En poursuivant votre navigation sur ce site, vous acceptez l'utilisation de cookies. Ces derniers assurent le bon fonctionnement de nos services. En savoir plus.

vendredi, 31 décembre 2010

Radical Islam vs. Christianity


Ex: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2010/dec/23/radical-i...

Radical Islam vs. Christianity
The cross is near extinction in the ancient lands of its origin

By Jeffrey T. Kuhner

The Washington Times

Mugshot - An Iraqi policeman stands guard at the scene of a car bomb attack in
front of a Syrian Catholic Church, in Baghdad, Iraq, Monday Nov. 1, 2010.
Islamic militants held around 120 Iraqi Christians hostage for nearly four
hours in a church Sunday before security forces stormed the building and
freed them, ending a standoff that left dozens of people dead, U.S. and
Iraqi officials said. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

As Americans celebrate Christmas in peace in our nation, many Christians
across the Middle East are in peril: Muslim fanatics seek to exterminate

Over the past several years, Christians have endured bombings, murders,
assassinations, torture, imprisonment and expulsions. These anti-Christian
pogroms culminated recently with the brutal attack on Our Lady of Salvation,
an Assyrian Catholic church in Baghdad. Al Qaeda gunmen stormed the church
during Mass, slaughtering 51 worshippers and two priests. Father Wassim
Sabih begged the jihadists to spare the lives of his parishioners. They
executed him and then launched their campaign of mass murder.

Their goal was to inflict terror - thereby causing chaos in the hopes of
undermining Iraq's fledgling democracy - and to annihilate the country's
Christian minority. After the siege, al Qaeda in Mesopotamia issued a
bulletin claiming that "all Christian centers, organizations and
institutions, leaders and followers, are legitimate targets for" jihadists.

Since the 2003 war in Iraq, Christians have faced a relentless assault from
Islamic extremists. Many of these groups, such as the Assyrians, consist of
the oldest Christian sects in the world, going back to the time of Christ.
Some even speak Aramaic, the language used by Jesus. The very roots of our
Christian heritage are being extirpated.

Religious cleansing is taking place everywhere in Iraq - by Shiites, Sunnis
and Kurds. Before the toppling of Saddam Hussein, there existed more than 1
million Christians in Iraq. They are now mostly gone - scattered to the
winds, sacrificed on the altar of erecting an Islamic state. Churches have
been closed or blown up. Hundreds of thousands have been expelled. Nearly
two-thirds of the 500,000 Christians in Baghdad have fled or been killed. In
Mosul, about 100,000 Christians used to live there. Now, just 5,000 remain.
Soon there will be none.

The rise of radical Islam threatens Christian communities not only in Iraq,
but across the Middle East. In Egypt, Coptic Christians routinely are
murdered, persecuted and prevented from worshipping - especially during
religious holy days such as Christmas and Easter. In the birthplace of
Christ, Bethlehem, Christians have largely been forced out. In Nazareth,
they are a tiny remnant. In Saudi Arabia, Muslim converts to Christianity
are executed. Churches and synagogues are prohibited. In Turkey, Islamists
have butchered priests and nuns. In Lebanon, Christians have dwindled to a
sectarian rump, menaced by surging Shiite and Sunni populations.

The Vatican estimates that from Egypt to Iran there are just 17 million
Christians left. Christianity is on the verge of extinction in the ancient
lands of its birth. In short, a creeping religious genocide is taking place.

Yet the West remains silent for fear of offending Muslim sensibilities. This
must stop - immediately. For years, Pope Benedict XVI has been demanding
that Islamic religious leaders adopt a new policy: reciprocity. If Muslims -
funded and supported by Saudi Arabia - can build mosques and madrassas in
Europe and America, then Christians - Catholics, Protestants and Orthodox -
should be entitled to build churches in the Arab world. For all of their
promises, however, Muslim leaders have failed to deliver. In fact, the
situation has only deteriorated.

Clearly, some Muslims cannot live in peaceful coexistence with non-Muslim
peoples - especially in countries where Muslims form the majority. Christian
minorities living in the overwhelmingly Muslim-dominated Middle East pose no
possible danger to Islamic hegemony. Hence, why the hatred against them?

This is a repeat of an old historical pattern: the periodic ebb and flow of
Islamic jihadism. From its inception, Islam has been engaged in a struggle
with Christian civilization. Led by the Prophet Muhammad some 600 years
after the birth of Christ, the Muslim faith spread across the Middle East
through violence and war. Christians were either forcibly converted or
slowly expelled from their ancestral lands. Following the conquest of the
Arabian Peninsula, Muslim armies invaded North Africa, Spain, France and the
Balkans. At one point, they even reached the gates of Vienna - until they
were repelled by the brave knights of Catholic Croatia. The sword of Islam
sought to conquer Christian Europe.

Bernard Lewis, the foremost historian on the Middle East, rightly argues
that the Crusades were not the result of Western imperialism; rather, they
signified a belated - and only partially successful - effort to liberate
once-Christian territories from Islamic aggression. Europe was saved;
Jerusalem and the Middle East were not.

Today's anti-Christian pogroms are not new. They are what Christians have
historically faced - persecution, death and martyrdom. In Roman times,
Christians were thrown to the lions in the Coliseum. In the Islamic world,
they are being murdered, raped, beheaded and thrown out of their homes. The
only difference is the means, not the end.

The Christians of the Middle East are dying for their convictions, as did so
many others before them. For this, they will receive their just reward in
heaven. Their deaths are a salient reminder that, contrary to liberal myth,
Islam is not a "religion of peace." Instead, it contains a militant segment
bent on waging a holy war against infidels and erecting a global caliphate.

There is, however, a true religion of peace. It began with a baby boy born
in a manger in Bethlehem. Jesus, the Prince of Peace, came to shine a light
into the dark souls of men. As Christians recall and celebrate that humble
birth, we also should stand in solidarity with those who are, 2,000 years
later, still being persecuted in His name.

Jeffrey T. Kuhner is a columnist at The Washington Times and president of
the Edmund Burke Institute.

Les commentaires sont fermés.