Hafiz of Quran becomes first Muslim US religious freedom ambassador

3/11/2022 11:36 AM
The United States Capitol Building, the seat of Congress, on the National Mall in Washington, D.C.

A Muslim who has memorised the Quran will serve as the US Ambassador-at-Large for International Religious Freedom.  

Rashad Hussain won Senate approval in an 85-5 vote last week, making him the first Muslim American in the role.  

The 42-year-old, who speaks Spanish, Arabic and Urdu, is a hafiz of the Quran.

"This is a very historic moment for the American Muslim community," said Shaykh Dr Yasir Qadhi on Twitter.

"Rashad Hussain is a highly qualified Dallas native and hafidh al-Quran; he is known to all of us as a person constantly involved in good causes and concerned with community issues. I wish him the best!"

Hussain served as US Special Envoy to the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and was Special Envoy for Strategic Counterterrorism Communications.  

'Historic moment'  

CAIR, America's largest Muslim civil rights organisation, said it was a 'historic moment, alhamdulillah.’  

"We commend @POTUS for this historic nomination. May God help Rashad advance religious freedom around the world," the group said in a tweet.  

The Muslim Public Affairs Council MPAC) congratulated Hussain for his confirmation.  

"Rashad has served our community and country at the highest level of integrity and intelligence," said MPAC President Salam Al-Marayati.  "We look forward to working with him in advancing religious freedom under his leadership."  

The lawyer was one of five nominees for the role.  

“(A)s a Muslim American, I have seen the impact of bigotry and guilt by association tactics used against minority communities, including the message it sends and dangers it poses to young people,” Hussain said during his confirmation hearing in October.