Beyond the Cusp

June 8, 2017

The Christian Situation

 

There are a number of different peoples who have problems in the Islamic Middle East and North Africa (MENA). One of the most covered is Israel where over half the world’s Jews reside and are in mortal danger in one way or another every single day, especially with the missiles and weapons of mass destruction held by Iran. Another group which has gotten its fair share is the Kurds who despite being largely Muslim are not accepted well by their Arab coreligionists. But there is one group that unless there has been some heinous act of barbarity or one particular group is facing a special situation, they are mostly ignored. These groups are the many different types of Christians. We spend much of our time here at BTC on Israel and the United States as that is where much of the news coverage emanates from and where we do or have lived. Today we will go a little afield of this and try to give this particular message about the Christians some attention. The first thing people need to realize are who these disparate groups of Christians are. We will list those we know of and where they predominantly reside. There are the Coptic Christians who largely reside in Egypt, the Maronite Christians living mostly in Lebanon, the Chaldeans (also known as Kaldaye and Kaldanaye) who are a form of Catholics and reside largely in Iraq, the Assyrian Christians who obviously reside mostly in Syria but also into Iraq, the Yazidis Christians who are a derivative of the Kurdish peoples and like them reside mostly in Syria and Iraq, and then there are other smaller groups of Christians throughout the MENA area and also those Christians throughout the world who reside on the borders of Islam where there is often frictions and even terrorism and outright warfare placing all civilians in danger in the area. The sad news is that almost all Christian communities in the MENA regions in every nation are facing falling populations as they are facing the contempt and violence which before them was inflicted on the Jews. The Jews have all but left the MENA nations, which is why the Christians are now facing these harassments, as these nations purge their populations of the non-believers, those not following Islam. As this purge continues, these populations will reach a critical point where the Muslims will feel it easiest to force their conversions or simply murder them, the choice between Islam and death. When this point is reached, any remaining Jews will be grouped right along with the Christians and executed if they refuse to convert. Even conversion will not end the strife as once converted they will be scrutinized by their fellow Muslims for any breach in their observance or appearance of still keeping to their former religion. All of these supposed transgressions will be met with death as notice to the remainder to remain pure and diligent in their newly adopted faith of Islam.

 

Levels of Christian Persecution Within MENA

 

It should be noted that there is one nation where the Christian population is healthy and growing and that is Israel as there is true freedom of religion in Israel and all religions are recognized and accommodated including Islam (both Sunni and Shiite), Christianity (all the above mentioned and almost every other form of Christianity found on Earth), Baha’I, Hindu, Buddhist, Animist, Druze, Atheist and other less well known religions. Outside of Israel, the story is mostly not as kind. In Syria and the areas ruled by Islamic State, it is unsafe for people in general, and for non-Muslims, it gets even more treacherous, with the danger becoming critical in a moment, and with little warning. In Iraq, there is sectarian violence between Sunni and Shiite Islam yet they still find time to make being a Christian a dangerous religious choice. Some groups of Christians have made themselves useful to the ruling form of Islam in their area and are thus treated as protected, but this protection will only last for as long as these Christians are filling that niche needed by the Islamic believers. Often this takes the position of being able to cross certain otherwise uncrossable areas to take messages to those Muslims who are kin to the ones protecting these Christians, as they are able to cross the frontier between two warring sects of Muslims delivering their messages or other packages. This also permits getting messages into the prisons as Christians often have relatives imprisoned giving them reason to visit and then the system in place within the prison takes over and the message will get to the intended. Being a Christian in an Islamic world, specially now with Islam becoming resurgent and thus more aware of their Islamists becoming more brutal in their means of rulership with Sunnis warring with Shiites and vice-versa, their lives are more fragile than the finest china. The one item they both do agree upon is that non-Muslims, those not following their version of Islam, must be converted or eradicated. This has placed some of the smaller sects of Islam, such as the Kurds, the Kharijites or the Sufri and any other small Islamic sects in mortal danger. Eventually, if permitted to take its course, Islam would face a final battle for the good of Islam where either Sunni or Shiite will prevail proving them the beloved of Allah as Allah rewards strength and abhors weakness.

 

MENA Refugees Admitted United States by Year and Religious Breakdown

 

The recent strikes against Coptic Christians in Egypt being responded to by the Egyptian military air strikes on the training facilities for those terror groups identified who struck these Coptic Christian communities is a new and welcome face for Islam and is a good indicator that Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi has at least his nation heading in a proper direction. And there are other signs that a new era may be emerging in the world of Islam. This will be due in no small part to Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi as well as the recent visit by United States President Trump who read fifty national leaders about their responsibilities and taking a lead in transforming Islam for the modern era. One cannot know exactly what President Trump said to these fifty leaders behind closed doors, but if their actions against Qatar, which forced them to expel certain Hamas individuals who had been hiding in a safe house within their borders, are any indicator, that message was received and they are intending initially to comply. The pressure was placed on Qatar by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, United Arab Emirates and Bahrain. This was an immediate response to President Trump’s strong message that there was a role which the Arab and Muslim world must take if they are hoping to distance themselves from radical Islamic terrorism and be a part of the solution, not the problem. This should also, with time, force them to be more accepting of others starting with other varieties of Islam and finally other religions and recognizing their right to exist.

