Transport police stood by and did nothing. After all, Greek Orthodox Christians do not have protected victim status; Muslims do. The officers no doubt did not want to appear “Islamophobic.”
WHILE we constantly are lectured about Islamophobic violence, despite little evidence of its existence, there is official silence about its flip side: religiously motivated attacks on Christians.
One Greek community leader, Rev George Capsis, has gone so far as to warn Christians not to wear overt religious symbols when they are travelling though Muslim enclaves of southwestern Sydney.
But last Tuesday afternoon, 30-year-old Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike, discovered too late the risks of wearing a large cross outside his clothing while travelling on the train from Campsie to Bankstown with his girlfriend.
He says he was minding his own business talking on his mobile phone, when four young men of Middle Eastern appearance allegedly violently ripped the crucifix off his neck, and stomped on it while swearing “F*** Jesus” and referring to “Allah”.
He says they punched him and kicked him in his face, back and shoulders during the attack which began about 3pm, just after the train left Belmore station.
When his girlfriend tried to defend him, two Arabic-speaking women also allegedly hit and kicked her.
The crucifix, which his mother had given him, was bent, and the silver chain broken in two places.
“I was born in Australia of Greek heritage,” says Mike. “I’ve always worn my cross. For him to rip it off and step on it has to be a religious crime… It’s not on to feel unsafe in your own country.”…
He claims that five uniformed railway “Transport Officers” watched the attack and did nothing to help him, although police were waiting for the train when it reached Bankstown station.Two police officers took the names of three alleged assailants and a statement from Mike, photographed his injuries, told him they would review CCTV footage from the train and that he should expect a letter in a month, which may require his attendance at court….
Capsis claims Mike is the fourth Christian who has complained to him of a religiously-motivated attack in the past six months.“This is not an isolated incident. There are gangs of these young fellows of Muslim background who have been harassing people they identify as Christian… You don’t hear about it because no one’s reporting it.”
The other three attacks Capsis says have occurred around public transport in southwest Sydney: “It’s like their territory; they don’t want Christians or other types of infidels there…
“People like Greek Orthodox carry a big cross. I tell them to be practical and if they’re in those areas and wearing a big cross and a group of young guys comes, hide it in your shirt. Why provoke it?
“If this keeps up, someone will be hurt. It’s got to be nipped in the bud.”…
There have been isolated reports of anti-Christian abuse in recent years, such as churchgoers in Sydney’s west copping death threats from men driving past in a car bearing the Islamic State flag….But there are no hashtags for Christians like Mike when they ride on Sydney trains.