Should Christians Eat Halal Meat?

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Military Videos of the World – Should Christians Eat Halal Meat?.

Christians often ask me if they should eat halal meat (i.e., meat from animals that have been slaughtered in accordance with Islamic practice). Even in Western nations, meat at local markets is frequently “halal certified,” and not all packagers bother to label it as halal. Further, many Christians enjoy sharing meals with their Muslim friends, so dietary concerns may arise.

One may object to halal meat for a variety of reasons (e.g., the methods of slaughter that are employed, the serving of such meats to school children who don’t get a choice as to what their school serves for lunch, the Islamization of the meat industry, etc.). However, the question about Christians eating halal meat is usually based on a passage in 1 Corinthians 10. Muslims pronounce Islamic phrases (bismillah, “in the name of Allah,” and Allahu akbar, “Allah is greater”) over animals as they are slaughtered, so many Christians wonder if eating the meat of these animals is condemned by the Apostle Paul. Here’s the first part of the relevant passage:

1 Corinthians 10:14-22—Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry. I speak as to wise men; you judge what I say. Is not the cup of blessing which we bless a sharing in the blood of Christ? Is not the bread which we break a sharing in the body of Christ? Since there is one bread, we who are many are one body; for we all partake of the one bread. Look at the nation Israel; are not those who eat the sacrifices sharers in the altar? What do I mean then? That a thing sacrificed to idols is anything, or that an idol is anything? No, but I say that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God; and I do not want you to become sharers in demons. You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons; you cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons. Or do we provoke the Lord to jealousy? We are not stronger than He, are we?

Notice that Paul is specifically discussing meals that function as part of worship. He refers to the “Lord’s Supper,” in which Christians gather for a meal commemorating the sacrificial death of Jesus. He also mentions Jewish sacrifices, in which the person who brings the offering consumes a portion of the sacrifice (as do the priests).

Paul goes on to say that “the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons and not to God,” and that Christians “cannot partake of the table of the Lord and the table of demons.” Does this mean that Christians who eat halal meat are “partaking of the table of Allah,” so to speak? Let’s keep reading, because Paul clarifies the issue for us.

1 Corinthians 10:23-31—All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify. Let no one seek his own good, but that of his neighbor. Eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake; for the earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. If one of the unbelievers invites you and you want to go, eat anything that is set before you without asking questions for conscience’ sake. But if anyone says to you, “This is meat sacrificed to idols,” do not eat it, for the sake of the one who informed you, and for conscience’ sake; I mean not your own conscience, but the other man’s; for why is my freedom judged by another’s conscience? If I partake with thankfulness, why am I slandered concerning that for which I give thanks? Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.

Since Paul advises Christians to “eat anything that is sold in the meat market without asking questions for conscience’ sake,” he obviously doesn’t care whether the animal has been slaughtered in the name of a false deity. He even says that it’s perfectly acceptable to join a pagan for a meal, knowing that the meat may have been slaughtered as a sacrifice to a pagan deity.

Paul’s concern is when the meal is eaten as part of worship, and the impact this may have on new or weak Christians who have been raised to think of the idols as objects of worship. Indeed, Paul’s remark about the “table of demons” is connected to chapter 8, where he refers to “dining in an idol’s temple” (1 Corinthians 8:10). Such meals were part of the worship of idols, and if new or weak Christians see Christians eating in the temples of idols, they may be tempted to join in the worship of the idols.

The situation is quite different at a market or at a private home. Obviously, if I don’t ask questions at the meat market or I don’t ask questions at a person’s home, I can’t be involved in the worship of a false god by consuming meat, because nothing about the deity has been mentioned to me. Yet if a new Christian, who thinks of the meat as part of the worship, tells me that the animal was sacrificed to an idol, he is clearly concerned about the religious connotations of the meal. As such, I cannot eat the meat, because “by sinning against the brethren and wounding their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ” (1 Corinthians 8:12).

Applying these principles to the question of halal meat, an important difference becomes apparent. Although Islamic phrases are recited over the animals when they are slaughtered, this isn’t the sort of sacrificial worship Paul discusses in 1 Corinthians. “Halal” simply means “allowed” or “permissible,” not “sacred.” Halal meat has met basic requirements for being consumed by Muslims. This doesn’t mean it was prepared as part of Islamic worship.

But even if we view halal meat as somehow sacrificed to Allah, this shouldn’t be a concern, because the god of the Qur’an, like the idols of Corinth, is nothing. Hence, Christians should have no religious objection to eating halal meat, whether in a store, at a restaurant, or at the home of a Muslim friend. The only exception would be if we are in the presence of Christians who are sincerely bothered by the eating of halal meat, because they think of it as somehow honoring Allah. In such cases, Paul says that we shouldn’t eat the meat (1 Corinthians 8:13).

Again, there may be other concerns about halal meat. One may object to the treatment of the animals or to the application of Sharia principles in Western industries. But if we are wondering whether Paul says that we are sinning by eating halal meat, we can see that his only warnings for us are: (1) Don’t eat halal meat as part of any worship towards Allah, and (2) Don’t eat halal meat if a new or weak Christian is bothered by it. Apart from those cases, the general rule is that “everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with gratitude; for it is sanctified by means of the word of God and prayer” (1 Timothy 4:4-5).

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Nigeria: Boko Haram jihadists torch 185 churches

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Military Videos of the World – Nigeria: Boko Haram jihadists torch 185 churches.

 

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Oddly enough, they didn’t torch any mosques, even though, as everyone knows, they have nothing to do with Islam.

