The Muslim world's new martyrs
In the continuing series of posts regarding the ongoing Global Jihad, it's important to document that which can be measured. Ideology and an interpretation of it as extreme or moderate cannot be measured, except by the acts of its adherents. However, population shifts are more indicative regarding levels of tolerance, especially so within the Islamic world. Here's an article by Richard Cheznoff which tracks the emigration of Christian populations from Muslim countries.
Even in Islamic countries not strictly run by Sharia law, pressures mount on local Christians to leave the homes they've known for centuries. Iraq's Christian sects, among the oldest Christian communities anywhere in the world, have been directly targeted by terrorist bombs, and Christians are now high on the list of those fleeing Iraq's sectarian strife. Thirty years ago, Lebanon was 60% Christian. Since then, an estimated 3.5 million Christians have emigrated, reducing the country's Christian population percentage to barely 25%. And in the Palestinian territories, direct and indirect pressures have also led to an increasing Christian exodus. One striking result: Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus and once a predominantly Christian Arab community now has an overwhelming Muslim majority.
And an opposite trend that has led to violence is the immigration of Muslims into Europe. No one can forget the riots in France that went on from October 27th to November 16th, 2005.
The BBC reported that French society's negative perceptions of Islam and social discrimination of immigrants had alienated some French Muslims and may have been a factor in the causes of the riots; "Islam is seen as the biggest challenge to the country's secular model in the past 100 years." It reported that there was a "huge well of fury and resentment among the children of North African and African immigrants in the suburbs of French cities." However, the editorial also questioned whether or not such alarm is justified, citing that France's Muslim ghettos are not hotbeds of separatism and that "the suburbs are full of people desperate to integrate into the wider society."
Along with France, there was Muslim violence in seven other countries during this time frame. Although BBC took efforts to note that the Islamic extremist element was not the reason for the riots, the underlying theme, seemingly missed by BBC was that the youth were not employed and were not employable - what did they bring to France that made them valuable to the French economy? This may seem like a cold statement, but isn't that the crux of the Hispanic arguments regarding illegal immigrants in America - they work hard; they do jobs Americans won't do?
What jobs will the immigrant youth do in France that need done? Showing potential employers their violent side will not endear them to the employment community. Plus, France's socialism is stressed to the extreme - guaranteed employment resulted in a youth-labor law that has since been repealed. Once hired, an employer cannot rid himself of an intransigent employee. The incentive to not just work, but to work hard is missing. All in all, it makes for an economy destined for failure. And SHaria within a secular society like France will not work, but that appears to be the goal of some in France.
Few people seem prepared to connect the dots. Some American evangelical groups like the Washington-based International Christian Concern try to raise the alarm. And America's Copts, especially those based in the New York area, actively lobby against the legal and social discrimination that face their Egyptian co-religionists. Yet most mainstream church groups seem to ignore the threat.
Shelby Steele has written an opinion piece that needs to be read thoroughly for full appreciation. Here's an applicable quote.
They struggle, above all else, to dissociate themselves from the past sins they are stigmatized with. When they behave in ways that invoke the memory of those sins, they must labor to prove that they have not relapsed into their group's former sinfulness. So when America--the greatest embodiment of Western power--goes to war in Third World Iraq, it must also labor to dissociate that action from the great Western sin of imperialism. Thus, in Iraq we are in two wars, one against an insurgency and another against the past--two fronts, two victories to win, one military, the other a victory of dissociation.
And the Global Jihad goes on.