A Refutation of Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda’s Anti-Christian Teachings.
International Society for
3764 Watseka Avenue,
Los Angeles, California U.S. 90034.
I am forwarding this letter regarding particular assumptions made by the late Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabhupāda. These assumptions were published in ‘Science of Self-Realization,’ (Bhaktivedanta Book Trust, Los Angeles, s.a., pp. 129 – 33). These assumptions in part, are as follows:
“We have to accept all the injunctions of the scripture as they are given, not only those that suit us. If we do not follow the first order, ‘Thou shalt not kill’, then where is the question of the love of God?”
“There is killing, and there is murder. Murder refers to human beings. Do you think Jesus was not intelligent enough to use the right word – murder – instead of the word killing? Killing means any kind of killing, and especially animal killing. If Jesus had meant simply the killing of humans, he would have used the word murder…”.
Bhaktivedanta makes astonishingly desultory assumptions about Jesus’ ‘intelligence’ in the ‘use of right words’. And peculiar suppositions as to their ‘meanings’, based primarily, upon general abstract reasoning, absent of any· text-based evidence; from reliable Judaic-Christian sources. These assumptions are perplexing, ambiguous, and distort demarcations between the factual and fanciful; particularly to the unwary.
Bhaktivedanta’s assumptions, scil., his “first order”, quotation “Thou shalt not kill”,’Jesus’ use of”… the right word – murder – instead of… killing “, will be examined in context of English language translation from reliable Greek text.
Firstly, Bhaktivedanta erroneously prioritized; the Sixth word ‘ού ϕονεύσεις / You shall not commit murder’ (Exodos, xx: xiii) as “the first order” id est., the first Word. The first Word, ‘ούκ έσονταί σοι θεοί έτεροι πλήν έμού / You shall have no other gods before me’ (Exodos, xx: iii), forbids the worshipping of anyone or anything but Yahweh. This Word is concerned with monolatry. That is to say man’s relationship to the monotheistic Yahweh; quite apart from the sixth Word (Exodos, xx: xiii). That is appertaining to socio-moral requirements, particularly the sacredness of human life; this Word does not equate with “animal killing”.
Furthermore, he suggests that: “We have to accept all the injunctions of the scripture as they are given, not only those that suit us”. Whilst he himself contextually misappropriates the sixth Word and omits the first Word Exodos, xx: i – iii second xx: iv; third xx: vii; fourth xx: viii – xi; fifth xx: xii; seventh xx: xiv; eighth xx: xv; ninth xx: xvi; and tenth xx: xvii Words. Where indeed then, is integrity to Sacred Text, Yahweh’s Words? “… the acceptance of all the Injunctions of Scripture as given”?
Secondly, Bhaktivedanta quotes: “Thou shalt not kill” from the Δεκάλογος (Decalogue) in Elizabethan English which is unique to the so-called ‘Authorized Version’ (AV) [ formerly in Middle English; published in 1611]. Although the AV is a masterpiece of literary form, the most prestigious, of all the English translations, it does not have the advantages of modern textual scholarship of recent times. It was based upon the unreliable ‘Textus Receptus’ (T.R.) Greek Text (circa. 1550). In modern English versions of the Bible (NKJV, NASB, and NIV) “Thou shalt not kill”; now translates as “You shall not murder”. Evidently, Bhaktivedanta’s assumptions were not deduced from these modern versions.
In the ensuing years, textual scholars, through varia lectio, have established original text, e.g ., the AV has the word “νηστεια / fasting” interpolated into Mark ix: xxix, yet excluded from the superior Greek text, id est., S*, B, P 45 ; pre-dating the T.R. And the discoveries, from 1947 onwards, of sequens manuscripts; at Khirbet Qumrân: I, II Vasilion; (I, II Samuel) (4Q), pors., of Exodos (7Q 1); Levitikon (4 QLXX Lv a,b); and Arithmi (4 Q LXX Num); confirming that the LXX translation was based upon an earlier independent source than the surviving Textus Masoreticus (Mas.). Modern scholarly English language versions feature apparatus criticus at the foot of the page indicating varia lectio.
These versions cannot give a precise translation of early Hebrew or Greek text. The contextual circumstances in any particular language will only partially translate across to another. Bhaktivedanta himself acknowledges this principle in his commentary on the Sanskrit root verb ‘bhaj’. And the English word ‘worship’ in the Atmasanyamayōg, vi: xxxxvii in his translation of the Gîtâ (Bhagavad-Gîtâ As It Is, Los Angeles 1983). Translations are only a representation of original text and are by no means simplistic as Bhaktivedanta’s assumptions suppose; outside the Vedic religious text.
Thirdly, Bhaktivedanta’s asserts that: “Killing means any kind of killing, and especially animal killing,” and “If Jesus had meant simply the killing of humans, he would have used the word murder …”. This view is in default of support from both Exodos, xx: xv and Mathaon vi: xx1a, et alibi., e.g., Διδαχή (Didache) i: iia, and Ρώμη (Romans) xiii: ix. The Greek and Hebrew words: ‘ϕονεύσεις’ and ‘ךצת’ (‘râtsach’), in these text means either to kill or to murder a human being ( vide: Bauer.W, Griechisch-Deutsches örterbuch zu den Schriften des Neuen estaments und der übrigen urchristlichen literatur , 4th ed. (Germany 1952), and Strong.J, The New Strong’s Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible, Dictionary of the Hebrew Bible , (U.S. 984). Therefore “killing” i.e., ‘ϕονεύσεις’ and ‘ ךצת ‘ ; does not refer “…especially [to] animal killing ” [brackets mine]. cf. ‘ahimsâ’ (‘non-violence’, ‘non-hatred’, and ‘gentleness’) in the Gîtâ, Vibhuti, 10. 5 and Sraddhatrayavibhâgayôg16. 2.
Bhaktivedanta’s opinions are based upon provisions of ancient Hindu legal codes that recognize the sacredness of both human and non-human life, which diminishes the sacredness of human life. A survey of the Gospel material for every occurrence (and context) of Jesus’ use of the word ‘kill’ will furnish further evidence in refuting Bhaktivedanta’s assertions (vs.). The word ‘άποκτενο’ means, ‘kill,’ or ‘put to death’.
There are seventeen occurrences which are attributable to Jesus in the four Gospels. They are as follows: three occasions of “άποκτενοῦσιν”, and three occasions. “Άποκτείν” are pertinent to discourses in which Jesus foretells of those who seek to kill him: “τί με ζητεῖτε άποκτεῖναι; / why do you seek to kill me?” Mathaon, xvii: xxiii. Markos, ix: xxxib, x: xxxiv. Ioannes, vii: xix, viii: xxxvii, viii: xxxx. Three occasions of “άποκτείνωμεν”, and one occasion of “άποκτέννοντες” concerning the vine-dressers killing the heir (and servant): “άποκτείνωμεν αὐτὁν / let us kill him, Mathaon, xxi: xxxviii. Markos, xii: v, 1xii: vii, Lookas, xx: xiv. Two occasions of “άποκτεννοντων” and one of “ἀποκτεῖναι” concerning killing in relationship to the soul and body: “τών άποκτεννοντων τò σώμα / Those who kill the body” Mathaon, x: xxviiia, (cf. ibid.b), Lookas, xii: iv. Three occasions (“άποκτενεῖτε”, “άποκτενοῦσιν”, and “ἀποκτείνας”) concerning the killing of the prophets, wise men, scribes; and the Apostles: “έξ αύτών άποκτενεῖτε / some of them you will kill” Mathaon, xxiii: xxxiv, xxiv: ix. Ioannes, xvi: ii; and one “άποκτεῖναι” on the theme whether “Ψυχῂνσᾠσαι ἢ άποκτεῖναι; / to save life or to kill?” Markos, iii: ivb.
Furthermore, the word ‘ϕονεύω’ means ‘kill’, ‘murder’, ‘slay’ and appears four time in the New Testament. Jesus uses it in recalling the sixth Word of the Δεκάλογος (v.s.): ‘ού ϕονεύσεις / you shall not commit murder’, Mathaon, v: xxi, xix: xviii, Markos,x: xix; Lookas, xviii: xx.
Bhaktivedanta argues that ” Jesus was… intelligent enough to use the right word -murder- instead of the word killing… ” which he circumscribable defines as: “especially [ to ] animal killing ” [ brackets mine ]. Jesus uses the word ‘θύσῃ’ twice, meaning: ‘kill’, ‘slay’, ‘sacrifice’. Firstly, in the parable regarding the thief who comes … “ἵνα κλέψῃ καὶ θύσῃ / to steal, and to kill” Ioannes, x: x, and secondly, the parable of the father, seeing his lost son return, ordered his servants to “…φέρετετὸνμόσχοντὸν σιτευτόν, θύσατε / bring the fatted calf here and kill it, and let us eat and be merry” Lookas, xv: xxiii.
These are the sole occurrences, in the entire Gospel material, of Jesus having mentioned the word ‘kill’ (‘θύσῃ’) in reference to an animal. The context here, et al.,focuses upon human obligations, and from a theological perspective; Yahweh’s compassion for mankind; quite apart from Bhaktivedanta’s assertions, viz., “… the first order … thou shalt not kill.. especially animal killing’,” having relevancy to the Δεκάλογος, and what Jesus said or supposedly “meant” having any relevancy to the Gospel material is, at best; pure conjecture.
Bhaktivedanta’s views regarding ‘animal killing,’ also fails dismally in his own ‘Purports’:
“Nâty-asnatas tu yogo sti na caikântam anasnatah na câti-svapna-sîlasya jâgrato naiva cârjuna / There is no possibility of one’s becoming a yogi, O Arjuna, if one eats too much or eats too little, sleeps too much or does not sleep enough” (Atmasanyama-yôg vi: 16).
Bhaktivedanta, A. C, Bhagavad-
Gîtâ As It Is, Los Angeles 1983.
“Patram puspam phalam toyam yo me bhaktyâ prayacchati tad aham bhakty-upahrtam asnâmi prayatâtmanah / If one offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it” (Râjavidyârajaguhyayôg ix: 26).
Likewise, his arguments are unsupported in: the Karma-Yôg iii: 12,13,14, Atmasanyama-yôg vi: 17, Sraddhatrayavibhâgayôg xvii: 7, and Mokshasan-yâsayôg xviii: 51 – 53.
The internal evidence above, from both Biblical and Hindu text, suggest quite clearly, that Bhaktivedanta’s assumptions are in default of even a soupçon of technical understanding, particularly of Judaic-Christian texts. It’s palpable that he’s not referred to Hebrew or Greek biblical sources, nor Lexicons. His views are based upon Hindu ‘monism’ and has no relevancy to Judaic-Christian text. He’s demonstrated a gross naïvety towards Jesus’ words, their context, and the language in which He spoke [Koine Greek was the universal language of the Mediterranean world. Latin was the official language of the Roman Government, and Aramaic the local language that Josephus referred to as “Hebrew”. The inscription on the Cross (Jn. xix: 20) was written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew. Jesus spoke in Koine Greek to the Graeco-Syrophoenician woman at Phoenicia (Mk. 7: 26), and in His ministry at “…Γαλιλαία τών έθνών / Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matt. iv: 15).
In conclusion, I invite you to refute the evidence I have provided above, by responding with a text-based rationale free from Hindu ‘Monism’ (‘Advaita’), exempli causa :- ix ocss in Chândogya Upanishad vi, 13f and throughout the Mândukya Upanishad.
If I receive no response to this letter, it will be safe for me to assume that you concede that the arguments I have put forth, ut supra, are correct in refuting Bhaktivedanta’s wild and extravagant assumptions.
The text used in this letter are from
The Septuaginta (LXX), (Germany 1935),
Nestle’s Novum Testamentum Graece,
21th ed., and The New King James Version
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
~ Finis ~
Chris Butler’s Relentless Anti-Christian Campaign.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
Jagad Guru Siddhaswarupananda Paramahamsa
3rd Floor, Ma. Teresa Bldg,
1350 Espana Cor. Moret Sts
( Opposite UST ) Manila
Regarding: your booklet titled ‘Understanding Karma’, Published by Science of Identity Foundation, Sine loco, 1995.
I am writing to you in response to some comments you made in the above booklet. These comments include:
- Your excessive critical stance towards Christians.
- Imposing upon Christians generic philosophical questions, and assuming simplistic, unauthenticated replies.
