How the U.S. Promotes Extremism in the Name of Religious Freedom
On July 26, U.S. President Donald Trump announced his nomination of Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as U.S. ambassador at large for international religious freedom. The position was created by the International Religious Freedom Act of 1998, which also established the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF), with whom the ambassador’s office closely cooperates. President Trump and members of Congress will appoint new commissioners to the USCIRF in 2018. The commission reports on global violations of religious freedom and makes recommendations to the president and the State Department for action, including sanctions.
Despite Congress’ best intentions, the USCIRF has strayed far from its mandate. In its 2017 report, the commission effectively supports the right of Islamist extremists to operate in several Muslim-majority countries, Iranian mullahs to spread radicalism abroad, and hardline Islamist organizations to receive foreign funding. It also castigates policies that promote secularism, such as bans on headscarves for girls in public schools. In its quest to protect freedom of religion, the USCIRF is championing the rights of groups that aspire to impose religious coercion on others.
Terror in Stockholm
Last week’s terror attack in Sweden should raise important questions about how the West defines its enemies. Last Friday, an ISIS supporter rammed a truck into a department store in […]
Russia: an Enabler of Jihad?
Russian officials have had to contain their glee in monitoring recent political events in America and Europe. They appear to think their days in the cold may soon be over. […]
Central Asia Is Not a Breeding Ground for Radicalization
Both in Europe and the United States, this argument is made with increasing frequency but it doesn’t reflect reality, argues Svante Cornell. On October 31, a citizen of Uzbekistan was […]
Centralasien – ingen grogrund för radikalisering
OPINION · ”Många pekar finger mot de centralasiatiska länderna. Problemet är att individerna i fråga inte radikaliseras i Centralasien. Förövarna i Stockholm och New York lämnade båda Uzbekistan för närmare ett […]
The European Union’s Political and Security Engagement with Central Asia: How to Move Forward
Despite an ambitious set of policy initiatives for Central Asia, the EU is punching below its weight in a region where Russia and China are far more influential. Ten years after the EU launched a strategy for Central Asia, the EU is still facing substantial challenges in implementing its strategy successfully.
The EU and Central Asia: Expanding Economic Cooperation, Trade, and Investment
Since the independence of the Central Asian states, this landlocked region has taken time to reconnect with the world, including Europe. Twenty-five years ago, many underestimated the diverse challenges – infrastructural, economic, political – that impeded the region’s trade and connectivity with the rest of the world. Yet as trade statistics show, much has been accomplished in a quarter century.