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Friday, May 26, 2017

Christians Are Not Safe in Middle East

For John, BLUFThis isn't a war between Islam and the rest, but there are some out there killing Christians.  Nothing to see here; just move along.

From The Old Gray Lady, this morning, by Reporters Declan Walsh and Nour Yussef.

Here is the lede plus two (Photo at the Link):

Gunmen opened fire on vehicles carrying Coptic Christians in southern Egypt early Friday, killing at least 26 people, according to a church official, in the latest deadly assault on the country’s embattled religious minority.

Bishop Makarios of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Minya Province said the assailants, traveling in three sport utility vehicles, had opened fire on a pickup truck carrying workmen, and two buses transporting worshipers, as they traveled in a convoy to the Monastery of St. Samuel the Confessor.

Bishop Makarios said many of the victims had been shot at close range. The dead included children, elderly people and laborers, he said, and 23 others were wounded.

A friend of mine commented:
If we wanted to “get tough” on ISIS, on radical islamic extremism, we need to go beyond simple condemnation and “our prayers go out to the families.”

I think the President needs to talk about the attack today and pose these questions:

  1. Do blasphemy laws ( in most of the Muslim world) contribute to these attacks?  What do these laws do to stifle debate and encourage hatred?
  2. Do Muslim majority countries, including Egypt, place discriminatory restrictions on the building of Churches? Why? (it is prohibited in Saudi)
  3. Are other holy books, the Bible, the Torah, etc… allowed in Muslim majority nations?  If they are forbidden, does that contribute to hatred?
  4. What are the efforts by each country to check hate talk, sectarian division?
[Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-]Sisi has called an emergency meeting, and I am sure there will be calls for more security. But do Egyptians think that is enough?

These are important questions for the region.  I agree with the President that we should not lecture, not impose our system on others.  But it is time to go beyond the platitudes and get to the factors underlying the atmosphere that tolerates terrorism.  It is time to put this on their plate.

Note the comment, "It is time to put this on their plate."  That is to say, the Sunni majority countries need to own this as their own problem.  This is not the last vestiges of colonialism but a modern day phenomenon that needs to be dealt with by the people living in the area today.

From the American Magazine (with web presence) Defense One we have an April article on ISIS and Egypt, "Why ISIS Declared War on Egypt’s Christians".

If this war spreads, to be neutral will be to be to be complicit.

Regards  —  Cliff

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