Sep 23

SAS training New Syrian Army

British special forces pictured on the ground in Syria for the first timeBBC News

British special forces pictured on the ground in Syria for the first timeBBC News

Both International Business Times and Russia Today have joined The Sun and Daily Mirror in reporting that British Special Forces are secretly training ‘New Syrian Army’ (NSA) rebels in Jordan.

IBTimes says the aim of the Marine Commandos and SAS is to equip and empower the US-backed NSA to fight Islamic State or ‘Daesh’ (why do American officials pronounce it ‘Dash’?  for that matter, why do they pronounce ‘Putin’ as ‘Putn’)?.  Those who join the NSA are supposed to sign a pledge only to fight IS and not the Syrian Army.  But don’t let us be surprised if they do turn their fire on Syrian regular forces.

Just days ago, American-led aircraft deliberately attacked a Syrian army unit, resulting in 62 deaths. According to The Independent, The Ministry of Defence confirmed British jets were involved.  So 62 sons – and maybe husbands and fathers – died by the hand of UK Defence Secretary the Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP.  Hours after the attack, IS forces over-ran the Syrian defences in the same area.  What a coincidence.

MONEY DOWN THE DRAIN

Previous attempts by the US to train Syrian rebels have met with disaster.  The Pentagon wasted $500 million training just four or five men in 2015.  Rebels even handed vehicles and ammunition over to extremists.  The programme was shut down in October of that year.  In March of this year President Obama said he was starting up a new version of the scheme.

Earlier this month, RT somewhat gleefully reported that US-trained jihadists chased their American special forces mentors out of the northern Syrian town of Al-Rai.  It was claimed, very plausibly, the jihadists chanted ‘crusaders’, ‘dogs’, ‘infidels’ after them.

Does anyone in the Pentagon or Ministry of Defence seriously think current training operations will do any better?  From all the talk of ‘lessons being learned’, it appears they do.  Our money is going down the drain, or worse.  If it ends up being used to attack President Assad’s forces, it will be simply prolonging the conflict.

WHY WESTERN MEDIA SAYS ASSAD CAN DO NOTHING RIGHT

Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has joined the Russian fleet in the Tartus naval base in Syria.

Aircraft carrier Admiral Kuznetsov has joined the Russian fleet in the Tartus naval base in Syria.

There is one reason and one reason only why the United States wants ‘regime change’ in Syria.  It is because President Bashar al Assad is an ally of Russia’s President Putin.  Russia has both air bases and a sea port (Tartus) in Syria.  The US and its NATO allies, including France and the UK, seek to weaken Russia.  Replacing Assad with a puppet regime drawn from Syrian ‘exiles’ would do the job nicely.

If we view the news which comes out from Western media about alleged atrocities committed by ‘the Syrian regime’, ‘Assad’ or ‘Russia’ with this ‘regime-change’ purpose in mind, every negative story will make sense.

Do we believe the Americans or the British are above ‘false-flag’ operations designed to discredit the Syrian Government? Sadly, no, we don’t.  Do we believe they would happily blame atrocities committed by their jihadist allies on President Assad?  Sadly, yes we do.

BORIS JOHNSON ‘GOES NATIVE’

Our hopes were high (well not that high) that the appointment of Rt Hon Boris Johnson MP as Foreign Secretary in July might bring with it a change of attitude towards Russia and Syria.  From the backbenches, Mr Johsnon had publicly advocated that the UK should work with Vladimir Putin and Bashar al-Assad against ISIS, which as Tim Eaton pointed out on the Chatham House website was at odds with current government policy.

Permanent Under-Secretary Simon McDonald welcomes Boris Johnson to the Foreign Office last night.

Permanent Under-Secretary Simon McDonald welcoming Boris Johnson to the Foreign Office.

Sadly, it did not take long for the ‘Sir Humphreys*’ (led by the PUS, Simon McDonald) at the Foreign Office to put the new Secretary of State in his place.  Two months later Boris was hosting exiled Syrian opposition figures, those described to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee as ‘a busted flush’.  Asked on BBC news if the meeting would have any positive effect, the BBC’s Jeremy Bowen almost laughed before saying the leaders and their demands were irrelevant.

Among those demands is that President Assad step down within six months as part of any settlement.  Not even the US Secretary of State John Kerry says that any more.  But that did not stop Boris repeating it a day or so ago.  Now he is blaming Russia for everything from running a ‘proxy war’ (as if they are the only ones) to destroying aid convoys (as if the rebels would never do that) to bombing hospitals (ibid) to protracting the violence.

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SYRIAN CRISIS?

If anyone is responsible for what Boris Johnson now describes as “a cynical and barbaric protraction of violence and it is tragic,” it is the US and the UK.  The reality is President Assad is the only guarantor of stability in Syria.  It’s Assad or the deluge.  He is the only one who will defend the rights of religious minorities including Christians.  (The UK’s jihadist clients have destroyed churches).  Russia will not let him fall and nor should they.

Those perpetuating the violence in Syria are the US and the UK, namely Boris Johnson, his understudy Alan Duncan MP, his predecessors Philip Hammond and William Lord Hague and Defence Secretary Michael Fallon.  By encouraging, training and funding the armed insurgency Her Majesty’s ministers and their civil servants can take full responsibility for the destruction of Syrian infrastructure, the deaths of civilians, loss of property and businesses, persecution of Christians in rebel areas and the waves of Syrian migrants flooding across Europe, with IS sleepers among them.  (View my video, ‘Syria Sense and Compassion‘.)

And the UK is doing it just in the vain hope that Russia might lose its bases in Mediterranean.  It is a scandal.

As Baroness Cox said earlier this month, peace in Syria cannot be reached through Western interference.

