HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor is Blessed by Ecumenical Patriarch

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HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor with His All Holiness Bartholomew I
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The Ecumenical Patriarch received the order of Saint Michael Archangel

HIRH Prince Gharios El-Chemor had an official audience with His All Holiness Bartholomew I the Ecumenical Patriarch of Constantinople in Istanbul, Turkey. His All Holiness is the highest in honor (“first among equals”) between all of the Patriarchs of the Eastern Orthodox Church representing over 300 million faithful. The two hours long conversation was focused on the history of the Ghassanid and Nikephorian (Byzantine empire) Dynasties which HIRH Prince Gharios is the legal heir and, of course, the main topic was the survival of the Christians in the Middle East and Prince Gharios’ proposal of the Council of Oriental Christians. During the visit, Prince Gharios and the delegation composed by the scholar and protestant bishop Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, Mr. Martin Warnecke (both from Germany) and Pastor Dr. Behnan Konutgan (from Turkey) were invited for a special luncheon with the Ecumenical Patriarch and the Synod of Bishops. blessingecumenical

Prince Gharios was honored by the personal Patriarchal Blessing. Historically in Christianity, only the Patriarchs of Rome (Pope) and Constantinople may grant and recognize imperial titles (see Royal and Republican Sovereignty in Early Modern Europe, Cambridge University Press, pg.360)

HIRH Prince Gharios and the delegation were listed as official visitors HERE

 

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Learn more about the Ecumenical Patriarchate

Learn more about HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor

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HIRH Prince Gharios’ delegation

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor visits the Grand Mufti of Istanbul

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Prince Gharios shaking hands with Prof.Dr. Rahmi Yaran, the Grand Mufti of Istanbul

As part of a very successful trip to Turkey, HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII had an audience with Prof.Dr. Rahmi Yaran the Grand Mufti of Istanbul . The Mufti has under him 3,100 mosques in Istanbul, one of the most populous cities in Europe with over 14 million people. The highest Muslim authority in the country being only under the Ministry of Religious Affairs.

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The Mufti praying with Pope Francis during his visit to Turkey in 2014

The Prince Gharios’ delegation had the scholar and protestant bishop from Germany Prof. Dr. Thomas Schirrmacher, PhD, Mr. Martin Warnecke also from Germany and Pastor Dr. Behnan Konutgan from Turkey. The Mufti joined Prince Gharios’ alliance for peace condemning the terror and any kind of violence against other religions. He also received the rank of Knight Commander of the Order of Saint Michael Archangel.

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More about HIRH Prince Gharios El-Chemor of Ghassan please visit www.princegharios.org

Pope Francis ends 10 years of tensions with leading Muslim authority

 … with a hug!

Pope Francis has met the grand imam of Al-Azhar at the Vatican in a historic encounter that was sealed with a hugely symbolic hug and exchange of kisses.
The first Vatican meeting on Monday between the leader of the world’s Catholics and the highest authority in Sunni Islam marks the culmination of a significant improvement in relations between the two faiths since Francis took office in 2013.

We strongly believe that the only way to achieve peace in the world, save the Christians in the Middle East and stop radicalism is with an alliance between the Muslims and Christians. Learn more about our initiative: http://www.alliance4peace.org/

More details about the news here: http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/05/pope-historic-talks-grand-imam-al-azhar-160523124712606.html

Democracy: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”?

Ancient Greece: the cradle of democracy

Can we have real democracy? The majority really rules in a democracy? Is democracy just an utopia?

 At this point I’ll imitate the mighty Morpheus, the character of the movie “Matrix”, and offer you one of the two pills: the red one, you should stop reading, at once. The green one, you’ll know the truth.

 Assuming that you’ve chosen the green pill:

 In practice, there’s no such thing as democracy. Especially, for a people that is not politicized, educated and used to the system.

 What we see is an illusion. Usually, we misplace the word “democracy” by the word “freedom”.

One of the most important aspects of Muslim Arab politics is the difference of concepts. In the West, Democracy is (or should be) ‘the government of the people, by the people, for the people’.

Personally, I believe that what we call Democracy is the ideal form of government; however, it doesn’t work for every situation and culture. It’s more dangerous to have a bad democracy than a good dictatorship. Plato agrees with me. Well, I can explain. If a democracy is based on the deception of voters, it’s a bad democracy. In some 3rd world countries like Brazil, a candidate can easily buy a vote today by giving the voter a t-shirt and a pair of flip-flops.

Even the multi-party system can be a deception since it’s not rare in the world  having politicians from opposite idealistic sides making collusions to achieve personal and political favors.

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”

 Winston Churchill

That principle can be easily verified in a very developed democracy, the United States. During the process of primaries to choose the candidate to run, for example, for the Presidency, all kinds of low attacks are made between the candidates. After the official candidate is appointed, they’re all best friends again and, usually, they’re part of each other’s administrations.

