Category: Islam

Oct 09

Building a Throne in the Middle East

 

The Turkish AK Party is on the verge of altering the balance of power in the Middle East. Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan could soon be recognized as the most powerful man in the region.

Erdogan is campaigning to merge the offices of Turkey’s president and prime minister. Currently, the Turkish presidency is a ceremonial role with some judicial appointments, but the president also has the power to call for referenda, appoint the chief of the Turkish military and to mobilize the Turkish military. However, the chief of the general staff is the effective commander in chief, with the president only having a figurehead role. That could change.

The prime minister is the head of government, leader of Parliament and the driver of the legislative agenda. He also coordinates the foreign policy of the government but is limited by the powers of Parliament and the need to seek approval in advance for many initiatives. Erdogan has been open about his admiration of French and U.S.-style executive power.

The similarity between Erdogan and another regional strongman have not gone unnoticed. Islamism expert and Turkey observer Joel Richardson has noted the danger.

“No doubt, Turkey has found its Putin. One notable difference, however, is that Erdogan is loved both within and outside of his home country. While some have said that in Putin, a new czar has emerged, it’s actually much more accurate to say that in Erdogan, a new caliph has emerged. Even Khaled Meshaal, the exiled political leader of Hamas, recently stated, ‘Erdogan, you are not only a leader in Turkey now, you are a leader in the Muslim world as well.’”

Mr. Erdogan has pursued his goals relentlessly. When the AK Party did not win the two-thirds majority in Parliament necessary to unilaterally rewrite the Turkish constitution, it settled for a less ambitious amendment project and won a 2010 referendum, which enhanced the powers of the party but included minor reforms that pleased European Union observers. In 2007 the party pushed through the switch from a parliamentary vote for the presidency to a popular one and allowed presidents a second term.

Now, even without the merged powers of the prime minister’s office, the future presidents of Turkey will have increased influence through a personal mandate from the voters. Additionally, the 2007 changes forbid former presidents from seeking popular election, which – coincidentally, I’m sure – leaves Erdogan with a smaller pool of credible rivals but allows the prime minister to run without resigning from his office prior to the election. However, Erdogan must achieve his goals soon; he recently won his third term as head of the AK Party, which bans fourth terms for its leaders. Erdogan has announced that he will keep his word to leave the premiership in 2015. If, however, the presidency is reshaped in time for presidential elections in 2014, the prime minister may have a better job to go to anyway.

There is a fear that the Iranian regime and its terrorist network are in a position to seize hegemony in the Middle East. With its influence in Syria and Lebanon, it is believed that Iran is positioning itself to build a petro-terrorist empire. However, the Iranian clerics are not in a position to challenge Turkey. If they were to try, I believe that the tale of the tape is weighted in Turkey’s favor.

As a member of NATO the Turkish military has received American military technology and boasts a modern command-and-control structure. Additionally, the Turkish economy has grown by an average of over 5 percent for a decade, a record that is the envy of the United States and Western Europe. Turkey and Iran are nearly equal in population, with 79 million people in Turkey and 78 million in Iran. But the Turkish GDP is $770 billion while the poorer Iranians make do with $330 billion. Richardson has emphasized the scale of Turkish economic ambition, highlighting the fact that “Prime Minister Erdogan has recently announced plans to renovate a massive section of Istanbul as an international banking center that will compete with Dubai.”

Economics do not reveal the entirety of Iranian disadvantage, however. As always in Middle Eastern calculations, the religious element must be considered. While the populations are equal, the Turkish population is 75 percent ethnic Turkish, while only 53 to 61 percent of Iranians are Persian. Additionally, 20 percent of Iranians are members of various Turkic ethnic groups sharing cultural and linguistic ties with Turkey. Further, while 99 percent of Turkish citizens are Sunni, the Shia population of Iran is an 89 percent majority with a not-to-be-ignored 10 percent Sunni minority. The Sunni Arab states – with the significant exception of Shia-dominated Iraq – are more likely to accept Turkish leadership over Iranian Shia dominance.

Mr. Erdogan has a firm foundation on which to build Turkish hegemony. Could the Iranians accept Turkish power? Maybe. It is not impossible for them to experience a “revelation” that allows for Shia-Persian and Sunni-Turkish rapprochement. In any event the Iranians will recognize that if the Sunnis support Turkey, al-Qaida and other allied groups could match Hezbollah and other Iranian proxies in terrorist lethality. The AK Party and Prime Minister Erdogan’s time is coming.

