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)
At the beginning of the Tony Awards on TV last night, James Corden, Master of Ceremonies, paid a tribute to the victims of Sunday’s massacre in Florida, proclaiming that “hate will never win!”
History (and prophecy) shows that this is not the case. Hate is, rather, on the increase.
A BBC anchorman yesterday made a ridiculous statement, saying that the perpetrator of the attack on the gay nightclub was not motivated by his Islamic beliefs, but rather a hatred of gays. Clearly, he is not familiar with Islamic beliefs. Gays are routinely punished throughout the Middle East by being thrown off the tops of tall buildings.
“The Koran forbids any sexual relationship other than in marriage between a man and a woman.” (“Islamawareness.net. “Islamic view about homosexuality.”) “We also (sent) Lut: he said to his people: “do ye commit lewdness such as no people in creation (ever) committed before you? For ye practice your lusts on men in preference to women: ye are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.” (Koran 7:80-81). “If a man who is not married is seized committing sodomy, he will be stoned to death.” (Abu Dawud 38:4448).
In western countries, gays tend to be liberal and, therefore, in favor of Islamic immigration. I’ve often wondered when the two would clash. They exploded early Sunday morning in Orlando, Florida.
Predictably, the liberal media, including the BBC, said that the attack once again raised the issue of gun control. This may be the case in Washington, DC, but the only “gun control” discussed in America’s heartland is the need for everybody to be opposed – increasing fear means there is a greater need for guns! A few hours after the mass shooting, somebody came up to me before a church service and asked what I thought about people bringing guns to church. The attack on the gay nightclub could just as easily have taken place at a Christian church – dozens of churches have been attacked by Islamists in the Middle East and Pakistan.
Of course, you don’t have to be a Muslim to attack a church. Exactly a year ago a young white male walked into a predominantly black church and shot nine people dead.
While the liberal media are raising the issue of gun control, conservatives tend to question Islamic immigration. The attacker was a 29-year-old US born citizen, with Afghani parents. Second generation Americans of Islamic origin are seen increasingly as a growing problem in the United States and elsewhere. According to one television report Monday morning, the attacker when a teenager jumped for joy in High School while watching the events of September 11th, 2001. His father apologized for his son’s actions, but is running for office in Afghanistan representing the Taliban, who are allied to ISIS. Can Islam co-exist in a liberal western democracy? It doesn’t seem like it can.
But it’s not just Muslims that hate. Christians can be hate-filled, too. Sometimes, this can be done innocently, without intended malice.
I sat and listened to a sermon online recently when we were not able to go to church. As we had two of our grand daughters with us, we picked a youth-oriented sermon about the biblical king Josiah, who ascended the throne at a very young age and tried to do what was right in the eyes of the Lord. The sermon was a very good one, except for one sentence, which went something like this: “We all know that Jesus would never have mixed with gay people . . .”
We do? There’s nothing in the gospels that says that. In fact, gay people are not mentioned once. Of course, the word “gay” referring to people who prefer the same sex, did not come into the language until well into the twentieth century. This statement was made before impressionable young people who probably went away believing what they heard, not questioning the truth of the statement. Rather, the gospels show us that Jesus mixed with “publicans and sinners,” including prostitutes. Jesus said: “They that are whole need not a physician, but they that are sick.” (Matthew 9:12).
There must have been gay people at the time as we see in Paul’s letter to the Corinthians, written about 25 years after Christ’s death. He wrote: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived. Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites . . . will inherit the kingdom of God.” (I Cor 6: 9-10). It should be noted, here, that the Apostle Paul treated all three sexual sins equally. The Greek shows that the three sins listed all involve penetration. The only sexual relationship sanctioned in scripture is between a man and wife within a loving and committed marriage. Christians should speak out in support of this teaching, condemning all sexual sin. Sadly, many Christians are quick to condemn the last of these while treating the other two lightly. This only breeds hatred.
Michael Morrell, former Deputy director of the CIA and author of “The Great War of our time,” warned this morning on CBS that we can expect more attacks like the one in Orlando. Focusing on the ISIS connection, Mr. Morrell warned of the growing danger from radical Islamism. Presidential candidate Donald Trump called on President Obama to use the term “radical Islamists” to describe the perpetrator – the president has consistently refused to use the two words together.
James Corden is wrong. Hate is winning. It’s always been there but now radical Islam has been added to the mix. With growing numbers of Muslims in western countries, acts such as the one yesterday, will inevitably become more common. Christians should be very careful not to contribute to the hate.
