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Monday, July 13, 2009

Al-Beebi update

A loyal reader thinks I've been slacking long enough, so here goes, following on from the theme of the last. The Beeb and the Middle East - enough material for an entire something-or-other.

Whilst last time I was suggesting that a little contextualization wouldn't go amiss, here we get contextualization in abundance. Six bomb attacks on Baghdad churches over a single weekend might make it appear that this is not a great place to be a Christian, but these things are relative...

'There are some 750,000 people in Iraq's Christian community. Christian targets have been attacked in the past, but are spared much of Iraq's deadly violence.

'They have been targeted in some areas of the country, mainly in Baghdad and in the northern city of Mosul.

'However, most of the violence in Iraq is sectarian in nature and targets either Sunni or Shia Muslims.'

So, no whining from you Christians. Count your blessings!

When I first read the story this morning it was even more dismissive; methinks the middle paragraph has been inserted later.

Given the small size of the Christian minority, I'm not sure whether the writer's perception that Christians have been 'spared' is based on hard statistics or on the finger-in-the-wind approach. Iraqi Christians themselves feel the wind coming from a very different direction - they're emigrating in droves, and 750,000 is already almost certainly a gross overestimate of their numbers. Odd that that's not mentioned, don't you think?

And in any case, if we're going to do odorous comparisons, 'poor Muslims bearing the brunt of the violence' isn't quite the whole story, is it? There's also the small matter of who it is that thinks other people's places of worship are legitimate targets. Number of mosques blown up by Iraqi Christians, please? Over to the Beeb's man in Baghdad... Hmmm, we're having some trouble accessing that statistic. We'll get back to you as soon as we can.

Rod Little professes to be shocked that an esteemed colleague from his BBC days has taken the mullahs' shilling and joined the One Formerly Known As Gorgeous at Press TV. Really, Rod?

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