Friday, March 28, 2008

Who is Zakaria Botros, and why should you care?





Islam’s Public Enemy #1 - Zakaria Botros


Coptic priest Zakaria Botros fights fire with fire.
By Raymond Ibrahim




Though he is little known in the West, Coptic priest Zakaria Botros -- named Islam's "Public Enemy #1" by the Arabic newspaper, al-Insan al-Jadid -- has been making waves in the Islamic world. Along with fellow missionaries -- mostly Muslim converts -- he appears frequently on the Arabic channel al-Hayat (i.e., "Life TV"). There, he addresses controversial topics of theological significance -- free from the censorship imposed by Islamic authorities or self-imposed through fear of the zealous mobs who fulminated against the infamous cartoons of Mohammed. Botros's excurses on little-known but embarrassing aspects of Islamic law and tradition have become a thorn in the side of Islamic leaders throughout the Middle East.

Botros is an unusual figure onscreen: robed, with a huge cross around his neck, he sits with both the Koran and the Bible in easy reach. Egypt's Copts -- members of one of the oldest Christian communities in the Middle East -- have in many respects come to personify the demeaning Islamic institution of "dhimmitude" (which demands submissiveness from non-Muslims, in accordance with Koran 9:29). But the fiery Botros does not submit, and minces no words. He has famously made of Islam "ten demands," whose radical nature he uses to highlight Islam's own radical demands on non-Muslims.

The result? Mass conversions to Christianity -- if clandestine ones. The very public conversion of high-profile Italian journalist Magdi Allam -- who was baptized by Pope Benedict in Rome on Saturday -- is only the tip of the iceberg. Indeed, Islamic cleric Ahmad al-Qatani stated on al-Jazeera TV a while back that some six million Muslims convert to Christianity annually, many of them persuaded by Botros's public ministry. More recently, al-Jazeera noted Life TV's "unprecedented evangelical raid" on the Muslim world. Several factors account for the Botros phenomenon.

First, the new media -- particularly satellite TV and the Internet (the main conduits for Life TV) -- have made it possible for questions about Islam to be made public without fear of reprisal. It is unprecedented to hear Muslims from around the Islamic world -- even from Saudi Arabia, where imported Bibles are confiscated and burned -- call into the show to argue with Botros and his colleagues, and sometimes, to accept Christ.

Secondly, Botros's broadcasts are in Arabic -- the language of some 200 million people, most of them Muslim. While several Western writers have published persuasive critiques of Islam, their arguments go largely unnoticed in the Islamic world. Botros's mastery of classical Arabic not only allows him to reach a broader audience, it enables him to delve deeply into the voluminous Arabic literature -- much of it untapped by Western writers who rely on translations -- and so report to the average Muslim on the discrepancies and affronts to moral common sense found within this vast corpus.

A third reason for Botros's success is that his polemical technique has proven irrefutable. Each of his episodes has a theme -- from the pressing to the esoteric -- often expressed as a question (e.g., "Is jihad an obligation for all Muslims?"; "Are women inferior to men in Islam?"; "Did Mohammed say that adulterous female monkeys should be stoned?" "Is drinking the urine of prophets salutary according to sharia?"). To answer the question, Botros meticulously quotes -- always careful to give sources and reference numbers -- from authoritative Islamic texts on the subject, starting from the Koran; then from the canonical sayings of the prophet -- the Hadith; and finally from the words of prominent Muslim theologians past and present -- the illustrious ulema.

Typically, Botros's presentation of the Islamic material is sufficiently detailed that the controversial topic is shown to be an airtight aspect of Islam. Yet, however convincing his proofs, Botros does not flatly conclude that, say, universal jihad or female inferiority are basic tenets of Islam. He treats the question as still open -- and humbly invites the ulema, the revered articulators of sharia law, to respond and show the error in his methodology. He does demand, however, that their response be based on "al-dalil we al-burhan," -- "evidence and proof," one of his frequent refrains -- not shout-downs or sophistry.

