It is horrifying that Afghan Christians are being refused refugee status by the UN and many Western nations, including Britain. The UN claims that Afghan Christians do not meet the criteria for refugees under Statute 6B of the UN High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR), which requires refugees to have "a well founded fear of persecution by reason of his race, religion, nationality or political opinion."
Since 1976, millions of new citizens have entered America as legal humanitarian refugees, according to reports of the US State Department. The Somalis are certified as "humanitarian refugees" under our State Department rules. Whole Muslim communities are imported into the United States, and they are supported by social services provided by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The cities who receive these huge numbers are determined by Refugee Councils. And yet back in October 2008, Muslim UN employees were "discouraging" applications for resettlement from the desperate Christian Iraqis. The Christian Iraqi population has since been decimated. By buying into the argument that Islam is a religion of peace and ignoring the penalties for apostasy, we are sentencing thousands of Christians to martyrdom and forcing others to live in the shadows in dire poverty. We need to demand that our government provide protection and asylum for Christian apostates.
Humanitarian refugees have literally won the proverbial lottery. Typically, they receive green cards as resident aliens within a year of arrival and are eligible to become full US citizens within five years, unless they violate our immigration laws, commit a felony or are deported. In the process they are provided with cash stipend and social services assistance from federal, state, NGO’s and voluntary agency contractors.
The irony is the mandate of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) determines which of the world’s huddled masses comes to the US as humanitarian refugees. UNHCR trends for 2006 indicate that worldwide there were more than 32.9 million ‘persons of concern’ with approximately one third defined as ‘refugees’. Major refugee ‘hot spots’ include the Horn of Africa with Somalia, Darfur in the Sudan and Ethiopia, Iraq, Pakistan and Myanmar. The US is the third highest ranked country in terms of hosting refugees. The annual budget for the UNHCR is over $1.7 billion derived from government contributions, foundationgrants and donations. A veritable cottage industry of federal and state alphabet soup agencies, NGO’s and voluntary agencies or VOLAG contractors has sprung up to facilitate absorption of humanitarian refugees. (more here)
This is no accident. We know that the UN is driven largely by the largest bloc of countries, the OIC (Organization of Islamic Cooperation). The OIC is one of the largest intergovernmental organizations in the world.
The Organization of the Islamic Conference (OIC) is a religious and political organization. Close to the Muslim World League of the Muslim Brotherhood, it shares the Brotherhood's strategic and cultural vision: that of a universal religious community, the Ummah, based upon the Koran, the Sunna, and the canonical orthodoxy of shari'a. The OIC represents 56 countries and the Palestinian Authority (considered a state), the whole constituting the universal Ummah with a community of more than one billion three to six hundred million Muslims.
The OIC has a unique structure among nations and human societies. The Vatican and the various churches are de facto devoid of political power, even if they take part in politics, because in Christianity, as in Judaism, the religious and political functions have to be separated. Asian religions, too, do not represent systems that bring together religion, strategy, politics, and law within a single organizational structure. (More from Bat Yeor)
The OIC is a unique organization — one that has no equivalent in the world. It unites the religious, economic, military, and political strength of 56 states. By contrast, the European Union represents half as many states and is a secular body only, and the Vatican — which speaks for the world’s 1.1 billion Catholics — is devoid of any political power. Many Muslims in the West resist the OIC’s tutelage and oppose its efforts to supplant Western law with sharia. But the OIC’s resources are formidable.
The organization has numerous subsidiary institutions collaborating at the highest levels with international organizations in order to implement its political objectives worldwide. Its main working bodies are the Islamic Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (ISESCO), which seeks to impose on the West the Islamic perception of history and civilization; the Observatory of Islamophobia, which puts pressure on Western governments and international bodies to adopt laws punishing “Islamophobia” and blasphemy; and the newly created Islamic International Court of Justice. As stated in its 1990 Cairo Declaration on Human Rights in Islam, the OIC is strictly tied to the principles of the Koran, the Sunnah, and the sharia. In a word, the OIC seeks to become the reincarnation of the Caliphate.
Is this why we expended incalcuable blood and treasure in Afghanistan? So that Christians would face persecution and slaughter? What was the objective? Sharia?
