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Christian takfiri, you think? Bible-studies game-changer mebbe?

Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

[ by Charles Cameron -- introducing Theodore, Son of Shoebat ]
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I do rather like Ted / Theodore Shoebat‘s Crusading Christian header image, I must admit:

And see that Lady in the banner, top right? That’s the Blessed Virgin Mary. We shall return to Her.

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Here’s the thing.

After attacking Glenn Beck (!!) for suggesting that Muslims, as well as Jews and Christians, have an interest in the Temple Mount / Noble Sanctuary in Jerusalem, evangelist Theodore Shoebat, son of Walid Shoebat, asks this question:

Do people like this truly believe that when Christ establishes His kingdom that he will enact a policy of toleration for other religions?

And answers:

Isaiah proclaims this about Christ’s coming:

And the loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be made low: and the LORD alone shall be exalted in that day. And the idols he shall utterly abolish. And they shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. In that day a man shall cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold, which they made [each one] for himself to worship, to the moles and to the bats; To go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops of the ragged rocks, for fear of the LORD, and for the glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake terribly the earth. (Isaiah 2:17-21)

Christ will make His law the only law, without any toleration for falsehoods including Islam and Mormonism.

Okay?

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Here’s that very same Ted Shoebat, speaking on “The Virgin Mary and Warfare”:

Shoebat apparently can’t even recite the Magnificat correctly, which doesn’t exactly inspire confidence in his piety or scholarship, and he also conflates Eve and Mary in retelling the Genesis story — although…

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Well, let me digress. Viewing the Virgin Mary as the “second Eve” is a Christian trope found in the early fathers. Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, for instance, comments:

The knot of Eve’s disobedience was loosened by Mary’s obedience. The bonds fastened by the virgin Eve through disbelief were untied by the virgin Mary through faith.

This trope is an analogy by opposition as much as by likeness, and beautifully conveyed in this image from a medieval missal, which I trust will lighten an otherwise depressing post:

Missal of Bernhard von Rohr, Archbishop of Salzburg ca.1481

But to return to Shoebat, as we regretfully must…

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Other posts on Ted Shoebat’s Crusading Christian site include:

  • Putin: A Modern Day Constantine
  • Why The Jehovah’s Witnesses Must Be Abolished
  • The US Constitution Is Self-Destructive
  • And here’s the appeal:

    GET MY NEW DVD SERIES ON CHRISTIAN MILITANCY FOR ONLY $15

    For too long Christianity has been watered down in our modern day as a pacifist faith with no inclination of fighting evil. But is the Church here to be weak and useless? Theodore Shoebat, in this shocking and riveting four hour two disk DVD set lecture series, passionately shows how Christianity is not here to be feeble, but for warfare, to be militant against tyranny and the forces of darkness.

    Theodore Shoebat gives a very rich and detailed history on how from the earliest centuries of Christianity to now, the Church is here to fight the devil and his army.

    There is value-added, too:

    You will not be dissatisfied after watching this lecture, and Bible studies will forevermore never be the same again.

    You think? Forevermore never?

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    The ISIS flood in my twitterstream today 1: borders & bulldozers

    Wednesday, June 11th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- nightmare of the cartographers ]
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    Let Yassin Musharbash have the first word:

    ISIS, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria / Sham, clearly doesn’t like the separation implied by the “and” in its name. They don’t merely want it removed as a line drawn on maps, they’re actually interested in erasing it with bulldozers…

    Aaron Zelin has the image:

    Symbolism is powerful.

    **

    Sykes-Picot, the Durand line — repeat after me the Gospel of Korzybski:

    The map is not the territory!

    — and when the two diverge, it’ll mostly be the territory that redraws the map.

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    Norway’s “cultural Christian” crusader revisited

    Friday, May 30th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- a minor incongruity? -- Breivik and Wallander ]
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    This is a quick (I wish) note about something that caught my eye — a character in the British (Kenneth Branagh) version of Wallander is decribed as a “cultural Christian” when he’s in significants way about as far from what Anders Breivik meant when he called himself a “cultural Christian” as one can imagine.

    The question this raises for me is whether the phrase has a single clear meaning — and the English Wallander series simply mangled it — or whether perhaps in Scandinavian society it has a wider meaning, and Breivik was limiting it for his own purposes. Let’s start with Wallander:

    **

    The novel Before the Frost, by Henning Mankell, opens with a Prologue about Jim Jones and his Peoples’ Church in Guyana where 909 people died in 1978 after “drinking the Kool-aid” — meaning both a cyanide laced drink with bullet chasers for any who were reluctant to participate, and the alternate and aberrant version of Christianity which Jim Jones preached — but no mention that I can see of Heaven’s Gate, the group led by Marshall Applewhite which suicided in 1977 to attain a “level of existence above human” in the trail of the comet Hale-Bopp.

