Terrorism: A Product of Rogue Regimes/ Elias Bejjani

On September 25th 2010, Al-Azhar's Islamic Research Council, headed by Egypt's Grand Imam Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb issued this statement, "Egypt is an Islamic State, according to the text of its Constitution, which represents the social contract between its people. From this stems the rights of citizenship, as taught to us by the Messenger of Allah, in his pact with the Christians of Najran. In this pact, he decided that Christians would enjoy the same rights and freedoms as the Muslims. However, these rights and freedoms would be conditional to their respect for the Islamic Identity and the rights of citizenship as set by the Constitution." The Christians of Najran, Medina, refused conversion to Islam in 631 A.D. and offered to Mohammad that they could keep their faith in exchange for their acceptance of Islamic dominance and their payment an annual tax (Jizya). He accepted this deal and the pact was sealed between them.

On January the 9th of 2011, in his Sunday sermon, Maronite Catholic Patriarch, Cardinal Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir, strongly denounced the persecution of Christians, as well as all discrimination and acts of violence in the world linked to religion, particularly in Asia and Africa. He stressed that "the majority of the victims were members of religious minorities. These victims were not allowed to freely practice their faith nor celebrate their spiritual rituals and in such, had their basic human rights and freedoms violated". "Cardinal Sfeir proposed that defending and securing these rights of freedom of religion, could be achieved through the advocacy of all universal basic human rights and freedoms. He added that the protection of religious minorities was not a threat to the identity of the majority, but rather an opportunity for dialogue and the establishment of cultural richness and diversity".

Religious persecution and more specifically, Christian discrimination and intolerance, is most rampant in Muslim dominated countries of the Middle East, Africa and Asia. The Christian minorities of many of these countries have most recently been facing dire hardships, unprecedented discrimination and even death.

A world wide wave of condemnation, fear and angry protests was waged in the aftermath of the recent savage terrorist attacks that targeted peaceful Christian worshippers and their churches in Iraq, Egypt, Sudan and Nigeria. Sadly, the focus of this wave of global unrest was the crime and not the problem nor the triggers that fuelled these tragedies. The catalyst and sources of this religious terrorism is a deeply rooted, systemic discrimination and suspicion of all things non-Islamic and Western. Unfortunately the Muslim fanatic, rigid and fundamental regimes produce the fertile educational and cultural milieus of hatred, ignorance and transgression.

Both the governments of Iraq and Egypt, where the most recent and bloodiest attacks against Christians took place, have blatantly ignored all precipitating factors that led to these horrific attacks. These governments, in a very superficial and patronizing display of concern, they reacted strongly with a wink and a nod, only to appease global anger and outrage.

On the Coptic Orthodox Christian celebration of Christmas Day that fell on January 6th, Egyptian authorities, in an apparent display of power, concern and tolerance, deployed more than 70.000 police and security officers throughout the country to guard Churches, while President Mubarak's two sons attended a Christmas mass celebrated by the Coptic Pope Shenouda. In Iraq, a similar display of concern and strict security measures were enacted .
 
It is with no doubt, that these superficial and temporary displays of power and concern, would not provide a solution to the deeply embedded insecurities, suspicions and rogue elements that helped to fuel these criminal acts of murder nor would they help to foster a safe environment for the persecuted Christian communities.
 
The persecution of Christians and all other minorities in the Middle East is not a recent phenomena, but rather has been going on for almost the last 1400 years. The worst periods of discrimination and persecution that Christians suffered and endured were during the Ottoman and Mamluke rule that spanned a period of more than 700 years.
 
It is worth mentioning that in all Muslim dominated governments, their constitutions and judiciaries are based on the Islamic Sharia (law), in which Christians and Jews are treated as second class citizens (Dhimmis), and in such are deprived of their basic human rights. These �Dhimmitude� communities are inferior to their fellow Muslim citizens in all domains and walks of live. The most notorious countries in which the �Dhimmi� class is strictly enforced and abused are Pakistan, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Nigeria, Somalia, Yemen, Iran and Turkey.
 
