Asma Uddin: Freedom of Religion and Expression

FIU Law Review Symposium  


Third Session: Freedom of Religion and Expression
Professor Frank S. Ravitch, Michigan State University College of Law
Professor Robert A. Katz, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law
Asma T. Uddin, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty
Professor SpearIt, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University


Professor of Law & Walter H. Stowers Chair of Law and Religion, Michigan State University College of Law
Frank S. Ravitch is Professor of Law and the Walter H. Stowers Chair in Law and Religion at the Michigan State University College of Law, and Director of the Kyoto, Japan Summer Program. He is the author of several books: MARKETING CREATION: THE LAW AND INTELLIGENT DESIGN (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2011); Masters OF ILLUSION: THE SUPREME COURT AND THE RELIGION CLAUSES (NYU Press 2007); LAW AND RELIGION, A READER: CASES, CONCEPTS, AND THEORY, 3RD ED. (West 2015) (2nd Ed. 2008) (1st Ed. 2004); EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW (Prentice Hall 2005) (with Pamela Sumners and Janis McDonald); and SCHOOL PRAYER AND DISCRIMINATION: THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF RELIGIOUS MINORITIES AND DISSENTERS (Northeastern University Press, 1999 & paperback edition 2001). He is also the co-author, with the late Boris Bittker and Scott Idleman, of the forthcoming treatise, RELIGION AND THE STATE IN AMERICAN LAW (Cambridge Univ. Press forthcoming 2015). Professor Ravitch has published a number of law review articles and book chapters addressing U.S. and Japanese constitutional law, law & religion, and civil rights law in leading journals. Moreover, he has written a number of amicus briefs addressing constitutional issues to the United States Supreme Court.
In 2001, Professor Ravitch was named a Fulbright Scholar and served on the Faculty of Law at Doshisha University in Kyoto, Japan. Currently, he directs the Michigan State University College of Law Japan Summer program. Professor Ravitch regularly serves as an expert for print and broadcast media, and speaks on topics related to U.S. Constitutional Law and Japanese Law to a wide range of national, international and local organizations. He speaks English, Japanese, and Hebrew.

Professor of Law, Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Robert Katz is a Professor of Law at Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, where he has a joint appointment in the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. He is an expert in the law of nonprofit organizations and and teaches First Amendment, law and religion, nonprofit organizations, and health law. He is currently writing about controversies over state Religious Freedom Restoration Acts.

Legal Counsel, Becket Fund for Religious Liberty

Asma T. Uddin joined The Becket Fund in 2009 after practicing commercial litigation at prestigious national law firms for several years. She is a 2005 graduate of The University of Chicago Law School, where she was a member of The University of Chicago Law Review.
Ms. Uddin spent her first few years at The Becket Fund serving as the primary attorney for Becket’s Legal Training Institute (LTI), which is devoted to working with local partners around the world to train advocates, lawyers, judges, religious leaders, journalists and students in religious freedom law and principles. More recently, Ms. Uddin has taken on the role of Legal Counsel, defending religious liberty in the U.S. through several prominent cases at The Becket Fund.Ms. Uddin is also the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, a web magazine dedicated to issues on gender and Islam.Ms. Uddin speaks and publishes widely on issues of gender and faith, and national and international religious freedom. She also serves on the Islam and Religious Freedom Advisory Council.

Associate Professor of Law, Thurgood Marshall School of Law at Texas Southern University

SpearIt is an Associate Professor of Law at Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University, where he teaches Criminal Law, Evidence, Professional Responsibility, and Criminal Procedure. SpearIt has extensive teaching experience and in addition to teaching law, he has taught undergraduate courses as well as taught inmates at San Quentin State Prison. Most recently his work appears in the Chicago-Kent Law Review, Michigan State University Press, Carolina Academic Press, and ABC-CLIO.
SpearIt earned a B.A. in philosophy, magna cum laude, from the University of Houston, a master’s in theological studies at Harvard Divinity School, a Ph.D. in religious studies at UC Santa Barbara, and a J.D. from UC Berkeley School of Law. Currently SpearIt is the Chair for the American Bar Association Subcommittee on Prisoner Education, Research Fellow at the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding; Board Member of the Society of American Law Teachers; and Contributing Editor for Jotwell Criminal Law.


Moderator: Dr. Howard Simon, Executive Director of ACLU Florida


Start Date
23-10-2015 1:50 PM
End Date
23-10-2015 3:20 PM
This panel will explore the implications of various cases on the freedom of expression and religion. Professor Ravitch’s article goes in depth on religious freedom claims and, focusing on government employees, he will explain when accommodation for specific religious freedoms are appropriate and when they conflict with the rights of others. Professor Katz’s article discusses the connection between the Supreme Court’s decision on same-sex marriage and the religious freedoms of individuals and entities who oppose same-sex marriage and same-sex relations on religious grounds. In Asma T. Uddin’s article, she examines the Charlie Hebdo attacks in Paris and focuses on the distinction between provocation and incitement to imminent violence for line drawing between protected and unprotected speech. Professor SpearIt’s article explores Muslims in America and their use of hip hop culture to voice a long list of radical critiques of the criminal justice system.

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