CAIR Tries to Get Anti-Islamist Muslim Fired from Gov’t Group

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Dr. Zuhdi Jasser, a relentless campaigner for democracy and the separation of ‘mosque and state’ has become a nemesis for CAIR.

Clarion Project:

The Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR), a U.S. Muslim Brotherhood entity that purports to be a Muslim civil rights group, has tried to scuttle Dr. Zuhdi’s Jasser’s appointment to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) since he was appointed in March, 2012.

Jasser is a devout Muslim and fierce opponent of the Muslim Brotherhood and its Islamist ideology. He campaigns relentlessly for democracy and the separation of “mosque and state.”

In the last two weeks, CAIR has appealed twice to USCIF’s Chairman Robert George to investigate Jasser – first for an interview Jasser gave to the media about the military’s new policy to allow service personnel to wear religious items (like a turban or hijab) or grow a beard, and second, about Jasser accepting funding for his organization, the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, from a foundation that also gives money to other groups fighting Islamists and exposing their extremist ideology (groups that CAIR labels as “Islamophobes”).

The U.S. government labeled CAIR an unindicted co-conspirator in the trial of the Holy Land Foundation for financing the Hamas terrorist group. CAIR was listed among “individuals/entities who are/were members of the U.S. Muslim Brotherhood’s Palestine Committee and/or its organizations.” The Palestine Committee is a secret body set up to advance the Brotherhood/Hamas agenda.

Yet, CAIR maintains that Jasser should be disqualified from the commission for “accepting financial support from anti-Muslim groups while he is serving on a commission advocating for religious freedom.”

In response to CAIR’s letter to USCIRF, Jasser said that CAIR was “trying to silence the opposition.”

“The Islamist bullies at CAIR would not be paying so much attention to us lately at the American Islamic Forum for Democracy if we weren’t actually so effective in gaining traction among Muslims as well as in exposing [CAIR’s] own hypocrisy and anti-AmericanIslamism,” Jasser said.

“It is rather pathetic for an organization which purports to be about American and Muslim interests to squander its resources attacking other American Muslims as well as patriotic American foundations with their fabricated claims of ‘Islamophobia,’ all the while their directors send letters to foreign dictators and autocrats, enemies of the U.S., begging for money.”

Jasser was referring to appeals made by CAIR for funding from the late dictator of Libya, Muammar Qaddafi, as well as the numerous media appearance made by CAIR on Iranian state-funded Press-TV.

“Good luck finding in CAIR’s well-funded press releases any criticism of the fascist Iranian theocrats or the Saudi government who make the oppression and torture of truly moderate Muslims a matter of practice while CAIR turns those Muslims a blind eye,” Jasser continued.

“This all should certainly make every American wonder why a so-called American Muslim civil rights organization is so upset about a reformist, anti-Islamist Muslim sitting on a commission like USCIRF which focuses on the advocacy of religious freedom abroad – often in defense of Muslims and non-Muslims alike, targeted by so many regimes with which CAIR is apparently so cozy.”

CAIR also objected to Jasser’s opinion about religious accommodation in the military. In the interview that Jasser gave to Fox about the military’s new guidelines, Jasser said that in his 11 years of serving in the U.S. military,”[I] was able to practice my faith, fast, pray – and I never saw the need for this type of bending over backwards for political correctness.”

Read more at Clarion Project

 

CAIR Again Shows It Can’t Stand Other Muslim Viewpoints

IPT, By Steven Emerson:

The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) waged a new attack Tuesday on anti-Islamist Muslim Zuhdi Jasser, asking that a federal commission investigate Jasser’s financial supporters.

Jasser, founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, also serves on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). CAIR and other Islamist groups tried to block that appointment in 2012. Now, CAIR wants the USCIRF to investigate Jasser’s donors, who also give to other groups CAIR doesn’t like. The AIFD received $45,000 from the Abstraction Fund from 2010-12, a letter from CAIR’s Corey Saylor said.

The New York-based fund also gives money to the Investigative Project on Terrorism, the Middle East Forum and Jihad Watch. All, Saylor claimed, play an “active role in spreading anti-Islam prejudice.”

“At issue here is the reasonable concern that arises regarding Dr. Jasser accepting financial support from anti-Muslim groups while he is serving on a commission advocating for religious freedom,” Saylor wrote.

What a load of nonsense. As we have shown, CAIR and others toss around accusations of “Islamophobia” as a means of stifling criticism and deflecting attentionfrom their own shady records. Jasser is a devout Muslim who repeatedly points out that Muslims are freer to practice their faith in the United States than anywhere else in the world. He calls out the victimization narrative promoted by CAIR and other Islamist groups.

In response to CAIR’s attack Tuesday, Jasser posted a link to a 2011 IPT reportshowing CAIR solicited money from Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi.

CAIR Executive Director Nihad Awad praised Gaddafi’s rambling, 100-minute speech to the United Nations General Assembly for having “an impact in the hearts of many people in the world.” Awad later sought financial help from Gaddafi to underwrite a program to give away 1 million Qurans to government officials and the general public in America and to help start up a new foundation.

In addition, State Department records obtained by the IPT show CAIR solicited huge donations during 2006 trips to Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. Despite that, CAIR continues to label information about its foreign financial support as “Internet Disinformation.”

“CAIR’s operational budget is funded by donations from American Muslims,” its website says. (To see a debunking of CAIR’s “disinformation” claims, click here.)

