March 13, 2013
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), ranking member on the Senate Armed Services Committee, and Congressman Jim Bridenstine (R-OK-1) today introduced a resolution in their respective chambers to seek protection of religious minority rights and freedoms in the Arab world. In the Senate, Inhofe's legislation is designated as S.Res.69 , and in the House, Bridenstine's legislation is H.Res.106.
"In light of the ongoing unrest across the Arab world, Rep. Bridenstine and I have introduced legislation to help protect the rights and freedoms of minority religions in the faith community," said Inhofe. "Those in Egypt and other Arab nations have sought new freedoms to end government repression and political cronyism, but in the midst of it religious minorities have greatly suffered. Instead, this population has come under repetitive and deadly attacks in the name of so-called blasphemy laws restricting their freedom of worship. Democratic ideals do not always ensure religious freedom, and the United States must be the leading advocate for increased freedom around the world. This legislation would not only recognize that religious minority freedoms must be protected, but also strongly urge the U.S. Government to lead in repealing existing blasphemy laws internationally."
Bridenstine commented, “I am honored to join with my fellow Oklahoman, Sen. Inhofe, to introduce this legislation to help protect religious minorities and urge the U.S. government to lead the international effort to repeal existing blasphemy laws. The freedom to worship by minority religious communities has repeatedly come under deadly attack in recent months. I can hardly pick up a newspaper without reading about a religious group being attacked or faith leader being imprisoned. People participating in the revolution dubbed the ‘Arab Spring’ have demanded rights denied them by repressive governments. They will not long hold their rights if they in turn deny rights to their fellow citizens. Religious minorities must be protected from violence and guaranteed the freedom to practice their religion.”