7/24/13 AIFD Congratulates Robert P. George on his election as USCIRF Chair


AIFD congratulates Robert P. George on his election as USCIRF Chair

AIFD founder Zuhdi Jasser elected Vice Chair

 PHOENIX (July 24, 2013) – The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) commends the election of Professor Robert George as the Chair of the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom and the election of AIFD founder and president Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser and Dr. Katrina Lantos Swett as the Vice Chairs.

Professor George is the McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University and a Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. He was appointed to USCIRF in 2012 by Speaker of the House John Boehner and is serving his first term as a Commissioner.

“I am so pleased to be able to serve in support of Chairman George,” said Dr. Jasser.  “Professor George is a tireless defender of religious liberty and its importance not only to the principles of human rights, but also its centrality to national security. It will continue to be an honor and a privilege to work closely with Professor George. I look forward to a very productive year under his stewardship.”

Dr. Jasser was appointed to USCIRF by Minority Leader Senator Mitch McConnell in 2012.  He is the founder and president of AIFD which advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. He is also a founding member of the American Islamic Leadership Coalition which represents a diverse group of reform minded American Muslim leaders. The son of Syrian immigrants, Dr. Jasser is a former Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy where he served 11 years. Dr. Jasser is a nationally recognized expert who is widely published and has spoken at hundreds of national and international events and given testimony to Congress on the value of the centrality of religious liberty in the contest of ideas within Islam. Dr. Jasser is the author of A Battle for the Soul of Islam and a physician currently in private practice in Phoenix Arizona specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology.

“USCIRF serves an important role in protecting religious freedom in all of the countries which our commission laid out in our 2013 report,” said Jasser. “I specifically look forward to continuing to bring my experiences with the challenges facing so many countries around the world navigating the conflicts between political Islam (Islamism) and liberty.”

Dr. Lantos Swett is the outgoing chair of USCIRF and an appointee of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She is president of the Lantos Foundation where she works to carry on the human rights legacy of her father, the late Representative Tom Lantos. She teaches human rights and American foreign policy at Tufts University.

“I commend Dr Swett on her remarkable and exemplary leadership of our commission over the past year,” said Jasser.  “I look forward to continuing to work closely with her in the coming year as a fellow vice chair.”

The USCIRF election took place at the commission’s monthly meeting on July 23, 2013. To interview a USCIRF Commissioner, please contact USCIRF at (202) 523-3258 or media@uscirf.gov. USCIRF’s media release can be found here.

Dr. Jasser is available for interviews by contact Gregg Edgar at 602-690-7977 or gedgar@gcjpr.com.

About the American Islamic Forum for Democracy

The American Islamic Forum for Democracy (AIFD) is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. AIFD’s mission advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the United States Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. For more information on AIFD, please visit our website at http://www.aifdemocracy.org/.

MEDIA CONTACTS:         Gregg Edgar

Gordon C. James Public Relations