Police Departments Lower Standards Due to Shortages while Threatening to Fire Bible-Believing Officer thumbnail

Police Departments Lower Standards Due to Shortages while Threatening to Fire Bible-Believing Officer

By Family Research Council

Following the tragic death of Tyre Nichols during a January 7 traffic stop by officers of the Memphis Police Department, in which Nichols was beaten so severely by the officers that he died from his injuries three days later, reports have surfaced that two of the officers involved in Nichols’s death were hired after the department lowered its recruiting standards.

As reported by The Daily Wire, Officers Tadarrius Bean and Demetrius Haley, who have since been fired and charged in Nichols’s death, were hired in August 2020 two years after the department dropped its requirement for new recruits to have at least an associate’s degree or 54 college credit hours.

According to law enforcement official Karan Parmar, “[T]he 5 charged officers weren’t hired through the usual structured PD hiring process. City leaders felt the existing process was too strict and kept certain people from getting jobs at the department. City leaders began their own hiring process and then pushed new hires into the agency, bypassing the testing procedures in place at the department. … All 5 of the charged officers were hired by the City, and didn’t go through the rigorous PD testing process.”

The Memphis Police Department’s hiring practices fit a nationwide trend in law enforcement of lowering hiring standards. In March 2022, the Chicago Police department announced it was waiving a college credit requirement for new recruits. Philadelphia also dropped its college requirement for new hires in recent years as has New Orleans. The trend is being linked to a nationwide shortage in officers.

Experts worry that the lowering of police recruiting standards could lead to unqualified individuals being hired, which could consequently lead to more tragedies like the deaths of Tyre Nichols, George Floyd, and others who have died under controversial circumstances while in police custody.

“They’re desperate. They want police officers,” Mike Alcazar, an adjunct professor at John Jay College of Criminal Justice and a retired NYPD detective, told The New York Post. “They’re going through it, they check off some boxes, saying, ‘Ok, they’re good enough, get them on.’”

“Police departments have to take the screening process of candidates to be police officers seriously and not rush to hire officers that might not be qualified,” Alcazar argued.

Meanwhile, officers like Jacob Kersey of the Port Wentworth Police Department in Georgia who otherwise have spotless work records are being pulled off duty and threatened with termination for expressing a biblical view of marriage on social media.

On January 2, Kersey tweeted from his personal account while off-duty: “God designed marriage. Marriage refers to Christ and the church. That’s why there is no such thing as homosexual marriage.”

“I was led to believe I was being fired originally,” Kersey said on “Washington Watch” last week. “They told me to turn in everything that belonged to the city. So I had a long, restless night trying to figure out if I really wanted to lose my dream job over this. … And then a week later, when they brought me back, they told me that I could come back to work. But they’re creating a new department policy that says that if someone, somewhere is offended by anything else that I say from here on out, then I could be fired for it.”

Kersey ultimately resigned. “I did not believe that my department had my back,” he said. “I didn’t really want to go back and play that game and just wait to be fired because I know it would happen at some point and I just didn’t think it wise as dangerous of a job as law enforcement is.”

Speaking to The New York Post, Kersey explained that his track record as an officer was impeccable. “I joined the police department, and for over eight months, I only heard great things about my work,” he said. “People had nothing but good things to say about my work as a police officer.”

Kersey was inspired to join the force after being witness to the kindness officers showed him during his childhood when they were called to his family’s house on multiple occasions due to domestic problems. The police “made such a massive difference in my life at a very young age,” he said.

Despite being disappointed about losing his “dream job,” Kersey does not hold bitterness toward the Port Wentworth Police Department.

“In America, most of us will not be called to face physical death for our beliefs,” he said. “But we might be called to face the death of our dreams, we might be called to face the death of our reputation, or we might be called to have other people think bad things about us. But what’s important is what God thinks about us.”


Dan Hart

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.

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EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

The Iranian Monarchists Do Not Represent The ‘Multinational Iran’ thumbnail

The Iranian Monarchists Do Not Represent The ‘Multinational Iran’

By Middle East Media Research Institute

Most of the opposition figures and groups want a new democratic republic to replace the authoritarian Islamic Republic. However, it recently made the news that a Persian-led group nostalgic for Iranian monarchy is endorsing exiled Reza Pahlavi, son of Mohammad Reza Pahlavi, the last Shah of Iran, to “lead a transition” when the Islamic Republic falls. It was also reported that an online campaign was launched to give power of attorney to Reza Pahlavi, who has not yet apologized for the violation of human rights under the cruel Pahlavi dictatorship (1925-1979).

This move was highly criticized, especially by Iran’s minorities. In fact, many Iranians do not think that Reza Pahlavi, the son of a dictator, is the right person to lead a “transition.” He was only 18 years old when he left Iran in 1979 and lived most of his life in the United States. He therefore has no experience ruling a country. Nevertheless, Iranian monarchists seem to insist that Reza Pahlavi is Iran’s sole representative and that monarchy is the only political system that should replace the Islamic Republic. This attitude makes many people believe that the “transitional period” is just a euphemism for “forever period,” just as Ruhollah Khomeini was supposed to be a “temporary” Supreme leader.

The Essence Of “Iranianness”

Qajar Iran, which preceded the Pahlavi dynasty, was made up of loosely connected mamalek (i.e., kingdoms) with a great degree of political-economic independence from the central government in Tehran. This was evident in the the Qajar Empire’s official name: Mamâlek-e Mahruse-ye Irân (“the Guarded Domains of Iran”). The central power was not able to exercise its authority over the ethnic kingdoms until the 1921 Persian coup d’état by Reza Shah Pahlavi who, in order to homogenize a heterogeneous empire, undertook a forcible Persianization of ethno-nations through ethnocide, linguicide, and violent wars and deportations.

A 1925 editorial published in the pro-Pahlavi Ayandeh (“Future”) newspaper explained that national unity could only be attained “by extending the Persian language throughout the provinces; eliminating regional costumes; destroying local and feudal authorities; and removing the traditional differences between Kurds, Lurs, Qashqayis, Arabs, Turks, Turkomans, and other communities that reside within Iran.” The newspapers also added that “we will continue to live in danger as long as we have no schools to teach Persian and Iranian history to the masses… and no Persian equivalents to replace the many non-Persian names in Iran. Unless we achieve national unity, nothing will remain of Iran.”[1]

Iranian scholar Majid Sharifi stressed that “state elites represented Persian language, history, and culture as the essence of Iranianness.” Hence, “the rich tapestry of other languages and dialects was represented as inferior, incomplete, backward, and alien.”[2]

The Islamic Republic that replaced the Pahlavi dynasty continued the Persianization policy and “internal colonialization.” It sought to create a notion of Iranian identity that fused together both Islamiyat (“Muslimness”) and Iranyat (“Iranianness”). The Islamic Republic could therefore be defined as a “religious Persian monarchy” that promoted Islamiyat, contrary to its predecessor Pahlavi regime which was a “secular Persian monarchy.” While the state ideology of the Pahlavis was centered on “Persianism,” the Islamic Republic has adopted “Shi’ite-Persianism.” [3]

Generally, the Pahlavists and Persian nationalists tend to portray the Islamic Republic as “anti-Iranian” or “anti-Persian,” portraying its leaders as “non-Iranian” or “non-Persian.” Rumors were even spread alleging that Khomeini was Indian. This is done to hide the fact that the Islamic Republic is also pursuing Persianization and to rally “Iranians” around Persian opposition groups and figures, such as Reza Pahlavi.

The ideology of Iranyat is inherently exclusionist, as it demands the assimilation of differences in religion, language, and ethnicity into a unitary notion centered on Persianness. Consequently, ethno-nations are considered a threat that undermines the project to unify the country under one Persian nationalist identity.

For example, in 2019, Reza Pahlavi downplayed the right of minorities to study in their mother tongue, stating that he does not see the “logic” of it, as he does not find it possible for a country’s national education system to be taught in different languages other than in the official Persian language.[4] However, as it has been pointed out by several democratic figures, the education and teaching of the mother tongue along with an official and administrative language can be embedded in the structure and education system of the country as happens already in many Western countries.

Neither The Shah Nor The Mullahs

In early January 2023, for the first time, Reza Pahlavi called on Iranians to give him the power of attorney to represent Iranians.[5] Pro-Pahlavi Persian activists in the West have launched massive online campaigns and hashtags to present Reza Pahlavi as the favored representative of all Iranians from all walks of life.

Between February 17-27, 2022, The Group for Analyzing and Measuring Attitudes in Iran (GAMAAN) carried out a survey, titled “Iranians’ Attitudes toward Political Systems.” As reported on the GAMAAN website, the final sample used in the report consisted of 16,850 Iranians living inside Iran, of whom 74.2% speak Persian at home (which may imply that they are ethnically Persian). When asked about their preferred type of government, 34% chose a “secular republic,” 22% the “Islamic republic,” 19% a “constitutional monarchy,” 3% an “absolute monarchy,” and over 21% declared that they are “not sufficiently informed to answer this question.”

However, 53% of those who chose “absolute monarchy” believe that the function of the head of state is not for life, and only 27% of the proponents of “constitutional monarchy” are in favor of “giving life tenure to the head of state.” Finally, 95% of those who chose a “secular republic” are “against life tenure” for the head of state.

Iranian scholar Aidin Torkameh wrote: “If we turn our attention from the mainstream media and focus on what is happening on the ground it appears that the actual presence of the Pahlavists is not significant.” “Their huge propaganda machine has failed to fully reach the masses, and many segments of the masses are actively rejecting it. It is worth noting that even this existing level of support for the old Pahlavi regime should not be taken as the result of an entirely organic process. Most of the pro-Pahlavi protesters are passive defenders of the Pahlavis because alternative views have been eliminated. Their worldview has been largely shaped by, and is limited to, the nation-state-centric (Iranist/Farsist) viewpoint that has developed over the past century,” Torkameh said, adding that “in an open political environment where progressive groups can operate freely, Pahlavi’s supporters are likely to become even less influential.”[6]

This is also reflected in anti-regime protests, as one of the main slogans is “Marg Ba Setamgar, Che Shah Bashe Che Rahbar [Death to the Dictator, Be it Shah or Ayatollah].” This slogan refers to a 120-year-old historical struggle of all the multi-national Iranian groups for freedom against dictatorial regimes that were brought about after the 1905-1911 Constitutional Revolution.

It is worth noting that key figures of the Iranian opposition – such as the president and spokesman of The Association of Victims’ Families of Flight PS752, Hamed Esmaeilion, actress Nazanin Boniadi, and activist Masih Alinejad, as well as political figures and other groups that represent Iran’s minorities – have not endorsed Reza Shah.

London-based broadcaster Manoto TV (known for its “distinctive pro-Pahlavi bent”[7]) recently claimed that Seyyed Nasreddin Heydari, a leader of the Yarsani Kurdish community, has endorsed Reza Pahlavi. However, this news was later refuted, as the source of the endorsement came from a fake Twitter account. Kurdish journalist Kaveh Kermashani commented: “A media that, despite the existence of possibilities, without the least knowledge and research, turns the writing of a fake account into the desired news of its advertising machine, is not only unprofessional but also unethical.”[8]

بارها اعلام و تاکید شده که سید نصرالدین حیدری از رهبران جامعه #یارسان هیچ حساب شخصی در شبکه‌های اجتماعی ندارند.
رسانه‌ایی که با وجود امکانات، بدون کمترین اطلاع و تحقیقی، نوشته یک اکانت جعلی را تبدیل به خبر دلخواه دستگاه تبلیغاتی خود می‌کند، نه تنها غیرحرفه‌ایی، بلکه بی‌اخلاق است. pic.twitter.com/AnT0jwix4B

— Kaveh Kermanshahi (@KavehKermashani) January 18, 2023

Labor rights activist group Haft-Tappeh Factory Workers from Khuzistan described the pro-monarchist coalition as a “one-sided, anti-majority, power-seeking group,” and added: “They are irrelevant to our real struggle. The practical leaders of our struggle are ourselves and our imprisoned friends.”[9]

Iran’s Minorities Reject The Monarchy And Its Ideology

The majority of Iranian minoritized ethno-nations have remained very much attached to their ethnic identity, prioritizing their ethnonational identities over Persian-centered “Iranianness.”

Since 1905, the incompatibility of the minority-majority positions has led to heightened tensions that have regularly exploded in deadly and protracted ethnic conflicts. In recent years, Iran has witnessed the rise of ethnonational sentiment that has become a greater challenge for the Islamic Republic and the “pan-Iranists” in the diaspora, as many members of ethnic minority groups such as the Kurds, Balochs, and Ahwazi Arabs increasingly mobilize and push for greater cultural and political rights.

As opposition groups in the diaspora are trying to form alliances to encounter the Iranian regime, suppressed minorities have found themselves marginalized once again as none of the Persian-led opposition groups have publicly addressed minorities’ demands.

Kurdish people in Iran assert that they will not allow another monarchist authoritarian regime to exercise its control over Kurdistan, as they say that there is no difference between the Pahlavi regime and the Islamic Republic. On Twitter, a Kurdish activist, known by the name of Fariba, wrote: “It is time for Kurdish political parties to form a united coalition with Lurs, [Azeri] Turks, Baloch, Gilakis, Turkmen, Arab activists, parties and the leftist forces [i.e., non-monarchist forces] and with all [the forces] that are not represent by Reza Pahlavi.”[10] The user then called on the president and spokesman of The Association of Victims’ Families of Flight PS752, Hamed Esmaeilion, who has expressed his support for Kurdistan, to lead this coalition, saying: “You can be the center of gravity of this coalition, you are both sympathetic and known and reliable among all these peoples, you are a symbol of sympathy and unity for overthrowing the Islamic Republic.”[11]

Ahwazi activist Wael Saffah further wrote: “First of all, the majority of people in Iran [belong to] non-Persian nations, [and] reject centralism totally. Second, none [of Iran’s non-Persian nations] accept any more dictator[ial] systems like [the] monarchy. The problem is [that] the Pahlavi family continues living in their dreams supported by fake media.”[12] In response to the online campaign to give power of attorney to Reza Pahlavi, Saffah wrote: “The supporters of the monarchy and the centrists once again voted to confiscate the rights of the marginalized nations and went along with tyranny in order to create a future for themselves by concentrating our power and accumulating our looted wealth in the center. This hypocrisy puts the future of the country on a dangerous path.”[13]

Washington-based Ahwazi journalist and activist Rahim Hamid tweeted: “The ethnic non-Persian political and human rights groups are completely marginalized, their voices are censored, and even they are subjected to online bullying and threats and even physical assaults by Shah Pahlavi supporters when attending rallies in London and Washington D.C.” He then added: “The voices and true demands of the current protests in Iran are censored and misrepresented on a large scale by Persian media and Shah Pahlavi supporters. The major demands are the decentralization of Iran’s future rule and the end of the ethnic oppression of non-Persian nations… The current protests’ demands in Iran are not merely on individual civil liberties but the major issue is the cause of marginalized peoples in Kurdistan, Ahwaz, Balochistan, and South Azerbaijan [that] endure brutal ethnic oppression and fight for their national ethnic rights.”[14]

Hamid also stressed: “Fanatic fans of the son of the former despotic Shah Pahlavi… use social media in spontaneous clicktivism, prompting the restoration of Shah’s dark times to Iran. This group expresses their nostalgia towards the Persian nationalist authoritarian rule. They have a clicktivist cyber army that launches online petitions and hashtags in supporting the son of the former dictator Shah. Their campaigns are backed by Persians TV channels. This group of Persian nationalists is rejecting the national and ethnic rights of Ahwazi Arabs, Kurds, Balochis, and Azerbaijani Turks.”[15]

On January 20, 2023, during the Friday protests against the Islamic Republic, Balochi protesters showed also their disdain for Reza Pahlavi, showing posters, stating: “Reza Pahlavi is not our representative. Understand we have our own parties,” “Iran is a country of 70 nations. A coalition of parties. One person [referring to Reza Pahlavi] is not an attorney for the whole country. Any coalition of any kind, if it is going to happen, must be formed with all parties,” and “No to Mullah and No to the Shah; No to Pahlavi and No to Rajavi [leader of the People’s Mujahedin of Iran (MEK)]; IRGC Terrorists; Freedom.”

A placard held by Baloch protesters reads: “Reza Pahlavi is not our representative. Understand we have our own parties.” (Source: Twitter)

A placard reads: “Iran is a country of 70 nations. A coalition of parties. One person [referring to Reza Pahlavi] is not an attorney for the whole country. Any coalition of any kind, if it is going to happen, must be formed with all parties.” (Source: Twitter)

Baloch protester holds a placard. (Source: Twitter)

It is also worth noting that, since the beginning of 2023, the hashtag #KurdistanRepublic has trended on Twitter.

Pro-Monarchists Attack Hamed Esmaeilion On Social Media

Hamed Esmaeilion, who was born in the Kurdish city of Kermanshah, is an Iranian-Canadian social activist, author, and dentist. On January 8, 2020, Esmaeilion’s wife, Parisa, and their only child, nine-year-old Reera, were killed when Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corp shot down Ukraine International Airlines Flight 752 with two surface-to-air missiles, shortly after it took off from Tehran’s international airport. The missiles killed all 176 passengers and crew aboard.

Esmaeilion and a group of families of victims of Flight PS752 established The Association of Victims’ Families of Flight PS752. “The missions of our Association are to unite the grieving families, keep the memories of the passengers alive, and most importantly seek justice. We are determined to uncover the truth and find out why a commercial flight was shot down by IRGC’s missiles. We will staunchly seek justice until the culprits, perpetrators and commanders of this atrocious crime are identified and brought to justice before an impartial and independent court,” wrote the association, headed by Esmaeilion.[16]

See MEMRI TV clip No. 10070, Iranian-Canadian Activist Hamed Esmaeilion At Ceremony Commemorating Ukrainian Flight Downed By The IRGC: We Live For A Day Without The Islamic Republic And Without The Criminals Who Ruin Beautiful Iran, January 8, 2023.

In December 2022, in an article in the Washington Post, Iranian-American journalist Jason Rezaian described Esmaeilion as “a moral leader” for Iranian protesters in the diaspora: “Now Esmaeilion has become a leading voice outside Iran in the anti-regime movement — an essential bridge between Iranians in the diaspora who want to promote a freer future for their homeland and the millions inside Iran who live under an abusive system that has long operated with impunity.”[17]

It is actually worth mentioning that Esmaeilion was the main figure behind the organization of the October rally in Berlin against the Islamic Republic that gathered 80,000 participants, which was “the largest gathering in history of Iranians” opposing the Islamic Republic.[18] Addressing the Berlin rally, Esmaeilion said: “We have a dream that will be realized with the fall of Khamenei’s empire of fear and crime. In this dream, the wind will blow through women’s hair, and no one will attack schoolgirls.”[19]

However, since Esmaeilion did not state that he gives the power of attorney to Reza Pahlavi (as football legend Ali Karimi did), many pro-monarchists have tried to tear his image. Accusations leveled against him have included among others being “a lover of the IRGC,”[20] despite the fact that he has repeatedly condemned the Iranian agency and called on Western governments to designate it as a terrorist organization in its entirety.[21]

After writing a tweet in Kurdish to condolence the father of Hooman Abdullahi from Kermanshah, who was killed by the regime, Esmaeilion was accused by many pro-monarchists of “promoting separatism,” and of “causing sedition” among Iranians.[22]

باوکی هومن عبداللهی ئازیز، براکە‌م،
هه‌ر وه‌ها که وت‌تان ئیمه اسله‌حیک‌مان غیری زبان‌مان نیه.
ئیمه، خوین‌ریژه‌کان سرنگون اکه‌ین و له‌ دوا روژ دادگاهیان اکه‌ین.
مه‌منونم که ئیمه‌ت یاد کرد.
یادی هومن و ته‌واوی کوژراوانی وه‌ته‌ن له‌گه‌ل ئیمه‌یه.
هه‌ر بژی کردستان، هه‌ر بژی ایران.

