Sen. Rand Paul today offered the following remarks at the Values Voter Summit in Washington, D.C. Below is the transcript and video.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL'S SPEECH
Today I want to tell you about a war the mainstream media is ignoring.
From Boston to Zanzibar, there is a worldwide war on Christianity.
You won't hear much about it on the evening news because the answer is not convenient and does not fit the narrative we have been told about radical Islam.
The President tries to gloss over who is attacking and killing Christians. The media describes the killings as "sectarian."
But the truth is, there is a worldwide war on Christians by a fanatical element of Islam.
Ever since 9/11, commentators have tried to avoid pointing fingers at Islam. While it is fair to point out that most Muslims are not committed to violence against Christians, this is not the whole truth and we should not let political correctness stand in the way of the truth.
Yes, it is a minority of Muslims who condone killing of Christians. But unfortunately that minority numbers in the tens of millions.
Pew Research did a poll which indicated that 21 percent of Egyptians, 15 percent of Jordanians, and 13 percent of Pakistani Muslims find terrorism acceptable if not laudable. A minority? To be sure. But if you add up the numbers in just three countries, over 40 million Muslims sympathize with violence against Christians.
A Daily Telegraph survey indicated that 100,000 Muslims in Britain fully supported the London subway killings, and 400,000 Muslims expressed some sympathy with the bombers.
In Syria, there is an ancient Christian city called Maaloula, where they still speak Aramaic, the language that Jesus spoke. They have been Christian since the time of Christ. They are a small final outpost of Christians in the Middle East. In August, the town was over-run by the Islamic rebels.
As the Islamic Rebels swarmed into town they demanded everyone convert to Islam or die. Sarkis el Zakhm stood up and answered them, "I am a Christian and if you want to kill me because I am a Christian, do it." Those were Sarkis last words. Sister Carmel of Damascus said of Sarkis: "His death is true martyrdom, a death in odium fidei (or, in hatred of faith).
Elsewhere in Syria, Islamic rebels have filmed beheadings of their captives and celebrated by eating the heart of an enemy soldier. Two Christian bishops have been kidnapped and one priest recently killed.
These rebels are allies of the Islamic Rebels President Obama is now arming.
American tax dollars should never be spent to prop up a war on Christianity. But that is what is happening right now. As Christians we should take a stand and fight against any of our tax dollars funding the persecution of Christians.
In Zanzibar, a priest was shot in the head on his way to church by two Muslim youths. A message by the Muslim Renewal said, "We thank our young men, trained in Somalia, for killing an infidel. Many more will die. We will burn homes and churches. We have not finished: at Easter, be prepared for disaster."
In Kenya, motorcycle assailants hurled bombs into a Christian church injuring 15 people including the pastor who had both of his legs broken.
In Indonesia, the world's most populous Muslim nation, three girls were beheaded on their way to their Christian school.
In Guinea this year a Muslim mob attacked and killed 95 Christians and injured 130.
In Egypt, 82 churches were recently attacked, leaving hundreds dead or wounded.
Earlier this year, I forced the Senate to vote to defund the Muslim Brotherhood but every Democrat voted to continue sending your money to these haters of Christianity.
I can tell you one thing, as long as I am in the Senate, I will fight against sending ANY aid to the Muslim Brotherhood.
In Cameroon, recently, two Christians who had converted from Islam were murdered.
In Iran, American pastor Saeed Abedini has been imprisoned indefinitely, facing physical and psychological torture at the hands of his captors who have demanded that he renounce his faith.
I've introduced a resolution in the Senate that calls for the immediate release of this American pastor.
I will not rest until Pastor Abedini is freed!
Across the globe, Christians are under attack as if we lived in the Middle Ages or as if we lived under early pagan Roman rule.
This administration is doing nothing to stop it, and it can be argued, is giving aid and comfort to countries that tolerate these crimes.
In Libya, the country we freed from oppression, Benghazi militias raided a Christian church rounding up over a hundred Christians accusing them of being missionaries because they possessed Bibles and crosses. Many were tortured and one Christian died while being tortured.
In Pakistan, last week 75 Christians were killed and several hundred injured in a church bombing.
Asia Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, sits on death row for blasphemy. She says it all began when she drew water from a Muslim villager's well. As she was filling her bowl of water, a crowd formed chanting, "Death! Death to the Christian!"
She pleaded for her life.
She was pelted with stones, punched in the face and drug through the streets. The local Imam finally intervened only to say, "If you don't want to die, you must convert to Islam."
The crowd descended on her again beating her with sticks. Finally, the police stopped the attackers only to arrest her. For over a year now, Asia Bibi has been on death row for the alleged crime of blasphemy.
