Thursday, July 24, 2014

And Then There Were None

On June 6th, 1829, Shanawdithit died of tuberculosis thus marking the extinction of the Beothuk people (though some would argue that the Beothuk genetic line did not really die out or that the Beothuks are a part of the Mikmaq gene pool or that European settlers deserve entire blame for Beothuk extinction). As it stands, the Beothuk are no more. They are a mystery lost in time and a source of indignation at the loss of one people.

Exchange “Beothuk” for “Christian” and “European” for “Islamist” and watch the interest in the plight of a scattered or nearly-extinct people vanish.

A thriving religion since the first century, Christianity spread from Israel to surrounding regions of Egypt, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, parts of Turkey, Greece, the Caucasus and Iraq. Its presence predates Islam which spread over the Middle East six hundred years after Christ.

As of 2010, there were 7.5 million Christians living in the Middle East. Those numbers are dwindling.

In the void of the now-deposed and/or killed tyrants who offered native Christian populations stability is a cultural cleansing that mirrors past genocides and displacements. Coptic Christians have had to flee as far as Georgia for survival. Syrian Christians have been forced to leave or face being murdered. Christians in Mosul have been forced to flee. Their homes have been marked. They must convert to Islam, pay jizya or be killed.

A home in Mosul, Iraq marked with an N for Nazarene.

This is not a new occurrence nor is it a sudden wave of events transpiring too quickly for the rest of the world to react. This is on-going. Had this been any group other than Christians in a region other than the Middle East, the poseur indignation would be louder and the threats of retaliation perhaps more believable.

But that is not the case.

It has become clear that the only recourse for Middle Eastern Christians is either self-defense or dispersal. The world will not come to their aid.

As to why Middle Eastern Christians are left to their fate, one can conclude that those in power or influence hate or are indifferent to Christians or Christianity, they are indifferent to events in other parts of the world, that they fear Islamists or fear that any condemnation or reaction brings political or monetary loss. All of the preceding reasons are quite plausible. I have yet to see any major player really put him or herself on the line for the world's largest religious group or call Islamists out for the violent, emotionally retarded thugs that they are and eliminate them accordingly. 

Another side of this human tragedy is what it does to those who are indifferent or riddled with hatred. It is a deadening of the moral nerves a human society needs to feel or else it does descend into real darkness. It should matter when human life is gone. The historic populations of the Middle East will truly be no more. We are witnessing an extinction.

By the time someone noticed that the Beothuk were dwindling, it was too late.

Is it too late to care now?

No comments: