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What about the war on Christianity now going on across Muslim countries?

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Initial post: Dec 6, 2012 9:54:50 AM PST
Ehkzu says:
Forget the so-called war on Christianity discussed on Fox News frequently for demagogic purposed. There's a real shooting war on Christianity going on right now.

The worst is Iraq, which had between 700,000 and a million Christians before George Bush abandoned the search for the people who attacked us and went to war with the wrong country instead.

The direct byproduct of his bungled occupation was untying the hands ot the Islamofascists, and they made one of their first priorities the elimination of all non-Muslim religions from Iraq.

They won. Now just a tiny remnant of Christianity remains in the Islamic state of Iraq. Most--the ones who weren't murdered--are not huddled in Jordan and Syria, where they aren't allowed work permits, forcing the girls and women into prostitution just to feed their families.

Most of Iraq's Christian communities were there long before Islam even existed. But their story is just about over.

Across the Muslim world, Christians are getting out of Dodge due to relentless persecution by a combination of Islamofascist militias with government collusion or indifference. Egyp and Lebanon are perfect examples.

And many of these countries have blasphemy laws that don't protect all religions--only Islam. And those laws have draconian punishments and a low threshold of proof, enabling neighbors to accuse a Christian family of something and get their land as a consequence. This is done in Pakistan all the time.

Even in the most liberal Muslim country, Indonesia, warfare has flared up in places like Sulawesi and Ambon, usually sparked by Saudi-trained foreign religious leaders, then exported to the far ends of Indonesia by militants from Jakarta and therabouts. The government tries to step in, usually delivering handslaps to the Muslims who started it and executions to the Christians who defended themselves.

In Nigeria, the Sudan and elsewhere, militants from Islamist regions are trying to conquer neighboring Christian regions and drive out the Christians. Christians don't always have clean hands but the bulk of the atrocities are carried out by Islamist militants.

There is a war on Christianity. It's going on now. Calling it a "war" isn't hyperbole--it's the literal truth.

Most Muslims are law-abiding, peace-loving people. However, the vast majority of terrorism in the world today is done by people who call themselves Muslim.

And they don't want anyone who isn't Muslim anywhere in the Umma--the Muslim World. It's not just Christians, of course. Hence their obession with Israel, which outrages them even more than their Christian minorities because the Christians can't fight back and the Israelis can and do. They don't like people who fight back.

The Muslim world carried out a comprehensive ethnic "cleansing" of its Jews, numbering over 3/4 of a million people--over a year or two following the formation of the state of Israel. Now they're doing the same thing to the Christians.

And the gypsies and Zoroastrians and Bahai. Then they're start in on Muslims who aren't the "right" kind of Muslim, depending on which sect is in the majroity in a given location.

Meanwhile I don't understand why American Christians (and others for that matter) don't make a bigger issue of this.

Is it because the Republican Party was so instrumental in eliminating Christianity from Iraq? That would be sad indeed. It would mean that Political Christianity was a movement where the Political part have overshadowed the Christianity part.

I should add that even where things are peaceful, Islam has shows itself to be imperialistic. Bali is an island in Indonesia with a population of over 3 million who are 95% Hindu. Peacefully militant Muslims, using Saudi money, are buying up land there and building giant mosques with giant loudspeaker systems, blaring out calls to prayer from before dawn to after midnight--to the surrounding Hindu community, drowning out Hindu services being conducted in nearby Hindu temples. I've witnessed this myself. And the Muslim minority living there is being supplanted by hardcore fundamentalist Muslims colonizing the island from Java, again aided by Saudi money.

They've been aided by land getting so cheap there since several Muslim bombings nearly destroyed the island's tourism-based economy. This is how violent jihadis and nonviolent cultural imperialists work hand in hand.

This is a real issue, and one with implications for American foreign policy.

