Firebombed French Newspaper to Continue Printing Controversial Muhammad Cartoon

The satirical French newspaper whose offices were firebombed this week fought back Friday against efforts to interrupt its operations, starting a blog and publishing more copies of a controversial edition.

Charlie Hebdo’s website has been down since it released a special edition Wednesday that was “guest edited” by the Prophet Muhammad and took aim at radical Islam. Editors of the weekly said they also lost access to their Facebook page for more than 24 hours.

No one was injured in the attack and the protests so far have been limited to the Web, but there are concerns that the spoof could trigger a wave of violent demonstrations. The paper’s front page depicted the prophet; such images are generally prohibited by Islam for fear they could lead to idolatry.

Under the headline, “The Internet’s Homeless,” the editors of Charlie Hebdo described in their first post Thursday how they will continue to publish.

The paper’s offices were destroyed just hours before the edition hit the newsstands. Employees are working on next week’s print edition from the offices of the French daily Liberation.

Read more here.

Catholic High School Refuses to Allow Student-Led Conservative Club on Campus

La Reina High School, an all-girls Catholic educational facility located in Thousand Oaks, California, has endured some heat after refusing to allow a student to launch a conservative club on campus.

In a story that has gone widely unreported, a battle has been brewing between the school’s administrators and Young Americans for Freedom (YAF), an arm of Young Americans Foundation, a prominent organization that helps spread conservative ideals.

The drama commenced at the end of the last school year when Isabelle Foxen, who is now a junior at La Reina, decided that she wanted to launch a YAF chapter at the school. In an exclusive interview with the Blaze, Isabella’s mother, Cristine Foxen, explained that there was already a political interest group on the school’s campus, but she described it as a “very one-sided“ and ”liberal” group.

“So my daughter didn’t like that.” Cristine explained. “When she heard about YAF, she went to a conference and she came back energized and wanted to start this [club].” But the process was much more complicated than Cristine and Isabella would have ever imagined.

After obtaining the information needed to have a chapter installed on her campus, Isabella submitted her application. She was asked to collect 35 student names before her club would be considered — a feat that proved extremely easy for the politically-interested young woman. In the end, she exceeded this requirement, inevitably finding 86 students so sign her petition.

But after all of this work, La Reina administrators ended up denying her petition. Why, you ask? Employees at YAF — and Isabella’s family — believe that a bias against conservative values was driving the school’s refusal to allow the YAF chapter on campus.

Read more here.

Is There is a War on Christmas Toys for Children?

The U.S. Air Force Academy has pulled out of a Christian-sponsored children’s toy drive after commanders were accused of religious intolerance.

Mikey Weinstein, an academy graduate who runs the Military Religious Freedom Foundation, said the academy’s participation in Operation Christmas Child is inappropriate because of its evangelical Christian roots.

Operation Christmas Child is sponsored by Samaritan’s Purse, headed by Franklin Graham — the son of evangelist Billy Graham. It packs toys and other items into shoe boxes and sends them to needy children around the world, along with a Christian message in each gift.

“This is arrogance beyond measure,” Weinstein told the Colorado Springs Gazette.

Weinstein said he took issue with an announcement about the drive made to cadets in the dining hall, followed up with an email appealing for donations.

“PLEASE, PLEASE CONSIDER SPENDING SOME OF YOUR VALUABLE TIME AND MONEY TO LOVE ON A KID AROUND THE WORLD!!,” the email said. It was sent by a cadet after approval from a cadet leader, the newspaper reported.

Read more here.

Meet the Oakland Developer Who Used a Shotgun to ‘Discourage’ Occupy Rioters

Although some businesses have been targeted and vandalized by Occupy Oakland protesters, there is at least one businessman who refuses to be intimidated.

Phil Tagami is a well-known Oakland developer. Late Wednesday night, instead of going over paperwork or brokering deals, he was forced to defend a downtown building where he personally oversaw $50 million worth of renovations.

He also has an office there.

“We had people who attempted to break into our building,” the landmark Rotunda Building on Frank Ogawa Plaza outside City Hall, Tagami said. According to comments he made to the San Francisco Chronicle, Tagami grabbed a shotgun that he usually keeps at home, went down to the ground floor and “discouraged them.”

Although they didn’t get inside the building, vandals did scrawl graffiti on the outside walls during the post-midnight riot that broke out after Occupy Oakland’s daylong general strike, writes the Chronicle.

“I was standing there and they saw me there, and I lifted it – I didn’t point it – I just held it in my hands,” Tagami said. “And I just racked it, and they ran.”

Read more here.

‘Occupy Atlanta’ Denies Rumors Of Partnership With Nation Of Islam

Tomorrow, Woodruff Park will turn into something of a battlefield of principles as “Occupy Atlanta” protesters attempt to reclaim the space for their ongoing protests.

In the days leading up to the Nov. 5 reoccupation effort, online reports have surfaced claiming that “Occupy Atlanta” has enlisted the help of the religiously charged and oft-controversial Nation of Islam.

Representatives of the movement now deny these claims.

“We have not asked the Nation of Islam to provide protection for us,” Tim Franzen, spokesman for “Occupy Atlanta,” told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Rumors of the collaboration began from within the “Occupy Atlanta” camp. In one such report by the Midtown Patch, movement representative Mandie Mitchell is credited directly with providing the information.

Read more here.