PLEASE PRAY that the UK Government will support or at least get out of the way of the Syrian Government as it tries to regain control and establish peace.  Pray for the remaining Christians in Syria as they try to hold their communities together and rebuild their lives.  Pray for the time when bricks will take the place of bombs.

Please leave other prayer points as comments below.

  • In the TV comedy ‘Yes Minister‘ the character of Permanent Under-Secretary (he’s the top civil servant in the department) Sir Humphrey Appleby (played by Nigel Hawthorne) was constantly ensuring the new minister Jim Hacker (Paul Eddington) kept to the department’s official line.

Ephesians 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

 

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Sep 22

Council look anew at child care case

Walsall Family Court

Walsall Family Court

In legal cases what is said between advocates in a conference room is often as important as what happens in court.

And so it proved on Wednesday last week (14th September 2016) at Walsall Family Court, where a local authority was forced to go back to the drawing board in a child care case.

ACQUITTAL IN CROWN COURT

The family were torn apart by allegations of sexual assault made last year by a small girl who had been staying with them. The family’s youngest children were taken into care, where they remain to this day. Meanwhile, a criminal prosecution was launched against the family’s two eldest sons.

Wolverhampton Crown Court

Wolverhampton Crown Court

Early last month, the two were acquitted of sexual abuse in Wolverhampton Crown Court. It emerged during the trial that the girl, seven at the time, had admitted in a police interview to watching pornography with an older girl next door to her father’s house. Her account of sexual abuse was confused and contradictory, the forensic evidence not only did not assist but introduced the DNA of a ‘mystery male’, and the medical report showed no evidence of the various forms of sexual penetration she alleged.

The young men’s parents gave strong testimony for the defence about the layout of their home and the ground rules in place. Not only did the alleged abuse not happen, it could not have happened, they told the court.

COUNCIL MISREPRESENTED EVIDENCE

Her Honour Judge Rosalind Bush

Her Honour Judge Rosalind Bush

The parallel proceedings in the family court had been subject to a string of delays, one of which was occasioned by my turning up at court as an accredited journalist earlier this year. That delayed matters by eight weeks. Another delay happened because the judge, Judge Rosalind Bush, was indisposed when the case was due to recommence at the end of July.

The local authority, Walsall Council, applied last year to have the younger children adopted without waiting for the outcome of the parallel criminal case. They told the court wrongly the allegations of abuse were backed up by medical evidence. They never did the maths on the likelihood of so many members of one family being paedophiles. (Paedophilia – sexual attraction to pre-pubescent children – isn’t genetic and the incidence in the population at large is less than one in a hundred. The probability of two individuals both being paedophiles is one in ten thousand. And so on.)

Dr Helen Rodwell runs Jigsaw Psychology with her husband Lee from an address in Derby and is doing very nicely out of it.

Dr Helen Rodwell runs Jigsaw Psychology with her husband Lee from an address in Derby and is doing very nicely out of it. The parents say she bullied them into admitting the alleged sexual abuse had happened.

Walsall never sat down calmly with the parents and never discussed whether what was alleged was even plausible. They never carried out properly their statutory duty to investigate. Instead, they tried retrospectively to justify their knee-jerk decision to whisk the younger children into care.

PARENTS DENOUNCED TO EMPLOYERS

Crucially, no-one in the social work department appeared to have any knowledge of how children re-enact what they have seen on screen in subsequent play. Or as in this case, how a child can fantasise such images into a play scenario. But then again, they were unaware of what the girl had been viewing next-door. They had never seen the police evidence in its entirety, despite giving the family court the impression they had.

So the local authority presented the abuse as proven and the children at risk. They denounced the parents to their respective employers and colleges. They, the parents’ own solicitors, and psychologist Dr Helen Rodwell of Jigsaw Psychology, bullied the parents into accepting that abuse might have happened. ‘If you accept it happened, we can help you,’ they told them.

SOMETHING HAD TO GIVE

I was present through the criminal trial. I heard and saw all the evidence, from both the prosecution, gamely presented by Mr Paul Spratt, and the defence. When the family court reconvened on Friday 9th September, I, a humble journalist, knew more about the evidence than anyone else in the court room. (The parents, as witnesses for the defence, did not hear the earlier witnesses for the prosecution – the girl herself and her parents – who did not actually help the prosecution’s case).

Michael Phillips represented the father.

Michael Phillips now represents the father.

The boy’s parents clearly could no longer sustain a position of admitting to the family court that abuse had happened while showing the criminal court how it could not have happened. Something had to give.

Emboldened by their sons’ acquittal, and despite Judge Bush saying the verdict changed nothing, both parents reversed their positions and maintained no abuse had occurred. Dramatically, their advocates immediately resigned, and Her Honour ordered a new fact-finding exercise in which she would look at all the police evidence and transcripts from the criminal trial.

A NEW SOLICITOR

That brought us to Wednesday 16th September when Judge Bush set a date for a directions hearing in November.

But the father in the case had managed to find a new solicitor to represent him. By the grace of God, this was the very man who had prepared his sons’ case in the criminal court, Michael Phillips. Mr Phillips was in a position to bring his extensive knowledge of the case to the attention of the other advocates, in particular to barrister Richard Hadley, representing Walsall. As a result, Mr Hadley told me after the hearing the local authority is now going to re-examine the whole case.

Richard Hadley, Counsel for Walsall, will look at the whole case again.

Richard Hadley, Counsel for Walsall, will look at the whole case again.

Mr Hadley’s profile at Birmingham’s No5 Chambers says he is ‘particularly skilled at unravelling complicated medical evidence’. He is also ‘regularly instructed in high profile cases involving the most serious of injuries, sexual abuse and fabricated or induced illness’. Mr Hadley sounds like the ideal man to assess all the evidence and bring this terrible miscarriage of justice to an early close.

