The weblog of the people, for the people. Discussing the issues that matter most. Plus some crazy humor thrown in here and there.
Enjoy- please, feel free to ask questions. However, do not simply make rude weightless statements. If you have something critical of myself or Islam to say, please provide your evidence with substance to your post in a respectful way.
I came to Islam in 9th grade after a Rabbi handed out a list of "violent verses" from the Qur’an. It was my first time seeing such blatantly anti-Islamic propaganda. The effect it had on me was profound, because it led me to open the Qur’an for my first time. Having known Muslims online, I wished to look deeper and understand if the faith truly is one of violence and intolerance. I could not believe that my friends promoted such violent beliefs. Not to mention, I had already studied and understood Islam by reading IslamOnline, and knew that they were not teaching violence.
I found instead, that the Qur’an speaks of assisting the oppressed, freeing the slaves, helping the orphans, aiding the widows, and feeding the poor. Rather than teaching intolerance, it promotes coexistence and understanding. Muhammed (peace be upon him) spoke in his final sermon: "Let there be no difference between an Arab and a non-Arab, nor a black and a white man, except in piety." Furthermore, he made clear, "All of [us] are equal because [we] have the same father, Adam, and [we] are his descendants," In stark contrast to Judaism, a faith which preaches a single tribe as the "chosen people" and promotes isolation and segregation.
To be fair to Jewish teaching, I was taught great tolerance all throughout Middle School. My teacher made clear that we cannot judge a person by the color of their skin, the creed that they follow, nor the political ideology they subscribe. She also taught that the doings of a minority cannot speak for the actions of the majority. I specifically recall her stories of Muslims she knew who had to bear the burden for the attacks on September 11th, as she witnessed people inch away in the elevator or refuse to look them in the eye. I learned from an early age not to judge.
But when I entered High School, things became different. I changed schools, and here, we were taught intolerance rather than tolerance. We were taught segregation instead of integration. We were taught hatred instead of peace. I refused to listen to what I was taught, and instead, I learned to do my own research, find my own truths, and search my own soul. I think a close-minded environment actually opened my mind, allowing me to push to the opposite extreme. I became pro-Palestinian, undoubtedly a risky move in an Orthodox Jewish community. I became Socialist, also, without a doubt, a risky ideology for a 14 year old American. And after finally reading the Qur’an for the first time, I decided I was able to bow in submission to Allah.
I always believed in God. I strived to move closer to God. But never did I actually reach God, understand God, or feel content with God until I opened my heart to Islam. I was made to pray each morning and afternoon at my Jewish school. I took Bible, Hebrew, Jewish History and Rabinnics. But never did I feel connected. Prayer meant rambling random words in another language each morning, watching the clock, hoping time will pass quickly. Reading the Bible meant opening a book of laws that really did not relate much to me.
When I became Muslim, all that changed. Reading the Qur’an meant opening a manual to life that our creator has granted us as a gift. Prayer meant thanking God for all that I have, asking him for my wishes, while understanding his greatness and mercy. For the first time in my life, I felt content, no longer needing to to continue my quest for truth.
And now, having been Muslim for four years, I wish to tell readers of this blog what my journey has been like. I wish to share the joys and the troubles, the ups and the downs. And I hope that maybe, it will strengthen your own iman (faith) and offer new perspectives to a religion that has lived strong since the beginning of mankind (the religion of monotheistic Submission).
Does Man Have an Immortal Soul?
Contrary to popular teaching, the doctrine of the immortal soul did not originate from biblical doctrine taught or written by the prophets or apostles. Rather, it traces its roots to ancient pagan Egyptian and Greek philosophers. The Â“church fathersÂ” of mainstream Christianity adopted the immortal soul doctrine from Greek philosophyÂ—not from the Bible.
Even a cursory glance into GodÂ’s Word reveals that the doctrine of the immortal soul is false.
What the Bible Teaches
You will not find the term Â“immortal soulÂ” anywhere in the Bible. However, you will find the word soul. The Hebrew word for soul is nephesh, and the Greek word is psuche. Both terms mean a living, breathing creature, either man or animal. The word Â“soulÂ” in the Bible never refers to something immortal.