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    No matter, there’s a Heaven’s Gate reference (see above) in the Kenneth Branagh version of Before the Frost, in Wallander, series 3 episode 3, which is the version that caught my eye, and gave rise to this post.

    **

    We thus have two clear historical “cult suicide” references, each adding a touch of realism to a narrative that begins with the burning of some swans, and in the TV version includes a Bible with the Book of Revelation heavily marked up, and at least one tract –

    .

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    — about Leviticus 20.13, which reads:

    If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.

    — a narrative which ends with a series of self-immolations by members of a wayward church, each one accompanied by a “confession” that the member in question is dying to atone for some specific sin committed by others, accompanied by such words as:

    Two of them were burned alive in the fiery lake of burning sulphur, the rest of them were killed by the sword that came out of the rider on the horse. And all the birds gorged themselves on the flesh. I confess to murder. I am sacrificing myself for the sins of others. I am doing this in the name of Him who was dead and rose again.

    Note that it wasn’t swans that were “burned alive in the fiery lake” in the original context. The King James Version gives Revelation 19 verses 20-21 as reading:

    And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.

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    The group portrayed here as “culturally Christian” in this episode of the Wallander series is a group with a fixation on the inerrancy not only of the Biblical text but of their own particular and peculiar interpretation of it and their own aberrant and abhorrent way of expressing that interpretation.

    How different that is from Anders Breivik‘s version of “cultural Christianity” in his Manifesto, prepared before the 2011 slaughter of 77 in Oslo and Utoya, Norway.

    Section 3.139 of Breivik’s 2083 European Declaration of Independence, Distinguishing between cultural Christendom and religious Christendom – reforming our suicidal Church, reads:

    A majority of so called agnostics and atheists in Europe are cultural conservative Christians without even knowing it. So what is the difference between cultural Christians and religious Christians?

    If you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God then you are a religious Christian. Myself and many more like me do not necessarily have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and God. We do however believe in Christianity as a cultural, social, identity and moral platform. This makes us Christian.

    A majority of Christians, especially liberal, humanist Christians oppose the doctrines of self defence. I believe that self defence is a central part of Christianity as documented in another part of this book. The modern day pacifist Christianity is among other things a result of our current regimes and their deliberate influence of the Church. They castrated and made the Church impotent and irrelevant, we will rejuvenate it by implementing our own reforms. But pragmatism will be the basis for which direction we chose to go. A strong church (on certain areas) is essential for the unity of our European countries.

    It is essential that we preserve and even strengthen the Church and European Christendom in general (by awarding it more political influence on certain areas), when it comes to the moral, cultural and social aspects of society. It should even be granted monopoly on certain areas to strengthen European cohesion/unity. This does not mean that we will continue allow the feminist-liberal, humanist faction of the Church to propagate its pacifist-humanist (suicidal) views/anti self defence doctrines. The Church must be anti-pacifist in the manner that it actively preaches self-defence and even support preemptive strikes as a mechanic to safeguard either Christian minorities in Muslim dominated areas or even Europe itself. We must ensure that a sustainable and traditional version of Christendom is propagated. This will involve that we take decisive steps to disallow the liberal leaders of the church to prevent them from committing suicide. We must ensure that the churches of Europe propagate an values that are sustainable and that will even contribute to safeguard Christian European values long term. European Christendom and the cross will be the symbol in which every cultural conservative can unite under in our common defence. It should serve as the uniting symbol for all Europeans whether they are agnostic or atheists.

    The pacifist/suicidal Christians must never be allowed to dominate the church again which one of the reasons why I personally believe that the protestant Church in Europe should once again should reform to become Catholic (Nordic countries, the UK, Germany, Benelux etc). Re-introduction of cultural and Church aspects relating to honour should be the core of our objective when reforming the Church. My hope is that the future nationalist leadership in Western European countries will agree. At the very least, we must support the conservative, anti-pacifist cultural Christian leaders and ensure that they are able to influence the European churches. There must however be clear distinctions. The Church must not put any limits whatsoever on issues relating to science, research and development. Europe will continue to be the world’s center for research and development in all areas, strengthened by a predictable and “unchangeable” cultural framework. This again will considerably strengthen European and societal cohesion and therefore contribute to sustainable societies where harmony, progress, freedom and the furtherance of mankind are the primary civilisational pillars.

    No Biblical inerrancy there — indeed, Breivik’s “cultural Christianity” is entirely compatible with a similar version of Hinduism, which he also endorses. It is Islam that he perceives as a threat, repulsed from Christendom once by Charles Martel at the Battle of Tours, and again at the Gates of Vienna — with Europe now exposed to a third wave of assault by its own fondness for muticuluralism and its resulting inability to perceive the very real threat that Islam in his view represents…

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    Breivik’s “The Church must not put any limits whatsoever on issues relating to science, research and development” is a far cry from Wallander’s sect, a member of which was booted out of the school where he taught, for attempting to present the creationist view in a biology class…

    So. Breivik is Norwegian, and wrote his manifesto in English. Henning Mankell, the author of the Wallander novels, is Swedish, and his novels have been brought into Enlgish and transformed into dramatic scripts for the TV Series. I don’t believe the words “cultural Christian” are to be found in the English translation of the novel, Before the Frost. But I do think I’ll be checking closely to see what meaning of the phrase is intended, if I run across it again in my studies of new religious movements, terrorists and other outliers.

