Mainstream Media: Defeat Trump by Attacking His Supporters

Mainstream Media: Defeat Trump by Attacking His Supporters

First they come after you, then they target your family and business relationships

Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump enters the stage as he takes part in a town hall event moderated by Anderson Cooper March 29, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump enters the stage as he takes part in a town hall event moderated by Anderson Cooper March 29, 2016 in Milwaukee, Wisc. (Photo: Darren Hauck/Getty Images)

It is no secret that the mainstream media has decided that the threat presented by a possible Donald Trump presidency is so grave that it has suspended even the illusion of objectivity. Writing in The New York Times, media columnist Jim Rutenberg granted permission to his fellow journalists “to throw out the textbook American journalism has been using for the better part of the past half-century, if not longer, and approach it in a way you’ve never approached anything in your career.”

The Observer and others have detailed the ways in which traditional media companies and even tech companies have colluded to maximize negative coverage of Trump and minimize negative coverage of his opponent, Hillary Clinton. But it doesn’t end there. As Rutenberg described, many journalists feel the need to “move closer than you’ve ever been to being oppositional.”

That opposition has extended into new and uncharted territory. In the coordinated effort to stop a dangerous candidate from obtaining, to use Rutenberg’s breathless description of the stakes, “control of the United States nuclear codes,” the mainstream media has taken not just to bashing Trump but to extracting a price even from those who support him.

There are a hundred examples, but here are just a few headlines that tell the story:

  • Daily Beast: “Trump’s Doctor ‘Overmedicated’ Patients Who Died in His Care”
  • Washington Post: “The contractor that designs Ivanka Trump’s clothes does not offer a single day of paid maternity leave”
  • New York Times: “Peter Thiel’s Embrace of Trump Has Silicon Valley Squirming”

Let’s look at each of these. While I don’t doubt that self-identified right-wing sites would look into the record of Hillary Clinton’s doctors, it’s much harder to imagine a site like Daily Beast, which fancies itself a centrist outlet (and is even edited by my old Rudy Giuliani speechwriting buddy, John Avlon), expending that kind of investigative energy on Hillary’s non-political professionals. The message is clear: If you associate with Trump, we will rummage through your past.

The attacks on Trump supporters extend even beyond Trump relatives to include, bizarrely, the relatives of supporters.

As for The Washington Post story, the message was equally clear. While children of presidential candidates have long been considered off limits by the mainstream media, the Post clearly smelled danger in the crossover appeal of a successful, presentable working mother. Ivanka Trump (who, for the thousandth time, is married to the Observer’s publisher) runs a company that is not only among the 10 percent to provide paid maternity leave, but also offers unlimited vacation and sick days and flexible work schedules. So the Post attacked a company that Ivanka’s company does business with, only they implied that Ivanka was responsible for that company’s business practices. The Post later attached an editor’s note and clarified the story to “indicate that Ivanka Trump has no direct managerial role in G-III Apparel Group,” but the damage had been done and the misleading headline remains to this day. Plus, there’s the original URL of the story—which is important in search engine optimization. It has not been corrected and still gives the false implication that Ivanka herself is not providing paid maternity leave.

Then there’s the Peter Thiel story. His actions in supporting Trump supposedly have his industry peers “squirming,” according to The New York Times. Yet Clinton supporters who represent industries in which she is unpopular are portrayed as principled and loyal Democrats. Consider that Politico reported “Clinton haunted by coal country comment.” Clinton said, “We’re going to put a lot of coal miners and coal companies out of business.” Local officials sent a letter to Sen. Joe Manchin saying ““Bill and Hillary Clinton are simply not welcome in our town.” So how come not a single supporter of hers, including Sen. Manchin and Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, is said to be making West Virginia “squirm”?

Where are the mainstream investigations of Hillary’s doctors? Or the business practices of Chelsea Clinton? How is it that none of Hillary’s supporters has any industry “squirming”?

The attacks on Trump supporters extend even beyond Trump relatives to include, bizarrely, the relatives of supporters. Buzzfeed did a whole story on whether Josh Kushner’s business would be hurt by the fact that — can you follow this? — his brother’s wife’s father is the presidential candidate. Is that the standard? Has there been a single article anywhere about the business prospects of Marc Mezvinsky’s siblings? The writer of the Buzzfeed story – the talented reporter Nitasha Tiku, who worked at the Observer and was happy to cash checks signed by Jared Kushner when she did—contacted several colleagues of Josh Kushner to determine whether they’d still be comfortable doing business with Josh’s investment firm, Thrive Capital. The Trump-opposing tech investor Chris Sacca is characterized by Tiku as saying, “The Trump connection might have affected Thrive directly.” The message from the MSM is clear: Support Donald Trump, and you—and maybe even your family—will be ridiculed, investigated and ignored.

The Observer itself provides another good example. Our traffic and users have grown more than 5x since January 2013, from 1.3 million unique users reading 3 million pages a month to 6 million unique users reading 17 million pages a month. This information is easily available. And yet, from the time this contentious, ornery campaign took shape, our documented-to-death Trump connection has been revealed in the way the Observer itself has been covered.

Politico wrote about us, “The paper’s editorials, which had largely ceased having influence…” I showed the reporter data proving that many more people read our editorials today than read them five years ago and I asked him to explain how he reached the conclusion that they had “largely ceased having influence.” He told me, “My editor wrote that line.” He said he’d get back to me if he got an answer. He never did.

Esquire’s hit piece on Jared Kushner called the Observer “a once venerable newspaper” without even pretending to offer an explanation of what made it venerable in the past or why it’s no longer so, despite the increased revenue, readership, staff, investment in journalism or other facts I would have been happy to provide had anyone asked.

The Daily Beast wrote that, “Kushner and the paper’s editor in chief, Ken Kurson, were the object of controversy and staff protests and resignations.” Got that? Staff resignations with an s, as in plural. Actually it’s been one staff resignation, a writer who was not the “top reporter” (he was No. 2 on a three-person team) that CNN crowed about in its headline. Given the constant turnover throughout the Observer’s history, long before Trump ran for president, it’s striking that CNN would devote a headline to this boring-as-hell non-event.

There’s another tactic employed by the mainstream media that’s inversely related to punishing Trump supporters—rewarding Hillary supporters.

Then there’s just the general anti-Observer snark. It’s been a fact of life, especially since our beloved longtime editor Peter Kaplan left the paper in 2009, but has been dialed to 11 since Trump began his unlikely ascent in American politics. A telling example involves a trifling story we ran, in which New York Times Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet said ‘F— You’ to a reporter he thought had used racist language. To me, it was the exact kind of funny and revealing little insider story that Kaplan would have loved (and I don’t claim to speak for him, despite the generous way he fed me advice even though I didn’t start here till four years after he left). Nonetheless, some media types, eager for any opportunity to celebrate the Observer’s demise, pounced. The Times’ own Willy Staley, for example, tweeted out the story and insightfully commented, “The Observer has become so f—ing weird!” Staley did not know at the time that Baquet himself praised the story, calling it “Perfectly fair.” It has been fun to watch the media simultaneously declare the Observer totally irrelevant but also responsible for electing the president of the United States.

At least Gawker, z’l, was less circumspect in its disapproval of what takes place here. In lambasting our paper’s endorsement of Trump in the Republican primary (we also endorsed Hillary Clinton in the Democratic primary, which understandably generated far less coverage), Hamilton Nolan wrote “The New York Observer, which was once a good newspaper, is endorsing the owner’s wife’s dad for president.” That’s at least funny, and it acknowledges by stating as a fact that the Observer was once good that the idea that Observer is no longer a “good newspaper” is Nolan’s opinion, rather than trying to hide behind factish sounding writing like “once venerable” or “largely ceased having influence.”

There’s another tactic employed by the mainstream media that’s inversely related to punishing Trump supporters—rewarding Hillary supporters. Not just any Hillary supporters, but those brave Republicans who are putting country ahead of party by supporting Clinton.

Search for “Republicans back Hillary” in Google and you get “There are now dozens of big-name Republicans supporting Hillary” (Washington Post), The Republicans Who Support Hillary Clinton Over Donald Trump” (The Atlantic), “Which Republicans Are Against Donald Trump? A Cheat Sheet (also The Atlantic), “At Least 110 Republican Leaders Won’t Vote for Donald Trump. Here’s When They Reached Their Breaking Point.” (New York Times), “Here are the Republicans Voting for Hillary Clinton Over Donald” (Time), and The Biggest GOP Names Backing Hillary Clinton—So Far (The Daily Beast).

Enter “Democrats back Trump” and you get a story from The Hill from January and a Toledo Blade story.

The simple explanation would be that tons of Republicans back Hillary while few Democrats back Trump. But that narrative defies the reality of a Republican primary that drew record numbers of new GOP registrants and set a new record for votes cast, unlike the Democratic contest. And with the candidates roughly tied in the polls (the LA Times, for example, has Trump up by 3 points), there’s no way a “wave” of Republican Trump rejecters cannot be equaled by roughly the same number of Democrat Hillary rejecters. Unless the polling is drastically undercounting Hillary supporters (most think it’s more likely to be undercounting Trump voters, who have been shamed out of telling a pollster they support such a “dangerous” candidate), there have to be at least as many Trump Democrats as there are Hillary Republicans. But the media isn’t interested in finding them.

What’s even more surprising than the media suddenly cheering someone like former Bush aide Paul Wolfowitz, who was universally loathed by the MSM up until the moment he announced his support for Hillary has been the way the press issues valentines to Republicans no one has never heard of. How did Maria Comella, a press aide to Chris Christie, merit 1200 words and a “First on CNN” feature on air simply by declaring her support for Hillary?

Republican candidates have long complained about the bias in American media. Most of the time it’s nonsense. John McCain courted the favorable opinion of the New York Times so aggressively and for so long that it was almost fun to see him crying about how tough it was to run against a media darling like Barack Obama in 2008. Mitt Romney, who really did suffer from poor coverage, mostly had himself to blame –secret tapes about 47% freeloaders may have been reported by Mother Jones, but they weren’t manufactured by Mother Jones. And the alleged bias can sometimes work to a Republican’s advantage. When George W. Bush called New York Times reporter Adam Clymer a “major league A—-,” probably as many people admired the future president’s authenticity as chastised him for his uncouth remarks.

What’s different here is the dropping of even the pretense of objectivity. In unilaterally determining that Donald Trump is unfit even to be covered objectively—to the point that he must be disqualified by any means necessary—the mainstream media has set a dangerous precedent.

How, despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life now

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How, despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life now

By Mario Murillo

Almost everything today screams fear.  Our minds are battlefields…modern life keeps lobbing grenades of panic and dread.  The overwhelming message of today is: true happiness and fulfillment are no longer possible…don’t try to thrive, just survive.

It’s time to make a defiant declaration: Despite everything, you can carve out an amazing life.  What, in this mess?  Yes…in this very mess.

My title says DESPITE EVERYTHING.  That is the central promise of this message. Something amazing can bulldoze the walls of despair and clear a path to an amazing life…even now.

(This message is inspired by a sermon that I preached on Thursday August 27th in the Branson Outbreak.  The visitation of God in Branson continues to boggle our minds.  In fact, it is, itself, proof of what I am trying to tell you about life today.  The Branson Outbreak is defying every law except the law of gravity…and it would not surprise me if people started floating in the air.)

There are many opinions about how much life a Christian can actually have today.  The opinions run the gamut.   One extreme is the teaching that we are in the great tribulation and we must buy food and equipment and hide ourselves.  I disagree with this teaching …(although; it might be wise to have some extra provisions on hand because markets will get hit.)  This puts the church on the defensive at the very moment she should be most visible and engaged in a great Gospel offensive.

The other extreme is denial.  In this teaching, everything is a preachy, protestant-panacea. With all due respect, I disagree with Joel Osteen.  You cannot have your best life now—unless, as John MacArthur observed—you are going to hell.

Heaven is where you have your best life—earth is where you have an amazing life.

There is a galactic difference between seeking an amazing life and a “best’ life.  If your idea of an amazing life is to live without cares or challenges then let’s stop wasting each other’s time—you will get nothing out of this article.

Amazing means: causing great surprise or wonder.  That’s it!  It is a life that blasts through limits.  It is a life that does exactly what everybody said could not be done.

The Bible teems with examples of amazing lives:

-When the last spark of hope died for the slaves in Egypt–Moses saw the burning bush.

-When the world was strangling in global famine–Joseph had already stored up mountains of grain.

-When love and morality were at their lowest ebb–we find the love story of Ruth and Boaz.

-At the moment of total despair–Esther brought deliverance.

-When the Church in Acts was being destroyed–a laser knocks Saul of Tarsus down on the road to Damascus.

They all lived opposite the limits of their era.  They brought surprise and wonder.

Here is how you start their brand of an amazing life

1. Dwell: Your amazing life begins by making God your dwelling place. Psalm 91: 1 He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.2 I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” 3 Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler And from the perilous pestilence.  7 A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; But it shall not come near you. 9 Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, Even the Most High, your dwelling place, 10 No evil shall befall you, Nor shall any plague come near your dwelling;11 For He shall give His angels charge over you, To keep you in all your ways.”

The most powerful phrase is “because you made God…your dwelling place.”  The unbreakable bond created by the decision to dwell in God reduces stress, neutralizes terrifying images and sets you free to do impossible things.

Isaiah 26: 20 Come, my people, enter your chambers, and shut your doors behind you; Hide yourself, as it were, for a little moment, until the indignation is past.  21 For behold, the LORD comes out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth will also disclose her blood, and will no more cover her slain.”

Again, you see a clear call to enter, shut the door and hide in God during times of distress.

Proverbs 18:10 “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous run to it and are safe.”

Enter the strong tower!  There awaits you a supernatural sense of safety where great plans are created.  From the repose of this stronghold you plan without panic, you move forward without distraction, and you know you will finish strong.

2 Discern: Satan has practiced telling lies for thousands of years.  We know from scripture that in the last days Satan will sense his doom and break out in a frenzy of deception.

Everywhere you look you see believers who have been fooled, who have been distracted and who have fallen into traps.  False prophets are everywhere.  Paralyzing images from fear mongers have taken many believers out of commission.

Jesus solemnly warned his followers saying: “take heed that no one deceives you.”  You can be fooled off the front line.  You can be fooled out of your destiny.

Isaiah 8:12 “Do not say, ‘A conspiracy,’ Concerning all that this people call a conspiracy, Nor be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled. 13 The Lord of hosts, Him you shall hallow; Let Him be your fear, And let Him be your dread. 14 He will be as a sanctuary,

From your dwelling place in God you see (discern) lies.  You will not chase a rumor.  You see through the tricks and traps.  You will not stop vital activities.  You will keep moving forward.

 3Deliver: You see that your real reason for being here is to destroy the works of the Devil. This final point is so urgent that I want to take extra care to make my point.  Everything about the Christian Faith is rooted in unselfish service.  When that focus is lost, the church is overrun by deception, division, and weakness.   You would be unstoppable if you left all of your sense of reward to your future in heaven, and only saw yourself here and now as a deliverer.

Ministers fall into two categories: enablers or equippers.

-Enablers lull believers into emotional dependency and selfishness.  If a pastor gets you to continually look inward it can be disaster.

-Equippers love people into strength, power and action.  Under their influence, you will soon be out ministering.  You will activate your gifts.

The greatest need in the American church is a military grade mindset.  You are a soldier bent on victory. You are not a patient bent on recovery.  The soldier is not seeking comfort and ease.  They relish combat and triumph on the battlefield.

The sooner you realize that you are here to liberate others, the sooner you will stop being afraid and confused.  You will stop seeking the false comfort of a “best” life, and you will embrace the excitement, and yes, the danger of an amazing life.  God is hiring–there is no shortage of wages for the soldiers who renounce all to destroy the works of the devil.

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Living Proof comes to Austin during Jade Helm 15

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Living Proof comes to Austin during Jade Helm 15

By Mario Murillo

Here is my message to those of you who believe Jade Helm 15 is the start of martial law: trust me, I do not discount the possibility.  For those of you who think it is utter nonsense consider this devastating fact:  most would not be surprised that our own military could be preparing to take away our freedoms. 

In blog after blog I have been crying out like a voice in the wilderness.  America now needs a miracle that is indescribable and unprecedented.   However, my God specializes in the impossible.

Why would God bring us here at this time unless He meant to do something impossible?

Living Proof Austin, TX will happen during Jade Helm 15 this weekend.  We did not plan it that way, but God did.  There is a purpose to our being in Austin that is way beyond what we know.

I have been totally silent about Jade Helm.  I am waiting for hard evidence that our government is planning to establish martial law.

This much I do know…

-For the first time, a massive army will be walking on private property, not wearing uniforms and blending into communities.

-Millions of Texans are wondering why Texas is designated as “hostile territory” in this elaborate war game, while states that are favorable to Obama are listed as “friendly.”

Let’s assume there is no martial law planned.   That leaves only two reasons for designating Texas as hostile and those reasons are really bad. 

1. The military has made an epic public relations blunder. Texas is taking many stands against Washington right now. Texans are ignoring Obama’s executive orders. They oppose the Supreme Court rulings on marriage, Obamacare and immigration.

Why on earth wouldn’t generals realize how this looks?  How could the joint chiefs not realize that this plays right into the worst suspicions of Texans?  If this is a screw up it is a massive one and makes us wonder about our security.

2. Obama is trying to intimidate Texas and other states who oppose him. Is it really this easy for the “Commander in Chief” to step in on a preexisting military operation and tweak designations like hostile and friendly territories.  If the military can be manipulated this easily then “God help us” is not just a figure of speech.

Of course we have no reason to believe that Obama would behave in such a peevish manner…do we?

On a much needed lighter side:  If Obama is doing that, he doesn’t know Texans.  He needs to remember what the park ranger said, “Don’t shoot the grizzly with your pistol; you’ll just make him mad.”

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It is a great honor to bring Living Proof to Austin, Texas this weekend.   We are partnering with Jim and Lou Lillard and House of the Lord Fellowship Church.  I regard Jim as one of the greatest pastors, spiritual fathers and men of FAITH in our nation.  It is awesome to team up with Jim and Lou.

