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Posts Tagged ‘Islam’

Military Orders and the Crusades

In 15 Audio on 2015/10/22 at 12:00 AM

The Military Orders and the Crusades

Host – James and Joanna Bogle

The Crusades are often a misrepresented and misunderstood part of the history of the Church. James and Joanna Bogle reveal the compelling truth behind the crusades, investigating their causes and history. They also explain how various military orders were established to protect Christian interests in Europe and the Holy Land from invading Muslims after the first crusade.

Joanna & James Bogle: The Military Orders and the Crusades

Please click on the links on the right to access these programs:

 

The Military Orders and the Crusades Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Military Orders and the Origin of the CrusadesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_01.mp3
Many misconceptions exist surrounding the Crusades. James and Joanna Bogle discuss why the Crusades were actually a defensive reaction in response to invading Muslim forces rather than the offensive act of aggression they are often portrayed to be.
2. Rise of IslamHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_02.mp3
Prior to 612 AD most of the Middle East was Christian territory. James and Joanna Bogle detail how through invasion and conquest Islam spread through the Middle East, northern Africa and across parts of Europe.
3. Muslim Conquest of the Holy PlacesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_03.mp3
Islam spread quickly in the early 700’s stretching through all of Mesopotamia, parts of India, all of northern Africa, Spain, almost to Constantinople. James and Joanna Bogle explain how the Muslims captured the Holy Land with all its important Christian sites causing the need for a defensive force to take back those lands taken from Christianity.
4. Defending the Kingdom of JerusalemHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_04.mp3
In response to the Muslim invasion of the Holy Land, Christians mobilized for the first crusade in a attempt to win back the Holy Land. James and Joanna Bogle explain how Catholic Knights from across Europe traveled to the Holy Land and drove out the Muslims to establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
5. Knights TemplarHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_05.mp3
Legends about the Knights Templar have been exaggerated in modern day literature. James and Joanna Bogle relate the true story of the knights, showing how they were established as an elite fighting force whose purpose was to protect pilgrims and holy sites within the Holy Land after the First Crusade.
6. Knights HospitallerHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_06.mp3
The Knights Hospitaller is the oldest of the Military Orders and one that persists to this day. James and Joanna Bogle discuss how this order originated to help protect and serve Christians in the Holy Land and still serve today with their many hospitals and other charities.
7. Albigensian Crusade Against the CatharsHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_07.mp3
The Albigensians were a heretical group in Europe that mounted attacks against the Church, burning churches and killing Catholics. James and Joanna Bogle demonstrate that like the other Crusades, today’s secular world likes to put an anti-Catholic slant on what was a purely an action of self-defense by the Church.
8. The Templars: Defense of the Holy Land to SuppressionHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_08.mp3
Through their defense of the Holy Land, the Knights Templar gained wealth and power. James and Joanna Bogle show how this caught the envious eye of Phillip IV of France. He mounted a persecution of the order to gain their wealth which lead to their eventual suppression.
9. The Hospitallers: From Rhodes to the Siege of MaltaHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_09.mp3
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers were forced to move their base from city to city. James and Joanna Bogle explain how they eventually ended up on the island of Malta where they have flourished to this day. Today the Knights make over a billion dollars in charitable donations each year and continue to tend to others through their hospitals and clinics.
10. The Teutonic Knights and the Baltic CrusadeHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_10.mp3
Like the Hospitallers, the Teutonic Order was formed to establish hospitals and aid pilgrims in the Holy Land. James and Joanna Bogle relate how the Order later transferred its efforts to Poland and Prussia. But with the conversion to Lutheranism of the Prussian leaders, the order was secularized by the government, leading to is disbandment.
11. Iberian Orders: Spain, Portugal and the ReconquistaHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_11.mp3
As the Muslim conquest of Europe continued, almost all of the Iberian Peninsula was overrun. James and Joanna Bogle show how infighting among Muslim leaders allowed the Crusading Knights to regain a foothold in northern Spain, and eventually drive the Muslims out of the entire area.
12. Later Crusades Up to the French RevolutionHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_12.mp3
Europe and thus Catholicism was continually attacked on all sides by Muslim forces. James and Joanna Bogle use examples such as the Battle of Lepanto to show how the Christian leaders were able to stop Muslim invasions, often under miraculous conditions, until the era of the Crusades finally wound down in 1789.
13. Modern View of the Military Orders and the CrusadesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_13.mp3
After the French Revolution, secularism swept across much of Europe. James and Joanna Bogle show that to deny the authority of the Church, secularists painted the crusaders as imperialistic conquerors instead of defenders of Christians and the faith, a misconception that persists to this day.

Joanna & James Bogle: The Military Orders and the Crusades

Please click on the links on the right to access these programs:

 

The Military Orders and the Crusades Back to Series List
Program Name Audio File Name – Click to download
1. Military Orders and the Origin of the CrusadesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_01.mp3
Many misconceptions exist surrounding the Crusades. James and Joanna Bogle discuss why the Crusades were actually a defensive reaction in response to invading Muslim forces rather than the offensive act of aggression they are often portrayed to be.
2. Rise of IslamHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_02.mp3
Prior to 612 AD most of the Middle East was Christian territory. James and Joanna Bogle detail how through invasion and conquest Islam spread through the Middle East, northern Africa and across parts of Europe.
3. Muslim Conquest of the Holy PlacesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_03.mp3
Islam spread quickly in the early 700’s stretching through all of Mesopotamia, parts of India, all of northern Africa, Spain, almost to Constantinople. James and Joanna Bogle explain how the Muslims captured the Holy Land with all its important Christian sites causing the need for a defensive force to take back those lands taken from Christianity.
4. Defending the Kingdom of JerusalemHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_04.mp3
In response to the Muslim invasion of the Holy Land, Christians mobilized for the first crusade in a attempt to win back the Holy Land. James and Joanna Bogle explain how Catholic Knights from across Europe traveled to the Holy Land and drove out the Muslims to establish the Kingdom of Jerusalem.
5. Knights TemplarHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_05.mp3
Legends about the Knights Templar have been exaggerated in modern day literature. James and Joanna Bogle relate the true story of the knights, showing how they were established as an elite fighting force whose purpose was to protect pilgrims and holy sites within the Holy Land after the First Crusade.
6. Knights HospitallerHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_06.mp3
The Knights Hospitaller is the oldest of the Military Orders and one that persists to this day. James and Joanna Bogle discuss how this order originated to help protect and serve Christians in the Holy Land and still serve today with their many hospitals and other charities.
7. Albigensian Crusade Against the CatharsHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_07.mp3
The Albigensians were a heretical group in Europe that mounted attacks against the Church, burning churches and killing Catholics. James and Joanna Bogle demonstrate that like the other Crusades, today’s secular world likes to put an anti-Catholic slant on what was a purely an action of self-defense by the Church.
8. The Templars: Defense of the Holy Land to SuppressionHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_08.mp3
Through their defense of the Holy Land, the Knights Templar gained wealth and power. James and Joanna Bogle show how this caught the envious eye of Phillip IV of France. He mounted a persecution of the order to gain their wealth which lead to their eventual suppression.
9. The Hospitallers: From Rhodes to the Siege of MaltaHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_09.mp3
After the fall of Jerusalem, the Hospitallers were forced to move their base from city to city. James and Joanna Bogle explain how they eventually ended up on the island of Malta where they have flourished to this day. Today the Knights make over a billion dollars in charitable donations each year and continue to tend to others through their hospitals and clinics.
10. The Teutonic Knights and the Baltic CrusadeHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_10.mp3
Like the Hospitallers, the Teutonic Order was formed to establish hospitals and aid pilgrims in the Holy Land. James and Joanna Bogle relate how the Order later transferred its efforts to Poland and Prussia. But with the conversion to Lutheranism of the Prussian leaders, the order was secularized by the government, leading to is disbandment.
11. Iberian Orders: Spain, Portugal and the ReconquistaHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_11.mp3
As the Muslim conquest of Europe continued, almost all of the Iberian Peninsula was overrun. James and Joanna Bogle show how infighting among Muslim leaders allowed the Crusading Knights to regain a foothold in northern Spain, and eventually drive the Muslims out of the entire area.
12. Later Crusades Up to the French RevolutionHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_12.mp3
Europe and thus Catholicism was continually attacked on all sides by Muslim forces. James and Joanna Bogle use examples such as the Battle of Lepanto to show how the Christian leaders were able to stop Muslim invasions, often under miraculous conditions, until the era of the Crusades finally wound down in 1789.
13. Modern View of the Military Orders and the CrusadesHost – James and Joanna Bogle milorders_13.mp3
After the French Revolution, secularism swept across much of Europe. James and Joanna Bogle show that to deny the authority of the Church, secularists painted the crusaders as imperialistic conquerors instead of defenders of Christians and the faith, a misconception that persists to this day.

