Germany Bans Islamist Group Amid Nationwide Raids

Germany Bans Islamist Group Amid Nationwide Raids

Henning Kaiser/AFP/Getty Images

Radical Islam is pushing against Germany, and Berlin is beginning to react.

German officials launched searches on extreme Islamist groups last Thursday, raiding homes and mosques across the country. The raids resulted in a ban on one Islamist organization, and prompted authorities to open investigations on two others.

Authorities say these groups threaten Germany’s security with their adherence to Islamic sharia law and advocation of violence. “Such an understanding of Islam has no place in Germany,” said German Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich.

The Salafist organization Millatu Ibrahim was outlawed because it calls on Muslims to rise up against Germany’s “constitutional order,” Friedrich said. The Dawaffm and dwr are being investigated to determine whether evidence exists to outlaw them as well.

Friedrich said a “comprehensive collection of evidence” had been seized, including laptops, videos, cellphones and other items. This evidence is to be evaluated over the coming days to determine if the two organizations in question should be banned.

The landmark crackdown is a response to a spate of violent outbreaks last month when German Islamists attacked police and members of the anti-immigrant Pro nrw political group during election campaigns in the state of North Rhine-Westphalia. Shortly after the attacks, a video was posted online by German-born Yassin Chouka —a known terrorist linked to the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan—calling for German Muslims to kill members of Pro nrw and German media. Chouka urged Salafists to edge away from street violence where the risk of being arrested is great, and to instead target Pro nrw members at their homes and workplaces.

Authorities fear that the message could inspire an attack such as that committed by Arid Uka, an Islamic extremist who killed two U.S. airmen at Frankfurt airport last year after being inspired to action in part by a YouTube video calling for holy war.

The simmering tensions between the German people and Islamic extremists was foretold by the Prophet Daniel more than 2,500 years ago: “And at the time of the end [the present age], shall the king of the south [radical Islam] push at him: and the king of the north [a German-led Europe] shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over” (Daniel 11:40).

Right now, most elements of this conflict are largely confined to the extremities. But rather than remaining on the fringes, this confrontation will expand. Radical Islamists will push against Western nations in a variety of ways—terrorist attacks, aggressive immigration into Europe, economic extortion, defiance of international laws, human rights atrocities and more. The spate of Salifist attacks on German right-wingers, and Chouka’s calls for blood, represent another manifestation of this “push.” Berlin’s decision on Thursday to crack down on the extremist groups within its borders was resolute, but it was only the gentlest foreshadowing of how it will ultimately respond. Radical Islam’s multifaceted push will intensify until Europe—led by Germany with Rome’s unwavering support—reacts “like a whirlwind,” with a decimating blitzkrieg attack.

This clash will be a trigger for the most devastating war the world has ever seen. The unprecedented violence, however, immediately precedes the most hope-filled event in all of history: the return of Jesus Christ.

To understand more, read The King of the South.

The Ivory Coast Trip That Killed Herbert W. Armstrong

The Ivory Coast Trip That Killed Herbert W. Armstrong

Trumpet

Ambassador for world peace used Abidjan to reach West Africa with Jesus Christ’s gospel message before suffering total heart failure.

During the summer of 1977, after concluding meetings in Japan and Israel, Herbert W. Armstrong flew to the Ivory Coast on his first visit to what he termed “darkest Africa.”

His personal aide recalled, “He was not in the best of health during the trip, but I couldn’t persuade him to cut it short” (Stanley Rader, Against the Gates of Hell).

“We are having to spend the weekend at Abidjan, Republic of Ivory Coast,” Mr. Armstrong told readers in the Aug. 12, 1977, edition of the Bulletin.

He and his team found the French-speaking African west coast country the best fit for use as a regional base for public lectures organized for the neighboring English-speaking nations of Ghana and Liberia, a short 15-minute commuter flight away from Abidjan.

In the same article, Mr. Armstrong noted, “We will see the president and perhaps a few top officials here, but no public meetings due to the language barrier.”

While in Abidjan, Mr. Armstrong wrote extensively for various worldwide publications he had founded decades earlier. The Aug. 15, 1977, edition of the Worldwide News reported, “He also said he hoped to return to the Ivory Coast for evangelistic efforts there but would have to have a translator since the country is predominantly French speaking.”

At the time, he was unaware that this West African country would be the last nation to stamp his passport for 16 months.

For much of the 11½-hour flight back to the United States, Mr. Armstrong sat at his typewriter prolifically writing for various publications.

This selfless sacrifice is all the more noteworthy, as “he contracted a touch of what seemed to be intestinal flu,” the Worldwide News of Aug. 29, 1977 reported. The bout, it said, “gave him a fever which was aggravated by a stomach upset he contracted in Abidjan, Republic of Ivory Coast.”

The toll taken by this trip on Mr. Armstrong was to have a drastic effect on him, and ultimately a powerful effect on the direction of God’s work.

That August, shortly after returning from the Ivory Coast, Mr. Armstrong’s heart stopped beating, and he ceased breathing—the ambassador for world peace, without portfolio, lay lifeless for a brief moment in time.

His longtime friend and personal chauffeur Mel Olinger recalls, “I was running errands in town for him the day of the heart failure. I returned to his house some 20 to 30 minutes after the attack. Nurses said he stopped breathing for a minute and a half. Those of us there were all silently praying for God’s miraculous intervention.”

Then, dramatically, after being anointed (James 5:14) and receiving cpr, he was revived, his heart began beating, and he gasped again with the breath of life!

After over a year of bed-ridden recuperation amid a bevy of incessant writing, Mr. Armstrong flew to Jerusalem on Dec. 11, 1978, for various meetings with local and national officials.

“God brought me back to life from complete heart failure and death, in August 1977 for a purpose,” he declared to co-workers in an April 16, 1979, letter. “That purpose is to finish proclaiming His message around the world ….”

Now, “back in harness,” as he termed it, he drove himself even harder than before in the fulfillment of Christ’s prophecy so that the good news of the Kingdom of God would be preached in all the world as a witness in advance of His avowed Second Coming (Matthew 24:14).

It wouldn’t be until late 1982 that he returned to the Ivory Coast. Ironically, on this trip, “Abidjan was a rest stop and a very interesting one at that,” reported the Pastor General’s Report of November 8 that year.

Accompanying Mr. Armstrong was his news editor for the Plain Truth magazine. While on location, he noted, “The Ivory Coast is perhaps black Africa’s most successful nation. Its huge outpouring of coffee (world’s third-largest producer) generates considerable national income. Abidjan’s skyline is indeed quite impressive, as is the layout of the city itself, weaving its way around a series of coastal lagoons.”

The city acted as a base of recuperation for Mr. Armstrong and his entourage after crossing the U.S. east to west, visiting Bermuda and then refueling in the Cape Verde Islands, en route to meetings with officials and public lectures in Africa, Greece and Spain.

Perhaps some of our Trumpet subscribers in the Ivory Coast recall these visits of this unofficial ambassador for world peace.

Today, after a bloody civil war and amid political divisions, this beautiful West African country needs stability, needs hope, needs an injection of joy, needs the love of God’s law and His government, which yields true, lasting life and peace.

All this can only be truly found in the message Mr. Armstrong declared to world leaders during his powerful ministry. Our publication’s founder, Gerald Flurry, wrote in his latest and gripping work, The Way of Peace Restored Momentarily, “Look at the list of world leaders Herbert W. Armstrong came into contact with, and who responded warmly to him.

“They called him an ambassador for world peace. That is a miraculous understanding, when you realize that he had that kind of an impact on the leaders of this evil world. It is something I think we need to pay more attention to.”

The Trumpet continues to give the world the benefit of that legacy.

Are you paying “more attention” to this legacy? Do you recognize the documented historical record of this powerful witness to the way of peace? Is it motivating you to action in your life, daily applying the wisdom of a king to “seek peace and pursue it”? (Psalm 34:14). Will you read and heed Mr. Armstrong’s oft-quoted Christ-declared instruction to the multitude of world leaders to whom he witnessed in his lifetime, that “It is more blessed to give than to receive”? (Acts 20:35).

That’s the only sure way to personal peace of mind, peace with God and peace with fellow man.

