The world is suffering no lack of man-made atrocities these days. Thanks to the Islamic State, acts of the most unconscionable violence are the daily reality for many people in many parts of the world. The Charlie Hebdo massacre, in which two radicalized Muslim brothers killed seventeen people, topped headlines for weeks this winter due to the satirical magazines high media profile and its location in Paris. No doubt the massacres tie-in to the perennially hot-button issue of freedom of the press caused journalists to give it extra attention. But the cartoon catastrophe in the French capital is merely one in a long string of equally appalling acts perpetrated by Islamists not just by the Islamic State, which most readers likely had never even heard of before June 2014, but by Muslims throughout the world who more or less align themselves with the same fanatical philosophy. For example, since the Kouachi brothers January 7 massacre in Paris, three hundred Assyrian Christians have been abducted (at least fifteen of them are rumored to have been killed as of this writing) and twenty-one Coptic Christians have been beheaded in Libya. Back in Europe, a protesting Islamist shot two Danes to death during a free-speech rally in Copenhagen. The gunman, whose target was alleged to be a Danish cartoonist who drew a picture of Muhammad with a dog eight years ago, continued his shooting spree at a nearby synagogue before he was killed by police.
Western journalists, who are often too busy reporting on so-called Islamophobia in our own backyard consider these recent headlines: Americas Islamophobia Problem (Huffington Post, Feb. 24), The Fine Line Between Anti-Islamism and Islamophobia (Newsweek, Feb. 17), Is Blatant Islamophobia Becoming Mainstream in the GOP? (Washington Post, Feb. 20), and The GOPs Islamophobia Problem (The Atlantic, Feb. 13) have largely neglected to report on the ongoing genocide perpetrated against non-Muslims by Islamists, particularly the systematic extermination of Christians in biblical lands. While the absurd argument continues about whether Islamic extremism and Islamic terrorism and Islamic violence have anything to do with Islam, non-Muslims continue to be harassed, threatened, abducted, raped, and murdered in predominantly Muslim countries, where Islamists are hell-bent on persecuting religious minorities simply because they are not Muslims and are unwilling to convert to Islam and abide by Sharia law.
Recent atrocities highlight the growing persecution of non-Muslims throughout the world, especially in the Middle East and northern Africa. According to Open Doors, a nonprofit organization dedicated to serving persecuted Christian populations around the world, nine of the ten countries with the worst records for anti-Christian persecution have populations that are at least fifty percent Muslim. The group puts out an annual World Watch List (WWL) that ranks nations according to their levels of anti-Christian persecution. The 2015 WWL found that Islamic extremism accounted for almost all incidents of persecution against Christians in the top ten countries on the list (the one glaring exception being the number-one nation, North Korea) and as the main source of persecution in forty of the fifty countries that compose the list. Approximately 100 million Christians are persecuted worldwide, making them one of the most persecuted religious groups in the world, the report says. After North Korea, the top persecutors of Christians are Somalia (99.8 percent Muslim), Iraq (99 percent), Syria (87 percent), Afghanistan (80 percent), Sudan (97 percent), Iran (99 percent), Pakistan (97 percent), Eritrea (50 percent), and Nigeria (50 percent). It is instructive to note that only four of the top ten countries on the 2004 WWL were Islamic.
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