Scharffs participates as panelist at Open Forum on "Relations between Religious Minorities, Majorities and the State in Indonesia and the United States"
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On July 31, 2017, Center Director Brett Scharffs was a panelist at a special Open Forum on "Relations between Religious Minorities, Majorities and the State in Indonesia and the United States: Current Trends and Issues," sponsored by the U.S.-Indonesia Society (USINDO), in Jakarta, Indonesia. Panelists included Yenny Wahid, Indonesian Co-Chair, Indonesia-US Council on Religion and Pluralism and Executive Director of the Wahid Foundation, Prof. Dr. Nur Syam, Secretary-General, Ministry of Religious Affairs, Republic of Indonesia, and Febi Yonesta, Chairman of SUAKA and Head of Organizational Development Indonesian Legal Aid Foundation (YLBHI). Professor Scharffs highlighted recent Supreme Court cases, including Holt v. Hodges, which vindicated the right of a prisoner to wear a beard based upon religious convictions, The Trump Administration’s initial and revised travel ban on residents of several Muslim-majority countries, and the tensions that arise between religious freedom and gay rights, as illustrated by the Masterpiece Cakeshop case that has just been accepted by the U.S. Supreme Court. 

During his visit to Jakarta, Professor Scharffs was also invited to participate in discussions of newly proposed government regulations that affect civil society organizations with senior officials at Indonesia’s Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs.