Shooting at Muhammad Cartoon Contest at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX at Pamela Geller Texas Free Speech Event (Update: Two Gunman Dead)

A SHOOTING HAS TAKEN PLACE OUTSIDE THE TEXAS FREE SPEECH EVENT IN GARLAND, TX HELD BY PAMELA GELLER …

According to FOX News, two individuals were shot outside of the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, TX where the Texas Free Speech Event was taking place. The center was put on lock-down following the shooting. The ‘free speech” event (VIDEO) was a ‘Muhammad Art and Cartoon Contest’. This was the same location that hosted a pro-Islam contest last month. Of course there were no gunman trying to kill people at that conference who disagreed with that one.

The First Annual Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest will be hosted by the Curtis Caldwell Center.

Pamela Geller.com

Geller-Art-Exhibit

Two individuals were shot dead by police outside of the event as it was reported, “two males drove up to the front of the building in a car,” as the event was coming to an end. “Both males were armed and began shooting at a Garland … security officer. Garland Police officers engaged the gunmen, who were both shot and killed.” It is probably not that much of a stretch that the two gunman that were killed were Islamists looking to quell free speech.

Shooting at Muhammad Cartoon Contest Garland, Texas: 2 Gunmen Killed, Officer Down

Free Speech_shooting_ISlam

Pamela Geller – Twitter

A Prophet Muhammad art exhibit and contest in Dallas is on lockdown Sunday after a reported shooting outside the building that left two suspects reportedly dead and one officer injured.

According to the Dallas Morning News, two men  pulled up in a vehicle and  then shot an officer outside the Curtis Culwell center Sunday evening. They were then fatally shot by police officers.

The officer’s injuries are not believed to be life-threatening, the paper reported.

An officer dressed in SWAT gear took the stage toward the end of the event at the Curtis Culwell Center in Garland and told attendees, including an Associated Press reporter, that a shooting had occurred.

It wasn’t immediately clear if the shooting was related to the event.

Garland Police Department spokesman Joe Harn declined to confirm the SWAT officer’s statements and said he had no details.

VIDEO via The Gateway Pundit

UPDATE I: Bomb Squad is on the scene with mechanical robot investigating a suspicious vehicle.

8:11pm CT: Suspects’ vehicle being checked for explosives. It is scheduled to be detonated.

8:20pm CT: Authorities tell CBS 11 that SWAT will escort 48 people at a time out of arena soon, but many are parked in a now secured area and cannot access cars.

UPDATE II: From The Gateway Pundit … “Shariah is Light” posted this at at 6:35 CENTRAL TIME and took credit for the attack.

UPDATE III: According to VIDEO below from Newsy, the identities of the shooters have not yet been released and it has not yet been determined whether the attack was was religiously motivated. I think it is safe to say that it was.

Gunmen Shot Outside ‘Draw Muhammad’ Event in Garland, Texas

UPDATE IV: The security officer, Bruce Joiner,  was released from the hospital after his wounds were treated.

The two men pulled up in a vehicle and shot a Garland ISD security officer. The men were fatally shot by Garland police, and their bodies remain on the street outside the events center.

The security officer, Bruce Joiner,  was released from the hospital after his wounds were treated.

No one was being allowed to leave the facility, where an art show centering on caricatures of Muhammad was being held. Nearby businesses, including a Walmart and Sam’s Club, were evacuated.

UPDATE V: Follow more updates from Breitbart.com.

UPDATE, 11:09 PM: ISIS has reportedly claimed responsibility for the attack, according to the Rowlett/Sachse Scanner:

UPDATE ON THE POLICE INCIDENT:

Officers are advising the scene is NOT safe. It is believed that explosive(s) have been placed near the Curtis Culwell Center. FBI Bomb Squad, Garland Police, Garland SWAT, Rowlett Police, Rowlett SWAT, and Texas State Troopers are on scene.

There is a huge perimeter set. No one gets in and no one gets out.

ISIS is taking responsibility for this attack.

UPDATE, 10:59 PM: Attendees were just informed by police that the FBI would be coming to interview them all, prior to law enforcement letting them go.

