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Father Jacques Hamel, Martyr

Oh my God: [1]

Two knife-wielding attackers who had pledged allegiance to ISIS, shouting “Allahu Akbar,” slit the throat of an 84-year-old priest (one report says he was beheaded) and critically wounded at least one other person during a Tuesday morning terror attack on a Catholic church near the Normandy city of Rouen, officials said.

The terrorists were later shot and killed by police. ISIS’ Amaq news agency said the France attack was carried out by two Islamic State “soldiers,” Reuters reported.

“[ISIS] has declared war on us,” French President Francois Hollande said Tuesday. “We must fight this war by all means, while respecting the rule of law — what makes us a democracy.”
The priest, identified by Sky News as Jacques Hamel, was dead at the scene, and another person, possibly a nun, was clinging to life, Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said.

The church is in the French region of Normandy.
“Everyone knew him very well,” Claude-Albert Seguin, 68, said of Hamel. “He was very loved in the community and a kind man.”

The killing Tuesday inside the church, in the small northwestern town of Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray, “is obviously a drama for the Catholic community, for the Christian community,” Brandet told reporters.

The church was reportedly on a “hit list” discovered at the residence of a would-be ISIS attacker in April 2015, The Sun reported. Sid Ghlam was believed to be planning “imminent attacks” in France when investigators arrested him. Officials allegedly uncovered an arsenal of weapons and found that Ghlam was talking with someone in Syria who had ordered him to strike specific churches — including the one in Saint-Etienne-du-Rouvray.

He was martyred by these Islamists while saying mass. [2] More:

The priest’s throat was slit by two men armed with knives who took five people – Hamel, two nuns and two worshippers – hostage in the church. The two men were later shot by police. Three hostages were freed unharmed but one is in a critical condition.

It is believed, but not yet confirmed, that the critically injured person is an elderly nun.

And get this: [3]

One of the Normandy church murderers was a convicted terrorist who was meant to be living with his parents with an electronic tag on his ankle, according to security sources.

The astonishing revelation – made to the French TV news channel I-Tele – well cause further outrage in a country devastated by constant security failings.

Why in God’s name are convicted terrorists allowed outside of prison?!
What is wrong with the French government?!

There are no words to describe the brutality of men who could do such a thing. If they can strike in a suburban town in Normandy [4], no place is safe.

I mentioned here the other day that a French friend had bought a gun, and is expecting some sort of civil war. This is why. People will not live with this kind of savagery forever. Father Jacques Hamel, martyr, pray for us, and for France.

Vive la France!

UPDATE:
These tweets from a leading English progressive Catholic and biographer of Pope Francis make evident the moral bankruptcy of (at least some of) the European Catholic left:

They beheaded this elderly priest as he said mass, and shouted, “Allahu akbar!” What the hell do Muslim terrorists have to do to make progressives like Austen Ivereigh and Pope Francis see what’s right in front of their noses?

Here is one prominent Christian — Cardinal Robert Sarah — who doesn’t need to be told:

Translation: “How many dead will it take before European governments understand the situation in which the West finds itself? How many decapitated heads? +RS”

Look, you don’t have to advocate vengeance to recognize that this was Muslim fanatics killing Catholic Christians in the name of Islam. Honest, I do not get why this is so hard for progressive Christians to see and to say out loud. These lies, whether conscious or a matter of self-deception, are positively harmful.

This murder was not “absurd,” as Pope Francis said. This murder happened for a reason. Père Hamel, the martyr, died because he was a Christian priest, and that offended two radical Muslims, who butchered him before the altar of the Sacrifice of the Mass.

If the meaning of this event in suburban Rouen is not clear to Pope Francis and his biographer, their blindness is incurable. From The Guardian: [11]

A witness to the attack has described how the two men forced the 86-year-old priest, Father Jacques Hamel, to his knees, slit his throat and filmed themselves appearing to preach in Arabic at the altar.

The nun, named as Sister Danielle, was among five hostages who were taken when the men armed with knives reportedly entered the church of Saint-Étienne-du-Rouvray, near Rouen, at 9.43am local time on Tuesday during morning prayers.

“Everyone was shouting ‘stop, stop you don’t know what you’re doing’. They forced him to his knees and obviously he wanted to defend himself and that’s when the drama began,” Sister Danielle said, adding that she had fled the church while the terrorists cut Hamel’s throat.

