Thursday, February 22, 2018

Mark Durie: 'The Abrahamic Fallacy: Why Abraham is not a point of unity for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity' (VIDEO)

Dr Mark Durie unpacks why the phrase ‘Abrahamic religion’ is a fallacy.

Continuing our series, 'Reconnecting with Mark Durie'.


The Abrahamic Fallacy: Why Abraham is not a point of unity for Islam, Judaism, and Christianity'

Scroll down for video...
by Mark Durie, Interface Institute, August 19, 2017:

The phrase ‘Abrahamic religion’ or ‘faith of Abraham’ was first promoted in ecumenical circles during the 1950’s and 1960’s by Lebanese Maronite priest, Youakim Moubarak, whose theological vision was political, of an ‘egalitarian Palestine in which Jews, Christians and Muslims demonstrate together its abrahamic and ecumenical vocation’.

In reality, however, Abraham is a divisive figure: in Judaism he is the Torah-observant father of the Jewish nation; for Christians he is the apostle of salvation by faith alone; for Muslims he is the proto-typical Muslim, a forerunner and validator of Muhammad.

Moubarak took the phrase ‘religion of Abraham’ from the Koran and his promotion of it is a manifestation of dhimmi theology, a worldview constrained by existential fear, psychological accommodation and denial. In fact the ‘Abrahamic vocation’ inspired by the Koran leads to Islamization and sharia implementation. The current state of the Middle East offers eloquent testimony to the hollowness of this vision.


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Dr. Mark Durie is an academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.


Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Orthodox Lent begins with New Martyrs killed by Muslim after Forgiveness Vespers in Dagestan

"What was previously reported as an unidentified “gunman” was a jihad murderer, Halilov Khalil Umarovich, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State and then, screaming “Allahu akbar,” went to the church and opened fire." [1]

Imagine exchanging the divine gift of forgiveness with your brothers and sisters in the holy Church, signifying the beginning of Great Lent, and then being swiftly attacked, stabbed and shot at by a Muslim screaming "Allahu akbar." Imagine in that instant realizing you were going to die, and surrendering yourself into the hands of our merciful Lord Jesus Christ, and in that fleeting moment, forgiving even your enemies who are killing you.

This is the instantaneous realization these five women had this past Sunday.

This is happening all around the globe. Every day.

The martyrdom of these five Orthodox Christian women, is a sign of our age, a sign of life today under the sword of Islam, and a sign of the end of the age. As the choir of Christian martyrs under Islam continues to grow, we must be ever more vigilant, watchful, and faithful. We must earnestly and continuously repent and be ready at all times to be found in Christ and in His Holy Church. The enemy is at the very doors.

As the Great Prokeimenon for Great Lent exclaims:

Turn not away Thy Face from Thy child for I am afflicted,
Hear me, speedily draw near unto my soul,
and deliver it...

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me...

This post collects several reports on this horrific jihad attack in the Russian Republic of Dagestan.




Women killed at Dagestan Church to be buried on Church grounds as having received Martyric deaths,


OrthoChristian.com, 2/20/2018:

Kizlyar, Dagestan, Russia, February 20, 2018

The five women, Vera, Lyudmila, Nadezhda, Irina, and Vera, who were shot and killed outside of the Cathedral of St. George in the city of Kizlyar, in the Russian Dagestan Republic on Sunday will be buried on the territory of the church, the acting head of Dagestan Vladimir Vasiliev said at a meeting with Kizlyar city administration yesterday, reports Interfax-Religion.

“It is very important that the funeral ceremony will be held tomorrow [today] on the grounds of the church,” Vasiliev stated.

Today has been declared a day of mourning in Kizlyar.

According to the republic head, the decision to bury them on church grounds was made by Archbishop Varlaam of Makhachkala and Grozny.

“He said that they received martyric deaths on the territory of the church, and there is permission for them to be buried on the territory of the church,” Vasiliev stated. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

Mark Durie: 'Muhammad killed many, Jesus none' (video)

Dr Mark Durie interviewed by Andrew Bolt, Monday 17 April 2017.  “Anglican Pastor Mark Durie questions people’s ability to recognise that religion has shaped culture…”

https://interfaceinstitute.org/2017/04/18/muhammad-killed-many-jesus-none-pastor/
Click to watch the interview on the Interface Institute website...

This wide ranging interview lets Mark Durie explore how religion does influence culture, and how that is critical when considering Muslim culture and issues like FGM, abuse of women, and of course jihad and terrorism.

