An affiliate of the Islamic State released another installment of “death TV,” this time showing the beheadings of 21 Coptic Christians.
“The militants had been holding 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians hostage for weeks, all laborers rounded up from the city of Sirte in December and January,” AP reports. “It was not clear from the video whether all 21 hostages were killed. It was one of the first such beheading videos from an Islamic State group affiliate to come from outside the group’s core territory in Syria and Iraq.”
An al-Qaeda field manual describes such killings as useful because they help “clarify the nature of the struggle” between the terrorists and those whom the terrorists regard as “the main enemy — the Jews, the Christians, and their agents.”
Whatever the utility of these videos for increasing the terrorists’ morale or gaining recruits, they fail with respect to their goal of terrorizing the main enemy. Christians, ISIS seems not to understand, are not weakened by the sight of other Christians dying for their faith. They’re inspired to remain faithful, as the martyr —the ancient Greek word for “witness” — attests to the hope of resurrection through Jesus Christ.
“The people of the cross.”
21 of them—21 of us—have been promoted to glory. May God give their families great grace. pic.twitter.com/yaGzmE8vAV
— Matt Smethurst (@MattSmethurst) February 15, 2015
If ISIS wants to discourage Christians, they picked a bad way to do it.