Translating Words, Interpreting Events

Exploiting Christian Persecution to Demonize Israel

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What’s worse than the silence of Western Christians concerning the Muslim persecution of their coreligionists in the Islamic world?  Answer: Cynically exploiting that persecution for a political agenda—in the case of a recent Daily Beast article, to excoriate the state of Israel and its supporters.

One of countless churches around the Islamic world recently set aflame: all because of Israel?

Titled “Why Won’t the West Defend Middle Eastern Christians?” and written by Diarmaid MacCulloch, a Fellow of St. Cross College, the article touches on the persecution of Christians, but primarily as a springboard to attack American Christian support for Israel.  Consider the following excerpt:

… one of the silences which I find most frustrating is precisely the lack of noise from Western Christians about the fate of ancient Christianities in the Middle East. At the heart of the problems in the Middle East is seven decades of unresolved conflict between Israel and Palestine…

Yes, Western silence vis-à-vis the plight of Mideast Christians is as real as it is frustrating, but exactly how is MacCulloch able to jump to the conclusion that the Arab-Israeli conflict is “the heart” of the problem?

What about the well-documented Islamic doctrines that codify the suppression and persecution of Christians and other non-Muslims?

What about the documented fact that Christians under Islam have been persecuted for more than 1300 years before the existence of the state of Israel, in complete accordance to said doctrines?

What about the fact that Christians are currently being persecuted in every corner of the Islamic world, as documented in my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” series—including diverse countries such as Pakistan, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, the Philippines, and every corner of Africa—and not just the Middle East?

Surely this is the true “heart of the problem”—and not the tiny and relatively new state of Israel.

Of course, to thinkers like MacCulloch, all the above points concerning Islamic hostility for Christians are not open to consideration, for they portray Islam in a negative light and so must be false (see Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for abundant documentation otherwise.)

Instead, MacCulloch offers politically correct boilerplate statements, such as: “Christians are scapegoated for their faith by an extremist militant minority of Muslims, who betray their own religion by intolerance, and who make other Muslims ashamed of what is happening.”

Indeed, it is MacCulloch who betrays himself by characterizing Islam as a “tolerant” faith when any moderately objective reading of doctrine and history—made manifest in daily headlines—all prove the reverse.

Likewise, instead of delving into and exposing the true “heart of the problem,” MacCulloch critiques Protestant eschatology and U.S. support for Israel, the consequences of which “have been particularly dire for the traditional Christianities of the Middle East.”

It would have been more useful and sincere if he had addressed more glaring questions, for example:

  • When the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters in Egypt torched some 80 churches and murdered Christians, including children—not to mention all the other anti-Christian atrocities they committed before and since—was that because of Israel or something else?
  • When Islamic rebels in Syria terrorize Christians, behead their priests and pastors, break Christian crosses and smash icons—all while shouting Islamic slogans—is that because of Israel or something more innate?
  • When Muslims in Indonesia illegally close off churches forcing Christians to celebrate Christmas in the streets—only to have cow dung and urine hurled at them—is that because of Israel, or something more ingrained?
  • When the Nigerian Islamic group Boko Haram destroys hundreds of churches and slaughters thousands of Christians, and when, on the other side of Africa, the Somali Islamic group Al-Shabaab terrorizes and beheads converts to Christianity—is that because of Israel or something more doctrinal?
  • Indeed, when Christian minorities in the Hamas-run Gaza Strip are abducted and forced to convert to Islam, is that because of Israel or the elephant in the room?

MacCulloch is correct about one thing: many Muslims do hate Israel.  But that hate, far from prompting the persecution of Christians, is actually a byproduct of the same hostility Islamic supremacism engenders for all non-Muslims.  The reason it is much more viral for Israel is because the Jewish state is in a unique position of authority over Muslims unlike vulnerable Christian minorities (as fully explained in this article).

The theme of silence permeates MacCulloch’s Daily Beast article—specifically, that Western Christians are silent concerning the plight of their persecuted brethren.  This silence is true and troubling—and many mainstream American Protestant denominations are certainly guilty of it.

However, instead of exploiting the sufferings of Christian minorities simply to scapegoat Israel—ironically a nation that is in an existential struggle against the very same ideology and forces that persecute Christians—it might have been better for MacCulloch himself to be silent.

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  • wollfb

    Raymond, I hope the deluded Mr. MacCulloch reads the user comments below his vile article. Rarely have I ever seen anyone taken apart like the readers took him apart for writing his filth blaming Israel.

    As you friend and colleague, I’d like to thank you for this wonderful response to the disgusting article blaming Israel for the brutal treatment of Christians under Islam. You are truly a defender of my people and our beloved Israel.

  • Warren Raymond

    Leftists are totally befuddled with the “noble savage”, which is nowhere to be found. They are also shallow, in that they base their views on Hollyweird movies rather than read history books and conflicting accounts. If their understanding of Islam comes from “the Kingdom of Heaven” you know that they are hopelessly confused.

    • Larry

      YO WARREN,

      There is no excuse today for the massive ignorance of Mohammedanism, now that we have the Internet!

      Basically, the WORLD is suffering from Cognitive Dissonance – Willful Blindness! There is a great book by Margaret Heffernan called, “WILLFUL BLINDNESS that deals with this subject and UNTIL people understand what Cognitive Dissonance is and how it effects us, we will NEVER understand why people do the things they do!

  • Larry

    YO WOLFF,

    RELIGIOUS SLIGHT OF HAND!

    Medjugorje was “created” to hide the Holocaust of Serbs by Catholics!

    During the Second World War in Yugoslavia, Catholic priests and Muslim clerics were willing accomplices in the genocide of the nations Serbian, Jewish and Roma population. From 1941 until 1945, the Nazi-installed regime of Ante Pavelic in Croatia carried out some of the most horrific crimes of the Holocaust (known as the Porajmos by the Roma), killing over 800,000 Yugoslav citizens – 750,000 Serbs, 60,000 Jews and 26,000 Roma. In these crimes, the Croatian Ustasha and Muslim fundamentalists were openly supported by the Vatican, the Archbishop of Zagreb Cardinal Alojzije Stepinac (1898-1960), and the Palestinian Grand Mufti of Jerusalem, Hajj Amin al-Husseini.
    Many of the victims of the Pavelic regime in Croatia were killed in the war’s third largest death camp – Jasenovac, where over 200,000 people – mainly Orthodox Serbs met their deaths. Some 240,000 were “rebaptized” into the Catholic faith by fundamentalist Clerics in “the Catholic Kingdom of Croatia” as part of the policy to “kill a third, deport a third, convert a third” of Yugoslavia’s Serbs, Jews and Roma
    in wartime Bosnia and Croatia (The Yugoslav Auschwitz and the Vatican, Vladimar Dedijer, Anriman-Verlag, Freiburg, Germany, 1988).

    JESUS, THE PROPHET OF NAZARETH SAID: ” THE TRUTH WILL SET YOU FREE”, THAT’S IF YOU ARE NOT SUFFERING FROM COGNITIVE DISSONANCE, WHICH THE MAJORITY OF PEOPLE SUFFER FROM.