All my life, I have heard of the Shriners Hospitals that do so much to help children who are hurting and afflicted with various diseases and ailments. I have, in fact, known some people who have been helped by these hospitals.
And I am very thankful for them and what they do!
I have seen my Shriner friends raising funds for their organization. Usually they are wearing these red hats called a “fez.”
Not long ago, I was doing some research on that and found out from the Shriners’ International website about the history of those red hats. Here is what I found:
“The fez is one of the most recognizable symbols of Shriners International and was adopted as the Shriners’ official headgear in 1872. Named after the city of Fez, Morocco, the hat represented the Arabian theme the fraternity was founded on. It also serves as an outward symbol of one’s membership in the fraternity. Much like the white apron worn by Masons as a symbol of their brotherhood, the fez is worn only by Shriners as a symbol of their membership in this unique fraternity.” (http://www.shrinersinternational.org/Shriners/History/Fez)
Interesting indeed. The fez was named after the city of Fez, Morocco?
Well, as I continued my research, I found out that something happened in the city of Fez after which this piece of headgear is named. One author (whose father had been a high-ranking member of the Lodge before leaving it due to his Christian conscience) has explained the history of these things:
“The Fez itself is an example of this double meaning behind most of Freemasonry’s facade. Worn and even carried to the grave with pompous dignity, the history of the Fez is barbaric and anti-Christian. In the early 8th century, Muslim hordes overran the Moroccan city of Fez, shouting, “There is no god but Allah and Mohammed is his prophet.” There, they butchered approximately 50,000 Christians. These men, women and children were slain because of their faith in Christ, all in the name of Allah, the same demon god to whom every Shriner must bow, with hands tied behind his back, in worship, proclaiming him the god of his fathers in the Shrine initiation. Remember that the Allah of Islam is not just another name for God. Allah is the name of another god. In usual occult fashion, the initiate swears that he will be inseparably obligated to this “most powerful and binding oath”, in advance, and that he may NEVER retract or depart from it. During the butchering of the people of Fez, the streets literally ran red with the blood of the martyred Christians. The Muslim zealots dipped their caps in the blood of their victims as a testimony to Allah. These blood stained caps eventually were called Fezzes and became a badge of honor for those who killed a Christian. The Shriners wear that same red Fez today. The greatest tragedy is that the Fez is often worn by men who profess to be Christians themselves. It must cause God to weep.“ (Ed Decker, The Question Of Freemasonry, 326-333 (Kindle Edition); Issaquah, WA; Saints Alive In Jesus)
When I first read this, I found it difficult to believe.
After all, how could so many good men in the Shriners wear caps that were reminiscent of the religion of Islam?
Plus, how could such men wear clothing that glorified the killing of Christians?
Things just weren’t adding up. Maybe Decker just had his history wrong?
Unfortunately, other authors corroborated what he had said. For example:
“The red Fez itself, associated with the Shrine, is actually an article of ceremonial attire among Moroccan Muslims. Its color is said to reflect the fact that centuries ago, Islamic armies invaded Fez and slaughtered thousands of Christians who resided there. The blood of Christian martyrs ran in the streets, and the Islamic “holy” warriors dipped their headgear in the blood and dyed them scarlet. Thus, the Fez is a commemoration of the murder of thousands of Christians!” (William Schnoebelen, Masonry: Beyond The Light, 209 (Kindle Edition); Ontario, CA; Chick Publications)
However, the fez itself has an interesting historical connection with the world of Islam. Another author has written:
“When we look at Masonic names and symbols we must ask, how did Europeans, who were Neanderthals, get a hold of these customs that were not theirs? Where did they get the star, crescent and scimitar? The crescent and star are Islamic symbols and free masons like Shriners etc. are not Moslems. Why is the head of a wombman with Egyptian headwear on their crest when they were not Egyptian? With an open mind you can clearly see that these are stolen/confiscated symbols of the Moors who fell in 1492….Now, based on the evidence presented herein, who do you think handed down the fez and bestowed the privilege and honour to Free Masons and Shriners wearing it today? Without doubt or contradiction; the Moors.” (Grand Sheik Brother Kudjo Adwo El Moorish Science Temple of America Subordinate Temple #5 –Toronto Canaanland Edited By Sheikess Tauheedah S. Najee-Ullah El Moorish Science Temple California, Inc., Who Stole The Fez, Moors Or Shriners? 38-39 (Kindle Edition); Califa Media)
Then, I talked with a friend who is a member of the Lodge who informed me that there are connections between the Shriners and the religion of Islam. As I did some more digging, I discovered part of the Masonic oath in the Shriners’ degree:
“… and may ALLAH, the god of Arab, Moslem and Mohammedan, the GOD OF OUR FATHERS, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same, Amen, Amen, Amen.” (The Ancient Arabic Order, Nobles of the Mystic Shrine, pages 35-39, Allen Publishing Co. New York, NY).
