Islam, Terrorism, Christianity, and Self-Defence

Thoughts on the attack on Bishop Emmanuel:

OK, a mouthful of a title, but you know where I am heading with this. Just two days after the horrific stabbing attack at Bondi Junction in Sydney’s east leaving 6 people dead and a number injured, another stabbing attack occurred in the west of Sydney last night. Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel is now in hospital recovering from this repulsive attack. Islam it seems was indeed involved. The story by now is quite well-known, but one media report puts it this way:

A Western Sydney church stabbing allegedly by a teenage boy that left a Christian priest and bishop injured has been classified as a “terrorist attack” by police. Assyrian church leader Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel was allegedly set upon by a 16-year-old boy armed with a knife on Monday just after 7pm as he delivered his sermon at Christ The Good Shepherd Church in the suburb of Wakeley, near Fairfield.


NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb told reporters on Tuesday morning the teen allegedly turned up at the church armed with a “possibly a flick knife” and allegedly stabbed the priest and bishop who have since undergone surgery for deep cuts.


“We’ll allege there’s a degree of premeditation on the basis this person has travelled to that location, which is not near his residential address, he has travelled with a knife, and subsequently the bishop and the priest have been stabbed,” she said. Investigators believe at this stage the boy acted alone. NSW Police Commissioner Karen Webb on Tuesday morning said after “consideration of all the material” of evidence she had to declared it a “terrorist incident”.

It is said that the boy was upset, believing the Bishop insulted ‘the Prophet’ – Muhammad. It is also reported that he yelled Allahu Akbar as he attacked the Wakeley Bishop. More details will be forthcoming on all this, but it is a huge concern that radicalised teens are involved in jihad attacks like this.

While it is still early on, and more information is needed, a number of things can be said at this point. Let me offer five brief points to consider.

A popular Bishop

First, this Assyrian Bishop was very popular and greatly loved by many. He has a very large YouTube and social media following, and the fact that hundreds if not thousands of people converged on the scene just after the attack shows how very much loved and respected he is.

One can find many of his sermons online. In one he almost prophetically said that when we are attacked for being Christians, we should rejoice. He said this:

You know, when you get attacked, I know its ugly, I know sometimes it is unbearable, but in a way you need to thank God. You know why? Because if you are getting attacked, that means Christ is really very close with you, in you, and walking along with you. That’s why you are getting on Satan’s nerve. Satan will not attack someone who is lost. Satan will only attack those whom Christ is dwelling in them with mightiness. So when you are getting attacked so heavily, thank the Lord, because it is a very, very clear sign that Jesus is with you. That is why you are making Satan eat Indian hot pepper. So thank the Lord…

A short video of him speaking on persecution and martyrdom can be found here:

And he is no woke Bishop either. Jesus is always at the forefront of his preaching, and he faithfully puts the gospel message in all his talks. Moreover, he was one of the few Christian leaders to strongly resist the lockdown madness and medical tyranny of the Covid years. He was and is a real champion.

A forgiving Bishop

It was said by one political leader on Sky News last night that when congregants subdued the attacker and rescued the Bishop, he got up, and despite his many stab wounds, laid his hands on the attacker, and prayed for him. And on the church website we read about how the Bishop is doing in hospital (“in a stable condition”), and how he is asking people to “pray for the perpetrator.” That is real Christian forgiveness and love in action.

And see this 7-minute clip of him speaking about being in Israel and Gaza and his love for the Muslim people:   

Terrorism and religion

I have numerous articles on this site documenting how terror in the name of Allah is part and parcel of Islamic belief, teaching, and practice. It is enjoined and promoted by Muhammad, by the Hadith and by the Sira. As I and others have so often said now, if a Christian kills unbelievers in the name of Christ, he clearly goes against the example and words of Christ and the teachings of the New Testament.

If a Muslim kills infidels in the name of Allah, he has the example of Muhammad to go by, and the clear injunctions of the Koran. The two religions could not be more different in this regard. While most Western Muslims may not approve of what this teenager did last night, that simply means they do not take seriously the teachings and practices of Islam. They would be nominal Muslims in this respect.

See more on this here:

And here:

The right to self-defence

I have made the case elsewhere as to why Christians – and all people – should have the right to protect themselves and their loved ones from acts of aggression like this. While a minority of Christians adopt a pacifist position, most know that there is a place for the use of force, and that includes the right to self-defence. But see that case being made here:

With these recent attacks, one wonders if some proper form of self-defence for ordinary citizens is needed. Even something like pepper spray for protection could be of help, but that is illegal in most Australian states. Unless we start banning knives as we have firearms, it seems we are going to see more of these sorts of attacks. And we know that gun or knife control laws simply leave the innocent defenceless, with criminals ignoring such laws.

A further point to make is this: I for one was quite impressed with how the members of the congregation rushed to rescue the Bishop and subdue the attacker. They did this within seconds after the attack commenced. I asked on the social media if such a response would be forthcoming in many of our rather weak evangelical churches in the West today.

With so much woke teaching found in so many churches, with such an anaemic gospel being presented, with so much emphasis placed on tolerance and compassion (wrongly understood), and with so many evangelicals buying into the belief that we must stamp out ‘toxic masculinity,’ I wonder how many would have rushed to the aid of their own leader in such a brave fashion had an attack taken place there. Just wondering.

Of course on a more cynical level, one could ask if some of these believers would first hold a meeting to deliberate on the issue, or perhaps just start a prayer meeting. Don’t get me wrong: we should always pray. But in some instances immediate action is what is required. If you saw your small children being assaulted by a group of thugs, you would not sit around and ‘pray about it’ – you would act to protect them.


