President Trump and his administration have done more to protect religious freedom worldwide than his predecessors according to a Muslim scholar.
A member of the Council on Foreign Relations praised the “extremely aggressive” U.S. efforts to protect the religious freedom of people worldwide, noting that he has done more than even former Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, especially in defending Christians who are the most persecuted religious group.
(Video: Fox News)
“This president, in particular, more than President Obama and more than President George Bush, has been committed to protecting the religious freedom of Christians,” Dr. Qanta Ahmed told Fox News host Pete Hegseth on “Fox & Friends” Tuesday.
“The United States and President Trump have particularly empowered those Christians to prosecute the genociders, the ISIS perpetrators, and pursue them until kingdom come, which is excellent. But we need to do more; but I think the president is capable of that,” she added.
Ahmed’s comments come a few weeks after the administration’s second Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom in Washington, D.C. which was held last month. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the event which saw the largest gathering of persecuted believers from all over the world.
It was an honor to address the Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom today as Vice President to an American President who has been a great champion of religious freedom both at home and abroad. pic.twitter.com/KAK38zpnqy
— Vice President Mike Pence (@VP) July 18, 2019
Ahmed noted that despite the oppression of Christians in Islamic countries, especially in Iraq, it is countries like China and North Korea which continue to be the worst offenders.
Christians are the minority in Muslim countries but their presence in these areas is vital, the author of “In The Land of Invisible Women” noted.
“In the Muslim-majority countries, if the Christians survive, democracy can survive,” Ahmed said. “Forty percent of the world’s Christians are now in the Americas, including the United States, a big sanctuary for Christianity. So if Christians are not surviving, democracy is not surviving.”
Hegseth pointed out how past secular dictators actually shielded Christians, as Ahmed noted the “tragedy” of having someone like Iraq’s former dictator, Saddam Hussein, under whom Christians were “somewhat more secure than they are today.”
“That is because of the complete failure of governance in Iraq,” she said.
Hegseth asked why Islamists target Christians and Jews despite them being noted in Islam as “people of the book.”
Ahmed noted that the groups are “vulnerable” and that “Islamists are following a manufactured totalitarianism that is demonizing not only Christians, but things completely sacred to Muslims.”
The Trump administration has made religious freedom a priority, standing up on several occasions to defend religious liberty with even formal creation of a religious liberty task force last year.
Sam Brownback, the U.S. ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom and a former senator, sponsored the 1998 International Religious Freedom Act. But he said the issue of religious liberty was not a priority for the White House until Trump arrived.
“Nobody would really tend it,” he told Politico ahead of the religious freedom conference last month. “Then this administration comes along.”
“If we get it right, you’re going to get more freedom of assembly. There’s going to be more press freedom. There’s going to be more free speech that’s taking place,” he said.
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