“Nigeria: Boko Haram Torch 185 Churches in Captured Towns of Borno and Adamawa,” by Jack Moore, International Business Times, October 6, 2014 (thanks to Pamela Geller):

A prominent Nigerian reverend has revealed Islamist terror group Boko Haram destroyed over 180 churches in the West African country following its capture of towns and villages in the north-eastern states of Borno and Adamawa.

Reverend Gideon Obasogie, the director of Catholic Social Communication of Maiduguri Diocese in Borno State, said the group’s seizure of territory in both states has seen 185 churches torched and over 190,000 people displaced by their insurgency.

In his statement, Obasogie said Boko Haram’s “ransacking and torching” of churches had forced priests to leave their homes for two months while displaced civilians were still unable to return to their towns and villages.

He added the destruction of churches was “sad, heart-aching and potentially dangerous to the territorial integrity and common good of Nigeria.”

“It is over 30 days now that our church communities in Gulak, Shuwa, Michika, Bazza were ransacked by the callous attacks of the Boko Haram terrorists,” the statement said.

“Our priests are displaced, while citizens…are counting their losses and regrets as they have been reduced to the status of Internally Displaced Persons [IDP]. Where is the freedom?”

“Life is really terribly difficult. We are waiting eagerly to go back home, even as it is obvious that we are going to [have to] reconstruct our looted and burnt houses and ecclesial structures.

“We have been sleeping in uncompleted buildings, camps and school premises. We have been absorbed into houses of relations and friends in [their] sixties and seventies.”

Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan, who is seeking re-election in February next year, has been increasingly criticised for his inaction against the terror group.

In April, the terror group – which wishes to expand its “caliphate” in north-eastern Nigeria – kidnapped more than 200 schoolgirls in the village of Chibok, bringing global attention to the West African nation’s fight against terrorism.

Both states, plus Yobe State, have been placed under a state of emergency since May last year.

According to Human Rights Watch, the militants have killed at least 2,053 people since the beginning of 2014.

Supreme Court to hear case of Obama-backed Muslim prisoner who wants prison rules on beards changed

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Military Videos of the World – Supreme Court to hear case of Obama-backed Muslim prisoner who wants prison rules on beards changed.

Abdul Maalik Muhammad

 

 

 

 

 

 

“The state responds that inmate beards could pose a security risk to guards and the public.” Safety? Pah! Islam must be accommodated! Wherever Islamic law and American law conflict, American law must give way — and the Obama Administration will fight for that.

“Justices to debate prisoner’s religious right to grow a beard,” by Bill Mears, CNN, October 2, 2014:

(CNN) — An Arkansas inmate seeks to exercise what he says is a key tenet of his faith, but corrections officials cite security concerns in their refusal to accommodate. The issue comes down to a half-inch beard, and this claim of religious liberty within prison walls will now be debated by the Supreme Court.

The justices will kick off the first week of their new term with a one-hour oral argument Tuesday. The case will be another major test of the government’s ability to justify a range of policies that might restrict religious accommodation — from the Obamacare health law to workplace hiring.

Gregory Holt, also known as Abdul Maalik Muhammad, is a Muslim who filed a handwritten petition with the high court. He cites rights under the federal Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act, or RLUIPA.

The state responds that inmate beards could pose a security risk to guards and the public: Prisoners who escape could shave their facial hair, altering their appearance. And weapons and other contraband could be hidden in heavy beards or inside their cheeks, covered by facial hair.

Current Arkansas prison policy allows only a “neatly trimmed mustache.”

The Obama administration is backing Holt, and some legal analysts say that could ultimately sway the justices, who have traditionally been deferential to the security judgments of prison officers….

But in his self-initiated plea to the justices, Holt complained that he and fellow Muslims were forced “to either obey their religious beliefs and face disciplinary action on the one hand, or violate those beliefs in order to acquiesce” to the facial hair policy.

He cited the Hadith — literary traditions and sayings of the Prophet Mohammed — which says, “Allah’s Messenger said, ‘Cut the mustaches short and leave the beard (as it is).’ ” Holt said he offered to keep his beard to a half-inch as a “compromise,” but that was rejected.

The U.S. Justice Department has offered its support, saying more than 40 states and the federal correctional system allow beards of varying lengths.

“When Congress enacted RLUIPA, it made clear that courts should accord deference to prison administrators’ considered judgments about how to run safe and efficient prisons,” Obama administration lawyers told the court in a written brief. “Congress also made clear, however, that such deference is not due when a prison justifies a restriction based on exaggerated fears or mere speculation.”

The state obviously sees things differently. Holt is housed at the Varner Supermax, a 468-bed, ultra-maximum security section of the correctional facility in Grady, Arkansas, near Pine Bluff.

Officials point to Inmate 129-616’s self-admission as a “Yemen-trained Muslim fundamentalist” with a violent criminal past. He had been indicted by a federal grand jury for threatening to harm then-President George W. Bush’s two daughters.

A few years later, he was convicted in state court and sentenced to life in prison for breaking into the home of his ex-girlfriend and severely wounding her, slitting her throat and stabbing her in the chest.

Law enforcement officials say he threatened to wage “jihad” against anyone who helped convict him, both at trial and later behind bars.

So state leaders had a simple message for the courts: Allow us room to decide which restrictions work best within each institution’s unique circumstances.

“Prisons are dangerous places … officials create rules intended to strike a delicate balance between safety and security, on the one hand, and giving inmates a sense of dignity and achieving rehabilitative goals, on the other hand,” said the Arkansas brief to the high court. Corrections officials take “religious freedom seriously,” but they also take seriously their “paramount interests in safety and security, too.”…

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Military Videos of the World – Memorial Day Free Meal, Sales, Discounts & Deals 2014

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Military Videos of the World – Memorial Day Free Meal, Sales, Discounts & Deals 2014.