Tuesday’s letter was CAIR’s second to the USCIRF about Jasser in the past month. It also took statements Jasser made during a recent television appearance to argue that he would “deny religious rights to Muslim military personnel.” In fact, Jasser – a Navy veteran – said that during his service “I was able to practice my faith, fast, pray, and I never saw the need for” new policies allowing for beards, turbans and other religious garb for active duty military members.

It’s fine to debate that point. But CAIR’s ongoing campaign to strip Jasser of his position shows they don’t want debate. They want a monopoly on determining what is acceptable for American Muslims to believe.

Obama Pushes Funds for Islamists —- Trashes Their Christian Victims

Boko-Haram-Violence-450x286By :

The “Islamist apologist choir” described in Cinnamon Stillwell’s recent story “Profs on Boston Bombing” doesn’t sing solely on behalf of Chechnya and Cambridge. Some of that choir’s most dreadful caterwauling today is in support of Nigeria’s yet-undesignated terrorists, Boko Haram. The choir stalls are located in the U.S. State Department, which not only refuses to designate the jihadists as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), but maligns and defames Boko Haram’s Christian victims, as well.

Boko Haram’s latest attack, killing at least 42, took place on Tuesday, May 7, in the already battle-worn town of Bama, in Nigeria’s northeast Borno State. Borno, one of 12 states under Sharia, has suffered heavy losses under the Islamists. Some believe that Boko Haram has taken over northern Borno State much as Islamists took over northern Mali. At least 277 had been killed by Boko Haram in Borno State in 2013 before this attack.  According to an AP story the Tuesday event involved “coordinated attacks by Islamic extremists armed with heavy machine guns” in multiple locations around Bama. The jihadists also raided a federal prison, freeing 105 inmates.

Military spokesman Lt. Colonel Sagir Musa told AP that “some 200 fighters in buses and pickup trucks mounted with machine guns attacked the barracks of the 202 Battalion of Nigeria’s beleaguered army.” Musa, who said two soldiers and 10 insurgents died in the attack, revealed that the attackers “came in army uniform pretending to be soldiers.” The Islamists killed 14 prison guards. They also attacked and razed a police station, a police barracks, a magistrate’s court, and local government offices, according to Lt. Col. Musa. Bama police commander Sagir Abubakar reported that at least 22 police officers, three children and a woman were killed in the attacks.

Boko Haram frequently attacks Nigeria’s police and military forces. In 2012 as documented by the Facts on Nigeria Violence website, there were at least 67 attacks, almost exclusively by Boko Haram, against military barracks, police stations, prisons, and other government facilities, as well as against individual soldiers, policemen, and civil servants. But Boko Haram’s main targets are northern Nigeria’s Christians and churches.

The official name of Boko Haram, Jamā’a Ahl al-sunnah li-da’wa wa al-jihād, can be translated “People Committed to the Propagation of the Prophet’s Teachings and Jihad.” Its goal is to establish a pure Islamic state in northern Nigeria, removing the Christian presence – either by conversion, expulsion, or extermination. Boko Haram appears to prefer the third option. According to the World Watch Monitor (WWM) report on global Christian persecution, Nigeria had a higher death toll from anti-Christian persecution and violence than the rest of the world combined. WWM concluded that Nigeria is “the most violent place on earth for Christians.”

In a recent Front Page Magazine article, Daniel Greenfield exposed the unfortunate moral equivalence found in the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom’s (USCIRF) 2013 report on Nigeria. While much of the report is very good and condemns Boko Haram, impunity, and the forced imposition of Sharia, USCIRF appears to have developed the same pathological impulse that afflicts the rest of the federal government, to never blame Islam. As a result, portions of the report mischaracterize certain acts of violence by both Boko Haram and other Islamists targeting Christians, and criticize northern Nigerian Christian leaders for calling the situation what it is: persecution.

USCIRF’s egregious observations and recommendations are actually State Department policy. For instance, USCIRF parrots former Asst. Sec. of State for Africa, Johnnie Carson, who declared in a congressional hearing, “It is important to note that religion is not the primary driver behind extremist violence in Nigeria” and that “the Nigerian government must effectively engage communities vulnerable to extremist violence by addressing the underlying political and socio-economic problems in the North.” USCIRF reports that “The U.S. government consistently has urged the Nigerian government to expand its strategy against Boko Haram from solely a military solution to addressing problems of economic and political marginalization in the north,” says USCIRF, “arguing that Boko Haram’s motivations are not religious but socio-economic.”

Read more at Front Page

The Mass Exodus of Christians from the Muslim World

images (34)By Raymond Ibrahim:

A mass exodus of Christians is currently underway.  Millions of Christians are being displaced from one end of the Islamic world to the other.

We are reliving the true history of how the Islamic world—much of which prior to the Islamic conquests was almost entirely Christian—came into being.

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom recently said: “The flight of Christians out of the region is unprecedented and it’s increasing year by year.”  In our lifetime alone “Christians might disappear altogether from Iraq, Afghanistan, and Egypt.”

Ongoing reports from the Islamic world certainly support this conclusion.  Iraq was the earliest indicator of the fate awaiting Christians once Islamic forces are liberated from the grip of dictators.

In 2003, Iraq’s Christian population was at least one million.  Today fewer than 400,000 remain—the result of an anti-Christian campaign that began with the U.S. occupation of Iraq, when countless Christian churches were bombed and countless Christians killed, including by crucifixion and beheading.

The 2010 Baghdad church attack, which saw nearly 60 Christian worshippers slaughtered, is the tip of a decade-long iceberg.