Joel Richardson agrees: “There is no question that in the chess match for regional dominance, Turkey is about to place Iran in checkmate. While Iran’s economy is buckling under the pressure of sanctions, the Iranian regime is struggling to appear confident while fighting to avoid a free fall into hyper-inflation. Meanwhile, Turkey’s economy is roaring. The final straw that will break Iran’s back and set in motion the final shift toward Turkey’s ascendancy will be the fall of Basshar Assad’s Alawite regime that functions as an Iranian proxy. In the absence of an Iranian pawn in Syria, Erdogan will no doubt extend his Sunni paternal hand of assistance to the newly forming government. All of this together will guarantee Turkey’s dominance over the Middle East.”

Richardson’s appraisal of potential counterbalances to Turkey in the Arab counties is bleak: “After Iran falls under Turkey’s growing umbrella of power, only Egypt and Saudi Arabia will remain.” This outcome would render U.S. hegemony in the Middle East untenable. Neither would China or Russia be able to take America’s place without military intervention. In either case, if Turkey can stabilize its hegemony, it would be able to defeat any attempt at interventionism.

Turkey is unhindered in its rise. Europe and North America are largely blind to the danger. The Western diplomatic establishment – including the U.S. leadership – continues to see Turkey through the pre-2002 paradigm that existed before the AK Party took over. They view Turkey as a model for Muslim democracy. They should be reminded that Erdogan was jailed by Turkey’s secular authorities – and initially banned from taking office as prime minister – for inciting religious hatred with the words “the mosques are our barracks, the domes our helmets, the minarets our bayonets and the faithful our soldiers. …”

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4265

Oct 05

Islamic-Christian Alliance in Israel

Islamic-Christian Alliance in Israel

By Gary Stearman on September 30, 2012

The following news item was recently published in Israel: Arutz Sheva, Aug. 27th – “The Temple Mount, the place where Avraham [Abraham] came to sacrifice his son to God, the site of the first and second Jewish Temples, where the Jewish people worshiped for hundreds of years and the focal point of every practicing Jew’s prayers, is under increasing assault from the Islamic-Christian Committee.

“This relatively new Palestinian institution has been able to win the support not only of the entire regional Christian leadership, but also of leading Christian personalities from abroad.

“The Islamic-Christian Commission has just warned that the Israeli authorities are working to impose ‘a false Jewish history’ in Jerusalem, ‘the occupied city,’especially ‘on the area known to Jews as the Temple Mount.’ The Committee warned of a new ‘Judaization.’ Such fabricated lies help the Palestinians to conquer a seat in the international agencies like Unesco and to excite the Muslims against the Jews.”

In this report, we see the sad truth that not all Christians understand the prophetic truth that Israel is destined to return to the Holy Land in the last days. Instead, they view the institutional church – not Israel – as the central element in God’s plan to renew the Earth. Some even envision transferring their ecclesiastical headquarters to Jerusalem when the time is right, to greet the Lord upon His return in the Second Coming.

In their thinking, the church has superseded Israel, and is destined to create the spiritual platform that will pave the way for the Lord’s return, as He brings the Kingdom of God to its final fruition upon Earth.

In their world view, termed “replacement theology,” modern Israel is a temporary accident that will soon be swept aside into the dustbin of history. They see it as a strange offshoot of the Jewish Holocaust of World War II, whose presence in the Middle East is an irritant and obstacle to peace. Prophecy has been improperly taught for centuries; any attempt to correct long-held positions will certainly be met with dramatic resistance.

In this arena, we encounter a real contradiction in the interpretation of Bible prophecy. In sharp contrast with this view, Dispensationalism was developed in the 19th century under the leadership of John Nelson Darby and his immediate support group. They restored the long-extinct Apostolic doctrine of imminency and placed national Israel at the center of prophetic fulfillment.As dispensationalists, we do not see the Church – the body of Christ – as usurping Israel’s central place in the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy.

