Pat Robertson accused the Bush administration this week on his “700 Club” program of undermining the Baptist president of Liberia and supporting Islamic insurgents.
President Bush said that the departure of Liberian President Charles Taylor is the “first step” for United States involvement in the war-torn country in West Africa, where freed-American slaves were once located.
“We are undermining a Christian, Baptist president to bring in Muslim rebels to take over the country,” said Robertson, founder of the Christian Coalition. “How dare the president of the United States say to the duly elected president of another country you’ve got to step down. How can he do that?”
The Liberian president has agreed to leave the country upon the arrival of an international peacekeeping force and has accepted Nigeria’s offer of asylum.
Born to a Liberian mother and an American father, Taylor was educated in the United States, according to the BBC News.
When President William Tolbert, an ordained Baptist minister and leader of the Baptist World Alliance, was overthrown in 1980, he was replaced by Sergeant Samuel Doe. In turn, Taylor overthrew Doe in 1995 after a seven-year insurgency.
A United Nations-backed tribunal indicted Taylor in June for crimes against humanity that included responsibility for mutilations and rapes in neighboring Sierra Leone.
Accusing the rebel insurgents who oppose him of being Islamic extremists, Taylor said that the U.S. support for the rebels might come back to haunt America, reported the New York Times.
“We have given money to a Muslim country, Guinea, and the rebels coming against Taylor are Muslim fighters,” said Robertson, repeating Taylor’s allegation. “The fighting in Africa that is taking place right now is an example of the Muslims trying to overrun the Christian countries and they’re being funded out of Saudi Arabia.”
Robertson did not tell his viewers about his gold mining venture in Liberia, which Taylor supports.
Freedom Gold Limited, a corporation registered in the Cayman Islands, has Robertson listed as its president.
Last year, Robertson defended Taylor against “alleged nefarious activities.”
Robertson wrote that Liberia was “a Christian nation in Africa which was founded by President James Monroe as a haven for freed American slaves, and whose first president was a Baptist pastor from Norfolk.”