According to Wikipedia, Sri Lanka has a variety of religious beliefs, making it a truly multicultural experience. It’s over 70% Buddhist, 12.6% Hindu, 9.7 % Muslim and 7.4% Christian.
For over thirty years, there was a civil war between the majority Buddhists and the minority Hindus. The civil war ended ten years ago. Bombings, frequent during the war, were a thing of the past.
Until Sunday. Easter Sunday, when 253 Christians were killed by nine Muslim suicide bombers. The suicide bombers were all from wealthy backgrounds.
At first, the death toll was 359. This is because of the way body parts were counted. Later, the death toll was revised downward.
Initially, speculation was rife that the attacks were revenge killings for the massacre of Muslims in New Zealand, but intelligence has determined that the attacks were planned three months ago, a long time before the New Zealand massacre. Terrorists need no excuse when it comes to mass carnage.
The BBC’s Clyde Myrie, reporting from Sri Lanka, described ISIS as a “perversion of Islam.” But is it? How many more terror attacks have to take place before we face up to reality? On January 18th the Wall Street Journal, on its opinion page, had a long list of Muslim terror attacks under the title: “A Bloody month of jihad.” In any given month, a number of terrorist attacks take place around the world, all a part of the global jihad against non-Muslims. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the Sri Lankan attacks.
A Christian man who survived the bombing of St. Sebastian’s church in Sri Lanka had this to say:
“We are a peace-loving community in this small city, we had never hurt anyone, but we don’t know from where this amount of hate is coming. This city has become a grave with blood and bodies lying around . . . Since the past three years, we don’t know why, but we see an extremist’s mindset developing among the Muslims. I know many good Muslims, but there are also a lot who hate us, and they have never been so before. It is in these three years that we see a difference.” (Raymond Ibrahim, Gatestone, 4/25)
Also from Gatestone:
“In 2017, in Egypt, Islamic terrorists bombed two Coptic Christian churches during Palm Sunday mass, which inaugurates Easter week, murdering 50 people and wounding 120. On Easter Sunday 2016 in Pakistan, an Islamic suicide bomber detonated near the children’s rides of a public park where Christians were known to be congregated and celebrating; over 70 people — mostly women and children — were murdered and nearly 400 wounded. On Easter Sunday 2012 in Nigeria, Islamic terrorists bombed a church, murdering at least 50 worshippers.” (4/25)
Christians are clearly being targeted by Muslims, yet few give attention to this in the West. Gatestone is one of the few.
(The last time I quoted Gatestone, I saw a comment posted to my blog claiming it’s an extreme right-wing website which is often wrong. Gatestone simply sees the threat posed by radical Islam to the western world. It is warning the West. It is no more wrong than mainstream media, which is failing in its responsibility to warn the West. It is described as “extreme right wing” because it opposes globalization and multiculturalism.)
Former US President Barack Obama could not bring himself to talk about the attack on Christians, describing them as “Easter worshippers.”
Allison Pearson, in London’s Daily Telegraph, wrote:
“Compare and contrast the reaction of Hillary Clinton to the two tragedies. On Sunday, she tweeted, “I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.” Easter worshippers? That’s a clunking new euphemism for Christians. When the mosques in Christchurch were targeted, did Clinton talk of Ramadan worshippers? No, she wrote, “My heart breaks for New Zealand and the global Muslim community.”” (4/23)
Former Vice-President Joe Biden, announcing his candidacy for the presidency, in his promotional video lamented the incident in which one person died in Charlottesville, yet gave no mention of the terror attacks in Sri Lanka, which took the lives of at least four Americans. The widening conflict with the Islamic world will require a president who can stand up to the terrorists, not somebody who avoids the issues. Biden is too deeply rooted in the past and is not facing up to what’s happening in the present, let alone the future.
We’re afraid to face the fact that Christians everywhere are being persecuted.
The multicultural dream that the West has been pursuing, everywhere, is dead. Sri Lanka shows this. Other terrorist attacks have also shown it, but not on this scale.
At the same time, it seems to be open season on Christians. For decades, they have been persecuted in the Middle East, with little concern expressed in the West, even in the Vatican.
In London, the Muslim Mayor of the city, sent extra police protection to mosques after the New Zealand massacre. None were sent to Christian churches on Easter Sunday. Christians are on their own. They can never be described as victims (hence Mr. Obama’s use of the term “Easter worshippers”). Only Muslims can be victims!
There are also reports that many Frenchmen do not believe Notre Dame was an accident.
Allison Pearson again:
“I’m afraid that politicians like Clinton and May are paralyzed by a terrible dilemma. It’s too scary to admit that militant Islamists are at war with Christianity and Western civilization, that vandalism of churches is rife across Europe and that, according to the Pew Report, Christianity is the world’s most persecuted religion.”
Prince William, the future king of New Zealand, was asked to come and speak at the Christchurch mosque, to encourage the people at this very difficult time for them. They were the victims of a white nationalist who protested the presence of Muslims in the country.
Attacks and counter attacks. This has become almost a daily staple worldwide. This “clash of civilizations” between Islam and the West was predicted by Samuel Huntington 25 years ago; it is also prophesied in Daniel 11:40-44.
Sadly, Sri Lanka is the future of us all!
I am going overseas for three weeks and am unlikely to post while I’m away. This is a fun trip. Hopefully, no news will interrupt it!
So now, we have Oprah Winfrey being talked about as the next President of the United States. If she does decide to run in 2020, she could definitely win against Mr. Trump, although it is by no means certain. It would mean America going from being led by a reality TV star to a talk show host. If nothing else, this shows the influence of television today.
It started with CNN, now almost forty years old. Before the 24/7 news channel was born, television news was serious and sober, even boring. In the early days, all the news took up 15 minutes of our time. News was separate from entertainment. CNN blurred the two. And it’s just gotten worse. Even the news programs themselves became entertainment, with participants yelling and screaming at each other.
