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Islamic law and Christian persecution

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The persecution of Christians is “the greatest story never told in the Western media” and “the vast majority of serious anti-Christian violence is carried out in the name of Islam,” according to Ed West in an article for The Spectator.

Earlier this month, MPs raised concerns about the plight of Christians in the Middle East during a debate at Westminster Hall, highlighting that in relation to Christian persecution virtually every country in the region reported “suffering of either high, high to extreme or extreme suffering.”

Faith Minister Baroness Warsi said in a recent speech:  “A mass exodus is taking place, on a Biblical scale. In some places, there is a real danger that Christianity will become extinct.”

Commenting on the remarks, Mr West said:

“Warsi made the same point on the Today programme this morning, and I applaud her, but an aspect rather missing from the coverage was the fact that the vast majority of serious anti-Christian violence is carried out in the name of Islam. It would be like discussing anti-Semitic pogroms of the medieval period without mentioning Christianity, its theology, history and practice.”

“Incompatible with religious liberty”

He added:  “The simple fact is that Islamic law as it is applied in Egypt (where apostasy is extremely difficult and dangerous, and family law was based on Sharia even before the revolution), Iraq and the Gulf States is incompatible with religious liberty.  There is no way around that. In Iraq, most bizarrely, the US government presided over a constitution that introduced elements of Sharia.

“The issue therefore is not just that Christians are being punished because of anger at the West. It is the specific application of Islamic law, and most centrally its ideas about freedom of religion. It includes freedom of un-religion and the freedom to deviate from the rulers’ particular interpretation.”

“Influence of the Saudis”

West commented further that much of the intolerance against Christianity in Pakistan had resulted from “the influence of the Saudis” who he says “are trying to reshape Islam in their image, and are helped by Westerners because of their vast reserves of money.”

He added: “But they’re not the only ones – universities and organisations all over the West take Saudi money, and they should be publicly shamed, just as tax dodgers are.

“At the heart of the problem is that we’re too scared of even admitting that the problem is within Islam, perfectly illustrated by the BBC’s coverage of events.”

Read the full feature in The Spectator >