— Hamed Esmaeilion (@esmaeilion) January 16, 2023

“Dear father of Hooman Abdullahi, my brother, as you said, we have no weapons other than our tongue. We will overthrow the murderers and bring them to justice. Thank you for remembering me. We will keep the memory of Hooman and all those who were killed in our homeland alive. Long live Kurdistan, long live Iran.” (Source: Twitter)

An Iranian woman tweeting under the name of @JinaFreeIran wrote: “Dr. Esmaeilion… is one of the most respected and courageous figures of this revolution… He has many supporters inside and outside Iran, including Kurds who started this revolution. We, who support him, are constantly being attacked by Pahlavi fans on tweeter.”[23] She then added: “[The 2022] Iranian revolution is to bring peace and democracy to Iran, but Pahlavi’s fans have already shown that all they care [about] is to push their agenda…”[24]

An Iranian Bahai user, Syed Jamal Shervin Ashrafi, also stated: “It seems that Prince Reza Pahlavi’s fans are looking at Hamed Esmaeilion as [his] a competitor… for this reason they are trying to destroy his image… This kind of behavior shows the true face of [the] Prince’s fans.”[25]

گویا طرفداران #شاهزاده_رضا_پهلوی دارند به #حامد_اسماعیلیون بعنوان یک رقیب برای شاهزاده رضا پهلوی نگاه می‌کنند و برای همین هم سعی در تخریب وجهه حامد اسماعیلیون دارند 😒
این نوع تخریب شخصیت نشان دهنده آن روی زشت و ناخوشایند و نامطبوع و روحیه زننده طرفداران شاهزاده است.#ایران pic.twitter.com/LgesjLg9sF

— Shervin Ashrafi 🦁🌞 🇧🇻 (@Shervin_Ashrafi) January 13, 2023

In a 2017 interview with the Israeli channel i24, Reza Pahlavi said: “The most important component of this [regime] change would be the tacit cooperation of the existing military and paramilitary forces [i.e. the Basij] in this scenario of change… Today, the Iranian people…demand some kind of intervention from the international community rushing to their support… As you can realize, it is very difficult to overcome extremely repressive regimes by simply relying on peaceful disobedience, it has to be at some point an element of protection for the people. Now, this element of protection can only come from the military and paramilitary forces. I am not saying that all of them will come in, but a great majority of them will join with the people if they know they can survive beyond this regime… they’ll have a place in the future and in fact become the protective shield should the remainder of the regime try to pursue a policy of genocide like Bashar Assad did against his own citizenry and at the same time not be in no man’s land.”[26]

In a 2019, interview with VOA, Reza Pahlavi also stated: “Are all Sepah [i.e. IRGC] terrorists? No. And this is the reason, I tell Iranians who are in uniform, whether in the military, Sepah, Basij: Dear Sir, the time has come to back away from these forces and join the Iranian people. You guys are not terrorists, you guys are people in Iran, who have stood face-to-face with the Iraqi army and fought in a war.[27] You sacrificed your lives. You have given martyrs, both in the military and in the Sepah. You guys are part of the Iranian people.”[28]

Most recently, in a 2023 interview with the German TV Channel, Deutsche Welle, Reza Pahlavi’s stances were slightly modified. In the past, he used to say that the military, the Basij, and the “current Sepah” would be the ones to preserve peace, once the ruling system would be replaced. Instead in a recent interview, Reza Pahlavi stated that the IRGC was the problem, but not the Iranian military: “As a matter of fact, I think most Iranians know that the Iranian military [has] never been against the people. In fact, from the very beginning, when the IRGC was created it was a mechanism of guarantee [for] the regime’s survival because the regime did not trust the military. The IRGC was not created to support the country The IRGC became a mechanism with a mandate to export an ideological revolution. It is not the military that opposes the people. It is the IRGC that is a major problem.”[29] Reza Pahlavi also tweeted: “Our request is clear: put the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) on the terrorist list,” using the hashtag #IRGCterrorists.[30]

Online users consider many of Reza Pahlavi’s positions to be contradictory. Some people even coined the sarcastic term “QasemShahrists” to refer to ultranationalists. The term relates to the Sassanian concept of “Eranshahr,” meaning the land and empire of Iran, and to the fact that the ultranationalists/monarchists call themselves Eranshahrists. Claiming that the ultranationalists/monarchists are just another version of IRGC commander Qasem Soleimani in terms of extremism, Pahlavi’s critics refer to them as QasemShahrists instead of Eranshahrists. However, a QasemShahrists is a term also used to define ultranationalists/monarchists as people with contradicting positions that are ready to use all means to reach power.

Commenting on the attitude of “QasemShahrists” toward minorities, and in particular towards Ahwazis, Iranian activist Ali Ebrahimzadeh wrote: “Now #QasemShahrists say we do not have a minority at all! Someone wrote a while ago that we do not have Arabs in Iran at all! [And that] They are Arabic-speaking Iranians!”

“I see that people have forgotten what kind of a person a QasemShahrist is. Friends, a QasemShahrist is more or less such a person:” (Source: Twitter)

Many Iranian users have also criticized a recent video broadcast by London-based Manoto TV, known for its pro-Pahlavi stances, in which a female reporter stated: “I thank the men, we, myself and many like me, are ready to hold a (democratic) referendum together with Reza Pahlavi and the people of the revolution and of the Revolutionary Guards. And I say to the members of the Revolutionary Guards, we were never dependent on the West and never will be.”[31]

گزارشگر منوتو: به فرماندهان سپاه میگم ما به غرب دل نبستیم pic.twitter.com/p3wWCt6Hn8

— اتاق خبر منوتو (@ManotoNews) January 25, 2023


The monarchists form a minority group in Iranian politics. Furthermore, as a Persian-centrist political group, they do not represent the country’s ethno-nations that comprise almost half of Iran’s population. In view of the pro-monarchists’ approach to minorities’ demands, a new Iran ruled by the monarchy is unlikely to undergo major changes in terms of minorities’ rights and democratic rule of law. Hence, it is important to heed lessons from the past to avoid repeating the same mistakes that led to the creation of the current situation in Iran.

It is important for the international community to pursue a “periphery strategy,” i.e., supporting the ethnic minorities found in Iran’s border regions. This will achieve two goals. First, ethnic minorities would finally enjoy the freedom and human rights they have been deprived of since the early 20th century. Second, this would ensure that any new regime in Iran would not be able to continue regional expansionism in the Middle East.[32]

Iran’s minorities – which are largely sidelined by the Persian opposition – aim to establish independent ethno-states or at least a decentralized entity, based on democratic confederalism, which could work as a temporary, transitional, intergovernmental project in a post-Ayatollah Iran until the establishment of new ethno-states in the Kurdistan, Balochistan, Khuzestan, and Caspian regions.[33]

It is worth noting that pro-monarchy media outlets do not provide a realistic picture of the demands of the “multinational Iran.” Furthermore, many of these media continue to whitewash the crimes committed by the repressive Pahlavi dynasty – among others including the building of the notorious Evin prison in 1972 – and their widespread corruption that led to the Iranian revolution in 1979.


Himdad Mustafa

Himdad Mustafa is a Kurdish scholar and expert on Kurdish and Iranian affairs.


[1] Majid Sharifi, Imagining Iran: The Tragedy of Subaltern Nationalism. Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2013, pp.79-80.

[2] Majid Sharifi, Imagining Iran: The Tragedy of Subaltern Nationalism, Plymouth: Lexington Books, 2013, pp.80-1.

[3] Near East/South Asia Report, Issue 2765, Foreign Broadcast Information Service, 1983, page 96.

[4] Azadi-b.com/arshiw/?p=74886, August 3, 2019.

[5] Iranintl.com/en/202301227710, January 22, 2023.

[6] Links.org.au/rhythm-revolution-iran-name-zhina-mahsa-amini, November 3, 2022.

[7] Politico.com, December 14, 2018.

[8] Twitter.com/KavehKermashani/status/1615735194215907329, January 18, 2023.

[9] Instagram.com/p/Cm610r-Ncis/?igshid=YmMyMTA2M2Y%3D, January 2, 2023.

[10] Twitter.com/fariba312/status/1616025505676857344, January 19, 2023.

[11] Twitter.com/fariba312/status/1616041911961391109, January 19, 2023.

[12] Twitter.com/Waelsaffah/status/1560383171002351616, August 19, 2022.

[13] Twitter.com/Waelsaffah/status/1615902238215639040?cxt=HHwWgMDQycah6-wsAAAA, January 19, 2023.

[14] Twitter.com/samireza42/status/1616285457607696387, January 20, 2023.

[15] Twitter.com/samireza42/status/1616282098805116930, January 20, 2023.

[16] Ps752justice.com/about/

[17] Washingtonpost.com/opinions/2022/12/28/iran-protests-leader-hamed-esmaeilion/, December 28, 2022.

[18] Lemonde.fr/en/international/article/2022/10/24/tens-of-thousands-of-iranians-march-in-berlin-against-the-regime_6001581_4.html, October 24, 2022.

[19] Iranintl.com/en/202210222845, October 22, 2022.

[20] Twitter.com/amirancan/status/1614733940425728007, January 15, 2023.

[21] Twitter.com/esmaeilion/status/1615739420795174914?ref_src=twsrc%5Egoogle%7Ctwcamp%5Eserp%7Ctwgr%5Etweet, January 18, 2023.

[22] Twitter.com/esmaeilion/status/1615044304061300736, January 16, 2023.

[23] Twitter.com/JinaFreeIran/status/1609267617222508545, December 31, 2022.

[24] Twitter.com/JinaFreeIran/status/1609268806068862976, December 31, 2022.

[25] Twitter.com/Shervin_Ashrafi/status/1613816668420988929, January 13, 2023.

[26] Youtube.com/watch?v=jkU5G1LqPY4, May 25, 2017.

[27] As reported in Reza Pahlavi’s website: “As an accomplished jet fighter pilot, Reza Pahlavi volunteered to serve his country’s military as a fighter pilot during the Iran-Iraq War, but was declined by the clerical regime.” En.rezapahlavi.org/aboutrezapahlavi/

[28] Youtube.com/watch?v=Epv_erSjK7U,April 9, 2019.

[29] Twitter.com/PahlaviReza/status/1614406319481708544, January 15, 2023.

[30] Twitter.com/PahlaviReza/status/1614698938468282369?cxt=HHwWgsDR6aSIyOgsAAAA, January 15, 2023.

[31] Twitter.com/ManotoNews/status/1618286826942517249, January 25, 2023.

[32] See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 428, The Islamic Republic Of Iran Will Collapse Only If Its Ethnic Minorities Are Supported, November 11, 2022.

[33] See MEMRI Daily Brief No. 426, A Roadmap Towards Confederalism For The Future Of Iran, November 3, 2022.

What Will Persecuted Christians Face in 2023? thumbnail

What Will Persecuted Christians Face in 2023?

By MercatorNet – Navigating Modern Complexities

The Bible radically challenges the status quo. It speaks truth to power.

During a recent conversation with Margaret, a woman who suffered life-changing injuries after Islamists assaulted a Catholic church in Nigeria last Pentecost Sunday, I couldn’t help but reflect deeply on the words of Christ:

“Whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God?” (1 John 5)

Indeed, who is it that can forgive their enemies and overcome hatred, violence and abuse of the kind suffered by Margaret but he or she who knows Christ?

In my work for the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN) UK, I am frequently asked about how I deal with all the negative stories and the “doom and gloom”. But as St John’s letter reminds us, a strong faith in Christ’s ultimate victory upends this question: rather, how can I deal with all the pessimism and negativity without learning from the example of the modern-day martyrs?

Speaking to Margaret taught me two key lessons: that we in the West need the example of the persecuted Church, and they need us. The more that the opponents of the Church become emboldened in persecuting her, and the less we speak truth to power, the more severe will the persecution be this year. Our silence is a green light to violence.

2022 made this fact clearer than ever. More Christians suffer for their faith in Christ than any other religious group suffers for their faith, according to the Pew Research Center. This is borne out by fresh data from Aid to the Church in Need’s latest report Persecuted and Forgotten? A Report on Christians oppressed for their Faith 2020-22.

The oppression or persecution of Christians increased in 75 percent of the 24 countries ACN surveyed. In Africa, the situation for Christians worsened in all countries reviewed amid a sharp increase in genocidal violence from militant non-state actors, including the jihadist groups Islamic State West Africa Province and Boko Haram. Nigeria is in particular trouble. In the Middle East, continuing migration deepened the crisis threatening the survival of three of the world’s oldest Christian communities located in Iraq, Syria and Palestine.

State authoritarianism has been the critical factor causing worsening oppression against Christians in China, North Korea, Vietnam and Burma (Myanmar). Religious nationalism has caused increasing persecution against Christians in Afghanistan, India and Pakistan, among other countries. Fashionable holiday destinations like the Maldives fare poorly when it comes to the treatment of Christians. Football-famous Qatar has also been on our radar.

A key trend we are witnessing in the West which aids and abets the persecution of Christians is civil authorities’ frequent denial of the extent of the problem. This can stem from ignorance of and outright unwillingness to alleviate the suffering of Christians, but also takes the form of dubious arguments that reject explanations of the crisis rooted in anti-Christian hatred, instead preferring economic justifications or cries of “climate change”. But climate change alone cannot explain Christian persecution, as the UK parliamentarian Sir Edward Leigh MP explained in a recent article.

2023 will see these trends escalate, ACN’s research suggests. Our work proactively identifies the trends Christians face early on, rather than being purely reactive. This call to justice is crucial to waking up governments, decision-makers and the Church to the plight of the most vulnerable. We defend the persecuted Church and stand in solidarity with her but, perhaps even more importantly, we provide support and pastoral care so that she can persevere in her mission to preach the Gospel to all nations, whatever the cost.

Speaking to ACN last year after her release from captivity in Mali, west Africa, Sister Gloria Cecilia Narváez said: “My God, it is hard to be chained and to receive blows, but I live this moment as you present it to me … And, in spite of everything, I would not want any of [my captors] to be harmed.”

The Franciscan sister was held by Islamist militants for over four years, during which time she was repeatedly physically and psychologically tortured. Sister Gloria made clear that her Christian faith was the source of the animus against her, describing to us how her captors became enraged when she prayed. On one occasion, when a jihadist leader found her praying, he struck her saying: “Let’s see if that God gets you out of here. Sister Gloria continued: “He spoke to me using very strong, ugly words…My soul shuddered at what this person was saying, while the other guards laughed out loud at the insults.”

As Christ says to the persecuted Church and to us: “In the world you have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

When I read these words, the smiling portrait of a humble and persevering Nigerian woman comes to mind. This year, like so many other Christians, Margaret will continue to suffer and to triumph. This year truth and falsehood will be asserted variably in the courts of power.

Yet, however worldly justice deals with the cause of persecuted Christians, long may their suffering smiles ring out the joy of victory.


John Pontifex is Head of Press and Information at Aid to the Church in Need (UK), an international Catholic charity which supports persecuted and other suffering Christians. 

EDITORS NOTE: This MercatorNet column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

CHOP! A Searing Indictment of Islam’s Inhumane Criminal Justice System Under Sharia Law by Tober Mory thumbnail

CHOP! A Searing Indictment of Islam’s Inhumane Criminal Justice System Under Sharia Law by Tober Mory

By The Daily Skirmish – Liberato.US

Stoning for adultery.  Amputation for thievery.  Death for apostasy.  These cruel and unusual punishments for criminal offenses under Islam’s sharia law strike Westerners as barbaric.  Yet they have been and continue to be the law of the land for countless Muslims in numerous countries right up to the present day.  Criminal justice under sharia law is an upside down world where criminal defendants are caught in a Kafkaesque system, judges make it up as they go along, and never-ending punishments far exceed the crime.

Chop! – a searing indictment of Islam’s inhumane criminal justice system under sharia law, where the accused have no rights and the punishment never ends a new short story from Tober Mory.

And as for those who do evil deeds, the punishment of an evil deed shall be the like thereof, and ignominy shall cover them. They shall have none to protect them from ALLAH. And they shall look as if their faces had been covered with dark patches of night. It is these who are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide….
   – Quran 10:27 –

“You have the right to remain silent…. You have the right to an attorney….”  Alex had heard this countless times on TV, but never thought he would be having his rights read to him in real life.  But here he was, busted for shoplifting a men’s Longévité dress watch from Javert Jewelers.  Alex wondered if police in other countries went through this same routine when they made arrests.  Meanwhile, eight time zones away….

It all started with a coincidence.  Ali was thinking about how he would like to get married someday when he saw engagement rings in the window of Javert Jewelers and went inside. “I wonder how much they cost,” he thought.  An arm and a leg, it turned out but, as he turned to leave, a men’s Longévité dress watch caught his eye.

“Would you like to try it on?” the store clerk asked.  Ali did just that and admired the way the watch looked on his wrist and hand.  Truth be told, Ali was a bit vain about his hands. “A concert pianist should have such hands,” he often told himself.  Ali liked how the hour and minute hands pointed to the classic Roman numerals on the face of the watch, and how the second hand advanced a single second at a time – tick… tick… tick….

“Could you come here for a minute?” the manager called out to the clerk from the back.  When the clerk disappeared, the temptation came over Ali suddenly.  Still wearing the watch, he was out the front door and halfway down the block before he knew it.  “I’ve never done anything like this in my life,” he thought.  But the alarm had gone off, calling the police right away.  They happened to be in the neighborhood and they caught Ali just two blocks from the store.  The clerk told the police what had happened and the manager affirmed the watch Ali had stolen had indeed come from Javert Jewelers.  “Praise be to Allah,” the manager said as the police drove Ali away.


The ride to the jail didn’t take long.  The walk to the cellblock was equally short, but made memorable when Ali saw a prisoner hanging upside down from the ceiling of a cell, being beaten by the other prisoners.  Ali was dumped in a common area with about 50 men sitting or lying on the floor.  A fluorescent light was flickering on and off.  A prisoner was called by a guard and had to step over other people to make his way out of the room.   Another prisoner, bigger than the rest, was bossing the other inmates around, telling them to bring him a snack from the little shop Ali had seen on the way in where they sold pajamas, toothpaste, and the only toilet paper that was available.  “Do what he says, or you won’t have any place to sleep tonight,” an inmate seated next to Ali said. “I’m Jalaal,” the man said, extending his hand.  The two men shook hands.

“Salaam.  I’m Ali.  What are you in for, Jalaal?”

“I shot somebody.  It was an accident, but I still got convicted.”  Jalaal went on to tell how his mother had witnessed the incident and offered to testify on his behalf, but women are generally not allowed to testify in criminal cases in Muslim countries governed by sharia law.

“Something’s not right.  Didn’t you have a lawyer?” Ali asked.

“A lawyer, hah!” Jalaal replied.  “First, they held me at the police station and beat me with a stick every day, trying to get me to confess.   You could see my bruises, but they got recorded as ‘accidents’ in my records.  When they got tired of beating me, they put me under the air conditioner for hours at a time, until I was shaking from the cold.  They woke me up several times every night.  I confessed when they brought out the electric baton and threatened to shock me until I soiled myself or passed out.

“Then I was sent here and held in solitary confinement for the first four months.  I was handcuffed in a cell so small I couldn’t even lie down.  I was not allowed to call a lawyer or my family.  They don’t have to tell anybody where you are for 60 days.  So my family didn’t even know where I was the first two months.  There isn’t much a lawyer can do, anyway…, to answer your question.”

Jalaal’s story was interrupted by the evening meal, such as it was.  The guards threw a big tray on the floor for everyone to scoop up their food with their hands, or with a little cup some of them had.  “Better grab what you can,” Jalaal told Ali. “There isn’t any more until morning.”

“You were going to tell me the rest of the story,” Ali said when they finished eating.

“The judge asked me if the confession I signed were my words.  I told him, ‘It is my writing, but those are not my words, I was tortured.’  The judge refused to proceed with the trial until I withdrew my claim the confession was coerced.  He sent me back here.  I was forced to stand in place the entire next day.  When they threatened to stick a boot in my mouth and break my jaw – I’ve seen it done to other prisoners – I signed another statement admitting to everything they said I had done.  I put my fingerprint on it for authentication, and months later, I was finally brought back to court where I told the judge I fired the gun deliberately.

“I heard, in other countries, people aren’t made to speak against themselves.  Wouldn’t that be nice,” Jalaal mused.

“The entire time, I never saw the charging documents, the police reports, or the other evidence against me.  They never let me see any law books, so I never learned what they had to prove, or the penalty for the crime.  They were never going to let me call my other witnesses or cross-examine the witnesses who were to testify against me.  I was also told that, if I didn’t approve the verdict, they wouldn’t give me a copy of it so I couldn’t appeal.  I confessed and the court entered a guilty verdict, but I don’t know how long my sentence is. Without a copy of the verdict, I’ll never be able to prove how long I’ve been here.”

“Sorry, I couldn’t help but overhear, it’s so crowded in here,” another prisoner said.  “I’m Majid al Din, asalaamu alaykum.  Consider yourself lucky.  At least you know what you were charged with.  I’ve been here almost six months and I still don’t know.  I’ve never been to court.  I’ve been accused of all sorts of things – stealing money, belonging to a non-religious political party, spying for a foreign government – but I’ve never been charged, at least, not yet.

“You talk about law books and wanting to know what the authorities have to prove.  Good luck with that.  There is no written criminal code under sharia.  Offenses aren’t defined anywhere.  Punishments aren’t spelled out, either.  It all depends on how your particular judge happens to interpret sharia law.  You never know what you’re going to get from any individual judge.  You never know if your actions are criminal or not.  And you never know what your punishment will be.  In my case, they’re still investigating.  They told me that, when they’re finished, they’ll make up a name for what they say I’ve done.

“I heard about one guy who was tortured and confessed to forming a gang that never even existed.  He was given two trials where witnesses were paid to testify against him.  He was told to plead guilty and beg for mercy.  He was sentenced to death, then he was tried again twice without ever seeing the inside of a courtroom, and sentenced to death by beheading.  His head was chopped off not too long ago.  All praise be to Allah – Allah has willed it so.”

It was time for bed.  Off the common area were several rooms without doors, each with six bunk beds. Ali’s blanket was full of lice, and the only toilet was a bucket shared by the 50 men in his cell block.  “You think this is bad.  At least we have beds,” Jalaal told Ali.  “Some prisoners have to sleep on the floor in the hallway, so consider yourself lucky.”


