Groups produce guide on U.S. Muslims

Thursday, October 11, 2012

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WASHINGTON — Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center released today a new resource with answers to frequently asked questions about religious freedom and American Muslims at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C.

(See coverage by Scripps Howard Foundation Wire.)

The new document, What is the Truth about American Muslims? Questions and Answers, is an attempt by the organizations to provide accurate information and delve into the law of religious freedom, the history of American Muslims in the United States, and misunderstood terms and practices, including Shariah.

Hussein Rashid, Hofstra University adjunct professor and Religion Dispatches associate editor, and Rev. Richard Cizik, president of the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, joined Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, and Charles C. Haynes, director of the Religious Freedom Education Project, to discuss the guide and the state of religious freedom in the United States.

Twenty-one religious and secular organizations have endorsed the religious-freedom principles outlined in the new document and support the effort led by Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project to provide accurate information about American Muslims and Islam.

The endorsing organizations: African American Ministers Leadership Council, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Foundation for Ethnic Understanding, Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, Islamic Networks Group, Islamic Society of North America, Muslim Public Affairs Council, National Religious Campaign Against Torture, New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, People for the American Way Foundation, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Queens Federation of Churches, Rabbis for Human Rights-North America, Secular Coalition for America, Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Sikh Coalition, Sojourners, Southern Poverty Law Center, Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations, United Church of Christ, and the United Methodist Church, General Board of Church and Society.

WHAT: “What is the truth about American Muslims?” A discussion on religious freedom and American Muslims

WHEN: Thursday, Oct. 11, 2012 — 9:30 a.m.

WHERE: National Press Club
529 14th Street NW
Washington, D.C. 20045

WHO: Leading experts on religious freedom and on American Muslims

The Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center educates the public about the vital importance of religious freedom through events, educational programs and outreach. The project is an initiative of the First Amendment Center, a program of the Freedom Forum, and affiliated with the Newseum. The First Amendment Center’s nonpartisan work supports the First Amendment and builds understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment.

Interfaith Alliance celebrates religious freedom by championing individual rights, promoting policies that protect both religion and democracy, and uniting diverse voices to challenge extremism. Founded in 1994, Interfaith Alliance has 185,000 members across the country from 75 faith traditions as well as those without a faith tradition.

Interfaith Alliance: Shannon Craig Straw,, 202/265-3000

Religious Freedom Education Project: Charles Haynes,, 571/232-6536

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