Memorial Day free meals, discounts, deals and sales for veterans and the military plus offers for everybody.

2014 Memorial Day Discounts for Veterans, Retired and Active Duty Military

Bluestar Museums – Free Admission to over 1,800 museums
More than 1,800 museums across America offer free admission to active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day, May 26, through Labor Day, September 1, 2014.

California’s Great America Free Admission
Memorial Day Weekend, May 24 -26, free admission to active or retired U.S. service men and women, including veterans, with a valid military I.D. Up to six (6) family members accompanying service personnel can get tickets for just $19.99. On Saturday Boomerang Bay opens, Sunday there will be a fireworks extravaganza and on Monday there will be color guard presentation and an all-you-can-eat BBQ ($14.99).

California State Parks
Free admission to veterans and active duty and reserve military personnel on Memorial Day, May 26 2014.

Forever 21 Military Discount
15% off for the military, in store only. Offer valid 05.21.14 – 05.26.14. Offer valid on regular priced items only. Purchaser must present a valid military identification card at the time of purchase.

Free Admission – Many local places are providing free admission to active duty military and veterans this Memorial Day weekend. Call ahead to confirm but parks, zoos, aquariums, amusement parks, museums, concerts, events and much more are providing free admission and discounts to family members this Memorial Day weekend.

Hooters 10 Free Wings
Monday, May 26, military veterans, active duty military & spouses can enjoy 10 free wings at Hooters locations across the U.S.

Home Depot
A 10% discount is offered to all military veterans on Memorial Day to all veterans up to a maximum of $500. A year round 10% discount is available at all U.S. locations to active duty personnel, reservists, retired or disabled veterans and their immediate families. Must present a valid military ID. Unfortunately Home Depot does not accept state ID cards with veterans designation (some locations may). Note: Home Depot has unfortunately removed the military discount policy from their website while keeping the discount intact.

King’s Dominion Free Admission
May 24 -26 & July 4-5 free park admission to any active, inactive or retired United States Service men and women with a valid military I.D. Located in Doswell, VA.

Knott’s Berry Farm Free Admission
Free Admission for Active, Retired or Veteran U.S. Military Personnel May 24-26, 2014. Includes Knott’s Berry Farm and Knott’s Soak City. Show your valid Military I.D. at the ticket booth to get your free admission ticket. Good for one ticket per valid Military I.D.

Long John Silver’s Free Combo Veterans and active duty service members get a free combo meal on Memorial Day, May 26.  Must bring coupon.

Lowes
All Veterans receive a 10% discount on Memorial Day. This is not to be confused with the Everyday 10% Military Discount which is available to those who are currently serving, Retired Veterans, or VA Recipients and their immediate family. See link for official rules.

Shoney’s Free Burger
Free All-American Burger to all veterans and active duty service members on Monday, May 26, 2014.

Tommy Bahama
Valid on 5/17 only at any US Tommy Bahama Restaurant. In honor of Armed Forces Day, active and retired members of the U.S. Military eat free* all day long! Complimentary entrée with the purchase of at least 1 additional entrée. Valid U.S. Military ID required.

Twin Peaks Eat Free
Monday, May 26, Twin Peaks will pick up the check for all Veterans and current military personnel and treat them to a complimentary meal.

Under Armour Online Military & Veteran 15% Discount & Free Shipping
From May 24th to May 3ost veterans and active duty service members receive 15% off plus free shipping with a valid TroopID. See here for details on how to get a TroopID and receive the 15% discount.

Wendy’s Free Waffle Cone
On Monday, May 26 from 12 PM to 8 PM everybody gets a free waffle cone.

Below are last years offers.  2014 offers will be posted once they are announced.

2014 Memorial Day Sales & Discounts for Everybody

6 PM Memorial Day Sale
Starting at 65% off site wide. Begins May 26 and ends May 28.

Amazon
Save up 60% on women’s, men’s, girls’, boys’ shoes and handbags.

Ace Hardware
Shop the Ace Hardware Memorial Day event Friday, May 23 through Monday May, 26.

Aeropostale Memorial Day Sale
Aeropostale Memorial Day Sale: 50% off everything. Plus, $20 off $100 with promo code SALUTE.

American Eagle
50% off your clearance items + Free Shipping.

Bebe
50% off already reduced merchandise.

Best Buy Kickoff to Summer Event
May 15 – 31, 2014 Memorial Day event. 15-25% off appliances, discounts on electronics plus many more deals.

Bloomingdale’s
Extra 20% off sale and clearance items with promo code TAKE20. Ends 5/26/14.

Cabela’s Memorial Day Celebration
Save on summer essentials.

Dairy Queen
Buy 1 fruit smooth and get a second for .99 cents thru 5/25/14.

Dicks’s Memorial Day Deals
Get Memorial day deals at Dick’s.

Express
40% off through Monday May 26.

Gap
40% off regular price styles (Restrictions apply). Offer valid from May 22, 2014 at 12:00am ET through May 26, 2014 at 11:59pm ET online and in stores in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico).

H & M
Memorial Day Deal with up to 70% off select styles. Ends 5/26.

Home Depot Memorial Week Sale
Discounts on 100s of items.

J Crew
25% off packing picks for women, men, girls, and boys use code PACKME until May 24.

Jamba Juice Buy 1 Get 1 Free
Buy 1 get 1 free through 5/26/14.

JC Penney
In store or Online: 15% off original, sale and clearance prices; Online promo code SUNNYDAY.

