The convergence of the UK party manifestos on religious freedom is a positive development for sure. But to translate this domestic political pressure into effective foreign policy, the government should fold religious freedom promotion into a broader strategy of understanding and engaging religion in international affairs.
Because West doesn't believe that homosexuality is innate he can't see that it's a lot like race. Even so, he believes that cake shop owners are well within their rights to feel religiously persecuted! Religiously persecuted? Why? Do they have to live in icing ghettos or wear little cakes on their jackets to show they own cake shops?
A large proportion of the homophobia that exists in society continues to stem from religious belief. Within this, the active condemnation of homosexuality is often justified as an expression of faith; a religious right where an individual is free to preach - what they perceive to be - the word of God.
Modernity equates to a secular view of the world. Religion will slowly wither away. Globalisation is a new force in the world, spreading modernity, finally spelling religion's death-knoll. Well, no. A popular view but popular views are sometimes wrong. The obituary of God has been written many times.
Removing the collective worship requirement is not a call to jettison all trace of religion from schools... Legally imposing a daily act of worship, in which pupils by law are required to "take part", goes beyond the legitimate function of the state and violates the human right of freedom of belief for children and young people.
If the accusation is that the banning of the niqab goes against religious freedom, the foremost question must be whether the niqab itself has any kind of theological basis. Until now there has been no compelling evidence to suggest that it has, and this is what appears to have got lost in the debate.
The hue and cry at Channel 4's Ramadan broadcasts and call to prayer highlights the way religion is jumping back into the headlines in an unhelpfully sensationalist fashion.