The courage of nations and groups is always individual courage, multiplied. This is the story of 56 individuals who changed the world with their bravery and sacrifice.
The contest announcement, which was posted on Twitter, is below.
From The Jewish Press:
‘Soldiers of the Islamic State, Commanders and Troops, Greetings and salutations upon the advent of Ramadan, May it be the will of Allah to accept our fasts and prayers May Allah protect us all from the fires of hell.
Da’wa institutions and mosques hereby declare the opening of the Qur’an memorization competition, To include the following traditions (chapters):
Surat Al-Anfal (Surah prey), (Surah a-Ta’uvah) Surat Muhmad, and Surat Patikha (Surat opening). The competition will be held from 1 Ramadan 1436 to 21 Ramadan 1437.
Those who wish to participate may register at the following mosques: Mosque of Abu Bakr, Mosque of Osama Bin Laden, Mosque of Abu Musab a-Zarqawi (senior Al Qaeda official, the founder of ISIS assassinated in Iraq in 2006), and the Al Taqwa Mosque.
Allah willing, winners will be chosen between 21 Ramadan 1436 and 27 Ramadan 1437.
Grand Prize Winner: ‘Sabia’ (a young girl)
Second Prize: Teenage girl
Third Prize: Teenage girl
Fourth place: 100,000 Syrian pounds ($530)
Fifth place: 90,000 Syrian pounds ($477)
Sixth place: 80,000 Syrian pounds ($424)
Seventh place: 70,000 Syrian pounds ($370)
Eighth place: 60,000 Syrian pounds ($317)
Ninth place: 50,000 Syrian pounds ($265)
Tenth place: 50,000 Syrian pounds ($265)
We ask Allah the Great to ease and help you on your way in serving Him as He desires.
Da’wa Institutions and Mosques
Public Catholic reader JoAnna Wahlund shared that Zenit has published the full text of Pope Francis’ remarks about arms dealers, etc. You can read it here.
Here are the paragraphs that caused the kerfuffle:
It makes me think one thing: people, leaders, entrepreneurs that call themselves Christians, and produce arms! This gives some mistrust: they call themselves Christians! “No, no, Father, I don’t produce them, no, no …. I only have my savings, my investments in arms factories.” Ah! And why? “Because the interest is somewhat higher …” And a double face is also a current coin today: to say something and do another. Hypocrisy …l But let’s see what happened in the last century: in ’14, ’15, in ’15 in fact. There was that great tragedy in Armenia. So many died. I don’t know the figure: more than a million certainly. But where were the great powers of the time? Were they looking elsewhere? Why? Because they were interested in war: their war! And those that died were persons, second class human beings. Then, in the 30s and 40s the tragedy of the Shoah. The great powers had photographs of the railroad lines that took trains to the concentration camps, such as Auschwitz, to kill the Jews, and also Christians, also the Roma, also homosexuals, to kill them there. But tell me, why didn’t they bomb that? Interest! And shortly after, almost contemporaneously, were the lager in Russia: Stalin … How many Christians suffered, were killed! The great powers divided Europe among themselves as a cake. So many years had to pass before arriving at “certain” freedom. It’s that hypocrisy of speaking of peace and producing arms, and even selling arms to this one who is at war with that one, and to that one who is at war with this one!
I understand what you say about mistrust in life, also today when we are living in the throwaway culture, because whatever is not of economic usefulness is discarded. Children are disposed of, because they are not developed or because they are killed before they are born; the elderly are disposed of, because they are not useful or are left there, to die, a sort of hidden euthanasia, and they are not helped to live; and now young people are disposed of: think of that 40% of young people who are without work. It is in fact a rejection! But why? Why are man and woman not at the center of the global economic system, as God wants, but the god of money. And everything is done for money.
Notice that the pope condemns abortion, euthanasia, joblessness, disposable culture and genocide. A critic would have to be reaching quite a bit to get into a huff because he didn’t mention sex trafficking. That’s especially true when you consider that Pope Francis has spoken many times against the evils of human trafficking and sex trafficking.
For a more thorough discussion, go to Pope Francis Condemns Arms Dealers, Duh.
By the way, the differences between what the Pope said and what I was able to piece together (with the best intentions in the world) are a good example of why I recommend reading original sources.
Deal Hudson is all agog because Pope Francis had the temerity to condemn international arms dealers who are providing the weapons that enable groups such as Boko Haram and ISIS to engage in their mass slaughter.
