Foreign Policy Issues

12/10/2013 Egypt’s Record Against Christians Called Into Question

Source:  Trans Talk Radio News Service   Excerpt from article: (TRNS) — Human rights experts and advocates said today that human rights and religious freedom in Egypt must improve under Egypt’s current military government. “When religious freedom is protected, the rest of society will be healthy,” U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom Vice Chair Zuhdi Jasser said at a hearing before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs. “When it is not protected, society will deteriorate.” Egypt’s transition to democracy following the overthrow of President Hosni Mubarak was expected to lead to an improvement in human rights, according to Human Rights First … Continued

10/16/2013 Turkey says it fires on al-Qaida-linked fighter positions in Syria

Source: The Jerusalem Post Turkish military fires four artillery shells at Islamist Syrian positions after stray mortar shell strikes Turkish territory. Patriot missile installation on Turkish-Syrian border. Photo: REUTERS ISTANBUL – Turkey’s army said on Wednesday it had fired on al-Qaida-linked fighters over the border in northern Syria in response to a stray mortar shell which struck Turkish territory. The military fired four artillery shells at positions of fighters of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) on Tuesday, the general staff statement said. Turkey has repeatedly carried out such retaliatory action when shells fired from Syria hit Turkey … Continued

9/23/13 Terror Group That Claimed Kenya Attack Has Recruited Americans Before

Source: ABC News The same group that claimed responsibility for an attack on a Kenyan mall this weekend that has claimed at least 62 lives has previously recruited dozens of Americans to join their cause. U.S. officials estimate that as many as 50 Americans have traveled to training camps in Somalia, the home of the al Qaeda-linked terror group al-Shabaab, over the last six years. Just last month, al-Shabaab released a video showing three young men claiming to be from Minneapolis who the terror group said later died as martyrs. “This is the best place to be honestly,” one of the men … Continued

9/23/13 Kenya mall attack: Military says most hostages freed, death toll at 68

Source: CNN Nairobi, Kenya (CNN) – Authorities in Kenya appeared close to ending a deadly siege Monday at an upscale Nairobi mall, where attackers have killed at least 68 people, injured 175, and are believed to still be holding about 10 people hostage. “All efforts are underway to bring this matter to a speedy conclusion,” the Kenyan military announced on Twitter. It said that “most of the hostages have been rescued and security forces have taken control of most parts of the building.” Earlier, police had tweeted that a “MAJOR assault” by security forces was ongoing. Read More

9/18/13 In Britain, emotive debate about the Muslim veil tempered by a streak of pragmatism

Source: Associated Press LONDON –  In Britain this week, a judge struck a blow against religious oppression. Or for religious freedom. It all depends who you ask. Judge Peter Murphy ruled that a female Muslim defendant may stand trial wearing a face-covering veil — but must remove it when giving evidence. The case has reignited a debate about Muslim veils that has flared across Europe, sparking protests and exacerbating religious tensions in several countries. Those tensions exist in Britain, too, and attacks on Muslims and mosques rose after the May slaying of an off-duty British soldier by Islamist extremists. But … Continued

9/17/13 In public shift, Israel calls for Assad’s fall

(Reuters) – Israel wants to see Syrian President Bashar al-Assad toppled, its ambassador to the United States said on Tuesday, in a shift from its non-committal public stance on its neighbor’s civil war. Even Assad’s defeat by al Qaeda-aligned rebels would be preferable to Damascus’s current alliance with Israel’s arch-foe Iran, Ambassador Michael Oren said in an interview with the Jerusalem Post. His comments marked a move in Israel’s public position on Syria’s two-and-1/2-year-old war. Though old enemies, a stable stand-off has endured between the two countries during Assad’s rule and at times Israel had pursued peace talks with him in … Continued

9/14/13 Egyptian Christian, Who Is Son of Coptic Leader, to Lead Muslim Brotherhood Party in Egypt?

Source: The Christian Post Excerpt from article: Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam: An American Muslim Patriot’s Fight to Save His Faith and president of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD), told CP in a Tuesday interview, “I don’t even know how to explain it – how a Christian would be helping advance the implementation of the Islamic state under Sharia…he would not be able to make laws.” Jasser, a Syrian-American who is vice chair of the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, attempted to explain Rafiq’s support for the Muslim Brotherhood by referring to Syria. “Many Christians … Continued

9/12/13 Egypt tanks cross fence leading to Gaza

Source: Fox News GAZA CITY (AFP) –  Two Egyptian army tanks crossed an initial border fence leading to Gaza for the first time on Thursday, witnesses said, but did not enter the Palestinian territory itself. Gaza’s Hamas rulers neither confirmed nor denied the incursion, but said no Egyptian tanks had entered the besieged Strip. The tanks “crossed the first Egyptian border fence along the corridor between Egypt and (Gaza), and drove along the road running next to the cement wall” that Egypt built, the witnesses told AFP. They said it was the “first time Egyptian tanks have been in this … Continued

9/11/13 U.S. weapons reaching Syrian rebels

Source: The Washington Times The CIA has begun delivering weapons to rebels in Syria, ending months of delay in lethal aid that had been promised by the Obama administration, according to U.S. officials and Syrian figures. The shipments began streaming into the country over the past two weeks, along with separate deliveries by the State Department of vehicles and other gear — a flow of material that marks a major escalation of the U.S. role in Syria’s civil war. The arms shipments, which are limited to light weapons and other munitions that can be tracked, began arriving in Syria at … Continued

9/11/13 Jihadis gain ground in Syrian rebel movement as moderates grow desperate

Source: NBC news By Richard Engel, Chief Foreign Correspondent, NBC News ANTAKYA, Turkey — Syrian opposition activists tell NBC News that Bashar Assad is getting away with having used chemical weapons to massacre hundreds of civilians, and that giving the regime a pass will only benefit al-Qaeda extremists. “If there is no action, everyone will be desperate. We are already desperate. We are dying. Many will join al-Qaeda. Even the educated will join them, because no one else is helping,” a Syrian rebel said. There is a battle underway within the Syrian revolt — a war within the war — … Continued