(OPINION) Imagine that on a given day, dozens of armed men attack your village. The surprise attack, executed with extreme cruelty. results in the murder of almost all the men. They also rape women and abuse elderly citizens. They decapitate babies for fun, then take girls and boys hostage in return for a high ransom.
Now, imagine that a radical group invades the land of your ancestors, threatening to erase any vestige of another religion in your country from the map. They mark the houses of those they call “infidels.” They keep everything that’s yours. The leaders of your community, for not converting, are beheaded in public. Women are given as spoils of war and abused as sexual slaves.
On top of all that, thes extremists desecrate the places of worship where your faith has been practiced for thousands of years.
Finally, imagine that there is a terrorist group in your country. They maintain a territorial enclave from where it threatens to impose its religion, using violence on the rest of the population who mostly practice another religion.
From that enclave they have perpetrated systematic attacks against civilians for decades, with the sole objective of forcing them to leave. Recently, some elderly people were burned alive, others were beaten to death and hundreds of girls were kidnapped (who remain until today with an unknown fate).
This sounds very much like what happened this past Saturday in Israel in what the terror group Hamas dubbed operation “Al-Aqsa Deluge.” If you think the attacks perpetrated against Jews by these jihadists based in the Gaza Strip was brutal and reprehensible, imagine what Christians in the Middle East and other places (like Armenians in Nagorno-Karabakh) have also had to endure for decades (or even hundreds of years) living in territories occupied by different Islamic groups.
The first case was precisely what the Barbary pirates from North Africa did, decimating hundreds of Christian villages on the European coastline for centuries. According to an estimate by Robert Davis, a historian at Ohio State University, about 1.25 million Christian Europeans would have been enslaved by Muslims with this method between the 14th and 19th centuries alone (they had been attacking Europe since the 10th century).
The second has been happening since 2014, when ISIS occupied much of Iraq and Syria with a wave of violence and persecuting (to this day) Christians living in territories that date back since ancient times. In the first two years of terrorist activity alone, the Islamic State claimed the lives of nearly 33,000 people, according to a 2016 report compiled by the Global Terrorism Database.
And the last thing is what the radical Islamic group Boko Haram, a subsidiary of ISIS in Africa, has been doing since 2002 in Nigeria and other countries along the continent’s western coast. It was precisely Boko Haram who kidnapped 279 girls from the Chibok school in 2014, of which 219 are still missing.
Please don’t misunderstand: I completely agree that at this moment the world should be dedicated to condemning Islamic fundamentalism, which in its maximum expression wants to eradicate Israel from the map and destroy (these are their words) every Jew from the planet.
While the State of Israel receives (and with justification) all the international support to combat Hamas, it is difficult to understand why the attacks that these same terrorist groups carry out against Christians in the Middle East and elsewhere cause less horror or interest by many in the Western media. Unlike Israel, these Christian minorities often do not have a state and in most cases no army to defend them.
Does the media believe that this type of brutal treatment is normal because it afflicts Christian minorities in territories occupied by Islamic groups — even when the numbers of people affected are in the millions?
Why is unequal treatment given to victims of religious terrorism?
Could it be that the death spread by Hamas in a modern country, like Israel, appear more horrible to us due to the fact that many citizens of that country have ties to the United States and other Western nations?