Until recently, Syria was a safe-haven for Christians.
The New York Times notes:
As secular leaders from the secretive Alawite sect, the Assad dynasty largely preserved Christian life, protecting Syria’s minorities from what was perceived as a collective threat from the country’s Sunni majority.
Watching their once-shielding dictators fall like dominos across the region, Christians have suddenly found themselves on the wrong side of history. Faced by a rising tide of radical Sunni Islam, Christians in Iraq and Egypt have fled by the thousands. In Syria, concern over Christian repression has fallen on deaf ears, drowned out by popular support for the country’s opposition in the face of the Assad regime’s brutal crackdown.
BBC points out:
Syria has for much of the century had a sizeable Christian minority, making up at least 10% of the population.
In recent years Syria has been considered one of the easier Middle Eastern countries for Christians to live in. Power is concentrated in the hands of the Alawite minority – a Shia sect considered heretical by many Muslims – which has clamped down hard on extreme forms of Islam.
Agence France-Presse reports:
Jihadists who overran Syria’s ancient town of Maalula last week disparaged Christians as “Crusaders” and forced at least one person to convert to Islam at gunpoint, say residents who fled the town.
“They arrived in our town at dawn… and shouted ‘We are from the Al-Nusra Front and have come to make lives miserable for the Crusaders,” an Islamist term for Christians ….
Maalula is one of the most renowned Christian towns in Syria, and many of its inhabitants speak Aramaic, the language of Jesus.
“I saw people wearing Al-Nusra headbands who started shooting at crosses,” said Nasrallah, a Christian.
One of them “put a pistol to the head of my neighbour and forced him to convert to Islam by obliging him to repeat ‘there is no God but God’.”
“Afterwards they joked, ‘he’s one of ours now’.”
Another resident, Rasha, recounted how the jihadists had seized her fiance Atef, who belonged to the town’s militia, and brutally murdered him.
“I rang his mobile phone and one of them answered,” she said.
“Good morning, Rashrush,” a voice answered, using her nickname. “We are from the Free Syrian Army. Do you know your fiance was a member of the shabiha (pro-regime militia) who was carrying weapons, and we have slit his throat.”
The man told her Atef had been given the option of converting to Islam, but had refused.
“Jesus didn’t come to save him,” he taunted.
Daily Mail writes:
Another Christian resident said: ‘I saw the militants grabbing five villagers and threatening them and saying, “Either you convert to Islam, or you will be beheaded”.’
Another said one church had been torched, and gunmen stormed into two other churches and robbed them.
The Christian Science Monitor notes:
Anas, their son, says he got threatening messages back in Syria: “Your money is for us to take, your wife is for us to sleep with, and your children are for killing. This is all halal,” or permissible under Islamic law. He escaped with his wife and children to Jordan, but not before his liquor store had been burned down.
“The Christian residents were offered four choices: 1. renounce the ‘idolatry’ of Christianity and convert to Islam; 2. pay a heavy tribute to the Muslims for the privilege of keeping their heads and their Christian faith (this tribute is known as jizya); 3. be killed; 4. flee for their lives, leaving all their belongings behind.”
The Washington Times reported in June:
“A priest and another Christian were beheaded before a cheering crowd by Syrian insurgents who say they aided and abetted the enemy… The reported beheading of the two Christians comes about the same time America has started sending arms to rebel fighters, the Wall Street Journal revealed this week.”
And the U.S., Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Israel have been backing these guys for years. Indeed, we’ve long known that most of the weapons we’re shipping to Syria are ending up in the hands of Al Qaeda. And they apparently have chemical weapons.
Congressman Amish points out that the U.S. is breaking the law by aiding and abetting a designated terrorist group.
Indeed, Obama’s own top lawyers warned him that arming the rebels would be illegal.
Ironically, Obama has just renewed the Declaration of a State of Emergency for America first started by Bush in September 2001. That declaration of emergency is supposed to be about fighting – you know – Al Qaeda.
But the U.S. has long wanted regime change in Syria … and long backed the most violent terrorists in the world for geopolitical reasons.
Copyright: Global Research