July 18, 2013
Religious Freedom and U.S. Foreign Policy
By Luke Goodrich, Deputy General Counsel
Can Islam embrace religious freedom? If so, should the United States be working for religious freedom in Muslim-majority countries?
Yes, says Georgetown University professor Tom Farr, in an interesting series of posts on National Review Online.
First, Professor Farr argues that “there is a practical concept of religious freedom . . . that can be adapted by Muslim societies” — a concept that is “similar to what the American Founders meant by religious freedom.”
Second, he argues that fostering religious freedom in Muslim-majority countries is in the United States’ interest, because doing so can “help struggling democracies such as Egypt and Pakistan attain a measure of stability that will undermine the kinds of extremist Islamist ideas that fuel terrorism.”
Third, he argues that the Department of State is failing “miserably” at doing so.