Mr. Mead makes some unfortunate factual errors in an otherwise fine essay.
Unlike the Arab states, Israel did not set out to ethnically cleanse its Arab citizens as policy, although it undoubtedly happened against the background of a war for their survival.In fact, many of them left voluntarily..like Mahmoud Abbas.
Israel’s population after the 1948 war was 20% Arab,( about the same as it is today) and they were made full citizens from the beginning of the state. In contrast, the Arabs ethnically cleansed almost every Jew living in their countries after stripping them of everything they owned. And it was mostly done after the war ended, as revenge and theft.
Nor did Israel ethnically cleanse the Arab inhabitants of Judea and Samaria ( AKA the West Bank) after Jordan attacked Israel in the 1967 war..although in retrospect, transferring these Jordanian citizens across the river to their country of nationality might have made for a more peaceful Middle East.
To compare the two situations is ludicrous.
The current campaigns against Christians and other minorities isn’t going to lead to more democratic societies any more than the ethnic cleansing of the Jews did.
Islam is simply different, and the longer we live in denial about it the higher the ultimate cost to the West in blood and treasure.
A great many of these Iraqi Christians have fled the country — if I recall correctly, many of them to countries like Sweden. It would be interesting to know if these Christian populations were any easier to assimilate into European society than Muslims of the same nationality, and if they had any tendency towards pressuring their countries of refuge towards any particular political stance vis a vis the countries they fled.
One note of hope:
There are still crypto-Christians in places like Turkey, despite the attempts at genocide in those places. Religious minorities go underground far more easily than recognizable ethnic minorities do.
The Gospel will not die out in those places; “will probably never return” is the voice of despair.
If any kind of pluralistic society arises in those regions, expect to see pockets of Christians come out of the woodwork.
Again, for the Bush administration not to understand and prepare for this before the invasion of Iraq was not its only blunder, but is one of the least excusable. It looks very much as if the Obama administration is being equally feckless about the likely consequences for Syrian Christians and other minorities when and if Assad goes.
Hmm. Perhaps the problem isn’t the presidents. Could it be the Islamists cookie pushers at State and elsewhere in the bureaucracy in the pay of the Saudi princes?
How different is this than what happened in Europe over the last 200 years? Modernization is not a friend of diversity. Although there are many reasons why Europe since WWII has been at peace, I think one of them is that Hitler made countries ethnically pure (or at least purer). Poland had been one of the most diverse countries in the world before 1939 and is now one of the least. The Czechs could not get along with the Slovaks while in Belgium the Walloons and Flems do not like each other either.
The reason America is a great country is that we handle diversity well (at least we have so far) that most people of all groups feel part of it. I think we don’t appreciate how rare and unique this is in the rest of the world.
WRM, can civilization/religion ever move beyond “The Eternal Return of the Tribe” (patrimonial power in the modern world)?
anyone know if this other article is true about all this crazy stuff that’s going on??/
Iraq Christians Captured Admist Security Unstability http://goo.gl/4iCdg