In one incident described the Sydney Daily Telegraph, a man identified only as “Mike” was riding with his girlfriend on a train through a “Muslim enclave” in southwest Sydney on Tuesday when they were accosted by a group of four young Middle Eastern men. Other reports said five young men were involved.
A Greek Orthodox Christian, Mike was wearing a crucifix around his neck as he always does. The men ripped off the cross and began stomping on it while shouting “F*** Jesus” and referring to Allah, according to the U.K. Daily Mail.
Mike was punched, kicked in the face and bloodied. Meanwhile, two Arabic-speaking women physically attacked his girlfriend, the Telegraph reported.
Where were the uniformed transit officers? They were watching the assault from a “safe space,” according to the Telegraph. The police met the train at the next station. Did they arrest the offenders? Oh, no. They wrote down names and told Mike they would review the surveillance footage.
After the attack, according to the Telegraph, Mike contacted a Baptist minister named George Capsis, who is prominent in Sidney’s Greek community. Capsis said Mike was the fourth person who reported anti-Christian violence to him in the past six months. Capsis advised Mike — and other Christians — to hide the cross in public when in Muslim enclaves.
‘This country is nominally Christian, you shouldn’t have to hide your crucifix or your faith,” he said. “You’ve just got to be sort of practical.”
Following the incident, Mike told the Telegraph he is now too traumatized to ride a train and does not wear a crucifix in public. And isn’t that the point of intimidation, to instill fear that alters people’s behavior? Mike told the newspaper he expects authorities to maintain order.
“It’s a multicultural society. I don’t attack anyone’s beliefs but if they attack me for no reason, justice has to be served,” he told the newspaper.
Imagine if the reverse had happened, if a Christian had ripped the hijab or other religious symbol from a Muslim, or thrown the Quran to the ground and stomped on it.
As Australia struggles with assimilation in an increasingly multicultural society, the problem of violence and intolerance from the more radical elements among immigrants threatens not only Australian citizens but moderate immigrants as well.
While the voices of moderate Muslims continue to be drowned out by extremists, often making moderates themselves afraid to speak out against extremism, religious intolerance continues to take hold in an environment of fear and intimidation, according to The Conversation.
This has got to stop before it’s too late.
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