From a Middle East correspondent:
Beirut Arab news agency al Nashra reported on Saturday November 22, that [White House Muslim envoy] Dalia Mogahed has succeeded in canceling a meeting between the Maronite Patriarch of Lebanon and President Barack Obama. Writing in al Nashra, the reporter said “an unnamed US source told the news agency, that those who sought canceling a visit of (the spiritual head of the Maronite Church) Patriarch Beshara Rahi to the White House are Dalia Mujahid (Mogahed), the highest adviser on Arab and Islamic Affairs in the State Department, who is from Egyptian origins. And that,” according to al Nashra, “heeding a request by the higher leadership of the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt, who consider that US Administration must support the Islamist Sunni current facing the Iranian current in the region.”
The al Nashra report, circulating now widely in the Middle East, but also in the United States and across the Lebanese Christian Diaspora confirms what was already known about the impact the so-called “advisors on Arab and Islamic Affairs” in the White House on Middle East issues in general and on US policies regarding the Christians in the Middle East.
The anti-Middle East Christian lobbying in Washington, attributed to Muslim Brotherhood front groups and sympathizers is not limited to the Maronites, who form the bulk of the two million Lebanese Americans. According to research showing the links between Presidential adviser Dalia Mogahed and the Muslim Brotherhood, and to NGOs representing Middle East Christian groups in the US, blocking Middle East Christian meetings at the White House and the State Department have been associated with the work of the “advisors” and their allies in the Islamist camp in Washington such as CAIR and MPAC.
Coptic Solidarity International which has been trying to obtain meetings at the White House or with Secretary Clinton at State to expose the horrors committed against the Christian Copts of Egypt, were not granted such access. “Probably because of fear that American Copts will expose the role of the Muslim Brotherhood and the Salafists in Egypt” said an official with Coptic NGOs.
Also and despite the many massacres against Christians in Iraq over the past two years, representatives from the Assyro-Chaldeans of the US were not received in the Oval Office or by Secretary Clinton, at a time Islamist linked groups are on the roaster of invitations to the White House. Indicatively, Administration officials declined invitations to speak at the annual Assyrian Christian convention this year, few months from the start of the withdrawal from Iraq.
US official attitudes towards the Middle East Christians are, according to this behavior, dictated by the “Muslim Brotherhood friends” now very influential in the Obama Administration. Of late, CAIR and the Muslim Public Affairs Council (MPAC) are pushing to eliminate any intelligence analysis focused on Islamist and Jihadist violence in general and directed against the Christian communities in the Middle East in particular. This could explain why Maronites, Copts and Chaldo-Assyrians have been cut off the Administration.
Observers believe that the campaign against Americans from Middle East Christian descent has also reached Terrorism experts and congressional advisers and NGO leaders whose field focuses on the Islamist and Jihadist movements. Indeed, in a report published this year, John Esposito, the chair of the Saudi-funded Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University (and an associate to Mogahed) endorses sharp attacks against experts and analysts, always charging “Islamophobia.”
Blocking the Maronite Patriarch from the White House is a move that is directed to all Middle East Christians in the United States and can have significant effects in the region and even on US politics. Brooklyn Bishop for the Maronites in the US, who are part of America’s Catholic Church criticized President Obama for not meeting the Patriarch during his visit. Bishop Mansour wrote:
Patriarch Rai’s warning about the future of Christians in Syria is not taboo. Christians are in a state of peril in the same way that Christians of Iraq were a few years ago when two-thirds of them migrated out… A new day is dawning in the Middle East. The Arab Spring is happening with little vision for the summer that will ensue.
However, for advisors in the Administration to rebuke the spiritual head of a main Middle East Christian community, and engage in a witch hunt against Middle East Christians, including US citizens, for the benefit of the Muslim Brotherhood is a serious matter the American public should not tolerate.
The Maronites are Middle Eastern Christians who count about a million people inside Lebanon with more than 10 millions in the Diaspora. There are about one and a half million Americans who are Maronites and five millions in Brazil. There are Maronite members of the US Congress such as Congressman Charles Boustany of Louisiana or former Congressman Ray Lahoud, current secretary of transportation. Maronites are among the 25 millions of Christians in the Middle East, including the 15 million Copts in Egypt, the one million Assyrians and Chaldeans in Iraq, another million Syriacs and Orthodox in Syria as well as Iranian Christians and African Christians in Sudan. Americans who are from Middle East Christian ancestry are about 86% of all Americans from Arab or Middle East Christians and count two times the size of American Muslims.