“It’s extremely disconcerting that in Ethiopia, where Christians are the majority, they are also the victims of persecution.”
By Raymond Ibrahim
3/28/2011 Ethiopia (FrontPageMag) – Not only does last week’s Muslim rampage against Ethiopia’s Christians highlight the travails Christians encounter wherever Islam has a sizable population, but it offers several insights, including some which should concern faraway, secular nations with Muslim minorities. According to Fox News:
Thousands of Christians have been forced to flee their homes in Western Ethiopia after Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes. At least one Christian has been killed, many more have been injured and anywhere from 3,000 to 10,000 have been displaced in the attacks that began March 2 after a Christian in the community of Asendabo was accused of desecrating the Koran.
Moreover, the dubious excuse used to justify this latest barbarous outburst—”desecration of the Koran”—is a reminder of the double-standards Bibles suffer in the Islamic world, where they are routinely confiscated and burned. Indeed, even as Muslim Ethiopians were rampaging, Muslim nations hailed as being “moderate”—Malaysia and Bangladesh—also made headlines last week with their deplorable treatment of Christians and Bibles. Worse, the West helps standardize such a biased approach: the U.S. government—Obama, Hillary, and any number of other grandstanders—rose up in condemnation when a virtually anonymous, small-town pastor threatened to burn the Koran, while saying nearly a word about the countless Bibles daily mutilated in the Muslim world.
The string of attacks comes on the heels of several reports of growing anti-Christian tension and violence around the country where Muslims make up roughly one-third of the total population but more than 90 percent of the population in certain areas, 2007 Census data shows. One of those areas is Besheno where, on November 9, all the Christians in the city woke up to find notes on their doors warning them to convert to Islam, leave the city or face death.
As Jonathan Racho, an official at International Christian Concern, said, “It’s extremely disconcerting that in Ethiopia, where Christians are the majority, they are also the victims of persecution.” This oddity is explained by Prime Minister Meles Zenawi’s assertion that Ethiopian Islamists “have changed their tactics and they have been able to camouflage their activities through legal channels”—a strategy regularly implemented by Islamists wherever they are outnumbered, like in the U.S., prompting countermeasures such as Islamist Watch and the Legal Project.
That Muslims are an otherwise peaceable minority group in Ethiopia, but in enclaves where they represent the majority, they attack their outnumbered Christian countrymen—giving them a tweaked version of Islam’s three choices to infidels—suggests that Muslim aggression and passivity are very much rooted in numbers: the more Muslims, the more potential for “assertive” behavior.