The Islamic State has been selling artifacts from churches and other cultural centers in the nation of Iraq to fund their organization, says a British publication.
ISIS is taking antiquities, including those worth millions of dollars, from the Middle Eastern country and selling them to prospective Western buyers, according to Oliver Moody of The Times.
"Willy Bruggeman, a former deputy director of Europol who is now president of the Belgian federal police council, said that some of the artefacts had almost certainly been sold illegally to buyers in the UK, although none had yet been traced to Britain," reported Moody on Wednesday. more >>
The family of two Pakistani Christian teenagers, who were gang-raped at gunpoint in the Punjab Province by four Muslim men, is saying that they are being threatened by influential people in their village and warned not to press charges against the attackers.
The father of the two victims, Ilyas Masih, told police that his daughters, 16-year-old Sehrish and 14-year-old Farzana, went outside of their house in the village of Jaranwala during the middle of the night on Dec. 3 to go to the bathroom, since there are no bathrooms inside the house. But when the girls went outside, they did not return. The family began to frantically worry and filed a missing person's complaint with the local police, in which a search was launched to find them.
The two teens were found the next afternoon laying unconscious along the side of the road several miles away from their home village. The girls were taken to a hospital and later told police that a well-known local landlord and three other men had taken them at gunpoint, took them away and raped them. more >>
Atheist professor and author Richard Dawkins has said that it's faith in God that makes organized groups capable of great acts of evil, such as the Pakistan school massacre earlier this week where the Taliban killed 132 children and nine staff members.
Dawkins posted a wide variety of tweets in response to the slaughter, blaming both Islam and also religion as a whole.
The Saudi Arabian government has reportedly passed a law that imposes the death penalty on people caught smuggling Bibles into the majority-Muslim country.
According to the HeartCry Missionary Society, the Saudi government issued an official statement signifying that capital punishment may now be used on those who smuggle Bibles into the desert nation, where the royal family upholds a strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam.
The society's report added that the death penalty, which usually comes in the form of beheadings, can also be used against people who simply distribute the Bible and all other "publications that have prejudice to any other religious belief other than Islam." This means that anyone handing out any kind of religious literature that is not of Islamic faith can legally be executed. more >>
Pakistan's Supreme Court has ordered the arrest of two Muslim clerics for inciting a violent mob of hundreds of Muslims to brutally beat, torture, burn and murder a married Christian couple in the Punjab Province in early November.
The court also ordered disciplinary action to be levied against five police officials, who were present during the time of the beatings but took no action to protect the two individuals. Additionally, the court ordered a complete investigation into the incident and also ordered compensation payments to be made to the family of the victimized couple.
After being accused of burning pages from the Koran, Shamah Masih, who was a 24-year-old mother of four and four months pregnant at the time, and her husband, Shahzad Masih, were surrounded by an enraged mob, who gathered around the brick kiln in the village of Kot Rodha Kishan where the couple was located. more >>
The Pakistani branch of the Taliban has attempted to justify its attack on a school on Tuesday in the city of Peshawar that left 132 children and nine staff members dead, calling it revenge for the army's offensive against the group. The attack has been condemned by world leaders, including the government of Iran as well as by the Afghan branch of the Taliban.
BBC News reported that Pakistani Taliban (TTP) leader Mullah Fazlullah is believed to be currently hiding in Afghanistan, even as the group claimed sole responsibility for the attack and said it did not coordinate with the Afghanistan branch.
A TTP spokesman apparently said that the gunmen, all seven of whom were killed by the Pakistani army, had targeted older pupils rather than "small children." The Islamic militants attempted to justify the attack by characterizing it as revenge for the Pakistan army's numerous operations against them, noting that their families had also suffered heavy losses. more >>