 

Egyptian President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi could be a chapter if this were a book. His actions place him as the leader of these changes which the Royal Family of Saudi Arabia will need to set their sites on meeting if not exceeding his actions and examples, which will be a test for them. Egyptian President el-Sisi has addressed Al-Azhar University in Cairo, the leading Sunni institution of higher education in the world, and both times demanded that they bring their curriculum into the modern age and teach tolerance and stay away from the imperative for Islam to rule the world but instead teach that Islam should become a major contributor to improving the world and gaining adherents through their good and beneficial actions rather than the old message of conquest and conversion by the sword. It appears that his pressures are paying dividends, as we mentioned yesterday, in that Al-Azhar University has hired their first non-Muslim professor who is going to teach in their medical school. Where this is but a small step, every journey into change and reaching into the future, or even the present as in this case, starts with that first step no matter how small or how timid, that first step is always the most difficult. We can feel certain that President el-Sisi will keep the pressure on for change and modernization. He has stated that modernization of Egypt is his eventual aim and towards that end he will be instituting a basic education package which all schools must teach which will include literacy in that all students can read and write with a degree of proficiency and that they also be taught basic math and sciences and that these prerogatives be accepted in the Madrasa and move from simply teaching the memorization of the Quran and enter into teaching a modern set of assignments such that the Egyptian people will be capable of working within an advanced society and perform factory work and higher level work and that Egypt transcend from their current 73% reaching 100% as their immediate goal.

 

Here is a list of illiteracy rates for the population over fifteen years of age in the MENA nations; Afghanistan 72%, Pakistan 50%, Mauritania 49%, Morocco 48%, Yemen 46%, Sudan 39%, Djibouti 32%, Algeria 30%, Iraq 26%, Tunisia 25.7%, Egypt 28%, Comoros 25%, Syria 19%, Oman 18%, Iran 17.6%, Saudi Arabia 17.1%, Libya 16%, Bahrain 13%, Turkey 12.6%, Lebanon 12%, U.A.E. 11.3%, Qatar 11%, Jordan 9%, Kuwait 7%, Israel 3%, Azerbaijan 1.2%, and Armenia 1%. As is noticeable, some of the nations have abhorrent and rampant illiteracy while more than one might initially expect have high literacy rates but overall they could all use improvement. These numbers show the results of efforts as over the past twenty-seven years the trend has been noted and significant with literacy rising from 59% in 1990 to 78% in 2010 on average across the MENA nations. Below is a graph depicting results in basic math skills in some Arab nations where testing has been conducted.

 

TIMSS 2011

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

In closing we are going to share a video titled “Christians At Risk in Iraq Urgently Need Your Help” from the Knights of Columbus Supreme Council. We will mention ahead of time that this is a request for funding but may still be of interest as information and of course, those wishing to assist in these efforts will find this useful, or at least this is our hope.

 

 

 

 

 

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May 7, 2016

Preferred Anti-Semitism Public or Private

 

Thanks to the ever astonishing, voluminous, profane and public anti-Semitic spewing from the British Labour Party both verbal, Twitted, Facebooked and in print outburst, we may as well discuss which is worse and more damaging, visceral outburst of anti-Semitism or privately held and never expressed anti-Semitism. From the arm-waving, wild-gyrating, screaming and yelling which some might even say hysterical overreacting to what must be described as a serial collection of anti-Semitic outbursts and tirades by several officials and former officials over the recent past has been covered to death in print, video, online and elsewhere that there is nothing possible to add to the tsunami of objections already issued. So, as usual we here prefer to discuss this from a different perspective, which anti-Semitism is less dangerous, that which is expressed preventing ease of action or that which remains within stewing which inevitably leads to some form of implementation. The answer for us would be obvious but the magnitude of the anti-Semitism from the Labour Party in Britain though expressed can only lead one to expect it is but the tip of the proverbial iceberg hiding as much as ten times as much anti-Semitic feelings unrevealed but still pressing actions in the real world. Normally, we would prefer for anti-Semites to be cleansed by the light of day and have expressed their intents such that action becomes impossible and the knowledge of the threat allows for it to be expunged. That would be the normal episode, but this explosion which appeared to have fed upon itself almost exploding and consuming an entire political party may have challenged that theory.