Unfortunately, I could not embed the video code, so do click over to the Interface Institute to watch this excellent interview.


Dr. Mark Durie is an author, academic, human rights activist, Anglican pastor, a Shillman-Ginsburg Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum, and Adjunct Research Fellow of the Arthur Jeffery Centre for the Study of Islam at Melbourne School of Theology.

Reconnecting with Mark Durie

New Institute and blog series catches up with one of Christianity's most significant voices regarding the challenge of Islam.

I was updating the Facing Islam blog last week, and noticed (again) that Mark Durie had not posted anything on his blog for many months now (late June 2017, to be exact). This concerned me, as I consider him to be one of the most important Christian writers on Islam, so I ventured over to his site to see if I could find out the reason for this apparent absence.

I found it, in an unassuming blog post from June 20, 2017, in which Rev. Dr. Durie announces a new organization and platform designed to provide resources to help people "understand global religious currents and their impact on areas such as public policy, human rights, security and conflict." The full description sets forth the Interface Institute's purpose:



Introducing The Interface Institute 
Readers of markdurie.com blog posts may wish to connect with the resources of the Interface Institute
The Interface Institute is a new resource which provides the public with resources to understand the nexus between society and religion, particularly in relation to monotheistic religions.

After a phase in western history when a dominant assumption was that spiritual influences were in decline, we find ourselves launched into what Richard John Neuhaus already in 1997 called ‘the approaching century of religion’. 
It is becoming increasingly clear that multiple social and political challenges are being brought on by profound global shifts in religious identity and allegiance, yet many feel ill-equipped to respond to these challenges. The Interface Institute assists people to understand global religious currents and their impact on areas such as public policy, human rights, security and conflict. 
The Interface Institute curates a diverse range of published resources, both from Muslim-majority contexts, and also from nations of the Muslim diaspora, including the West. It also welcomes original written contributions Potential contributions can be sent to contact@interfaceinstitute.org 
Readers can connect with the Interface Institute’s resources at:
Web: http://interfaceinstitute.org/Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/interfaceinstitute/ 
From Mark Durie

Upon exploring the Interface Institute's website, I found several new examples, including some video, of Mark Durie's most recent writings, interviews, and lectures, which are, as always, extremely thoughtful, informative, and persuasive.

I am adding the Interface Institute to the left hand banner here which provides current articles from important websites on Islam and jihad. I will also be posting a selection of Mark Durie's most significant recent posts at Interface Institute, which help illumine a dark and troubling subject, and provide helpful resources. Watch for more posts soon in this series, and do visit the Interface Institute.

You can also find links to Mark Durie's books in the right hand column here, or explore them on his website.

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Is the Quran a Unique Book?

It is not uncommon to find shared stories in ancient literature. For example, a few verses in the New Testament epistle of Jude draw from the Jewish apocalyptic works of 1 Enoch and the Assumption of Moses. The inclusion of such non-canonical stories for illustrative purposes does not pose a problem for Christian interpreters. The inspired writers of Scripture were part of the synergy by which Scripture was given, and we would expect to see aspects of their historical and cultural environment in the sacred text.

The Quran, however, claims to be a direct revelation from heaven, dictated to Muhammad. Allah rebuffs those who accused Muhammad of reciting "tales of the ancients" (25:4-6). And, Muslim scholars have spilled considerable ink trying to prove (unsuccessfully) that the Quran is wholly and culturally unique, and thus divinely revealed.

This 20 min video, which is a polemic, uncovers the original historical sources behind a number of Quranic stories.  Rather than being a book dropped from heaven, the Quran underwent a historical process of literary formation indicative of its earthly origins.


Description:  The first half the video traces the history of Old Testament stories in the Quran.  Beginning at 9:41 the video turns to New Testament stories about Jesus, including the famous apocryphal tale in which He turns a clay bird into a real bird (13:39).  This story is found in Quran 3:49 and 5:110.  The historical parallels are given in full in the article, "Parallelism: Jesus Christ and Clay Birds."

Thursday, February 8, 2018

Illinois Christians refuse to accept 'Same God' indoctrination in public school

"Dozens of people spoke out... against a homework assignment made at an Elgin-area U46 school in which it was asserted Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths all believe in the same God..."

"Several people attacked the assignment, quoting Bible and Quran verses to support their argument that Christians do not follow the same God as Muslims."

