I’d invite you to read two articles today, one from the Left and one from the Right, outlining different aspects of the systematic repression and persecution that characterizes much of the Muslim world today.
Over at CNN, Nina Burleigh outlines our government’s truly embarrassing non-response to allegedly “allied” governments that imprison rape victims. After outlining story after story that made news only because the targets of persecution were Western women, Ms. Burleigh gets to the political heart of the matter:
The U.S., incredibly, has had three female secretaries of state in a row who never put this issue on the table despite many meetings with kings and princes. We should be applying much more political and diplomatic pressure on these countries to give women their basic human rights.
We should also be supporting the brave women in these countries fighting for change.
Exactly so. The treatment of women in much of the Middle East is so abysmal it has to be seen to be believed. But they are of course not the only victims of oppression.
Today at the Hoover Institute, Bruce Thornton writes about the “Christian Tragedy in the Muslim World”:
Few people realize that we are today living through the largest persecution of Christians in history, worse even than the famous attacks under ancient Roman emperors like Diocletian and Nero. Estimates of the numbers of Christians under assault range from 100-200 million. According to one estimate, a Christian is martyred every five minutes. And most of this persecution is taking place at the hands of Muslims. Of the top fifty countries persecuting Christians, forty-two have either a Muslim majority or have sizeable Muslim populations.
It is a sign that we have utterly lost our minds that many Americans worry far more about “Islamophobia” than they do about this very real oppression, and many Americans will mock critics of the Muslim world as bigots or extremists for condemning conduct that should shock the conscience of any civilized person.
It’s one thing to be so blinded by multicultural nonsense (failing to appreciate that it is the Muslim world — not America — that desperately needs to embrace “diversity”) that we can’t clearly identify evil, it’s another thing entirely to subsidize oppression on a grand scale. Read this ABC News chart of American aid recipients and weep:
I’m no math major, but even a lawyer can see that we subsidize oppressive Muslim governments to the tune of roughly $8 billion per year — collectively far more than we give our closest Middle Eastern ally (and vibrant Democracy), Israel. We’ve certainly debated aid for Egypt in recent weeks and months, but note that Pakistan receives far more aid than Egypt. At the ACLJ we have an office in Pakistan that works overtime defending Christians from trumped-up blasphemy charges, and gruesome tales of Pakistani intolerance are legion. Shall we also mention Osama bin Laden’s hiding place for the better part of a decade, or the Pakistani intelligence service’s spotty (at best) record on fighting the Afghan Taliban? Pakistan has American blood on its hands and American dollars in its banks.
For too long — through Republican and Democratic administrations — we’ve turned away from abuse of women, ignored the persecution of Christians, made excuses for terrorism, and attached few meaningful conditions to our billions upon billions of dollars in aid. Instead, we’ve wrung our hands about our own “imperialism,” vigilantly policed our alleged Islamophobia, and kept writing checks to intolerant regimes — even as extremism flourished.
At some point this policy moves from naïve, to foolish, to pathetic, and — ultimately — to evil. Right now, we’re pathetic. If we keep paying for this oppression, we’ll be complicit in evil.