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Translation Translation from English


Should we give aid to states riven by
human rights abuses?

Below is a liberal view of whether Western countries should give aid to states riven by human rights abuses. The writer seems to excuse the persecution of the Christians in the Muslim countries becuase of what the Crusaders did ten centuries ago. However he makes no mention of the fact that the Muslim Arabs and Turks who had invaded the Christian states perseucted the christians and Jews alike. Here is what happened in 1144 to the Christian city of Edessa, now a city in turkey called Urfa.

"As the Turks soldiers rushed in, the defending men women and even the monks of Edessa fought bravely to stop them but they were no match for the military force arrayed against them. The Turks entered the city and began massacring people indiscriminately. About six thousand people died that day. When women Children and young people led to the upper citadel to escape massacre they found the gate locked. Many were trampled to death at that location. p.135 (Amin Maalaouf , “the Crusades...” pp.134-135) For three days Zangi’s army ransacked the city thousands of helpless Edessans were slain. Some ten thousand boys and girls were taken into captivity. Many priests, deacons, and monks were killed. On the third day Zangi arrived and stopped the carnage.. While the the lives of the surviving As-syrians, Armenians and Malikites were spared the Franks were plundered of their gold and silver, their churches vessels, cups and bowls, crosses and jewels. and were killed. About a hundred men were tortured and slain." The same happened to the Christian city of Antioch, Christians of Baghdad and other christian towns and village. in Syria and Iraq. Christian of comment.

It is unconscionable to excuse what is happening today because of what happened 10 centuries ago when both the crusaders and the Muslim fighters acted savagely.

March 22, 2011

SCOTLAND'S most senior Catholic leader, Cardinal Keith O'Brien, is right to take the UK Government to task on its foreign policy. He has accused the government of pursuing an “anti-Christian” foreign policy by increasing its overseas aid to Pakistan without demanding guarantees of religious freedom. The government plans to double aid to Pakistan to more than £445million. Why? Because Pakistan is seen as an ally in the “war against terror”. In other words, it is a strategic, rather than a charitable, decision. Whether or not Pakistan is a reliable ally in the war against militant fundamentalist Islam is another matter.

But let's leave that aside and examine why Cardinal O'Brien has been so vocal on the matter. There is no doubt at all that the persecution of Christians in different parts of the world is on the increase. A report by Aid to the Church in Need, a Vatican-approved agency which keeps an eye on persecution, reveals what it calls a “huge surge” in Christians fleeing persecution worldwide. Around 75% of all religious persecution is apparently taking place against Christians. The report claims that some 100million Christians around the world face persecution. It says the Christian population in some countries is collapsing. In the past 25 years, the Christian population of Iraq has gone from an estimated 1.4million to as low as 150,000 now. The burning of Christian churches in Iraq and Pakistan is a cause for concern.

The number of assaults upon Christians is on the increase. This is happening for two reasons: The first is that some militant Moslems see the Christian religion as an enemy. The second is that the western world is viewed as a Christian empire which threatens Islam. Lying behind all this is a further conflict. The divisions within Islam between Sunni and Shi’ite are strong and sometimes bitter. One group can show that they are more zealous than the other by persecuting Christians. Tensions reached a new peak earlier this month, when the only Christian in the Pakistani government's Cabinet, Shahbaz Bhatti, was assassinated. Mr Bhatti had dared to speak out against Pakistan's blasphemy laws.

Let's look first at what Cardinal O'Brien had to say, then put it into a wider context: “I urge Foreign Secretary William Hague to obtain guarantees from foreign governments before they are given aid,” he said. “To increase aid to the Pakistan government when religious freedom is not upheld and those who speak up for religious freedom are gunned down is tantamount to an anti-Christian foreign policy. “Pressure should now be put on the government of Pakistan – and the governments of the Arab world as well – to ensure that religious freedom is upheld. The provision of aid must require a commitment to human rights.” The cardinal said that conditions should be attached to any aid payments, requiring a definite commitment to protection for Christians and other religious minorities. Speaking about the growing persecution, Cardinal O'Brien went on: “This reality is both shocking and saddening.

In countries like Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq, Christians face violence, intolerance and even death because of their beliefs. This is intolerable and unacceptable. Here in Scotland, we value our freedoms, particularly the freedom of religion and the right to practise our faith free of persecution. Yet this detailed and at times harrowing report reminds us that not all of our fellow-Christians enjoy such freedom to worship. “I hope the evidence presented by Aid to the Church in Need will encourage us all to speak out for religious freedom at every opportunity and motivate us to support those who campaign for it.” The cardinal makes his case eloquently, and I think he should be supported.

