US Navy Rescues Iranians from Somali Pirates

Just days after Iranian and American military officials traded warnings over a U.S. Navy vessel’s departure from the Persian Gulf, the United States Navy has rescued 13 Iranian fishermen and their fishing dhow from Somali pirates in the north Arabian sea, the Pentagon said Friday. And in a side irony that punctuates the rare instance of Iranian-American co-operation, the rescue operation was carried out by a ship belonging to the very U.S. Navy aircraft carrier strike group that Iranian army officials had earlier boasted of evicting from Gulf waters.

“A boarding team from the guided-missile destroyer USS Kidd–part of the John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group–detained 15 suspected pirates aboard the fishing dhow, the Al Molai, according to a statement today from the U.S. Naval Forces Central Command Public Affairs Office,” Bloomberg News’ Tony Capaccio reported Friday. “The pirates didn’t resist and surrendered quickly in the rescue” operation, which occurred on Thursday.

The Iranian fishermen “were held hostage, with limited rations, and we believe were forced against their will to assist the pirates with other piracy operations,” Josh Schminky, a Navy Criminal Investigative Service agent aboard the Kidd, explained in the Navy statement, according to the Bloomberg report.

The Navy has posted an unclassified YouTube video of the rescue operation–seemingly eager to play up the good turn the American Navy has done for the Iranian fishermen. (You can watch the video in the clip above.) Defense Secretary Leon Panetta also called the commander of the USS John C. Stennis’ Carrier Strike Group, Rear Adm. Craig Fuller, to congratulate him on the “well executed” rescue operation, Pentagon spokesman George Little said Friday.

Secretary Panetta “said, ‘When we get a distress signal, we’re going to respond,'” Little relayed in a statement sent to Yahoo News. “‘That’s the nature of what our country is all about.'”

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta called Navy Rear Adm. Craig S. Faller to congratulate him for rescuing 13 Iranians

Not to make too much of the opportunity to win Iranian hearts and minds, of course.

Earlier this week, Iran’s Army chief Ataolla Salehi asserted that Iranian military exercises had prompted a U.S. Navy aircraft carrier to vacate the Persian Gulf. And he warned the United States about any plans for the carrier’s return.

“Iran will not repeat its warning … the enemy’s carrier has been moved to the Sea of Oman because of our drill,” Salehi said on Tuesday, according to a Reuters report. “I advise, recommend and warn them over the return of this carrier to the Persian Gulf because we are not in the habit of warning more than once.”

Salehi didn’t name the American naval vessel in question, “but the USS John C. Stennis leads a task force in the region, and the U.S. Navy’s 5th Fleet website pictured it in the Arabian Sea last week,” Reuters reported.

Pentagon officials promptly pushed back against the Iranian army chief’s warning, stressing that the United States simply wants to ensure open traffic in international waters.”We are committed to protecting maritime freedoms that are the basis for global prosperity,” the Pentagon’s Little said Tuesday. “This is one of the main reasons our military forces operate in the region.”

Tensions have been rising between the United States and Iran in recent weeks, with Iranian officials issuing a series of erratic threats about their military capacity to control the Strait of Hormuz, a key global energy transport hub. On Sunday January 1, President Obama  signed legislation that could penalize any institution that does business with Iran’s Central Bank–a chief source of Iran’s revenues for oil exports. European diplomats also said this week that they’re preparing a ban throughout the EU on the import of Iranian oil that would go into place at the end of the month.

Iranian officials have given numerous statements the past week indicating they would like to return to international nuclear talks. But EU officials have told Yahoo News that Iran has not yet formally responded in writing to a proposal issued by European Union High Representative Catherine Ashton in October to resume negotiations.

Source: Yahoo News

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What can we do about Islam and the threat that it poses to Western values?

Educating oneself, educating others, and speaking truthfully about “the Religion of Peace” is the best start.  Islam is it’s own worst enemy in that the more that is known about it, the less attractive it becomes..to everyone.

Islam spreads like a virus. It radiates from Muslim countries that are too diseased to support it and into healthy systems that are that way because they have had the luxury of developing apart from Islam. Once in the host system, the Islam virus uses the existing machinery to make replicas of itself. Over time, the host makes unilateral concessions to the religion, feeding and appeasing it in the vain hope that it can be pacified.

Vital organs are co-opted and eventually shut down as Islam advances. In a matter of time, the entire system groans to an agonizing death and assumes the condition of the diseased nations from which Muslims originally fled. The virus then looks for new hosts to cannibalize.

Some Westerners, particularly those with children (and an investment in the future), are far-sighted enough to trace the eventual end game of current trends. Though many Muslims are decent people, the religion itself always has a way of bringing the radicals along with it. The radicals then infest and influence the mainstream – and the rest of society pays the cost.

A question that we often hear is, “What can we do about it?”

First, let’s go over what shouldn’t be done about it.

