Monthly Archives: February 2015

The spread of ISIS

We should be worried, because ISIS is spreading. The movement began in Iraq in 2004 as Al Qaeda in Iraq. The same elements that were loyal to Osama Bin Laden are now loyal to the leader of ISIS. He has gained ascendancy over the current leadership of Al Qaeda. The atrocities being committed in the name of IS are growing by the day. The Islamic elements that are causing havoc in North African communities are also expressing allegiance to IS. In Australia it is Hizb-ut-Tahrir that has been expressing allegiance to IS.

Before we get too excited about the leadership of IS there is something to keep in mind about the man and his motivation… that something is Saddam Hussein… and in Libya it is Moamar Gadhafi. I will explain the Libyan connection soon.  Why bring up Saddam Hussein? He was a Sunni Muslim and he gained powerful control over Iraq. This movement was born in the same city that had seen the birth of Saddam Hussein. Baghdadi has another motivation and that is he wants power over Iraq first. The IS leadership is also Sunni. Thus this war appears to be Sunni vs Shia… yet that is not the case.

IS has declared that anyone who does not follow their brand of Sunni is an unbeliever and therefore they can put that person to death. IS is therefore killing other Muslims who are Sunni. They are also killing Shia, Kurds, Yazidi, Christians and of course any Jews that cross their paths. The Chechyen branch of IS is also killing Russian soldiers that they are claiming as spies.

The withdrawal of Allied troops from Iraq prior to Iraq having a strong army led to a gap which al-Baghdadi used to garner support. However, Baghdadi and his band of thugs took other opportunities to try and spread their vile form of Islam. One theatre of war is Syria. No one had come to the aid of the “rebels” and they were left to fight the Assad supporters on their own. The lack of support gave Al Qaeda the opportunity that they were seeking. As a result Syria became a new front where Al Qaeda, Al-Nusra Front, and IS had gained a foothold.

At the same time IS has a presence in Libya, Algeria and Tunisia. The most scary aspect of this is the presence of IS in Libya. Let’s try and take a closer look at this group.

When Libya was in the midst of its civil war against Moammar Gadhafi, the rebels were made up of various disparate groups. Some of those militias who fought against Gadhafi have remained loyal to the current government. One such militia is in Zintan, the city that was recently bombarded when the IS affiliated group managed to get hold of an aircraft. The most notorious of the Libyan militias is that of Ansar al-Sharia, the group that has taken over Benghazi and Derna. This group is the one most likely to have committed atrocities during the Libyan civil war, since it has been recorded that there were atrocities on both sides. When the trouble began, Gadhafi had warned a civil rights lawyer about rebelling and Gadhafi went a lot futher by bringing in sharpshooters from Mali. It is true, Gadhafi ordered the sharpshooters to kill the people who were out on the streets. Some very good people, not involved in Islamism were killed by these sharpshooters. They even shot a girl child when she was in her bedroom. Also, it is true, that Gadhafi’s army complete with tanks was heading to Benghazi with the express purpose of killing the residents of that city. The tanks reached the edge of the city when the French swooped and the allied approach to this issue began. The war itself lasted a lot longer than some expected, and it ended when Gadhafi was killed.

Libya is a divided nation. Ther are three regions – Cyrencia is one of the regions. The terrain of Libya is uninviting with vast deserts and mountain ranges. Some of the bravest militia soldiers came from the mountainous region of Libya. All they want out of the new government is the right their own language.

Since the death of Gadhafi the moderates were hounded out of the newly formed government. The militias from Misrata were key to removing anyone who had served with Gadhafi, but I think that this was a grave error on their part because Libya remains very unstable. At the present time it has  a legitimate elected government as well as the illegitimate government in Tripoli.

IS is now strong in Tripoli, Derna, Benghazi and Sirte. There is a general loyal to the elected government who has been trying to stop their activity. He has been aided by both Egypt and UAE.  IS is a direct threat to Egypt because Libaya is on the border with Egypt. There have been border clashes and there has been some infiltration with  IS members killing Egyptian security police in the border region.

There are now threats to Europe as IS promises to invade Italy and raise its flag over the Vatican. The Italians have been poking fun at this threat because of the huge amount of traffic on their freeways. They think that IS would have a lot of trouble getting to Rome in the first place. I hope that the Italians have their guns handy because if IS does invade by crossing from Libya then they are going to need to fight for their lives.

IS wants to re-establish the Caliphate. The followers believe in the Ummah. They have a set purpose and they will continue until they have achieved their goals. They are willing to kill the Sufi, Ahmadi and the Shia as well as Muslims who are moderate. It only takes an Imam who preaches for the young to be turned and be willing to follow IS. This is a problem in every nation.

IS has a very warped view of God, and the life after this life. Clearly they believe that if they are killed by the “infidel” then they are martyrs.  The  truth is it is the Yazidi, the Peshmerga and others , including the Chaldeans, and the 21 Copts who were killed because they are Christians.