Joe’s Jeans
30% off storewide with promo code: HONOR.

Kmart Memorial Day Sale
Online Only. Memorial Day Sale. Offer valid 5/23/14 – 5/26/14.

Kohl’s
$10 off your next purchase of $25 or more. Friday, May 23 – Monday, May 26. Promo code HONOR10. Valid in store and online.

Lord & Taylor Sale
Memorial Day offers from Lord & Taylor. 20% Off Sale & Clearance w/ Code: MEMDAY. Expires 5/26/13.

Lowe’s Memorial Day Sale
Memorial Day savings through Mon. May 26. Active duty military get 10% off year round and veterans get 10% off on Memorial Day.

Macys Memorial Day Sale
15% to 10% off home and select departments. 25% off online clearance items. Use promo code MEMDAY. End Mon. 5/26/14.

Neiman Marcus Last Call
Memorial Day Sale now through May 28. Extra 50% off all clearance items.

Old Navy
Online and In Stores, Memorial Day Sale up to 50% off through Memorial Day. Free shipping everyday.

Premium Outlets
Memorial Day Weekend Sale, Fri – Mon, May 23 – 26.

Sears Memorial Day Sales & Value
Online and in store. Ends Tuesday, May 27.

Sports Authority
25% off a single item. 5/23/14 – 5/26/14.

Waffle House Free Bacon
Get one free regular order of bacon thru May 30, 2014 with coupon.

Walmart Memorial Day Sale
Walmart Memorial Day Online Specials savings event.

Wyndham Memorial Day Deals
Now through May 26, 2014, book at least 7 days in advance for stays between March 14, 2014, and May 27, 2014, at a participating Wyndham resort or hotel and get up to a 25% discount off the best available rate!

Military Videos of the World – Renowned Atlanta Rabbi gives a stirring Rosh Hashonah sermon about the threat Islam poses to Jews and Christians around the world

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Military Videos of the World – Renowned Atlanta Rabbi gives a stirring Rosh Hashonah sermon about the threat Islam poses to Jews and Christians around the world.

Not one to post overly long text, I felt this one warranted my dear readers’ time, if only because we rarely see Jewish leaders speaking out this frankly about Islam. Naturally, this Rabbi is getting slandered and maligned on Muslim and leftist websites.

Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim in Georgia

mondoweiss  Rabbi Shalom Lewis of Congregation Etz Chaim in the Atlanta suburb of Marietta, Georgia recently gave a Rosh Hashanah sermon to welcome in the Jewish New Year. The sermon, republished in full below, calls for a war on Islam and Muslims worldwide. Lewis says a “holy crusade” against Islam is needed to”exterminate it utterly and absolutely.” 

The Rabbi said:

I thought that maybe I’d start with a rendition of Paul McCartney’s plaintive masterpiece “Yesterday”… “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay, oh I believe in yesterday” – but then I thought, too romantic.  Perhaps the story of Chicken Little – “The sky is falling. The sky is falling” and I thought, getting closer but too childish. What about Santayana’s “Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Maybe, but too philosophical. And then I remembered Joseph Conrad’s sadly, cynical observation – – “The belief in a supernatural source of evil is not necessary. Men alone are quite capable of every wickedness,” and sadly it felt right.

And so, here were are in a place of unimagined chaos and cowardice, paralysis and brutality. The beast roams the earth; we are stymied, stunned and continue to fiddle. My friends, “Ehr Kumpt Part 2, the Sequel.” This is not a time for delicacy. For tiptoeing. It is not a time to parse words nor worry about offending someone with unfiltered vocabulary. Time is no longer a luxury we possess. Distance no longer provides protection.

We are being threatened like no time before, by an enemy obsessed with an apocalyptic endgame that will bring only disaster. An enemy that worships savagery. An enemy that celebrates depravity. An enemy that glorifies the death of the young. There has been a seismic shift in our world. We feel it. We see it. We know it. We dare not deny it.

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Pick up any newspaper on any day, the first page, the second page, the third page, the fourth page and beyond – – most of the articles are about radical Muslims, not just ISIS, immersed in a vicious culture of blood and slaughter. Skip to the sports page or the crossword puzzle if you wish, but that doesn’t make the uncomfortable news go away. In fact, it brings joy to the jihadists who hope for our indifference. If we deny evil then we need not fight it. It doesn’t exist – just a few lunatics, thousands of miles away, pounding sand, blowing each other up and occasionally beheading an unlucky journalist. Not so bad.

For years, we have been mercifully spared the ugliness and intimacy of war. The Battle of the Bulge and Iwo Jima were a black and white MovieTone newsreel after Tom & Jerry and before the Pride of the Yankees. We planted victory gardens, rolled up tin foil, bought Liberty Bonds, said goodbye to fathers, sons and brothers. But the trenches were on the other side of the Atlantic and Pacific. So too, every other subsequent conflict. The Yanks were coming but the shooting was “over there.” We suffered little. But today, war has been redefined and relocated.

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Geneva is finished. We are all combatants in the cross hairs. We are all on the front lines, like it or not. The battlefield has no boundaries and the war, no rules. The enemy targets deliberately, fiendishly, any place of innocence. All are vulnerable and so we must recalculate our strategy, re-examine our tolerance, re-energize our resolve and unequivocally identify the evil doers. Let us not be silenced by fear, by feckless goodwill, by reckless hope, by meaningless rhetoric.

There are one billion Muslims in the world and authorities agree that 5% are committed Islamists who embrace terror and wish to see, by any means possible, the Muslim flag fly over every capital, on every continent. I was relieved when I heard only 5%. Thank God it’s only 5%. Now I could sleep soundly.

