Force Alone Will Not Suffice: Undermining ISIL with Religious Freedom

Author: Thomas Farr

December 9, 2014

Tom Farr, in testimony to Canada's House of Commons, argues that Canadian and U.S. international religious freedom policy should be understood as part of a broader national security strategy—a diplomatic counterterrorism tool. To combat the rise of the Islamic State, policymakers must grasp the root cause of terrorism: a radical, and spreading, interpretation of Islam, nourished and abetted by Middle Eastern tyrants secular and religious, by legal and cultural practices of radical intolerance, and by a dying political order. Any solution to the ongoing crisis must account for the powerful influence of religion, which remains a primary component of the region's political and cultural identity.

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