Why Radical Christianity never receives western headline news coverage like radical Islam

Radical ChristianityWhile the world focuses on the Charlie Hebdo atrocity, and the chaos evolving from its aftermath, a powerful and divisive narrative is emerging once again about Islam. Islam is being targeted specifically for the violence associated with terrorist acts, which some can argue may be fair or unfair. However, while I gather the full scope of the narrative against Islam, I come across a very disturbing fact: Violence against Muslims by Christians and other religions is on the rise.

The narrative against Islam is that its sacred texts (Koran, Hadith) sponsor violence and barbaric practices. It is directly associated with acts by extremists and terrorists. Now, I will admit, I partially agree with this. Indeed, Islamic extremists are inspired to violence by the faulty verses and codes of the religion. Yet, the narrative that we hear in the West is that Islam is exceptionally dangerous. Somehow, Islam alone holds a prime monopoly on religious violence.

I have read many articles on the Charlie Hebdo case, and while doing so, I will occasionally glance at other stories that should have grabbed more attention. There are many acts of violence being waged against Muslim communities, often by Christians, in response to religious hatred and doctrinal code. The examples are quite numerous.

In the Central African Republic (CAR), Christian militias and armed factions are brutally attacking and murdering Muslims. The UN, as reported by both ABC and Aljazeera, has declared that Muslims in the CAR are being ethnically cleansed by Christians in rather brutal campaigns.

The flip-side to this story in the CAR, is that of Boko Haram in Nigeria. News about Boko Haram has flared up in recent days as thousands of people have said to have been killed by the militant group. In fact, this story is climbing the ranks with Charlie Hebdo, and is helping fuel further debate about the exceptional violence of Islam.

While Christians ethnically cleansing Muslims in Central Africa is scarcely known in Western circles, Boko Haram receives huge coverage when they attack Christians in Nigeria. When Muslims are the aggressors, the story is covered fully in the Western Press. When Christians are the aggressors, the story receives a faint note, and dies quickly without much discussion.

Radical Christianity
Radical Christians in the Central African Republic

Before and after the Charlie Hebdo attack, there was a series of bombings and bomb plots against Mosques and Muslim community centers. While the stories were covered by Western outlets, they were not given the in-depth discussion that the Charlie Hebdo incident is given. In fact, when I was discussing Charlie Hebdo with coworkers, I mentioned the mosque attacks, and literally none of them had heard about it.

The mosque attacks and plots were quite numerous, as well, and extended globally. Now, just picture the reverse. A numerous set of Churches and Synagogues are bombed or targeted by Muslims would make major headlines in Western mainstream press. Yet, if the opposite occurs, and we see cases of Christian violence on the rise, the mainstream media barely gives it a whisper.

Very few in the West know about the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) based in East and Central Africa. As such, very few then received the recent news that one of the main leaders of the LRA has been captured by US sponsored forces. The capture or even the rapsheet of the LRA has almost no attention paid to it at all in the United States.

Even though the LRA (a Christian terrorist group) has killed nearly 100,000 people since 1987, and Joseph Kony has been on the Top Ten list of most wanted terrorists in the US for years, The LRA apparently has no real importance given to it.

If, for example, the leader of ISIS or Boko Haram were captured by American or allied forces, this would probably be front-page news.

There is seemingly a bias against Islam in Western media, for the most part. It is more than clear that acts of Christian violence occur, and occur rather frequently, yet we aren’t given this impression in the West. The answer sounds simplistic, but Occam’s Razor. The simplest answer to a problem, generally tends to be the correct one.

Radical ChristianityWe live in Christendom. The reason why our mainstream outlets in the West (America especially) are so critical of Islamic violence and not of Christian violence is because we live and grew up in the realm of Christendom, where Christianity and its cultural traits are attached to our past and daily lives. Most people in the West identify as Christian of some form or another, and those who do not are at least heavily familiar with Christianity and are still somewhat bound by its cultural influences.

