Rand Paul: End Aid to Pakistan Over Treatment of Women, Christians

Wednesday, 25 Jun 2014 12:12 PM

By Sandy Fitzgerald

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Republican Sen. Rand Paul is calling for the United States to end its foreign aid to Pakistan because of continued instances of persecution and oppression of women over their gender and some for their Christian faith.

"Many countries that receive U.S. foreign aid have laws that officially discriminate against Christians," the Kentucky lawmaker and potential candidate for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination told the Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee, Breitbart reports.

"Persecution of women is wrong," he said. "Persecution of Christians is wrong. Persecution of women or Christians in the name of religion must be stood up to. American power, if it is to have value in the world, must be used as a force against persecution."

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Rand cited several examples of women who have been persecuted in Pakistan, including the world-renowned Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who survived a gunshot attack by the Taliban for attending school and is now an education advocate for girls.

No female seeking education in Pakistan is safe, said Paul, because of continued threats from the Taliban.

Paul also told of the case of Asia Bibi, a Christian woman who was sentenced to death in 2009 for blasphemy for an insult against the Prophet Muhammad while visiting a Muslim well.

"According to her co-workers, she insulted the prophet. In our country, we refer to such quibbling as gossip. In Pakistan, if you are a Christian, it can land you on death row," Paul said.

Such persecution of Christians has been rising in recent years. The Movement for Solidarity and Peace, which campaigns against religious violence in Pakistan, reports that an estimated 100 to 700 Christian girls and at least 300 Hindu girls are forced to convert to Islam and to marry Muslims.

The girls are often raped or beaten, the report said, and when the family complains to police, the abductor responds that the girl has willingly converted, the group said in its report.


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