- Your misuse of Christian Scripture as a springboard to project your version of ‘Orientalism’.
- Your misquoting Jesus to support the Hindu doctrine of ‘karma’, and ‘metempsychosis’.
I am curious to learn why you take such hypercritical, and judgemental stance towards Christians, whom you repeatedly refer to as: “so called Christians” (op. cit. 4, 9). This has the effect of discrediting their moral integrity in the minds of non-discerning readers. Your assumption suggests an incorrect designation of the word ‘Christian’. Are you suggesting followers of Christ have, since circa 45 AD (Acts 11. 26), been mistakenly calling themselves Christians, id est. for the past 1,955 years? Or is the term: “so-called Christians” a euphemism for those who disagree with your teachings? I would be interested to know the basis, of your assumed moral ‘authority’ in making such judgemental pronouncements. Also the criterion you employed, e.g., the ethical legal codes of Hinduism or Christianity. Furthermore, your definitive description of what, you consider, constitutes a ‘Christian’, “so-called Christians”
You pose the following generic philosophical, socio-economic question:
“Why is it that if God loves all of us – His children – we see so many disparities and disabilities?”
ibid. p. 4
You reply with the following dubious quotation, sine loco, anno, vel nomine, representing alleged replies by Christians:
“Many so-called Christian teachers who do not actually have the answer attempt to reply: ‘We can’t understand God’s dealings. It’s a test. It’s God’s will, you know’ and so on”.
ibid. p. 4.
Your quotation, after a sort, cannot be considered serious enough to warrant a response, except to acknowledge that it’s jejune, and clearly indicates that you prefer to portray Christians as intellectually incapable to take occasion, rather than seeking answers in the literature of the Church, exempli gratia: De Civitate Dei (Augustine), and Summa Theologica (Aquinas).
You denigrate Christians, by referring to them as “so-called Christians”, whilst making hotchpot use of Christian Scripture as a springboard, to advocate Hindu pantheism, to both rival Christianity, and to proselytize the unwary to your own form of ‘Orientalism’. I’m puzzled as to why you don’t rely upon the catalogue of Hindu sources, the Vedas and Upanisadic text, rather than misappropriating Judaic-Christian text.
“Προσέχετε άπὸ τϖν Ψευδοπροϕητϖν, οἵτινες ἔρχονται πρòς ὑμᾱς ἐν ἐνδύμασιν προβάτων, ἔσωθεν δέ εἱσιν λύκοι ἅρπαγες”.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves”.
Matt. 7,15 NKJV
You claim to have “disciplic succession…that began with God Himself” (ibid. p. 30). Your teacher, Bhaktivedanta, made the same claim, as well as his supposed ‘disciplic succession from the 15th-century Indian mystic Chaitanya’ . These claims by you and your teacher are extravagantly fanciful. Neither of you have been able to support these claims empirically by historic method, and unable to do so due to Hinduism’s perception of itself as independent of historic method (Weber, The Religion of India , 1958). And furthermore, aggressive, and highly commercialised missionary activities are completely foreign to the Hindu tenet of not seeking to proselytize others (Giddens, A. Sociology, 1989).
You claim to be “distinct from the (a) teacher of a particular sect, (or) religion…”(ibid. p. 30) is a gross misrepresentation. You are quite clearly not “distinct” from “a particular sect or religion” because you are “…the initiated disciple of Srila Bhaktivedanta Swami” (ibid. p. 30), founder of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, in 1966, which is a sect linked by a few general beliefs and practices claiming to be based on classical Hinduism.
Secondly, throughout your booklet, you promote your own form of ‘Orientalism’ based loosely upon Hindu religious beliefs and doctrines you inherited from Bhaktivedanta. These include: ‘metempsychosis.’ the supposed transmigration of the soul of a human being or animal at death into a new body of the same or a different species. (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English 1990, p. 746), and ‘karma’ (the sum of a person’s actions in previous states of existence, viewed as deciding his or her fate in future existences (ibid. p. 645)). These doctrines are polytheistic key features of Hinduism, and therefore quite apart from the monotheistic beliefs of Christianity. In these circumstances, how can you lay claim to be a “teacher of the whole world”, “distinct” from “a particular sect or religion”.
4. You make the following assumption regarding Christians with the following:
“They (Christians) cannot satisfactorily answer this question (transmigration),” (and) In reality, the answer is quite simple”.
ibid . p. 4
You yourself fail miserably in providing a “quite simple answer” by making an appalling sidetracking attempt by superinducing polytheistic Hindu beliefs of ‘metempsychosis’ and ‘karma’ into Christian text by your flippant, inept; and erroneous ‘quotation’ of Jesus:
“As you sow, so shall you reap”.
ibid . p. 6
Your quotation of Jesus is pure conjecture and unsupported in The New Testament. The only record of Jesus’ discourse having mentioned the theme of ‘sowing and reaping’ was on the occasion of the ‘Sermon on the Plain’ near Kefar Nahum (Matt. viii: 1, 5) where he said:
“ἐμβλέψατε εἰς τά πετεινά τοῡ ούρανοῡ ὅτι ού σπείρουσιν ούδὲ θερίζουσιν ούδὲ συνάγουσιν εἰς άποθήκας, καὶ ὁ πατὴρ ὑμῶν ὁ οὐράνιος τρέφει αὐτά. Οὐχ ὑμεϊς μᾶλλον διαφέρετε αὐτϖν;”
“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they?”
Matt. vi: 26, NKJV.
This particular metaphor is quite clearly concerned with anxiety not exceeding minimal level of existence, and is quite unrelated to your discussion on the ‘law of karma’ , and ‘metempsychosis’ to boot .
I suggest that your following proposition on human suffering is naïve, sophistical, and anti-intellectual.
“It is not God that arbitrarily chooses to make you poor and another person rich, to make your body diseased and your neighbor’s healthy, etc. It’s not God Who’s doing it but you”.
ibid. p. 5
Your proposition focuses solely upon the human endogenous factor, and omits the exogenous effects upon human life, thus placing the responsibility of poverty and suffering on the individual.
Your proposition helps to justify, maintain, and uphold the ruthless exploitative ancient Hindu social stratification system (casta). This stratification concept found other expressions off the Indian subcontinent, exempli gratia , the southern states of America where blacks and whites were segregated prior to and following the Civil War (1861-65). And in Germany during World War II (1939-45), where the concept took expression in the ‘elimination of European Jewry’ which was initialized into legislation in 1941; and resulted in the loss of 19,000,000 Gentiles, and 6,000,000 Jews.
Do you expect your readership to unquestioningly accept this inhumane system? And do you also expect them to accept that these 25,000,000 victims were responsible for what happened to them from 1939 to 1945?
You restrict the discussion to God and the individual: “It’s not God Who’s doing it but you” (ibid. p. 5), whilst muting aetiological considerations, e.g., war, droughts, famine, dictatorial and totalitarian governments, social injustice, inequitable distribution of wealth; all of which are beyond individual control.
You condemn victims for the actions of perpetrators. You condemn highly exploited victims of cheap labour. You condemn those suffering from tuberculosis, blindness, malnutrition and starvation. You condemn the harassed Harijan (the untouchables). You condemn both adults and children who die from dysentery. You condemn the intellectually and physically disabled; Is this what you expect an intelligent readership to believe?
You misappropriate Christian Scripture to make the innocent guilty. You misappropriate Christian Scripture to cruelly make the innocent guilty of “disparities and disabilities”. (ibid. p. 4) You advocate the Hindu doctrine of ‘karma’, which supports and maintains the ‘casta’ system. The doctrine of ‘dharma’ subjugates the powerless to the control, and exploitation, by the politically most powerful castes. Do you expect your readers to gullibly believe that Christian Scripture supports this exclusivistic, anti-egalitarian system?
The doctrine of ‘karma’ – the sum of a person’s actions in previous states of existence, viewed as deciding his or her fate in future existences (The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Current English, 1990, p. 645), is a veiled threat to the powerless to remain subjugated to the rich and powerful (or law of ‘dharma’) to prevent successive deaths and rebirths (Meillaissoux, Economy and Society, 1973).
These are the plain facts, as I see them. ‘Metempsychosis’ is unmistakable characteristic of the Asian religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, and Sikhism. Your sophistical rhetoric, and misappropriation of Christian Scripture, is not going to change that. Quite simply, ‘metempsychosis’ is unsupported in the canons of Judaic and Christian text (and the Talmud); as well as the Vedas (1500-800 BC). In fact, the concept of ‘metempsychosis’ was unknown on the Indian subcontinent until it first appeared in the Chāndogya Upanishad (5,10); between 800 and 300 BC.
Furthermore, it is quite clearly at outs with Judaic and Christian beliefs and doctrines since it was severely opposed by Rabbinical authorities (Ausubel, N. The Book of Jewish Knowledge, 1964), and the Christian Church. It was attacked by Augustine (circa 400), and the Christian philosopher Aeneas of Gaza (circa 500). An anathematization was declare in an Pronunciamiento issued at the Second Council of Constantinople (553), as well as the Councils of Lyons (1274), and Florence (1439). The Christian position on ‘Metempsychosis’ is quite clear, and has been so for the past 1,600 years. In these circumstances it is quite evident that your propositions are totally misplaced.
In conclusion, I invite you to refute any of the arguments I have put forth. In the event of not receiving a reply to this registered letter, it will be safe for me to assume that you are unable to support any of your propositions, as outlined above; and that all my arguments are correct.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
Tuesday 7 November, 2000.
~ Finis ~
Chris Butler: “God Likes to Throw People in The Fire” (sic).
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
Recently I viewed Chris Butler’s Video Show titled ‘Jagud Guru Speaks: Is God Really Lovable?’ (Oleo Public Access TV, 2004). This highly controversial video could be viewed at www.cultofbutler.com web site until the site was force to close. Butler appeared on the show with a meagrely audience, presumably his ultra-accommodating inner circle of followers. If it had not been for the seriousness of the subject matters in question, viz., God and Christians, Butler could very well have been mistaken for a comedian guffing on the ‘Comedy channel’. He revelled with his audience at the expense of both God, and Christians. At the end of each ridicule, and sarcasm, Butler made against God (and of course, his favourite ‘so-called Christians’ scoffs), his obsequious inner circle provided timely feigned laughter. Butler’s ostentatious performance was beyond ridiculous.
He flippantly asked questions, and provided his answers about God: “… what’s he look like? He provided a response: “faceless big dude! (he and his audience laughed). He then said: God is as ”cold as ice OK! and is as “hard as concrete”. He also suggested that “God likes to sit there and throw people in the fire like a sadist”. Butler’s satirizing, and characterizing God as a “cold, sadist[ic], big dude” was unadulterated profanity at its worst.
Butler’s relentless ongoing anti-Christian campaign, against what he tediously designates: “so-called Christians”, is a violation of the most quintessential aspect of human conscience, and purposeful assault against all Christians. Butler, in his Video Show, crossed the boundary from the natural, preternatural into the realm of the Supernatural, by virtue of his denigratory glib rhetoric against God. He is now treading on the precarious thin ice of blasphemy. This is loathsome, contemptuous, and morally reprehensible. Butler is, in my opinion, demonstrating recklessness, and irresponsibility towards those of his followers who have entrusted their souls to his care.
In a pluralistic society, anyone is free to establish legally a group to follow whatever beliefs or traditions they wish. I believe in the democratic principle that any group, particularly minority groups, are entitled to grow and prosper within the laws of the prevailing trends, and opinions of the particular society in which they exist. However, I do not believe that any group is entitled to disregard other’s jurisdictions by poaching. Any group has the right to grow, but not at the expense, or vilification, of other groups.
~ Finis ~
Tinsel Mecca and The Celluloid New Agers.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
Following the early 1960s, many have felt a loss of the connection with Western values that has resulted in a spiritual or psychological vacuum; a spiritless quagmire. A feeling of alienation has resulted in them choosing to reject the Judeo-Christian civilization that has provided a spiritual framework, and moral infrastructure for Western development for 2000-years (q.v.). This framework has been upsurged by an uninterrupted line of wars, which has int. al., influenced many to escape their dilemmas – problems of identity, alienation, etc. – by opting to returned to the period pre-dating the Scientific Revolution (circa 16th – 18th cc.). They preferred adopting ancient superstitious and irrational beliefs, and practices. For example, divination (Astrology, Tarot), and spiritism (clairvoyancy, mediumistic spirit channeling), goddess worship, crystals, extraterrestrials; Theosophy, and Wiccan. This is tantamount to ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’.