1)   Do NOT hurt Muslims-  Westerners generally don’t have a problem with this anyway, and have shown remarkable restraint in the wake of horrendous terror attacks.  Bottom line: You don’t know any terrorists.  The Muslims that you know in your private life are not terrorists.  Don’t harm them or protect anyone who does.

2)   Do NOT harass Muslims-  The Muslims that you know personally are probably not much different than you are.  They have the same concerns for their children’s future and the same interests in getting ahead in life.  They do not deserve to be harassed on account of a religion that they probably either don’t understand all that well or may not even believe too sincerely anyway.

3)   Do NOT vandalize the property of Muslims-  (Same reasons, Grow up.)

4)   Do NOT publicly abuse copies of the Qur’an-  It doesn’t accomplish anything other than giving radicals another reason to play the victim, get angry, and perhaps hurt someone.  It’s also juvenile and offensive.  Treat the Quran the way that you would prefer Muslims treat whatever book that you consider sacred.

If you want to confront Islam, then you must be truthful and objective, rather than rude and slanderous.  Don’t exaggerate or use absolutes.  Don’t say that all Muslims are bad people (they aren’t), or that everything about Islam is bad.

The key to stopping Islam is education, because the more that is known about this 7th century religion the less appeal it will have in today’s world. Muslim defenders know this, which is why they hide behind censorship and book banning in the Islamic world and desperate but comical appeals to political correctness and multiculturalism in the West. Muslim organizations, such as CAIR, often rely on outright falsehood to deceive others into dropping their defenses.

Non-Muslim Westerners should understand that there is no reason to place Islam above criticism or Muslims above offense merely on that basis. In fact, there is every reason not to do this. Islamic law poses a threat to nearly every liberal value that the West holds dear.

Learn as much as you can about why Islam is dangerous. Understand its history. Learn how thousands of people can do brutal things each year explicitly in the name of Islam and Allah, while a billion others never seem to be terribly bothered about it.

In short, educate yourself. Then you can educate others. And they can educate others as well. Remember, Islam is not just a religion, but also a political system.

Write to political leaders. Inform them. Make them accountable for each compromised standard and every freedom lost in the name of appeasement to Islam. Expose the lies and double-standards. Denounce the hypocrisy of Muslim nations.

Speak truthfully. Speak tactfully.

If Islam wins, then civilization loses..but at least we will have gone down swinging.

Source: TheReligionofPeace.com

Judge Told: ‘I’m Muslim. I’m Allowed to Kill Infidels’

A Muslim man who stabbed a witness to death in court told an appeals court judge yesterday that as a Muslim he was entitled to kill “infidels”.

The judge told BAM, an Egyptian, that he should exercise his rights by using the law, “and not go around killing people”.

BAM first appeared in court last year, accused of causing a permanent injury to a Nepalese man, LK. Released on bail, he then stabbed LK to death in his room.

Later he took the murder weapon to court and killed another Nepalese man who was giving evidence on behalf of LK.

Abu Dhabi Criminal Court of First Instance found him guilty, and ordered that he receive psychiatric treatment.

Prosecutors appealed on the ground that BAM was not mentally ill but knew perfectly well what he was doing. They pointed out that while claiming he killed the two men because they were infidels, he chose to kill only people who were giving evidence against him in a criminal court case.

The Court of Cassation returned the case to the Court of Appeals.

“I’m an Arab Muslim and in an Arab Muslim country,” BAM told the court yesterday. “Those infidels are killing Muslims all around the world … there was a Muslim doctor just killed in Germany and when her husband wanted to defend her they attacked him as well.”

The judge said he was not concerned with what happened in other countries, and that justice would be served.

He said it was never part of Islamic law, even in an Islamic state, to kill people because of their beliefs, or to take revenge.

A representative from the Nepalese Embassy told the court relatives of the two victims would be seeking blood money.

The judge reserved his verdict, and adjourned the case until January 11 for the representative to present his certificate showing that the men’s families had given him power of attorney.

Source: The National

Imam Slams Santa Claus for Coming Down Chimney

Turkish imam says Santa Claus ‘dishonest’

The imam of the Turkish town of Kuzan has issued a warning to Muslims about Santa Claus, who he called a dishonest person, Italy’s Corriere della Sera wrote.

Imam Suleiman Eniceri said it was suspicious that Santa Claus brings presents into a house by climbing down a chimney or through windows. “If he was an honest person he would come through the door as we do,” the imam said. The imam cited a passage in the Koran that calls on the faithful to enter houses through doors.

“Christmas is not our festival,” he said, and warned Turkish Muslims against drinking alcohol.

Turkey’s population is over 96 percent Muslim and less than one percent Christian. At the same time it is a secular state with many European traditions.

Source: Ria Novosti

15-Year-Old Wife Locked in Bathroom for 5 Months

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission logged 1,026 cases of violence against women in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2,700 cases for the whole of 2010

Sahar Gul, 15, was found in the basement of her husband’s house in northeastern Baghlan province late on Monday after her parents reported her disappearance to the police.

