The occasional, often ill-considered thoughts of a Roman Catholic permanent deacon who is ever grateful to God for his existence. Despite the strangeness we encounter in this life, all the suffering we witness and endure, being is good, so good I am sometimes unable to contain my joy. Deo gratias!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Watch out, Israel!

Just a few decades ago, most Jews, probably even a significant majority, proudly claimed the left as their political home. But then something happened. Many Jews, particularly those among the intellectual left, began to realize that the extreme left was changing. Following the lead of the Soviet Union, leftists in the West turned away from Israel and toward the authoritarian Arab states that had emerged during the Cold War. For many of these new Arab leaders, who had willingly supported Hitler's Third Reich during World War II, allying themselves with the Soviet Union was no great leap. After all, one murderous totalitarian is as good as another, and it mattered little who supplied the money and arms they needed to stay in power and destroy Israel. And so jumping on the anti-Israel, anti-Semitic bandwagon also proved to be an easy transition for many on the left in both Europe and the US. This change in the political landscape caused many Jews to ask, "Just who are our friends, anyway?"

One current example of someone who is no friend of Israel is George Soros (left), perhaps the biggest bank-roller of leftist causes in America; also an early supporter of our current president. In an op-ed piece in today's Washington Post, Soros places the blame for the uprisings in Egypt on...who else? Israel. Oh, yes, and on Israel's supporters among the religious right. He also praises the Muslim Brotherhood's "cooperation" with Egyptian presidential hopeful Mohamed ElBaradei, a man who has no love for the West. Lest we forget, the Muslim Brotherhood, formed in Egypt back in the 1920s, is the ideological godfather of such noted charitable organizations as Hamas, Hezbollah and, of course, our favorite, al-Qaeda. Soros says he "cannot help but share in the enthusiasm that is sweeping across the Middle East" and has pledged that his foundations will "contribute what they can." And so, when the Muslim Brotherhood reaches out, seemingly from nowhere, and takes the reins of power in Egypt, I'd suggest we follow the money all the way back to George Soros' pocket. I might also note that Soros has been a big supporter of  pro-abortion groups that claim to be Catholic, groups such as, Catholics for Choice, Catholics United, and Catholics in Alliance. These groups' aims include trying to make our president seem pro-life even though he has consistently supported unlimited abortions throughout pregnancy for any reason.

Protests in Cairo turn violent

Just so you know where the Muslim Brotherhood stands, Muhammad Ghannem, one of its leading members in Egypt, stated this week that the Suez Canal should be closed immediately, the gas line to Israel should be shut down, and the Egyptian "people should be prepared for war against Israel." And, of course, they would impose Sharia law throughout the land. (See the news report here.) That's quite a platform on which to run in any upcoming elections. And given the sympathies of most Egyptians, I suspect the Brotherhood just might come out on top. In a recent public opinion poll, published in December by the respected Pew Research Center, Egyptians responded as follows:

  • They preferred Islamists to modernizers 59% to 27%
  • 82% believe adulterers should be stoned to death
  • 77% believe thieves should have a hand amputated
  • 84% believe Muslim apostates should be executed
  • 95% believe it's good that Islam plays a large roll in politics
  • 54% believe in gender segregation in the workplace
  • 59% believe democracy is preferable to other political systems
  • 54% believe that suicide bombings can be justified, even if only rarely
On the surface at least the Egyptian people seem to be more in tune with the Muslim Brotherhood than with those who hope for the flowering of an Egyptian version of Western-style democracy. And that 59% who favor democracy? It probably included the Muslim Brotherhood and their followers since elections would probably be the easiest way for them to take control. Should they come to power in Egypt, the Middle East will have become an even more dangerous place. This, of course, is a worse-case scenario for Israel, but one I am sure they are preparing for. I wonder how prepared we are.

Muslim support for the punishments of Sharia Law

These poll numbers, especially when viewed in their entirety and compared with the results in other Muslim nations, show us something else that is very disturbing. It would seem that Islam, and not democracy, is the most prominent influence among the populations of these nations, and its influence is growing. Most disturbing, however, is the kind of Islam, a fundamentalist, warlike, authoritarian Islam, not the Islam of peace that we hear proclaimed so often in the media. It is actually the Islam one encounters far too often in the Qur'an. I have read two different translations of the Qur'an during the past three or four years and found much incitement to war and killing and little encouragement of peace. And the Jews? They were despised from the beginning, as were the Christians. If you want an intelligent guide to the Qur'an, read Robert Spencer's detailed commentary: Qur'an Commentary. You might also want to read Brigitte Gabriel's comments on the teachings of the Qur'an.

Yes, it's always the Jews. How will the Christian world, or what's left of it, respond to this escalating threat to our "elder bothers" in faith?

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