Now as the U.S. supports the jihad on secular president Assad, the same pattern has come to Syria: entire regions and towns where Christians lived centuries before Islam came into being have now been emptied, as the opposition targets Christians for kidnapping, plundering, and beheadings, all in compliance with mosque calls that it’s a “sacred duty” to drive Christians away.

In October 2012 the last Christian in the city of Homs—which had a Christian population of some 80,000 before jihadis came—was murdered.  One teenage Syrian girl said: “We left because they were trying to kill us… because we were Christians….  Those who were our neighbors turned against us. At the end, when we ran away, we went through balconies. We did not even dare go out on the street in front of our house.”

In Egypt, some 100,000 Christian Copts have fled their homeland soon after the “Arab Spring.”  In September 2012, the Sinai’s small Christian community was attacked and evicted by al-Qaeda linked Muslims, Reuters reported.

But even before that, the Coptic Orthodox Church lamented the “repeated incidents of displacement of Copts from their homes, whether by force or threat. Displacements began in Ameriya [62 Christian families evicted], then they stretched to Dahshur [120 Christian families evicted], and today terror and threats have reached the hearts and souls of our Coptic children in Sinai.”

Iraq, Syria, and Egypt are the Arab world.  But even in “black” African and “white” European nations with Muslim majorities, Christians are fleeing.

In Mali, after a 2012 Islamic coup, as many as 200,000 Christians fled.  According to reports, “the church in Mali faces being eradicated,” especially in the north “where rebels want to establish an independent Islamist state and drive Christians out… there have been house to house searches for Christians who might be in hiding, church and Christian property has been looted or destroyed, and people tortured into revealing any Christian relatives.” At least one pastor was beheaded.

Even in European Bosnia, Christians are leaving en mass “amid mounting discrimination and Islamization.”  Only 440,000 Catholics remain in the Balkan nation, half the prewar figure.  Problems cited are typical:  “while dozens of mosques were built in the Bosnian capital Sarajevo, no building permissions were given for Christian churches.”

“Time is running out as there is a worrisome rise in radicalism,” said one authority, who further added that the people of Bosnia-Herzegovina were “persecuted for centuries” after European powers “failed to support them in their struggle against the Ottoman Empire.”

And so history repeats itself.

One can go on and on:

  • In Ethiopia, after a Christian was accused of desecrating a Koran, thousands of Christians were forced to flee their homes when “Muslim extremists set fire to roughly 50 churches and dozens of Christian homes.”
  • In the Ivory Coast—where Christians have been crucified—Islamic rebels “massacred hundreds and displaced tens of thousands” of Christians.
  • In Libya, Islamic rebels forced several Christian nun orders serving the sick and needy since 1921 to flee.
  • In Muslim-majority northern Nigeria, where nary a Sunday passes without a church bombing, Christians are fleeing by the thousands; one region has been emptied of 95% of its Christian population.
  • In Pakistan, after a Christian child was falsely accused of desecrating a Koran and Muslims went on an anti-Christian rampage, an entire Christian village—men, women, and children—was forced to flee into the nearby woods, where they built a church, permanently resided there.
  • In Somali, where Christianity is completely outlawed, Muslim converts to Christianity are fleeing to neighboring nations, including Kenya and Ethiopia, sometimes to be tracked down and executed.
  • In Sudan, over half a million people, mostly Christian, have been stripped of citizenship in response to the South’s secession, and forced to relocate.

To anyone following the plight of Christians under Islam, none of this is surprising.  As I document in my new book, Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians, all around the Islamic world—in nations that do not share the same race, language, culture, or economics, in nations that share only Islam—Christians are being persecuted into extinction.   Such is the true face of the global Islamic resurgence.

Often forgotten is that, in the 7th century, half of the world’s entire Christian population was spread across what is now nonchalantly called the “Muslim world.”  Then, Islam, born in the deserts of Arabia, burst out in a series of world-altering jihads, conquering and slowly transforming these once Christian nations into Islamic nations.

In order to evade sporadic persecution and constant discrimination, over the centuries most Christians converted, while others fled.  A few opted to remain Christian and live as barely tolerated third-class subjects, or dhimmis, according to Sharia law.

They eventually experienced something of a renaissance during the colonial and post-colonial era, when many Muslims were Westward-looking.

But today, with the international resurgence of Muhammad’s religion, these remaining Christians are reaching extinction, as Islam’s 1400 year mission of supremacy and global hegemony continues unabated—even as the West looks the other way, that is, when it’s not actually supporting it in the context of the so-called “Arab Spring.”

RAYMOND IBRAHIM, a Middle East and Islam specialist, is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center and an Associate Fellow at the Middle East Forum. A widely published author, best known for The Al Qaeda Reader (Doubleday, 2007), he guest lectures at universities, including the National Defense Intelligence College, briefs governmental agencies, such as U.S. Strategic Command and the Defense Intelligence Agency, provides expert testimony for Islam-related lawsuits, and has testified before Congress regarding the conceptual failures that dominate American discourse concerning Islam and the worsening plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts. Among other media, he has appeared on MSNBC, Fox News, C-SPAN, PBS, Reuters, Al-Jazeera, CBN, and NPR.

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U.S. Pastor Seized in Iran May Face Death Penalty

Pastor Saeed

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) today called for the immediate release of Saeed Abedeni, an Iranian-American pastor reportedly awaiting a January 21 trial on trumped-up national security charges that date back to 2000 when he lived in Iran.

