HALF OF AMERICANS MAY RETIRE BROKE

Image result for broke man images

If you’re falling behind on your retirement savings, you’re not alone. Roughly 61% of Americans have less than $100,000 in total savings, and around 42% of those people have saved $10,000 or less, according to a recent GoBankingRates survey.

The No. 1 reason people gave for not having much stashed away? That they don’t earn enough money to be able to save anything.

No matter how much money you make, it’s important to save for retirement unless you plan to work the rest of your life. The good news is that even small contributions to your retirement fund can add up over time, so even if you’re not loaded with cash, you can still beef up your nest egg by the time you retire.

Will the World End Today? How Satan Uses End-times Speculation

Satan boss. Devil businessman in white suit. Red demon with horns

“On April 23, the sun, moon, and Jupiter  alignned  in the constellation Virgo and was predicted to bring on the start of the biblical Rapture, according to the latest claims.” So the UK’s Daily Mail headlines, reporting that Planet X, sometimes called Nibiru, will bring about the end of the world.

We’ve been here before. There has been a constant surge in predictions of the end times.  The truth is clear in the word of God. No man knows! Jesus was blunt: “Concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). Our Lord could come back to our planet today. Or any of us could go to him. Tomorrow is promised to no one. Death could arrive at our door today.

We should prepare for eternity today

Salvation Plan

Salvation could be divided into two categories? The first would be with you accepting the Lord Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour without following the plan that Jesus spoke to Nicodemus about. This first category takes the chance that even though Jesus Christ did not give me the new birth he has still saved you? This plan takes you to the Judgement of God to find out if your plan was enough. The second category assures you of your salvation as long as you continue with him. This is the one spoken by Jesus Christ in St. John  chapter 3 and fulfilled in Acts chapter 2. You need to read both of these chapters and understand that all of the early disciples were recipients of this salvation. So my question to you is: Do you want to be saved in the way Jesus spoke of or in the way the modern church tells you.

Let’s begin with a fact: this day could actually be the last day of our history.

We need not fear the fictitious Planet X. But we need to admit the reality that we are one day closer to eternity than ever before. And we have only today to be ready.

It is true that we are in the end times and the world is closer to Armageddon than ever before. It also might be possible that God has allowed us a reprieve.

ORDER MY BOOK TODAY

THE WINDS OF MEGIDDO by George C. Duke from Amazon.com or Uk

70% of Europeans see rapid Muslim growth as serious threat

Image result for Muslims flooding into europe images

Believe in helping migrants but should be done in their home country

(Voice of Europe) A large majority of Europeans are becoming increasingly worried about the rapid population growth of Muslims, a February survey of the Századvég Foundation shows.

One thousand Europeans from 28 EU countries were asked: “How serious a threat to Europe is the rapid population growth of Muslims?”

Of the respondents, 40% said that they saw the threat as ‘very serious’, while another 30% said that they see it as ‘somewhat serious’.


French officer’s faith caused him to give his life for another

“There is no greater love than to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” (John 15:13)

The heroic French officer killed after he offered to swap his life for a female hostage in an ISIS-inspired terror attack in Trebes, was motivated by his faith and the example of Jesus Christ.

Arnaud Beltrame, 44, a lieutenant colonel in the French National Gendarmerie, left his gun outside when he entered a supermarket where a terrorist affiliated with ISIS had already shot and killed two people on March 23rd.

While he carried no weapons, he had “the sword of the Spirit.” The officer left his phone on so authorities could listen in, according to The New York Times.

Beltrame spent two hours inside the Super U market face-to-face with Radouane Lakdim, a 25-year-old French citizen born in Morocco.

The French officer was a double valedictorian who graduated at the top of his class from military school in 1999 and from the gendarmerie school in 2001. He was deployed in Iraq in 2005 and received military honors for his service there.

Tragically, authorities heard gunshots through the open phone connection, rushed in and killed the terrorist, but Colonel Beltrame had been “seriously wounded” and passed away that night due to his injuries.

ISIS-linked terrorist, Radouane Lakdim

Beltrame was born into a nonreligious family but converted to Christ at age 33. During a Catholic pilgrimage in 2015, he prayed to meet the “woman of his life” and a short time later met Marielle, whom he married in a civil ceremony the following year. The couple did not have children.

Beltrame recently made the pilgrimage to Santiago de Compostela in Spain. The city’s cathedral is the final destination of the “Camino” or “Way of St. James,” a leading Catholic pilgrimage route. The cathedral is said to contain the remains of the Apostle James, brother of the Apostle John.

The French officer and his wife planned a church wedding in June in the medieval city of Carcassonne. Poignantly, he and his wife were married in a Catholic ceremony as he lay dying in the hospital, according to Aleteia.

Colonel Beltrame maintained an avid interest in the history of France and its Christian roots, according to The Catholic Herald.

Father Dominique Arz, national chaplain of the gendarmerie, said Beltrame gave the ultimate sacrifice. “We can say that his act of offering is consistent with what he believed. He went to the end of his service to the country and to the end of his testimony of faith.”

The officer’s brother, Cédric Beltrame, said he thought his brother realized he had little chance to survive when he went into the market. “He was very aware of what he was doing; he didn’t hesitate for a second,” he told the French radio network RTL.

Colonel Beltrame’s mother said his act of sacrificial love was not unexpected. “I am not surprised that it was him,” she told RTL. “He would tell me, ‘I am doing my job, mom, that’s all.’”


Christian college ‘grateful to God’ after winning legal battle

A Christian college has given thanks to God after winning a legal battle with significant implications for religious liberty in the US.

Wheaton College has won the right to not provide health insurance which covers abortion-inducing drugs.

The case centred on the Affordable Care Act – ‘Obamacare’ – which obliges employers to provide health insurance that includes ‘contraceptives’ which act to destroy human embryos.

