Pray for Pope Francis to take a stand upon the Bible

Thursday 18th to 25th January is designated as Week of Prayer for Christian Unity, which was started 110 years ago within the Roman Catholic Church and has since become an international ecumenical act of observance.

In Liphook, Anglican, Methodist and Catholic churches each sent a representative to the next church in that sequence to say the morning prayers during yesterday’s services. In our Church Centre, after leading the prayer Jesus taught His disciples to pray, Catholic Richard T opened his prayers for unity by praying for the Pope and all church leaders.

I added personally that Pope Francis have a direct revelation of the Lord’s heart for and of holy writ concerning Jerusalem because his recent actions have left a great deal to be desired. It certainly appears he’s either ignorant of the scriptures, or has an entirely different agenda, notwithstanding apparently benign intentions.

Were Pope Francis a Bible-believing Christian he’d need to abide by that church’s own teachings on scripture’s authority. His predecessor Leo XII’s famous encyclical of 1893  ‘Providentissimus Deus‘ on ‘the importance for Catholics to study the Holy Scriptures solemnly affirms that the entire Bible is God’s Word, holy and true’. Fifty years later Pope Pius XII in his encyclical ‘Divino Afflante Spiritu’ notes how Leo’s program for scriptural studies bore great fruit so that “confidence in the authority and historical value of the Bible..among Catholics is completely restored”!  [The Holy Family Bible, 1956]

Thus, Pope Francis has no excuse for failing to stand upon even the very few scriptures covered in this blog on the centrality of Jerusalem in Divine Providence, or for lending support to teaching and doctrines opposed to God’s Holy Word!


Friday 19th January’s Koenig’s Eye View From The White House lists events under the sub-head ‘Pope Francis siding with Muslims over Jerusalem, supports an Arab State in Judea and Samaria, meeting with Muslim leaders‘:

December 6, 2017: Pope supports UN Resolutions on Jerusalem

“Everyone should be committed to respecting the city’s status quo, in accordance with the pertinent UN resolutions …I pray to the Lord that its identity to be preserved and strengthened for the benefit of the Holy Land, the Middle East and the whole world and that wisdom and prudence prevail to prevent new elements of tension from being added to a global context already convulsed by so many cruel conflicts.”

December 25, 2017: Pope supports two-states and asks for peace in Jerusalem and the Holy Land. supports UN borders

“We see Jesus in the children of the Middle East who continue to suffer because of growing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians. On this festive day, let us ask the Lord for peace for Jerusalem and for all the Holy Land. Let us pray that the will to resume dialogue may prevail between the parties and that a negotiated solution can finally be reached, one that would allow the peaceful coexistence of two States within mutually agreed and internationally recognized borders.”

January 19, 2018: Pope renews call to maintain Jerusalem status quo

Referring to “the unique nature of Jerusalem” in a letter to Egypt’s top Muslim cleric, Ahmed al-Tayeb, Francis said that “only a special status, guaranteed by the international community, can preserve its identity, (and) unique vocation as a place of peace.”  Only that “would allow a future of reconciliation and hope for the entire region,” he said. “The Holy See will not cease from urgently calling for dialogue to resume between Israelis and Palestinians for a negotiated solution aimed at the peaceful coexistence of two states,” the letter continued.

As that cleric should be treated with the utmost suspicion, the pontiff’s dealings with him could be regarded as the height of stupidity or duplicity!

Koenig is of the opinion that, in his continued support for an Arab State in Judea, Samaria and E Jerusalem, the Pope needs to read the Bible’s prophecies, especially Zechariah chapter 12.  Also that, having met with Jordanian leader King Abdullah II, Francis will – along with Turkey’s president Erdogan on February 5 – call on President Trump to reverse his Jerusalem declarations.  Not forgetting that last month Erdogan cited the Pope’s statements in support of his outrage against Trump and Israel!!


Not taking a stand upon the Word of God leaves Rome’s Pontiff the fall-guy to ‘the most influential Muslim in the world’ (2013 survey).  The Kingdom’s expectation of high levels of personal honesty expected of disciples and knowledge of ‘The Father of Lies’ makes Christians blithely ignorant of religiously sanctioned lying in order to protect or promote Islam.

As I stated in Catholic and Orthodox Churches Choose Fealty to 7th Century Muslim Edict,  deception and dissimulation are sanctioned in the Qur’an under the doctrine of  taqiyya. According to a former Islamic studies professor at the American University of Beirut, Sami Mukaram, “Taqiyya is very prevalent in Islamic politics, especially in the modern era”.

“There’s nothing like knowing Arabic—that is, being privy to the Muslim world’s internal conversations on a daily basis — to disabuse oneself of the supposed differences between so-called “moderate” and “radical” Muslims.”  (Raymond Ibrahim, author of The Al Qaeda Reader.)

