By Andrew Bieszad
A historical parallel: Muslim mass murder a thousand years ago and today.
Almost a thousand years ago, the Muslim Fatimid Caliph of Egypt, Al-Hakim, pronounced a brutal pogrom of Egypt’s Christian population. He invoked the dhimmi laws and began enforcing them with on pain of death, while at the same time adding those of his own.
But the most infamous of his command was to destroy all of the churches in what is today Egypt, Israel, and Syria. On October 18th, 1009, Al-Hakim followed through on his word and destroyed the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the place where Jesus was entombed.
While the Church was not rebuilt until 1042 by Byzantine Emperor Constantine IX, the incident provoked immediate outrage from the Byzantine Empire, who threatened to invade unless the persecution were stopped. Al-Hakim finally did cease in 1012, but not after destroying tens of thousands of Christian homes, churches and monasteries, as well as murdering countless numbers more.
From 1012 onward, Hakim proclaimed himself divine, and became obsessed with his own divinity until his ultimate disappearance and presumably dead in 1021.
Many historians view this incident as a turning point in relations between the then Christian West and the Muslim world. The relations were never good with Muslims to begin with, but this was the proverbial “straw that broke the camel’s back” and finally pushed the West to start reviewing military options for confronting and defeating Islam.
A thousand years have passed and nothing is different. Will the Charlie Hebdo massacre compel the West to finally stop calling Islam a “religion of peace” and take up arms against it, especially against the large numbers of Muslim persons living in society who represent and explicit threat of Islamization as articulated in their own words?
That is to be seen. But the site breitbart.com has a view which it guesses will be how the Western government/media complex handle the incident (reposted in part from breitbart.com):
1. French authorities will urge the public not to jump to any unhelpful conclusions about the identity and motivation of the killers.
2. Politicians, police chiefs and mainstream media reports will urge restraint over what is clearly an inexplicable rogue incident which may have nothing whatsoever to do with the Religion of Peace.
3. Extensive – and largely fruitless – efforts will be made to find Muslim community leaders prepared to speak out against the incident, in the unlikely event that it proves that the killers may have had Islamist sympathies.
4. Liberal commentators will take pains to draw a distinction between Islamism and Islam, noting that the former is a malign perversion of the latter which (apparently) explicitly forbids the murder of innocents.
10. Within a month, the incident will largely be forgotten. Just like the Mumbai and Nairobi massacres were. Sophisticated commentators will recognise that though, of course what happened was pretty frightful and all that, it’s important to appreciate that your chances of being killed in a terrorist incident are way smaller than being, say, run over by a bus and that actually all we’re doing when we overreact to such incidents is placing undue emphasis on what are, after all, just rogue criminal acts and not the end of civilization.
Doing the above would further the Islamization of the West, but expect it to be the way that the Western governments respond.
But YOU have a choice.
Will you stand and fight? Or submit?
Andrew Bieszad has an MA in Islamic Studies from Hartford Seminary with concentration in the Islamic equivalent of Dogmatic Theology. He is the author of Lions of the Faith: Saints, Blesseds, and Heroes of the Catholic Faith in the Struggle with Islam. He is a sought after writer and speaker on Islamic topics.