The Ezekiel Syndrome
David J. Jonsson
October 16, 2007
The West has a worldview based on the analysis and actions influenced by looking through the lenses of politics and economics, whereas the Islamists looks at the world through the lens of ideology. It is time for the West to place importance on looking at events happening around the world through the lens of ideologies. In the case of the Muslims, their worldview and subsequent actions are shaped by their vision for world domination, the establishment of Islamic kingdom of God on Earth – the creation of worldwide Caliphate and the End Times.
An inability to understand the ideology behind political Islam could spell disaster for the West.
It may be instructive to view the common motivator as a conflict of ideologies. The Leftist/Marxist – Islamist Alliance war may be composed of two phases.
The first phase was to gain as much as possible through the inexpensive use of negotiation, politics, and economics including the oil weapon while simultaneously weakening the West through leftist, anti-Semitic, anti-American propaganda and strengthening the Islamist coalition. The Chinese Communist Party dominance of both the political and business landscape has made it more powerful than ever. On the eve of its five-yearly congress, which opens in Beijing on October 15, Chinese leaders sit atop not only the biggest political party in the world but the richest as well. Similarly, the Russian Communists under Putin continue to gain strategic and economic wealth. The juggernaut when combined with Islamists is a force to contend with. It is time for our leaders to view the current events through the prism of the Judeo-Christian ideology as presented in Bible Prophesy.
Phase two, after no more can be gained, is to go to war.
Mohammed's prophecies mostly involve the events to come at the end of the world and the Day of Judgment (Qiyamah), and are recorded in the Hadiths. The fighting against Jews is one of the many "signs" of the final days. Islamist ideologues are fully aware of the end-time prophecies, and are working to implement them. Belief in the end-times or the last days is mandatory in Islam. It is listed as the fifth article of faith.
The Last Day: the Day of Judgment, when all will be judged according to their deeds, and admitted to Paradise or to hell.
Also, playing a prominent role in end times events for all three faiths, is the appearance of Gog and Magog. These nations are mentioned in the Old Testament (Ezekiel 38 & 39), in the book of Revelation (Chapter 20) and in the Quran (Surah 18:94,97, 21:96). Gog and Magog head a group of nations opposed to God in the end of days.
Another character playing a prominent role in Islam, especially in the Shia sect is the Mahdi. Mahdi comes either before or with the return of Jesus, to set things in order. There is dispute within Islam regarding his nature and function. The Shia sect views this individual as the 12th Imam, hidden until the time when he should appear.
As I wrote in my article Iraq, Iran, Global Warming and The Apocalypse “It is important to recognize that both the Shiites and Sunni sects have teaching related to the End Times. While the teaching of Shiite Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad considers that the return of the Mahdi, the 12th Imam as ushering in the End Times, the Sunni scholar, Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi, in a fatwa posted on the website www.islamonline.net, (December 2, 2002) in response to a reader’s question, 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].” (See: Al-Qaradhawi: “Islam will Return to Europe as a Conqueror” MEMRI Special Dispatch No. 447, December 6, 2002.)
“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.”
Sheikh Al-Qaradhawi qualified his statement: “I maintain that the conquest this time will not be by the sword but by preaching and ideology…” http://www.islamonline.net/fatwa/arabic/FatwaDisplay.asp?hFatwaID=2042
Al-Qaradhawi made similar statements on other occasions, on his weekly religious program on Al-Jazeera. He declared: “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. Constantinop le] 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…””
Al Qaeda has often mentioned Andalusia (southern Spain) as the western anchor of its dream pan-Islamic Caliphate--a territory stretching from Spa in in the West to Indonesia in the East. Following the tragic events of 9/11, Osama bin Laden’s internationally televised speech mesmerized many Muslims with its religious and historical imagery, a powerful combination that magnified his standing with people who wanted to see him as a heroic spokesman for the weak against the strong. In the same broadcast, Ayman al Zawahiri, bin Laden’s deputy and the leader of the Islamic Jihad group, vowed that “the tragedy of al Andalus” would not be repeated. He was referring to the period widely considered the Islamic golden age in Andalusia, in Spain, which ended with Muslims being driven out of Europe by Christian armies in the fifteenth century.
More importantly, bin Laden believes that Andalusia is shorthand for Islamizing the world or, at least, for forcibly restoring the imperial glories and religious dynamism of Islam’s earlier centuries. Spain, he feels, was treacherously ripped from the hands of its rightful Muslim owners, and humiliatingly remains gripped in the talons of the Christians. Likewise, Palestine (obviously) must be reclaimed; the compromised crypto-Muslims running Arab/Muslim states must be purged (always remember that real Islamists think Nasser, of all people, was a Western stooge); and the borders of Islam must be returned to their greatest extent. History must be reversed: no more disgraceful retreats from the Andalusias of this world. Reference: Clash of Ideologies —The Making of the Christian and Islamic Worlds
In the October 11, 2007 Jerusalem Issue Brief: Al-Qaeda: The Next Goal Is to Liberate Spain from the Infidels Lt. Col. (res.) Jonathan Dahoah-Halevi wrote:
· Osama bin Laden has written: "We request of Allah...that the [Islamic] nation should regain its honor and prestige, should raise again the unique flag of Allah on all stolen Islamic land, from Palestine to Andalus." Bin Laden's mentor, Abdullah Azzam, established that the Islamic obligation to wage jihad in order to recover lost Islamic territories applies to Andalusia.
