Whether it’s Jews against Christian, Christians against Muslims, or Iraqi sects against each other, religious intolerance is thriving, sometimes with deadly results.
The Yedizi community, an ancient minority Kurdish ethnic- religious group in Iraq, faces near-annihilation following a coordinated carpet bombing attack carried out by al-Qaeda operatives last week in the Sinjar district west of Mosul.
The Yedizis, who were heavily persecuted under the regime of Saddam Hussein, have endured other attacks in recent months.
Yedizi leaders are now contemplating bringing disparate Yedizi settlement together under Kurdish tribal lands for safety.
Dutch Minister Geert Wilders made headlines last week when he wrote an editorial calling for a ban on the Koran, which he called a “fascist” text that exhorts violence.
Dutch officials condemned his statements, and an Egyptian diplomat said Geert’s language “only demonstrates the racism of certain Western politicians.”
Geert is the leader of the right-wing “Freedom Party,” which has over 150 members in the parliament.
In Italy, the Vatican has declared that good Catholics must withdraw their support for Amnesty International if the human rights group goes through with a policy decision to back abortion in the cases of rape or threat to the life of the mother.
Amnesty, a Catholic-founded group, decided to take a stand on the abortion issue for the first time after discovering reports of rape used as a means of political control by attackers in Darfur.
And in Israel, an American Evangelical couple who have established a church in Jerusalem are accusing the Israeli government of religious persecution after officials refused to renew their temporary visa.
Two of their children have married Israelis and live in Israel.
Questions have arisen over whether the small Shalom Shalom Ministry, run by Ron and Carol Cantrell, is proselytizing in an attempt to convert Jews (which is illegal in Israel), or just spreading an evangelical message about Christian apocalyptic prophecy being hastened by the return of the Jews to the Holy Land.
“Egypt calls Wilders ‘racist'”
Agence France-Presse, August 10, 2007
“‘They won’t stop until we are all wiped out'”
Guardian (U.K.), August 18, 2007
“Vatican: Amnesty set to defy Catholic church over abortion”
ADNKronos International, August 13, 2007
“Evangelical pastor told to leave Israel”
Jerusalem Post, August 16, 2007