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But wait, let me figure this out, 5% of a billion is… 50 million Koran-waving, Allah Akbar-howling Muslim murderers out there planning to slit our throats, blow us up or forcibly convert us. It only took 19 of Osama bin Laden’s disciples to bring down the Twin Towers, plow into the Pentagon and crash a plane into Shanksville, Pennsylvania. Over 3,000 dead. Over $10 billion in damages on that sad day. 19 Al Qaeda. 50 million Islamists. Do the math.

But what disturbs me is, where are the other 950 million Muslims who are not terrorists? Who are not bomb-blasting, acid-throwing zealots? Where are the other 950 million Muslims who tuck their children in at night with a lullaby, who are okay with Christians and Jews, crave a peaceful world and wish nothing more than a tasty bowl of hummus and a friendly game of Shesh Besh with a neighbor? I want to believe they are out there, for their sake and for ours. I want to believe they weep in pain over the desecration of their faith. I want to believe that we have partners who dream the dreams we do and wish upon the same star. I want to believe – – but where are they?

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A silent partnership is no partnership. Sin is not just in the act of commission – it is also in the act of omission. Most Germans were not Nazis – but it did not matter. Most Russians were not Stalinists – but it did not matter. Most Muslims are not terrorists – but it does not matter. Stand up righteously or get out of the way. Perhaps in every mosque, in every midrassah, in every Muslim neighborhood, Edmund Burke’s powerful warning should be chiseled on a wall in Arabic, in Farsi, in Pashto, in Urdu, for all to read and heed. “All that is necessary for evil to prevail is for good people to do nothing.”

A couple of months ago, 3 young Israelis were kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and killed. And so began Operation Protective Edge. But the Gaza war was much more than shooting down rockets and blowing up tunnels – it was the preview, the soft opening, for a much more serious war – a genuine world war.

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It was a test of resolve, of fortitude. It was a test watched carefully by the indecent forces of a rising Islamist world. Israel is only the beginning. The first prize sought in what promises to be a protracted, multi-generational Kulterkampf. Israel made the headlines, but the front lines are all over the map – we just don’t know it yet. The whole world was watching and our performance was pathetic. We, the good guys, stumbled at the gate; tripped clumsily in an embarrassing display of moral confusion and ineptitude.

It was amateur hour and the bad guys were licking their chops. I say the following unapologetically and with a heavy heart. When the war began, the President of the United States, the leader of the Free World, should have immediately, instinctively invited to the Oval Office, the leading Democrats and Republicans of the Senate and the House, his cabinet and all significant Washington political players. Every domestic and international news organization should have been notified and the following talk broadcast across the planet.

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“Fellow Americans – a crisis has erupted once again in the Middle East and I have been told that the war between Israel and Hamas is complex and nuanced. I have been told that our great nation must be evenhanded- but I am here to say with no equivocation, with no hesitation, this war is not complex. This war is not nuanced and we will not be evenhanded in this confrontation of good and evil, of right and wrong, of civilization and savagery.

We Democrats and Republicans, Liberals and Conservatives from sea to shining sea, stand together in unshakable support of Israel against foul, corrupt, murderers who sacrifice the lives of children in their pursuit of power. To Israel we say – do whatever you must. To Israel we say, take whatever time you need to crush this vile enemy and whatever you require, you can count on us. To the world we say, Israel is fighting for all of us – for our values, for our principles, for our civilization. Support her efforts, as we do, in every way possible. I will not tolerate any words of disparagement against our greatest ally and friend in the Middle East. God bless Israel and God bless the United States of America.”

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But these words did not ring forth from the White House, the capital of the free world. What we did hear was “No victor, no vanquished.” This statement was our President’s strategic plan. No call for triumph over terrorism, but a weak kneed, stalemate with butchers – a tie between good and evil. Right and wrong. Civilization and savagery. This did not go unnoticed.

Media coverage during the war was biased and shameful with a few notable exceptions. To permit Hamas spokesmen and Hamas sympathizers to speak and to defend their monstrous deeds to millions of viewers is morally shocking. To promote equivalency between Israel and Hamas is morally appalling.

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With my remote, I would channel surf, go from station to station and I could not believe what I was hearing on CNN, CBS, BBC, ABC, MSNBC, and all the rest. The grotesque propaganda, the repulsive distortions – the tolerance of the wicked. And this did not go unnoticed.

As I sat through these numbing broadsides, I wondered if our mainstream media during WWII would have invited the Germans and the Japanese to share their perspectives on the hostilities in Europe and in the Pacific. As they moaned about Dresden and the Doolittle Raid, would the anchors have nodded in sympathy? When the Germans and Japanese explained the need for the V1 and V2 bombardment of London and the necessity for the Bataan Death March, would the anchors have expressed understanding? The obscenities and outright lies given airtime and legitimacy should be sickening to any person of conscience.

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Words distinguish us from the beast. In a powerful Holocaust tale, Eli Wiesel painfully writes that when words lose their meaning, disaster follows. In today’s Middle East lexicon; restraint means suicide. Terrorists have become militants. Self-defense is a war crime. Democracy is apartheid. Israelis and Jews have become Nazis. Warning civilians to get out of harm’s way has become genocide. 38 Muslim countries – 22 Arab countries and Israel, the only Jewish nation, must constantly defend her right to exist.

Russia invades. Nigeria enslaves. China oppresses. Pakistan rapes. Iraq slaughters. North Korea starves. Iran nuclearizes. Syria massacres. Venezuela plunders. Afghanistan tortures. Sudan annihilates. ISIS beheads and Israel is the pariah state, put under the microscope by the morally noxious. And this did not go unnoticed.