· Sheikh Yusuf Qaradawi, the spiritual head of the Muslim Brotherhood, has written that while Islam was twice evicted from Europe - from al-Andalus and from Greece - it is now in the process of returning.
· A children's magazine published by Hamas, the Palestinian branch of the Muslim Brotherhood, called on Palestinian children to restore the city of Seville to Islamic rule as well as the rest of what was once Islamic Spain.
· Israel, therefore, is a small link in the greater confrontation between radical Islam and the West. Accepting the Arabs' terms for a Middle East settlement, or even going so far as "liberating" Palestine from Israeli rule, will not be the last stop in the radical Islamic journey being led by the Muslim Brotherhood and al-Qaeda, which share the vision of spreading Islam all over the world.
Ayman al-Zawahiri, deputy of Osama bin Laden in the al-Qaeda leadership, in a new tape publicized on 20 September 2007, referred to the global aspirations of the Islamic Revolution:
O, our Muslim nation in the Maghreb [North Africa], zone of deployment for battle and jihad! The return of Andalus [today's Spain] to Muslim hands is a duty for the [Islamic] nation in general and for you in particular. You will not be able to achieve this except by purifying the Islamic Maghreb of the French and the Spanish who have once again returned, after your fathers and grandfathers had expelled them unsparingly in the way of Allah.
In the Biblical account of the last days, each of four successive powers had enemies who contested the right to rule, so, at the end of the Gentiles world power, there will be kingdoms and federations of nations who contest the authority of the Roman Empire. See: Things to Come – A Study in Biblical Eschatology by J. Dwight Pentecost.
There are numerous scholars who have and continue to study prophesy as laid out in the Bible. Needless to say there are variations in interpretation. However, the Bible remains the primary basis for the Judeo-Christian interpretation.
As the US approaches the 2008 election cycle, the issues receiving major attention among the contenders include: abortion, gay rights, immigration, health care and terrorism. There are of course significant differences among the candidates. The issue of “End Times” has not received much attention as it affects foreign relations. This is, as mentioned though out this article, the key theme of Muslims. Among the leading Republican candidates, Mitt Romney a Book of Mormon believer, would logically base his world view of the “End Times” not on the Bible but on the Book of Mormon which presents a different world view. A President’s world view will have an impact on foreign policy.
According to Pentecost, the first is the Northern Confederacy described in Ezekiel: 38:1-39:25. Gog and Magog are mentioned with those nations allied with them. The Prince of Rosh is called Gog in Ezekiel 38:3. It is to be understood that Gog is the name given to the leader of this confederacy and his land is called Magog, which is composed of three parts: Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. The identification of Rosh as modern Russia would seem to be well authenticated and generally accepted. It was predicted that allied with Magog “there would be many peoples with thee” (Ezek.38:15). The first nation federated with Russia will be Persia (Ezek. 38:5). This has reference to the ancient domain known as Iran. In addition it may include certain Arab states as Togarmah, which may include an extensive coalition of Asiatic powers.
The Second is the Kings of the East. According to Revelations 16:12, Israel-Palestine as the Epicenter, which will have become the epicenter of activity of the Roman leader and his armies, will be invaded by a great army coming from beyond the Euphrates known as the forces of “the Kings of the East”. It can be concluded that the second great opposing Gentile force will be composed of a coalition of nations from Asia, they will unite against the worldwide dominion by the head of the Roman Empire.
The third power in the conflict with Roman Empire is the King of the South, mentioned in Daniel 11:40. Evidentially this King of the South is allied with the King of the North to simultaneously invade. There is general agreement that the King of the South has reference to Egypt, inasmuch as Egypt is frequently referred to as the land of the South in Scripture.
Egypt also has a special place in minds and hearts of Christians, Jews, Moslems, and Arabs and where Egypt was mentioned as a holy place in their holy books.
In studying the alignments of the Gentile nations at the time of the tribulation period, we find the fourth alliance -- a ten kingdom federation of nations that become the final form of the Beast (Rev. 13:1-10).
Egypt is a towering enigma - sometimes monstrous, sometimes magnificent - that hovers above the rest of the Arab world like storm clouds over a dry prairie, bringing both life and destruction. Egypt is kaleidoscopic, ever-changing, and dazzling, simultaneously wonderful and woeful. It remains the big riddle of modern Arab politics - the birthplace of constitutional democracy, the Muslim Brotherhood, and the modern police state - but also it’s most vaunted prize.
The movements of these four allied powers are clearly stated in Judeo-Christian scripture and constitute one of the major themes of prophesy.
