An American Muslim says propagating freedom of religion is the key to US President Donald Trump’s aim to “eradicate” radicalism and terrorism “from the face of the earth”.
Amer Aziz, writing for The Hill, praised the establishment in 1998 of an office of Religious Freedom in the US State Department, following the signing into law of the International Religious Freedom Act, but said “the office simply does not enjoy the needed level of influence”.
He quoted William Inboden, former senior director on the National Security Council, as saying: “There is not a single nation in the world that both respects religious freedom and poses a security threat to the United States … including World War II, every major war the United States has fought over the past 70 years has been against an enemy that also severely violated religious freedom”.
Aziz criticised the US’s historic ties with Pakistan and Saudi Arabia – both of which he accused of spreading an extremist rhetoric – and called on US President Donald Trump to “vet foreign alliances, to ensure they are not constitutionally feeding the very doctrines that threaten our national security and are antithetical to our values: the freedom of religion”.
His piece comes as Christians continue to debate the pros and cons of Trump’s pledge to prioritise refugees from persecuted religious communities – especially Christians – and his executive order to temporarily halt immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries, first identified during Obama’s time.