These are all the Blogs posted on Friday, 11, 2013.
Friday, 11 January 2013
Video - arab slave market of the 1960's
I was pointed to this film clip of a 1960s documentary about the Arab slave trade. Slavery was officially abolished in Saudi Arabia in 1962 but it still continues.
It starts with the open air market in a town on the Persian Gulf - black slaves, naked men and women for sale being examined. Then we are told the trade is not just of Africans. The film moves to Qatar where local girls (veiled) are enticed from their homes into the street to watch some entertainers. The slavers can then view the girls and decide who they will buy from their parents and who they will kidnap. Children are shown in an 'orphanage' run by a brothel keeper for his prostitute's children. They are viewed by a party of Arabs and two small girls are taken off to be part of a harem or another brothel. On a flight to Jeddah children are being trafficked on one-way tickets. After a hard stint buying and selling the men of the trade relax watching a European strip-tease.
The narrator has an American accent. My first thought was a National Geographic documentary, but if any readers recognise the voice, or the programme I would be interested to know more.
The Muslim school in Paola stands to receive €700,000 in retroactive subsidies if Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi is re-elected, apart from further annual grants of €300,000.
This emerged yesterday after Dr Gonzi and Education Minister Dolores Cristina were given a tour of the Mariam Al Batool School by Imam Mohammed Elsadi and headmistress Maria Camilleri, a former Labour MP.
Imam Elsadi thanked Dr Gonzi for granting the school interest-free loans in 2011 and 2012 amounting to €200,000 each, without requesting any guarantees. “Without this help, the school would have had to close down,” said the Imam, who spoke of the financial difficulties the school faced, especially during the height of the Libyan revolution.
He assured the school that, if he were re-elected, the loans would be written off and the Government would honour its Budget proposal allocating an additional €300,000 grant for this year, a grant expected to be sustained annually.
Mr Elsadi made other requests that were not dismissed by the Prime Minister.
He asked for the Government to issue a directive to the public and private sector not to discriminate against Muslim women who chose to wear the hijab headdress at work or in school.
Mr Elsadi also asked for multi-faith prayer spaces in buildings such as the airport, the hospital and post-secondary schools.
Pointing to previous controversies surrounding makeshift mosques, he said the mosque in Paola could not serve the entire community in Malta. He therefore asked for permits to be issued to regularise the position of existing places of worship.
The recognition of Islamic feasts and Islamic animal slaughter were also mentioned as areas of importance for Muslims in Malta.
“May Allah reward you and grant you more success,” concluded Mr Elsadi.
Dr Gonzi promised to grant “all thehelp necessary” for the school to succeed and said it should not be difficult to provide more praying facilities around the country. He also promised to cooperate with the Libyan Government’s plans to upgrade the Libyan school in Ta’ Giorni into a higher education institution.
The readers in Malta are not impressed by his largesse. Also here.
“I’ll write off Muslim school’s debts”. It is not your money Gonz that your are generously promising and NOT THE TIME to do it!!
...writing off €400,000 at the mere mention of the request from an official would be the dream of many another school which caters for OUR remaining CHILDREN. It is no joke several STATE school do not even have basic items such as printer ink.
Maybe the words of John F Kennedy echo: " Ask not what this country can do for you, ask what you can do for this country".Instead Dr Gonzi reversed that concept and is more dedicated to do more for other countries than for his own.If Dr Gonzi spent all the money he spends on foreigners (illegal immigrants included) and spent that money on his own citizens we would be able to pay for our utilities
Trying to win votes with our money? How low can they get? Must be very desperate. Futur fis-Sod my foot!
Since you are in our country, you must abide by our rules and laws. You do not need other mosques you already have a large one in Paola.
How about stopping the persecution of Christians in Libya. Malta is a Catholic country not a Muslim one.
We've helped the Libyans in every way possible and yet, immigrants still pour on our shores as they refuse unhindered. These people keep asking for more rights and yet they refuse to give the same human rights to minorities in their own country. Its pretty evident whose at the short end of the stick on this deal.
Can the Imam tell us if Christian women who want to go around Tehran without the hijab are permitted to do so?
"permission to slaughter animals" This is already being done and it should be stopped. They kill in the most cruel way possible. Importation on halal meat should also be banned.
An interesting experiment is about to be conducted in London. A public-housing authority has constructed exact replicas of elegant early-Victorian townhouses on one side of Union Square in Islington, of the kind much coveted by bankers and lawyers in the nearby financial center, the famed (or ill-famed) City. The authority will rent these houses to relatively poor families at a steep discount. The scheme is revealing from at least three points of view: architectural, social, and politico-economic.
Architecturally, the houses are a reproach to the criminal stupidity, barbarity, and incompetence of postwar British architects, who made so much of urban Britain a visual hell. Whoever built the houses has followed the Victorian pattern exactly, without the need to leave his trace on it as a dog does with a tree. Recognizing that he could do no better, he has done the same; the result is more important than the architect’s need to prove his originality. Such replication might have been the dream of the population, but it has been the nightmare of architects, with their egoistic need to prove their supposed artistry.
