Assad Slaughtering Syrian Christians
"The Syrian authorities have been trying to force our [Christian] leaders to support Assad in public."
Syrian dictator Bashar Assad's security forces last week killed Husam al Murra, a Syrian Christian who had joined the Syrian Free Army, which is fighting to topple the regime in Damascus.
Assad is angry with the Christians in his country because most of them have refused to support his atrocities against the Syrian people.
He is also angry with them because many Christians have played a major role in relief work to help the victims of Assad's bloody crackdown on his opponents.
At the beginning of the uprising, Assad's government forced leaders of the Christian community in Syria to hold public events in support of the regime. The leaders were instructed to pledge their loyalty to Assad and condemn the opposition as a "bunch of terrorists backed by the Zionists and the US."
But as Assad's forces stepped up their massacres and repression of the people, most Christians began speaking out against the regime, especially on Facebook and other social media networking.
The killing of al Murra highlights the growing plight of Syria's Christian minority, who make up less than 10% of the population.
This is a minority that seems to be caught between the hammer and anvil: Assad is persecuting and killing Christians, and Christians fear that if Muslim extremists come to power, they anyhow will be forced to relocate to the US and Europe.
The killing of the young man shows that Assad does not distinguish between one opponent and another in Syria -- Muslims or Christians.
Al Murra is not the first Syrian Christian to be killed by Assad's security forces since the beginning of the popular uprising nearly a year ago.
In recent weeks, several other Christian men have been shot and killed in different parts of the country. One of the victims was a priest from the city of Hama, who was killed while trying to provide humanitarian and medical aid to people injured by Syrian army gunfire.
According to a Christian lawyer in Damascus, Assad's security forces have also begun targeting churches, monasteries and schools under the pretext that they were being used as hideouts for "armed gangs."
Many Christians have stopped going to Church on Sundays, and some Christian schools have been forced to shut down out of fear of being targeted by Assad loyalists.
According to Open Doors, an international ministry supporting persecuted Christians around the world, more than 80% of Christians have fled the city of Homs, where fighting is the worst.
An Italian priest who had been living in Syria for the past two decades was asked to leave the country after he voiced public support for the Syrian people's struggle for reform and democracy.
"Most Christians in Syria are against this murderous regime," said George Saba, a Christian teacher from Damascus who fled to Jordan three months ago. "The Syrian authorities have been trying to force our leaders to support Assad in public. No Christian could ever support such heinous crimes against women and children."
Comment on this item
by Shabnam Assadollahi
by Burak Bekdil
"Why are you running away, you sperm of Israel?" — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, to a Muslim protestor.
"Being a sperm of Israel in Turkey means... to get used to living on hate speech, insults and curses every day; held accountable for every act of the Israeli government although you may never even have stepped foot in Israel; treated as a 'foreigner' in the country where you were born, served in the military and you pay taxes." — Vedat Haymi Behar, digital marketing solutions coordinator, in Radikal.
by Malcolm Lowe
The losers are declaring war on all who disagree with them. They have adopted Salmond's attempts to pit one part of the population against another: not just young against old, but manual workers against the middle classes, city slum dwellers against country people, men against women, any section of the population that preferred Yes against another section that did the opposite.
The foolish devotion of Labour councilors to Palestinian militancy paved the way for nationalist mania.
by Soeren Kern
"In the Quran it is not allowed for you to feel sorry for non-Muslims. I don't feel sorry for him." — Anjem Choudary.
"Eventually the whole world will be governed by Shari'ah & Muslims will have authority over China Russia USA etc This is the promise of Allah." — Anjem Choudary.
"Under the Koran the sale of alcohol is prohibited and if one were to also drink alcohol, that would be 40 lashes." — Anjem Choudary.
"We [Muslims] take the Jizya, which is ours anyway. The normal situation is to take money from the kuffar [non-Muslim]. They give us the money. You work, give us the money, Allahu Akhbar. We take the money." — Anjem Choudary.
by Steven J. Rosen
The U.S. State Department has chosen to act as UNRWA's patron and the protector of its mission, perpetuating and expanding the refugee issue as a source of conflict against Israel.
Apparently more Israeli houses hurt peace, but multiplying the number of refugees is fine.