Religious Diversity in America: The Challenge of Minority Civil Rights Webchat

Diverse religious groups and other minority communities have always been part of the U.S. social landscape, and the rights of minorities are protected under U.S. law.

Want to explore this unique aspect of the American experience? — “The Challenge of Minority Civil Rights” — was moderated by Shaarik Zafar, the U.S. Department of State’s special representative to Muslim communities and featured panelists Hoda Hawa and Kareem Shora.

Hoda Hawa is the Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Muslim Public Affairs Council in D.C, where she oversees MPAC’s strategic initiatives in government and policy. Her focus is to both engaging U.S. government representatives and engaging communities to be active and aware of the policies that affect them. Hoda writes frequently on issues that affect Americans both domestically and internationally, with a particular emphasis on those issues that impact American Muslims. She also has experience in dialogue development groups, interfaith activities and conflict resolution.
Kareem Shora is Section Chief of the Community Engagement Section in the Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties in the Department of Homeland Security. He is in charge of assessing the Department’s activities and policies to ensure they do not violate civil rights and civil liberties. Kareem is also the Department’s lead on implementation of UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) Resolution 16/18 promoting religious freedom and the protection of religious minorities through the country-to-country training program in partnership with the US Departments of State and Justice.

They also examine how the U.S. government protects the civil rights of minority groups — and the challenge of balancing minority rights and freedom of expression.