Archive for November 30th, 2007

Elusive Biblical Wall Found

Friday, November 30th, 2007

A wall mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Nehemiah and long sought by archaeologists apparently has been found, an Israeli archaeologist says.
A team of archaeologists discovered the wall in Jerusalem’s ancient City of David during a rescue attempt on a tower that was in danger of collapse, said Eilat Mazar, head of the Institute of Archaeology at the Shalem Center, a Jerusalem-based research and educational institute, and leader of the dig.

Artifacts including pottery shards and arrowheads found under the tower suggested that both the tower and the nearby wall are from the 5th century B.C., the time of Nehemiah, Mazar said this week. Scholars previously thought the wall dated to the Hasmonean period from about 142 B.C. to 37 B.C.

The findings suggest that the structure was actually part of the same city wall the Bible says Nehemiah rebuilt, Mazar said. The Book of Nehemiah gives a detailed description of construction of the walls, destroyed earlier by the Babylonians.

“We were amazed,” she said, noting that the discovery was made at a time when many scholars argued that the wall did not exist.

“This was a great surprise. It was something we didn’t plan,” Mazar said.

The first phase of the dig, completed in 2005, uncovered what Mazar believes to be the remains of King David’s palace, built by King Hiram of Tyre, and also mentioned in the Bible.

Ephraim Stern, professor emeritus of archaeology at Hebrew University and chairman of the state of Israel archaeological council, offered support for Mazar’s claim.

“The material she showed me is from the Persian period,” the period of Nehemiah, he said. “I can sign on the date of the material she found.”

However, another scholar disputed the significance of the discovery.

Israel Finkelstein, professor of archaeology at Tel Aviv University, called the discovery “an interesting find,” but said the pottery and other artifacts do not indicate that the wall was built in the time of Nehemiah. Because the debris was not connected to a floor or other structural part of the wall, the wall could have been built later, Finkelstein said.

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The Word ‘Women’ Banned From Iranian TV

Friday, November 30th, 2007

This might just be the most idiotic thing I have ever heard.

The word ‘women’ must now be replaced on Iranian state television by ‘family’, reformist Norouz news agency reports.

In programmes broadcast throughout the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against women last Sunday, Iranian state TV used the world family instead.

In recent weeks, Iran’s Centre for the Participation of Women changed its name to the Centre for Family Matters.

At the time of former reformist president, Mohammad Khatami, the centre was set up within the president’s office.

Khatami was president of Iran from 1997 to 2005.

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Pro-Lifers Handed Victory in Kansas Supreme Court

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Another nail in abortions coffin.

A grand jury has being asked to investigate Doctor George Tiller over his alleged involvement in illegal late-term abortions in the state of Kansas. The investigation comes after Attorney General Paul Morrison filed 19 criminal charges against Tiller, claiming that the Kansas doctor violated a state statute banning abortions on babies after 22 weeks gestation.

However, Tiller filed a Writ of Mandamus asking for a special exemption from grand jury investigation. But Kansas Supreme Court Chief Justice Kay McFarland ruled today that his petition is denied, and that the investigation can move forward. Troy Newman is president of Operation Rescue, one of the leading pro-life organizations in the U.S. He says that today’s ruling is a major victory.

“We believe that this is a great victory. Because it shows that the courts must uphold the standard of law, and the law is on the side of the people,” He says. “The problem has been enforcement in the state of Kansas and the people are now going to hopefully, prayerfully, see indictments and convictions of the nations largest abortionists.”

Original Link.

Christian Leaders Criticized for Seeking ‘Common Ground’ with Muslim Imams

Friday, November 30th, 2007

A Lebanese-American author and activist is criticizing Christian leaders who are seeking to find “common ground” with Muslim imams. She says that six years after 9/11, these leaders “still do not understand the Islamic faith and ideology driving terrorism around the world.”

Last month, 138 Muslim scholars signed a letter addressed to Pope Benedict XVI, and other religious leaders, urging them to find common ground between Islam and Christianity. The letter declared that Islam and Christianity both believe in only one God, and the commandment to love one’s neighbor.

“Our terrorist enemies — who have launched an attack against the West and against the infidels, Christians, Jews, Buddhists, atheists and everything else — those terrorists repeated[ly] quote the Koran and many, many verses of the Koran and the Hadith,” she points out. “…the accompanying books of the Koran [talk] about how Islam looks on unbelievers, or the Kafirs, as those who are condemned to go to hell.”

Original Link.

“The Stage Is Set: Will It Be Judgment Or Destruction?” By Jeffrey K. Radt

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Please take time to read the entire article. It is very revealing.

We need to repent and pray for the forgiveness of our nation’s sins. Specifically, we need to pray for God to have mercy on us all.

