Now that the attacks on Egypt's Christian churches have subsided, stage two of the jihad - profiting from the fear and terror caused by stage one - is setting in.
Reports are arriving that the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters are forcing the roughly 15,000 Christian Copts of Dalga village in south Minya province to pay jizya - the money, or tribute that conquered non-Muslims historically had to pay to their Islamic overlords "with willing submission and while feeling themselves subdued" to safeguard their existence, as indicated in Koran 9:29.
According to one priest from the area, all Copts in the village, "without exception," are being forced to pay tribute, just as their forefathers did nearly 1400 years ago when the sword of Islam originally invaded Christian Egypt. He said that the "value of the tribute and method of payment differ from one place to another in the village, so that, some are being expected to pay 200 Egyptian pounds per day, others 500 Egyptian pounds per day…" more >>
Radical Islamism, the ideology behind the Sept. 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center, also fuels the conflict in Syria, Middle East experts agree. They disagree, however, on the degree of support which the United States should give to the forces opposing President Bashar Al-Assad.
M. Zuhdi Jasser, vice chair of the United States Commision on International Religious Freedom and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), told The Christian Post Tuesday, "9/11 woke up America to a symptom of a deeper disease, and that disease is what produces militant groups like al Qaeda or radical Islamism." He argued that "the core issue is not the militants, it's the ideology of political Islam."
Jasser, who is Syrian American, argued that this worldview grew from a conflict between secular governments and radical Muslims in the Middle East over the past century. "The Muslim Brotherhood cut its teeth fighting Nasser, Sadat and Mubarak," he explained. Without a Muslim government, they argued, national fascist dictators will enforce their tyrannical rule by military authority. more >>
Any diplomatic initiative on Syria coming from Russia, whose UN votes have perpetuated Assad's killing machine for over two years, should be viewed with extreme suspicion. Nevertheless, the latest Russian proposal merits serious consideration.
Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov's proposal, which exploited an offhand remark by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, calls for the destruction of Syria's chemical weapons arsenal in exchange for a cancellation of the U.S. military action against Syria being debated by Congress. Russian national interests underlie this proposal: helping Russia's last Mideast client state to survive, reinforcing the image of Russia as a Mideast power broker, and diminishing the perception that Russia supports chemical weapons use. But these interests intersect with US interests insofar as a diplomatic solution decreases the odds of an Islamist takeover of Syria (should U.S. strikes actually alter the balance of power between the Syrian regime and the opposition) while possibly removing the need for potentially risky and costly U.S. military action -- without further undermining U.S. credibility.
The humanitarian justification for intervention -- with over two million Syrian refugees and 110,000 dead -- grows stronger by the day. The geo-strategic reasons for U.S. action are also manifest: Syria's chemical weapons could be used unpredictably by the Assad regime, its terrorist ally Hezbollah, or Islamist rebels; rogue regimes like North Korea and Iran will view U.S. inaction as a green light to oppose U.S. interests where they see fit (particularly with respect to their nuclear plans); and the toppling of Assad's regime -- Iran's closest ally -- would weaken the Iranian regime while signaling that it is next unless diplomacy quickly resolves the Iranian nuclear standoff. more >>
A 19-year Air Force veteran who was relieved of his duties because he disagreed with his openly gay commander over gay marriage is now facing a formal investigation after he told me his story.
Senior Master Sgt. Phillip Monk found himself at odds with his Lackland Air Force Base commander after he objected to her plans to severely punish an instructor who had expressed religious objections to homosexuality. During the conversation, his commander ordered him to share his personal views on homosexuality.
"I was relieved of my position because I don't agree with my commander's position on gay marriage," he told me. "We've been told that if you publicly say that homosexuality is wrong, you are in violation of Air Force policy." more >>
Did the Syrian government, or did it not, use chemical weapons - that is the question that will apparently decide whether the U.S. will enter another, messy war, one that may have many long-term consequences.
That is the question the media and its talking heads are abuzz with.
And yet, that is also the question that - to any objective, independent thinker - is wholly irrelevant. Why? Because the fact is, from one end of the world to the other, outrageous human rights abuses - many much worse than the use of chemical weapons - are going on. more >>
Who would have guessed that liberal Democrat Barack Obama would end up being one of the biggest warmongering presidents in history. It is suspected by many that his decision to militarily intervene in Syria is being done to deflect the public's attention away from Obamacare, the IRS targeting of conservatives and the NSA surveillance scandal. Intervening on behalf of the Syrian rebels is unpopular because it is not clear that the rebels, who have been infiltrated by al Qaeda affiliates and Iranian-backed militias, are any better than President Bashar al-Assad's Shiite-controlled government, and toppling the regime may lead to instability to the detriment of Israel.
A Gallup poll found that going into Syria is more unpopular than any similar conflict since the airstrikes on Kosovo under President Bill Clinton 15 years ago. Only 36 percent of Americans support the intervention, compared to 51 percent who oppose it. Pope Francis is so opposed to military intervention, he led Catholics around the world in a day of fasting for peace in Syria. British voters are overwhelmingly against military action, with 47 percent opposing it and only 19 percent in favor. Seventy conservative Tories in British Parliament refused to vote for military action last week, and the legislation failed.
Obama claims that 10 countries that signed a vague statement about military action at the G-20 summit last week means they back his plans to invade Syria. However, Britain clearly opposes it, and Russia asserts that only four of those countries support the invasion. If Congress does not approve military action in a vote shortly, Obama appears ready to go ahead with the strikes anyway. This is even more disturbing since Russian president Vladimir Putin announced that his country will provide assistance to the Syrian government if the U.S. militarily intervenes on behalf of the rebels, reviving a dangerous U.S.-Russian rivalry. more >>