Adonis Diaries

Archive for the ‘Christianity’ Category

Farewell Beirut (Book review, part 2)

Posted on November 16, 2008

Note: Paragraphs in parentheses are my own interjections.  The names and characters in Mai’s manuscript are not fictitious; she personally eye witness the stories.

The main theme in “Farewell Beirut” is “revenge” and the associated concepts of honor, genocides, nationalism, heroes, traitors, martyrdom, hate, love and the fundamental human emotions that might be interpreted differently through the ages, periods and civilizations… but where the moral values of wrong and right should not be personal matters of point of vues.

In part 1, I related the stories of “Um Ali”, “Said”, “Abu Firas”, and “Hashem”. 

This part would be more related to fundamental questions that Mai Ghoussoub tried to struggle with and to investigate moral issues.

But first, I present the story of Fadwa.

“Fadwa” was sent overseas in 1916 in order to avoid famine and be married to Salem.  In those years parents sent their children by sea, supposedly destined to “America” (USA or Latin America) because they paid high fees.

Instead, and frequently the ship Captains landed them instead in Africa telling them “We reached America, get down” And thus, many Lebanese ended in Africa and kept sending letters to their folks not daring to acknowledge their wrong destinations, and parents resumed sending people to “America”. 

The mother of Fadwa reminded her daughter, before sailing, that she is from a much higher social stratum than her future husband Salem and that Fadwa should remind her husband of that difference. 

Fadwa landed in Ghana (Africa) and had five boys and one girl and she expected Salem to worship her for giving him so many boys. 

Fadwa refrained from mingling with the Lebanese and Syrian families on account that she is of a higher status and had many helpers at home. 

When Ghana got its independence Fadwa was sent back to Lebanon with all her children for fear of reprisals. 

At the airport, the immigrating ladies made sure that Fadwa overhears their conversations that Salem was cheating on her and that he had married an African girl and has African offspring. 

Salem joined Fadwa a month later looking much older and deprived of wealth; but he didn’t expect the hatred and all consuming feeling of revenge that were eating up Fadwa. 

The couple slept in separate beds and Fadwa never called her husband by his name or even faced him. Salem was the “He” or the “decrepit old man”.

Salem’s old friends were admonished never to pay him further visits. Salem was homesick to Ghana because he spent most of his life there and the surrounding family was not cheerful.  Fadwa never smiled and children were scared of her outbursts and rigidity. 

When Salem became handicapped, Fadwa confined him for perpetuity in the house and never cooked his preferred dishes and locked on the sweets and chocolates on grounds that they are forbidden to his health.  Salem died miserably. 

Fadwa died shortly after Salem, totally frustrated and a very unhappy old lady that could not feel that the fruits of her revenge were satisfactory.

The author Mai returned to visit Lebanon after the civil war.  She is repainting her apartment to erase the slogans that militias have painted over the walls; she kept the slogan “Those who teach us lessons in moral values are hypocrite and insolent”.

In the seventies, saying that a person is sure of his opinion was a bad connotation of someone who refuses to detach from traditions.  It was a period when moral issues were not absolute: a person had to take into consideration the environment, the period, and all the facet of the story. 

Opting for neutral stands were cherished values. That was fine and dandy until you are confronted with these sample accidents: thousands of women raped in Bosnia, racist gangs killing whole families in London, cutting off the sexual parts of a 4-year old girl by its family living in Paris according to customs… 

Then you realize that wrong and right are no longer personal opinions.  Vaclav Havel said “The concepts of justice, honor and disloyalty are palpable nowadays”

A chapter compared the act of martyrdoms of the young 16 year-old Lebanese girl Nouha Samaan against the Israeli invaders in South Lebanon and Flora in 10th century Andalusia (Spain).

(Between 1983-87, at least 3 young girls committed suicide acts against the Israeli forces of occupations, such as Sanaa Mheidly, before the young males replaced women).

In Flora’s period, Spain was ruled by the “Arabs” and mostly the Muslims from Morocco and it enjoyed a long period of prosperity and cultural development and tolerance for other religions and ethnic immigrants. 

The mother of Flora was Catholic and her father a Muslim and they lived in Cordoba.

By the age of 16 Flora became a ferocious, one sided Catholic zealot; she proclaimed in front of the tolerant judge that the Prophet Muhammad is a cheat and the devil. 

The judge had the right to execute her but let her go.  Flora would not desist. She associated with the bigot preacher Yologious who claimed that the educated Catholics have taken the road to perdition: instead of focusing their readings solely on the Bible “they are reading literary manuscripts, scientific books, learning to write well and composing poems”. 

Many young disciples of Yologious were harangued to sacrifice their lives for Catholicism and finally Flora had to be executed. 

At that time Europe needed “martyrs” while the Muslims were tolerant.  In this century Europe stopped commemorating its “martyrs” while the Muslim World need “martyrs” for their struggle. (To be continued)

Jewish involvement in the radical changes of the Second Vatican Council

Centuries later, has the Vatican resumed the transformation of Catholic ideology in the steps of Luther?

December 9, 2018

Here’s to our murderless mystery story, where its religious-ecclesiastical background calls for careful threading, though no issues of faith or belief are involved.

I am referring to the Second Vatican Council, (1961–1964), some of its deliberations, the shadowy maneuvers that brought them about, and the implications and consequences for the brethren and the world at large.

The Council implemented profound changes, of which many faithful are probably not fully aware, and from which the Catholic Church has perhaps not yet recovered.

But first some background.

The late 1950s were a time of critical ideological tension. In Italy, Communist governments, provincial and local, ran and administered large swaths of the country. There was a chance that in the next political elections the Communists could win the majority.

Understandably, America was concerned and had disturbing contingency plans should the “enemy” win.

In this, I think, they misunderstood Italy’s collective psychology. For one, many had already perceived the utopian nature of Marxist egalitarianism and sensed that a Communist state would resemble a convent or a prison.

But they also knew that, if the Italian Communists won, they would quickly convert the convent into a brothel and the prison into a discotheque. That is, a change in name but not in substance.

Still, Pope Pius XII, who died in 1958, came from a noble family with a long history of service to the Church.

Now policy and the political winds called for a Pope with a different background, a “populist” we would say today — one whose humble origins would implicitly raise favor among the discontent, hope in the disenfranchised and sympathy in the downtrodden.

Pope John XXIII filled the bill, for he was the fourth among thirteen children in a family of sharecroppers. And soon he acquired the byname of “good.” From then on, the masses knew him as “the Good Pope.

Logic is never a friend of mass psychology, for ‘good’ is a relative term. Good compared to whom? In fact, according to a meaningful section of past and current Catholic thinkers, John XXIII was a disaster.

A digression:

Prior to Vatican II, one the Good Friday’s rituals of the Catholic Church features the reciting of a prayer originated in the fourth century AD. That prayer included the words, “Oremus et pro perfidis Judaeis,” meaning “Let us also pray for (the conversion of) the faithless Jews.

During his last years, Pope Pius XII had received a visit from Jules Marx Isaac, a prominent French Jew who was also a Mason and a Marxist.

Isaac asked the Pope to remove ‘perfidis’ from the prayer. Pius XII declined because,  he explained, ‘perfidis’ does not mean ‘perfidious’ but ‘faithless.’ For the Jews do not recognize the divinity of Christ and consequently have no faith. Therefore, ‘faithless’ was not an insult but a statement of fact.

In the turbulent currents of our world, these historic, semi-theological preoccupations seem quaint.

For today an obscene Jewish comedienne can claim, on American prime-time TV, that she is glad that the Jews killed Christ. Adding, “If I could, I’d do it again, I’d f…ing” do it again.” And both Catholic and Protestant divines have met such statements (and worse), with a stony yet meaningful silence.

But in the 1950s the Zeitgeist was different.

The first signal occurred during the Good Friday rituals of 1959, and we owe this information to Cardinal Bea, right hand of John XXIII. John XXIII reversed the ruling of his predecessor, Pius XII, and ordered the adjective ‘perfidis’ removed from the prayer recited since 400 AD.

Earlier on, in 1937, Pope Pius XI had issued another Encyclical, unusually written in German, and titled “Mit Brennenden Sorge”(With Burning Concern) in which Pius XI also dealt with the thorny issue of collective Jewish responsibility for the death of Christ.

