In Nigeria, the jihadist group Boko Haram is reported to have massacred at least 100 people a few days ago while attacking, taking over and largely burning down a town named Damboa. They gunned people down as they fled their firebombed homes. The official death toll is naturally expected to increase. Of-course, they’ve been massacring many thousands—mainly Christians—for a very long time now. What you might call their “vision of Islam” involves eliminating all Western and non-Islamic influences, so schools and students have all along been favored targets. The world briefly paid closer attention when, in April of this year, instead of simply massacring people they chose to kidnap some: more than 200 schoolgirls. Twitter hashtags were brought to bear against the group by those concerned in the world-at-large, but so far the jihadists have only responded with more massacres, destruction and kidnappings. (Perhaps improved WiFi access in the area would better get the message across?) So, aside from token measures, the world wrings its hands.
In what we’re still referring to as Iraq (but is sundered by a newly-declared Islamic Caliphate across large parts of that nation and Syria) the jihadist group known as ISIS continues its rampage of massacres, be-headings, bombings and brutality. One story in the news from the last couple of days is how those Christians who had been courageous enough to continue occupying their homes in the city of Mosul have been given an ultimatum: either convert to Islam, or submit to Islamic supremacy and pay the Jizya tax (see Qu’ran 9:29), or die. It is reported that ISIS killers have painted the first letter of the word “Nazarene” on the homes of known Christians in preparation for what comes next. Christians who hope to save themselves and their families are attempting to flee right now. As with all the atrocities so far committed by these jihadists, the response of the world-at-large is some distracted, semi-anguished hand-wringing.
In the Gaza Strip, the jihadist group Hamas has for years used the relative freedom granted to it by Israel’s withdrawal from that territory not to build a stronger, healthier community on a path to independence but instead to import and hide weapons, plan and execute attacks, dig tunnels intended for invasions, and in general to proceed with its mission of killing Jews and destroying the nation of Israel. Although Hamas has not engaged in widespread massacres on quite the same level as Boko Haram and ISIS (international aid being such a mainstay of the local economy), the atmosphere in Gaza has nevertheless become more and more hostile to those fewer and fewer Christians who remain. (Israel, the country Hamas is religiously-dedicated to destroying, is the only country in the Middle East where the Christian population is not disappearing but actually increasing.) Recently pushed beyond tolerance by the firing of rockets at towns and cities and the “officially-applauded-but-not-officially-ordered” kidnapping and murder of three young Jewish students, the Israelis for their part stopped hand-wringing and have taken on the Hamas jihadists, who hide their rocket launchers and their terroristic thugs among the civilian population in order to make war against them more costly for their own people, but also more liable to inspire international sympathy. In response, a large part of the world opposes Israel outright, and openly roots for the Hamas jihadists to win. The great majority of the rest of the world wrings its hands and just wishes Israel would sit back and suffer the consequences of whatever gets thrown at it. And all this while the Iranian regime, also religiously-dedicated to killing Jews, is a hair-breadth away from having nuclear bombs, and their terrorist proxy Hezbollah imports and hides thousands of missiles to attack Israel from the north whenever the word is given.
It is a funny world: no question about it. But there sure aren’t very many laughs to be found in the current picture.