Socially, the experiment may help determine whether architecture has an effect, for good or ill, upon social pathology. Will people, given elegant houses, behave more elegantly? Some hypothesize that what is granted to people without their personal effort or desert will produce no beneficial effect; but grounds exist for the opposite view. From a casual study of what one might call the epidemiology of graffiti, I think that even supposedly antisocial types are capable of aesthetic discrimination. I’ve noticed that, on the whole, they confine their efforts to the brutal concrete or otherwise hideous surfaces of the modern urban environment and leave architecturally meritorious buildings and surfaces alone, even in otherwise grim areas. In other words, their graffiti are an aesthetic commentary, albeit an unconscious one, on the world in which they live.
The politico-economic effects of the experiment are less happy. To live in such housing is an enormous privilege, since of course the supply is so limited. This hands enormous patronage powers to those who administer the project, supposedly on behalf of the general public. It is not difficult to imagine the corruption, both political and financial, that will result. The liberal newspaper, the Guardian, heralds the scheme as “a magnificent, two-fingered challenge to the notion, fashionable in some political circles, that people who cannot afford to live in expensive areas should not live there.” In other words, the project is a triumph for “social justice.”
But where justice is concerned, the effect is precisely the opposite. Under normal circumstances, people must make enormous effort and sacrifice to live in such accommodations. To grant them to people by political grace and favor, or even just to a lucky few, is the opposite of justice. There may be good reasons for doing so—despite such schemes’ tendency to devalue personal effort in favor of seeking political or bureaucratic influence—but justice is certainly not among them.
By Gul Yousufzai. QUETTA, Pakistan | Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:18am EST. QUETTA, Pakistan (Reuters) - Violence against Pakistani Shi'ite Muslims is rising and some communities are living in a state of siege, a human rights group said on Friday, warning that ...
ANKARA | Fri Jan 11, 2013 7:28am EST. ANKARA Jan 11 (Reuters) - The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) said on Friday France would be held responsible if it failed to get to the bottom of what it called the "premeditated and organised" killing of three Kurdish ...
GENEVA - Senior United States and Russian diplomats met on Friday with Lakhdar Brahimi, the United Nations and Arab League special envoy, to discuss possible mechanisms for ending the Syrian conflict but with little sign that an agreement was close.
Pakistan today summoned Indian ambassador Sharat Sabharwal to protest against alleged "unacceptable and unprovoked" attacks by the Indian army that killed two Pakistani soldiers in five days in Kashmir.
The Video That Troubles a South Florida Jewish Federation
(L-R): Rabbi David Steinhardt of B'nai Torah Congregation, C.B. Hanif of New Africa of the Palm Beaches, and the Rev. Andrew Sherman, our host, at St. Gregory’s Episcopal Church in Boca Raton. Source Interfaith 21
Credit South Florida Jewish activist Alan Bergstein for upending the leadership of the South Palm Beach County Jewish Federation. He has made them uneasy with an attack video accusing the chair of its Jewish Council on Community Relations (JCRC) Rabbi David Steinhardt of B’nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton of denying the sovereignty of the Israeli capital city-- Jerusalem. In Late December 2012 Steinhardt signed a J Street sponsored petition protesting construction of Jewish homes there.
Steinhardt is the spiritual leader of B’nai Torah Congregation, the largest Conservative synagogue in the Southeastern US. Steinhardt has been an iconic figure in South Palm Beach County interfaith circles. When he came to B’nai Torah Congregation in 1994 he brought with him his experience at a pulpit in Ohio fashioning Jewish dialogue with Palestinian supporters in the futile cause of nurturing peace for Israel. He became the President of the Palm Beach County Clergy Association and co-founded the Boca Area Clergy Association. Nationally he is a member of the rabbinic advisory Cabinet of the Conservative Movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary which has conducted controversial outreach to Muslim Brotherhood Fronts. He is also a Senior Rabbinic Fellow at the liberal Shalom Hartman Institute in Jerusalem. He is the current chair of the South Palm Beach County JCRC, but he may not be for long.
Steinhardt, the son of Jewish refugees from Hitler’s Germany, is a member of J Street and an ardent supporter of President Obama’s policies towards Israel. In August 2010, J Street opened a South Florida Chapter. J Street is the Washington, DC -based non-profit and political action committee that seeks to impose an immediate two state solution on Israel with its slogan of “pro peace and pro Israel.” A recent Peace Index Poll revealed that more than 67% of Israeli respondents agreed with statements that regardless who wins in the January 22nd Knesset elections that Peace was impossible to achieve with the Palestinians. J Street has received funds from George Soros and even Saudi groups, who are not exactly in Israel’s corner. In a Sun Sentinelarticle about the opening of the South Florida J Street chapter, Steinhardt explained the group’s aims:
Some South Florida rabbis said they welcome the perspective J Street will offer.
"There is a problem with the conversation in the Jewish community right now," said Rabbi David Steinhardt of B'nai Torah
Congregation in Boca Raton. "We have to be able to listen to different voices."
