3) No more political correctness. Political correctness means operatively “behaving socially right” or “behaving with fairness in societal interactions”. However, the deep sources of political correctness are in fact hypocritical hedonism combined with Western-Christian guilt and remorse that contradict the basic paradigms of Western culture and reflects illusionist and detached ideas about reality.
Like multiculturalism, relativism and other atrocious deluded academic pseudo-scientific ideas, those who use and force us to use political correctness serve in fact, intentionally or unintentionally, as collaborators with the enemies of modernity and freedoms. The problem is that Muslims believe and practice a totally different political culture that takes advantage of the situation to penetrate the inner fabric of modern society, to defeat it from within. They declare and pronounce their targets clearly and openly. The problem is with our own educational ignorance, political inhibitions, and reluctance to view reality truly and to speak out clearly outside of intimidation.
Unfortunately, political correctness has for a long time stripped the US citizens of their First Amendment rights, along with deeply hurting their flow of free ideas. More and more people have recently become victims of this plague, which mostly consists of Muslim organizations and the media outlets, seeking to demonize anyone who utters anything even the slightest bit critically relating to Islam.
The actor Gary Oldman has spoken out against the hypocrisy of political correctness: “I just think political correctness is crap… It is just the sheer hypocrisy of everyone… it means dishonesty and double standards that frustrate me the most.” Indeed, political correctness is the epitome of hypocrisy and double standards behavior. The US Constitution guarantees the right to express one’s ideas and beliefs freely, without fear of being charged by lawsuits and put in prison.
The Western states share a basic important political ethos and they are all liberal democracies. Unfortunately, these countries also recently share a deadly political ideology known as multiculturalism. It sits at the pinnacle of political correctness and moral relativism, and it is promoted with a religious fervor. Multiculturalism has become the driving ideology behind almost everything in Western life: politics, the law, education, and even the current correct thinking.
Those who do not think politically correct are labeled as racists and fascists; and are denounced as supporters of the old imperialist-colonialist world. However, this is not the real issue. The horrific situation is that the multicultural defenders promote knowingly or unknowingly the mono-cultural, mono-religious, racist, fascist, supremacist Islam. The essence of Islam is all what the multiculturalists are supposed to be against: tolerance of the other; equality of all races, religions and women; all the freedoms spectrum and civil rights; tolerance, equality and peace-making to one another.
Why do they do it? It has nothing to do with Islam. They know nothing of Islam and/or the Palestinians. They do not know Arabic and have never read the Qur’an and Islamic scriptures and they have not studied the Palestinians’ Hitleristic-Nazi hatred and incitement towards Israel. They suffer from deep ‘mental blindness’, failing to observe how Islam wreaks havoc in all of what the West loves and cherishes.
In Israel, the multiculturalists’ intentions have become a full-fledged philosophy of anti-Semitism that is transformed into a multi-cultural and a multinational state. Denying the Jewish people their right to self-determination, by claiming that the State of Israel racist and colonialist. From here come the destructive anti-Semite formula that Israel must transform to a “state of all its citizens.” This kind of anti-Semitism negates the right of Jews to exist as a political entity with an independent homeland. The implication of these horrific atrocious ideas will be a Palestinian State from the sea to the desert and the disappearing of Israel as a nation and as a state.
The only reason is that the multiculturalists and politically correctness promoters deeply hate the West. They do not care about Islam and Muslims, but they do care in their deep hatred of the West. They hate its values and its way of life, and Islam has become the mechanism, the tool they employ in their way to bring Stalinism and Bolshevism as the law of the earth.
They are so idiotic and foolish that they do not ask themselves what will happen to them if Islam wins. Their hatred is so deep that they even promote their own extinction in what seems to be a collaboration that leads to their own annihilation. That is why Western peoples find themselves in an ongoing political nightmare, not because of Islam and its primitive barbarian ideology, but because their own political-cultural elites have abandoned them.
In the current tumultuous in fact dying Middle East, Israel is not only innocent of most of the regional and domestic problems, but it has nothing to do with the mired situation of the Islamic Tribal Anarchic Winter (there was never, even for one day “Arab Spring”). The failed states (exactly out of the US policy); the miserable social and economic backwardness; the political violence and extremism of cultural and religious causes; the wretched life of the Arab-Muslim peoples and the oppressive regimes; and the continuing wars permeating so deeply ME. But in the political correctness of Western language, Israel is the source of all troubles, being a colonialist Apartheid state.
Is this the situation? Let me put it bluntly: historically, the Jews have brought to Europe the light and the sciences and culture. However, the Europeans have persecuted and massacred the Jews to the point they become an extinct species. But the Europeans have forgotten two things: first, there is God Almighty, and second, there is no vacuum. The Jews left, and the Muslims entered. Please find the disparities.
