Ayaan Hirsi Ali, writing for Newsweek, thinks that the intolerance exhibited in the Western world toward Muslims and their communities pales in comparison to the brutally violent abuse that Christians are often faced with in Muslim-majority countries, and requires a recasting of priorities:
Yes, Western governments should protect Muslim minorities from intolerance. And of course we should ensure that they can worship, live, and work freely and without fear. It is the protection of the freedom of conscience and speech that distinguishes free societies from unfree ones. But we also need to keep perspective about the scale and severity of intolerance. Cartoons, films, and writings are one thing; knives, guns, and grenades are something else entirely.
Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institutes Center for Religious Freedom acknowledged in an interview with Newsweek that Christian minorities in Muslim-majority countries have indeed lost the protection of their societies. The Christian Post reports that the number of violent incidents committed against religious minorities has increased from 198 to 276 (nearly 40 percent) between 2010 and 2011, and since Christianity is the largest minority, its safe to say that a good number of these were killed because of their faith in Christ.
It is true that so-called Islamaphobia persists (on both the left and the right), but a balanced assessment of real events, including the general silence of the media on these violent expressions of religious intolerance, makes one wonder why our concern over the atrocities committed in Africa and the Middle-East is usually rather mild. Christophobia?