Posted on Dec 6, 2012 12:15:22 PM PST
A. Caplan says:
Fortunately for you Christians, Muslims are too busy killing each other to worry much about y'all.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 6, 2012 1:09:59 PM PST
Brian Curtis says:
You make a good point--zealots and theocrats can never be trusted with any political power. It always goes badly for those of different beliefs.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:07:08 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
I'm not a Christian. I just think it's ironic that our most Christian president of all presided over and was directly responsible for the destruction of Christianity in Iraq.

And I'm a little surprised this topic hasn't gotten more attention in the religion forum. Just Atheists vs. Theists, back & forth, like watching a pingpong match...

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 7, 2012 11:51:11 PM PST
Re OP: This is certainly a mish-mash. The Muslim war on Christianity has been going on for 1400 years; present phenomena are simply a continuation. I have, sitting on my desk, a CD which I bought in Saudi Arabia: it is Enigma's MCMXC a.D, which happens to have a small cross on the cover picture. A Saudi censor opened the thing up, and obliterated the cross with a Magic Marker.

"calls to prayer from before dawn to after midnight..." Not quite correct. The dawn prayer, specified as being called when there is sufficient light to distinguish a white from a black thread, is called at the beginning of morning civil twilight (sun 12 degrees below the horizon). The last evening prayer is called an hour and a half after sunset. (In tropical countries, this won't be much after 8 PM.) Saudi desk calendar pads (of the one day per page type) show prayer times at various locations about the kingdom.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 12:56:22 AM PST
Ehkzu says:
re: mish mash

Well, the Muslim War on Christianity is actually the War on Everything that Isn't Islam, synchronous with the War on Every Kind of Islam that Isn't Mine.

However, that war was completely in abeyance in Iraq during Saddam Hussein's reign, and the Christian communities in what is now Iraq coexisted peacefully with the surrounding Muslims pretty much for the greater part of two millenia. That community has only been in danger of being completely obliterated since Bush II invested Iraq incompetently. The Christian communities in Pakistan likewise existed there in relative peace until, as I recall, General Zia instituted a radical Islamist government.

Christians were generallly treated as dhimmi (servant class sorta) over many centuries, as during the Ottoman Empire, I think. And of course the reign of the Moors in Spain was notoriously tolerant.

And in Egypt of course the Coptic Christians have been there since before Islam existed by, like six centuries, and again they've coexisted with Islam for well over a millenium.

The difference is being tolerating the presence of these religious minorities in a legally inferior status and deciding to drive them out of the region and kill any who try to stay. That's a big difference in recent history, and a big change from overall patterns over previous centuries.

I'd trace it to the infusions of gargantuan wealth in Saudi Arabia from petroleum, and there the ruling family cut a devil's bargain with its radically extremist clergy to finance them propagating their hate-filled flavor of Islam around the world in exchange for leaving Saudi Arabia alone. That's what's going on now, and these exported Saudi clergy have a lot of political capital in other countries due to Saudi Arabia being the birthplace of Islam.

So basically America and Europe have paid the Saudis to teach the rest of the Muslim world to hate us and try to kill us.

This is different. The Christian communities being extirpated have mostly been in place in the Middle East for thousands of years--I'm not talking about religious colonialism, but communities that largely predate Islam. Lebanon's another. It was majority Christian or close to it a century ago. Now the Christians are getting out of Dodge as fast as they can. Ditto Bethlehem in Palestine. There it hasn't been by murder mostly. Just by tightening the screws on the Christians and making them fear for their lives given the examples elsewhere in the Muslim world. And of course in Nigeria and the Sudan the Muslims where they're in the majority have also broken the peace that long existed. In Sudan the things the Arab Muslims did to the Black Christians were horrific. In Nigeria the Muslim regions are trying to drive out the Christians in neighboring Christian areas in a kind of war of attrition.

All this leads me to disagree with your thesis. I think we're witnessing the end of an accommodation that has lasted for a long, long time--basically since the Crusades. It was also inspired by the Germans' successful effort to kill or drive out every Jew in their country and across most of the rest of Europe as well. Many Muslims found this inspirational, and a great example to follow. Today's Islam is often reactionary and revanchist.

