There is a large faction in the global political alt-Left who roll their eyes, shake their heads as if sadly, and take on a half-pitying half-mocking smile when they hear people decry a “War on Christianity.”
They are, for the most part, the same people who consider Christians (with whom they’ve most likely never had a serious, graceful, “Luke 6:31” conversation in their lives) to be uneducated, unsophisticated, working class blue-collar, culturally illiterate, inherently bitter racists and xenophobes. You know who they mean.
An otherwise articulate man once described them as people from “these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest,” full of “antipathy toward people who aren’t like them,” who “cling to guns or religion.” You know who I mean.
These secular alt-Lefters are also, more often than not, the same people responsible for irresponsible attacks on Christians and Christianity. Unfortunately, if you were to make a graph of their Biblical literacy, as their secular alt-Left dogma increases, their knowledge of true Biblical Christianity often approaches zero. And their “attacks” often blatantly demonstrate this ignorance.
Hank Berrien, writing in DailyWire yesterday, profiled a recent archaeological discovery, the reaction to it by Christian scholars, and the dismissively sneering response by the alt-Lefters.
The find was published in the scholarly, peer-reviewed American Journal of Human Genetics. Scientists reported on their successful efforts to sequence DNA genetic material from long-dead ancient Canaanites. From that DNA, they were able to demonstrate that descendants of that ancient race still live in the Middle East. Christian scholars rejoiced in what they saw as a confirmation of Biblical accuracy. The secular alt-Lefters, paying scant attention to all that the Bible had to say about the Canaanites, gleefully argued that this find destroyed the Bible’s credibility.
Guess which side the media reported.
“Study disproves the Bible’s suggestion that the ancient Canaanites were wiped out” (The Telegraph)
“Bible says Canaanites were wiped out by Israelites but scientists just found their descendants living in Lebanon” (The Independent)
“Bronze Age DNA disproves the Bible’s claim that the Canaanites were wiped out: Study says their genes live on in modern-day Lebanese people” (Daily Mail)
“Scientists Find Evidence That Ancient Canaanites Survive Today: Was The Bible Wrong?” (Tech Times)
The only trouble was, as Berrien clearly demonstrates, the alt-Lefters had failed to do even a minimum amount of Biblical research before launching their diatribes, attempting to portray the Bible as false, unreliable, and therefore pernicious and hateful.
I commend Berrien’s article to all, regardless of political affiliation — because the issue of the veracity of the Bible totally and completely transcends political, ideological, or philosophical debate.
Just as you want others to do for you, do the same for them. (LUKE 6:31 HCSB)
A large jar burial containing the remains of one of the individuals sequenced in the study referenced above.
If you look on their websites, you will find that the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the Muslim American Society (MAS) describe themselves in the most general and warm-and-fuzzy ways. Do these descriptions mirror the groups accurately? Have a look:
CAIR: Tagline on their webpage is “Making democracy work for everyone.”
Their vision is to be “a leading advocate for justice and mutual understanding.”
Their Mission is to “enhance understanding of Islam, encourage dialogue, protect civil liberties, empower American Muslims, and build coalitions that promote justice and mutual understanding.”
MAS: Describes itself as “a dynamic charitable, religious, social, cultural, and educational, organization.”
Their Mission is “to move people to strive for God consciousness, liberty, and justice, and to convey Islam with utmost clarity.”
Their vision is “a virtuous and just American society.”
“Now who can argue with that?” (to quote from Mel Brooks’ comedy masterpiece Blazing Saddles).
Well, this is no laughing matter — and apparently their fellow Arab Muslims in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) can and do argue with it, and they apparently take great exception to these benign self-descriptions by CAIR and MAS.
As of two days ago, UAE’s President His Highness Sheikh Khalifa bin Zayed Al Nahyan has approved, and his Cabinet has issued, the kingdom’s list of 85 “designated [international] terrorist organisations and groups” — published, they said, in order “to raise awareness in society about these organisations.”
Raise awareness, indeed. Hackles may have been raised as well in some quarters, because nestled in the list in and among the usual suspects (al-Qaeda and its various affiliates in Pakistan, Syria, Yemen and North Africa; ISIL/Dae’sh; Hezbollah; the Muslim Brotherhood and several of its European affiliates; and various Iranian-backed radical Shi’ite groups) sit — you guessed it — CAIR and MAS.
There are many who believe these groups appear on the list of Terrorist Organizations for good reason. The Reston, Virginia-based Media Research Center (MRC) has provided a reminder of how CAIR was in American headlines in the past. “CAIR was named by the Justice Department in 2007 as ‘unindicted co-conspirators’ in its case against the Holy Land Foundation in Texas, whose leaders were convicted the following year of raising money for Hamas. One of the convicted men, Ghassan Elashi, was founder of CAIR’s Texas chapter. He was sentenced to 65 years’ imprisonment.”
Then there’s the case of the documentary film Honor Diaries, which profiles “nine Muslim women and their horrific experiences in Islamic societies living with practices such as female genital mutilation, honor violence, honor killings, and forced marriage at young ages.” The film’s creators describe it as “more than a movie, it is a movement to save women and girls from human rights abuses — around the world and here in America.” Earlier this year, a screening of the film planned for the University of Michigan, Dearborn, was cancelled based on shrill cries of “Islamophobia!” by, you guessed it, CAIR.
(I urge you to watch the trailer for Honor Diaries at the bottom of this essay, to decide for yourself.)
