Posted tagged ‘Religious Persecution’

The Lessons of Roosevelt’s Failures

February 1, 2017

The Lessons of Roosevelt’s Failures, Front Page MagazineCaroline Glick, February 1, 2017

djt1

Is US President Donald Trump the new Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Does his immigration policy mimic Roosevelt’s by adopting a callous, bigoted position on would-be asylum seekers from the Muslim world? At a press conference on June 5, 1940, Roosevelt gave an unspeakably cynical justification for his administration’s refusal to permit the desperate Jews of Nazi Germany to enter the US.

In Roosevelt’s words, “Among the refugees [from Germany], there are some spies… And not all of them are voluntary spies – it is rather a horrible story but in some of the other countries that refugees out of Germany have gone to, especially Jewish refugees, they found a number of definitely proven spies.”

The current media and left-wing uproar over the executive order US President Donald Trump signed on Saturday which enacts a temporary ban on entry to the US of nationals from seven Muslim majority countries is extraordinary on many levels. But one that stands out is the fact that opponents of Trump’s move insist that Trump is reenacting the bigoted immigration policies the US maintained throughout the Holocaust.

The first thing that is important to understand about Trump’s order is that it did not come out of nowhere. It is based on the policies of his predecessor Barack Obama. Trump’s move is an attempt to correct the strategic and moral deficiencies of Obama’s policies – deficiencies that empower bigots and fascists while disenfranchising and imperiling their victims.

Trump’s order is based on the 2015 Terrorist Travel Prevention Act. As White House spokesman Sean Spicer noted in an interview with ABC News’ Martha Raddatz Sunday, the seven states targeted by Trump’s temporary ban – Syria, Iraq, Sudan, Iran, Libya, Yemen and Somalia – were not chosen by Trump.

They were identified as uniquely problematic and in need of specific, harsher vetting policies for refugee applications by former US president Barack Obama.

In Iraq, Syria, Libya and Yemen, the recognized governments lack control over large swaths of territory.

As a consequence, they are unable to conclude immigration vetting protocols with the US. As others have noted, unlike these governments, Turkish, Saudi Arabian and Egyptian officials have concluded and implement severe and detailed visa vetting protocols with US immigration officials.

Immigrants from Somalia have carried out terrorist attacks in the US. Clearly there is a problem with vetting procedures in relation to that jihad-plagued failed state.

Finally, the regimes in Sudan and Iran are state sponsors of terrorism. As such, the regimes clearly cannot be trusted to properly report the status of visa applicants.

In other words, the one thing that the seven states have in common is that the US has no official counterpart in any of them as it seeks to vet nationals from those states seeking to enter its territory. So the US must adopt specific, unilateral vetting policies for each of them.

Now that we know the reason the Obama administration concluded that visa applicants from these seven states require specific vetting, we arrive at the question of whether Trump’s order will improve the outcome of that vetting from both a strategic and moral perspective.

The new executive order requires the relevant federal agencies and departments to review the current immigration practices in order to ensure two things.

First, that immigrants from these and other states are not enemies of the US. And second, to ensure that those that do enter the US are people who need protection.

Trump’s order requires the secretary of state and the secretary of homeland security to ensure that the new vetting processes “prioritize refugee claims made by individuals on the basis of religious-based persecution, provided that the religion of the individual is a minority in the individual’s country of nationality.”

Under the Obama administration, the opposite occurred. Christians and Yazidis in Syria for instance, have been targeted specifically for annihilation by Islamic State and related groups. And yet, they have made up a tiny minority of visa recipients. According to Christian News Service, during 2016, the number of refugees from Syria to the US increased by 675%. But among the 13,210 Syrian refugees admitted to the US, only 77, or 0.5% were Christians and only 24, or 0.18%, were Yazidis.

Similar percentages held in previous years.

On the second issue, of blocking potential terrorists from entering the US, Trump’s order calls for measures to be taken to ensure that those who ascribe to creeds that would endanger the lives of US citizens are barred from entering.

Specifically, the order states, “The United States cannot, and should not, admit those who do not support the Constitution, or those who would place violent ideologies over American law. In addition, the United States should not admit those who engage in acts of bigotry or hatred (including ‘honor’ killings, other forms of violence against women, or the persecution of those who practice religions different from their own) or those who would oppress Americans of any race, gender, or sexual orientation.”

Whether or not the Obama administration’s failure to give top priority to Christian and Yazidi refugees being targeted for genocide, enslavement and rape was driven by political considerations, the fact is that the current US refugee system makes it all but impossible for US officials to give priority to vulnerable minorities.

