In recent weeks, more than 40 Christian churches have been torched in Canada, supposedly a response to abuse of indigenous people in residential schools. The arson campaign has drawn a variety of responses, including “Not much difference between Islamophobia and Christophobia,” from Vancouver Sun columnist Douglas Todd.
He defines Islamophobia as “dislike of or prejudice against Islam or Muslims, especially as a political force.” Christophobia is “Intense dislike or fear of Christianity; hostility or prejudice towards Christians.” From these definitions Todd extrapolates symmetry of action.
“In Canada there is now no shortage of shocking displays of both Islamophobia and Christophobia,” Todd explains. “There have been assaults on Muslims, some deadly. There has been arson attack after attack on churches.” In reality, it’s not quite so simple.
Islamophobia is an incantation to ward off any discussion of subjects such as Islamic jihad, hatred of Jews, and Muslim violence against non-Muslims. What Todd calls “Christophobia” is nothing more than hatred of Christians, next to anti-Americanism surely Canada’s strongest hatred, particularly among the ruling class.
In the Vancouver suburb of Surrey, “a Coptic Orthodox Church, frequented mostly by immigrants from Egypt, was destroyed by fire.” The Copts are an ancient Christian community that, as Raymond Ibrahim notes, suffers horrible persecution in Egypt, and in the Sinai Copts cry, “They are burning us alive!”
Coptic Christians flee this hatred, now going on in Canada. Since the Copts have nothing whatsoever to do with Canada’s residential schools, a different dynamic must be motivating the arson against the Surrey Coptic Orthodox Church. Todd does not explore all the possibilities but does note that police are “silent about these being hate crimes.”
The Royal Canadian Mounted Police “are certainly sensitive to recent events,” one RCMP sergeant told reporters, but “will not speculate as to possible motives.” If enraged mobs were burning mosques to the ground, one may be certain, it would be called a hate crime motivated by Islamophobia, and that would be proclaimed up front.
By contrast, “Christophophobia” was not invoked in 2017 when Habibullah Ahmadi, 21, attacked Christian grandmother Anne Widholm, beating the 75-year-old Windsor, Ontario, woman into a coma before she died from her wounds. No photo of the suspect was released, nor any investigation of his background. Habibullah Ahmadi was charged with second-degree murder but his possible motive was never explored. For one of the most brutal murders in Canadian history, the convicted murderer could possibly gain release from prison in 10 years.
Catholic Churches have been prime targets but arsonists recently torched the House of Prayer Alliance Church in Calgary, Alberta. “We are refugees,” Pastor Thai Nguyen told reporters, “We escaped from Vietnam to come here to get more freedom, to live, and we think it was a good country – and now it happened to our church. Maybe it is not safe to be here in Canada compared to Vietnam.” That nation is a Communist state, but police and reporters seemed uninterested in the possible motive for burning the refugees’ church. Prime Minister Trudeau, who cries “Islamophobia” at the drop of a hat, does not seem overly concerned.
Trudeau said the attacks on churches were “unacceptable” but also “understandable. As Raymond Ibrahim explains, these words neutralize each other, so in effect Trudeau issues “a call for no action.” For Trudeau’s confidant Gerald Butts, the arson attacks are “understandable.” Harsha Walia of the British Columbia Civil Liberties Association, one of BC’s “top ten left-wing journalists and writers,” urges the arsonists to “burn it all down.” Raymond Ibrahim knows what the deal is.
“What was once the preserve of the Islamic world in recent decades—hate for and attacks on churches—is now a regular and acceptable feature of Canada,” Ibrahim contends. “Considering that radical leftists and radical Muslims believe in the exact opposite things, rather tellingly, when it comes to torching churches, they are close allies. This speaks volumes about what truly animates them, and what is at the core of their belief systems.” Another dynamic could also be in play.
The human remains at the Kamloops Residential school and other institutions were discovered by ground-penetrating radar. It has yet to be verified who, exactly, is in the graves and what caused their deaths. Back in September, 1964, according to one story, the Queen and Prince Phillip visited the Kamloops school, took ten children on a picnic, and those children were never seen again.
In reality, the Queen was not in Canada that month. She came to Canada in October, 1964, for the centenary of the Confederation Conference but did not visit British Columbia. The Queen did visit Kamloops in 1983, six years after the residential school closed, but nothing emerged about the picnic abduction. If embattled Canadians believed the church arsonists are also motivated by a conspiracy theory it would be hard to blame them.