UPDATE VI: Tonight at Police Press Conference … Garland Police said they are using robot to check suspects car for bombs. Also, they gave not moved the two dead bodies because of their proximity to the vehicle and they may have explosives on their bodies. The police were not going to put officers or medical examiners in harms way until all has been cleared.

Free Speech_shooting_ISlam2

The bodies of suspects lay dead next to vehicle as police continue to check for explosives.

Pic – Hat Tip Jim Hofts, Twitter

18 Al-Qaeda Islamic Extremists Arrested in Italy for 2010 Vatican Terror Plot

ARRESTS MADE IN ITALY FOR 2010 SUICIDE BOMB PLOT AGAINST THE VATICAN AND POPE BENEDICT XVI …

As reported at Reuters, Italian security forces have arrested 18 radical Islamic extremists Friday who prosecutors said were behind a failed 2010 plot to attack the Vatican as well as a bombing at a Pakistan market that killed more than 100 a year earlier. Prosecutor Mauro Mura stated in Cagliari, Sardinia that wiretaps indicated the suspected terrorists, including two former bodyguards for Usama bin Laden, planned a bomb attack at the Vatican and went as far as to send a suicide bomber to Rome.

Italian police were arresting 18 people on Friday suspected of belonging to an armed group linked to al Qaeda who were plotting attacks on the Vatican as well as in Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Some of the suspects, who are all Pakistanis and Afghans, were arrested in early morning raids across Italy. Police burst into the home of the group’s suspected spiritual leader, in the northern city of Bergamo, a video released by them showed.

Though the suspects were plotting attacks mainly in their native countries, phone taps suggest the Vatican was also a target, said Mauro Mura, chief prosecutor of the Sardinian city of Cagliari, where the group based its headquarters.

In the tapped conversations, the suspects discuss “a big jihad in Italy,” added Mario Carta, head of the police unit on the case. They reference the word “baba”, which could mean the pope, Carta said.

“We don’t have proof, we have strong suspicion,” that the Holy See was a possible target, he added.

Italy: Al-Qaeda cell planned suicide attack on Vatican:

Raids were carried out simultaneously in seven different Italian provinces with arrest warrants for 18 suspected Islamic extremists following a lengthy investigation in Cagliari, capital of the Italian island Sardinia.

Authorities uncovered plans for a suicide bomber plot against the Vatican in 2010, when Pope Benedict XVI was pontiff. Evidence includes a “martyr’s vow” from a would-be suicide bomber threatening to strike against the Vatican, the spiritual focal point for the world’s 1.2 billion Catholics.

Mario Carta, an official from the counter-terror police force that carried out the raids, called it “one of the most important operations ever carried out in Italy.” Police said the operation targeted an “extremely well-structured terror network” based in Sardinia since at least 2005 that was made up of Pakistani and Afghan nationals.

Nine people have been arrested, and two are still at large in Italy. Seven of the suspects are believed to be in Pakistan, Carta said.

Oklahoma City Marks 20th Anniversary of Bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building at Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum

It is hard to believe it has been 20 years, April 19, 1995 … 

The Oklahoma City bombing was a domestic terror attack on the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995. Timothy McVeigh detonated an explosive-filled truck that he had parked in front of the Federal Building as McVeigh’s co-conspirator, Terry Nichols, had assisted in the bomb preparation. The Oklahoma bomb blast claimed 168 lives, including 19 children under the age of 6, and injured more than 680 people. It was the greatest and most destructive act of terrorism in the United States until September 11, 2011. McVeigh was executed by lethal injection in 2001. Nichols was convicted in 1997 of conspiracy to use a weapon of mass destruction and eight counts of involuntary manslaughter for killing federal law enforcement personnel. He was sentenced to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole because the jury deadlocked on the death penalty.

Oklahoma City marks 20th anniversary of bombing at memorial.

Oklahomans and others gathered Sunday at the Oklahoma City National Memorial & Museum for the 20th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony in honor of those who died as a result of the April 19, 1995 bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building.

