A recently opened mosque in Cape Town, South Africa, that welcomed openly gay residents and allowed women to lead prayers, was criticized by the local Muslim community and subsequently shut down by the government, reportedly for violating city bylaws regarding parking spaces.
Taj Hargey, a Muslim academic and founder of The Open Mosque, lashed out against the city's order, however, saying it has more to do with controlling the freedom of religion.
A French citizen who was kidnapped on Sunday has been beheaded by a jihadist group in Algeria, apparently in retaliation for France launching airstrikes in Iraq against ISIS targets.
"Our values are at stake," French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Wednesday after hearing about the video, but would not comment further at the time, The Association Press reported.
Herve Gourdel, a 55-year-old mountaineering guide from Nice, was captured by Islamic militants in the mountains of northern Algeria. The Jund al-Khilafah terror group announced later that Gourdel would be killed within 24 hours unless France ends its airstrikes. more >>
Initial hopes that the Nigerian army had managed to free some of the over 200 schoolgirls kidnapped from the town of Chibok in April by terror group Boko Haram were dashed after the army retracted an earlier statement.
BBC News reported on Tuesday that the military had initially said that some of the girls were freed, but Army spokesman Major General Chris Olukolade later said that the girls that are in custody are not those from Chibok, as originally thought.
The international community has rallied behind the schoolgirls, who were taken by Islamic extremists who said they were going to sell them off as child brides. more >>
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has warned that between 550,000 and 1.4 million people could be infected by the deadly Ebola outbreak by January if it is not contained. Although the World Health Organization confirmed 5,800 cases earlier this week, which has led to 2,800 deaths, health experts agree the numbers are highly under-reported.
"If conditions continue without scale-up of interventions, cases will continue to double approximately every 20 days, and the number of cases in West Africa will rapidly reach extraordinary levels. However, the findings also indicate that the epidemic can be controlled," states the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, released on Tuesday.
The report also noted that cases in Liberia are doubling every 15-20 days, while those in Sierra Leone and Guinea are doubling every 30 to 40 days. The outbreak has also spread to Nigeria and Senegal, but there have only been select few cases reported so far. more >>
Christian Nigerians are concerned that the sacrament of communion might put them at risk for contracting the Ebola virus.
Prominent Nigerian churches have asked parishioners to not put communion elements in the mouth of those receiving the sacrament and to stop shaking hands, which is part of the "rite of peace" because of the rampant spread of Ebola. According to The Associate Press, Ebola is spread through direct contact with an infected person's body fluids. There is currently no vaccine or treatment that can cure the disease.
Alfred Adewale Martins, Archbishop of Lagos, released a statement called "The Outbreak of Ebola Virus – a Pastoral Approach," in which he sought to reassure believers that the changes made to the administering of the sacrament would not affect the holiness of the practices. "Let us state clearly that the reception of commuinon-in-the-hand neither affects the validity, sanctity, dignity, and divinity of the Eucharist nor vitiates the full effects of this Sacrament on its recipients," he explains. more >>
At least 15 people have been killed and another 35 wounded after gunmen, suspected to be part of terror group Boko Haram, stormed a teacher training college in the northern Nigerian city of Kano and began firing on students.
"We heard several shots from the gate area and after a few minutes we heard an explosion at the theater," said Sansei Omar, an English lecturer at the Federal College of Education who saw the attack from a neighboring building, Reuters reported.
"The attackers were wearing suits and were running and shooting everywhere." more >>