Mr Hudson doesn’t understand why the pope didn’t slam sex traffickers in this same speech. He’s even more flummoxed because the Holy Father has famously said “who am I to judge” about homosexuals who are repentant and doing their best to follow Christ.
Mr Hudson has a long political past, and I believe that he was speaking from that political viewpoint when he wrote his article. He was “outreach adviser” to the Catholic Church for President George W Bush’s presidential campaigns. What this means is that his job was helping the president gain votes from Catholic voters.
According to Wikipedia, “Since 2000, Hudson’s chief political activity has been to help organize the Catholic vote in support of conservative and Republican candidates.”
I think that’s relevant in terms of Mr Hudson’s reaction to Pope Francis’ remarks. Mr Hudson has a public history of viewing the teachings given to us by the popes in light of how they will “play” in electoral battles for power. It was his job to assess the Church as a political power base and come up with ways to use its teachings to craft political spin that would gain votes for one particular political viewpoint.
What that means is that he has a background of ignoring the moral implications of the teachings of the Church and analyzing them in terms of how this or that teaching can be used to gain votes. In order to do his job as a campaign adviser, he had to turn off the moral reflection on what these teachings meant to him as a Catholic and look at them through the absolutely amoral prism of power politics.
I do not say that as a condemnation of Mr Hudson. It is simply the nature of what his job was. He was a political operative.
I view Mr Hudson’s comments about Pope Francis’ condemnation of arms dealers in light of that understanding. In other words, I think they are politically motivated. Mr Hudson is not alone in this. He’s been joined by other defenders of the weapons manufacturing industry, all of them kicking the pope for saying the obvious.
I haven’t been able to find the text of Pope Francis’ remarks (Public Catholic reader JoAnna gave me a link to the speech. You can read it here.) so I’m forced to do as Mr Hudson does with his article and extrapolate from secondary sources. That’s always risky business.
For that reason, I went back and looked at earlier statements Pope Francis has made on this same subject. It turns out that his comments about arms dealers are not a new direction in his thinking. He has condemned arms dealers several times in the past two years, particularly those who sell arms to the likes of Boko Haram. He said this a year ago:
Apparently reacting to current acts of terrorism being perpetrated by the Boko Haram sects in north-eastern parts of Nigeria, Pope Francis early Thursday condemned all acts of terrorism, kidnapping and arms proliferation.
The Pope described the menace as “absurd contradiction” between the international community’s calls for peace, the proliferation of the global arms trade and the lack of attention to the suffering of refugees.
“Everyone talks about peace, everyone says they want it but unfortunately the proliferation of all types of arms is leading us in the opposite direction,” Francis told a group of new ambassadors to the Holy See.
At another time, he decried the power of the weapons’ industry’s lobbyists in government and the largesse they use to buy influence and coddle those who do their bidding, saying,
“And if you want,” he continued, “think of the great dining halls, of the parties thrown by the bosses of the weapons industry that makes the arms that wind up (in those camps). A sick child, starving, in a refugee camp — and the great parties, the fine life for those who manufacture weapons.”
Each of these previous comments were made in the context of the on-going bloodbath in the Middle East. The Holy Father made his comments yesterday in that same context. He made them as he was preparing to leave for a dangerous trip to that region of world.
Does that mean that Pope Francis intends for his condemnation of war profiteers to be limited to this one conflict in that one region of the world? No. When he says that these people are “so-called Christians,” that’s an obvious statement of moral teaching from a man who is the moral teacher for 1.2 billion Catholics .
Frankly, my reaction to his statement is … duh.
Does anyone seriously expect that the Vicar of Christ is going to support arms dealing and war profiteering? Are you going to jump in there and join with those attacking the Pope and defend arms dealing and war profiteering yourself?
It’s easier to understand the Pope’s point if we consider another set of comments he made. At some point — I’m not able to figure out if this was all in one homily or at two different times — he also condemned the Allied bombing runs in World War II for not bombing the train tracks over which people were taken to the Nazi death camps. This is the quote:
He spoke of the Armenian genocide in the early 20th century – though he did not use the word – and of the failure of the Allied forces to stop the Nazi genocide programme. “The great powers had photographs of the railways that brought trains to concentration camps, to Auschwitz, to kill Jews, Christians, Gypsies, homosexuals.
“But tell me, why didn’t they bomb them?” he asked. “The great powers, they divided Europe like a cake.”
Now, how does that jibe with his condemnation of arms dealers?
I think it simply means this: Weapons are objects. They are things. They have no souls. They do not think. They are tools we make. They can be used for self-defense, to hunt for food, for recreational target practice and for cold blooded murder of innocents.
The failure to bomb those tracks was a failure to use the weapons of war to save lives.
That does not, as Mr Hudson implies, smear the men and women in uniform who give their lives to fight these wars. We pray the Centurion’s prayer at mass. Jesus did not condemn this soldier. He praised him for his faith.
It would seem to me that this conflating of these two things — a condemnation of the refusal to use arms to save lives, and a condemnation of international arms traders — tells the story.
The people who are fighting ISIS are also using weapons. But they are using them in self-defense. The war against the Nazis was a war to save civilization. I think the war against ISIS is also a war to save civilization.
That is a vast oversimplification, I know. There is a danger in trying to judge between wars and labeling one side moral and the other amoral. The danger is that we all tend to see “our side” as the moral one. That can lead to justification of any war, any where, against anybody.
There are also a number of great dangers in an economy that is built on arms manufacturing, as the American economy has become. But that is beyond the scope of this post.
Finally, Pope Francis evidently also encouraged his audience to not place their trust in politicians.
Again, I say … duh.
Here is what he said:
“One day everything comes to an end and they will be held accountable to God,” he said.
In his Turin address to young people he also warned against putting too much trust in politicians, saying: “In Europe there is war, in Africa there is war, in Asia there is war. But can I have trust in a world like this? Can I trust the world’s managers?
“When I go to give my vote for a candidate, can I trust that they will not bring my country to war? If you put trust only in people, you lose.”
It’s no wonder that Mr Hudson is so upset with Pope Francis. The Holy Father is challenging Catholics to follow Christ instead of politics. He is directly opposing the political heresy that Mr Hudson served so ably during his time in politics.
Not only that, but he’s going against the biggest pork barrel around: The arms industry. He’s calling foul on the practice of selling weapons of war to mass murderers. He’s saying that you can’t serve both God and mammon.
Somebody else said that a couple of thousand of years ago and He got in big trouble for it.
Pope Francis is cracking apart the political heresy. Those who make their livings by it are responding by calling him everything but the Vicar of Christ.
Who’s going to win this argument?
The Catholic Church has been attacked by governments, powers, armies, and now pundits, for 2,000 years. It has suffered loss and peril. But it has always prevailed.
According to Haarvetz, the Islamic Brotherhood has been trying to shut down ISIS’ activities in Gaza. ISIS has responded with accusations that the Islamic Brotherhood is “too soft” on Israel.
Islamic State supporters in Gaza have given the ruling Hamas movement a 48-hour deadline to halt its crackdown on them.
A statement sent to media on Monday did not say what the ISIS supporters would do if the crackdown continued. It included a claim of responsibility for a rocket fired at Israel from Gaza last week. The claim could not be independently verified.
Hamas has launched a crackdown on radical Islamists following a series of unclaimed bombings, arresting activist and seizing arms.
The extremists accuse Hamas of being soft on Israel and failing to impose religious law. It’s unclear how many ISIS supporters are in Gaza, or if any have operational links to the extremist group.
Meanwhile, Hamas security forces killed an activist of a rival Islamist militant group in a shoot-out at his Gaza home on Tuesday, witnesses said.
ISIS has taken full control, of the Syrian City of Palmyra. This puts ISIS in control of half of Syria. It spells death for a lot of innocent people, as well as destruction for the historic ruins in that city.
According to reports, the beheadings have already begun.
NOTE: I noticed a couple of comments on other topics that reflect the popular ignorance about the Crusades. Since this ignorant and inaccurate mis-use of history has routinely been used for Christian bashing, I’m going to re-run the series on the history of the Crusades. I will probably run it many times. It’s just a bit of light, shining in the lies-about-history-Christian-bashing-propaganda darkness.
Our two-tier educational system has become essentially a trade-school education for people who live in most of the zips codes of these United States. Among other things that kids in most of our schools aren’t taught are music, philosophy, the arts and history.
It is entirely possible to graduate from our public school system, go on to college and earn advanced degrees and never learn anything of these subjects at all except a smidgen of anthologized literature and a gloss of textbook history, along with the state-mandated history of the state in which the schools exists.
