Posted tagged ‘Pope Francis’

Commendable defiance

December 8, 2017

Commendable defiance, Israel Hayom, David M. Weinberg, December 8, 2017

What do you do when they untruthfully blame Israeli “settlements,” expressly including home construction in Jewish Jerusalem, for the failure of their botched peace process, and then abstain as the U.N. Security Council savages Israel, and only Israel, for obstruction of peace diplomacy?

You pray for new leaders in the United States who will right the wrongs, defy the rotten and callous consensus, be willing to introduce a dose of realism and truth-telling to the Arab-Israeli dynamic, and be brave enough to say, at least, that Jews have profound rights in Jerusalem and that the U.S. recognizes the indisputable fact that Jerusalem functions as Israel’s capital, justifiably so. And that the American Embassy will move to Jerusalem, as should all embassies.

You pray that somebody with Trump’s gumption will come along, become president of the United States, and do what he has just done.

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The Palestinians have no one to blame except themselves for President Donald Trump’s declaration on Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem. The same goes for European leaders, who were busy this week condemning Trump’s move.

The Palestinians and the Europeans brought this on themselves by running an ugly campaign of denialism and denigration against Israel. Their brazen persistence in delegitimizing the Jewish people’s historic roots and rights in Jerusalem led to this defiant and ultimately honorable result: a reassertion of reality.

Over the past decade, and certainly since he rejected then-U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry’s 2014 peace initiative, President Mahmoud Abbas’ Palestinian Authority has been on an outrageous path, an assault on the core identity of Jews and Israelis and an offensive to deny the most fundamental, basic building blocks of Jewish connection to Jerusalem and the Land of Israel.

At Abbas’ express urging, UNESCO has adopted insane and nonsensical resolutions declaring Jerusalem an exclusively Muslim heritage city and criminalizing Israel’s custodianship of the holy city. Most of Israel’s European allies went along with this affront, either voting for or abstaining on the resolutions.

So what do you do when the Big Lie is evident everywhere, and no one seems to care about the truth? What do you do when Abbas repugnantly engages in gross inversions of reality and says that Israel is “paving the way for bitter religious conflict” that he doesn’t want – when, in fact, it is he who is driving the conflict, not Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu or Israel?

What you do is keep the faith, and re-assert basic truths, such as the fact that for 3,000 years Jerusalem has been the Jewish people’s ancient patrimony and that for 70 years Jerusalem has been the sovereign capital of the State of Israel.

What do you do when Abbas shamefully, regularly and falsely accuses Israel of committing “violations” against Islamic and Christian holy sites, including the Al-Aqsa mosque on the Temple Mount, when it is his Waqf Muslim religious trust that has turned Al-Aqsa into an armed fortress and turned every Jewish visit to Judaism’s holiest site into a skirmish?

What do you do when it his Waqf that wantonly has dug up and destroyed thousands of years of Jewish archaeological treasures on the Temple Mount, and the world has stood by without protest? What do you do when Abbas’ people have destroyed Joseph’s Tomb, sought to destroy Rachel’s Tomb, and have run Christians out of Bethlehem?

You change the way Israeli (and  hopefully now American) diplomats present Israel’s case by emphasizing Israel’s legal, historic and religious rights in this land, not just our security needs. You do not forfeit to the Palestinians the international discourse regarding human, national and civil rights, especially on Jerusalem.

You push back by declaring – against the advice of all the inveterate peace process experts and high-and-mighty European commissioners – that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital, plain and simple.

What do you do when Abbas has the gall to call for “international protection for Palestinians in Jerusalem against assaults by the occupation army” and accuses Israel of “executing” teenage Palestinian terrorists, when it is Israelis who have to be afraid of Palestinian stonings, knifings and shootings in every corner of this country and who are (uncomfortably and heroically) restraining themselves from unleashing the full force of Israel’s military?

You demonstrate resilience. And you ask your good friends in the U.S., be they Republican or Democrat, evangelical or secular, to defend you and to affirm that Jerusalem is Israel’s capital.

What do you do when the U.N. secretary general and the pope swallow every bit of Abbas’ bile about exclusive Arab rights in Jerusalem, while ignoring his denial of Christian history in Jerusalem? What do you do when they denounce “hateful discourse on both sides,” when there is no moral equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian discourse and no factual equivalence between Israeli and Palestinian propensities to violence?

You do not go running scared. You make the determination not to be cowed by yet more threats of Palestinian rage. You resolve not to melt from adopting moral policies just because of Arab stonings, stabbings, bombings and other forms of bullying.