Pope Francis gave a noble speech upon meeting Ahmed Al-Tayeb last April (read his 12 Key Points) – and has since met him a third time – but author Raymond, of Coptic Christian parents, thoroughly demolishes the facade in documenting the cleric’s history of adherence to all the extreme demands and nuances of Islam in ‘The Real Bomb is in Islam’s Books‘ and Dr Ahmed al-Tayeb: Meet “the World’s Most Influential Muslim”, published 2017 and 2016 respectively.

So, let’s pray for the scales to fall from the pontiff’s eyes and for him to hear our Father in Heaven on this whole issue. Also, for Ahmed al-Tayeb to have a ‘Damascus road’ experience of his supposed prophet Jesus being The Son of God…AMEN!

Further Reading:

Is Obama complicit in the persecution of Christians?

The claims made by Lord George Weidenfeld about president Obama’s inept Middle-East policy only gloss the surface of what a multitude of highly informed experts have been continually saying – including Russian president Putin, as below!.

It’s notable, for example, that on the very same day that interview was broadcast one expert (who warned of the likelihood of the 9/11 atrocity) published his ‘One-Minute Guide’ on POTUS’ foreign policy.

That and this peer’s preference to assist Iraqi and Syrian Christians escape barbarity, deserve deeper consideration in the light of recent events.

Without writing in depth on this I’d refer anyone who’s interested to read the following by Raymond Ibrahim, a few of whose writings I’ve reposted here on this blog. The last of these is on the US’ policy of preventing Christian testimony of persecution. So let me direct you to some of his latest on our matter-in-hand:

Putin admonishes Obama Continue reading

U.S. officially blocks Christian testimony of Islamist persecution

An article quoted in the previous post on the violent persecution of believers asks, “Is this the end of Christianity in the Middle-East?” In his answer, Joel Rosenberg reminds us of Bible passages foretelling this predicament in the lead-up to the return of Jesus Christ, and the ensuing, extensive evangelisation across that region.

Ray-ibrahimA couple of hours later the Middle-East Forum sent an excerpt from Raymond Ibrahim’s monthly update on the endemic persecution of Christians in Muslim states around the world. As one of the expert sources I introduced in my earliest blogs and have since quoted, his site is featured on my ‘blog-roll’ of Links. Born of Egyptian Coptic parents, Raymond explores the intersection of Christianity and Islam. Author of The Al-Qaeda Reader and of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War of Christians, he translates pertinent Arabic and Egyptian news that never reaches the West.

Read his full article here about how the U.S. State Department blocked the issue of visas to Christian nuns and leaders from Iraq, Nigeria and Syria thereby preventing their telling America about the violent persecution in those nations by Islamists. Without any shadow of a doubt, this is the fruit of the Obama administration’s anti-Christian bias.

Ever since expressing reservations over Obama’s Cairo Speech to the Muslim world in 2009, and subsequent espousal of the Muslim Brotherhood and appointment of several of it members within his administration, I’ve noticed POTUS’ deep reluctance to stand up for Christians – plus his misunderstanding of the Gospel and scripture, as well as activities contrary to decisions of the Church’s first council in Jerusalem (Acts 15:20).

In that email I queried several times, “If he really were a Christian…”, eg. after quoting his “As a student of history”, I noted: ‘If Obama really were a well-informed Christian and student of history then he would have told the truth about the founding of Israel…’

Six years later, I again refer to Rick Joyner’s Discerning the Times, the prophetic validity of which will be recognised by those in the real church of Jesus Christ:

This new unity in the church is being driven because of foreboding created by the demeanor and laws being passed by the Obama Administration, which seem to be specifically designed to open doors for persecuting the church. Even though it is very sad to see this happening in our nation, which was begun and built by those seeking freedom, especially religious freedom, nevertheless these present trends are working to strengthen and galvanize the church like possibly nothing has ever done before. (Emphasis RB)

May the peace of the Lord be with us in these days…

Pray for persecuted Christians

This SundayBarnabas Fund is calling Christians around the world to pray, act and donate in a special show of support for our suffering brothers and sisters. The threat to the vulnerable Christian minorities in Syria and in Egypt is now at cataclysmic proportions.  

For details read Marked for Destruction: Christian targets daubed with a black X, which provides suggested course of action to contact national leaders.

Why the black X? The linked announcement explains that Barnabas Fund,

is using a black X for this campaign as a symbol of solidarity with Christians who are being targeted because of their faith. Islamists have daubed this sign on the walls of Christian homes and businesses in Egypt to identify them for attack, while Muslim properties have been painted with a red X for protection. 

The Fund’s latest email on global persecution by Islamic nations may be read here.

Please also note.:

The ‘Vicar of Baghdad’, Canon Andrew White, features in Edward Malnick’s article of last Sunday about The ‘almost unremarked’ persecution of Christians in the Middle East.