Given this background, it’s easier to understand a visit I made to a doctor on Tuesday. The receptionist, Sandra, is from Germany, though she has lived in Michigan for a good twenty years. She recently went to visit her parents in Germany. I asked her how the visit went. She told me it went well and made the comment that “people over there are so much better informed, even my parents who are just ordinary people; they know so much more about the world than we do over here.”
She added: “TV news here only covers America, with maybe one minute for the rest of the world.”
It’s not just the president who puts “America First!”
I made a point of watching “DW News” at 5.30 that day, on our PBS channel. DW stands for Deutsche Welle and is the main German news service. It does a very good job of covering world news, including American news. It is, as Sandra said, like watching events on a different planet.
They are exceptionally good when it comes to European and Mideast news.
Christians are told to “watch therefore and pray” (Luke 21:36). Jesus Christ said this in the context of world events that culminate in His Second Coming. These events could not possibly take place until after 1948, when the nation of Israel came into existence, so they are for our time now. So many prophecies relate to Israel (biblical Judah) and Jerusalem, in particular. The latter has become a major point of contention in recent weeks, following President Trump’s decision to move the US Embassy there, thereby recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
If Christians are to effectively “watch” world events in the context of Bible prophecy, watching Fox News for three hours each evening is not going to help. CNN won’t help, either; or any of the other US based television channels. DW News is not perfect and definitely has a slant, but at least you will have a good idea of what’s going on in the Middle East and Europe. These are the two geographical areas that the Bible focuses on when it comes to prophecy. Neither is the central area of focus of US-news based channels.
One thing is for sure – neither DW nor the BBC are as entertaining as CNN, Fox, ABC, etc. But does “Watch therefore” include entertainment?
MYTHS OF ISLAMIC TERRORISM
The “Clarion Project challenges radical Islam and promotes human rights. We focus on the United States but also Islamist extremism in the Middle East and Europe”. The following info chart was in my mailbox this morning. It demolishes some of the myths that surround Islamic terrorists.
Taking [white owned] land should increase food production – says Ramaphosa
Nongoma – South Africa could turn into the ultimate paradise if the implementation of the policy of expropriation of land without compensation leads to higher food production, ANC president Cyril Ramaphosa said in Nongoma, Kwazulu-Natal on Sunday. “In fact, it is possible for us to begin a process of working the land and improving agriculture – making it a very successful factor in our country,” Ramaphosa said, addressing King Goodwill Zwelithini at Osuthu Palace – explaining the ANC’s decision to implement a policy of land expropriation. Ramaphosa emphasised that the implementation of the ANC’s policy must not harm the economy, the agriculture sector or food security. “We can make this country the garden of Eden,” the new ruling party head said at a meeting to introduce the ANC’s new top six leaders to the Zulu king. Ramaphosa said redistributed land must be used productively. He estimated that increased food production could grow the economy by two million jobs. In his address at the meeting, Zwelithini then urged Ramaphosa to pursue this policy. He said that “only a very small proportion” of the people had had their land returned to them. “We look to you to act … with speed.”
Mr Ramaphosa clearly fails to remember that neighboring Zimbabwe confiscated white-owned land twenty years ago; the result was a dramatic fall in food production. Two decades later, people are still going hungry.
One further thought: a day after Ramaphosa called for the confiscation of white land, Donald Trump said something derogatory about Africa (and Haiti). One was condemned as “racist”; nothing critical was said of the other. It’s the usual double standard!
LONDON’S TOLERANCE IS CLEARLY LIMITED
London’s Muslim Mayor, Sadiq Khan, is also guilty of a double standard. London, he boasts, is a tolerant, multicultural city. But he threatens Donald Trump with massive demonstrations if he should visit the UK. Clearly, there’s a limit to tolerance! This may or may not have been a factor in today’s announcement from the White House — that the US president will not be visiting London to open the new American Embassy. It’s also the case that British immigration policies have led to a domestic situation that threatens the Special Relationship with the United States.
Pauline Hanson is an Australian Member of Parliament. She has her own political party, “Pauline Hanson’s One Nation Party,” and often speaks out on immigration and related issues.
This week she spoke out on autism. Specifically, she is calling for autistic children to be separated from other children, so that the others are not held back in their education.
Our eldest grandson, Aubren, who is five, is autistic. I drive him to school most days and collect him from school seven hours later. Because of this, I interact with his teachers a great deal.
All are aware of his autism. Their approach is very different to Ms. Hanson’s.
About half of the pupils in his pre-kindergarten class do not have special needs. Those who do have special needs participate in everything. In addition, they have private sessions with speech therapists and others to help them keep up with the other children. From what I have seen, this works very well.
There could be a case for separating autistic children if it is found that they will benefit. What Ms. Hanson is suggesting is that autistic children be educated separately as their presence in the classroom is having a negative effect on non-autistic children. Again, I’ve not seen any evidence for this. And with so many children with autism, normal children need exposure to this to understand it, handle it, and see these children as potential friends, not objects of scorn and derision.
Nobody knows for sure what causes autism. There are plenty of theories. Some of these are put forward quite volubly by their adherents, but it remains the case that nobody knows for sure what causes the problem. What is known is that the number of autistic children is increasing. It is now one in 68.
The correct name for autism is Autism Spectral Disorder. There is a wide spectrum when it comes to autism. Many autistic children function well in different areas; but there are others, at the other end of the spectrum, who find it difficult to carry on a conversation, or indeed, speak at all. Communication is a major challenge for autistic children. So are emotions and affection. In addition, many autistic people need “sameness” – they do not adjust well to a different environment or any change to their routine. We are anxious about Aubren’s first day at kindergarten in August – new school, new teacher, new environment; he may bolt, trying to escape from it as it could be overwhelming for him. His teacher, Miss Sue, from the last school year has volunteered to regularly take him to his new school and new playground to familiarize him with his future environment. The right teachers make all the difference!
