The term anti-Christ is used only five times in the New Testament. Often Christian fundamentalists believe that at the end time the anti-Christ will appear and attempt to lead the gullible to perdition. This is a totally inadequate understanding of the Christian doctrine of anti-Christ. In the Greek language in which the New Testament was written anti-Christ is best translated as “one who is opposed to Christ.” The transliteration of anti-Christ is anaChristos. Notice in the original Greek anti-Christ is never prefaced by a “the”. Thus, there can be a multitude of anti-Christs over the last two millenium of the Christian era.
The first anti-Christ was the Roman emperor Nero (circa 64 AD) and his persecution was largely a local one confined to the immediate environs of the city of Rome. The next persecution occurring a generation later was led by the Emperor Domitian (circa 90-95 AD) and spanned the entire area of the Roman empire.
In first half of the Twentieth Century several persons qualified for the designation of anti-Christ. The first person who comes to mind is Adolph Hitler. Herr Hitler was the very embodiment of evil killing Jews, Gypsies, the mentally retarded and anyone regarded as unfit to live in the Third Reich which was supposed to last a 1,000 years, but in fact lasted only twelve.
Then there was Tojo, the evil master of Japan. He and his armies killed millions of Chinese, Koreans, and Filipinos. In Nanking alone over 160,000 men, women and children were savagely slaughtered. Infants were tossed into the air and speared on the points of bayonets. Japanese officers held contests to see how many Chinese they could behead in an hour.
Of course, there were two Communists anti-Christs Joseph Stalin and Mao-Tse Tung. Stalin, who once was a seminary student studying for the Eastern Orthodox priesthood, became a militant atheist killing Christians by the millions. Mao, was even worse, perhaps killing 60 million of his own citizens. The philosophy of communism is now part of the ash heap of history. Ironically, there may now be more Communists in America than in Russia.
However, one ideology has been more persistent and far deadlier than all of the above combined. That ideology is the teachings of Mohammed. Taken together the Koran, the Hadiths and the Sira combine to be a complete system of death and terror for the non-Muslims. History has recorded that the killing machine called Islam has extinguished at least 270 million human lives in the last 1400 years. This certainly qualifies Mohammed as one of the greatest anti-Christs of all times. The values of Mohammed are sordid when compared to Jesus Christ. Literally, Mohammed stands totally against the values of Jesus. Jesus, whatever you think of his divinity, stood for grace, compassion, forgiveness, and the brotherhood of all peoples. Mohammed, stood diametrically opposed to these values. He was a warlord, robber, rapist, pedophile, liar, killer, necrophiliac and fanatic. He literally stood against all the values of Christ. And so do his modern followers.
Do you wish to follow and imitate Christ, or follow the anti-Christ Mohammed?
Majid Rafizadeh: The Sunset Clause Guarantees That Iran Will Become A Nuclear Power
It becomes more and more obvious that Netanyahu's objections to the Obama-Kerry-Sherman negotiations with Mohammed Zarif, are not his alone, but shared by those who, instead of attitudinizing about Netanyahu's supposed "disrespect toward Obama" and Boehner's "poiticizing the matter," look at what is known about the deal close to being formulated, and what it means.
Majid Rafizadeh discusses the meaning of the Sunset Clause here.
His discussion of Obama's belief that the only possibilities are the deal being contemplated, with terms that Iran has managed to force the American negotiatiors to accept, or war, and that Obama has never had any intention to threaten or go to war, is here. Rafizadeh has not been impressed by the American failure to understand the Iranian bazaari-negotiatiors,who keep demanding, and getting more.
The American negotiatiors have beenboth naive and inept, They have failed to grasp that sanctions have been effective and greater sanctions would be more effective, failed to understand that the Iranian economy is collapsing, the rainfall on which Iranian agriculture depends is catastrophically low, the cost of propping up Assad, and Hezbollah, and possibly now the Shi'a in Iran, ever higher. What amazes is that the steady series of concessions made by the American government seem to proceed without anyone noticing, or using as a level, the collapse of the Iranian economy, brought about both by the cutting in half of oil prices and thus oil revenues, and by the sanctions that have proven effective, and are the only reason the Iranians decided to negotiate at all.
And, From Peoria, Illinois, Our Dozy Bint of the Month, Donning Hijab For Lent In a Glow of Self-Righteousness In Solidarity With All Those Millions of Poor, Persecuted Muslims
It did not, it seems, occur to this woman to seek out the nearest Coptic Christian church and ask them to tattoo a Coptic Cross on her wrist, in order to show solidarity, not only during Lent but for the rest of her life, with one of the most persecuted - historically and in the present - branches of the Church Universal. Nor, it appears, did it occur to her to consider donning a Star of David, or a "Long Live Israel" T-shirt, and wearing that for forty days, everywhere she went, even when among the "Muslim friends" of whom she speaks so fondly...No, it is the Muslims, always the Muslims, for whom females like this are most tenderly solicitous.
As breathlessly reported by Rossalyn Warren for "BuzzFeed News".
"A Christian Woman is Wearing a Hijab For Lent To See What It's Like To Be An "Outsider".
"This is all about helping my people, specifically white Christians learn how to see difference, embrace it and engage with it," Jessey Eagan told Buzz Feed News.
But what of all those many, many, many nonwhite Christians - Copts, Armenians in Syria, Assyrians in Iraq and Syria, Muslim-background Christians in Iran risking their lives to profess Christ, south Asian Christians - like Asia Bibi - in Pakistan, Chinese and South Asian and convert-from-Islam Malay Christians in Malaysia and Indonesia, and black Christians all over a large swathe of Africa, most notably in northern Nigeria, who are being persecuted, oppressed, discriminated against, slandered, and not infrequently robbed, raped, and murdered, by...Muslims? What are you going to say to them, Ms Eagan, as - in a blinding glow of self-righteousness - you parade down the street in the costume of their persecutors? - CM
'Jessey Eagan, a married Christian mother of two, has decided to wear a Hijab for Lent in an attempt to remind herself, "What it feels like to be an outsider."
"See, we lived in Amman, Jordan, about 7 years ago, where we ended up teaching at an Islamic school", she told BuzzFeed News. "While we were there we met many Muslims and built great personal friendships with them.