KEEP PRAYING

There might be no need for Her Honour’s ‘fact-find’ at all and the children could be home for Christmas. Keep praying for the case, for the parents, for Mr Hadley and Mr Phillips, for Judge Bush and everyone involved. Thank God for the supernatural delays in the family court case which have facilitated this development. And please pray for the little girl and her estranged parents. There is so much healing needed all round, but particularly for her.

 

 

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Sep 16

Limited consultation on sharia courts

Kadhis (judges) of the Sharia Council delve into Islamic law

Kadhis (judges) of the Islamic Sharia Council delve into Islamic law

The Governments’ consultation into sharia courts opened in July and closed in August. It was said to be ‘part of an independent review into its use in England and Wales’.

Professor Mona Siddiqui, a Muslim herself, was appointed to lead it, ‘investigating the treatment of women in cases involving divorce, domestic violence and child custody’.

NO MUSLIMS NEED RESPOND

It was not, as so many thought it should be, a consultation into the principle of whether a rival law system should operate under the established legal system in England and Wales. The Home Office only wanted to hear from ‘people with experience of sharia law.’

Muslim women are not all opposed to Sharia

Muslim women are not all opposed to Sharia

That meant ‘Kadhis’, sharia judges, and those on the receiving end of Islamic justice.

The consultation page said:

‘We would like to hear from you if you have knowledge, expertise or experience on the use of sharia law, especially if you:

‘work or have worked as part of a sharia council in the last 5 years

‘have used a sharia council in any capacity in the last 5 years,’

It meant only Muslims could respond and no-one, including a Muslim with misgivings about sharia councils, who had not paritcipated in such a court would be admitted to the consultation.

ARBITRATION SYSTEM

Sharia courts operate within the arbitration system which was set up in the nineteenth century by the Arbitration Act 1889. Arbitration is especially useful in commercial disputes and cases involving land or construction. Costs for parties are lower and by agreeing to arbitration, parties relieve time pressure on the overburdened courts. The outcome on parties who agree to arbitration is binding and enforceable.

Arbitration panels operating specifically for Muslims fall within this system.

The problem is that no-one is really sure what system of law is being applied by the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal (MAT), the main Islamic arbitration council which has sprung up.

KADHI COURTS

Is it true that Islamic arbitration, as Government ministers stoutly maintain, and Wikipedia announces: ‘operates within the framework of English law and does not constitute a separate Islamic legal system’?

Or is the Kadhi (the Arabic word for ‘judge’) secretly handing down Fatwa (Arabic for ‘judgment’) using Sharia (the Arabic word for ‘law’)?

Kahdi Courts using the Arbitration framework are said on the Muslim Arbitration Tribunal website (above) to be ‘a viable alternative for the Muslim community seeking to resolve disputes in accordance with Islamic Sacred Law’.

How can they be in accordance with Sharia and also with the law of England and Wales, or that of Scotland?  The Scottish Government said in a response to a consultation that parties could explicitly agree to ‘apply Sharia law’ to their dispute.  They also said: ‘Any final award must comply with Scots or UK law otherwise it would be unenforceable in the Scottish courts.’  What does that mean if a party has already agreed to Sharia?

SHARIA DIVORCE COURTS

In addition to Kadhi Courts operating within the arbitration system, there are others, including the Islamic Sharia Council (ISC), set up to apply Islamic law outside it.  95% or the work of the ISC is to do with divorce, enabling Muslim parties (mainly, it appears, women) to gain an Islamic divorce in addition to a UK civil divorce.

Although they say they do not settle matters of residence of children, Machteld Zee, a Dutch author, looking at the way these courts operate, concluded they do indeed decide those matters.  In practice, a party would probably then concede the Sharia position decided by the Kadhis on his or her next appearance in the civil court.

She revealed there are around 85 such councils in England and Wales.  She also said they invariably give custody or ‘residence’ of children to fathers.  Some might add ‘it’s about time’ in view of the opposite tendency in civil divorce courts, but that is exactly the point.  There appear to be competing parallel systems operating.

MUSLIMS ‘BENEFIT’ FROM SHARIA

Setting up the enquiry, Theresa May, as Home Secretary, claimed that many British Muslims “benefit a great deal” from the existence of Kadhi Courts.  Nile Gardiner, a foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher, was unimpressed by her comments, describing them as “unbelievable”.

Mrs May said: “Many British people of different faiths follow religious codes and practices, and benefit a great deal from the guidance they offer.

“A number of women have reportedly been victims of what appear to be discriminatory decisions taken by Sharia councils, and that is a significant concern.

“There is only one rule of law in our country, which provides rights and security for every citizen.”

The testimony of the MAP and the findings of Machfeld Zee indicate that rule of law is set aside the moment a Muslim agrees to be bound by a Sharia Kadhi Court.

EXPERTISE

Mrs May said, “Professor Siddiqui, supported by a panel with a strong balance of academic, religious and legal expertise, will help us better understand whether and the extent to which Sharia law is being misused or exploited and make recommendations to the Government on how to address this.”

According to the Home Office, the panel includes ‘family law barrister Sam Momtaz, retired high court judge Sir Mark Hedley and specialist family law lawyer Anne Marie Hutchinson OBE QC’.  Crucially, it will also be ‘advised’ by two ‘religious and theological experts’ who are Islamic preachers: Imam Sayed Ali Abbas Razawi and Imam Qari Asim.

Comments made by Imam Razawi reported in the Independent suggest he supports the death penalty in Islamic states, promotes negative views about homosexuality and believes Western clothing is a sign of corruption.

