| Hugh Fitzgerald: Christian Arabs, Muslim Arabs (Part 1)
| Monday, December 14, 2015
|Sometimes it seems that almost all the news these days deemed fit to
print has something to do with Islam and Muslims.
Much of it is about
internecine warfare: we receive reports of Sunnis fighting Shi’a in
Iraq, of Shi’a fighting Sunnis in Syria, of Shi’a ruled fighting Sunni
ruler in Bahrain, of Sunni tribesmen fighting Shi’a tribesmen in Yemen,
of one city’s militia fighting another city’s militia.
As in Libya with
fighters from Tripoli, Misrata, Benghazi, Zintan squaring off, or
Muslims of different ethnicities fighting one another–Arabs against
Kurds in Iraq and Syria, Arabs against Berbers in North Africa, and so
on and so confusingly forth, and don’t forget the Turkmens and the
Tuareg. But with all these permutations and combinations, two things remain
The first is the Muslim Arab attitude toward, and attacks on,
the ancient Christian communities of the Middle East: the Chaldeans and
Assyrians of Iraq, the Orthodox and Catholics in Syria, the Maronites in
Lebanon, the Copts in Egypt. The Christian position depends on the
regime. In Iraq, Saddam Hussein had his own reasons for protecting the
Christians, whom he knew were no threat to him and, indeed, were
employed by him as his household staff, but he is long gone, and Muslims
have been attacking Christians and more than half of Iraq’s Christians
have left the country.
In Syria, the Alawite regime, a regime that
amazingly treats Christmas and Good Friday as official holidays and
closes government offices, teeter-totters, and Muslim attacks on
Christians have led to many of them leaving that country, too. In Egypt,
attacks on the Copts went way up under Morsi’s Muslim Brotherhood, tens
of thousands left the country, and under Al-Sisi conditions for Copts
have returned to their unpleasant normal.
Copts still leave, but not at
the rate they did under Morsi. And the steady Maronite outflow, the
relative and absolute decline in their numbers and in their power, means
that Lebanon, once thought of as a Christian haven, has become another
Muslim-dominated country where the Christians are just managing to hang
Read it all here....................
|posted by D.Swami Gwekanandam @ 8:57 PM