Aubren is a delightful boy. Everybody loves him. He plays well with other children. He’s affectionate and loving. I for one am very much against the idea that autistic children should be separated from other children of the same age. After all, when they finish school at 18, they are going to have to mix with others in the working world. Why not start now?
The news from England can be quite discouraging, with terrorism and Brexit dominating everything. Britain’s position on just about everything reminds me of a verse in the Old Testament about Ephraim. In Hosea 7:8 we read: “Ephraim compromises with the nations; he’s a half-baked cake.” (International Standard Version.) A half-baked cake is of no use to anybody.
Julius Caesar put it somewhat differently, when he described Britain as “perfidious Albion.” England is no longer ruled by those ancient Britons, having been taken over by Angles and Saxons shortly after the Romans left the country. Perhaps it’s the weather, which is very unpredictable.
Whatever the reason, Mrs. May is perfecting “compromise.” It’s been the British way all my lifetime.
Consider the following:
After a “terror” attack outside of a leading London mosque, she had the opportunity to boldly speak some badly needed truths. The attack was by a “lone wolf,” a man from Cardiff in Wales who was obviously upset about recent terrorist attacks by Islamic extremists. He drove his car into a crowd outside of the mosque. Nothing can excuse this, but it provided Mrs. May with an opportunity to say that people are understandably scared after the recent terror attacks. Instead, she condemned “Islamophobia” and said the government was going to stamp it out. Islamophobia is a natural and reasonable response to Islamic terror – the only way to defeat Islamophobia is by Muslims themselves doing something about terrorism.
Also, was the driver of the car really a terrorist? He had no links to any terror organization, domestic or foreign. Describing him as a “terrorist” puts his act on a par with the real terror attacks that have taken place, when they are very different. His was motivated by a fear of Muslims.
Thirdly, Mrs. May is promising more security for mosques. There is no such protection for churches. What the prime minister is doing is inadvertently giving Islam a special status.
Today, there was yet more compromise, this time with the European Union, as Britain negotiates itself out of the 27-member organization.
Mrs. May announced this morning that 3 million people from other EU countries can remain in Britain after Brexit. Jean Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, responded with: “It’s not sufficient.” Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, was equally dismissive. Neither man was elected by the people. They are professional bureaucrats — with all the arrogance that comes with it.
The UK is going to find that compromise doesn’t work with the EU – or with Islam! Britain will keep on compromising with both, until another Winston Churchill arises – if there is one.
It’s surely a depressing time for the Queen. The multicultural dream she has spent decades developing seems to be crumbling. It’s not just Islamic terrorism. Even the fire at the 24-storey apartment block in London brought it out. Most of the residents were from other cultures with no understanding of the way Britain works. After an incident like this, there’s usually a government inquiry and then changes are made based on recommendations received.
On this occasion, residents were quick to protest and even riot, storming the local county offices who are responsible for building safety. Mrs. May had to quickly promise new accommodation in a luxury apartment block. The taxpayer will have to foot the bill.
It turned out the fire was started by a faulty fridge. It spread quickly because of the insulation used.
In view of all these problems, it’s not surprising that nobody in the royal family wants to be king, according to Prince Harry in an interview this week.
MEDIA BEWILDERED BY VOTE
I don’t know if the Queen has ever been to Georgia, a colony (now a state) named after her ancestor, George II, who reigned from 1727-1760.
Georgia was the center of attention this week due to a by-election in the 6th Congressional district.
As the election got nearer, TV news people were ecstatic at the prospect of a Democratic victory. It had to happen as Donald Trump is so unpopular! The election was even described as “a referendum on Trump.”
The party that represents the wealthy elite, the Democrats, spent more than eight times as much money contesting this seat, as the Republicans, now the party of the working man. In spite of this massive outlay of cash, the Democrats lost. If this truly was a referendum on Trump, he must be doing ok.
The BBC was totally discombobulated. Commentators kept repeating that the president has less than a 40% approval rating, so how could this possibly be the result? It won’t happen again when the mid-term elections take place in November next year, they assured viewers.
Haven’t they learned yet that polls are not reliable?
ISRAEL’S TICKING TIME BOMB
“The southern neighborhoods of Tel Aviv have been overrun in recent years. The number of African asylum-seekers and economic migrants now living there is approaching 100,000.
Some have been repatriated. But most remain in the country illegally.
Israel finds itself in a conundrum – how can it turn away or deport those in need considering the Jews’ own history? At the same time, how can the tiny nation of Israel absorb such numbers without taking a serious hit to its economy?
And time’s running out to find a solution.
According to Oved Hugi, a social activist from southern Tel Aviv, the “infiltrators’ birthrate stands at 10,000 per year. That means 50,000 children in five years, and that should cause the Prime Minister to lose sleep. South Tel Aviv is a ticking time bomb.” (Israel Today)
SAUDIS BETRAY REAL FEELINGS
On June 8, 2017, the Saudi national football team met the Australian national team for a match in Adelaide as part of the 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifiers. The match began with a minute of silence for the victims of the London Bridge terror attack on June 3, among whom were two Australians. However, while the members of the Australian team observed the minute of silence, the Saudi players appeared to ignore it and continued moving around the pitch. (MEMRI 6-21)
Why are people surprised, when Wahhabism is the official religion of Saudi Arabia? Wahhabis support violence against infidels (non-believers) and believe violence is justified to spread Islam.
Canadian sniper makes record kill shot A sniper with Canada’s elite special forces has shot and killed an Isis fighter in Iraq from a distance of 2.1 miles, shattering the world record for the longest confirmed kill shot previously held by a British sniper. The shot took 10 seconds to reach its target and the sniper would have had to consider distance, wind and the curvature of the earth when taking aim. (Globe and Mail)
Refugees in Germany to be jobless for years Up to three-quarters of Germany’s refugees will still be unemployed in five years’ time, according to Aydan Özoğuz, the country’s commissioner for immigration, refugees and integration. The stark admission of the challenges Germany faces in integrating its huge migrant population comes as Angela Merkel seeks a fourth term as chancellor in elections in September. (FT)
Fifty years ago, I became friends with a Muslim immigrant who had moved to the UK from India. At the time, there were very few Muslims in the area where I lived. I asked him what he could do as a Muslim in such a remote location. He said it was the duty of every Muslim to help spread Islam wherever he goes.
Salman Rushdie, the writer persecuted for his book “Satanic Verses” and a former Muslim, speaking in New York over ten years ago (and broadcast on C-Span), said: ‘When a Muslim moves from the Middle East to Detroit, he is not looking to take advantage of America’s freedoms to better himself; rather, he sees himself as part of the advance guard to spread Islam to America.”
When you hear a Muslim spokesperson on a television news program, keep the above in mind.
Yesterday, Wednesday, approximately 36 hours after the Manchester suicide bombing and following press reports that the perpetrator worshipped at the local Didsbury mosque, a trustee of the mosque addressed the press, distancing his mosque from the bombing, while at the same time inviting members of the public to come and join them, taking the opportunity to proselityze.
“The doors of the centre are open to all – they are open to all. “Some media reports have reported that the bomber worked at the Manchester Islamic Centre – this is not true, he has never worked in this centre. “We are concerned about anti-Muslim acts ranging from verbal abuse to acts of criminal damage to mosques in the area and outside the area.”
As you can tell from the last sentence, he also took the opportunity to halt any anti-Muslim backlash that could follow the bombing that killed mostly young white girls attending a concert in the Manchester Arena.
The youngest was 8 years old. As this is unlikely to be the last suicide bombing, we need to ask why we can no longer protect our children.
The suicide bomber was the son of Libyan refugees who fled to England in the 1990’s.
An Australian Muslim psychiatrist born in Bangladesh, writing about the Manchester terror incident, called Wednesday for restrictions on Muslim immigrants into the West. His article appeared in The Spectator Australia. “Refugees have trouble integrating,” said Tanveer Ahmed.
The only solution to the problem of Islamic terror in western countries is to change immigration policies that have allowed this dangerous situation to develop over the last five decades.
The best commentary on the bombing was on the Gatestone Institute’s website. Note the following three paragraphs.
“After hearing of the Manchester terrorist attack, politicians once more communicated their by now old-routine of “shock” and “grief” at the predictable outcome of their own policies.
“Most dumbfounding of all, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said that she was watching the developments in Manchester “with grief and horror” and that she found the attack “incomprehensible.”
“Every time a European leader publicly endorses Islam as a great faith, a “religion of peace,” or claims that violence in Islam is a “perversion of a great faith,” despite massive evidence to the contrary, they signal in the strongest way possible that with every devastating attack, the West is ripe for the taking.” (5/22/17 ‘Manchester: Europe still “Shocked! Shocked!”’ by Judith Bergman)
Ms. Bergman is absolutely correct in writing that Monday’s horror was the result of political decisions taken in recent decades, particularly when it comes to immigration. It’s almost fifty years since a famous British politician denounced the country’s immigration policies, saying the nation was “building up its own funeral pyre.” Enoch Powell, MP, had to resign his position in the Conservative party for, as is now clear, speaking the truth.
Jonathan Ive, Apple’s Chief Design Officer, sensing the changing public mood on immigration, said Thursday that immigrants are vital for the UK economy. This is meant to scare people into accepting more immigrants, some of whom will, inevitably, be Muslims; and some of those extremists. What he should have called for is a ban on all abortions. This will mean a higher birthrate and, in time, will provide those extra people for the British economy.
Immigration policy must change. The fact remains, following the attack by Salman Abedi, a British born Libyan, that if his parents had not been allowed into the UK, 22 ethnic English (those whose ancestors have lived there for centuries) would still be alive; and over sixty others would not be dealing with potentially life-changing injuries.
It’s no good just increasing the numbers of police and army personnel on the streets, or spending more on intelligence gathering – until something is done about immigration it will all be fruitless.
And talking of intelligence, Mrs. May was correct in her response to US intelligence releasing information from England to the New York Times. Intelligence services need to be very careful about betraying one another’s confidences. The arrangement between the US and UK dates back 75 years, to 1942. Australia, Canada and New Zealand were included more recently. These Anglophone nations need to be able to trust each other. After a face-to-face discussion with Theresa May earlier today, President Trump has promised to find the source of the leaks and punish those responsible.
One final thought on Britain and terrorism: the British have a history of compromising with terrorism, starting with Ireland a century ago and continuing until the Good Friday Agreement twenty years ago. After World War II, Jewish terrorists blew up the King David Hotel in Jerusalem, an act that led to Britain withdrawing from the mandated territory; even though the British defeated the Mau Mau in Kenya, they gave the terrorists what they wanted; the same in Cyprus; in the 70’s they handed over Rhodesia to terrorists led by Robert Mugabe; and then worked on South Africa to hand over to Nelson Mandela, a terrorist leader who was responsible for the deaths of 200 people. The lesson repeatedly learned is that terrorism works!
This time, the British are fighting for their homeland, the United Kingdom – will they once again compromise with the forces of evil?
SOLVING CENTURIES-OLD PROBLEMS
Prior to visiting Jerusalem, Mr. Trump was in Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of Islam and home of one of its strictest sects, the Wahhabi sect of Islam. Wahhabis believe that all non-believers are infidels and enemies and they have a history of violence directed at non-Muslims. This includes September 11th, when 15 of the 19 hijackers had Saudi citizenship. Even the attack in Manchester has its origins in Wahhabism, by way of ISIS.
Saudis have helped finance terrorism around the world and continue to provide imams for taxpayer-funded chaplaincy programs in the US, as well as new mosques around the world. The “help” Saudi Arabia promised Germany when the latter took in over a million refugees, was to offer to build 200 new mosques.
But oil, as we all know, is very important and the Saudis happen to be one of the world’s biggest producers and the country that determines the price of the black gold.
