1st Romana: You know, if Grendel does become king, he’ll never make you his queen.
Madame Lamia: Nor you, either. I will see to that.

1st Romana: Ah, but I don’t want him and you do, don’t you. Look, why don’t you let me go? All you have to do is release me and the Doctor, and I’ll leave Tara. Think about it. What have you got to lose?
Madame Lamia: Grendel.
1st Romana: Well, you haven’t exactly got him now, have you? All he’s doing is using you.
Madame Lamia: I know. But that is better than nothing.

Doctor Who  The Androids of Tara 1978

Yesterday I wrote about the contrast of a Radical Islamic group & a representative of the US Army fighting on one side of the War Against Christmas while a local Imam was on the other:

Did you ever think you’d see the day when an Islamic Sect is more friendly toward Christmas than a representative of the US Army?

When Jaded by Politics tweeted out the No Christmas Story from the Army & tweeted out the story of the local Imam.  This led to an exchange with an Ahmadiyya follower in England.

@DaTechGuyblog #Ahmadiyya is the true Islam regardless of what our opponents say about us. Wasn’t Jesus treated as a liar? @JadedByPolitics

— Bilal Mahmood (@bilalmahmooduk) December 26, 2013

When I said nice things about Ahmadiyya vs radical Islam Jaded tweeted this:

@DaTechGuyblog @bilalmahmooduk gosh don’t get them killed man….LOL! never say anything nice about anyone attached to a murderous cult!

— JadedByPolitics (@JadedByPolitics) December 26, 2013

Unfortunately it’s much too late for that

The minarets and verses were covered up, apparently to the police’s satisfaction, but a baying mob gathered at one worship place the next day and demanded that the minarets be torn down. The police did so. The group of protesters is now demanding that similar action be taken against two other worship places within a couple of days.

The cleric whose complaint led to the action told The Express Tribune that he had approached the police after he attended a Khatm-i-Nabuwwat Conference on September 7, marking the anniversary of the passage of anti-Ahmadi laws, where a speaker said that Ahmadis were not allowed to build minarets or use verses from the Quran at their places of worship.

Sections 298-B and 298-C of the Pakistan Penal Code outlaw Ahmadis from calling their place of worship a masjid, claiming to be Muslims or preaching their faith to others.

It gets worse:

Sajeel Ahmed, 18, of Khushab was accused of making derogatory remarks about the Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) in a first information report (FIR) registered under Section 295-C of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC), which carries the death penalty. The complainant is his classmate Waqas Nadeem, who said that Sajeel had tried to convert other students and made remarks that hurt their religious sentiments.

Sajeel’s father Hakim Jameel was accused of describing his son as a Muslim in his school admission form, an offence under Section 298-C of the PPC with a penalty of up to three years in prison. The complainant in the case is Qari Saeed Ahmed, who submitted that “the Muslims of Khushab are worried about the increasing number and activities of Qadianis in the city”.

Much worse:

On May 28, last year, 94 members of the Ahmadi community were massacred in their mosques during the Friday congregation in the eastern city of Lahore. Since then, Saleemuddin said, there has been a marked increase in persecution, with 11 more people killed.

Last year, the Punjab government made it mandatory for students to reveal whether they were ‘Muslim or non-Muslim’ before being admitted to school or college, or even before registering for the board exams.

There has been some coverage of it in the US:

Assembled in this way during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan, discussing the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed and their sect’s founder Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, could amount to a death sentence in some parts of the world. But the Masjid Bait-ul Qadir is on Milwaukee’s north side, where members of the local Ahmadiyya Muslim community — one of the oldest in the country — are free to worship as they please.

“We are just like other Muslims in that we follow the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed, the way we worship and the five basic pillars of the faith,” said Rizwan Ahmad of New Berlin, one of the leaders of the local mosque.

“The only difference is we believe that the messiah who is awaited by most of the major religions — other Muslims, Christians and Jews — has come in the person of our founder.”

For many mainstream Muslims, who are predominantly Sunni or Shiite, the small Ahmadiyya sect is one of heretics. Ahmadi are persecuted, even killed, in places such as Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Indonesia. And while there has been isolated violence in the United States — an Ahmadi man was murdered and a mosque torched in Detroit in the 1980s — difficulties locally have been described mostly as minor tensions, a heated debate among college students, or a personal slight at a gathering.

