Saturday, July 26, 2008

Racial Hatred Arrest for Internet Blogger

LionHeart UK


Posted: 23 Jul 2008 07:36 AM CDT
I was due to attend Greyfriars Police station today to answer bail regarding my arrest on ‘suspicion of stirring up racial hatred’ through written material on this blog.

I was advised by my solicitor/lawyer yesterday that he had spoken to DC Holden regarding my attendance at the police station today and he told him that a decision still had not been made concerning me and my case so they are going to be bailing me for a further few months.

So the leash is still around my neck, but it’s more of an extendable leash now, like the one you put your dog on so they can run a little further, rather than a chock chain.

I lost everything because of the drug dealing gangs of Pakistani Moslems from Luton, my home, by business, my way of life and over 18 months of my life.

And I thank God daily for it because my blog now stands as a testimony for others to read about what is going on in Luton & Dunstable, which is Al Qaeda’s frontline within Great Britain, and the Islamic community that has set up camp there.

There are many cowards out there who disrespect me but just remember you’re the one who ran away not me, I’m just taking a rest now.

Let’s not forget that Luton played a central role on 7/7 and during ‘operation crevice’ the biggest anti-terror operation in British history which saw the bomb maker of the plot who was a taxi driver from Dunstable wanting to buy a dirty bomb from the Russian mafia in Belgium, and the Emir of the plot who was also said to be the recruiter of the lead bomber on 7/7 Mohamed Siddique Khan also another Pakistani Moslem known as Q from Bury Park Luton.

All these known factual links to International Islamic Terrorism and Al Qaeda’s War against Great Britain from this one locality of Luton.

My blog is an on the ground assessment of what is happening on the streets of Luton & Dunstable with regards to the paramilitary force of British born Pakistani Moslems, and then beyond what is happening on the streets, out of sight and mind.

Blended into the Bury Park community of Luton, living in the shadows is Al Qaeda in Britain, trained courtesy of Osama Bin Laden and the terror camps of Afghanistan/Pakistan who are now recruiting and commanding their Moslem brothers on our British streets.

Jihad (Holy War) against us and our way of life for Islam is their message.

By the time the British State have decided what they want to do with me I will have lost another year of my life to them, having the stress of these legal proceedings hanging over my head, and then I could lose another year if they finally decide to charge me and all for writing and telling people what I see with regards to Islam’s War within Great Britain and against our Western Civilisation, and calling Moslems savages.

As an uneducated man and not politically correct I think savages fits them quite well after watching beheadings, suicide bombings on buses and trains, flying planes into towers, chopping off peoples limbs for the most trivial of offences, the hatred that is aimed at those outside of the religion, and the hatred towards women and homosexuals and all because of the teachings of the religion. The list could go on and on, these are just a few examples that spring to mind of why I call Moslems savages.

The politically correct term for those who have jobs and careers to protect is - Terrorist

Ok not all Moslems act in that way but if they class themselves as Moslems by carrying the label and embracing the religion then they condone what is at the core of the religion which is the teachings of a 7th Century barbarian who was a bloodthirsty warmongering child molesting paedophile false prophet rapist.

Many who claim the label ‘Moslem’ only do so because it has been passed down from the generations, they don’t know the true heart and soul of the religion because they have never delved into the deepest depths of the pit of the religion. Those who do know the heart and soul are the religious Moslems who are committed to furthering the agenda of the Islamic religion in Great Britain and are the driving force.

Those who profess moderation and peace are a different side of the same coin they just have a different way of achieving the end time goal which is Islamic Rule upon the British Isles. This is the mandate of the Islamic Religion that all Moslems if they are true Moslems must adhere to and carry out, those who profess moderation and peace are taking the long term approach and those conducting Holy War are taking the faster approach, but both have the same end result in mind and they both work in tandem together.

So don’t believe the lies.

If a Moslem doesn’t want to live under Sharia Law then he/she is not a Moslem, it is like me as a Christian saying I don’t believe in Jesus, its that simple, and we have 3+ million Moslems in our Country.

Those who carry the label ‘Moslem’ but know nothing about the heart and soul of the religion know in the back of their minds that if they reject the label then they face a death sentence from religious Moslems as an act of apostasy which is one of the most abhorrent things imaginable and has no place within our civilized society but as with many other things it is an integral part of the Islamic religion.

If a Moslem leaves the religion he/she must be murdered for this offence, and there are many willing Moslem murderers out there willing to please Allah by shedding Apostate blood.

Those who leave Islam should find a place of safety and sanctuary within our land, and the Church is the place where you will find it, then you can break off the shackles that bind you and receive the Love of Jesus Christ from His servants, those like Bishop Nazir Ali who knows all to well about Apostasy among many other things within Great Britain.

He himself is now a target of the military wing of Islam because he dared speak out on behalf of the British people about the Islamification of Great Britain; does this not tell you something that everyone who speaks negatively about Islam has to live under fear of death?

And this is supposed to be a civilized 21st Century democracy in which we live.

No wonder there are so many cowards out there, but what does the future hold for our children and grandchildren with so many cowards in society who are doing nothing about those who are seeking to destroy all of our futures?

We cannot escape the facts in today’s British society and what they mean to our futures although this present government would like to sweep them under the carpet by saying ‘Islam means peace’, ‘Moslem and terrorist are two words that don’t go together’, ‘Islamic terror is anti-Islamic activity’, and it’s a small minority, so as to dupe the gullible British sheep people into a false sense of security by believing the lies about Labours block vote and their pet project, the British Islam they are foolishly trying to create like the deranged Liberals that they are.

You can hear the Islamic World laughing at these spineless treacherous traitors as they take over our Country, who are leading Great Britain into the gutter, surrendering and appeasing at every opportunity to save their cowardly necks from the inevitable, even giving the Islamic Kingdom of Great Britain their first State sanctioned building blocks for their own autonomy upon our Island, and releasing Al Qaeda terrorists back out into our society.

The Liberal Elite and the Islamic Kingdom of Great Britain are working together towards the destruction of the British homeland and the ancient ‘Realm’ in which we have lived for generations in their quest for the unachievable utopian multi cultural dream which is nothing more than social psychosis being inflicted upon British society by those patients with the disease of Liberalism who are now in charge of the Asylum which is Great Britain who have tried their Marxist social engineering project on our society at our expense while they sit back in their tax paid ivory towers.

Over our dead bodies our enemies will have to climb to defeat and destroy the ‘Realm’ is the message from the British people, I am just one of many across the land; we will not let the sacrifices our forefathers made for us be in vain, we will fight for righteousness for the sake of our children and grandchildren who are relying on us.

I put one question to you here; what are you doing about the future for your children apart from sitting on your big behind watching TV, filling your store house for the uncertain future the World faces, and complaining about 21st Century British life.

”What does it profit a man if he gains the whole World yet forfeits his own soul”

Why not make a conscious decision today to do something, even the smallest of things because it is the smallest of things that go towards the bigger picture, just like each individual brick played in building Rome.

’Evil prevails when good men/women do nothing’

If you have read this then the decision is in your hands, decide to act and make a difference in this World in which you live or go back to your cowardly dark slumber that you believe is light because of what it contains and live out the rest of your days under the Lord God Almighty’s gaze but void of His shadow over your life because you reject to help defend His kingdom on Earth, and the innocent, weak and vulnerable people who are relying on those who God has ordained to hold back the darkness.

You are reading this for a reason, each and every person who clicked on this blog today and every other day.

Osama Bin Laden is the Anti-Christ who seeks to defeat America and destroy Christendom in the War he has declared on behalf of Islam, and the Islamic Republic of Iran are seeking Nuclear bombs so they can wipe Israel from the Earth.

How long until the world in which we live changes again forever with this present global conflict going to the next level and phase?

The Islamic Civilisation v The Judeo/Christian Civilisation – Nuclear War

Them or us no middle ground, are you playing your part or are you one of those people in denial of the truth, consumed with other meaningless things pertaining to daily life which are so insignificant in the scale of the bigger things happening within life on Earth.

What will be living through the coming Apocalypse be like and are you preparing?

As I will not be posting on this blog again and I do mean it this time, there is a facebook group that I have set up that needs some life brought into it so I would ask that those who have contributed here will come and contribute there and bring some life to the group.

It’s up to you though.

There is 18 months worth of video’s, writings, facts, opinions and beliefs on the pages of this blog, so there is enough for people to read who arrive here, and if the police have not got enough to charge me yet based on my whole blog then is it not about time they let me go so I can get on with my life?

These extra few months are not going to change anything, its not like I am going to wake up one morning and start telling people to burn out the Islamic Kingdom and hang the British traitors who are against us from London bridge is it?

My beliefs and opinions are on each page of this blog and I have never once called for murder or violence against others, so why was I arrested?

I breached ‘community cohesion’, and how dare British citizens breach ‘community cohesion’, those newly formed racial hatred units in the police force need to show some work for their funding after all so I was viewed as an easy target for the detected crime statistics considering I was open and honest on my blog.

”Touch not my prophets and do my anointed no harm”

Do the British State want to make me a martyr for my words? They know I would accept it gladly because to be a martyr in any form as a Christian is the highest calling God can place upon our heads and that includes dying for our faith. The only thing different between a Christians joy of dying for his/her faith is that they die out of love for others, where as Moslems die to kill others.

