Archive for June 18th, 2007

Gaza’s Christians fear for their lives

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Now that Israel is out of Gaza and the terrorist (Hamas) is in control, they are beginning their “Islamafication” of the area by driving the few remaining Christians out.
Please continue to pray for this people as they suffer real persecution at the hands of the Islamic terrorist.

Christians living in Gaza City on Monday appealed to the international community to protect them against increased attacks by Muslim extremists. Many Christians said they were prepared to leave the Gaza Strip as soon as the border crossings are reopened.

The appeal came following a series of attacks on a Christian school and church in Gaza City over the past few days.

Father Manuel Musalam, leader of the small Latin community in the Gaza Strip, said masked gunmen torched and looted the Rosary Sisters School and the Latin Church.

“The masked gunmen used rocket-propelled grenades to storm the main entrances of the school and church,” he said. “Then they destroyed almost everything inside, including the Cross, the Holy Book, computers and other equipment.”

Musalam expressed outrage over the burning of copies of the Bible, noting that the gunmen destroyed all the Crosses inside the church and school. “Those who did these awful things have no respect for Christian-Muslim relations,” he said.

He estimated damages at more than $500,000. “Those who see the destruction will realize how bad this attack was,” he said. “Christians have been living in peace and security with Muslims for many years, but those who attacked us are trying to sabotage this relationship.”

He said Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas phoned him on Sunday night to express his strong condemnation for the attack. “President Abbas promised that he would do his utmost to prevent such attacks on Christians here,” he said.

Fatah officials blamed Hamas militiamen for the attack on the church and school. However, Islam Shahwan, spokesman for Hamas’s Executive Force in the Gaza Strip, denied responsibility.

He nevertheless admitted that a large group of Hamas militiamen had been near the area during the attack. “We have instructed all our men to withdraw from the area,” he said. “We will punish anyone who targets churches and public institutions.”

Original Link.

700 Busted in International Internet Child Porn Ring

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Score one for the good guys!! What really upsets me though, is that our world is so evil that an internet child port ring of this size could even exist. If people were not viewing this type of material, or as the case is, paying for it, it would not exist.
None the less, “good job” to the law enforcement folks who brought this to an end!!

LONDON — Police smashed a global Internet pedophile ring, rescuing 31 children and rounding up more than 700 suspects worldwide, authorities said Monday.

Some 200 suspects are based in Britain, the Child Exploitation and Online Protection Center said. The ring was traced to an Internet chat room called “Kids the Light of Our Lives” that featured images of children being subjected to horrific sexual abuse.

The investigation involves agencies from 35 countries and lasted 10 months.

The host of the Web site, Timothy David Martyn Cox, 27, of Buxhall, who used the online identity “Son of God,” admitted to nine counts of possessing and distributing indecent images, authorities said.

After his arrest in September, authorities were able to infiltrate the chat room and collect evidence on the other members.

Original Link.

“Israel Encircled by Enemies” by Todd Strandberg

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Just when you thought the danger facing Israel couldn’t get any worse, it defies all odds and gets worse. Thanks to a stunning military victory by Hamas, there is now a radical Islamic state on Israel’s southern border.

Hamas militants, backed by Iranian arms and money, have won a civil war with the Fatah organization in the Gaza strip. There is growing fear that Hamas will build up a force similar to what Hezbollah has done in southern Lebanon. Hamas has already proven itself to be a troublemaker by firing rockets into Israel. Now that it controls the Gaza strip, it has a free hand to smuggle in missiles and fire them at will.

One sign of how bad things have gotten is our sudden friendship with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. He still controls large areas of the West Bank, but he has been shunned by the West for his failure to curb Arab terrorists. The U.S. is now going to lift sanctions in an attempt to bolster the Abbas government.

I’m not sure this plan will work. Everything we have touched lately has turned into a disaster. Hamas is very popular with most Palestinians. Having America and Israel on Fatah’s side could end up inflaming the situation.

Benjamin Netanyahu, head if the Likud party in Israel, said in an interview that one of the main lessons to be learned from the current Gaza situation is the failure of Israel’s unilateral policy. In 2005, Israel pulled out of Gaza and handed control of the territory to the Palestinians.

