In this issue of the newsletter
New: Radical feminists rally around leader who is convicted Muslim terrorist
Update: United Nations should not be the ones “vetting” refugees to the US
Update: New wave of Christian refugees flee city of Mosul where they were trapped
Convicted Muslim terrorist leading “Women’s March”
Woman gained US citizenship after murder conviction: The so-called “Day Without a Woman” strike of March 8th was organized by the radical group called “Women’s March.”
This same group mobilized about two million people across the nation to participate in the “women’s march” on January 21st in Washington, DC and other cities. It was primarily aimed at President Donald Trump’s immigration policies. The organizers, who are for the most part to the left of radical Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, demand an open border and special treatment of Muslim immigrants. One of the organizers is Rasmea Yousef Odeh who called on women to join her in a “new wave of militant feminist struggle.”
A Palestinian born in Israel, Rasmea Yousef Odeh was convicted for her role in two terrorist bombings, one of which killed two students in 1969. The students were simply shopping for groceries.
Odeh was caught and tried in a civilian Israeli court. Convicted of murder, she was to serve life, but only served ten years in prison before being released in a prisoner exchange.
Odeh had no special skills needed in the United States, but was still allowed to enter this nation and in 2004 became a citizen by lying on her application. She stated she had never been involved in an act of terrorism or been associated with a terrorist group and that she had never been convicted of a crime.
Her past caught up to her in 2014 and she was arrested for fraudulently obtaining citizenship in the United States. At great cost to taxpayers the story did not end there.
After evidence of obvious fraud was presented, Odeh was sentenced to 18 months in federal prison on March 12, 2015, stripped of her US citizenship, and was to be deported from the United States to Jordan after serving her sentence. Instead she is free on bail pending appeals. High priced attorneys, paid for by some unknown source, appealed her conviction and it was vacated by the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals in February 2016.
Odeh is set for a new trial this Spring as soon as she is done with her latest “women’s march” demonstration demanding the United States open its borders. She now claims that post-traumatic stress disorder caused her to lie on her application.
During the last two years of the Obama Administration, Christians from the Middle East who entered the United States illegally were rounded up and deported without trial. Even spokesmen for the persecuted Christians of the Middle East were refused entry to testify before congressional committees.
The lie has been circulated that less than half of “refugees” from the Middle East are Muslim. That is not true. Of the “refugees” admitted from Syria, 99% were Muslim and of those, a full 97% were Sunnis. The Islamic State (ISIL) is a Sunni Muslim organization as are al-Qaeda and the Taliban.
Extreme Vetting: President Trump says he wants “extreme vetting” of refugees and has issued a new executive order. Those applying for citizenship are supposed to receive “extreme vetting” as a norm, yet from the case of Odeh it is obvious that her records in Israel were never checked. Israel is a record keeping nation, and the government can find traffic law violations committed twenty years ago, if needed.
Many of the criminal records in Iraq and Syria have been destroyed. Worse yet, if the Syrian government produced records showing that one of their citizens killed a policeman, Senator John McCain would probably show up as a character witness to say the murder was a great and noble act.
No amount of “vetting,” extreme or otherwise, is going to stop radical Sunni Muslims from entering the United States. For the most part the State Department takes the word of the applicants. Meanwhile Christian refugees from Syria, who pose no threat, have been and continue to be excluded because the process is unfair.
No Syrian or Iraqi Christian can apply for refugee status or citizenship at the American embassies in Jordan, Lebanon or Turkey even if they have relatives who are American citizens who live in the United States. They must first go to the United Nations High Commission on Refugees office (UNHCR) and apply there. These offices, located in majority Sunni Muslim nations, are run by Sunni Muslims. The UNHCR has no Christian employees in Jordan. The UHCR must be bypassed and that can only be done with congressional legislation.
Iraq and Syria Genocide Emergency Relief and Accountability Act of 2017
There is now a bill (HR-390) before Congress to bypass the UNHCR and allow Christians and other persecuted minorities in Iraq and Syria to apply directly out our embassies.
The bill defines those eligible to apply directly as individuals who are “targets of persecution on account of membership in a religious or ethnic minority in that country, in particular being survivors of genocide, crimes against humanity, or war crimes, or being the surviving spouse or child of an individual who was killed by a perpetrator of such a crime.”
The bill then states that they are deemed to be of special humanitarian concern and “eligible for Priority 2 processing under the refugee resettlement priority system.”
HR-390 is not just about immigration. The bill also addresses aid to be given to assist Iraqi and Syrian refugees. Under the bill that aid must reach the Christians and other religious minorities. Today in Jordan, Iraq and other nations with large numbers of refugees, aid is limited to only those refugees in camps that are “registered” with the United Nations.