What do you do when the president and secretary of state of your main ally, Barack Obama and John Kerry of the blessedly expired previous American administration, doubt Israel’s sincerity in maintaining calm on the Temple Mount and cast aspersions on the defensive measures taken by the Israel Police and IDF in response to Palestinian terrorism, when in fact Israel has studiously (and I think too diligently) maintained the status quo on Temple Mount, and its security forces have acted with immense restraint in response to Palestinian atrocities?

What do you do when they untruthfully blame Israeli “settlements,” expressly including home construction in Jewish Jerusalem, for the failure of their botched peace process, and then abstain as the U.N. Security Council savages Israel, and only Israel, for obstruction of peace diplomacy?

You pray for new leaders in the United States who will right the wrongs, defy the rotten and callous consensus, be willing to introduce a dose of realism and truth-telling to the Arab-Israeli dynamic, and be brave enough to say, at least, that Jews have profound rights in Jerusalem and that the U.S. recognizes the indisputable fact that Jerusalem functions as Israel’s capital, justifiably so. And that the American Embassy will move to Jerusalem, as should all embassies.

You pray that somebody with Trump’s gumption will come along, become president of the United States, and do what he has just done.

David M. Weinberg (www.davidmweinberg.com) is vice president of the Jerusalem Institute for Strategic Studies.

The Pope’s Pilgrimage to Al-Azhar

April 27, 2017

The Pope’s Pilgrimage to Al-Azhar, Gatestone InstituteLawrence A. Franklin, April 27, 2017

“They cannot take the texts of the seventh century literally as they are in the Quran. He [the Pope] does not dare to say something like that because he doesn’t know the Quran well enough, and so on. So I understand his position, but it would be better to have a clearer and more frank discussion — with openness, but also with some realism.”

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During a meeting between the former Papal Nuncio to Cairo, Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, and Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam warned Gobel that “speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.” If there are any condemnations of violence against the Coptic Christians, they are likely to be articulated only by the Grand Imam and the Egyptian President.

If the Pope’s humble bearing is excessive, however, it might be interpreted even by peaceable Muslims as a submission. If Francis is asked by the Grand Imam to pray at al-Azhar’s mosque, that is a piety that el-Tayeb would not likely reciprocate in a Coptic Church in Egypt.

Facilitating the establishment of an Islamic-Christian relationship that excludes Judaism can only serve the Islamist goal of isolating Jews and Israel. Although relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar will improve in the near future, the honeymoon will not. The Grand Imam will doubtless protect his own theological power base and keep his distance from both the Vatican and the Egyptian regime.

The twin Palm Sunday bombings at Coptic Christian Churches by Islamic terrorists in Egypt, which killed 44 worshipers, draws attention to what is probably the principal reason for the upcoming visit of Pope Francis to Cairo on April 28-29. The Pontiff will likely seek the assistance of Egypt’s Muslim hierarchy to help protect Egypt’s Coptic Christians, the indigenous inhabitants of the country who now number about 9 million and constitute at least 10% of the population.

During his stay, Francis will meet with the Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar Mosque, Sheikh Ahmed el-Tayeb. Al-Azhar’s theological complex, which houses Islam’s oldest university, is considered the most influential center of Sunni Islam.

The Pope possibly hopes that the meeting with el-Tayeb will fully repair relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar. These were restored as a result of a letter sent by Pope Francis to the Grand Imam last year. The Papal letter was followed up by a visit to the Holy See by el-Tayeb in May 2016. Relations between the Holy See and al-Azhar had been severed in 2011 by el-Tayeb after he took offense at comments made by the previous Pope, Benedict XVI, on the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries.

Grand Imam el-Tayeb now appears more disposed towards normalizing relations with the Vatican, especially since his amicable visit to the Holy See in May 2016. Al-Azhar’s Grand Imam is likely to be more agreeable toward Francis than he was toward Benedict. This show of flexibility might possibly also be an effort by el-Tayeb to get in line with President Abdel Fatah al-Sisi’s own call for reform within Islam. However, Al-Azhar, determined to maintain its authority over theological matters, has initiated no substantive, doctrinal reforms in response to President Sisi’s declaration. In fact, Al-Azhar has pushed back against attempts by some Muslim reformists who have suggested a more liberal policy concerning women’s rights, including the ability to divorce.