House of the Lord Fellowship is not just a congregation; this is the best trained core of Christians you will ever meet.

Their mission statement reads: “House of the Lord Fellowship Church is a family of believers focusing on impacting Austin, Texas, and beyond with Faith in God, the truth of God’s Word and the amazing love God has for us.”

Their motto is: Faith through knowledge produces truth in action.  That motto will come alive this weekend as we expect an outflow of miracles leading to an influx of souls. 

Whatever the military has in mind for Austin, God has something greater!

It has been over a decade since we have crusaded in Austin.  This is God’s time!  We welcome our friends from this region to come and see the new surge of anointing that is resting on us.  God has added firepower to MMM in order to reach America.

The lame will walk.  The deaf will hear.  The blind will see.  God will heal cancer and every other malady in the mighty Name of Jesus.  These are not catch phrases for us…these are convictions.  We hang our lives on these convictions!  Bring all who need a miracle.  God will not disappoint them.

Joining me in this great outreach is Ray and Debra Larson.  They will lead the morning sessions in Austin.

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Ray and I are veterans at winning the lost and healing the sick.  We teamed up for many great crusades in Redding, California when he was pastor of Bethel Church.  Under his leadership, Bethel grew from 80 people to over 2,000 members.

Ray and Debra were led to move to Reno, Nevada, six months before the Lord directed Mechelle and me to Reno!  God is doing a new thing here.  Stay tuned because you are going to hear way, way more about this.

Everything about Living Proof Austin points to the fact that something urgent will begin this weekend.  If at all possible bring someone who needs a miracle.  Prepare to receive the touch from God for these desperate days.

Here is the schedule of events in Austin:

Sunday July 19- Mario Murillo/ Living Proof at 10:30 AM and 7 PM

Monday-Tuesday – Wednesday at 10 AM, Ray Larson will speak

Monday – Tuesday-  Wednesday at 7 PM, Mario Murillo/ Living Proof

House of the Lord Fellowship Church is located at 817 W Howard Ln, Austin, TX 78753

(512) 835-2191    

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THE MYTH OF ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE

1998 al Qaeda Press Conference

THE MYTH OF ISLAM IS A RELIGION OF PEACE

In seeking to defend Islam against the claim that it promotes violence many Muslims have said that ‘Islam’ means peace, or that Islam is a religion of peace. Unfortunately this is just plain wrong.

ISLAM

Islam is derived from the Arabic “aslama”, which means ‘surrender’ (to the will of Allah). Muslimmeans ‘one who has surrendered to the will of Allah’. And unfortunately, violence, under certain conditions, is a legitimate means to affect that surrender.

The argument that Islam means peace is based on a three-fold interpretive error.

  1. Arabic is based on consonantal roots. Islam is derived from the root SLM. Arabic is also a poetic language that uses words derived from the same root as similes that are used to deepen the meaning of other words. SLM is also the root for the words salim, which means ‘safe’, saleem, ‘perfection’, sallama, ‘salvation’, salama, ‘blameless’ and salaam, ‘wellbeing’. Using all of these words gives an expanded meaning to the word Islam: ‘when one surrenders to the will of Allah (as revealed by His Prophet) one will find salvation, perfection, safety and wellbeing.’
  2. The word salaam is often translated as ‘peace’, but this is only one of several meanings. It’s primary meaning is actually ‘wellbeing’. It can also mean health, soundness, wholeness, safety and serenity. A common Arabic greeting is as-sallam alaykum, which is usually translated as ‘peace be upon you’, but it’s extended meaning is ‘may wellbeing, wholeness and tranquility be upon you’.
  3. The English word ‘peace’ has two meanings. The first and primary meaning is derived from its Latin root pax. This is translated as ‘cessation of conflict’. The term pax Romana described the peace secured by surrendering to Roman law. The second meaning of peace is derived from the Latin serenus, meaning serenity/tranquility – when one is serene one can also be said to be peaceful. The word salaam is actually synonymous with the second meaning of peace, serenity. The first meaning is better served by the Arabic word sulh (root SLH), from salaha, meaning; reconciliation, to make peace, or peace treaty.

In saying that Islam means peace Islamic apologists are simply indulging in word play in order to put as positive a spin on things as they can. It is an attempt to argue that Islam promotes non-violence. As we will see such a peace is only available to one who has first surrendered to Allah and it is denied to those who refuse to surrender. Mohammed would sign his treaty offers with the words,aslem taslam, ‘surrender and you will be safe’.

JIHAD

The key problem now revolves around what it means to surrender to Allah’s will. Here we need to introduce another controversial Arabic word, jihad. Jihad is derived from the root JHD. Many of the words derived from this root connote the idea of effort, exertion and struggle. Jihad is a derivative of jahada, to struggle or strive. Thus jihad is taken to mean the struggle to surrender to Allah’s will. The word mujahid means ‘one who struggles’, mujahideen is the plural. The root JHD also creates the word ijtihad, which means intellectual struggle.

Jihad is sometimes translated as ‘holy war’. Again apologists indulge in word play by arguing that the literal translation of holy war into Arabic, harb muqaddasah, gives a different meaning. This is perhaps true in Arabic but not true in English, where holy war is a reasonable translation of ‘spiritual struggle’.

There have been two meanings given to jihad. The original concept has been called the ‘lesser’ (asghar) jihad. This is the use of violence to defend Islam. We will have cause to examine this further. However many Muslim apologists now argue that the ‘real’ jihad is the ‘greater’ (akbar) jihad, an inner, or spiritual struggle to purify oneself. David Cook, author of Understanding Jihad says this:

Others have fallen into this error as well. They comprise two basic groups: Western scholars who want to present Islam in the most innocuous terms possible, and Muslim apologists, who rediscovered the internal jihad in the nineteenth century and have been emphasizing it ever since as the normative expression of jihad – in defiance of all the religious and historical evidence to the contrary. (my emphasis)

The idea of the greater jihad is linked to Sufism, which emphasizes the mystical or inner identification with Allah. However, mainstream Islam has often been hostile to Sufism and it prefers a literal and legalistic interpretation of the Koran and hadith (the collected saying of Mohammed). It is therefore somewhat intriguing to see orthodox clerics now argue that a Sufi concept is the real meaning. David Cook goes on to say:

There is no lack of evidence concerning the Muslim practice of jihad. The classical and modern works on the subject are voluminous, and they are documented by an examination of Muslim actions as recorded by historians. There can be no reasonable doubt that jihad is a major theme running through the entirety of Muslim civilization and is at least one of the major factors in the astounding success of the faith of Islam.

And,

….after surveying the evidence from classical until contemporary times, one must conclude that today’s jihad movements are as legitimate as any that have ever existed in classical Islam…

One such piece of evidence is the writing of Ibn Taymiyya who is favoured by many mujahideen. The scriptural authority of the concept of the greater jihad is supposedly based on a particular hadith. It is not based on the Koran. Ibn Taymiyya says:

“There is a hadith related by a group of people which states that the Prophet…said after the battle of Tabuk: ‘We have returned from jihad asghar to jihad akbar.’ This hadith has no source, nobody whomsoever in the field of Islamic knowledge has narrated it. Jihad against the unbelievers is the most noble of actions, and moreover it is the most important action for mankind.”

Thus Ibn Taymiyya rejects the tradition of the greater jihad in its entirety. So who are we to believe? This question is actually irrelevant for it is sufficient that enough Muslims follow the tradition of Ibn Taymiyya to challenge the Sufi tradition. In fact the four schools (madhhab) of Sunni jurisprudence as well as the Shia tradition only refer to the lesser jihad. This means that for many Muslims the concept of the greater jihad is unorthodox and heretical.

DAR AL’HARB

Dar_al_Kufr_by_PsychiatryThe language of the Koran separates the world into Muslims and kufir (infidels, unbelievers). It is quite clear about the fate of infidels, they will burn for eternity in Hell.

…then guard yourself against the Fire whose fuel is men and stones, prepared for the unbelievers. 2:23

This language clearly splits the world into two, the world of the righteous and the world of the infidel. The terms commonly used to describe this duality are dar al’Islam and dar al’harb. Dar al’Islam, following from above, means the ‘abode of safety, perfection, salvation, wellbeing and peace’. It is often translated simply as the ‘abode of peace’. Dar al’harb is the opposite. It means ‘abode of war’. It is everything that Dar al’Islam is not. It is danger, chaos, punishment, disease and conflict.

This dichotomy clearly argues that Islam is superior and the unbelievers are therefore inferior. It allows Muslims to look down on non-Muslims with derision and contempt. This has found modern expression in many a Friday night sermon. Evidence of this line of reasoning can be found in the writings of the influential radical Sayyid Qutb who said:

Humanity today is living in a large brothel! One only has to glance at its press, films, fashion shows, beauty contests, ballrooms, wine bars and broadcasting stations! Or observe its mad lust for naked flesh, provocative postures, and sick, suggestive statements in literature, the arts and mass media!

