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Christians under siege in Egypt and Syria

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Christians under siege in Egypt and Syria

The attacks are systematic and pervasive in both countries where Christians account for five to ten percent of the population.   Al Qaeda and extremist fellow travelers are behind the violence.   In the Syrian conflict, the United States supports the rebel cause, which has openly declared Al Qaeda fighters.  In Egypt, armed supporters of the ousted government of the Muslim Brotherhood's Mohamed Morsi carry out the attacks. 

Where is the focused condemnation from the White House of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood; the threats to cut off aid to the Syrian rebels for their deliberate attacks on Christians?

Why aren't right-wing Republicans up in arms over this?

President Obama was cheered by his party and the opposition for cancelling a meeting with Vladimir Putin, one man, yet we see no outrage or cancellation of meetings with rebels.

Senator John McCain is so enamored with the Syrian rebels; he traveled to Syria to meet with their leaders in May.  McCain and his traveling sidekick, Senator Lindsay Graham (R, SC), are both strong adherents for outright lethal aid to rebels.  Apparently, it is more important for them to get rid of the regime of Bashar al-Assad than it is to protect an imperiled and persecuted minority, Syria's Christians.

One of the leading figures of Egypt's Muslim Brotherhood street riots said it clearly:

"We are waiting for victory from God.  We are fighting a war of identity against Christians and secularists who wanted bloodshed and declared war on Islam."

Attacks on churches and Coptic Christians occur regularly from Upper Egypt, through the Nile Delta, and into the Sinai region.  On August 14 alone, 40 churches were attacked throughout Egypt.  Even the Muslim Brotherhood-Syrian rebel mouthpiece, Al Jazeera acknowledged the unprecedented frequency and intensity of attacks against Christians in Egypt.

Reports of Anti-Christian acts by Syrian rebels are widely known but not covered to any extent by U.S. media.  This sample of attacks on Christians is typical of the path the rebels have taken to terrorize one small segment of the total population.  Syrian Carmelite Nun, Mother Agnes-Mariam said,  "The free and democratic world is supporting extremists. They want to impose Sharia Law and create an Islamic state in Syria." Al-Arabiya News, December 31, 2013

If the fate of Christians in Syria and Egypt is anything like that of their brethren in Iraq, their future is grim.  Muslim extremist rebels have targeted Christians for death, notably the terrorist umbrella organization, the Islamic State of Iraq.

Half of Iraq's Christian population left the country.  Over 300,000 fled to Syria where the Assad government protects religious minorities.  In the cruelest of ironies, those Christians and their Syrian counterparts are now in the crosshairs of another Al Qaeda affiliate associated with Anti-Christian acts, Jabhat al-Nusra.

U.S. policy includes occasional statements of concern about the fate of Christians. Talk is cheap.  Direct action is lacking.

On August 27, 2013 I asked, What happens when they start killing Christians?  The reference was to Syria but today the question includes Egypt's Christians also.  The answer is -- apparently, nothing.

By Michael Collins


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