Obama Administration´s War on Persecuted Christians (Middle East Forum) by Raymond Ibrahim Investigative Project on Terrorism 08/02/12)
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The Obama administration´s support for its Islamist allies means lack
of U.S. support for their enemies, or, more properly, victims—the
Christian and other non-Muslim minorities of the Muslim world.
Consider the many recent proofs:
According to Pete Winn of CNS:
The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious
freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on
May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the
release of these reports. The new human rights reports—purged of the
sections that discuss the status of religious freedom in each of the
countries covered—are also the human rights reports that include the
period that covered the Arab Spring and its aftermath. Thus, the
reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has happened to
Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly Muslim
countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary
movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental
role. For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated
the section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011…
The CNS report goes on to quote several U.S. officials questioning
the motives of the Obama administration. Former U.S. diplomat Thomas
Farr said that he has "observed during the three-and-a-half years of
the Obama administration that the issue of religious freedom has been
distinctly downplayed." Leonard Leo, former chairman of the U.S.
Commission on International Religious Freedom, said "to have pulled
religious freedom out of it [the report] means that fewer people will
obtain information," so that "you don´t have the whole picture."
Of course, censoring information is a regular theme under Obama: if
the administration is suppressing knowledge concerning the sufferings
of religious minorities under Islam, earlier it suppressed knowledge
concerning Islam itself (see here for a surreal example of the
effects of such censorship).
In "Obama Overlooks Christian Persecution," James Walsh gives more
examples of State Department indifference "regarding the New Years´
murders of Coptic Christians in Egypt and the ravaging of a
cathedral," including how the State Department "refused to list Egypt
as ´a country of particular concern,´ even as Christians and others
were being murdered, churches destroyed, and girls kidnapped and
forced to convert to Islam. "
And the evidence keeps mounting. Legislation to create a special
envoy for religious minorities in the Near East and South Central
Asia—legislation that, in the words of the Washington Post, "passed
the House by a huge margin," has been stalled by Sen. James Webb (D-
In a letter sent to Webb Wednesday night, Rep. Frank Wolf [R-Va, who
introduced the envoy bill] said he "cannot understand why" the hold
had been placed on a bill that might help Coptic Christians and other
groups "who face daily persecution, hardship, violence, instability
and even death."
Yet the ultimate source of opposition is the State Department. The
Webb spokesman Will Jenkins explained the hold by saying that "after
considering the legislation, Senator Webb asked the State Department
for its analysis." In a position paper issued in response, State
Department officials said "we oppose the bill as it infringes on the
Secretary´s [Hillary Clinton´s] flexibility to make appropriate
staffing decisions," and suggested the duties of Wolf´s proposed
envoy would overlap with several existing positions. "The new special
envoy position is unnecessary, duplicative, and likely
counterproductive," the State Department said (emphasis added).
But as Wolf explained in his letter: "If I believed that religious
minorities, especially in these strategic regions, were getting the
attention warranted at the State Department, I would cease in
pressing for passage of this legislation. Sadly, that is far from
being the case. We must act now…. Time is running out."
Much of this was discussed during Coptic Solidarity´s third annual
conference in Washington D.C. last month, which I participated in,
and which featured many politicians and lawmakers—including the
U.K.´s Lord Alton, Senator Roy Blunt, Congressman Trent Frank,
Congressman Joseph Pitts, and Frank Wolf himself. As Coptic
Solidarity´s summary report puts it, "All policy makers voiced strong
support to the Copts…. Some policy makers raised concerns about the
current U.S. Administration´s overtures towards religious extremists."
There was little doubt among the speakers that, while Webb is the
front man, Hillary Clinton—who was named often—is ultimately behind
the opposition to the bill. (Videos of all speakers can be accessed
here; for information on the envoy bill and how to contact Webb´s
office, click here).
Even those invited to speak about matters outside of Egypt, such as
Nigerian lawyer and activist Emmanuel Ogebe, after describing the
sheer carnage of thousands of Christians at the hands of Muslim
militants, lamented that Obama´s response was to pressure the
Nigerian president to make more concessions, including by creating
more mosques (the very places that "radicalize" Muslims
against "infidel" Christians). This, of course, is consistent with
the administration´s position that the ongoing massacres of
Christians have nothing to do with religion.
Indeed, while the administration vocally condemned vandal attacks on
mosques in the West Bank (where no Muslims died), it had nothing to
say when Islamic terrorists bombed Nigerian churches on Easter
Sunday, killing some 50 Christians and wounding hundreds. And when
the Egyptian military indiscriminately massacred dozens of unarmed
Christians for protesting the nonstop attacks on their churches, all
the White House could say is, "Now is a time for restraint on all
sides"—as if Egypt´s beleaguered Christian minority needs
to "restrain" itself against the nation´s military, a military that
intentionally ran armored-vehicles over them at Maspero.
In light of all this, naturally the Obama administration, in the
guise of the State Department, would oppose a bill to create an envoy
who will only expose more religious persecution for the
administration to suppress or obfuscate.
Such is the current state of affairs. In its attempts to empower its
Islamist allies, the current U.S. administration has taken up their
cause by waging a war of silence on their despised minorities—the
Christians and other non-Muslims of the Islamic world.
Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom
Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum.
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