Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team

The Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team explores and supports religious freedom from within the traditions of Islam. The work of this team includes researching the traditions of Islam, developing education programs about Islam and religious freedom, translating resources by Muslims about religious freedom, fostering inclusion of Muslims in religious freedom work both where Muslims are a majority and where they are a minority, and partnering with RFI’s other teams in advocacy. The Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team has staff in Washington, DC and Copenhagen.

Our activities:

  • research topics related to religious freedom in the traditions of Islam

  • advocacy in collaboration with the other RFI Action Teams

  • promote circulation of media by Muslims about religious freedom

  • education programs about Islam and religious freedom

  • strategic communication to share our work

Director: Ismail Royer
Members: Kareem McDonald, Program Associate, Mehdi Mejri, Atlas Fellow

Website: To learn more about the work of the Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team visit: www.IslamRFI.org


Director: Ismail Royer

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Ismail Royer serves as Director of the Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team for the Religious Freedom Institute. Since converting to Islam in 1992, he has studied religious sciences with traditional Islamic scholars, and spent over a decade working at non-profit Islamic organizations. In June 2003, Royer was indicted for assisting the Pakistan-based Lashkar-e-Taiba (LET) and pleaded guilty to weapons charges related to the violation of United States neutrality laws. Since his release he has worked with nonprofits to promote peace between faiths and to undermine religious extremism. His writing has appeared in publications such as the Washington Post, Journal of Religion and Society, Public Discourse, Detroit Free Press, Al Jumuah, and Muslim Matters.

Intern: Daniella Royer

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Daniella Royer works on RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team and Middle East Action Team. She graduated from the University of Oklahoma with degrees in mathematics and economics and will attend Georgetown Law School as a Global Law Scholar in the fall. Daniella is passionate about exploring the intersections between culture, law, and religion in the United States and around the world, and loves thinking about how to integrate faith into the public square. After law school, she plans to pursue religious liberty law and refugee advocacy. In her free time, you can find her playing piano and violin, discussing theology, and cooking multicultural cuisine.  

Intern: Wilson Reynolds

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Wilson Reynolds is working on RFI’s Islam and Religious Freedom Action Team and the Middle East Action Team. He is passionate about advocacy for interfaith dialogue, having engaged in and led Christian-Muslim fellowship groups through a variety of local religious institutions. A rising third-year undergraduate at Davidson College, he is pursuing a major in Political Science, specializing in international relations theory, and a minor in Middle East Studies. After graduation, he intends to integrate a career in entrepreneurship or government service with his enthusiasm for cross-cultural ministry and religious freedom.