Emotions overwhelmed Helena Garrett as she stood at a lectern near the reflecting pool at the Oklahoma City National Memorial and struggled to say her son’s name.

“My baby,” she said and paused, bowing her head and grasping the side of the podium when the emotions were too much, before continuing.

Ok City Bombing 1995

Oklahoma City Firefighter, Baby’s Mother Remember Iconic Bombing Photo

“Tevin D’Aundrae Garrett.”

Bound by a common loss, sons, daughters, parents, brothers, sisters and others, read the names Sunday of the 168 people who died as a result of the April 19, 1995, bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building during a 20th anniversary Remembrance Ceremony.

Hundreds of people gathered where the building once stood, and many more watched from home, to honor those who died in one of the largest acts of domestic terrorism in the nation’s history. As they remembered, they also celebrated the city’s resiliency and response in the face of what was described as unspeakable horror.

In the minutes after the attack, the people of Oklahoma City did something that others watching from afar found hard to fathom, FBI Director James Comey said.

“You ran towards darkness,” he said. “You ran towards pain. You ran towards anger and destruction. You ran because these were your friends. You ran because they were your neighbors and your teammates and members of your congregation. You ran because that is what Oklahomans do for their family, and on this day, those people were family.”

OK City Memorial

ISIS Takes Credit for Suicide Bombing That Killed at Least 33 People in Afghanistan

Barack Obama’s JV terrorist killers take credit for slaughter of 33 people in Afghanistan … 

Hours after the suicide bombing attack Jalalabad, Afghanistan that saw 33 people killed and more than 100 injured, ISIS took credit for the slaughter. The attack in Jalalabad, the capital of eastern Nagarhar province, targeted a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. Even the Taliban condemned the attack and killing of innocents who were just simply waiting in line outside a bank. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid stated,“It was an evil act. We strongly condemn it.” You know you are a bunch of savage murdering animals when other terrorist groups condemn your killing. But of course, this is the same radical Islamist terrorists that Barack Obama called the JV and says are not Islamic.

ISIS_Obama

A motorcycle-riding suicide bomber attacked a bank branch Saturday in eastern Afghanistan, killing at least 33 people in a deadly attack the country’s president said was claimed by the Islamic State group.

The attack marks a major escalation in the country’s fight against an affiliate of the extremist group that now holds a third of Iraq and Syria in its self-declared caliphate.

It also comes as Afghan security forces fight against the Taliban after U.S. and NATO forces ended their combat mission in the country at the start of the year, yet another challenge for the war-ravaged nation.

The attack in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Nagarhar province, targeted a crowd of soldiers and civilians gathered outside the bank to receive their monthly salaries. The blast killed at least 33 people and wounded more than 100, said Dr. Hamayon Zaheer, the head of Jalalabad’s hospital.

Hours after the attack, President Ashraf Ghani blamed the Islamic State group for the attack.

“In the horrific incident in Nangarhar, who took responsibility? The Taliban didn’t claim responsibility. Daesh claimed responsibility for it,” Ghani said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

Ghani warned before that the Islamic State group was starting to establish a presence in Afghanistan. He used his visit to the United States last month to reiterate his concerns that the extremist group was making inroads into Afghanistan.

New ISIS Video Shows Mass Murder of Ethiopian Christians in Libya

Remember when Barack Obama hails death of Muammar Gaddafi as foreign policy?

A new ISIS video has been released showing the mass murder of 30 or so Ethiopian Christians in Libya. The 29-minute video shows the ISIS terrorists holding two groups of captives, described in a text on the screen as “followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church”.  Ethiopia condemned the reported killing of Ethiopian Christians captured in Libya as the Ethiopian Minster of Communications Redwan Hussein stated, We strongly condemn such atrocities, whether they are Ethiopians are not.” The video was similar to the one ISIS released in February showing the mass beheading of Egyptian Christian hostages. But ISIS is the JV as per Barack Obama and we are defeating them. Sure we are.

A shocking new video appearing to show at least 30 Christians being beheaded and shot by ISIS has been released.

