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Robert Fisk Demonizes Mideast’s Persecuted Christians

The reporter castigates Christians for supporting secularists in Egypt and Syria instead of sharia-loving Islamists.

Raymond Ibrahim


June 26, 2012 - 12:00 am
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Back in the real world, the reaction to Islamist complaints that Copts are not voting for them has been one of amazement. As one Coptic activist put it:

What if most Christians agreed among themselves to have allegiance to the candidate with the least inclinations towards a religious State [i.e., a Sharia State]? Where is the offense in it and why wonder about it? Did they really expect a Christian to choose a president to represent him from those who cut off the ear of a Christian, blocked the railways in objection to the appointment of a Christian governor in Qena, burn down several churches and who are diligently working to write a Constitution which undermines the rights of Christians?

Even Egyptian Muslim writer Khaled Montasser, in an article titled “The Muslim Brotherhood Asks Why Christians Fear Them?!” explained that the Brotherhood’s own official documents and fatwas decree several anti-Christian measures, including the destruction of churches and the prevention of burying Christian “infidels” near Muslim graves — hence why Christians are not voting for Islamists.

As for Syria, since the uprising, “opposition forces” — that is, Islamists — have been attacking Christians and churches, including “kidnappings and gruesome murders.” None of this happened before the uprising and under Assad’s secular rule. As an earlier report put it,

Should Assad fall, it is feared that Syria could go the way of Iraq post-Saddam Hussein. Saddam, like Assad, restrained the influence of militant Islamists, but after his fall they were free to wreak havoc on the Christian community; hundreds of thousands of Christians were consequently forced to flee the violence.

Should the “opposition” get their way and topple the Assad regime, the same brutal pattern experienced by Iraq’s Christian minorities — who have been likened to, and killed off like, dogs, to the point of nearing extinction — will come to Syria, where a preacher recently urged Muslims to “tear apart, chop up and feed” Christians who support Assad “to the dogs.”

All of these “subtleties” are completely missed by the Independent’s Middle East foreign correspondent. Instead, he bemoans how those in Washington who support secular rulers “will want to pump up Christian fears and frighten the West with the awfulness of ‘Muslim fundamentalism.’”

At a time when Christian minorities in the Islamic world are experiencing a form of persecution unprecedented since the pre-colonial era, it is commonplace for Western “reporters” to ignore or whitewash their plight. Robert Fisk, however, takes it a step further and  paints these persecuted Christians as the bad guys, thereby facilitating their ongoing sufferings. He and the Independent should be ashamed of themselves.

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Raymond Ibrahim, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). His writings have appeared in a variety of media, including the Los Angeles Times, Washington Times, Jane’s Islamic Affairs Analyst, Middle East Quarterly, World Almanac of Islamism, and Chronicle of Higher Education; he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, NPR, Blaze TV, and CBN. Ibrahim regularly speaks publicly, briefs governmental agencies, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and testifies before Congress. He is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center; Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow, Middle East Forum; and a Media Fellow at the Hoover Institution, 2013. Ibrahim’s dual-background -- born and raised in the U.S. by Coptic Egyptian parents born and raised in the Middle East -- has provided him with unique advantages, from equal fluency in English and Arabic, to an equal understanding of the Western and Middle Eastern mindsets, positioning him to explain the latter to the former.
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