Steinhardt said a vocal contingent of American Jews, remembering the Holocaust and Israel's wars of survival in the 20th century, believes Israel faces constant existential threats and should be supported unequivocally. But many younger Jews, he said, believe the organized Jewish community does not speak on their behalf. He said they believe Israel is a strong military power that should be held to a high standard of morality and human rights, and they reserve the right to criticize.
In December 2011, Steinhardt and his wife, Dr. Tobi Richman were invited to the Obama White House for the annual Hanukah party. The Sun Sentinelarticle covering the event and other South Florida invitees and had these comments:
It was the first White House Hanukkah party for Rabbi David Steinhardt of B'nai Torah Congregation in Boca Raton.
"I felt really honored to be invited," Steinhardt said. "It was thrilling to be there."
We wrote in an NER article about Steinhardt’s involvement as South Palm Beach County JCRC chair lobbying against the anti-Sharia American Law for American Courts Legislation (ALAC) during the 2012 Legislative session in Tallahassee, Florida. To wit:
Rabbi David Steinhardt of B’nai Torah Congregation is an ally of Abe Foxman and his coterie at the ADL including the ADL Florida director, Andrew Rosenkranz and the Southern Regional Counsel David Barkey. Steinhardt funded lobbying for the ADL complicit in supporting CAIR and United Voices for America and former Tampa CAIR director Ahmed Bedier in opposition to the American Law for American Courts anti-Shariah legislation in Tallahassee during the 2012 session.
Steinhardt held an event in May 2012 with US UN Ambassador Dr. Susan Rice which was disrupted by a group of Jewish activists led by Alan Bergstein who were ejected from the proceedings. We noted what transpired in the clash at B’nai Torah in Boca in an Iconoclast post:
May 10th, US UN Ambassador Susan E. Rice spoke before an audience of 500 at B’nai Torah synagogue in Boca Raton. The event was sponsored by the ADL, the American Jewish Committee and the Jewish Community Relations Council of South Palm Beach County. Dr. Rice’s speech at Bnai Torah was disrupted by a few dozen Jewish activists who rose en masse waving Israeli flags and were escorted from the auditorium and ejected from the synagogue property. They were protesting the Obama Administration policies towards Israel, especially demands for Israel to rein in its settlement development program in Judea and Samaria. Dr. Rice resonated those demands in remarks at the UN in opposition to anti-Israel resolution at General Assembly and UN Security Council sessions at Turtle bay in Manhattan.
Dr. Rice, a member of the Obama cabinet was introduced by the Conservative Synagogue’s senior rabbi, David Steinhardt, an enthusiastic booster of President Obama and his policies towards Israel, as well as, outreach to Florida’s Muslim Brotherhood front groups.
In January 2013, Jewish activist Bergstein took his revenge on Steinhardt.. He released a video, depicting Steinhardt signing a statement on December 28, 2012 authored by J Street and others denying Israel’s sovereignty and construction of the E-1 project. Bergstein who is also a member of the South Palm Beach County JCRC, wrote an open letter to the community:
Steinhardt recently signed on to a policy statement criticizing Israel for exercising its sovereignty in its own capital, by announcing the construction of homes for Jewish citizens. This statement was organized by J Street and several other radical left-wing organizations that have been well documented in their anti-Israel activity and propaganda. These fringe views are entirely contrary to the policies embraced by the government of Israel and the Jewish people at large.
Given the damage that might be caused by the Chairman, the best way for the JCRC and our local Federation to preserve its moral standing and the faith and reputation of our community is by passing the Fogel Pledge. The Fogel Pledge is a policy statement . . .which affirmatively draws the moral line between the legitimate criticism of Israel and those views which are toxic and have no place within our community. It commits the Federation and JCRC to avoiding contact with those organizations that do significant harm to Israel while claiming to actually be supportive.
As a co-author of the Fogel Pledge – see the original March 2011 NER article – we greatly appreciate Bergstein’s appropriate use in this instance. The Fogel Pledge has been adopted by the Sarasota-Manatee County Jewish Federation.
The upshot of the Bergstein attack video was that Steinhardt has again come under scrutiny. The Bergstein video has caused many Jewish community members to raise questions about Steinhardt’s leadership at the JCRC. If he is asked to leave it would also mark pushback against the South Florida J Street contingent. Stay tuned for developments.
Watch the Bergstein video on rabbi Steinhardt here.
“The nature of lies is to please…. Truth has no concern for anyone’s comfort.” – Catherine Dunn
A dog whistle makes a sound or sends a command that only a canine can hear A rhetorical dog whistle is a coded message for select listeners, usually the politically correct. Euphemism is the breath that blows rhetorical dog whistles. A few examples suffice to make the point.
