Dr Iqtidar Cheema was invited to brief the United States Congress on the role of religious leaders in the prevention of incitement to violence on 7 June 2017.
His co-panelists were Adama Dieng, United Nations Under Secretary-General/Special Adviser on the Prevention of Genocide, and Naomi Kikoler, Deputy Director, Center for the Prevention of Genocide at United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.
Dr Iqtidar Cheema emphasised that atrocity crimes are usually preceded by incitement to violence that originates in the form of “hate speech” that targets communities, based on their identity. Incitement can both be a warning sign and a trigger for atrocity crimes. He stressed that religious leaders and actors should help fight all forms of discrimination, including discrimination based on class, cast, race, ethnicity or religion, such as antisemitism, Islamophobia and xenophobia. They can monitor and report on national, regional and global trends and support initiatives aimed at countering discrimination.
Dr Iqtidar Cheema is Honorary Fellow of The Edward Cadbury Centre for the Public Understanding of Religion.