Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Verse of the Day

Zephaniah 3:17 (New International Version)

17 The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing."


via Blue Goldfish

"What might have been
is an abstraction remaining a perpetual possibility only in a world of speculation."

—T.S. Eliot

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Dumb Quote of the Day

"Nicky darlin', elected office is about public service. It is NOT about getting carte blanche for any and every kind of outrageous behaviour. Kapiche?"
"Millions of Londoners elect the mayor and three unelected officials have removed him. An elected mayor should only be removed by the law or by an election." Nicky Gavron

On a disciplinary panel's decision to suspend London Mayor Ken Livingstone for 1 month (with pay) for a gratuitous antisemitic tirade against a Jewish newspaper reporter and for failure to apologise afterwards.

Document published by the adjudication board which delivered the decision can be found here .

'Findings of fact' can be found here.

David Laverick, chairman of the disciplinary panel to which the matter was referred concluded:

"The mayor does seem to have failed, from the outset of this case, to have appreciated that his conduct was unacceptable, was a breach of the code (the Greater London Authority code of conduct) and did damage to the reputation of his office ... it is the mayor who must take responsibility for this."

Source : The Guardian

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

al-Askari Mosque, Samarra, Iraq


I don't know what the weather report says for Iraq;but,it don't look like sunny days ahead for Sunnis.

M. Cartoons : Refining the Christian Response

It seems that every thing that happens, everything that someone says, just fans this thing and this controversy just refuses to go away.

I think most people (including me) just wish it would.

Yet paradoxically, it's clear that I have hardly blogged about anything else since the 3rd of February.

But talk tends to generate talk and the blogosphere just magnifies it, I guess.

The radical Muslims, of course, have been noticeable for their absence from discussion.

Rather, they have been the source of those activities which has been grist for the mill of discussion.

Activities which have drawn the loudest response from : atheists, general freethinkers, and political liberals (which would also include secularists).

We know what the chief arguments against the Islamic reaction have been : "the freedom of the press is in jeopardy", "don't push your religions down our throats", "we hate your stinking religion".

What should the Christian response be ?

I am glad that no Christian in my circle has expressed any words of approval for the actions of the Danish newspaper.

And now articulated responses from the evangelical Christian community are beginning to emerge.

One is from Patrick Sookhdeo who had written "7/7 ... A Response" after the London bombings.

He is now being reported HERE as giving his assessment of the current situation.

Let's look at what he has to say:

Dr Sookhdeo adds that he believes that "in a decade, you will see parts of English cities which are controlled by Muslim clerics and which follow, not the common law, but aspects of Muslim sharia law. "It is already starting to happen - and unless the Government changes the way it treats the so-called leaders of the Islamic community, it will continue."

We'll have the opportunity to see how this particular agenda is implemented in Canada. Or maybe the political will for its implementation will have evaporated as a result of the cartoon controversy. Or even if it is implemented it may simply be an unwise thing to do from the point of view of Muslims.

Time will tell.

"The whole approach towards Muslim militants was based on appeasement. 7/7 proved that that approach does not work - yet it is still being followed. For example, there is a book, The Noble Koran: a New Rendering of its Meaning in English, which is openly available in Muslim bookshops.

"It calls for the killing of Jews and Christians, and it sets out a strategy for killing the infidels and for warfare against them. The Government has done nothing whatever to interfere with the sale of that book.

"Why not? Government ministers have promised to punish religious hatred, to criminalise the glorification of terrorism, yet they do nothing about this book, which blatantly does both."

A blog search to this site reveals that this book is simply a translation of the Koran.

And the solution is ? :

"Finally, the Government should make it absolutely clear: we welcome diversity, we welcome different religions - but all of them have to accept the secular basis of British law and society. That is a non-negotiable condition of being here."

"the secular basis of British law and society" ? That has precisely been the very thing that evangelical Christians have bewailed since the term "post-Christian" was coined !

How can you say something is a "bad thing" insofar as it concerns you but a "good thing" insofar as it concerns someone else?

There's a reason for this dichotomy : the Christian basis for all the rights and freedoms that have historically accrued to us citizens of the West has been rejected and all that is left us is "the secular basis of British law and society" which means nothing.

Re-thinking of the political landscape is now required so that we can find a firm foundation for BOTH the keeping our liberal freedoms AND allowing space for both Christians and Muslims to co-exist in such a free state.

I think it is possible despite the current weakness in western governments' response to Islamic excesses. That very weakness and hesitancy, in my opinion, is evidence that Western Civilisation has strayed from it's Christian roots.