Moreover, imagine Israel has vanished from the Middle East. What will happen in fact? The Islamic anarchic quarrels will intensify and would trigger ruinous war; weaken the Arab moderate states and strengthen Arab radicals, with the high-tide of Islam’s onslaught; and generally undermine Western influence to the point of disappearance.
He who think of a peaceful Palestinian state – think again. The territory will be torn out by inter-Arab fights and wars will be the main of regional politics. It is a fact for many years: as long as Israel exist, a Palestinian national political identity continues to exist. The possibility that the surrounding Arab states will let the Palestinians continue their destructive policies is an illusion shared by ignorant Westerners and local leftists, even not by the Palestinians themselves.
Western national identity is based on two dimensions: Cultural, on the heritage of Western civilization; and political, on the principles of freedom, democracy and equality before the law and constitutionality. However, exactly these dimensions are under assault of “post-nationalists,” post-modernists, and relativists. Under the auspices of phony intellectualism of the Academia and the media, these groups constitute a proto-Messianic eschatology of deconstruction of the law and order among humanity. Everything that typifies the Western way of life as a cultural phenomenon will collapse and disappear.
The multiculturalist philosophy including all other “isms” must be totally thrown to the garbage can of history. These deluded ideas must be defeated and eliminated in all Western society. Politically correctness should do the same orbit and must be disintegrated. Those who immigrate to Western society must have the simple choice: either they respect Western laws and way of life with its Jewish-Christian cultural roots or they are free to leave.
It is so simple and totally justified. Imagine you invite out of benevolence a stranger to your home and he tries to take control of your house and impose his way of life and traditions – what would you do? Surely you will find a solution to this issue. Than why it is so difficult on the national level?
Another fact, which we have mentioned time and again: the entire countries around the world have absorbed minorities, ethnic and religious, the US being the best example. All of them have become loyal productive citizens, being proud with their new nationality. Only Muslims are not. Only Muslims resist integration and assimilation, and much more: they try by all means of Jihad and Da’wah to impose their religion and way of life. And they do it persistently and in consistency.
We have to realize that political correctness and moral relativism have become our own worst political enemy. We fail, being optimistic concerning human nature and behavior; we stumble from failure to failure believing there is a solution to every problem and estimating that the reasons for the Muslims’ inhuman behavior are social and economic perspectives and our own history of imperialism and colonialism.
Look what is happening in British educational system. There is a long list of politically correct changes that gradually are bringing British education into conformity with Islamic Sharia law. Muslims demand that Islamic preachers be sent to every school to teach children about Islam. On the other hand, British schools drop the Jewish holocaust from history lessons, with the excuse to avoid offending Muslim pupils. It is not only the Jews: British teachers are also reluctant to discuss the medieval Crusades, in which Christians fought Muslim armies to defend Europe. The pick of these atrocities teachers are required to teach key Muslim contributions to humanity, fake and ridiculous, such as Algebra and the number zero. Schools across Britain are, in fact, increasingly banning pork from lunch menus to avoid offending Muslims, and huge numbers of schools have adopted a “no pork” policy and eating Halal foods.
In Germany, instead of studying the refusal of the Muslims to integrate into German society, and to avoid the emergence of a parallel legal system in Germany based on Islamic Shari’ah, German authorities have officially confirmed that they are monitoring German-language Internet websites that are critical of Muslim immigration and the Islamization of Europe. Please pay attention: German authorities do not monitor the Muslims use of the internet and other social media in their own many languages. Instead, German authorities monitor citizens who criticize Muslims and Islam on the Internet are fomenting hate and are thus criminally guilty of “breaching” the German constitution.
The guardians of German multiculturalism have been working overtime to accuse the critics of Islam of engaging in hate speech to try to intimidate the so-called “new right” into silence. They accuse that anti-Islam blogs “have promoted “infringements of human rights protected under our constitution.” Criticism of Muslims and Islam constitutes “an attack against the freedom of religion, which is protected by Article 4 of the Basic Law.” They also dare to equate criticism of Islam with anti-Semitism. In sum, those who criticise Islam are undemocratic and pose a threat to the German constitutional order.
Spiegel magazine asserts that those who criticise Islam represent a new form of extremism: “anti-Muslim scene is becoming increasingly dangerous… the question is whether the hatred of Muslims is enough to endanger freedom of religion and international understanding.” They all belong to the “far right.”
