With Islamic extremist attacks seemingly happening throughout the world on a regular basis, the president of Egypt, Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, delivered a groundbreaking New Year's Day speech at the highly-prestigious, 1000-year-old Al-Azhar University and urged Muslim imams to change radical rhetoric and lead a "religious revolution" that embraces peace.
With extremists groups like the Islamic State, Boko Haram, and Al Qaeda killing thousands of innocent people in addition to the increase of radical attacks in other parts of the world, most in the international community no longer view Islam as "religion of peace," al-Sisi stated.
"Is it possible that 1.6 billion [Muslims] should want to kill the rest of the world's inhabitants – that is 7 billion—so that they themselves may live? Impossible!" al-Sisi asserted. "I say and repeat again that we are in need of a religious revolution. You, imams, are responsible before Allah. The entire world, I say it again, the entire world is waiting for your next move… because this umma [international Muslim community] is being torn, it is being destroyed, it is being lost – and it is being lost by our own hands." more >>
Ridley Scott's latest film "Exodus: Gods and Kings" starring Christian Bale has been banned in Egypt after censors deemed the film historically inaccurate.
The blockbuster was set to premiere in both Egypt and Morocco on Friday, according to several reports. The Egyptian censorship board said that "Exodus," which is based on the biblical book of Exodus, was historically inaccurate since it depicts Jews building the Pyramids, according to the BBC. Moreover, the Hollywood film portrays an earthquake, not a miracle, causing the Red Sea to part.
"It contains historical fallacies," Egyptian censorship board head Abdul Sattar Fathy said in a statement, according to Egypt's news portal, Mobtada. Fathy also cited the film's depiction of Moses that was similar to a general in an army as opposed to the biblical prophet who is highly revered in the Abrahamic religions of Islam, Judaism and Christianity. more >>
The Christian convert who made history by becoming the first person in Egypt's history to attempt to legally change his religious affiliation on his government identification from Islam to Christianity, has "vowed to starve himself to death" in response to his "illegal" imprisonment, his attorney said.
Bishoy Boulous, who is formerly known by his Muslim name of Mohammed Hegazy, was sentenced to five years imprisonment by an Egyptian court in July on the allegation of causing "sectarian strife."
Boulous' attorney, Karam Ghobrial, claims that the 32-year-old's detention is in "violation of the law" and that the charges against him were motivated by his original attempt in 2007 to have the Egyptian government legally recognize his conversion from Muslim to Christian, Front Page Magazine reports. more >>
Egyptian militant group Ansar Beit al-Maqdis, which has reportedly pledged allegiance to terror group ISIS, has claimed responsibility for the murder of an American oil worker who was killed during a carjacking in August.
The militants apparently posted online photos of a passport and two identification cards belonging to 58-year-old Texan William Haderson, The Associated Press reported on Monday.
Henderson had worked for Houston-based energy company Apache Corporation, and was a production expert for Qarun Petroleum Co, a joint venture between the Apache Corporation and the Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation. more >>
In June and July of 2013, Tahrir Square became a place where history was made. This Cairo, Egypt landmark housed the largest outpouring of protest against the radical Jihadist agenda in the Middle East, with estimates of over 20 million people protesting the rule of the Muslim Brotherhood. The loss of power for the Muslim Brotherhood brought repercussions to Egyptian Christians, both Coptic and evangelical, as the Brotherhood sought to both appeal for support among Islamic radicals, and punish Christians for speaking out against the brutality of the Muslim Brotherhood. Hundreds of churches were burned to the ground, homes and businesses were attacked and many Christians lost their lives.
As CEO of Open Doors USA, I have the privilege of regularly interacting with heroes of the faith, people who have suffered great persecution. I often meet people who have lost their entire families, businesses and homes, simply because they choose to be followers of Jesus. I was in Tahrir Square last January when Egyptians voted to adopt the new constitution and chart a path away from the rule of Islamic Jihadists. I watched as the Brotherhood demonstrated with violence, desperately trying to hold on to their death-grip of power over Egyptians. And I watched as Christians were targeted for brutality.
But just days ago, I returned again from Egypt. What I saw this time was a Church that has grown strong in spite of the horrendous difficulties that it faces. I saw Christians, both Coptic and evangelical, who have come to understand they must seek a common path together in faith. These are important first steps. What I saw was the first steps in the rebuilding of an Egyptian Christian Church focused on the saving grace of Jesus. more >>
Although Reuters reported Monday night that one of the most prominent jihadist groups in the Sinai Peninsula region of Egypt has pledged its allegiance to the Islamic State caliphate, confusion remains as to the extent of the groups' connection as The Institute For the Study of War claims the reports of allegiance are false.
Reuters reported that the terrorist group Ansar Bayt al-Maqdis, or "Partisans of Jerusalem", issued a statement Monday night saying that the group is loyal to the Islamic State and also labeled ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the caliph (Muslim prince) of all nations.
"After entrusting God we decided to swear allegiance to the emir of the faithful Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, caliph of the Muslims in Syria and Iraq and in other countries," the statement said. more >>