Gunfire and explosions have been reported at the luxury Resorts World Manila hotel in the Philippines. A masked gunman was on the second floor of one hotel, firing at guests, hotel employees fleeing the scene told CNN Philippines. According to initial press reports, at least 25 people have been injured following the attack which has been claimed by Islamic State operatives.

Police, fire trucks and SWAT teams were seen in the area at about 1:30 a.m. local time Friday to deal with what may be a terrorist event, and takes place just days after president Duterte launched martial law in Mindanao in crackdown against local terrorist activity.

One picture featured white smoke billowing from the top of the complex.

The venue, Resorts World Manila, also known as RWM, is a resort complex in Newport City which consists of 4 integrated hotels,39 restaurants, a shopping and a gambling area located in metropolitan Manila. RWM has an array of hotels, restaurants and bars. Tourists flock to the complex for its casino, shopping mall, cinema and theater.

\"Resorts World Manila is currently on lockdown following reports of gunfire from unidentified men,\" the resort posted to its Twitter feed.

The complex, which is described on RWM's website as \"the first and largest integrated resort in the Philippines,\" is located across from Ninoy Aquino International Airport.

Casualties were seen being carried out on stretchers and loaded up onto ambulances, or helped to make their own way out of the center in the aftermath of the incident, which occurred at about 1:30am local time on Friday morning

The Philippines has been grappling with incidents of terrorism, especially on the southern island of Mindanao. There, in the city of Marawi, government forces have been battling ISIS-linked militants for control of the city.

The battle for Marawi, a largely Muslim city, has displaced at least 70,000 residents and left 140 people dead. The terrorist siege unfolded last week as Muslims worldwide began to mark the holy month of Ramadan.

Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte declared martial law over the island of Mindanao last week after the crisis began. Duterte has suggested he might extend martial law until the end of the year or impose it nationwide, alarming critics.

"},{"views_count":0,"user":{"username":"ottobattista","updated_at":"2018-03-22T00:03:41.912203Z","state":"admin","profile_picture_versions_map":{"small_2x":{"url":"","path":"small_2x.png","dimensions":[56,56]},"small":{"url":"","path":"small.png","dimensions":[28,28]},"detailed_2x":{"url":"","path":"detailed_2x.png","dimensions":[320,320]},"detailed":{"url":"","path":"detailed.png","dimensions":[160,160]}},"last_name":"Battista","inserted_at":"2016-09-23T17:55:22.000000Z","id":11,"first_name":"Otto"},"upvote":null,"updated_at":"2017-10-22T05:34:53.165976Z","type":"post","title":"Turkey: Erdogan's Goon Squad Comes to Washington","tags":[{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.449344Z","slug":"geopolitics","name":"Geopolitics","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:10:39.000000Z","id":16},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.465370Z","slug":"migration","name":"Migration","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:34:38.000000Z","id":36},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.469115Z","slug":"islamization","name":"Islamization","inserted_at":"2016-12-28T13:08:47.000000Z","id":53},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.523560Z","slug":"politics","name":"Politics","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:09:15.000000Z","id":15},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.527360Z","slug":"society","name":"Society","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:10:38.000000Z","id":29},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516820Z","slug":"asia","name":"Asia","inserted_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516814Z","id":221}],"state":"published","slug":"turkey-erdogans-goon-squad-comes-to-washington","show_ads":true,"rate_count":0,"published_at":"2017-05-30T02:00:01.188582Z","promotion":null,"poster_width":2200,"poster_versions_map":{"width_678":{"url":"","path":"width_678.jpg","dimensions":[678,452]},"width_4096":{"url":"","path":"width_4096.jpg","dimensions":[2200,1467]},"width_1920":{"url":"","path":"width_1920.jpg","dimensions":[1620,1080]},"width_1366":{"url":"","path":"width_1366.jpg","dimensions":[1152,768]},"social_share":{"url":"","path":"social_share.jpg","dimensions":[945,630]},"mobile_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[160,160]},"mobile_preview":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview.jpg","dimensions":[80,80]},"masonry_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[508,339]},"masonry_preview":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview.jpg","dimensions":[254,169]}},"poster_height":1467,"inserted_at":"2017-05-29T09:20:33.974750Z","id":2573,"description":"According to the official narrative, U.S. President Donald Trump was hosting in Washington the leader of a long-friendly country and historic ally. In typical","comments_count":0,"body":"