To Qutb the world had fallen into a state of jahiliyya, or ignorance of the word of Allah. The main source of this ignorance is the West which is seen in wholly negative terms. He argued that it was the duty of Muslims to wage a jihad to rid the world of jahiliyya.

There is an argument that jihad should only be declared in order to defend Muslims from attack. However, much depends on the definition of attack and defence. Qutb argued that the notion of defence should be expanded.

If we insist in calling Islamic jihad a defensive movement, then we must change the meaning of the word ‘defence’ to mean the defence of man against all those forces that limit his freedom. These forces may take the form of beliefs and concepts, as well as political systems, based on economic, racial and class distinctions. (FromTomorrow’s Islam)

To Qutb the beliefs and practices of dar al’Harb were a threat to dar al’Islam, they were responsible for corrupting Muslims. The freedom he speaks of is a specific freedom, it is the freedom to choose Islam. It is based on the idea that the freedom to choose is limited by the lies of the infidels, when the lies are exposed people will naturally convert to the one, true religion, Islam. Therefore Islam is fully justified in defending itself from aggressive and corrosive ideas by waging jihad.

Another influential thinker is Sayyid Mawdudi, a scholar of Deobandism and founder of the Pakistan party Jemaat e-Islamiya (party of Islam). He puts it this way:

Islam wants the whole earth and does not content itself with only a part thereof. It wants and requires the entire inhabited world. It does not want this in order that one nation dominates the earth and monopolizes its sources of wealth, after having taken them away from one or more other nations. No, Islam wants and requires the earth in order that the human race altogether can enjoy the concept and practical program of human happiness, by means of which God has honoured Islam and put it above the other religions and laws. In order to realize this lofty desire, Islam wants to employ all forces and means that can be employed for bringing about a universal all-embracing revolution. It will spare no efforts for the achievement of this supreme objective. This far-reaching struggle that continuously exhausts all forces and this employment of all possible means are called jihad.

THE EXEMPLARS: MOHAMMED AND HIS COMPANIONS

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.23.21 PMOne of the enormous difficulties apologists have in trying to depict Islam as a religion of peace is the fact that the new religion was born in violence and that its prophet actually fought and killed.

The Koran is divided into two periods, the revelations in Mecca and the revelations in exile, in Medina. The Meccan revelations are often more peaceful and tolerant. The Medinite revelations indicate a shift towards belligerence. Qutb explains it this way:

For thirteen years after the beginning of his Messengership, he called people to God through preaching, without fighting or Jizyah, and was commanded to restrain himself and to practice patience and forbearance. Then he was commanded to migrate, and later permission was given to fight. Then he was commanded to fight those who fought him, and to restrain himself from those who did not make war with him. Later he was commanded to fight the polytheists until God’s religion was fully established.

There is a common argument that the later passages ‘abrogate’ (naskh) the earlier passages. That is, when trying to interpret apparently contradictory passages the later passages inform the earlier passages. Unfortunately the later passages are the most violent and the law of abrogation demands the peaceful passages be tempered by the belligerent passages, not the other way around. Many radical Muslims believe that the final command of Mohammed, to ‘fully’ establish Islam, has yet to be achieved.

Many apologists will however, argue that Mohammed only ever used violence in order to defend his people. This argument is based on the evidence that Mohammed made a treaty with the tribes of Medina which they later betrayed, thus he was fully justified in waging a war. And according to the traditional tribal rules of Arabia this makes perfect sense. Except that it only tells one side of the story. It ignores the fact that the tribes might have had very good reasons to break the treaty.

Mohammed had been disowned by his own tribe. He was given refuge in Medina and he made a pact with the tribes of the region, three of whom were Jewish. However Mohammed continued to claim that he was a prophet of God in the line of Abraham and that his teachings superseded the previous teachings of Judaism. This was something the rabbis of Medina could not accept and it is clear that the teachings of Mohammed became increasingly problematic. Of course, from Mohammed’s view the Jewish tribes were simply rejecting the word of God. In any case the Jewish tribes decided to rid themselves of Mohammed, who they now regarded as a false prophet, so they formed an alliance with his own tribe, the Bani Quraysh. This new alliance negated the previous treaty and so Mohammed declared war on the tribes of Medina.

The rest is well recorded history. There are a number of Islamic accounts of the various assassinations, campaigns and battles. However, there is one in particular that is often glossed over. This is the massacre of the Bani Qurayzah, one of the Jewish tribes. Most accounts agree that Mohammed’s men dug a long trench, then lined up all the males of fighting age (around 700) and then systematically beheaded them. The women and children were then handed to the victors as slaves. Now this was rather normal behaviour at the time, but it certainly challenges the idea that Mohammed was a man of peace and compassion.

Mohammed’s army went on to conquer Mecca and the defeated infidels were given a simple choice, convert or die. The atmosphere of the final revelations are the most violent. These are sometimes called the ‘sword verses’.

Fight and slay the unbelievers wherever you find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war. 9:5

Make war on them: God will chastise them at your hands and humble them. He will grant you victory over them and heal the spirit of the faithful. 9:14

Here we return to the translation of Islam as ‘surrender’

If they repent and take to prayer and render the alms levy, they shall become your brothers in the Faith. 9:11

And it was not confined to unbelievers but also to Jews and Christians, the People of the Book (Ahl al-Qitab):

Fight those among the People of the Book who do not believe in God and the Last Days, do not forbid what God and His Prophet have forbidden, and do not profess the true religion until they pay the poll tax (jizya) out of hand and feel themselves subdued 9:29

After the death of Mohammed there was a period of uncertainty because he had not left a clear successor. Eventually it was agreed that authority would pass to one of his deputies (Caliph). During this period of uncertainty a number of tribes returned to the old ways. The first Caliph Abu Bakr attacked them and forced them to recant, this has been called the ‘War of the Apostates’.

This early period was marked by a number of expansionary wars and internal civil wars. It was also marked by the assassination of two of the Caliphs, Uthman and Ali. This last civil war (Kharijites) created the schism between the Sunni and the Shia. So it can be seen that the birth of Islam was actually quite violent.

It is also interesting to note that much is made of the claim that Islam only engages in defensive war. Yet neither the Byzantine or Sasanian empires had declared war on Islam, rather the Muslims declared war on them. There is a tradition that says:

Abu Hurayra would say after these amsar (cities founded by Muslims) were conquered during the time of Umar, Uthman and afterwards, “Conquer whatever you wish, because by the One who holds the soul of Aby Hurayra in His hands, you have never conquered nor will you ever conquer any city until the Day of Resurrection without Allah having already given its keys into the hands of Mohammed previously”. (From Jihad: From Qu’ran to bin Laden )

What this means is that the success of the Muslim wars of expansion were considered to be preordained. And so the idea of the purely defensive war was quickly overturned and a tradition created to justify offensive war. Within a short time Islam had taken over the former Christian Byzantine empire and converted it’s most holiest church into a Mosque. The Muslim empire then went on to expand into Europe, Russia and Asia, to see the rise and fall of several ruling elites and periods of sectarian violence.

Perhaps the final word should go to the jurist al-Shaybani:

Allah gave the Prophet four swords (for fighting the infidels): the first against the polytheists, which Mohammed himself fought with; the second against apostates, which Caliph Abu Bakr fought with; the third against the People of the Book, which Caliph Umar fought with; and the fourth against dissenters, which Caliph Ali fought with.

DHIMMI AND MURTADD

Dhimmi-Christian-Islam-PakistanOne of the claims of apologists is that Islam is a tolerant religion. In many ways, in comparison to some other cultures of the time, it was somewhat more tolerant. However, it was a highly qualified tolerance. There is a famous ayat that says “there shall be no compulsion in religion.” There are also a number of ayat that claim that the People of the Book, that is, fellow Abrahamites and monotheists, should be free to practice their beliefs. Again such tolerance is a qualified tolerance.

However, all such acts of tolerance are denied to unbelievers, those who do not accept the god of Abraham. This caused some problems as Islam expanded and encountered Zoroastrian, Hindu and Buddhist communities. Scholars adapted the term People of the Book to include any religion that claimed to be based on revealed scripture. In the case of Zoroastrianism this was the Zend Avesta and in the case of Hinduism the Vedas. These two faiths were also called the People of the Flame. However Buddhism has never really been accepted as a legitimate faith. There have been some scholars who have developed a rather convoluted argument to accept Buddhism, but the majority opinion is that Buddhists are infidels. The principle stumbling blocks are that Buddhists worship a man, which is idolatry and that they are declared atheists (for an example of anti-Buddhist propaganda see this http://www.islamandbuddhism.com – now offline)

Yet, regardless of their special status, the People of the Book were still discriminated against. To begin with the Caliph Umar expelled all non-Muslims from Arabia. He also developed a code of behaviour detailed in the Pact of Umar, this relegated the People of the Book to second-class status who had to abide a set of humiliating rules. They were considered to be ‘protected people’ or dhimmi. Some of the restrictions placed on dhimmis were:

  • To pay a special tax (the jizya)
  • Not allowed to build new places of worship (but Muslims were allowed to destroy any place of worship they wished)
  • Not allowed to recite prayers aloud, least Muslims hear them.
  • Not allowed to publicly display their religious literature.
  • Not allowed to publicly display religious symbols
  • Had to always walk to the left of Muslims
  • Had to stand and give a Muslim their seat
  • Wear special clothes
  • Remove their shoes whilst walking near a Mosque
  • Never hit a Muslim (though a Muslim could hit them)
  • Never build their houses higher than a Muslim house
  • Not ride a horse
  • Not bear arms
  • Could not testify against a Muslim

If these Dhimmi laws were broken the offender was regarded as no longer a protected person and they reverted to the status of infidel, which meant they lost all legal rights, could have their property confiscated and might be summarily killed.