He wrote, “God (the Word) became flesh among a people that one day would crucify him.

In 1959 John XXIII suppressed that sentence from the record of Pius XI’s Encyclical. No Internauts will find it by reading the Encyclical online.

There were other meaningful suppressions, for example, in the ritual for the baptism of adults wishing to become Catholics. In the old ritual the priest asked the applicant whether “he held in horror Judean perfidy and superstition.” To which the expected answer from the soon-to-be-Catholic was “yes.” That question-and-answer exchange was removed from the ritual.

John XXIII, like the current Pope, chose gestures over words to express his thoughts. The hierarchy, the subordinates and Catholics at large were to derive, from his gestures, their meaning and implications, as well as the Pope’s objectives and intentions.

On a Saturday in March, 1962 (the Council had begun the previous October), John XXIII made a well-publicized stop, with his car and caravan, in front of the Synagogue of Rome. The stop was timed to occur at the end of a Shabbat, when the Jews came out of the building. And when, from his car, the Pope blessed them.

More meaningful gestures were to come.

Ariel Toaff, a Jewish professor at Tel Aviv University, has written an interesting book, in French, titled “La Paque des Juifs” (Easter of the Jews).

Toaff examined the records of various trials, through the ages, of Jews accused of killing Christian children — murdered to use their blood in some Jewish Easter ceremonies. That book was promptly removed from circulation a few days after publishing, due to Jewish reaction and furious pressure.

There was, however, a second edition, where the author added statements of sufficient impact as to reduce the ire of his co-religionists.

Among youngsters allegedly killed for the “Paque des Juifs” were Simonino from Trent (Italy), Andrea from Rinn (Austria), Lorenzino from Marostica (Italy) and Dominguito del Val (Spain).

They had all been declared “Blessed,” their embalmed bodies had been enclosed in glass tombs, under a main altar or in a chapel dedicated to them.

By the way, the difference between a Blessed (Beatus) and a Saint (Sanctus) has to do with the number of miracles performed and their timing.

In May 1961, John XXIII wrote a secret letter to the religious authorities of the Churches or Abbeys involved, ordering to remove the tombs and all records, works of art, ex-voto, paintings and statues of these Blessed from their respective Churches, and to suppress immediately all related celebrations, festivities and processions.

For example, Andrea from Rinn was born in 1459 and beatified in 1751. At the Abbey of Wilten, in Austria, his chapel was renamed, his paintings and statues removed, and his sarcophagus relegated to a dark corner against a wall.  

An inscription on the stone masking the sarcophagus asked forgiveness of the Jews, for the veneration of that Blessed had been a cause of anti-Semitism.

Finally, in 1985, the Archbishop of Innsbruck had the body removed from the church to a common cemetery — “for his veneration (Andrea-from-Rinn’s) is not substantiated by reliable historical documentation.” Which, in itself, is a remarkable statement, as the proclamation of a ‘Blessed’ follows a lengthy process and trial of canonization.

In fact, after the death of Pope John Paul II, the Vatican PR machinery created the slogan, “Subito Santo” (A Saint Immediately). Where ‘immediately’ infers a break from the traditional years, decades, and at times centuries, required before sanctification.

Furthermore, the Blessed cannot be unblessed, depending on the political air of the times, though the Archbishop of Innsbruck clearly thought otherwise.

Back to the Council, where — as per the biography of Cardinal Bea — an important character comes to the stage. He is Nahum Goldmann (1885–1982), a Polish Jew, President of the World Jewish Congress (1951–1978) and editor of the “Encyclopedia Judaica” from 1932 to 1934. Later he was the Representative of the Judean Nation at the United Nations from 1935 to 1940, in Geneva and the US.

From 1939 to 1945 he was the director of the Jewish Spying Service, at a time when the Israel didn’t yet exist, though the Organization was recognized by the US Administration — evidence that the US already considered the state of Israel a fait accompli.

In his autobiography, Goldmann writes of having been the first, in 1942, to launch the idea of the Nuremberg Trials.  And he is also associated with the notorious Morgenthau Plan which called for the dismantling of all German industrial concerns, mass transfer of all remaining machinery and industrial tools to England as war reparations, prohibition of any industrial activity, the reduction of Germany to the level of a pre-industrial, medieval agricultural society which would have resulted in millions of deaths.

In his memoirs, Goldmann writes that the Second Vatican Council would not have occurred, but for three events,

— the Shoah
— the Nuremberg Trials
— the foundation of the state of Israel.

Nathan Ben Horin, Israel’s Ambassador to the Vatican, writes in his memoirs, that on February 27, 1962 the draft of the Encyclical “Nostra Aetate” (Our Age) produced by the International Judaic Congress, was delivered to Cardinal Bea, for transmittal to John XXIII.

In 1960, John XXIII through his right-hand Cardinal Bea, had invited Nahum Goldmann for a meeting with the Pope. In the meeting (so Goldmann writes), John XXIII said he wanted to propose, at the forthcoming Council, a revision of the relations between Jewry and Catholicism.

To do so, the Pope needed for the Jewish Congress to send him a formal request for the reconsideration of Jewish-Catholic relations.

That is, John XXIII wanted a change, but he needed the Jewish Congress to ask for it.

Then, with another important step, John XXIII excluded the Holy Office from making any input on such an important matter as the relationship between the Catholic Church and other religions — which was the essence of the “Nostra Aetate” Encyclical.

This raised a bitter internal feud, for the Holy Office had been for centuries the official organ of analysis and deliberations regarding dogmas and general matters of faith.

John XXIII simply ordered Cardinal Ottaviani, head of the Holy Office, to shut up.

John XXIII had several meetings with another influential Rabbi, Abraham Heschel, who also contributed to the writing of the Encyclical — so writes the secretary of Cardinal Bea.

And finally, in an issue of the French Jewish weekly Tribune Juive, Lazare Landau, a Jewish historian, writes,

In a glacial night of the winter 62–63, I was invited to an extraordinary meeting of the “Communitarian Center for Peace,” held at the Synagogue of Strasbourg.  At the end of the Shabbat, the Directors received in secret, in a cellar of the building, an envoy of John XXIII, Yves Congar, [a Dominican friar who had a critical influence on the ‘progressive’ measures taken by the Council as a whole.]

There were ten of us.

Congar, in name of John XXIII, asked us what we expected from the Catholic Church, as regards the millenarian “Jewish Question.” We said that we wanted the complete rehabilitation of the Jews, as regards the death of Christ.

“Nostra Aetate” was a total revolution, as Congar later said to me, in the doctrine of the Church, as regards the Jews.

In fact — so I am told by current practicing Catholics who attend Masses and functions in their churches — some priests praise the greatness of Hebraism, assert that Abraham is our common ancestor and that the Jews are our ‘elder brothers’ of the Bible.

Forgetting the polygamy of the patriarchs, the gallantries of David, the seraglio of Solomon, the incest in the Leviticus, and a general Old Testament undertone of hyper-ethnocentrism, fear and loathing of gentiles, the desire to dominate gentiles, and revenge against their enemies.

The same priests sermonize on the rights of Jews to the ancestral land of Israel.

On the wars in the Middle East, fought for Israel, and on the slaughter of Palestinians, the word is mum.

Though various Popes have at times deplored, and generally lamented that war causes death and suffering, which almost equates to saying that a great cause of the night is lack of sunshine.2

In summary, there is sufficient evidence as to who took the initiative and who were the authors of the Encyclical “Nostra Aetate.”

Nevertheless, the debates at the Council on the issue of the Jews’ involvement in the death of Christ were contentious and combative.

After all, according to the Gospels, the Jews had asked for the blood of Christ to fall “on their head and that of their children.” The Gospel of St. John made this clear, and St. Paul had declared that adopting alternative Gospels would be anathema.

The bishops of the Arab world, in particular, objected to the appeasement of the Jews because appeared to be an indirect Catholic endorsement of the rape of Palestine.

A de-facto endorsement of Israel occurred in 1965, though formal recognition and exchange of embassies had to wait for John Paul II, in 1993.

