Discussions concerning the Middle East invariably focus on the Jewish-Muslim conflict, and ignore the Christian – Muslim lack of respect for one another. Ironically, the history of Arab nationalism is replete with the names of important Christian leaders, but today Christians have been reduced to bystanders. Few realize that 10% of the Egyptian population is composed of Coptic Christians who predate the arrival of Muslims by hundreds of years. Today, they exist as a minority which is subject to violence at the hands of Muslims. Last Christmas Eve five Christians were killed in drive by shootings. Hossam Baghat, Director of the Egyptian Initiative for Rights notes the ever increasing number of cases of violence against Coptics in his country. Baghat believes the police fail to act on complaints, and, most probably attempt to persuade victims to remain silent.
The Bush administration invaded Iraq in 2003 proclaiming the benefits of democracy. As a result of installing fundamentalist Muslims to leadership roles, half the original Iraq Christian population has left the nation. Ironically, they are the oldest Iraqis.