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Raymond Ibrahim

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January 19, 2011 - 6:24 am

The jettisoning of Willis E. Elliott’s article, solicited by the Washington Post’s “On Faith” blog, is just another example that those who fail to tout the cultural relativistic party line of the leftist media are to be ostracized — even if they are regular contributors, such as Elliott, who had been publishing on that blog almost weekly for over three years, this being his first contribution to be rejected. The context is as follows: On Faith’s Elizabeth Tenety posted an article dealing with Muslim-Christian relations, in light of the uptick of terrorist attacks on Christians in the Muslim world.  Writers like Elliott were invited to respond.

On Faith’s editors were probably expecting the usual approach: acknowledge that Christians suffer in the Muslim world, but quickly point out that both parties are guilty, “in their own way.” This is an established theme in the leftist media.  When, for example, Egypt’s Christian Copts are attacked and killed by Islamists, the leftist media tends to refer to it as “sectarian clashes,” not what it is, “Christian persecution” (what else does one call it when a 90% Muslim majority attacks a 10% Christian minority?)Thereafter,  the leftist media tries to stress that Copts are violent and intolerant, too. For example, when Islamists bombed a church on New Year’s Eve leaving over 20 Copts dead and dozens dismembered, the media mentioned it, but it spent as much time, if not more, stressing that Copts reacted with angry protests (as if that squares things away). Similarly, when Egypt denies Copts from building churches — a very regular occurrence, most recently — the media focus on angry Copts rallying and protesting (but little on the fact that, for example, in the latest incident, state security used live ammunition on the protestors, killing four Copts).

Yet the 93-year-old Elliott, a retired dean of exploratory programs, New York Seminary, would have none of it.  He called it as he saw it, making — horror of horrors! — black and white observations: “Jesus said, ‘Love your enemies.’ Islam, to the contrary, is essentially hostile to ‘the infidels’; Jesus was anti-violent, Muhammad was violent; Muslims become violent, or threaten violence, when they feel offended: when we Christians feel offended, almost never do we become violent, and almost always we suffer the disrespect in silence.”

Unfortunately for Elliott, inasmuch as all of these assertions are empirically demonstrative — scripturally, historically, and in regular fixtures in current affairs — so too do they go against the doctrine of cultural relativism: hence, the need to suppress them.

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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