MIAMI BEACH — Can the Islamic State, or ISIS, be classified as a "religious movement," or is it a political movement that's only superficially religious? This issue was discussed by two Middle East experts at a recent Faith Angle Forum.
Bernard Haykel noted that many of his colleagues in the social sciences "want to push very hard against the idea that ISIS is a religious movement or that Islam has anything to do with the Islamic State." Social scientists, he added, usually prefer analyses centered on race, class and gender to those centered on religion as an explanatory variable. He also noted that President Barack Obama prefers to not associate ISIS with Islam.
"If you look at the cultural production, the intellectual production, the legal and theological production of ISIS, which is plentiful on the Web, there is no question that this is a movement that's drawing on a very particular strain or trend within the Islamic intellectual history, legal history, theological history," Haykel countered. "It has particular obsessions with certain theological concepts, and, of course, it's presenting itself as an heir to the 'true' version of Islam, which is a kind of projection backwards onto what true Islam was, by people who are living with us today, by moderns." more >>
Days after The Christian Post reported that American pastor Saeed Abedini, who's in an Iranian jail because of his Christian faith, was "viciously beaten" by fellow prisoners, the Rev. Franklin Graham has called on President Obama to help secure his release just as the White House recently worked to free an Egyptian-American Muslim from an Egyptian prison.
"Mr. President, American pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned in Iran for two-and-a-half years, and last week he suffered another severe beating at the hands of inmates," Graham wrote in an open letter posted on his Facebook page, which is followed by more than 1.6 million people.
"His life is continuously threatened not only because he's an American, but also because he's a Christian. This was why he was arrested — and he has been told his only way out is to deny Jesus Christ," added Graham, who leads Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. more >>
The 23-year-old widow of Malak Ibrahim, one of the 21 Egyptian Christians who were beheaded by Islamic State terrorists in Libya earlier this year, says she's proud and comforted by the fact that her husband refused to deny Christ and was praying to Jesus when he and the others were killed.
Mariam Farhat, who lives in Al Aour village, about 150 miles south of Cairo, told CBN News that she "was very proud" that Ibrahim "stood firm in his faith and that he didn't deny Jesus."
"We were very sad for the first two days, but we hadn't seen the video," she said. "When we saw them in the video calling to Jesus we were very comforted." more >>
MIAMI BEACH — A Middle East expert drew comparisons between the Islamic State and the Protestant Reformation at a recent Faith Angle Forum.
If there are any lessons about ISIS that can be drawn from what happened during the Protestant Reformation, Bernard Haykel said, those lessons are "terrifying."
"If we're embarking or are actually already in something like the Reformation in the Muslim world, then, you know, hold on because we're in for a really wild ride with lots of violence," he added. more >>
Terror group ISIS has released a new 14-minute propaganda video where it shows young boys dressed in ISIS uniforms reciting from the Quran, performing military drills with weapons, and being taught that carrying out suicide attacks will be a "great honor."
The Daily Mail noted that the video was shot near Raqqa in Syria, the captured city that the terror group has made the capital of its Islamic caliphate.
The boys in the video are shown crawling under barbed wire, being taught to use rocket launchers and AK47s, reciting Islamic prayers, listening to their teachers and carrying out their commands. more >>
Islamic aspirations to dominate the world are set to happen—if not through might of arms, then apparently through sheer numbers.
In 1900, the Muslim population of the world was less than 200 million. Conversely, the Christian population of the world was almost 560 million—almost three times the number of Muslims.
Times have changed. According to the findings of a Pew Research Center in America: more >>