The first use of the word in the Bible is found in Genesis 2:7, which states, Â“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.Â”
This verse makes clear that men are soulsÂ—they do not have souls. Adam became a soulÂ—a living, breathing creature. Then, almost immediately, God warned him, Â“Of every tree of the garden you may freely eat: but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, you shall not eat of it: for in the day that you eat thereof you shall surely dieÂ” (vs. 16-17).
Placing these verses together, and considering the meaning of the Hebrew word die, which means Â“destroy,Â” we plainly see that men are souls, and that souls can die!
In Leviticus 17:11, the word Â“lifeÂ” is also nephesh. If one were to interchange these two words, the verse would read as follows: Â“For the soul of the flesh is in the blood.Â”
By pouring out His soul (His lifeÂ’s blood) as payment for our sins (Isa. 53:12), Christ gave His life (psuche) as a ransom for mankind (Mark 10:45).
The prophet Ezekiel twice wrote, in verse 4 and verse 20 of chapter 18, Â“The soul that sins, it shall die.Â” Death is not leaving Â“this lifeÂ” for the Â“next life.Â” It is the absence of life!
Clearly, the Bible teaches that the soul is mortal.
Who Can Destroy Souls?
What about the warning that Jesus gave in Matthew 10:28? Â“And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear Him [God] which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.Â”
No one doubts that all bodies eventually die, decompose and return to dust. But this verse reveals that God can destroy souls!
The prophet Malachi wrote about the final state of the wicked: Â“For, behold, the day comes, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yes, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that comes shall burn them up, says the Lord of hostsÂ…And you shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do thisÂ” (Mal. 4:1-3).
Obadiah 16 amplifies this: Â“Â…and they shall be as though they had not been.Â”
Man cannot destroy both the physical body and the soul (life)Â—only God can. On another occasion, Jesus stated the same admonition: Â“And I say to you, My friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do. But I will warn you of whom you shall fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell [the lake of fire]Â” (Luke 12:4-5 Â– NKJV).
Christ is stating that we are not to fear men, who can only take our physical life. If one dies at the hands of men, it will be a temporary death. If God kills a man, because he refuses to repent of his sinsÂ—making him unworthy to be in His kingdomÂ—he will be destroyed for eternity. He will have no further chance to receive eternal life. This is the second death, from which will be no resurrection (Rev. 20:14-15; Mal. 4:1).
1 Corinthians 15:51-54
51 Behold, I tell you a mystery. We will not all SLEEP (Greek "koimesis" is Sleep Or Physical Death), but WE (Yahweh’s Chosen) will all be changed (from mortal to immortal),
52 in a moment, IN THE TWINKLING OF AN EYE, at the LAST (Seventh) TRUMPET. For the trumpet will sound, and the DEAD (Greek "nekros" is corpse) will be raised incorruptible (Greek "aphthartos" is Immortal), and WE will be changed (from physically mortal to physically immortal).
Note: REMEMBER The Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur) Is The Annual Sabbath Symbolizing This Future Event. Also, remember that this message was only directed to True Believers.
53 For this CORRUPTIBLE (Greek "phthartos" is decayed) must put on INCORRUPTION , and this mortal MUST PUT ON immortality (Greek "aphtharsia is immortality).
"The Breath of Life" (natural pneuma) is what scientists have been trying to discover for centuries. Just what is it?
Dedicated to the men, women and children who lost their lives,
THIS is what our Nation is responding to.
Photos courtesy of: AP, CNN, NY Newsday, NY Daily News,
Do you pray for victims of your attac? Do you ask Allah for forgiveness?
They have a lot of great kid stuff, but a big focus for them seems to be making sure the kiddos accept Creationism. Basically, those types of Christians that dwell on Creationism exclude anyone who might feel that the Old Testament is not a strictly literal document.
I think it makes some Christians look silly.
