Since we have two sold-out pilgrimage groups still going Israel this year and six more next year, I thought this would be interesting for two reasons: 1) To inform folks that things are calming down and will be no problem for our 2015 pilgrims (it would have been no problem even as it was); and 2) Because we will be seeing these sites and it is good for our pilgrims and our readers to understand what has been going on with Temple Mount, the Jews and the Muslims.

Before I share the article from Catholic World Report, I would like to relay the decision of Israel to reaffirm the long-standing rules regarding Temple Mount – a decision that should calm the Muslim hysteria and restore calm in Israeli-Palestinian relations, for now. 

Statement by PM Netanyahu regarding the Temple Mount: “Israel re-affirms its commitment to upholding unchanged the status quo of the Temple Mount. Israel will continue to enforce its longstanding policy: Muslims pray on the Temple Mount; non-Muslims visit the Temple Mount.  Those who visit or worship on the Temple Mount must be allowed to do so in peace, free from violence.”

Excellent Article from Catholic World Report:  Historical Horse Sense: Palestinians have waged a long campaign to deny that Jews have any historical ties to Jerusalem and the the New York Times took up their cause recently

October 21, 2015 11:28 EST, William Kilpatrick –
“The Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem is considered to be the third holiest site in Islam. The current wave of stabbings, shootings, and car-ramming attacks on Israeli citizens are motivated in part by a dispute about who has the best claim to the Temple Mount. As Palestinian leader Mahmoud Abbas recently said, “The Al-Aqsa Mosque is ours, the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is ours, and the Jews have no right to defile it with their filthy feet.”

“Palestinians have waged a long campaign to deny that Jews have any historical ties to Jerusalem. Recently, the New York Times took up their cause by publishing an article questioning whether the First and Second Temples ever stood on the Temple Mount. Archaeologists were quick to criticize the story, and others questioned the timing and intent of the piece. Why exacerbate an already volatile situation?

“Having raised the issue, however, does the Times have any responsibility to explore the issue in more depth? Historical and archaeological evidence provides strong support for the Jewish case. So does common sense. Since the Jews were in Jerusalem for about 2,000 years before Islam came into existence, they would seem to have the better of the argument about who has the best claim to Jerusalem and the Temple Mount. But what, exactly, is the Muslim basis for claiming the Temple Mount?

“Well, to put it in a nutshell, the Mount is holy to Muslims because Muhammad supposedly flew there on a mount—a flying horse named Buraq. It had a human head and eagle’s wings and it carried Muhammad from Mecca to Jerusalem and back in one night.

“Even though there is only a fleeting reference to the journey in the Koran and even though Jerusalem is never mentioned in the Koran, this story is the foundation of the Islamic claim to the Temple Mount. The full account is provided in the Hadith and in the Sira (Life of Muhammad).

Upon reaching the “farthest Mosque” in Jerusalem, Muhammad ascends through the seven levels of Paradise, meeting various prophets along the way. Adam is on the first level, Jesus is on the second (only the second?), and Abraham (“never have I seen a man more like myself”) is on the seventh. Then Muhammad has an audience with Allah, bargains with Him about the number of daily prayers required of Muslims, and then returns to the Mosque and flies back to Mecca courtesy of Buraq.

“The incident is referred to as the “Night Journey” and sometimes as the “Dream Journey,” since Muhammad seems to have backed away from his initial claim that it was a bodily journey. As his wife, Aisha, explained, “The apostle’s body remained where it was but God removed his spirit by night” (Ishaq, The Life of Muhammad, 183).

“At the time of this revelation, the pagans of Mecca scoffed at the whole idea: “By God, this is a plain absurdity! A caravan takes a month to go to Syria and a month to return and can Muhammad do the return journey in one night?” (Ishaq, 182-183). The question is, are we allowed to express similar doubts today or are the forces of political correctness too strong to allow for dissent?

“The New York Times carried a piece questioning the historical ties of the Jews to the Temple Mount. Are the Times editors willing to do a similar piece examining the evidence for the Muslim claim to the same space? As Daniel Greenfield suggests in a short, satirical piece for FrontPage Magazine, the Times should give equal time to dissecting the Buraq legend. For example, says Greenfield, could the Times’ staff investigate the following:

• “Can we get any verification that such a creature [as Buraq] ever existed.”

