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 >>
On the morning of April 7, Dutch Jesuit priest Frans Van Der Lugt was most likely in meditation, as was his custom, when gunmen burst into his monastery in the old part of the Syrian town of Homs. They grabbed the 75-year-old clergyman, beat him, dragged him outside and shot him twice in the head. The assassins were probably jihadis who then controlled Homs.
The priest was unarmed and for 50 years had come to be widely beloved for his humanitarian work. Was he murdered, then, simply as an "infidel", one of only a dozen or so Christians remaining there, or because of his, and Syria's Christians', refusal to fight in the conflict, or because of his long dedication to inter-religious dialogue, anathema to extremists? What is certain, he did not die a by-stander, caught in the cross fire of Syria's civil war. He was singled out for his Christianity.
Syria's two million Christians follow some ten different faith traditions and no group has been spared persecution. For three years, they have seen their ancient churches deliberately destroyed in Maaloula and many other places, and many clergy and laypeople targeted for death, kidnapping, and intimidation. Two Orthodox bishops from Aleppo have been hostages for a year. In Raqqa, another renowned Jesuit and man of peace was abducted and reportedly executed last July. This year, 20 of Raqqa's remaining Christian leaders were forced to sign a so-called dhimmi contract, agreeing to pay "protection" money, and submit to medieval Muslim blasphemy and social codes. Recently, extremists stopped and searched a bus, and from its group of largely Kurdish passengers separated out and beheaded two Armenian Christians. These are just a few examples. more >>
The Wall Street Journal recently showed Vladimir Putin in Crimea. There was the saturnine Slav in an unusually ebullient mood. He was standing in front of a banner ostensibly celebrating the victory of the USSR in what Russians still call "The Great Patriotic War" against Hitler in 1945.
Of course, some would argue that the only reason Vladimir Vladimirovich appeared before the large red banner with its Communist Hammer and Sickle insignia is for historical accuracy. Those victory banners from 1945 have a long history in Russia.
Defenders of Putin's public association with the symbols of Soviet power might say it is rather like us celebrating America's victory at Fort McHenry in 1814 with a fifteen-star, fifteen stripe "Star-Spangled Banner." more >>
Between the announcement of the Truman Doctrine in 1947 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989, the single most important influence on global politics and American foreign policy was the Cold War. Teachers, students, and parents thus would rightly expect the College Board's newly redesigned AP US History Framework to highlight the origins of the Cold War in Europe, the successes of America's policy of containment, and the United States' triumph over communism under President Reagan. Unfortunately, the College Board Framework completely fails to meet this reasonable expectation.
The Framework opens Unit 8 on the period from 1945 to 1980 with the following sentence about the Cold War in Europe: "The United States developed a foreign policy based on collective security and a multinational economic framework that bolstered non-Communist nations." (page 60) This sweeping generation ignores the Soviet conquest of Eastern Europe, Churchill's "Iron Curtain" speech, and George Kennan's influential advocacy of a policy of containment. Since the Framework doesn't even mention these critical events, it obviously ignores how they provoked the Truman Doctrine committing the United States to support "free peoples" resisting Communist aggression. Nor does it relate how, as the leader of the Free World, the United States formed the NATO alliance to defend Western Europe and funded the Marshall Plan to revive the region's war-torn economy.
These egregious omissions are not atypical. They are in fact part of a pattern of superficial and biased statements woven throughout the entire 98-page curriculum guide. more >>
The harrowing experiences of Edgar Harrell and the crew on the USS Indianapolis, a battleship that helped put an end to World War II, are documented in the recently released book, Out of the Depths: An Unforgettable WWII Story of Survival, Courage, and the Sinking of the USS Indianapolis.
On the way back from making their voyage to Japan to deliver components used to create the atomic bombs dropped on Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the USS Indianapolis was attacked by a Japanese submarine and of its 1,197-man crew, only 317 survived the five-day ordeal.
Hundreds of men were set adrift in the vast Pacific Ocean. Frigid cold temperatures assailed them at night, and the blistering, burning sun assaulted them by day. All the while, strong waves and hungry sharks picked them off one by one. more >>