 

The past sometimes is insufficient unless one allows for the extremist case. Before crossing that version of the Rubicon, let us first look at past outbursts of anti-Semitism. More often than not, the worst case scenario is such anti-Semitism comes from expected or known places. There is no real surprise when one reads of anti-Semitic views from (please consider carefully before visiting these links) Stormfront, Lew Rockwell or Lyndon LaRouche among others. We are not surprised, though we should still feel the same revulsion as we would any other hateful screeds from known racists. Then there are the anti-Semitic outbursts which come from those who defend their anti-Semitism by playing their race card claiming their racial subjugation sometimes led to hateful outbursts but the world must understand their source from their pained experience as being a minority. Such claimants include Louis Farrakhan and others from his Nation of Islam who claims religious as well as racial exclusion from normal expectations. Another was Jesse Jackson who referred to New York City as “Hymietown” and Jews as “Hymies” in January 1984 during a conversation with a black Washington Post reporter, Milton Coleman; Al Sharpton and also Mel Gibson’s tirade when pulled over for suspicion of driving erratically due to intoxication. For each of these people there are more than sufficient people ready to defend them with excuses or mitigating circumstance or whatever it takes such as claiming they cannot be held responsible as they are also a member of a minority group. The reality is there are few groups who are a smaller minority which receives anywhere near the amount of abuse and hatred as have the Jewish People over the last three thousand years and more.

 

 

Reverend Al Sharpton

Reverend Al Sharpton
Pointing Out Blame

 

 

These outbursts and accusations and even continuous output of anti-Semitic remarks, canards, denigrations, hatreds and other prejudices are often simply reacted to by granting as a response some level of ostracization, even potentially completely exiling the person permanently from polite society. The problem comes when people end up not paying a price for expressing anti-Semitic remarks or even proven beliefs of the inferiority of the Jewish People. This has been the accepted response for many people as long as they make the appropriate mea culpa. Often it is pointed out for those who are sufficiently famous, influential, entertaining or otherwise gifted or holding of some special trait that their mistake was a singular event and they have promised to make up for their misspeaking by contributing time, efforts, fundraising or other effort mitigating their offence. Such an out has proven to be accepted more often for an anti-Semitic slip than any other racial or class miscue. It oft appears that amongst all the racial transgressions one could commit, anti-Semitism appears to be the most readily dismissed as a minor misstep and the offender allowed to continue on free of any real price being paid. That leads us to the realization that some racial offenses are more understandable, borderline acceptance while others are career ending, unforgivable offences while others fall somewhere between the two extremes. Sometimes it appears that the severity of the insult’s effect upon the transgressor is directly proportional to the size of the offended minority, as if they are even a minority.

 

Examples are simple as offences against women are unacceptable in the extreme despite women being over half the world’s population, while anti-Yazidi actions even to the threat of a complete eradication of their numbers slipped by as there are so few Yazidi, and even less now thanks to the Islamic State and their horrific acts against this Christian minority which has experienced more than their share of genocidal oppressions. Others suffering from such treatment are the Kurds, Coptic Christians, Armenians and other small European nations which Russia has shown some interest in bringing back under Russian control. The fact that hatreds of minorities can be excused away due to the lack of size and or power of the minority in question is a sad statement on our modern and presumably progressive and so humane society. The Yazidi and the others have no numbers, are not going to riot, burn down parts of any city, protest marching on any national capital city or cause any of a stir which might receive serious and continuing coverage by the media. The Yazidi story got out but had almost no staying power and these reports of anti-Semitic outbursts by Labour Party officials and previous officials will be off the front pages probably before the first thousand people read this article and it will be all but forgotten beyond those who follow news stories or who are Jews who felt the offense slightly more than many others and even that is conditional as many Jews will dismiss these outbursts as simply much ado about nothing.

 

