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You won’t believe what we saw in Mogadishu, Somalia [VIDEO]

(SGT REPORT) — by Jeff Berwick

While in Somalia, I participated in a sort of mini-documentary on the experience there with Luke Rudkowski of We Are Change.

We were only there for two days… and for good reason. It was probably the least comfortable place I’ve ever been, as bombs were going off regularly right around us and machine gun fire rang out through the night.

Luke is an unbelievably professional independent journalist and put this entire video together by himself, including filming all the footage.

I wouldn’t have believed one person could do so much in such a short period of time… but Luke’s been doing this for nearly two decades.

I think he really captured the story of what is going on in Somalia quite well.

You can see it here:[CLICK HERE FOR THE VIDEO]

The women stolen by ISIS speak out: Dunya Mikhail details their journeys in new book

(THE NATIONAL) — By M. Lynx Qualey

It was the summer of 2014 when Dunya Mikhail learned that ISIS forces were not only kidnapping Iraqi women, but buying and selling them in open markets. Mikhail, an Iraqi poet living in the United States, says she “felt so insulted as a woman.” The Iraqi poet was so enraged by the treatment of women in her homeland by ISIS that she wrote a book detailing their pain – and strength

Mikhail, who now teaches at Michigan State University, went on to write Fi Souq Al Sabaya, which was longlisted for this year’s Sheikh Zayed Book Award. The English edition, titled The Beekeeper: Saving the Stolen Women of Iraq, was co-translated by the author and Max Weiss and was published by New Directions this month. The book is also being translated into Sorani Kurdish.

On the news, she heard of people being ordered to leave their homes. Online, she watched videos of hundreds of Iraqis fleeing on foot, many of them Yazidis. When Mikhail heard these women’s stories, she said: “I didn’t know what to do with my anger, but I contacted my friends in northern Iraq.”

She called a Yazidi journalist friend, who told her he’d heard horrifying stories from women who’d been kidnapped and escaped. He sent her the phone numbers of three women. At first, Mikhail didn’t call, as she wasn’t sure what to say. When she finally picked up the phone, the first two women spoke Kurdish, and Mikhail knew only a few words. At the third number, a man answered in Arabic. This was Abdullah, “The Beekeeper”, and he helped relay his cousin Nadia’s story. He also told Mikhail he was using his earnings from selling honey to assemble a network of smugglers and help women escape.

Mikhail is a multi-award-winning poet, the author of Diary of a Wave Outside the Sea and The War Works Hard (translated by Elizabeth Winslow) and The Iraqi Nights (translated by Kareem James Abu-Zeid). Yet although she wrote for The Baghdad Observer as a young woman, it had been a long time since she’d practiced journalism.

“In the beginning,” she said, “I thought I was going to write a long poem – an epic – in response to that crisis.”

But the more she heard women’s stories, and spoke with Abdullah about his attempts to help escapees, the more she “wanted to stay behind the story and not in front of it, so that I could let their voices be heard”. There are still poetic moments in the book, which Mikhail says she kept “as breaks for the reader and myself”.

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UK: Full speed ahead on Islamization

(ZERO HEDGE) — The UK is accelerating its Islamization at an ever-increasing speed. The desire of the British establishment to submit to Islam appears to be overwhelming.

In a recent report, the Henry Jackson society exposed how the UK used taxpayer funds to support Islamist charities working against British society to the tune of more than six million pounds in 2017 alone. According to the report, “As the case studies in this report are illustrative rather than comprehensive, it is likely that this sum represents only the tip of the iceberg”. The report concludes, “Until more comprehensive action is taken, a network of Islamist extremists operating in the UK will continue to use charities and taxpayer money to fund the spread of divisive, illiberal and intolerant views within our communities”.

Among the charities detailed in the report, are several Islamic charities involved in dawa [outreach, proselytization], such as the Islamic Education and Research Academy (iERA), as well as several charities connected to Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood, such as the Muslim Charities Forum (MCF) and Islamic Relief.

Deploying taxpayer money to support Islamic charities is not the only way in which the UK embraces Islamization.

St. Stephen’s Primary School in Newham, London, was recently forced to change its ban on hijabs for girls under the age of eight, even though, in Islam, girls are not obliged to cover themselves before they reach puberty.

