JERUSALEM, Israel -- Grizzly stories of murders, rapes, and beheadings by Islamists are increasingly appearing in the news. The latest: the brutal public murder of three Catholics in Syria, attended by a cheering crowd.
The execution of Father Francois Murad, a Syrian Catholic priest, and two others was posted by Live Leak according to Catholic Online. The Blaze reported that Syrian rebels took Murad and two others from a monastery in the northern town of Gassanieh.
Video was distributed that allegedly showed the three victims seated on the ground, surrounded by a mob cheering on their execution. That video was falsified according to the Italian press. The three Christians were killed but rumors the priest were beheaded are not true. How the three victims were killed is not yet known.
Andrea Avveduto, a writer who works with the Church of the Holy Land wrote, "It seems like various old news stories have been mixed up." The video was "uploaded by al-Qaeda to terrorize Christians."
Avveduto confirmed that "the corpse of Murad was intact."
Meanwhile, a story from Pakistan emerged recently of two teenage sisters who were shot to death after a video of them playing with two younger children in the rain shows the girls appearing to dance.
Britain's Daily Mail reported that residents of the town of Chilas were angered by the video, which was circulated on cellphones.
And in Egypt, five Islamists gang raped a Dutch journalist in Tahrir Square. She was discharged from the hospital after surgery, YNet reported.
According to a recent U.N. report, sexual assaults against women have increased under Islamist President Mohammed Morsi and his coalition partners, the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafist al-Nour Party.
In February 2012, TV and radio journalist Lara Logan was brutally raped in Tahrir Square. She miraculously survived the assault, was hospitalized when she returned to Washington, and recovered at home with her husband and two children.
In October 2012 Islamists attempted to rape French reporter Sonia Dridi just before a live broadcast for France 24 TV from Tahrir Square. Dridi said she "managed to avoid the worst thanks to the heavy belt" she was wearing around her slacks.
On the second anniversary of the Tahrir Square protests that precipitated the fall of the Mubarak regime, the United Nations reported not less than 25 sexual assaults.