WASHINGTON — Speaking on a Thursday panel discussion on international religious freedoms at Georgetown University, U.S. Rep. Keith Ellison, D-Minn., asserted that although he thinks religion is not "inherently a good thing," the U.S. should do more to influence foreign governments into protecting the religious liberties of their citizens.
Ellison, who grew up in a Catholic household in Detroit and became a Muslim at the age of 19, was asked by Baylor University Chancellor and former U.S. Solicitor General Ken Starr to provide his definition of freedom of religion, and explain what the U.S.'s role is in promoting the freedom of religion abroad.
Ellison began by explaining that freedom of religion is the right of individuals to practice their religion, no matter how unorthodox their personal religious views might be. more >>
While the recent nuclear deal between Iran and six major world powers has stoked debate in the U.S. over the Obama administration's negotiating tactics, Iranian Christians are reportedly "thanking Christ" and view the agreement as an "answer to prayers," one Iranian priest has said.
"I can certainly say that all Christians, along with all the Iranian people are rejoicing because their prayers were answered," Chaldean Iranian priest Hormoz Aslani Babroudi, national director of the Pontifical Missionary Society of Iran, told Fides News Agency.
"From now on it will be easier for the world to have a positive outlook toward Iran, the desire for harmony will prevail and it will be easier to show everyone that Iran is not what some media networks report. We can work and use science for the good of the country, we can develop technologies to live better." more >>
Many of our fellow conservatives are saying that President Obama's deal with Iran is a "nuclear Munich." That is, they are comparing the Iranian settlement negotiated over these many months by Secretary John Kerry in that Austrian capital with the Munich capitulation negotiated over mere days in September, 1938, by British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain.
Chamberlain's failed appeasement of Hitler—as bad as it was—arguably is not as harmful as President Obama's Vienna concession is. This deal is worse than Chamberlain's Munich sellout because its implications are immeasurable.
Once Chamberlain had given away Czechoslovakia's German-speaking Sudetenland region to the Nazi Führer, the umbrella-toting Prime Minister could at least show Hitler's signature on a joint statement. All the world could see that Hitler said he had no further territorial ambitions in Europe. Chamberlain had a measurable, comprehensible, signed on the dotted line commitment from Adolf Hitler. more >>
Terror group ISIS is planning to send members of an all-female police force to attack Christian holy sites in Europe, a Syrian military expert has said, identifying the Vatican as one possible target of the attacks.
Fahad Al-Masri, the president of the Centre for Strategy, Military and Security Studies in Syria, shared with the MailOnline on Monday that members of the infamous Al-Khansaa Brigade are planning to disguise themselves as tourists in Europe so that they can carry out the attacks.
"This is the first time women will be used in these operations. It will be a surprise for the European authorities who look for men. Women are not as difficult as men to sneak into countries and there are many European women in the Al-Khansaa Brigade — like French and British — which makes it easier for them to get in undetected," Al-Masri said. more >>
Several Western world leaders and the government of Iran have reached a historic deal which is set to limit its nuclear activities in exchange for lifting economic sanctions. President Barack Obama and his Iranian counterpart Hassan Rouhani have both praised the deal, calling it a "new chapter."
"Today, after two years of negotiations, the United States together with the international community has achieved something that decades of animosity has not: a comprehensive long-term deal with Iran that will prevent it from obtaining a nuclear weapon," Obama said on Tuesday morning from the White House.
Obama added that "every pathway to a nuclear weapon is cut off" for Iran. more >>
Much has been written about just how bad the proposed Iranian nuclear deal has gotten. This outcome is hardly surprising after Israel's former ambassador to Washington, Michael Oren, bravely published Ally, his memoir detailing Obama's hostility towards Israel. But even without Ambassador Michael Oren's personal testimony, there is overwhelming evidence that – on the issue most important to global security and Israel's very existence – Obama has been, at best, reckless and, at worst, treasonous.
Obama's administration has shown a breathtaking readiness to cover for a wide range of abuses and violations by the same Iranian regime that seeks international acceptance of its nuclear activities. U.S. Senator Ted Cruz recently noted that the State Department was illegally delaying the publication of a report on Iranian human rights violations, which was due last February, to avoid adversely affecting the talks with Iran on its nuclear program.
According to a report by the Institute for Science and International Security, a non-proliferation think tank, Iran has violated the current interim nuclear deal, the Joint Plan of Action (JPOA). The president of the institute, David Albright, noted that "When it became clear Iran could not meet its commitment to convert the LEU into uranium dioxide, the United States revised its criteria for Iran meetings its obligations." Such leniency on a crucial compliance issue suggests that the world powers negotiating with Iran (the "P5+1") will ignore or explain away Iranian violations of any future agreement over its nuclear program. more >>