Robert Spencer: Pope Francis, Defender of Islam

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Pope Francis received a noteworthy honor last week when Ahmed al-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Cairo’s al-Azhar, thanked him for his “defense of Islam against the accusation of violence and terrorism.”

Has any other Pope of Rome in the history of Christianity ever been heralded as a “defender of Islam”?

Of course not. But the Catholic Church has come a long way since the days of Pope Callixtus III, who vowed in 1455 to “exalt the true Faith, and to extirpate the diabolical sect of the reprobate and faithless Mahomet in the East.”

If time travel could be arranged and Pope Francis could run into Callixtus III, Callixtus could “expect a punch,” for Francis is not just a defender of Islam, but a defender of the Sharia death penalty for blasphemy: after Islamic jihadists murdered the Charlie Hebdo cartoonists who had drawn Muhammad, Francis obliquely justified the murders by saying that “it is true that you must not react violently, but although we are good friends if [an aide] says a curse word against my mother, he can expect a punch, it’s normal. You can’t make a toy out of the religions of others. These people provoke and then (something can happen). In freedom of expression there are limits.” Read more about Robert Spencer: Pope Francis, Defender of Islam

G20: Does Donald Trump’s awkward performance indicate America’s decline as world power?

Donald Trump has a particular, and limited, skill-set. He has correctly identified an illness at the heart of the Western democracy. But he has no cure for it and seems to just want to exploit it.

He is a character drawn from America’s wild west, a travelling medicine showman selling moonshine remedies that will kill the patient.

And this week he underlined he has neither the desire nor the capacity to lead the world. Read more about G20: Does Donald Trump’s awkward performance indicate America’s decline as world power?

VIDEO: American tourist beaten to death by crowd while on vacation in Greece

22-year-old Bakari Henderson attended Anderson High School and was abroad trying to make his dreams come true when he was brutally beat to death.

AUSTIN – A 22-year-old Austinite has died after he was beat to death by 10 people in the early hours of Friday while he was on vacation on a Greek island of Zakinthos, his family has confirmed to KVUE.

Bakari Henderson — who was a former Anderson High School student according to former classmates of his — is currently a student at the University of Arizona, but is originally from Austin.

According to the Daily Mail, Henderson was battered to death in the street by attackers who are believed to have used brass knuckles during the attack. The publication said the fight started when Henderson got into an argument with a security guard inside a bar. An official cause has not been released.

Police reports obtained by the Associated Press said the bar was in Lagana, an area of the island known for frequently rowdy behavior by young foreign tourists.

Police say a 34-year-old Greek and a 32-year-old British man of Serbian origin have been arrested and were to appear before a prosecutor on murder charges. They say an investigation to identify the rest of the people involved is ongoing, according to the Associated Press. Read more about VIDEO: American tourist beaten to death by crowd while on vacation in Greece

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