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Syrian Refugee Resettlement focus of March 6 forum at First Congregational Church of Westfield.

First Congregational Church of Westfield, 125 Elmer St., in Westfield, will host a special “Souper Sunday” forum on the Syrian refugee crisis and resettlement effort on Sunday, March 6, at 11:30 a.m., in the lower level of the McCorison Education Building, at the right of the church complex. A soup and salad luncheon will be […]

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The Syrian Cauldron Boils Over

Over the ruined landscape of northern Syria, a number of core factors that today define the strategic reality of the Middle East are colliding. Close observation of that blighted area therefore offers clues as to the current state of play more broadly in the region – who is on the way up, who on the […]

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Aleppo bishop says ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels are killing civilians

The idea that these “rebels” are “moderate” is a fiction propagated by the Obama Administration in order to justify its arming and financing them. “Aleppo bishop says ‘moderate’ Syrian rebels are killing civilians,” Catholic Culture, February 18, 2016 (thanks to Lookmann): A bishop in Syria’s largest city has lamented the killing of civilians by “moderate” […]

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ISIS: The Latest Phase of the Jihad

The best way to understand the Islamic State (ISIS) is to see it as the next phase of al-Qaeda. All Sunni Islamic jihadi groups—Boko Haram, ISIS, Taliban, al-Shabaab, al-Qaeda, even Hamas—share the same motivations based on a literal and orthodox reading of Islamic history and doctrine: resurrecting a caliphate (which existed in various forms from […]

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Is ISIS Good at Governing?

To explain the troubles ISIS faces at home, we have invited a group of scholars to comment on its governance over the past years and speculate on what it might face in the year ahead. First was Mara Revkin, who examined how opinions towards ISIS have changed since it captured Mosul more than a year […]

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Does ISIS Kill More Muslims than Non-Muslims?

With the rise of the Islamic State (ISIS, ISIL, or IS), an old apologia meant to exonerate Islam of violence has become prominent, again. Because ISIS is killing other Muslims, so the argument goes, obviously, its violence cannot be based on Islam, which bans Muslims from killing fellow Muslims in its name. This point is […]

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Hollywood director’s son converts to Islam, stars in al-Qaeda videos

When Lucas Kinney converted to Islam and became Abu Basir al-Britani, it is likely that his parents didn’t raise the slightest objection, as they were almost certainly sure that Islam was a religion of peace and that to object to the conversion would have violated all multicultural pieties. While the Islamic State and al-Qaeda make […]

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Is Syria Becoming a ‘Frozen Conflict’?

The latest moves on the regime side in the Syrian war suggest an effort by its allies, including Russia, to “freeze” the conflict rather than to continue it to victory. This is because victory in the form originally conceived of – the reconquest of the entirety of the country by the Assads – is clearly […]

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Would-be terrorists back in Quebec under RCMP watch after leaving for Syria eight months ago

Eight months have passed since a group of Quebec youths packed their bags and boarded planes to the Middle East, allegedly to join ISIL or other terrorist groups, disappearing to an uncertain fate. Now, however, the Montreal Gazette has learned that two of the youths have quietly returned to Quebec, under the watchful eye of […]

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US-trained rebels gave their weapons to al-Qaeda immediately on entering Syria

The Obama Administration repeatedly assured us that they were working with “vetted moderates” in Syria. Obviously they have no idea how actually to do such vetting, or were never sincere about attempting to do so in the first place. Pentagon-trained rebels in Syria are reported to have betrayed their American backers and handed their weapons […]

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