The Corner

‘Religious Cleansing’

To learn what it’s like for a civilization to die, read today’s detailed (if belated) New York Times account of Romel Hawal, 48, the last Christian man in a formerly Christian town in Anbar Province, Iraq. According to the Times:

Mr. Hawal said that his life had become culturally identical to those of his neighbors. At his construction materials shop he hangs a sign that says Allahu Akbar, or God is great, and the customers know him as Abu Yousif (father of Yousif) the Christian. The family prays at home, he said, but the rituals are incomplete without a priest. The hardest part, he said, is raising his son here. ‘Whenever I look at him my heart breaks,’ Mr. Hawal said. ‘He is my closest friend. I just want him to live a normal life where he can practice the Christian traditions.’

French president Nicolas Sarkozy has described what is happening to Christians in the Middle East as “religious cleansing,” and several European foreign ministers are now debating foreign policy measures to counter it.

Meanwhile, President Obama and Secretary Clinton continue to treat each church bombing and murder in Iraq and Egypt as an isolated event by lone extremists, and offer only their condolences with each new atrocity.

Nina Shea is director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom.

Most Popular


For the First Time in Weeks, Relief Sweeps over Austin

Making the click-through worthwhile: The Austin bomber is done in by one of his own devices; some new numbers suggest that a small but significant portion of Trump voters are tiring of the chaos and aren’t showing up to support other Republicans in 2018; and the mixed news for conservatives coming out of the ... Read More
Politics & Policy

March Mailbag

1. In response to this post, about the Fed and fiscal stimulus: “So are you saying that deficit spending is a free lunch because the Fed will keep inflation from happening? You say [extra government spending] won’t ‘raise economic output’ but what’s the harm of it if you’re right?” I see at least ... Read More


For your amusement, I hope, I’ve done a Jaywalking episode. It begins with a bit of the overture to Semiramide -- a Rossini opera I reviewed from the Met last week. Then I get into Russia and, after a while, China. The Marriott company fired an employee for “liking” a tweet by a Tibetan independence group. ... Read More

Campaigns for World Down Syndrome Day Go Viral

As World Down Syndrome Day approaches on Wednesday, several campaigns supporting those with the condition have taken over the Internet. Fifty mothers of children with the condition put together a viral video of them and their children singing along in the car. The video helped the children and their mothers ... Read More