GARLAND, Texas — Protesters holding signs against Shariah Law and the Islamic State shouted "go back home" toward Muslims as their cars crept past to enter the "Stand with the prophet against hate and terror" event that aims to "challenge growing Islamophobia in American society," which was held less than two weeks after Parisians' lives were rattled by terrorist attacks committed by radical Islamic jihadists that left 17 people dead.
For the hundreds of protesters who traveled near and far to counter what they see as encroaching Islamization in Europe, Canada and the United States, their fears are justified. Many Muslims, however, expressed deep concerns about the vicious verbal attacks that were shouted against them, and said their hope is for unity and understanding in their communities where some see them as nothing more than a potential terror threat.
According to the "Stand with the prophet" conference website, one objective of Saturday's event was to raise money to build a Strategic Communication Center "for the Muslim community, which will develop effective responses to anti-Islamic attacks, as well as to train young Muslims in media." more >>
Oklahoma's newly elected Republican Senator, James Lankford, was appointed the new co-chairman of the Congressional Prayer Caucus, the caucus' co-chair and founding member, Rep. Randy Forbes, R-Va., announced on Thursday.
The caucus, which works to protect individuals' rights to religious freedoms, including the right to freely pray, consists of a bipartisan group of 80 Congress members. The 46-year-old Lankford, who joined the caucus when he first won election as a representative in 2010, becomes the first senator involved in the caucus, making it a bicameral assembly.
"The Congressional Prayer Caucus has worked successfully to advocate for and protect values that are fundamental to the fabric of our nation, and I'm honored to serve as co-chairman," Lankford said in a statement shared with The Christian Post. "This Caucus has worked together on a bipartisan basis to preserve the presence of religion, faith, and morality in the marketplace of ideas. It is vitally important that Congress respects these values in public policy, as well as culture." more >>
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed's decision to terminate Kelvin Cochran last week was unconstitutional, according to attorneys working with the ousted fire chief as he explores legal options to sue the City.
In a recent press release, Alliance Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Kevin Theriot sternly criticized Reed's controversial firing of Cochran on Jan. 6, one month after he was suspended without pay and forced to undergo sensitivity training for espousing his Christian beliefs in a book and handing out copies to employees.
The case has sparked nationwide debates about free speech and religious freedom and whether Cochran's First Amendment rights were violated. more >>
Atlanta's Mayor Muhammad Kasim Reed says that he has been called the "Antichrist" and "a Muslim" since terminating Fire Chief Kelvin Cochran and despite being subject to harassment and alarming threats, he stands by his controversial decision.
On Jan. 6 Cochran, a devout Christian, was fired by Reed for espousing his religious beliefs in a self-published book and distributing copies to fellow employees. The termination sparked widespread outrage and protests and also drew a firestorm of criticism from prominent Christian leaders including evangelist Franklin Graham and Family Research Council President Tony Perkins, who say Cochran's First Amendment rights have been violated.
"The only part that I really don't like is just the tone and tenor of the comments that have been directed to me and the threat that this has caused to the safety of my family," Reed said in his first sit down with Atlanta's WXIA. more >>
Numerous residents in a small town in North Carolina gathered on Sunday to peacefully protest the city's decision to remove a memorial, featuring a soldier kneeling before a cross and christian flag, from its central park after council members voted that it could no longer afford a $2 million court battle to preserve it.
After the King city council voted 3-2 last week to remove the "praying soldier" statue and Christian flag from its central park, the town completely succombed to the legal pressure of a years-long lawsuit filed by a former U.S. Army veteran, who was offended by the memorial's religious implications.
With the town having already spent $50,000 in legal fees to help preserve the monument from the lawsuit, three city council members, who all voted in favor of the motion to remove the monument, didn't want to waste anymore of its taxpayers' dollars on the court battle, which has been estimated to cost the city about $2 million if it wanted to fight the case until the very end. more >>
Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II have separately said that while the terror attacks on France last week were wrong, it is not right for people to insult the faith of others. The sentiment has been echoed by Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who warned that his country will not tolerate drawings of Muhammad, such as the ones made by satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others," Francis told journalists when asked about the Charlie Hebdo situation on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
A terror attack last week on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris left 12 people dead, and 17 in total were killed in other attacks carried out by Islamic extremists. The French magazine was attacked because of its drawings of Muhammad, considered a prophet in Islam, Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen revealed when taking responsibility for organizing the attack. more >>