What is the politics of religious freedom? For the past decade and more, those who would like to see the active promotion of religious freedom at the “core” of foreign policy in the U.S. and now in Canada would have us understand that religious freedom is the foundation of democracy, the basis for political stability and first step to all other freedoms. The mission statement of the Office of International Religious Freedom in the U.S. Department of State links its promotion of religious freedom to human rights and to political “stability” for “all countries.” Referring to the establishment of a new Office of Religious Freedom within his government’s Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade in a statement to the United Nations last year, the Canadian UN Ambassador declared, “History has shown us that where religious freedom is strong, democratic freedom is strong.”
Posts Tagged ‘United States Commission on International Religious Freedom’
On July 29—one week from today—the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs at Georgetown University and the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom will host The Interplay between Religious Freedom, Extremism, and Security: Implications for U.S. Policy, which will feature a panel discussion among Ziya Meral, Daniel Philpott, Timothy Samuel Shah, and Monica Duffy Toft.
As the mid-term electoral season enters its final months, the growing controversy over the construction of Park51, the now well-known Muslim community center proposed to be built near the former site of the World Trade Center, has rocketed from an issue of local concern to one of apparently national import.
President Barack Obama has filled the post for ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom. On June 16, the White House sent Suzan D. Johnson Cook’s nomination to the Senate for confirmation. William Wan and Michelle Boorstein, posting on The Washington Post‘s religion blog, “On Faith,” commented on her nomination.
Michelle Boorstein of the Washington Post reports that the United States Commission on International Religious Freedom, “the federal agency charged with advising the president and Congress [and] created by Congress in 1998 as a part of the Religious Freedom Act,” is facing claims of religious bias.