Israeli Killed in Sinai Border Attack

Terrorists who crossed over from Egypt’s Sinai Peninsula opened fire on civilians in Israel on Monday. The civilians were working on a border security fence. One of the Israeli workers was killed. Two of the attackers were killed in a gunfight with Israeli troops who responded to the assault. The army is now searching for three or four other terrorists whom they believe helped carry out the attack before escaping inside Israel.

The incident underscores the growing lawlessness in the Sinai desert since longtime Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak was toppled last year. The deteriorating condition in the Sinai is a growing security problem for the Israeli government.

Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak responded today by telling reporters, “We are looking forward to the results of the elections in Egypt, and hope to see whoever is elected by the Egyptian people to follow the international commitments of Egypt, part of them the Israeli-Egyptian peace as well as the security commitments in the Sinai desert.”

The Trumpet has predicted that the new Egyptian government will come under the control of Islamists and that Israel’s Sinai border with Egypt will only get more unstable. For more information on where this growing instability is leading, read our free booklet Jerusalem in Prophecy.

Chaos in Syria and Egypt

JERUSALEM—What a weekend it was here in the Middle East. In Syria, a sharp escalation in violence forced the United Nations to suspend all of its monitoring activities in the war-torn nation. This suspension, the New York Times wrote, “could signal the failure of the latest effort by the West to reach a diplomatic solution and ease Mr. Assad from power” (June 16).

The Times also noted that a nato-led bombing campaign, similar to the one launched against Libya last year, is not a viable solution since much of the fighting between Bashar al-Assad’s regime and rebel forces is being waged within crowded cities.

Meanwhile Russia—which supports Syria and has interests in protecting its naval base in Tartus—has continually blocked any stronger UN intervention in Syria and is suspected of supplying government forces with weapons and ammunition. And of course there’s Iran, Syria’s puppet master. Iran is not about to let its most important ally go away quietly, you can be sure.

But with all of that said, there have been some strong signals of late indicating that the days of the Syrian dictator may well be numbered. First, there was a piece in the Jerusalem Post last week that said Israel was concerned about Hezbollah moving its sophisticated weaponry from Syria to Lebanon, just in case Assad’s government collapses.

“The understanding until now has been that the missiles would only be transferred to Lebanon in the event of a war with Israel but not before as to prevent a potential Israeli military strike,” the Jerusalem Post reported (June 13). But according to recent reports, the Post continued, Assad might be losing control over certain military installations, including an air defense base, which was captured by rebels this last week.

Added to that, Israel’s government is now openly lobbying for Assad’s ouster. Until recently, Israel had been very careful not to publicly condemn the atrocities of Assad’s regime. But that abruptly changed just last week, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and other members of his government, as well as defense officials, took turns denouncing Assad’s reign of terror.

“Ultimately, the Israelis are convinced that the hourglass of Mr. Assad’s tenure has been flipped on its head, and have begun making preparations for the day after his ousting.” That’s what Daniel Nisman editorialized in the Wall Street Journal on June 14. “In condemning Assad’s regime,” Nisman continued, “the Israelis appealed directly to the hearts and minds of the Sunni-Arab world at a time when both find themselves pitted against a common enemy: Mr. Assad. Accusations of Iranian involvement in Syria are meant to remind Mr. Assad’s opponents in the Gulf that Israel stands on their side in the struggle against Shia regional domination.”

These two competing power blocs can be more specifically defined as those aligned with Iran, the biblically prophesied “king of the south,” and those that oppose Iran’s regional hegemony. The Bible indicates that in the latter days, just before the Great Tribulation, Syria would be among the allied nations that oppose Iran. This is why we have been forecasting for many years that there would be a break in the Iranian-Syrian relationship.

As the situation in Syria continues to unravel, watch for a political upheaval that will ultimately break Syria’s ties to Iran.

Now in Egypt, south of Israel’s border, the Muslim Brotherhood candidate, Mohammad Morsi, won the presidential run-off against Ahmed Shafiq over the weekend. Just prior to the election, Egypt’s military court thrust the political process into chaos when it dissolved the Muslim Brotherhood-dominated parliament.

And so the country’s first free presidential election has been marred by the military’s sudden grab of power, which many analysts have been calling a coup. Hours before the Muslim Brotherhood announced their victory early Monday, the military council issued its own interim constitution, which severely limits the president’s powers. According to the New York Times, “The military’s new charter is the latest in a series of swift steps that the generals have taken to tighten their grasp on power just at the moment when they had promised to hand over to elected civilians the authority that they assumed on the ouster of Hosni Mubarak last year. Their charter gives them control of all laws and the national budget, immunity from any oversight, and the power to veto a declaration of war” (June 18).

The Egyptian military has reasserted itself—and powerfully so! And you can certainly see why, with the Muslim Brotherhood first imposing its will on parliament just a few months ago and now winning the presidency.

Whether the military will honor its previous promise to relinquish its power by the end of June is now an open question. If Egyptians feel the country is once again falling under the thumb of the old regime, it could spark a new wave of protests, which may benefit the Muslim Brotherhood in the long run. “[S]hould sustained mass protests ensue,” the Washington Institute wrote this past weekend, “the military will back down, as it has done in almost every confrontation with the Brotherhood to date.”

This power struggle between the Muslim Brotherhood and the Egyptian military may well continue for a few more months. But with the stunning victories the Brotherhood has enjoyed over the past year, it’s only a matter of time before they gain enough strength to transform Egypt into a radical Islamist state.

Europe—Where’s the Savior?

Europe—Where’s the Savior?

Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

The Greek election is over. How will it impact Europe and the world? One pundit says that Europe not only seeks a savior, it needs a total restructure.

Investment analyst Sean Egan made two very interesting statements in a recent interview with Bloomberg. In relation to the festering euro crisis, Egan declared that “we’re looking for a savior, and we haven’t found one yet.”

Egan is so right. No personality and no institution has come to the fore as of this moment to pose the solution to the European Union’s deepening crisis. Yet we have no doubt that, in accordance with Bible prophecy for our time, that “savior” is already waiting in the wings for his moment.

The whole construct of the eurozone was built on the premise that Germany would profit from its implementation while other EU nations would become dependent on a wealthy Germany for the ongoing viability of their national economies.

This was pointed out by Bernard Connolly two decades ago when the monetary union was gestated by the Maastricht Treaty. It was reiterated last week by Sean Egan, who stated in relation to the increasing dependency of EU nations on financial bailouts, “All these injections effectively subordinate all the other creditors” (ibid). Subordinate them to whom? Well, obviously to Europe’s chief economy, the only one in a position to dictate terms for their survival—Germany.

Now that the monetary union has achieved the aims of the German imperialist elites who authored it, the whole crisis scenario cries out for a savior.

Well, Bible prophecy declares that Europe will get its “savior,” at least the type of “savior” that the German imperial elites had in mind from the beginning of their postwar drive for a return to Holy Roman dominance of Europe. Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 prophesy of this counterfeit “savior” and even describe the method by which he gains dictatorial office.

But there’s another piece to this equation that observers of the European scene have tumbled to. As investment giant Pimco’s ceo, Mohamed El-Erian, declared also during a recent Bloomberg interview, the EU in “its current form doesn’t work.” That statement jives with Sean Egan’s declaration that “there has to be a restructuring of Europe” (op. cit.).

For 70 years—over five decades under the administration of Herbert Armstrong, and for over two decades under Gerald Flurry—we have been declaring that the final configuration of Europe would comprise 10 dominant leaders, all giving their power over to Berlin and Rome. A virtual resurrection of the Holy Roman Empire in its seventh and final form as a 10-power combine (Revelation 17:12-13).

What you are seeing occurring in an increasingly dislocated Europe right now—accelerated by the results of the Greek election—is just such a restructuring of the EU taking place before your very eyes!

The outcome of the Greek elections will now catalyze discourse at this week’s vital G-20 summit, where its effect on the global economy will be deeply considered. The outcome of the G-20 meeting will then heavily impact discussions at the EU summit at month’s end.

The future of the global economy turns on decisions taken by these bodies this month. One nation holds all the aces in the grand game of global economics—Germany. Whichever way Germany elects to play its cards in this latest round of the grand game of global economic strategy, two things will ultimately eventuate—a “savior” will arise to lead Europe out of its economic woes and instigate a final restructure of the EU into that prophesied 10-nation combine.

