Sunday, October 9, 2011

Here and There in the Middle East: Fleeing Christians, "Moderate" Imam, Mad Turkish Leader, Syrian Revolution

By Barry Rubin

 1. Fleeing Christians
 Christians are fleeing the Middle East and Western Christians are indifferent. More than half of Iraqi Christians, threatened with death and terrorism are out of that country, though many are in neighboring Syria. Virtually all Christians have  fled the Islamist Gaza Strip and Syrian Christians generally (though not all) support the regime there, fearing an Islamist takeover.
But Egypt is home to millions of Christians that dwarf these numbers. In fact, the number of Christians in Egypt exceeds the populations of Israel, Lebanon, Jordan, and Tunisia.

Copts have emigrated in the past, but they have been so rooted in Egypt as to tend to remain there.  Now the Egyptian Union of Human Rights Organizations reports that 95,000 Christians have emigrated since March 2011. If Egypt continues to look as if it is going down an Islamist road, or at least if the government and military appear ready to tolerate such assaults, one can easily imagine one million or so Copts heading for the exits in the next few years. How would Europe like to receive these people who—in contrast to many other immigrants—would be legitimate asylum seekers with a genuine fear for their lives?

 2. Mad Turkish Prime Minister....

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