Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Ideological Roots... Again

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jesuit Islamic Scholar on Combating Fanaticism at Its Ideological Roots

Here's a video from Rome Reports of Islamic scholar Fr. Samir Khalil Samir, S.J.

Click HERE.

There is one simple theological point I wish to highlight from the interview.  Fr. Samir said that combatting fanaticism at its ideological roots may be the key to securing peace.

Addressing ideological ROOTS is the key!

This means that we must understand the religious roots.  A simple secularist approach will not be effective; in fact, a secularist approach will lead to defeat.

Below is the transcript of the interview.


Jihadism Expert: Europe must take the Islamic State threat seriously


It only took one night for the world's most powerful terrorist group to change the Middle East. It happened between June 9th and 10th  when Islamic State jihadists took over Mosul, Iraq, a city of 3 million inhabitants. They caused 150,000 people to flee in just hours.

They have exported terror from Syria and Iraq to Africa and Europe. Even al-Qaeda considers them too radical and violent.

Islamic Scholar
"Extremists today have exceeded the limits: Everyone who is not them, they are enemies. Their strength comes from the fact that they are fanatics. They are ready for anything: If they die, they have won, because they go to paradise. If they kill, they gain territory. In all cases, it is win-win.”

The Islamic State has proclaimed a caliphate which covers an area larger than the British Isles.  They have promised to reach Europe. More and more people have joined. And they make millions each month by selling black market oil and gas, extortion, ransom and smuggling antiquities. The professor said they should not be underestimated.

Islamic Scholar
"We must take this threat seriously. I do not think something will happen immediately, but it can happen.”

The Islamic State seeks to impose its radical interpretation of Islam on the world. They want to return to the times of the Caliphate of Baghdad in the 8th century.

Islamic Scholar
"When religion becomes ideology it has new strength but is no longer a religion. That is what is happening with these radicals.”

For that reason, he said that combating fanaticism at its ideological roots may be the key to securing peace in the Middle East.

Let there be peace on earth!

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Movie Review: "Act of Valor"

Mr. P.'s Movie Review Grade: A/A-

Act of Valor (2012)

I rarely give out A- let alone A grades.  Act of Valor definitely merits a well-earned A/A- rating.


A young SEAL Lieutenant with a pregnant wife gives his life for his platoon Chief Petty Officer.  He is killed in action in order to prevent Filipino jihadists led by an Arab national from entering the United States border to set off a new type of weapon against civilians.  It is a life and death for which Medal of Honor recipients are honored. 

Earlier in the movie, the lieutenant and his chief spend time surfing where the young lieutenant teaches the chief how to surf.  This is artistically and morally significant in that at the end of the movie, as the chief writes a letter to the lieutenant's newborn son, the movie closes with the chief returning to the beach to surf giving a death and resurrection motif to the movie.  The military details and professionalism are evident as active duty Navy SEALs are used in the movie. 

There is a torture scene of a captured female CIA agent by enemy forces and the understandable typical war vulgarity, but it should be noted that the principles of Just War Doctrine particularly jus in bello (i.e., proportionality and discrimination) are respected by professional soldiers/sailors in the movie.  The events of the storyline span in Africa, the Philippines, Europe and the Americas.  The battle scenes reflect the extraordinary team work reflective of the Navy's motto: Honor, Courage, Commitment.

For moral and literary content, the movie earns a A/A- rating, but no rating can ever capture the gratitude of a citizenry cognizant of what SEALs and other military do to lay down their lives for others in real life, even at great personal cost to themselves and their families.