Archive for the ‘islam’ Tag

Rise of the Phoenix   1 comment

By Bionic Mosquito

The Great Heresies, by Hilaire Belloc

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

So writes Belloc, as published in 1938.  Before considering the heresy and the history both before and since he wrote these words, perhaps it is worth considering the situation in Muslim lands at the time he was writing.


After the Great War, what was left of Mohammedan power even in hither Asia, let alone Constantinople, was only saved by the violent quarrels between the Allies.

In 1938, almost all Muslims lived in lands controlled and occupied by a European power: virtually all of North Africa; all of the Middle East except Turkey (you might also except Saudi Arabia, but must recognize the British position in their oil); much of Central Asia; finally, the Asian sub-continent.

It was in this environment of the Muslim’s weakest point since its founding that Belloc foresaw the rise once again of a Muslim threat to Europe.

Time to buy old US gold coins

The History

Belloc offers a brief history of the rise and fall of Islam as a political power and empire:

Islam – the teaching of Mohammed – conquered immediately in arms. Mohammed’s Arabian converts charged into Syria and won two great battles…

They quickly overran Egypt and Northern Africa, Asia Minor, finally crossing the Straits of Gibraltar into Spain.  By 732 – less than 100 years after their first victories – Muslim armies reached as far as Northern France.  They were thrown back to the Pyrenees, but continued to hold most of Spain.The Great HeresiesHilaire BellocBest Price: $6.50Buy New $6.45(as of 07:20 EST – Details)

We know of the Crusades called by the Pope.  These were not called in a vacuum; they were called in reaction to the violent conquest of Christian lands in the Middle East.  Brief successes followed by ultimate failure.

If the first Crusaders had had enough men to take Damascus their effort would have been permanently successful.

But they had only enough men to hold the seacoast of Palestine (I expand on this history here and here, also thanks to Belloc).  Perhaps a similar reason as to why Syria is so important today.

Europe finally beat back Muslim advances into Europe on September 11, 1683:

The battle was fought by the Habsburg Monarchy, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire, under the command of King John III Sobieski against the Ottomans and their vassal and tributary states. The battle marked the first time the Commonwealth and the Holy Roman Empire had cooperated militarily against the Ottomans, and it is often seen as a turning point in history, after which “the Ottoman Turks ceased to be a menace to the Christian world”.

The exclamation point was placed on September 11, 1697:

The Battle of Zenta…on the east side of the Tisa river, was a major engagement in the Great Turkish War (1683–1699) and one of the most decisive defeats in Ottoman history.

This battle ended Ottoman control over large parts of Central Europe.  And from this point, we come to 1938 and the aforementioned European control over the vast majority of lands populated by Muslims, as Muslims gradually lost the race to Europeans in the material things necessary to wage war.

Interesting how September 11 keeps coming up in this relationship.

Islam as Heresy

Belloc offers that Islam is a heresy and not a wholly new religion:

It was not a pagan contrast with the Church; it was not an alien enemy.  It was a perversion of Christian doctrine.

If anyone sets down those points that orthodox Catholicism has in common with Mohammedism, and those points only, one might imagine if one went no further that there should have been no cause of quarrel.

Mohammed taught basically the Catholic doctrine, with a very important exception:

But the central point where this new heresy struck home with a mortal blow against the Catholic tradition was a full denial of the Incarnation.

Jesus was a prophet – the greatest of all prophets – but he was only a man, not God and not the Son of God.  About the most important point, I would say.

The Future (as Belloc saw it)

Belloc saw no reason that would prevent Islam from rising again as a power – a power that would threaten, once again, the Christian west.  He offered: talk to any Egyptian or Syrian student, and you will find him the equal of any European student on the subjects of his study.

Belloc offers the weakness of Europe: Europe replaced Christendom as its binding force:

In the place of the old Christian enthusiasm of Europe there came, for a time, the enthusiasm for nationality, the religion of patriotism.  But self-worship is not enough, and the forces which are making for the destruction of our culture, notably the Jewish Communist propaganda from Moscow, have a likelier future before them than our old-fashioned patriotism.

The Muslim world was under no such delusions of “self-worship” as more important than culture and tradition – in fact, the Muslim world fights actively against this.

Some Unpacking

This last cite from Belloc will take a bit of unpacking.  What have we seen since the time Belloc penned these words?  Moscow has disappeared as the purveyor of communist propaganda; it is no longer the source of destruction.  Yet, the war against the west (and there certainly is a war) is also not being led by Islam.  I return to Belloc’s words with which I began this essay:

It has always seemed to me possible, and even probable, that there would be a resurrection of Islam and that our sons or our grandsons would see the renewal of that tremendous struggle between the Christian culture and what has been for more than a thousand years its greatest opponent.