These laws were in effect in varying degrees of severity in every Muslim controlled area. They were even enforced in the supposedly tolerant society of Moorish Spain which still applied the jizya tax – and as far as Moghul controlled India. Some lenient rulers neglected to enforce them only to have the rulers who followed them reinstitute them. Many of these restrictions are a part of sharia law and some are enforced even today. In Aceh, Indonesia, there are restrictions placed on the construction of churches under sharia law.

Many apologists have argued that Islam did not use force to convert people to Islam. This is a distortion. To begin with infidels must convert or die, atheism or polytheism is not tolerated at all. The People of the Book are able to continue to practice their faith provided they adhere to the dhimmi laws. These laws were often so restrictive that many ordinary Jews and Christians converted simply to make their lives easier. It was only the most devout who resisted. However, in some instances particular communities, such as Egyptian Copts, were set aside for particular discrimination. The dhimmi laws could be applied harshly and even the smallest infringement could have the offender declared an infidel and their property seized. Unscrupulous Muslims could manipulate the dhimmi laws to destroy economic rivals amongst Jews and Christians. It is also fair to say that other Muslim communities were rather more lenient and provided they kept quiet some Jewish and Christian communities were able to thrive. However, it all depended on the whim of the ruling elites who could interpret the dhimmi laws as they saw fit.

Once you had converted to Islam you were forbidden to convert to another religion. Conversion, murtadd, or apostasy, is forbidden under sharia and the punishment is death. In Islam there are two types of apostasy, murtadd fitri, where someone born a Muslim converts and murtadd milli, where a convert to Islam reconverts. The rules defining apostasy can be strict. According to some jurists even to enter a church, synagogue or temple is an act of apostasy, as is questioning any aspect of Islam. It is this latter offence that allows hardliners to declare other Muslims to be apostates for daring to disagree with their interpretation. And given that the penalty for apostasy under sharia is death it is permissible to kill apostates. This excuse has been used to argue that the Muslim victims of terrorist attacks were engaged in un-Muslim activities and were therefore apostates.

So if Islam is the religion of peace and if there should be “no compulsion in religion” why is it permissible to kill atheists and polytheists, kill dhimmi as infidels if they break the dhimmi laws and kill apostates? It takes a considerable amount of rhetorical contortion to argue that Islam is a tolerant religion when these rules apply.

WHAT DO ISLAMISTS WANT?

Screen Shot 2014-02-26 at 2.29.38 PMAccording to orthodox Muslims Islam is the perfect system. They are idealists who believe they have a utopian solution. The answer to the world’s problems is Islam.

The tern ‘Islamist’ has been used to mean anyone who supports Islam as a political solution. There are many Islamist groups and they fall into two broad categories; nationalist groups and internationalists. Nationalist groups are primarily concerned with overthrowing their own government and replacing it with a government based on Islamic principles and sharia law.

The internationalist groups would prefer to see all Muslim countries united under the traditional system of the Caliphate and the Caliphate to enforce Islamic principles and of course, sharia law. The most extreme internationalists want to restore the Islamic empire including Spain, the Balkans and India, and then to continue to expand Islam.

There are too many of these groups to name, save to mention that the ideology of Islamism has reached every Muslim community. There are five major sources of the Islamist ideology.

  1. Wahhabism (also called Salafi). Founded in 1745 by Mohammed Ibn Wahhab. This is the state doctrine of Saudi Arabia and Qatar, it is highly influential in the Arab states. The Saudis have funded an extensive program of expansion and have funded the construction of Mosques and Islamic schools throughout the world through a network of charitable organisations (in my own city of Melbourne a prominent Islamic school, the King Khalid College, received funding from Saudi Arabia). The Wahhabi doctrine is strict and condemns Sufism and moderate interpretations as apostasy. A proportion of this charitable money has gone to fund Salafi jihadist groups, some of it to bin Laden and al Qaeda.
  2. Deobandism. Founded in the Indian city of Deoband in 1866 as a rejection of Sufism and syncretism, its aim was to overthrow the British and restore Muslim rule. It is highly influential in Pakistan where they control around 65% of the Mosques and madari (religious schools). The Taliban were the students of Deobandi madari. Salafi money has gone to support the madari and the war in Afghanistan saw a coalition of Salafi and Deobandi jihadi.
  3. Muslim Brotherhood (Ikwhan). Founded in Egypt by Hasan al-Banna. Sayyid Qutb was influenced by the Ikwhan. The Deobandi scholar Mawdudi was an important influence on the Ikwhan and Osama bin Laden is regarded as a follower of Qutb.
  4. The Shia under the influence of the revolution of Ayatollah Khomeini. The Iranian revolution inspired both Shia and Sunni fundamentalists with the hope that Islamic states could be created elsewhere.
  5. A loose coalition of fundamentalist Sufi and minority sects. The Naqshbandiya in Central Asia have formed a loose coalition with Salafi and Deobandi jihadis (see link), particularly in the war in Chechnya. Fundamentalist jihadi Sufis are influential in North Africa, particularly Sudan.

All of these groups provide a ready pool of mujahideen who are prepared to travel in order to fight the global jihad. The Indonesian group Jemaah Islamiya is a Salafi group that was funded with Saudi money and supported by members of bin Laden’s al Qaeda group. The bombings in Madrid were committed by Moroccan mujahideen operating in support of the mujahideen under Zaqarwi in Iraq. The London suicide bombers had links with Deobandi radicals in Pakistan, and so forth.

‘BUT THIS IS NOT THE REAL ISLAM!’

islamic_jihad_picture_1_by_jihadprincess-d31iuiuWhen confronted with the above moderate Muslims will often reply by arguing that these groups do not represent the real Islam. This is a nonsense. There is no such thing as a real Islam. Rather, there are multiple Islams. In fact the situation is quite absurd. There is no central authority in Islam and rival groups compete with each other to attract followers. As I write this a council of American Muslim scholars has issued a fatwa condemning terrorism. Yet, at the same time a council of orthodox scholars in Indonesia has issued a fatwa condemning moderates. Fatwa at twenty paces!

Authority for interpretation and judgement is usually given to theulemma, a council of recognised imams or mullahs. However their judgements are only binding on their community. Each sect and each country can have its own ulemma. This means that there can be a range of judgements made, some of them contradictory, with rival ulemma in the same country issuing fatwa against each other .

It is also possible for charismatic teachers to arise and to create their own following. There is actually no formal process by which teachers and clerics can be officially recognised. Some modern sects were created by a single charismatic figure.

The fact is that there are many rival interpretations of Islam. These rival interpretations are in a state of civil war. The Islamists believe that moderates are apostates who have betrayed Islam and have been corrupted by the Western doctrines of democracy, capitalism and also, socialism. A great many bombings and assassinations have actually been directed at moderate Muslims and those governments that have adopted non-Muslim political principles. The West has become a target because they are seen to support the moderates.

The cry that this is not the ‘real’ Islam is actually completely and dramatically irrelevant. What matters is that sufficient numbers of Muslims continue to choose to follow the radical fundamentalist interpretation.

Nor is it a question of the radicals being a minority, for even if they are a minority they are an influential minority. In fact they are actually a majority in some countries (the majority of any population are usually not involved in politics anyway and tend to passively follow political groups who promise a better future). They are able to punch above their weight because they have financial and ideological support from countries such as Saudi Arabia and Iran.

Perhaps the question that should be asked of moderates is this, if the radicals are a minority and if they do not represent the ‘real’ Islam how is it they have been able to carry on a global jihad on several fronts, jihads that include civil wars, secessionist movements, revolutions, assassinations and global terrorism? The list of countries that have been affected by this global jihad is quite long. As I write this incidents have occurred in England, Egypt, Sudan, Somalia, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Kashmir and Bangladesh. The simple fact is that there is broader private support for the Islamists objectives than is ever admitted to publicly and a number are sitting on the fence, waiting to see which way things turn out.

A FINAL NOTE ON IRAQ

16iraq-superJumboIraq has now descended into a civil war. This is sadly something I warned about in a previous article. The Iraq war has allowed radical Islamist mujahideen to set up operations. One of the aims of Islamism is to overthrow secular and corrupt governments in the Middle East. Saddam, as a Ba’athist was always a target. The US-led war has simply done the job for them. They are now waging an insurgent war with the primary goal of taking control of Iraq. Of course they want to defeat the US, but that is only the first step. They will not stop if the US withdraws. If they can control Iraq they can control substantial oil revenue and then have a geographical and financial base from which to wage jihad on the other countries in the region. The final goal is to set up a regional Caliphate.