Bravo for these informed and motivated Christian parents and citizens, who are not afraid to speak truth to power, to rebuke the sinister establishment and Islamic forces arrayed against them.

The "Same God" teaching is a cornerstone of Islamic dawah (proselytization), and is a deceptive "Trojan Horse" theological belief which, on the basis of seeking peace, actually sets up Christians to commit apostasy and deny Jesus Christ, thus cutting themselves off from the grace of God.

Mark Durie warns about this false teaching in his book Revelation: Do We Worship the Same God?:

The traditional Islamic view is that if you want to know what the God of the Bible is like, then read the Koran. Not only must Muslims believe that "we worship the same God," but this message is always a central component of the presentation of Islam to Christians and Jews. 
[This message] provides the lynchpin of Muslims’ efforts to convert the "People of the Book" to the faith of Muhammad. In addition, this belief, once accepted, can lead Christians to support Islamic perspectives in ways other than conversion. For example, embracing this Islamic doctrine wins a measure of respect and even support for Islam from Christians. (Durie, Revelation, pp 50-51, 75-76.)

I refute at length, through several arguments, the Same God Heresy in my book, Facing Islam - What the Ancient Church has to say about the Religion of Muhammad.  For a serious Christian, there really is no other way to think about Islam than as a heresy and a "forerunner of Antichrist" (as St. John of Damascus wrote, and he was in a position to know, living under Muslim rule during Islam's first century). Christians today should be prepared to defend their faith, and to explain why Allah is a false god, and Islam a false religion, put forward by a false prophet, and that its primary purpose is the destruction of Christianity.

That Islam claims to worship the same God, and to venerate Jesus, should provide no comfort to Christians, but rather alarm, when Christians finally wake up, study Islam even a little bit, and learn that Islam teaches that Jesus will return, but as a Muslim, with a vendetta against Christians:

In Islam, Prophet Isa is expected to return, but to condemn the Christians’ misunderstanding of him as divine and to literally destroy Christianity and judge all non- Muslims; the Koran universally brands all unbelievers as “the vilest of creatures” (Sura 98:6). 
The Prophet Isa will be a “good Muslim,” and will direct his followers to the Mahdi, the Muslim messiah, before taking a subservient position somewhat behind the Mahdi. Isa will “fight the people for the cause of Islam. He will break the cross, kill the swine and abolish jizya” and establish the rule of Allah throughout the world (Hadith from Sunan Abu Dawud, Book of Battles, 37:4310).  (Facing Islam, p80.)

The "breaking of the cross" by this Muslim Jesus ("Isa") contains within it a clear reference to the Koran's denial that Jesus was crucified:

In fact, they never killed him, they never crucified him — they were made to think that they did. All factions who are disputing in this matter are full of doubt concerning this issue. They possess no knowledge; they only conjecture. For certain, they never killed him. (Sura 4:157)

Liberal and milquetoast Christian academics, who routinely tell us "Muslims and Christians worship the same God," will likely dismiss these sincere and honest Christian citizens as "rubes" and "rednecks," lacking the learning to appreciate the "nuances" of Islam. We, however commend their bravery and zeal in standing against a blatant lie, falsehood and heresy being taught as "fact" in public schools, a brazen attempt to indoctrinate students into Islamic beliefs.


Illinois: Citizens protest school homework claiming Christians, Muslims and Jews all believe in same God


Creeping Sharia, February 4, 2018:

Source: Christians protest religion-themed assignment in Elgin-area school – Elgin Courier-News



Dozens of people spoke out Monday against a homework assignment made at an Elgin-area U46 school in which it was asserted Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths all believe in the same God.

One month after the assignment was criticized by U46 school board member Jeanette Ward, people who identified themselves as part of the Christian community attended the school board meeting Monday to add their opposition.

Several people attacked the assignment, quoting Bible and Quran verses to support their argument that Christians do not follow the same God as Muslims. Some of those who spoke live outside the U46 boundaries, including one person who came from Florida.

“To say that Allah of the Quran and the God of the Bible are the same is simply absurd,” said Art Ellingsen, a church pastor from Arlington Heights.

Monday, February 5, 2018

The Martyrdom of Bassem, killed by Muslims for having a tattoo of the Cross on his wrist

Each Christian Martyr in the Islamic world provides us with an opportunity to be shocked out of our pathetic Western sloth and ease, which is why Orthodox writers throughout the centuries have always compiled lives of martyrs to strengthen the faithful.

