Addressing the Jerusalem Leaders Summit on the threat of “Apocalyptic Islam.”
(Jerusalem, Israel) — Eschatology is not a word that typically comes up in public policy forums. Yesterday afternoon, however, I had the honor of addressing the Jerusalem Leaders Summit here in the heart of the epicenter. My remarks focused on the rise of Apocalyptic Islam — what it is, why it is emerging as a far more serious threat to the U.S., Israel, and the world than Radical Islam, and how Shia and Sunni eschatology differ immensely from Jewish and Christian eschatology.
For the last several days, my fellow speakers — including Members of the European Parliament — and I have been meeting with Israeli government officials to share ideas on a range of economic and security matters. Yesterday morning, for example, we visited the Knesset (Israel’s parliament) and were briefed by the Knesset Member Tzachi Hanegbi, chairman of the Foreign & Defense Affairs Committee, on the Iran nuclear threat and the current wave of Palestinian terror.
In my remarks to the Summit, and in individual conversations with Israeli leaders, journalists and business leaders, I have been making the case that I have expressed in numerous forums in the U.S., Canada, South Korea and around the world.
- We cannot defeat an enemy we refuse to define.
- To misunderstand the nature and threat of evil is to risk being blindsided by it.
- Evil, unchecked, is a prelude to genocide.
- That we are facing not one but two nation states right now (Iran & the Islamic State) whose leaders are motivated by a genocidal version of Islamic eschatology, or End Times theology.
- Attention needs to be paid by government leaders and public policy experts on the theology and eschatology driving our enemies.
I noted that President Obama foolishly — dangerously — continues to adamantly refuse to acknowledge the threat of Radical Islam. It’s both a concept and a term he rejects out of hand. He certainly refuses to acknowledge that there is a far greater threat emerging — that of what I call “Apocalyptic Islam.” Indeed, he and his administration are completely ignoring it, even as Iranian and ISIS leaders are becoming far more brazen in their public discussions of their End Times beliefs.
On July 14th, President Obama expressed his full support for the Iran nuclear deal, saying, “Time and again, I have made clear to the Iranian people that we will always be open to engagement on the basis of mutual interests and mutual respect. Our differences are real and the difficult history between our nations cannot be ignored. But it is possible to change. The path of violence and rigid ideology, a foreign policy based on threats to attack your neighbors or eradicate Israel — that’s a dead end. A different path, one of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict, leads to more integration into the global economy, more engagement with the international community, and the ability of the Iranian people to prosper and thrive.”
Against all evidence, the President believes that Iran’s regime just might be interested in taking “a different path,” one that is peaceful and cooperative and tolerant.
On August 8th, the President explained his thinking even further. In an address at American University in Washington, D.C, he quoted President John F. Kennedy and argued that his support for the Iran nuclear deal was predicated on the premise that he could achieve “a practical and attainable peace” with the leaders of Iran, “a peace based not on a sudden revolution in human nature, but on a gradual evolution in human institutions, on a series of concrete actions and effective agreements.”
The central question is whether the President is accurately reading the intentions of Iran’s top leaders. Are they interested in taking “a different path, one of tolerance and peaceful resolution of conflict”? Is there any hard evidence that the attitudes and actions will become more peaceful as a result of this nuclear deal, and that we will see a “gradual evolution” in the behavior of the Iranian regime?
The central task we have, then, is to examine carefully the speeches and actions of our enemies and seek to determine what they really believe, why, how those beliefs drive their actions, and whether we have any leverage to change their beliefs and thus change their actions.
I argued at this Summit that the evidence strongly indicates that we are dealing with “true believers” in Iran and ISIS, men who believe deeply — passionately — in a cause few Westerners even comprehend, much less accept. Indeed, for the first time in human history, the top leaders of not just one nation state but two — Iran and the Islamic State — are being driven by Islamic eschatology, or End Times theology. Their particular brands of Shia and Sunni eschatology are driving them towards genocide. Why? Because they believe:
- that the End of Days have arrived
- that the Islamic messiah known as the “Mahdi” will appear at any moment
- that when the Mahdi appears, he will rule the entire Earth
- that Jesus will also return to Earth, but not as the Messiah, or Savior, or Son of God, but as the deputy to the Mahdi
- that Jesus will force all Jews, Christians and other so-called “infidels” to convert to Islam or be executed
- that the way to hasten the arrival and full establishment of the global Islamic kingdom or “caliphate” is to annihilate Jews and Christians, and specifically to annihilate Israel (which they call the “Little Satan” in their eschatology), and the United States (which they call the “Great Satan.”)
- that time is very short, and they must move decisively because soon each Muslim will face the Mahdi face to face and be brought into judgment if they have not faithfully followed the Mahdi’s orders.
They discuss such matters often — not in the shadows, but in public. Yet, Western leaders are not paying attention, much less carefully analyzing the implications of such beliefs.
If my analysis is correct, there is no earthly chance the leaders of Iran — or ISIS — will change course. Rather, they are Hell-bent on committing genocide of historic proportions and totally destroying Judeo-Christian civilization as we have known it. Thus, our leaders must study the facts carefully and determine whether Iranian and ISIS leaders really believe such things, and formulate strategies to protect our people and neutralize such enemies accordingly.
During my remarks, I promised to post several fact sheets so those attending the Summit and those watching the live streaming webcast around the world could study the issue more closely. Here they are.
Also, here is a link to an excellent new book by Brookings Institution scholar, William McCants, titled, The ISIS Apocalypse: The History, Strategy & Doomsday Vision of the Islamic State. It is a work I highly recommend to government leaders, public policy experts and lay people, as well.
Last key point for now: I noted at the Summit that devout, Bible-believing Jews and Christians also have End Times theologies. But neither hold that Jews or Christians are supposed to commit genocide. Rather, we believe from the prophets Daniel, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Zechariah and others that the Messiah will come at the End of Days, conquer His enemies, and establish a global kingdom whose capital is Jerusalem. The Messiah will judge and conquer His enemies. That is not our job. Most Jews and Christians differ, of course, on the identity of the Messiah and whether His arrival on Earth to establish His global Kingdom will be His first visit, or His second. Still, neither Jewish nor Christian eschatology requires us to commit genocide. But the Iranian and ISIS versions of Islamic eschatology are genocidal in their very nature.
When the video of my remarks becomes available, I will post it here and through social media.
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