The American Islamic Congress (AIC) is holding a Capitol Hill forum at noon on Tuesday, October 7, on democracy and human rights conditions in Egypt.
"With the elections being held next month, this is a very important topic to be relayed to the new administration," says Jana El-Horr, AIC"s Government & Political Affairs Director. "Supporting the growth of a civil leadership based on human and civil rights in the Middle East is necessary for any burgeoning democracy."
The panel occurs in connection to legislation (H. Res. 1303) currently being deliberated in Congress "calling on the Egyptian Government to respect human rights and freedoms of religion and expression in Egypt." US policymakers have in the past struggled to find ways of holding Egypt accountable for its human rights track record.
The panel, co-sponsored by Congress" Religious Freedom and Anti-Terrorism caucuses, features three leading Middle East experts. The event is the latest in AIC"s monthly forum on Muslim affairs, designed to inform Congressional leaders, Capitol Hill staffers, and the policy community. The event is free and lunch is provided.
When: 12 p.m. Tuesday, October 7, 2008
Where: 122 Canon Building, Capitol Hill
Sherif Mansour, Program Officer, Middle East and North Africa, Freedom House
Dr. Dwight Bashir, Senior Analyst, United States Commission on International Religious Freedom
Atef Al-Saadawy, Reagan-Fascell Democracy Fellow, National Endowment for Democracy
Zahir Janmohamed, Advocacy Director for Middle East Program, Amnesty International
The three panelists will discuss the state of human rights in the country and obstacles that hinder the creation of a democratic Egypt. The US Commission on International Religious Freedom in its latest report documents discrimination towards religious minorities. Earlier this year, Freedom House called for Egypt"s respect of free speech after its imprisonment of independent journalist Ibrahim Issa, detained for "insulting" President Hosni Mubarak and criticizing his regime. Yesterday, Mubarak authorized Issa"s release, marking a victory in an ongoing effort to pressure the Egyptian government to promote freedom of expression and other civil liberties for its people.
The American Islamic Congress is a civil-rights organization promoting tolerance and the exchange of ideas among Muslims and between other peoples. With the motto "passionate about moderation," the organization leads initiatives around the world and has offices in Washington, Boston, Egypt, and Iraq.
SOURCE American Islamic Congress