Conversation: Oct 22, Religion, Violence, and Coexistence, USA

The US Institute of Peace, Washington DC, will host, in partnership with the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, a conversation on “Religion, Violence, and Coexistence,” to mark International Religious Freedom Day.

The Internet release of a trailer for the anti-Islam film “The Innocence of Muslims” recently sparked protests around the world, some of which turned violent. These events serve as a stark reminder of the relationship between freedom of expression, religious coexistence, religious freedom, violence and security.

On October 22, 2012, the U.S. Institute of Peace (USIP) will host a panel discussion about civil society’s role in preventing and addressing provocative statements of religious bias and violent responses to it. The panelists will discuss the complementarities and tensions between the freedoms of expression and religion, use of the media in fomenting religious discrimination, and how to work with the media to promote respect for all religious traditions. The conversation will focus on how these issues are playing out in the context of political transitions occurring throughout the Middle East and North Africa, and the way in which civil society and the U.S. government can collaborate constructively to advance peaceful religious coexistence, freedom, and security.

This public discussion is co-sponsored with the Office of International Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State.


Suzan Johnson Cook,     Ambassador at Large,    Religious Freedom
Haris Tarin, Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Washington, D.C. Office
Marc Gopin,     Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict
George Mason University
Manal Omar, Director of Iraq, Iran and North Africa Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace
Susan Hayward, Moderator, Senior Program Officer, U.S. Institute of Peace

Webcast: This event will be webcast live beginning at 10:00am EDT on October 22, 2012 at

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