An Iranian woman hanged for murdering her alleged rapist left behind a heartbreaking message for her mother in which she asserts that "death is not the end of life" and that she trusts God with her future, even if it meant death by the Iranian court.
"Let's see what God wants," Reyhaneh Jabbari said in a voicemail to her mother several months ago. The Iranian woman was charged with the murder of her accused rapist and in jail at the time she left the voicemail—her fate had not yet been decided, but she knew that she could easily be found guilty and hanged.
"The world did not love us," she said. "It did not want my fate. And now I am giving in to it and embrace the death. Because in the court of God I will charge the inspectors, I will charge inspector Shamlou, I will charge judge, and the judges of country's Supreme Court that beat me up when I was awake and did not refrain from harassing me … I will charge Qassem Shabani and all those that out of ignorance or with their lies wronged me and trampled on my rights and didn't pay heed to the fact that sometimes what appears as reality is different from it." more >>
HBO Host Bill Maher has stirred controversy by suggesting that Michael Brown was "acting like a thug" but did not deserve to be shot by officer Darren Wilson in August, who in turn Maher described as a "plain murderer." Maher's comments have prompted some fans to call for a boycott of his show.
"You know what else I find disturbing is that everybody in America just sides with their own people and doesn't look at the facts. … The cops I saw on the news a couple of weeks ago were wearing bracelets or something that said, 'I am Darren Wilson.' Why do you want to throw your lot in with this plain murderer?" The "Real Time with Bill Maher" host said.
"And Michael Brown's people. I'm sorry, but Michael Brown's people say he is a gentle giant. Well, we saw that video when he was in that 7-11. No, he wasn't gentle. He was committing a robbery and he pushed that guy. He was acting like a thug, not a gentle giant. He certainly didn't deserve to be shot for it." more >>
A trailer for the documentary about a string of church burnings in Texas surfaced online Thursday, revealing a story that is part mystery and part faith.
The film, "Little Hope Was Arson," reveals the details of 10 churches that were set on fire in East Texas within one month of each other in 2010. The crimes sparked one of the largest man hunts in regional history; and even after the arsonists were caught, the mystery continues to unfold. What caused the two young men to set fire to so many churches? How did their families react to the news?
"Churches are burning, faith is on fire," reads the trailer. A story of justice, a story of forgiveness, a story of hope." more >>
John Sentamu, the archbishop of York, has said that he's "deeply ashamed" over allegations of child abuse by a former dean in a recently published report that has revealed "systemic failures" by the Church of England in dealing with such cases.
"I have already been in contact with those who gave evidence to the inquiry regarding their alleged abuse by Robert Waddington. As I have said to them, I am deeply ashamed that the church was not vigilant enough to ensure that these things did not happen, failing both to watch and to act, where children were at serious risk," York said, according to The Guardian on Wednesday.
The report by Judge Sally Cahill made abuse allegations against the late Very Rev. Robert Waddington, formerly dean of Manchester. It stated that at least two men made claims in 1999 and sometime in 2003-2004 that they had been abused as children. The acting Archbishop of York at the time, Lord Hope of Thorne, and other church officials were criticized for not acting on the allegations, and therefore putting other children at risk, BBC noted. more >>
The gunman shot dead during an attack on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Wednesday has been identified as 32-year-old petty criminal Michael Zehaf-Bibeau, who was reportedly a recent convert to Islam. The shooting, which led to the death of a soldier posted at the National War Memorial, was the second attack on Canadian soldiers in the space of three days.
"We will not be intimidated. Canada will never be intimidated," Prime Minister Stephen Harper said following the shooting. He added that on Monday, an "ISIL-inspired terrorist" ran over two soldiers and killed one in the province of Quebec. The man, who was shot down by police, was also a recent convert to Islam.
Michelle Knight survived one of the worst ordeals at the hands of Ariel Castro, but the Christian woman says that she has forgiven her captor and rapist and will go on living her life.
Knight, who now goes by the name Lilly, was held captive by Castro for 11 years with two other girls. They managed to escape in 2013 and have largely avoided all contact with the press, but Knight has decided to stay in the limelight and tell her story, perhaps as an example of survival for others.
"I was able to forgive him," Knight said at Notre Dame-Cathedral Latin High School in Chadron, Ohio on Sunday. more >>