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ICC Note: Dr. Hocine Drouiche, an imam from Nimes, France gave a riveting analysis at a meeting in Brussels entitled, “The Persecution of Christians in the World.” He warned of an anti-muslim wave that is working its way across Europe and that it is European Muslim’s responsibility to incorporate values of freedom and tolerance within their own religion. The persecution of Christians in the Middle East, in this sense, should be a wakeup call for Muslims around the world.

07-10-2015 Belgium (AsiaNews): The persecution of Christians in the Middle East by jihadi Islam is a wakeup call for every Muslim in Europe and around the world. Political Islam is manipulating the interpretation of the Qur’an and the Sunnah by eliminating all its centuries-old elements of reason, openness, outreach, and adaptability, this according to Hocine Drouiche, an imam from Nîmes (France) who is vice president of the Conference of Imams of France.

Dr Drouiche presented his in-depth and courageous analysis at a meeting in Brussels on 1 July titled ‘The Persecution of Christians in the world.’ He took the opportunity of his address to call upon fellow Muslims to do some soul-searching. Reminding them how lukewarm was their reaction to terrorist violence (like in the Charlie Hebdo affair), he warned them of a rising anti-Islamic wave across Europe, a trend that can only be defused if European Muslims develop a European Islam that incorporates the values ​​of freedom of conscience and religion as well as human and women’s rights. In his view, even the Palestine question should be dealt with peacefully and through cooperation between Muslims, Jews and Christians.

Below, please find the full text of Imam Drouiche’s address (Courtesy of Dr Drouiche himself, translation by AsiaNews).

In a non-democratic society, religious, ethnic and cultural minorities have a hard time to live in peace and freedom. Eastern Christians have long suffered from the lack of democratic systems in Iraq, Syria, China, North Korea, etc.

Majorities impose their rule and are sometimes angered with the presence of minorities, viewing them as undesirable foreigners, defeated people, enemies or friends of their enemies. Automatically, minorities are treated as second or even third class citizens or simply as non-citizens.

Life for these minorities gets worse because they are naturally weaker than the majority but also because, despite their persecution, they cannot call on democratic nations for help because they would be accused by the majority of treason and complicity with the enemy. Such accusations can provide legitimacy for genocide against minorities. There are several examples in modern history of genocide, namely the Jewish Shoah, the Armenian genocide, the Tutsi genocide, but also crimes against humanity involving small groups in the Middle East, Burma, central Africa, etc.

Around the world, Christians are persecuted, hounded, deprived of work, imprisoned, tortured, and murdered. All sorts of tools are used to force them to renounce their faith, including ritual collective rape, which in some states is a distinct criminal offence. Owning a Bible has become a crime, and Christian worship has been banned. We are back to the age of the early martyrs when Mass was held in caves.

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