A reporter for the Salt Lake Tribune, traveling in Istanbul, records some tourists’ reactions to the Istanbul synagogue bombings: “Americans touring Turkey’s largest city Saturday reacted with disbelief that terrorism had shattered a peaceful religious and ethnic co-existence that is foreign to many other Muslim countries.”
President Bush said it too: “I condemn in the strongest possible terms the terrorist attacks today in Istanbul, where Turkey’s diverse religious communities of Muslim, Jewish, and Christian believers have flourished together for centuries.”
I hate to sound a sour note here, but take a look at this to see how well the diverse communities flourished together in the waning days of the Ottoman Empire and the beginnings of the secular Turkish state: over three million non-Muslim victims of jihad.
Also note that the non-Muslim population of Istanbul itself has gone from 50% in 1914 to less than one percent today. How could this have happened in a land of such harmonious diversity? (Thanks to Beck.)