‘Grateful’

A district judge ruled that Wheaton’s civil rights would be violated if it were forced to provide these drugs, and permanently banned the Government from forcing them to do so.

It ends a five-year legal battle for the college, which is guided by its mission “For Christ and His Kingdom”.

President of Wheaton College, Phillip Ryken, said: “We are grateful to God that the court recognised Wheaton’s religious identity and protected our ability to affirm the sanctity of human life.

“The government should never have tried to force us to provide drugs and services against our faith, and we are pleased by the resolution of our case.”

‘Civil rights’

Diana Verm, legal counsel at religious liberty group Becket, said: “The government is not above the law—that’s why we have civil rights laws.

“Wheaton should never have had to go to court to protect its rights in the first place. This order ensures we won’t have to come back”.

Alumni of Wheaton College include Billy Graham, Jim Elliot and John Piper.

Hobby Lobby

In 2014, a Christian-run business won a “landmark” religious liberty case in the US Supreme Court against Obamacare.

Hobby Lobby wanted to be free not to provide insurance that covers abortion-inducing drugs such as the morning-after pill and the ‘week-after pill’.

In a 5-4 ruling, the Supreme Court backed the business, and a number of other family-run companies with similar convictions.

Hobby Lobby said the decision allowed them to continue operating “according to our principles”.


MSP: ‘Scots smacking ban would infringe on parental freedom’

Criminalising smacking in Scotland would remove parental rights and hand them to the state, an MSP has warned.

Gordon Lindhurst, a lawyer as well as an MSP, dismantled the Scottish Government’s arguments for a ban, before accusing it of being underhand in its tactics to outlaw smacking.

Writing for Scottish Legal News, he said that rather than banning assault on children (which is already illegal), the proposal aims to rebrand loving parental discipline as ‘assault’.

‘Fundamental freedoms’

The Scottish advocate also points out that despite John Finnie MSP’s claims that a ban would not criminalise parents, removing the current legal defence of ‘reasonable chastisement’ would create a new criminal offence.

He added that there is a longstanding principle “that parents, rather than the state, should have primary responsibility for their children and that intervention by the courts in family matters should be a last resort”.

As evidence, he cited the recent UK Supreme Court judgment against the Scottish Government’s intrusion into family life through its Named Person scheme.

‘Overstretched’

Lindhurst’s comments were welcomed by the Be Reasonable campaign who oppose the smacking ban.

A spokesman said: “Parents will be pleased to receive Mr Lindhurst’s support and we look forward to many more MSPs speaking out in the months to come as this debate is thrust to the forefront of the political agenda.

“Many MSPs have no wish to criminalise loving mums and dads for reasonably chastising their own children.

“How much police time would be wasted in pursuing decent families while real cases of concern slip through the already overstretched safety net?”


Why Russian Protestants Voted for President Putin

Why Russian Protestants Voted for President Putin

Even as persecution climbs for Protestants in Russia, most of its evangelicals continue to support President Vladimir Putin, who won his fourth six-year term in last week’s election.

Given Putin’s stronghold in the former Soviet state, they don’t really have another choice.

The incumbent Russian president drew in 75 percent of the vote Sunday, up from 64 percent in 2012. With a popular leading critic, Alexei Navalny, forced out of the race, Putin soundly beat out Pavel Grudinin, a millionaire entrepreneur from the Communist Party; Vladimir Zhirinovsky, an ultranationalist with a military background; and Ksenia Sobchak, a former TV host.

For Protestant voters, who make up only about 1 percent of the heavily Orthodox nation, “their support for Putin would be only a bit below the national average,” according to William Yoder, spokesman for the Russia Evangelical Alliance. “They would not vote for a communist, or a nationalist like Zhirinovsky, and not for a movie-starlet like Sobchak.”

Like their Orthodox neighbors, Russian evangelicals prioritize family values such as traditional marriage, said Yoder. But leaders do not often speak out to address politics—especially not from the pulpit.

Pastor Alexei Smirnov, chairman of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, did post a statement this week to congratulate Putin on his victory.

“In accordance with the Word of God, the Bible, the churches of the Russian Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists will support you in prayers. As before, our brothers and sisters will make every effort to build not only the Kingdom of Heaven, but also the earthly Fatherland, Russia,” an English translation read.

“I wish you strong health, blessing, and special wisdom from the Lord in high and responsible service as President of Russia.”

Still, Protestants and other non-Orthodox faiths continue to face a crackdown on their practice as a result of anti-evangelism laws proposed by lawmaker Irina Yarovaya and passed by Putin in 2016. The restrictions limit religious activities and proselytization that occurs anywhere outside church buildings registered with the government.

Evangelicals have been directly impacted by these measures, as well as other efforts that appear to target those outside of the Russian Orthodox church.

Just this week, media reported that the Church of Evangelical Christians of the Gospel House in Chelyabinsk—a Pentecostal congregation located in central Russia, north of Kazakhstan—was fined for “illegal missionary work” since the full name of the church was not posted on the rented room where they met. When Gospel House opted to pray in a different location, the court also forbid the move “because of violations of the norms of anti-terrorist security.”

“Christian Protestants—Baptists, Pentecostals, and Seventh-day Adventists—also regularly face harassment in the press and pressure from the Russian bureaucratic machine,” the US Commission for International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) wrote in a report released in January, which noted Pentecostals as a particular target under the 2016 legislation.

“They have difficulties in obtaining land plots for their liturgical buildings; they are visited with inspections, and so on.”

The land and space issue has become particularly costly, as government officials are increasingly fining churches that meet in private homes or buildings for violating property use laws, Forum 18 reported. The number of such fines levied against religious groups more than tripled in 2017, up to 23 incidents.

