Archive for the ‘Religion’ Category
Jana was a 19-year-old in her final year of high school, with dreams of becoming a doctor. Then, ISIS came to her village last August, and her world collapsed.
She described to me in chilling detail, how the jihadis first demanded that members of her Yazidi religious minority convert to Islam. Then they stripped villagers of their jewelry, money and cellphones. They separated the men from the women.
A United Nations report explained what happened next. ISIS “gathered all the males older than 10 years of age at the local school, took them outside the village by pick-up trucks, and shot them.”
Among those believed dead were Jana’s father and eldest brother.
A different fate lay in store for the women.
Jana described how girls like herself were separated from older women, then bussed to the city of Mosul.
There they were put in a big three-story house with hundreds of other young women. The men of ISIS came periodically, and chose up to three and four girls at a time to take home with them.
“These women have been treated like cattle,” explained Nazand Begikhani, an adviser to the Kurdistan Regional Government on gender issues.
“They have been subjected to physical and sexual violence, including systematic rape and sex slavery. They’ve been exposed in markets in Mosul and in Raqqa, Syria, carrying price tags.”
Perhaps more importantly, Begikhani is also a researcher at the UK-based University of Bristol’s Gender and Violence Research Center. According to the field research and testimonials of Begikhani’s team, ISIS kidnapped more than 2,500 Yazidi women.
Meanwhile Narin Shiekh Shamo, a Yazidi activist based in Iraqi Kurdistan has compiled the names of at least 4,601 Yazidi women currently missing.
ISIS actually justified its enslavement of Yazidis in its own online magazine.
“One should remember that enslaving the families of the kuffar — the infidels — and taking their women as concubines is a firmly established aspect of the Shariah, or Islamic law,” the group announced in the ISIS publication “Dabiq.”
When the Ebola outbreak that has now killed nearly 5,000 people led Sierra Leone to declare a three-day national quarantine last month, many parents weren’t sure how they’d feed their children.
Then food and other emergency supplies for 2,500 Mormon families arrived from LDS Charities.
“I am a mother of two children and was engaged in petty trading to maintain my children … before the crisis,” a Mormon woman in Makeni said. “The Ebola crisis has brought unemployment to most of us … (and) all the money I had got finished. … I had nothing to upkeep my children. The support received from the church today has brought joy and confidence in my family and we are grateful to God.”
At least two Mormons have died in West Africa during the outbreak.
Nearly 7,800 families in Sierra Leone received emergency supplies from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints during the state of emergency last month.
Those relief efforts are continuing. The church now has provided some members with a two-month supply of food, including rice and cooking oil, and many have shared it with family and friends, according to an update published on a church website this week.
The church has also sent hygiene and sanitation supplies, chlorine and basic instruction materials to its members in Ebola-stricken Sierra Leone and Liberia, and it is providing medical clothing and supplies to a hospital in Sierra Leone that is caring for Ebola patients.
The safety of LDS missionaries in the region is also a priority, the church release said.
The church evacuated 274 missionaries from Sierra Leone and Liberia in early August, reassigning them to other nations.
At that time, there had been 932 Ebola deaths in West Africa. The virus now has killed 4,922 people.
Americans see religious hatred as a serious concern for the world, according to a Pew Research Center survey.
The survey asked people from the Middle East, Europe, Asia, Latin America, Africa and the United States what they believe to be the biggest global threat. Religious hatred was the second biggest concern for Americans, with 24 percent of votes.
Ranking first on American minds was income inequality with 27 percent — which isn’t surprising given America’s overall grim outlook on the economy.
“Taking the median percentages across the 28 countries surveyed in both 2007 and 2014, there has been a shift toward concerns about religious and ethnic hatred as the world’s top problem,” Pew reported.
The United States only came in behind the Middle East (34 percent) in concern over religious hatred. The Middle East and the United States have both been snarled in wars tied to religious factions — like the Iraq war or the current ISIS crisis — that have also included concerns over nuclear weapons, the third biggest concern for the U.S., according to the survey.
“The leader of Syria who slaughtered 150,000 people was not awarded the name “chickens**t,” Bennett wrote on Facebook. “Neither was the leader of Saudi Arabia who stones women and homosexuals or the leader of Iran who murders freedom protesters.”
“The prime minister of Israel is not a private person. He is the leader of the Jewish state and the entire Jewish people. Cursing the prime minister and calling him names is an insult not just to him but to the millions of Israeli citizens and Jews across the globe,” Bennett wrote.