• “Buraq flew from Mecca to Jerusalem and back in one night…Please provide independent verification of the existence of a flying horse with a woman’s head that can travel faster than the speed of sound.”

“If the Jewish claim to the Temple Mount was based on such flimsy evidence, the liberal media would make mincemeat of it. Why is the Buraq legend off-limits? Osama bin Laden famously said that “When a man sees a strong horse and a weak horse, he will, by nature, favor the strong horse.”

Compared to the Jewish case, the Muslim claim to the Temple Mount is the weak-horse argument. Buraq was reportedly strong enough to carry Muhammad on a 1,500-mile round-trip journey, but the Buraq rationale for expelling Jews from the Temple Mount shouldn’t carry much weight with fair-minded people.

“On the other hand, it doesn’t matter how weak the weak-horse claim may be if the Western media establishment is filled with weak-horse journalists unwilling to venture beyond the pastures assigned to them.”


Why Aren’t Muslim Countries Taking Syrian Refugees?

by Steve Ray on September 14, 2015

As Europe begins to respond to the need to provide safe shelter for Syrian refugees escaping a brutal conflict, many are beginning to ask why wealthy Gulf states are refusing to accept any refugees, despite the religious, cultural and geographical proximity.

“Surely,” wrote Lord Carey in an article published in The Telegraph on 5 September, “if [Gulf States] are concerned for fellow Muslims who prefer to live in Muslim-majority countries, then they have a moral responsibility to intervene.”

Wealthy Gulf nations refuse Syrian refugees while poorer neighbouring countries accept thousands


Number of refugees

 | Average income per capita (US$)



















Saudi Arabia






United Arab Emirates









Arab nations in the Gulf Cooperation Council (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait, Qatar, Oman and UAE) have taken extremely few, if any, refugees from Syria – “and this,” said Geoffrey Mock, Syria specialist for Amnesty International USA, “is shameful”.

None of these Arab countries are signatories of the 1951 United Nations Refugee Convention, and to enter them Syrians must be in possession of a tourist visa or a work permit. Saudi Arabia has accepted around 500,000 Syrians since 2011, according to the BBC, but all of these have entered with visas or because of family connections. The only Arab countries that will accept Syrian refugees without a visa are Algeria, Mauritania, Sudan and Yemen.

Gulf states have responded to criticism by pointing out the millions of US dollars of aid they have given to support refugees living in camps. In total, Gulf nations have given US$900 million from charities and private individuals.

Donations to the United Nations Syria response fund show that Saudi Arabia has given US$18.4 million this year so far and Kuwait US$305 million; the US has given US$1 billion and the UK US$475 million.

The Gulf states are some of the wealthiest nations in the world, much more so than the countries that neighbour Syria, which are accommodating millions of Syrian refugees. Jordan has taken in 630,000 refugees despite the fact that the average income is 13 times higher in the Gulf state of Qatar.

The majority of Syrian refugees are Sunni Muslims, as are most people in the Gulf nations. But Gulf countries are concerned about the potential threat to security should Syrian refugees supportive of Bashar al-Assad enter their countries with the intention of carrying out revenge attacks. Gulf nations have backed rebel groups fighting Assad’s regime in Syria, which is supported by Iran, a Shiite Muslim regime.

Gulf nations are also concerned about the social impact of accepting an influx of Syrian refugees where so much of their resident populations is made up of migrant workers. In the smaller Gulf states of UAE and Qatar, nationals make up around just 10% of the population.

Cultural identity is controlled through the strict control of the non-Arab resident population. Visas are granted only to those who have work permits and their spouses. As soon as the work contract terminates, residents are obliged to leave the country. It is almost impossible for migrant workers to obtain nationality.

Criticism of the Gulf countries’ stance has even begun to emerge from within, particularly in recent days as heart-wrenching pictures of desperate Syrian refugees permeate the global media.