Bakhita…a Sudanese saint who was a slave

In 14 Book Corner on 2014/11/21 at 1:02 AM

Screen Shot 2014-11-10 at 9.13.03 AMWhen she was about nine years old, Josephine Bakhita was kidnapped near Darfur, Sudan, by Arab slave traders. For several years she was subjected to brutal and humiliating treatment until she was ransomed and taken to Venice, Italy, where she became a Catholic and a nun.

Joyfully and serenely Bakhita served in a convent, school and infirmary run by Canossian sisters in a small, obscure town in northern Italy until her death in 1947. Then something even more remarkable than her redemption happened.

Hundreds of ordinary people came to see Bakhita lying in state, and along with these visits came stories about how the simple nun had given comfort, advice and encouragement as she went about her tasks as cook, doorkeeper, nurse, etc. Almost immediately graces and miracles attributed to Bakhita’s intercession began to be reported.

Ever since, the place where Bakhita died and the wonders began has been a shrine visited by people from all over the world. They come to seek the intercession of one who was no stranger to loss and suffering and yet had given herself with complete confidence to the Lord. It is here, in this sparsely furnished room, where Italian journalist Roberto Italo Zanini begins his story of Bakhita and her journey from slavery to sainthood.

Based on Bakhita’s autobiography, which she dictated to a Canossian sister in obedience to her superior, the canonization files and many other sources, Zanini records the life, virtues and miracles of this daughter of Africa who has become a sister to the whole world. Illustrated with 16 pages of photos.

Roberto Italo Zanini is an editor and writer for Avvenire, the daily newspaper of the Italian bishops. His articles have appeared in many Italian publications, both Catholic and nonreligious.

Praise for Bakhita:

“Every story of sanctity is that of a person who takes her life whole – the gifts and the sorrows, wounds and wonders all – and opens to the grace of God. Such is the story of St. Josephine Bakhita told beautifully and with careful scholarship by Roberto Italo Zanini. By choosing Christ and choosing forgiveness, Bakhita illuminates the darkest shadows of the human condition with the transforming light of faith in the one true Master.”
–Mother Dolores Hart, O.S.B., Prioress, Regina Laudis Abbey

For Cradle Catholics

In 14 Book Corner on 2014/09/19 at 12:00 AM

The Price to Pay: A Muslim Risks All to Follow Christ Hardcover – October 3, 2012
by Joseph Fadelle (Author)
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During his military service, Muhammad, a young Muslim Iraqi from a leading Shiite family, discovers to his dismay that his roommate is a Christian. Muhammad tries to convert his roommate, but he is the one who is converted.
In Islam changing one’s religion is a crime, and Muhammad’s family does everything possible to make him renounce his new faith in Christ. After threats and blows come prison and torture. Muhammad, who has become Joseph by his baptism, experiences a long Calvary but does not give in. Finally, he is taken from prison by relatives who threaten to kill him if he does not resubmit to Islam. They shoot him and leave him for dead.

The Price to Pay is the true story of Joseph Fadelle’s conversion to Catholicism. He risks everything–family, friends, his inheritance and home, and even his life–in order to follow Christ. In a dramatic and personal narrative style, Fadelle reveals the horrible persecution endured by Christians living in a violent and hostile Muslim world.
“It’s tragic that there has never been a more appropriate time for a book such as this. Compelling, lyrical, captivating, and acutely necessary. Essential reading for every relativist out there, and for those who believe that Christians are not persecuted.”

Not Peace but the Sword

In 04 Fr. John McCloskey on 2014/04/03 at 12:00 AM

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THE GREAT CHASM BETWEEN CHRISTIANITY AND ISLAM

Robert Spencer, perhaps the foremost Catholic expert on Islam in our country, has written a new book entitled Not Peace But a Sword: The Great Chasm Between Christianity and Islam (Catholic Answers, 2013). Spencer has advised the highest levels of the military on the Islamic threat to the United States, and has authored several books for the general public on the topic of Islam, including Inside Islam: A Guide for Catholics and Islam Unveiled: Disturbing Questions About the World’s Fastest Growing Faith.

This book is his most interesting yet, as it makes the case for the fundamental disagreement between Christianity and Islam. Spencer writes: “One of the oddities of contemporary ‘interfaith dialogue’ is that all too often, out of overzealous irenicism, it glosses over, or ignores altogether, the disagreements between religious traditions, as if pretending that they didn’t exist would make them go away.” He expands on the vast differences between Christianity and Islam on the character of God, Jesus and Divine Revelation; the nature of truth and the moral law; religious freedom and other basic rights; life issues, marriage and sexual morality, including the rights and dignity of women.