New-Martyr Bassem was described by a friend (see below) as follows:

“Bassem was a very good man... Honest, quiet, modest, a light-hearted person and close friend to me. From early childhood he loved the Church and he was a man of prayer and worship. He didn’t renounce the faith and didn’t deny his Lord Jesus Christ. He didn’t fear death. Actually, he didn’t die but has won the real life in Heaven...”

The Muslims who killed Bassem were acting on the dictates of the demon Allah as recorded in the Qur'an:

Kill the mushrikun [unbelievers] wherever you find them, and capture them and besiege them, and prepare for them each and every ambush. (Sura 9:5) 
I will cast terror into the hearts of those who have disbelieved, so strike them over the necks, and smite over all their fingers and toes. (Sura 8:12) 
Against them make ready your strength to the utmost of your power, including steeds of war, to strike terror into the enemies of Allah and your enemies. (Sura 8:60) 
So, when you meet those who disbelieve, smite at their necks till when you have killed and wounded many of them, then bind a bond firmly on them... Thus you are ordered by Allah to continue in carrying out jihad against the disbelievers till they embrace Islam. (Sura 47:4)

Bassem Herz Attalhah did not love his life more than Christ. Rather, he willingly and openly witnessed to his faith in Christ by having the sign of the Cross tattooed on his wrist, a pious tradition which many Coptic Orthodox Christians observe. Bassem did this despite living in a region and in an age when simply being a Christian is likely to mean martyrdom because of Islam's hatred for the Cross and the vast numbers of Muslims who strive to carry out the murderous and satanic teachings of their false god and false prophet.

One more thing: 

Each Christian martyred by a Muslim is another bloody testimonial that the "god" of Islam cannot possibly be the same as the True God. 

Christian leaders who insist on defending Islam against criticism and who assert the "Same God" heresy are betraying every Christian martyred by Muslims since the early 7th century up to today, and they are betraying Jesus Christ Himself, who warned:

"I have told you these things so that you will not fall away... The time is coming when anyone who kills you will think they are offering a service to God" (JN 16:1, 2). 

In the same discourse, the Lord very simply tells the reason why Muslims kill Christians:

"They will do these things because they have not known the Father or Me" (JN 16:3).

In other words, they do these things because they know and worship a different god, a false god.

So what should Christian leaders do when Muslims kill Christians? 


The Christian response to Muslims murdering Christians can be summed up in four clear steps (with a fifth for those Christian bishops and priests able to undertake it):

  1. Confirm whether the murdered Christian was practicing his/her faith in Christ, and did not deny Him at the moment of trial;
  2. If so confirmed, immediately recognize them as a martyr, who was faithful to Jesus even to the laying down of their life, and immediately extol them as an example for the faithful;
  3. Condemn Islam as a false religion of the spirit of Antichrist, instigated by the devil (following the examples of St Gregory Palamas, St Sophronius of Jerusalem, St John Damascene, New Martyr Fr Daniel Sysoev, and others);
  4. Forgive the Muslim, while simultaneously issuing a challenge to any Muslims horrified by the wicked acts of their co-religionists to repent of their false religion, and come to know the True God, through Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church, so that they may be saved;
  5. Provide catechetical classes specifically for Muslims seeking to learn about Jesus Christ in the Orthodox Church, as did Fr Daniel Sysoev of Moscow.

We live an a new age of martyrdom. It is well past time for us to vigorously proclaim Jesus Christ, to honor the martyrs who confessed Him even unto death, and to honor the Lord by plainly and without "nuance" rebuking the evil false religion which preaches and practices murder. "By their fruits you shall know them."

Is that so hard to do? 

Egypt: Sinai militants pledge to ‘kill more Copts’ after murdering man over cross tattoo

World Watch Monitor, January 15, 2018:

New-Martyr Bassem Herz Attalhah

Militants belonging to the ‘State of Sinai’ group in Egypt have promised to “kill more Copts” after murdering a 27-year-old Coptic man because of the tattoo of a cross on his wrist.

Bassem Herz Attalhah, also known as Haythem Shehata, was on his way home from work in El-Arish, capital of North Sinai governorate, on Saturday evening (13 January), with his brother Osama and neighbour and friend Mohamed, when they were stopped by three armed men, aged between 23 and 25.

“We thought they were policemen because they weren’t masked… They were wearing black jackets,” Osama, 38, told World Watch Monitor. “They approached us and asked Bassem to show them the wrist of his right hand, and when they saw the tattoo of the cross, they asked him: ‘Are you Christian?’ Bassem answered ‘Yes, I am Christian’, and repeated that again in a loud voice.”

