Though the majority of Americans have never heard of him, one hundred years ago a key figure in Islamic socialism was born in Damascus — most scholars believe a few days after Christmas. His name is Michael Aflaq (photo at left). Born of Orthodox Christian parents, Aflaq received a proper middle class education in Syria before studying at the Sorbonne in Paris. What did he study? That strange hybrid pseudo-science so common then as today — “political economy,” the salient parts of which were socialism and Arab nationalism.
Jesus Christ, whose birthday is celebrated throughout the world this month, has had a greater impact on human history than any person who ever lived. Though he died at the age of 33, the year in which we live is dated from his birth. Though he lived in an obscure corner of the Roman Empire 2,000 years ago, more than one billion people today call themselves followers of Christ. Though he never wrote a book, tens of thousands of books have been written about his life and teachings.
The Southern Poverty Legal Center, which might be interested in innocent Americans enduring state-sponsored sexual harassment in airports or the coercion on college campuses faced by Christian students, has found another grave danger which merits its interest — the rehabilitation of Senator Joseph McCarthy.