Part of the problem is that Christians who follow denominational creeds are only rarely (if at all) involved in the study of Bible prophecy. Eschatology has been sidelined, and is considered nearly irrelevant. Besides that, it is generally thought to be so divisive in nature that it is approached with caution. For this reason, most seminaries now admonish their young graduates to steer clear of prophetic teaching, except in the most simplistic terms. In other words, be content with, “Jesus will return to Earth some day.” Christians who believe in the latter-day return of Israel to the Holy Land are continually amazed at the widespread failure to understand this basic Bible prophecy.

In fact, there is a long tradition of power politics behind the precautionary stance of today’s theologians. Religious empires have been built and are vigorously protected.

The Islamic-Christian Committee

The Committee mentioned earlier is comprised of theologians who represent the tip of the replacement theology iceberg. They are amillennialists, with an understanding of prophecy that goes back to Augustine, whose writings were a reaction to the allegorical biblical interpretations of earlier church fathers. He cut off their strange prophetic conjectures by denying that there would be a future Millennium.

Of course, national Israel found no place in his view. The Jews had been banished to the four corners of the world, and in his thinking, would never return.

And so, in the early 5th century, he envisioned a thousand-year Church Age. When that period passed, his timing was discredited. His followers in the Roman Church then spiritualized the remaining period, assigning it an indefinite duration. Once again, Israel found no place in this renewal of prophetic interpretation.

Though flawed, Augustine’s system of eschatology found practically universal acceptance in the medieval church. Centuries later, the Roman Church and the later Reformed churches continued to accept his theology as firm and correct tradition, which is still the case, today.

Today’s Islamic-Christian Committee is comprised of church leaders who follow Augustinian eschatology. Naturally, they see Jerusalem as he did: the City of God as capital of the Gentile world. The church institutions they represent are all steeped in this concept of Gentile authority.

One of them (left) is Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canturbury. He has been termed “Anglo-Catholic.” He recently said, “It is impossible to deny that Christians and Muslims have a common agenda here: both faiths have at their heart the living image of a community raised up by God’s call to reveal to the world what God’s purpose is for humanity.”

Fouad Twal, the new Latin Patriarch of Jerusalem, serving in that capacity since 2008, recently took part in a meeting with Williams in London, England. There, he protested the fact that there are “more than 550,000 Israelis living in East Jerusalam and the West Bank.” He also spoke against “the demography of Jerusalem changing rapidly with the sacred space being threatened.” In other words, he detests the growing Jewish population there.

Another is the Vatican’s former archbishop in Jerusalem, Michel Sabbah. He has launched appeals in Europe and the United States, urging them to “stop the Hebraization of Jerusalem.”

The founder of the Committee, is Greek Orthodox Archbishop of Jerusalem, Atallah (Theodosius) Hanna. Since his appointment in 2001, quickly established himself as a vigorous political activist, publicly denouncing the “Israeli occupation” and the establishment of a “Palestinian identity.” Naturally, he is very popular among Arabs. Israeli authorities, however, have repeatedly arrested him on charges of “incitement.”

Hanna once said, “The suicide bombers who carry out their activities in the name of religion are national heroes and we’re proud of them.”

Supersessionism

There is a fundamental error in the theology that states it has replaced Israel, which it deems to be forever lost in sin.

Theologians sometimes refer to replacement theology as “supersessionism,” from the English word “supersede.” This church position states that the New Covenent replaces the Mosaic Covenant, which it refers to as the “Old Covenant.” On this basis, it believes that it has inherited the promises made to the biblical Israelites.

It is only natural, therefore, that modern church leaders would view Israel as a temporary obstacle to peace in the Middle East.

However, contemporary scholarship points out a fundamental error in their theology. They begin with the idea that Israel is forever lost in sin, never to be redeemed. However, the Apostle Paul speaks of national Israel as being at the center of God’s long-term plan for this world. Surely, anyone with the slightest experience in Scripture has read Paul’s explanation for the purpose of Israel’s rejection:

“I say then, Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid: but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them to jealousy. Now if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness” (Rom. 11:11,12).

Here, he plainly states that the collapse of Israel’s rule in Israel was only temporary. It brought salvation to the Gentiles (through Christ’s death, burial and resurrection at the feast of Firstfruits). Then, he says that they will rise again to fullness. In order to throw out this Scriptural truth, one must nullify Paul as an Apostolic authority. He adds that Israel, like Christ, will rise from the dead:

“For if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” (Rom. 11:15).

