Yesterday, at the White House Press Briefing, Fox News’s Ed Henry wasn’t letting White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest off easy on the White House’s refusal to call the 21 Egyptian victims of ISIS killed in Syria “Christian”, instead calling them “citizens.” Earnest moved back onto his heels, defensively stating that yes, the religion of those killed was important, despite the fact that the White House’s statement on the murders omitted that key detail.
On the air later with Greta, Henry explained his point of view regarding the exchange,
It’s curious as to why Josh Earnest did not mention that they were Christians. He’s saying now ‘Look Ed, it’s obvious. Of course they were all Christians, all 21 of them, beheaded on Sunday, and they were targeted because of their faith. And yet the White House wouldn’t say it then.
The White House, whether it’s calling out Islamic extremism or calling out the fact that Christians were targeted and killed, they sometimes don’t want to do it. In contrast, the context here is that late last week the President himself put out a written statement, not Josh Earnest, referring to the tragedy of three Muslim students being killed at the University of North Carolina. The President, in that statement, said that no one in America should be targeted because of what they look like, who they are or what their faith is. Well, as you know there’s a criminal investigation ongoing where it’s unclear their Muslim faith had anything to do with those tragic murders. There’s reports that it was about a parking spot dispute. Still tragic, but their faith might have played no role. Why the White House would have included the issue of faith in that case and not when 21 Christians are targeted is pretty curious.
It appears, based on the two cases, that the only incidents that warrant the mention of a victim’s race or faith is when they are perceived to be victims or persecuted. Muslim students in America deserve mention, but Christian Egyptians do not. The scenario is reminiscent of the Trayvon Martin shooting, where Martin’s race was placed front and center by the Obama White House and the press, but George Zimmerman’s (he is Hispanic) was not.
Without the determination, made without Ed Henry’s prompting, that the victims of ISIS were Christian, the White House is dooming more Middle East Christians to more persecution. The violence they are subject to, at the hands of radical Islamists, is not random, nor is it unrelated to Islamism. Some Christians, like those in Iraq, have taken up arms to defend themselves against the threat. The White House owes it to Christians under threat around the world to offer U.S. assistance and defense.
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