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War on Christians is wrong flag for concern about Middle East repression

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FoxNews waved the Christian flag in a report today titled “Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says.” Well, that is what the subject “report” says. This must be one of the Congressional reports that some Congressional supporters actually read, or ordered produced to make the point? The author of the report is actually a lobby group called The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). Its purpose is to advocate and protect religious freedom.

“The U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), an independent federal advisory body the International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA) created to monitor religious freedom abuses abroad, today released its 2014 Annual Report, and recommended that the State Department add eight more nations to its list of “countries of particular concern,” defined under law as countries where particularly severe violations of religious freedom are tolerated or perpetrated: Egypt, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Vietnam.

USCIRF also recommended that the following eight countries be re-designated as “countries of particular concern,” or CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan.”

FoxNews added the flag: “Government report rips Obama.” Is it a government report or the USCIRF which isn’t really a government report after all. What matters are two things:

1. Muslim nations are becoming increasingly intolerant and radicalized to such an extent that even Tony Blair has sounded a global alarm.

2. Fox News and the right wing religious organizations take a whack at Obama, when working with the President to shape policy is more productive.

“Christians persecuted at alarming rate in Iran, Arab world, US report says

By Benjamin Weinthal

Published May 07, 2014

Christians are under siege in the Middle East, and the Obama administration is not doing enough to stop religious persecution by its allies, according to a new report from a bipartisan federal commission.

The report, from the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, faulted usual suspects Iran, Saudi Arabia and Pakistan, as well as North Korea. The number of Christians in the Middle East has plunged to just 10 percent of the overall population from more than 25 percent in 2011.

"While the Obama administration should continue to shine a spotlight on abuses through public statements, it also should impose targeted sanctions to demonstrate that there are consequences, too," Dwight Bashir, the commission's deputy director of policy and research, told "By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people. The United States should not be confronting such a scenario in the first place."

"By not utilizing an existing legislative tool, the United States risks sending the message that it prefers a nuclear deal to standing up for the rights of the Iranian people."''

Needed is broader support for equality, not just religious freedom. They are not always synonymous. To be certain, there is plenty of room for concern about the administration’s policy in addressing the Iranians and their nuclear development. However, American allies and the US are working the diplomatic and inspection process and so far it is moving forward on schedule. That means, some curbing is taking place.

As for other Middle Eastern countries including “allies” and enemies, the free world should be concerned that the core beliefs in Islam are incongruent with the values of free people. It isn’t just about democratic forms of government, it is about respect of all people and their freedoms. It is about equality for all. Islam does not accommodate equality for all and because the religion and governments based on it do not protect equality as the free world knows it, they are all enemies of the free world. On that point, the US and allies may have working relationships with Middle East nations, but that does not make them allies anymore than Russia is an allie. They neither allies nor friends. Obama’s treading lightly to avoid conflict and confrontation is his brand of diplomacy, and frankly that doesn’t work in the Middle East.


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