No Christian would ever commit suicide to murder others that it mass murder plain and simple, but Moslems based on their religion wrap it up as martyrdom with the prize of 72 Virgins for their actions.

Islam is nothing more than a creation of the devil as the facts emanating from its heart and soul clearly show, and those who cannot see it are blinded by a different form of devil.

Although I have enjoyed writing my point of view about the Jihad for others to read and hopefully shed some light for those who could not see, blogging does not put food on the table or a roof over your head, and those things are more important to me than writing words for others to read at this point in time.

I will be back at some point in the future but not on this blog, this blog is now finished.

A book is on its way as long as someone will dare publish it and of course you will be in it, my avid readers from Bury Park, how rude would it be of me not to mention you for the world to read after everything.

You think your something because you hunt in packs and have instilled fear in people because of your willingness to commit brutal acts of violence and murder but in reality you aint all that, you just have had longer time to prepare for what is happening now because the British people were oblivious to you and your Islamic intentions.

Now though things are loud and clear.

You switched the light of Almighty God upon yourselves the day your threatened my life. He knew exactly what was going to happen in Great Britain and in Luton & Dunstable that’s why He chose me to let the light of heaven shine through me into the darkness where you devils from the pit inhabit that threaten His people and Kingdom on Earth. I am called and anointed as every other Christian is, to live and serve under His shadow, so how dare you devils in the embodiment of Moslems from Bury Park threaten the Lord’s anointed, a servant and ambassador of Heaven, I serve the King, so take note of your brother Bobby Khan because God knows who each of you are, the very hairs on your head are numbered.

There will be nothing said or done in the darkness that will not be brought out into the light.

One will chase a thousand and two ten thousand and I alone have chased and surrounded the first thousand of you, with you now surrounded on all sides with no where for to run or hide because you sit in your small encampment upon my land, the land my forefathers built for me, so what a liberty for you, our guests to throw our hospitality back in our faces by declaring war, committing acts of war and seeking to take over.

What did you think the response would be?

And those Al Qaeda in the shadows who are nothing more than psychologically twisted human beings who need their perception of life reconfigured now know who I am, and it is my pleasure to say come get me, just like I said to the cowardly London flag burners, before the thief come gets you.

You started this, the line in the sand was drawn, you crossed it, and believe me God will finish it.

I can only say open that dark twisted mind, let a little light from above in and repent of your actions, open your heart and allow Jesus Christ the light of life into your life, and into your dark Islamic heart before it is too late for you whoever you are, wherever you are, and your eternal soul ends up in the true lake of fire.

We cannot both be right!

Lionheart of England

P.S I have one more thing I am waiting to post which I have been waiting on for about 4 months, so if it does finally arrive as ‘old news’ then I will post it, so keep checking back, and if not then God knows and its in His hands.

It is “All for the Glory of God” after all.

I am the Lord, that is my name; And my glory I will not give to another’ nor my praise to carved images.

Any posts that I do make from now on that I think are important will be posted on Radarsite.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

The Truth About Islam

Some important texts, pictures, links !!!

L'islam vu par Mgr Gaume

"Par la même cause s’expliquent les succès de Mahomet. A la tête d’armées fanatiques, le chamelier de la Mecque se présente à l’Arabe ignorant et corrompu; puis, le sabre d’une main, la coupe des plaisirs de l’autre, lui dit: Crois ou meurs.

Dans la foi qu’il demande pendant la vie, est l’autorisation de piller, de tuer, de réduire en esclavage tout ce qui n’est pas croyant; après la mort, le gage de tous les plaisirs sensuels dans un paradis de voluptés.

On conçoit encore qu’en flattant les passions, le mahométisme a pu se faire d’innombrables partisans. Pour obtenir un pareil résultat, il ne faut être ni dieu, ni thaumaturge, ni saint, ni prophète.

X Il en est ainsi de toutes les prétendues religions qui ont paru dans le monde. Pas une seule qui n’ait dû son origine, ses progrès et sa durée à l’émancipation de l’une des trois concupiscences du coeur humain: l’orgueil, la cupidité, la volupté.

Moins opposée est la lumière aux ténèbres, que le Christianisme à toutes ces fausses religions. Seul il ne pactise avec aucune faiblesse; seul il attaque de front tous les vices et tous les penchants corrompus; seul il prêche toutes les vertus et ordonne tous les genres de sacrifices" (Mgr Gaume, Credo, le refuge du Chrétien dans les temps actuels, opuscule 1866, p. 8)


Thursday, May 15, 2008

A Letter to Mankind

Picture: Suicide Bomber

Dear fellow human,

Today humanity is being challenged. Unthinkable atrocities take place on daily basis. There is an evil force at work that aims to destroy us. The agents of this evil respect nothing; not even the lives of children. Every day there are bombings, every day innocent people are targeted and murdered. It seems as if we are helpless. But we are not!

The ancient Chinese sage Sun Zi said, "Know your enemy and you won't be defeated". Do we know our enemy? If we don't, then we are doomed.

Terrorism is not an ideology, it is a tool; but the terrorists kill for an ideology. They call that ideology Islam.

The entire world, both Muslims and non-Muslims claim that the terrorists have hijacked "the religion of peace" and Islam does not condone violence.

Who is right? Do the terrorists understand Islam better, or do those who decry them? The answer to this question is the key to our victory, and failure to find that key will result in our loss and death will be upon us. The key is in the Quran and the history of Islam.

Those of us, who know Islam, know that the understanding of the terrorists of Islam is correct. They are doing nothing that their prophet did not do and did not encourage his followers to do. Murder, rape, assassination, beheading, massacre and sacrilege of the dead "to delight the hearts of the believers" were all practiced by Muhammad, were taught by him and were observed by Muslims throughout their history.

If truth has ever mattered, it matters most now! This is the time that we have to call a spade a spade. This is the time that we have to find the root of the problem and eradicate it. The root of Islamic terrorism is Islam. The proof of that is the Quran.

We are a group of ex-Muslims who have seen the face of the evil and have risen to warn the world. No matter how painful the truth may be, only truth can set us free. Why this much denial? Why so much obstinacy? How many more innocent lives should be lost before YOU open your eyes?

We urge the Muslims to leave Islam. Stop with excuses, justifications and rationalizations. Stop dividing mankind into "us" vs. "them" and Muslims vs. Kafirs. We are One people, One mankind! Muhammad was not a messenger of God. It is time that we end this insanity and face the truth. The terrorists take their moral support and the validation for their actions from you. Your very adherence to their cult of death is a nod of approval for their crimes against humanity.

We also urge the non-Muslims to stop being politically correct lest they hurt the sensitivities of the Muslims. To Hell with their sensitivities! Let us save their lives, and the lives of millions of innocent people.

Millions, if not billions of lives will be lost if we do nothing. Time is running out! "All it takes for evil to triumph is for good people to do nothing." Do something! Send this message to everyone in your address book and ask them to do the same. Defeat Islam and stop terrorism. This is your world, save it.

The ex-Muslim Movement -

Friday, April 18, 2008

L'Islam vu par Mgr Freppel

... et l'Europe devint chrétienne. Mais il était dit que chaque victoire de la croix serait suivie d'un nouveau combat, et que l'antique serpent écrasé par l'étendard du salut relèverait la tête après chaque défaite. Un homme donc - car ici-bas, en tête du mal comme en tête du bien, il n'y a toujours qu'un homme - un homme, dis-je, essaya d'arrêter la croix dans sa marche triomphale. A cet effet, il prit quelques lambeaux de la Bible, arracha quelques feuillets de l'Évangile et, y mêlant ses rêveries, il en fit le Coran. Puis, comme symbole de l'opposition à la croix, il adopta le croissant et, enfin, à la place du glaive spirituel de la parole, il mit le glaive matériel qui frappe et qui égorge. Voilà son œuvre : le Coran, avec le croissant pour signe et le cimeterre pour garde ... Jamais peut-être la croix n'avait rencontré d'adversaire plus formidable. Qu'était-ce, en effet, que le mahométisme en face de la croix ? C'était la glorification de la volupté, le déchaînement de toutes les passions brutales, l'empire de la chair substitué au règne de l'esprit, les convoitises sensuelles transportées jusque dans le monde futur. Et cependant, malgré l'appât qu'offrait à des instincts grossiers cette religion toute pétrie de sang et de boue, en dépit de la complicité qu’elle rencontrait dans les bas-fonds de la nature humaine, l'étendard du sensualisme a reculé devant le drapeau du sacrifice ; et tandis que le croissant apparaît comme le symbole de la décrépitude et de l'abrutissement, la croix est restée, pour les nations rangées autour d'elle, le signe de la grandeur, de la force et de la vie.

Voir: Points de vue sur l'Islam
(Mgr Freppel, Sermons inédits, A. Roger et F. Chernoviz, édit., 1896, tome 1, p. 372-373)

Voir aussi: Mgr Freppel - (Christ Roi)

Iraq: Christians Say Targeting By Extremists Amounts To Genocide

By RFE/RL analyst Kathleen Ridolfo

Iraq's Christian community has been targeted by terrorists and sectarian militias (epa)
Iraq's Christian community says it is being targeted at an unprecedented level by insurgents, in what some claim amounts to a campaign of genocide carried out under the noses of Iraq and U.S. forces.

