“Islamophobia” — A Double Standard?

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Aug 27, 2010 1 Comment ›› John Eidsmoe

“Islamophobia” — A Double Standard?

Investigative reporters today revealed that the U.S. State Department is using taxpayer funds in a thinly-disguised effort to promote evangelical Christianity in the Middle East.

Two investigative reporters for a leading news network discovered through an anonymous tip that the State Department will spend an estimated $16,000 to send evangelist Franklin Graham on the tour but emphasized that the purpose of Rev. Graham’s tour was not to promote Christianity but rather is “part of a program to promote interfaith tolerance.” The State Department refused to divulge details of his scheduled speeches and meetings but said it would include speaking at churches and “traditional community meetings.”

Even more shocking was breaking news that the State Department is currently funding the construction, renovation, and rehabilitation of at least 26 church structures in Bulgaria, Pakistan, Mali, Tunisia, Afghanistan, Benin, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Albania, Egypt, the Maldives, Yemen, Turkmenistan, Tanzania, Uganda, Azerbaijan, Sudan, Serbia, and Montenegro.

The money is being channeled through the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP), but the State Department insists that the purpose of the program is not to advance the Christian religion but rather to promote “heritage preservation” projects in the developing world. Just as one example, in Montenegro U.S. funds are being used to restore and conserve the Shadrvan (Fountain) of the Old Cathedral in Pljevlja. The State Department website insists that without these needed repairs the Cathedral would not be able to perform baptisms. The State Department denied that this funding raises any constitutional issues, because in 2003 a Department of Justice opinion stated that the U.S. Constitution’s Establishment Clause did not preclude federal funds from going to preserve religious structures if they had cultural importance. They also noted that the U.S. Agency for International Development has spent millions of taxpayer dollars reconstructing and financing multiple churches in Cairo and Cyprus, as well as giving computers to pastors and priests in Tajikistan and Mali.

Because this funding has been kept under wraps, constitutional scholars and civil libertarians have been reticent to speak about this apparent abuse of the Establishment Clause, but Rev. Graham’s wife said of opposition to this funding that “It’s not even Christophobia, it’s beyond of Christophobia, it’s hate of Christia…”


The trip at taxpayers’ expense was not by Rev. Franklin Graham, but by Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf of the mosque to be built at Ground Zero (http://dailycaller NULL.com/2010/08/20/critics-attack-state-department-program-sponsoring-ground-zero-imams-trip-to-the-middle-east/); the “Christophobia” remarks were not by Graham’s wife but by Daisy Kahn, (http://www NULL.usaid NULL.gov/stories/egypt/ba_egypt_amrebnelaas NULL.html)wife of Imam Rauf, about “Islamophobia” and “hate of Muslims”; the millions in State Department funds went to build and renovate not churches but mosques (http://dailycaller NULL.com/2010/08/24/u-s-government-funds-mosque-renovation-and-rehabilitation-around-the-world/) and to buy computers not for Christian pastors but for Muslim imams (http://www NULL.usaid NULL.gov/stories/mali/fp_ml_internetimam NULL.html), and the rebuilt fountain was not at a cathedral but at a mosque and was not for baptisms but for ritual ablutions before prayer to Allah.

Does this explain why so-called civil liberties groups have been so silent?

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  1. Roget Pontbriand says:

    Did not Obama say that this is not a Christian nation anymore. If that is the case Obama and the government are merely spreading the “truth” through our new state religion “Islam”

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