New Age Islam
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Islam and the West ( 20 Dec 2008, NewAgeIslam.Com)

Rejecting Islam, Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Wears Christian, Holy Inquisition Officer's Insignia

Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

December 20, 2008


Date:       Sat, 20 Dec 2008 15:07:37 +0200 [12/20/2008 06:37:37 PM IST]

From:      Dr. Muhammad Shamsaddin Megalommatis

To:           Sultan Shahin <

Subject:  Best Greetings from Muhammad Shamsaddin


Dear Sultan,


Thank you very much for your mail, interest and compliments.

It is my turn to congratulate you for your wonderful website that is so valuable for the entire Islamic world -and beyond.

We have been cut off, here in Egypt, from the rest of the world; yesterday there was no Internet connection at all (because of problems in the underwater cable that connects Egypt with Italy), and today the connection is very slow and we can open only very few websites.

It will take probably another two or three days to be fully functional again!

I think I sent you already two articles, namely "Freemasonic Arabian Kingdom of the Crypto-Christian Wahhabis and Saudis" and "Rejecting Islam, Saudi Arabia's Abdullah Wears Christian, Holy Inquisition Officer's Insignia".

I plan on expanding on a third one as many Muslims all over the world do not have a precise idea about the ..."Holy Inquisition".


This will help people understand better where Abdullah of Arabia belongs and where he ... does not!

I have been more into Oriental History, Colonialism, Politics and Human Rights, but I see a greater interest now in interconnecting religious ideologies and political manipulations.

Let me know more about you, your background, studies, and place of life.


Best regards and many thanks,




The image of the golden fleece is inherently Christian – up to the point that it was selected for the decoration of an Officer of the Spanish Inquisition, the most adamant and sacrosanct institution of the Catholic Church.


In a previous article entitled 'Freemasonic Arabian Kingdom of the Crypto-Christian Wahhabis and Saudis', I explained that, by becoming member of the Spanish branch of the Christian Freemasonic Order of the Golden Fleece, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia practically denounced to Islam, adopting part of Christian heritage, cult, insignia, and traditions. With this article, I will complete the subject, demonstrating that he cannot act anymore as Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques.


The Spanish and the Austrian Branches of the Order of the Golden Fleece


It is to be added that shortly after the Fall of Constantinople (29 May 1453) a meeting of the Order of the Golden Fleece was held in which 31 knights stood up and swore to embark on a crusade to liberate the Eastern Roman Empire. On the banquet stage there was an allegorical display; the Eastern Empire represented by a fallen woman being guarded by the lion on the Bourguignon shield. This promise was never materialized, but the Anti-Islamic character of the Order is plainly evident.


Due to lack of male heir to Charles the Fearless, son of Philip III the Good, and because of the marriage of Mary of Burgundy, daughter of Charles the Fearless, with the Austrian Archduke Maximilian, the later Holy Roman Emperor, the Order passed with her to the Habsburgs. Maximilian's and Mary's son, Philip the Handsome, and their grandson, Charles V, ruled over Spain because of their marriages. And as the latter was the last to rule over Spain and the Holy Roman Empire combined, the Order was divided into two branches, the Spanish and the Austrian, which have survived down to our days.


The Spanish branch of the Order passed from the Habsburgs to the Bourbons in 1700 because of the dynastic change (Philip V ruled Spain because of the will of Charles II), whereas the Austrian branch of the Order is ruled by Prince Otto von Habsburg, son to the last Austrian Emperor, and de jure heir of the Austrian-Hungarian Empire. Today, the Austrian branch of the Order of the Golden Fleece has 50 members, all Catholic and noble.


The Spanish branch, ruled by the Freemason King of Spain Juan Carlos, has 17 members. I don't want to expand further on the History of the two branches of the Order (basics can be found here: < and <


I want however to clarify some points about the membership into the Spanish branch and what it entails. The reason is precisely that, contrarily to the Austrian branch, the Spanish branch accepted also non Catholic members.


Currently, the Spanish branch has one Orthodox Christian, Constantin of Greece; five Protestants, Elizabeth of England, Carl Gustaf of Sweden, Beatrix of the Netherlands, Margaret of Denmark, and Harald of Norway; two Buddhists, Akihito of Japan and Bhumidol of Thailand. And one Muslim member – Abdullah of Saudi Arabia.


