Before You Go To Church Today Read This
Here’s a simply devastating essay written by a friend of mine back in London. Douglas Davis was the London correspondent and a senior editor for the Jerusalem Post. His clear summary of what has happened and continues to happen to Christians in the Muslim Middle East is devastating.
What happened? Islam looked around and noticed it had killed or driven out just about every Jew: they’re nearly all in Israel living non Dhimmi lives with a big army to ensure it stays that way. So who’s next?
“I have been ordered to fight all men until they believe there is no God but Allah” – dying words of Mohammad.
As I might say to today’s “pro Palestinian whiners”: they came for the Jews (who fled to Israel) and we ignored the Jewish refugees. They drove out the Arab Christian “brothers” and we appeased them. They came to London and now I’m a Dhimmi.
For our Christian readers: print out a few copies and take them to your Church today. Perhaps give one to the minister. This is the tragedy of the “Arab Spring” and not Israel defending itself from cycling Dutch provocateurs.
If the test of the Arab Spring was its treatment of minorities, it has failed. Hopes that the region was poised to make the transition to liberal democracy have proved to be premature, trampled under the boots of the ethno-religious cleansers. The old-style corrupt despots have metastasised into even older-style Islamist xenophobes. The Arab world, already judenrein, now seems determined to slough off its Christian minority.
A few weeks ago, Sheikh Abdul Aziz bin Amdullah, Grand Mufti of Saudi Arabia, responded to a question posed by a visiting Kuwaiti delegation. Would sharia permit churches to exist in their emirate? The sheikh’s response was categorical. Kuwait is part of the Arabian Peninsula, he said, and ‘therefore it is necessary to destroy all the churches of the region’.
The Sheikh based his ruling on a Hadith which recorded the Prophet’s deathbed declaration that, ‘There are not to be two religions in the Peninsula’, a command that has been interpreted to mean that only Islam may be practised in the region.
Take Iraq, whose liberty was won at the cost of thousands of soldiers from the Christian West. When the Americans invaded in 2003, about 1.4 million Christian Arabs called Iraq their home. Since then, some 70 churches have been burned and about 1,000 Christians killed in Baghdad alone. Three quarters of the community have fled, leading the Catholic Archbishop of Baghdad, the Revd Jean Benjamin Sleiman, to lament ‘the extinction of Christianity in Iraq and the Middle East’.
Across the border, a war-within-a-war is raging in Syria. While Homs has been besieged by the army of Bashar al-Assad over the past two months, Islamist fanatics from the ranks of the rebels found time to root out the city’s 50,000 Christians and force them to flee. The Christians of Homs, having abandoned their homes and their belongings, are now sheltering in mountain villages about 30 miles from the city. They are unlikely to return.
Under cover of the febrile Arab Spring, there appears to be a concerted campaign to cleanse the region of its Christians, once a driving force of its economic, cultural and social life. No one has proposed a strategy for saving them or ameliorating their plight. But it would be tawdry — tragic, even — if western governments chose to acquiesce in this persecution and sacrifice the Christians on the altar of good relations with the Islamists.
I once asked the Israel correspondent of the Times why he devoted so much space to Israel’s misdeeds and so little to those of the Palestinians. His response was succinct: ‘We expect more of Israel.’
There is a problem with that answer. To hold Arabs to an inferior standard, overlooking cruel excesses against a particular section of their own population and turning a blind eye to the antics of the UN Human Rights Council, carries the unpleasant whiff of racism.