Tuesday night, several suicide bombers blew themselves up at Europe's third largest airport in Istanbul, Turkey, according to multiple sources. At least 28 were killed, and at least 60 injured at Ataturk International Airport.
The attack was seemed to have been coordinated, according to the BBC and led by as many as three attackers—one shooting a gun at the terminal entry points, and the other two carrying out the suicide bombing.
Anadolu Agency, the state-run news agency, reported that the Justice Minister Bekir Bozdag said a terrorist used an AK-47 assault rifle to fire before they detonated.
A Turkish government official reported that the police fired at the two bombers, in an attempt to keep them from reaching a security checkpoint, but they were unsuccessful.
Details continue to emerge about the attack, which comes as the sixth terrorist attack of the year in Turkey—most of them carried out by suicide bombers in public places. Discuss
It was a dramatic night in Britain, where voters decided that the country will leave the European Union. The effects of the vote were almost instant: Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would be resigning, and markets around the world have fallen wildly.
Overnight, the global stock market lost upwards of $2 trillion in value, as markets around the world continue to fall over the news.
Leaders in Scotland now say that they may call for a new vote to potentially leave the United Kingdom over the decision, and rejoin the EU. The Scottish National Party, where residents largely favored remaining in the EU, said in a statement, “The vote here makes clear that the people of Scotland see their future as part of the European Union.” Discuss
The situation in the Iraqi city of Fallujah has become dire, as coalition forces attempt to retake the city from ISIS. According to some truly shocking reports from the area, more than 80,000 residents have been forced to flee.
For nearly a month, forces have attempted to drive ISIS out of the city, but according to Washington Post reporter Loveday Morris, the Baghdad bureau chief, the battle is still raging despite early reports of an Iraqi victory over the terrorist group.
Official from US-led coalition says Fallujah only half retaken, despite Iraqi declaration of victory. https://t.co/SkHQZcV22r
Morris is posting a series of Tweets from Iraq, outlining the increasingly deteriorating conditions as tens of thousands are fleeing the violence into makeshift camps in the desert. But, as her reporting notes, people are in desperate need of water and basic resources.
85,000 people have fled Fallujah and its surroundings, many in the desert with no tents. Doesn't bode well for Mosul https://t.co/mkNYMQ5gty
Her most recent report is devastating: Pregnant women, children, the elderly and those with disabilities are particularly vulnerable, with some collapsing from exhaustion, relief workers say.
Activist Jeremy Courtney, whose organization Preemptive Love works to help the people of Iraq with medical and humanitarian needs, has posted an urgent message to Facebook this morning, explaining that thousands are in need of urgent assistance.
I'm telling anyone who will listen: #Fallujah is HELL ON EARTH today. 86,000 women & children—elderly & crippled—on the run from #ISIS, most arriving in last few days. It's 122°F and water is running out.
Whoever you are, whatever you believe, believe this: we are no better than how we treat the poor, the sick, the elderly, the children... the "they're-not-like-us" people.
Some say Fallujans are our enemies—that they are ISIS or sided with ISIS and got what they had coming to them.
Fine, then: #LoveAnyway #LoveYourEnemies
The next time Christians or Yezidis or gays are getting slaughtered, don't wonder "how did we get here", because at least *one* step on the road is happening right now, today. Are we going to leave an entire population violently starved of food and water to die in the desert and *not* expect it to have massive sociopolitical ramifications in their psyche and culture and practice of politics and religion?
This is where history is made. This is where we get more of the same or we change the future. These are the missed opportunities that future pundits will bemoan. It's today. It's right now.
We are here. Are you with us?
Here’s a story that will give you some hope. The BBC has reported from a village in Pakistan where Christians and Muslims are refusing to engage in violence, and instead, live side-by-side in real community.
In the village outside of the city of Gojra, Muslims have come together to build a church for their Christian neighbors.
Ijaz Farooq, who is a Muslim, told the BBC, “By building this church, we want to show that we are united as a community.”
Christian resident Faryal Masih explained,
Since my childhood, we have all lived together in this one place. We live with love—attend each other’s weddings and festivals. We are together in times of happiness and grief. I pray that we never have to go through what happened in Gorja, ever.
Back in 2009 in Gorja, mobs of Muslim residents attacked local Christians, killing 10, while their homes and churches were burned. Throughout much of the country, Christians are forced to live in separate, designated housing and regularly face persecution.
A local priest explained,
This church being built in a small village by the Muslims, it is very significant. It shows that people have love in their hearts. They want to stay together. If there are those who fuel the fire, there are also those who douse the flames.
For a while now, President Obama has been criticized by some pundit and political rivals for refraining from using the term “radical Islam” when discussing acts of terrorism.
Well, this week, he finally addressed those criticisms, essentially saying they were political distraction. In his statement (which you can watch below), the president said he typically uses other phrases (like, recently “extremist ideology”), not for reasons of political correctness, but because he doesn’t want the global perception to be that the United States is at war with a religion—which, he explains, is what ISIS wants.
Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction. Since before I was president, I’ve been clear about how extremist groups have perverted Islam to justify terrorism … Not once has an advisor of mine said, ‘Man, if we use that phrase, we’re going to turn this thing around.’ Not once. So, someone seriously thinks we don’t know who we’re fighting? … There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point …
The reason I am careful of how I describe this threat, has nothing to do with political correctness, and everything to do with defeating extremism. Groups like ISIL and Al Qaeda want to make this war a war between Islam and America, or between Islam and the West. They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions. They want us to validate them by implying they speak for those billion plus people.