As Nina Shea, director of the Hudson Institute’s Center for Religious Freedom pointed out in an article in National Review in November 2015, the US has relied on the UN High Commissioner on Refugees to vet potential immigrants from these countries. The UNHCR accepts applications for resettlement primarily from people who reside in its refugee camps. Members of the Christian and Yazidi avoid UN camps because UN officials do not protect them.

As Shea noted, human rights groups and media reports have shown that at UN camps, “ISIS, militias and gangs traffic in women and threaten men who refuse to swear allegiance to the caliphate.”

The situation repeats itself in European refugee centers. Shea noted that in Germany, for instance, due to Muslim persecution of non-Muslim refugees at refugee centers, “the German police union recommended separate shelters for Christian and Muslim groups.”

The UNHCR itself has not been an innocent bystander in all of this. To the contrary. It appears that the institution colludes with jihadists to keep persecuted Christians and other minorities out of the UN refugee system, thus dooming them to remain in areas were they are subjected to forms of persecution unseen since the Holocaust.

Questioned by Shea, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees António Guterres said that he opposes the resettlement of persecuted Christians from Syria. Despite the fact that in 2011 Pope Francis acknowledged that Syrian Christians were being targeted for genocide, Guterres told Shea that he doesn’t want Christians to leave Syria, because they are part of the “DNA of the Middle East.” He added that Lebanon’s former president asked him not to resettle the Christians.

Invoking the Holocaust, in recent days US Jews have been among the most outspoken critics of Trump’s executive order. Speaking to Britain’s Independent, for instance, Mark Hetfield, the executive director of HIAS, the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society, slammed Trump’s executive order as the “lowest point we’ve seen since the 1920s.”

Forward editor Jane Eisner wrote that Trump’s move is immoral and un-American and that all Jewish organizations are morally required to stand up to his “anti-Muslim” policies.

Writing at Vox.com, Dara Lind drew a direct connection between Trump’s executive order and the Roosevelt administration’s refusal to permit the Jews of Europe to flee to the US to escape annihilation in the Holocaust.

This then brings us back to Roosevelt’s immoral policies toward the Jews of Europe and to the question of who has learned the lessons of his bigotry.

The American Jewish uproar at Trump’s actions shows first and foremost the cynicism of the leftist Jewish leadership.

It isn’t simply that left-wing activists like Hetfield and Eisner cynically ignore that Trump’s order is based on Obama’s policies, which they didn’t oppose.

It is that in their expressed concerned for would-be Muslim refugees to the US they refuse to recognize that the plight of Muslims as Muslims in places like Syria and Iraq is not the same as the plight of Christians and Yazidis as Christians and Yazidis in these lands.

The “Jews” in the present circumstances are not the Muslims, who are nowhere targeted for genocide.

The “Jews” in the present circumstances are the Christians and Yazidis and other religious minorities, whom Trump’s impassioned Jewish opponents and Obama’s impassioned Jewish champions fail to defend.

Trump’s executive order is far from perfect. But in making the distinction between the hunters and the hunted and siding with the latter against the former, Trump is showing that he is not a bigot.

Unlike his critics, he has learned the lessons of Roosevelt’s moral failure and is working to ensure that the US acts differently today.

6 of 7 Nations With Worst Record of Christian Persecution Are Muslim

December 4, 2016

6 of 7 Nations With Worst Record of Christian Persecution Are Muslim, Creeping Sharia, December 4, 2016

im-christian-and-i-love-the-quran

The seven nations where persecution was branded so extreme that “it could scarcely get any worse” include: Afghanistan, Iraq (northern), Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Syria.

************************

Source: Top 7 Nations With Worst Record of Christian Persecution: Report

Persecution watchdog group Aid to the Church in Need released its 2016 “Religious Freedom in the World” report on Thursday, highlighting the growing cases of intolerance around the world, particularly between the time period of June 2014 and June 2016 — coinciding with the rise of the Islamic State terror group.

The report included case by case studies of a number of different countries around the world, and the religious discrimination people of faith face. Some of the most extreme forms of oppression were experienced by people in Iraq and Syria, including Christians and Yazidis, who have been targeted in an ongoing genocide campaign by IS.

One Yazidi boy trained for jihad in Syria shared the chilling words his radical instructors told to him: “You have to kill kuffars [unbelievers] even if they are your fathers and brothers, because they belong to the wrong religion and they don’t worship God.”

The report revealed that 196 countries were examined, with 38 showing “unmistakable evidence” of significant religious freedom violations. Twenty-three of those countries were placed in the top level “Persecution” category, while 15 others in the “Discrimination” group.