Around 90 percent of Protestant places of worship occur on property designated for residential use, estimated Adventist lawyer Vasily Nichik, since laws restrict the ability of churches to lease or buy land for themselves.

World Evangelical Alliance global ambassador Brian C. Stiller recently wrote for Ed Stetzer’s CT blog, The Exchange, that despite the opposition, the Russian Pentecostal Union has founded 1,000 new churches over the past six years. He encouraged US congregations to keep Russian brothers and sisters in their prayers:

In our flawed and curious maze of East and West interfacing, I inevitably end up asking my Russian brothers and sisters, “What can we do?” At the top of their requests is, “Please don’t forget us.” As fewer Christians now travel to Russia, Russian Christians feel somewhat abandoned. Try this. Link your congregation with one in Russia, build friendships, encourage them, let them know they are remembered.

Walls have been built and then torn down with no promise that they will not be built again: freedom given can quickly be taken away.

USCIRF, which last year named Russia a Tier 1 “country of particular concern” in its religious freedom report, urged the US State Department to persuade Russia to drop the anti-evangelism laws, registration requirements, and other discriminatory means of government review for religious groups so that the country could better foster religious tolerance.

Religious pluralism is another political priority for Russia’s Protestants; but it’s becoming harder to come by.

“I think evangelicals have become more accustomed to Putin over time,” said Yoder. “They are very disappointed regarding the Yarovaya Laws, but they see no makeable alternative to Putin.”

Prior to the anti-evangelism laws, Christianity Today noted how most Russian evangelicals, including the official Congress of the Union of Evangelical Christians-Baptists, literally thank God for Putin and side with him politically, particularly on the Ukraine crisis.

“Putin is genuinely popular—and admired—by Russians across the spectrum: among believers as well as the religiously indifferent, among Protestants as well as Orthodox, and among academics as well as taxi drivers,” wrote Mark R. Elliott, editor of the East-West Church and Ministry Report.


Infrequent cannabis use strongly linked to psychosis

Smoking cannabis as little as five times as a teenager can lead to psychosis in later life, new research has shown.

The study from Finland, published in the British Journal of Psychiatry, adds to the evidence that indicates the drug can lead to poor mental health, and in some cases, suicide.

The findings come amid reports that up to 94 per cent of cannabis in parts of England is highly potent ‘skunk’.

Young people

Researchers at the University of Oulu said there is a heightened risk of psychosis among those who have smoked cannabis at least five times.

Antti Mustonen said: “Our findings are in line with current views of heavy cannabis use, particularly when begun at an early age, being linked to an increased risk of psychosis.

“Based on our results, it’s very important that we take notice of cannabis-using young people who report symptoms of psychosis.”

Danger

Last year, mother Janie Hamilton revealed how cannabis-induced schizophrenia contributed to the death of her son.

She now travels around schools to warn children about the dangers of smoking the potent drug.

In recent years, research has increasingly shown the harmful side-effects of smoking cannabis.

A landmark study in 2015 revealed that daily users of ‘skunk-like’ cannabis were five times more likely to suffer from psychotic mental illness than those who never use the drug.


Was Sir Isaac Newton: More than just a genius?

Sir Isaac Newton

Sir Isaac Newton was born in 1642, the same year Galileo died. His mother was widowed twice, resulting in him being raised by his grandmother. He was sent off to grammar school and later went to Trinity College, Cambridge, 1661.

A contemporary of Robert Boyle, Sir Isaac Newton became a mathematician and a natural philosopher, discovering the laws of universal gravitation and formulating the three laws of motion, which aided in advancement of the discipline of dynamics. Newton was a discoverer of calculus and helped develop it into a comprehensive branch of mathematics.

During the Plague of 1665-66, Newton moved to Woolsthorp, Lincolnshire. He was honored to occupy the Lucasian Chair of Mathematics, 1669, and was elected Fellow of the Royal Society, 1672. Newton was given the position of Master of the Mint, 1699, and in 1701, entered Parliament. He constructed one of the first practical reflecting telescope. Using a prism, Newton demonstrated that a beam of light contained all the colors of the rainbow. He laid the foundation for the great law of energy conservation and developed the particle theory of light propagation. In 1703, Sir Issac Newton became the president of the Royal Society, and served in that position until his death.

Newton wrote one of the most important scientific books ever, “Principia,” 1687, in which he stated: “This most beautiful system of the sun, planets, and comets, could only proceed from the counsel and dominion of an intelligent and powerful Being. … All variety of created objects which represent order and life in the universe could happen only by the willful reasoning of its original Creator, whom I call the ‘Lord God.’ … This Being governs all things, not as the soul of the world, but as Lord over all; and on account of His dominion He is wont to be called ‘Lord God.’ … The supreme God exists necessarily, and by the same necessity He exists always and everywhere.”

Newton wrote in the last query of “Optics, or, a Treatise of the Reflections, Refractions, Inflexions and Colours of Light” (1704, London, 1730, 4th edition, quoted in Sullivan, p.125-126): “Now by the help of these principles, all material things seem to have been composed of the hard and solid particles, above-mentioned, variously associated in the first creation by the counsel of an intelligent agent. For it became him who created them to set them in order. And if he did so, it’s unphilosophical to seek for any other origin of the world, or to pretend that it might arise out of a chaos by the mere laws of nature; though being once formed, it may continue by those laws for many ages.”

Newton wrote in “Principia,” 1687: “From His true dominion it follows that the true God is a living, intelligent and powerful Being; and from His other perfections, that He is supreme, or most perfect. He is eternal and infinite, omnipotent and omniscient; that is, His duration reaches from eternity to eternity; His presence from infinity to infinity; He governs all things, and knows all things that are or can be done.”