In the end there was a compromise. The encyclical “Nostra Aetate” would state that only “some,” not “all,” Jews were responsible for the death of Christ.

This did not prevent the (Catholic) University of Notre Dame, in Indiana, from freeing all Jews of any responsibility related to the issue.

Furthermore, as I hear from Professor E. Michael-Jones, the University hired a Jewish psychologist to teach a seminar on “togetherness” and similar topics, to priests and nuns. This had the foreseeable consequence that a number of priests left the ministry and nuns the convent…. to get married.

If there is life after death, Boccaccio will laugh his head off.

To conclude, the Second Vatican Council has puzzled many Catholics. Perhaps John XXIII believed that the stream of time was running in favor of the Jews, with the result that he was forced away from the ancient paths by the rough torrent of occasion.3

But some Catholics would like to know where the Vatican is headed.

For, when a revolutionary change of religious belief is imposed from above, strength of conviction is weakened and judgment confounded.

Resistance shrinks from revolution of beliefs, even if the prime mover of the insurgency keeps wearing the robes of the Prime Minister of God.

At times, the truth may appear grey, but isn’t. It is black and white, at least in patches.

And even the blackness and the whiteness of the patches are often debated and debatable. For nothing is black or white, but thinking makes it so.4

“Are there moderate Muslims?”

Posted on September 25, 2008 (and written in Oct. 26, 2207)

Note: This lengthy article was meant to be exhaustive. If you want me to split it in two articles, I will be ready to do it.

It coincided that I was reading chapters of two books concomitantly “Quand l’Amerique refait le Monde” by Ghassan Salameh (Salami) and “L’Apocalypse” by Oriana Fallaci  when I realized that the topic of current Islamic fundamentalism is wreaking havoc on the disposition of many western people.

Mostly, the western people tended to be liberal in many issues but could no longer reconcile a liberal attitude toward Islam: Mainly the reality of the virulent traditional Islamic behaviors toward strict adoption of the Koranic laws that regulate the daily life for the Muslims and trying to circumvent the civil laws in Europe.

Ghassan Salameh has investigated the genesis of the new trend in the US ruling government toward Islam after the Twin Towers September 11 attack and which was based on the studies of a few “prestigious” American academics on Islam. 

Salame stated that the neo-conservative elements in the Bush administration have adopted Bernard Lewis as their guru in matters related to Islam and the anti-Muslim movements. 

Professor Lewis was fascinated and excited in the 1950s with everything related to Islam and then turned sour, negative and dissatisfied with the Islamic World: he repeatedly claimed in his studies that the Muslims have a rage and a strong tendency to hate the Western Nations as a product of their sense of inferiority complex toward the West and propagated the concept of an invasion to saw the grains of democracy in the Near East.

After the September 11 attack on the Twin Tower, the neo-conservatives like Perle, Wolfowitz, Abrams, and Gaffneys directed the debate toward the confirmation of pre-emptive offensive against the infantile specie of the political regimes in the Muslim World.

The spreading notion of an ineluctable conflict of Islam with the USA.  Pipes went as far as eliminating any cause for using cultural instruments in the arsenal of the war.

It is obvious that Oriana Fallaci has made up her mind that there are no moderate Muslims, unless they are Muslims by birth but No longer practicing  believers: simply because the Koran is the Koran and there is no way to interpret the Sourates to coincide with civil laws in the western nations. 

Actually, the late Oriana Fallaci was a staunch liberal but could not swallow the latest slaughtering of foreign prisoners by extremist Muslims and how Muslim immigrants are flaunting the civil laws in Europe.

Fallaci insists that the word “terrorism” is not good enough; the mass media should remain consistent and say “Islamic terrorism”; a term that would satisfy the terrorist Zionists immensely. 

Fallacy relied on St. John’s apocalyptic vision where a Monster with seven heads and ten horns would emerge from the sea and then the Beast on land would execute all the Monster’s orders. Thus, the Monster is Islam and the Beast is represented by the European liberals and leaders who are trying to appease Muslims and exhorting them to moderation by dangling carrots instead of raising the heavy sticks.

I was surprised by the coincidence to read that Oriana Fallaci also adopted the views of Bernard Lewis on Islam and considered him as the ultimate authority for truth on Islamic matters.

Apparently, the then 80-years old Lewis and growing more senile by the by, gave an interview to a German daily where he lambasted the West for not believing that radical Islam is the main enemy, instead of the new fascists. Lewis is hammering the notion that all of Europe is going to be Islamist by the year 2100. (If mankind survive till then)

Thus, there is a disposition to fit theories that antagonize the Muslim World by accepting as evidence the many terrorist acts perpetrated by extremist Muslims.

The vehement attitude of Fallaci toward Islam stems from two premises:

First, all of the terrorist attacks in the World are perpetrated by Muslims, (obviously wrong and faked wishes) and

Second, the practices of Muslims’ behavior in the Western World are based on the teaching of the Koran which cannot be reconciled with the rational civil laws in the western countries they live in. (How these laws are biased to the privileged elite classes are Not broached)

The first premise may be true if we rely solely on the media accounts that, almost exclusively and consistently, show that the current terrorist attacks in the Western World, such as USA, Spain, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and Holland where “terrorism had struck”, were done by Muslims.  She focused on the terrible acts of slaughtering hostages by Muslim radicals in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Russia.

Fallaci forgot to mention that terrorism has also been striking in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Philippine, Sri Lanka, Turkey, Palestine, and Lebanon, Africa, to name but a few, in order to destabilize these States, where terrorism was carried by Hindu, Christians, and various Muslim sects against each other castes.

The hidden facts that terrorism is done by the western extremists are not widely publicized and mostly toned down and not taken up relentlessly by the media.

For example, the Oklahoma City bombing was first attributed to Muslim extremists and then the US had to admit that it was a purely US extremist act; not to mention the dozen of mass killings in the US schools and universities

Moreover, most of the western terrorist acts are ordered by the states or committed by organizations supported by the states and consequently not divulged and buried as national security secrets.

Actually, all the terrorist acts of the Israeli settlers and the government on Palestinians and other adjacent States are coined as “individual actions by crazy people”

Fallaci should have recalled the many terrorist acts that ravaged Italy and Germany in the 60s and 70s and committed by the extremist left movements and done by non-Muslims; she also decided to forget the recent decade long terrorism and genocides that plagued former Yugoslavia and which was started by Christians among themselves in self cleansing mechanisms and then cleansing themselves with the blood of the Muslims in Kosovo and Serbia. (And current far-right parties terrorist activities)

Fallaci should have taken up also these terrorist occurrences of destabilizing many third world countries, and going on even today, by the US and Israel. She has indeed experienced these Western terrorist acts during her long career as a journalist, but she decided to focus her venom on Islam, thus satisfying the present Western propaganda strategy of misinformation and distortion.

As for the second premise, Fallaci poured her venom on those Muslims who claim to be moderate, simply because they didn’t join a radical group or didn’t commit a terrorist act but engage practically in “awful behaviors”. 

For example, how can a Muslim claim to be moderate if he prevents his wives or daughters to be integrated in their new societies, ordering them to swim in their long robe “dishdasha/jalabiya”, even if this practice is tantamount to drowning, or having three wives and treating them as slaves, or beating his wives because it is permitted by “Al Shari3a”, killing his daughters because they refused to marry the men that he selected for them, lambasting school directors because they allowed their sons and daughters to be offered sweets containing hints of alcohol, and so on.  (But many of these customs are practiced by many non-Muslims religious sects, and the Koran does Not encourage many of those imposed patriarchal privilege systems)

Fallaci claims that nine out of ten of the Islamic divine inspired laws are opposite to the Italian civil laws, and consequently, there is no possibility of coming to acceptable terms with Muslim believers. (Let Italy just carry out the civil laws on non-abiding Muslim citizens to encourage “moderate Muslims” to follow suit)

If we recapitulate the history of the world we can demonstrate that almost every religion encouraged terrorist acts throughout history when the goal was to establish a theocratic state, governed by the clerics, or to maintain the power of the religious hierarchy caste over the citizens and the other minority castes. 

European history is packed with genocidal periods where the majority of a Christian sect tried to exterminate other secondary Christian sects in France, Spain, Byzantium, Russia, and Germany, to name a few, and labelled them “heretics” and their shed blood a duty.