On 9-11, I felt for sure that this would wake Americans up to the serious threat posed by Islam.
The attacks came on a Tuesday. Three days later, the liberal Establishment had put together an inter-religious memorial service at the National Cathedral. Not an inter-denominational service, but an inter-religious service that included a Muslim imam, a Hindu priest, a Buddhist monk and a Jewish rabbi, as well as a Catholic priest.
I also remember reading, a few months later, that sales of the Koran had jumped significantly. Printing presses could not keep up with demand.
So it should not have come as a surprise that, seven years later, the country elected its first president with a Muslim name and definite Muslim connections.
The Obama Administration is staffed by a number of Muslims. Valerie Jarrett, the president’s chief adviser, is a Shi’ite Muslim from Iran; the head of the CIA, John Brennan, converted to Islam while in Saudi Arabia. There are others, too, in highly influential positions. It’s no wonder they are panicked at the thought of Donald Trump and his promise to suspend Islamic immigration.
Now, another seven years later, the same president has just declared that March every year will be Muslim History Month. Millions of dollars will be frivolously added to the national debt to pay for it. In the years to come, we will be hearing many lies, witnessing a re-write of American history, as Muslims did not contribute anything to America for the first 350 years (from 1607).
It should be noted that Muslim History Month follows Black History Month. Malcolm X and the Nation of Islam, that came to prominence in the 1960’s, would never have believed that this could happen. But it is happening, right before our eyes. The media will now follow with programs to show just how it was Islam, not protestant Europeans, that gave birth to this land and made it the most prosperous country in the world.
Fifteen years after James Town, the English settlers had less of a presence on American soil than Muslims do today, less than 15 years after 9-11.
Is there any wonder Americans are flocking to Trump?
Muslims continue to dominate the news in other parts of the world.
Saudi Arabia has announced the creation of a 34-nation alliance of Sunni Muslims to fight terrorism. Before you jump for joy, keep in mind that ISIS and Al-Qaeda are also both Sunni Muslims, the latter staging 9/11. Members were heavily influenced by the Wahabbi sect of Islam, which is the official state religion of Saudi Arabia. They are the most extreme form of Islam. When mosques are built in western countries, they are often paid for by Saudi Arabia; after completion the country will generously send a Saudi Wahabbi Imam to the mosque to spread the faith. They also provide imams to work as chaplains in American prisons. These men work at converting prisoners and are paid by the Federal government.
When the Saudis were criticized for not taking in Muslim refugees during the mass migration to western Europe last summer, they “generously” declared that they would help by building 200 mosques in Germany, once again dispatching the imams needed.
And so we see the progressive spread of Islam into western democracies. Instead of embracing freedom, they will spread their pernicious religion, which means “submission” or “surrender,” the exact opposite of what America was.
Our children and our grandchildren will never forgive us!
Some Christians get excited about all this, believing that the Saudi led alliance is the prophesied “king of the south,” mentioned in Daniel chapter 11. Verses 40-44 show that immediately prior to Christ’s return, the “king of the south” pushes at the “king of the north” and the Holy Land gets invaded.
Let’s not be too hasty here to jump to conclusions.
Firstly, we should remember that the old “king of the south,” the Ptolemaic dynasty of ancient Egypt, did not include Saudi Arabia or most of the other nations in alliance with Riyadh. The kingdom was ruled from Alexandria, the capital of ancient Egypt. Egypt is home to roughly 50% of all Arabs. Egypt is more likely to be the leader of the king of the south.
Saudi Arabia is still a prominent player in the Middle East. Another is Iran. These two countries are involved in proxy wars in both Yemen and Syria. Whereas the Saudis are mostly Sunni Muslims, the Iranians are Shi’ites. The two sects of Islam hate each other with a passion. You would have to go back to the Thirty Years War (1618 to 1648) to see anything comparable in the Christian world.
At least one church organization that emphasizes Bible prophecy has been claiming dogmatically for over twenty years that Iran is the King of the South. This is not very likely when you consider that Iran (formerly Persia) was a part of the King of the North prior to the Christian era. The biblical king of the North was ruled from Antioch to the north of Jerusalem.
The two powers, the kings of the south and of the north, both born out of the rubble of Alexander’s empire, regularly came to blows. Each time they did, Jerusalem, the epicenter of Bible prophecy, was negatively affected.
It is also highly unlikely that Shi’ite Iran will lead a Sunni alliance.
So, who are the “kings of the north” and of the “south”?
Maps give you a good idea.
The following maps are of the two powers about 200 years before Christ, a little over a century after the death of Alexander and the division of his empire.
