Islamic supremacist threat in Syria “is a terrible one for all the minorities. Do we stay and become second-class citizens?”

But those minorities are Christians, and so no one cares. Mother Agnes-Mariam added that “some Westerners, ‘even Christians’, were insisting that all Syrians enter dialogue with the Islamist insurgents to form common cause, tolerating the imposition of ‘a kind of Islamic will’ – and criticising her as a controversialist.” Ah yes, the West is not short of compromised Christian leaders counseling surrender to the global jihad and Islamic supremacism, and denouncing those who dissent.

“Christians ’emptied from Middle East,'” by Rowan Callick in The Australian, October 6 (thanks to Anne Crockett):

THE mother superior of a 1500-year-old monastery in Syria warned yesterday during a visit to Australia that the uprising against Bashar al-Assad has been hijacked by foreign Islamist mercenaries, with strong support from Western countries.

Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix was forced to flee to neighbouring Lebanon in June when she was warned of a plot to abduct her, after she revealed that about 80,000 Christians had been “cleared” by rebel forces from their homes in Homs province.

She described on the website of the Greek-Melkite Catholic monastery of St James, the church she rebuilt 18 years ago after discovering it in ruins, how Islamist rebels had gathered Christian and Alawi hostages in a building in Khalidiya in Homs. Then they blew it up with dynamite and attributed the act to the regular army.

Mother Agnes-Mariam plans to return to Syria soon, to support the Mussalaha (Reconciliation) community-based movement, which rejects sectarian violence and includes, she said, members of all ethnic and religious communities who are tired of war.

Rallies with the theme “Hands Off Syria” are scheduled for lunchtime tomorrow in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Hobart, and will involve a wide variety of groups from the country.

Mother Agnes-Mariam, 60, speaks five languages fluently and spent 22 years as a contemplative Carmelite nun in Lebanon, where she was born. Her late father was a Palestinian refugee who fled Nazareth in 1948 when the state of Israel was established.

She told The Weekend Australian, while visiting Melbourne yesterday – between meetings with Catholic Archbishop Denis Hart and state parliamentarians – that after the uprising began, she had noticed growing numbers of “aggressive, armed gangs which wished to paralyse community life, abducting people, beheading, bringing terror even to schools”.

Slowly these groups became identified: some are recruited by and affiliated with al-Qa’ida, some have a Muslim Brotherhood background, some are attached to other Islamist factions. Only about one in 20 of these fighters is Syrian, she said. The rest come from places ranging from Britain to Pakistan, from Chechnya to North Africa. “Many have fought in Iraq, some also in Afghanistan,” Mother Agnes-Mariam said. “Now their cause is being recycled to kill Syrians.”

The two million Christians in Syria – which contains the world’s first church – “are sharing Syria’s fate”, she said.

“But as a minority, they are more vulnerable. They have no army. They are caught, like the filling in a sandwich.”

Her own community of nuns at St James has been mostly trapped in the monastery for 18 months.

In the beginning, she said, the uprising embraced values including freedom and democracy. “But it steadily became a violent Islamist expression against a liberal secular society.”

The embracing of the values of freedom and democracy was really only a means to an end, and that end was the imposition of Sharia.

She described “a hidden will to empty the Middle East of its Christian presence. We don’t know why. We have always been the peaceful catalyst bringing diverse communities together.”

The foreign Islamist threat, she said, “is a terrible one for all the minorities. Do we stay and become second-class citizens? Where do we go? We shouldn’t have to accept this in the 21st century.”

Mother Agnes-Mariam said some Westerners, “even Christians”, were insisting that all Syrians enter dialogue with the Islamist insurgents to form common cause, tolerating the imposition of “a kind of Islamic will” – and criticising her as a controversialist. “But what is happening now is against the uprising,” she said. “There is a way to implement the choices of the Syrian people – by giving them back self-determination and freeing them of this massive foreign interference and this media instigation for violence….

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  1. says

    Mother Agnes-Mariam de la Croix is just an intelligence agent for the Syrian Baathist regime (see below), which killed more Christians than ANYONE. She is LAST ONE to talk about Christian rights.

    “It’s hard not to conclude that Mother Agnès-Mariam is little more than another Assad propagandist using her religious credentials to push a particular narrative.”

  2. says

    RR is one of those Arab Spring trolls who probably thinks that Egypt, Libya, Iraq are in a better state today than they were under Mubarak, Qadaffi & Saddam, and that the Sunnis would happily get into bed w/ the Christians once they oust Assad.

  3. says

    Well, not surprising given the extensive backing the older Assad’s regime got from the Soviets. And, I won’t agree with salah that secular dictators have necessarily been kind to the religious minorities. It was the secular despots Nasser, Sadam Hussein, and Qaddafi who put the final periods on the millennia-old histories of the Jews of Egypt, Iraq, and Libya; a history that goes back long before a word of Arabic was spoken in any of those countries. Rather, I’m of the mind that the Arab countries are suffering from a horrific political pathology nurtured originally from Islam itself, and then deepened and made all the worse by the fascination Arab leaders had for such Western imports as Fascism (Michel Aflaq, founder of the Ba’ath, comes to mind) and Marxism-Leninism.

    However, it is also known that the rebels in Syria have been squeezing the Christian community in Syria. Islamists have been behind the driving out of Iraq’s Christians, and as we read and write here, Islamists are now squeezing the Copts of Egypt.

    Nor is Assad truly “secular” his mindset is colored by his peculiar version of Shi’ism, the Alawi sect. Perhaps they are nicer to Syrian minorities (Christians, Druze, Yazidi, and more standard-issue Ithna-ashariyya and Ismaili Shi’ites) because of the overwhelming weight of the Sunni majority.

    In any case, Syria’s options are utterly dismal; neither side can be counted on to be friendly to either the USA, the West, or the peace process. Hence, America’s best interest is to refrain from backing either side, and encourage Turkey to refrain from doing so.