BY REP. RALPH ABRAHAM (R-LA.) AND NADINE MAENZA
March 9, 2020
Lost in the news of the deteriorating situation in Syria is the story of a burgeoning democracy that promotes freedom of religion and belief. Obviously, this is not the government of Bashar al-Assad but rather the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria (AANES). Most are familiar only with its military arm, the Syrian Democratic Forces. However, this courageous and autonomous people, situated between the southern border of Turkey and the northern border of Iraq, have been instrumental to U.S. strategy, fighting as our “boots on the ground” and sacrificing more than 10,000 men and women in the victory against ISIS.
Patriot Voices President Nadine Maenza and Freedom Research Foundation Executive Director Brandon H. Wheeler wrote this excellent article in Providence Magazine with a strategy for defeating Islamic Fascism and saving Christianity in Iraq and Syria.
The rhetoric about the so-called “War on Terror” has led us down the wrong path for 20 years. Terrorism is a tactic. We are not at war with terror. Similarly, our fight is not against radical or extreme Islam. When it comes to the Middle East, particularly Turkey, Syria, Iraq, and Iran, it is imperative that we understand the true nature of the threat. We are fighting Islamic Fascism—the political idea in which state actors or nonstate actors are using Islam to rule people through the use of violence. This is not about Islam itself, but rather about belligerents hijacking the religion for their own political purposes. With this definition, it is clear that you can be a good Muslim and not be a fascist. This is the reality for thousands of Sunni Arabs who fought and died alongside Christians and Kurds against ISIS as members of the Syrian Democratic Forces.
Patriot Voices hosted its Capitol Hill Day on Thursday December 12th with over 100 attendees. This day long session had speakers that included Senators Marco Rubio, Ron Johnson, Bill Cassidy, Rep. Mark Meadows, Ambassador Sam Brownback, and even the Ambassador from Hungary, László Szabó, who shared about their policies to support strong families. We look forward to hosting another event in the fall of 2020.
Religious freedom needs to be a priority in U.S. foreign policy!
When Burma came out of 60 years of military rule, many were hopeful that religious freedom conditions would improve as the military began a power sharing agreement with the civilian government. In 2015, former political prisoner and Nobel Peace Prize winner Aung San Suu Kyi became the civilian leader of this majority Buddhist country. Buddhist nationalism has continued to grow with radical monks using hate speech to incite violence against Muslims, Christians, and other religious minorities. On August 25, 2017, the Burma military led a brutal attack on Rohingya Muslims in the Rakhine state forcing over 700,000 to flee to neighboring Bangladesh. State Counselor Aung San Suu Kyi has not condemned the violence.
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