When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom

Loading Events

« All Events

  • This event has passed.

When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom

September 10, 2019 @ 10:00 am - 12:00 pm

Book event with Asma Uddin, author of When Islam is not a Religion flyer

ISPU and the Religious Freedom Center will host a celebration of the publication of ISPU Scholar Asma Uddin’s When Islam Is Not a Religion: Inside America’s Fight for Religious Freedom. The event will kick-off with Uddin in conversation with Tom Gjelten of National Public Radio, followed by a panel discussion among leaders from diverse faith communities.


Religious liberty lawyer Asma Uddin has long considered her work defending people of all faiths to be a calling more than a job. Yet even as she seeks equal protection for Evangelicals, Sikhs, Muslims, Native Americans, Jews and Catholics alike, she has seen an ominous increase in attempts to criminalize Islam and exclude American Muslims from their inalienable rights.

Somehow, the view that Muslims aren’t human enough for human rights or constitutional protections is moving from the fringe to the mainstream along with the claim, “Islam is not a religion.” This conceit affects all Americans because the loss of liberty for one means the loss of liberties for everyone.

“When Islam Is Not a Religion” also looks at how faith in America is being secularized and politicized and the repercussions this has on debates about religious freedom and diversity.

Woven throughout this national saga is Uddin’s own story. She combines her experience as a person of Muslim faith and her legal and philosophical appreciation that all individuals have a right to religious liberty. Uddin examines the shifting tides of American culture and outlines a way forward for individuals and communities navigating today’s culture wars.


  • Asma Uddin is the author of When Islam Is Not a Religion, senior scholar at the Freedom Forum Institute, visiting scholar at Brigham Young University Law School and a nonresident fellow at Georgetown and UCLA.
  • Tom Gjelten is the religion and belief correspondent for National Public Radio news. Gjelten has worked for NPR since 1982, when he joined the organization as a labor and education reporter.
  • Dalia Mogahed is the director of research at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding, where she leads the organization’s pioneering research and thought leadership programs on American Muslims.
  • Steven Waldman is the author of Sacred Liberty: America’s Long, Bloody and Ongoing Struggle for Religious Freedom and president and co-founder of Report for America.
  • Jaideep Singh is a scholar/activist whose work examines the intersections of racial and religious bias in contemporary society, and the racialization of religious identity in the post-9/11 era.
  • Kevin Singer is co-founder of Neighborly Faith, an organization helping evangelical Christians to be good neighbors to people of other faiths. Neighborly Faith runs a popular weekly podcast and a fellows program with evangelical college students across America.


September 10, 2019
10:00 am - 12:00 pm
Event Category:


Religious Freedom Center
555 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC 20001 United States
+ Google Map


Religious Freedom Center