The men then asked Mohamed his name and made him show his wrist. When they saw he had no tattoo, he was allowed to leave.

Then they turned to Osama.

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Muslim Global Demographic Project: You Can Help!

Pew Foundation Surveys have revealed a great deal about Muslim beliefs across the globe. But the surveys are broken down by country or region. The goal of this project is simple: Use information from two major Pew surveys to compute global statistics on 15 crucial questions about Islamic beliefs and practices which relate to security, terrorism, and the threat to Western culture.

I need your help to complete this project which is already underway. The spreadsheet is almost finished thanks to our Excel Specialists. But in order to distribute the work load more evenly, a few more volunteers are needed. If you know anyone who might be interested, please pass this on. The final analysis will be published on a major website and full credit will be given to our volunteers.  

Project Director: William DiPuccio, Ph.D.  sacred-engraving@sbcglobal.net

We are seeking to fill the following volunteer positions:

Research Assistants (workload will be distributed among a few assistants)
• A basic understanding of how to access an online spreadsheet and populate data fields is required.
• Locate and record basic population data for 39 countries.
• Record polling data from two major Pew Surveys (14 specific questions covering 39 countries). Links are provided.

Quality Control Specialists
• A basic understanding of how to access an online spreadsheet and populate data fields is required.
• Perform spot checks of data entry by research assistants to insure product quality.


Saturday, February 3, 2018

A Brief Portrait of Muhammad from 7th and 8th Century Christian Writers


This well organized and concise article puts it all together: 


Muhammad the Initiator of the Conquests
Muhammad the Trader
Muhammad the King
Muhammad the Monotheist Revivalist
Muhammad the Lawgiver
Muhammad the Prophet/False Prophet


The author, a major scholar in the field of Islamic studies, concludes by evaluating the utility of these sources: “Since the Muslim perception of Muhammad underwent major change during this period, this means that Christian sources can sometimes provide evidence for this change where Muslim sources are silent.”

See: “The Earliest Christian Writings on Muhammad: An Appraisal” by Robert Hoyland (2000)

Monday, January 15, 2018

Raymond Ibrahim: 'Why Professing Christ Is Becoming a ‘Hate Crime’ in the West'

"The Western elements that are forever protecting and empowering Islam, and which operate under various names—'Liberals', 'Leftists', 'Marxists', 'Progressives', 'Social Justice Warriors', etc.—ultimately care little about Islam; rather, Islam is for them a tool to combat their real and much closer enemy: Christianity, and the mores and civilization borne of it and culminating in the West."

Raymond Ibrahim analyzes how and why Leftists join with Islam to persecute Christians in the West in this new "must read" article by one of the foremost scholars on the threat from Islam.

Why Professing Christ Is Becoming a ‘Hate Crime’ in the West


by Raymond Ibrahim, January 12, 2018:



What is the source of dhimmitude—which in many ways paralyzes responses to Islam—in the West?

First a definition: “dhimmitude,” which was coined by the late Christian president of Lebanon, Bashir Gemayel, and popularized by writer Bat Ye’or, is a neologism based on the Arabic word, dhimmi—that is, a non-Muslim (generally a Christian or Jew) who falls under Islamic rule and, as a price for maintaining his religion, accepts an inferior social standing. Simply put, the dhimmi must know his or her place and never rock the boat, including by seeking equal rights with Muslims.

While this is the classic and original manifestation of dhimmitude, a new and unprecedented form has arisen in the West: in the Muslim world, where might naturally makes right, Muslim majorities impose an inferior status onto non-Muslim minorities; but in the West, it is the West itself—or at least homegrown elements—that in certain fields impose an inferior status on a non-Muslim majority.

The question becomes, Why? Why would a stronger civilization impose the unjust and supremacist stipulations of a weaker, hostile civilization, onto itself, and thereby paralyze itself against that same hostile civilization?

The answer is evident in the words of an ancient strategy: “The enemy of my enemy is my friend.” The Western elements that are forever protecting and empowering Islam, and which operate under various names—“Liberals,” “Leftists,” “Marxists,” “Progressives,” “Social Justice Warriors,” etc.—ultimately care little about Islam; rather, Islam is for them a tool to combat their real and much closer enemy: Christianity, and the mores and civilization borne of it and culminating in the West.