Hamas intends to apply Islamic law, or shari'a, as the basis for running the Palestinian Authority after its landslide win in the late January elections for the legislature, officials from the group said. But they added that people would not be forced to comply with shari‘a.
Hamas was formed in 1987 as an Islamist movement in opposition to Israel. It was linked to Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood. In spite of its resistance rhetoric, the organization received early covert backing and financial support from Israel.
After days of protests during their Hong Kong talks in December, the 149 members of the World Trade Organization hammered out a scaled-down agreement on global commerce. But many Christian and civil society groups fighting for trade justice predicted that the deal will do little to help the world’s poor. “Those talks might not have crashed as spectacularly as those at Seattle and Cancun.
In what one official called the “penultimate” step toward full communion with the United Methodist Church, delegates at the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s biennial assembly overwhelmingly approved an interim agreement to permit the sharing of the rite of communion.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has announced plans to target five public companies that it says “contribute to the ongoing violence that plagues Israel and Palestine.” Church officials said they could ultimately pull their assets, or divest, from those companies if corporate behavior remains unchanged.
Despite a growing protest movement against the Iraq war, President Bush remains determined to “stay the course.” He offers sympathy to grieving parents, but his attention seems to be elsewhere. So he seemed not to notice the people gathered along the roadside when, on a recent hot August day, his limousine drove past a crowd of Gold Star Mothers and their supporters.
Despite lobbying pleas from a noted Jewish organization, delegates to the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) General Assembly have passed a resolution calling on Israel to stop construction of a security barrier intended to stop suicide bombers.
The Vatican, in a sharp retort to Israeli criticism of Pope Benedict XVI, said it could not protest every act of Palestinian terrorism because Israel’s responses are “not always compatible with the norms of international law.”