Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
Reprinted from PJ Media.
A February Rasmussen report sheds light on just how divorced from reality millions of American liberal voters are. After pointing out that “Democrats are more likely to think Muslims are mistreated in America than to think Christians are persecuted in the Islamic world,” the report elaborates:
Fifty-six percent (56%) of Democrats, however, believe most Muslims in this country [America] are mistreated, a view shared by only 22% of Republicans and 39% of voters not affiliated with either major party. Fewer Democrats (47%) think most Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world, compared to 76% of GOP voters and 64% of unaffiliateds.… Women are more likely than men to think most American Muslims are mistreated here but less likely to believe Christians are mistreated in the Islamic world. Nearly as many voters under 40 think most Muslims are mistreated in America (51%) as think most Christians are mistreated in the Muslim world (57%).
To put these dismal statistics in perspective, consider some facts. Open Doors, an international human rights organization that publishes annual reports concerning the global persecution of Christians, noted in its most recent report: “215 million Christians experience high levels of persecution.” During 2017, a reported 3,066 Christians were killed, 1,252 abducted, and 1,020 raped or sexually harassed on account of their faith. And 793 churches were attacked or destroyed.
The overwhelming majority of this slaughter and destruction occurred in 50 nations — 38 of which are Muslim-majority. “Islamic oppression” is further responsible for the “extreme persecution” of Christians — meaning the abuse, rape, imprisonment, or slaughter of Christians on sight — in eight of the worst ten nations. “Every day,” the organization adds, “six women are raped, sexually harassed or are forced into marriage to a Muslim under threat of death due to their Christian faith.”
The above statistics are actually conservative. Based on the findings of the Italian-based Center for Studies on New Religions, “90,000 Christians died for their faith in 2016” alone, a great many under Islam.
It’s worth noting that the overwhelming majority of Muslims persecuting Christians are not “terrorists” (at least not formally), but rather come from all rungs of Muslim society.
Take Egypt, for example (the 17th worst nation where Christians experience “very high persecution”). According to the report, along with “violent religious groups,” two other segments of society are “Very Strong[ly]” responsible for the persecution: (1) “Non-Christian religious leaders” — meaning Muslim clerics, sheikhs, imams, and the rest — “at any level from local to national”; and (2) “Normal citizens (people from the general public), including mobs.”
Similarly, “officials at any level from local to national” are “strongly responsible” for the “oppression” of Egypt’s Christians, particularly “through their failure to vindicate the rights of Christians and also through their discriminatory acts which violate the fundamental rights of Christians.”
That the same segments of Muslim society are involved in the same patterns of persecution of Christians throughout the Islamic world — despite the racial, linguistic, cultural, and economic-political differences of all these African, Asian, Arab, and Caucasian nations — further underscores the only commonality, or true source of the persecution: Islam.
Now, compare all this to the supposedly worse — in liberal minds — “mistreatment” Muslims suffer in America.
According to a November 2017 Pew report: “In 2016, there were 127 reported [Muslim] victims of aggravated or simple assault.” In the preceding decades, assaults on Muslims averaged around 50 a year.
Even if this number were accurate, it pales in comparison to what millions of Christians — not 127 — are experiencing under Islam. But the fact is many of these anti-Muslim hate crimes are later found to have been fabricated or grossly exaggerated. Note, for instance, how the Pew report conflates “assaults” with “simple assaults” — even though the latter “does not involve physical contact with the victim.”
Moreover, Muslims in America do not experience institutionalized persecution — that is, persecution at the hands of governments, authorities, and police — as Christians under Islam do.
And there is a final ironic difference: Muslim persecution of Christians is religiously motivated and built on Islamic doctrines that portray non-Muslims as subhuman chattel. And that’s what the “assaults” and “simple assaults” on Muslims are generally motivated by, or rather in response to: Americans knowing and disliking what Muslims are about. That such assaults are so exceptionally rare proves that Americans understand what makes such values incompatible with our laws.
Nonetheless, and as usual, all these actual facts have little to do with what a significantly large segment of the American voting population — mostly liberals/Democrats, a majority under 40 and female — believe.
Why they are so misinformed becomes apparent when one understands that liberal media is dedicated to maintaining liberal narratives at all costs: in this case, that Christians are always the aggressors, Muslims always the misunderstood victims.
Thus, when journalist Shannon Bream recently announced a forthcoming segment on the growth of Christian persecution around the world, ABC’s Matthew Dowd tweeted: “Maybe you can talk about the bigger problem which is persecution of Muslims in America and around the globe. Bigger issue.”
The truly “bigger issue” is that tens of millions of Americans are so deluded as to believe — and inevitably base their votes on — the inverse of reality.