The 29-minute video, titled ‘Until It Came To Them – Clear Evidence’, shows dozens of militants holding two separate groups captive in Libya.

At least 16 men, described by Islamic State as the ‘followers of the cross from the enemy Ethiopian Church’, are lined up in a desert area while 12 others are filmed being forced to walk down a beach.

Ethiopia was unable to confirm its citizens were killed in the footage but condemned the ‘atrocious act’, a government official said.

USA Today:

A video purporting to show the killing of Ethiopian Christians by Islamic State-affiliated militants in Libya has been released online.

The 29-minute video appears to show militants holding two groups of captives, one by an affiliate in eastern Libya known as Barka Province and the other by the Fazzan Province, an affiliate in the south.

A masked fighter wielding a pistol says Christians must convert to Islam or pay a special tax prescribed by the Quran, before the captives in the south are shown being shot dead and the captives in the east are beheaded on a beach.

In January, militants loyal to the Islamic State group, also known as ISIS and ISIL, claimed responsibility for an attack on the Corinthia hotel in the Libyan capital of Tripoli that left 10 people including an American and four other foreigners dead.

Pilot Doug Hughes Explains His Mission to Draw Attention to Campaign Finance Reform Before Landing at the Capitol with his Gyropcopter … Did He Just Provide a Blueprint for Terrorists?

THANKS DOUG, TERRORISTS NOW HAVE A NEW METHOD TO ATTACK WASHINGTON, DC …

Watch the VIDEO below of 61 year old Doug Hughes, a mail man, from Florida explains what his planned mission was and that he had planned it well in advance. Doug says that no sane man would do what he was going to do, ya think? He stated he carefully planned this stunt, and did not want to get hurt. Doug Hughes states that “terrorists don’t announce their fights before they take off. Terrorists don’t broadcast their flight path. Terrorists don’t invite an escort to go along with them.” Hmm, thanks to Dough Hughes and the idiotic reaction of the Capital police and Secret Service, I bet they do now.

Dough Hughes did this stunt in order to draw attention to campaign finance reform and most likely probably brought more attention to would-be terrorists and lone-wolfs in how to fly in a no-fly zone without getting blown out of the sky. Hughes says his intent was to deliver 535 letters strapped to the landing gear to give to members of Congress.

Hughes was taken into custody and arrested.

FAA investigating Florida mailman’s landing of gyrocopter on U.S. Capitol lawn.

Doug Hughes’ close friend and co-worker, Mike Shanahan, said today that the Ruskin mailman is not a terrorist and did not mean any harm with his protest.

And just hours before Hughes landed in Washington, Hughes’ friend said he called a Secret Service agent to notify him of the possibility of the gyrocopter flight.

“He’s not a suicide bomber, he’s a patriot,” said Shanahan, 65, of Apollo Beach. The whole stunt centers around Hughes’ effort to change campaign finance laws, “or the lack thereof,” according to Shanahan.

About a year ago, Shanahan said, Hughes told him of the idea to deliver letters to legislators by gyrocopter. Not long after, they were both questioned by a Secret Service official in Florida, he said. Wednesday morning, Shanahan said, Hughes called his friend and said he was in Washington, ready to take off.

Just curious, didn’t I see this same flying contraption in the 1986 movie, Howard the Duck?

UPDATE I: AP Captures VIDEO of Doug Hughes buzzing the Capital area.

How in the hell was this allowed to happen and according to reports, authorities were warned in advance that this would happen and still allowed it to occur. HUH? So it was okay, because Hughes was a LEFT-WING nut-job? ABC7 reports that the small single-man gyrocopter that flew through restricted airspace around the National Mall was undetected by NORAD.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Mississippi, the top minority member on the House Homeland Security Committee, told CNN he had “deep concern” about Wednesday’s incident and the fact that the Secret Service knew about the pilot.

“Obviously we should have kept a little closer tabs on him, especially within the prohibited airspace,” Thompson said.

