WASHINGTON, March 27, 2013 – The American Islamic Congress (AIC) marks the two-year anniversary of the Egyptian revolution tomorrow with a panel event examining democratization and current religious freedom issues in Egypt. Panelists Eric Trager and Dwight Bashir will offer expert insight into the current situation in Egypt regarding the role of religion in Egyptian politics and religious freedom issues. In addition, Congressman Frank Wolf’s office will analyze the impact of the recently introduced H.R. 301, which calls for a Special Envoy to monitor religious freedom in the Near East and Southeast Asia.

The ascent of the Muslim Brotherhood in Parliament and the election of President Mohammed Morsi has given rise to a fierce political battle between Islamists and the mostly secular and liberal opposition. In the wake of the 2011 revolution, Egyptians and observers worldwide are closely following the increasingly influential role that Islam has had on Egyptian politics as many wonder how this will affect the democratic process and religious freedom in Egypt.

When: 12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Thursday, March 28, 2013

Where: Rayburn Congressional Office Building, Room B339, Washington D.C. 20515


Eric Trager, the Next Generation Fellow at The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, is a Ph.D. candidate in political science at the University of Pennsylvania, where his research focuses on Egyptian opposition parties. He was in Egypt during the 2011 anti-Mubarak revolts, and his writings have appeared in numerous publications, including the New York Times, Wall Street JournalForeign Affairs, the Atlantic, and the New Republic. From 2006-2007, Trager lived in Egypt as an Islamic Civilizations Fulbright fellow, where he studied at the American University in Cairo and received his M.A. in Arabic studies with a concentration in Islamic studies. He served as a research assistant at The Washington Institute from 2005 to 2006 upon graduation from Harvard University with a degree in government and language citations in Arabic and Hebrew.

Dr. Dwight Bashir is the Deputy Director for Policy and Research at the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF).  He is a specialist on human rights and religious freedom in the Middle East and North Africa, preventive diplomacy, and ethnic and sectarian conflict. He has published widely on an array of topics in international affairs, including democracy and religious freedom, peace and security, extremism, and reform in the Middle East. Dr. Bashir has contributed to various reports published by the Council on Foreign Relations and the Center for Strategic and International Studies, among others, and participates regularly in trainings of refugee and asylum officers at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Before joining USCIRF, Dr. Bashir worked as a consultant with the United Nations and with non-governmental organizations focusing on human rights and international conflict analysis and resolution.


The American Islamic Congress is a nonprofit, non-religious, civil society development organization serving Muslims and Non-Muslims by promoting civil and human rights through advocacy, engagement and education. Visit http://aic.craftedenterprises.com for more additional information.