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Page 6, Table of Contents, "Countries of Particular Concern":
- Democratic People's Republic of Korea (North Korea)
- People's Republic of China
- Saudi Arabia
Page 6-7, Table of Contents, "The Commission's Watch List":
- Russian Federation
Page 7, Table of Contents, "Additional Countries Closely Monitored"
There are 28 countries on that list, of which 20 are Muslim majority nations. That is, Muslims make up only 21% of the world's population, but make up 71% of the nations with severe religious-freedom problems. I believe that's no coincidence. It is exactly due to the intolerant and hateful teachings of Islam and the Qur'an that Islamic-majority nations are intolerant and hateful towards other religions.
Also, some of the non-Muslim nations are listed here in reaction to Muslim terrorism. Russia curtails religious freedom precisely because of Islamic terrorist attacks in Russia. And India is listed for acts of "communal violence", which are usually conflicts between Muslims and Hindus.
Note that this report has been in process for a while; look who is missing: Tunisia, Bahrain, Lebanon, Syria, Yemen. Could anyone argue with a straight face that any of them do not have a serious problem with lack of religious freedom, or religious violence? But printing deadlines being what they are, they will have to wait until next year to appear on the list.
Nevertheless, notice that some of our best friends and strongest allies did make the list: Pakistan, Saudi Arabia. Egypt makes the list for the first time. And what exactly did we get, how many hearts and minds did we win over, in Afghanistan and Iraq in return for the trillions of dollars we have invested there?
"The religious freedom situation in Pakistan deteriorated greatly during the reporting period. While the Zardari government has taken some positive actions to promote religious tolerance and remedy abuses, it has failed to reverse the erosion in the social and legal status of religious minorities and the severe obstacles the majority Muslim community faces to the free discussion of sensitive religious and social issues. A number of Pakistan‘s laws abridge religious freedom. Blasphemy laws are used against members of religious minority communities and dissenters within the majority Muslim community, and frequently result in imprisonment on account of religion or belief and/or vigilante violence. Three individuals had death sentences imposed or upheld against them during the reporting period. Anti-Ahmadi laws discriminate against individual Ahmadis and effectively criminalize various practices of their faith. The Hudood Ordinances provide for harsh punishments for alleged violations of Islamic law by both Muslims and non-Muslims. Anti-government elements espousing an intolerant interpretation of Islam continue to perpetrate acts of violence against other Muslims and religious minorities. The government‘s response to religiously-motivated extremism remains inadequate, despite increased military operations." - Page 110
"The Saudi government persists in severely restricting all forms of public religious expression, other than the government‘s interpretation of its version of Sunni Islam. This policy violates the human rights of large, indigenous communities of Muslims from a variety of schools of Islam, including significant populations of Sunni Muslims who follow variant schools of thought, Shi‘a Muslims, and Ismaili Muslims, as well as both Muslim and non-Muslim expatriate workers. The government enforces its tight controls by heavily restricting the religious activity it does permit—through limits on the building of mosques, the appointment of imams, the regulation of sermons and public celebrations, and the content of religious education in public schools—and suppresses the religious views of Saudi and non-Saudi Muslims who do not conform to official positions. In addition, the Saudi government continues its systematic practices of short-term detentions, without trial, of minority Muslims, particularly Shi‘a Muslims, for religious observance not in accordance with the government‘s interpretation of Islam. Such practices are intended to intimidate and harass these groups." -Page 142
And so on. There is nothing that will be news to regular readers of NER. However, what is amazing is that this is the work of a U.S. governmental agency. The USCIRF go into great detail, documenting the who, what, where, how (though admittedly not "why") of the past year's jihad. There is no way that members of Congress can claim not to have been informed about the terrorizing of Christians, Jews, and Hindus by Muslims.
USCIRF did more than document; they were also active at the UN in (successfully) trying to stifle passage of the blasphemy law. They communicated directly with the Obama Administration about the religious persecution taking place throughout the world.
Unfortunately, the USCIRF can only make recommendations; it is up to the State Department to either add these nations to the official watch lists, or not; or to set sanctions, or not. These decisions are usually made out of political expediency, not reality. Let's hope they follow the USCIRF's recommendations this year.
For all the complaining we do about the performance of our government with regard to Islam, it is heartening that parts of our government get it almost right. Eventually, the only solution to jihad must involve our government.
You are free to believe any officially sanctioned Muslim religion. As Mohammad would say: Believe it, or else.