One of our ongoing stories of 2014 — fundamentalist Muslim aggression against nonbelievers — is already the major story of 2015.
As our page-one story in this issue sadly recounts, on Jan. 7 in Paris, 12 people who work for a French magazine were shot and killed by gunmen who shouted, “Allah is great!” as they fired their weapons. The next day, a French policewoman was killed; in addition, four hostages were killed when a Muslim gunman seized a kosher grocery.
And on Jan. 10, up to 2,000 civilians in and around the town of Baga, Nigeria, were slaughtered by the Islamic movement Boko Haram, which means “Western education is sinful.”
Pope Francis offered Mass for the victims of the Jan. 7 massacre and condemned the brutality in the strongest language, adding, “Whatever may be the motivation, homicidal violence is abominable. It is never justifiable.”
In our In Person interview on page one, Egypt-born Father Samir Khalil Samir, like the Pope, a Jesuit, said the downfall of Christianity in Europe was a contributing factor, and he echoes the words of Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi, a Muslim, who stated that Islam needs to undergo a reformation.
We must continue to voice our opposition to these crimes against humanity in the name of religion. And we must continue to pray for the conversion of those hardened hearts that produce so much hate. That’s the strongest weapon we have.
God bless you!