An example of this great divide: Converts from Islam to Christianity are often hunted in the Muslim world, where virtually all Islamic authorities agree that such individuals deserve death. In fact, Muhammad himself commanded this: “Whoever changed his Islamic religion, then kill him” (Bukhari 84:57). In Egypt, at Cairo’s Al-Azhar University, the most prestigious and influential educational institution in the Islamic world, an Islamic manual states that a person who has reached puberty is sane, and if he voluntarily apostatizes from Islam deserves to be killed.

The great Catholic author of the early 20th century Hilaire Belloc was prophetic in predicting: “We shall almost certainly have to reckon with Islam in the near future. Perhaps if we lose our faith it will rise.”

Continue reading…
http://www.catholicity.com/mccloskey/not-peace-but-a-sword.html

Fr. John McCloskey

Otranto Revisited: Who is winning the battle and what are the implications?

In 13 History on 2013/08/30 at 12:00 AM

The Ottoman Turks, captured Constantinople, seat of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern portion of the original Roman Empire) in 1453, thus completing the total fall of the Roman Empire. Constantinople, which the renamed THE CITY  (Istanbul) became the capital of their empire.   With the aim of making the Mediterranean their lake and the Europeans Moslems, they launched continuous attacks on key Christian maritime cities.

Otranto was just a part of a well plan.  The Ottoman fleet of 128 galleys arrived at the Neapolitan Otranto on July 28, 1480.  As in medieval times, the citadel for refuge was the castle and to this haven they fled but the Castle of Otranto fell on August 11 to the invaders.

Archbishop Stefano Agricoli and many others were killed right in the cathedral; Bishop Stephen Pendinelli and Count/Commander Francesco Zurlo were sawn in two while alive.

The motto of Islam was “convert or die”.  The lands bordering the Mediterranean which had once been Christianized and led by Early Church like Augustine were falling like dominos to the Moslems.  In Otranto, 800 men ran for the hills but were eventually caught and beheaded by the Moslems for absolutely refusing to convert.  On Sunday, May 12, 2013 Pope Francis canonized the 800 men.

By the middle of the sixteenth century, the Mediterranean had become a Moslem lake, that is until Charles V of Spain’s son, Don Juan of Austria led the European fleet that defeated the Moslems on October 7, 1571.  While the Christians galleys were vastly outnumbered by the triple galley fleet of the Moslems, the Christians won a resounding victory attributed to the prayers of Christendom and those of the Christian captives who were enslaved as rowers of the Moslem galleys.

With the Battle of Lepanto began the decline of the Ottoman Empire which was divided up by the Allies after World War I and granted nationhood after World War II.  The Moslem approach has changed: invasion of Christian lands by immigration.  Just look at Europe and the USA and ask yourself: Who is winning that battle and what are the implications?

Blasphemy and Free Speech – Part III

In 13 History on 2012/10/27 at 9:11 AM

The encroachment of de facto blasphemy restrictions in the West threatens free speech and the free exchange of ideas. Nor will it bring social peace and harmony. As comedian Rowan Atkinson warns, such laws produce “a veneer of tolerance concealing a snake pit of unaired and unchallenged views.” Norway’s far- reaching restrictions on “hate speech” did not prevent Anders Behring Breivik from slaughtering over 70

people because of his antipathy to Islam: indeed, his writings suggest that he engaged in violence because he believed that he could not otherwise be heard.

In the Muslim world, such restrictions enable Islamists to crush debate. After Salman Taseer, the governor of Punjab, was murdered early last year by his bodyguards for opposing blasphemy laws, his daughter Sara observed: “This is a message to every liberal to shut up or be shot.” Or in the words of Nasr Abu-Zayd, a Muslim scholar driven out of Egypt: “Charges of apostasy and blasphemy are key weapons in the fundamentalists’ arsenal, strategically employed to prevent reform of Muslim societies, and instead confine the world’s Muslim population to a bleak, colourless prison of socio-cultural and political conformity.”

President Obama should put an end to discussion of speech with the OIC. He should declare clearly that in free societies, all views and all religions are subject to criticism and contradiction. As the late Abdurrahman Wahid, former president of Indonesia, the world’s largest Muslim country, and head of Nahdlatul Ulama, the world’s largest Muslim organization, wrote in his foreword to Silenced, blasphemy laws

. . . narrow the bounds of acceptable discourse. . . not only about religion, but also about vast spheres of life, literature, science, and culture in general. . . . Rather than legally stifle criticism and debate— which will only encourage Muslim fundamentalists in their efforts to impose a spiritually void, harsh, and monolithic understanding of Islam upon all the world—Western authorities should instead firmly defend freedom of expression. . . .

