Memorial Day, an annual holiday that falls on the last Monday in May, is observed nationwide to honor those who served in the Armed Forces.
While the day has evolved into barbeque and shopping day for most Americans today, at its inception, Memorial Day was actually not broadly celebrated or as focused as it is today.
The origins of the federal holiday derived from the late nineteenth century via the efforts of veterans from the American Civil War. A union veterans group known as the Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) held what is considered the first major Memorial Day observance back in 1868. Originally called "Decoration Day," the event involved decorating the graves of war dead with flowers and was planned for May 30 due to it being a time when flowers bloomed. more >>
Nigeria's teachers have gone on a nationwide strike and staged rallies to protest the kidnapping of over 200 schoolgirls by Islamic militants, demanding that schools receive better protection from the government.
"All schools nationwide shall be closed as the day will be our day of protest against the abduction of the Chibok female students and the heartless murder of the 173 teachers," National Union of Teachers President Micheal Alogba Olukoya told reporters, according to Reuters.
Close to 270 girls were taken from an all-girls school in Chibok on April 14 by terrorist group Boko Haram, which threatened to sell them as brides to Islamic militants. Despite Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan's promises to do everything he can to find the girls, and the U.S. and U.K. sending teams into Nigeria to help in the search and rescue efforts, the girls are yet to be found. more >>
The United States Congress is considering a bill that would add a prayer given by former President Franklin Delano Roosevelt to the World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C.
Known as H.R 2175, the bill was introduced last year with the House Subcommittee on Public Lands and Environmental Regulation holding a hearing on it Tuesday morning.
"The Secretary of the Interior … shall install in the area of the World War II Memorial in the District of Columbia a suitable plaque or an inscription with the words that President Franklin D. Roosevelt prayed with the United States on June 6, 1944, the morning of D-Day," reads the bill. more >>
Until now, Islamist rule has implied violence and dictatorship; can it evolve into something decent?
Put differently: if the brutality of Ruhollah Khomeini and Osama bin Laden marked them as yesterday's men, and the autocracy of Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Mohamed Morsi make them today's men; can tomorrow's Islamists – Muslims seeking a consistent and global application of Islamic law under the rule of a caliph – become democratic and humane?
Islamism has significantly evolved over the past 13 years. As recently as 2001, its adherents were synonymous with criminals, terrorists, and revolutionaries. In this spirit, I wrote three days after 9/11 that many Islamists "are peaceable in appearance, but they all must be considered potential killers." more >>
International Christian Concern says that the latest suicide bomb blasts in Kano, Nigeria, that killed at least 20 people, were targeting the minority Christian churches there. Concerns are that Islamic militants are once again focusing their sights on Christians in their ongoing war against the Nigerian government.
"The most recent bombing in Kano's predominantly Christian district greatly concerns us. It's been 10 months since a major attack has targeted Kano's minority Christian community. Amidst all Christians must continue to face throughout northeast Nigeria, any indication that Islamist militants and extremists are becoming more and more capable of highly lethal attacks, such as this one, is alarming," ICC's regional manager for Africa, William Stark, said.
"Already, more than 1,500 innocents, including hundreds of Christians, have been murdered this year alone. Much more must be done to improve the Nigerian state's capability to protect its citizens, including its Christian minorities, who are highly susceptible to violence and easily targeted for the expression of their faith," Stark added. more >>
Here we are, a month after the kidnapping of some 300 girls by a radical Islamic group in Nigeria, and there are still many in the West who don't get it. They just don't understand the motivation of the kidnappers.
Radical Muslims want to take over the world. They divide it into two parts---those who submit to Allah and therefore are at "peace" and those that are at war until they are made to submit to Allah. These are the houses of peace (Dar al-Islam) and of war (Dar al-Harb).
By misreading the motives of Boko Haram, the kidnapping group, we are misreading what the whole conflict is all about; the same applies to radical Muslims everywhere. more >>