Jihadist militant group Isis has said it is establishing a caliphate, or Islamic state, on the territories it controls in Iraq and Syria.
According to BBC News, the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) announced the establishment of the caliphate in an audio recording posted on the internet on Sunday.
Isis also said that from now on it would be known simply as "the Islamic State".
It also proclaimed the group's leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, as caliph and "leader for Muslims everywhere".
Dr. Muhammad Abdullah Al-Awain, Al-Jazera
According to Saudi Gazette, there are over half a million Twitter accounts that target Saudi Arabia and attempt to wreak havoc in society. Only countries can run such a large number of accounts. Some of the accounts promote atheistic thoughts, some prostitution, others lewdness and homosexuality. They all have one common goal: to destroy religion and morality in society.
There are around 4,500 accounts encouraging atheism. All of these accounts target Saudis, according to the report Dr. Fayez Al-Shehri sent to the Shoura Council.
Dr Robert Grant, Lecturer in Philosophy at Trinity College, and Michael Nugent, CEO of Atheist Ireland, debate the merits of 'new atheism', as well as the manner in which some communicate their message.
According to even the last census, Ireland is still a Catholic country, with huge amount of people professing to believing in God.
But there is no doubt that atheism continues to gain in popularity.
Dr Robert Grant wrote an article in the Irish Times this week questioning how some atheists put forward their message, and even went so far to say that the way in which the message is sometimes coomunicated is 'dangerous'.
George Hook invited him onto the Right Hook this week along with the CEO of Atheist Ireland Michael Nugent, and a lively debate ensued.
Listen to this debate at Right Hook
Last week, the High Court ruled against the current funding model of the federal government’s controversial school chaplaincy program. It's just the latest episode in a debate over education, religion and the state that goes back to the colonial era, writes Keri Phillips.
There are two strands to the dispute over education, religion and funding. The first concerns the government funding of private schools, almost all of which are run by or affiliated with religious organisations. The second concerns the place of religious instruction in public schools. Both have been the subject of referenda and legal challenges. The relationship between religion, education and the state has been controversial since the states began introducing compulsory public schooling in the second half of the 19th century. Until then, schools had been largely run by the churches and paid for by the government.
By Julia Llewellyn Smith, The Telegraph
When neuroscientist Andrew Newberg scanned the brain of “Kevin,” a staunch atheist, he realized that his brain operate in a significantly different way, compared with the Buddhist monks and Franciscan nuns.
“He had far more activity in the prefrontal cortex, the area that controls emotional feelings and mediates attention. Kevin’s brain appeared to be functioning in a highly analytical way, even when he was in a resting state.” says Newberg.
When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us
“When people speak in tongues, they’re gone, they’re in a completely altered state. But most of the time they’re normal people like us, with jobs and children – they don’t show any sign of being delusional,” says Newberg. “Scans of their brains – when they’re ’possessed’ – show very different results to scans of Buddhist monks or Carmelite nuns in prayer or meditation. There you see increased frontal lobe activity in the areas concerned with concentration, but the speakers in tongues had decreased activity in the same area, which would give them the sensation that someone else was ’running the show’.”
According to BBC News, The Iraqi government appears to have lost control of its western borders after Sunni militants reportedly captured crossings to Syria and Jordan.
Officials said the rebels took two key crossings in Anbar on Sunday, a day after seizing one at Qaim, a town in the province that borders Syria.
The strategically important airport in the northern town of Tal Afar has also reportedly fallen to the rebels.
WRITTEN BY CHRIS K, AAI NEWS TEAM
Equality of the sexes, worldwide, is “the major ethical challenge of our times,” said Dr. Robert D. Finch, past president of the Humanists of Houston, at the recent American Humanist Association (AHA) meeting in Philadelphia. Finch went on to detail some of the outrageous abuses against women and girls that are encompassed in a new book by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter, titled “A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power.”
In his book (published March 2014), Jimmy Carter stresses the similarity between the racial prejudice that existed in the Deep South at the time when he was a boy and the worldwide prejudice, discrimination, and violence against females as a result of religious teachings and/or political and cultural forces.
When Carter was elected governor of Georgia, he found that black women prisoners staffed the governor’s mansion. It was a terrible injustice, Carter writes.
According to Huffington Post, the UK government has banned the teaching of creationism as science in all existing and future academies and free schools.
Creationism cannot be taught as a valid scientific theory in any free school or academy, the government has said.
The British Humanist Association with “Teach evolution, not creationism” campaign, has been advocating for the change since 2011.