Today, Rashad Hussain, President Biden’s nominee for Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom, delivered testimony during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. The American Humanist Association (AHA) applauds Mr. Hussain for highlighting the ongoing plight of Mubarak Bala, the humanist leader currently imprisoned in Nigeria for allegedly insulting religion.
“In the midst of ever-emerging and egregious religious freedom violations around the world, Mr. Hussain’s choice to mention Mr. Bala’s situation is not only meaningful but an indication of the viewpoint he will bring to his role: one that correctly positions the rights of humanists, nontheists, and the nonreligious under the protective umbrella of religious freedom,” remarked Rachel Deitch, the AHA’s Policy and Social Justice Director. “Globally, humanists and atheists are among the top three groups most at risk of facing accusations of blasphemy crimes, alongside Christians and Muslims. We commend the nominee for taking the opportunity today in his testimony to highlight Mr. Bala’s continued inhumane detention.”
The AHA urges the Senate to swiftly confirm Mr. Hussain so he can get to work protecting the religious freedom rights of all.
Video of the hearing and Mr. Hussain’s testimony are accessible here.