Jonathan Sacks–The ethnic cleansing of Christians is 1 of the great crimes of our age

…the real target is not Christianity but freedom. Nor is this a war. Wars are fought between nations, by armies, and the intended victims are combatants. Terrorists wear no uniforms, and their intended victims are innocent civilians. I for one will never forget the episode two weeks ago on the Ivory Coast where terrorists gunned down a five-year-old child begging for his life.

There have been ages of terror before, but never on this scale, and never with the kind of technology that has given the jihadists the ability to radicalise individuals throughout the world, some acting as lone wolves, others, like the attackers in Paris and Brussels, working in small groups, often involving family members.

The aim of Isil is political: to re-establish the Caliphate and make Islam once more an imperial power. But there is another aim shared by many jihadist groups: to silence anyone and anything that threatens to express a different truth, another faith, a different approach to religious difference. That is what lay behind the attacks on the Danish cartoons; on Catholics after a speech by Pope Benedict XVI; the murder of Theo van Gogh; and the attacks on Charlie Hebdo. The calculation of the terrorists is that, in the long run, the West will prove too tired to defend its own freedoms. They are prepared to keep committing atrocities for as long as it takes, decades if need be.

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2 comments on “Jonathan Sacks–The ethnic cleansing of Christians is 1 of the great crimes of our age

  1. Terry Tee says:

    The former Chief Rabbi of the UK, Lord Sacks, seems to me to do more to raise the profile of persecuted Christians than many Christian leaders. I wonder what they think about us in the beleagured Christian communities of Pakistan? Our concern must seem fragmentary, episodic, unfocussed. I ask the indulgence of readers by posting below what I received from a priest friend in Pakistan. For obvious reasons he must remain anonymous:

    Trying to come to terms with the mass murder of innocent Christians in Lahore has been very difficult. So many innocent lives destroyed. The bomb exploded so as to maximize child victims. So much hatred and mindless, wanton violence. So very difficult to find a way to respond in any life-enhancing way. The voice of moderate Islam silenced through fear. Raising the Christian voice interpreted as a justification for more mayhem. The government posturing, itself the very same party that made 295-C punishable only by death,[the blasphemy law] thereby inviting open season on murdering members of the minority communities. The army … retaining links with preferred terrorist groups for their dirty work. Most people in deep denial just relieved that it was not their loved ones. The recurring empty promise that this will never happen again sounding risibly hollow; because it has been made innumerable times and it means nothing and the murderers are already planning their next appalling atrocity and have stated that openly. Readiness to forgive, certainly; but it leads to an extremely painful vulnerability interpreted by many militants as an expression simply of weakness and granting licence to act with impunity … We would like to engage more directly with Muslim religious leaders but they are in fear of extremists, of being accused of compromising the honour of their Prophet by countenancing our conversation. Even as I write I am wracking my brains to find a response. Maybe some days of silent solidarity with both victims and murderers, each imprisoned in their differently diminished humanity, as I am in mine, seeking the redeeming love revealed in the Crucified God.

    What can we do? I would suggest that we in the UK or the USA ought to ask our politicians to tie the aid we give Pakistan to progress in protection of minorities. But I feel hopeless in suggesting this. Christians are not high in the priorities of many politicians. And Pakistan is already more or less a failed state – they might be afraid of tipping it over the edge.

    Lord, have mercy. Saints and Martyrs of the Faith, pray for the persecuted Christians of Pakistan.

  2. Katherine says:

    When I was in Egypt, I had an elderly nominally Muslim friend (who was really an atheist). Like many Egyptians, he complained about the creation of a Jewish state in the area. I pointed out to him the creation of a huge Muslim state at about the same time, Pakistan, and what a disaster for the area and for the world that turned out to be. He fell silent.