Caleb Lyman

Asma T. Uddin


Asma T. Uddin is a professor, author, and lawyer specializing in religious liberty. Her recent major publications include When Islam Is Not a Religion (2019); The Politics of Vulnerability (2021); and "Religious Liberty Interest Convergence" in the William & Mary Law Review (2022). She has forthcoming articles on the social psychology of religious liberty depolarization and, separately, the harms of religious identity capitalism.

Uddin is currently Visiting Assistant Professor of Law at the Catholic University of America, where she teaches Family Law; International Human Rights; and Gender, Law, and Policy. After graduating from the University of Chicago Law School, Uddin served as Legal Counsel for the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty. While there, she helped litigate religious liberty cases in both international and domestic tribunals, including the U.S. Supreme Court.

Uddin is also a Fellow with the Aspen Institute's Religion & Society Program in Washington, D.C., where she created a data-based approach to reducing Muslim-Christian polarization in the U.S. Her work on depolarization has been supported by the Fetzer Institute, Pew Charitable Trusts, M.J. Murdock Charitable Trust, and the Templeton Religion Trust.

Uddin served two terms as an expert advisor on religious liberty to the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), was a term-member of the Council on Foreign Relations, has held fellowships at Harvard, Georgetown, and UCLA, and currently sits on the Board of Advisors for Notre Dame University's Religious Liberty Initiative.

Uddin’s extensive public writings on religion, politics, and polarization have appeared in The New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, USA Today, U.S News & World Report, Al Jazeera America, Flipboard, Refinery29, Teen Vogue, and numerous other outlets. In 2022, Deseret Magazine named Uddin a "new reformer": one of 20 faith leaders who "are challenging the conservative movement to change."

From 2009 to 2016, Uddin founded and edited a web magazine, altMuslimah, which covered a wide range of issues at the intersection of gender and Islam. The web magazine had a content partnership with the Washington Post and hosted multiple conferences across the U.S. and abroad. Uddin has also advised media projects on American Muslims, including as Executive Producer for the Emmy and Peabody nominated docu-series, The Secret Life of Muslims.

Festival Years: 2024