Terrorism has no religion and no homeland. It is wrong to attribute terrorism to the teachings of a specific religion. Terrorists do not distinguish between Christian churches and Islamic mosques. Places of worship, in fact, be they mosques or churches, have both been harmed routinely by terrorists.

In addition to Christians and Muslims both being victims of terrorist attacks, terrorist attacks have targeted Sunni and Shiite mosques alike across the Middle East. In attacking holy sites, terrorists seek to destabilize the security and stability of the state, especially the economic sector. They seek to spread chaos and confusion among multiple groups and they seek to stir sedition and sow the seeds of sectarian strife.

Christian Churches of Egypt:

Churches in Egypt have been targeted by a series of terrorist bombings. Who can forget the December 11, 2016, terrorist attack on St. Peter and St. Paul’s Church (commonly known as El-Botroseya Church) in Cairo’s Abbasia district? 29 people were killed and 49 people, mostly women, and children were wounded [1]. And who can forget the twin terrorist attacks on April 9, 2017, that targeted St. George’s Church in the Egyptian city of Tanta and Saint Mark’s Coptic Orthodox Cathedral in Alexandria? These attacks left 47 people dead and 126 injured [2]. 76 innocent people lost their lives inside houses of worship in these three attacks. The peaceful sounds of hymns mixed with the evil sounds of explosions. The following video describes the attacks on the two churches:

The Muslim Mosques of Kuwait and Saudi Arabia:

On Friday, June 26, 2015, an Islamic State (ISIS) militant bombed Al-Imam Al-Sadiq mosque in the Al-Sawabir district of Kuwait City, killing 27 and injuring 227 during Friday afternoon prayers [3]. Further, the attack took place during the holy month of Ramadan, during which time Muslims worldwide fast to commemorate the first revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad. Those who were injured or killed were all praying when the terrorist entered the mosque and detonated his explosive belt [4]. The sounds of the peaceful Azan (the Muslim call to prayer) mixed with the evil sounds of explosions. Not only the Islamic, but the entire world was outraged by the attacks on the mosque in Kuwait.

These videos show the attack on the Shiite mosque in Kuwait:

On Monday, July 4, 2016, also during the holy month of Ramadan, a suicide bomb attack took place in the parking lot of Al-Masjid an-Nabawi, the Prophet’s Mosque. Al-Masjid an-Nabawi is one of the largest, holiest mosques in Islam.It was built by the Prophet Muhammad [5]. The mosque is located in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Four policemen were killed and five others were wounded in the suicide bomb attack [6]. Two other attacks took place in Saudi Arabia. One near the United States’ consulate in Jeddah and another targeted a Shiite Muslim mosque in Qatif. Terrorists have no respect for what is holy. The attack on one of Islam’s holiest sites brought condemnations from all around the Middle East and the world. The Egyptian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said, “This bombing, which happened during Ramadan outside the Prophet Muhammad’s Mosque, proves that terrorism has no religion and no faith.” [7]

The following video shows the attack on the Al-Masjid an-Nabawi (The Prophet’s Mosque). It also shows two other attacks that took place at the same time Al-Masjid an-Nabawi was attacked:

The sentiment “Terrorism has no religion,” is no longer just a slogan: it is a dictum. Terrorists do not care about the sanctity of a Muslim mosque or a Christian church. They don’t differentiate between Sunni and Shia. Terrorists commit vile crimes in the name of peaceful religions.

Sources:

  1. https://www.nytimes.com/2016/12/11/world/middleeast/cairo-coptic-cathedral-attack.html
  2. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/middle-east/church-bombing-cairo-egypt-tanta-kills-dead-wounded-injured-latest-a7674761.html
  3. http://www.bbc.com/news/world-middle-east-33287136
  4. https://www.reuters.com/article/us-kuwait-blast/islamic-state-suicide-bomber-kills-27-wounds-227-in-kuwait-mosque-idUSKBN0P618L20150626?virtualBrandChannel=11563
  5. https://www.un.org/press/en/2016/sc12435.doc.htm
  6. http://www.middleeasteye.net/news/suicide-attack-holy-site-saudi-arabia-city-medina-reports-86052859
  7. http://www.bbc.com/arabic/middleeast/2016/07/160704_saudi_arabia_blast
Ali Almullaali

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