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This is an image of CIRF's logo. CIRF is the Center for Islam and Religious Freedom. The logo includes the first part of verse 2:256 from the Quran, which is rendered here in Arabic. The translation of the part of the verse that appears in the logo is: "There is no compulsion in religion."
Research * Education * Media * Advocacy
This is a headshot of Mustafa Akyol.
Please join us in welcoming Mustafa Akyol as a
new member of the CIRF Advisory Council!

Akyol, from Turkey, is a journalist and author. His book, Islam Without Extremes: A Muslim Case for Liberty, addresses some important themes in understanding the compatibility of Islam with religious freedom. Read more about Mustafa Akyol here. Follow him on Twitter @AkyolinEnglish (and follow CIRF @IslamAndRF).

Paid Internships

The Center for Islam and Religious Freedom (CIRF) invites applications for paid student internships at our Washington, DC office.

Spring Semester 2016: one part-time paid internship, ca. 5 hours per week

Summer 2016: two full-time paid internships, 40 hours per week per intern

Duties to include:

  • Research the writings of Muslim authors related to religious freedom
  • Provide research and draft-writing assistance for Asma Uddin, Director of Strategy. Projects will include law review articles, book chapters, op-eds
  • Develop an online bibliography of Islam and religious freedom
  • Design and plan art, poetry, and essay contests
  • Review content (videos, audio, and text) for social media outreach and CIRF’s online bibliography of Islam and religious freedom
  • Update CIRF website (no coding abilities or website editing experience needed)
  • Contribute creative recommendations for development of CIRF's social media outreach
  • Assist with operational and logistical support for this new NGO start-up


  1. Browse to learn more about CIRF. We also recommend reading Islam and Belief: At Home with Religious Freedom by Abdullah Saeed as well as "Religious Freedom: Arguments from Islam" by Areej Hassan
  2. Send a resume, including involvement in Muslim organizations (if any), a statement (500 words max.) explaining why you are interested in Islam and religious freedom, and a note specifying whether you are applying for a spring or summer internship, to Ms. Areej Hassan,

Undergraduate students and students in graduate and professional university degree programs are welcome to apply. The undergraduate student internship will pay $10 an hour; the graduate student internship $14 an hour. These paid internships are made possible by a grant from the Templeton Religion Trust.  

What We're Reading:
This is the picture that appeared in the New York Times alongside the article "A Medieval Antidote to ISIS" by Mustafa Akyol. On the picture is the English transliteration of the Arabic word "irja" written in a way that resembles Arabic calligraphy. "Irja" is a concept in Islamic theology that is the focus of Akyol'd article.
In the article "A Medieval Antidote to ISIS," CIRF Advisory Council member Mustafa Akyol contrasts the humility of mainstream Muslims, who leave judgement about who is a true Muslim to God, with the arrogance and resulting "takfiri" ideology of ISIS.
This picture shows the logo of the Pakistani newspaper, "Daily Times". The slogan under the title of the newspaper is: "Your right to know -- A new voice for a new Pakistan." In the background of the logo are mountains.
In "The blasphemy law, Islam and the state," Yasser Latif Hamdani argues that Pakistan's blasphemy law "must be examined to determine whether it is consistent with the principles of natural justice and the requirements of the rule of law. Another thing that must be determined is whether the said law fulfills the requirements laid down by Islam. This determination is important because the argument martialed in its favour is almost always that it is not just a man-made law but the divine will of God."
This is the "Quranalyze It" logo. The logo is simply a purple square with the words, "Quranalyze It" in the center.
At this time during which we are remembering the January 2015 Charlie Hebdo attacks, with the victims and their families in our prayers, we recommend this commentary on blasphemy in the traditions of Islam by Ro Waseem, "Why Prophet Muhammad Would be Deeply Disturbed by the Charlie Hebdo Attacks."
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