Saudi Arabia is also of strategic importance and an avowed enemy of Iran. Their differences go back to the seventh century when Shia Islam broke away from the majority Sunni Islam. Today, Saudi Arabia backs Sunnis throughout the Middle East against Shia Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon. Some wealthy Saudis have even backed ISIS, an organization that supports Sunnis against the Shia.
With a visit to the world’s three main religious centers, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the Vatican, President Trump is working on achieving a comprehensive Middle East peace, hoping to succeed where all his predecessors have failed.
He should remember the words of the Apostle Paul. In his First Epistle to the Thessalonians, Paul looked ahead to the time prior to Christ’s Second Coming when there is much talk of world peace. “For when they say, “Peace and safety!” then sudden destruction comes upon them, as labor pains upon a pregnant woman. And they shall not escape.” (I Thess. 5:3).
The US has the power and influence to impose a peace treaty on the Israelis and Palestinians – but it won’t last. The latter will ultimately not embrace peace until the country of Israel ceases to exist. How can you negotiate with people who are committed to your destruction?
LACK OF KNOWLEDGE
A news item a few days ago revealed that attendance at Church of England services in the United Kingdom is increasing, after decades of decline. This is attributed partly to the rise of English nationalism, as evidenced by Brexit.
Whatever the reasons, it might eventually help the BBC.
On Monday’s 9am broadcast on BBC World News, Lyse Doucet, a BBC journalist from Canada, was standing in front of the Wailing Wall in Jerusalem awaiting the arrival of President Trump and his wife. As the president was delayed, Lyse Doucet recapped on Mr. & Mrs. Trump’s visit to what she described as the most important Christian religious site in the world, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, which witnessed the “death, burial and reconstruction of Jesus Christ”.
I think she meant “resurrection.”
Which brings me to Little Emily, a 5-year-old girl featured in our local newspaper two or three years ago. Her Baptist pastor was giving a sermon on Easter Sunday and asked the children what they knew about the resurrection. 5-year-old Emily raised her hand and kept saying: “I know! I know!”
So the pastor asked her to tell the congregation what she knew about the resurrection. Her reply made it into the local paper. “If you experience a resurrection lasting more than four hours, you need to go to the doctor.”
Reportedly, the pastor was unable to finish his sermon.
Maybe one day Emily could work for the BBC, as their Religious Affairs Correspondent!
President Trump and British Prime Minister Theresa May have just made their biggest mistake.
The American president received Chancellor Angela Merkel at the White House last week. At a press conference, he clearly made the German chancellor uncomfortable when he publicly called for Germany to bring its military budget up to the full 2% of GNP agreed on by NATO. This would raise military spending from 37 billion euros a year to 60 billion. It would also restore German military might.
Across the ocean, Mrs. May is seeking closer military ties to Germany at the same time as pursuing Brexit. The idea is to keep Germany close. It would also contribute to restoring German military might.
British war time leader Sir Winston Churchill promised at the end of World War II that Germany would never rise again; 45 years later British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher opposed German reunification following the fall of the Berlin Wall.
Attitudes change. It’s now over seventy years since the fall of the Third Reich. Today’s leaders see Germany as a model democracy and think it will always be that way.
Mrs. May has other things on her mind right now. A terrorist attack on Westminster Bridge on Wednesday afternoon left 5 dead, including the terrorist and an unarmed policeman; also 29 hospitalised, seven of them critically. The terrorist was known to the police as a “radical Islamist.” No surprise, there.
As the terrorist was “British born,” the implication is that somehow it’s Britain’s fault and that more can be done (costing more, of course) to avoid such incidents in the future.
What will not be considered is this – Islam means “submit;” it’s the exact opposite of “freedom” which is what Britain is all about. Muslim children raised in Britain will inevitably struggle with internal conflict, unable to reconcile the two opposing ideals.
A few weeks ago the BBC interviewed Somalis on the streets of Minneapolis, asking them how they felt about life in America and related issues. Clearly better off than they were in Somalia, nevertheless every single one of them said they would rather live in a Muslim country and that America would be a better country if it embraced sharia law!
I first heard the news of the terror attack when I was having lunch with a friend. A man sitting alone at the next table was checking his mail on his phone and suddenly exclaimed “there’s been a terrorist attack in London.” He had no idea I was from the UK. When I told him, his first question was “why don’t they arm the police? How can a policeman defend himself when attacked like this?”
I explained that one third of all the police are now armed and you see a lot of them in London, protecting the main tourist sights. But Wednesday’s murder shows that every policeman needs to be able to defend himself, even if it’s only with a stun gun.
BREXIT MOVING AHEAD
Mrs. May has also announced that she will invoke Article 50 of the Treaty of Rome on March 29th. This will formally begin Britain’s exit from the European Union. Failure to reach agreement on terms within a two-year period will automatically mean a “hard Brexit,” with Britain simply leaving the EU and signing trade deals around the world with other countries. There would be no trade deal with the 27 remaining EU countries.
Such a failure would likely impact any military agreement between Germany and the UK. It would be hard for the two countries to maintain a good friendship when they cannot even reach an agreement on future trade.
The formal triggering of Article 50 will put a dampener on celebrations in Rome, for the 60th anniversary of the signing of the Treaty of Rome. All 27 leaders of the EU will be there – Mrs. May will not be attending. Interestingly, all 27 leaders will also be meeting with the pope.
SCOTTISH REFERENDUM #2
The Scottish leader, Nicola Sturgeon, continues to mimic a “Rottweiler.” With her teeth firmly latched onto Mrs. May’s pants, she will not let go of her demand for a second referendum on Scotland’s independence. (If the vote goes against her, she will ask for a third and a fourth, until she gets what she wants!)
Scotland depends heavily on subsidies from England. Ms. Sturgeon should concentrate first on improving the nation’s finances, showing that Scotland can go it alone. Then she could go back to the Scottish electorate and claim an independent Scotland would do better on its own.
