Rep. Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) (AP)
(CNSNews.com) – Representatives Jeff Fortenberry (R-Neb.) and Andy Harris (R-Md.) said Thursday that the media have been ignoring the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East, and urged advocates for minorities to put pressure on the media to raise awareness of the issue.
They were speaking at a national advocacy day on Capitol Hill for Middle East Christians, hosted by the group In Defense of Christians (IDC).
Rep. Fortenberry praised the advocates for their hard work in raising awareness to a point where the House of Representatives unanimously passed a resolution in March declaring that ISIS was committing genocide against Christians, Yazidis, and other minorities in the Middle East.
“Now when I went on television after, international television, I was pressed, it’s a word, so what? What does it mean to say genocide?” Fortenberry said. “I said, first of all it’s a gateway. The facts have been made clear and now it’s a gateway to further policy considerations that can really, truly address the tragedy of what’s unfolding.”
“But secondly,” Fortenberry said he asked the program, “have you, on your television program, ever had a conversation, a discussion about the minorities in the Middle East and their rightful claim to their ancestral homes? You never have and now you are.”
“The genocide resolution laid down an important marker where the entire government of the United States spoke with moral clarity, raised international consciousness, and now creates again the platform for consideration of further ideas that can help save people,” Fortenberry said.
Rep. Andy Harris (R-Md.) (AP)
Rep. Andy Harris claimed the media are still largely silent on the issue.
“There is no media out there on this,” he told those gathered.
“The fact of the matter is the media is ignoring the persecution of religious minorities in the Middle East. That’s the fact and we have to change that by whatever means we can,” Harris concluded.
A nurse killed by the Islamic State. (YouTube screenshot)