Sunni militants 'seize Iraq's western border crossings'

According to BBC News, The Iraqi government appears to have lost control of its western borders after Sunni militants reportedly captured crossings to Syria and Jordan.

Officials said the rebels took two key crossings in Anbar on Sunday, a day after seizing one at Qaim, a town in the province that borders Syria.

The strategically important airport in the northern town of Tal Afar has also reportedly fallen to the rebels.

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Jihadists are seeking destruction of secular world

According to The Australian, the success of the jihadist group Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham in creating a proto-Islamic state in Iraq, confirms an unmistakable message — Islam, as it is conceived by a quarter of the world’s population, seeks the destruction of the secular world and the imposition of Islamic rule.

To believe otherwise, such as that recent events are the fault of the West arising from a botched invasion of Iraq, is thoroughly delusional.

In broad terms, we can respond in one of two ways. The first option, another military intervention, would again prove a waste of blood and treasure. For the social and cultural destiny of Islam lies in totalitarian or authoritarian religiosity and no volume of drone strikes or boots on the ground can turn this around.

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'Massacre' by Jihadist militants in Iraq

According to BBC News, the Sunni extremist group that has taken territory across Iraq has posted photos online that appear to show its fighters massacring Iraqi soldiers.

The pictures, apparently posted by ISIS, are said to show what happened to soldiers after the group took over an army base in Tikrit following the surrender of the garrison there, but it appears that all the people wear civilian not military clothing, ISIS claim they killed 1700 Shi'a men in Salahadin province.  

Iraqi military spokesman Lt Gen Qassim al-Moussawi said the pictures were authentic and depicted events in Salahuddin province.

The BBC's Jim Muir, in northern Iraq, says if the photographs are genuine, it would be by far the biggest single atrocity since the time of the American-led invasion of Iraq in 2003.

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Why Saudi Arabia calls atheists ‘terrorists’

BY Portia Crowe , Chicago Sun-Times

Since Syria’s conflict began in 2011, a stream of jihadist militants has travelled from Saudi Arabia to join rebels fighting the regime of Bashar al Assad. Although travelling fighters are a Saudi tradition going back to the Soviet war in Afghanistan, the Saudi government worries that this time they may return home and take up arms against the monarchy.

So it was perhaps no surprise when the government this year criminalized the act of fighting in foreign conflicts, and named as “terrorist” several groups with which the Saudi jihadists identify: Hezbollah, the Muslim Brotherhood, and various factions of al-Qaida.

What was surprising was the inclusion of another group on the “terrorist” list: Saudi atheists. (join AAI petition and action against this law)

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Sunni extremist insurgents seize Iraqi city of Mosul

Iraqi PM Nouri Maliki responded by asking parliament to declare a state of emergency after sunni militants with Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) overrun Iraq’s second biggest city, Mosul.

The day's developments mean Isis now has effective control over three cities, including Falluja and Ramadi in neighbouring Anbar. 

A rebranded version of the al-Qaeda in Iraq organization that the U.S. military said it had quelled before withdrawing its forces in 2011, ISIS has been expanding its reach for months in Iraq and in Syria in pursuit of its goal of creating an Islamic state.

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Iranian president Hassan Rouhani, critics debate 'path to heaven'

By Shahir ShahidSaless

President Hassan Rouhani's public battle with hard-line clerics over Iranians' route to heaven is symptomatic of the broader war he faces over his reform efforts.

In the last two weeks, the tit-for-tat exchanges between Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and his hard-line opponents have grabbed the headlines, not only inside Iran but around the world. Triggered by the arrest of six young Iranian men and women who had created a video of themselves dancing to Pharrell Williams’ hit song “Happy,” Rouhani remarked May 24 in a speech, “Do not interfere so much in people’s lives, even out of compassion. … Let people choose their own path to heaven. We cannot send people to heaven by force or a whip.”

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Turkey’s intra-Islamic witch hunt

 “If this is called a witch hunt, then yes, we perform a witch hunt,” said Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan at a May 10 “consultation and assessment meeting” of his Justice and Development Party (AKP).

He was referring to the purge and reshuffling within the Turkish judiciary and police with the clear aim of dismantling the “parallel state” allegedly formed by the Fethullah Gulen movement.

“In order to sterilize this dirty water that contaminated the milk, we will either boil or molecularize it,” Erdogan added, using a biological reference to justify an operation on state and society.

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