If you got your news only from “60 Minutes,” you’d think Israel was out to make the lives of Christians miserable. The reality is quite different.
This story about Ugandan pastor and terrorism victim Umar Mulinde speaks volumes about Israel’s values and the real threat to Christians (it isn’t the Jewish state, by a long shot). Mulinde converted to Christianity in Uganda (which is majority Christian, but deemed to be Muslim country under Idi Amin):
On Christmas night 2011, a terrorist made his way through the holiday crowds, and while shouting “Allahu Akbar!” three times, threw acid at Mulinde’s face, chest and arm. The young pastor turned his head just in time to avoid being hit directly in the face; his right side bore the brunt of the injury. He was rushed to the hospital, but it was soon evident that the medical treatment in Uganda for such severe burns was inadequate. He called friends in Israel, and they quickly transported him to Sheba Medical Center in Tel Hashomer . . . .
Although only around 12% of Uganda’s population is Muslim, Islamist activists are increasingly trying to enact Shari’a law there. Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad visited in 2010 seeking to install Iranian oil refineries in the country. Mulinde and colleagues wrote letters to Uganda’s ministers of external and internal affairs, opposing Shari’a and declaring that the state government had to make a choice between Iran and Israel – and that Israel was, by far, the best option. A similar letter went out to President Yoweri Museveni. Mulinde also organized quiet street demonstrations. . . .
He believes that his public activities against enforcing the Shari’a as a national law are among the reasons for the attack against him. “We stood and we fought against the main principle. We chose to do that because it was the right thing to do.”
Needless to say, Mulinde has a different take on the “Muslim World,” as our president describes it, and Israel than he did before his conversion:
During his visit [ to Israel], he saw that hotel workers were Arabs, living in safety and going about their business. He saw with his own eyes that Israel was a democracy, “and that this is a country of peace. I loved the nation and the people.” . . .
“I want to thank the Israelis for being lovers of peace and for being considerate of other nations,” he replies. “But I also want to encourage them not to give their land away for peace. You gave away Gaza, and you are receiving missiles in return. If you give east Jerusalem, they will take the western part of the city, too, until they also take Tel Aviv.”
In his view, the conflict is rooted in the Arabs’ unwillingness to live side-by-side with Israel.
“People in America must learn more about Islam,” he continues. “Compromising with Islam will not solve a thing. It will just destroy the whole world.”
Of course, Mulinde’s views are skewed by personal experience (as is true for all human beings), but his views, I am quite confident, are much closer to those of Christians both in Israel and in the United States than the views the anti-Israel propagandists presented on “60 Minutes.” At the very least, an unbiased and informative segment on Israel’s treatment of Christians would have included some reference to Israel’s willingness to provide care and sanctuary for Christians threatened by Islamic terrorism, no? Well, don’t hold your breath waiting for Bob Simon to interview Mulinde or anyone who shares his views.