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February 24, 2010

Report: Foreign Policy Must Engage Religious Communities

A new report recommends that the Obama administration should make religion an important part of the United State's foreign policy.

"The success of American diplomacy in the next decade will be measured in no small part by its ability to connect with the hundreds of millions of people throughout the world whose identity is defined by religion," the Chicago Council on Global Affairs states in the release.

Notre Dame's Scott Appleby said in a Washington Post video that some people in government feel hand-cuffed in dealing with religion.

"Many scholars and policy makers are very wary of engaging religious communities abroad because they fear that our Constitution prohibits such engagement, and that fear is not well-founded," he said. He also said that for security reasons, the U.S. is engaged with countries that also repress religion.



David Waters blogged and covered the report's release for the Washington Post, reporting that the council met with officials from the State Department and Joshua Dubois, head of the White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.

American foreign policy is handicapped by a narrow, ill-informed and "uncompromising Western secularism" that feeds religious extremism, threatens traditional cultures and fails to encourage religious groups that promote peace and human rights, according to a two-year study by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs.

The council's 32-member task force, which included former government officials and scholars representing all major faiths, delivered its report to the White House on Tuesday. The report warns of a serious "capabilities gap" and recommends that President Obama make religion "an integral part of our foreign policy."

Appleby points out on The Immanent Frame that the Obama administration has yet to fill the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom.

“Religious freedom” is perceived by many peoples around the world, not least Muslims of the Middle East, they argued, not as a universal human right, but as a superpower-charged means of advancing hegemonic U.S. (read: Christian or, worse from their perspective, Judeo-Christian) interests. This particular strain of anti-Americanism is inflamed by isolated episodes of Christian missionaries proselytizing defiantly (or clumsily) in settings where they were manifestly unwelcome, and thereby igniting riots and sometimes deadly violence.

Comments

Muslims may complain about superpower-charged hegemony driving religious interests, but, for them, it is nothing but a subterfuge. Islam, at it's very core, seeks hegemony over the whole world and more often than not, advances this by violence. They scream loudly for their rights, but, when in power, severely restrict the rights of others. Historically, Islam has enslaved thousands and it is said that they have murdered 230,000,000 non-Muslims.

This is the wrong approach to the problem. Contrary to every one else, Islamic societies pick the worst amongst them to lead. These people are generally super fanatics whose dream is to abolish any other religion on earth with the exclusion of Islam. Religious minorities in Islamic countries are generally oppressed, persecuted and killed as impure creatures. Notice that for them Islam has the right to commit all these crimes but you do not have to protest their sctions. At the Saudi customs he has the right to confiscate your personal Bible and throw it in the garbage. But wo wo wo you don't have to protest his action. Gentlemen, do not be fooled by decption and treachery.

scharoubim@sbcglobal.net

Foreign Policy Must Engage Religious Communities?

Muslims have murdered 230,000,000 non-Muslims.

Islam ! Too cruel

One of the more disturbing, and lesser known, facts about this administration is its failure to "fill the position of ambassador-at-large for international religious freedom." In Washington's ever-present search for bi-partisanship, this is an issue that can find a wide base of support, and produce tangible, and beneficial, results.

JESUS CHRIST, SAID "I AM THE WAY,THE TRUTH AND lIFE"
It is in this name and this name alone that true FREEDOM is given to mankind. The COURAGEOUS VOICE who stands in this Name is THE AMBASSADOR OF FREEDOM, AND WILL EMULATE Faith, Hope and Love.