Finally a question for Mr.Sookhdeo:

"We know WHAT and WHO you are against;
but, WHO are you for ?
What is HIS NAME ? JESUS ?"

I just would like to hear you say it now and then is all.

UPDATE : Here is more on the work Sookhdeo was singling out above for special 'anti-terrorism treatment'. By not being evangelical and fighting the wrong battles Mr. Sookhdeo finds himself in a deeper hole .

Monday, February 20, 2006

Isaiah 42 and the cartoon controversy

This was our text at the evening service of our church yesterday.

I have debated this passage with Jews and there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that it can be no other : the Suffering Servant is definitely the Messiah Jesus.

The preacher did not particularly dwell on verse 8 but in reading it i was impressed with it in the following way.

While i was initially inclined to support the Danish newspaper and the response of Danish officials i am now decidedly neutral with respect to that side of the controversy. In my opinion there is no excuse for gratuitous offence in the name of freedom of speech. Every freedom must be exercised responsibly.

Yet the Islamic reaction is still continuing and way over the top. It is elevating Mohammed above Jesus on a global and sustained basis. This cannot stand. It's not that any Western country has the will or power to do anything about it.

It's that the Lord Jesus is alive and watching.

Creation must and will glorify Him (Philippians 2:5-11).

Friday, February 17, 2006

Putting Women in Harm's Way

I had blogged about this here.

Here is another such incident.

What were we saying about the decline of the West ?

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Suicide of the West ?

The Enlightenment has been the founding philosophy of America.

It has given us concepts like the separation of church and state, established a number of the freedoms which we take for granted in the West like freedom of speech, democracy etc.

It also allowed the formerly ghettoised Jews of Europe to finally become more incorporated into their own societies.

But, it has been a mixed blessing.

Christians have long been critical of the Enlightenment's corrosive effect on belief in God and on the retreat of the Christian faith to the private sphere, for instance.

Now, i think, we are (finally)seeing the corrosive effects of the Enlightenment in the political sphere. And, this cartoon on the left says it all.

It's time for something better.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Monday, February 13, 2006

The Caliphate - the argument gets more compelling

...and some are even talking openly about it.

I have already blogged about this here.

But now this cartoon controversy is making the re-establishment of the Caliphate agenda even more compelling to Islamic countries with egg on their faces as well as the West who would wish to prevent a repeat of such ridiculous incidents as this in the future.

Next time the consequences might be even more out of control.

But the neo-con U.S. administration reports it would be against the re-establishment of the Caliphate :

Gen. John Abizaid, U.S. commander in the Middle East, says Islamists "will try to re-establish a caliphate throughout the entire Muslim world." Rumsfeld magnifies the danger, saying "Iraq would serve as the base of a new Islamic caliphate to extend throughout the Middle East and which would threaten legitimate governments in Europe, Africa and Asia.

Source : The Toronto Star Online edition

I don't know whether Iraq or Turkey will serve as the base of the Caliphate but I think the U.S. might be persuaded of the practicalities of a Caliphate with an Istanbul rather than a Baghdad address.

And isn't it interesting and convenient that Turkey is also a candidate for EU membership?

Apparently The "Organization of the Islamic Conference" (OIC) is even trying to get a U.N. resolution passed banning attacks on religious beliefs. Keep your eyes on this [OIC] organization. The OIC is the organisation where the retiring Malaysian prime minister made his (in)famous "the Joos fight their wars by proxy" speech. The OIC is now headed up by a Turk.


All of this is crying out for the re-establishment of the Caliphate which I think is coming but I am NOT celebrating the fact since I think this person will be the ANTICHRIST.

He will eventually attack Israel and then it's Armageddon and THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

More on Cartoon Jihad

Apparently Flemming Rose the Danish newspaper's Culture editor and the Imam Ahmad Abu Laban who took the cartoons on a Middle Eastern road show were both interviewed TOGETHER on the BBC programme "Hardtalk".

How I am sorry I missed that, but here is an interesting review of the episode.

Here is something about Flemming Rose's connection to Daniel Pipes. This information, if true, might have been relevant evidence in a court case brought against the Danish newspaper in Danish court.

A blog has suggested Danish Muslims did try to bring a court case but that the prosecutor threw it out on freedom of speech grounds.

Jan.12 online edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal has this to say about Danish Muslims efforts to seek judicial redress :

Danish prosecutor Peter Broendt Joergensen reiterated that no charges would be filed against the artists or the newspaper's editors because the drawings were a form of protected speech.

A minister of the government of Turkey mentioned on Turkish television the other day that the Danes did have a kind of blasphemy law on the books dating from 1938.

