The following by contributor Raymond Ibrahim is again telling of how the world has an obsession with picking out every perceived flaw with Israel, while ignoring the very real persecution of Christians and other minorities around the world.
Muslim slaughter of non-Muslim “infidels,” while a habitual thing, saw an especially dramatic weekend in the nations of Pakistan and Kenya. Even so, these are simply the latest in a long list of jihadi attacks on the Christians of both nations.
Last Sunday, September 22, in Peshawar, Pakistan, Islamic suicide bombers entered the All Saints Church compound right after Sunday mass and blew themselves up in the midst of some 550 congregants, killing, according to the latest count, nearly 90 worshippers, including many Sunday school children, women, and choir members, and injuring at least another 120. The now destroyed Protestant church was built in Peshawar some 130 years ago. The Taliban claimed the attacks.
According to Margrette, a parishioner who survived (though her sister’s status was unknown), “I heard two explosions. People started to run. Human remains were strewn all over the church.”
Armed attacks on churches are hardly uncommon in Pakistan, even though Christians are less than 2% of the population, while Muslims are 97%. In 2001 Islamic gunmen stormed St. Dominic’s Protestant Church, opening fire on the congregants and killing at least 16 worshippers, most women and children. Last Christmas, “when Christian worshipers were coming out of different Churches after performing Christmas prayers, more than one hundred Muslim extremists equipped with automatic rifles, pistols and sticks attacked the Christian women, children and men.” The attack came in response to fatwas condemning Christmas celebrations.
As for Muslim mob violence (as opposed to preplanned terrorist strikes) this is a common fixture that regularly flares up against Pakistan’s Christians and other minorities, most often in the context of “blasphemy,” that is, offending Islam or its prophet. A few months ago, in March, because one Christian was accused of blasphemy, some 3,000 Muslims attacked the Christian Joseph Colony of Lahore, burning two churches and 160 Christian homes.
According to one Christian eyewitness, “The police was doing what it does best—nothing! Their bias towards Christians is quite evident, because when the Muslims were raiding our church and property, they just watched, but when we confronted them, they started hitting us with batons and used live ammunition to deter us.”
In 2009 in Gojra, eight Christians were burned alive, 100 houses looted and 50 homes set ablaze after another blasphemy accusation.
Thousands of miles away in Kenya (83% Christian and 11% Muslim), on Saturday, September 21, Islamic terrorists linked to neighboring Somalia’s Al Shabaab (“the youth”) raided the Westgate shopping mall, slaughtering at least 62 people and injuring at least 150.
Among the Islamic terrorists are several Americans.
Yet, to anyone following events in Kenya closely, this jihadi raid simply follows a long line of attacks targeting, as in Pakistan, Christians, often in their churches. For example, in just the four months between April-August 2012, at least 14 Kenyan churches were attacked by Al Shabaab-linked Islamic terrorists, with many Christians killed. Since then, even more have been attacked, often by hand-grenades, leaving many dead, again, often including women and Sunday school children.
In the mall attack, the jihadis further made it a point to try to differentiate between Muslims and non-Muslims, to slaughter only the latter. According to Elijah Kamau, “The gunmen told Muslims to stand up and leave. They were safe, and non-Muslims would be targeted.” Another Christian eyewitness who managed to escape said, “an Indian man came forward and they said, ‘What is the name of Muhammad’s mother?’ When he couldn’t answer they just shot him.”
Al Shabaab boasted of its care to distinguish between “infidels” and Muslims a barrage of Twitter messages: “Only Kuffar [“infidels”] were singled out for this attack. All Muslims inside #Westgate were escorted out by the Mujahideen (Islamic Holy Warriors) before beginning the attack.”
This is an old jihadi tactic often used when attacking places other than churches, which do not require this extra care (presumably, according to jihadi thinking, everyone inside a church deserves death, whereas a Muslim may be in an open mall). For example, in Nigeria in October 2012, Islamic militants stormed the Federal Polytechnic College, “separated the Christian students from the Muslim students, addressed each victim by name, questioned them, and then proceeded to shoot them or slit their throat,” killing up to 30 Christians.
And in September 2011, Muslim militants “went to shops owned by Christians at a market at about 8 p.m., ordering them to recite verses from the Quran. If the Christian traders were unable to recite the verses [and thus proving they are not Muslim], the gunmen shot and killed them.”
While it is good that the world has been exposed to these two latest attacks on non-Muslim “infidels,” let there be no mistake: these are no “aberrations,” but rather the natural culmination of jihadi hatred for non-Muslims, chief among them Christians, which has been manifesting itself with increased frequency in both Pakistan and Kenya for years.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians