European court upholds blasphemy standard

International | The ruling threatens free expression and aligns with laws in Islamic-led countries
by Mindy Belz
Posted 10/26/18, 02:09 pm

EUROPE: The European Court of Human Rights upheld lower court decisions that defaming Islam’s Muhammad “could stir up prejudice” and thus exceeds the limits of free expression. The ruling—stemming from a nearly decade-old case in which an Austrian woman was accused of disparaging Muhammad’s marriage to 9-year-old Aisha—in effect sides with blasphemy laws in Islamic-led countries. Download and read the decision and case details.

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Associated Press/Photo by Ludivine Laniepce (file)

Suspected extremists kidnap priest in Niger

International | Al-Qaeda and ISIS increasingly terrorize the region
by Onize Ohikere
Posted 9/25/18, 05:19 pm

Extremists likely carried out last week’s kidnapping of an Italian priest from southern Niger, state and religious officials confirmed. The kidnapping is the latest in a growing number of extremism-fueled attacks in the western part of the country.

The Rev. Pierluigi Maccalli was kidnapped on Sept. 17 from the parish house in the village of Bomanga, near the Burkina Faso border, government spokesman Zakaria Abdourahmane confirmed.

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Associated Press/Photo by Rich Pedroncelli

Accused terrorist gained refugee status

by Lynde Langdon
Posted 8/16/18, 12:51 pm

The FBI arrested a man in Sacramento, Calif., who, before he came to the United States as a refugee, allegedly committed acts of terror as an Islamic State (ISIS) and al-Qaeda operative in Iraq. Omar Abdulsattar Ameen, 45, is accused of killing a police officer, planting improvised bombs, robbing supply trucks, and other crimes. The FBI Joint Terrorism Task Force arrested him on a warrant issued in May by a Baghdad court. U.S. officials plan to extradite him to Iraq.

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