 Newton was quoted in “Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton” by Sir David Brewster (Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, 354): “God made and governs the world invisibly, and has commanded us to love and worship him, and no other God; to honor our parents and masters, and love our neighbors as ourselves; and to be temperate, just, and peaceable, and to be merciful even to brute beasts. And by the same power by which he gave life at first to every species of animals, he is able to revive the dead, and has revived Jesus Christ our Redeemer, who has gone into the heavens to receive a kingdom, and prepare a place for us, and is next in dignity to God, and may be worshiped as the Lamb of God, and has sent the Holy Ghost to comfort us in his absence, and will at length return and reign over us.”

Sir Isaac Newton wrote in “Optics,” 1704: “God in the beginning formed matter in solid, massy, hard, impenetrable, movable particles, of such sizes and figures, and with such other properties, and in such proportion to space, as most conduced to the end for which he formed them.”

Sir Isaac Newton devoted more time to the study of Scripture than to science (as cited in Tiner 1975): “I have a fundamental belief in the Bible as the Word of God, written by those who were inspired. I study the Bible daily.”

Sir Isaac Newton stated: “We account the Scriptures of God to be the most sublime philosophy. I find more sure marks of authenticity in the Bible than in any profane history whatsoever. … Worshiping God and the Lamb in the temple: God, for his benefaction in creating all things, and the Lamb, for his benefaction in redeeming us with his blood.”

Captivated by Bible prophecy, Sir Isaac Newton wrote “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John” (published in 1733), in which he stated: “Daniel was in the greatest credit amongst the Jews, till the reign of the Roman Emperor Hadrian. And to reject his prophecies, is to reject the Christian religion. For this religion is founded upon his prophecy concerning the Messiah.”

He concluded his introductory chapter: “Daniel is most distinct in order of time, and easiest to be understood, and therefore in those things which relate to the last times, he must be made the key to the rest.”

In his Preface to “The Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse” (Published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton quoted a letter to Richard Bentley, dated Dec. 10, 1692: “When I wrote my treatise about our System I had an eye upon such Principles as might work with considering men for the belief of a Deity and nothing can rejoice me more than to find it useful for that purpose.”

Sir Isaac Newton wrote in “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John,” (published 1733): “The Book of Revelation exhibits to us the same peculiarities as that of Nature. … The history of the Fall of Man – of the introduction of moral and physical evil, the prediction of the Messiah, the actual advent of our Savior, His instructions, His miracles, His death, His resurrection, and the subsequent propagation of His religion by the unlettered fishermen of Galilee, are each a stumbling-block to the wisdom of this world. … But through the system of revealed truth which this Book contains is, like that of the universe, concealed from common observation, yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin, and developed in all its order and beauty the great plan of human restoration.”

In “Observations on the Prophecies of Daniel and the Apocalypse of St. John” (published 1733), Sir Isaac Newton wrote: “The folly of Interpreters has been, to foretell times and things, by this prophecy, as if God designed to make them Prophets. By this rashness they have not only exposed themselves, but brought the Prophecy also into contempt. The design of God was much otherwise. He gave this and the Prophecies of the Old Testaments, not to gratify men’s curiosities by enabling them to foreknow things, but that after they were fulfilled they might be interpreted by the event; and his own Providence, not the Interpreters, be then manifested thereby to the world. For the event of things predicted many ages before, will then be a convincing argument that the world is governed by providence.”

The “Encyclopedia of Philosophy” described Sir Isaac Newton: “Newton himself was a student of Old Testament prophecies and believed in the Scriptures as inerrant guides.”

In his book “Chronology,” Newton studied the sequence of historical events and inserted a geometric diagram of Solomon’s Temple, giving the lengths of the Temple in relation to the measurement of time. This was in accordance with the Renaissance view that the Temple was a microcosm of God’s creation embodying the order of the universe.

Economist John Maynard Keynes purchased all of Newton’s known manuscripts and personal notes at auction. After studying them, John Maynard Keynes wrote of Newton: “He regarded the universe as a cryptogram set by the Almighty, just as he himself wrapped the discovery of calculus in a cryptogram. … He looked on the whole universe and all that is in it as a riddle, as a secret which could be read by applying pure thought to certain evidence, certain mystic clues which God had laid about the world to allow a sort of philosopher’s treasure hunt. …”

Regarding the Bible, Newton wrote: “The system of revealed truth which this Book contains is like that of the universe, concealed from common observation yet the labors of the centuries have established its Divine origin.”

Newton (as cited in Tiner 1975): “Atheism is so senseless. When I look at the solar system, I see the earth at the right distance from the sun to receive the proper amounts of heat and light. This did not happen by chance.”

Discover more of Bill Federer’s eye-opening books and videos in the WND Superstore!

Newton wrote in a “Short Scheme of the True Religion” (Sir David Brewster, “Memoirs of the Life, Writings, and Discoveries of Sir Isaac Newton,” Edinburgh, Thomas Constable and Co., 1855, Vol. II, p. 347-348): “Opposite to godliness is atheism in profession, and idolatry in practice. Atheism is so senseless and odious to mankind, that it never had many professors. Can it be by accident that all birds, beasts, and men have their right side and left side alike shaped, (except in their bowels); and just two eyes, and no more, on either side of the face; and just two ears on either side of the head; and a nose with two holes; and either two forelegs, or two wings, or two arms on the shoulders, and two legs on the hips, and no more? Whence arises this uniformity in all their outward shapes but from the counsel and contrivance of an Author? Whence is it that the eyes of all sorts of living creatures are transparent to the very bottom, and the only transparent members in the body, having on the outside a hard transparent skin, and within transparent humours, with a crystalline lens in the middle, and a pupil before the lens, all of them so finely shaped and fitted for vision, that no artist can mend them? Did blind chance know that there was light, and what was its refraction, and fit the eyes of all creatures, after the most curious manner, to make use of it?

“These, and suchlike considerations, always have, and ever will prevail with mankind, to believe that there is a Being who made all things, and has all things in his power, and who is therefore to be feared. We are, therefore, to acknowledge one God, infinite, eternal, omnipresent, omniscient, omnipotent, the Creator of all things, most wise, most just, most good, most holy. We must love him, fear him, honor him, trust in him, pray to him, give him thanks, praise him, hallow his name, obey his commandments, and set time apart for his service, as we are directed in the Third and Fourth Commandments, for this is the love of God that we keep his commandments, and his commandments are not grievous (I John 5:3). And these things we must not do to any mediators between him and us, but to him alone, that he may give his angels charge over us, who, being our fellow servants, are please with the worship which we give to their God. And this is the first and the principle part of religion. This always was and always will be the religion of all God’s people, from the beginning to the end of the world.”

Sir Isaac Newton stated: “There is one God, the Father, ever-living, omnipresent, omniscient, almighty, the Maker of heaven and earth, and one Mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus. … To us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by Him. That is, we are to worship the Father alone as God Almighty, and Jesus alone as the Lord, the Messiah, the Great King, the Lamb of God who was slain, and hath redeemed us with His blood, and made us kings and priests.”

Sir Isaac Newton died March 20, 1727.

Newton stated (as cited in “The Religion of Sir Isaac Newton,” Frank E. Manuel, editor, London, Oxford University Press, 1974, p. 112): “And when you are convinced, be not ashamed to profess the truth. For otherwise you may become a stumbling block to others, and inherit the lot of those Rulers of the Jews who believed in Christ, but yet were afraid to confess him lest they should be put out of the Synagogue. Wherefore, when you are convinced, be not ashamed of the truth, but profess it openly and endeavor to convince your Brother also that you may inherit at the resurrection the promise made in Daniel 12:3, that ‘they who turn many to righteousness shall shine as the stars for ever and ever.’ And rejoice if you are counted worthy to suffer in your reputation or any other way for the sake of the Gospel, for then, ‘great is thy reward’!”


Is radical Islam infiltrating American universities?

In 1988, an FBI source inside the Muslim Brotherhood revealed that the Islamist group’s proxies in America had a six-phase plan to “institute the Islamic Revolution in the United States.” [1] Among these front groups was The International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), a think tank committed to the “Islamization of knowledge.”[2] This ideology, as Professor Vali Nasr writes, entails the subordination of scientific inquiry to “the mere implementation of the assorted teachings of the Shariʿa.”[3]

Over the last three decades, IIIT’s part in the Brotherhood’s plan has met remarkable success. The institute has made itself an indispensable resource for Islamic studies scholars: It has provided funding for over 70 active researchers based at institutions across America (see appendix); it has spent millions of dollars on endowing chairs in Islamic studies;[4] and it has publicized the research of hundreds of like-minded academics at its Summer Institute for Scholars.[5]

Female Muslim graduates at UNC Chapel Hill

IIIT’s activities are integral to the Brotherhood’s broader strategy of inciting an international Islamic revolution. As an official IIIT handbook notes:

At a time when we are forced to fight and defend ourselves on political, economic and military fronts … (these efforts) can be accomplished by developing (the Ummah’s, that is, the Muslim community’s) ideological power and the power of the “islamization of knowledge (sic)” to effectively harness its full potential.[6]

In other words, the long-term success of the Islamists’ revolution is dependent not only on success on the battlefield and at the ballot, but also on the cooptation of education in order to foment popular sympathy for the Brotherhood’s objectives.

While IIIT’s actions are ostensibly nonviolent, it has not hesitated to cultivate ties to international terrorists. In 2002, an anti-terrorism taskforce raided the IIIT’s office. Based on the evidence obtained in this investigation, U.S. Customs Service Special Agent David Kane said in a sworn affidavit that IIIT co-founder and former vice president for research, Jamal Barzinji, was “not only closely affiliated with PIJ [Palestinian Islamic Jihad] . . . but also with Hamas.”[7]

Furthermore, IIIT provided donations to the front organization of convicted Palestinian Islamic Jihad leader Sami al-Arian, formerly a professor at the University of South Florida. Al-Arian subsequently wrote a thank you note to IIIT, in which he emphasized that his organization and IIIT are essentially a single institution rooted in “an ideological and cultural concordance with mutual objectives.”[8]

While IIIT is unapologetic about its links to violent Islamism, it is less forthright about the sources of its generous revenue. It is clear that the Brotherhood provided the start-up money for IIIT in 1988, when the aforementioned FBI memo notes that the organization had almost “unlimited funds” at its disposal.[9] That was 30 years ago. Nevertheless, today, IIIT’s assets appear undiminished. Yet IIIT’s website does not solicit donations; indeed, a search for “donate” on the site returns no relevant information.

This raises the question: Who is supporting IIIT today?