The 79 years old President Mubarak of Egypt, military dictator turned pharaoh, has been in power since 1981 and was elected for six more years in 2005. Concerns about Mubarak’s health draw much greater attention to the question of who will next rule the nation of Egypt.
The latest reports about the deterioration of the health condition of Mr. Mubarak drew panic in stock markets in the region and hundreds of millions of dollars flew off Egypt over night to bank accounts overseas. The reports of the deteriorating health in the Egyptian press have led to the imprisonment of reporters. This has angered the populous as well as human rights activists worldwide.
The trial of Ibrahim Eissa, editor-in-chief of the independent daily Al-Dostour, opened on October 1 only to be adjourned until 24 October.
In addition to harming the public interest by suggesting President Mubarak was unwell, Eissa is also accused of economic sabotage. Rumors about Mubarak's failing health allegedly caused panic among foreign investors and a $350 million slump in the stock exchange.
Ten Egyptian journalists received jail sentences last month as part of an apparent crackdown on dissent as Egypt prepares for an inevitable transition from President Hosni Mubarak. Eissa is among four editors recently sentenced to 12-months for libeling senior figures in the ruling National Democratic Party (NDP), including President Mubarak, Assistant Secretary- General Gamal Mubarak and Prime Minister Ahmed Nazif. The three other editors are Wael El-Ibrashi of Sawt Al-Umma, Adel Hammouda of Al-Fagr and Abdel-Halim Qandil, former editor of Al-Karama. They were granted bail for a LE 10,000 pending their appeal against the verdicts. A date for the appeal to be heard has yet to be set. Last year Eissa was also convicted of insulting President Mubarak, for which he was fined.
On October 4, Egypt released Essam el-Erian a senior Muslim Brotherhood leader, and nine other members of the group. The men were detained during escalating Egyptian crackdown on political dissidents. The group released was among a group of 17 arrested in mid-August.
The United States sees itself as a beacon for democratic values, but Iranian and Arab reformers say its policies in the Middle East too frequently belie its ideals, making U.S. support for their cause a damaging liability. Repressive governments in the region, whether close allies or sworn foes of the United States, often exploit anti-American sentiment to accuse homegrown liberals of being stooges peddling a U.S.-Israeli agenda. Islamist movements do the same.
The relationship of the United States with Ethiopia represents a case in point as Barney Jopson reports in the Financial Times of October 10: Dismissive Ethiopia tests US indulgence.
“Following the attacks of September 11 2001, the administration of President George W. Bush forged an anti-terror pact with Addis Ababa. It was predicated on Ethiopia’s formidable military and intelligence capabilities and its position as a Christian-led country surrounded by Muslim and Arab states.”
“But the relationship has begun to resemble many of Washington’s alliances with troublesome client regimes, based mostly on geopolitical interest. Ethiopia, which received $283m (£139m, €200m) of military and humanitarian aid from Washington this year, looks increasingly like Pakistan or Egypt: an awkward bedfellow that the US has to support for security goals but one that pursues its own, sometimes brutal, agenda regardless of American pressure.”
“When the US objects to Ethiopian policies – such as a crackdown on political opponents that killed scores of people in 2005 and a scorched-earth campaign against separatist insurgents this year – it is ignored. When America gives implicit acquiescence – as it did over the Christmas invasion of Somalia and Ethiopia’s bitter border dispute with Eritrea – the US goes through the motions of diplomatic pressure and claims to have been rebuffed.
But the wisdom of the alliance is now under scrutiny, particularly since the Democratic-controlled House of Representatives passed a bill last week that would force Ethiopia to improve democracy and human rights or risk losing substantial aid.
Events in Turkey are also very disturbing. Turkey is one of the allies of the US and NATO. Incirlik air base in southern Turkey is a major cargo hub for U.S. and allied military forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Turkey's Mediterranean port of Iskenderun is also used to ferry goods to American troops. Earlier this week a court in Istanbul has found two Turkish-Armenian journalists guilty of "insulting Turkishness" for reprinting an interview that referred to the mass killing of Ottoman Armenians by Turks in 1915 as genocide. The ruling came one day after the Foreign Affairs Committee of the US Congress approved a resolution that recognizes the killings as genocide, infuriating Ankara, which denies any such thing.
Rebels from the outlawed Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK),
fighting for an independent homeland in southeastern Turkey, said on Friday
they are moving back into Turkey from northern Iraq.
The rebels also warned in a statement that they will target Turkey's ruling AK Party and main opposition CHP.
The announcement comes as Turkey's government prepares to seek permission from parliament to carry out a cross-border offensive against an estimated 3,000 rebels it says are based in northern Iraq.
The PKK is considered a terrorist organization by Turkey, the United States and the European Union.
Iran sees this situation as an opportunity to further strengthen its regional position and has teamed up with Turkey to assist in removing a force of 5000 PUK soldiers from the area where Iran abuts Iraq in the Qandil Mountains. According to several news and intelligence sources they already have positioned troops some 7-8 km inside Iraq and have begun shelling the mountain hideouts. The situation for Turkey offers some big incentives. Not only do they get help in spanking the PUK, but have made it known that they have their eye on Kirkuk, an Iraqi city in the area that produces 40% of Iraq's oil output, and that Turkey had made claim to before.