Be that as it may, there is one thing that all believers should agree on. And that is to do the very thing this brave Bishop has done: pray for those who persecute us. To pray for those who attack us does NOT mean we cannot also take steps to defend innocent life against violent assault. Both can and should be done.

And obviously please keep Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel in your prayers. Pray for a full and speedy recovery. And pray for those in his church and those who follow him online. Sadly some, caught up in the heat of the moment last night, turned on the police, pelting police cars, and so on. That was clearly unnecessary.

But after the Bondi knife attack, everyone in Sydney is clearly on edge. So please pray for the people of Sydney and NSW as well. They are going through some tough times right now. And clearly Satan is having a field day there at the moment, so we need to intercede and engage in some fervent spiritual prayers against the attacks of the enemy.

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13 Replies to “Islam, Terrorism, Christianity, and Self-Defence”

  1. Great article, Bill. Bishop Emanuel is, as you say of so many, a real champ. I have listened to him from time to time when someone shares a YouTube video. He is always warm, strong and uplifting, and he challenges us to live our faith.

    I was thinking about those that reacted with anger – even against the police. I related it to Peter when he reacted in angry defense when Jesus was attacked in the garden on the night he was betrayed. Sometimes our anger is not so righteous as we might think at the time, but this kind of anger is also a natural response. It is especially true when one we love is attacked. I wonder how of these were watching from home on YouTube.?

    Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel has stood tall against wrong doing, wrong policy and wrongheadedness in our community – the community of Australia if you will.

    Thanks again.

  2. Hi Bill,

    I predict that the official cowardly reaction to last night’s stabbing assault on Bishop Mar Mari Emmanuel will be as follows:

    1) The assailant will not be charged with committing a hate crime.

    2) The Australian public will be reassured that the assailant “acted alone and we may never know his motive”.

    3) The police will warn the public against “overreacting” to the attempted murder and sternly lecture them on what it deems to be the far greater evil of Islamophobia.

  3. Thanks for the article Bill. Your speedy, comprehensive research, and quick summary production, is a marvel to behold.

    Often nowadays, people are very reticent to even begin to discuss Islam and Christianity. Our freedom is known, however, in the very free expression of ideas, and not in the suppression of them. So thanks Bill, for writing, once again.

    As a helpful introduction to the discussion of Islam, I occasionally refer people to the helpful writings of an Australian friend, Geoff Bingham, who worked as a missionary in Pakistan for 10 years, during which time he helped establish a Bible college there.


    Also part 2 of the topic – see the link on that article.

  4. Thank you for a solid article Bill.
    Praying for this wonderful Bishop and the priest.

  5. It’s terrible what happened to Mar Mari Emmanuel. I’m a follower and supporter of his. I love his preaching. The good thing is that he is ok. I have prayed for him and I will continue to pray for him and I will pray for him to have a full recovery.

  6. Thanks Bill,
    I had already timed the response and the helpers were there in three seconds.
    As we saw in the Bondi attack, one young man with a bollard was enough to stop the attacker in his tracks. Had he thrown the bollard, he may well have disarmed him.
    A gun toting attacker is different, as he can shoot from a distance, but if multiple defenders throw something, they can surely spoil his aim. Without a plan, even the bravest person may retreat, but with a simple plan like the above, he or they can turn the tables quickly. I make these observations for those readers who may have wondered how they would have handled the situation. The main thing is to think about what to do before it happens. Innocent lives depend on it. I am no braver than anyone else, but with all the shootings etc, I decided to study defence methods. In the case of the church, the attack was over in three to four seconds.

  7. Dear Bill, Thank you for the article. Bishop Emmanuel has been very courageous in his outspokenness on controversial issues such as the covid lockdowns and the blessing of homosexual couples. I have listened to him occasionally and wished we Catholics had more brave leaders like him. There is no wonder he is so well loved. All WE got from our leaders in the main was that the lockdowns were for ‘the greater good’. Most of them allowed the Churches to be closed with absolutely no spiritual support for their congregations. There was NO questioning of the government policy of being forced to have an untested vaccine or lose your job when it is now evident so many young people have died because of the vaccine. Nothing at all about the real motivation behind the whole covid plandemic. For the most part they were pitifully weak apart from a few brave lone voices which was very disappointing.

    I heard a so called Christian leader today saying how well the Churches co operated with the Covid regulations as if he was proud of it so it doesn’t look as if things are about to change.

    As for the police. I certainly don’t agree with the rioting and damaging the police cars was totally unjustified. However, the police did not exactly make themselves loved in WA during the pandemic. Entering Churches during Mass to check on whether people were wearing masks was not necessary and was done because they knew they would get no opposition. Yet I know from experience that when the job seems harder they don’t seem to want to protect the people which is what I thought they were for. I am not including the brave young police officer from Bondi in this judgement. Obviously there are some exceptions. Unfortunately I can’t go into my experience here but it is serious and it is causing me a great deal of stress especially as I lost my husband almost six months ago.

    I will pray of course for Bishop Emmanuel, the priest who was injured and the sixteen year old Muslim who attacked them.

    Thank you again Bill

  8. Love the description “such an anaemic gospel” being preached. Anaemia means the lack of the ability of the blood to carry life giving oxygen. Leviticus 17:14 says (in part) “ the life of every creature is its blood”. The shedding of blood on the cross by Jesus who shed human blood and divine blood, is key to the gospel.
    Eph 1: 7 “In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”
    Human blood carries human life, God blood carries Gods life. Anaemic bloods lacks the ability to carry life – the anaemic gospel lacks the ability to carry divine life- Gods forgiving grace. Many “woke” churches no longer emphasis the importance of the blood in the Christian faith. The celebration of the communion has lost its significance. The anaemic church has lost its spiritual life.

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