We cannot know for sure. However, we do know that IIIT has never shirked its loyalty to its parent organization, the Muslim Brotherhood. IIIT’s website boasted—in a post that has now been removed—that two of its officials, Hisham Altalib and Abubaker Al-Shingieti, met with the leader of the Brotherhood and then-president of Egypt, Mohammed Morsi, in New York on September 24, 2012. Morsi “welcomed the participation of IIIT in the reform of higher education in Egypt.”[10]

Furthermore, IIIT has cultivated relations with the wealthy Qatar Foundation, an arm of the Qatari government.[11] Qatar is one of the world’s foremost state sponsors of international terrorism. Moreover, the state enforces its conception of the Shariʿa at home. Its laws prescribe death for apostates and Muslims who commit adultery with non-Muslims; uphold the incarceration of men found guilty of homosexual relations; and sanction one of the world’s most extensive and brutal human-trafficking systems.[12]

Qatar has sought to sanitize its illiberal reputation by constructing an “Education City” in the nation’s capital, Doha. Education City is a network of campuses including Islamic colleges and proxy estates for six major U.S. universities: Texas A&M, Virginia Commonwealth, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Northwestern and Georgetown. The Qatar Foundation covers the expenses for these institutions to maintain their campuses in the country. It has invested over $400 million in Education City.[13]

Qatar has portrayed Education City as a repression-free zone that respects Western norms in a kingdom that otherwise upholds the rule of Islamic law.[14] Yet Islamists with terrorist affiliations, including IIIT’s former director, Dr. Louay Safi, teach there.[15] Furthermore Professor Jasser Auda—an active associate of IIIT with extensive ties to the Muslim Brotherhood—is also based there.[16]

Yet the six U.S. universities listed above have shown no inclination to repudiate their Qatari sponsors. These institutions legitimize the Qatari regime, sanctioning the presence of violent Islamists in Education City. Their actions are reminiscent of IIIT-funded scholars’ complicity with their own sponsors’ illiberal, “revolutionary” agenda.

For too long, American universities have allowed IIIT to shape the development of Islamic Studies in this country. They have ignored IIIT’s anti-intellectualism expressed in its commitment to the “Islamization of knowledge,” meaning the suppression of scholarship not sympathetic to Islamists. Left-wing activists who censor campus discussions about radical Islamism provide cover for IIIT’s regressive ideology. They further its agenda to suffocate any scrutiny of Islamism and the broader Islamic tradition.

It is time to bring IIIT’s action to light. It is time for parents, students and policy makers to demand that IIIT ends its role in the radicalization of Islamic Studies—a discipline that has long showed itself predisposed to anti-Western agendas. – The Clarion Project

Ryan Mauro is the national security analyst and Shillman Fellow for the Clarion Project. This article was written with the assistance of Campus Watch, a project of the Middle East Forum.

 Appendix I: Selective List of Professors with Ties to IIIT

(The following list, while not exhaustive, demonstrates the extent of IIIT’s infiltration into American universities.)

George Mason University: Abdulaziz Sachedina: IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies. IIIT funded the position with a gift of $1.5 million.

Cemil Aydin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars (now at UNC-Chapel Hill).

Sumayya Al Shingieti: IIIT recognized Sumayya Al Shingieti for completing her Bachelors’ degree in film and video studies at George Mason University and receiving an award for the film she produced.

Shenandoah University: Calvin Allen Jr.: “Dr. Allen signed last year an agreement with IIIT to cooperate in ‘course development, educational programs, and research with a goal of promoting an understanding of Islam and Muslims in America, and Islamic civilization and culture,’ based on ‘the principles of equality and reciprocal benefit.”

Hartford Seminary: Heidi Hadsell: “Professor Hadsell praised the special relationship between the Harford Seminary and IIIT and the continued support that the seminary receives from IIIT, particularly in the area of Imam Training and education, and the study of Christian-Muslim relations in general.”

Mahmoud Ayoub: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars whose teaching of courses about Shia Islam was sponsored by $35,000 from the Alavi Foundation in September 2012.

Huron University College: Ingrid Mattson: member of the IIIT’s Council of Scholars

United States Naval Academy (Formerly): Ermin Sinanovic: IIIT’s Director of Research and Academic Programs.

Binghamton University: Seifudein Adem is there, as was the late Ali Mazrui, a very radical preacher.

Howard University: Sulayman Nyang (retired from Howard): member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars.

Altaf Husain: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Altaf Husain for receiving tenure at Howard University.

University of Notre Dame: Asma Afsaruddin: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

University of Delaware: Muqtedar Khan: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

American University: Mohammed Nimer: visited IIIT with American University students in 2013 to discuss the “Islamic revival and role of Islam in politics of the Muslim world.”

University of Southern California, College of Letters, Arts & Sciences: Mazen Hashem: member of IIIT’s Council of Scholars

University of Maryland: Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi: former Iranian diplomat, has spoken several times for IIIT about Iran. He is no longer listed in the faculty directory on the University of Maryland’s website (here).

Fatima Mirza: IIIT recognized the academic achievements of her for completing her Ph.D. in social work at the University of Maryland.

Charles Butterworth: participated in IIIT’s 2012 Summer Institute for Scholars and the 2011 Friends of IIIT/Iftar Dinner.

Manhattanville College: James Jones – has lectured at IIIT on the challenges of Islam to and in the U.S.

Georgetown University: Jonathan Brown – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

John Esposito – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

John Voll – has lectured at IIIT multiple times and participated in many of its programs.

University of Virginia: Rachel Mann – has lectured at IIIT about non-violent activism.

Firas Barzinji – IIIT has recognized his achievements for completing his Masters’ Degree in Business Administration, University of Virginia.

Middle Tennessee State University: Ron Messier – has lectured at IIIT about his book, Jesus, One man, Two Faiths; A Dialogue between Christians and Muslims.

Santa Clara University: Farid Senzai – IIIT recognized the academic achievements of Farid Senzai for receiving tenure at Santa Clara University

Union Theological Seminary: Serene Jones – has attended events with IIIT and has shared her thoughts about her relationship with IIIT (x)

George Washington University: Mohamad Faghfoory – has attended events with IIIT and has shared his thoughts about his relationship with IIIT (x)

Appendix II: IIIT Research Grant Recipients

Florian Pohl is an associate professor of religion at Emory University’s Oxford College and received a research grant from IIIT.

Madiha Tahseen recently completed the requirements for her doctorate in Applied Developmental Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), and she received a research grant from IIIT.