America’s Founders, who had broken with an old order that was rife with religious persecution and warfare, forbade laws impeding free exercise of religion, abridging freedom of speech, or infringing freedom of the press. We today must do likewise.

Paul Marshall is a senior fellow at the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom. He has published widely in newspapers and magazines, including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, First Things, The New Republic, and The Weekly Standard. He is the author or editor of more than 20 books on religion and politics, including Their Blood Cries Out, Religious Freedom in the World, and Blind Spot: When Journalists Don’t Get Religion. Most recently he is the co-author, with Nina Shea, of Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide.

The preceding was adapted from a lecture delivered at Hillsdale College’s Allan P. Kirby, Jr. Center for Constitutional Studies and Citizenship in Washington, D.C., on February 3, 2012.

Copyrighted 2012 Hillsdale College

Reprinted with permission

Blasphemy and Free Speech – Part II

In 13 History on 2012/10/26 at 9:11 AM

Muslim reformers cannot escape being attacked even in the West. In 2006, a group called Al-Munasirun li Rasul al Allah emailed over 30 prominent reformers in the West, threatening to kill them unless they repented. Among its targets was Egyptian Saad Eddin Ibrahim, perhaps the best known human rights activist in the Arab world. Another was Ahmad Subhy Mansour, an imam who was imprisoned and had to flee Egypt, in part for his arguments against the death penalty for apostasy. The targets were pronounced “guilty of apostasy, unbelief, and denial of the Islamic established facts” and given three days to “announce their repentance.” The message included their addresses and the names of their spouses and children.

Mimount Bousakla, a Belgian senator and daughter of Moroccan immigrants, was forced into hiding by threats of “ritual slaughter” for her criticism of the treatment of women in Muslim communities and of fundamentalist influences in Belgian mosques. Turkish-born Ekin Deligoz, the first Muslim member of Germany’s Parliament, received death threats and was placed under police protection after she called for Muslim women to “take off the head scarf.”

But the story gets worse. Western governments have begun to give in to demands from the Saudi-based OIC and others for controls on speech.

In Austria, for instance, Elisabeth Sabbaditsch-Wolf has been convicted of “denigrating religious beliefs” for her comments about Mohammed during a seminar on radical Islam. Canada’s grossly misnamed “human rights commissions” have hauled writers—including Mark Steyn, who teaches as a distinguished fellow in journalism at Hillsdale College—before tribunals to interrogate them about their writings on Islam. And in Holland and Finland, respectively, politicians Geert Wilders and Jussi Hallaaho have been prosecuted for their comments on Islam in political speeches.

In America, the First Amendment still protects against the criminalization of criticizing Islam. But we face at least two threats still. The first is extra-legal intimidation of a kind already endemic in the Muslim world and increasing in Europe.

In 2009, Yale University Press, in consultation with Yale University, removed all illustrations of Mohammed from its book by Jytte Klausen on the Danish cartoon crisis. It also removed Gustave Doré’s 19th-century illustration of Mohammed in hell from Dante’s Inferno. Yale’s formal press statement stressed the earlier refusal by American media outlets to show the cartoons, and noted that their “republication…has repeatedly resulted in violence around the world.”

Another publisher, Random House, rejected at the last minute a historical romance novel about Mohammed’s wife, Jewel of Medina, by American writer Sherry Jones. They did so to protect

“the safety of the author, employees of Random House, booksellers and anyone else who would be involved in distribution and sale of the novel.”

The comedy show South Park refused to show an image of Mohammed in a bear suit, although it mocked figures from other religions. In response, Molly Norris, a cartoonist for the Seattle

Weekly, suggested an “Everybody Draw Mohammed Day.” She quickly withdrew the suggestion and implied that she had been joking. But after several death threats, including from Al-Qaeda, the FBI advised her that she should go into hiding—which she has now done under a new name.

In 2010, Zachary Chesser, a young convert to Islam, pleaded guilty to threatening the creators of South Park. And on October 3, 2011, approximately 800 newspapers refused to run a “Non Sequitur” cartoon drawn by Wiley Miller that merely contained a bucolic scene with the caption “Where’s Muhammad?”

Many in our media claim to be self-censoring out of sensitivity to religious feelings, but that claim is repeatedly undercut by their willingness to mock and criticize religions other than Islam. As British comedian Ben Elton observed: “The BBC will let vicar gags pass, but they would not let imam gags pass. They might pretend that it’s, you know, something to do with their moral sensibilities, but it isn’t. It’s because they’re scared.”

