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Monday, December 9, 2013

the uttered word - unbalanced vandalism

Take the example of this recent case of vandalism that took place in Germany.

On the night to Thursday, the Arabic words “Allahu Akbar” were painted on the portals of several churches in the city centre of Augsburg. According to local police, the Cathedral, the Church of St. Maurice and the Protestant Ullrich Church are affected. At the Cathedral both the north and the south portals were painted with white letters. Hard to imagine a mosque would have been affected. Claudia Roth (Member of Parliament for the Green Party) probably would have organized a candlelight vigil in her hometown because of an “Islamophobic attack” and would have called for an alliance against fascism. However, it were churches, and thus, that “little night time graffiti prank” is only worth small footnotes in the newspaper Augsburger Allgemeine (with photos) and the broadcasting centre BR and will soon be forgotten.

(Original in german / Translation: Carpe Diem) - PI

Now take a moment to compare this mindless act of ideological intolerance, so carefully labelled as  as a minor affair, a prank, with recent media articles on mosque vandalism.

ABC Australia mosque

US mosque article 

The language used is completely different, it is direct and to the point: 
  • AIR-Philadelphia Executive Director Jacob Bender. "The unfortunately growing promotion of Islamophobia in our society can and does lead to such troubling incidents."
  • " The attack has been condemned by local political leaders."
Unfortunately, hysteria is often whipped up or charges are levelled of Islamic hate crimes or simply Islamophobia.  When the reverse happens, acts of vandalism inspired by a blinkered and hateful brand of ideology'; when written in Arabic or directed at non-believers, is dismissed by religious and political leaders as simply a non-news event.  Where does this kind of mentality leads us?  Is is this supposed to be the price for "interfaith dialogue" and "multiculturalism"?  

Indeed there is a growing problem of "ignorance is bliss" on the part of local and national authorities, who tend to sweep acts of Islamic inspired acts of aggressiveness under the rug. In many instances, such cases of vandalism, attacks on property and on people gets unreported. Likewise, the  origin of the perpetrators are often camouflaged by the media or police under the cover of " south-east Europeans, Asians or Middle Eastern" individuals".  It is a case of "don't rock the boat". I fear that this plays directly into the hands of those who espouse this hatred of non-believers, firmly entrenching the mentality of " I can do I whatever I want", " I can get away with it", "I've got my rights covered". 

Now please could more people stand for the OTHERS!  Why are we allowing an extreme minority to dictate the terms in the name of the rest, (the majority)?

Remember what starts off by minor acts of vandalism, when done in the name of hate and ideology, can grow into something bigger and nastier in nature.  We don't have to go far into the history archive to see this. 

Let's move away from Europe, aka the West and see what is happening in other parts of the world.   Syria - destruction of churches, Nigeria, Tanzania, Egypt... the same is happening, all done in the name of "Allah".  If no one in Europe cares a hoot about a simple church, where's the outcry on the mayhem, death and destruction of centuries old places of worships and the worshippers themselves.  There is a deafening silence on this.  The only event that triggered an international outcry was the explosive demolition of the Bayam Buddhas by the Taliban in Afghanistan.  Personally I think it was more of a whimper and a squeak.

Vandalism and destruction of places of worships isn't limited to non-Islamic places.   The Wahabi / Salafi mindset, promoted at great length by the Wahabi "hq" called Saudi Arabia is lending itself to the promotion of a greater number acts of destruction of "non-conforming buildings"  across the globe, notably Sufi shrines in Libya, Tunisia, Kashmir, Mali and recently in Syria. Why? To quote from an BBC article: "Hardline Salafists regard the shrines as idolatrous." The destruction in Libya was sufficiently serious enough for HRW to issue a press release,  where Eric Goldstein from HRW stated the following: “Inaction and impunity can only encourage further attacks.” These words are apt given the inaction and the impunity that is occurring across Europe and the West to a growing trend of not just acts of vandalism but of violence too.  It is a systematic trend that is growing month by month and the ripples will be felt more widely and more frequently.

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