We all know how tolerant radical Shari’a Muslims are toward Christians, especially when it comes to kidnapping, torture, hangings, and beheadings. As brutal as they are toward Western Christians, they are even worse (if that’s possible) toward Islamic converts. It’s also no secret that Shari’a based Islamic governments don’t like to be criticized for the iron veil of oppression by which they control their populations.
So in 2009 when an Iranian web publisher petitioned Sweden for asylum in order to escape political persecution from the strangulating Iranian government, one would think the welcome mat would have been laid out for the man. Unfortunately, asylum wasn’t granted.
A year later the Iranian did the ‘unthinkable’ and converted from Islam to Christianity, putting his life even further at risk. Again he petitioned Sweden for asylum, this time adding religious persecution to his desperate plea. Sadly, Sweden denied his request in 2011.
Having little recourse, he appealed the decision the next level. In January 2014 the Fifth Section of the European Court of Human Rights – in its infinite wisdom – found that ‘sending him back to Iran did not violate his right to life since Iranian authorities may have been unaware of his religious conversion.’ The decision further went on to ‘reason’ the Iranian man could probably avoid any danger (i.e. stay alive) by keeping his faith a ‘private matter’ (i.e. secret).
The Court’s incredibly naïve decision has been appealed to the Grand Chamber of the European Court on Human Rights, which hopefully is better informed about radical Islamic atrocities (or at least watches YouTube). And it looks like they are taking the case seriously because on Thursday the Grand Chamber granted Jubilee Campaign and Alliance Defending Freedom (ADF) the right to intervene in the case, F.G. v. Sweden by filing a brief. As a leader in the international struggle against religious persecution, Jubilee Campaign has been representing Christian converts from Iran for over fifteen years.
According to Ann Buwalda, Executive Director of Jubilee Campaign, “This case demonstrates the need for countries in Europe to more clearly understand the nature of cases involving converts to Christianity. The grounds given by Sweden for denying asylum to Sweden, failed to take into account internationally recognized standards.” Buwalda went on to say, “The joint brief submitted by ADF and Jubilee Campaign addresses the deficiencies and we trust the case decision will be overturned, thereby granting the applicant asylum in Sweden.”
Under Shari’a law, committing apostasy away from Islam is a capital offense punishable by death. Since Shari’a courts aren’t known for their judicial fairness and also Islamic regimes don’t like to be criticized for political doctrine, I’d say the Iranian man has two deadly strikes against him.
Aside from heaving the Christian man into the proverbial lion’s den, the European court apparently never heard of worshiping one’s faith openly in church or discussing religion with your friends or colleagues. But such abject indifference to the plights of Christians can also be found in our own deteriorating U.S. State Department led by our Muslim sympathizing administration.
Harsh reminders of Obama’s indifference are everywhere. From openly rebuking the rights of the Romeike family (fleeing Germany), to ignoring the horrific plight of Meriam Ibrahim Ishag (fleeing Sudan), to virtual inaction when 276 Nigerian schoolgirls were kidnapped from a Chibok Christian school, Obama has made it rather clear he’s not interested in defending religious (Christian) liberty. And that’s not even taking into consideration his unforgivable treatment of Israel.
Apparently, the world has learned little from history, including very recent history. One only has to look as far as the Internet to find beheadings and murders of tens of thousands of innocent people who’s only crime is their faith. So, it’s truly a sad day when a court of law declares that a person’s life ‘may be safe’ if they just keep their mouths shut and their religious beliefs a secret. Granted, I’m not an attorney, but it sure seems like sending this man back would be tantamount to negligent homicide.
As ADF Legal Counsel, Paul Coleman said, “The human rights situation for Christians in Iran has been well-documented, and there is little doubt that a Christian convert would face real risk of harm if he is forced to return to his country. Christians should be able to practice their faith openly without fearing for their lives.”
As Americans, we should take these words to heart because in the last two decades we have lost vast portions of our own rights of religious freedom and it’s a slippery slope we may not be able to recover from.
When the drafters of our precious U.S. Constitution wrote that citizens were free to exercise religious freedom, I’m fairly certain they didn’t give one rip about political correctness or atheistic fringe groups. More likely they intended that our inalienable rights (God-given) did (and would always) include the freedom to live our lives according to our faith. Hum, I wonder if anyone’s explained that to Eric Holder or the Ninth Circuit….