Skip to content
Catholic Online Logo

By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

3/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

Religious Freedom should be at the heart of American foreign and domestic policy.

When the U.S. demands respect for human rights, including religious freedom, we are not making any unreasonable demands. Egypt is not moving ahead toward greater democracy if 84% of Egyptians still believe-as they have told the Pew poll-that anyone who leaves Islam should be killed.

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

Highlights

By Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison

Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)

3/18/2013 (1 year ago)

Published in Politics & Policy

Keywords: Middle East, Morsi, anti-Christian, religious freedom, Coptic Christians, Muslim brotherhood, Marco Rubio, US Aid, Islamic Jihad, Human rights, Ken Blackwell, Bob Morrison


WASHINGTON, DC (Catholic Online) - If you follow the annual reports of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), you will read a sad catalog of persecution and discrimination against Christians, Jews, and members of other religions around the world.
 
It goes almost without saying that persecution in nightmare places like North Korea is horrendous. Although the media too often treats North Korea like a clown show-especially when highlighting the visits of unthinking Americans like Dennis Rodman-the brutal realities are no joke. In North Korea, it is estimated, that between 100,000 and 200,000 Christians are imprisoned by a regime that still lauds the Communist mass-murderer Josef Stalin. In North Korea, you can be shot in the head for owning a Bible.
 
But North Korea is at least recognized as a rogue state, an enemy of human rights, and a threat to world peace. The USCIRF report for 2012 has documented troubling developments in Egypt. There was much excitement in the Western media over the toppling first of the dictator in Tunisia, followed by the Feb. 2011 ouster of longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. Journalists hailed these events as a new "Arab Spring."
 
Where did that expression come from? Ironically, many journalists harkened back to the "Prague Spring" of 1968. In that year, liberalizing Czech party leaders sought to give their people "Communism, but with a human face."

They managed instead to get their country overrun by Soviet tanks. In the Kremlin, Czech party leader Anton Dubcek was chained to a wall. When he messed in his pants, a drunken Soviet party boss Leonid Brezhnev came in to jeer at him. Communism maintained with brute force its inhuman face.
 
Is the Arab Spring destined to follow the same bloody path? Indications so far are not good. That is why the latest move by Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fl.) makes so much sense. Sen. Rubio wants to condition U.S. aid to Egypt on measurable indicators of government action there to protect religious freedom.

Sen. Rubio is offering an amendment to the 2013 spending bill that would cut U.S. aid to Egypt now ruled by the Muslim Brotherhood (MB). The amendment demands concrete demonstration that the MB will respect religious freedom and property rights of its own people.
 
The Rubio Amendment, if adopted, would send a strong message to Mohamed Morsi, the MB's front man in Cairo, that the United States taxpayers will no longer underwrite persecution of Coptic Christians, Evangelicals, Jews, and other minorities in the Arab world's largest country. 
 
Sen. Rubio told the Washington Times:"Our foreign aid is not charity. Our foreign aid is used to advance our foreign policy interests. We have a right to be concerned."
 
We have a lot of educating to do, and not only in Cairo. When Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice intervened with Afghan ruler Hamid Karzai in 2006 in an effort to prevent the U.S.-backed government in Kabul from killing Christian convert Abdul Rahman, she announced success when Karzai let the threatened man "escape" to Italy in the dead of night. Ms. Rice said Afghanistan is a young democracy and we look forward to the day when all Afghans enjoy the full range of religious and civil rights.
 
With all due respect, that's the wrong answer, Madam Secretary. For a man to have to flee for his life is not a success. And to call any country that forces him to flee a young democracy is an error. Afghanistan was not a democracy then. It is not a democracy now. It is unlikely that Afghanistan will resemble anything like a democracy when U.S. forces leave in 2014.
 
When the U.S. demands respect for human rights, including religious freedom, we are not making any unreasonable demands. Egypt is not moving ahead toward greater democracy if 84% of Egyptians still believe-as they have told the Pew poll-that anyone who leaves Islam should be killed.
 
It will not matter if 99% of Egyptians, or Afghans or Iraqis, vote if by their votes they install a murderous regime. Does anyone think that the Nazi regime was legitimate because Germans voted to affirm Hitler's assumption of dictatorial powers in 1934? You cannot vote on who gets shot. You cannot use the voting machines of democracy to kill democracy.
 
We should shed no tears for Hosni Mubarak. His iron-fisted rule of thirty-one years was a purchased peace. He agreed not to make war on Israel, but his regime circulated throughout the Arabic-speaking world a multi-part TV drama series based on the long-discredited Protocols of the Elders of Zion.
 
That libelous attack on the Jews was first concocted by the Okhrana, the Tsar's infamous secret police. And Mubarak used it the same way the tsars used it: Keep the wolves at bay by throwing the Jews off the sled.
 
Still, as bad as Mubarak was, Morsi is on course to be worse. That's why the Rubio Amendment should be adopted. It's why religious freedom should be at the heart of American foreign and domestic policy.
 
Egypt and the other countries in the Mideast will never be stable, much less democratic, if they murder their neighbors who worship differently. U.S. tax dollars should not buy the Egypt's MB and its military the armored personnel carriers they use to run over Christians.

-----
Ken Blackwell and Bob Morrison are senior Fellows at the Family Research Council in Washington. D.C.

