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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Why are Christians silent?

Earlier this week, yet another article came out about the appalling treatment of Christians in the 'Palestinian' territories. (Hat Tip: Dhimmi Watch) This is a story I have covered before, and which first burst into prominence with the takeover of the Church of the Nativity - one of Christianity's holiest sites - by 'Palestinian' terrorists in 2002.

In many ways, what's happening in 'Palestine' is no different than what is happening to Christians in Muslim countries around the world - like Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines and Afghanistan.
“For a number of years now, this minority community [of Christians] has been in dire need of assistance,” he said. “Palestinian Christians are unable to practice their religion in freedom and in peace.

“Most in danger are Arab Christians. And most in danger among Arab Christians are those who have converted from Islam. They are often left defenseless against cruelty from Muslim fundamentalists.”


Weiner cited several specific examples of persecution, including an Armenian Christian jeweler arrested without cause and beaten for eight hours in a Palestinian police station.

Another case involved a 16-year-old girl from Bethlehem who was kidnapped by a 23-year-old Muslim man who told police she had willingly eloped. High-level diplomacy secured the Christian girl’s release, but only because she was an American citizen.

Human rights violations against Palestinian Christians, according to Weiner, also include: individual loss of job or property; firebombed churches; destruction of Christian-based centers; beatings; torture; forced marriages; sexual harassment; and extortion.

He noted that most of the persecution has taken place since the empowerment of the Palestinian Authority in 1995 under Yasser Arafat. He described the torture suffered by Christian converts from Islam since then as “the kind of thing you only read about in Medieval books—it’s very difficult to describe.”
The silence is deafening and it seems that the Jews may be the only ones who care:
At a “Save the Christians” rally in Rome earlier this month, the AP reported several hundred people gathered to demand an end to the persecution of Christians in the Middle East. In addition to top Vatican officials and Italy’s former Premier Berlusconi, a prominent Jewish activist from the U.S. also attended.

“I stand here tonight as an American Jew and as a survivor of the Holocaust to say to you that ‘never again’ was a pledge that the Jewish people learned with great pain and sadness,” said Abraham Foxman, U.S. director of the Anti-Defamation League. “But ‘never again’ is not limited to Jewish pain and suffering…I pledge to you that our voices will be heard whenever Christians are discriminated against.”
In a recent article at Slate.com that was spawned by the arrest of Stanislav Shmulevich for flushing a Koran down the toilet, Christopher Hitchens asks why the world is so afraid of offending Muslims. It seems to me that world's tolerance for the persecution of Christians in Muslim countries - if not also some of the world's tolerance for the 'Palestinians' murderous ways - can be laid at the door the world's fear of offending Muslims. But is that a physical fear or is it simply political correctness run rampant? Hitchens seems to think it's a physical fear:
It is often said that resistance to jihadism only increases the recruitment to it. For all I know, this commonplace observation could be true. But, if so, it must cut both ways. How about reminding the Islamists that, by their mad policy in Kashmir and elsewhere, they have made deadly enemies of a billion Indian Hindus? Is there no danger that the massacre of Iraqi and Lebanese Christians, or the threatened murder of all Jews, will cause an equal and opposite response? Most important of all, what will be said and done by those of us who take no side in filthy religious wars? The enemies of intolerance cannot be tolerant, or neutral, without inviting their own suicide. And the advocates and apologists of bigotry and censorship and suicide-assassination cannot be permitted to take shelter any longer under the umbrella of a pluralism that they openly seek to destroy.
If the fear of offending Muslims is caused by the type of physical fear that Hitchens describes, we have a major problem on our hands. One does not see Jews, Christians or Hindus rising up in a murderous rage after each Muslim-committed atrocity. Nor do I expect to see that happen in the future. All of our religions inculcate the eschewing of violence. So I don't expect a violent response to Islamism. If we're going to wait for an "equal and opposite response," we may as well just throw in the towel now.

