Wars and Rumors of Wars
Vol: 129 Issue: 25 Monday, June 25, 2012
President Obama sent congratulations to Mohamed Morsy after the Mother of the Arab World elected the Muslim Brotherhood to lead them. The Muslim Brotherhood is the foundational organization from which sprang such moderate mainstream groups as Hamas and al-Qaeda.
The Muslim Brotherhood claims to be a moderate, non-violent movement, despite its history. In an ironic twist of fate, it was the Muslim Brotherhood that brought Hosni Murbarak to power 34 years ago, and it was the Muslim Brotherhood that will take his place.
On October 7, 1981 as he was reviewing his forces, Egyptian President Anwar Sadat was shot and killed by five members of the Egyptian military. The men, two officers and three enlisted men, were members of the Muslim Brotherhood.
The attacks were planned and carried out by an Islamic nationalist daughter organization called Islamic Jihad. That group was associated with al Gamaa al Islamiyya, which was associated with al-Qaeda.
al-Gamaa al-Islamiyya accused Sadat of apostasy and condemned him for the peace treaty he’d signed with Israel. Sadat’s attackers killed him the one day he celebrated what he and Egypt perceived as a victory over Israel.
Among the group’s leaders: Ayman al-Zawahiri, subsequently al-Qaeda’s Number 2. Zawahiri was tried and imprisoned for three years for his role in the plot, then expelled from Egypt.
President-elect Morsy pledged to Gamaa al-Islamiyya to work for the release of one of their members, blind Sheik Omar Abdel-Rahman, architect of the first World Trade Center bombing.
Morsy later spoke of European Union-style integration for the Arab world and an Arab common market. “Jerusalem is in our hearts and vision,” he said. “But Cairo is Egypt’s capital.”
The Muslim Brotherhood’s charter describes its goal as the re-establishment of the Islamic Caliphate – an empire stretching from Spain to Indonesia. Although it claims to be non-violent, its charter describes “dying in the way of Allah” as the group’s highest hope. Its most infamous alumnus is undoubtedly Ayman Al-Zawahiri, the number two leader of Al Qaeda. This does not mean that the Brotherhood is synonymous with Usama Bin Laden, for Zawahiri views himself as a Al Qaeda member. The Brotherhood and Al Qaeda are both Sunni groups, although they are distinct, with Al Qaeda considered far more militant. – The Muslim Brotherhood for Beginners (php)
So, that is the Muslim Brotherhood. They claim to reject violence, but they rally under the official motto:
Allah is our objective.
The prophet is our leader.
Koran is our law.
Jihad is our way.
Dying in the way of Allah is our highest hope
Maybe I have a clouded view of what they mean by that, since “jihad is our way’ and ‘dying in the way of Allah’ sounds kind of violent, to me. And as a candidate, Mohamed Morsy didn’t sound like the moderate that the Western media makes him out to be.
He repeatedly promised to implement Islamic law in speeches peppered with references to God, the Prophet Mohammad and the Koran.
“It was for the sake of the Islamic sharia that men were … thrown into prison. Their blood and existence rests on our shoulders now,” Morsy said in one of his early campaign rallies.
But he has seldom spelled out what precisely his call to implement sharia, or Islamic law, would mean for Egypt, where piety runs deep and the constitution already defines the principles of the sharia as the main source of legislation.
Morsy has said Brotherhood rule would not mean that Egypt will be a theocracy, adding that there is little difference between the phrase “the principles of the sharia” – the term found in the current constitution – and the sharia itself.
As mentioned at the outset, the Obama administration is quietly thrilled with the results of the election. Obama gave his first international speech from Cairo, and pointedly invited the Muslim Brotherhood to attend.
Since Obama came to office, Democrat propaganda sheets like the Washington Post have been hard at work rehabilitating the Muslim Brotherhood’s image to conform to the image the administration wants to paint of the MB as the key to Middle East peace.
