It was bad enough, two years ago, that Defense Secretary Robert Gates called fringe Florida pastor Terry Jones to ask him not to burn copies of the Koran, or last week, that chairman of the Joint Chiefs Gen. Martin Dempsey took his turn to call Jones to ask him to stop publicizing a YouTube video, The Innocence of Muslims.
For close to 1,300 years, Muslims cared little what infidels thought of them. The curious caliph, sultan, vizier, or cleric might engage the arguments of Christians questioning the one true faith, but such disputatious exchanges were made as much out of befuddlement as disdain: Any sensible, well-educated man would obviously see the superiority of Islam over earlier imperfections.
Before the latest issue of the French humor magazine Charlie Hebdo could even hit newstands, its office was firebombed. Apparently some did not find the humorists' depiction of the Muslim prophet Muhammad to be very funny and decided to say so by throwing a Molotov cocktail through the office windows early this morning.
In Muslim-majority Kosovo last week, as the fasting month of Ramadan came to an end and families prepared for the reopening of public schools, the parliamentary Assembly of the Republic rendered its judgment on a controversy that has agitated the country for more than a year: It voted not to permit the Islamic headscarf (hijab) or any religious instruction in public schools.
We previously noted that a petition against the Bashar al-Assad regime's repressive action has been circulating Syria, signed by a leading group of sheikhs. We've obtained the full text and translated, and are here publishing the petition:
House Homeland Security Committee chair Pete King (R-N.Y.) held the latest hearing on the threat of homegrown radicalization of Muslims this morning, focusing specifically on radicalization in American prisons. Law enforcement experts testified that a small but dangerous group of convicts are converting to radical Islam within state and federal prisons, threatening America’s security.
President Obama, the Wall Street Journal reports, is preparing a speech that “will ask those in the Middle East and beyond to reject Islamic militancy in the wake of Osama bin Laden’s death and embrace a new era of relations” with the United States.
As we look ahead to Easter—Christianity’s greatest feast day, and the celebration of Christ’s resurrection from the dead—there is much to pray for. We pray for those affected by economic strife, and those harmed by natural disasters and war. But let’s not forget the Christians suffering around the world for their beliefs.
I confess that I'd never heard of Pakistani actress Veena Malik until I saw this video of her tearing into an Islamic cleric for his hypocrisy and twisted moral oppression. She's awfully attractive to begin with, but her courage somehow makes her irrisitable: