Despite widespread support from western journalists defending the French satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo's right to offend after a terrorist attack on its Paris office left 12 people dead last Wednesday, a series of leaked emails between journalists at the Qatari-government run news outlet Al Jazeera has revealed a cultural rift between western staff and their Middle East counterparts about that support.
Reminding staff of their audience in the series of emails leaked to National Review Online, Salah-Aldeen Khadr, executive producer of Al Jazeera English, questioned whether the attack against the magazine was about free speech.
"You don't actually stick it to the terrorists by insulting the majority of Muslims by reproducing more cartoons — you actually entrench the very animosity and divisions these guys seek to sow," Khadr wrote. more >>
UPDATE: 8 p.m. Jan. 13, 2015
As of 5 p.m. Tuesday the American Family Association's petition calling on Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to reinstate Kelvin Cochran as the city's fire chief has garnered over 42,000 signatures, while the Family Research Council's petition has garnered more than 32,000 signatures.
Various Christian and social conservative activist groups have launched petition campaigns requesting that the mayor of Atlanta reinstate the city's former fire chief, who was fired last week after the city investigated a book he wrote that included short passages affirming his Christian belief that homosexuality is wrong. more >>
French Officials defended President Barack Obama on Monday amid growing criticisms about his absence from an anti-terrorism rally in Paris on Sunday. The United States was represented by the Ambassador to France Jane Hartley.
World leaders from around the world joined an estimated 3.7 million people who marched in rallies across France yesterday (1.5 million in Paris), to promote peace and unity days after the Charlie Hebdo massacre.
Top White House officials, including the president himself, were noticeably absent from the unity march, which drew criticism, but on Monday senior French officials defended Obama to veteran CNN journalist Christiane Amanpour. more >>
Ousted Atlanta Fire Rescue Department Chief Kelvin Cochran is exploring legal options after being fired last week for espousing his Christian beliefs on homosexuality in his self-published book and sharing it with employees.
The married father of three says that his First Amendment rights were violated when city officials dismissed him as fire chief, one month after he was suspended without pay and forced to undergo sensitivity training.
In his 2013 book, Who Told You That You Are Naked?, Cochran openly expressed his beliefs on faith and spirituality and an interal complaint was filed when he distributed copies in the workplace. more >>
TLC will air its controversial show "My Husband's Not Gay" on Sunday despite widespread criticism and calls for the channel not to.
"TLC has long shared compelling stories about real people and different ways of life, without judgment," TLC said in a statement. "The individuals featured in this one-hour special reveal the decisions they have made, and speak only for themselves."
The channel issued the statement in response to intense criticism from GLAAD, a gay Christian who started a campaign on Change.org that has received over 100,000 supporters, and the Family Research Council. Members of the public have expressed their views about the show, which features three Mormon couples who "navigate unconventional relationships" as well as one single man who goes on a date and has to "decide whether or not to reveal his big secret," according to TLC. more >>
A North Carolina town has finally thrown in the towel on a years-long court battle by agreeing to remove a veterans' memorial statue from its central park that featured a praying soldier kneeling before a cross and a Christian flag.
After spending approximately $50,000 in legal fees to help preserve the memorial at King Central Park, and willing to spend no more, the King City Council voted 3-2 on Tuesday to agree on a settlement with the plaintiff, a former U.S. Army soldier, that would force the city to remove the statue and take down the Christian flag.
The city council vote took place in front of a room of about 60 of the town's residents and many of them shook their heads in disapproval as the board announced the settlement. The Winston-Salem Journal reports that a few residents interjected with notions such as: "What else are you going to give up next?" more >>