North Carolina has become the seventh state to explicitly prohibit Sharia law interpretation in court after Gov. Pat McCrory denied vetoing House bill 522.
McCrory, a Republican, refused to sign the bill, entitled "Foreign Law/Protect Constitutional Rights," calling it "unnecessary." However, he also did not actively veto the bill, and therefore the piece of legislation automatically became law on Monday.
The bill, sponsored by six Republican representatives, seeks to protect the constitutional rights of those involved in family court matters, including domestic and child abuse cases, by prohibiting judges from interpreting "foreign law," including the Islamic Sharia law, or a set of legal codes imposed by the teaching of Islam, as well as Jewish law. more >>
The persistent talk and speculation as to what the U.S. should do about the crisis in Egypt is irrelevant. What will happen in Egypt will happen regardless of what the U.S., or any other country, does or doesn't do about it.
Egypt is seized by the forces of change-albeit a painful change that could, and possibly will, cause much damage to that country. It is the price it pays for decades of political, economic, and social stagnation. Egypt's present experience is the result of a lack of gradual change that should have taken place over time and in stages.
In order to perpetuate their position of power, Egypt's rulers prevented socio-political change to take place. And as time passed by, the opposition gradually retreated to increasingly radical positions. It was the fear of this radicalization that General Abdel Fattah el-Sisi toppled Mohamed Morsi's government. more >>
President Barack Obama's administration has been accused of joking about the violent attacks against Christians in Egypt after a question at a press briefing about the "red line" in the crisis.
"With people being killed, Christians in particular being targeted, churches being destroyed, what's the President's red line in Egypt?" White House Deputy Press Secretary Josh Earnest was asked by a journalist at a press conference last week, to which he replied "Well, I didn't bring my red pen out with me today."
Earnest went on to say that the White House has "condemned in unambiguous terms all of the violence that has been perpetrated in Egypt," and said that the Obama administration is encouraging Egypt's interim government to work toward a non-violent solution. more >>
After Muslim Brotherhood-affiliated President Mohamed Morsi was recently removed from power in Egypt, Islamic radicals went to work in that country. First came the red graffiti that was splashed on Christian churches, homes and shops. Then came the attacks. Since August 14, at least 47 church buildings and monasteries have been set ablaze or looted, including one Coptic Church that had just been built after 13 years of haggling for construction permits.
Christian schools, homes, and shops are continuously besieged by Brotherhood supporters who have killed several Christians in recent days as they protest the deposing of their Islamist leader. Up to now the Obama Administration has not condemned the anti-Christian persecution that has swept that country. Congressional response has been muddled: Senator Patrick Leahy (D-VT) says that aid to Egypt has been halted because of the riots, but the Pentagon says that is not true. But open discussion about the anti-Christian animus in that nation is regularly avoided.
Regardless of the intransigence of leaders in Washington, private citizens are saying, "enough is enough." In the West, an online public petition is calling for national leaders, including President Barack Obama, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and British Prime Minister David Cameron, to demand an end to anti-Christian violence in Egypt. more >>
At first glance, Hindu-majority India, with approximately 1.2 billion people and an entire subcontinent, would seem to have little in common with Jewish-majority Israel, which has only about eight million people living on territory that's just roughly 15 times the size of India's capital city. While full diplomatic relations were established between Jerusalem and New Delhi as recently as 1992, the two countries actually have much in common.
Both countries are homelands for ancient peoples who gained their independence from the British in the 1940s. Both states have gone on to create vibrant, multicultural democracies that have experienced dynamic, technology-driven economic growth. India and Israel each also has a large Muslim minority population, and each faces an ongoing terrorism threat from foreign and domestic Islamic extremists; indeed, both Israelis and Indians were targeted and killed in the 2008 Mumbai terror attacks. Even more serious, India and Israel each faces ballistic missile threats from at least one close, hostile Muslim state. India already faces the nuclear threat posed by Pakistan, and Israel may soon confront the same threat from Iran, if Iranian nukes aren't stopped.
There is also a blossoming military and commercial relationship between India and Israel. Israel is India's second largest arms supplier after Russia, and Israeli-Indian military cooperation extends to technology upgrades, joint research, intelligence cooperation, and even space (in 2008, India launched a 300-kilogram Israeli satellite into orbit). Israel has upgraded India's Soviet-era armor and aircraft and provided India with sea-to-sea missiles, radar and other surveillance systems, border monitoring equipment, night vision devices, and other military support. Bilateral trade reached US $6 billion last year and negotiations began this year for a free trade agreement. more >>
Nidal Malik Hasan, a 42-year-old U.S. born Muslim, was convicted on Friday of 13 charges of premeditated murder and 32 charges of attempted murder in an attack at the Fort Hood Army post in Texas in November 2009, and now faces a possible death penalty.
Hasan acted as his own defense lawyer, the Washington Post reported, and was convicted by a 13-member panel of senior officers. A former major who served as a psychiatrist in the army, Hasan was paralyzed from the chest down after being shot by a civilian police officer, which stopped the attack. He apparently admitted to the killings during the trial, saying that he had "switched sides."
The prosecutor reminded the panel that right before the shooting, Hasan had shouted "Allahu Akbar!" – Arabic for "God is great!" more >>