The New York Times to its credit made the continued persecution of Iraq's Christian minorities its lead story in yesterday's paper. Amid bloodshed on a large scale in so many places, this may seem like a relatively minor, if unhappy, story. In fact, it raises questions about contemporary Islam's ability to coexist with non-Islamic peoples—in Iraq and elsewhere.Mark Krikorian points out the anachronism:
A spate of anti-Christian bombings and assassinations in Iraq culminated recently in the siege of a church, Our Lady of Salvation, which resulted in the death of 51 worshipers and two priests. Afterward, Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki spoke with force and eloquence about the deaths: "The Christian is an Iraqi. He is the son of Iraq and from the depths of a civilization that we are proud of."
This is an important and accurate description of the Iraqi past. Some of these Christian minorities have coexisted with Islam in Iraq and elsewhere in the Middle East since the time of Jesus. Some still speak Aramaic, the ancient language of Christ.
Now, I’m not too good with dates, but I’m pretty sure there was no Islam at “the time of Jesus.” And that’s not the kind of slip that happens when you’re in a hurry, like writing “there” for “their” — that’s the kind of thing that happens when a completely uninformed person substitutes political correctness for reality.The problem is the continuation of the editorial, which made its historical error while bending over backwards to demonstrate that it is the current Muslim persecution of Christians that is the anachronism:
With the rise of radical Islam, this tradition of peaceful and productive coexistence has been displaced by a practice of religious cleansing.The problem is that The Wall Street Journal seems to have forgotten that a number of the areas that are now Islamic used to be Christian.
...Living amid an overwhelmingly large majority, the small Christian sects pose no conceivable threat to Islamic hegemony. One can only conclude that they are attacked merely because they exist amid Islamic majorities. The implications of watching a strain of Islam show that it cannot coexist with others extend well beyond the borders of Iraq.
Bernard Lewis writes in The Crisis of Islam:
The then Christian provinces of Syria, Palestine, Egypt, and North Africa were absorbed and in due course Islamized and Arabized, and they served as bases for the further invasion of Europe and the conquest of Spain and Portugal and much of southern Italy. By the early eighth century the conquering Arab armies were even advancing beyond the Pyrenees into France.[emphasis added]
What The Wall Street Journal is calling a time of 'coexistence' was in reality a time of conquest, subjugation and dhimmitude.
And it is that dhimmitude that The Wall Street Journal is encouraging by sugarcoating the history of Islam.
Technorati Tag: Islam and Christian Persecution.