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Locked: The Fate of Christians in the Middle East
4 years ago  ::  Apr 16, 2011 - 7:54AM #1
Kinky.christian
Posts: 262

A piece in today’s Guardian newspaper examines the fate of Christians in the Middle-East.

Fears for the Middle East's Christians in the wake of the Arab spring by Gerald Butt

In the past, Gama'a al-Islamiya carried out acts of terrorism – including killing 58 foreign tourists at Luxor in 1997 – as part of its campaign to establish Islamic rule in Egypt. So how come the change of heart? "We want a civil state ruling with justice," said one of its leaders, Naji Ibrahim. "We are not afraid of this freedom because we are holding the strong message of Islam, which has an inherent strength that is stronger than any other idea."

So, a civil state to begin with, but ultimately the implication is that Islam would be triumphant. With the Muslim Brotherhood, too, the most organised group, the professed desire to see secular rule continue in Egypt runs counter to its charter. This envisages an Islamic state throughout the Middle East, while at home the Brotherhood aims to "convey the mission of Islam to the people as a whole". There is no mention of Islam's duty to protect ahl al-Kitab (people of the book, Christians and Jews).

So, not surprisingly, Coptic Christians are suspicious. Naguib Gobraiel, a lawyer for the Coptic Church, believes the Muslim Brothers are seeking "to delude people and make them think that their paradigm is not fundamentalist but conforms with the values of citizenship".

But by forming their own – faith-based – parties, the Islamic groups are only conforming to the pattern elsewhere in the Arab world where democracy already exists. In Iraq and Lebanon politics is ensnared by sectarian divisions. As Iraqi Sunnis and Shias vie for power, the country remains in a state of collapse. Those at the bottom of the heap – including the Christian minority – are unrepresented and vulnerable. The Christian exodus continues. In Lebanon the growing power of the Shia Hezbollah organisation is challenging the Sunni establishment and the increasingly nervous Christians. Again, the Christian community is in decline.




The only advice I could honestly give to Christians in Egypt and other Arab countries is to leave as soon as possible.

I guess most Arab countries will soon be not only "Judenrein," they'll also be "Christenrein". This is, of course, ethnic cleansing by other means.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 7:26AM #2
Dostojevsky
Posts: 7,547

Unfortunately to most Arabs all westerners are Christians and they are not to be trusted. Most Christians in western countries supported its leaders in recent wars against the Arabs whose countries have been and still are being destroyed, they have lost loved ones, many are imprisoned, many were and are tortured. Perhaps many Arabs were terrorists and did some bad things but it can not be compared to the damage the western countries have done to the prospect of peace among nations.  Now it is not only terrorists that hate us, it is the ordinary people whose lives have forever been shattered.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 9:21AM #3
JAstor
Posts: 3,957

Apr 16, 2011 -- 7:54AM, Kinky.christian wrote:


A piece in today’s Guardian newspaper examines the fate of Christians in the Middle-East.

Fears for the Middle East's Christians in the wake of the Arab spring by Gerald Butt

In the past, Gama'a al-Islamiya carried out acts of terrorism – including killing 58 foreign tourists at Luxor in 1997 – as part of its campaign to establish Islamic rule in Egypt. So how come the change of heart? "We want a civil state ruling with justice," said one of its leaders, Naji Ibrahim. "We are not afraid of this freedom because we are holding the strong message of Islam, which has an inherent strength that is stronger than any other idea."

So, a civil state to begin with, but ultimately the implication is that Islam would be triumphant. With the Muslim Brotherhood, too, the most organised group, the professed desire to see secular rule continue in Egypt runs counter to its charter. This envisages an Islamic state throughout the Middle East, while at home the Brotherhood aims to "convey the mission of Islam to the people as a whole". There is no mention of Islam's duty to protect ahl al-Kitab (people of the book, Christians and Jews).

So, not surprisingly, Coptic Christians are suspicious. Naguib Gobraiel, a lawyer for the Coptic Church, believes the Muslim Brothers are seeking "to delude people and make them think that their paradigm is not fundamentalist but conforms with the values of citizenship".

But by forming their own – faith-based – parties, the Islamic groups are only conforming to the pattern elsewhere in the Arab world where democracy already exists. In Iraq and Lebanon politics is ensnared by sectarian divisions. As Iraqi Sunnis and Shias vie for power, the country remains in a state of collapse. Those at the bottom of the heap – including the Christian minority – are unrepresented and vulnerable. The Christian exodus continues. In Lebanon the growing power of the Shia Hezbollah organisation is challenging the Sunni establishment and the increasingly nervous Christians. Again, the Christian community is in decline.