The Irony however is that some who would defend their rights point out their persecution they will get attacked:

The Ahmadis suffer persecution, oppression and slaughter at the hands of Muslims in so many Muslim countries because they attempted to reform/reinterpret jihad and Islam (claiming it to be “peaceful”). That’s bad enough. But the Ahmadis attack me for my defense of their rights. Oh yes, read this from Harris Zafar, National Spokesperson for the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community USA, in the Huffington Post: Confronting Pamela Geller (Updated With Response). My response is below Zafar’s suicidal screed. And it took an army ot tweeters to get the Puff Ho to run it.

It’s a catch 22 for the Ahmadis.  Because they are peaceful in an age where headlines involving Islam worldwide uniformly concern violence (Iraq, Nigeria etc etc etc) the US Muslim community and groups like CAIR highlight them whenever possible.  They long to be accepted by their Islamic brothers so they go along with this.

And because the crave that acceptance when people like Geller & Spencer point out this persecution and the excesses of radical Islam that they themselves suffer, folks like Harris Zafar side with their own oppressors.

That’s the Irony.  They are being used by the same groups that would be joining in their persecution in any majority Muslim nation.

Now if you ask me about Christian Theology I can give you an informed and educated opinion I can’t claim the same about Islam although I think the world would be a better place if the Ahmadi sect was the majority of Islam but until that day comes I do have a simple challenge to Mr. Zafar as a member of the Ahmadi community and to the people like CAIR who he backs.

I’ll believe that you truly accept you, the Ahmadi,  as a part of Islam when I see them fight to change this fact of life that Ahmadi’s must deal with.

Why do Ahmadis not perform Hajj?

Another objection that is raised is that why Ahmadis do not go for Hajj? Instead they go to their holy places in Qadian and Rabwah? Hajj is a pillar of Islam which they disrespect and they show more love for their own places rather than where the Holy Prophet, may peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, was born, therefore they are not Muslims through their actions!

Again a nonsense objection, how can Ahmadi Muslims go for Hajj when it is the Muslims themselves who are preventing them? Every Muslim must perform Hajj once in their lifetime, unless either the way is prevented, ill health or they cannot afford it. Ahmadi Muslims are prevented to go to Mecca for Hajj by the Saudi Government!  Furthermore, in Pakistan, you have to sign a form if you want to perform Hajj and Umra and on that form you are required to declare Hadhrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad, may peace be upon him, as a false prophet!  No Ahmadi Muslim can sign such a form. Hajj is a rite in Islam which you do purely for Allah’s sake to attain the Nearness and Blessings of Allah. All worldly things should be left behind, even your clothes, as you are required to put on two white unsewn clothes – Ihram and so leave all worldly things behind, all fashion cloths etc. and instead everyone is the same, all Muslims striving for the same objectives. If that is the case, then why are they bringing politics into it!  Who are they to say who can do Hajj or not!  No doubt they will say that Hajj is only for Muslims, but if we declare the Kalima – la illaha illallaho Muhammad ur Rasoolullah, then who can tell us we are non-Muslims? Only Allah will judge if we are Muslims or not. It is not for the Saudi Government or the Pakistan Government to decide if we are Muslims or not. That being the case, then they have no right to prevent us. And then after preventing us from going to Hajj, then have the nerve to say we are not Muslims because we don’t go for Hajj!  May Allah have mercy on them.

Till they and other American Muslims fight for the right of Ahmadis to perform the hajj, I and people like me must conclude that CAIR and these other group’s only use for the Ahmadi is for the good PR they generate.

More than 1500 years ago, the great Theologian Tertullian posed the question:  What has Jerusalem have to do with Athens?

This is an interesting point of inquiry.  On the surface, one might think that this is an inconsequential issue.  However, perhaps it is not so much what the two cities of antiquity have in common that is important as much as it might be what they both represent.

Without the Jerusalem and Athens of antiquity there would not be modern Europe or the United States as we know them today.  Each of those two cities have made invaluable contributions to both the moral and intellectual mosaic of what is known as Western Civilization.

