"If Nigeria’s most prominent Christian leaders view the ongoing violence as sectarian, the faithful communities who follow their lead may also embrace this view, adversely affecting tolerance and respect across religions."
There are too many things to be angry about in the US Commission on International Religious Freedom's annual report. It's hard to even know where to start.
Three of the Commission's members were appointed by Barack Hussein Obama. One was appointed by Nancy Pelosi. And its chair, Katrina Lantos Swett (Senator Lantos' creepy daughter with a failed political career as a Democratic candidate behind her) was appointed by Harry Reid.
The Commission on International Religious Freedom's annual report lists Tier 1 countries of special concern. Included on the list is Nigeria. Why?
Nigeria's government these days is fairly decent. Its big problem is that it is facing a genocidal war by the Muslim Boko Haram terrorist group affiliated with Al Qaeda. Boko Haram has destroyed countless churches and killed thousands of Christians in Nigeria. The response of the Nigerian government has been fairly restrained.
So why did Swett and the Commission feel the need to put Nigeria on the list as a Tier 1 country? Read it if you can stomach it.
Ongoing attacks and retaliations by Muslims and Christians in Nigeria’s violent, religiously and ethnically mixed Middle Belt has left more than 100 dead and dozens of properties destroyed since March of this year. This recent Muslim-Christian violence in Plateau State exposes the Nigerian government’s failure to effectively deal with a history of religiously-related violence that threatens the country’s stability.
“Religiously-related violence has led to more deaths in northern Nigeria than have Boko Haram attacks. The Nigerian government needs to end this entrenched violence and the culture of impunity,” said U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) Chair Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett.
USCIRF has recommended since 2009 that Nigeria be named a “country of particular concern” (CPC) due to the government’s failure to hold accountable perpetrators of religiously-related violence. While since 1999 more than 14,000 persons, both Muslims and Christians, have been killed, USCIRF has been able to document that only 1% of the perpetrators have been prosecuted.
“The Nigerian government’s failure to prosecute perpetrators of religiously-related violence only encourages reprisals and intensifies local tensions and mistrust. Boko Haram uses this impunity as a recruitment tool and to justify its attacks on Christians,” said Lantos Swett.
The repulsive Katrina Lantos Swett, who owes her political career to the same genetic lottery as Meghan McCain, decides to blame Nigeria for Boko Haram's genocidal campaign.
The report's section on Nigeria reeks of a toxic bias. Muslim attacks on Christians are described as retaliations. Christian attacks are constantly emphasized. The report repeatedly quotes justifications by the Boko Haram chief that the Al Qaeda linked group is retaliating for Christian attacks. It repeats that excuse twice in two paragraphs.
The entire nauseating thing comes to a head under US Policy.
In meetings with Nigerian officials, including Secretary Clinton’s meeting with Nigerian President Goodluck Jonathan in August 2012, the U.S. government consistently has urged the Nigerian government to expand its strategy against Boko Haram from solely a military solution to addressing problems of economic and political marginalization in the north, arguing that Boko Haram’s motivations are not religious but socio-economic.
Additionally, senior U.S. officials frequently warn in private bilateral meetings and in public speeches that Nigerian security forces’ excessive use of force in response to Boko Haram is unacceptable and counterproductive.... While the United States has resisted pressure to designate Boko Haram as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), on June 21 the State Department designated as terrorists Boko Haram leaders Abubakar Shekau, Abubakar Adam Kambar, and Khalid el Barnawi.
Then this obscenity of a report goes on to blame Christian leaders for complaining that there is a genocidal campaign being waged against them.
This stance also is in stark contrast to the perspectives of a number of prominent Nigerian Christian leaders, who believe that Boko Haram has a significant sectarian dimension, and in particular, seeks to eradicate Christian communities in central and northern Nigeria. This chasm in perspective is a serious concern. If Nigeria’s most prominent Christian leaders view the ongoing violence as sectarian, the faithful communities who follow their lead may also embrace this view, adversely affecting tolerance and respect across religions.
The report's whitewashing of Muslim atrocities isn't a one-time event. It pervades the entire report. And the report, like everything coming out of Obama Inc. is obsessed with Muslim victimhood.
It demands that Burma implement a "durable citizenship solution for Rohingya Muslims", which is the one thing bound to turn Burma into Thailand with an ongoing Muslim civil war, and writes that "The U.S. government should urge the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to increase efforts on issues related to Rohingya Muslims in Burma."
That's like urging the Nazis to intervene more in Poland.
A notable sidebar comes in the section on Turkey's occupation of Northern Cyprus when two Obama appointees, the Islamist Dr. Azizah al-Hibri and Vice Chair William Shaw, file a pro-occupation dissent.
We strongly object to the inclusion of Northern Cyprus in the chapter report on Turkey. Northern Cyprus is not an official territorial or governmental part of Turkey. We also strongly object to an examination of religious freedom issues in only one part of the island of Cyprus—the Northern part—when there is a clear historical contextual connect with conditions of religious freedom in the Southern part of the island. Both Northern and Southern religious freedom concerns are more rooted in historical political developments between the South and North regions than in real religious tensions between peoples. Conclusions arrived at through a decision to examine only part of the evidence does not carry the weight of fairness and of justice.
And to close off this train wreck, for the first time the annual report includes Western Europe. The victims of choice? Need you even ask.
In 2011, national laws banning the wearing of full-face veils anywhere in public came into force in France and Belgium. Since then, Muslim women in both countries who wear such veils have been stopped by police, questioned, and fined for violating these laws. In early 2012, the Netherlands also was moving forward on enacting a full-face veil ban. This effort came to a halt when the Dutch coalition government fell in April 2012. French and Belgian courts have rejected constitutional and human rights challenges to the bans (most recently, the Belgian Constitutional Court in a December 2012 decision).
And on to Switzerland in defense of the bayonets of Islam.
In 2009, Swiss voters and cantons approved a popular initiative to amend the Swiss federal constitution to ban the future construction of minarets. In Greece, there continues to be no official mosque in Athens, making it the only EU capital without such a place of worship, despite the Greek parliament approving construction in 2011.