The second threat we face is the specter of cooperation between our government and the OIC to shape speech about Islam. A first indication of this came in President Obama’s Cairo speech in 2009, when he declared that he has a responsibilty to “fight against negative stereotypes of Islam whenever they appear.” Then in July of last year in Istanbul, Secretary of State Clinton co-chaired—with the OIC—a “High-Level Meeting on Combating Religious Intolerance.” There, Mrs. Clinton announced another conference with the OIC, this one in Washington, to “exchange ideas” and discuss “imple- mentation” measures our government might take to combat negative stereotyping of Islam. This would not restrict free speech, she said. But the mere fact of U.S. government partnership with the OIC is troublesome. Certainly it sends a dangerous signal, as suggested by the OIC’s Secretary-General, Ekmeleddin Ihsanoglu, when he commented in Istanbul that the Obama administration stands “united” with the OIC on speech issues.

The OIC’s charter commits it “to com- bat defamation of Islam.” Its current action plan calls for “deterrent punishments” to counter “Islamophobia.” In 2009, an official OIC organ, the “International Islamic Fiqh [Jurisprudence] Academy,” issued fatwas calling for speech bans, including “international legislation,” to protect “the interests and values of [Islamic] society.” The OIC does not define what speech should be outlawed, but the repressive practices of its leading member states speak for themselves.

The conference Secretary Clinton announced in Istanbul was held in Washington on December 12-14, 2011, and was closed to the public, with the “Chatham House Rule” restricting the participants (this rule prohibits the identification of who says what, although general content is not confidential). Presentations reportedly focused on America’s deficiencies in its treatment of Muslims and stressed that the U.S. has something to learn in this regard from the other delegations—including Saudi Arabia, despite its ban on Christian churches, its repression of its Shiite population, its textbooks teaching that Jews should be killed, and the fact that it beheaded a woman for sorcery on the opening day of the conference.

Continued

Blasphemy and Free Speech by Paul Marshall, Hudson Institute – Part I

In 13 History on 2012/10/25 at 9:11 AM

A growing threat to our freedom of speech is the attempt to stifle religious discussion in the name of preventing “defamation of” or “insults to” religion, especially Islam. Resulting restrictions represent, in effect, a revival of blasphemy laws.

Few in the West were concerned with such laws 20 years ago. Even if still on some statute books, they were only of historical interest. That began to change in 1989, when the late Ayatollah Khomeini, then Iran’s Supreme Leader, declared it the duty of every Muslim to kill British-based writer Salman Rushdie on the grounds that his novel, The Satanic Verses, was blasphemous. Rushdie has survived by living his life in hiding. Others connected with the book were not so fortunate: its Japanese translator was assassinated, its Italian translator was stabbed, its Norwegian publisher was shot, and 35 guests at a hotel hosting its Turkish publisher were burned to death in an arson attack.

More recently, we have seen eruptions of violence in reaction to Theo van Gogh’s and Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s film Submission, Danish and Swedish cartoons depicting Mohammed, the speech at Regensburg by Pope Benedict XVI on the topic of faith, reason, and Hillsdale College: Pursuing TruTH • defending liberTy sinCe 1844

religious violence, Geert Wilders’ film Fitna, and a false Newsweek report that the U.S. military had desecrated Korans at Guantanamo. A declaration by Terry Jones—a deservedly obscure Florida pastor with a congregation of less than 50—that he would burn a Koran on September 11, 2010, achieved a perfect media storm, combining American publicity-seeking, Muslim outrage, and the demands of 24 hour news coverage. It even drew the attention of President Obama and senior U.S. military leaders. Dozens of people were murdered as a result.

Such violence in response to purported religious insults is not simply spontaneous. It is also stoked and channeled by governments for political purposes. And the objects and victims of accusations of religious insults are not usually Westerners, but minorities and dissidents in the Muslim world. As Nina Shea and I show in our recent book Silenced, accusations of blasphemy or insulting Islam are used systematically in much of that world to send individuals to jail or to bring about intimidation through threats, beatings, and killings.

The Danish cartoons of Mohammed were published in Denmark’s largest newspaper, Jyllands-Posten, in September 2005. Some were reproduced by newspapers in Muslim countries in order to criticize them. There was no violent response. Violence only erupted after a December 2005 summit in Saudi Arabia of the Organization of the Islamic Conference—now the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC). The summit was convened to discuss sectarian violence and terrorism, but seized on the cartoons and urged its member states to rouse opposition. It was only in February 2006—five months after the cartoons were published—that Muslims across Africa, Asia, and the Mideast set out from Friday prayers for often violent demonstrations, killing over 200 people.