Most Christians are afraid to register with an organization they know is run by Sunni Muslims after being run out of their native lands by Sunni Muslim terrorists. As a result, they receive no aid. HR-390 would address that issue.
HR-390 would require agencies delivering aid to do so in a proportionate manner with special attention to groups, such as the Christians of Syria, who have suffered genocide.
The Religious Freedom Coalition has begun a mass campaign to help Congressman Chris Smith (R-NJ) obtain co-sponsors and to get a vote on HR-390 in the House. The campaign also demands that the Senate pass a companion bill. Some supporters of the Religious Freedom Coalition have already received post cards to mail to their congressman and Senators. By the end of March, every Religious Freedom Coalition supporter should receive the cards to mail to Capitol Hill along with a long explanation of the reasons and process.
Send a fax now and the post cards later: As soon as you receive your post cards with the name and address of your congressman and Senators on them, please stamp and mail these post cards. Even before you mail the cards, you can send a fax as well. No need to do just one or the other — do both. Online go to www.StopGenocideofChristians.org
There you will find an explanation of the bill and a button to press to send a fax to your congressman free of charge. Sending a fax to Congress and then later sending the signed post card shows your resolve. You can also call your congressman’s local office.
This bill is important because it would bypass the United Nations and assist Iraqi and Syrian Christians directly.
Congressman Trent Franks to help: Last week I had lunch with Congressman Trent Franks (R-AZ). Congressman Franks is the founder and chairman of the International Religious Freedom Caucus. The caucus is made up of congressmen who believe strongly that religious freedom is the first freedom. Any nation that does not have religious freedom cannot be free. If freedom of religion is repressed, then there can be no freedom of speech, press or assembly.
Congressman Franks asked me about the situation in Iraq and Syria and I gave him my blunt opinion of the situation. I urged him to recruit the members of the International Religious Freedom Caucus to aggressively seek co-sponsors for HR-390 to assist the Christian victims of genocide in Iraq and Syria.
I have known Congressman Franks for over a decade and while in Arizona I attended church with him. He is a dedicate Believer who approaches everything he does in Congress from a Biblical prospective. He was the head of an oil exploration company before he was first elected to Congress and handed the reins of the company to his younger brother so he could devote his full time to his work in Congress.
New Christian refugees arriving in Erbil, Iraq camps
Camps for displaced persons swelling during Mosul assault: Over the last two weeks I have received emails and urgent calls about the situation in northern Iraq. Refugee camps are being overrun by refugees from Mosul. In 2004 the city of Mosul had a population of 1.6 million. It is estimated that about 700,000 still remained after the takeover by the Islamic State in 2014. Most of the Christians fled to the Erbil area. Shia Muslims moved to other towns. Many of the Sunni Muslims stayed. Tens of thousands are now fleeing because of house to house fighting.
The Iraqi Army along with Shia Muslim militias have entered Mosul and the fighting is intense. When I was in Iraq in December, standing in the decimated town of Qaraqosh, I was close enough to Mosul to here artillery strikes in the city.
Christians who were trapped in Mosul in 2014 are now fleeing along with tens of thousands of Sunni Muslims. The result is chaos, as the Kurdish Authority who controls the area does not know who to trust.
Meanwhile the need is great.
Instead of the refugee camps we support in Erbil thinning out, there are more displaced persons arriving, many of them with babies. The Diapers for Refugees program does need to expand but the funds are not available now. The program is filling the needs of about 300 families and that is the best we can do.
Female refugees have an unmet need: One of the greatest needs is sanitary pads for women. As part of the Christmas for Refugees program last December, the family of every child who participated received hygiene materials. In these heavy plastic bags filled with soaps, shampoos, disinfectants, laundry soaps and other supplies, there were feminine sanitary pads. Some of the women visibly cried when they saw what they were getting.
The financial goal for the month of March for the Diapers for Refugees program was reached early, and I have been working to put together a program for the sanitary supplies needed for women. Our Iraqi partner is obtaining quotes for different quantities from various suppliers in Turkey. That is the only place, for now, where we can obtain high quality supplies without the expense of shipping from the United States.
This is such a taboo subject in the Middle East that even getting the men who run the ministry in Iraq to make calls to suppliers was difficult. This is not America, where products to enhance sex are advertised on TV during family hours. (I wish at least some subjects were taboo here, but it seems in the age of “gay is great” nothing is taboo in the US.)
I may travel to Iraq and Jordan in May or June to assess what is being done and how our capacities may be able to help. The need is very great and we must make sure that the small amounts we have to help with serve the needs of persecuted Christians in the most useful way.
Please continue to pray with me for the Lord to guide us as to how best to help the persecuted Christians of the Middle East.
William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990