Editor's note: This column was co-authored by Bob Morrison, who served in the Reagan administration.
President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have until March 17th to issue a determination that ISIS’ attacks on Christians in the Mideast are genocide. Time is running out. The foot-dragging and hesitancy of this administration in calling it genocide is inexplicable. Why do they have to be prodded to do what is right?
All of us have seen the horrific images of 21 Coptic Christians lined up on a North African beach and beheaded. These Egyptian martyrs died with the name of Jesus on their lips. These murders, rapes, arsons, and kidnappings are taking place daily in regions where ISIS has extended its bloodstained reach.
We see as well the destruction of homes, schools, and churches. Christians and other religious minorities are given the choice of conversion to Islam, paying extortionate sums (called jizya) to their persecutors, or fleeing.
These are no “choices” at all. They are all violations of all internationally recognized human rights. Each act of ISIS violence further diminishes the moral weight of the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The United States, and especially the impassioned advocacy of our chief delegate Eleanor Roosevelt, played a crucial role in the adoption of this historic document. We Americans are invested in this appeal to the conscience of the world.