A recent Arabic article appearing in Egypt's Al Ahram newspaper titled Is Terrorism Jihad? written by Islamic law expert Dr. Abdul Fatah Idris offers important lessons-from the fact that jihad does involve subjugating non-Muslims to why the Western mentality is still incapable of acknowledging it.
Idris, professor and chairman of Al Azhar University's Department of Comparative Jurisprudence at the Faculty of Sharia Law, is a well-reputed legal scholar. He begins his article by defining terrorism and quoting several international bodies that, in his words:
define terrorism as an act of violence or threat of violence coming from an individual either on his own volition or in participation with other individuals. It targets people or organizations or places or means of transportation or the general public in order to threaten or cause injuries or deaths of the people or simply to cripple the effectiveness of international organizations or to cause the loss or damage of those places or properties or to tamper with transportation to interfere in the friendly relations between countries or between the inhabitants of several countries or to extort concessions from some countries. more >>
America was founded to be a beacon of liberty, particularly religious liberty. The framers of our Constitution sought to preserve religious liberty to such an extent that they made it the first right protected in the Bill of Rights.
President Reagan, expanding on President Lincoln's phrase, referred to America as "the last, best hope of man on Earth." But this last, best hope is beginning to fade.
In countless instances we're seeing government exceed its proper constitutional role, ignore the constitutional limits placed on its power, and interfere with the constitutionally guaranteed liberties of its citizens -- especially eroding religious liberty. more >>
As Americans start to feel the effects of the on-going stalemate in Washington, many have wondered about the decisions directing which aspects of the government are shut down during a "government shutdown." Who decides and on what basis the approximate 17 percent of the government that is put on hold? One would presume the importance of the service and the necessity of funding would guide the process. But a press release from John Schlageter, General Counsel for Archdiocese for the U.S. Military, indicates other motivations are at work.
Schalageter reports that non-active-duty priests are barred from engaging in any ministerial activity - even if they serve on a volunteer basis. Not only is their work deemed "non-essential" so as to place them on furlough, but "non-authorized" so as to ban them from ministering on base.
Because of shortages of active-duty chaplains, at over 220 U.S. military installations in 29 countries and 153 VA Medical Centers throughout the U.S., contract chaplains serve American troops. The shortage is particularly felt among Roman Catholic service members, who make up over 25 percent of the military. more >>
On July 23, a bipartisan majority of the House approved amendment 35 to the Department of Defense Appropriations Act, effectively defunding square circles . . . er "atheist chaplains." The amendment codified current Department of Defense Policy under which chaplains must be certified by a religious organization whose primary function is to perform religious ministries, whose beliefs are sincerely held, and whose practices and rituals are not illegal or contrary to public policy. In other words, a chaplain is to be religious.
That chaplains are religious is not surprising, since Merriam-Webster's defines a military chaplain as "a priest or other . . . religious leader who performs religious services for a military group." That military chaplains believe in some outside being is not surprising: after all, the chaplaincy's motto is, Pro Deo et Patria (For God and Country).
What is surprising is that prominent humanists like Jason Heap would apply to be chaplains. more >>
By now, you really would have thought Michael Bloomberg would have learned his lesson.
The out-of-touch New York City mayor has lately made it his business to be in everyone else's business – whether that means trying to decide for New York residents what they are allowed to eat or drink, or trying to tell people from other states what to think of their elected officials.
More often than not, however, Mayor Bloomberg's overreaches have been repelled. The courts struck down Bloomberg's ban on large sodas. Notable Senate Democrat Chuck Schumer, from Bloomberg's home state, is on the record as saying he thought Bloomberg's ads trying to push red state Democrats into supporting gun control were "not going to be effective." more >>
The new Iranian President Hassan Rouhani seems to have softened his tone towards Israel and, for the first time since the Islamic Revolution of 1979, the president of the United States has had direct communication with the leader of Iran. Does this signal a real change for the better? Can we really trust Iran? I seriously doubt it.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is having none of it, telling reporters on his way to America (and with reference to his speech to the UN), "I will tell the truth in the face of the sweet-talk and onslaught of smiles."
Is this then just a smiling façade; an Islamic ruse to pacify America and the international community while Iran continues to develop its nuclear capabilities? more >>