Yesterday I posted about a righteous and kind Muslim man in Glasgow who was murdered by another Muslim hours after he wished his Christian customers a happy Easter on Facebook. The latest news is that the killer may have traveled hundreds of miles to murder Asad Shah, and, as a Muslim reader of this blog speculated yesterday, may have done it in whole or in part because Shah belonged to a sect of Islam considered heretical by Sunnis.
A suicide bomber killed at least 65 people, mostly women and children, at a park in Lahore on Sunday in an attack claimed by a Pakistani Taliban faction which said it had targeted Christians.
More than 300 other people were wounded, officials said.
The explosion occurred in the parking area of Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park close to children’s swings. The park is a popular site for members of Lahore’s Christian community, many of whom had gone there to celebrate the Easter weekend holiday.
Witnesses said they saw body parts strewn across the parking lot once the dust had settled after the blast.
“When the blast occurred, the flames were so high they reached above the trees and I saw bodies flying in the air,” said Hasan Imran, 30, a resident who had gone to Gulshan-e-Iqbal Park for a walk.
Officials said 65 people were killed and about 300 wounded. Police Superintendant Mustansar Feroz said most of the casualities were women and children.
The Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar claimed responsibility for the attack.
“The target was Christians,” a spokesman for the faction, Ehsanullah Ehsan, said. “We want to send this message to Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif that we have entered Lahore.”
“He can do what he wants but he won’t be able to stop us. Our suicide bombers will continue these attacks.”
Martyrs, all of them. Women and children, picnicking in a park to celebrate Easter.
Meanwhile, in Brussels today, police used a water cannon to disperse a group of actual fascists, skinheads who came to the market square to trample on the memorial to the bombing victims and to confront Muslims.
And in Rome, in an Easter address, Pope Francis chided Europeans for not bringing in more refugees from the Islamic world:
Easter “invites us not to forget those men and women seeking a better future, an ever more numerous throng of migrants and refugees — including many children — fleeing from war, hunger, poverty and social injustice,” he said.
Francis lamented that “all too often, these brothers and sisters of ours meet along the way with death or, in any event, rejection by those who could offer them welcome and assistance”.
Unbelievable. The gyre widens…
But here is a flame of hope, from the Easter Vigil at the Monastery of St. Benedict in Norcia. The darkness cannot comprehend the light, nor can it overcome it: