Forensics Expert Says That Al-Shabaab’s Mall-Siege Hostages Were Tortured in the Worst Possible Ways

This, too, is the face of religion. 

After the four-day Islamist siege of the Westgate Shopping Center in Nairobi, Kenya, soldiers and first responders came upon a scene seemingly straight out of Saw or the Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

Hostages were left hanging and had their eyes gouged, others were dismembered. Others had their throats slashed or were castrated and had fingers amputated, according to media reports quoting soldiers, medical personnel and investigators sorting through the rubble of the collapsed mall.

A doctor and forensics expert who examined some of the victims angrily described the unimaginable savagery:

“They removed balls, eyes, ears, nose. They get your hand and sharpen it like a pencil then they tell you to write your name with the blood. They drive knives inside a child’s body. Actually, if you look at all the bodies, unless those ones that were escaping, fingers are cut by pliers, the noses are ripped by pliers.”

Details of the jihadists’ handiwork started to dribble out after unconfirmed reports emerged that Kenyan armed forces decided to blow up part of the Westgate complex

… not just to bring the siege to an end, but to end the appalling suffering of hostages amid reports that hostages were raped, and others beheaded and their heads thrown out of the windows.

Al-Shabaab, the Somali-based al-Qaeda affiliate behind the attack, took to social media to announce that more carnage will follow. Here’s their merry tweet:

“The mesmeric performance by the #Westgate Warriors was undoubtedly gripping, but despair not folks, that was just the premiere of Act I.”


About Terry Firma

Terry Firma, though born and Journalism-school-educated in Europe, has lived in the U.S. for the past 20-odd years. Stateside, his feature articles have been published in the New York Times, Reason, Rolling Stone, Playboy, and Wired. Terry is the founder and Main Mischief Maker of Moral Compass, a site that pokes fun at the delusional claim by people of faith that a belief in God equips them with superior moral standards.

  • Raising_Rlyeh

    I think I am going to be sick. I am trying not to overreact here, but I do not think that it is possible to overreact to this situation. I normally do not believe in an eye for an eye style justice, but if someone were to find the leaders that ordered this massacre and slowly tortured them I would have trouble showing disapproval.

    • momtarkle

      Not torture. Execution.

    • Jeff See

      as tempting as it is, lowering yourself to their level, is not justice. It makes you as bad as them.

      The high road isn’t always easy, but at the end of it all, it’s always worth it.

      • Forgetful Orange

        Yes, executing might be a fair psychological & retributive justice – to remove them & whatever they did from everyone’s conscience – but torturing them would be giving the message that “extreme” behavior (torturing) is OK in some cases – the exact same thinking they used to perform these acts.

        • TychaBrahe

          Execution isn’t about justice. It’s about removing what cannot be fixed for the good of society. That’s why the murder of a peace officer is often a capital crime when simple murder of a civilian often is not.

          • 3lemenope

            That’s why the murder of a peace officer is often a capital crime when simple murder of a civilian often is not.

            That’s the official reason, sure. I really don’t think it’s the actual reason.

        • Grotoff

          Torturing is definitely OK in some cases. When you are certain that kidnapper has hidden a child somewhere and that if you don’t find that child in time he will die, it is a more imperative to torture that fucker until he squeals. Not torturing him is unethical and disgusting.

          • nick

            If time is limited, what’s to say the kidnapper keeps his mouth till after the Intel’s usefulness has expired? Torture isn’t as effective as the movies would have you believe.

          • jdm8

            If you take the CIA’s cold war lessons, torture isn’t useful in gathering quality intelligence.

          • Jeff See

            I’m no expert on torture (and never plan to be), but from what I’ve gathered about it; you either get told lies intentionally, meant to throw you off, you get told nothing, until the one being tortured dies, or you get told whatever it is they think you want to hear, because it was fabricated on the spot, in the hopes that you’ll stop torturing them. None of which is valuable in the scenario you’ve described.

            • Meagan_Dawkins

              That’s exactly what Senator McCain always said about torture. And he should know….

      • Sick of it!

        Except for one thing… They don’t get that!

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Since when are your morals dependent on whether or not other people follow them?

          • ATL2013

            Precisely. That is not “morality” at all. That is hedging a bet.

            “Morality is doing what is right no matter what you’re told; religion is doing what you’re told no matter what is right.”

    • Erik Wiseman

      I’m fine with just a bullet through the head – no reason to stoop to the level of these lunatics.

      • Highlander

        Bullets cost money, a high cliff and gravity are free.

    • Sick of it!

      Not enough…. my contention is, that we need to melt an Arab country… to get them to understand..

      • Infophile

        Which would be the perfect solution if your goal were to anger people around the world, making more people angry enough to resort to terrorism. And let’s not forget the fact that if you go indiscriminately killing civilians, you’ve probably lost the moral high ground.

      • Meagan_Dawkins

        Idiot. This didn’t even happen in an Arab country.

  • 3lemenope

    A trigger warning of some sort might be a good notion here.

    • momtarkle

      What is a trigger warning, please?

      • Mr. Pantaloons

        Basically a spoiler alert for brutal/sensitive material. You know, a heads-up.

        • momtarkle

          ‘K.

          • Psychotic Atheist

            It originates from the idea that even reading about certain events (rape, brutality etc) can trigger symptoms in people with PTSD and the like.

      • Mottfolly

        Specificly, a warning that something might trigger horror, disgust etc. in the reader.

    • CourtneyLee

      It says in the headline they were “tortured in the worst possible ways” if you’re not okay with reading the news it’s probably best to stay away from the internet.

      • flyb

        3lemenope is referring to perhaps a line at the top that states, “Warning: graphic content to follow.” Or something similar. The unnecessary snark is, uh, unnecessary.

        • Linda Lee

          I don’t think Courtney’s remark was a snark. As others have said, the headline should have made the content obvious.

    • Mike De Fleuriot

      No, it’s time you all learn to grow up and recognise exactly what religion can do to humans. This is the future if religion is allowed to continue. How many more examples do you naive people need?

      • Claire

        I thought the title was warning enough, personally, but for future reference “trigger warning” doesn’t mean people are brushing it off or want to turn a blind eye to what happened. It’s usually done as a courtesy to those who suffer from PTSD or any mental disorder dealing with intrusive thoughts, which can be triggered (hence the name) by brutal descriptions like those above.

    • Eli

      I thought the title alone made it pretty clear there would be some graphic descriptions…

  • guest

    I’m not comfortable with you saying it’s the face of religion. That sounds almost like you are blaming all religious people for these horrifying acts of evil. I’m atheist, but let’s not forget the vast majority of religious people are decent human beings who will be just as sickened and appalled by this as we are. It’s A face of religion, but it’s one right at the end of the scale, off the charts for averagely annoying religious behaviour. Something like this is in a class of it’s own.

