In Selected Opinion

By Raymond Ibrahim – The Stream-

The United Nations has spoken: March 15, is “International Day to Combat Islamophobia.”

Why March 15?

While there are many ways to debunk the significance of this day — the very word “Islamophobia” was created to suppress free speech — one need only turn to why this date was chosen to expose the UN’s rank hypocrisy.

On March 15, 2019, an armed Australian man, Brenton Tarrant, entered two mosques in New Zealand and opened fire on their Muslim worshippers; 51 were killed and 40 injured.

Therefore, March 15 was chosen to remind you of this awful incident.

So far, all well and good — except, that is, for one pesky question: if one attack on a mosque was enough for the UN to institutionalize a special day for Islam, what about the countless, often worse, Muslim attacks on non-Muslim places of worship? Why have they not elicited a similar response from the UN?

Just Some of the Fatal Muslim Attacks on Christians

Consider some of the fatal Muslim attacks on Christian churches in recent years:

  • Sri Lanka (Apr. 21, 2018): Easter Sunday, Muslim terrorists bombed three churches and three hotels; 359 people were killed and more than 500 injured.
  • Nigeria (Apr. 20, 2014): Easter Sunday, Islamic terrorists torched a packed church; 150 were killed.
  • Pakistan (Mar. 27, 2016): Following Easter Sunday church services, Islamic terrorists bombed a park where Christians had congregated; more than 70 Christians — mostly women and children — were killed. “There was human flesh on the walls of our house,” recalled a witness.
  • Iraq (Oct. 31, 2011): Islamic terrorists stormed a church in Baghdad during worship and opened fire indiscriminately before detonating their suicide vests. Nearly 60 Christians — including women, children, and even babies — were killed (graphic pictures of aftermath here).
  • Nigeria (Apr. 8, 2012): Easter Sunday, explosives planted by Muslims detonated near two packed churches; more than 50 were killed and unknown numbers injured.
  • Nigeria (June 5, 2022): Pentecost Sunday, Muslims attack and open fire on a packed church; more than 50 killed, dozens injured.
  • Egypt (Apr. 9, 2017): Palm Sunday, Muslims bombed two packed churches; at least 45 were killed, more than 100 injured.
  • Nigeria (Dec. 25, 2011): During Christmas Day services, Muslim terrorists shot up and bombed three churches; 37 were killed and nearly 57 injured.
  • Egypt (Dec. 11, 2016): An Islamic suicide bombing of two churches left 29 people killed and 47 injured (graphic images of aftermath  here).
  • Nigeria: (Apr. 20, 2012): Muslims slaughtered 20 Christians inside their church during Sunday worship.
  • Democratic Republic of Congo (Jan. 15, 2023): Muslims bombed a church during a Sunday baptismal ceremony. At least 14 Christians were blown to pieces — the Islamic State, which claimed the attack, said 20 — and 63 were seriously wounded.
  • Indonesia (May 13, 2018): Muslims bombed three churches; 13 were killed and dozens injured.
  • Egypt (Jan. 1, 2011): Muslim terrorists bombed an Alexandrian church during New Year’s Eve mass; at least 21 Christians were killed. According to eyewitnesses, “body parts were strewn all over the street outside” and “were brought inside the church after some Muslims started stepping on them and chanting Jihadi chants,” including “Allahu Akbar!”
  • Philippines (Jan. 27, 2019): Muslim terrorists bombed a cathedral; at least 20 were killed, and more than 100 injured.
  • Indonesia (Dec. 24, 2000): During Christmas Eve services, Muslim terrorists bombed several churches; 18 were killed and over 100 injured.
  • Pakistan (Mar. 15, 2015): Muslim suicide bombers killed at least 14 Christians in attacks on two churches.
  • Germany (Dec. 19, 2016): Near the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church in Berlin, a Muslim man drove a truck into a Christmas market; 13 were killed and 55 injured.
  • Egypt (Dec. 29, 2017): Muslim gunmen shot up a church in Cairo; nine were killed.
  • Egypt (Jan. 6, 2010): Following Christmas Eve mass (according to the Orthodox calendar), Muslims shot six Christians dead as they exited their church.
  • Russia (Feb. 18, 2018): A Muslim man carrying a knife and a double-barreled shotgun entered a church and opened fire; five people — all women — were killed, and at least five injured.
  • France (July 26, 2016): Muslims entered a church and slit the throat of the officiating priest, 84-year-old Fr. Jacques Hamel, and took four nuns hostage until French authorities shot the terrorists dead.

The above list is hardly comprehensive. In Nigeria alone, where one Christian is slaughtered every two hours, Muslims have destroyed or torched some 20,000 churches and Christian schools. How many undocumented souls perished in those largely unreported terror attacks?

Nor does the above list of fatal Muslim attacks on churches include any of the many that were botched, for example, an attack on an Indonesian church during Palm Sunday service (2021), where only the suicide bombers — a Muslim man and his pregnant wife — died.

At any rate, based on the above list, Muslims have massacred well over 1,000 Christians who were otherwise peacefully worshipping in their churches.

Why Not Have an International Day to Combat Christianophobia?

Hence the original question: If one non-Muslim attack, which claimed 51 Muslim lives, was enough for the UN to establish an “international day to combat Islamophobia,” why have many Muslim attacks on churches, which have claimed over 1,000 Christian lives — meaning some 20 Christians were killed in their churches for each Muslim killed in a mosque — not been enough for the UN to establish an “international day to combat Christianophobia”?

Or to rephrase the question, why is one, solitary incident of a Western man killing 51 Muslims in two mosques of far greater importance to the UN than many instances of Muslims killing a total of 1,000 Christians in their churches?

This question becomes more pressing when one realizes that, whereas the New Zealand mosque attack was indeed an aberration — evidenced by its singularity — Muslim attacks on churches are very common (including historically). As discussed here, seldom does a month pass in the Muslim world, and increasingly in the West, without several assaults on or harassments of churches taking place.

What Terrorists Have in Common

Moreover, it is worth noting that those who terrorize churches often share little with one another. As seen, they come from widely different nations (Nigeria, Iraq, Philippines, etc.), are of different races, speak different languages, and live under different social, political, and economic conditions. (…)

But Muslim attacks on churches are ideologically driven, have long been and continue to be systemic and systematic, and are, therefore, an actual, ongoing problem that the international community needs to highlight and ameliorate.

Yet the UN would have us ignore and brush aside the aforementioned and ongoing massacres of countless Christians and church worshippers as unfortunate byproducts of misplaced “Muslim grievances” — and instead fixate on one solitary incident: a Western man killing 51 Muslims.

The UN’s Desire to Silence Christians

This, for the UN, is what truly evinces a “pattern” and is in dire need of recognition and response. And that response is to shut up all those who dare connect the dots and expose Islam’s heavily documented pattern of abuse and violence against non-Muslims — which, make no mistake, is precisely what “combatting Islamophobia” is all about.

If you doubt this, consider UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s recent “call for action to “stamp out the poison of Islamophobia”:

We must confront bigotry [Islamophobia, i.e., free speech concerning Islam] wherever and whenever it rears its ugly head. This includes working to tackle the hate that spreads like wildfire across the Internet. That is why I have called on Governments, regulators, technology companies and the media to set up guardrails, and enforce them … And we are pushing for a code of conduct…

If this does not sound like censorship, what does?


Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.

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