Now look at this contemporary map, showing the worlds of Shia and Sunni Islam. The red shows Shia Islam which is basically the old King of the North plus territory to the east. Blue shows Sunni Islam which includes the territory once ruled by the King of the South.
The West has been caught up in a growing Shia-Sunni conflict. We can’t be blamed for the animosity itself, as it began in the seventh century AD, but we must bear some responsibility for the rapid acceleration toward a major war between the two. Western intervention in Iraq 13 years ago led to the downfall of Sunni ruled Iraq and its replacement with Shia Iraq. This has led to the development of an arc of Shia Islam, comprising Lebanon, Syria, Iraq and Iran.
The Shi’ites are now dominated by Iran. President Assad’s Syria is also led by Shi’ites, who also dominate Lebanon. This could all have been avoided if we’d known what we were doing, but we didn’t, so now we see the threat of major war between the two branches of Islam.
We still talk about democracy, but liberal democracy is irrelevant in the Middle East. Only Israel has a real democratic system.
This conflict is only going to get worse.
So, are Shia and Sunni Islam the kings of the north and south?
That’s certainly a possibility. But, in 60 BC, the King of the North fell to the Roman Empire. 29 years later, so did the King of the South when Cleopatra killed herself. After those two conquests, Judea and Samaria were also conquered by the Romans.
The two powers ceased to exist and are not mentioned again until “the time of the end.” Why do they suddenly appear again?
Remember that prophecy revolves around Israel. There was no Jewish nation from the time of the Roman Empire until it was restored in 1948. The lengthy prophecy in Daniel 11 is not about the kings of the north and south, so much as their impact on the Jewish people. Now that the Jewish people have been restored by God to their ancient homeland, any major threat to them from the North or South, or both, has once again become very relevant.
The principal threat right now is from Shia Islam. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has regularly warned the West about the threat from Iran. Events in Syria could also affect Israel. Shi’ite Hizbollah in Lebanon remains a constant threat.
As the US has turned against Israel, the country has been seeking closer working relationships with Sunni Islamic nations, like Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey. (I wrote about this recently in a blogpost.)
The Saudi alliance is looking at getting involved in Syria, ostensibly against ISIS, but likely more against Assad. A Saudi-led intervention there would partially fulfill the prophecy about the King of the South pushing against the King of the North. But it could also be a side-war, another proxy war between the two branches of Islam.
So, again, let’s not get too excited. A lot could still happen before we see the fulfillment of Daniel 11: 40-44.
“At the time of the end the king of the South shall attack him; and the king of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter the countries, overwhelm them, and pass through.He shall also enter the Glorious Land, and many countries shall be overthrown; but these shall escape from his hand: Edom, Moab, and the prominent people of Ammon. He shall stretch out his hand against the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. He shall have power over the treasures of gold and silver, and over all the precious things of Egypt; also the Libyans and Ethiopians shall follow at his heels.” But news from the east and the north shall trouble him; therefore he shall go out with great fury to destroy and annihilate many.
One thing is for sure and that is the need to watch the Middle East, as events there are often far more important than the events that get reported on our national news programs.
In the latest James Bond movie, “Spectre,” an evil organization is trying to take over the world, but 007, once again, stops them.
It’s the most successful movie at the box office right now.
Millions around the world have already seen it; millions more will in the weeks to come.
The question is: why do people believe this is credible, but won’t accept an evil organization really IS trying to take over the world and, at present, well on the way to success?
I’m referring, of course, to ISIS. Also Al-Qaeda, which, through an affiliate in Mali, has staged the latest terrorist attack today in Bamako. An ISIS affiliate, Boko Haram, attacked a market yesterday in northern Nigeria, killing almost 50. These terrorist attacks are now a daily occurrence. It seems likely that Al-Qaeda and ISIS are competing with each other, to see who can kill the most people. Whoever wins will get the most recruits – people will want to join the one who is winning!
Both organizations believe that Islam shall rule the world. They also have an eschatological interpretation of their religion, which is telling them to stir things up at this time, which they, like many Christians, believe is the end-time. (Be sure to read Graeme Wood’s article “What ISIS really wants” in the March 2015 issue of The Atlantic Monthly. It’s available online. I quoted from it in a blogpost at the time.)