Joel Rosenberg reports in The Muslim Brotherhood’s War On Egypt’s Christians that over 200 churches and Christian-owned buildings have been attacked.


Christians in Nigeria have endured murderous persecution for years at the hands of the Boko Haram, an Islamic terrorist group which the Obama Administration is on record as failing to censure or condemn but, instead, as urging the Nigerian government to respect its human rights!! 

Raymond Ibrahim reports upon this nonsense here and includes it in his latest update on Muslim Persecution of Christians.  This news confirms many suspicions that the US Administration is a lackey of the Muslim Brotherhood, does it not?

The US rebuke contrasts sharply with Open Doors’ report (here) that Boko Haram is under investigation by the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. The Court’s preliminary investigation blames the Islamic sect for 1,200 deaths. Need I say more? [Latest attack is reported in Christian World, hat-tip Robert Spencer.]

So, persecution isn’t confined to only Syria and Egypt but is endemic across Islamic nations. Let us pray, therefore…

Thrown out of heaven, he knows his time is now short…

17 And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make war with the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ. [12th chapter of the Apocalypse, or Revelation, given to Jesus Christ by God to show his servants the future, as observed and transcribed by John the Evangelist.]

An email received yesterday brought an item for Investigative Project on Terrorism by Raymond Ibrahim entitled, Islam’s Collective Punishment Against Christians. He opens this disturbing piece,

As many of Israel’s critics portray it as collectively  punishing the Palestinians, overlooked and unsaid is the greater frequency with which Muslims collectively punish the religious minorities living under their authority, often in atrocious ways.

Consider Egypt alone. The most recent attacks on Egypt’s Copts, culminating in  the unprecedented besiegement of the St. Mark Cathedral, the holiest site of Coptic Orthodoxy, is the latest large-scale collective punishment of the nation’s indigenous Christian minority. Indeed, almost all of the major attacks on Copts are carried out in the context of “collective punishment”, based on the idea that, if just one Christian upsets  Muslims, all Christians—and their churches and their women and heir children—become fair game.

Ray-ibrahimRaymond proceeds to itemise this month’s latest attack upon a family in a long line of grossly intolerant, religious punishments in that ancient but spiritually and financially bankrupt nation. He had recently written  that’s tantamount to an Islamic Declaration of War on Christianity! In this latest alert to Western civilisation, he concludes (emphasis mine),

…while other societies…may collectively punish their enemies, Islam is the only ‘religion’ that actually mandates it — that unjustly punishes large numbers of innocent people for the purported crimes of the individual, as the aforementioned clerics from one end of the Arab world to the other maintain. This alone should raise questions about the very nature of Islam.

And this is all without any reference to last week’s terrorist attacks in Massachusetts and thwarted plot to derail a train in Toronto area, as reported yesterday. Renowned Robert Spencer notes, these ‘would-be mass murderers are “religious men”!’  (See    Jihad Watch for his well-informed examination of the issues; as well as my previous.)

The ordinary, rational person has only to compare the character, lives and full teachings of the founders of Christianity and Islam, as well as of their disciples in the subsequent period to their religion’s birth, to realise the opposing nature of both faiths.

How to Test These Faiths

In my humble opinion, keys may be found in disciple John’s first letter to believers. This opens with John’s description of how he knows the truth about his teacher and saviour of his people, Jesus Christ, and of his awesome, divine origin from before the creation of the world (my emphases).:

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life—  the life was manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to usthat which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And these things we write to you that your joy may be full.

John goes on to tell about how to discern who are living truthfully in obedience to God or are liars – even imputing God to be a liar! John also warns about antichrist spirits, or ‘instead-anointed’, that introduce opposing beliefs with the aim of deceiving believers:

18 Little children, it is the last hour; and as you have heard that the[c] Antichrist is coming, even now many antichrists have come, by which we know that it is the last hour. 19 They went out from us, but they were not of us; for if they had been of us, they would have continued with us; but they went out that they might be made manifest, that none of them were of us.

20 But you have an anointing from the Holy One, and you know all things.[d] 21 I have not written to you because you do not know the truth, but because you know it, and that no lie is of the truth.

22 Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. 23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.  [1 John 2 NKJV]

John’s fourth chapter opens with practical instruction on discerning and testing for such spirits, and is still valid today, and practised in deliverance ministry:

Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.  By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that[a] Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world.

You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error.  [1 John 4 NKJV]

I could cover a great deal more concerning spirits that masquerade as angels as light, even those named ‘Jesus’.  However, the foregoing living words in-breathed from God’s Holy Spirit in John’s letters, Gospel and Revelatory accounts will suffice for our careful, meditative reading as well as help us love and minister to our Muslim brethren in their current recognition of Jesus as a prophet of God.

