One priest told The Weekend Australian that “the nation’s Islamic leaders need to speak out against the threats.”
Indeed. They’re really slipping if they haven’t even come out yet with the usual sound bytes against “terrorism” and the assurances that Islam is “peaceful.” Perhaps they have by now, or eventually they probably will.
And that’s about all they’ll do, continuing with the pattern of half-measures for public consumption that characterize Muslim groups’ responses to crimes committed in acts of jihad: just enough to take the pressure off until the next crisis, when the same tactics will appear once again. If things get at all uncomfortable, they’ll shift the focus to playing up fears of “backlash,” casting themselves as equal victims of whatever jihadist act has transpired, and accusing those who still pursue the matter of Islam’s role of being hateful, racist, xenophobic, and so forth.
We know how vigorously Islamic scriptures and tradition have denounced heresy and innovation of any kind, but the persecution of non-Muslims — always publicly passed off as “un-Islamic” — curiously escapes that level of outrage.
That outrage, of course, is reserved for cartoons and Christian women in Pakistan. “Terrorism threats against Coptic churches,” from the AAP, January 8 (thanks to James):
Four Coptic churches in Sydney have been threatened by an international terrorist group.
The threats have struck fear into the Australian Orthodox community and prompted police bomb-squad searches of religious sites.
The Weekend Australian says it understands the four churches were among a list of more than 60 Coptic Orthodox churches worldwide that were targeted by the unnamed Islamic extremist group.
NSW police contacted Coptic church leaders in Sydney to warn them of the threats, which came ahead of Coptic Christmas celebrations on Friday.
The threats follow an attack that killed 21 people in a New Year’s Eve bomb blast at a Coptic church in the Egyptian city of Alexandria.
Police officers from the dog and bomb squads searched the four Sydney churches on Thursday night before the popular Christmas Eve services that can attract hundreds of people.
Father Gabriel Yassa, of Archangel & St Bishoy Church, at Mt Druitt, in Sydney’s west – one of the targeted churches – told The Weekend Australian the nation’s Islamic leaders need to speak out against the threats.
The other three churches on the hit list are St Mary & Merkorious at Rhodes in Sydney’s west; St Demiana & St Athanasius at Punchbowl in the city’s southwest; and St Mark Coptic Church at Arncliffe in Sydney’s inner south.
It was not known why these four churches were targeted as there are 17 Coptic parishes in Sydney.