Posts Tagged “attack”

A police officer helped an injured man. Gay rights marchers said priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church led the charge past police cordons. Reuters photo, via the New York Times.A couple of weeks ago, in Tbilisi, the capitol of the country of Georgia, a gay-rights rally was held. But it seems the Georgian Orthodox Church would have none of it. They’d prepared for it, and as the New York Times reports, launched a massive attack on it: (WebCite cached article):

A throng of thousands led by priests in black robes surged through police cordons in downtown Tbilisi, Georgia, on Friday and attacked a group of about 50 gay rights demonstrators.

Carrying banners reading “No to mental genocide” and “No to gays,” the masses of mostly young men began by hurling rocks and eggs at the gay rights demonstrators.

The police pushed most of the demonstrators onto yellow minibuses to evacuate them from the scene, but, the attackers swarmed the buses, trying to break the windows with metal gratings, trash cans, rocks and even fists.

Here’s the Youtube video that the Times linked to:

First, I have to make this observation: These Georgian Orthodox priests needed to gather up thousands of supporters, in order to take on some 50 gay-rights marchers!? Seriously? What sniveling little crybaby cowards they are!

Lest one think this is just a case of a handful of rogue priests operating outside the sanction of the Georgian Orthodox Church, the leader of that organization made his opinion of gays clear:

In a statement Wednesday, the leader of the Georgian Orthodox Church, Patriarch Ilia II, compared homosexuals to drug addicts and called the rally a “violation of the rights of the majority” of Georgians.

Hopefully I understand this correctly, Patriarch: It’s an unacceptable violation of your rights for a handful of gays to stage a march, but not a violation of their rights for your own priests to lead a mob to attack them? Did I get that right? I really want to be sure I understand this, because obviously it’s very important to you. So please, correct me if I haven’t gotten it right. Still … somehow, I think I’ve hit the nail on the head. Religionists typically see themselves as being the only ones with “rights,” and believe others have none at all. Even though this is a remarkably evil point of view, it’s actually very common.

Let’s also not assume the Georgian government didn’t play any part in this. The police who’d ostensibly been there to protect the gay-rights marchers, didn’t exactly do much to stop the priests and their mob, in the first place:

In a telephone interview, Mr. Vacharadze of Identoba said that priests from the Georgian Orthodox Church had led the charge that broke through a heavy police corridor.

“The priests entered, the priests broke the fences and the police didn’t stop them, because the priests are above the law in Georgia,” he said.

Sure, police did try to help the marchers … but they did so only after they’d been attacked. Even now, the Georgian government’s non-response is chilling, as the Times has reported since (cached):

Some of the priests leading the rock-throwing throngs who stormed past police cordons could be seen participating in the melee; one repeatedly slammed a stool into the windshield of one of several minibuses trying to carry the marchers to safety, while another punched marchers and tried to drag a driver out of a bus. Some gave their names in interviews.

But as of Sunday, the Georgian police have made no arrests, and there are few signs that the investigation is moving forward.

And Georgian Orthodox hierarchs are defending the assault:

Instead, a bishop who helped to organize the mass turnout — ostensibly a counterprotest — said from the pulpit that while the violence was “regrettable” and those who committed it should be punished, the Georgian Orthodox Church was obligated to protest the gay rights rally and would “not allow anyone to humiliate us.”

So in the name of not permitting the Georgian Orthodox Church to be “humiliated” at the hands of some 50 protesters, it was apparently necessary for tens of thousands of angry Georgians led by dozens of sanctimoniously-enraged priests to attempt to kill them.

I’ve previously blogged about the immature tendency of Muslims in certain parts of the world to riot, rage and even kill over things that bother them. Here, then, is an example of this happening, but among Christians instead. Georgia is, indeed, very Christian … that land was converted to the faith back in the 4th century, and it’s by far the dominant religion there. Here we have incontrovertible evidence that religiously-motivated violence is not solely triggered by Islam, and cultural immaturity isn’t limited solely to primarily-Muslim countries. Despite the fact that Christians market their religion as “the Religion of Love,” it’s clear that Christians limit their “love” only to those who think like themselves and are willing to strictly obey their dour doctrines.

Photo credit: Reuters, via the New York Times (cached).

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Police are investigating a firebomb attack against the Imam Al-Khoei Foundation building and three other sites in Queens, New York. (CBS 2)Note: See the update below for an important update to this blog post!

I’ve blogged a number of times about a movement I call “the Neocrusade” — a modern effort by “Christian nationers” to eliminate Islam within the U.S. It’s mostly found in the same parts of the country as Religious Rightism, i.e. in the Bobble Bayelt (er, Bible Belt), but it can be found elsewhere too, including the New York City metropolis. As CBS News reports, there’s a chance that Neocrusading vigilantes might once again be active in the Big Apple (WebCite cached article):

Authorities are investigating four fire attacks in New York City, including one at an Islamic center and one at a house used for Hindu worship.