So she believes. Perhaps they were not very fervently-practising Muslims; for if they were obedient to the maxims of the Quran they could not have befriended her, or at least, not sincerely. She seems to know nothing of al wala wa al baraa, Loyalty (to Muslims only) and Enmity (toward all Unbelievers qua Unbelievers, unless and until they convert to Islam), nor ever to have read Surah 48: 29 of the Quran, which states that those who follow Mohammed are harsh toward the unbelievers and compassionate only amongst themselves. - CM
"And living in a culture where I stuck out like a sore thumb, I personally know what it can feel like to be an outsider, and I wanted to remind myself of that, so that I can better love all people, no matter what they look like."
'In her blog, the children's director at her church in Peoria, Illinois, wrote about a Muslim friend's response to her idea to wear a hijab, and how it spurred her on:
"Before I fully explain my reasoning, let me tell you how I came to the decision. I told my husband my idea and he encouraged me to do it (silly man! sometimes, behind a dozy bint there is a dozy bloke egging her on...- CM) but I decided that I needed to ask a local Muslim friend her thoughts on it. She wears hijab for many reasons, I'm sure, but one is identification with her Muslim community.
Not with her god? Not with her faith? No, it's her Ummah membership badge, her flag, her Gang Colours. How unintentionally revealing. - CM
"I wanted to make sure that I would not be disrespecting or offending the Muslim community (and we all know what happens, all too often, to dirty kuffars who offend the Religion of Perpetual Outrage, don't we? we saw it in Paris and Copenhagen, just recently....CM) so I asked her opinion. Her response was this: "You are a very thoughtful person full of great ideas...I don't see a reason why people get offended by a very thoughtful, nice and peaceful act. Our role is to teach and educate all people (ah yes: Muslims are "the best of people", "commanding r[the Islamically] right and forbidding [the Islamically] wrong"...just like we see Islamic State doing with such vigour and decisiveness, just now - CM) and I'm 100 percent in support of this idea...My hijab drawer is yours, come and pick what u like. If u don't have time I can bring them to u, just let me know what colours."
The Muslim friend probably feels that our dear Ms Eagan is just a hop and a step away from warbling the shahada. - CM
"How great is that? I met her at the Islamic school this morning to pick up the scarves and she helped me put on my first hijab for the Lenten season.
Would her Muslim friend reciprocate by wearing a cross for forty days??. - CM
'She says that her main goal for this project is to encourage other people, especially Christians, to look beyond appearances and remember Christianity's teachings about love.
"Jesus said to love our neighbours, strangers, and enemies. I think this is something that is not often taken seriously by many Christians", she told BuzzFeed News. "We are so influenced by the media that we allow fear to take over, and forget to love. Fear is the opposite of love."
'One thing Eagan says she hopes to do next is to use make-up to "darken" her complexion and "go out into the community".
"My friend told me that white Muslims and brown Muslims have different experiences, as do black Muslims, within the Islamic community (hmmmm - is her "friend" a black Muslim? a tiny glimmer of reality sneaks in through the rosy-pink fog - CM) as well as in the community at large." she said. "This is all about helping my people, specifically white Christians, learn how to see difference, embrace it, and engage with it. That's what hospitality does. It welcomes people who were once outsiders into a community with love and the desire to understand."
Welcome one of Islamic State's beheaders, complete with knife, into your "community" - or one of Boko Haram's little-girl-in-hijab human bombs - and see what happens next. - CM
'When asked what lesson she felt would be learned, that could not have been gleaned from a Muslim woman who wears a hijab (or from someone like Ayaan Hirsi Ali, who wears it no longer, having discarded hijab along with the mind-forged manacles of Islam - CM) Eagan said she felt it was more important to experience it "first hand".
"I wanted to see what my friends' public lives are like, how they experience my community differently from me", she said. "It is likely, I think, that my friends would tell me many positive things, and avoid speaking negatively, either about their experience or why they wear the hijab", Eagan added. "I also wouldn't get to understand my own prejudices towards people, which has come out at least twice."
'Eagan said she expected people "wearing cammo [that is, camouflage / army style outfits - CM) or driving big trucks" to threaten her, but that she's been "proven wrong each time".
Oh well, perhaps there may be some benefit derived from this poseur's silliness, after all. Surprise, surprise, she has discovered the falsity of the claim that Muslim women are being daily terrorised by eevil redneck rightwing Islamophobes on the streets of Middle America. - CM
'Eagan insists that the reaction to her project has been very positive from people in her community.
'She described one interaction she had with a friend in her local area. "Yesterday at church a woman, whom I have known for quite a long time, came up to me and said, "Jessey, I wanted to let you know that I have been reading your blog, and I am so proud of you, and what you are doing. Before reading your blog, I never would have even made eye contact with someone wearing hijab. But I was at an event the other day where I saw a Muslim woman and I did make eye contact with her."
"How great is that? Such a small gesture for her to make, and at the same time it was a huge step for her."
If anyone feels like knowing more, they can click on the link, look at the pictures - the expression on this female's face, gazing at us glassy-eyed out of the frame of that earnestly-donned faux-demure Slave Hood, is quite something - then read down to the bottom of the article, and find the link for this woman's blog, as she records each day of her little "masquerade as a muslima" project. You can also read the comments upon the article, not all of which are exactly enthusiastic. - CM
Magdi Allam: Let's Read The Qur'an Together (In Italian)
He addresses his remarks to Alfano, a clever consigliere and more to Berlusconi, now out of power but not out of politics.Magdi Allam, who arrived in Italy from Egypt at the age of 19, who has been explicating Islam to the Italian public, as a writer for the Corriere, as a guest on television shows, as a member of the European Parliament, and as a public personality to frequently addresses public gatherings. He summarizes the failure even of the Right to deal adequately with the Muslim menace, based on a failure to find out what is in the Qur'an, Hadith, and Sira. He appeals to Alfano to "read the Qur'an" along with Magdi Allam and others, possibly in an attempt to shame him into doing so or, if he fails to, at least to shut up altogether about Islam and cease to offer, with an unwarranted complacency, nostrums -- that is, the mixture as before.
Il primo dicembre 2005, dopo un incontro a quattr'occhi con Silvio Berlusconi a Palazzo Grazioli, l'allora capo di governo era sul punto di conferirmi la carica di «ministro per l'Identità nazionale, cittadinanza, integrazione e cooperazione allo sviluppo», creando il nuovo dicastero «senza portafoglio» in seno alla Presidenza del Consiglio.
