Open Letter to President Obama about Christmas Bells in the Middle East :: Middle East Forum: "The pact of Umar is an example of what is known as a dhimma pact. Christians living in regions conquered by Islam were known as dhimmis. As dhimmis they were not permitted to display their religion in public. The silence of the bells was just one of many restrictions imposed upon Christians by Islamic law.
Hamas, when it took control of Gaza, also re-implemented dhimma conditions over Christians, and ISIL has now done the same in regions it controls.
The silence of church bells for more than a thousand years across the Middle East bears witness to the conquest and long-standing suppression of Christian societies under Islamic rule. Recent genocidal attacks on Christians by ISIL are sadly but the end-stage of a long series of abuses.
President Obama, it is good that you have desired to speak up for persecuted Christians, but when you do so, please speak the truth. Please do not whitewash history, because to do so partners with abuse.
Dr. Mark Durie, BA, BTh, DipTh, PhD, FAHA
27 December 2015"
'via Blog this'