The only advice I could honestly give to Christians in Egypt and other Arab countries is to leave as soon as possible.

I guess most Arab countries will soon be not only "Judenrein," they'll also be "Christenrein". This is, of course, ethnic cleansing by other means.




The irony is that that these same Arab countries, and those who sympathize with the Arabs, accuse Israel of Aparheid! 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 12:02PM #4
rocketjsquirell
Posts: 16,222

 


JASTOR


It is apartheid when Israelis DO NOT discriminate against non-Jewish Arabs, DO NOT segregate non-Jewish Arabs, afford non-Jewish Arabs full civil and legal rights and complete equality.


It is NOT apartheid when Muslim Arabs discriminate against non-Muslims, segregate non-Muslims from the rest of the population, expel non-Muslims from their countries, deny civil and legal rights to non-Muslims, etc...


I hope that you now understand what is meant by apartheid.


 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 1:06PM #5
BDboy
Posts: 5,831

Apr 17, 2011 -- 12:02PM, rocketjsquirell wrote:


 


JASTOR


It is apartheid when Israelis DO NOT discriminate against non-Jewish Arabs, DO NOT segregate non-Jewish Arabs, afford non-Jewish Arabs full civil and legal rights and complete equality.



 


>>>>>>> Wish it was true. But it ain't.....


 


As far as topic of this thread is concern, I can share an article on it. Despite many problems in the middle east common people have shown simpathy for Christians, even put themselves as human sheild against agitation or threats (Happened in Egypt).


 



 

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 1:15PM #6
BDboy
Posts: 5,831

yes christians are facing problems in the ME. So is all other faith groups. Egypt alone has over 10 million copt Christians. Total human rights situation is not good in the hands of dictators. Good news is that is about to change and things will look better soon in most middle eastern countries.

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 2:02PM #7
habesor
Posts: 5,726

BD, you wrote:


 "Good news is that is about to change and things will look better soon in most middle eastern countries." 


Usually in the Middle East when things look good it is because the Arab dictators are maintaining absolute control of the mass media and the western journalists are reporting the government line because they are too scared of being thrown out or suffering some other form of reprisals for reporting the true situation.


Habesor 

Habesor
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 2:18PM #8
BDboy
Posts: 5,831

Apr 17, 2011 -- 2:02PM, habesor wrote:


BD, you wrote:


 "Good news is that is about to change and things will look better soon in most middle eastern countries." 


Usually in the Middle East when things look good it is because the Arab dictators are maintaining absolute control of the mass media and the western journalists are reporting the government line because they are too scared of being thrown out or suffering some other form of reprisals for reporting the true situation.


Habesor 




 


>>>>>>>>>> After many years and lot of sacrifices we are witnessing some fundamental changes in the middle east. Many dictators are walking out the door and people are welcoming democratic systems. I know it is not coming fast enough for many of us. But I have enough reasons to be hopeful for a better middle east.  


With new age media dictators cannot control news flow like the olden days. Which is a beautiful thing...

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4 years ago  ::  Apr 17, 2011 - 11:43PM #9
habesor
Posts: 5,726

BDBoy, you wrote:


"After many years and lot of sacrifices we are witnessing some fundamental changes in the middle east. Many dictators are walking out the door and people are welcoming democratic systems.


I hope that you are correct. It looked like Iran was becoming democratic a couple of decades ago and we all know, or should know, how that turned out. The people of the Middle East have two barriers to overcome. The first is that they have yet to develop a democratic political elite. Historically speaking democratic systems are created at the top and are gradually extended down to the citizenry by the political leaders. Leaving aside Tunisia, I don't see any democratic tendencies among the political elites in the Middle East. Without this what you get is mob rule followed by the establishment of dictators who promise to bring "order" to the society. This certainly has been the pattern whenever former Middle Eastern leaders have been turned out of office by popular demand. 


The second barrier is the non-critical nature of the democratic west to any oppressive regime that is established in the Arab Middle East. One has to have an exceedingly short memory to have  forgotten how the Middle East dictators of the recent past were greeted as liberators, modernizers and the legitimate voice of the people by Western politicians, academics, journalists and august institutions such as the UNHRC.


Habesor 

Habesor
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4 years ago  ::  Apr 18, 2011 - 1:05AM #10
Kinky.christian
Posts: 262

I confess to being pessimistic about the end result of what some pundits in Australia are calling the "Arab spring".


We'll just have to wait and see.


However my advice to any Christian in the Middle-East would still be to plan on leaving, if not for your sake then for the sake of your children. Let them grow up in free, tolerant societies.


 

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