UK Government’s Position

A recent post on God and Politics in the UK covers a Parliamentary discussion on the increased persecution of Christians around the world. This succinct posting reports:

Importantly, the (Foreign Office) Minister emphasised that “The Government’s position is to condemn laws against so-called apostasy and any government policies anywhere in the world that punish people for changing their religion or belief voluntarily and freely.”

My thanks go to Gillan Scott and his source at Open Doors for this timely, informative article with links to full transcript and video of the debate.

Related Articles:

Saudi hypocrisy at its best

For an informative follow-on to previous post’s comments > Saudi Hypocrisy At Its Best.

Ray-ibrahimThe linked article brings insights from the Coptic, Islam specialist Raymond Ibrahim, Associate Fellow with Daniel Pipes’ Middle East Forum (see About). Widely published author and translator of Al Qaeda treatises as well as Arabic news unknown in the West, Raymond watches the pivotal Islam-Christianity intersection. His impressive resume and regular updates on Muslim persecution of Christians are on his blog Raymond Ibrahim, Islam Translated.

Cameron: A war against al-Qaeda could last decades…

WELL, YES AND NO, Prime Minister.

This opinion is based upon over fifteen years’ monitoring, study and research in dozens of documents and reference works. [See Footnote 1 below].

In Sunday’s interview [2] on the murders of Britons and many other nationals in Algeria, David Cameron stated.:

D CameronThis is a stark reminder, once again, of the threat we face from terrorism the world over…particularly in North Africa. This is a global threat and it will require a global response. It will require a response that is about years, even decades, rather than months, and it requires a response that is patient, that is painstaking, that is tough but also intelligent, but above all has an absolutely iron resolve; and that is what we will deliver over these coming years. It will also require countries to work together, and I will use our chairmanship of the G8 this year to make sure this issue is right at the top of the agenda where it belongs.

…first we should just say very clearly; the responsibility for loss of life lies with the terrorists…they wanted to take lives; they wanted to kill people; they wanted to do exactly that.

When asked if the threat to the UK from al-Qaeda in North Africa is as great as it was in Afghanistan a decade ago, he replied.:

Well, it is different in scale but there are similarities. What we face is an extremist, Islamist, violent, al-Qaeda linked terrorist group. Just as we had to…have to deal with that in Pakistan and in Afghanistan, so the world needs to come together to deal with this threat in North Africa. It is similar because it is linked to al-Qaeda; it wants to destroy our way of life; it believes in killing as many people as it can. [Emphases mine]

The total number killed by Islamists is now over 20,000 since the attack upon New York on 11 September 2001 [3].

At least the PM and Foreign Secretary William Hague are unequivocal about the No. 1 menace to global peace and security.  In practically every Western government PC values (Political Correctness, ie. Politicians’ Claptrap) have imposed head-in-the sand attitudes, blinkered avoidance and deliberately ignorant self-deception upon policies.  They even made rational analysis, legitimate discussion and speech a criminal offence. A controversial example is the US administration’s kowtowing to Muslim Brotherhood influence and changing all national security manuals [4]. This has resulted in a greatly hampered military grasp of the avowed enemy’s strategy and goals. For example, the Bengazhi-gate furore [5] and refusal to recognise the Fort Hood massacre of November 2009 for what it really is. [6 – Raymond Ibrahim is quoted but many credible experts could also be cited.]

FIRST, I must underline my personal opinion is not against Muslims as individuals for each murderer, like all of us at one time of another, is a sinner in need of forgiveness  and their salvation that was purchased for each of us by Jesus’ self-sacrifice on the accursed Roman cross.  And this awesome blessing is FREE!  Truly there is no other way, or any higher name by which we are to be saved and enter into life everlasting than that of the One whom God sent. Thus, we can be fully reconciled to Him though His Son and come into His holy presence.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me”. [John 14:6]

It is irrational, nay evil, to ascribe the obligatory murder of non-believers to a divinity’s demands. [Is it any wonder atheistic Professor Dawkins claims ‘religion makes people stupid’? 7] Irrationality puts a mere man above his god – which is idolatry!  If divine, is not the Meccan god of the famous 7th century Arab more than able to deal, now or any time, with everyone who offends him? Why need men and children to do his dirty work?

It was heartening, therefore, that unlike the effete BBC the PM did not mince words in Parliament when he called the perpetrators ‘terrorists’. The BBC describes them as ‘militants’, perhaps to reflect Algerian usage. Yet it’s hardly surprising in view of my  earlier criticism [8] and Michael Deacon concludes his report [9] of the occasion, “Our enemy isn’t a nation. It’s an infestation”.

[Update 4th Feb: according to The Commentator, on TV yesterday former PM Tony Blair echoed PM Cameron’s remarks and is of the opinion.:

“We are certainly talking about a generation” said Blair, explaining that the West should view the fight against Islamism as the fight against revolutionary communism. (U/line added by RB)

“It will happen in many different theatres, it will happen in many different ways but the truth is that you have no option but to confront it, to try over time to defeat it.”]