Months went by without Ali hearing any more about his case.  He was looking forward to the six-month mark when he could ask to see a judge.  But the day before the six months was up, Ali was summoned to court.  The first thing he noticed was the large Quran mounted on the wall, displayed alongside a whip and a long axe with a sharp blade.  Ali looked around for his family, but they weren’t there.  Maybe his mother was there, but Ali couldn’t tell because of the wall running down the middle of the courtroom to segregate the sexes – men on one side, women on the other.

The judge, who was an imam, took the bench in full clerical robes.  Only he could see both sides of the courtroom.  There were no spectators present, and no press was allowed.  These were not public proceedings.

First up was a murder case.  The defendant appeared without a lawyer.  He didn’t look more than 14 to Ali, but the judge didn’t ask about his age.  The deceased’s family had demanded the death penalty.  “The court finds you guilty and, in accordance with Quran 6:151, sentences you to death by way of justice and law in the name of Allah, the most Compassionate and Merciful.”

The judge privately had qualms, but didn’t let on.  Stone-faced, he declared to the courtroom, “Sharia is our teacher.  I seek only to do Allah’s will.”

The next defendant was led to the dock.  He was accused of drug smuggling.  He was charged only because his friend was arrested for the drug deal in question.  The witnesses to the transaction – who were all actually somewhere else at the time the deal went down – testified they heard from acquaintances the defendant was in on it.  The defendant demanded to see some real evidence, since this was just hearsay.  “Silence!” the judge roared. “I am satisfied whatever the prosecutor says is true.  I hereby sentence you to 20 months and 700 lashes.”  Ali looked nervously at the whip on the wall, wondering whether the lashes would be administered right then and there, as he had heard happens in some sharia courts.  He also wondered whether that would be his fate, as well.

But the defendant was hauled away and the next case was called.  Ali couldn’t see this defendant, but could hear her on the other side of the wall.  The religious police had entered a private home to bust up a party where mixing of the sexes and consumption of alcohol had occurred.  The young woman was questioned at the scene and released, thinking that was the end of the matter.  But she got a summons a few months later accusing her of witchcraft and leading a prostitution ring.  Those charges weren’t mentioned in court, though.  “The court finds you guilty of commission of sins, serious crimes against the religious order,” was all the judge said before pronouncing sentence in accordance with the sharia. “All praise and thanks belong to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds,” the judge continued. “Let your conviction and sentence serve as an example to others.  We cannot have this kind of behavior or the ummah is lost.  If we depart from the sharia – Allah’s law – we will have no end of troubles.  But if we fully enforce and adhere to the sharia, our other troubles will disappear. Thus, I follow sharia. It is ordained by Allah, the most Beneficent and Merciful.  May Allah have mercy on the whole Muslim ummah and protect us from women like you who would tempt us and lead us into licentiousness.”

Then it was Ali’s turn.  He listened as the witnesses from Javert Jewelers swore to tell “the truth before Allah” and laid out the case against him.  After they finished, the judge did not ask Ali if Ali had a defense.  Instead, he asked, “Will you submit to the sharia?”  Not seeing any choice, Ali answered, “As a Muslim, I submit to the sharia and to whatever sentence the sharia prescribes,” hoping his submission would buy him some leniency.

The judge said, “The court finds you guilty of stealing an expensive watch from the premises of the rightful owner, Javert Jewelers.  Under sharia law, the punishment for theft is amputation of the right hand at the wrist.  The Quran at 5:38 states: ‘As for the thief, cut off their right hands as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah.  And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.’  Further, Muhammad – the Prophet and Perfect Man, Peace Be Upon Him – ordered that a thief’s hand should be severed at the wrist.  The Prophet said, ‘The hand should be cut off for stealing something that is worth a quarter of a Dinar or more.’ There is no denying the value of the watch.  The court further finds the additional conditions for meting out this sentence are met – the thief was not under duress, the item was stolen from one who had not wronged the thief in any way, two male witnesses who were present at the time agree in their testimony, and the thief’s left hand is healthy.”

Privately, the judge was thinking, “The Quran might be cruel, unsustainable, and inhumane, but it is the direct word of Allah and cannot be changed.  How could anyone – much less a single judge – presume to change the word of Allah?  Why should I be ashamed to hand out this sentence?  I am only implementing the laws the Creator has decreed for all humanity, Muslim and non-Muslim.  Besides, I would lose my job and be ostracized if I were to fail in my duty or speak against the system.”

Convincing himself it all made perfect sense, the judge continued: “The court sentences you to amputation of the right hand at the wrist, the sentence to be carried out forthwith in the public square.”  He rose to his feet.  “Praise be to Allah, the Most Tender and Merciful,” he said, turning to leave the courtroom.  It was time for prayer.

Meanwhile, back in America, Alex saw a judge within 24 hours of his arrest, got out on bail, and went to meet with his lawyer.  “You’ve got two choices,” his lawyer said.  “You can go to trial or plead guilty to a lesser charge.  I went to see the prosecutor.  I got discovery – they have a lot of evidence against you.  They offered to cut the charge down from felony theft to a misdemeanor if you plead guilty, because it’s your first offense.”  “Will I go to jail?” Alex asked.  “Hard to say,” the lawyer answered. “First offenders usually get probation, but jail time is more common in cases that start as felonies.  That was an expensive watch and our system endeavors to make the punishment fit the crime.  The best advice I can give you is bring your toothbrush to sentencing.”  “What will happen if I ask for a trial?” Alex asked.  “You’d get a trial in open court pretty fast, within a few months.  I’d be there to represent you.  You could have your family there.  Who knows, a reporter might even take an interest.  It’s not like you could keep them out – it’s a public proceeding.  You could take the stand and tell your side of the story, or not – it’s up to you.  You’d get a jury, but juries are tough.  Don’t expect to lie your way out of this.  If you do and you’re found guilty anyway, there will be a hidden sentence from the judge for perjury inside what would definitely be a prison sentence at that point.”  Alex frowned.  “Don’t worry,” his lawyer said. “Jail’s not great, but you’re young and you’d still have your health and your whole life ahead of you when you get out.  In the meantime, there’s TV and popcorn.  You could take classes and work on a college degree, if you want.”

Chop Chop Square

Ali was whisked from the courtroom and taken straight to Chop Chop Square where his punishment was to be carried out.  He was there before he knew it, still shocked by what had happened to him in the courtroom.  It began to sink in as he watched the proceedings.

A young man was pushed to the middle of the square.  “Sit,” he was told.  “Take off your robe.”


The whip lashed across the man’s back and he flinched.


The second lash left a long mark on his skin.


He curled forward in pain.

After all ten lashes – the lash marks crisscrossing his back – the crowd roared, some taking pictures with their cellphones.  “This is Allah’s justice,” one onlooker said approvingly, as the man was led away.

Then a man and a woman were brought in, and buried up to the waist, the crowd leaning forward in excited anticipation.  The executioners picked up stones from a pre-arranged pile and hurled them toward the condemned.  The first stone hit the woman square in the face.  Their heads were tossed back and forth as the stones pelted them, the man’s head eventually separating from his body.  The woman’s face eventually caved in.  The stoning only stopped when both of the accused were dead. What blood didn’t soak into the ground flowed into the nearby drain, installed for the purpose. They had been found guilty of adultery.  “It is ordained by Allah,” one of the executioners said.  “Why should I be ashamed of laws that Muhammad himself ordered during his lifetime, Peace Be Upon Him.”

Next up was an adolescent male.  He was caught at a protest and charged with sowing discord.  He was charged with forming a terror cell.  His family didn’t see it that way.  The main evidence against him was a picture on his phone deemed offensive to the security forces.  His family issued a statement:  “How can they execute a boy because of a photograph on his phone?  Since his arrest, we have known nothing but pain. It is a living death for the whole family.”  The execution of a minor being a special case, a government official strode up and told the assembled crowd, “This execution will be shown later on TV.  In addition, pictures of it, along with pictures of other imprisoned children in shackles, will be published on the cover of a children’s magazine.  This boy’s beheading will serve as a deterrent and inhibition to other children who might be tempted to deviate from the way of Allah.  And Allah is exalted in might and wisdom.”

Then the executioner stepped up, placed a bag over the boy’s head, and the blade came down.  Ali watched the head bounce on the ground, the crowd roaring in approval.  The severed body and head were publicly nailed to a pole as a warning to the young.

The boy was one of 81 executions in Chop Chop Square that day, but Ali could no longer concentrate.  He knew he was running out of time.  But the government officials in attendance were still watching attentively.  The executions were fully supported by the highest officials of this Islamic country.  The president himself was so enthusiastic about sharia punishments, he was called ‘the Butcher’.  He had personally overseen thousands of executions when he was Justice Minister.

Then came Ali’s turn.

The tranquilizer was fast-acting.  “The better to control you with,” one of the officials who was to administer the punishment said to himself.  Another tied rubber surgical tubing around Ali’s right arm to form a tourniquet.  Two others grabbed his hand and forearm.  “Please make it quick,” Ali pleaded.

A heavily built official drew out a large wooden-handled knife he used to slaughter camels.  Ali watched the blade descend.


It was all over in a flash but, for Ali, it went into slow motion.  The blade sliced through the layers of the epidermis… the dermis… the subcutaneous tissue and fat…  the many muscles giving the hand its dexterity… and the blood vessels, nerves and tendons… before hitting bone.  The blade tore through the first bone – the radius… then crunched through the second – the ulna… before ravaging through the tendons… the nerves… the blood vessels… the muscles…  the fat…  and the layers of skin while going out the other side.

Ali screamed in pain as he watched his hand drop through the air and fall to the ground.  He could smell the iron scent of his own blood, the tourniquet being tightened now to staunch the flow.  He wanted to pick his hand up and somehow stick it back on, but he passed out.  He never saw his hand again.   An official picked it up and walked away with it.  When Ali came to, he found his arm had been wrapped in cloth.  He was sent on his way, Allah’s justice having been done.

Little did he know his punishment was just beginning.

Alex went to see his probation officer for the first time.  He had pled guilty to stealing the watch and received weekends in jail for a year, giving him plenty of time to think about what he did.  The sentence allowed him to keep his job during the week.  He was ordered to visit his probation officer regularly and to make payments toward a fine equal to the value of the watch.  “The system cut you a break,” the probation officer said. “You could easily have ended up in prison for years.  This way, you can remain a productive member of society and not get institutionalized, unable to function outside prison walls.  The judge gave you a reasonably good start.  The rest is up to you.”


Ali was released late in the day.  First stop, the grocery store.  He pushed a cart around the aisles with his left hand, picking up some vegetables, meat, and aspirin as he went along.  He found he could use his stump to help steer the cart.  Carrying a shopping bag with one hand – no problem.  “This isn’t too bad, maybe I’ve been worrying too much,” he said to himself.

When he got to his apartment, he set the bag down beside the door and fumbled for his keys.  They fell on the floor.  When he reached down to pick them up, he lost his balance.  He instinctively reached out with what should have been his right hand to break his fall, but there was no right hand and down he went.  Just then, his neighbor’s door opened and people started coming out.  They saw Ali on the floor and offered to help him back up.  “I don’t need your help,” he replied angrily, maneuvering to pick himself back up with his stump and left hand.  Ali felt ashamed and wanted to cry.  Fortunately, nothing was bruised but his dignity.

The pain wouldn’t let up.  He would see a doctor tomorrow and get a prescription for some painkillers.  Aspirin was all he had for right now.  Ali set the new box of aspirin down on the table in front of the sofa.  He managed to get the box open with one hand and started to wrestle with the bottle inside.  He pinched the cap with his left thumb and forefinger and began to twist.  Not easy, since he was used to using his right hand for everything.  Like most people, Ali was right-handed.  He poured out a few tablets on the table, but some got away from him.  It took him a few days to figure out he should pour the aspirin into the upturned cap so he wouldn’t have that problem.   Pain was radiating up his arm.  “Will I able to sleep tonight?,” he wondered.

Ali was getting hungry, so he went into the kitchen.  He put the cabbage he bought on the counter and picked up a knife to cut into it.  The cabbage rolled off the counter and onto the floor.  Another defeat.  The cabbage was too big to grip with one hand, but he managed to get it back on the counter by pressing his stump into service.  This time, he rolled it into a corner so he could cut it.  It wasn’t until later he would learn about special cutting boards and cooking techniques others in his predicament use to cope with their situations.

The cooking done, Ali sat down to eat.  He lined his lamb chop up on his plate, then pressed in with a knife.  He rolled the knife back and forth on the meat, using his stump to keep the chop from moving around too much.  It took a long time to free one mouthful, but it eventually worked.  For the next bite, he stuck his fork into the chop, then secured the fork between his stump and upper arm.  He picked up his knife with his left hand, but when he went to cut the meat, the improvised hold suddenly gave way, sending his food flying off the plate.

He was humiliated, but then it struck him:  this was nothing compared to the fact he was being forced to eat with his left hand.  “I’m eating with my left hand,” he repeated aloud.  That’s the hand Muslims use in the bathroom and is, therefore, considered unclean. “Now I have to eat my food with my left hand.  That’s part of my punishment,” he realized.  “And it will be like this for the rest of my life.  Every time I sit down to eat – every meal – I’ll be reminded of my punishment, a punishment that will never end.”

Ali was worn out and headed to bed.  Getting his robe off one-handed and hanging it on a hook wasn’t hard.  He laid down, his mind churning.  “Why couldn’t they have taken my left hand?  It wouldn’t have been such an insult, and there’s so much I have to relearn because I’m left-handed now – how to write, how to use my phone – the screen’s too big, I can’t hold it and reach everything with my thumb at the same time. Some of my robes have buttons – how’s that going to work?  I guess putting on a watch won’t be too difficult – I can manipulate an expandable watchband with the fingers of one hand, or get a Velcro band and use my teeth to hold it in place when I’m closing it.  Maybe I don’t want a watch.  A watch is what got me into trouble in the first placed, hmm….  Most of my shoes are slip-ons, but I do have sneakers and black leather shoes, both with laces.  How in the world am I going to tie them?  I don’t even want to think about it, it’s too depressing.  Everything’s too depressing.  Who will marry me, after this?  What woman wants to feel a stump on her back?  Can I still go to Paradise when I die?  And I’m down to one hand – what if I sprain my left wrist and they put it in a cast?  That would be catastrophic.  I’d be completely helpless.”  It was then he allowed himself to cry, the pain sapping his will.  It was all so overwhelming.

Exhausted, Ali fell into a fitful sleep.  The next morning, he awoke with a sense of dread, but didn’t know why.  Then he remembered his right hand was chopped off the day before.  He was tempted to stay in bed, to hide from the world.  But his pain got the better of him, so he got up and went into the bathroom where he found more challenges – shaving and grooming his facial hair one-handed, not losing his balance in the shower, deciding whether to soap up his hand or rub the bar of soap all over his body.

On the way to the doctor, he noticed his stump was starting to swell up.  Then the weirdest thing happened.  He started to feel pain in his right hand, the hand that was no longer there.  In coming weeks, he would swear his missing hand was itching, burning, or feeling wet.  “I can’t tell anyone this.  They’ll think I’m crazy,” Ali thought.

The doctor reassured him.  “That happens to most people in your situation.  It’s called ‘phantom pain’.”

“You’re lucky,” the doctor went on.  “You could have died from the amputation, or had a heart attack or blood poisoning, or a blood clot in your lung.”  “I don’t feel lucky,” Alex said.

The doctor started writing Ali a prescription for pain pills, then asked, “Have you thought about a prosthesis?  You can get a hook, a gripper, or one in the shape of a hand.”  Ali asked what was involved and the doctor said, “First, we have to prepare your stump – remove all the dead tissue and file down the bone.  They weren’t exactly careful when they were amputating your hand.  Next, we cushion the area with healthy tissue from other parts of your body, then stitch skin and muscle flaps over the stump.  When all that heals, we go back in and attach the prosthesis to the bone.  If your bone grows a spur, we have to do it all over again.”

Ali said he would think about it, wondering if he would ever have a job again that would allow him to pay for all that.  He took his prescription and headed to the pharmacy, careful to hold his stump inside his sleeve and close to his stomach so people wouldn’t notice, they would just see folds of white cloth and not think anything of it.  He kept looking around to see if people were scrutinizing him.  He was getting angrier by the minute.  “I don’t want a prosthesis.  I don’t care how much it can do,” he thought.  “I want to hold my first child, with my own hands.  I want my own hand back,” although he knew full well it wasn’t coming back.  It was a part of him that was gone forever and would never return.


Ali was back home when the phone rang.  It was his mother.  Ali had been wondering why she hadn’t called. “Well…,” she hesitated.  “I didn’t really know what to say.”  She had been getting conflicting advice from family and friends.  “You’ve brought dishonor upon the family.  Some of your relatives never want to see you again.  It is written in the hadiths that Muhammad – Peace Be Upon Him – would cut off his own daughter’s hand if she were a thief.  Some are even telling me that I’ll be punished in the grave because I must not have raised you right. But a TV imam was saying the other day it’s a great sin to cut off family ties completely.  People who do that don’t go to Paradise.  He said, if I do see you, an angel will be with me defending me from the evil inside you.  So, I don’t know what to do.  I need spiritual guidance before I talk to you or see you again.  I’ll call you when I’m ready.”

With that, she hung up.  Ali was devastated and ran out into the street in a panic.  “My own mother….  She might disown me.  She thinks she has to defend herself against me.  It’s not fair.  Yes, I committed a crime, but it was just an impulse.  What are those few seconds against a lifetime of behaving right?  How could anyone think I’m evil deep down inside and will be for all time?  People change.”  His mind was furiously spinning future possibilities:  Maybe he wouldn’t be invited to family gatherings ever again.   Maybe they wouldn’t come to his wedding.  Maybe his children would never know their grandparents.  As he wandered aimlessly about, he forgot to hide his stump.  A child asked, “What happened to your hand?”  Ali looked at the child, then up at the adults the child was with.  They weren’t smiling.  They knew.


Over the coming days and weeks, Ali found out who his friends were.  Some people he knew shunned him entirely.  He just had to take the losses and go on.  Others may have meant well but said the most insensitive things.

“You’re lucky you weren’t cross-amputated,” one said.  Cross-amputation is the punishment under sharia law for highway robbery.  The right hand and left foot are both amputated, making it difficult or impossible to walk – even with a cane or crutches.  “People keep telling me I’m lucky.  I don’t feel lucky,” Ali said, irritably.

His best friend – one he started school with – turned on him.  “Hate to say it, but you got exactly what you deserved.  You may still go to Paradise, but your right hand will go to hell.  Sharia law has been followed.  Justice has been done.  This is Allah’s will.  Just accept it.”

That was hard to take, but not as hard as the friend who said Ali should become a suicide bomber.  “Fulfill your duty to Allah and wage jihad so others will submit to Islam,” he said.  “You’re disabled, so that’s all that’s left to you now, Ali.  I know some people….”

Ali dismissed the possibility in his mind, but the suggestion did start him thinking seriously, for the first time ever, about ending his own life.

He would turn this over in his mind many times as the days went by.  He started isolating, deliberately keeping to himself, brooding.  It had been some weeks, but his stump still hurt.  Not as much as before, but he was still maxing out on his painkiller prescriptions.  “I hope I’m not getting addicted to these things,” Ali thought.  “But maybe I am.  They help me forget my hand is gone and I can’t do everything I used to.”  His thoughts took him further down, to the point where he wasn’t taking care of his stump properly or even showering every day.  He picked up a staph infection in his stump that put him in the hospital on an antibiotic IV drip.

“I know some people just want me to die,” he was thinking to himself, eyeing the knife on the kitchen counter and the veins in his left wrist.  But then the doorbell rang.

“Hi Ali, I haven’t seen you in a while.  Where have you been hiding?,” his friend Khalil asked. “Listen, I came to invite you to the soccer game this Saturday.  It’s a big match; the whole country will be watching.  Everyone’s excited.  I have an extra ticket.  What do you say?”   This was a pleasant surprise and Ali agreed to go.  “Oh, by the way,” Khalil continued.  “There’s a woman we’d like you to meet afterwards – Sonia.  She has an uncle whose foot was amputated from diabetes, so stumps don’t bother her, if that’s what you’re thinking.  She’s used to it.  We can all meet at a coffee shop after the game, her brother will be there, tamaam?

“Azeem!,” Ali said.  This was the best he’d felt in months.  A woman with a family member who had a stump – this possibility hadn’t occurred to him.  Of course he was interested.  Things were looking up.

The group met at the stadium. There was an awkward moment when one of Khalil’s friends reached out his right hand to shake hands with Ali.  Not knowing what else to do, Ali bowed his head in greeting, instead.

They found their seats and the players took the field.  Ali relaxed and was starting to enjoy himself.  When the first goal was scored, the roar of the crowd took Ali right back to Chop Chop Square.  He looked at the ball bouncing near the net, but what he saw was the head of a condemned prisoner bouncing on the ground at the Square.  Then he remembered his encounter with the cabbage in his kitchen and imagined it was the head of an executed prisoner rolling off the counter instead – too big to pick up with one hand.

