One of the last acts of the Senate in 2021 was the confirmation of Rashad Hussain as U.S. Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.
The 85 to 5 vote for Hussain, the first Muslim and first Indian-American to be proposed for this position, indicates strong bipartisan support of religious freedom and diversity.
As head of the Office of International Religious Freedom in the U.S. State Department, he is the principal adviser to the President and to the Secretary of State regarding matters affecting religious freedom abroad. The mission of his office is to promote “universal respect for freedom of religion or belief for all as a core objective of U.S. foreign policy” and to “monitor religiously motivated abuses, harassment, and discrimination worldwide, and recommend, develop, and implement policies and programs to address these concerns.”
The USCIRF lauded Hussain’s confirmation. “With his years of knowledge and experience, Ambassador Hussain is well placed to advance the U.S. government’s promotion of international religious freedom,” said USCIRF Chair Nadine Maenza.
The Muslim Public Affairs Council also welcomed Hussain’s appointment. “Rashad has served our community and country at the highest level of integrity and intelligence,” Council president Salam Al-Marayati said. “Above all, he has served as a mentor and role model to Americans of all backgrounds, sharing with them the importance of public service and serving our country.”
Educated at Yale and Harvard, Hussain has been an attorney, academician and interfaith diplomat. A professor in the law faculty of Georgetown University, he is senior counsel at the National Security Division in the Department of Justice and director for partnerships and global engagement at the National Security Council.
During the Obama administration, Hussain served as special envoy to the 57-state Organization of Islamic Cooperation, the second-largest multilateral organization in the world after the United Nations, where he helped develop U.S. policy and partnerships with Muslim-majority countries, civil society and nongovernmental organizations.
The Church of Scientology publishes this blog to help create a better understanding of the freedom of religion and belief and provide news on religious freedom and issues affecting this freedom around the world.
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