But Paul’s pure and simple statement cannot be misinterpreted. It must be ignored. And so it has been, by those who believe that the church has superseded the promised Kingdom, composed of the twelve tribes of Israel.

According to those who follow it, supersessionism expresses itself in several ways. Augustine believed that the church superseded Israel in terms of a new form of management replacing the old. He saw this development as historical and practical.

Others say that supersessionism is structural. It is simply the natural development of God’s ages-long plan for the redemption of the Earth.

Still others see the church’s supersession as God’s punishment of the Jews, who continue to reject Jesus. In the second century, Justin Martyr wrote, “For the true spiritual Israel are we who have been led to God through this crucified Christ.”

In the third century, Hippolytus is quoted as having said, “The Jews … have been darkened in the eyes of your [the Lord’s] soul with a darkness utter and everlasting.”

Among many others, Hippolytus, Origen and Martin Luther held the belief that the Old Testament prophecies once intended for the Jews were now to be interpreted as pertaining to Christians.

And as stated above, most contemporary mainline churches continue to hold various forms of this view, opening the way for emphatic rejection of Israel as legitimately back in the Land.

What’s wrong with this view? First, it is erroneous to believe that the New Covenant is a replacement for the Mosaic Covenant. Christians have not received redemption through the Law of Moses, but through the finished work of Christ.

And the inescapable fact is that the covenant of His priesthood goes back to Abraham, centuries before Moses received the covenant of Law at Mount Horeb.

The Priesthood of Melchizedek

The writer of Hebrews makes this clear, by recalling that Abraham, after his military defeat of the four Gentile Kings, paid a tithe to the priest called Melchizedek.

“Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils. And verily they that are of the sons of Levi, who receive the office of the priesthood, have a commandment to take tithes of the people according to the law, that is, of their brethren, though they come out of the loins of Abraham: But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises. And without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. And here men that die receive tithes; but there he receiveth them, of whom it is witnessed that he liveth. And as I may so say, Levi also, who receiveth tithes, payed tithes in Abraham. For he was yet in the loins of his father, when Melchisedec met him” (Heb. 7:4-10).

Levi, the priest of the Mosaic law, is here shown to have an inferior priesthood to that of Melchizedek, by virtue of Abraham’s action toward Melchizedek. The author of Hebrews then goes on to point out that Christ’s spiritual heritage originates from him, rather than from Moses and Aaron:

“If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron? For the priesthood being changed, there is made of necessity a change also of the law. For he of whom these things are spoken pertaineth to another tribe, of which no man gave attendance at the altar. For it is evident that our Lord sprang out of Juda; of which tribe Moses spake nothing concerning priesthood. And it is yet far more evident: for that after the similitude of Melchisedec there ariseth another priest, Who is made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life. For he testifieth, Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec” (Heb. 7:11-17).

A Spiritual Priesthood

In his first epistle, Peter speaks of those who were not a people, but now through Christ and the mercy of God have become members of His family, having the ability to act as priests and co-regents:

“But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light: Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy” (I Pet. 2:9,10).

Certainly, this does not imply that God must throw away one group (the Jews) in order to elevate the status of another (the Church).

Yet this is the motivation behind the theology of the Islamic-Christian Committee. It is driven by an ages-long vitriol, expressed in the language of loathing. The group also includes in its membership one Sheikh Tamimi, a high-ranking judge in the Palestinian Authority (PA). He once said, “Perhaps one day the world will awake and realize that these Zionist elements are the bloodletters who hang on the peoples, sucking their blood and consuming their resources.”

The leaders of this group have for a long time, worked hand-in-glove with the PLO, Yasser Arafat, and the PA’s current leader, Mahmoud Abbas.

The Arutz Sheva article concludes with this brief historical note: “23 December, 1995, is the date of the turning point for the Islamic-Christian alliance against the Jews in Jerusalem. The Greek Orthodox patriarch of the holy land, Deodorus I, handed over the custody of Churches in Jerusalem to PLO leader Arafat. This was done in the presence of the Catholic, Anglican and Greek orthodox archbishops.

“The patriarch declared, ‘I am the heir of Sophronius and I am handing the keys (to Christian holy sites in Jerusalem) to the heir of Omar Ibn al-Khattab.’

