by Raymond Ibrahim
With the recent decision to arm the opposition fighting Syrian President Assad, the United States has effectively declared a proxy war on Syria’s indigenous Christians—a proxy war that was earlier waged on Christians in other Mideast nations, resulting in the abuse, death, and/or mass exodus of Christians.
Ironically (if not absurdly) this proxy war on Christians is being presented to the American people as a war to safeguard the “human rights” and “freedoms” of the Syrian people. Left unsaid by the Obama administration is the egregiously inhuman behavior these jihadis visit upon moderate Syrians in general Christians in particular, from bombed churches to kidnapped (and often beheaded) Christians. Days ago they massacred an entire Christian village.
Nor can one argue that the Obama administration is unaware that Christian persecution is an ironclad aspect of empowering jihadis. Both past precedents and current events repeatedly demonstrate this.
In Libya, the administration armed/supported the “freedom fighters” fighting Gaddafi, even though it was common knowledge that many of them were connected to al-Qaeda. Again, the rationale was “our responsibilities to our fellow human beings,” as Obama declared in April 2011, and how not assisting them “would have been a betrayal of who we are.”
Soon after their empowerment, some of our U.S.-supported “fellow human beings” decided to rub America’s face in it by attacking the U.S. consulate—on the anniversary of September 11, no less—resulting in the murders and possible rape of American diplomats, even as Obama tried to attribute the attack to American freedom of speech (a la a YouTube flick).
Lesser known, however, is that Libya’s small Christian minority is also being targeted. Among other things, the very few churches there are left are under attack and bombed; nuns that have been serving the sick and needy since 1921 have been harassed and forced to flee; foreign Christians possessing Bibles have been arrested and tortured (one recently died from his torture).
In Egypt, Obama and Hillary joined the bandwagon to eject Hosni Mubarak, America’s most stable and secular ally for thirty years. Then the administration cozied up to the Muslim Brotherhood—an Islamist organization that until recently was banned in Egypt and which no U.S. president would have been involved with.
Among other “achievements,” the Brotherhood produced Sayyid Qutb, who is idolized by al-Qaeda as the chief theoretician of modern jihad and issued a 1980 fatwa calling on the destruction of Coptic churches in Egypt.
As expected, since the Brotherhood came to power, the persecution of Copts has practically been legalized, as unprecedented numbers of Christians—men, women, and children—have been arrested, often receiving more than double the maximum prison sentence, under the accusation that they “blasphemed” Islam and/or its prophet.
It was also under Brotherhood rule that another unprecedented scandal occurred: the St. Mark Cathedral—holiest site of Coptic Christianity and home of the pope himself—was besieged in broad daylight by Islamic rioters. When security came, they too joined in the attack on the cathedral. And the targeting of Christian children—for abduction, ransom, rape, and/or forced conversion—has also reached unprecedented levels under Morsi.
And now as millions of Egyptians prepare to protest Muslim Brotherhood rule on June 30, U.S. ambassador Anne Patterson has asked the Coptic Pope to dissuade the Copts from joining in the protests—proving yet again that administration is more concerned about the wellbeing of the Brotherhood than the “human rights” of those they most abuse, Christian minorities.
Outside the Mideast, where Muslims are often not majorities, the administration wages its proxy war on Christians in other ways. For example, in Nigeria, where more Christians have been slaughtered and churches bombed by Boko Haram jihadis than all throughout the world combined, after the Nigerian government went on a serious offensive to neutralize Boko Haram, John Kerry warned it not to violate the “human rights” of the jihadis—the same jihadis daily abusing the human rights of Christians, often in most inhuman ways.
The meaning of Boko Haram’s name—“Western education is a sin”—is also a reminder that those Muslims who attack Christians naturally also hate the West, seeing the two as one and the same, all infidels.
In other words, wherever the U.S. has empowered anti-Christian Islamists, it has also empowered anti-American forces. Put differently, Muslim persecution of Christians is the litmus test of how “radical” an Islamic society has become. Thus, in all those Mideast nations that the Obama administration has interfered—Egypt, Libya, and now Syria—the increase of Christian persecution in those countries is a reflection of the empowerment of forces hostile to the U.S. and Western civilization.
Under the gaze of a somnambulant America, the Middle Eastern Christians are facing annihilation.
Raymond Ibrahim is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam's New War in Christians (published by Regnery in cooperation with Gatestone Institute, April 2013). He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an associate fellow at the Middle East Forum. Mr. Ibrahim's dual-background—born and raised in the U.S. by Egyptian parents —has provided him with unique advantages to understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets.
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