Video: Tony Burman on why faith should be kept out of foreign policy

Promoting religious freedom abroad is meant to appease a domestic constituency


Tony Burman is the former managing director of Al Jazeera English.

The New Missionaries is a joint project between Maclean’s and OpenCanada.org, the Canadian International Council’s (CIC) hub for international affairs. Click here to learn more about the CIC.

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Video: Tony Burman on why faith should be kept out of foreign policy

  1. It seems so obvious it’s a shame it even needs to be said. My criticism is that he linked this kind of sham human rights concerns with western governments instead of western RIGHT WING governments, and that in the middle he equates promotion of religion with promotion of religious freedom.  While certainly that’s a likelihood, esp. given the people in charge right now, it’s by no means an inevitability.

  2. Tony Burman has it about right. The current Canadian government is more interested in constantly running for election than it is in governing and the OFR is just another ploy to gain votes from its Conservative base. 

    Otherwise, John  Baird would be open to suggestions to improve the OFR and to the idea of including non-believers in the effort so that those persecuted in theist countries because they are atheists could look to Canada as some kind messenger of hope. To date, John Baird, and his officials have carefully ignored any input from non-believers. 

    As Tony points out, this policy, like so many Conservative policies is short term short-sightedness that will, once again have Canada punching far below its once established weight in foreign affairs.

    Doug Thomas
    President, SCS.

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