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Religious Freedom Project

Georgetown University's Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs has received a $2 million grant from the John Templeton Foundation to support the interdisciplinary study of religious...

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PROJECT LEADERS

Thomas FarrThomas Farr

Thomas F. Farr is director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and a visiting associate...

Timothy ShahTimothy Shah

Timothy Samuel Shah is associate director of the Religious Freedom Project at the Berkley Center for Religion, Peace, and World Affairs and...

ASSOCIATE SCHOLARS

Ilan AlonIlan Alon

Ilan Alon is the George D. and Harriet W. Cornell Chair of International Business and director of the China Center at Rollins College, as well as a...

José CasanovaJosé Casanova

José Casanova is one of the world's top scholars in the sociology of religion. He is a professor at the Department of Sociology at Georgetown...

Jean Bethke ElshtainJean Bethke Elshtain

Jean Bethke Elshtain was the Laura Spelman Rockefeller Professor of Social and Political Ethics at the University of Chicago from 1996 until her...

Anthony GillAnthony Gill

Tony Gill is a professor in the Department of Political Science at the University of Washington, adjunct professor of sociology at the UW, and a...

William InbodenWilliam Inboden

William Inboden is associate professor at the LBJ School of Public Affairs and executive director of the Clements Center for History, Strategy, and...

Timur KuranTimur Kuran

Timur Kuran is professor of economics and political science, and Gorter Family Professor in Islamic Studies at Duke University. Kuran’s research...

David NovakDavid Novak

David Novak holds the J. Richard and Dorothy Shiff Chair of Jewish Studies as Professor of the Study of Religion and Professor of Philosophy at the...

John M. OwenJohn M. Owen

John M. Owen is the Ambassador Henry J. and Mrs. Marion R. Taylor Professor of Politics at the University of Virginia. He is the author of Liberal...

Daniel PhilpottDaniel Philpott

Daniel Philpott, a Professor of Political Science at the University of Notre Dame’s Kroc Institute for Peace Studies, specializes in the...

Ani SarkissianAni Sarkissian

Ani Sarkissian is an assistant professor of political science at Michigan State University, where she is a core faculty member of the Muslim...

Mona SiddiquiMona Siddiqui

Mona Siddiqui is professor of Islamic and inter-religious studies and assistant principal for religion and society at the University of Edinburgh....

Monica Duffy ToftMonica Duffy Toft

Monica Duffy Toft is professor of government and public policy at Oxford University's Blavatnik School of Government. She previously was associate...

Roger TriggRoger Trigg

Roger Trigg, of St Cross College, Oxford, is senior research fellow in the Ian Ramsey Centre, University of Oxford, and a member of Oxford's...

Robert WoodberryRobert Woodberry

Robert Woodberry is an Associate Professor of Political Science and the Director of the Project on Religion and Economic Change (PREC) at the...

PROJECT STAFF

Kyle Vander MeulenKyle Vander Meulen

Kyle Vander Meulen joined the Berkley Center in January 2011. Before coming to the center, he completed his master's studies in Divinity at the...

Claudia WinklerClaudia Winkler

Claudia Winkler joined the Berkley Center in February 2014. Before joining the center, Claudia completed her master's degree in German at...
Book_silenced

January 31, 2012

Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide

What is the effect of blasphemy and apostasy laws on basic religious and political freedoms of Muslim-majority countries? What happens when Western governments and bodies like the United Nations begin passing similarly motivated restrictions on speech? These and other questions were addressed by Paul Marshall and Nina Shea as they discussed their new book, Silenced: How Apostasy and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide. Looking at the experience of hundreds of victims, from political dissidents to journalists to artists and religious reformers, the authors examined the political effects of such laws, as well as non-governmental fatwas and vigilante intimidation, on Muslim societies. The event included a response by John Voll, Professor of Islamic history and associate director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding at Georgetown University.

Featuring

Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall

Paul Marshall is a Senior Fellow of the Center for Religious Freedom at the Hudson Institute. Among the world’s leading scholars of religious freedom, Paul Marshall played a pivotal role in directing the world’s attention to the modern crisis of Christian persecution. Marshall is the author and editor of more than twenty books on religion and politics, especially religious freedom, including more recently, Persecuted: The Global Assault on Christians (2013), Silenced: How Apostasy Laws and Blasphemy Codes are Choking Freedom Worldwide (2011), Blind Spot: When Journalists Don't Get Religion (2009), Religious Freedom in the World (2008), and Radical Islam's Rules: The Worldwide Spread of Extreme Sharia Law (2005). For Georgetown’s “Christianity and Freedom” initiative, Marshall wrote an essay on Who Persecutes Christians—and Why?, in which he analyzes the predominant causes and patterns underlying global anti-Christian persecution.

Nina Shea

Nina Shea

Nina Shea is a Senior Fellow at the Hudson Institute, where she directs the Center for Religious Freedom, a Commissioner on the US Commission on International Religious Freedom, and an international human-rights lawyer. For over a decade, she has worked for the advancement of individual religious freedom in US foreign policy. She helped organize and lead a coalition of churches and religious groups that worked to end a religious war against non-Muslims and dissident Muslims in southern Sudan; in 2004 and 2005, she advised in the drafting of the religious freedom provisions in Iraq’s constitution; and, she authored and edited two reports, Saudi Arabia’s Curriculum of Intolerance (2006), and Saudi Publications on Hate Ideology Invade American Mosques (2005), both of which translated and analyzed Saudi governmental publications that teach hatred and violence against the religious “other.” She regularly presents testimony before Congress, delivers public lectures, organizes briefings and conferences, and writes frequently on religious freedom issues. She is the author of In the Lion’s Den, which documents worldwide Christian persecution. She is a graduate of Smith College, and American University’s Washington College of Law. In February 2008, she participated in the Berkley Center’s “Why Religious Freedom? The Origins and Promise of U.S. International Religious Freedom Policy” symposia.

Participants

John Voll

John Voll

John Voll is Professor of Islamic History and Associate Director of the Prince Alwaleed bin Talal Center for Muslim-Christian Understanding, Georgetown University. From 1965-1995 Voll taught and researched at the University of New Hampshire. He...