    This is an atrocity. Those poor people. Their suffering is unimaginable. When something like this happens, words sound hollow.

    I think I might donate something to the Red Cross. I’ve never given anything to them before (the ‘cross’ put me off) but they were the first responders on the scene and I feel like I need to do something.

    • Mr. Pantaloons

      Not that I entirely disagree with you, but he said “This, too” is the face of religion. As in, there are others too, but this one went out of its way to be included. We all recognize that not every theist is a bloodthirsty savage in practice (even if their doctrines are rooted in it), but it’s important to show that this WAS caused by religion. It’s not enough to simply say, “No TRUE theist is like this!” because it ignores the fact that and the mechanisms by which even the worst crimes against humanity, like this, were still able to be extrapolated from the same religious teachings that create humanitarians and other genuinely “good” and moral people. And as many good and decent theists as there are, these maniacs are flying under the same banner.

      • momtarkle

        Yeah, but: Consider historic Soviet and Chinese sponsored atrocities. Those, too, were the face of atheism. But, more than that they were the face of endemic, national moral bankruptcy.

        • James Buchy

          Not this again…just HOW were they “the face of atheism”?

          • Blacksheep

            I suppose in countries that have official, state-sponsored atheism, one could argue that their bad deeds are at least in part the result of their belief system. The fact that many, many more people have been killed by governments that advocate atheism than those that don’t (in plain numbers) may or may not have anything to do with atheism – but it’s not odd to call it out.

            • James Buchy

              I STRONGLY disagree that “many, many more people have been killed by governments that advocate atheism than those that don’t”. Which is besides the point, since atheism contains no doctrine that advocates or even suggests anything of the sort, or anything at all, beyond disbelief in a divine entity. There is no atheist bible that preaches “kill the believer”, unlike the Abrahamic user manuals.

              • joey_in_NC

                I STRONGLY disagree that “many, many more people have been killed by governments that advocate atheism than those that don’t”.

                Please cite evidence against the claim. Sorry, but you got this wrong.

                http://necrometrics.com/20c5m.htm

                Stalin’s government killed 20 million and Mao’s government killed 40 million, with both governments advocating atheism. Can you provide greater numbers killed by non-atheist governments?

                Which is besides the point, since atheism contains no doctrine that advocates or even suggests anything of the sort, or anything at all, beyond disbelief in a divine entity.

                The problem is that atheism/materialism necessarily means the disbelief in inherent human dignity. That is precisely where the problem lies. It has always been where the problem lies.

                • 3lemenope

                  Why are we restricting it to the 20th Century?

                  The problem is that atheism/materialism necessarily means the disbelief in inherent human dignity.

                  That you assert something does not make it true.

                • joey_in_NC

                  That you assert something does not make it true.

                  Then argue what I asserted is not true. It is pretty easy to realize that it’s much easier to do evil to another person if you feel the person has no value or worth.

                • 3lemenope

                  Then argue what I asserted is not true.

                  You’re the one doing all the dirty categorical asserting. You do the work you be taken seriously.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  The problem is that atheism/materialism necessarily means the disbelief in inherent human dignity. That is precisely where the problem lies. It has always been where the problem lies.

                  Atheism is not an ideology and doesn’t have anything to do with what you claim it does. You are embarrassingly ignorant of what you are speaking of. That conflation is only trotted out by people desperate to confirm their prejudice.

                • primenumbers

                  The benefit of atheism is that atheists know this life is the only one, with no magic escape clause of heaven. Whereas a theist can convince themselves that in their evil they’re doing God’s will and will go to heaven for everlasting glory, the atheist has no such excuse.

                • C.L. Honeycutt

                  He just can’t grasp that all meaning is subjective. Even if a god was real and revealed itself and had a “plan”, it would STILL be subjective.

                  All we have for a workable system is minimizing woe and maximizing weal according to the situation, which is the same system he uses, except he attributes magic to it.

                • joey_in_NC

                  He just can’t grasp that all meaning is subjective.

                  You’re right. I can’t grasp it. I refuse to grasp it. A person will have moral worth simply for being a person, even if everyone in the world thinks of the person as garbage.

                • joey_in_NC

                  Whereas a theist can convince themselves that in their evil they’re doing God’s will and will go to heaven for everlasting glory, the atheist has no such excuse.

                  You sincerely lack imagination.

                  An atheist can also reason that he can commit evil all he wants because there are no such thing as ultimate consequences.

                • primenumbers

                  “An atheist can also reason that he can commit evil all he wants” – and they will face the very real consequences here and now.

                  Your “ultimate consequences” don’t work. If they did we’d see religious people behaving oh-so-much better than they do. I know it must be a nice warm fuzzy feeling to think that bad people who never met the full justice that we can deliver are now toasting their backsides in hell, but that doesn’t make it true. Similarly, the thought that there’s a God who will deliver ultimate consequences just makes believers more careless with their expressions of justice here on earth because they feel they have a backup who will correct their mistakes. You can just hear the Christian think “yes, let’s send him to the electric chair because if we get it wrong, God will send him to heaven and he’ll be happy”.

                • James Buchy

                  Your “source” only includes the 20′th century, What about the previous 19 centuries? Epic fail, especially since WW2 alone was 66,000,000 instigated by Axis powers that were nominally xian [Germany & Italy] and strongly spiritual [Japan's emperor was considered a god]. Collateral damages cause by the Allied response was made necessary by the Axis actions.

                  I see you lumped materialism with atheism. Another epic fail. You had better be explaining how “atheism/materialism necessarily means the disbelief in inherent human dignity”.

                • joey_in_NC

                  I see you lumped materialism with atheism. Another epic fail.

                  They usually go hand in hand, but not necessarily. I recognize that an atheist can technically believe in souls and spirits, but usually that’s not the case. That’s why I usually include the ‘materialist’ modifier when speaking about the atheist usually referred to in such atheist blogs.

                  You had better be explaining how “atheism/materialism necessarily means the disbelief in inherent human dignity”.

                  I argued for this in other threads, but basically it means that the value or worth of humans is inherent or intrinsic to the person, simply because the person is a human being. This value must necessarily be metaphysical or transcendental (or even supernatural, if you will) in nature, since it is impossible to detect or measure this value through scientific means. But just because this human value/worth can’t ever be measured in the laboratory doesn’t mean that every human doesn’t possess it.

                  Contrast inherent value with subjective value. Materialists are allowed to be believe the latter, not the former (or they won’t be materialist). If all value is subjective, then that means that some humans don’t have any value, if I don’t believe they have any.