CONCLUSION

Islam was never a religion of peace. It is a religion based on a warrior code. The evidence is clear, it was made evident in the actions of Mohammed and his Companions. Islam means ‘surrender’. It is entirely legitimate to interpret the tradition of Islam as a state of perpetual jihad with the final aim being the defeat of unbelief and the surrender of all to the word of Allah as revealed by His Prophet, Mohammed. It is only when that surrender has been completed that the world will abide in a state of perfection and peace. Many jihadi see themselves as simply following the example set by Mohammed.

Moderate Islam realises that this goal is impossible. However, what the moderates have not yet fully realised is that it is up to them to defeat the radicals. This cannot be done until the power centres of fundamentalism are isolated and choked of support. This is not something that infidels can hope to achieve. What it calls for is a jihad of another kind, a complete reformation of Islam that reinterprets Islam in light of modern history. A reformation that demands the overthrow of sharia law and the discrediting of supremacist and fundamentalist interpretations of Islam.

There are encouraging signs that after the London bombings moderate Muslims are beginning to wake up from their state of denial. This must be carried forward to the heartlands of orthodoxy.

The West can assist this process by isolating Saudi Arabia and demanding that the Saud’s end their support of the Wahhabi doctrine. Iraq was never the problem, it was always Saudi Arabia. This will then have the effect of cutting off important sources of funding to other jihadist groups. It will then be up to the moderates in each community to name and shame the radicals.

Radical Islamism is doomed to failure, but it will sadly be a bloody fight that will take decades to complete. It may take a violent revolution in both Saudi Arabia and Pakistan that may initially favour the extremists but will cause a final backlash. In many ways Islamism is the last rallying cry of a defeated cause. Islam reached it’s limit. It met infidels from east, west, north and south who refused to surrender and who fought back. Over time it began to lose territory, Spain, India, Greece, the Balkans. In many ways the defeat of the Ottoman empire in WW1 was the final defeat. Since then Islam has been struggling to find its way in a new world, a world not of all-embracing Islamic Caliphates but of independent nation-states, a world that can survive quite happily without it. This is not just a struggle against the Western enlightenment and modernity, but also a struggle against Asian values, a struggle against all that is not Islam. And perhaps this is the final humiliation – that Allah seems to have disserted Islam and the infidels are ascendant. The current violence is a futile protest against the inevitable, a protest against that those who would dare challenge Islam’s natural pre-eminence by those who believe it is they who should rule the world.

And what should we do? We should articulate a fair, free and fearless critique of Islam. We must identify those progressive Muslim voices that are calling for a reformation. And we should continue to refuse to ‘surrender’.

A note on transliteration: There are no set rules on how to spell Arabic words so any reader will inevitably come across a wide variety of spellings. Qutb is sometimes spelt Kutb and Koran as Qur’an, and so forth. I have kept the spellings as originally used in quotes but have otherwise used the spellings I am used to.

By Ray Harris

A Christian Convention for these dark times

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A Christian Convention for these dark times

By Mario Murillo

The odds are that this year you will attend a seminar, a conference or a convention. The question is why are you going?  Is it to receive power, guidance, vital information, or to fellowship with friends and people of like mind?

The times we are living in demand something much deeper.  We are facing a threat to our freedoms, our loved ones, our ministries and our souls like never before. We are at a spiritual point of no return.

You do not have time to sit in sessions that do not deal with your actual life. You seek a new level in God.  You want something that lasts, something that addresses this dark time.

Recently, someone asked me why the early Pentecostal movement spread so fast.  I found that question to be profound and insightful.  The asker was assuming that its growth had slowed down.  And he is correct.  For example, under Reinhardt Bonke, Nigeria became Pentecostal but today it is drowning in radical Islam.

I fear that one reason for this reversal is that the lukewarm mutation created by American Christians spread to the rest of the world.

Spirit-filled Christianity here at home, even as recently as the 1990’s, was focused on winning souls and living pure lives.  Since then, sadly, North American Christians have come to fulfill 2 Timothy 3:5 “having a form of godliness but denying its power.”

Spirit-filled preachers leave out vital doctrines from their sermons and caved in on moral issues such as same-sex marriage and abortion. The occasional mega church does not change the fact that we are losing the battle to our culture and that is the only thing that matters.

Others leaders go to the opposite extreme delving into exotic emotional binges.

Many lament the fact that our movement has polarized into both the frozen and the freaky.  We now have to choose between churches with either no fire or strange fire.

The answer to our early movement spread because it was real.  The fire of God was real.  The miracles were real.  By trying to “improve the Gospel” we made it unreal.  By taking self out of the Gospel preachers can again have great power.

Back to my original point: The odds are that this year you will attend a seminar, a conference or a convention. The question is why are you going?

I am asking you to join me in the mountains receive fresh fire, clear direction and LIVING PROOF

living proof flag

Please make your plans now to be at the Living Proof World Convention.  We are gathering in Reno in the Boomtown Hotel and Casino.  This site was carefully chosen because it is a much more peaceful setting than the downtown strip plus there is  plenty of easy free parking.

The convention is free but you must register to attend the Living Proof World Convention, 

Plus, we can get you hotel rooms for amazing prices.   For a regular room the convention price is…get this $25 a night.  In their new North Tower a larger room is only $40!   Let us give you the special code to reserve these amazing rates.

Click here to be a part of this historic event :   http://mariomurillo.net/contact-us/

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Barack Obama Is Not a Christian in Any Meaningful Way

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Barack Obama Is Not a Christian in Any Meaningful Way

By: Erick Erickson (Diary) | February 6th, 2015 at 04:30 AM | 106

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Barack Obama is not, in any meaningful way, a Christian and I am not sure he needs to continue the charade. With no more elections for him, he might as well come out as the atheist/agnostic that he is.1 He took his first step in doing so yesterday in a speech reeking with contempt for faith in general and Christianity in particular.

Saying that violent acts are not representative of Islam, the President then attacked Christians for the Crusades (started as a response to Islamic invasion), the Inquisition (a Catholic thing, not us Protestants), slavery (abolished thanks to Christians), and Jim Crow (Dr. King also had a “Reverend” in front of his name).

Despite the interpretations and defenses of the President on what he meant, he gave away the game with a bit of the speech not given nearly as much play in the media. From the transcript:

I believe that the starting point of faith is some doubt — not being so full of yourself and so confident that you are right and that God speaks only to us, and doesn’t speak to others, that God only cares about us and doesn’t care about others, that somehow we alone are in possession of the truth.

Christ said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6) Christ himself is truth. When we possess Christ, we possess truth. The President is a moral relativist. It was clear in his whole speech. He cannot condemn and attack ISIS as he should because in his mind what is truth? Truth is a nebulous concept with our post-modern President. With truth a nebulous concept, right and wrong are too.

We know God cares about everyone. We know Christ came to die for sinners. But Christians know Christ is truth itself. To have truth, we must have Christ. To suggest that everyone can have some version of God and some version of truth is worldly babbling, not Christianity.

The President followed up those words with these:

And so, as people of faith, we are summoned to push back against those who try to distort our religion — any religion — for their own nihilistic ends.

I agree.

So I wish the President would stop professing himself to be a Christian if he is not going to proclaim Christ as truth and the only way to salvation. The “all paths” nonsense and moral equivalence might fit in with the present age, but the present age does not really fit with Christ.

And as for doubts on whether I’m right, “the starting point of faith is some doubt” in my ability to save myself, not in whether I’m right. I know I’m a sinner. I know I cannot save myself. I have no doubt that Christ is the only way. It’s not that I’m right, but that Christ is right. So, Mr. President, get off your own high horse.

OBAMA AT NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST: ’PEOPLE COMMITTED TERRIBLE DEEDS IN THE NAME OF CHRIST’

OBAMA AT NATIONAL PRAYER BREAKFAST: ’PEOPLE COMMITTED TERRIBLE DEEDS IN THE NAME OF CHRIST’

At the National Prayer Breakfast, President Obama reminded attendees that violence rooted in religion isn’t exclusive to Islam, but has been carried out by Christians as well.

Obama said that even though religion is a source for good around the world, there will always be people willing to “hijack religion for their own murderous ends.”

“Unless we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the Crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ,” Obama said. “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”

Obama also denounced Islamic State terrorists for professing to stand up for Islam when they were actually “betraying it.”

“We see ISIL, a brutal vicious death cult that in the name of religion carries out unspeakable acts of barbarism,” he said criticizing them for “claiming the mantle of religious authority for such actions.”

In a weak and disingenuous way Barrack Obama tried to say that Christianity is as violent as Islam.  What you and every other sane person should see is that this is an attempt to hide the facts about true Islam.   Obama is trying to defend Islam period.

A close and objective observation will show that when Christians are violent they are not Christian at all.  They violate Christ.   A similar look at the Koran reveals the core value of deception, use of force  and punishment by death for those who leave Islam.

So the issue is not the mistakes a religion has made in its history but what is its core beliefs.  Islam is violent at its core and our president endangers us when he allows his bias toward Islam to tell lies.

Franklin Graham:

Mr. President—followers of a peaceful religion do not cut off the heads of innocent people in the barbaric fashion the world has watched recently.