According to the official narrative, U.S. President Donald Trump was hosting in Washington the leader of a long-friendly country and historic ally. In typical diplomatic niceties, Trump mentioned Turkey's role as a pillar in the Cold War against Soviet expansion, and Turkey's legendary courage in fighting alongside American soldiers in the Korean War in the 1950s. Trump also said, speaking of the present, that he looks forward to \"working together with President Erdogan on achieving peace and security in the Middle East, on confronting the shared threats, and on working toward a future of dignity and safety for all of our people.\" Facts on the ground, however, are frequently less pleasant than Kodak-moment niceties.

The fundamental incompatibility between Trump and Erdogan was too apparent from the beginning of what looks like a largely transactional, pragmatic but problematic relationship. Erdogan's political ideology is deep-rooted in an often-aggressive blend of Sunni Islamist supremacy and neo-Ottoman, Turkish nationalism. Erdogan, disregarding Saudi Arabia and other possible contenders for the title, claims to be the protector of Sunni Muslims across the Middle East, and does not hide his ideological kinship with groups such as the Muslim Brotherhood and Hamas, of which Trump is not a great admirer. In contrast, Trump hit out at Muslims during his campaign and proposed both a \"Muslim travel ban\" and a \"Muslim registry\". It was only too predictable: in response, Erdogan, in June 2016, called for Trump's name to be stripped from the Trump Towers in Istanbul.

Erdogan's Washington, DC visit, apart from Trump and Erdogan agreeing to disagree on more essential issues, will be remembered as a Turkish excess, with scenes of the bloodied faces of peaceful protestors beaten up by Erdogan's bodyguards in front of the Turkish ambassador's residence. Although these unpleasant incidents caused an uproar in America, such brutality should have come as no surprise.

Slightly over a year ago, Erdogan and his team were in America on another visit, with the Turkish president scheduled to speak at the Brookings Institution. His security guards harassed and physically assaulted journalists trying to cover the event; they also forcibly attempted to remove several journalists, although they were on the guest list. According to Reporters Without Borders (RSF), the Brookings staff prevented them from ejecting the reporters. One Turkish journalist was removed from the building while checking in. But that was not the entire show. An American reporter attempting to film the harassment was kicked in the chest. The National Press Club was outraged. \"We have increasingly seen disrespect for basic human rights and press freedom in Turkey,\" said the president of the Club, Thomas Burr. \"Erdogan doesn't get to export such abuse\".

Shortly before that, in February 2016, Erdogan had embarked on a Latin America trip. During his speech at the Instituto de Altos Estudios Nacionales (National Higher Studies Institute) in Ecuador's capital, Quito, a group of women began shouting \"Fuera Ecuador Erdogan\" (\"Get out of Ecuador, Erdogan\") and \"Asesino\" (\"Murderer\"). About a minute later, Erdogan's bodyguards brutally attacked and forcefully removed them from the room: they punched the protesters in their heads and breasts. As the women were removed from the room, Erdogan said: \"As we see now, there are sometimes disrespectful characters as well. Appropriate responses will always be taken to handle these disrespectful people\".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.

