in the former their one-party systems are formalized, explicit and well-known; in the US it is informal, but just as strong, and maybe even stronger.

I don’t think this needs much further explanation but, for example, you cannot propose to end the Iranian Revolution and run for office. In France a presidential candidate in their recent election (Jean-Luc Melenchon) won 20% of the first-round vote by proposing to abolish France’s current 5th Republic.

Like all socialist countries, Iran is criticized for not having democracy but they do: it is simply within their own particular structure. Just as in the USSR, there was lively debate about how to advance their own system – should we following the right-wing model of socialism of Bukharin/Khrushchev or the left-wing model socialism of Lenin/Trotsky? – but there was no debate about deviating from their chosen national system, i.e. communism. When they did allow such debates under Gorbachev, Soviet Socialism was almost immediately subverted by capitalist reactionaries and consigned to oblivion.

Again, please examine the repression of communism in the US, South Korea, Greece, Italy, Chile, etc. for historical examples of capitalist “one-party systems”, which are definitely NOT avant-garde and promoting socialism….

The idea that Iran has no avant-garde party but is some sort of totalitarian structure governed by the Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei is only expressed by those who are supremely ignorant about Iran. For the second presidential election in a row Hassan Rouhani won despite not seeming to be Khamenei’s preferred candidate, after all.

Central Planning of the Economy:

I think I can illustrate Iran’s state of economic socialism with this anecdote: Back in 2013 all 8 presidential candidates were pushing for more privatization…not to promote capitalism, but because everything has already been nationalized for so long, LOL!

So Iran has already done the nationalizing, and maybe they need to do more? However, socialist countries have increasingly agreed that some revenue-producing businesses are needed to meet some of the basic needs of their people: North Korea has the Kaesong Industrial area, Cuba’s Port Mariel is giving some space to completely foreign-owned businesses, Vietnam and China have plenty of state-run capitalist enterprises, etc. The reality is that even producing things as simple as soap need some expertise, and very often only capitalist corporations can have that expertise.

That’s why the Iranian government went on a spending spree in 2016, but it was decidedly not your typical capitalism. (I do not want to appear to credit only the Rouhani administration because economic policy is produced by the entire government in 5-year development plans, as already noted.)

Iran was feted like a king in places like France and Italy because they were prepared to spend dozens of billions of euros. But what pleased me was how Iran spent: They demanded equal partnerships, joint ventures and technology transfers.

These are the ways in which foreign investment can be mutually beneficial and not exploitative – this was good for France too. I am not a dogmatic person who is absolutely against all capitalism, but I am against all exploitative capitalism.

My point is: It was a socialist spending spree, not a capitalist one. Iran did not just give money away; they did not waste money on vanity projects; this was not one billionaire dealing with another for their own benefit; they invested in Iran via long-term central planning, i.e. the socialist view of economic management.

This is not like France’s ruling “Socialist Party” recently selling off national industrial jewel Alstom to the United States’ General Electric: The French people got nothing for that. That was capitalism; that was globalization

Iran is not in favor of globalization – they are not even a member of the World Trade Organization, unlike 164 other countries. Some will say this is solely due to the opposition of the United States, but it is not: As many in Iran said during the election: membership in the WTO is against Iran’s principles…and these are socialist principles regarding the economy – there is nothing about the WTO in the Koran.

Control over the Media:

It’s true you can’t have Charlie Hebdo in Iran – hardly a major loss –but Iran is certainly no Cuba.

Iran’s refusal to crack down on TV satellites which permit reactionary, anti-revolutionary channels like BBC Persian and VOA Persian (UK and US government-funded respectively) appears to be a dangerous fire which Havana will not tolerate. This tolerance does give Iran “human rights” credibility with the West – well it doesn’t, but it should!

I would suggest that Iran is simply confident that foreign propaganda cannot overwhelm the obvious successes of the 1979 Revolution. I imagine that Cuba feels that they cannot take chances, being just 100 kilometers from the USA.

Of course, Cubans simply laugh at Western propaganda channels like the US government’s pathetic Radio Marti. Cubans are supremely intelligent politically and, after all, their education programs are decades older than Iran’s.

Iran, like Cuba and China, bans pornography. I note that such respect for sexuality and for women is a very basic tenet of Socialism. If your utopia includes unfettered access to porn I suggest that you are a libertarian, and not a socialist.

I remind again that the media glasnost implemented by Gorbachev was a major driver in the catastrophic implosion of the Russian Revolution. To privatize media means, necessarily, that you are giving those few people rich enough to actually start newspapers the chance to promote their obviously capitalist worldviews.

I, for one, am not about to cry over the lack of published capitalist, imperialist, sexist, racist, regressive anti-revolutionary nonsense, and neither are most Iranians. As sad as the Dutch may be about it – Iran is not Amsterdam!

Support of foreign liberation movements:

Some will say that Palestine is just a “distraction” from Iran’s own problems. Nonsense – this is a point of pride to all Iranians. This is a point of admiration for Iran from the entire Muslim world, just as it is a negative point for much of the Western world.

This is another way Iran is revolutionary Socialist country: they support oppressed countries on the basis of ideology. Perhaps Iran is not the “Mecca of Revolutionaries” which Algeria was in the 1960s, but let’s agree that the rate and scope of revolutionary movements worldwide are at a much lower level today, sadly.

Russia may support Syria, for example, but it appears more for Moscow’s self-interest and the idea of national sovereignty – which is the idea of national self-interest – rather than a moral-based ideology.

Call Iran the same as Russia – no insult there – but you cannot deny that Iran supports Palestine for reasons which are clearly to the detriment of their own success, i.e., they do it out of solidarity and morality. Were Iran to recognize Israel they would surely have the international dogs called off them…but Iran is a revolutionary Socialist society, as you are hopefully agreeing with by now.

Iran is also an anti-racist society, like all modern socialist societies.

They constitutionally protect minorities, with parliamentary seats for Armenians, Assyrians, Christians and Jews, despite their small numbers. Iran may not promote them, but their tolerance of local languages like Azeri and Kurdish far exceeds that of many minorities in Western Europe. Iran accommodates the 5th-largest number of refugees in the world, while French authorities put up gates and even ‘’anti-migrant boulders’’ to deny refugees even the barest shelter.

When it comes to religion they are extremely tolerant of ancient Iranian Zoroastrianism and all of the pre-Prophet Muhammad Abrahamic religions. Any religion after Prophet Muhammad? Well…it is an “Islamic” Revolution, after all.

This is perhaps a pedantic point but an important one on a verbal, Foucauldian level: Has there been any “revolution” in the world since WWI which was not “socialist”? I can’t think of any, because without a socialism component it cannot be a revolution – it can only be a continuation of the capitalist/feudalist/bourgeois status quo, or a military coup.

Empowering people:

The two fundamental tenets of socialism are redistribution of wealth and empowering the average person so that they can reach their full potential. Dismantling the social roadblocks thrown up by capitalism against the non-wealthy has clearly been a major goal of the Islamic Revolution, and I can quite easily prove it has been achieved with a tremendous amount of real-world success.

Since 1990 – when the West’s attack dog of Iraq was beaten off – no country’s Human Development Index has improved more than Iran’s, with the lone exception of South Korea.

Everyone should take notice, especially Socialists, as it is we anti-capitalists who prize human development – not economic development – above all.

That’s why I’m going to leave the Human Development Index as the only proof of success. For me, I have so many other econometrics, anecdotes and personal reflections to prove that Iran has succeeded in creating a new, better, modern society that to do so is quite boring.

Bottom line: It is obvious that I do not have to make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear. Despite the tremendous amount of opposition, violence and propaganda, Iran has advanced the most in the past 3+ decades.

I say “the most” because, unlike South Korea, Iran has done this without 30,000 US troops currently on its soil; it was not preceded by decades of brutal dictatorship which slaughtered hundreds of thousands of people (mainly leftists); and they did not collaborate with the Americans in the division of their nation which currently causes the greatest possibility of thermonuclear war.

Iran didn’t get to #1 as many others did: by capitalism and imperialism.

Iran’s recent election had a 73% voter turnout rate, ranking it #12 in the world. Unlike many of these other 11 countries, Iran does not compel citizens to vote. There is obviously tremendous support for the Iranian system from the Iranian people because…they are not blind to success, I would say!

The hardest thing to get people to do when it comes to socialism (or Iran) is to think realistically: Nobody can achieve “perfect” socialism. No country has 100% voter turnout. No country has zero human rights violations.

But for Iran you have add on another layer of misconception: Many of the “restrictions” in Iranian society predate 1979 by centuries: women were largely wearing the hejab before then; unmarried people, especially young women, also lived at home before 1979; alcohol could send you to prison then and now.

My point is: Iran is a culturally conservative nation, and it was like that long, long before 1979. You will have to simply trust me that Iranians don’t need a government to make them want to live in a society which appears conservative to modern Western standards.

Again, Iran is not Amsterdam, LOL! Maybe you can talk about the royal court in Shiraz in the 14thcentury as being a hotbed of drunken poetic reveling, but this is does not reflect the reality of life for the average person.

Only an Iranian will agree quickly with this statement and move on: Take away the 1979 Revolution and you would still have many of the same rules in place – they would just be enforced informally.

I will, lastly, put it this way: Take away the mullahs, and you still have to deal with my grandmother!!!!!

But to believe that the government has not empowered people since 1979…well, back then the average woman had 7 children, was illiterate 70% of the time, and the UN was not calling its health care system “excellent”.

Today, the birthrate is 1.7 children per woman, the overall literacy rate is 93% and the right-wing Washington DC-based think-tank the Brookings Institution runs dumbfounded articles with headlines like “Are Iranian Women Overeducated?”.

All in 30+ years…and have you thought it was capitalism that did it?!

Socialists who ignore Iran are not really Socialists at all

Do you still want to think that Iran is a country solely motivated by religious radicalism and not the ideals of socialism? Well, then I place you on the right and the left, and that is the point of this article.

It is bad enough that the right (capitalists, imperialists) not only co-opt Socialist ideas as their own (social security, Medicare, Medicaid, affirmative action programs, welfare, free schooling, free nurseries, etc.), but it is laughable when the left refuses to see the leftism in Iran because it does not fit with their preconceived, totally inflexible notions.

Any true Socialist/Communist should realize that attacking Iran is doing a capitalist’s job for them.

And how can someone who proclaims to be a “leftist” have the exact same interpretation of Iran as a right-wing capitalist does?

Again, it is simply laughable that Iran is “not” what it really is.

But this is what always happens: Chinese communism “is not really communism”…despite having 1-party rule, a state-run economy, control over the media, support for Vietnam and North Korea, and the 2nd highest HDI improvement from 1970-2010.

North Korean communism is just a “cult of personality”…despite expelling the Japanese, resisting the Americans, maintaining their independence, security and high-level of education. Cuba is just the Castro dictatorship and, again, not communism.

This is all anti-socialist propaganda – for capitalism there can never be ANY “Socialist success story”.

You remain adamant that you do not want to implement all the principles of the Iranian Islamic Revolution in your country?

Fine, it is your country to decide for as you like. Like I wrote, no worries – Iran hasn’t invaded in 300 years and it sure seems like our military is necessarily focused on defense.

But just because you disagree with some aspects of the 1979 Revolution I encourage you not to throw the baby out with the bath water. I remind you that I needed only one fact to prove that Iran has been improving at a rate which is essentially the best in the world over the last 3 decades – how far below Iran does your country rank, hmm?

I write this article because practically no media in the English language will ever pursue the links between Iran and socialism. We leftists know this not just anti-Iran bias, but a much larger anti-Socialist bias.

However, it is truly suicidal to ignore the left-wing successes in Iran because, even if you reject some of them, Iran has clearly found MANY modern solutions to our MANY modern problems: surely some of them can be of use to you, right? Is Iran ALL wrong?

Of course not – only Satan can be all wrong.

Therefore, I advise those fighting against capitalism and imperialism: Please afford Iran a bit more respect and interest than you would afford Satan!

And now I take our victory lap

I can only laugh at those who say Iran’s revolution has failed!

“Oh really? Who was the puppet that was installed? Who was the king that was restored? What is the name of the popular democratic revolution which replaced the peoples’ one of 1979, because I have not heard of it and I still see many familiar faces from 1979?”

The revolution has succeeded, and I am not sorry to say so.

Not that I care about your opinion – this is for YOUR own benefit: YOU will not win socialism, anti-capitalism or anti-imperialism in your country if you cannot learn from the successes of others.

But sadly, your inability to recognize socialism in Iran imperils all of us, because the people worldwide cannot win in the long term if even like-minded leftists cannot stick together to work against fascism, capitalism and racism.

