ANALYSIS: Why the persecution of Christians is a key 21st century issue.

A Nigerian newspaper on Tuesday published a warning from Boko Haram, the Islamist movement styled on the Taliban, that Christians “had three days to get out of northern Nigeria”. Since the expiry of that ultimatum, attacks in towns in four states in northeastern Nigeria have left at least 44 people dead and hundreds of Christians are fleeing to the south, according to residents and a Red Cross official.

This is merely the latest in a series of atrocities committed by Nigerian Islamists – including a Church massacre on Christmas Day that killed over a hundred. But it is in fact only the high-profile stuff like this (as you’d expect) that tends to get into the MSM. Do a bit of digging around, and you will soon discover why the Harman/Dromey to Guardian axis of Correctness fights rather shy of the issue.

Rebutting a charge of anti-Islamist racism last Thursday, I pointed out that religious violence by radical Islam outweighs that committed by all other religious sects put together – unless of course you include Islamic sects like Sunnis and Shi-ites busy killing each other. But the obverse of this coin is that, as still by far the largest religion in the world, Christians are the most common victims.

Let me make it clear at the outset that I am an agnostic rejecting all organised religions that include a Deity. This has seemed to me for decades to be the only sensible position. But others have different views, and they’re entitled to them – even Mitt Romney. The problem starts when peace-loving religionists need to show and protect their cojones by killing those who disagree – or even, in the case of Christians, simply get in the way.

A comprehensive Pew Forum study reporting in September last year found that Christians are persecuted in 131 countries containing 70% of the world’s population. As there are only around 200 recognised countries on the planet, the Christian religion is easily the most persecuted – and the biggest persecutor is Islam, followed by Communism.

A staggering 200 million Christians live in communities where they are persecuted. Many of the sovereign States committing atrocities against this huge number are ostensible allies of the West such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Pakistan, Oman, Egypt, and Kuwait.  Saudi Arabia is a tightly controlled state that in many respects cooperates closely with the United States, but lest you don’t realise this, it is a joint government of the royal House of Saud with the leadership of the extremist Wahhabi Islamist sect. While the Saudi government is a functioning ally of the West, its media reserve the right to both condemn sectional Islamic violence by enemies of the Wahhabi, and incite violence against both Christians and Jews. Palestine’s Hamas has long been associated with the sort of crude anti-Christian bigotry that would make Ulster Protestants of the 1960s look like paragons of ecumenical virtue.

Christianity itself has not, of course, been behind the door when it comes to the persecution of competitors during its 1500+ years of being the established religion across the world. From the mediaeval crusades to centuries of chucking Jews down Russian wells, they too have not so much turned the other cheek as burned the other heathens. But that was then and this is now: in 1380, there was no insane political correctness sector. Today there is, and it – aka the Establishment – chooses to apply the blind eye rather than the other cheek.

David Cameron makes great play of his ‘Christian values’, but the general position of the British Establishment (and the Foreign Office) in the Middle East is to be pro-Arab and anti-Israel. Cameron himself has found a new best friend in Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, a rapidly de-closeting Islamist. The British media almost without exception hailed ‘The Arab Spring’ in an outburst of naivety that had to be read to be believed, but the net effect from Morocco to Libya via Egypt has been to put Islamists in a controlling position in government.

Only yesterday, the American Center for Law & Justice noted that, since the revolution against Mubarak, ‘Egyptian authorities continue to crack down on Christians, tightening the noose round the country’s pro-democracy civil society’ and pointed out the awareness among Coptic Christians there (11% of the population) of how things have deteriorated since the Islamic Brotherhood took a dominant political role. Former Islamic and now bestselling campaigner for women’s rights Ayaan Hirsi Ali wrote just this morning that, ‘From one end of the Muslim world to the other, Christians are being murdered for their faith’.

It’s time we stopped the casual usage of this idiotic description ‘Islamaphobia’ – another use of the ‘p’ suffix enabling liberals to frame all critics of Islam as suffering from some form of mental illness. The only mental illness here is a rigid inability to see the appalling track-record of misogyny, violence, persecution and intolerance that the fundamentalist version of this religion has. A phobia is an irrational fear of something: to fear the march of fascist, expansionist Islam is a sure sign of sanity.

I recognise perfectly well that the usual avalanche of bile, threat and insult will now descend upon The Slog, but this time it would be nice if they debunked the facts set out above rather than trotting out the standard ya-boo “you lot are just as bad” playground stuff. I’m sure in many ways we are: but I’d love to have explained for me why the behaviour of radical Islam is not something we should fear.

Those resorting to the liberal ‘ist’ mode of rejection are entitled to their views: I think they are Useful Idiots being used by the Islamism already rife in Britain, in precisely the same way the KGB used those idiots in favour of unilateral disarmament from 1960-90. But they’re entitled to their opinion. All I can say to all of you is I am neither racist nor religionist. I just think you are mistaking those who warn of an obvious danger with agents of hate desperate to whip up feelings against UK minorities. Of course the latter exist, and at some point over the weekend I shall be lobbing the same dynamite of bollocks deconstruction in their direction. Farbeit from me to show bias.