Tag Archives: Holy

Muslims clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem holy site

Muslims clash with Israeli police at Jerusalem holy siteMuslim worshippers and Israeli police clashed Sunday at a major Jerusalem holy site during prayers marking the Islamic holiday of Eid al-Adha. Palestinian medics said at least 14 people were wounded, one seriously, in the skirmishes with police at the site, which Muslims refer to as the Al-Aqsa mosque compound and Jews refer to as the Temple Mount. The clashes came amid heightened tensions between Israel and the Palestinians, just days after an Israeli soldier was killed south of Jerusalem.



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Clashes undermine fragile truce over Jerusalem holy site

Clashes undermine fragile truce over Jerusalem holy siteIt wasn’t inevitable that the overlap of Jewish and Muslim holidays would lead to clashes at a Jerusalem site deeply revered by both faiths. After an outcry by right-wing Israeli leaders, the police reversed an earlier decision to bar the Jewish visitors and let them in, as stun grenades echoed and tear gas filled the air.



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Israel police, Palestinians clash at flashpoint Jerusalem holy site

Israel police, Palestinians clash at flashpoint Jerusalem holy siteSeparately on the Gaza border, a Palestinian shot at Israeli soldiers, who returned fire and killed him in the third such incident in recent days, the army said. In Jerusalem, police fired sound grenades as Palestinian protests intensified at the highly sensitive Al-Aqsa mosque compound, known to Jews as the Temple Mount, according to an AFP correspondent. The Red Crescent reported 61 Palestinians wounded, 15 of whom were taken to hospitals.



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India boosts Hindu pilgrimage to holy cave in conflict-torn Kashmir

India boosts Hindu pilgrimage to holy cave in conflict-torn KashmirIndia is hailing a Hindu pilgrimage to a holy cave high in the snow-capped mountains of contested Kashmir as an example of communal harmony, in a region where the Muslim-majority population is overwhelmingly hostile to its rule. India and arch-rival Pakistan have fought two wars over Kashmir, and came close to a third in February after a suicide-bomb attack by Pakistan-based militants on Indian paramilitary police near the pilgrimage route. India’s Hindu-nationalist government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi has made “pilgrimage tourism” a focus, spending huge sums on January’s Kumbh Mela festival, where more than a hundred million Indians came to bathe in the holy Ganges river.



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Is Sri Lanka Easter Massacre a Bid to Revive Global Holy War?