There are complicating factors, though. The complications arise, as they often do in such situations, from history. This history stretches a long way back. The legacy of the Christian crusades, beginning in the 11th century and finishing in the 13th century, lingers on. The military campaigns against the Moslems of the Middle East were pretty brutal. Popes offered special dispensations to the warriors who went out to recapture the holy city of Jerusalem from the Moslem invaders. Jerusalem was holy to both Christians and Moslems. The actions of some of the Christian crusaders were something less than Christian, to put it mildly. The Churches have, in the past, been pretty good at the persecution business themselves. The Christian Inquisitions were not exactly instruments of tolerance. Not only that, the divisions between Protestant and Roman Catholic have been no less bloody than the divisions between Sunni and Shiite.

The horrendous wars of religion in Europe were major blots on the Christian copybook. In more recent times, the invasion of Iraq, promulgated by “Christian” leaders such as President George W. Bush and Prime Minister Tony Blair, did not do the Christian cause any good. President Bush even used the word “Crusade”, until his advisers took him aside and told him not to utter that word again. Christianity is compromised by its history. Whether he likes it or not, a cardinal of the Church carries the weight of an unfortunate past when he makes his pronouncements.

There is one problem with his rhetoric on this very sensitive issue. To charge the UK Government with having an “anti-Christian” foreign policy makes a good headline, but it also begs some questions. Should the government be promoting a “Christian” foreign policy? That is debatable, to say the least. The range of religious groups being persecuted is far wider than simply the Christian community. To give the cardinal his due, he does mention other religious minorities. But the “anti-Christian” charge narrows the focus too much. Injustice is injustice, whoever is on the receiving end, whether they be Roman Catholics, Protestants, Jehovah's Witnesses, Shia Moslems, Moonies or pagans. The Christian Church needs to stand up very clearly for other minorities as well as Christians. I'm glad that Cardinal O'Brien has raised this issue publicly. The protection of basic human rights, whether Christian or not, should be a condition underlying any aid offered by the UK Government. Read more:


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Adaar = March

Should we give aid to states riven by human rights abuses? March 23, 2011

Assyrian Genocide Research Center Welcomes Scholar to Its Board March 21, 2011

INTERNATIONAL Extinction of Iraq’s Christ

ians must be Prevented March 21, 2011

Muslim World: Democracy (for Muslim Arabs Only)
March 19, 2011

Turkey's confiscation of Land belonging to The St. Gabriel Assyrian Monastery March 19, 2011

Donny George, protector of Iraq's ancient riches Died March 18, 2011

American Muslims Versus Congressman, Peter King March 8, 2011

Iraqi Archbishop Blames lack of Liberty, and Security for his Flocks Suffering March 6, 2011

Iraqi Christians to Congress: Please Help
March 2, 2011

Were Iraqi Security Forces Involved in Baghdad Church Massacre? March 2, 2011

Egyptian Armed Forces Shoot to Kill Christians at Monasteries, 19 Injured March 2, 2011

February = Eshvat

Film About Assyrian Genocide in Iraq to Debut in Michigan Feb 28, 2011

Christian town in north Iraq offers refuge
Feb 27, 2011

Iraq Abuse Worsening for Women and Minorities Feb 23, 2011

Iraq's Christian Leaders Unhappy With Lack of Action on Nineveh Plain Feb 23, 2011

Global Islamic upheaval takes toll on Christians Feb 23, 2011

Turkish Judicial System Does Not Meet EU Standards Feb 23, 2011

Anger over court’s decision to acquit suspects in Coptic killing case Feb 23, 2011

Reconciled By the St. Gabriel Assyrian Monastery in Turkey Feb 20, 2011

‘Religicide’ in Iraq Feb 16, 2011

Truth About Sharia Law and Women Feb. 16, 2011

Persecuted Iraqi Christians Reach Out to US.
Feb. 15, 2011

Australian MP Calls Attention to Persecution of Iraq's Assyrians Feb. 10, 2011

Campaign to separate the Syrian Orthodox Church from its Assyrian Heritage
Feb. 9, 2011

Iranians Crack Down on Christian Churches Feb. 9, 2011

Who will defend Mideast Christians? Feb. 8, 2011

Christians of Iraq are in danger Feb. 2, 2011

Failing Christians is damaging EU credibility, says Italy Frattini Feb. 1, 2011

January = Kanoon II

Church to build hospital and university in Iraq
Jan, 31, 2011

“Syria Opens the Gateway to Humanity for the Assyrian Medical Society, the Mission Continues.”
Jan, 28, 2011