However, the TNS Enid political polling shows that the majority of Germans disagree with a statement by German President Christian that Islam “belongs in Germany.” Fewer than 5% of the Germans think Islam is a tolerant religion. Fewer than 10% of the Germans say that Islam is a peaceful religion. More than 40% of Germans believe that the practice of Islam should be vigorously restricted. Only 20% of the Germans believe that Islam is suitable for the Western world. Pew Research Center of 2011, states that 72% of the Germans believe Muslims do not want to integrate; and that 79% of the Germans believe Islam is “the most violent” religion.
Yet, Western political leaders, assisted with the heavy artillery of the Media and the academia continue their stupid-ignorant, in fact criminal policy of denying, appeasing and subduing Western civilization to the barbarity of Islam. They continue not to internalize that this deadly combination of the religious commandments of Islam and the cultural behavior of the Arabs and Muslims is the issue. Our greatest liability is the politically correct climate endorsed by Western leadership with the stormy support of the media and the academia which is negligently blind to the threat of Islam.
According to Yves Mamou, the horrific reality in Europe is that the state, the one that has the monopoly on violence, does not want to be at war with its Islamic residents, and in fact expresses the policy that it is afraid of its Muslim citizens. The rule of law has become protecting the violators of the law, the terrorists, are protected above all. Mamou details the crimes of the media, being in fact the Islamic terrorists’ best friend, the detached from reality excuses relating the Muslims atrocities in Germany and France of June-July, 2016:
The real victim is the terrorist. He was not a Muslim, Just a Lunatic. The problem is not Islam, but too many guns on the black market. The victims are responsible for their own murders. The attacker “self-radicalized” rapidly. ISIS is not Islamic, it is a right-wing organization.
The U.S. is mired in Political correctness, and this fact is indisputable. In a nutshell, it means not upsetting anyone due to their race, ethnicity, gender, physical disability, appearance, accent or anything else that might somehow cause psychological discomfort and sensibilities. Yet, this has become a mental disease, into a deadly plague.
For example, political correctness has claimed the 13 lives at Fort Hood massacre by not preventing and neutralizing Nidal Hasan Ali. Why? There was an elephant in the room, yet the culture of political correctness kept the concerned officers from reporting the behavior of Nidal Hasan Ali. This horrendous approach has caused the Fort Hood headquarters to “understand” the Islamic brutal way of life and behavior: “it is in their belief system, so it must be ok.” No. It is absolutely not ok. Muslims must adhere to the US belief system and way of life. That is why political correctness has become a deadly infection, and still the American people is not aware of the depths to which it has permeated Western culture and become a sickening situation.
Take the horrific frightening situation of the US Department of Homeland Security. On the managerial advisory level it is being run by Muslims sent by Muslim organizations like CAIR, the Council for American Islamic Relations; by MPAC, Muslim Public Affair Council,; and by ISNA, Islamic Society of North America. They sit in on brainstorming about investigative techniques that US agents are using in the field. Indeed, this is the pure situation of the cat guards the milk. That is nothing short of outrageous.
The horrific situation is that we do not behave and speak freely in front of the Muslims or when relating to Islam. We are so deeply intimidated, that there is no longer even politically correct, but Islamically correct. Avoidance of ‘insulting Islam’ has become a code word to our horrendous nightmares, a lethal weapon we impose on ourselves in capitulation and submission. We censor ourselves and our free speech at our own decision out of the deadly combination of intimidation, ignorance and Bolshevik slogans promoted by our own cultural elites and the media.
Muslims are fanatic and primitives. But in fact Western elites are the delusionists, the messianic and the dreamers. Muslims understand Western situation much better than we understand them or even ourselves. Muslims know Western elite is so infected with political correctness that it is more afraid of offending them than fighting them. In fact, in the “land of the free and home of the brave,” one could conceivably be charged with a hate crime for expressing opinions. Indeed, politically incorrect opinions and writings have become hate crime, and soon hate-speech police will be established to silence all criticism of Islam. Relativism and moral equivalence dominate the social sciences and humanities of the academia. Both stem from political correctness and strengthen it at the same time. This situation has stultified generations of students who become our politicians, diplomats, judges, and journalists.
Allan Bloom wrote of The Closing of the American Mind: How Higher Education Has Failed Democracy and Impoverished the Souls of Today’s Students. Melanie Phillips has published The World Turned Upside Down: The Global Battle over God, Truth, and Power. She blames relativism as the root cause of the Western decadence. So does Ralph Peters in his Endless War: Middle Eastern Islam vs. Western Civilization: “… one of the greatest obstacles we have to understanding our enemies is that our officer corps is too well educated in a formal sense. Officers with master’s degrees in international relations and Ph.D.s in government have become prisoners of the outdated theories…” The problem is these sciences ignore, in fact do not understand the reality of evil displayed by Muslims and motivated by Islam.
