February 10, 2015

The National Prayer Breakfast: The Protest

Last week I posted a story that I originally wrote for Breitbart National Security about Sudan’s Foreign Minister, Ali Ahmed Karti, being invited to the National Prayer Breakfast. (It turns out that this is not the first time that Karti has been to the Prayer Breakfast…)

IRD also issued a press release announcing that our Church Alliance for a New Sudan would sponsor a demonstration against Karti and another Sudanese government official, Ibrahim Ghandour’s, presence at the Prayer Breakfast, which took place last Thursday, February 5, 2015, in Washington, DC.

You can read more about Karti, whose illustrious career has included being the commander of the Popular Defense Force militia that assisted in the perpetration of genocide in South Sudan, Darfur, and the Nuba Mountains, as well as being in charge of Khartoum’s “ghost houses,” the infamous buildings where torture of dissidents took place.  And you can also learn more about Ghandour, who did not come for the prayer breakfast, but is reported to have been invited to the United States by the State Department for meetings this week.

Since our initial announcement about America’s genocidal breakfast guests, most of the attention has been on President Obama’s speech (although the stirring testimony of the main speaker, NASCAR driver, Darrell Waltrip, and the powerful prayer of Samaritan’s Purse “Ebola Doctor” Kent Brantly, should not be overshadowed). But keep in mind, as President Obama condemned slavery in America, and the head of slave raids in South Sudan sat listening as an honored guest, a small band of Sudanese and American protesters stood outside as a witness to that outrage. Here’s what happened:

When we first arrived at the Washington Hilton, we were overwhelmed by the hundreds, if not thousands, of demonstrators either welcoming or protesting the Dalai Lama. We wondered if we would be completely drowned out by the constant drumming and chants of “False Dalai Lama, keep religion free,” from those who were protesting (very possibly funded and supported by the Chinese Communist government). But our small band of protesters — including Sudanese from the Darfuri, Nuba, Beja, Nubian, Blue Nile, and other people groups, along with their American c0horts — managed to speak out strongly for two hours about the presence of genocidal Sudanese leaders in Washington.

This video, created by one member of our demonstration, Nassr Haggam, captures our protest. The video features two interviews, one with me at 8:49, and one in Arabic with Abdalhaleim Hassan at 10:35. There is also a clip of a Catholic news agency interviewing Hawaa Salih Goma at about 7:00.

After the breakfast itself was over, and the presidential motorcade had taken off, six of us went into the hotel to attempt to engage prayer breakfast attendees who were remaining for the rest of the day’s events and tell them the truth about one of their fellow breakfast attendees. We had flyers to distribute to those who expressed an interest.

We did not get very far before we were stopped by hotel security. After accusing us of lying to him by saying we were waiting for someone (we actually were), he herded us out of the hotel and down the driveway to the sidewalk with the threat that we would be arrested if we entered the hotel again. (Now we see the violence inherent in this system!) So instead we got to know some of the pro-Dalai Lama/anti-Communism group that was waiting for their bus to go back to New York and compare stories of thug regimes.

Meanwhile, as we were once again out in the cold, it appears from news reports spreading all over Sudan that Foreign Minister Karti not only attended the National Prayer Breakfast, but was able to lobby unofficially on behalf of the National Congress Party/National Islamic Front regime. Karti’s spokesman, Youssef al-Kordofani, told the Sudan Tribune “Karti’s participation in the event is important because this prestigious forum allows to clarify facts about Sudan, pointing that the breakfast is attended by decision makers from the US and around the world.”

Kordofani added that “the foreign minister briefed the event [the prayer breakfast] about the situation in Sudan, the government efforts to end war in Darfur and the Two Areas, the national dialogue and the general elections.” He also said that Karti “held consultations with members of Congress about the bilateral relations, efforts to lift US sanctions on Sudan and the promotion of dialogue between the two countries.” It is not clear how much of this information from Kordofani is true and how much of this is Khartoum regime spin, but it is disturbing that they even have this much to work with — to allow spin to take place.

The only bright spot in this upsetting information was that our protest and other actions were noted. The Sudan Tribune reported that Kordofani addressed the protests as the “natural product of (Sudanese) opposition and pressure groups known for their hostility to Sudan.” When it comes to racist, radical jihadists who bomb their citizens from the air, starve them to death, make them slaves, and target Christians for persecution, I am happy for IRD’s Church Alliance for a New Sudan to be known as “a pressure group known for its hostility.” We will continue to post information of our own, to counter the disinformation of the Khartoum regime and hopefully to open the eyes of Christians whose desire for reconciliation with certain individuals has prevented them from being aware of the situation of millions of victims of those individuals.

Operation Broken Silence (OBS) has recorded the results of the #JustSayNo campaign that we first announced here in the IRD press release. In spite of only having a few days’ notice to mobilize, the campaign was very successful in petitions signed, tweets issued, and other measures. OBS also provides links to the statement of condemnation by U.S. Representatives Jim McGovern (D-MA) and Joe Pitts (R-PA), the co-chairs of the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission and the statement from the office of one of the co-chairs of the National Prayer Breakfast, Senator Roger Wicker, (R-MS). Once Wicker was made aware of Karti’s attendance, he was “uninvited” from the pre-breakfast meet and greet with Administration officials. In addition, The Baroness Cox, member of the House of Lords and CEO of Humanitarian Aid Relief Trust (HART) issued a scorching statement — all the more scorching because she had just returned with a team from Sudan’s Blue Nile State, one of areas currently under attack by the Khartoum regime.

You may be interested in receiving the electronic version of this flyer, created by Mark Hackett, our colleague at Operation Broken Silence. Please email fmcdonnell@theird.org if so. Although the Prayer Breakfast is over for this year, we want to ensure that perpetrators of genocide are not welcome at next year’s event and want these flyers disseminated widely, particularly to members of Congress. There should be guidelines to which the Fellowship Foundation, the organizers of the National Prayer Breakfast agree to adhere — such as, say, that no one who is actively committed genocide should be invited!

 

 

 

 


5 Responses to The National Prayer Breakfast: The Protest

  1. JQ says:

    I commend you. I wish more attention would focus on the National Prayer Breakfast in Rwanda, where Anglican bishops who oversee American churches applaud dictator Paul Kagame.

    • faithmcdonnell says:

      Thank you, JQ. It is always bad when the Church – which is to speak prophetically to the government — is too cozy with the government.

  2. AbuShy says:

    This reminds me when Obama helped a similar operative escape from South Sudan within a diplomatic vehicle that had the dark windows so no one could discern who was inside. The man was in effect the vice president of South Sudan who attempted a failed coup of the recently elected President of South Sudan. The VP did manage to start a mini-civil war and prior to this little “dust up” was in Khartoum conferring with the Islamic dictator. I forget the exact connection except that about this same time frame, Malik Obama had been given special tax-exempt status by Lois Lerner and with this and the name of his “foundation” (The President Barack Hussein Obama Foundation or some such similar name), Malik was successful in fund raising and then went back to Kenya. Almost immediately (Christmas 2013 or there about) there was a jihadi incident in a shopping mall in Nairobi, many victims. Then the failed coup took place next door in South Sudan. Malik’s/Obama’s hand was all over it/both of them as it was in inviting this genocidal murdering international war criminal to the prayer breakfast and then making his false and moral equivalency diatribe at the prayer breakfast.
    The fact that he plays both sides (Iranian Shiites, Moslem Brotherhood Sunnis et al) and the confusion and chaos results means one of two possibilities: He is a dhimmi so-called xtian under the thumb of both of these strains of Islam who have in common the moslem “messianic” doctrine that before the Mehdi is revealed, there must be chaos.
    It is either that, or he is a devout moslem who believes the same and is bringing desolation where ever he can first of all by taking the only real source of light and stability out—fundamentally change it—America!
    That makes him a treasonous international war criminal,,,trying now to hide behind his new found “let’s go to war with ISIS”…when will we wake up and treat him accordingly?

  3. Abraham says:

    This is a bold and a very encouraging movement. I applaud you for your
    great efforts to see the rights of the afflicted addressed. Keep on
    keeping on until the right thing is done. The perpetrators Must be
    brought to justice and the rights of the common man upheld. What prayer
    can one make when deep down the blood of the innocent is crying out to
    God. This is preposterous and must be condemned. May God help us!

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