Mr. President—believers in a peaceful religion do not kidnap 300 young schoolgirls as Boko Haram did in northeastern Nigeria in April and reportedly [sell] them to men to be sex slaves.

Mr. President—men who practice a peaceful religion do not detonate bombs on an American street during a marathon race to kill and maim innocent people.

Mr. President—no one who belongs to a peaceful religion would even consider hijacking jet airliners and flying them into buildings occupied by thousands of innocent people beginning their workday, as happened in this country and in this city on 9/11.

Mr. President—no peaceful religion would tolerate, let alone practice, female circumcision, require a woman to have her husband’s permission to leave her home and take up employment, and restrict her ability to receive justice in the case of sex crimes.

Mr. President—a peaceful religion would not condone and allow a father to drown a daughter in a swimming pool in front of the family in the name of family honor because she might have stayed out late in the evening with her boyfriend.

Mr. President—why haven’t the 3.5 million Muslims in North America rejected this gross, barbaric and despicable behavior by their fellow Muslims on American soil?

And that is Graham’s question left unanswered. He adds: “Why haven’t many, if not most, of the 1.6 billion Muslims around the world condemned these violent crimes against innocent humanity as they have occurred? Why would 23 percent of the world’s population stand by and allow their fellow Muslims to define them by violent behavior if this is truly a religion of peace?”

Christians, Graham affirms, “quickly and unanimously rise together to condemn” violent acts in the name of Christianity. “I cannot recall a single instance of violent behavior supposedly done in the name of Christianity that was not immediately repudiated by the Christian community.”

Read these verses from the Quran yourself:

The Quran:

Quran (2:191-193)“And kill them wherever you find them, and turn them out from where they have turned you out. And Al-Fitnah [disbelief or unrest] is worse than killing…

but if they desist, then lo! Allah is forgiving and merciful.   And fight them until there is no more Fitnah [disbelief and worshipping of others along with Allah] and worship is for Allah alone.  But if they cease, let there be no transgression except against Az-Zalimun (the polytheists, and wrong-doers, etc.)”  (Translation is from the Noble Quran)  The historical context of this passage is not defensive warfare, since Muhammad and his Muslims had just relocated to Medina and were not under attack by their Meccan adversaries.  In fact, the verses urge offensive warfare, in that Muslims are to drive Meccans out of their own city (which they later did).  The use of the word “persecution” by some Muslim translators is thus disingenuous (the actual Muslim words for persecution – “idtihad” – and oppression – a variation of “z-l-m” – do not appear in the verse).  The actual Arabic comes from “fitna” which can mean disbelief, or the disorder that results from unbelief or temptation.  Taken as a whole, the context makes clear that violence is being authorized until “religion is for Allah” – ie. unbelievers desist in their unbelief.

Quran (2:244)“Then fight in the cause of Allah, and know that Allah Heareth and knoweth all things.”

Quran (2:216)Fighting is prescribed for you, and ye dislike it. But it is possible that ye dislike a thing which is good for you, and that ye love a thing which is bad for you. But Allah knoweth, and ye know not.”  Not only does this verse establish that violence can be virtuous, but it also contradicts the myth that fighting is intended only in self-defense, since the audience was obviously not under attack at the time.  From the Hadith, we know that this verse was narrated at a time that Muhammad was actually trying to motivate his people into raiding merchant caravans for loot.

Quran (3:56)“As to those who reject faith, I will punish them with terrible agony in this world and in the Hereafter, nor will they have anyone to help.”

Quran (3:151)“Soon shall We cast terror into the hearts of the Unbelievers, for that they joined companions with Allah, for which He had sent no authority”.  This speaks directly of polytheists, yet it also includes Christians, since they believe in the Trinity (ie. what Muhammad incorrectly believed to be ‘joining companions to Allah’).

Quran (4:74)“Let those fight in the way of Allah who sell the life of this world for the other. Whoso fighteth in the way of Allah, be he slain or be he victorious, on him We shall bestow a vast reward.”  The martyrs of Islam are unlike the early Christians, who were led meekly to the slaughter.  These Muslims are killed in battle as they attempt to inflict death and destruction for the cause of Allah.  This is the theological basis for today’s suicide bombers.

Quran (4:76)“Those who believe fight in the cause of Allah…”

Quran (4:89)“They but wish that ye should reject Faith, as they do, and thus be on the same footing (as they): But take not friends from their ranks until they flee in the way of Allah (From what is forbidden). But if they turn renegades, seize them and slay them wherever ye find them; and (in any case) take no friends or helpers from their ranks.”

Quran (4:95)“Not equal are those believers who sit (at home) and receive no hurt, and those who strive and fight in the cause of Allah with their goods and their persons. Allah hath granted a grade higher to those who strive and fight with their goods and persons than to those who sit (at home). Unto all (in Faith) Hath Allah promised good: But those who strive and fight Hath He distinguished above those who sit (at home) by a special reward,-”  This passage criticizes “peaceful” Muslims who do not join in the violence, letting them know that they are less worthy in Allah’s eyes.  It also demolishes the modern myth that “Jihad” doesn’t mean holy war in the Quran, but rather a spiritual struggle.  Not only is the Arabic word used in this passage, but it is clearly not referring to anything spiritual, since the physically disabled are given exemption.  (The Hadith reveals the context of the passage to be in response to a blind man’s protest that he is unable to engage in Jihad and this is reflected in other translations of the verse).

Quran (4:104)“And be not weak hearted in pursuit of the enemy; if you suffer pain, then surely they (too) suffer pain as you suffer pain…”  Is pursuing an injured and retreating enemy really an act of self-defense?

Quran (5:33)“The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His messenger and strive to make mischief in the land is only this, that they should be murdered or crucified or their hands and their feet should be cut off on opposite sides or they should be imprisoned; this shall be as a disgrace for them in this world, and in the hereafter they shall have a grievous chastisement”

Quran (8:12)“I will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Therefore strike off their heads and strike off every fingertip of them”  No reasonable person would interpret this to mean a spiritual struggle.

Quran (8:15)“O ye who believe! When ye meet those who disbelieve in battle, turn not your backs to them. (16)Whoso on that day turneth his back to them, unless maneuvering for battle or intent to join a company, he truly hath incurred wrath from Allah, and his habitation will be hell, a hapless journey’s end.”

Quran (8:39)“And fight with them until there is no more fitna (disorder, unbelief) and religion should be only for Allah”  Some translations interpret “fitna” as “persecution”, but the traditional understanding of this word is not supported by the historical context (See notes for  2:193).  The Meccans were simply refusing Muhammad access to their city during Haj.  Other Muslims were allowed to travel there – just not as an armed group, since Muhammad had declared war on Mecca prior to his eviction.  The Meccans were also acting in defense of their religion, since it was Muhammad’s intention to destroy their idols and establish Islam by force (which he later did).  Hence the critical part of this verse is to fight until “religion is only for Allah”, meaning that the true justification of violence was the unbelief of the opposition.  According to the Sira (Ibn Ishaq/Hisham 324) Muhammad further explains that “Allah must have no rivals.”

Quran (8:57)“If thou comest on them in the war, deal with them so as to strike fear in those who are behind them, that haply they may remember.”

Quran (8:67)“It is not for a Prophet that he should have prisoners of war until he had made a great slaughter in the land…

Quran (8:59-60)“And let not those who disbelieve suppose that they can outstrip (Allah’s Purpose). Lo! they cannot escape.  Make ready for them all thou canst of (armed) force and of horses tethered, that thereby ye may dismay the enemy of Allah and your enemy.”

Quran (8:65)“O Prophet, exhort the believers to fight…”

Quran (9:5)“So when the sacred months have passed away, then slay the idolaters wherever you find them, and take them captive and besiege them and lie in wait for them in every ambush, then if they repent and keep up prayer and pay the poor-rate, leave their way free to them.”  According to this verse, the best way of staying safe from Muslim violence is to convert to Islam (prayer (salat) and the poor tax (zakat) are among the religion’s Five Pillars).  This popular claim that the Quran only inspires violence within the context of self-defense is seriously challenged by this passage as well, since the Muslims to whom it was written were obviously not under attack.  Had they been, then there would have been no waiting period (earlier verses make it a duty for Muslims to fight in self-defense, even during the sacred months).  The historical context is Mecca after the idolaters were subjugated by Muhammad and posed no threat.  Once the Muslims had the power, they violently evicted those unbelievers who would not convert.

Quran (9:14)“Fight against them so that Allah will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people.”Humiliating and hurting non-believers not only has the blessing of Allah, but it is ordered as a means of carrying out his punishment and even “healing” the hearts of Muslims.

Quran (9:20)“Those who believe, and have left their homes and striven with their wealth and their lives in Allah’s way are of much greater worth in Allah’s sight. These are they who are triumphant.”  The Arabic word interpreted as “striving” in this verse is the same root as “Jihad”.  The context is obviously holy war.

