Tag Archives: ISIS terrorism


BLOG 368 October 16, 2017

And how are things going in Israel these days? With all the turmoil in Syria and the problems created by Iran and Russia, you’d expect people to be hiding in hysteria. Not so! On September 18, the Central Bureau of Statistics released its annual report. Here’s what they found.

Eighty-eight percent of Israelis above 20 years of age say they are “very satisfied” with their lives. Only 6% say they are lonely.  The work force employees report generally being satisfied. Israel now has the highest fertility rate with women averaging 3.11 babies during their lifetime. Girls now have a a life expectancy of 84.2 years and boys 80.7 years.

Not bad! How does that compare with the United States?

Nearly two- thirds, (64%) believe the country is on the wrong track. Americans generally disagree with Trump about everything from attacking North Korea to meddling with the health care system and believe the President is intent on keeping the country divided.  The political parties are in the dumps with 48% viewing the Democrats unfavorably.  The Republicans are even worse with 62% viewing them negatively. Only 10% report trusting congressional Republicans the most.

Americans increasingly believe President Trump listens to no one – not his advisors, his own party, or leaders of other countries around the world.

Not good!

To make matters worse, as ISIS goes down in flames in Syria their terrorist outreach continues on a global basis.  On September 15, London experienced another bombing.  France remains a prime target. The Herzliya International Institue for Counter-Terrorism identified the newest prime target to be Italy and the Vatican in particular.

Because the Pope is a symbol of worldwide Christianity, the Muslim ISIS movement would see such an attack as having great symbolic value. I was with the Pope the first week in June both at the Vatican and the Pentecost gathering at the Circus Maximus. Pope Francis was certainly fearless but heightened security was obvious. Terrorism has made the entire world unsafe!

And what conclusions can we draw?

Americans appear seriously skeptic of their government. Politicians increasingly don’t seem to get it. The future is cloudy. While still in the pioneer stage, Israelis are fundamentally united. They have hope in the future. Regardless of your personal persuasion, a prayer for Italy, the Vatican, and the Pope is in order. We don’t need any attacks there!


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BLOG 315 August 22, 2016

Father Jacques Hamel had spent a life time as a Roman Catholic priest in his parish in the Normandy region , France. The 85-year-old French priest had been conducting evening worship in his Saint Etienne du Rouvrat Church when two men rushed in from the back and grabbed him. Screaming in Arabic Allah Akbar, they bend the priest over the altar rail and virtually decapitated him.

The terrified tiny congregation of two parishioners and three nuns watched in disbelief and horror. Their small number to some extent reflects the condition of the Christian faith in Western Europe. The future might well rest with a combination of African immigrants and Latin-Mass traditionalists, but the small number attending in Normandy certainly reflects the current situation.

However, we see ever more clearly what the intentions of ISIS is for other religious groups. There is no surprise in the martyrdom of Father Hamel. The extreme Muslims have never made any secret of their desire to attack churches and synagogues. As they continue to fall behind in the Iraqi and Syrian battlefields, their attacks on Christians and Jews surge forward.

In April, 2015, one of the attackers Sid Ghlam had been arrested on suspicion of planning assaults with Father Hamel’s church on his “to do” list. He had already been in contact with an ISIS leader in Syria who instructed him to attack churches and ordered Saint Etienne du Rouvay as a primary target.

In one sense there is nothing new in this story. ISIS has been murdering Christians by the thousands in their controlled territories. The media has generally not heavily reported this history because it is too gruesome. In Mosel, the heads of Christian children are on poles in the park. ISIS now tells recruits not to come to Syria or Iraq but stay in their own lands and attack the infidels at home.

France, Belgium, and Germany tell the story. The only thing that has kept England and America from these Church assaults is extreme readiness. However, France and Belgium were not negligent in their defense against terrorist. But attacks in a Church? Christians shutter at such an idea, that it is now a fact.

The propaganda that ISIS uses to inspire such assaults often comes from Medieval times. The 14thcentury cleric Ibn Rajah wrote, “In charity it is permitted to kill people and animals in the easiest way … the easiest way is to strike off the neck with the sword of violence.” Sid Ghlam must have been reading Rajah.

By the way, there should be no surprises about the killing. ISIS attacks other Muslims who disagree with them. Their basic philosophy is agree 100% with us or you are dead.

I am sure much of what I have written will sound crazy (even with the craziness of the current American political campaign going full tilt) – because it is crazy. But crazy kills.

The world had best pay close attention.

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Filed under middle east, Muslims, Violence