                • PhiloKGB

                  It doesn’t seem to have occurred to you that your belief in a necessarily undetectable property is itself subjective. Further, value is, by definition, bestowed rather than possessed. A simple thought experiment reveals the absurdity in your system: A single human in a universe empty of all else must somehow have value.

            • Mottfolly

              There is absolutly nothing as an atheist beliefe system. The only thing that is common among atheists is that they do not believe in a supernatural being.

              There ane governments that do not promote religion and those that forbid religion and in those countries without religion there are countless belief systems, both personal and state sanctoned and they are as much non Santa as they are non God beliefs.
              Get it into your heads, every religious person in this world is an atheist relative to every other god than the 1 god out of 2,500 gods worshiped in this world that that person believes in.

            • ATL2013

              1. How many governments “advocate atheism”?
              2. What numbers of “people have been killed” can you offer?

        • Mr. Pantaloons

          The difference is that those were not done explicitly in the name of atheism. Those were for the glorification/deification of the state, and the churches they persecuted were razed because they challenged its authority.

          • momtarkle

            God (which doesn’t exist) damn (which is thus impossible) you guys for making me think. (Think of that as a compliment.)

            My “Those, too, were the face of atheism.” comment was a parody of Hemant’s article opening statement. So much for my sarcasm.

            I agree with Mr. Pantaloons: the sino-soviet atrocities were committed by country leaders, many of whom were atheistic. But, those acts were not committed to glorify atheism.

            I ignorantly assumed that al-Shabbab was just a bunch of badasses, killing for the killbuzz (Try it!), and not necessarily acting on their religious ideology. So, I read up on the sect and found that I had made a badass sumption. Those bastards were killing because their take on shari’a law encouraged them to kill.

            Speaking of “this, too, is the face of religion”, how ’bout that Joseph Kony? Ain’t he sumpin? (Probably a closet atheist, though, don’tcha think?)

            • Mr. Pantaloons

              Live and learn.

            • Terry Firma

              Hemant is entirely innocent. :-) The piece above is mine.

              • momtarkle

                Damn you (but in a good way) Terror Former!

                Yeah, I should have noted your by-line.

                • Terry Firma

                  No problem.

            • The Other Weirdo

              It’s actually questionable that Communist leaders were atheists.

              • momtarkle

                Thanks TOW; I’ll put that on my “things that are questionable” list.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  You are entirely welcome, my friend. I am glad I was able to increase you knowledge about the world.

            • James Buchy

              Sarcasm can be a little hard to catch in written form, especially when inundated with theist ramblings peppered into the conversation. ;-)

              • momtarkle

                Which theist ramblings, please?

                • James Buchy

                  Oh you know, the one we always see here. I hope you didn’t think I was referring to YOUR ramblings. I rather like your ramblings. You have cool ramblings. :-) Keep on trucking! Peace out! :-)

          • joey_in_NC

            The difference is that those were not done explicitly in the name of atheism.

            Saying that you’re doing something in the name of non-belief is simply nonsensical. Rather, an attrocity is almost always committed because of the non-belief in something…mainly the disbelief in the inherent human dignity of the person. An atheist/materialist cannot claim such an inherent value exists. That isn’t to say that an atheist/materialist can’t find subjective value in people, but that isn’t necessarily a requirement.

            • C.L. Honeycutt

              You can’t claim to find any inherent value either. It’s all subjective, no matter your arrogance.

            • The Other Weirdo

              Nor is it a requirement in a theist, as this very article has shown.

              • joey_in_NC

                Nor is it a requirement in a theist, as this very article has shown.

                Sure…for the follower of a theistic religion who isn’t required to believe in the inherent dignity of all human persons. I would also be the first to say that such religions are just as dangerous.

                • The Other Weirdo

                  Right. Which, among others, describes Christianity.

            • Mr. Pantaloons

              I pity you for hating yourself so much that you literally cannot feel empathy for other people without having it filtered and notarized by a god you’ve never proven exists.

              • joey_in_NC

                I pity you for hating yourself so much that you literally cannot feel empathy for other people without having it filtered and notarized by a god you’ve never proven exists.

                No, I have empathy for people because I firmly believe people have inherent value. I think a lot of people feel the same. And for me that is evidence that materialism is false.

              • ATL2013

                If belief in a god is the only thing making you act “morally”, then you are probably not a good person to begin with

        • Mottfolly

          Absolutely NO way has anything been done in the name of a non belief of anything.
          There are way more people who do not believe in Santa Claus than don’t believe in any of the ~2,500 gods being worshiped on this planet today.

          There is no dogma of atheism, it is mearly not having imaginary sky friends.

          • momtarkle

            But, didn’t those kool kollege kids get stoned with water balloons in the name of, and to promote, atheism?

          • ATL2013

            To paraphrase another: To say that atheism is a ‘religion’ is akin to saying “Off” is a TV station.

        • joey_in_NC

          Good point. I find it utterly amusing at the number of dislike votes considering you’re just giving a balanced perspective. Of course every bad thing caused by humanity can and should be attributed to theism, but it is impossible to attribute anything bad to atheism.

          • primenumbers

            It’s not a good point because the poster is criticizing atheism for the crimes of Communism.

          • 3lemenope

            it is impossible to attribute anything bad to atheism.

            FTFY.

            Or, conversely, complete this puzzle. Can you think of a sentence, “If X is an atheist, then Y” where Y is something other than a restatement of “atheist”, that holds true for all X?

          • DavidMHart

            Of course every bad thing caused by humanity can and should be
            attributed to theism, but it is impossible to attribute anything bad to
            atheism.

            This is an absurd strawman. The point is not that religion is the cause of all bad things, but that it is the cause of a non-negligible percentage of human atrocity, because believing stuff that isn’t true is inevitably going to subvert even our best intentions, and believing stuff that isn’t true which happens to include the idea that torture and murder are fine when done in support of those beliefs is the worst of the lot, because it gets you things like Al-Shabbab.

            Whatever grievances some people in Somalia may have against the actions of Kenyan troops, only an ideology based on stuff that isn’t true is likely to make people react to those grievances in a manner like this, that just victimises more innocent people.

            • ATL2013

              “With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and bad people doing bad things. But in order for good people to do bad things, it takes religion”

              • DavidMHart

                Actually, that’s a neat-sounding slogan, but one we should be very wary of. You can get well-intentioned people to do evil if you can persuade them of any reality-deficient ideology, religious or not, that would appear to justify it.

                Religions are not the only reality-deficient ideologies doing harm in the world; they’re just among the most pervasive because they systematically immunize themselves against any sort of reality check.

                We’d be better to go with Voltaire’s quote, who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.

                • ATL2013

                  Fair point, to be sure. I suppose my curiosity would be: at what point do those other reality-deficient ideologies, in effect, become religions?

