I was upset, but not altogether surprised. An Islamic group claimed responsibility for the horrific violence. Ugh - this comes after several dioceses across the Islamic world decided to forego Midnight Mass on account of the increased threat from Muslims. Much like Dymphna, I'm sick of hearing that Islam is the religion of peace. Considering how much of the Islamic world condones this sort of behavior, I have my doubts anymore.
I'm sure many Muslims recoiled in horror upon hearing of the massacre, but let's be honest - how many of them spoke out against this injustice? How many marched in protest? But make some political cartoons that depict the Prophet and you've got riots, marches, and protests galore.
Ever since reading Bruce Bawer's book While Europe Slept, (and subsequently Ayaan Hirsi Ali's book, Infidel) I've come to realize just how well the Islamists use inaction to support the so-called "extremist" movement within their ranks. Islam in the States vs. Islam in Europe vs. Islam in Africa... they're all very different from one another. In the States, we've done a pretty good job buffering ourselves against the extremist versions on account of our naturally overwhelming "melting pot" mentality. Europe has done a poorer job of this, and as a result, remained ignorant of the subtle take-over being wrought through immigration. Now there is palpable tension between Islamists and non-Islamists, but due to politics and niceties, no one wants to talk about it and even less does anyone want to do anything about it. Thus, flare ups occur randomly and burn hotly for a short while only to return to a seemingly dormant state as fuel builds for the next eruption.
In Africa (and more Islamic European countries), everyone is more than aware of the tension and simply feel powerless against Islam. Education is lacking in many areas, and as a result, folks don't understand their ability to mobilize. They also aren't properly taught the truth about Islam... only the angry, polarizing parts that are useful to the militants in charge... as a result, you've got a constant powder keg of miseducation and manipulation that is willfully pushing the population into an ever greater frenzy. Flare ups become commonplace as the war machine attempts to forcibly take over those who don't want to adhere to the Islamic vision of peace.
Now obviously all religions have extremists who go and do all sortsa nutty things. We can't always blame the evil people do on the religion they practice. However, the difference between other denominations and Islam is that when others step out of line, their religious leaders immediately distance themselves from the violence, condemn the evil for what it is, and verbally reprimand the guilty party in the hopes of re-educating both the perpetrator and those confused by the perp's actions "in the name of X religion."
How many imams have risen up against this group to decry their actions? How many Islamic leaders denounced such tactics as contrary to their religion? We've got a lot speaking about peace and inter-faith dialogue, but condemnation in an effort to distance and re-educate? That seems to get choked on an awful, awful lot.
May those souls rest in peace, safe in the arms of the Creator whose Birth they died celebrating.