Hey, it could have been Swedish Lutherans? Who are we to judge?

 

123 Comments (Open | Close)

123 Comments To "Father Jacques Hamel, Martyr"

#1 Comment By Chris Atwood On July 26, 2016 @ 11:55 pm

“The word ‘Jihad’ is in no other ‘Holy’ text than the KORAN, not in the Bible, the Talmud, the Bhagavad Gita or wherever.”

Those who know Arabic may correct me, but it’s my understanding that in Arabic, jihad is simply a common noun meaning “struggle.” So there are “struggles” and STRUGGLE, but in any case that the Bible, the Talmud, and the Bhagavad Gita all lack the Arabic word for struggle is not very surprising. What would be more surprising is if they don’t have the Hebrew, Greek, or Sanskrit word for “struggle.”

#2 Comment By Chris Atwood On July 27, 2016 @ 12:01 am

And I thought I posted this, but I seemed to have not:

for those thinking that Shiite Muslims never commit terror acts, the shooter in Munich was a Shiite Muslim of Iranian background.

So unfortunately, no, killers don’t follow neat rules.

#3 Comment By Maire On July 27, 2016 @ 1:46 am

This is a knee-jerk reaction from progressives, arguing that these Islamist attackers were just trying to goad us into a war of religions-type scenario–as if that somehow cancels out the hatred inherent in what they did. Don’t you have to have deep-seated hatred to do what they did? Dylann Roof, the young white supremacist who killed 4 black parishioners right in their own church, stated explicitly that he did it to spark a “race war.” He admitted he almost changed his mind, because the people he killed had been so nice to him. But in the end he had to go through with his mission. What these Islamists did to that poor priest does not sound substantially different. Maybe they don’t hate all Christians. Well maybe Dylann Roof doesn’t hate all black people. After all he almost didn’t go through with the killings. In fact it is possible to describe Roof’s killing spree as “cruel, pointless, and nihilistic.” But you would be slammed if you just left it at that. Indeed liberals used what Roof did as a segue to talk about the scourge of white supremacy in our society. Moreover they did not hesitate to draw all kinds of lines between what Roof did and any number of things in our society (conservatives, Donald Trump, white privilege, etc.) But when ISIS-inspired Islamists murder a priest in his own church? That’s just “absurd.” There’s nothing else to talk about.

#4 Comment By galanx On July 27, 2016 @ 2:36 am

“Someone tell me the last time a Shi’a Muslim beheaded anyone in a place of worship?”

Not beheaded, and not a place of worship, but Hezbollah managed to kill 85 people in Argentina for the crime of being Jewish; as well as another 21 on a passenger plane in Panama, also thought to have been Hezbollah working for Iran.

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#5 Comment By Liam On July 27, 2016 @ 8:09 am

Ivereigh has clarified:

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#6 Comment By Ragnvaldr On July 27, 2016 @ 9:38 am

I think the answer is more Muslim immigration and refugees. The church is very good about helping the US Department of State import and distribute them.

#7 Comment By Bob K. On July 27, 2016 @ 10:07 am

All Muslims are not like this but all Islam is, as Scott Richert argues in the current August issue of “Chronicles” magazine in and article entitled “Islam, Period.”

“The proper name for the demonic ideology that justifies terroristic attacks in the name of Allah and his prophet is not ‘radical Islam’ but ‘Islam,’ full stop, and with no modifiers.”

#8 Comment By Giuseppe Scalas On July 27, 2016 @ 10:10 am

Michael Heraklios

This is not really accurate – the Mahdi is NEVER mentioned in the Quran. The idea of a caliphate as a specifically socio-political institution is NEVER mentioned in the Quran. “Shariah” as an all-encompassing legal code is NEVER mentioned in the Quran (the word in Arabic, as mentioned in the Quran, literally just translates to “path”) – in fact, the legal rulings of the Quran are very few in number in comparison to the rest of the content of the book.

Of course the Qu’ran and the Hadiths lend themselves to various interpretations, but there is a convergence toward the establishment of a theological state as a proper end – or rather, means – for Islam. But I don’t want to enter into a doctrinal dispute, in this you are surely better equipped than me. I just want to point to things that are, by now, evident.

But as you yourself were saying, I don’t think this is per se an indictment of all Muslims. By no means.
It’s just a warning about the conditions under which a peaceful coexistence with Muslims living in the West may be possibile. And those conditions entail a good deal of clarity about what is and what is not acceptable.