                • DavidMHart

                  Now that’s a tricky one. I’d say, at the point when they start to invoke supernatural forces, but then we’d need to define ‘supernatural’ (I personally am a fan of Richard Carrier’s definition – things with ‘ontologically basic mental properties’; that is, things that have the properties of minds, but which are not built out of simple interacting units that individually lack mental properties).

                  Luckily, most of the time, the distinction is reasonably clear.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          Consider that those atrocities were not done for atheism, but for an ideology combined with powerlust and paranoia. That ideology specifically labeled Christianity a competitor, which shows us which side of the fence it was actually leaning towards.

    • Libby

      Why not think of the cross as a symbol of the four directions – north, east, west and south? You know, bringing aid to all in the “four corners of the earth” and all that? It is an equal-armed cross, not like the Christian cross. And crosses were symbols for various other things long before Christianity came onto the world scene.

      • Mottfolly

        Because it’s a device of cruel execution.

        Religious people and their insanity, trying to sugar coat torture.

        • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

          The cross used by Christianity, yes. As is being pointed out, not the same cross used by e.g. the Red Cross.

          • Kevin R. Cross

            Unfortunately, untrue. Equal-barred crosses have been used for christian churches and christian organizations for centuries.

            • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

              It has also been used in other religions and in other circumstances, so it’s not just a Christian symbol (the equal-length arms).
              The torture device Mottfolly is talking about is the typical Christian cross with one longer arm/leg.

              • Kevin R. Cross

                Irrelevant. For anyone not of the christian faith, the difference is invisible.

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Only if they are utterly ignorant, especially in the context Mottfolly suggests.

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  Or have primarily encountered Coptics, or Greek Orthodox, or any of the various splinter groups that use an equal-barred cross…

                • https://www.facebook.com/GentleGiantDK GentleGiant

                  Which still doesn’t have the same origin as the torture/execution device Mottfolly refers to.

                • Kevin R. Cross

                  Well, of course it does. They’re all variations on the theme; just because the symbol has evolved over the millenia, doesn’t change where it originally came from. There are as you pointed out, other uses for it, but the single and overwhelming use of the cross is as a Christian symbol, derived from the execution implement supposedly used to kill the supposed Jesus.

        • Libby

          Way to miss my point.

    • LesterBallard

      You want some quotes from the Koran, or can you Google them yourself?

      • momtarkle

        None for me; thanks.

    • ShoeUnited

      I agree that not every religious person is like this. The problem is X believes the same thing as Y, and Y has done something like this and can justify it with X’s religion. That’s the problem.

    • Mottfolly

      “This, too, is the face of religion.”

      • momtarkle

        More like the butt hole of religion.

    • allein

      The Red Cross is not a religious organization (http://www.redcross.org/about-us/mission ), and the cross is not a Christian cross. So feel free to donate.

      • TychaBrahe

        If the Red Cross is not a Christian cross, why do Islamic nations have the Red Crescent and Israel have the Red Mogen David? The Red Cross isn’t today a Christian organization, but, yeah, that is a Christian cross.

        • allein

          The Christian cross most people are familiar with is the Latin cross which is longer on the vertical then the horizontal. The Red Cross symbol is a Greek cross which is equal length on all sides (though some sects do use the Greek cross).

          The Red Cross was never a Christian organization, as far as I can tell from their website. http://www.icrc.org/eng/who-we-are/history/overview-section-history-icrc.htm The word “Christian” appears nowhere on their “History” page, nor on the overview of “The Movement.” (Neither do the words “religion” or “religious.”)

          According to their page on the history of the emblem:

          Since the emblem was to reflect the neutrality of the armed forces’ medical services and the protection conferred on them, the emblem adopted was formed by reversing the colours of the Swiss flag…The resulting symbol had the advantage of being easily produced and recognizable at a distance because of its contrasting colours.

          And the crescent was adopted simply to appease Muslim soldiers who might be offended by any kind of cross:

          During the war between Russia and Turkey, the Ottoman Empire declared that it would use the red crescent on a white background in place of the red cross. While respecting the red cross symbol, the Ottoman authorities believed that the red cross was, by its very nature, offensive to Muslim soldiers. The red crescent was temporarily accepted for the duration of this conflict.

          http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/emblem-history.htm

        • Spuddie

          Red Mogen David exists because the Arab Lobby has effectively banned Israel from participating in the Red Cross. The Red Crescent was done for the sake of relations with the same group.

        • C.L. Honeycutt

          The Red Cross flag was based on the Swiss flag with the colors reversed, in homage to its country of origin. The Red Cross itself, though, has never been a religious organization.

          I’m sure though that there are many Muslims who have been told that it is because of the symbology. >.<

      • Charles

        Here is what the ICRC website says:

        http://www.icrc.org/eng/resources/documents/misc/emblem-history.htm

        In August 1864, the Diplomatic Conference, convened for the purpose of transforming the resolutions adopted in 1863 into treaty rules, adopted the First Geneva Convention.

        Modern international humanitarian law was born.

        The First Geneva Convention recognized the red cross on a white background as the single distinctive emblem.

        Since the emblem was to reflect the neutrality of the armed forces’medical services and the protection conferred on them, the emblem adopted was formed by reversing the colours of the Swiss flag.

        Switzerland’s permanent neutral status had been firmly established in practice for several years, and had been confirmed by the Treaties of Vienna and Paris in 1815. Furthermore, the white flag was and remains a symbol of the wish to negotiate or to surrender; firing on anyone displaying it in good faith is unacceptable.

        The resulting symbol had the advantage of being easily produced and recognizable at a distance because of its contrasting colours.

    • primenumbers

      Against the backdrop of people behaving rationally and in-step with reality, the odd religious nut job would stand out to the extent that they’d get the psychiatric help they desperately need. Instead against the backdrop of widespread religious belief by people only mildly (to the extent that that they can still get by in reality and have a normal life) they are not spotted, but enabled. They see many other people with beliefs completely at odds with reality and see nothing wrong with their own. Indeed such beliefs against reality are publicly praised by world leaders. Religious people are enablers of these nut jobs. Religious people are not responsible, but their mere existence and prominence in society is enabling of a culture of support for non-reality based beliefs. They are not responsible because they know not what they do, what they enable through normalization. However, we are responsible, because we don’t do enough to stop the spread of beliefs that are blatantly against reality and we don’t do enough to educate against the dangers of faith (and cognitive biases in general) itself, and where it leads to.

      • Linda Lee

        Great post! First time I’ve seen anyone explain the problem this way.

      • http://quinesqueue.blogspot.com/ Q. Quine

        Well said, Prime.