El-Tayeb, even if he accepted responsibility for protecting the Copts, may prove unable to prevent Islamic terrorist groups from targeting Egypt’s minority Christian population. The alleged cooperation between the Islamic State and the Muslim Brotherhood makes it especially difficult for Cairo to prevent terrorist acts. Islamic terrorist cells in Alexandria and the Sinai Peninsula, where many of the attacks on Copts have occurred, act independently of Egypt’s political and religious leaders. The targeting of Christians by these groups may also be part of a larger objective to destabilize the regime of al-Sisi, who has promised security to Egyptians, particularly Coptic Christians. Radical Islamists such as the Muslim Brotherhood and ISIS view the Copts as their enemies; many members of this Christian sect support the Sisi government.

It was, in any event, al-Sisi who invited Pope Francis to visit Egypt during the Egyptian president’s visit to the Vatican in November 2014. Anti-regime elements might well attempt to stage a spectacular terrorist incident during the Pontiff’s visit, particularly targeting Francis himself.

The Pope’s upcoming visit is being organized by French Cardinal Jean-Louis Tauron, who chairs the Pontifical Council of Inter-Religious Dialogue. Cardinal Tauron is, no doubt, cognizant of the “red line” laid down by the Grand Imam if the Vatican wishes to have amicable relations with the Muslim leadership. During a meeting between the former Papal Nuncio to Cairo, Archbishop Jean-Paul Gobel, and el-Tayeb, the Grand Imam warned him that “speaking about Islam in a negative manner was a ‘red line’ that must not be crossed.” However, given the Pope’s past reluctance to condemn radical Islamic concepts, it is unlikely that, during his visit to Egypt, he will depart from this cautious public posture. Comments, if any, by Pope Francis on Muslim violence against Christians will, no doubt, be diplomatic and muted. If there are any condemnations of violence against the Coptic Christians, they are likely to be articulated only by the Grand Imam and the Egyptian President.

Nevertheless, Pope Francis will, it appears, publicly demonstrate his solidarity with fellow Christians by championing the Coptic Pope Tawadros II during memorial services for the recently martyred Copts. Francis, who is known to be fond of Tawadros, might express his deep personal concern for the welfare of the Coptic Pope — who was celebrating Mass inside St. Mark’s Cathedral when the bomber detonated his explosives just outside.

Francis is apparently most anxious to bring Copts and Catholics closer together, in the hope that the Egyptian Church will ultimately formally reunite with the Holy See. The Coptic Church first split from Rome in 451 A.D. However, the Vatican maintains deep respect for the Egyptian Church, which was established by one of the four authors of the Gospels, St. Mark, in Alexandria as early as 42 A.D.[1]

Catholic Pope Francis greets Egyptian Coptic Pope Tawadros II at the Vatican, on May 10, 2013. (Image source: News.va Official Vatican Network)

If the Pope’s humble bearing is excessive, however, it might be interpreted even by peaceable Muslims as submission. If Francis is asked by the Grand Imam to pray at al-Azhar’s mosque, that is a piety that el-Tayeb would not likely reciprocate in a Coptic Church in Egypt.

The public stance of the Vatican concerning Islam has been routinely cautious. The most recent example of the Pontiff’s less-than-direct criticism of Islamist violence is his April 22 statement at a prayer service paying tribute to 21st Century Christian Martyrs in Rome:

Francis said the legacy of modern-day martyrs “teaches us that with the strength of love, meekness, one can combat arrogance, violence, war, and with patience, achieve peace.”

A professor of Islamic Studies at the Pontifical Institute in Rome, Father Samir Khalil Samir, also an Egyptian, characterizes the Pope’s diplomatic approach to Muslims, “who are the second-most important group in the world, to have a dialogue and understanding.” Khalil adds:

“I think it’s important to say things with charity, with friendship, but to say things as they are: that it cannot continue like this; we have to rethink Islam. This is my vision. They cannot take the texts of the seventh century literally as they are in the Quran. He [the Pope] does not dare to say something like that because he doesn’t know the Quran well enough, and so on. So I understand his position, but it would be better to have a clearer and more frank discussion — with openness, but also with some realism.”

This clearly modulated posture was apparent during a session of the Geneva Center of Human Rights Advancement and Dialogue. The theme of the Geneva sessions was “Islam and Christianity: The Great Convergence.” The March 15 Conference, attended by Muslim and Christian delegates, studiously avoided key issues of doctrinal divergence, and stressed instead alleged areas of common interest. The key sponsors of the conference were Algeria, Pakistan, and Lebanon, all of which are Muslim majority countries. The only non-Muslim state sponsor of the Conference was Malta. One of the oft-repeated themes of the sessions in Geneva was the ‘feel-good’ concept of the ‘common Abrahamic root’ of Islam, Christianity and Judaism — although no representatives of the Jewish faith were invited to the conference. Statements by representatives of Christian churches seemed overly optimistic about the prospects of developing positive relationships with Islamic societies.

