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“All human beings are born free and equal

in dignity and rights.”

- Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Discrimination and Persecution Against Muslims Worldwide

Thursday, June 30, 2022 - 10:00am
Virtual via Cisco WebEx


Please join the Tom Lantos Human Rights Commission for a hearing on discrimination and persecution against Muslims around the globe.  

Article 18 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights provides that “Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion,” but in practice states frequently violate individuals’ religious freedom. According to the Pew Research Center’s most recent annual report on restrictions on religious belief, government restrictions on religion, including prohibitions on worship and government violence against religious groups, have increased significantly since 2007. Muslims faced government harassment in 135 countries in 2019, exceeding that of any other religious group. Muslim religious identity often overlaps with other factors, such as ethnic or national identity, which may also be the subject of discrimination or persecution.

Examples of grievous violations against people who practice Islam include the ongoing crimes against humanity and genocide being committed against Uyghurs, as well as members of other ethnic and religious minority groups, in Xinjiang, China, and against Rohingya in Burma. In India, Hindu leaders have engaged in hate speech and called for mass violence against Muslims in the country. In the Middle East and North Africa, intra-Muslim tensions have been reflected in institutionalized discrimination and sectarian and intercommunal violence. Stigmatization of Muslims in Europe has contributed to legislation targeting Muslim dress and cultural practices. In Russia, of 420 political prisoners identified by the human rights organization Memorial, more than half were persecuted in connection with their Muslim faith. A number of countries, including Pakistan, criminalize the practice of certain expressions of Islam, such as the Ahmadiyya. While extremist groups such as ISIS, Boko Haram and al-Shabaab target non-Muslims and Muslims alike, global efforts to combat violent extremism have at times led to discrimination against and persecution of Muslims.

Witnesses will provide an overview of discrimination and persecution against Muslims and discuss the U.S. policy response, including avenues for pursuing accountability for grave violations.

The hearing will be virtual. Pursuant to H. Res. 965, Member of Congress and witnesses will participate remotely via Cisco WebEx. Members of the public and the media may view the hearing by live webcast on the Commission website. The hearing will also be available for viewing on Channel 52 of the House Digital Channel Service. For any questions, please contact  Kimberly Stanton (for Co-Chair McGovern) or Piero Tozzi (for Co-Chair Smith) or Ryan Morgan (for Rep. Omar).   

Hosted by:

James P. McGovern
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC
Ilhan Omar
Member of Congress
Executive Committee, TLHRC
Christopher H. Smith
Member of Congress
Co-Chair, TLHRC

Opening Remarks


Panel I          

Panel II          

Submitted for the Record


117th Congress