Assad is a tyrant and he personally deserves anything he gets. But what about the two million Christians who have been living in Syria peacefully until recently? Do they deserve persecution, exile, and or death?
But persecution, exile, and even death is what they are receiving at the hands of Jihadists, and ultimately at the hands of White House intervention.
Whatever the problems and tragedies that are endemic in Islamic culture, the fact remains that Syrian Muslims and Syrian Christians have dwelt side by side for centuries. It wasn’t a great situation by American democratic standards. It hasn’t been blissful. But it was more or less peaceful. Muslims, whatever they thought or said about Christianity in the abstract, knew and lived with their specific Christian neighbors.
With the so-called “civil war” now under way, that peace has been shattered. It is not just because Assad enforced religious tolerance. It is because the Syrian carnage is not simply a civil war. Many of the fighters are from outside the country. The ancient Christian communities mean nothing to these people. All they see is an infidel religion and a group that will tend to prefer the secular dictator to their religious vision of Sharia law.
Syria’s Christians, who make up less than 10 per cent of the estimated 23 million population, include Greek Orthodox, Syriac Orthodox, Maronite and Melkite Greek Catholic faithful. Already thousands have left, part of a larger tide of displaced Syrians escaping the conflict in which opposition groups say 27,000 people have died. In the Homs area 80,000 have fled as churches and community centers have been targeted, defaced, and their religious icons stolen.
So what will the West do? Will they pretend that it isn’t happening and overlook the persecution inflicted on Christian minorities in the region? Undoubtedly, some Christians will defend the Assad regime as the only hope that they might be preserved and protected from Jihadi enemies. One has to wonder if this will be used as an excuse for overlooking the persecutions they suffer.
The situation we find in Libya is not encouraging. Are we going to pretend we are making the Middle East a better place when we are actually making it worse? Are we going to allow thousands of Christians to be banished from their homelands in order to make ourselves feel better because we can boast that we overthrew a dictator and helped “liberate” a people? The White House and State Department are actively encouraging the forces of revolution in Syria. They don’t show any sign of being concerned about the treatment of Christians.