Thursday, November 18, 2010

"The Left's delusion over Islam is baffling to Middle Eastern Christians"

h/t to Byzantine Texas for this.

Ed West has a great piece in The Telegraph, here, regarding the European Left's steadfast denial of the on-going extermination of Middle Eastern Christians--in Iraq today, perhaps Egypt tomorrow. He points to a recent article in The Guardian as a prime example of the attitude. A few gems from their article amply prove West's point:

One article in Foreign Policy went so far as to suggest the church attack might spell “the end of Christianity in the Middle East” altogether. Yet such generalisations play into the hands of radicals wanting to perpetuate the clash-of-civilisations myth. Though anti-Christian feeling may be rising on the extreme radical fringe of some Arab societies such as Iraq, this should not obscure the harmony that has long been a characteristic of other parts of the Arab world.

In fact, large parts of the Arab world remain tolerant and display deep inter-communal harmony. The fact that most of Iraq’s displaced Christians have fled not to the west but to other Arab states, notably Syria and Jordan, seems to illustrate this.

However, the Arab world in general remains a place where Christians and Muslims have lived side by side for centuries, and look certain to continue doing so. Perhaps we should be celebrating this fact rather than exaggerating the extent to which the whole region is suddenly becoming anti-Christian.

To this rot, West drolly observes--"Yes, cynical old British media. There we are focusing on the one unfortunate incident where dozens of people happened to be slaughtered in a church, when we could have focused on literally dozens of Iraqi churches where no one was murdered by Islamists that weekend."

West articulates a number of points that need to be said, again and again.

Christians in Jordan and Syria are protected. But despite the Left’s “myth of the myth” of the clash of civilisations, the simple fact is that almost nowhere in the Islamic world are Christians free in the same way Muslims are free in Europe.

Deniers of this essential truth usually fall back on historical arguments about Islam’s famed tolerance, but this is deceptive. During the high middle ages, the Islamic world was far more tolerant than Christendom, but it couldn’t be otherwise. North of the Alps Europe was 95-99 per cent Christian, so minorities faced persecution; the “Muslim world” had enormous Christian minorities throughout this period and in some cases majorities, and this goes for modern-day Iraq, Syria, Egypt (probably majority Christian until the 18th century), Lebanon and Palestine. That they slowly became Islamic was largely down to two facts of life which make a mockery of the tolerance myth: Muslims could not generally become Christians, and Christians had to pay a special tax, and so the class of people who subsidised the rest of the population gradually shrank over generations...

In the West...Muslims practice their religion in freedom, and maintain thousands of mosques. Moreover, they are free to spread their religion, and openly celebrate each new convert. In contrast, Christians in the Muslim world are arrested for allegedly trying to spread Christianity, and a Muslim who converts to Christianity may face the death penalty.

Even Arab Muslims do not believe the Left’s shtick about Islamic tolerance.

Despite such articles as the one in The Guardian, there are some signs that the crisis is beginning to register in the minds of British citizens. Not so in this country, we are too busy keeping up with who was eliminated from Dancing with the Stars.

And in a parallel universe, a bit closer to home, the Bush gang was gathered together again at the groundbreaking of the Bush Library in Dallas. In remarks at the ceremony, he who made possible the current bloodbath in Iraq--former Vice President Cheney--remarked that "history is beginning to come around." Lord, have mercy on us all.

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