Tag Archives: ISIS

Thoughts on Martin Scorsese’s “Silence”

It bombed at the box office, which didn’t surprise me. I saw it a couple of weeks ago at the tail-end of its theatre run, and have thought for a while about what I want to say about it. It is not your usual Hollywood fare, far too serious at a time when America is […]

Sharing Tea

This time last year I was in Iraq. I had plans to return this month, but the fighting in the Mosul area made the trip unwise. I wrote the words below last November, and for some reason I don’t seem to have posted them before. With the current fighting expected to produce another half million […]

Useless Political Correctness

The headline reads “Document reveals RCMP strategy for possible ‘flood of foreign fighters’ fleeing Mosul offensive.” I think it is supposed to make me feel safer. I am pleased to read that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) are prepared to deal with returning fighters. I would expect no less of our national police force. […]

Two Years Later

Two years ago today a lone gunman, who we discovered later had been inspired by ISIS and had just killed a soldier standing guard at the National War Memorial, stormed through the front doors of the Centre Block of Parliament Hill. For many Canadians it was extremely disturbing to think that such a terrorist attack […]

Don’t Panic!

I can hear his voice as I read the book, which feels a little strange in a way‎. I still think of him more as a broadcaster than as a writer. The authoritative and somewhat soothing tones are accompanied by word pictures of death and destruction. I had been on the wait list at the […]

Middle Eastern Conflict

I was at a briefing recently on Parliament Hill about the situation in Northern Iraq. I can’t tell you about it. One of the reasons I attended was to get an update on what is happening in the region. I was there twice last year and do feel I have a bit of connection to […]

Nahum’s Tomb

Anyplace else they would make this into a major tourist attraction. In Alqosh I didn’t see any signs to indicate what was there. In a ruined synagogue, open to the elements, is the tomb of the Old Testament prophet Nahum. The stone tomb is covered by a tarpaulin of sorts. This is not on the […]

Rabban Hormizd IV

They’ve stopped saying mass in the church due to the security situation in the area. There’s a police checkpoint at the foot of the mountain, intended to prevent further looting. This part of Iraq is predominantly Christian, a throwback to the time when Christians were the majority in the entire Middle East. Muslims resent that, […]

Speaking Christian

I didn’t know it was a language. The taxi driver asked us, “Do you speak Christian.” I don’t. Though I am a Christian, I try to avoid some of the jargon that has sprung up around the faith. In North America it is all too easy to live in a Christian sub-culture that bears absolutely […]

Rabban Hormizd III

There must be some sort of special devotion that causes a person to choose a monastic life. Part of me wishes I had that kind of faith. Though I would probably miss my creature comforts. When I look at the cliff that is Rabban Hormizd Monastery I image what it must have been like for […]