It boils down to this: people in the West are majority Christians, so therefore the majority will automatically assume its own purity. Christians are not generally critical of their religion or cultural heritage (neither are Muslims in that respect). There is almost no real discussion among the Christian dominated West about the levels of violence and aggression that Christianity does allow for.

I have written many pieces on these issues in the past, so I won’t restate all my positions. But, I will reiterate, that the violence of Christianity is heavily overlooked compared to that of Islam. Even more secular minded people in the West now have this impression that Islam is much more violent than Christianity by nature. While evidence points to the Abrahamic tradition in general as the source of violence, Christendom in the West still must view itself as benign and Islam as barbaric.

I am of the view that the Abrahamic tradition is the general culprit behind the religious violence of today. I don’t believe that Christianity has evolved into a peaceful religion.


  1. In general people have a base instinct to ignore threats they would have no response to that would seem sufficient to save themselves. In a predominately Christian nation the idea a section of those believers would go around killing people because of the traditions taught to them by holy books and men is too frightening for Christians to consider. It would require them to examine their religion or at the very least have to defend it in a very real manner from a sudden spike in people concerned their bible thumbing neighbor might have a bomb in their shoe. Just as leaders in Islamic nations try to focus on the politics of militant groups when they can’t ignore them, Christian leaders fear the day will come when tradition is outpaced by survival and people want explanations for why they embrace a code that includes overwhelming support for murder.

  2. Poorly written, op-ed liberal piece. Short on facts and when links were included, they actually argue against your very point. For example, the mosque bombings in the “before” link were committed by Muslims. This article was written not to enlighten or to bring understanding. It was simply written to criticize under the guise of “understanding ” both sides. Obviously, there are religious zealots everywhere in the world. But to try to balance The notion that Christianity is on par with Islamic terrorisism is absurd. The author should at least have the courage to admit that he is either a Muslim or an atheist. The reader deserves that much. Your hidden agenda is not very well hidden . Your motivation is obvious and pedantic.

    • As the author of this piece, I will address you directly Robert.

      For one, I have already openly admitted in several articles on Quiet Mike that I am an agnostic atheist. I felt no need to admit so again, as that was nowhere near the purpose of the article. Simply go under the column “Democracy with Drury” and look up my many articles on religion. My stance on that matter has already been well stated here. So, yes, I am not a Christian or Muslim. In fact, I thought I made pretty clear I think both are rather dangerous?

      My agenda as a progressive is nowhere near “hidden.” This is the opinion of a solo reader who is neither familiar with my writing for Quiet Mike, nor seems interested in such.

      You are at least somewhat polite in your ad-hominem, which is rare for right-wingers in my experience, but I take such things are gifts. Your opinion on whether you find the writing to your liking is merely a constructive criticism, even if you only said such a thing because you disagree with the political opinion of the article.

      To address the equivalence of Christian and Muslim violence, I have also addressed this in many articles. For one, Islam is basically born from Christianity and Judaism. The Koran is essentially a retelling of many biblical tales, and is drawn heavily from early Christianity. The link you directed to is not accident. It was a mosque bombing, and it received no coverage. Who bombed it is not that important for that specific example.

      There are a myriad of modern examples of Christians behaving as terrorists, in fashions many Islamic terrorists would relate to. There are far more similarities than you or many other Christians will admit to. This is not the first time I have had to reply to such assertions.

      If you want to learn about the many examples, read my articles on Quiet Mike. Or, use Google. While you’re at it, google search ways to extract feet from mouths, because that foot of yours should probably get lodged from your jaw.

      • You cannot equate Christianity and Islam because they are fundamentally different.

        You can’t equate the Bible and the Quran as they are fundamentally different. The Bible is a book of historical texts around omniscient Godhead of Judaism and Christianity. We know from 40 other historical sources, including Tacitus and Pilate, that Jesus Christ did exist and was crucified in around 33AD. Regards accepting the deity of Christ; that is a personal choice on which, according to the bible, the door is always open. The different denominations of Christianity have come from different theological interpretations. Baptism v Anglican for instance – Baptists will give a thanksgiving services for the child, and the baptism only takes when the person makes that decision to be baptised. Anglican (CofE) Baptism of a person can happen at any age, a parent can have their child baptised, but when older they could have a confirmation if they so wish.