The Islamic machine is in full swing. Their priority is to separate Rifqa from her supporters, her friends, her fortress against the jihad against her. The belligerent, hostile new Islamist lawyer for Mohamed Bary has tried vigorously to get John Stemberger (Rifqa’s lawyer) removed. He shrieked in the court room that Rifqa’s guardian ad litem was in cahoots with Rifqa’s legal counsel (and what is their evil agenda? Rifqa’s well being?). The Muslim offense is to restrict Rifqa’s visitation with her close friends and Shayan Elahi (the Islamic lawyer) recommended to the judge that "medication" be administered to Rifqa.
Do you see where this is going?
But they can’t attack that dear little girl every day, can they? No. So they switch off between Rifqa, "the right wing" extremists protecting and defending her (myself, Robert Spencer et al), Rifqa’s lawyer (a Christian conservative activist!), Christianity itself and the good Pastor who took her in.
The corrupt and utterly debased media is only too happy to do the dirty work for jihad. Check out this disgusting editorial written by a Muslim accusing the church of "getting rich off Rifqa". First off, the Rifqa Bary Trust was only just established a couple of days ago. And Rifqa will be receiving all proceeds. This is an attempt to smear the church and keep money out of Rifqa’s hands much needed for defense. She needs to hire various professionals for her defense. The lawyer that set up the trust did it pro bono. Believe me, there is no money cache.
This young girl is the current target. Scroll down for some of the past targets of Islam and see the torturous deaths they suffered for things like:
Not wanting to prostitute themselves
Not wanting to marry someone
Wanting a divorce
Look at some of the pictures and read the stories. Are you really going to tell me this is just a few "extremists"???
Ghosts stirred at theater? Unexplainable events bring paranormal investigators to Venetian
It’s closing time at the Venetian Theater and Bistro, and a staff member heads into the auditorium.
A tall, gray-haired man remains in the back-most row of seats. "It’s time to leave," he’s told. He does, only not through the door. He simply disappears.
Saxony Peterson, co-owner of the theater at 253 Main St., says the same man has appeared three different times and to different people too.
If this were the only odd occurrence at the Venetian, it might be blamed on late hours, power of suggestion or the overactive imaginations of a weary crew. But it’s not.
Peterson said, during play rehearsals, Bag and Baggage’s Scott Palmer has heard unexplained footsteps crossing the stage. Staff returning from the upper dining area reported turning off the lights and music, only to have them come back on as they started down the stairs. This happens regularly, she said.
Normal work flow in the kitchen was once interrupted by water streaming from above. After mopping up, the crew removed the ceiling panels to find the leak’s source. Peterson said they found no water pipes, nothing there containing any water. Strangest of all, the removed panels were not even damp, even though a flood had passed through them not long before.
Then there’s Dale Buck’s experience. One night she was alone in the auditorium, on her way to check the rear exit door, when she heard whispers coming from the left side of the room. Then a "big rush of cold air came past my left ear," she said. "It was colored gray and black, and as it passed my ear, it whispered ‘stop.’ "
So Peterson and Denzil Scheller invited a team of paranormal investigators, volunteers from the International Paranormal Reporting Group, to conduct an investigation. IPRG, which itself has allied teams in Idaho, Oregon, Montana and Germany, is recognized by The Atlantic Paranormal Society. TAPS, for fans of events that defy scientific explanation, is the group behind the Ghost Hunters show on the Syfy network.
The team came to The Venetian on July 25. They brought digital voice recorders, infrared cameras, temperature sensors and K-2 meters for reading electromagnetic disturbances.
Greg Gieler, who led the IPRG investigators, reported back to Peterson and Scheller Aug. 18 with IPRG’s findings.
Gieler set up his laptop on a table in the Venetian Bistro. He explained how he’d pored through hours of recordings made at The Venetian searching for electronic voice phenomena. Such EVPs are disembodied voices, or sounds with no explainable source, that are picked up by recording devices but are not audible to people present at the time.
Passing headphones around the table, everyone present took turns listening to the examples Gieler had discovered. In one, recorded in the theater’s projection room, a voice could be clearly and slowly, saying, "Sorry … I’m sorry … sorry."
