The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

They knew who they were after in Kenya

A woman is rescued after being held hostage Thursday at Garissa University in Kenya. (Dai Kurokawa/European Pressphoto Agency)

Don’t obfuscate. No more rationalizations to cloud the point. We know what happened at Garissa University College in Kenya today. The predawn slaughter was a calculated attack carried out by al-Shabab, the Islamist terrorist group based in Somalia.

This wasn’t a case of gunfire and explosions launched against innocents by the hands of men driven mad by authoritarian regimes and a sense of grievance, western foreign policy and deep-seated frustrations, or the lack of development and political reforms at home.

President Obama recently told a White House crowd, “No religion is responsible for terrorism; people are responsible for terrorism.”

An al-Shabab spokesman said that the attack was “an operation against the infidels.” He went to say that the school was targeted because Christian students were being educated in “a Muslim land under colony” and that the school was part of Kenya’s “plan to spread their Christianity and infidelity.”

Hardly sounds like a motley non-sectarian group to me. Perhaps the president should take this up with al-Shabab.

Those bloodthirsty gunmen knew what they were doing and who they were after. They burst in on a Christian service, taking hostages. They made sure to separate the hostages according to their religion. Muslims, take off. Christians, stick around because this will be your last day on Earth.

And they made those Christian hostages go with them to hostels in the college where they caught and shot down other students … as long as they weren’t Muslims.

Christians observing the Crucifixion on Good Friday must add at least 147 others in Kenya to the list to be mourned.

But remember why they are martyrs today. They were observant Christians, committed to their faith. And militant Islamists, convinced that they are divinely commanded, murdered them.

Don’t darken the truth.