IAMC Welcomes House Passage Of Islamophobia Bill, Confirmation of Rashad Hussain As Ambassador For Religious Freedom
WASHINGTON, DC (Dec. 17, 2021) – The Indian American Muslim Council (IAMC), a Washington, D.C. based advocacy group dedicated to safeguarding India’s pluralist and tolerant ethos, today welcomed the passage of Combating International Islamophobia Act in the U.S. House of Representatives as also the Senate confirmation of Rashad Hussain as Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom.
On Tuesday (December 14), the House chamber cleared the bill authored by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-MN) and Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) with 219 votes in favor.
The law will establish a Special Envoy at the U.S. State Department to monitor and combat Islamophobia, and include state-sponsored Islamophobic violence and impunity in the Department’s annual human rights reports.
It will also help the US policymakers to better understand the “interconnected, global problem of anti-Muslim bigotry, and will establish a comprehensive strategy for U.S. leadership in combating Islamophobia worldwide.”
“This bill will go a long way in countering Islamophobia, anti-Muslim violence and discrimination that are rampant around the world, especially in India, where Muslims are regularly and openly targeted because of their faith,” said IAMC Executive Director Rasheed Ahmed, welcoming the passage of the bill.
“The anti-Muslim hate crimes across India have surged since Narendra Modi became India’s prime minister over seven years ago. Lynchings, physical assaults, attacks on Muslim houses, business, and their places of worship have become the new normal.”
He added: “The United States, which was founded on the principle of religious liberty, has a moral obligation to combat Islamophobia both domestically and globally.”
On Thursday, the Senate bipartisan majority voted to confirm the nomination of Mr. Rashad Hussain to serve in a key religious freedom role at the U.S. Department of State.
Mr. Hussain, who has served in various roles including Senior Counsel at the Department of Justice’s National Security Division, will lead the position of Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom. He is the first South Asian, first Indian American, and first American Muslim to be nominated for the job.
“We at IAMC look forward to working with Ambassador Hussain to promote and safeguard human rights and religious freedoms of minorities in India, who are currently facing extreme persecution at the hands of Hindu nationalist government and its supporters due to their faith,” IAMC President Syed Afzal Ali said.