Mohammed's Most Faithful

When Yasser Arafat miraculously survived an airplane crash in the Sahara desert in 1992, he told awestruck journalists that he had not been surprised by his escape. It was his "destiny", he said, to wage the battle for a Palestinian state, with Jerusalem as its capital.

The path he has traced towards Palestinian independence since then will certainly have fuelled this belief in his predestined mission, for he is virtually walking in the legendary footsteps of Mohammed. Muslims believe that the founder of their faith, accompanied by the Angel Gabriel, flew on his strange winged creature Buraq from Mecca to Mount Sinai (where God met with Moses), from there to Bethlehem (city of Jesus' birth), to Hebron (burial place of the Patriarch Abraham), and then to Jerusalem, site of the Holy Temple, from where he ascended into Heaven.

In this way, these sites special to Jews and Christians were appropriated by Islam, which Muslims hold to have preceded, and superseded, Judaism and Christianity.

Since he arrived in Gaza in 1993, Arafat has followed Mohammed's mythical "night journey". He has seen Bethlehem come under his control, and has almost secured Hebron. He plans a high-profile visit to Mount Sinai in the year 2000, in an event expected also to involve the Pope. And his final goal is "Jerusalem, Jerusalem, Jerusalem," and most specifically, the Temple Mount.

PLO's Christmas package of lies

Deception is central to Arafat's strategy for co-opting Christian support

IT was Adolf Hitler who argued that, when it comes to propaganda, its content of truth is of little importance when compared to the only valid criterion that of its success.

But Islamic leaders didn't need their warm relations with the Nazis to teach them about lying; Muslims had learned many centuries before of the value of deception.

In terms of their religion's principle of taqiah, "Muslims have every right to lie and to deceive their adversaries, and a promise made to a non-Muslim can be broken whenever necessary." (Amir Taheri: Holy Terror, Sphere Books, London, 1987).
Explained Islamic fundamentalist theoretician Mustafa Chamran:

"We are not fighting within the rules of the world as it exists today. We reject all those rules."
Yasser Arafat's PLO has become masterful in the art of taqiah, and has seen many a victory won in its battle against the truth.

This past Christmas, as Christian pilgrims and tourists flocked to Bethlehem, they were handed press packages prepared by the PLO Authority's Ministry of Information. The statements are littered with half-truths and blatant lies, while many events are related out of context. Christian readers who are ignorant of history, and of their own Bible, are bound to be taken in.

Some quotes follow:

On Jerusalem's holy sites:

"The most distinctive [holy] sites are the Al Aqsa Mosque, the Dome of Rock, Omar Mosque, the Church of Gethsemane, the Church of Holy Sepulchre, and Al Buraq wall (the name of the creature on which Prophet Mohammed made his ascension to heaven), which is called by Jews the "Wailing Wall."

"Some orthodox Jews consider it [the Western Wall] as a holy place for them, and claim that the wall is part of their temple, which all historic studies and archaeological excavations have failed to find any proof for such a claim."

On Israel's decision to reunite Jerusalem:
"Following this unilateral and illegal decision, consecutive Israeli governments stepped up measures to judaise the city in an attempt to obliterate the Arabic and Islamic features of Jerusalem."
On Hebron:
"Hebron is one of the most important and oldest cities in Palestine's history dating back to more than 6,000 years ago ... Hebron was occupied by Israel in June 1967 and is still suffering under this long and cruel occupation. Immediately after occupying the city, Israel started to forge and implement a colonialist settling policy in this city."
On Bethlehem:
"The historic and religious diversity of this ancient Palestinian community is everywhere apparent. The town of Bethlehem ... is sacred to each of the great monotheistic faiths."

"Since occupying [Bethlehem] in the 1967 war, Israel initiated a policy aimed at emptying the city from its original inhabitants, Muslims and Christians alike ... the Israeli leaders adopted a sectarian policy aimed at planting the seeds of dissension and intolerance among Christians and Muslims ... Israel has employed for this purpose collaborators to nurture these poisonous concepts. Such Israeli attempts were doomed to failure in front of the solid unity of the Palestinian population ..."

