Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom Opens "Religion, Violence, and Coexistence" Panel Discussion

Notice to the Press
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
October 19, 2012

On Monday, October 22, Suzan Johnson Cook, the U.S. Ambassador at Large for Religious Freedom, will provide opening remarks and introduce the panelists at a public panel discussion entitled “Religion, Violence, and Coexistence.” The panel is hosted in honor of International Religious Freedom Day. The event will be in Room B241 at the U.S. Institute of Peace from 10:00 a.m.-12:00 noon. 

The panel discussion will focus on 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. 

Panelists will include Haris Tarin, the Washington DC Director of the Muslim Public Affairs Council, Marc Gopin, the Director of the Center for World Religions, Diplomacy, and Conflict at George Mason University, and Manal Omar, the Director of Iraq, Iran, and North Africa Programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace. Susan Hayward, a Program Officer at the U.S. Institute of Peace will serve as moderator for the discussion. The public event will be webcast live at and viewers are encouraged to submit questions for the panel on Twitter with #IRFatUSIP.

The event will be open to the press. Pre set for camera crews: 9:30 a.m. from the U.S. Institute of Peace 23rd Street entrance. Please note: A mult box will be available for press use. Final access time for writers and still photographers: 9:40 a.m. from the 23rd Street entrance. Press will be directed by the USIP security staff to the press registration table to acquire identification. Media representatives may attend this event upon presentation of an official photo identification card. 

For further information regarding the Ambassador for International Religious Freedom, please contact Evan Owen at or (202) 647-4747. 

For further information or to register for the event, please contact Steven Ruder in the USIP Office of Public Affairs and Communications at or 202-429-3825.

PRN: 2012/1672