In 2011, when the Arab Spring began, Islamists were portrayed as freedom fighters who simply wanted their chance to enjoy self-determination under something other than tyranny for a change. To this end, Gaddafi had to go, Mubarak had to go, and so many other political figures and structures had to be changed throughout the Middle East.
Yet, as news continues to pour in, it seems that perhaps the Islamists weren’t seeking an end to tyranny as much as they were seeking the opportunity to be the tyrants.
In early May, Embaba, Egypt Islamists launched a 14-hour attack against Christians holed up in churches in the district. They “fired guns and rifles and hurled Molotov cocktails at… churches,” killing twelve Christians and wounding 232. And, in the wake of Gaddafi’s rule, who knows how many women of Tawargha have been raped, tortured, and killed?
This lines up perfectly with the behavior we’re seeing in South Sudan, where ethnic cleansing is actually religious cleansing intended to eliminate Christians.
The political purges that took place in the Middle East during 2011 continue even now, but they’re not strictly political anymore. Instead, they are religious purges carried out by the Islamists who rose to prominence via the Arab Spring. And what this means is that the Middle East has become a very dangerous place for Christians who are being murdered in cold blood (and in plain sight).
At this point it doesn’t look like the Islamists took part in the Arab Spring in hopes of securing freedom for all (or at all). Rather, it looks like they were just there for the party, and have since emerged as another radical group straining to enforce its radical rule on everyone else.