This reversal happened after a massive coordinated backlash by Islamic organizations, such as the Muslim Council of Britain — which the UK government believes to be linked to the Muslim Brotherhood — and MEND. The campaign against the ban included a petition, signed by more than 19,000 people as well as local councilors. Ten Newham councilors protested that, “To attack an article of faith and clothing in this manner is an outrage and is simply wrong. The argument against allowing school children of whatever age, to wear a hijab actually goes against our fundamental values as a progressive, tolerant and inclusive society. We therefore call upon the school to overturn this decision immediately…” During the coordinated campaign against the hijab ban at the school, teachers were subjected to bullying and abuse, and the head teacher responsible for introducing the ban was compared to Hitler.

The school’s chair of governors, Arif Qawi, who had written in a social media post that he was trying to “limit the Islamisation process, and turn these beautiful children into modern, British citizens”, also had to resign. Miqdaad Versi, the assistant secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, said his organization welcomed Qawi’s resignation, because of his “appalling” statements in support of the ban. “Yet serious questions remain unanswered as to the school leadership’s attitude towards Muslims, which are potentially discriminatory…We hope that future decisions are made carefully and with full consultation with local communities.” Versi said.

This is how Islamization occurs and is made permanent: Other schools will think carefully of the risks before they even attempt to “limit the Islamization process”. According to the former head of the Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills (Ofsted), Sir Michael Wilshaw, the lack of a national policy on wearing hijabs in schools is due to political correctness, which leaves teachers “alone, isolated and vulnerable”.

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‘Our lions have infiltrated’: ISIS video depicts future caliphate located in the West

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

The pro-ISIS group that in January depicted the invasion of Washington and in February declared “Paris before Rome,” depicting a terrorist invasion that began with cells in the countryside outside Paris before attacking the city, today released a new video depicting a global caliphate.

The Al-Abd al-Faqir Media video shows, as described at the beginning, “an imaginary chat in the future between an old immigrant to the land of the caliphate where he talks to his friend ‘John’ who’s a new convert to Islam after Allah has fulfilled his promise and the caliphate reached east and west … in the near future inshallah.”

ISIS Focuses on U.S. Embassy Attacks, Kidnappings of Westerners

A young man in a living room labeled as being in Baghdad, wearing khakis and a blue button-down shirt, opens a laptop to a Facebook-styled page with ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi as the banner photo, an ISIS flag as the profile pic, and his profile name Al-Mohajir.

His clicks to a profile of “John Stephen,” a white man with a closely trimmed beard and an image of the White House exploding in flames as his banner photo.

ISIS supporters,future caliphate,Al-Abd al-Faqir Foundation

Al-Mohajir strikes up a chat with Stephen, identified as being located in Belgium, who reminisces on the days “when I took pride in sinning with my companions” and says he wishes he would have converted sooner to “this true religion.”

Al-Mohajir tells Stephen not to think about the past but “strive for what is coming.”

The westerner declares to his Baghdad friend that “the banner of Islam has preceded you, flying in the skies of our country! … and the parents are eager to meet you.”

Al-Mohajir declares that earlier jihad campaigns were “the beginning of the planting… and now the time of harvest came.” He then asks about “the status of soldiers of the caliphate with you” in the West.

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SOUTHCOM Commander: Terror networks ‘reach deep into our hemisphere’ in ‘new and surprising ways’

(PJ MEDIA) — By Bridget Johnson

The commander of U.S. Southern Command said there’s “significant concern” in the Western Hemisphere about “the ability of radicalization to occur via the internet” and create terrorists in their home countries, as well as the return of foreign fighters who spent time in Syria.

“The threats that we and our partners face in the region are a chief concern to many,” Adm. Kurt Tidd told reporters at the Pentagon, underscoring “the sophistication, adaptiveness and considerable financing leveraged by criminal and extremist elements.”

“Drug traffickers, human smugglers, terrorist supporters, arms dealers and money launderers are not new to this region, but they operate in new and surprising ways, compared to years past,” he said. “Relying solely on what worked in decades past to find and disrupt them is not enough. Threat network enablers like facilitators, suppliers, recruiters and technicians provide criminals and extremist with unprecedented global reach, and the ability to operate stealthily in both the physical and the cyber worlds. Criminal networks leverage all means available to move lethal narcotics, people, weapons and dirty money into and out of Latin America and the U.S. homeland.”

“Extremist networks like ISIS reach deep into our hemisphere, inspire would-be terrorists to conduct attacks in the region, or to attempt entry into the United States to do our citizens harm.”

