‘There is no Islamic terror’
While the world was expressing shock at the weekend’s death toll in Kenya and Pakistan – and I, at their shock – Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, in a public speech, was still mourning Asmaa al-Beltagi, the poor 17-year-old Egyptian girl who was shot dead by the security forces on “Black Wednesday.”
Earlier this year, Mr. Erdoğan’s Egyptian comrades, the Muslim Brotherhood – which, by the way, “renounced violence” – perpetrated the worst attacks against the Coptic Church since the 14th century. In one particular week, 40 churches were looted and torched while 23 others were attacked and heavily damaged.
In one town, Islamists paraded three nuns on the streets like prisoners of war after burning down their Franciscan school. Two security guards working on a tour boat owned by Christians were burned alive, while an orphanage was burned down.
On a village street, Islamists painted a black X on Christian stores in order to more easily identify them in future attacks. The Muslim Brotherhood decided to hold Friday prayers in an evangelical church that had been converted into a mosque. Meanwhile, the brotherhood’s Facebook page claimed that “the Church has declared war against Islam and Muslims.”
On Aug. 15, nine Egyptian human-rights groups released a statement saying, “In December (about seven months before the coup) … brotherhood leaders began fomenting anti-Christian sectarian [sentiment]. The anti-Coptic incitement and threats continued unabated up until the demonstrations of June 30 and, with the removal of President [Mohamed] Morsi … morphed into sectarian violence, which was sanctioned by … the continued anti-Coptic rhetoric heard from the group’s leaders on the stage … throughout the sit-in.”
That was an impartial, unchallenged brief account of the behavioral patterns exhibited by Mr. Erdoğan’s ideological next of kin in Egypt. It is important to note that the brotherhood justified the attacks by saying: “After all this [the Church’s presumed war on Islam and Muslims], people ask why they [brotherhood] burn the churches.”
In March, a Muslim mob swarmed through a Christian neighborhood in Lahore, Pakistan, burning two churches and more than 100 Christian homes. And on Sunday the world was shocked at the suicide attack on a historic Christian church that killed, as of Monday evening, 78 people in Peshawar. In the attack, which occurred as worshippers left All Saints Church, seven children were killed and 37 were wounded.
The weekend’s other “shocking” news came from Kenya where al-Qaeda-linked al-Shabaab militants attacked a shopping mall with grenades and assault rifles, killing, as of Monday, at least 68 and injuring 175. Victims aged between 2 and 78, and witnesses said the gunmen asked Muslims to leave before opening fire.
And Mr. Erdoğan was so sad during a public rally on Sunday. He was sad because the poor Egyptian, Asmaa, daughter of a prominent brotherhood politician, had been shot dead by Egyptian security forces on Aug. 14. The guns with which you kill today, the prime minister warned Egypt’s coup leaders, may one day be pointed at you.
One of Mr. Erdoğan’s favorite statements is his famous line, “There is no Islamic terror.” In 2010, online humor “daily” Zaytung fabricated a story whose lead paragraph read: “Erdoğan’s claims that ‘There is no Islamic terror’ have left several Islamic terror organizations heart-broken. A press release from al-Qaeda’s press office read: ‘The prime minister’s remarks are very discouraging. We are doing our best! So far our suicide and assassination teams have tried to blow up every possible target despite logistical constraints. It is so sad that the work we have done with a lot of sacrifice is being ignored by the Turkish prime minister.’”
No doubt, they are doing their best, but apparently not well enough to convince Mr. Erdoğan. I would bet all my money that Mr. Erdoğan, if asked today, would insist that “there is no Islamic terror.”
It must be the Jewish terrorists who killed over 150 people in two days in Pakistan and Kenya. The same Jews Mr. Erdoğan once said “know well how to kill.”