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A song against terrorism

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This inspiring song by Pakistani pop singers has become a way for Muslims to express their rejection of terrorism and say, "This is not us". The song has appeared on the net for some months, but was only officially released in mid-July. Since then, it has gained a boost of Western press attention. Congratulations to the artists on this good work!

The producer of the song has started an NGO to advance the idea, and there is at least one fan web site devoted to the project.

(A hat tip to peacenik Julianne Wiley for the info.)

Is the same thing going on here?

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The National Post's Michael Coren notes a TV expose of supposedly "moderate" British Muslims:

Journalists from Channel 4's Dispatches programme conducted a 10-month undercover assignment in several of Britain's leading mosques. The resulting segment, Undercover Mosque, was aired on Jan. 15. [...]

What it found has provoked waves of shock. Several preachers and imams call for holy war, tell congregations that Muslims have to brainwash people, demand that homosexuals be murdered, insist that girls who refuse to wear the hijab should be beaten, and routinely demand that Christians and Jews be killed.

At one mosque in Birmingham, Abu Usama, one of the most popular speakers, says that Muslims have to "form a state within a state, until we take over." He says that in this state any Muslim who tried to leave Islam would be killed. "If the Imam wants to crucify him he could crucify him[....]"

The program is (at least for now) available on YouTube.

(HT: CaNN.)

Dozo yoroshiku

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The other day I wrote about a fellow who made a sort of job out of performing religious acts; here's another case and one that's more obviously mercenary: western laymen dressing up as priests and conducting weddings for non-Christians in Japan.

Come to think of it, there's probably a market for such services here too.

A friend who attends Melkite parishes went to a parish's summer festival last week, and writes this (emphasis added):

Went to St. Ann's in Waterford [CT] this weekend with Archbishop Cyril, Bishop John and [pastor] Father Ed Kakaty. They had their festival, which was great. Interestingly enough, Father Ed made an announcement during [Divine Liturgy] that the church had received threatening calls from local Muslims complaining about the fact that there would be dancing. Evidently some families stayed away....we stayed for the first part of the festival.

It was our first visit to St. Ann's and the singing was marvellous! We may go back to experience a regular Sunday, especially since St. Ann's is slightly closer to us than Worcester.

I have to wonder who these callers think they are. They probably aren't calling up function halls, schools, or restaurants to complain about dancing, or they'd already be in jail, but they think they're entitled to harass a Catholic church. Is it time to call the cops?

Maybe Abdul is in the habit of expecting Arab Catholics to roll over when he doesn't like something they do, but lissen up, Bub, we Catholics are not your dhimmis here. If you don't like it, you can always go back to the old country.

Death or the Cross


Over the last few weeks, I have been haunted by these questions:

1. How long will the war against Islamofascism last?

2. How many people will die as a result?

3. Will the Islamofascists win, or will their non-Islamofascist opponents win?

I'm interested in what you think — please contribute your own views. My answers are:

1. 10-15 years, though it may drag on for several more decades.

2. Somewhere between 500,000 and 20 million will die, but I will guess 2-3 million. My reasoning goes as follows: over a decade, the Islamofascist regime in Khartoum killed 1 million Christians and animist "rebels" in southern Sudan. I believe that there will be two or three similar genocides, given the number of countries in which the Muslim radicals operate, and the large populations involved. The low number seems far too optimistic. A nuclear war with Iran, Israel, and/or Pakistan involved as belligerents could easily kill 15-20 million.

3. We will lose, and the Islamofascists will win.

Four years ago, I would have strongly disputed the last point. But four years ago, I thought that the "War on Terror" would be an interlude after which we would go back to arguing about abortion or a flag-burning amendment or whatever else.

It isn't working out that way. We now live in a post-post-September 11 world. Americans were willing to support a "War on Terror" as long as it meant wiping out or containing regimes that promote terrorism. When we slaughtered the Taliban and al Qaeda in Afghanistan, and deposed the terrorist-supporting regime in Iraq, the public was willing to support it.

But we are facing an enemy determined to wear us down, in the classical Arab fashion of avoiding direct battle and harassing their enemy with raids until his will is broken. Our Western tradition of seeking a decisive military confrontation — a tradition that stretches back at least 2,500 years to the ancient Greeks — chafes at the idea of patiently rooting out a malign force and supplanting it with congenial institutions. Westerners want the "War" to cease so they can get back to their daily lives. But jihadis don't have day jobs, because their countries' economies are moribund. They have plenty of time on their hands for mortal thoughts.

You may think I am referring to Iraq, but I am thinking further down the road. Iraq is neither the first nor the last time that we have faced an insurgency enmeshed with the local population. Nor is it the last time we will confront jihadi thugs. In the next couple of years, Iran will get nuclear weapons. Those weapons will give them newfound influence to wreak great evils in the world. And the United States, and every other free nation in the world, won't do a f——— thing about it.

That is because to most Americans, the "War" doesn't exist. Few people are affected by it directly. It consumes very little of our gigantic economy's abundance, and has (relative to our population of almost 300 million) produced low casualties from a historical perspective. There is no sense of urgency, and little desire to prevent Iran from getting its nukes.

Knowing this, Iran will continue to expand its sphere of influence in the Middle East and Central Asia. Iran's allies will continue to kill Americans in Iraq and Afghanistan, and elsewhere as opportunities present themselves. Bit by bit, piece by piece, they will consolidate their gains until they are the Islamic superpower they aspire to be, vouchsafed by their nuclear deterrent. Muslim states, out of fear and religious solidarity, will side with Iran or at least do nothing to antagonize it.

The only thing that might jeopardize this plan is another clumsy, September-11-style terror attack. That might rouse Americans and other free peoples into action. Iran will studiously avoid this mistake.

Besides nuclear technology and thuggery, the Iranian regime and other Islamofascists have another advantage: culture. No, not high culture; they have no interest in art, architecture, literature, music, or any other beautiful thing. I mean culture in the most primitive sense, the soil in which they grow and thrive. There are few truly secular Muslim countries. Some nominally secular states do exist in the Muslim world, but their populations are sustained by an essentially Islamic worldview. States were not sanctioned by the Koran, so they have no real standing to a pious Muslim, unlike in Christianity where they have a temporary but divinely-sanctioned role in human life.

Within Islam, the only sanctioned institution other than the teachings of Mohammad himself is the family. Religion and family reinforce each other and provide a strong cultural basis for Muslim societies. Today, these societies are often anemic and dysfunctional, and the more anemic and dysfunctional, the more likely they are to produce Islamofascists. But religion and family are far more powerful and enduring influences than secularism and consumerism, the chief twin values of Western elites. In the long run, the men animated by stronger forces will wear down the men sustained by weaker ones.

As I said above, I did not believe that the "War on Terror" would last more than a couple of years, as I did not think it represented a true challenge to our civilization. Like many others, I spent the 1990s thinking that the challenge was mainly from within: lack of faith in God, lack of confidence in, and knowledge of, the four pillars of our own culture (Greece, Rome, Judaism, and Christianity).

Now we face a determined enemy bent on our destruction, and we do not have the internal strength to resist. Either Western civilization will recover and renew itself by embracing the Cross once again, or it will perish eternally. The only other alternative — that Islamofascists will lose their appeal, and will not use suicide bombers and nuclear devices to work their will — is highly unlikely.

Back in 2003, I posted a cautionary note advising people not to buy so-called "Monastery Icons" because they were made by members of a strange sect that blended Hinduism with Christianity. It changed its name several times and relocated every few years. Now they're in California. [Update: New Mexico as of 2010.]

Just in case anyone had any lingering doubts about the nature of the group, its web site now describes them openly as a Hindu ashram.

It's good that they cleared that up.

The folks at St. John Cantius parish in Chicago must not have known about this when they presented Pope John Paul II (sorry, the newsletter link is broken now) one of the sect's pseudo-icons.

(Update: Corrected the reference to the Holy Father; thanks to reader Hache who spotted a mistake.)

No illusions about Islam here

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Jihad and suicide bombers, Osama bin Laden and terrorism: That image of Islam, prevalent in the West, may not be representative of the majority of Muslims in the world.

But neither is it a false image, says Archbishop Cyril Salim Bustros...

Archbishop Bustros, the eparch for Melkite Greek-Catholics in the US, gives Americans a thumbnail sketch on the relation of Islam and Christianity:

Although Islam calls itself a religion of peace, the peace it preaches is the literal interpretation of Islam, which means "surrender to the will of God."

"The peace in Islam is based on the surrender of all people to Islam and to God's power based on Islamic law," Archbishop Bustros said. "They have to defend this peace of God even by force."

Islam also is an "absolutist faith" that merges religion and politics — quite a different understanding from the Western concept of separation of church and state.

"In the Islamic conception, there is no separation between God and Caesar. Caesar is governing in the name of God," Archbishop Bustros said. Consequently, "they don't differentiate between the West and Christianity."

(Hat tip to CWN.)

Anti-Western Muslims in Denmark went out of their way to foment outrage about the Mohammed cartoons published last year, distributing not just the twelve original cartoons by professional cartoonists, but three more particularly gross images not related to the newspaper caricatures.

My wake-up call


A JW named Dorothy called me this morning to tell me helpfully that Christmas was based on Mithra-worship (not to be confused with the veneration of Mothra), that "Cornelius" (she meant Constantine) who had a vision of the Cross and conquered under that symbol never became a Christian (not quite correct there), and the holiday is based on the Saturnalia. Ho hum. I chatted with her a while, so she'd know I'd heard it all before, and gave her 1 Tim 3:15 to look up: "the Church of the living God, which is the pillar and ground of the truth".

