Father Abraham must weep.
The attack of Taliban gunmen on a school in Pakistan killed more than 100 students. In Yemen, two car bombs exploded, one of them killing 20 small children in a school bus. In Sydney, Australian hostages were held and two killed before a crazed Iranian immigrant was shot dead for the crime.
The only connection in these deranged events was religious: All of the perpetrators believe they are carrying out the will of God.
We can only echo President Barack Obama’s well-chosen words in response to the Pakistan attack — this was depravity, a betrayal of every quality of humanity and a desecration of the faith that is the ostensible motivation for terrorism.
The Sydney gunman was a deeply disturbed man with a criminal record. Authorities are going to have explaining to do about what he was doing at large. But in Pakistan, the Taliban is almost an official presence in Peshawar and other parts of the country’s mountain border with Afghanistan. The government of Pakistan’s unstable relationship with Muslim extremism has caused great suffering for the people who become examples to be slain, like Peshawar’s children.
They are not the first victims nor will they be the last, tragically. This attack is just a particularly heartbreaking example of how insane the Taliban killers are.
In Yemen, a minor war between Sunni extremists affiliated with al-Qaida terror groups and a Shiite local sect was the inspiration for the car bombings. If there is any saving grace in the latter, it is that CNN reported that the car bomb that blew up in traffic apparently was not aimed at children directly but was intended to be a second blow at a recruiting station for the Houthi sect fighters.
The people of the United States, of every faith and creed, reject these tactics and the murderers who commit them. Our government is ready to act to track down murderers. What also is true is that we cannot police the world, and our partners — such as the government of Pakistan — on the front lines must be guardians of their own security.