“Affirmative action” usually means racial or gender quotas. “Revenue” usually means taxes. Calling “addiction” sickness is a dog whistle that allows drunks and addicts to think they are ill, not irresponsible. Glaucoma treatment has become a dog whistle for legalizing pot. “Title IX” is a dog whistle that signals football and basketball to carry all those sports that don’t pay their own way - or subsidizes sports that nobody wants to watch anyway. “Nation building” is a dog whistle that summons soldiers and Marines to do social work. And goals like “stability” or “transition,” in their strategic incarnations, usually signal retreat or defeat. You get the idea!
Dog whistles are a way of life in politics. Plain speaking is dangerous, not the way to get reelected in a democracy. The most pernicious political dog whistles are used for national security and economic matters.
In the Mid-East, the “two-state solution” is a dog whistle. Those trills call the West to pander to, or appease; Arabs in particular and Muslims in general. We are led to believe that the UN actually needs more members; especially a Palestinian state, another Muslim basket-case. Never mind that there are, in fact, three Arab claimants; Hezb’allah, Hamas, and Fatah. None of these represent all Palestinians, or are reconciled to each other, to say nothing of Israel. With which of the three Arab border thugs is Israel supposed to make a suicide pact? Real arithmetic is inaudible in the “two” state whistle.
And speaking of bad numbers, international economic dog whistles are perennials. Karl Marx and Maynard Keynes are still blowing from the grave. The socialist dog whistle calls for justice, but really signals an attack on success and wealth – as if economic equality were not an affront to history and common sense anyway. And the Keynesian whistle would have government provide what the market will not; subsidies, bailouts, stimuli, and deficit spending. Where Marx and Keynes merge, the whistles might even hurt a dog’s ears.
Another ugly signal lies under all that noise about justice, fairness, and equality. A majority of voters in Europe and America have come to believe that a shrinking class of employed or entrepreneurial can support a growing class of dependents, fiscal barnacles. Neither government nor voters believe that they need to separate wants from needs anymore. Yet the free lunch crowd has the vote; and may now have a quorum; enough votes to repeal common sense – or mandate suicide.
Arts and entertainment too have been infiltrated by dog whistlers. Pussy Riot, Madonna, and Chris Mathews might be symptoms of the slide. Gone are the likes of Twain and Mencken, commentators who would skewer the mendacity of the Right and Left with abandon. Some of the best writers and directors now forfeit their integrity to celebrity, cash, and Hollywood politics.
Remember Elia Kazan? He took on the Hollywood Left and Mob controlled unions in On the Waterfront? Kazan won an Oscar for candor, a feat that might not be possible today.
Before the recent presidential election, there was Act of Valor, a US Navy approved film where real SEALs fight a fake enemy. If you saw that flick, you would never know that all those Muslim wars in the real world feature real Islamists as the real enemy. And why would the military cooperate with Hollywood, in an election year, to produce a “documentary” that might compromise clandestine methods and tactics? Was the Navy brass blowing a boson pipe for the commander-in-chief’s reelection? Hard to imagine!
And now after the election, but before a second inauguration (20 January), Hollywood releases (11 January) a film about a real operation played by fake SEALS; the Osama bin Laden smackdown. This film was scheduled for a Fall release; however, the blowback from earlier administration/Hollywood politicization of special operations set back the play date for Zero Dark Thirty.
And if you read the early reviews, monitor the awards buzz, see the director/writer interviews, or watch the trailer; the advance dog whistles for Zero are creating a kind of hallelujah chorus.
Pet owners should deploy their dogs now. Here are a few signals they might want to listen for.
First would be the “greatest manhunt” flack. Calling the bin Laden kill the “greatest” anything is a little like celebrating a home run in the middle of a ball game where home team loses ten to one. In the real world, the Islamists are winning, not just in Pakistan and Afghanistan, but in most small wars worldwide. Need we recount how many Arab and Muslim national states have succumbed to Muslim religious fanatics since 1979?
The second signal is a little harder to hear; call it macho feminism or chics with giblets. The action in Zero Dark Thirty revolves around an acerbic red head, a girl from the Obama era who prevails against Bush era dinosaurs at CIA.
Selecting a distaff analyst as the hero, as opposed to one of the chaps who actually put their azimuths at risk, is consistent with all things politically correct. Never mind that the film director is a woman. Jessica Chastain actually looks like a much younger Kathryn Bigelow. Such plot choices and casting, no doubt, are coincidental.
The writer for Zero is Mark Boal who made his bones at the Village Voice, Playboy, and Rolling Stone. Now there’s an apprenticeship where a journalist might cultivate political objectivity. As a reporter turned screenwriter, Boal would not be unacquainted with political spin. Nonetheless, both Bigelow and Boal claim that their rendition of events is “a true story.” We shall see, real scholars are still digging.
We shouldn’t make too much of the feminist coloring. But when Kathryn Bigelow makes a film about the Yemen fiasco, the Lockerbie sell-out, the Beslan child massacre, the slaughter of Jews in Mumbai, little girls shot in the face in Pakistan, or the recent Susan Rice/ Hilary Clinton dog and pony show after Benghazi; then we can believe that Ms. Bigelow isn’t priming the political pump.