But that’s not what’s happening. Rather, Scotland is hoping Germany will come to its rescue. Edinburgh has even opened a trade mission in Berlin (whisky for cars?).
Don’t get me wrong. I’m not trying to make light of a serious situation. The United Kingdom is better with Scotland. It would be a real shame if England’s northern neighbor pulled out after more than 300 years of unity within one nation.
It would also present a potentially serous security issue if Germany replaced England as Scotland’s benefactor. Scotland’s independence would be compromised — the Irish parliament already finds it cannot agree on a budget without Berlin’s agreement.
1400 YEARS OF SECTARIAN CONFLICT
There’s a big battle going on in Mosul between ISIS and government forces. Optimism has been expressed on the imminent defeat of the terror organization.
Overlooked is the fact that Shia militias are operating in Iraq, without restraint. The government is majority Shia. Many Sunnis identify with ISIS. If the terrorists are defeated, another organization (perhaps worse than ISIS) will arise to protect the Sunnis from the Shia.
Western countries, led by the US, have been sucked into the ancient Sunni-Shia conflict in the Middle East. Whereas the West sees things ideologically, Middle Easterners see the situation from a sectarian viewpoint. To us, ISIS is bad because it’s a violent terrorist organization; to Sunni Muslims living in a majority Shia country, ISIS is their protector. To the Sunnis, this is also America’s fault – until the 2003 invasion of Iraq, the country was dominated by Sunnis. They lost out when America came in!
There’s two lessons here for the West – 1) Get out of the Middle East and stay out! 2) Stop importing the region’s sectarian conflicts through immigration policies that do not take into account national security.
In other words, let’s get back to the pre-1914 Middle East, before the war that brought down the Ottoman Empire and led to the fragmentation we now see in the region. The war led to increased British dominance of the region, and now American domination. It’s a mess. It’s time to get out.
On another note – why is the US getting involved in Yemen, another territory witnessing increased fighting between Sunni and Shia? A US Navy Seal was killed there last month in a raid by American forces.
The Sunni-Shia conflict has gone on since the 7th century, almost seven times as long as the United States has existed as a nation. Do we really think that our involvement is going to end the conflict between the two major branches of Islam? Do we really think that moving Shia and Sunni from the Middle East to the US (and Europe) will suddenly make them love each other? After the London attack on Wednesday, one security expert interviewed mentioned that the UK knows of 850 British passport holders, fighting with ISIS in Iraq and Syria. If they are British raised, why are they still identifying with Sunni Islam and anxious to fight Shia Muslims? It’s a question that needs to be addressed.
It’s just been announced that the perpetrator of the London attack was Kent-born and raised Khalid Masood, aged 52. He was the son of immigrants and a convert to Islam.
It should also be noted that the perpetrator was unusually old for a terrorist.
If you can find it on pbs.org, this week’s Frontline examined the rise of the Shia militias in Iraq and the (Shia) government’s failure to address the problem.
ANOTHER BLESSING OF BRITISH RULE
“Among some contemporary Israelis the British Mandate has come to be viewed nostalgically. Although Palestine did not have the elephants, maharajahs and tigers of the Indian Raj, the same culture of Highland reels, polo and pink gins in the King David Hotel flourished. So did an incorruptible civil service, possibly a novelty in the region.” (‘Blood and Rage”, by Michael Burleigh, 2009, page 89)
THE POWER OF FORGIVENESS
A few days ago a friend gave me a copy of the Seventh Day Adventist magazine, “Amazing Facts.” The cover story was titled: “The Power of Forgiveness.” Forgiveness is sadly lacking, even amongst Christians. Church organizations often find it hard to forgive, so how can they teach their members to forgive others?
Yet our eternal life depends on it.
When the Apostle Peter asked Jesus Christ how often should he forgive his brother, Peter suggested that seven times would be enough; the Messiah’s response was “seventy times seven”, meaning an unlimited number of times (Matthew 18:21-22).
Jesus expounded on one of the points in His model prayer, adding:
“For if you forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. But if you do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” (Matthew 6:14-15)
If Christians always practiced forgiveness, we would no doubt have more Christians.
Perhaps, given time, even the Muslims would follow and learn to forgive a 1400-year-old schism.
One hundred years ago, on this day, March 15th, the “ides of March,” Czar Nicholas II of Russia, under pressure, abdicated, ending the dynasty that had ruled Russia since 1613. The end result was not the liberal democracy that many hoped for, but, rather, seventy years of communism, a period far worse than anything under the czars. When the czar abdicated, nobody could have foreseen the ultimate outcome. The czar himself brought attention to the fact that the day was the “ides of March,” the day Julius Caesar was assassinated, changing the course of Roman history, ending the Roman Republic, replacing it with the Roman Empire. The term became popular through Shakespeare’s famous play, “Julius Cesar.”
Today, March 15th, The Netherlands is voting for a new government. It’s the first time ever that Holland has received this much media attention. Once again, an uncertain future awaits the country and the European Union; that is, if Geert Wilder’s ‘Party for Freedom’ makes significant gains and goes on to form a government. Mr. Wilders has been labeled Holland’s Donald Trump. He’s a populist, who wants to restore his country to what it was, ending the multiculturalism that has fundamentally changed the country. In addition, he wants to leave the EU. He also wants to ban the Koran and Islamic schools and has called for the closure of all mosques; and end the wearing of burqas and hijabs, requiring people to wear western style clothing.
The election result is likely to have a profound effect on France and Germany who hold elections later this year. If a populist government comes to power in the Netherlands, then, maybe populism will see gains in the two biggest European countries, France and Germany. This could make 2017 as significant a year as 1989 and 1848 in European history. Change is in the air. But, as with Russia a century ago, the future of change is unpredictable. Sweeping populism may sweep away the European Union, but what will replace it? Will liberal social democracy be replaced by more nationalistic forms of government? Could a swing to the right in the Netherlands lead to similar swings elsewhere on the continent? The European Union, which turns 60 in ten days, may have to go back to the drawing board.