But Iran, Cuba, China, etc. – we can win enough of these things for ourselves, at least.

We are doing just fine – steady as she goes, eh? All thanks to central planning, as the capitalists veer from crisis to crisis, with the 1% sucking up a greater percentage every time. Our election had huge participation rates, as usual, dwarfing the European cultures who probably want to claim they invented voting, along with everything else. Asia has heard it all before….

For the non-Western readers: I know that the vast majority of you already support Iran. I have talked with too many of you over my life – I know better. I also know that for us “field slaves” we have to give that impression in order to survive, sometimes, or at least to avoid annoyances.

Anyway, many Westerners appear to misunderstand Socialism completely: they don’t realize it is intrinsically a global idea; they think the Franco-German-Russian (European) variety is the only one. More Eurocentrism blinding them to reality, and necessarily limiting them….

But I look across the West and I see nothing but leftist failure after leftist failure: The fall of communism in Russia, the breakup of Yugoslavia, the obvious absorption of “left” parties into the dominant right-wing parties, the rise of austerity, the advance of globalization at the expense of national interests….

So the next time you look at Iran, you should applaud it as a rare socialist success. Iranians will certainly keep living their path of creating modern socialism, Inshallah.

Ramin Mazaheri is the chief correspondent in Paris for Press TV and has lived in France since 2009. He has been a daily newspaper reporter in the US, and has reported from Iran, Cuba, Egypt, Tunisia, South Korea and elsewhere. His work has appeared in various journals, magazines and websites, as well as on radio and television.

Ave Maria

The music is by Franz Schubert, sung by Dolores O’Riordan, while the images are from the film The Passion of the Christ.

Ave Maria, gratia plena,
Maria, gratia plena
Maria, gratia plena
Ave Ave Dominus
Dominus tecum,
Benedicta tu in mulieribus,
et benedictus
et benedictus fructus ventris
ventris tui, Iesus.
Ave Maria.
Ave Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Maria, full of thanksgiving
Ave Ave God
Your God
Be blessed among the women
And blessed
And blessed be the product of your womb
Your womb, Jesus.
Ave Maria.

The Passion of the Christ came out in 2004 and was immediately labeled as “anti-Semitic” by its detractors. Though it never won an Academy Award, it holds the all time box office record for an R-rated film, having grossed $370,782,930 in the US and a whopping $611,899,420 worldwide. To the surprise of many, it became a major hit among audiences in the Arab world:

Mel Gibson’s controversial movie “The Passion of the Christ,” is breaking box office records across the Middle East. With the approach of Easter, Arab Christians identify primarily with the religious message. But it’s the film’s popularity among Muslims – even though it flouts Islamic taboos – that’s turning it into a phenomenon.

Islam forbids the depiction of a prophet, and Koranic verses deny the crucifixion ever occurred. For those reasons, the film is banned in Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and Bahrain. It’s also banned in Israel – but for other reasons.

“Banned in Israel–but for other reasons.” The above is from an article about The Passion that was published in the Christian Science Monitor on April 9, 2004. You’ll notice that the countries which banned the film–Israel, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait and Bahrain–are today all allied with each other in the support of terrorists in Syria…where the film was not banned.

But to get back to the Christian Science Monitor piece. The article includes a quote from an Israeli Jew, who damns the film as anti-Semitic “both in intent and effect.”

“I have no doubt that the film is anti-Semitic both in intent and effect, but I’m very wary of some Jewish organizations’ reactions to it,” said Yossi Klein Halevi, who is identified as being affiliated with the Shalem Center in Jerusalem.

“It needs to be more nuanced,” Halevi complained. “When an evangelical in Colorado Springs sees it, he doesn’t see anti-Semitism. But when Yasser Arafat sees it and calls it an important historic event, he’s responding to that anti-Semitism. And the fact that it’s becoming a major hit in the Arab world, that has consequences… ‘The Passion’ is where Mel Gibson and Yasser Arafat meet, and it isn’t bound by a love of Jesus.”

As alluded to in Halevi’s quote, The Passion was commented upon by former Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat, who is said to have attended a screening of the film along with Christian leaders. After the screening, an aide to Arafat remarked, “The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.”

Here again, the passage of history is deeply significant. In October of 2004, Arafat came down with a severe illness, and on November 11 he died at a hospital in Paris. There was suspicion the death was not due to natural causes, but it wasn’t until 2013 that a team of Swiss scientists released the results of a months-long investigation showing Arafat most likely had died of polonium poisoning. Many today speculate that Israel was behind the assassination.

Ariel Sharon, who himself came to a bad end, was the leader of Israel at the time Arafat was poisoned. The former Israeli prime minister suffered from obesity and weighed 254 pounds, and on January 4, 2006, he was overcome by a hemorrhagic stroke. The last eight years of his life were spent in a coma.

“The Palestinians are still daily being exposed to the kind of pain Jesus was exposed to during his crucifixion.” When we recall what the people of Gaza in particularly have endured over the years, the analogy has validity. While I am not comparing Yasser Arafat to Jesus, the latter’s words from the Gospel of John, chapter 15, are worth recalling:

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father.  You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.

Jesus was sent by God to teach humanity how to live in peace. He was born among the Jews not because Jews are “chosen” by God, but because Jews especially were in need of hearing this message. Jesus was the long-awaited Jewish messiah, but because he preached a message of peace rather than war and conquest, the Jews rejected him. Here are the words of Mary in the first chapter of Luke–a passage that is often referred to as the “song of Mary.”

My soul magnifies the Lord,
and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,
for he has looked with favor on the lowliness of his servant.
Surely, from now on all generations will call me blessed;
for the Mighty One has done great things for me,
and holy is his name.
His mercy is for those who fear him
from generation to generation.
He has shown strength with his arm;
he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the powerful from their thrones,
and lifted up the lowly;
he has filled the hungry with good things,
and sent the rich away empty.
He has helped his servant Israel,
in remembrance of his mercy,
according to the promise he made to our ancestors,
to Abraham and to his descendants forever.

Ave Maria, gratia. And if you think about it, you’ll notice another deeply significant sequence of events. Mary’s words that God “helped his servant Israel,” is of course an allusion to the Old Testament narrative. But then came the birth of Jesus; his rejection and the calls for his crucifixion in 30 A.D.; followed by a stupendously stunning Jewish downfall just 40 years later–in 70 A.D.–when the Romans sacked Jerusalem and destroyed the temple. One wonders if a somewhat similar type downfall may await the modern Jewish state.

