By Theodore Shoebat
I remember a few years ago spending time with an Evangelical friend of mine. Within our conversation, somehow, the subject of the Crusades came up. Of course, I defended the Crusades, explaining that they were fighting off Islamic invaders in the Middle East. He, on the other hand, vehemently condemned the Crusaders as evil and barbarous people. I asked him, “Who would you rather win, the Muslims or the Crusaders?” He said, with a tone of vitriol, “It doesn’t matter, they are both the same! I would not care at all if the Muslims invaded the Vatican, the Catholics are just as evil.”
This is the predicament that we are in. While the Vatican is hated as the Harlot of Babylon, the Muslims are currently conspiring to take over and destroy Rome. And many would not have a problem with this.
The Muslims will invade Rome in the near future. Why would they try such a seemingly useless endeavor? Because when Muhammad founded his cult, there were two cities that he aspired for the Muslims to conquer: Rome and Constantinople.
The desire to invade Rome is still throbbing like a beating heart; it is alive and remains vibrant like a torrent within the very soul of the Muslim world. Yusuf al-Qaradawi, the most influential Sunni scholar today, made the prediction in 2002 that the Muslims will soon rise and invade Rome, making references to the declaration of Muhammad himself:
He [Muhammad] answered: “The city of Hirqil [Emperor Heraclius, that is, Constantinople] will be conquered first” … Romiyya is the city called today Rome, the capital of Italy. The city of Hirquil was conquered by the young 23-year old Ottoman [sultan] Muhammad bin Morad, known in history as Mohammad the Conquerer, in 1453 [CE]. The other city, Romiyya, remains, and we hope and believe [that it too will be conquered]. This means that Islam will return to Europe as a conquerer and victor, after being expelled from its twice-once from the South, from Adalusia, and a second time from the East, when it knocked several times on the door of Athens.
In the year 1453, the raging Ottoman Empire flooded the city of Constantinople, creating a flood of human gore and countless pools of warm thick blood. It was one of the saddest events in Christian history, and the cries of those slain still echo from the vault’s of mighty Heaven. But such an invasion of the heathen has not stopped; the savages have merely delayed their warpath for the purpose of deciet, and within their conspiring minds is the envisioning of a certain city under their subjugation. It is Rome. Rome, after Jerusalem, is the city that the Muslims have been bent on conquering since the founding of their religion.
Within the entire span of their existence, from Muhammad until now, the Muslims have attempted to conquer Rome seven times, and in each time their attempts were found to be in vain. In the earlier Islamic invasions of the ninth century, Pope Gregory IV protected Ostia, a suburb of Rome, from the Muslim attacks by fortifying it “with higher walls, and with gates and crenellations and trap-doors, and on top he arranged catapults with noble artfulness to fight off the enemy if necessary.” (Liber Pontificalis, 103: Gregory IV, 39, trans. Raymond Davis)
At one point they tried to invade Rome when it was under the pontificate of Sergius II. The Muslims reached the Church of St. Paul, only to be crushed by resilient Italian Catholics. When the Muslims were about to enter Montecassino, southeast of Rome, monks begged God for mercy with prayer and ashes on their foreheads. Right before the Muslims gained entry, a storm struck and the floodwaters flowing through the Garigliano River blocked the barbarians. The Muslims made a truce, Pope Sergius II accepted, and the enemy departed. (See the commentary of Raymond Davis on the Liber Pontificalis, 104: Sergius II, n. 92)
But out of all the battles the saints fought to defend Rome, the most sublime and epic of them was the Battle of Ostia in 849 AD. The Muslims sacked Rome, pillaged and plundered the Churches of St. Peter and St. Paul. When they entered the tomb of Peter they stripped away a silver altar, and overran Saint Peter’s church in the name of Allah and for their hatred of the Gospel.
Pope Leo IV arose as the defender of the city. When he first became pontificate he consecrated entire days to prayer and religious processions to render hope unto the people and to kindle the fire of Christian zeal after it had been extinguished by the Islamic barbarians. He had the city’s walls repaired; fifteen towers were built or renewed, and he iron chain was drawn across the Tiber river to hinder any enemy naval ships from sailing into Italy.