“Omar, the caliph who claimed Jerusalem from Byzantine rule in 638, gave then Patriarch Sophronius custody of Churches and a pledge to safeguard them. The move was meant to put Christian holy places under the custody of Arafat, a Muslim, and strengthening the Arab-Islamic claim to Jerusalem as the capital of a Palestinian state.”

The article ends with a question: “Will this new Islamic-Christian alliance be able to convince the European Union, the UN and the US to baptize Jerusalem, ‘Al Quds’”? This, the Islamic name for Jerusalem, means “the holy.” In context, it designates the Israeli capital as “the holy place.”

Certainly, it is that, with a history that dates back to Abraham, who paid tithes to the High Priest Melchizedek in this place, and later offered up Isaac here, on the holy mountain. It is the site of both Temples and the rule of King David. Its holiness was established before there ever was an Islam. And its prophetic destiny as God’s city is one of the most basic themes of the Bible. The Committee should know that changing the name of this eternal city will not change what has been written … and what will be fulfilled.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4230

Sep 26

What would happen if Christians took to the streets……..

Given what we have seen in the Muslim world recently supposedly over a video defaming Mohammed and Islam, would it be so out of the ordinary then if Christians rose up world wide and rioted and attacked over the following…..However, Christians do not behave that way they follow their Master! People we live in a world full of double standards!

Grand ayatollah: Jesus an illegitimate child

Muhammad’s existence creates ‘high place’ for ‘son of Miriam’

Published: 22 mins ago

by Reza Kahlili

Iran’s mullah-dominated regime, even as it was damning the recent video on the Prophet Muhammad as an insult to the sanctity of Islam, has unleashed a ferocious attack on Christianity.

Grand Ayatollah Vahid Khorasani, a prominent Shi’ite source of emulation and a Twelver, in condemning the insult to the Prophet, not only insulted Pope Benedict XVI but also Jesus and Miriam, stating that if it were not for the Quran, Jesus would not be worthy of God’s heavens.

Khorasani, in a long statement quoting several verses from the Quran published Friday in Hawzah News, the official site of the seminaries in Qom, Iran, claims the only reason Jesus is regarded as holy is due to the Quran and Muhammad.

“Hey, clueless pope who has chosen silence (on the Muhammad video), answer this: If there was no Quran, then as the Bible and the Torah have it, Jesus the son of Miriam is a bastard and a bastard will be forbidden from the heavens of God, and so the high place of Jesus is due to the existence of the Prophet Muhammad as the last prophet by God,” Khorasani said.

The grand ayatollah likened Muhammad to the sun that shines on humanity and cannot be diminished.

“The Prophet is the light of God and everlasting and that Allah, among all of His prophets, only compares himself to Muhammad and clearly calls him the last of His prophets with the most complete and righteous religion,” Khorasani said.

The Quran, the last book of God, removed the burden of “adultery” from Miriam and sanctified the birth of Jesus, Khorasani said. “The ignorant Christians burn the Quran and don’t understand that the result will be that Jesus becomes an illegitimate child.”

Khorasani had previously called the Bible wrong and unjust, a book that does not reflect the words of God but rather one that has been altered.

The U.N. General Assembly will again hear Muslim arguments this week over a proposed international law against blasphemy, this time spurred on by the Muhammad video. But such a law would also have to address Khorsani’s views.

See Khorasani’s statement below, or at this link.

A member of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution in Iran, Hassan Rahim Pour Azghodi, a noted ideologist and theorist of the Islamic regime, in a similar attack against Christianity on Thursday said, “The most corrupt individuals in (Christian) communities are their religious leaders and priests; however, in Islamic societies the most pure are the clerics.”

Azghodi praised the Islamic Awakening (Arab Spring) in the region, crediting the Islamic Republic of Iran for its success, and said Islam is the only expanding religion and that even Christians are converting to it.

“The Christian society today is the most corrupt with its behavior, and the West has the filthiest culture in the world, where savagery and voluptuousness are the two clear distinctions of it,” the ideologist said.

Azghodi, in an earlier speech on the Islamic regime’s State TV, had called for an international jihad to destroy the West.

Iranian clerics have been concerned about the spread of Christianity in Iran as tens of thousands have converted to it. Most Iranians resent the clerics and Islam, which have suppressed them since the 1979 Islamic revolution. Many have formed churches in their homes to spread the word of Christ, which Islamic officials call “the enemy’s efforts” to establish “house-churches.”

