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The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights

The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights  & The Leadership Conference Education Fund
The Nation's Premier Civil and Human Rights Coalition

Religious Freedom

Since our nation's inception, individuals from various religious denominations have too often suffered discrimination simply because of their religious beliefs. The fight to preserve religious liberty has long been closely aligned with the civil rights movement. Over the last decade, civil rights and liberties advocates have repeatedly fought attempts to limit free religious expression and undermine the wall between church and state.

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More Than 70 Organizations Sign Shared Statement of Principles on Tenth Anniversary of 9/11 Attacks

August 31, 2011 - Posted by Ron Bigler

On the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people in New York, Washington, and Pennsylvania, representatives from more than 70 national civil rights, human rights, civil liberties, Muslim, Jewish, and South Asian groups have signed a shared statement of principles that they say must guide responses to such horrendous and terrifying acts.

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Department of Homeland Security Removes Designated Countries from Controversial Surveillance Program

April 29, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

In a significant triumph in the fight against racial profiling, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced its decision to modify and effectively suspend the controversial National Security Entry-Exit Registration System (NSEERS), an extensive registration process that targets visitors from Arab, South Asian, and Muslim countries.

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Muslim Civil Rights Violations on the Rise, Durbin Hearing Shows

March 30, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Muslim Americans face rising religious discrimination in schools, workplaces and communities across the country, according to Tom Perez, assistant attorney general for the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, who testified yesterday at a congressional hearing on protecting the civil rights of Muslim Americans.

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NAACP Urges Rep. King to Rethink His ‘Reckless’ Hearings Singling Out the Muslim Community

March 9, 2011 - Posted by Ron Bigler

Hilary Shelton, director of the NAACP’s Washington Bureau, is urging Rep. Peter King, R. N.Y., to “reconsider holding the narrowly focused and reckless hearings” centered on domestic terrorism and the Muslim community in the United States scheduled for tomorrow, March 10.

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Civil and Human Rights Coalition Expresses Concern over Security Hearings Focused on American Muslims

February 10, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights sent a letter to Chairman Peter King expressing concern about the upcoming hearings scheduled in the Committee on Homeland Security on the “radicalization of the American Muslim community and homegrown terrorists.”

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Briefing Highlights Positive Relationships between Arab-American Community and Law Enforcement

February 8, 2011 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Last Thursday, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee (ADC) hosted a briefing on Capitol Hill to publicize the positive relationship between Arab-American communities and law enforcement.

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Interfaith Coalition to Address Anti-Muslim Discrimination

September 9, 2010 - Posted by Avril Lighty

A group of religious leaders have formed an interfaith coalition to aid Muslim communities facing rising discrimination and opposition in building or expanding their places of worship.

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Sikh Coalition Campaign Supports Right of Sikhs to Serve in the Military

April 20, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Several men in turbans behind a podium at a press conference, holding signs with slogans like End U.S. Army Turban Ban

U.S. Army 2nd Lt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, at a Sikh Coalition press conference to announce a campaign supporting the right of Sikhs to serve in the U.S. armed forces. Photo Credit: Sikh Coalition.

Last week, the Sikh Coalition launched a campaign supporting the right of Sikhs to serve in the U.S. armed forces, calling for a lift on a U.S. Army policy that prohibits turbans, uncut hair, and beards — religious practices that are mandated by the Sikh faith.

The campaign hopes to draw attention to the case of two Sikh-American Army medical recruits, Capt. Kamaljeet Singh Kalsi and 2nd Lt. Tejdeep Singh Rattan, who have been told by Army officials that they must cut their hair and remove their turbans when they begin active duty later this year, despite being assured when they enlisted that the religious articles "would not be a problem."

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President Obama Appoints LCCR Coalition Members to His Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships

April 6, 2009 - Posted by Tyler Lewis

Today, four LCCR coalition members were appointed to the President's Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships:
  • Rev. Peg Chemberlin, president-elect of the National Council of Churches USA;
  • Harry Knox, director of the Human Rights Campaign's Religion and Faith Program;
  • Anthony Picarello, general counsel of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops; and
  • Nancy Ratzan, president of the National Council of Jewish Women.

The President's Advisory Council is part of the new White House Office of Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships and will be made up of 25 leaders, religious and secular, who will serve one-year terms. 

The appointees join two other LCCR coalition members - Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism, and Father Larry J. Snyder, president of Catholic Charities USA – who were appointed in February.

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Rabbi Saperstein Urges Progressive Religious Community to Speak out on Judicial Nominations

February 24, 2009 - Posted by The Leadership Conference

Rabbi David Saperstein headshot

Rabbi David Saperstein

Rabbi David Saperstein, director and counsel of the Religious Action Center on Reform Judaism, recently wrote a guest blog on The Huffington Post urging the progressive religious community to join other progressive organizations in pushing for the nomination of fair and independent judges to federal courts.

"Sitting out vital debates about judicial nominees jeopardizes the crucial gains we have made and will make in the legislative arena. We need to ensure the appointment of judges who will uphold an expansive interpretation of the law as it applies to our fundamental rights and the separation of church and state," said Saperstein.

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