ISIS-linked extremists in Yemen has reportedly carried out their threat to crucify a captured priest, Father Thomas Uzhunnalil, 56, after he was taken hostage during a massacre at a Catholic home. Some 15 people were killed on March 4th after four Islamic extremists posed as visiting family members and then murdered the occupants, including four Indian nuns, two Yemeni female staff members, eight elderly residents and a guard. Also, in Pakistan, at least 70 people are dead in an ISIS attack during the Easter holiday that targeted a playground filled with mothers and children. A Taliban faction Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which has sworn allegiance to ISIS, took “credit” for the Easter bombing — using bombs loaded with ball bearings to maximize the killing of the children and mothers gathered in the park for the holiday. Islamic extremists who are willing to riot and kill for any slight of their religion have little problem with targeting religious buildings and holidays of other faiths. While such inconsistencies are hardly surprising for a group willing to crucify priests and shoot elderly nuns, the belief that such grotesque acts please Allah remains inconceivable to most people.
Father Uzhunnalil was kidnapped by ISIS gunmen in Yemen three weeks ago. Archbishop of Vienna, Christoph Cardinal Schönborn told a congregation gathered in St. Stephen’s Cathedral in the Austrian capital that the priest had been crucified. Some media sites however are still saying that the fate of this priest remains uncertain. The location is a refuge for the elderly operated by Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity in main southern city Aden. ISIS targeted people of God who not only took vows of poverty but took assignments in one of the most dangerous and impoverished areas of the world.
What is equally disturbing with the violence in Pakistan is that, rather than forcing a period of reflection on the rise of Islamic extremism, thousands took to the street to praise the murderer of a moderate politician who was killed by his bodyguard for criticizing the blasphemy laws. The streets were filled with Muslims demanding the adoption of medieval Islamic Sharia laws, including the death penalty for those who insult or defame Islam.