Tuesday, July 27, 2010

The Persian Martyrs of Iran

Chronologically, these martyrs are: Rev. Arastoo Sayah, Muslim convert (1979); Brother Bahram Dehqani-Tafti, Muslim convert (1980); Brother Manuchehr Afghani, Muslim convert (1988 - ICI only learned of this martyrdom in 1995); Rev. Hossein Soodmand, Muslim convert (1990); Bishop Haik Hovsepian-Mehr, Evangelical Armenian (1994); Rev. Mehdi Dibaj, Muslim convert (1994); Rev. Tateos Mikaelian, Evangelical Armenian (1994); and Brother Mohammad Yousefi, Muslim convert (1996). After 1996, dozens of generally unknown Iranian Muslim convert Christians have disappeared and have been martyred.

From here.

Fitzgerald on 'We are here to stay'

From HERE. Read it all:

Listen carefully to Muslim rhetoric in this country and elsewhere in the West. It is always not-quite-what-it-seems-to-be: we hear, for example, the phrase "we are here to stay." What does that ambiguous phrase mean? Is that a rousing sign of loyalty to the American political and legal system? Or is it, rather, an aggressive and defiant expression -- we're here, we're not going anywhere, and we will do exactly as we please, in putting relentless pressure on the American legal and political system, on its educational system, on its social understandings, and will never give up, and don't think about trying to stop us -- because "we're here to stay" and the lands that, for now, you possess do not really belong to you, but belong to Allah and to the "best of peoples," that is, the Muslims. You have only temporary possession, perhaps not even a life estate; the fee simple belongs to us, the Umma, the people who received rightly the message, from the Seal of the Prophets, that Perfect Man (al-insan al-kamil), Muhammad. And while some Muslims say no Infidel laws should be obeyed, others, more prudent, think that for now such a demonstration would not be in Islam's best interests. They take a different tack: we will obey your silly manmade Infidel laws insofar as they either do not contradict any part of the Shari'a. And they then add, in a sub-rosa coda meant to be understood only by fellow Muslims: "and only because it makes more sense for now to temporarily do so, in the same spirit of Muhammad treating with the Meccans at Hudaibiyya, that is, insofar as our present relative weakness in the West requires that we temporarily must, in order to bide our time and fortify further our position."

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Oldest Christian Church?

The oldest Christian church?

Archaeologists in Jordan announced on Tuesday the discovery of a cave under the church of St Georgeous in Rihab that they believe was used as far back as between 33 AD to 70 AD to shelter early disciples of Jesus Christ - making it the first Christian church in the world

See all the pics HERE.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Madden: Inventing the Crusades

This is a great little article from Thomas Madden, a professional historian of the Crusades. It appeared in First Things 194 (Summer 2009). I love how he approaches the topic. Here are a few select quotes:

“The truth is that medieval Muslims came to realize the Crusades were religious but had little interest in them. When, in 1291, Muslim armies removed the last vestiges of the Crusader Kingdom from Palestine, the Crusades largely dropped out of Muslim memory.” (Madden 2009: 43)

“All the Crusades met the criteria of just war.” (42)

“In the Middle East, as in the West, we are left with the gaping chasm between myth and reality [regarding the Crusades].” (44)

“The Crusades were a medieval phenomenon with no connection to modern Islamist terrorism.” (41)

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Is Jordan falling under the control of Palestinians?

Robert Fisk has a great article here on the rising influence of Palestinians in Jordanian government. While the military leaders in the article are pretty anti-USA and anti-Israel, I think that overall they are really making a good point.

Why Jordan is Occupied by Palestinians

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Are Christians trained to hate Islam? (And) The lack of creativity in Islamic societies

Salome has an articulate and well-reasoned refutation of Ahmed Deedat's refutation of the Gospel's narrative of the crucifixion. She ends by reporting how Deedat complains that Christians have been trained to hate Islam. I left a comment on her blog:

Deedat will have some accounting to do on the day of the judgment, I suspect. Thanks for writing this.

