Archive for the 'Sectarian' Category

Shifting Mideast Sands Reveal New Alliances

Friday, March 21st, 2014

by Jonathan Spyer*

A number of events in recent weeks cast light on the current intersecting lines of conflict in the Middle East. They reflect a region in flux, in which new bonds are being formed, and old ones torn asunder.

But amid the confusion, a new topography is emerging.

This was the month in which a long-existent split in the Sunni Arab world turned into a gaping fissure. On March 5th, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates announced that they were withdrawing their ambassadors from the Emirate of Qatar.

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‘Largest Massacre of Christians in Syria’ Ignored

Monday, November 25th, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim*

One of the worst Christian massacres—complete with mass graves, tortured-to-death women and children, and destroyed churches—recently took place in Syria, at the hands of the U.S.-supported jihadi “rebels”; and the U.S. government and its “mainstream media” mouthpiece are, as usual, silent (that is, when not actively trying to minimize matters).

The massacre took place in Sadad, an ancient Syriac Orthodox Christian habitation, so old as to be mentioned in the Old Testament. Most of the region’s inhabitants are poor, as Sadad is situated in the remote desert between Homs and Damascus (desert regions, till now, apparently the only places Syria’s Christians could feel secure; 600 Christian families had earlier fled there for sanctuary from the jihad, only to be followed by it).

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Murdered Christian Children: The Price of Obama’s Pro-Brotherhood Jihad

Friday, November 1st, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Who is more deserving of punishment by the United States? Millions of Egyptians, for ousting the Muslim Brotherhood? Or the Muslim Brotherhood, for habitually terrorizing and murdering Christians, among many other crimes?

According to the unmistakably clear actions of the Obama administration, it is the millions of anti-Brotherhood Egyptians who deserve punishment.

Last Sunday, the Church of the Virgin Mary in Waraq near Cairo was attacked during a wedding ceremony, leaving four dead and many wounded. According to Dr. Hisham Abdul Hamid of forensics, two of those who were murdered were Christian children—two girls; two Marys: 12-year-old Mary Nabil Fahmy, who took five shots in the chest, and 8-year-old Mary Ashraf Masih (meaning “Christ”), who took a bullet in the back which burst from the front.

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Israel’s Bad Neighborhood

Saturday, August 10th, 2013

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger, “Second Thought: a US-Israel Initiative,” “Israel Hayom”

While the Middle East combusts, threatening vital US interests, the US attempts to clip the wings of Israel — the only reliable, predictable, stable, effective, democratic and unabashedly pro-US firefighter in the region.

Western policy-makers and public opinion molders welcomed the 2011 riots on the Arab Street as an Arab Spring, a people’s revolution and a transition toward democracy. However, Tunisia, Libya, Egypt, Yemen and Syria have demonstrated that the Arab Street is experiencing an Arab Tsunami and a transition towards intensified chaos, totally unrelated to the Palestinian issue, which has been a regional sideshow. In fact, Alexei Pushkov, Chairman of the International Committee in Russia’s Duma, stated on July 4, 2013: “the ongoing events in Egypt confirm that the so-called Arab Spring has led not to democratic renewal but to chaos… We can see this in Egypt, in Libya, in Syria, and in Iraq… The events in Egypt show that there can’t be a quick and gentle transition from an authoritarian regime to political democracy. There can’t be such a transition in the Arab Middle East countries…”

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Israel must defend its rights by saying “no” to Obama, the EU, and the UN

Friday, August 2nd, 2013

By Gary Gerofsky

The peaceniks and media types have been excited these past several days over U.S. President Obama’s victory at getting the Government of Israel (GOI) to prostrate itself in front of the world. The Jewish State stands tortured and shackled by Obama and the E.U., self-flagellating in a defeated manner that is a national embarrassment, all to satisfy a world lusting for punitive action and retribution against the Jewish people for successfully establishing a free state, once again, in the place where they have lived continuously for at least 3500 years. It is now payback time in the minds of leftists because Jews survived and then defeated those who wanted to eliminate Israel with war and terror. Jews defeated people aligned to Adolph Hitler during the Second World War. Now, with the destructive help of those empowered to protect and defend Israel, the Jewish State is being asked to make dangerous sacrifices amounting to suicide.

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Islamism’s Likely Doom

Monday, July 22nd, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

As recently as 2012, it appeared that Islamists could overcome their many internal dissimilarities – sectarian (Sunni, Shi’ite), political (monarchical, republican), tactical (political, violent), or attitudes toward modernity (Salafi, Muslim Brotherhood) – and cooperate. In Tunisia, for example, Salafis and the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) types found common ground. Differences between all these groups were real but secondary, as I put it then, because “all Islamists pull in the same direction, toward the full and severe application of Islamic law (the Shari’a).”

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Family Feuds, Wild East Style

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

by Phyllis Chesler

Yesterday, The Wall Street Journal had a front page story: As U.S. Pulls Out, Feuds Split Afghanistan’s Ruling Family. This title is both comic and tragic but it is not “news”.

“A Ruling Family feud” is Afghan history and, perhaps, psychology. Afghan Emirs and Shahs seized thrones mainly from their brothers, half-brothers, uncles and nephews. Rulers were routinely tortured and murdered by their relatives; some were allowed to live, but with their eyes gouged out.

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Egypt after Morsi: Joy and Worry

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

by Daniel Pipes*

The overthrow of Mohamed Morsi in Egypt delights and worries me.

Delight is easy to explain. What appears to have been the largest political demonstration in history uprooted the arrogant Islamists of Egypt who ruled with near-total disregard for anything other than consolidating their own power. Islamism, the drive to apply a medieval Islamic law and the only vibrant radical utopian movement in the world today, experienced an unprecedented repudiation. Egyptians showed an inspiring spirit.

