The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, April 10, 2017

What if ... ?

Those who continue to tell us that we must not call upon all Muslims to rid their religion of political Islam (a.k.a., Islamism, Radical Islam, Jihadism) because the last thing we want is a religious war. Really? What we already have is a religious war, it's just that only political Islam is waging it. The events of this weekend reinforce that contention. Damian Thomson comments:
At 9.30 this morning, during Mass at St George’s Church in Tanto, north of Cairo, Coptic Christians were celebrating the joyful entry of Jesus into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday. And then, in the twinkling of an eye, He was welcoming at least 25 of them into His kingdom, as a bomb went off inside the church.

That, at least, is what hundreds of millions of Christians believe; as Holy Week begins. They will be praying for the slaughtered men, women and children of St Mark’s – and also for the victims of a suicide bombing outside St Mark’s Cathedral, Alexandria, soon afterwards. As I write, the death toll from the second attack is reported to have risen to 18. Let us hope that they also remember the 28 people who died in St Peter and St Paul’s Church, Alexandria, as recently as last December. And the 21 Coptic worshippers murdered at another Coptic Church in Alexandra at the New Year’s Mass on the first day of 2011.

Today a spokesman for the Egyptian ministry of foreign affairs tweeted that the Palm Sunday massacres were ‘another obnoxious but failed attempts against all Egyptians’. Really? It looks to me like an attack on Christians simply because they are Christians. It would be equally fatuous to claim that Boko Haram’s unrelenting slaughter of Christians is directed ‘against all Nigerians’.
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These were, of course, attacks by ‘Islamists‘ – a word I’m beginning to put into inverted commas, not because I think most ordinary Muslims support such tactics but because there is no single strand of ‘Islamist’ ideology that can be neatly cordoned off from Islamic extremism.
Imagine for just a moment that an Israeli terrorist bombed a mosque in Jerusalem (yes, there are mosques in Jerusalem) and killed, oh, let's say just one person, injuring a few more. The international media would be in an uproar; no news entity would move on to other matters; the story would last for days or weeks; Israel would be condemned for "crimes against humanity." But most importantly, Jews around the world would roundly and unequivocably condemn the attack and demand that the perpetrators be found and killed/imprisoned.

It's the last sentence that really matters. After the attacks in Cairo, condemnation across the Arab world was muted. Outside Egypt, few prominent Imams publicly condemned the attack; to my knowledge, no fatwahs were delivered against the perpetrators. Rather than public outrage at the vicious murder of his co-religionists, a left-wing Pope effectively shrugs his shoulders and tells us that we must all reason together.

John Lennon once asked, "What if they held a war and no one came?" As we watch elements of the Muslim world decimate elements of the Christian world (not to mention other "heretics"), it might be worth paraphrasing Lennon's question: "What if one side declared war and began its attack, and the other side covered its eyes, plugged its ears, and sealed its lips shut.