Si oppose l'allora ministro dell'Interno Giuseppe Pisanu, che non volle rinunciare al potere politico, alle poltrone da distribuire, alle risorse da gestire e alla visibilità mediatica che conferisce il controllo dell'Immigrazione. La storia ricorderà probabilmente Pisanu per l'inaffidabilità e l'ingratitudine dimostrata nei confronti di Berlusconi. Sicuramente lo ricorderà per aver legittimato gli estremisti islamici dell'Ucoii (Unione delle comunità e organizzazioni islamiche in Italia), precisando lui stesso che sono l'emanazione dei Fratelli musulmani, in cambio dell'illusione che avrebbero combattuto al nostro fianco contro i terroristi islamici.
La svolta di Pisanu fu affidata a Radio Vaticana il 7 febbraio 2006. Interrogato sulla presenza di Nour Dachan, il presidente dell'Ucoii, in seno alla «Consulta per l'islam italiano», da lui costituita, Pisanu rispose: «Io ho guardato alla realtà odierna dell'Ucoii e ho prestato attenzione alle posizioni di grande apertura al dialogo, di ferma condanna del terrorismo che l'Ucoii ha assunto negli ultimi tempi in Italia. Debbo peraltro sottolineare che queste posizioni corrispondono ad una evoluzione positiva del movimento dei Fratelli musulmani nel mondo: questa evoluzione deve essere assecondata».
In realtà Pisanu si era limitato a obbedire all'ordine impartito dal presidente americano George Bush, che d'intesa con il premier britannico Tony Blair aveva offerto ai Fratelli musulmani un accordo strategico: lo sdoganamento politico in cambio della collaborazione a sconfiggere Al Qaida di Bin Laden.
Ebbene, dieci anni dopo, dobbiamo prendere atto del totale fallimento di quella strategia. Eppure, un altro ministro dell'Interno che, al pari di Pisanu, non solo non sarà ricordato per la gratitudine nei confronti di Berlusconi, ma sarà certamente ricordato per l'ostinazione a perpetuare, costi quel che costi, l'errore storico di immaginare che si possano sconfiggere i tagliagole islamici alleandosi con i taglialingue islamici. La svolta di Alfano è stata esplicitata, guarda caso dopo la sua recente visita alla Casa Bianca, dove ha partecipato al Vertice internazionale (17-19 febbraio), denominato «Contrasto dell'estremismo violento», dove guarda caso non compaiono né la parola «terrorismo» né la parola «islam». E guarda caso Alfano era accompagnato da un unico rappresentante del Parlamento italiano, il giovanissimo deputato del Partito democratico Khalid Chaouki, inesperto di politica estera ma musulmano.
Tornato da Washington, Alfano ha subito riesumato una sorta di «Consulta per l'islam d'Italia», nonostante sia stata interrotta da Amato nel 2008 per il rifiuto dell'Ucoii di sottoscrivere la «Carta dei valori», poi trasformata da Maroni in «Comitato per l'islam italiano» con l'esclusione dell'Ucoii. Ebbene, nella nuova Consulta di Alfano figurano ben 7 membri dell'Ucoii.
E guarda caso, subito dopo la svolta di Alfano, il Qatar, che è il principale finanziatore dei Fratelli musulmani, ha investito circa 2 miliardi di euro per comprarsi i grattacieli dell'Expo a Milano situati a Porta Nuova. E guarda caso, contemporaneamente, il premier Renzi ha frenato sulla partecipazione militare dell'Italia in Libia, nonostante le esplicite minacce dell'Isis, puntando su una impossibile conciliazione tra il governo libico riconosciuto internazionalmente che ha sede a Tobruk e i Fratelli musulmani libici che controllano Tripoli. In definitiva gli ordini di Barack Hussein Obama, la cui amministrazione è pesantemente infiltrata dai Fratelli musulmani, impongono all'Italia di accodarsi alla strategia della Turchia di Erdogan, principale sponsor politico dei Fratelli musulmani ma anche alleato occulto dei terroristi dell'Isis, anziché sostenere l'Egitto del laico Al Sisi che è seriamente determinato a sconfiggere sia l'Isis sia i Fratelli musulmani.
Ad Alfano non ci resta che regalargli una copia del «Corano spiegato da Magdi Cristiano Allam», di prossima uscita in allegato con Il Giornale , raccomandandogli di leggersi la voce «Dissimulazione», dove si cita il versetto «Chi rinnega Dio dopo aver creduto in lui si perderà, a meno che sia costretto a rinnegarlo ma in cuor suo resta saldo nella fede» (16, 106). Significa che i Fratelli Musulmani possono accettare la tregua con il nemico, ma mai e poi mai la pace. Lo capirà Alfano?
Could "komorebi" be considered a "kigo" word, the indicator of the season in a haiku? Leaves large enough to create that interplay with light and shade are to be found in summer, and possibly "komorebi" could then be the "kigo" word that indicates the season. Or do the leaves stay on in Japan? Let me consult Charles Sprague Sargent's "Forest Flora of Japan." I'll be right back after a quick trip to the island of Sado, and a look at the Milky Way.
Ivan Rioufol: "Antiracism Is The Totalitarianism Of The 21st Century"
Remarks by Ivan Rioufol, prompted by the unspeakable logorrhea of the brimful-with-resentment-and-race-hatred Minister Of Justice in France, one Christiane Taubira. And the comments of others, so often worth reading, also disgusted with Taubira and the refusal of the party in power to promptly discharge her for what is only her latest display.
What's Up At The Farthest Mosque: Wage War On America And Kuffar Everywhere
Sheik Ahmad Al-Khadwani, at Al-Aqsa, urging Muslims to wage war on America and kuffar everywhere.But they already are. Perhaps he wants Muslims to put more emphasis on qital, combat, and on terrorism, rather than relying on such other instruments of Jihad (best defined as "the struggle to remove all obstacles to the spread, and then the dominance, of Islam")as propaganda ("Jihad of the pen, tongue), economic warfare ("Jihad of wealth"), or the newest instrument, and the most dangerous, demographic conquest from within.
