Religious Freedom: Why Now? A Conversation on Islam and Religious Freedom with Dr. Robert P. George and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf

March 1, 2012

On March 1, 2012, the Religious Freedom Project sponsored a conversation between two of the nation’s most eminent scholars–Professor Robert P. George, Mc- Cormick Professor of Jurisprudence at Princeton University, and Shaykh Hamza Yusuf, co-founder of Zaytuna College, the first accredited Muslim institution of higher learning in the United States. This report is an edited transcript of that conversation.

The subject was religious freedom, in particular the Islamic roots of religious freedom. The conversation took place after a dinner on the campus of Georgetown University and ranged widely through the fields of theology, metaphysics, moral philosophy, music, law, and history. Among other things, Yusuf and George made it clear that the subject of religious freedom among Muslims, while controversial, can be seen as deeply rooted within the Islamic tradition. In the audience were scholars, business leaders, journalists, policymakers, and other distinguished guests. Each was treated to an erudite, pithy, meaningful, and often humorous jousting between these two men–one Catholic and one Muslim– deeply immersed in their respective traditions, and deeply respectful of each other precisely for that reason.

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