The two main retributions that Christians and other minorities endure in Muslim dominated countries are the deprivation of their basic rights and the forced indoctrination through a mandatory Islamic education based on a fundamentalist curriculum. These rigid religious beliefs are often state sponsored and officially fostered in all schools and universities. Discrimination, persecution and humiliation are integrated in the everyday life, while the governments of these countries through their institutions, legislatures, judiciaries, and educational facilities, encourage, foster and legitimize such mentality and practices.

The cure to these problems do not lie in temporary and superficial security measures, but rather through the complete abolishment of the �Dhimmitude� class, �infidel� and "blasphemy" designation. Muslim governments are required to deal with their Christian citizens as equal citizens and grant them all their legitimate rights and freedoms in all domains. The Western free world countries as well as the UN are required to play a pivotal role in helping, encouraging and even politically forcing all Muslim country regimes to abide by the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Once these obstacles are addressed, then all terrorist organizations world-wide will be weakened, marginalized and alienated in their own societies. This collapse will be propagated in part due to the reality that these extremist organizations do not stand on their own in terms of identity; instead, they are proxies to regimes that provide them with financial means and an operational framework for their terrorist activities.

The Muslim regimes that have been breeding, recruiting, hosting, sponsoring, training, financing and using terrorist and fundamental organizations are Syria, Iran, Somalia, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan. The most notorious are the two axis of evil countries, Iran and Syria. Saudi Arabia has been for years the main source for financing many fundamental terrorist groups among which is Ben Laden's Al-Qaida. For the last few years many fundamentalist groups have been fighting against the Saudi monarchy and threatening its grip on the country. While the Saudi regime is now fighting these terrorists, many Saudi rich men, businesses and institutions are still grossly financing many terrorist groups, especially Al Qaeda.

Fighting only the terrorist organizations is futile and a waste of time, men and resources, because the clandestine nature of the above listed regimes and specially the Iranian and Syrian ones would allow them to quickly and easily reform and restructure new organizations with completely new aliases who are ready to resume operations in full capacity.

One cannot rationally dissociate Syria and Iranian from terrorism all over the world. Both countries provide a safe haven for a myriad of terrorist organizations, (Hezbollah, Hamas and many others), direct their operations, and use Hezbollah's and Palestinians' ministates in Lebanon as their main field of recruiting, training and operations. Like the Mafia which uses money, crime, fear, intimidation, and violence as instruments of pressure to buy silence from otherwise good and honorable people, the Syrian and Iranian regimes use their proxy terrorist organizations (Hamas, Hezbollah and new versions of Al Qaeda) as instruments of pressure on their neighboring countries and as bargaining tool in their foreign policy strategies that has earned them a "no questions asked" attitude from the free world with regard to their bloody interference in Lebanon, Iraq, Afghanistan, Gaza, West Bank, Egypt, Kuwait, Yemen, South America and many other countries. In 1983 Syrian and Iranian terrorist proxies were responsible for bloody attacks against the American embassy, Marine compound and French troops in Lebanon costing hundreds of Lebanese, French and American lives.

We strongly believe that the effective long-term solution to the spread of fundamentalism and terrorism is through containing the rogue regimes. At the same time through the spread of democracy and freedom, and abidance of all Muslim countries' regimes with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights

An effective global war against terrorism can not by any means be successful if the countries that breed terrorism organizations are not handled and contained first. In this same context, the war against Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Yemen will not be won unless the Pakistani, Yemeni and Iranian regimes are forced to totally cut their ties with terrorists and honour Humane Rights, freedom and democracy.. In the same token peace and stability in Iraq, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, West Bank, Gaza, and Egypt will remain out of reach unless the Syrian and the Iranian regimes are international and regionally dealt with in a bid to stop all their terrorist tactics, games and ploys.

In conclusion, All the terrorist organizations all over the world including Al Qaeda, Hezbollah, and Hamas are mere military tools and proxies that are found, financed, sponsored and fully controlled by rogue regimes. Accordingly the terrorists that attacked Christians and their Churches in both Iraq and Egypt are most probably Iranian and Syrian proxies. Therefore putting an end for such terrorist atrocities necessitate a solid, united and clear crystal world-wide approach towards both the Syrian and Iranian axis of evil regimes.

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