Arab Spring Produces Strange Syrian Bedfellows

Syrian Christians have rallied around dictator Bashar al-Assad. Why? You might ask. They don’t want to get slaughtered in the aftermath of Assad’s fall. Christians are looking out for themselves: They’ve seen the Muslim on Christian violence that’s spread throughout the region over the last year. A New York Times headline says it all: Fearing Change, Many Christians in Syria Back Assad.

This may come as a shock to naïve Westerners, who thought the Arab Spring would rid a region of authoritarian rule and produce liberal democracy, religious pluralism, peace and harmony. Instead, it unleashed an avalanche of sectarian violence against the Coptic Christians. Muslims destroyed churches and slaughtered the Copts in post-Mubarak Egypt.

“Religide” spread to Iraq as well. The Christian population has been cut-in-half there since Saddam fell in early 2003. Muslims have targeted Christians ever since, with theU.S. military standing by and watching it happen.

Some of those Iraqi Christians, as the Times article points out, fled toSyria. They endure Assad’s terror state for the same reason they tolerated Saddam: the brutal dictator cracks down on those who persecute them.

“It is a remarkable insight into the power and persuasion of fear that the status quo in Syriathese days remains preferable to many,” the Times concludes.

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