The highly controlled media in Egypt and Jordan raised the cartoon issue so persistently that an astonishing 98 percent of Egyptians and 99 percent of Jordanians—knowing little else of Denmark—had heard of them. Saudi Arabia and Egypt urged boycotts of Danish products. Iran and Syria manipulated riots partly to deflect attention from their nuclear projects. Turkey used the cartoons as bargaining chips in negotiations with the U.S. over appointments to NATO. Editors in Algeria, Jordan, India, and Yemen were arrested—and in Syria, journalist Adel Mahfouz was charged with “insulting public religious sentiment”—for suggesting a peaceful response to the controversy. Lars Vilks’ later and more offensive 2007 Swedish cartoons and Geert Wilders’ 2008 film Fitna led to comparatively little outcry, demonstrating further that public reactions are government-driven.

Repression based on charges of blasphemy and apostasy, of course, goes far beyond the stories typically covered in our media. Currently, millions of Baha’is and Ahmadis— followers of religions or interpretations that arose after Islam—are condemned en masse as insulters of Islam, and are subject to discriminatory laws and attacks by mobs, vigilantes, and terrorists. The Baha’i leadership in Iran is in prison, and there is no penalty in Iran for kill- ing a Baha’i. In Somalia, al Shebaab, an Islamist group that controls much of that country, is systematically hunting down and killing Christians. In 2009, after allegations that a Koran had been torn,

a 1,000-strong mob with Taliban links rampaged through Christian neighbor- hoods in Punjab, Pakistan’s largest province, killing seven people, six of whom, including two children, were burned alive. Pakistani police did not intervene.

Throughout the Muslim world, Sunni, Shia, and Sufi Muslims may be persecuted for differing from the version of Islam promulgated by locally hegemonic religious authorities. Saudi Arabia represses Shiites, especially Ismailis. Iran represses Sunnis and Sufis. In Egypt, Shia leaders have been imprisoned and tortured.

In Afghanistan, Shia scholar Ali Mohaqeq Nasab, editor of Haqooq-i-Zen magazine, was imprisoned by the govern- ment for publishing “un-Islamic” articles that criticized stoning as a punishment for adultery. Saudi democracy activists Ali al-Demaini, Abdullah al-Hamed, and Matruk al-Faleh were imprisoned for using “un-Islamic terminology,” such as “democracy” and “human rights,” when calling for a written constitution. Saudi teacher Mohammed al-Harbi was sentenced to 40 months in jail and 750 lashes for “mocking religion” after discussing the Bible in class and making pro-Jewish remarks. Egyptian Nobel prize winner in literature Naguib Mahfouz reluctantly abandoned his lifelong resistance to censorship and sought permission from the clerics of Al-Azhar University to publish his novel Children of Gebelawi, hitherto banned for blasphemy. Mahfouz subse- quently lived under constant protection after being stabbed by a young Islamist, leaving him partly paralyzed.

After Mohammed Younas Shaikh, a member of Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission, raised questions about Pakistan’s policies in Kashmir, he was charged with having blasphemed in one of his classes. In Bangladesh, Salahuddin

Choudhury was imprisoned for hurting “religious feelings” by advocating peaceful relations with Israel. In Iran, Ayatollah Boroujerdi was imprisoned for arguing that “political leadership by clergy” was contrary to Islam, and cleric Mohsen Kadivar was imprisoned for “publishing untruths and disturbing public minds” after writing Theories of the State in Shiite Jurisprudence, which questioned the

legal basis of Ayatollah Khomeini’s view of government. Other charges brought against Iranians include “fighting against God,” “dissension from religious dogma,” “insulting Islam,” “propagation of spiritual liberalism,” “promoting pluralism,” and, my favorite, “creating anxiety in the minds of … Iranian officials.”

Continued

Papal Warning

In 14 Book Corner on 2011/08/24 at 11:11 PM

Here follows the famous statement made in 1998 by then Cardinal Ratzinger.  It alerted many Christians to the current religious peril.

“The great moral crisis of the Western World broke out in the sixties and seventies…in the face of the deep moral contradictions of the West and of its internal helplessness, combined with the sudden opposition by the new economic power of the Arab countries, the Islamic soul reawakened.

Islam believes that they are now somebody too; they know who they are; that their religion is holding its ground; we no have one any longer.

This is actually the feeling today of the Muslim world, what they believe: ‘The Western countries are no longer capable of preaching message of morality but have only knowhow to offer the world. That Christian religion has abdicated; that it really no longer exists as a religion; that the Christians no longer have a morality or a faith; all that’s left are a few remains of some modern ideas of enlightenment, while they have the religion that—stands the test.’