Imam Asim is attached to Leeds Makkah Masjid, one of the UK’s largest mosques.  Secularist Muslim-origin signatories to a letter seen by The Independent pronounced the consultation a whitewash before it even began.

We await the consultation’s findings with interest to see if they will be proved right.

 

Sep 12

Judge: ‘Not Guilty’ doesn’t mean ‘Innocent’

Her Honour Judge Rosalind Bush

Her Honour Judge Rosalind Bush:’Not Guilty’ does not mean ‘Innocent.’

Update 22/09/2016:

Click here for Council look anew at care case.

A senior family court judge told a court last Friday (9th September 2016) that a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict in the criminal court did not mean the defendants were innocent.

Judge Rosalind Bush said a ‘Not Guilty’ verdict merely meant the jury had not been sure ‘beyond reasonable doubt’ the defendants actually did it.

The BBC were ‘at fault’ for perpetuating the misunderstanding that people found not guilty were innocent, she continued.

Her Honour cited the case of O J Simpson in support. He was, she said, found not guilty in the criminal court but culpable in the civil court.

THE O J SIMPSON CASE

O. J. Simpson

O. J. Simpson

In 1994 O.J. Simpson was apprehended after a famous ‘low-speed’ car chase and charged with the deaths of his ex-wife, Nicole Brown-Simpson, and her friend Ron Goldman. He was found not guilty in 1995 after his expensive high-profile defence team suggested DNA samples had been mishandled. But he was subsequently found ‘responsible’ for the deaths when the Brown and Goldman families sued in the civil court. They were awarded $35million in damages.

Simpson already had a criminal record. Prior to the murders, he had pleaded no contest to spousal abuse in 1989. Subsequently, in 2007, he was convicted of using a deadly weapon to commit kidnapping, burglary and armed robbery, and sentenced to 33 years in prison, where he remains.

This ministry has not been able to contact the defendants in the case to which Her Honour was referring, young men of good character who have never been in trouble with the police, to ask their reaction to being compared to O.J. Simpson.

CHILDREN TAKEN INTO CARE

Judge Bush has presided in the past over criminal cases. She made her comments however in the family court, in a case in which a family’s youngest children were taken into care last year on a social worker’s description of the evidence of a seven-year-old girl that no fewer than four of the family’s siblings had separately and systematically sexually abused her over a period of two years. The local authority, Walsall Council, have applied to have the children adopted.

The girl’s evidence also led to criminal charges against the family’s two oldest sons. Their trial ended in acquittals a month ago when a jury returned not guilty verdicts on no fewer than seven charges, one charge was struck out by the trial judge, His Honour Judge John Wait, and three other charges were abandoned by the prosecution.  The young men walked free from court.  But, said Judge Bush, that proved nothing in the family court.

Nobody from Walsall Council found time to attend the trial.  The Council’s legal department is only now trying to gain access to the police evidence.

EVIDENCE SELF-CONTRADICTORY

Even before the jury heard any evidence, charges of rape, which had been hanging over the defendants for months, were withdrawn from the charge sheet on the opening day. Judge Wait told Paul Spratt, prosecuting, that the evidence simply did not support those charges.

A reasonable man might have thought the Crown Prosecution Service would have spotted that already, but they had not and Mr Spratt was left with no option but to withdraw the charges.

Even then, evidence from prosecution witnesses revealed confusion in the case. Her mother told the court her daughter said she had been raped. Later she told the police she hadn’t. Her daughter, who admitted to watching pornography with an older girl, ‘L’, even changed her story during police interviews.

On one occasion, she described a depraved act which she said was carried out on her. Later, being asked to confirm it, she denied it and said she saw it on a video at L’s house.

CRIMINAL TRIAL ACQUITTAL WILL NOT AFFECT FAMILY PROCEEDINGS

The parents of the accused boys say they were bullied in the family court, even by their own advocates, into admitting that sexual abuse ‘could have happened’ in their home.  They say a psychologist, one Dr Helen Rodwell of Jigsaw Psychology, commissioned by Walsall to report on them, told them she could only help them if they admitted at the very least that the allegations could be true.

But called to the stand as defence witnesses in their sons’ criminal trial, both described to the court how the alleged abuse not only did not happen but could not have happened.

On Friday, the mother and father dramatically repeated this robust stance, this time in the family court, contradicting the earlier statements they say they were pressurised into.  No abuse happened, they said.  Although Judge Bush said she could have held them to their previous position, she allowed the retraction.  That meant the case now goes back to square one, with a new ‘fact-finding’ exercise set in motion.

But Judge Bush repeated that allegations made in relation to behaviour were not disposed of in the family court by an acquittal in the crown court. The outcome of the criminal trial would not affect the current family proceedings – even though both involve the same parties and the same evidence.

DOUBLE JEOPARDY

The comments of Judge Bush seem to indicate a system of ‘double jeopardy’ is in place in our law. A person acquitted in the Crown Court, walking free in the immortal words ‘without a stain on your character’, can be hauled before the family court and told on ‘the balance of probabilities’ that they only got away with it in the criminal court and they really did it after all.

Judge Rosalind Bush is highly experienced and respected.  Nevertheless, if another family court judge, sitting alone without colleagues, let alone a jury, decides that abuse has occurred on the lower ‘civil court’ standard of evidence, children could be unjustly torn from their family and could be adopted against theirs and their parents’ will. Parents, older brothers, even children, will be tarred with the label of ‘child sex abuser’ on evidence which would never stand up in a criminal trial.  Children could be unjustly subjected to the emotional harm of the care system, with all its negative outcomes.