Afghan Christians in Danger at Home and Abroad
By Aidan Clay (hat tip Diane)
November 16 (ICC) – The following urgent message from Obaid S. Christ, an Afghan Christian living in New Delhi, arrived in my inbox two weeks ago:
“I just received a warning call from a person who introduced himself as an [official at the Afghan embassy]… If I don't go to the embassy in two hours to meet him, he will arrest [me] and present me to the embassy through the Indian police… Please pray and be in contact, and if in case something happens, my wife will contact you. He was claiming that I convert people from Islam to Christianity.”
The calls continued throughout the day. “They were very angry and saying that they will hit me by knife and kill me,” the exile, who changed his name after fleeing Afghanistan in 2007 when an Islamic court issued an arrest warrant for his conversion, told me in reference to the third call he received late that night.
Threats against Afghan converts to Christianity should not be taken lightly. Conversion is viewed as a serious crime in Afghanistan and Christians are frequently targeted by both the government and extremists. Earlier this year, a video was released of the beheading of an Afghan man, Abdul Latif, by four Islamist militants near Herat. The militants, who claim to be the Taliban, read a passage from the Hadiths before executing the victim: “Mohammad (peace be upon him) says, ‘Whoever changes his religion should be executed.’”
Neither are Afghan Christians safe outside their homeland. In September, an Afghan convert was scalded with boiling water and acid at a refugee processing center in Norway. “If you do not return to Islam, we will kill you,” his attackers reportedly told him.
For Obaid, the menacing calls were not the first time he felt threatened since arriving in India. “Our community is a persecuted and rejected community,” he told me last April. “We left behind all our belongings in Afghanistan just to save our lives by leaving Afghanistan. Here in India, we are receiving no legal and physical protection from the UNHCR Office or Indian government. We are harassed, attacked, insulted and persecuted by Indian Muslims and Afghan Muslim refugees in this city.”
The persecution of Afghan Christian refugees is sometimes ignored by the very agencies that are mandated to protect them. Aman Ali and his family fled Afghanistan in June 2010 following a television broadcast showing footage of Afghans being baptized. Though Aman’s conversion was already known in his community, the broadcast stirred animosity towards Christians which led to nationwide protests and the arrests of several converts.
“Someone had reported my activities to the secret police of Afghanistan and they were looking for evidence to arrest me, but I was so careful and had to stop my work,” Aman told ICC. “After the television showed pictures from a baptism ceremony, the Afghan government started arresting believers from different parts of Kabul… Most Afghan believers were scared… and left the country. So did me and my family.”
Aman immediately applied for refugee status with the United Nations High Commission of Refugees (UNHCR) upon arrival in New Delhi, but was rejected and told that he failed to meet the criteria set forth in Article 6B of the UNHCR Statute which states that in order to receive refugee status, one must have a “well-founded fear of persecution by reason of his race, religion, nationality or political opinion.” It was clear to Aman that the UNHCR did not consider his conversion as a legitimate threat to his life.
Ratimullah from Mazar-i-Sharif fled at the same time as Aman and for the same reasons. Like Aman, Ratimullah’s application for refugee status was also rejected along with seven other applicants. The applicants have spent months in hiding, fearful that if caught by the Indian police they will be deported back to Afghanistan. “I cannot return to my country because I will be arrested and executed by the Afghan government,” Ratimullah wrote in an appeal to the UNHCR. “A definite death is waiting for me in my homeland.”
Afghan Christian refugees in India are not alone. Similar requests have been denied by the UNHCR in other countries as well, including Britain. The Guardian reported an Afghan Christian asylum seeker, Ahmed Faizi, as saying, “If the Taliban don't execute me for being a Christian, my family will,” just before his deportation last April.
“They will kill me for being Christian,” Ali Hussani, another deportee, said. “There are only Muslims there.”
Their predictions are ringing true amidst renewed threats by the Taliban to purge Christians – both foreign and national – from the country. A statement posted on an official website on October 18 warned that “special plans” have been made to “destroy all (Christian) centers one by one.” A translation of the notice declares:
“Under the name of this shameful and corrupt democracy, there are all kinds of pagans entering into our country. Thousands of Christian missionaries have also entered our country under the name and cover of aid societies and NGOs (organizations). They are busy with their activities (evangelizing) and have the support of foreign and Afghan forces, claiming that they are giving humanitarian and social help to people…
“According to our reports, these Christian evangelists and social organizations are directly inviting Afghans to Christianity… These infidels, enemies of Islam under the name of corrupt democracy and their lords, need to know that the Afghan Islamic Emirate is seriously taking your activities into consideration… The Afghan Islamic Emirate will take practical measures and has already made special plans to destroy all [their] centers one by one; the centers where plans are made that destroy the holy religion of Islam and Afghan culture.”
