While Western diplomats wring their hands over trivial insults to Islam, a slow-motion genocide of Christians has been unfolding in the Muslim world. The latest attack occurred on Christmas day in Nigeria, where the terrorist sect Boko Haram bombed two Catholic churches in the towns of Abuja and Jos, killing at least 39 worshipers. This same group killed 32 Christians last Christmas Eve. In this year alone, Boko Haram has murdered 491 people.
The killings in Nigeria are just one example of continuous violent attacks on Christians and their churches. Yet our Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has been nearly silent about this war on Christianity. When the Egyptian military participated in the murder of 25 Egyptian Copts, her State Department rejected a request from the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom to put Egypt on its list of countries that violate religious freedoms. Instead, Secretary Clinton issued a generic warning to the generals ruling Egypt “to ensure that the fundamental rights of all Egyptians are respected, including the rights of religious freedom, peaceful assembly and the end of military trials for civilians, and that efforts be made to address sectarian tensions.” Compare this reflexive diplo-speak to her more passionate reaction to the recent beating of Egyptian women during a demonstration, one of whom was publicly stripped: “This systematic degradation of Egyptian women dishonors the revolution, disgraces the state and its uniform and is not worthy of a great people,” she said. Apparently, exposing a woman’s blue bra is a more heinous crime than running over a Copt’s head with a military vehicle.
In fact, our official spokesman for American views on foreign behavior hasn’t had much to say about a modern persecution of Christians redolent of those perpetrated by the Romans. Nor have we heard anything about the sectarian cleansing that has been going on for decades. Christians who date their presence in the Middle East to several centuries before Islam was created are fast disappearing from the region, choosing exile and emigration over harassment and murder. In Iraq, where American blood and treasure were spent to create “democracy” and “human rights,” eighteen priests and two bishops have been kidnapped, and the archbishop of Mosul murdered. In the last six years, mobs have attacked over 70 churches, 42 of them in Baghdad. In October 2010, attackers murdered 58 Christians during evening mass at the Syrian Catholic Cathedral in Baghdad. The Christian population, which once numbered 1.5 million, has dwindled to less than 150,000. The story is the same in Pakistan, Lebanon, the so-called West Bank, Syria, and across the Middle East. A region Christian for six centuries before the rise of Islam will soon be emptied of Christians.
And what has been Secretary Clinton’s response to this assault on Christians? A conference in December to implement the so-called “Istanbul Process,” itself the mechanism for implementing the U.N. Human Rights Council Resolution 1618 on religious stereotyping and “stigmatization.” That resolution was a diplomatic effort to keep the Organization of Islamic Cooperation’s ongoing efforts to globalize Islamic blasphemy laws law from impinging on free speech. Clinton no doubt thought she was finessing the OIC’s drive to censor speech about Islam, but the OIC saw the meeting differently: “The upcoming [Washington] meetings … [will] help in enacting domestic laws for the countries involved in the issue, as well as formulating international laws preventing inciting hatred resulting from the continued defamation of religions.” As the Hudson Institute’s Nina Shea reported, “By standing ‘united’ (as the OIC head put it in a Turkish Daily op-ed) with the OIC on these issues, America appears to validate the OIC agenda, thus demoralizing the legions of women’s rights and human-rights advocates, bloggers, journalists, minorities, converts, reformers and others in OIC states who look to the United States for support against oppression.” Having intimidated most of Europe into legally repressing opinions or even statements of fact about Islam, the OIC is obviously using “diplomacy” to pressure U.S. government officials into censoring themselves when it comes to Islam.
Of course, such self-censorship has long been taking place among government officials who take every opportunity to whitewash Islam’s tradition of violence and intolerance.