Ali was unnerved by these unwanted thoughts and the suddenness with which they unexpectedly appeared out of nowhere.  “I have to go home.  I’m not feeling well,” he told Khalil.  “What about meeting Sonia?,” Khalil asked.  “Maybe some other time,” Ali mumbled then left, secretly relieved because his body was not very interested in such matters since his amputation, and wasn’t cooperating the way it used to.  He didn’t know if the spark would ever come back.


Alex only had a few weekends left in jail.  He got a promotion at work and began to fantasize about what more money would make possible – a new car, a bigger apartment.  A female co-worker was beginning to show interest in him, so maybe an engagement ring was down the road, somewhere.  He wondered what it would be like to have children.  He realized the people in jail were mostly younger than him.  “Jail’s for kids,” he thought.  “It’s time to get on with it.”  He felt ready to put this chapter behind him and find new life.  His arrest had lit a fire inside of him.  It galvanized his will to do better, to make something of himself.  Then it was lights out in the cellblock and he drifted off.

Back home now, Ali went to sleep and began to dream:

He was sitting on the sofa, looking eye-level at the Longévité watch from Javert Jewelers on his wrist.  Blades grew from inside the watch band and constricted, cutting off his remaining hand, but the watch stayed on.  Blood spurted in a fountain from his upturned arm, then stopped.  He looked at the face of the watch.  The hands were moving backwards, slowly at first.  The severed hand floated up off the floor and reattached itself to his arm.   The hands on the watch were spinning backwards faster now.   He looked again and saw that his right hand had reappeared – beautiful as ever – on the stump he had tried to hide from view ever since Chop Chop Square.  Now Ali had both his hands back.  A feeling of contentment washed over him.

Tick… Tick… Tick….  Nice.

The feeling didn’t last long.  The face of the watch now showed a cross-section of a wrist, as if looking down from inside the arm.  The hands of the watch had turned into axes, like the one on the courtroom wall, and the sharp blades were cutting through the skin… the fat… the nerves…

Tick… Tick… Tick….

The blood vessels… the tendons… the bones….

Louder now.  Chop… Chop… Chop….

Ali looked away in horror.  When he looked back, he saw the face had almost returned to normal but, this time, the Roman numerals had been replaced with words – Pain, Loss, Embarrassment, Shame, Humiliation, Rejection, Isolation, Nightmares, Flashbacks, Regret, Hopelessness, Despair – at all twelve positions.  Nothing to look forward to but anguish, no matter what time it is.

Tick… Tick… Tick….

Then each word turned into a tongue of yellow and orange flame.  Now it didn’t matter if the hands went fast or slow, forwards or backwards, or stopped altogether.  It was all the same.  The tongues got bigger and merged into one big conflagration.  The inscription ‘Longévité’ was still clearly visible inside the fire.  The fire ignited the sleeve of his robe.  Before long, his entire apartment was engulfed in flames.

“It is these who are the inmates of the Fire; therein shall they abide…”

Still louder – tick… tick… tick….

Ali awoke with a start to see the sun streaming in through the windows.

“My hopes… My dreams… My future plans… My prospects… My joy….  I stole a watch.  They stole my life.”

The phone rang.  It was his mother.

©Tober Mory. All rights reserved.


Palestinians celebrate murder of Jews by handing out sweets, mosque loudspeakers scream ‘Allahu akbar’

UK: Hamas-linked lobby group launches new propaganda campaign, accusing Israeli lawmakers of ‘racism’

Israel: 13-year-old Muslim shoots two Israelis in jihad attack in Jerusalem’s Old City

Terrorists Who Murder Israeli Jews Do Not Act Alone thumbnail

Terrorists Who Murder Israeli Jews Do Not Act Alone

By Howard Rotberg

The most basic of all basics is that no Arab terrorist acts alone; he or she is incited to genocidal murder by the entire structure of Palestinian Arab society.

“License to Kill” (Bob Dylan)

“Now, they take him, and they teach him, and they groom him for life

And they set him, on a path where he’s bound to get ill

Then they bury him with stars

Sell his body like they do used cars

Now, there’s a woman on my block

She just sit there facin’ the hill

She say who gonna take away his license to kill?

Now he’s hell-bent for destruction, he’s afraid and confused

And his brain has been mismanaged with great skill

And all he believes are his eyes

And his eyes, they just tell him lies

But there’s a woman on my block

Sitting there in a cold chill

She say who gonna take away his license to kill?”

Palestinian Arab terrorism against the Jews of Israel is constant and mostly targets civilians, whether it is in restaurants, old age homes, synagogues, discos or schools. In Canada it is seldom reported unless there are multiple deaths. And so we read in the Associated Press article carried by many newspapers, how seven Jews attending Sabbath services in Jerusalem were murdered outside the synagogue, but also that the terrorist apparently acted alone.

The idea that he acted alone is preposterous. Unless one understands the basics, there can be no useful reporting. The most basic of all basics is that no Arab terrorist acts alone; he or she is incited to genocidal murder by the entire structure of Palestinian Arab society, including its media, education system, its Islamist imams, and its financial rewards to terrorists and their families.

The lack of understanding, and the immorality that flows from it, is especially acute when the terrorist attack happens on the same day as the International Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is clear that the murder of Jews worldwide, such as in Buenos Aires, Argentina, Mumbai, India, Toulouse, France, Paris, France Brussels, Belgium, Copenhagen, Denmark, etc. has assumed genocidal proportions. In the United States, anti-semitic terrorist attacks by Islamists or far right extremists have occurred in Monsey, New York, Poway California, Pittsburg, Pennsylvania, Seattle, Washington, Los Angeles, California, New York City, and St. Louis, Missouri.

The lessons of the Holocaust, which I have discussed in various essays, is not that we should be more tolerant, or more progressive, or provide more social justice but rather to be mindful that Jewish people have been targeted in the name of religion, justice, envy, paranoia, and hated for being good, for thousands of years, and, judging from the increase of antisemitism, especially at the universities, it is not stopping anytime soon.

So here are the basic facts, which I hope will provide the necessary context the next time that Associated Press attempts to write on this topic:

1. Terrorists are glorified and celebrated with posters of them hung on many streets and their heinous acts are marked with joyful singing and dancing and fireworks and the giving of candy to children.

2. Palestinian Authority bschools or city squares in Palestinian Arab towns have been named for terrorists who murdered Israelis. For example, in 2010, a public square in El Bireh, West Bank, was named for Dalal Mughrabi, a 19-year-old leader of a Palestinian squad that in 1978 killed an American photojournalist and murdered 38 Israeli civilians, 13 of them children.

3. Palestinian Authority officials often visit the mourning tents of families of the terrorists to show how political elites value deceased terrorists.

4. Increasingly, terrorist attacks are not by members of the various terrorist organizations, but by non-members who are incited to terrorism.

5. The financial benefits given to terrorists and their families – the “pay-to-slay” system, in a failed society, are among the largest inducements to impoverished but radical individuals. The Palestinian Authority provides cash incentives to murder Jews. The more people a terrorist murders, the more money he and his family receives from the government.

On the 2022 anniversary of Israel’s independence, PA President Mahmoud Abbas renewed that commitment. “Pay-to-slay,” disburses large sums which could be used to better the lives of the people. The Washington Post reports: “In the Palestinian Authority’s budget, one can find $350 million in annual payments to Palestinian prisoners, ‘martyrs’ and injured.” This sum is approximately half the amount of U.S. aid to the Palestinian Arabs.

6. The spread of social media is often thought to assist the free flow of information and the spread of the values of freedom. But it seems that Palestinian social media is used more to incite young people A technique used by leaders is to falsely claim that Israel is attacking a mosque or cutting off access to the Al Aqsa mosque in Jerusalem when in fact hundreds of thousands of Palestinian Arabs worshiped freely during Ramadan, with the support and protection from Israeli police. Any Israeli counter-terrorism actions are portrayed as evil acts requiring further terrorism in revenge.

7. Palestinian Arab leadership not only encourages violence but feels it must maintain radical positions to keep up with their base’s increasing support for the most radical terrorist organizations. Israel gave the Palestinians all of Gaza, which then elected Hamas terrorists; Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon which then saw a takeover by Iranian-backed Hezbollah terrorists, and Israel’s peacemaking in the Oslo Accords was met with increasing power of the Fatah terrorist organization.

Abbas, the PA leader, now is in the 13th year of what was supposed to be a four-year term. He abolished all elections ever since, knowing that the incitement he has enabled will result in his overthrow in favour of more radical elements should he ever agree to another election. This demonstrated the danger of inciting your masses because it is easy to lose control.

8. Perhaps the most egregious mischief done to future prospects of peace is that the textbooks in the Palestinian Arab school system contribute to a culture of anti-Israel and anti-Jewish hate – including outright antisemitism, justifications for violent jihad and condemnation of Israel’s right to exist.

In May a 17-year-old Palestinian armed with a knife was shot dead after attempting to invade a home in Judea and Samaria. Significantly, he attended a school that taught students “gruesome content, directly instructing pupils to kill Israelis”. This followed a string of attacks that killed 19 Israelis.

In my mind, the most tragic aspect of inciting Arab Muslims to violence and genocide comes from the fact that is tolerated, even encouraged, by anti-Israel and antisemitic people in Western nations that should know better. While Western elites go through the motions of Holocaust remembrance, their actions – supporting the genocidal Palestinian Arabs with money and advocacy seem to amount to me – a son of a survivor of Auschwitz, who lost his parents and then 8-year-old sister to the gas chambers – to amount to a type of Second Holocaust of the Jews.

I wrote about this issue in my novel, The Second Catastrophe: A Novel About a Book and its Author (Mantua Books, 2003). I make this unpopular allegation because those who sit silently during a genocide, even one where Jews now have our homeland back, are morally culpable for assisting the perpetrators.

From the anti-Israel obsession of the United Nations and its so-called Human Rights Council whose members comprise some of the worst abusers of human rights to our universities where Jews who are proud of our homeland, or who are identifiably Jewish by their dress, are now clearly unwelcome on campuses. Palestiniann Arabs know that their incitement to genocide is backed by so much of academia, media, progressive NGOs and some Churches, and are thus encouraged

Every time you hear someone say that a Palestinian Arab terrorist acted alone, please remember who the co-conspirators are, and how support is given to their evil project.

Eight of the Top Ten Countries that are Persecutors of Christians are Majority-Muslim thumbnail

Eight of the Top Ten Countries that are Persecutors of Christians are Majority-Muslim

By Jihad Watch

How strange! Why might this be? Could it have something to do with these teachings of Islam?

Jesus is not the Son of God and belief in the Trinity is “excess”: “O people of the book, do not exaggerate in your religion or say anything about Allah except the truth. The Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, was only a messenger of Allah, and his word that he conveyed to Mary, and a spirit from him. So believe in Allah and his messengers, and do not say Three, Stop, it is better for you. Allah is only one God. It is far removed from his transcendent majesty that he should have a son. Everything that is in the heavens and everything that is on the earth is his. And Allah is sufficient as defender.” — Qur’an 4:171

And: “It is not fitting for Allah that he should take to himself a son. Glory be to him, when he decrees a thing, he says to it only, Be, and it is.” — Qur’an 19:35

Jesus was not crucified: “And because of their saying, We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the messenger of Allah, they did not kill him nor crucify him, but it seemed so to them, and indeed, those who disagree about this are in doubt about it, they have no knowledge of it except pursuit of a supposition, they did not kill him for certain.” — Qur’an 4:157

Those who believe in the divinity of Christ are unbelievers: “They indeed have disbelieved who say, Indeed, Allah is the Messiah, son of Mary. Say, Who then can do anything against Allah, if he had willed to destroy the Messiah son of Mary, and his mother and everyone on earth? To Allah belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them. He creates what he wills. And Allah is able to do all things.” — Qur’an 5:17 (cf. 5:72)

Christians have forgotten part of the divine revelations they received: “And with those who say: Indeed, we are Christians, we made a covenant, but they forgot a part of what they were reminded about. Therefore we have stirred up enmity and hatred among them until the day of resurrection, when Allah will inform them of their handiwork.” — Qur’an 5:14

Those who believe that Jesus is God’s Son are accursed: “And the Jews say, Ezra is the son of Allah, and the Christians say, The Messiah is the son of Allah. That is their saying with their mouths. They imitate the statements of those who disbelieved before. May Allah curse them. How perverse they are.” — Qur’an 9:30

Christians who do not accept Muhammad and the Qur’an are the most vile of created beings: “Indeed, the unbelievers among the people of the book and the idolaters will remain in the fire of Gehenna. They are the most vile of created beings.” — Qur’an 98:6

Muslims must fight against and subjugate Christians: “Fight against those do not believe in Allah or the last day, and do not forbid what Allah and his messenger have forbidden, and do not follow the religion of truth, even if they are among the people of the book, until they pay the jizya with willing submission and feel themselves subdued.” — Qur’an 9:29

Also, a hadith has Muhammad predicting that Jesus will return at the end of the world and break the cross, as it is an insult to Allah’s power to say that he would have allowed one of his prophets to be crucified: “Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said, ‘By Him in Whose Hands my soul is, son of Mary [Jesus] will shortly descend amongst you people [Muslims] as a just ruler and will break the Cross and kill the pig and abolish the Jizya [a tax taken from the non-Muslims, who are in the protection, of the Muslim government]. Then there will be abundance of money and nobody will accept charitable gifts.’” — Bukhari 3.34.425

Iran ranked eighth hardest country to be Christian

Article 18, January 18, 2023:

Iran has risen back to eighth place on an annual list of the countries where it is hardest to practise the Christian faith.

This marks a return to Iran’s 2021 ranking on the World Watch List, which is produced by Christian charity Open Doors International, after a year in ninth place.

For the past five years, Iran has oscillated between eighth and ninth place on the list.

This year, Iran has moved back above Afghanistan, which last year topped the list, even ahead of perennial “winner” North Korea.

The other countries in the top 10 are Somalia, Yemen, Eritrea, Libya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Sudan.

Iran’s rise by one point in Open Doors’ scoring system was “mainly caused by an increase in reported violent incidents”, said the charity, “including an abduction”.

“The outlook for Iranian Christians, in particular converts from Islam to Christianity, is by no means improving,” Open Doors said….




Israel: Muslim murders at least seven people in jihad massacre in Jerusalem synagogue

Hamas fires rockets at Israel after IDF eliminates jihad terror cell

Enraged Muslims in Pakistan, Iraq, and Lebanon protest Qur’an-burning in Sweden

The Qur’an-Burning in Sweden and Turkey’s Rage and Threats

fghanistan: Taliban arrest Chinese nationals for trying to smuggle out 1,000 metric tons of lithium-bearing rocks

Nigeria: Muslims hack a farmer and his son to death, shoot others, abduct still more

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

GENESIS TWELVE 1-3: Is God’s Court Now in Session? thumbnail

GENESIS TWELVE 1-3: Is God’s Court Now in Session?

By Bud Hancock

Genesis 12:1-3: Now the Lord had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee: And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing: And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed.

Shortly after God recreated the earth (Genesis 1 and 2), His created man disobeyed Him and brought a curse from God on all mankind, and the earth, that would have a lasting effect on every person who would ever be born. Even though man and the earth were cursed, men continued to reproduce and the earth continued to function, albeit in a way that was much less pleasant than God’s original plan. God’s action as a result of man’s disobedience was a curse and a judgment, but it was NOT a show of God’s wrath.

God’s plan for mankind has always been to provide a peaceful environment and judgments against the actions of men that violate the law are absolutely necessary for society to function in an atmosphere of peace without chaos.

Please do not confuse God’s Judgment with God’s Wrath. A short period of time of God’s judgment is NOT the same as the wrath of God that is displayed in the Book of Revelation among other scriptures. Judgment, sometimes instant, sometime incremental, is meant to bring change in behavior. Wrath, on the other hand is a means of utterly destroying the rebellion that causes sin to manifest. Through appeals and repentance, judgment can be stopped and reversed, sometimes with a lessened ability to thrive in life, but there is NO reversal, no escaping from, God’s wrath.

Throughout the ages, God has stepped into the realm of time and humanity and judged men’s actions that, had they NOT been judged and stopped, would have seriously interfered with God’s plan for humanity.

Human Justice

A courtroom is a place where justice is sought and judgment is meted out. Anyone who has ever been in a courtroom as a spectator, or as a member of a jury called to hear testimony and decide a case against a person accused of wrongdoing, is aware that the ‘full weight and authority’ of that court is behind the proceedings as well as the final judgment/decision of the case. That authority, granted by the laws of the land in which the court is established, has the power to enforce the sentence levied against the accused and will use that power to ensure the sentence is carried out.

Here in the US, courts are established and function on local, state and federal levels, and they conduct their business according to the laws of the entity which has the ‘jurisdiction’ to start indictment procedures, levy charges, and conduct trials in order to enforce the laws of that entity.

The decisions of judges and juries are, in most cases, subject to appeals rights that are granted by law to those convicted of criminal activity.

God’s Blessing and Cursing

I doubt there are few true believers who cannot quote Genesis 12:1-3, but how many are aware of the seriousness of God’s words in those three verses?  The King James version says there is a ‘blessing for blessing’ and ‘curse for curse’ action involved based on how a person, or a nation, treats the Jews, but it goes much deeper than that.  Some have called it a ‘like for like’ blessing and curse, but a deeper look into the meaning of the words speaks much more.

The KJV says: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse 1 him that curseth 2 thee:,

1 curse , (arar, Strong’s 779, pronounced aw-rar’) meaning to execrate (declare to be worthless or abhorrent, to loathe), and to bitterly curse (to declare to be loathed, excommunicated/cut off and  utterly damned/destroyed).

2 curseth (qalal, Strong’s 7043, pronounced kaw-lal’), meaning to revile, to show contempt for (the feeling or attitude of regarding someone or something as inferior, base or worthless, to scorn, to insult, to disrespect.

As you can see, the words translated ‘curse’ (God’s action against those who curse Abraham/Israel), and ‘curseth’ (man’s action towards Abraham), in Genesis 12:3 are two distinctly different Hebrew words with similar yet somewhat different meanings. The word 1curse refers to the God’s attitude of toward those who curse Abraham and Israel, and His  actions/judgment already levied against such people, while the  word 2curseth refers to the hate-filled and disrespectful actions of the Gentile nations toward Abraham and the Jewish people, all of whom “were in Abraham’s loins” when the scripture was written.

From the above explanation, it should be understood that, while the “blessing for blessing” pronouncement may be a “like for like” action, the “curse for curse” pronouncement is hardly that. God so respects Abraham that all who treat Abraham and the Jewish people with disrespect, trying to make them feel, or appear to be, inferior and worthless, are in eternal danger.

As a sidenote, the word ‘disrespect is a transitive verb, indicating some action taken “toward someone” rather than being an intransitive verb describing an action that does NOT happen to someone. God appears to be saying that He is always aware of the intent behind our words, possibly the more so as they are spoken against ‘The Apple of His Eye’ (compare Hebrews 4:12 KJV).

Also notice that the writer of Genesis uses the word ‘them’ in the blessing action of verse three, referring to people (plural), possibly even nations of people, who by blessing the Jewish people can partake of God’s promised blessings; in contrast, the word ‘him’, used in the cursing action indicates that God sees every individual separately when anyone curses Abraham/Israel.

Based on these explanations,  a  better and more accurate translation of Genesis 12:3 would be: “And I will bless them that bless thee, and him that disrespects or makes light of thee, I will utterly despise and destroy.” It boils down to this: any person making light of, or disrespecting, Abraham is in effect, disrespecting and making light of God Himself.  This is the same as mocking God and we are told in Galatians 6:7, “Be not deceived, God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap”.  Remember, every word you speak is a ‘spiritual container’ of what is in your heart.

God does NOT mince words and when He is speaking to Abraham in this passage, He wants us all to know His true feelings on the matter.

So, what does all this have to do with the appearance of judgment and God’s Court being in session?

God, Jehovah, the God of Jews and Christians, has not only spoken HIS word on the Jewish people and how He expects the world (Gentile nations) to treat them based on His love for them, but he watches over that word and monitors the world in order to identify those who a) align with His word  and treat the Jewish people as He demands and to separate them from those who b) defy His word and treat the Jewish people with disdain, hatred and disrespect (see Job 34:21 KJV, Proverbs 15:3 KJV, 1 Peter 3:12 KJV). God’s observations become evidence He will use in determining the fate of those who are called into His court to answer for their words and deeds.

Patience and Longsuffering

God, Who is longsuffering, compassionate and patient, waits and allows all those who are subject to His law and commandments to make wise decisions regarding His commandments. By placing the ‘blessing and/or cursing Israel option’ before all people, He shows His justness and righteousness, not only to Jewish people, the object of His promises to Abraham, but to all those who are given the choice to either obey, or defy, His word and command to ‘bless and NOT curse’ them.

All people of the world, throughout the centuries since Abraham was made the beneficiary of God’s everlasting covenant regarding the land He promised to Abraham and his offspring, have been providing, and are continuing to provide, the evidence3 God will use to judge them for their actions; and God’s eye misses nothing.