More often than not, the response from the ulema is deafening silence -- which has only made Botros and Life TV more enticing to Muslim viewers. The ulema who have publicly addressed Botros's conclusions often find themselves forced to agree with him -- which has led to some amusing (and embarrassing) moments on live Arabic TV.

Botros spent three years bringing to broad public attention a scandalous -- and authentic -- hadith stating that women should "breastfeed" strange men with whom they must spend any amount of time. A leading hadith scholar, Abd al-Muhdi, was confronted with this issue on the live talk show of popular Arabic host Hala Sirhan. Opting to be truthful, al-Muhdi confirmed that going through the motions of breastfeeding adult males is, according to sharia, a legitimate way of making married women "forbidden" to the men with whom they are forced into contact -- the logic being that, by being "breastfed," the men become like "sons" to the women and therefore can no longer have sexual designs on them.

To make matters worse, Ezzat Atiyya, head of the Hadith department at al-Azhar University -- Sunni Islam's most authoritative institution -- went so far as to issue a fatwa legitimatizing "Rida' al-Kibir" (sharia's term for "breastfeeding the adult"), which prompted such outrage in the Islamic world that it was subsequently recanted.

Botros played the key role in exposing this obscure and embarrassing issue and forcing the ulema to respond. Another guest on Hala Sirhan's show, Abd al-Fatah, slyly indicated that the entire controversy was instigated by Botros: "I know you all [fellow panelists] watch that channel and that priest and that none of you [pointing at Abd al-Muhdi] can ever respond to him, since he always documents his sources!"

Incapable of rebutting Botros, the only strategy left to the ulema (aside from a rumored $5-million bounty on his head) is to ignore him. When his name is brought up, they dismiss him as a troublemaking liar who is backed by -- who else? -- international "Jewry." They could easily refute his points, they insist, but will not deign to do so. That strategy may satisfy some Muslims, but others are demanding straightforward responses from the ulema.

The most dramatic example of this occurred on another famous show on the international station, Iqra. The host, Basma -- a conservative Muslim woman in full hijab -- asked two prominent ulema, including Sheikh Gamal Qutb, one-time grand mufti of al-Azhar University, to explain the legality of the Koranic verse (4:24) that permits men to freely copulate with captive women. She repeatedly asked: "According to sharia, is slave-sex still applicable?" The two ulema would give no clear answer -- dissembling here, going off on tangents there. Basma remained adamant: Muslim youth were confused, and needed a response, since "there is a certain channel and a certain man who has discussed this issue over twenty times and has received no response from you."

The flustered Sheikh Qutb roared, "low-life people like that must be totally ignored!" and stormed off the set. He later returned, but refused to admit that Islam indeed permits sex-slaves, spending his time attacking Botros instead. When Basma said "Ninety percent of Muslims, including myself, do not understand the issue of concubinage in Islam and are having a hard time swallowing it," the sheikh responded, "You don't need to understand." As for Muslims who watch and are influenced by Botros, he barked, "Too bad for them! If my son is sick and chooses to visit a mechanic, not a doctor -- that's his problem!"

But the ultimate reason for Botros's success is that -- unlike his Western counterparts who criticize Islam from a political standpoint -- his primary interest is the salvation of souls. He often begins and concludes his programs by stating that he loves all Muslims as fellow humans and wants to steer them away from falsehood to Truth. To that end, he doesn't just expose troubling aspects of Islam. Before concluding every program, he quotes pertinent biblical verses and invites all his viewers to come to Christ.

Botros's motive is not to incite the West against Islam, promote "Israeli interests," or "demonize" Muslims, but to draw Muslims away from the dead legalism of sharia to the spirituality of Christianity. Many Western critics fail to appreciate that, to disempower radical Islam, something theocentric and spiritually satisfying -- not secularism, democracy, capitalism, materialism, feminism, etc. -- must be offered in its place. The truths of one religion can only be challenged and supplanted by the truths of another. And so Father Zakaria Botros has been fighting fire with fire.





Muthaship Blogglewanky ~ Please Stand By

Friday, March 21, 2008

Obamanoid Satiricals

A couple more Obamanoid songs for the politically incorrect among us:

One Night in Politics
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Dial 1-900-REA-LITY
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Aloha Snackbar, Your Retreat to Violence!
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To the LGF'ers rolling in, Howdy!

