Category: Religion


Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings

Supreme Court upholds prayer at government meetings

Credit: SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

On November 6, 2013, the Court heard oral arguments in the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway dealing with whether holding a prayer prior to the monthly public meetings in the New York town of Greece violates the Constitution by endorsing a single faith.

by Richard Wolf, USA TODAY

Posted on May 5, 2014 at 9:13 AM

Updated today at 9:13 AM

 

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the centuries-old tradition of offering prayers at the start of government meetings, even if those prayers are overwhelmingly Christian.

The 5-4 decision in favor of the any-prayer-goes policy in the town of Greece, N.Y., avoided two alternatives that the justices clearly found abhorrent: having government leaders parse prayers for sectarian content, or outlawing them altogether.

It was written by Justice Anthony Kennedy, with the court’s conservatives agreeing and its liberals, led by Justice Elena Kagan, dissenting.

The long-awaited ruling following oral arguments in November was a victory for the the town, which was taken to court by two women who argued that a plethora of overtly Christian prayers at town board meetings violated their rights.

While the court had upheld the practice of legislative prayer, most recently in a 1983 case involving the Nebraska legislature, the case of Town of Greece v. Galloway presented the justices with a new twist: mostly Christian clergy delivering frequently sectarian prayers before an audience that often includes average citizens with business to conduct.

The court’s ruling said that the alternative — having the town board act as supervisors and censors of religious speech — would involve the government far more than Greece was doing by inviting any clergy to deliver the prayers.

“An insistence on nonsectarian or ecumenical prayer as a single, fixed standard is not consistent with the tradition of legislative prayer outlined in the court’s cases,” Kennedy said.

Kagan, joined by the court’s other three liberal justices, said the town’s prayers differed from those delivered to legislators about to undertake the people’s business. In Greece, she said, sectarian prayers were delivered to “ordinary citizens,” and their participation was encouraged.

“No one can fairly read the prayers from Greece’s town meetings as anything other than explicitly Christian — constantly and exclusively so,” Kagan said. “The prayers betray no understanding that the American community is today, as it long has been, a rich mosaic of religious faiths.”

The legal tussle began in 2007, following eight years of nothing but Christian prayers in the town of nearly 100,000 people outside Rochester. Susan Galloway and Linda Stephens, a Jew and an atheist, took the board to federal court and won by contending that its prayers – often spiced with references to Jesus, Christ and the Holy Spirit — aligned the town with one religion.

Once the legal battle was joined, town officials canvassed widely for volunteer prayer-givers and added a Jewish layman, a Wiccan priestess and a member of the Baha’i faith to the mix. Stephens, meanwhile, awoke one morning to find her mailbox on top of her car, and part of a fire hydrant turned up in her swimming pool.

The two women contended that the prayers in Greece were unconstitutional because they pressured those in attendance to participate. They noted that unlike federal and state government sessions, town board meetings are frequented by residents who must appear for everything from business permits to zoning changes.

 

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Saudi Arabia’s religious police ‘contains extremists’

Worshippers visit the Prophet's Mosque in Medina, Saudi Arabia (5 July 2013) The mutawa enforce strict religious and social restrictions in the conservative Sunni Muslim kingdom

Sheikh Abdul Latif al-Sheikh was quoted in the Saudi newspaper, Okaz, as saying that he would “eliminate” those he described as “advocates of sedition”.

He said calls for jihad were “void”.

His comments came after a royal decree on Monday specified jail terms of up to 20 years for Saudis who fight in a conflict abroad.

It also said Saudis who joined, endorsed or gave moral or material aid to “extremist religious and ideological groups, or those classified as terrorist organisations”, whether inside or outside the country, faced prison.

The interior ministry estimates that around 1,200 Saudis have travelled to Syria to fight since the uprising began in March 2011.

Many of them have joined Islamist rebel groups that the Saudi government reportedly supports with money and weapons.

However, it fears that Saudi jihadists could switch their attention to their homeland, as happened when many returned from the conflicts in Afghanistan and Bosnia in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Prophetic Sign? Pope Francis Releases Peace Dove and Black Crow Attacks Instantly!

DAHBOO77

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Published time: January 26, 2014 19:23
Edited time: January 27, 2014 10:39

Pope Francis (C) watches as children release doves during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican January 26, 2014 (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis (C) watches as children release doves during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican January 26, 2014 (Reuters/Alessandro Bianchi)

Pope Francis on Sunday prayed for the start of a “constructive dialogue” in Ukraine, releasing two white doves to symbolize the hope for peace. However, the doves were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull.