Pressed to elaborate on ISIS movement in the Western Hemisphere, Tidd pointed to the at least 100 jihadists, by that government’s count, from Trinidad and Tobago who fought for ISIS abroad.

“That would be probably the best indicator that, yes, in fact, there are individuals who have been radicalized, who this pernicious message has taken root,” he said. “And so it’s one that is of concern to the government of Trinidad and Tobago. They have focused on it. And so I think it’s an area that we all have to take into consideration.”

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Sri Lanka: an illustrious destination for Buddhist heritage tourism

(VIET NAM NEWS) — This year Sri Lanka celebrates its 70th Anniversary of Independence and 48 years of formal diplomatic relations with Viet Nam. Ambassador of Sri Lanka to Viet Nam Hasanthi Urugodawatte Dissanayake shared a message with Viet Nam News readers about the mutual co-operation between two countries and the achievements of Sri Lanka in the recent years.

Looking back at Sri Lanka’s progress over the past 70 years, we are proud that the free education and free healthcare systems in the country outshine all others. They have led Sri Lanka to become a country with a high level of human capital, currently ranked 73 in the Human Development Index. Above all, Sri Lankans can be proud of their democratic traditions, having gained universal adult franchise in 1931, for both men and women. On the economic front, Sri Lanka has reached Middle Income Status with per capita GDP of US$ 3,835.

Sri Lanka’s relations with Viet Nam are rooted in the two countries’ affinity for Buddhism and were later nurtured through Sri Lanka’s strong solidarity towards Việt Nam’s struggle against colonialism.

Although Buddha was born in modern-day Nepal and lived in India, it was in Sri Lanka that Theravada Buddhism continuously flourished in its purest form.

According to the Sri Lanka’s historical chronicles, the Buddha visited Sri Lanka three times.
Arboreal: Painting at Kelaniya Temple by neo-classical artist Solias Mendis (1897 –1975). This painting depicts Ven. Sangamitta, arriving in Sri Lanka, with the sapling of the Bodhi Tree, from the original Bodhi Tree at Bodh Gaya, India, in the third century BC. — Photo courtesy of the embassy

In the third century BC, Emperor Asoka of India sent his own son, Venerable Mahinda, to introduce Buddhism to Sri Lanka during the reign of King Devanampiyatissa. The Mihintale area, where the two met, was later declared as a wildlife sanctuary by the King and is the world’s first wildlife sanctuary. Later, he also planted the Sacred Bo sapling, brought by Venerable Sangamitta, daughter of Emperor Asoka. While the original Bodhi Tree disappeared in India, the Sri Maha Bodhi continues to grow in Anuradhapura and is recognised as the world’s oldest tree with a recorded history.

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ISIS, The Koran, and The Hudud

(UNDERSTANDING THE THREAT) — ISIS crucifies Christians, kills apostates (those who leave Islam), and amputates the hands of those who steal.

How do they justify such barbaric behavior? These cruel punishments are commands from allah in the Koran.

The Hudud is a part of sharia (Islamic Law), and contains the seven (7) crimes specifically listed in the Koran along with their punishments. If it is in the Koran, according to Islam, it is the word of allah as revealed to Mohammad.

Punishments for hudud crimes are fixed and, therefore, cannot be altered by an Islamic judge’s ruling.

Four of the seven offenses are punishable by death. They include fornication, adultery, armed robbery, and rebellion.

For instance, for armed robbery Koran 5:33 states: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and his messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief through the land is execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land.”

The other hudud crimes include punishments for: fornication (sex outside of marriage) for which Koran 24:2 prescribes “The woman and the man guilty for fornication flog each of them with a hundred lashes: let not compassion move you in their case in a matter prescribed by Allah”; false accusation of sexual intercourse; drinking intoxicants; and theft.

On September 24, 2014, an open letter to the leader of ISIS Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi signed by 126 Islamic leaders, including senior scholars across the globe, was published.

The letter stated: “Hudud punishments are fixed in the Qur’an and Hadith and are unquestionably obligatory in Islamic Law.”

The signatories included leaders of prominent U.S. Islamic organizations including: the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) also known as Hamas; the Fiqh Council of North America; the North American Imams Federation; and others.

Its in the Koran, which means allah said it. U.S. Islamic leaders condone it. ISIS does it.

What is all the fuss about?