The failure to invite Jewish or Israeli representation by conference organizers was presumably not an oversight. This omission would be consistent with the UN Arab bloc’s objective of isolating Israel in an apparent effort to destroy and replace it. That campaign includes efforts by Arab states to marshal support at the United Nations for suffocating Israel through diplomatic subversion as well as through economic strangulation. Facilitating the establishment of an Islamic-Christian relationship that excludes Judaism can only serve the Islamist goal of isolating Jews and Israel.

After the visit of Pope Francis to Egypt, mass murders of Egyptian Copts are likely to continue. Although relations between the Vatican and al-Azhar will improve in the near future, the honeymoon will not. The Grand Imam will doubtless protect his own theological power base and keep his distance from both the Vatican and the Egyptian regime.

Dr. Lawrence A. Franklin was the Iran Desk Officer for Secretary of Defense Rumsfeld. He also served on active duty with the U.S. Army and as a Colonel in the Air Force Reserve, where he was a Military Attaché at the U.S. Embassy in Israel.


[1] Tradition has it that Mark founded the Church in Alexandria as early as 42 A.D. but some Coptic documents assert that Mark came to Alexandria for the first time in 61 A.D. after several missionary trips with St. Paul and St. Barnabas.

Pope Francis Tells EU Leaders: Populism Is ‘Egotism’

March 25, 2017

Pope Francis Tells EU Leaders: Populism Is ‘Egotism’ BreitbartThomas D. Williams, Ph.D., March 25, 2017

(Thank you, your Holiness, for your humble words of religious political wisdom. We will stop being populists, respect our all-wise unelected bureaucrats and our elected but powerless EU Parliament. We will do as you and our other betters command us. Amen.

Oh well.– DM)

Getty

Solidarity is “the most effective antidote to modern forms of populism,” Pope Francis told European Union leaders Friday, in a politically charged speech denouncing nationalism as a modern form of selfishness.

In his address to more than 20 European heads of state assembled in Rome for the celebration of the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome that marked the beginning of the European Economic Community (EEC), the Pope advocated a stronger, consolidated Europe against the rising tide of populist movements.

(Video at the link. — DM)

The pontiff contrasted solidarity, which draw us “closer to our neighbors,” with populism, which is “the fruit of an egotism that hems people in and prevents them from overcoming and ‘looking beyond’ their own narrow vision.”

As a number of European countries prepare for important national elections pitting neo-populist leaders against mostly established, left-leaning parties, the Pope took an unusually overt stand in favor of a Eurocentric vision of the future of the region.

“There is a need to start thinking once again as Europeans,” Francis said, “so as to avert the opposite dangers of a dreary uniformity or the triumph of particularisms.”

“Politics needs this kind of leadership, which avoids appealing to emotions to gain consent, but instead, in a spirit of solidarity and subsidiarity, devises policies that can make the Union as a whole develop harmoniously,” he added.

This union will only be lasting and successful if the common will of Europe “proves more powerful than the will of individual nations,” Francis said, quoting the Prime Minister of Luxembourg.

France will hold its first round of elections on April 23, followed by a second round on May 7. The latest polls show the Socialist candidate Emmanuel Macron just one percentage point behind the Eurosceptic front-runner Marine Le-Pen, who presently stands to win 25 percent of the first round of voting.

Meanwhile in its federal election slated for next September 24, Germany’s chancellor Angela Merkel of the center-left Christian Democratic Union (CDU) will face off against Martin Schulz of the Social Democratic party, as well as the small but growing Alternative für Deutschland (AfD) party. Merkel’s CDU is part of a strong coalition that includes the Christian Social Union (CSU) as well as the Social Democratic Party of Germany (SPD). Despite Merkel’s ebbing popularity, she is still the current favorite for the fall elections.

In Italy, although a date for the next general elections has not yet been set, a new survey this week put the Eurosceptic 5-Star Movement at 32.3 percent of the vote, five and a half points ahead of the ruling center-left Democratic Party (PD). The poll also put found that the right wing populist Northern League party would currently take 12.8 percent of the vote, ahead of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi’s Forza Italia at 12.7 percent.

In his address Friday, Pope Francis described Europe as strongest when it “refuses to yield to fear or close herself off in false forms of security,” asserting that “her history has been greatly determined by encounters with other peoples and cultures.”

Europe’s history, he insisted, “is, and always has been, a dynamic and multicultural identity.”