      • ATL2013

        Yes. I absolutely think that people have the basic human right to privately believe whatever they choose based on faith. It is the moment that those faith-based beliefs begin to encroach on society and impose upon others that I demand something more than “faith” as a justification. This applies to legislation, social issues, war, and general intolerance. If your private beliefs cease to be private, then they should be subject to the same scrutiny as any other piece of information. You are under no obligation to “prove” your personal beliefs to anyone, but the moment you expect those beliefs to become law or social standard, then the onus should be on YOU to furnish some evidence or justify your position with respect toward those who may NOT share your beliefs

        • primenumbers

          Yes, agreed and it sounds so simple too. Yet we know that as soon as something as reasonable as your statement is said, theists of all types claim persecution.

          • ATL2013

            Yes. Unfortunately it seems to work in reverse. Somehow the onus is on the non-believer to disprove someone else’s beliefs, as if that possibility exists. It’s an unfortunate product of the human predisposition toward superstition and unreason

            • primenumbers

              That is why we have to attack through education on cognitive biases rather then religion itself. Religion only continues to exist because of these biases. Religion is just a symptom…

    • WallofSleep

      Well, you know what they say. Good people will do good thing, and evil people will do evil things, But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

      • Donaving

        And/Or Money. Let’s not forget the things that have been done, are being done, and will be continued to be done for the sake of Filthy Lucre.

      • DavidMHart

        Please see my comment above to ATL2013 for why we should try to avoid that slogan. Religions are not the only ideologies that can make well-intentioned people act badly (though they are among the most pervasive), and religious people would be right to call us out on claiming that they are.

  • the moother

    Lets be honest…, they sound like a bunch of sore losers… It’s the kind of thing I’d expect the GOP to devolve into once they lose their democratic battle.

    • Mr. Pantaloons

      Please don’t trivialize the tragedy by phrasing it as little more than a matter of poor sportsmanship.

      • the moother

        I’m terribly sorry, but whence the resort to such terrible violence then? And violence against non-combatants at that?

        Hitchens said it best in his God is not great. Islam is obsessed with the fact that modernity has left them behind. It is embarrased at its own impotence while at the same time claiming superiority of faith and culture.

        There is something clearly wrong with the motivation of islam for it to commit atrocities like this. Especially to try and use this “victory” to further its goals.

        If this argument is too advanced for you to contemplate then I do apologise. But is there any other motivation for such acts against civilians other than the fact they they are unable to release their savagery on any other target?

        • Mr. Pantaloons

          see, if you made that point in your initial post, treating the event as the atrocity that it is, my point wouldn’t be relevant. Instead you have to resort to a flaccid attempt to insult my intelligence to defend yourself….ironically, with the same point that I made in a separate thread in this same article.

          I am not disagreeing with your point that islam, or fundamentalism in any capacity, is obsessed with the past to the point of atrocity, but dismissing their violence as the work of “sore losers” is extremely degrading to the actual victims and to the political context of the area, as is the ludicrous alarmist idea that the GOP might follow suit (i am far from a conservative, but saying that the red half of America’s backup plan is basically roleplaying as Attila the Hun is frankly idiotic). There’s nothing about that that is “too advanced” that it could only be taken seriously by someone else, because both of those claims are outright juvenile in their insensitivity.

          • the moother

            The GOP is threatening to shut down the government for no other reason than they are impotent and that modernity has passed them by. Doing so will cost thousands of people their jobs, their livelihoods and their well being.

            Frankly, I don’t see a difference between chopping off fingers and making people suffer an economic malaise.

            Apparently this argument IS far too advanced for your contemplation. The GOP has been, is and will be responsible for suffering on a massive scale. And it wouldn’t surprise me if a “well armed militia” grabbed a whole bunch of hipsters and cut off their extremities with pliers just to show us all how much they hate “obamacare”.

            As far as “victims” are concerned, I wish people would spend less time “respecting” them and “honouring” them and spend more time castigating perpetrators. Don’t shed tears for victims… Rather point fingers at purveyors of evil.

            Sad fact: people die of terrible stuff every day. Instead of mourning them, shout loudly at whatever it was that caused their suffering.

            I guess we agree on the principles but have to agree to disagree on the details.

            • TCC

              Frankly, I don’t see a difference between chopping off fingers and making people suffer through an economic malaise.

              Your inability to understand nuance is noted.

            • LesterBallard

              “Frankly, I don’t see a difference between chopping off fingers and making people suffer an economic malaise.”

              I think it might be easier to recover from an economic malaise than recovering from having a finger forcibly amputated (or any of the other things they did).

              • TheUltimateRAGE

                Not if economic malaise inadvertently leads to your fingers getting chopped off due to increased poverty & unfairness in our country. The actions of our gov’t may have unintended consequences.

              • the moother

                Until you realise that the petulant little hissy fit Ted Cruz threw the other day has emboldened the GOP and there is a massive chance they will shut the government down.

                The are doing this because they just cannot stand to see uninsured people get healthcare. People die every day because they don’t have healthcare. The GOP likes dead people.

                And when the government does shutdown, thousands of people will lose their jobs and/or their homes. Kids will get abused by their struggling and frustrated parents. People will commit suicide and some will murder their own families.

                Explain to me again how it might be easy to recover from suicide and murder?

                Indeed, a government shutdown might be more horrendous than the attack in Westgate.

  • Jas.

    Fuuueeeuuueeeuuueeeuuuuck those A-holes.

  • http://www.facebook.com/tuibguy Mike Haubrich

    I can’t imagine the horror faced by those poor people as they were subjected to such brutality. I just can’t.

  • ron

    best thing here is to go after their money supporters like Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, iran

  • ShoeUnited

    I have to ask with a shot glass of sobriety, where was the intelligence agencies? Supposedly we’re throwing hand over fist in tax dollars to have all this security and they spy on their own citizens (Canada, UK, Aus, NZ, you’re in this too) and nothing was said? Nothing was done?

    It bothers me that not even a “In the next few months there’s gonna be an attack in Kenya/West Africa” whatever was even dropped. I’m sorry, I know this isn’t specifically religiously topic-ed. But it bothers me quite a lot.

    • Kevin R. Cross

      There’s a habit in the developed world to see the intelligence agencies as all-seeing oracles with unlimited budgets. The reality is very different. Modern information gathering nets us much more raw data, but precious little more information, and ties up thousands of analysts in mostly futile attempts to tie disparate strands of knowledge together and make a picture of what’s actually going on.
      Plus, no matter how big or how many the agencies, they only have so much in the way of resources, so they MUST concentrate on the areas of interest to their nation. Mali is, frankly, one of the most worthless and unimportant areas on the planet.
      If one of the agencies had the knowledge you presume, they probably WOULD have mentioned it to the Kenyan government. Most likely, they had no more information on it than you and I did.

