President Obama offered a “waterless cloud” to the Middle East Thursday when he laid out plans of how the United States would approach diplomacy with Arab nations undergoing political change, said a Christian scholar.
The U.S. president spoke about supporting protesters who sought freedom from authoritarian rulers, but omitted to explain the source of America’s freedom and democracy, observed Vishal Mangalwadi, a philosopher and author of The Book That Made Your World: How the Bible Created the Soul of Western Civilization.
“Secular intelligentsia in America, personified in President Obama, does not understand America’s own secret [to freedom] and therefore is not able to help the Arab states when they really need help and are looking for help,” said Mangalwadi, described as “India’s foremost Christian intellectual” by Christianity Today, to The Christian Post following Obama’s Arab Spring speech. more >>
A devout Catholic in Florida has angered members of his congregation by asking that they pray for Osama bin Laden in their next Mass.
Henry Borja’s request has been granted by Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church in West Palm Beach, Fla., but not everybody’s happy about it.
One church member, Luis Pizzano, told WPTV television that praying for bin Laden was “unconscionable” and “sacrilegious.” more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Gunmen on motorcycles shot and killed a Saudi diplomat in the Pakistani city of Karachi on Monday, the second attack on the mission since the killing of al-Qaida chief Osama bin Laden increased tension in the region.
The Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan claimed responsibility for the killing, and warned the United States against attacking its close ally, al-Qaida. Al-Qaida has waged a bloody campaign to topple the royal family and government of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of bin Laden. The group has also vowed to avenge his killing by U.S. special forces in Pakistan’s garrison city of Abbottabad on May 2.
Four people riding motorcycles opened fire on the Saudi diplomat’s car, media reports quoted a Karachi police official as saying. The diplomat, a low ranking security official, was on his way to the consulate when the assailants struck. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – U.S. Senator John Kerry warned Pakistan on Monday that "actions not words" are needed to tackle militant sanctuaries, as the two countries tried to salvage their relationship two weeks after the U.S. raid that killed Osama bin Laden in Abbottabad. The two countries also principally agreed that they would “work together” in any future action against high-value targets in Pakistan.
“Our progress in the days ahead will be measured by actions, not words,” Senator Kerry said in a televised statement after a meeting with President Asif Zardari, Prime Minister Yousaf Raza Gilani and Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani.
“Ultimately, the Pakistani people will decide what kind of country Pakistan becomes, whether it is a haven for extremists or the tolerant democracy that Muhammad Ali Jinnah envisioned 64 years ago,” Kerry said. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – Although law enforcement agencies in Miami have succeeded in arresting three Pakistan-born U.S. nationals, including the imams of two Florida mosques, on charges of financing and supporting the Pakistani Taliban, it's likely that a key figure of this network has managed to evade capture and is still present on U.S. soil.
Ikramul Haq – son of Hafiz Muhammad Sher Ali Khan, who was arrested along with two of his other sons, Izharul Haq and Irfanul Haq by U.S. law enforcement agencies in Miami on Saturday – has been wanted by the Pakistani police since 2008 in multiple cases pertaining to terrorism, murder, attempt to murder and kidnappings for ransom but has somehow managed to reach his father and brothers in the U.S. in these last two years, according to his nephew and police officials.
Hafiz Muhammed Sher Ali Khan, 76, and his son, Izharul Haq, 24, were arrested in South Florida, while Irfanul Haq, 37, was detained in Los Angeles. Hafiz Sher Ali is the Imam at the Miami Mosque, also known as the Flagler Mosque, while Izhar is the prayer leader at the Jamaat Al-Mu'mineen Mosque in Margate in Florida. The other three charged indicted by the U.S. on Saturday – Ali Rehman, Alamzeb and Amna Bibi – are living in Pakistan. Amna is Hafiz Sher’s daughter and Alamzeb his grandson. more >>
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan – As U.S. Senator John Kerry warned Pakistan on Sunday it could risk losing U.S. aid in case Islamabad failed to cooperate more with Washington in curbing terrorism, Islamabad has also finalized its list of conditions to be forwarded to Washington with a clear message that their acceptance was a major prerequisite for the continuation of the anti-terrorism cooperation between the two estranged allies.
The list contains tough conditions like an end to drone strikes in Pakistan’s militant-infested Tribal Areas, withdrawal of Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) spies and defense contractors from Pakistan and complete intelligence sharing by Washington about the possible presence of al-Qaida and Taliban leaders inside the country.
The Pakistani list of conditions will not only be sent to Washington through diplomatic channels, but will also be shared with Senator Kerry, who arrived in Islamabad from Kabul on Sunday night to hold crucial talks with Pakistani leaders. more >>