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Freedom From Religion (Terrorism Second Series)

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Although many books on terrorism and religious extremism have been published in the years since 9/11, none of them written by Western authors call for the curtailment of religious freedom and freedom of expression for the sake of greater security. Rather, those terror-related debates have addressed what other civil liberties should be honored. Issues like torture, domestic Although many books on terrorism and religious extremism have been published in the years since 9/11, none of them written by Western authors call for the curtailment of religious freedom and freedom of expression for the sake of greater security. Rather, those terror-related debates have addressed what other civil liberties should be honored. Issues like torture, domestic surveillance, and unlawful detentions have dominated the literature in this area, but few, if any, major scholars have questioned the vast allowances made by Western nations for the freedoms of religion and speech. Freedom from Religion challenges the almost sacrosanct inviolability of these two civil liberties. By drawing the connection between politically-correct tolerance of extremist speech and the rise of terrorist activity, this book sets the context for its unique proposal that governments should introduce new limits on religious practice within their borders. To demonstrate the wisdom of this course, the author presents the disparate policies and security circumstances of five countries: the U.S., the UK, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Israel. The book benefits not just from the author's own counter-terrorism experience in Israel and the U.S. but also from an international advisory group of leading scholars from all five of the countries under review.


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Although many books on terrorism and religious extremism have been published in the years since 9/11, none of them written by Western authors call for the curtailment of religious freedom and freedom of expression for the sake of greater security. Rather, those terror-related debates have addressed what other civil liberties should be honored. Issues like torture, domestic Although many books on terrorism and religious extremism have been published in the years since 9/11, none of them written by Western authors call for the curtailment of religious freedom and freedom of expression for the sake of greater security. Rather, those terror-related debates have addressed what other civil liberties should be honored. Issues like torture, domestic surveillance, and unlawful detentions have dominated the literature in this area, but few, if any, major scholars have questioned the vast allowances made by Western nations for the freedoms of religion and speech. Freedom from Religion challenges the almost sacrosanct inviolability of these two civil liberties. By drawing the connection between politically-correct tolerance of extremist speech and the rise of terrorist activity, this book sets the context for its unique proposal that governments should introduce new limits on religious practice within their borders. To demonstrate the wisdom of this course, the author presents the disparate policies and security circumstances of five countries: the U.S., the UK, the Netherlands, Turkey, and Israel. The book benefits not just from the author's own counter-terrorism experience in Israel and the U.S. but also from an international advisory group of leading scholars from all five of the countries under review.

15 review for Freedom From Religion (Terrorism Second Series)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Mark

    Amos Guiora, former Israel Defense Force Judge and current law professor at the University of Utah's School of Law, makes his case for the need to infringe on religious liberties (in extreme cases) in the interest of national security. While he makes as good a case as can be made, his reasoning is both flawed and dangerous (to all religious liberty). He argues that the power wielded by religious fanatics exceeds that of secular fanatics because their followers ascribe to them the backing of God. Amos Guiora, former Israel Defense Force Judge and current law professor at the University of Utah's School of Law, makes his case for the need to infringe on religious liberties (in extreme cases) in the interest of national security. While he makes as good a case as can be made, his reasoning is both flawed and dangerous (to all religious liberty). He argues that the power wielded by religious fanatics exceeds that of secular fanatics because their followers ascribe to them the backing of God. This, he believes, warrants an exceptional need to restrict religious "free speech" rights beyond those of secular persons. The more I read, the more it appeared to me that Guiora would like to ban what he calls "extremist religion" altogether, but based on whose definition of extremist? A very slippery slope indeed. He writes, "While it is reasonable to assume that the person of moderate faith places civil law "above" religious law, the believer in religious extremism arguably has an alternative worldview. That alternative worldview presents the most palpable danger to contemporary, civil democratic society as religious extremists challenge the legitimacy of the state's power over them" (86). Well, then, by his definition I am an extremist, as were the Founding Fathers who "appeal[ed] to the supreme judge of the world for the rectitude of [their] intentions" to commit treason against their government, based on what they believed to be a violation of their God-given "inalienable rights!" Religious fanatics all! Later he notes that, "While previous secular leaders such as Hitler, Stalin, Mao, and Pol Pot have led their followers to do brutal and unimaginable acts, the present threat is different. Today's greatest threat is violent religious extremists" (119-20). No kidding the present threat is different! Hitler & listed company were far, far worse! They killed many millions rather than thousands. And what allowed them the ability to slaughter so many? That they were backed by the power of Government, which is the very power Guiora is suggesting should have greater discretionary power in limiting the rights of "extremist religions." Does anyone else see a problem here? Are extremist religions potentially dangerous? Yes! And when they break the law, they should be prosecuted. But should we preemptively curtail their religious freedom because of what they MIGHT possibly do? There is a dangerously slippery slope, my friends!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ryan

  3. 5 out of 5

    Peter

  4. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  5. 4 out of 5

    Nathan Allison

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ray Godfrey

  7. 4 out of 5

    Steelblue2

  8. 5 out of 5

    Mike

  9. 4 out of 5

    John

  10. 4 out of 5

    Sari

  11. 4 out of 5

    indecisivespace

  12. 5 out of 5

    Catherine Eby

  13. 5 out of 5

    Gavin

  14. 5 out of 5

    Brian Blake

  15. 4 out of 5

    Tyler

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