The faithful in Iraq still pray in Aramaic, the language of Jesus
The last Christian has now been expelled from Mosul. The light of religious freedom, along with the entire Christian presence, has been extinguished in the Bible’s “great city of Nineveh” — the centre of Christianity in Iraq for two millennia. This follows the uncompromising ultimatum by the jihadists of Isis to convert or die.
Karl Marx famously described religion as “the sigh of the oppressed creature” and “the opium of the people.” However, the experience of the Arab Spring has suggested that religion may in fact serve as a mobilizer against unjust rule. In “Religion in the Arab Spring: Between Two Competing Narratives” published this month in the Journal of Politics, we show that personal religious behavior (Koran reading) is far more closely associated with protest participation in Egypt and Tunisia than mosque attendance.
It is a relief to Israel, moderate Sunni countries and ultimately to the United States that Egypt is no longer in the hands of the Muslim Brotherhood. That said, aside from the squandered Green Revolution in Iran, there is no country that held such promise and fell as short as the nation that used to lead the Arab world.
For Egypt's Copts, the military's removal of President Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood from power was nothing short of a miracle. After two and a half years in which Islamists dominated every electoral contest they faced, there was little if any hope on the horizon. Since the 25th of January revolution, Coptic despair manifested itself in an unprecedented wave of emigration from Egypt, which intensified during the Brotherhood's year in power. Following the massive demonstrations against the Brotherhood's rule and the military coup of July 3rd 2013, Copts were in a frenzied mood celebrating their deliverance; a deliverance that would prove short lived, however.
A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints that it has been the Saudis’ plan all along
How far is Saudi Arabia complicit in the Isis takeover of much of northern Iraq, and is it stoking an escalating Sunni-Shia conflict across the Islamic world? Some time before 9/11, Prince Bandar bin Sultan, once the powerful Saudi ambassador in Washington and head of Saudi intelligence until a few months ago, had a revealing and ominous conversation with the head of the British Secret Intelligence Service, MI6, Sir Richard Dearlove. Prince Bandar told him: "The time is not far off in the Middle East, Richard, when it will be literally 'God help the Shia'. More than a billion Sunnis have simply had enough of them."
Coptic Solidarity is a U.S. public charity organization under section 501 (C) (3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Contributions are deductible under Section 170 of the Code.
Coptic Solidarity 2014 Conference
The Annual Conference was held in Washington, D.C. on June 26-28, 2014.