Until Asia Bibi is freed, Pakistan should not receive any U.S. tax dollars!
Many of you have heard of Malala Yousafzai, the precocious fourteen-year-old who was shot in the head by the Taliban for the crime of wanting to go school. Malala is not a Christian but even so the radical Islamists cannot stand to hear her advocate for letting girls go to school.
If you haven't listened to her, just pull up one of her YouTube videos and you will be amazed at her poise and elegance.
What bizarre distortion of religion would compel someone to shoot a little girl to make a religious point?
The Urdu poet, Parveen Shakir wrote, "They insist on examining the firefly in the daylight. The children of our age have grown clever."
Radical Islam will end only when Islam begins to police Islam. Only when Islam allows her children to examine the firefly in the daylight will the knowledge and enlightenment begin to glow and grow and religious violence recede. We should all pray for that day to come sooner rather than later.
We send billions of dollars a year to Pakistan and Egypt. We helped put new Islamic regimes in place in Afghanistan and Iraq. President Obama now sends arms to Islamic Rebels in Syria. In Egypt the mob attacked our embassy and burned our flag. I don't know about you...but I've had enough.
I say not one penny more to countries that burn our flag.
We must work to ensure our country, our policies, our tax dollars, are on the side of ending this violence rather than encouraging those who perpetrate it
The war on Christians is not just abroad. It came to Boston this year just in time for the marathon. Two Islamic radicals blew up dozens of civilians. I guess they thought killing women and children would somehow make a religious or political point.
You might argue that they didn't target Christians but they certainly didn't target a mosque either. Their motive, if you can perceive one, was not against our government but against us as a people, a Christian people.
How someone could believe that killing innocent people would further one's cause is beyond me.
Shortly after the attack, I met one of the Boston policemen who responded to the scene. He described his feelings as he witnessed the horror of a war zone. He described his sadness as he applied tourniquets and tried to save people. He described his anger as he helped pursue the bombers through the streets of Boston.
But he also described a special appreciation for American justice after the younger bomber was apprehended.
He said, "We didn't drag him through the streets. We didn't beat him to death with tire irons. He will get a lawyer. He will get a trial. That's what separates us from them.
That's the essence of the freedom our young soldiers fight for."
Some politicians hear of this war on Christianity and argue that we must fight a conventional war against Radical Islam.
There are times where that has been, and will be true.
We were right to go to War against Afghanistan after 9/11. There are times when military action is both justified and necessary.
I believe we must always be willing and able defend ourselves against jihadists.
But we must also re-examine our policies because military action can, at times, actually enable and empower Radical Islam. In Egypt, Libya and Syria it is still unclear whether war brought us regimes that are more friendly or less friendly to America.
To me, it doesn't make any sense to send American arms, American planes or American troops to aid the Syrian rebels, who are on the same side of that war as Al Qaeda!
In the future, I see less and less likelihood that conventional wars and armies will defeat 50 million Muslims spread across the planet. Make no mistake, we should actively defend ourselves but the ultimate answer must come from Islam itself.
These Islamic Republics see us as invaders and infidels. They will never accept us through force of arms. Somehow, though, they must come to understand that they must police themselves, that they must root out and destroy the sadists and killers who distort and contort religion to justify killing civilians and children.
Islam needs to remember and recreate the good in their history. For centuries, the Middle East was home to the cultural and intellectual centers of the ancient world. Math and science flourished. Tolerance and sophistication were the norm.
The great medieval physician, Rhazes, identified smallpox and measles, while the Persian mathematician, al-Kwarizmi, made advances in algebra.
Islam carried the light of learning through the centuries. They paved the way for the Enlightenment. Innovation in the Muslim communities developed the magnetic compass, mastered pens and printing, and understood better than any other culture the diagnosis and treatment of disease.
As late as the 1960s it was said that books were written in Cairo, printed in Beirut, and read in Baghdad.
Most Muslims describe Islam as a peaceful and tolerant religion, that at one time prized inquiry over the heads of infidels; the scientific method over fanaticism. I believe Islam still contains the roots of these classical traditions, and can return to them.
In the meantime, to defend ourselves we need to understand that the war on Christians is not being waged by rare anomalies in the Muslim world but by a significant minority that numbers in the millions.
Christians should be prepared for war, but actively seek Peace. Reagan said we should strive for Peace through Strength, and I agree. I urge us to not lose sight of either. Too often recently we have lost sight of Peace as the goal.
The message of the gospels is not war.
Hopefully the message of Christianity, if listened to, can be part of an eventual peace process.
In the meantime, take action. Pray for a solution. Hold your politicians accountable for protecting life and standing up against the war on Christianity.
May God bless each and every one of us.