With all the “Occupy movement” mayhem dominating the news last week, along with the media salivation over sexual improprieties ascribed to Herman Cain and Justin Bieber, and the continued fallout from Kim Kardashian’s divorce announcement diverting media attention from the hell being unleashed in the name of Islam in Nigeria, three grim anniversaries in the clash of Islam and the West passed last week with little-to-no public fanfare.
On October 31 a year ago, five members of al Qaeda scaled the walls of Baghdad’s Our Lady of Salvation Cathedral and opened fire on the congregation, leaving 42 martyred and wounding more then 100 in the massacre. The dead included three children, two priests and a pregnant woman. Survivors later said that the attackers told them they were “infidels” and “had to be killed.” The terrorists blew themselves up, but others who planned the attacks were later arrested.
Asked why they did it, their response was curiously devoid of the political grievances and poverty so often assumed to be the motivations for terrorism in the name of Islam. “You (Christians) are all ‘kafara,’” came the answer. “That is, ‘infidels,’ and we (Muslims) cannot coexist with you.”
The worshippers killed were remembered as martyrs, and prayers were offered up on behalf of Iraq’s still besieged Christian community in an intimate memorial mass held at Rome’s Santa Maria della Concezione Church. Cardinal Leonardo Sandri, the Vatican official in charge of Eastern Catholic Churches, honored the memory of the victims and expressed hope for better times:
This situation in the Church is difficult — being a minority and being the object of terrorist attacks and violent acts even within the very church walls. But, it has also brought with it, on the other hand, the fact that the blood of those who have died will certainly be the seed of hope and life for the future.
On November 4 two years ago, jihadist and United States Army psychiatrist Nidal Hasan went on a shooting rampage at Fort Hood, shouting “Allahu Akhbar” as he methodically mowed down dozens, wounding over thirty and killing fourteen (among the thirteen adults was a soldier three months pregnant). In the buildup to that preventable massacre, the military brass shamefully turned a blind eye to Hasan’s increasingly and overtly radical behavior.
In conversations with other soldiers he questioned whether the “war on terror” was actually a war on Islam. Fellow students said he suggested that shariah trumped the Constitution, and that he also attempted to justify suicide bombings. He gave a PowerPoint presentation that inexplicably focused not on his field of medical expertise, but on jihad. His obsession with “violent Islamic extremism” was known to his superiors, who simply whitewashed it in the name of multiculturalism and diversity. Indeed, in the aftermath of the shooting, Army General George Casey said that “as horrific as this tragedy was, if our diversity becomes a casualty, I think that’s worse.” Worse.
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