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Is Obama serious about human rights?

ICC Note:

The Washington Post expounds on an article written by the Los Angeles Times which reports that the West is to blame for the mass murder, and even “genocide,” of Christians in Iraq. “The failure of the international community to pay enough attention to the dangers facing the Christians has encouraged radical Muslims and corrupt dictatorships to step up their assaults on Christian individuals and institutions.”

By Jennifer Rubin

12/15/2010 Iraq, United States (The Washington Post) – Tim Rutten, writing in the Los Angeles Times, has a critically important column on a much under-reported subject:

When America intervened to overthrow Saddam Hussein, Iraq’s Christians — mostly Chaldeans and Assyrians — numbered about 1.4 million, or about 3% of the population. Over the last seven years, more than half have fled the country and, as the New York Times reported this week, a wave of targeted killings — including the Oct. 31 slaying of 51 worshipers and two priests during Mass at one of Baghdad’s largest churches — has sent many more Christians fleeing. Despite Prime Minister Nouri Maliki promises to increase security, many believe the Christians are being targeted not only by Al Qaeda in Iraq, which has instructed its fighters “to kill Christians wherever they can reach them,” but also by complicit elements within the government’s security services. . . .

Putting aside America’s particular culpability in Iraq, the West as a community of nations has long turned a blind eye to the intolerance of the Middle East’s Muslim states — an intolerance that has intensified with the spread of Salafism, Islam’s brand of militant fundamentalism. Our ally Saudi Arabia is the great financial and ideological backer of this hatred. In fact, when it comes to religion, the kingdom and North Korea are the most criminally intolerant countries in the world.

Is this part of a general trend? Yes, Christians in the Middle East are quietly leaving their ancient homelands in numbers that are impossible to determine. They leave in secret and often do not speak of their plight even after they’ve reached a safe haven for fear of putting their relatives, friends and believing communities at risk. They often leave with the shirts on their back, abandoning their property and livelihoods. As Tim Rutten correctly says (in his excellent L.A. Times report), this flight is all too similar to that of the nearly 900,000 Jews who were driven out of those same Muslim lands in the mid-20th century. And ironically, those Jewish refugees — many of whom settled in Israel and are now labeled “Zionist occupiers” — are blamed for the persecution of Christians in the Middle East rather than the real perpetrators — radical Muslims.

What is the West doing about this? Palestinian journalist Khaled Abu Toameh recently wrote, “The failure of the international community to pay enough attention to the dangers facing the Christians has encouraged radical Muslims and corrupt dictatorships to step up their assaults on Christian individuals and institutions.” Meanwhile, The Obama administration — in yet another demonstration of what has been aptly called “conceptual cowardice” — refuses to identify the murderers by their proper name: Islamist terrorists.

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