Our faiths must work to­gether

The Jewish Chronicle - - COMMENT - Mon­ica Porter

DUR­ING the lat­est war between Is­rael and Ha­mas, I have been wag­ing my own mini-bat­tle on Face­book, fly­ing the flag for Is­rael. I have nearly 1400 Face­book friends, the ma­jor­ity of whom have been ac­quired as a re­sult of my lat­est book. They are a kind of in­ter­na­tional, multi-eth­nic fan base. My usual “sta­tus up­dates” on the site re­late to my work. But re­cently I have been fir­ing off salvoes in sup­port of Is­rael.

Face­book is a mi­cro­cosm of the world, you meet all sorts there. So nat­u­rally th­ese strongly-worded posts on my time­line have elicited a range of re­sponses. I was pleased to see the “likes” and mes­sages of sup­port from friends (ac­tual or on­line-only), but there were sharp re­bukes too. A few came from the lib­eral-leftie brigade, brain­washed Western­ers who, with dreary pre­dictabil­ity, wheel out their ar­gu­ments of moral equiv­a­lence. Is­rael is as bad as the ter­ror­ists, blah blah blah…

But the re­ally vile mes­sages were posted by a num­ber of my Mus­lim “friends” from around the world. Th­ese quickly de­gen­er­ated into ugly per­sonal at­tacks. I was called a “blood­thirsty Jewish bitch” (even though I am Chris­tian), and ex­horted to die along with ev­ery­one else in “fas­cist” Is­rael. Luck­ily, it is easy to “un­friend” some­one on Face­book and make them in­stantly dis­ap­pear. In that re­spect, at least, it‘s got the edge on real life.

Then, to my sur­prise, I no­ticed that I was re­ceiv­ing “likes” and sup­port­ive mes­sages from peo­ple with un­mis­tak­ably Asian names. A cou­ple of clicks later I found my­self on the Face­book page of the In­dia Stands With Is­rael com­mu­nity. Their “About” state­ment reads: “We The Peo­ple Of In­dia Love Peace & Hate Ter­ror­ist Ac­tiv­i­ties. Our Prayers & Bless­ings Are With Is­rael”.

Well, it isn’t hard to see why. Vi­o­lent, rad­i­cal Is­lam is as much an en­emy of the Hin­dus as it is of the Jews and Christians. In the past three decades In­dia has suf­fered up­wards of 50 ter­ror­ist at­tacks re­sult­ing in deaths and in­juries, largely em­a­nat­ing from neigh­bour­ing Pak­istan. The most hor­rific were the four-day-long at­tacks on Bom­bay

I be­gan to get ‘likes’ from Asian read­ers

in Novem­ber 2008, leav­ing 164 dead and 308 wounded, per­pe­trated by a cell of Lashkar-eTaiba, an Is­lamic ter­ror­ist or­gan­i­sa­tion based mainly in Pak­istan. No won­der In­dian prayers and bless­ings are with Is­rael.

With its 1.27 bil­lion peo­ple, In­dia has the sec­ond largest pop­u­la­tion in the world, it is a democ­racy and an in­creas­ingly pow­er­ful global player. Surely, in ad­di­tion to their moral sup­port, there must be a way to har­ness in a more prac­ti­cal sense the In­di­ans’ em­pa­thy for Is­rael?

In fact of the four ma­jor re­li­gions, three of them have ev­ery rea­son to unite in their bat­tle against the vi­o­lent ji­hadists of the fourth. Jews, Christians and Hin­dus are all un­der threat from mil­i­tant Is­lam. More Christians are be­ing mas­sa­cred by ji­hadists in the world’s so-called un­governed re­gions than peo­ple of any other creed. Their an­cient com­mu­ni­ties are be­ing per­se­cuted, forced to flee, or else wiped out.

It seems to me that the only way to stamp out the plague of rad­i­cal Is­lam is by closer sol­i­dar­ity between the peo­ples of the other three great re­li­gions, in what­ever form it must take – po­lit­i­cal, martial, cul­tural, Face­book... No na­tion, no peo­ples, no sin­gle creed can do it alone. Mon­ica Porter is a free­lance jour­nal­ist and au­thor. Her most re­cent book is Raven: My Year of Dat­ing Dan­ger­ously.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.