President Barack Obama announced the appointment of Rashad Hussain as Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) on February 13, 2010. The OIC is comprised of 56 nations and is the second largest international body after the UN. Full Text»
Protecting the Rights of Christians and Religious Minorities in the Muslim World By Rashad Hussain
Last Friday, I was pleased to have the opportunity to participate in the Second Annual Baptist-Muslim Dialogue at Andover Newton Theological School in Newton, Massachusetts. The event, hosted by the Andover Newton Theological School is the second such dialogue since 2009.
In my remarks, I spoke about the importance of universal freedoms in advancing the rights of people of all faiths around the globe. I noted that
“We cannot accept any measures that undermine the protections found in the First Amendment of our constitution. The First Amendment guarantees the free exercise of religion - including for millions of Muslim Americans, and it also creates a climate of tolerance and respect by promoting the free exchange of ideas. And it has taught us that the best way to counter hateful speech is with better speech. Second, restrictions on speech tend to raise the profile of the speech being proscribed, often resulting in the opposite of effect of what is intended. Third, legal restrictions can be used to justify blasphemy laws, which are sometimes used to target political opponents and religious minorities, including Christian minorities living in the Muslim world.”
You can find the entire speech here.
Special Envoy Hussain's Travel to Afghanistan
Special Envoy Hussain traveled to Afghanistan in April 2012 where he met with government, civic, and religious leaders in open dialogue to deepen understanding between the United States and Afghanistan. Special Envoy Hussain's visit involved a range of engagements, including meetings with President Hamid Karzai, Foreign Minister Rassoul, and government and community leaders.
Promoting Entrepreneurship in Jeddah
"I recently returned from a week-long trip to Jeddah. In addition to meeting with government and OIC officials, I also had a chance to spend time with a number of civil society groups, including 12 young Saudi members of the Jeddah branch of the Global Entrepreneurship Organization." DipNote Blog»
Special Envoy Hussain Addresses the 7th Session of the OIC Council of Foreign Ministers
"I am the product of the American Muslim community - a community of nearly 7 million people and one that has prospered in all fields. It is also a community that practices its faith freely in the United States. Since the President’s election, I have served on the President’s legal team, observing first hand and contributing to his commitment to renewing relations with Muslim communities around the world." Full Text»
Special Envoy Hussain Presents Remarks Regarding the Role of Religious Leaders at the Alliance of Civilizations
"In addition to making statements rejecting terrorism, religious leaders should go one step further by making it clear that there is a religious obligation to help protect the sanctity of life by leading and cooperating in efforts to stop terrorist plots." Full Text»
Strengthening Partnerships With Muslim Communities Around the World
Special Envoy to the Organization of the Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Rashad Hussain delivered the keynote address at the Center for the Study of Islam and Democracy's 11th Annual Conference on April 28, 2010. In his speech, "U.S. Relations with the Muslim World: One Year After Cairo," Special Envoy Hussain spoke about the vision that President Obama articulated in his speech in Cairo. DipNote Blog»