Asma T. Uddin is the Director of Strategy for the Center on Islam and Religious Freedom (CIRF), a DC-based non-profit engaging and connecting domestic and international religious freedom matters concerning Muslims. CIRF works in academic, public education, and advocacy arenas.
Ms. Uddin is a graduate of The University of Chicago Law School, where she was a staff editor at The University of Chicago Law Review. Before taking on her role at CIRF, she was Counsel for over six years at The Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. At The Becket Fund, she helped protect the religious expression of people of all different faiths, in both the U.S. and abroad.
Ms. Uddin spent her first two years at The Becket Fund serving as the primary attorney for Becket’s Legal Training Institute (LTI), which was devoted to working with local partners around the world to train advocates, lawyers, judges, religious leaders, journalists and students in religious freedom law and principles. In this capacity, she helped litigate against Indonesia’s Blasphemy Act. In 2013, Ms. Uddin leveraged her on-the-ground experiences into a global convening in Doha, Qatar, where she worked with activists and academics from Europe, the U.S., and Muslim-majority countries on theoretical and practical steps to broaden religious liberty protections. In 2014-15, Ms. Uddin wrote and judged the competition case for Oxford University’s international Price Media Law Moot Court Programme.
Ms. Uddin has four years experience working on U.S. religious liberty matters, defending the free exercise rights of groups as diverse as Muslim Americans and Native Americans. She has been involved in advocacy and litigation related to religious land use, prisoner rights, religious garb, Blaine Amendments, and more. In this capacity, she has developed a careful understanding of Free Exercise Clause jurisprudence and key religious liberty statutes, such as the Religious Land Use and Institutionalized Persons Act (RLUIPA) and federal and state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts (RFRA), and their application across a wide range of majority and minority religious practices.
Ms. Uddin is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of altmuslimah.com, a web magazine dedicated to issues on gender and Islam. Her work at altmuslimah has earned the praise of many, including Dr. Robert George of Princeton University, who calls Ms. Uddin “an exceptionally gifted young Muslim woman writer.” The Huffington Post’s Senior Religion Editor, Paul Brandeis Raushenbush has noted, “AltMuslimah.com is important because it gives a specific platform to the intersections between gender, belief and well-being in Islam — all with superior levels of intellect and writing. The internet would be the poorer without AltMuslimah as a destination and font of knowledge for seekers of all religious backgrounds.”
Ms. Uddin speaks and publishes widely on issues of national and international religious freedom, as well as gender and faith. Her work has been published by numerous law reviews and prominent university presses. She guest-editeda special issue of The Review of Faith & International Affairs and is co-editing a forthcoming book of essays by women who have faced religious persecution. Ms. Uddin receives frequent speaking invitations from think tanks, universities, NGOs, and the U.S. State Department. She also serves on the Advisory Council for The Institute for Global Engagement’s Center for Women, Faith & Leadership.
University of Chicago, JD