Addressing tens of thousands of people gathered in Vatican City’s St. Peter’s Square for the Pope’s weekly Angelus prayer, the pontiff said that his thoughts and prayers were with the victims of the Ukrainian unrest.

“I am close to Ukraine in prayer, in particular to those who have lost their lives in recent days and to their families,” Pope Francis said.

He then raised hopes for a “constructive dialogue between the institutions and civil society,” urging both sides to avoid violence and reminding that “the spirit of peace and a search for the common good” should be “in the hearts of all.”

In a symbolic peace gesture, two white doves were then released by children standing alongside Pope Francis.

But as soon as the birds took off, they were immediately attacked by a crow and a seagull.

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Pope Francis’ peace doves attacked at Vatican

A dove which was freed by children flanked by Pope Francis during the Angelus prayer, is chased by a black crow in St. Peter’s Square, at the Vatican, Sunday, Jan. 26, 2014.  AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia

CBS News

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Pope’s dove of peace almost ends in pieces: Seagull attacks bird seconds after Pontiff releases it from Vatican balcony

By Daily Mail Reporter

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Releasing a dove is a symbolic appeal for peace. But when the Pope tried it yesterday, it led to quite a flap.

Nobody had bargained on a resident seagull who apparently hadn’t been listening to the Holy Father’s sermon.

It swooped in and attacked the bird of peace as soon as Pope Benedict XVI released the dove from a balcony at the Vatican.

 

Anticipation: Pope Benedict XVI holds the dove of peace up to the sunlight moments before it is released into the air above expectant pilgrims

Anticipation: Pope Benedict XVI holds the dove of peace up to the sunlight moments before it is released into the air above expectant pilgrims

Message of hope: A boy (right) releases the dove of peace next to Pope Benedict XVI during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter's square at the Vatican

Message of hope: A  young boy (right) releases the dove of peace next to the Pope during the Angelus prayer in Saint Peter’s square at the Vatican

The poetic moment takes a turn for the worse as the seagull swoops upon the unsuspecting dove

The poetic celebration takes a turn for the worse as the seagull swoops upon the unsuspecting dove

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Maldives President Rejects Law Banning Husbands from Raping Divorced Wives to Infect them with AIDS as “UnIslamic”

marital rape

“Run, run for it now.”

I’m not sure if Islamic law is the worst thing ever… but it’s probably the worst thing ever for women.

I keep hearing that Mohammed was the original feminist and that Islamic law protects women. Also the State Department praised the moderate Muslim president of moderate Muslim Maldives for being elected through democratic values.

Nothing says democratic values like rape, Islamic law and being the brother of a tyrant.

The US has congratulated Abdulla Yameen on him being elected as the new President of the Maldives, and called the association between the two countries as “a long history of cordial relations”.

“The extraordinarily high turnout on November 16th was a tribute to the Maldivian people’s commitment to the democratic process and democratic values,” State Department spokesperson Jen Psaki told reporters yesterday.

Yameen is the half-brother of former autocratic ruler Maumoon Abdul Gayoom.

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Maldivian president rejects ‘un-Islamic’ ban on some forms of marital rape

By: News Desk

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen, center, was sworn into the presidency on Nov. 17, 2013. Photo by Maldivian government (press release).

Maldivian President Abdulla Yameen refused to sign a bill Thursday that criminalizes some forms of marital rape, Religion News Service reported. Though the bill passed parliament with 67-2 vote, Yameen rejected the legislation, which limits a husband’s right to demand sex from his wife, because it was “un-Islamic.

The bill did not criminalize all marital rape, but banned it under the following circumstances:

  • if a case for dissolution of a marriage is in court
  • while a divorce, filed by the husband or wife, is pending a court hearing
  • if the intent of intercourse is to transmit a sexually transmitted disease
  • if the couple agrees to a mutual separation

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The Nuns and the President

When the Framers were putting together the Constitution in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787, they knew the states would not adopt it without written guarantees that the new central government would respect natural rights. The supporters of the Constitution promised political leaders in the states that the written guarantees would soon be added as amendments, and they were. By late 1791, the Bill of Rights was ratified and added to the new Constitution.

The purpose of the Bill of Rights was to assure all in America that their natural rights — areas of human choices for which a permission slip from the government cannot be required and in which the government cannot coerce compliance with its wishes — would not be impaired by the federal government. Since the ratification of the Fourteenth Amendment, the natural rights protected in the Bill of Rights generally have been insulated from interference by the states, as well.

All natural rights are of paramount importance to all persons. They are individualized personal gifts from the Creator and have been recognized as such in American law since Thomas Jefferson wrote in the Declaration of Independence that we are endowed with them by Him.