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Iran, Israel battle openly in race to define ‘rules of the game’

(NBC NEWS) — The shift from covert attacks to open fighting between Iran and Israel illustrates that the regime in Tehran feels emboldened enough to confront and provoke its enemy, according to analysts.

Last weekend’s clashes involving an Iranian drone launched from Syria, a downed Israeli jet and retaliatory airstrikes may also signal a new and intensified period of conflict, experts warn.

Fighting between Iran and Israel had until now been conducted furtively or through proxies — such as Tehran-backed Lebanese militant group and political party, Hezbollah.

Saturday’s confrontation signals “a different level of self confidence in Tehran and Damascus in terms of them having the upper hand in Syria,” said Ofer Zalzberg, a Jerusalem-based senior analyst with the International Crisis Group.

He said Iran, Israel and Syria would likely continue to test each other’s boundaries as each tries to “define the new rules of the game.”

The back-and-forth attacks demonstrate how the conflict in Syria — what began as a civil war nearly seven years ago — has turned into a broader power contest with ramifications for the entire region.

The showdown began with Israel shooting down an Iranian reconnaissance drone that Israel claimed had entered its airspace. Israel retaliated for the incursion by striking the Iranian base in Syria from which the drone was operated. A Syrian anti-aircraft missile hit one of the attacking Israeli F-16 jets, which crashed on Israeli soil after the two pilots ejected; both survived, but one was seriously injured.

The incident culminated in the largest set of Israeli airstrikes against Syrian air defenses since the 1982 Lebanon War. The strikes also targeted several Iranian positions in Syria.

By downing Iran’s drone and attacking its sites in Syria, Israel signaled that it has little tolerance for a stronger Iranian presence on its northern border.

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Iran’s suppression of December 2017 unrest marked by brutal violations of law

(CENTER FOR HUMAN RIGHTS IN IRAN) — February 19, 2018—The state crackdown that effectively crushed the protests that erupted across Iran in late December 2017 was marked by an unusually high degree of violence and disregard for the law, according to a new briefing by the Center for Human Rights in Iran (CHRI).

Silencing the Streets, Deaths in Prison: The December 2017 Crackdown in Iran, which is based on extensive interviews with released detainees, the families and attorneys of detainees, and journalists and human rights defenders inside Iran, provides a detailed look at the mass arrests, systematic denial of counsel, campaign of intimidation against detainees and their families, and ill treatment and deaths inside the prisons that characterized the state response to the week-long unrest.

“People came out to exercise their legitimate right to public protest,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of CHRI. “They came home beaten, too frightened to seek counsel or in coffins.”

Key Findings:

Some 4,970 people were arrested during protests that broke out on December 28, according to the government’s own sources, 90% of them under age 25.
Detainees were denied access to attorneys and threatened with charges that carry the death penalty if they sought counsel.
Multiple reports indicate many of the detainees were beaten.
Detainees were administered pills of an unknown substance, as well as methadone, without the presence of a doctor, in an attempt to depict the detainees as drug addicts.
At least two detainees died during detention. The bodies were quickly buried without an investigation or autopsy, with officials claiming the deaths were suicides.
A third detainee death, unrelated to the protests, was also labeled a “suicide” by officials, indicating a growing pattern of fatal ill treatment in prison and cover-up.
The families of deceased detainees, as well as released detainees and their families, have been under intense pressure by state authorities not to speak publicly.

“From arrests to burials, the authorities in Iran have demonstrated a refusal to allow peaceful protest, disregard for due process, abandonment of their responsibility to respect the safety of detainees, and a concerted effort to cover up rights violations,” said Ghaemi.

“Officials worldwide should register their condemnation of these violations directly with their Iranian counterparts,” he added.

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Iraqi archbishop: Muslim genocide of Christians started 1400 years ago

(OAN) — An Iraqi archbishop for the Chaldean Catholic Church is calling for a response to the Muslim genocide against Christians.

Archbishop Bashar Warda said the behavior of Muslims is rooted in the Islamic symbol of faith, which calls for an endless “holy war” against infidels.

Warda made his remarks in a speech at Georgetown University in D.C. last week.

The archbishop added, terror and violence are key characteristics of Islam, which have accompanied Muslim practices throughout their history.

“There is a fundamental crisis within Islam itself and if this crisis is not acknowledged, addressed and fixed, then there can be no future for Christians or any form of religious plurality in the Middle East,” stated Warda.

the archbishop urged the Christian community to crackdown on the Islamic persecution of Christians in the Middle East and beyond.

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