Others have looked outward – particularly towards the Asian countries – and imported beliefs and practices, namely: doctrines of reincarnation/transmigration (Samsãra), Karma, and a variety of Yoga practices. These include the Hatha and Rãja schools, which are primarily a part of the body culture, i.e., the subjective body image or concept, and sexual Yoga (Tantric). The principal objective, of the latter, is to reach supposedly blissful consciousness and enlightenment (Nirvãna) through sexual intercourse. This aspect of the Tantric tradition is not recognized by Japan’s Shingon or Chên-yen school (et al.). Sexual practices are not genetically fused but are culturally formulated. For example, in the West there has evolved a laissez-faire attitude to sociosexual mores, subsequent to the sexual revolution (1960s-70s). While in other cultures (e.g., Tibet), have, so far, retained highly regulated principals and practices unaffected by the promiscuous and deviant dynamics of Western sexual mores.
These exotic beliefs and practices are masqueraded under the New Age consumerist conglomerate, representing an eclectic combination of the metaphysical, materialness, philosophical and theological; hybridized from other cultures. These might appear entirely plausible, but they are, ipso facto, antithetical to the Western mindset. These imports have gained popular acceptance, by means of manipulation through uncritical mass media coverage (television, radio, cinema, DVDs, newspapers and magazines), particularly amongst the so-called “baby boom” generation ensuing from the post-WW II period [1945-early 60s] followed by “echo boomers”, [mid 70s to late 90s], X, Y and the MTV generations from late 60s to the present.
From Thespians to New Age Evangelists.
Hollywood was once the international leader in economic cinema [Occasionally its movies were socially meaningful, meticulously artistic, and culturally reflective.]. And was referred to as the “Entertainment Capitol of the World”, ensuing from World War I (1914-1918). – Nowadays social scientists much prefer the term “Great War” to “World War I” – to the decline of the studio system (the 1950s) (q.v.). It has since transformed into a tinsel Mecca for active supporters of the New Age movement. Amongst these high profile celebrities, are actress/dancer Shirley MacLaine, filmic Actors: John Travolta., and the controversial, gushing Tom Cruise and his highly publicized role as the proselytizer for the so-called “church” of Scientology.
Madonna and the New Age Qabbalah.
Included also is the highly contentious singer, entrepreneur, pseudo-Qabbalist; Madonna (Louise Ciccone). Madonna has since 1997, metamorphosed into a proselytizer for New Age Qabbalah. She appropriates sacred themes and symbols for her salacious performances, e.g., the Judaic holy Tefillin (Phylacteries), which has for centuries, been worn only by pious Jewish males for prayer, and for boys becoming Bar Mitzvah. She uses the Christian Church’s principal symbol, the crucifix, for her costumes; and in 1993 her on-stage Puerto Rican national flag incident. Madonna’s mega-celebrity status, and misplaced philanthropic activities will not absolve her from her cavalier profanities or irreverential behaviour.
The Oprah Winfrey Cult.
Billionairess Oprah Winfrey, the most influential TV talk show hostess and aggressive advocate of the New Age movement, has since 1985, featured major New Age proponets, and authors, on her Oprah Winfrey Television Show; with ambitions towards the Operafication of Jesus; and the obliteration of the Christian Church. She has been described by Time Magazine (1996) as one of America’s “Twenty-five most influential people”. She has unmistakable ambitions and determination towards deconstructing the Christian Church’s teachings, in the mindset of the New Age generation et al., which has raised some serious concern among the various denominations across the continental United States et al. Oprah Winfrey’s activities are reminiscent of those, viz. the Kathari (Kαθαρóς), whom in 12th – 13th cents, threatened to destroy both the Church and all the established institutions of contemporary society. She favours only New Age side of arguments based on biased judgements. To my knowledge, there have been no academics, from the theological faculties, invited onto her show. A transparent ploy to steer her audience into accepting her New Age opinions without the opportunity to hear experts question them. She is a self-appointed authority (or ought it be dilettante) of the Bible and the Christian Church. She draws her inspiration from some such occult writers as Eckhart Tolle, Marilyn Ferguson (now deceased) and Shirley MacLaine:
“As I read more of Shirley MacLaine, crystals, and The Aquarian Conspiracy, it seems to me to say what the Bible has said for years. It is just that many of us were brought up with a more restricted, limited vision of what the Bible said”.
Oprah Winfrey’s opinions are, by her own admission, based solely upon her understanding – of the Bible – extrapolated from an actress, inanimate crystals; and a New Age authoress. These second-hand opinions are preferred as her source of information rather than the Bible itself, or from scholarly books or journals. She rejects “rules and doctrines,” a transparent ploy to smite the very centre of the Judeo-Christian civilization. She prefers the somatic “feeling” God rather than the cerebral activity in “believing”. This indicates her total rejection of the Christian Church and its seven Ecumenical Councils [The Orthodox Church recognises the first seven, the Roman Catholics twenty-two, and the Protestant traditions the first four]; that since 325 been an across-the-board formal, and authorized, ‘Credo’ of Christian doctrine id est “Πιστευω/I believe” being the operative phrase in question:
Πιστευω εις ενα Θεον, Πατερα, παντοκρατορα, ποιητην ουρανου και γης, ορατων τε παντων και αορατων. Και εις ενα Κυριον, Ιησουν Χριστον, τον Υιον του Θεου τον μονογενη …
I believe in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, And of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, the only-begotten …
She places her own ego-driven celebrity status, over and above the authority of the Ecumenical Councils, and Holy Scripture itself, in contradicting Jesus:
λεγει αυτω ‘Ιησους, ‘Εγω ειμι η οδος και η αληθεια και η ζωη ουδεις ερχεται προς τον πατερα ει μη δι εμου.
Ιωαννην. 14.6. GNT
Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
John. 14.6. NRSV
Notwithstanding Jesus’ instruction, Oprah Winfrey denies the teaching authority of Jesus. She unapologetically asserts: “There couldn’t possibly be one way!” From there, it would be safe to assume that she is an apostate and can no longer claim to be a Christian.
Furthermore, she rejects the Fifth Commandment because of the phrase “A Jealous God” in the context that: “God is jealous of me! … something about that didn’t feel right in my spirit”. Evidently, she is confused with her neurophysiological misplacement of her own ‘feelings’ (‘σωμα’) with her ‘spirit’ (‘πνευμα’); rather than with the cerebral activity of her ‘mind’. Her understanding of Moses (or Mõsheh) receiving the Ten Commandments or ‘Aseret Ha-dibrot’ [Δεκαλογος – Εξ. 20. 1-17.] is, quite apparently, based on an introspective approach rather than actual objective (exogenous) phenomena, and the context of its meaning given to Moses at Mt. Sinai circa 3,524-years ago. If Oprah Winfrey had have been less subjectively involved, in assuming that: “God is jealous of me!” she might have rationalized the historical facts that existed in Moses’ time. She failed to think beyond her subjective guide, for the fledgling nation of Israel; towards healthy relationships with God and other peoples. The metaphor often used to make this claim was the metaphor of God as a ‘jealous God’.
ου προσκυνησεις αυτοις ουδε μη λατρευσης αυτοις εγω γαρ ειμι κυριος ο θεος σου, θεος ζηλωτης αποδιδους αμαρτιας πατερων επι τεκνα εως τριτης και τεταρτης γενεας τοις μισουσιν με
Εξοδος. 20.5. LXX
You shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me,
Exodus. 20.5. NRSV
Oprah Winfrey discloses a remarkable low level of understanding of the diverse religious beliefs and practices of Moses’ day. And the prevailing tensions and conflicts that existed between the various peoples (viz., Midianites and Philistines et al.) on the Sinai Peninsula; circa 1,513BC. She is unschooled in the incontrovertible distinctions between the Yahwistic ‘monotheism’ of the seminomadic Israelites, and the ‘polytheistic’ ethnic deities of their neighbours; and the destructive effects therefrom that threatened the growth and unity of the emerging nation of Israel. The most problematic being the Canaanite fertility cults – in the worship of Ba‘al (and his consort Asherah or Astarte) – that involved imitative magic (ritualistic coitus) int. al., that supposedly controlled the elemental forces of nature; and of course, the successful continuation of human reproduction [vide: Deuteronomy, 23: 17-18, and Herodotus, Clio, 199]. Oprah Winfrey’s beliefs, or as she understands it: “feelings”, are limited to the two-dimensional and have the astute effect of omitting both the width and depth of historical, and socio-religious perspectives, of the people of Israel; and their near-neighbours. It is also in this context that the understanding of Yahweh being a “jealous” God is impressed upon the national mindset (see God as a “jealous” God), not in an autocratic or dictatorial mode, but rather simply an assertion that if God alone is God, as the Shema in Deuteronomy 6:4 asserts, then they cannot worship both Yahweh and Ba‘al. And Jesus says the same in the following:
Ουδεις δυναται δυσι κυριοις δουλευειν η γαρ τον ενα μισησει και τον ετερον αγαπησει, η ενος ανθεξεται και του ετερου καταφρονησει. ου δυνασθε θεω δουλευειν και μαμωνα.
Μαθθαιον, 6.24. GNT
“No one can serve two masters; for a slave will either hate the one and love the other, or be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth”.
Matthew, 6.24. NRSV. cf. Lk. 16:13
Since the post-exilic period (c. 538BC) the Jews remained loyal to Yahwistic monotheism of Moses, that brought the Ten Commandments – and later the Solomonic Temple [built between 960-950BC and destroyed in 587BC] – which was unparalleled in history. Moses surpassed both the ‘henotheistic’ Pharaoh Akhenaton (reigned circa 1353 BC – 1336 or 1351–1334 BC); and Persian Philosopher Zoroaster (c. 11th or 10th cc. BC). Moses will continue being the crèam de la crème· of humanity’s greatest legal code (Tenach) for which an indebtedness that will forever be owed to the Jews.
Other interesting questions emerge, for example, what precisely, in Opera Winfrey’s opinion, that “… the Bible has said for years”? that had been allegedly ‘restricted and limited’. Was the inappropriate, injection of the noun “vision” into her discourse, referring to her own sensory modality, or a broad-base implicit opinion; based on her personal subjective experiences? Her wandering speeches are incoherent, absent of any scholarly references, historical considerations, or theological system. She alleged being: “… brought up with a more restricted, limited vision of what the Bible said”. Even though – by her own admission – her understanding of the most fundamental principals of Biblical hermeneutics and exegesis was “restricted” and “limited,” she now assumes a leadership role in leading her fans – during ‘mass trances’ – along her New Age path towards celeb-idolatry, in her own “church”; March 2008. This is tantamount to travelling in a vehicle with an unlicensed driver.
Personal opinions of Oprah Winfrey, MacLaine et alii. are characteristic of New Age’s assumptions pandering to populism (narodnik). Simplistic generalizations absent of substance has the effect of ignoring the deeper layers of the dynamic cultural, religious and historical correlatives that result in an inconsequential residue. Any opposing views from Oprah Winfrey’s television audience are met with an abrupt interruption followed by overbearing irrelevant assumptions (ignoratio elenchi); a saturation of wild assumptions. She has demonstrated an incapacity to grasp even the most fundamental principals of religious studies and allied subjects – e.g., philosophy, social science, anthropology, psychology, history of religion, etc. In October 2003, she featured discussions regarding the sexual practice of “rimming” (analingus). This raises the question – as well as eyebrows – regarding her television show as a suitable platform for biblical, theological; and ecclesiastical discussions. The complex dissimilarities between a TV Talkback hostess and a theologian are quite apart by a very long chalk. The status of a TV personality does not automatically qualify an individual as a religious leader.
New Age Heresy and Celeb-Idolatry.