        Regards the Bible, there are some dodgy passages in regards to violence.
        #1 “Violent” passsages in the Bible refer to specific time and place, within historical context. Remember the Bible is a collection of historical writings dating to around 3 millenia before Christ. The historical context is extremely important. The Quran however is a book of COMMANDS! The historical context is found in the Hadith and Sira literature, which backs-up the commands in the Quran.
        #2 The law in the Bible comes from the 10 Commandments, 5th being “Thou shalt not kill”.
        #3 The Jews [Israelites], in the Bible, did some pretty heinous things, but they were punished for it, by God or by Karma or whatever..; they lost Israel. The Jews did not have a homeland until 1948. One could argue it was the fulfilling of biblical prophecy. Amos 9:14-15, Ezekiel 37:10-14, Isaiah 66:7-8.
        #4 Christianity is defined by the New Testament, Matt 5:43. Love thy Enemy.. The message is peace and good will to all mankind.

        What you don’t understand about Islam, Muslims are commanded in the Quran (Surah 9:29, 9:5, 9:73, 5:33, 47:4 etc…) to kill the non-muslim. ISIS, of the likes of, are ‘following’ the commands of the Quran. Also, even muslims are fair game for the likes of ISIS if they do not carry out the commands in the Quran. Surah 33:36. They are defined as apostates and hypocrites, which also carries the penalty of death. Surah 9:73 and Sahih al-Bukhari 52:260. It is satanic!

        The muslims that are part of the #notinmyname are quite righlty condemning their own prophet. Surah 9:29 (and many others) commands muslims to go out and kill the unbeliever. So when muslims think, quite rightly, that is wrong they themselves then become a target.

        Regards Islam, the differences between denominations [Sunni/Shia] come from the line of succession after Muhammad. Shia’s believe that Muhammad’s adopted should have been the ‘Caliph’. Sunni’s believe that the first Caliph – Abu Bakr – was the rightful leader of Islam after Muhammad. Muhammad was poisoned by a Jewish woman, Zayneb, after the Battle of Khybar. Muhammad and his brigands went into a Jewish village and slaughtered nearly everybody. So she offered to cook dinner for Muhammad, and poisoned the food. He suffered for three years before he [Muhammad] died from the poison. That left a succession issue which still survives to this day.

        There is something called the “doctrine of abrogation” (Surah 2:106), that basically cancels out any earlier “peaceful” passages with the late violent verses. Example in Surah 2:256 where it says “There is no compulsion in Religion”. That is made obsolete by passages like Surah 9:29 which calls for the deaths of non-muslims.

        People have choices of what they do, there are many influences in a persons life, not just religion, they all help form our moral compasses as we age. Muslims who condemn the actions of ISIS also condemn Muhammad, if the same consistency of argument is applied. Those same Muslims, according to the Quran, in passages like 33:36 are classed as infidel and legitimate targets.

        Now comes the “What about the Crusades?” style argument… I refer to my first point, about people making their own choices. Christians, either follow the teachings of Christ or they don’t, if they don’t you people like Guy de Lusignan. Also, historical context, remember that in the 7th – 10th century since Muhammad’s death, jihadists were rampaging across almost the entire Eurasian landmass from Spain, across North Africa to India. It could be argued that the Crusades stopped the Islamic conquest of central and western Europe.
        A few figures.- Crusades over ~300 years cost lives of around 1 – 1.5 million. Over the past 14 centuries around 270,000,000 people have been killed in the name of Islam, following the commands of Muhammad.

        I repeat, you cannot equate the Bible and Quran as they are fundamentally different.