It seems it is even worse than Belloc imagined.  The sons and grandsons are not fighting for their Christian culture – the sons and grandsons are doing what they can, to include creating Muslim enemies, to destroy the last remnants of the Christian culture.  No invasion is necessary; they are welcomed and subsidized as guests.  King John III Sobieski could not be spinning faster in his grave, I believe.

Attribute it to Antonio Gramsci, Cultural Marxists and the Frankfurt School, or postmodernists – whichever you choose – the philosophy of destruction of western Christian culture is being driven by western leaders of western institutions: political, educational, social.

People in the west have allowed themselves to become impotent in this fight: beginning with the Renaissance and Reformation, continuing through the Enlightenment, the philosophy of the west has created the atomized individual.  Yet, as Belloc notes, “self-worship is not enough.”


I grow more and more struck by something my father said many years ago, when I made a stumbling effort to describe libertarianism to him.  He replied, “what, are you a communist?”  As has been true in dozens of examples before and since, his replies were much more profound than was my ability to understand.

“There goes bionic, throwing liberalism and libertarianism under the bus again.”

It seems to me that the west – and those persuaded by the non-aggression principle or something approaching it – has allowed a simple political idea of individual liberty to define all of man’s relationships and the whole of man’s relationship to his fellow man.  Yet this makes man impotent against those who would exploit the weakness in this philosophy.

I don’t mean impotent as in guns and defense (although it is quite true here); I mean impotent as in ideas, as in how to intellectually fight back.  Something more than a negative liberty must bind a community if that community is to remain in reasonable peace.  While “anything peaceful” is allowable under the non-aggression principle, it does not follow that “anything peaceful” is conducive to community – in the most freedom-supporting sense of the term.

Something or someone will organize society if it is to be a functional and thriving society. By creating and defending the atomized individual and ignoring culture and tradition (the “something”), with what intellectual weapon does the defender of individual liberty fight back against the strongman (the “someone”)?

He has none; he stands naked and alone (atomized) in front of his intellectual enemies, thus clearing the path for his mortal enemies.  Unobstructed and unopposed, they need no military to win this battle.

Reprinted with permission from Bionic Mosquito.

A Pakistani Muslim Speaks Out   Leave a comment

Khalid Muhammed is an author friend of mine, writing from Karachi. When I read his post, I recognized it was not something getting much attention in the American press, so I decided to help “pop the bubble” of ignorance that many Americans live in. If Khalid’s statement resonates with you — REBLOG IT! Lela


Khalid Muhammed

Karachi, Pakistan

It’s 5 am here in Karachi and the day has been filled with sadness, anger and reflection for me, as I am sure it was for many of my fellow Pakistanis and human beings around the world.

Throughout the day, there were lulls when we Pakistanis were alone with our families and ourselves, in a time of quiet reflection, as the television continued to flash the gruesome images on the carnage that happened in the ‪#‎PeshawarAttack‬ at ‪#‎ArmyPublicSchool‬. Dead children scattered around school grounds, in classrooms and cafeterias like they were waste to be thrown away.

No, they were not waste.

They were lives of future generations that were lost because people can’t get beyond themselves to fight what is staring us in the face.

There are many who are taking great joy in pointing out on various international newspaper websites that ‪#‎Islam‬ is to blame for this violence, forgetting that hundreds of thousands of ‪#‎Muslims‬ have condemned these actions since 9/11. No, they haven’t forgotten. They choose to be willfully blind to our statements. We can never condemn it enough for them to listen or understand.

No, they are blind to the carnage in whatever form, they are deaf to the cries of families mourning the loss of their loved ones and they are dumb in every sense of the word.

There are many who are taking great joy in the carnage that was carried out because they call it “revenge” for the North Waziristan military campaign. They are pretenders to Islam, not real Muslims in any shape or form. But our condemnation of them falls on deaf ears as they are the same breed as those taking joy in branding Islam a ‪#‎terrorism‬ religion.

Both of these group share a similar position, that is significantly different from where a human being would stand. Murder in any form is murder. You can cloak it in any language, wrap it in any faith and present it however you wish – it is still murder. These groups have a shared misunderstanding that Islam is a religion of war, hate and violence. Both do everything they possibly can to make sure that everyone else hears them above all else. They are more important than the dead children’s bodies. They are more important than the families that mourn. They are more important than humanity. They are more important.

