Godlessness Hampers US Foreign Policy

Report says America ignores world religions at its own peril
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 24, 2010 5:22 AM CST
Muslim women pray outside the Shrine of Sufi saint Khwaja Naqashbandi in Srinagar, India, Feb. 18, 2010. India is cited in the report as a country where US policy must engage more with religion.   (AP Photo/ Dar Yasin)

(Newser) – President Obama needs to close the "God gap" in foreign policy, or the US will surely continue to feed religious extremism and undermine peace efforts around the world. So claims a report delivered to the White House yesterday, which warns that the "uncompromising Western secularism" of those at the reins of US foreign policy threatens key American interests from Russia to Yemen.

The report by the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a moderately influential think tank with close ties to the Obamas, urges the US to make religion an "integral part of our foreign policy." The council's recommendations, which are being taken seriously in a climate of increased attention to the "God gap," include training diplomats in religion, engaging local religious communities abroad, and scrutinizing US promotion of "religious freedom," which is perceived as imperialism in many countries.

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