Nazila Isgandarova is the spiritual and religious care coordinator at Ontario Multifaith Council and the spiritual care provider at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Nermeen Mouftah is a lecturer in the Departments of Anthropology and Religious Studies at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Oliver Leaman is a professor of philosophy at the University of Kentucky, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Samy Ayoub is a postdoctoral faculty fellow at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Aasim Padela is the director of the Initiative on Islam and Medicine and an assistant professor of medicine at the University of Chicago, and received a research grant from IIIT.

Emad Hamdeh earned his Ph.D. in Islamic and Arabic studies from the University of Exeter and is adjunct professor of Arabic and Islamic Studies at Montclair State University in Montclair, NJ; he received a research grant from IIIT.

Sameera Ahmed is director of the Family & Youth Institute (www.thefyi.org), a clinical assistant professor at Wayne State University, a scholar at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (ISPU), an associate editor for the Journal of Muslim Mental Health (JMMH), and a board-licensed psychologist in Ohio and Michigan. She received a research grant from IIIT.

IIIT Resident Scholars

Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic Literature, Comparative Literature and Cultural Studies in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures at Indiana University.

SherAli Tareen is an assistant professor of religious studies at Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA.

Mustafa Gökçek is an associate professor of history at Niagara University in Niagara Falls, NY.

Abdulaziz Sachedina is a professor and IIIT chair in Islamic Studies at George Mason University in Fairfax, Virginia.

Nathan J. Brown, is a professor of political science and international affairs at George Washington University, former president of the Middle East Studies Association (MESA), and a scholar and author of six books on Arab politics.

Yahya M. Michot (Belgium, 1952) joined Hartford Seminary in 2008 as a professor of Islamic Studies and Christian-Muslim Relations and is editor of the journal Muslim World.

Najib George Awad is a Syrian-Arab Christian theologian and poet. He is an associate Ppofessor of Christian theology and the director of the international PhD program in Hartford Seminary, CT.

Syed Muhd Khairudin Aljunied is an assistant professor in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, National University of Singapore.

Mohamed Mosaad Abdelaziz Mohamed is an assistant professor of religious studies at Northern Arizona University.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmad, Ph.D., is an internationally known interdisciplinary scientist of Palestinian descent, born at sea and raised in the United States.

Abadir M. Ibrahim is a J.S.D. candidate at St. Thomas University School of Law LL.M./J.S.D. program in Intercultural Human Rights and has two LL.M. degrees — one in international law and one in human rights law.

Seifudein Adem is an associate professor of political science and the associate director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies, SUNY Binghamton.

Emin Poljarevic is a visiting scholar at the Islamic and Middle Eastern Studies Department at the University of Edinburgh.

Ahmad Najib Burhani is a PhD candidate in religious studies at University of California-Santa Barbara.

Ahmad Kazemi Moussavi is a professor of Islamic law and modern Islamic developments who currently teaches at George Washington University.

Mojtaba Mahdavi is an associate professor of political science and Middle East studies at the University of Alberta, Canada.

Peter Mandaville is the director of the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies and a professor of government at George Mason University.

John O. Voll is a professor of Islamic history and past associate director of the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University in Washington, DC.

Abdullah Al-Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

Jonathan Brown is the Alwaleed bin Talal chair of Islamic Civilization and director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Louay M. Safi is a professor at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies.

Ali A. Mazrui, who died in 2015, was the Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Kamal Abu-Shamsieh was born in Ramallah and is currently a PhD student at the Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, CA in the area of the cultural and historical study of religion.

Jasser Auda is a professor teaching at the Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies in Doha, a founding member and a member of the executive board of the International Union of Muslim Scholars, a member of the academic committee of the IIIT and a fellow of the International Institute of Advanced Systems in Canada.

Mahmoud M. Ayoub was born in South Lebanon. He received his education at the American University of Beirut (BA, Philosophy, 1964), the University of Pennsylvania (M.A., Religious Thought, 1966) and Harvard University (Ph.D., History of Religion, 1975).

Usaama al-Azami is a PhD candidate at Princeton University’s Department of Near Eastern Studies.

Jacquelene Brinton received her MA. and PhD. from the University of Virginia in August of 2009 in the Department of Religious Studies with a specialty in Islamic Studies.

Carl W. Ernst is the William R. Kenan, Jr. Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Carolina Center for the Study of the Middle East and Muslim Civilizations at the University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Katrin Jomaa is an assistant professor at the University of Rhode Island with a joint appointment in the Departments of Political Science and Philosophy.

Mouez Khalfaoui is a junior professor of Islamic Jurisprudence at the University of Tuebingen, Germany (since 2012).

Shahirah Mahmood is a PhD candidate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Wisconsin Madison.

Hamid Mavani obtained his MA and PhD from McGill University at the Institute of Islamic Studies.

Ebrahim Moosa is a professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Notre Dame.

Asaad Al-Saleh is an assistant professor of Arabic, comparative literature and cultural studies in the Department of Languages and Literature and the Middle East Center at the University of Utah.

Christopher B. Taylor is currently a visiting researcher at Georgetown University in the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace and World Affairs.

Sarra Tlili is an assistant professor at the University of Florida in the Department of Languages, Literatures and Cultures.

David Vishanoff is an associate professor in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Oklahoma, where he teaches courses on the Qur’an, Islamic law, Islamic theology and comparative religion.

Jamal Barzinji is the president of IIIT, USA. He was a founder and has served as president of the Muslim Students Association and is a founder of Islamic Society of North America.

Yaqub Mirza is the president and CEO of Sterling Management Group. He is also an advisor to the board of trustees of the Amana Mutual Funds, a member of the board of directors of the University Islamic Financial Corporation and a member of the Board of Trustees of George Mason University Foundation, Inc. He holds a MSc from University of Karachi, a PhD in physics and an MA in teaching science from the University of Texas at Dallas.