“and may Allah, the god of Arab, Moslem and Mohammedan, the God of our Fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same, Amen, Amen, Amen. (Shrine Ritual Monitor, Allen Publishing, pp. 35-39)
Now all of this is very troubling, especially as a Christian.
How can a Christian join an organization where they have to swear an oath to Allah, the god of Islam?
Some may argue that the name “Allah” is just a generic name for God. But that certainly isn’t true. One former Muslim explodes that lie very powerfully and ably:
“For years after leaving Islam and becoming a Christian, I believed that Muslims worshiped the same God as Christians but were simply wrong about what he is like and what he has done. After all, I had been taught as a young Muslim to worship the God who created Adam and Eve, who rescued Noah from the flood, who promised Abraham a vast progeny, who helped Moses escape Egypt, who made the Virgin Mary great with child, who sent Jesus into the world, who helped the disciples overcome, and who is still sovereign today. Is that not the God of the Bible? For that matter, the Quran asserts that the Torah and the Gospels are inspired scripture and that Jews and Christians are people of the book. The Quran tells Muslims to say to Jews and Christians, “our God and your God is One, and unto Him we surrender” (29: 46). If the Quran asserts that Muslims worship the same God as Jews and Christians, does that not settle the matter? For years I thought it did, and the great overlap between Islam and Christianity meant we were talking about the same God….Let’s start with the obvious. Christians believe Jesus is God, but the Quran is so opposed to this belief that it condemns Jesus worshipers to hell (5: 72). For Christians Jesus is certainly God, and for Muslims Jesus is certainly not. For this reason alone, no one should argue as Volf has done that “there isn’t any theological justification” for believing Christians and Muslims worship different Gods. There is, and it is obvious when we consider the person of Jesus. Another difference between the Islamic God and the Christian God is God’s fatherhood. According to Jesus, God is our Father, yet the Quran very specifically denies that Allah is a father (112: 1–4). In 5: 18, the Quran tells Muslims to rebuke Jews and Christians for calling God their loving Father, because humans are just beings that God has created. So the Christian God is a father, while the Muslim God is not. Similarly, when we consider the Christian doctrine of the Trinity, Islam roundly condemns worship of the Trinity (5: 73), establishing in contrast its own core principle of Tawhid, the absolute oneness of God. Tawhid emphatically denies the Trinity, so much so that it is safe to say the doctrine of God in Islam is antithetical to the doctrine of God in Christianity. Not just different but opposed. This last difference is profound. The Trinity teaches that God is not a person, but three persons: Father, Son, and Spirit. To assert that the God of Islam is the same person as the God of Christianity becomes almost nonsensical at this point, as the Christian God is tripersonal, two persons of whom Islam specifically denies in the Quran….So how can people argue that Muslims and Christians worship the same God? Primarily by giving undue priority to the Islamic assertion that it is so. Even though the Quran says that worshiping Jesus or the Trinity will send Christians to hell, it somehow asserts that Muslims and Christians worship the same God (29: 46). Though the logic is not clear, it is asserted as blunt fact that must be accepted. Ultimately, this is the reasoning of those who believe, as I once did, that Muslims and Christians worship the same God, and it is flawed. The similarities between the God of Islam and the God of Christianity are superficial and at times merely semantic. Though Islam claims that the Muslim God has done some of the same things as the Christian God and sent some of the same people, these are minor overlaps and far less essential to the reality of who God is than fundamental characteristics of his nature and persons. Islam and Christianity overlap at points on the former, but they differ fundamentally on the latter. Volf’s rejoinder to this line of thinking is that Christians believe they worship the same God as Jews even though Jews do not worship the Trinity. How then can Christians say Muslims worship a different God without also saying the same of Jews? He argues that would be inconsistent or hypocritical. Yet the response should be obvious to any who have studied the three Abrahamic faiths: the Trinity is an elaboration of Jewish theology, not a rejection. By contrast, Tawhid is a categorical rejection of the Trinity, Jesus’ deity, and the fatherhood of God, doctrines that are grounded in the pages of the New Testament and firmly established centuries before the advent of Islam. The earliest Christians were all Jews, incorporating their encounter with Jesus into their Jewish theology. Nothing of the sort is true of Muhammad, who was neither a Jew nor a Christian. Islam did not elaborate on the Trinity but rejected and replaced it. Additionally, Volf’s assumption that Jews did not in the past worship something like the Trinity is debatable. Many Jews held their monotheism in tension with a belief in multiple divine persons. Though the term Trinity was coined in the second century AD, the underlying principles of the doctrine were hammered out on the anvil of pre-Christian Jewish belief. It was not until later, after Jews and Christians had parted ways, that Jews insisted on a monadic God. The charge of Christian hypocrisy is thus anachronistic.”. The question of whether Muslims and Christians worship the same God is complex. Wheaton College made a reasonable decision in giving Hawkins time off to consider the implications of her statement. Whether or not she was aware of it, her statement allowed Islamic assertions to subvert the importance of essential Christian doctrine. Yet she ought not be faulted harshly, as these issues are murky. What is more dangerous is the path taken by Volf, accusing people of bigotry to shut down valid conversations. One can both love Muslims and insist that the God they worship is not the same as the Christian God. Christians worship the triune God: a Father who loves unconditionally, a Son who incarnates and who is willing to die for us so that we may be forgiven, and an immanent Holy Spirit who lives in us. This is not who the Muslim God is, and it is not what the Muslim God does. Truly, Tawhid is antithetical to the Trinity, fundamentally incompatible and only similar superficially and semantically. Muslims and Christians do not worship the same God.“ (Nabeel Qureshi, answering Jihad: A Better Way Forward, 111-116 (Kindle Edition); Grand Rapids, Michigan; Zondervan)
The idea that Christians and Muslims worship the same God is simply not true. Allah is a very DIFFERENT “god” then the God of the Bible.