Taken straight form the Islamic law and "the Cairo Declaration of Human Rights in Islam," adopted by the UN in 1990.
The warning should not be ignored, Obaid told me. “The centers’ activities are being observed, Afghan converts are identified, and it is planned to destroy the centers. This is serious!” Some foreign aid workers in the country, however, have heard similar declarations in the past and view the threat as merely Taliban propaganda.
Hundreds of Afghan Christians, like Obaid, remain on the run from religious-based persecution that targets them at home and abroad. “In the modern world, where we have NATO, the UN, human rights commissions, and governments which claim they fight for democracy and give protection for those who are persecuted, I cannot find a place in this world where I am protected,” Obaid lamented.
15. The Cairo Declaration goes further however in making this freedom subject to the Shari’ah. Under Article 22 of the Cairo Declaration a person may only express their opinion in a manner “as would not be contrary to the principles of the Shari’ah”, and freedom of expression may not be used to “weaken faith”. 16. On 18 December 2007, the UN General Assembly adopted a resolution “Combating Defamation of Religions” by 108 votes to 51 with 25 abstentions. Similar resolutions had been adopted since 1999 by the Commission for Human Rights and by the new Council. This was the first time however that such a resolution had been passed by the General Assembly. The resolution expresses once again “deep concern about the negative stereotyping of religions and manifestations of intolerance and discrimination in matters of religion or belief”. But the only religion mentioned by name is Islam. The resolution emphasizes that whilst everyone has the right to freedom of expression, this should be exercised with responsibility – and may therefore be subject to limitations, inter alia, “for respect for religions and beliefs”. 17. Many delegations, however, opposed the resolution. The Portuguese delegate, speaking for the European Union, explained clearly why:
“The European Union does not see the concept of ‘defamation of religions’ as a valid one in a human rights discourse. From a human rights perspective, members of religious or belief communities should not be viewed as parts of homogenous entities. International human rights law protects primarily individuals in the exercise of their freedom of religion or belief, rather than the religions as such.” 18.
Notwithstanding these objections, those opposing the resolution found themselves on the losing side of a two-to-one majority in favour.
How the Shari’ah limits Human Rights
9. Under Shari’ah law, Muslim women and non-Muslims are not accorded equal treatment with Muslim men. The Shari’ah, therefore, fails to honour the right to equality guaranteed under the UDHR and the international covenants, and thus denies the full enjoyment of their human rights to those living in States which follow Shari’ah law.
10. By limiting rights to those permitted by the Shari’ah the Cairo Declaration, rather than complementing the UDHR and the international covenants, undermines many of the rights they are supposed to guarantee. (See references 6 7 8 for additional documentation on this issue.)
Limiting Religious Freedom
11. Religious freedom is limited under the Cairo Declaration. Article 10 states: “Islam is the religion of unspoiled nature. It is prohibited to exercise any form of compulsion on man or to exploit his poverty or ignorance in order to convert him to another religion or to atheism.”
Since it is a generally accepted view in the Islamic world that only compulsion or ignorance would lead anyone to abandon Islam, conversion from Islam is thus effectively forbidden.
12. It is notable that under Shari’ah law in many countries apostasy and any actions or statements considered blasphemous are harshly punished, in some States by death.
13. At the 6th session of the Human Rights Council in December 2007, the European Union tabled a resolution on the elimination of discrimination based on religion or belief.
On December 14, the Pakistani delegate, again speaking for the OIC, said that differences remained in the wording of this resolution on, inter alia, respect for all religions and beliefs, and respect for national laws and religious norms about the right to change one’s religion. “Hence, we dissociate ourselves from operative paragraph 9 (a) because of its phrase ‘including the right to change one’s religion or belief’”. Yet this fundamental human right is clearly guaranteed under Article 18 of the UDHR and Article 18 of the ICCPR.
by ATLAS SHRUGS