The Time Magazine picture of the disfigured Afghan girl — reportedly the result of an attack by her husband — has justifiably raised the issue of the rights and status of women in Afghanistan. The logic seems reasonable; if Aisha had not been a woman, it is unlikely she would have been subject to such abuse. The “women’s rights” cause also fits with the common theme of some Western supporters — including some in America — of the Afghan war effort.
In an interesting contrast, the airwaves have been awash with condemnation of the attack that left 10 Christian aid workers dead in Afghanistan last week. Karl Eikenberry, US ambassador to Afghanistan, said this is a video statement: Read more
The Youngstown (Ohio) news covers the story of local Falak Mir Shafi, an immigrant from Pakistan who became a US citizen in the fast-track process provided by service in the US military. The article notes Shafi’s faith — he is a Sunni Muslim — and also attempts to highlight the “problems” of being a Muslim in the US military:
In some cases, Muslims and noncitizens have filed discrimination complaints against military branches. Atty. Mikey Weinstein, director of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, says such discrimination is as omnipresent as gravity.
The discrimination is so ubiquitous, apparently, that there are precisely zero examples provided in the article. In fact, the counterexample is presented instead: Read more
In a seemingly unusual move, US Army General David Petraeus appears poised to give up his leadership at Central Command to take over the job of one of his former “subordinates.” While the situation is not quite that simple, from a military leadership perspective, the ISAF leadership position is certainly inferior to CENTCOM.
That aside, one of the more interesting aspects of this firing/hiring of US military General officers has been the attempt by the media to characterize the enemy’s response. Newsweek had an entire article on “what the Taliban think…” about Read more
Afghan nationals recently enjoyed their exercise of free speech when they burned the Pope in effigy. Apparently, the Pope (whose effigy had green shirt and tie with jean shorts, and who had to be identified to the press) is somehow responsible for the actions of the two aid groups recently accused of proselytizing.
As asinine as their accusations are, they are certainly free to make them, with at least some thanks to US and NATO forces that have helped secure their country. (Arguably, the Taliban may have also permitted, or even required, such an anti-US rally.) The disturbing part is the Afghan’s total lack of comprehension of religious freedom:
“We are demonstrating to express our disgust towards the activities of Christians trying to covert Afghans,” student Abdul Karim told AFP.
“We want the government of Afghanistan to find those people, try them and punish them. We want both the converted and those who have converted them to be brought to justice and punished,” he said. (emphasis added)
And yes, American military forces are supporting a foreign government under which Mr. Karim’s demands are actually actionable.
Michael Weinstein of the Military Religious Freedom Foundation isn’t shy about litigation. He previously sued the US Air Force Academy and the US Department of Defense (twice). He has threatened Trijicon with litigation after Trijicon said their critics were “not Christian.” He threatened to sue a critic who sent him mocking emails. He is currently suing former Navy Chaplain Klingenschmitt and his endorsers for “terrorist acts.” His organization claims to be preparing to sue the Army over the treatment of a Muslim US Soldier. And these are just the examples made public.
Now, Weinstein has threatened to file yet another lawsuit in his efforts to “litigate and agitate” his way into influence with regard to religion in the US military.
His latest lawsuit target? ChristianFighterPilot.com.
The lengths to which Weinstein will go — even beyond a lawsuit — are a testament to his desperation. Read more
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom is a bipartisan US government panel that issues an annual report on the American government’s support of religious freedom.
This year, the report indicates that the US government is becoming less concerned with “religious freedom in its foreign policy and national security decisions,” despite evidence of religious persecution around the globe.
In particular, the USCIRF took issue with the government’s recent semantic change that replaced “religious freedom” with Read more
In several articles on this site, the premise has been repeated that true religious freedom is not the suppression of differing ideas, but the encouragement of them. Sometimes this is a cautionary tale to Christians who feel that other religions should not have the same freedoms as Christians. More often, however, it is a rebuttal to those who would silence or restrict Christians in order to avoid offense or exposure to a differing moral stance.
Hugh Hewitt has a similar explanation on his site, in his criticisms of those who criticized CBS for allowing Tim Tebow and his mother to air a “Celebrate Life” ad during the SuperBowl:
Most people of faith are strong proponents of religious liberty because they are very acquainted with the stories of religious persecution in almost every other part of the globe. The answer to religious intolerance Read more
Chaplain (Capt.) Emil Kapaun, a World War II and Korean War Chaplain who died in captivity in North Korea, was recommended for the Medal of Honor by outgoing Secretary of the Army Pete Geren.
According to the Stars and Stripes,
Kapaun was captured by the Chinese in the fall of 1950, when Communist forces overran the 1st Cavalry Division in northern Korea near the Chinese border. American commanders had ordered their forces to retreat, but Kapaun, a Catholic priest with the 3rd Battalion, refused and stayed to care for the men who couldn’t flee.
Stripes also called Kapaun a “prisoner of war,” which while commonly understood is technically inaccurate. Read more