3 Matthew 12:37 KJV

Just as human courtroom decisions are backed by the full weight and authority of the court, God’s decisions in His Court of Justice are backed by HIS authority.

All Will Answer

As was shown in the explanation of Genesis 12:3, every person as well as every nation will give an account of their treatment of the Jewish people. God sent the Jewish people from their ancestral homeland as a means of punishment for their rejection of His love, mercy and compassion, in the person of Jesus, the Messiah, but as a means of determining who of the Gentile peoples of the world would obey His word in Genesis 12:3 and bless the Jewish people in their exile. History records those who have been merciful and kind to the Jews as well as those who treated them with hatred and disdain.

We are seeing a worldwide increase now in the hatred of the Jewish people by those who do not believe God will honor His word; that lack of belief is obvious in the actions of entire nations that would like nothing more than to see every Jew destroyed and their promised land divided between the enemies of Israel and God.

Many times God has warned the nations about touching “the apple of His eye” and foretold what their fate would be if they fail to heed His warnings. Still, there are many who continue to defy God and risk His wrath and judgment for their defiance. Here in the United States, those who are unbelievers, as well as many who claim to be Christians, have treated the Jewish people with utter contempt and hostility. Such is bad enough on the part of individuals, but even worse when done by governments, especially governments that have signed agreements with the nation of Israel to be their help in time of attack by other nations that want to destroy the Jewish state.

God proclaimed that He would make Jerusalem a “cup of trembling’ (Zechariah 12:2-3 KJV) to all the nations round about Israel for their attempts to divide Jerusalem, the city where God has placed His Name (2 Chronicles 6:6  KJV). Many times the US government leaders have offered their “peace initiatives” that included a demand to divide Jerusalem and give the Eastern part of the city, wherein is the Jewish Temple Mount, to be the capital of a Palestinian State within the ancient borders of Israel.

Those government leaders have gone even further and deliberately tried to coerce the nation of Israel to divide their God-given land with the many millions of sworn enemies surrounding her and  publicly state they ‘yearn for peace in the Middle East’. So many “Land for Peace” initiatives have been undertaken by the US government over the past 45 years, many of which were openly attempted, it would be impossible to name them all. Even worse is those that were done in secret by those in our government who only wanted the glory of bringing peace to an area where peace seems an impossibility. However, that glory belongs to God and to Him alone. He will bring an everlasting peace when Jesus returns to destroy all the enemies of God at the end of the seven year Tribulation Period.

Meanwhile, all those nations and phony “Friends of Israel” who interfered with God’s plan WILL be held accountable, some in the very near future and all others when they stand before Jesus, face to face, to give an account of their deeds.


Just as the courts of law in most nations are involved daily in calling their courts to order so that Justice and Judgment can be accomplished, even so the Judge of all the earth will hold His court when He is ready to present HIS evidence, pass judgment and carry out the proper sentences on those who foolishly mocked God and mistreated ‘The Apple of God’s Eye’.

For more than forty years, I have seen what should be obvious to any keen observer, events that, based on the timing of their occurrences, were judgments against the United States for their heavy-handed actions against the State of Israel in attempts to make the Jewish people bow to the wishes of whatever administration was in power in Washington DC at the time. Some of those events brought catastrophic results, destroying cities with the loss of many lives. In my mind, most of those events were intended to bring repentance, godly sorrow and a change in behavior that would end in a return to the God of Heaven Who was so instrumental in establishing this nation.

However, as merciful and longsuffering as God is, when those events produced little if any repentance, He still waited patiently for the people of this nation to seek Him. Now, it appears that the days of God’s patience may be nearing an end. On any given day, the signs of a further distancing from God by the people of the US are apparent. How much longer will God remain patient in the face of such open hostility and increasing sin, rebellion and hatred toward Him through their hostility toward Israel on the part of our citizenry?


Do not be surprised at sudden judgments that may seem to ‘appear out of nowhere’ against those nations and peoples that should know better than to challenge God and invoke His judgment.

God’s timing and justice is always perfect. When that Court is convened and the Judge of all the earth has made His decision, there will be no appeal of the sentence of His judgment on those who have mocked God and the Jewish people. His sentence will be carried out and many people will suffer and die.

Possibly the worst part of having that sentence read is knowing that, as bad as the sentence and punishment is, it is nothing compared to God’s wrath which is laid up for all who disobey Him.

A wise course of action for all people would be to seek God now, study His word and become convinced of His love for all people and for The Apple of His Eye, and not risk  God’s judgment OR His wrath.

Blessings and Maranatha!


©Bud Hancock. All rights reserved.

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When Does a Government Become Illegitimate in the Eyes of God?

By Martin Mawyer

The Bible says all authority is established by God and rulers are ministers of God. So, when do when do leaders lose their legitimate authority to rule over our lives?

Last week, Kamala Harris was in Florida to commemorate the 50-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s 1972 decision legalizing abortion, which (as everyone in America knows) was overturned this past June.

In her typical arrogant tone, she made a speech attempting to defend a woman’s right to abort her child because those rights were supposedly enumerated in the Declaration of Independence.

Among her exact words were: “A promise that we made in the Declaration of Independence that we are each endowed with the right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Except … that’s not what the Declaration of Independence says.

The correct recitation of that historic document is that all mankind is endowed by their Creator “with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” [emphasis added]

How convenient that Harris left out the most important human right of all, the right to life.

Pure evil.

For Harris to intentionally omit this God-given right is to push the narrative that no living being has a right to life. But she had to, didn’t she? According to her, the unborn do not have this right. It’s OK to kill them.

No wonder some political commentators are calling our current government “anti-human.”

Here’s what FOX News commentator and podcaster Dan Bongino, said on Jan. 21:

“Just listen to the liberals talk; liberalism in essence is anti-human. Listen to how they talk about people: the ‘deplorables,’ the rednecks. They see you as a proliferating virus to this atheistic god they have, Mother Nature. And they see nothing … stopping them from doing bad things.”

Want more evidence of government officials’ being “anti-human”?

A couple of weeks ago, a staggering 210 House Democrats voted against a bill requiring doctors to save the lives of babies that survive abortions. Let them die. Kill them.

That’s anti-human.

Though it’s tempting to delve into the cesspool of other anti-human practices, policies and dictums of our United States government, it would distract from my main question:

When does a government become illegitimate in the eyes of God?

The answer is surprisingly simple if one holds the Bible as the infallible word of God.

When government leaders cease to be ministers of God, they become illegitimate. THAT role is their sole purpose: To be God’s servants.

The Apostle Paul says, “there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” [Ro. 13:1]

Think about that for a moment: Unless a government official is “established by God,” he or she has no authority over anyone’s life, ever.

Xi Jinping? None in China. Ali Khamenei? None in Iran. Kim Jong-un in North Korea? Nope. Not from God.

But how do we know if our rulers are “established by God”?

Again, the answer is simple:

He or she must be “a servant of God to you for good.” [4]

But what is “good”?

Simple again:

He or she must be “an avenger who brings wrath on the one who practices evil.” [4]

“For because of this you also pay taxes, for rulers are servants of God, devoting themselves to this very thing.” [6, emphasis added]

Simple, isn’t it? They must be devoted to good and to the punishment of evil.

Anyone who has watched the Netflix series Stranger Things will recognize our current government in Washington D.C. as the “Upside Down” from a God-ordained government. Legitimate governmental authority has been turned into a dark, nightmarish negative image of what it once was, and not just in D.C.

More and more, we witness open servants of evil running federal, city and local governments. Let’s call them … oh, I don’t know … ministers of Satan, whose real goal is not to govern for “good” or to bring wrath on evil, but to make a mockery of God, His laws, His justice and His creation.

They are purveyors of evil. They celebrate and applaud evil. They invent new forms of evil.

They are NOT established by God regardless of how people voted or how brilliantly a rigged election was manufactured. People can vote for evil people. But those rulers have NO God-given authority over mankind.

I’ll repeat Paul’s words:

“[T]here is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God.” (Emphasis added)

Our Founding Fathers knew that. They wrote a 1,338-word Declaration saying as much when they told King George and all the king’s men to hightail it back to their side of the pond. They were no longer needed, accepted or had any legitimate power to rule in the colonies.

King George lost his authority to govern the American colonies because he was accused of violating the unalienable rights God gave man: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Winston Churchill (did he ever tire of carting that heavy bag of great quotes around?) told the House of Commons in 1948: “Those that fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it!”

Welcome to the Show that Never Ends: government authorities becoming tyrants who refuse to be servants of God for good.

No longer do Americans look at their future with great anticipation or excitement. Instead, they look over their shoulders with fear of the next mass killing at a Wal-Mart, a church or a school.

Since May 2020, nearly 300 vandalism attacks against Catholic churches alone have been committed.

There’s essentially a war along our southern border – more like a surrender – that has seen over 4 million illegal immigrants invade our country since Joe Biden took office. Countless (literally countless) numbers of these “immigrants” are terrorists, sex traffickers, drug runners and hardened criminals who steal the lives, liberties and happiness of millions.

Yet, when Biden visited Mexico earlier this month and met with Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador, the Liar-in-Chief didn’t talk about ways Mexico could help our nation secure the lives, liberty and pursuit of happiness of Americans.

No: He spoke about ways the two nations could promote diversity, “equity,” and gender inclusivity, along with fighting “climate change.”

The White House is more concerned with turning children into circus attractions and cracking down on “terrorist” moms at school board meetings than making sure those same moms have baby formula to feed their infants so they can grow up cherishing their God-given male- or femaleness.

I could go on and talk about random attacks and killings, the devaluation of police officers, hardened criminals that are never prosecuted, stores shuttering across the nation because of theft, drug addicts menacing people and stores and dying on the sidewalks of big cities, and the insane push to disfigure little children into freaks of nature.

Only those who have never read the Bible could convince themselves that these people are “servants of God for good” who “bring wrath on those who practice evil.”

But if these rulers have NO authority because only God can establish legitimate leadership, how do we respond to these illegitimate tyrants and their demands for our ungodly compliance?

Pause to think about people being forced to use transgender pronouns. Healthcare workers being forced to perform abortions. Doctors being told they must assist in euthanasia as a kind of “medical care.” Churches being told they must close their doors.

Our Founding Fathers drew the road map for us to follow, and it’s probably not what most people think.

The American colonies did not declare war on Great Britain. Instead they declared their independence.

In fact, during the first Revolutionary War battle on April 19, 1775, Captain John Parker told his Minutemen as 700 British regulars approached Lexington Green:

“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war let it begin here.” Parker believed firing first would be tantamount to treason.

Paul Revere, standing off to the side, agreed.

“Let the [English] soldiers pass by. Do not molest them without they begin first.”

Indeed, the redcoats did fire first during the conflict that came to be known as the Battle of Concord.

800 British soldiers squared off against 400 militia. Through the use of guerrilla tactics (to which the British were unaccustomed), the militia forced the redcoats to flee, inflicting 300 casualties that included 73 deaths.

The Americans stood their ground, having declared their independence. They viewed starting a war as treason, but likewise had no compulsion to believe that declaring their independence was a treasonous act.

When government leaders are not servants of God for good, when they fail to be avengers on those who practice evil, they have no authority from God, they are not established rulers.

To protect ourselves, the Bible warns us to put on the “full armor of God.” Then it commands us to stand against “the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” [Ep. 6:12]

“When the day of evil comes,” the Apostle Paul says (and it’s looking like it’s now here), “stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” [12]

That’s exactly what Captain John Parker’s men did. They stood their ground.

That’s exactly what we need to do to oppose an illegitimate government without God’s authority to rule over us.

Also, like our Founding Fathers, this additional admonition from Jesus would serve us well:

“And He said to them, ‘But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his cloak and buy one.’” [Luke 22:36]

© Martin Mawyer from Majority Report. All rights reserved.

EDITORS NOTE: This Majority Report column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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A Road to Nowhere

By The Catholic Thing

Stephen P. White: If Cardinal Robert McElroy has his way, we’ll be left with a vision of Christian life which lacks any hint of the freshness of the Gospel.

Cardinal Robert McElroy of San Diego has penned a lengthy reflection (available hereon how the synodal process might address the exclusion of certain categories of people. The essay covers a lot of ground, but the bulk of it is concerned with the questions of how to address, “the exclusion of divorced and remarried and L.G.B.T. Catholics, particularly on the issue of participation in the Eucharist.”

Reading the essay, I couldn’t help but think of H. Richard Niebuhr’s famous line: “A God without wrath brought man without sin into a kingdom without judgment through the ministrations of a Christ without a cross.” Which is to say: this was in no way an edifying document.

Where to begin?

While pastoral in tone, the essay deals almost entirely in abstractions. Concrete acts by particular moral agents simply don’t register. Exclusion is treated not as a consequence of sin, but as something inflicted upon sinners by the Church. Sin is not what divides us; the Church’s hang-ups about sin do.

So we read, for example, “[T]he exclusion of men and women because of their marital status or their sexual orientation/activity is pre-eminently a pastoral question, not a doctrinal one.”

The Church has gone to great lengths to insist that no one is excluded from receiving the Eucharist because of sexual orientation, which Cardinal McElroy surely knows. But even as he attempts to collapse the distinction between sinner and sin, McElroy draws a bright line between the moral life and our relationship with God, just as he does between pastoral and doctrinal matters. He writes:

The heart of Christian discipleship is a relationship with God the Father, Son and Spirit rooted in the life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. The church has a hierarchy of truths that flow from this fundamental kerygma. Sexual activity, while profound, does not lie at the heart of this hierarchy. Yet in pastoral practice we have placed it at the very center of our structures of exclusion from the Eucharist. This should change.

It is true that sexual morality is not at the heart of the hierarchy of truths of the faith in precisely the limited sense that no moral teaching of the Church is at the heart.

Of course, the reason God gives us the moral law is precisely to guide us toward those actions and habits that bring us closer to Him and to our neighbor, and to avoid those actions that impede, damage, and destroy those same relationships.

This is why Jesus says, “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” And why, shortly before equating lust with adultery, he gave his disciples this warning:

Whoever breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do so will be called least in the kingdom of heaven. But whoever obeys and teaches these commandments will be called greatest in the kingdom of heaven. I tell you, unless your righteousness surpasses that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will not enter into the kingdom of heaven.

The actual words of the Scripture stand in jarring contrast to the disjointed view of doctrine and pastoral concerns, as Cardinal McElroy presents them. Curiously, the essay’s only reference to Scripture, such as it is, is to the title of a Synod document which is taken from Isaiah: “Enlarge the Space of Your Tent.” Not incidentally, Scripture scholars say this really refers, not to “inclusion,” but the territorial expansion of Israel, i.e., conquest.

For his part, the Cardinal is concerned that the Church places too much emphasis today on sexual morality. Were it not for the utter collapse of marriage in the West, the malformation and perversion of a whole generation of young people through pornography, the daily reminders that our gnostic culture promotes a view of the human person which renders the body meaningless and the Incarnation incoherent, and the Church’s own decades of failure to adequately address sexual abuse, he might have a point.

Cardinal McElroy has often expressed concern about polarization in the Church and has long been a critic of various notions of individual autonomy that mark American culture. Yet when it comes to reception of the Eucharist, that most inextricably communal reality in Christian life, McElroy stakes out a maximalist view of individual conscience: “While Catholic teaching must play a critical role in the decision making of believers, it is conscience that has the privileged place. Categorical exclusions undermine that privilege precisely because they cannot encompass the inner conversation between women and men and their God.”

As I’ve written before, nowhere is the individualist strain in American Catholicism more manifest than in the ubiquitous belief that reception of the Holy Eucharist is a private matter rather than a fundamentally ecclesial reality. Here we see it from Cardinal McElroy in its starkest form.

So diminished is the ecclesial dimension of the Eucharist in favor of private conscience, that one could easily miss McElroy’s call for open communion: “[T]he church must embrace a eucharistic theology that effectively invites all of the baptized to the table of the Lord. . .”

Unsurprisingly, the very thing Christ died to save us from – sin – barely registers in the Cardinal’s essay. Nor do we read anything about that beautiful Sacrament by which Christ offers us a remedy for even the gravest of sins. In some 3,000 words on the pastoral urgency for inclusion, the Sacrament of Reconciliation is not mentioned even once.

Sin, mercy, conversion, redemption: all these dissolve into flaccid platitudes about inclusion, listening, dialogue. Behind this fog of abstractions and platitudes, the fundamental drama of salvation – the very substance of the Good News – is obscured.

What we’re left with is a vision of Christian life which lacks any hint of the freshness of the Gospel. If that’s the path the synod takes, it will be a path to nowhere. And all of us, not least those in the difficult pastoral circumstances Cardinal McElroy is so genuinely and admirably concerned about, will be the worse for it.

You may also enjoy:

Robert Royal’s Dear Bishops: Clear Your Minds of Cant – and Can’t

Brad Miner’s Homosexuality in Scripture


Stephen P. White

Stephen P. White is executive director of The Catholic Project at The Catholic University of America and a fellow in Catholic Studies at the Ethics and Public Policy Center.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Repentance for Sin and Sacramental Absolution

By The Catholic Thing

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.: We need evermore deeply to repent of our sins, confess them humbly, and resolve more ardently never to commit them again.

It’s been widely reported that Pope Francis told seminarians from Barcelona, Spain, in an unscripted talk, that they must not “be clerical, to forgive everything.”  Such must be the case even “if we see that there is no intention to repent, we must forgive all.”  In denying “absolution” to someone who is unrepentant, “we become a vehicle for an evil, unjust, and moralistic judgment.”  Priests who withhold absolution to the unrepentant are “delinquents.”

At one point, Francis referred to such priests, whom he finds detestable, in a crude and obscene manner. (For an example of the reporting, click here.)

The scenario, as portrayed by Francis, of an unrepentant sinner going to Confession is extremely rare.  It does, nonetheless, pose an important doctrinal issue.

The sacrament of Penance or Reconciliation is a sacrament of God’s mercy.  Although baptism cleanses the faithful from all sin, it is readily evident that we continue to sin, and sometimes we may commit mortal sins, which separate us from God.  To obtain God’s merciful forgiveness for such serious sins, we are obliged to confess our sins within the sacrament of Penance.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church states: “Christ instituted the sacrament of Penance for all sinful members of the Church: above all for those who, since Baptism, have fallen into grave sin, and have thus lost their baptismal grace.” (¶ 1446).  God’s mercy is always present within the sacrament of Reconciliation.

That being said, there is, nonetheless, a prerequisite condition on the part of the sinner for obtaining God’s merciful pardon – the need for sorrowful repentance and the desire not to sin again.  Quoting the Council of Trent, the Catechism declares: “Among the penitent’s acts contrition occupies first place.  Contrition is ‘sorrow of the soul and detestation for the sin committed, together with the resolution not to sin again’” (¶1451).  Moreover, The Code of Canon Law states that, for penitents to receive “the saving remedy of the sacrament of penance, they must be so disposed that, repudiating the sins they have committed and having the purpose of amending their lives, they turn back to God.” (Canon 987)

Pope Francis’s impromptu declaration that absolution should be given even to those who are unrepentant is absolutely contrary to the Church’s living apostolic tradition, one that is found in the Catechism, and has been defined by the Council of Trent and enshrined in Canon Law.

The question can, nonetheless, be asked: Why is repentance (and the intention not to sin again) necessary for receiving sacramental absolution by the ministry of the priest?  Is there an intrinsic inter-relationship between repentance and absolution?  Or is the need for repentance merely an arbitrary law instituted by the Church, and so not essential to receiving sacramental absolution?

Pope Francis, it would seem, affirms the latter.

If a person were not sorry for his/her sins, it would seem obvious that sacramental absolution could not be given.  The desire for sacramental absolution implies and presupposes that penitents recognize that they have sinned and now wish that God, in his compassionate mercy, will forgive them.

God’s merciful forgiveness is ever-present within the sacrament of Reconciliation, and the priest is ever-willing to absolve sins, most of all, mortal sins.  Yet, it is sacramentally impossible to obtain God’s loving and merciful forgiveness, if one is not repentant for the sins committed.

While Francis may want to be merciful by suggesting that unrepentant sin be absolved, he is, nonetheless, morally “delinquent,” since the person continues to remain guilty of the sins that he or she committed.  Such is particularly the case, if one is in mortal sin.  Thus, the pope’s exhortation is pastorally irresponsible and could be spiritually deadly, for unrepentant persons may think they were absolved when, in fact, they were not.

The Scriptures bear witness to the obligatory relationship between repentance and forgiveness.  Mark’s Gospel tells us that after John had been arrested, Jesus went into Galilee and proclaimed: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mk. 14-15)  Repentance is requisite for entering into God’s kingdom, for it is a kingdom of God’s merciful forgiveness and the source of a holy life.