Is this what they do now when they can't get into the building?

May his memory be eternal


A book by Simon Wiesenthal, may he rest in peace, told about a confession with no absolution: as a concentration camp prisoner, he was called to the deathbed of a Nazi who, apparently repentant, admitted his crimes and sins against the Jewish people. The story highlights the differing approaches Judaism and Christianity give to the conflict of justice and forgiveness.

Jihad in New Jersey

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[Thanks to Kathy Shaidle for the tip-off]

Even though the following took place in New Jersey, it scares the what-I-just-changed-in-my-daughter's-diaper out of me. Canada is allowing Muslims into our country faster than Eurabia, and we have strict gun-control to keep us from defending ourselves.

New Jersey: An Islamic Murder of Christian Copts?

(Update: I've taken the liberty of dropping the broken link and pointing to Chris Johnson's entry on the subject. --RC)

Ah, anti-Semitism: so old, yet forever new. In the Middle Ages, many ignorant people thought that rabbis stole Christian children to use as a blood-sacrifice. They neither demanded proof nor expected any — having decided that Jews were collectively evil, they felt free to invent any malicious stories they wished.

We're past that, because the Holocaust has awakened us out of our moral stupor and in this post-modern, relativistic, multicultural world, nobody would dare make up such crude falsehoods.

Yet in our enlightened world, a state-run Iranian television channel can broadcast a TV show about Israeli doctors stealing the eyes of Palestinian children. The news media won't give this 1% of the air time they spent on examining whether "The Passion of the Christ" was anti-Semitic. This bile is hardly atypical — browse MEMRI's site and you'll see what I mean. But the Middle Eastern hate-peddlers get a pass because, of course, they don't have white skin.

I never met a Middle Easterner who was entirely free of paranoia and conspiracy theories. One example: a former co-worker, an American citizen from Palestine with whom I enjoy a warm friendship, is convinced that every time Starbucks sells a cup of coffee, they send a nickel to the Israeli stettlements in the Palestinian territories. Bewildered, I asked him for proof, but he kept insisting it was true. (If you're reading this, R.A., send me proof and I'll post it right here!) This is one of the more sensible, admirable people I know, who isn't by any means irrational or filled with hatred toward anyone.

I keep hearing some people bleet that we should get out of Iraq and the region in general (including Israel). Do you really think that if we disengage from the Middle East, it will somehow become better? As if we are the primary contagion of all these pathologies? The world will continue to buy Middle Eastern oil, the oil-fattened sociopaths in these regimes will continue to oppress their own people and promote an anti-Western and anti-Semitic ideology that encourages external, aggressive death and destruction.

We weren't doing much of anything in the region throughout the 1990s besides protecting one Muslim country (Saudi Arabia) from invasion by another Muslim country (Iraq). That and telling Israel to make generous concessions to the Palestinians in exchange for paper promises of security. In return, Israel got hundreds of its citizens blown up and a suppressed economy. The U.S. got its servicemen blown up at Khobar Towers and in the U.S.S. Cole, two embassies bombed in Africa, and the coup de grace on September 11. If we disengage, why does anyone think these outrages would cease? As if terrorists and the despots who love them are suddenly going to change their ways when we turn tail and run.

I do not contend that the Bush administration's policies sprang fully formed from the brow of God, nor do I think the execution of their policies is beyond question or critique. But if you're going to say they're wrong, it's incumbent on you to say what you would do differently. And whatever solution you come up with needs to address the deep spiritual sickness that infects a good portion of the Muslim world. The conflict between the Islamists and the West starts with the soul, not with politics.

Madrassas hit by sex abuse claims

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(BBC) — A Pakistani minister has revealed hundreds of cases of alleged child sex abuse at Islamic schools, or madrassas.

There were 500 complaints this year of abuse allegedly committed by clerics, Aamer Liaquat Hussain, a minister in the religious affairs department, said.

Mark Shea is on hiatus, so I'll say it for him: If only women could be radical Islamists! If only radical Islamists could get married! Then none of this would happen.

I guess original sin is in the Muslim world, too. Some of you have been telling me that we can't trust Catholic bishops. Next thing you know, we won't be able to trust Saudi-funded anti-Semitic suicide-bombing anti-Western imams, either!

