Chairman’s Report for October 7, 2016

In this issue of the newsletter
New:        Tide may be turning against Christians in “moderate” Jordan
New:        Well known Christian writer and spokesman assassinated in Amman
New:        More Sunni Muslim immigration and not just from Syria – Africa as well
New:        New bills in House and Senate would help Christian refugees immigrate

Security Situation in Jordan deteriorates as Christmas approaches

Famed Jordanian Christian writer assassinated: Nahed Hattar forwarded a cartoon that was intended to show that the Islamic State (ISIS) view of heaven is really at odds with both Christians and “mainstream” Muslims in Jordan. Understanding the sensitivities of living in a majority Muslim nation, his intention was only to be critical of the Islamic State (ISIS) just as King Abdullah often is.

Murdered Jordanian Christian writer Nahed Hattar

Murdered Jordanian Christian writer Nahed Hattar

He was promptly arrested after complaints by conservative Muslims and charged with “insulting the Prophet,” which is a crime in Jordan as it is in all majority Muslim nations. Even in nations to which the United States supplies billions of dollars in arms, such as Saudi Arabia, the punishment for “insulting the Prophet” is death.

Nahed Hattar never got the chance to stand trial on the charge, as he was shot dead outside the courthouse where his trial on charges of contempt of religion was pending.

“The Jordanian people must realize the seriousness of this issue,” said Hattar’s friend Dergham Halaseh. “They must unite to fight against the unjust forces that accuse others of being apostates. The government must take a stern stance toward these dark forces.”

The shooter arrested at the scene was Riyad Ismail Abdullah, a 49-year-old Sunni Muslim preacher, He was wearing the traditional dress of a conservative Sunni Muslim. Jordan is a “moderate” Muslim nation and many of the women, including the Queen, do not wear the hijab. The killer’s attire near the court where Hatter was on trial should have been quickly noticed by authorities and the murder averted.

During my last two trips to Jordan I have noted some security issues. For instance, while the entrances to malls do have metal detectors, the “guards” are retired police officers with no weapons. The lack of terror in this moderate Muslim nation has made the authorities and people complacent. At the same time, Jordan supplied at least 2,500 jihadist fighters to the war in Syria, and of these at least 500 have so far returned. The danger is obvious.

The Religious Freedom Coalition’s main Middle East ministry hub has been in Amman, Jordan for more than ten years. My current plan is to expand the Christmas program in Jordan this year to include two more towns — one to the south and one to the north of Amman. Also, we provide other aid to Christian refugees throughout the year, through a joint warehouse operation.

Fear sweeping across Jordan: There are no reports in the mainstream media that can express the fear felt by a small, threatened minority living inside a majority Muslim nation.

Two days after the killing of Nahed Hattar I received a call from a friend in Jordan. He told me Nahed Hattar, the assassinated Jordanian writer, lived in the same neighborhood and was a friend of his. He and his wife had been at the home and church of the murdered writer for most of those two days praying with and comforting the family.

I was told that the killing has placed fear in the hearts of every Christian in Jordan, and almost everyone who is wealthy enough is now talking about leaving.

The Imam who shot Nahed Hattar had visited Saudi Arabia three times in the month before the killing, and I was told that a “hit” was probably ordered by some of Saudi Arabia’s   Sunni Muslim fanatics not only because of the anti ISIS cartoon Hattar shared online, but also because he was an outspoken backer of the Assad government in Syria. The Sunni imams of Saudi Arabia preach only Sunni Islamic supremacy and death to all others.

My contact told me that it is believed upwards of 200 men were in line to kill Hattar in return for the reward of 72 virgins in Paradise — plus financial promises for the men’s families from rich Saudi Wahhabis. Hattar’s funeral on September 28th was attended by thousands of people under heavy security from the government.

Syria and Israel

            Information from Israel’s Shin Bet?: I was shocked when I read this sentence at an Israeli Internet site with very strong ties to the Mossad and Shin Bet: “Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and Chairman of the US Chiefs of Staff Gen. Joseph F. Dunford will never on any account admit that, in the execution of military collaboration with Russia in the Syrian conflict, they are not exactly carrying out the president’s precise instructions.”

In plain English, according to the DEBKA file the Pentagon is ignoring the orders of President Barack Obama in Syria and conducting its own campaign. If this information had been posted at some blog site, I would have ignored it.

The information sources explained that the Pentagon claims it cannot act contrary to a law enacted by Congress that prohibits all military-to-military relations with Russia. The Pentagon has thus refused to carry out the cease fire deal between Secretary Kerry and the Russians, and in fact actually violated it.

Kerry had agreed to designate Free Syrian Army locations so that the Russian air force could strike al-Qaeda affiliated al-Nusra, without hitting those whom the U.S supports. Did Kerry not understand that al-Nusra and the Free Syrian Army are one and the same?

The Pentagon simply does not have the ability to separate the “terrorists” from the “non-terrorists” because there are no “non-terrorists” fighting against the Assad government.

In Middle East newspapers the Eastern section of Aleppo is referred to as the “Al-Nusra” controlled section. About 250,000 Syrian civilians are literally held captive there.

There is never any mention in the Western press of the 1.4 million people living in the government controlled section of the city of Aleppo, who are constantly assaulted by mortar and artillery fire from groups supported by Western nations, including the United States. Advanced missiles, including “manpad” anti-aircraft missiles have now been supplied to al-Nusra and their affiliates to “defend” their section of the city.

More Sunni Muslim Immigration

Obama sets 2017 goal of 110,000 “refugees”: The Obama Administration plans to increase the total number of refugees admitted into the United States during the 2017 fiscal year to 110,000 – a 57.2 percent increase from the 69,933 in 2015 and a 29.4 percent increase from the 2016 target of 85,000. The fiscal year runs from October 1st to September 30st.

