And the world is helpless. The New York Times front page on December 28, 2012 had this photo of a left-hand amputee. There have been 14 cases of amputations in northern Mali since the Islamists took over.
Twenty-one Shiite pilgrims on the way to Iran have been killed in Pakistan in the last few days.
Yesterday, six aid workers in a girls’ school in Pakistan were shot to death because of their work educating girls.
And on and on almost daily. News of atrocities committed on civilians, and the perpetrators are rarely caught. Those who inspire and finance and guide the murderers are rarely if ever brought to justice. Who are they? Where do they find safe haven to raise money, obtain the latest weapons and equipment, to recruit the perpetrators and operate with impunity?
Those who commit these atrocities are not from Mars. Most of the time they are known in the communities that they attack. How do they get away with it? Are there sympathizers who are willing to tolerate their methods? Is the majority intimidated into silence, rendering them complicit in the violent acts?
As history shows, the extremists will eventually turn against the bystanders. In northern Mali, it is happening now, just as it happened in Afghanistan when the Taliban were in power from 1996 until 2001. And now we see the potential vulnerability of countries like Pakistan, once again in Afghanistan, and perhaps even Iran.
Those of you who know who these people are are now forewarned. Act, before it is too late.