There’s an ugly and violent feud going on, in Pakistan. That’s not news, to be sure … Pakistan is littered with pockets of folks with raging violence seething in their veins. What is news is that a fresh outbreak of it has erupted and it’s even more irrational and stupid than is usual. Time magazine reports on this:

The intruders wore masks and carried guns. They went door to door, through the narrow and dusty alleyways, asking if there were any Christians inside. When the terrified faces inside replied yes, they poured chemicals on the small, redbrick homes of Episcopalians and Evangelicals, setting them ablaze. In some cases, they didn’t bother with the question. Instead, they opened fire and hurled rocks, forcing families to flee in a panic — moments before fresh flames consumed their homes as well. When the attackers were done, nine people had been killed and 45 homes lay smoldering and destroyed in the clustered Christian colony in Gojra, a town in central Punjab, marking the worst anti-Christian violence Pakistan has seen in recent years. …

The roots of the attack lie in Korian, a village five miles away from Gojra. There, a Christian family was celebrating a wedding on July 28 when, somehow, a rumor spread alleging that the revelers had torn the pages of the Quran and thrown them in the air. No evidence has emerged that this actually happened. But the mere suggestion appeared to set off days of rioting. Christian homes in Korian were torched, before the violence spread to Gojra. Last Friday, Christian residents say, the preacher at a nearby mosque issued a fiery sermon inciting violence against them.

We all know that many in the Islamic world are famously intolerant of anything that even remotely violates their sensibilities (they happily riot and kill at the smallest provocation) … but in this case, we have furious violence spreading in a district — based solely on unproven rumors.

That’s unproven rumors, folks. Not even a demonstrable event. Just rumors. So much for the vaunted religion of peace.

Is there no longer any doubt as to the needless violence that religious sentiments promote? Does the world really need any more raging sanctimony of this sort?

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