Muslim Responsibility and Western Inaction
In the March 2016 issue of National Geographic it is noted that a marble dolphin with a fish in its mouth turned up at a site in the Negev Desert in Israel. The 16-inch statue was embedded in the floor of a seventh-century building. Although some archaeologists believe it may have been part of a statue of Poseidon, the Greek god of the sea, others maintain that "a dolphin eating a fish symbolizes the persecution of early Christians [.]"
And thus, persecution and murder of Christians continues into the 21st century. In Nigeria, violent killings of Christians are up 62 percent according to Open Doors which monitors religiously motivated violence and persecution. In 2015 there were 4,028 killings and 198 church attacks, nearly double those of the previous year. Since 2009, 11,500 Christians were killed, 13,000 churches were destroyed and 1.3 million Christians have fled to safer areas of Nigeria or have attempted to reach Europe.
According to Rose Gamble, "the persecution of Christians is carried out by three groups: Islamist terror group, Boko Haram, Muslim Fulani herdsmen; and the Muslim religious and political elite that dominate northern Nigeria. In fact, several areas of northern Nigeria have seen Christianity virtually wiped out."
The ongoing ISIS slaughter of Christians has resulted in the European Parliament unanimously passing a resolution referring to the Islamic State's (ISIS) killing of religious minorities under its control as "genocide" in the Middle East. But the Obama administration dithers and when asked, White House spokesman Josh Earnest claims that the word genocide "involves a very specific legal determination that has, at this point, not been reached." This should come as no surprise since the FBI has "released a new edition of its anti-terror video game, 'Don't Be a Puppet' that scrubs all references to Islamic terrorism" per the demands of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR). Thus, as Clare M. Lopez explains, "Islamic jihad is now excluded from a list of potential terror threats."
Additionally, in Canada "Conservative MP Cheryl Gallant has called out Liberal Prime Minister Justin Trudeau over his refusal to recognize as 'genocide' the sweeping targeting of Christians by ISIS in the Middle East." And so, “[t]housands of Yazidis have been summarily executed, killed, or, in the case of Yazidi women, kidnapped and sold into slavery by ISIS.
In a report titled "Our Generation is Gone: The Islamic State's Targeting of Iraqi Minorities in Ninewa" [sic] published by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, one learns that the Yazidis, Christians, Sabaean-Mandaeans, Shabak, and Turkmen minorities face genocide. One month after the invasion of Nineveh, ISIS issued "a decree saying that Christians had three options: (1) convert to Islam; (2) pay a jizya, a fee levied on non-Muslim residents; or (3) leave the city by noon [.] On the day of the decree, ISIS labeled Christian homes with an 'N' for Nasrani, denoting Christian and Shia-Shabak homes with an 'R' -- for Rafida, denoting Shia."
Nina Shea, Director, for the Center for Religious Freedom at Hudson Institute has repeatedly publicized the plight of these people and emphatically asserts that
[t]he Islamist genocide -- and there can be no doubt that it is genocide, despite world silence -- of the Christians, Yazidis, Mandeans, and other defenseless ethno-religious minorities of Syria and Iraq continues. The killing of these peoples is deliberate and brutal and is rooted in religious hatred of the 'infidel.' It is meted out in sudden violent executions, mass deportations, and the gradual, methodical destruction of their civilizations.
Washington is blind to this genocide that occurs alongside, but is separate from, a sectarian Muslim power struggle. It has failed to defend them militarily. Now it is failing to provide humanitarian help in the only manner left: resettling the survivors out of harm’s way, in countries where they will be able to rebuild their families and preserve their unique ancient cultures without fear.
As of November 2015, the United States "admitted a… total of 53 Syrian Christian refugees, a lone Yazidi and fewer than ten Druze, Baha'is and Zoroastrians combined." In fact, there is a "gross under-representation of the non-Muslim communities in the numbers of Syrian refugees into the United States."
In February of this year, over 100 NGOs sent a letter "urging the administration to declare Islamic State atrocities as genocide against all minorities, including Christians, and not just Yazidis." Apparently, the State Department leaked "word that an official genocide designation would be forthcoming" but it would only recognize a "Yazidi genocide and not one against Christians."
