The Islamic State (ISIS) terror group has long targeted Middle East Christians, and its reach has extended to murderous attacks in Europe and elsewhere around the world. But, writes The Jerusalem Post's Ilan Evyatar, yesterday's murder of an elderly priest at a Normandy church was ISIS' first act of war on Europe's Christian communities:
Regardless of whether Tuesday’s attack was the work of Islamic State or whether it was merely inspired by the jihadi rhetoric emanating from the so-called caliphate, its symbolism is hard to ignore.
Previous attacks in France perpetrated by Islamic State and in its name have been against freedom of speech (Charlie Hebdo), Western liberalism (the Bataclan theater), the ideals of the French Revolution, which stand at the heart of Western thought (the Bastille Day truck attack in Nice)and against Jews (Hyper Cacher).
Now, Islamic State has successfully committed its first act of war on European Christianity itself by taking hostages in a church and slitting the throat of an octogenarian priest as they forced him to kneel and then filmed themselves preaching in Arabic at the altar.
It has been long expected...
Islamic State has already been waging war on Christians in Iraq and Syria, committing countless atrocities that in March were declared as genocide by the US Congress.
A core part of the terrorist group’s ideology is the belief that an apocalyptic showdown will take place at Dabiq near Aleppo in Syria where the armies of “Rome” – aka Christianity – will be defeated by the armies of Islam. What Islamic State seeks is all-out war to make that apocalyptic vision reality...