Monday, April 08, 2013

Matt 24 watch, 201: The danger of swimming naively in rip-tide riddled, shark-infested geopolitical and spiritual waters

Near where I live are several beaches that people regularly go to for a swim or a dip, secure in the confidence that these are "safe" beaches. 

The same holds across the Caribbean, one of the great beach vacation belts of the world.

And, under normal conditions most Caribbean beaches are quite safe: daylight hours, relatively calm days. (The exceptions are usually posted. Read, and heed the signs. If you value your life, or those of friends and family.)

But, also, when the waves on some beaches rise high enough, they tend to pile up waters on the beach that have to go somewhere. This creates the classic bar and cut pattern beloved by surf fishermen (rips can catch bait-fish too, tumbling them out of control and providing lunch on the fin to predators), where there are sand bars and cuts in them through which the water flows back down into the ocean:

A rip: watch out for how it may pull you sideways and then out to deep water in a
surprisingly strong "pull." To spot it, look for a gap in the breakers, maybe
with puffs of sand blown out in it. If caught up,allow the pull, and swim to
the side, then come back in. (SOURCE: HowStuffWorks)

 But, unfortunately, if you are not vigilant, or panic, a rip can drown you real fast. 

That happened several years ago to a man of my acquaintance. So, let us beware of hidden dangers on a beach. Lest an afternoon's summer fun turns into tragedy. (BTW, do we teach children these things in school? Should we consider introducing swimming as a part of the primary or secondary school curriculum?)

I guess we know about shuffling feet in the sand so we do not step on a stingray, which may arch up protectively, spearing us with the notorious sting. 

But also, at night and in the dawn or dusk periods, something else may lurk surprisingly close in on a beach:  sharks.  Indeed, I have known someone who sets nets on beaches in the Caribbean, and has had them holed by pretty impressive sized sharks. So, be careful about the hours one keeps on a beach, whether in the Caribbean, North America or the Pacific, etc.

Of course, while the above is important, this is a metaphor for what seems to be an emerging problem among the decision-making, decision-influencing classes in our region. 

For, we have been so used to the idea of colonialist and similar dangers from North America and Europe, that we may underestimate dangers from other directions. For instance, most Columbian businessmen are probably not tied to the drugs trade, but one would be wise to be aware of the possibility of a money laundering or drug smuggling front operation. Most Chinese business people are doubtless similarly above board, but unfortunately, there is a serious problem with business culture in China, that has led to unfortunate cases that have hit the global headlines several times in recent years. And so forth.

One particular source that I think we tend to be very naive about, is the Middle East and the dangers of radical Islam. 

Longtime readers will doubtless recall my concern about the two tidal waves that threaten our region geostrategically and spiritually:

And, my concern also about the IslamIST radical global agenda across this century:

Yes, most Muslim and Arab businessmen, government officials and professionals are doubtless above board and are good, decent people. But, we need to be aware that behind major investment proposals and offers of money for struggling governments and economies, there may occasionally lurk some hidden rips or even sharks. 

Sharks and rips that we do not have the intelligence services or background knowledge, expertise and experience to cope with.

Thanks to a certain Reader X, who recently communicated some strategic information, I would like to share some clips from The Investigative Project on Terrorism, that help make my point; with what my Mom used to love to call "a word to the wise."

First, the nature of the Muslim Brotherhood and its radical Islamist "theo-political" fascist ideology -- yes, there is such a thing as IslamIST fascism and that was first pointed out by moderate Muslims in Algeria [cf here and here as well]; for such lurks behind too many seemingly benign initiatives, issues and figures:

Next, how Muslim Brotherhood figures understand Jihad, in case you think I am exaggerating or distorting:

Where also, you may be surprised to see how they intend to exploit our naivete (not just our media, politicians, educators, church and public figures, etc):

So, let us beware, even as we consider siding with IslamIST backed initiatives in the international arena, or joining with development loan agreements or business investments, or partnerships for peace co-operation and mutual understanding, or even inter-faith dialogues and prayer services etc. 

Nor, should we allow ourselves to be browbeaten into silence by accusations of racism, or Islamophobia etc. There are such things as rip currents and sharks that lurk very close to shore.

If you want more information, I suggest the following resources built up through this blog:
I trust that by God's grace, a quiet word to the wise will be enough to help us understand the signs of our times and act with wisdom. END