Of the 85,000 “refugees” Obama admitted in the 2016 fiscal year so far, 11,491 are from Syria. That is 15% more than the 10,000 Syrians Obama said he would bring in during this fiscal year — and the final count is not in.

branco-vetting-ref-600-ciSince President Obama’s goal of 10,000 Syrian refugee admissions in FY 2016 was achieved on August 29, the number continues to pick up steadily and of course the actual reporting counts lag as the Obama Administration prefers to just drip out information.

State Department Refugee Processing Center data show that of the now total 11,491 Syrians reported this fiscal year, the vast majority – 11,300, or 98.33 percent – are Sunnis. Just 54 of the 11,491 – less than half of one percent – were Christians.

Of the more than 84,000 refugees reported to have arrived from all countries, the total number of Muslims is 38,236 or 45%. Of the 38,236 Muslims who have arrived so far in the 2016 fiscal year, nearly half have been relocated to California and Texas.

Immediately after the Orlando attack on June 12th which killed 49 and wounded 53, the Obama Administration sent 49 Sunni Muslim “refugees” to Florida, including 10 to Orlando. The White House even refused to tell Florida’s Governor Scott their names or locations. The month of the attack Obama brought 434 Sunni refugees to the United States.

Nearly 1,000,000 Christians have fled Iraq to various countries since ISIS turmoil began in 2003. Hundreds of thousands fled to Syria believing they would be safe there. Many of those Christians have relatives in the United States, but have been refused any immigration status.

More attacks by second generation Sunni immigrants: Sunni Muslim immigrants who arrive in the United States with parents, or even those born here are not assimilating.

Ahmad Khan Rahami was arrested in New Jersey two days after his planted bombs exploded, injuring 31 people on September 17th. Many more would have been injured and some killed had all of his explosive devices gone off. He planted pipe bombs and pressure cooker bombs in both New York and New Jersey. One bomb exploded along the track during a 5K race in honor of the Marines when runners were expected to be there, but no one was injured.

Rahami’s family said they had no idea of his radical Islamist leanings but then shut up when photos emerged of him and his brother together in Afghanistan. Ahmad Rahami’s father ran a fried chicken joint so successful that he was able to buy a vacation home in Virginia.  Despite this success, the elder Rahami filed complaints about authorities “harassing” him because he was a Muslim. In actuality Ramadi’s father had kept his store open up to six hours past what zoning permitted in the residential area where it was located and complaints were filed by citizens saying it had become a gang hangout late at night.

Just a few days later on September 24th in Burlington, Washington a Sunni Muslim immigrant from Turkey killed five people randomly in the cosmetics section of a Macy’s Department Store in Burlington. Those killed included a 16-year-old female cancer survivor. The very liberal Washington state media is building an insanity defense for the shooter, Arcan Cetin while ignoring his online radical Islamist comments and posts.  Arcan Cetin had immigrated to the US as a child with his parents.

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This follows a pattern of second-generation terrorist attacks.  In June in Orlando, Florida, Omar Mateen, the son of immigrants from Afghanistan, went on a jihad rampage in a gay nightclub that killed 49 people and wounded 53.

In another case, Syed Rizwan Farook, one of the San Bernardino, California terrorists who killed fourteen and wounded twenty-two in 2015, was the son of Pakistani immigrants. His wife was a Sunni Muslim immigrant who participated in the massacre.

One of the most well known attacks by the son of Sunni Muslim immigrants is of course that of Nidal Hasan, a U.S. Army major and psychiatrist, who fatally shot 13 people and injured more than 30 others at Ft. Hood in 2009. His parents were Palestinian.

Christian Victims First: The Religious Freedom Coalition is promoting legislation that would put Christians who are victims of genocide at the front of the line. You can learn more and print out a letter to your congressman and Senators by going to

As mentioned in the last Chairman’s Report, Congressman Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) has introduced H.R. 4017, the Save the Christians from Genocide Act. The bill states Congress acknowledges that Christians and Yazidis in Iraq and Syria are victims of genocide, and seeks to have the Department of Homeland Security provide expedited visa processing and ensure that applications from the victims of genocide in the Middle East receive first priority

Two more bills to help Christians: There is movement in both the House and Senate. The Iraq and Syria Genocide Relief and Accountability Act of 2016 (HR- 5961) has been introduced by Congressmen Chris Smith (R-NY) and Anna Eshoo (D-CA). This is a bipartisan bill backed by both Republicans and Democrats. Congressman Chris Smith has spent most of his career in the House promoting pro-life legislation and is well respected among Republicans. Congresswoman Anna Eshoo adds liberal support which is a surprise.

The bill states findings that prove genocide against religious minorities in the Middle East and sets up a system to assist them in immigrating to the United States.

On the Senate side Senator Tom Cotton, a champion of religious liberty, has introduced the Religious Persecution Relief Act (S.2708). This bill declares that Syrian nationals who are religious minorities (Christians) “shall be classified as refugees of special humanitarian concern” and be “eligible for priority two processing under the refugee resettlement priority system.”

Most important in Senator Cotton’s bill is a provision that bypasses the United Nations which the Obama Administration has used to “vet” refugees. The bill states that these refugees may “apply directly to the U.S. refugee admissions program for admission to the United States.”

Please help stop discrimination against Christian refugees. Call your congressman and Senators and tell them to support these bills to help the persecuted Christian minorities in the Middle East. Please tell others about our work to move Christian refugees to the front of the refugee line.

Please direct friends to our special Internet page at We are making headway, but Congress must hear from the public to get this done!

William J. Murray, Chairman
Religious Freedom Coalition, 601 Pennsylvania Ave. NW #900, Washington, DC 20004 * (202) 742-8990

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