The one main factor that permitted the western Christian societies to edge toward rational civil laws and weakens the Christian Orders was that the New Testament dealt only with spiritual doctrines: Christ died before his religion was firmly established and didn’t have to enact laws organizing society when the Roman civil laws were the law of the land.

The major problem with the Muslim religion and its inability to establish rational civil laws for the land is that the Prophet Muhammad vanquished his arch enemy the Koreish tribes in Mecca, while still alive and had to re-organize the tribal society with laws emanating from the “unique God” and the mainstream customs among the tribes.

For maybe esthetic reasons, the Sourats of the Koran were organized according to length and not chronologically as logic would dictate; otherwise, the Muslims would have realized that the sourats in the first 13 years of Islam were purely spiritual and not deviating far from Jesus’ teaching. 

Actually, whatever variations there are in Islam and Christianity, are identical to the views of the different schisms in Christianity in the early centuries (mostly based on Jewish customs sect) and which provoked mass extermination of the smaller Christian sects by the dominant Christian sects.

For example, the status of the Virgin Mary, the duality of Jesus, the Holy Ghost and a multitude of other differences that Byzantium was famous with splitting hair were points of contention among the Christian sects and still are.

If the Koran was divided into two volumes, the spiritual volume related to the first 13 years of its formation and the second volume related to the earthly laws governing the City-State of Medina and then society in the Arab peninsula among the tribes, then communication among the two cultures would have been possible and the Muslims would not have reverted to rigid dogma forced upon them by 10 centuries of domination of Central Asian tribes (Mongol Empires) and culminating by their close associated tribe the Ottomans.

As is common among all religions, the religious orders emphasize the earthly concepts that can be impressed upon the believers by attaching heavy burdens on their daily life for total subjugation. 

Ironically, Christianity created daily burdens of religious obligations that were Not included in the “Bible”, just to impose its hegemony over the soul of its believers.

Jesus strongly denounced the Jewish Order for the daily heavy burdens they encumbered the Jews with and lambasted the order as a hypocritical order. 

Nevertheless, Christianity, whether Roman or Lutheran or Protestant, feverishly created religious obligations that were not in the New Testament but dug up from the Jewish religious books or from the proclamations of the saints and religious leaders to subjugate their members into a tight closed caste.

In general, Christianity is an open religion and the Western Nations in their zest to proselytize their respective dominant religion endeavored to invade the “barbarous” people for the proclaimed purpose of indoctrinating these people into the Christian values; most of these people were subjugated into changing religions nominally but kept their “pagan” traditions.

However, the Christian Maronite sect in Lebanon has reverted to a closed religion and adopted the caste system since the independence of Lebanon in 1943. 

The Maronite sect has agreed on a tacit pact with the non-Christian castes not to allow non-Christian members from the other castes in Lebanon to be baptized Maronites; I can testify that even Lebanese living overseas were not permitted to change religion: the Maronite Order made it clear that the process of changing religion is not feasible. 

This Maronite Christian sect has sold out its soul to preserve its supremacy as a caste in Lebanon local politics and ended up losing its supremacy in 1989 at the Taef Conference in Saudi Arabia.

Consequently, the divergence between the western societies and the Muslim societies are the result of types of revealed Books; the main Christian Book that basically does not contain earthly laws but were created later by the dominant Christian orders, and the Muslim Book that does specifically include earthly laws for governing societies.

The western societies have succeeded in establishing rational, though debatable, civil laws created by men (women had not yet fully participated in most of these laws); and they don’t have to bend their laws to accommodate Muslim immigrants who are stuck with divine laws to run their daily lives. 

This is not to say that the Western World has to adopt pre-emptive strategies of conquering Muslim and Arab countries on the flimsy crusading abstract notion of spreading democracy and the international civil laws, when the geo-political reality is clear and is meant to control energy resources and stopping the expansion of China in world politics.

As for the Moslem World, if the purpose of all these upheavals is catching up with the technology of the western societies then the burden resides mainly on accepting the premise that the spiritual doctrines should be separated from the rational civil laws. 

Otherwise, if the Muslim World wants to survive under its own set of divine obligations and be ruled my mullah, and sheikhs, and muftis then let it be proclaimed openly and unite under this purpose and let the world live as separate entities; societies that instituted civil laws and those insisting on man-made “inspired divine laws”.

In either case, there is no basic need for forced hegemony of one civilization over another if the human mind cannot device a method for human communication and entente: forced hegemony has never worked or lasted in history, and all the evidences are leading to the fact that the current western forced hegemony is failing, unless partitioning the Arab World into cantons is viewed as a definite success of the new pre-emptive “war” strategy, which has nothing to do with cultural differences.

Islam is carrying an insurmountable burden of awkward traditions, not just because of the 5 centuries of Ottoman domination, but 11 centuries of Muslim Sunni of Central Asian tribes that dominated most of the Muslim World, from Mongolia, to Kazakhstan, Kirghizia, Azerbaijan, the Caucasus, Iran, Afghanistan, India, and Turkey.  These hordes have established empires and the local vassals adopted the rigid dogmas and tribal customs of their caste systems.

Any recent reforms undertaken in the Middle East were thwarted by the Western powers to divide these nations and establish theocratic States and dictators most amenable to their creators.  Our inability to change and communicate, even internally among ourselves, is related fundamentally to our autonomous caste structure.

Fallaci was sensing right, but she was fighting cancer. Anyway, rational behavior is not the rule in this somber period within the Bush Administration, even if many of its leaders seem physically fit, aside of Dick Cheney.

Note 1:  The proposition that the Sourates of the first thirteen years were spiritual in nature was investigated by Antoun Saadi in the 1940s and published in a book “Al Islam fi ressalataih al Massihiyat wa al Mohammadiyah” translated liberally as “Islam (Message of Peace) by its two messengers Christ and Mohammed”

Note 2: Antoun Saadi is the founder of the Lebanese-bases Syria National Social party in 1936. A secular party , wanting to separate the religious sects dominance in the political and social structure and the government civil laws and regulation. This party was attacked by the sectarian parties encouraged by the mandated colonial powers of France and England on the Near-East region. This party claimed that we are one people in Syria, Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Iraq and was the preadhead of confronting the Zionist plans that were backed by the colonial powers and the USA and Russia.

Islam was founded on the dozens “Christian-Jewish” “Heretic sects” in the Near East

When the Byzantine Empire was established in Constantinople and adopted Christianity as an official religion, and later founded the “Orthodox Christian” sect as the religion of the empire in the mid of the 5th century, the hundreds of local based “christian sects” in Syria, Palestine and Lebanon were persecuted and had to transfer east of the Euphrates River (Persian Empire), the Arabian Peninsula, and further toward China.

The Prophet Muhammad was a member of one of those “Jewish-Christian” sect in Mecca and Islam was almost a copy/paste of the local Bible they used in Mecca, mainly most of the Jewish mythical stories, their prophets, and their customs.

The message of Jesus, his parables, his miracles…were barely mentioned in the modified/edited/transformed Koran assembled during the third Caliph Uthman bin Affan (From the Quraysh tribe of Mecca and one of Muhammad son-in-laws).

Many parchemins were discarded, buried, displaced or burned and the verses of the Koran were grouped according to length instead of their chronological order.

While the disciples of Jesus were trapped and huddled in Jerusalem after the crucifixion of Christ, St.Paul was touring Syria, Turkey, Greece, all the way to Rome, and founding “Christian” communities. St.Paul was flexible in the matter of circoncision and considered it was Not necessary for the new converts to be circumcised. The basic condition for St.Paul was that they believe that Jesus was resurrected, otherwise, there was no viable basis to be considered Christian.

The disciples in Jerusalem, and headed and guided by Jacob, the elder brother of Jesus and Not even a disciple, dispatched Peter to follow the trails of St.Paul and pressure the Christian communities to be circumcised…

As the Jews in Jerusalem started to revolt against the Roman Empire, the disciples fled in many directions. The first phase was to return to their hometowns in the Tyr region and Upper Galilee and off to Egypt, Turkey, Arabian Peninsula, Ethiopia, and even to current Pakistan (St.Thomas, Peter, Jacob, Bartholomew, Andrew, Marc… )

The disciples founded their own sect communities, with their own Bibles, customs, traditions and daily antics practised by the conservative Jews. The disciple of the community re-edited the message and stories about Jesus and crammed it with the stories of the Jewish mythologies.