For its part Iran also sees a chance grab a chunk of Northern Iraq for itself. In addition Iran wants to destroy forward intelligence positions the Israelis may have secretly placed among the Kurds to help them receive the earliest possible warning of an Iranian attack on Israel.
Knocking out these posts would give the Iranians two significant victories against the Israelis within the span of just a few months, the war in Lebanon being the other. The loss of this intelligence would no doubt reduce the possibility for a successful US-Israeli attack against Iran, too. Russian and Iranian intelligence experts are both predicting such an attack before the end of 2007.
Many observers believe it's already too late to stop the Turkey-Iran initiative. The question is whether it will blossom into yet another Mid-East war pitting the US, Iraq, and Israel against Iran, Turkey, and possibly Syria.
Students of prophecy should follow these developments closely. Turkey is felt by most to be a modern component along with Armenia of the Beth Togarmah mentioned in Ezekiel 38:6. Beth means house in Hebrew. Togarmah was a son of Gomer. The Armenians of today call themselves the House of Togarmah. The Turks (but not the Kurds, who are the ancient Medes of Media-Persia fame) are also included.
The Muslim Brotherhood (“MB”) organization describes itself as a political and social revolutionary movement; it was founded in March 1928 in Egypt by Hassan al-Banna, who objected to Western influence and called for return to an original Islam.
The Brotherhood is an expansive and secretive society with followers in more than 70 countries, dedicated to creating a global Islamic order that would isolate women and punish nonbelievers. Its members and supporters founded al Qaeda, as well as one “of the largest college student groups in the United States.”
Al-Banna had connections to Sufism, and he used the sufi-tariqa model for organizing the Brotherhood while rejecting Sufi “superstitions.” At first, the Muslim Brotherhood concentrated mainly on moral and social reforms, establishing educational and welfare programs. Then, following its rapid growth, it became more politically active and founded a secret military arm. It developed a tightly knit organization with a network of branches, subdivided into secret cell groups, with a missionary network that spread into Syria, Palestine and the Sudan. Members were recruited from rural and lower class backgrounds, as well as from the urban middle classes, and they received intensive ideological and physical training.
Al-Banna outlined a gradualist strategy in three stages: the Propaganda Stage (preparation), the Organization Stage (aimed at educating the people), and finally, the Action Stage. While tactics might change, the strategic objectives of the Brotherhood remain unchanged: to receive explicit political recognition so as to be able to operate freely in the social, economic and political arena, and to implement Shariah in an Islamic state.
The strategy of al-Banna has and is being implemented today in Europe and the rest of the world. We are witnessing the effect of the final stages in Europe. He could only have dreamed of the success we are seeing today.
According to Sylvain Besson, an investigative journalist for the daily newspaper, Time, in Geneva, in his book of “La conquete de L’Occident: Le projet secret des Islamistes“ (The conquest of the occident: The secret project of the Islamists), Swiss authorities made a worrying discovery at the time of a searching carried out in the villa of Egyptian banker Youssef Nada in Lugano in November 2001. Swiss investigators discovered “The Project,” an ambitious strategy intended “to establish the kingdom of God over the whole world.”
“The Project” is a fourteen-page leaflet, dated December 1982, calling for the Muslim Brotherhood’s conquest of the world. It is a detailed roadmap to attain this objective. The Muslim Brothers must infiltrate existing institutions, rather than create their own. It calls for a guerilla war against Israel in the Palestinian territories and support to diverse armed Muslim groups from Bosnia to the Philippines. Swiss investigators confirm that the Project is the proof of the Muslim Brotherhood’s role in supporting and inspiring the “worldwide jihad.”
In the 21st century, many Western politicians do not appear to understand the true agenda and ideology of Islamism. They mistakenly believe that negotiation with Islamists is possible, as if these do not have an intransigent agenda, designed to infiltrate or weaken the West. Islamists have failed to influence so-called most "Muslim countries" to accept their ideology, yet the West accepts Islamists' "advice" at its own peril.
According to the The Muslim Brotherhood (IKHWAN) Official English Website on October 3 A handbook for overthrowing governments like the Buramese, lessons to be learnt they have a plan of action for Egypt.
They reference a BBC article by Foreign Affairs correspondent Paul Reynolds handbook for overthrowing governments and regimes like the one in Burma http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/asia-pacific/7021567.stm , which they found very interesting because some factors are the key for any successful revolution that wants real change with historical examples from around the globe.
Those key factors are the following:
· Widespread public protests, bringing in many different social and economic groups
· An opposition leadership with clear ideas around which people can rally
· The ability to use the media in some form to get a message across
· A mechanism for undermining the existing regime - whether by internal coup in the case of a military junta, the emergence of reformers, or the simple exhaustion of an existing government leading to its collapse
· External pressure from key countries able to exert influence
“Can it be implemented? Well of course, look if you review these factors you will find that they can be implemented in Egypt. It will depend only on the last two factors to implement a miraculous internal coup "despite we do not have a military Junta now” and external pressure which may develop through the NGOs and Islamist countries.”