Before the Muslims returned to Rome Leo made a prayer that transcended time and space, that the God who had protected St. Peter and St. Paul on the confounding waves of the sea would fortify the hands of his warriors who were about to fight the enemies of Christ. Before the battle, Leo IV gazed up to Heaven, and with with soul rooted into eternity, his flaming heart throbbing with the utmost of zeal, his mind interconnected to the most learned of expositions, he proclaimed:
O God, who didst confer on thy apostle Peter the keys of the kingdom of heaven and didst grant him the pontificate of binding and loosing, grant that by the help of his intercession we may be delivered from the bonds of our sins; and cause that this city which we have newly founded with thy assistance may ever remain safe from thy wrath and have new and manifold triumphs over the enemy on whose account it has been constructed; through [our Lord Jesus Christ]. (Liber Pontificalis, 105: Leo IV, 73, trans. Raymond Davis)
This prayer offends many, I know. But this is what the ancient Christians believed in, and this is how they prayed (and for those who say that Leo IV is not a Christian or a saint, and that the Catholic Church is a false church, please provide one thing: evidence and documentation for the true Christians in the time of Leo IV).
Moments before the heat of valor and arms commenced, the Muslims declared their savage prayer to their false god, and advanced for a naval attack. The Christians made ready their galleys of war, and headed toward the Muslim ships. Then all of a sudden, as the unpredictable spark of destiny manifested its majestic flame, a powerful wind came upon the seas, and the roaring waves collided right into the Muslim ships. The enemy was dashed to pieces on the sharp and soulless rocks, and those who survived shipwreck received no quarter from the pursuing Italian Christians.
The Islamic world does not forget such defeats, and the hope of victory, to take what they almost conquered, has been forever in their infernal minds. Yunis Al Astal, a popular cleric for Hamas and a scholar on Islamic law, once stated in a speech:
Very soon, Allah willing, Rome will be conquered, just like Constantinople was, as was prophesied by our prophet Muhammad. Today, Rome is the capital of the Catholics, or the Crusader capital, which has declared its hostility to Islam, and has planted the brothers of apes and pigs in Palestine, in order to prevent the reawakening of Islam – this capital of theirs will be an advanced post for the Islamic conquests, which will spread through Europe in its entirety, and then will turn to the two Americas, and even Eastern Europe.
Here is the video if you wish to watch the actual speech:
Al Astal believes that the conquest of Rome will be not just a Islamic advancement, but a strategic point from which the Muslim warriors will expand into the rest of Europe and eventually into the Americas.
Another example is Egyptian cleric Salem Abu Al-Futouh, who said in 2011:
The Prophet Muhammad told us that Islam would spread. He told us about the Islamic conquest of Constantinople – Turkey of today – and indeed, it was conquered. He also told us about the conquest of Rome, which is Italy. People find this strange. “How can we conquer Italy?” they say. “We are too weak.” You should consider the number of Muslims in that great Christian center – another person converts to Islam every day. Check on the Internet how many people want to convert to Islam in the very heart of that papal center of Christianity, on their own turf.
Kamil Zarouq, a sheikh in Tunisia, also made the emphatic announcement that the Muslims will conquer Rome:
The prophet Muhammad said: “Rome shall be conquered.” Rome will be conquered in our days. This is the age of the Muslims.
This belief in the future conquest of Rome is not some dream or superficial idea Muslims say in passing, but a universal goal that all Muslims, both layman and scholar, aspire to fulfill. Rome is not just another place the Muslims want to take over (they want to rule the whole world), but a specific region that was desired by the founder of Islam himself, Muhammad. This cannot go ignored. There were three cities Muhammad wanted under Islamic rule: Jerusalem, Rome, and Constantinople. Why? Because these are the three heads of Christendom.
It was from Jerusalem where the Church received, in the words of Pope Sylvester II, “the oracles of the prophets, the manifestations of the patriarchs”. It is in Jerusalem where “the clear lights of the world, the apostles, made their appearance; here it [the world] discovered the faith of Christ” (The Letters of Gerbert, Letter 36, trans. Harriet Pratt Lattin).
It is Constantinople that was built by Constantine, to be a city “without any temple of image of the demons.” (City of God, 5.25). And so with such a founding, and such a spiritual foundation, the devil would have his eyes to take it for his dominion.