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Muslim Persecution of Christians: March, 2013

Monday, June 17th, 2013

U.S. Defends “Human Rights” of Persecutors of Christians

by Raymond Ibrahim*

The Islamic jihad against Christians in Nigeria is proving to be the most barbaric. A new report states that 70% of Christians killed around the world in 2012 were killed in the African nation. Among some of the atrocities committed in March alone, at least 41 people were killed in a suicide bomb attack at a bus station in a predominantly Christian neighborhood. According to the Christian Association of Nigeria, these attacks “were a signpost of the intended extermination of Christians and Christianity from northern Nigeria.”

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Four billion dollars to the Palestinian Authority? Not by Arabs!

Sunday, June 9th, 2013

by Ambassador (ret.) Yoram Ettinger

Secretary of State John Kerry’s contention that a $4BN grant would revitalize the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the peace process, ignores the Palestinian track record, at least, since the 1993 Oslo Accords.

Kerry overlooks the impact of the $400MN in annual US aid which has fueled an all-time high Palestinian corruption (Mahoud Abbas’ nickname is “Mr. 20%”), hate education, terrorism, anti-US incitement, oppression, in general, and discrimination against Christians, in particular, and the Palestinian affinity toward America’s enemies and adversaries: Bin Laden, Saddam Hussein, Russia, China, North Korea, Venezuela, Cuba and Iran. The PA follows in the footsteps of previous Palestinian leaders who sided with the Nazis, the Communist Bloc and Khomeini.

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Muslim Civil Wars Stem from a Crisis of Civilization

Friday, June 7th, 2013

by David P. Goldman*

Daniel Pipes of the Middle East Forum (where I am associate fellow) replies this morning to Bret Stephens‘ June 3rd Wall Street Journal column, “The Muslim Civil War: Standing by while the Sunnis and Shiites fight it out invites disaster.” The Iran-Iraq war of the 1980s, when the Reagan administration quietly encouraged the two sides to fight themselves to bloody exhaustion, did America no good, Stephens argues:

In short, a long intra-Islamic war left nobody safer, wealthier or wiser. Nor did it leave the West morally untainted. The U.S. embraced Saddam Hussein as a counterweight to Iran, and later tried to ply Iran with secret arms in exchange for the release of hostages. Patrolling the Strait of Hormuz, the USS Vincennes mistakenly shot down an Iranian jetliner over the Gulf, killing 290 civilians. Inaction only provides moral safe harbor when there’s no possibility of action.

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Questioning Riyadh’s Nuclear Rationale: Saudi Arabia’s Atomic Ambitions

Sunday, May 26th, 2013

by Yoel Guzansky*

[Ed. note: See Part 1. "Will Riyadh Get the Bomb? Saudi Arabia’s Atomic Ambitions"]

In the last few years, a marked shift in Saudi thinking on nuclear issues has become evident. Saudi princes have explicitly and publicly stated that a nuclear military option is something the kingdom is obligated to examine if Tehran is not stopped in its march toward nuclear weapons. In March 2011, Prince Turki al-Faisal, former head of Saudi intelligence and ambassador to the United States, called for the Gulf states to acquire “nuclear might” as a counterweight to Iran should efforts fail to persuade it to abandon its military nuclear program,[1] a point he repeated several months later.[2] U.S. diplomat Dennis Ross confirmed that Saudi King Abdullah explicitly warned Washington in April 2009: “If they get nuclear weapons, we will get nuclear weapons.”[3] Ross’s quote of the Saudi king appears to be the first public confirmation of Riyadh’s position. An unconfirmed report alleges that Abdullah made a similar statement to Russian president Vladimir Putin in their February 2007 summit.[4]

Despite its wealth and status, the kingdom operates out of a deep sense of inferiority and vulnerability: Some of its neighbors, notably Iraq and Iran, are powerful and historically hostile; its long borders are porous; it has a large Shiite population of questionable loyalty in its sensitive oil-producing regions, and its strategic installations are vulnerable.[5] In Riyadh’s view, nuclear capabilities in Iranian hands would allow Tehran to dictate the Gulf agenda—including its oil markets—as well as incite the Shiites in Saudi Arabia’s eastern province, undermining the kingdom’s status in the Muslim world as well as the royal family’s grip on power.[6]

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The Mass Exodus of Christians from the Muslim World

Monday, May 13th, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim*

A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway. Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other.

We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world—much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian—came into being.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.” In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”

Ongoing reports from the Islamic world certainly support this conclusion. Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators.

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Death to Churches Under Islam: A Study of the Coptic Church

Thursday, May 2nd, 2013

by Raymond Ibrahim*

Christians throughout the Islamic world are under attack. Unlike Muslim attacks on Christians, which are regularly confused with a myriad of social factors, the ongoing attacks on Christian churches in the Muslim world are perhaps the most visible expression of Christian persecution under Islam. In churches, Christians throughout the Islamic world are simply being Christians—peacefully and apolitically worshipping their God. And yet modern day Muslim governments try to prevent them, Muslim mobs attack them, and Muslim jihadis massacre them.

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Will Syria’s Strife Rip Lebanon Apart?

Monday, March 11th, 2013

by Hilal Khashan*

The assassination of Lebanese security chief brigadier general Wissam Hassan on October 19 has rekindled fears of renewed confessional strife in Lebanon. The anti-Assad opposition quickly blamed the Syrian regime for eliminating one of its foremost Beirut opponents while enraged demonstrators took to the streets to demand the resignation of prime minister Najib Miqati.[1]

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