Religious Left Finally Speaks Up for Christian Victims of Jihad

Mark Tooley is President of the Institute on Religion and Democracy (www.theird.org) and author of Methodism and Politics in the Twentieth Century. Follow him on Twitter: @markdtooley.


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The Religious Left’s traditional silence or muted tones about Islamist attacks on Christians globally is becoming increasingly difficult.  Attacks on Iraq’s diminishing Christian community have prompted left-leaning U.S. and Western church groups to speak.  But Iraq was always easier, because the Religious Left could ultimately blame the U.S.  The New Year’s Eve attack on the Egyptian Coptic church in Alexandria, killing 21, and wounding 80 or more others, could not be directly faulted on U.S. policy.   But the assault was so brutal that some response from otherwise usually tepid church groups was required.   Acknowledging Islamist brutality must be discretely handled, because the Religious Left in no way wants to disrupt interfaith dialogue or publicly admit to any intrinsic problems with any form of Islam.

A news release from the Geneva-based World Council of Churches condemned the “vicious attack” in Egypt and recalled another attack on Coptic worshippers last year.   It urged Egyptian President Mubarak and others in the region, including “religious leaders,” to “act swiftly and boldly to safeguard the fundamental religious rights of worshippers of all faiths.”  The WCC cryptically noted that “many different faith traditions have been targets of violence by extremists,” without explaining who these “extremists” are.  It implored a common political and religious front against “negative trends” through “peaceful means,” including “dialogue and partnership between Christians and Muslims in Egypt and throughout the world.”

In a separate letter to the Coptic Pope, the WCC shared its “great sadness and shock” over attacks against “innocent worshippers,” amid “continuous threats and attacks on the churches in Egypt and in other parts in the Middle East.”  Again, the perpetrators of these “threats and attacks” were not named or even described.  But the WCC promised “solidarity” and hoped for Coptic  “courage to withstand these difficulties.”

Somewhat similarly, the chief of the U.S. National Council of Churches regretted the “perpetrators of this outrage are apparently so blinded by hatred that they have lost touch with the tenets of any known faith.”  He insisted:  “It is simply agonizing to think that many around the world will mistake this horror as the attack of one religious community on another.”  And he asserted:  “Christians, Jews and Muslims around the world are united by their outrage and condemnation of this soul-less act.”  The NCC chief strongly surmised:  “This is not a struggle between religions but between those who value the life of every neighbor and those who clearly do not.”

As if to prove its insistence that the anti-Coptic attacks were not by “one religious community on another,” the NCC news release extensively quoted not one but two officials of the Islamic Society of North America who deplored “reprehensible” violence by a “small faction of fanatics.”

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  • Spirit_Of_1683

    Somewhat similarly, the chief of the U.S. National Council of Churches regretted the “perpetrators of this outrage are apparently so blinded by hatred that they have lost touch with the tenets of any known faith.” He insisted: “It is simply agonizing to think that many around the world will mistake this horror as the attack of one religious community on another.”

    He sounds just like the typical dense PC-inebriated clod that the West breeds in profusion. And what is happening to Egyptian Copts is precisely the attack of one religious community on another, Muslims attacking Christians, much as they have dione for 1,400 years. And it is entirely within the tenets of Islam, but political correctness prevents anything other than a distorted education.

  • Spirit_Of_1683

    In some Religious Left eyes, perhaps the inadvertent death of a Palestinian protester is more significant than the murder of 21 Christian worshippers outside their church.

    Not perhaps but definately. Whilever we regard the lives of our enemies as being more important than the lives of our friends and even our own lives, then our civilization is doomed. And political correctness coupled with self hatred is the driving force behind our moral malaise.

  • Amused

    Like the frog in the pot of hot water , by the time it comes to a boil , it'll be too late .The Copts in Egypt are not even the minimal half of what is going on and is happening , as we speak , to those of other faiths in muslim dominated lands …indeed now , even in muslim immigrant enclaves in western countries !