No Refuge for the Victims of Jihadist Genocide

Obama's de facto 'no admittance' policy for Christian and Yazidi refugees from Syria.

The Obama administration is rapidly accelerating its admission and resettlement of Syrian refugees.  The administration is well on its way to meeting its target of taking 10,000 Syrians into the country by the end of the current fiscal year on September 30th.  In the first five months of 2016, 2,099 Syrian refugees have been admitted, compared with 2,192 for the whole of 2015, according to a report by CNS News. However, only a very tiny percentage are Christians, a beleaguered minority who are facing genocide in their home country. The Obama administration is immorally discriminating against Christian Syrian refugees.

“Out of the 2,099 Syrian refugees admitted so far this year, six (0.28 percent) are Christians,” CNS reported.  Ten (0.3 percent) are Yazidis. Over 99 percent are Muslims. And the trend line is worsening as the year progresses.  Last month, only two Christians (0.19 percent) were admitted compared to 1,035 Muslims.

Christians are estimated to have made up approximately ten percent of the total Syrian population at the outset of the conflict in Syria, according to the CIA Factbook. As Christians have come under attack by both the regime and jihadist groups, including ISIS, the Christian population in Syria has declined. 

Patrick Sookhdeo, the founder and international director of the charity group the Barnabas Fund, which has worked to rescue Syrian Christians, said: “In Aleppo, to give you one illustration, there used to be 400,000 Christians four years ago. Today there may be between 45,000 and 65,000.” 

Yet, according to data compiled by the U.S. State Department Refugee Processing Center, only 47 Syrian Christians have been admitted to the United States in all that time – slightly over 1 percent of the total number of Syrian refugees admitted. The current rate of Christian admissions is running far below even that miniscule level. 

The UN Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide defines the crime of genocide as “acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group.“ 

After receiving significant pressure, the Obama administration finally yielded to the obvious. Secretary of State John Kerry declared last March that the Islamic State has been committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis and other minorities in the Middle East. 

Note that while Kerry included Shiite Muslims on his list of ISIS’s genocide victims, Sunni Muslims were not included. Nor should they be, considering the fact that ISIS jihadists are themselves Sunni Muslims. Al Qaeda jihadists are Sunni Muslims. The ideology of Wahhabism fueling the jihadists’ reign of terror, exported by Saudi Arabia, is of Sunni Muslim origin.  

Therefore, one would think that Christians and other targeted minorities would receive preference for refugee status in the United States, not Sunni Muslims. Think again. Since the beginning of the Syrian conflict, approximately 96% of the Syrian refugees admitted to the United States by the Obama administration have been Sunni Muslims. 

President Obama sharply criticized the suggestion that persecuted Christians be given preference for admission as refugees.   He said that “when I hear political leaders suggesting that there would be a religious test for which person who’s fleeing from a war-torn country is admitted… that’s shameful.”  Obama added: “That’s not American, it’s not who we are.” 

It is President Obama’s Syrian refugee policy that is both “shameful” and “not American.” It has amounted to what is in effect a “religious test,” vastly favoring the one group of migrants from Syria who needs refugee protection the least– Sunni Muslims. Moreover, some of these Sunni Muslims are bringing their Wahhabi jihadist ideology with them.

Whatever self-righteous statements Obama, Pope Francis and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon make regarding the moral responsibility of Western nations to admit many more refugees, there is no moral imperative to commit cultural suicide. That is perhaps why the Dali Lama warned a German newspaper this week that “too many” refugees from the Middle East and North Africa are heading into Europe. He knows of the problems Buddhists have been having with their own Muslim populations. He is also aware of the history of many Buddhist countries that were converted to Islam, including Afghanistan where invading Muslims overran the native Buddhist and Hindu populations.

We don’t even have to look as far as Europe to see what can happen to a culture under the increasing influence of Islamization. For example, the Muslim population in Canada is growing faster than that of any other religion. A majority of Muslims already living in Canada have favored being able to live under some form of sharia law, and a number of local governments have made accommodations in that direction. 

Now enters the Barack Obama of Canada, Justin Trudeau, as Canada’s new prime minister. His Liberal government is hoping to admit 50,000 Syrian refugees by the end of 2016. 25,000 Syrian refugees have been admitted in just four months.  Trudeau also appointed Member of Parliament and senior adviser Omar Alghabra, a sharia law supporter who has denied that Hamas is a terrorist group, as Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs. Alghabra was born in Saudi Arabia, but emigrated to Canada from Syria several decades ago. 

While Trudeau’s predecessor Stephen Harper had prioritized the admission of persecuted Christians, Yazidis and Kurds, Trudeau said that he will “absolutely not” continue that practice. He and Obama are in sync that saving persecuted Christians from an ongoing genocide is less important than reaching out to Muslim refugees as proof of the country’s diversity and inclusiveness. When the two leaders met at the White House last March, they were effusive in mutual admiration for each other’s compassion towards the refugees. However, they are oblivious to the enhanced security risk to both countries they have created.

For example, some of the recently arrived refugees in Canada were welcomed last February with a call for jihad by the Imam of a Muslim congregation in Edmonton, Alberta, who was previously a “scholar” at al-Azhar theological school in Egypt: 

“O Allah! Strengthen the mujahideen [jihad fighters in the path of Allah] everywhere, make their hearts firm and strong, let them hit their targets, give them victory over their enemies.

“O Allah! Destroy the oppressors.

“O Allah! Destroy your enemies, the enemies of religion (Islam).”

The Obama-Trudeau policy of opening doors widely to Muslim refugees, while allowing hardly a crack to open for the Christian and Yazidi victims of jihadi-inspired genocide, is risky, to be sure. It is also immoral.