In an interview with Army Radio, Netanyahu said “the lesson to be learned from our one-sided operations, which are hasty, poorly planned, and don’t take into consideration what we’re leaving behind, is that they can lead to the creation of a copy of ‘Hamastan’, or this ‘Islamistan’ in the West Bank, as it currently exists in Gaza.”

I was going to say that the Israel’s northern border has remained quiet, but we now have a late report of rockets being fired from Lebanon into Israel. Hezbollah has been rapidly building up its inventory of missiles, and the Lebanese government is doing little to curb Hezbollah’s growing strength.

Despite the trouble in Gaza and the northern border, Israel seems to be more worried about Syria. Damascus has far greater military capabilities and it has been playing a high stakes game of chicken with Israel. The Syrians have been very open about their plans for war with Israel.

Syrian parliament member Muhammad Habash confirmed on Al-Jazeera Arabic world news satellite TV last week that Syria is indeed engaged in active preparations for a war with Israel. The conflict, said the Syrian MP, is expected to break out during the summer months.

At first, the thinking was that Syria was just talking war to prod Israel into giving up the Golan Heights. The level of preparation has gone far beyond any war-game saber rattling. Syria has spent millions of dollars building up its defenses on the Israeli border. The Qatari newspaper, Al Watan, reported that Syria is making concrete preparations for war with Israel by moving the Government and State Archives from the Damascus area. Maybe someone in the Syrian government is mindful of the prophecy in the 17th chapter of Isaiah:

“The burden of Damascus. Behold, Damascus is taken away from being a city, and it shall be a ruinous heap” (Isa. 17:1).

Officials close to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert have reported that their efforts to begin negotiations with Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad have gone unanswered. The head of Mossad, Israel’s international intelligence agency, Meir Dagan, warned that Syrian President Assad was putting up a smoke screen by claiming he wants to open peace talks with the Jewish State.

Iran is the nation that closes that loop on encircling Israel with its back against the sea. Iran’s long-range missile capability and unending quest for nuclear weapons can never slip too far from the headlines. Israeli leaders continue to warn that they will prevent Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. Of course, Israeli intelligence has little doubt that if Israel or the US attacks Iran’s uranium enrichment program, much of the retaliation will come from Tehran’s clients on its borders.

With so many active flash points, it just seems to be only a matter of time before a major conflict erupts. With the situation so strongly connected to prophecy, I think every Bible-believing Christian needs to keep a close eye on this powder keg.

“And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Lk. 21:28).

— Todd

Original Link.

Problems in Darfur Due To Global Warming?

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Oh pullleeeeezzzz! I am so sick of hearing about global warming I could puke! Now UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon says that the slaughter in Darfur is a result of global warming. Is it just me, or has anyone else noticed that everyone is blaming everything on global warming?

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon said that the slaughter in Darfur was triggered by global climate change and that more such conflicts may be on the horizon, in an article published Saturday.
“The Darfur conflict began as an ecological crisis, arising at least in part from climate change,” Ban said in a Washington Post opinion column.

UN statistics showed that rainfall declined some 40 percent over the past two decades, he said, as a rise in Indian Ocean temperatures disrupted monsoons.

“This suggests that the drying of sub-Saharan Africa derives, to some degree, from man-made global warming,” the South Korean diplomat wrote.

“It is no accident that the violence in Darfur erupted during the drought,” Ban said in the Washington daily.

When Darfur’s land was rich, he said, black farmers welcomed Arab herders and shared their water, he said.

With the drought, however, farmers fenced in their land to prevent overgrazing.

“For the first time in memory, there was no longer enough food and water for all. Fighting broke out,” he said.

A UN peacekeeping force may stop the fighting, he said, and more than two million people may return to rebuilt homes in safe villages.

“But what to do about the essential dilemma: the fact that there’s no longer enough good land to go around?”

“Any real solution to Darfur’s troubles involves sustained economic development,” perhaps using new technologies, genetically modified grains or irrigation, while bettering health, education and sanitation, he said.

Sudan is not the only country with such problems, Ban said, and pointed to Somalia, Ivory Coast and Burkina Faso as African countries with “food and water insecurity.”

Khartoum agreed this week to accept 23,000 UN and African Union peacekeepers after four years of fighting, which has killed at least 200,000 people.