Schadenfreude -- Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei Rushed to Hospital in Critical Condition
Ayatollah Khamenei, Iran's Supreme Leader
Schaden Freude Alert! This is NOT Purim Shpiel. Supreme Ruler Ayatollah Khamenei rished to hospital in critical condition. This may be evidence that sometimes Ha Shem does work in less than mysterious ways. The report of Ayatollah Khamenei's 'critical condition gives heft to the magnificent address by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu's address before a joint meeting of Congress. If confirmed it should bolster support for the real deal that Bibi spoke of- regime change in Tehran. That message should not be lost on President Obama, Secretary Kerry and the rest of the P5+1 intent on cutting a deal with this malevolent apocalyptic Mahdist regime fomenting chaos to awaken the moribund Twelth Imam in the holy well in the holy city of Qom, Iran. We trust that my cioreligiionists last night shook that grogger (Purim noisemaker) (during the reading of Esther's Megillah, but substituted Khamenei for Haman. Chag Purim Sameach. Note this Israel National News report on this 'revoltin' development, Report: Iran's Supreme Leader Hospitalized in Critical Condition:
Just in time for Purim, the Jewish holiday celebrating the redemption of the Jewish people from plots of genocide in ancient Persia, Iranian Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was reportedly hospitalized in critical condition on Wednesday.
According to Arab media reports cited by Israel Hayom, Khamenei was urgently brought to a hospital in Tehran after several of his bodily systems had already failed.
The reports add that the 76-year-old supreme leader of the Islamic regime has undergone surgery and remains in critical condition.
Recently it has been reported that he was suffering from prostate cancer which had spread to additional parts of his body, and due to his poor health condition he had largely ceased taking part in public events.
The hospitalization comes just days after Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu addressed Congress on Tuesday to warn of the existential threat to Israel and the world that Iran poses, urging America to avoid the deal being formed on Iran's nuclear deal ahead of a March 31 deadline for talks.
Lending some credence to the reports is the fact that Khamenei's official Twitter account hasn't been updated since Netanyahu's speech on Tuesday, when he wrote the "US is now facing a #dilemma. It should either stop unlimited services to #Israel or they’ll lose more face in the world."
How Much Are Muslims Costing Non-Muslims All Over The Western World?
"In 2012 Omar was convicted of handling stolen bicycles at Isleworth crown court and ordered to do 100 hours’ community service and pay £800 prosecution costs. Mohammed Emwazi was twice acquitted of the same charges in two separate trials a few months previously.
Meanwhile Omar, his mother Ghaneya, 47, sisters Asra, 19, and Shayma, 23, both students, and a 12-year-old sister who is still at school are reportedly being guarded by a round-the-clock police security operation in London costing £5,000 a day after being moved to a secret location.
They fled their home two weeks ago after realising Emwazi had been identified, and moved to a property in Paddington. But they were forced to relocate again last night - believed to be to a hotel where they are living under assumed names - after Omar was spotted by a television crew."-- from a news report about the Emzawi family
How much did the Tsarnaev family -- the father, the mother, the two daughters, the two sons -- cost the taxpayers of Massachusetts and the United States? How much in subsidies, how much in education costs, how much in free health care, how much in food stamps, how much to take care of the families of the dead and the wounded, how much to hunt down the brothers, how much in lost economic activity because of the shutdown in Boston and its suburbs, until one brother was dead and the other finall captured, how much in costs for the judge, for the jury pool of 1300, for the investigation, for the prosecution, for the public defender? How much will Dzhokar Tsarnaev's trial, which may go on for months, cost? How much will it cost to pay for his lifetime imrpisonment? How much will his two sisters, poetty criminals and unrepentant Muslims, and his sister-in-law, that zombified convert, also still a devout Muslim, alll of them apparently not too poor to have children, how much will they cost the state and federal governments? And what do all the Muslims in the West, so unable, and unwilling, to accept the laws and customs of a non-Muslim society, so rooted in the hostility toward non-Muslims that Qur'an and Hadith and Sira inculcate, so willing to smile when there is murder in their hearts, so willing to practice taqiyya and kitman, so willing to turn every occasion into one of false victimisation, so eager to spread nonsense and lies about Islam, and to spread hatred for Israel and for Jews, so willing -- when allowed -- to take full advantage of Infidel girls, as at Rotherham and dozens of other places, so intent on pocketing whatever the gnerous welfare states of the West have on offer, and in swelling their ranks by helping other Muslims to be smuggled in, or to bring in brides or husbands from back home, so ready to demand changes in schools and prisons and in the workings of the health system?
How much is it costing to post guards at every synagogue and Jewish school, and at many Christian ones too, at kosher markets, and at church Christmas fairs, at bus stations and airports, at train stations and all throiughout the metropolitan subway systems, at monuments of symbolic significance, at government bjildings, at sports stadiums, or to guard those apostates who dare to speak publicly? How much for the Muslims who, all over Western Europe, are imprisoned for cimes at five or even ten times their percentage of the general populatioon? How much does their presence disrupt or inhibit the teaching of the truth, in history class after history class, so Westen students never can hear, as they might once have done, something other than bromides and a sanitized view of Islamic doctrine, Islamic conquest, Islamic attitudes?
He said that those who left Islam deserved death. He was talking about Ayaan Hirsi Ali. He moved heaven and earrth to try to stop her from speaking publicly. He once worked for the Federal Bureau of Prisons. Now he has just been hired again, by that same federal bureau. Why?
EXCLUSIVE: Jihadi John 'kidnapped two teenagers at gunpoint and dumped them beside M1 in their underwear in revenge for attacking his brother'
The Islamic terrorist known as Jihadi John once kidnapped two schoolboys at gunpoint in retaliation for a gang attack on his brother, the Standard can reveal today.
A former friend of the terrorist told the Standard it was punishment for a vicious attack the previous day when he and Emwazi’s younger brother Omar were beaten up and attacked with bricks. The incident occurred in 2008 when Emwazi was at the University of Westminster, a year before he was questioned by the security services who suspected him of trying to reach militant training camps in Somalia.
The friend, who was aged 14 at the time, said the attack was sparked because of “postcode rivalries” between two West London estates. He had gone to Emwazi’s home on the notorious Mozart estate in Queen’s Park to buy a stolen bicycle from Omar, but was spotted by two people who knew he was from the rival Lisson Green estate.
