Friday, January 29, 2010

Where are the Christian Suicide Bombers?

Today's guest on Democracy Now with Amy Goodman was Quratulain Bakteari, founder and director of the Institute for Development Studies and Practices headquartered in Quetta, Pakistan. When Amy asked if Quratulain expected a rise in suicide bombings in her country, she replied, "Yes, they will increase. What else does a young boy who has seen his family finished and everybody gone have to live for? There is nothing left for the people to live for if their near and dear ones are gone. They want to get back at the killer."

I hold nothing but admiration for Quratulain and many like her around the world who have dedicated their lives to improve the lives of the poor and weak. At the same time, I need to suggest that hers was a very Muslim answer. And Amy, like every other typical American journalist or interviewer, did not probe any deeper. I might have asked the question, "Why are all the suicide bombers Muslim?"

The Christian community in Pakistan is perhaps the poorest in the country, and many of its almost three million population live on the margins of society. They have been traditionally mocked as "rice Christians" based upon the accusation that they accepted Christianity only to receive material benefits from the Western missionaries who worked in what was then part of India during the last two centuries. Websites such as this document the atrocities Christians have experienced at the hands of Muslim extremists. Why have no Christian young men slipped into a mosque in Pakistan wearing an explosive vest and blown themselves up taking as many Muslims with them as possible? It hardly even makes the news anymore when Sunni Muslims do that in Iraq in attacks against Shia fellow Muslims.

Speaking of Iraq, probably no community in the world has suffered for its faith in the past decade as much as Christians there. The Iraqi Chaldean and Armenian churches are among the oldest in the world, stretching back to the first decades after Christ. Since the beginning of the current Iraq war, the church has been almost decimated. Christian neighborhoods have been wiped out, churches bombed, and priests murdered in cold blood. If there is any group of people that has lost everything it had to live for, in the words of Quratulain Bakteari, it is the Iraqi Christians. And yet not a single one of them has retaliated by blowing himself up in the midst of a crowded market filled with Muslim shoppers. Where are the Iraqi Christian suicide bombers?

On January 6, Christmas Eve for the Orthodox Church, a group of Muslims in the Egyptian town of Nag Hamada opened fire on Christian worshippers exiting a Christmas celebration at their church. Seven young men were killed, and others seriously injured. This was the 160th documented attack by Muslims on Christians in Egypt during the last 40 years. The Copts have not responded in violence a single time. Last year the Egyptian government killed hundreds of thousands of hogs raised by Christians, claiming this was to prevent swine flu even though it has been medically demonstrated the pigs had nothing to do with the disease. Muslims are not allowed to eat pork under Islamic law, but Egypt had for centuries allowed the Christians to raise pigs for their own consumption. Killing them was just another form of Egyptian government oppression. Again, there has not been any kind of violent Christian response to any of this persecution. Where are the Egyptian Christian suicide bombers?

Included in the militant Palestinian resistance movements is the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, founded and led until his recent death by the Christian George Habash. This largely Christian organization has been active in many armed attacks against Israel over the years, including the aircraft hijackings of the seventies (PFLP leaders, by the way, are "Christian" in the sense they are secular, Marxist-educated people from a Christian background; they are not the "love your enemies and do good to those who hate you" people that Jesus talked about). But even with their espoused violence, not a single Christian member of the PFLP has ever blown himself or herself up in a suicide bombing. Where are the Palestinian Christian suicide bombers?

It is true that Roman Catholic priests and other Christians have been known to publicly commit suicide in protest against government-sponsored persecution of their Christian communities. But they have never tried to take their enemies with them.

I conclude with the question I wish Amy Goodman would have asked her guest from Pakistan. If so many people in the world seem to have lost their reason for living, why are the suicide bombers overwhelmingly Muslim?


Unknown said...

A just question. May I pose a possible answer? I remember reading of a cleric that said that strapping a bomb on a vest then setting it off among targeted groups is a legitimate tactic because it makes the bomber a living weapon and a martyr for Islam.

JihadBob said...

I think an equally important question to ask is where are the non-Muslim suicide bombers who detonate in the name of religion?

There's no doubt that 1/6 of the world's population make up a disproportionate number of the world's cumulative suicide bombings in the modern era, but ratio of bombings performed by Muslims in the name of their religion is even greater than the bombings by non-Muslims who carry out a suicide bombing invoking Jesus, Moses or Krishna.

