Just one question: Why? “Pakistan Passes Obama’s ‘Religious Freedom’ Test””After Sentencing Christian to Death,” by Terrence P. Jeffrey for CNS News, September 16:
(CNSNews.com) – Pakistan, which has issued a death sentence to a Christian mother of five for allegedly blaspheming the prophet Mohammed, and which regularly prosecutes Christians for allegedly blaspheming Islam, has passed the religious freedom test imposed by the Obama administration.
The woman mentioned above is Asia Bibi, whose name every official on Capitol Hill ought to know.
When Secretary of State Hillary Clinton released the U.S. government’s Annual Report on International Religious Freedom this week, Pakistan was not listed among the so-called “Countries of Particular Concern”
“Secretary Clinton designated eight countries as CPCs: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, and Uzbekistan,” said the report. “The Secretary applied CPC sanctions to six of these: Burma, China, Eritrea, Iran, North Korea, and Sudan.”
As U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Suzan Johnson Cook pointed out on Tuesday when Clinton released the religious freedom report, the International Religious Freedom Act “calls on the U.S. government to designate the worst violators of religious freedom as Countries of Particular Concern or ‘CPCs.'”
“The President’s authority to designate CPCs has been delegated to the Secretary of State,” Cook said.
Clinton did not designate Pakistan even though the State Department’s own report stated that Pakistani law calls for the death penalty for people who commit “blasphemy” against Islam or who convert from Islam to another religion–and even though the report listed multiple instances of the Pakistani government using the law to persecute Christians.
“The [Pakistani] constitution and other laws and policies restricted religious freedom and, in practice, the government enforces these restrictions,” says the State Department report.
“Freedom of speech was subject to “˜reasonable” restrictions in the interest of the “˜glory of Islam,” as stipulated in sections 295(a), (b), and (c) of the penal code,” says the report.
“The consequences of contravening the country”s blasphemy laws were death for defiling Islam or the prophets; life imprisonment for defiling, damaging, or desecrating the Qur’an; and 10 years imprisonment for insulting “˜another’s religious feelings,– says the report.
Christians are the top target of these Pakistani laws. “Laws prohibiting blasphemy continued to be used against Christians,” says the State Department report.
In the latter half of 2010, the report says, 24 blasphemy cases were registered in Pakistani courts. Ten were brought against Christians, seven against Hindus, three against Ahmadis and only four against Muslims.
Also, according to the State Department, the government schools in Pakistan denigrate members of non-Muslim religions, including Jews….