To those who pray, peace and freedom. To those who threat peace and freedom, the sword.

#9 Comment By Janwaar Bibi On July 27, 2016 @ 10:43 am

“There are plenty of ‘good Muslims’, even good Muslim believers.”

Are there plenty of good Muslims in Pakistan? No doubt. Yet the non-Muslim population of Pakistan has collapsed from 22% in 1947 to less than 1% today, after decades of brutal discrimination, ethnic cleansing, forced conversions, and the genocide of Hindus in East Pakistan in 1971.

The same story repeats itself everywhere in Muslim countries. There were millions of Jews, Orthodox Greeks, Armenian Christians, and Christians of other denominations in Turkey as recently as a hundred years ago. Today Turkey is 99% Muslim, and the last remaining Christian properties and churches are being taken over and converted to mosques by the Islamist government. Were there good Muslims in Turkey? No doubt, but they were irrelevant to the final outcome.

99% of what is there in a toilet bowl is water, but the remaining 1% will make you very sick or kill you if you ingest it. That is why intelligent people do not drink from toilet bowls.

Obsessing over the fraction of good Muslims and waiting for them to save you from jihadists is to miss the forest for the trees. Islam’s self-proclaimed end goal is the extinction of all other religions, a goal which has pretty much been reached in most of the 56 Islamic countries the world is blessed with.

What is being contested now are the once-Christian countries of Western Europe.

Even if there are many good Muslims, which I don’t doubt, why should they risk their lives to save a bunch of cowards who cannot muster the courage or the will to defend their own people or civilization?

#10 Comment By Kenneth J. Schmidt On July 27, 2016 @ 12:09 pm

The murder of this priest has left me more angry than any event in recent memory. I would joyfully join a crusade to avenge this horrible act.

#11 Comment By Siluan On July 27, 2016 @ 12:32 pm

Siarlys Jenkins – “kill those who have taken up the sword”.

You do realize that this is an entirely reactive strategy that by its very nature condemns countless innocent Westerners – many of them women and children – to violent death at the hands of jihadists, right? I mean, you can’t position and anti-terrorism response team on every street corner. How do you tell the difference between the “peaceful moderate Muslim” and the “insane jihadist”? Do you wait to see which one suddenly starts mass-murdering innocent people and then you he wasn’t a moderate?

People on all sides need to stop pretending policies lack consequences or that their pet ideology can solve everything painlessly. This particular problem has exactly zero just and painless solutions.

#12 Comment By Matt D. On July 27, 2016 @ 12:44 pm

This post and some other recent posts feel very sectarian.

@Matt D

I cannot for the life of me figure out what this means.

It is sectarian in a very straightforward sense: Rod is standing up and declaring: “You see? The Muslims are attacking the Christians! Now let’s channel the spirit of Charles Martel to turn back the Saracen horde!”

It is a natural reaction but it is extremely dangerous. Keeping the scope of the conflict as narrow as possible, even in the face of provocations, is not weakness–it is discipline. It will make victory easier and reduce the level of bloodshed.

So far we do NOT have a real war between “the West” and “Islam,” and I pray to God we do not get one. You should, too.

#13 Comment By German_reader On July 27, 2016 @ 2:22 pm

Today the pope lectured Poles on their duty to take in (presumably mostly Muslim) refugees.
I’m sorry for that old priest murdered in Normandy, but I really can’t feel much sympathy for the Catholic church as an institution. They’re deeply complicit in the policies that have brought about the current state of affairs.

[NFR: Seriously, he did that? He’s not exactly opening up the doors to the Vatican and letting refugees turn St. Peter’s Square into a tent city, now is he? — RD]

#14 Comment By Prokop On July 27, 2016 @ 3:14 pm

I don’t understand what the Islamic State hopes to achieve? Is it to so thoroughly demoralize the West that we become inactive? People get sad at these events, but it’s not going to cause collapse. Is it to provoke Crusades? If the France crusaded with the same attitude that it had in the 11th century, things would be over quite quickly. The Middle East (excepting perhaps Israel, it depends on how fanatical France is driven) would be bombed into oblivion. The Crusaders didn’t care about ruling over Muslims like colonial powers did and they didn’t care about spreading democracy, they only cared about holy land and the extermination of their enemies. The limitations of the period prevented full-scale genocide (the conquerors needed people to work the land and did not have the means to kill every Muslim), but there are no such limitations today. If a true Crusading spirit took over, not just in one country but all the West, it would end with genocide on a massive scale at least through the Near East if not also the Maghreb. Is their goal a slight increase in the relatively minor actions that the West in currently engaging in? A few more drone strikes and maybe some soft invasions to stoke the fires of radicalism? That would make more sense, but isn’t there already enough of that for their purposes?

