Sunday, 27 December 2009

Merry Christmas, Infidels

"Your King Osama looks like a dirty wizard or a homeless Santa." ~ Bruno

Over the Christmas period (and I hope yours was happy and prosperous, by the way*), I spared more than a passing thought for those Christians around the Islamic world who were left unable to celebrate their holy day, due to fear of punishment by the adherents of that most tolerant of religions: Islam.

In Pakistan, the Christian community of Gojra spent their Christmas in tents after Muslim mobs destroyed their homes, and continued to fear further attacks even afterwards.

In West Java, Indonesia, all churches were guarded by heavy police details over the Christmas period, while others weren't able to celebrate in a church at all because they have been refused permission to build them. Dozens of churches in the province have closed since 2004 after being stormed or attacked by Muslim mobs. In 2000, churches were bombed across the archipelago on Christmas Eve.

Meanwhile, in Basra, Iraq, the Christian community voluntarily chose not to celebrate Christmas overtly this year out of respect for Shi'ite Muslims, who celebrated the "martyrdom of Imam Al Hussain and his brother Al Abbas" at the same time. Just imagine the reverse situation, where Muslims voluntarily hold back from celebrating their religious holidays out of respect for Christians. And then come back to the real world.

In the West, most people take religious freedom for granted. Despite the fears of many on the Left about the Christian Right, Muslims in the West enjoy almost total religious freedom. By contrast, non-Muslims in Islamic countries do not have such freedom. The concept of freedom of religion, as defined in documents such as the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, simply does not exist in Islam. Neither does the Golden Rule, which was articulated by Jesus, and is a major cornerstone of every other world faith...except Islam: "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."

Here in Britain, and Europe, and America, we all understand this maxim, even if we do not always practise what we preach. But in the Islamic world, there is very little knowledge of even this basic concept, and that is why Christians are today suffering martyrdom even on their holiest of days.

*And yes, that includes you, "Andrew McCann"

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