The State Department’s Skewed Standards

Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center, a Judith Friedman Rosen Writing Fellow at the Middle East Forum and a CBN News contributor. He is the author of Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians (2013) and The Al Qaeda Reader (2007). 


Earlier this month in the West Bank, “settlers attempted to burn two mosques, and vandalized an IDF base as part of the latest ‘price tag’ attacks.  The attacks came in response to the demolition of three buildings earlier this week in the West Bank settlement outpost Migron, 14 kilometers north of Jerusalem.”

Accordingly, on September 9, the U.S. State Department unequivocally denounced these attacks, calling on those responsible to “be arrested and subject to the full force of the law.”  Likewise, when another mosque and copies of the Koran were burned earlier, the State Department said “We condemn this attack in the strongest terms and call for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.”

This prompts the following question: If the State Dept. is concerned over places of worship, why do the epidemic attacks on churches in the Muslim world go largely unnoticed?

To be sure, the State Dept. has condemned the bloodiest and most savage of church attacks, including the Baghdad, Iraq attack, which saw at least 58 Christian butchered, and the New Year church bombing in Alexandria, Egypt, which left 23 Christians dead.

Yet one searches in vain for formal condemnations, let alone acknowledgment, of the majority of church attacks, most of which, if not as deadly as Alexandria or Baghdad, are much more brutal than the West Bank mosque attacks.

For instance, where is the condemnation for the attack in Sool, Egypt, when a Muslim mob torched a church, even as an imam called for Muslims to “Kill all the Christians?” As for the Imbaba attacks in Egypt, when Muslim throngs torched three churches and killed several Copts, the U.S. embassy issued a statement condemning “sectarian violence” while not once mentioning that any churches were attacked.

During last month alone, two churches were set aflame in Indonesia, two churches were bombed in Iraq, three churches were bombed in Nigeria.  Of all these, only one of the Iraq church attacks—which left 23 worshippers seriously injured—received a condemnation by the State Dept.

Of course, the issue here is not that the State Dept. needs to condemn all church attacks (who can keep up with their frequency?); nor do these statements amount to much more than mere words, anyway.  Even so, as words, they offer some revelations.

First, the obvious: It seems that the State Dept. mentions attacks on churches only, but not always, when people are killed, whereas the condemnation of the West Bank mosques have only to do with attacks on buildings.  In other words, attacks on churches around the Muslim world that do not necessarily lead to the loss of life, are ignored, whereas attacks on West Bank mosques that do not target or kill Muslims are strongly condemned.

The language of the condemnations is also telling: the Alexandria attack killing 23 Copts doesn’t even call on bringing the perpetrators to justice; Kirkuk is treated with “confidence”:  “We are confident the Government of Iraq will take all necessary steps to bring the people responsible for this horrific act to justice.”

Contrast this with the language used when Jewish settlers vandalize mosques, but kill no one in the process: then the U.S. unequivocally calls for them to “be subject to the full force of the law.”

Yet even now, it might be argued that one is stretching the issue, focusing too much on words and statements.  Perhaps—until one realizes that many of the most oppressive Muslim nations just got a free pass from the State Dept.

Days ago, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the Annual Report on International Religious Freedom.  Amazingly, countries like Pakistan, notorious for making non-Muslim life a living hell, including through “blasphemy laws,” were not even cited as “countries of particular concern.”

In other words, the vast majority of Muslim nations persecuting their religious minorities do not, according to the Obama administration, count as countries that are “engaged in or tolerated particularly severe violations of religious freedom” (the definition of a “country of particular concern”).  Even Egypt—which this year alone has already seen over fifty Copts killed, not to mention the many churches burned or bombed—was not listed.

One would have hoped for a bit more objectivity and moral balance from the government of the United States, but such is the current state of affairs.

  • cpmondello

    lmao….seems like in all articles I read on this website, the author and commenters forgot to mention how Christianity is the reason for more bloodshed throughout history that Islam. You can say "Hitler was not a real Christian" all you want, but if you hold Christianity to that standard, you must say "9/11 was not done by real Muslims". If you allow yourself to accept both and all religions with having the ability to have extremists, you will agree with me, and many of the Founding Fathers of America: Christianity has been the cause of more bloodshed that Islam by a long shot. It wasnt the 'Sermon on the Mount' that allowed Christianity to become so widespread….