        • To the anonymous f1811,

          I will start by saying that I absolutely agree that there are many sections of Islam that command its adherents to wage war in the name of the faith. I am more than aware of the examples you listed, so in no way will I argue that you haven’t cited the Koran respectfully. Having said that, to say that the Koran in “no way” is equivalent to the Bible of Judaism and Christianity is just absolutely absurd.

          Based on you writing, I will guess you are a theist, more than likely a Christian. I can’t tell much from you except the language of your comment, and I feel you are a Christian who believes strongly that his religion is purely based on peace and love, and the violence today has nothing to do with the religion, or at least is not the same as when Islam wages violence.
          Very well, let me pick this apart then.

          For one, the text we know as the Koran was inspired by the teachings and priests of early Christianity. Are you aware that the Koran mentions Jesus more than it mentions Mohammed? Surely you should be aware that the whole message of the Koran is said to be the words of the Archangel Gabriel, being told to Mohammed. Gabriel, of course, was a figure highly associated with Jewish/Christian story telling. The Old Testament spoke of Gabriel revealing God’s word through the prophet Daniel (Daniel 8:15-26 & 9:21-27). The New Testament said that Gabriel appeared the the Virgin Mary and revealed the births of Jesus and John the Baptist (Luke 1:11-38).

          The Koran, Hadith, and other Islamic texts adapted stories and religious ideals from both Old and New Testament. For you to say you have knowledge on Islam and do not know where it ultimately came from is shocking. It’s almost as if you don’t know what you’re talking about.

          Islam is inspired by the Abrahamic tradition that spawned Judaism and Christianity. Of course, I never claimed the bible and koran are the same texts. The bible is a compilation of mythologies, psalm verses, and edicts gathered, edited, and regulated by the Council of Nicea, by Emperor Constantine of Rome and the early Roman Church. Islam’s main texts are not copies of the bible, they are inspired by them. To say there is no connection is absurd.

          Now, let’s deal with the issue of the “peaceful” bible. The bible commands all believers of the one true God (both Old and New Testament) to follow all of the laws of his will. That includes Old and New Testament. The Old Testament is a pick and chose bunch. One the one hand, the stories of Genesis, Exodus, and edicts in Leviticus detailing the sins of homosexuals are all relevant to the Christians today. Yet, whenever I tell them about the same books that commanded believers to murder pagans, sack their cities, and leave no one alive but the virgin girls to take as slaves. The same books command believers to kill anyone working on the Sabbath, there is no exception. The book allows fathers the right to sell their daughters into slavery, and to kill their children if they disobeyed or disrespected them. Eating or even touching pork is a sin and abomination, as well as all shellfish. These are commands by God, by the way. Now, I guess you will revert to the classic “That’s the Old Testament” argument. Okay then. Throw out the Old Testament then, its not important anymore right? Jesus fixed all that, so why keep it? It’s because you pick and choose what parts of the books you like and the parts you don’t.

          The theological discrepancies in the New Testament show for certain that Jesus was not merely a peaceful figure. He commanded all of his followers, those that truly believe in him, to abandon their loved ones and properties and live on nothing but faith in his word. That means, if you have an emotional connection to anyone in life (mother, father, brother, sister, cousin, niece, nephew, uncle, aunt, or even a friend) you must love Jesus more than them. If you do not, then you are not a follower of his word. Jesus also was known for a pretty violent act. As I recall, did he not whip and violently chase the money-changers and pharisees out of of the Temple? I emphasize, whiping and chasing them out by force. Jesus didn’t kindly ask them to leave, he used force to fulfill his word. Jesus also decreed that when he returns, he will not return as a forgiver. He will return with a sword and smite those who do not believe in him or those who do not submit to him. Sounds pretty violent to me. Most Christians are within a certain death cult, hopping for the world as we know it to meet a fiery end and watch all non believers be vanquished. Sounds pretty violent.

