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Posts Tagged religion
A new study based on interviews conducted over social media with foreign fighters in Iraq and Syria raises doubts about the commonly held notion that young men in North America and Europe who are drawn to violent Islamic extremism must be marginalized loners looking for an alternative to their dead-end lives.
Three university researchers who contacted dozens of jihadists from abroad in Iraq and Syria, including some Canadians, say they seemed to be drawn mainly by the religious ideas—“no matter how ill-informed or unorthodox”—behind jihadism. Rather than being isolated individuals who self-radicalized in front of their computer screens, the report says they usually found mentors and, at least in the case of the Canadians, joined the fighting in “clusters.”
In the working paper, they write that the foreign fighters they contacted “run the gamut from troubled youth with personal problems to accomplished young men and women from stable backgrounds.” In the 20 interviews they analyzed, not one of their subjects suggested “directly or indirectly” that being marginalized socially or economically pushed them onto such an extreme path.
From Penn Live:
Andrew Hertzler claims in a suit filed Friday in U.S. Middle District Court that the requirement is a violation of his constitutional right to possess a firearm and of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.
Hertzler states he is an active member of the Amish faith and community in Lancaster County with a sincerely held religious belief that prohibits photographs being taken of him.
From Fox News:
A Sikh is suing California over their “assault wepon” ban.
Separation of church and state seems to depend on your religion.
Where Christianity is concerned, the colleges go to great lengths to avoid any hint of what the courts call “entanglement” or support of the church. Yet a MN college is planning to install facilities for Muslims to use in preparing for daily prayers, an apparent first at a public institution in Minnesota.
Separation of church and state is clearest at colleges during the Christmas season.
Last year, one college’s authorities caught a rule-breaker red-handed. A coffee cart that sells drinks and snacks played holiday music “tied to Christmas,” and “complaints and concerns” were raised, according to a faculty e-mail. College authorities quickly quashed the practice.
They appear to take a very different attitude toward Islam. Welcome and accommodation are the order of the day for the college’s more than 500 Muslim students. That same MN college has worked with local Muslim leaders to ensure that these students’ prayer needs and concerns are adequately addressed.
“Religious minorities in Indonesia push back
For months, Christians in the industrial city of Bekasi have been warned against worshiping on a field that houses their shuttered church. They’ve arrived to find human feces dumped on the land and sermons have been interrupted by demonstrators chanting “Infidels!” and “Leave now!”
But last week, tensions finally exploded.
Twenty worshippers were met by 300 Islamic hard-liners, many of whom hurled shoes and water bottles before pushing past a row of riot police. The mob chased down and punched several members of the group.
“The Batak Christians deserve to be stabbed to death,” yelled Murhali Barda, who heads the FPI chapter in Bekasi. “If they refuse to go home we are ready to fight.”
An argument broke out between Barda and three female members of the congregation. The hard-liners shoved and started punching them. All the while, men chanted from a truck and clerics made speeches saying “Leave. … We will not let you perform prayers here!”
Hard-liners have also become more violent, according to the Setara Institute for Peace and Democracy, a human rights group, which said there have already been 28 attacks on religious freedom in 2010, including everything from preventing groups from performing prayers to burning houses of worship.”
Within nearly every group in the US there is a range of responses to the issue of illegal immigration. Even groups that place a high value on mercy and compassion have differing views. Here’s the opinion of one evangelical:
“President Obama has said that nations “are not defined by our borders.” This is manifestly false. A definable and defensible border is precisely what defines a nation. Any third-grader looking at a globe can tell you where Mexico ends and the United States begins.
We agree that we should treat legal immigrants with compassion, in line with the time-honored precept found in the Old Testament. “You shall love him (i.e. the sojourner) as yourself” (Leviticus 19:34). I submit that America is doing a better job of embodying this precept than any nation on earth.
We naturalize a million immigrants a year, and grant legal entry to another million or so. We have the most generous, open-hearted, open-handed immigration policy on the planet.
In the last year for which figures are available, the U.S. granted citizenship to 230,000 immigrants from Mexico, more than than the next three countries of origin combined. Our borders and our hearts are hardly closed to Mexicans who are willing to play by the rules and knock on the front door rather than sneaking in through the back.
Leviticus 19:33 adds, “When a stranger sojourns with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong.” Some seem to believe that deporting lawbreakers qualifies as mistreatment.
But upholding the law is not mistreatment. We do no wrong to the shoplifter by holding him accountable for his behavior. In fact, enforcing the law is the way government shows compassion for victims of crime. Compassion is misdirected if it is targeted toward lawbreakers rather than victims.
Where is the compassion for the residents of Arizona who are forced to cope with drug smuggling, drug-related violence, human trafficking, home invasions, kidnappings, and $2.7billion in annual costs imposed on them by illegals for education, welfare, law enforcement and health care?
There’s no way around the fact that my evangelical friends want to reward aliens who break the law. They want to guarantee them access to a pathway to citizenship, no matter how vigorously they try to deny it. They want illegal aliens, as a matter of policy, to have the option of choosing a path that will lead to citizenship if they jump through enough hoops.
We should instead deal with the 12-20 million illegals currently in the country through attrition, by making access to any taxpayer-funded resource – whether education, welfare, or health care – contingent upon proof of legal residency.
Enforcing our immigration policy need not break up families. The president sent spouses and children along when he deported the Russian spies, and we can do the same with every illegal alien. We do not want to separate husbands from wives, or children from parents, so our policy should be to repatriate entire families together to preserve family integrity.
If a member of a family has the legal right to remain in the U.S., he of course should be allowed to exercise that right. But then the family itself would be responsible for dissolving the family unit, not the United States.”