One bright light, however, is the fact that in Egypt at least young Salafists demonstrating alongside moderate Muslims and Coptic Christians discovered that the other people there were nothing like the decadent degenerates the Salafist graybeards told them they were like, and it has gotten a lot of younger, very ideological Muslims questioning their marching orders from the angry old men of their faith.

A glimmer of hope.

As for the "calls to prayer" you may be correct about the rules. But I'm not talking about the rules. I'm talking about what I've experienced personally across half a dozen trips to Indonesia, from Bali to West Papua and many islands in between, over the last baker's dozen years. There, in what may be the most moderate, tolerant Muslim country, I've seen progressive radicalization and cultural imperialism from one end to the other.

We stayed in a hotel in Makassar on Sulawesi and experience the calls to prayer from a nearby mosque with a PA system Metallica would envy, early and late--really late. In West Papua the locals (who look like Australian aborigines and are all Christian) hate the mosque-building and incredibly loud calls to prayer day and night there, riding over Christian services without any regard for them. Ditto in Hindu Bali. In Sulawesi and Ambon, Muslim villageers have been attacking nearby Chr9istian villages after being stirred up by radicals from Jakarta coming in and spreading mostly false rumors of Christians doing bad things to Muslims (in a country that's over 80% Muslim overall--few tiny minorities just up and attack members of dominant group).

And moderate Muslims there are really, really nervous about the radicalization being preached to their sons and daughters by lavishly financed Saudi preachers.

In Bali they bought a hillock overlooking an ancient Hindu temple on Lake Bratan and built a giant Mosque there so it's looming over the Hindu temple, and once again the calls to prayer are brayed out with zero regard to Hindu services that have been going on there for a millenium. And the Balinese there are gritting their teeth. Nobody on Earth hates Muslim terrorists as much as the Balinese, for good reason. They know they're a tiny minority in Indonesia but the Muslim invasion of their island, again financed by petrodollars, is making a lot of them feel like they've got their backs against the wall.

I'm just hoping the moderates win out in Indonesia. What we did after the Aceh tsunami helped a lot. The Devil Americans the Imams told people about showed up with a carrier taskforce and save many, many lives. Indonesians, like the young Salafists in Tahrir Square, haven't forgotten the disparity between what the preachers told them and the reality they experienced. I hope it's enough.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 8:31:44 AM PST
Jeff Marzano says:
Ekzu says:

[There's a real shooting war on Christianity going on right now.]

The mistrust that many Christians feel towards Muslims and the Islamic world in general is an interesting development these days.

I had a highly paid professional tell me one day after a meeting that the Muslims are planning on killing all the Christians and taking over the world. This was a potentially risky thing to say in the workplace in this politically correct world we live in today. People have lost their jobs saying things like that.

I heard a Catholic priest the other day say in Church that it was good that Christians fought against the Muslims. I guess he was talking about the Crusades although I'm no expert on the historical details of this conflict. This priest feels the day may soon come again when Christians may have to fight to preserve their religious freedom.

The Left Behind books are the largest selling adult fiction book series in history. Even though they are fiction I think many people who read them feel they reflect what's really going to happen in the near future. They see some looming showdown on the horizon between Christianity and Islam and the emergence of the anti Christ. So they tie it in with the prophetic books in the bible.

Mohammed was a false prophet I believe. I say this because there are important philosophical differences between Christianity and Islam. But how much harm Mohammed has caused and whether he himself is somehow responsible for Islamic terrorism I don't know.

Islam has become the religion of choice for the oppressed and disenfranchised all over the world. That group of people already has a lot of anger and hopelessness built in.

The root causes of terrorism are hard to understand I guess. I don't think I understand it. Like what did they think they were accomplishing with the 9/11 attacks and who really benefited from it ?

There are probably some like Bin Ladin who truly believe in what they are doing. Edgar Cayce expert and author John van Auken states that Bin Ladin felt he was the reincarnation of the Islamic hero Saladin who drove the infidel Christians out of the Holy Land.