While recognizing that “one frequently has the sense that there is a growing ‘split’ between the citizenry and the European institutions, which are often perceived as distant and inattentive to the different sensibilities present in the Union,” Francis nonetheless continued to advocate for a strong European Union over a shift toward greater decision making at the national level.

“Today the European Union needs to recover the sense of being primarily a ‘community’ of persons and peoples, to realize that ‘the whole is greater than the part, but it is also greater than the sum of its parts,’” he said.

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”

January 29, 2017

“Islam Strengthening in Europe with the Blessing of the Church”, Gatestone InstituteGiulio Meotti, January 29, 2017

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing.

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church…. the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot.” — Laurent Dandrieu, cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world…Islam, through the sharia, their law…allows violence against the infidels, such as Christians….And what is the most important achievement? Rome.” — Cardinal Raymond Burke, interview, Il Giornale.

“[T]hey are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over.” — Laszlo Kiss Rigo, head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community.

François Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

Everyone in Italy and the rest of Europe will “soon be Muslim” because of our “stupidity”, warned Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei. Liberati claimed that, thanks to the huge number of Muslim migrants alongside the increasing secularism of native Europeans, Islam will soon become the main religion of Europe. “All of this moral and religious decadence favours Islam”, Archbishop Liberati explained.

Décadence is also the title of a new book by the French philosopher Michel Onfray, in which he suggests that the Judeo-Christian era may have come to an end. He compares the West and Islam: “We have nihilism, they have fervor; we are exhausted, they have a great health; we have the past for us; they have the future for them”.

Archbishop Liberati belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe. They speak in open opposition to Pope Francis, who does not seem too impressed by the collapse of Christianity due to falling birth rates, accompanied by religious apathy and its replacement by Islam.

2248Monsignor Carlo Liberati, Archbishop Emeritus of Pompei (left) belongs to a growing branch of Catholic leaders who refuse to see the future belonging to Islam in Europe, and who speak in open opposition to Pope Francis (right).

Pope Francis’s official vision is personified by Bishop Nunzio Galantino, who was appointed by the Pontiff as the Secretary General of Italy’s Bishops. Last December, Galantino gave an interview in which he dismissed any religious motivation behind jihadist attacks and claimed that, instead, “money” is what is behind them.

There are now many Catholic commentators who are questioning the Church’s blindness about the danger Europe is facing. One is the cultural editor of the French magazine Valeurs Actuelles, Laurent Dandrieu, who writes:

“Islam has every chance massively to strengthen its presence in Europe with the blessing of the Church. The Church is watching the establishment of millions of Muslims in Europe… and Muslim worship in our continent as an inescapable manifestation of religious freedom. But the civilizational question is simply never asked …. By breaking away from the Europe’s indigenous peoples and their legitimate concerns, the Church is not only leading Europe to an impasse, it is also shooting itself in the foot”.

Dandrieu lists Pope Francis’ gestures and speeches in favor of Islam and migrants:

“On October 1, 2014, the Pope received Eritrean survivors of a shipwreck off Lampedusa; on 8 February 2015, he made a surprise visit to a refugee camp in Ponte Mammolo, northeast of Rome; on April 18, he used the first official visit of the new Italian president, Sergio Mattarella, to demand ‘a much larger commitment’ for migrants; on 6 September 2015, at the conclusion of the Angelus in St Peter’s Square, he called for ‘every parish, religious community, monastery and sanctuary in Europe to host a family’ of refugees; on March 24, 2016, he chose to celebrate the Holy Thursday in a structure housing 900 refugees, and to wash the feet to twelve asylum seekers; on May 28, he received children whose parents died in a boat that sank, filled with migrants; during the general audience of June 22, Francis went down to the crowd to bring back fifteen refugees”.

But as Liberati’s case demonstrates, resistance to Pope Francis’ vision of Europe is growing inside the Catholic Church.

“It is clear that Muslims have an ultimate goal: conquering the world”, Cardinal Raymond Burke said.

“Islam, through the sharia, their law, wants to rule the world and allows violence against the infidels, like Christians. But we find it hard to recognize this reality and to respond by defending the Christian faith (…) I have heard several times an Islamic idea: ‘what we failed to do with the weapons in the past we are doing today with the birth rate and immigration’. The population is changing. If this keeps up, in countries such as Italy, the majority will be Muslim (…) Islam realizes itself in the conquest. And what is the most important achievement? Rome”.

The first to denounce this dramatic trend was Italy’s most important missionary, Father Piero Gheddo, who said that, due to falling fertility and Muslim fervor, “Islam would sooner rather than later conquer the majority in Europe”. These concerns do not belong only to the Conservative wing of the Catholic Church.