Recently, I found an account written by a former Shriner who had made the decision to leave the Masonic Lodge after becoming a disciple of Christ. He writes extensively about his initiation into the Shriners, and shows the connections within it to Islam.
“The ritual began with a few of us Novices having our hands tied and led to the door and with three knocks we were about to become Nobles of the Mystic Shrine. After a bit of noise that sounded like the door was being unlocked from the inside we were greeted by the Oriental Guide wanting to know who was interrupting the meeting of the Mystic Shrine. The gentleman that was with us responded “… poor sons of the desert, who are weary of the hot sands and burning sun of the plains, humbly crave shelter under the protecting dome of the Temple.” After our guide was finished satisfying a few questions and giving the password we were allowed to enter. As we were being led around the room for a second time we were stopped by guards and almost escorted out until our new guide vouched for us and we were allowed to continue. They took us to the High Priest and he asked if we believed in a deity and future rewards and punishments, if we would promote justice and suppress wrongs, respect women’s virtue, and or give up our life to punish the guilty, protect innocent and work for truth and justice for mankind. Answering in the affirmative we were asked if we wished to continue and we replied we do….This is what was said to us in order as we stopped. “Who is he who hath professed to have conversed in person with the Supreme and maketh himself mightiest of the mighty? Mohammed, the Prophet of the Arab’s creed.” “Who but Mohammed mingled his religion with his Houril and said: “Are not these the true sources of happiness?”” “What shall befall them who have reflected with abhorrence that which the Prophet hath revealed? Wherefore their works shall not avail; do they not travel through the earth and see the end of those who were before them?” “Why do unbelievers indulge themselves and eat beasts? Shall not their portion be a torment? Appeal to the Prophets for the truth.” “To whom shall be meted out the boiling waters to drink, that they shall burst their bowels and shall be cast into molten lava to be consumed? The infidels who wait until the last hour of justice.” “Let us be of the number of those who bathe in the fountain of incorruptible waters and rivers of milk, the taste whereof changeth not: and rivers of wine, pleasant and purifying to those who drink, and enter into the vineyards where fruits rare and plenty ever abound, and no evil exists.” “He who follows the plain declaration of his dictator will ever avoid those whose evil works have been dressed for them by the devil and who follow up their own lusts.” “There are Moslems among us; there are others who swerve from propriety: but who so seeketh Islam earnestly seeks true direction; but those who swerve from truth and justice shall merit and reap abundance of chastisement.” “Let us purify one another. There are two highways to good and evil; attempt not the city of destruction. Ye all be possessed of the faculty of distinguishing and the power of choosing between wickedness and piety. The punishment of each will be equal to the measure of his sin.”…The oath began by stating our name and stating this was our choice to become a Noble of the Mystic Shrine. Promising and swearing on the Bible and the “… mysterious legend of the Koran…” as an upright man; no matter what may come I would never reveal the secrets of the Mystic Shrine. I promised I would never partake in ritual where the candidate was not a Masonic Knights Templers or a Thirty second degree Mason in good standing. I promised I would not write or act out or communicate any part of the ritual. I made a sacred vow “should I live to become a member” to not fear in rejecting a person not fit to be a Shriner by casting a ‘black ballot’. I vowed to obey the laws and summit “… to the decrees of the Imperial Council of the Ancient Egyptian Arabic Order Nobles of the Mystic Shrine of North and South America and Jurisdictions, Inc.” and not take part in rituals of Shrines that are not part of or claim to be superior than said jurisdictions. I continued to swear to never avoid justice or duty, respect virtue, protect the innocent, promote honor and integrity, and be charitable. I will defend the unblemished honor of any Noble of the Mystic Shrine. Finishing the oath with “And upon this sacred book, by the sincerity of a Moslem’s oath, I here register this irrevocable vow, in wilful violation whereof may I incur the fearful penalty of having my eyeballs pierced to