In a few days, America will never be the same as I fear that we are about to enter a new realm in our spiritual relationship with our Lord and Creator. I might even go so far as to say that we will have reached the proverbial point of no return.

Our God is a God of grace, mercy, and love. However, He is also a God of holiness, righteousness, and justice. For instance, Nahum warned that while God is one who is righteous and holy He is also one who will not tolerate sin (Nahum 1:2-3):

“A jealous and avenging God is the Lord; The Lord is avenging and wrathful. The Lord takes vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies. The Lord is slow to anger and great in power, and the Lord will by no means leave the guilty unpunished.”

The Bible also says that God will bless those who bless Israel, and He will curse those who curse Israel (Genesis 12:3). The Bible says that he who touches Israel touches “the apple of God’s eye” (Zechariah 2:8).

The upcoming Annapolis conference is akin to our government thinking they can poke God in the eye and blind Him long enough so that they can create a legacy on their own terms and independent of His plan for His chosen people as well as mankind.

They will leave a legacy all right, but will anyone be around to read about it in history books?

Does it bother anyone else to watch a so-called Christian president and his administration blatantly thumb its nose at God? I’m sorry, but any true Christian who has spent time reading his or her own Bible would know that Israel is off limits and that true peace will never be established until Jesus Christ returns again.

To ignore history – – especially recent history – – all for the sake of political expediency is dangerous and arrogant. To continue to push such initiatives is suicidal, borderline psychotic, and it shows a disdain for God and His truths not to mention a complete misunderstanding of Scripture and eschatology.

Read the rest of article here.

Gang Arrested Trying to Sell Enriched Uranium

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Well, we lucked out on this one. I just have to wonder; how long will it be before the terrorist do lay their hands on nuclear material? It really is a scary thought.

A gang arrested by Slovakian police was trafficking uranium so enriched that it could have been used by terrorists in a dirty bomb, it emerged today.

Two Hungarians and a Ukrainian man were arrested as they tried to sell the uranium last night. The consignment had been tracked by police after it came to their attention inside the former Soviet Union.

A total of 481.4 grams of uranium was found and investigators believe it contained 98.6 per cent uranium-235. Uranium is considered weapons-grade if it contains at least 85 per cent uranium-235.

“According to preliminary information, the material could have been used to make a so-called dirty bomb,” Michal Kopcik, a senior Slovakian police official told a news conference today.

He added that the material contained uranium-235, the type used in nuclear reactors and in nuclear warheads, as well as the naturally occurring uranium-238. While it could have been used to make a ‘dirty bomb’ it could not have made an atomic weapon.

“The radioactive uranium was even more dangerous because it was in powder form,” Mr Kopcik explained.

Police said three suspects were detained yesterday near the Hungarian border. The men were carrying two containers filled with the radioactive uranium.

One was a 40-year-old Ukrainian man, another a 49-year-old Hungarian man both living in Ukraine. The third man was aged 51 and from Hungary.

Police said they first traced the radioactive material somewhere in the former Soviet Union but did not give further details about its origin.

“Police were watching the sellers as well as the buyers,” Kopcik said, but refused to disclose more information on the buyers. The radioactive material was due to be sold for $3,500 a gramme, he added.

Original Link.

Teacher Convicted in Teddy Bear Case – Sentenced to Jail – Protestors Call for Death

Friday, November 30th, 2007

Updates at Bottom:

Earlier this week, we told you about a teacher, from the U.K. teaching in Sudan, who is in trouble with the government there because her class named a teddy bear “Muhammad”. The ever “tolerant” Muslims quickly charged her with insulting Islam, a crime in Sudan punishable by up to six months in prison, a fine or flogging of up to 40 lashes.
She has now been convicted of this “crime”.
Do you folks understand at all just how radical Islam really is?

KHARTOUM, Sudan – A Sudanese court convicted a British teacher Thursday of insulting Islam for letting her students name a teddy bear Muhammad and sentenced her to 15 days in prison, avoiding a heavier punishment of 40 lashes. The teacher wept in court, insisting she never meant to offend.

The sentence and quick seven-hour trial were aimed at swiftly resolving the case, which had put Sudan’s government in an embarrassing position — facing the anger of Britain on one side and potential trouble from powerful Islamic hard-liners on the other.

The defense said the case was sparked by a school secretary with a grudge. But it escalated as Muslim clerics sought to drum up public outrage against what it called a Western plot to insult Islam’s Prophet Muhammad and demanding Gibbons be punished.

Officials were trying to tamp down public anger in the face of hard-line calls for protests after Muslim prayers Friday.