All this is not however new; it actually started before two centuries, when the acting government of Spain illegally conferred the Order of the Golden Fleece on the Duke of Wellington in 1812. This act was confirmed by Ferdinand VII on his restoration. It was soon followed by another appointment of non-Catholic member, namely that of the Russian Minister Dmitri Pavlovitch Tatischev.


Ferdinand VII did not wish to contravene the terms of the Papal Bulls that had endowed the Order, and that's why he wrote to the Pope in 1817, asking permission to admit non-Catholic princes, and explaining that as the premier Order of his Kingdom he wished to include the leading non-Catholic European sovereigns among the Order's Companions.


The Papal response (dated December 28th, 1817) specified the following:


…. And have seen that those non-Catholics who have been declared elected do not form part of the fifty-one Knights who compose the Chapter or Executive of the Order; that they may solely use the insignia of the Order as the actual knights do only as far as external acts are concerned and that always it must be insured that the number of fifty-one which constitutes the Order according to the Papal Bulls, must all be Catholic Knights. Accordingly, Your Majesty may not consider those non-Catholics elected to be members of the Order or Canonical Body that has been sanctioned by the Holy See, although they use the insignia, and you must consequently separate any such concessions or acts entirely from any connection with the aforesaid Body, we also recognize that Your Majesty does not have need of any intervention by our Apostolic authority ….."


This was confirmed in a letter of the Ministry of Grace and Justice directed to the Chancellor of the Order (dated June 29th, 1819).


Acting on the advice of the Minister, the Chancellor of the Order wrote to Ferdinand VII to confirm that "the non-Catholic Knights, while they cannot be considered members of the Canonical Body that the Holy See has sanctioned, and for whose spiritual privileges and graces they are not eligible, nonetheless …. must use and enjoy the same insignia and temporal privileges as the other Knights".


This shows clearly that, although accepted as extra-numerary member of the Order of the Golden Fleece, Abdullah of Saudi Arabia "enjoys" the same insignia and temporal privileges as the other Knights".


It would therefore be worthy to check out what the Golden Fleece Order insignia are, and subsequently examine to what extent they can be worn by – not a simple Muslim but – the so-called Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques (Hadim al Haramayn). I refer to an authoritative website (<, republishing the details:


Insignia of the Golden Fleece



"Originally, from the time of Phillip the Bold, only the collar was worn on all occasions. When armor was worn the fleece was often engraved (and sometime gilt) upon the armor itself. This last was fairly common through the eighteenth century, especially since so many recipients were soldiers in service of the head of the order. Beginning in the early sixteenth century under Charles V, and by his decree, the Fleece alone was usually worn on ordinary occasions, suspended by a thin red ribbon, but sometimes from a black one. Phillip II of Spain favored black, perhaps originally as a sign of mourning. Gradually, during the course of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, the Spanish love of glory and elaborate ceremony led to an elaboration of the bijou. Elements from the collar, the pierre a fois and briquet, were added one above the other. Finally a decorative ribbon knot appeared to complete the final design. Even when the Order was reclaimed by Austria following the extinction of the Spanish Habsburgs these decorative elements were retained.


Although many of the original Fleeces were made in gold as befitted the status of the noble members, most seem to have been of bronze or brass gilt. Precious metals were much scarcer then than now, and the chance of loss too great for daily wear of a lump of pure gold, not to mention the greater weight of a solid gold Fleece. By the eighteenth century, when the highest nobility displayed their best at court, solid gold Fleeces became much more common. Finally, in the late nineteenth century, silver gilt became the norm. The collar of the Austrian crown prince, dating from the mid eighteenth century, is of silver gilt -- probably to spare the young holder the weight of solid gold.


