The Christians should, of course, immediately comply. To do anything else would be disrespectful. It would be poking Muslims in the eye. It would harm the wonderful dialogue that Muslims and Christians are having in the West. Once Muslims have made it clear that their feelings would be hurt by Christians attending church, Christians must not attend church. It’s that simple. It’s just like cartoons of Muhammad: cartoons are just cartoons, good for a chuckle or a meaningful observation now and again, but once Muslims make it clear that they will kill Christians and other non-Muslims for drawing Muhammad, then the non-Muslims must stop drawing Muhammad. It’s simply respectful. Right?
Two years ago, after jihadis attacked our free speech Muhammad cartoon event in Garland, Texas, I was told exactly that by Christians and others: if drawing Muhammad offends Muslims, we must not draw Muhammad, and to draw him would be intentionally provocative. Pamela Geller, meanwhile, was excoriated by people such as Bill O’Reilly, Laura Ingraham and Donald Trump in much the same way. I responded that if we start changing our behavior to avoid offending Muslims, we end up encouraging them to make more demands, now that they have seen that they can compel us to change our behavior by doing so. What, I said, would these Christian leaders do if Muslims said it offended them for Christians to go to church? They responded that the idea that Muslims would ever do such a thing was absurd.
And now here we are.
“Mali Church leader voices alarm as Islamists attack parishes,” by Jonathan Luxmoore, Catholic Herald, October 6, 2017:
Militants told Christians they would be killed if they were seen in church
Catholic leaders in Mali have warned that parishes face a growing assault by Islamic militants despite attempts to enforce a peace deal in the north African country.
“Our churches and chapels are now being targeted by extremists, who’ve told Christians not to gather to pray,” said Mgr Edmond Dembele, secretary-general of the Malian bishops’ conference.
“The authorities are trying to reimpose control, and we may learn more about what kind of strategy is being followed,” he told Catholic News Service. “But we’re also alarmed the attacks are being mounted by isolated Islamist groups, acting in their own name.”
Tensions were running high in September and early October in Mali’s central Mopti region after several Catholic churches were ransacked and torched, forcing parishioners to flee.
Mgr Dembele said it was unclear which groups were involved and what their motives were.
“We have no security programme of our own and we rely on the authorities to provide protection and find solutions,” Mgr Dembele said.
“On previous occasions, the government has deployed military units in our parishes. But this still hasn’t been done against these new attacks.”…