Christians Persecuted by Muslims Even in the West
"Here we pray only to Allah."
Originally published by the Gatestone Institute.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Last April, police in Sicily reported that Muslim migrants hurled as many as 53 Christians overboard during a crossing from Libya. The motive was that the victims “professed the Christian faith while the aggressors were Muslim.” Another report cited a boy seen praying to the Judeo-Christian God. Muslims commanded him to stop, saying “Here, we only pray to Allah.” Eventually the Muslims “went mad,” in the words of a witness, started screaming “Allahu Akbar!” and began hurling Christians into the sea.
It gets worse. When Christian refugees finally do make it to Western shores, they continue to be attacked by Muslims, or fellow “refugees.”
According to a September 30 report, in Germany, “Many Christian refugees from Syria, Iraq or Kurdistan are being intimidated and attacked by Muslim refugees. In several refugee centers set up by the local authorities, Sharia law is being imposed and Christians—which are a minority—are the victims of bullying.”
Gottfried Martens, pastor of a south Berlin church, said that “very religious Muslims are spreading the following idea throughout the refugee centers: Sharia law rules wherever we are.” Martens expressed especial concern for Muslims who convert to Christianity—apostates who, according to Islamic law, can be killed: “There is a 100% chance that these people will be attacked.”
Earlier, in July 2014, the weekly Die Zeit explained how “an atmosphere of intimidation and hostility towards Christians” reigns in the refugee centers. Referred to as “pigs,” Christians have limited access to communal kitchens. According to local authorities, “The police have reached their absolute breaking point. Our officials are increasingly being called to confrontations in refugee homes.”
In Sweden, a July report told of how two small families of Christian asylum seekers were harassed and abused by approximately 80 Muslim asylum seekers from Syria. The Christians and Muslims—described by one Swedish newspaper as “fundamentalist Islamists”—resided in the same asylum house. As in Germany, the Muslims ordered the Christians not to use communal areas and not to wear their crosses around their necks.
After extensive harassment and threats, the Christian refugees who thought they had escaped “ISIS” left the Swedish asylum house “fearing for their own safety.” A spokesman for the government migration agency responsible for their center said:
They dared not stay. The atmosphere became too intimidating. And they got no help… They chose themselves to organize new address and moved away without our participation because they felt a discomfort.
In Denmark, according to the conclusion of a study conducted last year, “Christian asylum seekers are repeatedly exposed to everything from harassment to threats and physical abuse by other [Muslim] refugees in the asylum centers, simply because they have converted from Islam to Christianity.” An eight year old Christian boy was repeatedly bullied and beaten by larger Muslim boys on his way to school, to the point that he dropped out. And someone tampered with a Christian asylum seeker’s bicycle so that he crashed and broke both hands.
According to Niels Eriksen Nyman, who led the study:
There are certainly many more cases around the country than the ones we hear about in the church. I hate to say it, but I’m afraid that on some of the asylum centers there are some very unhealthy control mechanisms when the staff turns their back… I refuse to support Islamophobia, but we have a serious problem here.”
It certainly seems so. After all, such persecution is not limited to refugees. Christians of Mideast or Asian backgrounds who have been living in the West for years are also being targeted.
Last week in Gothenburg, Sweden, Markus Samuelsson, who is of Assyrian descent, found the walls of his restaurant covered with jihadi graffiti, including messages of “Convert or Die” and “The Caliphate is Here.” The Arabic letter ن (“N” for “Nasara,” or “Christian”) were painted on the walls of the next door pizzeria and the local bakery, though non-Assyrian businesses were left untouched. (The Islamic State is known to mark out Christian homes and businesses with this letter before attacks.)
In Muslim-majority areas of Denmark—voted 2013’s “happiest country in the world”—Christians of Middle Eastern backgrounds experienced “harassment, verbal attacks and in some cases direct violence from Muslims,” reported TV2. One Christian, “Jojo,” born in Denmark to Lebanese parents, said Muslims sometimes surround and bully her about her Western attire. When one of them noticed she was wearing a cross, he said “Well, you have a cross on—then you are also a Christian f***ing whore. Do you know what we do to people like you? Do you know what we do to people like you? You get stoned [to death].”
