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people who have served their coun-
try faithfully since its foundation more
than 60 years ago.
Frankly, this ugly partnership of events
is not new and will surely be repeated.
Minorities are persecuted and pros-
ecuted throughout the Islamic world,
minorities are protected and promot-
ed throughout the Christian world. Of
course, not all Muslims behave so gro-
tesquely and, of course, many Muslims
are disgusted by such behaviour, but
what does Islam say and what does
the Koran preach about violence and
intolerance? And does orthodox, main-
stream Islam allow, for example, people
to convert their religion, women to be
equal, gay people to live in safety, the
Koran to be criticized, and free speech
to flourish?
Intelligent and honest people, Muslim
and non-Muslim alike, want to discuss
all of this and admit the truth but, in
the days following the events which
I have described, we have seen more
anger spewed by media and the chat-
tering classes directed at conservative
Catholics for explaining that the Pope
is not going soft on life and sexual-
ity, than we have directed at Islam for
producing legions of animalistic mur-
derers eager to slaughter every person
they see. Frankly, it’s always that way.
Journalists will go to almost any length
to avoid using the words “Muslim” or
“Islamic” when writing of terrorism, hon-
our killings, rape gangs and the like.
These deniers refer to religion rather
than Islam, they speak of religious
extremism instead of Muslim extrem-
ism, they run away like frightened
fools rather than turn and fight and
stand up for disenfranchised, perse-
cuted, besieged minorities – invariably
Christian – facing a living hell in the
In September, the Pope – the leader of
more than a billion Roman Catholics
and the most influential Christian in the
world – gave a 10,000-word interview in
which he, while affirming Church teach-
ing on life and sexuality, reminded his
followers that they have to emphasize
love, peace, compassion, forgiveness,
understanding, gentleness and grace.
Even critics of Roman Catholicism were
impressed by the gentleness and em-
pathy of what the man had said.
The following day…the very following
day…a group of Muslim fanatics, fired
and inspired directly by the Koran, at-
tacked a shopping mall in Kenya. They
lined people up and asked them if
they were Muslim, asked the name of
Mohammad’s mother, and then asked
whether they could recite verses from
the Koran. If they couldn’t, they were
shot dead; these included small chil-
dren, old people and women. One
young couple, the wife heavily preg-
nant and two weeks away from giving
birth, died in each other’s arms; he
was an architect who had just built an
AIDS hospital in Kenya free of charge,
and she was a brilliant and Harvard-
trained academic who wanted to help
the African people. The slaughter and
carnage went on for days. Victims were
tortured, blinded, mutilated, beheaded.
On another continent, in Pakistan
that same week, Anglican Christian
Pakistanis leaving church were vic-
tims of suicide bombs when Muslims
chanting Allahu Akbar blew more
than 70 people to raw flesh. Christians
in Pakistan have been persecuted and
murdered for years now; the most they
can hope for is a job cleaning toilets
since the Pakistani government has
said, in effect, that only Christians can
do such jobs. They then accuse Israel
of being an apartheid state. These are
with
Michael Coren
Opinion
A tale of two religions
Islamic world. Mock Christians and then
win a Hollywood award; mock Islamic
fanaticism and then be betrayed by ce-
lebrities and rejected by liberals when
Muslim killers promise to murder you
and your family. The next time I am
threatened by a Lutheran because I
made fun of the German reformer, the
next time I am promised death by a
Catholic because I mocked a bishop, I
will admit that all religions produce ex-
tremism. Until then, I refuse to join the
chorus of euphemisms and downright
propaganda.
In Kenya…in that mall of horror…a lit-
tle English boy looked bravely at one
of the Muslim thugs and said “you’re a
very bad man.” The terrorist gave the
child a Mars bar and moved on. The
fanatic had just shot the boy’s mother
who, thank the Lord, survived the or-
deal. Was it shame, self-reflection, a
moment of sanity that led the man to
not kill the child? He had, after all, mur-
dered other children.
We don’t know. We do know, however,
that if only the actors, politicians, au-
thors, journalists, and the rest had an
ounce of the courage of that little fellow,
the world would be a safer and
saner place. For all of us.