Honesty and realism, i.e., anti-dhimmitude, from Charles Chaput, Roman Catholic Archbishop of Denver (thanks to Uncle Jeff):
…Catholics who do know history may remember the following:
Islam has embraced armed military expansion for religious purposes since its earliest decades. In contrast, Christianity struggled in its divided attitudes toward military force and state power for its first 300 years. No “theology of Crusade” existed in Western Christian thought until the 11th century. In fact, the Christian Byzantine Empire had already been resisting Muslim expansion in the East for 400 years before Pope Urban II called the First Crusade “” as a defensive response to generations of armed jihad.
Much of the modern Middle East was once heavily Christian. Muslim armies changed that by imposing Islamic rule. Surviving Christian communities have endured centuries of marginalization, discrimination, violence, slavery and outright persecution “” not always and not everywhere; but as a constant, recurring and central theme of Muslim domination.
That same Christian suffering continues down to the present. In the early years of the 20th century, the Muslim Ottoman Empire murdered more than 1 million Armenian Christians for ethnic, economic, but also religious reasons. Many Turks and other Muslims continue to deny that massive crime even today. Coptic Christians in Egypt “” who, even after 13 centuries of Muslim prejudice and harassment, cling to the faith “” continue to experience systematic discrimination and violence at the hands of Islamic militants.
Harassment and violence against Christians continue in many places throughout the Islamic world, from Bangladesh, Iran, Sudan, Pakistan and Iraq, to Nigeria, Indonesia and even Muslim-dominated areas of the heavily Catholic Philippines. In Saudi Arabia, all public expressions of Christian faith are forbidden. The on-going Christian flight from Lebanon has helped to transform it, in just half a century, from a majority Christian Arab nation to a majority Muslim population.
These are facts. The Muslim-Christian conflict is a very long one, rooted in deep religious differences, and Muslims have their own long list of real and perceived grievances. But especially in an era of religiously inspired terrorism and war in the Middle East, peace is not served by ignoring, subverting or rewriting history, but rather by facing it humbly as it really happened and healing its wounds.