Valhalla Press-The E-publishing Paradise

09/07/2014 03:20 AM

You say Armageddon, I say Dabek

Think Christians have a monopoly on the apocalypse? Not really. In the sequel to Revelation 11, tentatively titled, “Continuing Revelation”, I touch upon some Islamic prophecies that dovetail with Christian eschatology. However, events may be overtaking my story.

Some Quranic teachings say that Islamic warriors will square off against Christians at the city of Dabek (also known as Dabiq) in an apocalyptic battle. Dabek is generally considered to be the modern day Syrian hamlet of Murj Dabek.

Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL) head, Abu Al-Baghdadi, set his sights on the town of about 4,000 because he apparently subscribes to the Islamic doomsday prophecy. Currently, forces loyal to Syrian President Assad hold the hamlet.

Al-Baghdadi places such importance on Dabek or Dabiq that he has named the official ISIS publication Dabiq. In its initial issue, Dabiq contains 50 plus vivid color photographs showing the organization’s military successes in an attempt to build an aura of inevitability to its mission. Like its other slick media presentations, Dabiq, is equal parts propaganda and recruiting tool.

The Dabek prophecy predicts that the Islamic forces will destroy both the forces of “Constantinople” and “Rome”, referring to the two early branches of Christianity, the Eastern Orthodox and Roman Catholic. In Islamic prophecy, Jesus (Issa ibn Maryam) descends from heaven near Damascus to lead the Islamic forces and “break the cross” a term meaning Christ will reveal Islam to be the one true religion.

Both Christian and Islamic prophecies foretell the two witnesses mentioned in Revelation 11 and both claim their appearance foreshadows the return of Christ. The question ISIS raises is the same one I pose in all three of the novels. Are these events fulfillment of prophecy or are individuals choosing actions that mimic prophecy to develop a following while pursuing their own agenda? Of course, some of them could just be crazy. We won’t know until either the Second Coming, or the end of the books.

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Albert Davenport is the author of In the Shadow of Midnight: Daedalus, A Tale of Savannah and the upcoming novel Revelation 11

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10/10/2014 05:53 AM

Goodreads Reviews September/October

My Goodreads reviews for the last month or so, novels and poetry and comics. Daniel Clowes, Ghost World Les Murray, Dog Fox Field Grant Morrison and Frank Quitely, All-Star Superman J. M. Coetzee, The Master of Petersburg Walt Whitman, Song of Myself Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen Charles Brocken Brown, Wieland and Memoirs of […]

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John Pistelli was born and raised in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He now lives in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he teaches literature and writing. His reviews and essays have appeared in Rain Taxi, Powells.com, Dissident Voice, and New Walk. His fiction has appeared in The Three Rivers Review, The Legendary, and Whole Beast Rag.

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02/08/2014 12:45 AM

ONLY "MB"


"White people are taking over the city," Marion Barry said tonight during a radio interview with yours truly and Lyndia Grant on her WYCB-AM 1340 program, which she billed as a Black History tribute to "MB's" civil rights work. So, under those ground rules, we all just had a blast shootin' the breeze with him about his health and his legacy. Contrary to rumor, the "Mayor-for-Life" sounded much stronger than we'd expected. However, he acknowledged that he is receiving therapy ...in an undisclosed physical rehabilitation center and says he's walking better and his muscles are better and his spirits are high, and he's looking forward to celebrating his 78th birthday on March 6. He does, after all, he said "have a 77-year-old body" and "it's a miracle that he is alive." No kidding. He alluded to diabetes as the main culprit and said the city is not doing anything about the disease that affects so many blacks. Asked, of course, about his legacy, he said, "I've helped a lot of people." Asked what the "Mayor-for-Life's" public policy priorities would be if he was actually the mayor now, he answered, "helping people stay in the city," because "the white people are taking over the city." And, he'd try to get more "jobs, jobs, jobs" which was actually the priority of his first term.
On a lighter note, MB "loves" the show "Scandal." He pointed out that Judy Smith was working in the US Attorneys Office when he was on trial, and "she's the one trying to clean up that bullshit they were puttin' out there." Only MB; we let him slide on a few of the legal details -- this time. Graciously, he thanked me for being nice! As Mary Layton said, it was a "lovefest."

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Adrienne Terrell Washington is an award-winning journalist, commentator and professor. She has covered local and national news in the nation's capital for over three decades. Her "A Washington Note" blog provides throught provoking insight into current events. When not blogging, Ms. Washington writes memoir and historical pieces.

06/26/2013 01:00 AM

Barbecue Runs Through It

I love Southern food. Barbecue especially. Smoky, salty tender bits of pork slathered in spicy sweet tomatoey goodness with a side of slaw washed down with a Coca-Cola (sugarcane edition,) It’s the sandwich the family in A Good Man is Hard to Find eat at the Tower, brought to them by the pale faced wife of the owner, all five plates balanced in her hands and on her forearm. Their last meal.
In O’Connor’s time, the Tower no doubt was a segregated establishment much like Ollie’s Barbecue, the restaurant in one of the original Civil Rights Act challenge cases the Supreme Court heard in1964. Ollie’s Barbecue was a small, family owned restaurant that seated 220 white customers and provided black customers with a take-out counter. Ollie argued that he wasn’t required to integrate his dining room because he had the contractual right to serve whom he pleased and was not engaged in so-called interstate commerce. The Civil Rights Act was premised on the Commerce Clause, which gave the federal government the power to regulate interstate - as opposed to intrastate - commerce.
The Supreme Court shot down Ollie’s argument. It reasoned that because African-Americans travelled the highways just like everybody else, they needed to stop to eat just like O’Connor’s traveling family. To deprive any travelers of any race of the joys of barbecue was unconstitutional and impeded their movement across state lines.
One of the ironies of Ollie’s Barbecue is that the cuisine has its origins not in the Northern European lands of Southern whites, but in the cooking of the Caribbean and from there to the United States with the slave trade. Soon, Southerners were enjoying their pig roasted and smoked at barbecues. In fact, in the opening scene in Gone with the Wind has Scarlett O’Hara, the daughter of an Irish plantation and slave owner, attends a barbecue at neighboring plantation Twelve Oaks - all of it prepared by slaves.
Food and race are inextricably linked in the South. One need only look to recent revelations that Paula Deen harbored a nostalgia for times long gone with the wind when she told lawyers during a deposition that she had wanted a proper plantation wedding for her brother complete with servers dressed like those who had served Scarlett her barbecue. Those servers, by implication, would have pretended to be slaves. That this fantasy might have been misinterpreted was Paula’s stated reason for rejecting the idea.
So here we are, on the day the same Supreme Court that declared Ollie’s Barbecue open to all gutted a major piece of civil right legislation we are supposed to believe that the post-racial age has arrived. I beg to differ.

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Anniken Davenport is the author of the upcoming nonfiction book Sins of the Fathers: How a Miscarriage of Justice Brought Down a Capital City detailing the very human story behind Harrisburg, Pennsylvania's massive fiscal crisis.

She holds an MA in both fiction and non-fiction writing from Johns Hopkins University. Ms. Davenport, an attorney with vast experience in criminal, labor and employment law, has authored college textbooks, and numerous professional articles.