Despite the fact that Islamic State leaders have their eyes set on expanding the caliphate outside of Iraq and Syria, a recent poll surveying respondents from seven Arab nations and refugees in Syria found that ISIS is overwhelmingly unpopular among people there.
A telephone poll, conducted by the Arab opinion index team at the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, surveyed respondents from Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinian territory, and Syria (refugees) and found that 85 percent of its respondents view the Islamic State terrorist organization as "negative" or "negative to some extent." Only 11 percent of the respondents said they held "positive" or relatively positive views on ISIS.
The survey also found that nearly six in 10 respondents "strongly support" or "support" the U.S.-led coalition's aims to destroy ISIS, although 75 percent said they have "negative" or "negative to some extent" opinions about U.S. foreign policy in the Arab region. About one-third of the respondents said they either "strongly oppose" or "oppose" the international coalition's efforts. more >>
Reports have emerged indicating that the Islamic State is planning to soon circulate its own form of currency in areas under its control, and plans to issue pure solid gold and silver gold dinar coins that it hopes will help devalue Western currencies.
As the British news website The Daily Mail reported on Monday, ISIS religious leaders recently announced to attendees of the group's controlled mosques that the organization will instate its own form of currency in an attempt to further solidify its caliphate.
The report states that the militants want to bring back and ancient form of the Islamic dinar, which were coins that was distributed in ancient Islamic societies that were first introduced in the year 634 AD under the caliphate of Uthman. more >>
Testimony provided by a former member of the Islamic State in Syria indicates that ISIS militants view NATO member Turkey as their ally, and highlights the extent to which the militant group has coordinated its efforts with the Turkish government.
A former Islamic State communications technician working out the ISIS communications bureau in the Syrian stronghold of Raqqa said in an interview with Newsweek, last Friday, that the Turkish government allowed ISIS convoys to cross freely over its border and travel through the country to avoid combat in Kurdish controlled regions of Syria in efforts to attack more vulnerable Kurdish troops in Syria's northeastern region.
Speaking under the pseudonym of "Sherko Omer", the former ISIS communications technician who managed to escape, further added that the basis for the Turkish cooperation is that ISIS and Turkey share a common enemy: the Kurds. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
U.S. Christian missionary Kenneth Bae spoke to reporters Sunday and thanked the "thousands of people" who prayed for him during his two-year detention in North Korea, saying, "It's really been encouraging for me and for others."
Bae, who was freed along with U.S. citizen Matthew Miller Saturday, acknowledged that "thousands of people were praying" for him, according to The Seattle Times.
He said, jokingly, he has lost a lot of weight "in a good way" but "I'm standing strong because of you." more >>
The decision by a United Kingdom High Court judge to allow a British mother to legally euthanize her 12-year-old daughter, who was suffering from a host of non-life threatening disabling disorders, is drawing strong criticism from many disability advocates who say the decision sets a dangerous precedent that will allow guardians of other disabled people to do the same.
In August, Charlotte Fitzmaurice Wise legally authorized the euthanasia of her daughter, Nancy, after she successfully petitioned the U.K. High Court to allow her to end her daughter's pain and misery.
Nancy, who was born blind and diagnosed with hydrocephalus, meningitis and septicaemia, suffered constant pain and was never able to talk, walk, eat or drink on her own. Her condition required 24-hour hospital care, where she could only be fed, hydrated and medicated through tubes. more >>