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Two New International Religious Freedom Commissioners Appointed

03/26/2012 United States (USCIRF) - The U.S. Congress has appointed two individuals, Dr. Robert P. George and Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser, to serve as Commissioners on the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).

Comprised of nine commissioners, USCIRF monitors and advocates for religious freedom abroad wherever that right is being abused. USCIRF also offers policy solutions to improve conditions at the critical juncture of foreign policy, national security, and international religious freedom standards. On March 20, the Commission issued its 2012 annual report which recommended to the Secretary of State that the Obama administration designate 16 nations as countries of particular concern under the International Religious Freedom Act.

Dr. George was appointed by The Speaker of the House John Boehner. Dr. Jasser was appointed by the Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell.

“USCIRF welcomes the appointments of Dr. George and Dr. Jasser,” said Leonard Leo, USCIRF chair. “Along with my fellow Commissioners, Azizah al-Hibri, Rev. William Shaw, and Theodore Van Der Meid, we look forward to the many contributions they will make to the Commission’s work. USCIRF has accomplished much, but much is left to be done. The Commission will continue to work with Congress and the Executive Branch to ensure that religious freedom is upheld as a universal human right, and that policies advancing its protection are fully integrated components of U.S. foreign and national security policy.”

Dr. Robert P. George is McCormick Professor of Jurisprudence and Director of the James Madison Program in American Ideals and Institutions at Princeton University. He has served on the President’s Council on Bioethics and as a presidential appointee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. He is a former Judicial Fellow at the Supreme Court of the United States, where he received the Justice Tom C. Clark Award. A graduate of Swarthmore College and Harvard Law School, Professor George earned a doctorate in philosophy of law from Oxford University. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Swarthmore, and received a Knox Fellowship from Harvard for graduate study in law and philosophy at Oxford. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, and is a recipient of the United States Presidential Citizens Medal and the Honorific Medal for the Defense of Human Rights of the Republic of Poland.

Dr. M. Zuhdi Jasser is president and founder of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy which advocates for the preservation of the founding principles of the U.S. Constitution, liberty and freedom, through the separation of mosque and state. He is also a founding member of the American Islamic Leadership Coalition which represents a diverse group of reform minded American Muslim leaders. The son of Syrian immigrants, Dr. Jasser is a former Lieutenant Commander in the United States Navy where he served 11 years. Dr. Jasser is a nationally recognized expert who is widely published and has spoken at hundreds of national and international events and given testimony to Congress on the value of the centrality of religious liberty in the contest of ideas within Islam. Dr. Jasser is an author and a physician currently in private practice in Phoenix Arizona specializing in internal medicine and nuclear cardiology.

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