David Pryce-Jones, the insightful and often brilliant writer about the Middle East, Arabs, and Islam, has a typically trenchant article in Commentary magazine titled "The Islamization of Europe?" An excerpt:

Does this crisis amount to a “clash of civilizations”? Many people reject that notion as too sweeping or downright misleading. Yet whether or not it applies to, say, the situation in Iraq, or to the war on terror, the phrase has much to recommend it as a description of what is going on inside Europe today. As Yves Charles Zarka, a French philosopher and analyst, has written: “there is taking place in France a central phase of the more general and mutually conflicting encounter between the West and Islam, which only someone completely blind or of radical bad faith, or possibly of disconcerting naiveté, could fail to recognize.” In the opinion of Bassam Tibi, an academic of Syrian origins who lives in Germany, Europeans are facing a stark alternative: “Either Islam gets Europeanized, or Europe gets Islamized.” Going still farther, the eminent historian Bernard Lewis has speculated that the clash may well be over by the end of this century, at which time, if present demographic trends continue, Europe itself will be Muslim.
Take a look at the quotation I highlighted — kinda sounds like a president who shall remain nameless, with his lack of "nuance" and stark view of the world. Lewis — the unassailable dean of Middle Eastern scholars — underscores two things Belloc predicted in the last century, that Islam would rise again, and that if Europe ceased to be Catholic, it would cease to be at all. (Belloc said this after he stole the idol from Indiana Jones, by the way.)

A small religious sect applauds the newest version of their imago dei, the idol at whose feet they worship. Some speculate that at the death of Stephanus Labores, the cult's founder, the sect's members may commit mass suicide.

Proof that you should be careful what you sow. What's the line from the Bible? "The measure with which you measure shall be measured back unto you?" Have I got that right?

If this story in the Portugal News is correct, then last fall's furor about non-Catholic groups conducting their own worship at the shrine at Fatima turns out to be wholly justified.

On May 5th, SIC and SIC Notícias carried a report on a Hindu religious service held in the Chapel of the Apparitions at the shrine.

SIC’s broadcast appears, to some extent, vindicate The Portugal News’ October report. Sixty Hindus led by a high priest had travelled from Lisbon to pay homage to the Goddess Devi, the divinity of nature. SIC’s reporter described how before leaving Lisbon the Hindus had gathered at their temple in the city to pray to and worship various statues of Hindu gods.

Arriving in Fátima the pilgrims made their way to the Chapel of the Apparitions, where from the altar a Hindu priest led prayer sessions. A commentary on the service was given by the TV reporter who explained: “This is an unprecedented unique moment in the history of the shrine. The Hindu priest, or Sha Tri, prays on the altar the Shaniti Pa, the prayer for peace.” The Hindus can be seen removing their shoes before approaching the altar rail of the chapel as the priest chants prayers from the altar’s sanctuary.

It's fine to let a non-Christian group visit a shrine, but it isn't right -- it's not even permissible, as far as I know -- that they be allowed to conduct their own rites in a consecrated church -- which is what the Capelinha is. Does anybody in the diocese of Leiria-Fatima have any idea of how bad this is?


A look at the pop-Kabbalah sect that has roped in various Hollywood types as adherents.

Reuters reports: A new Vatican document on migrants recognizes troubles Catholic women have had in mixed marriages with Muslims, particularly in Muslim countries.

Who didn't know this was coming?


And would a white dress be inappropriate?

Just for the record


At Sunday's Boston Common rally for the preservation of legal marriage, the most enthusiastic and protracted ovation for any of the speakers (except for the archbishop) went to Jewish conservative and long-time columnist Don Feder.

Now, this applause was coming from the people who, if you want to believe the talking heads on TV, are one movie away from staging a new pogrom. Call me skeptical, but I don't think it's too likely.

Not a syncretist, either

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Robert Frost once said, "Don't be an agnostic. Be something."

Let me add to that: being a syncretist in religion is a cop-out too.

Because he's not a syncretist, it's always refreshing to hear the Dalai Lama's remarks to the press. The Tibetan Buddhist leader seems to be a clear and logical thinker, which contrasts strongly with the vague concepts some people have about merging religions. ZENIT quotes him:

there "cannot be unification" between Christianity and Buddhism. "If you mean having a closer relation, understanding, that is happening in religions," he noted. ... "If by unifying you mean mixing, that is impossible, useless."...

"In the United States I have seen people who embrace Buddhism and change their clothes," he said, laughing. "Like the New Age. They take something Hindu, something Buddhist, something, something. ... That is not healthy."

A believer who picks and chooses elements from multiple religions really is making himself the permanent authority to judge truths. This is not the way to humility and spiritual progress. It's very fitting that a Buddhist agrees that this is not wise, because (if I understand it correctly) his doctrine teaches the unimportance of the self.

Keep talking to those reporters, your Holiness! Maybe people who don't accept the irreconcilability of religions will be more ready to accept it from you.

What? Who?

On life and living in communion with the Catholic Church.

Richard Chonak

John Schultz

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unless you state otherwise.


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