The government, which has often touted its Islamic credentials, encouraged past protests over cartoons seen as insulting the prophet published in European papers. But its moves now suggested it feared the case could hurt its reputation in the West.

The teacher, Gillian Gibbons, “was in tears” when she testified in court Thursday, a member of her defense team, Abdel-Khaliq Abdallah, told The Associated Press.

“She said that she never wanted to insult Islam” by allowing the children to name the stuffed toy Muhammad, a common name among Muslim men, the lawyer said, speaking outside the courtroom. Media were barred from the chamber.

Gibbons, 54, was found guilty of “insulting the faith of Muslims” and sentenced to 15 days in jail, followed by deportation, said Ali Mohammed Ajab, a human rights lawyer on the defense team. The charge is a lesser offense in the article of the criminal code under which she was tried, which includes several possible charges.

Prosecutors had pressed for conviction on a heavier charge under the same article — inciting religious hatred, which carries a punishment of up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine.

A judge leaving the courtroom confirmed the verdict to reporters, but refused to give his name.

Britain said it was “extremely disappointed with the sentence.” London had been conducting delicate diplomatic efforts to ensure she received no punishment for what it said was a “misunderstanding.”

Original Link.

Update 1 at 11/30/07 7:25 AM CST:
Interesting comments. You should read them all. Real eye-openers.

The self-loathing Brits who think teddy bear teacher deserves her fate

Updated for sentence: Gillian was spared the lashes – those Sharia judges are just big softies at heart. But 15 days in prison, and I’m guessing that won’t be a room with cable. Bet she was glad of the deportation order though.

So it’s just the two weeks in the roach pit, then bundled out of the country pursued by a lynch mob to spend the rest of her life wondering if some whackjob is going to catch up with her and give her the Theo van Gogh treatment.

Radical Islam: What’s not to like?

Other than among Islamic hardliners, you would think that the plight of British teacher Gillian Gibbons, who faces jail and 40 lashes in Sudan for allowing her pupils to name a teddy bear Mohammed, would elicit near-universal sympathy.

Not so, judging by the comments of a sizable minority of commenters on the BBC’s website, who appear to think that Mrs Gibbons deserves everything she gets. This is just a selection of their views (brackets are mine):

Read the comments here.

Update 2 at 11/30/07 7:33 AM CST:
In typical form, the Muslims in Sudan have taken to streets, demanding that the teacher be executed. Ah, those peace loving, ever tolerant Muslims.

KHARTOUM, Sudan — Thousands of Sudanese, many armed with clubs and knives, protested Friday outside the presidential palace in Khartoum, demanding the execution of a British teacher convicted of insulting Islam for allowing her students to name a teddy bear Muhammad.

The protesters streamed out of mosques after Friday sermons, as pick-up trucks with loudspeakers blared messages against Gillian Gibbons, the teacher who was sentenced Thursday to 15 days in prison and deportation.

Click here for photos.

They massed in central Martyrs Square, outside the palace, where hundreds of riot police were deployed, though they did not attempt to disrupt the rally. “Shame, shame on the U.K.,” protesters chanted, and they called for Gibbons’ execution, saying, “No tolerance: Execution,” and “Kill her, kill her by firing squad.”

The women’s prison where Gibbons is being held is far from the site. Unity High School, which is closer by in central Khartoum, is under heavy security protection.

The protest arose despite vows by Sudanese security officials the day before, during Gibbons’ trial, that threatened demonstrations after Friday prayers would not take place. Some of the protesters carried green banners with the name of the Society for Support of the Prophet Muhammad, a previously unknown group.

Some of the protesters, who an Associated Press reporter at the scene said numbered as many as 10,000, carried clubs, knives and axes — but not automatic weapons, which some have carried at past government-condoned demonstrations, suggesting Friday’s rally was not organized by the government.

During Friday sermons, the Muslim cleric at Khartoum’s main Martyrs Mosque denounced Gibbons, saying she intentionally insulted Islam but he did not call for protests.

“Imprisoning this lady does not satisfy the thirst of Muslims in Sudan. But we welcome imprisonment and expulsion,” the cleric, Abdul-Jalil Nazeer al-Karouri, a well-known hard-liner, told worshippers.

“This is an arrogant woman who came to our country, cashing her salary in dollars, teaching our children hatred of our Prophet Muhammad,” he said.

Hard-line clerics who hold considerable influence with Sudan’s Islamic government, have sought to whip up public anger over the Gibbons’ case, calling her actions part of a Western plot to damage Islam.

The conviction of Gibbons was seen as an attempt by the government to appease hard-liners, while trying to avert British anger by giving a relatively light sentence. Gibbons could have received up to 40 lashes, six months in prison and a fine if convicted on the heavier charge of inciting religious hatred.

Original Link.