      • Mira

        Especially because so many of these hot pockets of dissent and hatred are all over the world. The intelligence communities can only report on what they THINK will happen, and then there’s a lot of miscommunication involved in trying to unravel the details until boots are on the ground (which costs a LOT more money, and is, to some, too invasive for certain countries to do). It’s difficult to nip every single thing in the bud: plenty of times the intelligence communities HAVE warned the various governments of suspected (or known) terrorist activities in the area, but it’s up to that government to do something about it.

  • pagansister

    What point is made with such brutality? Unimaginable horror—-all in the name of some freaking divinity?

    • http://www.last.fm/user/m6wg4bxw/ m6wg4bxw

      terrorism – the use of violence and threats to intimidate or coerce, especially for political purposes

  • jose

    Its a religion of peace you know.

  • Dai

    Religion strikes again.

  • Zarathustra

    Aaaaah yes, the ‘peaceful’ wonders of Islam…. Be afraid America… be very afraid. ”Islamaphobia” is a perfectly appropriate response…..

    • Grotoff

      Let’s not overreact. These lunatics resort this kind of horror because they don’t have any real power. They can sneak into neighboring Kenya, but they don’t have that ability in the West. Wasting your time fearing them just gives them power over you. Let the governments of the world hunt them down and snuff them out. They are already on it.

  • TheUltimateRAGE

    FUCK these sick, twisted fucking assholes! I just can’t comprehend how they think doing INSANE shit like this helps their cause! FUCK them, the religion they’re supposedly doing this in the name of, just fuck them all! WTF?! I feel soooo horrible for those people (and their loved ones) that suffered such horrific atrocities……

  • Kent Mason

    Feed them to the swine.

  • Nathaniel Harari

    Each time I read about the literal horrors of victims of terrorist groups, it bothers me to no end when some atheists out there claim that “we’re just as bad as they are”.

    I’m sorry, but we’re not. When people say that, it’s an absolutely facile argument made from a dogmatic and unthinking response of a particular political stance. I accept that waterboarding is torture, but to not see the difference between that and ripping somebody’s nose off with pliers, or gouging out their eyeballs or removing other bodily parts before hanging them from hooks is absolutely ludicrous.

    I know that Islam doesn’t mandate those things in the Koran, but the fact is that Islamist groups regularly do these things to anyone who isn’t like them – and *that* part is a product of their religion. Not the specifics, but the philosophy.

    I’m sorry, but I just don’t believe that Islam is a religion which has anything whatsoever to do with peace. I know that the majority of Muslims don’t do these sorts of things, but if they want to convince the rest of us that they really are just as peaceful as, say, Jain monks…they have a hell of a lot of work ahead of them.

    I also might note that I’m a bit sick and tired of hearing every single incident of terrorism equated by some by mentioning that “we also have our abortion clinic bombers”. While I agree that abortion clinic bombings are horrific as well, they aren’t exactly an every day occurrence – or even a yearly occurrence, for that matter – whereas this sort of thing *is* an every day occurrence in some parts of the “Muslim world”.

    • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

      Re: “While I agree that abortion clinic bombings are horrific as well, they aren’t exactly an every day occurrence – or even a yearly occurrence, for that matter – whereas this sort of thing *is* an every day occurrence in some parts of the “Muslim world”.”

      So, because abortion-clinic bombings and doctor-assassinations aren’t as frequent as Islamist terror, there’s no relation at all? Sorry, but frequency (or rather, infrequency) is no defense. The real cause of all of these things is people using metaphysics to rationalize, justify, and even promote criminality.

      Christianity is not immune to this impulse; its history is littered with similar events, some of which even took place on a much bigger scale than anything Islamist terrorists have done. And yes, that includes the 9/11 attacks; for instance, the massacre at Beziers in 1209, during the Albigensian Crusade, alone cost many more lives than the c. 3,000 lost on 9/11/2001. (In that massacre, both Catholics and Cathars were killed, in the name of stamping out Catharism utterly and forever. It more or less worked.)

      It’s easy to say that all of these things are in the past and will never happen again. That may well be correct. It’s entirely possible that Christendom never again raises vast armies to stomp around the globe trying to slaughter heretics, Saracens and non-believers. But so long as there are even a few willing to indulge their religionistic murdering impulses, we can never be certain of that.

      All we can be certain of, is that militant religionism in any form … anywhere it exists … is potentially deadly. And we just can’t waste our time excusing it any more. Humanity just needs to freaking grow up already and get over the idea that anyone has a right to impose their metaphysics on anyone else.

      By the way, your “our religionism isn’t as bad as their religionism!” defense is not really all that logical, either. And it certainly doesn’t make Christianity very attractive. (I’m assuming, based on what you said, that you’re Christian … correct me if that’s incorrect, but even so, what I said can easily be applied to any other exclusivist religion.)

      • Nathaniel Harari

        Excuse me, I never said that there was no relation. Please do not attribute statements to me which I did not make.

        I am merely saying that Dawkins and Harris are correct when they say that in today’s world, in the present time, Islam is certainly the greater evil. I am not saying that Christianity is guilt free or no longer capable of producing atrocities. I am merely saying that it currently has evolved into a different form, for the most part, from what it used to be. I do not believe that it is permanent, and I do believe that certain Christians actually do want to commit atrocities far more than they have recently done, but it is certainly not representative of most Christian groups or believers in today’s world.

        Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Islam. Islam has not evolved, and it absolutely was a religion born in far more violence than Christianity was. That is merely a fact of history.

        I also would like to clarify that I am certainly not a Christian in any sense of the word. I am an atheist and, even, an anti-theist a la Hitchens. But I recognize very well, as Harris says, that not all religions are equal. I worry far less about Jain extremists than I do about Muslim extremists, and there is a good reason why. I understand fully the nuances of different religions and that, say, there are exceptions in which Buddhists of certain philosophies can absolutely commit atrocities as well (as we saw during World War II and since, in certain isolated cases).

        And another thing: I know very well about the Crusades and if you are ever in Israel, I can take you on a little tour of various crusader sites to talk to you about the history from the first Crusade and conquest of Jerusalem, to the Horns of Hattin, and beyond to Acre. I know my history of the place. I’m sorry to say that most people have no bloody clue about what the history is – and that includes most atheists.

        I forgive you for assuming that I am Christian because most people who apparently heavily criticize Islam are actually Christians (or fundamentalist Jews). I think that’s rather telling, because it appears that a lot of atheists won’t open their bloody mouths to call a spade a spade, simply because of our guilty feelings given our history with Islam. But again: most atheists know absolutely nothing about the region or the history and merely assume that we were the horrible actors. Well, the truth is far more complex than that. Harris is absolutely correct when he says that there is a dogmatic approach to Islam in most atheist circles. The “it’s not our problem” approach or “we’re just as bad” approach appear to be the most popular. I’m not buying any of those arguments, however.

