Propaganda precedes war. It is war that the Alliance of Civilisations’ High Level Group intends to conduct on those who practice “religious fundamentalism” or “religious exclusivism.” The Alliance is finding it increasingly difficult to strike a balance tolerating religious diversity and secularization. As written in the Cultural Exchange Report:
- “Religious fundamentalism is on the rise globally, and intolerance of secular humanism and modern science is its dangerous companion. It is largely a Christian phenomenon in the U.S., but a Muslim one in Europe and elsewhere…Many countries in secular Europe are struggling to find a balance between tolerating diversity and assuring that their basic humanistic beliefs and values are sustained.”
The opening of the AoC’s Analysis on Media report quotes Benjamin Barber saying “it is time to recognize that the true tutors of our children are no longer the school teachers and university professors, but the filmmakers, advertising executives and pop culture purveyors.” This being the case, securing access to media resources has ranked high on the Alliances’ Implementation Plan. To achieve its goals, the establishment of a media rapid response force is essential. The rapid response force will have the following characteristics:
- “The AoC will seek to establish a rapid response media-based mechanism to be mobilized during times of increased global tensions around cross-cultural issues.”
- “This mechanism will be developed in three stages: 1. an international network of prominent personalities who are strongly involved in cross-cultural issues and are in a position to provide insights into potentially divisive intercultural debates will be created. 2. When an event that threatens to polarize communities along religious or cultural lines occurs, this network will be rapidly mobilized. Op-ed pieces (including some that may be co-authored across relevant cultural, national, and/or religious lines) signed by members of this network will be produced in a short space of time and translated in major languages. 3. This media content will then be distributed to major print media editors for their consideration as they try to cover and explain divisive cross-cultural issues to their readers, and disseminated through other mechanisms.
- “At the political level, mainly through the High Representative’s role, the AoC aims to facilitate the establishment of contacts and dialogues with political, religious, media and civil society personalities who would be prepared to exert their influence in advancing the Alliance of Civilizations’ objectives.”
(Left to right: Karen Armstrong, Genevieve Abdo, Jimmy Carter, Christiane Amanpour, Richard Cizik) In an interview with the San Jose Mercury News, Christiane Amanpour said that the two big issues that our planet faces are the environment and the clash of civilizations. It came as no surprise that the program paralleled the writings of the Alliance of Civilizations’ as it identified the Israeli-Palestinian problem as being kept alive by the adherents of the three monotheistic faiths. It pointed to these adherents as extremists who, by applying a literal interpretation of religious texts, are susceptible to adoption of a terrorist mindset.
Amanpour then periodically interjected analysis from “moderates” who were clearly aligned with her presentation of the problem. Among them include “religious historian” and AoC High Level Group member Karen Armstrong, AoC Liaison Officer Genevieve Abdo, Lucis Trust World Server Jimmy Carter, and National Association of Evangelicals Richard Cizik.
The CNN-Alliance of Civilizations partnership links are clear where Karen Armstrong and Genevieve Abdo are concerned. Armstrong is perhaps the most vocal critic of monotheists and Christianity in particular. The preceding blog article provides an in-depth into her mindset.
Jimmy Carter was given a great deal of time to “re-claim” Christianity from the fundamentalists. Carter points to his christ as being quite different to that of, let’s say, John Hagee. No doubt. Jimmy Carter is one of Lucis (formerly Lucifer) Trust’s World Servers. Lucis Trust’s spiritual community gives us insight into the purpose of the Group of World Servers:
- “…this group is today preparing the way for the Christ, the coming World Teacher, as they labor to bring the "Kingdom of God"-the kingdom of Souls-into physical manifestation.”
- “The restoration of the mysteries can only take place when members of the Hierarchy of Love-Wisdom are again openly active on the physical plane, as they were in the days of Atlantis, many millions of years ago. At the core of the mysteries is the recognition of humanity's own divine nature. Humanity, the great world disciple, stands at the door of initiation. It is the great opportunity and responsibility of the NGWS to prepare the way for the reappearance of the Christ-the Hierophant of the first and second initiations and the One who will lead in the restoration of the mysteries and the consequent "full flowering" of humanity”
Perhaps one of the most troubling participants I see is Richard Cizik. It appears as though he has climbed into bed with the new agers. I recently read where he partakes in mocking Christians for having an unfounded fear of the United Nations. According to the Christian Post, Cizik participated in the development of the World Council of Churches’ Code of Conduct for Religious Conversion. The World Council of Churches, speaking of the Code of Conduct, tells us that “religious preachers need to be told that no religion has a monopoly on the truth, that there are many ways to find salvation.” Cizik is well aware that the claims of the Gospels are exlusive. Perhaps he’s not so convinced of John 14:6 himself as he tells us that all truth is God’s truth wherever we find it.
I would urge Richad Cizik to carefully re-examine his political partnerships as the United Nations has openly said that the partnership of civilizations is to represent a “powerful response to those who feed on exclusion and arrogantly claim sole ownership of the truth.”
Also within the Analysis of Media report, we learn that “free speech is nowhere absolute…
- "any diverse society must regularly revisit the lines it draws in its legislation and within its editorial decision-making processes, over where to draw the line between free speech and that speech which foments hatred.”
This is very troubling as one begins to question what does the AoC consider speech which foments hatred? Proselytization with an “exclusive” truth claim? Religious criticism? Let’s look at some not-to-distant past examples.
- "I share the distress of the Muslim friends who feel that the cartoon offends their religion. I also respect the right of freedom of speech. But of course freedom of speech is never absolute. (Spoken by Kofi Annan)
- "No one should be 'free' to attack Muhammad. You must have a clear stance on the attacks on Muhammad. If you do not have a clear stance, this would hurt the alliance of civilizations” (Spoken by Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan)
- When the Pope associated Islam to violence, the United Nations Human Rights Council discussed whether to cite the Pope for religious intolerance.
- Publication of some Biblical passages in some countries has been declared hate speech and a punishable offense.
Apart from the news media, the AoC places much emphasis on reaching youth through popular culture. As they’ve said
- “Western popular culture, developed and distributed by powerful multi-national corporations, is seen by many as a hegemonic, and negative force…At the same time, popular culture is perhaps one of the greatest opportunities for combating fundamentalism and bridging the cultural divide between Muslim and Western cultures. …common musical language results in voracious consumption of hip-hop by youth across the world regardless of where it originates.”
The AoC intends to introduce its messages through rap music as well as television entertainment medium such as sit coms. Little Mosque on the Prairie, which broadcasts in Canada, is one such example. Interestingly, the AoC, claiming to be so sensitive over religious symbols, shows little regard for the symbol of the cross as one can see in this Little Mosque youtube introduction.
As Amanpour has said, the biggest problem facing the world today is the “clash of civilizations”. I concur. But it is not a clash amongst the three monotheistic faiths that worries me. It is the clash that the Alliance of Civilizations intends to facilitate and manage—a clash to bring about the restoration of the mysteries—that all others will appear pale in comparison.