Pakistan:

MULTAN, Pakistan – Nazir Ahmed appears calm and unrepentant as he recounts how he slit the throats of his three young daughters and their 25-year old stepsister to salvage his family‘s “honor” — a crime that shocked Pakistan.

Hundreds of girls and women are murdered by male relatives each year in this conservative Islamic nation, and rights groups said Wednesday such “honor killings” will only stop when authorities get serious about punishing perpetrators.

Indonesia:

PALU, Indonesia, Dec. 31 (UPI) — A deadly bombing in an Indonesian market is being blamed on religious intolerance. Eight people are dead and 45 injured after a bomb full of nails and ball bearings exploded Saturday morning in Palu, the BBC reports.

It happened in a Christian part of the town, at a pork stand.

Authorities blame Muslim militants for this attack and recent violence. Twelve people reportedly have been arrested in the wake of the blast.

Police also defused another bomb in the area.

Violence between Christians and Muslims killed nearly 1,000 people in 2000 and 2001.

Two bombs killed 20 people in May this year and three Christian schoolgirls were beheaded in October.

Bangladesh:

NETRAKONA, Bangladesh, Dec. 8 (UPI) — A suicide bomb attack in a northern Bangladesh town Thursday killed seven people and wounded more than 50 others, some seriously, reports say.

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but the government has blamed a banned militant group, Jamaat-ul-Mujahedin, for this and a series of recent bomb attacks.

The group wants to have Islamic law established in Bangladesh, which is the world’s third most populous Muslim country after Indonesia and Pakistan.

Thailand:

YALA/THAILAND: Five people were shot dead on Saturday in separate attacks by suspected Islamic militants in Thailand’s restive south while a former Thai prime minister called for peace in the troubled region.

The unrest in southern Thailand erupted on January 4, 2004, when militants launched a daring raid on a weapons depot in Narathiwat province. Since then, more than 1,000 people have been killed in near-daily shootings, bombings and arson attacks which are blamed on a complex mix of factors – Islamic insurgency, organised crime and local corruption.

Afghanistan:

KANDAHAR, Afghanistan (AP) — Taliban militants beheaded a teacher in a central Afghan town while his wife and eight children watched, officials said Wednesday, describing the latest in a string of attacks targeting educators at schools where girls study.

Iraq:

BAGHDAD (Reuters) – A suicide bomber killed 36 people and wounded 40 at a Shi’ite funeral on Wednesday and a car bomb exploded in the lately peaceful holy city of Kerbala, ratcheting up tension between Iraq’s Muslim sects.

A car bomb also went off in a Shi’ite district of Baghdad, killing three. The bombers defied a major security operation, launched to find the kidnapped sister of a government minister, to detonate the vehicle in the north of the city.

Jordan:

AMMAN, Jordan — Suicide bombers carried out nearly simultaneous attacks on three U.S.-based hotels in the Jordanian capital Wednesday night, killing at least 57 people and wounding 115 in what appeared to be an al-Qaida assault on an Arab kingdom with close ties to the United States.

This is just a sampling of the Muslim violence that has made headlines in recent weeks. There are some common themes that run though these attacks. All the attacks are directed at civilian targets. They use bombs to blow up people almost at random or they kill by slitting throats or beheading. Perhaps they are inspired by the direct word of Allah in Sura 47:4:

When you encounter the unbelievers on the battlefield, strike off their heads until you have crushed them completely; then bind the prisoners tightly

or the direct example of Mohammed himself:

The practice of beheading non-Muslim captives extends back to the Prophet himself. Ibn Ishaq (d. 768 C.E.), the earliest biographer of Muhammad, is recorded as saying that the Prophet ordered the execution by decapitation of 700 men of the Jewish Banu Qurayza tribe in Medina for allegedly plotting against him.

It is true that the Christian Bible records incidents of beheadings but these are historical accounts and Christians treat them that way. There is no instruction from Jesus or God to go around beheading unbelievers and there are no accounts of Jesus approving the mass beheading of prisoners.

The targets of the violence are Muslims who have strayed from the true path or Infidels. In either case, the perpetrators can and do use the Koran to justify their attacks. The Catholic Church is figuring out what the civilized world is up against. Check this Hugh Hewitt interview. I’ll close with two samples from Tim Blair’s Quotes of 2005:

* “I don’t know why I’ve done this. I’m a Muslim, I was fasting, the last thing I should ever have done is eat something.”—Mohammed Sarfraz, charged with assault after biting off part of a security guard’s ear

* “These days, whenever something goofy turns up on the news, chances are it involves a fellow called Mohammed.”—Mark Steyn

I suspect Mr. Steyn was using litotes when he wrote “goofy” instead of “barbaric”.

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