Their motives seem completely irrational, which I suppose makes sense.

#15 Comment By JonF On July 27, 2016 @ 3:47 pm

Re: How do you tell the difference between the “peaceful moderate Muslim” and the “insane jihadist”?

How can I tell the difference between a poor youth who will become a murderous gang member and one who will become an impoverished but otherwise decent young man in the same locality? Does the fact that there is no Oracle of Delphi available to us to foretell who will and will not become a dangerous mean that we should proactively imprison the entire young male population of West Baltimore and similar such troubled districts? And nota bene: the murder rate of West Baltimore alone greatly exceeds the number of people killed per year by Jihadi terrorists in our entire nation– so the “West Baltimore” problem is vastly a larger one, by orders of magnitude. Yet we stick with our ancient principles of justice and prudence when it comes even to that death toll. Why urge us to do otherwise in regards to a much, much smaller problem?

#16 Comment By Darth Thulhu On July 27, 2016 @ 7:22 pm

galanx wrote:

“Someone tell me the last time a Shi’a Muslim beheaded anyone in a place of worship?”

Not beheaded, and not a place of worship, but Hezbollah managed to kill 85 people in Argentina for the crime of being Jewish; as well as another 21 on a passenger plane in Panama, also thought to have been Hezbollah working for Iran

Yep, Iran has definitely been a state sponsor of terror, and Iran’s proxies have been enthusiastically engaged in blurring the lines between “killing Jews for being Jews” and “killing Israeli military forces for being Israeli military forces” and “killing Zionists for being Zionists” and “killing Israeli citizens for being Israeli citizens”.

That said, even the state-sponsored terror of Iran’s proxies has never involved wantonly slitting the throats of clergy in holy sites, with the promise of endless waves of more to come. Despite the very real levels of wanton barbarism deployed by the mullahs of Islamic Iran, the world’s Shi’ites have not descended to the even-deeper levels of wanton barbarism of Wahhabi Sunnis.

And nor have non-Wahhabi Sunnis, and nor have dictatorial Arab secularists, even though the King of Morocco and the reign of Qaddafi had quite a large share of wanton barbarisms of their own.

The “1% of us might be willing to just randomly slaughter people of literally any another Faith, because jihad” is simply not an Islam-wide problem. It simply is not.

The plain Truth is that “1% of us might be willing to just randomly slaughter people of literally any other Faith, because jihad” is “merely” a Wahhabism-wide problem. That, of course, is more than horrifying enough, given close to century of oil-wealth funding the export and proselytization of Wahhabism to every corner of the globe, and hundreds of billions of dollars of weapons sales to Wahhabi regimes.

But the problem of sectarian terror cannot be effectively addressed without actual awareness of the difference between and among the sects in question.

#17 Comment By Darth Thulhu On July 27, 2016 @ 7:23 pm

Grr. Somehow the italics-start tag didn’t get put on the paragraph after the bolded-italics paragraph. That paragraph was galanx’s.

#18 Comment By MichaelLF On July 27, 2016 @ 8:06 pm

Father Hamel was an interfaith activist, reaching out to Muslim immigrants, donating land for a mosque.

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#19 Comment By Brendan from Oz On July 27, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

“Those who know Arabic may correct me, but it’s my understanding that in Arabic, jihad is simply a common noun meaning “struggle.” So there are “struggles” and STRUGGLE, but in any case that the Bible, the Talmud, and the Bhagavad Gita all lack the Arabic word for struggle is not very surprising. What would be more surprising is if they don’t have the Hebrew, Greek, or Sanskrit word for “struggle.””

Try Jihad – The Origin of Holy War in Islam by Reuven Firestone, Jihad in Islamic History by Michael Bonner and The Shade of Swords – Jihad and the Conflict Between Islam and Christianity.

