Here are some of the important news stories and opinions of recent days.
Another Beheading by Islamic State: Jihadists beheaded British aid worker David Haines, Fox News reports. If Islamic State wanted to strengthen British resolve to fight the organization, it seems to have succeeded.
Cameron on Islamic State: British prime minister David Cameron pretends that the jihadists in Islamic State are “not Muslims,” NPR reports. Rather, he says they’re “monsters.” But obviously, they are both. See also my articles for the Objective Standard, “Obama on Islamic State: Pretend Islam Is Not Islam,” and “Sam Harris: Yes, Islamic Jihadists Are Motivated by Religion.”
The Real Islamic State: The leader of Islamic State is a man named Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. So who is he? The Week offers some important details: He is an “Islamic scholar” with a “degree in history and a doctorate in sharia law.” He preached “Salafism, a hard-line form of Sunni Islam.” Yes, let’s keep pretending that members of Islamic State are not motivated by their religion. Oh, and, as the Week reports, the U.S. once held this man in captivity but let him go to appease the Iraqi government.
Genital Mutilation: Some 3.6 million girls are subjected to genital mutilation each year, the Economist reported in July (hat tip to Conrad Hackett). The problem is most prevalent in central and northern Africa and in parts of the Middle East. Also: “Child marriage, another custom that destroys girls’ lives, is also common in Africa, and in parts of Asia too.” Horrid.
Sexual Exploitation: Forced sex is a $100 billion per year activity, Conrad Hackett reports. How about governments stop violating people’s rights long enough to actually do something about this horrific problem?
North Korea: This is a strange story: According to a North Korean court, American Matthew Miller entered the country illegally in order to “experience prison life so that he could investigate the human rights situation,” Fox News reports. The North Korean “government” is happy to oblige; it sentenced the man to six years hard labor. Whether this story is as it appears, or whether the man had some other reason for entering the country, we should ask the broader question: Why does the brutally oppressive North Korean regime even exist?
Colorado Beer: The burgeoning Colorado craft beer industry is supporting a growing hops agricultural industry, the Denver Post reports.
GOP Devolution: “Republican belief in human evolution dropped from 54% to 43% in 4 years,” reports Conrad Hacket. The poll results are from 2009 and 2013. See the Pew report from early this year. Does this mean the GOP is changing, or that the GOP is dying? Probably more of the latter.
Courts Shift Dem: “For the first time in more than a decade, [federal appeals court] judges appointed by Democratic presidents considerably outnumber judges appointed by Republican presidents,” the New York Times reports.