Recall the food fight that followed the attack in Yemen against the USS Cole. The woman in charge, ambassador Barbara Bodine couldn’t play well with the boys from FBI or CIA. Now there’s a story that wants telling. That great manhunt, and others like the Lockerbie capitulation, was a bust. So before we take Bigelow/Boal hyperbole on the decade-long bin Laden soap opera too seriously, we might recall that the Russian FSB killed Shamil Besayev and his lieutenants in less than two years after the Beslan atrocity.
But the true signal behind the wonder-woman whistle in ZeroDark Thirty is the notion that CIA, or the Intelligence Community, is outsmarting or outthinking the unnamable enemy. American Intelligence and the Obama administration have been pedaling this narrative for four years. And now Hollywood has picked up the thread.
Alas, the Muslim wars didn’t begin with 9/11 and the enemy was never just binLaden, nor just al Qaeda. As long as the “one and done” myth prevails, tactical success will be confused with strategic failure. One homer does not win baseball games; and one successful raid doesn’t win a war. Special operations warriors probably run a half dozen missions, like the bin Laden hit, in any given week. Yet, the viral spread of Islamism, a global disaster, is ignored – and that strategic war is being lost. War strategy is made or approved at the White House.
The Kathryn Bigelow/Mark Boal team did a good job on The Hurt Locker (2008), a narrow, claustrophobic look at a small subject, explosive ordinance disposal (EOD). That film won an academy award. Zero Dark Thirty is on a similar awards track, but the differences between the two movies are profound.
One is realistic film noir about an obscure specialty; the other is a sleight of hand that ignores a strategic truth. A Barack Obama character never appears in Zero; thus creating an invisible elephant. Nonetheless, in pre-release interviews, the Bigelow/Boal team readily claims that the bin Laden kill was history, a “defining moment” for the Obama presidency. They also claim that the “hopes of a nation’ were carried on the mission. Hopes for what; revenge, victory, summary justice – or just a second term?
Indeed, Bigelow and Boal have answered that question in advance; they claim “the presidency” was riding on the raid. If Zero Dark Thirty is art and not politics, why are the film principals answering any questions about politics; on Obama or his legacy? In a few short years, Bigelow may have sold her soul and gone from promising storyteller to political shill.
The difference between the two Bigelow military action flics is candor, Hurt Locker had it; and Zero Dark Thirty, if we can believe the pre-release hype, and early reviews, is just another Hollywood dog whistle for a president’s flaccid foreign policy. The high drama in Bigelow’s film and the well-crafted action scenes will not mask the truth in a continuing saga of small wars where Osama bin Laden and Barack Hussein Obama are bit players. Ms. Bigelow may get another Oscar in 2013; but in 2012 she will have to settle for best dog whistle.
G. Murphy Donovan is a career military veteran and former Intelligence officer.
Esmerelda has just posted a video of an Arab slave market video, taken sometime in the 1960s. The same practices, and above all the same attitudes, of the Muslim male buyers, did not disappear just because, under Western pressure and for Western eyes, slavery was formally outlawed in Arabia in 1962. Such a film could be furtively shot today, with young girls and boys being raised to be sex and other kinds of slaves, and Arabs coming to inspect and feel the merchandise, in many placeson the East in the Sudan, in Afghanistan, and up and down and deep within the Jazirat al-Arab, the Arabian peninsula. The attitudes haven't changed; there is not and never will be Muslim William Wilberforce. There is shame, at being found out, but not the slightest guilt. And what are all those domestic workers, from Sri Lanka, from Thailand, from the Philippines, from Indoenisa, in Saudi and Qatar (home to Al Jazeera, which has yet to do some of that hard-hitting speaking-truth-to-power investigative journalism which apparently so impressed Al Gore) and the Emirates and Kuwait.
I thought, having seen that video, another video -- from a movie, of course, but reflecting Western reality and a Western sense of things -- might heighten the sense, that surely is everywhere growing, that those in the non-Muslim and far too tolerant West live, think, feel on a different plane and planet from the debased and self-primitivized (no matter how fancy cut of their expensive clothes) slaves of Allah.
'Dies Gloriae',* II: From Saint Raymond To Saint Benedict Biscop
Over the last few years, I have written several posts detailing Christian practices and how they relate to our culture, and others about Christian holy days and feast days and how they, too, relate to our culture1. It is important to realise that for Christians each and every day is holy and is dedicated to some aspect of our faith and this is all laid out in what we call our Kalendar. I have also written four short fictional stories about life and worship from an Anglican perspective which also detail some Christian practices2.
In this series of posts3 I have set out to demonstrate to non-Christians and Christians alike the depth of Christian observance (every day is a holy day for Christians) and the many connections that Christianity in its practices and observances has with our culture, language, history, landscape and the way we all live today. Many people are actively against Christianity having any role in people's lives and not a few work strenuously to deny Christianity any place in the world.
One of the most interesting pieces of knowledge that one can deduce from the bare facts in the recent Pew Research Center's reports is that Christians, who make up a third of the world's population, are also the most persecuted group of people on Earth and that Mohammedans are the people usually doing the persecuting (not just of Christians, but also of all other religions, and that, obviously, gives the lie to the perpetual Mohammedan claims about worldwide so-called 'Islamophobia'). You can find the three full reports here at the Pew Center's site , from where each report can be read and downloaded so that you, the readers, can judge for yourselves.
Anyway, that's enough preamble. Last week, in the first in this series3, I stopped at the Feast of the Epiphany on the sixth of January. Logically, therefore, I will start with the seventh of January. The saint that we at NER, and all those engaged in the written counter-jihad, should look to has his Memorial on the seventh of January and he is known as St. Raymond of Rochefort.
He was born to the Aragonian nobility and educated at the cathedral school in Barcelona in Spain. He became a teacher of Philosophy when aged about twenty. He was also a Priest and he graduated from the law school in Bologna in Italy. He joined the Dominicans in AD1218 and was summoned to Rome in 1230 by Pope Gregory IX who assigned him the task of collecting all the official letters of the popes since 1150. Raymond gathered and published five volumes, and helped to write Church law and his great influence on Church law led to his patronage of lawyers.
He was chosen Master General of the Dominicans in 1238 and he reviewed the Order‘s Rule and made sure everything was legally correct before resigning his position in 1240 to dedicate himself to parish work. He was offered an archbishopric, but he declined and instead returned to Spain and the parish work that he loved. His compassion helped many people return to God through Reconciliation.
However, and importantly from our point of view, during his years at Rome Raymond heard about the difficulties that missionaries faced trying to reach the non-Christians of Northern Africa and Spain (that is to say, the Mohammedans). Because of these difficulties Raymond started a school to teach the languages and cultures of the people to be evangelised. With Saint Thomas Aquinas he wrote a booklet that helped to explain the truths of the faith in a way that non-believers could understand. Missionary efforts to the Mohammedans have always been dangerous and hard and slow work, but Raymond's efforts did help many missionaries to convert substantial numbers of Mohammedans - though not, regrettably, enough to help us much today even though there are still numbers of Christians in North Africa (many of whom have to worship very, very privately because of the murderous devil-worshipping Mohammedans who currently occupy these Christian lands) who still hold on to the love of G-d as revealed through Christ.
Of course there are many other saints to commemorate on this day, saints such as St. Aidric, St. Anastasius XVIII, St. Brannock, St. Valentine, St. Theodore of Egypt, St. Tillo, St. Canute Lavard, St. Clerus, St. Crispin, St. Cronan Beg, Bl. Edward Waterson, St. Emilian, St. Felix and St. Januarius, St. Julian of Cagliari, St. Kentigerna, St. Lucian of Antioch, St. Reinold, and St. Nicetas of Remesiana, but I think that we ought to concentrate on St. Raymond and give thanks for his efforts against the Mohammedans.
The eighth of January brings its crop of memorials, also4. However, there is one man whose death is commemorated on this day that must be of particular interest to us. His name was Edward Waterson (the Blessed Edward Waterson was beatified on the fifteenth December 1929 by Pope Pius XI) and as a young man he travelled with a party of English traders to Mohammedan occupied Turkey. Whilst he was there he met and made friends with one of the occupiers, a wealthy Mohammedan Turk, who liked him so much that he offered his daughter in marriage if Edward would convert to Mohammedanism. Edward, a Christian and a believer in the one true G-d, staunchly declined these blandishments, but the incident set his mind on spiritual matters.
However, the rest of his life, although very spiritual, was marred by the type of Christian infighting and intransigence that was rife around the time of the reformation. Edward's route home ran through Rome and he converted from Anglicanism to Catholicism in 1588. He entered the seminary at Rheims in France on the twenty-fourth of January in 1589 and was ordained on the eleventh of March in 1592. Edward then returned to England on the twenty-fourth of June in 1592 to minister to his countrymen in hiding for their faith. Arrested for the crime of priesthood soon after his return, he was abused in prison for several months before being martyred.
So I think that we should remember the Blessed Edward Waterson on the eighth of January for two reasons - that he resisted the devilish lures of Mohammedanism, and that he was, sadly, caught up in the horrific events of a time when Christians forgot the true meanings of their faith and behaved in the same sorts of ways that the devil-inspired Mohammedans have always behaved in.
The ninth of January memorialises St. Philip of Moscow, amongst many others5, who is a saint that many of us might feel a considerable sympathy for, as I will explain once I've mentioned a little about his life. He came from a wealthy, noble family and his father held a post in the court of Tsar Basil III, and was the guardian of Grand Duke Yuri. His pious mother founded a convent and became a nun when she was widowed. Theodore served briefly as a soldier in his youth, but he had no interest in the family tradition of service to the government and the Tsar, so he hid his noble connections and became a monk at Solovetsk in 1537, taking the name Philip.