My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my Savior. Here is another rendition of Ave Maria sung by Dolores O’Riordan, this time accompanied by Luciano Pavarotti:

Ave Maria, gratia. Gratia.

If the international community is willing, Hamas’ declaration can mark a turning point

If the international community is willing, Hamas’ declaration can mark a turning point

The movement’s document could mark a step towards a lasting solution for the Israeli-Palestinian conflict – but will the message be heard?

 

Three years ago, I wrote an opinion piece for The Guardian in which I sought to correct the inaccurate, though prevalent, perception of Hamas as a movement whose resistance against Israel is driven by religion, in general, and a hatred of Judaism, in particular.

There has been an active unwillingness to hear the repeated efforts of senior members of Hamas to clarify the movement’s position towards Israel and the conflict

“Hamas draws inspiration from faith; yet religion has little to do with our struggle,” I wrote at the time. I attempted to explain the journey and evolution that Hamas has undergone since its foundation it the 1980s.

Unfortunately, to date there is little evidence that this message has yet been universally understood amongst the international community. Rather, it seems that at times there has been an active unwillingness, and especially amongst Western societies, to hear the repeated efforts of senior members of Hamas to clarify the movement’s position regarding Israel and the conflict.

Despite this failure to acknowledge earlier efforts to explain its motives, Hamas has released a document this week attempting again to convey the movement’s current thinking on several key issues.

A struggle against occupation

The document makes it clear that Hamas differentiates between Judaism, a religion towards which there is no hostility and whose adherents should be respected, and the current occupation of Palestinian land by Israel – against which there is a legal and moral right to resist.

Put simply, the struggle is not against Jews but against the occupation and Israeli rogue state, whose government persistently pursues policies aimed at humiliating and depriving the Palestinians of their basic rights of independence and self governance.

Although the Palestinian people can never be forced to give up the dream of returning to their ancestral homelands, this new document reflects political realities that we face in the present day.

In line with the position of other Palestinian national movements, Hamas has expressed a willingness to accept a Palestinian state along 1967 borders, provided that the Palestinian people are free to live in dignity, security and with recognition of their right to sovereignty, self-determination and complete independence of Israel.

Years of debate

Some may be sceptical of these claims, arguing that it is at best a tactical shift that masks the “real” nature of Hamas which is best reflected in the Charter of 1988. But such arguments are fundamentally flawed.

Hamas’ declaration is all the more remarkable when the devastation and loss of thousands of Palestinians in the three wars since 2008 is taken into account

As I have written previously, the 1988 charter was a product of the circumstances that prevailed at the time and should be understood as an expression of the deep anger, frustration and hopelessness that stems from the continued illegal occupation that laid at the heart of the first Intifada.

In contrast, this new document is the product of years of thinking and debate, among both Hamas’ leadership and the rank and file of the movement. Indeed, it would have been impossible for the leadership to make such a public declaration without broad acceptance or it would have risked alienating its own base.

Hamas’ declaration is all the more remarkable when the devastation and loss of thousands of Palestinians in the three wars since 2008, along with the daily costs of the siege of Gaza, is taken into account. That Hamas is still pressing ahead with this decision despite this recent history is a reflection of the deep commitment to the values and principles contained within the document.

In April 2017, Palestinian children play among the ruins of a building in Gaza City destroyed during the 50-day war between Israel and Hamas in the summer of 2014 (AFP)

Accordingly, I believe that this new document represents a historic opportunity. If the international community is willing to hear its message, it could mark the beginning of a new conversation with Hamas. This could lead to a genuine exchange and dialogue that creates understanding. Such a conversation marks an essential first step in the journey towards a lasting peaceful solution to the conflict.

If, on the other hand, this gesture is rejected like previous ones, and people continue to wrongly associate Hamas with an extremism that seeks regional domination and the destruction of those who do not share our Islamic beliefs, it can only undermine the efforts of the movement to engage in a meaningful dialogue and risk the continuation of the conflict that has marred life in the region for far too long.

– Dr Ahmed Yousef is a senior political adviser to former Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, former deputy of the Palestinian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, and the head of the House of Wisdom Institute.

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Eye.

Imran Hosein: Meeting with the Saker in beautiful Tobago by Imran N. Hosein

Meeting with the Saker in beautiful Tobago

by Imran N. Hosein

www.imranhosein.org
inhosein@hotmail.com

I have just spent 10 exciting days with my Russian friend, ‘The Saker’, in the enchantingly beautiful Caribbean island of Tobago. I was born in the island of Trinidad where I now live, and Tobago is located just next to Trinidad in the South Caribbean Sea close to Venezuela:

http://www.nationsonline.org/oneworld/map/central_america_map2.htm

This was the first time that I ever met with ‘Saker’, and I am happy to report that I succeeded in persuading him to come out in the open with his true identity, while putting his trust in the One God. As a consequence, his identity is now public. He is Andrei Raevsky, but he will continue to use his nom de plume of Saker. If you visit his website: http://thesaker.is/sakers-open-letter-to-the-saker-community/you will even see his photograph. Those who are not familiar with him will get to know him if they visit his website.

I also got him to agree to record a joint video with me in which I interviewed him for half of an hour, so viewers will soon be able to see us together in that interview in Tobago. It will be placed on my website at www.imranhosein.org as well as my You-tube Channel at https://www.youtube.com/user/SheikhImranHosein

We were joined in Tobago by my Serbian friend, the US-trained Attorney, Stefan Karganovic, and by his friend, a Serbian Neurosurgeon. I got to know Stefan a few years ago through the Saker, and we corresponded with each other by email before I travelled to Belgrade in 2015 to meet with him and so many others in what must be recorded as a blessed visit to that historic city. It was a dream come true for me to welcome my friend Stefan to beautiful Tobago.

Stefan has just completed the Serbian/Bosnian translation of my book on ‘Methodology for Study of the Qur’an’, and Prof Branko Rakic of the Faculty of Law of the University of Belgrade has written a long Foreword for the book. It will soon be published in a new edition with Prof Branko Rakic’s Foreword Insha Allah.

Both Saker’s wife, Ana, and my wife, Aisha, were also with us in Tobago.

