Partial body count for today

Islamic State is reported to have killed 21 Egyptian Christians it was holding captive.

A video has emerged purportedly showing the beheading of 21 Egyptian Christians who had been kidnapped by Islamic State (IS) in Libya.

The footage shows a group wearing orange overalls, being forced to the ground and then decapitated.

It was posted online by Libyan jihadists who say they are allied with IS.

It’s getting to be like living in an old myth, or in a wilderness full of bears. Or in Europe circa 1942.

The kidnapped Egyptian workers, all Coptic Christians, were seized from the coastal town of Sirte in eastern Libya, now under the control of Islamist groups.

On Friday, IS released pictures of the Egyptians, saying they had been kidnapped to avenge the fate of Muslim women “tortured and murdered by the Coptic church of Egypt”.

Egypt’s government has warned people not to travel to Libya, but many go there looking for work.

It’s not as if Copts are treated all that well in Egypt.

Moving south and east on the continent, we come to Nigeria.

A female suicide bomber has killed at least seven people at a crowded bus station in north-eastern Nigeria.

Police say more than 30 others were wounded in the city of Damaturu, capital of Yobe State.

No group has said it carried out the bombing but the jihadist group Boko Haram has previously launched attacks in the city.

At this rate Boko Haram and Islamic State will soon be able to join forces. Bears. The bears are winning.

Marcos Danladi, police commissioner of Yobe State, said Sunday’s attack took place at the Damaturu Central Motor Park.

According to reports, the female suicide bomber arrived in a vehicle and walked into a crowd outside a grocery store at the end of the terminal where she detonated her explosives.

Atta girl – walk into that crowd before you detonate.

A busy Sunday.


  1. Anne Fenwick says

    How do you all think this compares with past phases of what now seem to us like collective insanity such as the Holocaust or the witch hunts? Or those sudden strange attacks of Puritanism where ‘everything’ gets banned?

    How do you think it compares with people getting sucked into Jesus cults of the kind we were more familiar with a couple of decades ago? Can any of these things offer us any insights?

    On the plus side, it seems to me that the IS is so extreme and there are so few things and people it likes that it can only burn out (leaving yet another historical tragedy in its wake). Difficult to guess its lifespan in advance though.

  2. Katherine Woo says

    What I think is that people whose first inclination upon news of an atrocity committed by Muslims is to make references to Christianity either simply know nothing of substance about Islam or are engaged in deliberate deflection for various political reasons.

  3. Al Dente says

    Katherine Woo @2

    What I think is you’re trying to justify your Islamophobia and your hatred of anyone to the left of Marine Le Pen.

  4. Katherine Woo says

    Al Dente, your wild personal attacks just helps prove my point that your ilk’s discomfort with discussing Islam directly is a cowardly political act.

  5. says

    Anne – well that was what I meant about Europe in 1942. It’s reminding me a little too much of past phases of the Holocaust.

    Katherine – could you possibly make an effort to comment without picking a fight every single time?

    I mean…seriously? Do you really think my first inclination upon news of an atrocity committed by Muslims is to make references to Christianity?

    Try to converse instead of delivering a rebuke every damn time you comment. It’s monotonous and unpleasant.

  6. bigwhale says

    Comparing current Islamist violence to the Holocaust, as Anne did, I see as jumping up and down, waving arms to say “Pay attention to this!”

  7. says

    Really? Why? You don’t think Islamist violence has killed enough people in Pakistan, Nigeria, Afghanistan, Somalia, Kenya, Argentina, Iraq, Syria, Libya, Algeria and elsewhere to merit comparison to the Holocaust?

    If that’s what you’re saying, I disagree.

  8. Seth says

    I think bigwhale @7 was saying that utilizing the Holocaust as a point of comparison was meant to outline just how horrible the current situation vis. radical Islam is, and how bad it might become if we aren’t careful. It’s a tactic of highlighting, rather than obfuscation (as Katherine Woo implied it was). But, given the recent combative environment of these threads, I can see how a first reading of bigwhale’s comment might come off as negative toward Anne Fenwick’s point rather than positive. (It took me a second reading to come to my interpretation, which still might be misplaced faith, after all.)

  9. Crimson Clupeidae says

    IS is to islam as the Phelps clan (in the US) are to xianity. They both rely on the same religious texts as the rest of the world, and take the violent parts to their extreme while ignoring much of the peaceful, encouraging everyone to get along parts. Given my incomplete reading of the koran as compared to the bible, it’s a bit easier to ‘justify’ what they are doing than the Phelps’ overwhelming obsession for homosexuality, which is barely mentioned in the bible.

    But, these extremists are cherry picking just as much as the moderates (of all abrahamic beliefs) around us, they are just cherry picking the really horrific parts.

  10. wannabe says

    Echoing rosiebell@6’s recommendation of that Atlantic article. ISIS is fundamentalist, with all of its policies including mass executions and slavery being based in historic Islam. It is also apocalyptic:

    “The Prophetic narration that foretells the Dabiq battle refers to the enemy as Rome. Who “Rome” is, now that the pope has no army, remains a matter of debate. But Cerantonio makes a case that Rome meant the Eastern Roman empire, which had its capital in what is now Istanbul. We should think of Rome as the Republic of Turkey—the same republic that ended the last self-identified caliphate, 90 years ago. Other Islamic State sources suggest that Rome might mean any infidel army, and the Americans will do nicely.
    After its battle in Dabiq, Cerantonio said, the caliphate will expand and sack Istanbul. Some believe it will then cover the entire Earth, but Cerantonio suggested its tide may never reach beyond the Bosporus. An anti-Messiah, known in Muslim apocalyptic literature as Dajjal, will come from the Khorasan region of eastern Iran and kill a vast number of the caliphate’s fighters, until just 5,000 remain, cornered in Jerusalem. Just as Dajjal prepares to finish them off, Jesus—the second-most-revered prophet in Islam—will return to Earth, spear Dajjal, and lead the Muslims to victory.

    [ISIS] already rules an area larger than the United Kingdom.

  11. says

    Alot of people aren’t aware of the atrocities going on in Africa relating to extremism. Everyone is too focused on ISIS and the middle east that they forget about the heinous crimes happening right now in the second biggest continent on earth.

  12. says

    If you’ve been whack-a-moleing Katherine Woo I think she has popped up at Harry’s Place, where she is scolding and insulting people under the moniker Korean Kat. I apologise if they aren’t the same person, but they do seem very much alike in their form, content and their effect on other commenters.

  13. Anne Fenwick says

    @ 7-9 – Sorry guys, we had a power cut so I kind of bailed on this thread and now, it’s a bit late.

    I wasn’t trying to compare the magnitude of different events, let alone their authorship. I was wondering about the individual and collective states of mind or social mechanisms in which atrocities are committed. And when I say wondering, I mean actually wondering, as opposed to trying to make a point. How does society, as a system in which people aren’t systematically killing each other <i?en masse, collapse into a mess where they are? Think of say, Jared Diamond’s Collapse which tries to think about the ecological meltdown of societies. I’m wondering about socio-political meltdown.

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