So the Muslims now have the consciousness that in reality Islam has remained in the end as the more vigorous religion and that they have something to say to the world, indeed, are the essential religious force of the future. Now there is a new pride. Thus a new zest, a new intensity about wanting to live Islam has awakened. This is its great power: They say: ‘We have a moral message that has existed without interruption since the prophets, and we will tell the World how to live it, whereas the Christians certainly can’t.’

We must naturally come to terms with this inner power of Islam, which fascinates even academic circles.”

Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger in SALT OF THE EARTH: The Church at the end of the millennium (interview by Peter Seewald). pp. 243/244. Ignatius Press.  http://www.ignatius.com/Products/SOE-P/salt-of-the-earth.aspx

Moslems/Muslims

In 08 Musings by Jack Reagan on 2011/04/07 at 2:02 AM

All of what I say today refers only to the Arab Moslems.  They are the radical ones.  The Asians and sub-Saharan Moslems are generally milder.  Example. Indonesian Moslems can often convert to Catholicism with no objection from other Moslems.

US Government officials, especially federal, are so paralyzed by the stupidity of political correctness that they are confused and unrealistic about the dangers of militant Islam. Terrorists fall into a narrow pattern of Arab men, but the government refuses to profile lest Muslims be offended.  If these officials had been in power 60 years ago, we would probably not have engaged in WWII lest we offend our enemies.

Too many people use God and Allah interchangeably.  “Allah” is the Arabic word for God or god but it is not synonymous with the One we call God.  They are worlds apart.

In sixth and seventh centuries, in Arabia, the religion was polytheistic.  Allah was the moon-god that Mohammed simply elevated to supreme status and eliminated the rest.  On the flags of the some Moslem countries there is a crescent moon which symbolizes Allah.

There are those who like to insinuate a sameness between Christian, Jews and Moslems by saying that they are all monotheistic.  This is true, but it is irrelevant.  Monotheism has nothing to do with truth.  The Catholics worship the true God in the fullness of revelation. Protestants and Jews worship the true God but incompletely.  The Moslems do not worship the true God at all.

Moslems do not believe in the Trinity, the Divinity of Christ, the Crucifixion as atonement, the Resurrection, and many other revealed truths.  Thus, it doesn’t matter what similarities there happen to be.  Islam is a totally false religion because, if for no other reason, it is man-made.

Mohammed himself, before he founded Islam, was considered a respectable and honorable man, but in order to spread Islam, he changed.  He was a killer, mass murderer, thief, bandit, liar, and child molester to name a few of his evils.  In one episode he had 680 Jewish men beheaded in front of their families, and sold the wives and children into slavery. Compare him with Christ who challenged His enemies to find any sin in Him.

Islam was spread by conquest and the sword. Christians and Jews, for a time were spared death, but others who did not convert were killed.

In the eleventh century, Arabs had produced a fairly high culture.  They had philosophy, literature, math, science, medicine (most of which they learned from Christians).

Then it all fell apart. In the last thousand years the Arabs have had no intellectual culture at all.  Were it no for oil money (which benefits only a very few) the Arab world would seem like a primitive people.  What happened?

In the early days of Islam, the dominant faction believed that human reason and intelligence was essential to understand and make it appealing.  In the twelfth  century a new group gained power.  Their main idea was that reason had no place in Islam.  Instead, a slavish reading of and obedience to the Koran replaced reasoned treatment of the Korah and the Hadith (Mohammed’s sayings).

No interpretation of the Koran was needed or allowed or wanted.  A society or civilization cannot function without reason or common sense.  A prime example of this in the Moslem world is their totally absurd attitude towards women.  Because of their failure to use and respect reason and logic Arabs are left with the only other alternative, emotion.  Thus they are very volatile.  It doesn’t take much to set them off.

CONCLUSION: “It is only radical Moslems who are the terrorists.”  This is another of those head in the sand pronouncements of government officials.  80% of Moslems agree with Sharia law.  Almost no voices are raised against the radicals

Islam’s goal is to conquer the whole world for Islam.  In the past the used military means and failed.  Now their technique is immigration. There are cities in the USA that are, in effect, Moslem cities.  Parts of England are under Sharia law. Moslem birth rate is far higher than in the US.

Because of many years of false judgments about and ignorance of Islam, we face a determined enemy. Because of many years of living as though God did not exist, we are left in a condition that we can probably be saved only by divine intervention. Pray for it.