I took them for an all-day tour all around the island of Tobago – driving from one end of the island to the other, while passing through Roxborough and Speyside where we stopped for lunch at a beachside restaurant with an absolutely stunning view of the Speyside Bay, until we reached the town of Charlottesville located at the other end of the island. Here are some pictures of Speyside Bay and Charlotteville:

https://www.google.tt/search?q=parlatuvier+bay+pictures+tobago&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwji4_zCgozTAhUESiYKHSBTDQgQ7AkIJA&biw=1163&bih=545&dpr=1.65#tbm=isch&q=speyside++bay+pictures+tobago&*

https://www.tripadvisor.com/LocationPhotos-g1463485-Charlotteville_Tobago_Trinidad_and_Tobago.html

We then drove through the rain-forest from the eastern side of the island across to the western side, got stuck in soft mud at the side of the road, and eventually found a rest-shed where we could enjoy our desert – which, inevitably, was pineapple.

Perhaps the most beautiful sight of all was when we looked down at the Parlatuvier Bay (otherwise known as Englishman’s Bay) from high up a hill. My guests were all absolutely amazed by the stunning natural beauty of Parlatuvier Bay. Here are some pictures of the Bay

We also made the trip by boat to Tobago’s Nylon Pool as well as to the archipelago known as No Man’s Land.

https://www.google.tt/search?q=tobagos+nylon+pool+pics&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjBwfW0hozTAhUGKCYKHYMbCd4Q7AkINA&biw=1163&bih=545

https://www.google.tt/search?q=tobago+no+man%27s+land+archipelago+pics&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjA96HehozTAhXqr1QKHXd9B3EQ7AkIMg&biw=1163&bih=545

Captain Phillips, who piloted our boat, assured my guests that whoever took a bath in the Nylon Pool would emerge looking ten years younger. Not only did they all look ten years younger at the end of their visit to Tobago, but Stefan eventually looked quite red. He spent endless hours enjoying himself swimming in the blue/green Caribbean Sea. I do not know why the native people who lived in what is now known as America, were called ‘Red’ Indians, but I am satisfied that Stefan should enter history as the first ever ‘Red’ Serbian who was authentically ‘red’.

Since it was the Christian time of Lent, when Christians have certain dietary restrictions, we bought lots of fresh fish at the Lambeau Fish Market, and took turns in cooking. I had my turn twice, and I was fortunate to escape, despite my somewhat unconventional menus, without any culinary disaster. I took lots of pineapples and two large watermelons to Tobago from Trinidad, and was very relieved when they turned out to be quite sweet. Indeed we ate pineapples so often that some of my guests may even have had dreams of sweet pineapples. I also took a local Indian bread called Dhalpouri Roti. It is soft, round in shape, and large enough for two people to eat one of them. The flour is mixed with yellow lentil called Dhall, which makes it very delicious indeed. My guests loved it.

Despite the time spent in cooking, touring, and bathing in the blue/green Caribbean Sea, we still found time for all four of my Orthodox Christian guests to visit Tobago’s Masjid al-Taubah to attend the congregational prayers known as Salaat al-Jumu’ah.

The Imam invited me to deliver the Khutbah (i.e., sermon) and to lead the prayer, and I delivered a Khutbah on Christian-Muslim relations which was based on verses of the Qur’an. 

Saker responded to the sermon with a declaration that he wanted all of Russia to be able to hear it, and Stefan had the same wish for all of the Balkans.

My sermon was based on verses of the Qur’an which explicitly affirmed faith in some Christians:

كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللّهِ وَلَوْ آمَنَ أَهْلُ الْكِتَابِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَّهُم مِّنْهُمُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمُ الْفَاسِقُونَ

“You (Muslims) are an excellent community evolved (by divine wisdom) for the sake of mankind, (provided that you) enjoin what is right, forbid what is wrong, and you have faith in Allah. If only the People of the Book (i.e., Jews and Christians) had faith (in Muhammad as a Prophet of the One God and in the latest Book, i.e., the Qur’ān, as His revealed Word), it would have been beneficial for them: amongst them there are those who have faith, but most of (the rest of them) are perverted transgressors.”

(Qur’ān, Ale ‘Imran, 3:110)

In consequence of the above unambiguous declaration by Allah Most High in which He affirmed that amongst the Christians and Jews (i.e., the People who have the Book of Allah as we, Muslims, also have the Book of Allah) there are those who have ‘faith’, while most of them are sinful in conduct, it became necessary for Muslims to make an effort to identify and demarcate the two groupsi.e., those Christians and Jews who act in a manner consistent with a people who have ‘faith’, and those whose conduct is manifestly sinful. A people who have ‘faith’ would not harbor feelings of hatred in their hearts for the believers in Allah Most High. Nor would a people who have ‘faith’ become friends and allies of those whose hearts are filled with hatred for Muslims.

I quoted the verse of the Qur’ān which explicitly identified Jews to be a people whose hearts will display great hatred for Islam and Muslims. While some Jews did not act in this way towards Muslims, most Jews did so. This was manifest in the life-time of Nabī Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم), and has once again manifested itself in the modern age in the conduct of Zionist Jews:

لَتَجِدَنَّ أَشَدَّ النَّاسِ عَدَاوَةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الْيَهُودَ وَالَّذِينَ أَشْرَكُواْ وَلَتَجِدَنَّ أَقْرَبَهُمْ مَّوَدَّةً لِّلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ الَّذِينَ قَالُوَاْ إِنَّا نَصَارَى ذَلِكَ بِأَنَّ مِنْهُمْ قِسِّيسِينَ وَرُهْبَانًا وَأَنَّهُمْ لاَ يَسْتَكْبِرُونَ

“Strongest among men in enmity to the believers will you find the Jews and Pagans; and nearest among them in love to the believers will you find those who (openly and publicly) declare, “We are Christians”: because amongst them are priests (who devote their lives to teaching and administering religious rites) and men who have embraced monasticism (and have hence renounced the world), and they are not arrogant.”

(Qur’ān, al-Māidah, 5:82)

Not only did the Qur’ān identify in the above verse the community of Jews as the People of the Book who are without faith, but it also went on to identify those (amongst the People of the Book) who display love and affection for Muslims – and hence display an important sign of faith. They are a people who declare of themselves that: “We are Christians”.

