In the three weeks that have passed since the governor of Punjab was assassinated, it has become clear that Islamic extremists are gaining influence in Pakistan. Governor Salman Taseer was murdered on January 4 by one of his own bodyguards because he had voiced his opposition to the imposition of the death penalty in blasphemy cases, and had called for a presidential pardon for Asia Bibi, a Christian who had been unjustly convicted and sentenced to death for blasphemy.
As Pakistan slides further in the direction of Islamic extremism, and anti-Christian violence is on the rise in Iraq and Egypt, Congress may soon consider legislation which may increase the level of American intervention in such conflicts.
The United States of America, with the support of allied countries, attacked Afghanistan on October 7, 2001, formally commencing the “war on terror.” By so doing, the international community agreed to eliminate the terror and extremism that were responsible for the 9/11 attacks.
Romel Hawal was born in Habbaniya Cece, Iraq, 48 years ago. Most of the population then was Christian. Now Hawal may become part of a long exodus of Christians out of Iraq. There are no Christian services in the town any longer and his 11-year-old son knows no other Christians outside his family. “When my son swears," Hawai mourns, "it is on the Koran, not the Bible. Whenever I look at him my heart breaks. He is my closest friend. I just want him to live a normal life where he can practice Christian traditions.”
Missing persons are a major human-rights issue in various countries. One niche of the missing persons saga is Asian nationals who went missing after 9/11, kidnapped by the world’s intelligence agencies. There are hundreds of people who went missing in the last several years from Pakistan, Afghanistan, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippine, China, Thailand, and Singapore.
According to the Indian Express, India sought a UN ban on the Pakistani group Jamatud Dawa (JD) after evidence showed that it is a front for Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT), an Pakistan-based Islamist terrorist group operating in Asia. LeT is suspected of being behind the 2008 terrorist attacks in Mumbai, India which left 165 dead and scores wounded.
Banks in China allow American customers to buy and to hold Chinese yuan. A state-owned Chinese bank in New York has begun to offer its customers accounts denominated in yuan, a move calculated to expand the global reach of their currency. Daniel Hui, a foreign exchange analyst for the HSBC Bank in Hong Kong, explains that the Chinese government is “trying to expand the scope of people who can hold renminbi [yuan] and that increases demand.” Most economists believe it will take years before the yuan is an international currency on the same level as the dollar, the euro, or the yen.
When Governor Salman Taseer was murdered by his own bodyguard, “moderate Muslim” scholars in Pakistan greeted the assassination with cries of adulation. As was reported previously for The New American, a statement issued by the 500 scholars upheld the murder of the governor of Punjab as an example of Islamic justice in action; since Taseer sought to defend a Christian woman who had been unjustly sentenced to death for “blasphemy” against Islam, it was — they believed — only right that he be murdered as well. In the words of their statement: “The supporter is as equally guilty as one who committed blasphemy.”
The civilizations of China and India are two of the oldest in human history. Archeologists have found Bronze Age Indian artifacts from about 3,300 B.C. in the Indus River Valley, and say that signs of human activity in India date back many thousand years before that. China is relatively younger, with the earliest signs of civilization about 4,000 years ago, and signs of human life many thousand years before that.
“Beware, my dear Zilkov. The virus of capitalism is highly infectious. Soon, you'll be lending money out at interest,” commented Dr. Yen Lo, the Chinese Communist handler of Raymond Shaw in the 1962 classic The Manchurian Candidate. Now it would appear that the “virus of capitalism” has infected Laos — the Lao Democratic People’s Republic — with the country’s first stock market set to open today. Laotians have high hopes that the Lao Securities Exchange will bring in much-needed foreign investment to the landlocked and impoverished Southeast Asian Communist state.