First they came for the…

A reflection on the Sri Lanka attacks on Easter Sunday

By on April 30, 2019

On Easter Sunday, 253 Christians, tourists and innocent Sri Lankans were killed and over 500 others were injured in a brutal series of terrorist attacks perpetrated by radical Muslim extremists.

In a calculated attack on Christianity, a series of suicide bombings rocked three Christian churches across Sri Lanka and three luxury hotels in the commercial capital Colombo.

But instead of calling out the monstrous evil and religious hatred for what it is, prominent Democrats went to great lengths to avoid explicitly mentioning the fact Christians were targeted.

“The attacks on tourists and Easter worshippers in Sri Lanka are an attack on humanity,” former President Barack Obama tweeted. “On a day devoted to love, redemption, and renewal, we pray for the victims and stand with the people of Sri Lanka.”

Hillary Clinton followed suit, tweeting “On this holy weekend for many faiths, we must stand united against hatred and violence. I’m praying for everyone affected by today’s horrific attacks on Easter worshippers and travelers in Sri Lanka.”

Yes. Easter worshippers.

Adam Schiff and Julian Castro used the same terminology. Ilhan Omar opted for “People attending Easter service.”

Why is it so hard for leaders on the left to simply say “Christians?” Nobody worships Easter. They worship Jesus Christ. They’re Christians.

The response is a stark contrast to what was said after the heinous Christchurch mosque shootings this March in New Zealand.

“My heart breaks for New Zealand & the global Muslim community. We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped,” Clinton tweeted about the attacks that left 50 people dead and another 50 injured.

“We grieve with you and the Muslim community,” added Obama.

Clinton and Obama rightfully had no issue condemning the attacks on the Muslim community. Clinton was correct to point the finger at fighting Islamophobia and white supremacism.

But why the double standard?

In expressing their grief over the tragedy in Sri Lanka on one of the holiest days in the Christian calendar, Obama and Clinton let us all down by refusing to name the victims and the perpetrators.

There is a reason for their euphemisms, of course. Their meticulously crafted tweets are anything but accidental.

Leaders on the left perpetuate the narrative that Christians are the problem. Their wording implies we would be stupid to connect the church bombings on Easter Sunday to a religiously motivated act of terror.

In fact, both Obama and Clinton failed to even label the act terrorism.

Make no mistake, this WAS terrorism. This time, the victims were Christians and the perpetrators were radical Muslims. Their motivation was religious.

The Sri Lankan government initially concluded the attack was carried out by a local extremist Islamic group, National Thowheed Jamath. ISIS later claimed responsibility.

Like white supremacy, Islamophobia and anti-Semitism, radical Islamism must be called out definitively and specifically.

The same folks who were outraged by President Donald Trump’s “fine people on both sides” comment regarding the Charlottesville riots last summer are surprisingly silent now.

Trump had to backtrack his remarks after they were widely interpreted to be a defense of white nationalists following the clash between neo-Nazis and counter protestors at the Unite the Right rally.

But if we are going to call out hate groups for what they are, we must be consistent across the board. We could start with freshman congresswoman Omar.

Omar is a rising Democratic star who has come under fire for her anti-Semitic tweets. In 2012, Omar tweeted that Israel had “hypnotized” the world, and called on Allah to “awaken the people and help them see the evil doings of Israel.”

Earlier this year, Omar followed it up by claiming American support for Israel was “all about the Benjamins,” and casually called the 9/11 terrorists who took more than 3,000 lives, “some people” who “did something.”

In spite of her anti-Semitic tropes drawing widespread condemnation from both sides of the aisle, she has since appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone magazine alongside Nancy Pelosi, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jahana Hayes.

Pelosi promoted the controversial figure by hailing her as a role model for women and girls across America.

When Republican Rep. Steve King came under fire for controversial statements made to the New York Times about white supremacy (“White nationalist, white supremacist, Western civilization – how did that language become offensive?”), House Republican leaders subsequently removed him from the Judiciary and Agriculture Committees.

Omar, despite all her hateful rhetoric, STILL sits on the House Foreign Affairs Committee dictating foreign policy on behalf of the United States.

Religious terror is on the rise globally for people of all faiths. While leaders on the left may choose to ignore it, Christians outside of the United States are being violently persecuted. The horrendous massacres in Sri Lanka are an illustration of just one of many examples.

More than two million Christians have been displaced from Egypt and Iraq due to the effects of Islamic fundamentalism, and just last week, 52 Christian women and children were killed in Nigeria. It’s only been two years since the Easter Sunday bombings at two Egyptian Coptic Christian churches killed and injured dozens.

For whatever reason, politicians are afraid to acknowledge that Christian persecution exists.

Leaders on the left have no problem implicating President Trump when the attacker is a white male, but when the terror attack is carried out by radical Muslims and targets Christians, the labeling is fuzzy or completely omitted.

The problem is sadly not unique to the political sphere.

Following the New Zealand Christchurch mosque shooting, Quinnipiac President Judy Olian sent out a university-wide email offering support to those affected by the “tragedy against the Muslim community.”

“That these horrific murders took place in houses of worship only magnifies the inhumanity of this act. This most recent event, sadly, like so many evil acts before it, reminds us to redouble our personal commitment to rise up and take action against all forms of bias, bigotry and senseless violence,” Olian added.

As for the most recent tragedy in Sri Lanka? No email. No words of support for the Christian community.

Crickets.

Hate is hate. In order to combat it, we must call out religious intolerance for what it is.

My heart breaks for the victims and families in Sri Lanka, but also for victims of all religious terror across the globe.

May we honor them by fighting hate in ALL its forms, and demand our elected leaders do the same.

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