It’s not just the election that is making news in Holland. For over four centuries the Dutch, once a great maritime power, have had a peace treaty with Turkey. But now, the two NATO members are going through a verbal conflict that could easily get out of hand. The basic problem is immigration. Millions of Turks live in Holland, Germany and other EU countries. The Turkish president wants to send members of his government to speak to these Turkish citizens, so that they will vote for Mr, Erdogan in a referendum that will grant the president more powers. Naturally, Holland does not want the Turkish election to be conducted in Holland. Allowing Ankara to do so would expose the lie that Muslims are assimilated and are, in fact, Dutch. They are not, identifying primarily with their own religion and culture, not with that of the host country.
A Turkish government minister was not allowed to address a rally in Holland. Consequently, relations have been negatively affected.
The Netherlands isn’t the only European country that’s hitting the headlines internationally. The United Kingdom is also in the news.
It’s taken nine months for the groundwork to be laid for Britain to activate Article 50 and apply to leave the European Union. It’s been a rocky road, with members of Britain’s ruling elite doing everything possible to undermine the will of the people, expressed in June’s Brexit vote. The unelected House of Lords was the final hurdle.
As if invoking Article 50 is not difficult enough, Nicola Sturgeon, leader of the Scottish National Party picked the same time to demand another referendum.
This time, she believes the Scots will vote to leave the United Kingdom as the majority of Scots voted to remain in the European Union.
In effect, what Ms. Sturgeon wants is to replace English domination with German domination. Ignorant of history (except possibly watching “Braveheart” over and over again!), Ms. Sturgeon has no problem replacing London with Berlin.
When the UK completes its negotiations with the EU settling Brexit terms, Ms. Sturgeon’s Scotland will have to act quickly and apply to use the euro. It will also need massive amounts of aid as Scotland has needed English financial support ever since it voted to join the union with England, over three centuries ago.
Scottish loyalists will have to get used to shopping with a new currency – and won’t even be able to stay home and watch the BBC!
For over a decade she’s been called “the most powerful woman in the world”. In recent weeks, she has received the accolade “Leader of the Free World” as many nations see America turning its back on its international role.
But she may not even be in power one year from now.
Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany, generously allowed into the country one million asylum seekers in recent months. On Monday, one of those migrants staged a terrorist attack in Berlin, killing twelve and seriously injuring almost 50. The attacker stole a heavy goods vehicle and drove into Christmas shoppers in one of the capital’s famous Christmas markets. The method copied the attack in Nice, France, which killed 84 people in July.
Many Berliners thought themselves immune from attack. Their liberal city welcomed migrants. Now, many Germans are doing a rethink. The right-wing AfD (Alternative for Deutschland) party looks set to gain at the polls next year. Their anti-immigrant policy is in stark contrast to their “conservative” Chancellor and other centrist parties. Germans could easily follow British and American voters by turning away from the liberal immigration policies of the past.
“Everything has changed for Merkel after Berlin terror attack, says expert” was the headline Thursday morning in the British Daily Express. ‘Angela Merkel’s open-door migrant policy will come slamming shut and Germany will become a Big Brother state after the Berlin Christmas market terror attack, a leading political commentator has warned.” (Alix Culbertson)
The article continues: “Josef Joffe said Germany has only had to deal with no or low victim lone-wolf attacks, unlike many other Western countries, until this year but after a spate of seven in 2016 the government will be forced to change the way the country is run.”
At the same time, there is concern across Europe about America’s commitment to the continent’s democracies. Many are now looking to Germany and Angela Merkel to take over America’s seven decade leading role in western Europe.
“President-elect Donald Trump hasn’t taken the oath of office or outlined his administration’s plans for the nation’s foreign policy, but his election has already forced the United States’ European allies to contemplate a future where the United States might no longer underwrite Europe’s security. Faced with an American president who has dismissed alliances such as NATO while denigrating liberal values, Germany will assume an increasingly consequential role as a leader in the turbulent transatlantic order while it takes gradual steps to shore up its lagging military capabilities. But the prospect of nationalist victories in important European elections next year raises an under-discussed question: as the European project comes under unprecedented strain and prepares to face a President who promises to turn the United States away from the world, could a fractured and increasingly nationalistic Europe come to fear a more powerful Germany again?”
The following paragraph is of particular interest: “In a profound twist of historical irony that is not yet appreciated widely, only 71 years after World War II, a sitting German chancellor has warned the next leader of the United States to respect the transatlantic order’s commitment to the rule of law and liberal values.” (“Could Europe fear Germany again?” by Adam Twardowski, Small Wars Journal, December 19th.)
Political Revolution Is Brewing in Europe
Geert Wilders, the Dutch politician who leads the anti-immigrant party, was found guilty this week of inflammatory language against Moroccan immigrants, all Muslims. The following was written by Mr. Wilders and appeared in “The Gatestone Institute’s” newsletter:
The German authorities are dangerously underestimating the threat of Islam . . . They have betrayed their own citizens.
Let no-one tell you that only the perpetrators of these crimes are to blame. The politicians, who welcomed Islam into their country, are guilty as well. And it is not just Frau Merkel in Germany, it is the entire political elite in Western Europe.
Out of political-correctness, they have deliberately turned a blind eye to Islam. They have refused to inform themselves about its true nature. They refuse to acknowledge that its all in the Koran: the permission to kill Jews and Christians (Surah 9:29), to terrorize non-Muslims (8:12), to rape young girls (65:4), to enslave people for sex (4:3), to lie about one’s true goals (3:54), and the command to make war on the infidels (9:123) and subjugate the entire world to Allah (9:33).
We will have to de-islamize our societies . . . But it all begins with politicians with the courage to face and speak the truth.
More and more citizens are aware of that. This is why a political revolution is brewing in Europe. Patriotic parties are rapidly growing everywhere. They are Europe’s only hope for a better future.