Christians fleeing IraqAt least 10 churches have been bombed this year, two leading clergymen have been killed, and scores of worshippers targeted for practicing their religion. Though they make up only 3 percent of the population, Christians comprise nearly half the refugees fleeing Iraq, according to the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Figures on the prewar size of the Christian community vary, with estimates ranging between 800,000 and 1.2 million. Today, estimates on the remaining number of Christians in Iraq put the community at between 500,000 and 700,000.

Unlike other groups in Iraq, Christians do not have militias or tribes to protect them. In their absence, they have relied on coalition and Iraqi forces for protection, and say they have been let down. Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki vowed to increase protection for the Christian community following the March killing of Mosul Archbishop Bulus Faraj Rahhu, but it does not appear that he has followed through on his pledge.

The first major attack against the Christian community in Iraq came in August 2004 when five Baghdad churches were bombed over a 30-minute period. The Al-Qaeda-affiliated Islamic State of Iraq (ISI) appeared to be responsible for the bombings, and for the majority of attacks that have since targeted the Christian community. The first bombings came in response to an influx of foreign Christian missionary groups following the fall of the Saddam Hussein regime. Christians said the proselytizing of foreign missionaries to Muslims was seen as an arm of the U.S. occupation, and the indigenous Christian community was made to pay for the foreigners' actions.

ISI's main goal is to establish an Islamic state on the ground in Iraq that adheres to strict Islamic law. Christians who have fled Iraq report being pressured by Muslim insurgents, both Sunni and Shi'ite, to convert to Islam or leave Iraq. As ISI grew in strength, it increased its campaign against Christians, hanging posters in Baghdad's Christian neighborhoods demanding Christian women veil their faces. Locals reported in June 2007 that nearly 200 Christian families had fled Baghdad's Al-Durah neighborhood with just the clothes on their backs.

The other main perpetrator of violence against Christians in recent years has been the Shi'ite militia led by cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, Imam Al-Mahdi Army. The Al-Mahdi Army waged a brutal campaign against the Christian community in Baghdad and Al-Basrah beginning in 2004, driving people from their homes, bombing Christian-owned liquor stores and hair salons, and imposing jizya, an Islamic protection tax on those wishing to stay in their homes. In May 2007, the militia ordered Christian women in Baghdad to veil or face grave consequences.

Dozens of churches across the country have since been bombed, and hundreds of Christians killed. Moreover, campaigns of kidnapping for ransom targeting Christians became a main tool of intimidation by insurgents. Those who have not fled Iraq entirely are internally displaced, with the majority living inside the northern Kurdistan region. Observers say those who remain in the south may be forced to worship underground if they are to survive. In Al-Basrah, which had a vibrant Christian community before the war, some say the community has fled altogether.

The Assyrian International News Agency (AINA) reported in May 2007 that families in Al-Durah were told their property now belonged to ISI. One resident of Al-Durah told AINA in a March 2007 e-mail: "This has been going on for the past week, and it started even before Easter. We talked to many people within the American Embassy and Iraqi government, but it seems nobody really cares, because they have done nothing, or sometimes I wonder if they care at all. Neither the Iraqi nor the U.S. Army have any activity there, and they have delivered Durah to insurgents; and above all the U.S. Army went and put a camp in the Chaldean church [the Pontifical Babil College for Philosophy and Theology] to raise the hate among those Muslims toward Christians, as they are seeing them as allies for Americans, and that worsens things more."

As RFE/RL reported last year, Saudi gunmen holed up in Al-Durah demanded that each Christian pay 50,000 dinars ($40) in jizya to the mujahedin as the price for maintaining their religion, while ISI demanded Christians pay 250,000 dinars (about $200, the average monthly salary) to stay in their homes. Those who fled Al-Durah had to pay "exit" fees of $200 per person or $400 per car.

Europe May Offer Temporary Asylum

French and German officials have taken up the case of Christian refugees in recent weeks, saying they will push for their countries to give preference to Christians over other refugees fleeing Iraq, citing the bond of common faith.

Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner confirmed last month that France will give refuge to nearly 500 Iraqi Chaldean Christians. The Chaldean church is aligned with the Roman Catholic Church and recognizes the authority of the pope. Kouchner said on March 19 that he hoped the Iraqis would be in France within weeks. Mar Emmanuel III Delly, patriarch of the Chaldean Catholic Church, told "Le Figaro" that visas for Christians were not a solution, the French daily reported on April 14. "What is needed is to work for peace in Iraq, rather than providing places for Christians so that they can go begging in Europe," Delly said.

German Interior Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble pledged last week that his country may take up to 30,000 Christian refugees from Iraq. Schaeuble reportedly justified the focus on Christian refugees by saying Europe should accept those who were culturally closest to it. Schaeuble is offering temporary asylum, saying that those given shelter should return home once ethnic and sectarian tensions die down.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the advocacy group One Free World International has called on the government to make special provisions for taking in Christian refugees. Canada will reportedly admit some 2,000 Iraqi refugees this year, but has no specific provision in its quota for Christians. Nor does the United States, which says it will admit 12,000 Iraqi refugees by September 30. As of March 31, 2,627 Iraqis have arrived in the United States, according to State Department figures.

This week, members of the U.S. House of Representatives inaugurated the House Caucus on Religious Minorities in the Middle East. Iraqi religious minorities were on hand for the event, saying they would work to raise awareness in Congress to the violence and social displacement of minorities from once-integrated Iraqi cities.

It is debatable whether giving special preference to any group is a prudent policy. While there is no doubt that steps should be taken to preserve Iraq's Christian community, whose presence in Iraq predates the appearance of Islam, visas to far-flung countries may not be the best way to do it. Indeed, the decision by some countries to give preference to Iraqi Christians may backfire, and those Christians who remain in Iraq could become even more vulnerable to attack by insurgents than before.

Radio Free Europe / Radio Liberty © 2008 RFE/RL, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Friday, April 11, 2008

St Clare, the Eucharist and the Fleeing of the Muslims

"Amen, Amen, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life within you" Jesus

Years ago a sweet lady from my church offered me a very large and beautiful statue of St Clare of Assisi after I named my daughter Clare. I gladly accepted not knowing much about St Clare at the time except that she had bravely driven vicious soldiers from her convent while carrying Jesus in the Eucharist. It wasn't until I recently read Frank M. Rega's book St Francis and the Conversion of the Muslims that I realized that the Saracen soldiers that St Clare drove off-- were actually Muslims.

Clare was a beautiful Italian noblewoman who founded an order of nuns called the "Poor Clares." She was converted upon hearing St. Francis of Assisi preach. Thereafter, she developed a great desire to live a poor humble life for Jesus. She ran away from home, and in a little chapel outside Assisi, gave herself to God. St. Francis cut off her hair and gave her a rough brown habit to wear tied with a plain cord around her waist.

In the year 1240, St Clare saved her sisters and her convent from plundering hordes of Saracen mercenaries through the miracle of the Eucharist. As the Saracens were placing ladders against the walls of the convent she placed a monstrance containing the Eucharist in the sight of the men while she lay prostrate before Jesus and prayed. Here is an account of the incident from The History of Saint Clare, Virgin, written by Tommaso da Celano:

“By imperial order, regiments of Saracen soldiers and bowmen were stationed there (the convent of San Damiano in Assisi, Italy), massed like bees, ready to devastate the encampments and seize the cities. Once, during an enemy attack against Assisi, city beloved of the Lord, and while the army was approaching the gates, the fierce Saracens invaded San Damiano, entered the confines of the monastery and even the very cloister of the virgins. The women swooned in terror, their voices trembling with fear as they cried to their Mother, Saint Clare.

“Saint Clare, with a fearless heart, commanded them to lead her, sick as she was, to the enemy, preceded by a silver and ivory case in which the Body of the Saint of saints was kept with great devotion. And prostrating herself before the Lord, she spoke tearfully to her Christ: ‘Behold, my Lord, is it possible You want to deliver into the hands of pagans Your defenseless handmaids, whom I have taught out of love for You? I pray You, Lord, protect these Your handmaids whom I cannot now save by myself.’ Suddenly a voice like that of a child resounded in her ears from the tabernacle: ‘I will always protect you!’ ‘My Lord,’ she added, ‘if it is Your wish, protect also this city which is sustained by Your love.’ Christ replied, ‘It will have to undergo trials, but it will be defended by My protection.’ Then the virgin, raising a face bathed in tears, comforted the sisters: ‘I assure you, daughters, that you will suffer no evil; only have faith in Christ.’

Upon seeing the courage of the sisters, the Saracens took flight and fled back over the walls they had scaled, unnerved by the strength of she who prayed. And Clare immediately admonished those who heard the voice I spoke of above, telling them severely: ‘Take care not to tell anyone about that voice while I am still alive, dearest daughters.’”

According to Wikepedia "the term [Saracens] spread into Western Europe through the Byzantines and Crusaders. In the early centuries of the Roman Empire, the Saracens were a nomadic Moor tribe from the Sinai Peninsula...
After the rise of Islam, and especially at the time of the Crusades, its usage was extended to refer to all Muslims, including non-Arab Muslims, particularly those in Sicily and southern Italy. In Christian writing, [saracens came] to mean "those empty of Sarah" or "not from Sarah," as Arabs were, in Biblical genealogies, descended from Hagar and also called the Hagarenes."