I also think that Deedat is wrong about Christians being trained to hate Islam. It is true that many, perhaps most, Christians hate or at least dislike Islam, but that is largely a product of what Muslims have done and are doing around the world. If we look for Muslim contributions to art, science, medicine and so on, we are very hard-pressed to find anything at all over the last centuries. Historically, when Muslims did take over such centers of learning as Constantinople and Alexandria the eventual outcome was always decline and stagnation. This will be the future of cities like Paris and London, I suspect.

If one is tempted to point to dar al hikmah in Abbasid Baghdad let me point out that a) the shari'a as it exists today was not yet developed, and b) once the Christians and Jews were properly submitted to Islamic rule and their rights and prerogatives circumscribed, decline was the only option, and indeed that is what happened.

They did not crucify him....but it appeared to them to be so

Well, that is my translation of a famous verse from the Qur'an often cited to refute the charge that Jesus was crucified. It is a very weak verse though because of the obscure Arabic verb used. Also, the 'they' in question refers to Jews, to which any person can respond, indeed, it was the Romans who crucified him, at the behest of the Jews (well, some of them). But these realities aside, the predominant theory in the Muslim world today is that God caused the appearance of Jesus to be cast on someone else (probably Judas Iscariot), who was then crucified in his place. Jesus was saved from humiliation and suffering by God.

But what are the implications of this theory? David Wood unpacks some of them here. Here is one snippet:

So who is responsible for the Christian belief that Jesus died on the cross? If Islam is correct, God started this idea when he decided to trick Jesus’ enemies into thinking that they had killed Jesus. This leads to even more problems. If the deception of the disciples was unintentional, then we must conclude that God didn’t realize that he was about to start the largest false religion in the world. If it was intentional, then God is in the business of starting false religions. Therefore, the God of Islam is either dreadfully ignorant or maliciously deceptive.

Muhammad’s position also means that Jesus was the greatest failure in the history of the prophets. He spent 33 years preaching (again, he began preaching Islamic theology at birth), yet shortly after his death, the children of Israel were divided into two broad camps. Those who believed his message became Christians, all of whom were guilty of the worst sin imaginable (shirk), while those who rejected his message were guilty of rejecting one of God’s greatest messengers. Thus, whether people believed in Jesus or rejected him, everyone would ultimately be condemned and cast into the hellfire.

It’s strange, then, that Muslims consider Jesus to be one of the greatest prophets ever. It seems that he should have been able to win at least one lasting convert to Islam. But he didn’t. Further, a true prophet of Islam should have warned his followers not to turn away from Islam by falling for God’s deception. But Jesus never got that message across. Indeed, millions of people from around the world now refuse to accept Islam because they believe that Jesus died on the cross for their sins, a teaching that goes back to a deceptive God and an incompetent Messiah.

It would be nice to hear a Muslim response to these points.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Turn to Islam

Hi All,

Here is a very nice site which facilitates conversion from Christianity (or any other religion) to Islam. Included are testimonies of converts and a lot of apologetics. I think this site really demonstrates the vibrancy of Muslim witness in the world today. There are thousands of Muslims in W Europe converting to Christianity every year, I know. But the future is demographics and migration, not conversions. And demographics/migration, both in Europe and outside, are on the side of Islam. Folks in W Europe and Canada need to know about Islam because that is their future, or at least the future of their children and grand children.



Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Death of my name-sake

It's always a little annoying when people say that I use a pseudonym. Abu Daoud is not a pseudonym. It's not my birth name, of course, but it's certainly not a pseudonym either.

Anyway, this may be hard to believe, but there are two Abu Daoud's even more famous than me (smirk). One is the collector of ahadith (pl of hadith), or sayings of the Prophet and his companions, and the other one was the mastermind of the Munich Olympics terror attacks back in 1972.

And now both of them are dead. Muhammad Oudeh abu Daoud has passed away. Note that the CNN writer does not understand that Daoud is not to be handled as a family name. Abu Daoud is a single name, like Pope Paul VI or Cher or Charlemagne and belongs in the A section of a bibliography, not in the D section.

Anyway, here is the CNN article.

Abu Daoud, may you reap what you sowed.