Monday, April 24, 2006


There is a report in the current issue of TIME magazine which highlights for me the fact that "Christendom" (and also some genuine Christian believers see HERE and HERE ) are fighting yesterday's battles and not engaging with present realities.

Failure to do will mean lost battles in the future.

What follows is some extracts from the report interspersed with my comments :

" (...) Unlike other European Union capitals, Athens has yet to establish a mosque for its population of Muslims, now estimated at nearly 200,000 and growing. No mosques have operated in Athens since Greece gained independence from the Ottomans in 1832. Instead, Muslims seek a religious haven in 22 temporary mosques: little more than prayer rooms in stuffy basements, windowless warehouses and fetid flats."

Knowing the history of Greece, the role of the Greek Orthodox Church as the focus of Greek national identity under Muslim Ottoman rule, this not surprising. It may be unusual but not surprising.

"The problem was supposed to have been solved six years ago, when the then socialist government, scrambling to prepare for the Athens 2004 Olympics, signed off on a Saudi-funded plan calling for the creation of a mosque-cum-cultural center on the northeastern outskirts of Athens.

Well there are no churches in Saudi Arabia. They are not allowed to exist. In fact Bibles are also contraband. Filipino, Indian and other foreign guest workers are not only regularly harassed but also arrested and even imprisoned with reports of torture simply for meeting to worship or study the Bible with other Christians.

But now there is to be a Saudi funded mosque in Athens.

"(...)The [Greek Orthodox] church's stance has softened(...). As a senior Christian Orthodox official concedes in private, "We, too, have no other choice. We must adjust to the new demands of our society." (...)A recent report by the Council of Europe recommended that the Athens government commit to opening at least one Muslim prayer site in the Greek capital. (...)"

Why didn't the EU or the Greek authorities or even the Greek Orthodox Church, all of whom, seem willing to give in to this pressure not insist on reciprocal presence of a Christian church in Saudi Arabia ?

I think it is because the Greek Orthodox do not consider any other churches other than the Orthodox as "Christian". The same, of course, can be said for Roman Catholicism. So this is a missed opportunity for wider Christianity in general.

"(...) In recent weeks, local media speculated that the latest mosque proposal was precipitated by the government's bid to curry favor with its Arab trade partners."

Here is the power driving all of this : Mammon. That's the problem. For the service of Mammon (i.e. money) the EU, and others, are willing to abandon their Christian heritage completely. This is sad.

How can you then blame Muslims for "taking over" or "taking control" of Europe when you are the ones handing it over to them for free ?

"(...)Greeks, he [Monir Abdeltrassou, a Sudanese imam] says, "have nothing to fear from Islam. We proved it with the Olympics. There were no attacks."

Is that suppose to prove Islam is peaceful ? That Muslims refrained from committing atrocities at an international event in their own country ?

That's like saying : "I'm not a serial killer therefore I am a peaceful person" .

"Scores of other Muslims in the room nod in agreement. They pick up their shoes and file out of a prayer house in the district of Goudi. But one of the faithful stays behind. "Don't forget what happened in France recently," he warns. "Pent up anger, frustration and discrimination can prove dangerous."

I previously argued ( HERE and HERE ) that the riots in France have more to do with socio-economic structural rigidities.

But, it looks like this guy already has jihad on his mind.

The debates will go on, I'm sure.

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