Whether such a system, starkly revealed by Her Honour’s comments, accords with basic principles of justice is something the British public and those who legislate on their behalf might address.

They may take the view that the ‘balance of probabilities’ is a very good standard for deciding whether a fence has been built this side or that side of a property boundary. The standard has indeed been upheld in the family court after a number of cases in the Supreme Court (and previously the House of Lords).  But the debate will no doubt continue over whether it Is still appropriate where criminal conduct is alleged and the most draconian penalties of family separation may be imposed on parents and children.

BIBLICAL POSTSCRIPT

Christian theology strongly reminds us we are all guilty before the throne of grace:

Romans 3:23 For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God; 

Equally, in a court of law, and in respect of a particular matter, a person can actually be innocent!

Exodus 23:7 Keep thee far from a false matter; and the innocent and righteous slay thou not: for I will not justify the wicked.

Society at large and judges in particular have an immense responsibility to dispense justice according to the precepts of God so that the guilty are punished and the innocent acquitted.  In addition, people in power must not oppress those below them:

Jeremiah 22:3 Thus saith the LORD; Execute ye judgment and righteousness, and deliver the spoiled out of the hand of the oppressor: and do no wrong, do no violence to the stranger, the fatherless, nor the widow, neither shed innocent blood in this place.

So please pray for all judges and remember in particular to lift up Judge Rosalind Bush.  Pray also for the advocates in the case to remember they are to serve the cause of justice.  Pray for the social workers to be people of truth.  Pray for the family to stay strong in their Christian faith, believing that justice will be done.

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Sep 07

Michael Fallon’s MOD gives IS ‘hitlist’

Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP - 'foolish'

Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP has put officers at risk.

Mr Michael Fallon is under pressure to resign after the Ministry of Defence published a list of serving commissioned military personnel online.

The story has been reported on Russia Today, in The Sun and International Business Times, to name but three.

The list contains 20,000 names, with rank and number, of every regular serving officer, reservist officer and university military trainee.

Coming as Anjem Choudary was jailed for encouraging Muslims to join IS, the posting has been described as ‘a huge security blunder’.

Reservist Major Chris Green left the forces last year but his name is still on the list.  He said the publication was a gift for Islamic State.  He said: “This is a serious security threat when Isis and other groups are looking to target individuals. It is actually a pretty terrifying error. They are putting national security at risk in many ways.”

Michael Adebolajo stands behind Anjem Choudary at a rally held by the Muslim preacher.

Michael Adebolajo stands behind Anjem Choudary at a rally held by the Muslim preacher.  He went on to kill Lee Rigby

HIGH-STATUS TARGETS

In 2013, Fusilier Lee Rigby was murdered by two home-grown extremists, Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, in Greenwich, London.  The young men, both brought up in Christian families, tragically converted to Islam and were radicalised by Anjem Choudary.

In July this year (2016), a Royal Air Force serviceman was the target of an attempted abduction near RAF Marham in Norfolk. The serviceman successfully fought off the attackers but police are still hunting two suspects.

We have been unable to date to find the list ourselves, but IS geeks will have little trouble locating it.  As it contains officers rather than the 175,000 other ranks, it will provide high-status targets.

The news channels listed above have not given a link to the list, displaying more concern for British service personnel than the MOD.

FOOLISH

The Bible says: Proverbs 12:23 A prudent man concealeth knowledge: but the heart of fools proclaimeth foolishness.

The Ministry of Defence, under the leadership of its Secretary of Defence, Rt Hon Michael Fallon MP, is by that standard foolish.

Mr Fallon has done much to prolong the suffering in Syria, helping to arm jihadist rebels.  He survived Theresa May’s opening reshuffle, but surely the time has come to replace him with a more able man whose God-fearing nature leads to care and consideration for the military personnel under his command.

Exodus 18:21 Moreover thou shalt provide out of all the people able men, such as fear God, men of truth, hating covetousness; and place such over them, to be rulers of thousands, and rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens:

 

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Sep 06

In defence of Anjem Choudary

Anjem Choudary believes in the Koran!

Anjem Choudary believes in the Koran!

So Anjem Choudary has been jailed for terrorism offences.

The preacher was sentenced to five-and-a-half years for encouraging Muslims to join self-styled Islamic State.

I RADICALISED ANJEM ON A TV SET

I met Anjem just once, on a TV set. The producers had tried to set up Anjem, myself and an orthodox Jewish rabbi against a comedian posing as a legitimate interviewer to provoke us into intemperate statements.

I spotted what was going on and explained it to the other two, setting myself up as our ad hoc shop steward.  I think I can take the credit for radicalising Anjem and the rabbi into refusing to go on.  The programme was later pulled from its proposed schedule.

I found Anjem Choudary a polite, if uncompromising, individual.  He was and is obviously a devout Muslim.  His message is that Sharia (that’s Arabic for ‘law’) needs to be imposed and a world-wide Caliphate (Muslim rule) established.  But that is no more than a fairly reasonable conclusion from following the ‘prophet’ Mohammed’s example and his Koran.

ANJEM WANTS ISLAM TO DOMINATE THE WORLD SHOCK

The judge said that in one of Choudary’s speeches he referred “happily to the prospect of the flag of Islam flying over 10 Downing Street and the White House”, and in another set out his ambitions for Islam to “dominate the whole world”.  So what?  That’s Islam, Your Honour.  Get over it.

