This appeared in the Sydney Morning Herald today. I encourage you to click on the link, as one of the Herald's artists, one Michael Mucci, has created what I found to be a profoundly moving illustration to accompany it. Indeed it nearly reduced me to tears, as I thought of what could be, if Sheehan were heeded. Terra australis incognita del Espiritu Santo...
'Operation Rescue: The Christians of the Middle East Face Extinction'.
'The body of a little boy washes up in the surf on a Turkish beach and is photographed and broadcast around the world.
'The world is appalled.
'But what if the world were to see the real scale of the sectarian civil war dismembering the Arab world (that is: the Muslim-dominated Middle East and North Africa - CM). About 12,000 children have been killed in Syria alone.
'Twelve thousand children. This is the estimate of both the Oxford Research Group and the Syrian Observatory of Human Rights. The United Nations has a smaller but still horrific estimate.
'What if the world were to see the faces of the thousands of young girls (nearly all of them non-Muslim, both Christians and Yazidis - CM) abducted and raped by members of Islamic State?
Members of Islamic State acting in perfect continuity with the Sunnah of Mohammed, who raped Rayhana and Safiyya, and who - with his Companions - seized and enslaved women and girls in large numbers in the course ofh his career. - CM
'The world only sees glimpses of the atavistic blood-letting carried out in the schism between Sunni and Shia Muslims, compounded by secondary guerilla wars between moderate and fundamentalist Sunni Muslims.
And between Arab and non-Arab Muslims; and then there is the case of the currently-somewhat-less-fanatical Sunni Muslim Kurds (but before anyone gets too excited about them, one must recall taht back in the day Kurdish Muslims enthusiastically assisted in the jihad genocide of the Armenian Christians in the early 20th century) are oppressed both by Sunni Muslim Turks and by Sunni Muslim Arabs. - CM
'The wreckage extends far beyond individual tragedies and destroyed communities. To traverse the arc of nations in the Arab world (sic: "the Muslim-dominated Middle East and North African region" - CM) is to traverse a disaster zone that is spreading, not contracting.
That is because, as Conor Cruise O'Brien saw in the early 1990s, "the Jihad is back". Pure Islam, turbo-charged with petrodollars and with its exploding populations of young men fit to fight, is reasserting itself. An Islamic Revival is under way. Here is a link to O'Brien's article, which does not date:
'Syria is finished. It will never be put back together again as a single state. Eleven million Syrians (that is: eleven million people, of various ethnic and sectarian or religious stripes - CM) have been displaced.
'Iraq is now three states, Sunni (that is, "Arab Sunni Muslim" - CM), Shiite, and Kurdish (mostly Sunni Muslim - CM). The lines on the map of the region drawn by European colonisers have proved to be ephemeral compared to the real borders formed by religion, ethnicity and geography.
'The list of failed states now extends to Libya, Yemen, Syria, Iraq and Afghanistan (which is part of the so-called Muslim world, but hardly 'Middle Eastern' - CM). The rest of the Arab states (that is, "of the overwhelmingly-Muslim and therefore Arabised states of North Africa and the Middle East" - CM) are dictatorship by various names, at best monarchies or emirates, with Egypt under military rule.
'There is no end in sight.
'The Arab spring was a western fantasy.
'Saudi Arabia (the focus and heartland of all Islam, and of Sunni Islam - CM), and Iran (the focus and heartland of Shiite Islam - CM) continue to mobilise resources to fund their proxies in the Sunni-Shiite struggle, a reason why the Saudis are pumping as much oil as they can and Iran is desperate to rejoin the international oil marketplace.
'Syria is thus the eye of a broader storm, and the Muslim world is exporting its instability (that is, its religion of blood and war, Islam, the source of all its ills - CM) to Europe, via a mass exodus of peoples.
That is: there is a vast hegira, or migration, going on; in which hundreds of thousands of Muslims, mostly males of military age, are beating down the gates of Europe and forcing their way in. - CM
'What can or should Australia do?
'There is nothing we can do about the ancient Sunni-Shia schism, but we can protect those who have become collateral damage - Christians.
'One of the reasons a majority of the electorate supported the Coalition's tough line on people smugglers was that the biggest beneficiaries would be genuine refugees.
'Now is the hour.
'Because the border policies have been effective, Australia is placed to significantly ramp up its intake of refugees.
'There is no chance the electorate wants to import the Sunni-Shia schism into Australia via a large influx of Muslims dislocated by this conflict. That is a political reality.
I'm not so sure, having read the 500+ comments to Mr Sheehan's article, that that part of the electorate that reads the Sydney Morning Herald has the smallest comprehension of what it is that Muslims bring with them in their mental baggage; they don't know - or they prefer to swallow whatever nonsense-and-lies some doe-eyed hijabette or sleekly-besuited and neatly trimmed oh-so-suave Walid Aly tells them so smilingly and sweetly - and they don't want to know. And so they are quite happy to keep on importing large numbers of Muslims, whilst kicking the Christians aside to rot in the Predator Pit. - CM
'There have already been too many incidents of Sunni-Shia conflict in Australia, and far too many incidents of anti-Western (that is: 'anti-Infidel' - CM) Muslim militancy or worse.
