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Religious Liberty For Me But Not For Thee

As election results from Egypt pour in showing that Islamic extremists won over 60% of the vote (let that sink in for a moment) I am even more ardently convinced that the so-called “Democracy Project” emphasized by George W. Bush is a fool’s errand — no matter the soft-headed idealism (read naivete). One doesn’t allow savages to vote and expect the results to resemble what it took us well over a century to build. Foundations must be laid, generations must be primed before democracy and republicanism can flower. The starting point? Here it is two things… private property/free markets and freedom of religion (or freedom of conscience if you rather). I believe the latter is even more important because it encourages free markets and the other building blocks of liberty. It is the cornerstone.

Unbeknownst to me our government had been (since the late 1990s) investing money and legwork in the all-important task of spreading and encouraging the notion of religious liberty through the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCFR). Anyway… the fact that the Commission has been killed has gone unnoticed (by me and unreported by just about everybody). Who killed it? Why Senator Dick Durbin killed it.

Now funding a project to monitor and encourage religious liberty around the world is an arguable program in this economy, but it seems it would be more important than funding a pork barrel project at home — such as a prison to house Gitmo detainees in Illinois. So until we treat Islamic terrorists with kid gloves — Senator Durbin will hold up funding to this group and thus encourage the enabling of Islamists around the world to kill Christians, Jews, women, children, and others with impunity and in secret. Egypt will be a bloodbath — and while that can’t be laid fully at Senator Durbin’s feet — the shroud that will cover the coming slaughter in Egypt can in some ways be credited to him.

Phyllis Chesler at Pajamas Media has more on this here. Here’s a bit go rad the whole thinkg and follow her links.

Time has run out for the cause of worldwide religious freedom. On November 18, 2011, America chose not to extend any further lifeline to persecuted religious minorities around the planet. On that day, the U.S. government shut down the work of an important and unique American effort: the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Oddly enough, the mainstream media does not seem to have covered this story. I certainly did not know about it. Did you? The only article about this appeared at CNS News.

In 1998, the U.S. government passed the Religious Freedom Act and this commission was one of the results. Since then, it has sent delegations abroad to meet with minority religious leaders in Africa, the Middle East, and central Asia, and released reports about their work. In 2011, their Annual Report covered countries such as Afghanistan, Belarus, Burma, China, Cuba, Egypt, Eritrea, India, Indonesia, and Iran.

In 2011, Nina Shea, the head commissioner, presented testimony before members of Congress about Christian minorities under attack in Iraq and Egypt. In this hearing, Shea reported:

USCIRF has found serious, widespread, and longstanding human rights violations against religious minorities as well as disfavored Muslims. Confronted by these violations, the Egyptian government has failed to take the necessary steps to halt the discrimination and repression against Christians and other minorities. Too often, it has failed to punish the violators.

Shea discussed the New Year’s Day bombing in Alexandria, which led to the worst attack targeting Christians in a decade. Carefully, without saying that Muslims or the Egyptian Muslim police were the perpetrators, she refered to the “Coptic Christmas shooting that killed six innocent Christians in Naga Hammadi.” Over the last two years, the Egyptian government, media, and network of mosques have systematically engaged in violence and in the coverup of that violence against Christians.

In an interview with PJ Media, Shea said,

With the onslaught of the Arab Winter and the threat of newly politically empowered Islamists suppressing the freedoms of religious minorities and even carrying out religious cleansing campaigns against them, USCIRF is needed more than ever. Its voice carries official weight and it has vigorously and consistently raised it within and outside the government on behalf of a broad array of persecuted minorities and individuals around the world. At this time, USCIRF is winding down its work, as it is legally bound to do, since its authorization ends on December 16. As reported in the Congressional Quarterly, Senator Durbin of Illinois has blocked the USCIRF reauthorization for several months, reportedly in order to get an earmark to fund a prison in his state. He has been intractable. President Obama — who served with Mr. Durbin in the Senate before becoming president and who has expressed an interest in using the prison at issue for holding detainees from Guantanamo Bay – must speak up, if USCIRF is to continue. President Obama can make this happen and I appeal to him to do so.

3 comments to Religious Liberty For Me But Not For Thee

  • Rufus

    Floyd,

    I think the single change that gives me the most hope in Iraq is the number of women in their Parliament. As you have written vis a vis the U.S., once you allow Women Suffrage it alters the electorate and elections. I think that’s a hard genie to put back into the bottle.

    I think our biggest policy failure in Iraq was not socializing the oil. I’ve actually done the math and an equal share to all men and women over the age of 18 after we ousted Sadaam would have exceeded the current, median income. That would have instantly given all citizens power and would have instantly deputized all citizens in the mission of keeping the country safe from terrorism and getting the oil flowing. Make the shares non-transferrable. Reassess each year to account for folks turning 18 or dying. And, most importantly, make the payouts in as frequent an increment as possible, monthly hopefully, and make the people have to appear somewhere in person to get the cash. Otherwise people would extort shares from the weak.

    I think capitalism and even more importantly women’s rights are the two best weapons we have against Islam and Sh’ria. The revolutions have to come from within.

  • kishke

    I am even more ardently convinced that the so-called “Democracy Project” emphasized by George W. Bush is a fool’s errand

    Completely agree. I felt from the start that this should never have been our goal. We’d have been far better off dividing the country in three – Shia, Sunni and Kurds – and letting them fight each other playing them off against each other for the next few decades.

  • Mighty Skip

    Why bother with religious prosecution when foreign policy can be put to better use to advance the cause of homosexuality? I’m sorry I missed the open thread discussion yesterday, but in that vein the world is like 98% gay according to most people right? Religious people are suckers, unworthy of protection.

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