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, not only ordered the burning of tens of thousands of confiscated Bibles, calling it an unholy book, but also ordered the Intelligence Ministry to clamp down on converts, according to a former Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer who has defected to a Scandinavian country.

“The Guards intelligence has assigned a unit in major cities across the country with the order to infiltrate (the Christian) groups, identifying pastors and the members, then make arrests, forcing them under torture to agree to appear on TV and confess to criminal activities in having connections to Israel and America,” the source said. “Lashing the bare feet of those arrested with cable wires is one method of torture used. Other tortures include spouses of the arrested converts (being) brought in and beaten in front of them, while others are kept in total darkness in dungeon-type cells for weeks with no human contact, so that they lose sense of time.”

International pressure forced the regime to recently release Pastor Youcef Nadarkhani, who was jailed under a death sentence for three years on the charge of apostasy. Many more Iranian Christian converts remain jailed across Iran.

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4191

Sep 23

IRAN OFFICIAL: ‘BIG WAR’ MEANS MAHDI’S COMING

For the first time, Iran’s highest-ranking military official has tied the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah to the regime being prepared to go to a war based on ideology.

“With having the treasure of the Holy Defense, Valayat (Guardianship of the Jurist) and martyrs, we are ready for a big war,” Defense Minister Ahmad Vahidi said, according to Mashregh news, which is run by the Revolutionary Guards.

“Of course this confrontation has always continued; however, since we are in the era of The Coming, this war will be a significant war.”

Shi’ites believe that at the end of time great wars will take place, and Imam Mahdi, the Shi’ites’ 12th imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all corners of the world.

Vahidi became the Revolutionary Guards intelligence officer after the 1979 Islamic revolution and later was promoted to chief commander of the Quds Forces. He is on the Interpol most-wanted list for the Jewish community center bombing in Buenos Aires in 1994 that killed 85 and injured hundreds.

Vahidi also played a major role in the 1996 Khobar Tower bombing in Saudi Arabia that killed 19 U.S. servicemen.

Speaking at a mosque in remembrance of the martyrs who died in service to Iran, Vahidi stated that, “The Islamic republic is going to create a new environment on the world stage, and without a doubt victory awaits those who continue the path of martyrs. … we can defeat the enemy at its home and our nation is ready for jihad. Martyrdom has taught us to avoid wrong paths and return to the right path. Martyrdom is the right path, it’s the path to God.”

Vahidi said Iran’s enemies would have taken action in Syria in the past couple of years if they had the capability. Iran is a much more formidable power than Syria, he said, and concluded that Tehran can easily wipe out the “Zionist regime” of Israel.

Several U.S. officials, including Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, have called the officials of the Islamic regime “rational actors.”

Meanwhile, a Revolutionary Guards report quoting the head of the Guards’ public relations, Ramezan Sharif, revealed that Iran has military assets in several countries.

The presence of Quds Forces in Syria and Lebanon, Sharif said, is with the goal of supporting the Islamic nations and for the special situations that exist in those countries.

Sharif said Iranian presence is based on international laws and that, “Currently the Revolutionary Guards has presence in 15 countries, among them Syria and Lebanon, while the Iranian military also has presence in some other countries.”

As revealed recently, terrorist assets of the Islamic regime have been put on high alert for attacks on Israeli and U.S. interests. This extends from the Middle East to Africa, Latin America and the United States.

In a report Thursday in the Washington Times, Kevin L. Perkins, deputy director of the FBI, told a hearing of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that the agency considered Iran’s assets a “serious threat.”

“Quds Forces, Hezbollah and others have shown they both have the capability and the willingness to extend beyond that (Middle East) region of the world and likely here into the homeland itself,” he testified.

Guard commanders have openly stated that they have recruited assets from Latin America and even some from European countries to avoid suspicion by intelligence agencies and will target America should it get involved militarily against Iran.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4181

Sep 14

Muslims Gone Wild!

Marines arrive in Yemen after embassy attack, protests spread

Published September 14, 2012

U.S. Marines are on the ground in Yemen to deal with the aftermath of an attack on the U.S. Embassy in the capital city of Sanaa, as the Obama administration warns of sustained protests outside diplomatic posts across the Middle East and North Africa.