“We do not have yet united opposition leadership ideas, the MB are in Jail plus many won’t like their political program especially when it concerns the Presidency and its interaction with the religious leadership, that reminds me with the System in Iran, Ayman Nour’s program and ideas were accepted by many but he is in Jail too not to mention that after all those years he got less supporters than before, the rest from opposition from the leftists "despite their late activity in the workers" protests", the Nasserists and Wafadists seem to live in the past.”
The Egyptian government supports the evolution of democracy in Egypt in its rhetoric but continues to quash it in practice, reported a Freedom House study released on October 1. The narrative and scores from Countries at the Crossroads 2007 for Egypt are available online in English and Arabic.
“The pattern of events in Egypt over the past two years indicates an effort on the part of the government not only to retreat from promised reforms, but to further impose a repressive system,” said Thomas O. Melia, deputy executive director of Freedom House. “Given Egypt’s substantial influence on the rest of the region, the failure of President Mubarak to implement meaningful reforms in terms of its citizens’ political and civil liberties is particularly disappointing.”
The freedom of political parties and independent NGOs is becoming increasingly restricted, and the right to assembly is regularly violated, despite the Egyptian constitution’s recognition of this right. Security forces frequently crack down on opposition demonstrations, and arrest and even torture of participants is common.
A serious dilemma arises because the last remaining opposition party in Egypt is the Muslim Brotherhood, after imprisoning or prodding into exile Egypt’s leading secular opposition activists. This has resulted in the government using detentions and legal changes to neutralize the country's last surviving major political movement, the Muslim Brotherhood. The result is the support of the Muslim Brotherhood by the activist NGOs.
"Tyranny has reached unprecedented limits from any previous regime," said Mohammed Mahdi Akef, the supreme guide, or highest leader, of the Brotherhood, which the government has outlawed for decades but allowed to operate within narrow limits. "This is insane tyranny."
As Dr. Rachel Ehrenfeld wrote for the American Thinker on April 20, 2000 in the article The Muslim Brotherhood's Duping of America: “Neither the State Department nor the White House commented after U.S. House Majority Leader Stanley Hoyer met in Egypt with the Muslim Brotherhood's parliamentarian leader, Mohammed Saad el-Katatni. Hoyer and el-Katani discussed recent developments in the Middle East, and the "Brotherhood's vision."
This meeting took place just one day after the conclusion of the Muslim Brotherhood 5th Cairo Conference: The International Campaign Against US & Zionist Occupation, in which delegations from Hizbollah and Hamas took part. The participants cheered as Muslim Brotherhood General Guide Muhammad Mahdi 'Akef declared, "the devil Bush and his allies were now the ones sowing terror and aggression.
As the SocialistWorkeronline describes the conference in the article: Activists to meet at 5th Cairo Conference: “Egyptian opposition activists are calling on anti-war groups and unions to send delegates to the 5th Cairo Conference, 29 March-1 April, 2007. Over the last five years the Cairo Conference has brought together delegates from the international anti-war movement, trade unions, radical parties and the national liberation movements. It has defined the debate on resistance in the heart of the Arab world.” For more information go to Stop the War Coalition Online
Egyptian officials point to the group's high level of organization and violent past, and insist it remains the most dangerous force in Egypt. "The Muslim Brotherhood represents the framework for future violence," said Mohamed Abdel-Fattah Omar, a lawmaker from the ruling party and a former head of the state security apparatus.
In August and September, police raided the homes and meetings of Brotherhood leaders, putting behind bars five of the 12 officials in the group's decision-making guidance council. Two have since been released for health reasons.
Despite the ban, the Brotherhood has provided clinics, youth camps and other services that have won the organization support among the poor and provided a civic model for the armed Islamic movements Hezbollah and Hamas. The Brotherhood draws support among Egypt's middle class through its strong presence in technical and professional unions.
The government is also writing its crackdown into law. Constitutional changes pushed through by the government after the Brotherhood's strong showing in 2005 shut out its members in upper house elections this June. Next year, the government promises to present a new anti-terrorism code that the Brotherhood expects to be used for further crackdowns against it.
Egyptians cite U.S. pressure in 2005 as the stimulus for a short-lived flourishing of democratic opposition. That year, President Bush challenged Egypt in his State of the Union address "to show the way toward democracy in the Middle East." Since making peace with Israel in 1979, Egypt has been the No. 2 recipient of U.S. foreign aid.
Mubarak allowed other candidates to challenge his 2005 reelection bid. Egypt's fragmented secular opposition groups made tentative alliances with one another, and with the Brotherhood.
By 2006, with Hamas's victory in Palestinian elections leading U.S. officials to have second thoughts about democracy in the Middle East, and the U.S. military presence in Iraq growing ever more troubled, American priorities in the Middle East shifted again, from promoting democracy to maintaining allies.
