In a controversial move, Seattle is pushing to establish new financing packages that conform with Sharia law to allow greater homeownership among Muslims. Islam prohibits the payment of interest and some Muslims are therefore unable to buy homes under standard mortgage agreements. The most for more inclusive options has led to a backlash by critics who charge that it could be a new avenue for terrorist financing or constitute special treatment for one religion.
Saudi Arabia has given the world another bizarre example of life under the strict Islamic code and values of the Kingdom. The Talaee Al-Noor International School in Riyadh painted an inviting and playful rainbow image on its building. The Kingdom’s religious police quickly swooped in an arrested the administrator, fined the school $25,000, and ordered the facade painted over. The reason? Rainbows are seen as “emblems Of homosexuality.” It is not clear what the religious police will do with naturally occurring rainbows.
By Darren Smith, Weekend Contributor
The world has reacted with outrage and suffered the loss of historical treasures and landmarks at the hands of ISIS which has prided itself to be cleansing the region of a cultural history at odds to what the terrorist network considers to be non-conforming to its ideals. We featured such incidents HERE, HERE, HERE, and HERE.
The raid lends credence to evidence that ISIS is selling artifacts on the illicit antiquities market to raise funds for its operations.
We have previously discussed the disconnect in some individuals, particularly ISIS recruits, who live relatively normal lives in the West only to become suddenly radicalized and violent as Islamic extremists. Chattanooga gunman Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez could be such a case, though police are still trying to confirm the motivation for the attacks. The attack has been labeled “domestic terrorism.” Abdulazeez, 24, murdered four Marines and wounded a police officer on Thursday in shootings at two military recruiting and training centers in Chattanooga, Tennessee. What is now known is that he posted a couple posts shortly before the attack discussing how Muslims should act in this short life and how they had to resist the corrupting influence of life around them in proving their faith.
India has experienced another massive death count due to a stampeded at a religious festival. The latest tragedy occurred at a Hindu religious bathing festival on the bank of the Godavari River in the Andhra Pradesh state on July 14. It is a predictable (and avoidable) occurrence. Local police and government officials fail to take proper precautions and a massive group overwhelms organizers. In this case, as soon as access to the river was given, thousands stampeded to get to the water to wash away their sins. In doing so, they crushed 27 people (mainly women) to death and injured 40.
There is an interesting story out of Chad where the country has outlawed the wearing of Islamic veils over the face of women. The country took the step after a suicide bombing by the Muslim group Boko Haram used a burka-wearing man. France has been criticized for outlawing full veils or burkas so the move by a country with a majority of Muslims is surprising.
We have previously discussed the crackdown on free speech in Russia, including examples of quasi-blasphemy prosecutions by the country. While we often see such prosecutions in Muslim countries, there is a growing trend in the West against free speech, particularly when deemed anti-religious or insulting to particular groups. The unholy alliance of Vladimir Putin with the Russian Orthodox Church has accelerated this trend as shown in the move to shutdown a popular atheist social networking page of “There is no God” on VKontakte. The site’s 26,000 followers woke up to notice that the site was shutdown after a ruling from a count in the Muslim North Caucasus region of Chechnya under the control of strongman Ramzan Kadyrov, a key Putin ally.