Cardinal Christoph Schönborn, Archbishop of Vienna and a candidate tipped to be the next Pope, is very close to Pope Francis, and is a centrist. Last September, on the anniversary of the Siege of Vienna, when Turkey’s Ottoman troops nearly conquered Europe, Schönborn delivered a dramatic appeal to save Europe’s Christian roots. “Many Muslims want and say that ‘Europe is finished'”, Cardinal Schönborn said, before accusing Europe of “forgetting its Christian identity”. He then denounced the possibility of “an Islamic conquest of Europe“.

After a Tunisian, who arrived among a flood of migrants into Germany, murdered 12 people at a Christmas market in Berlin, the Catholic archbishop of the German capital, Heiner Koch, another “moderate” Catholic leader appointed by Pope Francis, also sounded a warning: “Perhaps we focused too much on the radiant image of humanity, on the good. Now in the last year, or perhaps also in recent years, we have seen: No, there is also evil”.

The head of the Czech Roman Catholic Church, Miloslav Vlk, also warned about the threat of Islamization. “Muslims in Europe have many more children than Christian families; that is why demographers have been trying to come up with a time when Europe will become Muslim”, Cardinal Vlk claimed. He also blamed Europe itself for the Islamic takeover:

“Europe will pay dearly for having left its spiritual foundations; this is the last period that will not continue for decades when it may still have a chance to do something about it. Unless the Christians wake up, life may be Islamised and Christianity will not have the strength to imprint its character on the life of people, not to say society”.

Cardinal Dominik Duka, Archbishop of Prague and Primate of Bohemia, has also questioned Pope Francis’ “welcoming culture”.

Among the Eastern Catholic bishops there are many voices raising concerns about Europe’s demographic and religious revolution. One belongs to the leader of the Catholics in Lebanon, who paid an extremely high price for the Islamization of their own country, including murder and exile, and now see the danger coming to Europe itself. “I have heard many times from Muslims that their goal is to conquer Europe with two weapons: faith and the birth rate”, Cardinal Bechara Rai said.

Another voice belongs to the French-born Bishop Paul Desfarges, who heads the diocese of Constantine in Algeria: “It’s no surprise that Islam has taken on such importance”, Desfarges said. “It’s an issue that concerns Europe”. Sydney Cardinal George Pell then urged “a discussion of the consequences of the Islamic presence in the Western world”. Pell was echoed by Laszlo Kiss Rigo, the head of the Catholic Hungarian southern community, who said that “they are not refugees, this is an invasion, they come here with cries of ‘Allahu Akbar’, they want to take over”.

On the political level, there is another a tendency, that of strong Catholic leaders who challenge Pope Francis on the Islamic question and immigration. The most important is the French presidential candidate François Fillon, one of the first politicians who “doesn’t hide the fact that he’s Catholic“. Fillon published a book entitled, Vanquishing Islamic Totalitarianism, and he rose in the polls by vowing to control Islam and immigration: “We’ve got to reduce immigration to its strict minimum,” Fillon said. “Our country is not a sum of communities, it is an identity!”

These politicians, bishops and cardinals might convince Pope Francis not to abandon Europe, the cradle of Christianity and Western civilization, to a looming dark fate. Michel Onfray wrote at the end of his book: “Judeo-Christianity ruled for two millennia. An honorable period for a civilization. The boat now sinks: we can only sink with elegance”. It is urgent now to prevent that.

Vatican opens Palestinian embassy ahead of critical summit in Paris

January 14, 2017

Vatican opens Palestinian embassy ahead of critical summit in Paris, Jihad Watch

A Palestinian state would, like Gaza, be simply another jihad base from which “Palestinians” would launch new attacks against the State of Israel. That the Pope would validate it in this way is an unconscionable granting of the Catholic Church’s imprimatur both to the fictional “Palestinian people,” who were invented by the KGB and Yasir Arafat in the 1960s to counter the view of the tiny Jewish state surrounded by numerous gargantuan Arab states, and to the Palestinian jihad, which seeks a new genocide of the Jews, with “Palestinians” openly celebrating the murder of Israeli civilians.

The very “Palestinians” whose cause Pope Francis is aiding and abetting will, given the chance, oppress and subjugate the Christians in their domains as dhimmis, deprived of basic rights under Islamic law. In Israel, by contrast, Christians live in freedom. The Pope is betraying his own people.

“Leave them; they are blind guides. And if a blind man leads a blind man, both will fall into a pit.” (Matthew 15:14)

abbas-and-pope-francis

“BREAKING: Vatican opens Palestinian embassy ahead of critical summit in Paris,” Christians United for Israel, January 13, 2017:

The Pope is set to open a Palestinian embassy at The Vatican this weekend, in what is a hugely significant move by the papacy.