One of the reasons that anti-Semitic outbursts manage to get such coverage is due to the influence of Jews, especially conservative Jews who demand these outbursts receive the depth and serious investigation and coverage. Should it not be for the influence of Jews and the existence of the State of Israel, these anti-Semitic offences would be covered one day and forgotten the next. Jews, despite the thoughts and misconceptions of some, make up far less than a mere one percent of the world’s population, an estimated 0.20% of the world population, twenty-hundredths of one percent, an insignificant wisp of a people despite the seeming influence and propensity to be amongst the experts in every field, they are less than an afterthought in the world by numbers. Still, in Israel this outburst, this wave of anti-Semitism is better being placed out in the open as it allows for those so infected to be identified and the cleansing of the spotlight can help moderate these ideas and hold the perpetrators responsible to meet the expectations of polite society. There is little which can be done which would actually alter the hatred these individuals hold towards the Jewish People and the Jewish Nation, Israel, but perhaps their being revealed might have sufficient weight to end their service in government at any level which actually will become more and more of a longshot in Europe even including the British Isles. Just as such anti-Semitism is rampant throughout much of the Islamic world, it may soon prove to hold similar weight throughout Egypt as Islamic influences grow and take positions of power and the entirety of Europe slid beneath the waves of Islam washing over its shores and into the hearts of each nation. Many believe that soon the outbursts of anti-Semitism will become just as acceptable worldwide as they currently are in the Arab world as their influence spreads and their versions of Islam swallow the Christian world whole and slowly but inexorably convert or slaughter their way to complete domination everywhere. They will have injected sufficient numbers to sway elections followed by replacing elected governments with the more familiar to their societies of elections whose results are preordained, providing elections are pretended to be utilized. Straight religious dictatorial governance will simply replace the free and open elections once enjoyed in Europe and afterwards Canada and the United States; after which only India and China will be capable of resisting being conquered simply due to their numbers and Israel as we have gotten this far with the blessings of Hashem. Why doubt Hashem will continue to grant Israel one last miracle after another as required. As Hashem had delivered Israel in her initial war in 1948, the Six Day War, the Yom Kippur War and all the other skirmishes inbetween, may Hashem continue allowing for her enemies to fail repeatedly. While these enemies of Hashem and Israel fight amongst themselves, may none prove victorious and may it occupy their efforts allowing the world to survive their threat. May they continue to self-destruct and never prevail in further conquest.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

October 11, 2013

President Obama Supporting Terrorists not the People

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The Obama Administration through the State Department has confirmed to the press that funding for the Egyptian government will be cut by hundreds of millions of dollars over the current situation pertaining to the military takeover of the government and removing President Morsi. State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki provided additional information including that delivery of certain large scale military systems would be postponed along with the suspension of funding until “credible progress” was made towards the set up of free and fair elections restoring Egyptian democracy. Currently the United States provides $1.5 billion in annual aid to Egypt which can be utilized to purchase weapons systems or for training troops. The aid was part of the Camp David Accords which were signed by Egyptian President Anwar El Sadat and Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin on 17 September 1978. The military aid to Egypt was supposed to keep Egypt closely aligned with the United States and thus prevent the Egyptians or Israelis from launching an attack on the other. By withholding the aid moneys President Obama is making the situation on the border between Israel and Egypt less stable. Add to that, President Obama is acting in a manner which aligns him with the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt calling for the reinstating of deposed President Morsi and the reacceptance of the Muslim Brotherhood control.

 

President Obama has been playing a dangerous game where he has not quite completely and totally rejected the military installed government which was put in place in response to the demonstrations and signed petitions all calling for the removal of President Morsi and carrying the signatures or backing of tens of millions of Egyptians who also protested in the streets. President Obama has decried the violence which has rocked Egypt from border to border with barely a city, town or village escaping the violence. It has appeared that President Obama blames the military as the root from which the violence spreads when in fact much of the violence has been instigated by the Muslim Brotherhood who have taken it upon themselves to take vengeance on those they feel were instrumental in removing President Morsi and supplanting the Muslim Brotherhood control. Many in the Muslim Brotherhood as well as from the Salafists Muslims are convinced that much of the problems resulted from Christians, Shiite, and other non-Sunni Muslims, thus have set out to victimize these minorities with the Coptic Christians facing the worst of the assaults. Despite many of the films of the anti-Coptic violence showing the attackers waving the Muslim Brotherhood banner along with the al-Qaeda black banner, President Obama continues to place the blame for the violence in the streets on the military.

 

This has led to many confused and troubled Egyptians who cannot understand the United States position. They have asked members of the press when they are interviewed to explain how it is the President of the United States can continue to act to support the oppressive rule by the Freedom and Justice Party, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood, claiming to stand for liberty and equality before the law. A good number of these Egyptians appear to have read some of the United States founding documents and gained a solid grasp of the principles underpinning personal freedom and the personal responsibility such freedom requires for a nation to continue. Sometimes you find truth and justice defined precisely in places one would never have thought to seek it. It is these young Arabs and other youths around the world who are awakening to the principles of freedom, liberty, personal responsibility and self-governance. Will these young people win the day and install a system of rule which applies the best and most just governance ever founded by mankind? Unfortunately, the answer is no and a lot of that has to do with the current leaders who still believe that if government is given sufficient funds, there is never sufficient funds, given ample shares of power, even all the power would prove inadequate, and given every arm of enforcement, education, media, and anything else their imaginations believe is necessary, they would still at the end of the day fail and blame it on those who dared to be different, those who love freedom and liberty. Perhaps the real reason that President Obama is supporting the Muslim Brotherhood at every turn is because he craves their systematic application of power resulting in near total control, or perhaps it is simply that President Obama has no clue what he is doing.

 

Beyond the Cusp

 

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