Like Christianity, Islam Must Face Itself or Lose Credibility​

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As I am still intent on a writing project, it is my pleasure to bring you this guest post by the esteemed scholar, and Franciscan Friar, Elias D. Mallon, who writes to caution Muslim friends that increased Islamic outreach and dialogue is urgently needed, if their credibility is to be preserved in the face extremist factions like ISIS and Boko Haram, and their continued crimes against humanity.An Examination of Conscience is Not Just for Christians If these specific things had not been … [Read more...]

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ISIS-supporter confirms my point: West too hip to deal

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Regular readers know I've said this often and since at least 2008: the inability of the West to acknowledge Islamic extremism with a fluent language of faith -- their apparent feeling that modern secularist enlightenment can handle events invoking and inviting supernatural forces -- means they lack the means to fully address an evil that will be dissuaded by neither bombs nor sanctions.Today, in a follow-up to his earlier piece, "What ISIS really wants", Graeme Wood presents some reader … [Read more...]

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ISIS takes more Christian hostages; seals its doomed fate

ISIS will end in the reality of the great empty. Image by Michael Wick, courtesy of Shutterstock.com

ISIS, having seriously misread the effect of their last bloody theatrical, have taken nearly 100 Christian hostages from several Syrian villages.Islamic State militants have abducted at least 90 people from Assyrian Christian villages in northeastern Syria, a monitoring group that tracks violence in Syria said on Tuesday.The British-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said the militants carried out dawn raids on rural villages inhabited by the ancient Christian minority west of … [Read more...]

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Kurds & Volunteers Take Kabane from ISIS; Media Silent?

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Irony of ironies: several hours after posting a grouse about the internet wasteland and what it is taking from us, we must now talk about how powerfully this instrument can keep us informed, especially when mainstream media outlets will not.Back when ISIS was casting the Iraqi Christians from their ancient homeland at gunpoint, and rampaging through the Nineveh plain, there seemed a dearth of coverage, all of it lowkey. In the opening days of their genocidal assaults on Christians and … [Read more...]

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ISIS, Steve Sotloff, Kim Kardashian and the New Normal UPDATED

So, ISIS has beheaded a second US Journalist, and I am marveling at how much less attention is being paid to the grisly and unjust murder of Steven J. Sotloff.James Foley's murder shocked the nation, and in the midst of our insta-read-insta-forget culture of news absorption, his story survived a week's worth of news cycles, which is remarkable when you consider how quickly we consign stories to the memory hole and move on to the next big thing. Ebola? Is that still going on? What do you … [Read more...]

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Do The Rapes of Rotherham Tell a Tale of Conquest? UPDATED

For days I avoided the story, as I know many others have. Coming on the heels of the atrocities of the Islamic State, the take-over of Mosul (now a holding camp for kidnapped Yazidi "brides") the purging of the Iraqi Christians from their ancient lands and the pursuit of genocide -- the disheartening knowledge that, despite the official pivot away by our government, there are still thousands on Mount Sinjar who will not be rescued, because they are very old, or very young, or very weak -- who … [Read more...]

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James Foley, Martyrdom and the Subversive Freedom of Prayer UPDATED

A great deal has been written about the late James Foley, his beheading at the hands of a barbarous Islamic State: the moving response from this band of Syrians, the Jesuit education which, along with the example of his family kept him grounded in his faith; his own words on the power of prayer, written in previous captivity.The story is tragic and infuriating -- every bit as nation-stirring as the similar murder of Daniel Pearl, all those years ago, when bloody "war on terror" was still in … [Read more...]

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ISIS “split her in two; she would not convert!”

When I was a little girl, and afraid of monsters in my darkened bedroom, I used to think that if I would just close my eyes and turn my head away, I would be alright. If I could just look away, the monster could not see me, would not get to me, could not use and abuse me. I would be safe.Looking away did not keep the monster at bay. It just ended up fracturing me in ways that still demand daily work at reconstruction and restoration.I know people want to look away from this evil. Our … [Read more...]

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Kolbe Would Have Worn the Nun (ن)

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I meant to write this earlier but the day got away from me. Now, it's sundown and past the feastday of Saint Maximilian Kolbe -- we're actually in the Vigil of the Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary, but I'll write about that tomorrow. Let's look at Kolbe one more time before calling it a day, or a night, and I'll tell you why.Kolbe was a Catholic priest and very much a subversive:He’d been arrested, in part, for hiding and assisting Jews — 2000 of them. Subversive. H … [Read more...]

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The Experience of the Islamic State Horror, First-hand

These are not easy to read; imagine your families trying to deal with this."What prayers shall I say now?:Father Anis Hanna explained in detail how life has now changed for the different minorities who once lived in peace for centuries under the reign of Islam in Iraq and Syria. In July, ISIS declared from different mosques in Mosul that, starting on 28 July 2014, new laws and rules would be applied to everyone living in the territories under the Islamic State. They also declared that … [Read more...]

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