St Clare, pray for conversion of the world to Christ and His Church--and for Christians to realize the immense gift Jesus gave us in the Eucharist. It is precisely because the world has lost its faith in Jesus and the Eucharist that we now face the suicidal depopulation of the West and the ensuing invasion of Islam. Only through the eating of the flesh of the Son of God will we carry Jesus life within us and bravely command every evil to flee our midst.

From Real Clear Religion: 10/04/08 08:24

Friday, April 4, 2008

St. Francis of Assisi: Not a Birkenstock-Clad Hippie But a Converter of Muslims

An Interview with Frank Rega, author of St. Francis and the Conversion of the Muslims

By Michael Baggot, Thursday April 3, 2008

The relationship between Muslims and Christians received added attention this past Easter when Pope Benedict XVI publicly baptized Magdi Allam, the most prominent Muslim journalist in Italy. Allam knew that publicly renouncing his Islamic faith would bring attempts on his life from angered Muslims, but expressed conviction that his newfound faith would sustain him through any difficulties.

"You asked me whether I fear for my life, in the awareness that conversion to Christianity will certainly procure for me yet another and much more grave death sentence for apostasy. You are perfectly right. I know what I am headed for but I face my destiny with my head held high, standing upright and with the interior solidity of one who has the certainty of his faith." Allam stated.
"And I will be more so after the courageous and historical gesture of the Pope, who, as soon as he knew of my desire, immediately agreed to personally impart the Christian sacraments of initiation to me. His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too prudent in the conversion of Muslims."

Pope Benedict XVI's action in St. Peter's on Easter Vigil shows that the Catholic Church's increased emphasis over the last decades on dialogue and mutual understanding between Christians and Muslims does not exclude efforts to bring Muslims to faith in Jesus Christ.

In December, Catholic author Frank M. Rega released Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims; With Concise Biography of the Saint, a book that has received much praise for its biographical portrait of the renowned saint and its highly pertinent focus on St. Francis's relationship with Muslims of the time.

"If you're tired of portraits of St. Francis as little more than a Birkenstock-clad hippie, a Peace Corps social worker, or an effeminate tofu-eating Green Party activist, read this book," wrote Dr. Philip Blosser on his blog.

During the Fifth Crusade to Egypt, St. Francis of Assisi walked into a Muslim camp in order to preach Christianity and convert the sultan. Rega's new book recounts St. Francis's bold encounter with the sultan and other important events from the life of the man from Assisi some claim more closely imitated Jesus Christ than any other saint in history.

In line with its reporting on major cultural issues, LifeSiteNews interviewed Frank M. Rega about his new book and his perspective about the lessons St. Francis has for the world and Catholic-Muslim relations.

LifeSiteNews: Could you summarize the history of the Fifth Crusade?

Frank Rega: Michael, thank you and LifeSiteNews for inviting me to talk about my book on St. Francis of Assisi and the Conversion of the Muslims. Your first question is very appropriate since it is important to set the stage for this historic encounter.

The Fifth Crusade was first called for by Pope Innocent III in 1215 at the Lateran Council. Innocent personally knew Francis and had approved his Rule in 1209 when Francis and his first followers went to Rome to seek Papal acceptance for his new Order. The crusade got underway in 1217 under Pope Honorius III. It lasted for four years, and was lost by the crusaders.

The goal was to first take Egypt before attempting to reach the Holy Land. In 1219 Francis was present in Egypt at the city of Damietta on the Nile, with some of his friars. That port city was eventually captured by the crusaders and held for over a year. But it was returned to the Muslims in 1221 after a crusader march on Cairo failed miserably, and the Christians gave up the crusade.

It was during a period of truce during the battle over Damietta in September 1219 that Francis preached to the Muslims, crossing over to the Muslim camp with Brother Illuminato, who was probably the interpreter.

LifeSiteNews: Why did St. Francis of Assisi support the Fifth Crusade?

Frank Rega: Francis understood that the Fifth Crusade was part of an ongoing just war in response to Muslim invasions of Christian lands, which included many attacks against Italian city-states all along the peninsula over the course of centuries. For example, in the year 846, Rome itself was sacked by 11,000 Muslims, who desecrated the tombs of Sts. Peter and Paul.

Further, the crusade was called for by the Holy Father, and it is well-known that Francis had perfect loyalty to the Catholic Church, and showed devout respect for priests and all the hierarchy. Finally, and perhaps most importantly, he felt the crusade was justified on spiritual grounds. As mentioned in the book, Francis told the Sultan "It is just that Christians invade the land you inhabit, for you blaspheme the name of Christ and alienate everyone you can from His worship."

LifeSiteNews: What did St. Francis say and do when he entered the Muslim camp?

St. Farancis and the SultanFrank Rega: It is important here to recognize the bravery of Francis. He preached to armed Muslims who a few days before had won a major skirmish at Damietta, killing about five thousand Christians. The Sultan, al-Malik al-Kamil was also the general of the Muslim army, and ruler of Egypt, Syria and Palestine. Francis first obtained permission from the Papal Legate to cross over the lines during a period of temporary truce. When he reached Muslim territory he and Brother Illuminato were taken prisoner, beaten and put in chains by the sentries.

Here we have an image of St. Francis that is utterly opposed to the statues of a docile friar surrounded by birds and other animals - St. Francis beaten and in chains! He was fully prepared for martyrdom. Upon meeting the saint, al-Malik asked him if he was a messenger from the crusaders. Francis replied that he was indeed a messenger, but a messenger from God. He then proceeded to give witness to his love for Jesus, and said that he wished to save the souls of the Sultan and his men.

LifeSiteNews: How did the sultan and his followers react to St. Francis's words and deeds?

Frank Rega: Initially the Sultan was taken aback by Francis' boldness. After all, the Muslims had just defeated the Christians in a pitched battle, and now one of them dares to state that the Muslims must convert to Christianity. However, the love flowing from Francis began to move the Sultan, and according to one contemporary writer, "that cruel beast became sweetness himself." However, the advisers to al-Malik, the imams, were not so impressed, and demanded that Francis and Illuminato should be beheaded in accordance with Islamic law.

Francis and his companion remained in the Muslim camp for many days, and parted on excellent terms with the Sultan. There is a story in the early Franciscan literature, described in my book, that al-Malik converted to the True Faith on his deathbed.

LifeSiteNews: Is a crusade against Islam needed today? If so, how should it be conducted?

Frank Rega: A traditional crusade by definition cannot be conducted today because it was a movement within Christendom to defend and counter-attack Muslim invasions of Christian lands. It was sponsored by the Church and relied on the support of Christian rulers and Kings. Without the backing of a strong Christendom, which no longer exists, a crusade as such would be impossible.

Furthermore, today an armed religious war would not be fruitful since the real battle is a "cold war" so to speak. It is a war of persuasion, conversion, and diplomatic dialog, since the Muslims have already launched their peaceful "invasion" of what was once Christian Europe. Of course I am only addressing the religious aspects here, and not the war on terrorism, which is in the secular domain.

LifeSiteNews: Do you think that Christian-Muslim dialogues have helped relations between the two groups or have they simply obscured the Christian mandate to go into the world and preach the Gospel to every creature?

Frank Rega: There is no doubt that ecumenism since Vatican II has diluted and weakened the efforts at evangelization. On the other hand, diplomatic dialog is quite necessary; for example, in negotiating to have the Saudi's allow Catholic worship and churches in their nation. But the pendulum is swinging towards the more traditional view of converting unbelievers rather than only dialoging for the sake of mutual understanding. One indication of the paradigm shift is the very public reception of Magdi Christiano Allam into the Church by the Holy Father himself.

Also, the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith issued a document last December reminding Catholics that ecumenical efforts should not cause us to neglect the gospel mandate to seek the conversion of others to Christ. This must be accomplished without coercion, but rather by a dialog of conversion. This is what Francis did in his conversations with the Sultan.

The problem arises with a certain philosophy of ecumenism that seeks some type of indefinite mutual coexistence of differing religions, or worse yet, that would strive for a for "pan-religion" by the merging of religious traditions. This approach is a denial that the Catholic Religion is the one true faith founded by Jesus Christ.

LifeSiteNews: What can St. Francis teach Christians of today about relating to Muslims?

St Francis and SultanFrank Rega: First, I think it is important to realize that St. Francis did not openly attack the Muslim religion or Mohammed. He was not armed with a copy of the Koran in one hand and the Catholic Catechism in the other. In fact there is no indication that he ever instructed his friars who undertook such a mission to study the Koran or the tenets of Islam. His goal was to carry to the unbelievers the very presence of Christ, and the essence of God's love, mercy, forgiveness and salvation.

This brings up a second point, the necessity to be strong in the basics of our Faith. One cannot relate as a Catholic to another religion while being hesitant, for example, about the truth of Christ's Resurrection from the dead on Easter.

Finally, Francis shows us that we must keep it simple. Simplicity was one of the hallmarks of his personality and of his approach to Christianity. Spiritual strength flows from the simple understanding and belief that Jesus is God, that he founded a Church to transmit the grace of salvation in His Name, and that Church is the Roman Catholic Church.

