Friday, April 20, 2007

Malatya Massacre Was Foreseeable

Turkish government officials are falling over themselves expressing condemnation of the killing of three Christians on Wednesday in Malatya, promising justice and preventative measures to insure that such a thing does not happen again.

But the fact is, they did nothing to prevent it from happening in the first place. Government ministers and politicians have been publicly expressing alarm over Muslims converting to Christianity, cracking down on house churches, warning about the dangers of "missionary activity" by Protestants in Turkey and charging Christians with "insulting Turkishness" and inciting hatred against Islam for simply sharing their faith with others. All of this in a country that presents itself as a moderate, secular state with freedom of religion.

Turkish Christians knew that this kind of attack was due to happen eventually. It was only a matter of time. Turkey's politicians had helped create it. Now they have to clean up after the mess. It's easy to shoot off your mouth when you think that no one will get hurt.

It is to be hoped that Europe will hold Turkey's feet to the fire over this incident as they seek entry into the European Union. This attack was not simply the act of a few extremists. It is not an isolated event. It was the natural result of the growing Islamic intolerance in Turkey; an environment that Turkish politicians not only did nothing to stop but actually helped create.

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