Sep 21, 2006

When Synagogues burn churches burn

A quote from Paula R Stern
First it was a cartoon in Denmark that showed a caricature of Mohammed's face. Poor taste, ill-advised. But justification for murder? Not in the western world. But in the Arab world, it was enough to cause rioting, and lead to several deaths and a $1 million dollar death threat against the cartoonist. Interestingly enough, when an entire "art" show of cartoons against Israel and ridiculing the Holocaust was officially sanctioned in Iran recently, there were no riots in the world, no burned buildings, no death threats. Go figure.

When the President of Iran calls for the destruction of Israel, and presumably the nearly 6 million Jews within its borders, there were no riots, no death threats, no burned mosques or kidnapped journalists. When Jews were beaten in Russia, France, Yugoslavia, England, and Belgium, there were no violent demonstrations, no riots and death threats.

Now the Pope has spoken a few words, perhaps ill-timed, perhaps badly phrased, but the result is the same. The Arab world is alight. Despite the calming words of Jakarta rally organizer that, "we Muslims have no violent character," violence seems to prevail. Several churches in Palestinian areas have been fire-bombed.

Deputy leader to the Turkish Prime Minister said the Pope was "going down in history in the same category as leaders such as Hitler and Mussolini." Hitler was responsible for the murder of at least 10 million people, by conservative estimates. His close ally, Mussolini established a fascist dictatorship in Italy.

To have an Islamic leader compare the Pope to these men of evil may help shed light on the ongoing propaganda war to paint Moslems as victims rather than aggressors. But the truth is in the flames that burned the churches, the bullets that were shot in the air, and the firebombs thrown in Gaza. Last year, the world was silent to the atrocity of synagogues being burned. Just one year later, the lesson returns.

Where synagogues burn, so too do churches.

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