By: Prema Rahman, MPAC Human Security Program Manager

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iStock.com/Mongkolchon Akesin

Ahead of the March 14 deadline for President Biden to sign the new COVID relief package into action, MPAC is releasing a 3-part analysis of the expected legislation through a human security framework. This piece is the first in the series.

The coronavirus pandemic has exposed some of the deepest cracks in America’s public health system. Since the virus first swept across our nation around this time last year, we spiraled from an inadequate emergency response to an overburdened and under-equipped healthcare system to an economic crisis to disproportionate rates of infection and death to slow and inequitable vaccine distribution…


By: MPAC Policy Intern Shaezmina Khan

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Earlier this week, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) issued a statement on the International Day of Zero Tolerance for Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), calling for an end to the cruel practice. This day functions as opportunity to amplify the existing efforts on the elimination of FGM, recognize the many women and girls who have suffered as victims of this practice, and to call on the global community to reimagine a world where women have total autonomy over their own lives. …


By: MPAC D.C. Bureau

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Members of Muslim group Sri Lanka Thawheed Jamaath protest against the cremation of Muslim COVID victims near the Presidential Secretariat in Colombo [Chamila Karunarathne/EPA]

On Wednesday, February 10, following immense international condemnation, Sri Lanka Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, while answering a question by Muslim lawmaker Rishard Bathiudeen, indicated that his government will grant permission for Muslims who have died of the COVID-19 virus to be buried. This marks a clear victory for international religious freedom, a key issue in MPAC’s advocacy. Through our engagement with the U.S. Legislature, Department of State, and civil society stakeholders, MPAC joined allies Imam Malik Mujahid (Justice For All) and CAIR National in advocating for international religious freedom, human rights, and fair treatment of Muslims in Sri Lanka.

What…


By: Prema Rahman, MPAC Human Security Program Manager

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Photo by dole777 on Unsplash

Tech giants like Facebook have come under increased scrutiny for the role they play in disseminating news and information, especially as it pertains to the spread of false narratives and divisive rhetoric. And rightly so. In 2018, in a testimony before a joint Senate Committee, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg admitted responsibility for failing to stop the spread of fake news on his platform, which many speculate contributed to Trump’s 2016 presidential win. Since then, social media companies have moved in an opposite direction — toward censorship. Following the January 6th Capitol insurrection, Twitter swiftly issued a ban on Trump’s personal…


By: M Baqir Mohie El-Deen, MPAC Policy Program Manager

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The members-elect of the 116th Congress pose on the East Front Plaza of the Capitol on Nov. 14, 2018. (Mandel Ngan / AFP — Getty Images)

Welcome to the 117th Congress of the United States. This new congress has made history in many respects. This is the most racially and ethnically diverse congress in the history of our nation, with almost a quarter of the Congress identifying as either. But there is still room for more change. While we saw the most women in history elected into Congress, more than double the amount from even a decade ago, women form only a quarter of the 117th Congress. Non-hispanic whites account for 77% of this session, however they represent only 60% of the US population. This aspect…


By: M Baqir Mohie El-Deen, MPAC Policy Program Manager

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While many have only recently been awakened to the Domestic Violent Extremist (DVE) threat to our nation following the attack on Capitol Hill, numerous comprehensive studies and reports have been conducted by various organizations around the nation for years now, all concluding that America is in danger from domestic violent extremists. Back in 2014, the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism found that domestic, anti-government radicals were considered the most serious threat. Research from the Triangle Center on Terrorism and Homeland Security at Duke University came to a similar conclusion. A year later, University of…


By: Prema Rahman, MPAC Human Security Program Manager

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Image credit — Photographer: Ken Cedeno/CNP/Bloomberg

Amongst the tidal wave of executive actions President Biden signed on his first day in office, one in particular is historic in nature: the Executive Order (EO) On Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government (aka the Racial Equity EO). Through this EO, Biden directs the White House Domestic Policy Council (DPC), headed by Susan Rice, to coordinate and advance racial equity throughout the federal government. In line with the order’s general intent, in Section 10 of the directive, Biden also revokes Trump’s controversial Executive Order 13950, which prohibited federal diversity and inclusion training. …


By: Iman Ali, Policy and Programming Coordinator

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Kamala Harris is sworn in as vice president as her husband, Doug Emhoff, looks on at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 20. Alex Wong / Getty Images

Sirimavo Bandaranaike did it in 1960.

Benazir Bhutto did it in 1988.

Janet Jaygan did it in 1997.

All these women were some of the first to have held national office in their respective countries.

Among the list of nations that can tout female representation at the highest level came a new addition on January 20th, 2021 — The United States of America.

But why is it that a nation that prides itself on being ahead of all others, has fallen so deeply behind on having a woman in one of the highest offices in the land?

A Brief History


By: Prema Rahman, MPAC Human Security Program Manager

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The United States is now in its sixth week of distributing and administering COVID-19 vaccinations, but vaccine rollout has been woefully slow while the rate of infection has only climbed higher. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as of Wednesday, January 20, around 14.2 million Americans have received an initial dose of one of the two approved vaccines, and approximately 2.2 million Americans have received full vaccination. That is well below the federal goal to administer the first dose to at least 20 million Americans by the end of this month. Not only is the upward…


By: M Baqir Mohie El-Deen, MPAC Policy Program Manager

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A new government was sworn in this week that changes the face of both the White House and the US Congress. Although many are rejoicing with the changes, half of the nation is disappointed. The hard work of the American people now begins, a duty to help govern this nation with this new administration.

Where does this duty come from?

Short answer: the founding of this nation. Back in 1776, when the Declaration of Independence and shortly after the Constitution were signed, the idea that the people could govern themselves was a radical concept for the world. When Benjamin Franklin…

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The Muslim Public Affairs Council improves public understanding and policies that impact American Muslims by engaging our government, media and communities.

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