The context of anti-Christian violence in the Middle East

Hussein Ibish of the American Task Force on Palestine has written two published articles recently, one published in NOW Lebanon and the other (a co-authored piece) in the Huffington Post.  Since they also appear on his blog, I will provide those links.  The first piece, which appeared in the HuffPo, also brought a response from a favorite commenter that Ibish posted here, dealing with the attitude of American Arabs and Muslims toward the US.

The theme in these posts was the attitude and rhetoric of victimization that Ibish finds among Arabs and Muslims abroad and in the United States, as Ibish writes in the article in NOW Lebanon:

All of this anti-Christian violence, however, comes in the context of rising rhetoric throughout the Arab world and other parts of the Muslim world that is paranoid and chauvinistic, and which sees all religious minorities as unacceptably heterogeneous and dangerous. Christians, of course, are particularly suspect since they are alleged or presumed to have particular ties to or sympathy with the West, which is cast as the eternal and implacable enemy.

Though the immediate contexts for the attacks in Egypt and Iraq are quite different, the Arab Muslim cultural context is exactly the same: an increasing desire to impose a false religious and cultural homogeneity on a heterogeneous Arab world and to repress or drive out disparate elements, including Christians, Shia, smaller Muslim sects like the Ahmadiyya or various Sufi groups, and secularists and other liberals. Parts of Arab political and Muslim religious culture that would repudiate violence nonetheless promote the thinking that ultimately rationalizes it by embracing a paranoid and chauvinist worldview.

The real blame lies with the killers themselves, but the ultimate responsibility for this carnage must be placed disturbingly far and wide throughout contemporary Arab political and religious attitudes, in an all-too-common delusional perspective that sees enemies and traitors in every corner and is convinced that the world is out to get us.


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