(Muslim) Prophet Muhammad’s Letter of Protection to Christians

The months of July and August  (2013) saw terrible violence befall Christians in both Egypt and Syria. It remains to be seen, but Christianity may exterminated from two of its oldest historical homelands within the next several years. The situation for Christians in the Middle East is well past crisis, and is now very dangerous. I have written on this subject before.

The big news over the last several weeks is the many attacks on Egypt’s Christian communities. Several outlets reported that violence by supporters of former Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi Isa al-Ayyat left dozens of Christian churches and Coptic-owned businesses and properties burnt. Fears of widespread sectarian strife seem to be growing among Egypt’s Christian minority.

The violence against Egypt’s Christians reminds us of the important symbolism of the Prophet Muhammad’s letter to the Christian monks at St. Catherine Monastery at the foot of Mount Sinai in 628 A.D.

St. Catherine's Monastery; Sinai, Egypt (2010)

St. Catherine’s Monastery; Sinai, Egypt (2010)

In his letter, Muhammad championed universal peace and harmony between Christians and Muslims. Not only did he outline how Muslims should treat Christians, but Muhammad also touched upon human rights, including freedom of conscience, freedom of worship, and the right to protection in war.

St. Catherine’s is the oldest continuously functioning monastery in the Christian world having been built between 548 and 565 A.D. I visited there as recently as 2010 and can attest that is a special and holy place. The monastery is also the site of the biblical Burning Bush which continues to grow within its walls. St. Catherine’s contains a priceless library of some of the earliest Christian writings as well as iconography that predates the iconoclasm which divided the Christian world in the 700’s and the Muslim conquest of Eqypt that followed.

A Christian text written in the 8th Century (St. Catherine Monastery Library)

A Christian text written in the 8th Century (St. Catherine Monastery Library)

It is easy to forget that the Middle East is the historical heartland of Christianity and today’s Muslim lands were once Christian lands. Significant Christian minorities continued to exist in almost every country of the Middle East well into the 20th Century.

St. Catherine’s welcomes pilgrims from all over the world, and the monks have preserved Muhammad’s letter which is sealed in a representation of the prophet’s own hand. The Muslim populations of Eqypt have respected their prophet’s command, and for centuries they have generally left St. Catherine’s in peace.

Muhammad's Letter of Protection to St. Catherine's Christians (ca. 730 A.D.)

Muhammad’s Letter of Protection to St. Catherine’s Christians (ca. 730 A.D.)

Here is an approximate English translation of the letter:

This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who profess Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily the servants, the helpers, my followers, and I defend them, because Christians are my citizens, and, by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No compulsion is to be on them. Neither are you to remove their judges from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries. No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims’ houses. Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His Prophet. Verily, they’re my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate. No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight. Muslims are to fight for them. If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it can’t take place without her approval. No one is to prevent her from visiting her church to pray. You shall respect their churches. You shall neither prevent them from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants. No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey this covenant until the Last Day (end of the world).

The attacks by some Egyptian Muslims on their fellow Egyptian Christian citizens is to be condemned, for the simple fact that the prophet of Islam, Muhammad, would have condemned any violence towards Christians. This applies equally to the situation in Syria as well. One can question whether the Muslims responsible for attacks on their Christian neighbors can be true Muslims with the integrity and legitimacy that the name conveys.

May God protect all the Christians of the Middle East, and may He soften the hearts of their Muslim neighbors who know not what they do.


(From the Gospel of St. Luke)
(Luke 23:33-34)

When they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” +++

Sunrise at the summit of Mt. Sinai, Egypt (2010) Photographed by your author

Sunrise from the summit of Mt. Sinai, Egypt (Nov. 2010) Photographed by your author


Separated at Birth: Comparing the USA and USSR.

untitledAt one time in the USA, you used to hear people say “just do it, it’s a free country”. People don’t say that anymore, and probably for good reason. Freedom in the USA is rapidly disappearing from living memory as we have become the most taxed, controlled, regulated, monitored, policed, and imprisoned society that has ever existed. The article I’m linking to below should make anyone take pause to consider how history is replete with ironies. Continue reading

Mexican Drug Cartels vs. Mitt Romney’s Mormon Family

The title of this piece is misleading. At first I thought the video which follows was an ordinary “hit piece” directed at former presidential candidate Mitt Romney although it doesn’t dwell on Mr. Romney and his extended family until very much later. What I found instead is a very well produced series about Mexican Drug Cartel violence plaguing the otherwise decent people of northern Mexico, and how it is a problem caused by Americans.

