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Robert Fisk, the Middle East correspondent for the U.K.’s widely-read Independent, recently showed why it is that Islamic jihadists and terrorists, including the late Osama bin Laden, strongly recommend his propaganda to Western readers.
In a recent article, Fisk goes out of his way to demonize the abused Christian minorities of the Middle East for supporting those secularist leaders most likely to preserve their freedoms and dignity. For instance, after portraying the Middle East’s “old guard” in the worst possible terms, he complains that “Ahmed Shafiq, the Mubarak loyalist, has the support of the Christian Copts, and Assad has the support of the Syrian Christians. The Christians support the dictators. Not much of a line, is it?”
In Fisk’s way of thinking, Christians of Egypt and Syria are unpatriotic freedom-haters because they support secularists, whereas the Sharia-pushing Islamists are patriotic freedom-lovers for not.
“Not much of a line, is it?”—especially from someone who supposedly lives and travels in the Middle East and is deemed an authority on the region. Completely missing from his narrative is why Christians are supporting Shafiq and Assad: because the alternatives, the Islamists, have been making their lives a living hell.
Fisk’s biased narrative is, of course, not original to him, but rather originates with his friends—the Islamists. Soon after the first presidential elections in Egypt, many Islamists bemoaned Shafiq’s good showing, laying the blame directly on Egypt’s Christian Copts, who reportedly came out in large numbers voting for the secular candidates. Tarek al-Zomor, a prominent figure of the Gama’a al-Islamiyya, the terrorist organization that slaughtered some 60 European tourists, including several of Fisk’s countrymen, during the Luxor Massacre, “demanded an apology from the Copts” for voting for Shafiq, threatening that “this was a fatal error.”
Others, like Abu Ismail, the Salafi presidential candidate who was disqualified, expressed “great disappointment” in “our Coptic brethren,” saying that “I do not understand why the Copts so adamantly voted for Ahmed Shafiq,” portraying it as some sort of conspiracy between the Copts, the old regime, and even Israel: “Exactly what relationship and benefit do the Copts have with the old regime”?
The uncritical Fisk follows suit and asks the same questions, portraying the Mideast’s Christians as unpatriotic.
Missing from the Islamists’—and Fisk’s—narrative is the fact that Christians are under attack by Islamists, especially in Egypt and Syria, where Christian women and children and regularly abducted, molested, and forced to convert; where churches and monasteries are regularly attacked; where blasphemy laws imprison or kill and calls for jizya are back—in short, where Christians are persecuted (see entries for Egypt and Syria in my monthly “Muslim Persecution of Christians” for an idea). Moreover, the ultimate goal of Fisk’s supposedly “freedom-loving Islamists—the enforcement of a decidedly anti-freedom Sharia law—will naturally spell disaster for Christians, since this draconian law code emphatically condemns non-Muslim “infidels” to dhimmi status—barely-tolerated, second-class “citizens” of the Islamic state.
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