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Eric Hoffer, the longshoreman philosopher, wrote the following in 1968 – 46 years ago. His words have not grown stale with the passage of time. To the contrary, they are every bit as relevant and meaningful today, nearly 1/2 a century later. I quote: “The Jews are a peculiar people: things permitted to other nations are forbidden to the Jews. Other nations drive out 1,000’s, even millions of people and there is no refugee problem. Russia did it. Poland and Czechoslovakia did it. Turkey drove out a million Greeks and Algeria a million Frenchman. Indonesia threw out heaven knows how many Chinese and no one says a word about refugees.

But, in the case of Israel, the displaced Arabs have become eternal refugees. Everyone insists that Israel must take back every single Arab. Arnold Toynbee calls the displacement of the Arabs an atrocity greater than any committed by the Nazis. Other nations, when victorious on the battlefield, dictate peace terms.
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But when Israel is victorious on the battlefield, it must sue for peace. Everyone expects the Jews to be the only real Christians in the world…Other nations when they are defeated, survive and recover, but should Israel be defeated, it would be destroyed…” Hoffers’ final words are chilling and prophetic. “I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us.”

To those who are morally obtuse, I say shame on you– from university professors to the useful idiots of the media, from liberal churches to Hollywood, from the United Nations to the clueless left – let me remind all the ‘misguided do-gooders” – your deeds do not go unnoticed. The world does not like a righteous Goliath especially if Goliath speaks Hebrew.

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Let’s leave the Middle East and head to Europe. For those who have not been recently, it has changed. It has changed dramatically. The sights. The sounds. The crowds. The streets are much different than when we backpacked with our Eurorail passes – strolling down the Champs-Elysees, chasing pigeons at Trafalgar Square, wandering the backstreets of Amsterdam after dark.

The continent that gave birth to Western civilization, the continent that defined high culture is crumbling before our very eyes. Because of well-intentioned tolerance and an undisciplined pluralism, Europe is returning to the dark ages. By most estimates, Europe will be unrecognizable by the middle of this century – crushed by a demographic tsunami. The birthrate of the Brits, the French, the Dutch and the rest of the EU is well below ZPG. The Muslim community’s birthrate is prolific.

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The danger, however, is that Europe has not been a melting pot, assimilating new Muslims. And these new Muslims, for the most part, are not interested in respecting the great democracies of Europe. They want Sharia law and Islamic culture to be ascendant, and with their birthrate, the ballot box and their disdain for the West, in time they will get it.

The element that is surging and redefining Europe are not the democracy-respecting Muslims, but those who are rampaging in nearly every capital. They are preaching hate for Jews, for Christians, for Israel, for America, for the entire Western world. It is not our grandfather’s Europe and it will not be a Europe our grandchildren will recognize. For the record, Europe is being flooded not by freedom loving, tolerant, assimilating Muslims who wish to share in Western freedom, in Western tolerance, in Western culture but rather by violent Islamists, extremists who reject every value we treasure.

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We love ethnic communities – they are vibrant, exciting, magical faraway places only a walk away. Chinatown, Little Odessa, Greek town, Little Havana, Lower Eastside, Little Italy, but what is spreading across Europe are not charming, quaint neighborhoods enjoyed by locals and camera toting tourists in search of a charming restaurant. These are beachheads for invasion.

Want to stare down a guard at Buckingham Palace? Do it soon. Want to see the Follies-Bergere dance the Can Can? Do it soon. Want to sip wine at the vineyards of Tuscany? Do it soon. Want to sunbathe on the beaches of San Tropez? Do it soon. The sun never set on the British Empire, but now there is a cold darkness settling on Europe. A nihilism. A corruption. A perversion in the name of Allah. A Kristallnacht of European and Western culture is coming that will destroy a millennia of creative genius. Don’t listen to me. Listen to what the Islamists preach.

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Don’t listen to me. Look at what the Islamists do. It is not a leap into fantasy to perceive a dystopian future that is irretrievably ugly and inconceivably vile.

• The Sistine Chapel demolished for portraying God’s image.
• The Pieta, Venus de Milo, David smashed. Idolatry.
• Botticelli’s and Goya’s and Renoirs and Rubens torched – paintings of women not wearing a hijab and chador.
• The Guttenberg Bible. The Magna Carta. Tossed into a bonfire. Profane literature.
• Museums all across Europe vandalized by marauding Islamist fanatics.
Even the Nazis saved the masterpieces.
• Beethoven, Brahms, Mozart silenced.
• The end of opera. Rossini, Verdi, Puccini gone.
• For Shakespeare, Cervantes, Moliere. The Final curtain, a dark stage.
Even the Nazis enjoyed the classics.

I must assume there are skeptics out there – folks who disbelieve my warnings and might label me an alarmist – a Paul Revere wannabe – galloping across the Pyrenees through the European heartland in the shadow of the Alps crying out “The Muslims are coming. The Muslims are coming.”

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I weighed each and every word carefully. Repeatedly. Was I treading into bigotry? … Into melodrama? Speak with the ‘canaries in the mine’, the Jews of Europe, fleeing in record numbers. Synagogues fire bombed. Jewish businesses vandalized. Children threatened on their way to school. Kippot buried in their pockets. Mezuzot. Hamsas. Magen Davids dangling on chains tucked under shirts and under blouses to hide Jewish identity. Israeli products pulled off store shelves.