Another Christian woman of Iranian background in Denmark recounted how she and her son are harassed on the Muslim-majority block where they live—and where she stands out for not wearing a hijab, the Islamic veil: “My son is being called everything. I get called all sorts of things. Infidel. Filthy Christians. They tell me I ought to be stoned to death. My son was beaten at the bus stop. He was called pig, dirty potato (Muslim slang for Danes), and that ‘you and your mother should die.’”
Similarly, in the United Kingdom, a Pakistani man, his wife, and their six children are suffering “an appalling ordeal at the hands of neighbours who regard them as blasphemers.” Their “crime” is converting to Christianity—over 20 years ago. Despite being “prisoners in their own home after being attacked in the street, having their car windscreens repeatedly smashed and eggs thrown at their windows” the Christian family says both police and the Anglican church have failed to provide any meaningful support and are “reluctant to treat the problem as a religious hate crime.”
The family plans to relocate from their home city of Bradford to a “white English” area to escape the hate campaign. Nissar Hussain, the father, said: “Our lives have been sabotaged and this shouldn’t happen in the United Kingdom. We live in a free democratic society and what they are doing to us is abhorrent.”
Other refugees who convert to Christianity are snatched back to Islam. Last year in New Zealand, friends of a Muslim convert to Christianity known as Daniel said they “fear the refugee has been abducted from his Christchurch flat and taken back to Saudi Arabia—home to the Islamic holy city of Mecca—where it is against the law for Muslims to abandon their faith.”
Daniel arrived about five years ago on a Saudi Government scholarship to study English, eventually converted to Christianity and applied for asylum. He was granted refugee status on the grounds that he would be persecuted in Saudi Arabia, and told friends he was terrified he would be kidnapped and forced to return. According to National, “his friends … say he was last seen in the company of two strange Arab men and believe he was taken out of the country under duress, possibly by agents of the state or family members….There have been numerous documented cases of Saudi nationals being uplifted from foreign countries.” In one case, a man who converted to Christianity and was brought back to Saudi Arabia was told “more than once if he did not renounce his Christianity that he could expect to be beheaded.”
Nor is this anti-Christian animus limited to fellow Middle Easterners or Asians who are Christians or who convert to Christianity. Europe’s indigenous Christians and their churches are under attack as well by the “refugees.” Some examples follow.
Last May in Italy, a Muslim schoolboy of African origin beat a 12-year-old girl during school because she was wearing a crucifix around her neck. The boy, who had only started to attend the school a few weeks earlier, began to bully the Christian girl—“insulting her and picking on her in other ways all because she was wearing the crucifix”—before he finally assaulted her. Italian police did not charge the boy with any offense citing he was a minor. Before this incident:
- On Sunday, May 10, after church mass, a group of young Muslim immigrants interrupted a Catholic procession in honor of the Virgin Mary. They shouted verbal insults and threats as the group passed in front of the Islamic Cultural Center in Conselice, a small town in lower Romagna. Approximately 100 Catholic Christians, including several small children, were preparing to receive their first Holy Communion.
- On New Year’s Day, a 67-year-old Moroccan man mumbling Koran verses used an iron rod to hurl to the ground and severely damage five statues—including of the Virgin Mary, Joseph, and the Christ Child—and destroyed the altars and baptistery in the parish church of Santa Maria Assunta in Cles, Trentino.
- On January 9, in the chapel of St. Barnabas in Perugia, as a man was kneeling in prayer before a St. Mary statue, while holding the photograph of a loved one, five “foreigners,” described as being of North African descent, attacked him: “The first thing they did was rip the photo from his hands. Next they unleashed their hatred against the image of the Virgin Mary. They broke the statue to pieces and then urinated on it.”
