Dead Priests in Anatolia

Fr Pierre Brunissen has been savagely knifed in Turkey – the fourth attack on Catholic priests in that country this year. His attacker has apparently complained about Fr Brunissen’s missionary activities. It is unlikely that Fr Brunissen was, in fact, proselytizing — the Catholic Church is not especially active in missionary work in Muslim nations, for the simple reason that it’s generally a swift road to death for both converter and the converted. Muslim orthodoxy prescribes death for the apostate. (Indeed, one of the cardinal problems with modern Islamism is the breadth of acts which constitute “apostasy” in its eyes: in a Turkish context, we read in Orhan Pamuk’s Snow that Islamist youth confuse ordinary adolescent lovesickness with this act.)

The grim catalogue of assaults on clerics betrays a resurgent paranoia within Turkish society – a paranoia that does not sit well with that nation’s pretenses to membership in “Europe”:

* The first priest attacked this year – and the only one to die thus far – was Fr Andrea Santoro. He was shot in the heart this past February with a 9mm pistol by a Muslim youth angry over the infamous Danish cartoons in an act of “religious revenge.” Fr Santoro died while praying in his church in Trabzon (itself ancient Trebizond): the killer yelled “Allahu akbar,” before firing twice into the priest’s back.

* Mere days after Fr Santoro’s murder, Fr Martin Kmetec, a Slovene Franciscan, was beaten in the Aegean port city of Izmir – former Smyrna – by a gang of youths angry (again!) over the infamous Danish cartoons. According to press reports, they seized him by the throat and shouted, “We will make you all die!”

* The next month, Capuchin priest Fr Hanri Leylek was threatened by a knife-wielding youth in the same city of Mersin that Fr Santoro perished in. The assailant, one Erdal Gurel, forced his way into the parish convent, yelling insults against Christianity and telling the priest, “You are not a human being! I will violate your mother, your sisters, your children.”

The founding myth of the Turkish state is its secularism. Turks, through the iron fist of the army and the soft persuasion of politics, have supposedly moved past the more regrettable manifestations of their Muslim heritage: jihad, dhimmitude, the killing of apostates, etc. But Turkey remains Muslim, and in an echo of the Ottoman millet system and the fundamental national concept of Islamic nationhood, that religion remains key to national identity despite the decades of secularizers – even to this day, a Christian holding Turkish citizenship is not considered a “Turk” per se.

Two things result from this state of affairs: First, a tension is set up between the demands of Islamic orthodoxy and the demands of modernism; when this tension is resolved in favor of orthodoxy, it is resolved in a fashion as decisive and hence violent as possible. Second, the line between an assault to Islam and an assault to the (supposedly secular) Turkish state, when coming from a non-Muslim, is blurred to the point of meaninglessness. Note, for example, this story, in which Turkish Christians in Turkey are threatened, not by Islamists, but by Turkish nationalists. The continuing pattern of demonization in the media speaks for itself: “Missionaries who are taking over every part of Turkey have now taken up residence at book fairs,” read a subhead in the right-wing Yeni Cag. In the Turkish smash hit film Kurtlar Vadisi Irak, devout Christians are shown killing Muslim children to harvest their organs: a pop-media twist on a libel previously reserved for Jews. (Indeed, in the movie, it’s a Jewish American doctor who oversees the organ-harvesting.) And on the official level, the line between defense of nation and defense of Islam is nearly nonexistent. Indeed, Christians there must operate in a gray underground of caution:

...Turkish police charged 293 people with “missionary activity” from 1998 to 2001, a state minister told parliament recently. People who place calls to Christian groups operating inside Turkey are warned against uttering the word “missionary” on an open phone line.

“Lots of my friends say ‘the M word,’ ” one receptionist said.

The attacks on priests in Turkey take place against this background of nationalist resentment and Muslim paranoia. One can only wonder how these will be inflamed when Pope Benedict XVI visits Istanbul in November. The fear and the violence are a curious combination for a state and society proclaiming its ardent wish to enter “Europe” by means of the EU. Why join a club whose basic identity and history are inimical to one’s own? In this context, Europe’s mere consideration of the possibility betrays the fundamental self-negation at the core of the European project.

The wounded bodies of the priests are warning – and prelude.

As an addendum, one may well ask why Catholic priests are being assaulted in Turkey, when the country is bounded by the Orthodox world. The answer is simple enough: the native Orthodox communities of Anatolia and Thrace have long since been almost wholly wiped out. The Armenian genocide is well enough known (outside of Turkish officialdom, in any case); less well-known is the slow extermination of the Greek community of Constantinople. On the latter, one could do far worse than start with Speros Vryonis’ The Mechanism of Catastrophe.

