"Iran Reaches the Mediterranean"

Author David J. Jonsson's commentary on the 2006
Palistinian elections.

© 2006

For Muslims, three cities of the Christian faith have particular significance: Jerusalem, Constantinople and Rome. The fall of Constantinople is described in detail in my earlier book, The Clash of Ideologies--The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds. Iran with its relations and support of Hamas and Hezbollah now has access to the Mediterranean and is the neighbor of Jerusalem. Italy was the first country from which it withdrew its funds.

Recent events in Palestine, Lebanon and Egypt make it imperative that we pay heed to the apocalyptic teachings of Islam. The election in the Palestine Authority has resulted in the election of Hamas. In December 2005, the Egyptian electorate came out strongly for the Muslim Brotherhood, and not for the liberal elements. In Iraq, the post-Saddam electorate voted in a pro-Iranian Islamist as prime minister. In Lebanon, the voters celebrated the withdrawal of Syrian troops by voting Hezbollah into the government. Likewise, radical Islamic elements have prospered in elections in Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan.

Hezbollah is a Lebanese umbrella organization of radical Islamic Shiite groups and organizations. It opposes the West, seeks to create a Muslim fundamentalist state modeled on Iran, and is a bitter foe of Israel.

On December 15, 2005, Aljazeera reported that Khaled Meshaal also praised Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the Iranian president, for his "courage" in having dismissed the Holocaust as a myth and calling for Israel to be moved out of the Middle East to Europe or North America. Mr Meshaal was named the organization's most senior figure after the assassination of Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin in March 2004. To many Hamas members, he will remain the most influential Hamas leader.

On January 27, 2006 IranMania reported that Iran congratulated the Islamist Palestinian group Hamas for its election victory and praised voters for choosing "to continue the struggle and resistance against occupation." Hamas enjoys strong financial backing from Iran, private benefactors and Muslim charities in Saudi Arabia and the Gulf states, Palestinian expatriates across the globe, and American donors. An Iranian-Palestinian Islamic alliance began to emerge during the intifada and gained momentum with the burgeoning Arab-Israeli peace process in the wake of the 1991 Gulf War.

For Muslims, the apocalyptic nature surrounding the pronouncements needs to be understood. Similarly, Westerners need to understand the role of Islamic apocalyptic teaching to comprehend the actions of the Islamists.

In articles written by Islamic clerics, they herald the imminent conquest of Rome by Islam, in accordance with the prophecy of Muhammad. The issue is also discussed in Friday sermons. Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi often makes this claim in his religious rulings and on his television programs. The following are remarks made by Al-Qaradawi and other Muslim clerics.

In a fatwa posted on the website http://www.islamonline.net/, in response to a reader's question, Qaradawi wrote of the "signs of the victory of Islam," citing a well-known Hadith:

…The Prophet Muhammad was asked, "What city will be conquered first, Constantinople or Romiyya?" He answered, "The city of Hirqil [i.e., the Byzantine emperor Heraclius] will be conquered first." That is Constantinople… Romiyya is the city called today “Rome,” the capital of Italy. The city of Hirqil [that is, Constantinople] was conquered by the young 23-year-old Ottoman Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Muhammad the Conqueror, in 1453. The other city, Romiyya, remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered].

This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conqueror and victor, after being expelled from it twice; once from the South, from Andalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.

Qaradawi qualified his statement, by adding, “I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology…” This is a particularly significant statement regarding the conquest. As we have put forward in the prior chapters, economics and the resulting political alliances are the preferred method of Islamic conquest.

Qaradawi made similar statements on other occasions on his weekly religious program on Al-Jazeera. He spoke as follows:

This means that the friends of the Prophet heard that two cities would be conquered by Islam, Romiyya and Constantinople, and the Prophet said that Hirqil [i.e. Constantinople] would be conquered first. Romiyya is Rome, the capital of Italy, and Constantinople was the capital of the state of Byzantine Rome, which today is Istanbul. He said that Hirqil, which is Constantinople, would be conquered first, and this is what happened…

All right, Constantinople was conquered, and the second part of the prophecy remains, that is, the conquest of Romiyya. This means that Islam will return to Europe. Islam entered Europe twice and left it… Perhaps the next conquest, Allah willing, will be by means of preaching and ideology. The conquest need not necessarily be by the sword… [The conquest of Mecca] was not by the sword or by war, but by a [Hudabiyya] treaty, and by peace… Perhaps we will conquer these lands without armies. We want an army of preachers and teachers who will present Islam in all languages and in all dialects…

Another time, he stated:

The Hadith says that the city of Constantinople, the city of Heracles, will be conquered first. We conquered Constantinople, and the second part of the prophecy remains: the conquest of Romiyya. The conquest of Romiyya means that Islam will return to Europe. In one of my previous programs, I said that I think that this conquest would not be by the sword or armies, but by preaching and ideology. Europe will see that it suffers from materialistic culture and will seek an alternative; it will seek a way out, it will seek a lifeboat. It will find no lifesaver but the message of Islam, the message of the muezzin, who gives it religion but does not deny it this world, brings it to Heaven, but does not uproot it from Earth. Allah willing, Islam will return to Europe, and the Europeans will convert to Islam. Then they themselves will be able to be the ones to disseminate Islam in the world, more than we ancient Muslims. This is within Allah's capabilities.

The totalitarian temptation remains powerfully in place. Muslims across the world are drawn by the apocalyptic teachings of Islam with its slogan "Islam is the solution." That was the case from Iran in 1979 to Algeria in 1992 to Turkey in 2002, to the Paris riots in 2005 to the Palestine Authority this week.

Bio: David J. Jonsson is the author of Clash of Ideologies –The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds, Xulon Press 2005. His next book: Islamic Economics and the Final Jihad: The Muslim Brotherhood to the Leftist/Marxist - Islamist Alliance, will be released in spring 2006. He received his undergraduate and graduate degrees in physics. He worked for major corporations in the United States and Japan and with multilateral agencies that brought him to more than fifteen countries with significant or majority populations who are Muslim. These exposures provided insight into the basic tenants of Islam as a political, economic and religious system. He became proficient in Islamic law (Sharia) through contract negotiation and personal encounter.

Islamic Economics - Author David Jonsson  The Clash of Ideologies

David J. Jonsson can be reached at djonsson2000@yahoo.co.uk

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