No one reads original sources in most of our educational system. Except for those who are being fed the royal jelly at our elite schools, students are taught almost entirely from hideously expensive textbooks. That means everything they learn is shallow, predigested, committee-approved and edited to conformity of thought. The “curriculum” is homogenized multiple-choice-oriented trade school stuff designed to train hirable employees for lower level positions — ranging from middle management on down — at one of our corporate or government bureaucracies.
Our educational system actually works against creating thinkers and decision makers. It works toward developing shallow thinkers who can blast through a multiple choice test. The trouble with that, of course, is that multiple choice tests always give you the answer. There’s no thinking involved.
This universal ignorance leads to a population that is like the proverbial goose, born into a new world every day. It also makes We The People easy pickins for the propagandists who seek to destroy Christianity — along with much of the rest of our societal structure — by lies and obfuscations that a truly educated person would strip clean immediately.
Every day, I delete a steady drip of Christian-bashing comments that are based on the stuff and nonsense of propaganda lies. These comments are not only based on lies, they are usually rancorous, rageful and almost identical with one another. Any politician worth his or her salt would recognize that the commenters have been programmed by misinformation and are speaking from somebody else’s script.
The first question an elected official asks when they get a wave of comments like this is “Who” (meaning which special interest) “is behind this?” That’s survival 101 for elected officials.
It’s also a skill We the People need to learn. In this day of propagandized history that is used to bash Christians and Christianity, coupled with an almost universal ignorance of history, theology, philosophy and the arts, its survival 101 for all of us.
One area in which lies and distortions of fact are used against Christianity is the Crusades. The Crusades are actually a rather small part of the misinformation and distortion used against Christians and Christianity. But, given the blank ignorance about the entire history of the Crusades in the general population, it’s also low-hanging fruit for the Christian basher, including, sadly, our own president.
The Crusades are being used to convict Christians of the beheadings, rapes, kidnappings, immolations, and mass slavery that is occurring right now, today. In an irony that belies any concept of truth or fair play, the Crusades are being used to convict Christians of the sins which are being right now, today, committed against Christians. We are facing a Christian genocide in the Middle East. This is not being done just by ISIS. It is on-going, has been on-going for a long time.
Only a truly ignorant population would “buy” the notion that Christians are somehow guilty of their own genocide because of the Crusades. Not only does that defy logic, it is a misrepresentation of the causes of Crusades themselves.
Here, for those who are interested, is the beginning of a series of videos I’m going to post about the Crusades. The videos are themselves only a brief introduction to the actual history of the Crusades.
When I was in Spain, I was struck by the passion of the people who had fought the fight to repel Islamic invaders. Even today, all these hundreds of years later, the depth of their commitment was right in front of me when I looked at the fortifications they built using their toilet seats, pig troughs and whatever else came to hand. These people had fought a desperate fight for their freedom, and their faith animated that fight.
When I was in Turkey, I encountered the bitterness of the Christians there, much of it still aimed at the Roman Catholic Church. I also encountered the gloss that is applied to the bloody history of Christian persecution in that region. There is so much history that Americans do not know and will never learn so long as they confine their thinking to the gloss and the sham.
I picked up several books about both the Crusades and the Inquisition while I was in Spain. The books were dense, and it took me a while to read them, but they taught me a lot. I also went back and plowed through the papal encyclicals that I could read (some were in French, which I don’t read) of the past 1000 years.
Reading books and original sources is a good way to learn more. It’s important when reading about a subject like this, which is being used as a propaganda tool, to read books written from all viewpoints. That’s an education in itself. If you put on your political eyes, you can often, just by reading the distortions from the angles of opposing distorters, arrive at something that is close to the truth.
Please share these with other Christians and encourage them to learn more. We can’t stop the propagandists from lying. But we can at least inform ourselves.
History of the Crusades.
Who, after all, speaks today of the annihilation of the Armenians? Adolph Hitler
The murderers got away with it.
Their success encouraged Adolph Hitler in his assumption that what had been done to the Christians by the Turks could be done by the Germans to the Jews, and no one would remember it later. Every time I publish a post on the Armenian Genocide, I have to delete a few comments claiming that it never happened. The “explanations” are spurious, the comments are full of rage.
I assume that the people who make these claims have been brainwashed by lies.
It is a miserable experience to face what you have done when what you have done is a crime against humanity. But it is a necessary beginning to forgiveness and healing.
