My husband, J.P. Sloane, is a biblical scholar who has studied Islam in the Middle East. I asked him if he would share some of his insights regarding a few of the claims made by the American media, Islamists and our government regarding the “religion of peace” and the historical context regarding Islam in the news. Following is my interview with him.
LS: The President of Egypt, Muhammad Morsi, wants to create a “United Arab States.” Tell me how this would play out if it were to happen.
J.P: It would essentially resurrect the old Ottoman Empire caliphate of which Egypt was originally a part. A caliphate is an Islamic state that is based upon and gets its authority from Sharia law with a political and spiritual caliph as its leader. A caliph is considered a successor to or a representative of Mohammed.
LS: Most of the media tells us that Jerusalem is the third holiest site of Islam. Please elaborate.
J.P: It is said that Jerusalem is where Mohammed left in a dream to be with noted Muslim prophets such as Moses and Jesus who attested to the fact, according to Mohammad, that he (Mohammed) was the “greatest prophet of Islam.” We have all heard these claims before and not surprisingly, a 2004 Special Edition: World Religions of Time Magazine had a story about Jerusalem being the third holiest city in Islam. If that is true, then surely we would be able to find some reference in the Koran to verify this. What we do know is that in the Holy Bible, Jerusalem is mentioned over 700 times. However, in the Koran there is not even one mention of Jerusalem.
LS: So how did this alleged anachronism get started?
J.P: To begin with, Mohammed was born in 570 A.D. and died in 632 A.D. It was only about five years after Mohammed’s death that Jerusalem fell into Muslim hands. Modern revisionists tell us that Mohammed, the “greatest Islamic prophet of all time,” went to Heaven from what they forget or ignore was—at the time Muhammad lived—a Christian-controlled Temple Mount. They base their claim upon the account given in the Koran, which is found in Surah 17, The Night Journey:
‘In the name of Allah the merciful, the compassionate
Glory be to Him who carried His servant by night from the Holy Mosque to the Further Mosque. The precincts of which We have blessed that We might show him some of Our signs. He is the All-hearing, All-seeing.’ (J.P.’s resource: The Koran, R.J. Arberry, translator)
This historical reconstruction by modern revisionists regarding Jerusalem as the third holiest site in Islam was the product of an alliance between the Arabs and Germany who found they had a common enemy, namely the Jews, as recorded in a conversation of Haj Amin al-Husseini with Adolph Hitler, November 28, 1941. The British appointed al-Husseini in 1921 as the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem. It was he who was the first to designate Jerusalem as the third holiest site in Islam in 1917. (J.P.’s resource: Israel My Glory, January/February, 2003, Vol. 61, Number 1)
LS: So if there were no mosques in Jerusalem, where was the mosque that Muhammad did leave from?
J.P: It seems that the question that we must ask ourselves is, since we are talking about Mohammed, where were the closest and furthest mosques during his lifetime?
The answer would have to include the mosque at Mecca, which is the holiest city in Islam, but the first mosque was built in Medina. The closest and furthest mosques are these two. There were no mosques in Jerusalem, or Israel for that matter, during the life of Mohammed. It was not until about five years after his death that the ‘religion of peace’ conquered the Holy Land with the sword. This myth of Jerusalem being the third holiest site of Islam was created in the twentieth century, 1300 years after the writing of the Koran, which, as we stated previously, is strangely silent on the name Jerusalem.
LS: So how did the myth of a country called ‘Palestine’ and the Palestinian people come about?
J.P: Before the Six Day War in 1967, all of the Arabs living in what is now referred to as the West Bank considered themselves Jordanians and all of the Arabs living in the Gaza considered themselves to be Egyptians. Up until that time, the Palestinians were thought to be the Jews. In fact, the Jerusalem Post used to be the Palestinian Post and The Palestine Symphony Orchestra, which was established in 1936, changed its name to The Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in 1948 when Israel became officially a nation
After Israel’s monumental and swift defeat of the Arab nations of Egypt, Jordan and Syria, a very discouraged Yasser Arafat consulted with the North Vietnamese as to guidance on how he and his organization should proceed. The Vietnamese told him he needed to create an entity of someone for whom the world could develop sympathy. So Arafat created a new national entity called the Palestinians who then became a people alleged to have always been in the land the Bible calls Israel. This was not too difficult a leap as Islam already made the erroneous claim that biblical personages from Adam to Moses and Moses to Jesus were, in fact, prophets of Islam.
Thus Yasser Arafat also proclaimed himself to be a Palestinian and when he died, the French put his place of origin in what we have come to believe as a country called Palestine. In actuality, Yasser Arafat was born in Egypt. Thus, the myth of the Palestinian people was born.
LS: But how can we prove today that there never was a country or a people with a nationality called Palestine and Palestinians? After all, that area of the world has been called Palestine for thousands of years.
J.P: The problem with the claim that there was an ancient people of the land called Palestine, who are still struggling against a historical Jewish occupation, is that no one can name one famous king of the so-called ancient Palestinian people, what their currency was called, or what celebrated products or industries for which they are known–such as France being known for its wine and fine foods, Switzerland for its cheese, Germany for its engineering and Greece for its democracy, etc.
LS: Why is it that even some Christians believe the Palestinians were the early biblical Philistines?
