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Ethics & Religion
April 13, 2017
Column #1,859
Muslim Violence Against Christians
By Mike McManus


At the beginning of the holiest week of the Christian year, Muslims attacked two churches in Egypt on Palm Sunday, in one of the deadliest days of violence in decades. At least 27 were killed in one church and 17 outside another by suicide bombers.

The Islamic State took credit.

How should Christians respond? First, we must understand the depth of the problem.

In Egypt, only 10% of the population is Christian. They have supported President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi, who seized power in a coup, ousting the elected President Mohammed Morsi of the Muslim Brotherhood.

It is not clear what more he can do to protect Christians. He has already imprisoned or exiled thousands of opponents. And he had security guards checking those attending St, Mark's Cathedral in Alexandria where Pope Tawadros, head of the Coptic Christian Church, was presiding.

Fortunately, the Muslim bomber was stopped and refused to go through a metal detector. That's when he blew himself and 17 others up. But he could have killed the Coptic Pope and many others inside.

Pope Francis is scheduled to visit Egypt April 28-29. Sisi has declared a 3-month state of emergency. Hopefully, that will put enough troops on the street to protect them both.

America wakened to the Muslim threat when Muslims flew airplanes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, killing 3,000 in 2001. Nothing so horrific has happened since. But there have been smaller incidents that are alarming: an Islamic extremist massacred 49 people at a gay nightclub; and 14 in San Bernardino were killed at a Christmas party by a Muslim born in this country.

In fact, 82 other Americans have been murdered in 50 separate acts of deadly Islamic terror since 9/11.

Franklin Graham is alarmed. He notes in a column published by USA Today that there are 1.6 billion Muslims in the world and 2.75 million in the U.S. Pew asked Muslims in America under what circumstances "suicide bombings and other forms of violence against civilians is justified to defend Islam." Thankfully, Pew reported that 86% say such behavior is "rarely or never" justified. "

"Whew! That means about 1.6 million Muslim adults living here say they don't approve of violence in the name of their religion. But what about the rest?" Graham asked.

Seven percent of Muslims in America told Pew researchers that violence against civilians is "sometimes" justified and 1% said "often." Graham remarked, "Whoa! This means there are more than 100,000 Muslims who could justify a suicide bombing in the name of their religion."

That 8% figure of Muslims who would "sometimes" or "often" justify violence in the name of Islam - that's 100 million people around the world! And the percentage of Muslims with such views are 15% or more in such countries as Turkey, Jordan and Egypt.

Two years ago the Islamic State terrorist group released a statement by its leader, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, who asserted, "Islam was never a religion of peace. Islam is the religion of fighting. No one should believe that the war that we are waging is the war of the Islamic State. It is the war of all Muslims, but the Islamic State is spearheading it. It is the war of Muslims against infidels. Oh, Muslims go to war everywhere. It is the duty of every Muslim."

Franklin Graham's conclusion: "Now, as a Christian, I'm sure glad that hundreds of millions of Muslims worldwide would reject this religious madman's rant. It's the millions who apparently agree with him who terrify me."

Sadly, there is plenty of reason to be terrified.

In Europe more than a million Muslims have emigrated in recent years, a high percentage of whom are young unmarried males. There have been a number of incidents involving death. In November, 2015 six coordinated attacks in central Paris resulted in 130 deaths. Nail bombers killed 32 people in Brussels.

In July, 2016, a cargo truck deliberately plowed into crowd celebrating Bastille Day, killing 86. Another truck killed 12 in Berlin last December. A suicide bomber blew himself up on the St. Petersburg Metro, killing 14 others this month.

What should be done about this?

I have one simple suggestion. If you know a Muslim, go out of your way to be kind and considerate to him. We must demonstrate Christian compassion.

Jesus said, "Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistrust you. If someone strikes you on one cheek, turn to him the other also" (Luke 6: 27-29).
Copyright (c) 2017 Michael J. McManus, a syndicated columnist and past president of Marriage Savers. For previous columns go to Hit Search for any topic.


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