Religious freedom conditions “clearly worsened” in 14 countries, the report added, and only three — Bhutan, Egypt and Qatar — showed signs of improvement since the last study in 2014.

The seven nations where persecution was branded so extreme that “it could scarcely get any worse” include: Afghanistan, Iraq (northern), Nigeria, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and Syria.

“A virulent and extremist form of Islam emerged as the number one threat to religious freedom and was revealed as the primary cause of persecution in many of the worst cases,” the report noted.

It added that “religious hyper-extremism,” such as the actions of IS in their quest to build a caliphate and kill off minorities, has been on the rise, characterized by mass killings, ‘horrific’ forms of executions, rape, and extreme torture such as burning people alive, crucifixions, or throwing victims off buildings.

The atrocities committed by Islamist radical groups in nations such as Syria, Iraq and Libya were called arguably some of the “greatest setbacks for religious freedom since the Second Wold War,” with victims being subjugated to a system which “insults almost every tenet of human rights.”

Other watchdog groups, such as Open Doors USA, have called on the global Church to resist being too self-centered, and instead reach out to help its brothers and sisters in need.

Open Doors President David Curry told The Christian Post in October that the factors that led to 2015 being the worst year for Christian persecution have stayed in place for 2016 as well.

“You still have rouge nations like Eritrea, North Korea, Sudan and others, who are not concerned about international justice laws, and are persecuting Christians within their government,” Curry told CP at the time, ahead of the International Day of Prayer.

“I’m not encouraged yet by the response of the global Church, but I’m hopeful that they are going to wake up and see what is happening,” he added.

This Is Not A Phobia: How the Candidates Could’ve Answered the Debate’s Inevitable “Islamophobia” Question

October 11, 2016

This Is Not A Phobia: How the Candidates Could’ve Answered the Debate’s Inevitable “Islamophobia” Question, Counter Jihad, October 11, 2016

(That this article had to be published says a lot about Obama’s America. And it is not good. — DM)

2016-10-10-15_33_05-donald-trump-hillary-clinton-discuss-muslim-ban-youtube-500x350

An important question came up in Sunday night’s debate.  The candidates were more interested in pushing their pre-existing agendas than in answering it.  We at CounterJihad would like to propose our own answer.

Here is the question:

GORBAH HAMED: Hi. There are 3.3 million Muslims in the United States, and I’m one of them. You’ve mentioned working with Muslim nations, but with Islamophobia on the rise, how will you help people like me deal with the consequences of being labeled as a threat to the country after the election is over?

In order to provide a proper answer to the question, we must first challenge the idea that there is any sort of “phobia” at work in America’s concerns about Islam.  A phobia is anirrational fear.  There is nothing irrational in America’s concerns about Islam.

Last year in San Bernardino, a woman left her infant daughter with her mother in order to go and kill for Islam.  Thirty-six people were shot in the rampage.  Among the dead was Bennetta Betbadal, who had fled an Islam in Iran that persecuted her as a woman and her family as Christians.  Her memorial fundraiser said that it “is the ultimate irony that her life would be stolen from her that day by what appears to be the same type of extremism that she fled so many years ago.”

This year, a coordinated series of suicide bombs went off in Brussels, the capital of the European Union.  Thirty-two died and over three hundred were injured in the attacks.  One of the bombers, Osama Krayem, had as a boy been featured in a movie about the efforts of Sweden to bring Muslims into their culture in a loving and respectful way.  The film, ‘Without Borders — A Film About Sport And Integration,’ was meant to showcase how good faith and trust could overcome our differences.  Instead, that same boy featured in the film went on to murder our fellows in the name of Islam.

No one believes that all Muslims intend violent jihad, and no one even doubts that the percentage who do is small.  Whatever the percentage, though, the raw numbers are enough to provide a steady stream of murderous attacks.  Paris suffered two major attacks last year, killing a hundred and fifty and injuring hundreds.  Nice saw eighty killed by a truck driver.  Orlando saw fifty murdered in a gay nightclub, in the name of the Islamic State (ISIS).  Nor are these isolated incidents.  The clashes between Islam and other faiths bedevil the world from the insurgency in the southern Philippines to frequent mass murders in Pakistan, and from the slaughter and slavery of ISIS to the slaughter and slavery practiced by Boko Haram.

So first, then:  there is no phobia.  The concern is rational.

How does one deal with a rational concern?  Rationally, of course.  We need an organizing principle to govern our response.  That principle is the principle of non-coercion in matters of faith, which is more commonly known as the principle of freedom of conscience.

