Britain's most popular baby boy name offers a revealing look into it's growing Muslim population. More than 8,000 boys born last year were named some variation of Muhammad. The United Kingdom's Office of National Statistics declared Oliver as the top pick of 2013 with 6,949 boys sporting the name. However a closer look at the complete list showed that parents selected several spellings of Muhammad for their sons, making the Muslim prophet's name more popular.
There are 18 variations of Muhammad featured on the 2013 list of baby boy names. The most common variations were Muhammad, with 3,499 namesakes, Mohammed,,with 2,887, and Mohammad, with 1,059.
This revelation is a reflection of the estimated 3 million Muslims now living in Great Britain. more >>
Strolling through Jerusalem's historic Yemin Moshe quarter on a pleasant August morning, my ears caught a ringing, melodic sound emanating from within the walls of the Old City, perhaps half a mile from where I stood. This being a Sunday, the sound I heard was the chiming of church bells, welcoming Christian worshippers to morning services.
Normally, there is something joyous about the sound of those bells, particularly in a city that contains the key holy sites of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. But on this day, I felt a profound sadness upon hearing them. For Jerusalem, the capital of Israel is one of the few places in the Middle East where—despite what malicious anti-Zionist propagandists will tell you—Christians can practice their faith freely.
In the northern Iraqi city of Mosul, about one day's drive from here, only a minuscule handful of terrified Christians remain, the vast majority having been driven out by the savage terrorists of the Islamic State jihadist group. The ethnic cleansing of Mosul's Christians was accompanied by the destruction of numerous holy sites, including a 1,800-year-old church and the tomb of the prophet Jonah. As Mosul's Patriarch Louis Sako mournfully observed at the end of July, "For the first time in the history of Iraq, Mosul is now empty of Christians." On any Sunday morning in that beleaguered city, you will no longer hear the sound of church bells. more >>
Kurdish forces continue to fight with the terrorist group Islamic State, better known as ISIS, over control of Mosul Dam, the largest dam in Iraq.
With the aid of U.S. airstrikes, it is being reported that Kurdish Peshmerga fighters have taken back the Mosul Dam, which is a major victory against ISIS.
Notable atheist author and intellectual Richard Dawkins has recently claimed that nonviolent religious believers enable acts of violent extremism by being "nice."
While speaking at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, Dawkins blamed "nice Muslims, nice Christians" for acts of religious terrorism.
"It's very important that we should not demonise ordinary, law-abiding, very decent Muslims, which of course is the vast majority in this country," Dawkins said Wednesday, according to the UK Telegraph. more >>
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is too strong. PLO boss Mahmoud Abbas is too weak. That's why we can't get a peaceful settlement of the Arab-Israeli conflict, says President Obama in an interview with the ever-serious Tom Friedman of The New York Times.
The president seems to be confusing Mideast politics with Goldilocks. The peace porridge is too hot (Netanyahu). It's too cold (Mahmoud Abbas). But with Mr. Obama's Goldilocks policy, it's just right.
Actually, his Mideast isn't just right. It's mostly wrong. Mr. Obama's thinking about the Mideast is fully on display in this disturbing interview. If we wonder why the Mideast has also been described as a Bloody Crescent, we have only to consider how Barack Obama views the world. more >>
An atheist activist who attempted to have an Alabama county commission not display a plaque bearing the national motto, "In God We Trust," has stated that a strict separation of church and state protects Christians from Islamic rule.
Amanda Scott, an atheist college student who testified against the Mobile County Commission's plan to place a plaque featuring the national motto in the government plaza, made the statement about Islam during a Reddit "Ask Me Anything" segment.
Earlier this week during the "Ask Me Anything" online forum, one poster asked Scott why secularism was important to her. more >>