Christians And Muslims Fight For Right To Murder For Their Beliefs
ARE we outraged that Christians are being persecuted?
Melanie Phillips in the Times:
Barbaric assaults on religious liberty are greeted in the West with an embarrassed silence. Canon Andrew White is one of the bravest people I know. For nine years this former Middle East envoy for the Archbishop of Canterbury, who has played a key role in freeing hostages in the region, has been the vicar of St George’s church in Baghdad.
As such, he has been the emblem and body-armoured defender of Iraq’s Christian community, which has been under murderous assault in the wars that have engulfed Iraq since the fall of Saddam Hussein.
A few days ago, at a conference I chaired in Jerusalem, Canon White told me that the Archbishop of Canterbury has now forbidden him to return to his church in its heavily barricaded compound. Given the advance towards Baghdad of Islamic State (Isis) — which has now murdered a fifth hostage, the American Peter Kassig — it is simply too dangerous even for him.
More than 1,200 members of his congregation and several of his staff have been murdered in the past few years. His flock has dwindled from 6,500 to 1,000 today, including the six remaining Jews in Iraq, who have lived under his personal protection.
What is happening is a tragedy of extraordinary, historic proportions. In the place where Abraham was born, most of the 135,000-strong, three millennia-old Jewish community was forced to flee several decades ago. Now it seems that Christianity is about to be wiped out in a land where it has been cradled for more than 2,000 years.
She lists the murders of Christians in Nigeria, Syria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Iran.
The brutal hatred of ISIS toward any minority they come into contact with continues to hit the headlines and dominate our television screens. But there are other daily stories of oppression and violence from elsewhere that fail to gain the same level of attention. If we look to Pakistan – regarded by the report as one of the worst offenders – there is no shortage of examples. Two days ago it was reported that a Christian couple there were beaten to death by a mob after being accused of desecrating a copy of the Koran. In May, gunmen in the city of Multan shot dead a lawyer who had been defending a university lecturer accused of blasphemy. And last month a court upheld the death penalty for Asia Bibi, a Christian woman again convicted of blasphemy four years ago, despite highly dubious evidence.
Yesterday the Church of England’s Director of Communications, Rev Arun Arora, drew attention to the injustices of the Asia Bibi case. In doing so, he joins with many other voices including Pakistan’s former Governor of Punjab, Salmaan Taseer, and Minister for Minorities, Shahbaz Bhatti, who were both assassinated as a direct result of their stance and their own Christian faith.
THE ANSWER TO THE EXAMINER’S QUESTION IS SIMPLE: It’s because people are afraid they’ll blow things up.
Sooner or later, you know, fundamentalist Christians are going to pick up on this lesson, engage in similar behavior, and make similar demands. Because, apparently, it works fine.
The New Testament doesn’t teach that violence against non-Christians is ok. The Koran, especially the second half of it, does indeed teach that violence against non-Muslims is ok. In fact, it commands violence against infidels in certain circumstances.
If you want to talk about the Crusades, well, they were defensive wars against imperialist Muslims who were spreading Islam by the sword. If you want to talk about the conquistadors or the Inquisition, go ahead. Those actions were done in the name of God, true, but entirely outside any actual New Testament teaching. Tim McVeigh? Agnostic who had more in common with the Luddite Unabomber than any Christian. Eric Rudolph? Agnostic who preferred Nietzsche to the Bible. Three of the most murderous men of the last century — Pol Pot, Hitler and Stalin — were all atheists/occultists. Should we start expecting effette latte-drinking Utne reader types to start engaging in terrorism if they don’t get their way? Perhaps, and leftwing ecoterrorism doesn’t get nearly enough coverage, but InstaPundit never makes that argument — he always draws the false parallel from Muslims to Christians as though they’re two sides of the same coin when they’re not. Bin Laden and Zawahiri and Nasrallah and Ahmadinejad constantly quote the Koran to justify their global jihad, itself a dual Islamic concept that includes both internal and external warfare. Saladin’s jihad followed Muhammad’s example. Christianity has no such concept and Christ provided no similar warlike example.
But in the Central African Republic:
Muslims came here to trade in the early 19th century and made up 15% of the CAR’s population a year ago, but since then untold thousands have been killed or displaced or have fled to neighbouring countries. The UN said last week that while 130,000 to 145,000 Muslims normally lived in the capital, Bangui, the population had been reduced to around 10,000 in December and now stood at just 900.
Amnesty International has called it “ethnic cleansing” and warned of a “Muslim exodus of historic proportions“.
As Africa prepares to mark next month’s 20th anniversaries of the Rwandan genocide and the end of South African apartheid, what is happening in this long-neglected state is a reminder that forgiveness and reconciliation are easy words but hewn from rock over generations. Christian militias freely admit that theirs is an exercise in vengeance, an eye for an eye, and they will not stop until they have “cleaned” the country of Muslims. On Monday, UN human rights investigators in CAR announced they would investigate reports of genocide.
More victims of deadly religious clashes in central Nigeria have been found, with scores of bodies stuffed in wells and sewage pits. Up to 150 bodies have been found in Kuru Karama village, 30km (18 miles) from the city of Jos, where the violence erupted last Sunday. Correspondents say elders hid in holes for seven hours to escape the violence. An exact death toll is not known but overall 300 or more are thought to have died in the Muslim-Christian clashes. Muslim officials in Jos who spoke to the campaign group Human Rights Watch said 364 Muslims had been killed.
Peace? You need to fight for it…
The number of deaths from terrorism increased by 61% between 2012 and 2013, a study into international terrorism says.
There were nearly 10,000 terrorist attacks in 2013, a 44% increase from the previous year, the Global Terrorism Index 2014 report added.
The report said militant groups Islamic State, al-Qaeda, Boko Haram and the Taliban were behind most of the deaths.
Iraq was the country most affected by terrorism, the report said.
The report by the Institute for Economics and Peace says that nearly 18,000 people died from terrorist attacks in 2013.
Such are the facts.