Apart from exposing the horror of the situation, why is this designation of "genocide" important? According to Shea, "a genocide designation would have significant policy implications for American efforts to restore property and lands taken from the minority groups and for offers of aid, asylum, and other protections to such victims." Otherwise, "the United States and other governments would not be bound to act to suppress or even prevent the genocide of these Christians." But given that Obama invokes the Crusades and the Inquisition, as a means of ignoring Islamic terrorism, the antipathy against Christianity is not surprising.
Raymond Ibrahim publicizes atrocities against Christians in the Moslem world and his January 2016 update includes the following:
Iraq: The Islamic State blew up the country's oldest Christian monastery, St. Elijah's. The 27,000-square-foot building had stood near Mosul for 14 centuries.
Kosovo: Muslims urinated in an Orthodox Christian church in Pristina, the capital.
Algeria: On January 7, unknown vandals damaged, robbed and wrote jihadi slogans on a church.
Kuwait: Lawmakers rejected an initially approved request to build churches because it 'contradicts Islamic sharia laws.'
No location is immune, so that in Mongolia, "days after a church celebrated Christmas, explosives were thrown into the stove chimney of a Kazakh house-church." In Pakistan, the Apostolic Church was burned. In Kasur, Pakistan, "several Christians are on death row… due to accusations of blasphemy against Islam." In Germany the Father Superior of St. George the Victorious Monastery in Gotschendorf wrote that "Christian refugees from Syria, Eritrea, and other countries are exposed to humiliation, manhunts, and brutal harassment at the camps for refugees by their Muslim neighbors. This also relates to the Yazidi religious minority."
A Terror Threat Snapshot document produced by the Majority Staff of the House Homeland Security Committee highlights 81 total ISIS-Linked arrests in America and 21 ISIS-Linked plots to launch attacks in America with 6,600 Western fighters having traveled to the conflict zone to join ISIS. In fact, the United States faces the highest Islamist terror threat since 9/11. Yet, the Obama administration has surged the release of terrorists from Guantanamo Bay despite alarming rates of recidivism. And the Iranian regime which gained access to $100 billion in cash as a result of the nuclear deal continues to fuel its global network of terror. In the Iranian province of Sistan-Baluchestan, the Islamists executed every man in a village. In fact, the Islamic Republic of Iran continues… to execute more individuals per capita than any other country in the world.
U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper's testimony to Congress on current security threats clearly indicate that Obama's approach of "strategic patience" has not worked; instead, his leading from behind has unleashed more global terrorism, nuclear proliferation, diminished global freedom, and human suffering. Leading "threat actors" are Russia, China, Iran, North Korea, and non-state actors who "continue to use the internet to organize, recruit, spread propaganda, collect intelligence, raise funds, and coordinate operations." Sunni violent extremism has been on an upward trajectory since the late 1970s and has more groups, members, and safe havens than at any other point in history." Moreover, "Al -Qa'ida's affiliates have proven resilient."And, finally, homegrown violent extremists pose the most significant Sunni terrorist threat to the US homeland in 2016."
Those who insist that concerned Americans are either racist or exaggerating the danger would do well to ask themselves "[w]hat if Christian terrorists were blowing up Muslims" as liberal Saudi journalist Nadine Al-Budair posits. She asserts that Muslims consistently "absolve [themselves] of guilt and she pointedly asks the following:
Imagine a Western youth coming here and carrying out a suicide mission in one of our public squares in the name of the Cross [.]
Imagine hearing the voices of monks and priests from churches and prayer houses in and out of the Arab world, screaming on loudspeakers and levelling accusations against Muslims, calling them infidels, and chanting: 'God, eliminate the Muslims and defeat them all.'
Imagine that we had provided an endless number of foreign groups with visas, ID cards, citizenships, proper jobs, free education, free modern healthcare, social security, . . . and later a member of one of these groups came out, consumed by hatred and bloodlust, and killed our sons on our streets, in our buildings, in our newspaper [offices], in our mosques and in our schools.
It is strange that we condemn [the West] instead of addressing what is happening in our midst - the extremist ways in which we interpret the shari'a and our reactionary attitudes towards each other and the world. It is strange that we condemn instead of apologizing to the world.
Eileen can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org