Fighting for the right to pray. Has the media converted to Islam?
Tens of thousands of Catholics in Poland prayed together on Saturday 8th October along the country’s 2,000 mile border and prayed for salvation an act viewed by some as anti-Muslim.
People have said that if the roles were reversed and Muslims were praying at the border, some claim that these same media outlets would be weeping and moved to tears.”
A devotee takes part in a rosary prayer on the Baltic beach in Gdansk, Poland, Saturday, Oct. 7, 2017. Polish Catholics are holding rosaries and praying together at hundreds of locations along Poland’s 3,500-kilometer (2,000-mile) border, appealing to the Virgin Mary and God for peace in Poland and in the world. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)
Godinterest has learned that more than 300 churches supported the event. The organisers stated that the prayer event marked the centenary of the apparitions of Fatima, when three shepherd children in Portugal said the Virgin Mary appeared to them. People take part in a mass rosary prayer, asked God ‘to save Poland and the world’ from the the dangers facing them.
But, the news agency reported, the event also commemorated a large battle in the 16th century, which organizers said saved Europe from Islamization (also spelled Islamisation, in Arabic: أسلمة aslamah), a process of a society’s shift towards Islam, such as found in Sudan, Pakistan, Iran, Malaysia, or Algeria. Fears of Islam were echoed by those in attendance.
“Islam wants to destroy Europe,” Halina Kotarska, 65, told the associated press as she prayed and clutched a rosary. They want to turn us away from Christianity.”
Critics of the event said praying along the border could be seen as celebrating the country’s refusal to accept Muslim migrants, according to the BBC.
Rafal Pankowski, an expert on xenophobia and extremism told the BBC the prayers seemed like a way to express Islamophobia.
“The whole concept of doing it on the borders reinforces the ethno-religious, xenophobic model of national identity,” Pankowski told the news organization.
But organizers say they chose the border because it symbolized wanting to “encompass the world with prayer,” the BBC reported. Nearly 90 percent of the country is Catholic.
“It’s a really serious thing for us,” said Basia Sibinska, who traveled with her daughter Kasia from Kalisz in central Poland. “Rosaries to the border means that we want to pray for our country. That was a main motive for us to come here. We want to pray for peace, we want to pray for our safety. Of course, everyone comes here with a different motivation. But the most important thing is to create something like a circle of a prayer alongside the entire border, intense and passionate.”