See previous coverage:

Message of the Pope's Baptism of Prominent Muslim: Be Not Afraid to Acknowledge Christianity as The Truth:

The Implications of Fundamental Islamic Expansion in North America

Jesus and Muhammad's Words, Actions, Teachings Contrasted

Abandonment of Judeo/Christian Heritage Has Left West Vulnerable to Fundamental Islam

Multiculturism a Factor Turning Moderate Muslims Radical?

Visit the site for Rega's latest book:

Visit Rega's site:

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Be Not Afraid to Acknowledge Christianity as The Truth

Tuesday March 25, 2008
Message of the Pope's Baptism of Prominent Muslim: Be Not Afraid to Acknowledge Christianity as The Truth
Wouldn't it be obvious that true Christians would want all people to know the truth? Not the relativist Christians.

Editorial by John-Henry Westen

Magdi Christiano AllamMarch 25, 2008 ( - On Saturday night at the Easter Vigil in St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican, Pope Benedict XVI baptized Magdi Allam, one of Italy's most prominent Muslims who upon his conversion took the name Cristiano - which means Christian. Allam, the Deputy Director of one of Italy's largest newspapers - Corriere della Sera - wrote of his baptism the following day, saying, "Yesterday evening I converted to the Christian Catholic religion, renouncing my previous Islamic faith . . . For me it is the most beautiful day of [my] life."

As a prominent Muslim critic of Islamic extremism and terrorism, Allam had already received many death threats and had official Islamic death warrants - fatwas - signed against him. He was thus forced to live under constant security. He underwent his very public reception into the Catholic Church with the full knowledge that it would lead to much more dire death threats. "I know what I am headed for but I face my destiny with my head held high, standing upright and with the interior solidity of one who has the certainty of his faith," he wrote.

The most important part of Allam's Easter Sunday message, however, was the portion where he pointed out that the Pope made a "historical gesture" in personally baptizing him in a public event that would be televised worldwide. "His Holiness has sent an explicit and revolutionary message to a Church that until now has been too prudent in the conversion of Muslims, abstaining from proselytizing in majority Muslim countries and keeping quiet about the reality of converts in Christian countries," he said.

Allam surmised that the Church was acting thus, "out of fear. The fear of not being able to protect converts in the face of their being condemned to death for apostasy and fear of reprisals against Christians living in Islamic countries."

While true in many cases, that fear is used as an impetus for a relativistic attitude which has been creeping into Christianity for decades. The approach sees Christianity not as the one and only truth, but one truth among many. The phenomenon also expresses itself in dealing with the various denominations within Christianity. Thus invitations to convert to Christianity - or from one denomination to another - are quietly tolerated at best, and at times openly criticized, even by those who call themselves Christian.

For instance, take the recent debacle in the Church of England over homosexuality. The result has been a fracturing of the Church of England between those who wish to remain true to the Scriptures and those who have embraced sexual immorality. A group of the faithful were looking to enter the Catholic Church en masse. The Traditional Anglican Communion (TAC), which may represent as many as 400,000 Anglicans, was speaking with Vatican officials about such a move.

One would think the reaction of those within the Catholic Church would be a heartfelt reception with open arms to brothers who are struggling to hold to the truth about human sexuality amidst turmoil within their denomination. Insiders reported that Pope Benedict would be pleased to receive the group; however, the reaction of one high ranking Church official spoke volumes about the relativistic attitude of many Christians.

Cardinal Walter Kasper, president of the Pontifical Council for Christian Unity, commented on the proposed entrance of the TAC into full communion with the Catholic Church, suggesting that the Church was resistant to the move. "We are on good terms with the Archbishop of Canterbury and as much as we can we are helping him to keep the Anglican community together," Cardinal Kasper told The Catholic Herald in a story published December 6, 2007.

When asked whether he felt encouraged by the TAC's request, the cardinal replied: "It's not our policy to bring that many Anglicans to Rome." He added, "Of course, as a Catholic I am happy if one person joins our Catholic Church but I doubt such a big group is coming - I think there are still many questions to solve first."

The question of conversion of the Jews to Christianity raises the same point. A worldwide controversy was stirred up after Pope Benedict gave general permission for the Tridentine form of the Latin Mass to be celebrated. Nominally Jewish groups - such as the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), and the American Jewish Committee (AJC) - complained bitterly that praying for the conversion of the Jews was unacceptable.

The Good Friday prayers in the 'extraordinary form' - as the Latin liturgy is now called - contains prayers for the conversion of the Jews to Christianity. A slightly revised version issued by Pope Benedict reads: "Let us also pray for the Jews: that God our Lord might enlighten their hearts, so that they might acknowledge Jesus Christ as the Savior of all mankind. Let us pray. Let us bend our knees. Almighty and eternal God, whose desire it is that all men might be saved and come to the knowledge of truth, grant in your mercy that as the fullness of mankind enters into your Church, all Israel may be saved, through Christ our Lord. Amen."

A similar uproar to the Good Friday prayers occurred in the secular media when conservative pundit Ann Coulter spoke on air with CNBC's Donny Deutsch about her desire for all people, Jews included, to become Christian. Deutsch became hysterical when Coulter tried to explain that Christianity considers itself the continuation of Judaism, and thus Christians wish followers of Judaism to complete the journey - "we want Jews to be perfected" she phrased it.

Deutsch called Coulter's comment uneducated, "hateful and anti-Semitic" and went so far as to compare her to Iran in wishing to "wipe Israel off the earth." Again the ADL complained bitterly, calling Coulter anti-Semitic.

But why the hue and cry about Christians hoping the Jews will convert? Wouldn't it be obvious that Christians, true Christians, who believe in and follow Christ as 'the way, the truth, and the life' would want all people to know the truth?

It would be obvious to true believers of any religion, but not to relativists.

Orthodox Jewish Rabbi Yehuda Levin, the spokesman on moral issues for some 1000 Rabbis, explained this to me once in an interview on the Coulter kerfuffle. Rabbi Levin noted that Coulter's remarks could not be construed as anti-Semitic and that Jews who practice their faith were not scandalized by the remarks. "The Orthodox are very comfortable in their beliefs of their religion and their practices," he said. "The Jews who would be more offended by this are those that are not involved in day to day practice of Judaism."

Michael Medved, the well known practicing Jew and movie reviewer, commented on Coulter's remarks saying, "(A)ny American Jew who doesn't already understand that sincere Christians want the whole world ultimately to come to Christ - including us - is an ignorant fool. Yes, Christianity believes in converting people: and most of us received that memo about 2000 years ago. The proper response to the declaration that Christians want all of humanity to become Christian shouldn't be outrage or indignation; it ought to be, 'Duh!' If your friends or neighbors seek to share with you the greatest gift they've ever received, it's not usually a sign that they hate you; in fact, it's very likely an indication that they love you."

Levin pointed out moreover that true followers of Judaism, like true Christians and sincere believers in several other religions, feel they have the fullness of truth, and thus in charity hope for a day when all people will embrace the fullness of truth. He explained that especially on Jewish holidays special prayers are said, even several times a day, especially for non-Jews, that they will come to accept the truth.

All this is not to dismiss the very valid concerns over the safety and well-being of converts to Christianity from Islam. The newly baptized Cristiano Allam points out that even in Italy there are "thousands of Muslim converts to Christianity who are forced to hide their faith out of fear of being assassinated by Islamic extremists who lurk among us." He hopes that the Pope's action and his testimony will allow Christian converts from Islam to live their faith openly. "If in Italy, in our home, the cradle of Catholicism, we are not prepared to guarantee complete religious freedom to everyone, how can we ever be credible when we denounce the violation of this freedom elsewhere in the world?" he asks.

Allam suggests, "Benedict XVI, with his witness, tells us that we must overcome fear and not be afraid to affirm the truth of Jesus even with Muslims."

We must also reject the fear of public criticism and belittlement that comes from many quarters when we give public affirmation to faith in Christ. Giving in to such fear leads to a false ecumenism, which is nothing more than relativistic denial of absolute truth.

In his own Easter message delivered Sunday, Pope Benedict called on not only Christians, but all "men and women whose spirit is sincerely open to the truth," to realize that "Jesus Christ died and rose for all; he is our hope - true hope for every human being."

Welcome home Cristiano, and also to the battlefield.

Copyright © This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivatives License. You may republish this article without request provided the content is not altered and it is clearly attributed to "". Any Internet re-publishing of original LifeSiteNews articles MUST additionally include a live link to Republishing of articles on LifeSiteNews that have come from other news sources as noted is subject to the conditions of those sources.

Further reading: Homepage Magdi Allam

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Great Britain: Muslims 'to outnumber traditional churchgoers'

By Jonathan Petre, Religion Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:15am GMT 26/03/2008

Muslims in MosqueThe increasing influence of Islam on British culture is disclosed in research today that shows the number of Muslims worshipping at mosques in England and Wales will outstrip the numbers of Roman Catholics going to church in little more than a decade.

Muslims kneel for prayer in a London mosque: Muslims 'will soon outnumber traditional churchgoers'
Projections show Muslims are to outstrip Catholic Sunday worshippers by 2020

Projections to be published next month estimate that, if trends continue, the number of Catholic worshippers at Sunday Mass will fall to 679,000 by 2020.

By that time, statisticians predict, the number of Muslims praying in mosques on Fridays will have increased to 683,000.

The Christian Research figures also suggest that, over the same period, the number of Muslims at mosques will overtake Church of England members at Sunday services.