1.  As reported privately [10], several years ago I discussed with Rolland Baker of Iris Ministries a vision of Holy Spirit fire sweeping up Eastern Africa from Mozambique, across the Sinai into the Middle East. He told me about a discussion on Arabic TV held at Islam’s worldwide spiritual authority of Al Azhar University in Cairo. Apparently, this was about setting up a global caliphate and progress reports were received that their goal is well on the way to being achieved, with the exception of Africa because of God’s work in Mozambique – where Muslims have been healed and delivered of demons, and where Muslim provinces converted and mosques have become churches!

2.  A professor of Islamic history and literature at its most prestigious centre of learning, Al-Azhar University, and who lived Islam and taught in mosques, has written a thorough expose of Islam and the origins of the Muslim Brotherhood.  When a freshman, he enrolled in a class on Quranic interpretation and asked, “Why is jihad constantly spoken about and not other verses about peace, love and forgiveness? The blind sheik erupted in front of hundreds of students,

There is a whole sura (chapter) called ‘Spoils of War’. There is no surah called ‘Peace’. Jihad and killing are the head of Islam. If you take them out you cut off the head of Islam!

Islam & Terrorism

This student couldn’t understand why others were killing Christians and came to realise he had two options, viz: embrace ‘Christianised’ Islam tailor-made for Egyptian government (of Mubarak), or to embrace Islam fully in line with its founder’s teachings and Quran!  I could quote much more, particularly about the MB, its Egyptian President Morsi and its tentacles around President Obama [hence my concern in 11], but for now here’s Dr Mark Gabriel’s book:

This ex-Muslim scholar confirms that the ultimate goal of Islam is to establish Islamic authority over the whole world.  His book is an eye-opener for most Christians!


Foreign Secretary Hague spoke about increasing UK overseas aid to poor nations to combat Islamists. But the problem won’t be changed until ordinary believers come to understand the faith is mistaken and are educated about its conflict with the teachings of the Old and New Testaments. Simply check and compare the lives of the founders of three Abrahamic faiths, Moses, Jesus Christ and Mohammed, and the open-minded  will agree with the Gospels – Jesus is matchless.

I believe the government should continue to obtain advice and assistance only from ex-Muslims who are familiar with all the deep issues and carry out an urgent programme to ditch PC bilge and focus on straight-talking. This should start making inroads into the problem. But it does have another and much more real dimension – that of the spiritual realm. This would be for others to tackle and which is now covered in the next posting, All Hail The Lamb (click to continue reading).

Informed Links:

Useful Reference:

Mosques & MiraclesMosques & Miracles - outline


  1. These sources only scratch the surface: Not on the 10 o’clock News.
  2. Full transcript of interview: Number10’s Update by the Prime Minister.
  3. Contributions from the ‘Religion of Peace’ and detailed list of attacks.
  4. Just one of many reports: Obama tries to eradicate radical Islam.
  5. My remarks here on the US election: If I were an American citizen.
  6. An example and analysis of political failure: The ‘lone wolf’ jihadist.
  7. His Grace Cranmer’s discussion: Dawkins: religion makes you stupid.
  8. Richard’s Watch tag BBC covers BBC’s highly questionable attitudes.
  9. Telegraph Sketch: terrorists or ‘militants’ they will be our enemy…
  10. Richard’s Watch Not many people know and A 3rd Great Awakening?
  11. Obama’s speech at Cairo to the Muslim world and Muslim Brotherhood

If I were an American citizen…

…deciding how to vote in next week’s presidential election, I’d be extremely concerned over the issue of ‘Benghazi-gate’.

My brief has meant a weather eye has been kept on major international matters not only in the UK but also in the USA.  Most of my opinion comes from a Biblical viewpoint but I’ve had reasons to question Barack Obama’s motives from the outset of his presidency as evidenced, for example, in his infamous Cairo speech (here and here).  Although I’ve revisited and reassessed these during online discussion, subsequent events serve only to confirm my original viewpoint and strong reservations.

I have no political axe to grind. It’s not my place to make personal political opinion. We Brits usually keep religion out of politics and are cynical about politicians. Many of them do serve their communities conscientiously and effectively, yet a percentage of those in government are too easily ‘economical with truth’.

Even so, I was alarmed to note that in the debates Obama declared his ignorance of the circumstances surrounding his ambassador’s murder. Also, Secretary of State Clinton connected it directly to the fallout from that offensive video about Mohammed!  To a non-resident of the States watching from the far side of the ‘pond’, however, they are surely incorrect. How on earth POTUS, and dude VP, could not have been informed of these grave event stretches one’s imagination so far it snaps!  At best, these US ‘leaders’ exhibited gross incompetence or, at worst, are downright disingenuous. (I’ll save you the many references I could quote; am assuming my American friends are familiar with all this.)

