After emigrating from Iraq to St. Louis, Missouri, Alaa Alsaegh converted from Islam to Christianity. As a Christian, he has learned compassion for the Jewish people and the persecution they have endured over the years. In early August, the Iraqi born poet published his latest work, Tears at the Heart of the Holocaust, on the Arabs for Israel website.
Arabs for Israel is a website operated by Muslims and Arabs that believe in peace and that it is possible for both the states of Israel and Palestine to coexist. The website also promotes a peaceful coexistence of Israel and the Muslim world that surrounds it.
A week after Alsaegh’s poem appeared on the website, he was attacked, stabbed and scarred for life. Two cars forced his car to stop along the road. A couple of men attacked him in his car by stabbing him and then forcing him forward against the steering wheel, they ripped his shirt off and then took their knife and carved a large Star of David in his back. As they cut into his back, they were laughing as they recited his poem and then told Alsaegh not to publish any more poems.
Alsaegh told police that he believed the attackers to be Somali Muslims. The FBI is investigating the attack but as yet have no suspects. Surprisingly, neither the police nor the FBI have labeled the attack on Alsaegh as a hate crime.
I have to wonder why nearly a month later this has still not been labeled as a hate crime. Had the roles been reversed and a star and crescent been carved in the back of a Muslim poet, how long would it have taken authorities to label it as a hate crime?
One can’t help but wonder if this is another example of the growing acceptance of Christian persecution in our nation. It’s okay to slander, belittle, blaspheme and persecute Christians, but not other religions, ethnic groups or sexual preferences.