Eight children of Islamic State (ISIS) fighters who left the country to fight on behalf of the terrorist organization have been repatriated back to Australia.
“Media reported that they include five children and grandchildren of Sydney-born convicted terrorist Khaled Sharrouf and three children of Islamic State group fighter Yasin Rizvic, from Melbourne. Both men and their wives died in the conflict zone,” according to AP.
The children are now in the custody of the Australian government, according to Prime Minister Scott Morrison. The ISIS caliphate was recently destroyed by Western allied forces.
“The opportunity now is for these young children who are coming back to Australia, they can’t be held responsible for the crimes of their parents,” Morrison reportedly said.
“They’ve got off to a horrible start in life as a result of the appalling decisions of their parents and they’ll find their home in Australia and I’m sure they’ll be embraced by Australians and as a result of that embrace, I’m sure they’ll live positive and happy lives,” he continued.
The news comes amid a domestic terror threat in the United States from an ISIS-linked jihadi, whose plot to blow up a Pittsburgh church was derailed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
Big League Politics reported:
The Federal Bureau of Investigation Wednesday morning arrested a Syrian refugee who planned to blow up a Pittsburgh church on behalf of the Islamic State.
“Mustafa Mousab Alowemer, 21, who came to the U.S. in 2016 and recently graduated from a city high school, was arrested Wednesday morning by the FBI’s Joint Terrorism Task Force,” according to The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
A criminal complaint reportedly said that Alowemer wanted to support ISIS and inspire others to commit similar lone wolf style attacks.
“He is charged with one count of attempting to provide support to the Islamic State and two counts of distributing information relating to an explosive device in connection with the bomb plot,” the report said.
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Turkey’s Erdogan is Threatening To Convert One of Christianity’s Most Historic Churches Back into a Mosque
The 6th century church is currently a museum.
Turkey’s Islamist president is threatening to convert one of the world’s most historic and iconic Christian churches into an Islamic mosque, in a move designed to appease Tayyip Erdogan’s political base and insult Christians.
The Council of State of Turkey is expected to rule this week on a request by Erdogan to convert the Hagia Sophia Museum into an Islamic mosque, and international observers are expecting that the court system will sign off on Erdogan’s initiative to turn the former church into a mosque.
The Hagia Sophia Church was constructed in Constantinople(today known as Istanbul) in A.D. 537 by Justinian, the then-Emperor of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire. The church was a global symbol of the Byzantine civilization throughout the Middle Ages. It was converted into an Islamic mosque in the year 1453 when the Ottoman Empire captured Constantinople under the leadership of Mehmed II, a moment in history that Erdogan and his supporters point to as a moment of national pride.
When Turkey emerged from the declining Ottoman Empire shortly after World War I, the nation’s contemporary founder, Kemal Ataturk, arranged for the building to be placed into a use as a museum. The building, which is Turkey’s most visited tourist attraction to this day, has remained as such since 1935.
The church remains a holy symbol to hundreds of millions of Orthodox Christians throughout the world today. Bartholomew I, the Christian bishop who holds the Byzantine title of “Patriarch of Constantinople” in Istanbul, warned of the consequences of such an inflammatory cultural act. “The potential conversion of Hagia Sophia into a mosque will turn millions of Christians around the world against Islam… What can I say as a Christian clergyman and the Greek patriarch in Istanbul? Instead of uniting, a 1,500-year-old heritage is dividing us. I am saddened and shaken.”
The 6th century building is not only noteworthy to two major world religions(originally Christianity), but is the most architecturally impressive building preserved from the early Middle Ages. Many of Constantinople’s most historic churches and buildings, such the Church of the Holy Apostles, were destroyed by the Ottoman conquerors in the decades following the 1453 Siege of Constantinople.
The Hagia Sophia church contains some of the most-well preserved medieval Byzantine images of Christ, Mary, various saints, and several Eastern Roman Emperors. As images of the human form are prohibited in Islam, some have questioned whether the artwork- which was uncovered from beneath a coating material when the building was phased from an Ottoman mosque into a museum- will be destroyed in the event it’s turned back into a mosque.
U.S. Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, the government of Greece(which views itself as the inheritor of the Byzantine Empire’s Greek-speaking legacy), and United Nations cultural institutions have spoken against the planned usurpation of the historic church. Pope Francis has been conspicuously silent, thus far.
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