The Charter of the New Alliance of Virtue: Can It Help Advance Religious Freedom on the Ground?

March 5, 2020

In an article published today in The Catholic Thing, RFI co-founder and senior fellow Kent Hill examines the Charter of the New Alliance of Virtue, which was released in Abu Dhabi in December 2019. Hill spoke at the launch event. Bringing together “Jews, Christians, Muslims, representatives of other religions, and other people of goodwill,” the Charter is intended to be “a common affirmation of virtues that are essential for living in peace.”

As Hill explains, RFI chose to play a role in shaping this document for two reasons. First, while in the short-term “non-binding statements of principle” may prove inconsequential, when “delivered authoritatively and at the right moment, [they] can have a long-term impact for the good…” Hill points to the U.S. Declaration of Independence and the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as examples.

Second, Hill emphasizes that “current attempts to stem religion-related violence and terrorism in the Middle East have not worked” and that it is time to look for an alternative path forward.

Here’s our bottom line: The solution to these problems does not lie in U.S. military force, or in Western secular notions of constitutionalism resting on premises independent of religion. Both are doomed to fail because they lack credibility in Muslim settings. The only possible solution lies in the actions of Muslim-majority nations themselves, drawing on their own religious premises.

Read the full article: The Charter of the New Alliance of Virtue.