        Islam is bloody evil. I have absolutely no respect for it whatsoever. None. Zip. Zilch. I have no respect for any religion, really, but I have even less respect for Islam and the few others like it (such as the cult of Thugee). I absolutely equate it to Nazism in many respects, and I don’t give a damn if that brings gasps of shock and horror to the lips of erudite and polite people. I absolutely know full well that 99% of Muslims in the world don’t go around killing people, nor do they have a wish to. But then again, most Germans didn’t go around personally killing and gassing Jews, Gypsies, and Gays either. But it didn’t make Nazism a “philosophy of peace” merely because most Germans didn’t actively take part in war crimes.

        I do apologize for the lengthy reply.

        • http://www.agnostic-library.com/ma/ PsiCop

          Re: “Unfortunately, I cannot say the same for Islam. Islam has not evolved, and it absolutely was a religion born in far more violence than Christianity was.”

          Actually, there was a time when Islam experienced relative peace. Its history has, to be sure, been punctuated by periods of violence (including now), but the same can be said of Christianity, Judaism, and pretty much every other religion.

          That’s what I’m conveying: It doesn’t matter what the religion is. What matters is the childishness of those who believe in it. And all human beings, everywhere, are capable of being incredibly childish, when they wish to be. (Can you say “Ted Cruz”? He spent 21 hours on the floor of the Senate throwing a tantrum over the ACA.) That the childishness is of a different degree at different times and in different places doesn’t make it any better, in the long term. The childishness, and the fierce religionism that goes along with it, are the true enemies of humanity. The sooner we dispense with the idea that some forms of religiously-enforced childishness are acceptable and some aren’t, the better off we’ll all be.

          Re: “But again: most atheists know absolutely nothing about the region or the history and merely assume that we were the horrible actors.”

          Actually, I have. I took a year of Islamic history in college. To blame its violent history on the U.S. or even the West is laughable. There was violence in Islamic regions both before and after western interventions. If we were to pack up and leave tomorrow, there would still be violence there. Western nations have certainly ratcheted it up here and there; I certainly don’t deny that, and don’t support everything they’ve done; but it is NOT wholly their fault. Absolving the people of Muslim nations of any accountability for their own behavior and their affairs, by blaming outsiders for everything bad that’s ever happened to them, will not help them at all.

          Let’s not forget, too, that Muslim nations certainly intervened (often directly, militarily and violently) in Christian Europe. The Umayyad conquest of Spain, the centuries of war against Byzantium (which they toppled), the Ottomans’ wars in the Balkans, etc. are all examples of this phenomenon. (It also includes Muslim conquests elsewhere … e.g. the Tatars in central Asia, the Mughal Empire in India, etc.)

          I know this quite well myself even if a lot of others don’t. So please don’t accuse me of not being aware of it. I am.

          I agree a lot of people don’t know this, or they do, but keep it out of their minds. But I’m not one of them, so please don’t accuse me of being one.

          Re: “But I recognize very well, as Harris says, that not all religions are equal.”

          As I said already, that’s not much of a defense for any given religion. And you have to know that. “Group 1′s fierce religionism isn’t as bad as Group 2′s” might seem flattering to folks within Group 1, but to me, as an outsider, it doesn’t say a whole helluva lot good about either one.

          • Nathaniel Harari

            Very well. Then we both know more than most people, and I often point to the example of Spain when people bring up the Crusades – something which most have never even heard of.

            Once again, however, I do not think that any religion is any good. But not to recognize that some are worse is folly. To me, it’s the complete dismissal of the understanding of nuances, which I think are very important on some level. Yes, they’re all bullshit, but there are differences and we should acknowledge these differences when combatting them. I don’t mean that you have to argue the philosophies of them to justify them, as I don’t wish to justify any of them (which is one reason I won’t even bother listening to most debates with William Lane Craig, for instance). However, not to understand the nuances and differences in each one, or recognize them at least, is not going to do anyone any good.

            I’ll give you a quick example, because time is currently short for me:

            A few hundred years ago, all murders were treated the exact same, with the exact same penalty: execution. It actually took very liberal thinking, and very brave liberals, to painstakingly start building cases which showed the differences in different kinds of murders over the last few centuries. And these are all important differences and nuances we all respect and understand today. To most people, there is a difference between a crime of passion and a deliberate planning of a murder. There is a difference between first degree, second, and third degree murder.

            Murder in everyone’s eyes is bad – we all agree on that. But we also accept the arguments that there are different basic instances which divide certain murders from others. The reasons may be different, as well as the circumstances, or even mental states of the criminal.

            This is because of liberals – because we didn’t lump everything into one group and say “well, they’re all bad so let’s just string them up”. It is actually thanks to our liberals in society that we have nuances in our laws which turned draconian responses, lumping entire groups together, into different partitions with different consequences. It’s actually one huge reason why we are far more humane today towards one another. It was a product of the enlightenment to do such things, and this is why it pains me to see our “movement” completely lump all these religions into the same mass today, and then to assign the least offensive denominator to them all so as not to offend any particular group more than any other.

            That does bother me. To me, it’s actually a betrayal of all of the things which the enlightenment was about. It mixes an uncaring view of the world outside of one’s personal borders with a lot of misdirected “white guilt” thrown in for good measure. The result is excusing the worst atrocities in the “Muslim world” as being “just as bad” as our own lunatics who are not currently ripping people’s noses off with pliers. I’m not saying that they wouldn’t had they the chance, but our society isn’t giving them that chance.

            And yes, I admit that it is society which has tempered the wild excesses of Christianity, but I also would like to point out that because of this, Christianity has actually changed in most parts of the West. There are groups which haven’t, but they are in the extreme minority. Such is not the case with the Muslim world. If you were to start a prayer group anywhere in the Muslim world which advocates the outright slaying of gays, Jews, Hindus, and anyone else who doesn’t fit your profile, you wouldn’t be considered a pariah by polite society there. You would not be abnormal. Even the “peaceful Muslims” wouldn’t be saying much against it. You may even be encouraged by the local population to keep preaching it louder and louder.

            I really do have to stop writing for now, but thanks for the reply once more.

        • ATL2013

          Precisely this. The argument that “most people do/don’t” is misleading from the start. To say that “most muslims are peaceful” is irrelevant, because MOST of any group of people is not actively participating in violence. Similar to what you mentioned, it’s akin to saying “most Nazis weren’t killing people” as if that somehow lends credence to the tenets of Nazi socialism

    • ATL2013

      I have no interest in trying to understand what the Koran says. I care about how the arcane faith materializes in the real world. For every “peaceful” passage in a religious text, there is something advocating stoning, beheading, and slavery. The real-world application of religions is what makes them depraved human machinations that should have died in the dark ages.