As for MAS, the MRC notes that the organization “was founded by Muslim Brotherhood [MB] members in the early 1990s.” Remember the Muslim Brotherhood? The dashed hopes for the Arab Spring? Egypt? Islamic supremacists? Torture, rape, and killings in the street? “Although [MAS] states that it ‘has no affiliation with’ the MB or any other international organization, [it] does not deny those origins, and also acknowledges the important place of the MB’s foundational texts.”
By very sharp contrast to CAIR and MAS, consider the organization called the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) — decidedly not listed by the UAE’s as a terrorist organization. AIFD’s president Zuhdi Jasser is an outspoken critic of CAIR, and he has been repeatedly targeted by that group. According to AIFD, the inclusion of CAIR and MAS on the UAE terror list should cause Muslims and the “broader American society at large to see these organizations for what they really are: purveyors of Islamist apologetics and the malignancy of supremacism.”
However much they would like to see that message about CAIR become widespread, AIFD predicts it will not happen, pointing out that inclusion on the UAE Terrorist List “places CAIR in exactly the position they most enjoy: that of the victim.”
(You may find the difference between AIFD and the other two American Islamic groups referenced to be interesting, enlightening, and perhaps even refreshing. AIFD’s Mission “is to advocate for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state.” It explicitly aims to counter “the common belief that the Muslim faith is inextricably rooted to the concept of the Islamic State (Islamism)” and wants to “build the future of Islam through the concepts of liberty and freedom.”)
Finally, then, are CAIR and MAS terrorist organizations? I have no first hand knowledge, and I don’t pretend to be qualified to tell you what to think. I can only report to you the research I have done over the years, and that is what I will continue to do.
You’ve read the Missions and Visions of these two groups, and you’ve read what their detractors say. Given everything, though, I confess to being quite taken by the fact that the United Arab Emirates did their due diligence, and they decided (with nothing to gain for their country by doing so) that these groups were, in fact, terrorist organizations. Political (or politically correct) pressure may ultimately be brought to bear on the UAE, and they may even back down and remove CAIR and MAS from the list. But it can never change the fact that the Arab Muslims in the UAE felt totally justified in having called this two groups terrorists in the first place.
Spokesmen for Both CAIR and MAS have described themselves as “shocked” at being named terrorists by their fellow Arab Muslims, and are “seeking clarification.”
I want to share with you one of the most amazing things that has happened in the modern Middle East, and while it most likely will not rival the collapse of the Soviet empire in importance, it has the potential to re-write regional maps. And yet there’s a danger that most Americans will miss it (or not believe its importance) until it’s too late.
When the current administration announced a timetable to end (rather than win) the war in Iraq, a then-small terrorist insurgency group affiliated with al-Qaeda began to mobilize in northern Syria to wait out the American withdrawal. After it broke away from al-Qaeda, that group came to be known as ISIS (an acronym for the name they gave themselves, “Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham”; al-Sham refers to the “Levant,” or the region of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, and Israel), and within the last week they have rapidly pushed forward militarily into Iraq with the clear intent of taking over the nation.
On Tuesday of this week, ISIS captured the second largest city of Iraq, Mosul (the ancient city of Ninevah), as the Iraqi military (such as it is) crumbled or melted back in their wake. Just today, it has been reported that ISIS has moved south and taken the major city of Tikrit, and they now stand poised to push into Baghdad.
The red slanted lines on the Fox News map below show the territory that ISIS has won and now controls, most of it in less than a week. They could be ready to attack Baghdad in a matter of days. The white area on the map inside Iraq, to the right (east) of the ISIS-controlled area, is land controlled by the Kurds. Moments ago (this is how fast all of this is unfolding) the Kurdish paramilitary forces, known as peshmerga, announced that they have taken control of major military installations in and around the city of Kirkuk, as a way of stabilizing their control over what they consider to be their land.
The Balad Air Base, which sits between Tikrit and Baghdad, today executed an emergency evacuation of all U.S. military personnel and American non-military contractors. Clearly, they believe the ISIS momentum is real and serious.
Our Vice President has, earlier today, sent word to Iraq’s Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki that the United States pledges to “intensify and accelerate [its] security, support and cooperation with Iraq” as this threat continues to mount. What form this redeployment of assistance will take has, as yet, not been made public.
HERE’S THE TAKE-AWAY FROM THIS: How does this rise to the level of a geopolitical earthquake? Think about it. If ISIS takes over the capital city of Baghdad, they will lay claim to controlling an entire nation – the first terrorist group in modern times to achieve that goal. We’ve known of state-sponsored terrorism for years now (e.g., terrorist cells supported by Iran, Syria, Saddam’s Iraq, etc.), but this would be the first time that a terrorist group itself has militarily fought for and captured an entire nation.
ISIS is a self-declared implacable foe, with an avowed hatred, of the “Little Satan” of Israel and the “Great Satan” of America. It is true that their military push into Iraq may be foiled or sputter and die of its own weakness. But, if ISIS were to succeed in taking most or all of Iraq, and claiming control and leadership of the nation, then for the first time we would be facing the potential threat of attacks and/or war – not from small, disparate groups of terrorist insurgents (and we’ve seen since 9/11 how much damage they can do) – but from a true terrorist state, intent on our destruction and with all of the oil-rich resources of an entire nation behind it.
Christ was very clear: “What I say to you, I say to everyone: Watch!” (or “Be alert!”). I will do my best to bring to you this information, and its portent for our lives, as it unfolds.