President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave, NW
Washington, D.C. 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Today, Christian Solidarity International (CSI) issued a Genocide Warning concerning the 12 million-plus members of endangered non-Muslim minorities in North Africa and the broader Islamic Middle East.
Conditions for genocide against non-Muslim communities exist in varying degrees throughout the region stretching from Pakistan to Morocco. The crisis of survival for non-Muslim communities is especially acute in Iraq, Syria, Egypt, Sudan, Iran and Pakistan. Saudi Arabia is already a “religiously cleansed” state.
CSI’s Genocide Warning reinforces similar alerts issued earlier this year by senior statesmen:
We cannot accept and thereby facilitate what looks more and more like a particularly perverse program of religious cleansing in the Middle East." – French President Nicholas Sarkozy, January 7, 2011.
"Massacres are taking place for no reason and without any justification against Christians. It is only because they are Christians. What is happening to Christians is a genocide.” – Former Lebanese President Amine Gemayal, January 3, 2011.
“The most recent developments [i.e., deadly Islamist attacks against Egyptian Christians in May 2011] fill us with dread. …The aim of the Islamists is to stoke up hatred and violence.” – Former Austrian Chancellor Wolfgang Schüssel, June 27, 2011.
Five months after the pogroms referred to by former Chancellor Schüssel, the U.S.-financed Egyptian army joined radical Islamists in attacking non-violent Christian demonstrators in Cairo, killing at least 25 people.
Most acts of Islamic supremacist violence against non-Muslim minorities receive little media attention in the United States. Take, for example, just a few of the cases that have come to the notice of CSI since the beginning of the so-called “Arab Spring”:
Egyptian Christian teenager, Ayman Nabil Labib - murdered by schoolmates after refusing to remove a cross necklace.
Iranian Pastor Yousef Nadarkhani - sentenced to death for having allegedly converted from Islam to Christianity.
Catholic priest, Fr. Mark Rybinski - murdered in Tunisia.
27-year-old Pakistani Christian nurse Shaista Samuel– raped by Muslims and subjected to pressure to convert to Islam.
Libyan Jew, David Gerbi - prevented from reopening the synagogue in Tripoli by Islamist mobs declaring: "There is no place for Jews in Libya!
CBS Reporter Lara Logan - sexually assaulted in Tahrir Square in Cairo by a mob of Muslim men chanting "Jew! Jew!"
Iraqi Christians Hanna Polos Emmanuel and Bassn Isho - kidnapped and shot dead near Kirkuk.
These and most other acts of violence against non-Muslims in the Islamic world are not, for the most part, committed by members of Al Qaida or related terrorist networks. Instead they are perpetrated by both state and non-state actors, many of whom are military allies of the United States. They are all inspired by a deep seated culture of Islamic supremacism - kindred in spirit to white supremacism and anti-Semitism.
Virulent, Sharia-based Islamic supremacism led in the 20th century to the eradication of once thriving Christian communities - Armenian, Greek and Syriac – in Turkey and to the demise of the ancient Jewish communities of the Arab world. The same genocidal dynamic is at work in the 21st century. It must be stopped now.
Christian Solidarity International urges you to present your administration's policy to halt the religious cleansing of North Africa and the broader Middle East in the 2012 State of the Union Address. At the center of this policy should be:
An appeal to the UN Secretary General for the issuance of a Genocide Warning and implementation of preventative measures on the basis of Security Council Resolution 1366 (2001),
The commitment of at least 15% of US funding pledged for the support of democratic transition in the region to be devoted to combating Islamic supremacism, and
A pledge to withhold U.S. funding for institutions that promote religious discrimination.
Mr. President, you spoke powerfully in support of universal human rights, including religious freedom, in your speech last May in response to the dramatic events of the “Arab Spring.” You declared:
“Our support for these principles is not a secondary interest. Today I want to make it clear that it is a top priority that must be translated into concrete actions, and supported by all of the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at our disposal.”
Now is the time, Mr. President, for concrete actions to prevent religious cleansing, and to support those actions with all the diplomatic, economic and strategic tools at the disposal of our government.
The pursuit of the United State’s strategic and economic interests in the Islamic world must not be at the expense of the lives and liberties of vulnerable religious minorities.
Dr. John Eibner