And why would the devil seek the destruction of Rome? Such a metropolis has been concluded by numerous theologians to be the Great Whore of Babylon, the city of Antichrist. Why would Satan bother with such a place, why would his followers be so filled with vitriol against Rome if it truly was the mother of all false religions, including their own?
Satan hates Rome because it is a city whose church is beloved by God and destined to be saints. I do not say this from my own authority, but from the blessed Apostle Paul, who wrote these words to the Church of Rome:
To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints: Grace to you and peace from God our Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 1:7)
When reading these words, we must keep in mind that St. Paul is writing to the Church of Rome, that is, the Roman Catholic Church. For those who affirm that I am wrong, I ask you kindly, if Romans is not being written to the Roman Catholic Church, then which church is it being written to? And where today can I find this church?
You cannot find it, and you never will, no matter how hard you try. But if you would like to take up the challenge, then I would gladly see your findings. In antiquity, the primacy of the Roman Church was established as the head of the churches. This was not an invention of Constantine. Tertullian, one of the oldest and most ancient authorities of Christianity, declared the primacy of the Roman Church. I will let his words speak for themselves:
Since, moreover, you are close upon Italy, you have Rome, from which there comes even into our own hands the authority (of apostles themselves). How happy is its church, on which apostles poured forth all their doctrine along with their blood! where Peter endures a passion like his Lord’s! where Paul wins his crown in a death like John’s! where the Apostle John was first plunged, unhurt, into boiling oil, and thence remitted to his island-exile! See what she has learned, what taught, what fellowship has had even (our) churches in Africa! One Lord God does she acknowledge, the Creator of the universe, and Christ Jesus (born) of the Virgin Mary, the Son of God the Creator; and the Resurrection of the flesh; the law and the prophets she unites in one volume with the writings of evangelists and apostles, from which she drinks her faith. This she seals with the water (of baptism), arrays with the Holy Ghost, feeds with the Eucharist, cheers with martyrdom, and against such a discipline thus (maintained) she admits no gainsayer. This is the discipline which I no longer say foretold that heresies should come, but from which they proceeded. However, they were not from her, because they were opposed to her.(Tertullian, On the Prescription Against Heretics, ch. xxxvi, trans. Rev. Peter Holmes)
There are a number of points that are beneficial for our current discourse. Notice how Tertullian writes that it was the Roman Church that united the “law and the prophets” “in one volume with the writings of evangelists and apostles”, meaning that it was the Roman Church that put together the New and the Old Testaments in one compilation. Such an advancing action would, no doubt, provoke the devil to hate it, and hence, use the Muslims to destroy it. Since St. Paul wrote a letter to the Church of Rome, that means it was founded by God. Why, then, would God desire the Church of Rome to be destroyed by Muslims? Only the devil would desire such a thing.
The significance of the Roman Church in regards to the Christian Faith was first mentioned, not by any Church Father, but by Saint Paul. In his letter to the Romans he wrote:
First , I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all, that your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world. (Romans 1:8)
Take notice to whom St. Paul is writing this: the Roman Christians of the Roman Church. Thus when he says “I thank God through Jesus Christ for you all,” by “you” he means the Roman Christians, so he therefore is writing to a specific group and not to a general one. Thus, when he writes “your faith is spoken of throughout the whole world”, he is speaking of the faith as taught through the Roman Church, into which the Apostles “poured forth all their doctrine”, as Tertullian says, and the faith of which was “spoken of throughout the whole world”.
It is for this reason why St. Paul expresses such immense gratitude to the Roman Church with these words: “I thank my God through Jesus Christ for you all” (Romans 1:8).
Also, one cannot ignore the fact that no where in the epistles of St. Paul do we find the faith of a particular church praised as being “spoken of throughout the whole world”. It is only to the Roman Church that St. Paul gives this very significant description.
When the last Islamic confederacy configures itself, led by Turkey’s revived Ottoman Empire and its leader, the Antichrist, the Muslims will invade Rome, but just like their predecessors, they will fail. They will not succeed because Paul said, “To all that be in Rome, beloved of God, called to be saints”. There is a divine plan for Rome, and this great destiny will prevent the Muslims, as it always has, from conquering the city.