As the actor and comedian, John Cleese, says: political correctness has gone too far, especially on America’s college campuses, where he will no longer go to perform. There may even be something more sinister behind the insistence to be always be politically correct. “If you start to say we must not, we must not criticize or offend them then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. Political correctness will lead to an Orwellian nightmare. Indeed, President Teddy Roosevelt put it: “to anger a conservative, lie to him. To anger a liberal, tell him the truth”.
To show how ridiculous and detached this slogan of political correctness has become, the following lines written by an unknown person are important:
I wanted to send some sort of holiday greeting to my friends, but it is so difficult in today’s world to know exactly what to say without offending someone, especially with the current demands of political correctness afflicting us all. So I met with my attorney, and on his advice I wish to say the following:
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for a socially responsible, environmentally conscious, non-addictive, gender neutral celebration of the holiday, practiced with the most enjoyable traditions of religious persuasion or secular practices, with respect for the religious/secular persuasions. I also wish you a fiscally successful, medically uncomplicated recognition, and personally fulfilling, without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wishes.
By accepting this greeting, you are accepting these terms: this greeting is subject to clarification or withdrawal. It is freely transferable with no alteration to the original greeting. It implies no promise by the wisher to actually implement any of the wishes for her/himself or others and is void where prohibited by law, and is revocable at the sole discretion of the wisher. Disclaimer: no trees were harmed in the sending of this message; however, a significant number of electrons were slightly inconvenienced.
The world has truly been turned upside down and inside out. It is a world in total chaos. Evil is being called good and good is thought to be evil. In a quest to be politically correct, which is really just a euphemism for willful ignorance and self-deception, and bears death wish, we are giving Islam a wide open door to control and subdue. It means in fact that Shari’ah become the law of the land.
Dismantling the nation-state will necessarily lead not only to acute instability but also to the formation of the ‘big brother’ state of Islam, a trend that will lead to the demise and fall of Western liberal democracy. Indeed, political correctness has become a deadly infection that influences us all and if we continue behaving accordingly, it will bring us into our demise.
4) No more appeasement. Western society and leaders have never learned the lessons of the history of appeasement. Defeatism was one of the main causes of military catastrophes. Dark evil regimes are never satisfied with the Rhineland and the Sudeten regions, and the Anschluss of Austria and seizure of Czechoslovakia, but work relentlessly to achieve world hegemony. For hundreds of years, the attempt at appeasement is a recurring factor in the fall of civilizations. While apocalyptic Islam poses a lethal threat to the Free World, we, from many reasons, try to cure the situation by appeasing, believing that it will suffice in calming the wolf.
Western leaders go out of their way to appease, to capitulate, and to give the Muslims more “protection money” and special treatment, the more the Muslims threaten us. But no less frightening is that they actively silence those among their own people who oppose the continued Islamic colonization of the Free World. The basic values of enlightenment are in danger, not only because of the emerging fanatic beliefs, but because too many people are trying to compromise the madness. When our leaders call Islam a great religion, they are appeasing, running away, if not lying outright. To call a most deadly threat to everything we cherish a great religion, legitimizes evil on the one hand and infuses the rest of us with a false belief. The Islamists have infiltrated our fortresses, our system of government and intend to ruin them from within.
It is a well-known lesson of history: more appeasement from the bullied always brings about more demands from the bully. Appeasement is disastrous and leads to annihilation. One must learn the dark lesson of the 1930s. Europe continued its appeasement policies the more Nazi Germany demanded concessions. Again and again Europe gave up and gave in, and again and again the Nazi aggressor demanded more and more. What was the result? Germany itself opened the Second World War by attacking and occupying Poland, on September 1, 1939. The appeasers continued with their run away policy, and the aggressor, never satisfied, continued with his occupation. Was the lesson learned? Not at all. Appeasement is never a safe policy nor an option; it is disastrous and it leads to catastrophes.
Let us look at the scene from another angle, put by Victor Davis Hanson: Hitler started World War II after he already remilitarized the Rhineland, absorbed Austria and dismantled Czechoslovakia. By doing all that he had created the largest German-speaking nation in European history. Imperial Japan had redrawn the map of Asia and the Pacific by occupying or annexing Indochina, Korea, Manchuria and Taiwan, to the swaths of coastal China. Therefore, attacking Hawaii, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Indonesia in 1941 was logical in a decade of Japanese aggression. Fascist Italy had already been remaking the map of the Mediterranean region. Benito Mussolini had annexed what is now Ethiopia, Albania and most of Libya. He promised Italians that the Mediterranean would soon be “mare nostrum,” our sea (again). Had Hitler, Mussolini and the Japanese just been satisfied and consolidated their winnings, there was no evidence that the tired Western democracies would ever have stopped them.