Christians who displayed love and affection for Islam and for Muslims, did appear in early Islam when the Negus of Abyssinia (i.e., modern-day Ethiopia) rejected the request of Makkah to repatriate the Muslims (who were slaves or semi-slaves) who had fled from persecution and oppression in Makkah, and had sought asylum in Abyssinia. Indeed, when the Negus died, and the news of his death reached Nabī Muhammad (صلى الله عليه وسلم) in Madīna, he performed the funeral prayer for him, thus recognizing him as a Christian who had faith in Allah Most High despite some of his Christian beliefs with which the Qur’an had taken issue.

There is absolutely no evidence that the Negus had renounced his belief in Jesus as the son of God, or that he had ceased to worship Jesus as God, prior to his death; nor do we have any such evidence from the community of Christians of whom he was the leader. When there is no such evidence from these two primary sources, dubious evidence from self-serving secondary sources is of no scholarly value. Yet the Prophet offered the funeral prayer for the Negus who was a Christian.

I argued in my sermon that such Christians who will be closest in love and affection for Islam and Muslims will once again emerge in the historical process in a time-frame that will match the contemporary emergence of Zionist Jews who have displayed unprecedented hatred for Islam and Muslims. That hatred is most visible in their barbarous oppression of the innocent people of Gaza in the Holy Land.

The verse of the Qur’ān provided important signs by which such Christians who would be closest in love and affection for Muslims, would be identified:

  1. They would be a Christian people who preserve the institution of priesthood and whose priests, from their Patriarch down to the lowest Priest, will demonstrate genuine love and affection for Islam and Muslims. This most certainly excludes the Vatican and the Roman Catholic faith, the Anglican Church (of England), and all other Christian churches in western Christianity.
  2. They would be a Christian people who preserve the institution of monasticism, and whose monks would display love and affection for Islam and Muslims. This most certainly excludes western Christianity which has almost totally abandoned monasticism and the monastic way of life. Monasteries in the West have almost all been sold, and have now become McDonalds Hamburgers etc.
  3. They would be a Christian people in whose conduct there is no arrogance. This again excludes those Christians who brought modern western civilization into being with an unprecedentedly arrogant agenda of imposing its unjust and oppressive rule over all of mankind at the point of a naked blood-stained sword.
  4. They would be a Christian people who would publicly and proudly identify themselves as ‘Christians’. This would exclude the secularized Christians of modern western civilization whose primary identity is with their nation or State, rather than with their religion.
  5. They cannot be a handful of scattered Christians who worship Allah as prescribed in the Qur’ān, and hence do not worship Nabī ‘Īsa (Jesus (عليه السلام as a third person in a trinity; and do not declare that Allah Most High had a son etc. Rather, they would have to be a community of Christians complete with their priests and monks, and hence can easily be identified. One would not have to search for them in some nook or cranny with a fine-teeth comb!

My sermon identified those Christians, referred to in the Qur’an, with the world of Orthodox Christianity.

When the prayer was over, the entire congregation of Muslims turned around and reached out to the Orthodox Christians sitting on chairs at the back of the prayer hall and greeted them with love and with affection. This first-ever visit to a Masjid was a very moving experience which Saker and his wife, Stefan and the Neurosurgeon, are unlikely to ever forget. No one turned away from them. No one rejected them. No one displayed any negative behavior towards them. I felt confident that they would have received the same welcome in all the Masajid (plural of Masjid) in the neighboring island of Trinidad. The only ones who would have displayed hostility towards them would have been those who took state-of-the-art weapons and heaps of US dollars from Santa Claus to fight their bogus ISIS Jihad in Syria, Iraq and elsewhere.

Unfortunately the sermon was not recorded, so we do not have a video of it which can be viewed.

In the ten days which we spent together in Tobago we had adequate time to engage in religious dialogue, and the remarkable thing about our dialogue was that it was always conducted with profound respect for each other, and for each other’s religion. At no time did our discussions reach a state in which either side was subjected to any deliberate discomfort. There was no hint of rivalry, and no debate, in which one side sought to defeat the other side, and yet, we never compromised in stating the viewpoint of our respective religions. In fact, what we did was to set an example for those who come after us, in engaging in Muslim – Orthodox Christian dialogue in a form and manner which was free from rancor and bigotry. In doing so, we conformed to Allah’s command in the Qur’ān in which He ordered as follows:

وَلَا تُجَادِلُوا أَهْلَ الْكِتَابِ إِلَّا بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ إِلَّا الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا مِنْهُمْ وَقُولُوا آمَنَّا بِالَّذِي أُنزِلَ إِلَيْنَا وَأُنزِلَ إِلَيْكُمْ وَإِلَهُنَا وَإِلَهُكُمْ وَاحِدٌ وَنَحْنُ لَهُ مُسْلِمُونَ

And do not argue or dispute with the Ahl al-Kitab (i.e., People of the Book, or followers of earlier revelation who are like us since we also have a Book) otherwise than in a most kindly manner, (or except with means better than mere disputation), – unless it be such of them as are bent on evildoing, (or who inflict wrong or injury) and say: “We believe in that which has been bestowed from on high upon us, as well as that which has been bestowed upon you: our God and your God is One, and it is unto Him that We [all] surrender ourselves.”

(Qur’an, al-Ankabūt, 29:46)

The above verse of the Qur’an has therefore prohibited Muslims from engaging in religious discussions with those who received the Torah, Psalms and Gospel, except in the best way possible. This prohibition did not apply, however, with such Christians and Jews who committed acts of Dhulm, i.e., injustice, oppression, wickedness.

The verse also went on to establish the very foundation of any engagement in religious discussions with Christians and Jews in the declaration that: “We believe in the revelation which has come down to us (i.e., the Qur’an) and in that which came down to you (i.e., the Torah, Psalms, Gospel); Our Ilah (i.e., God), and your Ilah (i.e., God), is One; and to Him we bow (in submission)”.

It is not my intention to write a comprehensive report of all subjects of our dialogue since Saker and I have decided to jointly write a book which will present both Islamic and Orthodox Christian Eschatology while examining the subject of Islam and Russia. Rather I choose to focus on only one subject of our dialogue and, in doing so, offer our readers a glimpse of what is to come when the book is written Insha Allah (God Willing).

Saker already knew that the Arabic word ‘Allah’ was a combination of the definite article (‘the’) and the Arabic word for God (‘ILAH’). Hence the word ‘Allah’ meant ‘The God’ i.e., The One God. Even though the Christian worshiped Jesus as God, he was still insistent that he worshiped One God since the Bible was unequivocal in its declaration: Know Oh Israel that the Lord, Your God, is One! Hence when I repeated to Saker on several occasions that his God and my God were One God, it built between us a solid common foundation for positive dialogue.