Surah 8:39. And fight them on until there is no more tumult or oppression, and there prevail justice and
faith in Allah altogether and everywhere; …

After a fourteen-year career out on the streets radicalising Muslim youth with impunity, Anjem Choudary was only convicted on 28th July 2016 because he invited support for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which is illegal under the Terrorism Act 2000.  Islamic State is listed by the Home Office as a Proscribed Organisation. A video of him swearing allegiance to the group did the job.  But again, the ‘State’ part of their title may be aspriational, but IS are authentically Islamic, killing Christians and other ‘kaffir’ and taking over land just as the Koran prescribes:

Surah 5:33. The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with
might and main for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of
hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and
a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;

Sentencing, Mr Justice Holroyde said Anjem had ‘shown no remorse’.  You don’t say!  He’s not sorry for being a Muslim?  Even after a nice cup of tea in the judge’s drawing room?  Whatever is the world coming to?

ARE WE RADICALISING CHRISTIAN YOUTH?

And here’s a challenge for you.  Are Christian ministers doing as good a job radicalising our youth as Anjem did radicalising young Muslims?  Are our young people as sold out for Jesus and his message of peace with God through repentance as Anjem’s youth were – are – for Mohammed and his message of jihad and war?

Mark 1:14  Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

Are our young people as committed to the righteous rule of God’s law commanded by King Jesus as Anjem’s Muslims are to Sharia?

Matt 5:18 For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

And are Christian youth as sure Christ is going to rule the whole world as Anjem’s young people are confident of their world-wide Caliphate?

Luke 19:27 But those mine enemies, which would not that I should reign over them, bring hither, and slay them before me.

 

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Sep 02

Muslims branded terrorists in Skegness

Seven of the Muslim family of twelve wore burkas.

No fewer than seven of the Muslim family of twelve wore burkas when they visited Skegness.

A Muslim family say they were stared at and branded ‘terrorists’ in Skegness.

The group of twelve, seven of whom were women wearing hijabs, say they were stared at as if they were “some kind of aliens” when they visited the Lincolnshire seaside town.

They visited ‘Skeggy’ for the first time last week and say they will not be returning.  Walking past a pub, a man shouted ‘terrorists’ at them.

They complained about their visit to the ‘Tell Mama’ website, which specialises in stories of discrimination against Muslims.

Lincolnshire Police say no incident was reported.

THEM AND US

Islam vs secularism reflected in dress on the beach.

Islam vs secularism expressed in dress on the beach.

The family themselves later added to the ‘them and us’ atmosphere around the story by saying they were ‘so happy’ to see another Muslim woman, who they say smiled at them and said ‘Salaam’ (Arabic for ‘peace’).

One of the group said: “Once we reached the main area where there were shops, we noticed a lot of people just staring at us as if we were some form of aliens. It didn’t really bother us until we walked past the pub and a man shouted ‘terrorists,’” she said.

That comment in itself, although crass, reflects a reasonable public association of Islam with terrorism which the British establishment have yet to grasp.

Halal food on the shelves inside ASDA in Slough

Halal food on the shelves of ASDA in Slough

‘COMMUNITIES’ NEED TO FEEL ‘COMFORTABLE’

A ‘Tell Mama’ spokesperson said:  “The family will not be returning back to Skegness and such incidents will no doubt impact on wider perceptions within Muslim communities around areas.

“This is also worrying since communities need to feel comfortable around each other in our country, rather than feeling polarized. We are sure that the people of Skegness are not reflected through the actions of a few.”

The trouble is, Muslims themselves have done so much, with their ostentatious dress, their demands (and those of multi-culturalists) for halal food not only to be sold in supermarkets but enforced in schools and prisons, planning applications for mega mosques, the development of Muslim ghettoes, to emphasise Muslim polarisation from the Christian majority in the United Kingdom.

DIVISIVE PLURAL

The UK's take-away food trade is now dominated by Muslim 'Halal' outlets, happy to take money from 'unbelievers'.

The UK’s take-away food trade has become dominated by Muslim ‘Halal’ outlets, happy to take money from ‘unbelievers’.

Tacet UK Muslim acceptance of terrorism and support for self-styled Islamic State has not helped.  And then ‘Tell Mama’ complain ‘communities’, itself a divisive plural, are not feeling ‘comfortable’ around each other.

Of course we aren’t.  Muslims have made it very clear they don’t feel comfortable among Christians and secularists, while the latter are wary of Muslims.  Muslims absolutely do not want to integrate, they want British society to accede to their way of doing things.

If follows that for hijab-clad women to moan about people staring at them as if they are ‘aliens’ is trying to have their cake and eat it.  Islam and the expression of it really is alien to the UK.

SPIRITUAL BATTLE

For a generation there has been a spiritual battle in the United Kingdom between Christianity and Secularism.  Now Islam is added to the mix.  Secularism has no answer to Islam except appeasement and Christianity needs to recover the faith of the Apostles and Martyrs.

If we are not to come under the sway of Islam, Christian men to stand up and start pressing our leaders to proclaim this is a Christian country.  It would be entirely Biblical to say those happy with that state of affairs are welcome here but those intent on agitating for Islam can leave.

'Choose today whom ye will serve.'

‘Choose this day whom ye will serve.’

Joshua told the people of Israel to make their minds up between competing politico-religious beliefs:

Joshua 24:15 And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.

King Asa dramatically realised a nation’s political destiny revolved around its belief system:

2Chron 15:12 And they entered into a covenant to seek the LORD God of their fathers with all their heart and with all their soul; 13 That whosoever would not seek the LORD God of Israel should be put to death, whether small or great, whether man or woman.

Such a penalty for sedition horrifies us today, but if Islam keeps growing, middle-eastern Christians’ experience of Islamic State, not to mention persecution of those of their number who convert to Christianity within these shores shows Muslims will be quite happy with it in the united Kingdom when push comes to shove. Given current demographic trends, there isn’t much time to reclaim our Christian heritage.