On "desecration of holy sites":
"The Islamic and Christian holy places were desecrated by settlers and soldiers in complete defiance to the sanctity of these places and in violation to international conventions pertaining to freedom of worship and religion."

"The religious institutions in the occupied Palestinian territories came under continuous and repeated violations by the ruling Israeli military authority during the past 28 years of occupation ..."

"The lax security measures provided by Israel over these holy places did not repel vandals from plundering and desecrating these places ... the statue of the Virgin Mary has been stolen from the Church of the Holy Sepulchre ... the church of the nativity and other holy places were attacked on many occasions by radical Jewish groups."

On Israel's closures of Judea-Samaria following terror attacks:
"Since the beginning of this year, Israel has toughened its arbitrary measures against all Palestinian cities and towns ... the all-out siege, the most cruel of its kind, has caused immense damage to the Palestinian economy, and deeply contributed in isolating the Palestinian territories from each other, paralysing movement between cities and villages."
On "Palestine":
"Palestine is a land of peace, as no peace will be blessed and established except the just and permanent peace, peace for all, peace in Palestine ... we the Palestinians, being the inhabitants of this land since the dawn of history, are marking Christmas as a national holiday shared by Christians all over the world ... we welcome you to Palestine, to Bethlehem, the city of Christ."

Islam's Lethal Weapon

ONE of the most powerful forces in Islam is that which drives devout adherents of the faith to win back for their god land which once was controlled by Muslims, but subsequently lost to infidels. It is incumbent on the good Muslim to use whatever means are necessary to achieve this end.

This is why the presence of a Jewish state, smack in the middle of an Islamic "empire" reaching from Morocco to Indonesia, is such an affront. A spate of wars, half a century of terrorism, and waves of diplomatic pressure have not succeeded. The "peace process" is simply the latest and ultimately most dangerous for Israel battle in this war. The prize is the recapturing of Israel, Jerusalem and the Temple Mount for Allah.

PLO chairman Yasser Arafat has been keenly aware of this for decades. His ambition has long gone way beyond the establishment of a "secular, democratic state". His Palestinian revolution is the engine which, he hopes, will get Jerusalem and the entire country back in the Islamic fold. He will then have earned not only the adulation of the Palestinian Arabs, but of the world's one billion Muslims.

The leaders and states surrounding Israel hail from a broad range of political and ethnic backgrounds. Their mutual hatred and scheming against each other knows no bounds. But one thing they have in common:

For his part, Arafat is happy to exploit their religious sentiments to ensure military, financial and diplomatic aid for his jihad. It is a marriage of mutual convenience.

ARAFAT, however, hasn't been content to be the frontman for the world's fastest-growing faith. He has recognised as a major opportunity the blind sympathy of many in the Christian world to his cause. In the fight for Jerusalem, he knows he can count on the backing of some representatives of Arab churches, who have exchanged the tenets of the gospel for a flawed "Palestinian liberation theology".

Further afield, his success in winning the support of churches around the globe has been phenomenal. Uncompromising Christian should have no truck with uncompromising Muslims.
Their own Bible warns:

"Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? And what agreement has the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God." [2 Cor: 6:14,16]
But Arafat banks on their ignorance of the history of Islamic oppression of Christians through the ages, and of its brutal discrimination against Christian minorities in half a dozen Middle Eastern nations today. He banks, too, on an undiscerning human rights obsession infecting many denominations, who pay more attention to the words of United Nations charters and resolutions than to those of their own Bible. And finally, Arafat banks on the anti-Semitism which has survived the centuries and thrives, usually not far below the surface, in many churches to this day.

The hour is late, but there is still time for Christians who believe the Bible to stop, reassess their positions, and join the battle on the side of truth.

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