They Cry in Silence May/Jun 2002

Although Wall Street Journal reporter Daniel Pearl was Jewish, not Christian, in many ways his execution parallels that of Christian believers in other parts of the world. Not only was it strikingly similar in manner, but it also echoed the global plan of Islamic extremists.

Daniel Pearl’s last words were these: “My father is a Jew, my mother is a Jew, and I am a Jew.” This statement may well have been forced on him by his murderers, who cut his throat while he was speaking. If not, it is understandable that the journalist would have chosen to make these words his last. But if so (they tortured him into making other statements denouncing his country and religion), his killers were using his Jewishness as a twisted justification for his murder.

As Mr. Pearl was dying, his head was sliced from his body and his lifeless torso stabbed repeatedly. His murderers videotaped everything, including his severed head and bloody torso, and released the video for distribution.

Daniel Pearl, a native of Princeton, New Jersey, was kidnapped while in Pakistan. He was killed for two reasons. First, he was an American journalist. It mattered not that he had a reputation for fairness in his reporting. Next, he was Jewish. For those reasons alone, he was deemed unfit to live.

The graphic details of his barbaric death may repulse us. But it’s time we paid attention to the graphic details of what some men are doing in the name of religion.

A few months ago, I saw the grim photographs of a young man in Indonesia who had miraculously survived a near decapitation at the hands of militant Muslims. His body bears horrible scars from the ordeal. Just weeks ago, I received photos of a Pakistani pastor lying shot to death on the floor of his church. In a corner of the room were the lifeless bodies of several church members who were attending a Bible study when the shooting began.

Daniel Pearl, the young man in Indonesia, and the pastor in Pakistan had something in common: their killers all had links to al-Qaida and the infamous Osama bin Laden terror group.

Daniel Pearl died because he was Jewish and an American. The other victims were killed because they were Christians. Although not Americans, these Christians were linked by faith in Christ. Thus they were devoted to the same principles, values, lifestyles, and freedoms that grow out of being believers in Jesus and that formed the foundation on which America and the Western world were built.

For that element of the Muslim religion given to bigotry, oppression, jihad, and conquest, the liberty that Christ brings to individuals is intolerable. Therefore, Pearls and pastors are marked for extermination. Together, they represent both sides of the equation. Judeo-Christianity undergirds the Western democracies and the lone true democracy in the Middle East—Israel.

Will this struggle continue? Will Christians continue to die? Will Jewish people fall prey to the same religious mania? Without question. The book of martyrs will continue to be filled. The question is, How much are we willing to pray, sacrifice, and do to alleviate their suffering?

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