---


Pope Francis: end world hunger through 'Prayer and Action'


2014 - Distributed by THE NEWS CONSORTIUM

Pope Francis Prayer Intentions for January 2015
General Intention:
That those from diverse religious traditions and all people of good will may work together for peace.
Missionary Intention: That in this year dedicated to consecrated life, religious men and women may rediscover the joy of following Christ and strive to serve the poor with zeal.



Comments


More Politics & Policy

Keith A Fournier: Why I Will Not Give Up On Politics Watch

Image of

By Keith A Fournier

Like many in the United States, I am trying to make sense out of what is happening to this Nation which we love. The temptation, so clearly present in our circles, is to fall into two separate approaches, both of which can lead to error. One is to completely ... continue reading


TIME TO PAY: Uninsured in 2014 will have to pay tax penalty Watch

Image of Take a married couple with $100,000 in income - their bill comes to $797, according to the Tax Policy Center ACA penalty calculator.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It is time to pay the piper. If you disregarded signing up for Obamacare in 2014 or failed to make payments - you are going to have to pay a fine. As Americans sit down in coming weeks to compile their tax returns, they will have to contend with Obamacare's ... continue reading


'You have to know who your enemy is' Downplaying and mislabling Islamic extremism is a dangerous path for the U.S. Watch

Image of Islamic extremism is terrorism, it is not simply criminal conduct.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

The Obama administration refuses to acknowledge the terrorism attacks around the world for what it is, Islamic extremism. This blatant disregard of the real problem can be harmful for the country. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Secretary of State, John Kerry was ... continue reading


Striking back at the Dems! Koch brothers allocate nearly ONE BILLION DOLLARS for 2016 presidential race Watch

Image of David Koch, one of the leaders of a political action network that has the monetary power to spend hundreds of millions on political races.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

It seems the Koch brothers have no plans to ease their political spending habits in 2015, as top officials in the brothers' political network released a budget of $889 million to be spent on the vast political network ahead of the 2016 presidential race. LOS ... continue reading


Turning off spigot: Obama aims to possessively guard oil-rich Alaskan coastline from development Watch

Image of Alaska's coastal plain has been at the center of a fight between conservationists and advocates of greater energy exploration in the U.S. for a very long time.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Just because there's been relief at the corner gas pump doesn't mean that the United States won't need any more oil in the near future - far from it. As such, many are infuriated that U.S. President Barack Obama seeks to designate the vast majority of Alaska's ... continue reading


And the field gets thicker! Rubio joins Bush, Romney, Walker and Christie as 2016 presidential hopeful Watch

Image of Marco Rubio, a Senator from Florida may be crafting a campaign team for a potential 2016 bid.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

A fifth Republican is making noise that could be interpreted as intent to make a 2016 presidential run. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - Florida Senator Marco Rubio is possibly gathering a campaign team, planning out a slew of state visits starting in February, and ... continue reading


Scott Walker enters the 2016 Republican nomination ring with speech attacking Obama's failed policies Watch

Image of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker gave a speech in Iowa, a move which may put him in the running for the Republican nomination.

By Matt Waterson (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney may have been the first Republicans to make it clear-though still unofficial-that they intend to run for the Republican nomination in 2016, but ... continue reading


Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney hold summit meeting: Are they plotting election strategy? Watch

Image of There have been stories in a number of outlets that Jeb Bush proposed the meeting weeks ago, in order to thank Mitt Romney for his past party leadership.

By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

Former governors Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are having a summit meeting. The meeting will be in Utah. Speculation swirls about what the meeting will entail. Some GOP party officials hope "the two former governors will find a way to avoid competing presidential campaigns ... continue reading


An average of 27 late-term abortions happen every day in the United States; the bill to protect the unborn from this cruel pain was dramatically dropped by the GOP Watch

Image of 10,000 babies are killed each year through late-term abortions.

By Abigail James (NEWS CONSORTIUM)

An estimated 10,000 unborn babies are killed each year through late-term abortions. This averages out to 27.4 abortions taking place 20 weeks or later per day or 1.14 per hour, according to the Congressional Budget Office. LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Pain ... continue reading


Father Frank Pavone on Pope Francis, Politics, and Catholic Social teaching Watch

Image of Fr Frank Pavone - Fidelity to the Gospel requires that we be able to prophetically challenge the positions of all political parties, and that our loyalty to Christ and his teaching supersedes our loyalty to any political party, although such loyalties are not per se incompatible with being a Christian.

By Matt C. Abbott

It remains true that the right to life is the most fundamental right and that the duty to defend it is a more urgent priority than other social justice priorities. But to what extent that fact helps or hurts a political party depends upon the party, and his ... continue reading


All Politics & Policy News

Newsletters

Newsletter Sign Up icon

Stay up to date with the latest news, information, and special offers

Daily Readings

Reading 1, Hebrews 10:19-25
19 We have then, brothers, complete confidence ... Read More

Psalm, Psalms 24:1-2, 3-4, 5-6
1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all ... Read More

Gospel, Mark 4:21-25
21 He also said to them, 'Is a lamp brought in to be ... Read More

Saint of the Day

Saint of the Day for January 29th, 2015 Image

Sts. Sarbelius & Barbea
January 29: Two martyrs, brother and sister, who were put to death at Edessa ... Read More

Inform, Inspire & Ignite Logo

Find Catholic Online on Facebook and get updates right in your live feed.

Become a fan of Catholic Online on Facebook


Follow Catholic Online on Twitter and get News and Product updates.

Follow us on Twitter