Muslim-Sponsored Genocide in Mosul

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The Islamic occupying force ISIS, which captured Mosul last month, issued the ultimatum to Christians, “Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die” (The Daily Beast, July 22, 2014). According to a Mosul-based human rights organization, “Those families leaving from the checkpoints on the eastern side of the city were harassed and robbed of their possessions but ultimately allowed to leave Mosul with only the clothes on their backs and possibly cab fare” (ibid.). “Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) accused the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) of genocide for ‘systematically targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq for extinction’” (CNS News, July 22, 2014). 

The Islamic occupying force ISIS, which captured Mosul last month, issued the ultimatum to Christians, “Convert to Islam, pay an anachronistic Islamic tax for non-Muslims known as jizya, leave Mosul, or be killed. But the day before the final exodus, Christians were informed jizya was no longer an option. The order came to convert, leave, or die” (The Daily Beast, July 22, 2014). According to a Mosul-based human rights organization, “Those families leaving from the checkpoints on the eastern side of the city were harassed and robbed of their possessions but ultimately allowed to leave Mosul with only the clothes on their backs and possibly cab fare” (ibid.). “Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) accused the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) of genocide for ‘systematically targeting Christians and other religious minorities in Iraq for extinction’” (CNS News, July 22, 2014). 

A Role for Europe in Gaza?

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In response to incessant rocket fire from Gaza, Israel retaliated with a military offensive. Since then, dozens of Israelis and more than 600 Palestinians have been killed (BBC, July 23, 2014). Reacting to the carnage, “The UN’s top human rights official has condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip, saying that war crimes may have been committed… She also condemned Hamas for ‘indiscriminate attacks’ on Israel” (ibid.). However, the EU has offered another perspective. In a joint statement, foreign ministers of EU nations said they are “appalled by the human cost” of Israel’s military operation which has killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza, but they “recognised Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself” from the “indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel” from Gaza which they termed “criminal and unjustifiable acts” (EU Observer, July 22, 2014). 

In response to incessant rocket fire from Gaza, Israel retaliated with a military offensive. Since then, dozens of Israelis and more than 600 Palestinians have been killed (BBC, July 23, 2014). Reacting to the carnage, “The UN’s top human rights official has condemned Israel’s military actions in the Gaza Strip, saying that war crimes may have been committed… She also condemned Hamas for ‘indiscriminate attacks’ on Israel” (ibid.). However, the EU has offered another perspective. In a joint statement, foreign ministers of EU nations said they are “appalled by the human cost” of Israel’s military operation which has killed hundreds of civilians in Gaza, but they “recognised Israel’s legitimate right to defend itself” from the “indiscriminate firing of rockets into Israel” from Gaza which they termed “criminal and unjustifiable acts” (EU Observer, July 22, 2014). 

Happy Families are No Myth…

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On July 25, the movie Hercules will be released nationwide, yet another example of America’s fascination with Greek and Roman gods and mythology. Besides the Hercules movies, Hollywood recently produced a remake of the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, as well as the Percy Jackson movie series—all to profit from American interest in pagan deities. Why are these movies—and the books and other media on which they are based—so successful? Why does our society find more connection with ancient Greek mythology than with biblical Christianity?

On July 25, the movie Hercules will be released nationwide, yet another example of America’s fascination with Greek and Roman gods and mythology. Besides the Hercules movies, Hollywood recently produced a remake of the 1981 movie Clash of the Titans, as well as the Percy Jackson movie series—all to profit from American interest in pagan deities. Why are these movies—and the books and other media on which they are based—so successful? Why does our society find more connection with ancient Greek mythology than with biblical Christianity?

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More Weather Woes!

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Less than a year after Typhoon Haiyan (the strongest storm ever to hit land) struck the Philippines and killed more than 6,300 people, another powerful storm, Typhoon Rammasun (a Thai word for god of thunder), packing 100 mph winds pounded the Philippines this week. The typhoon toppled trees, destroyed thousands of homes, displaced nearly half a million people and left some 40 people dead (Houston Chronicle, July 16, 2014). Damage to infrastructure could run above $1 million and the loss in crops and livestock could exceed $14 million.

Less than a year after Typhoon Haiyan (the strongest storm ever to hit land) struck the Philippines and killed more than 6,300 people, another powerful storm, Typhoon Rammasun (a Thai word for god of thunder), packing 100 mph winds pounded the Philippines this week. The typhoon toppled trees, destroyed thousands of homes, displaced nearly half a million people and left some 40 people dead (Houston Chronicle, July 16, 2014). Damage to infrastructure could run above $1 million and the loss in crops and livestock could exceed $14 million.

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