          Your history, I would comment, is also a little off. The Crusades, the famous ones, were not launched in response to Muslim conquests of Europe or North Africa. Muslim conquests in Europe did not effectively begin until the rise of the Ottoman Empire. It was not until the late 1400s and the fall of Constantinople by the Ottoman Turks that Islamic conquests took off in Eastern and Central Europe. This was long after the famed Crusades for Jerusalem. The Crusades that you refer to were first waged to snatch Jerusalem from the Muslims, create a Medieval style Christian Kingdom based there. The following Crusades (2nd and 3rd respectively) were meant to hold and then recapture Jerusalem from the Muslim armies under Sala’adin. The 4th Crusade was merely a travesty that isn’t even relevant to the fight over Jerusalem.

          Perhaps I should sum your perspective as a Christian convinced that those who are Christian do not harm or do wrong because of their religion. They do, and the religion commands it so. The fastest way to make someone and atheist is to tell them to read the bible (or koran for that matter).

  3. Of course, we condemn all killing in the name of any religion, but one cannot deny that it is extremism among Muslim fundamentalists that is causing most of the mayhem in the world today. It grabs headlines because it threatens people in many places across the globe and the random attacks make us all feel vulnerable. To imply any equivalence between Muslim violence and that of other religions is to ignore the disproportionate scope of Muslim violence in the world today.

    • I don’t think there’s really a disproportion. Yeah, 9/11, blah blah. A bunch of nutters pulled it off due to a lax security system. Meanwhile we’ve had nearly a century of christian terrorism via the KKK that went unpunished till just the last 30 years or so, we’ve had multiple bombings by christians, there’s been multiple shootings by christians, it’s just that Christian violence is as normal in western society as Islamic violence is in mideastern. Both places have had their own brand for centuries. But now it’s crossing borders to threaten places not used to the other. the only thing Islamic extremists have going for them is they manage flashier incidents
      No one remembers Bruce Hoffman or Scott Roeder or Eric Robert Rudolph except the people that were affected by their actions.
      It’s like people that think Postal workers are more violent than other workplaces but really aren’t. You stand a better chance of being killed by a retail worker than pretty much any other industry, but when that happens it’s not sensationalized.

  4. There is little doubt but that Christianity has much to answer for and plenty of blood on its hands—historically and presently. And conversations about the scale and intensity of religion-based repression and violence vis a vis Islam relative to Christianity are too apt to fall into an apologia for one or the other.

    Though the growing anti-Islam/anti-immigrant movement in Germany is garnering a right fair amount of media attention at the moment, I wonder if Islam-based violence/militance gets more notice because (1) it actually is occurring, at the moment, on a much larger scale and in a much more visible way and (2) the larger-scale Christian-based violence/militance is occurring primarily in Africa—in specific, central Africa.

    I have a good friend who works in the diplomatic corps and has been stationed in various parts of Africa for the past 20 years or so. He and his family are currently stationed in a west African equatorial nation that is relatively quiet and at peace—for the moment. He would tell you in a hurry that the lack of media coverage per Christian based violence/militance/repression is little more than just another example of the lack of media coverage per African events in general. I think him right when he says that, by-and-large, the western world is “abysmally ignorant” about Africa both historically and presently and that such ignorance, to some extent, goes to the lack of media attention given to the dynamics of life in Africa. He further says that the characterization of Africa as “the dark continent” is apt at any number of levels, not the least of which being that the lack of a spotlight being directed toward it allows “epidemics of inhumanity” to simply go unnoticed.

    How ignorant is the media and the general public about Africa? I recently talked to a young reporter who is a graduate of our school of journalism and now works for a local newspaper. In the course of a conversation about the relationship of religion and violence, I referenced events that occurred some years ago—I was a boy of ten or so—in “the Belgian Congo.” He had no clue per “the Belgian Congo” and, predictably, no real clue per western colonialism in Africa.

    How can the western media write knowledgeably about current events in Africa without any real understanding of its historical dynamics? It can’t.

  5. Thanks for saying all of that! Course I think the big reason that the media is so anti-Islam is because there are so many Muslims living near the oil…. and the oil companies and the defense contractors are highly motivated to make us all hate Muslims as a result.

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