e-ISSN 2231-8542
ISSN 1511-3701

Home / Regular Issue / JTAS Vol. 25 (S) Oct. 2017 / JSSH-S0554-2017


International Religious Freedom Act 1998 and the Issues of Religious Freedom in Muslim Countries

Mohd Yusob, M. L., Salleh, M. A., Mohd Ariffin, R. A. and Mohamed, A. M. H.

Pertanika Journal of Tropical Agricultural Science, Volume 25, Issue S, October 2017

Keywords: International Religious Freedom Act (IRFA), religious freedom, religion and international relations

Published on: 16 Apr 2018

In the late 20th century the increasing international emphasis on the recognition of religious freedom had led the United States to draw the International Religious Freedom Act (1998) in October 1998. The Act aims to improve the ability of United States to advance religious freedom through its foreign policy. However, after almost 18 years since its establishment, it is important to highlight that IRFA's report had focused on the issue in Muslim-majority countries. In fact, many Muslim countries were classified as "Countries Particular Concern" (CPC) that is violators of religious freedom. The objective of this article is to study critically the IRFA report with regard to Muslim countries. It contends that the US government had given too much focus to Muslim countries. Though the law has the potential to be a useful tool to protect religious freedom, the result of IRFA report in meddling in affairs of Muslim-majority states is the major flaw. The paper will also examine, at glance, on the concept of religious freedom within the framework of maqasid al-shariah (the objectives of Shariah law).

ISSN 1511-3701

e-ISSN 2231-8542

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