Is Sri Lanka Easter Massacre a Bid to Revive Global Holy War?STR/GettyNEW YORK—“It’s really a shame it had to come to this,” said an NYPD counterterrorism officer who was posted Sunday morning outside a Catholic church on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Inside, the pews were filled with the faithful at Easter mass.I asked her if she and her colleague were there because hundreds of people were killed hours earlier, halfway around the world, at Easter services in Sri Lanka. No, she said, this deployment in New York was scheduled months ago, but she understood the question perfectly well.Christian churches, along with Jewish synagogues, Buddhist shrines, and Shiite Muslim mosques have been prime targets for violent jihadists, whether from the so-called Islamic State, Al Qaeda, or groups or individuals most of the world has never heard of.The terrorists are on the fringe of their own faith, claiming anyone who does not believe exactly as they do deserves to die in their “holy war” against “Crusaders,” and Jews, infidels and apostates. So wide do they cast their net of hatred that they can justify killing almost anyone, and the softer the target, in many respects, the better. Especially from the perspective of ISIS and those it inspires, places of worship have the advantage of great symbolism and virtually no defenses. And an attack in one part of the world can lead to attacks elsewhere. If the death toll is high enough—which is certainly the case with the coordinated bombings in Sri Lanka—the shock will reverberate around the globe. Notwithstanding the boasting of President Donald Trump, the war waged by such terrorists is far from over, and that is well understood by anyone in counterterror ops, which is why police would have been stationed outside places of worship in New York City anyway. Such are the facts of life and death in the 20th century.“Happy Easter,” said the policewoman on the Upper East Side. * * *The killers in Sri Lanka attacked five-star hotels as well as churches, killing more than 200 people and wounding many hundreds.  Several Americans are believed to be among the dead and injured. And while the question of what group, exactly, is behind the bombings remains unclear, the timing, the context, and news reports that Sri Lankan security warned of imminent jihadist attacks on churches, strongly suggest the slaughter was the work of Muslim extremists. The French news agency AFP reported that Sri Lankan Police Chief Pujuth Jayasundara issued an intelligence alert to top officers 10 days earlier, warning that suicide bombers planned to hit "prominent churches."According to the report, the alert said, "A foreign intelligence agency has reported that the NTJ [National Thowheeth Jama'ath] is planning to carry out suicide attacks targeting prominent churches as well as the Indian high commission in Colombo."The NTJ was accused of vandalizing Buddhist statues last year, but has never carried out any terrorist acts remotely as murderous and sophisticated as the coordinated bombings on Sunday. It does not figure on the State Department’s list of major terrorist organizations.Sri Lanka also has a long history of violence by the former separatist organization Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), which was not a Muslim organization at all, but whose “Black Tigers” were some of the first and most effective suicide bombers on the world scene. One of them successfully murdered former Indian Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi in 1991. The LTTE finally was crushed by Sri Lankan government forces in 2009.* * *Rita Katz, director of the SITE Intelligence Group, which closely monitors jihadist chat and communiques, notes in an extended thread on Twitter that ISIS supporters were quick to celebrate the Sri Lanka attacks as revenge for the military campaign that finally ended its open control of territory in Iraq and Syria, and for the massacre at at mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, last month.She notes that, while information about the origins of the attackers is still not available, and no organization has claimed the operation, there have been fighters from Sri Lanka mentioned in ISIS ranks, and Sri Lanka in any case would be “easily accessible” for its supporters in the region. Southeast Asia, particularly the Philippines and Indonesia, have “seen a surge of central-coordinated ISIS activity” in what it dubs its “East Asia Province.” “Furthermore,” Katz writes, “today’s bombings, albeit far more deadly, mirror January 2019 bombings” that targeted a Catholic Church in the Philippines, which ISIS formally claimed. She suggested that ISIS channels, “posting rampantly” about Sri Lanka, were paving the way for the organization to claim responsibility. Katz noted that while the Easter Sunday slaughter may be framed as revenge for the New Zealand atrocity committed by a radical white nationalist, it was most likely planned long before. Of course claims do not necessarily reflect reality, and in any case need to be studied carefully. A group aligned with ISIS, the Noor al-Tawhid Foundation, claimed the fire that ravaged the Cathedral of Notre Dame in Paris last Monday was not the work of jihadists, who had nothing to do with the tragic accidental blaze, but was the work of Allah: “divine punishment” for destruction of the mosque in Baghuz, the last ISIS redoubt to fall in Syria.Extremists believe what they want to believe, always drawing inspiration from their own supposed victimization, and calling for “revenge” against those they hope to slaughter. Whoever finally is held responsible for the murders in Sri Lanka, and several arrests reportedly have been made, there is little question the group will claim it had no choice, and that will be the word spread to followers and faithful around the world, inspiring new attacks that may come much closer to home.It’s really a shame it has come to this.Read more at The Daily Beast.



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Prayers, holy water as Venezuelan Curacao aid shipment delayed

Prayers, holy water as Venezuelan Curacao aid shipment delayedWillemstad, Curaçao (Netherlands Antilles) (AFP) – Venezuelan opposition supporters rallied in Curacao’s port Saturday, pushing for their own shipment to join in a dangerous aid effort for their country, but the vessel’s captain declined to sail yet for security reasons. While in Venezuela border clashes and military desertions raised tensions, on the sleepy Caribbean island of Curacao a handful of expatriates applied pressure on a separate front, waving flags and singing. Standing near one of the red trucks carrying the containers of aid at the entrance to a cargo port, Venezuelan priest Julio Gonzalez, 33, blessed the cargo and sprinkled holy water on the excited crowd.



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Holy Fire doubles in size

Holy Fire doubles in sizeAs flames move toward homes, 20,000 residents are ordered to evacuate.



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Alleged Holy Fire Arsonist Texted 'The Place is Going to Burn' to Fire Department Chief

Alleged Holy Fire Arsonist Texted 'The Place is Going to Burn' to Fire Department ChiefForrest Gordon Clark, 51, was charged with two counts of felony arson



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Holy Matrimony! There Was A Proposal At The Met Gala.

Holy Matrimony! There Was A Proposal At The Met Gala.While Monday night's Met Gala, with its celebration of the "Catholic



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Holy Week around the world

Holy Week around the worldAs Christian around the world mark the Holy Week of Easter in celebration of the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ, Pope Francis on Palm Sunday urged young people not to be silent and let their voices be heard, even in the face of corrupt or silent elders. Here are some of the images from Holy Week. 



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