The renowned Coptic Christian priest Father Zakaria Botros was scheduled to speak in Vienna tonight, but the atmosphere created by Muslim threats was such the event had to be cancelled.
Below is the press release sent out by the Wiener Akademikerbund concerning this unfortunate turn of events. Many thanks to JLH for the translation:
Concerning: Cancellation of Presentation by Pater Zakaria
Last week, with the greatest joy and in expectation of a courageous confrontation of the problems surrounding Islam, the promises of multiculturalism and diversity as well as the erosion of our value system, we invited you to a lecture/presentation with the Coptic scholar. Islam researcher and charismatic Christian missionary, Father Zakaria Botros.
After meticulous preparation and with Father Zakaria anticipating his first public appearance in Europe, it is with a heavy heart that we must cancel the event, which was scheduled for Thursday, May 6, 2010 at 7:00 PM.
For reasons of numerous Islamic threats of violence and intolerable pressure upon our oriental Christian friends, insistence upon holding the event would be not only risky, but absolutely irresponsible.
We are saddened to discover that — in an allegedly free country such as Austria, and despite precautions taken by the authorities in a serious and professional manner — it is no longer possible to pursue critical clarity and tell the truth.
– – – – – – – – –
Father Zakaria is surely the highest-ranking and most profound critic of Islam. He does not merely reveal the theological and philosophical errors of Islam. For years, he has generously and successfully spread the spiritual offer of the joyous message of Jesus Christ among his beloved Muslim brethren.
We were aware that rejection of the false path of the “interreligious equality mania” is presently not considered “politically correct.” However, we hoped that an honest debate about truth in all possible forms of expression would be possible without violence, even in a time of relativistic destruction in the Republic of Austria.
Despite the disappointment, Father Zakaria’s heart is in Austria. His and our efforts toward a lasting order which rest upon the bases of peace, brotherly love, rule of law and prosperity must not die.
We regret any inconvenience this cancellation may cause you, and apologize for it.
Citizens’ Movement Pax Europa
Community of Oriental Christians