Despite the fact that Islamic State leaders have their eyes set on expanding the caliphate outside of Iraq and Syria, a recent poll surveying respondents from seven Arab nations and refugees in Syria found that ISIS is overwhelmingly unpopular among people there.
A telephone poll, conducted by the Arab opinion index team at the Qatar-based Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies, surveyed respondents from Lebanon, Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Palestinian territory, and Syria (refugees) and found that 85 percent of its respondents view the Islamic State terrorist organization as "negative" or "negative to some extent." Only 11 percent of the respondents said they held "positive" or relatively positive views on ISIS.
The survey also found that nearly six in 10 respondents "strongly support" or "support" the U.S.-led coalition's aims to destroy ISIS, although 75 percent said they have "negative" or "negative to some extent" opinions about U.S. foreign policy in the Arab region. About one-third of the respondents said they either "strongly oppose" or "oppose" the international coalition's efforts. more >>
A new initiative is encouraging supporters of Iranian-American pastor Saeed Abedini to purchase and send postcards to the White House to urge President Barack Obama to demand the release Abedini as part of the upcoming nuclear negotiations with Iran.
The prepared message to Obama on the postcards reads:
"A man in your position has been given great power and responsibility to represent every American, whether on domestic or foreign soil. Please hold to your own words, that no one is left behind. We, the American people, ask you to do everything within your power to bring U.S. citizen, pastor, husband & father, Saeed Abedini, home to his family from his time of incarceration in Iran." more >>
An anti-terrorism court Monday sent four accused to police custody for their alleged role in the beating and burning to death of a Christian man and his pregnant wife by a mob of 1,500 Muslims for allegedly desecrating a Quran. Police say a local Imam incited the crime.
While 39 of the 60 suspects are already in jail, the judge of an anti-terrorism court ordered four more accused to be sent to police custody until Nov. 19, according to Agence France Presse.
On Nov. 4, Christian couple Shehzad, 35, and Shamah Masih, 31, were beaten then burned to death in Chak village near the town of Kot Radha Kishan, about 40 miles southwest of Lahore in Punjab Province. more >>
An official with the Church of Pakistan has confirmed that a Christian couple was beaten and burned alive over a false accusation made by their employer who claimed they ripped pages out of a Quran and threw them into a brick kiln furnace.
Raheel Sharoon, development officer of the Diocese of Raiwind, said Thursday that Shehzad Masih and his wife, Shamah — who were beaten in the streets Tuesday by a Muslim mob of 1,500 to 1,600 that tore off their clothes beat them before throwning them into a furnace — were killed because their employer said they owed him money, and he started the rumor to exact revenge.
"The real story is that the owner of brick kiln, Yousaf Gujjar, lent some money to the couple and when he asked for the money to be returned there was a confrontation since a majority of brick kiln workers cannot return their loans in cash, but do it by working at the brick kiln. After which he started spreading rumors of desecration of the Quran," Sharoon said, according to the Episcopal News Service. more >>
U.S. Christian missionary Kenneth Bae spoke to reporters Sunday and thanked the "thousands of people" who prayed for him during his two-year detention in North Korea, saying, "It's really been encouraging for me and for others."
Bae, who was freed along with U.S. citizen Matthew Miller Saturday, acknowledged that "thousands of people were praying" for him, according to The Seattle Times.
He said, jokingly, he has lost a lot of weight "in a good way" but "I'm standing strong because of you." more >>
Christian couple Shehzad, 35, and Shamah Masih, 31, were beaten then burned to death by a mob of Muslims in Punjab Province, Pakistan, Tuesday for allegedly desecrating a Quran.
In the photo, Shamah, who reports say was pregnant at the time of her death, clings to the arm of her husband.
All that's left of them now are bones and ashes, their three orphaned children, and photographs. more >>