Portrait: Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury
From “Top Ten People of 2006,” Inside The Vatican, January 2007:
Baroness Caroline Cox, an Anglican laywoman and former deputy speaker of Great Britain’s House of Lords, is a champion of human rights for the weak and defenseless. Due to her vigorous personality, she has also been described as a “British Joan of Arc” for our times, incarnating the noblest spirit of chivalry for her staunch anti-slavery campaigns.
She has made headlines for unearthing abuses and atrocities that nobody else seemed to be able to discover; for example, the fact that in Sudan Christians have been crucified, unbelievable as it sounds in the 20th century.
From “A Brit Who Gets It,” Judy Lash Balint, FrontPageMagazine.com, December 8, 2004:
The Baroness (“please call me Caroline”) is a life peer created by former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher. She has spent a lifetime acting on behalf of human rights and performing real humanitarian acts. During the Solidarity movement days in Poland, Cox rode on the 32-ton trucks delivering medical supplies behind the Iron Curtain. In the ethnic conflict of Nagorno-Karabakh, Cox traveled repeatedly to Azerbaijan and Armenia to discover the truth for herself. She spoke out loud and often on behalf of Christian Armenians.
Cox has been in and out of the “no-go” areas of Sudan 28 times over the past four years. Her visits included buying freedom for Dinka and Nuer people from the heavily Christian southern region. For her trouble, Cox was sentenced in absentia by the National Islamic Front to imprisonment for illegal entry into the country. In Indonesia, she was shot at by jihad warriors.
On her visit to Jerusalem Cox remarked to a small group of British journalists that she would not be commenting specifically on the Arab war against Israel both due to her lack of first hand experience in the area but also because her expertise is “forgotten peoples.” One could say with certainty, she noted, that the amount of attention focused on Israel and the disputed territories ensures that neither Arabs nor Israelis are in any way “forgotten.”
“Coming from the killing fields of various regimes–many because of Islam, I began to study Islam,” Cox says. In fact, she studied so many areas first hand that she co-authored with her colleague Dr. John Marks, a powerful little book , entitled “The ‘West’, Islam and Islamism. Is ideological Islam compatible with liberal democracy?” (Civitas, London, 2003) Co-author Marks remarked to reporters that “there are many who don’t understand the nitty gritty about what Moslem culture is really about.”
The Baroness expressed her sensitivity to the dangers of Islamaphobia, but quickly added that she is greatly concerned by the “radicalization” of the Moslem population in Great Britain.
“My Muslim friends tell me that there are many young people who go around in respectable clothing but are in fact seething with hatred underneath,” she said.
Cox concludes her chat with the Jerusalem based journalists by giving a little lesson on Sharia law, after she was asked whether Western societies can co-exist with the Islamic legal code.
“Sharia law is not compatible with the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, it does not allow freedom to choose and change religion, you can become a Muslim, but if you stop being a Muslim and you convert out, you run the risk of the death sentence for apostasy. It does not permit equality before the law, as between men and women, Muslims and non-Muslims.” A simple, straightforward answer from a straightforward woman who speaks and acts from deep conviction.
From “Baroness Caroline Cox: One Tough Lady. Making sure persecuted Christians are not forgotten,” by Wendy Murray Zoba, Today’s Christian, January/February 1998:
“One of the things that always humbles those of us who are with the persecuted church is that, they may be dying of disease and have no medicine, they may be hungry and have no food, but their first request is always for prayer. Surely all of us can give that.”
She makes a plea to Western Christians to complement prayer with a commitment. Most people can’t go, like she does, but, she says, “Some can! Share your heart and make yourself available.” As the Sudanese bishop said in his “cathedral” under a tamarind tree while visiting his suffering people: “I came. I saw. I heard. I touched. I am enriched.”
She suggests that Christians and churches designate a portion of their tithe for the persecuted church, giving to organizations like CSI or others (see addresses at end), which do go and deliver.
A commander in the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) who, as a practicing Catholic, does not want to fight the war, said to Lady Caroline, “Before battle, the Islamic fundamentalists shout, ‘We will force you to become Muslims whether you want to or not.’ The Muslim fundamentalists cannot defeat us. We are firm as Christians, and we will die for our faith . … It is discouraging to see the Islamic fundamentalist government in Khartoum receive material and moral support from other Islamic countries while we receive no support from the Christian world. We will continue our struggle for freedom even if we are forsaken by Christendom. We will die for our faith, and we will die Christians.”
“We’re touched by the strength in their faces. The radiance in their love. The purity of their faith,” says Lady Caroline. “It’s only where these people are suffering in these extreme situations that you actually find that ultimate joy, that peace which passes all understanding.”
From “SURVIVORS OF THE MARAGHAR MASSACRE: IT WAS TRULY LIKE A CONTEMPORARY GOLGOTHA MANY TIMES OVER,” Baroness Caroline Cox of Queensbury, Christianity Today, April 1998 Vol. 42, No. 5:
The ancient kingdom of Armenia was the first nation to embrace Christianity — in AD 301. Modern Armenia, formerly a Soviet republic, declared autonomy in September 1991 and today exists as a member of the Commonwealth of Independent States. There you find many of the oldest churches in the world, and a people who have upheld the faith for nearly 1,700 years, often at great cost.
Nowhere has the cost been greater than in the little piece of ancient Armenia called Nagorno-Karabakh, cruelly cut off from the rest of Armenia by Stalin in 1921, and isolated today as a Christian enclave within Islamic Azerbaijan. Only 100 miles north to south, 50 miles east to west, there are mountains, forests, fertile valleys, and an abundance of ancient churches, monasteries, and beautifully carved stone crosses dating from the fourth century.
This paradise became hell in 1991. Vying with Armenia for control of this enclave, Azerbaijan began a policy of ethnic cleansing of the Armenians of Karabakh, and 150,000 Armenians were forced to fight for the right to live in their historic homeland. It was a war against impossible odds: 7 million-strong Azerbaijan, helped by Turkey and, at one stage, several thousand mujahideen mercenaries…
Heritage Foundation: Islam, Islamism and the West: The Divide Between Ideological Islam and Liberal Democracy (audio, video)