But these leaders never stopped. After the end of the war and about 60 million people had perished and Europe was totally destroyed, the Western democracies blamed themselves for having appeased and empowered fascist empires. Well, what is happening today? The contemporary world amazingly resembles so much the late 1930s, so that even maps are again being redrawn.
The Islamic State wishes to bring the Islamic Sunni Caliphate borders back, from Andalusia to India. Shiite Iran wishes to bring its political hegemony over the entire Middle East, by proxies and by military successes: Continental (Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon) and maritime (Hormuz and Bab al-Mandeb straits). At the same time, and more than ever, it wishes to destroy the Sunni version of Islam and to occupy the holy shrines of Islam in Saudi-Arabia. Here is the logical basis for Iran to have the bomb. The Middle East melts down to its gravest situation, with failed states (Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria); frightened states (Lebanon, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia), and defensive powers (Egypt, Saudi-Arabia). All the while Israel is shamelessly accused by the corrupt, impotent useless United Nations organization, shamelessly led by the OIC, the Organization of the Islamic Countries’ cartel that behaves like a Mafia. The UN’s treatment towards Israel has become an obsession, an incurable malaise.
The following conclusions should be taken from the history of the game of appeasement. It brings short-term glories of peace to the appeasers at the price of long-term military defeats to their allies. Appeasers consistently reiterate that the only alternative to their march of folly of appeasement is war. However, just the opposite is true: the price of appeasement is assured war. The appeasement of dictators by democratic regimes is a long steady road of failure, while the price of deterring balancing policy is successful containment of the aggressor. Appeasement is never an option; it is always a catastrophe.
5) No more ignorance. We must thoroughly read the Qur’an and other Islamic scriptures; we should learn about the Islamic religion and its culture; we should critically understand what Islamic aims and targets are; we must call a spade, a spade; we must stop explaining and rationalizing Muslims’ behavior, and start to believe in what they say. Western civilization cannot effectively combat the root causes of Islamic civilizational war by ignoring its nature and motives. That is we have to internalize Thomas Jefferson’s declaration: If a nation expects to be ignorant and free in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be. Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
However, it is much more. Ralph Peters in Endless War, focuses on the ideological nonsense perverting discussion of war, peace, and terrorism. Western civilization pays a horrific price for allowing the Muslims to take over the whole educational system, and to mold public opinion’s behavior and attitudes through controlling the media. Their aim is to eliminate our common sense, and the product is people, who are susceptible to wild lies and distortions; people that cannot put what they witness into context; and this vacuum brings capitulation and submission.
Oriana Fallaci has so correctly and succinctly remarked:
Wake up people, wake up. Paralyzed by the fear of appearing racist, you do not want to understand that the Muslim invasion has commenced. Drugged by the stupidity or shortsightedness of political correctness, you do not internalize that a religious war is transpiring here. A war, whose objective is to conquer our souls and rob us of our freedoms; a war conducted with the goal of destroying our civilization and our way of life. Stunned by the preponderance of false propaganda, you do not want to absorb that if we do not defend ourselves, if we do not battle, Jihad will win. It will win and destroy the world which we have built and ruin our culture and identity. Debating them is pointless; conducting a dialogue with them is useless; and demonstrating tolerance towards them is suicide. How is it that leftists never open their mouths against the Muslim world’s primitive, theocratic regimes, which have no democracy, no freedoms and no individual rights? Why were we killed in wars declared against the enemies of freedom and civilization? Are these principles invalid for the Islamic regimes? Enough of your double standards of morality; enough of your opacity and your hypocrisy. Crickets of all countries and languages stop the confusion and take sobriety. The mountain of Islam has not moved for 1400 years; that consciously opts for primitiveness and ignorance. Europe is becoming a province of Islam.
The House of Mary
1820, Westphalia: Clemens Brentano sits next to her bed. Two years ago he moved to the city of Dülmen in Westphalia to be with her every day. With a notebook in his hands, he keeps notes of her visions, dreams and becomes her personal assistant. The German Romantic poet took the decision to stand next to Anna Katerina Emmerick, a young woman in the countryside who had been stuck for decades in her bed. She herself saw for years visions which concerned the life of the Virgin Mary and Christ and described everything in every detail. Clemens holds detailed notes and in 1835, 11 years after Anna Katerina’s death, he will publish his first book with her visions, “The Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ.” In 1842, after his death, another work with her visions entitled “The Life of Virgin Mary” will be published.
1891: Smyrna French Hospital, Ottoman Empire: Marie de Mandat Grancey, a member of the Daughters of Charity s run by the French Hospital of Smyrna, is dining at the Hospital’s dining room. There she will hear an excerpt from the books with Anna Katerina’s visions and ask two Lazarist missionaries, Fathers Poulin and Jung, to visit the point mentioned in the book as the last house of the Virgin Mary.
They began their mission on July 29, 1891, holding in their hands the excerpt of the book, ready to find every detail. Going to the Sirince area in Ephesus and going up Mount Bülbüldağı (Koressos) will stop asking a woman for water. She will tell them that they can find water a few miles further in the springs of the Monastery. After a few hours they will find themselves in front of the ruins of a monastery and a house where it will fit Anna Katerina’s descriptions. There She lived in the last years of her life, Our Lady, the Mother of Christ after His Crucifixion when she followed St. John. There she lived until the day of the Dormition (according to the Orthodox doctrine) and the Assumption (according to the Catholic doctrine) to Heaven.
The missionaries are returning to announce the news and their discovery. In August 1891, two more “missions” will begin for the place where Mother Mary’s House, Meryem Ana Evi, was discovered. They wanted to be sure they had found the right place.
In 1882, Archbishop Smyrna, Timoni, will visit the site where he will recognize the similarities with Anna Katerina’s narratives and begin the procedures for officially recognizing the part of the Catholic Church. Until then, the place was known as Panagia Kapoulou.
2018: A mini bus begind from Kusadasi and has as destination the location of Meryem Ana Evi, 7 km from Selçuk. An announcement has been made a long time ago so that the Temple Management Association (Dernek) can reserve the bus” for specific times of arrival and departure. Inside the bus, you’ll see a mosaic of tourists keeping their camera tightly, believers holding their rosaries and crosses in hands, women with foulards and the Quran in their bag. Most of them hold tightly the papers that have written their wishes. The desire is usually one: to bring to life the baby. And where else will they ask for it except for Mother Mary?
In 2015, filmmaker Manoël Pénicaud, along with his team, visited Meryem Ana Evi. In his camera he will speak, Paolo Pugliese, Capuchin Friar serving in the Temple. The Order of the Capuchins took over the care and management of the place in 1966, after the invitation of the Archbishop Smyrna, Alfred Cuthbert OFMCap Gumbinger. Sitting in a simple coffee table and wearing the Capuccino brown tunic, Paolo Pugliese will talk about his experience in Turkey.
“Virgin Mary is a woman. The main feature of a woman in every respect is a welcome and motherhood. She is here as a mother and as a woman who welcomes her children, both Christians and Muslims.”
While it’s heavy winter, the camera shows people in jacket and coat coming to pray. Outside the temple, there is the spot where candles light. Christians and Muslims lit their candles side by side with reverence and tranquility. Inside the shrine, Christins and Muslims attend the mass in Italia. Muslim women pay in their knees. At the entrance there is a large sign with extracts from the Qur’an that mention Virgin Mary and emphasize Her significance.
“I touched the paper on the wall and at that moment I realized that until that day I had not understood how much the world suffered. How many misery and needs there have been out there. How many personal tragedies!“The wall is full of papers. “The wall is the connection of the prayers of all these people.”
A few years ago, the New York Times will dedicate a few pages to Meryem Ana Evi. Scott Spencer traveled to Turkey to be able to describe the uniqueness of the place and talk to those who visited it. Friar Matthias will explain to him, “Muslims believe that Mary or Mary was a sacred figure but not the mother of God. She was just a woman with great virtues.”
Friar Matthias will continue explaining to the reporter that Maria is mentioned more than 30 times in the Koran and refers to Surah 3, verse 37. The journalist leaving the church will meet a woman who would open her heart “I live and work in Paris but I was born in Algeria. Since I was a little girl, I believed in miracles. I come here often. I come here because I believe in Maria. I’m a muslim.”
If you ever want to visit Meryem Ana Evi, you can find more information (in five different languages) on their website: http://www.meryemana.info/ and on their Facebook page where they make announcements about the functions and times and ways of visit and masses.
The “mysterious” Jew of Tunisia
33 days after the Jewish Easter. The Jews are preparing to celebrate Lag BaOmer. The Ghriba Synagogue with its Blue Tiles on Djerba Island in Tunisia wears its festivals to welcome its faithful who come from all corners of the world to celebrate Lag BaOmer with the 1100 Jews of the island.
Jews, Christians and Muslims come to the synagogue to pray and light candles. Women sit on the floor to put their eggs there with their wishes written on them. According to the local tradition, the stone of the floor used to be in the Temple of Jerusalem. Outside of the synagogue, the musicians have not stopped playing, the dried figs of wine flow abundantly and all of them eat from a table full of fish and couscous.
The story of the Jewish community
According to the history, a large number of Jews fled to Tunisia after the first temple was destroyed by the Romans, around 500 BC. During this period the first synagogue was built. The Jews brought with them a door from the Temple as well as a stone from the altar of the Temple. Today, according to the residents of the area, both the door and the stone are placed into the “Ghriba” Synagogue.
However, the Sephardic Jews of Spain found shelter on the island of Tunisia after the persecutions suffered by King Ferdinand and Isabella. Until 1956, when Tunisia gained its independence from France, the Jews would count 100,000 of which most would live on Djerba Island in harmony with their Muslim brothers.
In Arabic, Ghriba means “mysterious”, “strange” and many wonder why this name was given to the synagogue. According to the myth that dominates the narratives, the place where the congregation was discovered at the beginning of the 19th century inhabited a young “mysterious” girl who never spoke to anyone on the island. The girl died in her cabin when it grabbed fire. Surprisingly, the Jewish residents found her body intact and, in honor of the “mysterious” girl, founded the “Ghriba” Synagogue in the Jewish village of Harah Seghira.
The Lag BaOmer feast and coexistence
The pilgrimage to Lag BaOmer attracts hundreds of Jews from all over the world. They visit the synagogue, pray and participate in the rites that take place in both days of the feast. The marches are in the form of a wedding ceremony and symbolize the secret union between the People of Israel and the Divine. Women leave eggs with the name of a single girl in the place where the girl’s body is supposed to be found. The festival includes both Jews and Muslims. Muslim neighbors help the Jews prepare the place to welcome all this crowd. They also pray in the Synagogue while Muslim women leave the same eggs with written wishes in Arabic so they can get married in the future.
Muhammad has been making mats for the congregation for 50 years. “The most important thing for us is to show that in Djerba Jews and Muslims can live together harmoniously.”
As many people leave for a nearby beach or casino, the local Jews stay in the Synagogue so they can continue their own local customs: the first haircut of a three-year-old boy or the preparation of a big and specific dinner where the whole community will sit together.
The revenue that comes from the Lag BaOmer feast is enough. All the money is for the Jewish nursing home of the village of Harah Seghira and for the maintenance of the twenty synagogues on the island.
Amal who works in Houmt’s market and goes every year to the Synagogue to worship, says “Everything is to be human. We sit here next to each other and we see no difference. “
Walking through the streets of Djerba you can not recognize the Jew by the Muslim. Only a few older Jews put a piece of black cloth at the bottom of their trousers. Mourning for the destruction of the Temple.
Over the last three decades most visitors come from places outside Tunisia. By 2015, however, Israel issued a directive to Israeli citizens not to travel to Tunisia for the annual pilgrimage for safety reasons.
Earlier in the year, the country had suffered three terrorist attacks by extremist religious organizations. Almost all the attacks were in places an hour away from the island. That year, the security measures for the pilgrimage were draconian with checkpoints all over the island, special forces scattered all over, and military trucks full of guns.
On the first day of the feast, Abdelfattah Mourou, spokesman for the moderate Muslim party Islamic Enhanda, embraced rabbi Bittan outside the synagogue and told the crowd “Tunisia is protecting its Jews. What leads to the extremes is the existence of only one culture and one culture. The existence of many cultures leads us to accept one another normally. “
The Jews of today
Today, 1100 Jews live in Djerba. According to chief rabbi Haim Bittan each year only 30 new births are made to Jewish families. In recent years, Jews have begun to leave the place not because of persecution of a religious or racial nature but because of a financial crisis.
Yisha Mamou, 24, who is a teacher at the Hebrew Kindergarten, says “I graduated economically at public high school but, like most in Tunisia, I did not have the opportunity to continue at the University. I want to leave because I have nothing to do. All I do is go back to work and work on the house. “
Until 2004, the Jewish community of Tunisia supported three elementary schools, two lyceums and a religious study school (yeshiva) as well as archbishop. A few years ago, the only Kosher restaurant was closed, and as the whole Jewish community shows, it will begin to shrink if both their own state and the community itself find ways to keep young people there.
The Muslim Saint of a Greek Orthodox city
The Albanian Bektashi Monastery of Farsala
May 1st 2017: Some hundred meters outside Farsala, in the village of Asprogia, cars start gathering early in the morning. Whole families flock to pilgrimage, take out the spit with lambs, beers freeze on portable refrigerators, and someone puts on the cd player folk dances.
