J-S LETTER: Face the reality of extreme Islam

Sunday, Nov. 7, an al Qaeda affiliated terrorist group stormed into the cathedral of the Syriac Catholic Church during the evening Mass, killing the priest offering the Holy Mass. Two other priests were murdered as well. They began shooting members of the congregation and others as hostages. When security forces stormed the church, the Jihadists killed as many as they could.
 Some of them set off suicide bombs on their belts.
 Close to 60 Catholics were killed. In their cathedral. At Mass. “It has now come to this,” said Fr. Raymond De Sousa, “where Christians are killed at prayer by Muslim fanatics. There was an orgy of violence in Iraq last week, as terrorists set off a series of bombs, murdering well over 100 people. But what happened Nov. 7 was so utterly horrific that it merits special, and thunderous, condemnation, backed up with lethal force if necessary.”
 “Jihadists have launched a campaign with genocidal intent,” De Sousa warned, “aimed at driving every last Christian out of what they consider to be an Islamic land, even though Christians have been in Iraq from the earliest centuries, long before there was an Iraq, before there was Islam.”
 The Catholic archbishop has been killed. Priests have been riddled with bullets upon leaving their churches. Ordinary Christians, trying to live a quiet life, have been subject to harassment, threats and violence.
 “Christians are slaughtered in Iraq, in their homes and churches, and the so-called ‘free’ world watches 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.
 The international community issued the usual boilerplate condemnations, Fr. De Sousa admitted, but most of them refused to identify those responsible.
 “The same statements could have been used had the Rotarians decided to massacre the Salvation Army.”
 Let us speak frankly of those who want to kill us. ‘Allahu Akbar — God is great!’ is what their victims heard the jihadists shout on Sunday. Can there be any greater sacrilege than to kill the innocent at prayer, while shouting that God is great?
 The jihadists respect neither man nor God, not even their own. They have killed their fellow Muslims and bombed mosques. The Christians killed on Sunday were Iraqis, their fellow Arabs, their fellow citizens, their neighbors. They kill because they are seized with a murderous hatred. The least we can do is to summon a righteous anger in return.
 Christans always hope for conversion and offer forgiveness. But there must also be justice and prudence, and prudence demands that those who would kill in the name of God are best dispatched quickly to their judgment.
 ‘Vengeance is mine,’ says the Lord. So Scripture teaches us, and so it must be for us, leaving vengeance to the Lord, and imploring the grace of conversion and reconciliation.
 “But,” cries De Sousa, “let us not fail to raise our voices to the Lord, with righteous anger and hot tears, that He might visit His vengeance upon those who did this, bring down His wrath upon their heads and exact upon them a terrifying justice in full measure.
 “That’s not the language of imbalances. It is the anguish and agony of the shepherd when the flock is being slaughtered.”
 Pray for our modern martyrs. We will want others to pray for us when our turn comes.

Richard O’Connor
 Pearl City
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