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Jordanian Columnist and Former Minister Laments the Emigration of Christians from the Middle East Caused by Their Persecution

ICC Note

Though ICC does not necessarily agree with everything the former Jordanian information minister said, it is significant that he, as a prominent Muslim, is lamenting the loss of Christians in the Middle East.

06/18/2008 Jordan (MEMRI)-In the wake of the growing tensions between Copts and Muslims in Egypt, which were precipitated by the murder of four Copts in Alexandria and by violent attacks on Copts by Muslims in Upper Egypt, [1] former Jordanian information minister Salah Al-Qallab published an article in which he called for peaceful coexistence between the majority Muslim population and Christian communities in the Middle East.

The following are excerpts from the article [2]:

“It is a great pity that Iraq is being divested of its Christian cultural component. The Christians, through their monasteries, churches, and monks, used to serve as a link connecting the Greek-Byzantine culture with the early Arab Islamic culture It is a shame that in the country of two great rivers [ Iraq ] there is nothing left but a sectarian war between the Shi’ites and the Sunnis and between the Arabs and the Kurds. It is a shame that the Sabaites and the Mandaeans, with their pure hearts, clean garments, deep-rooted customs, traditions, and spiritual heritage, will disappear [from Iraq], and that their place will be taken by a black[-hearted] fiend, who is not loathe to blow up children and [nursing] mothers in Shi’ite places of worship and in Sunni mosques.

“Tremendous pressure is being brought against Christians in Lebanon, whose roots in that country go down as deep as those of eternal cedars, and whose presence there goes back to the Beirut School of Law [i.e., the Hellenistic era]. There are some who are acting in the name of an imaginary divine victory [i.e. Nasrallah] and are aiming to disrupt the ancient balance – a foundation upon which this beautiful country has been resting since the rise of its independence, namely, a union between Islam and Christianity – which they seek to supplant with a tripartite arrangement comprising the Sunni, the Shi’ites, and the Christians. This is an attempt to harm the Christian presence in [ Lebanon ] – a country among whose citizens the Arabs have established coexistence, [in contrast to] a single-religion model, which is the foundation of the State of Israel.”

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