Archive for May 20th, 2008

Rescue of Girls in Nigeria Ignites Islamic Rampage

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

NINGI, Nigeria, May 19 (Compass Direct News) – Islamists under the auspices of a paramilitary force last week destroyed six churches to protest a police rescue of two teenage Christian girls kidnapped by Muslims in this Bauchi state town.

Police recovered the two Christian girls, Mary Chikwodi Okoye, 15, and Uche Edward, 14, on May 12 after Muslims in Ningi kidnapped them three weeks ago in an attempt to expand Islam by marrying them to Muslim men. Police took the two girls, who had been under foster care, to safety in southeastern Nigeria where their biological parents live.

The kidnappers had taken the girls to Wudil town in Kano state. Following the rescue of the girls, Muslims under the auspices of the Hisbah Command, a paramilitary arm of Kano state’s Sharia Commission, responsible for enforcing Islamic law, went on a rampage on Tuesday (May 13), attacking Christians and setting fire to the churches.

Original Link.

Scientists, Theologians Debate Whether God Exists

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

WASHINGTON — Scientists hate God. Or find God very disturbing. In fact, modern science has found no evidence of God, and so it’s stupid to think God exists.

The above statements are often presented as conventional wisdom, but are they true?

A new collection of short essays, discussed here Thursday at an event at the American Enterprise Institute, responds to that question with a more diverse set of voices than is usually offered.

Edited by Skeptic magazine publisher Michael Shermer and backed by the John Templeton Foundation, the booklet features replies by 13 scholars and thinkers to the question “Does science make belief in God obsolete?”

The practical answer is, “Of course not.” Many people worldwide believe.

In the United States, the percentage of the population without a religious affiliation is increasing, but the majority still have one, according to American Religious Identification Survey 2001.

The faithful aren’t going away despite a golden age of scientific descriptions of the mysteries of life and the secularizing, culture-draining force of consumerism.

The answers offered by the booklet’s two theologians, eight scientists, two cultural commentators and one philosopher are more creative and sophisticated than the mind-numbing “culture wars” portrayed on television.

Some of the thinkers even found ways to synthesize or reconcile God and science without throwing up their hands.

The standard line

The standard scientific line on God is well-represented in the booklet by several of the writers:

— Science has failed to find natural evidence of God. Natural evidence is all there is. No God. Case closed.

— Slightly softer is this line of reasoning: Science erases the “need” for God as an explanation of our experiences, and God either doesn’t exist or is at best a hypothesis (to the agnostic).

— And then there’s the view expressed in the title of University of Hawaii physicist and astronomer Victor Stenger’s new book, “God: The Failed Hypothesis — How Science Shows that God Does Not Exist.” Stenger also contributed to the new booklet.

These arguments are old news.

Shermer, who describes himself as spiritual and agnostic, adds a cosmic twist, casting doubt on our ability to recognize God.

He claims that any encounter with extraterrestrial intelligence, should we go looking, is statistically likely to turn up civilizations that are far more medically advanced than ours and would have the ability to create life, so they will be indistinguishable from God.

“Science does not make belief in God obsolete, but it may make obsolete the reality of God, depending on how far we are able to push the science,” Shermer writes in the booklet.

Yet many scientists — 40 percent according to a 1997 poll cited by Shermer — believe in God. This isn’t big news to scientists, but might surprise people who rely on mainstream views of science.

A handful of those folks — including Jerome Groopman, a professor of medicine at Harvard, and William D. Phillips, Nobel laureate in physics and a fellow of the Joint Quantum Institute of the University of Maryland and the National Institute of Standards and Technology — are also represented in the booklet, arguing that the natural world and the world of faith are relatively separate, yet personally reconcilable domains.

“I think that we are all comfortable with the idea there are plenty of things in our lives that we will deal with outside of the scientific paradigm,” Phillips told about 70 members of the public who attended the discussion of these issues between himself, Shermer and AEI theologian Michael Novak. “And while I think faith is a particularly important part of our lives that we should deal with outside of the scientific paradigm, it is certainly not the only one.”

Read the Rest of the Article Here.