This is not the 1930’s nor the 1940’s and yet it is. 68 years since the Nazis defeat but their descendants are making Hitler proud picking up where he left off. “I have a premonition that will not leave me; as it goes with Israel so will it go with all of us. Should Israel perish, the Holocaust will be upon us.” Slip in the word “Jew” for Israel and we see the future of Europe. This ever-growing tragedy doesn’t end neatly in Europe, in the Middle East, in Mumbai or the Philippines.

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Most of us have never tasted the bitterness of war. Witnessed its horror. Clawed our way out from beneath tons of rubble. But we dare not be complacent and cry out confidently – “we have 2 oceans and the TSA to protect us.” We live in a shrunken world. In a porous country. In an open society. We have become perilously naïve. Recklessly evenhanded. Unacceptably tolerant. Dangerously comfortable. The greatest generation has spawned the clueless generation.

I say it again loudly, slowly and clearly – we are at war, here in America as well, with radical Islamists. We have been attacked repeatedly and yet we continue to turn away. We euphemize the enemy. Disguising his identity and his intent. There will not be armadas chanting “Allah Akbar” landing on the beaches of Malibu and Boca. No vast battalions chanting “Allah Akbar” while crossing the Rio Grande or the 45th Parallel – but make no mistake – we are at war, right now, this very minute.

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The tactics have changed. The battlefield is different. The rules of engagement have been redefined but we dare not make the mistake that all is well and that Islamic terrorists are simply violent criminals. That Islamic terrorists are just a bunch of unemployed losers, not part of a vast network hell bent on destroying our country. Their disunity in numbers but their unity in purpose is their power. The Lone Wolf is deadly and we are the prey.

Ask the man or woman on the street when did this all start and most would reply: “On 9/11.” That was a catastrophic day, but not the start. For us here in America, the war began in Teheran in 1979 when our embassy was taken over. It has continued ruthlessly and without pause ever since. Lockerbie and Scotland, TWA Flight 840, the USS Cole, embassies and American interests bombed and Americans killed in Lebanon, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Sudan, Spain, Kenya, Germany, Egypt, Kuwait, Indonesia and Saudi Arabia. Connect the dots.

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Here on American soil, before 9/11, the Twin Towers were attacked in 1993. The Times Square bomber. The Tsarnev brothers in the Boston Marathon bombing. The Fort Hood massacre was not work place violence but the calculated, cold blooded murder of 13 American soldiers by a Muslim Jihadist yelling “Allah Akbar.” The shooting up in Little Rock, Arkansas of an army recruiting station.

The murder of 2 CIA agents outside Langley by a Pakistani whose final words before meeting his maker were “There is no God but Allah.” The indignant, impious, arrogant claim by CAIR, the Council on American-Islamic relations, that anyone who commits an act of violence is by definition, not a Muslim. Therefore, a Muslim terrorist, a Muslim killer, a Muslim suicide bomber, is a misleading term of bigotry and Islamophobia. The slick, masterful ISIS recruitment in Minneapolis. New York. Colorado. On Facebook. On Twitter and across the country. Connect the dots.

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Let’s get Jewish-personal. A Zim Line cargo ship was prevented from offloading it’s cargo for 3 days because of pro-Palestinian mobs in Oakland, California. A young man from our shul on his 1st day of university was taught by his PhD, tenured professor that Israel committed ethnic cleansing in 1948… In Dade County a synagogue was defaced with swastikas and the words Hamas scrawled on its walls. A JCC in Seattle was attacked. A pro-Palestinian rally in Miami called for “the massacre of the Jews.”

University campuses across the country, hot beds of anti-Israel, anti-Jewish hostility. A local merchant in Roswell told one of our members (not realizing she was Jewish and vocal) that she was fed up with Israel’s brutal treatment of the children of Gaza. We are not Europe, but connect the dots. I am concerned, as we all should be, of the alarming surge in Islamist rhetoric, violence and influence.

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I am equally concerned, as we all should be, of the alarming silence and inaction of mainstream Muslims. I fear political correctness run amuck. I fear the worship of multiculturalism. I fear progressive voices of repression. I fear a distorted media tolerant of intolerance. I fear politicians who prefer the easy, still of the night to the noble, necessary struggle of the day. I fear we are not so far away from where we thought we would never be.

Three thoughts to ponder. This past year, many of us saw the Book of Mormon at the Fox. An irreverent, vulgar, hysterically entertaining musical about the Mormons. We parked our car at the Georgian Terrace and crossed Peachtree Street. In front of the theater were a half dozen, well dressed, mannerly Mormons handing out literature. “Sir, if you would like to know more about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,” a young woman said to me as I took her brochure, “Please go to our website.” I thanked her. She smiled, wished me a pleasant evening and turned to speak with another ticket holder. I thought, “God bless these folks.

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This is how we disagree in America.” At the same moment I had another thought. What if Trey Parker and Matt Stone came out with a tasteless, bawdy musical that was hysterically entertaining entitled “The Quran, Allah’s Holy Book.” What would happen? It doesn’t take much imagination to answer that question. Jeff Foxworthy correctly wrote, “Have you ever wondered why it’s okay to make jokes about Catholics, the Pope, Jews, Christians, the Irish, the Italians, the Polish, the Chinese, the French (including French Canadians)…but it’s insensitive to make jokes about Muslims?”

A few years back, a Danish newspaper “Jyllanns-Posten” printed 12 cartoons of the prophet Muhammad to illustrate an article. If the photos published were of Moses or Buddha or of the Apostle Paul, the event would have been met with a yawn. But not so with our Islamist friends. The reaction? Not a letter to the editor. Not a request to submit an op-ed. Not a friendly visit to the publisher – – but worldwide rage. Riots. Boycotts. Embassies burned. Ambassadors recalled. Attacks on Christians and on churches. 200 killed.