And then there are those who are broken in their hearts, minds and souls trying to understand what these poor children did to deserve this brutality. They were not part of any war. They were not carrying weapons. No, the only uniform they wore was their school issued one and the weapon they carried were the textbooks that would guide them out of darkness and into light.

But let’s be honest with ourselves. The attack today was not revenge for the North Waziristan military operation. No, this was a continuation of the carnage that Pakistanis have lived with since 2005. The carnage that has taken 70,000 innocent Pakistani souls from their families, their friends and their country’s future. They were not wearing uniforms. They were not carrying weapons. No, they were innocents just like the children that were murdered today in Peshawar.

They were not fighters. They were not warriors. They were not enemies of anyone. And today, you are celebrating their death with your statements. You are dancing on their fresh graves, washed in the tears of their families, because you are more important than these 200 innocent souls that are gone.

So please go back to professing your hate. Go back to spreading your lies. Go back pontificating on things you have no understanding of. Go back to your self-contained world where only you matter.

The rest of us, those who still cling to humanity, we are calling it murder because anything else would just be inhuman.

Why (Christian) Faith is Important?   Leave a comment

I ran across this article in the Alaska Dispatch News

Why young Europeans are becoming jihadis

One statistic that is compelling to me is how many of these kids come from middle-class Muslims homes that are non-practicing (about 60%). These kids are looking for something to believe in and they find it … and not for the good. The emptiness of life without faith cries out for significance and there is no good way to find that significance outside of God. It leaves our youths vulnerable to scam artists and cults and jihadi rhetoric. We see it in the Muslim community because right now there are images available that will draw them in … Muslim children dead in Syria. It could just as easily be American-looking children dead somewhere else that turns faithless American teens into crusading killers.

Obviously, I don’t believe the answer will be in atheism. It appears that the atheism of these families is actually contributing to the vulnerability of their kids. I also don’t think the solution will be found in Islam. It’s best to remember the history of Islam as a 7th century Christian cult. It is not worship of God, but worship of a counterfeit god.

I look back in our own history in the United States, to the 1960s when my parents’ generation was shocked that my older brother’s generation were taking to the streets and throwing rocks at cops of the Vietnam War. They remained shocked over my half of the Boom generation chaining itself to logging trucks and threatening to ram oil rigs. Those passionate young people had certain things in common and in almost every case, their families were non-practicing in terms of religion. You didn’t find Baptist preachers kids — for the most part — joining the extremist political fringe. Why? Because they already had something to believe in and as Christians, their faith informed them that God would take care of the world, so they didn’t need to blow things up. Christians fight the world spirit on their knees and are called to true martydom, where by they risk alienation and possible persecution for standing for what is moral rather than what the world tells us is “right” today (but could change tomorrow).

Faith is not the problem engendering a world of violence. To the contrary, lack of faith in the God of the Bible is what drives the world spirit of evil and violence. The solution to the problem is not less faith … but more and in the right object of worship because only a living and personal God can make the changes in the human heart required to change the world’s spirit.

Crucial Differences   3 comments

An acquaintance, Afshin Ziafat, was raised a faithful Muslim in the United States and accepted Jesus as Savior as a senior in high school. He tells the story of how during a basketball game in a public high school, he said “Jesus Christ” to express his frustration at what might have been an illegal check. One of the other players shot back “Stop! That’s my Savior you’re dragging through your foul mouth.” Afshin shot back “You mean, your prophet.” And, the other student said “No, I mean my Savior and my God.” Ashin demanded to know where he’d gotten that idea and the other student said “The Bible.”

God touches people when they are ready for His touch and that set Afshin on about a year-long search for proof that Jesus was nothing more than a prophet and that his classmate (or his classmate’s religion) was making it up. Instead, he convinced himself that Jesus Christ is Savior and God. His wealthy father disowned him and he had many other struggles because of this life-changing event, but he is still a faithful Christian with an international ministry to Muslims.

Afshin learned something that the atheist in this video has not.  There is a substantial difference between faiths. While this woman would like to lump all religions together, they are not the same. There are huge differences between Islam and Biblical Christianity, between Hinduism and Biblical Christianity, between various Christian-like cults and Biblical Christianity and, for that matter, between “Christianity” and Biblical Christianity.

And, those difference matter!

Let’s start off with very basic differences between Islam and Biblical Christianity.

The God of the Bible is not Allah and Allah is not the God of the Bible.

