A car bomb detonated outside the Australian Embassy in Jakarta killed nine and wounded 173 just before Indonesia’s presidential election and two days before the anniversary of 9/11. Jemaah Islamiyah, a Southeast Asian terror group linked to al-Qaida, reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was punishing Australia for its involvement in the war in Iraq. “‘We decided to call Australia to account, which we consider one of the worst enemies of God, and God’s religion of Islam,” read a statement posted on an extremist Islamic website.Read more.
“‘It is a certain fact that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it is equally certain, and exceptionally painful, that almost all terrorists are Muslims.’” Abdel Rahman al-Rashed, general manager of satellite television station Al Arabiya, adds to the tone of self-criticism growing among Muslim commentators in the aftermath of the Beslan massacre. John Kifner of The New York Times reports.
Greg Thompson, the superintendent of the Humansville, Missouri school system, was made to leave his post this week after a protracted controversy and federal lawsuit over Thompson’s display of a Ten Commandments plaque on a school wall. The unrepentant Thompson said he will focus on how different levels of government can be utilized to allow religion in schools. “‘We’ve got to turn this moral decay around…There needs to be a hundred or a thousand Judge Roy Moores.’”
The Los Angeles County seal has been altered to remove a contested gold cross as well as the Native American goddess Pomona. Immediate protests greeted the seal’s debut, with the usual suspects promising a fight to restore the cross. But who will restore Pomona?
The Pimping of God: Jay Michaelson writes part five of Jewsweek’s ”Jewish critique of Bushism,” arguing that “gay marriage has almost nothing to do with the presidency.” Previous critiques asked: “Why should we live in a country ruled by a Christian Fundamentalist theocrat?” “Why is Bush bad for the Jews?” and “Why is Bush bad for Israel?”
“One big difference in fertility rates remains: Conservative, religiously minded Americans are putting far more of their genes into the future than their liberal, secular counterparts.”
Alan Keyes is criticized by clergy and local Illinois politicians for claiming that Jesus would not vote for Democrat Barack Obama. “‘I will leave Mr. Keyes to the theological speculations,’” said Obama. “‘I’m not running to be the minister of Illinois.” Read more.