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Soon after, a professor from Brandeis wrote a book on this outrageous event entitled, “12 Cartoons That Shook the World.” It was published by Yale University Press, located at 302 Temple Street, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, United States of America. But what was missing in the book? What Yale University refused to print were the 12 cartoons and images of Muhammad. This self-censorship was shameful, cowardly, un-American and a sniveling submission to Islamic narcissism and intimidation. Where is a great university’s courage? Where is Freedom of the Press? This happened in America. In the land of the free and in the home of, I hope, still the brave.

I recall, as we all do, the good old days when air travel was a pleasure. When I flew here to Etz Chaim in my commuting, student days, I’d catch a cab outside my apartment on the upper West Side and be at LaGuardia in about 20 minutes. I’d check my bags in 2 minutes and be at the gate in 4 minutes, just in time to board my flight. I even got a meal. In those days, flying was an adventure, even in coach.

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Today it is irritating and exhausting. What happened? What changed? Who’s to blame? Who has created the need for a multibillion dollar security industry? Who has created a tedious need for us to remove our shoes and belts, empty our pockets, pack only 3-1/2 ounces of Listerine, go through metal detectors and x-ray machines, submit to frisks and wand searches? Arrive hours before departure? Who is responsible? Let’s see – – not the Italian Mob, not skin heads, not neo Nazis, not Columbian drug cartels, not the Russian mafia, not the Crips nor the Bloods nor the Aryan Brotherhood, not the Ku Klux Klan.

So who is it that has irretrievably ruined worldwide air travel? So, think of a Muslim play on Broadway. Think of a scholarly text on Muhammad. Think of flying Delta or United or AirTran. Think about it and connect the dots. For us, WWII lasted 4 years. It has been 13 years since 9/11. 35 years since the invasion of our Iranian embassy and like it or not, we are still at war with radical Islam.

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Declaring we are not at war with radical Islam does not make it so. Roosevelt and Churchill got it and understood that the stakes were not just the Sudetenland and a few islands in the South Pacific. From the White House and 10 Downing Street, they understood it was planet earth. Today, the radical Islamists seek the same prize – not just Bagdad or Benghazi – but planet earth.

This is not dramatic fiction, but the real thing. A handful of us here today, experienced the real thing about 11 weeks ago in Israel. We didn’t see the real thing on the nightly news nor read about it in the evening paper or hear about it in a long distance phone call from uncle Moshe in Tel Aviv. We were there as Kassam rockets rained down on Israel, on us, targeting, not military bases, not Merkava tanks, not IDF divisions, but children at play, families enjoying dinner, friends laughing over a beer, lovers strolling through a park, teenagers playing volleyball on the beach.

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The world watched and preached and judged and only now has begun to stir from their slumber of hypocrisy and inaction. Hamas is ISIS. ISIS is Hamas. They are all the same. Hezbollah. Islamic Jihad. Al Shabab. Muslim Brotherhood. Boko Haram. Al Qaeda. Taliban. Iran. The only difference is the length of the knife they use in their butchery. Israeli blood bleeds the same red as the blood of James Foley, of Steven Satloff, of David Hawthorne Haines, of Christians, and Yazidis.

Let’s reason, some suggest. One last Hail Mary negotiation. Maybe we can figure out what’s bothering these troubled Muslims and perhaps they’ll tell us what we can do to resolve the friction. I am all for dialogue, but we are dealing with a moral species that eats its own, kills it’s young and celebrates innocent death as homage to God.

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Osama bin Laden eluded capture for 10 years. Ever wonder why? There was a $25 million bounty on his head. That’s a lot of money. $25 million can by a lot of plastic surgery. A new identity. Rosetta Stone tapes. Elocution lesson. A suburban home. A Brooks Brothers wardrobe. New partners. New friends. Surf and turf every night and a round of golf every day. In 10 years, there was not one betrayal of Osama bin Laden – – not one. And I asked myself, “why not?” – $25 million is a great amount of money and can easily facilitate a luxurious disappearance. The answer is simple. These Islamist criminals are unlike us in the most basic of ways and we have yet to accept and understand their total immersion in moral debauchery.

The enemy has eyes and ears. Fingers and toes. Speaks with lips. Runs with legs. Eats. Drinks. Has the face of a human being – but, has a much different heart and a much different soul. Three years ago on this bima, on this very same day, standing at this podium, I cried out, “Ehr Kumpt – they are coming.” 3 years later on this bima, on this very same day, standing at this podium, I cry out not “Ehr Kumpt – they are coming,” I cry out, “Ehr daw – they are here.”

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The fury of ultimate evil is upon us and we must act – not to contain it. Not to degrade it. Not to manage it. Not to tolerate it, but to exterminate it utterly and absolutely. If we fail in this holy crusade, we will live in a world bereft of color. Empty of music, of art, of romance, of laughter, of freedom, of invention. A world barren of all beauty. Depleted of all virtue.

We are divided today not by faith nor holy book. We are divided today by decency and indecency. By right and wrong. By moral and corrupt. By courage and cowardice. By righteousness and evil. The good citizens of earth must rise up. Gather on the mountain top and proclaim in thundering unison the words of Isaiah: “Hoy ha’omrim lera tov v’la’tov rah – woe to them that call evil, good and good, evil. Who present darkness as light and light as darkness. Who call bitter, sweet and sweet, bitter. We must turn back the evil. We must turn back the darkness. We must turn back the bitter.

My friends – Ehr daw – they are here.

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