the center with a three-edged blade, my feet flayed and I be forced to walk the hot sands upon the sterile shores of the Red Sea until the flaming sun shall strike me with livid plague; and may Allah, the God of Arab, Moslem and Mohammed, and the God of our fathers, support me to the entire fulfillment of the same. Amen, Amen, Amen.” After kissing the stone we were told to salute the sacred book and Bible. At the end of a prayer invoking the aid of deity for steadfast resolutions to avoid temptations and be the best Noble we can be we were told that we were now of Noble birth. We were then led to the ‘purifying cavern in the south’ (we were told this is the fountain of Mecca) where we were to wash our hands in “innocency”, cleansing ourselves of the snares of sin and vice that they may have been surrounding us. We were returned to the group free from the stains of iniquity.” (J.W. Hortenberry Jr., Freemasonry Facts: One Man’s Journey Into Freemasonry And How The Holy Spirit Set Him Free, 1302-1364 (Kindle Edition))
The connections between the Shrine and Islam are clearly there.
Now, what shall we make of all of these things?
First, the most obvious question is this: how can a Christian make an oath to Allah when the Bible is clear that worshiping and serving false gods is sinful?
Exodus 20:3-You shall have no other gods before Me.
Isaiah 43:10-You are My witnesses,” says the LORD, “And My servant whom I have chosen, That you may know and believe Me, And understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, Nor shall there be after Me.
Jeremiah 25:6-Do not go after other gods to serve them and worship them, and do not provoke Me to anger with the works of your hands; and I will not harm you.’
Matthew 4:10-Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘YOU SHALL WORSHIP THE LORD YOUR GOD, AND HIM ONLY YOU SHALL SERVE.’ “
My friends, you cannot be a faithful Christian and willingly serve false gods.
Second, here is another equally penetrating question: how can a Christian willingly be involved in wearing the clothing of an organization when that clothing represents the slaughter of Christians? While some Masonic authors may argue that the specific history of the fez did not revolve around the slaughter of Christians in Fez Morocco, it doesn’t change the fact that they’re is a connection between the fez and Islam, which is a religion thoroughly grounded in the idea of slaughtering Christians. For example, notice these passages from the Koran (the holy book of Islam):
• Sura 3:28-Muslims must not take the infidels as friends.”
• Sura 3:85-“Any religion other than Islam is not acceptable.”
• Sura 5:33-Maim and crucify the infidels if they criticize Islam.”
• Sura 8:12-Terrorize and behead those who believe in Scriptures than the Koran.
• Sura 8:60-Muslims must muster all weapons to terrorize the infidels.
• Sura 8:65-The unbelievers are stupid; urge the Muslims to fight them.
• Sura 9:5-When opportunity arises kill the infidels wherever you find them.
• Sura 9:30-The Jews and Christians are perverts, fight them.
• Sura 9:123-Make war on the infidels living in your neighborhood.
• Sura 22:19-Punish the unbelievers with garments of fire, hooked iron rods, boiling water, and melt their skin and bellies.
• Sura 24:4-Do not hanker for peace with the infidels; behead them when you catch them.
Can a disciple of Christ wear the headdress of a religion which encourages and celebrates the wholesale slaughter of Christians?
To ask is to answer.
Finally, what shall we say about the many children and others that are helped by organizations like the Shriners?
As I said at the beginning of this article, I appreciate very much the charitableness and kindness shown by this group to those who suffer.
Nevertheless, can I turn a blind eye to the things I have herein learned?
As Christians, do we not have the obligation from God to warn people of these things?
Is that not why we preach and teach Jesus and Him crucified (2 Corinthians 5:14-21)?
Is that not why we encourage people to learn about the Son of God Who died for them, was buried and arose from the dead on the third day (1 Corinthians 15:1-8)?
Is that not why we invite non-Christians to be saved by believing gin Jesus Christ as the Son of God (John 8:24), repenting of sin (Luke 13:3), confessing their faith in Jesus (Acts 8:37), and being baptized into Christ to have their sins forgiven (Acts 2:37-38)?
Isn’t that why we encourage Christians who have turned from the Lord to repent and pray to the Lord, confessing their sins to Him in prayer so that they may be restored (1 John 1:8-2:2)?
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with you all. Amen.