Byzantium, Constantinople, Istanbul

[ by Charles Cameron — different styles of online communication, main topic: Istanbul in three Islamic videos ]

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There’s passionate and visceral communication, and there’s communication that’s more scholarly, dispassionate and calm. Let’s begin and end with calm.

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Visceral communication is essential for getting people out of a theater on fire, but a 30% application of scholarly distance and calm may be prerequisite for avoiding panic — and scholarly communication may be important for conveying in detail the high-dimensionality of a complex topic, but a drop of visceral may ease the salient points into more general circulation.

In an earlier, text heavy post — Damascus, Dearborn, Rome, Vienna? — I belabored you with details as to just how much ambiguity and fog surrounds the use of place names in scriptural and prophetic contexts. Here I’d like to give you a visceral sense of what some prophetic voices are doing with those place names.

One of the easiest ways to move from scholarly to visceral is to switch from text quotation to video clip, so that’s what I’ll do here — but my first video clip will be relatively calm and scholarly as video clips go, the next one more visceral and exhortatory, while the third and final clip will use all the tricks of the feature movie trade to provide a Tolkien-heroic account of the Muslim siege and taking of then-Christian Constantinople in 1453.

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First, a very short clip from Adnan Oktar, aka Harun Yahya, widely known in the Islamic world for his lavishly illustrated books, CDs and DVDs presenting an Islamic version of creationism, the Mahdist end times — which he sees as entirely peaceable — and more besides.

In this clip, he’s talking about Istanbul, and he means that very city, even if it has sometimes been called Byzantium or Constantinople — or even on occasion, Rome.

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YouTube video

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My second clip is far longer, and presents an interview with Sheikh Imran Nazar Hosein, Islamic scholar, sometime Trinidadian diplomat and sometimes fiery YouTube preacher, whom I have quoted previously in Al-Awlaki and the former and latter rains and elsewhere.

Hosein discusses the prophecies of the conquest of Constantinople by Muslim forces as part of the background for a grand sweep overview of what he terms the first and second Arab Springs — which he locates a century apart and views as both engineered by an Anglo-American alliance to advance a Zionist agenda — and contemporary events in Bahrain, Saudi, Syria, Iran, Israel, and Russia:

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YouTube video

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It’s an hour-long interview, perhaps you didn’t watch the whole way through. Hosein concludes this interview, centered in Islamic prophecy about Constantinople, with a Saudi-American alliance facing off against an Iranian-Russian alliance in service to very long term Zionist interests, making the video a window not only on the Sheikh’s own worldview but also on how widely perceptions of the world situation can diverge:

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