WRITTEN BY ANNE KELLEY, AAI NEWS TEAM
Several recent raids on Sydney and Brisbane homes have brought to light a dangerous extremist ring of Islamic ISIL/ISIS supporters with plots to carry out terrorist attacks, including a plot to abduct and behead a random member of the Australian public on camera.
Law enforcement officials have told journalists that they are worried about civil unrest after these raids, as “the people who normally calm down the hotheads are not here”. Whilst the Islamic community has come together in many displays of anti-extremist ideologies, subversive voices continue to flood into the community. Australia is now joining numerous other countries that are currently dealing with Jihadist recruiters, encouraging young Islamic Australians to partake in warfare in Syria and Iraq, taking money and people to the Middle East to waste on a religious war costing lives and sanity.
The current tension in Brisbane is pliable, with the G20 summit around the corner. Anti-terrorist measures are clear around the city, with even common trash receptacles being welded shut to prevent terrorist attacks.
With other Islamic Australians coming out publicly in favour of the ISIS/ISIL terrorist group, it is unknown how many more raids and terrorist threats from religious institutions will have to be thwarted before the terrorist threat level in Australia is lowered to a less unsettling standard: for the first time in eleven years the alert is "high". Unfortunately Australia’s more secular and multicultural way of life is being threatened by some of the very people who came here for those freedoms.
According to Inquisitr, gay rights are not a thing in one particular region of Muslim-majority Indonesia, not by a long shot. Under a new proposal in Indonesia’s Aceh province, gays face 100 lashes with a cane if caught engaging in homosexual acts. This would apply to both Muslims and non-Muslims in the region. The proposal is expected to pass as soon as Monday.
The Deputy Mayor of the Aceh province, Illiza Sa’aduddin Djamal, has been pushing for the measure against gays since at least May of 2013. Her province is the only area of Indonesia that enforces Islamic Sharia Law. Implementation of Sharia has been gradual since its introduction in the northwestern province of Indonesia in 2001.
A Pennsylvania teenager faces up to two years behind bars after posting pictures to Facebook in which he simulates receiving oral sex from a statue of Jesus.
The unnamed 14-year-old says he posed with the statue, which sits outside a Christian organization in Everett, Pennsylvania, called Love in the Name of Christ, in late July. The pictures are being used as evidence that the teen may be guilty of desecrating an object of veneration.
WRITTEN BY LIZ EMERY, AAI NEWS TEAM
Atheists long enjoyed watching Christopher Hitchens “slap” believers, especially during formal public debates. But debaters accepting Hitch’s baton must likewise prepare diligently or get “slapped” themselves during debates. In the following article, Liz Emery offers valuable insider’s advice to atheists intent on debating Mormons. Raised and homeschooled by Mormon parents in Utah, Liz served in multiple Church leadership roles and was accepted to study at Bringham Young University. She instead attended Utah State University, where she wrote a weekly column for the university’s newspaper. Today she lives in Chicago, but continues to study the Mormon Church.
The recent debate between biblical literalist Ken Hamm and scientist Bill Nye has raised an old question: Is it useful for atheists to debate believers, or do debates give unnecessary validity to irrational arguments? Religious arguments rest solely on faith, not scientific evidence, and debate formats do not allow secularists to conduct a course on epistemology. Victor Stenger has argued convincingly that debates favor Christian apologists who regularly perform in front of audiences and that atheists face a formidable task in preparing properly.
By Carlos S. Moreno
According to CNN, this fall, for the first time in U.S. history, an openly atheist candidate is running for Congress. James Woods is fighting an uphill battle as a Democrat seeking to represent the very Republican 5th Congressional District in Arizona.
There are now no openly atheist members of Congress, even though nearly 20% of Americans report having no religious affiliation, according to the Pew Research Center, and between 5% and 10% of Americans do not believe in a supreme being.
According to Religion Dispatches, after three years of nearly constant Sturm und Drang on the part of U.S. bishops over the contraception mandate comes word that some of the same Catholic universities have been covering abortions all along. Loyola Marymount’s insurance plan, as its president recentlyconfirmed, has included elective abortion coverage for the past 25 years.
On CNN’s Reliable Sources this morning, host Brian Stelter spoke with radical Muslim cleric Anjam Choudary, who last week got into a fifteen minute-long shouting match with Fox News commentator Sean Hannity.
Stelter start with question: “When you saw the video of Jim Foley being beheaded earlyer this month, how did you react?”
“There is no doubt that beheading someone is terrorising act and I believe that is Islamic State agenda to terrorise enemies to leave Muslims alone. Remember that as far they are concerns American and British committed all kind of atrocities in that same aria.” Choudary answered.
According to the article from Religion Dispatches, former Archbishop Jozef Wesolowski, ambassador of the Vatican to the Dominican Republic, is now a layperson awaiting criminal trial in the Vatican for sexual abuse of young people. After intensive negative press, the Vatican announced on August 25 that since he was no longer in their service, Wesolowski is not covered under diplomatic immunity and could potentially be extradited presumably to either his native Poland or the D.R. where he had been credibly accused of sexual abuse. There’s always more to a story than meets the eye, and in this case it isn’t pretty.