“She was beaten, her fingernails were removed and her arm was broken,” district police chief Fazel Rahman told AFP.

Three women including the teenager’s mother in-law had been arrested in connection with the case but her husband had fled the area, he added.

The case highlights how women continue to suffer in Afghanistan despite the billions of pounds of international aid which has poured into the country during the decade-long war.

“The 15-year-old girl was brought to hospital with severe shock,” said Pul-i-Khurmeri hospital chief Dr Gul Mohammad Wardak.

“She had injuries to her legs and face and the nails on her left had been removed.”

Sahar Gul was married to her husband seven months ago in the neighbouring province of Badakhshan, but she was brought to Baghlan to live with her husband, said Rahima Zareefi, the provincial head of women affairs.

During this time her parents were unable to contact her, she said.

The Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission logged 1,026 cases of violence against women in the second quarter of 2011 compared with 2,700 cases for the whole of 2010.

And according to figures in an Oxfam report in October, 87 per cent of Afghan women report having experienced physical, sexual or psychological violence or forced marriage.

Sahar Gul’s case comes after a woman known as Gulnaz was pardoned and released earlier this month after spending two years in prison for “moral crimes”.

She was jailed after she reported to police that her cousin’s husband had raped her. Gulnaz gave birth to the rapist’s child in prison.

Last month, the United Nations said that a landmark law aiming to protect women against violence in Afghanistan had been used to prosecute just over 100 cases since being enacted two years ago.

Source: The Telegraph

Iraq PM Warns of ‘Rivers of Blood’

Iraq’s Shiite Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, warned Saturday that efforts to create an autonomous Sunni region within Iraq would divide the country and lead to “rivers of blood.”

His comments came as a government crisis has strained ties between the two Muslim sects to the breaking point. Al-Maliki’s government has issued an arrest warrant for Sunni Vice President Tariq al-Hashemi on what al-Hashemi says are trumped-up charges that he ran hit squads against government officials.

Since al-Maliki formed his government last December, minority Sunnis have been complaining of being marginalized by the Shiite-led government, prompting some Sunni provinces – Salahuddin, Diyala and Anbar – to call for the creation of an autonomous area similar to the northern Kurdish region.

On Saturday, al-Maliki renewed his rejection to forming regions on a “sectarian basis,” saying it would lead to “dividing Iraq and to rivers of blood.”

Iraq’s anti-American Shiite cleric, Muqtada al-Sadr, launched an initiative Saturday calling for peaceful coexistence among all Iraqis after the withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country. The last soldiers left Dec. 18. Al-Sadr, whose militiamen were blamed for sectarian killings during the worst years of Iraq’s violence, is seeking to assert his political weight in Iraq after the U.S. pullout.

Al-Sadr’s proposal comes just two days after a terrifying wave of Baghdad bombings killed 69 people and wounded nearly 200. The bombs tore through mostly Shiite neighborhoods of the Iraqi capital, evoking fears the country could descend into a new round of sectarian violence.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle

Blinded Pastor in Agony After Acid Attack

Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church and his family

As many Ugandans celebrate Christmas, Pastor Umar Mulinde of Gospel Life Church, Namasuba was lying in pain following an acid attack by unknown person last night.

The unfortunate incident happened at mid-night, after Pastor Mulinde led his congregation into night prayers that ushered in Christmas.

Witness says that after the attacker poured acid onto the pastor’s face he took off before he could be recognized. Mulinde fall down and started shouting calling for help from his followers who rushed him to Mengo hospital.

“The pastor conducted prayers in joyful mood and even asked Christian to repent for their sins. But all of sudden after the prayers when the pastor was leaving the church somebody came and attacked him with acid,” a witness said.

Umar is a graduate of Islamic propaganda and a sheikh who grew up in a staunch Muslim family where his father was the local Imam. He heard the Gospel clearly explained in relation to his religion at an outdoor meeting when he was a university student.

He is an evangelist and church planter with an outstanding ability to debate and challenge the religion from which he came in any public forum. His controversies preaching about his past religion (Muslim) had always caused him to be at logger heads with some Muslims.

Pastor Mulinde attending his daughters party

Mulinde was later transferred to International Hospital Kampala (IHK) where he was taken to Intensive care unit. Pastor’s wife, Eva Mulinde who is looking after him in the hospital said that the patient was still lying in agony and need prayers.

“We took him to mengo hospital and transferred him here because his condition was not good. But we pray he gets well  soon,’ she said.

Accessing him at the hospital is not easy because the room where he is lying was guarded by people who identified themselves as believers from Kibuye prayer palace.

Gospel life Church International is a Bible-Believing, Christ-Centered,  Life Group Centered and Mission Sending Ministries that is characterized with The Word, Prayer, Passion for souls, Praise and Worship.

Source: New Vision