The embassy violence, however, and the savagery of Erdogan's Turkish enforcers, whom many observers in Washington viewed as thugs, reflects a new dimension in carrying his message to any potential leader who may host him. CNN's Marc Randazza, after mentioning video footage showing Erdogan speaking to the black-suited agents before they rushed the protesters, said, \"It was brutal -- with the agents punching protesters and kicking them while they were on the ground.... The word outrage,\" he wrote, \"does not come close to describing this incident\". The bloody clash sent nine people to the hospital. The White House remained silent, but the Turkish ambassador was summoned to the State Department, which \"raised its concerns about these events...\" Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the administration's \"dismay\" had been expressed to the Turkish government.

Arizona Senator John McCain and California Senator Dianne Feinstein wrote to Erdogan that \"the actions of your staff violate the constitutional protections of freedom of the press and freedom of assembly enjoyed by all Americans.\" McCain even suggested:

We should throw their ambassador the hell out... This is the United States of America. This isn't Turkey; this isn't a third-world country; and this kind of thing cannot go unresponded to diplomatically.

Instead, the Turks added insult to injury. The Turkish Foreign Ministry on May 22 summoned U.S. Ambassador to Turkey John Bass over the incident to give him a verbal and written protest. But what could Turkey be protesting after its president's bodyguards attacked a defenseless, small bunch of peaceful protesters? Read the Turkish ministry's statement about the protest: \"... due to the aggressive and unproffessional [sic] actions taken, contrary to diplomatic rules and practices, by US security personnel towards the close protection team...\" Turkey probably was protesting the United States not giving President Erdogan's men a license to kill.

The second \"Turkish circus\" in Washington in a span of about a year must have demonstrated to the free world the kind of oppression that any kind of dissent may earn protesters in Turkey. There is one difference, though. The peaceful protesters in Washington, mostly Kurds, were merely beaten up by Erdogan's bodyguards. Similar protests in Turkey usually end up with brutal police beatings -- followed by arrest and prosecution, often on charges of \"terrorism\".

"},{"views_count":0,"user":{"username":"ottobattista","updated_at":"2018-03-22T00:03:41.912203Z","state":"admin","profile_picture_versions_map":{"small_2x":{"url":"","path":"small_2x.png","dimensions":[56,56]},"small":{"url":"","path":"small.png","dimensions":[28,28]},"detailed_2x":{"url":"","path":"detailed_2x.png","dimensions":[320,320]},"detailed":{"url":"","path":"detailed.png","dimensions":[160,160]}},"last_name":"Battista","inserted_at":"2016-09-23T17:55:22.000000Z","id":11,"first_name":"Otto"},"upvote":null,"updated_at":"2017-10-22T04:59:33.263917Z","type":"post","title":"Pakistan Pardons Female ISIS Terrorist Who Tried To Bomb Christians On Easter","tags":[{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.471701Z","slug":"degradation","name":"Degradation","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:50:57.000000Z","id":24},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.469115Z","slug":"islamization","name":"Islamization","inserted_at":"2016-12-28T13:08:47.000000Z","id":53},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.523560Z","slug":"politics","name":"Politics","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:09:15.000000Z","id":15},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.527360Z","slug":"society","name":"Society","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:10:38.000000Z","id":29},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.507260Z","slug":"religion","name":"Religion","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:40:44.000000Z","id":38},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516820Z","slug":"asia","name":"Asia","inserted_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516814Z","id":221}],"state":"published","slug":"pakistan-pardons-female-isis-terrorist-who-tried-to-bomb-christians","show_ads":true,"rate_count":0,"published_at":"2017-05-28T07:59:00.238342Z","promotion":null,"poster_width":1920,"poster_versions_map":{"width_678":{"url":"","path":"width_678.jpg","dimensions":[678,381]},"width_4096":{"url":"","path":"width_4096.jpg","dimensions":[1920,1080]},"width_1920":{"url":"","path":"width_1920.jpg","dimensions":[1920,1080]},"width_1366":{"url":"","path":"width_1366.jpg","dimensions":[1365,768]},"social_share":{"url":"","path":"social_share.jpg","dimensions":[1120,630]},"mobile_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[160,160]},"mobile_preview":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview.jpg","dimensions":[80,80]},"masonry_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[508,286]},"masonry_preview":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview.jpg","dimensions":[254,143]}},"poster_height":1080,"inserted_at":"2017-05-26T08:09:59.424558Z","id":2551,"description":"Pakistan has pardoned and released a young female medical student who admitted she has joined the Islamic State and attempted to launch a suicide attack","comments_count":0,"body":"

Pakistan has pardoned and released a young female medical student who admitted she has joined the Islamic State and attempted to launch a suicide attack targeting Christians on Easter.

