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Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
The Biden administration is preventing the rescue of persecuted Christian minorities from the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, where they face certain and likely gruesome death.
This information surfaced on August 26, 2021, during an interview between Glenn Beck and Tucker Carlson on Fox News. Through his charity, the Nazarene Fund, Beck had managed to charter planes to airlift 5,100 Christians out of Afghanistan and into neighboring nations. Before long, however, U.S. officials intervened and prevented the escape of a batch of 500 Christians, mostly women and children, who were ordered outside of the airport’s protection zone: “I have pictures of them pleading to get back through the gate,” Beck continued:
And then I have pictures of blood and body parts and nothing but death in that same area [where they were confined]. We believe that our State Department is directly responsible… I don’t know how many [of these 500 Christians] survived. The State Department has blocked us every step of the way. The State Department and the White House have been the biggest problem. Everyone else, everyone else, has been working together, putting aside differences and trying to get these people to safety. The State Department and the White House have blocked us every single step of the way. In fact, an ambassador was called in Macedonia last night and told not to accept any of these people, as we were trying to get them off of the tarmac here, to keep the airport flowing, and getting these Christians out. We haven’t really been able to move anybody for about 12 hours. Our mission is now changing greatly. We have to send people into even greater danger to try to smuggle these Christians out, who are marked not just for death, but to be set on fire alive because they’re converted Christians.
Beck, it should be noted, is not exaggerating. According to one recent report, “Taliban militants are even pulling people off public transport and killing them on the spot if they’re Christians.” Similarly, any Afghan caught with a Bible app on their phone is executed. “How we survive daily only God knows,” a Christian Afghani said earlier this year on condition of anonymity. “But we are tired of all the death around us.”
According to the World Watch List, which ranks the 50 nations where Christians are most persecuted for their faith, Afghanistan is the worst Muslim nation in the world in which to be Christian. This is saying much, considering that nearly 80 percent of all persecution Christians experience around the globe is committed by Muslims and/or in the Islamic world. Afghanistan is, moreover, considered the second-worst nation in the entire world, just after North Korea:
It is impossible to live openly as a Christian in Afghanistan. Leaving Islam is considered shameful, and Christian converts face dire consequences if their new faith is discovered. Either they have to flee the country or they will be killed…. Afghanistan remains the second highest country on the World Watch List, and persecution is only very slightly less oppressive than in North Korea. The Islamic State group and the Taliban continue to have a strong, violent presence in Afghanistan, with the Taliban controlling large regions…. All Christians in Afghanistan are extremely vulnerable to persecution. Areas controlled by the Taliban are particularly oppressive, but there is no safe way to express any form of Christian faith in the country.
The above excerpt was published nine months ago—when a U.S.-supported government ran Afghanistan. Since then, matters have only significantly worsened for Christians, now that the Taliban—whose views and modus operandi is similar to ISIS—has become the official master of Afghanistan.
Ironically, while Afghanistan was always bad for Christians, it became significantly worse in direct response to U.S. intervention Because in many non-Christian majority countries, Christians tend to be conflated with the West in general, and America in particular—based on the popular but erroneous belief in the Muslim world that the West and America are Christian—Afghan Christians were especially targeted after the 2001 U.S. invasion as a form of “collective punishment.”
Indeed, even Christians in neighboring Pakistan got attacked; according a 2011 report:
Life on any given day for Pakistani Christians is difficult. But members of Pakistan’s Christian community say now they’re being persecuted for U.S. drone attacks on Islamic militants hiding on the border with Afghanistan. The minority, which accounts for an estimated one percent of the country’s 170 million [mostly Muslim] population, says because its faith is strongly associated with America, it is targeted by Muslims.
“When America does a drone strike, they come and blame us,” explained one Christian. “They think we belong to America. It’s a simple mentality.”
On the other hand, because U.S. and Western leadership are very careful not to show interest in Christian minorities—a sentiment that goes hand in hand with Western acquiescence to Islamic sensibilities—they are more prone to turn a blind eye to the persecution of Christians than even some Muslim governments.
Worst of all, not only has the U.S. exacerbated and then totally ignored the plight of Christians in Afghanistan, it is now going out of its way to prevent others, as noted by Beck, from helping to evacuate Christians to other nations willing to accept them.
Beck, it should be noted, is not alone in his accusation: “I’ve heard similar reports,” said Senator Tom Cotton:
I know that our people on the ground inside the airport, both the Department of Defense and intelligence agents and our State Department officials are trying to move heaven and Earth to get people into the airport and out of the country, but the senior leadership at the State Department is a different kettle of fish.
At one point in his interview with Carlson, Beck mentioned two nations that were being cooperative in helping him rescue Christians—though he was anxious to add, “I don’t even want to say who they are, because I’m afraid our State Department will call them and threaten them!”
“I don’t know why we have open borders and closed airports,” Beck concluded his interview. While it is easy for all sorts of illegals to cross over the porous US/Mexico border, “one group of people”— he said referring to persecuted Christians—is not even allowed to enter airports, and are abandoned to be “raped, exploited and crucified or set on fire by terrorists,” said Beck, before adding, “There seems to be a pattern with the Biden administration.”
In fact, this is a pattern begun by the Obama administration. Biden—who it bears recalling was for eight years Obama’s vice president—is merely continuing it. Under Barack Hussein Obama’s presidency, the White House and State Department engaged in all sorts discriminatory measures against Christians, particularly during the refugee crisis that occurred during the rise of ISIS under Obama’s watch.
The Obama administration’s discrimination against Christians was so obvious, in fact, that in late 2016, a federal appellate court filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security, in which Judge Daniel expressed his “concern about the apparent lack of Syrian Christians as a part of immigrants from that country”:
Perhaps 10 percent of the population of Syria is Christian, and yet less than one-half of one percent of Syrian refugees admitted to the United States this year are Christian…. To date, there has not been a good explanation for this perplexing discrepancy.
The numbers were even more perplexing when examined in full context. Although the U.S. government had acknowledged that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria due solely to their religious identity, it brought into the United States only those who by definition were not in any way being targeted by ISIS — Sunni Muslims, of whom ISIS, a Sunni organization, identifies with and does not attack. Despite these two all-important facts — and despite the fact that Sunnis were about 75% of Syria’s population, and Christians about 10% — 99% of those brought to America were Sunni Muslims and under 0.5% were Christian. As CNS news noted in 2016, “Record 499 Syrian Refugees Admitted to US So Far in May Includes No Christians.”
In other words, even if one were to operate under the assumption that refugee status should have been made available to all Syrians, regardless of who was and was not being persecuted, there should have been 20 times more Christians and about one-quarter fewer Sunnis granted refugee status under Obama.
This, of course, leads to another pattern established by Obama and continued by Biden: while preventing true victims of Islamic terror from escape or entry into the US, the Biden administration is granting refugee status to countless, un-vetted male Muslims from Afghanistan—not a few of whom share in the same worldview as ISIS and the Taliban.
This article was first published by the Gatestone Institute.