“It shows that we still have some areas that are vulnerable and while we can have prohibited airspace it shows that certain kinds of flight patterns are still problematic, and a really bad guy could have caused significant harm if had been armed with explosives or things like that,” he said.

UPDATE II: Doug Hughes wrote on his website, The Democracy Club, As I have informed the authorities, I have no violent inclinations or intent.”

Who thinks that terrorists hell-bent on attacking the United States would say the same thing.

 

Pilot Arrested After Small Aircraft Lands Near Capitol (Update: Man Identified as 61 Year Old Doug Hughes)

BIZARRE … HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN IN A POST-9-11 WORLD?

A small single man aircraft flew through restricted airspace in Washington, DC and landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol. The pilot was arrested after making what he called an act of civil disobedience and a protest against campaign finance reform. WHAT THE HELL? According to authorities, no weapons were found on the plane and a bomb squad found nothing hazardous on the aircraft. With all the screw-ups lately by the Secret Service in allowing individuals onto the White House grounds, maybe some one would like to explain this one?

HOW IN THE WORLD DID THIS FLYING GO-CART, GYROPLANE, MAKE IT THRU RESTRICTED AIRSPACE AND THIS CLOSE TO THE CAPITAL WITHOUT GETTING BLOWN OUT OF THE SKY?

A Florida mailman bent on making a public statement about corruption in Congress flew a small one-man aircraft through restricted airspace and landed on the lawn of the U.S. Capitol Wednesday, the latest in a recent series of startling security breaches at the seat of government in Washington.

No weapons were found on the plane and the man stated he was making an act of civil disobedience. But the sight of his low and slow-flying aircraft approaching and landing by Washington’s most famous landmarks prompted a brief security lockdown at the Capitol and raised broader concerns about the effectiveness of security measures in an area that home to all three branches of government.

He described the plane as “a 250-pound ultralight gyroplane,” a type of aircraft often called a “gyrocopter,” made from kits and propelled by a small motor with room for only a pilot on board. “I’m the pilot,” he wrote.

“What’s unique and newsworthy is the delivery,” he wrote to the TV station. “I’m going to land my gyro on the front lawn of the Capitol Building at the top end of the National Mall. The issue is important enough to defy the no-fly zone and risk life and limb, and my freedom in pursuit of an honest government that represents the people.”

On the website, he wrote: “This isn’t my regular route. I’m a mailman in Riverview, FL – near Tampa. I’m 61 years old, married, with four children. I flew with my father who was a private pilot, fixed wing and almost helicopter. I’ve been flying gyrocopters for over a year.”

Hillary Clinton, in Her Own Words from Benghazi-gate to Dems Defending Obamacare to Flip-Flop on Gay Marriage to Poor Clinton’s to Foreign Policy Empathizing with One’s Enemies to Email Scandal

Hillary Clinton, in Her Own Words … 

America, all you have to do is listen to what Hillary has done in the past to know what she will be like as a president. Hillary Clinton is synonymous with scandal, there is no getting around it, even if the Hillary anti-free speech police try and prevent people from speaking the truth. Hillary launched the worst kept secret of 2015 this weekend and officially announced her run for president in 2016.

We certainly know that she won’t be claiming she will have the most transparent administration ever. Then again, she claims to be for the common folk and that is not true either.

The VIDEO shows clips from just some of the recent Hillary scandals as well as her opinions on foreign policy:

Folks claims they want something new, if that is the case, how is Hillary Clinton even a consideration?

University of Michigan Cancels ‘American Sniper’ Screening … ‘Made Students Feel Unsafe’ (Update U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh To the Rescue, Movie Back On)

REALLY … Maybe the University of Michigan should change their name from the Wolverines to the “Weenies”.

AMERICA, DO YOU REALIZE YOU ARE BEING DESTROYED FROM WITHIN RIGHT?  University of Michigan spokesman Rick Fitzgerald confirmed to The College Fix on Tuesday the movie, American Sniper” was cancelled because it made students feel unsafe. GOOD GRIEF!!! Instead, the University was going to show Paddington the Bear.  What kind of gutless cowards exist on college campuses today that continually play the victim card? You people are going to do well in life, but then again, these are the same folks that live in your parents home until your 30. Hey Michigan, you might want to change your fight song to …  Hail! to the victors “victims” valiant. Hail! to the conqu’ring heroes “cowards”.

