Back in 2015, I watched a 1-minute video clip of Muslims connected to the Islamic State (ISIS) breaking crosses inside and from atop churches on Arabic social media, where the video had for some days been going viral.
Surprised that no one in the West seemed to know about this video, I (in retrospect, naïvely) uploaded it onto YouTube. My logic was to bring Western peoples up to speed with Muslims — to show them the same thing Muslims around the world were seeing.
YouTube's reaction was swift and terrible: deemed "inappropriate," the video was taken down and my YouTube account temporarily suspended.
The video shows Muslims doing what Muslims have been doing from the dawn of Islam to the present moment: breaking the cross, in keeping with their prophet Muhammad's command. In this case, and according to the caption provided by ISIS on the video, Muslims were "purifying" the ancient Christian region of Nineveh, Syria, of its "symbols of polytheism," which included not just the crucifix, but Christian icons and statues, all of which the jihadists smashed.
Such behavior is immensely commonplace — hardly a few days go by without some cross throwing some Muslims somewhere into a fit of rage — that one wonders what YouTube was thinking. After all, since it took that video down, there have been countless more videos and pictures of Muslims around the world destroying crosses and churches.
Indeed, just a few weeks ago in Pakistan, thousands of Muslims rioted after some Christians were accused — as usual, falsely — of desecrating a Koran. The rampaging Muslims set 25 churches aflame and desecrated at least one Christian cemetery. Discussing this savagery, the Rev. Deacon Daud Irshad observed:
I saw with tears in my eyes how the mob desecrated crosses on the roofs of the churches and in graveyards and ruined church buildings. They burnt so many Bibles and altars[.]
Videos of these "everyday" Pakistanis breaking the cross (which, interestingly, are allowed to be on YouTube, here and here) are reminiscent of the "terrorist" behavior of ISIS ("who have nothing to do with Islam").
While one can point to many other recent examples of Muslims attacking churches and destroying crosses all around the Islamic world, it is enough to note that the same exact savagery has become commonplace even in the West, where churches and crosses are routinely attacked by Muslims. For numerous examples stretching back to 2011, see my monthly "Muslim Persecution of Christians" reports, or simply read this article.
At any rate, if you wish to know what millions of Muslims around the world feel toward the cross of Christ — at least those Muslims who take their prophet's commandment to "break the cross" seriously — view the 1-minute video ISIS made.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.