The etymology of Jihad is not the only aspect of history. The Greek “agon” (1 Tim 6:12) often referred to Olympic Games, either the gathering or the contest.

Holy War Jihad is Islamic in origin in world history and spread where folk had to fight or were conquered. Gods, battle and conflict were well known, of course, but Holy War was new with Islam.

#20 Comment By Siluan On July 28, 2016 @ 10:04 am

JonF – that was my point. These people don’t broadcast who they are. They don’t try to pretend they’re from West Baltimore, either. They hide in and among supposedly moderate Muslims.

The strategy you, Siarlys and others seem to be advocating is really just the status quo. Wait until someone pulls a gun and starts shooting, then send in the SWAT team to take them out.

In the past, any time a Strategic Air Command general got in front of a briefing and started talking about “acceptable civilian losses”, I seem to remember a very large outcry. But how is that different from what you’re advocating?

I’m not saying I support some kind of massive round up and deportation, I don’t know what policy to support just yet. That may change, I just don’t know. What I’m saying is the status quo of “wait until they show themselves, then react” WILL result in more dead children on Europe’s streets. It IS a policy of “acceptable civilian losses”. Is that somehow easier to accept now that the “acceptable civilian losses” are primarily white Europeans?

#21 Comment By JonF On July 28, 2016 @ 10:40 am

Re: Holy War Jihad is Islamic in origin in world history and spread where folk had to fight or were conquered. Gods, battle and conflict were well known, of course, but Holy War was new with Islam.

A surprising assertion when the Old Testament, the Bhagavad Gita and the Homeric epics (to name but three) all feature God/gods enjoining war upon mortalkind and sometimes even pitching to help. Humans have been hauling the Divine into their conflicts since the first shaman summoned the spirits to gave mad strength to the first berserker.

Now here’s a historical thesis: If the early successors of Mohammed had faced a Byzantine Empire and a Sassanian Persian Empire not weakened by their own conflicts, and more generally by the demographic collapse of the preceding century, there would have been no Islamic Empire, indeed Islam would have remained the ethic religion only of the tribes of Arabia and “jihad” would have only its spiritual meaning.

#22 Comment By JonF On July 28, 2016 @ 8:14 pm

Re: They don’t try to pretend they’re from West Baltimore, either.

Huh? Have you been to Baltimore? Or any city with a large population of indigent people? It’s pretty obvious who the poor are. With enough experience you even gain a sense of who is is just a rowdy kid and who you want to give wide berth to.

Re: Wait until someone pulls a gun and starts shooting, then send in the SWAT team to take them out.

Yes, and it works well enough. We’ve been doing this since– when? 1791? Magna Carta? The Twelve Tablets of Ancient Rome? How long has it been a bedrock principle that we do not punish crimes until they have occurred? Did you ever see the film (or show) “Minority Report”? Would it be just and right to afflict future criminals with punishment before their acts have transpired? To kill Hitler as an infant– or his great-great-grandmother? Yet we do not even have that certainty, just vague fears and suspicions. Such is the logic of pogroms, not of justice.

“Sufficient to each day is the evil thereof” as the old proverb says.

Re: It IS a policy of “acceptable civilian losses”.

Yes, and just about everything is like that. 30K-40K people each year are killed in automobile mishaps– and we regard that as acceptable since even utter loons have not proposed a ban on automobiles. Perfect safety is an impossibility.

#23 Comment By Siarlys Jenkins On July 29, 2016 @ 4:34 pm

I don’t know what policy to support just yet.

When you think of one, let us know what it is. We can then all evaluate whether it is an improvement on the status quo. Right now, you are clamoring for change, without the slightest notion what change would be effective or beneficial, and such maudlin muttering could have disastrous results.

Father Hamel was an interfaith activist, reaching out to Muslim immigrants, donating land for a mosque.

That’s probably why Daesh wanted him dead. He didn’t fit their narrative, and he was leading his Muslim neighbors into what Daesh perceives as apostasy. Perhaps we should all emulate Father Hamel’s example.

I don’t understand what the Islamic State hopes to achieve?

Power. They want to demoralize and destroy their enemies, conquer the world, and then order the world as they believe God calls upon them to do, at which point, peace, prosperity and universal brotherhood will burst forth in harmonious eternity. Even Hitler believed that after all the carnage, the pure Aryan master race would live in peace and prosperity and universal brotherhood… on the labor of the untermenschen.