"Where is the solidarity for the Sri Lanka's Christians?" asked the British scholar Rakib Ehsan, a Muslim.
"The differences in tone and nature between the condemnations of the Christchurch and Sri Lanka terrorist attacks are striking. After Christchurch, there was no hesitation about stating the religious backgrounds of the victims and directing emotion and affection towards Muslim communities. Politicians took no issue with categorising the events in Christchurch as terrorism.
"In contrast, the words 'terrorism' and 'Christianity', along with their associated terms, have so far failed to feature in much of the reaction to the attacks in Sri Lanka.
"What is evident is not only a clear reluctance to specify the religious background of Christians who were killed in Sri Lanka, but also an absence of heartfelt solidarity with Christian communities across the world, which continue to suffer grave forms of persecution on the grounds of their faith."
Rakib Ehsan asked the right question. But it might be rewritten as: Where is the Western solidarity for the Sri Lanka's murdered Christians?
This is a drama in three acts. The first act consists of the Christians and other non-Muslim indigenous peoples being violated and murdered. The second act consists of Muslim extremists who create this genocide. And the third act consists of the indifferent West, which looks everywhere else.
The number of murdered victims in the April 21 Easter Sunday jihadist attacks in Sri Lanka is too terrible even to think about: 253 dead. Among the victims, 45 children were murdered. Their small faces and stories have begun to emerge. The Islamic terrorists knew there were many children in the three churches, and they deliberately targeted them with their bombs. Footage shows one of the bombers patting a young child on the head before he enters the St. Sebastian's Church in Negombo, where "everyone has lost someone".
The silence of the Western intellectual world and the media is particularly deafening. The new humanitarian conscience seems to see only two groups: those who have the right to the compassion and protection of the international community, and those, such as Christians, unworthy of help or solidarity.
The Duke of Cambridge, Prince William, just visited the Muslim survivors of the attack on the mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, including children recovering in the hospitals. It was a gesture of humanity and compassion. Why does the same compassion not spur the British royal family to stop in Sri Lanka, their former colony, to meet the Christian survivors, before going back to England? Entire Christian families were decimated in the attack.
Where is the outrage in the West for the annihilation of Christian life and people? It feels as if there is no indignation, only silence, interrupted by bombs and "Allahu Akbar". The history books of the future will not condone this Western betrayal. If the West had taken seriously the persecutions of Christians, now the bell would not toll for the death of the Christian presence -- not only in historic lands of Christianity, but also for the West. Islamic extremists have seen that the West has not mobilized to prevent them from repressing Christians, as if unconsciously there were a strange convergence between our silence and the ethnic cleansing project of the Islamic State, aimed at erasing Christians.
The British author Melanie Phillips has called this persecution of Christians "our guilty secret."
"Religious liberty, the core value of western civilisation, is being destroyed across large parts of the world. Yet the West, myopically denying this religious war, is averting its gaze from the destruction of its foundational creed in the Middle East and the attempt to eradicate it elsewhere. It is therefore no surprise that, faced with jihadist barbarities abroad and cultural inroads at home, the free world is proving so ineffectual".
The jihadist attack in Sri Lanka was not only "the deadliest attack on Christians in South Asia in recent memory." It was also the largest massacre of Christian children. But no newspaper has launched a campaign to raise awareness of European public opinion, no pro-Christian solidarity movement has arisen, no Western leader appears to have visited a church in solidarity, no Western church leaders had the courage to point out the culprits by calling them by name, no Western mayors hung photographs of the 45 children torn to pieces, no public square was filled in thousands saying "Je suis chrétien".