Happy Happy

Some light morning reading for you.  Yet another scholar willing to point out the dramatic rise in the persecution of Christians worldwide – a rise that Western media has chosen to ignore.  

In this book review, I only really question two basic assumptions, both to do with American foreign and military policy in the Middle East.  My objection is no excuse for the widespread violence against Christians, but I believe it does help explain the violence in two specific areas – both recent or current locales of American military interventions.  
The author expresses disgust that two areas recently to benefit from American liberation are hotbeds of violence against Christians – Afghanistan and Iraq.  He also mentions Kuwait, but I believe that even by Kuwaiti standards, the American intervention there ought to be viewed positively.  Kuwait had been invaded by Iraq and American military power liberated that country.  Unfortunately, my awareness of what happened afterwards in Kuwait is not very good, so I don’t know off the top of my head if there are Kuwaiti grievances that might legitimately outweigh their gratitude at being liberated by America.
But both Afghanistan and Iraq are more problematic examples.  Both represent autonomous governments that were overthrown by American military force.  Did we have justification for overthrowing Afghanistan?  Sure – the 9/11 attacks were a very tangible reason for attempting to (naively) destroy the power of radical Islam in regards to terrorist training.  Iraq is a far more complicated situation.  While I privately assume that one day history will demonstrate that President Bush’s allegations of weapons of mass destruction were legitimate, that hasn’t happened yet (or if it has, it hasn’t been reported).  
But regardless of the reasonability of America’s military actions in Iraq and Afghanistan (from an American perspective, obviously), from an Iraqi or Afghani perspective, our actions look much different.  We can argue all day about how America provided these countries with opportunities for democratic self-governance and freedom from Taliban militia rule (in Afghanistan) or corrupt dictatorship (in Iraq).  Neither of those arguments are going to be very persuasive to the populations of these countries.  Either because they really believe it or because of fear of militant reprisals, large chunks of population in both these countries view America’s actions as unwarranted.  
To claim that this shouldn’t be the case makes sense from an American perspective, but is an outright refusal to understand how this might appear from an Afghani or Iraqi perspective.
Again, this doesn’t justify Muslim persecution of Chrisitans (as opposed to Americans).  The overall topic of the book being reviewed here ought to have civil rights groups up in arms.  One might wonder why this isn’t the case, but I suspect we know the answer to that.  Perhaps the answer is more similar to why Islam seeks to destroy Christianity than a “free press” considers healthy to report on.  It will be quite ironic to see (for those who manage to survive this wave of persecution) whether secularism flourishes with a dominant Islam the way it did with dominant Christianity.  As a Christian, I’m pretty positive it won’t.  But because I’m a Christian, my viewpoint must be wrong (by secular standards), and anything would be better – even a Muslim viewpoint that would prefer me dead.

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