Egypt is a police-and army-dominated modern Arab security state achieving brisk economic reforms, high growth rates, and massive job expansion in a manner that other Arab countries can only envy, however these are without attempting any serious political reform. This has occurred, as we continue to grapple with the enigma of an entire region of nearly 300 million Arabs who have not been able to achieve or sustain a single breakthrough to credible democracy.
There is no apparent chain of command or democratic institutions that would facilitate the transfer of power to the next president and hence the possible fall of the Mubarak government could send shock waves throughout the globe; commentators suggest unnerving scenarios such as would an ambitious general stage another coup or even would Egypt witness another Khomeini-style revolution?
On the world arena, nothing is more disturbing to political analysts, policymakers and stockowners in the U.S. and Western capitals than waking up one day to the breaking news coming from the Middle East that one of the long assumed allies has been toppled. The fall could be by a coup or a popular uprising of angry masses creating chaos, panic and uncertainty in international markets.
Egypt, as a currently secular Islamic country is looked upon as a key ally of the U.S and West against radical Islam. Egypt and Jordan are the only countries having signed “peace accords” with Israel. Egypt plays an important role in the potential negotiations on the Israel-Palestine process. The U.S. currently provides extensive military aid to Israel and Egypt and is currently planning to provide additional weapon systems to Egypt. U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice will visit Egypt for talks with President Hosni Mubarak on October 16 as a part of a Middle East tour that will include the Palestinian territories, Israel and Jordan ahead of a peace summit in the United States next month.
The Defense Security Cooperation Agency notified Congress earlier this month of a possible Foreign Military Sale to Egypt of STINGER Block 1 Missiles as well as associated equipment and services. "Egypt will use the STINGER missiles to upgrade its air defense capability" - that's air defense for mobile forces. That Egypt keeps practicing moving those mobile forces towards Israel's border is apparently not a concern. This proposed sale ostensibly will contribute to the foreign policy and national security of the United States by helping to improve the security of a friendly country that has been and continues to be an important force for political stability and economic progress in the Middle East.
The current situation in Egypt is setting the stage for a revolution, coup, and even potentially the full takeover of the government by the fundamentalist Islamist Muslim Brotherhood.
The Mubarak regime has grown very unpopular and detested by many if not most Egyptians. The disparities between the super-poor and the super-rich are widening everyday. Prices of basic food items and commodities are skyrocketing. This situation manifested itself in an angry, restless, anxious and irrational behavior that reflected on Egyptian society witnessing a high wave of violent crimes, such as rape, murder of spouses, parents and children, a high rate of divorce, drug use, white collar crimes, road rage, embezzlement, military service desertion, domestic violence and countless other crimes.
The large population of young educated, jobless, unmarried youth is alienated and getting more frustrated and angry everyday and provide the fodder for revolution.
The summit is expected to be held in Annapolis in November. The sides have begun work on a joint statement to be presented at the conference's opening. The events in Egypt will have a major impact on the newly reinitiated Middle East negotiations.
The key question is where exactly the parties are determined to set their so-called "red lines," their nonnegotiable bedrock stands, on the three fundamental final-status issues expected to be under discussion:
· The territorial issue (the borders between Israel and a future Palestinian state, and the impact this will have on West Bank settlements);
· The status of Jerusalem, including those holy places on and adjacent to the Temple Mount, and
· The so-called "right of return" for Palestinian "refugees" (the term itself is debatable) living outside Israel and the Palestinian areas.
Indeed, if anyone drew a red line over Jerusalem in 2000, it was Yasser Arafat, who adamantly refused to even consider a compromise on the Old City and its Temple Mount, most notoriously denying the Jewish historical connection to the site and rejecting a Clinton proposal that Israel enjoy a bare-minimum symbolic sovereignty "underneath" the Mount.
The status and impact is most pronounced on the issue to be addressed at the Summit is the future of the Temple Mount. This issue has an impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam.
The Temple Mount also known as the Noble Sanctuary is a religious site in the Old City of Jerusalem.
The status and impact is most pronounced on the issue to be addressed at the Summit is the future of the Temple Mount. This issue has an impact on Judaism, Christianity and Islam. [Click to enlarge]
The Temple Mount is the holiest site for Judaism. The Jewish Temple in Jerusalem stood there: the First Temple (built c. 967 BCE, destroyed c. 586 BCE by the Babylonians), and the Second Temple (rebuilt c. 516 BCE, destroyed in the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans in 70 CE). According to a commonly held belief in Judaism, it is to be the site of the final Third Temple, to be rebuilt with the coming of the Jewish Messiah.
Among the Christian events occurring at the Second Temple during the life of Jesus are those recorded in Mark 12:41 – Mark 13:9
And he sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the multitude putting money into the treasury. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came, and put in two copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him, and said to them, "Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For they all contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, her whole living." MK: 1241-44 (RSV)
And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, "Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!" And Jesus said to him, "Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another, that will not be thrown down." And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, "Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign when these things are all to be accomplished?" And Jesus began to say to them, "Take heed that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name, saying, 'I am he!' and they will lead many astray. And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is not yet. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs. "But take heed to yourselves; for they will deliver you up to councils; and you will be beaten in synagogues; and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear testimony before them. Mark 13:1-9 (RSV)
This is a significant passage as in 70 C.E. the Temple was destroyed. Jesus went on to prophesy of events to occur.