Saudi Arabia’s Makkah Newspaper published a cartoon depicting two closed doors: at one, a woman dressed in rags and carrying a baby in her arms, kneels begging for the door to open. This door opens the way to Europe: the yellow stars of the European Union flag circle the tiny window. At the other, an Arab man looks out of the window and shouts angrily at the Europeans to let the woman in. His own door, however, remains firmly shut and barbed wire prevents the desperate woman from even getting close.

“The Gulf must realise that now is the time to change their policy regarding accepting refugees from the Syria crisis,” said Arab expert Sultan Sooud al-Qassemi. “It is the moral, ethical and responsible step to take.” Few, however, expect the Gulf nations to relent.


by Fr. George W. Rutler

“That they said (in boast), “We killed Christ Jesus the son of Mary, the Messenger of Allah”;- but they killed him not, nor crucified him, but so it was made to appear to them, and those who differ therein are full of doubts, with no (certain) knowledge, but only conjecture to follow, for of a surety they killed him not:-  Nay, Allah raised him up unto Himself; and Allah is Exalted in Power, Wise;- —Qur’an, sura 4 (An-Nisaayat 157-158.


Saint Paul knew from personal experience how difficult it would be for people of various cultures to understand why Jesus had to be crucified.

For the more religiously disposed, whose most inspired matrix of belief was Judaism, the very suggestion of a crucified Messiah would be a scandal, while the more theoretical thinkers, none of whom were greater than the Greek philosophers, simply mocked the proposition.

The reality of Roman crucifixion - they don't come out alive!

Centuries later when the Koran was written, subtleties were abandoned altogether, and Sura 4 plainly says of Jesus: “They slew him not nor crucified him.” The hard trials that our world is facing right now can, in large part, be traced to this denial of the Cross and Resurrection, for it replaces Christ’s atonement for human sin with a primitive understanding of salvation.

Exactly 229 years ago this month, when the Barbary pirates were menacing ships of the newborn United States off the coasts of Tunis and Algiers, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams met in London with a Muslim diplomat representing the Dey of Algiers to inquire why his religion made his people so hostile to a new country that posed them no threat.

They reported to Congress through a letter to John Jay, then Secretary of Foreign Affairs, the ambassador’s explanation that:

Islam was founded on the Laws of their prophet, that it was written in their Koran, that all nations who should not have acknowledged their authority were sinners, that it was their right and duty to make war upon them wherever they could be found, and to make slaves of all they could take as prisoners, and that every Mussulman who should be slain in battle was sure to go to paradise.

Not Crucified? Really? Thanks for that update Islam :-)

Islam believes that Jesus was raised bodily to heaven and will return to earth at the end of time. It holds that if Jesus had been crucified, he would have died, and that would have been his end.

The consequences of not understanding God’s love, crowned and enthroned albeit with thorns on a cross, are vivid now in the horrors being inflicted on Christians in many places. For if God is pure will without reason, whose mercy is gratuitous and has nothing to do with any sort of moral covenant with the human race, then irrational force in his name is licit, and conscience has no role in faith.

This is not the eccentric interpretation of extremists; it is the logical conclusion of the assertions in the Koran itself.

The true Word of God confounds any crude dismissal of the crucifixion as though it were a denial, and not a proof of divine power. Jesus spoke of himself as the true Temple that, if destroyed, would be raised in three days. “Therefore, when he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they came to believe the Scripture and the word Jesus had spoken” (John 2:22).

ISLAM: Koran Sura 4, “Jesus Was Not Killed or Crucified” by Fr. George W. Rutler


ISIS is the Ripe Fruit of Islam… don’t be fooled

May 16, 2015

Today I am in Israel, in fact we are in the Palestinian West Bank. I have a lot of Arab friends here — friends who are Christians and Muslims. All the Christians and many of the Muslims in private will tell you that this is true — while politically-correct Americans will deny it. BY ROBERT [...]

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White Supremacy, Black Power, to Islam, then the Road to Damascus: My Journey into the Fullness of the Christian Faith

May 9, 2015

Follow Dustin through the phases of his life including Islam until he finally discovered the Catholic Church. Maybe you’re like me (aside from being born with Cerebral Palsy and defying doctors’ pronouncements, by the grace of God, that I would be confined to a wheelchair and relegated to a vegetative state). Maybe you grew up [...]