Regular readers will recall my posts about the widespread Islamist attacks on 9/11 and that I quoted leading analysts’ immediate conclusions that the Benghazi attack was not a result of the video but of a fully planned military operation (ie. Carolyn Glick, Raymond Ibrahim and London’s Quillam Foundation; see 3rd and 4th paras here).  Just how can the USA’s top leaders feign ignorance??

[Update 5/11: former Muslim Brotherhood member now a peace activist Walid Shoebat is keeping close tabs and publishing a plethora of developments on his website.]

I’ve just finished catching up with the latest news on ‘Benghazi-gate’ and provide some informative links in case you wish to check it out:

Frank Gaffney’s highly critical report, The Real Reason Behind ‘Benghazi-gate.

David Greenfield’s well-balanced in-depth discussion on Benghazi’s Tough Questions.

Clare Lopez’ comprehensive security analysis, Benghazi: The Set-up and the Cover-up.

Her penultimate paragraph caught my attention:

How could he (CIA Diretor Petraeus) or any of those present when this momentous decision was made not have tried to make every effort imaginable to defend American territory and save American lives? House Government Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa believes President Obama had a political motive for rejecting Ambassador Stevens’ security requests because he wanted to show that conditions in Libya were improving, possibly to justify U.S. intervention in the Libyan revolution or even help pave the way for oil company investment. <emphasis mine>

Now the last points take us back to my comments at the start of the Libyan episode, in particular about western interest in oil wells!  (See prayer request based upon a ‘dream revelation’ about Libya and my covering comments here). Maybe in my hazy mention of oil I was unwittingly tapping into a truth?

Am I right to be concerned? What do you think?

Historically significant week for the Middle East

This brief update is offered in case you may be unaware of developments in the Middle-East. Those who relish detail will enjoy getting their teeth into Bill Koenig’s chronology of events from a perspective of US-Israel relations, Eye-to-Eye: Week of 9-11-12. It has  a brief overview. (Also see recent post about his Alert anticipating trouble according to cyclic theory.)  Here’s my update:

An unprecedented ‘armada’ of American, British and French naval power is focusing once again upon protecting the Strait of Hormuz (see Telegraph) – this separates the Persian Gulf from the Gulf of Oman, as in map below.

Barnabas Fund reports growing concern for Christians in countries rocked by violent protests against an offensive movie trailer on Mohammed. According to a number of experts, however, it’s a pretext for Islamist action on several fronts – eg. Raymond Ibrahim and Caroline Glick, here and here respectively.  [NB: see update below on investigation into possible terrorist involvement in production of this video in order to commit an outrage.]

Solid grounds for this conclusion as regards the attack in Libya are given in a press release by the London counter-extremism think-tank Quillam Foundation. (Quillam’s founder, ex-hardline Islamist Maajid Nawaz, gives a most informative interview in The Counter Islamist. Their website explains how they are working to change attitudes.)

Also, Mudar Zahran, a Palestinian writer and Jordanian academic resident as political refugee in the UK, reports upon the ‘textbook Islamist’ who ignited the rage by running an Egyptian tv show about the movie. (Thank you Tembisa at World Chaos.) Also, The Telegraph reports that this presenter’s,

inflammatory chat show on satellite television has long prided itself on baiting liberals, Christians and Jews, but last week saw Sheikh Khalid Abdullah stage the broadcasting controversy of a lifetime.

In view of all the hysteria, however, there’s been a news blackout in mainstream media about two places – Sinai and Israel.

Debka reported on Friday and Sunday fierce Al-Qaeda led military attacks in Sinai, one of which was against the 1000+ Multinational Force’s camp established to monitor the 1979 Egypt-Israel peace treaty. There, a Colombian battalion protected Americans. Then on Monday I received an email from Mike Evans stating,

“I have received an email from a friend and supporter of the Jerusalem Prayer Team who lives in Jerusalem with an urgent message about massive troop movements underway in Israel. The scale of the mobiliz-ation is like nothing this family has seen in more than twenty years in the Jewish state.”

There have been a number of such reports, which may be disinformation, or as some well-meaning folk think – a hoax!  It may be that Israel was taking precautions against being caught napping during the Rosh-Hashanah holy days. However, news of a ‘snap military exercise’ in the Golan Heights did at last surface yesterday morning in a Debka ‘exclusive’ and later in The Telegraph.

Today, we learn about enemy troops moving into the territory across Israel’s northern border, ie. Iran is pouring troops into Syria to bolster Assad and thereby threaten Israel (as here). Link both ‘blackout’ news items with the supposed ‘hoax’ and we can tell that good intel’ had alerted and activated the Israeli military – there’s no smoke without fire!

Events are proceeding at breakneck speed!

