Hugh Fitzgerald: The Fire at Notre-Dame and Muslim Schadenfreude (Part One)

Thursday, April 18, 2019
By Paul Martin

APR 18, 2019

Before the devastating fire at Notre-Dame broke out, there had been two months of attacks on French churches all around France, very few of which were reported on in the media outside France, and some of which hardly received sufficient coverage inside the country. There was a fire set at St. Sulpice, the second-largest church in Paris, which sits in the Muslim-majority neighborhood of Seine Saint-Denis, surrounded by mosques and Muslim shops. At the church of Villeneuve de Berg in Ardèche, Muslim teenagers urinated into the holy water font to express their contempt for Christianity. In another church, Muslims fashioned a cross of human excrement smeared on a church wall, with stolen Communion hosts stuck at the four corners. Some may be reminded of Oriana Fallaci’s enraged report on Muslim immigrants in Florence who, to express their dissatisfaction at not being given the treatment they felt was their due, urinated (and some defecated) on the bronze doors of the Baptistery, both the north and east doors by Lorenzo Ghiberti, and the south doors by Andrea Pisano; these doors are one of the supreme works of Renaissance art. On seeing Ghiberti’s doors, Michelangelo called them the “Gates of Paradise.” These were the doors streaming with urine, and smeared with feces, by Muslim migrants showing their contempt for the Unbelievers who, after all, had given them refuge but apparently, that was not enough.

In 2018, there were 1,063 attacks on Christian churches or symbols (crucifixes, icons, statues) in France, a 17% rise over the year before. All over France, acts of vandalism of churches have been registered in ever-increasing numbers. In recent months, crucifixes have been pulled off church walls and broken into pieces. Statues of Jesus, Mary, and various saints have been smashed; many have been decapitated. The monastery of Saint Jean des Blames in Aveyron was sacked by Muslims. The Paris daily Le Figaro, in reporting on some of these incidents, asked “Who has heard of the sacking of the monastery of Saint Jean des Balmes in Aveyron? Of those teenagers who urinated into the holy water font of the church at Villeneuve de Berg in Ardèche?” RT states that “the Church of St. Sulpice in Paris, where the Da Vinci Code movie was filmed, was set on fire just after midday mass on Sunday, Le Parisien reports. Firefighters and police said the blaze was an arson attack. In February, a 19th century statue of the Virgin Mary was smashed at the St. Nicholas Catholic Church in Houilles. The statue was ‘completely pulverized,’ Father Francois-Laurent Heart said. “It is irreparable.” The church reported three incidents in 10 days, with a cross also thrown on the floor by vandals. At Saint-Alain Cathedral in Lavaur, statues and crosses were smashed and an altar cloth was burned in February. A statue of Christ on a cross was also interfered with, as vandals twisted one of the arms to make it appear that Jesus was dabbing, La Depeche reports….Meanwhile, the Notre-Dame des Enfants church in Nimes was looted and vandals used human excrement to draw a cross on the wall in February. Consecrated hosts of unleavened bread, which Catholics believe is the body of Jesus Christ, were found scattered outside with rubbish.” These and numerous other attacks on French churches receive minimal, if any, media coverage.

The alacrity with which the country has rallied to the repair of Notre-Dame is admirable, but what should and could be done about of the other, deliberate destruction — about three attacks every day — on churches all over France? None of these churches are world-famous like Notre-Dame, but many are venerable works of art and architecture, with statues, crucifixes, baptismal fonts, altars, elaborately carved pews, some with organs or stained-glass windows; none, of course, deserve to be assaulted, vandalized, destroyed. What would it take to prevent or hinder such Muslim attacks? CCTV cameras inside and outside the churches, alarms connected from the churches to the local police stations, and armed security guards would certainly help protect such sites. As the sums pledged to restore Notre-Dame have gone far beyond $1 billion, surely the French government can contribute a few tens of millions of dollars to protect that part of the artistic patrimony of the nation that is to be found in its churches.

The massive fire that destroyed much of the internal wooden structure of Notre-Dame de Paris appears to have been the result of an accident, not Muslim malevolence. But the reaction of a disturbing number of French Muslims needs to be recorded. It was to be expected that the Islamic State — which called the fire Allah’s revenge for the mocking words about Mecca that apparently appeared in the French press a week before the Notre-Dame fire — would express its pleasure. But the anti-French, anti-white, anti-Christian sentiments expressed by many Muslims, their indifference to, or even hatred of, the history of France — still startles.

The Rest…HERE

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