Muslims among the illegal immigrants that were fleeing war-torn Libya threw twelve of their fellow passengers overboard — an act that is believed to have resulted in their deaths — because their fellow passengers were Christian. At least fifteen Muslims were being held by Italian police on suspicion of murder.
The Muslims were taken into custody and accused of multiple homicides fueled by religious hatred, according to Italian police.
Police learned of the incident through tearful survivors. During the trip, the Christians fleeing Nigeria and Ghana were threatened by the fifteen Muslims from the Ivory Coast. Eventually, the threat was carried out and the twelve pushed overboard. The Christian survivors of the attack stated they only survived by forming a “human chain” to resist being thrown overboard.
Police statements indicated the motive was that the victims “professed the Christian faith while the aggressors were Muslim.”
The rubber boat was intercepted by an Italian naval vessel. They were transferred to the Panamanian-flagged passenger ship, Ellensborg. That ship docked in Palermo, where the police promptly arrested the fifteen individuals.
Thousands of people attempt to make the dangerous journey from North Africa to the Mediterranean Coast. Many are attempting to flee from religious persecution, war, and poverty from Africa and the Middle East. Last year, 3,200 died trying to make the trip, often because their vessels are poorly equipped for the journey.
We hear of “humanitarian” cries over a boat of ISIS members trying to illegally immigrate into Europe being shot before they could hurt anyone. We hear of the prompting of additional rescue services in the Mediterranean and even of the 10,000 that arrived in Italy this year. Yet, we rarely hear of the violence and tragedy of what is happening to the Christians fleeing these same regions.
Where is the voice for those Christians that are killed by the people they are trying to escape?
It is heartbreaking that these individuals died at the hands of the very religious persecution they were fleeing. Their only crime was not belonging to the “religion of peace” and really wanting a better life for their families.