Noreen Leghari, a would-be Islamic State female suicide bomber, is seen in a video confession shown during a news conference by Maj. Gen. Asif Ghafoor, director general of Inter Services Public Relations

In a statement on Samaa TV, Major General Asif Ghafoor explained that Noreen Laghari was pardoned because she was not a terrorist. Rather, Ghafoor said she was just about to become an ISIS bomber and was saved before she was brainwashed, the British Pakistani Christian Association relays.

\"So should we treat Noreen like a terrorist or release her so that she can tell others how she was trapped and used for terrorism?\" Ghafoor said in his public statement. \"In this way, awareness will be created among the younger generation and parents as well as institutions.\"

Last month, Ghafoor played a video during a press briefing in which Laghari confessed that she was about to be used by ISIS as a suicide bomber targeting a church on Easter. She also clearly indicated that she left her house and went to Lahore of her own free will, Samaa TV reports.

Laghari, a 20-year-old second year student at the Liaquat University of Medical Science, went missing on Feb. 10 and later confessed that she had joined ISIS in Syria. She was arrested on April 16 when security forces launched a crackdown in Lahore.

After Laghari's arrest, many Muslims called for mercy, saying the would-be ISIS terrorist should be forgiven because her young age made her vulnerable to being brainwashed. They also said a custodial sentence would destroy her future in the medical field.

In response to the pardon given to Laghari, BPCA chairman Wilson Chowdhry released a statement presenting the irony of her intelligence in the medical field and her immature image that her supporters are trying to project. He said her hate for Christians would have led to the death of a lot of people, and yet many still want the government to show her mercy.

\"How many of these same Pakistani citizens would be so forgiving had Miss Legahri planned to bomb a Muslim School?\" said Chowdhry in his statement. \"If it were Muslims that were targeted by Legahri I am certain many of the campaigners would find her crime too offensive for granting a pardon - Christian lives are ostensibly less valuable in Pakistan.\"

For Chowdhry, Laghari's pardon conveys the message that the elite in Pakistan are guaranteed to be above the law. He ended by asking if Pakistani Christians would entrust their well-being to a doctor who previously attempted a church bombing on Easter.