Known to Muslims as the Noble Sanctuary, it is also the site of two major Muslim religious shrines, the Dome of the Rock (built c. 690) and Al-Aqsa Mosque (built c. 710).
The Temple Mount is traditionally regarded by Muslims as the third most important Islamic holy site, after Mecca and Medina. The primary reason for its importance is the Muslim belief that in 621, Muhammad arrived there after a miraculous nocturnal journey aboard the winged steed named Buraq, to take a brief tour of heaven with the Archangel Gabriel. This happened according to the Qur’an during Muhammad's time in Mecca, years before Muslims conquered Jerusalem (638).
It is one of the most contested religious sites in the world. Under the Jordanian rule of Eastern Jerusalem between 1948 and 1967, Jews were forbidden from entering the Old City. Both Israel and the Palestinian Authority claim sovereignty over the site, which remains a key issue in the Arab-Israeli conflict. The Israeli government has granted management of the site to a Muslim Council (Waqf).
Islam maintains that there never was any such thing as the Holy Temple standing on the Temple Mount. For years a concentrated effort was made to obliterate any vestige of evidence from the site.
There is much more at stake here than simply the destruction of precious remnants of the Holy Temple. It has become clear that the abandonment of the Temple Mount to total Muslim control has been promised by Israel and is guaranteed to figure prominently in any eventual treaty or agreement which may be occur during or following the Annapolis Summit.
The Bible clearly indicates that all humanity will be uplifted to a new and unparalleled level of unity when the Holy Temple is rebuilt. [Click to enlarge]
The Bible clearly indicates that all humanity will be uplifted to a new and unparalleled level of unity when the Holy Temple is rebuilt. “It shall come to pass in the latter days that the mountain of the house of the LORD shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; and all the nations shall flow to it, and many peoples shall come, and say: "Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths." For out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.” (Isaiah 2:2-3 RSV). In Isaiah's messianic prophetic vision of the lion lying with lamb, he further states that "They shall not hurt, nor destroy, in all My holy mountain."
The Sanhedrin is the name given in the mishna to the council of seventy-one Jewish sages who constituted the supreme court and legislative body in Judea during the Roman period. It continued to function for more than four hundred years after the destruction of the Second Temple and there have been several orthodox attempts to re-establish it since that time. The current attempt to re-establish the Sanhedrin is generally referred to as the "nascent Sanhedrin", or the "developing Sanhedrin". The Sanhedrin is again meeting since 2005 and is planning for the building of the third Temple.
For hundreds of years after the destruction of the Temple, the Sanhedrin assembled in various cities. In 270 C.E. it moved to Tiberias. In 358 C.E. Roman Emperor Theodosius disbanded the Sanhedrin and confiscated their property, as a reaction to previous emperor Julian's pro-Jewish stance. The modern Jewish Calendar was adopted at a clandestine, and maybe last meeting, in the caves of Mount Berenice overlooking the city. The Sanhedrin complex is believed to have been converted into a Christian structure shortly after that.
Israel Antiquities Authority excavations in Tiberias in 2005 may have uncovered the site of a structure used by the Sanhedrin, researchers believe. The site could have also have been used for writing the Jerusalem Talmud.
Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, president of Iran and a firm believer in "Shia revolutionary thought,” was in New York; there Ahmadinejad offered up his attacks while extolling his vision of Islamic global domination. Ahmadinejad may not be the most powerful individual in Iran, as that role is reserved for the Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khomeini. Despite this Ahmadinejad has, since his election as sixth president on June 28, 2005, been involved in implementing programs which have added to the instability of the Middle East. While the world watches the events in Iran, Iraq, China and Russia, it is important to consider the potential of Egypt adding to further instability.
It could be argued that since Ahmadinejad's central message failed to register on his Western audiences that his visit to America was a failure. The fact that no media organs felt it necessary to analyze what he was talking about could be seen as a clear sign that no one is interested in buying what he is selling. But this is a dangerous argument, for it misses a basic truth.
Ahmadinejad is not interested in convincing the US government or even the majority of Americans to convert to Islam. He is interested in convincing adherents of totalitarian Islam and potential converts to the cause that they are on the winning side. He is interested in demoralizing foes of totalitarian Islam within the Islamic world and so causing them to give up any thoughts of struggle. In this goal he is no different from any of his Sunni counterparts in Saudi Arabia, al-Qaida, the Muslim Brotherhood operating worldwide, Hamas, or their sister organizations throughout the Islamic world and indeed throughout the West. Remember, the goal remains the same—establishing the Islamic kingdom of God.
Throughout the world, Islamic ideologues are aggressively spreading their message of global domination. In mosques, on the Internet, on television, in schools, hospitals and prisons, Islamic preachers can be found propagating the cause of Islamic domination. And aside from Iran, no regime, including the Saudi regime, is immune from the pressures of the message.