According to sources familiar with the case, Mr. Abedini was arrested in Iran in September 2012 for his involvement with the underground house church movement.  Mr. Abedini’s lawyer was unaware of the charges until January 14, when he was informed the trial would be held on Monday, January 21.

Mr. Abedini married an American citizen in 2004 and has lived in the United States since 2005.  He became a U.S. citizen in 2010 and periodically travels back and forth to Iran.

“The national security charges leveled against Mr. Abedini are bogus and are a typical tactic by the Iranian government to masquerade the real reason for the charges: To suppress religious belief and activity of which the Iranian government does not approve,” said USCIRF chair Katrina Lantos Swett.  “USCIRF calls on the Iranian government to release Mr. Abedini immediately and unconditionally.”

Mr. Abedeni’s trial reportedly is scheduled to be heard by Judge Abbas Pir-Abbassi of Branch 26 of Iran’s Revolutionary Court.  “Judge Pir-Abbassi is notorious for conducting swift trials and imposing lengthy prison terms, as well as the death penalty, without any semblance of due process,” said Lantos Swett.

An Iranian news outlet reports that Abedeni wrote in a letter to his wife that he has been subjected to torture and threatened with death by hanging. He is being held in the notorious Evin prison in Tehran.

In 2011, under the Comprehensive Iran Sanctions, Accountability, and Divestment Act (CISADA), USCIRF called on the U.S. government to impose travel bans and asset freezes on three “hanging judges” — Judge Pir-Abbassi, Judge Salavati and Judge Moghiseh — for committing serious human rights abuses against Iranian citizens, including religious minorities.  In April 2011, the European Union imposed sanctions for human rights violations on all three judges.  The U.S. government has not as yet followed suit.

Read more at Radical Islam

via US Commission Demands Iranian Pastor Saeed Abedini’s Immediate Release Days  Before Trial:

The ACLJ further reminded concerned citizens that although  President Barack Obama and the rest of the U.S. marked National Religious  Freedom Day on Jan. 16, pastors like Abedini and many other people of faith  remain imprisoned based on dubious charges, and the State Department needs to  step up and do everything possible to help them in their plight.

“Today, we also remember that religious liberty is not just an American  right; it is a universal human right to be protected here at home and across the  globe. This freedom is an essential part of human dignity, and without it our  world cannot know lasting peace,” Obama  wrote in a statement on Jan. 16.

The ACLJ says that over 100,000 people have signed a petition to the U.S. Congress calling for  Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to personally speak up for Pastor Abedini’s  release.

White House Has No Statement on Trial of American Citizen in Iran

Go to ACLG to sign the petition to free Pastor Saeed

The World Through Rose Colored Glasses (with video)

By Gadi Adelman:

The photo accompanying this article was taken in central Cairo on October 13,  2011. Nearly 3,000 Egyptian mourners gathered in honor of Coptic Christians who  were among 25 people murdered during a demonstration over an attack on a  church.

Those who don’t want to believe this is actually occurring in the 21 Century  won’t. No matter how many pictures or videos make it out some people just will  dismiss it all as Islamophobic lies.

I had no intention of covering this story this week, I’ve written about the  murder of Coptic Christians before as well as those being murdered in other  countries as well. Over two years ago in April 2010 my article “No  Big Deal, Just Some People in Africa, Right?” was about the murder of  Christians in Nigeria at the hands of Islamists.

This all started when someone posted a picture on my  Facebook page.

I read the denials of the stories, pictures and videos of the Crucifixions of  the Egyptian Coptic’s and decided to set the record straight.

One individual posted a comment under this picture on my Facebook page,

this isn’t in Egypt. stop telling lies about EGYPT. you jews will never  remove hatred from your hearts to EGYPT

The National Post reported that none of these stories were true either.  Author Jonathan Kay wrote an article  on August 22 that “Egypt’s “crucifixion” hoax becomes an instant Internet myth”.  He starts his article with,

Have you heard the one about how Christians are being nailed up on crucifixes  and left to die in front of the Egyptian presidential place?

It’s a story worth dissecting – not because it’s true (it isn’t), but because  it is a textbook example of how the Internet, once thought to be the perfect  medium of truth-seeking, has been co-opted by culture warriors as a weapon to  fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends.

“Fire up the naïve masses with lies and urban legends”, really? Well Mr. Kay  I suggest some light reading for you. It’s this year’s Annual Report from the  U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

The cover of the report shows a similar picture to the one I chose for my  story. You know the one, where “nearly 3,000 Egyptian mourners gathered in honor  of Coptic Christians who were among 25 people murdered during a demonstration  over an attack on a church.” I guess it was Photo-shopped.

But what is more interesting than the cover picture is who makes up this  agency and what the report  contains.

The website  U.S.  Commission on International Religious Freedom explains this on the ‘about’  page,

USCIRF is an independent, bipartisan U.S. federal government commission.  USCIRF Commissioners are appointed by the President and the leadership of both  political parties in the Senate and the House of Representatives. USCIRF’s  principal responsibilities are to review the facts and circumstances of  violations of religious freedom internationally and to make policy  recommendations to the President, the Secretary of State and Congress.

So let’s understand from the outset that those involved with this agency are  handpicked by the President and made up from both political parties. So for all  you naysayers out there argue with them, not me.

I saw this coming long before Hosni Mubarak was ousted. Back in February of  2011 while those in the Obama administration were saying that the Muslim  Brotherhood wouldn’t place a candidate in the Egyptian elections, I wrote in my article  “A Series of Unfortunate Re-Runs”,

The Muslim Brotherhood has been waiting for an opportunity like this for over  60 years and it is not something they are going to let slip by. Since the fall  of the Ottoman Empire in 1924 and the founding of the Muslim Brotherhood only 4  years later in 1928 there has never been an opportunity such as this for a  return of a Caliphate and you can bet your life the Brotherhood is working  harder than any other group or government to see that this happens.

So now that the Muslim Brotherhood leader, Mohamed Morsi has become the  President of Egypt is it really any surprise that we see Coptic Christians being  murdered for no other reason than they are Christian?

It appears to be no surprise to those that wrote the annual  report from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom either.  The report is 331 pages and from start to finish this report is a “who’s who” of  Islamic countries.

The second paragraph of page one starts off with Egypt,

In Egypt, an epicenter of the Arab Spring, hope turned to dismay, as human  rights conditions, particularly religious freedom abuses, worsened dramatically  under military rule.   Authorities continued to prosecute and sentence  citizens charged with blasphemy and allowed official media to incite violence  against religious minority members, while failing to protect them or to convict  responsible parties.  Law enforcement and the courts fostered a climate of  impunity in the face of repeated attacks against Coptic Christians and their  churches.  Rather than defending these minorities, military and security  forces turned their guns on them, using live ammunition against Coptic  Christians and other demonstrators, killing dozens and wounding hundreds in  Maspero Square.

Page two continues with just a few instances,

To be sure, religious freedom abuses harm members of religious majorities and  minorities alike.  But make no mistake:  across much of the world,  persons associated with religious minority communities often are harmed the  most.  Even when violations do not include or encourage violence, intricate  webs of discriminatory rules, regulations, and edicts can impose tremendous  burdens on these communities and their adherents, making it difficult for them  to function and grow from one generation to the next, potentially threatening  their existence.  For example, while an electoral democracy, Turkey fails  to legally recognize religious minority communities, such as the Alevis, the  Greek, Armenian, and Syriac Orthodox Churches, the Roman Catholic and Protestant  Churches, and the Jewish community.  Furthermore, Turkish officials meddle  in these communities‘ internal government and education and limit their worship  rights.

But as I stated earlier it is a “who’s who” of Islamic countries. The report  explains those countries that are of particular concern,

The first section highlights countries which USCIRF recommends that the State  Department designate as countries of particular concern (CPCs) under IRFA  (International Religious Freedom Act) for particularly severe violations of  religious freedom.

The countries that make up the “CPCs” are listed on page 4,

For the 2012 Annual Report, USCIRF recommends that the Secretary of State  designate the following 16 countries as CPCs: Burma, the Democratic People‘s  Republic of Korea (North Korea), Egypt, Eritrea, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan,  the People‘s Republic of China, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Tajikistan, Turkey,  Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam.

Those countries that you would expect to see on this list are not mentioned  are because they are already listed as “CPCs”,

Afghanistan, Belarus, Cuba, India, Indonesia, Laos, Russia, Somalia,  Venezuela

The report then writes a chapter for each country of concern, but for this  article I am concentrating on Egypt since that appears to be the source of these  “internet myths”.

On page 50 of the report are the agencies “Findings” in Egypt,

FINDINGS: Over the past year, the Egyptian transitional government continued  to engage in and tolerate systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of  freedom of thought, conscience and religion or belief.

Serious problems of discrimination, intolerance, and other human rights  violations against members of religious minorities, as well as disfavored  Muslims, remain widespread in Egypt. Violence targeting Coptic Orthodox  Christians increased significantly during the reporting period.  The  transitional government has failed to protect religious minorities from violent  attacks at a time when minority communities have been increasingly  vulnerable.  This high level of violence and the failure to convict those  responsible continued to foster a climate of impunity, making further violence  more likely.  During the reporting period, military and security forces  used excessive force and live ammunition targeting Coptic Christian  demonstrators and places of worship resulting in dozens of deaths and hundreds  of injuries.  The government also continued to prosecute, convict, and  impose prison terms on Egyptian citizens charged with blasphemy.   Implementation of previous court rulings – related to granting official identity  documents to Baha‘is and changing religious affiliation on identity documents  for converts to Christianity – has seen some progress but continues to lag,  particularly for Baha‘is. In addition, the government has not responded  adequately to combat widespread and virulent anti-Semitism in the  government-controlled media.

Understanding that this report was published in February of this year a lot  more deaths have occurred during the last 6 months. As noted in the above  section of the report,

This high level of violence and the failure to convict those responsible  continued to foster a climate of impunity, making further violence more  likely.

Unfortunately they were correct. The report continues,

Religious freedom conditions have not improved in most areas and attacks  targeting religious minorities have continued.  In 2011, violent sectarian  attacks, targeting primarily Coptic Orthodox Christians, have resulted in nearly  100 deaths, surpassing the death toll of the previous 10 years combined.   During the transitional period, the lack of adequate security in the streets has  contributed to lawlessness in parts of the country, particularly in Upper  Egypt.

Read more at Family Security Matters

FamilySecurityMatters.orgContributing  Editor Gadi  Adelman  is a freelance writer and lecturer on the history of  terrorism and  counterterrorism. He grew up in Israel, studying terrorism and  Islam for 35  years after surviving a terrorist bomb in Jerusalem in which 7  children were  killed. Since returning to the U. S., Gadi teaches and lectures  to law  enforcement agencies as well as high schools and colleges. He can be  heard  every Thursday night at 8PM est. on his own radio show “America Akbar”  on Blog  Talk Radio.  He can be reached through his website gadiadelman.com.

