Barring a few exceptions, the outlook for LGBT individuals in the Middle East can be bleak, or even outright deadly.
The Kurds stand apart from their fellow Muslim-majority neighbors because of their progress on women’s equality — boasting the only all-female units taking on ISIS — but are there signs that the Kurdish areas could someday be a relative sanctuary for LGBT people?
Read the rest at: Huffington Post
In the wake of yet another heartbreaking ISIS-led attack in Turkey, the refrain from the right has again become near-universal: if we do not call this attack what it is – Islamic terrorism – then we cannot properly respond to it.
Ted Cruz made this reasoning the focal point of a hearing late this month, where he declared that “[w]e cannot combat and defeat radical Islamic terrorism without acknowledging it exists and directing our resources to stopping it.”
As PolitiFact noted last year, President Obama has been repeatedly hesitant to connect the radical ISIS ideology to Islam. He even avoids saying “Islamic State,” instead defaulting to “ISIL” (the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and characterizing the organization’s agents as “thugs” and “killers.”
Yet the president has acknowledged the group’s Islamic roots, saying that “we are not at war with Islam. We are at war with people who have perverted Islam.” It would be silly to insist otherwise, of course, when the group is openly and overtly pan-Islamic and scholars have explored thoroughly its Wahhabi theological roots.
From the right: If we do not acknowledge that this is Islamic, we cannot stop it. From the left: This isn’t Islam – most Muslims are good people – it is a perversion of Islam. They speak as if these two views are diametrically opposed.
And, as usual, the bickering misses the point. Continue
The Libertarian Party had their first-ever nationally televised presidential debate on Friday. It was a unique opportunity the third-party to raise it’s profile and show how libertarian policies can solve America’s problems. But when it came to foreign policy, debate only showed why no one takes libertarian ideas seriously — a regrettable circumstance for us liberty folk.
One candidate in particular, Austin Petersen, wasted his airtime with a ridiculous proposal to combat ISIS.
Petersen proposed granting letters of marque and reprisal to private military forces, so they can seek and kill ISIS’s leadership. Letters of marque, which permit private persons to legally engage in hostilities against a foreign power, were commonly used for privateering (legalized piracy) until the 19th Century.
Read the rest on The Daily Caller
Donald Trump claims he will destroy ISIS, but his approach would be a major victory for ISIS’s efforts to encourage terrorism at home and abroad.
Speaking to Face the Nation on Sunday, Trump clarified his earlier pro-torture comments, laying out his anti-ISIS strategy. Trump argued that the US has to “play the game the way they’re playing the game,” and whilst he wanted to stay within the law, he thought the law should be expanded to, “at a minimum,” allow waterboarding.
Trump has previously proposed other repressive policies targeting Muslims. These include forcing American Muslims to register in a national database, and the investigation and raiding of mosques.
Read the rest on CapX, here.
The Syrian refugee crisis continues to worsen. Winter weather is creating new challenges for the huge numbers of people fleeing their homes, making this tragic international situation even uglier. Recent images of severe starvation have been circulating throughout the world, providing stark evidence that time is running out for many refugees. More needs to be done now.
Unfortunately, the U.S. government is dragging it’s feet, and preventing Americans from helping.
Our elected leaders may be unwilling to help these Syrian refugees, but they should at least allow Americans citizens to privately sponsor them.
Read the rest on CapX, here.