The Obama administration announced late Thursday that over 400 troops will be deployed to the Middle East this spring to train and equip rebel forces that are fighting the Islamic State terror group in Syria and Iraq.
As U.S.-led airstrikes continue to target Islamic State positions, the training program will be part of "Obama's multi-year plan to field local forces in Syria" to defeat the Islamic State, Reuters reports.
Along with the 400 troops, hundreds of U.S. support personnel will also be deployed to the region, a Pentagon spokesman said Thursday. more >>
Officials in Afghanistan have confirmed that the Islamic State terrorist group is present and active in the country's southern region, flying its black flags, recruiting fighters and even fighting against forces from another radical Islamic extremist group, the Taliban.
The Times of London reports that sources within the Afghanistan government have confirmed the group's existence in the southern Helmand province. General Mahmood Khan, deputy commander of the Afghan army's 215 corps, said that numerous residents have attested that they've seen ISIS representatives actively recruiting fighters.
Khan also said that he was told by many of the residents that the ISIS recruitment operation in Afghanistan is run by former Guantanamo Bay detainee Mullah Abdul Rauf, who is actively offering prospective fighters decent wages if they fight for the caliph. more >>
Duke University has come under fire for making the decision air the Muslim call to prayer on Friday, beginning this week; Rev. Franklin Graham has come out against the school's decision.
"This opportunity represents a larger commitment to religious pluralism that is at the heart of Duke's mission," Christy Lohr Sapp, Duke Chapel's associate dean for religious life, said in a statement to Duke Today. "It connects the university to national trends in religious accommodation."
The Muslim call to prayer, known as the adhan will air for three minutes at a "moderately amplified" level to announce the call to prayer, and an English translation will follow. The service will take place in the chapel basement every Friday at 1:00 p.m. and is open to the public. Members of the Duke Muslim Students Association will perform the chant, which will be released from the chapel's bell tower. more >>
Pope Francis and Coptic Orthodox Patriarch Tawadros II have separately said that while the terror attacks on France last week were wrong, it is not right for people to insult the faith of others. The sentiment has been echoed by Turkey Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, who warned that his country will not tolerate drawings of Muhammad, such as the ones made by satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo.
"You cannot provoke. You cannot insult the faith of others. You cannot make fun of the faith of others," Francis told journalists when asked about the Charlie Hebdo situation on Thursday, The Associated Press reported.
A terror attack last week on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris left 12 people dead, and 17 in total were killed in other attacks carried out by Islamic extremists. The French magazine was attacked because of its drawings of Muhammad, considered a prophet in Islam, Al-Qaeda's branch in Yemen revealed when taking responsibility for organizing the attack. more >>
The anti-Islamisation movement Pegida gathered record numbers of people in rallies this week in Germany, following the terror attacks in France that left 17 people dead. Larger counter-demonstrations for unity have accused the movement of harboring anti-immigrant xenophobia, however, and some asylum-seekers have spoken out about fears for their safety.
The Independent reported on Wednesday that a record 25,000 Pegida supporters gathered in Dresden, while more anti-Islamisation rallies are scheduled for Cologne. The campaign has spoken out against mass immigration into Germany, particularly by people coming from Muslim countries, who Pegida says are changing the country's culture and having a negative effect on society.
The terror attacks carried out in Paris last week by Islamic extremists who targeted satirical newspaper Charlie Hebdo for publishing cartoons of the Muslim prophet Muhammad have escalated tensions to a notable high. more >>
In the Bible is a remarkable statement: "'Vengeance is Mine,' says the Lord, 'I will repay.'" This means that God's honor is not up to us to defend in the ultimate sense---not that we should not lovingly, graciously speak out when we can, if He is dishonored.
But this is a huge difference between the Christian and the Islamist. The Islamist is the radical Muslim committed to Islamic superiority and willing to kill for it. In effect, the Islamist says, "Vengeance is ours. We will repay."
It was Islamists that engaged in the infamous slaughter in Paris at the cartoon magazine offices. more >>