Assyrians Without Borders Announces Scholarship Awards Program Jan, 28, 2011

Hearing in Washington about attacks against christians of Iraq and Egypt Jan. 27, 2011

Babylonian cuneiform tablets document Syria’s history Jan. 26, 2011

As the left sides with Muslims, Christians search for support Jan. 24, 2011

Congress to Press Obama on Religious Persecution
Jan. 21, 2011

Abrogation in Islam and The Persecution
of Christians

Jan. 21, 2011

Last Christians Ponder Leaving a Hometown in Iraq Jan. 20, 2011

Assyrian Youth Black March Movement Conference in Detroit Jan. 19, 2011

Who Are the Real Hijackers of Islam? Jan. 10, 2011

Why Christians and Jews are Being Massacred in the Middle East Jan. 10, 2011

Restricted Freedoms in the Iraqi Christian Green Zone
Jan. 8, 2011

France asks for coordinated European Union response to threats against Christians in Middle East Jan. 5. 2011

Violent attacks against Christians could return in Egypt
Jan. 4. 2011

Egyptian Security Guards Withdrew One Hour Before Church Blast Jan. 2. 2011

We may be witnessing a new age of Christian persecution
Jan. 2. 2011

December = Kanoon I

Christians consider their future after more attacks in Iraq
Dec. 31. 2010

Ancient Tel Aviv Fortress has an Assyrian Origion Dec. 30. 2010

Rare Assyrian artifacts on display in Istanbul Dec. 30. 2010

Ancient Tablets Reveal Mathematical Achievements of Ancient Babylonian Culture Dec. 28. 2010

Christmas and New Year's Greetings 2010

Bipartisan Effort Pressures Obama to Help Iraq's Christians
Dec. 26, 2010

Around "1,100" Christian families have fled to to Kurdish north Dec. 21, 2010

U.N. cites 'a slow but steady exodus' of Iraqi Christians
Dec. 18, 2010

Genocide Film Stirs Emotions Dec, 18, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq face a stark choice: convert, die or leave Dec, 17, 2010

Iraqi Christians Want Their Own Province Dec, 17, 2010

The persecution of Christians in the ‘Muslim world’
Dec, 15, 2010

Is Obama serious about human rights? Dec, 15, 2010

Iraq’s war on Christians Dec, 15, 2010

Appeal for Iraq's Imperiled Religious Communities
Dec, 14, 2010

More Christians Flee Iraq After New Violence Dec, 12, 2010

Assyrians in Iraq's Mosul Living Under Constant Fear
Dec. 11, 2010

Iraq Assyrians Mark 40 Days Since Church Carnage Dec. 10, 2010

Christmas 2005 in Iran (Photos Included) Dec. 6, 2010

Demand For a Province in Kurdistan for Christians Dec. 6, 2010

Assyrian MP Calls on Iraqi Government to Safeguard Churches, Open Investigation Dec. 6, 2010

The Voice of Iraq’s Forgotten Minority crying for help
Dec. 6, 2010

Iraq: Gunmen kill elderly Christian couple inside their Baghdad home Dec. 5, 2010

Assyrian Group Briefs EU Parliament Delegation On Iraq
Dec. 3, 2010

Iraq: Deadly Reminders of Unfinished Business 
Dec. 3, 2010

Protecting Our Christian Neighbours in Iraq Dec. 3, 2010

Catholic Bishops Back House Resolution to Protect Iraq's Christians Dec. 1, 2010

November = Tishreen II

Egypt Security forces use live ammunition and kill unarmed Christian Coptic Protesters Nov. 30, 2010

Western Economic Aid to Muslim Nations Who Hate Non-Muslims Nov. 29, 2010

Formation of Committee to assist Iraqi Christians and other Minorities Nov. 29, 2010


The Baghdad Assyrian Church Massacre: Waiting for Godot! Nov. 27, 2010

Christians in the Middle East essential for the survival of the Arab world Nov. 27, 2010

Australian Conference Calls Attention to Assyrian Genocide in Iraq Nov. 22, 2010

Homes of Christians set on Fire in Egypt Nov. 17, 201

Group will not celebrate Muslim Holiday in solidarity with the victims of the Church Massacre Nov. 17, 201o

Thousands Protest Attacks Against Iraqi Christians Nov. 12, 2010

Memorial Service Held in London for Baghdad Church Massacre Victims Nov. 12, 2010

Fear of jihad driving Christians from Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Christian woman sentenced to death in Pakistan Nov. 10, 2010

Assyrians Demonstrate Around the World Against Baghdad Church Massacre Nov. 10, 2010