Jerusalem takes on tremendous significance because it symbolizes our great Judeo-Christian heritage.  Nearly 3,300 years ago the great Hebrew prophet Moses led the children out of 450 years of cruel Egyptian bondage.  According to the book of Exodus in the Old Testament, Moses is divinely chosen by GOD [literally the great “I AM”] to lead His people known as “Israel” out of Egypt and into a land that “flows with milk and honey.”  As the children of Israel depart from Egypt, GOD commands them to stop at a mountain known as Sinai where he imparts to His people the “Divine Law” which is popularly known as “The Ten Commandments.”

GOD instructs Moses to tell the children of Israel that they are not to wander in the wilderness doing what is right in their own eyes [Deuteronomy 12.8], but they are accountable to GOD’S Law and to each other in a Covenant relationship.

What many people in the United States today may not realize is that in our colonial period, the great legal jurist Sir William Blackstone use to literally carry a copy of the Bible with him along with his law books as he handed down his legal decisions.

[One could only imagine the hollering that would take place by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union as they would accuse Blackstone of attempting to impose a “theocracy” on our land.]

The Old Testament law imparted to us the notion that neither King nor Queen has absolute power but that ultimately “the Law is King.”  We later became a nation of “laws and not men.”

Athens is important to Western Civilization because it was here nearly 2,500 years ago that the ancient Greek itinerant philosophers began to ask questions such as:  “Who am I?”  “Where did I come from?”  Where am I going”  “How did I get here?”  “What is the ultimate meaning of life?”

In our law schools today, professors employ a questioning method of teaching known as the “Socratic method.”  The Socratic method has irritated many a law student!  Professors continually ask their students why they hold a particular opinion or view on a legal case or issue.  What many of the prospective law students may not realize is that Socrates use to walk around Athens asking disturbing questions that upset that the “status quo.”  Socrates averred that “the unexamined life is not worth living.”

Where would Western Civilization be – and the United States in particular – if we did not possess a people with both the moral imagination and the philosophical moorings to question whether or not a particular action is just or unjust?

Great movements such as the American Revolution and the Abolitionists struggle and the fight for Women’s Suffrage would not have taken place were it not the legacy that was passed on to us from both Jerusalem and Athens of yesteryear.

The New Year is an excellent time to study the Holy Bible and the literary classics and to remind ourselves that Civilization is both a blessing and a trust that we must faithfully preserve for ourselves and for our posterity.

May GOD richly bless ALL of you with a great and joyous 2014.

Two weeks ago I was on a conference call interview with Captain Barak Raz, former spokesperson for the Judea and Samaria Division of the IDF Central Command discussing the situation in Judea and Samaria.

While security is relative (particularly in the middle east) in Judea and Samaria things are relatively stable overall. The goal of course is to allow all concerned to: “have a normal life regardless of a political outlook”.

The problem is the risk of the rise of Al Qaeda groups or rather Salafist groups inspired by Al Qaeda such as the groups that have been operating in the Gaza strip.

The PA are not fans of Salafids or Hamas their allies and the captain believes they might consider them a bigger threat to their position than “big bad Israel” in Hebron but there is a reason why the PA has not been in a rush to hold elections since 2006.

But as Waleed Pharis pointed out in the same conference call the rise of these groups are not happening in a vacuum as Iran has gotten signals through the years that the administration will not support the foes of the ayatolyas in Iran and the nuclear deal demonstrated the rewards of opposing the US.

Meanwhile a week later we see this story out of Syria:

On Monday, the State Department confirmed its openness to engaging with the Islamic Front following the group’s seizure of a Free Syrian Army headquarters last week containing U.S.-supplied small arms and food. “We wouldn’t rule out the possibility of meeting with the Islamic Front,” State Department spokeswoman Marie Harf said Monday. “We can engage with the Islamic Front, of course, because they’re not designated terrorists …  We’re always open to meeting with a wide range of opposition groups. Obviously, it may make sense to do so at some point soon, and if we have something to announce, we will.”

How soon the U.S. might engage with the powerful rebel faction, if it chooses to,  is uncertain. On Saturday, Reuters reported that Syrian rebel commanders in the Islamic Front were due to meet U.S. officials in Turkey in the coming days to discuss U.S. support for the group.

Via Robert Spencer who asks:

The U.S. mulls allying with an al-Qaeda force. What could possibly go wrong?

So the Syrian Al Qaeda rebels continue to gain ground to the point where Barack Obama is willing to play ball with them.

An interesting development, but that’s recent, there is an ongoing one that is even more important as evidenced from the headline in the Telegraph:

Iraq’s battle to save its Christian souls: ‘Christians are finished here’

The situation is dire:

None the less, the minority status of Christians has left them feeling acutely vulnerable – nowhere more so than in Doura, which sits on a palm-lined stretch of the Tigris as it winds south of Baghdad.

Christians first settled here in the 1960s to work at the nearby oil refinery, with a cluster of churches, monasteries and seminaries giving the area the nickname “The Vatican of Iraq”.

But during Saddam’s reign, Doura also became populated with Salafists – Sunni hardliners put there to defend the city’s southern flank in the event of an uprising in Iraq’s Shia-dominated south. Post-war, the Salafists declared the area to be a mini al-Qaeda caliphate, threatening Christian women for not wearing headscarves and extorting tithes for non-existent “protection” services.

They would consider joining those who have left, however…

Those unable to join Iraqi diasporas in Europe and America often fled to sister communities in neighbouring Syria, only to find themselves in similar peril thanks to al-Qaeda’s presence in the war against President Bashar al-Assad. In post-Mubarak Egypt, the Christians fear a similar reckoning, and only last month Pope Francis warned that the entire Church was in peril across the region, adding: “We will not resign ourselves to imagining a Middle East without Christians.”

Yet with al-Qaeda once again on the rise in Iraq – more than 6,000 people have been killed in 2013, the most in five years – Christian communities such as Doura are already contemplating that very scenario.

As Pam Geller puts it:

Either we grant immediate asylum to the Christians and apostates, or we leave a military force dedicated to protecting these communities from Muslim supremacists. This was Bush’s great failing. Obama, on the other hand, has actively aided and abetted jihadists from Africa to the Middle East — Egypt to Libya, Syria to Gaza — so there is no hope for non-Muslim minorities in those countries.

Oddly enough while the very popular man Papal of the year keeps bringing this up,

For the pope, Saint Stephen’s martyrdom is the reason why “we are praying today especially for Christians who suffer discrimination because of their witness to Christ and the Gospel.”

“We are close to those brothers and sisters who, like Saint Stephen, are unjustly accused and subjected to violence of various kinds. This happens especially where religious freedom is still not guaranteed or not fully realised. In my opinion, there are more today than in the early days of the Church. As it happens however, even in countries and places that protect freedom and human rights on the paper, believers, especially Christians, encounter limitations or discrimination.”

“For these brothers and sisters, I would ask you to pray, for a moment, in silence, everyone,” the pope said off the cuff. After a brief moment of silence, he continued, saying, “Let us entrust them to Mary,” and called on everyone to say a Hail Mary for them.

“For Christians,” he added, “this is not surprising because Jesus foretold it as an opportunity to bear witness. Nevertheless, injustice must be legally reported and eliminated.”

the media that loves him doesn’t  (look at the names missing from that news search).  The biggest name in media that covered it was Huffpo, and the comment section on the story pretty much says they have it coming) Perhaps they see Christians simply as Republicans living abroad.

So what do we conclude from these things:

1. On the Micro level we see Islamists growing in strength in Judea & Samaria

2. On the larger level we see Al Qaeda rebels rising to take power from the secular (Iranian) Assad

3. And on the Grand Scene we see the retreat of Christianity in the middle east, not only in Iraq but in places like Egypt, Syria and more.

All of these things have two things at their root.

1. The secularization of a major party of the United States.

2. The unwillingness of the West in General and the US in particular to forcibly confront Radical Islam.

I will give Pam Geller the last word.

No religious minority is safe from sharia and/or Muslim militias. Ever.

My only quibble with this line, is this.  That statement isn’t limited to Religious minorities.