Of course, here on WoT we are unamused about the massive Â Islamic invasion of our lands and the fierce proselytizing efforts by the soldiers of Allah, which is largely ignored by the ruling elites.
Surprising? Not at all, but newsworthy nonetheless. It is but one more example in the broader pattern of disturbing conduct by the Obama administration in its drive to gain the approval of the Muslim world at seemingly any cost.
It will not make us safer. It will not make us, or anyone else, freer.
Evangelical Christians in the poor world are rarely accused of undermining public order. All the more surprising, then, that in recent months around a hundred have been deported from Morocco for just that. The Christians, mostly from the United States and Europe, have been accused of trying to convert Muslims to Christianity, a crime punishable by imprisonment under Moroccan law, which protects the freedom to practise one’s faith but forbids any attempt to convert others.
In accordance with Sharia.
Rules against proselytising are quite common in Muslim countries but Morocco has long enjoyed a reputation as a bastion of religious tolerance in the region. Almost all the country’s 32m citizens are Sunni Muslims but churches and synagogues exist, alongside mosques, to cater for the 1% of the people who are Christian or Jewish.
Such open-mindedness presumably appealed to the Christian missionaries who ran the “Village of Hope” home for children 80km (50 miles) south of Fez, a former capital known for religion and scholarship. The 16 aid-workers had cared for abandoned children for over a decade when, in March, the Moroccan authorities sent inspectors to the orphanage, then gave the workers a few days’ notice to leave the country. Witnesses reported distraught farewells between the Moroccan children and the foreigners who had acted as foster parents.
Morocco’s communications minister, Khaled Naciri, said the missionaries “took advantage of the poverty of some families and targeted their young children”. The aid-workers deny pumping the children with Christianity. But sympathisers say that even if they did, a few hours of preaching was a small price to pay for education and pastoral care. There have been further expulsions since then, most recently of an evangelical Spanish teacher.
“Moral rape,” and “religious terrorism,” the Moroccan officials called the alleged evangelization activities in the prior story linked above.
Local residents are quick to point out that it is not only Christians who have been targets; last year a similar campaign was waged against Morocco’s even smaller population of Shia Muslims. But the motivation for the crackdowns is probably political more than religious. Morocco’s constitution is based on the hereditary position of the king as “commander of the faithful”. Any drift of MuhammadÂ VI’s subjects away from the dominant stream of moderate Sunni Islam might, his advisers fear, diminish his authority.
A false dichotomy of politics and religion, where there is clearly no such distinction here, with Islam active in its capacity as a political system claiming divine sanction.
The American branch of an evangelical organisation, Open Doors, which speaks up for persecuted Christians across the world, is backing a campaign by a Republican congressman, Frank Wolf, to press the Moroccans to be kinder to the evangelicals. Seeing that Morocco is one of America’s closest Arab allies, the American administration has been notably silent.
Hugh Fitzgerald comments:
The Obama Administration has been “notably silent” about the murders of Christians in Pakistan. It has been “notably silent” about the attacks by Muslims on Buddhists in the Chittagong Hills region of Bangladesh, and the attacks on Hindus in that country for such crimes as passing by a mosque as Friday Prayers get out. It has been “notably silent” about the attacks on Buddhist farmers, monks, teachers in southern Thailand, offering no moral support for the government and people of Thailand. It has offered no “notable support” to the government and Christian farmers in the southern Philippines who are under attack by Muslims who routinely kidnap and kill Christian villagers. The Obama Administration hasn’t said a word — would that entitle us to call it “notably silent” — about the imposition of Shari’a in Nigerian states, and the attacks on sleeping Christian villagers. The Obama Administration has been “silent” — would you still want to say that it has been “notably” silent or just “silent” on the subject of Bashir, whom even the World Court has described as a war ciminal, and who is now even now, with his fellow Muslims in Khartoum and fellow Muslim Arabs in the Arab League, trying to figure out how to make the referendum in the Christian south on independence a pointless exercise.
The Obama Administration has been “notably silent” about the perseuction of the Baha’a in the Islamic Republic of Iran. The Obama Administration has been “notably silent” or possibly just “silent” about the repeated murders of Christians in Iraq, where the situation is such that half the Christian population – Assyrians and Chaldeans — has fled. It has been “notably silent,” too, about the acts of Muslim terrorism and destruction — including ancient libraries in the case of the tiny Mandean population — directed at Yazidis, Mandeans, and all others whose crime is that they are not Muslims.
The Obama Administration — are you getting tired yet, are you heartsick yet so that you can hardly stand it? — has been “notably silent” on the attacks on converts to Chrisianity and Christians doing the converting, not only in Morocco, but in Algeria, especially in the Berber regions, for the Berbers, unlike the Arabs, possess an ethnic identity that does not reinforce, but works against, the Muslim identity. The Obama Administration has been “notably silent” about the legal decisions in Malaysia – “moderate” Malaysia — that have declared non-Muslims to be Muslims, in cases arising because of marriage, or because of death, or because someone wanted to become something else but was not permitted to, and the Obama Administration has been “notably silent” about the destruction of a Hindu temple in Kuala Lumpur and of Christian sites, too. And come to think of it, the Obama Administration has said nothing — would that constitute being “notably silent” — about the destruction of churches, and the killing of Christians, in the Moluccas and elsewhere in Indonesia, the place where Obama got his introduction, and learned just about all he knows about Islam from his stay there, as a schoolboy, between the ages of 6 and 9.
Had Obama not been content to assume that he “knew” and still worse, “knows” about Islam, because his father — who left when Obama was two, was a nominal (syncretistic, African) Muslim, and because of that three-year stay in Indonesia, at an atypical school, in an atypical and secular city, in the most atypical of Muslim countries, with a secularist history that has not yet been entirely overcome, had he instead taken the occasion, these last twenty years — and my, how tellingly incurious of him not to have done so — to start studying Islam, its texts, its tenets, the attitudes that naturally arise from those texts and tenets, and the atmospheris of societies suffued with Islam — well, had he been curious or studious enough to have done so, instead of merely accepting the convention idea that “all religions are the same” or that, as a “great religion,” surely Islam could not inculcate malevolent notions, for no “great religioin” could possibly do that, then being well-prepared, perhaps the Obama Administration would not have been, on every conceivable occasion, “notably silent” about the persecution, humiliation, and physical attacks, including murder, that characterize the treatment of so many different kinds of non-Muslims, in so many different countries where Islam dominates, and Muslims rule.
But he didn’t learn what he should have learned. There is nothing stopping him now. He could start learning, right there in the White House.
And if he does, if he does it right, he will no longer find being “notably silent” a suitable response.