In other news
It was quite a scene, by the Kohati Gate in Peshawar this morning, where two of Pakistan’s Islamist savages blew themselves up among parishioners leaving All Saints Church after morning services. About two hundred Christians have been killed or maimed, by the local press estimate. As I write, the police are putting down a Christian demonstration, demanding justice. The police in Pakistan are utterly corrupt; many are also Islamist psychos. There may well be additional attacks on the mourners, when the dead from the slaughter are buried.
There have been innumerable attacks on Christians of all confessions, throughout Pakistan; this would seem to be the largest to date. Since the foundation of Pakistan as an Islamic state — which in itself involved the slaughter of a million non-Muslims trying to get out — Christians have been persecuted. There remain perhaps three million of them, mostly Catholic, keeping their heads down in the land of their birth.
Violence against them began to increase when the first explicitly Islamist president, Mohammad Zia-ul-Haq, came to power in 1978, raising the persecution to quasi-official status by targeting them as “apostates” through state-enforced Shariah law. Zia is remembered for the judicial murder of his predecessor, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto; for advancing Pakistan’s nuclear weapons programme; & for himself perishing along with several of his generals & American diplomats in an aeroplane crash that was probably not an accident. But he had blood on his hands from many other crimes, through his eleven years in office, & a long army career before that. And now, long after his death, the Mujahideen he sponsored (against India, & against the Russians in Afghanistan) have come home to roost, & the toll among Christians rises daily.
The victims are of little interest to Western media, or to Western diplomats endlessly courting Pakistan as a regional ally. Those who have courageously sought to protect them within Pakistan’s courts & cabinets have inevitably been assassinated. The Vatican, & various Christian field missions have worked valiantly to spread the news, but the attitude even of sympathetic Western media is unalterable. They think the constant slaughter of religious minorities in Muslim countries is something to be taken as a matter of course, equivalent to a law of nature. They seldom cover the slaughter of non-Christian minorities, either. Their indifference to hard news lifts only in such cases as the Islamist attack on the Nairobi mall, where some white people were among those killed.
Iraq is no longer of interest now that the Americans are out; Afghanistan will likewise soon disappear. The news from Egypt & Syria is comprehensively misreported, with frequent Islamist attacks on Christians in both countries ignored. I first viscerally noticed this phenomenon after the fall of South Vietnam in 1975, along with the Cambodian & Laotian dominoes. Hundreds of thousands drowned at sea, trying to escape the Communist devils; thousands burst across the Thai frontier giving accounts of massacres our media dismissed as wild exaggerations. In fact, millions were butchered. But quite apart from the absence of newsworthy white victims, the liberal press did not wish to be reminded that their own expectations had proved entirely wrong, or that the warnings of their most impassioned “rightwing” critics had proved entirely right. The late socialist, Mark Gayn, was to my memory the only fleeing journalist who had the honesty to confide, in light of what was happening, that he must have been misrepresenting the reality for years. The rest simply changed the subject.
“It’s a funny old world,” as Mrs Thatcher used to say, whenever crimes of great enormity were committed. She was of course quoting P.G. Wodehouse.