Twenty-three Christian families who were unable to flee the city of Raqqa in northern Syria, which terror group ISIS has made its stronghold, are reportedly facing Islamic fanaticism and a "protection tax" they will be forced to pay in order to keep their homes.
Fides News Agency noted that as many as 1,500 Christian families had lived in the city prior to the start of the Syrian war three years ago. Many have since fled, especially in the past few months with the rise of ISIS, which has captured cities across Iraq and Syria. The remaining Armenian Christians in Raqqa were unable to escape for various reasons, ranging from lack of resources to old age and health problems.
They were told that starting Sunday, they would have to pay jizya, or the "protection tax" that amounts to $535. Fides stated it's likely that the families, who've been impoverished by the war, will be unable to pay the tax and will be evicted from their homes. more >>
Dear President Obama,
You've been a great friend for the last six years and, to express our appreciation, we'd like to acknowledge some of your many helpful actions:
1) In 2009, our presidential election results were so dubious that millions of brave, pro-democracy protesters risked their lives to demonstrate throughout our country. When our Basij paramilitary force brutalized them, you kept your response irrelevantly mild for the sake of "engaging" us. That surely helped Iranians understand the risks of protesting our "free" election of 2012 (involving our eight handpicked candidates). It was indeed a very orderly rubberstamp. more >>
Sweden is arguably the most "European" of European countries by virtue of its historically cohesive nationhood ("one big family"), militaristic and socialist legacies, untrammeled immigration, unmatched political correctness, and its supercilious claim to the status of a "moral superpower." These features also make it perhaps the most alien of European countries to an American conservative.
In this context, I offer a summary and paraphrase of my discussion held with two senior members of the permanent bureaucracy in the Swedish Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) during a recent visit to Stockholm. Our affable but pointed discussion focused on the Middle East, on which we agreed on almost nothing; I might as well have been in Sudan or Syria's MFA.
The following contains the seemingly sober officials' more colorful statements, then my responses. First, we discussed the Iranian nuclear program: more >>
Recent testimony from a former teenage ISIS fighter is providing further insight into the unusual training process that the Islamic State is using to prepare hundreds of children to join the group's military and police ranks. The youth's account also shows how children are being cruelly utilized once they complete the training.
As ISIS has posted much to its social media accounts bragging how it is training the "cubs of the Islamic State," a 15-year-old former jihadi, speaking under the pseudonym of "Yasir," told CNN's Arwa Damon earlier this week that ISIS' training of child fighters requires one month of separation from loved ones, and also includes intense religious indoctrination and deadly military exercises.
Additionally, Yasir's testimony highlights how ISIS is putting child fighters at direct risk of harm once they pass training and join the ranks by forcing them to stand guard while wearing suicide vests. more >>
The Washington National Cathedral hosted it first Muslim prayer service Friday afternoon in an effort to promote interfaith prayer and improved global relations between Muslims and Christians.
There's a new battleground in the war on Christmas – the suburbs of our nation's capital. The school board in Montgomery County, Maryland has decided to appease Muslims families by making the school calendar — religious neutral.
That's bad news for all you Jews and Gentiles out there. As of next year – all Christian and Jewish holidays will be removed from the calendar. That means no more Christmas, no more Easter and no more Yom Kippur.
There's no word on whether the board will remove the Irish from St. Patrick's Day or the love from St. Valentine's Day or the trees from Arbor Day. more >>