Church spokesmen point out, however, that a growing number of Anglicans worship at other times of the week.

The projections show that, if the Churches do not reverse their historical decline, there will be more active Muslims than Christians in Sunday services across Britain before the middle of the century.

The figures, based on Government and academic sources and the latest edition of Christian Research's Religious Trends, come amid growing tensions over the place of Muslims in British society.

They follow fierce rows over the extent to which Islamic law should be recognised and over claims that "no-go" areas for non-Muslims are emerging in parts of the country.

Dr Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, provoked criticism by saying the introduction of some aspects of sharia into British society was "unavoidable".

The Bishop of Rochester, the Rt Rev Michael Nazir-Ali, faced death threats after writing in The Sunday Telegraph that Islamic extremism was turning some communities into "no-go" areas "where adherence to this ideology has become a mark of acceptability".

Peter Brierley, a former Government statistician who edited the latest Religious Trends, said that the continuing growth of the Muslim population since the 2001 census would have significant implications for society.

St Francis and the Conversion of the Muslims

St Francis with Sultan Al Kamil


I recently finished an amazing book called St. Francis and the Muslims by Frank M. Rega from TAN. This book makes clear that St Francis made it his priority to convert the Muslims. Unfortunately St Francis' image has been distorted by liberal revisionist writers over the years who have created a false notion of him as a passive "PETA" pantheists who just happened to be Catholic. This book will tweak this modern notion of St Francis by revealing the truth of who he really was--an inspiring, courageous, Catholic who loved the truth and sought to boldly bring Jesus to everyone-- even those who were blinded by heresy.

Rega has thoroughly researched Francis and stands on firm ground in his telling of the story of Francis and his attempt to convert the Sultan. The famous meeting begins when Francis accompanies the crusaders to Damietta, Egypt with the goal of having a private audience with Sultan al-Malik al-Kamil who was the Islamic ruler of Egypt.

Prior to the battle of Damietta, Francis received a prophetic vision that the crusaders would lose the battle. He hesitatingly revealed his vision which was dismissed. The battle went forward, and the crusaders lost.

The crusaders losses were many. As one chronicler wrote--John the Baptist gained many companions that day due to the great many beheadings. "This horror befell about fifty horsemen, of the Knights Templar, thirty of the Germans, and over twenty Hospitallers."

Remarkably it was the loss at Damietta that gave St Francis the opportunity to finally meet the Sultan face to face in an attempt to convert him to the Christian faith.

St Francis sought permission to enter the camp of the Sultan from the Papal Legate who was hesitant to grant permission since al Kamil had reportedly stated that "anyone who brought him the head of a Christian should be awarded with Byzantine gold pieces". Eventually when confronted with the insistence and persistence of St Francis, the Papal legate allowed Francis and one companion, Brother Illuminato, to go into the Muslim camp.

Early documents all agree that upon entering the camp Francis and Illuminato were treated very roughly. One account states that they were insulted and beaten yet showed no fear even when threatened with torture and death. They kept repeating to their captors the word for "SULTAN" and were eventually dragged before him.

St Francis and Illuminato informed the Sultan that they were messengers sent from God. An early writing purports to contain the essence of their first words to the Sultan: "If you do not wish to believe we will commend your soul to God because we declare that if you die while holding to your law you will be lost; God will not accept your soul. For this reason we have come to you. They added that they would demonstrate the truth of Christianity to al-Kamil and his imams.

Surprisingly the Sultan was captivated by the sincerity of the men's concern for his eternal salvation. Al-kamil willingly listened to St Francis and permitted them great liberty in their preaching.

The Sultan told his imams that beheading Francis and Illuminato would be an unjust recompense for their efforts, since they had arrived with the praiseworthy intention of seeking his personal salvation. He said to Francis: "I am going to go counter to what my religious advisors demand and will not cut off your have risked your own lives in order to save my soul."

The Franciscans were the guests of the Sultan for many days. During that time the Sultan made certain that the men's wounds were taken care of.

Rega points out that although it might seem unusual that the Sultan would seemingly be so attracted to Christianity we must remember that Francis was one of the most charismatic and remarkable saints that the Church has ever seen.

There is a question as to whether the Sultan had a deathbed conversion to the faith as a result of his encounter with Francis. One historian writes wrote that: al-Kamil before dismissing the friar, privately asked him to pray that God would reveal to me the law and the faith that is more pleasing to Him. Illuminato remarked that the Sultan, after hearing Francis fervently preach the Gospel, always had the Christian faith imprinted on his heart."

According to the Little Flower of St Francis which is a widely read historical account of the first friars lives, Francis prophesied that the Sultan would have a deathbed conversion. After Francis' death he appeared to two friars and instructed them to find the Sultan and teach him the faith. It is also reported in the Little Flower that the Sultan instructed his sentinels to watch for two friars in the ports. When the friars were found the Sultan received them with great joy. "The friars after instructing al-Kamil in the faith, administered the Sacrament of Baptism to the dying Sultan and 'his soul was saved through the merits of St Francis'".

This book is a must read in our day when the zeal of Islam has been rekindled and so many are ready to violently confront the West once again. St Francis did not seek "dialogue" with the Sultan in order to minimize or diminish the differences that existed between the Catholic and the Muslim faith. Instead he boldly proclaimed the truths of Christianity. There is a naiveté on the part of so many liberals today who feel that we can simply dialogue until we find similarities between Catholicism and Islam.

If we equate our religion with theirs, it only leads to confusion and contempt. As demonstrated by St Francis's approach, Muslims are far more respectful and willing to listen to a person who acknowledges the great division that separates the two religions than to a person who says that all the religions are the same; that we all believe the same things; we all have the same faith.

Although Francis was not on a formal mission of peace, converting the muslims was his attempt to bring about peace. According to one scholar, Christopher Maier, "Francis like the crusaders wanted to liberate the holy places of Palestine from Muslim rule. What was different was his strategy...He wanted their total submission to the Christian faith."

If only there were even a few zealous Catholic missionaries who were willing to risk martyrdom by preaching Christ to the Muslims as boldly as Francis did--the face of the world could change. This book reads like a manual for our tumultuous times.

"He who will have lost his life for My sake shall save it for eternal life." (Luke 9:24; Matthew 25:46). "Do not fear those who kill the body" (Matthew 10:28), "and after that have no more that they can do." (Luke 12:4).

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Santiago and El Cid in the Reconquista

Forging a Unique Spanish Christian Identity:
Santiago and El Cid in the Reconquista

by Laura Elizabeth Gibbs

St. James the Moorslayer, one of the most valiant saints and knights the world ever had … has been given by God to Spain for its patron and protection.
— Cervantes, Don Quixote (1)

This is the will of God and of all His saints. … You see the sword bloody and the horse sweating: Thus it is that one [El Cid] conquers the Moors in the field.
— Poema de mío Cid (2)
In 711, Muslim armies from North Africa crossed the Straits of Gibraltar and entered the southern region of Spain. During the next seven years, the Muslims conquered the weak kingdom of the Visigoths and firmly established themselves on the Iberian peninsula. They called their territory al-Andalus or "Vandal land". Christian resistance to Muslim advances began almost immediately. However, the notion of a Christian holy war designed to exterminate or at least to expel the Muslims, and not simply to reconquer Spanish Christian territories, did not set in until the eleventh century during the reign of Alfonso VI (1085-1109). In this era of crusading reconquest, a need arose for the living presence of religious-national figures, capable of rallying around themselves the Spanish Christian forces. (3) Two figures emerged as emblems of Christian strength and supremacy: El Cid and Santiago. They fulfilled the needs of the Iberian Christians for heroes to emulate, and united them in their struggle for political and religious independence from Muslim rule. As Christian paragons, Santiago and El Cid became increasingly identified with one another. Christians attributed identical symbols to them, and their images merged to the point of indistinguishability in the artistic depictions of these historical individuals in the eleventh through thirteenth centuries. The unification of the spiritual and the secular, symbolized by the convergence of these figures’ images, marked the birth of the formation of a united Spanish Christian kingdom, and the creation of a unique national-religious identity in Spain.

Under the leadership of Alfonso VI a decisive program of crusading reconquest began. The monarch’s objective entailed uniting all of Spain under one crown and one religion. Tolerance and coexistence with the Muslims were no longer options if Alfonso sought to create a truly unified Spanish Christian kingdom. Thus, Santiago and El Cid grew to immense national and religious proportions because both fulfilled an historical need. Santiago represented the spiritual component of Alfonso’s agenda. The Leonese monarch called upon Spaniards to fight against the Muslims and establish the supremacy of the Catholic church. To ensure the success of the reconquest, Spaniards believed God sent his vassal Santiago to lead them in battle and help them realize their goal. El Cid represented the secular element of the Christian reconquista. As Alfonso’s vassal, El Cid united the Spaniards in their struggle to oust the infidels and reclaim the peninsula for the Spanish Christian monarch Alfonso and his peoples. The Christian reconquest created faith in Santiago and El Cid as leaders who inspired resistance to the Muslims, and promised ultimate victory over Islam. Despite the similarities these figures acquired in their roles as Spanish crusaders, their origins could not be more diverse.

