Note: Fotini Mastroianni, a Greek journalist and blogger, whose stories are reproduced by over 200 Greek and European websites and blogs, recently interviewed me. Greek version here; English follows:
Mastroianni: European churches are vandalized. This is an ongoing phenomenon. Mass media “hide” the vandalisms. Why do you think there is such secrecy on the matter?
Ibrahim: Because if the truth gets out, the official “narrative”—that Muslims are moderate and tolerant and that migrants need help and welfare—will be overturned. After all, people who willfully desecrate the sacred sites of their host country, and engage in all sorts of religiously (that is, “Islamicly”) inspired criminal activity, are not exactly the sort of people deserving of sanctuary or a helping hand.
Mastroianni: Islamic population in Europe has become aggressive to Christian symbols. However, European authorities are extremely tolerant of these actions. Why? Do you think there is a political agenda regarding this tolerance?
Ibrahim: Yes: although aggressive secularists, atheists, liberals, and leftists—and whatever other labels they go under—and Muslims have very different values, when it comes to the cross of Christ, they are often in agreement—that is, they dislike it. Therefore, European authorities turn a blind eye to Islamic attacks on Christian symbols, from churches to crosses, since they themselves have disdain for them. Remember: the enemy of my enemy is my friend. For militant secularists, the true enemy is not Islam—which still seems foreign, distant, and maybe manageable—but rather the Christian heritage and mores that surround—and apparently judge and convict—them.
Mastroianni: Europe has accepted massive immigration flows from Asia and Africa, mostly Islamic. Greece, as one of the first entrance to Europe countries, has turned into a massive immigrant camp. At the same time, a number of European countries close their borders. What do you think will be the evolution of this situation?
Ibrahim: Certainly not good for Greece; under such circumstances it will soon become inundated with Muslim migrants. Here’s the irony: for nearly a millennium, from the start of the Islamic conquests in the 630s until 1453, Greece—in the guise of the walls of Constantinople—was responsible for keeping the sword of Islam out of Eastern Europe. Yet today, it willingly takes in growing numbers of Muslims—not a few of whom exhibit and exercise that old Islamic hostility for Christian/European “infidels.”
Mastroianni: Have Christians become an animosity target? First 6,000 dead Christians in Nigeria, then the massacre in Sri Lanka, make us think that Christians have become a target. Even the American Christian Orthodox priest Rod Dreher in his book “The Benedict Option” has written that Christians have become an animosity target even in the USA. Do you think that this is a correct perception?
Ibrahim: Yes it is. As mentioned above, Christians have historically had many more enemies than Muslims. These enemies have often and continue to make common cause with Muslims—due to their shared aversion for Christianity. This even has historical precedents; the primary reason that Christ-hating pagan Vikings enslaved Christians was to sell them to well-paying Muslim caliphates. Moving to contemporary America, liberals and progressives who forever whine about traditional (“oppressive”) Christianity habitually make common cause with Islam—despite the latter’s truly oppressive qualities. Feminists denounce the Christian “patriarchy”—but say nothing against the Muslim treatment of women as chattel. Homosexuals rage against Christian bakeries for declining to make them a cake—but say nothing against the Muslim execution of homosexuals. Multiculturalists denounce Christians who refuse to suppress their faith to accommodate the religious sensibilities of Muslim minorities—but say nothing against the entrenched and open Muslim persecution of Christians around the world. As mentioned, the reason for these discrepancies is simple: For anti-Christian secularists in the West, “the enemy [Islam] of my true enemy [Christianity] is my friend.”
Mastroianni: You are a Coptic Orthodox Christian of Egyptian origin. What is the current situation of Copts in Egypt?
Ibrahim: While Copts all throughout Egypt live daily with discrimination and minor humiliations, those in Upper Egypt are persecuted. They do not have enough churches and whenever a rumor arises that a new church may be opened—or that an old church might be renovated, or even that a home is being used as a church—local Muslims riot, attacking Copts and burning their homes. The abduction and forced conversion of Coptic girls is also a problem in many of these villages. Then, of course, there are the increasingly common Islamic terror attacks on Coptic churches and monasteries, which in recent years have left several hundred dead and/or maimed—and exponentially more terrorized.
Mastroianni: Islam had had military encounters with Byzantium. The result was the Ottoman Empire which has resulted in an approximate 400 years suppression of Balkan countries which were mostly Christian Orthodox. The Ottomans wanted to conquer Western Europe. Do you think that Islamic population aggression towards Christian Europe stems from these times or is it a result of economic suppression of Asian and African countries by Western Europe’s colonization?
Ibrahim: It stems from those times. Present day Muslim hostility—not to mention the pattern of attacks on Christians and churches—virtually mirrors Muslim hostility of the past. The continuity is unwavering; economics and other “material” factors are not necessary to explain the hate and violence. This is documented on virtually every page of my recent book, Sword and Scimitar: Fourteen Centuries of War between Islam and the West. For over a millennium, Muslims attacked Christians and Europeans, destroyed their churches, crosses, and icons, and enslaved and raped their women and children. And they did it all—and openly said they did it all—in the name of Islam, not economics or grievances. Today, plain-speaking Muslims, such as those of the Islamic State, also make clear that their hate and violence for Christians and other non-Muslims is a product of Islamic teachings, not economics, colonization, or other “grievances.” It is primarily Western politicians and media that cite those factors to explain away Islamic hostility and violence.