Raymond Ibrahim is a Shillman Fellow at the David Horowitz Freedom Center
During a recent interview with CBN, President Trump was asked if he thinks America should prioritize persecuted Christians as refugees. He responded:
Yes. Yes, they’ve been horribly treated. If you were a Christian in Syria it was impossible, or at least very, very tough, to get into the United States. If you were a Muslim you could come in, but if you were a Christian, it was almost impossible and the reason that was so unfair -- everybody was persecuted, in all fairness -- but they were chopping off the heads of everybody but more so the Christians. And I thought it was very, very unfair. So we are going to help them.
This is a far different response than that given by Barrack Hussein Obama back in November 2015. Then, as president, he lashed out against the idea of giving preference to Christian refugees, describing it as “shameful”: “That’s not American. That’s not who we are. We don’t have religious tests to our compassion,” Obama had added.
While Obama was making such lofty admonishments, his administration was quietly discriminating against Mideast Christians in a myriad of ways—including, as Trump pointed out, by aggressively accepting Muslim refugees over Christian ones. Despite the U.S. government’s own acknowledgement that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians in Syria—and not against fellow Sunni Muslims—the Obama administration took in 5,435 Muslims, almost all of which were Sunni, but only 28 Christians. Considering that Christians are 10 percent of Syria’s population, to be on an equal ratio with Muslims entering America, at least 500 Christians should’ve been granted asylum, not 28.
But questions of equality aside, the idea of prioritizing Christian refugees over Muslims (which I argued for back in 2015) is not only more humane; it brings benefits to America as well.
Consider the facts:
Unlike Muslims, Christian minorities are being singled out and persecuted simply because of their despised religious identity. From a humanitarian point of view—and humanitarianism is the reason being cited for accepting millions of refugees—Christians should receive top priority simply because they are the most persecuted group in the Middle East. Even before the Islamic State was formed, Christians were and continue to be targeted by Muslims—Muslim individuals, Muslim mobs, and Muslim regimes, from Muslim countries of all races (Arab, African, Asian)—and for the same reason: Christians are infidel number one. (See Crucified Again: Exposing Islam’s New War on Christians for hundreds of anecdotes before the rise of ISIS as well as the Muslim doctrines that create such hate and contempt for Christians.)
Conversely, Muslim refugees—as opposed to the many ISIS and other jihadi sympathizers posing as “refugees”—are not fleeing religious persecution (as mentioned, 99% of Muslim refugees accepted into the U.S. are, like ISIS, Sunnis), but chaos created by the violent and supremacist teachings of their own religion. Hence why when large numbers of Muslims enter Western nations—in Germany, Sweden, France, the UK—tension, crimes, rapes, and terrorism soar.
Indeed, what more proof is needed than the fact that so-called Muslim “refugees” are throwing Christians overboard during their boat voyages across the Mediterranean to Europe? Or that Muslim majority refugee centers in Europe are essentially microcosms of Muslim majority nations: there, Christian minorities continue to be persecuted. One report found that 88% of the 231 Christian refugees interviewed in Germany have suffered religiously motivated persecution in the form of insults, death threats, and sexual assaults. Some were pressured to convert to Islam. “I really didn’t know that after coming to Germany I would be harassed because of my faith in the very same way as back in Iran,” one Christian refugee said.
Is persecuting religious minorities the behavior of people who are in need of refugee status in America? Or is this behavior yet another reminder that it is non-Muslims from the Middle East who are truly in need of sanctuary?
The U.S. should further prioritize Christian refugees because U.S. foreign policies are directly responsible for exacerbating their persecution. Christians did not flee from Bashar Assad’s Syria, or Saddam Hussein’s Iraq, or Muamar Gaddafi’s Libya. Their systematic persecution—to the point of genocide—began only after the U.S. interfered in those nations under the pretext of “democracy.” All they did is unleash the jihadi forces that the dictators had long kept suppressed. Now the Islamic State is deeply embedded in all three nations, enslaving, raping, and slaughtering countless Christian “infidels” and other minorities.
Surely if U.S. policies were responsible for unleashing the full-blown jihad on Christians, the least humanitarian America can do is prioritize Christians as refugees? In fact, and as Trump pointed out, it’s the opposite: According to one report from May 1 to May 23, 2016, 499 Syrian refugees were received into the U.S. Zero Christians were among them; 99 percent were Sunni (the same sect that ISIS belongs to and which it doesn’t persecute).
But there are also benefits in taking in Mideast Christians instead of Muslims. Christians are easily assimilated in Western countries, due to the shared Christian heritage and outlook, and regularly become productive members of society. Muslims follow a completely different blueprint, Islamic law, or Sharia—which calls for constant hostility (jihad) against all non-Muslims, and advocates any number of distinctly anti-Western practices (female subjugation, sex slavery, death for blasphemers and apostates, etc.). Hence it’s no surprise that many Muslim asylum seekers are anti-Western at heart—or, as the German police union chief recently said, Muslim migrants “despise our country and laugh at our justice.”
Mideast Christians also bring trustworthy language and cultural skills. They understand the Middle Eastern—including Islamic—mindset and can help the U.S. to understand it. Moreover, unlike Muslims, Christians have no “conflicting loyalty” issues: Islamic law forbids Muslims from befriending or aiding “infidels” against fellow Muslims (click here to see some of the treachery this leads to in the U.S. and here to see the treachery Christians have suffered from their longtime Muslim neighbors and “friends”). No such threat exists among Mideast Christians. They too render unto God what is God’s and unto Caesar what is Caesar’s.
Finally, it goes without saying that Mideast Christians have no loyalty to the Islamic ideologies that made their lives a living hell—the Islamic ideologies that are also responsible for jihadi terror in America. Thus a win-win: the U.S. and Mideast Christians complement each other, if only in that they share the same foe.
All the above reasons—from those that offer humanitarian relief to the true victims of persecution and genocide, to those that offer harmony and even benefits to the United States—are unassailable in their logic.
President Trump understands this—even if most liberals and lying media don’t.