For example, the women had their separate quarters, had to wear the veil, and Not participate with the males in the community events. Many of these communities wore the white robes, were vegetarians and never purchased any food from outside the community.

Basically, Bizantium decided to accept only 4 New Testaments and ordered the burning of the local Bibles used by these “heretic sects”. Essentially, bibles that smacked of plainly a copy/paste of the Torah/Jewish Bibles were burned and the sects persecuted out of the empire.

Consequently, when Islam conquered Syria, Iran, Egypt and expanded its territories, those “heretic” Christian sects didn’t find much variations between the Koran and their teachings. They converted to Islam easily, especially they would Not pay Taxes as Muslims (Jezyi), compared to the other “Orthodox” sects.

At the end of the Umayyad dynasty, the Non-Muslims diminished drastically and taxes collected were Not enough to replenish the treasury. Thus, various kinds of taxes were enacted that galvanized Muslims outside of Damascus to rebel.

The rebellious regions were far away from Damascus such as in Iraq, Iran, North Africa and also in northern Syria such as in Aleppo and Turkey.

Military campaigns were too costly to undertake and re-established the central control.

Note 1: We owe it to the Muslim Shia communities in South Lebanon and Jabal Amel to have maintained the “hometown stories” of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Jacob, Omran, Hanneh (Hanna)… where they were born, raised and buried. For example, the story spread by the Vatican of the martyrdom of St.Peter, crucified upside down, is probably a myth.

For example, The “hometown story ” says that in the year 64, Peter fled Rome after Nero escalated his persecution of the Christian, and settled in Babylon by the River Euphrates for a while.

Peter wrote a letter to the community of Karkisia by the Euphrates River.  Peter travelled to Palestine and when the Jewish revolt (66 to 70 AC) started persecuting the Christian, Peter fled to Northern Galilee (Tyr district) in 67, but the Jews followed him to his hometown of Shamaa and killed him by a blow on the head. Peter was 77 year-old, or in the year 67.

The community of his ancestors in Hamoul buried him there by his mother in the town of Shamaa, which is short for Shimon.  

Peter was born around 10 BC and lived in the town of 7amoul or (Hamoun) near the village of Naqoura in South Lebanon.  Peter’s father was Hamoun Bin Ama in the town still known as Hamoul where he is buried.

Simon, Peter…is also known as Shimon Safa in the town of Shama3 (Shamaa) near the city of Tyr. Safa means the lean stone in Arabic, Kifa in Syriac, and Peter in Greek. Thus, the Rock as Jesus is claimed to have named him to build his Church.

Hamoun had two sisters: Hanneh (Hanna) and Elizabeth. Hanneh married Omran and gave birth to Mary. The mother of Peter is the sister of Omran.

Note 2: If there were many “Christian” martyrs in the first decades, it is mainly because the converts were dead convinced that Jesus will resurrect them after their death, the third day of them passing away.

Who is Peter, Jesus disciple? Where is this town of Shame3 in Lebanon?

Posted on February 23, 2012

And what if Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story?

This is another alternative story, a hometown story.

Apparently, the Muslim Shia sect in Lebanon consider Peter (Simon), Jesus disciple, as a prophet and a close cousin to Mary (the Virgin) 

The Virgin Mary was his aunt from both her mother and father sides. Simon, Peter…is also known as Shimon Safa in the town of Shama3 (Shamaa) near the city of Tyr. Safa means the lean stone in Arabic, Kifa in Syriac, and Peter in Greek.

Peter was born around 10 BC and lived in the town of 7amoul or (Hamoun) near the village of Naqoura in South Lebanon.  Peter’s father was Hamoun Bin 3aama in the town still known as Hamoul where he is buried.

Hamoun had two sisters: Hanneh (Hanna) and Elizabeth. Hanneh married Omran and gave birth to Mary. The mother of Peter is the sister of Omran.

In the year 64, Peter fled Rome after Niro escalated his persecution of the Christian, and settled in Babylon by the River Euphrates for a while.

He wrote a letter to the community of Karkisia by the Euphrates River.  Peter travelled to Palestine and when the Jewish revolt (66 to 70 AC) started persecuting the Christian, Peter fled to Northern Galilee (Tyr district) in 67, but the Jews followed him and killed him by a blow on the head. Peter was 77 year-old.

The community of his ancestors in Hamoul buried him there by his mother in the town of Shama3, which is short for Shimon.  

The upper story is one thousand year old, but the lower one is pretty ancient.

Thousand of Muslims make the pilgrimage to Peter’s tomb every year, especially during the celebration of the 40 days of Hussain martyrdom.

An inscription on the two-story tomb reads: “Peace on the prophet of God, peace on you Shimon Safa, peace on you and on the prophet of God…”

People in that region have a saying: “O Shimon Safa, your secret has not disappeared”

Shimon and his brother Andrew were fishermen and threw the net in Lake Tiberiad (Tabaraya).  Before Tiberias, they learned the profession of fishing in the Mediterranean Sea, in current south Lebanon.

Most of Jesus disciples were close cousins and close relatives from the district of Tyr (Lebanon):  This should come as no surprise for normal people.  

As Jesus was standing trial, all the disciples huddled in a remote house and dared not step out for a week.  The disciples were scared, but mostly ashamed for following this “insane cousin of them” who kept his silence and refused to defend himself.  

An insane cousin who ended up crucified like common criminals, between two confirmed criminals.

An insane cousin who had no one to support him after a “King” entrance to Jerusalem a week ago, with a large following, a walking Rabbi, and mounted on a donkey!

An insane cousin who was warned several times Not to advance toward Jerusalem (his first visit in his entire life). The Jews in Jerusalem were very worried, especially with the rumors that Jesus wanted to “galvanize” the Jews against the Roman occupation. The Jewish clerics had an autonomous control and vested with many privileges by the Roman Consul.

An insane cousin they had high expectation to becoming an important personality and honoring the extended family back in Upper Galilee in the district of Tyr (current south Lebanon). Tyr was the administrative and judicial capital of that region , from Haifa all the way to the Lake of Tiberias, during the Seleucid Empire and after the Roman occupied this land.

An insane cousin who acted as a meek prisoner, and worse, insisted to be the Son of God, the expected Messiah.

People are suckers for stories.

When a person likes a story, the story takes a life of its own.  

What if the story is loved by 2 billion people (Christians and Muslims)?

The story goes that attitudes changed after Jesus re-appeared to the disciples…and Peter was not crucified in Rome, upside down, as the Church of Rome found it convenient as a credible story…

Note 1: This post was inspired by an article by Hala Homsi in the daily Al Nahar. The reference is author Ali Dawood Jaber “Shimon Safa: the in-between Christianity and Islam

Note 2: We owe it to the Muslim Shia communities in South Lebanon and Jabal Amel to have maintained the “hometown stories” of Jesus, Mary, Peter, Jacob, Omran, Hanneh… where they were born, raised and buried.

Note 3: Once the disciples of Jesus were pressured to leave Jerusalem, where they were huddled for many years and behaved according to the strict daily customs of the Jews of Jerusalem, their first phase was to visit their hometowns in Upper Galilee, before venturing far away.

Jesus Christ was born, raised and preached his paradigmatic message in the Levant Land of Palestine, Lebanon, Jordan and Syria

Written by Mahmoud Youssef Hammoud in 1948, engaged author and poet

لقد اعتادت القلوب والألسنة والأقلام والآذان، أن تؤمن وتقول وتَكتُب وتَسمع، أن آيات الرُسل الخالدين ومُعجزاتِهم وانتصاراتهم، ما كانت غيرَ وحيٍ يوحى ومشيئةٍ تُملى ونصرٍ يُحقَّق من عند الله…

فاستقرّ هذا المُعتقد في أفئدة الناس وأدمغتهم إيمانًا عميقًا مُطَمْئنًا، يجرّد «الرسول» من عبقريّته الذاتيّة وإرادته الشخصيّة وأعماله البطوليّة، حتى باتت لكلّ رسولٍٍ عبارةٌ مطبوعةٌ في الخواطر معناها أنّه إنسانٌ عاديٌّ مُرسلٌ من لَدُنِ العناية الإلهيّة، يردِّدُ ما تُلَقِّنه إيّاه ويُنَفِّذ ما تأمره به، وأنّه لولا ذلك التّلقين وتلك الأوامر لما كان العبقريّ البطل العظيم!

