Here's the non-news story of the month, if not the year. The Religious Freedom in the World 2016 report, a worldwide survery of religious freedom, has found that Islamic "hyper-extremism" is wreaking havoc, especially in the Middle East, prompting brutal violence and creating an unprecedented surge of refugees.
The report, produced by the international Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need, sees the Islamic State as the primary example of Islamic hyper-extremism". In an introduction to the report, Father Jacques Mourad, who was kidnapped by the Islamic State and held for several months before being released, warns that "our world teeters on the brink of a complete catastrophe as extremism threatens to wipe out all trace of diversity in society."
The report says that Islamic extremism -- the phenomenon that Barack Obama and Hellery Clinton refused to name -- is most powerful in Iraq and Syria. No surprise there. It accuses the jihadis of displaying barbarous cruelty and complete intolerance of other views, in a religious war aimed at "eliminating all forms of religious diversity". The authors add that not only the Middle East is threatened, but also parts of Africa and the Asian subcontinent.
No matter how loudly and how often the lamestream media tells us that most Muslims are not extremists, and Islam is "the religion of peace", the fact is that the world has seen a flood of refugees, reaching an all-time high of 65.3 million. The report points to Islamic extremism as the key driver in the displacement of peoples, with millions fleeing from Syria, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Iraq.
The Islamists are not the only offenders. Religious Freedom in the World 2016 also draws attention to setbacks for religious freedom outside the Islamic world, particularly in China and Turkmenistan. Case in point: An Islamist militant, wearing a shirt with the word "jihad" on it, threw a gasoline bomb at a church in Samarinda, on the Indonesian island of Borneo, on November 13th. A two-year-old child was killed and three other children injured. See "Four children injured in suspected militant attack on Indonesia church", Reuters, 13/11/16.
Further reading: Click here to download the executive summary of Religious Freedom in the World 2016. (Don't be surprised if you find yourself on the ACN e-mail list. That's OK. You can always unsubscribe if religious freedom ceases to be of interest to you.)