Turkey has been running from its own history for 100 years. This not only dishonors the dead, it creates a climate in which others who are inclined to practice genocide feel that they can get away with it. After all, there is precedent of a million-and-a-half cold-blooded murders that not only went unpunished, but were swept under the rug of history and forgotten for a century of bloodshed.
I began this post by saying that the murderers got away with it. But, of course, no one ever gets away with anything. This life is a short experience. Eternity awaits. In that eternity, everything we do is known. No one gets away with anything.
There is only one Way out of the misery of our sins, and that Way is the Cross. Only the death of God could be sufficient to pay the price of sins such as those that we humans can commit.
If the Turks lived out their days wallowing in the muck of thinking that they got away with it, they were deluding themselves. God is not mocked. They paid the price, in full and for eternity.
Part of our call as Christians living on this side of eternity is to erect and maintain barriers that fence in the bestial impulses that prey on all of us. No person, anywhere, is so pure that they can, of their own thinking and good intentions, prevent themselves from falling into the trap of their own fallen nature.
The vast hubris of telling ourselves that we can be good, that we are, essentially, good, is just that: Hubris. The people who claim this are oftentimes advocating and committing crimes of blood guilt while they say the words.
Jesus said that there is none good except God. He did this to point out to the rich young man who sought to follow Him that he was, in fact, addressing God in the flesh. But the point He made transcends that conversation.
There is none good but God. When we try to pretend otherwise, we doom ourselves to the anguish of constant self-justification. Any contradiction of the life lies we use to pretend that our sins are not sins pushes us to rageful attack. We live today in a society that is rotting with the rage of those who deny the real God so that they can be their own god.
Righteousness and self righteousness are two different things. Without the Cross, without the redemption that only Christ offers, all our righteousness is self righteousness, which is to say, that all our righteousness is a pose, a sham and a lie.
The Ottoman Turks committed genocide against the Christians of Armenia. This crime was not just a crime against the individual people who were murdered. It was not just murder, committed one and a half million times. It was a crime that struck to the heart of what it means to be human. It was a crime so vast and so evil that it is a crime committed against every human being who ever walked, or who will ever walk, this planet.
The call to bring this genocide into the light is not just a call for justice. It is a necessity of human survival. There are some crimes that we must not ignore and can not tolerate if we are to survive as a species. Genocide is one of those crimes.
ISIS is in the process of committing new genocides today. Their targets are Christians and the followers of the ancient religions that predate Christianity. But their ultimate victim is Islam itself.
By committing genocide and claiming that it is an Islamic practice, they are also claiming that Islam is of the devil. No one outside Islam is defaming the faith in this manner. It is coming from its own violent adherents.
Only the harsh cleansing of truth can scrub away the stains of sin this deep.
The truth is that the Armenian genocide was genocide. The truth is that it was committed 100 years ago by the Ottoman Turks.
The truth is that this crime is so vast, so deeply threatening to our claims of humanity, so portentous in its capacity to kill without limit, that human beings as a race, a tribe, a species, can not, ever, allow anyone to get away with it.
Muslims, fleeing other Muslims by going to a Christian country for refuge, threw fellow migrants who were Christians overboard.
From Christianity Today:
Fifteen Muslim migrants face charges of murder fueled by religious hatred after allegedly throwing a dozen Christian migrants overboard this week during a sea crossing from northern Africa to Italy.
Refugees who survived the crossing “burst into tears” as they described the violence to Italian police, AsiaNews reports. Italy and other countries have welcomed more than 10,000 refugees fleeing across the Mediterranean Sea in recent days. Such migrations hit a record high last year, reports the BBC, which has mapped the problem given the journey is also producing record deaths.
The boat in question left Libya with 105 passengers on Tuesday. An Italian navy ship took the remaining passengers on board and transferred them to a Panamanian ship that docked in Italy on Wednesday, according to CNN.
The Christian victims were Ghanaian and Nigerian, and the accused Muslims are from the Ivory Coast, Mali, and Senegal, according to The New York Times (NYT).
You will not have safety even in your dreams until you accept Islam. Masked ISIS murderer just before killing Christian prisoners.
ISIS released another video today. It showed masked murderers marching bound and unarmed prisoners onto a beach and beheading them. It also showed the murder of another group of prisoners by gunfire. According to reports, all of the murdered were Christians martyrs.
What is different about this video is that it directly threatens Christians in a specific manner and states that the reason for the murders is that the Christians did not convert to Islam.
