The Trouble with American Foreign Policy and Islam
July 8, 2011
Religious Freedom Project Director Tom Farr writes in this article that religious liberty is essential in the construction of stable and lasting liberal democracies. He argues that a successful regime of religious liberty has three characteristics: full equality under the law for religious minorities, limits on the majority's cultural and political dominance, and vigorous freedom of expression. It is the case around the world today that in states where Islam is the majority faith, religious freedom is still severely restricted. To promote the emergence of democracy in Muslim-majority states, US foreign policy makers and diplomats must make a variety of changes, such as: deepen their thinking about religion; institute mandatory training programs on religious freedom for Foreign Service officers; and make religious liberty a central foreign policy objective.