WASHINGTON — The U.S. State Department's Ambassador at-Large for International Religious Freedom David Saperstein argued Wednesday that calling the Islamic State's atrocities against Christians "genocide" would make no difference in how the Obama administration is responding to the human rights crisis.
While a number of human rights groups have pressured the administration to label IS' persecution of Christians and other religious minorities as "genocide," Saperstein appeared at an Open Doors ministry press conference introducing the 2016 World Watch List and was asked if he thinks it is "important" for the government to recognize the plight of Christians in Iraq and Syria as "genocide."
As the Obama administration has already recognized IS' persecution of Yazidis as genocide and failed to do the same for Christians, Shiite Muslims and others who oppose IS' radical theology, Saperstein providing a long-winded reasoning why labeling the plight of Christians as genocide would not have any effect on the government's current response to IS. more >>
The Islamic State terrorist organization in Iraq has burned alive some its fighters after the militants were defeated and pushed out of the key Iraqi town of Ramadi by security forces.
In order to send a message to its rank-and-file fighters, unnamed sources told Fox News that IS burned alive its own fighters in the town square of Mosul after they arrived from their 250-mile journey from Ramadi, which is the capital of Iraq's mostly Sunni Anbar province and was recaptured by Iraqi forces over two weeks ago after IS seized the town in 2014.
"They were grouped together and made to stand in a circle and set on fire to die," one former resident of Northern Iraq who is now living in the United States but still remains in contact his family in Iraq explained. more >>
A large-scale poll of Arab Muslims has found that the majority of Arab youths believe the Islamic State terror group is a perversion of Islam, and have blamed corruption and regressive governments for the rise of extremism.
"At least three-quarters of millennial respondents in all countries surveyed" said movements like IS and al-Qaeda "are either a complete perversion of Islam's teachings or mostly wrong," revealed The Zogby Research Services poll.
The survey was carried out on 5,374 young Muslim men and women across several Middle Eastern and North African countries, including Morocco, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Kuwait, Jordan, and the Palestinian territories. more >>
The Christian persecution watchdog group Open Doors has released its annual list of countries where Christians face the greatest persecution and found that it has reached unprecedented levels worldwide as over 7,000 Christians were killed for their faith between Nov. 1, 2014, and Oct. 31, 2015.
Although the California-based ministry, which works in over 60 countries, stated last January that 2014 was the worst year for Christian persecution than any other time in modern history, the organization said during the rollout of its 2016 World Watch List that 2015 surpassed 2014 as the deadliest year for Christians worldwide.
Open Doors found that over 3,000 more Christians were killed for faith-related reasons during its reporting period for the 2016 World Watch List than it found during the reporting period for the 2015 report. Additionally, over 2,400 churches were attacked, damaged or destroyed during the reporting period, which is more than double the number from last year. more >>
A suicide bomber affiliated with the Islamic State killed at least 10 and injured 15 on Tuesday when he attacked a crowded tourist area in Istanbul, the Turkish government has confirmed.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan confirmed today that an IS militant, a Syrian national, carried out the attack in Istanbul's popular Sultanahmet district, a heavily-visited area by tourists due to its proximity to the Blue Mosque and the Hagia Sophia.
Of the 10 killed in the Tuesday morning attack, nine have been identified as German tourists. Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu contacted German Chancellor Angela Merkel to give his sympathies for the German lives lost. more >>
Over 200 people were arrested on Monday at a large anti-Islamisation protest in the German city of Leipzig, clashing with police over the mass sex assault attacks carried out by suspected refugees on New Year's Eve.
BBC News reported that close to 2,000 supporters of the Patriotic Europeans Against the Islamization of the West movement (Pegida) marched through Legida in protest against Chancellor Angela Merkel's open-door refugee policy, which saw Germany welcome in close to 1.1 million asylum seekers in 2015.
The nation was rocked by news of mass sexual assaults in Cologne and other cities over New Year's Eve when thousands of suspects believed to be from Arab and North African backgrounds groped, assaulted, and in some cases raped women out on the streets. Well over 500 cases of assault were reported in Cologne, sparking protest marches in several cities. more >>