Santiago or St. James was the son of Zebedee, a fisherman in Galilee, and Salome, the sister of the Virgin Mary. He and his brother John the Evangelist were devout disciples of Christ, and such zealous preachers of the good news that Christ named them Boanerges, "the brothers of thunder." In 44 A.D. Santiago became the first of the Twelve Apostles to suffer martyrdom when Herod Agrippa I arrested and beheaded him in Jerusalem. Tradition places Santiago in Spain proselytizing prior to his execution. Why then would his body be buried in Spain if he died in Jerusalem? According to legend, Santiago’s disciples Athanasius and Theodore took his body back to Spain when a ship miraculously appeared, guided by an angel, to transport them. They buried the saint in the area known today as Compostela, "field of stars," where Santiago lay forgotten for nearly eight centuries.

The rediscovery of the saint’s long-forgotten tomb in the ninth century occurred, tellingly enough, in a time of need "when Christian political fortunes in Spain were at there lowest ebb." (4) Christians suffered defeat time and again at the hands of the Muslims, until God unearthed the saint’s remains, and inspired them with the confidence that God was on their side, fighting in the battlefield with them through the figure of Santiago. "God gave us aid and we won the battle." (5) Christians endorsed the veracity of this claim by referring to the battle of Clavijo in 844. The night before the battle, Santiago appeared in a dream to the leader of the Spanish forces, King Ramirez of Castile, and promised him a victory over the Muslims in the fields of Clavijo. (6) The following day, as Christians fought the Muslims, the warrior-saint appeared on the battlefield in full armor riding on a white charger, with a sword in one hand and a banner in the other. Together with Santiago Matamoros, the Moorslayer, the Christians slaughtered the Muslim invaders and won a decisive victory. Undoubtedly, Santiago appeared in the battlefield at Clavijo for he left behind impressions of scallop shells (his symbol as the pilgrim saint) on the rocks in the field and even on the stones of neighboring houses. After this battle, Santiago’s name became the Christians’ battle cry, and his appearance in warfare the symbol of Christian victory.

According to legend, the saint aided the Spaniards at least forty times in earthly warfare, including the battle of Clavijo. This was a "brave assertion of faith in St. James, in the miracle at Clavijo, and in the patron saint’s heavenly care for Spain." (7) The Spaniards "needed Santiago as the supernatural ally who would sustain their courage and bring certain success to their arms." (8) This strong faith identified Santiago with the religious element of the reconquest and the revival of Spanish fortunes. It follows then, that at the end of the eleventh century when a decisively religious element entered the equation of the reconquista, an aggressive program of dignifying the apostolate of James and of exalting Compostela as the "second Rome" took place. (9) The image of Compostela as a "second Rome" points to the site’s religious significance, and established its importance as a preeminent place of pilgrimage. (10)

The successful ouster of the Muslims in 1492 was followed by skepticism regarding Santiago’s role in Spain’s holy war. Skeptics accepted Santiago as the patron saint of Spain, and even the possibility that he inspired Christians in warfare. But they flatly rejected the validity of the battle of Clavijo and the absurd notion of Santiago taking personal part in the conflict by slaughtering Muslims. In the eighteenth century, Pope Benedict XIV rebuffed the unbelievers, and stated that Santiago’s Spanish mission was an historical fact and that there was no further doubt or debate on this subject in Rome. Speaking for all of Christendom, Pope Benedict declared Santiago’s participation and leadership as an essential and factual element of Spain’s Christian warfare against the Muslims — case closed. (11) The Pope’s declaration reaffirmed the tie between Spanish nationalism and Christianity established by Alfonso in the late eleventh century.

Santiago’s and El Cid’s fearless and victorious participation in the crusading reconquest acquired grandiose and mythical dimensions. Both became national-religious heroes during the reconquista, but El Cid was neither a disciple of Christ nor a saint. Nevertheless, in the minds of his followers he was the perfect secular counterpart to the ecclesiastical figure of Santiago. He was born in 1043 to a family of noble origins in the town of Vivar, and named Rodrigo Díaz. He acquired the Arabic honorific title sid meaning "lord," as well as the epithet Campeador, meaning "champion." While it is difficult to disentangle history from myth, there is little evidence to suggest that either of these were used by contemporaries as official titles when addressing El Cid. (12) It is probable that after his death in Valencia in 1099 the heroic exploits of El Cid were preserved, and magnified, in Spanish oral tradition. By the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries, Rodrigo was no longer simply a gifted knight--he was the ever-victorious warrior lord, the Campeador El Cid.

The first documented use of the title "sid" appears in the epic Poema de mío Cid or Cantar de mío Cid. In this poem, composed in the Spanish vernacular in the early thirteenth century, "the hero is presented as a paragon, one whose lack of any self-destructive defect -- like the wrath of Achilles or the pride of Roland -- makes him the most perfect of all epic protagonists and the most successful." (13) El Cid represented the ideal Christian warrior, invincible in battle and flawless in character. The extraordinary image of El Cid developed in this epic prevailed over the less fantastic, but more realistic, image of the religiously indifferent, intelligent, successful medieval military strategist and warrior. Nevertheless, the legendary aspects of his character prevailed, serving as standards which Christians could follow on their path toward victory. This poem creates a window to the past into medieval Spain of the eleventh and twelfth centuries. It describes the hero in all his grandeur, and provides the context in which El Cid assumes his importance as the Campeador -- the unconquerable Christian warrior. In the legendary words of El Cid, "Thanks be to God Who is lord of the world/ I win battles, as pleases the Creator;/ Moors … go in fear of me." (14)

In 1072, El Cid became the vassal of Alfonso VI. To further secure his loyalty, in 1074 Alfonso arranged for El Cid to marry his niece Jimena Díaz. These were calculated efforts by Spain’s monarch to secure El Cid’s support for the national-religious warfare against the Muslims. Alfonso made careful attempts to thwart "any significant opportunity [on the part of El Cid] to exercise his military talents" without the king’s knowledge. (15) The king appears to have had a specific political-religious agenda, in which El Cid played an integral role.

During his reign, Alfonso "continued and extended the policy of alliance with the great French Benedictine monastery of Cluny, then achieving European prominence under Abbot Hugh the Great (1049-1109)." (16) By cooperating with the church and instituting Cluniac reform, Alfonso played a preeminent role in the Christianization of the reconquest. (17) His effort to create a unified Christian kingdom of Spain in the eleventh century sparked the need for religious and national figures under whom Christians could unite to defeat the infidel, satiated by the personages of El Cid and Santiago. People in Spain "were coming to believe that relations between Christians and Muslims were necessarily and justly hostile, that Christian warfare against Islam bestowed positive spiritual merit on the participant, and that the Muslims should be driven out of Spain." (18)

In accordance with his monarch’s wishes, El Cid participated in the unification of the religious and political spheres during the latter part of the eleventh century. One of the most important roles he played as a Christian war hero and patriot of the reconquest was the victory of his siege in Valencia and the Muslims defeat (1093-1094). (19) This triumph of Christianity was celebrated over a century later in the epic: "Great is the rejoicing in that place/ when My Cid took Valencia . . ./ My Cid rejoiced, and all who were with him,/ when his flag flew from the top of the Moorish palace." (20) In his role as a loyal Christian ruler El Cid converted Valencia’s Great Mosque into a Christian church, St. Mary’s Cathedral, in 1098. Furthermore, he proclaimed the Cluniac cleric Jerome of Périgord the bishop of Valencia. These acts indicated his solidarity with Alfonso and Cluniac reform, and his participation in the crusading mentality of the century.

An important manifestation of the crusading mentality during this time was the creation of an iconography of Santiago along national lines, using imagery rooted in the historical reality of the reconquest. As in the legend surrounding the battle of Clavijo, this iconography associated Santiago with the warfare against Islam; in it

Santiago is represented on a galloping [white] horse . . . sword in the right hand and the banner of victory in the left. Behind him the defeated infidels, crushed to the ground, helplessly moan; in front of him the powerless enemy surrenders . . . . Appropriately enough for the historical reality and the temper of the times, such an iconography of Santiago has received the designation of Matamoros . . . the slayer of the Moors. (21)

Through this iconography Santiago practically becomes El Cid: a folkloric figure riding upon a horse, leading the Christians to victory. The similarities in the depictions of these national religious heroes revolve around the use of four primary symbols: the sword, the banner of victory, the white horse, and the Muslims who lay dead at the feet of the victorious crusader. The banner of victory, like the horse, is usually white. This color symbolizes the spiritual purity of the Christians who will spill the red blood of the Muslim infidels. The most important of these symbols is the instrument of death, the sword, generally attributed to gods, heroes of unconquerable might, and Christian martyrs. It signifies military might, power, authority, and justice. (22) The Poema de mío Cid heavily emphasized the power of the sword, victoriously wielded by El Cid over the Muslims. For example, the epic describes the Almoravid leader Yusuf’s defeat at the hands of El Cid thus:

As pleased the Creator, they [the Christians] overcame them [the Muslims].
My Cid used his lance and then drew his sword;
he killed so many Moors that the count was lost;
above his elbow the blood ran.

My Cid was joyful, and all his vassals,
because God of His grace had given them triumph.

Thus he rode on Babieca, his sword in his hand. (23)

Using three of the four symbols, this excerpt indicates the Spaniards’ confidence that God empowered their national-religious heroes who ultimately led the Christians to victory. Once drawn, the sword of Santiago or El Cid, through the grace of God, became the tool by which Spain successfully expelled the Muslims, and completed its spiritual and secular union.