ALSO SEE copy email update about these closing remarks!!

Update 27/9: Former member of the Muslim Brotherhood, Walid Shoebat, claims on his blog that the offensive video trailer was, in all likelihood, produced as a terrorist scam. This renowned peace activist arrives at that conclusion after examining contradictions and falsehoods within the media accounts, plus his own previous investigations into the characters and his connections in and direct knowledge of the Middle-East. There are far too many facts that can’t be married up!

Keep looking to the Lord…

Clarification of crucifixion reports

Crucifixions have been reported in some Islamic nations, all of which requires a  sensitivity in handling source materials, as may be inferred from my early post Not on the 10 o’clock News.  However, lack of such expertise – and of a grasp of spiritual dynamics – generated a great deal of verbiage, misunderstanding and  false conclusions, as outlined below:

A fortnight ago I noted Stuart James’ question on his popular blog-forum eChurch:   “Are Christians being crucified by the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt?   Important blog post by my friend Gordon looking at the veracity of the Christian crucifiction(sic) claims in Egypt, that have spread like wildfire online and created widespread anger amongst Christians.”

Gordon Hudson’s blog examines various reports and commentaries of this event in some depth. (It is claimed to have taken place in front of the presidential palace.)  He endorses Canadian editor and columnist Jonathan Kay’s National Post article entitled Egypt’s ‘crucifixion’ hoax becomes an instant Internet myth, wherein he pronounces at the very outset:

It’s a story worth dissecting — not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because it is a textbook example of how the Internet… has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

In concluding his ‘investigation’ of this particular case, he refers to a dated report (ie. three years old!) that repudiated false reports of crucifixions and thus wrote:

The people reporting this false story were not deliberately lying.  As I noted in my original post, they have simply become so wrapped up in the idea that we are fighting an existential war against militant Islam, that they are willing to believe any nonsense story they come across without checking it. If it sounds like it could be true, then it must be. The first casualty of war, as always, is truth.

Stuart’s friend puts it, “It shows how stories can change as they are spread. Especially where indignation is involved and there is an information vacuum.” Both these writers  dug around a lot and have taken the trouble of posting updates, all of which may be read via the above links. It’s too easy, however, to pontificate from the comfort of one’s cosy corner…

Within hours I received an email update from the original Western reporter.

As far as I can find, critics haven’t refered to the original report, its publication date or the identity of the man who’d broken the story to the West!  The account first appeared in a ‘guest column’ of The Investigative Project on Terrorism on 15th August under the title Muslim Brotherhood ‘Crucifies’ Opponents, Attacks Secular Media, by Raymond Ibrahim.

Unlike his critics, Raymond is not only fluent in Arabic but also a specialist in Islam who explores “the pivotal but ignored point where Islam and Christianity intersect, translating pertinent Arabic news that never reaches the West”.  Born of Egyptian Coptic parents, Raymond discovered, translated and published original Al-Qaeda treatises (earlier post refers: Muslim Persecution of Christians).

In response to the deluge of media speculation Raymond has reconsidered his report and answers Jonathan Kay point by point. He takes up Kay’s above opening shot with,

Alternatively, dissecting Kay’s claims is useful as it is a textbook example of how the Western mindset tries to rationalize away whatever does not fit its intellectual boundaries.

He doesn’t so much dissect as dismembers Kay’s argument. His rebuttal Crucifixion, Not Fictions should be read by all who are concerned about these severe issues. In point of fact he noticed, ahead of Kay, that the original Sky News report he’d seen and written about had been withdrawn!  In reviewing the facts he writes on 4th Sept:

 I did not have to make this point, or mention Sky News at all, since other reports—including El Balad, a much higher trafficked Arabic website which I also quoted—independently mentions the crucifixions in original language and further adds that two people died. And that report, as of now, is still up.

Raymond proceeds to answer Kay’s claims by referring to actual facts of life in Egypt, including the Maspero Massacre, and especially as regards media subjugation under the Muslim Brotherhood’s president Morsi. This had also been reported by renowned Caroline Glick in her long analysis published 17th August, Who lost Egypt?

On Sunday, new President Mohamed Morsy (sic) completed Egypt’s transformation into an Islamist state. In the space of one week, Morsy sacked the commanders of the Egyptian military and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists, and fired all the editors of the state-owned media and replaced them with Muslim Brotherhood loyalists.

He also implemented a policy of intimidation, censorship and closure of independently owned media organizations that dare to publish criticism of him. (my emphasis)

Raymond Ibrahim concludes his firm rebuttal as follows:

All this leads to the most important point. Whereas Kay appears intent on proving that the crucifixions never happened, a close read of my article shows that I never said they did happen. As always, I merely reported and translated what was on the Arabic media; noted that Sky News took its story down; and then offered my own interpretation—including the fact that Muslims have been known to crucify their opponents in the modern era, crucifixions are prescribed by the Koran and Sharia, and an Egyptian parliamentarian recently called for crucifixions to be legalized.