The inauguration of the embassy on Friday, attended by Palestinian Authority leader, Mahmoud Abbas, takes place just two days before 70 nations gather in Paris to vote on an anti-Israel decree.

PA President Mahmoud Abbas will also meet with Pope Francis on Saturday. This will be the third time the two have met. When they met last year, Pope Francis referred to Abbas as “an angel of peace”. The Vatican later explained that the reference was mistranslated, and in fact was meant as encouragement for Abbas to pursue peace with Israel.

As head of the Palestinian Authority, Abbas has been accused of inciting violence against Jews. Abbas is also the chairman of the Palestinian Liberation Organization (PLO) which was recognised by Israel and the US as a terror organisation until 1991.

Israel does have an embassy in Vatican City, but the Vatican Embassy in Israel is in Tel Aviv, whilst the Vatican has an “embassy to Palestine” located in East Jerusalem. The Vatican officially recognised a Palestinian State almost two years ago.

Pope helps to undermine peace by today opening a “Palestinian embassy” at the Vatican. @CUFI_UK https://t.co/OOBV5k54SD

— Rɪᴄʜᴀʀᴅ Kᴇᴍᴘ (@COLRICHARDKEMP) January 13, 2017

Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad Maliki confirmed that Abbas will primarily be raising issue with incoming President-elect Donald Trump, who is set to take office next week, and his proposed plan to move the US embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem….

“Nothing to do with Islam”?

December 3, 2016

“Nothing to do with Islam”? Gatestone InstituteJudith Bergman, December 3, 2016

Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.” — The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.

“The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs… Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches… Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?” — Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University.

The jihadists who carry out terrorist attacks in the service of ISIS, for example, are merely following the commands in the Quran, both 9:5, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” and Quran 8:39, “So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah.”

Archbishop Welby — and Egypt’s extraordinary President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — has finally had the courage to say in public that if one insists on remaining “religiously illiterate,” it is impossible to solve the problem of religiously motivated violence.

 

For the first time, a European establishment figure from the Church has spoken out against an argument exonerating ISIS and frequently peddled by Western political and cultural elites. The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, speaking in France on November 17, said that dealing with the religiously-motivated violence in Europe

“requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that ISIS is ‘nothing to do with Islam’… Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.”

Archbishop Welby also said that, “It’s very difficult to understand the things that impel people to some of the dreadful actions that we have seen over the last few years unless you have some sense of religious literacy”.

“Religious literacy” has indeed been in short supply, especially on the European continent. Nevertheless, all over the West, people with little-to-no knowledge of Islam, including political leaders, journalists and opinion makers, have all suddenly become “experts” on Islam and the Quran, assuring everybody that ISIS and other similarly genocidal terrorist groups have nothing to do with the purported “religion of peace,” Islam.

It is therefore striking finally to hear a voice from the establishment, especially a man of the Church, oppose, however cautiously, this curiously uniform (and stupefyingly uninformed) view of Islam. Until now, establishment Churches, despite the atrocities committed against Christians by Muslims, have been exceedingly busy only with so-called “inter-faith dialogue.” Pope Francis has even castigated Europeans for not being even more accommodating towards the migrants who have overwhelmed the continent, asking Europeans:

“What has happened to you, the Europe of humanism, the champion of human rights, democracy and freedom?… the mother of great men and women who upheld, and even sacrificed their lives for, the dignity of their brothers and sisters?”

(Perhaps the Pope, before rhetorically asking Europeans to sacrifice their lives for their migrant “brothers and sisters” should ask himself whether many of the Muslim migrants in Europe consider Europeans their “brothers and sisters”?)

A statement on Islam is especially significant coming from the Archbishop of Canterbury, the senior bishop and principal leader of the Anglican Church and the symbolic head of the Anglican Communion, which stands at around 85 million members worldwide, the third-largest communion in the world.

2092The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby (left), recently said that dealing with the religiously-motivated violence in Europe “requires a move away from the argument that has become increasingly popular, which is to say that ISIS is ‘nothing to do with Islam’… Until religious leaders stand up and take responsibility for the actions of those who do things in the name of their religion, we will see no resolution.” (Image source: Foreign and Commonwealth Office)

Only a year ago, commenting on the Paris massacres, the Archbishop followed conventional politically correct orthodoxy, pontificating that, “The perversion of faith is one of the most desperate aspects of our world today.” He explained that Islamic State terrorists have distorted their faith to the extent that they believe they are glorifying their God. Since then, he has clearly changed his mind.