It’s not just religious people who write articles warning about ISIS and others. Niall Ferguson, my favorite historian and a non-believer, wrote a very good article this week for The Australian newspaper, likening what is happening now to the fall of Rome. Commenting on the Paris attacks, he observed: “this is exactlyhow civilizations fall.” (“Paris attacks: fall of Rome should be a warning to the West.” The Australian, November 16th). Ferguson had this to say about Muslims in Europe:
It is doubtless true to say that the overwhelming majority of Muslims in Europe are not violent. But it is also true the majority hold views not easily reconciled with the principles of our liberal democracies, including our novel notions about sexual equality and tolerance not merely of religious diversity but of nearly all sexual proclivities. And it is thus remarkably easy for a violent minority to acquire their weapons and prepare their assaults on civilization within these avowedly peace-loving communities.
Conservative columnist Mark Steyn wrote:
“Among his other coy evasions, President Obama described (last week’s) events as “an attack not just on Paris, it’s an attack not just on the people of France, but this is an attack on all of humanity and the universal values we share.”
“But that’s not true, is it? He’s right that it’s an attack not just on Paris or France. What it is is an attack on the west, on the civilization that built the modern world – an attack on one portion of “humanity” by those who claim to speak for another portion of “humanity.” And these are not “universal values” but values that spring from a relatively narrow segment of humanity. They were kinda sorta “universal” when the great powers were willing to enforce them around the world and the colonial subjects of ramshackle backwaters such as Aden, Sudan and the North-West Frontier Province were at least obliged to pay lip service to them. But the European empires retreated from the world, and those “universal values” are utterly alien to large parts of the map today.
“And then Europe decided to invite millions of Muslims to settle in their countries. Most of those people don’t want to participate actively in bringing about the death of diners and concertgoers and soccer fans, but at a certain level most of them either wish or are indifferent to the death of the societies in which they live – modern, pluralist, western societies and those “universal values” of which Barack Obama bleats. So, if you are either an active ISIS recruit or just a guy who’s been fired up by social media, you have a very large comfort zone in which to swim, and which the authorities find almost impossible to penetrate.” (“The Barbarians are inside – and there are no gates!” Steynonline, Friday November 13th)
Nothing has yet been done to change immigration rules. President Obama was on the defensive when the issue came up – he said it was un-American to discriminate against Muslims, though that’s exactly what was done from the founding of James Town (in 1607) until the 1965 Immigration Act that was sponsored by Senator Edward Kennedy. In the 1952 Immigration bill that became law, members of any organization that called for the overthrow of the US government and constitution, was forbidden to enter the country. At the time, communism was the threat. Today, it’s radical Islam. Both the religion and the Koran threaten the US.
Islam means “submission” – all members of the faith must submit to Allah and Sharia Law. According to a recent poll of Muslims in the United States, 51% of American Muslims believe Sharia should be the law of the US. In the same poll, 25% felt it justified to use violence against Americans. In other words, their faith comes before America, intolerance before tolerance.
It was clear from what the President said that his agenda is to get as many into the country as possible, while bending over backwards to stay out of any conflict with radical Islam. Obama is not the only one. President Hollande of France declared war on ISIS after last week’s terror attacks, but his government remains committed to taking in 30,000 more Syrian refugees in the weeks to come. Multiply that by 5 to get a US equivalent of 150,000. The US is taking 10,000.
France is interesting. The country has arguably been more successful assimilating Muslims than any other. 10% of the French population is Muslim, immigrants from the Middle East and North Africa and their offspring. Only 10% of these Muslims go to the mosque every week. Muslims seem to be more secularized than in other countries.
But, perhaps that’s the problem.
When a devout Muslim moves to the West, rather than appreciating his newfound freedom, he will see the West as totally degenerate. Whereas Muslims are in submission to Allah, the West is in submission to the god of materialism and the pursuit of licentiousness. They are two diametrically opposed ways of life.
The surprise is that so few, comparatively speaking, resort to extremism.
Although attitudes are hardening throughout the West and right-wing movements are gaining support, a lot of people are still clueless at the threat from radical Islam. More than one victim in Paris remarked on how they still believe in the basic goodness of people. They would do well to heed the words of the prophet Jeremiah who wrote: “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.” (Jeremiah 17:9). We are likely to see far more evil acts perpetrated by ISIS in the near future.
Which brings us back to James Bond.
We must not confuse real life with movies. If and when ISIS is defeated, it does not mean the end of violent Islamic extremism. Other organizations will arise that will likewise threaten the peace and security of the West. Radical Islam is here to stay. It’s an idea whose time has come!
The final words are from Niall Ferguson, who quotes Bryan Ward-Perkins, who wrote “The Fall of Rome” in 2005: “The end of civilization came within a singlegeneration.” The West could fall much quicker than that faced with the serious threat of radical Islam.
