The teenagers were on their way to their Christian school in Poso (Sulawesi), Indonesia. As they walked through a cocoa plantation, none could have imagined the horror awaiting them.
Hiding beside the path, hooded jihadists relished their opportunity to attack innocent, unarmed Christian schoolgirls. Machetes in hand, they leapt on the girls and began slashing them. As their victims fell to the ground, screaming, the men savagely hacked at their necks, determined to decapitate as many as possible. They achieved their objective. They beheaded three girls and slit the throats of two others. To make their point, they deposited one girl's head at the door of a local church.
One week later two young Christian girls in the same area were shot in the head at point-blank range. Both, at this writing, are tenuously clinging to life.
These atrocities are but the latest in a grotesque trail of carnage that has become typical of reports coming out of Indonesia. Between 1998 and 2002, 10,000 Christians were murdered. Recently 40 violent attacks against Christians have taken place. Add to this the chain of assassinations of pastors and Christian leaders, along with the closure of hundreds of churches due to Muslim violence, and one sees in microcosm what is happening to Christians in many parts of the world.
The tragedy of what happened in October to these harmless Christian schoolgirls only demonstrates the dimensions and severity of the jihadist determination to achieve global supremacy. It raises serious issues and, frankly, frightening prospects for the future of the Western democracies, which Islamists view as infidel Judeo-Christian enclaves that must be either subjugated or destroyed.
And if matters are as serious as the evidence suggests, why the silence? Why is the West not producing a level of outrage commensurate with the Islamic crimes?
THE FEAR of offending: When the planes commandeered by Islamic jihadists struck the World Trade towers in New York City and the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., four years ago, the West immediately soft-pedaled or ignored the fact the culprits were devout Muslims. Why? Because it dared not associate decent, lawabiding Muslims with the terrorist deeds of their Islamic brothers. Moderate Muslims were not to blame, we were told. Indeed they were not; but in failing to condemn the attacks, the silence of the great majority of them was deafening.
In the 2005 London subway bombings, now all but forgotten, one of the first acts of the British government was to meet with Muslim leaders and discuss the "grievances" that might have provoked them to such extreme action.
News reports on the recent torching of France scarcely mentioned the disquieting fact that the rioting Molotov cocktail-tossers, pillagers, and arsonists were Muslims who were incited, supplied, and evidently directed by sources outside their own slums.
Reaction to these ever-increasing terrorist activities is institutional hand-wringing over the "injustices" Muslims suffer in the societies in which they have chosen to make their homes through mass immigration. The questions pundits and politicians address, ad nauseam, are "What did we do to cause them such pain?" and "How much more can we give to alleviate their suffering?"
Unquestionably, there is a war going on. But because a significant segment of it is directed against Christians - evangelicals, in the main - it remains unreported and unlamented by liberal secularists who control the media.
Listen to a voice heard around the world: "Ramadan is not a month for indolence," screams a Muslim imam in a mosque in Australia. "Ramadan is a month for jihad upon oneself and jihad upon the enemy." It is a time, he contends, when followers must become more disciplined in adhering to the Koran and more willing to topple the enemy of Islam, namely, the West.
And the beat goes on in sinister predictions of the dark days that, "Allah willing," will descend on America. The imam's message is heard every week in mosques from Jerusalem to Jakarta to America and across the world, inflaming young men and women to carry the torch or suicide belt into wedding celebrations and cocoa plantations to kill the infidels. Sadly, one of the weakest links in the chain to restrain the Islamic holy war that beheads teenaged schoolgirls is Western Christianity, which seems more interested in the plight of television's Desperate Housewives than in the desperate, real-life situations of victims of the Islamic, genocidal, international crusade. When that link snaps, it will be too late.
The writer, based in the US, is a veteran leader of the Christian Zionist movement.