An official in the prime minister’s office told Israel Radio Wednesday in response to the criticism that Netanyahu “will continue to stand for Israeli interests, and no pressure will change this.”
Communications Minister Gilad Erdan told Israel’s NRG news site, “It’s ridiculous and even sad that senior Obama administration officials vilify and curse the prime minister with sayings that they never used against mass murderers like Assad and others. Expressions like these play into the hands of Islamic extremism which draws strength from them.”
Atlantic writer Jeffrey Goldberg wrote in the piece that, “Over the years, Obama administration officials have described Netanyahu to me as recalcitrant, myopic, reactionary, obtuse, blustering, pompous, and ‘Aspergery.’ (These are verbatim descriptions; I keep a running list.)”
The chicken reference related to Netanyahu’s perceived unwillingness to reach a peace accommodation with Palestinians and that he never launched a military strike on Iran’s nuclear facilities, Goldberg wrote.
“He’s got no guts,” the unnamed senior official said.
Describing Netanyahu as cowardly prompted conservative commentators and others to unflatteringly compare the Israeli leader — a former Israeli Defense Forces commando — with President Barack Obama.
Roger L. Simon of P.J. Media observed, “Never mind for a moment the absurdity of an (of course anonymous) Obama official calling the Israeli PM a coward when Netanyahu has been personally under fire in two wars, volunteering for the second after having been wounded by a gun shot in the first (his brother, as many will remember, was killed during the raid on Entebbe — both Netanyahus were in Sayeret Matkal [IDF counterterrorism unit]) at approximately the time the official’s boss Barry was lulling on a balmy Hawaiian beach smoking ‘choom’ with his gang.”
Others pointed out the very different treatment given by the White House to Islamist rulers accused of supporting terrorism.
Earlier this month, Kurds in Germany clashed with radical Muslims in the northern city of Hamburg and elsewhere in street clashes fueled by the conflict involving the jihadist group Islamic State in northern Iraq and Syria.
Europe is different from the U.S. in which political activism either takes on extremist left wing or ultra conservative right wing forms. The media on the left says that these groups end up uniting with neo-Nazis and fascists while others say that the German media is demonizing the movement with the usual “Nazi” slur.
Despite the ridicule, soccer clubs have held meetings in at least three other cities, Monchengladbach, Hannover and Mannheim, to promote unity in the fight against the Islamification of Germany.
And in Italy this October, thousands of Italians gathered in Milan to demonstrate against Islamic Supremacy.
In Germany, “Hooligans gegen Salafisten” appears to be a growing broad spectrum anti-Islamification movement.
Hooligan culture is on the rise again in Germany. Fan commissioners from Aachen, Braunschweig, Dortmund, Düsseldorf and Frankfurt report that hooligans who were active as long ago as the 1990s are once again rising and are on the increase in what the media portrays as “right-wing motivated behavior”.
On Twitter, users tweeting under the #hogesa tag have written, “This movement must never rest until we are finally in charge of our own country again.” One woman wrote, “Germany is finally waking up,” while another tweet included a German flag bearing the words, “We don’t want a [Muslim] theocracy.”
The left’s operational concept of freedom is that you are allowed to do and say what you like—so long as you stay within a certain proscribed window of socially acceptable deviation. The purpose of the gay marriage campaign is simply to change the parameters of that window, extending it to include the gay, the queer, the transgendered—and to exclude anyone who thinks that homosexuality is a sin or who wants to preserve the traditional concept of marriage. Those people are declared outside the protection of the law and in fact will have the full weight of the law bear down upon them until they recant their socially unacceptable views.
The point is not whether you agree about which views are or should be socially acceptable. The point is that this is not a concept of freedom. It’s a regime of state-controlled ideas, softened by an amorphous zone of official tolerance.
That’s the only reason I’m interested in this controversy. My own stance on gay marriage can be summed as: “whatever.” I would feel no need to say anything about it, if not for the insistence on the part of gay marriage advocates that any dissenters must be forced to submit.
My interest is in protecting the freedom to say and do things that the mainstream finds repugnant. I’ve got a few of my own out-of-the-mainstream views, and I hope you do, too. I would not want to live in a society where all such dissenters are forced to conform.
