Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center.
On May 16, President Biden issued a brief video ostensibly dedicated to expressing his support for the religious freedom of “all” people (though in reality dedicated to only one religious group):
All people should be able to practice their faith with dignity, without fear of harassment or violence. We will defend the right of all, as we stand with you. That’s why I ended this shameful Muslim travel ban. And that’s why this administration will speak out for religious freedom for all people, including Uighurs in China and Rohingya in Burma. We also believe Palestinians and Israelis equally deserve to live in safety and security and enjoy equal measure of freedom, prosperity, and democracy. My administration is going to continue to engage Palestinians and Israelis and other regional partners to work toward sustained calm.
It is hypocritical for Biden to claim that he cares about the religious rights of “all” people—when he clearly means only “all Muslims.” So too is it vexing to note that, unlike those whom he totally ignores—for example, the hundreds of millions of Christians currently being persecuted at the hands of Muslims—those Muslims whom he does mention as deserving protection are not exactly innocent.
Consider the three Muslim peoples he singled out: the Palestinians, the Uighurs in China, and the Rohingya in Burma. Far from trying to live peaceably with their non-Muslim neighbors, and like other Muslim populations living alongside or under the authority of non-Muslims, all three have been known to engage in hostile, subversive, and terroristic activities.
One need not dwell much on the well-documented scourge of Palestinian terrorism—primarily in the guise of Hamas and Hezbollah—which, as is well known, is the root cause for conflict between Israel and the Palestinians. But consider the other two lesser known Muslim peoples.
The Rohingya of Burma have been committing the same sort of anti-infidel mayhem, violence, terrorism, and rape that one is accustomed to associating with “radical Islam”—though news of it seldom reaches the West. The main difference is that, unlike, say, the West, Burma has responded with uncompromising ruthlessness—thereby making it the “bad guy” in the media. Consider the words of popular Buddhist leader Ashin Wirathu, whom the media refer to as the “Burmese bin Laden”: “You can be full of kindness and love, but you cannot sleep next to a mad dog,” says the monk in reference to Muslims: “I call them troublemakers, because they are troublemakers.”
Similarly, Reuters quotes the Chinese government saying that it “destroyed 1,588 violent and terrorist gangs” in Xinjiang, where most Uighurs and other Muslims live, “arrested 12,995 terrorists, seized 2,052 explosive devices, punished 30,645 people for 4,858 illegal religious activities, and confiscated 345,229 copies of illegal religious [jihadi] materials.” The same report says that 30 Islamic terror attacks occurred between 1990 and 2016, killing 458 and injuring 2,540.
Critics may argue that China is untrustworthy and essentially fabricating claims of Islamic terrorism to demonize and persecute the Uighurs. And yet, history and current affairs indicate that wherever and whenever Muslim minorities live amidst non-Muslim majorities, they tend to instigate, agitate, subvert, and resort to terrorism. Either way, like Burma and unlike the West, no doubt the Chinese have been intolerantly brutal in the crackdown on their Muslim population.
The point here, of course, is not to argue that all Muslims are troublemakers and therefore “deserve” whatever treatment they get; rather, it is to highlight another instance of humanitarian hypocrisy, this time by Joe Biden. For, while he never mentions the persecution of those minorities who do no wrong, seek to live peaceably with their neighbors, and certainly never resort to terrorism—and yet are persecuted solely on account of their religious identity, as millions of Christians throughout the Muslim world are today—he expresses concern only for Muslims, who are notorious for provoking others into prolonged conflicts.
Incidentally, it’s worth adding that, unlike most of Islam’s persecuted Christians—who are indigenous to the land, often many centuries before Islam invaded it—Muslims in Burma, China, and Israel are not indigenous, but rather the descendants of Muslim conquerors or forced converts, another inconvenient fact that helps shed light on the current conflicts.
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