Prince Charles warns against religious persecution
Prince Charles has spoken out about the danger of religious persecution, warning against a repeat of “the horrors of the past.” Delivering BBC Radio 4’s Thought for the Day, the Prince of Wales said the rise of populist groups “aggressive” to minority faiths had “deeply disturbing echoes of the dark days” of the 1930s. The prince said the scale of religious persecution around the world was “not widely appreciated” and was not limited to Christians, but included many other minority faiths. He went on: “That, nearly seventy years later, we should still be seeing such evil persecution is, to me, beyond all belief.” The Prince said: “Whichever religious path we follow, the destination is the same – to value and respect the other person, accepting their right to live out their peaceful response to the love of God.”
ANGLOS ON DECLINE
It may not be too serious yet, but a group of Californians has just opened an “embassy” in Moscow. They are seeking international recognition for an independent California.
Don’t think it’s not possible.
Many Scots want independence from the United Kingdom, with a call this week for a second referendum within two years; many Australians want to sever the tie with the Crown after the Queen’s reign ends.
These three developments all have something in common – they reflect the decline of the Anglo-Saxons and the increasing presence of non-Anglo immigrants. Watch for more fragmentation in the Anglosphere. It’s inevitable considering the low Anglo-Saxon birthrate everywhere. California, remember, is now a majority Spanish speaking state.
THE FALL OF ALEPPO
I took the latest Economist magazine to a medical appointment yesterday, expecting to have to wait for some time. The doctor commented on the depressing cover on “The Fall of Aleppo.” I’m pleased to say that he did not ask: “What’s Aleppo?” You have to be a presidential candidate to be that ill-informed. Rather, he asked me what the difference is between East and West Aleppo.
I started to explain that East Aleppo was the “rebel” side, made up mostly of Sunni Muslims; West is where the pro-government Shi’ites live. The rebels have now been defeated, not by a few hundred Syrian troops, but by Shia volunteers from Iraq, Iran, Lebanon and Afghanistan; together with Russian air power.
He jokingly asked what my solution would be to the 1,400-year-old Shia-Sunni conflict. We then joked about attempts to end the Israeli-Palestinian conflict which goes back even longer. It has been suggested that Donald Trump’s 35-year-old Jewish son-in-law could make a difference and resolve the conflict!
After I left, I remembered one of the funniest scenes in the movie “The Flintstones,” supposedly set in prehistoric times. As the paperboy delivered the morning newspaper, if you look carefully you can see the headline from 3000+ years ago: “Mideast peace talks fail.”
One small change has taken place in the Middle East and that’s in Beirut, the capital of Lebanon, from where the BBC’s James Longman has been reporting to the world about the developments in Aleppo, 180 miles away. Apparently, the 29-year-old, good-looking, athletic reporter has quite a female following. Hundreds of thousands around the world who, until recently, thought Beirut was a root vegetable, an expensive perfume or a new wine at the local liquor store, are now becoming interested in Middle East affairs, so much so they eagerly turn to BBC World News first thing in the morning.
It is, however, having a negative affect on news channels. Fox started it all by employing attractive blondes, seemingly a requirement for employment at the news channel. Now even men on global news networks are being chosen according to their physical appearance.
Fortunately, Mr. Longman also knows his Middle East. Born in England, he is fluent in both French and Arabic, which give him a distinct advantage in the region. His reporting on the area is worth watching.
The BBC, like other networks, does not give enough attention to the religious divisions that exist in the Middle East. Religion is at the core of all the sectarian violence that afflicts the region. It may be difficult for people raised in secular England to fully comprehend this.
The Jewish-Palestinian conflict has the potential to lead to World War III. Increasingly, it seems that the Shia-Sunni conflict could do the same.
Some in the West think the solution is the end of religion. Another solution is found in the Lord’s Prayer, in the words “Thy Kingdom Come.” (Matthew 6:10)
When that Kingdom comes, the Bible shows us that the true religion of the Messiah will be imposed over all the false religions. You can read about this in the book of the Old Testament prophet, Zechariah, which looks to the future Millennial rule of Jesus Christ.
“And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, on them there will be no rain. If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the Lord strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles.” (Zech. 14:16-19)
Egypt is 90% Muslim, and is a country that is witnessing a continued decline in its Christian population, which has been persecuted and discriminated against for generations. The latest outrage was a bomb going off in Cairo’s St Mark’s Cathedral. This passage of scripture shows that the Egyptians will in the future be forced to change from the Islamic religion to the true religion.
Christians should also take note, especially at this time of the year. Christmas is not mentioned in this passage. Rather, we see the biblical Feast of Tabernacles mentioned; once thought of as a Jewish festival, it will, in the future, be observed by everybody. At the same time, we will see the end of all the sectarian violence that today is at the root of all the suffering and violence in the area.
WE’VE COME A LONG WAY
PBS’s “The Hollow Crown” is taking us through Shakespeare’s historical plays and the last kings of the Plantagents, England’s bloodiest dynasty. They reigned for over 300 years, from 1154 to 1485. The last thirty years saw the Wars of the Roses, as the two royal houses of York and Lancaster battled for supremacy.
The series has inspired me to read Alison Weir’s “The Wars of the Roses,” first published in 1995. The following paragraph should be of interest to all.
“Formal education was provided for boys only. Women were seen as the inferior sex and regarded as the chattels of men. The author of “The Goodman of Paris” (c. 1393) advised wives to behave like faithful dogs in order to please their husbands, and Margaret Paston of Norfolk referred to John Paston as “right worshipful husband” in her letters. The husband was lord of his family as God reigned supreme over the universe. The chief duty of a wife, therefore, was to be submissive. If there was discord in a marriage, or infertility, people automatically assumed it was the wife’s fault. Women had virtually no freedom beyond that which their fathers or husbands allowed them. Within these confines, however, many managed businesses, shops, farms or noble estates, and proved themselves the equal to men.” (page 17)
"Once in a while you will stumble upon the truth but most of us manage to pick ourselves up and hurry along as if nothing had happened." — Sir Winston Churchill