Abubaker Al Shingieti is the executive director of the IIIT, USA.

Ermin Sinanovic is the director of research and academic programs at IIIT.

Iqbal Unus is a former director of The Fairfax Institute (TFI), the instructional division of IIIT, where he has also served as director of human development and director of administration since 1989.

Asifa Quraishi-Landes is an associate professor of law at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mohammad Fadel is an associate professor in the faculty of law at the University of Toronto.

Asma Afsaruddin is a professor of Near-Eastern languages and culture at Indiana University.

Andrew March is an associate professor of political science at Yale University.

Muqtedar Khan is a professor of political science and the director of Islamic studies at the University of Delaware.

Kenneth Honerkamp is a professor of religion at the University of Georgia.

Imad-ad-Dean Ahmed is a professor of religion and science at American University and Wesley Theological Seminary.

David Warren is a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Edinburgh.

Abdallah El Sheikh Sidahmed is a professor of economics at El Neelain University in Khartoum, Sudan.

Charles Butterworth is a professor of government at the University of Maryland.

Abdallah Al Arian is an assistant professor of history at Georgetown University’s School of Foreign Service in Qatar.

Muhammad Faghfoory is a professor of religion at George Washington University.

Douglas Johnston is the president and founder of the International Center for Religion and Diplomacy.

Ahmed Kazemi Mousavi is an adjunct professor in the School of Languages, Literature and Cultures at the University of Maryland, Baltimore.

Norton Mezvinsky is the Distinguished University Professor, Emeritus, at Central Connecticut State University and president of the International Council for Middle East Studies.

Ali Mazrui who died in 2015, was Albert Schweitzer Professor in the Humanities and director of the Institute of Global Cultural Studies at Binghamton University, State University of New York.

Seifudein Adem is the associate director of the Institute for Global Studies at SUNY Binghamton.

Muhammad Nimer is a professor of International Relations at American University.

Marybeth Acac is a PhD candidate in the Department of Religion at Temple University.

Sherman A. Jackson is the King Faisal Chair of Islamic Thought and Culture at the University of Southern California.

Khaleel Mohammed is a professor of religious studies at San Diego State University.

Aisha Musa is an assistant professor of religion and Middle Eastern and Islamic civilization studies at Colgate University.

Imtiyaz Yusuf is the director of the Center for Buddhist-Muslim Understanding in the College of Religious Studies at Mahidol University in Thailand and a senior fellow at the Prince Alwaleed Bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

 

[1] The website http://www.iiit.org/ provides The International Institute for Islamic Thought’s description of its own activities. For IIIT’s association with the Muslim Brotherhood, see FBI Memo, “An Analysis of Religious Divisions in the Muslim Community of Toronto,” 1988. The document was obtained through FIOA by The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org).

[2] The International Institute of Islamic Thought, “Islamization of Knowledge: General Principles and Work Plan,” No.1 (1988).

[3] Seyyed Vali Reza Nasr, “Islamization of Knowledge: A Critical Review,” Islamic Studies, 30.3 (1991), 387-400.

[4] IIIT has established at least three chairs over the last six years at the cost of over 3.5 million dollars. These include The IIIT Chair in Islamic Studies at the Ali Vural Ak Center for Global Islamic Studies at George Mason University (GMU), which was endowed in 2012; The Faculty Chair in Islamic Chaplaincy at Hartford Seminary currently—endowed in 2013; and The IIIT Chair in Interfaith Studies at Nazareth College in Rochester, NY—endowed in 2012.

[5] See the list of scholars who have presented at IIIT conferences since 2009 at The Summer Institute of Scholars webpage on IIIT’s website.

[6] AbuSulayman ed., “Islamization of Knowledge,” International Institute of Islamic Thought, 1989, 3rd edition, 84-85; see Kyle Shideler and David Daoud, “International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT): The Muslim Brotherhood’s Think Tank,” Center for Security Policy Occasional Paper Series (July 28, 2014).

[7] “Proposed Redacted Affidavit in Support of Application for Search Warrant (October 2003),” United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia, published at The Investigative Project on Terrorism (www.investigativeproject.org). For more on Barzinji, who passed away in 2015, see The Investigative Project on Terrorism’s biography.

[8] For the letter, see “Exhibit 325,” at the Investigative Project on Terrorism; on the indictment, see The US Department of Justice, “Sami Al-Arian Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Provide Services To Palestinian Islamic Jihad,” Press Release (April 17, 2006).

[9] See above, n. 1.

[10] Meira Svirsky, “Brotherhood Influence OP Inside US Academia Success,” Clarion Project (May 5, 2014).

[11] The direct relationship between the government of Qatar and the Qatar Foundation is noted at the Foundation’s official website.

[12] See the official report of Human Rights Watch, an organization that usually reserves such criticism for Israel and the West.

[13] Washington Post, “Texas university gets $76 million each year to operate in Qatar, contract says” (March 8, 2016). The money is paid to the Qatar Foundation, which then gives it to the school of the student.

[14] The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015)

[15] On Qatar’s Education City, see The Washington Post, “In Qatar’s Education City, U.S. colleges are building an academic oasis” (December 6, 2015); on Louay Safi’s position, see his faculty biography at the website of Qatar’s Hamad bin Khalifah University.

[16] On Auda’s role in institutions in Education City, specifically the new research Center for Islamic Legislation and Ethics (CILE), see the Qatar Foundation announcement concerning “Creating CILE”; on Auda’s ties to the brotherhood, see Ryan Mauro, “US Professors Participate in Brotherhood-Linked Program,” Clarion Project (October 10, 2013); for IIIT’s role in publishing Auda, see here.