Prioritizing the opinions of New Age Hollywood celebrities over and above 2000-years (q.v.) of the Christian Church’s authority, traditions and scholarship is sheer folly. New Age beliefs and practices exclude a God that revealed Himself and are characterized by an aggregation of philosophical and theological concepts extrapolated from multitudinous sources (eclecticism) e.g., Abrahamic, Dharmic and Neopagan traditions. They reject the belief – shared by Judaism, Christianity, and Islam; in one God (Monotheism). This in turn would suggest that the Revelation at Mount Sinai and the legal material (Δεκαλογος – Εξ. 20. 1-17. Δευτ. 5. 6-21), attributable to Moses has no value. From that place, one can deduce that the New Agers, believe that man is an amoral being, free to live by his own rules, and accountable to nobody. Their denials of the historic records to tinselized the Church – with ludicrous two-dimensional New Age assumptions – does not obliterate the Church or the indispensable role it played in the formation of Western civilisation, or the highly influential writings of the Apostolic, Greek and Latin Fathers, e.g., Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Cyprian, Ambrose, et alii.
Cultural and Spiritual Theft.
The New Age spiritual entrepreneurs and hobbyists aspire to reappropriate the religious (and spiritual) beliefs and practices from the well established and respected institutions [or in New Age parlance “organized religions”]; whom they reject. These traditional institutions – the custodians – have for centuries, nurtured and cared for these traditions, doctrines, and dogmas; as mentioned by Saint Paul (2 Thess, 2:15); in 51AD. These entrepreneurs, aspire to reappropriate the legitimate power and authority (Matt 16:18, 28: 16-20) away from these institutions into an ambiguously defined community of transitory gung-ho glitterati. They appear to be unable to differentiate between ‘authority’ and ‘authoritarianism’. Their expropriating religio-cultural elements has not been restricted to the Christian Church. They have stolen sacred symbols, int. al., from other cultural jurisdictions. For example, Prayer Flags (Dar Cho) and Mandalas, from the Tibetan people, and sacred figures and ceremonial objects, viz., Kokopellis, ceremonial Pipes, feathers and stones, from the American indigenous peoples (Lakota tribe et alii); for commodification in their lucrative markets; as if spirituality is a saleable commodity.
A Pretext for Exploitation and Social Stratification.
Reincarnation and Karma, are the principal ingredients of New Age occultism. They are diametrically opposed to the beliefs, teachings and dogmas of the three most predominant and influential monotheistic religions in recorded history: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Both these doctrines legitimise subjugation (caste system of social stratification), and exploitation, of the oppressed and underprivileged; to guarantee their continued compliance with an anti-egalitarian system that supports the ruling elite. This has the effect of perpetuating the Karmic cycle (Samsãra) of birth and death, in an eternal abyss of hopelessness i.e., the “Wheel of the Law” [Karma or Dharma-chakra ]; for those, from whom the privileged class obtain their wherewithal for the dolce vita from exploitation and robbing rupees (Devanagari) from the poor.
Transplantation of spiritual beliefs and practices from an ancient parent culture, to the modern comforts of air-conditioned flats (or centres) in a host culture – over wine and nibbles – whether it be in New York, United States, or Sydney, Australia, may not be as congruent as might be first expected; notwithstanding their exotic appeal. The plain facts are [ethnocentrism aside], ‘East is East and West is West’. The utopian New Age tenet of establishing a religo-cultural world, both pluralistic and inclusive, without borders, ignores the unique characteristics, i.e., the beliefs and practices, history and contextualization, that each culture has which are alien to others. For example, the traditonal practice of infanticide in the People’s Republic of China, Australia’s killing of one in four children by abortion, United States’ practice of state; sponsored killing (execution) of its own citizens, female genital mutilation (FGM) in Australia, Northeast Africa, Southeast Asia, Near East, and South America. Intolerence of France’s legislature regarding L’affaire du voile islamique (the Islamic veil affair), banning devout Moslem women wearing burkas in public; and some cultures who consider Western dress code, and kissing in public immoral.
Additional to the ever increasing New Age practitioners (Reflexology, Reiki, therapeutic touch, etc) in Australian, there has also arisen various schools of Yoga particularly since the visit, in 1960 and 1962, of giggling multimillionaire Maharishi Mahesh Yogi (guru to the Beatles), who introduced a neo-Hindu movement called Transcendental Meditation (TM ©), loosely based upon the Advaita Vedanta branch of Hindu philosophy. The growth of the Yoga industry has since been enormous. In the Sydney metropolitan area, there are no less than 95 studios (q.v.), and in Melbourne 40 (q.v.).
The New Age entrepreneurs have produced a multifarious range of books, e.g., self-improvement books by which to supposedly improve knowledge and status. They also offer a wide variety of workshops and study programs including such topics as Tarot, Psychic Development, Reiki Healing, Crystal Knowledge, Numerology, Angels, Witchcraft, and Astrology. These New Age enterprises have a biparous character in that their veneer appears as a counter-cultural movement behind which are marketing practices with all the earmarks of rampant crypto-capitalism. There are no products or services that the New Age retailers can offer, for spiritual meaning, cultural identity, lifestyle et cetera. Genuine spiritual evolvement and fulfillment involve perseverance, abnegation, and contrition. There are no secret formulas or shortcuts.
“You may fool all the people some of the time; you can even fool some of the people all the time; but you can’t fool all the people all the time”.
Alexander K. McClure, Lincoln’s Yarns and Stories (1904).
~ Finis ~
Puerile, Flippant Remarks and Irrelevancies.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
Swami, Recently it was brought to my attention that, on 20 October 2003, between 1:43 and 4:49 PM, you, and presumably some of your devotees, posted twenty-three items. Bandying puerile, flippant remarks, and irrelevant assumptions about me on the Istagosthi website. Evidently responses, of sorts, to my posting on the Open Letters, and Forum; on this website. I believe that the curious appearance of those postings, on the same day, and within an 186-minute period, was very rather suggestive of a Machiavellian manipulation; wouldn’t you think?
Moreover, some of those postings, consisted, for the most part, of pastings (six to be precise) cut from fathershomepage.com, accompanied with unfounded, demeaning glib comments. Moreover, aspersions, added by yourself, and your devotees, v.g., “Phew, Maximiadis indeed. Here’s more on him, “Anglo-Celtic- Australian…prostitutes in New South Wales”. “Sounds like our friend Chatter!”
Swami, I’m curious to know if the “phew” was suppose to denote ‘surprise’ or ‘contempt’? And also curious to know what reference, to the matter in hand, has the accompanying glib comments? Additionally, there were other postings consisting of irrelevant assumptions about me, e.g., you, made the following generalized disapprobations.
“This is the way that sectarian propagandists work. It is really most unfair. The purpose is not to find light and friendship, but to muddy the waters and prove one’s own superiority over others”.
Swami, if you care to peruse fathershomepage.com, in its entirety, you’ll concur from the very conspicuous absence of evidential supports that you were sorely mistaken in having alleged that I’m a ‘propagandist’.
Misuse of The Nouns: Sect, Sectarian and Propagandist.
Firstly, the Church to which I serve, viz., the Greek Orthodox Church, can hardly be described as a ‘sect’, because, it can be demonstrated on the historic record, that it has existed since the first century. [vid., F.L. Cross, ed., The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2nd éd. 1974, pp. 591, 1012-14]. A ‘sect’ is a comparatively small body of followers who are inclined to reject the established Church, its teachings, and traditions, and estrange themselves from society, [vid., Oxford Dictionary, 9th ed, 1997-99, p. 1092d].
Secondly, it would be inapplicable to delineate me, or my fellow priests, as “sectarian”. Thirdly, the fact that I do not propagate any particular beliefs, dogmas, or practice or proselytize is plainly attested throughout the website. Thus you’re ‘sectarian propagandist’ allegation disappears. If you disagree, I invite you to debate this topic, with me, on the Forum.
In your opinion, I do not seek “light and friendship”, and I supposedly “muddy the waters” to evince “superiority over others”. You also censured me for alleged ‘unfairness’, and “make(ing) things up” [brackets mine]. I observed no character of “light and friendship” in your patent breach of common courtesy electing not to deal with me directly, but rather conduct clandestine oblique quibbling, about me. Safely among your obliging devotees; all of whom are complaisant to all your sentiments and opinions. As for my alleged ‘unfairness’, and “make(ing) things up” [brackets mine], I challenge the veracity of your accusations. I invite you onto the Forum to debate, with me, on these allegations; with evidential supports. Moreover, more particularly, demonstrate to our visitors, your devotees, and me, that you do not “make things up”. By quoting the actual chapter and verse, in the Bible where you alleged, in your booklet, ‘Understanding Karma’, (1995), p.6. Jesus said, “As you sow, so shall you reap”. So who actually ‘makes things up?’ Care to answer this in the Forum?
You apparently prefer the oblique modus operandi, in your comfort zone, amongst your unquestioning devotees. Easier by far to go with the audience who claps the loudest. Rather than making yourself available for public scrutiny in a rational, open debate, with me, on the very subject matters you pontificated on, in your publication, l.s.c. I wrote you a 1,757-word letter of relevant content, and you responded clandestinely with 106-word flippant irrelevancies. In my opinion, your level of internet behaviour is sadly wanting..
In response to your assumption, that I “muddy the waters” to evince “superiority over others”, I present a proposition from a psychological perspective, for your perusal, and response. A ascribes personal unconscious sentiments, values and subjective processes upon B assuming B ‘muddies waters to prove superiority over others’. I perceive this as A’s denial against recognizing these same processes within A itself. I think it reasonable to assume that this is an avoidance manoeuvre of A to: muddy(ing) the waters, to negate B rather than negotiate.
“The good father is pretty good. I think he would make mincemeat of most devotees in a debate. Hridayananda would probably be able to take him on if he still has the taste for that kind of thing. … Of course, it is less pleasant to be the object of misrepresentation, especially when the person doing the misrepresenting is obviously doing so maliciously. … he’s criticizing, albeit with the gloss (or shield) of scholarship”.
I wouldn’t gain pleasure from, as you [a vegetarian] so garishly put it: “make mincemeat of most devotees in a debate” or anybody else for the matter of that. Yes, it would be “… less pleasant to be the object of misrepresentation” if one was, ipso facto being ‘misrepresented’, which in your case you were quite clearly not. These are quite manifestly diversions you deploy, to gain points, by deflecting attention away from the topics of my discussions to other extraneous matters. If you believe that you were ‘misrepresented with obvious malice’, indicate the precise sentence from my letter; and discuss. Your suggestion, to your devotees, that ‘Hridayananda would probably be able to take me on…’ is tantamount to calling someone else to clean up your mess. My letter was addressed to you, not Hridayananda. You are the author of ‘Understanding Karma’ in which you denigrate Christians, misreported Jesus Christ. It is your mess, not Hridayananda’s. So you ought to accept full responsibility for it.
Yamaraja, presumably one of your devotees, comments:
“Coming from the Christian background, I can tell you that 90% of the Chritians “SEE” all those that are not in-line with their doctrine as inferior and in need of conversion. I know I have been in the same state of mind before. Even the humblest and most kind Christian will have the elitist judging voice in the back of their head!! The doctored version of the bible has conditioned its followers to this mentality! No matter what point the Rev. has made, it is all tainted by his “conversion” mentality. He only argues these points out of his desire to convert. If he was truly following Jesus, he never would of read the said pamphlet!!!” (sic)
Yamaraja, I’m eager to learn about your unique ability to “know” the “state of mind” of “90% of the Chritians” who “have the elitist judging voice in the back of their head!!” ‘Knowing’ the ‘state of mind’ of “90%” of 2.1 billion Christians, or approximately 33% of the world population [David B. Barrett, World Christian Encyclopedia, 1994], is no small feat even by a very long chalk , and by the by, would you please name the source from where you extrapolated that figure of “90%”, and persuade me to believe that you actually haven’t “the same state of mind” now, in your newfangle Jagad’s pseudo-Hindu cult? You refer to “the doctored version of the bible”. Perhaps you can enlighten our visitors, and I, by discussing this unheard-of “doctored version” on the Forum. If not, at least let us know where we can obtain a copy?
Your opinion that I have a “conversion” mentality is utterly ungrounded. Firstly, where, in fathershomepage.com, can evidential support be found to demonstrate my supposed “conversion” mentality? Secondly, how did you reach that conclusion that I desire to convert? You cannot assume what I desire, whether it be to ‘convert’ or otherwise, unless, I disclose my intention to you, specifically what it is I’m supposed to desire, or that you provide evidential support, v.g., a cerebral roentgen-ray image of my desire to convert. Or is your assumption, that I want to convert, based on some hypothesized telepathic ability you have to read my mind? Thirdly, your argument that “If he was truly following Jesus, he never would of read the said pamphlet!!!” (sic.). Are you suggesting that not reading the said ‘pamphlet’, would be a decisive factor of a ‘true follower’ of Jesus? As well as pamphlets, would you consider the reading of material on the internet as also a determining factor, whether or not one was a ‘true follower’ of whoever? If so, I would deduce from this that you would not be a ‘true follower’ of Jagad Guru; if you had have read my article on the internet. I wouldn’t think you’d have any worries about this because I don’t believe that you read beyond the opening page, if that, nor do I believe you came from a “Christian background” that encouraged very much cerebral activity in learning the more perceptive understanding of Biblical Theology and Ecclesiology. However, I wish you peace, love and happiness for your spiritual journey.