The Qur’an describes Allah as a vengeful, angry god who demands the total obedience of his followers and even then, they may not make it into paradise. “Allah is a long way away and you do good deeds in hope of getting closer to Allah, and hope for the best,” Afshin says. “If Allah wills, you go to paradise, but you never know.”

Allah offers no peace, even for the faithful Muslim. Good deeds don’t guarantee a ticket to paradise, but even asking questions about confusing ideas in the Qur’an could, because Muslims are not allowed to question Allah, who is a far distant god, a being to be feared, who is always ready to punish wrongdoers.

Contrast that with the God of the Bible. NOTE: I said the God of the Bible, not the Christian God. Many sects have redefined God in their own image, but the God of the Bible is still discoverable through that book.

God created the universe and the first man and woman as an act of love and He immediately sought a relationship with them in a world that provided all that they needed for life.

Adam and Eve chose to alienate themselves from God, with tragic results, because the one thing we need for life more than the garden could provide is Him. We are the inheritors of that choice to violate the human-divine relationship. It means we sin (disobey God) and it means that we can never be good enough to reestablish that lost relationship throughout our own power. Fortunately, what we cannot do, God can.

The Old Testament foretold a Messiah who would come to bless mankind. That Messiah is Jesus Christ! God took on human flesh to step down into our messy world, live and die to restore that relationship. God as Jesus offers peace and forgiveness to the people of this world. Those who have asked Christ for forgiveness have agreed to restore that relationship and share His message of restoration and peace. (2 Corinthians 5:19-20). When Christians share the gospel, we are speaking for Christ, Who is giving you every opportunity to restore that relationship.

The most awesome truth in the world is that while all people have sinned, God still loves us so much that He personally make it possible for us to be forgiven so that we can have a relationship with Him. While Allah is distant and angry, the God of the Bible is personal and loving.

But, unlike Islam (and some other isms), God does not force anyone to come to Him who does not want to come to Him. It is your choice to reestablish that relationship. Biblical Christians can tell you about the gift of salvation, but they cannot (nor should they) force you to accept. God can love you and provide you with the door way to a restored relationship, but He will not force you to walk through it. It’s always your own decision.

While Islam is a religion that involves doing things, saying prayers, keeping rituals in the uncertain hope of appeasing an angry god, Biblical Christian faith is a restored relationship with a loving, forgiving God Who says that once you’ve entered that relationship you will always be restored, even if you are not always the ideal Christian.

There are Moderate Muslims!   2 comments

M. Zuhdi JasserMy friend Kristina, who is an Egyptian Copt by birth and a Great Commission Baptist by marriage and “just a Christian” by faith, has been encouraging me to look into this organization because she believes that Christians need to educate themselves on “real” Islam rather than the caricatures that are shouted from the roof tops in America. Islam is neither a religion of peace nor a toxic belief system from which there is no reform possible. That’s her opinion, not mine.

I am familiar with Zudhi Jasser from Fox News. His organization may be a lone voice crying in the wilderness, but I think it’s worth it to see what “moderate” Muslims have to say because, if — IF — there’s any hope of averting the coming jihad, I believe it will be found through Islam’s moderation.

In saying this I am NOT saying that I agree with Dr. Jasser on all points or that I necessarily believe that he is representative of his co-religionists. I haven’t studied him enough to say that for sure. I am simply putting out there that — yes, there are people who call themselves Muslims, who come from actual Muslim backgrounds (as opposed to the American Black Muslim movement) and who do not believe that Allah wants them to kill the “infidel”. Maybe they’re not true believers in the Koran. Maybe they’re not even good Muslims. But they exist and we should all pause and ask ourselves … are there more of them out there?

If you know anything about the history of Christianity, you know that there were always protestants. Going back to the 4th century, there were groups the “catholic” church (the accepted, orthodox hierarchy) called heretics. Not that much is known about them, but several sound like what Roman Catholics think non-Catholic Christians believe today — disrepectful of the eucharist and refusing baptism. Those protestants were a small quiet group for centuries, flaring up occasionally, but mostly surviving by staying out of the way of the bossy arm of Christianity … until times changed, mainly because Christians could now read the Bible for themselves due to the invention of the printing press. Knowledge of what it actually brought people out of the Roman Catholic Church into Bible-teaching churches. In doing so, it moved Christians away from theocratic-leaning government toward separation of church and state and freedom of religion.

Could the same thing happen to Islam? Having read the Koran, I doubt it, but that doesn’t mean that folks like Jasser shouldn’t try or that folks like me shouldn’t say “Good luck to you!” and maybe even pray that their reason will fall on willing ears.

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