AIFD in the News

07/26/2015 Russia Should Embrace Its Religious Diversity (Op-Ed)

Source: The Moscow Times How will Europe’s human rights court respond to a government that treats a pacifist religious group as a dangerous extremist cell? The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) will answer that question this summer when it rules on whether Russia’s prosecution of Jehovah’s Witnesses under its extremism law criminalizes freedom of religion or belief. A ruling against the Kremlin could be a landmark decision for Russia, affecting not only Jehovah’s Witnesses. From Muslims to dissenting members of the Moscow Patriarchate Russian Orthodox Church (MPROC), other Russians are also caught in the wide net cast by this overly broad law. Under the extremism law, religious material is banned throughout Russia once a higher court upholds a lower … Continued

AIFD Offers Condolences to Citizens of Chattanooga, as Eid Begins Most Solemnly

It is with heavy hearts that we offer our deepest condolences to the families, loved ones and community of the four marines murdered yesterday in Chattanooga, Tennessee. Disturbing details have begun to emerge about the gunman, Muhammad Youssef Abdulazeez: a tweet from an account purporting to represent ISIS foreshadowed the attacks, just as in Garland, Texas a few short months ago. A young man in his twenties, displaying signs of recklessness and disregard for human life as he was arrested for driving under the influence this past spring. A “nice guy,” classmates said, clearly radicalized to murder. As a veteran … Continued

04/03/2015 Vermont bullies Indiana as American Muslims rise to defend religious liberty

Source: Vermont Watchdog  While Gov. Peter Shumlin and members of the House of Representatives moved this week to intimidate states with religious freedom protections, prominent spokesmen of America’s Muslim community defended Indiana and similar states. On Tuesday, Shumlin issued a ban on nonessential state-funded travel to Indiana after Gov. Mike Pence signed a bill that protects the right of individual Hoosiers to not participate in activities that violate their religion. Members of the Vermont House joined Shumlin’s bullying effort Thursday, proposing a resolution that urges the governor to extend the travel ban to all states with similar laws. While Vermont officials … Continued

12/15/2014 Pro-Democracy Muslim Promotes ‘Sunlight’ to Combat Radical Islam

Source: Jewish Exponent    Zuhdi Jasser, 46, was amazed to hear his pro-democracy views become the target of a verbal attack in front of his family by the imam of the Phoenix mosque he attends. As the American-born son of Syrian refugees from that country’s dictatorial Baathist regime, Jasser has made a name from himself as a devout Muslim and avid supporter of democracy, helping to found the American Islamic Forum for Democracy in the wake of Speaking to about 25 guests at a StandWithUs luncheon on Dec. 10 at the Duane Morris law offices in Center City, Jasser explained … Continued

09/23/2014 Katie Pavlich: Shed political correctness in combatting ISIS

Source: The Hill Three years ago, former Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee Pete King, a Republican congressman from New York, announced the first in a series of controversial hearings he planned to hold about combating homegrown terror and radicalization in Muslim-American communities. King’s decision didn’t come out of the blue, but after U.S. Army Pvt. William Long was murdered in revenge by Abdulhakim Muhammad outside of a recruitment center in Arkansas. Muhammad was known as Carlos Bledsoe before converting to Islam and being influenced by radicals. Minutes after King’s announcement, emotional outrage and hysteria erupted, quickly turning a … Continued

08/25/2014 Muslim: I was bullied for criticizing Hamas

Source: AZ Central    M. Zuhdi Jasser: Think religious intimidation doesn’t happen in the Valley? Think again. What happens in Syria, Egypt, Iraq or Gaza has an impact every day right here in the Valley. Even in America, leading Muslim organizations and clerics bully with threats of ostracism those Muslims who dare to dissent. Old-guard ideologues, too, used to monopoly control, make it crystal clear to their Muslim critics: Take us on and we will make an example of you as a traitor to the Muslim community (the ummah). On July 28, Muslims around the world celebrated Eid al-Fitr (Holiday … Continued

07/23/2014 US lawmakers seek answers in ‘troubling’ violation of Sudanese Christian woman’s human rights

Source: Fox News    As a Sudanese Christian who faced execution for refusing to renounce her faith remains holed up with her family in the U.S. Embassy in Khartoum, a host of religious, human rights and immigration experts have been summoned to Capitol Hill to testify about her plight in the war-torn African nation. The congressional hearing on Meriam Ibrahim, who gave birth while imprisoned in chains, is aimed at raising awareness of what one lawmaker called a “troubling violation of a basic human right.” “Meriam Ibrahim has been imprisoned in Sudan in fear of execution, chained during the late … Continued

07/23/2014 Congress to Sudan: Release Ibrahim family

Source: World Magazine   WASHINGTON—Lawmakers on Wednesday blasted the Sudanese government for continuing to prohibit Meriam Ibrahim and her family from leaving Sudan. Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Africa, convened the hearing to spotlight the unresolved case of Ibrahim, a 27-year-old woman whose husband and two children are American citizens. Ibrahim was raised as a Christian by her mother, but a Sudanese court in May sentenced her to death for converting from Islam, the religion of her absentee father. “Her refusal to leave the faith she had practiced her entire life led to her being … Continued

07/23/2014 Meriam Ibrahim Is Free From Sudan

Source: National Journal    Meriam Ibrahim, the Sudanese woman who’d been sentenced to death under Islamic law, arrived in Rome on Thursday, less than a day after U.S. lawmakers held a hearing in search of ways to help her. Ibrahim and her two children were accompanied on the flight by Italian Deputy Foreign Minister Lapo Pistelli, who posted a photo from the trip on his Facebook page, according to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Federica Mogherini, Italy’s Foreign Affairs minister, called the development a “great joy” and thanked the “efforts of many” within the Italian government. It isn’t immediately clear … Continued