"},{"views_count":0,"user":{"username":"ottobattista","updated_at":"2018-03-22T00:03:41.912203Z","state":"admin","profile_picture_versions_map":{"small_2x":{"url":"","path":"small_2x.png","dimensions":[56,56]},"small":{"url":"","path":"small.png","dimensions":[28,28]},"detailed_2x":{"url":"","path":"detailed_2x.png","dimensions":[320,320]},"detailed":{"url":"","path":"detailed.png","dimensions":[160,160]}},"last_name":"Battista","inserted_at":"2016-09-23T17:55:22.000000Z","id":11,"first_name":"Otto"},"upvote":null,"updated_at":"2017-10-22T05:50:07.464033Z","type":"post","title":"As Europe Struggles Under Diversity, Japan Thrives Through Homogeneity","tags":[{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.435107Z","slug":"racial-problem","name":"Racial problem","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:28:02.000000Z","id":35},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.469115Z","slug":"islamization","name":"Islamization","inserted_at":"2016-12-28T13:08:47.000000Z","id":53},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.471701Z","slug":"degradation","name":"Degradation","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:50:57.000000Z","id":24},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.465370Z","slug":"migration","name":"Migration","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:34:38.000000Z","id":36},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.523560Z","slug":"politics","name":"Politics","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:09:15.000000Z","id":15},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.527360Z","slug":"society","name":"Society","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:10:38.000000Z","id":29},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516820Z","slug":"asia","name":"Asia","inserted_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516814Z","id":221}],"state":"published","slug":"as-europe-struggles-under-diversity-japan-thrives-through-homogeneity","show_ads":true,"rate_count":0,"published_at":"2017-05-27T17:20:02.535767Z","promotion":null,"poster_width":3150,"poster_versions_map":{"width_678":{"url":"","path":"width_678.jpg","dimensions":[678,487]},"width_4096":{"url":"","path":"width_4096.jpg","dimensions":[3150,2262]},"width_1920":{"url":"","path":"width_1920.jpg","dimensions":[1504,1080]},"width_1366":{"url":"","path":"width_1366.jpg","dimensions":[1069,768]},"social_share":{"url":"","path":"social_share.jpg","dimensions":[877,630]},"mobile_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[160,160]},"mobile_preview":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview.jpg","dimensions":[80,80]},"masonry_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[508,365]},"masonry_preview":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview.jpg","dimensions":[254,182]}},"poster_height":2262,"inserted_at":"2017-05-25T10:13:39.095912Z","id":2532,"description":"While invited third world terrorists — brought in to pay for the social welfare benefits that European socialist states require, in theory — continue their","comments_count":1,"body":"

While invited third world terrorists — brought in to pay for the social welfare benefits that European socialist states require, in theory — continue their rampage of car attacks, suicide bombs and violent sexual assaults across Europe, Japan is enjoy the benefits of being a homogeneous society:

Japan’s cluttered streets are not always pretty but they are remarkably safe. Crime rates have been falling for 13 years. The murder rate of 0.3 per 100,000 people is among the lowest in the world; in America it is almost 4 (see chart). A single gun slaying was recorded for the whole of 2015. Even yakuza gangsters, once a potent criminal force, have been weakened by tougher laws and old age.

…Rates of recidivism are low and a great deal of effort is made to keep young offenders out of the prison system; police work with parents to keep young people on the straight and narrow. Adults are incarcerated at a far lower rate than in most rich countries: 45 per 100,000, compared with 146 in Britain and 666 in the United States.

…Japan is almost crime-free not thanks to the police, says Yoshihiro Yasuda, a campaigning lawyer, but because people police themselves.

The Western press likes to talk up demographic decline in Japan, but never mentions the benefits of having a single culture genetically hard-coded into the population. Leftists fear nationalism because it establishes standards for behavior and social order, both of which impede the greedy anarchic individualism that the Leftist desires and forms into collectives to enforce.

