The missing piece of the puzzle: Arab Christians

coptic-christian-exodus

I have always believed in Arab unity, you know that we should all be one in the face of our ‘enemy’. I think I was living in la la land, as when the world became ‘smaller’ through social media, I realised that not everyone thinks of himself/herself as Arab first, but they introduce themselves according to their religion or political party or cult. Some, and I will use the word ‘majority’, think that Arab Muslims are the only ‘real’ Arabs in the Middle East and that Jews and Christians are just immigrants or people who found themselves surprisingly in the Arab World. I will not talk about Jews in this blogpost as that religion has been long gone from our part of the world, sadly of course. I will talk about Christianity, and how if we keep moving in the same path, it will follow Judaism’s eradication from the Middle East.

When I first visited the Western part of the World, and got into conversations with people of my age, I realised that 99.9 % are not aware of the existence of other religions in the Middle East except Islam. You could blame the media? the politicians? school curriculums maybe?. but you could also blame us Arabs.

Christianity as a religion started off from Palestine, hence Arab Christians are as original as it can be. There are more than 13 million Christians residing in the Arab World, but day by day this number is decreasing, and media outlets remain silent on what could be a very dangerous phase. The exclusion of Christians from their homes and countries is one of the most under covered stories globally and they are, as a puzzle piece, missing, with no hope of being found ever again. I am not saying that the recent wars and disasters that the Arab World has been facing did not include everyone, it did. It is killing any human with a human heart without asking about his/her religion, but it is also leaving Christians with no where to go. In Syria, tens of thousands of the 2 million Christians are seeking refuge else where. Just recently, Musil, a city in Iraq, was attacked by militants who knocked on Christian doors (after their neighbours outed who was Christian and who was not) and told them that if they do not convert to Islam, they will be beheaded and their women will be taken as slaves.

The largest Christian population in the Middle East is in Egypt, with more than 10 million people who define themselves as Copts. There have been also countless attacks on churches, homes and areas where these people reside. I have read comments saying: ‘let them get out of here!’ or ‘we have no place for foreigners in our countries’.

WHAT?! How can a person who claims to be a doctor in Islam, call ARAB CHRISTIANS foreigners? Christians have existed since the Middle East was created, and they have been living hand in hand, in the same homes as Muslims, since the ‘Arab’ world have been created. What is also extremely wrong, is how the media portrays the situation. They insist on calling the Arab World ‘Muslims here, or Muslims there’. They do not acknowledge that there are OTHER religions in the Middle East, even if they comprise less than 10%. It is also EXTREMELY disheartening when you see than NO stable country in the Middle East called for a demonstration or at least a moment of silence and mourning for all the Christians who have been forced to leave their homes, or for all the churches which have been torched, or for Saudi Arabia which does NOT allow churches to be built and arrests any person who it knows is holding a bible. Do you know what the ARAB WORLD called for today? It called for a demonstration to condemn the cartoons published in the Charlie Hebdo’s most recent copy. YES! They think that a stupid magazine which publishes stupid cartoons which offend ALL religions and that should be ignored, is MORE important than ARABS who are being murdered because of their religion. Well, do you know that the killing and exclusion of Christians who are FIRSTLY arabs, insults Prophet Muhammad more than a bunch of stupid drawings in a newspaper that probably no one ever reads if you did not make a big deal out of it? Don’t you think that the Prophet would be more insulted if he knew that HIS people are being silent about the massacres which are happening to their fellow neighbours?! HE is the Prophet of PEACE, and WE ARE ONE, AND SHOULD NOT BE DIVIDED.

Why should you feel closer to Muslims in Burma, in Indonesia in in in…..and not Christians in Syria, Iraq, Egypt…etc? They are, and YOU are, Arabs. (not my intention to say you should not sympathise with this or that, EVERY human deserves sympathy empathy and support, but that should not be based on religion or nationality)

One last note, if Christianity continues walking on the same road it is currently on, then we know the destination. It is the death of millions of Christians, and the birth of a new kind of refugees in Europe: ‘Arab Christians’. The Middle East would be ‘functioning’ with one religion only, and Israel would be completely able to build its country on one religion also (Judaism). Because you know, you were able to create a whole region based on one religion and you killed and excluded every other ideology, then why shouldn’t they be able to do the same?

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2 thoughts on “The missing piece of the puzzle: Arab Christians

  1. This portrays the sad reality we live in. Islam is a religion of acceptance and tolerance, and it is indeed shameful that we care more about cartoons than innocent lives.
    Great job, Badia. You’re changing the world one step at a time

  2. Firstly Arab. Period.

    Thanks Badia, I also think such trend (in lack of a better word!) is growing and not being attended to! We are so quick to view ourselves in an us/we duality and confrontational fronts (sorry non-Arabs but this is a human nature, it is “in” all of us including you). The reason I am saying this is how absurd it is to exclude Christians, our brothers and sisters, in attaining to whatever event(s) that goes on.

    The religion-based inclusion/exclusion is just wrong. It is centred around a false belief that there is some sort of a superiority or at best a hierarchy between men and women based on their belief system! Islam is a religion that came after Christianity, ok.. majority of people know that and accept it. Muslims want to “save” the whole world and invite them to embrace this faith,, fine,, but when it comes into a … OR ELSE then this is gone mad and beyond permissible. Muslims so dearly hinge into an idea that we are better than them and we feel obliged to save these misguided ones (notice I am, so far, picking “soft” words here!) and misguiding themselves, again Muslims, to the thread of rationality that all religions are calling for the same and all of them are in continuity. Being the last religion is not a privilege by and in itself; admitting that and acting accordingly is a pivotal step toward understanding purpose and meaning of both religion as well as life. And as such, acts like alienating (and actually demolishing) Christianity from our region (their region for God’s sake!) would seize to stop. Hopefully we shall, at least, not witness the birth of an Arab Christians refugee in Europe or elsewhere!

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