والمعقول، أن الوحيَ العالي ليس سوى الإلهام الكونيّ، وأن الرُسلَ الهداةَ المتفوّقين ليسوا سوى عُظماء الكون وقادة الإنسان، وأنّه إذا كان لله فضلُ الإيحاء للنبيّين، فإن لهؤلاء فضلَ إثباتِ وجوده تعالى للبشر وإقناعهم بالإيمان بالمجهول… فالرسول إذًا ليس ذلك المُستوحي المُنفِّذ فحسب، بل هو الإنسان المتفوّق والزعيم المُصلح والقائد الباسل أيضًا.

وعلى هذا الضوء من حقيقة الرسول الإنسان نقول: إننا إذا تمثّلنا عُلماء الأرض قاطبةً قممًا بارزة في سلسلة جبال التاريخ، نرى ذروتين عاليتين في أجواء الروح والمجد، في سماء الدين وآفاق الدنيا، لا تُدانيهما ذروةٌ ولا يعلوهما علوٌّ، ألا وهما المنارتان المُشعّتان: عيسى المسيح والمُصطفى محمّد!

والذروة التي يقف العالم اليوم عند سَفحِها مُتطلِّعًا إليها ذاكرًا ميلادها ونشوءها وتساميها وخلودها، هي المسيحيّة رجلاً ودينًا وامتدادًا. وإذا كان لإنسان من بني الدنيا حقّ الوقوف والتطلع والذكرى، فلإنسانِ بلادِنا هذا الحقّ قبل سواه، بل له حقّ الصعودِ من السفحِ إلى الذروة، والاستواء هناك، على سِدْرَةِ السماء وشأوِ الكون، فخورًا معتدًّا، بأن هذه الذروة إنّما ارتفعت من أرضِنا، وتسامت في سمائنا، وبأن هذه المنارة إنّما أشعّت من مشرقِنا، بأضواء شمسِنا وسنا شطوطِنا وروعة رُبانا وجلال رحابنا…

وإذا كان على دنيا من الدُنى واجبُ الالتفات بالذّاكرة إلى يوم ميلاد المسيح، يوم الإيمان والوعي والتحرّر والانطلاق والحياة، فعلى دُنيانا المَشرقيّة أوّلاً، هذا الواجب… على القدس وعمّان وبيروت ودمشق وبغداد، قبل روما وباريس ولندن وواشنطن وموسكو واجب تقديس هذا اليوم وتخليدِه يومًا مشرقيًّا وعيدًا قوميًّا!

وهل أَدعى لتيهِنا واعتدادِنا من هذا الميلاد الذي هو ميلادُنا وهذا الرسول الذي هو رسولنا؟ وهل هناك اعتزازٌ يفوق اعتزازَ مشرِقِنا بكونه مكوِّن السيد المسيح وباعثه ومُطعِمه وكاسيه وموطنه ومُلهمه وناصره؟ أوليس من حقّ بلادِنا أن تشرئبَّ تعاليًا وتباهيًا على الدنيا كلّها، ونصف بني الدنيا اليوم، وفي كل صباح مساء، يتوجّهون بقلوبهم وأنظارهم خاضعين خاشعين مستسلمين لرسالة ابن بلادنا، إحدى رسالات الكنعانيّين والآراميّين والحثيّين الألى علّموا الإنسان بحرف ووحّدوا الكون بزورق، وعمّروا الأرض بإبداع؟!

أوليس من حقّنا القومي نحن بني المشرق أن نفاخر الشرق والغرب والشمال والجنوب ببيت لحم القرية الصغيرة، بل بمذود بقرة فيها، تَسجُد له عواصم الإمبراطوريّات والممالك والجمهوريّات والولايات والإمارات في المعمور، كما سَجَدَت العوالم من قبل لكهفٍ في أرواد وجبيل وصور، وحجرٍ في دمشق وبابل ونينوى وسواها من منائر العلم والعمل والتوحيد؟ ليس بدعًا إنْ عَبَدَ البشرُ روحَ الله في إنسانٍ منّا، فقديمًا عبدوا الله في حجرٍ من بلادِنا!

أيّها المشارقة المؤمنون!

إن السيدَ المسيح الذي تلقّينا عنه أقصى مبادئ التسامح والعفو والرحمة والوداعة والهِداية، وحفظناها وعلمنا بها وحدنا في ديارنا، قد أرادنا أيضًا أُباةً أعزّةً وأبطالاً صراعيّين، نمتشقُ القوّةَ سلاحًا ونصارعُ الباطلَ كفاحًا… لا، لا تقولوا أني أشتطّ وأبتدع، فمسيحُنا كان رسولَ المبادئ الإصلاحيّة ومعلّمَ الدروس الاجتماعيّة وزعيمَ النّهضة المشرقيّة وقائدَ الحملة البطوليّة في مكافحة الفساد والفوضى والشرور والآثام، أوبئة بني إسرائيل الفاسدين الشرّيرين الآثمين، التي كادت تمتدّ في أنحاء المشرق وتصيب المشارقة أجمعين… فانتصرَ هذا البطلُ البطل على تلك الأوبئة انتصارَ اللاهوت في السماء والناسوت على الأرض، بعد أن غضب على “بني إسرائيل” وشتّتهم ولعَنهم، فتشرّدوا عبيدًا يُساقون وتيهًا يتساقطون!

أجل أيّها المشارقة المؤمنون!

لقد كان مسيحنا بطلاً في إيمانه، وبطلاً في أقواله، وبطلاً في أفعاله… يصمد أمام الأعداء والمكابرين، تارةً بالعنف وطَورًا باللين، لتكوين المجتمع الأفضل والإنسان الأمثل في بلادنا!

فيا مسيحنا!

في قلوبنا منك وداعة الحَمَل، وفي أيدينا منك قوّة البطل… وأنت على جفوننا وفي خواطرنا رسولٌ إنسانيٌّ مشرقيٌّ عقائديٌّ وبطلٌ اجتماعيٌّ صراعيٌّ… وسيرتك كلّها، في ضمائرنا، منذ أن قلت كلمتك الأولى فوطِئتَ الأشواك صابرًا، إلى أن قلت كلمتك الأخيرة فحملت الإكليل ظافرًا… و”شعب إسرائيل” الذي كافحتَ أوبئته وقضيتَ على امتدادها باللعنة والتشتيت والعبوديّة والتيه، قد عاد اليوم إلى بلادك، ليعيث فيها فسادًا… بل لقد أعاده الذين يدّعون الإيمان بمسيحيّتك ويصلّون لوجهك!

فعُد إلينا يا مسيحنا، للقضاء على الفاسدين الفوضويّين الشريرّين الآثمين، ولطرد الكتبة والفريسيّين من بيتك الذي شئته أنت بيتًا للصلاة، وجعله نصارى الغرب مغارةً للّصوص!

 كتب هذا المقال في كانون الأول 1948.

** شاعر واديب لبناني كبير دعي بشاعر الأناشيد.


Christ Is From My Country (Lebanon/Syria). What are the messages of Jesus?  

Mohammad Yousef Hammoud 

Mind you this article was published on December 1948 and translated from Arabic

The hearts, tongues, pens, and ears became accustomed to believing, saying, writing, and hearing that the immortal verses of the prophets, along with their miracles and victories were merely inspirations inspired, wills dictated, and victories achieved by God. 

This belief became fixed in the hearts and minds of the people as a deep, reassuring faith, which strips the “messenger” of his personal genius, individual will, and heroic deeds. 

Thus for every messenger an idea was imprinted in the minds of the people that he is an ordinary person sent by divine providence, repeating its instructions and implementing its orders. 

And that without these instructions and orders he would not have been the great heroic genius that he was! 

