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