However,  University of Michigan sophomore Jason Weaver still has the right to call himself a Wolverine as he said, “It would be nice to see the university … take a stand against outrageous claims of ‘student exclusion. The film American Sniper in no way creates student exclusion any more than Saving Private Ryan”. You would be 100% correct. But we can’t have anything on a college campus that would properly depict radical Muslims Islamists as Nazi’s.

American Sniper_Paddington

What a sad state of affairs at our American Universities

University: ‘While our intent was to show a film, the impact of the content was harmful, and made students feel unsafe and unwelcome at our program’

A scheduled movie screening of “American Sniper” at the University of Michigan was abruptly cancelled Tuesday after nearly 300 students and others complained the film perpetuates “negative and misleading stereotypes” against Muslims.

“The movie American Sniper not only tolerates but promotes anti-Muslim … rhetoric and sympathizes with a mass killer,” according to an online letter circulated among the campus community via Google Docs that garnered the signatures.

The signers were mostly students, but also some staff, as well as the Muslim Students’ Association and the president of Students Allied for Freedom and Equality, a Palestinian solidarity group at UMich.

The online memo, titled a “collective letter from Middle Eastern and North African (MENA) and Muslim students on campus,” accused the public university of “tolerating dangerous anti-Muslim and anti-MENA propaganda” by showing the movie, the highest grossing film of 2014.

follows U.S. Navy SEAL Chris Kyle, who served four combat tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom and was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corp Achievement Medals, and one Navy and Marine Corps commendation, according to his official Facebook page. But the protestors see him differently.

As reported at the Washington Free Beacon, more than 300 students protested the decision to screen the film because it advanced “negative and misleading stereotypes” against Muslims. The online petition was started by a “Palestinian solidarity group” called the Students Allied for Freedom and Equality and the Muslim Students’ Association. And the university folded like a cheap suit. Um, “negative and misleading stereotypes” … the actions depicted in American Sniper are the truth. I am so sorry if Muslim students can’t handle the truth … what do you think that radical Muslim Islamists act like? So is it a misleading stereotype to depict radical Muslim as savage, beheading murders?

UPDATE I: Jim Harbaugh endorses ‘American Sniper’ after U-M cancels showing

THAN YOU COACH HARBAUGH … FINALLY SOME GUTS COME TO ANN ARBOR, MICHIGAN!!!

Harbaugh

Twitter – Jim Harbaugh

For four months, Michigan football coach Jim Harbaugh’s Twitter feed has been a combination of entertainment, opponent tweaks and comments on his team.

Tonight, he walked into a university controversy.

On Tuesday, the university canceled a scheduled Friday night showing of the movie “American Sniper” due to pressure from Muslim and Arab students after a student-led petition drive challenged its depiction of anti-Arab and anti-Muslim sentiments.

After 9:30 p.m., Harbaugh weighed in, with a message to his 215,000 followers.

UPDATE II : U-M reverses course, will show ‘American Sniper’ … Gutless Weenie UM administration tries to save face. 

After a day filled with intense controversy, the University of Michigan reversed course late Wednesday night and decided to show the movie “American Sniper” at its originally scheduled time and place.

“It was a mistake to cancel the showing of the movie ‘American Sniper’ on campus as part of a social event for students,” the statement from E. Royster Harper, the vice president of student life, said. It was sent just after 10:45 p.m. to the media.

“The initial decision to cancel the movie was not consistent with the high value the University of Michigan places on freedom of expression and our respect for the right of students to make their own choices in such matters.

 

Pope Francis’ Easter Message: End Violence & Oppression … Pope Called for an End to “the Present Absurd Bloodshed and all Barbarous Acts of Violence” of Radical Islam

Pope Francis Easter Message: “Oh God, who on this day through your only begotten son have conquered death and unmarked for us the path to eternity. [...] We ask peace above all for beloved Syria and Iraq. That the roar of arms cease and that peaceful relations be restored”.