With the division of the Order into Spanish and Austrian Orders the nature of the insignia took very different directions in the two lands. In Spain the motto was never used on the briquette and the fleece was seen in full profile showing only one horn and eye. The shapes of the pieces, especially the briquette, became very ornate and abstract -- a mixture of Moorish and Baroque arabesques. In Austria the motto was always used, the pieces kept their traditional shapes and, starting with the late 18th century, the fleece was seen with the head twisted to the front to show both horns and eyes, and by around 1860 this was the rule for Austrian bijous. The c. 1850 fleece seen at the left confounds all this reason as it has essential elements of both Spain and Austria. The fleece is in profile and, almost uniquely, swings loose in its strap, and the briquette and pierre a fois both have turned into a baroque ribbon. The flames are of a well known 19th century Spanish layered style. Yet in contrast it bears the motto in a clear, mid-19th century sans serif style as do Austrian fleeces, and the ribbon ring is in the grooved Austrian style of 1814-1850. The most interesting part is that the pierre a fois is in painted, fired enamel rather than gold sculpture -- I know of no other example thus. How better than to start with an example that transcends the rules".


The Spanish Order


"The insignia of the Spanish Order of the Golden Fleece. The collar is modern and dates from 1900-1965. It is in silver gilt and is the proper Alphonse XIII type. The neck decoration is c. 1900 with a sapphire in the "pierre a fois". The miniature, in gold and with original ribbon, dates from c. 1860-1890.


Elements of the Spanish insignia to be noted are the fleece being in full profile, the stylized flames turning into a "mass", and the entirely abstract "briquet" that no longer resembles anything this side of the Alhambra. The modern Austrian fleece has the head twisted to show both eyes and horns, even when the fleece as a whole is in profile. The individual flames are more distinct in the Austrian fleece and the "briquet" is clearly the fire steel of the house of Burgundy and shows the motto on full size bijous. There are clear differences in the style of the fleece both in sculpture and in hanging form. The fleece on this bijou and collar are the tight, slender leg toison of the modern Spanish order. The Austrian is a plumper, more substantial beast in the modern form. Anciently all were woollier and more clearly delineated, and many of the original fleeces took the form of the complete ram rather than only its hanging fleece. (Miniature from the chancelier's collection; bijou in a private collection; collar in a private American collection.)


Are the Insignia of the Order of Golden Fleece Christian?


The aforementioned consists in evident proof of the incompatibility between the Muslim Faith and the Chivalric Membership in the Order of Golden Fleece. The idolatrous representation of a fleece contradicts the essence of the Islamic Aniconic Faith that denounces every animal representation or symbolism.


Could one accept bull horns as decorative models and symbols for use in the mosques? Is that not clear that in such a case the mosques would rather look like Babylonian or Phoenician temples?


If this is so, how can a Muslim bear the animal symbol of fleece as his own insignia?


If this is not permissible for a Muslim, how can we accept the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques wear the Christian insignia?


We should therefore examine the nature of the insignia, and check whether their essence is inherently Christian. This will prove to be rather brief. In the aforementioned link (< several items are presented on the basis of a certain connection with the Order of the Golden Fleece; among them, there is a picture of a gold badge decorated with the image of the Golden Fleece. The text reads:


"Gold badge of office of the Grand Inquisitor, or head of the Church Council of the Spanish Holy Office, that is an interesting association item with the Golden Fleece. From the last quarter of the 17th century this officer was Balthasar Sarmiento de Mendoza y Sandoval, 5th Marquis of Camarosa, Bishop of Segovia and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece No. 476. The badge is closely dated to c. 1700 and so is almost certainly his".


In the same website, a more analytical description of the same item is offered here: < Under the following title, the text reads:


Court Badge of an Officer of the Spanish Inquisition


"A very rare 18 k. gold and enamel badge of office of the Royal Spanish Court Officer of the Spanish Inquisition from c. 1700. This is the official whom Dostoyevsky would call the "Grand Inquisitor". At this time the Grand Inquisitor was Balthasar Sarmiento de Mendoza y Sandoval, 5th Marquis of Camarosa, Bishop of Segovia and Knight of the Order of the Golden Fleece No. 476, and it is most likely his badge. The badge is cut from a sheet of apx. 18 k. gold on an 18 k. gold mounting ring, nearly worn through from wear. A significant portion of the original enamels on the symbols remains.


The date of the badge is very significant as 1700 was the year of the death of Charles II, the last ruler from the medieval-leaning Habsburg dynasty. On his death the War of the Spanish Succession followed with an Austrian-Habsburg claimant opposing one from the French Bourbon dynasty. The Inquisition itself was in some chaos at this time as well, with the Grand Inquisitor proposing arresting Froilan Diaz, another member of the Suprema (Church Council of the Spanish Holy Office). Balthazar was also a knight of the Golden Fleece (no. 476 from 1669 to his death in 1715).


