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PostFriday the 13th, Knights Templar, and Paris (Leonor Anthony Cohen, USA, 11/14/15 1:03 pm)
I was in Paris last week exhibiting my work at the Carrousel Du Louvre. I am petrified; this could have been me.
Depicted below is one of the pieces I exhibited, which sold and is now in Paris, somewhere.
Friday the 13th, Knights Templars and Paris
While still reeling from the events yesterday and with a somber veil on my heart, I ponder on the symbolism and little details that have not been exposed. It is probably "coincidence." I don't want to give ISOL this much credit but here it is:
--Friday the 13th. Many people of the superstitious sort consider Friday the 13th to be unlucky but they don't know where that came from...
--The origin of Friday the 13th as unlucky comes from the persecution of the Knights Templar in the 14th Century. On Friday, October 13th, 1307, King Philip IV of France, in league with Pope Clement V, ordered all Templars to be rounded up and thrown in prison. Most were murdered on the spot. The Knights were accused of numerous crimes including heresy and treason. For two hundred years the Knights Templar had been the most dominant force in Christendom, as they were the Crusaders. (Follow me so far?)
--They held enormous power and great amounts of wealth. Their houses, churches and farms dotted the countryside throughout Europe. It provided employment for thousands of people. They started an international banking system.
--The tie-in to yesterday, if it is not totally apparent by now:
--Knights Templar started the first crusade around 1119. From Champagne, France (a very large number of crusaders were French), their stated mission was to protect pilgrims on their journey to visit the Holy Places.
--They set up headquarters on the Temple Mount. The Dome of the Rock, at the centre of the Mount, was understood to occupy the site of Herod's Temple. The Dome of the Rock became a Christian church, the Templum Domini, but the Templars were lodged in the Al-Aqsa Mosque, which was assumed to stand on the site of the Temple. Because the Al-Aqsa mosque was known as the Templum Solomonis, they became known as the Pauperes commilitones Christi Templique Solomonici--the Poor Fellow-Soldiers of Christ and of the Temple of Solomon, which was eventually shortened to "Knights Templars."
--The Crusades ended Islam's "Golden Age Period" (a very real Renaissance in the Middle Ages), and The Abbasid Caliphate--the epitome of it all--which created the House of Wisdom in Baghdad, where scholars from various parts of the world with different cultural backgrounds were mandated to gather and translate all of the world's classical knowledge into Arabic. This is the reason this knowledge made it to the Renaissance and to us today.
Is it really a coincidence that ISOL (who wants to re-establish a worldwide caliphate) should attack France on the day that The Knights Templar were "neutralized"?
All of that said, killing innocent people is an abomination under any religion or human code of conduct. I am deeply saddened for us all.
JE comments: Hearing from Leonor Anthony Cohen has been a bright light on such a depressing day. Her intriguing work (below) has a prophetic message of something ominous and chaotic overcoming France.
Friday the 13th, Knights Templar, and Paris
(Edward Jajko, USA
11/15/15 7:18 AM)
I have the greatest sympathy, in the literal sense of the word, with Leonor Anthony Cohen, and her posting of November 14. I know exactly how she feels.
In late November 1997, on the 18th or 19th (the exact date is in my records but I don't want to take the time to dig it out), my wife and I had returned home after two weeks in Egypt, most of that time doing the business of the Hoover Institution. Since jet lag had not yet kicked in, I was up early and drove into work in the Hoover Tower, taking my usual route on I-280. As I passed the Junipero Serra Expressway interchanges, I turned on NPR to catch up on the news. And my blood ran cold, literally, as I heard about the massacre that had taken place on the west side of the Nile opposite Luxor, in the Valley of the Kings and the Temple of Hatshepsut. I knew from the description of the places where people had been murdered on the 17th that my wife and I had been in exactly those places just two or three days before. I also realized from the news accounts that various of the tour guides we had seen, maybe even the one who took care of us, were among the dead. As I said, my blood ran cold.
For the rest of Leonor's posting, however, my sympathies evaporate. I was wondering when someone would bring up the Crusades. I did not expect it so soon, nor on WAIS.
The Knights Templar did not start the First Crusade. The order did not even exist when Pope Urban II proclaimed the Crusade in 1095.
The occurrence of the attack on Friday the 13th, while suggestive to our western minds, is in my opinion not conclusive. What is more convincing to me is the fact that the Muslim fanatics exist in a sort of parallel universe. What is of importance to them is the Islamic calendar, not the Gregorian. The date 13 November 2015 is equivalent to 1 Safar 1437 Hijri. The first day of Safar, second month of the Muslim calendar, is a day on which war may be resumed (the first month, Muharram, translates as "forbidden" and is one of the several months of the year in which war is haram, forbidden). So the 1st of Safar was a logical date for the murderers to do their work.
Further, the Crusades did not end the Abbasid Caliphate. The caliphs were in Baghdad; the Crusaders were in Jerusalem, 546 miles (878 km) away as the crow flies. There was no connection. Baghdad, and the Bayt al-Hikmah (House of Wisdom), were destroyed in 1258 by the Mongols under Hulagu. The Abbasid Caliphate was resumed in 1261 in Cairo under the "protection" of the Mamluks and existed until the Ottoman Turks took the caliph to Istanbul in 1517 or 1521. The Ottoman emperor then assumed the caliphate.
ISIS and other jihadi groups misinterpret--mendaciously--works by the 13th century scholar and jurist Ahmad ibn Taymiyah, who wrote about the "kuffar," the pagans or unbelievers, who were attacking sacred Muslim lands. Ibn Taymiyah was writing about the Mongols, but the jihadists from the days of Hasan al-Banna and Sayyid Qutb to al-Qa'idah and ISIS have misinterpreted his "kuffar" as Jews and Christians, something that is alien to standard Muslim belief.
As for making the Dome of the Rock into a Christian church, it was a Jewish holy place before Christians took it over, since the rock is the site on which the "Binding of Isaac" is believed to have taken place, Abraham's willingness to offer his son as sacrifice on the rock. The use of the Aqsa Mosque as a military base or dorm, or worse, is not as defensible, perhaps. But over the years in general I have come to subscribe to the thesis Alice Whealey offered in her talk in the WAIS conference at Stanford, October 2009, that the Crusades were legitimate wars of reconquest of territories that were originally Christian. However, this means that now I am bringing up the Crusades, and for that I apologize. The topic is irrelevant save to those who, like the jihadists, are mired in the past.
JE comments: In the present Clash of Civilizations, it's inevitable that the "C-word" (Crusade) will come up, however historically anachronistic. But I'm grateful to Ed Jajko for straightening out our medieval history.
Regarding warfare and the calendar, it's a pity that every month couldn't be placed off-limits.