Fundamentalist Uprising

Recent reports say that Christians are no longer a majority in Jerusalem due to fundamentalist Islamic persecution.

Christian murders worldwide belie the RoP propaganda.

Be warned - Caliphate well on its way...

Muslims around India are having their dream of reviving Caliphate restored in reality.

Their Caliphate has not just knocked old pakki and bangladesh borders, but also reunited the jihadi network by nullifying security measures and democratic institutions by new antics like bollywood movies, cricket gambling, match-fixing besides ones like dominating the media and putting out Hitlerian lies in support of Islamofascism besides savage violence via rioting and mafia intimidation after lending money to the poor at high rates.
For example, they had riots where Hindus were targeted for savage serial mass murders under the pretext of BUSH VISIT, CARTOONS, bad remarks of JERRY FALWELL in distant USA. Each riot killed many innocent Hindus (totally unrelated to Bush visit, Cartoon or Falwell) who also got their property damaged..for incidents totally unrelated and unconnected to the Hindus who had given separate homeland as fakistan, bangla desh - nearly 40% of the pre-1947 territory.

Some evidence proves funding for jihadisis via 'hawala deals' from robbery and burglaries of Hindu homes and jewelry shops.

Luckily for them, the EU and USA/UK have done most of their hardwork for them and shockingly aiding and abetting fakistani governemnt and its jihadi consolidation of Caliphate by undermining safety and security in India that is the only non-muslim country in the crescent extending from Middle east to Indonesia through Malaysia.

India is the fast breeding ground for jihadis as Thailand is too where the cops are too weak being ill-equipped to fight the terrorists. Thais got money for tsunami victims but not India. God alone can save these two nations that are fighting terrorists on our behalf with what little resources they have.. .


Muslims around the world are having a revivalistic dream of a new or restored Caliphate.


Their Caliphate would not just reunite old arab borders, however, but to knock down some new ones.


Luckily for them, the EU has done most of their hardwork for them. 


Constantinople is again at history's crossroad.  It is the means to an end.


Thanks Joshua for the warning.

Churches in muslim world..

To quantify religious freedom, just count the number of churches in Arabistan, fakistan, afghanistan...etc.

You will find **none** in arabistan, very few in fakistan or bangla desh and maximum in India!

Turkey is able to get tech know-how and able to export all its goods to Europe. India has no such freedom. India deserves much more economic and commercial aid and concessions.

Remember they helped us in WW-I, -II and even in Boxer rebellion when the chinese slaughtered our missionaries, even teen girls and pregnant mothers.

We owe a whole lot to the Indians who now have >70% poverty. This is how it is calculated:- 1 bil minus 300 mil middle class = 700 mil poor. (300 is the number given by many including Bush). Let us sit up and get Bono, Gordon Brown to take responsibility for the poor Indians.

Reciprocal doesn't hold?

Why does Europe’s mere consideration of the possibility (...of Turkey joining the EU...)betray the fundamental self-negation at the core of the European project.?

Couldn't I just as well reverse roles and state that Turkey's wish to join the EU betrays their fundamental self-negation?

Is it more likely that the EU will change under Turkeys membership than the other way around? I don't think so. Because Western values are simply a better fit to modern society. And, given time, will prevail. This theory is supported by the facts on the ground.

Up until the process got botched by politicians, Turkey was changing more and faster to accomodate integration than the other way around.

Unfortunatly, now the door for them joining the EU has been slammed shut by a short-sighted public opinion, we are once again sliding into a state of mutual distrust provoking an entrenchment of Turkey into their own strange and particular blend of militarism and islamism.

Western values prevailing.

This theory is supported by the facts on the ground.

Not in the Muslim world, it's not. The idea that there is some sort of march of history, or that one set of mores is predestined to prevail over another, is dangerously wrong.



You write:  "One of the cardinal problems with modern Islamism is the breadth of acts which constitute 'apostacy' in its eyes."  But the truly cardinal problem is that Islam prescribes death to apostates at all.  What Muslims have to confront and denounce is not simply that fundamentalists have distorted the public image of Islam but that many aspects of true Islam, which come straight from the Koran, are barbaric.  I, for one, will not welcome Islam's influence on my culture once Muslims limit themselves to murdering only those people who are apostates by a fair definition we can all agree on.

kinda funny how all the

kinda funny how all the apostatics in Cities of Oz keep girls locked up at home n go out poppin XTC n scorin...
pretty goddam hippocritical if u ask me...
often spotted ducking into saunas with men only too...
and yet we the heathens
- man from joshbob gully