Islamic State Is Criticized As Persecutor In U.S. Report

In Misleading Information, Religious Intolernace On

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration criticized the Islamic State on Tuesday for its persecution of religious minorities but made no mention of a recent rise in attacks against Muslims in the United States, as it released the government’s annual accounting of religious persecution around the world.

. . .

Missing from Tuesday’s report was any mention of a spike in acts of violence and bigotry against Muslims in the United States, widely reported in the wake of last year’s election. Nor did the report take note of President Trump’s proposal as a candidate to ban the entry of all Muslims into the United States, or his subsequent orders to bar the entry of refugees or citizens from seven (later reduced to six) predominantly Muslim countries.

The report listed threats to religious freedom in 199 countries, but the United States was not on the list.

“We do not rate ourselves,” said Ambassador Michael Kozak of the State Department’s Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labor. In a press briefing after Mr. Tillerson spoke, he added, “I would put our record on religious freedom up against anybody in the world.”

The report recognized that the resettlement of refugees suffering religious persecution was “a vital tool” but failed to acknowledge that the Trump administration had severely restricted the entry of all refugees into the United States.

“Every year, unfortunately, there are way, way more refugees than any country can take,” Mr. Kozak said when asked about the seeming incongruity.

Threats against Christians abroad have been a focus of concern for conservatives in the United States, and in May Mr. Trump released a statement denouncing the “merciless slaughter” of Christians in Egypt.

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