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Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Is Assad Worse Than The Alternatives?

While Western leaders were fretting over films and cartoons depicting Muhammad without giving a thought to the killing of many Christians for their faith around the world and especially in Muslim countries, this is what was happening in Egypt.
In events being ignored not only by the Egyptian authorities, but also by the mainstream media and human rights organizations in the West, Muslim terrorists have in recent weeks attacked Christian families and forced them out of their homes and businesses in the Sinai town of Rafah. The terrorists have threatened to pursue their jihad against Christians until all of them leave the Sinai.

This, just one of the many attacks, is the new reality for Christians living in the "liberated" areas of the Middle East after the "Arab Spring".

The persecution of Christians in the Islamic world, ignored by the mainstream media, is habitual, almost chronic and is escalating towards reaching epidemic proportions.

As well documented by the scholar and thinker Raymond Ibrahim at raymondibrahim.com and other sources like persecution.org, barnabasfund.org and aina.org, this persecution takes several forms, ranging from the most violent to the "merely" humiliating: sexual abuse of Christian women; attacks against churches, crosses and other symbols of Christianity; apostasy and blasphemy laws punishing with death those who leave or "offend" Islam; forced conversions to Islam; theft and pillage in place of jizya, the tax imposed on non-Muslims; general treatment of Christians as subjugated and intimidated dhimmis, "tolerated", second-class citizens; physical aggression and murder.

These persecutions derive either from the application of Islamic Sharia law or from the Islamic supremacist ideology.

According to the organization International Christian Concern, an estimated 200 million Christians suffer some kind of persecution worldwide.

The problem has been worsened by the Middle East uprisings which began a year ago. Many thought that the "Arab Spring", led by young, Western-educated people using Facebook and Twitter on their mobile phones, would bring democracy, moderation and reform, stop human rights violations, protect the rights of women and religious minorities, lead to the cessation of terrorism and extremist views.

As authors and commentators with an in-depth knowledge of Islam had predicted in early 2011, far from getting better things have got worse in practically all the above areas. They predicted that Islamists, being the only organized opposition with sufficient money and resources, would replace the dictators who had, at least, one positive characteristic: they were secularists who protected the minorities and guaranteed a certain degree of peace among the various sects, tribes or other divisions in the populations they governed.

In Egypt, Tunisia, Yemen and Libya, a survey by Abu Dhabi's Gallup Polls found that people feel less safe now than before the revolts took place.

In all those countries Muslim fundamentalists have now more power than they had before. Now Syria is on the same route.

We can already see what lies ahead when we know that in Syria on February 26, for the first time in Syria's modern history, an armed attack has been made on a Catholic monastery: 30 armed and masked jihadis attacked it demanding money.

The Syrian Christian community has suffered a series of brutal murders and kidnappings, with hundreds of Christians killed so far since the anti-government protests started.

A report from the Barnabas Fund charity says that "children were being especially targeted by the kidnappers, who, if they do not receive the ransom demanded, kill the victim." In one tragic case, "a young Christian boy was killed by the rebels, who filmed the murder and then claimed that government forces had committed the act." A kidnapped man "was found hanged with numerous injuries", another "was cut into pieces and thrown in a river".

As Raymond Ibrahim describes, "Christian minorities, who, as 10% of the Syrian population, have the most to gain from a secular government and the most to suffer from a state run by Islamic Sharia law, have no choice but to prefer Assad. ...prefer the devil they know to the ancient demon their forefathers knew."

And another report from the Barnabas Fund says: "Christians have mostly stayed away from the protests in Syria, having been well treated and afforded a considerable amount of religious freedom under President Assad's regime. ...Should Assad fall, it is feared that Syria could go the way of Iraq, post-Saddam Hussein. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence. Many of them went to Syria."

This does not mean that all Syrian rebels are Islamists: some are and some are not. But, in conclusion, Islamists are the only ones capable of filling the power vacuum after the toppling of Assad as the only organized opposition and in the meantime, in the chaos created by the unrest, they are the ones who are allowed free reign in their anti-Christian feeling and its expressions in the form of kidnapping, ransoming, pillaging and killing people they consider their enemies and inferiors, the "infidel" Christians.

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