Editor's Note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison.
Al Ahram is an Egyptian newspaper. It reported last week on the killing of 36 Coptic Christian demonstrators in Cairo.
Millions of us have seen the pictures on our television screens of armored personnel carriers plowing into unarmed protestors, mowing them down. Those vehicles, and their drivers, are being funded in part by the United States . We are lavishly paying the Egyptian military regime.
The Obama administration welcomed last February’s ouster of longtime Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak. President Obama and Secretary Clinton have referred to the mass demonstrations in Egypt ’s capital as part of a new and more hopeful “Arab Spring.”
Well, is it? We now know the Muslim Brotherhood is increasing its influence daily in post-Mubarak Egypt . This international Islamist group is well versed in using terror and threats of terror to advance its political objectives. The Obama administration takes at face value any statements from the Muslim Brotherhood that it seeks to work within the recognized boundaries of civil, cultural, and political life. It does indeed. But it also keeps in reserve its mailed fist. It has influence with Egyptian masses, in part, because it is known to use terror against its opponents.
American taxpayers continue to underwrite Egypt ’s military regime. Why? We are constantly told that without them, things would be even worse for the Copts. Yes. They might be, like Egypt ’s Jews, driven out of their homeland.
Egyptian violence against Christians is intolerable. When peaceful demonstrators demanding only protection of the law are attacked, we see a complete breakdown of civil order. More than that, the fact that Egypt ’s Christians are being killed with impunity means there is no Arab Spring.
We need a thorough reassessment of our foreign policy goals. American Christians tax dollars are being used to support this madness. The Obama administration earmarked aid to Libya , even under Gaddafi. Now, his administration is helping Gaddafi’s opponents, ostensibly to bring in a democratic republic.
But the Libyan transition government—installed by NATO--refuses to give up the Lockerbie bomber. How likely is it they will establish a recognizable democracy, one that respects human rights?
The Obama administration is also pressing to topple Syria ’s ruler, Bashar al-Assad. We need have no sympathy for this brutal dictator, but has Mr. Obama contemplated what will happen to Syria’s Christian minority when Assad goes? Or is that question out of line for an administration bent on making NASA’s new mission one of boosting Muslims’ self-esteem?
President Barack Obama is building an unenviable record in foreign policy. He is the most anti-Israel president in our history and also, de facto, the most anti-Christian. He is washing his hands of the fate of millions of minority Christians in the Mideast . This cannot be beneficial to the United States or to the countries involved.
When Gen. Petraeus ordered the burning of Pashto language Bibles in Afghanistan , the justification was that Afghan Muslims would be enraged to see a Bible written in their own language. To allow such would endanger our troops and our mission in Afghanistan . But Gen. Petraeus was quick to condemn the burning of a single Koran in Florida by a foolish pastor in no way connected to the U.S. government.
Does the Obama administration know what it is helping to establish in Afghanistan? Do Americans realize what we are paying for? We know there are no churches left in Afghanistan . We know that Abdul Rahman had to be spirited out of the country under cover of darkness lest he be murdered by the government U.S. forces put in place in Kabul . Rahman’s crime? He converted to Christianity.
Is this what we are fighting for? Is this what we are being taxed for? The Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom states that “to compel a man to furnish contributions of money for the propagation of opinions which he disbelieves and abhors, is sinful and tyrannical.” That 1786 statute was a cornerstone of our own Great Republic . Jefferson and Madison worked in harness to achieve this Magna Carta of religious liberty. Has the U.S. Department of State forgotten who we Americans are?
Millions of Americans disbelieve and abhor what is being taught in Afghan schools, what is being done on the streets of Cairo , and what is likely to be done in Syria when Assad is toppled. Isn’t it time for a total reassessment of U.S. foreign polcy and aid?