Places of worship are under protection as stated in the Qur’an. It is forbidden in Islam to cause any harm to priests or Christians. Therefore, trying to incite hostility against Christians or a fight between the Crescent and the Cross is in total opposition to the Qur’an.
Yet sadly, fanaticism that has developed within Islam causes such crimes of hate. Therefore, it is important to put a distinction between Islam based solely on the Qur’an and fanaticism that misinterprets the Qur’an by appealing to sayings falsely attributed to the Prophet and other additional Islamic books that consist of fatwas (decrees) made by religious scholars.
The Scheme Against Christians and Muslims
The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) indicates how the true approach of Muslims towards Christians should be. In 628 A.D. when a delegation from St. Catherine’s Monastery came to him to ask for protection, he granted them a charter of rights known as the Ahtiname and ordered Muslims to obey it until the Day of Judgment.
Regrettably, in the contemporary world, some Western thinkers have encouraged the idea of extremism to create a miserable Islamic model that is fully opposed to science, art, beauty, esthetics, sculpture, music, etc.
For instance, Samuel Huntington’s “Clash of Civilizations” and “Age of Muslim Wars”, theses are no more than promotions of a fanaticism that would pave the way for eliminating Islam. The arguments are prompted to start a world war and to turn the entire world away from religious beliefs. Through this radical ideology, hatred of Christians is inculcated among its followers and they are set to eliminate Christians. As a matter of fact, atheism has spread all over Europe and there remain only a small number of Christians and, with the pretense of a Cross vs the Crescent War, these plotters are trying to eliminate them. Well-known French pianist and composer Stephane Blet referred to this risk saying that the media is intentionally used to make Europeans fear Islam and some circles are trying to wage a Muslim-Christian war.
Therefore, Christians and Muslims should join forces to abolish these schemes and struggle together against irreligious ideologies. Implying that there is a Cross vs Crescent War would be a grave mistake because there is only a war of believers vs unbelievers.
Examples of Persecution of Christian population
In connection with this scheme, Christian minorities in Muslim countries such as Somalia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Nigeria and Kenya are persecuted. Christians residing in the Middle East are decreasing dramatically as the Christian population has dropped from 20 percent to 3-4 percent in a century. According to the US State Department, Christians in over 60 countries are maltreated both by their governments and their neighbors because of their faith. As stated in the Open Doors Report, every month, 322 Christians are murdered, 214 churches or Christian properties are destroyed, and 772 violent attacks are committed against Christians.
In Egypt, Coptic Christians were targeted, while going to a monastery, and at least 28 Christians, many of whom were children, have been killed and dozens more wounded. The Palm Sunday’s attack last month – again in Egypt – which resulted in the death of 43 people came soon after the massacre of 25 Coptic Christians in a Cathedral bombing last Christmas, both of which were perpetrated by ISIS. As per an American think tank, the number of attacks against Copts is brought to 26 in 2017, with a total of 88 people killed. However, Egypt is not the only place where Coptic Christians are discriminated against, as long years of mass departure left over 1 million Coptic Christians with only 100 churches all over the world. Also in Syria, in the five years of conflict, the Christian population dwindled from 1.5 million to 500,000.
Killing Christians is not a holy jihad
These violent attacks are based on hate speech mentioned in false hadiths existing in books of interpretation that consist of the false practices of Islam and some fatwas. These acts of violence are completely ideological as one can see in the terror attacks of Stockholm and the Berlin Christmas Market at the end of last year, in both of which the fanatics targeted innocent Christians only because of their faith.
The truth is completely the opposite in the Qur’an. Still, an ill-intentioned person may also bring forth some verses of war in the Qur’an to justify violence. However, it is important to note that they are referring to a war of a specific time when there was a severe oppression against Muslims. These verses refer to that particular time, giving the believers the right of defense. In our day, the right of defense is a right given to individuals who are oppressed or to modern states that are under attack according to international law.
Yet false hadiths claim that Muslims are given the right to murder even women and children, which the Qur’an strictly prohibits. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would never give such orders for the execution of the innocent. Therefore, it is important for countries to immobilize these commentary books consisting of such hadiths of killing or hatred so they may avoid terror. This would be the right way to struggle against ISIS, Al-Qaeda and Taliban. Moreover, the Muslim states should intervene in this exceedingly grave situation by emphasizing that these hadiths are nothing but superstitions, and that the Qur’an is adequate and believers are accountable to the Qur’an only.
The idea of fanaticism is dark and suffocates people. People captured in this darkness feel they are forced to live there. Then they see the light that sparkles in their eyes and believe they cannot live this way. But this is not true. They will get used to living in the light.