J.P: That’s true. Many Christians and other Westerners do believe that today, thanks to a very effective public relations campaign by the Arab propagandists in the Holy Land and Middle East. The contemporary Palestinians try to make the claim that they were the early Philistines and indeed Jesus was a Palestinian too. What Christians and others have been reading is revisionist history. The problem with all of this is that those calling themselves Palestinian nationals are, in truth, Arabs. The Arabs are descended from Abraham’s first son with his wife’s slave, Hagar, whose son was named Ismael. The Philistines were of European extract, closely associated with and possibly even were, the Phoenicians, whose likely origin was Greece. The Philistines were a taller European people who faded from history hundreds of years before the birth of Christ.
LS: Tell me about Emperor Hadrian’s role with what we know as Palestine.
J.P: For myths to become facts there has to be an element of truth. A people called Philistines did exist in the area we know as the Gaza Strip and the land, which we know as Israel, came to be known as Palestine. However, the term Palestine was a second century invention of Emperor Hadrian whose other famous achievement was building the wall completely across the northern Roman province that we know today as Scotland.
In 135 AD, after the destruction of Masada, Hadrian was so fed up with the problems the Hebrews had caused Rome or for the past 100 years that he dispersed what was left of the Hebrews throughout the Roman Empire and renamed Judea, Samaria and the rest of what was known as Israel, Syria Palestinia as an insult to the Jews by commemorating their ancient and extinct enemies, the Philistines.
LS: Was Jerusalem ever made a provincial capital under one of the Islamic conquests? It would seem a natural thing to do because of Jerusalem’s historical significance.
J.P: That is a good point; however, the truth is that throughout history, Jerusalem was never the capital of any Islamic province.
The Ottoman Empire, which was a caliphate spanning some 400 years, consisted of all of the modern Arab countries. The provincial capital of Palestine, while not Jerusalem, was a city six miles to the north of Jerusalem named Ramallah. Even today it is the capital of the Palestinian Liberation Organization. If we break down the city’s name into two parts, ram is Arabic for mountain, so the name of the city means Mountain of Allah.
LS: An interesting observation would be what you have told me regarding the Holy Land. Not only was it not Islamic from the beginning with Adam (Islam being ‘a revelation’ of Mohammed in sixth century A.D.), but that the land actually has God’s signature written in the mountains which can be seen from space.
J.P: Yes, isn’t that exciting? There would be no way the Jewish people during biblical times could have seen how the valleys and canyons formed the Hebrew word for God, consisting of the four letters yod, hey, vav, hey, which is transliterated consonantally usually as YHVH. When the Germans translated their Bible, they translated YHVH as Jehovah, which carried over into our English Bibles. The Hebrew alphabet has no letter with a “j” sound. The name that God signed near the ancient city of Bethel, House of God, is Yaweh, not Allah!
Look very closely just to the right of Bethel, which means House of God, and almost directly above Ramallah to see God’s signature in Hebrew! I added a white insert overlay with the matching Hebrew letters as a clarification aid because not everyone knows the Hebrew alphabet. The first four letters are directly above the same four letters chiseled into the Judean Mountains! (J.P.’s resource: The Holy Land Satellite Atlas: Vol. 1, 1999, Page 81.)
No wonder God’s signature is near Bethel. According to the biblical account, altars were established at Bethel by both Abraham and Jacob. He (Jacob) was afraid and said, ‘How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God; this is the gate of heaven,’ (Genesis. 28:17, NIV) and as one can see looking down from outer space—it makes perfect sense.
LS: Can there ever be peace in the Middle East?
J.P: Sadly, from the Koran’s point of view, there can never be peace between Christians and Jews with Muslims. The Koran clearly states at least ten times that it is wrong to befriend them. The following are just two examples from the Koran:
‘O you who believe! do not take the Jews and the Christians for friends; they are friends of each other; and whoever amongst you takes them for a friend, then surely he is one of them; surely Allah does not guide the unjust people.’ (Koran 5:51).
‘You will see many of them befriending those who disbelieve; certainly evil is that which their souls have sent before for them, that Allah became displeased with them and in chastisement shall they abide.’ (Koran 5:80)
In other words, any Muslim who befriends a Christian or a Jew will go to Hell!
LS: Several people, including President George W. Bush during his time in office, have referred to Islam as a religion of peace.
J.P: The only difference between a radical, jihadist Muslim and a peaceful Muslim is that the radical Muslim reads the Koran and believes it.
The world would have us believe that all Israel needs to do in order to achieve harmony with its Arab/Islamic neighbors is to just ‘give up a little more of their occupied land’ for peace.
In fact, Israel has been giving up land for peace. Can you see Israel on the map? You really have to look hard to see it. How much land does Israel have to give up for there to be peace with its neighbors? The answer: All of it!
‘O God, do not remain silent; do not turn a deaf ear, do not stand aloof, O God. See how your enemies growl, how your foes rear their heads. With cunning they conspire against your people; they plot against those you cherish. “Come, they say, ‘let us destroy them as a nation, so that Israel’s name is remembered no more.”‘ (Psalm 83:1-4)
LS: Does the Bible have anything to say about this?
J.P: The Bible addresses this very problem when talking about the End Times. It teaches that the whole world will come against Jerusalem. (Zechariah 12:3)
LS: What is it about Jerusalem that would cause the whole world to come against it?
J.P: That is the great mystery that many confused people who do not know the Bible are asking. Jerusalem is not on a major trade route and has no access to any waterway, the only two means of efficiently conducting trade, which was before the railroad and airplanes. Jerusalem sits isolated on top of a mountain. There is no silver or gold to be had, yet the Bible insists the whole world will come against Jerusalem. That is exactly what is happening today. Since there is no monetary gain to be had, it must be spiritual and in a world that is rapidly becoming agnostic, the warnings of Scripture fall on deaf ears. Factually, the United States is the only country that has had Israel’s back—up until now.