By: Timothy Shah
Under the auspices of the British Council, Boston University, Notre Dame, and the Religious Freedom Project, a truly wide collection of individuals and institutions came together to organize a conference at Georgetown University on October 8-9, 2015 on the subject of transatlantic cooperation to advance international religious freedom. In the course of the conference, despite powerful countervailing trends, compelling theoretical and practical reasons emerged for thinking that such cooperation is eminently possible.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/19/a-philosophical-basis-for-transatlantic-cooperation-on-religious-freedom
By: Peter Berger
In early October I attended an exceedingly interesting conference about religious freedom at Georgetown University in Washington, presided over by Tom Farr and Timothy Shah of the Berkley Center. I gave the keynote address dealing with the relationship of pluralism and religious freedom, based on the theory of pluralism I developed in my recent book The Many Altars of Modernity (2014). (Over the years I acquired a deep appreciation of African wit and wisdom, so I feel free to quote my favorite Zulu proverb, “if I don’t beat my drum, who will?") The focus of the conference was on the place of religious freedom in the foreign policy of Western democracies, notably the United States and the United Kingdom.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/19/religious-freedom-and-the-vicissitudes-of-power
By: Mun'im Sirry
The church destruction in Aceh Singkil on October 13, 2015, by a mob of around 1,000 people left one person dead and contibuted to the already long list of violence at places of worship in Indonesia. Three months earlier, on July 17, 2015, a mosque in Tolikara, Papua, was burned down on the day of the Muslim celebration of Eid al-Adha. The two incidents may have no correlation; however, they reflect broader obstacles to peaceful coexistence in post-reform Indonesia. Each of these incidents involved specific problems peculiar to each region.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/19/religious-freedom-and-places-of-worship-in-contemporary-indonesia
By: Faizan Mustafa
Julio Riberio, former director-general of the police of Punjab, said, “Today in the 86th year, I feel threatened, not wanted, reduced to a stranger in my own country. The same category of citizens who had put their trust in me to rescue them from a force they could not comprehend have now come out of woodwork to condemn me for practising a religion that is different from theirs. I am not an Indian anymore, at least in the eyes of the proponents of Hindu Rashtra.” Many prominent members of religious minorities and liberal Hindus feel the same way today.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/19/freedom-of-religious-in-india-current-challenges
By: Pasquale Ferrara
Religious Freedom as a Principle
In theory, there is no reason why the concept of religious freedom should be seen as divisive or controversial. Religious freedom seems today, in the international political discourse, to have acquired the status of consensual default policy, connected from one side to the respect of religions themselves, from the other side as a species of a genus, that is, a specific liberty inside the broader context of freedoms and rights. Religious freedom is even sometimes conceptualized as a “root right,” upon which the entire building of human rights and fundamental liberties is constructed.
Permanent Link: https://www.religiousfreedominstitute.org/cornerstone/2016/7/19/religious-freedom-the-case-for-international-consensus