The development of a religiously and culturally homogenous Spanish kingdom, and the association of the images of Santiago and El Cid as paradigm Christian combatants continued throughout the remaining four centuries of religious reconquest. For Santiago, the process of intertwining his role as belligerent saint with crusading warfare culminated in 1170. In this year, the most famous Spanish military order, the Order of the Knights of Santiago, emerged, modeled upon the international order of the Knights of the Temple. (24) The Knights of Santiago was only one of several military-religious orders established to protect pilgrims on their journey to Compostela (the saint’s burial place), and most importantly, to fight against the Muslims. Like Santiago Matamoros, the knights "combined priestly devotion with soldierly blood-thirstiness. Their motto was Rubet ensis sanguine Arabum — ‘My sword is red with the blood of the Arabs’ — and their symbol was a sword-like cross with the scallop shell on the crosspiece." (25)

El Cid’s image as Christian and soldier evolved in a less militaristic and institutionalized manner. After his death in 1099, a "Cid-cult" grew up around his burial site in the monastery of San Pedro de Cardeña. In fact, many of the myths invented about El Cid and incorporated into history originated in Cardeña. The growth of the legend of El Cid occurred during a time when Christians were winning victories over Muslim forces in the East. The impact of the fall of Jerusalem in 1187 may have been felt in Spain, leading, for example, to a renewed interest in the paragon of Christian crusaders. By 1200, El Cid "had grown to uncommon heroic stature" outstripping even Spanish royalty as the subject of legendary interest. (26) This interest manifested itself in the composition of the epic Poema de mío Cid. In this poem, El Cid assumes Santiago’s role of Moorslayer and instills a combination of fear and admiration in both Christians and Muslims alike. His mission aimed at the complete reconquest of Muslim-Spain for Christianity; he would be satisfied with nothing less. As the Muslim Abengalbón laments in the epic, "In peace or in war he will have what is ours;/ who does not know the truth I hold stupid." (27)

The histories of Santiago and El Cid contain an inextricable mixture of historical fact and mythical legend. The legendary component fueled Spaniards’ faith in their ultimate victory over the Muslims. It gave them confidence when faced with an uncertain future. Thus, the mythical forces gave credence and urgency to the reality of divine intervention in Spain’s crusading reconquest. This intervention manifested itself in the forms of Santiago and El Cid — figures whose images over time intimately intertwined and became one. The resulting image was of a knight of uncommon heroic stature riding upon a white horse over a battlefield of slain Muslims, with a bloodied sword in one hand and the banner of victory waving in the other.

Spaniards believed God had brought Santiago from heaven to the battlefield and made El Cid invincible in war. Inspired by their heroes and inflamed by their passion for a united Spain under Christendom, Spanish Christians continued undeterred in their struggle against the infidel. Their struggles did not go unrewarded. When Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade in 1095, Spain had already experienced two significant victories against their Muslim opponents by retaking Toledo (1086) and Valencia (1094). The eleventh through the fourteenth centuries saw the gradual deterioration of Muslim power in Spain. By the twelfth century, the political-religious geography of the Iberian peninsula had changed radically from the tenth and eleventh centuries. In the fifteenth century Muslim rule in al-Andalus collapsed. The Muslim defeat in Spain was paralleled by an increase in the strength and power of the Christians. Guided by their religious national figures, Spaniards had succeeded in ousting the Muslims when they captured the city of Granada in 1492. The capture of Granada ended the chapter of Christian reconquest in Spain’s history, and ended Santiago’s and El Cid’s roles as inspirational leaders and invincible warriors in the eight centuries long reconquista. Spain succeeded in expelling the Muslim peoples and their religion, while simultaneously forging a new national Christian identity. The Iberian peninsula emerged from the Christian reconquest — as Alfonso VI intended it to be — unified under the Spanish monarchy of Isabela and Ferdinand and by its Christian faith.

1 Quoted in Ellen O. Feinberg, Following the Milky Way: A Pilgrimage Across Spain (Ames, Iowa, 1989) 82.

2 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 95, trans. W. S. Merwin, Medieval Epics (New York, 1959) 528.

3 William Melczer, The Pilgrim’s Guide to Santiago de Compostela (New York, 1993) 15.

4 Melczer, 15.

5 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 43, 497.

6 Dictionary of Subjects and Symbols in Art, ed. James Hall (New York, 1974) 166.

7 T. D. Kendrick, St. James in Spain (London, 1960) 148.

8 Kendrick, 185.

9 Melczer, 21.

10 Santiago de Compostela continues to draw people from around the world to Spain to embark on a pilgrimage and visit the burial site of this country’s patron saint.

11 Kendrick, 185.

12 Richard Fletcher, The Quest for El Cid (Oxford, 1989) 3-4.

13 Edmund De Chasca, “History and Legend of The Cid,” The Dictionary of the Middle Ages. Vol. 3, ed. Joseph R. Strayer (New York, 1982-89) 387.

14 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 122, 553.

15 De Chasca, 384.

16 Bernard Reilly, The Medieval Spains (Cambridge, 1993) 93.

17 Pope Urban II (1088-99), a Cluniac, preached the First Crusade in 1095, one year after El Cid’s victory over the Muslim taifa state of Valencia. It is possible that the Spanish reconquista inspired Urban to appeal for the defense of Christendom against the infidel Muslims in the East, using El Cid as the prototype of the Christian crusader.

18 Fletcher, The Quest for El Cid, 50.

19 Aside from being a significant tactical victory, Valencia paralleled Santiago’s legendary participation and triumph at Clavijo in importance as a propaganda tool; both battles boosted Spanish Christian soldiers’ morale and confidence in their ability -- with God’s help -- to rid the Iberian peninsula of Muslims.

20 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 74, 512.

21 Melczer, 65-6.

22 Illustrated Dictionary of Symbols in Eastern and Western Art, ed. James Hall, illus. Chris Puleston (New York, 1994) 87-88.

23 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 95, 528.

24 Richard Fletcher, “Reconquest and Crusade in Spain c. 1050-1150,” Transactions of the Royal Historical Society, Fifth Series 37 (1986) 45.

25 Feinberg, 182-83.

26 Colin Smith, The Making of the Poema de mío Cid (Cambridge, 1983) 55.

27 Poema de mío Cid, Canto 83, 521.

Back to the 1996 Table of Contents

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Ecumenismo: ebrei e islamici, discendenza di Abramo o figli del demonio?

39 Gli risposero i giudei: «Il nostro padre è Abramo». Rispose Gesù: «Se siete figli di Abramo, fate le opere di Abramo! 40 Ora invece cercate di uccidere me, che vi ho detto la verità udita da Dio; questo, Abramo non l'ha fatto. 41 Voi fate le opere del padre vostro». Gli risposero: «Noi non siamo nati da prostituzione, noi abbiamo un solo Padre, Dio!». 42 Disse loro Gesù: «Se Dio fosse vostro Padre, certo mi amereste, perché da Dio sono uscito e vengo; non sono venuto da me stesso, ma lui mi ha mandato. 43 Perché non comprendete il mio linguaggio? Perché non potete dare ascolto alle mie parole, 44 voi che avete per padre il diavolo, e volete compiere i desideri del padre vostro. Egli è stato omicida fin da principio e non ha perseverato nella verità, perché non vi è verità in lui. Quando dice il falso, parla del suo, perché è menzognero e padre della menzogna. 45 A me, invece, voi non credete, perché dico la verità. 46 Chi di voi può convincermi di peccato? Se dico la verità, perché non mi credete? 47 Chi è da Dio ascolta le parole di Dio: per questo voi non le ascoltate, perché non siete da Dio».

48 Gli risposero i Giudei: «Non diciamo con ragione noi che sei un Samaritano e hai un demonio?». 49 Rispose Gesù: «Io non ho un demonio, ma onoro il Padre mio e voi mi disonorate. 50 Io non cerco la mia gloria; vi è chi la cerca e giudica. 51 In verità, in verità vi dico: se uno osserva la mia parola, non vedrà mai la morte». 52 Gli dissero i Giudei: «Ora sappiamo che hai un demonio. Abramo è morto, come anche i profeti, e tu dici: "Chi osserva la mia parola non conoscerà mai la morte". 53 Sei tu più grande del nostro padre Abramo, che è morto? Anche i profeti sono morti; chi pretendi di essere?». 54 Rispose Gesù: «Se io glorificassi me stesso, la mia gloria non sarebbe nulla; chi mi glorifica è il Padre mio, del quale voi dite: "È nostro Dio!", 55 e non lo conoscete. Io invece lo conosco. E se dicessi che non lo conosco, sarei come voi, un mentitore; ma lo conosco e osservo la sua parola. 56 Abramo, vostro padre, esultò nella speranza di vedere il mio giorno; lo vide e se ne rallegrò». 57 Gli dissero allora i Giudei: «Non hai ancora cinquant'anni e hai visto Abramo?». 58 Rispose loro Gesù: «In verità, in verità vi dico: prima che Abramo fosse, Io Sono». 59 Allora raccolsero pietre per scagliarle contro di lui; ma Gesù si nascose e uscì dal tempio.

Parola di Dio

GV. 39-59