That's what I'm always being told by the media, and any person who dares to demur from the 'party line' is regarded as a religious bigot, or worse.
Muslims in general present a benign face in the western countries in which they have settled, and I have no axes to grind with them. I defend their right to peaceful enjoyment of life under the hard-won freedoms that we enjoy in our liberal secular democracies, the occasional terrorist attack notwithstanding.
But do they extend the same consideration and protections to Christians in countries where they hold sway by virtue of being the majority, both in govt. and society in general? Today, it was the Coptic church in Egypt that came under attack, with several fatalities and seriously injured. Recently, Christians have been attacked in Kenya and Pakistan. For all practical purposes, Christian worship is proscribed in Saudi Arabia. It is practically de rigueur now for Christians to suffer persecution to a or lesser or greater degree throughout the Moslem world.
I just can't escape the feeling that there is a definite case of double standards in operation here. Trouble is, we have given them an excuse for exactly this kind of behaviour with our almost perpetual undeclared war against several of their countries, and our (virtually) uncritical support for the state of Israel. Maybe it's long past due that western countries - especially the US and western Europe - reconsider their counter-productive foreign policy towards these countries.
At least then they will be deprived of the most obvious excuse for taking it out on their Christian populations. And before I'm accused of indulging in an anti-Muslim rant, let me state for the record that they are not the only gullty party in this matter:
There are even instances of Buddhist attacks on Christians. That's right - Buddhism, the 'religion of peace', implicated in some of the worst religious violence against Christians. True, so-called 'Christians' were guilty of much worse in the past. Hopefully, the church has long since learned from its egregious departure from the gold standard of true gospel principles. But the worst aspects of professing Christian behaviour in less enlightened times should not inform our conduct now, or be used as an excuse by other religions to do evil unto others. Otherwise, the violence never ends.
And no, I have absolutely no illusions that any of the above will have the slightest effect on the likes of IS and their ilk. They are beyond the pale, and unfortunately they leave the western powers no alternative but to engage them in 'total' war. But let's not forget - we are directly complicit in their creation.
We have a lot to answer for and be penitent over, and unless we can all forgive each other and learn to love instead of making war, the death-dealing will continue unabated.
Challenge the message and not the messenger!
The first person to resort to name calling and personal attacks automatically loses the debate!
Personal attack is often the best indication that the writer knows his logic is flawed and therefore tries to deflect attention by attacking the opponent, instead of attacking the arguments of the opponent.
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