When Armenian Christians were set upon by Muslim Turks (and some Muslim Kurds, too), in the Great Massacre that began in 1915 (an earlier one, that of 1894-96, not in wartime, at the hands of both Turks and Kurds, caught the attention of the English poet William Watson) some of the survivors managed to escape to the West, to take boats to Marseille, for example, or even as far as the American ports of Boston and New York. But those who had to flee overland went from Eastern Anatolia and, though harried by desert Arabs (who sometimes made off with Armenian girls and women, and whatever property the defenseless Armenians had managed to carry), and at last found refuge in two cities with large Christian communities -- Beirut and Aleppo.
There are still nearly 100,000 Armenians -- or were until recently-- in Aleppo. What do they report, when they talk to their relatives in such places as Watertown, Massachusetts? They say that whenever the Muslims cause them trouble, they have only to call the Syrian Army, and within minutes the army is there, to protect and reassure them. They say that some have been leaving, by plane, for Armenia. The Syrian government has done nothing to prevent this, but it has also made clear how much it would like the Armenians to stay, how welcome they are and, if the Alawites remain in control and are not dislodged by Sunni Muslims, that welcome would continue.
Because of American negligence, stupidy, and perhaps indifference, half of the Christians in Iraq -- part of a community that pre-dates the arrival of Islam -- have left. And in Egypt, though things will not become even worse as long as the Egyptian army can hold the Ikhwan and the Salafits and all others who take Islam to heart under control, more than 100,000 Copts have already left -- because of the "Arab Spring" that deposed a pharaoh, but did not allow for his replacement by someone more gifted, suave, and possibly, too, ruthless, an Egyptian Ataturk, who had read and digested Taha Hussain.
Now the last regime in the so-called "Arab lands" that actively and even eagerly, protects the local Christians from Muslim assault, is itself under assault. And the Western world does everything it can to help Sunni Muslims, whose ranks include members of Al-Qaeda, and who receive financial and military aid from Saudi Arabia and Qatar, who wish to overturn the Alawite rule for, among other reasons, making it possible for Christians to live so freely and practice their religion so securely, in Syria.
This is not the kind of thing you read in the American press, which has already decideed, as it has throughout the period of this dangerously misinterpreted group of local revolts, each with a different prompting against local despotism, and in some cases the despot is a single man, in some cases an entire military, in some cases an entire minority or groups of minorities joined by justified fear of the Sunni Muslim Arabs who, while forming a majority, would if they took over make the lives of those non-Muslims or non-Arabs much more difficult and dangerous. And in the case of Syria, though one would not know it from the Western press, there are also plenty of Sunni Muslims -- not all of them part of some financial clique benefiting from the Assad regime -- who understand that the Alawite military caste has made secular lives more possible than could ever be the case under rule by Sunni Muslims.
If Armenian Christians were being harassed by Sunni Muslims under any other kind of rule, do you think they could call the security servicdes, and have them come running to protect them? Do you think, under such rule, Armenians and other Christians would be able to celebrate Christmas -- even see the government shut down its offices at Christmas -- or celebrate Good Friday by openly visiting, and circumambulating, seven churches? Or would they become as Christians everywhere under Muslim rule, unconstrained by Western pressure or oversight, and live in permanet insecurity and fear?