In Luke’s Gospel, Jesus narrates the parable of the Prodigal Son.  The younger son asks for his share of his father’s inheritance.  Having received it, he goes off into a far country where he lives a profligate sinful life.  When he came to his senses, he realizes that he needs to repent and return to his father, “I will arise and go to my father, and I will say to him. ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you.’” (Lk. 15:18)

Upon seeing his son at a distance, the merciful father rushes out to greet him, and lovingly, with rejoicing, takes him back into his household.  Yes, the father was merciful, but the father could only manifest his mercy when his delinquent son returned to him in repentance.  If he had not returned, the father would have never been able to enact his ever-compassionate mercy.

The same is true with regard to God our Father.  Unless we return to him in repentance, he is incapable of enacting his merciful pardon by means of the sacrament of forgiveness.  Pope Francis, by separating the human act of repentance from the divine act of forgiveness, has made God’s mercy null and void.

In light of all of the above, the lesson for all of us is that we need evermore deeply to repent of our sins, confess them humbly, and resolve more ardently never to commit them again.  In so doing, the sacramental absolution of the priest will marvelously manifest to us the ever-present abundant mercy of God the Father, made visible in Jesus Christ his Son, and sealed in the love of the Holy Spirit.

You may also enjoy:

David W. Fagerberg’s A Good Death

Fr. Timothy V. Vaverek’s Without ‘Metanoia’ We Perish


Fr. Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, Cap.

Thomas G. Weinandy, OFM, a prolific writer and one of the most prominent living theologians, is a former member of the Vatican’s International Theological Commission. His newest book is the third volume of Jesus Becoming Jesus: A Theological Interpretation of the Gospel of John: The Book of Glory and the Passion and Resurrection Narratives

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.orgThe Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Christian Charity Worker in Malta Prosecuted for Sharing Testimony About Rejecting Homosexuality

By Family Research Council

A Christian charity worker in Malta faces prosecution for sharing his personal testimony about rejecting homosexual activity on the radio.

Matthew Grech, 33, a trustee of the Christian nonprofit Core Issues Trust, will face trial on Feb. 3, 2023, at the Court of Magistrates in Valetta, along with the presenters of a media outlet, PMnews Malta. Prosecutors claim Grech and the presenters violated Chapter 567, a Maltese law banning “conversion practices.”

Grech told The Daily Signal that Maltese authorities are targeting “ANY DISSENTING OPINION about LGBT” issues, threatening free speech in the name of suppressing “conversion therapy.” He insisted that “there is no proof that people are being forced to ‘become straight’ anywhere on the island” of Malta, which became the first European country to ban “conversion therapy” in 2016.

“You advertised conversion practices and this breaking article 3 (a) (iii) of Chapter 567 of Maltese laws,” the police wrote in a summons on June 29, 2022. The police wrote that Grech violated the law on April 6, 2022. The law defines “conversion practices” as “any treatment, practice or sustained effort that aims to change, repress and, or eliminate a person’s sexual orientation, gender identity and, or gender expression.”

Grech did not advertise any form of “conversion therapy” on that date, according to the transcript. Rather, he told his personal story and advocated for a therapist’s freedom to counsel clients as they would direct, without government intervention.

Grech said he was confused about sexuality during his teenage years, and he started a same-sex relationship when he moved to London, keeping that relationship secret from his family. “When I was in London, a woman came up to me and began to share the gospel with me, and she started telling me about Jesus and what He did for us on the cross,” he said. “I went into a church, and I can say that I loved it. I felt accepted. I felt loved.”

“Jesus consumed my life,” he added. “His presence brought a freedom, a freedom that I never had, joy and continuous peace in my life.” He read the Bible and saw clear condemnations of homosexual activity. “This is the basic gospel, that one needs to repent from sin, and homosexuality is not the only sin.”

Then Grech spoke out against the law banning “conversion therapy.” He noted certain forms of therapy to address underlying trauma that may, as a byproduct, deal with some unwanted same-sex attraction or gender dysphoria.

“Many forms of therapy involve that you control one aspect of yourself,” he said. “To control yourself is not a bad thing, to an extent. One of the fruits of the Holy Spirit from a biblical perspective is self-control.”

“Many times, they discover that when someone helps them overcome trauma and pain that was behind their homosexual attractions, or their transgenderism… they find that they no longer look at the same-sex in the same way,” he explained. “Nobody said to them, ‘If you do this, or hear this, or stop doing this, you will become straight…’ These were genuinely in emotional crisis and looked for help.”

Grech laid out the police’s claim against him. According to policeman Neil Farrugia, and confirmed by Inspector Roderick Attard, who wrote the summons, PMnews Malta published on its website and Facebook page an advertisement for the interview regarding “conversion practices.” The news outlet went on to broadcast the interview on April 6 on Facebook Live, where the presenters introduced Grech as secretary general of the Christian conservative political party ABBA and a representative of International Federation for Therapeutic and Counseling Choice (IFTCC), which the police characterized as a group promoting and providing “conversion practices.” (Grech does work with IFTCC, though he disputes the characterization.)

Police also claim Grech advertised “conversion practices” and promoted their efficacy. “They claim that both the programme as well as the ‘advert’ come against provisions of article 3aiii of Chapter 567 in Maltese law,” he told The Daily Signal. Authorities are also charging the presenters for providing a platform for the “advertisement.”

“Evidence clearly shows that Matthew Grech did not violate the statute,” Jeanise Dalli, Grech’s attorney, told The Daily Signal. She also claimed that “this prosecution undermines Matthew’s freedoms under Malta’s constitution and the EU Charter of Fundamental Rights, particularly his Fundamental Human Right to freedom of expression and his Fundamental Human Right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.” The Christian Legal Centre is also assisting in Grech’s defense.

Grech said Malta’s legislature began working on an amendment for the law on Monday. He said the amendment “will aim to redefine the advertising clause of the law to include the publishing, advertising, displaying, distributing, referral and circulation of any material promoting the practice. This is very concerning for all Christians in Malta, as it is clear that what they are after is ANY DISSENTING OPINION about LGBT.”

Even if the legislature expands the law, this will not affect Grech’s case, Dalli said, since Maltese criminal law cannot be applied retroactively.

Grech also noted that the government’s move to amend the law comes shortly after Grech’s pastor reported to the police a satirist who posted on Facebook that Grech’s church, River of Love, should be carpet-bombed. The satirist also compared the church to the Islamic State (ISIS).

Maltese police declined to comment on this story for The Daily Signal. The attorney general’s office did not respond to a request for comment.

This article was originally published by The Daily Signal.


Tyler O’Neil

EDITORS NOTE: This Washington Stand column is republished with permission. All rights reserved. The Washington Stand is Family Research Council’s outlet for news and commentary from a biblical worldview. The Washington Stand is based in Washington, D.C. and is published by FRC, whose mission is to advance faith, family, and freedom in public policy and the culture from a biblical worldview. We invite you to stand with us by partnering with FRC.

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Saudi Journalists: We Must Promote A Modernized Shari’a That Reflects The True Spirit Of Islam As An Answer To The Extremist Model Presented By The Taliban

By Middle East Media Research Institute

A number of articles recently published in the Saudi press criticize the extremist model promoted by the Taliban in Afghanistan and by ISIS and the movements of political Islam. This model, they argue, does not reflect the true spirit of Islam and is based on a misguided implementation of the Islamic shari’a. It results from decades of indoctrination that promoted Islamic jurisprudence suited to past eras, before the age of progress and prosperity in the Muslim world. The articles add that the extremism of these movements reflects an “ideological crisis” in Islam, and that there is therefore an urgent need to enact reforms in order adapt the Islamic shari’a to the modern age and foster a spirit of tolerance and love of life.

The following are translated excerpts from these articles.

Saudi Journalist: The Taliban’s Islamic State Model Only Oppresses Women And Produces Jihad Fighters

In a sarcastic article in the daily ‘Okaz, columnist ‘Abdallah Bin Bakhit writes that ISIS, the Taliban and the organizations of political Islam espouse a misguided model of the Islamic state that, instead of promoting progress, only oppresses women and produces jihad fighters. This model, he adds, is the result of the extremist ideas that have been promoted by preachers in the Muslim world for decades. This, he says, is why Al-Azhar, the supreme religious authority in the Sunni Muslim world, refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy. If it did, it would have been forced to direct the same accusation at many other movements and preachers.

Bin Bakhit wrote: “I was glad when Al-Azhar refused to accuse ISIS of heresy. Many intellectuals protested and condemned this [decision], and some even accused this venerable religious university of hatching conspiracies. [But] if we consider the issue in depth, we will see that Al-Azhar took the right decision. It did not find anything in the conduct of ISIS that justified accusing it of heresy. All the decisions taken [by ISIS] and all their actions on the ground conform to the religious rulings we have constantly been hearing about for 40 years. Al-Azhar refrained from accusing ISIS of heresy because this would have meant directing the same accusation at all those who took to the pulpits to preach Islam in the era of the Islamic Awakening that spread through the Arab countries [in the late 20th century]. ISIS realized the vision of the [Islamic Awakening] movement in practice and to the letter. They implemented everything they learned from the books of tradition and everything they heard from the senior clerics. Their problem was that they implemented it too soon. They announced [their state] before they had the necessary strength, and the world pounced on them and defeated them. Nobody wants to remain on the losing side, [so] our honorable clerics distanced themselves from [ISIS], although before this they used to provide [ISIS] with funds and fighters and pray for it with all their hearts.

“I was not among those who yearned for the complete disappearance of ISIS. I wanted the world to provide it with territory to establish a state that would implement the shari’a, [the kind of state] that all the organizations of political Islam have promised [to establish] and which all the Muslim peoples have been yearning for. Whenever one of our honorable preachers is asked why the Muslim states are not leading the world, he ascribes this to the fact that we are not implementing the true Islam. Thankfully, the world continues to turn and the dream is now about to come true, because, after the world deprived ISIS of the honor of implementing the shari’a, history gave us the Taliban to perform this duty… Let’s wait and see how they implement the shari’a and how this affects the development, prosperity and welfare of the Afghan people and guides the entire world to the right path.

“The Taliban has [already] uprooted women from the universities. This is the first glimmer of the Afghans’ success. Women have no place in the university and in the job market. Keeping them at home will officially transform them into [perfect mothers] to raise the coming  generations. A woman does not need to study at all, because she has nobler and more important roles, chief of which is to obey her husband, fill his heart with joy, preserve his wealth, keep anyone from entering his home without his permission, including her own parents, and refrain from giving alms without his consent. She must not take a single step outside the home without his permission, and she must dress only according to his taste and wishes. [The home] is her realm, where she sits enthroned, tall and proud, and one of her main roles, for which she was created and which suits her natural inclinations, is to care for [her husband’s] children. Her male children will become sources of creativity, production and invention, and constitute the exclusive circle from which jihad fighters and officers in the religious police [are selected]. The world is waiting [to see] the Afghans’ successful attempts at producing missiles, planes, computers, semiconductors and everything that leads to progress and [develops] culture, after the plotters deprived ISIS of the opportunity to do so.”

Read The Full Report

EDITORS NOTE: This MEMRI report is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Muslim BBC Broadcaster Screams ‘Death to Israel’

By Jihad Watch

Mayssaa Abdul Khalek is another in a long string of antisemitic BBC reporters. Apparently for the BBC, Jew-hatred in a “journalist” is not a bug, it’s a feature.

by David Rose, The JC, January 19, 2023:

A journalist hired by the BBC has ranted “death to Israel” on social media and described it as “occupied Palestine” live on air, the JC can reveal.

Regular BBC Arabic contributor Mayssaa Abdul Khalek, a Lebanon-based reporter, also called on Arab states to attack Israel on Twitter, alongside links to her broadcasts for the corporation.

The disclosure comes despite a JC campaign which has revealed a catalogue of anti-Israel bias in BBC broadcasts and has led to the establishment of parliamentary inquiry due to start later this year.

In a live report, Ms Khalek, who describes herself as a “BBC Arabic co-host”, described a Hezbollah rocket attack on northern Israel as an attack on “occupied Palestine”.

Khalek’s tweet in which she sends a ‘message to the Israeli enemy’

Three rockets had been launched against the Israeli border town of Metula, which she then called “an imperialist colony”.

The town is located at Israel’s northernmost point, inside the internationally-recognised 1967 border with Lebanon.

During the 2006 Lebanon war, the town’s population was forced to flee as it was bombarded by Hezbollah rockets.

During a live report in May 2021, Ms Khalek described how a Lebanese man had died, saying, “he and a group of youths were hit by RPGs that Israeli military shot at them during their attempt to cross the border fence in front of the imperialist colony of Metula”.

Without interruption by the presenter interviewing her, she went on:
“These events also come after three rockets were launched yesterday from South Lebanon towards occupied Palestine.”

She also used the phrase “occupied Palestinian territories” to describe Israel in a tweet linked to the same broadcast, which contravenes BBC guidelines. Last week, after she was contacted by the JC, the post was deleted.

Ms Khalek has used the social media account to publicise 30 broadcasts she has made for the BBC, alongside anti-Israeli material.

In March last year, she liked a tweet commemorating Diaa Hamarsheh, a terrorist who died in a gun battle after killing a rabbi, a policemen and three civilians in Bnei Brak, near Tel Aviv.

Then in November she described “the enemy, Israel” alongside photographs of a Palestinian rally and a teenager holding up a sweatshirt with the slogan “Freedom for Palestine”.

A December 2017 post under a photo of the late Israeli Prime Minister Golda Meir read: “The Arabs are in a deep slumber… Confronting Israel was limited to statements of denunciation that do not make us fat, do not satisfy our hunger, and do not restore our Jerusalem to us.”

A post on the Syrian war in February 2016 began with the phrase “Death to Israel”. It went on: “Is it your business to resist the Arab countries or Israel? Oh, sorry, Israel is an ally of your friend Russia, and they coordinate in the Syrian war.”…

EDITORS NOTE: This Jihad Watch column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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The Failure of the Church and Her Shepherds

By Kelleigh Nelson

“In such a fearful world, we need a fearless church.” —  C. S. Lewis

“I believe that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church.” —  Charles Spurgeon

“That very church which the world likes best is sure to be that which God abhors.” — Charles Spurgeon

“We have no more thought of using our own powers to escape the arm of authorities than had the Apostles of old. No more are we ready to keep silent at man’s behest when God commands us to speak. For it is, and must remain, the case that we must obey God rather than man.” —Martin Niemöller

Our Holy Day celebrations are over for another year.  Several days were spent preparing feasts and watching 1940s movies…all of which were without violence or expletives, and had such wonderful moral themes.  Top Gun Maverick was rented for one evening and was a throwback to those good old movies.

Now we welcome a new year, hoping and praying that it will be better than the last few.  Having just looked through our Christmas cards once again, my eyes welled up with tears for the many friends and family who are no longer with us.  As I addressed cards this year, I noticed how many names had been crossed out as I’ve aged. Just today I found we’d lost another family member in January of 2022. My sweet maternal grandma once said to me that the worst thing about growing old was losing family and friends.  How right she was!

Our Judeo-Christian culture centers around the worship of our Creator.  Church is an integral part of our Christian faith.  Synagogues and churches are both houses of prayer, worship and study.  In my youth, some of my best friends were children whose families were orthodox Jews.  They went to shul on Saturday and we went to church Sunday.  I remember being astounded that they had Sunday School and they also attended one other day of the week.  Christians have Sunday School as well, and many churches also have a Wednesday worship and Bible studies.

As a child, I never missed Sunday School or church with my grandparents or my mom. Attendance continued throughout my adult life until the recent past.

As I age, I seem to weep more often.  My country is rotting from the inside; she is disintegrating before my eyes attacked by dystopian tyrants bent on demonic control of the world.  I keep asking, “Where are the shepherds, the pastors, the men of the cloth who are to guide and nurture the sheep?”


Times have changed

Steve Bonta’s 2000 article, Liberty and the Chains of Virtue was reprinted in the December 26th, 2022 New American Magazine.  The subtitle states, “The Founding Fathers clearly understood that only a citizenry educated in morality and willingly bound by the self-forged chains of virtue can remain free of the chains of tyranny.”  It is a brilliant article regarding our roots, the faith of the founders, religion and the republic and the role of education.

Bonta ends the article with this sentence, “Each generation of Americans must relearn the lessons of the past; each must build on the example set by the Founders to keep fertile the soil of public virtue in which the seeds of freedom are sown anew in every age.”

America’s education was infiltrated by the enemies of freedom in the 1930s. Parents would plant the seeds of faith and morality in their young, then send them off to public schools only to have the sprouting plants of righteousness radically wilt and die.

The Supreme Court removed prayer from government run schools in 1962. The Ten commandments were removed in 1980.  Dr. Cathy Burn’s book, Billy Graham and His Friends, exposes the truth of one of America’s most famous 20th century preachers.  Many have questioned Graham’s connection with the National and World Council of Churches as well as the ecumenical movement and for good reason.

On page 247, Dr. Burns’ writes:

“A 1972 World Council of Church ‘Salvation Today’ Conference in Bangkok published a series of essays by such Marxist authors as Julius Nyerere, Roger Garaudy and Ignazio Silone.  One essay told how to substitute Mao’s Little Red Book for the Bible.”  This essay reminds me somewhat of a quotation from Billy Graham which appeared in a Tokyo newspaper.

“In the May 28, 1973 Mainichi Daily News, published in Tokyo, Graham declared, ‘I think communism’s appeal to youth is its structure and promise of a future utopia.  Mao Tse-tung’s eight precepts are basically the same as the Ten Commandments.  In fact, if we can’t have the Ten Commandments read in our schools, I’ll settle for Mao’s precepts.’”

And that was half a century ago.

Denying the Ten Commandments

Andy Stanley, son of Southern Baptist Pastor Charles Stanley, claims the Ten Commandments are from the Old Covenant and Christians are not bound to obey any of them. He believes they don’t apply to Christians today.  Stanley certainly opens a vile can of worms with this statement.  The Ten Commandments are a portion of the 613 laws given by Moses.  One wonders if Andy Stanley has actually studied the New Testament Words of Jesus (Yeshua Hamashiach) and St. Paul.

Nine of the Ten Commandments are repeated in the New Testament.  They are Christ’s Laws, which match nine of the Creator’s Ten Commandments given to Moses.  They are God’s Laws for humanity.

If Stanley chucks the law, then he has no basis for calling sinners to repentance, because sin is transgressing God’s law (1 John 3:4).

And not all of the Ten Commandments fit into Christ’s command to “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”  The Lord said, “Thou shalt have no other gods before me; Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image; Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain; Honor thy father and thy mother.

Jesus of Nazareth instructs us with His commandments, the Ten Commandments of God given to Moses on Mt. Sinai.

Only one commandment is missing in the New Testament, the Fourth Commandment, to honor the Sabbath Day and Keep it Holy.  Christians are taught that every day is a Holy Day unto the Lord.  We know that whichever day we choose to gather together to worship is the Lord’s Day, whether it be Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday or any other day of the week.

Many Christians choose Saturday worship as the Torah states in Exodus 20:10 where the Lord’s Law states the seventh day of the week is a Day of Rest and worship.

After Jesus’ Resurrection, Sunday was held sacred as the Lord’s day in remembrance of His Resurrection on that day (see Acts 20:7; 1 Corinthians 16:2). From that time on, His followers observed the first day of the week as their Sabbath.

However, we are all free to choose.


Few families take their children to church, fewer even attend.  A majority of our churches have been infiltrated with false doctrines, and cultural mores that fall drastically distant from the instructions in our Manufacturer’s Handbook.

Women lead as pastors, sometimes married couples are the pastors together, and more often than we know, many pastors are openly homosexual or lesbian and are accepted in the church, despite the teachings in Leviticus, the third Book of the Torah, and the New Testament’s Book of Romans.  Doctrinal beliefs are widely varied rather than having sound articles of faith throughout.

In one of the largest Christian denominations, Zelda Caldwell of the Catholic News Agency writes, “One of the newest members of the Pontifical Academy for Life appointed by Pope Francis is an outspoken advocate of abortion rights, having recently shared her opposition to the overturning of Roe v. Wade on Twitter.”

Shocking?  Yes!

I watched as the denomination I was raised in fell away from Biblical truth and adopted the rot of secular socialism that has infiltrated every facet of society.  Our elected politicians openly deny America’s Judeo-Christian heritage and show their support for those who flaunt their immorality in God’s face.

According to a Christian Post article, The American Worldview Inventory 2022 examined more than three dozen beliefs held by pastors. Researchers found that in addition to believing that people can merit salvation based solely on their good works, one-third or more of senior pastors surveyed also believe the Holy Spirit is not a person but rather “a symbol of God’s power.” Others said that moral truth is subjective; sexual relations between two unmarried people who love each other is “morally acceptable” and biblical teaching on abortion is “ambiguous.”

At least a third of those surveyed also said they believe “socialism is preferable to capitalism and that allowing property ownership facilitates economic injustice,” which researchers say could point to the “increase of cultural and political influence into the church.”

That, my friends, is the core of Marxism.

Nearly 40% of these pastors do not have a Biblical world view, and 38% didn’t answer in the affirmative that human life is sacred.  They didn’t even believe that having faith in God is the reason for salvation.  They stated that having faith is important, but in whom or what apparently is not.