The Italians are prophesied by God to be one of the enemies of the Antichrist. The prophet Daniel foretold:
For the ships of Chittim shall come against him: therefore he shall be grieved, and return, and have indignation against the holy covenant: so shall he do; he shall even return, and have intelligence with them that forsake the holy covenant. (Daniel 11:30)
Chittim is located in Cyprus, and also encompasses the rest of Greece and the whole of Italy. For Josephus, in his own words, describes Chittim as
Cyprus: and from that it is that all islands, and the greatest part of the seacoasts, are named Cethim by the Hebrews (Antiquities, 1.6.1, trans. William Whiston)
From this we know that Josephus saw Chittim with a twofold significance, in that while it is Cyprus it comprises also mainland Greece and Italy, as we learn from Rawlinson (The Origin of Nations, part 2, ch. 2, pp. 185-186). Moreover, in far antiquity, as we learn from the ancient historian Justin, Italy was called Greater Greece, or Magna Graecia (Justin, 20.2). Therefore, Italy, through an ancient lens, can be viewed as a part of Greece, and therefore constitutes as Chittim.
There is significance in the Bible’s mentioning of Chittim as an enemy of the Antichrist. God says that He “will bring strangers upon thee, the terrible of the nations” (Ezekiel 28:7), and “seven shepherds, and eight principal men” (Micah 5:5) against the Antichrist. While God makes known that He will raise countries against the Antichrist, the only specific countries He mentions are those comprising Chittim, that is, Cyprus, Greece, and Italy. This is not to say that these will be the only countries (America will definitely be involved), but that these are the only ones mentioned specifically.
We also believe that Spain will be involved in warring against the Antichrist; my father, Walid Shoebat, has always interpreted Chittim to consisting of Spain.
Therefore, the Christians of Italy who will one day fight against the revived Islamic Ottoman Empire, will be those who are, in the words of St. Paul, “called to be saints”.
In the greatest naval battle of Christendom, the Battle of Lepanto, the Spaniards and the Italians allied together in what was called a holy alliance, and fought and crushed the Ottoman galleys. The Italian poet Giovanni Baptista Arucci wrote of this alliance between Italy and Spain to war against the Turks (who he refers to as the Thracians):
You have only to make the peoples of Italy and Spain strike a holy alliance. Let this be your labor, daughter: to join kings together, mind with mind, and spirit with spirit. In this way let Rome unite with Spain and the rich Republic of Venice against the Thracian [Turkish] Tyrant. (Giovanni Baptista Arucci, The Victory at Naupactus, 60-64, ed. & trans. Elizabeth R. Wright, Sarah Spence, and Andrew Lemons, The Battle of Lepanto, I Tatti Renaissance Library)
After Lepanto, the Church of Rome was esteemed as the glorious victor, destined by God to have victory over the Muslims. An anonymous poet, after the battle, wrote a poem in praise of Rome called One hundred verses: to the City, in which he exclaimed:
Glorious Rome, those wretched men [the Muslims] you now see passing by with their hands bound behind their backs, they are the enemies of your name. (One hundred verses: to the City, 16-18, ibid, brackets mine)
In the future the great crescent of the Ottoman empire will ascend from the rubble of its past defeats, ruling all of the nations of Islam, and it will charge against that city which Muhammad called to conquer: Rome. The fiery zeal of Christian passion will spark within the souls of the Romans, the spirit of Crusade will revive itself, and they, and the whole of Italy, will fight off the Muslim invaders. The Italians will also ally with Spain and Russia, as well as the United States and the other mighty nations called by God to destroy the Islamic empire out of existence.
What many do not understand is that the past battles between Catholics and Muslims are not isolated incidences in forgotten history, but parts of an entire war, that stops and resumes, in a continually eternal and cosmic struggle, between those who believe in the Trinity and those who uphold unitarianism. The war has never ended, and has only taken a temporary truce.
The Holy Cross will obliterate the idol of the Crescent, and destined by the hands of the Almighty, in that last and greatest battle of earth’s destiny, the enemies will be destroyed by those who are “beloved of God, called to be saints” (Romans 1:7).