DESTROYING ONE KORAN VERSUS DESTROYING MANY CHRISTIANS:
WHICH IS WORSE?
By Raymond Ibrahim
Yet, as Western leaders rush to profess their abhorrence at what one American did to one inanimate book, let's take a quick look at what many Muslims are doing to many living and breathing Christians around the Islamic world — to virtually no media coverage or Western condemnation:
Bangladesh: A Christian man was arrested for distributing Bibles near Muslims. Since Wednesday, April 6, thousands of Muslims have been rioting, injuring dozens — not because of Jones, but in protestation of women's rights.
Egypt: A Muslim mob burned down another Coptic church and dozens of Christian homes; when Christians protested, the military opened fire on them while crying "Allahu Akbar," killing nine. Another mob cut a Christian man's ear off "according to Sharia."
Ethiopia: Muslims went on a rampage, burning down nearly 70 churches, killing at least one Christian, and dislocating as many as 10,000. Christians living in Muslim majority regions are being warned to either convert to Islam, abandon their homes, or die.
Malaysia: Authorities detained and desecrated thousands of imported Bibles.
Pakistan: Two Christians were shot to death as they exited church; a Christian serving life in prison for "blasphemy" died in his cell under suspicions of murder.
Saudi Arabia: An Eritrean Christian has been arrested for sharing his faith with Muslims and is facing the death penalty; other missionaries continue to languish in Saudi prisons.
Somalia and Sudan: Christian girls — including a mother of four — were recently abducted, raped, and killed for embracing Christianity.
It should be borne in mind that none of these atrocities were performed in retaliation to Jones' Koran burning; they're just business as usual in the Muslim world. Moreover, the above list is but a quick and cursory sampling of the very latest in Christian suffering under Islam. Were one to include persecution from just a few months back, one could also mention the jihadist attack on a Baghdad church, killing 52 Christians; the New Year's eve Coptic church explosion, killing 21; Muslim rampages that destroyed several churches in Indonesia, Nigeria, and the Philippines; Iran's "round up" of some 70 home-worshipping Christians; and rejection by Kuwait — an Arab nation-state that owes its very existence to U.S. war sacrifices — of a plan to build a church in the Emirate.
Then there are the countless atrocities that never make it to any media — the stories of persistent, quiet misery that only the victims and local Christians know.
One would have thought that all this was at least equally deserving of media attention and Western condemnation as the burning of a Koran. This is especially so, considering that, whereas only Jones is responsible for his actions, many of the aforementioned savageries — arresting and executing Christian missionaries and Muslim apostates, destroying or outlawing churches, seizing and desecrating not one but thousands of Bibles — are carried out at the hands of Muslim authorities and governments that are deemed "friends and allies of the U.S.A."
Such is the surreal and increasingly irrational world we live in, where irate Muslims and groveling Westerners obsess over the destruction of one book, while ignoring the destruction of many human lives; where a guaranteed and hard-earned American right — freedom of expression — receives a lot of condemnatory huffing and puffing from those charged with protecting it, while murderous and barbarous — in a word, evil — behavior is devoutly ignored.
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Raymond Ibrahim, a historian of Islam, Islamism and the Middle East, is the Associate Director of the Middle East Forum, a guest lecturer at the National Defense Intelligence College, and the editor of The Al-Qa'ida Reader, a collection of tranlations of key texts and documents of the Islamist movement. Ibrahim's translations of the religious texts and political propaganda comprising this collection help readers comprehend the origins, development, history, and serious danger of the Islamist war doctrines of Usama bin Laden and Ayman al-Zawahiri, the Founders of Al-Qa'ida and implacable enemies of the U.S.A. and the West.
The foregoing article by Raymond Ibrahim was originally published in Front Page Magazine, April 8, 2011, and can be found on the Internet website maintained by the Middle East Forum, a foreign policy think tank which seeks to define and promote American interests in the Middle East, defining U.S. interests to include fighting radical Islam, working for Palestinian Arab acceptance of the State of Israel, improving the management of U.S. efforts to promote constitutional democracy in the Middle East, reducing America's energy dependence on the Middle East, more robustly asserting U.S. interests vis-à-vis Saudi Arabia, and countering the Iranian threat. (URL: http://www.meforum.org/2872/koran-christian-persecution)
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