Writing at FrontPageMagazine, Robert Spencer doesn't expect a violent response to Islamism, nor does he expect the political correctness that affords a special status to Muslims to go away:
But it is not going to stop. As mad as the felony charges against him are, Stanislav Shmulevich most likely is not the end of anything, but rather the beginning. We are unlikely as a society to become a place in which disrespect or even hatred of Christianity comes to be regarded as just as dangerous to the social order as disrespect or hatred of Islam, and we are just as unlikely to return to a saner time when one could not be prosecuted for disliking someone else’s beliefs (in which case Shmulevich would have to pay for the books, and for any necessary plumbing work, but that would be all). We have become a society of sacrosanct protected classes whose victim status places them above all criticism. Those individuals and groups who do not enjoy victim status can be shredded with impunity in the public square, and the shredders are hailed as “courageous,” “iconoclastic,” and “irreverent.” But if the protected group is criticized in any way, we are told that the criticism creates a climate of “hostility” and “hate” that can culminate in yet more victimization.
If that's the case, maybe sane society ought to go after the protectors. Spencer notes that Islamist groups in the US have worked assiduously to turn themselves into victims - something at which the 'Palestinians' have been experts for decades - by inventing the doublespeak concept of 'Islamophobia':
The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) has worked assiduously for years to claim this protected victim status for Muslims, and its reaction to this incident has allowed them to articulate how they want Muslims in America to be regarded. CAIR-NY Civil Rights Coordinator Aliya Latif said: “We must all be concerned when any actions cross the line from protected free speech to acts designed to intimidate. Just as there is a difference between someone burning a cross in their own backyard and burning that same cross in the yard of an African-American family, there is a difference between desecrating a religious text in a private setting and doing so in a setting that will create a hostile learning environment.” Muslims are the new blacks, and CAIR is the new NAACP; this statement is of a piece with CAIR’s annual hate crimes report, which attempts, often in quite imaginative ways, to project an image of Muslims as bravely going about their daily lives in an American society that is inveterately hostile, racist, and on the verge of breaking out into open violence against them.
Spencer argues that "this foundational myth must be brought out into the open, repudiated, and decisively rejected." Indeed it must. But how?

For starters, it would help if those of us who are not Muslims would recognize that we are all in this together. The 'Caliphate' wants to convert all of us to Islam. And if we don't band together to fight it in all of its manifestations, we are going to be defeated. If the Muslims take over Israel - which as usual is at the forefront of the battle - we won't be the last.

Next, we have to stop being politically correct. Islam is NOT a religion of peace. Let's stop pretending it is one. Every time a politician refers to Islam as 'peaceful,' someone should stand up with a sign showing how many non-Muslims have been murdered by Muslims this month.

Third, the funding trials now taking place in the US are an important battle ground. In a Dallas courtroom, an Islamic group called the Holy Land Foundation is on trial for funding Hamas terrorism. Those kinds of prosecutions must continue. If they are going to use our laws to turn themselves into victims, we must use our laws to make sure that WE are not turned into victims.

Finally, I think that there is no choice but to use our common ground to fight the political left, which has willfully blinded itself to the consequences of an Islamic Caliphate. Maybe that means that Jewish activists should go around college campuses with testimonies of what has happened to Christians since Arafat and his band of thieves was brought back from Tunis in 1994 and not just arguing for Israel's security. Maybe it means that the war here in Israel should be openly re-cast as a religious war and as a clash of civilizations, something we have all not wanted to do.

Here in Israel, the left continues to delude itself that if only Israel were secular, the Arabs would allow us to live here in peace. What's going on in Europe and Asia today puts the lie to that view. It's a delusion that must be fought. Adolf Hitler YMS"H didn't care if you were religious or not - he cared whether you had a Jewish grandparent. Let's stop fooling ourselves. Islam aims to make us all become Muslims. It must be stopped. This isn't just a battle for the Jews. It's a battle for all of us.