For the record, I'm not aware of a single suicide bombing by a non-Muslim carried out in the name of religion, but if I allow for the existence of some, then they must certainly be negligible when looking at the grand total of all suicide bombings in which religion was a driving factor in the bomber's decision to become a human bomb.

As Cipriano alluded to, the answer to both our questions/observations is clearly obvious. Modern suicide bombing has become a Muslim phenomenon. More than that, it has become an Islamic one that is virtually if not entirely monopolized by adherents of one religion in the name of their religion.

In this way, Muslim suicide bombing is not only quantitatively different from non-Muslim suicide bombing, but it is qualitatively different as only Muslims appear to invoke the texts and teachings of their religion as justification and motivation for their actions.

JihadBob said...

Woops, just noticed this was an old thread. Was linked here from another site (TROP).

Unknown said...

Why are nations that invade, occupy and attack other countries Christian?

JihadBob said...

Allan, such a claim demands some statistic.

I can think of a number of non-Christian nations (whatever you meant by a nation that is Christian) which attack and occupy other nations.

The assertion SATV was addressing was whether or not poverty is linked to suicide bombing. He then went on to examine the claim by looking at the evidence.

For your question, you'll need to come up with a hypothesis for why you believe explain the reason(s) for why the vast majority of nations that attack other nations are Christian.

We can then examine the evidence to determine if both your claim and hypothesis are correct.

So, show evidence that Christian nations are actually doing most of the attacking and occupying of other nations and provide your hypothesis for us to determine if if your theory pans out (assuming your base assumption is correct to begin with).

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Anonymous said...

you who say you know of no suicide bombings committed by christians must be one of two things
1) plain stupid
2) not even the slightest bit interested in the truth and in history

During the Crusades, the Knights Templar destroyed one of their own ships, killing 140 Christians in order to kill ten times as many Muslims. Another early example of suicide bombing occurred during the Belgian Revolution, when the Dutch Lieutenant Jan van Speijk detonated his own ship in the harbour of Antwerp to prevent being captured by the Belgians.

Modern suicide bombing can be traced back to the assisination of Czar Alexander II of Russia in 1881. The Czar was killed by the Pole Ignacy Hryniewiecki (1856-1881), who died while intentionally exploding the bomb during the attack.

back to the school book fellas

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jdub said...

Its called the Irish Republican Army.

Ignorance is bliss and you are very happy.

jdub said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
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Anonymous said...

I am reading the responses and I am soooo sick of hearing about the "Christian Crusades" to point out Christian violence. The crusades ended 714 years ago. Those Christians are long since dead and hold no relevance in today's world.
Someone mentioned the IRA. The IRA are not international terrorists. Their problem is with England only. Not against the entire western world. They have never killed Muslims or Jews.

Anonymous said...

The situation with the IRA was different. At least they gave warnings of attacks. Also their was a peace movement led by maraid Corrigan and betty Williams, people spoke out against the terrorists.

Anonymous said...

When you have control of the airs, special forces and strong equiped and trained christian inteligence agents all over the muslim countries, there is no need to commit suicide to kill muslim, because air forces, drons and other metods can be used to kill an invade muslims without big risks.

Islamic countries don't have modern factories of weapons, so the ones who reply to christian violence that has started with Napoleón's invasion of Argelia with the only purpose of steal their wheat and make muslims their slaves and had continued for 200 years till today (petroleum), have to expose their lifes to counter attack.

This non-islamic school of thinking (terrorism and suicide are forbidden in Islam) comes from christian intelligence agencies, the ones that created them.
¡So hipocrital to blame Islam for what some christians (of course not all of them) have created!

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said...

Not previous Anonymous -

If determined soldiers blow themselves up, or grown women for that matter, that's bad enough. But sending children and mentally handicapped out with bombs strapped to them shows a degree of depravity that is difficult to defend or blame on the enemy. It is a form of gross cowardice.

The leaders who put the little ones, (the hope and preciousness of any nation), in direct firing range of armed soldiers should be forced to go first in the forefront attack and then their own children made to follow after them. That would be the end of that tactic!

The Hamas leader quoted in the link above has sacrificed NOTHING.