Swami, I invite you, yet again, to debate on all, or some of these issues on the Forum.
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis.
Thursday 8 September, 2005.
~ Finis ~
Did Jesus Teach Reincarnation and Yoga?
Rev. Father A. Maximiadis
This article was written with the express purpose of calling into question Chris Butler’s assumption: “Jesus Christ was directly and indirectly teaching the reality of reincarnation … [and] that there is a very great possibility he did teach more in-depth signs in Bhakti-yoga, the signs of Ashtanga yoga for that matter, for the Kundalini-yoga even, Mystic-yoga” (ss.). Chris Butler’s discourse has been transcribed from www.cultofbutler.com website, prior to its forced closure, ensuing from matters heard at the Victorian Supreme Court in Melbourne Australia, and publish on this site accompanied with my confutations, with evidential supports from Biblical sources et al., to disprove the veracity of his assumptions.
“Everything that Jesus Christ taught … that can be actually be contained in thirty pages, you tell me, is that possible, that he engages in activities and gave the amount of instructions to the equivalent of … to … one of my two-hour lecture … and that was his whole ministry … who can believe that! Therefore, we can conclude, that the information that is contained in what we call the New Testament is extremely limited, partial, it’s not anywhere near everything that Jesus Christ, huh, taught or did. And also in the New Testament itself you’ll find that everything … huh … all the teachings of the Lord are not contained in this book. So, we’ll just leave it there, because … we do not know what Jesus taught that is not in there and I’m not going to engage in speculation … which many people try to do they try to speculate, “Well, we think Jesus taught this, we think that Jesus taught that” We’re not going to bother with that, all we know is that, huh, there is a very great possibility that he did teach more in-depth signs in Bhakti-yoga, the signs of Ashtanga-yoga for that matter, for the Kundalini-yoga even, Mystic-yoga, we don’t know, we can speculate all we want, and the teachings of reincarnation. Now, let’s just … huh … look at a few things that … huh … was said to Jesus Christ that are contained in this small little book and … huh … which will help us appreciate … huh … that Jesus Christ was directly and indirectly teaching the reality of reincarnation”(sic.).
Firstly, Butler asks: “… is that possible … that everything that Jesus taught, his activities and instructions, can be contained in thirty pages?” I’m bemused as to the particular “thirty pages” in which Jesus’ teachings and works are, according to Butler, supposedly contained, and his temerity in comparing the equivalent “amount” of Jesus’ “instructions” to one of his “two hour lecture(s)”. [brackets mine].
Chris Butler’s attention focuses on the unknown factors, i.e., the commonly designated ‘silent years,’ of Jesus’ “activities,” “instructions,” and ‘teachings,’ rather than the known factors; in the Gospel material. He diminishes the contents that are contained in the Gospels by depicting them as “…extremely limited, partial,” and had the audacity to demand additional information. A transparent ploy to capitalize on the Gospel quietude, of the so-called ‘silent years,’ in which to interpolate his version of Hindu beliefs and doctrines into Christianity. He then makes a sweeping generalization suggesting that “many people” (presumably Christians) not having the intellectual capacity, or aptitude, to provide an explanatory understanding of Jesus’ teachings, and he quotes them as saying: “Well, we think Jesus taught this, we think that Jesus taught that,” without observance of the literary convention on providing a reference.
Chris Butler’s blasphemous and anti-Christian obsession have been disclosed [vid., articles: ‘Chris Butler: “God likes to sit there and throw people in the fire” (sic.), and ‘Chris Butler’s Relentless Anti-Christian Campaign’] which are his only credentials for teachings, Christians, what he assumes Jesus “taught”. He has demonstrated, in his numerous lectures and publications, his incessant anti-Christian fixation, he will not, or can’t, leave Christians alone. He is a soi-disant authority on Christians absent of any rationale. He glibly refers to Jesus’ 2,100 million followers as “so-called Christians” q.e. 33% of the population of the major world religions (vid., Brodd, J. ‘World Religions’ 2003 (student text). St. Mary’s Press, Winona, MN)). Would he have also considered Jesus’ Apostles, and the Fathers of the Patristic Age (1st to 8th cent (q.v.)), and the 2,565 canonized Saints (‘Butler’s Lives of the Saints’, H. Thurston, S.J., D. Attwater. rev. ed. vol. 1, P.v.) as “so-called Christians”? Does he affix his “so-called” label on those of the other world faiths? e.g., “so-called Buddhists”, “so-called Muslims”, “so-called Hindus” or even “so-called Krsna devotees”, or is this label reserved solely for Christians?
An evaluation of the amount of content in the Gospels would reveal that the immensity of “everything” that Jesus taught and did, could not, notwithstanding Butler’s claim: “…be actually … contained in [either his] “thirty pages” or “two hour lecture” [brackets mine]. Furthermore, his proposition verges on the preposterous even if only considering the five most conspicuous stages of Jesus’ life, viz., His Nativity (Matt. 1:18-25) 11-9 BC, His encounter with John the Baptist (Lk. 3:21,22) in the Jordan valley; in year 19 or 21 (q.v.). His 2-year + (q.v.) Ministry which had begun prior to the 46th year of the Herodian Temple in 26AD (Jn. 2:20. cf. ibid. 1:29,35,43, 2:1,12, and Mk.1:13), His Crucifixion (Matt. 27:33-37. Mk. 15:22-26. Lk. 23:33,34. Jn. 19:17b-27); in April 33, and His Resurrection 3-days later (Mat. 28:1-8, Mk. 16:1-6, Lk. 24:1-12, Jn. 20:1-13). Butler’s estimation of the contents of the Gospels as “… extremely limited, (and) partial” [brackets mine] pales into insignificance when firstly considering Jesus’ 32 Parables (17 references in Matthew, 5 in Mark, and 19 in Luke). Secondly, the 9 Nature Miracles (6 references in Matthew, 5 in Mark, 3 in Luke, and 4 in John). Thirdly, the 26 Healing Miracles (14 references in Matthew, 13 in Mark, 17 in Luke, and 5 in John). Fourthly, Jesus’ 10 (q.v.) Sermons (3 references in Matthew, 1 in Mark, 3 in Luke, and 4 in John), and fifthly, the 3 Olivet Discourses (Matthew, 24:4-25:46, Mark 13:3-37; and Luke 21:7-36).
Butler flippantly refers to the Gospels as a “small little book” (sic), and audaciously questions the veracity of its contents by saying, “Who can believe that!” Who can indeed! Certainly not one incapable of understanding the Gospels, their spiritual insights, psychological and social needs; for which they were written. The un-schooled Butler, Hare Krishna renegade, non-Christian, and polytheist teaching Christians (monotheists) is ludicrous; beyond ridiculous! Butler in not genetically and culturally Indian, and dressing in Indian style clothes and stylizing himself as a Guru will not change that. Precisely, from whom, and where, did he obtained his authority to harangue Christians? From a burning bush at Mount Sinai? or during an ‘epiphany’ on the Damascus Road? From the Apostolic Succession of the historic Church? From within one of the Protestant traditions? Does Butler have the intellectual capacity to emulate his “Jagud Guru” namesake? And the fortitude and moral authority to ‘teach’ and pass judgement on Christians?
“ó ουν διδασκων ετερον σεαυτον ου διδασκεις; ο κηρυσσων μη κλεπτειν κλεπτεις; ο λεγων μη μοιχευειν μοιχευεις; ο βδελυσσομενος τα ειδωλα ιεροσυλεις; ος νομω καυχασαι, δια της παραβασεως του νομου τον θεον ατιμαζεις το γαρ ονομα του θεου δι υμας βλασφημειται εν τοις εθνεσιν, καθως γεγραπται.
Προς Ρωμαιους. 2:21-24.
You, therefore, who teach another, do you not not teach yourself? You who preach that a man should not steal, do you steal? You who say, “Do not commit adultery,” do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You who make your boast in the law, do you dishonor God through breaking the law? For “The name of God is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you,” as it is written.
Romans 2:21-24. NKJV.
Butler surreptitiously teaches polytheistic beliefs with its manifold variety of deities, e.g., Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva (et alii), and an admixture of destructive heresies under the guise of Christian monotheism.
“Εγενοντο δε και ψευδοπροφηται εν τω λαω, ως και εν υμιν εσονται ψευδοδασκαλοι, οιτινες παρεισαξουσιν αιρεσεις απωλειας και τον αγορασαντα αυτους δεσποτην αρνουμενοι. επαγοντες εαυτοις ταχινην απωλειαν, και πολλοι εξακολουθησουσιν αυτων ταις ασελγειαις δι ους η οδος της αληθειας βλασφημηθησεται, και εν πλεονεξια πλαστοις λογοις υμας εμπορευσονται, οις το κριμα εκπαλαι ουκ αργει και η απωλεια αυτων ου νυσταζει”.
Πετρου Β, 2:1-3.
“But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who brought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom; the way of truth will be blasphemed. By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber”.
2 Peter, 2:1-3 NKJV.
Chris Butler’s discourses, and writings, for the most part, are superficial, erratic, and are absent of any logical or rational consistency; or even the most fundamental principals of the historic method. His teachings are perplexing, absent of even the most basics of any of the various sub-disciplines of Christian theology, e.g., a soteriological understanding of Jesus’ universal ‘saving work’, or any of the eschatological elements in Jesus’ thirty-two Parables. Furthermore, his pseudo-exegesis of the Gospels are naïve and totally irrelevant to both Jesus’ ‘words’ and ‘works’. And finally, he exhibits a transparent ignorance of ecclesiasticism, the Apostolic tradition; and the theological significance of Christian dogma. His teachings are puerilely stylized to appeal principally, to an unwary readership and audience. He endeavours to Hinduize Jesus Christ Himself and the Gospels; will Muhammad and the Qur’an be next?
Butler promotes his own individualized form of Orientalism. Utilizing abbreviated select elements extrapolated from the various religious systems, viz., Hinduism Sanatana Dharma (4,000BC q.v.) from the Indian sub-continent, Buddhism Buddha-Dhamma (400BC) from Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka, et alibi. These religions – or rather ethical movements to be precise – include ‘reincarnation’ (‘metempsychosis’), ‘worship of a variety of gods’ (‘polytheism’) and the bonds of ‘karma’ [Karma is associated with the belief of ‘reincarnation’, an Oriental notion to explain inequalities of life]. This is not a Christian doctrine. The concept of karma is unique to Hinduism, and Buddhism, and has been rejected by Judaeo-Christian and Islamic scholars [vid., St. Augustine “De Moribus Manichaeorum”, et al.]. Butler has, since the late seventies, retained his incessant mingling of selected elements of these two world faiths, which by detailed analysis, their antithetical constituent parts belong to neither (na iti, na iti), but clearly belong in a theological and doctrinal no man’s land. When will Butler cease courting Christians while berating them from behind a veneer of Christian piety.
The migration of one religion – its beliefs, teachings, dogmas and traditions – into another, might, in Butler’s naïve opinion, and in the view of an unwary audience or readership, seem plausible by the strength of a few generalized comparative parallels. However, students of comparative cultural traditions of various socio-ethnological groups, and their constituent theological and philosophical belief systems would recognize the intellectual inflexibilities of encumbered parallels. For example, Hinduism’s polytheism with its manifold variety of deities, e.g., Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, et alii., and Christian monotheism, a belief in one personal and transcendent God.
