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Post  Smelly_bandit on Thu Jun 14, 2012 8:27 pm

(CNSNews.com) - The U.S. State Department removed the sections covering religious freedom from the Country Reports on Human Rights that it released on May 24, three months past the statutory deadline Congress set for the release of these reports.

The new human rights reports--purged of the sections that discuss the
status of religious freedom in each of the countries covered--are also
the human rights reports that include the period that covered the Arab
Spring and its aftermath.

Thus, the reports do not provide in-depth coverage of what has
happened to Christians and other religious minorities in predominantly
Muslim countries in the Middle East that saw the rise of revolutionary
movements in 2011 in which Islamist forces played an instrumental role.

For the first time ever, the State Department simply eliminated the
section of religious freedom in its reports covering 2011 and instead
referred the public to the 2010 International Religious Freedom Report – a full two years behind the times – or to the annual report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), which was released last September and covers events in 2010 but not 2011.

Leonard Leo, who recently completed a term as chairman of the USCIRF,
says that removing the sections on religious freedom from the State
Department's Country Reports on Human Roghts is a bad idea.

Since 1998, when Congress created USCIRF, the State Department has
been required to issue a separate yearly report specifically on
International Religious Freedom.

But a section reporting on religious freedom has also always been
included in the State Department's legally required annual
country-by-country reports on human rights--that is, until now.

And this is the first year the State Department would have needed to
report on the effect the Arab Spring has had on religious freedom in the
Middle East--had its reports, as always before, included a section on
religious freedom.

“The commission that I served on has some real concerns about that
bifurcation, because the human rights reports receive a lot of
attention, and to have pulled religious freedom out of it means that
fewer people will obtain information about what’s going on with that
particular freedom or right. So you don’t have the whole picture because
they split it up now,” Leo told CNSNews.com.

Former U.S. diplomat Thomas Farr says it’s possible that the move to
totally separate religious freedom from the human rights reports could
simply be a bureaucratic maneuver.

But another possibility is much more likely.

“The other possibility is the Obama administration is downplaying international religious freedom,” Farr said.

Farr, who served in the State Department under both Presidents
Clinton and George W. Bush, was the first director of the Office of
International Religious Freedom.

“I mean, it is important to note here that I do not know--I have no
personal knowledge of the logic that went into removing religious
freedom from the broader human rights report; but I also have observed
during the three-and-a-half years of the Obama administration that the
issue of religious freedom has been distinctly downplayed,” Farr said

Currently a visiting associate professor of religion and world
affairs in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown
University, Farr directs the program on Religion and U.S. Foreign Policy
and the Project on Religious Freedom at the Berkley Center for
Religion, Peace and World Affairs at Georgetown.

He told CNSNews.com that far more resources have been allocated by
the Obama administration to other human rights issues than have been
directed toward religious freedom.

“(T)he ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom, for
example, who is the official charged by the law to lead U.S. religious
freedom policy, did not even step foot into her office until
two-and-a-half years were gone of a four-year administration,” he said.

“Whereas other human rights priorities of the administration, such as
the ambassador-at-large for global women’s issues, were in place
within months. So that tells you something.

“It tells me that this has never been a priority for the Obama administration, and it’s not now,” he said.

“So it seems to me plausible to at least question the removal of
religious freedom from the human rights report, although, as I say,
there could be other explanations, less insidious, if you will.”

Missing: Murdered Christians and the Aftermath of the Arab Spring

obama whitewashes atrocities  USCIRF%20Report
The 2010 International Religious Freedom Report is notably missing
some important information--the two-year old report contains no mention
of the violence, murder and mayhem directed at Christians and other
minorities in Muslim nations in Africa and the Middle East since the
Arab Spring uprisings of 2011.

However, the less well-known 2012 report of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom does take note of the Arab Spring.

-- In 2011, in Egypt, Coptic Christians were among 25 people
massacred during a demonstration over an Islamist attack on a church.

-- In the month of January 2012 alone, the Islamist group Boko Haram
was responsible for 54 deaths in Nigeria – 42 of them Catholics killed
at church on Christmas Day. In 2011, it killed more than 500 people and
burned down or destroyed more than 350 churches in 10 northern states
of Nigeria.

Former USCIRF Chairman Leo says the fact is the administration no
longer makes the proper distinction between freedom of religion and
freedom of worship.

“Going all the way back to the president’s speech in Cairo, they
seem to be satisfied with Arab Spring countries and Middle Eastern
countries providing freedom of worship, but not pressuring them on the
broader freedom of religion.

“In Saudi Arabia, and in some of these countries, you may be able to
draw curtains in your home and pray--but don’t take it outside your
house. And certainly don’t imbue other aspects of your life with your
religious sentiments,” Leo said.

He added: “We see in a lot of countries around the world, but
particularly in the Middle East and in Pakistan and Afghanistan, that
it’s not just those small non-Muslim minorities that are affected
adversely by repressive policies, it’s majority Muslims as well. Muslims
who don’t necessarily want to subscribe to every jot and tittle of
what the state feels is the appropriate form of Islam.”

Former diplomat Farr agreed the administration hasn’t been focused on the freedom of religion in terms of foreign relations.

“As far as I know, the administration has paid very little attention
to the religion-state issues, in terms of policy effort, in terms of
programs on the ground,” Farr said.

“I’m not speaking of speeches, or ‘raising the issue’--which are
typical State Department platitudes for trying to change the
subject--but in terms of actual programs on the ground, whether we’re
talking about Libya, or Tunisia, or the most important of all, Egypt,
the programs on the ground designed to advance religious freedom, as
far as I know, are nonexistent.”

The State Department, meanwhile, has given no indication of when --
or if -- the next International Religious Freedom Report will be
released.


http://cnsnews.com/news/article/state-department-purges-religious-freedom-section-its-human-rights-reports
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Post  Mystic Moon on Thu Jun 14, 2012 10:16 pm

This is totally ignored over and even if one brings it up into a conversation, no one knows what we are talking about. The media in this country has the idea that to report black on white crime or Muslims killing Christians will reflect badly on Barack Obama and therefore simply by ignoring both somehow he will be re-elected. There is nothing more important than this black man getting re-elected.

Why do I say "black man?" Because they, the media see him as a "black man" and only a "black man" who can not be allowed to fail. That he is the worst president ever means nothing to them.

It is so bad that whenever I want world news or even to find out what is happening in my own country I read international newspapers. I have no choice.
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Post  Smelly_bandit on Fri Jun 15, 2012 1:30 am

The truth is what they make it
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Post  fatbob5 on Sat Jun 16, 2012 5:26 pm

@Mystic Moon wrote:This is totally ignored over and even if one brings it up into a conversation, no one knows what we are talking about. The media in this country has the idea that to report black on white crime or Muslims killing Christians will reflect badly on Barack Obama and therefore simply by ignoring both somehow he will be re-elected. There is nothing more important than this black man getting re-elected.

Why do I say "black man?" Because they, the media see him as a "black man" and only a "black man" who can not be allowed to fail. That he is the worst president ever means nothing to them.

It is so bad that whenever I want world news or even to find out what is happening in my own country I read international newspapers. I have no choice.

America is a Capitalist Country, Supply and Demand and all that B*llocks, if there is a huge demand for 'The Truth about those Evil Ethnics' ---- Why dont you and a few likeminded people start your own Media Empire

I love Capitalism

;-)
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