Europe is burying its head in the sand

European governments have failed to stand in defense of Christian communities in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, just to avoid drawing fire and being perceived as enemies of Islam.

by Prof. Eyal Zisser, ISRAEL HAYOM

The jihadist war being waged by radical Islamist groups across the globe never stopped at the gates of holy sites and places of worship. Indeed, even those who worship in these places have become legitimate and convenient targets for the jihadists in the Middle East, Africa and Asia – as we learned from the recent massacre in Sri Lanka – and in recent years in Europe as well.

Communities of minorities, mostly Christians, are persecuted in large portions of the Islamic world, and the tolerance once applied toward Jews and Christians has now been replaced by extremism threatening the continued existence of Christianity in these places. Seventy years removed since the end of Jewish life in Iraq and Syria due to persecutions and expulsions, the Middle East’s Christian community is now disappearing.

The Islamic State group has engaged in the systematic destruction of churches in the territories it has held, but churches are attacked and often burned as a matter of routine in other Arab and Muslim countries, which are struggling, despite the efforts of their rulers, to protect their Christian minorities. The extremists also don’t spare mosques of Muslims that don’t share their radical views and have targeted them in the tens and hundreds of attacks within the framework of their jihad. In light of these attacks, Europe’s voice has barely been heard. Due to their desire to maintain political correctness, European governments have failed to stand in defense of Christian communities in the Middle East, Asia and Africa, just to avoid drawing fire and being perceived as enemies of Islam.

It’s interesting to note that radical Islam has found a partner in the form of the neo-Nazi far Right, whose members are behind hate crimes against Jewish synagogues, for example, the Tree of Life synagogue in Pennsylvania, but also Muslim mosques, the most recent case being in New Zealand. In the Israeli context, these two camps are joined by the far Left, which is flooding Europe in a tidal wave of anti-Israel and anti-Semitic sentiment.

Jihad, however, made its way to European shores a while ago. Alongside numerous terrorist attacks, it has been reported in recent years, in France alone, that hundreds of churches have been attacked by extremists, the majority of them Muslim. The authorities in Europe silence this, too. They apparently believe the most effective way to contend with extremism and terror is to ignore and contain it, in the hope that it will simply disappear.

The question of Europe’s approach to radical Islam has resurfaced in the wake of the fire at Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, one of France’s most important historical and religious symbols. The reason for the blaze is still unknown, and it could be that a technical mishap – the site was under renovation – was behind the fire.

Yet it was fascinating to see the outrage in Europe toward anyone who hinted at the possibility of arson, perhaps by extremists, and not an accident. After all, as stated, in France alone hundreds of churches have been attacked in recent years and threats had been made to target Notre Dame. No one is allowed to suggest this possibility, however. This is also the approach, particularly in France, to any terrorist attack that takes place on the continent, where the jihadist aspect is blurred and disregarded.

Europe still believes that burying its head in the sand is the best way to cope with the challenge posed by radical Islam, but time and again we see that denying the existence of a problem doesn’t solve it. We can assume the problem will only worsen in light of Europe’s failure to absorb the waves of Muslim immigration to the continent. These immigrants currently represent less than 5% of the entire population of Europe but this percentage could spike to 20% and even a quarter of the population due to low natural birth rates among native Europeans. And the ratio of Muslims in some large European cities, such as Paris or Brussels, is already around 20% or higher. An effort to absorb these immigrants and accommodate them across the continent – while also fighting radical Islam with determination – is, therefore, the order of the day, but in Europe, no one is ready to acknowledge this challenge and tackle it.

April 28, 2019 | 1 Comment »

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  1. Europe is hardly unique in burying its head in the sand. So has Israel’s government, most American Jews, and until the Trump administration the United States. Israeli leaders from Rabin to Netanyahu have treated their armed enemy, the PLO, as an ally, have subsidized it financially, and handed it control over territory a few miles from its major population centers. It would be very hard for the dumbest ostrich to bury its head further in the sand.