Hinduism has an hereditary caste system (Brahmin, Kshatriya, Vaishya, and Shudra), that supports the divisions of social grades including the pariahs (Harijan), which, although outlawed under the Indian Offenses Act (1955), still persists today. There are the complex issues concerning attitudinal changes of family life, sexual morality, and the role of women participating in the socio-political spheres of life. The Hindu division of the social strata system has no parallel with the egalitarianism of Christianity (Matthew 7:1-12). These, amongst others, are the parallels, of which, Butler remains silent in his openly aggressive proselytizing activities. His discourses, and booklets, are void of even the faintest understanding of the unique Christian characteristics, absent in Hinduism, and the other world faiths, e.g., the concept of the Deity and human identity, and the foremost status of Christian ethics. Formal attempts at bridging the gap between Christianity and Hinduism, following the Second Vatican Council (Session II, 17 May 1964, or, Session IV, 28 October 1965), were unsuccessful, partly due to the conservativeness of Hindu culture (vide., History of the Christian Church, H. Jedin, edit. Vol. X, 1981. p. 768). Notwithstanding Butler’s fanciful rhetoric, the stark reality is: Hinduism and Christianity are entirely apart. The Judaeo-Christian God is monotheistic, exclusivistic, and will ‘have no other gods before Him’ (v.i.). The Decalogue is quite clear, it allows no ‘other gods’, whether it be the gods of Israel’s Near Eastern neighbours (Ashtaroth (I Chr. 11:44), Baal-Berith (Judg. 9:4), et cetera )); or the gods of the Indian subcontinent (Brahma, Vishnu, Shiva, et alii.).
“ουκ εσονται σοι θεοι ετεροι πλην εμου”.
Εξοδος, 20:3. LXX [βλεπω 34:14]
“You shall have no other gods before me”.
Exodus, 20:3. NKJV [vid. 34:14]
The narrative of God’s instruction, to Jacob, to clear the altar, first at the Shechem shrine, and later at Beth-el, are further unmistakable indications that polytheism and monotheism are, quite clearly, a contradiction in terms, and like oil and water, don’t mix.
“ειπεν δε Ιακωβ τω οικω αυτου και πασιν τοις μετ αυτου Αρατε τους θεους τους αλλοτριους τους μεθ υμων εκ μεσου υμων και καθαρισασθε και αλλαξατε τας στολας υμων.
Γενεσις, 35:2. LXX
So Jacob said to his household and to all who were with him, “Put away the foreign gods that are among you, and purify yourselves, and change your garments”.
Genesis 35:2 NKJV.
Evidently, Butler has not sought serious Christian replies to his questions, from the vast Christian literary resources, or from any of the Christian clergy, but rather quotes Christians; absent of any reference. Apparently he is unaware that Christians from their early catechetical education are taught of the 18 (or 19) so-called ‘silent years’ between the event of the Lost Boy Jesus (age 11 or 12) at the Temple in the year 1 or 2 (q.v.), (Luke 2:41-52), and His Baptism (age 30 or 33) in year 19 or 21 (q.v.) (Luke 3:21,22). These particular 18-years are not as ‘silent,’ as popularly supposed, when considering the historical factors regarding Jesus’s background, which would have influenced the spiritual, and psychological growth that moulded the character and personality of Jesus. For example, Palestine, in Jesus’ time, was under the rule of the Imperator, and Princeps, Caesar Augustus (Octavian) 27BC-14AD, and Tiberius Julius Caesar Augustus 14-37AD. Rome maintained a repressive form of government (vid. Mark 13:5-6, Acts 5:36-37) accompanied with an excessive taxation system, which suppressed any hope of future economic growth. There existed a sensitive political and religious ambience which included: Judaism (elect people of the ‘Torah’ and monotheism), Sadducees (who maintained the status quo. (vid. John 11:50)), Pharisees (who believed in bridging the Torah with contemporary society), Essenes, an ascetic order (perhaps related to the Qumran sectarians) who were situated at Qumran from c. 200BC – c. 200AD, and the antithetical Zealots (a nucleus of fanatical revolutionaries who, from the time of Pompey onward to the conclusion of Great War (67-70AD), sought to overthrow the Roman occupation)), the Grand Sanhedrin (formerly gerousia, was the ecclesiastical Star Chamber, under the control of Rome to maintain the Pax Romana in the Transjordan).
Notwithstanding these difficult (and at times volatile) circumstances, the continuity and maintenance of established family ties, clans, tribes were maintained. There was also a continuation of traditional social customs, secular and religious education (throughout the Synagogal network) and observances of the Pesach and Bar Mitzvah. These were the historical circumstances, in Jesus day, from which we can extrapolate to understand those not so “silent years”. They were the religious and political constituent elements that formed the social fabric – the known historical data – in which Jesus’ pre-conditioned psychological and spiritual reflexes were formed. This is ample information for which to rationalize the eighteen not so “silent years,” but more importantly we have the ‘known’ accounts of Jesus’ ‘words,’ and ‘works’ as recorded in the Gospel material without having to delve into those 18-years. The historical data speaks for itself without Butler’s fanciful pseudo-Hindu embellishments. Christians have spoken for themselves, for almost 2000-years, without intrusive unschooled assumptions interpolating the Gospels. If those “silent years” were of paramount importance to Jesus’ ‘works’ and ‘words,’ His Apostles would have recorded them in the New Testament material. Butler may write, or say, any fanciful things he wishes, as he has done many a time, but they will be based solely upon unadulterated conjecture.
Even abstracted listeners to Butler’s lectures would be conscious of him not being au fait with the New Testament contents, the culture, the political and social atmosphere of Caesar’s world. He misquotes Jesus (‘Understanding Karma’ 1995, p.6), provides no evidential supports to his lectures or writings. He has no respect for the canon of Sacred Scripture or studied it in its original language; Koine Greek. His description of the Holy Bible as a mere “small little book” would give offence to many Christians. He attempts to disparage, and scale down the New Testament, to comply with his pseudo-Hindu assumptions, as the heretical Marcion tried to do to the Torah in ca. 150. Would he describe the sacred Hindu writings, e.g., the Rig Veda, or the Bhagavad-Gïtã; as a mere “small little book”?
Butler suggests: “… all the teachings of the Lord are not contained in this book. So, we’ll just leave it there, because … I’m not going to engage in speculation”. Butler uses the English language title “Lord”. When Christians use this title referring to Jesus (vid. Lk. 17:5-6a, Acts 9:10-11, 15, 17) they do so in their respect and expression of their Christian faith. When Butler uses this title, who is he referring to, ‘Lord Jesus Christ’, or ‘Lord Krsna’, or Brahman, et cetera. Whom does Butler serve, the monotheistic Supreme Power, and Source of all existence, as perceived in the Torah and Gospels, or the multifarious gods from the Vedic pantheon. The answer is self-evident in his vacillating stance between Hindusim and Christianity. He surreptitiously promotes polytheism under the guise of Christian monotheism; this is gross deception at its worst. The transparentness of Hindu polytheism is made evident by Sri Ramakrishna (1836-1886): “There can really be as many Hindu Gods as there are devotees to suit the moods, feelings, emotions and social background of the devotees” (sic.). Butler’s stance suggests that loyalty can be fragmented to simultaneously serve under the polytheistic and monotheistic belief systems. Jesus, speaking to his disciples, near Capernaum, said something entirely different:
“Ουδεις δυναται δυσι κυριοις δουλευειν η γαρ τον ενα μισησει και τον ετερον αγαπησει, η ενος ανθεξεται και του ετερου καταφρονησει. ου δυνασθε θεω δουλευειν και μαμωνα.
Κατα Μαθθαιον, 6:24
“No man can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon”.
Matt. 6:24 NKJV
Butler’s discourses and writings betray a staggering, unrestrained contempt for God whom he referred to as a “sadist[ic] … big dude” [brackets mine]; utterable only by enemies of God. This is sheer blasphemy, and ‘unforgivable’ (Matthew 12:31b), and a breach of the third Commandment, in the rabbinical, modern Greek, and Reformed Church traditions, and the second Commandment in the Roman Catholic, and Lutheran traditions. The subject matter of Butler’s discourse (see transcript above) is composed of fancifulness, and is totally rhetorical with not an ounce of substance, evidently an editorializing ploy to avoid providing sound theoretical basis, historical data; or evidental supports. Why would Christians need the un-schooled Butler, a Hare Krishna renegade and blasphemer when they have the Gospels backed by an almost 2000-year literary (and oral) teaching and tradition – firstly the Greek Orthodox Church followed by Roman Catholic Church – and more recently, the Protestant Churches (circa 14th and 17th cents). In conclusion; did Jesus Teach Reincarnation and Yoga? The very conspicuous absence of evidence provides the answer; an unequivocal ‘No’.
~ Finis ~
Islam: The Dark Side.
[From a religio-sociological perspective]
Rev. Father Maximiadis
This article contains newsworthy
graphic images depicting explicit
cruel, and violent images.
Is Religion the Cause of All Wars?
War, is a natural primitive instinct inherent in human consciousness, that has been expressed in violent circumstances predating the evolution of religion. Perhaps dating back to Homo habilis, circa 2-million years ago (q.v.), and indeed in some places even today. Wars are the quintessence of human’s continual propensity for violence, the primitive residual in the collective psyche.
“Groups of humans likely engaged in occasional violent encounters in order to increase their territory … this may have continued up until about a million years ago, when distance weapons like the spear were invented and increased the risks of attacking other groups”.
Raymond C. Kelly.1.
“Prejudiced confessors … misuse religion for their earthly gains”.
Kılıç Ali, Atatürk’ün Hususiyetleri,
Ankara, 1930, p. 116.
“Fight them! Allah will chastise them at your hands, and He will lay them low and give you victory over them, and He will heal the breasts of folk who are believers.”
Rousseau, the Genevan philosopher, suggested the concept of the ‘Noble Savage’ in 1755, 2. but this view has since lost currency. Civilized man has recently waged wars of an unparalleled magnitude ever recorded in human history. While six million Jews were systematically slaughtered in continental Europe, a civilized nation across the Atlantic, who had the power to stop this, did nothing until they were forcefully involved. Subsequent to Japan’s attack on Pearl Harbour, Hawaii (7 December 1941). Sentiments of peace are foreign to the human condition, an unnatural component in human consciousness, born not out of politics, but religion. The Jewish prophet Isaiah (v.i.) promoted this concept; circa 701-681BC. c. 701-681B.C.
“καὶ κρινεῖ ὰνὰ μέσον τῶν ἐθνῶν καὶ ἐλέγξει λαὁν πολύν, καὶ συγκόψουσιν τὰς μαχαίρας αὐτῶν εἰς αροτρα καὶ τὰς ζιβύνας αὐτῶν εἰς ὁρέπανα καὶ οὐ λήμψεται ἔτι ἐθνος ἐπ’ ἐθνος μἀχαιραν, καὶ οὐ μή μάθωσιν ἔτι πολεμεῖν.”
Ησαιας, 2:4 LXX.
“He shall judge between the nations, and shall rebuke many people; they shall beat their swords into plowshares, and their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift against nation, neither shall they learn war anymore.”
Isaiah, 2:4 NKJV.
The Birth of Islam.
The “prophet” Muhammad [also spelt Mohammed or Mahomet] was the founder of Islam (i.e., ‘surrender’ or ‘submission’); circa 613AD. He was born in the Arabian City of Mecca c. 570AD and died in Medina c. 632AD. He was a merchant, as well as a shepherd. He is said to have had thirteen wives, although there are differing accounts as to whether some of them might have been concubines. Some of his wives were widows whom he married for their protection and survival. He is said to have been kind towards his wives and seven children (three sons and four daughters) and played an active role in domestic duties. At age 40, he claimed to have received a revelation from the angel Gabriel, who recited a verse from the Qur’an, after which he elevated himself to the status of a “prophet” of God. Many of his teachings were borrowings from the pre-existing Abrahamic traditions, id est., Judaism from c., 1800BC, and Christianity from c. 33AD. 3. Both his teachings and sayings were mostly prevalent in the ancient civilisations of the Middle East and corresponded to the Judaic-Christian ‘wisdom literature,’ which were documented by his friend Zayyid; because he was illiterate. He overemphasised a fundamentalist understanding of monophysitism, focused on a doctrine to unite the tribes of Arabia into a single Muslim religious polity at the expense of discounting the monotheistic teachings of Jesus of Nazareth. 4. His teachings reveal an extremely limited, and flawed understanding of monotheism and erroneous understanding of history. For example, Pharoh’s minister is mistaken for Maman, (Sura 28.), and the sister of Moses was Mary the mother of Jesus, and Moses and Jacob are displaced. His deeds have, over the centuries, been the subject of much debate amongst Islamic and other scholars.
