Thursday, November 11, 2010

Blood of the Martyrs

News from Baghdad yesterday that a series of roadside bombs in predominately Christian neighbors killed five people. This on top of the October 31st attack on a church that killed sixty-eight provides fresh evidence that Iraqi Christians are being targeted because of their faith. As Father Raymond J. De Souza notes in a piece called His wrath upon their heads, the whole world doesn't exactly appear to be watching:

May we now speak of the Muslims who want to kill us?

Isn't that way out of line? Surely Islam is a religion of peace, from which we have a lot to learn?

Let's then dispense with the disclaimers: Christians and Muslims have often lived together in peace. Only a minority of Muslims are homicidal fanatics. Terrorism is a corruption of Islam. Fine.

But let us speak frankly of those Islamic jihadists who wish to kill Christians because they are not Muslims. On Oct. 31 in Baghdad, an al-Qaeda affiliated terrorist group stormed into the cathedral of the Syriac Catholic Church, Our Lady of Salvation, during the evening Mass. They immediately killed the priest offering the Holy Mass--three priests in all were murdered. They began shooting and held the congregation hostage while security forces surrounded the church. When the police stormed the church, the jihadists began killing those inside; some of them set off suicide bombs on their belts. Dozens of Catholics were killed.

The blood of Abel, the first innocent to be killed, cried out to heaven. The blood of these latest Iraqi martyrs screams out to heaven and Earth. Does the world want to listen?

"Christians are slaughtered in Iraq, in their homes and churches, and the so-called 'free' world is watching in complete indifference, interested only in responding in a way that is politically correct and economically opportune, but in reality is hypocritical," said Syriac Catholic Patriarch Ignace Joseph III Younan after these latest killings.

"There are a few churches and Christian institutions left in Baghdad, not so great a number that it is not unreasonable for them to be protected, security-wise," he continued, noting that the security being provided by the government is "far less than what we have hoped for and requested."

By now the killing of Christians by jihadists has become a regular feature of the landscape in Iraq and throughout the Middle East. Yet a massacre in a church, during the Holy Mass, surely would provoke a thunderous reaction?

"We condemn in the strongest terms those who would conduct such a cowardly, vicious and senseless attack on innocent civilians in a place of worship," said the boilerplate statement from Lawrence Cannon, Canada's foreign minister. No mention of who "those" attackers might be. The Rotary Club? Salvation Army?

A previously unknown kook in Florida (a state which seems to produce more than its fair share by the way) announces his intention to burn the Koran and it's wall-to-wall media coverage for days on end. Christians in Iraq are blatantly targeted and slaughtered by Islamic extremists in a church during a religious service and the media's reaction is a collective, "Meh."