How to end 2,000 years of Christianity in the Middle East

In common with all sensible men, I’m uneasy about conspiracy theories – this without denying that perfectly non-theoretical conspiracies have been known to exist (bolshevism springs to mind).

In that spirit, and in contradiction to plentiful evidence, I don’t believe Messrs Bush and Blair hatched a plot to drive Christianity out of the Middle East.

Yet I struggle to imagine what they would have done differently had that indeed been their aim.

Neither do I believe the persistent rumours that Obama is a secret Muslim, even though his name is Barak Hussein.

Again however, I fail to see how differently he’d act if he were indeed an adherent of the ‘religion of peace’, as Dubaya tagged Islam somewhat counter-intuitively in the immediate aftermath of 9/11.

While our useful idiots describe Israel’s desperate struggle to survive as disproportionate, which it isn’t, few describe the 2003 Anglo-American attack on Iraq as criminal, which it was.

The attack fit in nicely with the overall campaign to destabilise and oust the quasi-secular dictatorships that alone could keep the lunatic fringe of Islam at bay.

After Saddam and Gaddafi were murdered, Mubarak was arrested, and Syria, Afghanistan and Iraq were embroiled in civil war, thousands of murderous fanatics came out of the woodwork, gun in hand, hatred in heart.

Whom do they hate specifically? The list is long.

Israel, that goes without saying. Jews in general, that too doesn’t need reiterating. Other Muslims, those holding dissenting views on the post-Mohammedan succession. The West, for its persistent if waning resolve to resist conversion from atheism to Islam. Anyone who disagrees with the fanatics now or may do so in the future.

And of course Christianity, this awful heresy to Islam that just happens to predate it by 600 years.

No wonder the Koran, the only source of spiritual and intellectual sustenance a good Muslim ever needs, puts Christians into the same bracket as Jews: “Take not the Jews and the Christians for friends…” (5:51) and, for preference, kill them: “Slay them [unbelievers] wherever ye find them…” (2:91)

The Prophet’s diktats must be obeyed. Hence, with all those secular traitors to Islam out of the way, open season on Christians began.

The think tank Civitas reports that “Christians are targeted more than any other body of believers.” It estimates that 200 million Christians are “socially disadvantaged, harassed or actively oppressed for their beliefs.”

Yet those who have the misfortune of living directly in the path of the Islamic juggernaut aren’t just ‘socially disadvantaged’. They are being robbed, raped, murdered and displaced.

Nowhere is their plight worse than in Iraq. This stands to reason: the country was the first beneficiary of American-style democracy so beloved of the neoconservatives, our typological analogue to jihadists.

This is particularly heart-rending because Christianity in Iraq goes back a long way – as long as historically possible. It was brought there by St Thomas, one of the apostles.

Iraq, or Mesopotamia as it was then, quickly became one of the world’s major centres of Christianity. For example, more bishops came to the pivotal Council of Nicaea (325 AD) from Mesopotamia than from Western Europe.

Throughout history Christians enjoyed a relatively easy ride there, as did Jews – to a point where after the Second World War a third of Baghdad’s population was Jewish.

Just eight years after the advent of laser-guided democracy there were seven Jews left in Baghdad – and now it’s the Christians’ turn.

The Islamic State, which owes its existence to the 2003 aggression, has given Iraqi Christians a straightforward choice: convert to Islam or die.

Neither alternative appealing, thousands flee, just like Egyptian Christians fled after the advent of the rather wintry Arab Spring – indeed just like the holy family fled in the wake of Herodian slaughter.

Mary and Joseph took their baby to Egypt – where can the displaced and dispossessed Iraqi Christians run? Not to the United States, that traditional refuge to ‘the huddled masses’.

Just as so many Western countries refused to admit Jewish refugees from Germany in the 1930s, so is Obama’s America ignoring the plight of Christian refugees from Iraq. The danger of the same outcome is imminent.

Last Saturday Iraqi Christians living in the United States rallied at the White House, chanting “Obama, Obama, where are you? Iraqi Christians call for you!”

There was no reply. President Obama was otherwise engaged, facilitating the entry of Muslim terrorists into the country.

Even as he’s slamming the door in the face of Christian refugees, he’s flinging it wide to welcome ‘minor’ Islamic terrorists, those not perpetrating terrorist acts themselves but merely aiding and abetting them.

In doing so, Obama has unilaterally overturned Bush’s law barring entry to providers of aid to Hamas and other terrorist groups. In the process he has removed at least 4,000 people from the terror watch list, welcomed them to the USA and offered them ‘limited material support’.

This goes on against the background of Obama’s State Department having rejected almost all of the 20,000 asylum applications from Coptic Christians trying to escape Egypt from the progressive Muslim Brotherhood.

That’s an odd way to behave for a country that liberally peppers its official documents with references to God and decorates its banknotes with the assurance that ‘in God we trust’.

France, on the other hand, is regarded as the most atheistic country in Western Europe, and indeed she’s proud of her post-revolutionary laïcité. Yet it’s the French and not the Americans who are willing to save Iraqi Christians.

France’s foreign and interior ministers said in a joint statement in Paris on 28 July that “we are ready, if they wish, to facilitate their asylum on our soil.”

The openly atheist French government is thus doing more for Christianity than the fulsomely pious United States, which stands to reason.

France, after all, was a Christian nation for most of her history, and her entire ethos is permeated with vestiges of past grandeur. The United States, on the other hand, started life as a revolutionary, secular republic, with Christianity never accepted as anything other than a personal idiosyncrasy.

Add Barack Hussein’s presidency to this heritage, and Mohammed is your uncle, Fatima is your aunt.

Meanwhile, Glasgow’s Lord Provost Sadie Docherty has declared that, as a gesture of solidarity with Hamas, the Glasgow City Council will fly the Palestinian flag from city chambers tomorrow.

The devolution still hasn’t happened, and yet Scotland’s biggest city already seems to be pursuing an independent foreign policy. I wonder what Dave has to say about this.

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