Original Link

Episcopal Priest: I am both Christian and Muslim

Monday, June 18th, 2007

Things just keep getting stranger and stranger in the Episcopal church. Apparently there is an Episcopal priest who believes she is both Christian and Mulim. Talk about an identity crisis! Just like you cannot be a Baptist buddhist, you cannot be a Christian Muslim. It is absolutely absurd.

Shortly after noon on Fridays, the Rev. Ann Holmes Redding ties on a black headscarf, preparing to pray with her Muslim group on First Hill.

On Sunday mornings, Redding puts on the white collar of an Episcopal priest.

She does both, she says, because she’s Christian and Muslim.

Redding, who until recently was director of faith formation at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral, has been a priest for more than 20 years. Now she’s ready to tell people that, for the last 15 months, she’s also been a Muslim — drawn to the faith after an introduction to Islamic prayers left her profoundly moved.

Her announcement has provoked surprise and bewilderment in many, raising an obvious question: How can someone be both a Christian and a Muslim?

But it has drawn other reactions too. Friends generally say they support her, while religious scholars are mixed: Some say that, depending on how one interprets the tenets of the two faiths, it is, indeed, possible to be both. Others consider the two faiths mutually exclusive.

“There are tenets of the faiths that are very, very different,” said Kurt Fredrickson, director of the doctor of ministry program at Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena, Calif. “The most basic would be: What do you do with Jesus?”

Christianity has historically regarded Jesus as the son of God and God incarnate, both fully human and fully divine. Muslims, though they regard Jesus as a great prophet, do not see him as divine and do not consider him the son of God.

“I don’t think it’s possible” to be both, Fredrickson said, just like “you can’t be a Republican and a Democrat.”

Original Link

Islamic Honor Killings on the Rise in U.K.

Monday, June 18th, 2007

The U.K. is seeing an upswing in the number of “honor killings” as their nation becomes more Islamic each day.

The death threats drop through Jasvinder Sanghera’s letter box at least twice a week. More often than not, when the notes are particularly vicious, they are accompanied by a smearing of filth across her windows. When she drives, Miss Sanghera constantly monitors the cars behind, frightened that she is being followed by a murderer.

Constant threats: Jasvinder Sanghera launched her campaign after her sister burnt herself to death

In such a terrifying situation, one would expect her to turn to her extended family for comfort. But for Miss Sanghera this is not an option: the harsh reality is that her family despise her just as much as those who threaten her life.

Her “crime” was to defy the strict dictates of her Asian family and refuse a forced marriage.

At 16, she ran away from home rather than marry a man she had seen only in a photograph. Since then, having witnessed the suicide of her sister, who poured paraffin over her body and set herself alight to escape a forced marriage, she has set up Karma Nirvana, a support group charity that helps women flee forced marriages and those who risk becoming victims of family “honour” killing.

The shocking truth about the crime was thrown sharply into focus last week when Mahmod Mahmod, 52, and his brother, Ari Mahmod, 51, were convicted of the murder of Mahmod’s daughter Banaz Mahmod, 20, for “dishonouring” the family by walking out of her arranged marriage and having a relationship with another man. A third man, Mohamad Hama, 30, earlier pleaded guilty to her murder.

A Sunday Telegraph investigation has established that honour killings are increasing rapidly in Britain.

Home Office statistics suggest that there are 12 such murders each year. However, according to research, the true figure is much higher. At a conference in Southampton last week, police chiefs revealed that they are re-examining 2,000 deaths and-murders between 1996 and 2006 to establish whether they involve honour killings. So far, 19 have now been found to be honour killings. A further 20 involved some element of “honour violence”.

The string of deaths is likely to include some that were previously deemed suicides but have been found to be forced suicides and murder disguised as suicide.

To combat the escalating crime, dedicated teams of senior prosecutors will be deployed in Britain’s honour killing hot spots this month in an effort to boost conviction rates and give victims more protection. At first, a pilot scheme involving 20 policemen will concentrate on four hot spots – London, the West Midlands, West Yorkshire and Lancashire.

Chief constables across the country will work with the Home Office and voluntary agencies to try to identify women at risk from violence from their families.

Plans to be published soon by the Association of Chief Police Officers will tell forces to follow new risk assessment models to ensure women are taken seriously if they complain of family violence.