Hamas was as thrilled as Obama was at the news of Morsy’s victory. Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar told a rally in downtown Gaza that “the heart of Jerusalem has started to beat again”. The Israeli reaction is universally described by the international media as “jittery.”
“And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.” (Matthew 24:6)
While Israel watches as its most intractable enemy takes over the reins of government along its southern border, the conflict raging to its north threatens to spill over into Turkey.
Syria admitted to shooting down a Turkish warplane that Ankara has since determined was attacked while it was in international airspace. The Turkish government has demanded an emergency meeting of NATO under the terms of Article 4 of the Charter.
The article says member countries “will consult together whenever, in the opinion of any of them, the territorial integrity, political independence or security of any of the parties is threatened.”
The last time article 4 was invoked was nine years ago — also by Turkey — after tensions with neighboring Iraq escalated. That case did not lead to the invocation of article 5, which declares that an attack against any single NATO country shall be considered as an attack against them all.
It is the terms of Article 5 that put NATO in overall command of the Afghanistan War following the attack on the US on 9/11.
Up until a couple of years ago, Turkey was one of Israel’s closest allies. Egypt was the other. When the Gaza Flotilla (concocted by the Egyptian MB) incident soured Israeli-Turkish relations, Turkey embraced Syria as it began thawing relations with Iran.
When Assad began cracking down on Syrian rebels, Turkey found itself dealing with a Syrian refugee problem. Turkey set up a buffer zone inside Syria to deal with them. That set Turkey at odds with Syria, bringing Turkey, at least temporarily, back in harmony with NATO.
Which puts Turkey at exactly the opposite place from where it wants to go. Turkey has been working closely on repairing relations with Russia as well as with Iran. The Syrian attack puts Turkey’s membership in NATO back on the front burner.
Where do we go from here? The Bible tells us where we end up, but not necessarily HOW we get there. If we are as far along the Bible’s timeline as I suspect we are, then the following is a likely scenario.
However it goes, Turkey’s meeting with NATO will further strain Turkey’s relationship with the West. The Bible does not put Turkey in the Arab war against Israel — Turks are not descendents of Esau.
Turkey’s destiny is tied to that of Russia and Iran in the Gog-Magog War that Ezekiel says will not take place until Israel is living in perceived peace and safety as a land of unwalled villages.
So, however Turkey moves in response to the attack by Syria, it won’t be part of the war with Edom prophesied by Scripture. Here is what that means.
The Bible prophesies two specific conflicts to take place in the last days, with one setting the stage for the other.
In the first conflict, Israel’s victory over Edom is so conclusive that Israel will be able to, for the first time in her modern existence, live in relative peace and safety. The second conflict, Gog-Magog, occurs at some time after that.
But that does NOT mean that the next war IS the Edom War. It could just be another regional conflict.
While Egypt has just moved more firmly into the place Scripture predicted, Turkey’s next move could move it in the opposite direction, suggesting we’re not as far along as we thought.
Or it could push Turkey further out of NATO and closer to Gog-Magog, which is what the Bible’s timeline would demand.
Current events are moving very quickly — so quickly that it is tempting to shout, “This is it!” Until it isn’t.
One must be careful not to interpret current events so they conform to Bible prophecy — it is the other way around. Bible prophecy precedes current events — it was written FIRST. So ‘almost’ isn’t good enough.
We are the watchmen on the wall. Our first responsibility is spelled out pretty clearly by Scripture:
“But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman’s hand.” (Ezekiel 33:6)
But by definition, it imposes a requirement upon the watchmen to be credible — and not to be giving the warning without cause until nobody listens anymore. A watchman without credibility is an annoyance.
We don’t know enough to say this is it — because the Bible only promises us that we will see beginnings. We witness the labor pains of the coming Tribulation, but we won’t be here for the birth. The Lord told us that we should start looking up as these things BEGIN to come to pass.
And that we should keep one ear cocked for the Trumpet. So we’ll keep watching Turkey. And listening for the Trumpet.
Until He comes.