The Aisha Controversy.
Muhammad is said to have been betrothed to a 6-year (q.l.) old girl named Aisha and had consummated the marriage when she was nine (q.l.). This has, in recent times, been disputed. Some suggest that she was between fifteen to twenty-four. However, the Persian Sunni scholar, Muhammad ibn Ismail al-Bukhari (810-70) who authored the Ṣaḥīḥ al-Bu khārī, wrote:
Narrates Aisha’s father: “He Married ‘Aisha when she was a girl of six years of age, and he consummated that marriage when she was nine years of age”.
al-Bukhari Hadīth, 5:236. p.153.
(cf. Bukhari 5:235. p.152. et alibi.)
The Hadīth, q.e., the collection of the oral tradition, is the most respected compilation of canonical Islamic jurisprudence, and is second to the Qur’an. The practise of marriages between older men and children were an acceptable customs, in Bedouin culture. 5. Notwithstanding the accepted past cultural traditions, and the present day stance of Muslims insisting on the immutability of Islamic laws, the Sharïʿah laws will find no acceptance in the 194 countries [except the United States and Somalia] who ratified the ‘Declaration of the Rights of the Child‘ (United Nations General Assembly, November 2009). Critics have suggested that Muhammad was a “paedophile,” e.g., Netherlands’ right-wing political party leader Geert Wilders. 6. Whether or not Muhammad was a paedophile – from the Western perspective – depends upon the actual age of Aisha at the time, of which are by no means conclusive amongst Islamic scholars. Although paedophillia is perceived as a heinous crime to the Western mindset, this ought not to dull one’s awareness of the difference between ‘allegation’ and ‘exculpation,’ and the judicial principal of innocence until proven guilty. However, the Sharïʿah are principles of civic and personal laws based upon the Koran, and examples set by Muhammad himself, of which all Muslims are required to emulate. Labelling Muhammad as a ‘paedophile’ might have popular appeal for anti-Islamists, but has no currency for those who are au fait with the cultural norms of the Bedouins.
Sh’ma Yisrael ( שְׁמַע יִשְׂרָאֵל ).
The Sh’ma Yisrael (“Hear, [O] Israel”) is one of the conspicuous borrowings Muhammad plagiarised from the Hebrew Shema; written circa 700BC (v.i., Deuteronomy, 6:4). He placed an excessive emphasis on the ‘Oneness of the Lord’ with the audacious addition of himself included as “the messenger of God” in the following Shahada [aš-šahādah]:
There is no god but God, and Muhammad is the messenger of God. (lā ʾilāha ʾillallāh, Muḥammad rasūlu-llāh).
The Sh’ma Yisrael, predates Muhammad by circa 13-centuries which reads:
“Ακουε, Ισραηλ κύριος ὁ θεὀς ήμῶ κύριος εῖς ἐστιν;”
Δευτερονομιον, 6:4 (LXX).
“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! ( יִשְׂרָאֵל )”.
(Deuteronomy, 6:4 NKJV).
Ahl-Kitãb (“People of the Book”).
Muhammad acknowledged the three Middle Eastern monotheistic traditions (i.e., Judaism, Sabianism and Christianity) as the “Ahl al-Kitāb” (“People of the Book”.) [vid: Qur’an, 29:46, 3:113-15, 2:62.] Followers of those traditions, were in theory, not coerced into converting – or “willing submission” (v.i.) – to Islam, but in practice they were heavily penalized, under the compulsory Jizyah toleration poll tax, et alii., which were introduced by the Caliph Bbd-al Malik (685-705).
“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”.
Qur’an, 9:29. (trans. ‘Noble Quran’).
Fire and Sword on The Pretext of Religion.
At the fledging stage of the movement, there evolved territorial and ideological ambitions to expand the movement into other’s jurisdictions, e.g., Spain, Africa, and the borders of China and the Subcontinent, to become a world power – behind the veneer of a world religion – which had metamorphosed into an imperialistic political identity. Muhammad waged a 25-day genocide of the Jews and the Qurayzah clan, at the ‘Yathrib’ oasis (627AD); banu_qurayza[Qur’an, 33:26-7] now referred to as the ‘Banu Qurayza Massacre’. [In this article, the noun ‘massacre’ is understood to mean a deliberate, indiscriminate, and savagely violent; the cold-blooded slaughter of human beings. This definition excludes ‘battle’ that is a continuous fight between two, or more, organised armed forces, but may be included if one, or more, of the victorious troops, continue slaughtering; subsequent to battle’s end.] This was a ferocious incident – The Sunni scholar al-Bukhari (v.i.), says between 600 to 900 were decapitated and mutilated. 7. 8. The beginnings of the ǧihād (i.e., “Holy war”) begun with the seizure of ‘Yathrib’ oasis, which was proposed by Muhammad’s companions (aṣ-Ṣaħābahiya) which he himself endorsed, that ‘all pubescent males should be beheaded, women and children taken as captives, and properties and booties divided amongst the victors’. 9. Subsequently, systemic campaigns to expand his empire continued in the centuries ahead. Their first push for a neo-Arab Muslim empire was into Persia (633-644).
Illustration above right: A 19th century text by Muhammad Rafi Bazil.
“But when the forbidden months are past, then fight and slay the Pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem (of war); but if they repent, and establish regular prayers and practice regular charity, then open the way for them…”.
Qur’an, 9:5 (trans. ‘Noble Quran’).
In the conquered territories, Muslims and the dhimmîs (Those who surrender to Islamic rule and accept the Jizyah.) enjoyed the benefits of full citizenship, while un-proselytized Jews and Christians were socially and economically disadvantaged. Consequently, many Jews and Christians voluntarily converted to Islam to gain full citizenship and avoid paying the Jizyah.
Islam’s Conquests Further Afield.
Islam’s thrust into other countries was enormous. During its heyday, from circa 16 to 17-centuries, Islam had subjugated 52-territories (q.v.) throughout Africa, Asia, and Europe. Between 633 to 644 it invaded Persia (633-44), Spain (711-18), Central Asia (751); and India’s southwestern Malabar Coast (7-century). In 1000, It invaded Afġānistān which was a Hindu nation. A part of the population fled to safety elsewhere, whilst those who remained were either Islamized, or slaughtered (Thus the name: ‘Hindu Kush’ i.e., ‘Hindu Slaughter’); The Hindu identity was completely annihilated from the nation’s landscape. Other seized countries included: North India, Indonesia, Malaya (12-century), and China (14-century (q.l.)). The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb, who reigned on most of the Indian subcontinent, from circa 1658 to 1707, took the lives of thousands of Hindus, and devastated in an excess of four thousand Hindu temples including the sacred Kashi Vishwanath temple, the Krishna temple in Mathura; and the Vishnu temple overlooking Benares over which was built the Alamgir mosque. Islam left a 811-year (q.l.) legacy of continual violence against Hindus, Buddhists and Sikhs, which has been exacerbated, even to recent times in other regions (viz., Bangladesh, Kashmir and Pakistan.), e.g., the recent outbreaks of violence, in February 2002, between the Hindus and the Muslims. The Hindus composed of 80% of the population, and the Muslims 14%. 10. A clear example of a minority creating factional conflict with the majority.
Non-Muslims (‘Zimmis’) on the subcontinent were deprived full citizenship, and were heavily penalised under the Sunni Hanafiyyah law (Founded by Nu’man Abu Hanifah (699-767AD)) with the ‘Jizya’ tax. Briton’s Governor-General, Louis Mountbatten, partitioned the British Indian Empire into two separate states viz; Union of India (3 June 1947) [Renamed, Republic of India.] and the Dominion of Pakistan (15 August 1947) [Renamed, Islamic Republic of Pakistan]. Millions of Hindus crossed the border into India and Muslims in the reverse. Violence broke out costing the lives of hundreds of thousands. In the conquered territories, Muslims and the dhimmîs enjoyed the benefits of full citizenship, whilst un-proselytized Jews and Christians were socially, and economically, disadvantaged as were their religious practices; compared to those of the Muslims. Subsequently, many Jews and Christians voluntarily converted to Islam to gain full citizenship and avoid paying the Jizyah.
“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”.
Qur’an, 9:29. (trans. ‘Noble Quran’).
Monotheism vs. Pantheism.
In the ensuing centuries, Muhammad’s extreme form of monotheism took a crucial volte-face – out of ideological convenience, id est., territorial control, unrestricted trade quotas and tariffs – in extending the monotheistic status of the “Ahl al-Kitāb” to the four other movements: Hinduism, Buddhism, Zoroastrianism, and Sikhism. Notwithstanding these traditions being quintessentially pantheistic and atheistic. Hinduism has many gods, and Buddhism has no gods. It is a contradiction in terms classifying polytheists and atheists (‘Fitnah’ id est, Atheism and polytheism.) as “Ahl al-Kitāb”, particularly when Muhammad gave clear mandates for their annihilation.
“Fight them until there is no more Fitnah and the religion will all be for Allah alone. But if they cease, then certainly, Allah is All-Seer of what they do”.
Quar’an, 8:39 (trans. from the ‘Noble Quran’).
“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”.
Qur’an, 9:29. (trans. ‘Noble Quran’).
In the conquered territories, Muslims and the dhimmîs (Those who surrender to Islamic rule and accept the Jizyah.) enjoyed the benefits of full citizenship, while un-proselytized Jews and Christians were socially and economically disadvantaged. For example; they had no statutory rights to ride horses, carry arms, nor reside in premises overlooking Muslims, et cetera. 11.
A Blight on The Christian Past.
Cruel and severe likewise laws were also implemented, at various times, by Christians, e.g., the sorrowful history of the cruel persecution and Holocausts of the numerous number of Jewish kedoshim (martyrs) who died at the hands of the Inquisitors throughout Continental Europe, and England between 1232 and 1834. Notwithstanding Papal bulls issued by Popes Clement VI (1342-52), Boniface IX (1389-1404), and Pope Nicholas V (1447-55) ‘denouncing the activities of the Inquisitors,’ their decrees were ignored. The Inquisitions were yet other precursors to the horrific exterminations camps in Nazi Germany, circa June 1941 to May 1945.
“When the Nazis came on the scene in Germany they were able to draw upon the legacy of Christian anti-Judaism even though biologically-based antisemitism went well beyond classical Christian anti-Judaism by arguing for the annihilation of the Jews rather than only for their misery and marginality. Christian antisemitism provided an indispensable seedbed for the success of Nazism on the popular level. It led some Christians to embrace the Nazi ideology and many others to stand on the sidelines as masses of Jews were exterminated”. 12.
The extreme English Protestants viz., the Puritans’ thirty-one witch trials at Salem Massachusetts (et al.) (1692 and 1693). Where fourteen women and four men were convicted and hanged; and another defendant was crushed to death under heavy rocks. The Inquisition was the socially accepted solutions, at that time, to the dangers that individuals, or groups, were attempting to fragment the unity and security of the established institutions of the period. Evaluating the Inquisition by the today’s criteria is tantamount to assessing events absent of the zeitgeist, i. e., the historical factors, and accepted judicial practices, prevalent at earlier times. Citing the Inquisition as a precedent to justify primitive draconian practices is not de rigueur in today’s civilised societies.
Secularization of the Islamic States.
In the 19-century (q.l.) Islam’s Sharīʿah laws were replaced, in some Islamic jurisdictions, with European secular laws, e.g., The Republic of Turkey, who under its secularization programme adopted a modified version of the 1926 Swiss code (Zivilgesetzbuch). Subsequent to the Ottoman Empire ceasing as a de jure nation, and the abolishment of the Khalifa on 3 March 1924, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, proclaimed the Republic of Turkey (Türkiye Cumhuriyeti) on 29 October, 1923; by the Treaty of Lausanne (24 July, 1923) However, seven other Islamic countries retained the laws, viz: Afġānistān, Irān, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, and the Sudan (v.i.). Mohammed Salih Ph.D. Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences, University of Leiden, the Netherlands said:
“Christians and other non-Muslims in Sudan have suffered since the imposition of Sharia over ten years ago, during the rule of then-President Jaafar el-Nimeiry … “During Nimeiry’s time, more than 250 southern Sudanese Christians got their hands amputated. The number of hands cut in Sudan during the first three months of the implementation of Sharia during Nimeiry’s [rule] was more than 100 times more than the total number of people whose hands were cut off during the time of the Prophet Muhammad and his four successors”. 13.