Come along to our prayer meeting near the site of the proposed West Ham ‘mega mosque’ tomorrow on Saturday 3rd September.  Postcode E15 3ND.  Nearest tube: Abbey Road DLR

 

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Sep 01

Tom Daley and Rio2016 – is there really no judgment?

Tom Daley finished last in his semi-final after leading the field.

Tom Daley finished last in his semi-final after leading the field.

After ‘That Tweet’ about how Tom Daley turning gay did him no favours at #Rio2016 a number of people were really sure God did not judge Daley in the diving pool for turning gay. Some said God wouldn’t judge him, either because ‘being gay’ isn’t a sin or because God can’t be bothered to intervene in the affairs of men, some said God couldn’t, some said there’s no God anyway, and some were just abusive.

So I thought I should brave this maelstrom and state my personal position on what I believe the Bible says.

DALEY PROMOTING HIMSELF AND HIS HOMOSEXUALITY

Tom Daley was talked about as a potential gold medal-winner before all the athletes set off. He said himself: ‘I’m going into this Olympic Games for a gold medal.’

I last wrote about Daley in December 2013, when he decided he was ‘gay’ after becoming involved with one Dustin Black. He came back into view as his gayness and his fait accompli individual gold medal were all over the media as Rio2016 approached.

The papers loved the relentless opportunities he gave them to photograph him with his twice-as-old boyfriend. There were pictures of Daley and Black holding hands, going shopping, eating out, being on the cover of sodomy magazines, kissing (yuk), talking about being ‘engaged’ to be gay-married, even about ‘having children’ together (which thing can’t biologically be done, but let that pass).

The Daily Mail left Goodfellow out of the picture as well.

The Daily Mail thought Tom Daley won bronze in synchronised dive on his own.

Young Mr Daley was giving it large, as they say in South London, about his new-found homosexuality and all things gay and about his medal prospects.

DIVING IS ALL IN THE MIND

At Rio 2016, Daley achieved a bronze medal with Dan Goodfellow in the men’s synchronised 10m platform. Even then, as Felicity Morse noted in iNews, newspaper coverage of the medal was all about Daley. Goodfellow was literally left out of the picture in both the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail. But when it came to the individual dive, from 1st place in the preliminary round, Daley slumped to last place in the semi-final.

From what I can see about diving, you can do all the training you want, and you have to, but at the crucial moment, it really is all in the mind. As he was lining up for what would turn out to be his last Rio2016 dive, something scrambled Tom Daley’s.

What that was, we shall probably never know. I might say ‘God did it’, while someone else will attribute it to a random thought (but where did that thought come from?) and others will say it was just an off-day. But even they will have to concede that to go from first place to last is a bit dramatic.

THE SPIRITUAL AFFECTS THE NATURAL

Here’s the theological question: Does one’s belief set really affect one’s life outcomes?  Does pride go before a fall?  Can the spiritual dimension of life affect the natural? Sceptics will say, ‘Of course not!’

We know from Matthew 5:45 that the sun shines on the evil and the good, and the rain falls on the just and the unjust. But that is the common grace of God. What about the Lord’s specific dealings with individuals? The Bible records God saying to Eli the priest:

1Samuel 2:30b but now the LORD saith, … them that honour me I will honour, and they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed.

Eli’s sons were apostate and his family was wiped out soon after. The prophecy came true.

The book of Psalms opens by saying:

Psalm 1:1 Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. 2 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. 3 And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. 4 The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.

Like it or not, and if you are homosexual or liberal or from Plymouth you probably won’t, but Tom Daley is in the verse 4 category. And if anyone wants to say I am ‘judging’ him, just put ‘Tom Daley” into an internet search engine.

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as depicted by John Martin in 1852

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah as depicted by John Martin in 1852

THE SIN OF SODOMY

It’s the word of God which is judging him, not me. Sodomy is said to be sinful all through the Bible. God brought judgment on Sodom itself. Men doing shameful acts with other men is condemned in the New Testament (Romans 1:24-27). The Lord Jesus said:

Mark 10:6 But from the beginning of the creation God made them male and female. 7 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and cleave to his wife; 8 And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh.

All I am doing is warning. The ministry I lead has been warning our nation of the effects of our corporate sin for over twenty years.  We do it because we care about our nation and those in it.

Promoting sodomy and gay-marriage, as Daley does, is especially sinful. That is because it affects the cultural environment of impressionable young people. The ‘Daley-effect’ can make an adolescent boy think he is gay when he is actually passing through a phase of same-sex attraction.  Tom Daley’s failure to win an Olympic gold medal has at least mitigated that effect to an extent.

JUDGMENT IS COMING

Of course there are those who are just as wicked who appear to get away with it all their lives. On the other hand, there are good people who suffer. Squaring those outcomes with the principle of Psalm 1 exercised the protagonists in the book of Job.  The psalmist asked the question pointedly in Psalm 73, and Solomon in Ecclesiastes:

Eccl 7:15 All things have I seen in the days of my vanity: there is a just man that perisheth in his righteousness, and there is a wicked man that prolongeth his life in his wickedness.

But we have, as Job and the psalmists did, to keep to the Psalm 1 hope that anyone who turns away from the advice of the ungodly, who doesn’t hang around with those who are breaking God’s laws and who doesn’t mock or scorn God will be blessed and whatsoever he does will prosper in his time on earth.  They were certain that judgment is coming eventually.

GOD REWARDS THOSE WHO SEEK HIM

The same spiritual principle operates in the New Testament. The book of Hebrews says those who diligently seek God will be rewarded:

Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.