At 12:51 PM, Blogger Witch-king of Angmar said...

Your propositions make sense indeed. But they lead to only one logical move which, I am afraid, not many would be prepared to take due to decades of brainwashing by political correctness. The move is...A BAN ON ISLAM IN THE ENTIRE NON-MUSLIM WORLD! If not on paper then at least an informal one, creating conditions under which practising islam would be impossible.

Taken aback by this slightly? Well, look at the premises you set: you say that islam seeks to convert or subjugate other beliefs and not necessarily through peaceful means(very, very mildly put). How could any country or nation allow such a movement to exist freely among them? It would put itself in grave danger, a mortal one.

At 7:03 PM, Blogger nachtwache said...

As Christians, my husband and I get e-mails and mailings from Christian organizations that report on persecution on religious grounds, have letter campaigns and help where they can. The mainstream media is not very interested in reporting such things. Also, in the west, we are so spoiled and self indulgent, people don't want to hear about depressing stuff, where it might make them feel bad. In Europe, where I grew up in a catholic family, most of my younger relatives have hardly any time for religion, no connection to God. Others are getting into this new age stuff, making up their own religion. So thank you for speaking out. Not all of us are silent, but many don't want to hear.
The previous comment has a good point, if Saudi Arabia can forbid other religions than Islam to observe their worship there, why can't we do the same here?
I think many on the left are not just atheists, they actually hate God, or the idea of a god that they might have to answer to.
In the meantime, we'll do our best, just remember, God is in control and ultimately no one can stand against Him. Fools if they think they can.

At 11:06 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...


You mostly make sense, but I think you need a few corrections for clarification's sake...

1. The Philippines is majority Catholic, not Muslims. It has a restive area in the mountains that is Muslim, but it is not a Muslim state.

2. Non-Muslims have fought back...the question is whether it was effective or right. Many see wars in Afghanistan and Iraq as 'fighting back,' as an example. And you cannot forget the Gujarat massacre of 2002 that mostly Hindus committed against Muslims, as a response to the Godhra train bombing. So people fight back. Many claim that Milosovic's acts were in response to the KLA terrorists, as an example. The West fights back. Hizballah captured Israeli soldiers last summer and sent rockets into Israel, and Israel fought back, even if ineffectively.

So that brings me to my third point...

3. At what point will the West fight back EFFECTIVELY? And will doing so change the West's character forever?

That is the question that needs answering very desperately.

At 10:29 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

Shalom Carl,
Thank you for raising awareness about Muslim violence against nonMuslims, including Christians. Many Christians are not silent, but very familiar with and supportive of the various ministries that expose and counter persecution against Christians (such as persecution.org, BosNewsLife, CompassDirect, OpenDoors, etc)--they publish books, DVDs, run websites, etc, that in turn raise funds to help. Regarding supporting Christians in Islamic countries or in Gaza or the disputed territories of Judea and Samaria, except for the "cultural Christian" churches that even places like Syria tolerate, most of the Christian churches--i.e., those of what we call "Muslim background" churches are underground due to the death sentence for apostates, therefore when we get the monthly prayer requests for ministries supporting such churches, we are specifically told not to publish the names or specifics of the requests. Even here in the USA I know of several Muslim background believers who haven't "come out" yet, for reasons of life and death.

Also, it seems to me that the majority of Christians still are unaware of the jihad teachings of mainstream Islam--i.e., the teachings of the Quran, Hadith, and Sira, and so are unaware of the immensity of the threat. Finally (though only for reasons of space, for the list of reasons could go on), the type of Christians who most support the persecuted Church are not the liberal, mainline Churches (Baptists, excepted), but the Bible-believing evangelicals who place a priority on evangelism (sharing the gospel) over involvement in politics, therefore, what a lot of what they "do" is pray, send $, and smuggle in Bibles and other resources, as well as missionaries, fighting through spiritual means more than political means.


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