Sunday, October 12, 2008

Christians flee Iraqi city rather than convert

I thought I've seen it all. I thought I was way beyond actually feeling anything in response to news because bad news in our tortured part of the world just keep on coming, don't they? You'd think one would be immune by now. But every now and then something will really get to you. Something like this.

Al Qaeda extremists have apparently succeeded in forcing 900 Iraqi Christians to flee Mosul in fear of their lives, after murdering 13 of them. 13 people dead. For not converting and not paying Jizya.

I am so depressed. Not because I am offended as a Muslim that these extremists have 'hijacked' my religion. That is such a cliche. First of all, frankly I don't identify with these people enough to feel offended in that way. Their faith - if one may call it that - has so little in common with mine that it just feels completely alien even if our two belief systems do share a name.

And second, offended as a Muslim? There's 'no offended as a' here. This pattern of behavior is offensive, period. To everyone. To everything. It's more than offensive. It is heartbreaking and absolutely terrifying.

No, what I find depressing is the the tenacity of these extremists. Why won't they go away? Why won't they just drop dead? After 9/11 and London and Madrid, after everything they've so far managed to bring on Iraq and Afghanistan and countless other countries. After all the wars and all the destruction and all the vows by world leaders to put an end to this, why do they still survive? What will it take to get rid of them?

I just can't stand it that such people exist and breathe. People who would kill others in cold blood and displace a tiny, defenceless, ancient community and actually think they have a RIGHT to do it. I mean, these people are not ordinary criminals. At least criminals know they're criminals. No, these zombies actually believe they're being holy and righteous when they do things like that. They believe they're better than the rest of us. They believe that God is smiling on their murders. That God actually creates people for them to kill. And that is so offensive.

How must those Iraqi Christians feel? What would it be like to be so hated by people you've never done any harm to just who believe God wants them to hate you and kill you?

I've had brushes with that type of mentality of course. Those fanatics who didn't necessarily approve of my lifestyle or my version of Islam and make it clear how much they hated me, occasionally pronouncing judgement on my life as an apostate if I don't repent.

But I've never been unfortunate enough to be part of a helpless minority under their power. I've always faced them from a position where I felt safe. A position where I could laugh at their irrational rage and dismiss them and tell them how pathetic I thought they were.

Now I feel guilty for having laughed. This is not funny. It's not funny for people who have no protection from it. And it's not pathetic. These people deserve no pity because they clearly have none for the rest of us.

I still believe they're nihilists who have no future. That they're a passing wave that cannot and will not survive because as an ideology they have nothing to offer but death and destruction. They offer no solutions, no hope, no vision for the future.

But how much more damage will they do before we're finally rid of them? Everytime I think ok, this wave is starting to recede, there's light at the end of the tunnel, there they are in the news doing something like this and GETTING AWAY WITH IT.

I guess I just have to pray. I mean, what else is there to do?

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