Evangelical Survey

On October 9th, 2022, Pastor John MacArthur preached a sermon on “The State of Theology.  It concerned a survey about evangelicals.  What he exposed showed defection from the truth of those who are to shepherd the flock.  They have become heretics and apostates.

MacArthur went on to explain that most people who claim they are evangelicals don’t even know the definition of the word…

  1. They believe the Bible.
  2. They believe Jesus.
  3. They believe the Gospel.
  4. They believe they were responsible to communicate the Gospel to others.

The answers to a few of the survey questions to evangelicals and pastors were shocking and disheartening and proof that the serpent has actively infiltrated the church.

  1. 50% believe God changes and adapts, despite the fact that both Old and New Testaments teach that God never changes. Numbers 23:19; Malachi 3:6; I Timothy 1:17.
  2. 65% agree that everyone is born innocent in the eyes of God. Innocence ended in the Garden of Eden. We are all born with a sinful nature.  Ecclesiastes 7:20; Psalm 51:5; Psalm 58:3; Romans 5:12.
  3. The core of Christian faith is the confession of sins and the acceptance of Jesus Christ as their Savior/Messiah, but 30% of pastors didn’t answer this in the affirmative.
  4. 55% of evangelicals agreed the Bible is not literally true. Ps. 119:160; John 17:17; 2 Timothy 2:15.

The bottom line for salvation is faith…it is faith alone that guarantees the Lord and His heavenly kingdom.  The Old Testament saints were all saved by what?  Faith alone in our Creator.

For those of us who believe on Messiah Jesus, He is our Savior…the final perfect Lamb of God sacrificed for our sins.  He is a Jew, from the Tribe of Judah.  He came, not for gentiles, but for His fellow Jews. Gentiles were grafted into the olive tree because like the Canaanite, Rahab, we believed on the One True God.

The story of Rahab’s faith is in the Book of Joshua 2:1-24.  Rahab hid Joshua’s spies and told them she knew that the Lord was with them.  She said, “And as soon as we had heard these things, our hearts did melt, neither did there remain any more courage in any man, because of you: for the Lord your God, he is God in heaven above, and in earth beneath.”

Every book in the Bible, both Old and New Testaments are written by Jews, save one, the New Testament Book of Luke, the physician.  All the apostles were Jewish. Our Creator engraved Israel in the palms of His Hands, (Isaiah 49:16). So, if you hate the Jews, you literally hate God, Jesus and the entire Bible.

Traditional or Contemporary Worship

In a recent conversation with a friend, we talked about the modern music in today’s church worship. Both of us concluded that the loud heavy metal rock music may carry with it evil spirits.  Don’t get me wrong.  There are modern praise songs that are so lovely.  Because He Lives by Bill Gaither is a beautiful modern hymn.  And there are numerous Christian bands who perform wonderful songs of praise and jazz them up a tiny bit. Worship is the Holy ground of the Lord.

I’ll never forget what my daughter’s husband, who was from Persia, said to me.  They were married in the church and we adored him.  The one comment Joe made to me stilled my heart.  He said it disturbed him to see people gather in the sanctuary, chatting with friends, the children running around and the noise of folks getting seated and calling out to others.  He felt that worship in the sanctuary was a Holy Place of God and that there should have been more reverence.  He was right.

In our former church, traditional worship followed an historic liturgy and included hymns, choir pieces, handbells, piano, and organ. The beautiful hymns of old, Rock of Ages, A Mighty Fortress is Our God, Nearer My God to Thee, Jehovah Let me Now Adore Thee, and so many more were sung in worship throughout the year.  I can hear the music and my mother’s beautiful voice lifted in praise, a voice I failed to inherit.  Those hymns were prayers to our Creator, to His wonderful gifts to those who believe and to our living and risen Messiah.  Many of them I know by heart.

But now the church has changed.  Should those of us who were raised with these marvelous songs of praise wish to attend the traditional worship service, we must rise early to be at church by 8 a.m.  Most who were raised in the traditional services are now elderly and many no longer attend because of the time.

The blended worship is a mix of historic, traditional, contemporary, and global expressions of worship. Just what are “global expressions of worship?” They claim this service is a “mosaic” of several different worship styles.  It occurs at 9:30 a.m.

The contemporary service is at 11:30 and led by a praise band, using a variety of instruments. The music is either printed in the bulletin or is flashed on a screen.  The words are repetitious mantras, not the Holy Praise and Prayers of the past. Many have left the church believing Matthew 6:7 tells us, “But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking.”

Friends of mine tell me they arrive late to worship to avoid the loud rock band music.

Drums, guitars, and electronic keyboards using synthesizers and digital pianos are common. It’s loud. There are scriptural reasons the “rock beat” is evil in any form.

King David made a joyful noise unto the Lord, Psalm 100:1-5; 2 Samuel 6:13-15. This was right before King David and all the house of Israel brought up the Ark of the Lord with shouting and the sound of the trumpet, the shofar.

Today’s pastors will tell you the music attracts the young people and then they will hear the truth of God’s Word.  But are they being fed the meat of the Word, or milk and Pablum?  (Hebrews 5:12-14)

Founding Era Sermons

In the early days of our country, the pastors tied liberty and freedom to faith in the One True Lord and Creator, Jehovah. There are hundreds of thousands of founding era sermons; the core of every sermon is the same. Religion, liberty and freedom were intermingled in every homily.

In 1798, Timothy White preached on “The Duty of Americans at the Present Crisis.”  Within his long address, he stated, Religion and Liberty are the two great objects of defensive war. Conjoined, they unite all the feelings, and call forth all the energies, of man. In defense of them, nations contend with the spirit of the Maccabees; “one will chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.”

In 1800, John Smalley gave a sermon on “The Evils of a Weak Government.”

In this historic sermon, Pastor Smalley stated, When the makers or judges of laws, are themselves notorious breakers of them, or of the laws of heaven, government will necessarily fall into contempt. It is also to be observed, that advancing to posts of honor, men of loose principles and morals, gives reputation to licentiousness, and stamps it as the current fashion. Their example will encourage evil doers, more than all the punishments they are likely to inflict, will be a terror to them. “The wicked walk on every side when the vilest men are exalted.”


In the Book of Jeremiah, Chapter 23, the Prophet is speaking to the unrighteous rulers of Judah, the leaders of the Nation who are responsible for the calamity.  He writes, “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture! Saith the Lord.

The image for leadership in Scripture from Genesis to Revelation is that of a shepherd.  God often reveals Himself as a shepherd to His people Israel (Genesis 48:15; Numbers 27:15-20; Psalms 23; Psalms 77:20; Mark 6:34).  In many ways, this reflects God’s character.  Shepherds in the church must remember that they are under-shepherds to the flock under the supreme headship of the Chief Shepherd (1 Peter 5:4). The implications for this are significant.

Our country’s Judeo-Christian culture was born in blood.  The battle for liberty and freedom continued for seven long years.  We were blessed.

Our nation has fallen from grace because we’ve left our first love and failed to learn the lessons of our past to keep fertile the soil of public virtue in which the seeds of freedom are sown anew in every age.

In the Book of Ephesians 6:12, St. Paul tells us, “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

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Ways to Defeat Islamic Jihadism

By Amil Imani

This is an urgent call to all free people to rise and defeat the Islamic Jihadists who are marching under the banner of the Qur’an to subdue all non-Muslims.

It is imperative that the values and the way of life of civilized people be protected against the assault of Jihadists’ savagery born from the primitive culture of long-ago Arabia. There is nothing to negotiate here. Nothing to compromise, for the Jihadists, are on a non-negotiable campaign against Allah. The goal of this mission from Allah is the eradication of just about everything that falls under the rubric of human rights.

It takes every free human to do his or her share in defeating Jihadism.

Below is a partial list of what can be done.

  • You don’t have to take up arms and go around killing the Jihadists. That’s the Jihadists’ way of dealing with us and anyone they don’t approve of. Decent humans value life, even the life of a Jihadist. By contrast, the Jihadists have no compunctions about amputating limbs, stoning, beheading, and hanging people even en mass. The brutal mullahs ruling the Islamic Republic of Iran welcomed the new year by hanging thirteen people, one of them the mother of two young children. We need to dry up their sources of support and beat them in the battle of ideas. We need to show them the fallacy and danger of their pathological belief.
  • Fight to end the deadly practice of political correctness. Truth, only naked truth, can set us free. And freedom is our greatest gift in life. Life without freedom is death disguised as life. Remember Patrick Henry’s cry: Give me liberty or give me death. We must fight for life, liberty, and freedom.
  • Demand that politicians, Islamic apologists, and paid-for media do not abuse freedom by lying about Islam. When these people portray Islam as a peaceful religion, they lie through their teeth. Just take a quick look at Islam’s history as well as what is happening today in the Islamic lands. Islam is not a religion of peace and it has never been. Islam is violent, oppressive, racist, and irrational at its very core. It is treachery for people to present it as otherwise, either out of ignorance or because of their own personal reasons.
  • Challenge your leftist professors who Islamic front organizations may retain to trumpet Islam’s virtues. Demand transparency from hired lobbyists and the liberal mainstream media. Sadly, a percentage of people in Western Democracies are born alienated. These people seem to a have congenital hatred of their own societies; they ally themselves with any and all people and forces that aim to destroy our cherished way of life, and they live by the motto: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. They eagerly join forces with the Saddam Hussein and Hugo Chavez of the world.
  • Demand that Islamic literature, including the hate and violence manual called the Qur’an, be purged of all violence and hate spewed toward non-Muslims. Is it too much to ask that non-Muslims not be targeted for hate by the so-called sacred religious text? What kind of religion is this? Religion is supposed to bring people together and not put them at each others’ throats. The Muslims must be made to understand that and they must reciprocate the tolerance that the non-Muslims voluntarily afford them.
  • Do not allow any special privileges whatsoever to be granted to Muslims. Demand that all Muslims have their first and foremost loyalty to the United States and its Constitution and not to the Islamic Ummah, the Qur’an, and the shariah law. Europe is rapidly buckling under the pressure of Islamism. Just a couple of examples: Germany has legalized polygamy to placate Muslim men, and Italy is forced to plan separate beaches for Muslim women.
  • Demand that none of the barbaric provisions of Islamic sharia be practiced. Just because a woman is born into a Muslim family, that shouldn’t force her to lead a subservient life to a man, for example. All family matters and disputes, without exceptions, must be adjudicated according to the civil laws of the country.
  • A Muslim is, first and foremost, an Ummahist, a citizen of international Islam. So, when a Muslim takes the United States Pledge of Allegiance, he is either ignorant of the implications of his pledge or is lying willfully. Sadly enough, taqiyya (lying, or dissimulation) is not only condoned but is also recommended to the Muslims in their scripture. Hence, a Muslim can and would lie without any compunctions, whenever it is expedient.
  • Require that many recent arrival Muslims be carefully vetted for their terrorism and Jihadist backgrounds and beliefs. Many recent arrivals from places such as Somalia, Iraq, and Pakistan come as refugees and bring with them their pathological anti-American system of belief. It is criminal to admit these refugees without demanding that they completely renounce their allegiance to the hate dogma of Islam. Those diehard devotees of Islam should make any of the eighteen or so Islamic countries home, rather than invade the secular societies and aim to subvert them.
  • Demand that Muslims, without the least reservation, adhere to the provisions of human rights. Muslims, by belief and practice, are the most blatant violators of human rights. We hardly need to detail here Muslims’ systemic cruel treatment of the unbelievers, women of all persuasions, and any and all minorities across the board. To Muslims, human rights have a different meaning, and their protective provisions are reserved strictly, primarily for Muslim men.
  • Go and talk to Muslims, particularly the young and the better educated, about the horror and the fallacy of a primitive belief that has been handed down to them through an accident of birth. Show them the magnificence of freedom, in all its forms; the indispensability of tolerance for all; and, the futility of clinging to an obsolete hodge-podge of delusional ideology. The onus is clearly on the Muslims to prove the validity, utility, and sanctity of the belief they intend to impose on all of us.
  • As for democracy, our cherished way of life, Muslims have no use for it at all. Muslims believe that Allah’s rule must govern the world in the form of a Caliphate: a theocracy. Making a mockery of democracy, subverting its working, and ignoring its provisions is a Muslim’s way of falsifying what he already believes to be a sinful and false system of governance invented by the infidels. The reason, if you can, with the Muslims is that their belief is an outright rejection of the greatest gift of life: Freedom.
  • Support financially and in every other legal way those individuals and organizations that are fighting the Jihadists’ relentless encroachment. Many European countries are already on the verge of capitulation to the Islamists. The Supreme Guide of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei, confidently proclaimed recently that Europe will be Islamic in a dozen years. He has good reason to say that. Muslims are forming states within states in much of European towns and cities. In Britain, for instance, non-Muslims are in serious danger of entering Muslim neighborhoods.

In conclusion

Folks, get off your duff. Stop saying, “let the FBI do it.” Neither FBI the agency nor the “NSA, or DHS” can do it by themselves.

This is a battle for survival that every one of us can help wage.

Let’s get on with it before, if not you, then your children and grandchildren end up under the barbaric rule of the

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

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Domestic Genocide in Iran

By Amil Imani

The world’s most notorious state exponent of anti-Semitism, the Islamic Republic of Iran, is on a path to uproot, not only all that is perceived as civilized but to annihilate the greatest threat to its existence, the Iranian people. The mullahs and their mercenaries are wasting precious human life in order to maintain their power by terrorizing the population.

The Iranian people are simply hopeless and helpless. Even the UN does not come to their rescue. From its past performance, rather than its absence of performance, we know that the UN watchdog is a true disgrace to dogs since all it does is eat, sleep and look the other way. Furthermore, the dog has no teeth. The vet had to pull all its teeth before the dog became acceptable to the crafty cats that constitute the UN itself.

The Islamic Republic of Iran is a unique creature—it is best described as a Theocratic Aristocracy. The “divinely ordained” rulers maintain power through an elaborate patronage system. Lucrative positions, contracts, and valued privileges are distributed by patronage. The result is that the ruling Mullahs enjoy a significant number of supporters in all strata of society—the civil service, the military, the powerful Revolutionary Guards, (IRGC), and the hooligans and thugs who are ready to unleash their vicious attacks on anyone or group that dares to challenge the in-charge men of Allah. The illegitimate government of the Islamic Republic of Iran is a quisling entity that has betrayed its people, its tradition, and its glorious pre-Islamic achievements, and is incessantly working against Iran’s national interest.

Under the stranglehold and machinations of the Mullahs, Iran has been transformed, in less than three decades, to the lead perpetrator of all that is abhorrent to humanity. The supreme leader of the Islamic Republic, Ali Khamenei, like his predecessor, Ayatollah Khomeini, whose callous disregard for human life was matched only by his consuming paranoia, allegedly has issued a decree to hang Iranian dissidents publicly in all the towns and villages with a population that exceeds 1000 people. For Ayatollah Khamenei, the dissident viewpoints represent an unacceptable threat. Anyone found questioning the Sharia Law — and many hundreds of thousands were — had to be “weeded out.” The Islamic Republic is on a mission to end human life in Iran. Mass public hangings, as well as secret executions in prisons, are routine in the tyrannical Islamic Republic of Iran. Recently Majid Kavousifar, 28, and his nephew, Hossein Kavousifar, 24, were hanged for the alleged murder of a hardline judge, Hassan Moghaddas, who also was a deputy prosecutor and head of the “guidance” court in Tehran and notorious for jailing and condemning to death political dissidents. The victims were hanged from cranes and hoisted high above one of Tehran’s busiest thoroughfares. This “judge” had repeatedly bragged publicly that he often issued a death verdict without even examining the charges against the individual.

The Islamic Republic of Iran has the dubious distinction of executing more children, those under the age of 18, than any other country in the world. Such is the plight of the Iranian people.

Iran’s ruling Mullahs are clustered around major factions such as the conservatives, the moderates, and the so-called reformists. Yet, the differences among these factions are tactical rather than strategic. One and all share the same overarching goal of defeating the “Crusader-Zionists” by any and all methods possible, bringing about the “end of the world” Armageddon, and thereby creating the requisite conditions for the appearance of the Hidden Imam, the Mahdi, to assume his rule of the world. What is the likelihood that the ruling Mullahs will actually use the bomb, you may ask? If they remain in power long enough to have it, they are very likely to use it, in one form or another, you are told. At the very least, they will use the bomb for blackmail and intimidation in the region. How can you help to prevent this catastrophe from happening, you may ask?

Support the Iranian people’s struggle for freedom, by at least petitioning, you are told. [As for Majid and Hossein Kavousifar, they left Iran for Abu Dhabi following the assassination of the murderous judge, Hassan Moghaddas, and apparently, they both took refuge in the U.S. Embassy where they had applied for U.S. asylum. We have no information as to why they were handed over to the Islamic Republic authorities when they were aware that they would definitely be facing execution.

We hope that the US State Department can give us more information. In order to achieve total control, the Islamic Republic and its lackeys spawned a series of immense internal purges — beginning in 1988 and known as the “Massacre of Political Prisoners of 1988”– and have intensified their domestic terror in recent months and weeks. A society that is intense in its struggle for change has a flip side to its idealism: intolerance. This totalitarian regime sees enemies everywhere, enemies who want to destroy the Islamic Revolution and diminish the results of its hard work of creating an Islamic utopia in the land of Cyrus the Great. The regime seems to be panicking with hyper-suspiciousness. They have installed watchdogs in schools, universities, factories, and all offices across the country, and are urged to be vigilant against sabotage, against those who crave freedom and democracy. Many innocent Iranians are being victimized, and the saying has gone around that “when you chop wood, the chips fly.” As with Khamenei, it was believed that some who were innocent would have to be victimized if all of the guilty were to be apprehended.

In fact, they stigmatize, victimize and murder people without any due process of law. On the slightest suspicion, they arrest, convict, and execute. Few people would deny any longer that Islam and its variants mean, in practice, bloody terrorism, deadly purges, lethal actions, forced ‘hijabs”, fatal deportations, extrajudicial executions, show trials, and genocide. It is a widespread plague upon humanity, killing hundreds of thousands of innocent people.

Today, the Islamic Republic of Iran is one of the greatest threats to the stability of the civilized world and humanity at large. It continues to impose this horrendous ideology called Islam on the Iranian population.

The world must file legal charges against the leaders of the Islamic Republic’s wanton violation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights: for their crimes against humanity and genocidal actions against religious and political groups; for support of international terrorism; for demolition of sacred sites and cemeteries; for rape, torture, and summary executions of prisoners of conscience; for forgery of documents; for acts of blackmail and fraud; and for much more. To those misguided advocates of negotiation with the mullahs, beware. The mullahs are on an Allah-mandated mission. They are intoxicated with petrodollars and aim to settle for nothing less than complete domination of the world under the Islamic Ummah. It is precisely for this reason that they consider America and the West as “Ofooli,” setting-dying system, while they believe their Islamism is “Tolooi,” rising-living order. They are in no mood to negotiate for anything less than the total surrender of democracy, the very anathema to Islamism. This is only one reason, but perhaps, one of the greatest reasons, for fostering democracy.

In short, we have an excellent opportunity to topple these parasitic terrorists once and for all. History will judge us all. At Munich, Chamberlain got an international agreement that Hitler should have the Sudetenland in exchange for Germany making no further demands for land in Europe. Chamberlain said it was ‘Peace for our time’. Hitler said he had ‘No more territorial demands to make in Europe. Neville Chamberlain, appeasement (1938) Hitler, our European allies, and the United States, are doing the same with the ayatollahs. [I really like to know how these people become National Security Advisors)?

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: 1988 executions of Iranian political prisoners

RELATED VIDEO: In Search Of Cyrus The Great – by www.spentaproductions.com.

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The Making of and Dealing with Jihadists

By Amil Imani

Bewildered by what fanatic Muslims do, some conclude that Muslims are brainwashed. Otherwise, how can their totally illogical belief system and barbaric behavior be explained? But the notion of “brainwashing” that is bandied about is the stuff of science fiction and Hollywood movies such as the Manchurian Candidate.
The human person arrives in this world with his brain already washed in the sense of being what John Lock called tabula rasa, a clean slate—ready for an experience to imprint its script on it. John Lock was only partly correct. The brain also arrives with numerous predispositions already in place. It is a combination of life’s influences and a person’s own decisions that determine which of these dispositions develop and which ones fail. It is through this process that a unique human being is formed.

Many animals come with already in-place programs that automatically run much of their lives. Birds’ migration, mating courtship, and thousands of other complex behaviors are instances of this type of specific programming. A catchword for this type of behavior is “instinct.” As a general rule, the higher the organism the less is its rigid pre-programs and the greater its latitude to exercise choices.

Making choices depends on what there is to choose from and to what extent a given choice appeals to the person. And the human newborn enters the arena of life without the means of being other than a passive recipient of “things” already chosen for him.

It is like the old joke by Henry Ford who reportedly told his customers that they could have the choice of color for their car as long as it is black. Things are almost as bleak for the new arrival. He didn’t have a say in choosing his parents, his socio-economic condition, his environment of birth, and much more. All are already in place and he is to start in life from the context of his birth.

