The United States is sending weapons to the autonomous Iraqi region of Kurdistan that is battling the forces of the Islamic State militants. A Christian leader in the Middle East says that although Christians there welcome the move they believe it is "too late and not enough."
"[President Barack] Obama needs to do more to slow down Islamic State and to stop [them] completely," Dr. Munir S. Kakish, chairman of the Council of Local Evangelical Churches in the Holy Land, told The Christian Post in an email on Tuesday.
"Yes, they need to send more aid and stop IS both in Syria and Iraq. Stop them to the point of never again [carrying out] barbaric slayings of human beings. If they stop all those foreign groups, this means all the refugees that left can return to their homes. I feel very strongly that the West must move fast and with great power. Yet I feel it is late, but never too late to do the right thing." more >>
The nation with the largest Muslim population in the world has officially banned support for the terrorist group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which is responsible for mass killings of religious minorities in Iraq that has forced the U.S. government to respond with air strikes.
Indonesia, whose citizens comprise over 10 percent of the global Islamic population, recently announced the ISIS ban in response to ISIS recruiting efforts.
Sam Harris, author of the book The End of Faith that was published 10 years ago, has been credited for starting the "new atheist" movement. Reflecting back on his work, Harris downplays the impact the book might have had on the growth of atheism in national surveys. He also contends that not all religions are equally as bad, by singling out the dangers of radical Islam.
"I certainly see the impact that The End of Faith had on publishing — as you indicated, the book initiated the 'new atheist' run of bestsellers. But I don't know what effect these books have had on the wider culture. The poll numbers seem to be inching in our direction — with the percentage of Americans claiming 'no affiliation' with religion, or even declaring their 'atheism' outright, slowly growing," Harris said in an email to "The Friendly Atheist" website founder Hemant Mehta, posted on Monday.
"But whether or not my book had anything to do with this trend, I don't know. I can say that I've heard from tens of thousands of readers personally, and many of them have said that I changed their views about God, faith, etc. But there may be just as many people I haven't heard from whose faith was redoubled by my failure to address the finer points of 'sophisticated' theology." more >>
Al-Qaeda. The Taliban. Boko Haram. The Islamic State. Islamic Jihad. Hamas.
Christians being beheaded. Muslims slaughtering Muslims. Schoolgirls being kidnapped. Schoolboys being burned alive.
These are the images of Islam that we see on the news day and night, but we are told repeatedly that this does not represent true Islam. Instead, we are told, these atrocities are examples of radical Islam, committed by savages who know nothing of the real faith, people who misuse the Koran for their own malicious purposes and who represent perhaps 15 percent of the world's 1.2 billion Muslims. more >>
Congressional leaders from both sides of the aisle have issued statements in support of President Obama's decision on Thursday to provide "limited" airstrikes on Iraq. However politically popular the decision may prove to be with the Capitol Hill crowd and conservatives in particular, does it follow that Christians should also support the bombing?
Some Christians, particularly on the left, are struggling with the strategy.
Pentagon and Army officials have indicated the "limited" approach announced by the White House is meant to serve as a deterrent and if the military advances by ISIS stop, then the bombing would also be discontinued. Early Friday U.S. fighter jets targeted and hit artillery supplies belonging to ISIS, an extremist Muslim group that has been responsible for thousands of deaths, most notably Christians. more >>
The militant Islamic State group could launch a direct attack on U.S. soil, warned South Carolina GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham, who urged President Barack Obama to do more to counter the group that has taken large parts of Iraq and Syria.
"Mr. President, be honest with the threat we face," Graham said in a Fox News interview on Sunday. "They are coming."
The Republican senator, who is also a member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, identified the militants as a "direct threat to our homeland." more >>