Islamic State has claimed responsibility for an attack this morning on a church in the north of France that left an elderly Roman Catholic priest dead.
The priest, 86-year-old Father Jacques Hamel, was killed by two attackers who stormed the 9 a.m. mass at Saint Etienne’s church in the town of Saint Etienne du Rouvray. According to local media, the assailants slit Hamel’s throat after they entered the church by the back door shouting “Allah Akbar”. Several others were taken hostage. The men were shot dead by police officers as they emerged from the church.
A statement released by Islamic State this afternoon claimed two of its “soldiers” had carried out the attack.
According to the London Daily Express, security sources said one of the murderers was a convicted terrorist who was being monitored with an electronic tag. The same source said the church was one of a number of Catholic places of worship on a hit list discovered on an ISIS suspect in April 2015.
Once again, the Islamic State has proved to be more cowards than warriors by attacking a vulnerable, innocent Christian church leader, religious sisters and peaceful worshipers. ISIS’ latest attack is a declaration of Islamic jihad on Christians, in addition to France.
We are extremely distressed by news of this latest jihadist attack. It is time for France and the whole European Union to care more about its citizens than political correctness. A critical function of the Islamic State is to wage jihad against all infidels and to build a global caliphate. These attacks on Europe will not subside under timid policies in the name of tolerance.