A news article in last Friday's New York Times sets out to explore why the United States waited until November 2013 to designate Nigeria's Boko Haram as a "foreign terrorist organization." In light of the group's latest atrocity – the kidnapping and enslaving of over 200 schoolgirls in Nigeria's Borno state last month – this is a very good question.
The article makes the point that the terrorist designation was made after Hillary Clinton resigned as secretary of state, and confirms reporting that it came after a two-year debate in which "the Justice Department, the F.B.I., American intelligence officials and counterterrorism officials in the State Department" all called for the designation but State ultimately opposed it.
Clinton's then–assistant secretary for African affairs, Johnny Carson, tells the Times that State opposed the designation for "for six or seven different reasons," which boil down to an equal measure of fear of the affect on Boko Haram, possibly making it seem more important and popular, and wariness of legitimizing a Nigerian government crackdown. State counterterrorism official Daniel Benjamin essentially gives a "what difference does it make?" shrug, stating: "Designation was one of many tools and not the most urgently needed one in dealing with the Nigerians. " more >>
UPDATE: The screening takes place on May 13th at 7 p.m., not on May 12th as the organizers previously reported.
The film producer of a new political thriller yet to be publicly released is hosting a prescreening fundraising event at a Southern California church to help purchase a home for the family of Pastor Saeed Abedini, who is being held captive in Iran for his faith.
Daniel Lusko, writer and director of the film "Persecuted," has partnered with Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel to host the movie event at the Rancho Mirage 16 Theater in Palm Springs, Calif., on May 13th at 7 p.m. more >>
The over 270 Nigerian schoolgirls kidnapped by Islamic militants Boko Haram have likely been raped and face a life of sexual slavery if not rescued, a human rights group in Africa said.
"We can safely assume that the abducted girls have been raped by their captors, if not worse," said Rona Peligal, deputy director for the Africa Division of Human Rights Watch, according to FoxNews.com. "If they return home, they could be traumatized and stigmatized if they are known to be raped, pregnant or with child from their abductors. What happens if they're trafficked would likely pale by comparison."
The Nigerian girls, most of them Christians, were taken last from an all-girls school in Chibok, Borno State, last month, after armed Islamic militants stormed in with trucks. more >>
A Sharia court in Indonesia has ordered that a woman, accused of having an affair with a married man who was gang-raped by vigilantes last week, should be be caned.
The woman, who is from Aceh, the region in Indonesia where Islam first spread, is accused of having sexual relations with a 40-year-old married man and father of five.
Last Wednesday, the woman and her alleged lover were at her house when a group of at least seven men and a 13-year-old boy stormed into the home, tying and beating up the man, before gang-raping her. After they violated her, the men doused the couple in sewage, before marching them to the Sharia authorities. more >>
Did you ever imagine a hashtag could help spread the word about Christian persecution in a matter of hours? Neither did I.
The #BringBackOurGirls Twitter trend has garnered global media and government outcries after Boko Haram, an Islamist terrorist group, kidnapped over 276 mostly Christian girls ages 14-18 in Nigeria. Unfortunately, young evangelicals (and the broader world) did not take notice of this tragedy because the girls were Christians, but because their captors intend to sell them into human trafficking. Something is very wrong with this "social justice" scenario.
We thank God for the attention this egregious offense has gained worldwide. And so the problem is not that young evangelicals focus heavily on injustices like human trafficking. The problem is that too many only focus on issues like human trafficking, because they are deemed politically correct. more >>
The Christian Association of Nigerian-Americans praised the U.S. government after it announced that it will send forces into Nigeria to help rescue over 270 schoolgirls who were kidnapped by Islamic terrorist group Boko Haram. The association has called for more urgent action on the issue.
"We acknowledge that yesterday President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry announced that the U.S. would be setting up a Coordinated Cell within the American embassy in Nigeria to provide intelligence and investigation assistance," CANAN President Dr. James Fadel said at a press conference on Wednesday. "We have heard as well that the Nigerian government has accepted this offer. We are grateful."
Fadel urged the U.S. to "use every available tool within its arsenal to trace, track and terminate the funding and operations of Boko Haram which has claimed responsibility for this horrendous abduction." more >>