One of those rights guarantees the free exercise of religion. Indeed, the Free Exercise Clause in the First Amendment was written to ensure that the new government could not coerce persons to behave differently than their religious views informed their consciences or punish them for not conforming to a government-mandated religious orthodoxy. Generally, for almost 230 years, the federal government left us alone to choose freely our religious practices and to worship as we believe. Until now.

Today, the free exercise of religion is under attack by the government. When Congress enacted the Affordable Health Care Act — I prefer to call it Obamacare because it is President Obama’s brainchild, his signature legislation, and because there is nothing affordable about it — members of Congress must have known that the law would impose obligations upon persons that would force them to engage in behavior in violation of their religious beliefs. Obamacare, which has been upheld by the Supreme Court under a superficial and novel theory that permits the feds to regulate natural rights by taxing us when we do not do as they have commanded, requires all employers of 50 or more persons to obtain health insurance coverage for all of their employees that pays for birth control via contraception, sterilization and abortion.

The Little Sisters of the Poor are an order of Roman Catholic nuns who have taken vows of poverty, chastity and obedience. They operate nursing homes for those who cannot afford them and employ more than 50 persons. The sisters have objected to the requirement that they must pay for health insurance coverage that provides for birth control, as those payments directly violate Catholic teachings and beliefs.

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Alfred Lambremont Webre

Published on Jan 15, 2014

Kevin Annett: Former Argentine official to testify against Pope Bergoglio’s child trafficking under Junta in Argentina

http://exopolitics.blogs.com/breaking…

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Houston Chronicle

Vatican facing UN showdown on sex abuse record

By NICOLE WINFIELD and JOHN HEILPRIN, Associated Press | January 15, 2014 | Updated: January 15, 2014 3:21pm
Photo By Gregorio Borgia/AP
1 of 2
FILE – In this Feb. 8, 2012 file photo Monsignor Charles Scicluna, the Holy See’s chief sex crimes prosecutor, meets journalists in Rome. The Holy See on Thursday, Jan. 16, 2014, will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child, which among other things calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else. The Vatican will be represented by its most authoritative official on the issue, Scicluna.

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The Vatican is gearing up for a bruising showdown over the global priest sex abuse scandal, forced for the first time to defend itself at length and in public against allegations it enabled the rape of thousands of children by protecting pedophile priests and its own reputation at the expense of victims.

The Holy See on Thursday will be grilled by a U.N. committee in Geneva on its implementation of the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child. Among other things, the treaty calls for signatories to take all appropriate measures to protect children from harm and to put children’s interests above all else.

The Holy See ratified the convention in 1990 and submitted a first implementation report in 1994. But it didn’t provide progress reports for nearly a decade, and only submitted one in 2012 after coming under criticism following the 2010 explosion of child sex abuse cases in Europe and beyond.

Victims groups and human rights organizations teamed up to press the U.N. committee to challenge the Holy See on its abuse record, providing written testimony from victims and evidence outlining the global scale of the problem. Their reports cite case studies in Mexico and Britain, grand jury investigations in the U.S., and government fact-finding inquiries from Canada to Ireland to Australia that detail how the Vatican’s policies, its culture of secrecy and fear of scandal contributed to the problem.

Their submissions reference Vatican documents that show its officials knew about a notorious Mexican molester decades before taking action. They cite correspondence from a Vatican cardinal praising a French bishop’s decision to protect his abusive priest, and another Vatican directive to Irish bishops to strike any mandatory reporting of abusers to police from their policies. The submissions even quote the former Vatican No. 2 as saying bishops shouldn’t be expected to turn their priests in.

“For too many years, survivors were the only ones speaking out about this and bearing the brunt of a lot of criticism,” said Pam Spees, an attorney at the Center for Constitutional Rights, which provided a key report to the committee. “And so this is a very important moment for many, many people who are here in Geneva and around the world who will be watching as the Holy See is called for the first time ever to actually answer questions.”

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The New American

Written by 

 

A Christian resident of the Israeli city of Nazareth has come up with a plan to erect a 100-foot-tall statute of the community’s most famous native son, Jesus Christ. The proposed monument, which would reportedly be similar to the one that towers over the city of Rio de Janeiro in Brazil, is the idea of Bishara Shlayan, a merchant seaman who, reported Fox News, “has seen the demographics of Nazareth change considerably in recent years, with the Christian community becoming a minority while the Muslim population has grown to 70 percent of the 80,000 residents of the northern Israeli town.”