    "The United States of America should have a foundation free from the influence of clergy." ~ George Washington

    "Religious bondage shackles and debilitates the mind and unfits it for every noble enterprise." – James Madison

    "Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced one inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites." ~ Thomas Jefferson

    "The day will come when the mystical generation of Jesus, by the supreme being as his father in the womb of a virgin, will be classed with the fable of the generation of Minerva in the brain of Jupiter." ~ Thomas Jefferson wrote, in a letter to John Adams (April 11, 1823)

    "The Christian god is a three-headed monster, cruel, vengeful and capricious. If one wishes to know more of this raging, three-headed beast-like god, one only needs to look at the caliber of people who say they serve him. They are always
    of two classes: fools and hypocrites." ~ Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)

    "It is from the bible that man has learned cruelty, rapine, and murder, for the belief in a cruel god makes a cruel man, and the bible is a history of wickedness that has served to corrupt and brutalize mankind" ~ Thomas Paine (1737-1809)

    "All national institutions of churches whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit. … My own mind is my own church." ~ Thomas Paine 'The Age of Reason' (1794)

    “As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion; as it has in itself no character of enmity against the laws, religion, or tranquillity, of Mussulmen; and, as the said States never entered into any war, or act of hostility against any Mahometan nation, it is declared by the parties, that no pretext arising from religious opinions, shall ever produce an interruption of the harmony existing between the two countries.” ~ Tripoli of Barbary. Art. 11. – Authored by American diplomat Joel Barlow in 1796, the following treaty was sent to the floor of the Senate, June 7, 1797, where it was read aloud in its entirety and unanimously approved. John Adams, having seen the treaty, signed it and proudly proclaimed it to the Nation.

    "The world is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion". ~ Thomas Paine

    "The number, the industry, and the morality of the Priesthood and the devotion of the people have been manifestly increased by the total separation of the Church and the State." ~ James Madison a.k.a. 'The Father of the Constitution of the United States of America

    I suggest you ALL watch the following DVDs & Videos:

    'Imagine If All Atheists Left America': http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mbef07aQtB8

    'Constantines Sword': http://www.ConstantinesSword.com

    'Theologians Under Hitler: Gerhard Kittel, Paul Althaus and Emanuel Hirsch' <a href="http://(http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300038897)” target=”_blank”>(http://yalepress.yale.edu/book.asp?isbn=9780300038897). By Robert Ericksen "Robert Ericksen is a renowned historian of the
    Holocaust. His book Theologians Under Hitler (1985) was widely acclaimed, and was made into a documentary in 2004: ‘Theologians Under Hitler’ DVD: http://www.theocracywatch.org/theologians_hitler….. He maintains affiliations with the Humboldt Foundation and the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, and sits on the editorial board of Kirchliche
    Zeitgeschichte, an important German journal. He is currently professor of history at Pacific Lutheran University." (Quote source: http://www.amazon.com/Robert-P.-Ericksen/e/B001HP

    • Howard

      Are you about done? Because you sound a lot like a religious nut citing the authority of scripture and quoting the minutiae of various sacred texts, saints and religious scholars. Its no less annoying, not to mention boring, when you do it then when Billy Biblethumper does it.

      I liked it better when clowns like you spouted long quotations from Marx and Engels and recommended The Communist Manifesto. At least you were honest about the sources of the ideas that inspire you. Really, you haven’t done anything very clever and made your nonsense more palatable by quoting notable Americans instead of all that previous crap. Its a transparent attempt to use respected American historical figures to further causes they would never have supported.and stave off criticism of your ideas as it might appear to be disrespectful of those historical figures. Nice try though.

      The wall has fallen. The Soviet Union is gone. China has turned from communism and in spite of the extreme makeovers performed over the years Lenin is still dead.

      Time for you to take that great leap forward into the 1990′s.

      Oh, and in the 20th century more people were killed by true believers waving red banners than by either Christianity or islam.

  • eelawsonman

    Yeah, Cpmondello, so how does your atheist screed affect the truth that Boko Haram, Al Quaida, Egyptian Islamists, bus bombers, suicide bombers, underwear bombers, and your mother, (by giving birth to a twisted sophist liar like you) are killing innocent people worlwide today-right now, not in your dreams? Christians arent doing any killings now, and if they were, it would be against the commands of Jesus, whereas Muslims today, right now are doing many killings at the command Mohammed in the Koran. Lets deal with the present huh?