He told the Standard: ““I (went) to Mohammed’s house to buy a bike off Omar. He sold stolen bikes to people at school and you would get a big discount. I was planning an ‘in and out job’ but two guys saw me. There was a big fight. They threw a brick at my head and broke my arm, Omar was punched in the face a few times and beaten up.
“The next day Mohammed turned up with two religious guys with beards. They drove round in a car and found these two guys who attacked us, threatened them with a gun, made them take all their clothes off and drove off. They dumped them on the M1 motorway. They weren’t attacked physically but they were threatened. It was a message. I saw the guys the next day at school and they apologised to me. Mohammed was a bit of a hard nut. He wasn’t into gangs but people were wary of him. They were pretty scared.”
“I last saw Omar a year ago at Friday prayers at Regent’s Park mosque. His brother prayed there too. Omar was a good guy. He was a decent person. He used to be quite religious and very peaceful. He used to go to the Harrow Road preaching, but never hateful stuff.”
Omar, now 21, has since voiced support for the radical Islamic cleric Sheikh Khalid Yasin who inspired one of Lee Rigby’s killers, and is believed to be an integral member of a network called Power of Dawah, an evangelical Islamic group tries to convert people in the street and has hosted lectures by various preachers.
Micko Kadic, a prominent member of the Woolwich Dawah team - which once harboured Fusilier Rigby’s killers - declined to comment about Omar Emwazi’s involvement.
In 2012 Omar was convicted of handling stolen bicycles at Isleworth crown court and ordered to do 100 hours’ community service and pay £800 prosecution costs. Mohammed Emwazi was twice acquitted of the same charges in two separate trials a few months previously.
Meanwhile Omar, his mother Ghaneya, 47, sisters Asra, 19, and Shayma, 23, both students, and a 12-year-old sister who is still at school are reportedly being guarded by a round-the-clock police security operation in London costing £5,000 a day after being moved to a secret location.
They fled their home two weeks ago after realising Emwazi had been identified, and moved to a property in Paddington. But they were forced to relocate again last night - believed to be to a hotel where they are living under assumed names - after Omar was spotted by a television crew.
Federal prosecutors said on Wednesday that they had ordered police to arrest a 22-year-old man at Düsseldorf airport on suspicion of being a member of the Isis terrorist group.
They accuse the man, a German citizen named as Kerim Marc B., of having taken part in weapons training and fighting in battles on the side of Isis in Syria. The man left Germany in March 2013 and travelled to Syria via Turkey, where investigators say he had joined up with Isis by October.
Prosecutors in Düsseldorf said they were originally investigating Karim Marc B. for planning a serious crime against the state in Germany, and only later becameaware that he had in fact joined Isis.
He will be brought before a judge on Thursday to decide on the terms of his custody while the investigation continues.
The greatest regret of my life is that I was born too late to be a bohemian. But by the time I was old enough to be one, respectability had almost died out, and bohemianism is parasitic on respectability for its attraction. When everyone is a bohemian, no one is. Besides, property prices had risen so much that it was no longer possible to live in what one might call higher squalor in the center of a great city, renting a single uncomfortable room for next to nothing. Where residential property costs $15,000 a square yard, no one wants a feckless poet or painter as a tenant, not even of a cupboard-size room. And nowadays, when it is sometimes difficult to distinguish by his mode of dress the chief executive of a giant corporation from a student, it is easier to express social rebellion by wearing a collar and tie than by turning up at a cocktail party in a turtleneck sweater, once regarded as the height of eccentricity.
Dylan Thomas, the great Welsh poet, the centenary of whose birth was in October, was one of the last thoroughgoing bohemians. It never occurred to him to get a regular job or conform to the restrictive conventions of the society into which he was born. He considered employment only as a temporary and regrettable expedient to get him out of a financial fix. Drinking, sponging off others, indifference to social norms, womanizing, physical squalor, petty theft (of shirts, for example), and even not-so-petty theft, were his mode of life. His friend Norman Cameron, a minor poet and advertising executive, wrote:
Who invited him in? What was he doing here,
That insolent little ruffian, that crapulous lout?
When he quitted a sofa, he left behind him a smear.
My wife says he even tried to paw her about.
If that is what his friends thought of him, what of his enemies?
It is easy to construct a case against Dylan Thomas. The notion of returning borrowed money was so alien to him that it never even crossed his mind to do so. He had no concept of meum et tuum. He bilked tradesmen if he could, treated other people’s homes without respect, leaving them in a mess and unapologetically breaking their valuable furniture in quarrels with his fiery wife, Caitlin, and in general behaved as if he were above the degrading necessity of ordinary mortals to earn a living: the world was lucky to have him. He was a careless, neglectful, and irresponsible father of three children, he betrayed his wife on innumerable occasions, and his attachment to truth was less than obsessional. The Oxford historian A. J. P. Taylor—no stickler for convention himself—detested Thomas for his laziness, dishonesty, drunkenness, and parasitism; it was Taylor’s wife, Margaret, in love with Thomas, who gave him the money to live in his last and beautiful home, the Boat House, in Laugharne, on the Carmarthenshire coast. Yet Thomas was far from grateful for his patron’s largesse (she paid all his bills, too); in private, he was disparaging about, and even contemptuous of, her. He regarded her cold-bloodedly as a cash cow, and, come what might, he always had money for the pub.
Thomas’s conduct, however, always exhibited an element of play-acting: his bohemianism, at least at first, was not unself-conscious. He grew up in a respectable area of Swansea known as Uplands, in an Edwardian-style house on a street called Cwmdonkin Drive. The Thomas family had a maid. His father was head of English teaching at Swansea Grammar School at a time of high academic standards. Thomas Sr. was a dissatisfied man, bitter that his talents had gone unrecognized—he once applied for the chair of English at Aberystwyth University College but was turned down in favor of someone he thought his inferior. Like V. S. Naipaul’s father, Thomas Sr. had unfulfilled literary aspirations, and vicarious social and academic ambitions for his son. (He was a native Welsh speaker, for example, but did not want his son to learn the language, thinking this a worthless and even deleterious accomplishment that would mark Dylan as belonging to a culturally backward race. Indeed, he paid for the young Dylan to have elocution lessons, to expunge Welshness from his pronunciation.)
The young Dylan set about frustrating his father’s ambitions for him. He attended the grammar school in which his father taught; but he was an undisciplined scholar, focusing only on English composition and ignoring all other subjects, and his formal education ceased when he was 16. Thomas was a quart that could not be fit into a pint pot.
He early conceived the vocation of poet, as others conceive a religious vocation. At 13, he published a poem in a South Wales newspaper, though (as was later discovered) it was pure plagiarism. Yet Thomas soon thought of himself, and referred to himself, as the Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive, a part he played for the rest of his life: and when you play a part long enough, it becomes what you actually are—in this case, the poète maudit. His wife once said that he worked hard at his image; and in the end, the image was the man and it killed him. The alcohol consumption and the death were all too real, even if he drank partly to create the impression of himself that he wanted to convey, both to himself and, more important, to others.
For a long time, Dylan Thomas was as famous for his life as for his works; his roistering, drunken, undisciplined existence exerted an attraction for people chained by circumstance or cowardice to the humdrum world of getting and spending. That Thomas for much of his short life received an income from his writing that would have been adequate for comfort, if only he spent it wisely; that he never took buses but only taxis, even when broke and even for long distances and at immense expense; that he sent his son to be privately educated—none of this was widely known, for poverty as a consequence of his principled determination to live as a poet was more appropriate to the legend he created and lived.
Thomas may have played the part of the doomed poet, excused by his genius from following the conventions of decent behavior. But he was a genius: few are the twentieth-century English poets who wrote lines that not only were memorable but that also make the soul vibrate. Thomas was one of them.
Thomas was aware from an early age of his own genius. In his book of marvelously evocative stories about his childhood and adolescence, Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog, published in 1940, when he was 26, Thomas recalls reciting a poem he had written 12 years earlier, in which the lines appear:
The frost has known,
From scattered conclave by the few winds blown,
That the lone genius in my roots,
Bare down there in a jungle of fruits,
Has planted a green year, for praise, in the heart of my upgrowing days.
No doubt many a young boy has felt the lone genius in his roots, but few have seen them grow, like Thomas’s, aboveground.
The story in which these lines appear, “The Fight,” conveys the great charm of Thomas’s personality, which struck as many people as did his disgraceful egotism. The fight was with Dan Jones, a Swansea boy two years his senior. Strangely enough, it cemented their lifelong friendship. Jones went on to become a distinguished composer and a brilliant linguist: during the war, he decoded messages from the Russians, Romanians, and Japanese.
Jones came from a richer family than Thomas, and in “The Fight,” Thomas describes the first dinner at Jones’s house to which he was invited. Also present at the dinner are the Reverend Mr. Bevan and his wife. Mrs. Bevan is quite mad: as Jones relates, “She tried to throw herself out of the window but [Mr. Bevan] didn’t take any notice, so she came up to our house and told mother all about it.” Thomas has an almost Dickensian eye for the social absurdities of middle-class respectability:
Mr Bevan said grace. When he stood up, it was just as though he were still sitting down, he was so short. “Bless our repast this evening,” he said, as though he didn’t like the food at all. But once “Amen” was over, he went at the cold meat like a dog.
Mrs Bevan didn’t look all there. She stared at the table-cloth and made hesitant movements with her knife and fork. She appeared to be wondering which to cut up first, the meat or the cloth.
In the story, Thomas reveals his own character. Jones’s father, called Mr. Jenkyn in the story, asks Thomas his age: “I told him, but added one year. Why did I lie then? I wondered. If I lost my cap and found it in my bedroom, and my mother asked me where I had found it, I would say, ‘In the attic,’ or, ‘Under the hall-stand.’ It was exciting to have to keep wary all the time in case I contradicted myself, to make up the story of a film I pretended to have seen.” Having heard from Thomas that he was 15 and three-quarters years old, Mr. Jenkyn says, “That’s a very exact age. I see we have a mathematician with us. Now see if he can do this little sum.” He asks the young Dylan whether he would like to do a puzzle: “ ‘Oh, I’d like to see it very much,’ I said in my best voice. I wanted to come to the house again. This was better than home, and there was a woman off her head, too.” When Mr. Jenkyn shows the solution to the puzzle, Dylan pretends to understand: “I thanked him and asked him for another one. It was almost as good being a hypocrite as being a liar; it made you warm and shameful.”
It is as if Thomas had to embroider truth poetically for it to become real for him, the embroidery leading to or exposing a deeper kind of truth. There is charm in his child’s clear-sighted view of things, which Thomas never lost and which is still evident in the one undoubted dramatic masterpiece ever written for radio, Under Milk Wood, which he completed shortly before his death. But his clear-sightedness is that of no ordinary child: the juxtaposition of warmth and shamefulness is completely unexpected, a revelatory leap of the imagination. These are the kinds of juxtapositions that made much of Thomas’s poetry so evocative and capable of changing the way you look at the world, increasing the intensity of your attention. In “Poem in October,” for example, Thomas describes his birthday as he overlooks the estuary of the River Tawe:
It was my thirtieth year to heaven
Woke to my hearing from harbour and neighbour wood
And the mussel pooled and the heron
The morning beckon
With water praying and call of seagull and rook
And the knock of sailing boats on the net webbed wall
Myself to set foot
In the still sleeping town and set forth.
There is no verbal music better than this in twentieth-century poetry in English; and who, having read “The heron priested shore,” will ever look at a heron in quite the same way again?
To return to Thomas’s charm: it is to be found in his letters to Vernon Watkins, another Swansea poet and a lifelong friend (Swansea was surprisingly fecund in men of talent in the first third of the twentieth century), but in character very different, almost opposite. Not a drinker, and better—or longer—educated than Thomas, Watkins worked all his life in a bank and always behaved like a responsible bourgeois. Poetry and fecklessness are not identical twins.
Thomas wrote to Watkins from the age of 21; he enclosed poems in his letters for Watkins’s comments and amendments, often accepting his suggestions. That Thomas lived through periods of genuine penury, even if sometimes self-inflicted, is proved by the fact that he had often to ask Watkins to type out his poems, since he lacked a typewriter or even paper of his own. Among other things, these letters testify to the vast increase in abundance that has taken place among us within living memory.
Many of the letters ask Watkins for money. They do so with irresistible charm, such that, if I had received one, I think I would have been glad and perhaps even honored to comply. Here Thomas describes the cold caused by his penury: “It’s almost too cold to hold a pen this morning. I’ve lost a toe since breakfast, my nose is on its last nostril.”
