In 1998, the United States passed the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), the legislation mandated that the protection of religious freedom abroad would be a “cornerstone of American foreign policy,” and that it would create the position of "ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom."
- Regrettably, the Obama administration has chosen to take a lackadaisical approach to religious freedom, and allowed IRFA to fade into the background. President Obama left the ambassador-at-large position vacant for almost a year and a half after taking office. That same position was left vacant later in his second term for nearly a year before recently being filled.
- Further, the House and Senate passed a bipartisan bill last summer creating the special envoy for religious freedom in the Middle East. A year later, Obama has yet to nominate someone to fill the position.
At the same time, this administration has directly or indirectly supported Middle East terror by undermining Presidents Khadafy, Mubarak, and arming the worst elements in the region in an attempt to remove President Assad from Syria.
Meanwhile, Obama has done next to nothing to shelter the region’s Christians from the most barbaric treatment. Instead of compassion, the Obama administration has imprisoned Assyrian Christians trying to enter the USA:
- “In Iraq, they only had three choices: convert to Islam, death by the sword or leave the country,” said Mark Arabo, head of the Minority Humanitarian Foundation. “They’ve refused to convert, escaped slavery and death – only to be imprisoned by our broken immigration system.
- “These aren’t people who woke up one day and said, ‘Let me walk to America.’ They were forced out of their homes because of our inaction in the region. Because of our troop withdrawal. These are people who were sentenced to death because of our involvement in the country.”
- They escaped near-certain death, but not the U.S. court system.
- “The disheartening thing is it seems that our border is open to anyone unless you’re a Christian fleeing genocide"
- Arabo said he’s met with President Obama and multiple officials in his administration, pleading for large-scale evacuations of the Christians that remain in Iraq. At the outset of the Iraq War in 2003, there were nearly 1.4 million Christians in the country. Estimates today peg the total at fewer than 250,000.
- “There’s been a genocide in slow motion since 2003, but since the troop withdrawal there’s been a systematic ethnic cleansing,” Arabo said. “We’ve tried all these diplomatic approaches, but in the absence of Washington’s leadership we’ve created an ‘underground railroad.’”
While this administration wants to grant amnesty to the illegal aliens, those who have suffered most and have nowhere to go are turned away:
- The United States is the largest home to Assyrians, many of them driven out starting a century ago during the Armenian genocide. Yet the Obama administration has made clear it won’t shelter the Assyrian refugees forced from Syria or Iraq by ISIS.
- “This administration will not issue visas for Syrians based on Christian faith.”
- That was the word given to Anglican bishop Julian Dobbs by the State Department’s Bureau of Population, Refugees, and Migration. As a board member of Barnabas Fund, one of the largest relief organizations working in Syria and Iraq, Bishop Dobbs appealed to the State Department earlier this summer on behalf of the Assyrian Christians. The State Department said no.
Raymond Ibrahim, a Coptic Christian, has extensively researched the plight of the persecuted Christians in the Middle East. He writes about the plight of the Iraqi Christians:
- Discussing the ongoing plight of these Iraqi Christians, San Diego's East County Magazine concluded: "Why the federal government has failed to take steps to expedite such reunification in cases where family and religious leaders are willing to vouch for and help those seeking asylum here, then, remains an unfathomable mystery."
- Such "unfathomable mysteries" are reminiscent of the U.S. State Department's habit of inviting Muslim representatives but denying visas to Christian representatives. Since the start of 2015, 4,205 Muslims have been admitted into the U.S. from Iraq, but only 727 Christians. For every one Christian the U.S. grants asylum, it grants asylum to five or six Muslims -- even though Christians, as persecuted "infidel" minorities, are in much greater need of sanctuary, not to mention more assimilating to American culture than Muslims.
Why this disparity, especially in light of the fact that Muslims want to turn this country into an Islamic State? Many have stated, “In the heart of every true Muslim is the desire for a worldwide Caliphate.” Even worse, a recent Al Jazeera poll found that 81% of Muslims are favorably disposed to ISIS. Ibrahim continues:
- Faith McDonnell, of the Institute on Religion & Democracy, said regarding the detainment of Iraqi Christians in San Diego:
- This follows the disturbing pattern that we have seen from the State Department of ignoring the particular targeting of Christians by ISIS while giving preferential treatment for asylum to other groups with expedited processing -- like Somalis, Iraqis, and Syrians, some of whom could very well be members of jihadist movements.
We might think that the Muslim refugees, after experiencing violence at the hands of fellow Muslims, might show compassion to their fellow refugees. Instead, there have been numerous reports that Muslim refugees have killed their fellow Christian refugees. Ibrahim continues:
- Meanwhile, many of those Christians who are granted asylum in Western countries arrive there only to be further persecuted by Muslim asylum seekers -- indicating, once again, who does and who does not really need asylum; who does and who does not assimilate in Western culture.
- Most recently in Sweden, two small families of Christian asylum seekers from Syria were recently harassed and abused by approximately 80 Muslim asylum seekers, also from Syria.
- The Christians and Muslims -- described by one Swedish newspaper as "fundamentalist Islamists" -- resided in the same asylum house. Among other humiliations, the Muslims ordered the Christians not to wear their crosses around their necks and not to use the communal areas when in use by Muslims.
- After continuous harassment and threats, these Christian refugees, who had managed to escape the Islamic State, left the Swedish asylum house "fearing for their own safety." A spokesman for the government migration agency responsible for the center they had been staying in said:
What motivates President Obama? In so many ways, he has promoted the radical Islamic agenda:
- Undermining Muslim leaders in favor of more radical elements.
- Supplying arms to the radicals while refusing to arm the victims, like the Kurds.
- Appointing Muslims with radical ties to top positions in his government.
- Betraying Israel, our only Middle East ally.
- Forbidding the reference to “Islamic violence” in favor of “Workplace violence.”
- Pushing “common core” and its promotion of Islam.
- Not declaring war against ISIS and not going against Islamic training camps in the USA.
- Always speaking highly of Islam while criticizing the Christian faith.
Robert Spencer, the director of Jihad Watch and author of the New York Times bestsellers The Politically Incorrect Guide to Islam and The Truth About Muhammad, is troubled by Obama’s actions:
- His fulsome praise of Islam, his refusal to call Islamic jihad terrorism by name, his statements such as “the future must not belong to those who slander the prophet of Islam,” his aiding the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and al-Qaeda in Syria; and so much more.
Twice, President Obama has been videoed calling himself a “Muslim.” Perhaps this might explain his behavior. But it certainly doesn’t explain why our Republican presidential candidates are not crying out about this.