During Pope Francis’ message this Easter Sunday, he called for an end to the bloodshed in Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq, Nigeria and in Africa and called for the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries. Francis  prayed for an end to the violence and persecution of Christians, specifically mentioning the recent slaughter of students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.

Pope Francis prayed for an end to the persecution of Christians in his Easter Sunday address, commemorating the students massacred by Islamist militants at Garissa University in Kenya.

Calling for peace in Libya, where last February Islamic State militants beheaded 21 Egyptian Coptic Christians, the pope called for an end to “the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence”.

He prayed for peace in Syria, Iraq and Yemen, Sudan, South Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria, where Boko Haram Islamist militants have also targeted Christian churches.

“We ask for peace and freedom for the many men and women subject to old and new forms of enslavement on the part of criminal individuals and groups,” he said.

CNN

Pope Francis reminded the world of the Vatican’s status as a state and his role as a moral diplomat in his traditional speech given at the end of Easter Mass.

The Pontiff lamented the suffering of people in the conflicts currently making headlines and called for violence everywhere to end.

Foremost, he asked that bloodshed end in Iraq and Syria and that humanitarian aid get to those in need.

“May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees,” he said in his “urbi et orbi” address, Latin for “to the city (Rome) and to the world.”

Then he turned to the Holy Land, expressing the wish that the peace process between Israelis and Palestinians resume.

Francis mentioned Libya; the nuclear talks with Iran in Lausanne, Switzerland; Yemen; Nigeria; South Sudan; and the shooting at the Garissa University College in Kenya.

The Full Easter Mass can be seen below

Official Vatican Text of Pope Francis’ Easter Message:

“Jesus Christ is risen! Love has triumphed over hatred, life has conquered death, light has dispelled the darkness!

Out of love for us, Jesus Christ stripped himself of his divine glory, emptied himself, took on the form of a slave and humbled himself even to death, death on a cross. For this reason God exalted him and made him Lord of the universe. Jesus is Lord! By his death and resurrection, Jesus shows everyone the way to life and happiness: this way is humility, which involves humiliation. This is the path which leads to glory. Only those who humble themselves can go towards the “things that are above”, towards God (cf. Col 3:1-4). The proud look “down from above”; the humble look “up from below”.

On Easter morning, alerted by the women, Peter and John ran to the tomb. They found it open and empty. Then they drew near and “bent down” in order to enter it. To enter into the mystery, we need to “bend down”, to abase ourselves. Only those who abase themselves understand the glorification of Jesus and are able to follow him on his way.

The world proposes that we put ourselves forward at all costs, that we compete, that we prevail. But Christians, by the grace of Christ, dead and risen, are the seeds of another humanity, in which we seek to live in service to one another, not to be arrogant, but rather respectful and ready to help.

This is not weakness, but true strength! Those who bear within them God’s power, his love and his justice, do not need to employ violence; they speak and act with the power of truth, beauty and love.

From the risen Lord we ask the grace not to succumb to the pride which fuels violence and war, but to have the humble courage of pardon and peace. We ask Jesus, the Victor over death, to lighten the sufferings of our many brothers and sisters who are persecuted for his name, and of all those who suffer injustice as a result of ongoing conflicts and violence.

We ask for peace, above all, for Syria and Iraq, that the roar of arms may cease and that peaceful relations may be restored among the various groups which make up those beloved countries. May the international community not stand by before the immense humanitarian tragedy unfolding in these countries and the drama of the numerous refugees.

We pray for peace for all the peoples of the Holy Land. May the culture of encounter grow between Israelis and Palestinians and the peace process be resumed, in order to end years of suffering and division.

We implore peace for Libya, that the present absurd bloodshed and all barbarous acts of violence may cease, and that all concerned for the future of the country may work to favor reconciliation and to build a fraternal society respectful of the dignity of the person. For Yemen too we express our hope for the growth of a common desire for peace, for the good of the entire people. (the rest of the message)

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