The very first letter that Thomas wrote to Watkins, in April 1936, asked him whether he was “temporarily rich” and, if so, whether he would like to lend him a pound or two. “If you ever have 5 shillings that you hate,” he wrote to Watkins in August 1940, “I shan’t.” That year, he also wrote to say that he had not received two pounds (equivalent these days to more than $100) that Watkins had sent him by mail: “Sorry, very sorry, sorrier than I can tell you, about the death of the pounds.” Thomas was not to be trusted to tell the truth, however, for he once told A. J. P. Taylor that he had lost his return train ticket when he hadn’t, trying to extract money from him. In May 1941, Thomas wrote three times to Watkins. The first of the letters noted: “A little money has arrived for me since your last pound for the road; now that has gone. . . . [No cigarettes] now for days. I have taken to biting my nails, but they go down so quickly, and one has only 10.” In the next, Thomas complained, “The joke has gone too far. It isn’t fair to be penniless every morning. Every morning but one, okay; but no, every morning.” In the third letter, he says, “See if you can squeeze another drop from your borrowed-to-death body . . . . [H]ow vile I feel when I ask you again. Really vile. Weasels take off their hats as I stink by.” And so on.
As a memoir written by Watkins’s widow, Gwen, makes clear, the relationship between Thomas and Watkins was unequal. Thomas was more important to Watkins, emotionally, than Watkins ever was to Thomas, who used him but, in the familiar pattern, belittled him in private. But Watkins, who was six years older than Thomas and survived him by 14 years, fiercely defended his friend against his many detractors; and it is hard not to see in this a noble recognition of a man of genius by a man of talent, because one-sided admiration is as painful in its way as unrequited love. The difference between the two men is laid out, perhaps unintentionally, when Gwen Watkins drew parallels between their early development, as described in their own words:
Watkins: By the time I was ten I had collected most of the English poets. . . . The hold which poetry had on my sensibility increased, and hardly ever relaxed its grip.
Thomas: When I was very young, and just at school . . . in my eleventh year I read indiscriminately, and with my eyes hanging out.
Watkins: I wrote poems, and they usually reflected the style of the poet I was reading at the time. In language, I was not at all precocious, only responsive.
Thomas: I wrote endless imitations, though I never thought them to be imitations, but rather, wonderfully original things, like eggs laid by tigers.
Who was going to be the greater poet?
Genius does not justify betrayal and the many other sins to which Thomas was heir, but one feels that there was more to Thomas’s egotism than to that of, say, the ordinary psychopath. For one thing, his vision of human life was intensely tragic, having two periods: childhood and adolescence, on the one hand; and death, on the other. Childhood is irrecoverably past (“the years before I knew I was happy,” Thomas calls it); only death awaits:
Now as I was young and easy under the apple boughs
About the lilting house and happy as the grass was green. . . .
Nothing I cared, in the lamb white days, that time would take me. . . .
Time held me green and dying
Though I sang in my chains like the sea.
When I was a windy boy and a bit . . .
I tiptoed shy in the gooseberry wood,
The rude owl cried like a telltale tit, . . .
Now I am a man no more no more
And a black reward for a roaring life, . . .
Modesty hides my thighs in her wings,
And all the deadly virtues plague my death!
His childhood over, Thomas, by his manner of burning his candle at both ends, went more than halfway to meet death, as if he had nothing more to expect of life.
From all that I have said of Thomas’s behavior, he might have seemed so self-absorbed that he had no time or energy or concern for the rest of humanity. But in fact, his last work, Under Milk Wood, was a social comedy so finely observed and tolerant (and, of course, poetic) that it reconciles you to the inevitable hypocrisies, evasions, frustrations, absurdities, pains, and fantasies of human existence. This is the comédie humaine in its small-town, Welsh version; and if Thomas himself behaved as if he wanted desperately to escape it, no man who did not, at some level, love humanity could have written the following scene, in which Mr. Pugh dreams of disembarrassing himself of his scurrilous and censorious wife:
In the blind-drawn dark dining-room of School House, dusty and echoing as a dining-room in a vault, Mr and Mrs Pugh are silent over cold grey cottage pie. Mr Pugh reads, as he forks the shroud meat in, from Lives of the Great Poisoners. He has bound a plain brown-paper cover round the book. Slyly, between slow mouthfuls, he sidespies up at Mrs Pugh, poisons her with his eye, then goes on reading. He underlines certain passages and smiles in secret.
Persons with manners do not read at table,
says Mrs Pugh. She swallows a digestive tablet as big as a horse-pill, washing it down with clouded peasoup water.
Some persons were brought up in pigsties.
Pigs don’t read at table, dear.
Bitterly she flicks dust from the broken cruet. It settles on the pie in a thin gnat-rain.
Pigs can’t read, my dear.
I know one who can.
Alone in the hissing laboratory of his wishes, Mr Pugh minces among bad vats and jeroboams, tiptoes through spinneys of murdering herbs, agony dancing in his crucibles, and mixes especially for Mrs Pugh a venomous porridge unknown to toxicologists which will scald and viper through her until her ears fall off like figs, her toes grow big and black as balloons, and steam comes screaming out of her navel.
You know best, dear,
says Mr Pugh, and quick as a flash he ducks her in rat soup.
What’s that book by your trough, Mr Pugh?
It’s a theological work, my dear. Lives of the Great Saints.
Mrs Pugh smiles. An icicle forms in the cold air of the dining-vault.
This is writing of genius, by which Thomas makes us aware of the glories of the everyday, the everyday that he could not himself tolerate.
Most (but not all) of those offended by Thomas’s outrageous behavior forgave him; for them, the profit of his company was greater than the loss occasioned by his various vices. I think I should have been among those who forgave him. But whether he would have enriched the world as much as he did, or perhaps even more, had he not so early assumed the role of the Rimbaud of Cwmdonkin Drive, is impossible to say.
His grave in St. Martin’s churchyard, Laugharne, is deeply moving. It consists of a simple white cross with his name and dates painted in black. His temperamental but much put-upon widow, Caitlin, chose to be buried next to him when she died 41 years later, though she had spent the intervening years in Italy, where she sobered up (eventually) and had another son at the age of 49 with a man with whom she lived for the rest of her life. Clearly, then, Dylan Thomas was no ordinary man, and his reunion with Caitlin in the grave—which is that of Everyman, simpler by far than that of the local butcher or baker—gives point to the final stanzas of Norman Cameron’s poem about him:
What was worse, if, as often happened, we caught him out
Stealing or pinching the maid’s backside, he would leer,
With a cigarette on his lip and a shiny snout,
With a hint: “You and I are all in the same galère.”