Watch this dramatic video showing the suffering of the Egyptian Copts posted by Walid Shoebat:

 

The Obama Administration’s War on Persecuted Christians

By Raymond Ibrahim:

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… (emphasis added).

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-Va):

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 Post continues:

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).

Read more at Front Page

Related article:

Bulletin of the Persecution of Christians June 28 – July 30, 2012 (Political Islam)

State Department Purges Section on Religious Freedom from Its Human Rights Reports

By Pete Winn:

(CNSNews.com) – 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 cover 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 and instead referred  the public to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – a full  two years behind the times – or to the annual report of the U.S.  Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was released last September and covers events in 2010 but not 2011.

Leonard Leo, who recently completed a term as chairman of the USCIRF,  says that removing the sections on religious freedom from the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Roghts is  a bad idea.

Since 1998, when Congress created USCIRF, the State Department has  been required to issue a separate yearly report specifically on International Religious  Freedom.

But a section reporting on religious freedom has also always been included in the State Department’s legally required annual country-by-country reports on human rights–that is, until now.

And this is the first year the State Department would have needed to report on the effect the Arab Spring has had on religious freedom in the Middle East–had its reports, as always before, included a section on religious freedom.

“The commission that I served on has some real concerns about that  bifurcation, because the human rights reports receive a lot of  attention, and to have pulled religious freedom out of it means that  fewer people will obtain information about what’s going on with that  particular freedom or right. So you don’t have the whole picture because  they split it up now,” Leo told CNSNews.com.

Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Farr says it’s possible that the move to totally  separate religious freedom from the human rights reports could simply be a bureaucratic maneuver.

But another possibility is much more likely.

“The other possibility is the Obama administration is downplaying international religious freedom,” Farr said.

Farr, who served in the State Department under both Presidents Clinton  and George W. Bush, was the first director of the Office of  International Religious Freedom.

“I mean, it is important to note here that I do not know–I have no  personal knowledge of the logic that went into removing religious  freedom from the broader human rights report; but I also have observed  during the three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration that the  issue of religious freedom has been distinctly downplayed,” Farr said

Currently a visiting associate professor of religion and world  affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown  University, Farr directs the program on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy  and the Project on Religious Freedom at the Berkley Center for  Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown.

He told CNSNews.com that far more resources have been allocated by  the Obama administration to other human rights issues than have been  directed toward religious freedom.

“(T)he ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, for  example, who is the official charged by the law to lead U.S. religious  freedom policy, did not even step foot into her office until  two-and-a-half years were gone of a four-year administration,” he said.

“Whereas other human rights priorities of the administration, such as  the ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, were in place within  months. So that tells you something.

“It tells me that this has never been a priority for the Obama administration, and it’s not now,” he said.

“So it seems to me plausible to at least question the removal of  religious freedom from the human rights report, although, as I say,  there could be other explanations, less insidious, if you will.”

Missing: Murdered Christians and the Aftermath of the Arab Spring

The 2010 International Religious Freedom  Report is notably missing some important information–the two-year old report contains no mention of the violence,  murder and mayhem directed at Christians and other minorities in Muslim  nations in Africa and the Middle East since the Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

However, the less well-known 2012 report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom does take note of the Arab Spring.

– In 2011, in Egypt, Coptic Christians were among 25 people  massacred during a demonstration over an Islamist attack on a church.

– In the month of January 2012 alone, the Islamist group Boko Haram  was responsible for 54 deaths in Nigeria – 42 of them Catholics killed  at church on Christmas Day. In 2011, it killed more than 500 people and  burned down or destroyed more than 350 churches in 10 northern states of  Nigeria.

Former USCIRF Chairman Leo says the fact is the administration no longer makes the proper  distinction between freedom of religion and freedom of worship.

Read more at CNS NEWS

Related articles:

Muslim adviser ‘blocks Obama meeting with Christian leader’ (WND 10/29/11)

Barton Calls Obama ‘America’s Most Biblically-Hostile U.S. President’ (The Blaze 3/8/12)

 

Jasser’s Appointment Riles Islamists

IPT News
He has different views than most of the national Muslim advocacy groups featured in the media, and for that, Islamist groups have worked to keep Zuhdi Jasser from gaining traction in the national debate over religion and extremism.

USCIRF Concerned about Saudi Blogger and Welcomes Release of Long-Held Religious Prisoner

February 14, 2012 | by USCIRF

Hamza Kashgari

The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) expressed grave concern today for Hamza Kashgari, a 23-year-old blogger in Saudi Arabia who could face apostasy charges that carry the death penalty.

Earlier this month, Kashgari allegedly posted comments on his Twitter account that some in the Saudi religious establishment and public consider blasphemous.  After receiving numerous death threats, Kashgari fled the Kingdom last Thursday for Malaysia. Malaysian authorities arrested him and this past Sunday deported him back to Saudi Arabia, where Saudi authorities immediately detained him.  A committee of senior Saudi clerics appointed by Saudi King Abdullah reportedly declared Kashgari to be an apostate.  According to reports, King Abdullah previously had called for Kashgari’s arrest and a trial.   

“Mr. Kashgari should not be charged with any crime.  Laws against apostasy and blasphemy violate the internationally-guaranteed individual rights to freedom of religion and expression and, as evidenced by this case, exacerbate religious intolerance, discrimination, and violence and lead to grave human rights abuses,” said USCIRF chair Leonard Leo.
 