Finally, the throne was awarded to the Bourbons, with the Habsburgs gaining territories elsewhere and the right to have their own version of the prestigious Order of the Golden Fleece. Alas, poor Balthazar backed the wrong candidate, and we hear little from him in his last years. The Bourbons attempted to modernize Spain in the manner of France, but the Spanish were attached to their ancient and inefficient customs and change was slow. The Inquisition was a peculiarly Spanish institution, and they clung to its repressive and backward looking isolationism. Even when Napoleon eliminated it while his brother Joseph was King of Spain, the Spanish Bourbon King Ferdinand brought it back again in 1815 and it endured for a further generation.


A wonderful piece of history, it is 2.2 cm wide, 3 cm tall with an 8 mm mounting ring and weighs apx. 5 grams. Comes with several pages of documentation and history, including a German catalog page showing the piece, bill of sale from a London auction showing it sold for $800 in 1988, a copy from Gottschalk's history of ancient orders of 1818 showing the piece and notes on the career of de Mendoza y Sandoval, Grand Inquisitor of the Holy Order and member of the Order of the Golden Fleece. For more details see Inquisition info.


VF with some chips to the enamelled and wear to the attachment point.




It becomes very clear that the image of the golden fleece, beyond its use as part of the insignia of the Order of the Golden Fleece, is inherently Christian – up to the point that it was selected for the decoration of an Officer of the Spanish Inquisition, the most adamant and sacrosanct institution of the Catholic Church.


It is probably for this reason that a Christian Catholic theoretician and intellectual, Hugh O'Reilly, was offended by the fact that the Christian Catholic insignia have been accorded by Juan Carlos of Spain to the Wahhabite "king" Abdullah of Saudi Arabia; Hugh O'Reilly – from his viewpoint as Catholic Christian – wrote a devastating criticism, expressing his indignation for the fact.


In his article entitled "the King of Spain Dishonors the Golden Fleece Order" (<, Hugh O'Reilly writes the following:


"By offering the Golden Fleece, whose purpose was to defend the Church primarily against the Mohammedans, to one of the Muslim's more important representatives today, Juan Carlos completely dishonours one of the most prestigious honorific orders of Christendom.


Reparation for such a betrayal of the ideal of Chivalry made by a reigning Catholic King is in order".


This is what Hugh O'Reilly wrote about Juan Carlos.


The question is when and what a Muslim will write about the renegade of Islam, pseudo-Muslim Abdullah of Hedjaz (so-called Saudi Arabia), calling for his immediate removal and elimination from the Two Holy Mosques?



Picture: the insignia of the Spanish branch of the order of the Golden Fleece


Orientalist, Historian, Political Scientist, Dr. Megalommatis, 52, is the author of 12 books, dozens of scholarly articles, hundreds of encyclopedia entries, and thousands of articles. He speaks, reads and writes more than 15, modern and ancient, languages. He refuted Greek nationalism, supported Martin Bernal´s Black Athena, and rejected the Greco-Romano-centric version of History. He pleaded for the European History by J. B. Duroselle, and defended the rights of the Turkish, Pomak, Macedonian, Vlachian, Arvanitic, Latin Catholic, and Jewish minorities of Greece. Born Christian Orthodox, he adhered to Islam when 36, devoted to ideas of Muhyieldin Ibn al Arabi.


Greek citizen of Turkish origin, Prof. Megalommatis studied and/or worked in Turkey, Greece, France, England, Belgium, Germany, Syria, Israel, Iraq, Iran, Egypt and Russia, and carried out research trips throughout the Middle East, Northeastern Africa and Central Asia. His career extended from Research & Education, Journalism, Publications, Photography, and Translation to Website Development, Human Rights Advocacy, Marketing, Sales & Brokerage. He traveled in more than 80 countries in 5 continents. He defends the Right of Aramaeans, Oromos, Ogadenis, Sidamas, Berbers, Afars, Anuak, Darfuris, Bejas, Balochs and Tibetans to National Independence, demands international recognition for Kosovo, Abkhazia, South Ossetia, the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus, and Transnistria, calls for National Unity in Somalia, and denounces Islamic Terrorism.