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 Anna Mahjar-Barducci
Libya is the new jihadist front on the Mediterranean -- and just a few hours away from the centers of Europe.
Several security sources have confirmed that Belmokhtar is still alive and has moved, along with his troops, from Mali to a new base in the Libyan desert.
by Timon Dias
"If Lady Justice is truly blind, she will prosecute all of us or none of us. I hope none of us." — Geert Wilders, MP and Leader of the Party for Freedom, the Netherlands.
A more recent development is the pending Dutch Moroccan takeover of the drugs and human trafficking businesses.
by Shabnam Assadollahi
It is now being said that Morteza Sarbandi, instead of assaulting Reyhaneh Jabbari, was stabbed while performing Muslim prayers.
by Khaled Abu Toameh
"We reject all forms of violence... Palestinian blood is like Israeli blood. It is human blood and precious and no one wants anyone killed." — Mahmoud al-Habbash, Palestinian Minister of Religious Affairs
"If your blood is like the blood of Zionists, our blood is not." — Zakariya Zubeidi, former leader of the Al-Aqsa Martyrs' Brigade.
"We call for lifting his [al-Habbash's] diplomatic immunity and for prosecuting him immediately for his administrative, financial, and political corruption. We also call on President Abbas to fire him immediately from the Palestinian cabinet." — Mansour al-Sa'di, Fatah leader.
The angry reactions show that there are many Palestinians who see no problem with a terrorist attack against a Jewish family. Palestinian leaders can blame only themselves.
by Christine Williams
Hamas -- the terrorist group and offshoot of the Muslim Brotherhood -- has fueled and directed the BDS and Israel Apartheid Week campaigns on campuses across North America.
"Islam is my life... Jihad is my spirit... I will die to establish Islam." — from the Muslim Student Association pledge of allegiance.
- Palestinians: "Prisoners Day"
by Khaled Abu Toameh
- UK: Multiculturalism vs. Islamism
by Samuel Westrop
- UK: Probe of Islamic Takeover Plot Widens
by Soeren Kern
- Anti-Israel BDS Resolutions Seize Campuses in Ontario, Canada
by Christine Williams
- History of the Muslim Brotherhood Penetration of the U.S. Government
by Clare M. Lopez