SAUDIS BUILD 600-MILE WALL TO KEEP ISIS OUT
ChristianHeadlines.com, 1/27/15, “Saudi Arabia Building 600-Mile Wall to Keep ISIS Out” [Excerpts]: Saudi Arabia is building a 600-mile long wall along its northern border with Iraq in order to keep ISIS at bay, the Telegraph newspaper reported.
Each watchtower will be equipped with high-tech surveillance radars that are capable of detecting low-flying helicopters and approaching vehicles, as well as being able to spot a human from the range of about 20km.
Work on the wall was started in September 2014 but plans for the project were initially drafted in September 2006 at the height of the Iraqi civil war. ISIS’s advance across central and south-western Iraq has prompted fear in Riyadh of a violent overspill and the project was given the go ahead.
It will not be the first time Saudi Arabia has enforced one of its borders. In 2013 it constructed a 1,100 mile barrier across its southern border with Yemen after a spate of intense sectarian fighting in the country led to a deterioration of security along the border.
MORMONS BACK GAY RIGHTS—WITH ONE CONDITION
Convening a rare press conference on Tuesday at church headquarters in Salt Lake City, Mormon leaders pledged to support anti-discrimination laws for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, as long as the laws also protect the rights of religious groups.
In exchange, the Mormon church wants gay rights advocates—and the government—to back off. “When religious people are publicly intimidated, retaliated against, forced from employment or made to suffer personal loss because they have raised their voice in the public square, donated to a cause or participated in an election, our democracy is the loser,” said Elder Dallin Oaks, a member of the church’s Quorum of Twelve Apostles.
The Mormon church is one of several religious groups to complain about religious freedom coming under “attack” in recent years.
Oaks cited several examples...including:
“It is one of today’s great ironies that some people who have fought so hard for LGBT rights now try to deny the rights of others to disagree with their public policy proposals,” said Oaks.
NO ROOM IN AMERICA FOR CHRISTIAN REFUGEES
ChristianHeadlines.com, 1/5/15, “No room in America for Christian refugees” [Excerpts]: At the end of World War II, the Jewish survivors of Europe’s Holocaust found that nearly every door was closed to them. “Tell Me Where Can I Go?” was a popular Yiddish song at the time. Decades later, the Christians of the Middle East face the same problem, and the Obama administration is keeping the door shut.
America is about to accept 9000 Syrian Muslims, refugees of the brutal war between the Assad regime and its Sunni opposition, which includes ISIS, Al Qaeda, and various other militias. That number is predicted to increase each year. There are no Christian refugees that will be admitted.
No matter how moved Americans were this Christmas season by the plight of their fellow Christ followers in Syria and Iraq, no matter how horrific the visuals of beheadings, enslavement, and mass murder...The Christians are being raped, tortured, and murdered by militias, not by the Syrian government. This technicality condemns them to continue to be victims without hope. And this technicality is being adhered to with all the tenacity with which President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s State Department manipulated quotas and created subterfuges to keep out the Jews fleeing the oppression of Nazi Germany. Obama no more wants the Middle East’s Christian refugees than Roosevelt wanted Europe’s Jewish refugees.
The Department of State chooses to adhere to a definition of refugees as people persecuted by their own government. The Christians would barely have to be vetted for ties to terror organizations, which by their very nature do not take Christians. Meanwhile, there is the uncomfortable issue that among the Sunni refugees there are some in league with the Sunni terror militias. And beyond that there is the equally uncomfortable question of the acculturation of segments of the Muslim community.