Iraq’s Christians: The Final Push to Drive them Out?
Nov. 10, 2010

3 bombs explode outside Christian homes in Baghdad
Nov. 10, 2010

How an Iraqi Christian school became 82 percent Muslim
Iraq Nov. 10, 2010

Recent attack on church sheds light on Assyrians' plight
Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Global Demonstrations against the Persecution of Christians of Iraq Nov. 9, 2010

Two Christians killed in Baghdad a week after massacre
Massacre Nov. 8, 2010

Worldwide Assyrian Demonstrations against Baghdad's Church Massacre Nov. 7, 2010

Al-Qaida is turning its focus on Iraq's vulnerable Christians
Nov. 7, 2010

Christians and Muslims issue joint statement condemning Iraqi church attack Nov. 6, 2010

Christian Massacre Spurs Assyrian-American Rally Nov. 6, 2010

Christians ‘on verge of extinction’ in Iraq, Muslim leader warns
Nov. 5, 2010

UNSC to discuss the security situation in Iraq Tuesday
Nov. 5, 2010

Islamic chauvinism drives Christians out Nov. 5, 2010

bloody, ruthless attack on landmark church in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Videos of the Attack on the Assyrian church on October 31-2010

Assyrians Should Be Granted Indigenous Group Status and Rights in Iraq Nov. 3, 2010

Operation Iraqi freedom and Christians in Iraq Nov. 1, 2010

Protest and demonstration in Ankawa against the murder of Christian worshipers in Baghdad Nov. 2, 2010

CNN update; include video- Death toll rises to 58 in Iraq church
Nov. 1. 2010

Death Toll Rises to 58 in Iraq Church Standoff Nov. 1. 2010

Baghdad attack a new low in Christian onslaught in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010

Pictures of surviving Christians ater the killing in Iraq Nov. 1. 2010

Deadly Baghdad church siege highlights threat to Iraqi Christians
Nov. 1. 2010

Priests among 46 Christians killed in Iraq
Nov. 1. 2010 8:00 AM

Priests among 37 Christians killed in Iraq hostage drama
Nov. 1. 2010 1:00 AM

Iraqi worshipers, troops killed in church takeover
Nov. 1. 2010

October = Tishreen I

My Take on Tearing down the walls 30, 2010

swedishimmigration-policyon-iraqirefugees October 29, 2010

Ancient Winemaking Makes Resurgence in Southeast Turkey
October 29, 2010

Arabs and Turcomans Speak out Against Kurdish Demands in Kirkuk October 17, 2010

The Cost Of Moslem Intolerance October 6, 2010

2,700-year-old royal loyalty oath discovered in Turkey 15 October 2010

Muslim scholars address synod, say Middle East needs Christians Oct. 16, 2010

Christian Hymns of the church of the East in Assyrian aramaic by Reverend Genard Lazar
aug. 26, 2010

Eilul = September

The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia August 26, 2010

Assyrian Politician Attacked in Sweden Future 0f Democracy in the West 26, 2010

Vatican should prevent the exodus of Christians from the Middle East 26, 2010

Assyrian speech at the International Genocide Conference In Greece. Sept. 24, 2010

Egyptian Coptic Church Accused of Stockpiling Weapons
Sept. 22, 2010

Priceless Assyrian historic site Used as Kurdish resort Sept. 22, 2010

Poverty and unemployment among northern Christians sept. 21, 2010

Imam Khamenei: US and Zionism, Not Christianity, Responsible for Anti-Islamism Sep. 17, 2010

Iraq's top Shiite cleric urges tolerance towards Christians
Sep. 10, 2010

Assyrian Representative in the Iranian Parliament condemned the burning of the Koran in the U.S. Sep. 16, 2010

Christian Community of Iraq Halved in Seven Years 16, 2010

Why People worldwide lose Respect for Islam 16, 2010

The Assyrian Genocide and the Turkish Ambassador sept. 13, 2010

Dubakh = August

Religious Freedom and a Mosque August 30, 2010

Kidnapped Assyrian killed in Iraq despite ransom paid August 27, 2010

Why did the Golden Age of Islam come to an end? August 23, 2010

Iraqi asylum seekers struggle to survive in Sweden August 14, 2010

Monument in memory of massacred Assyrians is ready to be unvailed in Australia August 4, 2010

Speaking the language of Jesus August 3, 2010

U.S. Troop Withdrawal From Iraq Does Not End Humanitarian Obligation

August 1. 2010

Tammuz = July

Baghdad Bishop Dies After Lifetime of Serving the Church July 28, 2010

Islam needs more tolerance, not more mosques July 27, 2010