Can one expect other Church leaders and political figures to heed Archbishop Welby’s words, or will they be conveniently overlooked? Western leaders have noticeably practiced selective hearing for many years and ignored truths that did not fit the “narrative” politicians apparently wished to imagine, especially when spoken by actual experts on Islam. When, in November 2015, Sheikh Muhammad Abdullah Nasr, a scholar of Islamic law and graduate of Egypt’s Al Azhar University, explained why the prestigious institution, which educates mainstream Islamic scholars, refused to denounce ISIS as un-Islamic, none of them was listening:

“The Islamic State is a byproduct of Al Azhar’s programs. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic? Al Azhar says there must be a caliphate and that it is an obligation for the Muslim world. Al Azhar teaches the law of apostasy and killing the apostate. Al Azhar is hostile towards religious minorities, and teaches things like not building churches, etc. Al Azhar upholds the institution of jizya [extracting tribute from non-Muslims]. Al Azhar teaches stoning people. So can Al Azhar denounce itself as un-Islamic?”

Nor did Western leaders listen when The Atlantic, hardly an anti-establishment periodical, published a study by Graeme Wood, who researched the Islamic State and its ideology in depth. He spoke to members of the Islamic State and Islamic State recruiters and concluded:

“The reality is that the Islamic State is Islamic. Very Islamic. Yes, it has attracted psychopaths and adventure seekers, drawn largely from the disaffected populations of the Middle East and Europe. But the religion preached by its most ardent followers derives from coherent and even learned interpretations of Islam”.

In the United States, another establishment figure, Reince Priebus, Chairman of the Republican National Committee and Donald Trump’s incoming White House Chief of Staff, recently made statements to the same effect as the Archbishop of Canterbury. “Clearly there are some aspects of that faith that are problematic and we know them; we’ve seen it,” Priebus said when asked to comment on incoming National Security Adviser former Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn’s view that Islam is a political ideology that hides behind being a religion.

In much of American society, Flynn’s view that Islam is a political ideology is considered controversial, despite the fact that the political and military doctrines of Islam, succinctly summarized in the concept of jihad, are codified in Islamic law, sharia, as found in the Quran and the hadiths. The jihadists who carry out terrorist attacks in the service of ISIS, for example, are merely following the commands in the Quran, both 9:5, “Fight and kill the disbelievers wherever you find them…” and Quran 8:39, “So fight them until there is no more fitna [strife] and all submit to the religion of Allah.”

The question becomes, then, whether other establishment figures will also acknowledge what someone like Archbishop Welby — and Egypt’s extraordinary President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi — has finally had the courage to say in public: that if one insists on remaining “religiously illiterate,” it is impossible to solve the problem of religiously motivated violence.

Three Pakistani Muslims apprehended in U.S. at Arizona border

November 19, 2016

Three Pakistani Muslims apprehended in U.S. at Arizona border, Jihad Watch

“We see, for example, how quickly those among us with the status of a stranger, an immigrant, or a refugee, become a threat, take on the status of an enemy. An enemy because they come from a distant country or have different customs. An enemy because of the color of their skin, their language or their social class. An enemy because they think differently or even have a different faith.” — Pope Francis, denouncing those who are concerned about people such as these three Pakistani Muslims.

border-sign-in-arizona

“EXCLUSIVE: Three Pakistani Men Apprehended in U.S. at Arizona Border,” by Brandon Darby, Breitbart, November 17, 2016:

Three Pakistani men were apprehended after crossing into the U.S. from Mexico in the Tucson Sector. A combination of sources — including official confirmation from Customs and Border Protection (CBP) — revealed the men were in fact apprehended and are currently in U.S. federal custody.

Breitbart Texas sources first released the information and CBP confirmed via email. CPB responded:

U.S. Border Patrol agents in Nogales, AZ, apprehended three Pakistani nationals on Nov. 11. As a standard procedure, agents processed the individuals and checked their identities against numerous law enforcement and national security related databases. Record checks revealed no derogatory information about the individuals. The individuals are currently in Federal custody while they await the outcome of their immigration cases.

Additional information on the individuals was obtained by federal agents working under the umbrella of CBP, but it is important to note that the additional details were not confirmed by CBP.

“One of them had a shit load of hits from a bunch of places he’s been. He had entered and exited numerous countries that were not in his route to the U.S. This raises red flags because people leaving a foreign country to come here usually take the quickest route, but one of them did not,” said one of the sources.

The source continued, “One of the men had his hair died blonde to disguise his appearance and all of the men spoke perfect English.”…