The Middle East Front

We cannot ignore what is occurring in the Middle East. IS has been allowed to run riot with very little being done to stop the murder and the mayhem. The murder of the 21 Egyptian Copts and the murder of the Jordanian pilot has seen a new turning point, with I might add a series of alliances that shows the USA as a power in the world is on the wane (at least whilst the Clown remains in the White House).

At the present time, my admiration for the former General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi continues to rise. His swift retaliation against the IS elements in Libya shows that he is not willing to see any of his citizens being murdered in cold blood. However, there is more to the story than just this swift retaliation.

Egypt has been forming an alliance with Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, UAE, Russia and France, as well as some other nations. The sweetener for Egypt is that Saudi Arabia and Kuwait have offered money to help the ailing Egyptian economy whilst Egypt is supplying military aid to the Saudis. Egypt is making purchases of new military equipment. Some of the equipment is coming from France, other equipment is coming from Russia.

These Sunni nations are very worried about the rise of IS, as well as the activity of the Iran-backed Houthi in Yemen. Egypt has sent troops to help Saudi Arabia on two fronts. However, it seems that Egypt has issues on its own front with Libya, and it has requested assistance (with the consent of the duly elected Libyan Government) to handle the threat of IS within Libya.

IS is determined to continue its push against the West. To them we are the “Crusaders”. In their warped minds we are somehow to blame because the Mohammedans, a very long time ago lost against the Crusades. Their whole ideology is extremely warped and it means that none of us are safe. It also means that we need to trust Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Jordan and UAE at this point in time.

The situation is very grim because IS through its affiliates are also active in Africa and I am sure that they want to be active here in Australia, as well as Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Canada and the USA. China has a continuing problem with its Muslim population. I think that Burma (the old name for that country) has it right with the Buddhists at least managing to contain some of the Islamist threat.

We seem to be entering a new period of danger. I do not think that we can ignore the danger. I believe that we need boots on the ground in order to combat the danger that is IS. It is the only way in which they can be defeated.

IS murder Copt Christians – who are now martyrs

I have been following this story but I am not going to add the video or show any of the graphic pictures. The Egyptian Copts had gone to Libya looking for work. The members of IS knew their names when they came calling to take them captive. To the end these men did not renounce their Christian heritage, and they died with the name of Jesus Christ on their lips.

As Pope Francis has stated, whether we are Protestant, Evangelical, Copt or Orthodox, we are Christian and we need to work together. If Christians do not come together and remain hopelessly divided, then our real enemy will continue to divide and conquer.

There is evil in this world. Every time IS butchers someone, whether that person/s is Muslim, Copt, Jew, Christian, Yazidi or something else, they do so in the name of Satan. Every time someone decides to act alone and to kill innocent people, they do so because they yield to Satan. Yes, I do believe in the existence of Satan and not only that I believe that Satan is the influence behind all of the evil that we are seeing.

When the cartoonists and staff at Charlie Hebdo were massacred, I sided with the stand that they had taken. The reason I did this was not because of their cartoons, but because they were willing to stand up to the thugs who were threatening their very existence, and threatening their right to the freedom of speech. Charb stated that he would rather die standing than being on his knees. I understand the sentiment of this man, even though Charb was an atheist, because I would rather die than convert to Islam because I believe that Jesus is the Saviour, not Mohammed.

The Egyptian Copts have faced persecution for a very long time. Every now and then, an Egyptian leader tries to do the right thing by them. The leader prior to the rise of Morsi, and especially the army frowned upon the damage that was done to the Coptic Churches, and good Muslim men worked to restore what had been destroyed. Every once in a while along comes someone like Fattah al-Sisi, who sees the Copts as Egyptians first, and who believes that these deaths are worth avenging.

The followers of Mohammed and IS believe that killing people is doing the work of Allah, who they claim to be God. However, like a lot of people, I dispute what they claim to be God, because they have made an image of their own thoughts into God.  It is increasingly difficult to acknowledge the good Muslims in the world who do in fact seek the One True God, through their works as good people. A lot of people do not understand the Catholic doctrine on this matter. The best way for me to explain what is means, is that people of faith who believe in God, even if that person has an imperfect understanding of God, will end up in Heaven. What it means in plain English is that the person wants to do what is right and more important, that person follows the two laws of God:  1. Love God and 2 Love thy neighbour.

As such it is logical that we acknowledge that these 21 Copts are martyrs and now reside in Heaven with Jesus.

What a stupid comparison and I might add a lot of historically incorrect twaddle

Duh Won has done it again. This time he is trying to blame Christians for the savagery of present day Islamic terrorists known to the world as IS. I think it is time that Duh Won is put in his place over his lack of perspective when it comes to history…. and that goes for all of the claims that the Crusades were somehow savage and brutal.