Jeff Marzano

Jesus: His Words Decoded, His Mystery Teachings Revealed

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 9:41:57 AM PST
Re Ehkzu, 2d above: Good post. As for "hope it's enough", it may be so in that particular area -- but there is a LOT of dirt which is out of sight and out of mind. It is going to be a long, tough haul.

Posted on Dec 8, 2012 12:59:48 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
Humans are tribal animals. Christianity was an attempt to transcend this. Christ's tale of the Good Samaritan exemplifies this. I don't believe there's anything like that parable in the Q'uran. So it's my impression at least that Islam represents the religion that enshrines tribalism instead of trying to transcend it.

There's an Arab saying: "Me against my brother. Me and my brother against my neighbor. Me, my brother and my neighbor against the Stranger."

That's tribalism in a nutshell.

Seen that way, the so-far-successful attempt of Islam, taken as a whole, to rid "it's" lands of everyone who isn't Muslim has been pretty successful.

Now of course many Christians are tribal. That's how you get people who are very loud about their Christianity advocating causes that Christ wouldn't have and didn't. Worship of wealth. Hatred of homosexuals. Worship of guns as well. Stuff like that. But the thing is these go against Christianity, while I'm not sure that the most tribal expressions of Islam go against it.

Also, Islam's simple, clear instructions work well for uneducated people. That's why Zen Buddhism will never be a mass movement. It asks too much of the individual. And Christianity--at least many Christian sects--also ask you to have a thoughtful faith. People who try to be thoughtful about Islam in Muslim countries tend to wind up dead.

There are many millions of Muslims who are fine, peace-loving people. I've met a fair number in my travels, which include half a dozen trips in and through the most populous Muslim country on Earth. In fact I've never met a Muslim personally who I didn't like. Except for the pair of Salfists who tried to cut in line in an airport in the Philippines. They were a nasty pair of schmucks, I have to say.

But 'andsome is as 'andsome does, and today Islam is dominated by its more murderous, hate-filled proponents. Actually the real war isn't between Christianity and Islam, but between moderates of every faith against the crazy eyes of every faith.

Think of it that way. It's just that with Christianity they don't kill you if you say you don't believe in Christ. Or publish cartoons mocking Him.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 8:27:29 PM PST
Astrocat says:
There's an interesting little twist in the Christian gospels that highlights the Christian tribalism that was active during the time when the gospel according to Matthew was written. No one knows who wrote it, of course, but it was based on the gospel attributed to Mark. In Mark, Jesus is made to say,
"He that is not against us is for us." (9:40) The writer of "Matthew" twists that completely around and has Jesus say, instead, "He who is not with me is against me." (12:30)
Then Luke (9:50) brings it back again to, "He that is not against you is for you."

Matthew was most interested in the tribal warfare, in making those Jews who did not accept Jesus as the Messiah change their tune. He drew a line and created an "us vs them" situation, and sadly that was the position taken by Christians for hundreds of years, and even to this day.
Then Luke

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 8, 2012 9:16:12 PM PST
Last edited by the author on Dec 8, 2012 9:56:31 PM PST
Ehkzu says:
re: tribal Christians

It's true that there has been no end of tribal Christianity. But in the spirit of focusing on the part of the glass that has something in it, it should be clear that Christianity at its best tries to transcend ordinary tribal boundaries.

At it's best.

The Mormon religion of my wife is a tribal as they come, in both good and not so good ways, but even within this somewhat insular religious community it has reached out from its Northern European/American roots to become a worldwide church that is now minority white and has services in many languages and spanning many cultures.

So if it's tribalism it's at least a pan-racial pan-ethnic tribalism.

And the religion doesn't consign non-members to hell or even a totally different heaven (pretty much--the top layer still goes to the faithful).

That's what I'm talking about.

Baby steps.
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Discussion in:  Religion forum
Participants:  6
Total posts:  11
Initial post:  Dec 6, 2012
Latest post:  Dec 8, 2012

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