Sunday, August 3, 2014

Arab Christians Rally for Persecuted Christians in the Middle East

The symbol on the t-shirt is that which ISIS has posted on Christian homes in Mosul, which is used to denote Christian.

On Saturday several hundred Arab Christians came together at the Federal Building in Los Angeles (Westwood) to demonstrate for their persecuted brethren in the Middle East. The rally was organized by an organization called A Demand for Action. They were mostly Assyrians and Chaldeans, many of whom were from Iraq and Syria. I attended, filmed much of it, and spoke to several of the participants. Their recurring message was why is the world not paying attention to what is happening to Christians in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria? Where is President Obama? Where is the news media?

There were several speakers including Arab ministers and two young Iranian Muslim girls who spoke in solidarity with the Christians. The speakers told of the suffering and the forced conversions by the forces of ISIS. Again and again, they asked why the world, the media, and President Obama were ignoring their plight. 

I can't tell you how refreshing this was not just that finally people in this country were standing up and speaking out, but that it was coming from Arab Americans who painted a picture much different from that Americans are exposed to from the likes of CAIR and other like organizations.

Below are portions of a couple of the speeches.

Here is an interview I did with one of the event organizers.

Indeed, I did not see the media at the event although they showed up to cover the pro-Palestinian protest that began at 1 pm, after the Christian protest was over.

I think it behooves us all to learn more about the Arab Christian communities here in America and learn their stories. Given what is going on in the Middle East, I hope America will welcome as many of them as possible should they choose to leave the horror they are experiencing. First and foremost there must be international pressure on the UN to act on behalf of the Christians still trapped in the Middle East to provide a safe zone for them.


Siarlys Jenkins said...

Their recurring message was why is the world not paying attention to what is happening to Christians in the Middle East, especially Iraq and Syria? Where is President Obama? Where is the news media?

It's good that they are out there, and its good that American Muslims are turning out to support them. This reminds us that historically, a substantial part of the Palestinian resistance to Israel was Christian, historically, the middle east has been a polyglot of faiths, even if one or another was generally dominant in any given region, and that there are ethnic connections across religious lines, religious connections across ethnic lines.

But there is no question that the world is paying attention and the media is covering events. The big question is, what are we going to risk in order to do anything about it. The overstretch in Afghanistan (which should have been a six-month kick-butt operation and get out), and the absurdity and costs of Iraq, have left darn little stomach for American military intervention.

Its funny to see Gary calling for the UN to act. He's recently called for the organization to be disbanded. If it had measured up to the hopes of its founders, a powerful UN force would take physical control of the entirety of Syria and Iraq, disperse or exterminate the armed combatants, and enforce the kind of peace the Allies enforced in Germany 1945-1949. But it is in no condition to do that, partly because the world isn't really in the shape hopeful voices suggested after WW II, and partly because it has been hamstrung by critics who think it should go away. Now that we need it, it is utterly incapable of mounting an operation like the one that took down the Katanga secession in the early 1960s.

So, Gary, the $64,000 question, what ARE we going to do to rescue the Christian of Mosul? IF there is any stomach for any military intervention at all, my amateur's guess is maybe something could be organized in conjunction with the Pesh Merga. But the Kurds won't risk it until and unless ISIS mounts a broad attack on their territory, at which point, the Kurds and the world might have a change to descend on ISIS. Otherwise, the best hope for the Christians of Mosul is probably... Iran.

Anonymous said...

Hello and thank you so much for attending.

A couple of small corrections, Assyrians (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) are different from Arabs.

There was an Iranian Muslim and an Iraqi Muslim that spoke.

By the way, the news media knew about it, both Fox and KABC confirmed to me that they would be attending the rally.

KABC sent me an email saying they would try to attend and after I called them back, they said they would absolutely be "sending a truck and will provide live coverage from the event."

Gary Fouse said...

Thank you for the clarifications.