During his landmark address to the world, delivered in Cairo last June, President Obama proposed to open a new era of engagement with “Muslim communities”—engagement, that is, not just with Muslim states or regimes, but also with other economically and politically influential social sectors, including religious groups, educational institutions, civic organizations, health care institutions, and youth affiliations. In the hopes of accelerating the process of rethinking America’s attitude toward the Muslim word, The Chicago Council on Global Affairs has issued a Task Force Report (TFR), entitled “Engaging Religious Communities Abroad: A New Imperative for U.S. Foreign Policy.” Our hope is to build on the president’s ideas and explain why they apply not only to Islamic communities, but to religious communities more generally.Read the rest of “Religious freedom” and its critics.
R. Scott Appleby is the John M. Regan Jr. Director of the Kroc Institute and Professor of History at the University of Notre Dame. Appleby is the author of The Ambivalence of the Sacred: Religion, Violence and Reconciliation (Rowman & Littlefield 2000) and editor of Spokesmen for the Despised: Fundamentalist Leaders of the Middle East (University of Chicago 1997). With Martin E. Marty, he co-edited the five-volume Fundamentalism Project (University of Chicago Press). He is a contributing author to Rethinking Secularism (a forthcoming SSRC volume), a previous co-chair of the SSRC's Advisory Committee on Religion and International Affairs, and the director of Contending Modernities. Read Scott Appleby's contribution to TIF's "off the cuff" roundtable on Contending Modernities.
Posts by Scott Appleby:
How far has the Catholic Church traveled in its almost 43 years as an advocate of religious freedom? Apparently, the journey has brought the Vatican to the brink of allying itself, however cautiously, with all believers whose search for the Truth of God has led them, or may be leading them, to endorse human dignity and human freedom as the basis for world order and cross-cultural, transnational peace.Read the rest of An indifferent pope?.