The likelihood is that the heavenly inspiration was nothing more than a cosmic revelation and that the guiding, superior prophets were nothing more than world greats and leaders of humankind. 

And if credit should be given to God for inspiring the prophets, these prophets should be given credit for proving His existence to humans and persuading them to have faith in the unknown. 

Thus, the prophet is not merely the inspired executor, but also the superior human, the reforming leader, and the brave commander.

In light of this reality of the human messenger we say: “if we imagine all world scholars without exception as prominent summits in the mountain chain of history, we will see two high peaks in the atmospheres of the spirit and of glory, in the heaven of religion and horizons of the earth, unequalled by any peak and unsurpassed by any height, as they are the two shining beacons: The Christ Jesus and Mohammad the Chosen! 

The peak at whose foot the world stands today looking upon it in remembrance of its birth, its genesis, its eminence, and its immortality, is Christianity as a man, a religion, and an extent.   

And if any human from this world has the right to stand, look, and remember, it is the human from our country that not only has this right before others, but also has the right to ascend from the foot to the peak, and to sit at its throne, on the zenith of the heavens and on top of the universe, proud and self-confident, knowing that this peak rose from our land and was heightened in our skies, and that this beacon shined from our Levant, with the light of our sun, the glow of our shores, the marvel of our hilltops, and the majesty of our plains. 

If any region has a duty to remember the day of Christ’s birth, the day of faith, awareness, liberation, departure, and life, it is primarily our Levantine region that has this duty. 

It is the obligation of Jerusalem, Amman, Beirut, Damascus, and Baghdad, before Rome, Paris, London, Washington, and Moscow to sanctify this day and to immortalize it as a Levantine promising national day! 

Is there a better claimant to our pride and haughtiness for this birth that is our birth and this messenger who is our messenger? 

And is there a glory that supersedes our Levant’s glory in that it is the creator, emitter, feeder, native land, inspirer, and proponent of Christ? 

Or does our country not have the right to raise its head in exaltation and boastfulness over the rest of the entire world, when half the world today, every morning and evening, follow with their hearts and their sights in obedience, humbleness, and submission to the message of the son of our country, which is one of the messages of the Canaanites, the Arameans, and the Hittites who taught humankind with a letter, unified the world with a boat, and built the earth with innovation?! 

Or is it not our national right, we the people of the Levant, to vie in glory with the east, the west, the north, and the south, in a manger in the small town of Bethlehem, before which kneel the capitals of the empires, kingdoms, republics, states, and princedoms of the world? 

Just as the worlds in the past knelt before a cave in Arwad, Jbeil, and Tyre, or a stone in Damascus, Babylon, Nineveh, and others of the beacons of science, work, and unity. 

It is not a heresy if humans worship God in a man from amongst us, as in olden times they worshipped God in a stone from our country! 

O Faithful Levantines! Christ, from whom we learned the principles of utmost forgiving, pardoning, mercy, gentleness, and giving, which we memorized and knew about alone in our homes, also wanted us to be proud and haughty as well as fighting heroes, drawing strength as a weapon and fighting falsehood in combat. 

Do not say that I am straying or committing a heresy, for our Christ was the messenger of reforming principles, the teacher of social studies, the leader of Levantine renaissance, and the commander of the heroic campaign against corruption, chaos, evil, and sins, the epidemics of the corrupt, evil, sinful children of Israel, which were spreading across the Levant and afflicting all Levantines. 

Thus, this hero was victorious over these epidemics as divinity is victorious in the heavens and humanity is victorious on earth, after becoming furious with the “children of Israel” and dispersing them and cursing them. 

Hence they were displaced as steered slaves falling in their arrogance.Yes O Faithful Levantines! Our Christ was a hero in his faith, a hero in his words, and a hero in his deeds. 

He persevered before the enemies and the arrogant, sometimes with violence and other times with tenderness, in order to create the most beautiful society and the most ideal human in our country!

Thus O Christ! In our hearts from you is the gentleness of the lamb, and in our hands from you is the strength of the hero. 

And you are in our eyes and our minds a humanistic Levantine paradigmatic messenger and a fighting societal hero. 

Your entire course is in our consciences, from the time you uttered your first words and brought down the thorns with patience, until the time you spoke your last words, carrying the crown triumphantly. 

And the “people of Israel” whose epidemics you combated and eradicated its spread with cursing, dispersal, slavery, and arrogance, have returned today to your country in order to ravage it with corruption. 

What’s more is that they were returned by those who declare their faith in your Christianity and pray to your image! 

Return to us O Christ, in order to eradicate the corrupt, chaotic, evil sinners, and to expel the scribes and Pharisees from your house which you wanted to be a house of worship, and which the Christians of the West turned into a grotto for Thieves. ________________________________________________________________________

* This article was first published in “kul shay’” (Every thing) Newspaper on the above-mentioned date and was republished in the book “That Long Night,” March 1, 1953, P. 141.

The religions of the people of the desertic regions

The peoples living the nomadic lifestyle in the desertic regions could Not appreciate abstract concepts, especially with religions that insist on including abstract dogma in their “belief systems

If my current idol does Not satisfy my desires, I destroy it and replace it by another more convenient idol.

“J’étais toujours frappé’ quand je voyais les cheikhs tomber a genoux au milieu du désert, se tournant vers l’Orient et toucher le sable du front. Qu’était ce que cette chose inconnue qu’ils adoraient vers l’Orient?’ (Napoleon Bonaparte).

En fait, Mohammad avait ordonné’ de se tourner vers Jerusaleme les 13 premiere annes de son prosélytisme, avant de changer d’avis quand il a fondé’ son City-State in Yathreb.

Et  Mohamed ordonna de se tourner vers la Mecque. Mohammad ne voulait plus une religion de “continuit锑 mais une religion à Soi. Une religion pour les peuple des déserts. Les peuples qui n’avaient cure des dogmes abstraits.

Le Judaïsme aussi est une religion du désert: Ces bédouins du désert du sud de la Palestine et du Sinaï ne voulaient pas faire parti des peuple civilisé de la “Syrie”, avec une culture écrite très élevé et développe’.

Chateaubriand a été’ invité en 1802 par Julien, le frère de Napoléon, a un gala.

Bonaparte fit son chemin directement vers Chateaubriand qui essayait de se faire invisible derrière des invités

Napoléon éleva la voix “Mr chateaubriand”. La foule se retira et se reforma en cercle autour des interlocuteurs

Napoléon qui avait peut être lu “Le génie du Christianisme” souflat:

“Les idéologues du Christianisme n’ont-ils pas voulu en faire un système d’astronomie? Si le christianisme est l’allégorie des mouvements celeste… les esprits forts ont beau faire, malgré eux ils ont laissé assez de grandeur a l’infâme (Les Voltairiens?)”

En fait, tous les religions antiques relève d’astronomie, même en ce jour des religions des peuple isolés.

Note: Mohamad Christian sect (Ebonite)  borrowed more from Judaism (daily rules) than from Christianity. Though Mohamad had a devotion for the “Virgin” Marie who raised the prophet Jesus (Issa). That was natural since  the 3 most powerful idols in the Arabian peninsula were women, each one with special tasks.

Allah was an all general idol that could not generate profit to the monopoli of the Umayyad tribe. This tribe made its wealth from caravane trade that extended from Yemen to Damascus, and Bassora (Iraq) and Palestine through the Nabataean Kingdom toward Egypt

As he took control of the City-State of Yathreb , Mohammad changed his mind and ordered to direct prayers toward Mecca instead of Jerusalem. And this Islam became the religion of the desertic regions.

The Deplorable Neo-cons? Christian Zionist or Extremist Evangelical Puritanism?

Note: Re-edit of “Christian Zionism: The Heresy of Choice for Neocons. May 23, 2018)

For each Jewish Zionist there are ten wacko Evangelical Christian Zionists.

At least one in four American Christians surveyed recently by Christianity Today magazine said that they believe it is their biblical responsibility to support the nation of Israel.

This view is known as Christian Zionism.

The Pew Research Center put the figure at 63% among white evangelicals.

Christian Zionism is pervasive within mainline American evangelical, charismatic and independent denominations including the Assemblies of God, Pentecostals and Southern Baptists, as well as many of the independent mega-churches.

