A newspaper columnist, Allison Pearson recently wrote a piece for the Daily Telegraph. Her theme was the difference between media reports about a right-wing fanatic’s attack on a mosque in New Zealand, and the subsequent retaliatory one by Islamic terrorists in Sri Lanka. The difference is subtle and perhaps of not great interest to some, but it does provide an indicator as to how the liberal / left separate one atrocity from another. As if one has an obvious cause while the other has not. As if one victim group is clearly known and the other is not so easily identifiable.
A man named Brenton Tarrant was the perpetrator of the New Zealand mosque atrocity. Described in media reports as a white supremacist linked to an increase in white supremacism and alt-right extremism globally. The victims were Muslims at prayer. A terrible crime committed by a vile fascist fanatic. Pearson took issue with the reporting of these two events because most of them seemed to avoid using the word Christian to describe the victims in Sri Lanka attacked in their churches. Other equally terrible attacks were aimed at tourists in hotels. Pearson argued that the mosque victims were clearly identified as Muslims by Hilary Clinton. In Sri Lanka, the killed, maimed and wounded are described by her as ‘Easter Worshippers.’ Why? why not state the truth. The killed and wounded were Christians, and the killings in Colombo were inspired by a hatred of Christianity and perpetrated by Muslim terrorists. Christians died: they were not Easter worshippers. Why not call Christians what they are? Because somehow there are left-wing establishment figures who cannot form their lips into a shape that will accommodate the word Christian. Muslim and Islam are words they have no problems with. There is a word associated with hatred of Muslims: Islamophobia. There is no corresponding word for hatred of Christians. Perhaps because there is no protection under hate law for Christians. The reason being, there is no crime of Christianophobia.
People who take a view like mine are I think often seen as bigots: intolerant and potentially hateful to minorities. It may be thought that we are harbouring phobic thoughts, if not as yet, acting upon them. Denying these inferred links seems only to increase the suspicion. I see in the press that Sir Roger Scruton is now accused. The philosopher and author told the BBC there was a “witch-hunt” against figures on the right of politics. He said that he and others were being accused of “thought crimes” in order to exclude them from public debates. He was sacked from an advisory role to ministers two weeks ago following a controversial New Statesman interview. I have read the New Statesman article which cuts and pastes from the interview, and also read what he actually wrote in full. On the basis of that it is obvious that he said nothing even remotely deserving censure, let alone the loss of a job and damage to his reputation. He is a scholar who holds views that do not fit into the agendas being pushed by the left. If that fact can lose you your job then goodbye to justice and hello and welcome to witch-hunts.
It is of course true that when pushed to their extremities, any bias, towards either left or right can produce terrible outrages. An extremist bigot from the right inflicted indiscriminate carnage by shooting into mosques filled with Muslim worshippers. He was immediately called out for what he was, however in this case the word bigot does not do him justice. He went far beyond the dictionary definition of the word: a person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions. Take that definition and most people who veer anywhere towards the extremes of left or right wings fall into that category. When we defend our position and opinion because we really care about an issue, we are very often going to sound like a bigot, that is if we define the word according to the dictionary. A person who is intolerant of another is a virtual ‘catch all’ definition. To make any kind of judgement about anyone or anything leaves you open to that absurd accusation. However, one person’s bigot may be another’s hero or heroine. It could be an LGBT activist, a Feminist, a Climate Change warrior, a Human Rights advocate, a Muslim, a Conservative politician or a Marxist professor or a Christian rugby player like Billy Vunipola posting his opinions on Instagram. Calling people bigots has become a quick and convenient way to close down a person’s right to hold a contrary opinion to our own. A label stuck to a forehead without a hope of having it removed. You are a bigot simply be being called one. So please can we stop labelling people in order to shut them up. Dictatorships have removed vast numbers of dissidents from the scene by simply labelling them with a stigma, a mark of shame. The Star of David forced to be displayed on the clothing of Jews was the enforcement of a stigma. It was a way to make Jews feel like the lowest of the low. To experience what it was to be a pariah. Anti-Semitism arguably led to the worst crimes against humanity ever visited on a people: the Holocaust: unjust, cruel and ultimately genocidal. In the centuries following the death of Christ Christians were also rounded up by an oppressive regime. That’s how and why Christians were fed to the lions and nailed to crosses. In time Christians became the master race and behaved in much the same way. I am a self appointed Christian apologist; that however does not mean I am unaware or unsympathetic to those who have been killed, abused and stigmatised by the Church over the ages. The Church and Christian nations used and abused Jews shamefully through much of history: ghettos were invented by Christians. We have a lot to answer for, including our uses of scripture. There can be no doubt that some on the extreme right have first imbibed and then perverted biblical scriptures to their own ends. That is the problem with the written word, it cannot cover every possible false or misleading interpretation that can be put upon a text. Which is why a law of any kind is extremely difficult to draft, and why seemingly unaccountable injustices occur because of these difficulties.