ISIS Executes More Christians in Libya. (CNN)ISIS operatives have executed two groups of prisoners, believed to be Ethiopian Christians, in Libya, according to a video released Sunday by the terror network’s media arm.
The al-Furqan Media video — which is highly produced and titled “Until There Came to Them Clear Evidence” — shows two groups of men, one in orange jumpsuits and the other in black, being killed at different locations in Libya, according to the video’s narrator.
One group is beheaded on a beach along the Mediterranean Sea, while the other group is shot in Southern Libya, hundreds of miles away.
“All praise be to Allah, the Lord and cherisher of the world and may peace and blessings be upon the Prophet Mohammed. To the nation of the cross, we are back again on the sands, where the companions of the Prophet, peace be upon him, have stepped on before, telling you: Muslim blood that was shed under the hands of your religion is not cheap,” the narrator says in Arabic on the 39-minute video.
The narrator continues, “In fact, their blood is the purest blood because there is a nation behind them (which) inherits revenge. And we swear to Allah: the one who disgraced you by our hands, you will not have safety, even in your dreams, until you embrace Islam.”
Quoting Mohammed, the narrator says that those who “perform prayer and pay alms” will have “their blood and property” protected by the Prophet unless Islam dictates otherwise.
“You pay (tax) with willing submission, feeling yourselves subdued. Our battle is a battle between faith and blasphemy, between truth and falsehood, until there is no more polytheism — and obedience becomes Allah’s on its entirety,” the narrator says.
Earlier in the video, a different speaker says Christians in the northern Iraqi city of Mosul were given the choice to embrace Islam or maintain their Christian faith and pay a tax.
“The Islamic state has offered the Christian community this many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated,” the speaker says.
From New York Post:
ISIS Video Shows Execution of Ethiopian Christians ISIS terrorists released their latest blood-drenched video on Sunday, showing the shootings and beheadings of two groups of Ethiopian Christians in Libya.
“You will not have safety even in your dreams until you accept Islam,” says a masked fighter with a pistol, who insists Christians must convert to Islam or pay a tax prescribed by the Quran.
“Our battle is a battle between faith and blasphemy, between truth and falsehood.”
Earlier in the video, a different speaker says Christians in Mosul, Iraq, were given the choice of embracing Islam or paying a tax.
“The Islamic State has offered the Christian community this many times and set a deadline for this, but the Christians never cooperated,” the speaker says.
So victims were then rounded up to pay the ultimate price, being executed by gunfire in a desert and by beheadings on a beach, the video shows.
The sickening propaganda video was released almost exactly two months after 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians were beheaded by extremists.
In the latest recorded executions, about 12 victims appear to have been lined up and shot to death in the desert. Another 16 appear to have been massacred on the beach.
Ethiopia Announces Three Days of National Mourning for Its Citizens Killed by IS Ethiopian government spokesperson Redwan Hussien said the country will observe three days of national mourning for 28 Ethiopian Christians killed by Islamic State militants in Libya and three of its nationals killed in South Africa following wave of xenophobic attack against African migrant workers.
From Miami Herald: Video: Islamic State Kils Ethiopian Christians in Libya. CAIRO
Islamic State militants in Libya shot and beheaded groups of captive Ethiopian Christians, a video purportedly from the extremists showed Sunday. The attack widens the circle of nations affected by the group’s atrocities while showing its growth beyond a self-declared “caliphate” in Syria and Iraq.
The release of the 29-minute video comes a day after Afghanistan’s president blamed the extremists for a suicide attack in his country that killed at least 35 people – and underscores the chaos gripping Libya after its 2011 civil war and the killing of dictator Moammar Gadhafi.
It also mirrored a film released in February showing militants beheading 21 captured Egyptian Christians on a Libyan beach, which immediately drew Egyptian airstrikes on the group’s suspected positions in Libya. Whether Ethiopia would – or could – respond with similar military force remains unclear.
The video starts with what it called a history of Christian-Muslim relations, followed by scenes of militants destroying churches, graves and icons. A masked fighter brandishing a pistol delivers a long statement, saying Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran.
It shows one group of captives, identified as Ethiopian Christians, purportedly held by an Islamic State affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barqa Province. It also shows another purportedly held by an affiliate in the southern Libyan calling itself the Fazzan Province. The video then switches between footage of the captives in the south being shot dead and the captives in the east being beheaded on a beach. It was not immediately possible to estimate how many captives were killed or confirm their identities.