Jeffrey Goldberg, national correspondent for The Atlantic, criticizes the "lackadaisical" media coverage of the December 31 suicide bombing of a Coptic church in Alexandria, Egypt which killed 21 people and wounded 79. Jihadists are suspected in the attack, which occurred following numerous threats against Copts and other Middle East Christians by Al-Qaida linked groups.
"The Salafist war on Christians in the Middle East is intensifying fairly rapidly, with profound consequences not only for Christians…but for the rights of all ethnic and religious minorities in the greater Middle East," Goldberg writes, "but this attack seems like a watershed moment."
The Middle East is "a place historically intolerant of the rights of non-Arab Muslims. The black of Sudan, who are trying to break free of Khartoum's hold; the Kurds in Iraq and Syria, Christians in Lebanon, Egypt and Iraq; and the Jews of Israel," he adds. "In Saudi Arabia, of course, it is illegal to even build a church, and I'm afraid it will soon be illegal to build one in Iraq."
And where do Middle East Christians go to seek refuge from Islamists? Goldberg observes that in the wake of the October 31 attack by al-Qaida on a Baghdad Church which resulted in the deaths of 58 people, Iraqi Christians have "run for the protective embrace of another Middle East minority" (Kurdish-controlled northern Iraq), he adds, just as thousands of Sudanese Christians have fled to Israel.