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Turkey: Many Celebrate the Burning of the Cathedral of Notre Dame

​By Uzay Bulut 


Whatever the final investigation reveals, many extremist Muslims in Turkey were equally swift in their celebration of the fire that has demolished large parts of the historic structure.   The official Facebook page of the pro-government daily, Sabah, for example, is filled with praise for the destruction of the cathedral.   Reader comments included:

"While it was burning, I prayed to God, saying, 'Burn it even more, oh God, curse and ruin it.' You wonder why? One feels like rejoicing over the burning of the colonialist, brutal France, which shed the blood of about 1.5 million Muslims and then 1 million additional Muslims; which beheaded them and exhibited their heads at museums; and which falsely accuses Turkey of massacring Armenians.... What can one even say to France that mocks our prophet and wants to change the verses in the Koran?"  
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France’s Other Burning Churches

​By Nina Shea (Nina Shea is a Board Member of TAS) 


COMMENTARY: The country needs to identify the circumstances and motives behind the attacks and take decisive action.

On Easter Sunday in France, a fire originating in a Notre Dame confessional received little attention. That Notre Dame was not the great cathedral in Paris, but an ordinary church in Tarascon, near Marseille. In February, Notre Dame of Dijon was vandalized, with Hosts scattered about. At Notre Dame Church in Nimes, a cross was recently drawn on the wall using excrement and consecrated Communion Hosts. Notre Dame of France Catholic bookstore was vandalized last September. None of the attacks on these other Notre Dames drew much notice, either.

The flames that ravaged Paris’ Notre Dame riveted the world because it is a legendary, architectural masterpiece at the center of France’s capital and much of its political history. For those who track religious-freedom threats, the fire itself may be less of a surprise than that it apparently was started by accident.

Hundreds of other French churches are being quietly burned or damaged — in deliberate attacks.  
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