In Islamic law, blood money, or diyya is less for non-Muslims than for Muslim lives. It is just one such indication of how, under Sharia, infidel blood is cheap. “At least 7 hostages killed in rescue from Iraq church,” by Waleed Ibrahim and Muhanad Mohammed for Reuters, October 31:
BAGHDAD (Reuters) – At least seven Iraqi Catholics died on Sunday when police stormed a Baghdad church where gunmen were holding dozens of parishioners hostage, threatening to kill them if al Qaeda prisoners were not released.
The U.S. military said between seven and 10 hostages and seven members of the Iraqi security forces, as well as five to seven attackers, were killed in the rescue operation.
Witnesses reported seeing many bodies inside the church after the gunmen wearing suicide vests threw grenades or blew themselves up as Iraqi forces stormed the building.
The insurgents laid siege to one of Baghdad’s biggest churches as more than 100 parishioners attended Sunday mass in a central district near the heavily fortified Green Zone, home to embassies and the Iraqi government.
U.S. military officials watched the rescue operation from cameras in hovering helicopters.
Two very different ideals of martyrdom meet:
Lieutenant Colonel Eric Bloom, a U.S. military spokesman in Baghdad, said three militants detonated suicide vests as Iraq forces entered the church. He said a total of 120 hostages were held by the assailants, adding that 30 people were wounded.
Colonel Kadhim Basheer Saleh, an Iraqi civil defense spokesman, said 15 civilians, four policemen and eight attackers were killed.
Al Qaeda’s Iraqi affiliate, the Islamic State of Iraq, claimed responsibility for the attack on “the dirty place of the infidel which Iraqi Christians have long used as a base to fight Islam.” […]
In the jihadist mindset, the non-Muslims do that simply by continuing to exist.
Iraqi security officials said they had been warned of possible attacks against large gatherings, especially churches.
Did they care to tell the churches that before now?
“We expect attacks will continue and increase in the coming days,” said Lieutenant General Hussein Kamal, Iraq’s deputy interior minister.
As Sunday’s operation unfolded, military helicopters flew low overhead and gunfire rang out through the densely populated residential area. Streets around the Assyrian Catholic church were quickly cordoned off.
A Christian woman who was held hostage in the Our Lady of Salvation Church told Reuters there were many bodies inside.
“While I was trying to find my way out, in the dark, I walked over bodies,” she said, asking not to be identified. “There are many bodies there.”
Our Lady of Salvation, one of Baghdad’s largest churches, was one of five churches in Baghdad and Mosul hit in coordinated attacks in August 2004 in which 12 people were killed.
Christians number about a 1.5 million out of a total Iraqi population of about 23 million, the vast majority of them Muslims. Christian denominations include Chaldeans, Copts, Roman and Melkite Catholics, Maronites and Greek Orthodox.