- On January 17, a crucifix was destroyed in Cinisello Balsamo, a municipality in the Province of Milan, in close proximity to a populated mosque. The municipality’s Councillor, Giuseppe Berlin, did not mince words concerning the identity of the culprit(s): “Before we put a show of unity with Muslims, let’s have them begin by respecting our civilization and our culture. We shouldn’t minimize the importance of certain signals; we must wake up now or our children will suffer the consequences of this dangerous and uncontrolled Islamic invasion.”
On April 15, a man dressed in traditional Muslim attire damaged and desecrated Christian gravestones and crosses in the cemetery of Saint-Roch de Castres (pictures here). The prosecutor said “The man repeats Muslim prayers over and over, he drools and cannot be communicated with: his condition has been declared incompatible with preliminary detention.” He was hospitalized as “mentally unbalanced.”
Less than two months later, during the early morning of August 5 at Thonon-les-Bains, a man of about 30, described as a “young Muslim,” committed major acts of vandalism in the church of Saint-Hippolyte and in the adjacent basilica of Saint-François-de-Sales. He overturned and broke two altars, the candelabras and lecterns, destroyed statues, tore down a tabernacle, twisted a massive bronze cross, smashed in a sacristy door and even broke some stained-glass windows. (Click for images of the destruction caused in the church.)
After reportedly listening to Muslim chants, a man, known only as Ibrahim A., went on a church vandalizing spree and desecrated four churches, including by overturning and/or destroying statues, crosses, and altars. The Archbishop of Vienna described the attack as “so far the worst act of vandalism in my time as Archbishop…. I am shocked by the devastation in the churches. I hope that the perpetrator or perpetrators did not know what they were doing.” Ibrahim A., 37-years-old, was caught in the act of vandalizing St. Stephan’s but was released at the time because police did not realize it was one of many attacks that that had been carried out that day. Police have since been unable to find him.
A Turkish man being treated in a hospital attacked his nurse because there were “too many crosses” on the wall. According to Mainpost, a German publication, “A 34-year-old went to St. Joseph Hospital … due to a ‘gastro-intestinal flu.’ Suddenly he refused to be treated, because he thought there were too many Christian crosses on the wall. Because of the crosses, the man started insulting the nurse, calling her a bitch, fascist, and the like. Then the man, according to police report, also started becoming physically aggressive. The hospital called the police. The officers seized the man in front of the hospital and checked him.”
Last year in Columbus, Indiana, three churches were vandalized on the same night. The words most frequently sprayed were “Infidels!” and “Koran 3:151.” The verse from the Koran states, “We will cast terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve [or “infidels”] for what they have associated with Allah [reference to Christian Trinity] … And their refuge will be the Fire, and wretched is the residence of the wrongdoers.”
Last year, “Church-goers in Sydney’s west have been left shaken after a stranger shouted death threats from a car bearing the Islamic State flag. The car drove past Our Lady of Lebanon Church at Harris Park on Tuesday and witnesses claim it had a flag similar to those brandished by Islamic State jihadists hanging out the window.” A church official said the people in the car threatened to “kill the Christians” and slaughter their children: “They were strong words and people were scared of what they saw.” Witnesses saw a flag outside the window with the words, “There is only one god and Muhammad is the prophet.”
As it was from the start, Islamic hostility for Christians remains the same. Just as they are hounded in Muslim majority nations, Christian refugees from the Middle East and even longtime residents of Europe continue to be persecuted by Muslims—Muslims who are being allowed entry into Europe on the pretext that they are being “persecuted.”
In accordance with Islam’s Rule of Numbers—which holds that as Muslims grown in numbers, so too does their “anti-infidel” hostility—all those European nations that have sizable Muslim populations are experiencing what it means to live side-by-side with Islam.
As millions of more Muslims continue to flood the continent, they will not be limited to expressing their anti-Christian hostility on the unprotected dead in cemeteries, or on inanimate church buildings, statues, and crosses. Rather, as in the Islamic world, native Christians themselves will be hounded and persecuted, possibly into extinction.
That is, after all, exactly how the “Muslim world”—most of which rests on lands that were once Christian but were taken by the jihad—came into being.