Police say three attacks Sunday night involved molotov cocktails. There were no injuries. Police are investigating the attacks as bias crimes.

The fact that non-Islam-related targets were hit, certainly suggests these attacks weren’t Neocrusade-motivated. But then again, Neocrusaders have been known to lash out at the wrong targets, so it can’t be ruled out quite yet.

If this is, in fact, the work of militant Christian Neocrusaders, the irony of Christianists resorting to terror and violence in their campaign against a religion they consider violent and terror-promoting, is precious.

Update: It turns out this may have not been Neocrusaders’ work, after all. The New York Times reports a suspect has been arrested, police say the fires he set all resulted from specific, personal grudges, not out of religious fervor (cached).

Photo credit: WCBS via CBS News.

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Amish Buggy RideAs a follow-up to my most recent post, I’d like to offer another sterling example of Christianity in action (and Christians acting however they damn please, rather than obeying Jesusown teachings). This one comes from a Christian community which has a reputation for being non-violent, even pacifist, in nature. Time magazine’s Newsfeed blog reports some Amish castoffs appear to be assaulting other Amish over some sort of theological or ecclesiastical schism (WebCite cached article):

Amish families in Ohio have suffered a number of unwanted close shaves in recent weeks, after shunned members of the community devised a bizarre form of retaliation, the Associated Press reports.

The beard bandits have taken revenge by scalping the hair of a half-dozen or more men and women who ostracized them, as well as chopping off the males’ facial hair.

The intention behind such attacks is to humiliate the victims, since hair and beards are sacred among the Amish. (Many Christians, Jews and Muslims have such fetishes, perhaps inspired by the Nazirites of the Old Testament, the most famous of them being Samson.)

Authorities have been unable to do much about this spate of attacks, though, due to the beliefs of the Amish themselves:

Despite several victims suffering minor injuries, police have so far failed to charge anyone as they struggle to overcome the traditional “wall of silence” Amish communities adopt when dealing with the authorities.

“You see this crime being committed, and I’m sitting here with my hands tied,” said a frustrated [Jefferson County Sheriff Fred] Abdalla. “I can’t do a thing.”

Because of Amish silence, authorities also don’t really understand why the attacks are taking place, they only know it involves some sort of schism among some 18 Amish families.

You just know things must be really bad, if the usually-pacifist Amish are attacking one another.

Photo credit: puliarf via Flickr.

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There’s something odd going on in the worldwide Sikh community. (Sikhism, in case you didn’t know, is a Dharmic faith strongly influenced by Islam, particularly Sufic Islam.) It began in Vienna (Austria) and has already spilled over into Sikhism’s native land, India, as the AP reports (via Google News):

Sikhs wielding knives and a handgun attacked two preachers at a rival temple in Vienna in a brawl that left one of the victims dead Monday and at least 15 others wounded, police said. A related clash later broke out in northern India.

Witnesses said a group of bearded and turbaned men attacked the religious leaders at the temple in Austria’s capital on Sunday and their followers moved to defend them. …

Police spokesman Michael Takacs earlier said the scene was “like a battlefield.” Six suspects were in custody with more arrests possible, he said. …

In India, fighting between mainstream Sikhs and followers of the guru broke out in the northern city of Jalandhar several hours after the Vienna clash, in what locals there described as an apparent reaction to the melee in the Austrian capital. Sanjiv Kalra, a senior police official at Jalandhar, said that protesters had set fire to a number of vehicles and erected several roadblocks across the city. He gave no other details.

Reasons for this bloody attack are not all that clear, at least not to me. The AP report offers what explanation it can:

Witnesses said the perpetrators were fundamentalist Sikhs from a higher caste, who accused one or both of the preachers of being disrespectful of the Holy Book. Indian news reports said the attackers were incensed that one of the preachers was given a ceremonial shawl considered a high Sikh honor.

I can’t even begin to guess as to how, exactly, a savage mass attack like this is a reasonable response to being given a shawl. It’s also not clear to me how Sikh temples have managed to divide themselves along caste lines, since I’d thought that Sikhism denounced caste distinctions (see e.g. this Sikh-written Web page, and keep in mind that Sikhs have a ritual called Langar, in which free food is eaten by those of all castes, side-by-side. The ancient Hindu caste distinction — whose evils I blogged about before — appears to be inflicting yet more harm on people, even in the 21st century, and even in a religion which branched off from Hinduism centuries ago.

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