In an unrelated case, King Abdullah last week pardoned Hadi Al-Mutif, an Ismaili Muslim man who had been one of the longest held religious prisoners in the world. 
 
“Hadi Al-Mutif had been in prison since 1994 on apostasy charges for an offhanded remark he made as a teenager.  For years, USCIRF had pushed for Al-Mutif’s release with high-level Saudi officials.  While USCIRF welcomes his release, Hadi suffered tremendously during his 18 years in prison, alleging physical and emotional abuse, in addition to his poor physical and mental health.  We wish him a full recovery and reintegration into society,” said Leo.
 
“The Saudi government should release Hamza Kashgari and other prisoners of conscience held on blasphemy and other charges on the basis of religion or belief,” said Leo.
 
Since 2004, the U.S. State Department has designated Saudi Arabia a “country of particular concern,” or CPC, for engaging in systematic, ongoing, and egregious violations of religious freedom, a designation that USCIRF has recommended since 2000. 

 

Silent Night For Christians In Afghanistan And Iraq

IBD Editorials:

 

Religious Freedom: As our nation celebrates Christmas, Christians in the nations we shed blood and treasure for to establish democracy face extinction. For Christians in Iraq and Afghanistan, it may be the last Christmas ever.

Christianity faces the threat of actual extinction in Iraq and Afghanistan as a consequence of systematic, sustained and sometimes violent persecution, according to the chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.

According to USCIRF head Leonard Leo in an interview with CNSNews.com, the Iraqi government has not taken adequate steps to protect Christians or prosecute those who attack them. The precipitate U.S. withdrawal from Iraq and the return of sectarian violence may leave Iraqi Christians in the cross hairs of Iraqi extremists.

“I’m very, very concerned about what will happen after our presence is completely gone,” Leo said, “and I don’t know how we continue to put pressure on the Iraqi government and on the security forces and others in Iraq to protect the Christians in the absence of any presence.”

Persecution of and violence against Christians in Iraq has caused a modern-day exodus. “Half or more of the pre-2003 Iraqi Christian community is believed to have left the country, with Christian leaders warning that the consequence of this flight may be the end of Christianity in Iraq,” USCIRF said in its annual report.

“In 2003, there were thought to be 800,000 to 1.4 million Chaldean Catholics, Assyrian Orthodox, Assyrian Church of the East members, Syriac Orthodox, Armenians (Catholic and Orthodox), Protestants and Evangelicals in Iraq. Today, community leaders estimate the number of Christians to be around 50,000.”

For Christians in Iraq, Christmas 2011 was indeed a silent night as Christmas celebrations were subdued lest they provoke a repeat of an October attack on Our Lady of Salvation in Baghdad in which 68 people were murdered, including two priests. The Islamic State of Iraq, an al-Qaida-linked group, took credit for that attack and vowed a campaign of violence against Christians wherever they are.

The Iraqi church bombing was followed by a series of targeted attacks on Christian homes by bombers who clearly knew every Christian address. Christians were also shot to death in Baghdad and Mosul, while 70 Christian students were injured by a roadside bomb attack on a convoy of buses taking them to a university in Mosul.

USCIRF has asked the State Department to officially name Iraq as a “country of particular concern” for the lack of religious freedom there. But the State Department, concerned these days with the rights of gays and lesbians abroad, has declined to do so.
 

The situation in Afghanistan isn’t any better. In Afghanistan, Leo says, a constitution that was drafted with the help of the United States government has effectively given the Afghan government license to deny religious liberty to people who adhere to minority faiths, including Christianity.

“In the past year,” says the USCIRF report, “the small and vulnerable Christian community experienced a spike in government arrests, with Christians being detained and some jailed for the crime of apostasy.”

According to the State Department, the last public Christian church in Afghanistan was razed in March 2010.

That there is in fact an organized effort by Islamofascists to drive Christians and Christianity out of the Middle East, out of the heart of Islam, cannot be denied. Some, however, would like to tap dance around the obvious in the name of political correctness.

It can be seen in the ruins of the Talbiya Coptic Christian Church in the Egyptian port city of Alexandria. Twenty-one Christians attending a New Year’s Mass were killed with 97 people, mostly Christians, injured after a car bomb detonated outside.

As we talk about winning hearts and minds, we need to keep Christians who are being persecuted today as in ancient times in our hearts and minds.

 
 

Silencing the Watchdogs of Religious Freedom: Durbin’s War on the USCIRF

The United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) is the one agency left “who is independent and still-effective watchdog for religious liberty – and the most trusted and important American voice for those being denied it.”
The reprehensible Senator Dick Durbin is the one Senator holding up funding to keep USCIRF open. The deadline is the end of the day on Saturday December 16. Call his office (202) 224-2152 and let him know how you feel!

Frank Gaffney has the details of the despicable deal Senator Durbin is trying to make in exchange for his vote on funding.

By Frank Gaffney Jr. at Canada Free Press:

We have been hearing a lot about the Muslim Brotherhood lately – and none of it is good news.  Get used to it.  With the Brotherhood’s ascendancy in the Middle East, North Africa, Turkey and beyond, the world is going to be subjected to a crash course in Islamist supremacism – and what it means for the rest of us.

We were on notice even before the Egyptian elections in which the Muslim Brotherhood (MB) and their allies secured upwards of sixty percent of the votes in that country’s new, post-Mubarak parliament – and the murderous violence towards Coptic Christians that preceded them.  A reminder came on December 7th, when a three-judge panel of the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals unanimously affirmed convictions of leaders of the MB-associated Holy Land Foundation.  The earlier trial in 2008 did much to expose the totalitarian, supremacist nature and seditious objectives of that group, elsewhere and here in the United States.