There are however many examples of verbal subtleties and downright deliberate misrepresentations used to muddy the ground. Allison Pearson identified one of these. She points out the glaring differences between the reports on the Christchurch mosque attacks and those on the churches in Sri Lanka. In New Zealand the atrocity was immediately described as being motivated by hatred of Muslims. One man’s brutal and distorted agenda was identified as an entire theory of racism founded in the fanatical extremism of the Right. But this was not the act of a group, it was a single hate filled madman on the rampage. It has yet to be proved to be more than that. There will be others of course, but if this becomes organised into groups numbering hundreds or thousands, then you will have a threat like that of the Isis trained terrorists in Sri Lanka. Those that packed rucksacks with explosives, sat in churches filled with worshippers of Jesus and detonated their bombs. Each one, staking his future eternal life on a promised paradise he will have discovered by now is nothing like what his faith and holy book had led him to believe. No maidens fanning his brow or fulfilling his sexual desires. He will find himself staring into the eyes of the God he denies.
Denial can take many forms. Apologists on the left-wing of politics seem to speak the same language. They could, as the following tweets suggest, even share the same speech writers.
Barack Obama: “The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity. On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”
Three hours later, Hilary Clinton tweeted: “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travellers in Sri Lanka.”
Clinton misspeaks yet again. It was not a weekend holy to many faiths. It was and is holy to only one faith: Christianity. She mixes Christians in with others; who else I wonder does she include in this celebration of the Resurrection of Jesus from the dead. Are Islam and Judaism and New Age spirituality each included in her version of Easter’s unifying power? If she asked representatives of any of these they would each deny any such close association with the Easter message of the risen God.
The following in italics is a slightly paraphrased account from the Daily Signal: an article written by Denis Prager.
This is critical: Neither of these world famous politicians commenting on the Sri Lanka incidents used the word “Christians.” And in order to avoid doing so, they invented a previously unknown term for Christians: ”Easter worshippers.” Despite the bombing of three churches filled with Christians, Clinton made no mention of church or churches. In a tweet after Muslims were massacred in New Zealand, she wrote that her heart broke for “the global Muslim community.” But in her latest tweet, not a word about Christians or the global Christian community. Obama similarly wrote in his tweet about the mosque killings that he was grieving with “the Muslim community” In his tweet about Sri Lanka, there is no mention of Christians or churches. The reason neither of them mentioned Christians or churches is that the left has essentially forbidden any serious analysis of anti-Christian murders perpetrated by Muslims in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, and of all the Muslim desecration of churches in Europe, Africa, and anywhere else. Clinton made sure to condemn “Islamophobia,” but she wrote not a word about the far more destructive and widespread hatred of Christians in the Muslim world, seen in Muslims’ virtual elimination of the Christian communities in the Middle East, the regular murder and kidnappings of Coptic Christians in Egypt, and the murder of Christians in Nigeria.
Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. They are persecuted in North Korea, in China and India and Russia, but the vast preponderance of hatred enacted against Christians comes not from atheist, Communist regimes, nor from the convenient hermetically sealed terrorist box known as ISIS militants, nor from Hindu’s in India. It inhabits Islamic states and countries. To answer the question, which is the pride of lions charged with the vast majority of this persecution of the worshippers of Jesus Christ, it is Islam? Officially ordered or sanctioned persecutions against Christian minorities occur in these countries. Take out those named above, the four or five and the other forty five of the fifty listed below are majority Muslim populations. ISIS are the tiny poisoned tip that attack Christians in the once upon a time correctly called the Christian West. The political left will turn in hatred and with dismissal of this article and in denial continue to ignore the role of Islam in Christian slaughter and oppression across much of the globe. Their complicity in Christian persecution is measured in the hate laws which are being tightened all across the West with the possible exclusion of the USA. Many articles on this website make reference to the oppressive nature of hate laws impacting upon individual Christians.
You may look at a country on this list like Tajikistan and think it part of Russia, but its population is 98% Muslim, approximately 95% Sunni and 3% Shia. There is sadly and tragically no peace for Christians in such a State.