Muslim Apocalyptic Writers Indicate Future Strikes On New York And Vatican
By Michael H. Brown
Muslim apocalyptic writers indicate that the long-term targets of terrorism will continue to be Washington and New York -- along with the Vatican.
This is apparent from recent Islamic literature that focuses on what many Muslims believe is a coming anti-christ-like figure called the Dajjal, who will supposedly spring up from the U.S. and "Greater Israel," defined by many Muslims as worldwide Jewish influence propelled by the United States. They see endless mishaps for America and its largest city, from nuclear war to natural calamities by which -- in the words of one of the writers, Muhammad `Isa Da'ud -- "the sea will swallow up New York."
"There can be no doubt of the profound hostility entertained by Muslim apocalyptic writers towards the United States, and their intense desire to humiliate it and see it destroyed forever," notes David Cook of the University of Chicago.
In chilling references that predate September 11, Muslim philosophers -- including at least one said to have influenced Bin Laden -- have used terms like "partial strike" and link it to the war over Kuwait as well as the immorality they saw as flourishing in the West, especially under the Clinton Administration. In a bizarre rendering of symbols, Muslim apocalypticists have cited Jeremiah 50:2 and 51:44, where the figure of "Bel" (a Babylonian god) is "punished in Babylon." They connect "Bel" to "Bill" Clinton.
But it isn't just Bill Clinton; the venom is spread wide and far. According to one scenario set forth by Muslim apocalypticist Bashir Muhammad 'Abdallah, the first battle of the End Times was the Kuwait War of 1991, which he refers to as the Third World War as he links America to "the Masons and other secret Jewish organizations."
In Muslim apocalyptic literature, America is associated with "Ad," a city whose destruction is detailed in the Koran. Ad was an advanced civilization, according to Cook, who has studied the Muslim apocalyptic interpretations and quotes Abdallah as seeing Ad as a civilization that "could predict weather and possessed other advanced technology.
"They had advanced weaponry and organized sports and cultural events," Cook writes, summarizing the Muslim beliefs regarding the evil power they had to overthrow. "These, however, were merely for pleasure, not for the purpose of glorifying God. Their buildings were skyscrapers [speaking of their capital, Iram dhat al-`Imad], just as in New York."
Therefore, says Abdallah, "America deserves now, according to the sunna of God regarding the punishment of nations, a partial strike like that which caught Ad." In the matter of earthquakes or khasfs, says Cook, the Muslim apocalyptic writers believe America will be targeted "and specifically New York City, which is called the 'great Babylon.'"
But if such literature is predictive of where terrorists -- believing they are doing God's bidding -- may also strike, other cities may bear similar concerns. In future apocalyptic scenarios the writers see missiles destroying a total of "five American cities," says Cook.
Time and again, reference is made to the war with Iraq over Kuwait -- which ironically now figures so prominently into the current presidency of former President Bush's son. New York is focused upon by Muslim fanatics because "there are more Jews than in other places, and in it is their wealth, their banks, their political foundations which control the entire world, so there is no evil greater than in New York in any other place on the inhabited earth, and for this reason their portion of the punishment will be greater in measure and it will be a total uprooting," notes Cook in his splendid scholarship.
The destruction of New York and the U.S. by everything from war to earthquakes is accompanied by ominous Islamic prophetic interpretations that have the U.S. defeated in Jerusalem.
"After this," notes Cook, "the victorious Muslims will conquer Europe and destroy the 'idolatrous church in the Vatican.'
"This will lead to the brief reign of the Mahdi, which will be ended by the physical appearance of the Dajjal himself, who will gather another huge army to fight the Battle of Armageddon."
The "Mahdi" is a messianic figure whom some radicals now associate with Osama Bin Laden. According to Muslim writers, the Mahdi will proclaim himself in Mecca and move against Jordan, which will be ruled by a Jew.
"Then America will live through the worst disaster in its history," writes Muhammad 'Isa Da'ud. "This disaster will be the destruction of New York by a terrible flood after a terrifying series of explosions nearby makes the surrounding waters swallow it up as if it is an ant inside a terrifying star of heat and water."
In the perspective of these Muslim writers, "Florida also suffers nuclear explosions of unknown origin and this triggers even more explosions as the American nuclear arsenal in the area detonates."
After the disabling of the U.S., much of Europe will convert to Islam, in the view of modern Muslim prophetic writers, but there will be one stumbling block. "This ideal state of affairs is wrecked by the Vatican, since groups of saboteurs under Roman Catholic control are caught, and brought before the Mahdi," says Cook. "They confess who sent them to him personally and to representatives of the foreign countries. Then the Mahdi proclaims that his armies are moving to the Vatican and going to attack Rome."
It is a sobering warning on both short-term and long-term radical Muslim intentions. Let us make clear that this is not a view held by the majority of those who adhere to Islam. But it is prevalent in large circles that have spawned groups like Hamas and al-Qaeda. "Washington, the city of the American White House, where the policies of Satan are made, and the cursed Congress, whose decisions are led by the devil, and approved by the anti-christ -- fires swallow them up and they become past tense," writes the Muslim writer Da'ud.
Why the World Trade Center? Why the Pentagon? Besides the obvious nature of these symbols, they relate to the prophetic view of future events. "Bin Laden lives in a symbolic universe which reads apocalyptically," says another scholar, Richard Landes, director of the Center for Millennial Studies at Boston University.
"We need to consider both issues -- the motivations of Bin Laden and the Arab-Israeli conflict in light of Islamism and its apocalyptic world view. Bin Laden is a central player in a cosmic battle that pits the warriors for truth against the agents of Satan and evil in this world. For a good idea of what this vision consists of, see the web site named in honor of Abdullah Azzam, Bin Laden's (now dead) mentor and the founder of MAK, the predecessor to Al Qa'ida, especially the apocalyptic reading of the present world situation by a respected Saudi theologian, Sifr al-Hawali. He uses Daniel to prove that the second intifada began the 'Day of Rage of the Lord.' See also Islam, Qur'an and Qiyamah, by a moderate theologian who dislikes the fundamentalists, but nonetheless reads Sura 57 of the Koran as an apocalyptic prophecy fulfilled in the Trade Center bombing."
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