Graeme Wood graduated from Harvard University in 2001 and speaks fluent Russian and some Arabic. He is a Canadian journalist.
Mr. Wood has written an in-depth, thought-provoking article in the March issue of The Atlantic, on “What ISIS really wants.”
It’s likely to be the most discussed article on the subject for some time.
The article stands in complete contrast to statements made by western leaders, who claim that ISIS does not represent Islam and that terrorism is not Islamic.
Mr. Wood delves deep into Islamic history and shows that, in fact, the opposite is the case, that ISIS is the real face of Islam and represents the true face of the religion. He makes such a convincing case to support his argument that I doubt anybody will sit down and argue with him. The facts fit. The question is: what are we going to do about it?
Today, the BBC World Service revealed that the number of Christians abducted by ISIS fighters on Monday from villages in North-East Syria is between 370 – 500, not the 70 originally thought to have been kidnapped. To say that fears are growing for their safety is an understatement. They may be used as hostages and traded for ISIS fighters taken as prisoners. According to Mr. Wood: “Exempted from automatic execution, it appears, are Christians who do not resist their new government. Baghdadi permits them to live, as long as they pay a special tax, known as the jizya, and acknowledge their subjugation. The Koranic authority for this practice is not in dispute.”
It has also been confirmed that three teenage girls who left England last week for Turkey crossed the border into Syria to join ISIS. The fact that they all went to an exclusive private school is further proof that joblessness and poverty do not cause terrorism, as the US Administration claims.
Earlier today, three Americans were charged with trying to leave the country to join ISIS. One of them even promised to kill the President of the United States if asked to do so.
Others, in both countries, have already gone to Syria to join the organization. ISIS is said to be attracting hundreds of new fighters each day.
“Tens of thousands of foreign Muslims are thought to have immigrated to the Islamic State. Recruits hail from France, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Germany, Holland, Australia, Indonesia, the United States, and many other places. Many have come to fight, and many intend to die.” (Wood, What ISIS Really Wants)
Meanwhile, as the threat from ISIS increases, the US and UK are continuing to reduce the size of their militaries, according to reports on today’s Fox News website and in last week’s Economist. The report on Fox News was based on the Heritage Foundation’s “2015 Index of US Military Strength,” which concluded that, for the first time in decades, the US can no longer fight and win two wars at the same time. During the last decade, the country and its allies fought two simultaneous wars, in Iraq and Afghanistan, arguably losing both wars. There is a very real possibility that wars against ISIS, al-Qaeda and Boko Haram may have to be fought in three different regions while, at the same time, there is also a very real prospect of a proxy war with Russia in Ukraine or maybe even the Baltic states.
A few days ago, I posted an article to my blog, titled “What If The President Is Wrong?” This was just after his claim that terrorism is caused by joblessness.
A few days later, I read Mr. Wood’s article in The Atlantic. Joblessness is not the problem. Rather, we have here a fundamentalist movement that is returning Islam to its 1400-year-old roots and copying Muhammed in the way he dealt with infidels and those in conquered lands.
Monday’s Chicago Tribune put it well: “What motivates these people? Why do so many of them, Westerners included, eagerly come to the desert to fight and die?
“The best examination we’ve seen appears in the current issue of the The Atlantic. “What ISIS Really Wants,” by Graeme Wood, argues that Islamic State is not a death cult that distorts Islam in a bid to gain political power. Rather, it is a fanatically rigid religious movement based on specific teachings and traditions of seventh century Islam, which it implements to a dangerously literal degree . . .”
“In the view of Islamic State leaders, there is only one extremely narrow belief path to follow – its own puritanical Salafist branch of Sunni Islam. The rest of us, even practicing Muslims, are infidels to be subjugated or killed . . . ” (Knowing Islamic State and Its Vision)
What is particularly interesting in Graeme Wood’s article is the conviction that ISIS has, that they are to play a significant role in world history leading up to the apocalypse. Christians will see in part a distortion of their own beliefs regarding end-time events.
“These include the belief that there will be only 12 legitimate caliphs, and Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi is the eighth; that the armies of Rome will mass to meet the armies of Islam in northern Syria; and that Islam’s final showdown with an anti-Messiah will occur in Jerusalem after a period of renewed Islamic conquest.”
This paragraph alone should tell us one thing – that ISIS is here to stay and will remain with us until the end-time events that Christians believe will see the return of Jesus Christ.
“What ISIS Really Wants” gives us a clear understanding of the beliefs and goals of ISIS. The question now is how is the West going to react?
"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