There might, unfortunately, be some Muslims who will be uneasy with the above verse of the Qur’an in which Allah Most High ordered Muslims to declare to Christians and to Jews that: Our Ilah (i.e., God) and your Ilah (i.e., God) is One. Their uneasiness would be in consequence of their knowledge that Christians worship Jesus as God. Allah Most High has already responded to such uneasiness by asking them whether they wish to teach religion to the Lord-God (Allah):

قُلْ أَتُعَلِّمُونَ اللَّهَ بِدِينِكُمْ . . . .

Say: “Do you want to teach your religion to Allah? . . . .

(Qur’ān, al-Hujurāt, 49:16)

It is remarkable that we conducted our religious discussions in exactly the opposite way from the boxing matches staged by the late Ahmad Deedat of South Africa which sought to expose several things in the Bible, belligerently so, as false and rancid. Many Christians were enraged by those boxing matches, and those who were not enraged were secretly smiling with Deedat’s Saudi sponsors since they shared a covert agenda of driving such a thick wedge between the two faiths as would preclude any possibility of friendship and alliance ever emerging between Muslims and Christians. I believe that Saker and I were more faithful to the Qur’an than Deedat and his acolytes ever were, and we set the right example of mutual respect and proper decorum for those who will now follow us Insha Allah, in Orthodox Christian-Muslim dialogue.

I asked Saker what were his expectations for the future of Muslim – Orthodox Christian dialogue, and he was very clear and precise in his response in directing attention, first of all, to those matters wherein we differed, and which appeared to him to be beyond resolve. Saker was forthright in his declaration that Orthodox Christianity does not recognize Muhammad as a Prophet of the One God, like unto Abraham and Moses (Allah’s blessings be upon them all), and does not recognize the Qur’ān as a divinely-revealed Word of the One God. However he did go on to explain that Orthodox Christianity does not have a book comparable in absolute authority to the Qur’an. Rather, Orthodox Christianity is dependent on both the Bible as well as the Church, and the collective wisdom of its luminaries through the ages, for an authoritative declaration of what constitute Truth and Faith. And so, it appeared to me that Orthodox Christians have a possible future in which the Church and its luminaries can modify Christian views through new interpretations of Christian religious symbolism and through divine visions etc. I therefore did not close the chapter between us pertaining to the status of the Qur’an and of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah Most High ever be with him).

I was familiar, of course with our own Islamic view that while whatever is clearly and explicitly stated in the Qur’an is eternally binding on all Muslims, there are other verses in the Qur’an which have to be interpreted, and hence that new knowledge would constantly keep on flowing from the Qur’an.

I did address the matter of Christian worship of Jesus as God, and as Son of God, and put the matter to rest between us when I quoted a passage of the Qur’an in which Allah Most High addressed Jesus on the subject:

وَإِذْ قَالَ اللّهُ يَا عِيسَى ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ أَأَنتَ قُلتَ لِلنَّاسِ اتَّخِذُونِي وَأُمِّيَ إِلَـهَيْنِ مِن دُونِ اللّهِ قَالَ سُبْحَانَكَ مَا يَكُونُ لِي أَنْ أَقُولَ مَا لَيْسَ لِي بِحَقٍّ إِن كُنتُ قُلْتُهُ فَقَدْ عَلِمْتَهُ تَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِي وَلاَ أَعْلَمُ مَا فِي نَفْسِكَ إِنَّكَ أَنتَ عَلاَّمُ الْغُيُوبِ

AND LO! Allah said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto men, `Worship me and my mother as deities beside Allah?” [Jesus] answered: “Limitless art Thou in Thy glory! It would not have been possible for me to say what I had no right to [say]! Had I said this, You would indeed have known it! You know all that is within myself, whereas I know not what is in Yourself. Verily, it is You alone who fully knows all the things that are beyond the reach of a created being’s perception.

مَا قُلْتُ لَهُمْ إِلاَّ مَا أَمَرْتَنِي بِهِ أَنِ اعْبُدُواْ اللّهَ رَبِّي وَرَبَّكُمْ وَكُنتُ عَلَيْهِمْ شَهِيدًا مَّا دُمْتُ فِيهِمْ فَلَمَّا تَوَفَّيْتَنِي كُنتَ أَنتَ الرَّقِيبَ عَلَيْهِمْ وَأَنتَ عَلَى كُلِّ شَيْءٍ شَهِيدٌ

Nothing did I tell them beyond what You did bid me [to say]: `Worship Allah, [who is] my Lord-God as well as your Lord-God.’ And I bore witness to what they did as long as I dwelt in their midst; but when you took me (i.e., took my soul and hence made it appear that I was dead, and then returned my soul and raised me into the Samawat or parallel universes), You alone has been their keeper: for You are witness unto everything.

إِن تُعَذِّبْهُمْ فَإِنَّهُمْ عِبَادُكَ وَإِن تَغْفِرْ لَهُمْ فَإِنَّكَ أَنتَ الْعَزِيزُ الْحَكِيمُ

If You punish them – verily, they are Your servants; and if You forgive them – verily, You are Almighty (and) Wise!”

(Qur’an, al-Maidah, 5:116-118)

I argued that this response implied that the matter of the worship of Jesus as God, and as the Son of God, should not become a subject of dispute and debate between Muslims and Christians. The Qur’an has advised the Muslim to let the matter rest until Allah Most High deals with it Himself on Judgment Day. This Divine wisdom seems to have escaped the attention of those misguided Muslims who ignore the Qur’an whenever they take up their boxing gloves to do religious battle with Christians and with the Bible.

This brief report does not record all the matters discussed between us, since there is a book coming, Insha Allah, which Saker and I will jointly write. He and I will endeavor to set the example, as well as the stage, for future such dialogue between Muslims and Orthodox Christians so that we can advance the cause of friendship and alliance between our two persecuted peoples.

