|9/11/2013: CNN World -- Fight Terrorism with Religious Freedom|
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September 11, 2013 | By Robert P. George
The following op-ed appeared in CNN World on September 11, 2013.
Editor’s note: Robert P. George is chairman of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF). The views expressed are his own.
A dozen years ago today, the 9/11 attacks brutally awakened the American people to the global reality of terrorism – of lethal groups like al Qaeda and the Taliban, which manipulate religion in violent pursuit of totalitarian aims.
In the ensuing years, the nation rightly focused on these groups, and especially on the regions of South Asia – including Afghanistan and Pakistan – and the Middle East.
Yet in many ways, an overlooked story of the past few years has been the disturbing rise of like-minded organizations elsewhere, particularly in Africa. As the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has documented, the forces of violent religious extremism have gained footholds on the continent, terrorizing populations, violating fundamental rights including religious freedom, and posing a serious security threat to the region and potentially beyond.