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Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Arabs tell West to shut up about persecution of Christians

From al Masry al-Youm:
Leaders participating in the Arab Economic Summit issued a statement rejecting foreign interference on the issue of minority rights in the Arab World.

The summit opened Wednesday in Egypt's Sharm el-Sheikh resort.

Earlier this week, Egyptian Foreign Minister Ahmed Abul Gheit said Egypt planned to demand that the summit denounce external meddling in its domestic affairs.

The call was triggered by an appeal made by Pope Benedict XVI along with a number of Western states urging the protection of Christians in the Arab world following deadly attacks on churches in Iraq and Egypt.

The statement said that Arab leaders reject attempts by foreign powers to intervene in Arab domestic affairs.

It added that such attempts demonstrate an ignorance of the history of the region, and reflect a lack of understanding of the nature of terrorist attacks, which have not neglected any area of the world.
The disappearing Christian minority in every Arab nation is testimony to how well the Arabs are handling this issue on their own.

And it gives me reason to quote another section from the Martha Gellhorn article on Palestinian Arabs in 1961:
I directed myself toward the nearest church steeple, rang a doorbell beneath, and was admitted by an enormous, rotund priest in a brown cassock. He looked like an Arab but was an Italian. He had lived in this country for nearly thirty years and had learned how to survive: by laughter. He laughed at everything, and it was an awesome sight, as if a hippopotamus broke into silent mirth....
With another mute roar, he told me that the Arabs said, First we will finish with the Shabbaths, and then with the Sundays. They never changed their ideas. They went around looking at the women and the houses they would take when they managed to get rid of the Jews and the Christians. He laughed himself into a good shake over this one.
Unfortunately, the Arab Christians who are the targets of the Muslims are no more tolerant themselves towards Jews:
I asked about the Eichmann trial and the reaction of his Roman Catholic parishioners. Well, his Christian Arabs thought Eichmann was right, because the Jews were the enemy of the German state. They were always the enemy of the state; the Pharaohs had to drive them out of Egypt, the Persian King tried to clear them out, Ferdinand and Isabella kicked them out of Spain. No one could live on good terms with them, so Eichmann was right. (Horrified, really horrified, I said, "Surely. that is not a Christian attitude to the most appalling murders we know about?" He found it terribly funny that I should expect a Christian attitude from Arabs.)
(h/t Just Journalism)