 

Shlayan, a Christian Arab, told Fox that “slowly, but surely, the Christian identity in Nazareth is beginning to disappear,” pointing to signs that festoon the city’s main square with decidedly non-Christian slogans such as “There is no power but Allah.”

 

A group of Christians led by Shlayan has asked for permission from the Israeli government to erect the statue atop what is known locally as Mount Precipice, supposedly the locale, mentioned in the Gospel of Luke 4:29-30, where a mob of locals attempted to throw Jesus off a hill — but were prevented from doing so when Jesus, “passing through the midst of them, went his way.”

 

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The Jerusalem Post

Christian Israeli-Arab wants to build Rio-style Jesus statue near Nazareth

 

 

Bishara Shlayan wants to build huge Jesus statue on Mount Precipice, near his home city in the Galilee.

THE ‘CHRIST the Redeemer’ statue in Rio de Janeiro.

THE ‘CHRIST the Redeemer’ statue in Rio de Janeiro. Photo: REUTERS

Bishara Shlayan, a Christian Arab from Nazareth, is hoping to build a huge statue of Jesus on Mount Precipice, near his home city.

Shlayan told The Jerusalem Post in an interview that he has already begun fund-raising for the project and that he is getting positive feedback from the Israeli Arab Christian community as well as some Jews.

He sees the statue as being similar to but larger than the huge Christ the Redeemer statue in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

Shlayan is also looking to found a Christian Arab political party, which he says is still being sorted out, but has settled on the name “Bnei Habrit [Allies of the Covenant], the Christian party of Israel.”

The party would support Israel as a Jewish state and national or army service for Arabs.

“I created the Bnei Habrit party and now I have created the Diglei Habrit [Flags of the Covenant] organization,” in order to carry out the statue project, he said.

Mount Precipice, also known as Mount Kedumim, is believed by some to be the place where the people of Nazareth attempted to push Jesus off the mountain after rejecting him as the messiah. In the end he was able to jump off and disappeared, according to Christian tradition.

When Shlayan was in Jerusalem a month ago, he said he met Tourism Minister Uzi Landau by chance and asked him about the statue idea. Shlayan says that Landau said, “Start it, and we will bless it.”

 

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Eretz Zen Eretz Zen

Published on Sep 30, 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Syrians have fled to neighboring Jordan from their home country in light of the ongoing war in Syria. The distress in the hopelessly overcrowded refugee camps is great. Unscrupulous traffickers have recognized this and made ​​a business out of it. So-called ‘matchmakers’ sell Syrian refugee teenager girls to rich Wahhabis from Saudi Arabia.

Subtitles by: SyrianFight
Source: RTL (Germany)

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I suppose that  since they  can  no longer  claim that  Women  driving is  against  Sharia  Law  they  must  say  something.  The  excuse of damaged  ovaries  is as  good  as  any ,  especially  if  you are  counting  on   compliance  and  subservience…….Hmmmm.

 

How’s that compliant and subservient thing  working  for  you ????

~Desert Rose~

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Al Arabiya News

Last Update: Saturday, 28 September 2013 KSA 07:27 – GMT 04:27
Saturday, 28 September 2013
Saudi Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan said driving “could have a reverse physiological impact” on women. (Al Arabiya)
Al Arabiya

Saudi women seeking to challenge a de facto ban on driving should realize that this could affect their ovaries and pelvises, Sheikh Salah al-Luhaydan, also a psychologist, told Saudi news website sabq.org.

Driving “could have a reverse physiological impact. Physiological science and functional medicine studied this side [and found] that it automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis. This is why we find for women who continuously drive cars their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees,” Sheikh al-Luhaydan said.

Saudi female activists have launched an online campaign urging women to drive on Oct. 26.

More than 11,000 women have signed the oct26driving.com declaration that says: “Since there are no clear justifications for the state to ban adult, capable women from driving. We call for enabling women to have driving tests and for issuing licenses for those who pass.”

Sheikh al-Luhaydan urged these women to consider “the mind before the heart and emotion and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“The result of this is bad and they should wait and consider the negativities,” he said.

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Saudi women seek right to drive

A Saudi woman sits in a vehicle as a passenger in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013)
Stuck in the passenger seat: Women are not allowed to drive in Saudi Arabia

A new campaign asking for the right for women to drive in Saudi Arabia has attracted more than 11,000 signatures in support.

The campaign has set 26 October as a day for Saudi women to take to the roads – in defiance of the informal ban on women behind the wheel.

In a sign of how pervasive online social networks have become in Saudi Arabia, the campaign was started on Twitter.

It is the idea of the activist, Eman al-Nafjan, who set things in motion with a simple message saying that Saudi women would express their feelings about driving on 26 October.

