"Imam Talal Eid of Quincy will soon take on a wider national role: He’s the first Muslim cleric to be appointed to the U.S. Commission on International Religious Freedom. The 54-year-old Lebanon native has been picked for a two-year term on the independent, bipartisan agency, which monitors overseas conditions and makes policy recommendations to the president, State Department and Congress."
"Imam Eid will replace UCLA law professor Khalid Abou El Fadl as the Muslim representative on the 11-person commission. The commission has included a Muslim since Congress created the agency in 1998, but Imam Eid is the first religious leader to be chosen. ''This is an honor,'' he said.
And from the U.S. CIR press release:
"WASHINGTON –President George W. Bush today appointed Dr. Imam Talal Y. Eid and Leonard Leo to the United States Commission on International Religious freedom, an independent, bipartisan federal agency, and reappointed Michael Cromartie. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) appointed Dr. Don H. Argue as a Commissioner."
"....Imam Eid is Founder and Director of Religious Affairs at the Islamic Institute of Boston. A native of Lebanon, he served as Imam at the Al-Nasir Mosque in Tripoli for seven years and as Imam and religious director of the Islamic Center of New England from 1983-2005. In addition to his work at the Institute, he currently serves also as Muslim chaplain at Massachusetts General Hospital and at Brandeis University."
Congratulations and best wishes to Imam Eid!
Here's the original Act that established the U.S. Commission on International Freedom, which explains its intent and activities. Their website is here, and their latest annual report can be found here.
Freedom of religion is one of the most important rights we enjoy in the U.S., and one which we do well to promote world-wide. I'd like to see the U.S. Commission not only speak out against religious persecution, but also convince the President to take forceful actions (as described in Section 405) against countries that routinely violate religious freedom. He's got plenty of countries to choose from.