A special unit has been created by the Foreign Office to travel around the world seeking British-born Asian women who have been forced into marriage. It operates mainly in Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Kenya and Yemen. Officials from the local British embassy or consulate co-operate with police to identify these women and, if they are clearly being held against their will, bring them home to Britain.

“The official figure of 12 [honour killings] is but the tip of a very big iceberg,” says Miss Sanghera, who has written an autobiography, Shame, based on her own family experiences of “honour” violence.

Her charity sees almost 1,000 women each year who have been threatened with death, beaten, starved, kidnapped and brutalised by their families for refusing or escaping forced marriages.

“Often women are forced into committing suicide,” she says. “Or they are murdered and the killing is made to look like suicide, which is the verdict recorded.

Original Link.
See our previous post.

Lebanon Militants Fire Rockets at Israel

Monday, June 18th, 2007

No terrorist are willing to take responsibility for this act yet.
I noticed one statement from the AP article that we might want to pay particular attention to:
The Lebanese army said in a statement three 107 millimeter Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel by “unknown elements” and that a search was underway to find the attackers. Troops sent to search the suspected launching area found a fourth rocket equipped with a timer.

107mm Katyusha Rocket Launcher

Why is the fact that a fourth launcher was found with a timer important? Because it shows the willingness of the enemy to sacrifice a rocket launcher. I understand that in the overall scheme of things, the cost of a rocket launcher is not significant, especially one as small as the one-zero-seven, but it seems to be further proof that the terrorist are re-armed enough that the intentional loss of a launcher is of no consequence to them.

JERUSALEM – Militants in Lebanon fired at least two rockets into
Israel on Sunday, causing no casualties and little damage, but raising the possibility of a new flare-up on the volatile border less than a year after Israel’s bloody monthlong war against Hezbollah.

The Lebanese prime minister said the attack was geared at undermining the stability of Lebanon, while the U.N. condemned Sunday’s incident as a serious violation to a cease-fire that ended the conflict last year.

Hezbollah, a Lebanese militant group, denied involvement, and Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert it was mostly likely the work of “a small Palestinian movement.”

Israel’s initial reaction was muted, but security officials were meeting to debate a response.

“We are still clarifying the circumstances,” Olmert said in New York, where he was meeting with U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. “Lebanon has been very quiet in the last nine months and hopefully will continue to be so.”

The rockets were the first fired from Lebanon since last summer’s war, when almost 4,000 rockets exploded in Israel. The latest rockets landed in the northern town of Kiryat Shemona, which was hard hit during that conflict.

An official with Olmert indicated Israel would not hit back.

“Israel will not succumb to this provocation but will monitor the situation carefully,” the official said, requesting anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation.

Al-Manar, the Hezbollah TV station in Lebanon, broadcast a denial that Hezbollah was involved.

Lebanese Prime Minister Fuad Saniora said the attack aimed to destabilize Lebanon by casting doubts about the ability of the army and U.N. peacekeepers to protect the border zone.

“The state … will spare no effort in uncovering those who stand behind this incident, which is aimed at attempting to undermine the stability” of Lebanon, Saniora said in a statement.

A Lebanese security official told The Associated Press that two 107 mm rockets were launched using timers from an area between the villages of Adaisseh and Kfar Kila, a few miles from Israel’s border. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to talk to the media.

The Lebanese army said in a statement three 107 millimeter Katyusha rockets were fired at Israel by “unknown elements” and that a search was underway to find the attackers. Troops sent to search the suspected launching area found a fourth rocket equipped with a timer.

Israeli Channel 2 TV’s Arab affairs analyst, Ehud Yaari, said a splinter Palestinian group in Lebanon was probably behind the attack. There was no claim of responsibility.

In the past, small Palestinian groups, like the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, have fired a few rockets at Israel.

Yasmina Bouziane, a spokeswoman for the U.N. Interim Force in Lebanon, said the rocket attack was considered a “serious breach of cessation of hostilities agreement” from last year’s war.

UNIFIL and Lebanese troops have intensified patrols of the area “in order to locate the perpetrators and prevent any further attacks,” she added.

The peacekeeping force urged the parties to exercise maximum restraint to prevent escalation.

Original Link.