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A Calculated Attack on Christianity

April 23, 2019 in Economics

By Doug Bandow

Doug Bandow

Another country, another terrorist attack, another slaughter.
This time the location was Sri Lanka, where a series of bombs
targeted Catholic and Evangelical churches and foreigner-friendly
hotels, killing more than 300 people and wounding another 500,
almost all Sri Lankan citizens. The Easter killings were a
calculated attack on Christianity.

No one took responsibility, but the Sri Lankan government
initially concluded that the attack was carried out by seven
suicide bombers from a local extremist Islamic group, National
Thowheed Jamath. (NTJ was largely unknown until last year, when its
members were accused of defacing Buddhist statues — a far
different crime.) Later State Minister of Defense Ruwan Wijewardene
indicated that the lesser-known Jammiyathul Millathu Ibrahim also
was involved. He suggested that the attacks were in retaliation for
the March attack on two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, but
admitted that was simply an assumption based on the targeting of
Christians and foreigners.

Police arrested 24 members of NTJ but said they suspected it
received outside assistance. Health minister and cabinet spokesman
Rajita Senaratne opined that “we do not believe these attacks
were carried out by a group of people who were confined to this
country. There was an international network without which these
attacks could not have succeeded.” Similarly, a presidential
spokesman announced: “The intelligence reports [indicate]
that foreign terrorist organizations are behind the local
terrorists.” The government offered no supporting evidence or
details, but one security official called NTJ an ISIS front;
American officials also indicated that the group had had contacts
with ISIS, though their significance was unclear.

The religion’s dominant
role in American culture has obscured the fact that it is the most
persecuted faith globally.

Anti-terrorism experts initially assumed direct foreign
responsibility. Alan Keenan of the International Crisis Group
observed: “Sri Lanka has never seen this sort of attack
— coordinated, multiple, high-casualty — ever before,
even with the Tamil Tigers during the course of a brutal civil
war.” He thought “the dynamics are global, not driven
by some indigenous debate.” The carnage was of the sort
typically sought by al-Qaeda and the Islamic State, the latter
especially as it shifts from creating a caliphate to generating
bloody chaos. Indeed, the Islamic State attacked a Catholic church
in the Philippines in January. On Tuesday ISIS claimed it had
carried out attacks, though absent further evidence, that could
reflect opportunistic posturing.

Compounding the tragedy, foreign governments warned Colombo of
potential attacks more than two weeks ago. Rauff Hakeem, minister
of city planning, criticized the “colossal failure on the
part of the intelligence services.” Housing Construction
Minister Sajith Premadasa denounced the security services’
“negligence and incompetence.” Telecommunications
Minister Harin Fernando even reported that he …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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