This principle grew in a ground made fertile by blood of Europe’s religious wars.  The Thirty Years War savaged central Europe.  The French earlier fought a set of religious wars between Protestants and Catholics.  The English suppressed Catholicism violently during and after the reign of Henry VIII and his successors, and clashed with Protestants in Scotland especially during the Covenanter movement.  The Jacobite wars in Scotland and Ireland also hinged on which religion would dominate the state.

Amid these disasters, a philosopher named John Locke began to promulgate a doctrine that no coercion be used to compel anyone in matters of religious faith.  When he wrote of it in 1689 it was still an idea so unacceptable that he only spoke of it in letters and books published anonymously.  By 1776, when the American Revolution broke out, it was an idea that had begun to be widely accepted in the British colonies.

It would go on to be codified as one of the core values of our First Amendment, which not only forbids the institution of a Federal religion, but restrictions on the free exercise of faith.  It is to this principle that we call all Muslims, and especially those like Hamed who call themselves American Muslims.

We are aware that Islam at times appears to endorse this principle. Al-Baqara 256 is no secret to us.  But while many Muslims speak of this principle (saying, “there is no compulsion in religion”), it is clear that the Islamic world in no way lives by it.  We do not mean merely ISIS and Boko Haram, who convert or enslave by force.  We mean also Iran, which forbids conversion to Christianity or the practice of Christianity by anyone not born into an approved ethnic minority, and which violates the religious freedom of all members of its population under color of law.  We mean also that other great nation of Islam, Saudi Arabia, where citizens can be beaten with whips, castrated, or beheaded to enforce ideals of religious law.  We mean Indonesia, where beatings in the name of Islam are also known.  We mean Pakistan.  We mean even US allies like Bahrain.

The principle of non-coercion in matters of religion is what divides the Muslim world between those we need to fear, and those we can welcome as friends.  A demonstrated allegiance to the principle of non-coercion in religion is the way to show other Americans that you are not their foe.  It requires a clear and verbal oath, to be sure, but that is only the beginning.  We need to see in your actions that you are completely committed to this principle, not only for yourselves but for all.

In this way, we will know that you are not one of those who would condemn us to return to the horrors of religious wars.  This principle was bought at great cost by America’s ancestors.  It was wisely endorsed by America’s Founders.  All Americans have a right to insist on it.  Join us in this, and then we shall defend each other as Americans.

Why Isn’t the EU Doing More Against Religious Persecution?

July 6, 2016

Why Isn’t the EU Doing More Against Religious Persecution? Clarion Project, Gideon Bratt, July 6, 2016

(The EU Parliament has a small voice and substantially no power over what the EU Bureaucracy does. — DM)

PakistaniChristianBeaten-IP_7A Christian in Pakistan is beaten by the police (Photo: © Reuters)

Christians and other religious minorities are being subjected to horrific human rights abuses globally, according to a recently released report on freedom of religion from a European Union (EU) group.

The EU Parliament Intergroup on Freedom of Religion or Belief and Religious Tolerance released their annual report last week, in which they highlighted restrictions to freedom of religion and religious persecution in 53 countries. Many of these countries have government-sanctioned persecution, while others have groups such as the Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) operating within them and oppressing religious minorities.

“Our beliefs are at the core of our human dignity – tragically, however, today not everyone enjoys the freedom to hold and manifest their beliefs. We have witnessed the near extinction of Christians in Iraq and Syria,” said Peter van Dalen, a member of the European Parliament and one of the co-chairs of the group.

The report outlined some of the restrictions facing Christians, Yazidis, Sunni and Shiite Muslims and others in countries across the world, many in the Middle East and Africa. In Nigeria, for example, non-Muslims have been forcefully brought for judgement in sharia(Islamic) courts and punished by caning, amputation or death by stoning for “offencss” including blasphemy.

The report, which can be found in full online, notes that, in some ways, the situation has improved in Egypt recently under President Abdel Fattah el-Sisi’s rule. Nevertheless, minorities – especially Coptic Orthodox Christians — still face sectarian abuse and discrimination. Christian girls are still being abducted by Muslims “and the government’s inability to respond over several years has made the situation worse.”

In Saudi Arabia (a Sunni country, where Shiite Muslims are amongst the persecuted), apostasy, blasphemy and peaceful dissent are punishable by death. The report calls Saudi government restrictions “the most severe violations of the freedom of religion or belief in the world.”

