What Every American Should Know About the Middle East

Hey America, read this:

middle-east.jpgMost in the United States don’t know much about the Middle East or the people that live there. This lack of knowledge hurts our ability to understand world events and, consequently, our ability to hold intelligent opinions about those events.

For example, frighteningly few know the difference between Sunni and Shia Muslims, and most think the words “Arab” and “Muslim” are pretty much interchangeable. They aren’t. So here’s a very brief primer aimed at raising the level of knowledge about the region to an absolute minimum.

It’s a pretty decent run-down of the major high points, the basic stuff most of us should know – especially considering how involved our country is in the region, and how involved all of us should be in the political process. I don’t know about the “Roman Catholics are to Shia as Protestants are to Sunni” analogy, but otherwise, a quick primer that couldn’t hurt to be learned.

Baptists fight climate change

Church to step up climate fight

Leaders of the influential Southern Baptist community in the US have declared their churches have a duty to stop climate change.In a statement, senior figures in the movement said evidence of man-made global warming was “substantial”. Southern Baptists are the largest protestant group in the country.

Anti-climate change republican politicians and conservative pundits, start your backpedaling … now!

Hooray for Texas education!

Veteran on state education board holds own against creation backer:

Veteran State Board of Education member Pat Hardy of Fort Worth was defeating a challenger in the GOP primary Tuesday night, holding off an effort by social conservatives to gain a working majority on the politically divided board.

Social conservatives threw their support behind Cleburne urologist Barney Maddox, known for his strong support of creation science and calls to revamp textbooks used in classrooms across Texas.

Take that, Barney! Take that, Cleburne!

Another battle in the War on Christmas

It’s not looking good for Christmas. Soon Christmas might be just a memory, and Christians will be persecuted even more than they already are! Now the Muslims and Jews are teaming up:

A Muslim man jumped to the aid of three Jewish subway riders after they were attacked by a group of young people who objected to one of the Jews saying “Happy Hanukkah,” a spokeswoman for the three said Wednesday.

Fridays altercation on the Q train began when somebody yelled out “Merry Christmas,” to which rider Walter Adler responded, “Happy Hanukkah,” said Toba Hellerstein.

“Almost immediately, you see the look in this guys face like Ive called his mother something,” Adler told CNN affiliate WABC.

Two women who were with a group of 10 rowdy people then began to verbally assault Adlers companions with anti-Semitic language, Hellerstein said.

One member of the group allegedly yelled, “Oh, Hanukkah. Thats the day that the Jews killed Jesus,” she said.

When Adler tried to intercede, a male member of the group punched him, she said.

Another passenger, Hassan Askari — a Muslim student from Bangladesh — came to Adlers aid, and the group began physically and verbally assaulting him, Hellerstein said.

“A Muslim-American saved us when our own people were on the train and didnt do anything,” Adler said.

Adler pulled the emergency brake and the train stopped at DeKalb Avenue station, where police came on board.

The 10 suspects, ages 19 to 20, were taken into custody, said Brooklyn district attorney spokesman Sandy Silverstein.