He was the wood cutter for his House, and a baker's apprentice. He took his final vows in 1538 and then withdrew to live several years as a hermit in the woods nearby, spending his days in solitary study and prayer. Recalled to his house, he was unanimously chosen as Abbot in 1547. He rebuilt parts of the monastery that had burned down, replacing wooden structures with brick made in the brickworks that he constructed. He trained himself in agricultural practices and devised a new system of irrigation for his monastic house. He set up windmills for power, built a wharf, a hospital, and housing for pilgrims. He introduced herds of reindeer to the monastery lands, and saw to it that the monks were trained to use the hides to make better clothing and shoes. He even built two great Cathedrals on his monastery's property, all the while making his monastery a renowned centre for learning and piety.
He saw to the proper treatment for the laity who worked for his House, and ensured the right to complain for the peasants of the region, a largesse nearly unheard of in the aristocratic society of Russia at the time. He attended a Council in Moscow in 1550 that strengthened clerical discipline.
He became Metropolitan of Moscow and Primate of the Russian Church on the twenty-fifth of July in 1566. When Tsar Ivan IV, who considered Philip's treatment of the peasants to be "meddling" in domestic policy, massacred political opponents, and anyone who happened to be nearby at the time, Philip privately explained the horror and error of the act to the Tsar but Ivan did not appreciate that.
A few months later, when the Tsar attended Mass at the Moscow Cathedral, and whilst the slaughter continued, Philip spoke out openly against the Tsar's killings. Soon afterwards, Ivan had Philip removed from office on the ridiculous charges of sorcery and corruption. Philip was arrested, bound in chains, and shuttled from one prison to another for months before finally being murdered by an agent of the Tsar.
So, there are two reasons why I think St. Philip is someone we should always remember - that he was a forward thinker who understood that the teachings of Christ applied to all, even the most humble labourer, and that he was a victim of political power exercised by a person, and people, without a shred of human decency about him, and them, who pretended to a Christianity that he, and they, cynically used for his, and their, own megalomaniacal ends. In the West today we Christians face many people who are as bad, in some ways, and as manipulative as Tsar Ivan and his cronies.
On the tenth of January I like to commemorate Saint Peter Orseolo6. He was a wealthy Venetian nobleman who would eventually become Doge of the Serene Republic and then retire to the Benedictine monastery of Saint-Michel-de-Cuxa in the Pyrenees. We owe much of Venice and the present day St. Mark's Cathedral to his reconstruction of Venice after a disastrous fire. However, what I chiefly remember him for, apart from his obvious holiness in later life, is his firm handling of piracy on the high seas when he was an Admiral in, and Commander of, the Venetian navy in his early twenties.
He ruthlessly destroyed the Dalmatian pirates that preyed on shipping in the Adriatic and completely ended piracy in that area using methods that I think we should be using against modern day pirates, in particular the vile Mohammedan pirates of Somalia. He knew, with clear Christian sight, that the pirates were wrong doers and evil and he did not hesitate to protect his people by ending their depredations. Modern politicians should be made to study his record and emulate his clear-sightedness.
When the eleventh of January comes round I think that we should remember and commemorate the life of Saint Vitalis of Gaza. He eventually ended up in Alexandria where he evangelised the prostitutes of that huge port city with some success. The only reason for my feeling that St. Vitalis should be prominently remembered by us is that he came from Gaza and in remembering him we will inevitably remember the Christians who are forced to live, and censor their every word and action, under the terrifying rule of of the occupying Mohammedans today in Gaza - and the plight of Christians forced to live in the lands once Christian that are illegally occupied by the devil-worshipping Mohammedans must never be forgotten.
As usual, one must remember that there are many other saints commemorated on this day, also7, and I'd like to remember St. Peter the Soldier, as well. He was one of fifty Christian soldiers martyred at Rome as a group during the persecutions of the Emperor Claudius II Gothicus. Remembering him will serve to recall to our minds our own brave soldiers who serve in Mohammedan countries and who are often killed by the devil-worshippers (and sometimes killed by a devil-worshipper pretending to be a friend). Those who fight as soldiers for us must never be forgotten by us.
Finally, and before leaving this day, in this Epiphany8 season we must not forget St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch, who was, at one point, a hermit who lived in a cave that in a tradition handed down to us from the ancient Fathers is believed to be the cave where the three Magi spent the night after they had worshiped the Lord Jesus. It was there that an Angel was sent to them and ordered them to return to their own country by another way, which they did. So this saint ties us back to Christmas and the very reason for being Christians and for practising all the Christian virtues.
To complete this sevenday we come to the twelfth of January. On this day I like to remember Saint Benedict Biscop. This saint is thoroughly part of the history of England (my country) and he was an advisor to Archbishop Theodore of Canterbury. Tradition holds to it that he introduced the construction of stone churches and glass church windows into England, and brought in many foreign craftsean to do the work and to teach the English craftsmen how to do it, also.