Yesterday we ejected him, nearly by force,
To go on the parish, perhaps, or die of starvation;
As to that, we agreed, we felt no kind of remorse.
Yet there’s this check on our righteous jubilation:
Now that the little accuser is gone, of course,
We shall never be able to answer his accusation.
In church last Sunday the lesson for the day was Jesus feeding the multitude (John 6:1-13). A little lad had two fishes and five small barley rolls which he in child like simplicity offered to Jesus. Under the beneficient hand of Jesus the multitude of over 5,000 people were fed. No matter what you think happened, miraculous or not, the compassion of Jesus shines through the passage. Jesus viewed the feeding of hungry as a God directed activity. The feeding of the multitudes is the only miracle recorded in all four of the Gospels.
And even today Christians follow in the footsteps of Jesus. Feeding hungry, destitute people is an activity all Christians endorse. Millions of people around the world depend on the benevolent spirit of Christians for their daily sustenance.
For a moment contrast this with the teachings of Islam. There is not one whit of evidence that the Prophet Mohammed ever had any concern for a hungry mankind. I am sure Mohammed urged the feeding of fellow Muslims, but not suffering humanity in general. In fact Mohammed authorized one set of ethics for Muslims, and a different, more brutal, set of ethics for Kafirs (non-Muslims). Famine was often used as a weapon of Jihad. Even today, in Sudan, Somalia, Egypt, Turkey and Iraq, famine is a major tool of Islamic conquest. The choice often is to convert to Islam and have plenty to eat, or continue being a Jew or a Christian and watch your children slowly starve to death in agony before your very eyes. Most parents cannot make a choice that condemns their own children to death. So they at least become nominal Muslims.
Muslims envision the world divided between Muslims and Kafirs. It is the Koranic dictated duty of every Muslim to wage war against the Kafirs. The Christian ideal is the family of God composed of all races and nationalities sitting around the banquet table of God.
Allah wants non-believers dead. The God of the Judeo-Christian ethic wants all people saved. Allah teaches a savage theology of war to gain converts. The God of Jesus teaches the persuasive power of divine love to recruit followers. The god of Mohammed brings untold suffering to people. The God of Jesus suffers on behalf of all humanity. Mohammed taught the division of humanity based on strife. Jesus taught the unity of the human family based on love. Mohammed taught the sanctity of some human life. Jesus taught the sanctity of all human life.
Those of us in the Judeo-Christian tradition have a long and wonderful history of feeding the starving. We do not believe in using famine as a weapon of war. We believe that compassion will in the longer term overcome hatred. We believe in feeding all people, anyone who needs our help. We believe the strongest tactic is unconditional love, even of Muslims.
The controversial Swedish artist who was the presumed target of one of the Copenhagen terror attacks last month was set to make his first public appearance on Friday. But the talk has been cancelled over security concerns.
Lars Vilks was due to speak at a panel discussion on free speech in Gothenburg on Thursday. The event was initially postponed by a day following concerns about the security of teachers taking part in a union conference in the same building and later cancelled altogether.But Friday's talk ended up being cancelled late on Wednesday afternoon after it emerged it would clash with a lecture being hosted by an art school, which rents rooms in the same venue.
"It's very unfortunate. But we felt it would not work. Our tenants should not be hit with problems caused by this booking," the CEO of the Folkets hus (The People's House) venue, Lina Lindquist, said about the Vilks talk.
The debate was supposed to have featured members of Sweden's Pirate Party's youth organisation alongside free speech campaigner and blogger Sakine Madon.
Last week it emerged that a separate planned lecture by the artist at Karlstad University on March 17th had already been scrapped by organisers. Staff said they could not guarantee the safety of the audience in the wake of the recent shootings in Denmark and France.
"We have done a security check and decided that it is too high a risk to have this arrangement in our building," Jan Ganbreng, head of security for the university told The Local at the time.
This week it emerged that artist was set to pick up the award from the Danish Free Press Society (Trykkefrihedsselskabet) that he was scheduled to get on the night the terror attacks took place in Copenhagen in a ceremony on March 14th. He will return to the Danish capital to collect the honour at a ceremony in Christiansborg in the city.
A chemistry teacher from Manchester who was determined to fight with Islamic State despite the desperate pleas of his family was prepared to kill in Syria, a court has heard. Jamshed Javeed, from Levenshulme, was part of a group of young Muslim men from Manchester who became radicalised and ‘determined to fight Jihad’ in 2013, Woolwich Crown Court was told. He helped his younger brother, Mohammed, and two other men join the group, then widely known as Isis, by providing money for flights as well as clothing and equipment, prosecutor Simon Denison QC said.
Javeed, 30, who taught 11 to 16-year-olds at Sharples High School in Bolton, prepared to follow them to the country with another member of the group, Nur Hassan, in November 2013, buying clothing, equipment and flight tickets, but was stopped from travelling by his family, who hid the clothes he had prepared, along with his passport.
But he was adamant - and even his wife’s revelation that she was pregnant with their child could not deter him, the court heard. Javeed was arrested in December 2013 before he could realise his ambition.
He pleaded guilty last year to two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terrorist acts and a sentencing hearing has now started. He is due to discover his sentence tomorrow.
A chemistry teacher who was poised to travel to Syria to fight with the group that became widely known as Islamic State has been jailed for six years. Javeed, a teacher at Sharples High School in Bolton, had been preparing to leave his home in Levenshulme. after helping his younger brother make the trip to Syria.
The teacher's relatives initially foiled his plans by hiding his passport but he persisted even after learning his wife was pregnant. Police found £1,490 in cash, thermal gloves and combat-style trousers in a rucksack during a search at his home.
At an earlier hearing, Javeed admitted two counts of engaging in conduct in preparation of terror acts but insisted he was travelling only to support the people of Syria, not to join Isis.
But in sentencing him, Judge Michael Topolski said he was "not satisfied" that Javeed had rejected "Isis's ultimate aims".