Missing Terrorists

Yes, sorry, it's about Islam.

Last weekend, the feds popped two more US citizens who yearned to kill their fellow Americans for Allah.  They hoped to join al-Shabab, Somali’s ruthless jihadis, but fantasized about slaughter right here at home.

And, once again, any mention of Islamist extremism was absent from government statements, as if these guys were just angry about parking tickets.

The would-be Times Square car bomber, the guess-what’s-in-my-knickers Christmas Day airline bomber, no end of got-‘em-in-time apprehensions, plus the Ft. Hood butcher, Major Nidal Hasan…and even the media barely hint at what all these fanatics have in common.

Dare to suggest that radical Islam might be to blame, and you’re a bigot.  Just as pointing out that Palestinian terrorism led to Israel’s hard line stand makes you a fascist.  But those who reject radical Islam’s role as the driving force behind today’s terrorism must answer one obvious question:

Where are the Christian terrorists?

The ignored persecution, deprivation and massacres aren’t in Gaza, the global left’s favorite petting zoo.  The cover-up victims are the Middle East’s Christians.

Set aside for now the vast Christian communities that once thrived between Morocco and Mesopotamia.  The multiple holocausts they suffered for over a thousand years at Muslim hands doesn’t fit the White-House-approved narrative.

Let’s concentrate on today—when the only country left in the Middle East in which Christians enjoy complete freedom of worship, freedom from secret police surveillance, forced conversions, pogroms or civil strife, is Israel.

But that won’t do, either.  Can’t make Israel the good guy.  So how about those “suffering Palestinians?”  You know, the folks that chick-lit Che Guevara, Rachel Corrie, sought to rescue from an Israeli bulldozer…

Well, the Palestinians who’ve suffered the most have been Christians. And it hasn’t been the Israelis who’ve been persecuting them.

Take the West Bank city of Bethlehem, the literal cradle (or manger) of Christianity.  A half century ago, its Arab population was 80% Christian.  Today, Christians make up no more than 15% of the locals, and their numbers continue to shrink.

Throughout the Palestinian territories, the once-vibrant Christian population is estimated to have collapsed to a mere 25,000.  Muslim rapes, murders, kidnappings, extortion, death threats and property theft are to blame.

Where are the Christian terrorists?

In neighboring Egypt, Christianity’s intellectual center in its formative centuries, centuries of Islamization reduced, but failed to eliminate the Christian faith.

Coptic Christians, with their ancient traditions, still make up as much as 15% of Egypt’s population, which is nearing 80 million.  But the faith is under siege again.  The Mubarak regime appears to have decided to let its mortal enemy, the Muslim Brotherhood, have some leash in the persecution department.

Copts suffer village pogroms, ghettoization in cities, and kidnappings and forced conversions (often of marriage-age girls).  They’re prevented from constructing new churches and suffer general discrimination.  Killings of Copts go uninvestigated by Egypt’s police.

Where are the Christian terrorists?

Then there’s Iraq, where a tragic unintended consequence of the removal of Saddam Hussein–the region’s worst mass murderer–has been the destruction of ancient Christian communities.

Prior to 2003, there were about a million Christians in Iraq.  Most are now refugees.  Successive Iraqi governments have shown little interest in protecting those who remain.  Leading churchmen have been assassinated, Christian families have been slaughtered, churches have been bombed and burned.  And we’ve done nothing—to avoid irritating Muslims.

Where are the Christian terrorists?

Given the excuses made for Islamist terror, shouldn’t we have seen a violent response by now?

Of course, none of this is an issue in Saudi Arabia, where the Christian (and Jewish) communities that thrived at the dawn of Islam were wiped out centuries ago.  Even Lebanon, long a state where Christians enjoyed religious freedom, suffers from the grim Islamist contagion.

The absence of Christian terrorism in the savagely anti-Christian Middle East goes beyond Christ’s call to “turn the other cheek.”  It further highlights extremist Islam as the source of today’s terror.

But Washington will continue to shut its eyes and bluster about the “legitimate aspirations of the Palestinian people,” etc., etc.  Dead Arab Christians are even less important than dead Jews.

Ralph Peters’ latest book is “Endless War.”