However, the principal reason that I like to memorialise him on this day is that he founded the twinned Northumbrian monasteries of Saint Peter at Monkwearmouth and its companion, Saint Paul's, at Jarrow. Most importantly, he also built a large library and scriptorium at Monkwearmouth that the Venerable9 Bede10 had unfettered access to and whose most famous work, Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum ('The Ecclesiastical History of the English People') gained him, Bede, the title 'The Father of English History'. Bede's other writings also served to deepen the understanding of Christianity amongst his fellow Englishmen. Therefore, without the workings of St. Benedict Biscop it is possible that the great Bede might not have written anything at all, and we would all be so much the poorer for that.
Of course there are other saints appertaining to this day11 and they should not be forgotten, either. However, that brings this sennight to a close. More in part three, if the Lord so wills it.
* The Latin words, Dies Gloriae, in this title mean 'Days of Glory' and come from Saint Thomas Aquinas' Summa Theologiae: Volume 30, The Gospel of Grace: q. 114 a. 8 co. 109-114: "[...] Prov. IV[:VIII], ["]iustorum semita quasi lux splendens procedit, et crescit usque ad perfectum diem["], [St. Jerome's Vulgate Latin Bible] qui est dies gloriae." ("...Proverbs 4:18: "But the path of the just, as a shining light, goeth forwards, and increaseth even to perfect day.," [Douay-Rheims Bible] which is the days of glory.")
4) You may care to look up the details of one or two of the other saints memorialised on the eighth of January. Amongst them are Abo of Tblisi, Albert of Cashel, Apollinaris the Apologist, Athelm of Canterbury, Atticus of Constantinople, Carterius of Caesarea, Ergnad of Ulster, Erhard of Regensburg, Eugenian of Autun, Eurosia Fabris, Frodobert of Troyes, Garibaldus, Gregor of Huleklosteret, Gudule of Brussels, Helladius, Jacob Corbeau, Julian of Beauvais, Lawrence Giustiniani, Lucian of Beauvais, Maximian of Beauvais, Maximus of Pavia, Nathalan of Aberdeen, Patiens of Metz, Pega of Peakirk, Severin of Naples, Severinus of Noricum, Theophilus, Thorfinn of Hamar and Wulsin of Sherborne.
5) St. Adrian, Abbot, St. Honorius, St. Brithwald, St. Vitalicus, St. Waningus, St. Epicharis, St. Foellan, Sts. Julian and Basilissa, St. Marciana of Mauretania, St. Maurontus, St. Paschasia, St. Abhor (Amba Hor), and the Bl. Tommaso Reggio to name but a few.
6) There are other saints commemorated on this day, such as St. William of Bourges, St. Agatho, St. Thomian, St. Saethryth, St. Dermot, St. John Camillus the Good, St. Marcian, St. Nicanor, St. Petronius and the Bl. Anna of the Angels Monteagudo. The example that anyone of them sets is worth study.
7) Amongst the others are St. Hyginius, St. Alexander, St. Anastasius X, St. Boadin, St. Brandan, St. Theodosius, St. Theodosius of Antioch, St. Theodosius the Cenobiarch, St. Salvius, Sts. Ethenea and Fidelmia, St. Honorata, St. Hyginus, Pope, St. Leucius of Brindisi, St. Palaemon, Sts. Paldo, Tato, and Taso, St. Paulinus of Aquileia, Sts. Peter, Severus and Leucius, St. Paulinus of Aquileia, Bl. William Carter, St. Paulinus of Aquileia and St. Francisca Salesia Aviat.
9) In the Latin Rite of the Catholic Church (and in a process recognised by almost all the churches), a deceased Catholic may be declared a Servant of God by a Bishop and proposed for beatification by the Pope through the Congregation for the Causes of Saints. The Venerable is the style used for such a servant of God declared to be "heroic in virtue" during the investigation and process leading to possible canonisation as a saint. Before a person is considered to be Venerable, he or she must be declared as such by a proclamation, approved by the Pope, of having lived a life that was "heroic in virtue" – the virtues being the Theological Virtues of faith, hope, and charity and the Cardinal Virtues of prudence, justice, fortitude, and temperance. The next steps are beatification, from which point the person is referred to as The Blessed, and finally canonisation, from which point they are referred to as Saint.
10) In 1899 Bede was made a Doctor of the Church by Pope Leo XIII, a position of theological significance. He is the only native of Great Britain to achieve this designation (Anselm of Canterbury, also a Doctor of the Church, was originally from Italy).
11) Aelred of Rievaulx, Antoine Fournier, Antony Mary Pucci, Arcadius of Mauretania, Bartholomew Alvarez, Bernard of Corleone, Caesaria of Arles, Castulus the Martyr, Emmanuel d’Abreu, Eutropius, John Gaspard Cratz, John of Ravenna, Marguerite Bourgeous, Martinian of Belozersk, Martin of León, the Martyrs of Ephesus, the Martyrs of Iona, Modestus the Martyr, Nicholas Bunkerd Kitbamrung, Peter Frans Jamet, Probus of Verona, Rogatus the Martyr, Satyrus, Tatiana of Rome, Tigrius, Victorian of Asana, Vincent da Cunha and Zoticus the Martyr are amongst those who are memorialised on this day.