As Maggie Michael of the Associated Press in her article of October 11, 2007,: “The Muslim Brotherhood has laid down its first detailed political platform, which would bar women and Christians from becoming Egypt's president and establish a board of Muslim clerics to oversee the government, reminiscent of Iran's Islamic state.”
The platform has dismayed secular prodemocracy activists who had cautiously hoped the Brotherhood was becoming more moderate and who supported the movement in the face of an unprecedentedly tough government crackdown against it.
The document also complicates the debate in Egypt over how to deal with the Brotherhood, which proved its widespread popularity in 2005 parliament elections.
The Brotherhood in recent years has increasingly touted itself as a reform movement, insisting it wants a democratic playing field and an end to the autocratic rule of President Hosni Mubarak's regime. Some secular activists have said that, given the Brotherhood's popularity, there can't be real democracy in Egypt unless the group has a seat at the political table.
But the platform illustrated the dominance of a more hard-line trend in the Brotherhood, or Dawah - often referred to as the act of "preaching Islam"- over a minority of moderates who call for a civic government that respects Islamic principles.
The Islamists, whether Shi'ite or Sunni, are followers of a totalitarian ideology based on Islam which tells them that Allah wishes to rule the world through them. In no way does this imply that all Islamists are terrorists or seek to engage in war. Terrorism whether it be in the form of suicide bombers, cyber-terrorism or economic Jihad are just among the tools and tactics being employed. The goal remains that of establishing the Islamic kingdom of God on earth. Israel is a central front – the epicenter in this war. Given the weakness of Western support for the Jews, jihadists see attacking Israel as a strategic tool for eroding the West's ideological defenses and shoring up their supporters throughout the world.
The thing of it is that aside from blind narcissism, there is a reason that the West ignores the dangers facing it. The Western media ignored Ahmadinejad's message, just as it has insistently ignored the messages of bin Laden and Fatah throughout the years, because Westerners have a hard time believing that anyone would want to abide by the Islamic world view which denies mankind's desire for freedom.
But no matter how ugly an ideology is, in the absence of real competition it gains adherents and power. The only way to ensure that jihadists' demonic views are defeated is by stridently defending and upholding the fundamental principles on which the Free World is based. And the West hasn't even begun to take up this challenge.
As a result, it has handed its enemies two victories already. It has demoralized its potential allies in the Islamic world, and it has failed to rally its own people to defend themselves.
In spite of what the West would like to believe, Ahmadinejad and his allies from Ramallah to Waziristan, from Gaza to Kandahar to Baghdad, are not negotiating. They are fighting. Rather than ignore them or seek to find nonexistent common ground, we must defeat them - first and foremost on the battleground of ideas.
It is important to watch the current events occurring daily in the lenses of the following:
· Economic, and
World events will seem confusing without a firm understanding of your ideological belief and understanding the End Times prophesies as presented in Christianity and Islam. As we recently witnessed in the speeches in New York of Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad they were predominately about ideology. Similarly the case applies to the Muslim Brotherhood, Al Qaeda, and the other ideologists. The West failed to read and take to heart the writings of Marx, Lenin, Mao and Hitler. Please believe what they are saying.
On their first day of class at the Communist party's management school in Shanghai, students make a pilgrimage to a small museum commemorating the 1921 meeting of 13 activists who founded what has become the world's largest political organization.
With only 73.4m members – less than 5% of the population, the Chinese Communist party does more than just rule a country. Besides having a grip on every arm of government, the media and the military, the party now also presides over large and cash-rich state businesses, a control exercised by monopolizing the selection of senior executives.
Conflicts since 1950 with over 10,000 Fatalities
In a different perspective, some 11,000,000 Muslims have been violently killed since 1948, of which 35,000, or 0.3 percent, died during the sixty years of fighting Israel, or just 1 out of every 315 Muslim fatalities. In contrast, over 90 percent of the 11 million who perished were killed by fellow Muslims. Reference: Arab-Israeli Fatalities Rank 49th by Gunnar Heinsohn and Daniel Pipes FrontPageMagazine.com October 8, 2007
Although Israel is aware of the threat by Iran, so to are the surrounding countries. The days where speeches by Presidents Nasser and Sadat would in the past stir excitement across the world are gone. The weak position of Egypt today presents a great threat to the future of the Arab world. Today, even Hamas' leaders in Gaza take the liberty to openly ignore Egyptian requests and demands. Such are the events transpiring prior to opening of the Summit.
Failure to adhere to fundamental principles of our Judeo-Christian beliefs will be the signs of weakness that will only strengthen the hands of those who have already declared that we are their enemies.
Four ideologies – Judeo/Christian based on the Bible, Islam based on the Qur’an/Hadith, Mormonism based on the Book of Mormon, and none of the above. They can not all be right, you have to make a decision, the future depends on it—it is crunch time.
Given this equation, any near term trigger event in Egypt would garner at least the same global attention as any other Middle East regional conflict. The red line is not “peace” in our time, but where will the West and Israel stand on Jerusalem and the “Temple Mount”.
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