Back to the Middle East, since the very beginning, Islam was always associated with secular power; therefore, a purely secular Arab state sounds a little utopic after the Pan Arabism idea started to fade in the 60’s, although the separation of church and state in the region is around 300 years old.

According to Muslim politics, the sovereignty doesn’t belong to people but to God. That’s also conflicting with the monarchical hereditary regime, according to some scholars.

Professor Bernard Lewis said that we’ve this feeling in the West that Democracy is the natural and normal condition in humanity and any departure from it is “either a disease to be cured or a crime to be punished”. I agree with him, democracy is not for everyone. But freedom definitely is.

Nobody can deny that the called “Arab Spring” in 2011 was a hope of “winds of change”. However, the people’s mindset makes us believe that nothing significant will change. On the contrary, the quest for freedom will bring an unbalance to the region as the fall of Saddam Hussein did in 2003. And that brings us to a “golden rule” to understand the region.

Nothing is “black & white”.  Personally, I believe Saddam was a terrible person and tyrannical ruler. His regime was a burden to the Iraqis’ shoulders. No doubt, Iraq without Saddam is better than Iraq with Saddam, right?

 In theory yes, however the region went out of balance once Saddam’s regime used to “hold” one of the most important tension’s clusters of the Middle East: the Iran-Iraq.

According with Professor Chaney, from Harvard University:

“Will the Arab Spring lead to long-lasting democratic change? As Islamists perform well in elections across the Arab world, many have begun to predict that the recent uprisings will usher in a wave of Islamist-dominated autocracies instead of the democratic institutions many protestors initially demanded. These observers often point to the political trajectories of non-Arab states such as Iran and implicitly claim that Islamist-dominated states cannot be democratic. Others note that the emergence of democratic regimes in Indonesia and Turkey demonstrates that Islamists can play a constructive role in democratic institutions.” (Democratic Change in the Arab World, Past and Present, Prof. Eric Chaney, March 10, 2012, p.2)

“The ignorance of one voter in a democracy impairs the security of all.”

 John F. Kennedy

I’m part of the observers that believe that the Arab Spring, although necessary, will bring unbalance to the region, at least in the first decades.

I agree with many things with Professor Chaney, however, I don’t think Turkey is a perfect example of democracy. It’s easy to see, for example, the constant censuring of the internet by the government, cannot be overlooked. Also, the lack of freedom of religion once the Patriarch of Constantinople, leader for the whole Orthodox Christian Church, has encroached over the years his freedom and also his monastery was closed by the government who also dictates the rules of succession in the Church of Constantinople which is, without a single solitary doubt, not their business.

The same with Lebanon, which was created to be a secular country with a Christian majority and now has less than 39% of Christians living there.

It’s very hard to have a real democracy if you have church and State together. A real democracy is not a rule of the majority but a regime where every single group of people is considered and equal.

For example, right after first Egypt’s presidential elections, Time magazine exhibits the following cover (July 9 2012):

 “The revolution that wasn’t – Why generals remain Egypt’s real rulers”

Inside (pg. 28), the article written by Jay Newton-Small (Washington) and Abigail Hauslohner (Cairo) starts:

“How military won the Egyptian Election – Mohamed Morsy may be Egypt’s first popular chosen President but a group of 19 generals are still the country’s real rulers”

Clearly, the power has changed hands, however for the people, very little will change. The worst form of dictatorship is the illusion of democracy. People think they’re choosing something but, in the end of the day, they’re just puppets in a pathetic but well-written play. In other words, they’ve no real freedom of choice.

“Democracy cannot succeed unless those who express their choice are prepared to choose wisely. The real safeguard of democracy, therefore, is education.”

 Franklin D. Roosevelt

There’s absolutely no precedent of an Arab country that had dethroned a monarchy and got a democracy. Even the countries that started as democratic countries have their impartiality challenged by the Islamic interests.

I’m not against Muslim regimes; I’m against any religious regime. I’m in favor of secular governments with total freedom of religion. If you want to be a Christian, a Muslim, a Jew, etc… God bless you! You should be able to worship with no fear.

To all of this, we can conclude that Democracy is a process, not some “magic trick”, and it’s only effective when the people / voters are relatively educated and politicized.

HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII

visit HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor’s website HERE

Royal House launches new initiative

The Royal House of Ghassan launched its most recent initiative: Alliance for Peace

The idea is to bring together Christians and Muslims from different backgrounds to raise awareness and compassion all over the world. According to HIRH Prince Gharios El Chemor of Ghassan Al-Numan VIII the initiative is to prevent the imminent clash of civilizations both in course in the Middle East and also in the West.

“In the Middle East, we will see the total extinction of Christians in less than 20 years while in the West, with the exponential growth of the immigration and the so-called ‘Islamophobia’, we are about to witness a hunt of innocent moderate Muslims which will make Nazi Germany looks like Disneyland. That will only fuel the violence of the radicals creating a vicious circle of destruction.” says the prince.

More about the initiative here