Saturday, November 24, 2012

Matt 24 watch, 181: Understanding the global and regional threat of radical IslamISM

Over the past little while, we have been looking at the challenges facing the Caribbean in light of the tidal wave of De-Christianisation from the North driven by the rise of evolutionary materialist secular humanism, and in light of the tidal wave from the east, driven by radical IslamISM:

One of my concerns since the mid 1990's, when I first realised that we face this double-tidal wave threat, is that it is hard for us to understand what is going on, especially for the second wave. We simply have had little or no experience of radical IslamISM in our region -- apart from the Coup attempt by Abu Bakr in Trinidad in 1990 -- and we are far more inclined to imagine that the "real" threat may well be "those dangerous right-wing Bible-thumping fundamentalists."

Indeed, when confronted with events like the 9-11 attacks, that was the default explanation, that what we were seeing was a fringe phenomenon in Islam akin to the far more real and present threat in our region, "Fundamentalist" Christian faith. For instance, here is the Rev'd Rod Hewitt in Jamaica's Gleaner newspaper, only a few weeks after the 9-11 attacks:
The human tragedy in USA has also served to bring into sharp focus the use of terror by religious fanatics/fundamentalists. Fundamentalism or fundamentalists are terms that are applicable to every extreme conservative in every religious system . . . . During the twentieth century in particular we have seen the rise of militant expression of these faiths by extreme conservatives who have sought to respond to what they identify as 'liberal' revisions that have weakened the fundamentals of their faith . . . They opt for a belligerent, militant and separatist posture in their public discourse that can easily employ violence to achieve their goals.  [Gleaner, Sept. 26, 2001, italics added.]

By Jan 1st 2003, in the same newspaper, the Rev Hewitt went on to accuse:
The USA and its local allies . . . sought to empower the younger churches that have been planted by missionaries from the USA conservative 'Bible Belt' region. [sic] The high number of new denominations that were incorporated in Jamaica during the 1980s speaks volume to this perspective. 

Some of these younger churches . . .  were empowered . . . to counter the influence of liberation theology [NB: link to 1984 Vatical Encyclical added] with a traditional fundamentalist theology . . . .  many of the younger churches saw their fight/struggle with the older churches as saving the true church from 'a serious heresy/error' in which leaders were making too many concessions to the secular world and its godless ideology of socialism and the rationalising influences . . .  They unleashed the religious version of capitalism with its emphasis on rampant individualism, innovative worship and being prosperous at all cost. 

The phenomenal rise in charismatic and newer forms of evangelical churches saw some church leaders functioning like TV stars . . . Salvation became totally privatised. Christ came to change individuals without similar emphasis being invested in salvation of the community.
Frankly, that is an unjustified and even slanderous smear against Bible believing Christians. 

The difference between members of "The Church of the Firstborn in Christ, Bible-believing and Spirit Anointed" or the like and murderous terrorists bent on hijacking and crashing aircraft full of ordinary people going about the ordinary business of life into skyscrapers full of similar people, is undeniable to the point that to make the sort of immoral equivalency equation we just saw, is blatantly inexcusable.  

Similarly, while indeed there have been cases of excessive concern with material wealth and there have been heretical prosperity preachers -- who are duly rebuked by quite eminent Evangelical leaders for their folly and error -- to imply or hint that to doubt that socialist solutions are the best for Jamaica is a betrayal of Jamaica verging on treason is outrageous. To cavalierly dismiss serious concerns over where modernist theology and its fellow-traveller movements have been taking us, is worse than outrageous. And, we should realise that societies are soul-less abstractions, it is people who are en-souled and can be saved, sanctified and empowered to lead in reformation of communities, as abundant history will at once confirm.

Sadly, to my knowledge, this has never been apologised for or retracted, and unfortunately, the misperceptions and subtext of contempt are still all too common. That is sad.

Having cleared away some misconceptions, let us now examine a snippet from Obsession, a video that documents the threat of radical IslamISM which can help us to understand the scope of the second tidal wave:

(The full form video is available here from Amazon. YouTube hosts full length versions here and elsewhere.)

Another video documentary worth watching -- it gives background on the roots of radical IslamISM -- is Islam: What the West Needs to Know. This video, for instance, explains the impact of the principle of Abrogation, which implies that the later Median teachings of an expansionist polygamous warlord with a large and growing harem take precedence over the earlier peaceful pleas of the powerless preacher of Mecca who in 622 AD then fled to Yathrib (renamed Medina) to become that warlord:

To find out more, you may wish to work your way through the resources linked from this blog in the right hand column:
We need to inform ourselves, clear our minds of many gaps, confusions and misleading claims, to understand and act in response to the threat of IslamISM. END