The Sharīʿah laws (id est. the ‘way’ or ‘path’) are intertextually woven into the Quar’an including the occasional violent deeds of their “prophet” Muhammad. These laws control the private and civic lives in the Islamic States. Sharīʿah laws endorse polygamy of marriages of older men to minors. Muslims regard these laws as being inspired by Allāh. Furthermore, reveal a draconian and lethal streak that must be faced objectively, in their naked state, unhindered by censorial niceties; to expose the dark side of Islam. Faintheartedness is cowardliness not to face the truth as it is. For example, the primitive practice of flogging (Sûrah, 24:2) and stoning (rajm) to death for adultery (Sahih Bukhari, 2:23:413). Muhammad, himself also stoned to death a Jew and his wife:
“Narrated by Jabir ibn Abdullah: Allah’s Apostle stoned (to death) a person from Banu Aslam, and a Jew and his wife”. 14.
“…they will be killed or crucified, or have their hands and feet on alternate sides cut off, or will be expelled out of the land”. Koran, 5:33
(trans. from the ‘Noble Quran’).
The Sunna or Ahl as-Sunnah wa’l-Jamā’al (‘people of tradition’) constitute 80% (q,v.) of the modern Muslim population 15. whose ambitions are to establish Islamic States under the Sharīʿah laws which would diminish secularity, democracy, and in contravention of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (10 December 1948). On 24 April, 2000, a woman ‘was stoned to death for adultery in a sports stadium before a crowd of several thousand spectators’. 16. Another stoning took place on 15 August 2010, in Dashte Archi, in the Kunduz province in North Afġānistān. An estimated crowd of a few hundred including two mullahs (Islamic clergy) who sentenced 23-year-old Siddqa and her lover Khayyam age 28, to be stoned to death. Siddqa survived the stoning after which she was shot in the head three time with a Avtomat Kalashnikova AK-47 rifle whilst the crowd shouted “allahu akbar”. 17. This stoning was recorded on a mobile telephone which can be seen on the ǧihād Watch web site. Warning:this movie might be disturbing for some viewers. Stoning to death is not open to debate. Zabiullah Mujahis, a Taliban spokesman, in a BBC interview, said: ‘Anyone who knows about Islam knows that stoning is in the Koran, and that it is Islamic Law … there are people who call it inhuman – but in doing so they insult the Prophet”. 18. Some Muslim scholars suggest that stoning to death is not within the Islamic canons. 19.
A most gruesome report, concerning a beheading of an adult male, under the Sharīʿah law, by a 12-year old boy; in the mountain ranges between Afġānistān and Pakistan in December 2010. The report, inpart reads:
“Amid cries of ‘Allah o Akbar’ (god is great), a young boy, barely 12 years old, lifts his machete and strikes at his victim who is lying on the ground, all tied up for the kill. Waving a ‘V’ for victory sign with his right hand, the boy picks up the severed head and shows it around to the chants of applause from an audience gathered in a remote part of the region straddling the mountainous range which divides Pakistan and Afġānistān. The performance in this chilling episode which may simply shock most people around the world, is the case of militant justice meted out to supposed traitors. It involves Al Qaeda and the Taliban slapping exemplary punishment to an individual suspected to be a spy for the government”. 20.
This beheading was captured on video, and was hosted at the Ajuaa.com web site.
Irān has been put on notice by a United States Human Rights Organization, ‘to cease executions of juvenile offenders,’ publicly hanged Mahmoud Asgari and Ayaz Marhoni, age 16 and 18 (q.l.); in Edalat (‘Justice’) Square in Mashhad on 19 July, 2005. 21. Subsequent to the Irānian Islamic Revolution (1979) an estimated 4,000 homosexuals were put to death. 22. Irān continues to violet the International treaty in respect to executing juvenile offenders.
The local government in the province of Aceh, in Indonesia, has introduced Sharīʿah laws in 2005 to appease separatist rebels, to end the 30-year insurgency; and to have independent status from Indonesia’s central government. 23. There are already twenty Sharīʿah courts established in the district with legislative powers to impose the death sentence by stoning. 24. Subsequent to Aceh’s newly gained independent status, other provinces have followed e.g., the Bulukumba District. Fourteen people were publicly flogged, in front of a Mosque (Masjid) before a cheering crowd (including children) in the district of Serambi (photograph above right). Amongst the victims were Beni (photograph left below) and a female called Zuliana, who were both convicted for consuming alcohol which carries a penalty of 40-strokes. Both were admitted to hospital afterwards for treatment for shock. Others were found guilty of khalwat [i.e., a female being in close proximity of a person who is not her khalwat (guardian)] which is a violation punishable by public flogging of 9-strokes, and 40-strokes for those who consumed alcohol; 25. Serambi Indonesia, Banda Aceh, 31 January 2006.
These form of punishments are in breach of the statutory provisions established by the National Government (Law no. 23/2004) that local governments are not decentralized from the central government in Jarkata. Furthermore, Indonesia is in violation of the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states: “No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment,” (Art 5) and “Everyone has the right to recognition everywhere as a person before the law”. (Art 6) Indonesia’s National Commission of Violence Against Women says, there is an ‘absence of the principle of presumption of innocence,’ and ‘the process of Sharia Law deprives the defendants access to natural justice’. 26. No representation by legal counsel, no court of appeal, no leeway to prove innocence. Under these circumstances there is a high risk of many innocent women (and men) being punished. The women who are caught up under the Sharīʿah law system are continually denigrated by the community long after the floggings. 27.
Muslims Push for Sharīʿah Law in Australia.
The Australian Federation of Islamic Councils (AFIC) is conducting a well-planned and financed campaign to persuade Australian politicians for the introduction of Sharīʿah law into Australian legislation as part of the ‘Federal Inquiry into Multiculturalism’. The AFIC calls for the government to finance Islamic schools, and ḥalāl (حلال ḥalāl, “lawful”) food outlets throughout the metropolitan districts; to be paid for by the Australian taxpayer. Member of Parliament, Luke Simpkins, conducted an informal survey of South Australia’s electorate Division of Cowan, and discovered food outlets (including Coles and Woolworths) were surreptitiously marketing unmarked ḥalāl meat to unwitting non-Muslim customers. This is tantamount to the first step into Proselytizing (da‘wah) non-Muslims into Islamic practices; at the expense of taxpayers. Proselytization of Australians has, according to Luke Simpkins in his speech to Parliament; ‘already begun’:
“By having Australians unwittingly eating Halal food we are all one step down the path towards the conversion, and that is a step we should only make with full knowledge and one that should not be imposed upon us without us knowing … what is happening is wrong. Too often the minorities in this country are looked after without regard to the majority”. 28.
Australian journalist Patricia Karvelas in her report titled: “Our Muselmanic Invaders demand we rearrange the furniture,” says the AFIC submission said: “Some Muslims believe Islamic law is immutable, regardless of history, time, culture and location [and] Muslims may change, but Islam will not”. 29.
Hundreds of thousands of others who immigrated to Australia (during the 1940s to 1960s till now) have never made such demands on the government as the Muslim community. Islamic laws (Sharīʿah), although limited at first, could over time, expand much wider. For example a suchlike precedent of the case of a non-Muslim Malaysian police woman who was ordered to wear an Islamic veil during a parade. 30. Some Islamic local governments prohibit ownership of dogs, and holding hands and kissing in public places. 31. A suspected Sharīʿah inspired whipping was meted out, by Wassim Fayad, age 43 with accomplice Tolga Cifci; upon Charles Martinez, age 31, in Sydney’s west. The victim was held down and flogged 40 times. He told police ‘he was being punished under Sharīʿah law for drinking alcohol. 32. Attorney-General Robert McClelland, and the State Premier of Victoria, Ted Baillieu, have ruled out the incorporation of Sharīʿah law in Australia. McClelland said: “There was no place for it [Islamic law] in the Gillard government’s debate about multicultural policy”. 33. Radical Muslims are at home nowhere unless democracy is replaced by totalitarianism. Australia is a multicultural society that both Australians and emigres have benefited, however, there are those in the Islamic community who devalue Australian values and laws, e.g., the Muftï, Sheik Taj Aldin Alhilali, of the Sidon Mosque, (Masjid) west of Sydney; who gave a scurrilous sermon concerning Australian women:
“If you take out uncovered meat and place it outside on the street, or in the garden or in the park, or in the backyard without a cover, and the cats come and eat it … whose fault is it, the cats’ or the uncovered meat? The uncovered meat is the problem. If she was in her room, in her home, in her ḥijāb, no problem would have occurred”. 34.
Western European civilization was entering into the period of the Reformation; between the 14 and 17-centuries. During this period, the Islamic countries lapsed into isolation whilst the West was advancing in science, technology, and expanding its territories. Additionally, the increasing military powers of Tsarist Russian and Habsburg’s Austria were posing a threat to the Islamic countries. Islam in now attempting to regain its previous status in the West. The West’s recent military invasions into some Islamic countries has exasperated Islam’s aspirations to claim rightfully a peaceful and harmonious place amongst other nations. Whilst Western Crusader-minded Christian nations wage “missions from God” (see image right) against Arab nations, and militant Sunni Muslims wage their ǧihād (i.e., “Holy war”) against the West, and activists stage rowdy and threatening “Religion of Peace” demonstrations (Photograph below left, London, 3 February 2006), 35. against the West – particularly the United States – there can be no hope for both Muslims and Christians to coexist in peace and harmony.
The present day West’s “missions from God” [or Crusade] has no parallel with the first Crusade’s expeditionary forces liberating Jerusalem (July 1099) from the Muslims; for safe access for pilgrims, who held significant memories of the Holy Land’s history of Jesus, the tombs, and relics of the saints. The subsequent fourth Crusade, abandoned the original Christian ideals, and invaded Constantinople in April 1204, with brutality towards Eastern Christians and the Jews; more of which will be discussed in the forthcoming article: ‘The Origin of the Great War 1914-18’. When militant groups from both sides of the divide cease their campaigns, Mosques (Masjid) and Churches can co-exist together in peace and concord; rather than being desecrated or destroyed. Radical Muslims (similar to fundamentalist Christians) retrograde to the past, rather than seeking solutions in the progressive present.
Muslims have for centuries lived in isolation under the repression of tyrants and despots who have imposed cruel and primitive punishments (v.s.) as they, indeed, continue to do today; in some Islamic countries. Other Islamic militants engage in terrifying campaigns (ǧihād) on a global level implicating the Shar’iah law. These attacks appear to be driven by political motives. Some Muslims perceive the West as a decadent society. The West’s invasions into their lands are seen as a Westernization of their culture.
Muslims are at present in a period of transition from domination by attitudes of Western colonial powers, and antiquated rulership by despotic regimes. However, there can never be hope for a peaceful coexistence, in any pluralistic society, while anger and violence of the dark side of Islam, is meted out to their people, or others (non-Muslimes) under the Sharïʿah laws, through ǧihādist activities; neither of which can be legitimized in venting anger and frustration.
The vast majority of Muslims, in Australia, are peaceful and uphold high ethical values, and respect for Australian laws, whereas the minority of extremists or ǧihādists are totalitarian, and supremacist – with a primitive desert mentality – and have closed views. They are tenacious demagogues, who disallow legitimate disagreement, or critique, on grounds that it “insults the prophet”. They are determined to replace democracy with dictatorial regimes, and introduce cruel antiquated draconian Sharïʿah laws, as they have repeated time and again in other countries. The ǧihādists proselytize, and recruit from among minority groups to act as fifth columnists. They are not representative of the vast majority of Muslims. They would be well advised to consider relocating, to rustic desert locations far away from civilized countries, where they can continue meting out their cruel and sadistic punishments on their unfortunate victims.
These are the obstacles the vast majority of Muslims must face, especially if they desire to co-exist harmoniously with those of other faiths in a pluralistic society. Christians and Muslims, are quintessentially, bound in Monotheism – inherited from Judaism – which, above all other concerns, ought to unite the three faiths together in community; rather than separating them. The Sharïʿah laws will be an ongoing obstacle preventing Muslims and Christians from ever coexisting in peace and harmony. The vast majority of Muslims have the power of voice to publicly denounce and disempower radical minority groups who bring Islam into disrepute, and diminish the light of its culture.
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- The Australian, May 17, 2011.
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