Gieler said paranormal events, by their very nature, have no scientific explanation. That’s why they are "paranormal." IPRG, first of all, tries to find a verifiable cause for its findings. The EVPs, like other such incidents don’t have one. That doesn’t stop ghost hunters from speculating on their nature. In this case, Gieler said, spirits may make use of some actual source — perhaps a chair sliding back — and draw it out to create a word.
Investigators also had a strange encounter in the theater’s projection room.
As background, Scheller emphasized that room is the only climate-controlled space in the building. The heat given off by the projector in a confined space makes it necessary to keep a constant temperature of about 68 degrees.
Gieler said, he could feel the temperature warming while he was in the projection room, so he asked the presence to raise the temperature to exactly 70 degrees. His sensor measured 70. Then, by steps, he asked for 71, then 72, then 73 degrees. Each time the temperature rose to the requested point and held until asked to go higher.
Gieler said he then said aloud, "If you make it go to 78 degrees, I promise I won’t ask you to go higher because I know it’s really hard." That happened. And the process repeated this time in reverse, back down to 68 degrees.
Gieler thinks The Venetian is an interesting enough site to warrant further investigation. He asked Scheller whether he would be interested in hosting a TAPS boot camp, a ticketed event in which up to 60 paranormal investigators gather.
In the meantime, Bag and Baggage is preparing for its first play of the new season. Peterson says the unexplainable events seem to increase whenever more people are in the theater’s space.
Maybe every tenth theater is haunted worldwidwe. The question is WHY?
JERUSALEM Â– Yousef Majlaton moved into the Jerusalem neighborhood of Pisgat Zeev for such comforts as proper running water and regular garbage pickup. But he represents a potentially volatile twist in the Israeli-Palestinian dispute over the holy city.
The hillside sprawl of townhouses and apartment blocks was built for Jews, and Majlaton is a Palestinian.
Pisgat Zeev is part of Israel’s effort to fortify its presence in Jerusalem’s eastern half which it captured in the 1967 war.
But Majlaton, his wife and three kids are among thousands who have crossed the housing lines to Pisgat Zeev and neighborhoods like it in a migration that is raising tempers among some Jewish residents.
It wasn’t so much the politics of this contested city that drew Majlaton to Pisgat Zeev, however; it was the prospect of escaping the potholed roads and scant municipal services he endured for 19 years while renting in an Arab neighborhood.
You see that air conditioner?" he said, pointing to the large wall unit cooling his living room. "In the Arab areas, the electricity is too weak to run one that big."
Majlaton, 50, says some Jewish neighbors are warming up to him, but the influx bothers others, who say they’re thinking of moving out or refuse to sell or rent to Arabs.
This is much more than a simple matter of real estate. Demographics could figure heavily in how Jerusalem is partitioned in a future peace deal. If that happens, it is expected the city will be split along ethnic lines Â— Jewish neighborhoods to Israel, Arab neighborhoods to Palestine.
Palestinians see east Jerusalem as their future capital. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows the whole city will remain united as Israel’s capital.
Palestinians have long accused those among them who sell land to Jews of betraying their homeland, and last week similar language was heard from a group of rabbis. Meeting in Pisgat Zeev, they issued an edict denouncing Jews who sell land to Arabs as "traitors" and barring them from participating in communal prayers.
"This is a war, and if the Arabs conquer one neighborhood, they will conquer others and they will strangle the Jews," said Hillel Weiss, a spokesman for the "New Sanhedrin," which takes its name from the supreme court of ancient Israel.
In 2007, the latest year with available statistics, about 1,300 of Pisgat Zeev’s 42,000 residents were Arabs. In nearby French Hill, population 7,000, nearly one-sixth are Arabs, among them students at the neighboring Hebrew University of Jerusalem. Neve Yaakov, with 20,000 people, had 600 Arabs, according to the Israel Center for Jerusalem Studies, a respected think tank.
Weeks after the 1967 war, Israel annexed east Jerusalem with its major Jewish, Muslim and Christian holy sites in a move recognized by no other country. It continues to build housing in sensitive areas in defiance of U.S. protests.
Netanyahu says Arabs have the right to live anywhere in the city, and so should Jews, though the Old City’s Jewish Quarter is closed to Arabs.
Love thy neighbor as thyself? Not according to Jewish residents.