Saker has already set the example of faithfulness to his Orthodox Christian creed, and I too will endeavor to ensure in my dialogue with Saker that I remain faithful to the Qur’an and faithful Prophet Muhammad (peace be on him) who personally received in Madina a delegation of about 60 Byzantine Christians (including many religious scholars) who travelled from their native Najran in Yemen to meet with him. He not only welcomed them warmly and kindly, but offered them the Masjid itself as their place of residence and rest, as well as a place for them to pray, during their stay of approximately 3 days in Madina. The inter-religious dialogue did not yield any break-through regarding the central issues which divided the Christians and the Qur’an, but also did not result in bitter and acrimonious exchanges. Before saying good-bye and returning to Najran in Yemen, the delegation of Christians even requested of the Prophet that a learned and trustworthy Muslim be sent to them in Najran so that, among other things, the lines of communication for continuing dialogue could remain open. Despite all that has since occurred between our two peoples, and which unfriendly critics will now rush to relate, Saker and I are doing precisely that – we are continuing that Orthodox Christian – Muslim dialogue that was initiated in Madina in the presence of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and upon all the messengers of Allah Most High).

——-

Small post-scriptum by The Saker: with all due respect and love for the Sheikh, I don’t believe that he is correct when he writes that “it appeared to me that Orthodox Christians have a possible future in which the Church and its luminaries can modify Christian views through new interpretations of Christian religious symbolism and through divine visions etc.“.  The problem here is that for a teaching to be considered “Orthodox” it has to meet two criteria:

  1. It has to be the expression of the consensus patrum, the agreement of all the Church Fathers, and thus is cannot contradict the past position of the Church.  Saint Vincent of Lérins (5th century) expressed it in the following words when he said that is true that “which has been believed everywhere, always and by all” .  Thus, it cannot be the opinion of only some, contemporary, Church Fathers.
  2. It has to be “upward compatible” with what has been taught in the past.  Saint Athanasios (4th century) expressed this idea in the following words that the Orthodox faith is the faith “which the Lord gave, was preached by the Apostles, and was preserved by the Fathers. On this was the Church founded; and if anyone departs from this, he neither is nor any longer ought to be called a Christian“.  Thus no new teaching can be accepted if it contradicts what was taught in the past.

The Church having refused to recognize Muhammad as a prophet of God and having refused to accept the Quran as a divine book, She cannot under any circumstances change Her point of view.  On issues of faith and dogmatics the Church, being the Theandric Body of God filled with the Holy Spirit, She is infallible.

However, and as long as their is no compulsion in religion and as long as everybody recognizes the absolute right of each human being to follow his/her conscience, I totally agree with the Sheikh when he writes “the matter of the worship of Jesus as God, and as the Son of God, should not become a subject of dispute and debate between Muslims and Christians. The Qur’an has advised the Muslim to let the matter rest until Allah Most High deals with it Himself on Judgment Day“.

As long as our differences are not obfuscated or otherwise minimized, I do believe that it makes little sense to engage in disputes about them. What we all have to do is the explain our beliefs and make sure that the other is not mislead/misinformed about them.  But once that “informational” phase is over, there is simply no point in engaging in disputes.  Finally, we all have to recognize that the other is following his/her conscience with as much honesty, zeal and purity of faith as we do.  While we do not have to agree with the other, we do have to respect this quest for the truth in by the other.

These are my humble comments to the wise and kind words of the Sheikh.

The Saker

On Religious Freedom in America

April 01, 2017  /  Gilad Atzmon

Living the American Dream...

Living the American Dream…

By Negar Azizmoradi

A couple of months ago I started working as a barista for coffee company; a small but expanding business owned by two wonderful brothers which works under a hospital.

A couple of weeks ago, a customer asked me about my necklace emblem; the Raelian Symbol which contains, namely, the Star of David and a misinterpreted ancient Swastika. Both of these symbols can be found in the background of all nations across the globe and even some other religions being practiced today such as Hinduism, as a sacred sign. His main focus was the connecting Swastika in the middle; a concern that in addition to the later stereotypical sequences led me to identify him as a Jew.  Interestingly, he was well-informed about Raelians and the origin and true meaning of the Swastika.  However, it didn’t stop him from returning back to me on the corner of the register while I had a line of customers to take care of, with a simple but meaningful question in mind.  “Don’t you think wearing such a symbol in public might offend some people?”,  he asked.  I answered with a smile out of respect, though with raised eyebrows, “well, I prefer to educate the people who don’t know about the origin of the symbol.”

Then, regardless of my answer, he continued by repeating the same question adding a “still…” to the beginning.

I replied in the same manner,

“first of all symbols do not harm, people do and secondly, I am just being myself!”

After I apologetically pointed to the line of customers waiting for me, he finally decided to leave.

A few days ago, my employer pulled me aside to talk to me. He said, with a hesitating manner, that he has received a complaint from a customer, backed up by a person in HR of the hospital, and that it would be better to cover my symbol since it may offend some people.  You cannot imagine my feelings of outrage! I’m sure my face turned to red and I was shaking.  The reason of exasperation was not because I believed I would need to follow such flagrant direction, but due to what this image clearly shows: an American doctor, (as his proud signature on his email apparently indicated) who knows better than I, a so-called alien, about Amendment 1 feels so confident, not only to deliver his complaint about my religious symbol to the owners, but dares to take his nonsense to HR.  A woman from HR validates that claim by bringing it back to the owners.  After a few minutes and some effort to manage the emotions, my first words were to ask my boss if he knows my story, which he obviously didn’t.

“If you want to know how much wearing this symbol, a sign of being myself, matters to me, just google my name and you will understand that I didn’t put my life at risk, sacrifice being with my family and friends, and suffer so much so far from home to hear the same fanatical nonsense as in Iran, during the interrogation, I was unexpectedly told that “there is no concern with what I believe in, but the problem starts when I make it public.”

To make the story short,  although being aware of my religious rights in this country (at least according to the US Constitution), I declared,

“if I’m supposed to choose between my job and wearing the symbol, my choice would definitely be the latter.”

He said all is well and he is going to learn about and explain my story to the person in HR (I’m not sure about the necessity of explaining to anyone but it’s his business).  At this moment, it won’t be a matter of surprise anymore to encounter any further actions from the concerned Holocaust doctor or his agent at HR.  They have already proven to be unconcerned about the American Constitution and its first Amendment, enough to make the first move. And I’m not concerned about it either as the Raelian Movement is officially being recognized as a religion in United States and any further action from their side would be taken to the court.

My concern is whether Americans are aware of such a powerful and perverse influence that is dangerously writing down the dooming of their nation.   The influence emanates from the people that Gilad Atzmon identified in his must-read book, “The Wandering Who? A Story of Jewish Identity Politics”, as the third category and the problematic one:

“Those who put their Jewish-ness over and above all of their other traits.” And this is exactly what that “image” meant to me!

 

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