July 14, 2008

Indian Christians Smash Newspaper Offices, Set Fires Over Newspaper Image of Christ

I've mentioned this already in my last entry, but I think it deserves an entry of its own.

When Muslims in Europe and elsewhere protested and called a fatwa against the publishers of a Danish newspaper over the publication of a derogatory image of Mohammad, many American Christians pointed to it as an example of the difference between Christianity and Islam. Christians, it has been claimed, don't do things like that. Christianity is peaceful, Islam is violent, and blah de blah de blah.

A lot of people realized at the time that this was nonsense, of course. While it might be true that Americans are less likely to riot and burn things over something they consider blasphemous (how much less still remains to be seen), this isn't a function of a religious difference between Christianity and Islam but one of cultural context. A most excellent and graphic proof of this comes to us today from India, where yesterday there were violent protests, including the smashing of newspaper offices and fires set to newspapers in the street. The provocation?

A newspaper printed a "blasphemous" picture of Jesus holding a beer mug.

Protests by Christians across State

HYDERABAD: Christians across the State strongly protested the publication of an objectionable picture of Jesus in a Telugu daily on Sunday.

Publication of the picture triggered an attack on the office of Sakshi daily in Chirala town in Prakasam district and demonstrations in Nandyal, Guntakal, Anantapur, Guntur, Ongole and Bhimavaram. Copies of the daily were set ablaze in some places.

The picture published in the religion column of the features section of the daily owned by Chief Minister Y. S. Rajasekhara Reddy's son Y. S. Jaganmohan Reddy showed Jesus Christ in a manner that was reprehensible and hurt the sentiments of the community, Christian organisations alleged.

Reports reaching the State headquarters said irate Christians attacked the Sakshi office at Chirala. The enraged youth raided the office, ransacked the furniture and threw down the computers. They also damaged window panes of an APSRTC bus...

[from a different source]
...The daily's Sunday edition carried a picture showing Jesus with a beer mug in one hand and a cigarette in the other. The chief minister's family, which practices Christianity, has tendered an apology...
Yep, nothing like what offended Muslims did. Could the innate differences between Christianity and Islam be made any clearer?

Sphere: Related Content