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The mainstream media in the West is blissfully oblivious to the religious warfare that’s consuming Egypt of course. Having declared the Egyptian revolution a wonderful development, they can hardly be expected to acknowledge the ugly violence and bigotry that’s spreading throughout that ancient land. The New York Times, for example, wrote off reports of violence as a dispute fueled by unemployment woes and other economic pressures. Why economic pressures led members of one religion to attack the places of worship of another religion with Molotov cocktails was not explained in the Times’ coverage.
But, we have seen the mainstream media ignore religious persecution many times before, most recently in Iraq. It is sublimely ironic that a war of liberation led by the world’s most religiously tolerant nation, which was in turn led by an evangelical Christian President like George W. Bush, should result in the expulsion of hundreds of thousands of Christians. Yet, that is exactly what happened in Iraq. The Christian community in that nation was small, but historically quite significant, with roots that reach back to the founding of Christianity itself. No matter. Once the Muslim-dominated government of Iraq took control of the nation after liberation, Christians living there found themselves subject to more and more persecution. To date, the Christian community in Iraq has decreased by more than fifty per cent since Saddam was dethroned.
Fundamentalism has been on the rise in the Islamic world since Khomeini displaced the Shah and there are no signs that suggest the trend is shifting anytime soon. In Iraq, we saw that even the world’s only remaining superpower isn’t strong enough to head off the religious persecution that is so much a part of Islam. An Israel under siege more than ever emphasizes the point. And, if we needed any further proof, the fate of the Coptic Christians in Egypt demonstrates more than ever how the “religion of peace” is anything but that — especially when it has the power to enforce its main tenet if jihad.
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