Muslims living in the Palestinian territories are trying to “ethnic cleanse” the Christian community.
“I expect our Christian neighbors to understand the new Hamas rule means real changes. They must be ready for Islamic rule if they want to live in peace in Gaza,” said Sheik Abu Saqer, leader of Jihadia Salafiya, an Islamic outreach movement that recently announced the opening of a “military wing” to enforce Muslim law in Gaza. (Ynet Christians must accept Islamic rule.)
It is not solely a Gaza/Hamas problem. Under the Fatah and the Hamas regime, s Christian Arabs have been victims of frequent human rights abuses by Muslims. There are many examples of intimidation, beatings, land theft, firebombing of churches and other Christian institutions, denial of employment, economic boycotts, torture, kidnapping, forced marriage, sexual harassment, and extortion.
The “moderate” Palestinian Authority officials are directly responsible for many of the human rights violations. Muslims who have converted to Christianity are in the greatest danger. They are often left defenseless against cruelty by Muslim fundamentalists. Some have been murdered.
Muslim attitudes toward Christians and Jews are influenced by the concepts and prejudices about their inferiority that the practice of dhimmitude has spawned in Islamic society. As dhimmis, Christians living in Palestinian-controlled territories are not treated as equals of Muslims and are subjected to debilitating legal, political, cultural, and religious restrictions. The human rights violations against the Christian Arabs in the PA are committed by Muslims, but political and economic reasons many Palestinian Christian leaders blame Israel for these crimes rather than the actual perpetrators. Israel is the “Dog” all groups kick at the end of the day.
With all of these anti-Christian actions in the Palestinian Territories, why did the NY Times leave Muslim persecution of Christians out of their report about the declining Christian population of the Holy Land?:
As reported by Tamar Sternthal in a study for CAMERA:
…….Bronner correctly reports that consistent with the regional trend, the Palestinian Christian population is drastically declining, but he minimizes a major contributing factor: Muslim persecution of Christians. Thus, he writes:
Among Palestinians, Islam is also playing an unprecedented role in defining identity, especially in Gaza, ruled by Hamas. Benedict’s arrival in Jerusalem on Monday prompted a radical member of the legislature in Gaza to call on Arab governments not to greet him because of his contentious remark in 2006 regarding the Prophet Muhammad.
The West Bank Palestinian leadership, more secular, tries to include Christians to ward off separatist sentiments and stop the population decline. It has been a losing battle. In 1948, Jerusalem was one-fifth Christian. Today it is 2 percent.
Rafiq Husseini, the chief of staff of President Mahmoud Abbas’s office, said of the exodus of Christians: “It is a very negative thing if it continues to happen. Our task, from the president downwards, is to keep the presence of the Christians alive and well.”
In Bethlehem, where the Church of the Nativity marks where Jesus is said to have been born, Christians now make up barely a third of the population after centuries of being 80 percent of it. Emigration is the first option for anyone who has the opportunity, and there are large communities of Christian emigres throughout the West to absorb them.
“Economy, economy, economy,” said Fayez Khano, 63, a member of the Assyrian community, explaining the reasons for the continuing exodus while cutting the olive-wood figurines in his family workshop on Manger Street. Mr. Khano’s three adult children live in Dublin, and since business is slow he and his wife are about to go to Dublin for six months.
But anti-Christian activity on the part of Palestinian Muslims is not limited to radical politicians speaking out against the Pope. As Muslim Palestinian/Israeli journalist Khaled Abu Toameh wrote a few days ago on the Hudson Web site:
Christian families have long been complaining of intimidation and land theft by Muslims, especially those working for the Palestinian Authority.
Many Christians in Bethlehem and the nearby [Christian] towns of Bet Sahour and Beit Jalla have repeatedly complained that Muslims have been seizing their lands either by force or through forged documents. . . .
Moreover, several Christian women living in these areas have complained about verbal and sexual assaults by Muslim men.
Over the past few years, a number of Christian businessmen told me that they were forced to shut down their businesses because they could no longer afford to pay “protection” money to local Muslim gangs.
While it is true that the Palestinian Authority does not have an official policy of persecution against Christians, it is also true that this authority has not done enough to provide the Christian population with a sense of security and stability.
In addition, Christians continue to complain about discrimination when it comes to employment in the public sector. Since the establishment of the Palestinian Authority 15 years ago, not a single Christian was ever appointed to a senior security post. Although Bethlehem has a Christian mayor, the governor, who is more senior than him, remains a Muslim.
Why doesn’t Bronner mention the Muslim theft of Christian lands? The reported involvement of Muslim employees of the Palestinian Authority in the theft of Christian lands contradicts the PA official quoted by Bronner who insists that the population decline is negative and that the authority is determined to stop it. Why does Bronner likewise ignore any other specific examples of Muslim intimidation of Palestinian Christians – sexual harassment, demands for “protection” money, and job discrimination? Why does he make do with the vague, euphemistic statement that “Islam is also playing an unprecedented role in defining identity?” Land dispossession is an unusual way of “defining identity.”
You don’t have to be a Muslim or Palestinian journalist like Abu Toameh to find information on the Muslim harassment of Christians. Harry de Quetteville reported Sept. 9, 2005 in the Daily Telegraph (London):
Christians in the Holy Land have handed a dossier detailing incidents of violence and intimidation by Muslim extremists to Church leaders in Jerusalem, one of whom said it was time for Christians to “raise our voices” against the sectarian violence.
The dossier includes 93 alleged incidents of abuse by an “Islamic fundamentalist mafia” against Palestinian Christians, who accused the Palestinian Authority of doing nothing to stop the attacks.
The dossier also includes a list of 140 cases of apparent land theft, in which Christians in the West Bank were allegedly forced off their land by gangs backed by corrupt judicial officials. . . .
The alleged attacks on Christians have come despite repeated appeals to the Palestinian Authority to rein in Muslim gangs.
A spokesman for the Apostolic Delegate, the Pope’s envoy to Jerusalem, said nothing had been done to tackle the problem. “The Apostolic Delegate presented a list of all the problems to Mr [Yasser] Arafat before he died,” he said. “He promised a lot but he did very little.”
In the offices of his tiny Christian television station in Bethlehem, Samir Qumsieh said this week that Christian appeals to Mr Arafat’s successor as Palestinian President, Mahmoud Abbas, had also gone unheeded.
“At least Arafat responded,” he said, “Abbas does not answer our letters.”
Like Abbas, the New York Times has been indifferent to the Muslim persecution of Christian Palestinians. Back in 2004, the Times also misreported the major reason for the Christian Palestinian exodus.
Read the Entire CAMERA article here CAMERA: NY Times Skews the News on Christian Decline in the Mideast