“There is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so”

Petition for women’s driving rights

The hope is that women will come out en masse to drive on that day, she told the BBC.

Ms Nafjan says the campaign is meant to be a grassroots movement open to all Saudis – men as well as women – to show their support.

Influential Saudis have given their public backing, while several videos of women driving have been posted on the campaign’s website.

There is even a song linked to the campaign by the Saudi-born singer Shams, entitled It’s Our Right to Drive.

Photos have also been sent in showing supporters’ hands with parts of the online petition written across them.

The first point in the petition reads: “Since there is no justification for the Saudi government to prohibit adult women citizens who are capable of driving cars from doing so, we urge the state to provide appropriate means for women seeking the issuance of permits and licenses to apply and obtain them”.

It goes on to say that the Saudi government must provide a valid and legal justification if it continues to deny women the right to drive.

Cars in Riyadh (22 Sept 2013) Many Saudi women are dependent on paid male drivers to get around

‘Window dressing’

Women activists in Saudi Arabia say the issue of being allowed to drive is key to gaining other rights.

There have been moves in this direction recently with women allowed onto the influential Shura council for the first time, as well as having the right to vote in the next municipal elections.

 

 

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Saudi Sheikh blasted on Twitter for saying women drivers ‘risk damaging ovaries’

Published time: September 29, 2013 17:43

>Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Reuters / Fahad Shadeed

Comments by a Saudi psychologist that driving affects women’s ovaries and can lead to their children having health problems have outraged many women in the conservative Muslim country, who are protesting a de facto ban on women driving.

In an interview Friday with the sabq.org website, Sheikh Saleh bin Saad al-Luhaydan said campaigners should put “the mind before the heart and emotion, and look at this issue with a realistic eye.”

“Physiological science and functional medicine [found that driving] automatically affects ovaries and rolls up the pelvis,” the judicial and psychological consultant to the Gulf Psychological Association said.

“This is why we find [that] for women who continuously drive cars, their children are born with clinical disorders of varying degrees.”

Many Saudis have expressed their anger in Twitter, mocking the Sheikh’s “great scientific discoveries.”

A special hashtag “Women_driving_affects_ovaries_and_pelvises” appeared on the social network, and is widely used.

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‘Sexual jihad': Tunisian women go to Syria to ‘relieve’ holy warriors, return pregnant

Published time: September 20, 2013 13:25

A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria for "sexual jihad" have returned home pregnant, the government says. (Photo from www.febrayer.com)

A number of Tunisian girls who had travelled to Syria for “sexual jihad” have returned home pregnant, the government says. (Photo from http://www.febrayer.com)

The Tunisian girls “are [sexually] swapped between 20, 30, and 100 rebels and they come back bearing the fruit of sexual contacts in the name of sexual jihad and we are silent doing nothing and standing idle,” the minister said during an address to the National Constituent Assembly on Thursday.

“After the sexual liaisons they have there in the name of ‘jihad al-nikah’ [sexual holy war] they come home pregnant,”
ben Jeddou continued.

Ben Jeddo did not elaborate on how many Tunisian women had returned to the country pregnant with the children of jihadist fighters.

Former Mufti of Tunisia Sheikh Othman Battikh in April said that 13 Tunisian girls “were fooled” into traveling to Syria to offer their sexual services to rebels fighters.

The mufti, who was subsequently dismissed from his post, described the so-called “sexual Jihad” as a form of “prostitution.”

“For jihad in Syria, they are now pushing girls to go there. Thirteen young girls have been sent for sexual jihad. What is this? This is called prostitution. It is moral educational corruption,” Al Arabiya cites the mufti as saying.

Some Sunni Muslim Salafists, however, consider sexual jihad as a legitimate form of holy war.

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Militants can marry Syrian women: Wahhabi cleric in Saudi Arabia

Hard-line Saudi Wahhabi cleric Sheikh Mohammed al-Arifi

Hard-line Saudi Wahhabi cleric Sheikh Mohammed al-Arifi
Mon Dec 31, 2012 6:22AM
A hard-line Wahhabi cleric in Saudi Arabia has recently issued a special religious decree that permits the militants in Syria to engage in short-term marriages with Syrian women.

Sheikh Mohammed al-Arifi said that the marriages between the foreign-backed militants and Syrian women will satisfy the militants’ sexual desires and boost their determination in killing Syrians.

He added that the marriages, dubbed by him as “intercourse marriages,” can be with Syrian females as young as 14 years old.

He also promised “paradise” for those who marry the militants.

Arifi has issued similar decrees in the past in support of the violence in Syria.

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