"},{"views_count":0,"user":{"username":"ottobattista","updated_at":"2018-03-22T00:03:41.912203Z","state":"admin","profile_picture_versions_map":{"small_2x":{"url":"","path":"small_2x.png","dimensions":[56,56]},"small":{"url":"","path":"small.png","dimensions":[28,28]},"detailed_2x":{"url":"","path":"detailed_2x.png","dimensions":[320,320]},"detailed":{"url":"","path":"detailed.png","dimensions":[160,160]}},"last_name":"Battista","inserted_at":"2016-09-23T17:55:22.000000Z","id":11,"first_name":"Otto"},"upvote":null,"updated_at":"2017-10-22T05:58:06.851480Z","type":"post","title":"The Great Price of \"Blaspheming\" against Muhammad","tags":[{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.523560Z","slug":"politics","name":"Politics","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T13:09:15.000000Z","id":15},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.527360Z","slug":"society","name":"Society","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:10:38.000000Z","id":29},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T16:50:17.507260Z","slug":"religion","name":"Religion","inserted_at":"2016-10-10T14:40:44.000000Z","id":38},{"updated_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516820Z","slug":"asia","name":"Asia","inserted_at":"2017-09-23T18:26:21.516814Z","id":221}],"state":"published","slug":"great-price-of-blaspheming-against-muhammad","show_ads":true,"rate_count":0,"published_at":"2017-05-16T15:39:02.089008Z","promotion":null,"poster_width":3000,"poster_versions_map":{"width_678":{"url":"","path":"width_678.jpg","dimensions":[678,456]},"width_4096":{"url":"","path":"width_4096.jpg","dimensions":[3000,2019]},"width_1920":{"url":"","path":"width_1920.jpg","dimensions":[1605,1080]},"width_1366":{"url":"","path":"width_1366.jpg","dimensions":[1141,768]},"social_share":{"url":"","path":"social_share.jpg","dimensions":[936,630]},"mobile_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[160,160]},"mobile_preview":{"url":"","path":"mobile_preview.jpg","dimensions":[80,80]},"masonry_preview_2x":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview_2x.jpg","dimensions":[508,342]},"masonry_preview":{"url":"","path":"masonry_preview.jpg","dimensions":[254,171]}},"poster_height":2019,"inserted_at":"2017-05-16T06:07:15.371181Z","id":2459,"description":"A few days ago in Pakistan, a Christian pastor who has been \"tortured every day in prison\" since 2012 when he was first incarcerated, was sentenced to life in","comments_count":0,"body":"

A few days ago in Pakistan, a Christian pastor who has been \"tortured every day in prison\" since 2012 when he was first incarcerated, was sentenced to life in prison. Zafar Bhatti, 51, is accused of sending \"blasphemous\" text messages from his mobile phone; but human rights activists contend that the charge \"was fabricated to remove him from his role as a Pastor.\" His wife, Nawab Bibi, says:

Many Muslim people hated how quickly his church was growing; they have taken this action to undermine his work. Yet despite their actions the church grows. I wish our persecutors would see that Christians are not evil creatures. We are human beings created by God the same God that created them although they do not know this yet.

She adds, \"There have been numerous attempts to kill my husband — he is bullied everyday and he is not safe from inmates and prison staff alike.\" In 2014, he \"narrowly escaped assassination after a rogue prison officer,\" Muhammad Yousaf, went on a shooting spree \"to kill all inmates accused of blasphemy against Islam.\"

Bhatti is one of countless Christian minorities to suffer under Pakistan's blasphemy law, which has helped make that country the fourth-worst nation in the world in which to be Christian.

Asia Bibi, a Christian wife and mother, has been on death row since 2010 on the accusation that she insulted the Islamic prophet Muhammad. According to Section 295-C of Pakistan's penal code:

Whoever by words, either spoken or written or by visible representation, or by any imputation, innuendo, or insinuation, directly or indirectly, defiles the sacred name of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) shall be punished with death, or imprisonment for life, and shall also be liable to fine.

Because the word of a Christian \"infidel\" is not valid against the word of a Muslim, accusations of blasphemy, often with little or no evidence, routinely lead to the beating, imprisonment or killing of Christians and other minorities every month in Pakistan.[1] An Amnesty International report from 1994 summarizes the situation:

Several dozen people have been charged with blasphemy in Pakistan over the last few years; in all the cases known to Amnesty International, the charges of blasphemy appear to have been arbitrarily brought, founded solely on the individuals' minority religious beliefs... The available evidence in all these cases suggests that charges were brought as a measure to intimidate and punish members of minority religious communities... hostility towards religious minority groups appeared in many cases to be compounded by personal enmity, professional or economic rivalry or a desire to gain political advantage. As a consequence, Amnesty International has concluded that most of the individuals now facing charges of blasphemy, or convicted on such charges, are prisoners of conscience, detained solely for their real or imputed religious beliefs in violation of their right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Other Christians accused of blasphemy never get the chance for even a mock trial and are dealt \"justice\" at the hands of angry mobs -- such as the young Christian couple burned alive on a spurious accusation of blasphemy in November 2014. A report from 2012 found that \"Since 1990 alone, fifty-two people have been extra-judicially murdered on charges of blasphemy\" in Pakistan.

Last month, three burqa-wearing sisters shot and killed a man accused of committing blasphemy in 2004. \"[W]e couldn't kill him at the time because we were too young then,\" they explained.

Also last month, a 23-year-old college student \"was killed and another seriously injured by a vigilante mob for allegedly 'publishing blasphemous content online.'\" The incident occurred on campus; the mob was yelling \"Allahu Akbar\" throughout.

Although Islam's blasphemy law is most associated with Pakistan, several other Muslim nations use it to persecute Christians and other minorities. Days ago, around the same time Bhatti was being sentenced to life in Pakistan, in Indonesia, Ahok, the Christian governor of Jakarta, was sentenced to two years in prison on the charge of insulting Islam and desecrating the Koran.[2] Similarly, on March 30, a report appeared saying, \"Iran sentences a 21-year-old man to death for 'insulting Islam' ... after confessing when police promised he would be pardoned if he came clean.\"

Members of various Islamist groups celebrate in Jakarta, Indonesia on May 9 after Ahok, the Christian governor of Jakarta, was convicted of committing blasphemy. 

Earlier this year in Algeria, Samir Chamek, a 34-year-old Christian man, was sentenced to a year in prison after a court found him \"guilty of insulting Islam and its prophet over items he posted on his Facebook page.\" They were described as \"accusing the prophet Muhammad of terrorism and murder and comparing the prophet to Hitler, mentioning the persecution and massacre of the Jews.\" Also in Algeria, last August, a Muslim convert to Christianity was sentenced to the maximum five years in prison for saying that the light of Jesus will outshine Islam and its prophet Muhammad on social media, which the court ruled as \"blasphemous.\"

In October, in Ethiopia, four Christian girls -- aged 18, 15, 14, and 14 -- handed out a booklet entitled, \"Let's speak the truth in love.\" Because it challenged Islamic accusations against Christianity, local Muslims deemed the book blasphemous and rioted. They attacked a church and assaulted Christians. The girls were arrested and, after a brief court hearing on November 15, sentenced to a month in prison.

As in Pakistan, Muslims mobs and \"vigilantes\" often take \"the law\" into their own hands. In March, in India, a Muslim-turned-atheist \"was hacked to death by a four-member gang\" of Muslims. Last September, a Christian writer and activist was murdered outside of a courthouse in Jordan. The 56-year-old man was earlier arrested for sharing a \"blasphemous\" cartoon about the Islamic prophet Muhammad. As he was walking into court to stand trial for \"contempt of religion\" and \"inciting sectarian strife,\" a man dressed in traditional Muslim garb shot him to death.

Last August, in Nigeria, after two university students got into an argument, the Muslim student accused the Christian student of insulting Muhammad. Soon a mob of Muslims assembled and said the Christian must die. Then they savagely beat and nearly killed him. The following day, mobs of Muslims rioted and vandalized Christian campuses and churches.

Such nonstop accusations, incarcerations, murders, torture and death penalties meted out to non-Muslims on the mere accusation of \"blasphemy\" -- at the hands of mobs, vigilantes, and court judges -- call into question any claims of tolerance, modernity or pluralism in many Muslim-majority nations.

[1] At least one but often more blasphemy-related cases appear practically every month in Pakistan and are documented in the monthly \"Muslim Persecution of Christians\" reports. The following are incidents that occurred in the last report, January 2017:

[2] The blasphemy controversy erupted when a video appeared online of Ahok saying that many Muslims misunderstand Koran 5:51 -- which commands Muslims not to befriend Jews and Christians. That a Christian would dare try to distort the Koran's call for hostility against Christians and Jews in order to boost his chances at reelection was deemed blasphemous enough to prompt mass riots and calls for his death in Indonesia.