Paula R. Stern writes in “The Face of Islamic Religious Intolerance: Photos of Desecration” at Isralert.com about the challenge that the behavior of the Palestinians poses to the world at large — and the dhimmitude that has so far been the response.
Today, as I knew they would, crazed Palestinian mobs are desecrating 25 synagogues in Gaza, setting them on fire and destroying what it took years to build. I have visited almost all of these synagogues, prayed in many of them. I cannot even begin to put into words the pain I feel today, the anger, and the sadness.
The world, as I expected, is silent. The UN”s Kofi Annan was asked to protect the remaining synagogues, but we hear nothing. Empty buildings, they will protest quietly, and what did you expect? Unspoken is the silent message that while the Christian world and the Jewish world would respect places of worship, the Moslem world cannot be held to the same level of accountability. Did you expect any different? No, I did not, though it would be a mistake to assume that knowing they would destroy these holy places in any way lessens the pain.
We cannot say that we expected better, of course, because that would be deemed racist and wrong. It would be insulting to the honorable religion of Islam, even though it is the truth. It would imply that their values are different than ours, even though they are. It would suggest that their culture is one that lacks respect for other religions, one deeply embedded in violence and one that cannot tolerate and respect the beliefs of others. We cannot say all that, and so the lie will live on, the destruction go unpunished, the truth left unsaid.
The world will quietly offer Israel their condolences and throughout the world, in places like Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Syria, Egypt, and even in Poland, Romania, Hungary and the Ukraine, people will wonder if maybe they could destroy a nearby synagogue too. Why should the land on which these buildings sit continue to be “wasted” when there are no Jews around? Could there be a way to rid Europe and Arab countries of these buildings in which Jews once prayed? The first step, of course, is to deny….
Jews made their stand yesterday by not destroying the synagogues. Palestinians made their stand today by burning and desecrating them. The remaining question now is what the Christian world will do. Will you express outrage at Islamic intolerance or continued silence?
Judging from the supine response to Muslim persecution of Christians, I would say that continued silence is unfortunately likely.