First of all, there were several Crusades that were called and the purpose of most was to free the Holy Land from the grip of the barbarians known as Mohammedans. However, by the time of Richard the Lionheart there were other reassons for the Crusade. I am not sure if I wrote about those other issues in a previous post. It is suffice to say that the security of Jerusalem as a Holy Place was not necessarily the goal for at least one crusade. Also not all crusades were called by the Pope.

Second, some mention in the past has been made of the role of the Knights Templar. It is only by re-reading the book on Robin Hood that I began to dig into some of the mystery surrounding the attitude towards the Knights Templar that persists even today. At least by digging I understand why this attitude arose in the first place. At some point, and it is not clear when this happened, the Knights Templar had become heretics. They became a part of a movement that is best represented by the Albigenses in France known as Catharism – the Cathars believed that they were the pure (it reminds me of modern vegetarians). The Cathars also believed in dualism, that is there were two gods – a god of good and a god of evil. As such they did not accept that Jesus had died on the Cross (please note that this is a brief summary for the purpose of this post).

My appetite to find out the truth was whetted when I saw the most recent movie about Robin Hood, also known as Robin of Locksley and then  read Sir Walter Scott’s version of the tales of Robin Hood. Although the T.V. series was loosely based on this book,  there was a lot more in the book to excite the mind of the curious. In my case it was the manner in which king Richard treated the members of the Knights Templar who were present at the joust.  The real story of Richard the Lionheart and of the Knights Templar is quite interesting. I will point out that there are accusations against King Richard that are simply not true, in regard to what happened on the island where his wife was living. The people who live there certainly have a different viewpoint than the revisionist historian who was attempting to dent the reputation of Richard.

There is one crusade, it was not sanctioned by the Vatican, and it took place in France. What you have to remember is that during the period in question there was no difference between Church and State. What you also have to keep in mind is that the Church as well as the State felt threatened by the rise of such groups. The Knights Templar were a parter of a larger organizationl The State of France went to war against them. It was a crusade against those who were thought to be a threat against the monarchy or at least the local dignitary.

Third, in Europe there were at least 2 phases of the Inquisitions. There were admitted abuses by individuals who participated in the Inquistions. However, despite such abuses which led  to a few deaths for political rather than religious reaons, the first Inquisitions saved more people than those who actually died.When the Inquisitor came to town the accused were confronted about whether or not they were adopting certain practices. The numbers who died in this period were very low (more than 10 times less than those killed through violence perpetrated by Mohammedans. However, it is the Spanish Inquisition that was in fact dubious from its inception. Yes, people died. Yes, some people were tortured. However, what they endured was a picnic compared to the torturs used on the many innocent victims of the Islamic State. The Spanish Iquisition was a government tribunal.

The claim that somehow IS is worse than the Christians during the period of the crusades is ludicrous. It is also a claim that is not based upon fact.

Warning!! Do not “p” off the King of Jordan

What a man!!  I am very impressed with King Abdullah of Jordan. This man is absolutely amazing as far as I am concerned.

Upon learning of the fate of the young Jordanian pilot who fell into the hands of IS, Abdullah cut short his visit to the USA. It is rumoured that upon hearing about how the young man was put to death Abdullah quoted from the Clint Eastwood film “Unforgiven”. Abdullah is now back in Jordan.

The first order of business was to ensure that a woman who was condemned to death years ago finally went to learn of her own eternal fate (I hope that it was hell because that is what she deserved). You need to understand her importance to IS to understand why I am cheering the fact that she was executed.  Other terrorists held in Jordan’s jails are also about to be executed if not already executed. For one death many more will follow.

Prior to becoming king, Abdullah was a fighter pilot. Now I am reading that he is intending leading the bombing mission against IS.

All I can say is WOW!!

This man, a Muslim has all the necessary amount of righteous indignation to make the decision to go in hard against the terrorists. Yes, there are moderate Muslims and Abdullah is one of them. I will have to pray for his safety.

The war in Syria grinds on… and an unlikely Lebanese hero

Al Nusra front used one of their operatives to blow up a bus. He is not the hero of this story. As usual this is in fact a story about Sunni vs. Shia. Al Nusra Front represents the Sunni who are opposed to Assad. The real hero is a Lebanese Shia man who is most likely to be linked to Hezbollah. He is a hero because he spotted the bomber, gave his child to his wife and then pounced on the man. The bomber blew himself up, killing 6 and wounding 19 others. The selfless action of the real hero and dare I say it, martyr (because he gave his life to save others) was to cushion the impact of the bomb.

In the Islamic world such heroism is very rarely seen, but when it is seen, then it needs to be acknowledged. The man was on a pilgrimage to  a shrine in Damascus. He was not there to be a part of any war. He was with his wife and child. He acted out of some sense of impending harm to all of his “friends” who were on the bus. I do hope that this man’s heroism is appropriately rewarded by Our Lord.