Quran (9:29)“Fight those who believe not in Allah nor the Last Day, nor hold that forbidden which hath been forbidden by Allah and His Messenger, nor acknowledge the religion of Truth, (even if they are) of the People of the Book, until they pay the Jizya with willing submission, and feel themselves subdued.”  “People of the Book” refers to Christians and Jews.  According to this verse, they are to be violently subjugated, with the sole justification being their religious status.  This was one of the final “revelations” from Allah and it set in motion the tenacious military expansion, in which Muhammad’s companions managed to conquer two-thirds of the Christian world in the next 100 years.  Islam is intended to dominate all other people and faiths.

Quran (9:30)“And the Jews say: Ezra is the son of Allah; and the Christians say: The Messiah is the son of Allah; these are the words of their mouths; they imitate the saying of those who disbelieved before; may Allah destroy them; how they are turned away!”

Quran (9:38-39)“O ye who believe! what is the matter with you, that, when ye are asked to go forth in the cause of Allah, ye cling heavily to the earth? Do ye prefer the life of this world to the Hereafter? But little is the comfort of this life, as compared with the Hereafter. Unless ye go forth, He will punish you with a grievous penalty, and put others in your place.”  This is a warning to those who refuse to fight, that they will be punished with Hell.

Quran (9:41)“Go forth, light-armed and heavy-armed, and strive with your wealth and your lives in the way of Allah! That is best for you if ye but knew.”  See also the verse that follows (9:42) – “If there had been immediate gain (in sight), and the journey easy, they would (all) without doubt have followed thee, but the distance was long, (and weighed) on them”  This contradicts the myth that Muslims are to fight only in self-defense, since the wording implies that battle will be waged a long distance from home (in another country and on Christian soil, in this case, according to the historians).

Quran (9:73)“O Prophet! strive hard against the unbelievers and the hypocrites and be unyielding to them; and their abode is hell, and evil is the destination.”  Dehumanizing those who reject Islam, by reminding Muslims that unbelievers are merely firewood for Hell, makes it easier to justify slaughter.  It also explains why today’s devout Muslims have little regard for those outside the faith.

Quran (9:88)“But the Messenger, and those who believe with him, strive and fight with their wealth and their persons: for them are (all) good things: and it is they who will prosper.”

Quran (9:111)“Allah hath purchased of the believers their persons and their goods; for theirs (in return) is the garden (of Paradise): they fight in His cause, and slay and are slain: a promise binding on Him in truth, through the Law, the Gospel, and the Quran: and who is more faithful to his covenant than Allah? then rejoice in the bargain which ye have concluded: that is the achievement supreme.”  How does the Quran define a true believer?

Quran (9:123)“O you who believe! fight those of the unbelievers who are near to you and let them find in you hardness.”

Quran (17:16)“And when We wish to destroy a town, We send Our commandment to the people of it who lead easy lives, but they transgress therein; thus the word proves true against it, so We destroy it with utter destruction.”  Note that the crime is moral transgression, and the punishment is “utter destruction.”  (Before ordering the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden first issued Americans an invitation to Islam).

Quran (18:65-81) – This parable lays the theological groundwork for honor killings, in which a family member is murdered because they brought shame to the family, either through apostasy or perceived moral indiscretion.  The story (which is not found in any Jewish or Christian source) tells of Moses encountering a man with “special knowledge” who does things which don’t seem to make sense on the surface, but are then justified according to later explanation.  One such action is to murder a youth for no apparent reason (74).  However, the wise man later explains that it was feared that the boy would “grieve” his parents by “disobedience and ingratitude.”  He was killed so that Allah could provide them a ‘better’ son.  (Note: This is one reason why honor killing is sanctioned by Sharia.  Reliance of the Traveler (Umdat al-Saliq) says that punishment for murder is not applicable when a parent or grandparent kills their offspring (o.1.1-2).)

Quran (21:44)“We gave the good things of this life to these men and their fathers until the period grew long for them; See they not that We gradually reduce the land (in their control) from its outlying borders? Is it then they who will win?”

Quran (25:52)“Therefore listen not to the Unbelievers, but strive against them with the utmost strenuousness…”   “Strive against” is Jihad – obviously not in the personal context.  It’s also significant to point out that this is a Meccan verse.

Quran (33:60-62)“If the hypocrites, and those in whose hearts is a disease, and the alarmists in the city do not cease, We verily shall urge thee on against them, then they will be your neighbors in it but a little while.  Accursed, they will be seized wherever found and slain with a (fierce) slaughter.”   This passage sanctions the slaughter (rendered “merciless” and “horrible murder” in other translations) against three groups: Hypocrites (Muslims who refuse to “fight in the way of Allah” (3:167) and hence don’t act as Muslims should), those with “diseased hearts” (which include Jews and Christians 5:51-52), and “alarmists” or “agitators who include those who merely speak out against Islam, according to Muhammad’s biographers.  It is worth noting that the victims are to be sought out by Muslims, which is what today’s terrorists do.  If this passage is meant merely to apply to the city of Medina, then it is unclear why it is included in Allah’s eternal word to Muslim generations.

Quran (47:3-4)“Those who disbelieve follow falsehood, while those who believe follow the truth from their Lord… So, when you meet (in fight Jihad in Allah’s Cause), those who disbelieve smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly (on them, i.e. take them as captives)… If it had been Allah’s Will, He Himself could certainly have punished them (without you). But (He lets you fight), in order to test you, some with others. But those who are killed in the Way of Allah, He will never let their deeds be lost.”  Those who reject Allah are to be killed in Jihad.  The wounded are to be held captive for ransom.  The only reason Allah doesn’t do the dirty work himself is to to test the faithfulness of Muslims.  Those who kill pass the test.

Quran (47:35)“Be not weary and faint-hearted, crying for peace, when ye should be uppermost (Shakir: “have the upper hand”) for Allah is with you,” 

Quran (48:17)“There is no blame for the blind, nor is there blame for the lame, nor is there blame for the sick (that they go not forth to war). And whoso obeyeth Allah and His messenger, He will make him enter Gardens underneath which rivers flow; and whoso turneth back, him will He punish with a painful doom.”  Contemporary apologists sometimes claim that Jihad means ‘spiritual struggle.’  Is so, then why are the blind, lame and sick exempted?  This verse also says that those who do not fight will suffer torment in hell.

Quran (48:29)“Muhammad is the messenger of Allah. And those with him are hard (ruthless) against the disbelievers and merciful among themselves”  Islam is not about treating everyone equally.  There are two very distinct standards that are applied based on religious status.  Also the word used for ‘hard’ or ‘ruthless’ in this verse shares the same root as the word translated as ‘painful’ or severe’ in verse 16.

Quran (61:4)“Surely Allah loves those who fight in His way”  Religion of Peace, indeed! The verse explicitly refers to “battle array” meaning that it is speaking of physical conflict.  This is followed by (61:9): “He it is who has sent His Messenger (Mohammed) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it victorious over all religions even though the infidels may resist.”  (See next verse, below).  Infidels who resist Islamic rule are to be fought.

Quran (61:10-12)“O You who believe! Shall I guide you to a commerce that will save you from a painful torment. That you believe in Allah and His Messenger (Muhammad ), and that you strive hard and fight in the Cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives, that will be better for you, if you but know! (If you do so) He will forgive you your sins, and admit you into Gardens under which rivers flow, and pleasant dwelling in Gardens of ‘Adn – Eternity [‘Adn (Edn) Paradise], that is indeed the great success.”  This verse refers to physical battle in order to make Islam victorious over other religions (see above).  It uses the Arabic word, Jihad.

Quran (66:9)“O Prophet! Strive against the disbelievers and the hypocrites, and be stern with them. Hell will be their home, a hapless journey’s end.”  The root word of “Jihad” is used again here.  The context is clearly holy war, and the scope of violence is broadened to include “hypocrites” – those who call themselves Muslims but do not act as such.

A final world:  Even bill Maher knows the differnece between Islam and Christianity

Bill Maher responds to Charlie Rose’s comment that Christianity is also violent:

ROSE: A vast number of Christians too.

MAHER: No, that’s not true. Not true. Vast numbers of Christians do not believe that if you leave the Christian religion you should be killed for it. Vast numbers of Christians do not treat women as second class citizens. Vast numbers of Christians —

ROSE: I agree with that —

MAHER: — do not believe if you draw a picture of Jesus Christ you should get killed for it. So yes, does ISIS do Khmer Rouge-like activities where they just kill people indiscriminately who aren’t just like them? Yes. And would most Muslim people in the world do that or condone that? No.

ROSE: No.

MAHER: But most Muslim people in the world do condone violence just for what you think.

ROSE: How do you know that?

MAHER: They do. First of all they say it. They shout it.

ROSE: Vast majorities of Muslims say that?

MAHER: Absolutely. There was a Pew poll in Egypt done a few years ago — 82% said, I think, stoning is the appropriate punishment for adultery. Over 80% thought death was the appropriate punishment for leaving the Muslim religion. I’m sure you know these things.

ROSE: Well I do. But I don’t believe —

MAHER: So to claim that this religion is like other religions is just naive and plain wrong. It is not like other religious. The New York Times pointed out in an op-ed a couple weeks ago that in Saudi Arabia just since August 4th, they think it was, they have beheaded 19 people. Most for non-violent crimes including homosexuality.

Franklin Graham: