From Jihad watch. Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is fairly loopy, even for a liberal protestant. In the past he has been inducted as a druid, criticized the US as the “worst” imperialists, driven his church apart over the ordination of gay bishops, and suggested that sharia law is unavoidable in Britain. There may be some hope for him yet, however, as he has spoken out against the increasing persecution of Christians throughout the Middle East.
In an interview with BBC Radio 4’s The World at One, Dr Williams said he was “guardedly optimistic” that the political upheavals in the Middle East and North Africa would bring greater democracy to the region.
“In the long term, of course, a real participatory democracy in the region is bound to be in the interests of minorities because good democracies look after minorities,” he said.
But in the short term, he warned, people were using the chaos it had brought to attack Christian minorities.
“There is no doubt at all that it is a very anxious time for Christian communities. There have been extremist atrocities already, especially in Egypt,” he said.
“It is a fairly consistent pattern over a number of months. Although at leadership level in the Muslim community in Egypt there is clear condemnation of this, it’s evident that there are other forces at work which of course may not be native Egyptian,” he added.
He suggested outside elements had entered Egypt from “more traditional sites of extremism”, such as Saudi Arabia and northern Sudan, and did not rule out activity by al-Qaeda.
Dr Williams said violent extremism had made life unsustainable for Christians in northern Iraq, in a way that amounted to ethnic cleansing.
“The level of violence has been extreme,” he said.
“More and more there is the talk of an ‘enclave solution’ to the problem in Iraq – that is a sort of safe territory for Christians, which Christians and their leaders don’t particularly want, but many would think is the only practical outcome now.”
He said even in Syria, where Christians and Muslims had long lived together peacefully, tensions were building to breaking point.
Even in Bethlehem, the birthplace of Jesus Christ, Christians who had once been in the majority were now a “marginalised minority”, he added.
Of course he still uses the politically correct rhetoric, saying extremists are responsible, rather than even considering the idea that Islam’s sacred scriptures call for Christians and Jews to be persecuted, but one step at a time.