The Perfect Soldier: Special Operations, Commandos, and the Future of Us Warfare by James F. Dunnigan
More Books by James Dunnigan
Dirty Little Secrets
Top Ten Areas Where Moslems Actively Persecute Non-Moslems
by James Dunnigan
September 25, 2002
Religious persecution has been around for thousands of years, and few religions have been completely innocent of it. However, currently it is Islam that has shown the most aggressive attitude towards those who don't share their religious beliefs. In practical terms, a lot of religious persecutions over the centuries has been caused more by ethnic, than religious, differences. But 21st century Islam is unique in that the persecutions focus on the religious issue. This tends to make the persecution more violent. Being on a mission from God tends to increase the level of violence. Radical Islam has always been a component of Islamic life, although usually a fringe type activity. But over the last few decades, the Islamic radicals have increased their power enormously. Radical Moslems have taken over the government in Iran and Afghanistan, and came close in Algeria. Radical Moslems, even when they are a numerical minority, have far greater political power because of their militancy and willingness to use extreme violence. And the easiest people to use violence on are non-Moslems. Here are ten countries where the violence is real, and often quite deadly.
- Sudan- For nearly two decades, the Moslems in the north have been fighting to control the non-Moslems (Christians and followers of ancient tribal religions) in the south. Over a million non-Moslems have died as a result.
- Kashmir- The Indo-Pakistani dispute over who should control Kashmir has turned into a religious war, with Islamic radicals terrorizing non-Moslems (Hindus, Sikhs and Christians) to leave Kashmir. Thousands have died in the process.
- Nigeria- Islam came late to Africa, and Nigeria, like many African countries, has Moslems, Christians and followers of ancient tribal religions. Religious strife has always been present, mainly because of the militant and uncompromising nature of Islam. When decades of dictatorship disappeared in the late 1990s, the Moslems sought to assert themselves and thousands of Christians have died trying to resist this.
- Indonesia- Several centuries of Dutch colonial rule, followed by several decades of local dictators kept the violence between Moslems, Christians and others quiet. But once the dictatorship was overthrown in 1998, Islamic radicals have been free to preach, and practice, their hatred of non-Moslems. Thousands have died so far.
- Egypt- Ten percent of the population are descended from those that did not to convert to Islam 1200 years ago. These are the Coptic Christians, and since the government lifted restrictions on radical Islam in the 1970s, the Copts have been a regular target of Islamic thugs. Thousands of died and most Copts live in fear.
- Pakistan was founded to "protect Islam," and that eventually turned into "death to all non-believers." While this sentiment is held by only a minority of the Pakistani population, it's an aggressive and murderous minority. Moreover, the definition of "non-believer" extends to different flavors of Islam. Thus there has been much killing of Sunni and Shia Moslems by each other. While the government is officially against persecuting non-Moslems, there has not been a major effort to rein in the Islamic radicals. And it was a military government in the 1970s that first officially encouraged the Islamic radicals to do their thing.
- Chechnya- Like most of the three dozen ethnic groups in the Caucasus, the Chechens were clannish and hostile to outsiders. Raiding your neighbors was considered acceptable behavior. When the Russians conquered the area, they stopped the raiding and forced the Chechens to accept Christians in their midst. When Chechnya became independent in the mid 1990s, they went back to raiding their neighbors and persecuting local Christians. They went over the line when they let al Qaeda in and tried to establish an Islamic Republic, by force, in the Caucasus. Attacks on Christians continue.
- Philippines- While Islam came north from the Moslem East Indies (Indonesia), Spain took over in the north and converted most of the tribes to Christianity. This religious difference has divided the Philippines ever since. The Moslems were never more than a few percent of the Filipino population, and the Moslems are resentful that most of the population is Christian, not Moslem (Islam arrived in the area 300 years before Christianity. As a result, there have long been active efforts by Moslems to drive out Christians living nearby. This often includes murder.
- The Balkans- Moslem Turks occupied the Balkans for nearly five centuries and encouraged conversion with tax breaks and government jobs. Many locals accepted the offer and earned the enmity of their Christians neighbors. Although depicted as the underdogs, whenever the Moslems are a majority (as in Kosovo), they persecute the local Christians.
- - Lebanon- For centuries, Lebanon was a major center of Middle Eastern Christianity. Until about a century ago, Christians were the majority in Lebanon. But prosperity (the Lebanese Christians looked to Europe for educational, commercial and social trends, becoming more economically successful than their Moslem cousins, and thus having fewer kids), and migration (Arab Christians suffered legal discrimination, and the young men in particular were drawn to non-Arab Christian lands like the Americas) led to Moslems equaling the Christian population, and then surpassing it after World War II. This led to a 15 year religious war (1975-90) and continuing hostility towards Arab Christians.
Dishonorable Mention- Saudi Arabia outlaws the practice of any religion but Islam. Get caught holding a non-Islamic religious service and you can be beaten and imprisoned. Crimes committed against non-Moslems are not pursued as vigorously as those against Moslems. The Saudis insist they do not persecute non-Moslems, but they do enforce their laws. A distinction without a difference.