It is widely known that Mitt Romney is a practicing Mormon,  that his family emigrated to Mexico in the 19th Century, and that his father was born there. I have an Aunt whose father was also born in Mexico under the same historical circumstances, so I am quite aware of the history, and the differences that separate mainstream and fundamentalist Mormons.

I do not intend to dwell on Mormons. This story is about the unintended consequences of American drug policy as it affects people.  The video simply uses the Mormon colonies in Mexico to tell the story of how drug-related violence corrupting Mexico is directly related to American politics.

I mentioned corruption, and the video briefly touches on alcohol prohibition and Al Capone. The drug business involves huge and incalculable sums of money as well as power.  Power corrupts just as easily as money corrupts.  I have long maintained that the American Drug War is a phony war, and it will never end precisely because there is so much money and power wrapped up in it.  In that respect America is just as corrupt as any banana republic because the problem of drugs has corrupted not only drug users and enablers, but also our politicians, legislators, bureaucrats, jurists, and police agencies.

The problem of illegal drugs could be ended at the stroke of a pen by legalization. The illegal drug trade and the corruption surrounding it would be over in less than six-months. Diverting resources into the treatment of drug users would cost the nation a fraction of what is being wasted to fight the losing end of the Drug War. Legalization would also go a long way toward restoring many civil liberties which have been lost since the War on Drugs became a War on the Constitution and Bill of Rights.

The simple fact expressed in the video is that Mexican criminals will continue to supply illegal drugs to Americans for as long as there is a demand for them. The easiest way to end the problem of the cross border trade in drugs and weapons is to destroy the financial underpinnings of this illegal industry which can be done by licensing American farmers to produce marijuana, and legitimate pharmaceutical companies like Bristol-Myers-Sqibb, Johnson & Johnson, or Roche to produce the heavier stuff.  Government would license distribution to drug users. Cheap and subsidized domestically produced legal drugs, of known purity and quality, would halt the trade in foreign drugs, but I don’t think anyone in Washington has the political will to do this. There is too much money and (with it) power to be lost on both sides of the border.

WARNING:  This video contains very graphic photos and rough language.   Parts 2-7 may be accessed in succession from this link.

Source: YouTube.com

Mexican Drug Cartels vs. Mitt Romney’s Mormon Family (Part 1/7) – YouTube.

Moral Relativism, Homosexuality, Secular Law, and the Coming Persecution of Christians in the USA

Blogmaster’s Note: I have shamelessly lifted the following essay which is a response from Fr. Hans Jocobse to the article Muzzling Military Chaplains that he posted on the website Monomakhos-dot-com.

Fr. Hans and I, as well as many others, appear to share the same unsettling vision of where things are headed for Christians in the West who support and defend historic Christian doctrine. In the essay which follows, Fr. Hans makes an oblique reference to a recent controversy in the Orthodox Church in America that saw its sitting first hierarch deposed, as well as a public document called the Manhattan Declaration. Both of these items could become sidebars and are worthy of separate discussions by themselves, but I do not intend to cover them here.

There are dark storm clouds gathering on the horizon, and the future for Christians in the West (formerly the “Free World”) seems to be one of increased conflict with the militantly secular state, and open persecution at the hands of civil authorities. While reading his essay, I’m reminded of the recent words of Roman Catholic Cardinal Francis George of Chicago who is quoted as saying: “I expect to die in bed, my successor will die in prison and his successor will die a martyr in the public square. His successor will pick up the shards of a ruined society and slowly help rebuild civilization, as the church has done so often in human history.” I hope that time proves us all wrong, but many others see it coming too. Continue reading

Gay Is Not the New Black

The link below points to one of the more coherent arguments I’ve come across dismissing gay “marriage” as a  civil right along with the slogan that “Gay is the New Black”.  As always, this writer takes exception to the term “sexual orientation”. It is a manufactured and misleading term since there is no such thing as “orientation” in sexuality. All men and women are born as heterosexuals with complementary genitalia and each has the inate ability to reproduce sexually by uniting with a member of the opposite sex.  Homosexual activists, and their sympathizers forget that the purpose of sexuality is not recreation, it is reproduction. More on this topic will follow in the coming weeks.

Linked article:

Gay Is Not the New Black – The Gospel Coalition Blog.