Translating Words, Interpreting Events

The Simple Wisdom of Arab Dictators

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After my recent articles documenting how the U.S. is the chief facilitator of Christian persecution in the Muslim world, I received an email from John Eibner, CEO of Christian Solidarity International, in which he made the following observation:

The sad fact is that the ruthless Assad dictatorship has a better record than the United States or its Sunni allies of protecting religious minorities in the Middle East. What Syrian Christian, Alawite or Druze in their right mind would trade the Assad’s time-tested protection for the smooth words of a John Kerry, especially when they can see Sunni supremacist Saudis, Qataris, Turks and a motley array of jihadis over their shoulder?

A sad fact indeed.

Still, one of the most nagging questions for Western observers must be: Why would ruthless dictators, most of whom are at least nominally Muslim, care about Christians and bother to protect them?

The answer is related to the popular adage (possibly of Arab origin), “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.”  This has long meant that, whoever is at odds with my enemy becomes my natural friend and ally.

In the context of Arab dictators and Christian minorities, however, the adage changes slightly to, “The enemy of ‘infidels’ is my enemy.”

Put differently, a secular Bashar Assad—ruthless as he may be—knows that those Islamic rebels that attack Christians because the latter are “infidels” also see him as an infidel and are thus his natural enemies.

And so, if anything, finding and neutralizing those “elements” that persecute Christians is one with finding and neutralizing those elements that would overthrow him.

It was the same in Saddam’s Iraq, Mubarak’s Egypt, Qaddafi’s Libya, and the rest.

The point is not that these dictators had any special love for their Christian subjects, but rather that they knew they had little to worry about from them, while those who attack Christians are the ones to worry about.

This is evinced by the fact that, in other contexts, such Arab rulers cast the Christians to the lions as scapegoats for Islamists to vent their rage on—a “better them than me” mentality.

Still, an overarching deduction exists: those who scream “infidels” while burning churches are the same who scream “apostate” while attacking state targets.  It’s an unwavering truism.

Even al-Qaeda’s Ayman Zawahiri recently demonstrated this correlation when he called on Egypt’s jihadis to stop targeting Christians and their churches and focus instead on fighting the current rulers.  In both cases, the jihadis see the “infidel”—whether the born Coptic Christian infidel or the “apostate” military—as the enemy.

Due to Egypt’s significant Christian population which numbers at least ten million (if not much more), the adage “the enemy of my enemy is my friend” takes on more complete meaning in that nation: the Copts and their church did play a supportive role in the June revolution that ousted the Muslim Brotherhood, even as Pope Tawadros stood side-by-side with Gen. Sisi and Al Azhar’s Grand Sheikh, Ahmed al-Tayab—only to suffer at the hands of Muslim Brotherhood supporters, including al-Qaeda, everywhere.

Such is the simple wisdom and instinct for survival of the Arab autocrats of the Middle East—a wisdom that concludes that, “he who targets Christians because they are ‘infidels,’ is he who targets me.”

Meanwhile, far from exhibiting such simple common sense, Western governments in general, the U.S. government in particular, continue to aid and abet those who, by targeting and killing Christians simply because they are “infidels,” are continually exposing their ingrained hostility for the West and everything it once stood for.

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  • Arius1071

    This Armenian is a strong supporter of Israel, and also a strong supporter of Assad. What else is possible for us? Israel protects its minorities, and Assad protects his minorities. The US threatens Assad and supports the Muslim Brotherhood and jihadis that are killing us.

  • DogWithoutSlippers

    makes us a natural enemy – doesn’t it?

  • reyol

    Muslim rulers protect non-muslim minorities because:
    -Under Sharia, they get to pay more taxes.
    -Non-muslim populations are a pool of half honest and competent technicians, clerks, and workers.
    -They are so grateful to the ruler for protecting them.
    -They’ll never seize power.
    -They’re the most productive farmers.
    -Non-muslims are a distraction for super muslims from the nominally muslim rulers.
    -Of course, everything Mr. Ibrahim states in the above article applies.

  • calico_kitty

    As an American, I loathe the way the Obama administration has damaged the countries of the middle east with his policies; have written repeatedly to my senators and representatives about it but this situation only worsens. Other than turning to God with prayer, many here who feel as I do are beginning to believe we have lost our country. So many innocent lives have been lost and I pray for an end to it.

    • mollysdad

      I’m, afraid you’re right, Calico. Through Emir Barack Hussein (peace be upon him) the USA is being transformed from the top down into an Islamic state.