Notably, evidence introduced (uncontested by the defense) in that case by federal prosecutors established that the Brotherhood has established myriad front organizations, including the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR) and the North American IslamicTrust (NAIT), to pursue what it calls “civilization jihad.”  This is a stealthy form of holy war, designed to “eliminate and destroy Western civilization from within…by their hands [i.e., those of the infidels].”

The Obama administration has greatly facilitated the efforts of such organizations to penetrate and influence the government of the United States.  To cite but one example, on December 12-14, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is convening a meeting with representatives of the Brotherhood’s multinational official counterpart, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC).  As Phyllis Chesler points out in a brilliant essay published by PJMedia () entitled “The End of Religious Freedom,” the OIC’s stated purpose for this meeting is to counter: “media campaigns and fabrications made by some quarters in non-member states regarding the mistreatment of non-Muslim minorities and communities in the OIC member states under the slogans of religious freedoms and so on.”

Put simply, the Muslim Brotherhood, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and other adherents to the Islamist politico-military-legal doctrine of shariah seek to impose their practice of “blasphemy” laws worldwide.  Accordingly, they seek to suppress information that “offends Muslims” or otherwise puts them, their agenda or their behavior in a negative light – no matter how accurately.

In recent years, the U.S. government has increasingly conformed to what amount to shariah blasphemy laws.  A singular exception has been the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).  Since its inception by act of Congress in 1998, the unpaid commissioners have rendered incalculably important service monitoring and reporting on threats to freedom of religion emanating from Islamist and other sources.

USCIRF has, for example, documented the plight of Copts in Egypt and Christians and Jews in other parts of the Middle East.  They have exposed how non-shariah-adherent Muslims and “apostates” from Islam have been raped, tortured and killed for deviating from what is deemed to be the true faith by Brotherhood, OIC and like-minded forces.

The Commission has also helped expose how Saudi government-supplied textbooks used, among other places, in American madrassas, extol violent jihadism and intolerance for people of other faiths.  Interestingly, such texts explain three different ways homosexuals can be executed in conformity with shariah’s treatment of their behavior as a capital offense.

Now that Team Obama has made promoting the radical lesbian-gay-bisexual-transgender agenda what Mrs. Clinton calls a U.S. foreign policy priority,” one would think the administration would be grateful for the work the Religious Freedom Commission has done, among other things, to expose and demand changes in such Saudi textbooks.

Sen. Durbin is not only perfectly placed to do the deed stealthily.

To the contrary, the Obama administration has been working behind the scenes to do as its Islamist friends have demanded by shutting down the USCIRF.  It has enlisted for this purpose Senator Dick Durbin, the Senate’s Number 2 Democrat.  Sen. Durbin is not only perfectly placed to do the deed stealthily.  He has his own close associations with a number of the Brotherhood’s top fronts and operatives in his home state of Illinois, in Washington and elsewhere across the country.

As it happens, in addition to serving as the Majority Whip, Sen. Durbin is a member of both the Senate Foreign Relations and Appropriations Committees – the panels responsible for reauthorizing and funding the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom.  He has used his leadership and committee positions to place what amount to secret “holds” on legislation that would extend the life of the commission.

Consequently, unless something changes before the current government funding bill expires, our nation’s sole official, independent and still-effective watchdog for religious liberty – and the most trusted and important American voice for those being denied it – will go out of business on December 16th.

The Majority Whip’s role in this stealthy jihad against an agency that still dares to speak the truth to the Islamists’ power is all the more reprehensible since Senator Durbin frequently excoriates his colleagues’ use of secret holds.  In fact, he has cosponsored legislation to bar the practice.  Such rank hypocrisy simply adds to the venality of Sen. Durbin’s conduct in this matter.

So does the reported reason for the hold Senator Durbin has yet to acknowledge he is exercising against the USCIRF.  Evidently, he is trying to euchre members of the House of Representatives into earmarking funds for the federal government to purchase a state prison in Thompson, Illinois, that his home state can no longer afford to operate.

When the idea of a federal takeover of this facility was first floated last year, it ran into strenuous opposition on both sides of Capitol Hill.  Not only was the deal deemed to be unaffordable at a time of yawning federal deficits.  It turned out that the Obama administration and its allies in Illinois’ Democratic machine in Washington and Springfield state had in mind another, even more outrageous motivation: the Thompson prison could serve as the place to relocate terrorists currently held offshore at Guantanamo Bay, allowing Gitmo’s closure.

How many more reasons do the American people need to oppose and condemn Dick Durbin’s shenanigans?

In other words, Sen. Durbin is seeking to secure by stealth an earmark that would overturn existing legislation barring the relocation of such detainees inside the United States – and the real risk that they would, thereby, be granted constitutional rights, access to civilian U.S. courts and perhaps be set loose in our country by irresponsible federal judges.  How many more reasons do the American people need to oppose and condemn Dick Durbin’s shenanigans?

Voters in Illinois and elsewhere need to call out Senator Durbin’s contribution to the stealth jihad – both with his office and, in the case of other Senators’ constituents, those of their own representatives.  America needs to safeguard religious freedoms against all enemies, foreign and domestic.  To that end, we must strengthen, not garrote, the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom – the one official entity still doing that vital mission.

 Frank J. Gaffney, Jr. is the President of the Center for Security Policy and a columnist for the Washington Times. He is also a sponsor of Sharia Awarenes Action Network.