Pentagon spokesman George Little told Fox News the team is in Yemen as a “precautionary measure.”

The move comes amid reports that protesters jumped over U.S. Embassy walls in both Sudan and Tunisia. At least 3 people have been reported dead and another 28 have been wounded during the Tunisia attack, Reuters reports, citing state television. Reuters also reported that protesters set fire to trees and broke windows inside the U.S. Embassy compound in Tunis.

A senior U.S. official, without explaining the extent of the breach in the latter attack, told Fox News that Tunisian security forces “have responded effectively” so far to the incident.

“We’re keeping a close eye on events there, but for the moment, the Tunisians are doing precisely what they should do in the face of such events,” the official said.

One official also reportedly claimed that protesters in Sudan have been expelled. Witnesses said Sudanese police opened fire on those trying to climb the walls.

That is just a snapshot of the violent unrest playing out Friday, in the widest protests yet across the Muslim world.

The day of protests, which spread to around 20 countries, started small and mostly peacefully in countries such as Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Afghanistan and Pakistan. The most violent demonstrations took place in the Middle East. In many places, only a few hundred took to the streets, mostly ultraconservative Islamists — but the mood was often furious.

One protester was killed in the northern Lebanese city of Tripoli in clashes with security forces, after a crowd of protesters set fire to a KFC and a Hardee’s restaurant. Protesters hurled stones and glass at police in a furious melee that left 25 people wounded, 18 of them police.

Security forces in Egypt and Yemen fired tear gas and clashed with protesters to keep them away from U.S. embassies. And Germany’s Foreign Minister says the country’s embassy in the Sudanese capital of Khartoum has been stormed by protesters and set partially on fire.

A senior State Department official said Friday that the administration has stood up a 24-hour “monitoring team to insure appropriate coordination.” The official said the team is working with missions around the world “to protect American citizens.”

The intense demonstrations, purportedly by people upset over an anti-Islam film, follow warnings by the State Department that the protests could spread across the region. The department, on its Twitter account, cautioned Thursday of sustained protests in Egypt, Oman and Jordan, among other places.

The Department of Homeland Security and the FBI also issued a joint intelligence bulletin warning that the violent outrage aimed at U.S. embassies could be spread to America by extremist groups.

In a statement to Fox News, a DHS official said that there is no specific, credible information at this time to indicate that the attacks have increased the threat of violent reaction in the U.S., but it will continue to identify potential threats and take appropriate measures.

Four Americans were killed in an attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, on Tuesday. A Marine unit was dispatched earlier in the week to Tripoli, to help fortify the U.S. Embassy there in the wake of the attack in the eastern part of the country.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://discerningthetimes.me/?p=4140

Sep 05

‘Remarkable’: Dreams And Visions Bringing More Middle East Muslims To Faith In Christ ‘Since The Birth Of Islam’

 

Psalm 70:4, “Let all those who seek You rejoice and be glad in You; And let those who love Your salvation say continually, ‘Let God be magnified!’”

CBN Host: “In both Egypt and Syria we’re seeing Christians deciding to leave, some of those who are leaving Syria were actually [Christian] refugees from Iraq. With all this trouble going on, are these Christians running out of safe havens?”

Chris Mitchell – “They are.  …[In] 2003 when the Iraq war started, and then the sectarian violence — the Muslim against Christian violence — thousands left. Some of them fled to Syria. Now those Christians in Syria, they really don’t know where to go. Some may be going to Jordan, which might be the last safe haven for Christians in the Middle East …”

CBN Host: “… Despite the turmoil we know that the Lord always finds a way to reach people. We hear about Muslims having dreams and visions of Christ. Share some of those stories.”

Chris Mitchell: “I think that’s one of the most remarkable things happening in the Middle East right now, and the missionaries that I’ve … talked to … say that more Muslims are coming to faith in Jesus Christ than any time since the birth of Islam 1400 years ago. Many of them are coming through dreams and visions, literally, people having dreams of a man in white who calls Himself Jesus and says ‘Follow Me’ for example. It’s happening in Iran. In fact Iran, some say, is the fastest growing church in the world today and that most of the people that are coming are influenced by a dream or a vision that tells them about Jesus, and then through that they may get a Bible, they may meet a Christian, and it’s sort of [the] initiation of their faith in Jesus Christ …”

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