Wednesday, 12 April 2017



‘All mosques in this country must be demolished. There can be only one religion in England!’ the Archbishop of Canterbury has demanded. Wot? Fake news! Justin Welby would never dream of asking for something so perverse. Shame his Saudi Arabian counterpart, Grand Mufti Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah, isn’t equally enlightened. Last month the Mufti called for the destruction of Christian churches in the whole Arab peninsula.

Fanatical? It depends. At least the Sheikh does not require all Christians to be exterminated. Something happening in Egypt. Islamic State boasts of killing scores of Coptic Christians. What? Unfair to compare ISIS to the Mufti? Not really. They share the same odious, murderous ideology. Wahhabi-Salafism. Funded and armed by Saudi donors, Islamist groups like ISIS and Jabhat al-Nusrah are rampaging across the Middle East. After they turned against the Saudi Royals, compliant state scholars were forced to condemn them. But, like the sorcerer’s apprentice, they can no longer control the demons they summoned.

Who will protect the Coptic Christians from slaughter? Not Egypt’s strongman General Sissi. Not strong enough to prevent its own citizens from being blown up. The ‘Christian’ West? A bad taste joke! President Trump – he who’d formerly sworn to wipe out ISIS – is now bombing Syria’s President Assad. The only man who stands before the Islamist butchers and the Syrian Christians. Britain’s PM Theresa May? A Vicar’s daughter. So ‘devout’ to give up eating crisps for Lent. She too – may God not forgive her - wants to facilitate a Christian holocaust in Syria by removing Assad. So does advocate her clownish Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson. Studied at Eton – surely the proof English Public School education seriously damages boys’ brains, as well as sexuality. As to Germany’s Frumpy Angela and France’s Chief Cochon, Hollande…forget them. They might as well join the Caliphate, for all they care for Christ.

The Grand Mufti’s fatwa on churches was the answer to a question posed by a Kuwaiti NGO (sic!). Abdullah quoted a hadith by the Prophet Muhammad: ‘Only one religion in Arabia’. Leaving aside the hadith’s epistemological status (Sound? Goodish? Dubious?), what did the Prophet mean by ‘Arabia’? ‘Kuwait is part of Arabia so the hadith must apply there as well’, the Sheikh opined. But Yemen is part of Arabia too – indeed the only part of Arabia laying claim to ancient nationhood. Now, there were 50.000 Jews in Yemen as late as 1950, till a magic carpet took them to Israel. And they had been there for centuries. So, the Prophetic hadith cannot have meant the whole of Arabia. The Mufti got it wrong. QED.

Yemen…oh, yes, Yemen. British and US politicos and their servile media shed floods of crocodile tears over the death of children by a chemical explosion in Syria’s Idlib. Funny they didn’t care as much about Yemeni civilians, old people, women and children massacred by Saudi bombs and missiles. Weapons probably not naturally sprouting like dates in the Arabian sands. Hence supplied by the West. US and Britain – is that possible? Could those wonderful humanitarians, a.k.a. merchants of death, really furnish the Saudis with such nasty devices? I fear they do.

The Saudis...oh, yes, Prince Charles, the jolly heir to the British throne. Who committed adultery on his first wife, Princess Diana, of blessed memory. Charles, the future Supreme Governor of the Church of England. Seems rather fond of Saudi sheikhs, doesn’t he? He often travels to the desert kingdom, kits himself out as a Bedouin and plays the droll sword dance along with the local big shots. Does this putative ‘Christian’ give a toss that you can’t even take a Bible to the country, that celebrating Holy Communion is illegal and that just wearing a cross could have you jailed, given the lash and expelled? Fine Christian Prince! Couldn’t ‘govern’ his mother’s Corgi dogs!

Children, oh, yes, children. Abominable they should die because of a criminal state action. Er…wait a minute. Wasn’t there a US Secretary of State, Clinton’s dwarfish Madeleine Albright, who once boasted that half million Iraqi children killed by disease and starvation caused by Western sanctions ‘was worth it’? A price worth paying, that is? A fat lot did the cynical woman care for the children of Iraq back then. Do you have to be bloody-minded to suspect the leaders of the West give not a damn about the Syrian children?

‘Lord, where are you going?’ asked St Peter of the Lord on the Appian Way, near Rome. The Apostle was fleeing Emperor Nero’s bloody persecution of the Church. Christ appeared to him and answered: ‘Peter, I am going to Rome. To be crucified again. Because you are abandoning my flock at the hour of need.’ Whereupon the Saint came to his sense and went back – to meet his martyrdom.

Easter is coming up. After Good Friday the Resurrection will be celebrated. But I fear this time Christ will have to go back, to be crucified again. The infidel rulers of the formerly Christian West are running away. Leaving the Christians of the Middle East, where Christianity was born, to be devoured by savage creatures worse than the wild beasts, the lions monstrous Nero let loose of his victims.

Dark times ahead? God’s will….who can discern it? One thing is certain: Christians may have to go through the grave and gates of death but in the end they will pass to a joyful Resurrection.

Revd Frank Julian Gelli


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