    It appears to be somewhat more ambiguous than I’d thought at first.

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    The destruction of the Shrine of Uways in Raqqa, Syria

    Tuesday, May 20th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- the destruction by ISIS of the shrine of a remarkable Muslim saint, to be followed by a glimpse of the man himself ]
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    First, the destruction of the shrine of Uways in Raqqa:

    Before:

    I am not sure when the picture was taken, but it was clearly before the next two…

    Immediately before:

    During:

    These are two shots from a four-shot sequence from an ISIS video, which Aaron Zelin tweeted on 15 May and which you can watch as an animated .gif also dated the 15th here.

    After:

    Perhaps the most devastating record of the aftermath is found in this video, posted on May 16th on a site titled Chechens in Syria:

    The video was accompanied by the following commentary:

    Russian-speaking jihadis linked to the Islamic State of Iraq and as-Sham have posted footage of a Shia mosque in Raqqa that was bombed by ISIS in March. Social media accounts run by the Chechen and Russian-speaking pro-ISIS group behind FiSyria, a website linked to Umar Shishani’s faction in ISIS, posted the three and a half minute video on Thursday.

    The video shows the ruins of the Ammar bin Yasir and Uwais al-Qarani Mosque in Raqqa, a Shia mosque which was all but destroyed when ISIS detonated bombs inside it on March 11. The mosque, a pilgrimage site for Shia Muslims, was built with support from Iran. The text accompanying the video says the mosque was a place of “shirk” (polytheism or idolatry).

    The video also shows footage of the area around the mosque, where pickup trucks with ISIS fighters are driving past.

    The date of the attack, then, was apparently March 11.

    Confusing the timeline somewhat, ARA News reported from Urfa, Turkey with a dateline May 16, 2014 :

    Al-Qaeda splinter group of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) bombed on Thursday the shrine of Uwais al-Qarni (a religious shrine of the Shiite Islamic sect) in Raqqa province, northeast Syria. Faisal Khalif, a resident of Raqqa, confirmed to ARA News that the ISIL militants destroyed a part of the shrine’s building on March 26, “and it was fully destroyed at seven o’clock this morning, after filling it with explosives”.

    And today, 19th May, the AhlulBayt News Agency (ABNA) posted a report titled Foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists operating in Syria destroyed a Shia shrine in the northern province of Raqqa:

    Foreign-backed Takfiri terrorists operating in Syria destroyed a Shia shrine in the northern province of Raqqa. The armed insurgents attacked the shrine of Uwais al-Qarani in yet another vicious act that they have demonstrated since the beginning of the foreign-hatched conflict in Syria. Raqqa province has been under the control of a Takfiri group known as the so-called Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) recently. In March, militants from an al-Qaeda splinter group have bombed a large Shia Muslim shrine in the northern Syrian city of Raqqa. Photos of the mosque of Ammar bin Yasir and Uwais al-Qarani posted on the internet showed extensive damage to the exterior walls and roof of the site.

    **

    In a follow-up post, I hope to indicate something of the fascinating man, Uways, whose tomb this was.

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    BBC contrasts those captured with those who escaped

    Monday, May 12th, 2014

    [ by Charles Cameron -- "if wishes were horses" as the saying goes ]
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    The BBC made a point of showing a group of the schoolgirls in Boko Haram captivity in contrast with some of those who escaped…

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    Here’s Col Pat Lang‘s assessment of what a US intervention to rescue the girls would involve:

    It is clear that the Nigerian government cannot deal with this situation. It is likely that no combination of minor powers can deal with a mass kidnapping followed by slave trafficking across a lot of central Africa. Unless some intelligence analysis of extraordinary quality pinpoints locations and that breakthrough is followed by the availability of high quality troops, transportation, etc. then nothing will be done by European or African means.

    No, to do the job properly would require something like the commitment of much of US Eighteenth Airborne Corps (the 82nd Airborne Division, additional air assets, logistical assets, etc.), a lot of SOF and the redirection of a lot of US satellite reconnaissance, UAVs and SIGINT assets. All these intelligence means are exactly the activities so thoroughly reviled by the press.

    A major logistical base would have to be built, local contracts let and the whole cycle of corruption that has infested Iraq and Afghanistan would begin anew.

    A major campaign would be fought across NE Nigeria. The expense, born solely by the US would be immense.

    **

    If R2P is the Responsibility to Protect, how to we square it with I2P, the Inability to Protect? — and do I need to write a doctrinal paper with that title?

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