Thursday, February 23, 2006

Barnabas Fund director speaks out on Nigerian violence

Dr Patrick Sookhdeo, International Director of Barnabas Fund, commented:

"It is interesting that when Muslims attack Western embassies it is news, and when Christians retaliate against Muslim violence it is news. But when Muslims attack vulnerable Christian minorities to take revenge for publishing cartoons that are nothing to do with the Christian victims, it is barely mentioned in the media. When Christian organisations joined with Muslim organisations in the UK on 18th February to protest in London against the cartoons, did they have any concern for what Muslims are doing to Christian minorities who have absolutely no connection with the cartoons?"

"While I utterly deplore the Christian counter-attacks in Nigeria - for Christians should always be people of peace not violence - Archbishop Akinola has rightly pointed out that peaceful conduct is all too often seen as weakness by Muslims. This perceived weakness makes Christians all the more likely to be targeted. Western Christian leaders and Western governments, who are eager to prevent Muslim feelings from being hurt, do not seem to have the courage to speak out about what is happening to innocent Christian minorities in the Muslim world. If they will not condemn the anti-Christian violence or even publicise it, can they be so surprised when non-Western Christians -- goaded beyond endurance -- finally fight back?"

I'm sorry that it has come to this -- as Dr. Sookhdoo so rightly points out, Christians are never called to violence and retaliation -- but, sadly, I'm not surprised. But he's also right that those "christians" who have rushed to support Islam and oppose the cartoons don't seem to have given much thought to the non-involved who are paying the price. It's easy to chant and wave signs when you aren't going to feel the consequences.

No comments: