Mideast Syria Rebel Attrition

Turkey’s top clerics declare ISIS illegitimate

The declaration of a “caliphate” by Islamist militants in Iraq lacks and legitimacy and their death threats to Christians are a danger to civilization, Turkey’s top cleric, the successor to the last caliph’s most senior imam, stated. The Islamic State, an armed group formerly allied to al-Qaeda that has captured territory across Iraq, last month…

Religious requirements for head of state

A Muslim person has no hope of winning the presidency in Lebanon due to a requirement that the executive leader be a member of the Maronite Christian Church. Such a rule might seem extreme from the perspective of religious freedom, but Lebanon is not alone in this. Thirty countries, roughly 15 percent of the world’s…

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi

ISIS worse than Genghis Khan

The head of Iraq’s largest church said on Sunday that Islamic State militants who drove Christians out of Mosul were worse than leader Genghis Khan and his grandson Hulagu who ransacked medieval Baghdad. Chaldean Catholic Patriarch Louis Raphael Sako led a wave of condemnation for the Islamists who demanded Christians either convert, submit to their…

IRAQ-UNREST-CHRISTIANS

Christians in the Islamic State face ultimatum

Islamist insurgents issued an ultimatum to northern Iraq’s dwindling Christian population to either convert to Islam, pay a religious levy, or face death, according to a statement distributed in the city of Mosul. The statement issued by the Islamic State, the al Qaeda offshoot which led last month’s assault and captured swathes of north Iraq,…

Tensions Remain High At Israeli Gaza Border

French Jews immigrate to Israel

Undeterred by the rounds of hostilities between Israel and Hamas, hundreds of French Jewish immigrants accepted their Israeli identity cards at a ceremony on Thursday afternoon in Jerusaslem. “I came because of anti-Semitism,” said Veronique Rivka Buzaglo, one of the 430 immigrants who arrived from France the day before. “You see it in the eyes…