Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Azizah al-Hibri wins First Freedom award

From the press release, here are details about one of my law professors receiving a prestigious award last week:

University of Richmond School of Law Professor Azizah Y. al-Hibri [was] awarded the 2007 First Freedom Award, by the Council for America’s First Freedom, to commemorate the anniversary of the nation’s first law guaranteeing religious liberty.

Past winners include Tony Blair and Vaclav Havel; along with Prof. al-Hibri, this year’s winnes included former Secretary of State Madeline Albright.

I took a couple classes with Prof. al-Hibri while at University of Richmond, and was part of a small group of students who worked with her on a conference that would have brought the Pope and several world leaders to our campus to discuss religious freedoms. She is among the world’s foremost authorities on Muslim law, a founding editor of Hypatia: a Journal of Feminist Philosophy, and is founder and president of KARAMAH: Muslim Women Lawyers for Human Rights. Though the conference we worked on didn’t come to pass (my memory is a little fuzzy, but I recall she’d made progress before running into insurmountable scheduling conflicts), I remember being amazed at her drive, her absolute certainty that what she worked on would be successful, and her commitment to listening to all sides of a discussion before forming an opinion. I always get a kick out of hearing her interviewed on NPR (especially post-9/11, she’s been quite in demand) — there’s no doubt that she’s very deserving of this award and recognition. Congratulations, Professor al-Hibri!

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