Finally: What does Dick Durbin have to do with the death of the USCRIF? Perhaps there are simpler reasons involved in the death of USCRIF. The bill to continue funding it was held up by just one man, Senator Dick Durbin (D-Ill). Durbin may not necessarily oppose aiding religious minorities as much as he is in favor of delivering pork barrel to his constituents. Thus, unbelievably, only until or unless the Thomson Correctional Center in northwest Illinois is funded and/or funded for the purpose of holding Guantanamo Bay detainees, there can be no funding for religious freedom anywhere else on earth. Politics is a decidedly unfunny business. I usually tell people that a politician is, by definition, a thief and a liar, but that he or she is also a balancer, a compromiser, someone who is always in a position to sell one cause for the sake of another, to help one person and not another, to borrow from Peter in order to pay Paul. This is both how democracy works and how things get done in non-democratic countries as well. Cronyism, greed, arrogance, intolerance, injustice, occasional mercy, occasional do-goodism characterize how humanity in the aggregate behaves. We know that most Muslims are not friendly toward any infidel religion, including Christians, Hindus, Jews, Buddhists, etc. Christians have been — and still are — savagely persecuted in Muslim lands. I and many others have often written about this. Author and apostate Nonie Darwish and ex-Muslim secularist Ibn Warraq have both spoken out about this burning issue. Christians are being savagely persecuted in Egypt and all across the Middle East and Islamic world. In Pakistan, Christians have literally been crucified, teenaged Christian girls have been kidnapped, raped, and then forced to marry their rapists and convert to Islam. In 2010, a Muslim mob attacked a Christian man and slaughtered him with pick-axes for refusing to convert to Islam. Saudi Arabia, Iran, and Afghanistan do not allow Christians, Jews, or other “infidels” to pray openly or to build any new houses of worship. The Arab Muslim Middle East is almost completely “Judenrein” (free of Jews) since more than 800,000 Arab Jews were exiled or forced to flee their countries between 1948-1968. Mina Nevisa is an Iranian Muslim convert to Christianity who wrote a book about her experiences. Both she and her female cousin were attending an underground Christian church in Teheran which put them in danger. Nevis fled Iran together with her husband. Her cousin was not so lucky:She was arrested on charges of apostasy and taken to Evin prison, where she was raped, tortured, and then killed by a firing squad. Their pastor was also killed.Muslim apostates in Europe also face perilous challenges. Egyptian-Italian Magdi Cristiano Allam, who was converted to Catholicism by the pope, lives with six round-the-clock bodyguards. Ayaan Hirsi Ali, the Somali-Dutch-American apostate-secularist, also requires a full-time security detail. People who do not have public profiles, who are not academics, intellectuals, politicians, or public speakers, also face similar danger. Tomorrow, the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission hosts a hearing on the “Worsening Plight of Egypt’s Christian Copts.” Nina Shea, the head commissioner of USCRIF, is a keynote speaker. Clearly, USCIRF provides invaluable information concerning the injustices levied against religious minorities in the Middle East and in the Islamic world. Congress must reinstate the US Commission for International Religious Freedom — to do otherwise would be immoral, dangerous, un-American, and unacceptable.
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