In a speech delivered before the Values Voters Summit in Washington, Senator Rand Paul (R-Ky.) promised to tell his audience “about a war the mainstream media is ignoring.” Continuing, Paul said: “From Boston to Zanzibar, there is a worldwide war on Christianity.”
The Values Voter Summit, held earlier this month, is an annual political conference for American social conservatives, activists, and elected officials. The event is hosted by the Family Research Council (FRC), the conservative Christian group and lobbying organization founded in 1981 by the well-known evangelical leader Dr. James Dobson.
In his October 11 speech, Senator Paul accused President Obama of trying to “gloss over who is attacking and killing Christians.”
While carefully making a distinction between the majority of Muslims, who are non-violent, and the minority who condone the killing of Christians, Paul nonetheless said, “there is a worldwide war on Christians by a fanatical element of Islam.”
Observing that even a minority of Muslims constituted large numbers, Paul cited a Pew Research poll that indicated that 21 percent of Egyptians, 15 percent of Jordanians, and 13 percent of Pakistani Muslims “find terrorism acceptable if not laudable.” The senator noted that “if you add up the numbers in just three countries, over 40 million Muslims sympathize with violence against Christians.”
Paul offered the recent event in Maaloula, Syria, to demonstrate the precarious existence of Christians in the Middle East, saying:
In Syria, there is an ancient Christian city called Maaloula, where they still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. They have been Christian since the time of Christ. They are a small final outpost of Christians in the Middle East. In August, the town was over-run by the Islamic rebels.
As the Islamic Rebels swarmed into town they demanded everyone convert to Islam or die. Sarkis el Zakhm stood up and answered them, “I am a Christian and if you want to kill me because I am a Christian, do it.” Those were Sarkis's last words. Sister Carmel of Damascus said of Sarkis: “His death is true martyrdom, a death in odium fidei (or, in hatred of faith).”
Paul noted that in other areas of Syria, “Islamic rebels have filmed beheadings of their captives and celebrated by eating the heart of an enemy soldier. Two Christian bishops have been kidnapped and one priest recently killed.”
“These rebels are allies of the Islamic rebels President Obama is now arming,” said Paul.
“American tax dollars should never be spent to prop up a war on Christianity. But that is what is happening right now. As Christians we should take a stand and fight against any of our tax dollars funding the persecution of Christians.”
The senator continued to cite other examples of persecution around the world, including:
• Zanzibar, where a priest was shot in the head by two Muslim youths on his way to church. Paul quoted a message by the Muslim Renewal that said, “We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster.”
• Kenya, where motorcycle assailants hurled bombs into a Christian church, injuring 15 people including the pastor, who had both his legs broken;
• Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, where three girls were beheaded on their way to their Christian school;
• Guinea, where this year a Muslim mob attacked and killed 95 Christians and injured 130;
• and Egypt, where 82 churches were recently attacked, leaving hundreds dead or wounded.
The senator told his audience that earlier this year, he forced the Senate to vote to defund the Muslim Brotherhood — “but every Democrat voted to continue sending your money to these haters of Christianity.”
He continued: “I can tell you one thing: as long as I am in the Senate, I will fight against sending any aid to the Muslim Brotherhood.”
Paul also told the story of Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian woman who was set upon by a mob while drawing water from a village well. The crowd chanted: “Death! Death to the Christian!”
Though the police rescued her from the mob, she was subsequently arrested and condemned to death for blasphemy and now sits on death row.
Paul's conclusion? “Until Asia Bibi is freed, Pakistan should not receive any U.S. tax dollars!”
The senator continued:
We send billions of dollars a year to Pakistan and Egypt. We helped put new Islamic regimes in place in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama now sends arms to Islamic rebels in Syria. In Egypt the mob attacked our embassy and burned our flag. I don’t know about you — but I’ve had enough.
I say not one penny more to countries that burn our flag.
Paul stated his belief that our nation was right to go to war against Afghanistan after 9/11, noting: “There are times when military action is both justified and necessary.”
The senator did not comment on whether a congressional declaration of war was required to engage the Taliban in Afghanistan. His father, the former U.S. representative from Texas, Ron Paul, who was in Congress at the time, stated the complexity of the problem in remarks before the House on September 14, 2001:
To declare war against a group that is not a country makes the clear declaration of war more complex.
The best tool the framers of the Constitution provided under these circumstances was the power of Congress to grant letters of marque and reprisals, in order to narrow the retaliation to only the guilty parties. The complexity of the issue, the vagueness of the enemy, and the political pressure to respond immediately limits our choices. The proposed resolution is the only option we’re offered and doing nothing is unthinkable.
Rather than do nothing, therefore, Rep. Ron Paul voted to give President Bush the authority to use force in Afghanistan. Within a year, he stated that since the Taliban had been defeated, our military involvement there should end.
Senator Paul advised his audience that we “must also re-examine our policies because military action can, at times, actually enable and empower Radical Islam. In Egypt, Libya and Syria it is still unclear whether war brought us regimes that are more friendly or less friendly to America. To me, it doesn't make any sense to send American arms, American planes or American troops to aid the Syrian rebels, who are on the same side of that war as Al Qaeda!”
Paul held out both an olive branch and a stick to the Muslim world, noting that because the Islamic republics see Americans as invaders and infidels, they will never accept us through force of arms. He exhorted the Muslim nations to police themselves, and to “root out and destroy the sadists and killers who distort and contort religion to justify killing civilians and children.”
But if the Muslim nations do not achieve this objective, Paul stressed that “we should actively defend ourselves.”
His final advice near the end of his speech was: “Christians should be prepared for war, but actively seek peace.”