On the 21st April 2013, fire destroyed the historic Holy Trinity Anglican Church at Dulwich Hill in Sydney. The Church was converted to a youth community centre nearly twenty years ago. In more recent years the community centre has catered for and accommodated troubled local youth, many of them from African Muslim backgrounds.
Party for Freedom The suburb has been rocked by the arson attack. Apparently there were problems at the community centre due to racial, social and even sectarian differences. Some residents of the local community have alleged that the perpetrators or arsonists could be disgruntled Muslim youth.
Reportedly, Muslim youth wanted to use the community centre to hold meetings for an Islamic group. The group in question made demands requesting that Christian symbols be removed from the Church building so the group’s meeting could be held at the centre, but their intolerant request was declined, resulting in the unwarranted arson attack as retaliation.
The iconic building and colourful Priest Father Dave Smith are well known throughout the local community and Sydney for their outreach work to disadvantaged youth. Father Dave has also been heavily involved in interfaith dialogue and also a supporter of Palestinian human rights. (You turn your back on Israel, you get what you deserve. As a Christian leader, don’t you know that?) Father Dave also recently traveled to Syria on a humanitarian mission. Despite Father Dave’s outreach and support for Muslims it seems his kindness and goodwill have gone up in flames.
The Police and local Fire Brigade are now investigating whether the fire was deliberately lit. Father Dave has handed a list of possible suspects to the Police for their continuing enquiry. Father Dave said, “We think it’s probably one of the disgruntled lads in the area”. Father Dave also told the Police, “At the youth centre, our number one priority is to make it a safe place for local kids, and there are people who will compromise that safety. There are some people who just remain volatile and dangerous and you have to exclude them”. The volatile and dangerous multicultural element has reciprocated goodwill and acceptance with hate and arson.
The burning of Churches is synonymous with Islam. Islamists, both Sunni and Shia have been known to target Christian places of worship with arson and bomb attacks in Nigeria, Indonesia, Egypt and Ethiopia. Many of these Churches sustained attacks while religious services were being performed. In Indonesia over 500 churches have burnt by marauding Jihadists, intent on driving out Christians over the past twenty years. It has been reported that volatile terrorizing Islamic arsonists armed with machetes, guns and clubs also attacked any Christian attempting to flee the burning structures.
In Egypt, Coptic Christians face daily persecution and injustice at the hands of radical Salafi Muslim Brotherhood. Under Hosni Mubarak the indigenous Christians of Egypt enjoyed religious freedom and also protection. Hostilities and confrontation between Muslims and Christians have intensified since the Arab Spring. Since Mohammed Morsi won the general election in June 2012, the nation has witnessed a sharp rise in sectarian tension directed at Christians. The burning of Churches has become a regrettable adage to the Muslim Brotherhood forming theocratic government. In May 2011 Muslim mobs attacked two Cairo churches, which left 12 people dead, and over 200 injured.
The Quran is a manifesto littered with hate speech, intolerance and prejudice that calls for violence and intimidation against the non-believer or Kuffar. Acts of violence and hatred are permissible in the name of Allah when directed at non-Muslims. Incendiary verses of the Koran are too many to name. Below are a few Quranic verses inciting hatred, mistrust and aggression towards Jews, Christians and non-believers.
Quran 9:5: “Kill the non-believers where you find them”
Quran 5:51: “Don’t take Jews or Christians for friends. If you do, then Allah will consider you to be one of them”
Quran 9:29: “Fight against Christians and Jews until they pay the tribute readily, being brought low”
Quran 5:72: “Christians will burn in the fire”
The residents of Dulwich Hill and the surrounding areas deserve to know who is responsible for this most heinous and callous crime perpetrated against the peaceful good Samaritans of the Holy Trinity Church.