“Still Dead in Dallas. An Update on the Double Honor Murders” by Dr. Phyllis Chesler

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Old News: The sisters, Sarah and Amina Said, are still dead; their father-murderer, Yasir Abdul Said, has not yet been found; the mainstream media continues its uncanny silence.

Said Sisters

Said Sisters

(images added by me. -ed.)

What’s New: The reward for Said’s capture has been doubled and Tissy Said, his wife and the mother of the two murdered girls, has been ejected from the home of her extended Muslim family. Her beloved son, Islam, (from whom she would not willingly part), has been sent away from her. The Said family presumably want him to be “around a man” (his paternal uncle in New York City) and not around his mother. According to Tissy’s great-aunt, the brave, outspoken, Gail Gartrell:

“I feel Tissy is in grave danger from her own son. This is what I think his uncle is working through with Islam in New York. I fear his return. All the nieces and nephews in the Said family are accusing Tissy of this being her fault. They have turned on her. They blame her for allowing her daughters to see American boys. She has become the enemy. When I spoke to Tissy, she seemed more upset about this betrayal than about anything else. She told me she did not care if he (Islam? or Yaser?) killed her or not. Now, her spirit is broken since her Muslim family has walked away from her. Tissy told me that she wants to be buried next to her daughters.”

Tissy is an American citizen who is about 36-37 years old. She was married to Yaser at fifteen.

Gartrell described being recently preyed upon by a local Texas reporter who said she was a private investigator–in an effort to gain access to Tissy. The ruse did not work but it sowed discord among family members. Gartrell and other great-aunts have, reportedly, been threatened online and warned not to write about this case. (One great-aunt was writing a book–she may no longer be doing so).

Gartrell tells me that no one can save Tissy but Tissy herself. She has to “contact the police for help. A detective said the only way to protect her was if she would be willing to leave Islam and go into hiding! ”

Why is the media so disinterested? Their disinterest makes it harder for the police to find Yaser and encourages the next honor murderer to strike. Chances are, he will not be successfully pursued. Chances are, the world will not much care. What about the young boys who tried to save Sarah and Amina and who remain in hiding? The media silence endangers them more each day.

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Dr. Phyllis Chesler is the well known author of classic works, including the bestseller Women and Madness (1972) and The New Anti-Semitism (2003). She has just published The Death of Feminism: What’s Next in the Struggle for Women’s Freedom (Palgrave Macmillan), as well as an updated and revised edition of Women and Madness. She is an Emerita Professor of psychology and women’s studies, the co-founder of the Association for Women in Psychology (1969) and the National Women’s Health Network (1974). She is currently on the Board of Scholars for Peace in the Middle East and lives in New York City. Her website is www.phyllis-chesler.com.
We are delighted to have Dr. Chesler as a contributor to the Jesus is Lord, A Worshipping Christian’s Blog.

Original Link to the Chesler Chronicles at Pajamas Media.

Not All Muslims are Terrorist, But Almost All Terrorist are Muslims

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

“Not all Muslims are terrorist, but almost all terrorist are Muslims”.
I thought about this statement as it floated across my mind the other day. Exactly who are the terrorist in the world today?
When I was a child, Arafat had just started his attacks on the innocent. The Cuban crisis seemed like it was introducing an airplane hijacking almost weekly. When one said terrorist, one’s mind jumped more to the Irish Republican Army more so than Islam. How that has changed.
“Islam” and “terrorist” are now almost completely synonymous.
Airplane hijacking has almost died away completely, let alone by Cubans attempting to return home. The IRA is pretty much non-existent these days. When one says “terrorist” today, one almost immediately thinks of Arab Muslims. Is this fair?
If one examines the current conflicts in the world today, regrettably, almost 95% of them are instigated or include Muslims. Aside from some eco-terrorist acts, almost all the others involve Muslims.
I’ve often said that stereotypes, although often unfair because they are generalizations, happen because a certain group is characterized in a certain way. They are characterized in this way because either a majority of their people meet this generalization or because a highly visible portion meet this generalization.
“Not all Muslims are terrorist, but almost all terrorist are Muslims”.
Terrorist meet the generalization.