Wintery Knight

…integrating Christian faith and knowledge in the public square

Muslims attack unarmed Christians in India and Turkey

Story from the Hindu.

Excerpt:

Two activists of the Popular Front of India (PFI) were arrested on Monday in connection with the attack on a professor at Muvattupuzha in Ernakulam district. Sources said 12 others, most of them with extremist links, were also taken into custody for interrogation.

Ashraf, 37, of Mundeth, Mekalady, and Jaffar, 28, of Eramaloor, Kothamangalam, were remanded to judicial custody by the Judicial First Class Magistrate Court, Muvattupuzha.

The right palm of T.J. Joseph, 53, professor of Malayalam in the Newman College, Thodupuzha, was chopped off by the assailants on Sunday. He, along with his mother and sister, was returning home from church when a gang of six waylaid his car and attacked him with an axe.

PFI is a Muslim organization. Kerala is not reputed to be a particularly extremist state. I heard that TN and AP are the two best ones. Maybe Shalini can correct me.

And I think the general trend in India is in favor of more religious liberty for Christians. But not so in Turkey.

National Review reports on more violence in Turkey.

Excerpt:

For all the attention Turkey has gotten lately, very few Americans are aware that the Roman Catholic bishop serving as apostolic vicar of Anatolia was stabbed to death and decapitated last month by an assailant shouting, “Allahu Akbar! I have killed the great Satan!”

There are fewer than 60 Catholic priests in all of Turkey, and yet Bishop Luigi Padovese was the fifth of them to be shot or stabbed in the last four years, starting with the murder of Fr. Andrea Santoro in 2006, also by an assailant shouting, “Allahu Akbar!” (An Armenian journalist and three Protestants working at a Christian publishing house — one of them German, the other two Turkish converts — were also killed during this period.)

What’s going on? Why has traditionally secularist Turkey, with its minuscule Christian community (less than 0.2 percent of the population), lately become nearly as dangerous for Christians as neighboring Iraq? And why has this disturbing pattern of events so far escaped notice in the West?

In a nutshell, all these violent acts reflect a popular culture increasingly shaped by Turkish media accounts deliberately promoting hatred of Christians and Jews.

As it happens, Bishop Padovese was murdered on the same day (June 3) that the Wall Street Journal published an eye-opening report on how Turkey’s press and film industry have increasingly blurred the distinction between fact and fantasy, especially since the Islamist Justice and Development Party (AKP) took power in 2002.

“To follow Turkish discourse in recent years has been to follow a national decline into madness.” That’s how Robert L. Pollock, editorial-features editor of the Journal, summed up the trajectory of the daily fare that shapes Turks’ attitudes toward the outside world — and toward non-Muslims in their midst. Indeed, much of what passes for fact in Turkish public discourse would be comical if not for the deadly consequences.

Turkey is really starting to scare me. They’re going the wrong way.

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4 Responses

  1. Mary says:

    I was at a meeting recently regarding missions in India and heard that there is quite a bit of restriction of religious liberty on the part of Hindu extremists. These extremists target minorities, including Christians and Muslims. In particular, those who convert from Hinduism to another religion are prime targets.

  2. Shalini says:

    I don’t really understand what you mean by ‘best’ Wintery. Predominantly India is considered secular, not just by constitution. The religious intolerance has been wide-spread only for the last 20 odd years, ever since BJP and it’s cohorts became more prominent in the National politics. (They’ve been around even before India’s independence. In fact, it was one of them, Godse, who killed Gandhi.)

    Though the Hindu-Muslim tension has been there ever since the partition, the intolerance towards Christians is not that straight-forward. I think I’ve mentioned this before, but in case you have forgotten, I’ll mention it again. India is highly caste based. In early Vedic culture, people were classified based on their profession, the highest being the Kshatriya clan and the lowest being the Sudras. The Sudras are basically dalits or the untouchables. According to the latest statistics most of them have converted to Christianity. Basically Christian missionaries go to these people and educate them and try giving them a better life style. The better educated Dalits refused to work for lower wages and this caused a lot of problems for the higher caste rich people. In fact, this was the reason the Orissa massacre happened as well. There was this incident in Gujarat where 2 Dalits were killed because they skinned a dead cow (Dalits are basically cobblers). The FIR was filed against the dead Dalits because they skinned a dead cow ’cause cows are sacred for Hindus. Sick!

    I am not sure whether there are a lot of Kshatriyas (royal family, basically) now but second highest class, Brahmins, are the ones who prefer BJP. In fact, now they are spreading a conspiracy theories about how Portuguese missionaries headed by St. Francis Xavier tortured and forcefully converted Goan brahmins. Which is quite amusing considering my own family was converted by Portuguese missionaries over 5 centuries ago and my ancestors mysteriously didn’t get the torture treatment. Weird, seriously. But yeah, the Brahmins are the strong Hindu fundamentalists. I know I am painting a broad picture, ’cause I have a lot of Brahmin friends myself. But all of them would support BJP in a heart beat despite being tolerant to my religious views. I just don’t quite get it.

    It’s BJP run states which implement anti-conversion laws. It was once implemented in my state, TN. But the part which implemented the law lost all of the allotted 40 ministerial seats allotted for my State during the general elections. So the law was repealed immediately. The BJP hardly wins a seat in TN. That’s how good the state I live in is. :)

  3. [...] will get angry and wonder about all the lip-service given to the notion of “reciprocal respect” (we see that in Saudi Arabia, some Catholics were arrested for um…being Catholic and [...]

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