Deep concerns about the plight of Christians in Muslim countries; calls for boycott of countries that persecute Christians

Sent On: 
Thu, 2014-08-14
Newsletter Number: 




AWR, Cairo, August 14, 2014



The stories about ISIS persecuting Iraqi Christians have made deep impact in Western media. The chairmen of three youth movements of Christian political parties in the Netherlands published a call for:


    “Tough financial measures against countries where the persecution of Christians is happening on a daily basis. We propose to end organizing trade missions to such countries.”


This does not only concern ISIS, where of course a boycott is justified, but the wide sentiment is that persecution of Christians is inherent to “the Muslim world.” It is therefore important to call for nuance and inform a wider public that, for example, in the case of Egypt, a boycott would be detrimental, harm the poorest in Egypt and would benefit Islamists in Egypt, who argue that the poor have nothing to gain from either the West or the Egyptian government.


I have responded in the same Dutch newspaper with an article that I translated for Arab-West Report. The answer is not calls for boycott but assistance in solving practical problems in different Muslim countries, of course always in cooperation with authorities, to take away frustrations that drive people in the arms of extremists. Think about Egyptian agriculture, for example: millions of small farmers without a human existence. Finding solutions is not easy. But a vision on the future needs to be developed and implemented. Could experts help with this?



For the full text of my translated article, click here.


Of course, an article for a newspaper is per definition limited because of the available space. There is much more that could be said. It is not a matter of helping only Christians, but providing assistance that would benefit all Egyptians but sometimes an article must be targeted to the audience that one wants to reach.




Cornelis Hulsman

Editor-in-chief Arab-West Report