At last word, Kenyan troops were mounting an operation to mop up the remaining Muslim terrorists who attacked the Westgate Mall in Nairobi. At least 68 people are reported dead so far, many of them children, with another 175 injured. Most hostages have now been freed, but no doubt some additional casualties will come to light. Witnesses say that the terrorists demanded that hostages recite Muslim prayers; those who could do so were released. Members of the Somali terrorist group al Shabab apparently carried out the attack. Scott wrote about the Minneapolis connection to al Shabab here.
The Nairobi terrorist attack has attracted worldwide publicity. It has also, for some reason, generated many extraordinary photographs. These surreal images of a terrorist attack on an upscale mall remind me of Stephen Hunter’s excellent Soft Target, which imagines a similar terrorist attack on the Mall of America. Here are just a couple of the many pictures from Nairobi that you can see here:
A second massacre occurred earlier today that doesn’t seem to have gotten the same attention. In Peshawar, Pakistan, two Islamic suicide bombers attacked Christians leaving the historic All Saints Church following a worship service. At least 78 Christians are reported dead–a few more than the toll so far in Nairobi, for what significance that may have–along with one righteous Muslim who was attempting to guard the church. Peshawar is more than 3,300 miles from Nairobi, but the attacks were like two peas in a pod, both carried out by extremist Muslim groups against “infidels” and both arising out of political grievances, since Islam is mostly a political movement, and only secondarily a religion.
In Peshawar, the Taliban-linked group that carried out the suicide bombing said that it was in retaliation against American drone strikes. From our perspective, that doesn’t make sense, since the people the terrorists killed were, like them, Pakistanis who had nothing at all to do with drones. From an Islamic point of view, however, the mass murder was logical: the people the bombers killed were infidels, and all infidels are of a piece. The fact that they were fellow Pakistanis–not to mention, entirely innocent–was irrelevant.
Two Taliban suicide bombers struck a historic church here on Sunday, killing 78 people, including women and children, in the deadliest attack on the Christian minority in Pakistan’s history.
About 130 others were injured in the attack on All Saints Church at Kohati Gate area of Peshawar.
The first bomber set off his suicide vest as people were emerging from Sunday mass.
The second bomber struck within a gap of 30 seconds, said city Commissioner Sahibzada Muhammad Anis. Over 30 women and at least seven children were among the 78 people killed, officials told the media.
The dead included a Muslim policeman who was guarding the church.
The Jandullah group, a faction of the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan, claimed responsibility for the attack, saying it was carried out to avenge US drone strikes. …
People soaked in blood wailed for help as bodies lay strewn in the church’s courtyard. The walls of the church were pitted by ball bearings packed into the suicide vests.
Police officials said each vest contained an estimated six kilograms of explosives. Nearby buildings were also damaged by the blasts.
Many striking photographs have emerged from this attack as well, although so far they haven’t been as widely distributed. Here are a few. A dead Christian girl is carried away from the scene of the bombing. She looks like she may have been hit by several of those Muslim ball bearings:
A Christian grandmother mourns the death of her murdered grandson:
Christians collect the bodies of the dead and begin to clean up the courtyard where the Muslim bombers struck:
Sorting out the Christian dead and wounded after the Islamic terror attack:
A Christian man mourns his dead friend, or perhaps brother:
Christians try to find enough coffins to hold their friends and relatives who were murdered by Muslim extremists:
And, finally, this little Christian girl is badly injured, perhaps by ball bearings that penetrated her legs. I have no idea whether she survived:
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif mumbled the appropriate apologies:
Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif, who left for New York to attend the UN General Assembly, strongly condemned the attack on the church, saying “terrorists have no religion and targeting innocent people is against the teachings of Islam”.
Really? Based on bitter experience, I would say that the mass murder of random innocents is the essence of the “teachings of Islam.” We have seen such mass murder over and over, more times than we can count. Does Islam have something to offer other than crazed, sadistic violence, committed to perpetuate the crudest forms of ignorance? If so, I haven’t seen it. Whether we talk about Africa (Nairobi), Asia (Peshawar) or any place else, the fruit of Islam appears to be the same.
Over the last week there has been much discussion of an interview that Pope Francis gave to a magazine. Some are asking breathlessly whether Francis might be a “liberal.” I am much more interested to know what he thinks about the extermination of ancient Christian communities across the Middle East and Asia, and whether he intends to lead a strong response to Islam’s effort to eradicate Christianity from much (ultimately all) of the globe.