Karridine

Know anybody interested in lovely squirrels or pet Teacup Chihuahuas?

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Winter's End Obamaganza!

This being March 20th, with the Spring Equinox tonight that ends winter and begins the new year with the first day of spring for the whole Earth, here are some Obama-related short recordings, written by Lucius Septimius, BuzzSawMonkey and Stanley Kurtz.

Send them to friends, enemies and Democrats!

Stanley Kurtz's "Obama Gramma"

BuzzsawMonkey's "Obama Grandma"

Lucius Septimius' "You"

BuzzsawMonkey's "Why Do THEY Support ME?"

And the newly-popular "Obama, Working on the Change Gang!"

See you next year!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Poll

Is this the beginning of the end of Obama's bid for the Presidency?
Yes
No
This is a racist question!
pollcode.com free polls

More Pallywood theatre

Gazans build graves for shuttered factories

"GAZA, March 18 (Reuters) - Palestinians inaugurated a symbolic graveyard on Tuesday for factories forced to close by an Israeli blockade that they say is killing jobs."The Main Gaza Cemetery for Factories" contains some 40 graves covered with the Palestinian flags and flowers."The Plastic Tools factory, 190 workers became jobless," the inscription on one headstone reads. "The Print House, 150 workers lost their source of living," reads another."

The rocket factory and suicide bomber factories still appear to be alive and kicking though

Monday, March 17, 2008

Wright Is Wrong, Again!

Jeremiah Was a Pastor!
(Right-Click and "Save File as..." to share with friends & foes, OR click link and listen now!)

Hat Tip to Buzzsawmonkey!

Jeremiah was a pastor
Had a church that was black
He preached fire and brimstone from his pulpit
And white folks are what he'd attack
And he always had a mighty fine attack

Singin'
Damn the USA
It should pass away
America's mired in original sin
The lack of melanin

He traveled out to Libya
He went with Farrakhan
He's glad to forgive anybody his sins
As long as they're African
As long as they're African

Singin'
Damn the USA
It should pass away
America's mired in original sin
The lack of melanin

He'll discount individual achievement
His world's bounded by race
He doesn't judge people by their character
But by the color of their face
By the color of their face

Singin'
Damn America!
It should pass away
America's mired in original sin
The lack of melanin

/more coming! Its gonna be a LONG election cycle!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Jeremiah!

Jeremiah Wrong!
(Right-Click and "Save File as..." to share with friends & foes, OR click link and listen now!)

Hat Tip Terp Mole

Jeremiah was a Reverend,
“God-damn” was his favorite line.
They’ll never print a single word of what he said
Unless it sells Obama whine.
‘cause liberals love a mighty fine whine.

Sing it:
Bombed Hiroshima!
Bombed Nagasaki!
God-damn American indignity,
Hope Audacity!

If Obama were the king of the world,
I tell you what he'd boost.
He'd throw away the tax cuts and the wars overseas
and bring chickens home to roost.

Sing it now:
Bombed Hiroshima!
Bombed Nagasaki!
God-damn American indignity,
Hope Audacity!
Thin Audacity!
Mighty thin Audacity!

/tell me again this Jeremiah Wright is a 'reverend'...

Obama, Obama, OH!

to the tune of 'Oh Johnny, Oh Johnny!', a rousing election-cycle pick-me-up!

Obama, Obama
How you can sell!
Obama, Obama
You and Michelle

You sell us softest,
blackest soap
And if we tire
of that you sell us change
and hope and then you

Obama, Obama
Please tell me do
What makes you stutter so?

You don't speak well its true
When hard questions hit you,
you just Obama, Obama, oh!

Obama, Obama, Heaven's above
In this hot-contested election
where push comes to shove
You say its not so very strange
Elect you and we get real social change
and that means

Obama, Obama please tell me true
why we suspect you so?
I bend down for the soap
and you sell me more hope
and I Obama, Obama oh!

Obama, Obama OH!
(Right-Click and "Save File as..." to share with friends & foes, OR click link and listen now!)