When you think about it, there is something twisted, something deeply illiberal, about using the occasion of your own wedding to force someone else to comply with your social orthodoxy. For advocates of gay rights, I think I understand the source of this compulsion. As someone on Facebook put it to me, “Forcing ministers to marry you is the end zone dance of the culture wars.” That just about sums it up. It’s not enough to get the courts to recognize gay marriage. You also have to coerce the very opponents of gay marriage into going through the motions of supporting it. It’s even more delicious when you can do it in Coeur D’Alene, in Idaho for crying out loud. Take that, you knuckle-dragging redneck bigots!
This is a barbaric concept of victory. They’ve won the battle, and now the defeated enemy must be paraded in chains through the streets and forced to kneel before the emperor.
According to a security source in Diyala province, the terrorist organization ISIS beheaded a 30 year old woman for killing one its members as he attempted to rape her in her home located northeast of Baquba.
The source said in an interview for IraqiNews.com: “On Wednesday, a member of the terrorist organization ISIS attempted to rape a 30 year old woman inside her house in a village located in the northern district of Muqdadiya (35 km northeast of Baquba), but she managed to grab his gun and kill him in order to maintain her honor. The woman was resting at home and recovering from a medical illness before the attack occurred.”
The source, who requested anonymity, added that “members of ISIS imposed a perimeter in the vicinity of the incident before arresting the sick woman and then killing her by cutting off her head with a sword as per the sentence issued by the Sharia Court of the organization.”
Over the last few days a story has made the rounds about the state of Idaho coercing pastors into officiating same-sex weddings or risk a fine and jail time. The story has changed a bit, but its disturbing core remains. And there’s an aspect to this scandal that shows what’s been missing from our debate over the thought police’s consistent targeting of religious believers.
On Saturday, the faith group Alliance Defending Freedom posted a press release about the Knapps, a married couple both of whom are ordained ministers. The Knapps own and run the Hitching Post Wedding Chapel in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. The state recently passed an anti-discrimination law that applies to the state’s businesses. Hitching Post is a for-profit chapel. Thus, according to state officials, the law plainly applies without exception to the Knapps.
And this is a religious country. Obama won, after all, promising various forms of redemption to his supporters. But the Obama phenomenon was only possible because the demand for such a false prophet existed in the first place. In fact, anyone who has observed American politics and religious discourse in recent years will be aware that when it comes to evangelism, those professing to be godless or secular or progressive are the most thorough. (For a clever take on this, watch Portlandia’s hipster version of door-knocking missionaries. Example: approaching Seattle residents with the line, “We were wondering if you were interested in accepting Portland into your life.”)
Atheists have begun to bring that spirit to life. Last year, the Associated Press detailed the rise of “atheist mega-churches” around the world. (Complete with “Born Again Humanist” bumper stickers.) That movement inspired a column in (where else?) the Guardian railing against the idea of a church for nonbelievers. As the column’s author Sadhbh Walshe, a devout nonbeliever, wrote:
I would have thought the message of atheism (if there needs to be one) is that churches and ritualized worship (whatever the focus of that worship might be) are best left to the people who feel the need to have a God figure in their lives.
Ah, but Walshe is right! The trappings of religion are for “people who feel the need to have a God figure in their lives.” And that is, it appears, most people. Especially in Western countries with religious heritage but aggressive and modern nihilistic instincts. The “secular” left needs a God figure just as much as the religious right. The difference is that the religious right eschews Inquisitions, and the left is just learning how effective they can be. Just ask the Knapps.
Federal authorities have warned US law enforcement of potential terror attacks against them from homegrown ISIS members or supporters, according to a leaked internal bulletin exclusively obtained by Breitbart Texas. The leaked document is dated October 11, 2014, and was provided by a trusted federal agent who did so on the condition of anonymity.
The memo was issued by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) as a Joint Intelligence Bulletin and is titled, “Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and Its Supporters Encouraging Attacks Against Law Enforcement and Government Personnel.” It is labeled, “UNCLASSIFIED/FOR OFFICIAL USE ONLY” and asserts that it may be exempt from the Freedom of Information Act and should not be released tot he public, the media, or anyone else not authorized by the DHS.
The document alerts US law enforcement personnel, including FBI Special Agents, to be aware of their surroundings and to monitor their families’ use of social media to “avoid revealing FBI or law enforcement affiliation.”
Another significant revelation in the leaked document is that the FBI is unaware of any current specific imminent threats from ISIS on U.S. soil, an assertion that seems to contradict some previous public reports that ISIS has crossed the U.S./Mexico border and is planning specific attacks. The report does indicate that ISIS advocated attacks on U.S. military personnel, law enforcement in general, FBI personnel, government officials, and media figures.
Read the full document: 244056002-FBI-Isis-Final