That this “savior” will have strong connections with Rome and Berlin you may take as read. We have no real idea of the timing of these prophesied events for Europe. But this we know. The Greek elections on Sunday accelerated the fulfillment of these phenomena dramatically. You will only have to watch the volatility of global financial, economic and political events through the remainder of this month to prove that.

Ultimately, as students of Bible prophecy are aware, these very events are actually leading to the coming of the true Savior of mankind to restructure the whole global system to His pattern of peace among all nations under world government based on the law of God. Thus, that which is happening in Europe in particular this month should excite us beyond all imagination.

But does it?

Current world events are the most tangible evidence of the reality of the fulfillment of Bible prophecies for our day!

To feel that excitement of the imminence of your Savior’s return to rule this Earth, you need to be aware of just how real are the prophecies of your Bible that forecast this major world event in great detail. Read our booklet The Wonderful World Tomorrow for true insight into this greatest of all coming world events. It really does put events such as the great global economic crisis that is playing out on the world scene today into true perspective.

And it will show you that the greatest event of all, the return of Jesus Christ to this Earth, is much closer than you think!

EU, China, Russia Vie for Cyprus Spoils

EU, China, Russia Vie for Cyprus Spoils

Patrick Baz/AFP/Getty Images

With Cyprus teetering on the brink of financial collapse, three powers—the EU, China and Russia—compete for control of this most strategic island nation.

Nicosia—Russia was smart off the mark to offer around €2.5 billion to bail out Cyprus, currently at risk of defaulting on its debts. But it has since become apparent that Cyprus needs additional “bailouts” beyond the approximate level previously offered in loans from Russia.

It now appears that the three world powers—the European Union, Russia and China—may be sources for Cyprus to obtain loans of another €6 or €8 billion to aid in the survival of its economy.

The two main Cypriot banks are currently at risk of failure due to leverage to Greece to the amount of about €20 to €25 billion. To all intents and purposes, Cyprus is fully and irretrievably bankrupt as a sovereign nation, as can be readily seen by comparing its gross domestic product with its national debt load.

Considering that Cyprus’s gdp is only about €24 billion, these large loan sums—in addition to national debt of about 100 percent of gdp, wanton runaway private consumer debt, a real-estate bubble that is bursting, an almost-dead building industry, sagging tourism and rising unemployment, with a huge proportion of the population in the country illegal immigrants—clearly herald a catastrophe for Cyprus financially.

This divergence of loan sources for Cyprus’s bailouts really complicates Cyprus’s position geopolitically. It stands to be pulled three ways—between the EU, Russia and China—in terms of its national allegiances. That is an untenable situation in which to develop a coherent foreign policy for a nation that stands at the edge of perhaps the hottest geopolitical spot on the globe—the vital crossroads between Eurasia and the Middle East!

Of course this is Cyprus’s perennial problem, historically having been torn apart by foreign powers and their conflicting vested interests over the island nation’s geostrategic location. China is biblical Kittim (of Japheth), the very nation that anciently gave its name to Cyprus. This fact bears significantly on the role these nations play in fulfilling current-day Bible prophecy.

But there are another two players in this grand game for ultimate possession of this crucial Mediterranean listening post—Israel and Turkey.

Cyprus is allied with Israel over its offshore oil and gas deposits. This fact, together with these big players (the EU, Russia and China) having blossoming vested interests in Cyprus, is no doubt playing to the chagrin of Turkey.

Exacerbating Mediterranean relations, recently Turkish fighter jets have been chasing Israeli fighter jets out of Cypriot airspace, both sides deploying fully armed aircraft. Such events are arising continually, but are not reported in the media in Cyprus.

Local reaction within Cyprus indicates that the populace is beginning to really feel the pressure as this situation unwinds economically in daily life and with many institutions and individuals concerned about their economic survival.

Watch Cyprus closely. As we have observed previously in relation to this strategic little nation, prophecy indicates that despite competition between the three powers—the EU, Russia and China—for control of this Mediterranean island as a bridgehead between Europe and the Middle East, Bible prophecy indicates that it will be the northern power, the EU—more specifically its leading member, Germany—that will win out.

Read our booklets Nahum: An End-Time Prophecy for Germany and Russia and China in Prophecy for more information on this subject.