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 servicemonitoring 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 inother 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 whatMrs. 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.
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.
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 Gaffney Jr. is the founder and president of the Center for Security Policy and author of War Footing: 10 Steps America Must Take to Prevail in the War for the Free World .
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