The development of a newborn in any family is influenced by many factors, among them how hands-on the parents are; how religious they are, and how severely they micromanage him in an attempt to make him not only a good person but also a person better-one than they themselves.

Parents tend to live vicariously through their children by programming them, the best they can so that they become or achieve much of what they had failed to become or accomplish. This attitude covers all areas of life such as giving the child the education they didn’t have, helping him with fame and fortune, nurturing him to become a top-notch athlete, and so forth.

It is a fact that early influences play a cardinal role in shaping a person. For this reason, for instance, the overwhelming majority of Muslims have been born into Muslim families, Catholics into Catholic families, Hindus into Hindu families, and so on. It is also a fact that the degree of religiosity ranges from mild to strong, with most people falling somewhere between the two extremes.

Interestingly, two siblings raised by the same set of parents under the same influences may end up at the opposite extremes in their religious views and practices. Here, the human dynamic of freedom of choice comes into play and steers one to one extreme and the other to the other extreme. Occasional extreme deviations notwithstanding, the great majority of siblings of a given family end up with various degrees of that family’s overall religious and other values. The same general principle of subscribing to a set of common values exists in all human groupings, in some cases with broad flexibility and inclusiveness while in others with rigidity and exclusivity.

In order to enjoy the privileges of belonging to a group, the person must also pay his dues of membership.

The very young human faces, beginning with the minute he can make some sense of the world, a bewildering array of mysteries, challenges, and enticements. There are questions at every step, fears, and hopes entangled with the need to survive and possibly thrive.

Who am I? What is this world all about? What’s the purpose? What am I supposed to do and how? Where am I headed? People die. Where do they go? And on and on and on. The information booths available to him in the fairground of life provide him with answers that may help relieve his innate existentialistic anxiety. And it is here that religion plays a critical role and holds a great appeal. Religion provides a surefire answer to those who are willing to take it on faith.

And Islam is a powerful magnet for the masses that are unable to deal with the uncertainties of life and death on their own. It is from this population, many already thoroughly indoctrinated from birth, that the majority of diehard jihadists emerge.

It is the bargain the jihadist makes. He surrenders totally to the religion of surrender in exchange for blanket security. Islam gives him all the answers he really seeks for dealing with this world and promises him a lush and eternal paradise of Allah once he leaves it. And leaving this world in perfect submission as the foot-soldier of the paradise’s creator gives the faithful unimaginably glorious sensual eternal reward in his next life. It’s a bargain that some buy in whole, some in part, and some refuse and seek other means of dealing with their questions and the unrelenting existentialistic anxiety.

The great majority of jihadists emanate from the ranks of those born into the religion of Islam, simply because they are the ones who are most thoroughly indoctrinated and influenced by the Islamic dogma in their most receptive early years. Yet, there are others who embrace Islam in adulthood, on their own and enlist themselves as devoted jihadists for the same rewards that Islam offers them.

Islam has a great advantage of the first call on the new arrival. It is an omnipresent system with masses of believers, mosques, madrasahs, and a host of other social and economic organizations that overpower the person and steer him into the same fold; it is a sea of people who seem to know what they are all about, what life and death are all about, and what one must also do.

Within this sea of surging humanity composed of some 1.5 billion Muslims, each individual believer—a drop—through a combination of choice and forces beyond his control, ends up in one of its many waves. It is the jihadist wave that is highly attractive to the deeply indoctrinated and poorly adjusted in dealing rationally and independently with life. Here, he finds the iron-clad perfect solution to his anxieties and perplexities.

To a jihadist, death is nothing more than casting off a shell of the worthless earthly existence and donning the suit for winging joyously to the life of bliss promised by none other than Allah’s beloved final emissary, Muhammad.

The eradication of jihadism is a daunting task since Islam is a virulent persistent pandemic disease. Massive education efforts, combined with a resolute confrontation of all sources and people that support and promote this deadly philosophy, hold the best promise of dealing effectively with this affliction of humanity.

In addition to the family, places such as mosques and madrasahs, Islamic associations and charitable organizations, prisons, and the like are incubators for jihadists. Massive efforts are required, on the one hand, to drain the breeding swamps of the Islamic virus, while on the other hand helping Muslims adopt an alternative perspective of life that addresses their perplexities and offers a degree of comfort that religions dispense without pitting one segment of humanity against another.

In the monumental task of dealing with jihadism, every individual, group, and government must combine their resources and energies to prevail. The destiny of civilized life hangs in the balance. It is an unpardonable act of shirking responsibility for anyone to adopt the attitude of “let George do it.” George is you. George is I. George is every enlightened human being and organization that values human liberty and dignity.

©Amil Imani. All rights reserved.

RELATED ARTICLE: UK: Teen converts to Islam, plots jihad massacres in London

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Life, By the Numbers, Revisited

By The Catholic Thing

Note: This column first appeared on January 24, 2020, before the Supreme Court decision in Dobbs v. Jackson last year, which reversed the Court’s finding in Roe v. Wade that there was a federal right to abortion – and returned questions about abortion to the individual States. Three years later, as the debates continue in many States, there is still a refusal to come to grips with the stark numbers indicated below. And as the national Pro-Life March takes place in Washington D.C. today, the World Economic Forum (currently meeting in Davos, Switzerland) seems to take it for granted that global access to abortion is an integral part of a better human future – though better for whom and at what moral cost doesn’t enter into the economic calculus.   

Robert Royal: Despite the pro-life victory in Dobbs, and as we march in Washington today, we need to redouble efforts to end modernity’s murderous, sinister, anti-life ideologies.

As a thought experiment, let’s assume something I would never accuse TCT readers of being: that you are materialist and utilitarian. You believe that “the greatest happiness of the greatest number,” in tangible, physical measures, is the pre-eminent moral principle. What might you have to consider today, when hundreds of thousands of Americans will be marching to protect life in the womb? (And people in various countries conduct their own pro-life marches?)

Well, to begin with, though all such numbers are a bit uncertain, roughly 55 million people die, globally, every year. And numerous public health organizations intensely scrutinize the slightest increase or decrease in mortality, in a laudable effort to identify what factors may be harming or helping the health of diverse peoples around the world.

That number does not include the number of babies killed by elective abortions, however, which at one time would have been thought a rare, emergency measure. The Guttmacher Institute, an advocate for abortion, estimates that there are roughly 56 million abortions around the world every year. So allowing for the statistical uncertainties, we can say in broad terms that as many innocents are slaughtered every year in the womb as there are deaths from all other causes in the entire world.

That’s the kind of mayhem you associate with murderous ideologies like Nazism and Communism, not “reproductive health.”

Because of an ill-advised accord with China, the Vatican refrains from speaking about that government’s persecution, brainwashing, organ harvesting, and interference with the internal life of religious groups, including Catholics. But how about the more than 300 million abortions there since the 1970s, many forced – a number about equal to the entire population of the United States?

Or the more than 60 million abortions in America since Roe v. Wade? That’s more or less the population of the United Kingdom or France or Italy; much larger than Spain; a figure close to the populations of Ireland, Portugal, Greece, Hungary, and Poland combined.

Would even a materialist/utilitarian believe that such prodigal slaughter of the innocents has not and will not have enormous consequences?

At their annual meeting last November [2019], the American bishops, recognizing the moral questions in play during this year’s presidential campaign, tangled over whether abortion was the “pre-eminent” issue.

Or not.

Chicago’s Cardinal Cupich and San Diego’s Bishop McElroy, staunch partisans of Pope Francis, argued that the pontiff considers other life issues equally urgent. Nonetheless, two-thirds of the bishops voted to keep abortion “pre-eminent.”

Couldn’t the bishops, or at least some bishop, somewhere, do a little painting by the numbers? And speak out about the enormity that goes on unnoticed in the world, year after year now. Indeed, there’s a creepy current in international bodies seeking to define this slaughter as a universal human right.

The controversy among the bishops was cast in the media as the usual debate over Pope Francis. But Francis is not, as we have learned, in entire agreement with his champions.

Archbishop Joseph Naumann, who heads the USCCB’s Committee for Pro-Life Activities, met just a few days ago with the pope, along with other Midwestern bishops on their scheduled ad limina visits. He asked whether abortion is pre-eminent. Francis replied, “Of course, it is. It’s the most fundamental right. . . .This is not first a religious issue; it’s a human-rights issue.”

Francis is notorious for saying one thing to one group and the opposite to another. And as Archbishop Viganò has documented recently, we can’t be sure how much he’s permitted to know by those around him. So it may very well be that he wasn’t aware that “pre-eminent” is a term that, in America, is also a tripwire.

Many of us have suspected, going all the way back to then-Cardinal McCarrick’s misrepresentation of Cardinal Ratzinger’s 2004 letter to the American bishops, that efforts to make abortion just one of many “life” issues is really an effort to preserve the “political viability” of pro-choice Catholic politicians, almost all Democrats.

Still, Francis has, at least in one mood, spoken of abortion as “hiring a hit man” to solve a problem. He has not, however, shown anything like the urgency towards the tens of millions of deaths via abortion that he has towards the much smaller numbers of refugees, illegals, etc. who die every year.

The world desperately needs a sense of proportion about the evils we experience. For example, officials of various stripes warn against “hate crimes,” which, from their rhetoric, you might think constitute a vast epidemic, threatening the moral tone and very existence of civic life, especially in the “age of Trump,” who somehow is blamed for them, even though they largely predate his presidency.

Numbers? The FBI says in 2018 there was a “bump up” in incidents against Hispanics – from 430 to 485. Muslims? 270 – the fewest, by the way, since 2014.

Numbers, of course – even if minuscule – are not the only factor worth considering. Every human life is infinitely valuable, and injustice of any kind must constantly be fought. Catholics and other Christians realize this – quite contrary to the anti-Christian slurs, pro-life Christians seek to preserve all human life – from conception to natural death.

Still, numbers cannot be ignored. If millions, tens of millions, were dying crossing into America at the Rio Grande, or into Europe across the Mediterranean, or from the Middle East to refuge in Europe, there would be non-stop outrage around the globe – and rightly so.

So if the Catholic Church and others believe that abortion is the destruction of innocent human life, why do many – even within the Church – treat it like just one in a list of problems, and often far down the list?

The world looks at that relative passivity and asks, with some justice: So do these pro-lifers really think abortion takes a human life?

We do, of course. And as we march in Washington today and engage in other pro-life activities throughout the year, we all need to redouble efforts, both to defend the millions who are dying and to dispel yet another of modernity’s murderous, sinister, anti-life – and unrecognized – ideologies.


Robert Royal

Robert Royal is editor-in-chief of The Catholic Thing and president of the Faith & Reason Institute in Washington, D.C. His most recent books are Columbus and the Crisis of the West and A Deeper Vision: The Catholic Intellectual Tradition in the Twentieth Century.

EDITORS NOTE: This The Catholic Thing column is republished with permission. © 2023 The Catholic Thing. All rights reserved. For reprint rights, write to: info@frinstitute.org. The Catholic Thing is a forum for intelligent Catholic commentary. Opinions expressed by writers are solely their own.

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Pope Urges Christians Not to Try to Convert Nonbelievers

By Discover The Networks

Speaking to crowds gathered in the Vatican for his weekly general audience on WednesdayPope Francis said trying to convince someone to become a Christian is a “pagan” activity unworthy of followers of Christ.

“To evangelize is not to proselytize,” the pope said. “To proselytize is something pagan, it is neither religious nor evangelical.”

“This is not about proselytism, as I said, so that others become ‘one of us’ – no, this is not Christian,” he added. “It is about loving so that they might be happy children of God.”

“You know your contemporaries, you know that many are alone, that many do not know Jesus,” Francis told young people gathered for a national Catholic youth conference in 2019. “Go, go and bring the Lord, go and fill your environments, even the digital, but not of convictions, not to convince, not to proselytize, but to witness to the tenderness and mercy of Jesus.”

The following month, the pope told a group of Christian high school students that a Christian should never try to convince others of the truth of Christianity but should simply give a testimony of consistency and wait for others to ask about the faith, he proposed.

“You must be consistent with your faith,” he said. “It never occurred to me (and nor should it) to say to a boy or a girl: ‘You are Jewish, you are Muslim: come, be converted!’ You be consistent with your faith and that consistency is what will make you mature. We are not living in the times of the crusades.

“The last thing I should do is to try to convince an unbeliever. Never… The gospel is never, ever advanced through proselytism,” he continued. “If someone says he is a disciple of Jesus and comes to you with proselytism, he is not a disciple of Jesus. Proselytism is not the way; the Church does not grow by proselytism.”

For a dissenting view, see Matthew 28:19-20: “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.”

Pope Francis

Calls on America to welcome illegal immigrants fleeing persecution in their homelands

Characterizes capitalism as an economic system “where the powerful feed upon the powerless,” and which leads inevitably to “the greedy exploitation of environmental resources”

Asserts that the “inequality” inherent in capitalist economies constitutes “the root of social ills” and “eventually engenders … violence”

Believes that “the bulk of global warming” is due to “the great concentration of greenhouse gases” generated by “human action”

Opposes the death penalty and life-in-prison

To learn more about Pope Frances click here.

EDITORS NOTE: This Discover the Networks column is republished with permission. ©All rights reserved.

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Faith in Dark Times

By Lyle J. Rapacki, Ph.D.

The article below by Bill Muehlenberg was sent to me today by a member of an intelligence network to which I have belonged for over ten years. Not only is the article timely and worthy of your reading, but I wanted to share that there are far more members of law enforcement, intelligence and threat assessment specialists, security professionals and protection agents who are Christians than the public might imagine. It was never easy to be in law enforcement, but the present is far more tenuous and fraught with danger. From the moment one checks “in-service” for his/her shift the pressure is there, the threat is there, the discord and possible dark times are there. As Bill Muehlenberg writes so clearly, God is still in control, He is still on the job, He sees everything – even in times of political and social turmoil and despair.

To all who swear to Serve and Protect, know that prayers truly are being offered for your protection and guidance. While the world is clearly slipping away the Lord of lords and King of kings is not! He is “in-service” working right along side of all of us regardless of our mission or standing.

To all others reading Bill Muehlenberg’s article, stand firm yourself. Look UP and not merely concentrate on the surrounding political and social turmoil. The Lord is very much still in control. While He may appear silent, do not confuse His silence with non-attentive, non-caring, non-involved. There is not even a sparrow that falls in the middle of the night, in the middle of a forest the Lord doesn’t see and had already known would fall. His perfect plan is coming into fruition. Give thanks in all things, not for all things but in all things.

Faith in Dark Times

By Bill Muehlenberg

God is still there, even in times of political turmoil and despair:

It is times like this when many Christians might be really struggling. A horrific election result is just the icing on the cake of a woke, secular left blitzkrieg which is overwhelming not just Victoria and Australia, but all of the West. It seems like one ugly anti-Christian agenda item after another is being implemented, and the war of faith, freedom and family is in the final stages.  With all this going on many believers can be very discouraged and disillusioned. I know I am. We naturally ask where is God, why he seems to be silent, why our prayers are not being answered, and so on. Why is this all happening? Why does not God intervene?

Many believers throughout the centuries have asked these sorts of questions and wondered about these kinds of matters. It can be any number of things that produces such questioning: the death of a loved one, losing your job, coming down with cancer, or getting a divorce. And nationally we can also ask questions about all sorts of things: invasion, civil war, depressions, treason, national disasters, corrupt politicians and so on.

Here in Victoria having another heart-wrenching election result is one of those big ticket items. It is certainly more serious than when your fave sporting team loses, but less serious than being invaded, as in Ukraine. In my short election piece I penned late last night, I mentioned how when God judged rebellious Israel, it was not just those deserving of such punishment who suffered.

It was also the godly remnant, including some of God’s choice prophets. They too experienced the destruction of Jerusalem by the evil Babylonians, and many of them were carried away into Babylonian exile as well. They suffered right along with all the others.  They could easily have been asking similar sorts of questions: ‘Why Lord?’ Of course they did know that the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple was God’s judgment on a rebellious and sinful people, and they heavily grieved about all that. But they also had to undergo these horrible experiences themselves, being exiled from home and dragged off to a strange land.  But they also knew that their time there would not be permanent, and that God would bring them back home one day. Not only that, but God would judge Babylon, the very nation that had been his instrument of judgement upon Israel in the first place. They had all this by prophetic revelation. Things differ today.

When we see one electoral defeat after another, with secular left parties bent on doing so much great harm to faith, family and freedom, we do not have that same prophetic word. Another four years of Labor here in Victoria may well destroy it. And one Liberal MP says it is quite likely it will be at least ten more years before Labor finally gets booted out. I do not think Victoria can last that long. But again, we do not have the divine word on all this, so we can only guess about how things will pan out.  So all we can do is grieve, and ask questions, and plead with God, and hope that some sort of miracle happens. We can repent, individually, and on behalf of a sleeping and often spiritually inert church, and ask for God’s mercy. The fate of the state is often to a large extent dependent on the fate of the church.

If the church was being all it was meant to be under God, things may well have turned out differently. So we as Christians must begin on our faces before God, confessing our own sins and seeking his favour. But many would rightly be asking right now if all that we have been going through of late is not the judgment of God on this state and on this nation – not just on the pagan populace, but on the church as well.

There is much here to think about and pray about. But I know that many believers and conservatives went to bed last night with very heavy hearts, with real grief, and with plenty of questions. I certainly did. A bit past midnight as I headed off to bed I flipped over the page on my daily Bible verse calendar thingee, and it was interesting what I found. The verse for Sunday was the very familiar passage from Romans 8:28.  It says this: “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” I thought it was quite interesting that the last thing I saw before heading to bed and a long night of tossing and turning was this verse. Indeed, in yesterday morning’s daily reading I was also in Romans 8.

So I took it as an indication that God may have been seeking to speak to me and comfort me. And what better verse to do this with than this one. It is such a familiar passage that we tend to take it for granted. But it is a marvellous text indeed, and it is worth offering a bit of commentary on. James Montgomery Boice reminds us that the ‘good’ discussed here has to do with being conformed to the image of Christ:

That is an obvious good. It is impossible to think of a higher good for human beings, to be like one’s Maker. Pastor Ray Stedman rightly calls this “what life is all about.” But at the same time, seeing this allows us to see other not so obviously good things within the greater purpose. We can see how sickness, suffering, persecution, grief, or other ills can be used by God for this good end….

Are the things used in our lives by God for this good end necessarily good in themselves or only in their effect? The answer is the latter. In other words, this text does not teach that sickness, suffering, persecution, grief, or any other such thing is itself good. On the contrary, these things are evils. Hatred is not love. Death is not life. Grief is not joy. The world is filled with evil. But what the text teaches—and this is important—is that God uses these things (and others) to effect his own good ends for his people. God brings good out of the evil, and the good, as we saw, is our conformity to the character of Jesus Christ.

Romans: Righteousness from Heaven
(Preaching the Word) by Hughes, R. Kent (Author)

  1. Kent Hughes makes these remarks:

Romans 8:28 does not mean, as is commonly thought, that “everything will turn out okay in this life.” It means, rather, that everything will work out for our ultimate good. These words have our eternal rather than our temporal good in mind. Bishop Anders Nygren writes:

“Just as the present aeon is to be followed by eternity, it has already been preceded by an eternity. Only when we see our present existence set in God’s activity, which goes from eternity to eternity, do we get it in right perspective. Then man comes to see that everything that comes to the Christian in this life—and consequently the sufferings of the present too—must work together for good to him.”

And R. C. Sproul offers this comment:

What we get from Romans 8:28 is this: in the short run each of us is visited at some point by tragedy. We are actors in the theater of the tragic. Tragedies are on our minds every day, but what Romans 8:28 teaches is that ultimately – not proximately but ultimately – there are no tragedies for the Christian. Tragedy now is a blessing later. In every tragedy we experience, God is working with it, molding it and shaping it, for our eternal blessedness. The tragic is ephemeral and temporary. It is in the world but never permanent.

Sure, it will be quite difficult for us to understand how yet another term in office with one of the most corrupt, evil and anti-Christian politicians in Australian history can be viewed as good. But Paul is talking about goods for the believer. And for the long haul it may be a very real bad thing for the state and the nation, but God can still use it to achieve his purposes in our lives and beyond.  And this is where faith comes into play. It sure does not look like anything good can come out of this disastrous political mess. But we are not God and we have no full idea as to what he is up to. But we do know that he is too wise to make a mistake, and too loving to be unkind.

So that means we CAN trust him, and we can cast all our cares upon him. Things are looking very grim right now, but Jesus is still on the throne, and he is still working out his purposes in our lives and in the nations. That is what gives us hope and that is what helps us to persevere.

About Bill Muehlenberg’s Culture Watch

We live in an age where we see evidence of cultural decline, the erosion of values, the decline of civility, the denial of truth and the elevation of unreason. Many people are asking, “Where is our culture heading?” This website is devoted to exploring the major cultural, social and political issues of the day. It offers reflection and commentary drawing upon the wealth of wisdom found in the Judeo-Christian tradition. It offers reflective and incisive commentary on a wide range of issues, helping to sort through the maze of competing opinions, worldviews, ideologies and value systems. It will discuss critically and soberly where our culture is heading. Happy reading!

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