The Lord Jesus himself spoke of rewards from following him, and he said they would happen in this life:

Luke 18:29 And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, There is no man that hath left house, or parents, or brethren, or wife, or children, for the kingdom of God’s sake, 30 Who shall not receive manifold more in this present time, and in the world to come life everlasting.

Does that mean salvation itself is earned? No, it has all been done on the cross by Jesus:

1Corinthians 2:2 For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

Ephesians 2:8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

PUT YOUR TRUST IN JESUS

To be saved, you simply put all your trust, all your faith, in Jesus:

Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.

Salvation is available to everyone who calls on the name of Jesus:

Romans 10:13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

That applies to every one of us. If you do not yet believe that the Lord Jesus died on the cross to forgive you your sins, and that his resurrection will fill you with new life, call on his name right now, believe in him and tell everyone (that’s what the confess bit means) that he is your Saviour.

WHAT WOULD JESUS SAY?

What would Jesus say to Tom Daley? Carry on sinning? No, he would say what he said already:

Mark 1:14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

‘Repent and believe the Gospel’.  Jesus says that still to every sinner today. You may think you are doing well, but God can still pull you down. If you spit in the face of God often enough and long enough, judgment is coming.

Salvation is a gift from God. It carries with it eternal life in heaven, in the presence of God, by the blood of Jesus Christ, the perfect lamb of God.

WOULD DALEY BE A BETTER DIVER IF HE TURNED TO CHRIST?

But the Bible also teaches there is a reward in this life for obedience to God’s laws. You succeed in life by following Kingdom principles.

Even the New Agers, drawing on Hinduism, have their idea of ‘Karma’. Our human spirit cries out that if there is no reward for virtue and no judgment for sin, what is the point of trying to lead a good life, however you define it? Is it all in the next life? No, the Bible teaches it is in the here and now as well.

So do I believe Tom Daley would be a better diver if he turned to Christ and renounced his homosexuality as a result of conviction of sin?  Of course I do!  By harnessing the power of prayer, he would find the Lord would help to focus his mind before every dive. God can do that, you know!

In addition, although Tom Daley would be persecuted by the gays for betrayal, he would have the peace of God in his heart. He would have the blessed assurance, as the hymn puts it, of salvation. I believe he would be a better diver, but even if I’m wrong in that, the sweet knowledge of salvation outweighs everything else this life affords.

 

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Aug 31

Girls becoming more unhappy

More adolescent girls are unhappy with their lives than boys.

More adolescent girls are unhappy with their lives than boys.

The BBC says a Children’s Society report has noted an increase in unhappiness in adolescent girls.

Researchers from the Society and the University of York found that between 2009-10 and 2013-14 on average 11% of both boys and girls said they were unhappy.

But the latest available figures, for 2013-14, showed while the proportion of unhappy boys stayed the same, girls saying they were unhappy had risen to 14%.

LOOKS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

The proportion of girls reporting being worried about their looks rose from 30% for the period as a whole, to 34% in the year 2013-14 – while the proportion of boys unhappy with their appearance remained unchanged at 20%.

Most of the comments from girls stress the difficulty of competing with the looks of models or celebrities, but what has changed appears to be the increased intrusion of social media.  Girls are spending on up to three hours a night on Facebook and Instagram.  They can now post pictures or videos instantly from mobile devices.

School sex education is also increasing the pressure on girls to be sexually attractive and even active.  And the report completely fails to mention family breakdown, which has resulted in so many children growing up without their father.  It doesn’t mention the specific importance of a father in a child’s life either.

EMOTIONAL BULLYING HIGHER AMONG GIRLS

The report found emotional bullying, such as name-calling, to be twice as common among girls as physical bullying is among boys.

There are clearly things parents can do here. The Bible lays great weight on the parent-child relationship:

Deuteronomy 6:6 And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 7 And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.

Proverbs 22:6 Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it. 

Ephesians 6:4 And, ye fathers, provoke not your children to wrath: but bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord.

INVEST TIME IN YOUR CHILDREN

It is too easy in a busy life for parents to allow a child to disappear to his or her room and get online or even, with the way technology is moving, to sit in the family room tapping away on a tablet.

Christian parents in particular need to watch that tendency in themselves and invest time in their children.  Find out what your children are doing, be supportive and gentle, encourage them.  You need to be praying over your children, and your husband or wife for that matter, blessing them with good word and compliments, never cursing them, but building them up as the word of God commands:

1Thess 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. 14 … warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all.

 

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Aug 29

Hammond must deliver on Brexit

Philip Hammond caused terrible loss of life in Syria as Foreign Secretary and is now working against the British People by opposing Brexit as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

Philip Hammond caused terrible loss of life in Syria  by supporting Jihadists as Foreign Secretary and is now reportedly working against the British People by opposing Brexit as Chancellor of the Exchequer.

News is emerging that Chancellor Rt Hon Mr Philip Hammond MP is working against Brexit.

Mr Hammond was a disaster as Foreign Secretary, funding Jihadist groups in Syria and encouraging them with his ‘Assad must go’ mantra.

President Assad was and is the only guarantor of stability in Syria. He protects the religious minorities such as Christians, Alawites and Druze targeted by the Jihadis.

Philip Hammond and his predecessor, William, Lord Hague, have blood on their hands.  They bear huge responsibility for the carnage in Syria, the displacement of millions of people from the region and the spread of Islamic State terrorists across Europe.

Now, as Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr Hammond, who campaigned for ‘Remain’ is actively working against the will of the British, the stated aim of his Prime Minister, Theresa May, and the purpose of Almighty God.  It was the Lord who exercised mercy by pulling the UK out of the EU’s Revived Roman Empire.

Please pray that Mr Hammond will repent or that the Lord will replace him with a man after his own heart.

Psalm 75:6 For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. 7 But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another.

 

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