On October 19, 2011, Dr. Azizah al-Hibri participated in a panel discussion entitled “Muslim-Majority and Muslim-Minority Communities in a Global Context.” The panel was hosted by the Brookings Project on U.S. Relations with the Islamic World and featured, alongside with Dr. al-Hibri, Ambassador Suzan Johnson Cook, Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State; Imam Muhammad Magid, President of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA) and Executive Director of the All Dulles Area Muslim Center (ADAMS).
During the event, Dr. al-Hibri stressed the importance of educating Muslims as well as non-Muslims about Islam, and noted the adverse effects of misunderstanding the religion or misrepresenting it. Dr. al-Hibri pointed out that KARAMAH was engaged in interfaith efforts to educate individuals about Islamic law in the US. Referring to minority rights in Islam, Dr. al-Hibri cited two Qur’anic verses. The first stated that “there is no compulsion in religion,” (2:256), thus guaranteeing freedom of religion in Islam. The second verse emphasized the importance of human diversity in society (49:13). She then turned to the anti-Shari’ah movement in the US noting that it attempts to restrict Muslim First Amendment rights would ultimately lead to similar restriction of other religious groups’ constitutional rights. . Dr. al-Hibri concluded her remarks by calling on Muslims and non-Muslims to respect people of all religions and accept them on equal footing.