Reason vs. Rhetoric
Understanding American Muslims
As the 2012 election season heats up, American Muslims find themselves at the center of the growing debates surrounding the role of mosques, sharia law, religious garb, and other issues related to Muslim life in the United States. This exciting day long symposium at the Newseum brought together leading experts on religious freedom and American Muslims to examine many of the contentious questions fueling these debates. Several participants/panelists from the UK offered a British/European perspective on these issues as well. What is the truth about American Muslims? We delved into the answers, in partnership with the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, the Religious Freedom Education Project at the Newseum, and the Interfaith Alliance.
View video of each panel below.
When: June 28, 9:30am-4:00pm
555 Pennsylvania Ave., NW
Sixth St entrance, 7th floor
Washington, DC 20001
Follow the conversation on Twitter with #USMuslims.
9:30-10:45: Religious Freedom and American Muslims
What are the guiding constitutional and legal principles for addressing the current debates about mosques, sharia law, religious garb in the workplace, accommodation for religious practices in public schools and other issues faced by American Muslims? How does the American response to these questions compare and contrast to the European response, particularly in the United Kingdom?
Moderator: Charles Haynes, Director, Religious Freedom Education Project
Panellists: Eric Treene, Special Counsel, Civil Rights Division, Department of Justice; Engy Abdelkader, Legal Fellow, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; Kathleen Moore, Professor of Religious Studies, University of California Santa Barbara
11:00-12:15: American Muslims: Caricature vs. Reality
An examination of the American Muslim role in their communities and institutional settings. Persistent stereotypes will be discussed in both a historical and contemporary sense.
Moderator: Emmanuel Kattan, Project Manager, Our Shared Future, British Council, @OurSharedFuture
Panellists: Precious Rasheeda Muhammad, Author & Historian; Mohamed Younis, Senior Analyst, Gallup Center for Muslim Studies; Maria Ebrahimji, Executive Editorial Producer and Director, CNN; Imam Mohamed Magid, President, Islamic Society of North America and Executive Director, All Dulles Area Muslim Society
1:30-2:45: Sharia and Other Religious Laws
A legal and cultural discussion of what sharia is and is not. How has the debate about sharia been dealt with in the political arena and by the media? How does sharia compare to other religious systems of law practiced in the United States?
Moderator: Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, President, Interfaith Alliance, @intrfthalliance
Panellists: Julie Macfarlane, Professor of Law, University of Windsor; Sadakat Kadri, Author and Barrister, Doughty Street Chambers; Marc Stern, Associate General Counsel, American Jewish Committee
2:45-4:00: Mosques in America
An examination of the traditional and contemporary role of mosques in America, including consideration of the Park 51 controversy and anti‐mosque protests. The growth, history, and public perception of mosques in the United States will also be discussed.
Moderator: Shireen Zaman, Executive Director, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, @theispu
Panellists: Kathleen Foley, Fellow, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; Mohamed Elibiary, National Security Policy Analyst and Member, Department of Homeland Security Advisory Council; Remziya Suleyman, Director of Policy and Administration, American Center for Outreach