  • Mick

    At least the Christians with their “love thy neighbor” philosophy would never be so cruel. Well yeah, they killed the pagans in the early years, and then there were the Dark Ages, and the Crusades, and the Inquisitions, and the current campaign against homosexuals. But apart from that; lovely people. Not at all like the Muslims.

    • Nathaniel Harari

      You’re exactly the sort of person I was talking about in my comment posted just before yours.

      We don’t live in medieval times anymore, or even the Renaissance. We live in the modern world. To equate today’s Christians to the Crusaders is ridiculous.

      And while I loathe their anti-gay and anti-science campaign in the U.S., I don’t equate that with gouging out people’s eyes before hanging them up from hooks. I don’t put their idiotic legal actions on quite the same level as drilling holes in people’s heads or cutting off bodily parts in front of family members or friends.

      • Spuddie

        “To equate today’s Christians to the Crusaders is ridiculous.”

        Maybe you should read more about the Rwandan genocide, Yugoslavian Civil War, or Peter Montt.

        Atrocities associated with those acting under the banner of Christianity goes well into the modern day. When ANY religion is not kept in check by secular authorities and culture, it runs amok.

        The last intersectarian war between Christians in the developed world ended in the mid 90′s in former Yugoslavia. Many used atrocities from 2 generations past to justify their behavior. (The Croat collaboration with the Nazis was extremely sectarian in nature, moreso than Nazis were usually associated with)

        Peter Montt committed genocide against indigenous people in Guatemala and justified it with his Evangelical faith as late as 1996.

        American Evangelicals are working to make homosexuality a capital crime in Uganda. Russia is reviving the pogrom against them using the Orthodox Church to organize it.

        • Nathaniel Harari

          I remember very well the Rwandan genocide as well as the wars in the former Yugoslavia – two reasons why I will never, ever, trust the United Nations to do anything whatsoever. In fact, I think that Kofi Annan should still be brought up on charges because of his complete inaction during the Rwandan genocide. At that time, I had just started working as a photojournalist in Washington D.C., so it’s stayed with me since then.

          I admit that I know little of Peter Montt, but there are other examples during the 80′s and 90′s in other parts of the world where evangelical cult leaders formed “liberation armies” (usually in Africa) and performed horrific massacres and tortures.

          And I did say in one of my replies that I think that some evangelicals would be just as horrific in the west if they came into full power, but the fact is that while we must be ever vigilant about such things, our general culture would not permit it. The religion may not have changed but, generally speaking, most people’s views in the west regarding religion has completely changed to the point that even most evangelicals and fundamentalists you speak to wouldn’t advocate for the death penalty for gays and others – at least not openly. They are fully aware that such things would be anathema to general society.

          I would point out that the Croat collaboration was not as sectarian as that. The Mufti of Jerusalem himself was involved on a personal level with Hitler to try to help recruitment into the Waffen-SS – an absolutely despicable man whose role and name remains mostly unknown to most people today. In fact, I absolutely believe that were it not for the efforts of this man, there may never have been a war of independence in Israel in 1948, as he was the one who originally sowed the seeds for complete hatred on the Arab side. He also killed anyone who was peaceful towards the Palestinians (Palestinians were Jews, by the way…not Arabs) in the most atrocious ways.

          • Spuddie

            “I would point out that the Croat collaboration was not as sectarian as that.”

            Actually the Croatian Catholic Church was very much entrenched in the collaboration. Religious fervor was definitely capitalized upon in the actions against Serbs. Even to the point of giving Nazis the willies in the viciousness employed. (see Dinko Šakic for more details),They held the last forced conversions to Catholicism in modern history as late as 1944. (See Cardinal Aloysius Stepinac)

            The Western Evangelicals are clever enough not to present their views in their entirety in public when discussing purely sectarian agendas. They advocate nastiness, but not openly and heavily rely on denial and revisionism if they get caught doing so.

  • Itarion

    Gods be damned. All of them.

  • ufo42

    Jihadis are still stuck in the middle ages… trying to play one-up on christianity’s atrocities from those days.

  • jaik

    that’s Conservative religious folks for ya, mix conservatism with religion and politics and this is the result. Christians did the same thing in the Inquisitions & the Salem Witch Trials etc etc etc

  • C.L. Honeycutt

    This, too, is the face of religion.

    Even with the “too” added in as an extremely weak qualifier, this strikes me as identical to lumping in Humanists with Soviets by insinuation.

  • antiguajohn

    This is an atrocity enabled by psychopaths and followers they can dominate.

    Hopefully one day there will be a reliable test for psychopathy, that can be administered to those whom seek power so as to protect society from their machinations to seek and hold power at all costs regardless of the damage to society.

    That said, we must also be aware of “The Myth of Violence”, we actually live in times with fewer wars and less violence than in the past.

    Why is this? Because in the past one would hear of wars and atrocities second hand and weeks, months or years later, today we see the video on the evening news and as humans we react much stronger to visual cues, in the news business they say, “If it Bleeds it Leads”.

    For clarification I suggest you watch this short TED talk by Steven Pinker, see link;

    http://www.ted.com/talks/steven_pinker_on_the_myth_of_violence.html

    antiguajohn

  • DaveDodo007

    These atrocities have not been verified yet though since they murdered children and a pregnant woman and her husband along with many adults I can understand why people believe them to be true. Anybody who has knowledge of the Kenyan security services should know that any Islamic terrorist caught alive will be regretting it right now.

    • Nathaniel Harari

      That’s not entirely true. CNN had a report verifying some of these accounts several hours ago. They apparently have witnessed at least one dead body whose hands were amputated before he was hung (that’s all I remember from the report at the time – they may have verified some others as well).

  • ATL2013

    Islam has nothing of merit to offer civilization. It is the product of archaic superstition and a perverse obsession with intolerance and rigid adherence to spreading a savage worldview.

  • David

    Why these terrorists who have been captured and remain alive in jail is a mystery to me.

  • http://shitmytoiletsays.blogspot.com/ Crud O’Matic

    When you read shit like this, you can’t help but to think that only murderers, torturers, pedophiles and rapists join religions – especially Islam. It gives them a vague authority figure and justification for playing out their sick fantasies.

    • C.L. Honeycutt

      I read that an estimated 4% of people are sociopathic by birth, and an unknown number are trained to sociopathy in some way. 4% of everybody can do a LOT of damage.

  • raveries

    The Kenyan army will no doubt return the favour against civilians in Somalia, which will encourage those civilians and those around them to join militant groups, who will seek to ‘avenge their martyred brothers’ with further atrocities etc ad nauseam.

    I’m feeling really optimistic about the future of Somalia, how about you?


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