That is: far too many jihad plots that have been, so far, fortunately foiled. But one day, one will succeed, and there will be dead bodies all over the place. - CM
'If either the Coalition or Labour were to announce a large-scale program of humanitarian immigration from the war zone, it would encounter the public's aversion to the systemic failure of democracy, pluralism, and religious tolerance in the Arab world (that is, "the so-called 'Arab' world, the Muslim-dominated Middle East and North Africa - CM).
'But that does not mean Australians would not be willing to support a significantly larger humanitarian intake from the region.
'For the past 20 years Christians have been ethnically cleansed across much of the Middle East as part of the rise of Muslim militancy.
As part of the Islamic revival, the resurgence of Jihad. But the process of destruction of non-Muslim peoples of the Middle East and North Africa started a lot longer than 20 years ago. When Islam arose, most of what is now called the 'Arab' world, the Muslim states of North Africa and the Middle East, Levant and Mesopotamia, was very thoroughly Christian, with substantial Jewish, Pagan, Samaritan and other minorities. Over the course of the past 1400 years of Muslim dominance, Christians ceased to exist across North Africa, and were reduced to beleaguered minorities in Egypt, the Levant, and Mesopotamia. They lived as Dhimmis - exploited, degraded, humiliated, and exposed to perpetual physical peril. Their women and children were fair game...as we see today in Egypt and Pakistan, where Christian girls and women are perpetually kidnapped, raped, and either pimped (even sold to harems in the Middle East gulf states) or force-'married' to their rapists and declared to be converts to Islam. And periodically, the local Muslim despot or the local Muslim mob would trump up a charge of their having broken the Dhimma, and all hell would be unloosed upon this or that Dhimmi community - rape, arson, pillage, torture and mass-murder. All one has to do is to read Bat Yeor, "The Dhimmi" and 'The Decline of Eastern Christianity Under Islam", together with Mark Durie's "The Third Choice: Islam, Dhimmitude and Freedom", to get an idea of the slow-motion Shoah to which all non-Muslim populations have been subjected by Muslims. - CM
'In Syria, before the Civil War, more than 1 million Christians lived in security (in relative security, because of being seen as non-threatening, and therefore to some extent protected, by the ruling Alawite minority - CM), and were better educated than the general population. That number has been decimated.
That is because the Alawites, fighting for their lives against the Sunnis who are determined to overthrow them and assert Sunni Muslim dominance (under which Alawites, Shiites and Christians would be ruthlessly repressed - CM) can no longer protect the Christians. - CM
'In Iraq the number of Christians has plunged from 1.4 million to about 250 000 over the past 40 years, displaced by waves of civil war, invasion, and ethnic cleansing.
Is Sheehan aware of what Muslims in the region did to the Assyrian Christians at the time of the jihad genocide of the Armenian Christiams? It is estimated that 2/3 of the Assyrian Christians then resident within the Ottoman (Muslim) empire were annihilated. And then, in the 1930s, after the British left Iraq, the Muslims immediately fell upon the remnant Assyrian Christians - who had barely recovered from the 1915-1917 genocidal assault - in another orgy of murder. The Christians who remain in the region today are descended from the survivors of those two recent Muslim mass-murders of Infidels; and those recent mass-murders were not aberrations, they were just the most recent of the killings that began when the Muslims first achieved dominance over a thousand years ago. - CM
'Most Christians who remain live in the Kurdish-controlled area (where the Kurds, because of being non-Arab, are somewhat less fanatically Muslim...for the moment, but that could change at any moment, should Real Islam reassert itself, which it has a habit of doing; Kurdish Muslims are on record as having enthusiastically participated in the mass murders of 1915-1917 that targeted Armenian Christians, Pontic Greek Christians, and Assyrian Christians - CM).
'Another 300, 000 Christians live under the Islamic theocracy of Iran. Most are ethnically Armenian or Assyrian.
'Would it be in breach of our discrimination laws to prioritise Christians as refugees? No. I've checked.
'About 1 million Arab (or Arabic-using, but not necessarily ethnically Arab - CM) Christians are currently displaced and have no chance of returning to safety and normalcy in their own countries (which are, let us emphasise, their own ancestral homelands, where they lived as Christians for centuries before the invention of Islam and the arrival of Arab Muslim imperial invaders - CM).
The common-sense aversion by people to a large-scale influx of refugees, of any kind, is the sheer cost and the stress they place on resources. This is rational. Refugees have to be housed, sustained, educated and trained...
"There is, however, a large pre-existing network of private social services - church groups - with the potential to sponsor thousands of refugees in the short term, providing them with places to stay in the community.
And many, many Christians - such as myself, - who would be more than happy to host an Assyrian Christian family, even if it were a tight squeeze. - CM
'Australia's annual refugee resettlement quota, currently 6000, is an arbitrary nubmer...With the help of church and welfare groups, that arbitrary number could be significantly increased...
'The Abbott government could treble the 6000 refugee number in each of the next four years - 72,000 refugees - and make a real difference, without incurring the wrath of the electorate. But only if it had the courage to give priority to Christians.
'That's the political reality. That's the only way to achieve the greatest good for the greatest number in this crisis."
Thus Mr Sheehan. He could also have added that if people are worried about getting 'refugees' who will claim to be Christian, but ain't, there are two ways to minimise this. First, by making the waiting or probation period for permanent residency or citizenship longer, thus allowing more time for the detection and exposure of imposters. Second, by sourcing the refugees not from Muslim-hijacked UNHCR (currently headed by a Muslim) but through Christian organisations such as Barnabas Fund and Voice of the Martyrs, and persons such as Canon Andrew White and that redoubtable Syrian Catholic nun Sr Hatune Dogan and Emanuel Youkhana of "Christian Aid Program Northern Iraq", all of whom have been working with Assyrian Christian clergy and their flocks for decades, and know exactly who is who, and who is in most need. At present Barnabas Fund is running something called "Operation Safe Haven". I am sure that if the Australian government rang up Barnabas Fund and said, "We have places for X number of Assyrian Christians, can you identify some needy people who could use them", Barnabas Fund would in a jiffy be able to provide names and details of bona fide candidates to fill every place on offer.
There were 500-plus comments. Read them and weep. The majority of the commenters seemed perfectly content to kick the Chrisitans to the back of the queue in order not to be seen to be discriminating against Muslims - which heaven forbid! it is the cardinal sin! discriminating against Christians, however, seemed to be perfectly fine with most of these commentators - or even to stand back and leave all the Christians in the predator pit to be butchered down to the last person. I think maybe one person in ten, or one in twenty, was capable of understanding why Mr Sheehan's proposal is both rational and profoundly moral; that it is about rescuing a non-Muslim indigenous people from imminent genocide at the hands of Muslims. That it is about rescuing a people who will not subsequently attack those who take them in but will, rather, assimilate, integrate, and be thankful. The most striking comments, among that minority of the clear-headed and morally and historically aware, were those by persons identifying as Australians of emigre Middle Eastern Christian background. The Useful Idiots and Dhimmis and Defenders of Islam, and the anxious propounders of high-minded non-discrimination (which, under the circumstances, actually boils down to discriminating in favour of Muslims and against Christians), studiously ignored these awkward people.
I will offer a couple of samples of the minority of comments that showed good sense.
Here is one "blik". "Well constructed commentary, Paul Sheehan. Indeed we should take a long-term view, and be very careful of what we import here, given that we are in a position to choose. Do we discriminate against the group most in need? The ethnic/ religious minorities of the middle east? It would be a disgrace if their cultural, ethnic and religious tormentors are given priority here."
And one "JJ", "As an Australian Assyrian who was born in Middle East and has been living in Australia more than 30 years (i.e. since the 1970s/ 1980s - CM) I can confirm that Assyrians as well as Armenians who are the Christian minorities in Middle East are treated as the second-class citizens mainly because of their religion. They also have to comply with all Islamic traditions and for women in particular have to cover up and use head scarfs to cover their hair, as it was recently seen by Julie Bishop's trip to Tehran."
"National Safety First" said, succinctly, "When it comes to a choice of who is considered the "safest" choice - a follower of Mohammed whose advice is to "kill the infidel" at every chance, or a follower of Christ whose greatest commandment is to "Love your neighbour as yourself" - I don't think Christ has advised anyone to kill anyone, ever - I think it makes sense to prioritize the latter."
And here is 'Proud Middle Eastern Christian Aussie", with the comment that, as far as I am concerned, says it all:
"It is easy for the PC brigade to come out in force when they have no idea of the reality of being a Middle Eastern Christian.
"I am from a Lebanese and Syrian Christian family, and I can tell you all that the genocide and ethnic cleansing of Christians is absolutely real.
"They should be given priority not because of their religion per se, but because of the fact that because of their religion they are being targeted and persecuted.
'Remember, we are talking about the original people of these lands, long before Islam emerged.
'They are the world's first Christians, and we should do anything in our power to preserve their cultures and their lives.
'Unlike Muslims in the region, there is absolutely nowhere for these people to go.
'Also, their religion and values will enable them to adapt to Australian culture easily, as they have the same values and will not demand Shariah law. Middle Eastern Christians have contributed greatly to Australian society - David Malouf (famous novelist - CM) and Governor Marie Bashir, to name but two.
"They have been here since the 1870s.
"Saudi Arabia and the rich gulf states do nothing to look after their Muslim brothers - that should be addressed internationally.
'But Australia should absolutely prioritise Christians as they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East.
"No one who isn't from there as a right to question this fact from their armchairs. You have no idea".
And she's right. The high-minded who bleat 'we mustn't discriminate, we mustn't do anything special to help the Christians over against the Muslims, because that would be baaaad...' just have. no. idea. - CM