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

‘What’s the Truth about American Muslims?’

WASHINGTON – On Thursday, October 11, at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C., Interfaith Alliance and the Religious Freedom Education Project of the First Amendment Center will release a new resource with answers to frequently asked questions about religious freedom and American Muslims.

The new document, entitled, “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 sharia.

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, will join Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance, and Dr. 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 Project to provide accurate information about American Muslims and Islam.

The endorsing organizations are: the 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.

The event is free and open to the public. Media coverage is welcome, and interview opportunities will be available.  RSVP is requested.  The public can RSVP to attend by emailing Ashlie Hampton at Press should RSVP to Shannon Craig Straw at

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

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

WHERE:  National Press Club
                529 14th Street NW
                Washington, DC 20045

WHO:     Leading experts on religious freedom and on American Muslims

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 nonpartisn work supports the First Amendment and builds understanding of its core freedoms through education, information and entertainment. 

Interfaith Alliance is a network of people of diverse faiths and beliefs from across the country working together to build a resilient democracy and fulfill America’s promise of religious freedom and civil rights not just for some, but for all. We mobilize powerful coalitions to challenge Christian nationalism and religious extremism, while fostering a better understanding of the healthy boundaries between religion and government. We advocate at all levels of government for an equitable and just America where the freedoms of belief and religious practice are protected, and where all persons are treated with dignity and have the opportunity to thrive. For more information visit