It is less prevalent within the historic denominations, which show a greater respect for the work of the United Nations, support for human rights, the rule of international law and empathy with the Palestinians.

The origins of the movement can be traced to the early 19th century when a group of eccentric British Christian leaders began to lobby for Jewish restoration to Palestine as a necessary precondition for the return of Christ.

The movement gained traction from the middle of the 19th century when Palestine became strategic to British, French and German colonial interests in the Middle East.

Proto-Christian Zionism therefore preceded Jewish Zionism by more than 50 years. Some of Theodore Herzl’s strongest advocates were Christian clergy.

Christian Zionism as a modern theological and political movement embraces the most extreme ideological positions of Zionism.

It has become deeply detrimental to a just peace between Palestine and Israel.

It propagates a worldview in which the Christian message is reduced to an ideology of empire, colonialism and militarism. In its extreme form, it places an emphasis on apocalyptic events leading to the end of history rather than living Christ’s love and justice today.

Followers of Christian Zionism are convinced that the founding of the State of Israel in 1948 and the capture of Jerusalem in 1967 were the miraculous fulfillment of God’s promises made to Abraham that he would establish Israel as a Jewish nation forever in Palestine.

Tim LaHaye’s infamous Left Behind novels, together with other End Times speculations written by authors such as Hal Lindsey, John Hagee and Pat Robertson, have sold well over 100 million copies.

These are supplemented by children’s books, videos and even violent computer games.

Burgeoning Christian Zionist organizations such as the International Christian Embassy (ICEJ), Christian Friends of Israel (CFI) and Christians United for Israel (CUFI) wield considerable influence on Capitol Hill, claiming a support base in excess of 50 million true believers.

This means there are now at least ten times as many Christian Zionists as Jewish Zionists.

And their European cousins are no less active in the Zionist Hasbara-fia, lobbying for Israel, attacking its critics and thwarting the peace process. The United States and Israel are often portrayed as Siamese twins, joined at the heart, sharing common historic, religious and political values.

Pastor John Hagee is one of the leaders of the Christian Zionist movement. He is the Founder and Senior Pastor of Cornerstone Church, a 19,000-member evangelical church in San Antonio, Texas. His weekly programs are broadcast on 160 TV stations, 50 radio stations and eight networks into an estimated 99 million homes in 200 countries.

In 2006 he founded Christians United for Israel admitting that: “For 25 almost 26 years now, I have been pounding the evangelical community over television. The Bible is a very pro-Israel book. If a Christian admits ‘I believe the Bible,’ I can make him a pro-Israel supporter or they will have to denounce their faith. So I have the Christians over a barrel, you might say.”

In March 2007, Hagee spoke at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) Policy Conference. He began by saying: “The sleeping giant of Christian Zionism has awakened. There are 50 million Christians standing up and applauding the State of Israel…”

As the Jerusalem Post pointed out, his speech did not lack clarity. He went on to warn: “It is 1938. Iran is Germany, and Ahmadinejad is the new Hitler. We must stop Iran’s nuclear threat and stand boldly with Israel, the only democracy in the Middle East… Think of our potential future together: 50 million evangelicals joining in common cause with 5 million Jewish people in America on behalf of Israel is a match made in heaven.”

Christian Zionists have shown varying degrees of enthusiasm for implementing 6 basic political convictions that arise from their ultra-literal and fundamentalist theology:

  1. The belief that the Jews remain God’s chosen people leads Christian Zionists to seek to bless Israel in material ways. However, this also invariably results in the uncritical endorsement of and justification of Israel’s racist and apartheid policies, in the media, among politicians and through solidarity tours to Israel.
  2. As God’s chosen people, the final restoration of the Jews to Israel is therefore actively encouraged, funded and facilitated through partnerships with the Jewish Agency.
  3. Eretz Israel, as delineated in scripture, from the Nile to the Euphrates, belongs exclusively to the Jewish people, therefore the land must be annexed, and Palestinians driven from their homes and the illegal Jewish settlements expanded and consolidated.
  4. Jerusalem is regarded as the eternal and exclusive capital of the Jews, and cannot be shared with the Palestinians. Therefore, strategically, Christian Zionists have lobbied the US Administration to relocate its embassy to Jerusalem and thereby ensure that Jerusalem is recognized as the capital of Israel.
  5. Christian Zionists offer varying degrees of support for organizations such as the Jewish Temple Mount Faithful who are committed to destroying the Dome of the Rock and rebuilding the Jewish Temple on the Haram Al-Sharif (Noble sanctuary of Al-Aqsa).
  6. Christian Zionists invariably have a pessimistic view of the future, convinced that there will be an apocalyptic war of Armageddon in the imminent future. They are deeply skeptical of the possibility of a lasting peace between Jews and Arabs and therefore oppose the peace process. Indeed, to advocate an Israeli compromise of “land for peace” with the Palestinians is seen as a rejection of God’s promises to Israel and therefore to support her enemies.

Within the Christian Zionist worldview, Palestinians are regarded as alien residents in Israel.

Many Christian Zionists are reluctant even to acknowledge Palestinians exist as a distinct people, claiming that they emigrated to Israel from surrounding Arab nations for economic reasons after Israel had become prosperous.

A fear and deep-seated hatred of Islam also pervades their dualistic Manichean theology.

Christian Zionists have little or no interest in the existence of indigenous “Arab Christians” despite their continuity with the early church. (And the foundation of the civilization in the Near-East)

In 2006, I drafted what became known as the Jerusalem Declaration on Christian Zionism signed by 4 of the Heads of Churches in Jerusalem: His Beatitude Patriarch Michel Sabbah, Latin Patriarch, Jerusalem; Archbishop Swerios Malki Mourad, Syrian Orthodox Patriarchate, Jerusalem; Bishop Riah Abu El-Assal, Episcopal Church of Jerusalem and the Middle East; and Bishop Munib Younan, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Jordan and the Holy Land.

In it they insisted:

“We categorically reject Christian Zionist doctrines as a false teaching that corrupts the biblical message of love, justice and reconciliation.

We further reject the contemporary alliance of Christian Zionist leaders and organizations with elements in the governments of Israel and the United States that are presently imposing their unilateral pre-emptive borders and domination over Palestine.

This inevitably leads to unending cycles of violence that undermine the security of all peoples of the Middle East and the rest of world.

We reject the teachings of Christian Zionism that facilitate and support these policies as they advance racial exclusivity and perpetual war rather than the gospel of universal love, redemption and reconciliation taught by Jesus Christ.

Rather than condemn the world to the doom of Armageddon we call upon everyone to liberate themselves from ideologies of militarism and occupation.

Instead, let them pursue the healing of the nations!

We call upon Christians in Churches on every continent to pray for the Palestinian and Israeli people, both of whom are suffering as victims of occupation and militarism. These discriminatory actions are turning Palestine into impoverished ghettos surrounded by exclusive Israeli settlements.

The establishment of the illegal settlements and the construction of the Separation Wall (Wall of Shame) on confiscated Palestinian land undermines the viability of a Palestinian state and peace and security in the entire region.”

The patriarchs concluded, “God demands that justice be done. No enduring peace, security or reconciliation is possible without the foundation of justice. The demands of justice will not disappear. The struggle for justice must be pursued diligently and persistently but non-violently.”

The prophet Micah asks, “What does the Lord require of you, to act justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God.” (Micah 6:8).

It is my contention after more than 10 years of postgraduate research that Christian Zionism is the largest, most controversial and most destructive lobby within Christianity.

It bears primary responsibility for perpetuating tensions in the Middle East, justifying Israel’s apartheid colonialist agenda and for undermining the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians.

The closing chapter of the New Testament takes us back to the imagery of the Garden of Eden and the removal of the curse arising from the Fall:

“Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb… On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations.” (Revelation 22:1-2)

Surely this is what Jesus had in mind when he instructed his followers to act as Ambassadors of peace and reconciliation, to work and pray that God’s kingdom would come on earth as it is in heaven.

Note: It is the US Evangelical who pressured President Wilson to demand that England recognizes the rights of Jews in Palestine before joining in the WWI war.




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