Not only does last week’s jihadist rampage against Ethiopia’s indigenous Christians highlight the travails Christians encounter wherever Islam has a sizable population, but it offers several insights, including some which should concern faraway, secular nations with Muslim minorities.
On March 5, Muslims attacked, plundered, and set ablaze an ancient Coptic church in Sool, a village near Cairo, Egypt. Afterwards, throngs of Muslims gathered around the scorched building and pounded its walls down with sledge hammers—to cries of “Allahu Akbar!” Adding insult to injury, the attackers played “soccer”with the relic-remains of the church’s saints and martyrs and transformed the desecrated church into a mosque (a live example of history, which witnessed countless churches seized and transformed into mosques).
As Muslims prepare to erect a mega-mosque near the site of the 9/11 atrocities, it is well to reflect that the sort of tolerance, or indifference, that allows them to do so, is far from reciprocated to churches in the Muslim world. I speak not of Islamist attacks against churches—such as the New Year attack in Egypt that killed 21 Christians; or when jihadists stormed a church in Iraq, butchering over 50 Christians; or Christmas Eve attacks on churches in Nigeria and the Philippines. Nor am I referring to state-sanctioned hostility by avowedly Islamist regimes, such as Iran’s recent “round up” of Christians.
The mainstream media (MSM) has just provided another example of how it ostracizes those who fail to tout its party-line. Context: the Washington Post’s On Faith blog posted an article dealing with Muslim-Christian relations, in light of recent attacks on Christians in the Muslim world. Regular contributors were invited to respond.
Em 2006, quando o Papa Bento XVI citou a História, considerada pouco lisonjeira ao Islam, cristãos por todo o mundo islâmico pagaram o preço: seguiram-se distúrbios anti-cristãos, igrejas foram queimadas e uma freira foi assassinada na Somália. Isto, naquela ocasião. Dias atrás, quando um cristão egípcio foi acusado de namorar uma muçulmana, vinte e duas casas de cristãos foram incendiadas aos gritos de “Allah Akbar.”
En 2006, lorsque le Pape Benoît XVI avait cité une phrase historique qui fut considérée comme diffamatoire pour l’islam, les chrétiens dans le monde entier en ont payé le prix : des émeutes anti chrétiens avaient suivi, des églises brûlées et une nonne assassinée en Somalie.
I 2006 da Pave Benedikt citerede fra historien, som blev bedømt som krænkende af islam, betalte kristne i den muslimske verden prisen: Anti-kristne optøjer fremkom, kirker blev brændt ned, og en nonne blev myrdet i Somalia. Det var dengang. For nogle dage siden, da en kristen i Ægypten blev anklaget for at komme sammen med en muslimsk kvinde, blev 22 hjem tilhørende kristne sat i brand, under råbene “Allah Akbar.”
In 2006, when Pope Benedict quoted history deemed unflattering to Islam, Christians around the Muslim world paid the price: anti-Christian riots ensued, churches were burned, and a nun was murdered in Somalia. That was then. Days ago, when a Christian in Egypt was accused of dating a Muslim woman, twenty-two Christian homes were set ablaze to cries of “Allah Akbar.”
For centuries, the Copts — Egypt’s Christian, indigenous inhabitants — have been subject to persecution, discrimination, humiliation, and over all subjugation in their homeland (etymologically, “Copt” simply means “Egyptian”). In the medieval era, such treatment was a standard aspect of sharia’s dhimmi codes, first ratified under Caliph Omar in the 7th century and based on Koran 9:29.
Uncovering the truth is always a convoluted affair when it comes to the Middle East. Consider the case of the Egyptian Nagla Iman. Is she a Muslim woman who advocates the sexual harassment of Jewish women, or a Christian woman, who advocates human rights — especially for fellow women of all faiths?