Can Islam confront its problem with violence?

By Phil Lawler (bio – articles – email) | Jan 30, 2015
Free eBook: Liturgical Year 2014-2015, Vol. 2 (Source: Catholic Culture)

Is Islam truly a religion of peace? The president of Egypt apparently doesn’t think so.

Writing in Crisis, William Kilpatrick calls attention to a speech in which the Egyptian leader, Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, called upon his country’s Muslim leaders to lead a “religious revolution” in the Islamic world. He observed that Muslims are “antagonizing the whole world.” And he placed the blame not merely on a few militants, but on “the entire umma”—the whole body of the Muslim faithful.

These are strong words, especially coming from the leader of a Muslim nation. More typically Islamic leaders insist that the jihadists are distorting and abusing the teachings of their “religion of peace.”

Certainly it is true that violent radicals make up only a small proportion of the world’s Muslims. But that fact in itself is not terribly reassuring. Robert Royal observes, writing for The Catholic Thing, that even a small minority of the world’s Muslims could mean “tens of millions, maybe hundreds of millions of potential terrorists, around the world.”

President al-Sisi has tackled a question that few notable Muslim leaders—and for that matter, few notable Catholic leaders—have forthrightly addressed, since Pope Benedict raised the question at Regensburg. Islam has a problem with violence. Can that problem be resolved through reform—or revolution, as al-Sisi would have it—within Islam? Or is the tendency toward violence an intrinsic aspect of the Muslim faith?

The Pope

January 31, 2015

Security officials said rockets were first fired at police offices, a military base and a military hotel in El-Arish, before a car bomb exploded at the rear gate of the military base. Several army checkpoints in the city were also targeted.

Newspaper al-Ahram said its El-Arish office – which is opposite the hotel and base – had been completely destroyed.

Walla Rapport

Earlier, a spokesperson for Jordan’s government demanded proof of life for their pilot, Lieutenant Moaz al-Kasasbeh, before moving ahead with any possible swap to bring about his release.

“We want to see a proof of life of the Jordanian pilot and then we can talk about the exchange,” Mohammed al-Momani said.

ISIL sets sunset deadline for hostage swap
Jordan says it needs ‘proof of life’ first
ISIL: Jordanian pilot will be killed if female prisoner is not released

New government adopts more friendly policy toward Israel

Established a few months ago, the conservative-progressive minority government in Norway has been working towards repairing ties with Israel and enhancing collaboration in a number of fields.

The Daily Star29 Jan 2015

NAQOURA, Lebanon: The United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL) held a memorial service Thursday to honor the Spanish soldier, Cpl Francisco Javier Soria Toledo, had been serving in the UNIFIL force since November 2014.He was killed by an shell that hit his post near the Ghajar village.
The service was held at Beirut International Airport, in the presence of UNIFIL Commander Maj. Gen. Luciano Portolano, Spanish Ambassador to Beirut Milagros Hernando Echevarria and a representative of the Lebanese Army.
“This tragic incident reminds us of the tasks undertaken by United Nations personnel who are serving far from home, under difficult conditions, to bring peace and prosperity to the people we serve,” Portolano said, standing near the soldier’s coffin wrapped in the blue U.N. flag. “This is a brave and noble choice.”
UNIFIL had launched an investigation into the incident.

Living History

January 28, 2015

Levande Historia  information kring  förintelsen.

Stephane Bruchfeld och Paul A. Levine. …Om detta må ni berätta… En bok om Förintelsen i Europa 1933- 1945. ( Regeringskanlsie,  Levande Historia)

Two Survivors tell about  Treblinka

OPCW items

January 19, 2015

AMSTERDAM – Syria has started the long-delayed destruction of a dozen underground bunkers and hangars that were used for the production and storage of chemical weapons, diplomatic sources told Reuters on Monday.

Damascus last year handed over 1,300 metric tonnes of toxic agents after joining the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW), but it is months behind schedule in destroying the facilities used to make and store its deadly stockpile.

Work at a first tunnel began on December 24, but was delayed by winter storms. The site will be sealed off with cement walls by the end of January, said one source in The Hague, where the global chemical weapons watchdog is based.

JPost 18 Jan 2015

By: Paul Nthala

Government has advised people to relocate to upland for safety following reports that cyclone Sedza which is expected to hit Malawi this week will be far more destructive than Cyclone Bansi which has killed at least 176 people and displaced 200,000 others this past week.
Malawi Floods

The floods have left scores of people destitute

Hein Zeelie of the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) said the central and northern parts of the country were the agency’s next concern “as we are expecting heavy rains for those areas for the next week”.

About half of the country has been declared a disaster zone, with the country appealing for urgent donor intervention. The country continues to struggle to cope with the devastating effects “unprecendented” floods.

“But while more aggressive efforts are being made to provide people with essential relief assistance, there is still high need for more tents, food, kitchen utensils, essential medicines, dignity kits, and water purifying chemicals, among others” reads a statement issued today by the office of Malawi’s Vice President .

Government has so far advised well wishers to “channel the donations through the Department of Disaster Management Affairs and District Commissioners. The DCs are the ones responsible for distribution of the relief items to the affected population”.

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