In These New Times

A new paradigm for a post-imperial world

Syria: Christian community faces another northern Cyprus, Iraq and Kosovo

Posted by seumasach on November 6, 2012

Helmut Joachim Schmidt and Lee Jay Walker

Pakistan Christian Post

Source: Modern Tokyo Times

6th November, 2012

Northern Cyprus, Iraq, Kosovo and now Syria all have one binding feature and that is the collapse of Christianity always follows in the wake of Western meddling. It appears that the policy of Saudi Arabia, which does not tolerate one non-Muslim place of worship, is being enacted by elites in London and Washington when it comes to their respective foreign policy. Despite this, the vast majority of churches in the West either remain silent, or they have accepted that the Christian faith is in decline and not worth defending.

Throughout Africa, Asia, Europe and North America, nations like Saudi Arabia are intent on spreading a conservative version of Islam which seeks no compromise. Yet political elites in these nations are not demanding that Saudi Arabia and other draconian nations, open up to other non-Muslim faiths and other sects within Islam. It is a clear win-win policy for Saudi Arabia. Therefore, religious and political elites in Riyadh must be laughing at such a spineless international community, which is working in collusion with the most draconian nation on this planet.

It must be pointed out that moderate Islam and non-Muslims are bearing the hatred of radical Sunni Islam, which seeks a monoculture and to destroy moderate forces. In Turkey the Alevi suffer persecution, in Pakistan and Indonesia the Ahmadiyya Muslim community suffers greatly and many Shia Muslims are killed in Pakistan. When moderate Sunni Muslim voices challenge the Sunni Islamist inquisition, then they are also put in the firing line. Likewise, in Libya and northern Mali the Sufi faith is under threat from Islamists, which have been destroying Sufi shrines and other areas related to this branch of Islam. Even moderate versions of Islam in Pakistan within various Sunni branches are being influenced by the harbingers of hatred.

Archbishop Chrysostomos of Cyprus referred to the fact that the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria stands by all minorities and the various Christian communities. The thought of the FSA emerging victorious along with various different Islamist terrorist groups is certainly creating fear and panic to the Archbishop of Cyprus. He commented about the plight of Christians within the Middle East and stated that “certainly Christianity is in danger, especially in Syria.”

This comment would have been laughed at in early 2011 because under the government of Bashar al-Assad the Christian community and all faith groups had hope. Likewise, women never had to worry about what the future held for them under an Islamist state like Saudi Arabia, where women are forbidden to drive and to dress how they like. However, once nations like Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey saw an opening in Syria and had the support of America, France and the United Kingdom; then political elites in Ankara, Doha and Riyadh decided to embark on supporting sectarianism, terrorism and spreading Salafi ideology. They did this with the full backing of elites in Washington, London and Paris but while America and the United Kingdom appear to be cooling – the same destabilization policies are continuing.

In Kosovo it was stated by Modern Tokyo Times that “The Turks could never destroy the ‘spirit and soul’ of the Orthodox Christian community in Kosovo despite the enslavement of young Christian boys being converted to Islam, dhimmitude, wars, heavy taxation and other factors. Fascism also couldn’t destroy this community during World War Two. However, the American political leadership and British political leadership laid down the foundations for the destruction of this embattled community.”

Therefore, whenever London and Washington weave their geopolitical games in the Balkans and the Middle East, the end result is always the same. This applies to the weakening of all minority faiths and clearly the Christians, Alawites, the Shia and other communities like the Druze, have much to fear in Syria if the Free Syrian Army (FSA) and outside meddling overthrows the government of Syria. Indeed, mainstream Sunni Muslim religious leaders like the Grand Mufti of Syria also have much to fear. After all, just like Sufi shrines are now being destroyed in Libya, the same Islamists will also try to destroy liberal Sunni Islamic values in Syria.

The Russian Federation understands the reality of Islamism and terrorism because many parts of the Caucasus face serious problems. In other parts of this nation like in Tatarstan, the Sufi leadership also faces death and hatred by Islamists just like in Dagestan in the Caucasus region. The heart and soul of Islam is being challenged by Islamists in many parts of the world. Therefore, even when Muslims are small minorities, it is clear that Islamists seek to fill any vacuum open to them in order to spread divisions and sow the seeds of hatred.

In Iraq vast numbers of people fled the carnage which followed the American led invasion. The percentage of Christians which left Iraq was enormous and now the same fate awaits them in Syria. Therefore, within parts of the Balkans and the Middle East the same geopolitical policies of Washington and London keep on helping to cleanse the various Christian communities. It also matters not if during war or during so-called peacetime because the ongoing destruction of Orthodox Christianity continues in northern Cyprus and Kosovo. Indeed, many Orthodox Christians have been killed by the mainly Muslim Albanians in Kosovo since the ending of the conflict. Yet, and this is important, how many Kosovo Albanians are in prison for killing Orthodox Christians during peacetime in Kosovo?

Syria under the current leader, Bashar al-Assad, not only protects all faith groups but this nation under his leadership took in millions of refugees from several nations within the Middle East. Many of these refugees came from Iraq because of terrorism and sectarianism which was unleashed after the US led invasion of this nation. During this crisis the elites in Damascus welcomed refugees irrespective of faith. Therefore, vast numbers of Sunni Muslims, Shia Muslims, Christians and other faith communities were given sanctuary in Syria.

However, this nation is now being destabilized by many outside nations which desire to alter the religious and political map of the Middle East. Christians, and all Syrians who support the mosaic of this nation, have much to fear given the reality of what happened in Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya and Kosovo.

Bishop Antoine Audo stated about his beloved Syria that “In the city of Homs, home to what was the country’s second-largest Christian community, all but a few of the faithful were forced to leave after a wave of persecution — all the churches desecrated.” Bishop Antoine Audo also states that “If Christians in my country were reduced to a token few; it would be disastrous because, until now, ours has been one of the last remaining strong Christian centers in the whole of the Middle East.”

The Christian community was forced to flee the barbarity of the FSA and various different Islamist terrorist groups which have been supported by America, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, the United Kingdom, Qatar and France. Likewise, Christian churches, just like in Kosovo and northern Cyprus, have been destroyed by the friends of Washington. Therefore, the Christian community relies on the power of the armed forces of Syria to repulse the various terrorist, mercenary and seditious movements.

Recently a leading cleric from Saudi Arabia called for the destruction of churches throughout Arabia. Given the political elites in Washington, London and Paris, and remembering past history; then this cleric may soon get his wish in Syria if the FSA and Islamists win the day?

The forces which support the mosaic of Syria are based throughout the government of this nation. Likewise, all leading religious figures in Syria irrespective of faith are adamant that outside meddling must stop. It is time to listen to people on the ground and whose voices have been marginalized by the mass media. Syria needs breathing space in order to solve their own situation through the institutions which exist and to expand on areas which favor the majority of Syrians. Therefore, it is essential that outside nations stop supporting religious cleansing, terrorism, sectarianism and sedition.

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