I love it how adherents of the religion of peace like to complain about Xenophobia and the lack of religious tolerance for Muslims throughout the western world. The truth is that most western nations go overboard trying to show tolerance to their Muslim community. On the other hand many Islamic countries do not show the slightest bit of tolerance for their religious minorities.

Recently in Pakistan Christians went on trial for trumped up charges of “blaspheming” Muhammad. They were about to be cleared of the charges  when armed gunman shot the two to death. Handwriting experts on notified police that signatures on papers denigrating Muhammad did not match those of the accused Rev. Rashid Emmanuel, 32, and his 30-year-old brother Sajid Emmanuel, . Expected to be exonerated soon, the two leaders of United Ministries in Pakistan were being led in handcuffs back to jail under police custody when they were shot dead.

In a more recent incident, Islamic groups in the Muslim dominated country of Indonesia are campaigning against a planned construction of Mother Teresa Catholic Church in West Java Province. Christian leaders report that there have been hostility against  20 other churches since 2009. 

Muslim leaders said plans for the Mother Teresa church in the Lippo Cikarang property project in the Cikarang area will make it the largest church building in Bekasi City. Adang Permana, general chairman of the Bekasi Islamic Youth Movement, said Bekasi area Muslims oppose the church building because they fear it will become “a center of Christianization,” according to the Islamic website Hidayatullah.com.

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“This church will become the center of apostasy and clearly disturb the faith of Bekasi citizens, who are mostly Muslims,” Permana said, according to the website. “In addition to rejecting this parish church, we also call for the disbanding of all unauthorized churches in Bekasi Regency [City],” he stated. A church leader, however, said area residents had approved the presence of the church. 

What makes those remarks more striking is when you look at the reaction to the Ground Zero Mosque by Middle-East Muslims.

Jedda Arab News Online, a Saudi based site, carried an editorial that stated:

It is not in the Middle East or Afghanistan that the struggle for hearts and minds needs to be won, it is in the US and Europe. There is a real danger of Islamophobia becoming mainstream in the US, as is happening in Europe. Islam is being used by the right in the US as the midterm elections approach to frighten  voters into line.

“The opposition to Park51 is mostly based on ignorance fueled by cynical politicians,” says Tony Karon in UAE Newspaper The National. But it’s only the tip of “a nasty wave of Islamophobia” that’s washed over America in recent years.

I guess that that kind of behavior is not OK for Americans but not for Indonesian Muslims

“Historically, sociologically, and demographically, Bekasi cannot be separated from Islam, with the cleric K.H. Noer Ali as one of the founders and developers of the city,” Adang told Hidayatullah.com. “Because of this, we reject the church.”

H.M. Dahlan, coordinator of United Muslim Action of Bekasi, also expressed fear that the church would become a center of Christianization in Bekasi.

“Bekasi Muslims reject the presence of this church,” Dahlan said in a letter that he has circulated among mosques in the Bekasi area. In it he states that plans for the Mother Teresa church would make it the largest church building in southeast Asia. The letter has reportedly generated much unrest among area residents.

OH so its where the Church is being built that’s the problem.  Why does that sound familiar?

At a recent press conference, Dahlan said Unified Muslim Action of Bekasi, along with “all Muslims, mosque congregations, leaders of women’s study groups, Quranic schools, and Islamic education foundations have firmly decided to reject the construction of Mother Teresa Catholic Church in Cikarang and request that the Bekasi Regency cancel all [construction] plans.”

The Islamic groups also called on Bekasi officials to clamp down on “illegal churches” meeting in homes and shops and to block “all forms of Christianization” in the area. Local government officials frequently stall Christian applications for building and worship permits, opening the way for Islamic groups to accuse churches of being “illegal.”

The Mother Teresa church applied for a building permit in 2006, but the Bekasi government has not yet acted on the application, said a clergyman from the church identified only as Pangestu. He added that his church has met all requirements of 2006 Joint Ministerial Decrees No. 8 and No. 9, but the permit has still not been granted. The 2006 decrees require at least 60 non-Christian residents to agree to the construction of a church building, and the congregation must have at least 90 members.

So that’s what we should all learn from the religion of peace.  It is OK to protest where a church is being built in the Muslim world, but its not OK to protest where a Mosque is being built in the US.