Firstly, historically speaking, [Christians] are part of the Middle East, and recently in Egypt, Lebanon, Iraq, Palestine and Syria, they contributed to the creation and liberation movement. Thus, they are a basic component of these countries, and so inflicting the slightest harm on them would mean causing tension and riots, and destabilizing the situation. Most dangerous of all is that this would trigger religious wars in a region already suffering from religious extremism, which undermines the citizenship concept, something that will be a real threat to all countries of the region....
Iraqi Christians are not part of the armed conflict; they have never formed militias and never resorted to any foreign states. Unfortunately, this is the reason for their weakness today. It is also the reason why observers of the situation in Iraq sympathize with them and demand their protection. It is so tragic that Iraqi Christians managed to live in peace during Saddam Hussein dictatorship but can't live in peace today in an Iraqi state which is supposed to be democratic. The Iraqi government stood against them in constitutional issues relating to minority laws and did not provide them with sufficient security protection despite the torture they are being exposed to. Threats against them have persisted ever since the toppling of the autocratic Saddam Hussein regime.
Mollie at GetReligion.org covers the most recent nasty coverage of the Catholic Church at the New York Times. Archbishop Dolan has taken them on for some very insulting photographs. I don't keep track of all these assaults, because we've been told to expect such. But she asks an interesting question in relation to how Islam is treated vs. Christians. And it's not irrelevant to the controversies going on today.
I would love to hear an explanation of why, as this August 2009 New York Times article states, The Times banned images of the Muhammad cartoons that helped spark one of the biggest news stories of 2006.
I wonder if it’s simply that The Times is scared of Muslims but not Christians? Or what?
Promotion of the resolution against the Defamation of Religions in the framework of the United Nations should not limit itself to Islam, or ‘Islamophobia, in the Western world. It should include Christianity, or ‘Christianophobia,’in the Islamic world. We can also promote the adoption, again within the UN framework, of a resolution on religious freedom as an alternative to the resolution on the defamation of religions.
Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana, President of the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Justice and Peace
John Allen, "Beyond a 'tea and cookies' dialogue with Islam"
It is in this difficult context that thirty young men and women, Muslims and Christians (Catholics and Orthodox), are meeting and working together to clear away this evil and create a space of love and friendship, working together to prepare to host the Meeting of Rimini and the values it represents.
The Meeting is growing and expanding every day, attracting much attention and curiosity, as well as the support of al-Azhar, Anba Musa (Secretary of the Coptic Pope), Anba Boutros Fahim (the Vice Catholic Patriarch), the University of Cairo, the Ministry of Culture and fifty Egyptian public figures and ambassadors from a number of Arab countries.
The meeting in Cairo really started with the smile of love on the faces of these young people, who believe in their ability to open up to others, because they believe in their diversity and love it. I remember saying at the presentation of the Arabic language version of The Religious Sense of Don Giussani, at the Rimini Meeting of 2006, that the sincere friendship between two people is enough to change the world. Was I dreaming?