Congressman Joe Wilson Joins Colleagues in Letter To Ambassador Samuel Brownback On Religious Freedom

Apr 23rd, 2018 | By | Category: Featured

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Congressman Joe Wilson (R-SC) joined 19 of his colleagues in sending a letter to Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom Samuel Brownback in regards to threats of religious freedom and the rise of extremism in Southeast Asia.

This letter details how religious minorities are continuously discriminated against, with Human Rights Watch reporting 55 instances of Indonesians being targeted, including Christians, for blasphemy violations since the fall of 2016. In Malaysia, there have been 155 religious freedom violations in 2017 alone.

These attitudes and instances provide the opportunity for Islamist parties to capitalize on the anti-minority sentiment and advocate for sharia law. This has had a direct correlation to increased terrorism activity in the region, with ISIS-inspired attacks occurring in Malaysia, Indonesia, and the Philippines.

These events show the susceptibility to extremism in the region and threaten the United States’ partnership with these countries.

To protect American security, promote freedom abroad, and maintain strong geopolitical relationships in the region, we as a nation must address the changing cultural, religious, and civic trends of the region.

Specific information requested from Ambassador Brownback include;

  • What soft power tools can the U.S. use to stop these trends?
  • What is the outlook for the region, and what are the United States’ contingencies in the event these religious freedom trends become worse?
  • What do shifts from religious freedom mean for the United States’ relationship with partners like Indonesia and Malaysia?

You can read the full letter here.


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