Just some odds and ends on our Religion of Peace
CAIRO – Gunmen shot dead a Coptic Christian priest in Egypt’s lawless Northern Sinai on Saturday in what could be the first sectarian attack since the military overthrow of Islamist President Mohamed Morsi, security sources said.
The shooting in the coastal city of El Arish was one of several attacks believed to be by Islamist insurgents that included firing at four military checkpoints in the region, the sources said.
Mursi’s Muslim Brotherhood has fiercely criticized Coptic Pope Tawadros, spiritual leader of Egypt’s 8 million Christians, for giving his blessing to the removal of the president and attending the announcement by armed forces commander General Abdel Fattah al-Sisi suspending the constitution.
‘They Burned the Children Alive’: Islamic Militants Massacre 29 Students and 1 Teacher at Nigeria Boarding School
UPDATE 9:29 a.m. ET — AFP reports the death toll has risen to 42:
“We received 42 dead bodies of students and other staff of Government Secondary School (in) Mamudo last night. Some of them had gunshot wounds while many of them had burns and ruptured tissues,” Haliru Aliyu of the Potiskum General Hospital told AFP.
POTISKUM, Nigeria (AP) — Islamic militants attacked a boarding school in northeast Nigeria before dawn Saturday, killing 29 students and one teacher. Some of the pupils were burned alive in the latest school attack blamed on a radical terror group, survivors said.
Parents screamed in anguish as they tried to identify the charred and gunshot victims.
Farmer Malam Abdullahi found the bodies of two of his sons, a 10-year-old shot in the back as he apparently tried to run away, and a 12-year-old shot in the chest.
“That’s it, I’m taking my other boys out of school,” he told The Associated Press as he wept over the two corpses. He said he had three younger children in a nearby school.
“It’s not safe,” he said. “The gunmen are attacking schools and there is no protection for students despite all the soldiers.
(CNN) — Before their wedding ceremony begins in rural Afghanistan, a 40-year-old man sits to be photographed with his 11-year-old bride. The girl tells the photographer that she is sad to be engaged because she had hoped to become a teacher. Her favorite class was Dari, the local language, before she had to leave her studies to get married.
She is one of the 51 million child brides around the world today. And it’s not just Muslims; it happens across many cultures and regions.
Photographer Stephanie Sinclair has traveled the world taking pictures, like the one of the Afghan couple, to document the phenomenon. Christiane Amanpour spoke with Sinclair about a book which features her photographs called, “Questions without Answers: The World in Pictures by the Photographers of VII.”
A Palestinian jihadist group, Masada al Mujahideen, has claimed credit for starting the ongoing Arizona wildfire that has killed 19 firefighters, according to a report from The Long War Journal’s David Barnett.
The Long War Journal is a project of the Foundation for the Defense of Democracies, whose leadership council includes among others former CIA Director R. James Woolsey Jr. and Former FBI Director Louis Freeh.
According to the report, the SITE Intelligence Group obtained and translated from a jihadist Internet forum a statement titled “Masada al-Mujahideen Fulfilled its Promise and Attacked America Again After the Expiration of the Period with Fires that Achieved Historic Results.”
The statement boasted of the deaths of the 19 firefighters and claimed, “We had previously announced an unconventional war against the occupation state of Israel, and then we escalated this war to reach its main supporter, America, so that it receives a major share of it, which will destroy their flora and fauna, with permission from Allah and then with our hands.”
The statement further said that the group targeted the United States “in order to make it clear and to make it known we can reach it when we warn it, and to make it certain that our hands don’t just reach it, but also strike it.”
The Arizona fire killed 19 of 20 members of the Granite Mountain Hotshot Crew, the greatest loss of life for firefighters in a wildfire since 1933 and the deadliest day for U.S. firefighters since the 9/11 when 340 died.
An announcement by a television station in the United Kingdom that it will broadcast the Muslim call to prayer daily during the month-long religious observation called Ramadan has sparked concerns by those who point out that the nation’s constitution recognizes God the Father of the Lord Jesus Christ and “in any other age” the action “would have been regarded as treason.”
The announcement comes from Channel 4, which, according to spokesman Ralph Lee, is responding to factors that are pressing in society.
“Following the horrific events in Woolwich [where a British soldier was beheaded by two Islamists] and the subsequent reprisals against British Muslims, there has surely never been a more pressing need to give a voice to the moderate mainstream majority,” he said.
But that’s not what is happening, according to a statement from Christian Voice, a ministry for Christians “who are fed up with the way things are, who have had enough of secularist politicians imposing wickedness on the rest of us and who are not satisfied with trying to get ‘Christian influence in a secular world.’”
“It would be more honest to say: ‘Following the atrocity in Woolwich, it’s a good time to shove Islam down ordinary people’s throats and whip up anti-Islamic sentiment,” blogger Stephen Green said in a posting on the Christian Voice site.
Egyptian activists posted video on YouTube Saturday purporting to show Egyptian youths being thrown off a high wall situated on the roof of a building then being beaten in the head with sticks. According to Al Arabiya, the incident took place during clashes between supporters and opponents of ousted President Mohammed Morsi.
The Middle East news agency writes that the perpetrators are Islamist supporters of Morsi.
In the video, four young men are shown on the roof of a building, appearing to seek safety atop a high wall on the roof. Other activists can be seen congregating on the roof below them, one of whom is fully bearded and holding a large black Al-Qaeda flag in his back pocket.