“They say it was Church, they say a lot. I know just one thing. That it was and still is a holy place, “says the pilgrim to the filmmaker Manoël Pénicaud. The Durbali Tekke or otherwise, Ireni Tekke was founded according to sources in 1492. The founder, the Durbali dervish came from the Iconio area of Minor Asia. As soon as he arrived in the village Ireni (the name of the village of Asprogia during the Ottoman domination), was granted the land and the building to create a new worship site, the tekke (monastery of Islamic mysticism and souffism). Also, according to sources, today’s temple was built on the ruins of a Byzantine church dedicated to St. George.
In Manoël Pénicaud’s short film, his “tour guide” will show us a hagiography of Saint George on a wall of the teke. “Saint George is being worshipped everywhere” he will explain. Especially in the Muslim world, the warrior and fighter Saint George has a prominent place. Over the centuries, the teke will be expanded by purchasing land from various villages in the surrounding areas. Many travelers and writers, including Andreas Karkavitsas, a Greek well known novelist(1892), will describe in his experiences the functioning of the teke and its role in the harmonious religious coexistence of Christians and Muslims. Archaeologist Frederick Hasluck will record in 1914 that only twenty years ago, in 1888, there were 55 dervishes living on the teke and that the coexistence of Christians and Muslims was perfectly normal.
The blooming and preservation of the teke will bring about the disruption of the Ottoman Empire and the creation of the Republic of Turkey. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk will declare the Sufi and the Dervishes fraternities illegal and chase them mercilessly. The order of the Ottomans in the administration and in the life of Tekke will be taken over by the Albanians Bektashi. Bektashism was dominant in the Balkans, and especially in Albania, where to date there is a large number of believers. The successors of the teke will keep their reins up until 1973 when the last Albanian abbot of the Monastery dies and the memory will be almost erased
The Tekes today
Few people know the presence of Teke and even fewer locals remember its story. What remains is the mosque of the monastery and the tombs of the abbots. Both the mosque and graves are preserved in a very good condition since Albanians Bektashi i try to rescue them with the help of archaeologists and conservators. The problem of preservation of the teke is due to its legal and ownership status. While belonging to a religious institution in Albania, the Land Office of Larissa is in charge of its management. The various disagreements between the parties and the legal dangers have not so far enabled the use of the amount intended for teke’s maintenance.
In recent years the Farsala Municipality has prioritized teke and its proper maintenance. With the help of experts, the Municipality investigates the violations that occur in the area and proceeds to the complaints so that the image of teke is not distorted and be rescued before it is too late. Nevertheless, the Municipality’s objective is far superior to the mere maintenance of a historical and religious monument. The Municipality sees tekke as the opportunity to create an international center of study of the peoples and religions of the Balkans for the past 5 centuries.
God does not ask what you are
Before they enter the site of funerary monuments, they take off their shoes. Young, older, young children kiss the grave with the green covers. On the outside, the tomb of Durbali Sultan and the bust of Hatzi Bektas Veli, founder of Bektashism, in the 13th century. “Bektas Veli chose the best flowers of the religions and created the Bektashism,” says the old man with redheaded cheeks.
The cinematographer Manoël Pénicaud and his team visited the teke to record these moments of love and sharing on May 2017. I was fortunate to watch his short film at the “Shared Sacred Sites” Exhibition at the Thessaloniki Museum of Photography, in the last January. In a green landscape, the believer who has taken over the duties of a guide confesses to the camera “Whoever is inside this temple does not ask the one who comes, what are you? Christian or Muslim? “ At the entrance, a green sign is hanging on a tree in Greek and in Albanian “We never forget you Durballi Sultan Baba.” An old woman enters to worship Saint Durbali “Durbali is Holy to us, He is saint to all and is a miracle maker.” “Every year Christians come from nearby villages. They worship, we celebrate the Kurban (feast) all together, we clean the place. This year, Easter was on the same dates, and so, many did not manage to come. “At the entrance of the Teke, there are the holy icons of Ali, the Archangels Michael and Gabriel, St. Demetrius and the Virgin Mary.
The pilgrimage ends and the feast begins. Dozens of lambs for families and for those who come to worship and celebrate together are served on plastic tables. When he turns the spit, another pilgrim will share his life story with the camera .“God is for all. It’s not just mine or yours. We are from Albania. My daughter is 17 years baptized and goes to the Church and believes and receives the Eucharist. Me too. But she wants to come here too. Nobody and nothing compels us to come here. I drove 300 kilometers to come, another one came from Albania, and another one from Chalkida. “ “I do not ask anyone if he is a Christian or a Muslim. Why shall I care? If we eat and drink together, what do I care? So I have done so far in my life and so I will continue to do. “
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