It seems the prosecutor could have proceeded on the basis of that law given an official complaint was being made, had he been so inclined.

Apparently he was not.

And so the Muslims were left with no recourse but to go on their Middle Eastern road show.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Cartoon Jihad - the Definitive History

People have been drawing all kinds of conclusions about "clashes of civilisations" and making jugdements about Europe and/or Muslims.

But I think we need to look at the primary actors and at the facts surrounding this case. Neither side comes out looking very good.

For instance, the Muslims in Denmark need to be better citizens of their host country. And the Danes, according to some reports, also appear to have a long way to go in terms of integrating their immigrants socially and more importantly economically.

Read the report compiled by Professor Juan Cole here.

From this report, it seems the Danish PM was undiplomatic and insensitive in his handling of the original protest by Muslims. Perhaps, it could be argued, this is because of racism, which is what the Islamic press and others are claiming this incident demonstrates.

Of course, the PM was entirely correct in directing his petitioners, from the very beginning of the controversy, to avail themselves of the courts.

The Danish Muslims, on the other hand, were wrong in not availing themselves of the courts and instead of this they took the cartoons on a "road show" to Middle Eastern governments. It appears they also inserted some bogus cartoons for greater effect.

These Middle Eastern states then compounded the problem. They foolishly decided to take the matter up with the Danes through international diplomatic channels thus ensuring escalation and the present state of affairs.

This article challenges what is perceived as Cole's attempt to exonerate the Saudis.

Check out Magic Statistics for links to articles about the original machinations of the parties.

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Revelation 11:8

"Sodom and Egypt"? If you're asking the same question click here for an interesting and illuminating explanation.

Friday, February 03, 2006

Danes (&Europeans) in Hot H2O over Mohamed

On Wednesday evening, there was extensive coverage of this on the Turkish news which I watch via satellite.

Granted there was really nothing about this on the TRT channels (official state channels) but things were a-stirring on the Islamic channel called “TV5”.

The highlight was a report showing folk protesting in front of the Danish and the Norwegian embassies in Ankara. In one report we see the Danish ambassador coming out to greet the protestors.

There was also another report of the leader of the “genclik kolu” or the youth wing of a party called the “Saadet Partisi”. He was reading from a statement in which he “condemned” the Danish government (of course) but also the ruling Islamic AKP party for not getting involved in the fray.

He actually used the word “lanetliyoruz” which is probably better translated as “curse” since normally the word “kiniyoruz” is used when one is “condemning” in political parlance.

So here is a thought for you – an Islamic party “cursing” another Islamic party that happens to be in power no less and in the very public act of condemning the infidel for insulting his prophet.

What a thought!

Actually there are personal jealousies involved here. Erbakan who is associated with the "Saadet" party is the "elder statesman" of the islamist movement in Turkey and hates Erdogan (leader of the ruling AKP) simply because Erdogan broke away from him, and succeeded where Erbakan failed.

In any case, here here here and here and last but by no means least here are some of the other blogs on my radar which have been talking about this.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

The Meaning of 'Three' Days

Sultan Knish asks the pertinent question of "why 3 days?"[ Exodus 3:18, 5:3, & 8:27]

As a Jew, he sees the central issue here as being "the worship of God over tyranny" and points to the "three times a year that God tells the Jews to appear before him. Pesach, Shavuot and Succot" as the answer to the significance of the three days.

But there is a better explanation.

As Christians we have the following from Jesus (Yeshua) the Messiah Himself :

"Did not the Christ [Messiah] have to suffer these things and then enter his glory?"
And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself." (Matthew 24:26-27)

The connection of Jesus with book of Exodus is made explicit in the following passages as well :

"Get rid of the old yeast that you may be a new batch without yeast as you really are.
For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed." ( 1 Corinthians 5:7)

(Mat 12:40 ASV) for as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the whale; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

(Mar 9:31 ASV) For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered up into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and when he is killed, after three days he shall rise again.

And so we understand that Jesus is the fulfillment of all Scripture and all Scripture points to Him - including the book of Exodus.

If we only had the Old Testament (Hebrew Scriptures) then the best explanation one can come up is the one the Sultan Knish blog gives us. However, that interpretation is a bit of a stretch since the 3 days in Exodus are CONSECUTIVE and not three separate "occasions" (which in themselves actually would add up to more than 3 days) in the Hebrew calendar.

Just as releasing the children of Israel for three days was the proof that YHWH not Pharaoh is God and that Pharaoh's tyranny is ended so JESUS by rising from the dead after three days was the proof that He is God and that the tyranny of SIN is also ended. Hallelujah !