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More Muslims Getting Revelation that Quran is a Man-Made Book; Demographics & Statistics

April 27, 2015

This is an interesting and insightful piece on Islam. There is no question it will continue to be the growing issue for America, Christians and the freedom of thought and rationality.  A new Pew Research Center study that looks at the future of world religions and potential population growth around the globe found that the [...]

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Who Would Dare to Love ISIS? The People of the Cross, thats’ who

April 25, 2015

The first reaction is to hate ISIS but the People of the Cross, the Christians of the Middle East have sent them a “Letter” in the form of a beautiful video.

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Obama Completely Distorting Islam’s Role in America’s History

March 12, 2015

This article is excellent and carefully explains the misinformation presented by Obama and lays out the truth in a detailed manner. It was written by LARRY TOMCZAK and published HERE where you can read the whole article (recommended)  The truth be known, [Obama] is both inaccurate and dishonest in what he communicates to Americans and others [...]

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‘Islamic State’ begins Executing Seized Christians

February 26, 2015

Terrorists Murder Young Assyrians Fighting to Defend Christian Villages and Families By John Newton ROME, February 26, 2015 ( – Terrorist group Islamic State (IS) has started killing hostages seized after it took Assyrian Christian villages in Syria’s Hassake governorate – with reports that around 15 are dead. In a message sent to Catholic agencies working [...]

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President Obama’s Moral Cowardice – Refusing to Call Egyptian Martyrs “Christians”

February 18, 2015

News Article and Commentary The Muslim radicals of ISIS said they were killing the Egyptians, not because they were Egyptians but because they were CHRISTIANS! – the People of the Cross. These were foreign workers in Libya who came to work so they could send money home to their families (the women crying to the [...]

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ISIS Beheads Christians

February 15, 2015

Sunday 15th of February 2015 02:42:40 PM   (It seems to be true, if any other info, let me know)  The victims, dressed in orange jump suits, were beheaded after being forced down on the ground. The video appeared on the Twitter feed of a website that supports Islamic State.  Religion of peace reported: “Twenty-one [...]

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Muslim Converts to Christianity on Journey Home

February 13, 2015

Many people think that Muslims are impossible to convert to Catholicism – not so. Daniel Ali proves this incorrect. In fact, there are droves of Muslims converting to Christianity.  Not only is this a good conversion story, but it also will help you understand Islam – which is forcing itself on the West whether we [...]

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We Want to Crush ISIS, but why the Silence about their Counterparts Boko Haram in Nigeria?

February 6, 2015

Today we were informed that the ISIS beasts are raping, torturing and marrying young girls of 10 – 12 years old – among many other atrocities. They are also slaughtering Christians and burning churches. They need to be destroyed. But the same thing is happening in Nigeria and the Christians are suffering in exactly the [...]

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Needed: A New Church Policy toward Islam (Pt. 1)

February 3, 2015

By WILLIAM KILPATRICK In a speech to Egypt’s top Islamic authorities (see YouTube video below), President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi called for a “religious revolution.” Why? Because he believes that Islam has problems: “That corpus of texts and ideas that we have sacralized over the centuries … is antagonizing the entire world.” He continued: “Is it possible that 1.6 [...]

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Adopt a Christian in Mosul Iraq this Christmas – I Did, You Can Too!

December 25, 2014

Before you read the letter and appeal below for the Christians persecuted, crucified, slaughtered, and chased from their homes in Syria and Iraq by ISIS, I want to tell you my own story. A month ago we were in Istanbul and we heard a liturgy going on in the side chapel. We could tell it [...]

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Prepare for the Skyline of the Future: Islam!

December 19, 2014

I wrote this about two years ago while in Adana Turkey and thought it worthy to post again, especially since I am seeing it again, everywhere I go in the world. I my country hometown in Michigan the Muslims have applied for a permit to build a mosque. But I shouldn’t get ahead of my [...]

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