In light of all the above, I reiterate my original conclusion: “there is little reason to doubt this crucifixion story.” (my emphasis)

Indeed, soon after this crucifixion story appeared in the Egyptian media, a disturbing video surfaced from Yemen, of a mutilated man, crucified.

How long before the usual naysayers try to portray even this video as a “hoax”?

If you wish to query Raymond’s argument, I’d direct you to this article in response to the decapitation of a Christian in Tunisia, and in which he lists several pertinent facts about the Arabic media and blogo-sphere that Western self-styled pundits miss.

The crucifixion video which he provides a link to is gruesome – it can be viewed only by turning safety button off!  It thrusts a grim reality into one’s face.  AND, amputation as punishment is common, the latest occurrence of which is in Mali (AP report here). I’ll desist from commenting about medieval religious mindsets that attempt to justify and promote outrageous barbarity. It brings a vivid portrayal of what would have happened to Jesus Christ, which Paul Priest portrays in The reality of the Crucifixion, [not for the squeamish].

By the way, there’s also ongoing persecution in Israel of Christians and Messianic Jews from ultra-orthodox Jews, of which the latest vandalism at a monastery is a minor episode (see World News – thanks Stuart).

So is someone, or something, masterminding a ‘crusade’ against Christians? And why?

Answers please on a postcard…

UPDATE: May 2013

For another well-informed and fuller, historical consideration see the Orthodox Christian Robert Sidway’s Crucifixion in Islam: Christians ascend their Golgotha


Muslim persecution of Christians

COPY of pre-blog email (as in ‘About’).:

I’m circulating to draw attention, as does Barnabas Fund, not only to the criminal massacre of our brethren in Egypt but also and especially to the author’s early paragraph:

Meanwhile, not only are Western governments apathetic, but it was revealed that “Obama’s top Muslim advisor blocks Middle Eastern Christians’ access to White House.” Newt Gingrich asserted that Obama’s “strategy in the Middle East is such a total grotesque failure” and likened the “Arab spring” to an “anti-Christian spring.”Ann Widdecombe accused the British government of “double standards in its threats to cut aid to countries which persecute gay people while turning a blind eye to persecution against Christians.”

You may recall my grave concerns in June 2009 over President Obama’s Cairo Address. This indicated its claims to his being a historian and Christian were quite shallow, if not hollow. [ALSO see latest against his stance in MEF Aug’12 below.]

Many analysts, too, were deeply concerned, especially in his development of connections with the Muslim Brotherhood and the worrying direction his administration has taken the USA – even concluding that ‘POTUS’ (President of the United States) may be a crypto-Muslim.  Subsequent events served to confirm the validity of their well-reasoned reservations.

If latest reports are true, clear indications of what many regard as a subversive, anti-Christian agenda have now surfaced, viz:

Beirut Arab news agency al Nashra reported on Saturday November 22, that [White House Muslim envoy] Dalia Mogahed has succeeded in cancelling a meeting between the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon and President Barack Obama. Writing in al Nashra, the reporter said “an unnamed US source told the news agency, that those who sought cancelling a visit of (the spiritual head of the Maronite Church) Patriarch Beshara Rahi to the White House are Dalia Mujahid (Mogahed), the highest adviser on Arab and Islamic Affairs in the State Department, who is from Egyptian origins. And that,” according to al Nashra, heeding a request by the higher leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who consider that US Administration must support the Islamist Sunni current facing the Iranian current in the region.”

The author of the MEF item below, Raymond Ibrahim, born of Egyptian Coptic parents, is a specialist in Islam exploring “the pivotal but ignored point where Islam and Christianity intersect…translating pertinent Arabic news that never reaches the West”. Biographical notes read:

Immediately after 9/11, Raymond—then a student of history and theology, not politics and current events—began reading up on al-Qaeda and other Islamist organizations; he began watching Al Jazeera.  He was immediately struck by the continuity evident between the words, deeds, and goals of the 7th century mujahidin (“jihadists”), whom he had been studying for years, and the near verbatim words, deeds, and goals of 21st century jihadists. Since then, he has maintained that to truly understand contemporary Islam, one must first understand Islamic history, doctrine, and epistemology

He discovered, translated and published original Al-Qaeda treatises, from which he concluded:

Based solely on al-Qaeda’s own words, this collection of translations, “proves once and for all that, despite the propaganda of al-Qaeda and its sympathizers, radical Islam’s war with the West is not finite and limited to political grievances—real or imagined—but is existential, transcending time and space and deeply rooted in faith.”

Please visit Middle East Forum for his October’11 and subsequent monthly updates.

LATEST  INDICTMENT: Obama Administration’s War on Persecuted Christians.