Bahais in Iran are “deemed apostates by the government and denied civil rights.” Amongst other restrictions, they “are banned from higher education, denied the right to establish … religious institutions, [and] excluded from the social pension system.” Around 90 Iranian Christians have been detained or imprisoned “because of their religious beliefs and activities” and there has been a “significant increase” in the number of physical assaults of Christians in prison.

In some areas of Syria, ISIS has carried out “brutal ethnic and religious cleansing” of Christians, Yazidis and other minorities. In Aleppo, for example, just 60,000 of the city’s original Christian population of 400,000 remain. The European Parliament has called ISIS’ massacres in Syria a “genocide” but, like the UN, has fallen short on taking action.

The report describes how “the 2,000-year-old Christian community in Iraq is facing extinction” and has decreased from 1.2 million in the 1990s to just 260,000 in 2015. Iraqi Christians are forced to convert to Islam, pay the jizya tax (essentially protection money) or face execution. Similarly, Yazidis in Iraq are subject to “forced conversion and marriage, sexual assault, slavery, torture and murder,” with many victims being women and children.

The hope is that this report “will effectively help us to address religious persecution throughout the world and ensure that the European Union uses its political and financial power to safeguard the fundamental rights of religious minorities in all countries,” according to Sophia Kuby, director of EU Advocacy for ADF International. She said that we “cannot accept that people today are being killed, tortured, or oppressed, simply because of their religious convictions or beliefs.”

The report is a sad reminder of the scale and breadth of religious persecution taking place in today’s world as well as also an important call (for the EU, at least) to take real action and put an end to these atrocities.

“The EU, in its external actions, continuously compromises its human rights agenda in favor of a more economic and geopolitical agenda”, according to Dennis de Jong, a member of the European Parliament and the second co-chair the EU group that released the report.

Until the foreign policy apparatus of the EU, along with UN bodies (especially the Security Council), prioritize this issue and take action, the annual release of reports such as this will continue to be a sad and constant reality.

World’s Greatest Generation Still Doing Great Things

July 15, 2015

Jewish peer organising rescue mission for Christians in Syria and Iraq

By Rosa Doherty, July 14, 2015 Via The Jewish Chronicle


Debt repaid many times over. [Source: Unknown]

(We are so blessed to still have these folks in our midst. – LS)

Lord Weidenfeld is funding a rescue mission of up to 2,000 Christian families from Syria and Iraq.

Weidenfeld’s Safe Havens Fund flew 150 Syrian Christians who were fleeing Daesh (sometimes known as Isis) to Warsaw on Friday to seek refuge in Poland.

But the project has faced criticism over Lord Weidenfeld’s decision not to include Muslims in the rescue effort.

The United States refused to take part and other countries made claims of discrimination.

Funding was also given by other Jewish philanthropists and charitable groups such as the JNF, and aims to offer 12 to 18 months of support to the refugees.

Lord Weidenfeld defended the project and said: “I can’t save the world, but there is a very specific possibility on the Jewish and Christian side.

“Let others do what they like for the Muslims.”

The publisher, who co-founded Weidenfeld and Nicolson in 1948, was rescued from Nazi-occupied Austria thanks to the generosity of members of the Plymouth Brethren, a Christian group, which took him in, fed and clothed him.

He said: “I had a debt to repay. It applies to so many of the young people who were on the Kindertransports. It was Quakers and other Christian denominations who brought those children to England.

“It was a very high-minded operation and we Jews should also be thankful and do something for the endangered Christians.”

The peer paid for the privately chartered plane to carry the first batch of refugees with the agreement of the Polish government and the Assad regime in Syria.

Lord Weidenfeld, 95, told the Times: “The primary objective is to bring the Christians to safe haven. Isis is unprecedented in its primitive savagery compared with the more sophisticated Nazis.

“When it comes to pure lust for horror and sadism, they are unprecedented. There never was such scum as these people.

“My main concern is — and this is terribly important for me as a member of the generation that can look back to the time before World War Two — the lack of will to defend oneself; to get boots on the ground and to get rid of these people. The lack of desire to fight the enemy, to slay the dragon in his lair.

“I am appalled by the lack of action. The brave Kurds have shown in the battle for Kobani that you can defeat them. In a disunited world, the road is wide open for the terrorists.”

He said that he hoped to mirror the work done by Sir Nicholas Winton, who helped 669 children escape from Nazi persecution.

Christians are among the religious groups who have been murdered in Daesh attacks, along with Druze, the Yazidi sect, Alawites and Shia Muslims.

There were 1.1 million Christians in Syria in 2011, but in March a report from the European Parliament said that 700,000 had fled since the start of the conflict.