- The Washington Times - Friday, March 15, 2019

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

Imran Khan, prime minister of Pakistan, reacted to the horrific murderous shootings at two Christchurch mosques in New Zealand by saying, in essence, see — see? Terrorism is not a radical Islam thing; all religions commit the same sort of atrocities.

Well — not exactly.

Not to the same degree or frequency.

Not to the point where lists of, say, radical Christian terrorists grow long.

But on its “What makes Islam so different?” page, the site TheReligionOfPeace.com keeps track of a list of killings in the name of the Muslim religion — and over the last 30 days, it found 99 attacks in 20 countries that left 701 dead and 697 injured.

Just this past week in Afghanistan, suspected Taliban members bombed a bazaar, killing one and injuring 13; in Iraq, women and children were killed by ISIS in a rocket attack, and a man “collecting truffles is captured and executed by the Islamic State” in a separate incident; and al-Shabaab bombers kill eight and injure 40 at a livestock market in Somalia.

The New Zealand mosque attackers — three men and one woman have been arrested — were, by initial reports, at least, hate-filled Islamophobes who spent considerable time plotting their murders, going so far as to write an 87-page manifesto advancing even more vicious and disgusting diatribes.

But the gunman, according to his own manifesto, self-identified as an “eco-fascist.”

He wrote, in his manifesto, News.com.au reported: “I was a communist, then an anarchist and finally a libertarian becoming an eco-fascist.”

He’s also a nut, no matter his religious leanings or spiritual beliefs.

Yet Khan, Pakistan’s Muslim government head, tweeted this: “Shocked and strongly condemn the Christchurch, New Zealand, terrorist attack on mosques. This reaffirms what we have always maintained: that terrorism does not have a religion. Prayers go to the victims and their families.”

He shortly after tweeted this: “I blame these increasing terror attacks on the current Islamophobia post-9/11 where Islam and 1.3 bn Muslims have collectively been blamed for any act of terror by a Muslim. This has been done deliberately to also demonize legitimate Muslim political struggles.”

Without downplaying the horror of the New Zealand attacks, or the despicable acts of those who would seek out and murder Muslims simply for their religious beliefs, let’s also remember this: Christians, according to surveys and studies, are the most persecuted believers in the world. And they’re persecuted first, at the hands of dictatorial governing officials in China, but second, by nations with predominantly Muslim populations.

These are truths that should not be downplayed or skewed.

The New Zealand mosque murderers ought to pay dearly for their heinous acts of terror.

But truth ought not be among their casualties. And truth is, when it comes to terrorism and religious beliefs, not all religions are equal.

• Cheryl Chumley can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter, @ckchumley.

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