Skip to comments.Al-Qa‘ida Targets Lebanese Christians
Posted on 11/30/2003 10:29:05 AM PST by miltonim
|The suicide bombing of the al-Muhaya residential compound for foreign workers in Riyadh on 9 November 2003 was aimed not at Muslims but mainly at Lebanese Christians.|
Indigenous Christians living in Muslim lands have long been a target of radical Islamist violence. In Egypt, the birthplace of modern Islamism, the groups that assassinated President Sadat in 1981 (al-Jihad and al-Jamaa al-Islamiyya) and waged a terror campaign against the Egyptian government in the 1980s and 1990s, have always regarded the indigenous Christian community, the Copts, as enemies of Islam because of their demands for equal treatment. This is seen as a rejection of what Islamists consider to be their God-ordained subordinate status in the Islamic order. This subordinate dhimmi status is characterised by humiliation and subjugation, and includes limitations on public expression of Christianity and a total ban on Christian mission amongst Muslims. Indigenous Christians are also accused of anti-Muslim alliances with the imperialist West. For these Islamist extremists, Christians are no more protected people of the book, but part of the Crusading Christian West who have always been plotting the destruction of Islam. As such they become legitimate targets for violent attacks.
Failing to overthrow the corrupt regimes in Egypt and now in Saudi Arabia, radicals vent their frustrations against accessible local Christians, viewing them as the enemy near at hand who are being protected by an un-Islamic regime. Violence against Christians is also part of their strategy to destabilise the regime and expose its inability to ensure the safety of Christians under its protection. It is also part of a wider strategy to purge Christianity from the Arabian Peninsula and from the Muslim world as it is hoped that many will flee to the West because of the fear of further attacks.