J. Richard Ratcliffe is a lawyer in Providence, R.I. As a speaker for the Center for First Amendment Rights in Hartford, Conn., he frequently talks with high school, college and professional groups about the First Amendment.
Mongi Dhaouadi is the executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations’ Connecticut chapter. He can discuss accommodation of Muslim students in Bridgeport, Conn., schools, which assigned a room for Muslim students during lunches at Ramadan.
Lisa Soronen is the Executive Director of the State and Local Legal Center. She can discuss the various lawsuits brought by Muslims and members of other faiths for religious accommodation in the public schools.
Frank J. Gaffney Jr. is president of the Center for Security Policy, a nonprofit that looks for threats to American security and works to draw public and government attention to those threats. He is a supporter of the Stop the Madrassa Coalition and has been critical of the Khalil Gibran International Academy in New York City.
Stop the Madrassa Coalition was formed after the opening of Khalil Gibran International Academy, a charter school that focuses on teaching Arabic.
Elinor Pierce is a senior researcher at Harvard University’s Pluralism Project.
Edina Lekovic is the Director of Policy and Programming of the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
M. Zuhdi Jasser is founder and chairman of the American Islamic Forum for Democracy, which promotes separation of mosque and state. He has said that “unusual accommodations” for one faith is not pluralism. AIFD is based in Phoenix, Ariz.
Read an Aug. 18, 2011, Patch.com article about students balancing school and their religion.