The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C., is featuring a display showing graphic photos of murder and torture that are said to have been committed under the regime of President Bashar al-Assad in Syria. A Syrian pastor has warned against using the images to justify expanding the war in the country, however.
The Associated Press reported that the photos are from an archive of 55,000 images smuggled out of Syria by a photographer, who has testified in Congress about witnessing the mass killing of prisoners. The journalist, who was only named by the codename "Caesar," said that the massacre was committed under the Assad regime.
"They show a side of the Syrian regime that hasn't really been really seen. You might have heard about it, read about it, but when you're confronted with these images, they're impossible to ignore," said Cameron Hudson, director of the museum's Center for the Prevention of Genocide. more >>
Archbishop of Canterbury and Church of England leader the Most Rev. Justin Welby has shared his views on the global war against terror group ISIS, and admitted that there may be no other choice but to use force to protect people under attack. He also called on religious leaders to stand up against religious extremism that seeks to justify violence.
"Within Christian teaching there is a strong and brave tradition of absolute pacifism. Yet there are calls from Christian leaders in the Middle East for armed help. They seek temporary support while their own governments get their act together. They do not want the Middle East emptied of its Christian populations, essential to its culture, critical in many areas of life and there since before the time of St Paul," Welby wrote in an article for Prospect Magazine, to be released in November 2014.
"It may be that we cannot avoid some use of force, but that must be done in the context of a greater and more selfless ideal that renews the vision that rebuilt our own continent after the long wars that began in 1914," Welby continued. more >>
Islamic State members now have more to worry about than U.S.-led airstrikes and the Kurdish peshmerga fighters, with the recent increase in guerrilla attacks against them conducted by several Syrian rebel combat groups in eastern Syria.
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, a monitoring group tracking the conflict, reports that they have seen an increase in the amount of guerrilla attacks on ISIS militants by gunman in the Deir al-Zor province, which alongside the Raqq province to the north, constitutes the biggest cog in the Islamic State threshold in Syria.
The Observatory said there are a number of groups that are conducting attacks on ISIS within the province, which is a major oil region in Syria and is still partly controlled by the government. more >>
It's hard to believe that a young woman growing up in America's Deep South would choose to convert to Islam because she is a feminist. With bad news focusing on ISIS' enslavement and torture of women, Hamas' use of women and children as human shields, and Boko Haram kidnapping young Christian girls from their schoolyards all with the common quest to implement Sharia Law, Islam just isn't the religion that comes to mind when I think of women's rights and equality.
Still, in her CNN op-ed Islamic feminist Theresa Corbin expressed, "Surprisingly, Islam turned out to be the religion that appealed to my feminist ideals." she continued, "I came to realize Islam is a world religion that teaches tolerance, justice and honor and promotes patience, modesty and balance." The only problem, however, is that this feminist's writings focus on her emotions, Islam's cultural appeals (which apparently include arranged marriages), and not its faith teachings.
It is the same emotional, reductive argument that recently triggered Ben Affleck and Bill Maher's fiery debate over whether Islamists' conquests of oppression and destruction in the name of the Caliphate is a core tenant of the faith. Essentially, Bill Maher said look at the text and Ben Affleck said look at the people. more >>
The United States' war on terror group ISIS in Iraq and Syria has been given an official name and dubbed "Operation Inherent Resolve."
"According to CENTCOM officials, the name INHERENT RESOLVE is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community," read a statement by officials with U.S. Central Command, according to The Washington Post.
"It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary — diplomatic, informational, military, economic — to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL." more >>
Testimonies from two Yazidi female teenagers who have escaped from the tight grip of the Islamic State detail their horrific experiences as ISIS captives. One of the girls, like many other ISIS captives, contemplated suicide before her eventual escape.
Interviews conducted by Globalpost.com earlier this month highlight the experiences of two Yazidi females, one 15-year-old and the other 19, who were captured when the Islamic State took control of the Yazidi region of Sinjar in the Nineveh province in Iraq on Aug. 3.
As the Yazidi Fraternal Organization states that it has registered the names of 12,000 missing Yazidis (7,000 men, 5,000 women) since Aug. 3, these stories provide greater anecdotal insight into the all-too common nature of the human rights abuses facing many religious minorities who are at the mercy of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. more >>